Moxie & Mel

{September 29, 2006}   Excitement In The Shop!

Yay! The Moxie & Mel shop is getting there, and I finally have my very first knitted item – the “All That Glitters” scarf – for sale in the Moxie & Mel Etsy Shop!

Check it out here!


{September 26, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

Me! Me!  Pick Me!  I’m someone in the North!!  LOL  I am so excited about getting the shop open!  At this point I am just playing with hemp and waiting for some money that isn’t already spent to buy some more leather to make more belts.  I thought I had a good idea for a nice wide hemp pattern, but then realized that it kept growing wider and wider and I couldn’t figure out how to bring it back to skinny.  Kind of like me reaching 30!  LOL

Do you happen to have some lunch over there?  I’m hungry.  I don’t think there’s anything in the kitchen so I suppose I should go find somewhere that sells food.

Have a fantabulous day!



{September 25, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Since its been awhile for a crafty post…I now give you: The skinny scarf, a work in progress.

Work In Progress

Yep, I’m having a ball with this *grin*. I’ve mixed a suede yarn with an eyelash fun yarn to create this seascape of fuzzy comfort. It’s a happy little number in soft shades of blues and greens that reminds me of the ocean. I’m in love with it and might end up keeping it for myself, even though I have no idea when I’d wear it in Florida.  Of course, I’m just as tempted to let someone in the Frozen North have a bit of the seaside to wear out and about.

Can’t wait to finish it off and get started on the next one- a mix of feathery yarn in citrus colors over a burgundy suede background!

Hope all is well with you, and I promise to have pictures for you VERY soon! I’m hoping that, in the next week, the Moxie and Mel shop can open!

Love as always~


{September 21, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Wow what a whirlwind the last couple weeks have been! I have lots and lots to tell you, but I’ll try to stick to the important stuff.

First, working for 911 is really…challenging.  I’ll still be in training for the next five weeks, but I’ve already been answering non-emergency calls and will start taking the emergency calls on Friday night. Handling the calls/callers isn’t difficult; the problem for me is memorizing all of the vast amount of information you need to know. Dispatchers really do have their own language and learning it is really a challenge.

My schedule for the next few days is a bit wonky- I will be working Friday through Sunday 7pm-7am and then I will have Monday and Tuesday off, so if you don’t hear from me before those two days off, know I’ll get back with you as soon as possible!

One thing I have been enjoying is the early morning ride home. I’m not usually someone who is up with the sunrise, so getting a glimpse of it has been nice. I snapped a quick shot for you the other day, but it’s not very good (no tripod so it’s rather fuzzy).


Bubba is doing much better, thanks to the wonders of modern medicine. He was thoughtful though and shared his illness freely with everyone around him. I’m still fighting it and on some pretty good doses of sinus medication which make me feel like I’m floating around in a type of other-worldly fog. Fun times!

I haven’t had much of a chance to be creative lately as all my time has been devoted to working, sleeping and trying to recover from this icky illness, so I don’t have any crafty goodness to post right yet. However, I AM gearing up to make the shower favors for Miss Christine’s baby shower- duckie soaps. Should have those pictures soon.

As for the day of cooking, I’ve never been one to stock up on food. I believe that leftovers are evil and I am totally against thawing food to cook…lol. I know it’s a time saver and all that, but … ick. However, I do love me some fresh soups!

Here’s a recipe I’m quite fond of that you ladies might enjoy adding to your list. Keep in mind that you can add all KINDS of seasoning to taste as the base is somewhat ‘bland’ to those with an herb addiction like myself. I tend to be a little free with the garlic, rosemary, basil..Everglades name it.. *grin*

Broccoli Soup With Cheddar Cheese

Ingredients ~

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter, room temperature
2 pounds fresh broccoli, stems and florets separated and chopped into bite-size pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried
61/2 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream

3 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 cups (packed) grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 8 ounces)

Instructions ~

Melt 3 tablespoons butter in heavy medium pot over medium-high heat. Add broccoli stems and onion; sauté until onion is translucent, about 6 minutes.

Add garlic and tarragon; sauté 1 minute.

Add stock; bring to boil. Simmer uncovered until broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.

Stir in cream.

Mix remaining 3 tablespoons butter with flour in small bowl to make paste. Whisk paste into soup.

Add broccoli florets. Simmer until soup thickens and florets are tender, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly, then refrigerate uncovered until cold.

Cover and keep refrigerated. Bring to simmer before continuing.) Preheat broiler. Place 6 ovenproof soup bowls on baking sheet. Divide soup among bowls. Sprinkle 1/3 cup cheese over each. Broil until cheese melts and bubbles around edges, about 4 minutes.
I’m off to spend some quality time with my blankee and a cuppa tea. MMM. Hot tea.

