29 October 2010

kalanicut - 365 Days Later

kalanicut is one year old!

Went by so fast, I can't  believe it. If someone had told me all that would happen in the past 12 months I think I would not have believed it. The most amazing opportunities, some tragic events, great change, big adventures, lots of love, gratitude and positivity.

The best part of my blogging experience this past year has been renewing my love affair with writing, being able to focus on things I love, and best of all the great friendships I've gained around the world. It is so much fun to look at the visitor map and see markers from around the globe. I have learned so much from you about so many things. I had sworn I would never Facebook or Twitter and now use them daily interacting with lots of lovely people I otherwise wouldn't be in touch with.

To celebrate the blog birthday  I'll be doing a great giveaway next week with a collection of surprise kalanicut creations. Stay tuned for more details. And thanks for being a wonderful part of this year. It's been a joy spending time with you and reading your fantastic comments here on kalanicut. Have a great weekend!

all photos by kalani

28 October 2010

Gift Guide for Family & Friend Visits

Last month when we visited Grandpa Craig we noticed that as busy as he is, there were a few things around the house that could use a little attention. So we made a very short list of things we could do to help out. The first was to sweep up the leaves in his front courtyard. The man had it looking amazing in just a few minutes with a broom he found in the garage. A bit of work was done in the back yard and we left having done a little good and with things looking a little better.

Earlier this year when visiting family I was able to help out on one project at each of the family member's homes I stayed at: a headboard at Mom and Dad's, a flower bed refresh at Sister #1's house and more fun projects with Sis #2.

A home is a lot to keep up with and no one can manage it all without a little extra help. Next time your visiting family and friends ask them if there are any little projects they could use some help with. Allot a couple of hours during your visit to doing a project to help them out.

Maybe you clean out a flower bed, help paint a room, move some boxes, clean the garage. When you visit family or friends this holiday season, take a couple of hours to do a helpful project with them. Shovel snow, scrape snowy windshields, or anything else you can find to do to help out.

It's fun to work together and so easy to help others out. You'll enjoy your time together and they'll think of you every time they pass by your hard work long after you've headed home. That makes it much more likely you'll be gladly welcomed back again too.

27 October 2010

Barbara's Great Meal Planning Ideas

Check out my dear friend & favorite "big sister" Barbara at NoTakeOut. Barbara is a trained chef and fantastic hostess. She is also an inventive designer and has done so many creative projects of notice. I've enjoyed many beautiful meals at the Leopold table and am so excited that she is sharing mouth-watering, easy meal ideas online. I'm already looking forward to trying out this steak sandwich recipe and I am always looking for new pasta recipes like this. Mmmm.

You can get a quick and easy meal plan sent to you from NoTakeOut.com every day by registering for a subscription on the web site. Check it out today! 

Photo from NoTakeOut

Flowers, Flowers, Flowers

I don't know any woman who doesn't love to get flowers. Some women place more value on flowers in relationships than others, but every woman I've ever known has liked receiving flowers. I've been thinking this week about the importance many women put on the man in their lives giving them flowers. And I've been thinking about how often we women with good men in our lives get flowers, that just don't look like flowers.

I often see men giving flowers to the women they love in the form of things like filling up the gas tank, checking the oil & anti-freeze, making sure there's a little cash in the wallet or pocket, buying needed household tools & small appliances, running out to the car to get forgotten items, making a quick grocery store trip at the end of a long day, taking out the trash, doing the dishes, watering the plants, and other things that make their woman's daily life easier.

Now before any of you ladies get feisty and say, "Well of course he should be helping out around the house," yes I completely agree. I think women are very aware and sometimes too caught up in all WE do. But I think we often underestimate how much the men do and how thoughtful they are.

I always love it when The Man says, "I got you something." I can guarantee you that nine times out of ten, I couldn't possibly guess what it would be. I've been the recipient of that cute little knife sharpener, a key chain flashlight, a key chain mini tool, a lens cleaning cloth, a multi-jack USB port, a splitter to plug two sets of earphones into an iPod, batteries, and many other things I never knew I needed.

If I envisioned each of these activities & gifts as big bouquets of flowers, I think I would be much more grateful for all the things The Man does. Flowers only last for a few days but the practical things men do for us and give to us last much, much longer. These acts of service are the equivalent of giving flowers in men's minds. They do all these things because they love you and want to watch out for you and make sure you have a good life. How many bouquets will you get this week? I'm counting mine.

photo from FlowerPhotos.net

26 October 2010

Keep Clicking Along

Today I sent in a submission for a magazine article about an experience I had as a little kid and how it came full circle recently. I had been thinking about submitting this story for publication for a while, then recent events made it an even better story. That motivated me to write it up. As a writer, you just have to hope for the best, do a lot of work and send your work out into the world for critique and acceptance or rejection. It's a painful process.

