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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Tuesday Tinker - Altar Space

Grow, Transform and Fly Magnets

We all have a place in our home where we keep our most precious things.  It could be the crayon drawing your now grow child drew when she was three years old, it could be a favorite picture of you and your dad, it could be a knick knack you picked up on a family vacation.  Altar Space has several of these spots and collections about her home, including a handmade altar table where she keeps her favorite crystals, rocks, and any other trinket that has special meaning.  She tries to carry this theme of sacred and special things in her shop, hoping to allow others to find something lovely to add to their collection.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Sunday Supplement - On Location with our next Tuesday Tinker

Most of the country, and particularly those of us on the East Coast, have been glued to the coverage of hurricane Irene.  We have several Etsy Freethinker Team members who live in her direct path.   I, altarspace, am one of those!  However, I live in Vermont, so it won't be as bad for me as for others.   The whole teams thoughts and prayers go out to MarthaHorman who is really really in the direct path of Irene and deciding to ride it out.  She has made good preparations and made sure she had all the beads she would need to weather the storm and complete the beading project she started.  In an effort to get the Sunday Supplement created and on the web before our power goes out, I figured I would share pictures of the preparations we have made for Irene.

Water storage!  We filled every container we had in the house.  Don't worry, this isn't all we have, there are 6 large jugs of water on the kitchen floor.  We are keeping these cold to help cool the frig when the electricity goes out.

Weather radio, lantern, flashlight.  We have candles too.

Our makeshift altar, where lot's of praying is being done to protect us, our house and those we love.
We know we will lose power so we plan to spending the day making art, playing cards, and praying that the river by our house doesn't flood over it's banks, the trees behind the house don't fall on us and that the road to civilization doesn't get washed away!   So while we are riding out Irene, you can visit my etsy shop for all your spiritual decoration needs.   Stay tuned for aftermath pictures!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday Tinker - AuntMartha

AuntMartha used to be an Antique and Collectibles dealer. When she closed her business, she just packed up her stock and put it in her basement and her attic. Now she's started to open the boxes and put the pieces up for sale in her shop. It's a good idea to check her store often because she tries to list at least one new piece a week. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Sunday Supplement - On Location with our next Tuesday Tinker

As a larger part of the country is still baking in the summer heat, we all dream of the cooler weather, colorful leaves and pumpkins of October!   Our Etsy Freethinkers Team member AuntMartha, to fill our longing for fall, has shared some vacation photos she took while hiking in the Loire Valley of Central France several years ago.

The Loire River

 The house on a little creek running into the Loire where they stayed

A picturesque building near the trail.
Bluebeard's Castle - apparently the man who owned this in the 15th century went
through more children than the neighbors thought was acceptable.

Should you be interested in other items with European flair, visit AuntMartha's Etsy Shop. She has a lovely assortment of antique plates, figurines, cups and other fine haberdashery.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Recipe Corner -Chicken and Mushroom Soup

These measurements are all approximate; it's your soup - wiggle the ingredients around to suit your taste.

1 Cup Chicken Broth (I use College Inn when I don't have home-made, which is most of the time.)
1/2 cup of cooked chicken cubed or in hunks - you can use more if you want.
1 oz of uncooked pasta (I used spaghetti when I made the soup in the picture.)
1/4 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup dried mushrooms or 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms. What kind?  Any kind you want. I have used Black Trumpets, oysters, portabella, morels,  porcini, shiitake and chicken mushroom. You can also use those uninteresting white mushrooms that you see in every grocery store. 
Olive oil

If you are using dried mushrooms, reconstitute them with boiling water to cover. Don't throw out the mushroom water; it's a good addition to the soup.

If you are using fresh mushrooms, saute them for about 5 minutes in a little olive oil and basil.

Bring broth to a boil, add basil if you are using dried mushrooms, and cook the pasta. When it is al dente, add the frozen peas, and the chicken. Bring back to a boil and add the mushrooms with the basil and oil or with the mushroom water depending on what mushrooms you are using. 

Oyster mushrooms in the wild.

Serves 1.

Recipe compliments of GoodOldBooks.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Tinker - ManicManx

If you go to ManicManx's shop you will see an "On vacation" sign and none of her wonderful jackets, coats and vests. I'm here to tell you that this is not true - she's at a show! and shows are fun but they are too much work to be "vacations". She should be back by this time next week.