~Love as always


{September 21, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

I was just wondering if you or any of our readers have ever done this. My cousin and I spend one day each Fall cooking and then freeze our creations in smaller portions and use them for quick meals during the winter when fresh vegetables aren’t readily available. In the past we’ve made cheesy potato soup with ham and vegetable soup with beef. Of course this long day of cooking usually requires a bottle of wine (a little for the soup, a little for the people) and involves a lot of giggling and sharing memories. That’s probably the best part, but the food is nice too. Especially for her. She has 3 girls at home and sometimes the hour it takes to make dinner is hard for her to find!

I wanted to share my vegetable soup recipe with you in case you’d like to try it!

2-3 lb. beef roast

1 large can of tomato juice

1 large can of beef stock

4 lbs potatoes

2 lbs green beans

12 ears of corn

1 large bag of frozen peas

1/2 pound of carrots

2 packages of celery hearts

2 large onions

1 large head of cabbage

2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes

Place roast in a slow cooker with 1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery, and 1/2 an onion cut into chunks. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add just enough water to cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours until the roast falls apart. While that is cooking, peel and cube potatoes, clean green beans and cut the big ones in half, cut the corn off the cob, chop celery and carrots, onion and cabbage. When meat is done, take it out of the cooker and reserve broth. Let meat cool until you can handle it. Pick it apart discarding any fat or other undesirable parts. Strain the reserved broth and add it to a large stock pot with the canned broth and tomato juice. Add carrots and celery and bring to a boil. After about 10 minutes at a rolling boil, add the meat and the rest of the vegetables and reduce to a simmer. Simmer about 1 1/2 hours. (of course frozen vegetables can be used and cooking time reduced, but that kind of defeats our purpose! LOL)

Now here’s the very important part. Let your soup cool completely before freezing. Someone once told me that if you put warm food in a cold place it will spoil much more quickly. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but I’m not taking any chances! LOL

I hope you enjoy!



{September 20, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

How are you feeling?  I saw on your google talk status message that you were very sick yesterday.  I’m hoping that you are feeling better.  How is Bubba?  His bronchitis clearing up at all?  Looks like Helene is going to miss y’all!  That’s good news!

On another note, it’s way so freezing here!  It’s only 48 degrees out there!  And windy too!  Unless it gets warmer this weekend I don’t think we’ll be going to the lake.

I’ve been playing with my sewing machine again.  I haven’t actually created anything with it yet, just learning how to sew a straight line and change the foot and stuff.  My machine is a dinosaur so according to anyone who sews, it’s very simple.  PFT!  Simple?  Maybe for you!  LOL  So anyway, I am working on the concept that it’s just a machine and it only does what I tell it to do in hopes of making some progress with it!  LOL

Well I’m off to rearrange my living room so that I can get my plant stand in front of a window.  It’s about time to bring the plants in.

Hope you are feeling better and have a wonderful day!

Huggzz to ya!


{September 11, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

Oh my goodness I laughed so hard at your “how redneck”! You wouldn’t believe how many people have those in their yards here! Like 1 in 5 houses sport those exact same pools all summer! Underground pools aren’t very practical because of the freezing and thawing of the ground, so you don’t see many of those here. To me, it doesn’t look “redneck” at all!

Soooooo, I went to the lake this past weekend. I had a really good time. I totally forgot to take any pictures! I’m going to have to put my camera on a strap around my neck like a tourist in Italy or something! We went out on the lake in the boat and the view was absolutely perfect. I can’t believe I forgot to take the camera! What’s wrong with me??? LOL I am going again next weekend and I promise to take some pictures. I’m also going to take my hemp and create while I’m there. I didn’t take any “work” along this weekend because I was trying to “get away”, but while I was there I had an overwhelming urge to create something and no material!

I just wanted to let you know that I made it back home safely and that I had a good time. I will tell you more about it when I can give a “photo tour”.



P.S. The Howard Miller clock was about $9700, but that was discounted from the SRP of $17,000 according to the tags. LOL

{September 8, 2006}   Dear Mel-

Oh now I am so jealous I can hardly stand it. That carousel is just gorgeous. Mom wants to know when it’ll be delivered, said she’ll take the pool down to make room for it. Yes…I said take the pool down.  How redneck are we? Inflatable pool. Here’s a picture:

So yes..your trip. Amazing pictures. Love the shot of your Mom and Sis. Totally fell for those quilts! I want a hawaiian shirt quilt! If anyone out there can sew and wants to send me one, I’d like it in bright tropical colors. *grin*

That clock is stunning. I’d love to have it delivered for you for Christmas, but I’m sure it probably costs as much as a small third world country. And now…

Ahhhh. The chocolate. Big fat size of your hand chocolate. I can’t believe you are teasing everyone with those pictures of rows and rows of yummy treats. How wrong is that? I’d like a dozen of the turtles please. Can you have them shipped to my work? Great!

