Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Resolutions

I can't believe that 2009 is close to the end. When I was younger, time stood still--at least that's how I tought it was. Now that I'm older, the days and weeks just seem to fly by and before I know it a year is gone.

Here are some of my New Year's Resolutions for 2010:
*Take excellent photos in my new light box.
*Promote on Etsy via the forums and chat at least 30 minutes a day.
*Blog 2-3 times a week.
*Feature a new shop on my blog once a month.
*Make one new treasury once a month.
*Offer giveaways more frequently.
*Set sales goals.

What are your New Year's Resolutions?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas

We all experienced our share of the economic downturn this year...

Merry Christmas from the Hills!

...but after a few phone calls to our stock brokers,
things started looking better!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Igloo Building Day

An igloo (Inuit language: iglu, Inuktitut syllabics: ᐃᒡᓗ, "house", plural: iglooit or igluit, but in English commonly igloos), or snowhouse, is a type of shelter built out of snow, originally built by the Inuit. Iglu is the Inuit word for a house or home built out of any material,[1] and is not restricted exclusively to snowhouses but includes traditional tents, sod houses, homes constructed of driftwood and modern buildings.[2][3]When referring to a snowhouse, igloos are shelters constructed from blocks of snow, generally in the form of a dome. Although igloos are usually associated with all Inuit, they were predominantly constructed by people of Canada's Central Arctic and Greenland's Thule area.(Information courtesy of Wikipedia)

The Gale family made a successful igloo with the 12" of snow that fell in NC yesterday. We spent about 6 hours total shoveling snow, patting and forming the shape. As it got bigger and more like a dome, we had to drop out and leave fewer workers on the inside. Here are some pictures of our effort. The last picture was taken on the inside. Enjoy!

Friday, December 18, 2009


YEEHAW...IT's snowing to beat the band!!Five O'clock and it's still coming down. My wish was granted and there was no school. I have made put finishing touches on gifts, wrapped them and mailed some Christmas Cards.
Facts about snow:
Snowflakes start as ice crystals that are the size of a speck of dust. When the crystals fall they join up with other crystals to form a snowflake. The size of the snowflake depends on how many crystals hook together. Snowflakes usually have six sides. Here are the different kinds of snowflake shapes.
For it to snow the tops of the clouds must be below 0 degrees Celsius, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Snow can come from any cloud that is layered.

Sometimes the snow can be feet deep in one place while it is bare in another because the wind has blown all the snow off that spot.

As snow falls snowflakes connect to make bigger snowflakes.

Snow at the North and South Pole reflect heat into space!! That happens because the ice acts like a mirror with the heat of the sun, and the heat bounces off the ice and into space.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Three More Days of School

Here I sit wanting it to snow real deep so that I don't have to go to school tomorrow. I would love to stay home and do more wrapping of presents, printing Christmas cards and mailing them out. I'll just have to see how the weather goes tonight.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Whimsical Wine Stoppers

I have just had a blast creating these wine/bottle stoppers for my presents of kahlua for family and friends!! Teaching elementary art allows me to experiment with all art forms and I was fooling around with clay. As I was winding up my firing of the kiln at school, I came upon this idea of animal heads for the tops of corks. I made ten heads and then glazed.
What do you think?

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Online Shopping!!

I just completed some online shopping for Christmas gifts. I wanted to share with you the wonderful stores where I went shopping.

First, I bought some wonderful soaps from aBreathofFrenchair. Her soaps are small gorgeous artworks. Take a look--

Next, I found the perfect soap for the men--Beer Soap. There are different flavors if you will, made from different brands of beer. The beersoapcompany has many styles of manly soaps to choose from and I suggest you go and visit them.

Next, I found more soap with a peppermint flavor. I think this is perfect for the holiday spirit.
The LostRiverRags has many, many soaps with a wide variety of scents. And the whole store is having a sale!! Definitely check them out!!

Finally, I needed to give a nice soap dish with all these exquisite soaps so I found crochetgal and bought this set of dishes from this fine store.

There are many more wonderful stores with handmade items. Check them out and shop the handmade way!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Ho Ho Green Christmas!!

Here is a great blog with youtube video about leaving a carbon footprint and how to make your Christmas green. Check it out. Help this blog out by following and learning green tips during the holidays.!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving Pie

I hope all of my followers had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your families! I did. We ate lots of delicious deep fried turkeys with Cajun injected spices, dressing, green bean casserole, mushroom appetizer, men-like-it-salad, smoked salmon, broccoli salad, corn casserole, whole cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.
Oh, yeah, there was also lots of wine....

