Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Anatomy of A Birthday Cake

We recently celebrated my husband's (Warren's) birthday. His favorite part of the celebration was that his 11 year old Granddaughter, Olivia, made his cake from start to finish.

As many of you know, Warren is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy. He appreciates and analyzes how things are made. And this cake was no exception.

Olivia is on her way to becoming the family's official cake baker. For her birthday two years ago, we got special permission for her to enroll in an adult Wilton cake decorating class. She loved it.

So on Saturday, she arrived at my house with all of her tools in hand. Olivia, her brother, Mason, and I marched off to the grocery to purchase the supplies she needed for her masterpiece.

She chose a recipe that only made two layers and she wanted three. So, she promptly did the math and meticulously measured out her ingredients.

Once the ingredients were combined, she equally divided the resulting batter.

Then Mason arrives to play an important role in this process....LICKING THE BOWL!

Once the cake layers are baked, the fun begins! She fills the layers with "Carmellow" filling. Carmellow filling was invented for this cake. Once the layers were filled, she frosted the cake with her the homemade Butter Cream Frosting she learned to make in her class.

A chocolate sculpture dubbed "The Tree of Life" was created from a mystery ingredient and decorated with flowers. It became the cake topper.

Olivia blended her own colors from her large collection of food dyes. She used various tips from her growing collection of tools.

After dinner on Sunday, Olivia and Mason present the cake for the customary blowing out the candles and singing Happy Birthday.

Grandpa is so pleased that Olivia did this just for him! He declared, "Move over Ace of Cakes, Olivia is on her way!"

Footnote: Big sister Sydney was not present for the cake making. She was out of state with her dance team. But she returned for the celebration and with the news that her team placed first in all of their events except one. They got second in that one. Congratulations to Sydney. She danced while the cake baked!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Proud To Be Featured In Eve's Fund's January Newsletter

I just received the January 2010 Eve's Fund Newsletter. I am so proud of being affiliated with this worthy foundation. It was one of my proudest moments when I was asked to bead their logo into bracelets. The bracelets are gifted to qualifying donors or may be purchased exclusively through the fund.

Here is an excerpt from the Newsletter:

How about an Eve’s Fund logo bracelet for Valentine’s Day?

We feel very lucky to have well-known Native jewelry maker, Joni Stinson, as one of our partners and fans. With a donation of $70 to Eve's Fund, you will receive one of our beaded logo bracelets made by Joni.

These beautiful bracelets would make wonderful gifts for Valentine's Day...or purchase one for yourself.

Click on the photo or the donate button to order one and you can follow Joni's creative world on her Trail of Treasures blog. Please be sure to scroll down on the blog to her November 19, 2009 entry, dedicated to Thanksgiving and Eve's Fund. It was a powerful statement.

Another person to whom we are extremely grateful is award winning graphic designer, Jenny Sofologis owner of Kohl Designs. Jenny learned about Eve's Fund from Eve's cousin Larissa Kulczycky of LCB Communications and with enthusiasm and inspiration developed our Eve's Fund logo. Jenny was able to capture the essence of our organization by creating a culturally sensitive logo reflecting our new direction and commitment to the Native American Community.

Jenny believes it is important for professionals like herself to give back to charities and non-profits. Please read her comments on her blog by clicking here. If you have a chance, visit her innovative website by clicking on the Kohl Designs logo.Our sincerest thank you to Joni, Larissa and Jenny, all of whom dedicated their time and talents to Eve's Fund. All terrific Eve’s Fund partners.

If you would like to read the Newsletter in its entirity or learn more about this wonderful Foundation, here is the link:

Thank you Barbara, Mary and Dr. Crowell for giving me this opportunity.

Thank you Jenny for giving me such a nice logo to bead.

Thank you for reading this and should you be looking for a worthy charity, put this one on your list!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Winter In Nebraska

It is winter in Nebraska! Here is a shot of Patrick's friend, Thelma Miske, to prove it. This was taken on our patio for Thelma to send to her family in the Philipines. I am sure they will find it hard to believe that their daughter is out in the snow and seeming to enjoy it.

This morning, my good friend Nancy sent me this poem by an unknown poet. It just about says it all!

Winter in Nebraska
It is winter in Nebraska
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At thirty-five below.
Oh, how I love Nebraska
When the snow's up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I'll hang around
I could never leave Nebraska
Cuz I'm frozen to the ground!
There is hope for us. The sun is shining brightly today. Maybe it will get up to zero!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Headline: Son Has Dad Arrested !

Mug Shot!

Well, this could be an interesting year! It is starting out that way for sure. There is never a dull moment around the Stinson household.
As you may be well aware, Omaha is covered in a blanket of fluffy snow and temperature is often way below zero. To say it is frigid, is an understatement. I bundled up and went to work yesterday morning as I usually do on Tuesdays. When I arrived back home my son, Patrick, greeted me at the door and related how he had called the police on his Dad! That got my full and undivided attention!!

Now, first you have to know that the week before Christmas, one of Patrick’s friend’s car was stolen. Eric, his friend, lives about a mile away in an apartment complex. He started his car one snowy morning to let it warm up. After awhile he thought it would be all nice and "toasty" warm. When he arrived at his parking space, his car had been stolen. It turned up last week fifty miles away in Lincoln, NE.

Well, yesterday morning Patrick elected to warm up his car in our driveway. He was pleased that the engine clicked right over and he came back into the house. He went downstairs for a few minutes to check his eBay store while the car warmed up. When he went back out to turn off his engine, his car was gone!

Remembering Eric, he lost no time getting to his phone to report to the police that his car had been stolen.

Shortly after making the call, he looked out on the driveway. Only then did he realize that his Dad was not at home, but his Dad’s car was in the driveway.

About that time, his Dad, Warren, came pulling into the driveway in Patrick’s car! Warren had needed to run to the post office which is about one mile away. Since Patrick’s car was all warm and his was not, he made a snap decision to use it for this quick trip.

Fortunately the police had not arrived and Patrick quickly phoned them to let them know he was sorry he had bothered them as it was a false alarm. And maybe, just maybe, Patrick will be on good terms with his Dad again by the end of the day….or by the end of 2010!

It stands to be an interesting year!

Friday, January 1, 2010

My New Year Surprise!

Little did I know that as 2009 was slipping away into history, my friend, Spirit Bear, was hard at work making wonderful Medicine Bundles way off in Bar Harbor, Maine!

Spirit Bear had previously purchased some of my beadwork to carry out an idea she had for her Medicine Bundles. I knew of her plan, but was so pleasantly surprised when I woke up on the first day 2010 and saw them listed in her Etsy store! What a way to start a new year!

Now to make this surprise even more ironic....each morning, I randomly select a Medicine Animal to guide and direct my day. Prior to coming to the computer, the animal sent to me today was the beaver. Beaver Medicine promotes teamwork. Beaver medicine teaches that group mind constitutes harmony of the highest order without individual egos getting in the way. Each partner in a project honors the talents and abilities of the other and knows how to complete the piece of the puzzle that belongs to them. In working together, a sense of community is achieved and unity ensues.
As you know, I love to bead and am always excited when someone likes my work. But to have it incorporated into the work of another artist is an ultimate high!

Not only does Spirit Bear make wonderful personalized Medicine Bundles, she sells Transformation Tea, Cookies that are as beautiful as they are delicious, historical cards, intuitive readings and many other treasures. You can visit her store at to see the variety of items that she makes.

Her work is inspired. She is a kind and caring person who makes the world a better place. You won't regret getting to know Spirit Bear.
Mvto and Wado (Thank you in Creek and Cherokee) Spirit Bear for my New Year Surprise!