Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Faith Has Been Restored ...

... in the US Postal Service. You better sit down to read this story. You may not believe it. Here goes ...

A lovely customer in Hamlin, Texas purchased these earrings on November 23:

I printed the shipping label using Click-N-Ship as usual and dropped it at my local PO on November 24. On Monday, November 26, I got a phone call from a postal employee in Lubbock, Texas. Apparently, the label had come off of the Small Flat Rate Priority box I used to ship the earrings. This amazing man found the label, googled my name and got my phone number. He said he would be on the lookout for the box and its contents.

(Someone had shipped some whiskey, which broke and it got a lot of packages very wet, causing labels to come off.)

I alerted my customer via Etsy convo, assuring her that I would make her another pair if the original ones did not show up. On November 27, the very next day, the same man from the Lubbock PO called again to tell me he found a box and could I describe my packaging to him. After I did so, he said it was indeed the one he found and he would repackage it (it was all wet on the outside) and send it on its way.

Later that same day (unbelievable, right?), my customer let me know that the package had arrived, albeit it a bit messy. We were both quite relieved.

Thus, my faith in the postal service and worker dedication has been restored!

Monday, November 19, 2012

I Knit Too!

Many of you already know that I am an avid knitter as well as a jewelry maker. What you probably don't know is that I sell my knitted things in an etsy shop. They are mingled in with a bunch of other things like handmade books and various supplies.

This one features some gorgeous wool/bamboo yarn in a really pretty ombre pattern.

For this next scarf, I used a multi colored wool yarn in a thick-and-thin format.

Next up is a scarf fearing chocolate brown yarn in a wool and linen mixture. Lovely.

I have a few more in that shop as well. Here's the link to the shop: A Peaceful Life and a link to the Knitwear Section. Have a look around at the knitted scarves as well as the supplies. You may find something you can't live without or didn't even know you needed!

Friday, November 16, 2012

What's On My Work Table?

I haven't done one of these posts in a very long time. While there have been lots of things going on with my work table, this particular picture of it is something I don't think I've shown you before.

I decided to resurrect an old style of earrings that I made for many years ... and then stopped making. This happens because I tire of the design or the components become unavailable or my customers stop buying it. These earrings disappeared because I tired of making them. They were good sellers for many years and now I feel the need to reintroduce them.

As you can see, the design centers around these triangle glass beads that have the holes across the top. And yes, they come in lots of colors and two different sizes. Here's a look from a different vantage point.

Don't forget, you can click on the photo to get a larger view.

And what do I do with these triangles, you ask? This is the only pair I ever photographed and they sold on etsy back in 2008.

Pretty cool, huh? One length of 20 ga wire, made into a spiral, then flattened and formed through and around the bead. I will probably work on these earrings next week and I plan to list some in my etsy shop!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Key West Pork Chops

This is a recipe I've been making for years. As a matter of fact, the cookbook that provided the inspiration for it came with me on our 7 year sailing adventure. There weren't very many times that pork chops were available (ones that I would eat, that is), but when they were, this was a go-to recipe. I've adapted it from The New York Times Cook Book, by Craig Claiborne.

Key West Pork Chops

2 TBSP oil
4 - 6 pork chops (not the boneless kind - they dry out too much, even with this moist recipe)
1 1/2 cups raw rice (I think long grain white rice works best here)
1 onion, sliced
lemon or lime, sliced
salsa (your favorite brand, or homemade)
3 cups tomato (or V-8) juice
tabasco sauce

Brown the pork chops on both sides in the oil in a large frying pan. Here, they are just starting on side one:

Remove the chops to a plate and stir in the rice, just to coat with the remaining oil. Turn the rice into a large greased baking pan. You need a deep-ish one. Arrange the pork chops on top of the rice.Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Distribute the onion and lemon (or lime) slices on top. Spoon some salsa over each pork chop and add a bit of tabasco here and there. Here's what mine looked like at this point:

Pour the juice around the pork chops. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 325 for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. I forgot to take a picture of them on our plates, but here's what the baking pan looked like after we ate half:

I served this with roasted brussels sprouts, because that's what I had on hand.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

New Jewelry in my Etsy Shop

I've been steadily adding new items to my etsy shop over the past few months. Actually, I do so all year long, but this time of year calls for more steady production.

Just this week, I listed these earrings. While the crystal cubes have been in my "stash" for quite some time, I've never used them quite like this before. I think this design is perfect for holiday dress-up.

The coloration of these crystals is a bit mysterious. It is called Heliotrope and yes, there is some purple there, but there's also teal and lots of gold, including a bit of coating on two sides. Super special, especially when dangling from sterling silver disc chain.

This necklace is also brand new. I've been doing pearl and gemstone clusters for a long time. This chalcedony briolette was just begging for some white keshi pearls. It's like a match made in heaven.

Click on either of the photos to go directly to the listings. And thanks for looking!