Here are pictures of the pumpkin pie--
grinding the hazelnuts

I cheated on the pie crust and used a Ready-Crust by Pilsbury

before cooking and after cooking.

The pie was enjoyed by all!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

French Women Don't Get Fat

I just listened to this book on my daily commute and love her philosophy and advice. I will give you some of the main tips that I took from the book so that you can add into your daily life.
  • Walk as much as possible, everywhere you go.
  • Use the stairs instead of an elevator
  • Use her recipe for leek soup as a starter for losing weight.
  • Snack on soy nuts.
  • Eat greek yogurt--it's unsweetened and has a tart taste. You can add fruit with less sugar than the processed yogurts.
I'm so inspired by her book that her pumpkin pie sounded delicious and I'm going to make for my family Thanksgiving next week.

Here is the recipe:


Pie crust:
2/3 cup unsifted flour
pinch of salt

1 tablespoon sugar

6 tablespoons chilled butter
1 1/2 tablespoons ice cold water


1/3 cup ground hazelnuts
1/4 cup granulated brown sugar

2 tablespoons softened butter

2 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk
1 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin pureé (organic, natural preferred)

1 tablespoon flour
2/3 cup granulated brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup heavy cream

Yield: 10 servings


Put the flour, pinch of salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse to combine.

Cut the chilled butter into small pieces and add to the bowl. Also add the water and process for 15 seconds. If the dough is too dry, add more water by droplets. The dough should just hold together. Do not knead.

Wrap the dough in waxed paper and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out the pastry and fit into a 9-inch pie plate, 2 inches deep. Prick the pastry with a fork all over the bottom. Line the pie plate with aluminum foil. Add pie weights or dried beans to weigh down the dough, and bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove from the oven and discard foil and beans.

Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Prepare the filling by combining hazelnuts, 1/4 cup granulated brown sugar, and butter. Work into a paste and spread with the back of a fork or rubber spatula into the partially cooked pastry shell. Bake for 10 minutes. Mix together the eggs, egg yolk, pumpkin pureé, flour, 2/3 cup granulated brown sugar, spices, salt and heavy cream. Pour into the pastry shell. Turn the oven temperature down to 325 degrees and bake the pie for 45 minutes.

Serve at room temperature or cold. Optional: Serve with unsweetened whipped cream (1 cup for the entire pie) on the side.

Note: The pie will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. Always take out 15 minutes before serving.

Also her website is: for more recipes!

I'll post pictures of my pie next week!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gift Tags are Ready

Just a quick post tonight--I have my Christmas Tree tags posted on etsy. Follow this link to see them.

Bob, and our good friends Bruce and Helen went on a beautiful

hike to the top of Lane Pinnacle Mountain.

Have a great week!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Getting Ready for a Show

Well, I am frantically getting ready for a show tomorrow that has 85 crafters. That's a lot!! I'm wondering whether it will be worth my time, I'm committed and will put a smile on my face. I have had too many good things happen this week to let negative thoughts creep into brain. I've had 2 small sales on etsy, a sale is a sale, being in the Timothy Adams Top Ten of Etsy this week and now I have a possible wedding invitation paper commission! I am very happy with these possibilities. Plus, on Wednesday, a day off, I have learned that there is a papermaking studio and letterpress/printing studio in my town. Yippeee!

Plus I am sharing my space, down the right side with other etsy artists! Want to share? Contact me!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm in the Top Ten on Timothy Adams Design!!

WooHooo!! I am in the top ten on Timothy Adams Design Blog. I am so excited and honored to be included among all the great artists!! He chose my Handmade Paper Journals. The covers are black with sparkles and bound with raffia. Thank, you, Thank you, Thank You, Timothy!! My night is just wonderful right now!

Check out his blog here and don't forget to vote for your favorite!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

600 Gift Tags Made

Whoa, I can't believe I just made 600 gift tags for the Holidays! I cut a special material so that I had 3 trees on the screen and then just repeatedly dipped the mould into the vat and pressed the trees on sheets. Here's some photos.

Now it is time for me to cook one of my favorite vegetarian recipes--
Spicy Potatoes, Cabbage & Peas over Rice
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water,
5 medium potatoes, thinly sliced (you may peel if you like)
2 cups water
1/2 green cabbage
10 oz. box of frozen peas (I'm using the ones I put up from the summer)
2 tsp. curry
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (I'm generous with this as we like it hot!)
Salt to taste

Cook brown rice in 4 cups of water in a covered pot over medium high heat until done.

