Saturday, December 27, 2014

Hand Poured Soy Candles

Hello Peeps!  Today I'm sharing a project I made before the Arts and Crafts Fair.  I made six and sold two.  Everyone loved them and immediately recognized the Franciscan Desert Rose pattern.  

I've been lucky enough to inherit my Mom's Franciscan Desert Rose dishes.  I use them every day and love them.  The tea cups are a different story; I've never used them as it would be two sips for me.  No, I don't want to say I gulp my drinks, but I'm not a prissy drinker.  Although sometimes my pinky does stand at attention!

I was going to donate the cups and saucers to the charity shop but decided against it.  I saw on pinterest where someone was making candles in vintage cups and the idea lit up the room!

I chose to use soy wax after looking into the various options of candle making.

Soy candles are made from soybeans, a natural, renewable source grown in many regions by local farmers.  Using candles made from soy supports local agriculture and farmers, allowing them to make money and grow their operations.

A candle made from soy wax burns cleaner with little soot released as the candle burns.  Soy candles are also non-toxic, so they won't release toxins into the air as they burn.  Since I have a parrot this fact was very important to me.

Soy candles typically last longer than a paraffin candle of the same size, according to Planet Green. The reason behind the longevity of soy candles is the slower burning time and cooler burning temperature of the soybean-based wax. You may pay more for a soy candle initially, but the longer-lasting burn means you won't have to buy new candles as often. 

I bought a kit that included a metal pitcher, thermometer,  wicks, some votive molds along with basic instructions.  I bought two bags of soy wax (it looked like shavings of white chocolate) and some vanilla scent.

I set the wicks in place.  I then heated the wax according to the directions and began pouring.  You can see that I have three cups and one little candle poured.
When I started pouring the wax I would hold down the base of the wick (the metal disc) with a skewer.  That worked just fine!  I made them on my cookie sheet with aluminum foil lining it for any drips.
Here they are starting to set up.  You may notice a hole in some of them.  The directions said to put a hole in them for any air to escape.  After they finished setting I poured a little more wax to even off the tops and fill up the hole.

Here is the finished product.  I didn't add enough vanilla scent to the candles. I was also amazed at how much soy it took to make these candles.  I recently bought other scents and some coloring but haven't had a chance to experiment.  

I really enjoyed making these candles and plan to make some more.  Since the wax burns so clean you can easily clean out the cup and use the cup and saucer for it's intended purpose once the candle is gone.  

Have you found a new craft that you enjoy?  Something that tickles your tummy?  Please tell us about it!



Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone.  I find it amazing at the outpouring of love and support I receive from my blogging friends.  In a sense, we are a family spread all over the world!  I am truly blessed by these friendships.  Thanks to each and every one of you!
I hope you and yours have a blessed Christmas.  


Monday, December 22, 2014

Green Chili Chicken Soup

Hello everyone.  Only three more days until Christmas!  I was able to get my cards in the mail and most of my gifts wrapped.  It was a nice, productive weekend.  Listening to Michael Buble's Christmas album definitely put me in the mood!

When I make this I don't follow a recipe.  I just kind of throw it together.   You'll get an idea from the photos.

Green Chili Chicken Soup
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 medium yellow onion, diced
Salt and Pepper
3 cups chopped potato (usually three potatoes)
3 cups chopped carrots
Chopped garlic (as much as you like for your taste)
2 Bay Leaves
Frozen chopped green chili (thawed)
1 can Green Chili Enchilada Sauce
Shredded Cheese

I cook the chicken in a pressure cooker.  Add salt, pepper, garlic and some of the diced onion to the water.  I like using the pressure cooker because the chicken is easy to shred, and a little goes a long way.  A short cut could be using pre-cooked chicken.
Once the chicken is done I remove it from the pressure cooker. 

 This was a small bag of baby carrots sliced up and three potatoes (about the size of the one that isn't diced up yet).
 Using the water in the pressure cooker, cook the rest of the onion, potato and carrots until they are soft.  Once they are soft add the shredded chicken.  Can you believe that's only two breasts!

Add the green chili and the Green Chili Enchilada Sauce and let is simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  

Sprinkle shredded cheese on top of your serving.  Add a flour tortilla and there you have it.
Some of you may not have access to frozen green chili.  If that's the case you can usually find it in a can, just like the enchilada sauce.  I always buy the medium as you can never tell exactly how hot it will be.

What about you?  Do you have a favorite meal for those cold days?


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

WOYWW 289 - Unwrapped Presents, Unsent Cards, Oh My

Hello everyone!   I'm joining the party that is called What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Our lovely hostess is Julia at  Stamping Ground.  People from around the world join in and show their desks and projects.  

My desk is a bit boring but busy.  I have presents to wrap, cards to send and things to put away.  
Below is my Christmas tree, cards that I've received and a VW Bug cookie jar.

