Sunday, October 27, 2013

Winter is coming...

Yes, before we know it, winter will be knocking at our door.  I know in some states its already there...but for takes some time to bring it on!  Today though...the wind sure picked up.  64 degrees is not that cold, but man when that wind rips through it can sure go to the bones!  So, today I stayed inside for the most of it, but I did make a quick run to the bead store.

We have 2 awesome bead stores here and one is usually closed on Sundays but the other is usually open everyday!  I like them both, they seem to carry different beads and all the fun elements to create with.  I bought me some cute scissor charms for a special order I have and a few extra beads for the Winter Challenge from ZnetShows.  So I thought I would give you a little peak at the colors I have going.  The challenge is all about the beautiful pearl.  Who can pass those up?  I actually have a necklace all finished but I am not ready to share that just yet...soon though I promise!  It will be worth the wait trust me.  I am learning more about making metal links...I bought the book.. The Missing Link, a book well worth every penny!  Cindy Wimmer has an amazing book packed with nothing but good stuff.  I will write up a little review on it later.  Anyway, here is my little bundle of joy!

Yes, I believe this is a beautiful mix.  You can see those yummy crystals?  Trust me, they make the necklace soooo amazing!  I still have a lot to make for this challenge, earrings, perhaps a bracelet or two, or even another necklace.  The deadline is Novermber 18th, then it goes into publication for the Creative Spark Glossi...  I cant wait to see what the other designers have created...  I will be back with a few more teasers this week!  :-)

Sunday, October 20, 2013

New project/challenge on Face Book

Well about a 2 months ago, I joined in on a challenge from from by Eni.  I belong to her group on FB.  Eni created this awesome website where you can purchase jewelry making tutorials from many different artists.  She also created her own Design tutorials where you can learn from her lessons.

Anyway, our first lesson was to make a drawing of a shape and create different ideas as to how you would make a piece of jewelry from it.  Then the next month was to pick a flower and draw it in several ways in which you can create a piece of jewelry.  We focused on shape first, then reshape it, then put it together in a drawing and then make it into a finished piece of jewelry.  We could choose any medium we wanted to, there are no limits as to how you want to make it.  So, with trial and error I put together this fun pendent.  I am going to make it into a necklace eventually.  I love how Humblebeads makes her designs and beads from different types of clay.  She has shared how she creates her designs through Art Bead Scene, she is my inspiration in this design.

first creation, not that pretty... YUK..

second creation, getting there, but needed more work. OK

third attempt, MUCH BETTER, is putting a smile on my face now!  I feel this is the final creation for this design.  I like it a lot.  It was faster and easier to make this time around.  And a bit messier since I used alcohol inks instead of acrylic paints...and I made the press mold much better so it didnt leave a ridge like it did on the first creation..

Please feel free to leave me some feedback.  Thanks...  :-)

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Ginger Snaps My OMG Way Cookies

OMG is the only way I can describe these cookies...  I thought I would treat my husband to a batch of his favorite cookies.  He has been working so hard these days and he took time off to help me out yesterday for the Art Wine and Chocolate Festival that I participated in.  He did all of the unloading and reloading and you all know what a chore that is.  I also had some help from a friend, but I was not able to treat her to cookies just yet.  But I will...

Anyway, these cookies turned out soooo dang good I decided to share it with you.  I also had made this frosting earlier in the week for the class I work in and added that to the cookies...OMG..they are sooo good.  I didnt do a  step by step tutorial but its easy enough to follow...


Ginger Snaps My OMG Way Cookies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
1 egg
½ cups packed brown sugar
2 tbsp. fresh pureed ginger (in the refrigerated vegetable section at Raley’s) you could use finely chopped dried ginger or freshly grated ginger as a substitute.

2 tbsp. pumpkin spice schnapps (optional)
1 tsp. almond extract
3 ½ cups white flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
¼ cup molasses
1 tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Soften butter by whipping with your mixer.  Once the butter is nice and fluffy, add sugar, egg, molasses, pureed ginger and brown sugar.  Mix well.  Then add almond extra and pumpkin spice schnapps.  In a medium bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix well with a hand whisk.  Add dry mixture to wet mixture one cup at a time. Use a large cookie scooper and put dough balls about 1 ½ inches apart.  I put 12 on a large cookie sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  Let cool at least 3 minutes before removing from the cookie sheet or they may fall apart if take off too soon.
NOTE: My recipes are all made from scratch; I do my best to calculate the exact measurements.  Add your own spices to bump up the flavor to your taste!
Makes approximately 3 dozen
For that added extra wow power, I made this awesome frosting.

Maple Brown Sugar My OMG Way Frosting
1 cup softened butter
¼ cup Maple Syrup (I used Mrs. Butterworth’s)
1 cup unpacked Brown Sugar
5-6 cups powdered sugar
¼ cup Whipping Cream
1 tsp salt
Whipping cream as needed

Works best with a Kitchen Aid mixer

In a small pan, melt brown sugar with whipping cream on low heat.  Bring to a slight boil then quickly remove from the stove and pour into a large bowl.  I have a kitchen aid mixer and it works great for this frosting.  I use a plastic paddle which scrapes the sides really well.  Put on high speed and cool down the mixture.  Add syrup and a small amount of whipping cream and whip some more.  The mixture may stick to the sides of the bowl, don’t worry, you can scrap it off with a scrapper. Once the mixture is cooled all of the way, you can start adding the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time.

NOTE: My recipes are all made from scratch; I do my best to calculate the exact measurements.  You may need to add more powdered sugar, cream or maple syrup.  You can substitute syrup with maple flavoring, but the syrup gives the frosting a nice creamy texture. 

By Christina Miles 2013

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Whoooo hooo... I am published in the Beadwork Magazine!

I have been waiting such a long time to announce this..  I had to wait for the magazine to come out here it is... You will find my earrings on page 82 of the BeadWork Quick and Easy Special addition...Oh yeah!  My first submission to a magazine.  I am soooo excited.  Would love to get your feedback on the design.  As you see, most of the beads are from ZnetShows...

THANKS BILL for the beautiful beads...  I hope I made you proud!  :-)

Love this Glossi Digital Magazine...

If you take a real close look, you will find my tutorial of how to make this super cute and easy fish pendent... There are so many fantastic designs by all the designers for ZnetShows... Enjoy!