BURLAP & Biscuits … COMING SOON to Central Texas!!


Just wanted to give a quick update on the store! I started the online store www.burlapandbiscuits.com to start showcasing & selling online to friends and fans – but I could see right away that having a fully stocked (and restocked) online store is going to be more than a full-time job! The photographs, write-ups, staging, packing, shipping, etc, etc… are all way more than one person can handle! Not to mention having time to get out and shop for new & vintage items – plus scour the internet for great treasures too.

Oh my goodness!! So, the plan to open an actual store front (which was always in the works) got pushed to the top of the priority list -and all I’ve been doing for the past 2+ weeks is gathering amazing inventory!! Folks, let me tell you… you are going to LOVE this stuff!! Some old, some new, some hand-crafted, some weird, some pretty, some classic…I could go on and on. We will even have some goodies like cupcakes, cookies & fudge!  You will no longer need to travel out-of-town to find fabulous and unique items -as soon as we can get this store opened!!

Heres the scoop…We are negotiating for a location in Harker Heights – but if all else fails… I will open this shop in our leased space on Elms Road. The hope is that we can get a deal worked out on the Harker Heights space – which means an opening date of “around” July 1st, 2011. However, if it turns out that we aren’t able to get that location – we have already made plans to open in Killeen ASAP – likely around the end of April. AS SOON AS I know when & where – I will post an update and let everyone know!!

In the meantime, if you see anything you like in our online store  www.burlapandbiscuits.com -just let me know!!

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A great Cause … Little Brayden


A couple weeks ago I was enjoying lunch with my husband at Wiseguys in Harker Heights. We were discussing the day’s events and catching up when a young mother came in with her adorable little boy. I noticed him first because he looked about Sadie’s age – maybe about 18 months or so… then I noticed his Mother carrying a tiny little walking stick – the kind you see being used by the blind to navigate while walking. I am sure by that time I was unknowingly staring and trying to process everything I was seeing, trying to figure out what was going on with that beautiful little boy.  As the moments went on, I noticed that the little boy wasn’t looking at or focusing on anything and deducted that he must be blind. I was overwhelmed with emotion – initially thinking of Sadie and how we would be coping if in the same situation and then wondering how this young Mother was coping…and then…wondering what it must be like for a toddler to be in a world of darkness.

Then I noticed that his Mother was talking to him – just like normal. She was trying to drop off her flyer so she could get home for nap time. She was smiling and happy and something about that made me feel better – for them and for me. I guess as a parent you just deal with whatever you are faced with in the best way you can. I think that’s what this Mother was doing.

When she left, the owner of Wiseguys showed me the flyer she had dropped off and my suspicions were confirmed. This little boy – who I then knew to be Brayden was in fact blind and was born that way. He suffers from a condition called OPTIC NERVE HYPOPLASIA (ONH)  – which is the under developement of the optic nerves preventing the brain from receiving images that the eye sees.

Michelle Ellis, the young Mother of this amazing little boy has started a web page to keep those interested in Brayden’s progress up-to-date. BRAYDEN’S BATTLE FOR SIGHT  She is also hosting a fund raiser on APRIL 16TH at Oveta Culp Hobby Soldier & Family Readiness Center (18000 Battalion Avenue, Fort Hood).  This is a spaghetti dinner, silent auction and raffles to raise money for a hopeful procedure in China. Thanks to the help of everyone so far, they have been able to raise $25,000 of their $35,000 goal – which is so amazing! Please offer your support in any way possible – for this last leg of their goal, they need the remaining $10,000 to make the long journey to China where hopefully all their dreams can come true.

Here’s some helpful information for those who can donate;

  • Contact: Michelle Ellis (Brayden’s Mother) at (254) 383-5991 or email mellis.101@hotmail.com
  • Donations can be made to BRAYDEN’S BATTLE FOR SIGHT at any 1st National Bank location in the Killeen/Fort Hood area.
  • Donations can me mailed to 3106-A Yaupon Rd, Copperas Cove, Texas 76522 – PAYABLE TO: BRAYDEN’S BATTLE FOR SIGHT
  • Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser April 16th from 5PM-8PM – pay at the door – $15/Adults & Kids over 13, $5/Kids 6-12, FREE/Kids under 5

Just for a moment, imagine if this were your child and please help this family give sight to their precious little Brayden.


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Foundling …an Etsy Store, Be prepared to Fall in LOVE!


 Yesterday as I was crawling through updates & emails – I noticed that one of my “Etsy Friends” had added a new favorite to her list. Of course I had to check it out & knew RIGHT AWAY that it would be one of my favs too. Foundling is now one of my most favorite favs… I just have to decide on which piece I am going to make my own.

I am so in love with the trendy jewelry look – the resin & distressed metal showcasing  just about anything you can fit inside. This shop is using one of my most beloved mediums though … words.  Words are so powerful and yet when a piece like this is given or received as a gift – it can be almost like a secret between 2 people. Just one word… can say so much.

Take a little peek at what this shop has to offer … and you were warned… you’re going to fall in love with these pieces.

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Totally Fabulous T-Shirt Necklace (Tutorial)


If I had a $1 in my wallet for every faded, stretched-out, ripped, too-small, stained & horrible t-shirt littering the floor, shelves, baskets & hangers in my closet…well I’d probably be accused of pole-dancing after the kids go to bed. (You know if they were folded the right way…the dollars – not the t-shirts) Anyway, I don’t have a dollar for them – nor could I get anyone to PAY me that much for them… So I had an idea.

