Saturday, August 7, 2010

MIA Lately

If you have had back pain and troubles then you know how all consuming is the pain. Back while going through my breast cancer treatments I also ended up with a herniated disk somehow. That was in 2005 and I have lived the past 5 years with several flare-ups. The disk will push on nerves and send shooting pains down my leg all the way down to my foot. In the past, I have been able to reverse this through physical therapy.

For probably the past 4 months I have been dealing with another flare-up. This time it got so bad that there were times that I couldn't even walk or stand up for periods of time. I went back into physical therapy, but this time nothing seemed to work and I was beginning to have nerve damage in my foot. The next time I saw my doctor he told me I needed surgery. Not another surgery! After having an MRI and a second opinion I went in for a diskectomy. As soon as I woke from surgery I was able to walk and had no pain in my leg!! I didn't want to stop walking because it was amazing to finally be pain free after so many months.

So, now that I have recovered from surgery and feel great ~~ I'm back!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Jalapeno Ranch Dip or Dressing

This is a huge crowd pleaser! I make a double batch every time we have company and there is never any left ~~

1 1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup buttermilk

1/3 cup chopped tomatillo

1/3 cup jalapeno (canned, not fresh) & a little bit of the juice

1/6 bunch of cilantro

1 pack Hidden Valley Ranch dressing mix

** Mix in blender until smooth. The longer it sits, the hotter it gets. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Funky Lips Bag

I really enjoy being creative and making things to sell. Of course I'm even happier when I sell something! I feel like each item I create has a little piece of my heart since I spent my time and energy making it. I always love when I sell some of my supplies though. I think of somebody in their house with their creative juices flowing and I wonder what will become of that supply. Whether it is fabric, findings, or some other supply, I imagine it going on an adventure to another home and then being used in someone else's creative masterpiece. I love for my customers to send pictures of what they have made with a supply I've sent. Here is a bag made out of the funky lips fabric I have for sale that was made by Anita Distel for a speech pathologist friend that has a room covered in lips! How wonderful!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cat, Welcome to the Dog House

I can use some helpful advice. I had what I called my 1/2 cat. Our next-door neighbor owned a mostly outdoor cat, but wasn't home very often to feed and give the poor little guy any attention. Ken and I stepped into the role of giving Miles, the cat, attention and making sure he was fed. The neighbor moved away and we agreed to keep the cat that has settled in nicely to his outdoor surroundings. We love the cat and he has become part of our family.

Now, on to the dilemma ~ a very spoiled dog has run our house for the past 6 years. We would like the cat to be able to come inside without our dog eating Miles. I have been online and have read some ideas, but I would like to hear some success stories from actual people. Please leave me a comment or send me an email. I'd like our furbabies to get along!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm Having Another Giveaway!

I'm having another giveaway! One of these days I'll actually sell something instead of giving it all away :) You have a chance to win this matching set of magnets and eyeglass holder ~~

My friend Fantasy Dream Knits has done a great feature about me on her blog, which you can read here. Simply post a comment and that enters you into the giveaway! So easy even a Caveman could do it! Make sure you also check out the beautiful items on Fantasy Dream Knits site. She has a huge heart and spends all her time promoting others instead of her own business. Let's show her some love!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nice Cans!

Well, it was a tough choice, but the bra has been named. It is now officially titled "Nice Cans!" The winning comment for adding the exclamation point came from mandylifeboats. I think the punctuation adds some Oomph and strength to the title. Thank you to all those that added a comment and thought about the name. Like I said, it was a tough choice and all the suggestions were good ones. Congrats mandylifeboats!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Name That Bra!

