Your Aura is Blue
Spiritual and calm, you tend to live a quiet but enriching life. You are very giving of yourself. And it's hard for you to let go of relationships. The purpose of your life: showing love to other people Famous blues include: Angelina Jolie, the Dali Lama, Oprah Careers for you to try: Psychic, Peace Corps Volunteer, Counselor

About Me

My photo
This blog started out as a way for me to display and sell my handmade jewelry creations. I have set up shop on, where my shop name is "Dreamin of Beadin". The link to my Etsy store is located on the right hand side of this page. Please check me out!! If jewelry's not your thing, then check out the site anyway ~ there are plenty of talented artists selling lots of cool things there. For your reading pleasure, this blog will serve as a sneak peek into what's going on "behind the scenes" in my world. I love to cook, so there will be plenty of recipes, as well as product reviews and the occasional product giveaway (woo hoo!) I also love to take pictures of anything and everything, and I just bought a new camera, so there will be plenty of photos. And I like wine too, so things could get pretty interesting . . . Thank you for your support of me, Etsy and "all things handmade" :)


Here's the Dish: Peanut Butter and Heath Bar Blondies

For Thanksgiving, my job was to bring dessert. I baked the traditional pies that everyone loves ~ well, almost everyone, that is. There are a few family members who aren't crazy about pie. To please them, I baked these decadent brownies. Can I just tell you ~ they were sublime!! Everyone loved them, pie lovers and non-lovers alike. The below recipe makes a big pan of them, so you'll have enough for everyone and extras to keep for yourself ;)
Peanut Butter and Heath Bar Blondies
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3 coarsely chopped Heath bars (the full size bars)
1/2 cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts
Preheat oven to 325*F
Grease and flour a 18 x 12 x 1-inch jelly roll pan.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and the peanut butter until fluffy.
Add the sugar and beat until smooth.
Add the eggs and the vanilla extract and mix well.
Add the flour, baking powder and salt and beat until well incorporated.
Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into center of pan comes out with moist crumbs attached.
Cool to room temperature
To prepare the topping:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the peanut butter chips and the cream, stirring until smooth. Drizzle the peanut butter mixture decoratively over the cooled blondies. Sprinkle the Heath Bars and the peanuts on top. Allow to cool to room temperature, or overnight, before cutting and serving.


Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m sending along my wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving! If you travel, be safe. Wherever you go and whatever you do, I hope your hearts and tummies are full of thanks. Mr. Turkey doesn’t look too happy up there, huh?! I guess I wouldn’t be happy if I was about to be cooked, either!
Be sure to check my shop over the holiday weekend for some great deals that will (hopefully) get you in the holiday buying mood ~ whether for yourself or someone on your list. Hint ~ join my fan page and be the first to hear of the sale!


Organizing a Small Space

I’ve been thinking about how I want to organize the newly acquired crafting space that I mentioned in a previous post. Since the spare bedroom is not very big, I have to maximize what little space I have. The actual footage will depend on how much I am able to discard from what currently resides in the room. There is a futon, which takes up one wall and will be the first thing to go, no problema. There are also shoes, clothing, books, scrapbooking supplies and a lot of other odds and ends that I store in there. My first task will be to go through all of this stuff and figure out what I can donate, discard, or otherwise find a new home for. That is going to be my big project to tackle after the holidays are over. For now, I’ve been doing a bit of dreaming about the furnishings I would like to make my new space as functional as possible. The goal is to create storage space for beading supplies and to have a little place for me to create. I checked out Ikea’s website, which surely has many storage solutions. Here is what I found:

I think the Jonas desk is the perfect size. I'm used to beading on the kitchen table, so this will be a step up! I am undecided about the pullout panel, (it is available without it), but it might serve as a good place for my laptop so I can keep on eye on my Etsy shop as I bead ;)

Love this Alex Drawer unit ~ it would hold a bunch of beads and supplies ~ which I hope to organize by type and even color (I know, that is sooo anal!)
When floor space is scarce, there's always wall space! I love that the Aspvik Wall cabinet has sliding doors that can be closed.
More shelves ~ these EKBY JÄRPEN shelves will hold books, magazines and all those cool storage containers.
Proper lighting is a must. I have an Ottlite table lamp, but I think it would be nice to upgrade to a floor lamp, like this one. It has a magnifier and a clip to hold patterns ~ pretty handy! I found the lamp and plenty of fun storage containers on Jo-ann's website.
Let me know what you think! Do you have a studio in your home? I'd love to hear your tips and ideas.