I'm thinking a lot about how to make my dreams come true. It's really a matter of just checking items off the list each day, anything you can do to get there. Completing this manuscript is one of those things. And it was pretty easy and I enjoyed it which made me work even more quickly and efficiently. Last night I received a compliment on my writing that gave me added courage. I have another writing project to query on this week. This is a biggie, because it's something I've had in the works for several years now. And it's completion means I can work on other new projects. I'm excited about that.

I'm getting the courage to look forward to possible rejections. I can handle it and it's all part of putting oneself out there. You can't get accepted if you don't put yourself up for some rejection, that's how it works. So really, getting rejections means you are on your way to your dreams and that much closer to getting the acceptances you are ready for. Very exciting. So whatever you're dreaming about today, go for it, even if it involves time and a little rejection. Baby steps. It's all taking you closer to what you want and what you were created to accomplish.

Photo from typewriter.com

25 October 2010

The Simple Tools of Men - Lansky Sharpeners

Lansky Quick Fix Pocket Sharpener (colors may vary)
One of the things I love about being surrounded by hardy men is their familiarity with things I have no clue about. I could list many, many things that fall into this category -- weapons, chainsaws, car engines, and more. Most of these men also have a plethora of gadgets, things like every kind of flashlight ever invented, many different kinds of tools, survival gear, and other deeply thought out must haves.

For weeks my "man's man" has been talking about Lansky tools and how much I needed one for my kitchen. And today he brought one to me. From the picture it looks pretty harmless and not to complicated, right? And inexpensive. And it's going to become very closely acquainted with my kitchen knives at my first opportunity.

Now I have to say something about the man's world and the world of women here. If you want to buy a knife sharpener in the women's world, you go to an expensive kitchen store and spend a good chunk of change on a sharpening tool recommended to you by the sales clerk. It will be expensive.

In the world of men, they know that if you need to sharpen a knife it's a fairly simple and inexpensive project. You go to the hunting, hardware or sporting goods store and spend $8 and buy a simple sharpening tool. In either case, you head home run your knife blades through the contraption a few times and you have a sharp knife. The world of men is phenomenally simple, just ask them, they'll agree completely. Things don't have to be so complicated or expensive to get done right.

Hello Lansky Quick Fix Pocket Sharpener! Welcome to this woman's world. And thanks to The Man for being so darned thoughtful. This is better than flowers any day!

Photo from amazon.com

22 October 2010

52 Weeks of Creative Projects

Loved this post by Bird on Bramble. A list of 52 creative projects she is going to do over the next year. This got me totally inspired to create my own list. So far I'm only up to 10 items, but here they are:

1) Learn to play my gorgeous striped wood Ukelele. I think I need to take a class.
2) Learn to Screen Print. There are a zillion tutorials about this online and I still haven't done it. Maybe for Christmas. Mmm, here's an idea percolating....
3) Make a quilt. It's ridiculous that I haven't done this yet. Ridiculous.
4) Make something with felted wool I've collected. Again the winter would be the perfect time to do this.
5) Explore a new museum. Easy, tons around. But now I need to reach out a little farther geographically to new ones - or when I'm visiting other cities.
6) Take a jewelry making class. I'd love to learn to solder and wire wrap.
7) Make a skirt and sew a groovy applique on it. Easy.
8) Make an Advent Christmas Garland.
9) Make Christmas Cards. I'm pressing to get this going ASAP in keeping with my get done early goal.
10) Take a CCP photography class. She offered, I need to follow up.

Can I come up with 42 more things? I have a feeling I can. I need to maintain a steady diet of creative projects. It keeps me sane and happy. Unfortunately I can't do a piece of furniture or other home decor every week because that would be my first choice, but I'm out of space for any of that. Darn it.

Anyone want to join in? It's going to be a lot of fun. Happy Friday! Have a fantastic weekend! Thanks for coming by and for supporting kalanicut!

21 October 2010

Frito Taco Salad & Reading Food Labels

Last night I had the idea to make Frito Taco Salad, a throwback to my teen years. The recipe required Taco Seasoning and Ranch Dressing. Here's where the troubles started. I've mentioned Maltodextrin here before. It's a cheap sweetener and found in thousands of processed foods. If you frequently crave sugar and often feel tired and run down you might want to read about why Maltodextrin and an abundance of sugar are not so great for you.

