Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's Time To Celebrate The Three "F's"!

It's December and most people are focusing on celebrating the Christmas season. I, however, am looking forward to celebrating Friendships. Along with that, I love two things that can be found during this time of the year: Fruit Cake and Flowers (Poinsettias to be exact!). Probably the only thing the last two have in common is the red and green colors found in each.


Friendships are vital to our humanity. We need them to satisfy basic human needs, like food and water, but in this crazy busy world we live in, sometimes friendships are relegated to the back of the line. They get pushed aside because our focus becomes slightly self-centered. In order to have friends, we have to be a friend. I think this time of year is a good time to count our blessings for friends we have, but also to reassess our circumstances and what's most important. So that's what I'm doing. First, counting my blessings. Then, asking myself:  1) Just how good of a friend am I?   2) What changes can I make to become a better friend?  3)Can I develop new friendships?

Fruit Cake

On another note, I love to eat good, moist (definitely not dry & caked), fresh fruit cake. It holds a special place in my heart because it reminds me of my grandmother. She loved making fruit cake with the candied green and red cherries. They weren't especially my favorites, but in her buttery fruit cake straight out of the oven with a cold glass of milk, who cared?! This year I'm hoping to enjoy homemade fruit cake & think of my grandmother!


Lastly, Poinsettias are in bloom! They aren't just red anymore, but come in unique colors; pink, yellow, white and bi-colors. A few years ago, I had a Poinsettia topiary. It survived for a couple of years. Which in Poinsettia life is pretty good. So this year, I'm looking for a trio of colors to plant together to enjoy the beauty of color.

Friday, November 30, 2012



Today is Reveal Day! Miss Erin Prais-Hintz and her color guru Miss Brandi Hussey put on this very fun and creatively challenging blog hop. Each of the 80 participants received two photos from NASA's  Earth As Art Satellite Images with an attached color scheme (palette) to work from. Wow, do I love those color palettes! These two wonderful ladies put a lot of hard work into this project. Thank you so much for sharing your talents with us and allowing us to participate!

At the beginning of November, I received the highly anticipated e-mail with two photos. I was very excited to get these pictures. My father, who passed away last year, was an artist and a geological draftsman. So I grew up with a LOVE of color and rocks. In honor of him, I felt compelled to work on both projects!

Unfortunately, life got in the way of my creativity and productivity. My mother went into the hospital with heart issues. It is a little hard to haul to the hospital "the suitcase" of beads and another "suitcase" of tools. The hospital personnel would have gone bananas thinking I was moving in! And probably found me a room too, BUT in the psych ward. :)  So.... I had to wait to begin working until things "settled down". Thankfully, things went well at the hospital and for now there are no surgeries or etc.. planned. However, at this point there was only one week left to be creative & productive! Not much time.....

So let the show begin.... 

Photo #1 & Color Palette

The Meandering Mississippi holds a special place at the moment in my heart because my daughter and son-in-law live in New Orleans just a stone's throw quite literally from the Mighty Mississippi. 

The stash of beads and copper wire.

 I made my own clasp.

I loved this "rock". Look at the great colors! & it has "flaws" just like me!

The focal with a waterfall of beads on wire to mimic the "meandering Mississippi".

The finished project. 

In the next few days, I will add earrings & a bracelet (or a bracelet that attaches to a copper watch face) to complete the set. Pictures to follow when complete.

Photo #2 & Color Palette

The Brandberg Massif is an unusual geological volcanic mountain found in Namibia, Africa. It rises 8441.6 feet (2573 meters) above the flat plains below and covers an area of 403 square miles (650 square kilometers). It acts as a "rain shadow", wringing moisture from the clouds and preventing precipitation in the desert. According to the USGS, the mountain's volcano is no longer active but the granite core still glows red in the light of the setting sun.


The stash of beads, ribbon, silver wire, & Kumihimo braiding disk.

I took 4 colors of ribbon: blue, brown, black and green to make a Kumihimo braid. Then I wire wrapped the ends with silver wire since I had no end caps & Hobby Lobby isn't open at midnight. For a first attempt, I was quite pleased.

I wanted to make a lariat necklace but it didn't quite work as I had imagined so that will have to be a future project. I used a brown donut (not quite sure what kind of stone it is but it has flecks of gold & black in it) as the focal & wire wrapped a silver bale then attached the chains of beads to it, like lava flowing from the rock but in the "cool" colors it isn't "active".

Then I made a rope of beads and a attached a silver chain with a few beads hanging off it. So the overall project is a trio of ropes; chain, beads, and ribbon braid.

