Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Few Funnies

I haven't been feeling stellar these past couple of days, so the post I had planned for today didn't get finished.  

Instead, I'm sharing some pics I've found on the 'net that make me smile.  

Enjoy!









Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Don't be Such a Chicken

One of my favorite ways to have chicken is roasted.  In the summer, I like to stick a can of beer up its behind and stand it up in the pan.  The beer makes the meat super moist and super tasty.  In the winter, I tend to shove green pepper and onion chunks up its behind and spread the skin with butter when I roast it.  

Why must I always be inserting something up the chicken's backside? 

Anyway, there's always leftover chicken.  In fact, this week I realized that we got 3 meals off of one chicken.  Then I figured out how much money we'd spent all week on groceries and it was around $1.35 per person per meal.  How crazy is that?  Of course, one of those meals was meatless, but still.  Part of the reason I could get so many meals out of one chicken is because I buy Pilgrim's whole chickens.  Their chickens are big - like 6 - 7 pounds each.  Plus, they're all natural and the grocery store here usually has them on sale for 99 cents a pound.  
So, one of the ways we ate leftover chicken this week was in the form of chicken salad.  Mine is pretty simple.  Chicken, onions, celery and apple.  I also like to add pecans or English walnuts if I have them on hand.  I sometimes substitute part of the mayo with cream cheese and a little fresh garlic.  It's especially good with smoked chicken.  


It's better if you make it a few hours in advance and even better the next day.  I like to eat it with fresh fruit and a little avocado.  Mmmm.  

Be happy,
Rachel



Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Interview 9: Mary with Wick'd Creation

Well, now that we had a break from our normal Tuesday Etsy Seller interview, we're back on schedule.  Today's interview is with Mary from WickdCreation.  Mary makes all sorts of groovy things on top of doing a bunch of other stuff which you'll see in the interview.  Just reading what she does wore me out.  

So, on with the interview! 

1. Who are you and what do you do?

Jade Flower Earrings
My name is Mary Thomas and I run Wick'd Creation on Etsy. I also spend alot of time being captain of the greatest team on Etsy, April's Army. Aside from that, I am a wife to an awesome husband, a "mommy" of 3 cats, an Early Childhood Education student , a successful procrastinator, a junk collector, and a crazed scrapbooker.

I am an eclectic crafter and my shop is proof of that. I started my business selling candles and a few soaps, but now I also sell jewelry, greeting cards, trinket boxes and whatever else I feel like making. I have a bad case of crafter's ADHD and at my last job my nickname was Arts and Crafts.


2. Why do you do what you do?

Cotton Candy Sugar Scrub Soap
I was first inspired by my grandmother, who passed away when I was 11. She was a quilter, seamstress, dollmaker and all all around amazing lady. She taught me to sew and cook when I was 8 years old and I still love to do both. My second biggest inspiration came from a wonderful friend of the family, named Donna, who gave me a huge box of her leftover craft supplies when I was in high school. This spawned my love of all things crafty. 

3. How long have you been doing it? (Your craft/trade, not doing IT)

Gingerbread Candle
I have loved all kinds of crafts since I was a child. But I have actively been a crafter/creator since I was about 14. I have spent the last 15 years collecting all types of supplies and learning new techniqes. I've made candles since I was 19 and still work to get them just right. I didn't become a "soaper" until late last year but i have a great love for it.

4. What is your favorite popsicle flavor?

Banana, but I prefer ice cream. 

5. If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be? 
Tony Soprano's was probably the greatest home ever on television. Plus, who doesn't love The Sopranos. I don't watch much TV though, so maybe I'm not the best judge. 

6. What's your favorite breakfast food? 
Pancakes. Any kind that doesn't have blueberries anywhere near it. I hate blueberries. 

7. If you knew you could you try anything and not fail, what dream would you attempt? 
Singing in a band. I love to sing, and have been told I have talent, but I have the worst stage fright in the world. As in, I don't have to be anywhere near a stage to freak out about singing in front of people. But I would love to get over the anxiety and just sing my heart out in a rockabilly/psychobilly type band.