Go to her shop and click on the button that lets Etsy alert you when ManicManx is back. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sunday Supplement - On Location with our Next Tuesday Tinker

Our Freethinker Etsy Team is made of of lots of wonderful people, all very different, with all kinds of different views, hobbies, senses of humors, and beliefs.   But the one thing we all love is a good poem or story from ManicManx.  The Freethinkers Team calls her MM, the world calls her Kristi Smart, we all call her funny!   This Sunday she has graced us with one of her poems about her beloved cat Henry:
I woke up this morning with a feeling of dread.
I found Henry’s rectum was glued to my head.

It wasn’t his usual choice of repose.
The artful arrangement, his torso, my nose.

I wont be surprised if I break out in a sty.
Due to new sleeping habits, his anus, my eye.

I hope he goes back to his chest, my ear.
My armpit is willing to snuggle his rear.

The first light of day is now up my cats butt.
In considering trading him in for a mutt.

I love little Henry with all of my heart.
I'm ever so grateful he cant pass a fart.

Kristi Smart

Henry, having a laugh.

We are also lucky enough to have Kristy write for our Recipe Corner, where she always has a wonderful spin on every yummy concoction.   Not only is she a gifted story teller, but a gifted seamstress as well.    To view her eclectic and beautiful hand made coats and vests, visit ManicManx's Etsy Shop. MM, when is your first book of poetry coming out?   Stay tuned.....

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Thursdays Recipe Corner

Beachcomber Pasta Salad
Brought to you by Beachcobersgrove
Paintings and jewelry with a sandy point of view. Its only appropriate that the first ingredient in this recipe is shells.

1 lb pasta (sm shell)
1 handful black olives, pitted
  1 c. sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1 c. broccoli crowns (firm cooked)
1 bunch fresh basil
1 c. corn/peas
1/2 red onion chopped(or green onions)
1 bottle italian dressing
Optional: parmesean cheese & bacon bits
Salt, pepper, thyme to taste

Beachcombers Cove, Your Oasis of Fun , Tropical Art

The peaceful spirit of the seahorse is represented here for your wearing pleasure. Handmade in 16g. sterling silver wire and combined with natural, bone beads, it is approximately 8" long and fastens with a handmade clasp. 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tuesday Tinker - tofunutloaf

Introducing one of tofunutloaf's robots.

One might think that, with a clock on her chest, Leota would be punctual to all events. This has not proven to be the case, however....  for more details of Leota's life and problems check out tofunutloaf's store.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sunday Supplement - On Location with Our Next Tuesday Tinker

Tofunutloaf, who lives in Urbana, Illinois, might be best known to us all for creating her super creative and potentially world dominating, cute poly clay robots, but Tofu beats the summer heat by making paper in her basement! 

Basement set-up, complete with new crappy blender!

"As you can see, we have kind of a functional basement. It has a low ceiling, is unheated, and floods easily, so we don't spend much time in it. It's the coolest part of the house in the summer, and making paper gives me an excuse to hang out down there, so I tend to restrict my paper making activities to heatwaves, says Tofu.

The heat hasn't been Tofu's only challenge this summer.  "My old crappy blender decided to stop working altogether, so I put it out on Facebook that I needed a new crappy blender for making paper. One of my friends had one, so I picked it up the next day and finished my paper batch. I now know the true value of FB: finding used crap in a hurry."

Old crappy blender - Tofu pushing the button to no avail!
Stop by Tofunutloaf's Etsy shop and stay tuned to see the results of all this summertime paper making.  In the meantime, you might find a new robot friend to spend the summer with!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thursdays Recipe Corner

Today's tasty toast recipe is brought to you by the appropriately named Tofunutloaf on If you are a fan of breadyness, she has a mascot for you. Meet the Burger Bott who is cute enough to eat.
And now for the eats.

Yeah, I'm writing up how to make toast. But, this was really awesome toast, and really awesome toast is not an everyday occurrence. You will not find this toast at any fancy brunch, or on a high-class continental breakfast buffet, or in any fancy breakfast spot anywhere. It can only be had by searching out (or making) the best local food around. To have this incredible toast experience, you will need:

1 thick slice of amazing bread
really good fresh goat cheese
The best honey you can muster

Toast bread. Spread with the desired amount of goat cheese, and drizzle with honey. Eat.

If you happen to be near the Greater Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Area, and would like to experience this toast as I did, you will need:

1 thick slice Mirabelle honey walnut bread
Prairie Fruits Herbs de Provence chevre
honey from Sasse's Apiary

Toast bread. Spread with the desired amount of goat cheese, and drizzle with honey. Eat. Toast more bread, spread with goat cheese, and drizzle with honey. Eat.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday Tinker - AltheaP

AltheaP, an outstanding artist, who paints with dye on silk scarves and pouches, such as the one shown here.

Check her shop to see her other wonderful creations.