Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Receivables – Who Loves Dresses?

“Here is the dress I want.”
“Why?”
“Because it is beautiful.”
“But you already have so many dresses. It looks like every other dress in your clo…”
“No, it doesn’t! I don’t have one like it.”
“Well, there is no room in the closet, so maybe you can throw some dresses out first.”
“Don’t say that – they can hear you!!! And no, I can’t. I need them all.”
“Well, it’s not the right season to be wearing a dress, anyway.”
“I know, but I want it for when the summer comes.”

Repeating something over and over again and hoping for a different outcome is the definition of insanity; and yet, I keep trying to convince Husband that I really do need a new article of clothing. He doesn’t buy it, I end up buying it anyway, and then the cycle repeats. The cycle repeats because you can never have too many dresses! (I know, I know – that’s what I said last week about mittens. As it turns out, you can never have too many dresses, either! Or shoes. Or purses. I am getting side-tracked…)

This Spiral Pleats Dress from emilyryan is absolutely wonderful, and would love to add it to my wardrobe! I love the style, the color and everything else about it. It is just funky enough to be unique, yet not over-the-top. It is also versatile – the grey will go with just about every color! I can just see myself wearing it this summer with white flat sandals and a new bag that I recently ordered – it matches perfectly, as you will see for yourself in the next edition of jaC Procures on Etsy! Well, maybe not the next as the bag is not yet here, but as soon as the bag arrives, I will give it my undivided attention, I promise.

I do see something that is suitable for the cold weather – this incredible Cowl Neck Pocket Tunic. Emilyryan says it is a best seller, and I can see why! It’s just the right size, too… Husband, are you following me? OK, OK, one dress at a time…

Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Wearables – New Valentine-Inspired Pieces!

In this section, I will post the latest jaC Jewelry creations that you can purchase in my Etsy shop.

Today’s three pieces are hot off the press – I literally just finished making, photographing and adding them to my shop! Without further ado, here they are:

I Love You Bracelet - Ruby Red Crystal and Sterling Silver Bracelet with Sterling Silver Heart Charm

This lovely bracelet is made with ruby red faceted crystals and sterling silver. It is simple in design, yet so classy! Imagine it with a black pair of pants and a white sweater, or the little black dress and a red cardigan. Coordinating earrings are also available.

Winter Romance Earrings - Siam Red Swarovski Crystal and Sterling Silver Earrings
These mini-chandeliers are made with faceted round red Swarovski crystals attached to sterling silver components and ear wires. The centerpiece of each earring is an upside-down heart – how sweet is that? These will look fantastic with a pair of jeans and a white or black sweater, or a pair of black heels and a red dress.

Puzzled by You Earrings - Siam Red Swarovski Crystal and Sterling Silver Puzzle Earrings

Who loves puzzles? The second I saw these adorable sterling silver puzzle components, I fell in love with them. I combined them with faceted round red Swarovski crystals to create these playful earrings! Hope you or your recipient loves them as much as I do. :)

Another pair of earrings will be making a debut right here on Sunday to kick off my giveaway series! Check back and enter the giveaway!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday Edibles – Avocado and Onion Salad

This week’s recipe choice was between chili and avocado salad. The latter won because: 1) since I just blogged about the difference between fruits and veggies last night, I figured I would continue on this topic, and 2) avocados may just be my favorite fruit (yes, fruit – thanks to last night’s post, I now know what they are!). What is your favorite fruit or vegetable?

Here is a very quick and easy avocado and onion salad that is great year-round!

Ingredients:
2 avocados, sliced
2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed (optional)
1/8 sweet Vidalia onion, sliced thinly
1/8 red onion, sliced thinly
2 table spoons soy sauce
2 table spoons fresh lemon juice
1.5 table spoons balsamic vinegar
1.5 table spoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. If necessary, add more soy sauce, lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. For a little bit of extra heat, add chili or cayenne pepper powder. Enjoy as a side with lunch or dinner!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Who am I? Identity Crisis in the Kitchen

Is avocado a fruit or a vegetable? Well, it has a pit, so I think it's a fruit... no wait, a vegetable.... No, no, definitely a fruit, because apples have pits (or are those seeds?), and they are fruits. What are tomatoes, anyway?

We ask each other these types of questions when we cook. Finally, after not being able to remember botany fundamentals, I decided to shed some light on this matter and end the dispute once and for all. I went to a very "reliable" source that anyone can edit at any time - wikipedia:

"The term fruit has different meanings dependent on context, and the term is not synonymous in food preparation and biology. In botany, which is the scientific study of plants, fruits are the ripened ovaries of flowering parts. In many plant species, the fruit includes the ripened ovary and surrounding tissues. Fruits are the means by which flowering plants disseminate seeds, and the presence of seeds indicates that a structure is most likely a fruit, though not all seeds come from fruits."

