Words of Wisdom Wednesday, no. 34

Every Wednesday I share a quote that resonates with me in some way. This is miscellany‘s thirty-fourth installment of WoWW


I’ve really been trying to focus on positivity recently. And to my surprise, as I’ve ALWAYS considered myself a pessimist, it’s working! I’m not sure if I’ve ever been happier, actually! I love this quote; it resonates with me in one cohesive way, yet it also works in two parts for me…

  1. “Instead of using your mood to decide your action…” For this first part, I take it as a reminder to not let my mood get the best of me. If I am having a rough time at home or in my personal life (mood), it should not effect my work (action).
  2. “… let your action determine your mood.”  This second part reminders me to do the things (action) that make me happy (mood)!
  3. “Instead of using your mood to decide your action, let your action determine your mood.” With both parts together this quotes says, “When I feel like shit (mood) and want to do nothing (action, or lack thereof), I need to get off my ass (action) and do something I love (which will make me happy – mood).”

What does this quotes say to you?

Words of Wisdom Wednesday, no. 33

Every Wednesday I share a quote that resonates with me in some way. This is miscellany‘s thirty-third installment of WoWW


Today is the day I have been waiting for… two bags packed and a one-way flight to Colorado. I never expected to uproot my sub-par, standard life and move across the country to live and work on an organic farm, but now I have the wonderful opportunity to explore this part of myself. I’m  proud of the courage I’ve managed to muster up to do this. And I am SO excited to start this new adventure with Nico.

You can read more about Miss Rikki Rogers here. And SimpleReminders.com is filled with so many wonderful, inspirational quotes. I find myself browsing the website regularly.

Finger-lickin’ Friday: Nico’s Potato Leek Soup

Every Friday I share a recipe I am curious to try, have tested (approved or disapproved), or have developed myself.

This is miscellany‘s thirty-first installation of Finger-lickin’ Fridays!

Potato Leek Soup

potato leek soup nico

Nico has really fallen in love with this super simple recipe adapted from Julia Child. In fact, he just made some potato leek soup last night and sent me the photo above! Only four more days and I can try it for myself! YUM!

Status: Nico approves and I’m sure I will, too

Makes: a big pot


  • 1 lb potatoes
  • 1 lb leeks
  • 1 quart water
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, for garnish


  • Chop potatoes and leeks (watch this video if you’re unfamiliar with leek preparation).
  • Combine potatoes, leeks, water, and butter in pot and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Blend soup until creamy, although Nico likes to leave his slightly “chunky.” There are plenty of ways to cream the soup: immersion blender, regular blender, a hand mixer, a potato masher, or even just a vigorous stir with a fork.
  • Mix in the cream.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with parsley.


Dreams of May

Welcome to the twentieth artist interview on miscellany!
owl scrubbies
Owl scrubbies ($5.75)

(1) Tell us about yourself:

I live in Corona, California.

I am the mother of a wonderful 29 year old man, Louis, who is a tech at BWM Ontario. He is my pride and joy and my only family.

I really don’t have a typical day. It can vary so much due to what I think needs to be accomplished. Depending on what I am trying to accomplish my day can consist of research (new color trends, stitches, yarns, etc), social media (have to keep up with it but not always easy to do), crocheting (new projects, finishing others and developing patterns), photographing items that need to be listed in my shops and looking for new shops to write about in my blog (this is a new endeavor for me). Occasionally my son and I will go on Pokemon runs. This is always fun and filled with laughter. When I’m not working on my craft or social media, I enjoy reading, some of my favorite authors are Clive Cussler, Jayne Ann Krenta, Lillian Jackson Braun, and Rita Mae Brown, just to name a few.

tomato scrubbies
Tomato scrubbies, set of 3 ($7.75)

(2) Tell us what you create: 

I create whatever I can with a crochet hook and yarn. Most of the time it’s dish scrubbies, beanies, scarves, cup sleeves, ice cream pint cozies. I also do custom orders for afghans and clothing (some of which I have designed myself). My grandmother started teaching me to crochet when I was about 5 years old. She was so patient but also very insistent that I learn to crochet the proper way. She started teaching me to do a chain and wouldn’t teach me the next stitch until I could chain repeatedly with the same tension. She did this with all the stitches. I am so thankful that she did this. As a result, I get comments from people all the time about how professional my work is and they wish their stitches looked as even as mine. Through the years I have taught myself other crafts, everything from tatting to quilting but, always stay with crochet. When I was in school, I crocheted to de-stress, now I do it full-time. I believe my work stands out because my items are so unique, I have yet to see scrubbies in the shapes that I make, and have never seen a rasta beanie with crocheted dreadlocks like the ones I create.