Here's the Dish: Spiced Couscous

If you're feeling a little adventurous this Thanksgiving, and are tired of the usual suspects on the dinner table, then give this tasty dish a try. It has an interesting mix of sweet and savory flavors that explode in your mouth. You can use rice, couscous, or whatever grain you fancy for this one. I like to use the "Harvest Grains Blend" from Trader Joe's. It is a blend of couscous, orzo, baby garbanzo beans and red quinoa. As you can see in the photo, it's a colorful dish, too.
Spiced Couscous
Half of a 16 oz package of Harvest Grains Blend, or 2/3 cup uncooked long grain rice
1 1/4 c. water (if using the rice; otherwise follow directions on package of Harvest Grains
3/4 c. chopped sweet onion
1 1/2 t. olive oil
1 1/2 t. honey
3/4 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
1/4 c. golden raisins
1 tsp. curry powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped sweet red pepper (or orange, or yellow!)
1. In a large saucepan, bring rice or couscous and water to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 14-16 mins or until tender. (If using the Harvest Blend, boil 1 3/4 water or chicken broth to a boil - I like to use half water and half broth, for extra flavor. Add 1 T. butter and stir in 1 1/4 c. of the Harvest Blend. Bring back to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 mins.)
2. While rice is simmering, saute onion in oil for 1 minute. Stir in honey and cook two minutes longer. Stir in the broth, raisins, curry, salt, cumin and cinnamon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for five minutes. Stir in red pepper and rice until well blended. Cook two minutes longer or until rice is heated through.


Less of Me

  • In the coming weeks and months, you’ll probably be seeing less of me ~ on the blogosphere, anyway. I can almost hear the screams of protest now ~ ha ha. Don’t get yourselves in too big of a tizzy. Here is where I’ll be and what I’ll be up to:
  • I’m turning a spare bedroom in my house into a functional craft room for me (yay!). This will give me an actual space to create in, and better storage for my materials. No more kitchen table piled to the ceiling with manila envelopes and baggies filled with beads and findings. I can't wait for that.
  • I am working on opening a second Etsy shop, for vintage items and de-stashing of craft materials that I no longer have a use for. Yep, I’m getting organized.
  • I’m planning to learn some new techniques. The same ol’, same ol’ gets . . . old. I’m ready to try my hand at something new. I’ve always wanted to learn how to knit. Last Winter I started to teach myself pearl knotting but never perfected it. So, I’d like to pick that back up again. I’ve been known to dream big, but we’ll see how it goes.

Aside from all of that, I have a full time job, volunteer work, a house that needs occasional cleaning, a husband, family, friends and a bunch of people in my life who would like to see me now and then. It's always a balancing act, which is something we're all pretty familiar with. So . . . I’ll be around, just not a bunch. My Etsy shop will stay open, and I’ll be adding new items, although probably not as frequently. I’ll still post an occasional recipe when I have one that’s worth sharing. In the event that I think of something worthwhile to blog about, I might even do it. Until then, try not to miss me too much ;)


Shop Update: Thick and Chunky!

If big and bold is your thing, then you’ll be happy about some new pieces I recently added to my shop. They each feature graduated strands of large round beads. I love this classic look. These will look great with either a business suit or something more casual. Keep your eye on my shop for more to come!


Handmade for the Holidays

When it comes to the holidays, my family is the type who has their gifts bought and wrapped before most people (me included) have even given it a second thought. So, it caused a bit of anxiety when my parents asked me for my Christmas list this past week. Yes, we still do those in my crazy family. You wouldn’t think that having to come up with a wish list would be that big of a deal, but for me it is really turning out to be. Honestly, there isn’t that much that I want, yet alone need. I just went through my house for the second or third time this year and purged a bunch of unwanted stuff and donated it to charity. Time, people, and experiences mean much more to me than any trinket. Yeah, I know I’m getting sappy, but try explaining non-consumerism to my family ~ they don’t really get it. So, if I’m forced to provide them with a list of things to buy me, I’d rather they buy from the indie artists on Etsy instead of some big box retailer. I went through my favorites list, and here is what I came up with. Do you think I can turn mi familia into Etsy shoppers?

I eat pepper on everything and would love a handcrafted pepper mill, like the one pictured. There is nothing like freshly ground pepper. I would get a lot of use out of this gorgeous pepper mill, and it would look fabulous sitting out on the countertop. It would last forever, too. Pepper Mill 460 by Richlynne, $109.95.