Okay, so here is my Graphic IV art bra for this year. I need help with a name or title for it though. I love people to get a little chuckle out of the name so the bra for my first year was named "Under the C cup" with an ocean theme and last year's bra was titled "Silicone Valley" which was made out of computer components. This bra has been made out of pieces from La Croix water cans. I was first thinking of "Water Bra" but then I thought of "Nice Cans". So, I would like to hear from you. Do you have an idea for a better name? If not, which of my two do you like best? Please leave me a comment with any suggestions. If I use your name you'll receive 20% in my AftFire studio. If I don't use anyone's name then I'll do a random drawing from the people that commented and they will receive 15% off from my ArtFire studio. Put your thinking caps on and here is the art bra ~~

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Graphic IV Event is May 22nd

Once again it is Graphic time of year! This is Graphic IV, held May 22nd, and the event is the biggest fundraiser we have for our young breast cancer survivors group, the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls. The event is an evening of art, music, food, silent and live auctions, and the real highlight of the of the night is the runway show of survivors modeling art bras! I've been working on my art bra lately, as well as my modeling figure :), and I'm pretty excited about the results so far! This year's event is going to be the best so far with a new venue, the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, and some art bras from some very famous people that I'll reveal after the event or at least once we have them in hand.

My art bra is made up of discs of tin and here is a picture of how my start went and yes that is the tube of Super Glue glued to my fingers as well as the discs ~~

Let's just say that they are serious with the warning labels on the back of the Super Glue tube! I'm almost done with my bra so I'll post pictures then and I might even have a contest to name the bra! Stay tuned . . .

Monday, April 12, 2010

Delivering Cards

When I first heard about Cards 4 Cancer sponsored by Spirit Jump, I wasn't sure if I would have the time and energy to become a Team Leader. I was afraid though that if I didn't represent Austin that nobody else would so I signed up for the position. I can't put into words how happy I am that I made that decision. As team leader I have the privilege of actually delivering the cards to cancer patients. I am in awe at the generosity and outpouring of volunteers that made cards and the sentiments written in those cards. My team is amazing and truly understands the goal of these cards in uplifting the patients.

My friend, also a cancer survivor, and I went on our first delivery on Friday. We were there for about an hour, but what an amazing hour. I was scared that as I approached someone in the waiting room that I would get the standard wave off and "I'm not interested". That never happened and all I got were big smiles and then I witnessed a couple tears after they opened and read the cards. I felt such warmth in my heart. I met Jennifer who was responsible for allowing us to deliver at this center and she expressed the gratitude of the patients and responses that we weren't able to witness as they went in for radiation treatment.

I am writing this just before going off for our second round of deliveries. Today we are going to the center where I was treated and will be able to visit with the patients going through chemotherapy. This has memories flooding back to me, but knowing that I am going in there to spread encouragement and smiles reminds me of the positive message we are there to spread.

More on our deliveries later! I hope everyone has a wonderful week!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Andrea T Jewelry on ArtFire

I received a batch of great cards from one of my dearest friends from ArtFire. We're so close to delivering the cards that I didn't get pictures before they were sealed in their envelopes, but her ArtFire shop has so much more to offer. Take a look and make sure you don't leave without picking up an item or two :) Here are some of my favorite items from her studio ~~

I actually own a pair of earrings very similar to these that I wear all the time. Her jewelry is great and very well made.

Stay tuned to hear about how I Super Glued my fingers together!!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cards From Cuspdesigns

I received another batch of amazing cards. These not cards are I think the cutest that I've seen so far. They came from Cuspdesigns and feature little animals holding glitter hearts. Her ArtFire shop is full of beautiful and amazing items for sale. Her photography is to die for! She also makes origami jewelry and as I've seen first hand gorgeous cards. Here is part of the set of note cards that she sent to me for Cards 4 Cancer ~~

Please take a look at her ArtFire studio and see what wonderful works she has for sale. Remember, when you buy from her, you're buying from someone with a giving heart.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Newest Batch of Cards for Cards 4 Cancer

I think a professional made the last group of cards I received! Pam with Bay Breeze Designs sent the most amazing cards for Cards 4 Cancer. Take a look at her Etsy shop to see more of her cards, magnets and gift tags. They are stamped and look perfect! I wish my stamping skills were up to her standards. Here is a picture of the cards she sent in for Cards 4 Cancer ~~

Again, please take a look at her Etsy shop and purchase some of her items. You know when you are buying from her that you are buying from an artist with a giving heart.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cards from the Other Side of The World!