Most processed, packaged food will have Maltodextrin in it. Start checking labels. Almost any seasoning packet will have Maltodextrin in it. So I had to find a homemade taco seasoning recipe that I can whip up. Here's the recipe I used. I was happy that I had all but one ingredient, which I remedied in a quick visit to the grocery store.

Then I had to deal with the dressing. Have you ever looked at salad dressing labels? I spent about 15 minutes going through the salad dressing section at my neighborhood grocery store reading labels. I was pretty disappointed. It's amazing how many foods considered Organic or All Natural have Maltodextrin and other unhealthy ingredients in them. Don't fall for marketing baloney. Lots had Maltodextrin and every one I looked at on the shelf had MSG in it along with other preservatives that aren't so great for the digestive system.

I almost gave up until I saw the refrigerated dressing section. Because these dressings are refrigerated they do not have as many preservatives and other chemical additives in them. I was happy to find Bob's Big Boy Ranch dressing was made from real food ingredients and was pretty clean. We ended up not using it because the Taco Seasoning was plenty of flavor for the salads.

So with a little work I was able to pull together some great alternatives and not long after enjoyed a delicious frito taco salad for dinner. Check your food labels and ingredients. It's an incredibly educational experience. And you'll eat better and feel better for it. Happy eating. 

I'll follow this post up tomorrow with more on healthy, tasty salads your family, even little kids, will eat.

20 October 2010

Parental Wisdoms About Meaningful Holiday Giving

One thing I love about reading blogs is learning from the way other people do things. It really enriches my life to see new ways of dealing with everyday thing or fantastic suggestions on how to handle issues that have troubled me for some time.

I've been thinking a lot about this post from Design Mom. Gabrielle and her husband have a great philosophy about gift giving for kids. I’m definitely going to consider this approach as I go forward in life.

I've noticed that kids who get mounds of toys don't really appreciate each gift. We learned our lesson when we spent an embarrassing amount for The Little Bugs third birthday. Dumb, dumb, dumb. People most appreciate the time and thought that is put into gifts, so I'm thinking now about what will be most helpful and appreciated.

Check out the fantastic comments at Design Mom’s post as well. There are some phenomenal ideas for organizing your holiday giving and creating meaningful traditions within your family. I loved reading about the different ways families tend to holiday budgets, prioritize their giving and teach their children about the season and the spirit of giving and receiving.

I was really impressed with the suggestions and I enjoyed the chance to consider new ways of doing things that I had never heard of before. Hope you’re enjoying planning your holiday season. I am most excited for the holidays when I plan ahead and take thoughtful actions. I want to be excited this year.

What great ideas have you decided on for your family? Are there traditions you're throwing out in favor of simpler ones?

photo from ewallpapers

Great Holiday Decorations From 99 Cents Stores

I popped into a local dollar store to pick up a few toiletry/first aid items today. It was a wonderland, with interesting and at times hideous things stacked high at every turn. I could've perused the place for hours. But the one thing that really caught my attention was holiday decorations. There were so many different things that I stopped to inspect. Prices ranged from 99 cents to three dollars or so.

Here's a quick list of some of the things I really liked:

1) Pinecone Ornaments - About 2 1/2 inches tall, metallic, pinecone shaped ornaments. These were about five to a container, with containers of gold, green, silver and red. While they had a charm about them as they were, I just imagined taking Martha Stewart's giant glitter kit to them, adding some darling striped ribbon. Oh, yum! These would be so great attached to a pretty mantle garland or on wrapped packages. They would also be so pretty stacked in a large glass jar or vase or on a table in a beautiful wooden bowl.

2) Shiny Metal Bells - So many great uses on the tree, wreath, mantle garland, gift wrapping, etc. They could really be spruced up if tied up with some fun holiday gross grain ribbon, or the ribbon could be glued around the base of the bell. You could even do some fun things with paint, a metallic marker, vinyl appliqu├ęs or other creative design additions.

3) Wreaths - Go DIY crazy with a simple artificial wreath. Add some twinkly lights, a pretty, big ribbon, felt flowers, torn paper flowers, silver bells, shiny glitter stars or small holiday ornaments. So many ways to personalize and upcycle a simple green wreath. Great for front doors, window panes, hung with garland over a fireplace or along a staircase railing.