This was in the oven as I was writing this post.  It's sopapilla cheesecake for work tomorrow.  That's not burnt, it's just cinnamon that didn't come out of the shaker very well.
As always, I will visit those that visit me (please leave your number) and those that end in the same number as me.  It may take me a while to come around and visit but I promise I will!

By the way, all the blogs that I follow aren't showing up in my Reading List.  Has anyone else had this problem lately?  It's happened before but it's been over three weeks now.  Also, google kept crashing while I was writing this.  It was crazy.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Two Hearts

That's one of my favorite songs that Chris Isaak sings.  I've been listening to his music for years.  His style has been influenced by Roy Orbison, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.   To visit his official site go HERE.
He put on a GREAT show!  He played for almost two hours straight with only one break - for a costume change.  This is what he came out in.  It looks like a suit of little mirrors.   
This is his Christmas suit (that's what he calls it).  There was an electronic Santa on stage and it was fun to watch Santa dance to the Christmas songs that he sang.  Evidently Santa is a groupie!  How lucky is that?!?
He sings of San Francisco and I've always thought that he was born and raised there.  In reading up about him I find out that he was actually born and raised in Stockton, California, not far from where I was born and raised.  He's a few years older than me and we would have overlapped a year in high school.  Stockton schools were a big rival for our sport teams, especially football.   He didn't play sports but was president of his high school for three years.  His senior year he was Student Body President and valedictorian and head of the all-male cheer squad.  I must admit, I wouldn't have been looking at the all-male cheer squad but now I wish I would have paid a bit more attention!
He came down into the audience and stood on a chair in the row ahead of us.  I could have almost reached out and touched him!  Oh, but that would mean I'd have to jump over a few people....
Me singing along and enjoying every moment!
I'd like to thank Vada for the ticket and Alyce for inviting me along!  Alyce took all the photos used with her phone!

Do you have a favorite musical artist/band?  One that you close your eyes and sing along with?


Friday, November 28, 2014

Friday Smiles

Hello everyone!  I'm joining up with Annie at A Stitch In Time.   If you need to smile hop on over and see what others are sharing.

One thing that is making me smile today is that  I'm not working.  Yep, I've been off since Wednesday! 

I came across this cartoon and it made me laugh and sigh.

I hope you have a wonderful day and don't forget to smile!


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

WOYWW 285? Or Maybe 286? WOW!

Hello everyone!  Holy moly, two weeks in a row!   I'm joining the party that is called What's on Your Workdesk Wednesday.  Our lovely hostess is Julia at Stamping Ground.  People from around the world join in and show their desks and projects.  

Not much new on my table.  I decided the buttons I was going to make into ornaments are just too drab.  I mean, really, the tree just screams glitter and all things sparkly.

I went to the thrift store and found some fun items.  I should just stay away.... it's an unfortunate thing when you are trying to clean out.   Part of the fun is the hunt - and finding things you know you can use somehow......
On my desk you will see the Christmas tree and my finds from the thrift store.  Some vintage hankies, a great crocheted thingie, lined paper, brand new erasers and four cute little white things.  Not exactly sure what they are but I'm planning to use them for candles.  Something else is a sheet that I'm going to make labels out of and attach to something - can you guess?  Here's a close up.
As always, I will visit those that visit me (please leave your number) and those that end in the same number as me.  I think I managed all my visits last week, although it took through the weekend to do so.


Friday, November 21, 2014

Friday Smiles - Breakfast with a Friend

Hello everyone!  I'm joining up with Annie at A Stitch In Time.   If you need to smile hop on over and see what others are sharing.

This is my friend, Alyce.  Yes, she spells her name with a y instead of an i!
We met for breakfast recently and had a blast.  We always enjoy eachother's company.  She's a great, creative spirit and a friend that I can always count on.
Guess I was feeling silly.

What about you?  What made you smile this week?


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

WOYWW 285 -- Oh Christmas Tree

Hello everyone, I'm back!!!   Finally joining in the WOYWW madness.  Our lovely hostess is Julia at Stamping Ground.  People from around the world join in and show their desks and projects.  

Not much action going on here.  I did well at the arts and crafts fair.  One of the things I had for sale are cute little ornaments I made using dyed clothes pins.  How cute is this Christmas tree!   I have some more bits to make a few more ornaments.
Here's a couple of close ups of the ornaments.
They all have glitter.  It really stands out in the photo below.
I honestly would have thought this little tree would be a bit, well, gaudy, but I love it!!  If there's an after Christmas sale and there's some available I'm going to buy a few.  Make them cutesy and sell them next year!  One woman actually tried to buy it!!

As always, I will visit those that visit me (please leave your number) and those that end in the same number as me.  Please be patient as it sometimes takes me through the weekend to get done!

