About This Blog

We are all always creating something. A life; A home; A career; Dinner. Some of us are creating more: A work of art, a craft, or a blog. The purpose of this blog is to showcase excellence and inspiring ideas for all the things we create. I hope you will be inspired in some way.

Friday, December 30, 2011

In The Mood For Something Different

 My husband is on that good for nothing low carb diet that I DETEST. I personally will take all the carbs I can get :)  But, if he's going to be able to lose any weight, I have to comply. He wanted some sort of cheesy chicken this evening so I hit the net looking a recipe. Nothing interested me so I decided to get creative.
I decided to make an 'Alice Springs' type of chicken but I was in the mood for something creamy so I threw together a cream sauce topping.
WOW. I had to share it!
Hubby went wild over this stuff. I guess it's a good thing that I like it, too, because I know he'll be asking for this again.

Chicken and Creamed Butter Sauce 
*Updated Recipe* 
I realized that I had accidentally left out the most important ingredient in the sauce recipe: The Cream Cheese,  is what produces the gravy like texture without using flour. If you tried this recipe within the first week of it being posted and found it lacking something, I highly recommend trying it the CORRECT way.   :)   So sorry!

I used a pound of cleaned boneless chicken tenderloins for this. To prepare the chicken I simply pan browned
it with a tablespoon each of olive oil and butter.
1/2 small onion finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped mushroom (Mine were canned) 
1 tbl olive oil
1 tbl butter 
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 tbl cream cheese
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Prepared bacon slices
1/2 cup shredded cheese


Preheat oven to 350. While the chicken is browning add onion, oil and butter to a frying pan and begin to caramelize over medium heat. When onions are tender reduce heat and add evaporated milk, cream cheese  and spices to the pan. Stir frequently while warming over low heat, reserve and keep warm. (If the sauce becomes to thick or cool, you may add a teaspoon of water or milk at a time and stir well to thin or warm.) In a separate pan warm diced mushroom over medium low heat. When chicken juices run clear remove it to a foil lined baking dish. Add bacon slices and cheese. Top with 3/4 of the mushrooms. (Add remaining mushrooms to cream mixture.) Bake chicken 15 mins or until cheese is melted. Top with warm cream sauce and serve.  
I loved it!

I also wanted to share another new recipe with you that I developed for Christmas.
Usually on holidays I make my family's favorite pumpkin cheesecake but I was in the mood for something a little different and easy this year. A few years ago I ate some sort of blueberry dessert that was out of this world but no amount of searching yielded a similar recipe so I whipped up my own for 'Upside Down Berry Fluff'. It's really easy and was a huge hit, too.


1 container of thawed cool whip
1 8 oz package of softened cream cheese
1 22oz can of mixed berry pie filling
1 pre prepared graham cracker pie crust, crumbled.


With a large spoon blend cream cheese and cool whip well until cream cheese is no longer 'chunky'. Finish smoothing with a mixer until well blended. Stir in pie filling. Add to your desired dish. Top with crumbled pie crust. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and serve chilled. 

This was so yummy and simple that I think I may make it again tomorrow for the New Year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Shepherd's Flock

"Ideas are easy. It's the execution of ideas that really separates the sheep from the goats. "
~Sue Grafton~

And with that I give you two shining examples of artists executing beautiful ideas....

John Gordon Photography WebsiteTumbler

Shepherd's delight

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Inspired By The Season

Winter White Fine Art Inspiration.

For starters, Karen Burns, you're awesome!

Snowy Day
'Snowy Day'

Credit: Forever Love


In the spirit of the season I added designed a couple of free Christmas Cards. Feel free to use them for your personal or business cards but they are not to be sold nor re distributed without my written consent.

Ornate Card
Download 'Ornate Bauble' here

Snowman Card
Download 'Snowman Card' here                                      

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Be Different

Be Different by andrea{}hurley
Be Different, a photo by andrea{}hurley on Flickr.
"In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different" ~ Coco Chanel
One of my favorite quotes...

I know what you're thinking: "Another bird on a wire picture - that's not different at all..." But what is different isn't the image - it's the bird. I was out 'trying' to take pictures of my toddler today and I noticed this little guy fly in - all alone. There was no flock of friends anywhere to be found; not even a lover. Just him, rather lonely seeming, and curious as to what my little one and I were up to. He bowed there, upside down, for quite a few minutes just looking toward us and I mused at how different he seemed. And perfect for my favorite quote :)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Gray and Beige: My Neutral Obsession

A new style inspiration to match a new blog theme!

