Sunday, December 14, 2008

Children's Crocheted Necklaces ~ Custom Order

This group of crocheted necklaces was a special order for 4 girls. What a fun project it was too. Each of the girls had their favorite colors and the rest of it was up to me for stones, colors of wire and glass seed beads.

One chose turquoise and so I put three different types of turquoise beads on silver. Finished with sterling silver findings of course, Classic!

Another chose purple so I went with purple wire and amethyst beads. Some were chips, some were smooth rounds and some were faceted rondelles. With all the purple going on I decided to add in some multi peacock colored seed beads that were lined with gold. The gemstone chips give it a youthful funky feel while the entire combination is overall stunning. Can I say that about my own work? Well I can't help myself. They are so pretty and each unique! I finished this in copper findings.

The third necklace was requested in blue. We already did turquiose so this one got dark blue, with semi-transluscent iolite in both faceted barrels and smooth discs as well as smooth rondelles of lapis. Gorgeous on copper wire. Wow. This was also finished in copper findings.

And the last but not least is pink for the youngest who is 4 years old. I used rose quartz diagonal cubes, pink cat's eye, faceted coral, light rose swarovski crystals and some multi colored seed beads which added a lot of dimension to this dainty piece. Wire color of choice was gold. So findings are gold filled. It's so soft and sweet in those pinks on gold. I call it cotton candy, which is what the rose quartz looks like to me.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pony Riders at the party.

All the kids that wanted pony rides got to ride Grady the pony the day of Joey's graduation party. Joey graduated this summer, but we were so busy with the farm and other resposibilities it took until Nov.1 before we had time to celebrate. There were so many riders, but I have to pick the best 5 pics. It's too bad I didn't get any group pictures, because it's so hard to show everyone that was there.

Jacob was really good to help by walking Grady with a lead rope so everyone could ride.

We have several ponies for sale. Please contact me if you are interested. Tina @ belleadorn . com (remove spaces).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Joey's Graduation Party

It turned out to be such a nice day for this party. In the morning there was a terribly thick fog, but it finally burned off and warmed up. Lots of family and friends came. Besides food and visiting we had hay rides and pony rides for the smaller kids as well as a small bon fire for smores later in the day. Joey's friend Troy helped to finish it off right by spending the night and playing video games with the guys! Altogether we had so much fun. It was well deserved for all the hard work it took to finish up high school. Above is Joey with his special cake my sister Jamie made for him and his cousin Lauren. Above here is Joey's Grandma Doris, his uncle Wally and his uncle August. Below he's with his Grandma and Grandpa, Carolyn and Jim.

The hay riders.
The gamers, lol. Joseph, Jacob and Troy.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Heirloom Tomatoes & Squeezo Machine

My Favorite tomatoes for slicing and eating plain are the heirloom varieties. They are flavorful and come in so many unusual colors. Aren't these green ones gorgeous? They are fully ripe and this beautiful bright green color. The best tasting though, this year, was the dark ones that had a purple/black skin with a reddish pink flesh called Pierce's Pride. It's pictured here on the plate with the green variety and a delicious yellow tomato.

We also like the big tomato varieties for sandwiches, such as Big Boy or Beefsteak.

And the best for cooking into a sauce are the Roma varieties. This year I found an Amish tomato that was like the Roma only much bigger. The reason the Roma tomato is good for making sauce is because it is a fleshier tomato with less juice and so it thickens beautifully. With the amount of tomatoes we grow though almost every variety ends up in my tomato sauce.

I use this squeezo strainer to remove skins and seeds from the pulp. Mine is very old (at least 50 years). One can buy them new for over $200 new, but I did see quite a few up for auction today on ebay starting for a lot less money. It's a very handy machine for making tomato sauces as well as apple sauce. There is a crank on one side. Out the other side of the squeezo comes the skins and seeds, which we toss into the compost. The large funnel at the top is where the blanched product goes in, and then there is a spout out the front where the pulp comes out. We attach it to our picnic table because it can be quite a juicy mess.

