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Friday, January 30, 2015


Looking for something a bit different than a basket for your Flower Girl(s)?  How about a "kissing ball/pomander ball" instead?

I made these for an upcoming summer wedding....aren't they just adorable?
They begin with a styrofoam ball, so they're nice and lightweight.....easy for little ones to carry down the aisle.

For this particular wedding I used burlap, lace and an embroidered tulle for my base fabrics; I tossed in some silk flowers and strands of pearls and you have a great alternative to the traditional flower girl basket.  I can see all sorts of possibilities based upon the theme of the wedding and the color palette.

Since one of the girls is several years older than the other two, I chose to make hers a bit larger.
Which meant starting with a larger styrofoam ball.

You can see in the picture to the right, I even rolled some roses with the burlap and lace trim I used for the handle.

I literally couldn't stop once I got started.

I think I might have to make some other varieties and put them in the Shea Marie Etsy shop.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


Okay....It's time for a "His" project don'tcha think?

So, I'm taking credit for providing the inspiration for this project, but the rest was all my husband.  I had spotted deer antler candle holders in a store which had a number of tables all decorated for the holidays.  I was so taken with it, that I snapped a cell phone picture.   Knowing that my husband was making his annual trek to Texas for deer hunting this past December, I shared the picture with him in hopes that he would be able to bring home some antlers.

Not only did he come back from his trip with all sorts of venison (yum), but he actually had several "sheds".  He had been inspired by the picture and wanted to try his hand at making something.   I call it a candelabra since it holds multiple tapers.
So far, he's made two of these babies....learning important techniques along the way and coming up with some pretty impressive pieces.

Here's the steps he took along the way......................
after the sanding process

His first step was to sand the antlers with sand paper and steel wool to "clean them up" a bit.  After that he lightly stained them for a little deeper color (sanding again after that), but still natural looking.

We found the candle cups at Hobby Lobby, but actually they were only the wooden outside. Rockler Woodworking and Hardware in Denver had the wooden cups and brass inserts which gives a nice finishing touch and helps hold the candles snugly in place.

The cups are unfinished, so he played around with three different shades of stain he had on hand to find the one that would best blend with the antler color.
The cups are secured on to the antler with screws; you'll notice he even notched the bottom of one of the cups so that it sits securely on top of the antler.

These particular antlers are from Axis deer.    He was also able to get me one other type of shed (Fallow deer) that I plan to work with to make a matching set of rustic candle holders, similar to those I spotted.

That however, will have to wait until after wedding season (I have too much sewing to do right now).   I'll share a post about those once they're finished.

Monday, January 19, 2015


This recipe all began when I ended up with a half a bag of shredded carrots leftover from a veggie casserole I had made.  I started looking at recipes that would use up the carrots and found a healthy carrot muffin recipe.   I used the ingredients from the recipe I found, but chose to add two of my own personal touches; a surprise filling and streusel topping.

I also chose to make them in these cute little tulip cups I found at Cost Plus World Market.
The cups allow you to add a bit more batter than the standard cupcake liners and really make for a special presentation.   I think they add a nice touch and would be worth the extra effort for a brunch or baby/bridal shower!


1 ½ cups whole wheat flour 
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. butter, melted
½ cup honey
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
¾ cup finely shredded carrots (about 2-3 medium carrots)

Streusel topping
¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 Tbsp. wheat germ
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. softened butter
½ tsp. cinnamon

*orange marmalade
*you can use another type of fruit spread if you don't like orange marmalade, but I loved the way the orange tasted with the carrots!


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place the tulip liners inside a cupcake pan (I watched an episode of "Martha bakes" where she just used these on a cookie sheet, so I started out that way.....thank goodness I checked them after about 6 minutes; they had totally spread apart, so I quickly put them inside the cupcake tin and saved the batch!)

2.  In a large bowl whisk together, the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and salt. 

3.  Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the butter, honey, egg, vanilla and applesauce.

4.  Stir ingredients together until just combined and there are still some spots of flour remaining.

5.  Fold in the shredded carrots just until combined (don't overmix or the muffins will be dense)

6.  Fill each muffin cup approximately 2/3 full of batter; spoon approximately 1 Tbsp. of orange marmalade over the top of the batter; add another large spoonful of batter over the top of the marmalade; it doesn't have to cover the marmalade completely.