citrus scrubbies
Citrus scrubbies, set of 4 ($9.75)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business: 

My shop got its name from my grandmother who taught me to crochet and who also taught me to never give up my dreams. Thus the name Dreams Of May. I started my Etsy shop years ago with prodding from my then boyfriend (now friend). I now have a shop on ArtYah and do the Corona Farmers Market in the Fall and some craft show around the holidays. My scrubbies (which are a huge part of my repertoire) were the inspiration of my son. I used to make the really large dish cloths. He asked if I could make something smaller that he could fit inside a glass, with his hand. He also wanted to be able to use them to scrub the pots and pans. Yup, he actually does dishes by hand.

My studio is anywhere I happen to be. I take a bag with me wherever I go that may involve a wait of over 2 minutes so I can pull out a project and work. I don’t do waiting well. At home a have a really comfy chair that I park myself in to crochet. I have my yarns stashes in bookshelves, bins, closets, drawers and cupboards (wherever I can find room). My patterns are in my computer, flash drives (yup, more than one, in case I lose one, which I have), shelves, file cabinets, binders, boxes and binders. Well, you get the idea, it has kind of taken over my space.

(4) Tell us about your customers: 

My customers are anyone who wants something fun and unique. I have all ages and genders. I was at a model train show (long story but I had my scrubbies there to sell) and my first customer was a gentleman who came up to me and said his with told him he could buy what he wanted as long as he came to “The Scrubbie Lady” first and got her some scrubbies.

purple cup sleeve
Cup sleeve ($7.00)

(5)Tell us where I can find your art: 

DreamsOfMay can be found on ArtYah, Etsy, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Instagram.

My blog can be found here. On Twitter I am @dreams_of_may.

During the fall and holiday season and sometimes in the spring, I do the Corona Farmers Market and the Holiday show at the American Legion in Norco, CA.

I am a member of a couple of teams on Etsy, the primary being The Goal Miners. They are a wonderful group that is so supportive and helpful. Also, the ArtYah community is wonderful. My son and a couple of very close friends are my main support in person. They are always willing to give me honest feedback on new items and color combinations. My son even helps me set-up and tear down at the farmers market and keeps my vehicle in great working order so I can get to shows, the post office (to ship orders) and shops (to buy supplies).

(6) Tell us about your favorites: 

I have so many favorites that it’s hard to pick just one or two. If you follow my on my social media sites, you can see who I favorite. But, if I had to pick a couple, I would say,





http://www.artyah.com/seller/KarenBurkePhotography .






My favorites from my shop differs all the time. Right now, I would have to say it’s my Mr. and Mrs. Piggy Dish scrubbies. When I make the, I can’t help but smile, seeing their faces come to life. Also, the snowman, dish scrubbies and cup sleeves, their faces are always different and again, make me smile.

ice cream pint cover
Pint of ice cream cover ($10.00)

(7) Tell us anything else: 

My advice to others would be the advice my grandmother gave to me, follow your dreams and never give them up. You can do anything you set your mind to. Just keep trying. A couple of inspirational sayings, “Don’t be the cause of your failure. Be the reason for your success” and “One smile. One kind word, one simple act of kindness, can be like the ripples in the water and spread to the farthest shores. Start a ripple.”

On a final note, my first book of patterns is being published by Leisure Arts and should be available sometime in August of 2016. It’s called, “So-Cute Scrubbies.” Look for it at LeisureArts.com and your local craft supply shop.

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Robyn! Please take a look at all the cute and practical crocheted goods in her etsy shop (and elsewhere) and consider purchasing a piece or two!

Words of Wisdom Wednesday, no.31

Every Wednesday I share a quote that resonates with me in some way. This is miscellany‘s thirty-first installment of WoWW

wild moon woman

I simply love this. As a female, it is so empowering. Personally, I am not one to be contained. Elyse Morgan is simply wonderful; check out more of her poetry here.

Share your empowering quotes in the comments below!

Handmade Monday: Jewelry Art by Dawn

Welcome to the nineteenth artist interview on miscellany!
Amethyst Crystal Necklace
Amethyst Crystal Necklace ($60.00)

(1) Tell us about yourself:

I live in a small town in the beautiful mountains of Northern California. My immediate family is quite small and consists of my husband and my sister.

