Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

Well here it is almost Christmas.  I used to listen to my mother and grandmother say how fast time went and I didn't believe them, well I do now!!!  Does time go by so fast because we live in such a fast paced world or is it because I'm getting older?  I do plan on slowing down a bit during the holidays and enjoy some time with family.  Hope you all can do the same.

My husband and I want to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Cute Christmas Gift Idea

Mason jar soap/lotion dispenser. Here is a really cute gift idea for Christmas!  It's easy to make and will look really cute in any decor.

Here is how I made mine:
1 pint size mason jar
1 mason jar lid
1 soap pump

Mark the center of the lid then, very carefully, drill a hole in the center.  Make sure the pump will fit down all the way in the hole you drilled.  Use a file to smooth the edges.  Then I used E-6000 Epoxy to glue the lid to the ring, just so it would all be one piece.  This epoxy is waterproof and dries clear.  Let that dry for 24 hours. 

You can purchase the pumps on-line or use one that you have at home already.  Measure the pump by test fitting it making sure it goes all the way to the bottom of your jar.  If the straw part is too long cut it at an angle to fit.   Put some of the E-6000 glue around the edge of the cap on the pump and set it down on the lid, if you put the lid on the jar before you do this it will be easier.  Let that dry for 24 hours.  Then fill with your favorite lotion or soap.

These make really cute gifts.  I added a little metal tag to mine and stamped the word soap on it and wrapped that around the neck of the jar with some twine.  These are fun to make and easy to fill since the jar has such a nice large opening.  You can use any kind of jar as long as you have a lid to drill the hole in.  I even made one with a coke bottle.  The pumps I bought came with collars so I just glued the collar onto the mouth of the bottle then cut the pump to fit inside and screwed the pump to the collar.

This is what I have been working on for Christmas gifts this year.  Hope you enjoyed my little tutorial and have fun creating your own!

Mason Jar Soap/Lotion Dispenser

Coke Bottle Soap/Lotion Dispenser

Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Etsy Shop

We started our etsy shop last year on Christmas day, so we are about to celebrate our first year in business.  Our daughter helped us get it set up and we have really been having fun with it.  We also have started to sell in a craft mall in our little home town.  It's called "The Mustard Seed".  So between the two we really stay busy.  On top of that we both work full time.  So our days are really full.  But, we love it.  Especially since we both enjoy using our hands and making things.  You get a lot of satisfaction when you finish a project, especially when it turns out like you envisioned. 

Working with wire is something I have found that I really enjoy.  My husband said he would have never dreamed you could give a woman a little wire and some pliers and keep her happy for hours.  But, you do get lost in time when you're creating something.  Before you know it hours have passed and you haven't gotten your housework done.  I'm also running out of room.  Maybe, I'm buying too much wire and beads.  I don't think that's possible.  My sister is a beadaholique too.  She has triple the amount I have.  I have finally talked her into opening an etsy shop and I'm excited for her.  I can't wait to see it when she gets it up and running.  I'll post a link in my blog when she does so you can check out her shop, she does beautiful work.  She enjoys working with Swarovski crystals and she makes beautiful pieces.

Well that's about all for today.  Not much useful information here for you just a little trivia about us and what we've been doing.  Guess this is what has made the year go by so fast!  Too many irons in the fire!

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I can't believe it is almost Thanksgiving!  This year has just flown by and I can't keep up, I've  been so busy all year it just slipped away from me.  There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in a day to get everything done and here it is almost Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I love cooking and having family around to share a wonderful meal and great conversation.  A time to just eat, talk and relax with one another.  Our lives seem to have gotten so hectic we hardly have time for anything or anyone.  So eat, drink and enjoy your loved ones this Thanksgiving Holiday, as I intend to do.

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving with all your loved ones around to share it with.  Take care!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Spring and Gardening

I can't believe this is March already!  Spring is just around the corner and that means, being able to get out in the fresh air and do some GARDENING.  I love to garden and work in the yard but, only on super nice days.  You know when the temperatures are in the 70-80 degree range, guess you could call me a fair weather gardener.  Of course, we all know those temperatures don't last long here in Texas!  So, I have to make it my mission this summer to make myself get out there, no matter how HOT it is, and WATER( if only I could water from inside the house)!  I would love to have some fresh vegetables to eat.  They taste sooooooooo much better than what you can buy in the store.

