Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Livin in Tropic Time and Snow on the Mountains

Volume 11 Issue 10, October 2014

What's New in October?

I am not sure what happened to the summer, but the leaves are blowing around the yard, and the mountains have already had a few inches of the white stuff. In the meantime, I have spent the summer months working on new designs and new ideas. While they are not ready to be revealed, there are

a few things that I did manage to get accomplished.

There are over 700 new patterns on www.x-stitch-patterns.com site. It is now completely rebuilt, and I can start my new designs, and I have a lot of those ideas. If you love counted cross stitch, then you will love this site.

Here is an example of some of the new patterns:

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More Beads: I have sold many of my regular stock of beads, and due to some time constraints, I have not had a chance to remake or restock. I got caught up with making a ton of new patterns, so I was distracted.

On the Radio: I was interviewed for a radio broadcast that was on Sept. 8th. This was an interview for small business owners, and I gave information on how to run a small business, particularly an online shop. I was SO nervous.

Everything is in my Artfire studio, my Etsy shop and my

website:

www.bluemorningexpressions.com

Until next month,

Julie & Blu

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Things to Look Forward To:

New Products:

Watches: I will be doing more watches this month.

Bookmarks: Several more bookmarks are on the workbench ready for me to put them together.

Necklaces: I have a lot of new necklaces in the works that are simple chains.

 

Sneak peek!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Countdown to Christmas 2014 - Week 2

Welcome to our 3rd Annual

Countdown to Christmas

2014


Christmas Countdown

get the InLinkz code

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

12 Weeks of Baking–Countdown to Christmas 2014

Cookies! Who doesn’t love the holidays and all those amazing cookies, cakes and other sugary confections? This year, we are going to celebrate the passing of the weeks with delectable, crumbly, buttery delights that are suited for Santa’s plate and children’s stockings.

Without further ado, let us enjoy the wonderful week one offerings.

Ina’s Fruit Cake Cookies

Watch the video and make your own fruit cake cookies:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/packages/12-days-of-cookies.html

Just the idea of a fruitcake summons giggles and snorts as the flood of fruitcake jokes invade our memories. Fruitcakes as doorstops, fruitcakes as bricks, people are fruitcakes and even Jimmy Buffet sang about Fruitcakes. Why do these cakes and cookies make us laugh or wrinkle our noses in disgust?

Oh, don’t think for one minute that fruitcakes don’t deserve the snorts and giggles; they do.

Between rum soaked raisins and chunks of petrified cherries, these cakes are usually rock hard and inedible.

The fruitcake has its roots in a number of cultures, and it can be traced back to ancient Rome where cakes consisting of pomegranate seeds, pine nuts and raisins tossed into a barley mash was served for holidays and other family events. Honey and other dried fruits were also included.

The Europeans were the ones that really took the fruitcake and gave it the appearance, taste and consistency that we are the most familiar with today. Regardless of the culture, the fruitcake has been a staple at holiday tables. Most cakes consisted of local fruits and in some cases, were not made with butter due to religious reasons. The fruitcake is supposed to be so rich that you do not need butter or icing in order to enjoy it.

In Australia, the fruitcake is a normal dessert that is served all year round. The Bahamians think all fruit should be soaked in rum before being added to a fruitcake. As a frequent visitor to the Bahamas, I tend to agree with them on this one.

Canada and Germany serve fruitcakes only during the holidays, and in France, it is simply known as “the cake”. The Irish serve the cake during Halloween, and it is used to hide trinkets and other things for good luck. Unless you swallow one.

Tuscan fruitcake is chewy and rich with fruit and strongly spiced.

India serves fruitcake packed with fruit all year long, but it is considered a holiday cake.

In New Zealand, the fruitcake is iced and decorated with holiday scenes. When it is un-iced, it is served as Christmas pudding with a custard and bathed in suet, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon.

Those who live in the United Kingdom know the fruitcake as both a light cake and a dense cake filled with fruit. It can be iced with marzipan or covered in that wonderfully rich royal icing. Citizens of the United States may have been subjected to a mail order fruitcake that is alcohol free and filled with nuts, which gave us nutty as a fruitcake.

Johnny Carson spent a lifetime making fun of the fruitcake as he was convinced there was only one fruitcake, and it was passed from family member to family member. If someone is given a fruitcake as a Christmas gift, it is considered an insult. It has a long shelf-life and as a gift, it is the fulfillment of an obligation and not a gift of generosity. 

So, where does that leave our fruitcake cookies? Well, if the video is any indication, it might be time to take another look at the fruitcake as we know it and give it a second chance. If it has rum in it, it might be a way to get through some long holiday get-togethers. No matter what your thoughts are about fruitcakes, make sure you never give one of them as a gift!