We have no pets at this time. Our last two dogs were black labs and they were such clowns; not a day went by that they didn’t make us laugh. They’ve gone to the Rainbow Bridge three years ago and we have decided that we won’t have any more dogs, at least for now. They were the last of many we’ve had over the years and we just don’t want to go through that pain again, but we will always treasure the time we had with them and the memories they left with us.

As far as a typical day; two years ago, I retired from my job as an elementary school secretary and can’t begin to tell you how much I am enjoying my new found freedom. A typical day starts without an alarm clock going off which I absolutely love. Once up, I savor a cup of tea while checking email, my shop, a jewelry forum I help moderate, my blog and the news. I usually make it into my studio between noon and 1:00 and call it a

day around 6:00. The rest of the evening is spent making dinner, spending time with my husband, taking care of business related tasks and winding down before bed.

We also enjoy traveling and have much more time for it since retiring. We spent three months in Asia last winter visiting Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. It was a wonderful time and we plan to go back in a year or two.


Celtic Style Cuff
Celtic-style Cuff ($20.00)

(2) Tell us what you create:

I started making jewelry in 2006 after receiving a handful of charms in the mail from a friend who was living in France. They charms were from Lascaux which is the location of several caves that are well known for their prehistoric cave paintings. I wanted to make them into a charm bracelet but had no idea how to go about it so I visited my local bead store to find out. The wonderful employees there showed me how to crimp a crimp bead on beading wire, helped me select beads and a clasp for my project and helped me put it all together. I was hooked from that moment on!

Not long after I started beading, it occurred to me that I might be able to combine my love of painting with jewelry making so I started painting miniatures not much larger than an American quarter and turning them into pendants that were then made into necklaces.

I also found myself fascinated by wire wrapping. After trying my hand at it, I realized that I am not a natural wire wrapper, but I spent hours experimenting, practicing and consulting tutorials online. After a while, I started getting decent results and now feel pretty comfortable working with this material which is a good thing because I love playing with wire!

I work mostly with copper because I love it’s rich, warm color, but sometimes venture into silver, brass, bronze or gold if the design calls for it.

Most of my inspiration comes from nature. Because I live in the mountains, it is not unusual to see wildlife and all sorts of plants both native and domesticated and this is where I get most of my ideas. Jewelry making is a very competitive field, but I believe my little paintings help my work stand out from the crowd. Jewelry design started out as a hobby, but I hope to grow it into a successful small business.


dead of the dead necklace 40
Day of the Dead skull necklace ($40.00)

(3) Tell us about your handmade art business:

After much thought about a name for my business, I realized that it was right in front of me the entire time. I make jewelry and art and my name is Dawn, so Jewelry Art by Dawn seemed like a really good fit.

My business got its start when friends and co­workers and even strangers started noticing my jewelry and wanted to know if it was for sale. These local sales led to consignment arrangements with several local art galleries and gift shops and eventually to me opening my online shop at Etsy.

My “studio” started out as a 3 x 3 foot drafting table in a corner of my husband’s office. As my skills, techniques and bead stash grew so did the space I needed and it wasn’t long before it was just too small a work area. This led me to claim an unused guest room that was slowly turning into a storage room. I painted the walls in shades of bright blue, chocolate brown and light mocha. My work bench is in front of a window and I often look up to see deer looking in at me! I absolutely love having this large space to call my own and feel that I’ve grown as an artist since moving in.

(4) Tell us about your customers:

It’s a hard thing to identify a target audience and I think most artisans struggle with this part. I certainly do. If I really think about it I’d say they are nature lovers, gardeners or animal people. Putting an age on my target is something I really don’t like to do as I don’t feel there are age limits when it comes to art.


Faceted Blue Opalite Briolette Copper Wire Wrapped Pendant Necklace
Faceted Blue Opalite Briolette Copper Wire Wrapped Pendant Necklace ($30.00)

(5)Tell us where I can find your art:

Currently, my jewelry can be found in my etsy shop. I also write about my jewelry journey, travels and collaborate with other jewelry designers at my blog which is jewelryartbydawn.blogspot.com and moderate a jewelry design site that is geared towards supporting and encouraging independent jewelry designers. It is known as the Jewelry Artisans Group and can be found on the internet at jewelryartisans.proboards.com

(6) Tell us about your support:

My support system comes from my husband, who happily runs packages to the post office, helps me build displays and who played a key role in getting my studio up and running. Another source of support is from one of my best friends to whom I will always be grateful ­ she is a cheerleader, sounding board and my best customer! I would not have had my first consignment arrangement if it hadn’t been for Bonni.

three hearts button ring
Three Hearts Button Ring ($20.00)

(7) Tell us about your favorites: 

There are two blogs that I currently follow; Echoes of Ela at WordPress and Cat’s Wire at Blogger. Both of these ladies are friends and very talented jewelry designers whose
work is very different from mine and I enjoy following their artistic ventures immensely.

