Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today's Treasuries

I'm honored to be in three gorgeous treasuries at the moment. The first one by AnnyMay, our Team French "coordonatrice" with the mostest. It's called "Bonne Nuit", and features an array of purple gorgeousness!

The second is by Lac'Okine, another Team French member, who chose the color green as her inspiration for this lovely T West, titled Spring Festival

And last but not least, we have Vicky's very first treasury, filled with a fantastic display of colors! In fact, it's called Colors. Colours. Couleurs.


Please click on the links to visit their shops, and I'm positive they'd love your comments on their treasuries. My Team French works SO hard at building these beautiful treasuries! :)

Merci Vicky, Geneviève et Anny!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Busy playin', with a little work on the side

Been toying with the idea of a new banner for Le Beadoir, so I was playing with my camera and some beads the other day. I've got a lovely array of simple white dishes. I like white, it's plain, crisp, and always looks clean. I especially like that I can go around and mix & match with any styles without them being in a set. I lucked out a few months back at a discount store, where they were unloading tons of what looked like restaurant ware. I found these fantastic little condiment bowls in the form of fish, and what I assume to be an olive or pickle dish in the shape of a nautilus. Not pictured are the awesome large pasta and fruit bowls I scored along with these. Bonus: Everything was white, and prices ranged between $0.50 - $2.00!
I've already got my fair share of condiment bowls, but I couldn't pass the fishies up. I thought they'd be PERFECT to hold my beads while I'm working, seeing as they were neither too big or too deep. Only problem was when hubby saw them, he snagged about half of them for himself. Which was my fault, really, since I suggested it might be prudent for him to keep his hooks and beads and weights in while he was tying some flies... Meh! Nothing another trip to the discount store couldn't fix! ;)
The fishies were sitting in front of me, filled with beads, and they looked so cute I thought they might be worth photographing. Of course, one thing led to another, and I started playing with other dishes and beads... And, well, you know how it goes.

Here's one idea, I've a few more shots, but blogger keeps turning them clockwise, and I didn't think you'd like to have to turn your head to see them, so I'll leave it at this one for now.

Besides playing with my camera, I've been having quite a bit of fun with my crochet. A friend wanted me to design a scarf for her toddler, and provided me with this vibrant orange yarn. The ball was SO BIG that I thought "why not add a little hat with that?", so I did! Though I didn't have the little man's head to fit the hat perfectly, I figured Mimi wasn't that much bigger, and if it fit her snugly, then it would fit him for a while.


I was going for a beanie, but then remembered how little ones sometimes like to pull their hats off. So I added a little chin strap, which buttons up with one of my prized vintage buttons which very closely matched the color of the yarn. My friend RAVED about it! Said I couldn't have made the little hat fit more perfectly! Yay!

Oooh! I also started making these super cute skinny scarves. I had just finished a hat and knew I didn't have enough yarn left over to make anything big, but had an inspired idea! A skinny scarf! But it looked SO plain, it just needed a little ooomph! So I hooked some giant pompoms to the ends, and VOILÀ! Some super cool skinny scarves! :)
Now if I could just get over this nasty cold so I could take some new shots and list these.



The hat and arm warmers, as well as the above bracelet were sent to my Beaders Without Borders partner Payton. The bracelet was for the swap, the hat and warmers and exchange for some of her fantastic lampwork beads. Oooh, wait 'til you see the beads I'm getting from her! Gorgeous, GORGEOUS hearts that I fell in love with at first sight!