I think you all should all head over to
WickdCreation and buy some soap, or hair clips, or pendant or candle.  She wasn't kidding about being an eclectic crafter.  She can do it all!  

See you all tomorrow, and bring a friend! 

Be happy,
Rachel  

Monday, June 27, 2011

He Doesn't Even Have to Wear a Cape!

Starting a home-based business is scary.  Starting one in a bad economy is even scarier. Having your boyfriend get laid off in the middle of starting a home-based business will just make you pee yourself...at least on the inside. But then one day you find out that your boyfriend is going to get to use one of his many mad skills to possibly make a pretty decent salary in time.  This particular adventure will have him using his geeky, website/computer skills.  This helps me relax and not worry so much, and as an added bonus, keeps me from peeing myself.  

Meanwhile, he'll still be using one of his other mad skills to bring in extra money.  



I'm not sure how he can take a pile of these... 


And add some glass beads, and open and close a lot of rings and end up with something as pretty as this hand flower.  
Chainmail Hand Flower

Or something as nerdy as this dice bag.  
Ultra Nerdy Dice Bag (or really cool bag for a night on the town which could double as a weapon)

or as delicate as this bracelet (which is one of my favorites and similar to the one I stole from him asked him for).

 Fairy mail bracelet 

But chainmail and nerdy endeavors aren't the only thing he's good at.  

He's especially good at encouraging me.  There have been more than a few times that I wanted to quit and just sell everything in my workroom and get a normal job with normal hours.  

But he talked me out of it.   

He does the icky stuff, too, like bug-killing and cleaning out the refrigerator.  

And he loves me when I'm not very lovable. 

He really is my hero.  

I don't even know if I've ever told him that, because sometimes it's hard to say what you really want to say.  

So, now I've said to the entire Internet.  


Be happy,
Rachel
P.S. I promise tomorrow I won't be so mushy.  

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Week in Review: 6-20 to 6-24

I'm sitting here eating Hot Tamales (one of my vices) and realizing that the week is already over.  

Monday, we tried to figure out what I could use my shopping cart for.  We didn't seem to come up with anything.  

Then on Tuesday, we celebrated the First Day of Summer, which is the best day of the year.  



Wednesday, we talked about breast perspiration (does that sound better than boob sweat?), swooning and to die for dresses.  


Yesterday was a mere trifle of a post.  



Now it's time to finish this day and then head for the weekend.  My sister will be in town today, so we're going to spend some time doing sister type stuff.  Then tomorrow, Eric and I are peddling our wares at the Pine Mountain Village Arts and Crafts Show here in Eureka Springs.  

I think Sunday I might be able to relax and do nothing for about 14 minutes - possibly15.  

I hope you all have a glorious weekend!  Thanks for stopping by and I'll see you next week.  
Same time.  Same place.  

Be happy,
Rachel

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June, I Hardly Knew Ya

Did you guys know that the Fourth of July is only like 11 days away?  How did that even happen?  Wasn't it just May?  Why does time move so much faster now that I'm older not as young as I once was?

So, I have no idea what we're going to do for the Fourth - mostly because I didn't realize until just now how close it is.  I think I'll make a strawberry/blueberry trifle.  Isn't this one pretty?  But the recipe for this one calls for fat-free sweetened condensed milk, sugar-free white chocolate pudding and sugar-free whipped cream.  Plus it has angel food cake in it, which I don't like.  

So, I'll probably assemble the trifle like it, but use one of Martha's recipes.  Martha Stewart, that is.  She and I are on a first name basis.  Actually, I call her Marth and she calls me Rach.  We're totally besties! 

Back to reality.  Here is the trifle recipe I will use only I'm going to substitute strawberries for the raspberries.  Don't tell Marth, though.  She gets a little testy when people fuss with her recipes.  

