Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Merry Christmas: A Bit of A Break...

Arwen and I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season, whether it is Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, or others.

I've been having some health issues, and combined with the Christmas rush, it has made me rather negligent with my blogs. Arwen and I are going to take a little break and when we come back, we'll have many new posts and (hopefully) interesting stories for you.

So be happy, stay safe and healthy, and we'll see you very soon!
and Arwen

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures: Getting in the Baking Mode

So I had wanted to take a photo to show you all how they turned out, but apparently I have gremlins in the house! With the holidays fast approaching, one of my favorite things to do, and gifts to give, is baking. These are simple, delicious and so pretty that I had to share with you! Put on some holiday music, grab your bowl and spoon, and get ready for one delicious recipe.

Meg and Mel's Holiday Balls

1 Cup Butter
2 tbsp Agave Nectar
1 tsp Brandy

2-1/4 Cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour Mix (see the link for the flour recipe)
1/2 Cup Gluten Free Icing Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt

3/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts OR Chocolate Chips OR Dried Cranberries OR a combination of them

Granulated Sugar for Sprinkling (Optional)

Cream the butter and agave nectar. Add in the brandy.
Evenly sprinkle the flour, icing sugar and salt over the top and mix until just combined.
Mix in the walnuts/cranberries/chocolate chips and blend.
Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until cold.
Preheat oven to 350Fahrenheit. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using your fingers, make small, teaspoon-sized balls and roll them in the sugar, if using.
Shake the excess sugar off the cookies and place them about 1-2 inches apart on the baking sheets.
Bake for 11-13 minutes, until they are golden around the edges.
Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool.

I would also like to thank everyone for their kind words. Brennan is very proud of himself for keeping the secret for over 6 weeks while it was made, and we are both very happy :)

Have a great day!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday: What Can You Do? And Dog Cookie Recipe

With Christmas around the corner, the advertisements, window displays, catalogues and spam will be filling our senses with the need to spend, spend, spend, and another year may go by with us feeling empty, empty, empty. Things don't mean love, friendship or any of that. Our actions, thoughts and feelings do. To remind us all what kindness really is. And think to yourself...what can you do for someone, instead of what can you buy for someone? Some thing small, like holding the door for a person with a stroller? How about giving a can of just bought food to a local food bank? Think about it, and post it here when you've done it. You might just win something :-)
My thoughtful thing today is to share Arwen's favorite dog biscuit recipe. Here it is (it is easier than you think!!):
Arwen's Favorite Biscuits
2 Cups Meg's GF All-Purpose (Bread) Flour Mix click the link for the recipe for that)
1/2 Cup Garfava Flour (or bean flour)
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (raw, unsalted)
Dash Organic Garlic Powder (optional)
1/2 tsp Salt
3 tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Unsulphured Molasses
1/3 to 1/2 Cup Milk
Preheat Oven to 350F.
Mix all dry ingredients together in a medium-large bowl. Add wet ingredients and mix until combined. Mixture should be slightly tacky.
Roll into tablespoon sized balls, place on a lightly greased cookie sheet and press lightly with fingers, until 1/4 inch thick.
Bake for 1/2 hour. Turn the oven off and let sit in the warm oven for another 15-30 minutes. Allow to cool thoroughly, then place in resealable container to store.
To serve: break cookies in two (smaller pieces for smaller dogs) and serve 1/2 at a time.
Cookies will stay fresh for a month, more if placed in a freezer or fridge.

Please try and do something thoughtful today. Try and do one little thoughtful thing each day and encourage others...it might not change the world, but it can certainly change someone's day for the better :-)

Happy Thursday,

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thankful Thursday: Cooking Class Success and Award

I am happy to say that my first ever cooking class was a terrific success! Partnered with RHN Melody Busuttil, in conjunction with Nature's Way Select Foods in Kemptville, and hosted at the Kemptville college, we had over 12 students and a fabulous time.

