Saturday, December 31, 2011

Receive 10% off your order of $50 or more.  Use Discount Code THANKS10 at checkout on my website.

Have a safe and happy New Year from Sue Runyon Designs.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas !

Merry Christmas to you and yours from Sue Runyon Designs.

I wanted to show you our Nativity set.  It's a Fisher-Price one that my best friend got for my little guy on his first Christmas.  As will happen at our house, a few strange creatures have come to pay their respects to baby Jesus. And I do realize that Joseph was a carpenter and not a shepherd, but the research and development department at Fisher-Price is a little bit confused. We'll pray for them.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Follow by e-mail

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Butterhorn rolls recipe

My Grandmother, Phebe Cotton, made these for special occasions. The family always looked forward to them. They are rich with butter and are a little bit sweet. They make the best turkey sandwiches the day after Thanksgiving with a little mayo and some cranberry sauce. I started making them when we were first married and now my husband and son think they cannot have a major holiday without them. Frankly, they are kind of a pain to make as they only ever raised quickly for my grandmother in her overheated kitchen.

Servings: 36
Yield: 3 dozen

 Notes: These may take quite a while to raise since the dough is very rich with butter.  Grandma Cotton kept her kitchen HOT and that helped.  Find a very warm place for them to rise and they'll do much better.

1 cup milk, scalded (bring just to boil in saucepan and remove from heat)
1/2 cup cold butter
3 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar, plus more for sprinkling
1 teaspoon salt
1 package yeast
4 1/2 cups bread flour, or more or less as needed
1/4 cup butter, at room temperature for forming rolls

1.    Cool scaled milk by adding the butter to it and set aside.  Beat the eggs and add the sugar to the eggs.  Add salt.  Add the yeast to the cooled milk and butter making sure first that the liquid is not too hot or cold for the yeast.  Add yeast mixture to the egg mixture.  Add flour until dough is  firm enough to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

2.    Knead dough and form it into three equal balls and let raise in a greased bowl.  Roll the balls around in the grease so they will separate.

3.    When very light, roll or pat balls into 1/2 inch thick circles.  You should not need to flour the surface as the dough is very buttery and shouldn't stick.  Spead each circle with butter.  Cut each circle into 12 pie shaped wedges (or only 8 for 2 dozen larger butterhorns).  Stretch each wedge out and roll from base to point.  Place on a greased baking sheet with point tucked underneath.  Sprinkle each with sugar if desired.

4.    When light and fluffy, bake at 375 degrees on the top rack of most ovens.

first rising of dough--keep it very warm
dough patted down, spread with butter and cut into wedges to roll up

Friday, December 2, 2011

Dragonflies dressed up

You may find this maroon dragonfly ornament in my shop a little oddly colored, but it was inspired by my family's trip to Cambodia.  Below you'll see a photo we took while in the ancient city of Angkor.

Maroon/burgundy dragonfly ornament copper $12 each or 3 for $24.

Dragonfly ornaments

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Put your orders in early

My orders from today
This year there is a lot of emphasis on buying items made in your own country, buying local and buying handmade. All of these things support your economy better than buying mass produced items from other countries.

Remember, however, to buy early. The guy at the farmers market with the local honey will probably sell out early. Your local bookstore may not have time to re-order an out of stock book if you wait too long. And artisans from all over the country are more than happy to make custom items for you, but most cannot do it at the last moment. Quality handmade items take time.

I am blessed to be able to have on-line storefronts on my own website, on and on  I know from experience over the last few years that me and my fellow artisans with on-line shops get a spate of last minute requests that we have to turn down. If you place your custom requests now you still have time for most of them to make some very special items for you.  If you wait another week or two you may miss out on some fabulous gifts.

And if you are unsure where to start finding incredible handmade items on-line, I know dozens of wonderful artisans I can direct you to.  Just ask!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksiving from Sue Runyon Designs

I love Christmas cactus. Except . . . well, they always seem to bloom at Thanksgiving for me. So maybe they should be called Thanksgiving cactus. I've never been able to keep one for long as we are always moving and I end up giving them away, but we found this one at the local plant nursery this year. It was in bud and we didn't know what color it would be, but it's a lovely pale apricot color and we are enjoying it.

