Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Chili with Cornbread

Superbowl Sunday I made a huge pot of chili. I froze the leftovers and last night came up with this beauty. I bought a box of cornbread mix from Trader Joes, which has pieces of corn in it. I put the mix on top of the chili and followed the directions for baking. My husband was impressed. Did I tell him it was leftovers? No way.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

How It All Started

cell phone case

I was looking through my photos and saw pictures of jewelry and accessories from when I first started beading. It was more complicated then, but was the source of inspiration for me at the time and has gotten me to where I am today. My goal then and now was to create unique items that are visually artistic. They took a lot of time and sold in galleries for the most part. I have to say, my photo skills have really gotten much better since then. That's a nice thing to look back on as well.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Tour of California

Something you may not know about me is that I'm a cycling wife, which is something like a football wife, but much nicer. My husband lives, eats, and breathes cycling. But I really don't mind. I say that because we went to Long Beach yesterday to see the end stage of the Tour of California. Beautiful setting and lots of cheer. World class cyclists zoomed by us several times in the race for the finish. Here pictured is Team Discovery with the winner of the Tour, Levi Leipheimer in the yellow. They even smiled for the camera (so it seems). My husband was in heaven for the chance to see something like this since we haven't quite made it to the Tour de France. Maybe someday....I could see myself drinking wine and eating cheese instead of the obligatory fish burrito I had yesterday.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Flamenco Collection

In an effort to enhance the flamenco jewelry collection on my site, I found wonderful filigree findings in sterling silver and brass and have made more flamenco earrings. Now these earrings are not only for flamenco, but they fall into the chandelier earring category we are all familiar with as well. I just love the filigree fans in sterling silver. With these Swarovski crystals, shining is the only option.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


from this

to this

and this

I had a necklace that I had made a while back that just wouldn't sell for some reason. Personally, I really liked the shape and the colors. Perfect for the Spring and Summer, so I decided to rework the necklace into 2 different bracelets, incorporating the same color palette but different designs. They will both be available at Bonnin Designs very soon. As soon as I upload them. They are made with lemon quartz, cherry quartz and Swarovski crystals with sterling silver toggle clasps. Now, please don't comment that you liked it as a necklace or I will cry.

Boring Laundry Room

I have this really boring laundry room with wood cabinets and beige walls. It's narrow and rather small so I have limited options for decoration. I just found these painted wood letters at a shop this weekend and they were only about 2.75 each. I thought 'DIRT' was fun. Better than 'DIRTY' or 'CLEAN' which are the obvious choice. I like the black "T". I could have spelled anything really. I was only limited by the letters they had in stock. This was all I could think of at the time. I'm happy with the way it looks on the wall opposite the entry door so it's the first thing you see.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Woes of Jewelry Display

I am always seeking new ways to display my jewelry that won't be heavy to carry to shows. The last show I did, I was pretty pleased with the results. Except the black displays but that problem was solved yesterday when I went shopping in Old Towne Orange and found a shop going out of business. They were selling their displays and I got some really nice white necklace displays to round out what I already have.
I love my little corner shelves. They fold up flat. the silver boxes in the center I also love and own 6. Usually 2-3 go to shows with me. So the best thing that I found is this textured gold and silver paper. It's as thick as grocery bag paper and it's wrinkly like if you wrinkled up a grocery bag. I layer them different ways and it highlights the items on them. The best part? It's easy to transport and light as well, paper.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gorgeous Weekend

It was a warm, sunny weekend in Southern California. The perfect weekend to be outdoors. Friday we headed to my new favorite place, Crystal Cove. First we lunched at the overpriced, but hunger-satisfying Beachcomber Cafe, on the beach. Next we went to the tidepools. For my kids, it was better than Disneyland. There were starfish and even huge sea snails.

Saturday afternoon was the perfect day for whale watching. Well for us anyways, not the whales. But we did see tons of dolphin as far as the eye could see. And the highlight of the trip must have been the silly sea lions hanging out in the ocean. Did I get any work done? Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, February 16, 2007

The Year of the Pig

Happy Year of the Pig! In celebration of Chinese New Years, our Chinese Zodiac Necklaces are 10% off. They are carved in horn and hang from silk cord which is adjustable in length. Visit Bonnin Designs and find your Chinese Zodiac. Mine is the Rabbit. It's so cute.