(8) Tell us anything else:

Because everyone’s businesses and goals are different, my only advice to other sellers is to do what feels right for their business/hobby and to stay true to themselves and their art.

I’d also like to thank you, Margeux, for providing this opportunity and for featuring me and my work in your fabulous blog. Thank you!

I really hope you’ve enjoyed the interview with Dawn! Please take a look at all the wonderful jewelry items in her etsy shop and consider purchasing a piece or two!

Finger-lickin’ Friday: Coleslaw

Every Friday I share a recipe I am curious to try, have tested (approved or disapproved), or have developed myself.

This is miscellany‘s twenty-ninth installation of Finger-lickin’ Fridays!


I could NOT get enough of this slaw while I was in Colorado with Nico. We picked everything fresh from the fields and even made our own mayonnaise! This recipe is adjustable and simple; add what you want, take away what you don’t.

Status: Tested and approved! (I LOVE THIS STUFF!)

Makes: depends on the amounts of each ingredient


  • 4 parts red cabbage, sliced
  • 1 part broccoli (florets and some of the stems, chopped)
  • 1 part onion, chopped
  • 1 part peas, shelled
  • 1 part carrots, grated
  • mayonnaise (or make your own like we did!)
  • apple cider vinegar, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • sugar (optional)


  • Prepare vegetables.
  • Mix together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper. You can also mix in some sugar to sweeten the mixture, although we prefer the tang and therefore left it out.
  • Next, add in the vegetables and thoroughly coat them with the mayonnaise mixture.
  • Refrigerate.


Words of Wisdom Wednesday, no. 30

Every Wednesday I share a quote that resonates with me in some way. This is miscellany‘s thirtieth installment of WoWW


First of all, I LOVE Frida (and her art). What an incredible woman! And this quote, how precious! I am very lucky to have found a lover who looks at me with such wonder and compassion. He is quite magical to me as well.

Do you like Frida?
What’s your favorite quote or painting by her?

Finger-lickin’ Friday: Pea Pesto Crostini

Every Friday I share a recipe I am curious to try, have tested (approved or disapproved), or have developed myself.

This is miscellany‘s twenty-eighth installation of Finger-lickin’ Fridays!

Pea Pesto Crostini

pea pesto crostini
Image Source

Doesn’t this just sound FANTASTIC! I love how much variety you can create with crostini…. so many different options for toppings. This one, pea pesto, is something a little different and super easy. Plus the little color pop from the tomatoes is perfect, but of course I’m bias because tomatoes (and potatoes) are my most favorite things on earth.

Status: Curious to try (recipe from Giada De Laurentiis via Food Network)


  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra for seasoning
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

For Crostini:

  • 8 (1/2-inch thick) slices whole-grain baguette or ciabatta bread, preferably day-old (* see Cook’s Note)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 8 cherry tomatoes, halved or 1 small tomato, diced


  • For the pea pesto: Pulse together the peas, garlic, Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add the olive oil until well combined, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with additional salt and pepper, if needed. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  • For the crostini: Preheat a stovetop griddle or grill pan on medium-high heat. Brush both sides of the sliced bread with olive oil and grill until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the bread to a clean surface and spread 1 to 2 tablespoons of the prepared pesto on each slice.
  • Top with tomato halves and serve.

*Cook’s note:
If you don’t have day-old bread on hand, you can dry out fresh bread by putting the slices in a preheated 300 degree F oven until slightly crisp, about 5 minutes.


Words of Wisdom Wednesday, no. 29

Every Wednesday I share a quote that resonates with me in some way. This is miscellany‘s twenty-ninth installment of WoWW

lifetime of adventures

Lewis Carroll, “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

This is a beautiful quote. It really captures my fascination with travel. And what a way to live a life, one adventure and on to another. A little reminder though, a “lifetime of adventures” doesn’t need to be a gift from someone. You can make it happen yourself; give yourself the gift of adventure!

I ADORE all things Alice! I have character figurines and dolls; I have a tiny tea set and a full size tea cup and pot; I have books; I have ornaments. I collect anything and everything “vintage” Alice (the original Disney classic and the Carroll’s book illustrations). Two shelves on my bookcase are dedicated to my Alice collection.

Anyone else obsessed with Alice?