Monday, November 24, 2014

One of the Podcasts we Love! Explore you Enthusiasm with Tara Swiger

We really love Explore Your Enthusiasm Podcast by Tara Swiger.

She is so much fun to listen to and has so much helpful information about being a crafter, promoting yourself and making things work.

It is like having your own personal Cheerleader.

I have listened to all her podcasts and am always excited to see a new one ready to listen too.  You can find her podcast on her blog or I listen to her on my PocketCast app.  Either way she is fun, cheery, full of great information and just a real pleasure to listen to.

Super Yummy and Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas

2 cups cooked chopped chicken
16 oz. salsa
1 onion chopped
2 gloves garlic
tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon cumin

12 gluten free tortillas or corn tortillas
10 oz spagetti sauce or if you like it hot use enchilada sauce but I did not have any so I used jarred spagetti sauce.
shredded cheddar cheese  1 8oz. package or one cup. We a lot of cheese so I used more.

Place tortillas in a large baking dish with paper towels  covering every few layers and then the top
with a damp paper towel. Put into oven at 350 while the oven is preheating for 10 minutes.

In a large skillet heat oil and add onion and saute until tender 5-6 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add salsa, chicken, and cumin to the skillet and heat through.
Remove tortillas from oven.
Grease bottom sides of baking dish ( 9x13) and spoon a little sauce into bottom of pan. I used the spagetti sauce here.
Put about 1/4 cup chicken mixture into center tortilla and fold in half and lay in pan. Lay them neto each other in the pan and they will stay shut. Put remaining sauce on top. Top with the cheese.
Bake 15 minutes.

Gluten Free Apple Fritters ... Big Hit at Our House

Gluten Free Apple Fritters

1 1/2 cups Bobs Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free all cooking flour
1 Tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup milk
2 eggs beaten
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

3 cups peeled, cored and chopped apples.I used tart apples but any apple will do.

1 quart vegetable oil

1 cup cinnamon and sugar

 Heat oil in a deep pan ( I used cast iron) to 375 degrees F

Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix together then add the milk, eggs and tablespoon oil. Stir all together until thoroughly mixed, then add chopped apples and
just stir till they are blended.

Drop by spoonful into hot oil without crowding the pan and let them cook until browned on one side and then turn over to brown other side. This only takes a few minutes
so keep a close watch. Remove from hot oil onto paper plate or paper towels. Then add more mix to oil a few at a time. While they are hot roll in cinnamon and sugar.

This was the first time I substituted Bobs Red Mills new flour alternative 1 to 1.  I think they turned out awesome and nobody in my family even noticed that it was gluten free.

We did put the leftovers in a sealed Tupperware container and it did seem to get a little mushy after that.  Next time we will leave them out and see what happens.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Just got my Hand Painted Holiday Images available on Creative Market... They are so cute!

Hand Painted Holiday Images

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tiny Tepee and Fire by Creatively Happy For the Little Fairy Folk

Here is the beautiful Tepee and Fire my Mom made out of peeled bark and dried flowers.
She created a frame out of small sticks and then layered the sides with inside strips of bark.  The tiny fire is created on a dried flower with little sticks and strips of wood to look like fire.  I think she did such an amazing job.  I want to move in and enjoy the warm fire.

Beautiful Message and Beautiful Creations by BirdMafia on Etsy

I came across this shop on Etsy called  BirdMafia and I fell in love with the paper cut shadow boxes.  I love the message and the simplicity of the design. There are much more complicated images that are beautiful but this one was my favorite

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Living in the Middle of Everything in the Middle of Nowhere

The room with a view. That is what I think every time I sit at our dining room table. There is always so much going on outside the big window we installed that it is like a movie. You don't always notice the action but if you wait long enough you will start to see it. 
In the spring you watch the world around us come alive and the chickens hunt for snacks,
in the summer you watch the garden grow and the flowers explode, 
in the fall you keep track of all the leaves falling and wait for the tiny glimpse of the neighbors house and 
in the winter you watch the world turn to a white wonderland. 
You get to see the animals play and the kids roll together their snowman. You get to see the potential of what the yard is going to become next year and you get to ponder how "living in the middle of nowhere" (as friends and family sometimes think) is actually living in the middle of everything.

Just sitting here with my warm fire, my hot cup of coffee and the feeling of being exactly where I am supposed to be in my life. Happy and content of this chilly 16 degree morning. I hope everyone has an awesome day

Monday, November 10, 2014

Christmas Card Photo Shoot with the New Kittens

Here are some of the pictures we got from our Christmas card photo shoot.  This year we decided to focus on the kids and the kittens.  It was pretty entertaining trying to get the kittens to sit in their hats but we ended up with one very special image that will be our holiday card.

Photography by Heather Saulsbury

Digital Download Doodle Art Greeting Cards by CreativelyHappyOne on Etsy

Here are some of the amazing art doodle cards you can purchase and download on Etsy.   
This product is very easy to use.  You can instantly download the cards and they are set up to print on a regular size piece of paper.  You can print them out and send them just as they are or you can color them in for a more dramatic effect.  