Nothing can be simpler than cooking down this sauce and processing it up for winter storage. Every modern canning book will have picture instuctions for how to can or process tomato sauce. These books can be purchased any place where canning jars and other canning products sold.

Here the the girls and Noah are helping to make applesauce last fall. We get our apples from one of the many orchards just south of the Missouri River. We usually combine a juicy sweet Gala or similar type apple with some tart Jonathon's for our applesauce, which I also process for winter use. Look here to see my canning recipes for the best salsa and old fashioned cucumber relish.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Latest Critter Catches ~ Bunny, Bull frog, Praying Mantis

My husband, Jim, caught all these critters over the last couple of weeks. He's so great about showing new things to the kids. Of course, Noah (being 3 years old), is enthralled with new things and especially new animals.
Keera is holding the wild bunny she named Fluffy. Fluffy scattered with her siblings as their nest was being mowed over. None were caught by the blades thankfully. She was big enough that we hope she was able to make or find a new nest.

This beautiful bright green praying mantis was surprisingly slow when we let him out of the mason jar. They are wonderful for eating undesirable pests in the garden, so all are welcome here. :)

Noah was very sad when his large bull frog hopped away with huge leaps. Isn't it gorgeous with it's beautiful spots underneath it's body and it's webbed hands and feet?! We suspect it was a female as we now have many little frogs all over the garden. Too bad the gardening season is pretty much over. Regardless, we always have frogs in our small ponds, evident by their loud croaking in the evenings. It's a welcome sound heralding the spring after a quiet long winter.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Stormy Larvakite Dragonfly Necklace with Aquamarine & Onyx

I was looking over my bead stash three days ago, searching for a good combination for some gorgeous citrine nuggets I have. Nothing seemed right or good enough for them though, and so I may make them up into something all on their own.

Then I came across these beautiful Larvakite smooth rounds. They are dark gray, black and white with some chatoyancy of blue and white flashes. My first thought was keep it simple, make it a knock out classic like a Jackie O. strand of big fat pearls. So I tried putting them with only onyx, then added some black horn rondelles. The plain black did not do them justice though.
Finally I put them with some aquamarine and that was the perfect union. I still kept the design simple, but simple doesn't mean that it comes out fast or easily! It usually takes a lot of trial and error even to get a simple piece right. The aquamarine chips give it an edgey chic look. I kept the small onyx rounds for a nice contrast, added in bali silver daisies and finished it with a sterling silver bali dragonfly toggle. The overall effect is very appealing. It is 17 inches in length.

With all the grays and blues coming out in fashion this season, it should work very easily into a basic wardrobe that needs some good jewelry. This item can be viewed in my etsy shop here: Stormy Larvakite Dragonfly Necklace

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

More Swarovski Starfish Earrings In More Colors

Some more eye candy; Swarovksi Starfish Earrings.
We have here Burgundy Starfish with long dangles of brown pearls and smoky quartz, another Burgundy Starfish pair wire wrapped with a burgundy pearl and bicone crystal, Indicolite (Blue) Starfish with Paua shell, Golden Shadow Starfish with natural mother of pearl, and Crystal AB Starfish with pink keshi pearls.
All earrings are made with Sterling Silver earwires and findings. I will be adding these to my etsy shop soon. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing them before they are listed.
Peridot Swarovski Starfish Earrings with lime green coin pearls can be viewed and purchased here. Silk Swarovski Starfish earrings with pale peachy pink coin pearls can be veiwed and purchased here. And a Burgundy Starfish Necklace made with burgundy pearls and sterling silver can be veiwed and purchased here.
Belle Adorn
Fun, Beachy, Vibrant and Sassy Beaded Jewelry :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Burgundy Starfish Swarovski Crystal Necklace

This necklace is strung with rich burgundy freshwater pearls, sterling silver, bali silver and has a beautiful burgundy swarovski starfish pendant as it's focal. I've finished it with a sterling silver bali toggle and it is 16 1/2 inches in length. This piece is available here for purchase.