In fact, when it comes to gift giving, don’t be the one to give rock hard cake; give one of these yummy gifts instead:

RSSDesignsInFiber

Striped Blue Small Drawstring Pouch or Bag for Trinkets - Reusable Eco

Striped Blue Small Drawstring Pouch or Bag for Trinkets - Reusable Eco

jnldesigns

Red and Antique Copper Charm Necklace

Red and Antique Copper Charm Necklace

SolanaKaiDesigns

"Koi Pond" Mixed Agate and Carnelian Gemstone Necklace 18.5"

"Koi Pond" Mixed Agate and Carnelian Gemstone Necklace 18.5"

SewAmazin

Watermelon Over-the-Collar No Dip Dog Bandana Reversible, Medium

Watermelon Over-the-Collar No Dip Dog Bandana Reversible, Medium

postcardsintheattic

Antique 1910 Postcard Logan Berries Edward H Mitchell San Francisco California Fruit Art

Antique 1910 Postcard Logan Berries Edward H Mitchell San Francisco California Fruit Art

TheTwistedRedhead

    Lemon Lime Beaded Cheese Knife Set with Hand Painted Serving Plate

    Beaded Cheese Knife Set in Lemon Lime with Hand Painted Serving Plate

    ChristieCottageChristieCottage

    Key to Unlock My Heart Charm Bracelet Stretch

    Key to Unlock My Heart Charm Bracelet Stretch

    MysticSilks

    Silk Scarf, Hand Designed,Womens Fashion,Apricot,Blue, Green,CrepeDe Chine, Silk Stained Glass

    Silk Scarf, Hand Designed,Womens Fashion,Apricot,Blue, Green,CrepeDe Chine, Silk Stained Glass

    PrettyGonzo

    Candy Cane Christmas Earrings Green Crystal Red Coral Sterling Silver

    Candy Cane Christmas Earrings Green Crystal Red Coral Sterling Silver

    craftingmemories

    Hand Knit Pink Mix Cowl

    Hand Knit Pink Mix Cowl

    Thesingingbeader

    Pink Pearl And Crystal Three Strand Necklace With Chain Attachment

    Pink Pearl And Crystal Three Strand Necklace With Chain Attachment

    Adorebynat

    36 Cute Fairy Stickers Labels

    36 Cute Fairy Stickers Labels

    ShadowDogDesigns

    African Bone Color Block Handmade Bracelet Thai Silver Unique Jewelry

    African Bone Color Block Handmade Bracelet Unique African Jewelry OOAK

    KevsKrafts

    I Love You Heart Desktop Shelfsitter Handmade from Oak Wood

    I Love You Heart Desktop Shelfsitter Handmade from Oak Wood

    jazzitupwithdesignsbynancy

    Bracelet Handmade bangle Purple Lavender Swarovski Beaded Crochet Rope

    Purple Lavender Swarovski Beaded Crochet Rope Handmade bangle bracelet

    dianesdangles

      Israel 2 New Sheqalim Coin Pendant 14kt Gold Filled Chain Necklace

      Israel 2 New Sheqalim Coin Pendant 14kt Gold Filled Chain Necklace

       

      If you think these are yummy, then you want to head over to the Countdown to Christmas blog post and revel in the delights there. Everything will make a wonderful gift for someone this holiday season.

      Countdown to Christmas 2014 Week 1

      What delightful dessert will we share next week? Stay tuned!

      Enjoy,

      Julie and Blu

      I want to thank you all for your kind wishes, your thoughtful notes and your prayers as my family and I dealt with life as it happens. It is genuinely appreciated and it meant a lot to me.

      Monday, September 1, 2014

      Fall Leaves and New Beads

      Volume 11 Issue 9, September 2014

      What's New in September?

      I am so looking forward to the wonderfully crisp fall days! We already had a light dusting of snow across the tops of the Bridger Range over 7,000 feet. It hung around for a couple days, and even now, I can still see a crevasse or two that has snow piled up in it. I only got one really good hike in this summer, and although we keep trying to get out there, we just have not been able to hit some of the deep trails.

      I will use the explosion of fall colors to color my fall beads and jewelry. I have a few things in the works, but mostly, I have been creating the heck out of cross stitch patterns. I am rebuilding sites and doing a lot of writing. In case you did not know, I do a column for The Polymer Arts called The Jewelry Bench where I discuss any number of things that are pertinent to the jewelry part of my chosen medium. This issue revolves around being organized.

      As part of my fascination with color and design, my latest cross stitch patterns are reflections and kaleidoscopes that will make great wall art. I am also considering the possibility of designing pillow covers in cross stitch. Things I am considering. My cross stitch is found at www.x-stitch-patterns.com.

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      More Beads: I have sold many of my regular stock of beads, and due to some time constraints, I have not had a chance to remake or restock. I got caught up with making a ton of new patterns, so I was distracted.

      On the Radio: I was interviewed for a radio broadcast that will be on Sept. 8th. This was an interview for small business owners, and I gave information on how to run a small business, particularly an online shop. I was SO nervous.

      Everything is in my Artfire studio, my Etsy shop and my

      website:

      www.bluemorningexpressions.com

      Until next month,

      Julie & Blu

      Both of these necklaces are in the Fall 2014 edition of The Polymer Arts

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      Things to Look Forward To:

      New Products:

      Watches: I will be doing more watches this month.

      Bookmarks: Several more bookmarks are on the workbench ready for me to put them together.

      Necklaces: I have a lot of new necklaces in the works that are simple chains.