When we built our house I told my husband I wasn't going to have any flower beds.  Well, that didn't last long before I new it I was putting in flower beds everywhere.  Of course that means now I have to WATER and WEED (what was I thinking).  So, for the flower beds I look for DROUGHT tolerant plants.  Ok, that takes care of how much watering I have to do but, what about the weeds!  That is a never ending battle.  So I do it in small increments (or try to anyway).  My problem is I start in one spot then go to another spot before I ever finish the first spot I started out in.  I'm just all over the place.  I'm going to try to do it differently this year and just focus on one area at a time.  Let's hope that works.  I do love my flower beds though, with all the pretty colors and it attracts birds, butterflies and hummingbirds.  Sitting on the back porch and just watching them is a pass time we both really enjoy.  Collecting rain water is another thing we do.  We decided to make a fountain out of the one off the back porch.  So now we have running water and the birds LOVE it!
The weather has been so pretty here that I decided to get out in the yard and set up our vegetable garden.  Yes, we are going to try it again this year.  We didn't have much success last year but, this year we bought a raised garden kit from Sam's Club.  It was so easy to set up the hardest part was clearing all the old dead weeds and grass from where we had our garden last year.  But, I managed to clear it out yesterday and the kit went together so easily I'm thinking of getting another one.  I guess I better see if I can grow anything first before I add another one.  Next step, get some dirt to fill it with, another back breaking chore.  Then all we have to do is add our vegetables.  So, do we start from seed?  Last year we tried that and it didn't work to well.  I think this year we will just go ahead and buy the plants maybe, we will have better luck.  Then all we have to do is water and wait for our harvest.  Sounds easy enough, right?  I'll keep you posted on our progress.

So that's it for where we are in the Gardening area.  Hope this has inspired you to get yours going and growing.

What are your gardening projects that you enjoy?  Do you have any suggestions, tips or hints you'd like to pass on?  Post a reply we'd love to hear from you. 

Happy Gardening!  Looking forward to hearing from you.
Lou Ann

Monday, February 28, 2011

Texas History 175 years ago

On this day 175 years ago some 50 or so men were making their way to a small settlement on the Brazos River to change the course of history. The Alamo had been under siege for about a week suffering from lack of supplies and manpower. The battle was not going well and reinforcements were needed badly, why were these men not fighting at the Alamo? They were on a mission to pen a declaration of Independence from the ruthless dictator of Mexico Santa Anna. The weather was brutally cold with light snow and temperatures at the freezing point. The buildings at Washington on the Brazos were not made for cold weather so, paper was wadded up and used to seal the cracks in the walls. As the men began to arrive the urgency became more apparent and  the work had to be done as soon as possible. On the night of March 1, 1836 six men worked through the night to have the document ready to be signed the next morning. The declaration was signed and the Texans were on their way to Independence. The Alamo was to fall only four days later.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Why I like Argentium Sterling Silver Wire

Most people use Sterling Silver Wire but, I prefer to use Argentium Sterling Silver Wire, it is Sterling Silver.  It is brighter than traditional Sterling Silver,  more tarnish resistant and more resistant to scratches and dents.  It is also more expensive than traditional Sterling Silver due to the process it goes through.  I love the brightness and shine of this wire too.  It is much easier to clean than traditional Sterling Silver.  I use dawn dishwashing liquid a soft bristle brush (toothbrush works well) and warm water.  Scrub it lightly with the brush then rinse in cold water and it comes out beautifully. 

