A Note About Copyright

I hold the copyright to all images on this blog, unless otherwise noted. Please do not reproduce them without my permission. If you plan on using my material in another blog, I'd be delighted, but please notify me before you do so, and, of course, link back to me. Thank you.

September 15, 2014

Peacock Chandelier Earrings

Make this pair of chandelier earrings using seed beads (size 8/00), head pins, eye pins, and chain.
1. Slide a 3mm metal bead and 4 seed beads on a head pin. Make a simple loop. Make 8 of these end links.
 2. Using eye pins and seed beads, make short links:
8 links with 5 beads, 16 links with 6 beads, 6 links with 7 beads, 4 links with 8 beads, 2 links with 9 beads.
3. Make long links:
Link A: end link + 6 bead link + 5bead link - make 8
Link B: end link + 7bead link + 6beads link - make 4
Link C: end link + 8beads link + 6bead link - make 4
Link D: end link + 9bead link + 7 bead link - make 2
4. Assemble: on a eye pin slide 1 seed bead (SB), link A, SB, link A, SB, link B, SB , link C, SB, link D, SB, link C, SB, link B, SB, link A, SB. Make a simple loop on the end as shown below.
5. Fold a 2" (5cm)  chain in half (to find a center link) and attach an ear wire to this link. Attach the  chain to the loops. Attach the first and the last links of the chain to the loops.
Changing the amount of beads for the links and the lenght of the chain, you can change the size of your earrings.

You can buy these earrings here

September 1, 2014

Double Baked Potato Boats with Bacon

Last night I  made twice baked potato with bacon, cheese and herbs for dinner.
That was yummy!
 You will need: 3 large potatoes, 6 slices of bacon, 1/4 cup of warm milk, 3/4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, green onion chopped, 2 tbs. of fresh chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp. salt, and pepper.

* Preheat the oven to 375 F
* Place washed potatoes in microwave and bake for about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool enough to handle.
* While cooking potatoes, cook the bacon until crisp. Chop 4 1/2 slices, leave 1 1/2 slices aside.
* Cut off the top 1/2" of the potatoes lengthwise, scoop the flesh leaving the 1/4" thick "boat".
* Mash the potato flesh. add cheese, green onion, parsley, chopped bacon, salt, pepper.
* Fill the skins with the filling 
* Brush the outside of the skins with the bacon drippings. Place the potato "boats" onto the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.
* Season the salt and pepper, top with onion and the halved bacon strips.
 See another good potato recipe at my daughter's blog here

August 16, 2014

Cello sale

My daughter Anya wants to play the cello. Beautiful instrument! I want to buy her one.
So, there is a cello sale at my jewelry shop. Use coupon code CELLO to get 15% off!

July 22, 2014

Beaded Choker Necklace Tutorial

This choker is appropriate for nearly all levels of beaders; beginners may find it a little challenging. This tutorial has 11 pages with 33 steps and step-by step photos.
Materials you will need:
Rondelle beads 6x4mm, rondelle beads 4x3 mm, seed beads 11/0, seed beads 6/0, clasp, beading thread and 2 beading needles, extension chain 2" (optional).
 Click photos to buy this tutorial.

See more tutorials here

July 4, 2014

Cabbage Salad

I just love this cabbage salad. It's so fresh, crunchy and has about 20 kcal in 100g!
You will need:
1 green cabbage
2 carrots
1 tsp of dill seeds 
15-20 peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp of salt
3 Tbsp of vinegar (I use white rice vinegar, but regular vinegar will work too)

Prepare a pickle. Boil 1 liter of water, add bay leaves, peppercorns, and salt. Boil for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it cool. When the liquid is cool (or at least warm), add 3 Tbsp of vinegar. 
While the pickle is cooling, grate the carrots, or you can also cut it very finely with a knife.
Cut the cabbage in 6 pieces (do not use a heart of cabbage) and using a knife or a mandoline slicer cut the cabbage.
Place cut cabbage and carrots in a large bawl, add 1 teaspoon of dill seeds.
Carefully mix all ingredients, slightly squeezing. Anya loves this process, so I let her do it :)
When it is mixed, place the salad in clean glass jars. While filling the jar, ram the cabbage with fist.

The jar(s) has to be full.  Fill up with cooled pickle, place a lid. Put the cabbage salad in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.

