Friday, March 27, 2015

Crockpot Beef Stew by Kelly Corso

I don't know about you guys but when I think of Crock-Pot I think of this old guy! It brings fond memories of my childhood and the smells in the house of the Crock-Pot simmering all day. My mom calling when we got home from school and telling us to add another ingredient and give it a stir. Now I love cooking in the Crock-Pot. It gives me more time for my creative endeavors. I have a quick and easy recipe for beef stew that you will love, even my girls love it!

You can change it around any way you like, adding, taking away or replacing with fresh ingredients.

Beef Stew
1lb stew meat, chuck
1 can red beans, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 can diced or sliced potatoes
1 can water chesnuts
1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup frozen corn
1 package Lipton onion soup mix

First I chop up the meat in the size chunks I like and throw it in the skillet with olive oil and garlic to give it a good sear.
Next, put all the ingredients in the Crock-Pot with about 1 cup of water, enough to give it a good inch or so of coverage.
Turn it on high for the long cycle. (usually 6-8 hours)
You an always add more water if you prefer it to be soupier.
We usually like to eat it with a nice loaf of sourdough bread.

Yum, Yum! Enjoy!

Places you can find me:


(our facebook group)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Food Link Love by Susan M. Walls

Okay...lets talk about food! It is one of the most important things you do everyday.

Whats your favorite? Do you have breakfast? Lunch? 

My family spends a lot of time around thinking, making, and eating food. About three years ago we embarked on a journey to be the best we can about what we fuel our bodies with. With that came much research and i want to share some of my favorite food  sites.

You might find something yummy to make for your family.

This gal is a registered dietitian and has great tips, advice, and recipes.

Don't get in here unless you have time to kill. Tons of recipes, tips, shopping, and community. Search this site when you're looking for menu suggestions or new things to make.

Yummly the app

Want an entire Internets worth of recipes in one place? Here you go! Search anything...I mean anything!

Lots of good stuff here. My favorite is the banana is soooo good!

And for a bit of British inspiration...

Jamie is definitely a go to for delish meals that take no time at all and nourishing ingredients that kick processed to the curb.

And because I couldn't do a list without one of my vegan faves...

Lots of recipes and if you don't cook vegan you'll find tons of "regular" food items to maybe try out. Who knows? You might decide to cook vegan more often!

And that is just a few of the food ideas and sites online. What are your favorites?

Why not share them with us on our FB group: 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Ice Resin 101 by Susan M. Walls

Hello everyone! Today I am doing a follow up from Ursula's post about her art belt buckle. Very cool by the way...I love the stamping and the color!

I thought I would go back to basics and show you how Ice Resin is the easiest. Also I'll throw in some tips to make Ursula's next resin project a breeze ;)

Let's begin with my desk and what it looks like when I'm in resin mode.

You can see all the things I have all over...but they all come in necessary. Well, almost all. This shot is actually at the end of a pour but this is the reality at the beginning too.

Tip #1: You will notice that all, most, of my things are on a tray. I always work on a tray or inside a cardboard box or something that I can move without disturbing the resin. Line your tray with a silicone mat or a garbage bag, resin won't stick to a garbage bag, then place youe pieces, and pour. Then if you need the table space you just pick up the whole thing and move it.

Tip #2: You can see the two bowls at either side of the tray? Those are filled with rice. They make the perfect beds for any bezel...or belt buckle...any piece that might have an uneven bottom. You just nestle them into the rice until they lay flat and your resin will also be even!

Tip #3: Cover everything!! Once poured resin attracts dust like nobodys business!

We will start with those lovely Ice Resin bottles on the right pouring equal amounts from each bottle, resin and hardener, into a little medicine cup.

You can see on the side there are two marks for the levels of the resin. I find that the measurements that are embossed on the cup completely disappear when you pour in liquid so I use the closest Sharpie marker and remedy the situation.

Using a wooden craft stick you will stir this for 2 minutes. At the end of that time your Ice will be perfectly clear and all mixed together.

Set it down and let it rest for 5 minutes. During this time all the bubbles, if there are any, will rise to the top. They either dissipate on their own or you can do this...

The easiest way to remove bubbles is to blow gently through a will be amazed that all the bubbles will just disappear.

You can see the bubbles in this pic alongside my prepared bezels.

Here are a few more prepared bezels. You can use a myriad of materials in your bezels. the top has an acrylic painted background with an actual gear, glued in place, plus some typed words on paper. The center pieces are also a mix of paint and paper. The bottom was painted several times then the paper was added as I poured the resin.

Here's another way to keep things level. I recycled this box and by cutting some strip out of it I made the perfect spots to tuck in my ring shanks and keep the bezel part level. 

Get resin on the box? Toss it out!

Tip #4: If you've overpoured or dumped your project over and then let it cure before getting the resin off places you don't really want it to be. DON'T PANIC! There are several things you can do. Use scissors and cut off the pieces hanging off. Pick at the resin that's stuck with your fingernails until it lifts (this only works while it's still least for me). In times of desperation I reach for the rubbing alcohol. Dip a Qtip in it and saturate the unwanted resin areas being careful not to rub it all over the top of your piece. Now you may have to do this more than once but I find it makes the resin brittle and then it will come off. 
If none of those options work then PANIC!