Of course, no necklace should be without earrings. The bracelet will follow over the next week which will attach to a silver watch face. It will also include a Kumihimo braid of the same ribbon. Pictures to follow later.
I hope you have enjoyed my show as much as I enjoyed creating!

Rebecca Anderson
Kris Auderer
Chrizette Bayman
Lori Bowring Michaud
Courtney Breul
Lynsey Brooks
Stephanie Buss
Iveth Caruso
Shannon Chomanczuk
Lisa Cone
Cece Cormier
Lori Dorrington
Dawn Doucette
Jeannie Dukic
Kim Dworak
Beth Emery
Janice Everett
Pam Farren
Donetta Farrington
Gloria Ferrer
Cherrie Fick
Therese Frank
Patty Gasparino
Tanya Goodwin
Ambra Gostoli
Jess Green
Denielle Hagerman
Mary Harding
Karla Hartzog
Kim Hora
Brandi Hussey
Emanda Johnson
Jennifer Justman
Sue Kennedy
Ema Kilroy
Lee Koopman
Linda Landig
Kirsi Luostarinen
Cynthia Machata
Alicia Marinache
Beth McCord
Mary K McGraw
Karen Mitchell
Cheri Mitchell-Reed
Aimee Moisa
Karla Morgan
Penny Neville
Becky Pancake
Kashmira Patel
Alice Peterson
Kayla Potega
Debbie Price
Bobbie Rafferty
Caron Reid
Nicole Rennell
Cynthia Riggs
Andrea Ross
Sally Russick
Annie Scherz
Pam Sears
Renetha Stanziano
Sandra Stein
Kristen Stevens
Tracy Stillman
Sherri Stokey
Lola Survillo
Kay Thomerson
Jo Tinley
Emma Todd
Cory Tompkins
Pam Traub
Melissa Trudinger
Michelle Tucker
Shelley Graham Turner
Monique Urquhart
Rachel Van-Walsk
Patti Vanderbloemen
Lesley Watt
Lynn White
Joan Williams

Monday, November 19, 2012

!Crazy Hot Nuts!

A nut isn't just a nut anymore! There are 53 varieties of nuts. Can you name them all? Some nuts we love to eat are: almonds, pecans, walnuts, peanuts, pine nuts and cashews.


Nuts are Nutritious

  1. Some nuts promote good cardiovascular health, help fight the affects of Alzheimer's, dementia, and Parkinson's.
  2. Many nuts help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol) when eaten in the proper balance. 
  3. Most nuts contain similar nutrients and are packed with vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, protein, antioxidants, and energy.
  4. A few nut oils are used as great skin emollients.
  5. Many nuts, when eaten on a regular basis and in the proper quantity, help keep bones strong.
  6. Some nuts contain high levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that enhances mood and fights depression and migraines.
  7. Lastly, many nuts help with weight loss and raise metabolism.

When nuts are combined with chile peppers; such as cayenne, habanero, jalapeno, and ghost pepper; nutritional health benefits increase. Chile peppers also promote heart health, enhance mood, help raise metabolism, encourage weight loss, and are packed with vitamins and minerals. Not to mention; they make mouths smile and faces shine!

So, a nut doesn't have to be a nut anymore!  Think of nuts in a whole new light!  Be healthy by becoming friendly with NUTS!

We have added a new line to our products: TEXAS SPICED NUTS!  Each month we will feature a new spiced nut flavor.

In the month of November, we are featuring Texas Spiced Almonds. The ingredients include: Almonds, Butter, Brown Sugar, Sea Salt, Chili Powder, Paprika, Garlic and Cayenne Pepper.

Giveaway in December

We will be hosting a giveaway in December for one of our products. Check our Facebook page ( or here on our blog post for details on how to enter!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

3rd Annual Challenge of Color Blog Hop

Miss Eris Prais-Hintz of and her lovely friend Miss Brandi Hussey of are putting on the 3rd Annual Challenge Color Blog Hop. This is a unique challenge that comes from the Earth As Art image gallery of NASA. This gallery is made up of 120 pictures taken from the Landsat series of Earth observation satellites.

There are 80 creative participants in the Color Blog Hop. Each person is assigned 2 pictures to choose to do a project. We can choose to work from one or both pictures. The reveal is November 30th!

I have chosen to do a project from each picture. My palettes are from the Brandberg Massif and Meandering Mississippi photographs. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Michael's Toast of the Town Blog Hop - The Finale

If you've read the previous two posts on the Michael's Toast of the Town Blog Hop put on by Erin Prais-Hintz of, you'll see I had a wonderful time working on this project! Thank you Miss Erin for putting this together! I'm just sorry I couldn't complete it in the allotted time. Maybe I'll do better next time!