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 store-bought pound cake (12 ounces), cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 bar (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 cups fresh blueberries (three 1/2-pint containers), rinsed and dried
  • 3 cups fresh raspberries (two 6-ounce containers) 
Directions
  1. Make lemon syrup: In a small saucepan, bring 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup water to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve sugar. Let cool completely, then brush over both sides of cake slices. Quarter each slice.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese with remaining 1/3 cup sugar on high speed until lightened. With mixer on medium speed, gradually add heavy cream in a steady stream; continue beating until mixture is light and airy (mixture will be like a very soft whipped cream).
  3. Arrange half the cake pieces in the bottom of a 2-quart serving dish. Spoon half the cream-cheese mixture over cake in dollops; spread to sides of dish. Scatter half the blueberries and raspberries on top. Repeat layering with remaining cake, cream-cheese mixture, and berries, piling berries in the center.
  4. Cover, and refrigerate until chilled, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
And, then maybe after gorging ourselves on trifle, Eric and I can go find somewhere to watch fireworks and hold hands and giggle like little kids.  

I just know I only have 11 days to figure it out and the way my brain's been working lately I should have started planning in December.  

It seems I'm always behind.  

Be happy,
Rachel

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I Like Big Bustle and I Cannot Lie

 Look what I found! Oh Lawd, these dresses are to die for.  Of course, I didn't find them in person, I found them online.  If I actually found dresses like this in person, I'd probably poop myself right there, and then I'd faint. 

While the following dresses are, indeed, simply stunning, every time I see one I think of how hot they must have been in the summer.  No A/C, no electric fans. Just a bunch of heat and humidity and lots of undergarments and long sleeves. Think of all the boob sweat that must have accumulated in those undergarments, not to mention being unable to breathe while wearing one of these due to the corset needed for a woman to be able to fit in such a tiny  waistline.  I think maybe that's the reason I don't like the word "swoon", because the women who wore these dresses swooned a lot, but it was only because their rib cage and consequently their lungs were being strangled, all while drowning in boob sweat. 


But they are pretty, and if I was skinny enough to not have to wear a corset and if I could sit in the air conditioning, I'd totally like to have lived back when these dresses were popular. 

This bustle dress from the 1870s is just gawgeous! I totally have the body for a bustle dress, too.  Mostly because my butt's big enough that I probably wouldn't even need much of a bustle to make the back stick out like that.  

I have no idea how something this delicate has survived since 1870.  

This 1870s dress makes squeal - out loud, even.  How long did it take to make this sucker? And how many curse words were whispered very lady-like during it's creation?
The cream-colored dresses were a little too virginal, so I thought a saucier number was in order. And for 1870, this dress was saucy!  I'm pretty sure that if you wore this dress to a dance, it meant that you would have sex with your dance partner right there on the ballroom floor.

This one is from 1901 when it was still considered slutty to bare your ankles, but naked forearms were permitted.  Oh, those promiscuous Edwardians!

Are you dying to know where I found all these? Head over to The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. You can do a search for whatever your heart desires and then waste hours looking at all the pretty stuff.  But, you can also use it as a reference in case you're trying to date vintage clothing and accessories, or at least that's what I tell myself I'm doing when I spend too much time oohing and ahhing over the dresses. 

You can even swoon over one or two of them if you just absolutely have to. 

Be happy,
Rachel

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

{Today's interviewee couldn't make it over to The Curious Crow today, so we're going to do this instead.  But the seller interview will be back next Tuesday.  Right here!

Happy First Day of Summer! To celebrate the wonderfulness of this day, I made a summer treasury over at that Etsy place.  

I lurve summer.  I really, really do.  

Go have a look at all the great things for summer on Etsy, and then go do something really fun and summer-ish today.

Be happy,
Rachel

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Do You Do With a Half Price Shopping Cart?

About 6 months ago I bought a wire, folding shopping cart at the thrift store.  Why did I buy a shopping cart? Because it was during a half price sale so I got it for $3.50.  I know, it's an awesome reason for buying something that you may never use, isn't it?  

So, this shopping cart has been sitting on the back porch ever since I bought it.  Just sitting there.  Not doing a darn thing.  During Back Porch Cleansing 2011, I folded up the shopping cart with the intention of bringing it in the house and storing it in one of the closets.  


