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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Available Now! "soulenergy in Nature" 2011 Calendar Featuring Photography by Jessica Lewis

“Another fresh new year is here . . .
Another year to live!
To banish worry, doubt, and fear,
To love and laugh and give!

This bright new year is given me

To live each day with zest . . .
To daily grow and try to be
My highest and my best!

I have the opportunity

Once more to right some wrongs,
To pray for peace, to plant a tree,
And sing more joyful songs!”

William Arthur Ward

soulenergy in Nature 2011 calendar
soulenergy in Nature 2011

Make every day count with this calendar featuring photography by Jessica Lewis.
  • High quality, full-color, full-bleed printing.
This sensational "nature" custom calendar was contributed by the imaginative Zazzle seller soulenergy.

Expertly created using a proprietary calendar printing technique, this custom calendar featuring Jessica Lewis' nature art will be perfect. No matter where you decide to use it, this custom calendar will look alluring – without a doubt, making Jessica Lewis' artwork a great new addition to any home or office.

You can order through my Zazzle shop here.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's Resolution: Stay In Touch with a Postcard!

Make a New's Years Resolution to stay in touch with loved ones this year.  And send it by mail.  You remember how much fun it is to receive something in the mail... someone has taken the time to write to you!

It can feel overwhelming sometimes to write a letter, but it's fun to jot a quick something on the back of a postcard.  A joke, a thought, baby's newest words... take two minutes to write your postcard, drop it in the mailbox, and you will make someone's day!

I've got several postcard designs available in my zazzle shop!  All designs in my shop feature my photography. Here a few designs that you can order today, and the shipping is fast... usually in less than 24 hours!

Postcard Designs by Jessica Lewis at soulenergy
Miksch House Sign postcard
Miksch House Sign

Butterfly Bouquet postcard
Butterfly Bouquet

Traveling Geese postcard
Traveling Geese

Yellow Flower Soaking up the Sun postcard
Yellow Flower Soaking up the Sun

Passionate Pink Water Lily postcard
Passionate Pink Water Lily

Wachovia Center, Winston-Salem NC postcard
Wachovia Center, Winston-Salem NC

Private Residence postcard
Private Residence

Water Lily postcard
Water Lily

Blue Ridge Parkway, Elk Mountain Overlook postcard
Blue Ridge Parkway, Elk Mountain Overlook

More postcards featuring my photography available here.

You can also enter my shop here
soulenergy's Store at Zazzle

In addition to postcards, my photographs are available on durable, cloth eco tote bags, mugs, shirts , magnets, and more!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday, Monday... Photo Challenges!

Food is not normally something that I take photos of... but it's been part of a couple of photo hunts, so I just happen to have a few shots of 
Food that You Love

They're almost making it too easy for us with these photo hunts... I think this is the third one my Grandma Overton's White Christmas Pie will be featured in.  If you love coconut, you can find the recipe here.   I'm not sure why we only have it at Thanksgiving and Christmas, it would definitely be yummy any time of year.

My two favorite pies in the whole world right here, folks.  White Christmas on the left, Cherry on the right.  I love to have one slice of each on the same plate, with a slight overlap.  Please forgive me, I'm starting to drool...

Enjoying the beauty of a snowy day...


I'm probably stretching it a bit, but my daughter is feeding her cousin out of a yellow plate!  I love this photo, it's my niece's first birthday, and my daughter, who's two, insisted on feeding her lunch.  And don't we all open our own mouth when directing the spoon?
Please be sure to click on the buttons to see everyone else's interpretations for the week!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shhh! I'm Sharing a Family Recipe: White Christmas Pie

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!  Here in North Carolina, we had our first White Christmas since 1969!  It started snowing about 11am yesterday (Christmas Day) and was still snowing this morning!  That is very, very rare for this part of the country.  We'll usually get an hour or so (maybe an afternoon) of snow, and it's all melted by the next day.  This snow is up to the knees of my two-year-old, and my six-year-old was able to make her first snow angel! 

I'm doing Ashley's Scavenger Hunt Sunday today...  I really enjoy doing them, but these last couple of weeks have been hard!  Preparing for the holidays has taken it's toll on me, but I really wanted to share my "Family" photo... it was too cute to keep to myself!

My two-and-a-half year old insisted on feeding her cousin lunch "all by herself".  We were celebrating cousin's First Birthday that day!
Motion Blur
This one is obviously from my archives (the shorts are a good hint)!  Really, the only motion blur picture that I have.
Pretty Package
Santa has just made his stop...
Glow and Sparkle
This is the beginning of an old family recipe, White Christmas Pie.  The ingredients just seemed all, um, glow-y and sparkle-y?  You see sugar, flour, unflavored gelatin, and salt.  Maybe one day I'll share the recipe.
(If you can keep a secret!)

