Monday, May 11, 2009



* Groups*

Badge and Banner for Royally Obsessed (

Badge and Banner for Fiber Loving Broadway Boozers (

Badge and Banner for the jackroe (

Badge and Banner for Real Women Knit (

Badge and Banner for Nomads (

Badge and Banner for KELLY, Purls Before Swine (

Badge and Banner for The Healing Power of Knitting Group (

Badge and Banner for Cultured Purls (

On this page you will see a few of my digital graphic pieces.
I have a background in computer graphics and website development.
You can view my poetry and graphics website at

Soldier's Heavy Brow - I created this piece to add to my poem, same title.

Seaside Series
-3 in this series, 2 shown.
The shells were scanned. They were tweaked-up in Photoshop.

This exact copy of a KAO box ad was produced in Illustrator.

Europagraphics Florals Series.
No photography.
This Heliconia was cut from our back yard. It was scanned and then digitally enhanced in Photoshop.

Copy of ad for NetZero.
Created in Illustrator. Enhanced in Photoshop.

Wildcat. Playful image of my cat. Created in Photoshop.

Warrior created in Photoshop.

ADOBE Products

Macromedia Director
HTML Coding
Macromedia Dreamweaver

Thursday, May 7, 2009

My Favorite Things

"...and these are a few of my f a v o r i t e things..."


All-Natural Ice Cream
Have loved Bryers all my life. But after my husband was dianosed with having diabetes
our physician's RN, office manager, had suggested Bryers All-Natural Ice Cream for him.
Her son also has diabetes and she said this was a good healthy treat he could have.

Peppridge Farm Cookies
This is another low-sugar treat that my husband can have. And yes, I also eat them.
They are higher priced, so look for them on sale. Also look for the ones which are the lowest in sugar. The shortbread and a few of the other ones have only 5 to 8 grams of sugar.

Silk Soy Milk
I am lactose intolerant so this is a great product for me. I have tried soy tofu before but just never really cared much for it. The other Kirkland's brand is pretty good too. And it's good for you too.

Salada Green Tea
Green tea I began drinking about four or five years ago. I have found for me, this is really the only TRUE appetite suppressant I have ever found. And it's natural! It's very good for you, it has plenty of antioxidants plus the benefits of helping one curb their appetite too. If you are trying to loose weight try some green tea.

Venors Gingerale
We drank very few soda's and pop's when I was growing up.
My father enjoyed this gingerale, so that is what we drank.
And I still enjoy it once in a while.

Hotel Sofitel Miami
5800 Blue Lagoon Drive, Miami, FL 33126
Sunday Brunch
On Sunday's they have a great weekend brunch. Serving mimosa's and a very nice open
brunch buffet. They generally have live music a pianist or band playing. Great brunch at the
La Riviera Restaurant, Sofitel Miami.

Pasteur in Chicago
5525 N. Broadway St., Chicago, IL 60640
The best Asian-French cuisine.
Favorite thing was their coconut sorbet!

Outback Steak House
Love their coconut shrimps!
And yes, have/can duplicate them right here at home.

The Olive Garden's the Olive Garden, so what can I say. Good salad. Lol.
I'd have to add the Olive Garden is to Italian food, like Taco Bell is for Mexican!
For hanging out with friends and family, it's okay.

John the Baker
John has the BEST garlic rolls in south Florida!
Very affordable prices, fresh food, pizza, garlic rolls and kid friendly atmosphere.

German Mosel Riesling

PdC-Prunier Pineau des Charentes

Thirsty Lizard


Sutter Home White Zinfandel

Alice White Lexia



Sheridan Sand Key Resort
1160 Gulf Blvd., Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

The Breakers
One South Country Road, Palm Beach, Fl 334801

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens
Exploring, Explaining and Conserving the World of Tropical Plants

10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156
While residing in Miami we located and then became members of this palm botanical garden.
If you visit Miami, stop by and see it. If you like the nature thing then this place may be of some interest to you. If you have children there is a tram which will take you around the gardens and area. On weekend's they have great exhibits. See their calendar for their special events.