PS.  I have some new followers - thank you for taking the time to join in the fun!  


Monday, November 17, 2014

First Fire of 2014

Yep, it's that time of year.  The temperature has dropped and the doggies are happy snoozing in the house.  As for me, I was cuddled up next to this!
I just love putting some logs on the fire and watching the flames.  I have a screen that goes in front of the fireplace but I moved it to get a better photo.

All I need now is more wood!


Monday, November 10, 2014

Don't You Love a Craft Fair?

Hello everyone!  I can't believe it's been almost a month since my last post.  Well, actually, I can.  A lot has been happening around my little abode.  One of which was getting ready for a Craft Fair that I was in on Saturday.

Can you believe I forgot to take my camera?!?  Luckily I had my smart phone so I was able to snap a few photos of my booth.
Sorry for the blur - evidently the two cups of coffee had taken over as the photos are a little blurry.  As usual, my spa cloths were a huge hit!  I started with 44 and I brought five back home!  The display I used for them is a shelf I bought at Hobby Lobby for 30% off and spray painted it off white.  It folds down flat for easy transport.  The plate on the left sold.  It's an old plate that is glued to a candle stick!   The cloth vase didn't sell but it had a lot of lookers; I'm sure to see how I made it!
I sold two of my soy candles I made in Franciscan Desert Rose cups and saucers.  I inherited these dishes from my mom and have never used the cups and saucers.  I saw on pinterest how to make candles in coffee cups.  I went for it and enjoyed making them.  I sold two of the six that I made.  Everyone loved them and reminded so many of their mothers and grandmothers.  

The pink blob is a pink tinsel Christmas tree.  I made ornaments out of clothes pins and it was adorable!  I'll take a better photo and post, promise.  You see my cards there in the stand that my friend made for me.  The cards that sold the most were the Day of the Dead cards.  That surprised me but also made me happy.

Bottom line - I enjoy doing this Craft Fair.  The booth rental is very reasonable and I have repeat customers on the spa cloths.  I made a connection with a woman that has an organic shop in Santa Fe and I may be putting my spa cloths in her shop -- although I will have to ensure the yarn I use is organic.  Hmmm. we'll see how that turns out.

Thank you for visiting.  I know I've been absent for quite some time.  I have lots of ideas for future posts and will hopefully be posting on some regularity.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Welcome Fall

Hello everyone.  I hope you've had a wonderful week full of creativity, happiness and love.  I've been on vacation this week and haven't turned on my computer until today.  In some ways I've had withdrawals but in others it's been nice.
I took a stroll around town and looked up into the trees.   This time of year reminds me of so many things.  The time of year Mother Earth transitions from summer to winter.

In the past I would complain about  the temperature drop, darkness coming so early.  I've begun to realize that this is one of my favorite times of year.  For the exact reasons I used to complain about, and many more.  Stop, breathe, truly open your eyes to the world around you. 
The joy I feel in taking photos has changed my view of the world - every single day.  Even when I don't have my camera with me I see things that I wouldn't normally notice.   I find that it slows me down to take in the splendor every day offers.
The aspen trees are starting to turn.  I love the way the leaves shimmer in the breeze.  They put on a show for anyone who will watch.

Whatever you do, stop and breathe.  Fill up your lungs with what gives us life.  Look around to see what gives your life meaning.  It could be as simple as the last bloom in your garden to those you love and hold dear.  Enjoy every day as a gift, for that is what life - life with meaning and purpose - is all about.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Friday Smiles

Hello lovelies!  Please don't be shocked -- three posts in one week!  I have decided that I'm going to make an effort to get on my computer at home every other day.  Having said that, please cut me a bit of slack if it takes a while for me to get in the routine!

Today I'm joining up with Annie at A Stitch In Time.   If you need to smile hop on over and see what others are sharing.  

There's so many things in my life that make me smile.  The leaves turning golden, my dog playing with her food like a cat, and one of my obsessions -- yarn.  Seeing all the colors available bring the biggest smile to my face.  It's sensory overload in so many ways.
I watched this adorable creature get sheared.  I love seeing sheep out in the field.  They are so amazing and gentle.  Don't you love those eyes and that adorable pink nose!

Just imagine the relief they must feel in losing all their fleece.  It's probably an extra thirty pounds (or more).  Oh bless.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Hello everyone!  Can you believe it's October already?  I bet those of you that have started your Christmas cards are now laughing at us that haven't made even one!!

It's time for WOYWW.  Our lovely hostess is Julia at Stamping Ground.  People from around the world join in and show their desks and projects.  

Last Saturday I went to the thrift store.  I found these very cool salt/pepper shakers.  The glass on the left is a shot glass.  It doesn't matter that they weren't sets as I have a special plan for them.  Can you guess? 
So this is what's on my desk this week.  I'm finding it hard to believe that the Craft Fair is a little over a month away.  Holy moly, I need to get cracking on some of my larger projects!
OMG, I just knew I shouldn't have taken a photo from this angle....

