Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween everyone! As you can see, it's looking a little festive around here!The plate under my door-side table is laden with goodies: coloured corn, gourds, ornaments by makalewakan, felt hearts by lilfishstudios and 2 of my paper globes.On my TV is the cutest little pumpkin, perched on a candle holder. Also on my TV is the beautiful candle I got from madhatterspottery.Here is my ribbon covered pumpkin.And my bigger pumpkin that is destined for baking. I perched the small one on top so you could compare sizes.And finally, just a small part of the Halloween candy we have in the house. This is just what I bought ... yesterday, we received a shoebox full of candy from Pat's parents. Woo hoo! I LOVE Halloween!

Supper Last Night

Supper last night was delicious! I made baked Thai chicken, parslied potatoes and garlic asparagus! Quick, easy and oh-so tasty!

For the chicken, I simply mixed about 1/4 cup of Thai sauce (the sweet and spicy dipping sauce) with a dash of Thai fish sauce and a dash of hot sauce. I pour this over the chicken (in a glass dish) and baked for about 30-40 minutes at 350F. Yum!

For the potatoes, I just cut them into chunks without peeling, boiled and drained them. Then I added in lots of butter and some parsley. For the asparagus, I fried then in olive oil with some chopped garlic (from a jar), salt and pepper. After a few minutes, I added about 1/4 cup of chicken broth and let it simmer until the asparagus was tender.

I love meals that are ready in 30 minutes with little work involved!

Item of the day: Yellow Leaf

I couldn't end this week featuring my favourite artists without showing off one of my Etsy friends, Debra Linker. Take a look at this yellow leaf: No, that isn't a photo ~ it's a painting!! Can you believe it? The detail is incredible, and fits in well with my week of complex, detailed art. The colours are vivid and the result is wonderfully life-like! Debra's art is not to be missed!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Item of the day: Glowy Windows

I'm sure by now, everyone has a good idea of the kind of art I covet. Here is another piece I would add to my walls if I lived somewhere with a bit more wall space...These pretty houses by Drenchedinwhite look as though they are perched on a snowy mountain. Like most Canadians, I love snow (even though I'm not that fond of the winter cold). Its hushed calm makes for a relaxing and cheery print, bringing back fond winter memories.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Item of the day: Yellow Poppies

Continuing on the theme of my favourite detailed art, here is a piece by printmakerjenn:I love how the painting wraps around the edges of the canvas. I also love the subtle blue mountains in the background, the splotches of paint in the foreground and the vibrant yellow used for the flowers. Who doesn't love bright flowers in every room?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Etsy Feature: 2009 Calendars

A lovely front page full of calendars has spurred me on to show you a few of my favourites. Now is definitely the time to pick up some calendars ~ they make a great gift, everyone needs one!First up is the 2009 calendar by Avie Designs. I've purchased website cards from Avie before, and I was quite pleased with the quality and the brightly coloured designs. This calendar set includes 6 classic Avie designs, and 6 new ones ~ all are sure to bring a smile to your face each month of the new year.
I love the simple and modern calendars by storybymia. This nature one is definitely my favourite since flowers always make me happy. All of her calendars would make a perfect gift for that one person who is always so hard to buy for.
I'm always so impressed at the professional quality of letterpress paper goods. Pistachiopress has a really striking letterpress calendar, shown here. Each month has an incredibly detailed picture with beautiful bright colours. I'm really tempted to get this one for myself! Last but definitely not least is this whimsical calendar by InkspotWorkshop. Each month has a sweet design that is sure to bring happiness to whoever on your list you decide to gift this to. This calendar, like the one by Avie, comes with its own jewel case that can act as an easel for easy display.

Since being on the front page, some of these have already sold. But keep an eye out, each shop is bound to have more than one set available!

Item of the day: Pomegranates

Since both Sunday's and Monday's item of the day was an interesting piece of textile art, I'm going to keep along with that theme for the rest of the week. Today's complex piece is by jhiro and features the lovely pomegranate:This print has been in my favourites for the better part of a year, and each time I see it, I'm amazed at its complexity and detail. A truly vibrant piece that would add spark to any room.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Playing with Periwinkle

Here's my latest treasury, a collection featuring my favourite colour. I also chose most of these items (or artists) straight from my favourites.From top to bottom, going from left to right (including the alternates):

Night Falls by mLee
Paisley Purple Fabric by CatnipStudioToo
Purple Forest Hand-dyed Ribbon by JodyPoesy
Celebrating Indigo Close Weave Wrap by rainbowrevolution
Group of 3 Small Bowls by etcArts
Ultimate Music Grab Bag by sweettweelab
Daydream Necklace by adornyou
Catalan Dream Necklace by ATDesigns
Turbulence by Illusio
Titanium Ring by ShadeJewelry
Rescue Boat by blacksheepmarket
Mini Crazy Quilt by purplepaint
Goth-a-bye Baby Handspun Yarn by Spazzy
Crystal Ball Necklace by ceanandjen
Rag-topped Bowlee by sosorosey

I was also going to include this Early Bird ACEO by CeeVeeArts, but I decided to purchase it instead!