The Art Of Music

I know nothing about the art of music. I can barely carry a tune. I can't play a single musical instrument.
But I love to listen, sing and dance. I also love these fine art piano images from Jeremy Rodney-Hall. He truly captured the piano's classic beauty and grace.
Credits: 1.   2.   3.   4.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

So Stuffed

Last week's creative theme was Stuffed and this is a prime example (which I adore!)


Her sewing box is filled to the brim. Reminds me of my scrapbook closet ...  An over abundance of craft supplies = A sure sign of a person that must CREATE 2 LIVE!    :) 

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thankful For Home

I'm thankful this week to report that there was at least one participant in the new weekly creative photo challenge and it is a meaningful shot taken from the steering wheel of a car. The challenge theme was "What I Usually Forget To Be Thankful For".
evening commute home tonight, windshield shooting

 The artist says about this photo, "This stretch of sand spit roadway holds many memories for me. I grew up on this peninsula, take the views for granted that I have driven by for years. Kick myself when I'm running late for work and don't have the time to pull off and capture the tendrils of fog hovering on the surface of the lagoon that is shown on the right side of the photo. If it is real clear, I can see the Olympic Mountains in the distance." 
Forgetting to be thankful for the beauty and comforts of our own hometown can be easy. I recently realized I am very guilty of this myself, and have challenged myself to take more photos of my own area. 

Great Finds

I just had to pass on the great finds I stumbled upon via the flickr group. These artists are far too talented to not share with the world.

Tell me how creatively cute these handmade crafts from Tamara are... She does beautiful things with felt and wool!

Snowy Felt Acorns (Day 11)

I love those felted autumn acorns too much! And this mug cozy almost makes me want to become a coffee drinker. You can purchase from her new Etsy shop, Earth, Wind and Fibre.

Mug Cozy


Another Etsy store that I really want to mention is Photography By Anita. Her work is FABULOUS and you can purchase cards, prints and more from her store. These Christmas images make fantastic cards and this is the perfect time to purchase.

Jingle Balls

christmas cheer

Seriously, how cute are those Santas??? I'm still wondering if she bought them or made them because they are awesome. Either way, the photography is great.  I also adore her 2012 calender. It features some of her most beautiful images (including her amazing beach photography) and is is for sale here.  Here's a preview:

2012 Calendar 
This is a great time to buy next year's calender, too, for yourself or as a gift, since the holiday shopping season is upon us again, already. 

Speaking of the holiday season, I have to go put my Christmas tree up now because I'll be much too busy eating and shopping to get to it next weekend...
Be merry!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

What I Usually Forget To Be Thankful For

Our Flickr Group finally has 50 members so I get to assign the first Creative Photo Challenge. Yay!

The topic of the week is "What I Usually Forget To Be Thankful For". 

Here is my example:
After Dinner 

It's titled 'After Dinner' because after dinner, when it's time to clean up, I typically am tired and I forget to be thankful that I have dirty dishes to wash. I just want to turn in for the evening and go browse on Flickr or Pinterest.  I should always remember, though,  that I have those dishes to do because my family is blessed enough to have just enjoyed a nice dinner. So many others so hungry while mine is well cared for and that should never be taken for granted.... even at dish time. 

Please post your submissions to the group pool of the flickr group and also a link to them in the Challenge Thread.
I'll post the winner on 11.19.11.   Enjoy your week! 

Friday, November 11, 2011

Inspiring Neutrals

Today's object of my affection in the art department; I'm crushing on the neutrals of these today. Plus, the texture on these two images is too good to be true. The artist is giving credit to Flypaper Textures for that.

1. Pearly Whites    2. White On White

It's really worth the time to click the credits and view these two larger. Then press L to see them on black. Beautifully done, Sherry!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Adorable Boy 'In Thought'

Ok, I honestly just can not stop looking at this adorable photo and I wanted to be certain to share it.
Isn't he the cutest?