4) Wood Star and Snowflake Cutouts - I like using these for ornaments or as part of my gift wrapping tied to the front of a package with a beautiful ribbon or several strands of pretty yarn or twine. These could also be decorated to use for place cards for a holiday dinner with each guests name written on them using glue and glitter or a metallic marker. Another great idea would be to create something special to remember the year - decoupage a family photo or small paper clippings that will always bring back memories of 2010. This would be a great family activity or crafty ice breaker for a party.

5) Beaded, Shiny Balls - There were so many different varieties of ornaments. Some were gorgeous just as they were, others would be absolutely charming with a little spiffy creative effort. Upcycled and beautifully packaged in cellophane or a pretty box with just the right ribbon, these would make lovely little gifts of remembrance for friends or neighbors.

6) Chipboard Signs - This was a little cutout sign that just said Merry, painted red. It was cute already, but adding a little twinkle and some down-to-earth ribbon would take it to a whole new level. Again another great little gift that could be personalized with just the right color of ribbon.

7) Stocking Stuffers - coloring books, markers, calendars, books, school supplies, little toiletry trinkets, little purses, nail polish, flashlights, little toys, stuffed animals, and a million other fun little things kids love.

8) Things from Other Aisles - pretty contact paper, a variety of trays, boxes, bamboo place mats & coasters, table linens, stemware, serving bowls, glass vases, moss and other floral arranging supplies and much more. There are things in every department that could add to  the holiday plans and preparations. It just takes a little creativity.

Wow, just writing this post is getting me excited for the holidays. I can't wait to go back and pick up a few things and start working on some creative projects. It's possible to have an absolutely gorgeous holiday on a very small budget. Starting now is a great way to give yourself time to create gifts and decorations. Take your time to bargain shop. Organize yourself so you don't overspend or get caught spending large amounts of money at the last minute in a rush.

My favorite holiday memories have been from those years where I got things done early and was able to just enjoy the month of December. I'm hoping to have another year like that this year. Later this morning I'll publish an inspiring follow up about holiday giving.

So dear readers, what have you seen in the shops that will be cheery for the holidays at fantastically inexpensive prices. What creative things are you doing to save money and make things gorgeous? Love your generous, sharing comments!

Snowflake photo from www.99centsdollarstore.com
All other photos from wwww.koleimports.com

19 October 2010

Showing Thanks Brings Abundance

I woke up thinking this morning about the words thank you. If you want more abundance in your life, using the words thank you can have a significant effect. When you show gratitude for things others do for you, their natural instinct is to want to do more. Think about the influence this could have on your relationships with the bank teller, grocery clerk, teachers, friends, children and spouse.

Everyone knows someone they feel they can't please. When we bump into one of these people their behavior encourages us to give up and pull away, because no matter what you give, what you do, what you offer it will never be enough. Think about the people you most enjoy being around. They appreciate you, who you are and what you bring to their lives. And you want to be around them more.

So I'm trying to remember that a kind word of appreciation goes a long, long way. Thank the people around you. You'll be surprised what comes of it. You'll make them feel great, and you'll get more of what you need too. It's definitely a win-win situation.


18 October 2010

Christmas Giving List for 2010

A few months ago I decided that my Christmas giving this year would center around emergency preparedness. Here are some of the things I'm putting on my list for family and friends.

1. Collapsible Bucket
2. Camp Stove
3. Hatchet
4. Personal Water Purifier
5. Foldable Shovel
6. Flashlight
7. Foldable Saw
8. 4-liter Water Purifier
9. Hand-crank Radio, Flashlight, Cell Charger

I thought this would be very practical and these are all things that will save the day if a bad day comes. They can all be used for camping trips and other family activities too. Hope this gives you some good ideas for your holiday giving this year. Another great idea is a 72-hour emergency kit. There are lots of great links online with instructions and lists to put together a great kit for gift giving. Happy Monday!

All photos from Amazon.com

14 October 2010

Four Sites That Inspire More Interesting Meals

Tailgating Chili Recipes
When you're planning three healthy meals a day, day after day after day, it can become a real challenge to stay interesting and interested in the process. Sometimes I get too busy or just get in a rut of the same old meals week after week.

When I need a little creative cooking inspiration here are a four sites that immediately give me great new ideas and recipes that I actually feel I have the ingredients and abilities to pull together.

1. realsimple.com -- In each issue of the magazine and on the web site there are great quick meals to upstyle your dinner table. I have been collecting their recipes for years.