Recipe: Chicken Chili

I found a recipe for chicken chili online, but I had to modify it according to the ingredients I had on hand. It turned out so tasty, I just had to share the recipe! Here it is:

Chicken Chili


3 chicken breasts
1 large cooking onion
1 red pepper
4 hot peppers
1 tsp chopped garlic (or 1-2 cloves, chopped)
1/2 cup hot salsa
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 can each of white kidney beans and romano beans, drained
cayenne, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper
olive oil


1. Cut chicken into strips. Heat olive oil in pan on medium-high and add in the chicken. Don't stir right away. Season with cayenne and salt and pepper. Use as much or as little cayenne as you like. Stir and cook through. Set aside and allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, chop onion and peppers. These are the veggies I had in my fridge. A green pepper would be fine, and any hot peppers would do. I suppose you could even substitute the hot peppers with another sweet pepper, but I feel all chili must have some heat.Saute vegetables with garlic in large pot, until onions are translucent.

3. Add in beans, salsa and broth. Season with chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper ~ use as much as you like, about 1 tbsp of chili powder and pepper, 1 tsp of cumin and a dash of salt. Rip chicken into pieces and mix in.Stir it up and taste it. Add more seasoning if it needs it.

4. Simmer for up to an hour. You can eat it right away if you want, but simmering allows the chili to become even more flavourful.Enjoy!

Item of the day: Friendships

I think this next piece continues with my theme of interesting art. The shop of fabbiz is filled with it, but I really take a shine to this Friendships piece: I love the natural hues, the beautiful stitching and the wonderful textile fabrics used. Take a look at all the complex pieces over at fabbiz, and let me know which is your favourite!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Item of the day: mini crazy quilt

As I think I've mentioned before recently, I love detailed, intricate artwork. Something that you will turn to again and again, and see something new each time. That's why I like these mini crazy quilts by purplepaint:Not only are these wonderfully complex, they incorporate fabric and buttons, two media I love using and displaying. All the fun stitches and patterns really add to the whimsy of each piece ~ you are sure to find one that is perfect for your place!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Item of the day: Amber Leaves

It's getting cold out very quickly, and there's no denying winter's on its way. I'm still enjoying the fall though, with all the inspiration it bring to the wonderful artists of Etsy. In particular, I love these amber leaf earrings by DancingMooney I found in a treasury:I really love glass that changes colour depending on the light, and these will look green or amber. Perfect for the fall transition, as well as year round!

Thursday, October 23, 2008


I was awarded with a butterfly award by NickiLeigh.
I was also tagged by Cindy at c-things for a seven random things post. However, since I recently posted a blog award I won, and was recently tagged to do a seven random things post, I'm not going to tag more people, or come up with 7 more things. I just wanted to acknowledge and thank these two great bloggers who gave me some love.

Item of the day: Night Falls

I love the look of lino or wood-cut prints. The amount of work that goes into them is unbelievable, and the results are gorgeous! I especially love the layering and colours used in this Night Falls print by mLee:Each time I look at it, I see a different layer, different designs. Interesting pieces make the best art (in my opinion).

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Item of the day: cell diagram coptic book

You should all know by now that during the day I'm a scientist... well, a Master's student at least. So it shouldn't be surprising that I love this notebook by thecraftykitten:I love making diagrams of cells and tissues. I think this notebook would be fun to use as a lab book (assuming there are no specifications on what kind of lab book you have to have).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Etsy Feature: adornyou

Since I had such a great weekend, and lots of sales during my weekend sale, I thought I would do a full-on feature today. Plus, I feel the need to show you one of my absolute favourite jewelry makers on Etsy: Sharon, from adornyou. I've traded with Sharon before, and have to say I wear those earrings A LOT! I was also thrilled to find out she lives just outside of Toronto, about an hour or so from me, here in Hamilton. Small world, eh?

First off, this Twilight Zone necklace is absolutely stunning. The sparkle of the vintage Czech glass topaz ring is really alluring and I love how the gunmetal really showcases the beautiful golden colour of the glass. I'm really quite tempted to add this to my growing jewelry collection...

Now these Divided Elegance earrings are what really induced me to make this into a shop feature since I couldn't leave them OR the above necklace out. Of course I want to feature all the items in store, but these in particular speak to me. Alone, the filigreed half moons are absolutely gorgeous! But the addition of the Swarovski crystal, in a lovely emerald shade with an AB (aurora borealis) shine, really takes these earrings to the next level. This earwire bead is a signature style of adornyou, and adds some charm to otherwise plain earwires.

Now this wouldn't be a true feature if I only showed you 2 of my favourites. So here are a few more for you to drool over. Just remember to lean back so you don't ruin your keyboard!