About 15 minutes after I'd folded it up, I turned around and lo and behold it was unfolded again.  For a fleeting second, I thought it might be possessed and that it had unfolded itself because it wanted to stay on the porch. Then common sense grabbed hold and I realized that Eric had unfolded it.  I'm not sure why he did.  I suppose he had his reason.  Maybe it was an act of defiance due to my bossiness assertiveness.  


Once I saw it unfolded, I decided it should stay on the back porch, because it could be used for something.  I just wasn't sure what.  

Later, while Eric and I were sitting on the porch reveling in its new found cleanliness, we were trying to figure out what the cart could be used for.  I remembered that I had a liner that used to be the liner in the clothes hamper, but it was always falling off and getting in the way.  So, I put the liner in the shopping cart, thinking that it would bring us an epiphany on how to use the thing.   


I think that inside the house it would be great for storing wrapping paper, or umbrellas and walking sticks and such.  If either of us still had kids running around that played sports, it would be ideal for holding sports equipment.  The only kid running around these days is Eric's daughter and she loves her laptop more than she'd ever love a baseball glove. And I'm not sure that I have room to put it anywhere in the house.  If we had any open air flea markets around here, I'd make it a new fancy liner with pockets and I'd take it shopping, but we don't have any around here outdoor flea markets here.  So, now the cart is still on the back porch doing absolutely nothing except for mocking me every time I walk by it.

I need your help. Can you guys think of anything I can use this for outside?  I'm not sure why I like it so much, but I do and I want it to be useful.  It is 12 x 18 inches and roughly 2 feet tall (not including the handles).

Whoever comes up with the best idea will win a fabulous trip for two to the Bahamas.  

Okay, that's not even a little bit true.  But you'll be smug in knowing that your idea was chosen out of everyone else's.  Won't that be great? 

Be happy,
Rachel 


Friday, June 17, 2011

The Week in Review: 6-13 to 6-17

This week has been pretty good over here at The Curious Crow.  We got to meet another fantasic Etsy seller, Grace Louise from GoskandMaggles.  

We exorcised all the scary, white trash demons from the back porch


And we broke a bottle of champagne against the bow of Curious Crow Creative. 

To finish the week, I'm going to share some of my favorite things I've found on Etsy that put me in a Bohemian mood. 





Vintage 70s Gauze Dress by RaggedyThreads via Etsy 
Antique Mandolin by vintagevasso via Etsy
70s Cork Wedges by pistolpoppy via Etsy
1970s Fan Necklace by RetroRevivalBotique via Etsy

I'll see you back here on Monday.  Next week, I'll be asking your help with something I bought at a thrift store, another Etsy seller interview and maybe a craft idea or two.  

I hope each of you has a fantastically fabulous weekend! 

Be happy, 
Rachel 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Am I Crazy?

Before I start today's post, I want to clear up something. In the last post I mentioned that I bossed Eric around and that he did most of the work in reclaiming the porch.  I don't want you to think that I boss him around and make him do all the work ALL the time. 

Hahahahaha. 

Who am I kidding? Of course I do, but during the porch reclaiming I was able to use my bum shoulder as an excuse for making him do all the work.  

Now that we've settled that.  On to one of the many reasons I'm crazy.  

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Little Porch That Could

The porch from hell got some lovin' this past weekend, so it doesn't look like an episode of Hoarders anymore.  We spent most of the afternoon on Saturday cleaning and moving and decorating.  And by that, I mean that Eric did the majority of the work and I stood there and bossed him around.  I'm very adept at bossing.  

So here is a somewhat before shot.  I didn't get it in all of it's horrendousness, but this is bad enough. 

 WHO LIVES LIKE THIS?  In our defense (small as it is) some of this was only recently hauled out when we were sorting things for the yard sale.  I have no idea why most of this didn't end up in the sale.  We might be slightly daft.  


Eric was crying because I was being so bossy.  I'm THAT good! Okay, maybe he was just wiping the sweat off of his face.  

Then he threatened me with a hatchet! He'd look much more menacing if he wasn't smiling. 