Last night as I was drifting off to sleep I came up with what I THOUGHT was a fantabulous “original” idea …but NOOO. Haha! I found lots of similar pieces and tutorials online this morning. So while it IS a great necklace and so easy a toddler could do it – sadly…someone beat me to it.

Here’s what I did with my old Roxy t-shirt.

Basic SUPPLIES:

  • Scissors
  • T-shirt

Extra Supplies if you so choose to EMBELLISH:

  • Hot glue
  • metal studs and/or bling

This is SOOOO easy!!

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Going the Extra Mile – Prairie Thistle Jewelry


A while back I did a feature post for Little Posh Bebe – a home-based company that makes adorable handmade baby shoes & accessories. The feature was just as much about the “presentation” of the items I ordered as it was about the items themselves.  A few days ago – I was THRILLED once again by another amazing woman who is packing as much care & thought into her company – BRAVO to Julie Pishny, owner of Prairie Thistle Jewelry!

Not too long ago a mutual friend of mine & Julie’s (Stacey Bruce of Stacey Bruce Photography) told me that I needed to get in touch with Julie and find out about her & her beautiful jewelry. Oh I am so glad I did!! I see A LOT of jewelry online when I am browsing for myself and to report about to my fans… but its rare these days to find pieces that really stand out against the sea of handmade jewelry that is being offered right now. Julie’s talent for making unique & memorable jewelry art is some of the best I have found. Her “country” theme offers a vintage flair that just makes you feel cozy inside. Many times while I am browsing her Etsy store I find myself floating back in time to when I was growing up on my family’s farm in Mansfield, MO. While I am sure that my “farm days” are behind me – they are also still a big part of who I am – and I will always be a “farmgirl” at heart. It’s easy to see how I was drawn to the piece I finally decided on for my first of what I know will be a “collection.”

A few days ago – it arrived… and I don’t usually get giddy…but this did it!! This tiny little package showed up in the mailbox – and even though I already knew what was inside – I was still tickled at all the little extras that Julie had adorned my order with. I was so taken by the care that she had put into making this an “experience” for me that I almost over-looked that actual piece of jewelry!! haha!!

The bracelet – simply stating “FARMGIRL” in copper – held in place by rivets on a bright red leather strap is beautiful – rustic – simple – elegant and bold. I will wear it proudly – as it describes me, inside and where my memories live. Thank you Julie for such a great experience with you & your amazing art.

Take a peek at my “entire experience” and please take a few moments to browse around in Julie’s Etsy Store for something that brings you back to a sweet & cozy place of your own.

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Sadie Alice Aprons – By Accident


How do ideas come about – Im sure a million ways… and “by accident” has got to top the list. The other day I was planning to make the “tater tot casserole” recipe that I posted and thought how cute and fun it would be to have Sadie (my 18 month old daughter) help me! She is in that stage of trying out new tasks and copying everyone. She loves to help so this was perfect. I went to get my apron and then stopped because …well SADIE didn’t have an apron! OH MY! What to do?!?! My brain stormed for a moment and then I dug around in my kitchen towel drawer – pulled out the “least stained” bar towel I could find (which was still pretty stained) – fired up my glue gun and rummaged through my ribbon box. Literally…in 5 minutes – Sadie had her very own apron! It was so stinkin’ cute that I had to make a few “real” ones (sewed instead of glued) and OMG – I was having so much fun that I didn’t even realize I had made 6 of them!! haha!! 

They made their way into my 2Raymond Design Co  Etsy store and I have gotten so much great feedback on them! If you see one you like let me know and I can recreate one similar if I am out of stock.

Here’s a few pictures of how this came about… and the ones since. (the “prototype by accident”

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Chili Topped Baked Potatoes (recipe)


Doing my Discover Fabulous duty this morning – searching for a great recipe to share with my fans… I ran across THIS YUMMO little gem! I can’t wait to get to the store to pick out some beautiful potatoes for his hearty meal.  Pair it with a green salad and “dinner is done!”

Let me know if you try it and how it turns out for you!

Chili Topped Baked Potatoes (Courtesy of Southern Living)

Ingredients

  • 1  pound  ground chuck
  • 1  onion, chopped
  • 1  (16-ounce) can pinto beans, undrained
  • 1  (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1  (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1  (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles, undrained
  • 1  (1 1/4-ounce) envelope taco seasoning mix
  • 1  (1-ounce) envelope Ranch-style dressing mix
  • 2  cups  water
  • 4  large baking potatoes
  • Toppings: shredded Cheddar cheese, sour cream, chopped green onions

Preparation

Cook ground beef and onion in a Dutch oven or deep skillet –  stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink; drain and return to pan. Stir in pinto beans and next 6 ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 20 minutes.

Scrub potatoes; prick several times with a fork.

Microwave potatoes 1 inch apart on paper towels at HIGH 14 minutes or until done, turning and rearranging after 5 minutes. Let stand 2 minutes. Split potatoes, and top evenly with chili. Serve with desired toppings.

NOTE: If you like less chili on your potato, freeze half of mixture up to 3 months. Thaw in refrigerator, and microwave at HIGH, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.

Southern Living, NOVEMBER 1998

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