Giveaway at HiJennyBrown

I created a digital download package called "A Step Back in Time" for the giveaway on the HiJennyBrown that is going on this month.  She is offering some pretty cool stuff  so please click on over and check it out.   The contest is going on at her facebook page  
I met Jenny through the online group on facebook that is called "In the Studio with Kari"  This is a invite only group of creative people that are very supportive and talented.  You can get involved by heading on over to and signing up for her newsletter.  

Friday, November 7, 2014

How We Turned a Square Bookshelves into a Chicken Nesting Box

We have been busy moving our chickens into a new and bigger coop because our flock has doubled in size over the summer and they were running out of room in the old hen house.  Things have been going very well and we are almost ready to move them but we needed to create a new nesting box in the new house.  So we decided to create one with the 9 piece bookshelf.
Mom and I got (2) 2x4 that were about 8 ft long and cut them in half to end with 4 legs.  We screwed them to the side of the bookshelf from the inside after pre-drilling holes because we were concerned about the shelf breaking apart.  That went great.  Supported the shelf a  little and took the nesting box off the ground.
We then cut a piece of plywood to go across the back and had it big enough to go all the way to the edges of the 2 x 4 legs so we could screw into them instead  of the skinny shelf.  This really seemed to sturdy things up.  We only put  4 screws in the back in case we have to take the back off to clean it.

We then had some 1 x 2 strips to put an edge on the nesting boxes to keep the sawdust in.  We also pre-drilled and screwed these into the 2x4 legs.  This is my kitten helper that just seemed fascinated with everything we were doing

Here it is finished with the lip on all the boxes
We knew the chickens would need some sort of ledge to get on so they could get in the top boxes, so with the left over pieces of 1 x 2 we made supports for a 4ft 1/2" dowel.  We drilled holes first with a 1/2" bit and made sure the dowels would go through
After getting all the holes drilled we attached them to the sides of the 2 x 4.  We left them long enough to hang over both sides.
Now we just added some saw dust and are going to put in some marked eggs and hope the ladies like there new nesting box. 

This whole project including the shelf cost us around $55.  The tools we needed where a drill with a bit for screwing, a bit for drilling and a paddle bit for creating the dowel hole.  We also used a skill saw to cut with but a handsaw should work.
So the supply list we used was
(2) 2 x 4 x  about 96"
(2) 1 x 2 x 8ft
(2) 1/2" 4ft long dowels
Box of 1 1/2" screws
4ft x 4ft Thin piece of Plywood (that we cut to size)
9 Hole Bookshelf from Walmart

This was really an experiment in creating. I feel like it turned out pretty awesome but time will tell if the ladies like it and if it holds up.  For now it looks really good.  We might line the inside of each box with a small square of linoleum (got some leftover) and the ladies like privacy when they are in there boxes so we might add curtains.  Also we are not sure if the lip in front is tall enough so if it isnt we will add another 1 x 2 on top of it.

This Little Kitty Has a lot to Think About

We have welcomed two new additions to our house.  Some beautiful playful sweet kittens.  So of course I had to set up a photo shoot of them and take pictures.  They did really great but the shot I love the most was of the little girl coming over to see what the light is all about.  She is super cute and super adorable.  I thought this image would work for some many ideas and blogs so I posted it for sale on creative market.  So if you want to purchase and download your own version then just click on the image.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Creatively Happy Podcast Episode 5 ~ Opening an Etsy Shop, Conquering Your Fears, New Product Line and Update on our Hypertufa Project | Creatively Happy

Creatively Happy Podcast Episode 5 ~ Opening an Etsy Shop, Conquering Your Fears, New Product Line and Update on our Hypertufa Project | Creatively Happy

Busy Getting our Items Listed For Sale Online

We have been very busy this week getting a new shop set up on Etsy.  It is called PNW Bushcraft and features my husband amazing handmade leather and canvas  products.  He is making some traditional bushcraft gear in his studio with leather and canvas.   The first product we are featuring is a Bushcraft foragers pouch.  It is a bag that attaches to your belt with a leather strap.  When it is all folded up it is quite small and very convenient and when  you decide you need a bag you just unsnap it and unfold this great bag made out of oil cloth canvas.  This is a very sturdy and well made product.  He created and redesigned it quite a few times before he came up with this final product.  It is hand tooled and hand stamped.  Please stop on by, take a look around the store and share. 

We have also been very busy getting our fairy furniture up for sale in our own shop.  These pieces are so adorable and I can't wait for them to find new homes.  We got a set of furniture listed and also some chairs.
Our Etsy Shop

Don't Let Fear Stop You!

