Thursday, April 26, 2012

Amazing Allergy Free Skin Care and a Giveaway!

Update~ We have our giveaway winner!  The gift certificate goes to Maegan, with comment #57 as chosen by   Congrats Maegan!  Please come back after you have tried out your new products, and tell us how you like them!

Here at Shadow's house, we are having a nice easy day off~ a spa day, for much needed pampering and rejuvenation.  I'm using my favorite new skin care products, and I am SO excited about them! Why?

Spa set 

Because I have dry hypersensitive skin, and the worst allergies of anyone you will likely ever meet. My doctor said he wants to put me in a bubble. I have chemical sensitivity.  That means chemical odors, especially PERFUME, make me very ill. I didn't always have this problem. It came upon me gradually, as my allergies got worse and worse, and I slowly withdrew from the "normal" world. Things got so bad, I had to take a medical leave from work, and I was off for a year.  During that time, I rid my home of all scented items, and now I search for natural alternatives to commercial products that I used to take for granted.

Any of you who have a perfume allergy already KNOW how difficult it is to find  products that won't irritate your skin.  Things labeled 'sensitive', 'hypoallergenic', and 'fragrance free', have gone through my bathroom in a sort of sorry trial and error parade.  Most of them give me the heebie jeebies. Rashes, itching, headaches, nausea, and a general unhappy funk.  Into the wastebasket they go.  If you read the label, yes they might not contain artificial perfume, but they still have harsh chemical additives.
What to do?

I'm so sensitive, I actually cringe at the thought of trying anything new. Branching out into a new line of products took an act of real bravery! If you are hypersensitive like me, let me be your canary in a coal mine, the proverbial guinea pig.

So I decided to try some of the new organic products from Winsome & Green.  The idea of using something made in small batches by a real person is appealing; as well as the use of natural organic ingredients, with no artificial fragrances or chemical additives.

Calendula Baby Balm

Baby Balm
I'm not a baby, but I do love this balm. It takes care of my super dry skin, and soothes the itchy owies away.
Smell: pleasantly warm and buttery.  Yum!

Cleansing Grains

Cleansing Grains

An interesting product! It's a powder. I mixed a tiny bit with some lotion and warm water, and massaged it onto my face; then I scrubbed with a washcloth, and rinsed.  My skin felt soft, smooth, and clean. 
Smell:  fresh, clean oats with a slight pleasant herbal odor.

Honey Bee Lip Balm

Lip Balm 

I confess, I'm a bit of a lip balm addict. Usually I need to reapply my lip balm constantly to keep my lips from chapping.  This balm is the bomb! I used a teeny dab of it last night, and 8 hours later my lips were still moist and protected. 
Smell:  delicious mint and orange. I want to eat it. 

Honey Mint Sugar Scrub

Sugar Scrub 

This is heaven in a jar.  It is wonderfully revitalizing and refreshing, and it feels great.
Smell: like you are enjoying a peppermint patty in the shade of a juniper tree in the high Sierra.  Take me away!

Sierra Juniper

I loved every one of these products, and they passed my sensitivity test with flying colors! No adverse reactions of any kind. I'm very hard to please, but I must admit, I'm impressed! 

In fact, I  love this natural skin care line so much, I have decided to partner with Christa of Winsome & Green  for an exciting giveaway!  Christa has graciously agreed to provide our giveaway winner with a $50 gift certificate.  This gift certificate is good for anything in Christa's shop: beauty products including the lip balms, cleansing grains, detoxifying masks; along with her line of organic garden seeds. Perfect!

Christa has also given our readers a very generous coupon code!  Enter code SHADOW20 at checkout for 20% off any Winsome & Green order through the duration of the contest. :)

The Rules

This giveaway is available to the US and Canada only!

(note: leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances!)
To stand a chance to win, you MUST:
1. Be a follower of this blog

For extra chances do any or all of the following: 

1. Tweet about this giveaway and show us a link to your tweet

2. Blog about this giveaway on your blog and link back to our blog (leave your blog link behind)

3. Share this giveaway on your Facebook (leave your FB link behind)

4. Follow Christa on twitter 

5. Visit Christa's shop, and tell us what your favorite item is

6. Like Christa and Shadow, and leave a comment on our pages.

7. Follow Christa's blog 


This giveaway will run for 2 weeks from April 26 to Noon pacific time, May 10, 2012.

The winner will be chosen by on  May 10, 2012 and will be announced immediately and contacted via email.
If the winner cannot be contacted within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen by

This giveaway is available to the US and Canada only!

Good luck!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cherry Rolls Breakfast Recipe

Nothing beats the delicious warm smell of something scrumptious in the oven on a cold rainy day.
This wonderful breakfast treat is basically a biscuit dough, rolled around a fruit filling.  This recipe is modified from the Apple Roll recipe in my grandmother's old cookbook.


