March Madness Sale

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It is almost spring and time to celebrate the end of winter, so I am offering a sale on all items in my Etsy shop!

Treat yourself or a loved one with a beautiful handcrafted gift!  For a limited time only all items at my Etsy Shop are 50% off!  These are one of a kind items, as I don’t make duplicates.

Just use the coupon code HALFOFFSALE during check out! Don’t wait this offer expires on 3/23/16.  Below are just a few of the items available for sale. Check back as I am adding more.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did in making them.

Golden Squares Shawl

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This shawl actually started as a project re-work for the shawl ministry of which I am a part.  I had the golden hued yarn and wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to create, only that I wanted to do a crochet shawl using multiples of three.  WIN_20160208_23_42_16_ProThen I saw a picture of a scarf that had square openings and was inspired to incorporate something similar into a prayer shawl.

I started with a row of foundation single crochet.  Since discovering and learning this method about a year ago, I try to utilize it in all my crochet projects instead of using a beginning chain. The squares are made with triple crochet and chains with rows of half-double crochet. As I worked with the yarn and the square pattern, the design of the shawl began to emerge.  I was pleased with the results, so I decided to write up the pattern and make it available to others.

This is a great shawl to make for a shawl ministry (as I did), to create as a special gift for Mother’s Day, or even make to pamper yourself.

I hope you let me know if you decide to try this pattern.

Golden Squares Shawl by Mary Stanton

 

World Cancer Day

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Today, February 4th is World Cancer Day.  I imagine that most people have been touched by cancer in one way or another. They may have had cancer themselves, or been through this life-changing event with a loved one. Perhaps you know a neighbor, church member, or student who has had cancer.  Thankfully, with today’s advances in medicine the prognosis for cancer patients is improving. However, it all depends on catching the cancer early.

In January 2009, my father was diagnosed with late-stage throat cancer. he had ignored the signs and would not see a doctor until the cancer was quite advanced.  By mid-February we said our final goodbyes at his memorial service.  Later that same year, I too was diagnosed with cancer, fortunately my outcome was different.  I knew something was wrong, but not what and went through test after test, all with negative results until an ultra-sound finally uncovered what was wrong; I had bilateral ovarian cancer.

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With my mom, in 2010 after chemo-therapy. We are both wearing teal for ovarian cancer.

Today, I consider myself one of the lucky ones in that my cancer was discovered at stage 2, which is still an early stage.  Only 20% of all women with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at an early state.  Yet, an early diagnosis means a world of difference and an amazing 94% 5-year survival rate.  Unfortunately, there are no tests for early detection. Instead, it is important to know the symptoms and your body.

Signs & Symptoms:

  • Vaginal bleeding or discharge from your vagina that is not normal for you.
  • Pain in the pelvic or abdominal area (the area below your stomach and between your hip bones).
  • Back pain.
  • Bloating.
  • Feeling full quickly while eating.
  • A change in your bathroom habits, such as having to pass urine very badly or very often, constipation, or diarrhea.

If you experience one or a combination of these symptoms, and they persist for several weeks then you should see your doctor for an evaluation.  Being aware may save your life or the life of another woman.

For more information on ovarian cancer, please visit the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) or the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (OCNA).  You may also click on the link below to open a PDF file with information provided by NOCC.

http—ovarian.org-docs-NOCC14.08_PDF

It’s National Chocolate Cake Day

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A Day Honoring a Favorite Dessert!

I can never quite decide which I love more a luscious deep-dish apple pie fragrant with cinnamon, or a rich, melt-in-your-mouth slice of dark chocolate cake.  It never entered my imagination that there would be a special day for Chocolate Cake, until a good friend sent me an e-mail with a recipe for a microwave cooked Chocolate Cake in a Mug in honor of today.

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Watching my cake cook!

Of course I had to try the recipe, which is quite simple. The result is a somewhat spongy cake, with a pancake like under-taste. Not bad for a super quick cake to satisfy an craving for chocolate cake.   I am wondering how the recipe might fair if a rising agent were added, or perhaps self-rising flour were used, which I do not keep on hand as a staple.

For a microwave baked product, it is good and should be a hit with younger kids especially if they are watching through the microwave window when the cake starts to rise like a souffle!  It is puffs up quickly – almost like magic.  Make sure you use a LARGE mug; you only want the batter to fill about halfway up you cup.

My mug is now empty, as I was enjoying my cake as I was typing this review.  Hmmm, I haven’t had lunch today so maybe a second helping is in order.

Chocolate Cake in a Mug Recipe

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Mixed and Ready to Microwave!

Combine: 4 T flour, 4 T sugar, 1 T cocoa

Add to dry ingredients: 1 egg, 3 T milk, 3 T oil

Mix well. Bake 3 minutes in microwave. Cool and enjoy!

Optional Ingredients: 1 T of chocolate chips, or chopped nuts, or coconut

Let me know if you try this recipe and what changes you make!

Happy Microwave Baking!