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Monday, October 27, 2014


I don't think I've ever met anything chocolate that I didn't enjoy, and this recipe is no exception! Moist chocolate muffins with semi-sweet morsels in the mix.....yummy.  The recipe is fairly simple too...


2 1/3 cups flour
1 cup sugar
¾ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. salt
 1 cup ricotta cheese
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 1/3 cups milk (2% or whole)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup canola oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray, or use muffin liners.   
Mix the flour and the next five ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl.

Place the cheese in a medium bowl.  Add the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. Whisk in the milk and vanilla until blended.  Fold the cheese mixture and oil into the flour mixture until just blended.

Spoon the batter into the muffin cups and bake 25 minutes. 


Thank you ( for the recipe.....

Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Last year around this time I shared some photo coasters that I made using simple bathroom tiles, Mod Podge and photos that I'd taken.  I totally loved the way they turned out and have heard from the person that I gifted them to, that her family absolutely loves them.  In fact, her three kids "fight over" which one they're going to use.  They're from the Midwest and really enjoy the various pictures of Colorado scenery I put on them.   Sounds like I need to make them some more! :)
Anyway, I decided to try the same methodology using birch rounds as my base.   I had scavenged a grove of birch trees that had been felled in preparation for a residential building site.  It was perfect, there were all sorts of different lengths and diameters that I've used for decorating around the house.

I asked my husband to cut 1/2" widths from one of the pieces, since it was the perfect diameter for coasters.  He ended up getting five slices from that piece.   From there, I went to work prepping the slices by applying two coats of Mod Podge to the bare wood, drying thoroughly between each coat.  I wanted a good base sealant for the wood.

Then I followed the same steps to attach the picture and coat it with Mod Podge as I did when I made the tile coasters last year; one coat to adhere the photo to the wood and two coats right on top of the photos.

Finally, a spray of clear coat for additional protection and some cork circles for the bottoms and voila', a beautiful set of rustic coasters!

This specific set is for a housewarming gift for a young I thought the wood version would be a bit more masculine and appropriate for his new digs.

So cool!  If I didn't already own plenty of coasters, I'd make a set for myself.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


This was my brain child, but I couldn't have pulled it off without the help of my husband; he's the woodworking/sanding/drilling expert and this project definitely needed that skill set!

The idea came about close to a year ago and I've been saving up the pieces that are the cornerstone of the design ever since then.  We made it for our son-in-law.....not only does he enjoy wind chimes, but it showcases his company (Vemma) at the same time,  so I knew he would like it.
There are a couple of Vemma products that I drink regularly, one is the basic liquid antioxidant that I have every morning; it is loaded with 90+ nutrients.  It comes with a 2 oz. shot glass which is the recommended daily dose.

I decided the shot glasses would make a cool focal point for the wind chime.  They are actually clear, but I knew I wanted them to be the signature color of the company which is orange. So I bought a little container of craft paint and coated the inside of each of them.

A long tube from Home Depot was cut in varying lengths (I definitely did not do that step) for the chimes and then two wooden circles were cut, sanded and stained; one for the base and the other for the striker.  I chose a bronze spray paint color for the tubes; I thought it would look sharp against the wood tones and the orange.

Finally, a triangle of wood was cut for the center weight and I chose to burn his surname initial into the wood; I remember one of my brothers having a wood burning kit growing up (wonder what happened to that thing?) and I thought it was totally I picked one up and went to town on the wood.
We bought the string/cord at Hobby Lobby,,,,,they have a ton of different colors and weights to choose from. The tubes are actually strung with fishing line .....while I originally wanted to use colored string, my husband was concerned that over time the sharp edges on the drilled holes would fray the string/cord so we opted for a more durable option.  I have to tell you that was the third option.

It took us three attempts to get to the fishing line.  The first attempt we used coated picture hanger wire; it was way too stiff and the chimes didn't hang nicely. Then we tried brass chain link--now that looked really sharp; but it negatively impacted the sound of the after "googling", I found that many folks used the fishing line approach.