In a separate sauce pan, add sliced potatoes to 2 cups of water and heat of medium high heat. Shred cabbage and add to potatoes. Add peas and spices. Cover pan. Continue heating until potatoes are tender. Serve over rice. Serves 6.

Yummy, my mouth is already watering!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Etsy Anniversary

Well, I've decided what to offer my purchasers during the month of November for my one year anniversary on etsy. I figure since so many people, crafters and friends, have hearted me and my work that I will give everyone who purchases from me a handmade paper heart notecard and handmade envelope which is hand folded with bone scoring and relick glue. These are a limited edition item and will show my love for all my customers.

Check out my store filled with new items--from journals to cards in time for the holidays. In fact I'm planning on creating some special gift tags for the holidays on Saturday.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

It feels good to be posting paper items to my etsy store. Check out all my holiday cards and sets--they are at the top of my store. Here's a picture of my snowflake cards!! There's a limited supply so order now. Also, I'm thinking about my one year anniversary on etsy. It's coming up on November 15. Some sellers give things away to buyers during the month. Are you enticed to buy from a seller with these incentives?

If you mention that you are my blog friend I will throw in a gift card holder FREE.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Events Successful!

Well, My workshop presentation was successful at my state art conference. The art teachers enjoyed creating an EOG (end of grade) Warrior doll. It is so fun teaching art teachers as they can expand on your idea and make the simplest project elaborate. Check out these two.

Next, My son had an eagle scout ceremony on Sunday. It was a big celebration of his work and accomplishments.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

There's way too much going on in my life right now. I am teaching an art workshop at my state conference on Friday morning which I have to drive to on Thursday night after teaching all day. Then I'm driving home on Saturday to finish details of my son's eagle ceremony which will be on Sunday at 2 pm. Then I have to go to school on Monday and continue teaching. Whew!

I'm praying for peace and calmness during this very important time in my son's life. Thanks for any positive thoughts which you send my way.

Soon, I'll talk about my paper business again.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Booth Displays and Successful Saturdays

I finished my second Saturday at Art in the Park in downtown Asheville. It was a rainy iffy type day. I had to decide whether to be inside or outside with my paper. I had an ez-up style tent and chose outside to be in the main flow of traffic. The rain was not that bad. I shifted my tables in and out depending on rain or no rain.
The top photo is last weeks' booth set-up. This week, I double draped my table, used hair clips to hold the fabric to the table legs and used the table drapes last week as a backdrop. I fairly happy with it. I spent $4 for the hair clips at Dollar Tree.

I made the right decision. The sales were almost like last weeks. I am very happy!! I lost one sale that would have made the show fantastic. If you do craft shows, do you have a credit card machine? What are the costs and fees? I'd appreciate any feedback.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Well, I'm getting ready for another show on Saturday. I'm trying to focus and make a label for a group of my products to sell. I'm placing a book ($8), 2 gift card holders ($3.75), a pack of stationery ($10), a flower card ($3.50), and a wildflower seed paper($1) in a box in a clear bag. I'm going to place a selling price of $20. Does that sound like a value or a good deal? It's in a box that looks like a bandanna.

I'm just a little tired, also, because I am planning an Eagle Scout ceremony for my son on the 25th of October, two craft shows, giving a presentation at my art ed conference--well, it's really a workshop--on the 23rd and working full time. I'm sorry to complain. I'm glad a have a job at all that jazz.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Post Show Glow!!

I'm flying high after returning from my show in downtown Asheville. It was a huge success for me. People were very complimentary of my paper and didn't think twice about the price. They loved the flowers, leaves and words on the cards. The most popular sellers were the cards with Queen Anne's Lace, both Christmas cards and snowflake cards. I need ideas to make my photos of cards reflect the true beauty so etsy buyers will see the real value. I'm open to suggestions.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Display Rack is ready for the Show!!

I promised another installment on my cost effective card display, however real work has gotten in the way and I've not had time to blog. I'm sorry, yeah that I have to work!

Here are the pics. My husband says that the price totals in previous blog will really create 2 displays like the
one I'm showing. The Crayola containers are velcroed to the
boards which Bob sawed and chiseled to make the side pieces sturdy. They are hinged and the top piece fits snuggly to also hold the unit together. When I have time, the top piece will be a sign for my stationery and be larger.

Thanks for reading. I'm excited about Saturday's show in downtown.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Cost Savings on Building card display

Hi, I been hard at work building/creating a card display out of found materials from my art room and around the house. I am using Crayola Sidewalk Chalk containers.

