Sunday, October 19, 2014

Fake Tuna Sandwich

Unisex Eyeglass Chain
Since my unisex eyeglass chains do so well I figured I would try this simple black chain in my shop. I love this painted lightweight aluminum chain. It comes in a variety of colors for the ladies. So if the black does well I may try making other colors. This is available in my Etsy shop.

Fake Tuna Sandwich
I'm really excited about this discovery!!!! 

I was intrigued watching an episode of Delicious TV which is a vegetarian cooking show that airs on the Create channel. The cook was making what she called a tunno sandwich (get it, no tuna!). Here is the original recipe.
I modified the recipe a little based on what I had in the house and had to leave the onions out due to my finicky stomach.

Now this may not sound possible, but it comes out tasting like tuna! I haven't eaten tuna since my teens but the first comment out of Jim's mouth when he tried it was that it tasted just like tuna! We both loved it!!! Best part, it doesn't stink like tuna.

It is easy to make by simply combining all the ingredients.
  • 14 ounce can of artichoke hearts, drained, squeezed and put through the food processor so that it is a tuna type texture
  • 1 cup canned chickpeas rinsed and drained then also put through the processor until tuna like
  • 1 stalk of celery finely chopped
  • 1.5 teaspoons of soy sauce
  • 1 - 2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar (I just used plain white)
  • 4 - 5 tablespoons mayonnaise (use vegan for a vegan filling)
  • salt and black pepper to taste
Here is what the texture of the artichokes looked like when I made it:
Here is the chickpea texture:
Here are all the ingredients mixed together!
I went lighter on the soy sauce, vinegar and mayo to taste it first since those condiments can be overpowering. It stayed perfect in the fridge for the 4 days it lasted in there!

Next time I'm going to try chopped walnuts in place of the celery. With the exception of celery, all the other ingredients are always staples in the house so this can be whipped up at any time!

This is worth a try if you are looking for a healthier alternative. I know tuna is very healthy but there is always that concern of mercury. This is perfect for a pregnant woman too! 

Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy your week ahead! ~Val

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Jewels By Jodi

Jewels by Jodi
I recently did a trade with Jodi of Jewels by Jodi on Etsy! 

What I made is this eyeglass chain with carnelian, agate, jasper and wood. It was made to complement a beautiful necklace she already had.
I received these beautiful chrysocolla pieces from Jodi! They are just my style!
This is a stone that I never worked with before. I remember having a rough chunk of this stone as a little girl in my rock collection. It can vary in color but I love it most when it is very blue and green!
Jodi's style is very bohemian and beautiful. Her shop is full of goodies including earrings like these:
druzy earrings
leather wrap bracelet
rose quartz necklace
shell ring
Stop by Jewels by Jodi for your next bohemian piece of jewelry!

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Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy your week! ~Val

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Happy Fall

New Ear Wires
More new earring wires! These have a 22kt gold plating over sterling silver. They have a beautiful matte finish with a color close to 14kt gold. Available in my Etsy findings shop.

Blog Feature
A special thanks to bloggy friend Libby of Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth for doing this sweet blog feature on my business!

Libby is super creative in so many ways. She is also an amazing photographer! Check out her blog and youtube channel for how to's and more!

Happy Fall to everyone! This is the 1 season I will miss when we eventually relocate to Florida.

I'm enjoying a dogwood out of the office window that is full of red leaves and berries.

There is also an evergreen shrub there too with red berries!

Bargain goodies
I got myself a much needed new shredder a couple of weeks ago! It kicks butt!
I almost bought one the same brand on the Home Shopping Network. I've never purchased anything through them before but stumbled on it while channel surfing. I was so tempted but found one just like it for the same price in a local store! I haven't tried putting a CD through yet but it eats credit cards quite nicely.

I found a Columbia fleece for $20! It will likely be worn around the house in the cold months since it is much warmer than a sweatshirt.
Ok, so it is boys size large and has a label inside for me to put my name in case I lose it on the playground. Hehe!
Then there are my cozy warm slippers for only $10!!! I've been enjoying these. I was going to look for booty style for extra warmth but could not resist the price and cushiness of these.
I also tried these vermicelli rice noodles. This was a new kitchen thing for me! They have 0 nutritional value but I love them anyway!
On the package it says they can be fried to make the crunchy noodles which I have only had in restaurants before. I will be attempting to cook them that way next time!

Ok, enough babbling. I hope you are all enjoying the season change if you are experiencing one!

Thank you for stopping by. Have a great week! ~Val

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Traap Crafts and More and Rose Gold Earring Wires

Rose Gold Earring Wires
I recently added a couple of styles of 14kt rose gold filled ear wires to my shop. This is the more popular seller. Such a simple, elegant wire! 

Rose gold seems to be making a comeback. I like seeing it mixed with other metals! These are available in my Etsy shop.

Traap Crafts and More
It was time to treat myself since it has been a while!!!

