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New site

Hi, you guys!

I have been taking a break from making jewelry while my family is living in Sweden, and something I have been meaning to do is update my website.  I have done all the web design since the beginning of AnneMade Jewelry in 2004, first with FrontPage, then Expression Web, Blogger, and now WordPress.  It’s like learning a new language, and I’m definitely using a different part of my brain.

Here’s a picture of my daughter fishing near our home Gothenburg, Sweden. Hope you are having a good summer!

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2015-06-30 13.51.44

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Chocolate Mug Cake

I saw a recipe for 5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake on Kate’s blog that sounded awesome, so tonight I tried it and I was not disappointed. Make sure you read the comments about beating the egg and gently mixing – it makes a difference.

Those of you who know me know I have (ahem) a bit of a sweet tooth, so it takes a lot to reach my limit. I am currently chocolate drunk and NOT sorry, although ask me again when I’m lying in bed wide awake at 3am. And get this – I don’t usually like chocolate cake. I did have a glass of milk and frosted it with the remnants of a previous project which made the mug cake that much better, so now I feel compelled to share The Frosting recipe. It was actually part of a chocolate cake recipe from BHG, the results of testing recipes for the “moistest, richest, chocolatiest cake” but didn’t do it for me. They obviously didn’t try Chocolate Mug Cake.

But they were so right about The Frosting recipe. If I had to choose one food to have while stranded on a desert island, the food of which I would ne’er grow weary, it would be Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting even if I had to make it myself. I even scanned my yellowing, greasy, pieced-together magazine clipping just for the delicious photo.

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting
12 oz (2 c) semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c butter
8 oz sour cream
4 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar (that means sift, then measure)

In a large saucepan melt the chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring frequently. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Makes 4 1/2 cups of frosting, enough to generously frost a multilayer cake. (It may look runny for a few minutes after you finish, so just keep beating it until it cools a little and stiffens up.)

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Catching up

Okay, so I’m a little behind on the blogging. And the housework. And my Inbox. Steve’s been traveling a lot (although it’s not his fault), and I seem to be happier and get a lot more things accomplished when he’s home. And I seem to have a pretty bad case of Babies on the Brain, so I tend to have more to talk about over on my other blog.In the jewelry department, I am working on a Bird Nest tutorial (pictured), cleaning off my workbench a little, ordering silver, embellishing some Viking Knit… Of course I like to actually finish something before telling you guys, but I thought I’d throw you a bone to let you know what’s in the pipeline. I went to an awesome bead show in Vienna, VA a few weeks ago and saw some of my favorite lampworkers, including Patti Cahill from Dyed in the Fire. Talk about little works of art! And yes, you heard me right. The market price of silver has been over $21/troy ounce this year and now it is around $9, so I will be adjusting kit prices accordingly.
Website update: When I said the site now has a “fresher, high-key” look, I didn’t realize that everybody except for me was seeing just a boring plain white screen aside from the text and pictures. It’s supposed to look like this, with a sage floral print in the background. I posted on a webmaster forum and got a quick response, so the problem should be fixed now. (You may need to hit Refresh to see.)Perhaps the next installment in my book collection should be The Lazy Housekeeper: Easily-cleaned surfaces, those that hide dirt, etc. I personally believe that dust is a protective covering, so my coffee table is actually “flocked”. If you’re in the market for a dog, choose one with short hair that doesn’t tumbleweed, thereby keeping your wood floors cleaner. Having a screened porch with brown indoor-outdoor carpeting has really cut down on the paw-wiping necessity, too. Now if I could only find a way to harness the energy in the wagging tail and apply that to the noseprints on the windows.

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New Look

I’ve been workin’ on my website
All the live-long day…

In case you’re new here, this here blog is not my main website. Clicking on the image above will take you there.

So what’s new? The color scheme is the same olive/khaki/cranberry, but now it has a fresher, high-key look. I customized the left-hand navigational menus on each page to (hopefully) make it easier to digest pages that have a lot of information. If you find bugs, please let me know (anne@annemade-jewelry.com).

Bum hurts, going to bed… (I really did sit in front of my computer all day)

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September Madness, Financial Edition

I know enough about what’s going on with the nation’s stock market and economy to know that I don’t want to know any more, and to be thankful that we are not retired. Instead of constantly complaining or worrying (gas prices, the looming bailout plan, whatever) I prefer it when people either do something about it or shut up already. I have a short fuse for Chicken Littles, but I am charmed by those who see imminent doom and choose to turn it into humor.

(Click to enlarge.)

Original post (Thanks, Mel!)
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Robo Calls

If you don’t hang out at your house during the day you may not have had the pleasure of picking up the phone to be greeted by a recorded message touting the merits of a particular politician. My phone rings only a couple times a day, so I get all excited only to find out it’s an unresponsive voice heralding doom about high gas prices or something. Political and charitiable calls are exempt from the National Do Not Call Registry, but Citizens for Civil Discourse is working on a political do not call registry. You have to register online, but I figure it’s worth it if the robots stop calling.

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A Page Of Its Own

Website update: I created a new page for stamped jewelry, accessible from the Custom Jewelry page or by clicking here. I figured it would be a better way to give people an idea about pricing and options before emailing me for a quote. This piece is made from rich low brass, which is an economical alternative to gold (currently trading at $918.50). Coulson and Charlie are my friend Val’s kids. Speaking of Charlies, if you haven’t seen the “Charlie Bit Me” video, you owe it to yourself to watch it.

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Refreshed

Steve and I spent this past week in St. Thomas. It was beautiful and I am so grateful for the time to recharge think about things I had on the back burner. We basked, ate like kings, shopped, visited St. John, and read a stack of books. But if it makes you feel better, I caught a cold and was miserable for a couple days too.
Pictured here is a piece of sea glass I found on our trip and submitted as a pendant for YOJ Week 3. We found only a few pieces of glass, largely because our hotel was located on a hillside overlooking Charlotte Amalie harbor, miles (and a $20 cab ride) from a beach. No real complaint about not going to the beach much; the pool doesn’t leave sand in my hair, and Pedro-the-snack-bar-guy kept us properly outfitted with fruity drinks. For the Vitamin C! An interesting tidbit about Charlotte Amalie: several streets retained their names from Danish occupation, so we were familiar with the words because of our Scandanavian travels.I’ve used CheapCaribbean.com twice now and are happy with their service… If you have vacation time and cold toes, check out their “Ends Soon” page (and notice that’s the total price including airfare). Just don’t go to Bermuda at this time of year, no matter how good the bargain!

More pictures…

cruise ship Bluebeard's Castle find the iguana dinner with a different view dinner with a view ferryroom with a view plumeria our pool more shopping StThomas2008Sapphire Beach sailboat night view shopping Louie & Louise when in the Virgin Islands yacht haven view of St John

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Facebook

I got a Facebook email from my father-in-law the other day, and today my friend Johnny was showing off his recent photo in Facebook with Taylor Swift, so I finally signed myself up. I feel like I showed up halfway through a party that nobody invited me to! This site is so neato. And I apologize for sending out “friends added” emails to my entire address book without knowing it, but at least I got to talk to my cousin Bonnie already (and I never get to see her). Anyway, I’m forcing myself to log off and go to bed or else I could be up all night looking at stuff in the new, beloved Facebook.