7.  Sprinkle the tops of each muffin with the streusel before baking. 

8.  Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

9.  Remove to a wire rack and cool completely.  These muffins freeze wonderfully. 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

ALCOHOL POUCH this project is about as easy as they come, but it adds a whole lot of charm to the overall gift.

My son-in-law enjoys Grand Marnier, so I knew I wanted to gift him a bottle for Christmas.  But, I didn't just want to put a bottle under the tree.  So instead, I chose to make a pouch for the bottle and and added a brandy snifter to go along with it.

As I've mentioned in previous posts, his family is from France.  So I chose to use a burlap print with references to France on it.

I tied the bag closed and attached the snifter with Baker's twine to finish it off.

Obviously, you could use any liquor, but as I said he enjoys sipping on Grand Marnier from time-to-time.

Simply measure the height of the bottle and add approximately 2 ½ inches to that measurement. That provides a nice finished edge for the top and a ½ seam allowance on the bottom.
For the top edge,  fold over ¼ inch and stitch it down (or use a serger to finish the edge), then fold over another 1 ¾ at the top and stitch that edge down.

I like to have three seams to my on each side and one at the bottom.  I can then fold that point in at each corner (at the bottom of the bag) and create a nice square bottom by stitching across the points.  (there are several good  You Tube videos for "boxed corners" if you're unsure how to do this)

So that's it.....maybe consider it for Birthday, Graduation or Father's Day this year!

Have fun!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


Ooooh  La La !  Check out this sexy sequined skirt.  This particular design came to me after spotting this beautiful pewter sequined fabric.  I had been working on a couple of other skirt concepts, including tulle wedding skirts.  But, when I spotted this fabric I couldn't resist.

I am so tickled to have it featured in a collaboration with KB Digital Designs and the pop country duo Two Way Crossing.

The beautiful Jenny Marvin (half of the Two Way Crossing duo)  rocked this skirt!  I was overwhelmed seeing her in one of my designs (it's probably similar to how she felt the first time she heard a Two Way Crossing song on the radio!) 

Thank you are a special lady!

Wishing Two Way Crossing every success imaginable.  Be sure to check out their music....they are one dynamic duo!

Thursday, January 1, 2015


I love Tiramisu!  So, why not try to duplicate the wonderful flavors I've tasted at various restaurants over the years?  I've given it some thought from time-to-time, but the preparation always looked a little beyond my skill set.

Since I was making an Italian feast for Christmas dinner this year, Tiramisu seemed like the obvious dessert to finish off the meal.  With that in mind, I searched through plenty of recipes and landed on Chef Dennis Littley's  "go to" recipe.


6 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 ¼ cup mascarpone cheese
1¾ cup heavy whipping cream
2 - 7oz. packages Italian Lady fingers
1 cup cold espresso
½ cup coffee flavored liqueur (optional)
1 tbsp. cocoa for dusting


Combine egg yolks and sugar in the top of a double boiler, over boiling water.  Reduce heat to low, and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  This is your sabayon.  Remove from the heat and whip yolks until thick and lemon colored. 

Add mascarpone to whipped yolks, beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, whip cream to stiff peaks.   Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone sabayon mixture and set aside.

Mix the cold espresso with the coffee liquor and dip the lady fingers into the mixture just long enough to get them wet, do not soak them!

Arrange the lady finger in the bottom of a 9 inch square baking dish (or container similarly sized).   Spoon half the mascarpone cream filling over the lady fingers.  Repeat the process with another layer of lady fingers and cream.  

Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.  Dust with cocoa before serving. 

Now, let me offer some tips....first, I would say the choice of lady fingers is critical.  I used the fresh lady fingers that my local grocer makes.  You can see from the picture, they're small in both length and depth.   I believe had I gone with true Italian lady fingers (Savoiardi) each layer of lady fingers would have been separated much better from the cheese mixture.  The flavor was outstanding, but I would have liked a better looking finished product.
I did not use espresso in mine; I chose to just use coffee and I found the flavor was great.  In fact, my son-in-law said he liked it more than some versions he's had since it had a more subtle coffee flavor. 

Everybody at the dinner table enjoyed it, including me....and it wasn't quite as daunting as I had originally thought. 

I will definitely make it again in the future.  By-the-way, I thought it actually tasted better on the second day!