First, I had to learn how to cut plastic, which I did on YouTube. With a soldering iron, I flattened the heating element. Next, I spray painted the containers with a combination of paints I had on hand. So far, no cost involved, just time.

Now my husband is involved in the making of a tiered stand. We went to Lowe's and bought lattice and 3 4" by 4' boards as shelves. Cost-around $18.
Bob has created a tiered support and carved the shelves so that they steady the sides. He just came back with hinges so that the whole unit folds neatly. $10

For the shelves, I have used velcro to steady the containers, which we also had around the house. He has also used wood which we have had on hand.

Next installment--I'll show you the finished product.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rainy Days and Mondays!!

Wow, we are getting a tremendous amount of rain here in North Carolina. Brevard, about 35 minutes from Asheville, received 8 inches of rain yesterday and schools were on a 2 hour delay because of flooding!!

Ashby, my son who is a freshman at Appalachian State in Boone, NC, is taking a Contemporary Green Living Class. As a part of the class, he is required to create and write on a blog. The entries are about his journey to lessen his footprint on earth. I would like to invite all my blog friends to click here and join/follow his blog entitled, Detecting The World Around Us.

Take Care, I'll talk about my cost savings on creating a display for my cards later in the week.

Friday, September 18, 2009


Well, I'm at home taking care of myself so I don't get sicker. When you are in a room of coughing and sneezing kids, you begin to be paranoid. And then the threat of H1N1 flu has sent me over the edge. So, I think being home is working as I am feeling and sounding better.

I'm kinda having fun updating my etsy and artfire accounts with the paintings from my last post. Shhh, don't tell my boss.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Paintingpam was actually Painting!!

Hi, and yes, just like the title says--I was actually painting. In fact I'm getting ready for a show in Asheville so I am painting small 4 x 6 paintings of local views that visitors to our city can take home with them. I have thought of Looking Glass Mountain (on bottom left), Mount Mitchell, Biltmore House as a few places which I will paint. On the top left, is our family's favorite spot--Pilot Cove Slate Rock. What spots do you think of when you hear Asheville, NC??

Have a great week!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Blueberry Picking

Hi, and I hope everyone had a great Labor Day Holiday. Our son, Ashby, was home from college and we did lots of stuff! He is interested in my waffle clocks and on Saturday, while I was making Christmas cards, Ashby was making a clock which he will use his metal detecting finds as hour markers.
And today, on a whim, we went to Black Balsam Mountain and picked blueberries.

Here he is deep into picking as well as Bob, my husband. If you have any spectacular blueberry recipes, please leave me a comment. Also, don't forget to comment on my store to win a unique set of halloween cards.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Congratulations to.....

Congratulations to.....Cappy Sue for giving me an idea during the summer to make jack-o-lantern cards out of leaves!! It was a great challenge to find a leaf that resembled a pumpkin!! Then I found lace bits to make the eyes and mouth and also to make it look more scary. I hope you like them CappySue. They kind of look like alien pumpkins:-) While you are looking at these cards, pop on over the CappySue's etsy store. She has lots of Halloween paintings!! Thanks for entering a new idea CappySue!!

While I was experimenting, I made five more jack-o-lantern cards. Would you like to win them? First, follow me, then leave me a comment about your favorite item in my etsy store. I will draw a name on Tuesday night and publish the winner. Please leave me contact info!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Making Logos on Cards

I am very excited about learning how to create a logo out of a soft rubber that fits my mould. Here are the pictures of the logo I made for Judy and Em Rigg at Palm Key. This is a Palmetto tree which is the state tree of South Carolina. I'm very pleased and so are Judy and Em.

Speaking of being pleased, if you need a vacation getaway near the Low Country of South Carolina, I highly recommend Palm Key. It is located on the marshes of SC and is convenient to Hilton Head Island and Savannah, Georgia. Each cottage is a separate unit with low country vegetation surrounding it. Cottages have 1 to 5 bedrooms.

Check out the Palm Key website for more information.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Well, Back to Work and School

Fall means an end of summer vacation for me. It's off to teach art to elementary students. It is always a rude awakening to get up at 5:30 am 5 days a week and drive 29 miles to my school, teach 6 classes a day, then get back in the car and drive home. Today, after teaching 2 days, I am totally drained! I have to build my stamina so that I will have energy to make paper on the weekend. :-)
I explained the process to some 5th graders and they were very interested, especially in the paper with shredded money. I promised I would teach them!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Great Papermaking Weekend

I have had a great papermaking weekend!! It really is the last weekend before I start teaching school again. I'm not ready or excited about it because I have loved making paper so much this summer. I feel like I have made more than I ever have!! I finished some paper for a client that has their business logo on the front. I'm totally psyched that I accomplished it. When I have permission, I will post pictures of it here.