Miami Metro Zoo

Another great place to visit or have a membership. Be plenty prepared for walking. But if you get too hot or tired from walking the Miami Zoo has a great air conditioned electric monorail which is very comfortable to ride in and will cool you off quickly.

Schnebly Redland's Winery
30205 S.W. 217th Ave., Homestead, FL 33030
Make sure and get a good map or you'll have problems finding the place. While driving make sure and follow the signs on the road to get to this winery. Great place to hold a party, business picnic or wedding reception. This winery produces wines from the south Florida native fruits. No grapes here folks! All native fruits are used to produce their fine wines, such as passion fruit, guava and mango. A beautiful winery.

Chicago Botanic Garden
I had the privilege of going to the Chicago Bontanic Garden's one year while visiting a relative.
What a wonderful experience!
And another extra added bonus Dale Chihuly's glass art exhibit was also being shown there.And if you haven't seen Dale Chilhuly's huge glass forms GO!
Check out his calendar, find him when he's in your area and GO!
You won't be disappointed. Truely amazing work.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago
One year while visiting relatives in Chicago we toured the Museum while the Van Gogh and Gauguin exhibits were showing. Fantastic fine arts exhibit and museum to see!


I found a Jim Dandy of a NEW GREAT PRODUCT that you all should at least try.
It just arrived in the mail last week and I've been cleaning up a storm with it, and love it!
I would not recommend it if I had not been happy with this cleaner. It works and it's a time saver. It holds true to it's name it is quick and leaves everything both clean and bright.
It is a multi-purpose cleaner, non-toxic, safe and effective, child and pet safe, also biodegradable. I'd like to hear from anyone out there who has also used this product.

Oil of Olay
I wouldn't want to be without this product. I have very sensitive skin. All my life I've had to be very careful what products, soaps, lotions, make-ups that I've used. Oil of Olay products all seem to work very well for me. I like their Regenerist line. Their Regenerist Daily Peel is great, so is the daily cleanser. I also wear their daily SPF 15 with Vitamin C lotion.

Now I do have my own concoction for smooth and healthy looking skin
My own concoction for...
Facial and Body Scrub

~Baking Soda
~Sea or Kosher Salt
*That's it. You can modify that any way you would like to your own preference.
You really don't have to put the baking soda in the mix, your preference.
If you have an electric coffee grinder that your not using to grind up coffee, grind the oats in that.
If the salt is too course for your skin type, then grind that up a little bit in the coffee grinder as well. Mix ingredients together and place them in an air tight, plastic container that you can keep in your bathroom.

Oats are so good for you, both inside and out!

My Own Facial Mask
Use the scrub mixture above
+ Plus add a tablespoon of plain yogurt
+ and Tablespoon of lemon juice.

Look at it this way folks...
IF it's healthy enough to eat then you should be able to wear it as well! lol...

Dove isn't drying like most soaps. I prefer the white Dove over the newer lines they have now.
I haven't tried their shampoo and conditioner line yet.

Suave you can't beat for the price. When I'm out of Pantene I will use their line.
I like their coconut shampoo and their clean cleansing shampoo.

This is the only pain relieving topical ointment cream that I have ever used that actually WORKS!
You hear of so many others and their ads on t.v. - why? don't you hear about ZOSTRIX?
Because IT WORKS! It comes in both pill and cream form. I've always used the cream.
You may have to ask your pharmacist about it, to order this cream for you, if you do not see it on the shelf. It use to be a prescription. One of my doctor's in Miami first gave me a freebie tube of it when I was suffering with burcitis in my hip. It's amazing stuff. It is made from the hot pepper extract. So---yes, you do have to be somewhat causious when using it. First use it sparingly until your body get's use to it. Don't over do it. You only need a little bit. And it is retroactive as well. If you're out in the sunshine or after you've taken a hot shower, you will again feel it working.