The finished necklace! Woohoo!

When it comes to jewelry, I like sets. So I have added a bracelet & earrings!

Toast of the Town - Michael's Blog Hop - Step 2

As you can probably guess, I was able to start the process of the project but ran into glitches. Glitches are the story of my life lately!

Anyway, glitches aside, here is the picture of the beads I intended to use.

The beads I finally settled on are: the square & rectangular brown/beige glass, the vintage pearls (about 75 or 80 years old), the ceramic green/blue/brown triangles with black ceramic beads, the shell, and on the plate, I used the tiger's eye tear drops, the tiny 1mm bicone dark brown Czech crystals, and the bicone light brown Czech crystals. All these are in the picture. The rest I put back in my stash for other projects.

In addition, I added faceted Czech crystals that are blue/brown to tie in the blue from the ceramic beads and copper beads. I forgot to take a picture of these beads but you can see them in the pictures below.

This is my necklace finished with the vintage brass pin that I took apart to use as a toggle. Unfortunately, that wonderful idea wasn't so wonderful! It didn't work. The glue I was using wouldn't hold the adapted pin to the toggle. It really needs to be soldered, but it was too late at night to get those tools out. Besides my eyes were too tired! So I have saved that soldering pin project for another bead/wire project. No sweat, back into the soup it goes until another time!

Step 2 - Plan B #3

When I'm working on a project, I always have at least 2 or 3 Plan B's!

I decided to try my hand making my my own toggle and clasp out of 20 gauge bronze copper wire I have in my stash. It worked! Unfortunately, I don't think this wire is really heavy enough to handle the weight of the beads, so I might have to remake the toggle & clasp. However, I first want to wear it & see what happens!

I think the toggle & clasp turned out pretty good! I was surprised at how easy it was to make. I took the ideas out of a Wire Book I have from two different projects. I doubled the wire on the clasp & made my own "set". Now if it will only hold the weight. For kicks I will probably remake the toggle & clasp just in case the lighter gauge wire doesn't hold up. First I need to buy 16 gauge wire.


 Finished necklace! I love it!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Toast of the Town - Michael's Blog Hop - Step 1

Recently I thought I'd entered into Erin Prais-Hintz' challenge in connection to the Michael's Blog Hop she was putting on. But either I forgot to enter or she forgot to e-mail me. No worries! I'm doing it anyway! KayzKreationz was kind enough to send me the instructions from Michael's and the info on the Blog Hop. Although, I'm too late to participate, I really thought this was a cool necklace!

Since Michael's is too far away. I will have to use beads I already own. My toggles are too small so I will have to be creative. Here is a picture of all the beads I hope to use but still need to refine somewhat! I have vintage pearls & crystals, Chech crystals, porcelain, silver, shell, glass, and stone. I might throw in some copper beads as well. It depends on how the colors look together. Anyway I have quite an assortment! I also have two items to use as toggles that aren't really toggles. Both were originally vintage pins that no longer have the pin. I'm going to use one of them.

See Step 2 tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Glass, Craft & Artful Goodness: GIVEAWAY!!! - $90 to Spend in my Etsy Store

Hey everybody! Check out this great GIVEAWAY by Tania Tebbit. or! She's a lampwork artist in Australia. She's on the other side of the "pond" from us. There's 3 opportunities to enter!

Glass, Craft & Artful Goodness: GIVEAWAY!!! - $90 to Spend in my Etsy Store: I am living a life full of gratitude and abundance and would like to show some of that gratitude to the wonderful people that have followed...

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party Book

Hey, Yeah, Woohoo & Yippee!

Finally received my Bead Soup Blog Party Book in the mail! It is terrific. There are some really cool projects in there. I cannot wait to try & put my own twist on them. Sorry everybody but that is something I do with everything. When I make new jams, salts, or candies it is always with my own twist on the recipe. Of course, I have been known to completely change everything. Well I do the same thing with jewelry. I start out reading a project & then my mind gets going & I have to try this or that to see how it would look. So now the creating begins......

My Favorite Month of the Year - October!

          October is my favorite month of the year because many personal events happen in this month; my birthday, my anniversary, my daughter's anniversary, and Autumn finally arrives! The air turns cooler, occasionally it rains, the fall wildflowers bloom and the tree leaves turn colors. The cooler weather makes me think of pumpkin and spice.