Autumn Berries

My little one visits his Nana on Saturdays and I like to spend that time taking photos when possible. I was out and about exploring the neighborhood last weekend when I stumbled upon some interesting berries in my field that I've never seen before. After further inspection, the most interesting thing was that the vines were thorny. And still more interesting was that the leaves were even thorny! I didn't get any good pictures of them, but I took these just to show my husband:

 He had never seen them before either. I started researching and discovered they are a common, useless variety called Horse Nettle Berries. They are even poisonous to animals. I'll be killing those, needless to say.

I have seen some lovely berry and fruit photos this week, however, as several people posted beautiful photos to the Flickr group


{Credit 1}
Little red fruit of autumn
{Credit 2}

Red Berries

{Credit 3}

I'd like to thank them for their contributions which are all lovely!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Creative Focus

The Flickr group is slowly but surely growing in members and in images, which excites me more than I can say. When the group has 50 members (and we are 21 away) I will assign the first Creative Challenge topic so I've been spending time considering the subject I'll choose. That in turn got me thinking about the term Creativity in general. Especially since one lady I've spoken with this weekend wasn't sure if she had anything 'good' enough to submit to the group.

What is 'good creativity', anyway? The definition of creativity is: "the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules, patterns, relationships, or the like, and to create meaningful new ideas, forms, methods, interpretations, etc.; originality, progressiveness, or imagination".

My cousin and I discussed a similar topic last week and she stated that nothing is new or original anymore. Everything has 'been done'. Perhaps she is at least partially right. However, my definition of creativity is this: Creating, if not new, then perhaps, out of the box ideas. Even if something similar has been done, being creative means to me that I was able to put my own spin on it. No one sees things exactly as I or as you do. Creativity is essentially expressing YOUR view ... of anything. That definition makes me smile.

So while I'm talking about creativity, let me draw your attention to a few prime examples of what it means to put your own spin on something common.

Your Brain Is Tricking You.

This image was taken by a fellow Kentuckian and it says "CREATIVE" to me.

Yes, the idea is completely original to Sean; he came up with it himself. But furthermore it shows creativity because this subject is something we all see everyday, yet this is the way Shawn saw it. I look in the rear view mirror, see the side of the car and think it needs to be washed. Shawn looks in the rear view mirror and sees the entire picture, musing at the way his brain tricks him into seeing 'through' the mirror. Creativity, folks; HIS spin on it.

And here is another creative idea from Kristiina. She decided to shoot through a magnifying glass as a form of
a macro lens and ended up with this amazingly beautiful image:

Now there is an inspiring idea if I ever heard one. She has my applause.  

The rest of us may not be able to come up with ideas quite as original as these two examples, but we can still enjoy putting our own spin on things. And we can enjoy searching the common things throughout our world to find the beauty in them. Then we can capture it. That is my kind of creativity. 

(Don't forget to visit and comment each artist by clicking the images.)
Hope you have an inspired week!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Creamiest Chicken Casserole

I have a DELICIOUS chicken casserole recipe to share with you but I can't lie: This is adapted from my Mother's recipe. Actually, the majority of my 'original' recipes are adaptions from her kitchen. Oh gosh, is this a form of plagiarism? Probably. She won't mind, though. I haven't figured the nutritional content on this but I consider it a comfort food. The entire casserole serves approximately 6-7 one cup servings. I just know you'll love it.

1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of celery
1.5 lb package uncooked chicken breast or breast tenders
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/4 cup sour cream
1 box instant stuffing mix (Plus the butter and water required to prepare it)
Approximately 15 buttery cracker rounds
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 
Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and place in frying pan with bottom coated with cooking oil. Fry slowly over medium heat until done. 
While chicken is frying, follow directions on stuffing mix to begin preparing it. Also, mix cream of celery and chicken in a saucepan with minced onion and sour cream. Warm over medium heat. 
Add chicken to the creams and mix well. 
Finish preparing stuffing. 
Place chicken mixture in a glass baking dish. 
Add shredded cheese. 
Top with approximately 10 crushed crackers. 
Add entire batch of stuffing to the top and sprinkle with remaining crackers, crushed. 
Place in oven and bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes or until top is brown and sauce is bubbling.
Serve and enjoy! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fog In The Stream

Trying to get both this blog and Flickr group on their feet is overwhelming but I am loving every minute of it! There are already several wonderfully inspiring photos being added to the stream. How exciting!
I chose a couple of them that were similar to feature today and the theme is Trees in the Fog.