One of my favorite things

Spring 2011 - Sunday, April 17th-

Yippie! Spring has arrived and so have our increasing temperatures as well! It seems we in SoFlo jump from Winter to Summer. We don't have much of a Spring. Dry, drought weather which was very dry this Spring. We are finally receiving much needed rains in our area.

What's in the garden?
Well, our annual turtle is back. She's trying her best to find a spot to lay her eggs. She returns to the same location, as they all do each Spring. She heads for our herb garden patch! She has really made a mess of things, digging up mulch, plants, whatever is in her way. There really isn't enough dirt or mulch out there to bury her eggs. I haven't seen our iguana's yet this season, perhaps not warm enough for them yet.

My husband's mango tree is in full bloom and has many new primary mango's. His tree is loaded this year! I will keep my distance from it as I'm highly allergic to mango. I can eat the fruit. It's the sap from the fruit when picked. If you are allergic to poison ivy then I highly suggest you refrain from the mango! They are kissing cousins in the plant world.

Hot peppers and chili's are growing nicely. We have a few hot Thai Dragon plants.
Sage and dill weed are doing well. Our rosemary bush is in great need of pruning.

What's in your garden?


IF you can buy organic then do so.
Buy organic if and when you can. If you can't then try to grow some of your own fruits, vegetables and if you don't have space or the time to grow either of those then by all means grow HERBS!

Rosemary gone wild!
This is what happens to rosemary when you allow it to go to flower and seed.

You say you don't like herbs. How do you know? There are so many, I'm sure you could find a few to your liking and taste. I don't like them all. There are some I prefer over others. For some people the only herb they have seen has been the garnish on a dinner plate in a restaurant such as curly parsley. There is a very wide variety of herbs one can grow and cook with. Some you will like some you won't. Find the ones that appeal to your own taste and grow them. Some even regenerate themselves. You can dead-head some, and let one plant from your bunch go to flower and seed. Then you will have seeds from that herb for you next planting. You don't have to be a fancy gourmet chef to have an herb garden. All I really ask is just try them.

You can grow in medium to large pots if you live in a condo or apartment dwelling.
A garden doesn't have to be a huge area to maintain. It doesn't take much space to have a few select items from which you can maintain, grow organically and consume the benefits of your own harvest.

I wasn't raised on a farm but I did live on a farm and had quite a great garden. As did my father before me. He always had a vegetable, herb and flower garden and numerous fruit trees as well.
If you find that one season you have a bumper crop of one item, say cucumbers then make homemade canned pickles to store for later use. Take the rest of your cucumbers in to sell at a farmers market. Or you can share, give the rest you can not consume to your family and friends.

If space is a big problem for gardening for you, then ask a few of your neighbors to share in a
community garden. If their lot or
yard is larger have it at their location.

If you do not know much about gardening then have someone a friend or relative that knows teach you some gardening skills. Go to the library or do your own researching on the internet about gardening.

Mango tree from our back yard.

There maybe a club, group or country organization such as the one my husband and I joined some years ago, when we wanted to learn about the native fruits and vegetable of south Florida.

The Rare Fruits and Vegetable Council of Broward County.
This is a great organization with wonderful members to help, educate and guide growers.
My husband had never really grown anything or did any gardening before joining this group.
I on the other hand, coming from NE Indiana, we always had something growing, some type of a garden where I have lived.

If you do not have time to join a group of growers in your area then you can join a seed club.
I have also done this. Either online find some good seeders and hook up, or look for posting in back of gardening magazines. You don't have to have a computer or be computer savvy to do this. You can join a snail-mail group of seeders. It's fun to get a package in the mail! Again, great group of people to be associated with. Helpful and knowledgeable. Make a list of what seeds you have to be ready for exchanging with others.

