Sunday, September 30, 2007

For Chris :)

Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tea From Pine Needles

As with anything please take what you read about this with a " grain of salt" because I am NOT claiming this all to be true. It's just what I've read and learned, so take it for what it's worth.

Have you ever heard of pine needle tea? I hadn't, but was very intrigued so I set out to learn more.

It is reportedly VERY, very good for the body when you drink tea made from pine needles. Yes, everyday ordinary pine needles. Your Christmas tree! LOL

Supposedly, one cup of pine needle tea has more vitamin C than 6 lemons! and is good for treating mild depression, strengthening the nerves in your eyes, muscle fatigue, heart ailments, kidney ailments, to treat coughs, allergies, and many other things.

I wanted to give it a try so I pulled up this recipe:
Chop up the needles..
Meantime, boil a pot of water.
Place pine in boiling water, cover, and remove from heat. Let steep from 20 minutes to all night.
What you don't drink hot, refrigerate for a cold, refreshing drink.Experiment with proportions of pine needles to water.
The best tea will be a nice reddish color, and a small amount of oil will rise to the top.

This recipe makes a beautiful red tea, with a mild, pleasant taste. You can sweeten with honey if desired.

The boys and I went out to the front yard - I live in the forest ya know! :) And we gathered some needles and made a cup. It was actually very yummy. I think we should have gotten needles that were a bit younger as ours didn't turn out exactly orange but more of a pale peach shade.
It was as good as any processed teas I've ever bought though and next time I want to chill some because I just prefer my tea cold. LOL It was positively good enough to have again and if even one of those health benefits is true then all the better. It's just too bad that it doesn't treat insomnia. If it did I would not be here posting in the middle of the night so often. LOL

I love learning about this kind of stuff!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Around My House

Here are a few of the things around my home at this time. Mostly my kitchen and living room anyway. I like things that are simple, no fuss. My walls are beige and garnet. Not red as they appear in the pics.
Ignore the cobwebs and dust- I do. LOL
Click on the picture and it will come up full size. Have a great day!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Camouflaged Blessings

When Chris and I first started out we were very young and very poor. We had our son Alex and not much else.
We bought a piece of land that we could make payments on ($97 a month to be exact) and as we were able we started building a house. We didn't get any loans because we decided early on that we wanted to live as debt free as possible.

So, little by little we scrimped and saved and added on the the house as often as we could. We did all the work ourselves. Yes, ALL of it. We didn't have money for contracted labor.
In the meantime we had to live with my parents which wasn't always easy.
It took three long years to get the house finished and ready to be lived in.
It isn't a large house and I complain almost daily about the lack of storage space I have. lol

Living debt free means never having a brand new car.
Sometimes I'd see someone I went to school with driving a shiny new car and wonder why they were so lucky and I wasn't. All the while not taking into consideration that I had something they didn't. A car that I bought outright with no payments. Sure it might have been a few years older but it always got me where I needed to go and when it broke down I just go buy another car.

Groceries in our house were a luxury too, at first. We never had a fully stocked pantry. We never starved but lived on one meal a day to make the food last longer most times.

Fast forward to now and so many things have changed. Chris has a great job. I am able to be a stay at home mom and homeschool my kids. I still don't have a brand new car but the cars I have now are great running and much better looking, newer models. LOL

We have more than enough to eat and the cupboards are never bare.
All of our bills (internet, cell phones, water, electric, cable, car insurance, etc.) combined come to less than what most families pay on one months mortgage payment.
We can travel where ever and when ever the mood strikes us. We live by our own schedule.

The point of all this is that in the beginning when we were starting out and struggling, doing without a lot of wants and needs, life didn't seem to be very fair sometimes. But now in hindsight we can appreciate those struggles and times that were lean.

Those struggles and decisions laid the path for the life we have today. No it's not a glamorous life, but that's not our style anyway.
Because of those decisions we won't be paying off our home when we are in our 50's or 60's. We won't have credit card debt up to our eyeballs. We will always have a larger income to debt ratio. And now, I can see that the struggle was really a small part of the bigger picture. It now reveals the blessings that once were so camouflaged.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Thrift store shopping.

The scene:
A woman in her early 30's- ok 34! Roams the aisles wild eyed as if somewhere around the next corner she was going to discover a treasure unlike any other.
When the treasure is spotted it is scooped up swiftly and she looks around to her left and right suspiciously as she fears someone is on her heels waiting to pounce on her and take her new possession from her clutches.
The coast is clear. Now she looks over the treasure for the price and laughs merrily at the wee price. SUCKERS! She thinks to herself. Fifty cents! I would have paid at least twice that much! BWAHAHAHA

That's me! I LOVE thrift stores! I always look for rustic and primitive things. Show me a basket of buttons and a quilt and I'm tickled pink! A dried flower bouquet, a rag doll, old timey clothespins, baskets... that's what I'm after. :) And the best part is when I find something I didn't even know I loved until I saw it. swoooooon!

