Sunday, April 27, 2008

Larky Lady and Etsy

The recent trend toward "old" things" allows for the success of the Etsy endeavor. So picking up on that trend, Etsy was created. The originators will not divulge their reason for choosing that name. Actually, Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. In this fast-paced world of mass-produced products, many people have lost sight of the real value of goods. We think back to the day when we bought our bread from the baker, food from the grocer, and shoes from the cobbler. Bringing back that same concept Etsy has provided producers (those making a product) with an avenue to the consumer (those using a product) by giving them a marketplace which is a thriving and growing community with a vision of presenting a better choice.
Launched on June 18, 2005 Etsy became an instant success, and has now grown to tens of thousands of sellers and five times that many in buyer accounts, with more being added every day. Etsy provides the general public with a way to buy and sell handmade items.
Those wishing to sell their handmade items register for an Etsy account which allows them to open a shop where their items can be listed. Etsy makes money by charging a listing fee of 20 cents for each item and getting 3.5 percent of every sale.
Buyers are also required to register and open an account, choosing a password with an email address. They will then receive an email from Etsy, asking for a response so they can activate the account, which is free.
After that, be prepared to visit these many thousands of shops where anything can be found from the realm of ordinary items to wildly extreme. It’s a great place to find unique gifts for friends, family–– and yourself for that matter!

I have used "milarks" (the first letter of each one of my family with only "i" additional) for my identification for many years–since I first began emailing and doing any online activity. So when I registered with Etsy, I also used "milarks." A lot can be learned by visiting the Forums and Chat Rooms and I go to some of them every chance I get. One day on a Forum in a general discussion, another Etsian addressed me as "Larky Lady." I liked it and when I decided to have a Blog that seemed the right thing to call it.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Friends are made in many different ways. These new friends are through contact with their Etsy shops. Aromafields and I have been emailing for several weeks. This mother of three lives in California and her shop is filled with the candles and soaps that she makes.

Minicoops has returned to the states after going to school for three years in Malasia. She deals mostly with Vintage now.

GwynnsGifts is featuring my shop on her blog. I recently won a contest she sponsored. She has just finished a children's book, The Brave Brothers, which was inspired by her two sons. She makes these beautiful cards.
Last, but not least for now, is reesascreations where I was again the winner of a random drawing. Here is a picture of her product.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


After mentioning Carol's roses in the last blog, I got a set of pictures from her, and.........yes, they were pictures of her roses. So for your enjoyment, here they are.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Orchids Two

These breathtaking orchids were sent by my friend, Carol. Her orchid collection is wonderful, and she grows roses, too. Hope you enjoy seeing these beauties.

Monday, April 21, 2008

And The Winner Is --

Yes, I was the winner in a blog contest sponsored by another blogger. Actually, it was a random drawing, but there were some nice things said.

"The winner of my blog promotion contest is milarks!
Milarks will be receiving a FREE item of her choice from reesascreations.
Thanks to all of you who participated---all 18 of you! Look here in the blog soon to read one in which I will feature each and every one of you! I have enjoyed meeting each one of you through this promotion. Best wishes to all!
Visit milarks at her etsy store. She also has a wonderful entertaining and informative blog at "

"milarks, I enjoyed reading your blog very much! It is entertaining and interesting. Loved hearing about your travels and seeing the pictures. I am planning on visiting your blog again to see what you are up to next! "

This page will tell a little about it.

Then today she had this.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

My Aunt Laura

What a lady she was! When she passed away, she was about six weeks away from her 100th birthday which would have been February 14th. The amazing thing was that just before that, on December 10th she had a Christmas Coffee for ten ladies where she served coffee cake and rolls on a lovely decorated holiday table.
Aunt Laura always had a good memory and was a good cook, noted for her baking of pies and cakes. She loved flowers, grew huge dahlias, had a beautiful rose garden, and summertime found her yard filled with pots and hanging baskets of geraniums.
Here is one of her pie recipes:
Aunt Laura’s Pecan Pie
This recipe was found in a hand written cookbook that belonged to her sister-in-law.
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/4 cup salad oil
1 cup light corn syrup (Karo)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup pecans
Cook together all ingredients but pecans until sugar melts. Pour into unbacked crust. Put pecans on top. Bake 50 - 60 minutes at 325 - 350 degrees.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

My Genealogy Friend

I have been making several friends through Etsy connections. More about them another time. Today I will introduce you to Carol, my Genealogy friend.
For many years I was quite involved in researching family history. Carol was also involved in researching one line of the family that I was doing, too. In fact, she has plans to publish her findings in book form. However, another special interest of hers is growing orchids. She has sent some pictures of some absolutely gorgeous ones that I thought you might enjoy.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Please Check GwynnsGifts

I made the acquaintance of a great gal while writing on one of Etsy's Forums the other day. We decided to list links to each other's blog. She put my link on hers today; however, not just a link but something very special. I hope you will go to hers and check it out. So nice of her.

