Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Diamonds & Pearl Bracelet

Our newest pearl bracelet for girls is dazzling!

A beautiful string of round, white freshwater pearls and a special 14 kt. gold clasp. The heart shaped 14 kt. yellow gold clasp has a white gold inset and has been set with 5 sparkly 1 pt. diamonds. The back of the clasp is solid yellow gold and has a "puffed" heart shape.

The safety clasp is the push-lock style that is easy to put on or remove.

Diamonds & Pearls is a beautiful new heirloom pearl bracelet for babies and children. This sweet baby bracelet makes a lovely, special gift for a special occasion or a special little girl.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

What's in a Name?

Grandmothers and grandfathers are called by various different names nowadays, although rarely are they called 'grandmother' or 'grandfather'.

When my oldest child began learning to speak she called my mother 'Nonna'. We aren't sure why, but it turned out that nonna meant grandmother in Italian. I doubt my two year old knew that but the name stuck and my mother has been called Nonna ever since.

My father-in-law was called Grandad by his first three grandchildren. The fourth one, however, chose a more practical name - "Hattie".

My father-in-law has been a civil attorney for decades. Every day that he went to work he always wore a hat. When he left for work he put on his hat, when he came home he took it off and hung it on his hook. For about two years my nephew continued to call him Hattie. He eventually began calling him Grandad to be like the other grandchildren; but we still fondly remember Hattie.

I came across another unusual name for grandfather just yesterday. I customized a complimentary gift card for a customer and the closing was, "With love, MeMe and Muddee". It's adorable! I just hope for MeMe's sake that the name wasn't acquired the same way Hattie was!!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Funnel Cake

A favorite summer food - yes, I consider funnel cakes food! We found a great recipe for this favorite treat, just like the ones you get at a local fair.
Our recipe comes from Moms Who Think. This recipe makes cakes that are light and fluffy. The recipe is simple to follow and it doesn't take a lot of time.

You'll be the best mom on the block with this treat.

1 egg
2/3 cup milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder

1. In a deep skillet, heat about two cups of oil over medium-high heat. Test the temperature by dropping a pinch of flour into the hot oil. If it sizzles right away without smoking, it's perfect.

2. Beat egg and milk. Mix all other ingredients in a separate bowl and slowly add to the egg mixture, beating until smooth.

3. Using a funnel, drop batter into hot oil working from center outwards in a web pattern. (You can use a gallon size freezer bag instead of a funnel by pouring the batter into the bag and snipping off a small corner.)

4. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, remove from the oil when golden brown and crispy.

5. Place on waiting paper towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

This recipe is definitely a 'keeper'!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Caring for Pearl Jewelry

Pearls are soft gemstones and need special care to maintain their quality and luster. Never store your pearls alongside other hard jewelry such as gemstones or metals. Pearls should be stored in a soft pouch or soft-lined jewelry box.

Pearls need moisture and they can be damaged by dry air. Pearl jewelry should be kept away from heat and sun as they will dry out, turn brown, and may crack.

Pearls do best if worn often. However, contrary to popular belief, the oils from skin are not good for pearls and they will need occasional cleaning. To clean your pearls soak a clean towel in warm water with a mild soap such as Ivory or an all-natural soap. Gently rub your pearls in the towel, then rinse off the soap with another moist (non-soapy) towel.

Never use dish detergent, laundry detergent, baking soda, or any cleaner on pearls. Do not use a toothbrush or other abrasive material as the pearls will be damaged.

After cleaning your pearls, lay them flat in a slightly moist kitchen towel to dry. When the towel is dry, the pearls should be dry too.

After wearing your pearls, wipe them off with a soft cloth (either dry or damp). This will prevent the accumulation of body oils and dirt. Occasionally use a drop of olive oil on the cloth to help maintain the luster of your pearls.

With good care, quality pearls can last for generations. Our high quality pearl baby bracelets can be worn by little ones now and passed on to future little ones!

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Aquamarine - March Birthstone

The birthstone for March is aquamarine, which comes in light blue to a dark blue color. The name is derived from its seawater color. The deep blue stones are more valued, and it can sometimes be confused with blue topaz. The bluish-green colored stones are most recognized as aquamarine.

Aquamarine gets it color from iron and is found in coarse-grained granite. The Moh's hardness is a 7.5 - 8; so it's not a delicate stone. Aquamarine is a member of the beryl family along with morganite (pink) and emerald (green).

The best source for aquamarines is Brazil, but it can also be found in Australia, India, Kenya, and other countries. The largest specimen of morganite was found in coastal Maine.

It is believed to bring the wearer a peaceful sense of calm. I think I need to wear aquamarine more often!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Southern Sweet Tea

There is nothing more wonderful than a cold glass of Southern sweet tea! Southerners just seem to know how to make iced tea that is absolutely wonderful.

Being a southerner, I can say it isn't difficult, but it does have to be done correctly. If you have never had this wonderful tea, give it a try.

This is how I make it:

Bring approximately 2 and 3/4 cups of water just to a boil. Remove from heat and put in 5-6 tea bags to steep with the pot lid on. I use Luzianne tea, but unless you are located in the south, you may not be able to find this brand. Usually a store brand is a good substitute; Nestea® and Lipton® are not good substitutes.

Let the tea steep for about 30 minutes or so. The longer it steeps, the darker it becomes. Then take out the tea bags; put them in a spoon and wrap the string around the spoon and bags to "squeeze" out the liquid.

Now pour the tea into a pitcher that will hold about 1 1/2 quarts. Pour 1 1/2 - 2 cups of sugar in the hot (this is important) tea and stir. Run the water from your faucet until hot, and slowly fill the pitcher with hot water. Stir the tea while adding the water. The hot water is important as otherwise the sugar will not dissolve and it won't taste right.

A 'foam' will develop on top while you are adding the hot water. Just scoop it off with a spoon. Then place the pitcher in the refrigerator to cool the tea. If kept in the refrigerator, the tea will stay good for several days - if you can keep it that long.

Add ice to glasses and pour yourself a glass of Southern sweet tea! The best there is.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gorgeous Smoky Topaz

Get rid of the winter doldrums with this gorgeous Smoky Topaz Necklace!
A double-strand of finely faceted smoky topaz in a medium color. These gemstones aren't 'washed out'; they have beautiful brown color!

The center has been set with a larger faceted stone that draws the eye. The smoky topaz has been paired with cream-colored Swarovski pearls and accents of oxidized sterling silver.

This elegant design is a perfect match for your winter outfits and will certainly get attention. Matching earrings are also available in either posts, leverbacks, or fishhooks.

You can find this gorgeous Smoky Topaz Necklace and matching earrings at The Gingham Grasshopper in our Adult Jewelry.

Brighten your winter with a wonderful new piece of jewelry.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Look for the New Year


The Gingham Grasshopper's blog has a new look for the new year. While attempting to make a simple change to our original blog layout, sadly, it blew up! And it could not be retrieved. So, we are starting the new year with a fresh design.

There will be a lot of changes and new things coming this year, we hope you will join us! We will post our new creations, coupons, and ideas right here. We are adding a new coupon for you to use now!

May the new year shower you with blessings!