This past class was all about Quinoa (keen-wah) and many delicious and gluten free recipes were made (and eaten!). More classes are on the way, thank you to everyone who came out, I hope you will come to the next ones!
Also, Audrey from Audrey's Country Crafts gave me this award! This award focuses on friendship, and Audrey certainly deserves it as well. Please check out her blog to see her shop, as well as all of the fabulous artists she features each week.
I am passing this on to anyone who reads this blog - you all deserve it! Also, I don't want to single people out, as I give out awards to many people and don't want to over do it :-)

Arwen wishes me to thank everyone for their overwhelming responses to yesterday's post - she would blush if she could from all of your praise, and I certainly did over your liking the bracelet I am working on. Thank you!

Until tomorrow,
and Arwen

Monday, September 21, 2009

Thoughts and Prayers Needed

I haven't written a blog post for two days as I had some sad news from 2 of my blog friends and I needed time to think it over. I wanted to put my feelings into order to make a blog post that would mean something, but I am still very upset and I don't think I have the ability to be very loquacious at this point (or probably ever).

Barry at An Explorer's View of Life has informed his blog followers that the cancer in his esophagus has spread to other parts of his body, making his cancer treatable, but not curable. His doctors have said he has anywhere from a few months to 5 years. I am in shock! A man who is so witty, funny, fresh and alive, who has gone through the Hell of chemo, radiation and throat widening procedures just HAS to get better. Please, please pray for him, or if you aren't a praying person, please, please send him positive thoughts of healing and happiness.

After hearing that, I went to another of my favorite blogs, written by Renee on Circling My Head. Renee is a vocal, intelligent woman, not afraid to swear when it is necessary, dealing with her own terminal cancer (which is, thank God, stable right now), and having a very hard time recently, with her mothergetting sick , her sister diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, and her nephew with a cancer that less than a handful of people in the world have had, and none have survived. On Friday, her Nephew Sheldon succumbed to his cancer and passed away in the hospital. Please, Please pray and send positive thoughts to her and her family to help them get through this terrible time. He was only 25, and though death at any age is hard, his was more so.

Please help them with your thoughts and prayers. Please visit their blogs and give them your support.
My love to all of my blog followers, I hope you never have to go through what these brave people are going through. My love, prayers and thoughts to Barry and his family, and to Renee and her family also.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Melodious Monday: Meghann's Belgian Waffle Recipe

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. It is the summer, Brennan is on vacation (which, as I tell everyone, makes me guilty of vacation by association), and sometimes I need to be bad. Not really, really bad, but a little bad. Gluten free is getting more and more popular, and these waffles fit the bill, not to mention the fact that they are absolutely, incredibly delicious, and pretty healthy as waffles go. Top with maple syrup and fruit, or agave nectar and ice cream. You'll love them!

Meghann’s Belgian Waffles

Dry Ingredients

1 Cup Brown Rice Flour

1/2 Cup Garfava Flour

½ Cup Arrowroot Starch

½ tsp salt

5 tsp Baking Powder

1 tbsp Sugar

Wet Ingredients

3 tbsp Ground Flax seed

9 tbsp Hot Water

¼ Cup Good Olive Oil

1 ½ Cups Rice Drink

2 ½ tsp Vanilla Extract

Preheat Waffle maker

Mix flax seed and water, whisk and let sit until thick, about 3 minutes. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, rice drink and vanilla, and then add the flax seed/water mixture. Evenly sprinkle dry ingredients and whisk until blended.

Cook on waffle iron, according to its instructions, and top with fresh fruit.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

New Treasury!

I managed to get another treasury! Please click on the photo to go and see it up close. Once you're there, please click on each photo and make sure to comment on that page :)
Have a great Saturday!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I love my dad. He's my step dad, technically, but to me, his is my dad. See, my biological father abandoned my mom when she was pregnant, denied I was his offspring, made her go through all sorts of embarrassing paternity tests and court hearings (which did, incidentally, prove I was his biological child), tried to refuse to pay child support, actually DID stop paying child support, was totally absent and a general jerk for all intensive purposes. My mom and I lived on our own until I was 8 and then there was a miracle...
My mom met my dad, and although he never formally adopted me, he was the first man to call me his daughter. He was the first man I called "Dad". He taught me how to use a lawnmower, drove me to horseback riding lessons, supported the family when my mom lost her job and then became disabled and couldn't work outside the home. He showed up at my hockey games when I played and yelled and cheered me on. He is usually incredibly quiet, but when he speaks, he has the greatest sense of humor, and wit.
We never had a ton of money, but there was always a warm, comfy house, a little smile and good food. We didn't need to take expensive vacations, because almost every Sunday during the summer there was 'The Track", or, Luskville Dragway as it is officially called. My dad has the coolest damn race car ever. It's a 1971 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu that he has turned into one hell of a racing monster. Starting it up invariably shook the house, woke the neighbors, knocked every squirrel off every tree on the block, and made us all smile with pride and excitement. Yup. That's my dad.
My 'real' father for all to see.
Love you daddoo, happy Father's Day :)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Some Great Features!