This is what happened right before I started this post.  I don't have insurance for my phone and am not eligible for an upgrade until December, 2015..... guess I'll bite it and get a new phone.....

As always, I will visit those that visit me (please leave your number) and those that end in the same number as me.  It may not be until the weekend before I get around but I promise I'll do my best.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Infinity and Beyond!

Hello all my lovelies!  I hope you all had a wonderful week and the weekend has treated you well.  

I've been busy knitting, knitting, knitting.   After a hard day at work I truly enjoy sitting in my comfy chair and working on a project.  The motion and the clacking of the needles is meditative for me.  If I've had a bad day or am physically exhausted the needles and yarn relax me.  I love the textural feel of the yarn.  Everything about this wonderful craft is healing.

I finished my first infinity scarf.  It's a scarf that has no end and no beginning.  I enjoyed making it and have started on another.  I get to feel the wonderful yarn working it's way through my fingers and into a finished garment!
  Here it is wrapped around "Camille" three times.  
Wrapped twice.
Wrapped once.  Now, that entire wall is painted yellow -- I will definitely have to find a better location to take these photos!

This project is so simple all you need to know how to do is the knit stitch.  I used Loops & Threads Country Loom yarn in Magic Carpet.  The label classifies this yarn as Super Bulky (6) and use a size 13 needle.  The ball comes in 104 yards and is 100% acrylic.  Unlike some acrylics, this one is extremely soft to the touch.  The benefit is that it can be washed and dried!

Below is the pattern.  Give it a shot, you'll find it easy and fast!  If you do make one please let me know!

Kay's Infinity Scarf
Bulky yarn of your choice 
Size 11 needles (I had these and didn't want to look for size 13 - and it gives it a tighter weave)
Large needle for sewing together

Cast on 15 stitches.  You can cast on more/less depending on how wide you want your scarf.
Knit every row until you reach the desired length or until you have around 22 inches of yarn left.
Loosely bind off.
Being careful not to twist, line up the two ends and sew together.  I use the Mattress stitch method.
Weave in any ends that you may have.

Even though I didn't measure to see how long my infinity scarf is, I know it's MUCH taller than my 5'3" frame.  

I hope you enjoy.  Fall is definitely in the air here and it will soon be time to wrap yourself up in a lovely scarf!


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Happy Birthday Mom

Hello everyone,

I am dedicating this post to my mom.  She would have been 79 years old today.  She passed away at the very young age of 55 (the age I am now).  To say that I've missed her is an understatement.  
This photo was taken at the Calaveras Big Trees in northern California.  It was one of our favorite camping spots while I was growing up.  Lots of fun memories include the huge trees, inner tubing down a huge hill and feeding deer out of our hands.  To read more about Calaveras Big Trees go HERE.
My beautiful mom.

We had our moments of mother-daughter arguments but at the center of it all was a love that was full and unique.  I'm so blessed to have had her as my mother, even though our time together was cut so short.

If you still have your mom, give her a kiss on the cheek for me.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014


Hello everyone!  I've missed a few weeks of WOYWW and decided this week I cannot go without!  What is WOYWW you ask?  It's the BEST blog hop out there and it starts with Julia at Stamping Ground.  People from around the world join in and show their desks and projects.  Be aware of one thing; it's addicting!

I'm back on the dining room table, spread out all over.  I've been organizing my photos into categories.  Below are a few of my flowers.
See the vintage Mickey Mouse tin?  I got that at the thrift store and love it. 
Yikes.  Maybe I shouldn't have taken this photo!!  There's also Mod Podge, magazine organizer, address book and some postage stamps a friend gave me.  The plastic container has my glue dots and glue strips, along with whatever I throw in there.  Since some of you have already been talking about Christmas I thought I'd get my paper plates and napkins out!

As always, I will visit those that end in the same number as me and those that visit me (please leave your number).  It may take me a while but I promise I'll do my best to get around!



Friday, September 19, 2014


Ahoy all ye maties!  It's Talk Like a Pirate Day.  My favorite pirate in recent years has been Captain Jack Sparrow.  Well, I'm in love with Johnny Depp anyway but there's something about his pirateness (haa) that really gets my sails going!
I love how he took over Jack Sparrow and made him his own!  Get ye scurvy pirate on and talk like a pirate!
Have a great shore leave.  In other words, have a great weekend!


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Santa Fe Architecture

Hello everyone!  As promised, here's some more photos of my adventure last Saturday.  It was fun to just drive around and discover some fun photo opportunities.

I'd also like to thank you for all the positive comments on my photography.  I really enjoy it (and the supplies don't take up a lot of room)!

Here's several shots of the same building.