In more celebration, on the food side try these this weekend:
Citrus fruits- signify wealth and abundance
Chicken- symbolizes rebirth (it's a stand in for the Phoenix Bird)
Dumplings- resembling gold nuggets, these foods portend prosperousness for the New Year
Oysters-represent amour to us, but in China represent good business

It's All About Patterns Baby

Since deciding to blog about the products that I own now from fellow indie designers, I must continue with Textile Fetish by designer Jennifer Ramos. Since learning to crochet, I had to have one of the the crochet hook cases in my one attempt at organization. I just love it. It's a place I can put not only my hooks, but I store my scissors and even found a place for my needles. Yay. No stepping on needles. These cases are wonderful and the basic ones are only $15 each. I continue with the craft aprons because it's my second attempt at organization when I'm being crafty. Mine has sushi on it and little pom poms on the bottom. Oh so chic! And thirdly, the item I adorn almost as often as I step into my kitchen is a full apron which I call my full body armor because I tend to be pretty messy when cooking. Mine is made of soft flannel with flowers with a hint of tattoo fabric on the straps and front pocket. Isn't that fun? Textile Fetish is all about combining colors and patterns as well as texture resulting in the most joyous of items from hip baby clothes to handbags and everything in between.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day Lots to tell.

Yesterday I met with Carrie Sommer of Sommer Designs for a little antiquing, thrifting and eating in Old Towne Orange, my local antique district. It was really a fun day and I have to say, Carrie is certainly inspiring. So with that said, I’m planning on blogging more about more topics and hoping to feature products by fellow indie designers that I acquire.

Let’s start out with the Lavender Drawer Liners by Sommer Designs which Carrie so thoughtfully presented me for Valentine’s Day. Thanks Carrie! I’m a lavender lover and used to have a lavender plant at my old house and don’t now. I really miss it. Now I can enjoy the smell of lavender anytime I want. These liners are amazing and filled with “3 heaping cups” of lavender, each! I loved the packaging too; rolled up in cellophane with a pink ribbon. It was too irresistible.

After shopping, I headed out with my son to Mizuwa Marketplace; a Japanese market to get dinner for Valentine’s Day. I was in awe. I never had been there but my son and I agreed that Japanese candy is so much more interesting. I left him in the candy aisle and began my search. I decided to get fish for sashimi amongst other things. I chose Yellowtail (hamachi), Albacore which was tataki style (seared), salmon and an assortment of already made sushi because it was cute, and cheap. I also got fresh pompano which I ended up having to gut and decided to poach it in foil in the toaster oven at 400 degrees for 20 min. I made various plates and kick myself for not photographing them. I bought seaweed and made sushi rice so my kids could roll their own rolls in the sushi mat and add salmon. They loved it. I also made coconut rice and put it in individual little espresso mugs. Wow, that was decadent. Here’s the recipe:

Coconut Rice from “Take Home Chef” show recipes on TLC
1 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 ¼ cups chicken broth
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
¼ teaspoon salt
Dried sliced coconut, lightly roasted for garnish

Method: Rinse the rice in a sieve under cold running water until the water runs clear from the rice. Drain.Combine the stock, coconut milk and salt in a heavy-based, large saucepan over a medium-to-high heat and bring to a near boil. Reduce the heat to low. Add the rice and stir constantly for 1 minute.Cover and simmer over low heat without stirring for 15 minutes or until the rice is almost tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let the rice to stand covered for 10 minutes or until the rice is tender and all of the liquid has been absorbed.Lightly fluff up the rice with a fork. Transfer the rice to bowls. Garnish with the toasted coconut and serve.

I’ve been craving roasted pineapple for some time now and with the addition of Malibu rum, a coconut rum, I had to do this. So for dessert I made the following:

Roasted Pineapple with Malibu Rum
Serves 4
Ingredients:1 small pineapple, peeled, halved and cored
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup Malibu rum
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

Method: Preheat the oven to 400°F/204°C. Melt the butter in a large heavy ovenproof pot over medium heat. Place the pineapple halves in the pan flat side down. Cook until the butter begins to color and become pale golden, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter and stir for 3 minutes, or until the sugar melts. Place the pot in the oven for 15 minutes, or until a caramel sauce forms. Using pot holders, remove the pot from the oven. Add the rum to the sauce in the pot and turn the pineapple halves over. Return the pot to the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pineapple is tender. Transfer the pineapple halves to a platter. Add the cream to the sauce in the pan and stir over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 3 minutes. Pour the caramel sauce over the pineapple halves and serve.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Lots of Hair Accessories

I've been a busy beader and have finally added most of the beaded barrettes I've been making to the website. I really like how they turned out using square beads. Very colorful, yes? I also have to note that because they were made with the limited supply of beads that I had, most are one-of-a-kinds except the red and the blue. I have 2 each of those in stock.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Unchain your Heart

I've finally folded and made some earrings with hearts. But they are a little bit more edgy and a whole lot more sexy. Now since I only make things that I myself would wear and until now wouldn't picture myself wearing hearts, I wanted to come up with something that would work for my taste. Check out the Chain of Hearts Earrings. Perfect for your Valentine, or yourself any time.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Earthenwood Studio

I just love Earthenwood Studio charms. I've used some in my new pieces that are on the website and have had a great response. These are 3 necklaces with these charms and Melanie of Earthenwood Studio featured them on her blog. Thanks Melanie!