Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Favorite Things

I still have birds on my mind! I thought I'd show off a few of my collections. I took some pictures recently of furniture that my dad has made over the years. I'm so fortunate - my dad is a retired industrial arts teacher and loves to work in his workshop! All I had to do was show him a picture of what I wanted and he would make it. His skill, workmanship and attention to detail was impecable. It's difficult these days to watch him slow down due to his Parkinsons Disease and several strokes he has had, but I cherish the time I get to spend with him and my mom now.

Below is a little cabinet he built to store my cookbooks. He later added a shelf so I could display some of my mom's teacups and a few of my birds.

Before I was married, my dad built this corner hutch for my condo. When my husband and I were searching for our first home, one of my requirements was that it had to have a place to put this hutch. I was thrilled to find a home that had the perfect corner in the great room!

The top of the hutch is perfect for one of my collections!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Busy Week Ahead

As I'm sitting here with my glass of wine watching Dancing with the Stars, I'm thinking that I should be doing something more productive.  I'm hosting Easter dinner this weekend.  Not a huge group, just 10 family members, but still lots to do!  Each time I look at my to-do list I get more anxious.  Most of the baking won't get started until Thursday, but I should be cleaning and getting things organized.  But I guess that can wait until tomorrow!  Back to DWTS and my glass of wine.  Go Niecy Nash!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Peach Cobbler

We get together most Sundays for dinner with my family.  Today my sister-n-law asked me to bring dessert.  I had already gone grocery shopping, so I headed to my pantry to see what I could make.  I found this recipe on for peach cobbler and since it called for canned peaches, I thought I'd give it a try.  I made a couple changes to the recipe, cutting down on the butter and sugar.  I also doubled it.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd give it a 6.  I'm not sure using a 13x9 pan was a great idea (the original recipe called for a 2 qt dish).  It was done all the way through, but the middle was a bit 'gummy'.  But overall it tasted great, especially warm with vanilla ice cream!  The original recipe is here {linky}  and below is my modified version.

I liked that it was quick to make - I didn't even have to get my mixer out.  Next time I'll make a single batch, but probably still cut back the butter and suger.

Southern Peach Cobbler
5T butter
1 1/4 c white sugar
1 1/2 c self-rising flour
1 1/2 c milk (I used 1%)
2  29 oz cans sliced peaches in light syrup

Preheat oven to 350.  Place butter in 13x9 pan and place in oven to melt.

In medium bowl, combine flour and sugar.  Stir in milk slowly until mixture is smooth.  Pour carefully over the melted butter in pan.  Spoon peaches over the batter along with half of the syrup.

Bake for approximately 45 minutes or until puffed and golden.  I checked for doneness with a toothpick.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

ETSY Feature ~ Birds!

I know it's spring when I start hearing more birds chirping and singing.  Plus we've had lots of robins bouncing around the yard looking for worms.  I was browsing around etsy and found a couple sellers with really cute bird-themed items.

I came across these super cute leather accessories from Studio Cat B.  Cheryl is the designer and artist behind these bags - I had a hard time picking just a couple to show you.  You'll find wristlets, ipod cases, wallets and more in this fun shop!

Mother's Day is right around the corner, and I found this really sweet Mother's Day card from Kristen Lee Cards.  Kristen makes such pretty cards for all occasions.  I love giving hand-made cards, especially pretty ones like these!

Many thanks to Cheryl and Kristen!
♥  Kathy

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Cleveland Handmade Giveaway ~ Candle and Soap Set

Cleveland Handmade is hosting a giveaway to thank all our supporters and customers, as well as give you the opportunity to check out the high-quality handmade art in our members’ shops. This Cleveland-themed giveaway comes from Terra Verde Soap & Candle Co. The winner will receive two bars of Terra Verde’s signature Cleveland Gray soap (featuring Australian black clay & japanese peppermint essential oil) and a soy candle in the scent of your choice in an upcycled Great Lakes Brewing beer bottle.
Visit the Cleveland Handmade site for giveaway details and a link to artists' shops. You have until Wednesday, March 24th at noon EST to get your entry in, so start browsing. There’s lots to discover!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Chocolate Frosting

We celebrated my mom's birthday this weekend.  Her wish for a cake was chocolate cupcakes.  I came across this recipe for frosting on  I was worried that it would be too bitter due to the sour cream, but it was pretty good and not overly sweet.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting
1 c semisweet chocolate chips
4 T butter
1/2 c sour cream
1 t vanilla extract
1/4 t salt
2 and 3/4 c confectioners sugar

Melt chocolate chips and butter together.  Let cool and then lend in the sour cream, vanilla and salt.  Gradually add the sugar and mix well with mixer until smooth.

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Blog Feature

I'm featured on a great blog today!  Check out the blog  Heart and Sow Designs -- Gail regularly features great items and I'm thrilled that she included one of my gemstone necklaces!

Also check out her etsy shop here.  She has the cutest aprons!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Orange Salad

The oranges from the market have been so good this winter.  Here's one of our favorite salads. It's so easy, there are no measurements and it's a great way to get your vitamin C! 

Cut the peel off the orange(s) and cut into bite-size pieces.  Toss with extra virgin olive oil and season with kosher salt and freshly grated black pepper.  That's it! 


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

Congrats to Holly for winning a pair of freshwater pearl and sterling silver earrings.  I was browsing her etsy shop too -- Silly Little Lady featuring Holly Priestly Originals.  Such gorgeous hand knitted items!  I especially like this lacey evening wrap - wouldn't it be pretty on a spring evening?

Many thanks to all who left comments and kind words!  Have a great week, everyone!
♥  Kathy

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

In case you missed it.... I'm hosting a giveaway in celebration of my shop makeover.  Be sure to visit and comment before Sunday!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Shop Makeover and Giveaway!

I love watching makeover shows, especially room makeovers. My husband doesn't understand how I can watch HGTV so much! But it's amazing what can be done with some fresh paint, re-arranging furniture and a few new accessories.

You're probably wondering where I'm going with this... I haven't been happy with my Etsy shop lately. I've had sales, but something's been missing. I feel as though I'm in a creative rut. Most of my orders have been creating multiples of the same design. When I first started out on Etsy, I focused more on gemstones and more unique pieces. I miss that! So I'm going back to my roots and creating more pieces featuring gemstones and freshwater pearls. My shop now features new designs, along with classic designs perfect for wedding or special occassions.  I'm still working on adding new items, but I'm over 35 items now and feel good!

To celebrate my makeover, I'm giving away a pair of earrings.  This is a classic, simple design featuring a freshwater pearl dangling from sterling silver earwires:

Each of the following earns you an entry. You can do one or all 3!  Leave a separate comment for each one:
  1. Become a follower of my blog (let me know if you're already a follower - that counts too!)
  2. Visit my shop, Sweet Bird Designs, and leave a comment here telling me your favorite piece.
  3. Answer the question: Do you prefer silver or gold jewelry? Or both?
That's it! Make sure you leave me your email so that I can contact you if you are the lucky winner. I'll randomly draw the winner on Sunday March 7th.