One of my very favorite thrift stores is operated by New Hope Church down in Sevierville, TN. All proceeds from the thrift store go to help people with drug and alcohol addictions.
Sadly it was burned to the ground by an arsonist this past June.
I will never forget it. I was sitting in a motel room and it was about 2am. I was up because I couldn't sleep- as usual. Chris was asleep next to me in the bed and I turn the tv on and started channel surfing. One channel was news and I saw a building in blazes but didn't think much about it. I almost changed the channel before I realized that the building in flames looked mighty familiar.

My heart sank as I sat on the bed watching the building being engulfed and listening to the news reporter say that it was officially determined to be arson. What makes someone want to burn down a thrift store for goodness sakes? What could be the motive? It just made no sense at all.
I was so sad.
Just a couple days prior I was there merrily shopping and making small talk with the pastor of the church and their helpers. Suddenly my last purchases really did seem more like real treasures. What if I had not bought them when I was there just two days ago? My pretties would have burned up in that fire...

The good news is that they now have a new location that was donated to the church. YAY!!
I can't wait to get back to Sevierville and stop in. The bonus of it all is that the new location is right across the street from the best scrapbook superstore in the world! One door was closed (or burned) but God opened another. :)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

GREAT mail day today!

I am happier than a kid in a candy store!! I got 6 packages in the mail today. YAYAY.
Even better...4 of the 6 packages were from Etsy. Oh yeah!

I got 6 WONDERFUL goat milk soaps from
Peggy is my favorite soap supplier ever! I now have 20 of her soaps.

A 5LB. bag of cinnamon scented rose hips from
These smell fabulous!
Two awesome lotions from
I got chocolate orange and my favorite scent of hers, Beyond Melon. YUM-O!

A batch of hand made cinnamon "grubby star mixins" to go with my cinna rose hips from
These too smell wonderful. Cinnamon is very favorite scent ever.

The Essential Glue Pad from
For when I actually do get back to scrapbooking, LOL.

and finally, some much needed spacer beads from
Gotta have'em. Can't make much of anything without them.

Here are the cinna star mixins and the rose hips in their new home. Yep, I'm ready for Christmas a wee bit early but my room smells DIVINE. :)

Isn't it just delightful? Feels like home!

And there you have it. My super-duper-wonderful- excellent- great- mail day.

Can't believe I forgot to tell you...

that I am getting published AGAIN! lol
Yep, got contacted by Bead Trends again the other day. This time they want two more of my pieces. This means that I am going to be in the Nov./Dec. issue AND the Jan./Feb issue too!
I'll have 2 full pages in the Jan./Feb. issue!! I can not believe it. Too cool! :O)

I guess that's all for now. Happy Thursday everyone!

That's what happens when you stop. You forget!

Ever since I took a break from scrapbooking - SEVERAL months ago,- I can no longer find the time for it now that I want to do it.
How did I used to find the time? I remember the house was still getting cleaned and everyone was fed, LOL but WHERE did the time come from? I forget! I have NO idea how I fit it into my days.

I don't like change but it is inevitable and so like everything else in life, my life changed as well. It happened when I wasn't looking.
Lately I've been so busy planning home improvement lists- there is SO much that needs to be fixed around here), schooling Caleb, occasionally working on new pieces for my Etsy shop, chasing coupons for CVS deals and spending MUCH more time away from home than usual that nothing seems the same. It's kinda sad.
I know that probably doesn't make sense exactly. I guess you'll just have to take my word for it.

I guess I should try to start off by planning and setting aside one specific day for it and do nothing else! Still have no idea what day I can spare, but I'm going to try. I've got a lot of pictures that need to be a part of the story. :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

New Listings.

Dark Olivine Jade Bracelet and earrings. Sold separately.

Monday, September 03, 2007

HUGE markdowns at the shop.

****EARRING CLEARANCE in my Etsy shop****
All earring prices have been SLASHED as much as 75%!
Buy 3 pairs and SHIPPING IS FREE! (US only)

**ALL Pearlfection items marked from $25 to $15 and lower.**

To list or not to list...

I can't decide.
Ten primitive, grungy tags. Stained, machine and pen stitched. Wrinkled, ironed, stamped, buttons, twine, fabric strips, hand written sentiments of all things that family is.