I have enjoyed seeing the cards that are arriving from all over the world to be delivered to cancer patients in Austin, TX. The outpouring of kindness just give me goose bumps and warms my heart. The last batch of cards came in from Malta and was made by one of my ArtFire friends, Crystal. Her cards had the most heart felt sayings. She has a beautiful shop on ArtFire with more great cards for sale. Crystal also has a huge selection of earrings that are available at t fair price. Make sure you take a look around her studio on ArtFire and buy from someone you know has a heart! Here is a picture of the cards she sent ~~

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cards 4 Cancer Card Making Night

I'm getting more excited about delivering cards to cancer patients for Cards 4 Cancer. We had a card making party last night and in 2 hours with only 4 people we were able to make 32 cards! They are all absolutely gorgeous. It's interesting to see everyone else's creativity as well. Here are some pictures of the cards, although it's tough to get them all in so you can the beauty in each card ~~

There is still time if you are interested in sending me cards for the cancer patients in Austin, TX. Please email me at for more information. Thanks for the big hearts to all those that have already donated!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Incoming Cards for Cards 4 Cancer

I just received the most precious package today from Hong Kong. It was filled with 10 of the most beautiful handmade cards by Valmade. I got goose bumps and almost started crying at the special messages that these cards will bring to cancer patients. It warms my heart too to think that people all over the world are pulling together for this one cause. Here is just a sample of the the great cards from Valmade (click on image for larger picture) ~~

Valmade has a studio on ArtFire that is filled with more great cards, hand knitted cuties, cross-stitched items, ans some adorable beanbag toys. Please go check out her studio and give some business to someone you know cares about those patients going through cancer.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

This is a yummy recipe that I found in a Diabetic cookbook. I wanted to share because it is easy, fast and delicious!

BLT Cukes

3 slices crisp-cooked bacon, chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped lettuce
1/2 cup finely chopped baby spinach
1/4 cup diced tomato
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fat-free mayonnaise
Pinch salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large cucumber
Minced fresh parsley or green onion (optional)

1. Combine bacon, lettuce, spinach, tomato and mayonnaise. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.

2. Peel cucumber. Trim off ends and cut in half lengthwise. Use spoon to scoop out seeds; discard seeds. Divide bacon mixture between cucumber halves, mounding in hollowed areas. Garnish with parsley. Cut into 2-inch pieces.

Nutrition info per serving (1 piece):
Calories: 26, Calories from Fat: 50%, Total Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: >Cholesterol: 3mg, Sodium: 72mg, Carbohydrates: 2g, Dietary Fiber: >Protein: 2g

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I have been busy spreading the word around town and the web about Cards4Cancer presented by Spirit Jump and Bloggers Unite. The goal of Cards 4 Cancer is to deliver at least 100,000 cards to cancer patients on or around April 10th. Spirit Jump has done an amazing job helping those going through cancer by having donors send a little bit of cheer their way. It's really heart warming to see how many people have been involved and how far this even reaches around the world!

There is less than a month left until the official Cards 4 Cancer day! I've started getting cards in and of course have been using my creativity for making my own cards. I have a lot more verbal commitments than have actually signed up, but I think a lot of people sign up at the last minute. Please let me know if you would like to join our team and help bring a smile to cancer patients in Austin, TX. You can join my team at and my team name is Hill Country Spirit Jumpers. I'll send an email to you with the address to use to send cards.

Here are a handful of the cards I've made so far ~~

I also have the machine embroidered cards available on my ArtFire shop and $1.00 will be donated back to Spirit Jump!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Do You Think IRS Will Accept Handmade Instead of My Taxes?

