Sunday, January 24, 2010

Celiac Disease and my bagel guy

I know that so much has been written about Celiac Disease, but some of you may not be familiar with it.  Yes, I have Celiacs and it is a pain to deal with.  Celiacs is not really a disease at all.
"It is an immunological (allergic) reaction within the inner lining of the small intestine to proteins (gluten) that are present in wheat, rye, barley and, to a lesser extent, in oats. The immunological reaction causes inflammation that destroys the lining of the small intestine. This reduces the absorption of dietary nutrients and can lead to symptoms and signs of nutritional, vitamin, and mineral deficiencies."

Most people do not realize what people with Celiacs has to go through just to get a good meal.  I have found so many products that contain wheat and had to take off of my diet.  Ok, we all know that bread, most cereals, cakes, cookies and all of that stuff contains wheat.  But, did you know that most grilled chicken from  restaurants are injected with gluten to plump them up?  And of course, companies love to bulk up any pre-packaged food with wheat because it is a cheap filler. But one item I didn't know about was Twizzlers candy - Yes, candy.  Unfortunately, I found out the hard way.  I had gotten very sick one night and my husband drilled me on all of the things that I had eaten during the day.  Then he saw the bag of Twizzlers and yes, it was listed on the label, but I didn't even think to look at it.

Luckily, people are becoming more aware of it.  A few restaurants are even providing gluten-free menus.  There are also more products in the grocery store that are labeled "gluten free".  I just made a batch of Betty Crocker Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They are not like "real" chocolate chip cookies, but they are very good.

I do think it is funny how some products say, "Now Gluten-Free", but they have been gluten free all along - like plain rice or milk, or plain chocolate.  I know it is all another gimmick, but I am still glad that the companies are realizing there is an actual need for gluten-free products (even if they are trying to make a buck off of it).

Well, my husband found a local baker than makes gluten-free bagels and bread.  I have ordered from him a few times and my husband even likes them better than regular bagels.  But, this week his company made the front page of the local newspaper.  Some people have filed a suit against him saying they found gluten in the products and it made them sick.  Friday there was a ruling to stop his business for 10 days, and then they will decide if they are going to close him down permanently.  It doesn't look good.  I just hope that it was all a mistake - because I love his bagels!  I had even placed a huge order a few days ago - but I guess I won't be getting them.  Now I will have to start working on my own bagel making.  So, if there is anyone out there that has made gluten-free bagels and they are good, please send me a recipe.

There is one cook book that I really like: The Best-Ever Wheat and Gluten-Free Baking Book, written by Mary Ann and Mace Wenniger.  (But, they don't have a bagel recipe.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lovlies that I won from City of Dionne!!!!

I seem to be having some luck lately.... I won all of these wonderful gifts from City of Dionne!

The first is the earrings on the right side of the picture.  These are by Tinglow. These are so light and look great on.  I wear a lot of earthy colors, so these will go with many of my outfits!

The second is a little girl's headband by XOXO Cupcake. Well, my "little" girl is now 18 years old, so this will go to one of my great-nieces.

The third is a cute little cardholder also from XOXO Cupcake.  This will be great to carry just my business cards, so I don't get them messed up shoved down in my wallet.

The forth is the delicate cuff on the left side of the picture from Awkward.  I love the Victorian look of this cuff.  Plus, it is so light it can be worn year round.

The fifth item is a pretty blue fused glass heart necklace from Sweet and Sassy Studio.  What a great Valentine's Day gift (to me)!

The sixth is the lovely clutch from Aylla.  This is the perfect size to just grab and go.  (Plus, it matches the earrings and lace cuff - I may get a whole new outfit.)

The seventh is a set of magnets by Zarou.  These are already up on my fridge at my studio! 

The eighth is the petite owl necklace (shown on the left) from Freshy Fig. Wow, it brings back a lot of good memories from the 70's.

The ninth is this original art pendant (shown on the left) from Primoriginals.  I love collecting other peoples art work and this one I can even wear.

The tenth is a wonderful hand-made book (shown on the left of the picture), "Passport to Paris", from Lou Lou Loves Books.  My grandma was named Lou Lou, plus I love the imagination that went into this!


And I won a cute little cupcake necklace, but I do not have a picture.

Please take some time and visit these shops!  They have some amazing things that I know you will love.  Thanks again (I know it was just luck picking my name, but thanks for putting it all together) Dionne!!!!!

Dr. Mecham - Faculty Distinguished Lecture

- The Faculty Distinguished Lecture -

"The Waikiki Delicatessen:
the Beginnings of Big Ideas"

January 26, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Jones Auditorium, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC

An Exploration in Words and Music!