So far, so good. To get an easily digestible (a mentally digestible) definition of vegetables, I turned to wisegeek.com:

"...a vegetable is a plant part [that] does not contain seeds."
And there we have it: if it has seeds, it's a fruit. Otherwise, it's a vegetable. Phew. Think I am going to withdraw myself from consideration for "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?".

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Contest: Why Do Dogs Bark?

At an event I attended today, the speaker asked, "Why do dogs bark?", and continued on with the rest of the speech without pausing. "Because they can't talk!" I answered in my head, and for some unknown reason it really amused me, and I nearly burst out laughing (that would have been very, very bad)!

This gave me an idea for this impromptu contest! Here is what to do to enter:

1. Simply leave a comment and answer the above question.

2. Be sure to leave your name and e-mail address right in the comments section, so that I have a way to get in touch with you.

That's it! I will choose the best answer, and that person will get to select a free pair of earrings from my Etsy shop valued at $16 or less! This contest will be open for two weeks; the winner will be announced on February 10, 2009!

Go ahead, tell me: why do dogs bark? (You can't use my answer :).)
*This contest is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! The winner is Scribbit - I will let you know which earrings she chooses!*

Tuesday Irreplaceables – My Pink Fluffy Flip Flop Slippers!

There are some things that you just can’t replace, no matter how hard you try.

My UGG® Australia Fluff Flip Flop Slippers are one example! When they arrived in the mail last year around Christmas, I must admit I was a little skeptical, even though I had been cold all winter and thinking of getting warm slippers for a while. They looked oh-so-cute, and were wonderfully soft and fluffy and pink, but… they were shaped like flip flops! Wouldn’t my feet get cold?!

Image from zappos.com

Well, almost a year later, I can say with confidence that I was very wrong. These superb slippers are perfect in every way – they are comfortable and keep me warm. I just love them, and even though at $70 they are pricey for bedroom slippers, they are well worth it. It was my most favorite gift last year! They come in white, pink, blue and black, and are available from a variety of online shops, e.g. Nordstrom.

Even though my pair is perfectly fine, I am paranoid that UGG will stop making these, and am so tempted to get another pair just in case. (I just saw them on sale for $60 plus free shipping here). Or should I spend the $60 on jewelry-making supplies?! Decisions, decisions…

Monday, January 26, 2009

jaC Procures on Etsy - A Little Piece of Paris

I feel a little weird referring to myself in third person in the title of this post. Nevertheless, I’m going to keep it – even though it’s not how I normally express myself. :)

My latest purchase arrived over the weekend, and I am delighted to have become the owner of these adorable Take me to Paris earrings by Sharon of Adornyou! The second I saw them, I knew I had to have them for sentimental reasons – my husband and I spent our honeymoon in Paris!



These adorable earrings are as fantastic as they look in the picture, and I have been wearing them all day. I showed them to my husband, who immediately saw an opportunity to get out of a Valentine’s Day present: “Happy Valentine’s Day! I am glad I got you something you love.” Not so fast, Husband! Nice try, though.

If earrings are not your thing, do not despair: there is a Take me to Paris necklace, no less adorable and cute than the earrings! A big thank you to Adornyou for making my weekend.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

How to Host a Trunk Show or a Home Party

Are you a seller who wants to host a party to sell your products? Are you a customer who is interested in hosting a party for someone whose products you love?

Alison of Alison Kelley Designs, a veteran contributor to Indiepreneur, wrote two articles that will tell you everything you need to know (and more) to host a fabulous and successful party! Here is what she says:

You don't have to sell jewelry to host a party. My s how method can be used for a large variety of business. As long as you have a product, you are willing to share it with someone, then you too can have a show. Your first show can be your launch party. Invite your friends and family, I am sure that they are more than happy to support you and your business. Be confident in yourself and in your product and you will be successful! Best of luck to you all!

She has graciously given me permission to post links to the two articles she wrote for Indiepreneur. Here they are:


Check them out! A big thank you to Alison for sharing these fantastic tips with us!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Receivables - You Can Never Have too Many Mittens!

In the absence of the official Wish List, I will post things I'd love to receive as gifts in this section!
The first post is inspired by the cold -than-usual weather we've been having (OK, Stacy, don't laugh! You see, people, Stacy lives in Michigan, and she thinks anything above 30 degrees is balmy). I, however, having gotten used to the milder temperatures over the last few years, am absolutely freezing. Whatever happened to global warming?!?! It is very possible that the warming is still global, but it somehow simply missed this location. Stranger things have happened.

