Game Day Recipe!

Super Bowl 45 is this Sunday, and here in Pittsburgh it is Steeler Fever! On the local TV station all you hear is interviews with the players, plans for game day parties, and their favorite song “HERE WE GO” !

I thought I would share with you my favorite dip! Caramelized Onion Dip, this is not your instant soup mix dip, the flavor is so much more intense and it is so easy to make.



See all that caramelized onion bit goodness!

Hope you enjoy the game this Sunday!

Hugs, Margaret


Valentine Freebie!

I’m in New Stanton, PA for three weeks and with lots of time on my hands, lots of time to play with Photoshop Elements 9 and create lots of new art. With all the snow on the ground I won’t be outside much taking new pictures, only one’s that can be captured from the car with the window down for a few minutes to click and then roll the window back up to keep from freezing.

Yesterday I promised you another freebie! It’s a little later in the day, but we have been having internet problems here at the motel. I imagine it’s because of the rain which does weird things to the internet satellite. But here it is!

This Valentine Subway art is made up of all your favorite words associated with Valentine’s Day! When you download this it will not have the black frame on it, I thought it would look great put in a black frame so I wanted to let you picture it that way.

This picture is an original art piece, starting with making the background paper adding the shaded art and adding the words in many different fonts.

I have been thinking of making an original art picture for wedding couples, using a similar format but in color of their choice and including a picture of the couple. Don’t you think this would make an original gift to give to the new couple? If you are interested you can contact me and I will be delighted to work on your project.

Enough babbling! To download this picture click on the picture itself and it will take you to BOX.NET where you can download it. The reason I am using this format is so you can get the picture in the highest possible quality. Today it is not in a zip format. It’s in JPEG so all you have to do is download and you can send it to Costco or Sam’s club and print out in whatever size you want.

Please leave a comment if you download so I know if anyone is downloading. Also if you click subscribe in the right hand side column my blog will be delivered to you in an email.

Thanks so much to you who read my blog!

Hugs, Margaret

Valentine Bookmark

Tomorrow is the first day of February so we are 15 days away from Valentine’s Day. This is a good opportunity for me to give you my friends a gift! Actually I have two gifts planned, one today and one tomorrow, and did I mention free!

I’m updating my blog so if the background and header look funny, it’s because I have changed formats to a wider photo friendly size. When I get finished the pictures will be able to display larger so you can see more details.

I’m also trying out this format for being able to download my gifts. I’m using BOX and all you have to do is go to this link and download to your computer. It is in a zip file so right click and extract. This is all new to me so if this doesn’t work well, please leave comments so I can work out all the kinks before I open my Etsy store.

Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for your second free gift!



Mail Pouch revisited

This picture is of a Mail Pouch Barn in Ruffsdale, Pa, you may remember the picture I posted during the summer of the same barn?

We took a drive today, and decided to take a picture of the barn in the winter with snow.

We have been in New Stanton, PA for the past week, it has snowed every day we’ve been here and has been fairly cold so I haven’t been out taking many pictures.

I noticed this tree yesterday outside the motel and wanted to take a picture of the ice hanging on the berries.

Nature is so beautiful! The snow on the mountains around Pennsylvania reminds me of a Grandma Moses painting.

I’ll leave you with one more of the Mail Pouch Barn. It is one taken from the road and if you look to the left of the picture you see the farmer and his horse and there was a goat out there with them.

While I’m here in Pennsylvania, I have lots of time to work on Photoshop Elements9 which I got just before Christmas and have been learning all the new features. I’ve been learning how to make digital scrapbook pages and digital cards.

I’m still in the process of opening the Etsy store and developing ideas for it. I will try and post some valentine art I’ve made in the next few days.



New Year, new ideas!

Another Christmas and New Year has come and gone! 2011 is here and with lots of new ideas and plans for the coming year!

One of those ideas this year is to actually publish my art. I’m in the process of setting up an Etsy store to sell my photography and digital art. I’m going to start with note cards and prints! And we will see where it goes from there!

I have designed and posted on Facebook a lot of these pictures with either a scripture or a quote that was applicable. I have been encouraged by my friends Debbie Rose Hosken and her cousin Dana Ledbetter back when I first started putting them up and it would take me 4-5 hours of learning how to manipulate Photoshop Elements to be able to post. I was in Pittsburgh and three hours ahead of my California friends and I would post one and Dana would immediately post back how much she liked this one and how it was just what she needed to start her day. She would be at the gym at 5 in the morning, working out and posting on her phone.

Many of you, who know me, remember the embroidery days when I started out with a mobile trailer and a couple of embroidery machines. That is where the name Ewenique came from, my original business was called Ewenique Stitches and my husband of thirty years, Steve and I would go to livestock shows, fairs, dog shows, Home and Garden Shows, Horse Shows, you name it, we went. We even went to a chicken show once! Steve always had so much faith in our abilities and I was always the one who had to be perfect, had to get it right. It was six months before I would sell any embroidery because I didn’t think my work was quite good enough. But I had good friends at the Kern County Fair who would order shirts and then awards and eventually I began to have confidence in my work. After we had been embroidering for a few years I had someone at a show bring me a jacket with a beautiful embroidery job on the back and wanted me to put an award placing on the front of the jacket. I said to her “Who embroidered the back? The work is beautiful” She replied..You did!

That is when I knew that as particular as I was, that sometimes you have to be away from a project to realize it REALLY IS GOOD! I’m not saying this to brag on my work or my art but to show you what a stickler I am for detail, and why it takes me so long to be willing to sell my art. I’m not quite the “perfectionist” I used to be, I’ve come to realize in life that there are many things you can’t control, you can only do your best.

