Friday, March 26, 2010

Look What My Daughter Started

I think I've already told you I shunned chainmaille jewelry like the plague until last month when my daughter asked me to make her a beaded chainmaille bracelet she saw.  She went with me to a bead store I get to once a year and they had a  bunch of jump rings and some examples of what could be done with them.  I bought the rings hoping I could remember what the finished piece looked like when I got home.  With the help of the Internet I was able to find some free instructions.  It was so much fun putting her bracelet together I ordered more rings.  LOTS more rings.   Here are the first of my finished pieces.  I am now working on a dainty necklace and a wider bracelet.  I am hoping my customers at Cross Roads will enjoy a change in style this year!  

Click on the pictures for more information 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Something Different - Great Rice Cereal Treat Recipe

I don't normally share recipes here.  In fact, I rarely share recipes at all.  I hate cooking. To me it is a colossal waste of time for the most part.  All that planning, prep time, worrying over the pot and clean up and what you made is gone in an instant.  I'd rather be beading.

This recipe came out so well, and was so easy I just had to share it.  My doctor told me not to eat popcorn.  I absolutely love caramel corn.  I pretty much have been ignoring the doctor (which I do most of the time anyway).  My stomach dictates what I can and can not eat, not my doctor. Anyway, to eliminate some of the popcorn in my life I thought I would try putting the caramel coating on something else.  This was the result.  It doesn't taste like caramel corn, but it is a special treat all in it's own and since it only takes a few minutes in the microwave, I don't mind making it.

Caramel Rice Cereal Treats

1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
7-8 cups crispy rice cereal
Chocolate candy wafers (optional)

In a large microwavable bowl combine the butter, sugar and corn syrup.
Microwave on high for 3 minutes, stopping to stir it at least two times.
Microwave on high for 3 more minutes without stirring.

Take out of microwave and stir in the baking soda and vanilla.  Mixture will get light and foamy.
Fold in the cereal.   You probably will not be able to coat it all at this point.  The coating hardens quickly.
Microwave on high for 20 - 30 seconds then fold the mixture some more.  
Repeat the above step until all of your cereal is coated.  
Pat into a greased pan or lay out on a cookie sheet.  It depends on if you want cut squares or just random chunks.
If you want chocolate on your treats like I do, melt about a half cup of wafers and drizzle over the candy.
Let cool and enjoy!

Note:  The cookie sheet method will result in quite a bit of "crumbs".  They're not as pretty, but they taste just as good.

I'm off to make earrings.  You all have a good day!


Monday, March 22, 2010

Chainmaille - How It's Done

I resisted making anything with chainmail until my daughter begged me to try making her a bracelet she saw in a bead store.  I'm not sure it if was because I was afraid of trying it or that it isn't considered "frilly".  Once I figured out the pattern for hers I had to try more.  This is my first attempt at making a bracelet for my hubby.  He loves it because it is light weight.  My next attempt was with a thicker wire for a more rugged look.

Stripped Electrical Wire

I didn't have a piece of electrical wire that still had it's plastic coating on it.  I purchased this at the hardware store to use in my copper wire wrapped pieces.  It is a combination of 19 and 20 gauge wires and was rapped in a pink sheath. 

One Strand 20 G

For Don's bracelet I used the smaller 20 gauge wire.  It is easier to manipulate by hand and was easier to use while I was trying to figure out the pattern.  It is very lightweight, airy and open.  A larger gauge will result in a heavier look.

Coiled Wire

All the instructions I read talked about using steel rods and electric drills to wind the coils for chainmaille.  Lacking a steel rod and being deathly afraid of large electrical tools I did what any good crafter would do.  I used a knitting needle and hand wound the coil.  Hey - don't laugh, it worked!

Here We Go - Snip, Snip....

Hand cutting the rings with a wire cutter results in less than ideal rings, but it is how it was done for ages.  Now the pros use saws that result in perfectly aligned ends. I have some ordered, but I didn't want to wait for the FedEx guy to show up.  I was quite pleased with the results even if it was done the "old fashioned" way.


Snip, Snip, Snip...

This part is boring.

Hand Made Hook

I put a wire wrapped hook on the starting end so I could tell where the first loops were and I had something to hang onto while I got the chain started.  This wrapped hook is my favorite and the most sturdy of any wire wrapped hooks I've come across.

Work In Progress

It took me a long time to get the pattern established.  I will not lie.  I had to take it out and start over SEVERAL times.  This pattern is called Full Persian.  It doesn't look very complicated but it was very easy to mess it up!

Finished Bracelet

Ta - dah!   I did it!!!

Two more have been completed since and can be found on my Etsy page.  Here is a picture of the one done with the heavier wire.  Just click on it to get more info.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Attention Cookie Cutter Lovers

New LOWER SHIPPING prices on over 250 different cookie cutters!

We are gearing up for the new season at Cross Roads and the big shipment of cookie cutters just came in.  DH spent his time marking them for the store while I got them all online.  We try to keep our prices low because we know how fast the bills can add up.  So - we decided to drop Priority Mail as our main option and bought boxes to send our cutters out in 1st Class.  

Cookies are for all seasons and all reasons, so get baking!
Find them all HERE

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Our Winner Is...

I'm thrilled to announce that our latests PIF giveaway winner is Kat  of Katofmanycolors on Etsy.   She has some beautiful jewelry.  Please be sure to check out her shop and her blog.  The winner was picked by and is shown above.