Speaking of work, the new schedule is really running me ragged. I’m working 6pm-2am. Bed about 3am then up at 7am to take Bubba to school. Back home at 9 and study/work until 11, then sleep until 2pm. Pick up Bubba from school at 2:30, then home by 3 and pick up the older two from the bus stop at 3:45. In the shower at 4:15, out the door to work by 5:30. I can’t wait for training to be over and a ‘normal’ shift to kick in! I need eight consecutive hours of sleep! Since I am so sleep deprived, I thought I would give you the cliff notes version of my thoughts today…

Websites I love:

I love love love that they tell you all about the animal your fibers are coming from. How much does THAT rock? Ah if only they had….

My current obsession:

Citrus bc Colonia Knitting / Felting Yarn

A comment on Project Runway:

Yay! I couldn’t be happier! Vincent AND Angela gone. I know, I know…you don’t watch the show. Trust me though, you would be cheering as loudly as I am over it. Angela had a ‘style’ that meant putting rosettes E V E R Y W H E R E and her stuff looked more like a bag lady’s attire than a designer outfit.  Then there was creepy Vincent, who would say things like (in response to the judges poo pooing his design) “Well it got me off”. EWWWWWWWW. Creepy guy. Yuck.

Myspace: Moxie and Mel’s Myspace page is up and running. Check it out here:

Make sure you add us to your friends!

My next project:

Got to – got to! – finish the second sock for Miss Christine and the second panel of the-afghan-that-ate-my-life. Then ..maybe a bigger version of the bag? Maybe I can fit a small headband into the schedule soon too.

Hope you have a good weekend at the lake!


{September 7, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

I had a FABULOUS time in Shipshewana yesterday! I got some fantastic photos also! I think I finally figured my camera out! I say that, but hope that you don’t expect “Moxie quality” pics, but I thought they came out pretty well for a camera that fit into the “Mel budget”! LOL

I was able to visit the huge flea market that they have there on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday during the summer. I’ve never been there during the week before so yesterday was a nice treat. There must have been 1,000 vendors there offering their wares at negotiable prices. Of course there were the booths that had boxes and boxes of “dollar store” stuff, but there were also many true crafters on hand demonstrating their hand created items that you can’t find anywhere else. I was especially drawn to a local artist offering her oil paintings in frames that were built by her husband. Such beautiful artwork and at a very reasonable price. Just FYI, if you ever get the chance to visit Shipshe (dubbed by the locals) flea market, be sure to arrive by 9 o’clock in the morning in order to see everything! They roll up the sidewalks in that town around 5 each evening with the exception of a couple stores and restaurants.

I took 22 photos, but I’ll just post a couple here then if you want to see the rest you can go to my flickr account and see those.

Let’s start with the pictures of the carousel!

I wish I could have gotten a better angle on it, but there was a huge window behind it and the afternoon sun was shining in brightly!

After my mom and sister were done looking at every single thing that was for sale on the 3rd floor of The Davis Mercantile Community, they FINALLY followed a very antsy Mel to the 1st floor to visit Lolly’s!

I couldn’t resist taking these pictures in “heaven”! LOL Oh no! I just realized that I forgot to get a pic of the “boatload of fat quarters”. A quilter’s dream! They have a small rowboat inside the store that is overflowing with quarter yards of a zillion different prints of fabric!

After my sister drug me from the store kicking and screaming, we started down the main street in town where all of the homes built from the late 19th century to the early 20th have been converted into specialty shops.

Our next stop was The Riegsecker Marketplace. They have a huge line of Howard Miller clocks and handcrafted furniture.

By the way, If you can possibly fit this in my stocking, I would love you forever!!! LOL

After more walking and shopping we made our way to “the big red barn” AKA Yoder’s Dutch Country Store.

There are 9 shops inside including Lotions And Potions and Shipshe Log Furniture. There is also a beautiful country scene mural, painted by a local artist, on the wall over the front doors.

By the time we were done browsing there, we were in need of a little pick-me-up, so we found a little shop that is now rivaling Lolly’s for my favorite!

Need I say more??? With all that beautiful chocolate staring me in the face and calling to me, you would be proud to know that I only indulged in ONE piece!

Granted, it was as big as my head, but I only ate ONE piece of chocolate all day! LOL BTW, you can have some of these South Bend Chocolate Company turtles shipped to your door!
Believe it or not, after the chocolate shop, we stopped for some authentic Amish home cooking and then started on our trek back home. It was a wonderful day filled with my very favorite things. Crafts, crafting supplies, the company of my family, and of course CHOCOLATE!

If the clock doesn’t fit into my Christmas stocking, maybe you could just stuff a zillion more days like yesterday into it!

Big Huggzz–


{September 6, 2006}   Dear Moxie–

The time has finally come!  I’m off to Shipshewana!  My mom had a meeting yesterday afternoon so we weren’t able to go yesterday, so today’s the day!  I remembered the camera this time.  It’s in my purse!  I’ll get that picture of the carousel for you!



et cetera