So those are the components.... this truly was a "his and hers" project through and through.  I think it was fun (my husband might have a few other choice adjectives), I learned a lot about the mechanics of the wind chime that's for sure.

All-in-all, for the first attempt at a wind chime, I think it looks awesome!  Even better.....the gift was a total hit with our son-in-law!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Okay gang....we can all thank Betty Crocker for these babies!  ..... and just like the title, they are truly RICH peanut butter much better than the conventional variety that we all grew up on.
Peanut butter chips are the secret flavor boost in these little puppies....I promise you that you won't stop at just one.


1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
fresh from the oven before I devoured three!
1 egg
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup peanut butter chips
granulated sugar


Heat oven to 375 degrees.  In large bowl, beat brown sugar, peanut butter, butter and egg with electric mixer on medium speed until creamy; or mix with spoon.  Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  Stir in peanut butter chips.

Shape dough into 1 1/2-inch  balls.  Dip tops into granulated sugar.  Place balls, sugared sides up about 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheet (do not flatten).

Bake cookies 9-10 minutes or until light brown.  Cool 5 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to wire rack...then promptly to a plate with an ice cold glass of milk.....enjoy!

Friday, October 3, 2014


I am so excited to share the "Shea" tote with you!  This Shea Marie original is now available at my shop on Etsy.    This little baby is the very first one off the "production line" (the production line, by-the-way is made up of me, myself and I)

I wanted to design a tote that was different from the standard canvas totes out there. Something with a unique silhouette and totally feminine.   I wanted it to have body and be a reasonable size.

I originally came up with the idea as an item that could be gifted from a bride to her bridesmaids.  I've heard from many brides who have struggled to find the right gift and/or found something, but it doesn't fit the budget.  So, I wanted to offer something at a reasonable price point, that is also totally functional and can be used again and again.

It's made of sturdy canvas which gives it body and because of the squared off corners on the bottom of the bag, it can also stand upright on its own.

When I was developing the pattern, it took me two attempts to get just the right size in both height and width; but once I got it I was stoked!  In fact, I'm keeping the prototype for myself!....and I'm already planning to gift one to a certain somebody this holiday season.

In fact, I took a walk-about in my local dollar store and for just  $6, I added several quality goodies and created a "pamper yourself" tote.   There's a bath scrub, bath gel, scented lotion, a vanilla scented candle, a small bottle of wine and several Russel Stover chocolates.  Maybe that got your wheels turning for other interesting themes you could put together......
You'd be amazed at how much it can hold!

I hope to have additional colors available in the future....but I'm really picky about fabrics and in my scouting today, I came up empty.

Maybe some bright colors for spring!

Please stop by the SheaMarieDesigns Ltd. shop for more details on the dimensions and while you're there, maybe place an order....I won't tell if it's for'll be our little secret.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


I so enjoyed creating this veil!  This bride has been a friend of my daughter's since high school, so it was particularly special to be able to make her veil.  She and her Mom definitely pictured her in a cathedral veil and had tried on several at a bridal shop.   They decided they were just looking for a lace trim border along the bottom with simple finished edges on the sides.  Her gown could definitely support a cathedral you can see it is has a very full skirt and a long train.
I chose to make the veil wider than most having seen the width of the train.  I added some pearls and sequins just to add a little sparkle, especially knowing it was an outdoor ceremony; my hope was the sunlight would hit those sequins just so.......

Since she planned to take the veil off after the ceremony, I also created a comb that she could wear in her hair for the reception.  The flower is made of fabric and has some pearls and lace as well.  You can check out the details HERE.

I also thought I'd show you the bustle I  created for her gown.   A throwback to the 1890's; so romantic!   It has a total of 5 bustle points; three buttons and 2 ties.

Beautiful Katherine!