Each year one Meredith faculty member is honored by the Faculty Development Committee and the Vice President for Academic Programs by being chosen to deliver the FACULTY DISTINGUISHED LECTURE. The speaker is chosen for the excellence of her/his scholarship or research, and it is always fascinating to hear these presentations. This year rumors have it that we are in for some surprises. So who is John Mecham? (click to go to Meredith College's page)


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wednesday Window

This week we had the main water line break.  The plumbers had to dig a ($4000) trench all through my flower bed.  They went right through the Peony, Iris, and Gerbera Daisies.  I cried when I saw what they had done.  But, I guess now I will have nice soft soil to plant some new ones! Registered & Protected

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Commission: Oyster Platters

During the North Carolina Pottery Fair, this past December, John and I were asked to make some oyster platters.  I have to admit that I really did not know what an oyster platter was (ok, I could guess what it was), but wasn't quite sure what one looked like.  This man said that he collects them from all over the world and has a huge collection, but he cannot find them anymore.  Plus, he wanted some more modern pieces of handmade artwork.  John and I decided that we would make a few of them and let him take his pick.  And if he doesn't like any of them, that is alright, too.  But I love the challenge!

Before I started I made a few sketches and went from there.  I didn't want to look at any online because I didn't want them to influence my designs.  The first one I came up with is like a branch and each "leaf" will hold the oyster.

 I am going to glaze that in the green that we often use on our pieces.
The second is a true mix of oriental style combined with a Victorian flair (weird combo, but that is what it looks like to me.) This, piece will be glazed in a creamy white and then I will melt blue green glass in the circle in the middle of the plate.

I am very excited about these two.  I just hope they make it through the firing process!

Here are a few examples of ones that I found on-line.

So mine are very different from the others I have seen.  Plus, the man told me that they usually held 10-12 oysters, where most of these hold 5-6.  John has not started on making any yet (because he has been working on another commission for someone.)  I am not sure what he is going to do, but I am sure that it will also be very different.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Wednesday Window

For some reason I am feeling like this guy - paddling along, but not getting anywhere.  Maybe someone needs to give us a push.

(I took this at the NC Zoo, Oct 31, 2009)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gumi-Gumi Island Giveaway

I wanted to post about this cute giveaway.  It is from Gumi-Gumi Island: Rainbow Project

a personalized amigurumi from one of these patterns to choose from.
10 dollars discount in her Etsy shop to use for purchase of pattern or completed amigurumi.
a pattern to choose from.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Reading everyone's resolutions.

I will have to be honest and say that I have really enjoyed reading everyone's blogs about their New Year's resolutions.  I am one of those that always set resolutions every year.  I am not very serious about them.  I never write them down and I never tell anyone what they are.  I guess I am afraid that if I do tell someone then it would be too much pressure trying to keep them and I would really feel like a failure if I didn't keep them.  I look at New Year's resolutions as just a way to re-evaluate myself. A week has past and I probably have made ten resolutions and probably have already broke most of them.  But that is ok, I am aloud to make up my own rules.  Maybe this year February 1st will be the start of my resolutions.

Probably the big one is always to save money.  By the 4th that one was out the window.  My son wanted me to take him to Walmart (which I hate - I hate shopping period!), but we went and I ended up picking up a couple items that I really didn't need.  One was a file box for my studio (that one is a little ok, but a cardboard box could have served the same purpose.  The second was a new Stephen King book, Under the Dome.  And then the next day I had to exchange a couple of Christmas presents at the mall.  I go there about four times a year (did I say I hate shopping?) But, once I was there I thought I should go in a couple of the stores and look around, since everyone was having sales.  I ended up buying a couple new tops and a dress.  Because I work at the studio, I never dress up, but I have a closet full of dresses.  I justified this one, because it was a summer dress and it was only $5.  I couldn't pass that up!

My shopping added a new resolution and that is to read the Stephen King book.  That one shouldn't be too hard, since I love reading.  It is 1074 pages, so it may take a while.

Of course, I always say that I am going to eat better.  I am allergic to a lot of food, so it is hard to make good food choices when I am out.  We stop at fast food restaurants almost every week when we are traveling.  My weakness is a caramel sundae from McDonalds.  You can't beat it for a buck.  I thought that I should try cutting back on those.  But yesterday I had to stop for gas and the McDonalds was right there.  I justified it by getting my husband a hot fudge sundae because he had been home all day working and needed a little reward.  Maybe I will switch gas stations....

My other big resolution is to "just do it!"  I blame my grandparents and my mother for putting off projects.  My desk gets filled up with little things that need to be taken care of.  Then when I want to work on something I have to make my way through the pile.  I also have a habit of setting something down when I should just take care of it right then.  I have been working for the past several days at making my way though the "To Do" pile.

As a artist, I want to save everything because I may need it for a project.  My husband had done some wine tasting and had a couple of plastic cups.  I took them thinking that they must be good for something.  So last night I made some Christmas ornaments out of them. Ok, these aren't designer ornaments, but they are like the ones my Gram made when I was little.  I actually have a snowman one that she made, which I just wrapped up with the Christmas decorations.  It was fun making them and remembering my time with Gram. But, from now on I am going to ask myself is the "thing" really worth keeping or is it just one more thing to take up space.

I just keep telling myself that I am happy with who I am.  I could use a little work, but what fun is that?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday Window

These are the best two kids in the world! I know that I have said that before - but I just can't get over how lucky I am to have these two in my life.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas! I took some time off to enjoy my family.  Wish it didn't have to end so soon.

Photo Shoot at the Railroad

One of John's and my great friends, Scott, took us out to the old railroad station so we could shoot some photos.  As you probably know,...