I've always enjoyed numbers and math. I was probably born with that crazy gene which makes math fun for me. My Dad is also a numbers man, so maybe it isn't the genes, but that I picked it up from him over the years.

I have my corporate taxes due in 8 days. Yikes! Ummm, can't really say that I've started them yet. I've been attempting to start for about a week by clearing off a table to sort receipts and stuff. The craziest part of all this is that I can't tear myself away from my sewing machine! I have so many ideas running through my mind that I can't stop being creative and settling in on those now boring and non-creative numbers.

So wish me luck on getting those taxes done. I wonder if the IRS would like a nice set of embroidered coasters instead of all my paperwork? Please, tell me to, "Just step away from the Bernina"!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Off the Rack

I had a wonderful weekend with some good friends. A friend and I went to the book signing of a dear friend of mine named Genae Girard. Get to know her name, because she is a talented, funny insightful and intelligent author. Her first book just came out and I read it with my morning coffee today and I could not put the book down. It truly is a page-turner. She is a young breast cancer survivor so this book chronicles her battle and shows her true warrior side. As a fellow breast cancer survivor I have a real hard time reading books about the disease and what others went through. Those types of books all seem to be "woe is me" and remind me of the negative side of the disease. Although she still had to be treated for breast cancer and had some set backs along the way, Genae's humor and way of expressing herself had me laughing and I couldn't put the book down until I was finished! Please pick up your own copy here and enjoy the musings of Off the Rack!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Happy Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day!!

I have become addicted to Twitter. I use TweetDeck and it's the first thing I open up when my computer boots up in the morning. I have to go and read each tweet that comes in to make sure I don't miss anything. Anything as in I might miss that somebody is at the Barnes & Noble on some street in Oklahoma or some other random thing about somebody I don't know. Truly there are a ton of tweets that I actually follow the link and learn something or find a great new crafter. One Tweeter that I follow is @AnswersDotCom. I just wanted to share with everyone that today I learned from @AnswersDotCom on Twitter that today is International Dog Biscuit Appreciation Day! See what you're missing if you're not on twitter :) Come follow me on Twitter!

Yummmm, peanut (not peanut butter) dog treats! These are made by Buckaroo Bones, which is an animal rescue assistance based business. They started the bakery as a means to help finance their dog and cat rescue efforts. Check out their rescue pages under Empathy Program Lab Rescue at Buckaroo Bones is continually doing research for dog friendly, all natural human foods that are nutritionally beneficial for dogs. You won't find fad ingredients or dubious claims of health benefits here. Click on the above picture to see the actual listing for these delicious treats that come in a 1/2 lb. package and you can find Buckaroo Bones on Etsy for all of their delicious and fun treats. Make sure you take a look at their profile page there to see where else you can find them.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Birthday Sale!

My birthday is coming up next week so to celebrate I have marked everything down in my ArtFire and Zibbet shops! My birthday is on 2/8/10 and that adds up to 20 so everything has been marked down 20% off! All Christmas items were already marked down 40% so they are now 60% off! Now that is a great deal and I'm practically given those items away. Stock up now for next Christmas.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Spirit Jump and Cards 4 Cancer

Cancer just sucks. Plain and simple. As a two-time cancer survivor I know this firsthand. Even when the best support group surrounds you, the diagnosis, treatments, doctors, emotions, etc. can really bring you down. There is a great organization that is working to lift the spirits of those battling cancer. The group is called Spirit Jump and please watch this great little news clip that explains how they help.

Spirit Jump has partnered with Bloggers Unite for the 1st Annual Cards 4 Cancer day. On April 10th patients at cancer centers all over the world will be honored with cards delivered from volunteers. It's amazing the impact that a simple card or gift from a stranger can do to brighten the day of someone battling cancer.

