Thursday, August 23, 2012

Time for Chocolate Chip Cookies!

This is my favorite cookie recipe and the only chocolate chip cookie recipe I use anymore.  I like them so much I painted a picture of them!   (And see, I took a little bite out of the one at the end!)

I think what makes them so good is the real butter, real vanilla extract and the milk chocolate Ghirardelli chocolate chips.

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever

3 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup butter (unsalted)
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract ( the real deal!)
2 large eggs
18 ounces (3 cups) milk chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli chocolate chips - yum!)

Combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter with sugars until light. Beat in vanilla and eggs until smooth. Beat dry ingredients into creamed mixture, a little at a time. Add chocolate chips and stir to mix well.

Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto baking sheets and bake at 325° F for approx. 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


I KNOW what you're isn't fall yet.  But when I see the school buses driving by and smell the cool morning air (and with a little imagination mixed in...) in my mind, it becomes fall.  And in these colorful autumn dreams the leaves are falling, the mums are blooming and with my jacket on I'm walking through it all, dried leaves and acorns crunching under my feet.  Ahhh.  Autumn.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How it Started

SOMETIMES I'm asked how I started making painted jewelry.  I didn't always paint so small.  In fact, I've painted on walls from time to time.  Some are small-ish but a couple of times I've painted the entire wall.  This topiary is a sample I made on paper as a possibility for a friend's wall.  But now that I'm looking at it again, I'm thinking I might have to find a place on MY wall for it.  (yay!)

I typically painted on canvases like this 16" x 20" bike with the basket.  I haven't been able to part with this one, it hangs on the wall above my computer.  I can lean way back in the chair and see it up there.  Then I can imagine I visit there one day, and ride that bike with the flowers, and see the ivy hanging down over the beautiful windows.  (As you can tell, I get easily distracted!)

ONE day,I came across a pendant in a magazine that caught my eye.  The pendant had a picture of flowers on it and was somehow magically made from broken china.   It was beautiful.  Right then and there I had a sudden urge to paint one of my own.  It didn't happen quite as suddenly as I thought it would.  The long process of finding what to paint on and what to put it in began.  I learned lots of new jewelry terms, like bezel and cabochon, findings and jump rings.  Deciding what to paint was next.  But throughout this whole process I realized that hey, you know what?  I really like doing this.

This is the very first pendant I painted and it's the one at the top of my Etsy shop and on my business cards.  When one of my sisters first saw it, she bought it from me while I was wearing it -- right off of my neck.  That's been a good thing because I still get to see it!  I painted a few others for myself and people started noticing and asking about them.  Before I knew it I had an online Etsy shop.

But the thing I didn't expect is the fun I'm having with custom orders.  Sometimes people have a particular item in mind, or something personal they want painted.  Like this horse... the parents wanted a painting of the horse their daughter rides.  I had never painted a horse before but I was really excited about it! 

So now I'm continually learning what looks best on a pendant and what size.  I've learned I really need to take my camera everywhere I go (which I don't!).  And I've also learned I have so many ideas for new pendant designs I don't know that I'll ever catch up with myself!