I would like to introduce you to your worst enemy.  The one thing that leaps at you first thing in the morning, the one that shouts at you when you think of veering off the chosen path, the one that heckles you when you decide to go big and your worst enemy has a name and its fear.  Fear of trying, fear of not trying, fear of changing,  fear of staying the same, fear of adventure fear of boredom, fear of being noticed, fear of be ignored.  The problem with fear is that it sits on both sides of the fence.  It hopes back and forth like a cricket, jumping in front of you at every decision.  Fear lurks in your mind and soul waiting to eat away at your very existence.
  We are not born with fear; we are taught fear from our parents.  It is disguised at parental concern but its really a introduction to fear.  We are taught to fear the unknown, the different, and the unfamiliar and use extreme caution about anything that is not familiar.  If a baby really knew fear then he wouldn’t learn.  A baby would not learn to try new foods, because he was afraid it would taste bad.  He would not learn to crawl because he would be afraid of what’s around the corner, He wouldn’t learn to walk because he would be afraid of falling.  We are born with the natural ability to wonder about things, to explore and to take on adventures.  It is not until we are accidentally taught to worry or fear things that we start to bury our need for adventure and exploring.  Fear is cocoon we wrap ourselves in that feels safe and warm.  It is also the very thing that holds us back from bursting out and becoming something new and beautiful.

When you confront your enemy and realize that the strings that bind you are simple threads that can be cut away easily then you start to conquer your fear.  When you block out the voice of fear in your head you start to come alive.  When you realize life is a grand adventure just waiting for you jump on then you have confronted your worst enemy and won the battle of a lifetime.  Your reward is the experience of new and wonderful things, the joy of the unknown and the knowledge that you were brave enough to face your worst enemy and walk away with your hands in the air shouting “YES I DID IT”

Written by Heather Saulsbury

Published in Enemies by Whatcom Writes

Sunday, November 2, 2014

What do You Do with those Stunning Photographs taking up room on Your Hard Drive? You let them make money for you.

I love to take pictures.  I have my camera with my almost all the time and I take pictures of everything.  I love scenery, textures, people and animals.  Taking pictures of all of those things make me happy but after awhile I wonder what to do with them.  Over the last year I have gotten into portrait photography and it was really nice to have a purpose for my images.  I was capturing moments in time for other people so there was always somewhere for them to go, but I was still taking pictures of stuff.  That beautiful fall scene on the river, that classic red barn down the road, the very funky looking mushroom.  All of this and more was what my camera was still filling up with when I wasn't taking pictures of people.

I started to feel like maybe I should stop taking all those pictures.  I was just filling up my computer with pictures I wasn't really going to use.  Some of them I might incorporate into my artwork but most of them would just sit and get dust on them (if computer files could get dusty).  I tried listing them on Etsy as a digital download but that wasn't working.  They didn't seem to be moving and the market seems so saturated with way cooler stuff then stock photography.  I also had to pay every time I did that whether it sold or not.  So I stopped doing that, no need to waste my hard earned money.

Then one day on one of my online craft communities someone shared a blog post about Creative Market.  This person was a graphic designer and had found her home for her designs.  Her downloadable actions where extremely popular and she had started to gain a lot of momentum with her sales.  Well of course I had to check it out.

Creative Market only sells items you can download.  How cool is that?  It is full of stock photography, illustrations, actions, mock ups and more.  Besides being a great place to sell your creations it is also a awesome place to shop.  I am not a graphic designer by trade.  I have been teaching myself how to use Photoshop and it has been a long and steep learning curve but I was so excited about all the images this site had to offer.  The prices are really great too.

So I looked into getting a shop.  I thought I would just be able to sign up and go but that was not the case.  You have to apply to have a shop by showing them where you are selling your items elsewhere.  I shared my Etsy store and my website  At first thought, I was a little annoyed by this but then I realized it like being in any show.  If they let everyone in then there are no standards and if they can see you have been putting in effort every where else then you are more likely to commit to putting out great products.  Not be a fly in and fly out.  I was very anxious to list on here and it only took a few days to get an answer.  Let me tell you my favorite part.  You DO NOT have to pay to list.  Yup, thats right.  You get to list for free and if something sells they take a cut.  How awesome is that.  I was on board, I was so excited and then I started listing photographs.  I found it very easy to do and tried not to go overboard.  I didn't want to fill my store with the same items as everyone else.  I decided to focus my images mostly on Pacific Northwest landscapes and Bushcraft pictures with a few animal and flower pictures tossed in.  Within a few days I had my first sale.  This was the quickest I have ever sold something online and I have been selling online forever (at least it feels that way).  I was so excited.  The best part was that they took there cut, put my share on my balance sheet and the item stayed listed.  I did not have to do anything else after the initial listing.  I liked this site even more.  Making money in  my sleep is one of my favorite things.  I don't have to go to the post office, I don't have to find packaging, heck I don't even have to pay to relist.

I am really enjoying being part of the Creative Market community and I have continued to sell my photographs as stock photography.  After getting comfortable listing and sharing I decided to look into their partner program.  It is another thing you have to apply for but for every referral who purchases something you get 10% of it for an entire year.  Seems like a pretty awesome deal.  You promote yourself, the site and other designers selling great things and you make money.  The part that is so easy about this is that the designs are amazing.  So far, anything I can think of they have.  It is really a group of very talented people and a wonderful resource for people designing blogs, logos, business cards and anything else you need an image or action for.

To sum it all up, if you want to sell your photographs as a stock image instead of letting them sit in that dusty hard drive then Creative Market might be a great spot to start.  I wish you lots of luck and hope my article was helpful.  I would love you hear from you and appreciate all the support.