Wednesday, September 30, 2020

It Moose be Christmas

When it comes to desserts, chocolate is always a favorite. The holidays are filled with chocolate from those foil wrapped chocolate ornaments found in stockings to something as elegant as a chocolate mousse.

This week, Catherine of Shadow Dog Designs offers her popular chocolate mousse recipe. She credits it to the back of an Eagle brand condensed milk can and took it to holiday parties at her school when she was teaching. She says it was so popular that the one year she didn’t take it, people complained.

Here is the chocolate mousse recipe that everyone was so eager to dive into. The crushed peppermints are optional.


  • 1 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 c. cold water
  • 1 (4 serving size) package of instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup of heavy whipping cream
  • Crushed peppermint sticks

1. Chill bowl for the whipping cream for about 15 minutes in the refrigerator.

2.  In another large bowl combine sweetened condensed milk and water.  Add pudding mix and beat well.  Chill for 5 minutes.

3.  While the chocolate mixture is chilling, pour the whipping cream into the chilled bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer until medium peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.

4.  Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. 

5.  Spoon into individual serving bowls, if desired.  Sprinkle with crushed peppermint sticks.

Here are some other things that are very popular, and if you are buying handmade for your Christmas gifts this year, you better get them while you can. Handmade sells out fast!

Brown and White Scrubbies, Kitchen Scrubby Set, Spa Exfoliate Set

Crafting Memories 

Shades of brown crochet shawl, Bohemian-chic, triangular wrap, gift for her, woman size

Andrea Designs 

Artisan Gold Dagger Earrings, Czech Crystal Boho Jewelry

Victorian Style Treasures 

Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads, Mudslide Brown Fine Silver Shiny

Covergirl Beads 

Autumn Gold Orange Yellow Brown Multi-Wrap One Size Handmade Bracelet

Kats All That 

Autumn Memory Bracelet Multi-Color Swarovski Crystals W Czech Glass Crystals

Magdalene Jewels 

Cows in Utah Pastureland Acrylic Block

Colleen Cornelius 

ACEO Owl Acrylic Print Old Hoot

Christie Cottage 

Brownish Red Copper And Silver Wire Wrapped Large Teardrop Hoop Shaped Earrings

The Singing Beader 

Petroglyph Cross Necklace Unakite Pipestone Southwest Handmade Jewelry

Shadow Dog Designs

Wooden Drum Set Jigsaw Puzzle Handmade From Poplar Hardwood

Kevs Krafts 

Unique, Golden Chain Tree Exotic Wood Earrings Dangle


Whimsical Owl Women's Purse Charm Keychain Beaded Keyrings for Women

Blue Morning Expressions 

In addition to these fantastic gift selections, each of these artists have their own shops filled with more gift ideas, so be sure and stop and shop with each one.

If you see  something you like, buy it now or forever lose it as handmade gifts sell out quickly!

Shop from these additional countdowns and pages:

Countdown to Christmas 2020 Week 1

Countdown to Christmas 2020 Week 2

Too Fruity to be Candy

Don’t see the perfect gift? Ask an artist to help you design something.

Shop now!


Sunday, September 27, 2020

The Greek Alphabet and a Fox

Volume 17 Issue 10, October 2020

What's New in October? 

For once this hurricane season, we can look out in the Atlantic and see ZERO disturbances! With any luck, this is the wind down of the 2020 season since we peaked in the middle of September. It’s been a busy one with named storms headed in the Greek alphabet and are sitting at beta as our last named storm that meandered around terrorizing Texas.

Every year, I keep a hurricane map on my bulletin board, and this year, it looked like a plate of spaghetti in numerous random colors like red, purple, black and blue. Just happened to be whatever color I thought would stand out over the other scribbled lines. It’s a regular Picasso of ballpoint pen. 

While all of the ducking and covering was going on, we had a visitor that we had to discourage future visits for the sake of Little Harry and our many fine feathered friends. 

For a few afternoons, a beautiful, red fox would stroll through the front yard staring longingly at the bird feeder or doing some stealthy stalking of the young, dumb squirrels that scrounge around at the foot of the feeder. 

In the end, the pretty fox hopped the back fence and went on to work on stealing eggs from the neighbor’s chickens. We know it’s the fox since there are eggshells tossed in our yard by the coop. I know the fox is a bit of a pest, but he/she is just beautiful and hard to be mad at.

 Red fox walking across yard Blue Morning Expressions 

What’s New

Pushpins: Worked out a new product line of thumbtacks. This has been on my drawing board for awhile now, so once I started, I couldn’t stop!

Earrings: Halloween post earrings featuring my image beads.

Charms: I added a large assortment of 20mm and 25mm charms for purchase.

You will find all of my beads, canes and finished jewelry on my website.