2. foodnetwork.com -- This is the first place I go if I want to find a good basic meat recipe or have something very specific in mind. I often merge a couple of different recipes to get the recipe just the way I want it, but it's a great all-purpose online cookbook covering a huge range of recipes and cooking styles. Food Network also has recipes for some favorite recipes seen on Food Network shows - My favorite is

3. thepioneerwoman.com -- The pioneer woman can cook. I'm crazy about her Mini-meatball Sandwiches, in fact I had one for dinner last night. I make the recipe, have it for dinner then freeze two containers for two more dinners and still have enough for a lunch or two after that. I also heard today that her Chicken Noodle Soup is pretty fantastic. I'm trying that next.

4. TastyKitchen -- This is another great collection of great recipes contributed by readers who are great cooks. This is a good place to go to find a great basic recipes with fun twists. I love looking through the different food categories on this site.

5. Talkin'ChowPlayin'House -- I love this site for great food inspirations for the family. I often find great ideas here that I can't wait to try. They have a great selection of healthy soups, salads, main dishes and lots of mouth-watering baked goods.

The next time you're pressed for time and short on ideas, check out one of these sites for new ideas for your dinner table. They are a great resource if you want to start planning weekly menus or need something special for a family dinner or special event. Have a great weekend!

photo from FoodNetwork.com

A Shade for Every Lamp

Found a great website for lamp shades, Shades of Light this week. I was totally impressed with their selection. There are so gorgeous prints and patterns that would spice up any living space. And if you are looking for high quality basic lamp shades they've got you covered with every size and shape you might need with a selection of over 350 different options.

I have a great collection of lamps from a variety of vendors, but every now and again I am really ready for a change and a new lamp shade is just the thing. Now I know there's a fantastic resource out there. Superb! If you have lamps you are ready to give new life to, this may be just the spot.

12 October 2010

I Am Enough Today

Today's the day at I Am Enough collaborative. If you have a chance, please pop by. I'd love your feedback here on my blog or over there. I'm going to celebrate for a short moment today being in such good company with the impressive women over there.

Then it's back to reality and lots of things to do including the continued effort to be kind to self. I won't tell you about the conversation I had with myself about what a creative fraud I am yesterday. LOL. You'll share my laughter once you see what I wrote for I Am Enough

Have a fantastic Tuesday reader friends. You are wonderful, inspiring and lovely and don't let yourself tell you anything less.

Decor8 Holly's New Home on Haus Maus

You've heard me talk a lot about the Blogging Your Way class I am taking. The creator and instructor for the class, Holly Becker, is a freelance journalist and founder of the very well known blog Decor8. Holly's interior design focused blog is a wealth of beautiful inspiration and resources for the home.

Holly has another blog I am following with great interest. She's moved into a new home in Hannover, Germany with her husband Thorsten who was also a big part of our class. On her other blog Haus Maus she will be sharing her design process for her gorgeous new home.

Even barely decorated the bones are breathtaking and I can only imagine what wonderful things are to come for this lovely, welcoming home. Here are a few photos from her blog, but you'll definitely want to go to Haus Maus and see the rest of the mouth-watering photos.

I look forward to watching as things evolve. If you have a chance visit Haus Maus. It's fun to live vicariously through Holly on her adventures as an American in Germany. She has such a smart, congenial way about her. You'll enjoy her writing style, her visuals and all the great inspiration that you can apply in your own home.

Over the next few weeks Holly will be traveling to Turkey and Morocco and will be sharing her travels - all the great shopping, design inspiration and amazing sights on Decor8. Can't wait for that. Hope you'll stop by and enjoy with me. Happy Tuesday! Make it a GREAT day!

All photos via Haus Maus, 10/04/10.

P.S. - Check out Tracey Clarke's blog today. Tracey's blog is a place of amazing sharing and sisterhood. I am thrilled to be a part of this collective of women I admire and share a deep kinship with - a desire to live a happy, full and thoughtful life. See my post at I Am Enough today.

11 October 2010

Own What You Bring - Personal Responsibility

I was thinking last night about a man I once heard speak in front of a large group of people. He was talking about the success his company was having and mentioned a very successful project they were supporting, then casually said something along the lines of - "It's not really something I would be proud to tell my mother about." This was followed by laughter.

This project did nothing to make the world a more beautiful place. It degraded both women and men. It took beautiful things and made them tawdry and cheap. And his company was profiting from it. And his only comment was that his mother wouldn't be proud. Other than this it seemed he had no duty to the world around him. His only duty was to his own financial success and power, a corporate giant's coffers and giving their customers "what they wanted."