 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
I Thessalonians 5:16

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

$50 Gift Certificate Give-a-way

On Cyber Monday, November 28, I will be giving away a $50 Sue Runyon Designs Gift Certificate to one of my e-mail newsletter subscribers.

If you are already one of my subscribers you are entered to win and you don't need to do a thing. As always, my e-mail newsletter subscribers are automatically entered in ALL of my give-a-ways.

To become a subscriber sign up here.

Newsletters are sent by e-mail no more than 6 times per year and you can opt out at any time.

Best Wishes,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

NEW Items: Natural lavender filled linen sachets with hand tatted motifs

I see beautiful lavender filled linen sachets for sale and always wonder what happens when the lavender scent eventually goes away or it gets dusty or dirty?  So I designed these with removable cotton mesh inserts. You can remove the insert and add drops of essential oil to refresh the scent. Covers can be washed on delicate and then pressed with a hot iron. Materials are all natural, and high quality. These are in my shop in plenty of time for Christmas shopping. They make excellent hostess gifts, teacher gifts, secret Santa gifts and stocking stuffers.

Natural/purple Set of 2 for $17.50
Inserts are removable for refreshing with essential oil or laundering the covers
The lavender is very fragrant. The rose has a mild and pleasant scent and you can add the essential oil of your choice to it.

Natural/Ivory Set of 2 for $17.50
Natural/White Set of 2 for $17.50
White/Black Set of 2 for $17.50
White/Lavender Set of 2 for $17.50

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you to our Veterans!

from Pensacola Air Show today

Off we go into the wild blue yonder,
Climbing high into the sun;
Here they come zooming to meet our thunder,
At 'em boys, Give 'er the gun! (Give 'er the gun!)
Down we dive, spouting our flame from under,
Off with one helluva roar!
We live in fame or go down in flame. Hey!
Nothing'll stop the U.S. Air Force!

1939 by Robert MacArthur Crawford

from Pensacola Airshow today

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's a Lego Christmas !

Since my son, Caleb, was born, we've been collecting some ornaments for his special little tree each Christmas. We try to find something that relates to his current interests or where we've been during that year.  This year his favorite thing has been Legos and a Lego Star Wars game on his Wii game system. This past weekend I gave him the "Ultimate Lego Christmas Ornament Challenge." He was up for it.

My Lego Christmas penguin with Caleb's Lego Star Wars canister
I had to give it a try too.  There may be more in the works, but this is my Lego Christmas penguin and Caleb's Lego Star Wars game "canister." Apparently the canister has some sort of function in the game that I don't understand, but which is very is important. I think my penguin has something of an Angry Birds look to it, but that's all in keeping with the year 2011 anyway. These will be glued together and a hanging string added to make permanent ornaments. I'll probably write the year on them with a permanent marker.

My Dr. Who tardis police box time machine
 We've enjoyed watching the series Dr. Who on BBC this year so above is my version of Dr. Who's police box time machine the Tardis.


Monday, October 31, 2011

UMC World Bazaar and Benefit

Thanks to all those who came out to the UMC World Bazaar and Benefit in Niceville on Saturday and to the organizers. I was swamped for a little while there. Turned out to be a great show.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Spiral post earrings: more selection than before!

I've been making more of my spiral gemstone earrings in various gemstones and metals. I've also been trying out my new camera for the photos.  I'm starting to get the hang of using it--I think.

Opalescent glass gold filled $15

Red agate gold filled orange $15

Strawberry quatz sterling $13

Tiger eye gold filled $15

Unakite green & coral copper $10

Yellow jade and copper $10

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

New Items: tatted linen sachets

Coming soon to my on-line shops:

I'm working on these linen sachets to have ready for Christmas. They are filled with either very aromatic lavender or rose petals. I didn't photograph the backs this time, but they have cotton mesh inserts that contain the botanicals that can be removed in order to refresh them with drops of essential oils to keep them forever and so that the sachets can be washed without washing the botanicals.

I am also making these in white and natural linen (these are in ivory linen though the ivory didn't photograph well in artificial light this time) and in different colors of tatting. This is just the first batch that has been completed.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Studio: packing and shipping

When you work from home sometimes space can be limited. Since we moved from Utah to Florida, I no longer have a large basement studio space so I'm thankful that I have a decent sized office space to work in. I'll show you more photos another time, but I wanted to show you my packaging/shipping/receiving station today.

My Shipping and Receiving station in my home studio

The quilt on the wall is one that my mom made and I hand quilted. The colors look nice in this room.  It is called "Peppermint and Sassafrass." The rug is one my husband purchased while stationed in Turkey. The picture on the wall to the left is one we purchased in South Korea when we lived there and it shows plum blossoms and has a Bible verse (I Thess 5:16-18) written in Korean.

Notice the bed risers that I've used to increase the height of the table
It is such a luxury to have one clear flat surface to pack outgoing orders and to unpack supply orders on. I raised the table up to waist level with inexpensive bed risers. I placed small pieces of non-slip mat in the top of the bed risers to keep them from sliding around. When I do a show I use this table and the bed risers so it does double duty then. It's a 5 ft folding table so it's easy to take with me. On the table I keep a paper cutter to trim down the shipping labels/postage that I print off of my computer to fit on my small jewelry packages. I also have a postage meter, some customs slips for International orders, business cards, packaging tape and a few other supplies. On the metal shelf unit to the right I keep all of my tissue paper, boxes, padded envelopes, jewelry boxes, pouches and everything else I need for shipping.  Inventory fits underneath so it's handy to ship as well as some boxes that are packed with lights, tablecloths and display items for shows.

We tend to move a lot so I've never bothered to invest in permanent office or studio furniture. This will have to do until my husband retires and we stop moving. It is very functional. I hope you enjoyed the mini tour.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

New Items: tiny post earrings

I've been making these teeny, tiny post earrings. They are all made from pearls or gemstone beads that range from 3.5-4.5mm in size and are all wire wrapped by me with either copper, sterling silver or gold filled wire. Tiny earrings are perfect for young girls, ladies who prefer the dainty look in earrings and second piercings. The pearl styles especially are suitable for bridesmaids.  Pictured are a few that I already have listed in my shops and I'm in the process of photographing and listing more.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

New Camera/Old Camera and Soapmaking

I just got a new camera! I've been using a little, cheap old point and shoot to take all my jewelry pictures for years. I've maxed out its few capabilities and need to move on. I admit I don't enjoy photography and don't understand it very well. I've been playing with my new Samsung NX100 and have just barely begun to understand what all those little icons are for in the menu. This is probably not the go-to camera for the "Photography for Dummies" crowd, but I'll see what I can do. The manual claims to be in English, but I don't believe it.

These are some before and after photos using my old and new cameras and taking photos of the handmade soap that I just made for my family. Photographing small sparkly objects like jewelry is gonna take some more study. All of these are completely unedited and taken on automatic without a tripod in somewhat dim light during a rainstorm . . . and . . . I don't think I held the camera very steady.

New. The new camera can be set for square format
New. Much truer color--same type of soap as above.
Old. All the soaps look kind of grey.
New. You can see the subtle color differences in the soap.

New. My soaps curing on the windowsill.
About the soap:
For more information on how I make my homemade soap, read this blog post I did a while back. My soaps aren't particularly colorful or pretty. I like a big, chunky, hand-cut, rustic bar with natural ingredients.

These are the types of soaps that I just finished making. These should last us a while:

* honey oatmeal (last photo)
* lavender with bentonite clay marbled (photo 5&6)
* sandalwood/patchouli with red Morrocan clay marbled (second photo)
* cedarwood/lime leaf with green French clay marbled (second photo)
* Caleb's sensitive skin shampoo bar with neem, green tea and calendula (top photo)
* grapefruit/hybiscus with poppyseeds (photo 5&6)
* vanilla bean spice swirled (photos 3&4)