Pour your resin into your bezels and wait for the magic to happen! In 24 hours you have a soft cure. That means the resin fells a bit soft but you can touch it and cut or peel off any resin that pours over your bezel. Three days and you have a hard cure meaning you can now place a piece in a box or bag, wear it without worry of damaging the surface or sell your gorgeous piece!

Here's a few finished pieces so you can see how beautiful Ice Resin is...

Hearts! Hearts with 1955 dictionary words embedded into the resin. What word sums up your personality?

There's that gear again! I literally used a little ModPodge to secure the gear where I wanted it and poured resin over it. There's a bit of mica inclusion laying behind it...but that's another post!

Last but not least we will visit some science fiction. My favorite! The bezels here are all prepped with the paper clip art, sealed with ModPodge, and then resin. 

Way too much fun!

Are you tempted to try it? I like that rubber shape that Ursula used and then pulled off from around the resin. I'm going to steal that idea!

Until next time,

You can find us all at our FB page: 

You can find me at Susan's Art Circus
and also at the Cre8ive Circus where you can also purchase all the supplies to do some resin projects
or at my jewelry shop Charming Trinkets for finished pieces in wacky themes!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Being Susan M. Walls-Beverly

Out of my comfort zone

In this series, Susan, Lori and I decided it would be fun to trade places, and try our hand doing projects that the others usually specialize in. For this attempt I am trying out a resin project using a product that Susan works with all the time- Ice Resin. Specifically, I was trying to make belt buckles, but I also have some additional ideas for what to do with left over resin and those can be found at the end of the video.

Well friends, Susan is a much better Susan M. Walls-Beverly than I am ;). 

For my project, I would have to say this post will be more about what NOT to do when making a project using resin. Fortunately we have Susan who is very GOOD at resin, and she can show you the right way to do things!

So here is my check list on what not to do with resin:
  • First and foremost, if you are filming your resin project for a project- make sure you hit record rather than pause during the appropriate filming parts ;)
  • Be prepared as to where you are going to dry your resin piece. It must be a level surface, and you should not, I repeat should not, place it near the area that you are working. Resin takes a good 24 hours to dry without spillage, and if you decide to sneak in a few minutes of project time, you do not want to knock over your project and/or step in it.
  • If you want to use resin on paper or paint, use one of the non-stick craft sheets. Make sure the sheets are clean. Resin will pull up any paint or ink left behind on the craft sheet.
  • Make sure you use less resin than you think. Thin coats that layer are less susceptible to over spilling. Resin will harden and potentially cause your project to stick to the item it is drying on, if the resin spills over.
  • Trim your projects first. Cleaning up a little bit of left over resin is easier to trim than trying to trim the paper along with the resin.
  • Don't use a project that is curved for your first project with resin. Filling something flat is infinitely easier than filling a curved surface!!
  • Give it a go and Enjoy!
I followed up with some more experimenting on my blog. You can find the post here-

Thanks for visiting the Cre8ive Klatch. If you wish to see more of my ideas, tips, techniques and experiments, you can find me here:

Friday, March 13, 2015

Link Sharing by Susan Walls

Hello everyone!

I've been a bit lax on the schedule here because of busy times in my studio but wanted to jump in and do some link sharing today. Maybe give you some new things to read and learn about for the weekend.

So...I do a lot of cruising around the internet when I have a chance. There are many artists, writers, cooks, and general life enthusiasts and, in my opinion, too little time in the day. The following links are the tiniest portion of my list but in the top 20 of the sites I go back to over and over again.

Food. Is there anyone who doesn't like food? Food has been a huge focus in my life for a very long time now. Over the last 2 to 3 years our family has rid itself of all processed food stuffs and I have taken on eating vegan whenever I can swing it. but it wasn't until I found Isa Chandra Moskowitz and her vegan cookbooks that I really figured out how good vegan cooking could be. You might be a vegan skeptic but all you have to do is try one recipe. I've bought almost all her books and every single one is great!

Her site is: Post Punk Kitchen and she is the bomb!

This week one of my favorite business women has been holding her fifth free entrepreneur video summit. She is the writer of "The Right Brain Business Plan" and Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way ". If you are creative and want to start or build on your business...this is the gal!

Her name is Jennifer Lee and her site is: Right Brain Business Plan and the video summit, which I highly recommend, is on through the 20th of March.

March is National Craft Month and the craftiest, amongst other things, gal I know is Jennifer Priest. She has some fabulous projects and tips on her site plus her family also crafts with her.

Check out her work at: Hydrangea Hippo and for those of us in creative business wanting to learn more about social media she is also an expert. 

Check out her other site, Rainmaker Media Works plus her groups on FB.

Last but certainly not least is the wonderful artist and person Tracy Verdugo. One of the reasons I'm kind of in a creative fog, a good one, is that I just came home from 5 days with her immersing myself in "Paint Mojo." I had never taken a retreat like this for this length of time and it was hugely inspiring! Tracy is warm and intuitive truly a guiding spirit through all the artistic techniques shared through the class.

If you aren't familiar with Tracy I suggest you hop on over to her site: Tracy Verdugo or her blog and start learning!! 

Those links should get you started! Tune in next week when my friend Ursula tries out Ice Resin and I do a follow up Resin 101 post...should be good fun!

Until then you can find me: 
or my website Susan's Art Circus