Carol over at The Grand Design featured my jewellery! Please go and check out her blog (and my feature!) for some really cool articles :)

Also, Brandi at 5 Monkies Review featured my jewellery also, please go and visit her as well!

Friday, June 12, 2009

I'm on a Roll - 3 Treasuries in One Day!

Treasury #1, Above

Treasury #2, Above

Treasury #3, Above

Woo! I am on a ROLL! I managed to snag 2 treasuries today! I featured great EFA artists in the first, a few of my favorite general artists in the second, and then found out I was featured in MVegan5's treasury also! What a great day! Please click on the links to go to the pages. when you are there, be sure to click on all the artists to see their great work up close :)
Treasury 1: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=64526
Treasury 2: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list_west.php?room_id=57264
Treasury 3: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=64576

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Giant Bead Giveaway at Silver Parrot Blog!

Silver Parrot Blog is giving away a GINORMOUS box of beads! All sorts of gorgeous fixin's for beautiful jewelry designs are up for grabs in this box, and though I really, REALLY want to win this (my bead budget is at 0$ until I make some mega sales), I will post this for all of you to try and win too! The deadline is tomorrow so hurry! Here's an excerpt from the blog:
"Okay, so the contest ends on Friday, June 12th, and so far, I've been a little
disappointed in the level of interest (no offense to those of you who HAVE been nice
enough to cross-post on your blogs). I was just hoping to generate a little more action.
So, I thought maybe what was missing was some concrete evidence of what a LARGE
pile of beads this is and what a great opportunity it will be for someone."

Now, if I win this, I plan on making some pieces to sell to raise serious money for charity so if I win, I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday - My Treasury Revisited

I need lots of views, so please click on the image above to go to the site. When you're there, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of that page :)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday's Treasures - A Summery Treasury

I managed to snag another treasury! I added items from sellers who are a part of Etsy for Animals, CAST, EtsyOntario or Capital Crafters. Please click on the image above to go to the treasury. When you're there, make sure to comment and let me know what you think. Be sure to click on the items to go to the stores and see more of these fantastic sellers' work :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday: I've Received An Award!

Well! I was so very pleasantly surprised to get an email from the delightful Sonia at The Dark Ravens Nest saying that she had given me a blog award! I am so happy to have received this award. This is the "One Lovely Blog Award" and the rules are as follows:

1. Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered.
3. Contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

As I am a fan of so many blogs that have already received this award, I am going to say that anyone who reads this blog is welcome to have it for themselves also.
Thank you Sonia!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Soulful Sunday: Happy Mother's Day!

Yes, I know, it looks a little odd. When everyone else is showing roses and countryside worthy of Da Vinci paintings for their Mother's Day posts, I show two little dandelions. Well, there's a story, and since you're still sitting here I'll tell you:
As a kid, my mom and I didn't have much money, and before my step dad finally came around (like, where had he been? lol), I didn't have anyone to take me places to 'get mom a present'. So I made her presents, painted her pictures and, of course, brought her dandelions. Lots of them! I made bouquets and they would be all over the apartment, and later, the house. When I got older I tried making chains and headbands out of them, but one eensy weensy bug in my hair quickly put an end to that! So a dandelion bouquet it would be, it is, and it forever shall be.
So here's to my mom, who did a pretty darn fine job (if I do say so myself!). Who taught me to ride a bike, swim, be kind to others, love to help people, and most importantly, love learning. I may not be perfect, but I would be nowhere near the person I am without your love, support, guidance and unconditional cheering-on.
I love you, you are wonderful, and I couldn't have chosen a better mom if I had tried.
I hope you love your dandelions :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookies to Melt Your Heart!

