Yea – I’m boring.

It’s true.  I have nothing exciting to say but had the urge to write.

Anyway….

This week I start another school term.  It’s hard for me to believe that I have approximately one more year and then I’m done.  Does that make me a college senior?  I don’t know??  This term is “Business Plan Prep” and “Leadership”.  I think the Business Planning course sounds rather interesting but I don’t know about Leadership.  We shall see.

Still hanging onto the same cold that DH and I have had since before the New Year.  Quite annoying by now.  Antibiotics are on the menu but I’m still hacking and coughing like a 100 year old smoker.

Since I didn’t make it into work yesterday, I was able to catch up on some sleep and also do a little work on my business.  See labels and some research and I listed a few things in my Etsy shop.  Not a lot but it felt good to work on something that I’ve been neglecting for almost a year.  Yes, a year.  Shameful.

And let me mention… the weather today just sucks!  Yesterday it was hovering around 30-something.  Today, 1.  That’s it. 1 degree.  At least I have a little time to sit by the fire before I go to work.

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Macro Monday – Summer Revisited

 

 

 

 

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It’s Macro Monday and I’ve been missing summertime so much, I’ve decided to revisit it.  This little fella is busy pollinating some of my Giant Hyssop flowers.   I’m looking forward to seeing them again this year.

On another note, I’ve opened a new shop on Storenvy.  I sell many of the same items that are currently available in my Etsy Shop  but I’ve also added some of my older items that I no longer create.  I’ve got oodles and oodles of handcrafted jewelry, crocheted and sewn items that are just sitting around longing for a new home.  So far, I’ve added some of my jewelry …. and I’ve DEEPLY discounted it simply because it just needs to go!  Too much stuff, not enough space.  That sort of thing.  So, if you’re looking for some inexpensive handmade jewelry, (or seeds… always seeds ) ,  please visit my new shop.  I’m running a Grand Opening sale too!  I’m offering 25% off your purchase if you use code ‘gosale’ for a limited time.

Thanks for reading – I’ve been rather muddle-minded when it comes to blogging lately and I apologize for my absence.  Hugs to all!  

Christmas in July Sale

Having a little Christmas in July sale in both of my Etsy shops.  Just trying to get the word out….  lots of goodies available in both!

See the shop announcement for details but you can get 20% off your total purchase with the coupon code ‘CHRISTMASINJULY’.

 

http://brambleoak.etsy.com    garden goodies including rain chains, wind chimes, seeds, plants and bird feeders

http://gypsywynd.etsy.com     vintage, collectibles, and other goodies

 

Thanks for reading!  Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend.

 

glassandgreenstakessetofthree5

Strawberry Kringle and Wind Chimes

Due to an over-abundance of strawberries this spring (thank you Mother Nature for all the rain),  I’ve been trying to think of new ways to use the fresh strawberries I’ve been picking.  Recently I made them with cream cheese and chocolate… those lasted for about 1 day.  Yesterday I decided to try my hand at Kringle.  Much to my surprise, I posted on Facebook that I had made Kringle and not everyone knew what it was.  Apparently it is a dessert that is ‘native’ to Wisconsin. So, to those of you who do not recognize this food, it is basically a type of pastry.  Similar to a Danish or a Kuchen.  Here’s my recipe.

KringleStrawberry

STRAWBERRY KRINGLE

3 sticks butter

4 – 1/4 C. all purpose flour

1 egg plus milk to equal 1 cup

 

4 to 5  C.  fresh strawberries – tops removed and sliced about 1/4″ thick

1/3 – 1/2 C. Sugar (depending on the sweetness of your berries)

cornstarch

1 small egg, beaten

For kringle dough – mix the butter and flour together in a large bowl using a pastry blender.  It should resemble coarse crumbs.  Beat the egg and milk together and then stir into the butter and flour mixture.    Let sit in fridge for about 30 minutes.

Heat the strawberries in a medium saucepan over low-medium.  Mix in sugar and continue heating for about 10 minutes.  Your strawberries should begin to cook down and get juicy.   After about 10 minutes, mix about 2 TB cornstarch with equal amount of water (2TB) and add to your strawberries.  This will thicken up the juice and give you a nice berry sauce.  Let it cool a bit.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Remove your kringle dough from the fridge.  Divide into 4 equal portions.  Roll out each portion on a floured surface to a 8″ x 15″ rectangle.   Spread your strawberry mixture in the center of the dough leaving 3″ at the top, bottom and sides for folding.  Fold the top and bottom over the berries then fold over the sides to create a pocket that is about 12″ long x 4″ wide.  You can gently pinch the edges closed if you wish… helped mine seal a little better while baking.  Repeat with all portions of dough and all of berries.

Brush the top and sides of your ‘pockets’ with the small beaten egg.  

Bake at 375 degrees for approx 20-30 minutes or until the top is a nice, golden brown.  

Let cool and then drizzle the top with a simple frosting of powdered sugar mixed with a little water.

KringleStrawberry2

 

Now… I know these instructions seem rather long, but you can shortcut the whole thing by using prepared pie filling instead of making your own fruit filling.  Besides the strawberry kringle, I made one of apple and one of  black cherry.  Other options would be cream cheese filling, almond paste filling, orange marmalade or lemon curd.  The options are pretty much endless.

