Gemstone Jewelry GIVEAWAY

February 18th, 2011

The three winners of the Cutting Edge Stencils Giveaway are:  #199 Eliza Dougherty;  #605 Nina English; and #1,411: Andrea H.  Sending you all my email contact today!  Yay, congratulations ladies !!

swirl snip

Are you in the mood for spring?  Craving pops of fresh color all around you?  Me too!  I’m also in the mood for a beachy vacay, and missing Hawaii soooo much.  This drizzle has me dreaming of soft sand and warm waves between my toes, and mai tais with pineapple and little pink umbrellas on top.  See, I’m so easy to please.

How delighted am I to bring you something sparkly from the Aloha state today!  I’d like to introduce you to Kahili Creations, an online store filled with handmade artisan jewelry from Hawaii’s Big Island.

This lovely Etsy shop is filled with the most colorful and delicate pieces, you’re sure to find something lovely for yourself.  Perhaps one of your besties has a birthday coming up?  There’s always Mother’s Day to think about too!!

Ooooh, sparklies !

blue stones

pink baubles

pearls

kahili misc

 

Kahili Creations is offering two lucky winners a $75 shop credit, enough to pick out at least one of their pieces, perhaps two!  Free shipping for the winners.  Everyone loves a freebie, especially if it’s something sparkly!

Eligibility to win one of two $75 shop credits to Kahili Creations:

1) Hop on over to Kahili Creations and get lost among the gorgeous selections.  Pick a favorite piece then name it in a comment.

2) For additional chances to win, link to this giveaway on Facebook and/or on Twitter, then leave a comment telling where you mentioned it!

Giveaway ends Monday February 21st at 8 p.m. PST.  US and Canada only.  Free shipping.  Two winners chosen by Random.org.

swirl snip

Good luck and have a fantastic weekend !

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A New Solution for Transforming Your Cabinets

February 17th, 2011

It’s no secret I’ve been using Rust-Oleum paint products for years.  I remember back in 2009 when I was spray painting everything that stood still ‘Heirloom White’.  I went through my ‘Gloss White’ phase, then I dabbled in so many of their colorful and specialty spray paints.  I truly believe they have the best quality spray paints and I appreciate the variety of their more modern colors.  And as you know, I’ve always adored Zinsser primers. 

rustoleum brands 3Did you know both Zinsser and Varathane are part of the Rust-Oleum family?  Yes indeedy! 

Rust-Oleum’s motto is ‘a solution for every surface’ and they are serious!  I thought I knew about most every product they had to offer, but I was delighted to discover at the two day event I attended last week that there are so many other specialty products they manufacture, and now am anxious to try several of them.

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk shop with the people at the helm of Rust-Oleum, plus I also got to try out their brand new Cabinet Transformations product, which is a completely new approach to refinishing your old kitchen and bathroom cabinets. 

I’ve refinished kitchen, bath, and laundry room cabinets all the old school way which can often require stripping and sanding, but always requires a good coat of primer, plus two coats of paint and a protectant. 

rustoleum cabinet transformationsAfter much research and development, Rust-Oleum has recently introduced on the market a Cabinet Transformations kit for kitchen and bath.  This refinishing kit eliminates the need to strip, sand, or prime.  Shocking I know, and I admit I was skeptical.  No primer at all?  Seriously?  It sounded too good to be true, and I was very concerned about durability. 

I learned (and asked a lot of questions) about the formula for this new product, and based on the extensive testing in the lab and Rust-Oleum’s reputation for durability, I’m feeling pretty good about this new alternative.  In fact, I plan to use it in my hall bathroom later this year. 

I was able to try it out for myself, and I’m like a kid in a candy story when given the opportunity to try products that transform outdated cabinets.   

kate rustoleum event

 

The kits come in two sizes for smaller (100 square feet) and larger kitchens (up to 200 square feet).  Rust-Oleum provides an online tool for measuring your kitchen for this DIY project.  This Cabinet Transformations kit approaches refinishing differently than the traditional method of strip + sand + prime + paint + protect.  It also works on surfaces beyond just wood, which includes laminates and melamine surfaces. 

In the shop, we worked with a standard oak cabinet door and all the supplies that come in the kit.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Wild Mushroom Bisque

February 16th, 2011

It’s been raining off and on for days around here.  That pitter patter on the roof every night puts me in the mood for tasty soups!   Yesterday I made this delicious version of Wild Mushroom Bisque.  In the past, I’ve called this Cream of Wild Mushroom soup, but since it’s puréed, I’m getting all fancy on ya and calling it a ‘Bisque’.

I’m one of those people who gets a craving, then has to run to the store just to grab the ingredients.  It’s a bad habit, one I refuse to break.  The other day, I was craving homemade creamy mushroom soup, so I whipped up a batch of this yumminess. 

cream of wild mushroom

 

Wild Mushroom Bisque

2 tbsp olive oil

3 tbsp butter

2 medium shallots, thinly diced

20 oz. of a medley of cleaned, trimmed, and sliced mushrooms

(I used 8 oz. button mushrooms, 6 oz. portabella, 6 oz. shiitake mushrooms, but you can substitute oyster, crimini, porcini, whatever is available.)

1 cup dry sherry

2 cups chicken or vegetable broth

½ tsp tarragon

2 ½ cups half and half

½ tsp white pepper

Salt to taste

Sauté diced shallots in butter and olive oil mixture over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, add sliced mushrooms and sauté 3-4 more minutes to soften, stirring frequently.  Add dry sherry to mixture and bring to a low boil.  Reduce liquid on low boil for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add chicken (or vegetable) broth and tarragon, bring to low boil, then simmer on low another 8-10 minutes, reduce heat.  Fully purée mixture in a blender, or with an immersion blender. 

Return to soup pot, then add half and half, pepper, and salt to taste, reheat on stovetop on medium for 5 minutes, do not boil or burn.  Serve hot with croutons & shaved parmesan, crackers or crunchy sourdough.  Serves 6. 

Here are five more savory soups I’ve made in the past that I also love.

Slurp! 

I mean Bon Appétit ! 

 

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