Besides that, nothing much. Shoveling, nursing my sciatica, getting over a nasty cold, and generally trying to keep myself out of trouble. Which means no shopping. Though I did splurge on some beautiful buttons from Natural Resources a week ago. If you like natural material buttons, you should check these guys out. I am very very impressed with the quality of their wares, and I couldn't believe how fast they got to me. I ordered on the 14th, and they arrived on the 22nd
Oh, and caved and went and had my eyes checked. That was fun! *rolls eyes*. I'm so glad I had my daughter with me to lead the way afterward. Good Golly! Do they absolutely NEED to put those nasty drops in your eyes??? LOL! My daughter was in the examination room with me, (since she was getting her eyes checked for the first time, I wanted her to see what they were doing so she wouldn't be so nervous), and when the doctor put the drops in, I guess the dilation was instant. She made both the doctor and myself laugh so hard! She said "Mommy! You look like a cat!" I said "You mean my pupil looks like a line?" she said "No! You look like Milo when he's rambunctious!!!" LOL!
We went to the glass shop so I could look at glasses. My prescription is very light, but I do notice that my eyes get really tired after a full day of work (it's the tiny beads and stitches that do me in...). Then we went to see my D.H., and he couldn't look at me, said I looked "way too freaky" with my black eyes! I had to look for myself and heck, I freaked MYSELF out! I took a photo, but only 4 hours after the exam. Still, you can see how long the dilation lasts. I'll say this though, everything looked so pretty and blurry. And blue! LOL!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Breakfast!!!

Seems my blog has been sorely neglected for the last little while (MONTHS!!!), so I thought I'd give myself a little kick-start by introducing a different subject to my blog: COOKING!
Now, my disclaimer is I'm not a chef, but I AM a foodie! I love food, I love cooking it, preparing it, and most importantly, EATING IT! My favorite ingredient is Love (I know, cheesy, right?), and I strongly believe this is what makes my food taste so darn good. And I'm not just sayin' that! ;)
So, for my very first foodie installment, I thought I'd share my own French Toast recipe with you. This is one of our very favorite breakfast foods, and I've got a long list of friends and family members who'll vouch for their absolute deliciousness! (I'm not kidding, I've had personal requests for this breakfast...) Here's what you'll need:

Ingredients:
4 large eggs (5 if you like your toast a little more on the spongy side)
1 cup of milk (give or take, depending on the amount of bread you have, you may need to add a tad more...)
*About* 1 heaping tablespoon of brown sugar
A dash of vanilla extract (I only use the real stuff)
A dash of ground cinnamon if you like
1 full focaccia loaf

Tools:
serrated knife
cutting board
large mixing bowl
mixing tool (egg beater, fork, doesn't matter...)
skillet
spatula
one seriously hearty appetite!

My one 'secret' ingredient, is the focaccia. My absolute favorite being the Ace Bakery Cranberry Raisin Focaccia. The one thing you want to make sure of when making French Toast is the density of your bread. When I was little, my Mom used to toast her bread slices ahead of time, this ensured that your bread would soak up more of the batter, and lessen the chances of your slices getting too soggy and breaking apart before you could get it in the pan. The reason I like to use focaccia is that it's already a dense bread, it's got a lovely thick crust, and the texture is akin stale bread. This acts like a super thirsty sponge and soaks up a LOT of the batter, making for the most deliciously moist 'cakey' bread on the inside that stays crispy on the outside.

Start heating up your skillet ahead of time, keep it at a medium-high heat. I use a non-stick skillet, with a touch of melted butter.

Cut your loaf in 1/2 inch thick slices (I usually get about a dozen or so slices at that thickness).
Thinner slices won't give you the (re: MY) desired texture.

Whip all of your ingredients together


*You like my little "Eggy"? ;)*

Then comes the messy part. I hope you're not squeemish, cause your fingers will get soaked! Push the focaccia slices down into the batter so they'll get nice and soaked, but don't soak them so much that the slices start breaking down.

Then just brown your bread in your pan, keeping a close eye on them to avoid burning them. If you keep the heat at medium, it should take about 4-5 minutes on each side for a lovely crispy brown toast. You want to make sure the exterior is nice and brown, but you also want to cook the interior thoroughly (no sogginess!).

Mmmmmmmm, can't you just smell it?????


Take two. At this point I've got two seagulls flying around the kitchen trying to snag a slice on the go!

The beauty of using this particular focaccia is that you don't really need any maple syrup with them, but you can if you want to! :) Another way to sweeten them up would be to lightly sprinkle them with powdered sugar. They're very hearty, so would stand alone very well for a full breakfast, but if I was going all out, I'd add bacon, potato patties, some lightly seasoned (sea salt, fresh cracked pepper and thyme) eggs, and a freshly brewed pot of coffee or tea.

Care to join us for breakfast? :)
There's more than enough!

I hope you like my very first 'recipe' installment, and look forward to sharing more with you.