Now as for the wind chimes…. I’ve been making these for about 3 years.  Using odds and ends, beads, rusty junk and vintage jewelry and silverware – stuff like that.  Well, then I came up with the idea for wire wrapped tree of life wind chimes.  I’ve made the small pendants for jewelry so I figured why not something bigger?  This was so much FUN!  So far, I’ve made 4 and sold two.  They’re very labor intensive but the end result is just amazing (IMO anyway).  Recently, I’ve also jumped into making rain chains because my Mom requested one for her porch.  I’m still working on that one but yesterday, I completed one with beach glass.  I’m pretty happy with how it turned out…. it’s about 7 feet long and has pieces of green, aqua, brown and white sea glass.  Probably going to have to keep working on this venture.  Too much fun to make just one!  😉   I don’t have any pics of the rain chains yet.  Need to figure out how to photograph them properly.  Maybe a panoramic view?

TreeOfLifeSteelandPeachPinkKnives2 treeoflifewindchimeTurquoise treeoflifewindchime TreeOfLifeHowliteChime

 

 

Photos and Wire Wrap Tree Of Life Wind Chimes ©Bramble Oak 2013
Visit my on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/brambleoak
Check out my Shops on Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/shop/brambleoak
                                                             https://www.etsy.com/shop/gypsywynd
Follow my on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/brambleoak

Bones On Thursday

Rainy and cool here today so not much happening in the garden.  I did try to get a trellis put up this morning but Mother Nature had other plans and chased me inside.  So, I was browsing a bit on Etsy and was inspired by a simple yet beautiful art photograph to create a treasury.

Please click on link to visit the treasury and then be sure to click on all the beautiful items!

https://www.etsy.com/treasury/MTAwMzg2ODN8MjcyMTg2MjQ4Nw/bones

 

Bones by Jan DeBack on Etsy (2)

Gorgeous day… feels like Spring!

What a gorgeous day.  Been above 40 for the past couple of days and today is the warmest.  Just amazing for the 2nd week of January.  Unfortunately, snowstorms are coming and temps are supposed to crash and become super cold again. <sigh> Knew it couldn’t last forever.  Glad the pantry is stocked up!

Newest venture for Bramble Oak – making bird feeders.  Work in progress and photos coming soon but I’m having fun making them.  Tested one yesterday and it is Chickadee approved!

Shops on Etsy are clearing out.  My Bramble Oak shop is cleared out of jewelry and all that is left is artwork.  I might be putting the bird feeders in the shop and then go from there.  We’ll see… we’ll see….

TTFN

Got things a-rolling along now….

I’ve got things a-rolling along now.  In motion… moving along… etc. etc. etc.

All three of my Etsy shops are updated.  Everything that is going on sale, is now on sale.

All jewelry in Bramble Oak on Etsy is marked down to 80% off.

EVERYTHING (supplies, vintage and collectible goodies) in my Gypsy Wynd on Etsy is 50% – 80% off.

EVERYTHING in my Rustic Diva Designs shop is up to 90% off.

AND…. I’ve knocked down most items in my Yardsellr at least 50%!  I will be adding most of the rest of my stash to my Yardsellr so if you’re looking for beads, yarn, fabric, jewelry findings, VHS movies, books, collectibles, vintage goodies or an assortment of other things… this is the place to go!

Other than that… things have been quieting down.  Christmas was good and I enjoyed my time with the family.  Kids are still on Winter break and I’m really loving having them at home. 🙂

 

Going out of business SALE

Well, the changes have begun.  I’ve gone through my Bramble Oak shop on Etsy and discounted all of my jewelry up to 80% off.  Decided to get out of jewelry making so my first order of business is to completely clear out my current jewelry inventory on Etsy. 

2nd order of business for the jewelry is going through the heaps and heaps of things I’ve made and getting it all listed.  THAT will be a chore.  🙂

One of my other shops Rustic Diva Designs on Etsy has also been discounted up to 90%.  That shop is closing completely.  Everything is $2.00 and under so hopefully it’ll all go quickly.  If anyone is looking for mini cards or simply sewn or crocheted goodies, now is the time to head on over.  I also have a ton of other items (not listed there) that need to be sorted and listed somewhere too.  Ahhh, so much to do and so few hours in the day.

Changes on the horizon….

Me thinks it might be time to rethink some things and make some changes in my little crafting world.

As I sit around and look at all of this crafting clutter, the thought that comes to mind is WHY?  Why do I do what I do?  Basically comes down to the fact that I started crafting because I am a crafty person at heart.  I liked to create things because it was fun.  Now, I try to create things to sell and that’s about it.   And, with the economy the way it is…. crafting has unfortunately become a dissapointment for me.   The fun of it all seems to have left the building. 😦  

So….. I believe that next year I will be whittling down my crafting adventures to about 10% – 20%  of what I do now.  The hard part will be choosing what I want to keep doing and what I want to stop doing. 

what I do (a little personal inventory):

drawing/painting – this will stay as it’s a huge part of who I am

jewelry making – this will probably have to go.  Market is too flooded with handmade jewelry and I don’t make anything that can’t be easily created by someone else.

crochet  – mostly go except for making a few things for family. 

sewing – same as the crochet…

paper crafting/card making – this will probably go for the most part.  Maybe keep a few things around for personal use.

vintage collectibles – it’s all going.  I just don’t have the room.

I guess this is going to be an effort to simplify things here.  This is also going to be one helluva sale once it gets rolling because this is a HUGE amount of supplies!  The supplies sale will most likely will be in my Yardsellr shop and then I will be closing up two of my Etsy shops for good.   My Bramble Oak Etsy shop will stay for now…. but Gypsy Wynd and Rustic Diva Designs will be going out of business.  It’s been a good run but times are a-changing and it’s time to look toward other things and start simplifying.  So, I guess that’s it.  Feels better to have written down what I have been thinking about for months.

TTFN