You can’t go wrong with yummy treats, and these marshmallows sound irresistible to me! Organic Cinnamon Sugar Marshmallows, $9 from haveitconfections.

I could always ask for something on the pricey side, which would cut their shopping trips very short ~ hee hee. I’d get a lot of use out of this chic black bag! Baby Ruche Bag in Black, $168, jennyndesign.

Of course, beads are always welcome under my tree. I am loving this lampwork artist, and would cherish anything from her shop, including these Black and White Raku nuggets, which are priced at $16 for a set of 8, from Blue Seraphim.

A local artist, melissahappystuff makes some very unique knitted items, such as this darling neckwarmer. Knit Organic Cotton Scarf Neckwarmer Blue, $30.

A few weeks ago, while at a craft show, I fell in love with a pair of hand felted mittens like these. They are made from upcycled sweaters and then felted by hand~ so soft and warm! I wouldn’t mind these wool knit socks, either. Both hail from Etsian Shady Side Farm.


Here's the Dish: Velveeta Egg and Veggie Bake

Let me preface this introduction with one disclaimer: I normally do not eat something that is called “processed cheese product” (aka Velveeta), however this recipe hails from Kraft, which is the manufacturer of the cheesy loaf. I tried this with some hesitation, but decided not to stray from the original list of ingredients on the first attempt. This dish is simple to make, and is perfect for any meal of the day, really. I like the fact that it is meatless, too. The Velveeta added lots of melty, oozy, cheesy goodness. However, if you’re a purist then you can always substitute any kind of cheese you prefer. The mushroom/broccoli combination was excellent, but I wouldn’t mind trying this with roasted peppers or sundried tomatoes instead. Yum.
Velveeta Egg and Veggie Bake
1 cup each sliced fresh mushrooms and chopped broccoli

1 ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust (1/2 of 15-oz. pkg.)
5 eggs
1/3 cup Salad dressing or mayo
1/3 cup milk
6 oz. Velveeta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 green onions, sliced
Heat oven to 375°F.
Cook mushrooms and broccoli in skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat 8 to 10 min. or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; set aside.
Line 2-qt. casserole or 9-inch pie plate with crust; fold over and crimp edge. Beat eggs, dressing and milk in medium bowl with whisk until well blended. Stir in cooked vegetables, Velveeta and onions; pour into crust.
Bake 40 min. or until center is set and top is golden brown. Let stand 10 min. before serving.


Worth Checking Out ~

A great thing about the blogosphere is how you learn so much just from a few minutes worth of surfing blogs of interest to you. For me those minutes could easily turn into hours if I allowed myself to sit in front of the ‘puter and peruse until my heart’s content. But I digress . . . You may recall the Purple Earrings giveaway that was hosted by Natalie a few weeks back? That giveaway has now ended, but currently Natalie is hosting a giveaway for a $60 gift certificate to I had never heard of this site, but when I heard a gift certificate for 60 bucks was the prize, I jumped on it! After all, it’s good to be on the receiving end of a giveaway too!
I was pleasantly surprised to see that most items on the site are priced at $40 or less. I easily found many things to love. The company specializes in dresses that are “modest, elegant and fashionable”. In other words, they would probably not be a favorite of Paris Hilton, but that’s totally fine by me!
If you pop on over to Natalie’s blog by 11/16 at midnight, you can enter the contest, too.
I think a piece of DOB jewelry would look fabulous with any one of the pieces found on Mikarose! ;)


Tag ~ You're It!!

