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November Earring Giveaway

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Enter here to win your choice of earrings from cloverleaf creations, any design - any color:



a Rafflecopter giveaway
Click HERE to go shopping for earrings!

Blog Button

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Just made a blog button using a really great tutorial.  There is also a "grab box" to go with it on my sidebar.  I don't know if I can get it in this post; I know just enough about this stuff to be clumsily dangerous.

I used Apple's Pages and Preview to get a graphic and Gimp to edit the j-peg.  I tried a few other tutorials but they were way too involved and complicated-wish I had found this one first!  If you make your own, let me know and I'll try to figure out how to start my own "button jar" here.

<center> <a href="http://purplemountaingirl.com"><img src="http://i1274.photobucket.com/albums/y440/c1over1eaf/Media/pmgflower2-125.jpg" /></a></center>

Easy Triple-Wrap Bracelet

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Recently, I began making bracelets with suede lace.  You know, the stuff that we made necklaces with at camp by stringing plastic pony beads on and tying a knot in the back so that if you ever wanted to take it off, you had to cut it and then you were sad because you could never wear it again.  Yes, that stuff.

I had some prepared ends lying around and they kind of fell together and I pulled and Voila! this cute little knot happened!  I did some making and measuring and came up with the triple wrap "join" bracelet.

Here's how to make your own~

You don't need much to get started:
-At least 48" of suede lace, although this will depend on the size you want to make.
-Two ribbon crimps, 6-8mm wide.
-Two 3mm jump rings.
-A toggle or lobster clasp, large-ish is better.






1) Choose two colors.

2) Measure your wrist.  Cut two lengths of suede lace using these measurements:
-6" wrist:: Cut two 20" pieces.
-6 1/2" wrist:: Cut two 22" pieces.
-7" wri…

Jewelry-sitting...

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I know... what the heck is jewelry-sitting?  Well, my sweet, little friend Guitta makes lovely, large and colorful jewelry, the exact opposite of what I make.  Originally from Lebanon, she returns there for half of every year to visit with her elderly parents.  She and I were "neighbors" at The Boulevard in NoDa and then again at The Boulevard at Southend.  She just left and now, I'm jewelry-sitting!  We jewelry makers have to stick together because it's a very competitive vocation. 

Guitta's using a shelf in my space at The Boulevard, but she gave me some extra pieces to restock.  So, I brought them home and promptly took everything out and tried it on!  She has such a great eye for combining colors and different types of beads.  I wanted to share some of her pieces with you~ 









Earring Giveway!

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Giveaways are so much fun!  Here's what I'm giving away:
Raffle begins Monday, September 24, 2012 and lasts until Monday, October 1, 2012.  I'll post the winner on the cloverleaf creations facebook page.   There are lots of opportunities for multiple entries:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


May the odds be forever in your favor~

I ❤ Poached Eggs

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One would think that, with an egg being... well, an egg, that it would taste the same, barring any seasoning, no matter which method is used to prepare it.  I beg to differ.  Poached eggs have a different flavor, a more pure, natural flavor.

The first time I had poached eggs, my step-dad made them.  He boiled water in a pot and threw the eggs in.  By the time they were done, they were just yolks covered with a thin layer of white, but they still tasted great.  Over the years, I've tried to poach eggs using several different methods and usually ended up with watery, scrambled eggs or drippy, runny yolks and I don't do runny yolks.  When I began trying to eat healthier, I was determined to learn how to poach eggs properly and, thanks to google, I am a mean, egg-poaching machine.  Here's what you do:

First, don't use a pot.  Use a skillet (or frying pan for us southerners.)  Fill it 3/4 of the way to the rim and heat it on high until it just starts to boil.  At this point…

The Difference Between a Cobbler & a Crisp

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This past July, my awesome husband decided to find a local peach farm.  He was very tired of the grocery store peaches that tasted like fibrous cardboard, even during peach season.  We live in Charlotte, NC about 45 minutes away from SC, one of the biggest peach producing states in the country and our Costco sells peaches from NJ.  [blank stare]

We found a cute little peach stand just over the border into SC, Springs Farm.  Great directions are on the website.  I must say that these peaches were some of the best I've ever tasted and we will be making this an annual family outing from now on!  We even took some to Chicago when visiting family, just to share our Carolina 'sunshine'.