These are my new crocheted yoga socks from Traap Crafts and More of Etsy. If any of you do yoga, you know it just can't be done in regular socks!
Yoga Socks
I also got this eco friendly Swiffer cover! I love the yarn. So I can Swiffer in my yoga socks and match!
Swiffer Cover
This shop is full of goodies! Like slouchy hats.
Crocheted Hat
 Really cute boot cuffs for extra warmth.
Boot Cuffs
How about a soap saver scrubby? I've never used one of these. It looks fun to use in the shower!
Soap Saver Scrubby
There are also patterns for the crocheter in this shop.
Crocheted Hat Pattern
Stop by Traap Crafts and More next time you are looking for crocheted goodies!

Thank you for stopping by! Have a fabulous Fall week! ~Val

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Polenta Dish

Earrings Studs
I love this earring studs set for Fall. Particularly the leopardskin jasper and the unakite. These are set on stainless steel. Available in my Etsy shop!
Polenta Dish
It had been a while since I made something with polenta so it was time for more of this comfort food.
For this one, I cooked up the ground corn in water and added a little butter and olive oil to make it creamier. I also used salt, pepper and parmesan cheese to add flavor. This went into a 13 x 9 pan to cool and set while I went out to run errands.
The toppings were simple!
I tossed the mushrooms and bell pepper first to soften. Then tossed in the spinach until it wilted. Lastly the chickpeas were added to warm up.
Then the toppings were put on top along with the best part....goat cheese!!! Such an easy dish that is so healthy.

Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have a fabulous week ahead! ~Val

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Apoxie Sculpt and a Multi Gemstone Lanyard

Gemstone Lanyard
I made another multi stone lanyard this week! These are always fun to make. This one is available in my Etsy shop

Apoxie Sculpt
Apoxie Sculpt includes both workable clay and adhesive so things can be stuck to it!
So I was curious to give it a try. I bought a package of silver color.
The one of the left is the clay. On the right is the epoxy. You simply take equal parts of each and mix them together with your hands until fully combined.
I like to freeform things when I can and clay is perfect for this! I'm experiment first with what I can do with it and how it looks hardened. Here was my first try adding a red jasper cabochon. Ok, I need to work on texturizing!!! Not my favorite.
With this piece I first rolled out a tube thinking of a donut, but my hands decided to try a ribbon shape. I like the idea of maybe creating awareness ribbons with appropriate colors. I should have done more smoothing here.
That last one is my favorite. I had a thicker piece that I twisted and stuck a cabochon of leopardskin jasper to.

I like how this came out with some texture since I don't want it to look machine made.
So I will be experimenting more and looking for tips online. There wasn't much on youtube except monster creation (apparently this sort of material is big in the monster world)!

There are many positives to this clay including:
  • no baking required (hardens rock solid in 24 hours)
  • allows a work time of 1 - 2 hours so you don't need to rush
  • 0% shrinkage
  • design ideas are endless with stamping, molding, painting and more
  • different materials will adhere to it including stones, crystals, polymer, metal, plastic and wood
  • it also comes in a variety of colors
Thank you for stopping by! Enjoy your week. :)  ~Val

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Wine Charm Hoops and Popcorn Balls

Earring Hoops for Wine Glass Charms
I used to carry earring hoops that are just the right size for wine glass charms. But at some point the costs went up and I could not keep up with competition on them! 

I found a new supplier who makes these in stainless steel. They are a thicker gauge at 21 versus the ones typically on the market at 24 gauge. Sturdier is better! Another benefit to these is the metal will not change color like the silver and gold plated ones over time. 

These are also great for earring hoops since stainless steel can be worn by most people with metal sensitivities. 

The only drawback is that the end of the hoop comes bent which will require unbending, then re-bending to add smaller hole beads on. They are perfect for simply adding charms which would slide right on! These are available in the earring wires section of my Etsy findings shop in different package sizes.

Popcorn Balls
These are delicious and healthy! I've had some snack type things pinned on Pinterest waiting to try and this was one of them!

Ok, they did not exactly come out round like the recipe I pulled from the internet. Mine actually look quite different. Different is ok by me. The original recipe is here.
Luckily I had all but 1 ingredient (shredded coconut) in the cabinet to make these.
First the dry ingredients were mixed:
8 cups of popped popcorn
1/2 cup almonds, chopped 
1/2 cup peanuts (I chopped mine since they were "super large", said so on the package)
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups of rolled oatmeal
2 tablespoons of ground flax seed
2 tablespoons chai seeds
In a separate bowl I mixed:
1/2 cup agave syrup (the original recipe called for maple syrup or honey but this worked great as a substitute)
1 cup of peanut butter (I only had 1/2 of smooth in the cabinet so I added in a 1/2 chunky)
Then the dry and wet ingredients were thoroughly mixed after using some muscle!
The mixture gets formed into 2 inch balls before going into the refrigerator to firm up. I used 2 large cutting boards with parchment paper on them.
The balling part was tricky. Maybe the missing coconut was necessary for cohesion! 

The recipe didn't mention if the nuts should be salty or not. The ones I used were salted which may have made a difference in holding them together. On the other hand, the salty is great for satisfying the salty and sweet craving all in 1 bite!

Anyway, they are delicious and a quick easy snack for an energy boost. I also loved the bake free aspect of these since I made them on a super hot, humid day. 

They are being stored in a container in the fridge to keep fresh and together. I will definitely make these again in the future. I think they will freeze great too to keep them longer.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great week ahead. ~Val