Sanity vs. madness

morning fog

Beautiful aren't they?!  Please be sure to visit each artist's photo stream by clicking on the images.

I have a recent 'Tree Fog' image as well. This one is mine: 


If you have creative and inspiring images to share, we would love to have new members to the group.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Sarah Gardner is an amazing artist whose work I recently became familiar with. She is a photographer and creator of amazing  textures. She recently hosted a magnificent giveaway on her blog and I just got the notification that I won! And best of all the prize is her entire collection of textures! 

This is one of my images that was created using one of Sarah Gardner's textures.
She also moderates a Flickr group that I recommend to anyone who has an interest in Textured Art.
I just have to say thank you again, Sarah! I'm unbelievably excited.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Gray and Beige: My Neutral Obsession

I'm planning on redecorating after Christmas and right now I'm in the 'plan and design' phase. 
I've had a love affair going on with gray my entire life. It's my favorite color for EVERYTHING, literally, especially sweaters, handbags and shoes. My family has always poked fun at me calling me Plain Jane or Boring Betty because I always choose the gray and neutral option. I never considered decorating with these colors though, probably because decor items weren't available in gray. But the rest of the world has finally gotten up to speed with my love and now everyone is 'going gray'. I don't usually like to be the one to follow the crowd, but I consider this my idea to start with (HA!)
I had a bit of trouble choosing my palette at first, but these photos best represent what I'm aiming for:

I'm truly in love with this to the point that I get excited just thinking about seeing the rooms completed. 
I have my bedspread chosen already. Next I'll be working on choosing the paint color. This selection of favorites from  A Perfect Gray  has been more than helpful:

I'm always looking for gray inspiration for both my bedroom and bathroom redesign project and my Greige Pinterest board.  If you've seen any gray 'interestingness' drop me a link.
Happy Creating!

Sunday, October 30, 2011



Jil Sander long sleeve cardigan, $1,375
LEVI'S: Made & Crafted straight jeans, $190
TOMS silver shoes, $54
Slouchy handbag, £36
Faliero sarti, £158

Oh,  how I adore sequins. And Silver. And Gray. And jeans. And sweaters.Let's not forget pink. And what about these Toms?  I would totally be seen sporting this ensemble. 

Out To Dry

Autumn Art

Happy Halloween!
Here are a few Pumpkin and Autumn themed images for you to enjoy during the Holiday.
Please visit each artist by clicking on the image.

Warty Pumpkin

Pumpkin Patch




Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkins 2011 - Infrared

I've fallen in love with the gray pumpkins. Expect to see my own pumpkin photography this time next year because I am ordering the seeds to plant my own!

I'll be Trick Or Treating with Spongebob Squarepants tomorrow; Hope you have a spooky night!

On My Mind

My niece was admitted to the hospital last night for pneumonia. I'm sure she'll be well again in no time, but she's on my mind today. I think I'll go visit and bring a new baby doll with me...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Beauty of Friendship

I met one of my high school best friends in Chorus Class. I was a freshman and was painting my nails when a junior girl asked excitedly if she could borrow my polish.  Her name was Melissa and we spent the duration of class exploring the others' makeup bags while we practiced for recital. Neither of us could sing a note so we figured we might as well do something better with our lips than screech -- and the answer was apply lip gloss!
We became immediate friends for life. Melissa was an amazing person. She was the least judgmental individual I have ever known. She was intelligent, funny, loud, unique and caring. So when she passed away earlier this year after 18 years of having her as 'extended family', it shook me. This post and the entire Creating Beauty page of my blog is dedicated to her memory: My Best Friend, my Sephora girl, my Lip Gloss Queen, Melissa. 
Every day when I do my makeup, if she hasn't already crossed my mind, I think of her then when I apply my mascara. I always seem to get it on my eyelids and her favorite remedy for that was always the same quote:

"If you can't fix it with a Q-Tip, you never should have done it in the first place!"
~Melissa Griffith

While we're on the topic of beauty, I love product photography of cosmetics.
This 'Makeup Counter' scene makes me want to go buy myself some new eyeshadow.
Make up

I did recently purchase some new lipstick and lip gloss. I'm all about Nude and natural shades right now. I ran upon two Revlon products I hadn't tried before and I'm impressed with the color of them both.
Revlon Super Lustrous 'Just Enough Buff' 613
Revlon Colorstay Lipglaze 'Timeless Nude' 512