Below is Wikipedia's definition of Argentium Sterling Silver: 

Argentium sterling silver

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Argentium sterling silver is a modern sterling silver alloy which modifies the traditional alloy (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper) by replacing some of the copper with the metalloid germanium. As it retains the 92.5% silver content of the traditional alloy, it is still referred to as sterling silver.
Argentium silver is the result of research by Peter Johns at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. The project began in 1990 with research on the effects of germanium additions to silver alloys. Germanium was discovered to impart the following properties to sterling silver:
  • Firescale elimination
  • High tarnish resistance
  • Precipitation hardening and simple heat-hardening properties
  • Increased ductility
  • Increased thermal and electrical resistance (making alloys suitable for welding and laser forming)
  • Environmental advantages (associated with not having to remove or plate over firescale)
Many of these properties significantly affect the traditional methods of working silver. For instance the absence of firescale eliminates tedious and time-consuming steps required by the silver worker using traditional sterling silver. It also eliminates the need for plating the final product which is often done on manufactured items because of the problems introduced by firescale. Tarnish resistance is of significant importance to both silver workers and the wearer of silver jewellery.
Argentium silver is patented and trademarked by Argentium Silver Company, UK.

If you would like to read more about Argentium Sterling Silver you can visit their website at:

Hope that has explained a little bit about what Argentium Sterling Silver is and why I like to use it.  If you'd like to leave any comments your are welcome to.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Love Handcrafted Items and Antiques

Hello to everyone.  Just thought I'd try to start updating this a little more regularly. 

My husband and I love handmade items and antiques.  There is a certain charm in something that is handmade, not to mention the love someone put into making the item.  If you are a crafter you know what I mean.  I think everyone can appreciate the time and energy that goes into making something.  Sometimes you have no idea what your going to create.  Then there are other times when you have something in mind and you start to make it then something happens and it doesn't look like your vision but, that is all part of the process in making things.

Antiques on the other hand are just something that is a wonderful part of our past.  You can't help it when you look at something to begin to wonder who used it, when and for what.  Your mind wanders to a very distant place and you begin to make up a story in your head about the particular piece you happen to be looking at.  I think it helps us to reconnect with our ancestors and the world around us.

We live in a very fast paced world and it is enjoyable to take time out to be a little creative, to slow down our pace a bit and make something or maybe browse through some antique shops and just slip back in time to a slower pace of life.  These are things we really enjoy.  What about you what do you do to relax and recharge yourself? 

We'd love for you to leave a comment or share any thoughts you have.  If you'd like to see some of the things we make you can visit our shop at:

Sunday, January 9, 2011

First Time Blogger

Well, this is the first time I've ever done this so I'm not sure what I'm doing.  My husband started an Etsy shop so I thought I would try this to see if I could help him promote it.  He loves to make things and so do I.  What he really likes is being outside I do to but, not like him.  He started picking up rocks and coming home with pockets full.  I asked him what he planned on doing with them and he said he was going to polish them.  So we went to Michael's and bought a kids rock tumbler.  Well that worked really good for the little rocks but, he was bringing home some pretty big ones.  He ended up getting a bigger one and it was constantly running.  It wasn't real loud when we were in the house so that was good.  I was able to sleep. 

So now we have soooooooooo many beautifully polshed rocks what are we going to do with them. He told me to make some jewelry out of them.  I'm not sure how to do that so I started to research, of course I googled it.  I was amazed at what I found.  So I ordered some videos and they were really interesting.  So of course then I had to order some wire and tools which I did and I started wrapping.  I have to say I got pretty addicted to it.  I found that I really enjoyed working with the wire.  Well then I decided to start looking at beads, BIG BIG MISTAKE, I've got more beads now than I know what to do with.  Not as many as my sister but, I'm getting close.

My husband has been making hiking sticks and walking canes from juniper.  He's really been having fun doing it.  He's given some out as gifts.  Our daughter suggested we open the Etsy shop so she sat down with her dad and they did it.  She's had one for a while she makes beautiful bows and she's been really enjoying it.  So she knew that we would too.  I have to admit it really is fun. 

Well guess I'd better go for now that's about all there is for today.  Till next time.  If anybody reads this hope you enjoy it.  Leave me some comments if you like.  If you'd like to check out our Etsy Shop you are welcome to it's:
Have a great night!
Lou Ann