For the past few months I have been making fudge for one of my neighbors as a thank you for some landscaping help he gave me last year. He liked the gift of fudge so much, he has called me several times to thank me and says it is the best payment he could have received (I still think I got the better deal, as he spent 3 hours with his tractor moving dirt around my yard and refused payment). The last delivery of fudge was accompanied by the usual thanks, but a new request.....could I possibly make chocolate chip cookies for the next item? I said no problem, as always, though in my head I was freaking out. Why was I freaking out, you ask? Well, despite the fact that I cook and bake, and love every second of it, I haven't made chocolate chip cookies in about 3 years! The last batch was not a total disaster, but they basically ended up like chocolate chip cookie pancakes and I wasn't about to repeat that! I don't like to toot my own horn - I do think I am a pretty capable baker, but for whatever reason this request terrified me. When I went to fulfill my promise of chocolate chip cookies, I turned to my good old standby, Bette Hagman and her cookbook called "Gluten Free Gourmet - Revised Edition". I have had mixed results with her recipes, but thought I would give her chocolate chip recipe a try, and am I ever glad I did! They turned out beautifully! Though they are high in calories (even in the one-bite size I did, they are still about 80 calories each!), they are melt-in-your-mouth AMAZING! I am so happy to be able to deliver these to my neighbor today, I hope he likes them, and if you need a great gluten free chocolate chip recipe, I highly recommend the Bette Hagman book :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Super Sunday - My New Website is Here!

After much work, coffee, yelling and cursing at computer screens, and, at last, awkward happy dances, the new face of Little Studio Photography and Jewellery is here! I am not a website designer, so it took WAY longer than I had expected, but now the website is actually much more similar my blog, and definitely easier to navigate. I have to thank Chica and Pumukl for the design of my blog and inspiration to make my website and other advertising mediums more cohesive. Next up is redoing my banners for my shops to match my blog and website.

The old website was a bit confusing, and, let's face it, far to much work when I want to be concentrating on making new items for you, so the new site is much smoother and easier to get around. You'll find links to all of my shops, as well as other places to see my work. You'll also see the charities I'm trying to help, and get links to all the blogs I am a part of.

I do hope you will stop by my website and take a look at all of the wonderful places you can see (and purchase!) my works.

I have many more pieces in progress that I hope to be able to show you soon (especially since I don't have to work on my website for a while).
Have a great Sunday,

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring Like Sunday - Another Treasury!

I managed to snag another treasury last night and really wanted to share it with you! I featured items from sellers on my Etsy teams: EFA, CASTTEAM and Capital Crafters. Please check it out and be sure to comment and click on the items to see more from these fantastic sellers!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday With a Few Words - I Got A Treasury!

Sorry I've been absent - I've been trying to post on my other blog, Little Studio Photography & Jewellery, and I've been having a problem with an old knee injury. One of the screws put in my knee a few years ago is apparently loosening and causing some pain. I am, however, surviving, and to prove it, here is a beautiful treasury from the Etsy teams I am a part of!

Check it out by clicking on the image above to see these artists up close!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Wee Addendum.....

I guess my last post came out a little more negative than I imagined it would....
I have had a very rough time these last few years, but I don't want to sound like I am miserable all the time: I don't like being sick, but I don't regret all of the valuable things I have learned through this illness.
I appreciate everything I have been given as a result of this illness: I have been given a greater perspective on the joys of life in general and appreciate everything I have all the more for it.
I hate being sick, but I LOVE my life.
I love my family, my friends, my dog and my wonderful bloggy followers who put up with my ranting :)
Thank you for reading, and have a great day!