Then I made paper out of oriental bittersweet leaves as a freebie for the Western North Carolina Alliance. The staff works to pull, cut, and kill this invasive plant from our National Forests. It has been a big hit!! I didn't take any photos of these :-(

Lastly, I am thinking about featuring another artist on my blog. I'm not sure how many times per week I could do this, while returning to teaching again. Let me know if you'd be interested in collaborating.

Thanks for reading~!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Taking Son to College for first time

How many of you have taken a child to college for the first time?

It is quite an emotionally draining experience. While I'm happy for Ashby, I am sad for me and Bob because we will miss his presence. I also am happy for Ashby because I know that Bob and I have done a great job to prepare him for this next stage in his life. I want Ashby to achieve and learn all that he can while at college to carry him forth in life. I have come full circle in my thinking and know that this is a natural progression in life but wanted to express my feelings.

Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Time Travelers Wife

I went to the movie The Time Travelers Wife with some girl friends because we had read the book. The main female character, Claire Abshire, is an artist and papermaker!! I loved it. The movie had one clip/scene where Claire was in her studio. The first part showed her scooping up pulp and throwing it into a hidden machine and then the noise of blending. It showed her holding a mould and deckle, then it showed her pressing it and then the paper laying on the blanket. Also in the studio shot was a hand book binding press. I just loved it but I bet half of the people watching didn't understand what it was.

Oh, well, you can see I'm obsessed with papermaking. :-)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chopping, Cooking, Canning

Like the title says, I've been chopping, cooking, canning tomatoes to make chunky salsa. Bob, my husband and Ashby, my son, wanted chunky thick salsa, so that was what I was working toward.
For two days, that's what I've done for about 3-4 hours. Pioneer women were tough to cook and can all the food for the winter. The counter is loaded with 2 days worth of salsa making. The first recipe had 4 jalapenos and 6 pablono peppers. I made 4 quarts yesterday. Today with a different recipe, I used 4 pablono peppers, 2 cayenne and 2 bell peppers and lime juice, I made 5 quarts and 1 pint.

Whew, I know it will taste good in the winter.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Secret Revealed!!!

I am so excited and pleased to announce my secret--my first video on how to make hand made paper!! It has been in process for many months--we've (my son & I) taped 4 different videos. The link today is the final product. We both are so proud of our hard work.

Well, technical difficulties....can't upload video. Will try again later! Need to cut to 100 MB. Maybe tonight!

Well, I've successfully uploaded the video to facebook.

Click and check it out.

After watching the video, please answer the question--would you be interested in a more detailed description of papermaking?

Friday, August 14, 2009

I have one secret and something different to share!

I have a secret that I am dying to tell everyone about, but I promised my son I wouldn't even tell my husband. The secret will come out tomorrow, so tell everyone you know to log onto my blog and follow.

Speaking logging on and following, my friend Aurora Rose is hosting a great giveaway if she can reach 150 followers. Please check out her blog to find out the details.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to Papermaking

Well, on the business side of things, I received a check from a gallery last week, I have two different jobs to make special paper and I have some pictures of my Queen Anne's Lace paper which reminds me of Christmas. What do you think? I'll add the link to buy them a little later. The pack will have 10 cards for $15.

Now is the time--I listed these note cards in my artfire studio. Here is the direct link to these cards.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Moment of Respect

My husband & I just got back from the funeral of his best friend, 2 years older than him. He had flu like symptoms and went into the hospital, got pneumonia and never recovered. He was only 60--way to young to die. It has hit me to think about what all I am doing and it's importance. Ed was an architect, planner, environmentalist and lover of all living creatures. Everything he did or touched, he did with an ease belying it's importance.

I am reminding myself that the day to day hassles aren't the important things but do what you love and give of yourself.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

For my Blog Friends

Hi, I've just listed my gift card holders which you helped me design. I'd like to offer you a chance to buy these first. I'm selling 2 for $3.75. Mention my blog in your checkout and I'll throw in an extra card holder, because you are my friends. Click here to link to my new item.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Gift Card Holder Ideas

Hey to my trusty blog readers!! Here's three ideas for the gift card holders made from my paper. Tow are folded, origami style and the other one has the bead and loop sticthed onto the paper. Give me feedback, please!



What kind of seeds would you buy in a handmade paper card?