When I think about the influence I have on the world, the "product" I bring to those around me, I want it to be something I can be behind 100 percent. That I know makes the world a better place, brings hope and peace to others. It's a great shame, A SHAME, that there are people in this world so quick to bring garbage to the masses for money, success and power. They encourage those they expose to these things to be less than they really are, to accept and expect less and to believe in less.

It is impossible to bring ugly into the world when we are living our best lives, when we are doing what we were meant to do. It's impossible to feel good or pretty or successful when we are not bringing pretty and good into the world. We should expect more of people. We should show our displeasure to big organizations more often. We should be more careful what we give acceptance to, how easy we make it for people so willing to make money at our expense.

I hope you'll join me in the quest to find our best selves, to do our best work, to bring goodness and beauty to the world. They are so many people in desperate need of a positive light, a kind word, an encouraging arm. Through our own examples and actions we can be encouraging to our families, to our local communities, to the media, large corporations and governments. There is no person, group or organization so large that they cannot be influenced for the better. You have great influence for good in this world. Never forget it.

08 October 2010

I Am Enough Project - Tuesday 12 October

Hello, lovely friends. I am very happy to share with you that next Tuesday I will be the featured guest blogger at the fabulous Tracey Clarke's I Am Enough project. I have known about this for a few months now and had a lot of time to think about what I needed to learn about being enough, what experiences I have had that drive me to believe that and how I would share them.

I thought I might write a bit about big life adjustments, suddenly losing a dear and trusted mentor earlier this year, deep disappointments or how struggles change us. I did not. Instead I wrote about two brief moments that caught my attention and changed the way I saw my life and myself forever.

I hope if you have a chance you'll visit the project and be inspired by all the beautiful women who have shared their own unique journeys to learning they are indeed enough. My piece will be posted on Tuesday and I look forward to sharing it with you. I was happy with it and I felt it spoke from my heart and said "enough" in the way I wanted to. It was a blessing to come at the time it did. Thanks Tracey for including me. I hope I do right by this inspirational project.

Thank you dear readers, my friends, for inspiring me with your beauty and generosity. Wishing you a peaceful and sunny weekend!

BYW Student Art Week - Inspired Home by City Chic Country Mouse

It's Friday already and the last day of BYW Student Art Week. I may have to do this again because there are so many amazingly creative people in my class that there is more than enough beauty to keep us busy for a year if I featured one of them each day. 

Today I am happy to present City Chic Country Mouse, designers of beautiful and necessary items for the home. The philosophy behind these designs is to make household chores more fun. How can you not smile seeing these gorgeous fabrics?

City Chic Country Mouse is a mother-daughter pair, Jamie and Carmen, who teamed up Mom's great sewing skills with Daughter's color and design aesthetic to create items you need and should be able to love and enjoy for your home. I love their ironing board covers.

 Ironing is a necessary evil in my book, but if you're going to do it you should enjoy it, right? I know my ironing board would love one of these, although I'd be hard pressed to pick just one. My ironing board was passed down from my grandmother. I love having something that was so intregral to her life, care of her family, sewing projects and so much more.

When I first got it, it would not open and close and I thought it might be on it's way to a dumpster, but then I tried oiling the hinges and since then it's been a trusted friend through many sewing and ironing projects. I think the sturdy old gal would love a new frock.

Jamie and Carmen also design pot holders, aprons, scissor sleeves and sewing machine covers. You can visit their Etsy shop and see their blog City Chic Country Mouse to learn all about them and see their creations.

It's been a great week of creativity from the BYW classmates. Thank you all for sharing the unique beauty that your talents and vision bring! Lovely readers hope you've enjoyed getting to know some new-to-me talents. BYW classmates, I wish you the greatest success and hope to see much more of you in the future!

06 October 2010

Autumn Hues for New Fall 2010 Necklaces

Yeah! Finally, I got out my beads and had a little fun. Here's what I whipped up last weekend. There are actually five necklaces here. There are three necklaces gathered together with the smallest beads. Here are a few quick details from the large shot starting from the left.

1) This necklace was made from a parts of a necklace I picked up at Goodwill. The smaller beads are from the original necklace and the wood and turquoise beads are from my collection.

2) The middle piece is made with velvet ribbon, a broach I had in my collection that I never wore and the large beads are from also from a thrift store necklace I bought last year.