I have signed on to deliver cards in the Austin, TX area. I am looking for team members to join Hill Country Spirit Jumpers to make this day a huge success! Please send me a card, tell all your friends and neighbors, hold a card making party, and inform everyone you know. Tweet, Facebook. blog about this day and lets make it an awesome experience for all the cancer patients that need their spirits lifted. You can contact me at for my mailing address or any other questions you have about participating. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Winner of My Twitter Giveaway

I had a giveaway to one of my Twitter followers at the end of January. Homespun Alley was randomly chosen as the winner! She received a $20 gift certificate to my shop! She sells here on ArtFire and also here. One of her newest listings is these cute little matchbook notepads. They are even refillable!

I also adore this pocket photo holder ~

Wondering what she picked from my shop? She chose these great machine embroidered drink coasters.

Click on the pictures to take you to their listings.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Winter Wonderland Winner

Well, the voting ended on January 31st for the You Can Sell It Guild contest. The theme was "Winter Wonderland" and my Blue Ice Bracelet won with over 50% of the votes!!! Here is the bracelet and now that the contest is over, you can own this award winning piece of jewelry! Find it on my ArtFire or on my Etsy.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Machine Embroidered Greeting Cards

I've been busy at the embroidery machine the last couple of days. I added more cards to my collection of machine embroidered greeting cards. I have everything from birthday to get well cards. Here are a handful of them, but make sure to stop by my ArtFire shop to see what else I have in stock. I'll be adding more so stop by often! I can take special orders for different color combinations and give a discount when you order more than one card.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Winter Wonderland Voting

I'm involved with a guild on ArtFire called "You Can Sell It", that works hard at promoting the other guild members. We held a creativity contest for all those that wanted to enter from the guild. The theme was "Winter Wonderland" so please look at the photos below and vote for your favorite piece! The voting will end January 31 st and the winner will be announced February 1st. The pictures are in random order and the voting poll is on the right hand side so please take just a second and cast your vote!! Yes, one of those items is mine :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Twitter Giveaway

I just started Tweeting finally. At first I felt like I was talking to myself with no followers. Well, my mom was following, but she already knows what's going on! I am having a giveaway on January 20th to one of my Twitter followers. I'll have Ken pick a random number and that follower will receive one of my items or several that equal about $20. So, come follow me here on Twitter and join the giveaway!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Take a Look

It's a new year so I decided that I needed a new look for my online shops. I created a new banner and avatar for my Hill Country Collection stores on Etsy and ArtFire. Stop by and let me know what you think of my new look! Hopefully this fresh change will be the start of a great year!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Silicone Valley is Back in the Headlines

My art bra titled Silicone Valley has been featured in this weeks Beader's Showcase on the website Beader's Showcase. There are now 13,300 photos on the site and my art bra was chosen! Actually this is the second time so I guess the judges really like the bra!

Here is a picture of the bra, but make sure to go to the website to see the other 5 beauties ~~

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

After Christmas Sale

I have marked down all my Christmas items 40% off! Go to my ArtFire studio to take a look at the Christmas sale section. Hurry though because things are selling fast. All the Christmas items in my Etsy shop will be marked down soon as well.

I finally set up my Twitter account too! You can follow me here. I sent out my first Tweet today and I hope that I can keep thinking of things to say other than mundane what I'm doing at the moment!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Welcome 2010

I hope everyone had a great holiday season! I got completely wrapped up toward the end of the year and neglected my blog unfortunately. We had a wonderful Christmas with the whole family together. This Christmas will also go down in our family history as the year that my dog took a few chunks out of the Christmas ham! Everyone was enjoying our time in the family room when I heard the tags on my dog’s collar making noise in the kitchen. I went to investigate just as he was running out of the kitchen licking his lips. I wish I had caught him in the act and gotten a picture! My dad was able to carve off the affected area and there was plenty left for dinner.

I’m really looking forward to this upcoming year. I am feeling a new energy and excitement about 2010. I am planning on posting more here, do more promoting of my online shops, actually send out tweets to my Twitter followers, set up a Facebook page for the businesses, and hope to create tons of new great products! It will be really interesting to see where I am this time next year. I hope for all of you that 2010 is your best year yet!