She is a very talented person and has just written a children's book. You can read all about it on her blog. I hope you visit her Etsy site, too which is:

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Warwick Castle

On this dark, rainy day, I thought we would visit Warwick Castle. On a Spring day, sunny and warm, unlike this one today in Iowa, it was a special experience spending most of the day going through the different parts of the castle. The famous Madame Tussaud's mannequins occupy several rooms depicting scenes from that era. The grounds were beautiful, too, with Peacock strutting atop the trimmed hedges. By clicking on the picture you should be able to enlarge it. Then you can see in the back of the picture that the some of the hedge is trimmed to look like the peacocks.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

What a Windy Day!

A very windy day here. And what do you suppose we did? We put up the greenhouse. Two reasons which seemed logical. Rain is predicted at times during the next several days, so we wouldn't be able to do it then. Main reason--the little plants started in the house need to get more light. They can be moved out to the greenhouse at least during the day. Not sure about night time temperatures yet. So if the temps get too cold we will move them into the house at night.

Here's a picture to show you what we will do with one of the tomato plants.

EG has planted one in this planter the past two years and has had very good yields. It's called "The Upsidedown Tomato."

Monday, April 14, 2008

Cream Tea

On our way home from a tour of Warwick Castle on my first trip to England, we stopped at a little dessert shop in Henley. It was just warm enough so we could sit at an outdoor table right outside the shop. And there is where I had my first Cream Tea! We were served a plate with a scone split in half horizontally and from there I had a lesson in how to create the Cream Tea. First, you cover the cut surface with butter; then slather on the Clotted Cream, followed by a liberal amount of strawberry jam. Without hesitation, you pick up your fork and enjoy! Especially good with a cup of hot tea.
So what is Clotted Cream? Clotted cream is a thick yellow cream made by heating unpasteurized cow's milk and then leaving it in shallow pans for several hours. During this time, the cream content rises to the surface and forms clots.

I found this quote -- "Sadly all this clotted cream is not good for the waistline, however a little now and then is good for the soul."
A scone may be described as half way between cake and biscuit - harder than a cake but softer than a biscuit.

I found this English recipe for scones –
2 cups [8 oz] of self-raising flour [If you don’t have self-raising then use plain flour but add 2 teaspoons of baking powder]
2 ounces of margarine or lard
2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda [If you use baking powder leave out the bi-carb]
½ cup [¼ pint] of milk [if the milk is just turning sour it works better but fresh is OK too]
Pinch of salt
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and rub together to a sort of breadcrumb mix.
Add all the milk at once and mix lightly to a spongy dough.
Knead lightly to make the dough smooth and roll it out to about ½ to ¾ inch thick.
Cut out with a 2" round cutter. Brush lightly with milk and bake in a hot oven (220 - 230 degrees C, 425 - 450 degrees F or gas mark 7 - 8] for about 10 minutes.
Cool the scones on a wire rack so that the outside stays crispy.
This quantity makes about 12 - 15 scones.
The most important things to remember are to add all the liquid at once and cook them quickly.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Yorkshire Pudding

The first time I saw Yorkshire Pudding, I said, "That’s pudding?" It didn’t look like pudding to me.
Actually, Yorkshire pudding is a dish made from batter, and it is cooked by pouring the batter into a preheated greased baking pan containing very hot oil and baking at very high heat until it has risen. My impression was that it made me think of Popovers.
One description reads, "When fresh from oven, good Yorkshire pudding is a puffy irregular shaped golden mass, unlike any other baked dish. On standing a few minutes, the surface settles more or less evenly, and when cut the outer crust is tender crisp and the center soft and custardy." Traditionally, it is served with roast beef which is where I first had it at a Carvery. Carvery is like
a Buffet where the meat is carved as you walk past, and there was the Yorkshire Pudding beside the roast beef.
So here for your enjoyment and a taste of England is a Yorkshire Pudding recipe.
Picture is a typical Sunday dinner.