         I've come up with two new flavors:  Pumpkin & Spice White Chocolate Fudge and Pumpkin Butter Jam (with no peppers in it). I'm not usually a fan of pumpkin but Pumpkin Butter Jam tastes like Apple Butter! It is delicious on hot biscuits and pancakes. 

          I'm always on the lookout for new flavors. So if any of you lovely people have a new idea or a favorite flavor you can pass along, I'd love to hear from you!

Texas Pepper Jam or Texas Pepper Jams

For all you followers out there - Thanks for following us! I want to clear up a problem that has arisen. It seems we have two blogspots: and I'm not sure how this happened but they are one and the same, except they're not, because one is Jam and one is Jams. So for now we would like to direct all of our followers to It is our main blog. As we have more time, we will also post on both blogspots. But for now just the one. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party - Reveal Part 2

My Finished Bead Project

It took me a few more weeks than expected to finish this project due to the complications from two major surgeries on August 20th. At last it is done. It was a blast! Here are the beads my partner, KK Koon sent me.

Two of the beads could be focal points so I used both and incorporated them together. The large shell had a hole for a bale but the smaller one had amber in it with no hole. I wire wrapped it and attached them together. Naturally I didn't have the proper wire for wrapping and couldn't get out to get any, so I used round wire. Very interesting! 

I love wire so I used copper and vintage bronze copper. Of course, I couldn't just make a necklace with the focal beads. I made ear rings and a bracelet. I used the clasp KK sent me on the bracelet as a dangle with a bead attached because it was such a pretty little heart.

 This was a fun challenge learning to use wire in different ways. Many of my friends who've stopped by to see me while recuperating have enjoyed watching this project come together. But not as much as I've enjoyed creating it. Finished at last and now to wear it in public!

 What I discovered yesterday was that I wish I had a bracelet to attach to my copper watch face. So guess what?! I'm going to make that this week with the rest of the beads KK sent me. Will post that picture ASAP.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bead Soup Blog Party

Well Hello Everyone! I finally have internet service that works. Hoorah! Yippee! Our internet has NOT been working for 3 months. Nightmare! :(  But it's working at last although very SLOW. :)  I am so excited about the Bead Soup Blog Party organized and put on by the wonderful Lori Anderson. She is a most organized and giving person. This is the 6th BSBP but my first. I am so excited! There are 3 reveals. The first two have passed and mine is August 25th. My partner is Klaudette Koon aka KK from Kokomo, Indiana. She has sent me some wonderful beads.

Update: I just wanted to let everyone know that I was off to a great start writing my blog to post pictures & etc.. BUT I had a blip in my get-a-long. Surgery! Two major surgeries on August 20th.Talked with Lori and she recommended I let y'all know why I will post very late on this. Probably not for a couple more weeks. Sorry KK for being late but out of my control. 

Just arrived home late last night, Tuesday August 28th, and am getting around a little. I can only be up for a few minutes at a time but long enough to get this out finally! Yippee! Here are the wonderful beads that KK sent me.
Can't wait to finish my projects.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Button Swap Blog Hop - Reveal!

Yeeha! Today's the big reveal day! Naturally, I'm not home to write my blog early in the day. But it's only 9:52 p.m! So technically it is still Sunday, May 13th. My husband and I are on our way to New York via New Orleans, LA, spending the night at our daughter and son-in-law's house sleeping on an air mattress in the living room floor. Well he's sleeping, I'm blogging. I know TMI! But enough about me. This blog is suppose to be about the Button Swap, which by the way is my first. It has been fun and exciting!

Cindy Wimmer of Sweet Bead Studio put this Swap together & assigned out the partners. She had a huge job ahead of her with so many signed up but looks like she did a fabulous job. Hopefully it is a huge success & we can do this again!

My partner, Mary Govaars from California, sent me some wonderfully interesting buttons in a cute little tin. Love them! I used one of the vintage buttons & the bear paw. Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the tin. It's at home in New Braunfels, TX & I'm in New Orleans, LA. So there will be no picture of it at this time. Sorry Mary!

I really had several things planned for these buttons but time became a constraint. I know that's a hard one to believe in this busy day & age. So I ended up only doing one of the things I had planned. In our business of Texas Pepper Jams we sample our candies at festivals, market days & other shows. So I wanted to do something that would coordinate with that.

Thanks to Cindy & Mary, I now have a unique sample plate for our Hot Pepper Fudge. I will somehow have to protect the buttons & beads from small children fingers that will want to play with them.
Below is the list of participants for everyone to check out. Enjoy & happy blogging. I really look forward to visiting everyone's blogs & seeing pictures & of course, new ideas!   
Thanks again to Cindy Wimmer for this exciting new experience & all her hard work!