3) The third is a grouping of three strands. One is turquoise and silver with the large faux stone at the bottom. The large "stone" is also from a thrift store necklace I purchased. The second strand is brown with just a small one-inch section of green, clear and turquoise beads on the middle left side. The third is a multi-colored strand of brown, green, clear and turquoise. I like them all together, or the turquoise all alone, or the brown and multi-colored strands tied in a lose knot near the bottom.

So that's just a little peak at the lovely new pieces I'll add to the wardrobe this Autumn. Hope you are enjoying the transition into Fall!

What are you adding to your wardrobe this year? Are you doing a total overhaul or being conservative and only adding a few key pieces. What are your favorite brands and looks now that you can layer a bit?

BYW Student Art Week - Colorful Patterns by Raeburn Ink

Thursday is here already. Hope it's a happy day for you. When I first visited the blog Raeburn Ink I knew I'd met a kindred spirit instantly...a girl who loves orange. blue, green and the same color combinations I do. the pattern work is inspired and exquisite. I poured over each item in the Etsy shop and the beautiful photos across the blog.

Raeburn Ink is the creative child of Jennifer Cooke. You can learn more about her here. And you can have a peek at her new book Design Your Own Tees on Amazon.com. Another thing I am absolutely thrilled by at Raeburn Ink is the blog banner. It is one of the most exciting blog headers I have ever seen. It just really grabbed me, inspired me. It's just so well done and so perfect to capture all you'll find there. Just nothing short of perfect.

Stop by Jennifer's blog and Etsy shop. Next time you're in the bookstore browse her beautiful book or check it out online. Take the time to understand her craft and why it works. There is multi-layered richness there. Enjoy!

Thanks Jennifer for sharing your beautiful vision and creativity with us all!

All photos from Raeburn Ink website and Etsy shop

BYW Student Art Week - Youthful Charm by Tiges & Weince

Happy Wednesday. Hope you are well and happy. Today I am happy to share the work of Kylie Loy, a charming girl from Adelaide, Australia, and her blog and online stores, titled Tiges and Weince.

Kylie has a love of life, family and anything that makes her laugh. You can definitely see her whimsy and enjoyment of life in her work -- so colorful, cheerful and warm. On her Etsy store she sells the cutest iron-on transfers, for just $7.

You could really spiff up some inexpensive basic cotton tees and dresses with her darling art - a boutique look without the boutique price. I love her little giraffe and the sassy three birds.

She also creates the loveliest mixed media framed art, pillows, mobiles, bookmarks and wall-hangings. Best of all she does custom work so you can get with her to order something totally unique for your home, babies or sweet gifts.

Visit her warm and welcoming blog and enjoy her etsy store. Think of her when you preparing for a baby shower or children's gift.

All photos from Tiges & Weince blog and Etsy Shop.

05 October 2010

Goodwill Find -- Hello Hammered Silver Cake Stand!

Look what I found at Goodwill yesterday! It's gorgeous, silver, hammered, BIG and so beautiful.

This is the beautiful top, just waiting for a lovely, beautiful, celebratory cake.

And all for just $9.99. Now rest assured this is not some "veiled" (excuse the pun) announcement of any sort. If I was going to make such an announcement I would just say it. But I am sticking this in the closet for future use. I never do stuff like that but in this case, how could I walk away. I mean seriously! I would've regretted this time and time again.

And as you may know that is my yardstick by which I gauge purchases when thrifting. Will I regret it in an hour, tonight, tomorrow, a week from now, a year from now? I'm currently regretting a great Fossil leather shoulder bag I saw in Albuquerque last trip.

I knew I would regret this, especially if I was ever in a situation where I needed a cake stand for a big, fancy cake. I had to do it. She's ever so slightly too fancy for me, but she spoke to me and I had to answer back with a big "Oh, Hello!"

BYW Student Art Week - Sea Glass Jewelry by Newsprout Design

It is Day Two of BYW Student Art Week. Can you believe this jewelry?!?!?! I think I've mentioned at least once the secluded and ignored beach we stayed near earlier this summer and how The Little Bug and I gathered sacks full of fantastic, big pieces of sea glass and large shells of many varieties. I have enjoyed putting these in beautiful jars around the house. If you've seen Something's Gotta Give you'll definitely remember the beautiful beach house Diane Keaton's character, Erica Barry lived in and her jars of white beach rocks. I love that house, that feel...

So when I visited fellow student Newsprout's jewelry store on Etsy and the gorgeous, beach photos on her blog Newsprout Art & Design I knew instantly I was seeing things that really spoke to my heart. If you ever need to take a break and enjoy the beach this is the place to do it!