2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbl butter
3/4 cup half & half

1 pkg cream cheese, softened
24 oz jar of dark morello cherries
1/2 jar cherry preserves
1 tsp vanilla

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt together.  Rub in flour with a pastry cutter or fork. Stir in half & half.

Drain the cherries well, and mix with the preserves and vanilla.

Roll the dough out into a big rectangle. Spread the soft cream cheese on top.  Then evenly spread the fruit.  Roll up as best you can, and cut into 5 or 6 equal slices.  Place in a greased pie plate or deep cake pan.
Bake at 375* for 40 min. or until cooked in the middle and golden brown on the edges.

I used the morello cherries and cherry preserves from Trader Joe's, but you could substitute canned or frozen cherries, or cherry pie filling.

This recipe works equally well with chopped peaches and peach preserves, or apples with apple jelly.  I haven't tried it with blueberries yet, but I am guessing that would be yummy too.

I hope you try this recipe, and leave me a comment to say how it turned out! You won't need to worry about leftovers, but if you are cooking for one, these freeze well in individual plastic containers.  They make a great addition to your lunchbox. And the best part is that it's made with all natural ingredients.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A very Distracting Cat

Lately I've been finding it difficult to make any jewelry.  Not from lack of inspiration, but from a boatload of distractions.  My pack of rescue kittens take up a lot of my time and attention, naturally.  But one of them in particular has been making it hard for me to create new pieces.

This is Patches. She is very sweet and loving, and likes to sleep snuggled up next to me on the blanket.  She loves yoga time also, and thoughtfully adds to the difficulty of exercises by sitting on my stomach. 

She loves to play tent and blanket monster, and she loves to chase her tennis ball outside in the yard.  Such a happy little cat, and oh so curious!

Patches wants to "help" with any projects you are working on. She's particularly fascinated by the sound of jewelry making. The tinkle and clink of glass beads and metal charms draws her to my beading desk.  She climbs up and sits in the middle of the project, and tries to steal the finished product.

So, I decided to make her some jewelry toys of her own, in the hope that she would leave mine alone. Some glass bead dangles and brass hearts, with a nice ribbon and a tempting paper tag, yes, this should keep her busy. 

She loves her new jewelry! The sound of it jingling will bring her running, even if she is playing outside.  She will chase it and bring it back to you.  Sometimes she carries it around like a baby, and makes a funny meow like she's talking to it.  None of  her pack mates are allowed to play with this treasure.

Success? I suppose... but she still comes over to inspect all of my jewelry projects.  Charm bracelets and dangly earrings are obviously met with approval. Only the best for our customers!

vitrail earrings
And that's the story of Patches, a very distracting, but very cute little calico cat.

This is where I party:
Frugal Friday

Monday, April 9, 2012

Gray Eyes

Gray Eyes

Bridal Lace Headpiece by WhichGoose
It was April when you came
The first time to me,
And my first look in your eyes
Was like my first look at the sea.
Spring Sparrow by TammieBowdenPhoto
We have been together
Four Aprils now
Watching for the green
On the swaying willow bough;
Yet whenever I turn
To your gray eyes over me,
It is as though I looked
For the first time at the sea.
~Sara Teasdale, 1930
Camargue Horse by EyePoetryPhotography  

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Giveaway! Pink Floral Shabby Necklace

The giveaway is now closed.  And the winner is~

MarieAnge!  Congrats Marie, we will be contacting you for your address :-)

Spring has really sprung!  My garden is abloom and full of baby flower shoots.  The kittens frolic in the sunshine  nearly every day.  And the days are getting longer.... I am preoccupied with thoughts of  Mother's Day gifting.

So I thought, what a perfect time for a giveaway.  Here we go! I'm sure your Mom would love this. Enter to win this charming shabby chic necklace.  The pendant is a vintage Japanese Cherry Brand floral glass cab, with the cutest little lampwork glass dangle.


Giveaway ends April 21, at noon pacific time. 
The winner will be chosen by  and will be announced immediately and contacted via email.
If the winner cannot be contacted within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen by

Open worldwide, shipping inclusive. 
Necklace valued at $24.

(note: leave a separate comment for each entry to increase your chances!)
To stand a chance to win, you must:
1. Be a follower of our blog
AND do any of the following:
1. Tweet about this giveaway  (leave your tweet link behind)
2. Blog about this giveaway on your blog and link back to our blog (leave your blog link behind)
3. Share this giveaway on your Facebook (leave your FB link behind)
4. Follow us on Facebook and leave a message on our wall 
5. Visit our Etsy shop and tell us which is your favorite item

That's it!  So good luck to everyone, and Happy Spring!