And now I feel like a complete dork... looking around the other participants, I realize that Glow and Sparkle were supposed to be two different words.  Silly me, and I wondered why we only had four words this week.  Oh well, this is all for fun anyway, right?  Speaking of other participants, be sure to click the "Addicted to Ramblings and Photos" button above to see everyone else's interpretations.

While I was searching in my archives for the motion blur, I found this cool shadow shot that I took this summer.  That means I'm participating in Shadow Shot Sunday today!

A very grainy photo, indeed.  I caught the duck as he was making his landing at Country Park, beside Guilford Courthouse National Military Park. 
Okay, okay... I feel like I cheated on the Glow and Sparkle. Sooo... I'm going to share the old family recipe for White Christmas Pie right here, right now!  If you like coconut, you are going to love this!

White Christmas Pie
from the kitchen of Grandma Overton

Makes a 9" Pie

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1 envelope unflavored gelatin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 3/4 cup milk
3/4 tsp.vanilla
1/4 tsp almond flavoring
1/2 cup whipped cream

1 cup moist shredded coconut

For Meringue
3 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 cup sugar (Grandma says that Splenda won't work, but this year I tried it and it was fine.  Shhh...)

Blend sugar, flour, gelatin, and salt thoroughly in saucepan.  (That would be the photo you see above for Glow and Sparkle).  Gradually stir in milk.  Cook over medium heat until mixture boils, stirring constantly. Boil one minute.

Place pan in cold water. (I fill a bowl with cold water and set the pan in that.) Cool until mixture mounds slightly when dropped from a spoon. Blend in flavorings.

While the mixture is cooling, make the meringue.  (Beat the egg whites, cream of tartar and sugar with a mixer on high until the mixture is stiff and peaks.)

Gently fold in whipped cream.  Fold in coconut.  Pile into cooled baked pie shell.  Sprinkle with moist shredded coconut.  Chill several hours until set.  Serve cold.

This year, I tried something a little different.  I wanted to share the White Christmas Pie without making whole pies, so I tried bite size.  I did a graham cracker crust in mini cupcakes papers.  It tasted good, but was a little messy, because the crust doesn't hold it's shape.  Mom and I agree that a Nilla Wafer at the bottom would be perfect for Mini White Christmas pies.

Yum!  Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Copy/Paste Christmas Greeting for Your Facebook Status

Both of these were sent by Barn Owl Primitives as their Facebook status... she borrowed it from someone else and said it was okay to borrow from her!  How cute are they!  Just copy and paste into your Facebook status and voila!   Just had to share with you!

…………*./ | \ .*
………, • '*♥* ' • ,
...……. '*• ♫♫♫•*'
….. ' *, • '♫ ' • ,* '
….' * • ♫*♥*♫• * '
… * , • Merry' • , * '
.* ' •♫♫*♥*♫♫ • ' * '
…' ' • Christmas . • ' ' '
' ' • ♫♫♫*♥*♫♫♫• * ' '

★Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Christmas★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˚* _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•*/______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• | 田田|門| ˚And a Happy New Year

Here's another one!
.......♥*............... __/\__
.......*♥..........… ..*-:¦:-*
¸....✫.................... *•*
´¸.•✫ ............. *♥•♫•♫♥*
~`,`~............ ✯♥•♦♫♥•♥*.
`.✫`............. *♥☺♥•♥•☺♥*.
/ \...................... ╬╬╬╬.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Photo Challenge-- Tuesday

Some of you have seen this before, but it fits the theme of today's Photo Challenge by Simplicity so well!

Simple Beauty
 This perfect rose, simply beautiful, enjoying warm and sunny weather just days before.  
Covered by the first snowfall of the season.

Sweet Shot Day
And for my 3 boybarians Sweet Shot Tuesday, my favorite shots of the week, taken just today at Old Salem, in Winston-Salem, NC.  Old Salem is a living historical museum, a place that I have visited many, many times since childhood.  Somehow, in this town that has been in existence since the 1700s, I always manage to find something new.
The M. Miksch House is located in Old Salem, Winston-Salem NC. It was built of logs in 1771 and covered in clapboard and painted soon after. This house, located at 532 South Main Street, was the first private residence located in Salem. Matthew and Henrietta Miksch lived in the home with their daughter, Martha, and the family also sold products from the house, such as gingerbread, candles, processed tobacco and snuff.