Yorkshire Pudding
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 eggs

1 c. milk
4 tbsp. oil
Beat flour, salt, eggs, milk together until very smooth, scraping bowl occasionally. Refrigerate 2 hours or longer. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Measure oil into 8 x 8 x 2 inch square Pyrex pan. Heat for 2 minutes. Pour batter into pan and bake for 20-30 minutes. Do not open door. Serve immediately.
This may be baked in muffin tins, using 2+ T. batter per muffin, with 1-2 tsp oil in each tin before preheating pan to very hot. Wrapped tightly, Yorkshire Puddings freeze and reconstitute very well.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Garland of White

That’s what the pelicans were called by today's local newspaper’s article about their temporary stopover in Pine Lake State Park. "They are big, they are white and by all accounts hungry for fish." Over 300 pelicans, by some counts, produced the "big show on the lake." They got absolutely no privacy whatsoever as sightseers came in from considerable distance for the relatively rare view and seemed not the least bit intimidated by all the onlookers. With their cars lining the water’s edge, the gathering of camera toting people was a sight in itself.
The pelicans are mostly bound for Canada, experts say, and it was probably a little bit of winter left lingering in the air that got them to slow down and stay over a while on the lakes. When they arrived here and found some of the upper lake still frozen, they might have instinctively stopped to wait for a few more degrees change in the season.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

English Food

The next three entries in the Recipe Section will feature England recipes, from EG, Amanda and Lee. Cooking in England reminds me of my first baking experience there. Making the pie crust resulted in more than was planned.. Suffice it to say, I brought my own measuring cups on the next trip.
The food experience was really great. I tasted my first "real" Fish and Chips from a "real" Fish & Chips shop; ate at a Carvery where I had my first Yorkshire Pudding; and enjoyed my first "Cream Tea" which was a "real" experience. Explanations of these and other foods will be told another time.
Other food terms: Gammon, is a British cured ham. Most American hams are precooked, but Gammon Hams are not cooked "leaving you that pleasure."
British sausages are called bangers.
Another traditional dish in the UK is a kind of meatball called a Faggot.
Then there is Bubble and Squeak, which is a fried cabbage/potato combination.

But not to be left out is Brown Sauce, a condiment you can't do without.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A Surprising Sight

What a lovely view! When EG drove around Pine Lake this morning on his way to Eldora, he saw a lot of white blobs all over the lake. As the realization came to him that he wasn't in Florida (where he has visited before) but that he was in Iowa, he came back home to get the camera to capture some pictures of PELICANS. Not knowing how long they planned to stay, he hoped they would still be there when he got back. If not, then their visit would have to be called "Pelican Briefs."

Monday, April 7, 2008

Animal Antics

A few more of the Safari Park pictures.
Watching the animals is always fun.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Recipe Section

One by one, recipes are being added to the Recipe Section on the right side of the Blog.

As you linger awhile looking them over, you are invited to submit your recipe, and it will be included ready to be enjoyed by others. Perhaps you have one with a story to tell. Maybe it's a recipe that has been passed down from a grandmother or another family member. That would be special, and the story will be published on the Blog.

So Enjoy and Blessings to All!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Trip Through Safari Park

Today is quite a nice day with temps in the 50's, so I thought we should take a ride through Safari Park. You can stay in the car, and we will just drive through.

This is what we did on our England trip in April of 2006 on such a day as this with temperatures about the same. (Before it became an Animal Park, EG said he went to the lake there to fish for carp!!)

However, today we will experience up close some of the wild animals and their antics.

(Click on picture to enlarge. Especially look at Joey in his mom's pocket and giraffe checking out the schoolbus occupants.)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Starting Seeds

It's time to start our seeds again. This was a winner last year. Beefsteak tomato which we kept growing in the greenhouse. We have a few seeds of that left, as well as Baby Girl (a small oval tomato, very sweet) and Mr. Stripey, which true to his name had stripes. Not as prolific as the other two, but tasty. I wouldn't mind having a taste of any one of those right now!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Winter’s done,
and April’s in the skies.
Earth, look up with
laughter in your eyes!
––Charles G. D. Roberts
Well, when we looked up this morning,
it wasn't with laughter!
Snow -- again!
Just enough to give a thin layer.
Then the sun came out, and it disappeared.
Here is a picture of the rosemary that
we kept in the house over the winter.

April Fools from Etsy