Thanks to Janna, I've been tagged. Since I'm a good sport, I'll join in the fun: What is your current obsession? If we’re speaking of jewelry making, then it would be scouring flea markets, estate sales, and the like, for unique pieces of vintage jewelry and other ephemera that I can use in my designs. Even if I don’t always find something on each trip, the thrill is in the hunt! What is your weirdest obsession? Cemeteries ~ the older, the better. (Preferably ones where my loved ones are not buried!) I find a lot of peace and serenity in visiting them. They can actually be very beautiful, enjoyable places to visit, and not morbid at all. I don’t think people should be forgotten, just because they are no longer living in the physical world with us. What are you wearing today? Camel colored slacks, brown sweater, heels, my own jewelry. Boring, business casual wear. What’s for dinner? Chicken enchiladas (homemade, of course) What is your favourite book? I enjoy reading and have many favorite books. I collect cookbooks, and love to flip through them. Right now I am enjoying “Gorgeously Green” by Sophie Uliano. It contains many practical tips on how to live an environmentally friendly life, which is something I’m committed to being better at. What’s the last thing you bought? Lunch What are you listening to right now? NPR streaming through my computer What is your favourite ice-cream flavour? Peanut Butter and Chocolate. What do you think of the person who tagged you? Janna is a very smart cookie. She’s super talented and successful at whatever she sets out to do. Aside from that, she’s fun and interesting to talk to :) If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you like it to be? I could not stray far from my family, so it would be in Northern Michigan, probably in the Traverse City area. That way I could still have the conveniences of life that I require (i.e. retail), but would still be close to the water, the woods and the wineries that I so love in that area. If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour where would you go? I’d fly to DC, to see the Iwo Jima memorial. It was the one thing we missed on our trip, and I regret that now. Which language do you want to learn? Italian ~ it always sounds so musical and lovely to me. What is your favourite piece of clothing in your own wardrobe? A comfy pair of jeans. If I could live in jeans every day, I surely would. If you had a £100 now, what would you spend it on? A snazzy new coat or a pair of boots for the upcoming Winter season. Describe your personal style? Laid back, fun-loving, unpretentious What are you going to do after this? Back to work! What are your favourite movies? I have too many to name. I’m a huge fan of the John Hughes (RIP) movies of the 80’s. I can pretty much recite the lines in them from memory. Is that sad, or what?!? What is your favourite fruit? Strawberries What inspires you? Vintage costume jewelry, movie starlets of the 40’s and 50’s, such as Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner. The changing of seasons always inspires me too. What is your dream job? Something that allows me to be creative, while helping people at the same time. The polar opposite of my current job!! What is stopping you? Fear of the unknown, this dismal economy What is your favorite season of the year? Spring and Fall ~ aren’t they everyone’s? What do you do when nobody is around? Enjoy it. I rarely get time completely to myself. Solitude can be a very comforting thing. What physical trait about yourself would you change?* My height – I’m only 5’2. I’d love to be a few inches taller! I am tagging the “mystery readers” who read this blog ~ I know you’re out there!! It’s time for you to come forward and introduce yourselves :) The rules: 1. Respond and rework; answer the questions on your blog, replace one question that you dislike with a question of your own invention, add one more question of your own. (I added the last question marked with an asterisk.) 2. Tag other people.


Say Please!

A work associate of mine always starts her emails out by saying “I need . . .” As in, "I need you to do a,b,or c". I find this to be extremely rude, as if I'm being ordered, not asked. Am I being overly sensitive? I appreciate directness and all, but I would much prefer “Could you?”, “Would you?” “Will you?” when being asked to do something. In this case I’m usually being asked to fix a mistake that this particular individual (who is not my superior) made, which is why it gets under my skin all the more. A simple “please”, and “thank you” go a long with me, but those words never figure into the equation either. I see this a lot with emails ~ have we forgotten basic etiquette? It really, really irks me. Anyone else?
Mind Your Manners letterpress poster, by rollandtumblepress, $20
Perhaps I should post this up in my work area, as a "subtle" reminder:)


Here's the Dish: Chicken, Lemon and Rice Soup

This is an old standby that is often served in my house. After eating this soup numerous times at a favorite local diner, I began making it at home. The recipe is simple and basic, and the end result is the ultimate in comfort food. The recipe that follows can easily be tailored to your liking. For instance, I use brown rice, more vegetables, and about half the amount of lemon juice than it calls for. Whatever your personal preference, I think you'll really love this soup!
Chicken Lemon Rice Soup
6 cups chicken broth
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/3 cup rice, uncooked
1/3 cup carrot, diced
1/3 cup celery, chopped
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 cup chicken, cubed and cooked
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
3 eggs
3 tablespoons lemon juice
salt and pepper
lemon slice (optional)
sliced green onion or parsley (optional)
1. In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth, bouillon cube, rice, carrots, celery and onion.
2. Bring to a boil.
3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until rice and vegetables are tender.
4. Stir in chicken.
5. Remove from heat.
6. In a small saucepan, melt butter and stir in flour until smooth.
7. Gradually add 2 cups of broth mixture, cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.
8. In a small bowl, beat the eggs until frothy.
9. Gradually beat lemon juice and 2 cups thickened broth into the large pot of soup.
10. Very slowly add egg mixture into the soup, stirring constantly. Do not do this if your soup is boiling or very hot or your eggs will split. You may want to take the soup off the burner for a few minutes before you add the eggs.
11. Heat gently until soup thickens enough to coat a spoon--do not boil!
12. Add salt and pepper to taste, garnish with lemon.
Serves 4-6