So, all these peaches and what to do with them?  My entire family would have been fine with eating a peach every other hour or so, but we wanted to preserve some of that joy for the coming months.  So, I made peach jam~  Recipe will follow in a future post.  You will definitely want to check back…

PIZZA NIGHT Pizza for lunch~

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In my first PIZZA NIGHT Pizza post, I proved to myself and the world that making your own pizza on a regular basis is easy, inexpensive and much, much better than serving store-bought pizzas to your family.  My children (boys: 16 & 11), however, beg to differ and asked on a regular basis when we were going to start buying frozen pizzas again because they missed the easy lunch option.  So instead of lamenting the lack of appreciation for my 'back to basics' efforts, I came up with a way to have homemade pizzas available to my kids for their hobbit-like need to eat several meals a day.

First you have to make the dough (click on link in first sentence).  I've started making a double batch of dough on PIZZA NIGHT since all of the ingredients are already out, the oven's already toasty, etc.  Instead of dividing the dough in half as you would for the regular pizzas, divide it into four little balls.  Roll these out to only 10" circles.  Why 10"?  Well, that'…

Make Your Own Mixes

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Chances are, if you have a really good idea, someone else (or several someone elses) has had that same idea too.  Probably, they even did it better than you.  A few months ago, in our clean-eating endeavor, I began bagging my own muffin mixes using this recipe.  It's worked out really well and I plan to do more bagged mixes in the...
BUT STOP!   Guess what I found?  Someone has already done all of the work for me!  I just found Fake It Frugal, lots of DIY mixes and cleaning products, very excited!

Some experiential advice:  In my process of switching over to clean eating, I always use the exact ingredients listed and follow the directions given in any new recipe.  This way I'm able to figure out where I can make changes that work (use less sugar) AND avoid those that don't (use at least some sugar).

Take my muffin mix for example: I've learned that if you only use baking powder in your recipes, your baked goods have a slight bitter flavor.  I began wondering if that&…

Cleaning up my eatin'

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My family has always been kind of 50/50 with the healthy vs. junk food thing.  Although, I have to also say that McDonald's is (was?) one of my favorite places to eat and the Big Mac my favorite thing to eat there.  I've raised my boys, who are now 16 & 11, to love fast food too.  However, dinnertime at our house was, in the past, "okay."

Around August of 2011, I started having weird breathing issues.  I started going to see doctors and received a new diagnosis and a few new prescriptions at each visit!  There was a point where I would leave with drugs for my physical symptoms and drugs for anxiety.  One visit was to a pulmonologist (lung dr.) who told me I had acid reflux which began a series of acid reflux meds beginning with omeprazole all the way to Dexilant.  I eventually ended up in the E/R at 3AM one morning with excruciating stomach pain.  But I digress...

The very day that I saw the pulmonary doc, I cleaned up my eating habits and began eating lots of fr…

PIZZA NIGHT! Pizza Recipe

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As promised to several friends, my PIZZA NIGHT pizza process:

First of all, you may be asking 'why?', when there are perfectly good frozen pizzas that you just pop in the oven or awesome papas who will bring a steaming, cheesy pie to your front door, would you want to make your own.  Over the past several months, I've decided (due to health reasons and because all my friends are doing it) to clean up what we eat, consuming as few processed foods as possible.  I started with a just few of our meals and PIZZA NIGHT pizza was one of them.

Here are the main ingredients that you need for the dough and sauce:
 yeast, flour (I use TJ's white wheat), olive oil, Parmesan cheese, tomato sauce and tomato paste.  You'll also need a little bit of sugar, salt, oregano and basil.  I found this dough recipe through a random internet search several years ago.  It's called Steve's Pizza Dough (link at bottom).  I don't know who Steve is, but I salute you, man!

Dissolve a …