Thoughts on Having My 3-Year 'Fibro'versary

~My Faithful Fibro Companion, Arwen~

Today is the three year anniversary of when I first got sick with Fibromyalgia. I didn't know it at the time, however. I went to bed the night before a little more tired than usual, thinking I might be coming down with a cold, but happy that the next day I was off work and would be able to sleep in, work out, tidy the house, and work on my photography. That fateful morning I woke up and felt like I had run face-first into a brick wall: my entire body hurt - bones, joints, skin, hair, nails, everything. My head felt foggy, like lead in a bucket of water, I just couldn't think or make sense of anything. I was definitely coming down with something, probably the flu. I rested and went back to work the day after, thinking I felt pretty horrible, but I needed the money.
I collapsed at work, began shaking uncontrollably and ended up in the emergency room with doctors scratching their heads not knowing what was wrong. After almost 2 years of going through test after test after test, not knowing if I had cancer, ectopic pregnancies, endometriosis, cysts, fibroids, allergies (YES I do), asthma (I always have, but not bad), and many more terrifying things, (including mental illness and wondering if I was, in fact, going crazy...I wasn't) I finally had an answer: Fibromyalgia. I hurt all the time, I'm exhausted all the time, I feel weak, get dizzy, get grumpy (who wouldn't when you don't sleep and hurt??), and many more not-so-fun (!) things, and there is no cure. I've tried over $1500 of medications in the last year alone that have done nothing but make me very, very ill. I've lost friends, jobs, had to stop going to school for accounting, which I loved, and had to give up many other very enjoyable pastimes.
Why do I bring up all of this yuckiness, you ask? I'll tell you.
I have learned so much in these last three years, grown so much, that I have to share.
1. I have learned that being sick is very frustrating and annoying, but not the end of the world. I don't have cancer, AIDS, Ebola, or many much worse diseases that kill. I will not die, despite saying on occasion that I would like to after the pain gets really, really bad. I will not die. That is important.
2. I have learned that real friends are the ones who keep calling and understand when you don't always call them back. They don't just call when they need something. They understand that you are sick but still care about them. That is wonderful.
3. I have learned that not everyone believes in fibromyalgia, many people think that because I look 'normal' (minus the huge bags under my eyes from lack of sleep and my hobbling around in pain), I must be fine and am therefore faking it. I am not faking it. I am very, very sick, but if they don't want to understand after my educating them politely, I am not going to take it personally, or try to make them understand. Life is too short and important to waste it on people who don't/won't bother to understand. You can't see diabetes....are they 'faking' it?
4. A good husband, family and good friends are so vital, even if you don't always see eye-to-eye or meet face-to-face every day. Support is so crucial. A kind word, email, or very gentle hug can make all the difference between bottomless depression and feeling like there is hope
5. Everyone has problems, and we need to LISTEN. If you see someone and ask "How are you?" Mean it. Listen to their answer. If they just say "Fine," they are not 'fine', and something has to be going on. In this day and age of electronic impersonality we lose contact with important human connections. Reconnect. Care. You'll be surprised how much it means to you and the other person.
6. A happy dog's wagging tail, or a cat on your lap can melt away almost every bad thing for a while. Animals are instant stress relievers and the more stressed you are, the more attention you need to pay to your dog, cat, fish, rat, etc. They really do help. Plus, they like the attention - wouldn't you?
7. Distractions are great. Hobbies are essential no matter how healthy or busy you are. Teach yourself to knit, crochet, paint, make tables, anything you like to do. It is also a great stress reliever, and you never know, you might find something you are really passionate about.
8. Talking or blogging is so great. You can vent, cry, laugh, say almost anything and you'll feel better. And you meet really cool people, often sharing your experiences.
Thank you for joining me on this reflective day. I hope it makes an impression on you - it certainly has on me.
My love and positive thoughts to you all, I wish you a healthy, happy and prosperous future :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Thoughtful Thursday - Or, What I'd Like for an Etsy Valentine's Day

Mini Top Hat from LastWear, Pinup Dress from MissBrache, Sexy Black Heels from ShoeMissy

Celtic Journal from ArtisanGraham, Jewellery Box from FLGardenGal, Pink Chalice from BudandLucysKid

I've had my eye on these items for a while......and if I had the money I'd have them all...and a few more! These items are fantastic, as are the sellers, so please feel free to click on the images to go to that seller's Etsy Store.
Also, I am featured in a fantastic treasury, see it here: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=39190
Enjoy :)

Link Within

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
This is now a copy of my main blog, Little Studio Photography and Jewellery http://www.meglittlestudio.blogspot.com. If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will gladly try to answer it :)