This sign adorns the entrance to the M. Miksch House, located in Old Salem, Winston-Salem NC.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Festive Decorating (and it's Almost Free)!

We're all looking for inexpensive ways to decorate this year.  I was able to put together this pretty basket filled with seasonal goodies I already had around the house... it adds a pop of color, and it smells good, too!

SOOC (Straight Out Of the Camera)

First, I sliced oranges and arranged them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  They went into a 200℉ oven for two hours, until the peels were dry and the fruit was translucent.  I wasn't very careful about how thick I cut them, so I had to leave some in a little longer.

I sent my girls out to collect pinecones and fir tree sprigs.  When the oranges were cooled, I cut them into quarters and inserted them into the the pinecones.  Next, I lined the basket with the fir tree sprigs and placed the pinecones on top. 

I placed the basket in a corner plant shelf, surrounded by bright and colorful bubble lights.  How fun and festive!  

EtsyBloggers Team Blog Carnival, December 3. 
Share a holiday item that you created and tell us a little bit about it Blog Carnival archive - etsybloggers

Blog Carnival submission form - etsybloggers

'Twas the Write before Christmas: Day 7, Gratitude

Today is the last day for 'Twas the Write Before Christmas, sponsored by Bigger Picture Blogs.  I'm not sure how I found this event, but I'm glad that I did.  Each day for a week, we were given a prompt; a thought, word, quote, or photo inspired by the season.  The first and second days were fun, the third day difficult, the fourth day thankful... and today, on the last day, I am again thankful.

Today's prompt is simply
“The darkness of the whole world 
cannot swallow 
the glowing of a candle.”
– Robert Altinger

My flame has been sparked by the strength and encouragement I have received through this week of prompts, both while reading the thoughts of others, and in the comments they have left for me.  Be sure to check out the other interpretations of this week's prompts... you can find them all here.


Friday, December 10, 2010

Continuing the Wire Wrapping Journey

Soooo... I've been working with wire lately.   Real wire.  Strong Wire.  Copper wire!

If you've been following me for a while, you've seen my beginning pieces.

I've gone from 28 gauge wire from the Art's and Craft's store to 18 gauge wire from the Hardware store.  (With a little bit of artistic wire from the discount store thrown in.)

And now I'm ready for some more feedback and advice, so throw it at me!

The first skill I learned in wire-wrapping was a simple wrap around a briolette.  Very pretty, very easy... and for me, just a little boring.  That type of wire wrap creates classic jewelry that I could wear anywhere, but I want to create something just a little different.

Many of you know that I've been raiding my daughter's rock collection.  She's collected some very beautiful stones, mostly granite and mica.  Leaving the stones raw, uncut and unpolished, I'm wrapping them in pure copper wire.  This is a more difficult technique, because I have to wrap in a way that the stone won't fall out!  The briolette is drilled, easy to attach to the wire.  With the natural stones, I must create a "cage".

These are two of my favorite pieces so far...

I've made bales on both, to be worn as a pendant.  Both of those were made with 20 gauge copper wire from the Arts and Crafts store.

These next items are my most recent creations, wrapped with 18 gauge copper wire from the hardware store.

As you can see, the second piece is really large.  I've worn it out, and despite it's size, it's comfortable and not too heavy.

I'm also shaping the wire... 18 gauge wire certainly isn't easy to work with, is it?  The only tools I have are wire cutters and needle nosed pliers.  I'd really like to try a jig, but other wire workers I've talked to don't think a jig is necessary.

Here's a piece that I think would make a pretty necklace.  It's about 4 inches across.

Here's a piece of wire that I've shaped into a bracelet.  It's a square bracelet (not by design, by accident!).  I do like the clasp that I've shaped out of a heart.

I've left just enough space in the loop of the heart to create a clasp.  As you know, I'm not a big fan of the clasp.  That's one reason why I love memory wire so much!

Last, I've formed the word "Love" with the copper wire.  I hammered it a little bit.  (I'm not sure why you hammer wire, is there a reason, or is it just aesthetically pleasing?)

If you're a wire officiando (and even if you're not) I'd love to hear your advice and tips on creating with wire.  What are your favorite resources, online tools, sources of inspiration?  I've discovered a few groups on Flickr that feature amazing pieces.  And of course, my friends in the Wire Wrapping for Beginners group on Etsypreneur are awesome!

Happy Friday, enjoy your weekend!