Diamond Noir is absolutely a show-stopper. This intricate pendant is so unique! I love how the seed beads are woven between the 2 silver diamonds, starting out with one bead at the top, and thickening out at the bottom. The wire-wrapped peacock pearl dangling in the centre adds colour, flair and movement to the pendant. You definitely would not have to worry about running into someone else with this same necklace!

Speaking of unique necklaces, I love this Leaves of Ashes necklace too. The ebony wood leaf is wonderfully complimented by the gunmetal chain, and has a really cool shape. I really like the look of wood, or other unusual media, in jewelry. It makes for some really one of a kind items. The light blue bead, cupped in a leafy beadcap, adds a punch of colour (while the leaves brings everything together). You can't go wrong with a little colour.

Many of my favourite pieces from adornyou follow a pattern or fall into a certain style, just looks through the items I just showed you. All of them have a solid base colour (in silver or black) with striking focal pieces. And then a splash of colour is added for interest. I think this approach results in elegant and refined jewelry pieces that are bound to find a special place in your collection, to be worn again and again.

Speaking of wearing something again and again, I just had to show off one of my pairs of earrings from adornyou. This shade of green looks really good with so much of my wardrobe that I really have to remind myself to wear some of my other pairs of earrings sometimes too. I love the shape of the earwires, and how the silver brings out the sparkle of the green stone. And if you hurry, you can pick up the last pair of these Sea Mist earrings!!!

OK, now that you've ogled my favourites, run on over to adornyou and let me know which pieces you love the most!

Friday, October 17, 2008


I'm having a weekend sale!

25% off ALL items! Just enter "TGIF" into the message to seller. If you want to wait, I'll send you a revised invoice. If you don't want to wait and choose to pay right away, I'll send you a refund!

The sale begins today (Friday) at 12 noon, and runs until midnight on Sunday.

This doesn't happen very often, so if you had your eye on something, pick it up now!

Super secret bonus sale!

If you want to take part in the More Meaningful Gifts BnR (or are already a part), you get a special BOGO 50% off! That's right, buy something at 25% off, and your second item (of equal or lesser value) will be 75% off!!!

So how do you join this BnR? Check out the thread HERE, post a message that you're buying from me, and then post the link of what you just bought. Then you're added on the list and join a great group of crafters!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Item of the day: Green Sea Garden

I love the look of sea glass ~ frosted and uniquely shaped, they make wonderful pieces of jewelry. The shop seaglassdesigns is chock full of this wonderful glass in an array of beautiful colours. This green sea garden necklace is my favourite:I love how the silver branch of seaweed complements the elongated shape of the green glass, and that soft green is so beautiful and calming! Plus, you can wear either charm alone or together ~ so basically you're getting 3 necklaces in one!! Make sure you check out the wonderful sea pottery as well!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Item of the day: Amanda Bangle

Seeing as my name is Amanda, I just had to feature this Amanda bangle today. Made by PoppyRayeStudio, the bright colours are cheering me up today. Plus, I think the fabric would make for a very comfortable bracelet. There are many different patterns in shop - which is your favourite?

I'm Back

I'm back from my Thanksgiving long weekend. Actually, I was back yesterday, but I'm sick. I don't want to use that as an excuse, but I was pretty beat yesterday. I took the day off work and slept away most of it. On a positive note, Buckley's tastes awful, but works!

So I'm trying to get back into the normal posting routine. But if it's a little slow for the next couple of days, you know why. I hope everyone is feeling well, and that no one catches my cold!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Item of the day: So Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers! Here's a pretty card by ascrappydesign you wish you had bought:Any Americans here? I suggest you grab this lovely card before it's too late!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Item of the day: Inner Beauty

I think I found this item by enamor in a treasury... either way, I fell in love with her immediately:The beautiful orange pattern really pops against the black. It brings me back to Ancient Greece, and this lovely maiden is on her way to the Acropolis, perhaps with some olive oil or honey to leave as sacrifice. I love getting visions from art!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I have a package!

I received a lovely package in the mail Thursday from lilfishstudios. I was so impressed I'm inviting you to open it with me! Here's the beautiful package outside of its box - with a little felt heart as a bow!Sorry about the blurry photo here, but it was the only one I took of the cute little envelope, made out of recycled (vintage?) paper:The sweet little card:And the adorable moo card!OK, onto the package!
What could it be?
A bag full of love! 6 felt heart ornaments in total (7 if you count the one acting as bow)!
The burgundy, red and orange hearts (and the little one):
And the green, brown and butter-yellow hearts:I just love them! I have them on a dish with some gourds and paper globes. Plus, I'll be able to hang them on my Christmas tree!

Item of the day: shabby chic heart charm

I came across MenagerieStudio via another Etsy artist, Madhatterspottery (who used a couple of Menagerie charms on her candle pots). I really love the texture and old world feel of these pendant / charms:I think I may have to get myself one or two to craft with soon!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Well, I'm heading North for the holidays, going home to spend some time with the family! I'm really looking forward to turkey dinner and pumpkin pie!

I've scheduled some posts for the weekend, including an item of the day each day, so come take a look at those if you're having a quiet weekend!

Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian readers!