These starfish are so lovely, they always make me smile. You'll see more starfish coming up and in more colors soon; in earrings and another necklace. Matching earrings for this piece are also available.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

2 Dozen Large Jalapeno Peppers





Slice peppers in half, clean out insides, mix remaining ingredients together and stuff inside pepper halves, bake for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Serve with ranch dressing as a dip on the side.

This recipe is so good and simple. It takes a little time to get it prepared unless you have help, but it is well worth it and perfect for a football season half time snack.

It came from my husband's cousin's wife, Debbie. I substitute any italian sausage that I like as I am in the country and don't have this brand available.

Best Old Fashioned Cucumber Relish Recipe

4 cups chopped, unpeeled cucumbers (about 4)

1 cup chopped green pepper (about 2)

½ cup chopped sweet red pepper (about 1)

3 cups chopped onion

3 cups chopped celery

¼ cup salt

3 ½ cup sugars

2 cups white vinegar

1 tablespoon celery seed

1 tablespoon mustard seed

Chop all vegetables with a food processor, place in plastic bowl and sprinkle with ¼ cup salt let stand 4 hours. Drain thoroughly in colander, squeeze with hand to get all liquid out of veg. Combine sugar, vinegar, celery seed and mustard seed. Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Stir in drained vegetables. Simmer 10 minutes; add a few drops of green food color. Pack into jars to within ½ inch of top. Put on cap, screw brand firmly tight. Process in boiling water bath 10 minute. Yield: 5-6 pints.

This is another recipe from my mother in law, Doris. It is an old recipe from her old Ball canning book. It's not in any of my canning books and I could not find relish recipes anywhere on the web with celery. It's a wonderful recipe worth sharing and a great way to make use of all those cucumbers coming out of the garden. Enjoy!

The Best Salsa Recipe for Canning

30 tomatoes peeled and chopped
2 green bell peppers
2 red bell peppers
10 cups chopped onions
10 cloves garlic
4-5 yellow banana pepper or 1 cup chopped jalapenos
1/2-3/4 cup sugar
2 cups vinegar
8 teaspoons pickling salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 large cans tomato paste

Simmer 1 1/2 hr, stirring often, at the end of cooking time add 1/2 bunch of cilantro if desired.
Jar and process, 35 minutes for pint jars and 45 minutes for quart jars.
Makes 17 pints


This recipe came from my mother in law, Doris. She got it from her Canadian friend Fran.

We use less sugar and more jalapenos. Either way it is delicious and a great way to make use of all those garden tomatoes.

We use this salsa in place of rotel for a cheese dip, also added to mashed avacados with lime juice for guacamole and my hispanic friends like to eat it on rice. And of course, it's used as a dip for tortilla chips or topping on other mexican dishes.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

A Blue Bird Nest With Beautiful Blue Eggs!

I must admit I am amazed by the popularity of little finch egg nest filled with speckled blue eggs. I watch traffic on my blog with feedjit and so many people find me with that post!

I personally love bird nests with eggs myself, so getting a chance to snap a picture at these blue bird eggs was a real thrill for me.

Someday I hope to get a picture of a hummingbird nest with eggs. Once a hummingbird made her nest in a waste paper basket on my inlaws porch! Maybe it will happen again someday.
This is their little blue bird house that my husband and sons made. It's nailed to my clothes line, lol.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Missouri Wildflowers Queen Anne's Lace

All of these are photos of Queen Anne's Lace and taken in Warsaw, Mo.

This one is a bit pinkish in color.
An interesting black bug on this flower below.

My daughters both entered a photo contest at the local library with a theme on bugs. This would have been a good one, but it was not for adults to enter, ha ha. Unfortunately they did not win a prize, but they enjoyed the process and are taking note of the bugs more than usual, as is their mother.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Missouri Wildflowers Part III

This is a group of chicory in the meadow on our farm. I love this wildflower!
Chicory close up.
Close-up of red clover. Horses and cattle really love this sweet stuff, and so do the bees!

Queen Anne's lace, another favorite, so graceful and delicate looking.