Kat's blog:  Katofmanycolors
Kat's Etsy page: Katofmanycolors

Monday, March 15, 2010

Only 2 Days Left To Win

I will be picking the winner of my latest bead giveaway early Wednesday morning, so if you want a chance to win, you'd better grab it now.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

New Project A Success!

This project was rambling around in my mind for a while now.  You know, one of those things you want to do but just don't quite find the time to get to.  That and I was leery of doing something without written directions and ruining a good bit of copper.  Yesterday I took the plunge and it took just about the entire day.  Way too long for such a "simple" item.  At least it was simple in my mind, in reality, not so much!  I'll bet the neighbors were glad when I stopped hammering.

So - here it is


Hope you like it!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Back to Work

With our trip behind us, it took me a while to get back into the swing of actually working for a living.   It always does.  That's one reason I don't like taking breaks.  I always stall when it comes to getting to what needs to be done when it's over.

Today I've listed one of the items I have made from the beads I purchased on my trip.  I had everyone on the lookout for beads what would pop on copper and these surely do.  Crab Fire Agate has a naturally rich, warm amber/orange glow.  Nestled in this wire wrapped copper bracelet they are even more beautiful, don't you think?

More information about this piece can be found on my Art Fire page by clicking on the pictures.  

If you are a beader and would like a chance to win a great bead package, click HERE to find out how to enter.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

New Ocean's Depth Earrings

I fell in love with these beads when I found them in a Hanover, Pennsylvania  bead store.  I had to buy a few of them even though they were a bit more than I usually spend on beads.  The depth of the colors can not be captured by the camera lens.  They are just beautiful.  They remind me of the beautiful glass globes on display in the Corning Glass Museum.

I combined the glass beads with gold plated filigree and gold filled wire to make these spectacular earrings.  Just click on the picture if you would like to see more.

Don't miss your chance to win a great bead package.  Just click HERE to find out how to enter.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

While I Was Away

Here is what I was doing last week.  Visiting our family in York, PA.  The new little addition, Taylor was already a month old before we got to see him.  This picture was taken the first time his big brother, Sawyer met him.

I bought a bunch of new beads on my trip.  Some of them are already made into yummy new jewelry.  My daughter talked me into trying chainmaille for the first time.  I practiced on a bracelet for her and then made one to sell.  It can be found on Etsy.  Just click HERE.

I'm off to see what trouble I can get into today.


Monday, March 8, 2010

Giving of the Green - PIF Giveaway

I am back from our annual trek to York, PA.   We had a great visit with our family there but now it is time to buckle down to work and get ready for the up coming retail season.

To kick it off I am having another giveaway.  Because it is Spring and almost St. Patrick's Day we are giving away the green - beads that is.  All we ask is that the winner find some way to pay it forward.  You can give away what you win, make something with it to give away or find something wonderful of your own to pass on to someone else.  When you do, please let me know and I will blog about it.

Here is what the luck winner will receive:

5 Hanks of green beads

One bag of mixed glass beads
One bag of green floral beads
One bag of green tear drop beads
Two slider frogs with 4 matching beads
One bag of mixed transparent beads

Close up of the cute frogs

Here is what to do to enter.  You will get one entry for each thing you complete.  Do one, do them all, it's up to you.  Just be sure you let me know what you do.
1. Go to any of my web sites then come back and leave a comment here telling my what was your favorite item.  The links are all at the top of this blog page.

2. Sign up for my mailing list on the right -----> over there.

3. Blog about & link to this give away on your blog.

4. Post it on your Facebook or MySpace page.

5. Twitter it, with a link back to this post. - Please limit your tweets to once a day and include @forbesfarm so I get them.

I will pick the winner randomly by using  on St. Patrick's Day - March 17th.   Good luck!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I'm Playing Granny This Week

I knew there was a reason I had my children when I was young.  There's no way I would have kept up with them if I'd waited until I was older.  Grandchildren are wonderful but I sure am glad their parents are here to take care of them!  Granny is just too worn out to keep up with a toddler AND take care of a newborn.  I did it when I was young but I'm glad those days are behind me!

One side trip on our visit was to a bead store.  Now that's more my speed!  I walked in swearing I wasn't going to spend much money.  That resolution lasted about 5 minutes.  30 minutes and $100 later I walked out with some great new beads.  I've been making Tree of Life pendants out of whatever I had on hand, which wasn't much.  Now I have chips in Aqua Marine, yellow Citrine and pink Agate.  I can't wait to get home to my wire and tools so I can put them together.  I will have a nice selection for the shop this season when I'm finished.

Monday I should have a new PIF giveaway going for you.  I still have to go through my stash, but I have a pretty good idea of what will be in it.  Beaders will love it, I promise you.

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Morning After The Night Before

I took this yesterday, the morning after my midnight shot.  It's a different view of my yard.  See that gap in the fence?  That's a driveway and those tracks in the snow are on Rt. 60 which is a state road and "well" maintained.

I am taking a break this week.  It's our annual trip to help baby sit the grandchildren while their full time Grandparents go on vacation to Florida.  I love seeing the kids, but where is MY vacation?

Be looking for my return next week.  I have another great package of beads from my stash that I am going to be giving away.  Everyone seemed thrilled with the last one, so I'm doing it again. 

I'm off down the road to York, PA.