And we have lights! 

I really thought that Eric was going to have a nervous breakdown when he was stapling up the lights. He was horrified that I wanted them to be haphazard rather than lined up in orderly and well-spaced lines.  I thought I would have a nervous breakdown because he was stapling them up while they were plugged in.  I was sure he was going to end up stapling through the wire and fry himself, not to mention mess up my pretty lights.

Ladies and gentlemen, this porch has been cleansed.    

The dresser will be going inside after it's had a couple of days to lose its paint smell.  

See these chairs? Eric snagged them for me one day at a yard sale for $30 - for both of them! 


He has learned the art of junking well.  I think I'm going to leave them as is and just spray them with a clear coat so the won't rust or lose any more paint. Now I just need to find a small round table to put between the chairs rather than the fan.  


My little plant corner.  The plant on the top left shelf looks like it's dying because it is dying.  A slow, painfully torturous death.  It's Thai basil and I have no idea why it wants to commit suicide, but it does.  I keep giving it water and trying to coax it out of its funk, but I don't think I'm getting through.  

And finally, the porch when I love it the best.  


There are still a lot of things that need to be done, but my porch "to do" list shrunk considerably thanks to my very sweet boyfriend.  

It really didn't take that long to do and it looks so much better! Of course, considering what we started with, a blind, mentally deficient, one-armed monkey could have made it look better.  But it makes me unbelievably happy to have such a great place to sit and just be.  

I have some more porch projects and ideas in mind that I'll be sharing with you and a few things that I'm going to need your help with.  

Stay tuned! 

Be happy,
Rachel

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Interview 8: Grace Louise from GoskAndMaggles

It's interview day again! Today's interview is with vintage seller Grace Louise from GoskAndMaggles on Etsy.  Her store is filled with vintage goodies at prices so good, you'll want to buy the entire shop! 


Vintage Laredo Leather Boots
1. Who are you and what do you do?

Hi there! I'm Grace Louise. I am a graduate Nurse, a natural light photographer, a wife, a pet-owner, an avid blog reader, an obsessive thrift store hunter, a sister, daughter and friend. I live on several acres in the country, and I love my life. 

2. Why do you do what you do?

1960s Hobnail Lamp
My momma had 5 kiddos and was the master of thrifting, and from a young age I always loved spending time with her in second hand stores. Once I grew up, got married and had a house of my own, I could think of nothing else then to fill it with unique pieces I found while shopping at the Goodwill, and garage sales. I love a good hunt, even if it means digging through piles of yuck, if there is a treasure at the bottom its well worth it!

Also, I have made it my life goal to avoid mass production. I refuse to step foot in stores like WalMart, and do my best to support Mom and pop stores. By shopping local, and second hand I feel like I am doing what I can to give back to my community and my country (total cheese factor)

Brass Apple Bell

3. How long have you been doing it?

I have been into photography since my childhood 35mm film camera. It wasn't until my recent investment in my DSLR that my love for photography has been renewed. 

I have also been into thrifting since a young age, and only dreamed of the day when I could support my obsession. Now, with the buy and sell market, I can enjoy the items in my house until I ship them off to someone else who will love them just as much! 

4. What’s the crappiest job you’ve ever had?
Laura Ashley Dress


Delivery driver for Little Ceasers. But, you gotta pay your way through school somehow, eh?!

5. What color is your kitchen? 

brown and red. Its a lovely country kitchen. 

6. If you won a $500 shopping spree and could only spend it at one store, which store would it be? 

ohhhhh, probably Buffalo Exchange. Its like top-shelf thrifting, but still thrifting! :))


Vintage Pyrex Cups
7. If you got 3 extra hours in one day, what time would they be between and how would you fill them?

I think the three extra hours would be best spent between 2pm and 5pm. This is typically my most productive time of the day. I would fill these hours with extra time with my hubby and pup.



Many thanks to Grace Louise for such a fabulous interview.  Now run to her shop and buy something - buy two or three somethings.  And when you're finished buying her out, head over to her
blog and give it some love.  

Be happy,
Rachel