OK, 'nuff about the cold, and on to the goodies!

I have always loved mittens. When I was little, I used to lose them all the time, but somehow new mittens in various patterns and colors continually appeared and kept me warm. When I discovered a wonderful pair of ivory mittens with suede patches last winter, I purchased them immediately, despite my sister's efforts to convince the cashier not to sell them to me. ("She lives in NC and does not need them!" she said to him.) Luckily for me, he didn't listen, and I just love my ivory mittens and wear them all the time. Well, as faith would have it, this winter is even colder than last, and I'd love a few more pairs. Here are my top picks:

1. These adorable Eco Friendly Felted Red Wool Mittens (Mens or Womens), $20, come from Woolywooly on Etsy. They are the perfect winter color! Just love them. They would go wonderfully with a white peacoat that I don't have, but have wanted one for a while.


2. HandDyed, another fantastic shop on Etsy, brings us these beautiful Alpaca Long Cabled Mittens, $45. What I love about them is that they're long, which means they will keep your hands AND arms warm! What more can you ask for? The color is great, too - I have a hat to match!

3. Finally, we have these Felted Wool Mittens - Cozy Lemongrass Green Aqua Blue - The Real Warm Woolen Mittens, $40, from Etsy's maddyandme. It says that they're possibly the warmest mittens known to homo sapiens - I don't know about you, but that's all I needed to hear!


There you have it - three fantastic pairs to choose from! Of course, there are many more where these came from (i.e. on Etsy!). I will be back next week with some more great finds to add to the list!

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Time for New Business Cards!

I am going to order another set of business cards soon!

To change things up, I am thinking of using a new image. Which one do you think I should use? Please leave a comment or vote which image you like best or visit my shop and pick your favorite jaC Jewelry piece instead!

Image #3 - Red Petals Necklace - Coral and Bali Vermeil Necklace (this is the picture I currently have on my business cards)
Thank you!
P.S. Alison Kelley Designs, you're not allowed to vote - I already know which one you're going to choose! :)


Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursday Edibles - Crab Cakes with Mustard Mayonnaise

I will post a new recipe every Thursday - just in time for you to try something delicious over the weekend! Good seafood is hard to come by, so I thought I'd start out with a recipe that never disappoints.

This is my absolute favorite crab cake recipe! I originally found it on epicurious.com and amended it a bit. I’ve made it multiple times, and it has always come out absolutely delectable!

These cakes can be made regular or mini size (see note at the bottom of the post). My husband no longer orders crab cakes at restaurants – he says they’re not as good as the homemade ones!

Ingredients

For crab mixture:
1 minced red, yellow or orange bell pepper
2 table spoons canned corn (optional)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crumbled (fresh chopped if available)
1 pound jumbo lump crab meat, picked over (I usually get a 1-pound container of jumbo lump blue crab meat at Sam’s Club)
bread crumbs

For mustard mayonnaise:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 1/2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted

Preparation

1. Make crab mixture:
In a small non-stick skillet sauté bell pepper and onions in oil over moderately high heat, stirring, 2 minutes, or until softened and golden. In a bowl whisk together mayonnaise, yolk, mustard, lemon juice, tarragon, corn and bell pepper. Stir in crab and salt and pepper to taste gently but thoroughly. Chill crab mixture, covered, at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

Form crab mixture into slightly flattened 1-inch round patties of desired size* and gently coat with bread crumbs, transferring to a shallow baking pan. Chill crab cakes, loosely covered with wax paper, at least 2 hours and up to 4.

*The number of crab cakes will vary, depending on the size.

2. Make mustard mayonnaise:
In a small bowl whisk together mayonnaise, mustard and lemon juice. (Mayonnaise may be made 3 days ahead and chilled, covered.)

3. Cook crab cakes:
Preheat oven to 450°F.

Drizzle a scant 1/3 teaspoon butter on each crab cake and bake in middle of oven until crisp and cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Serve crab cakes with mustard mayonnaise.

Mini-crab cakes

For a wonderful treat to serve at a party, use this recipe to make mini-crab cakes (as shown in the picture)! Follow the above instructions, with two exceptions in Step 3:

Drizzle a scant 1/4 instead of 1/3 teaspoon butter on each crab cake.
Bake the crab cakes for 15 minutes instead of 20-25 minutes.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Welcome to jaC Jewelry Blog!

Thank you for stopping by! To view and shop for my jewelry, please visit:

jacjewelry.etsy.com
jacjewelry.net

I have several posts planned in the near future - please come back and visit again soon!