Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Put Your Pencils Down...

...and turn in your blue books. That's what it feels like now that I am "forced" to stop making inventory and take a day off to enjoy Thanksgiving with family. (Although, I did pack some felting materials in case there is down time, hee hee, didn't think I would really stop, didja? :)

This morning I packed the car and drove 45 minutes southwest to Worcester. I've made a new table layout with new display pieces so I wasn't sure how to pack everything and how it would fit in the car but I worked it out. I even boxed Petunia, the mannequin and brought her along at TIG's insistence. I don't fight it anymore, I just do what the Candace tells me because she's ALWAYS right! Good thing she's cute or it would be super annoying :)

I found the Worcester Center for Crafts which is a COOL PLACE! Never been there before. It smells really good, like art school. I have an AMAZING space, seriously. I am so lucky and grateful.

I set up my tables, didn't quite unpack everything yet. But I'm really glad I went to early set-up so I could see how it will all go before Friday. I did have to change my game plan a tad when I saw the actual space. Plus I met some really nice people. Now I am calm and relaxed. Well, as relaxed as you'll ever see me, I'm a little intense. ;)

I even had time this evening to cook some cranberry sauce for tomorrow's feast at mom's! She knows how to make a pie that we can all eat though we do Atkins for life, my mom is the BEST!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Status Of Felting Agreement

My glassy eyed smile speaks volumes! I am very pleased at what I have been able to create, but there is always more that can be done.

I have gotten to a point where I feel I can set up at a craft show with a lovely display. Now I want to fill in a bit of backstock in case people actually buy my things!

You can see above a quick mock-up of the new table arrangement I will use for my two big shows, Worcester and South Boston. I even sewed a table skirt out of a flat sheet! It's all coming together :)

Friday, November 14, 2008


I sort of wandered aimlessly for the month of October, or so it feels now. Now that I have ONE WEEK to prepare for the biggest show of my career, the Worcester Center for Crafts's Festival of Crafts on November 28, 29 and 30. It seems a monumental task to prepare enough items in case the show is as big a success as I hope.

And what makes it harder is that I was stuck in new product development mode for a month when I really should have been cranking out the tried and true. But look at this cupcake ornament I made, isn't it sweet?

How can I deny the ideas in my head that want to become manifest when they are so adorable?? Now I must make a dozen of these for the show. I mean I can't NOT have them for the holidays. Not now that I know they exist.

I will just march forward until time is up and there I am in Worcester behind my table, greeting holiday shoppers, smiling, my husband backing me up.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kielbasa Soup

I love Trader Joe's (except when they randomly stop selling my fave snacks). Anyway, I love that place, but I can't always come up with enough parts of a meal to make a whole dinner. Mostly because I live a low-carb lifestyle and though they carry excellent chicken and nitrate-free sausages, I have never had too much luck with their veggies. There have been, let's say, freshness issues coupled with the difficulty of buying for two when everything seems to come in bags of eight or more. Eight or more vegetables on the verge of compost.

So, having said all that, here is the soup recipe I came up with that uses mostly Trader Joe's ingredients: (oh, and apologies if you are a vegetarian, probably wanna skip this one)

2 boxes organic free range chicken broth
1 1 lb package nitrate-free kielbasa
1 small onion (I like to use the sweet ones), chopped
1 or 2 organic carrots, coined
1 or 2 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 bag Trader Joe's 17 bean and barley mix
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon olive oil
pat of butter (because in my world fat isn't evil!)
Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute

Now If I was making this in a stock pot on the stove, I would soak the beans ahead of time, brown the onion and celery in butter and olive oil, then brown the kielbasa before adding all the other ingredients. But I have been making this in my crockpot lately and that really just involves throwing everything in the pot, putting it on low at 10 am and eating it piping hot and well cooked at 6 pm, yeah! (Thanks to Rosie and Geoff for the ability to time shift dinner cooking!!) This also allows me to come home and give Chester credit for cooking me dinner. Yes I talk to my cat. Yes I ask him if he made us dinner.

Be sure to rinse your beans, but no need to soak ahead!

Chop chop choppity chop

Here's the trick my mom showed me for getting the box of broth to pour easily, stab it at the other end to release the air! (This is only a good idea, of course, if you are using the whole box.)

Put it all together in the crock pot, set to low and cover!

This feeds us both for two days and sometimes one lunch! I like to toast low-carb bread and slather it with butter and garlic for the side, mmm...

Yes We Can!

I'm exhausted from staying up all night crying tears of hope and joy!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

An article in a local magazine!

I share a first name with a fab beader, Liz Stewart, who owns Lush Beads, the bead shop that recently moved from downtown to the studio across the hall from mine at Western Avenue. We are the "two Lizzes", Liz squared, Liz in stereo. At one time or another each of us has been "the other Liz." She is sometimes "Lush Liz".

We were recently interviewed by Nancye Tuttle of the Lowell Sun for a feature on locally made ornaments which is now published in the Nov/Dec insert called From House to Home which will be distributed in the Lowell Sun, available at certain Merrimack Valley CVS stores and delivered free to homes in this area.

The article is lovely, it's thrilling to have people take the time to find out about your work and then let other people in on it too. I've been busy since the interview, giving polymer clay demonstrations at Open Studios and making lots of new eggs to list in my shop!

My latest: