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1  PURSES, BAGS, WALLETS / Purses, Bags, Wallets: Discussion and Questions / Handbag Hanger on: March 29, 2004 08:31:30 AM
This Handbag Hanger can't be that hard to make. Has anyone made anything like this? I think the idea is brilliant.
2  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Crockpot Chicken Taco Soup on: March 19, 2004 02:19:31 PM
I love easy recipes. This one takes less than five minutes prep time. You only need to know how to use a can-opener and a crockpot to make this one.

Ingredients:
2 large cans of chunk white chicken breast (I use the 98% fat free)
2 cans of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies*
1 bag frozen corn and black bean salad mix**
1 packet of powdered ranch dressing mix
1 packet of taco seasoning
water
tortilla chips

Directions:
Dump all of the ingredients (except the tortilla chips) into your Crockpot. Add 1-3 cans (empty ro-tel can) of water until it's near the top. Set the crockpot to low, stir occassionally. When it's as warm as you want it - it's ready.

When it's close to the time you want to serve, crunch up tortilla chips and stir those in. The more chips you add the more this will be like stew instead of soup - that's up to you. Optional: garnish with shredded cheese and cilantro.

This makes a lot - a crockpot full. It seems to freeze well if you want to save it. It shares well - have friends or family over. And like most soups, it's even better the next day.

* If you want it spicier - look for the HOT Ro-tel or use Tabasco. If you want it less spicy, substitute diced tomatoes (without the chilies).

** C&W makes a frozen black bean and corn salad that is sold with the frozen veggies. If you can't find this - substitute a can of corn and a can of black beans.
3  Texas / Texas: North Central / Dallas Thrift Stores on: March 17, 2004 12:24:24 PM
I put "Dallas Thrift Stores" into google and got amazing results - see for yourself.

Do any of you know any of these? I'd love to hear of any reviews or recommendations.

I personally love the Goodwill at Shiloh and Beltline in Garland/Richardson. I find some really fun stuff there. I had a ball going through the necktie bin. I picked up several for around a $1 or less each that I am sure I'll make something out of.

And for clothes - I love the Buffalo Exchange on lower Greenville in Dallas.
4  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Quick and Easy Beer Bread on: March 17, 2004 12:02:08 PM
This one is so easy and so yummy...

Ingredients:
3 cups of self rising flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
1 bottle of beer (room temperature)*
1/2 stick of margerine or butter, melted

Mix the flour, sugar, and beer in a plastic or glass bowl. Don't mix it too much - you just want everything blended. Dump the mixture into a glass (Pyrex) loaf pan. Drizzle the melted butter over the top. Bake at 350 F for 1 hour.

That's it. It comes out crusty and buttery on the outside and soft on the inside. It's too yummy and great with soup.

*You can use non-alcoholic beer - it works fine. Also, try using different types of beer for different flavours. I made it with a raspberry beer once and then ate it as a breakfast bread with raspberry jam. Yum.
5  SEWING IN GENERAL / Sewing in General: Discussion and Questions / sewing tip: pinning made easy on: March 17, 2004 08:15:25 AM
Let me start by saying that I am VERY new to sewing. I've just been learning how to use my sewing machine over the past couple months. Yeah, I'm 30, but you can learn something new at any age!

One of my frustrations has been with something that SHOULD be very simple - pinning pieces together so that you can sew. I am just not good at this. After poking my fingers, bleeding on the fabric and or getting the pins caught up in the foot on the sewing machine, I thought, there has to be an easier way.

Those of you that are truely gifted with sewing may laugh at this, but for me, this works wonders. I STAPLE the fabric pieces together. Yeah you read that right - I just used my desk stapler and stapled instead of pinning. I could staple right up to the edge and save my fingertips, sewing machine, and sanity. The staples come out super easily, the foot of the machine glides right over them and the holes are not bigger than what you would get from pinning.

I know this is unconventional, but if someone out there is like me and having trouble with some of the sewing basics - this may help you too.
6  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Discussion and Questions / Jewelry Making Supply Box on: March 16, 2004 10:34:10 PM
Jewelry making is one of my craft hobbies. I have tons and tons of beads and bits and bobs, findings, tools, etc. After hauling all my little separate bead boxes around in a Target bag (or 2), I decided to look for something better and found it.

The Flambeau 2-Drawer Kwikdraw tackle box is perfect. You can see (and buy) this one a a few others in the Kwikdraw line here: http://www.flambeaustore.com/.

It has smaller boxes that you can slide out and plenty of space. You'll be amazed at how much this thing holds and how organized everything is. It's made to stand up to rough treatment, so don't worry about banging it around. The $25 price has been more than worth it for how tidy (and portable) all my jewelry supplies are now. I highly recommend it.

It's great for jewelry because of all the small compartments for beads, but the dividers are all movable so it would work great for a lot of craft or art needs. And because it's a fishing tackle box (instead of an "art" box) the price is lower.
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