P.S. I like to add 1 tsp of vegetable oil to my salad bawl.
P.P.S. I call this salad in Russian "капустка", but my daughter Anya who loves this salad too, calls it "карпустка" (CARrot +каПУСТКА) 

June 29, 2014

Green Beaded Necklace with Tassel

Last time when I was crocheting with beads was long ago. Looking at small boxes with Matsuno Japanese seed beads, I took leftover green beads and a small amount of brown beads - just enough to make a necklace. Checking for some matching beads to make a focal piece, I found 4 leaf-shaped Czech beads.
So, sitting in front of my computer, I watched a movie and crocheted :) 
I used all the beads. I was surprised that I had exactly enough beads to make this neckalce, no more no less, not even a tiny pinch of beads left :)
Tassel is made of a large dragon jasper bead, unakite and Czech faceted and leaf-shaped glass beads. S-hook clasp that attached to the large jump-ring by the tassel.
 You can buy this truly one-of-a-kind necklace here

June 21, 2014

Okroshka - Russian Summer Soup

Okróshka (Russian: окрошка) is a Russian cold soup. The name probably originates from "kroshit'" (крошить), which means to crumble into small pieces.
It’s very refreshing to have chilled soup on a hot summer day. 
Okroshka is always served cold.
I used 3 cooked potatoes, 3 hard boiled eggs, 1 cucumber, radishes, finely chopped green onions, Italian parsley, dill, celery, cilantro, and a cooked meat ( you can use beef or ham.)
Cut all the ingredients into small pieces. Add salt.  Okroshka is usually garnished with sour cream.
This classic Russian cold soup is traditionally made with kvass, a fermented wheat drink, but can also be made with diluted kefir, vinegar, or mineral water.

May 27, 2014

Homemade Laundry Detergent $0.43 per gallon

Today I finally decided to make my own homemade laundry detergent.
The ingredients are easy to find: borax, washing soda and Dawn dish soap. You can find the Arm and Hammer washing soda and Borax in the detergent isle, usually on the very top or very bottom shelf.
 So, to make 1 US gallon (3.79 liter) of detergent, you will need:

3 Tablespoons of Borax 3 Tablespoons of Washing Soda 2 Tablespoons  of Dawn Dish soap
1 empty 1-gallon  jug/container
Put these ingredients in a one gallon container. Pour 4 cups of boiling water into the jug. Swirl until ingredients are dissolved. Fill almost to the top with cold water. Let the bubbles overflow out of the bottle.
I use approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup per load. Sounds like a lot, but ... let me do the math for you. I  bought:
1 box of Borax, 76 oz. for $6.40(including AZ taxes) . Used 2oz -> $0.17
1 box of Washing Soda, 55oz for $3.90. Used 2oz -> $0.14
Dawn 266 ml for $1.07. Used 30ml -> $0.12
Total: $0.43 for 1 gallon!!!! The savings are incredible.
If you find ingredients cheaper then mine, you will save more :) 

May 26, 2014

Washing Yellow Pillows into White Pillows

Do you have pillows that turn yellow in a year or so? One of the most common reasons why pillows can turn yellow is sweat. My husbands' pillows are more yellow (his hair is short and not so dense :), so all his sweat goes onto his pillow). Sweat can seep through the pillowcase fabric. As the sweat dries, it can leave a yellow stain on the pillow. Even if you use pillow covers underneath your pillowcases, the yellowing can still occur. I tried to wash the pillows with regular laundry detergent, but the result was not impressive.
Why not to throw away a bad pillow and buy a new one? I like really flat, (yes, flat-flat) pillows, and new ones are way big for me. I even travel with my pillow - hotel pillows are gigantic for me and I cannot sleep on them. 
So, I have to wash my favorite pillow., I found on Pinterest a good "recipe":
- Hot water
- 1 cup of laundry detergent
- 1 cup powdered dishwasher detergent
- 1 cup bleach 

- 1/2 cup borax

Look at these BEFORE  and AFTER pictures! 
The pillow on the bottom was never washed before and it is at least 11 years old! 
  • Remove the pillow case and any pillow protector
  • Fill the washing machine about 1/3 full with hot water.
  • Add all the ingredients in , then start the machine and allow it to agitate for a few minutes to makes sure all the detergent dissolves before adding the pillows.
  • Once the detergent is dissolved, add the pillow(s), and then allow the washer to fill the rest of the way with HOT water. I washed two pillows at a time, which helped balance the load when it came time for the spin cycle.
  • Put your machine on the 2nd rinse cycle or just run it through twice manually.
  •  Place the pillow(s) in the dryer, add a couple of tennis balls covered in clean socks or a few Dryer Balls to help FLUFF the pillows as they tumble dry. I run the dryer twice . If it's sunny and hot outside- let the sun finish drying the pillows (it is hot in Arizona, +100F already)!

April 23, 2014

Frozen Lemon Juice

We got lots of lemons!
But they (lemons) do not last forever. So, to preserve them making lemon juice . Squeeze lemons, filter through the strainer and pour into ice-cube tray.
When juice is frozen, place the cubes into the zip-bag and place it in the freezer.
Of course, you can make lemonade too!