Steve passed away unexpectedly in 2005 and I couldn’t bring myself to embroider anymore, it took two people to work a show, I did most of the designing, selling and setting up the machines, and Steve did the actual sewing. He was so good with it! Steve had been born a truck driver into a trucking family and had never done anything else but “Truck” he grew our trucking business from a one truck operation to a large business with five tractors and twenty sets of double trailers. The stress of running a business in California and all the “Government” rules and regulations and the high price of fuel caused us to look at a simpler way of making a living.

We had started the embroidery business as a part time hobby, but after we started going to shows we saw we could make a living from embroidery and sold off a lot of the trucking equipment, still doing both part time. The stress of the trucks was really getting to Steve and he decided to quit trucking permanently. He told me “that if he didn’t, the trucking would kill him” But he really enjoyed embroidering and he could make those machines hum! I guess it was the being “mechanical” he could work on anything on a truck and he could do the same with an embroidery machine. I remember at one of our first shows at the Kern County Fair, when we only had one machine and a lot of work backed up, the embroidery machine quit! right in the middle of a full jacket back. He got on the phone and a technician talked him through repairing it there at the fair. Later he said he would never be put in that position again and went out and bought a second machine. He took a lot of ribbing from his truck driving friends asking him if he “was still doing that sewing stuff” he would just smile and say this was the best job he’d ever had, that people always were glad to see you come and left smiling with their merchandise.

I’ve sorta digressed in telling my plans for the New Year, but I find that when the story starts to come, I had better write it. For so long I couldn’t talk about it without the tears coming, but I want to leave these stories for my kids and grandkids to know their father and grandfather a little better.

So now those of you, who have wondered where the name “Ewenique” came from, now know. You know a little about my artistic side. My love for photography developed in the last few years when I got a digital camera that I love and I learned how to take good pictures and edit them, from learning on the internet and taking classes. I’ve learned Photoshop Elements after two years of practicing and now I’m to the place where I think my work is good enough to offer!

Keep watching I will be telling you more about my online store in the next few weeks! (By publishing it here, it kinda forces me to do it! Don’t you think?)

I participated in a challenge at Digital Whisper for the 12 days of Christmas, everyday Kimmie would give us a challenge and a tutorial for a new technique in Photoshop. I was able to complete day 1, 9 and day 12.

The challenge for day one was “A partridge in a Pear tree” made with floral brushes. I already knew how to work with brushes, but I used an effect pattern in PSE9 called dried mud to make the gold looking color.

I looked at all the other days challenges and bookmarked them for a later time, because I had a lot of projects going and didn’t feel like I had 4-5 hours to play in PSE learning a new technique.

This picture was for day 9 –Nine ladies dancing. The challenge was to take the background picture and add a ballerina to it. My ballerina was a black and white image that I colored and blended to give an ethereal look to her. This is the tutorial we were given, it was written using Photoshop CS5, I had to adapt some of the techniques to work in PSE9.

I received an early Christmas present from Harvey of PSE9, I am really enjoying the new features. I had version 7 before and wasn’t sure if it was worth updating, but Amazon ran a special before Christmas and I got it for $50.00 so I thought I would update. Sure glad I did

So after we finished our Christmas dinner, while everyone else watched a football game, I played and made this picture.

I looked at the challenge for day 12 and thought I can do this today! Since I knew how to add borders and frames already, the other part of the challenge was to download music brushes and use it in your picture. I added the music brushes to the outside border to make the frame.

The poinsettia art was from The Graphics Fairy , check out her page for Brag Monday where you can see a lot of different art using her free graphics.


I hope you all had a nice Christmas with your family,

Hugs, Margaret

I’m linking this to Brag Monday

My sister Raynessa was a great cook, and loved to prepare for the holidays. She had at least two decorated Christmas trees, one in particular I remember was her “Cowboy Tree,” she made rope lasso’s and red bandana covered ornaments. We would go to her house for holiday dinners and there was always lots of her Rocky Mountain fudge.

I’m thinking this picture was taken in the 90’s , that’s me on the right and Raynessa next to me, and all our kids, my sister Diane (Madaline) must have taken the picture since she’s not in it!

Raynessa made Rocky Mountain Fudge for every occasion and get together we had in our family. My son Steven (That’s him making the goofy face around age 10) loved her fudge and would call her just to see if she was bringing it! I want to share with you her recipe:

Note: Raynessa used Candi-Quik, but I can’t seem to find it so I use the Walmart brand, called Plymouth Pantry Almond Bark.


When we were both first married and didn’t have a lot of experience cooking we decided to make English Toffee, we had never made candy before but decided we would give it a try. We spent the whole day laughing and goofing around, what fun we had, and we actually made a good batch of English Toffee and had some left to take home.

So today I’m making Rocky Mountain Fudge and English Toffee, remembering my beautiful sister Raynessa with fond memories, she passed away in 2005, five months after Steve passed away. I wasn’t able to really grieve her leaving us because I was still hurting so bad from having lost Steve. Today was healing for me to remember her with such good thoughts and making candy is always cathartic. We miss her, but her love of fun, and love of the holidays will alway remain with us.

I posted a version of this in 2008, but when I went to find the candy recipe today, I had to look on my blog for the recipe since I couldn’t seem to find a copy in my files. I decided I would update that post and make some new recipe cards using some of my favorite vintage Santa’s that I found over at