Until next month,


Things to Look Forward To:

New Products:

Posters: I am working on my one word posters and wall hangings. There are also wood blocks to be added. I am also getting all of my Old West photos together, so I can create an entire section dedicated to my love the Old West. 

Thimbles: Working on some new images for my little thimbles. More collectibles for you!

Pins: A lot of new button pins have been created for Halloween and are in the shop. I am also trying to get some other holiday buttons made for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Trying being the operative word here. 



Friday, September 25, 2020

Countdown to Christmas 2020 Week 2


Be sure and tell your friends! 
Let's stuff more stockings than ever!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Too Fruity to be Candy

I am going to kick this off with a recipe from my maternal Grandmother’s side of the family.

Please send me YOUR family recipes for future posts!

Marzipan is an interesting little confection that can usually be found during the holidays; although, it has gained popularity as a cake icing within the last few years. It’s not a cookie, but you bake it; it is not a candy, but it is sugary and sometimes covered in chocolate; and it is not a cake, but it is heavy with flour and butter.

The marzipan of my youth wasn’t something that showed up every year like the more traditional sugar or Springerle cookies, but marzipan had its place on the dessert table.

I come from a family of professional bakers on both sides, so it only serves to reason that we had a sufficient selection of treats. If you are interested in more of the tradition of marzipan, then here is the wiki link to this delightful sweet.

Marzipan is claimed by a number of cultures as having originated with them. The Swedish cover their princess cake in it; it is in the fruitcakes in the United Kingdom, and it is a traditional treat in Spain.

As someone who loves to mold and play in polymer, I think I will revisit the marzipan of my youth and take my modeling techniques back a few generations to devise little treats outside of the more traditional fruit examples you see offered. Or, I will try and make some jewelry out of almond flavored dough!

Maybe, I will just revise the tradition this year and make marzipan fruit like my Grandmother did all those years ago.

Sticking with tradition, here is the recipe that my Grandmother passed on to me over 45 years ago. She had collected it from my Grandfather’s side of the family.

Marzipan Cookies – The Nash Family Recipe

Note: Mix the following for EACH color dough for your tiny fruit pieces.

  • 1 stick of butter (1/4 pound / 1/2 cup)
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/8 tsp of almond flavoring
  • 1 1/4 cup sifted flour

Food coloring:

  • Blue – grapes, plums
  • Red – strawberries, applies, cherries
  • Orange – oranges, carrots, apricots
  • Green – apples, green beans, peas in a pod
  • Yellow – apples, bananas, pears, peaches

Mix and Bake

  1. Shape your dough into designs by hand.
  2. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet for 30 minutes at 300 degrees – adjust time to size of cookie

DO NOT brown or you will lose the effect of the shape and color.                               

That’s it.

If you were waiting around for a big TADA, well, there is no TADA. Only fresh little fruits that you can pop into your mouth and savor the sweet and subtle taste of nuts and sugar.

Speaking of TADAs, here are some things that will definitely cause a TADA when they are opened on Christmas morning!

Orange Fan Earrings, Bohemian Brass Orange Leaf Earrings

Victorian Style Treasures 

Crochet handmade hat, yellow cotton yarn, crochet beannie with bill, The sun hat

Andrea Designs 

Seed Bead Jewelry, Peacock Potato Pearls, Bracelet for Women


Oliver The Otter Carves a Pumpkin Art Print

Colleen Cornelius 

Red Crystal Silver Cone Earrings, Strawberry Earrings, Sterling Silver Ear Wires, Short Dangle

The Singing Beader 

Cerulean Blue Faceted Agate Bali Copper OOAK 21 inch Necklace


Orange and Grey Fingerless Gloves, Free Shipping, USA

Christie Cottage 

John Deere 317 Garden Tractor and 49 Snowblower Handmade Birch Wood

Kevs Krafts 

Butterfly Amber Necklace Earrings Set


Sherpa Necklace, Red Glass Vintage Nepal Ethnic Handmade Jewelry Gift

Shadow Dog Designs 

Handmade Lampwork Glass Beads, Ink Blue Etched Matte Frosted 058e

Covergirl Beads 

Yellow Rose Handmade Collectible Thimbles

Blue Morning Expressions 

In addition to these fantastic gift selections, each of these artists have their own shops filled with more gift ideas, so be sure and stop and shop with each one.

If you see  something you like, buy it now or forever lose it as handmade gifts sell out quickly!

Shop from these additional countdowns and pages:

Countdown to Christmas 2020 Week 1

Don’t see the perfect gift? Ask an artist to help you design something.

Shop now!


PS – ARTISTS! I need your Christmas recipes to continue the midweek posts. Three per person please and thanks!!

Friday, September 18, 2020

Countdown to Christmas 2020 Week 1


Once again, we gather together to 
share and promote one another for the holiday season.
Where have the years gone? 
Let the stocking stuffing begin!