I love so many pieces of jewelry in the shop.The prices are very affordable, unique, eye grabbing works of art. Such a creative, fresh idea. And if you are mourning the end of summer, this is a perfect way to carry it with you all the time. They would also make great gifts to remember special occasions, vacations and visits. Stop by for a few moments of pure pleasure and when you're thinking of gifts, think of all the amazing Etsy artists selling the most beautiful and creative wares to really personalize your giving. Have a beachy, happy Tuesday!

All photos via Newsprout Art & Design & Newsprout Etsy Shop.

04 October 2010

BYW Student Art Week - Glorious Katherine Quinn Art


Happy Monday, Dear Readers. I think of you often and hope you are well, that you are at peace and feeling blessed.

Friday was the last day of our formal Blogging Your Way classwork with Holly and Leslie and it is sad to see our training period end. The next four weeks will be spent in student forums supporting each other as we continue to implement things we have learned. It has been an amazing experience and while I am quite exhausted due to all the added busy-ness, I have many, many things that I want to implement to improve your experience here on kalanicut.

One of the best rewards from this class has been meeting new blogger friends from all over the world. It's been fun to look at the kalanicut visitor map and see markers from countries all over the world. I have also had a great time visiting new blogs and seeing inspiring work from classmates in many lands.

I am  to excited to dedicate this week to the art and work of fellow BYW classmates. I am deeply pleased to be able to share with you today the artwork of BYW classmate, Katherine Quinn from Napier, New Zealand. I was taken by her art instantly, particularly the piece with the darling girl with the aviator glasses and propeller on her head and globe hanging at the side. I melted!

I showed The Man and he was quite taken with these lovely girls too. He said, "Buy something, buy something." I'm planning on that, my problem is I just can't make up my mind.

It absolutely shines out in her work that Katherine is a kind, thoughtful soul. Her blog, Sleep and Her Sisters, is generous, warm and friendly - and covered with her charming art. You can purchase her art in her Etsy shop, Stop by and spend a few minutes with Katherine and her lovely girls! I promise you you'll be overtaken with a sense of happiness, peace and calm. Just what you need on a Monday!

Tomorrow I will share the most amazing jewelry. Again I gathered the clan to admire it when I first saw it. We sat together and looked through every page of the Etsy shop. If you want to hang on to the spirit of summer you may want to be wearing one of these as the days continue to get colder in the north.

all photography from Sleep and Her Sisters.

01 October 2010

Impressive Quality & Performance -- Denmark Cookware

Because I cook a lot of fluffy omelettes I am always on the prowl for a good non-stick egg pan. At Marshall's a few weeks ago I found a very nice, heavy, non-stick frying pan and when I turned it over to see the brand I was gleeful to see the words Denmark with a logo resembling the Danish Flag.

How could I not love a pan branded Denmark?! I never knew such a thing existed. Denmark is a pretty wonderful place and the Danes definitely hit the sweet spot with anything they do in the kitchen and the most lovely kitchenware!

I bought the pan and have been beyond please with it. It has impressed me beyond belief with weight, construction, non-slip quality and even cooking temperatures. It's a dream pan and for the price a steal of a deal. Every time I use it I think, I need to get me more of this cookware. I did some digging and found that the Denmark brand cookware has great online reviews, many different cook pieces and the prices are surprisingly low.

I have never been able to commit to a full set of new cookware. I'm not sure why. But over the years I've been picking up great pieces here and there. I think I'm in great shape now, but for a couple of small saucepans. I definitely know what brand I'm going to invest in. You can find Denmark cookware at Bed, Bath and Beyond and other retailers. You can see lots of great Denmark cookware options here.

7-piece cookware photo from Amazon
All other photos from Bed, Bath & Beyond

When I Grow Up - Great Site by Michelle Ward

In my BYW class, I met Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up coach. I love her story and philosophy. She's the life coach you are looking for if you are finally ready to be what you dreamed of being when you grew up, rather than what you felt you should do, or others told you that you should be.

Her website if full of great inspiration, she has a newsletter, blog and is also offering a new online course titled The Declaration of YOU. I love that title! Isn't it time we all stood up and really connected with our most authentic selves, lived lives that really make us happy and serve the world in the way we were created to?!!!!

Michelle has a great energy and is a great mix between understanding and a good kick in the seat of the pants. If you're looking for great inspiration to make more of your life, check out her web site, blog and sign up for her e-course. Since taking BYW I am a big fan of online classes. I'm looking for my next adventure to begin in a few weeks.

Thanks Michelle for being such a shining light to searching souls!
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