Start small, start with something that you actually do enjoy eating and you'll also enjoy growing.
Tomatoes can be grown in smaller pots, as can strawberries. Learn what grows best in your state zone.

Grow according to your zone. Not everything can take the south Florida heat. I tried three different times to grow wonderful lavender, I love it, but it just does not do well in Florida. Or at least mine did not. If someone out there reading this has any good tips for growing lavender in south Florida I'd love to hear about them.

Get down and dirty!
Plant a seed and watch it grow!
...I never met a gardener I didn't like.

From My Little Kitchen

Hey good lookin', whatcha' got cooking?
What's for dinner tonight?
Salmon fillets and fresh corn avocado salad. Yum!

See recipe for the salad below.

Fresh Corn & Avocado Salad
2- Ripe Avocados, diced
2-Ripe Tomatoes, diced
1-Onion, diced, small

1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoky paprika
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Champagne Vinegar
2 Tbsp. curly leaf parsley, or fresh cilantro would be nice
Salt and pepper to taste
*Fold all together and serve.

LinkHow about some yummy Baked Ziti with creamy Bechemel Sauce!

In honor of Mother's Day

A Love Cake For Mother

1 can "obedience" several pounds of "affection"
1 pt. "neatness" some holiday birthday and everyday "surprises"
1 can of running errands"
1 box powered "get up when I should"

1bottle of "keep sunny all day long"
1can of pure "thoughtfulness"

Mix well and bake in a hearty warm oven.
Serve to "Mother" everyday.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter.
From my kitchen to yours....
No Easter eggs today but I did prepare some delish deviled eggs.

Yesterday for brunch we had pancakes and I made this yummy Frittata with asparagus, bacon and smoky provolone.

I just made some yummy banana muffins yesterday. I've added wheat germ, cran-raisins and crumb topping to my regular recipe. Seriously considering opening another shop called "Melody's Muffins" Hey, I think that has a nice ring to it. Laughing : )

Date Pinwheel Cookies
Copied from the Trinity Lutheran Church, Ladies Aid Cookbook 1949.

1 cup shortening
2 cups brown sugar, (my version 1 cup brown + 1 cup white for crispier cookie)
3 eggs, well beaten
4 cups sifted flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. soda

2 1/4 cups cut up dates
1 cup white sugar
1 cup water
1 cup chopped nut meats

To make filling: Combine dates, sugar and water and boil 3 minutes. Add nuts and cool thoroughly. MEANWHILE~~~ Cream shortening and sugar well, add well beaten eggs and beat well. Add remaining ingredients sifted together and mix well. Chill thoroughly. Then divide in two parts and roll separately a little less than 1/2 inch thick, spread with date filling and roll like jelly roll.Chill overnight, then slice and bake in moderate oven, 375 degrees.
Recipe Mrs. Carl W. Schwarz

Swedish Nut Cake or Pineapple Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 t. soda
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, undrained
1/2 cup nuts

1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
1 stick butter or margarine melted
1 t. vanilla
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup nuts

Cake may be iced while hot.
Grease and flour cake pan 13"x9" or two 8 or 9" pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 mins. approx. Check sooner for doneness. Do not over bake.


Best Ever Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe!

These are about as good as cookies get, so make several batches and watch them disappear fast.15 minutes prep. plus chilling, 10-12 minutes baking per batch. Yields 4 dozen cookies.

And...they truely are the best I've ever eaten.
And I've eaten a lot of chocolate chip cookies in my day. These are really good! You can add whatever you would like to the recipe. Walnuts, orange zest, cran-rasins, pecans. Whatever your heart desires. And the oatmeal is good for you too. I've been cutting the sugar down to 1/2 cup and they are still great. If you'd like to use honey instead of sugar you can do that too, keep in mind you'll have softer cookies.

1 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Mix together flour, baking soda, and cinnamon. Beat together butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.Beat in egg and vanilla. At low speed, beat in flour mixture until blended. Fold in oats and chocolate chips.Cover with plastic wrap; chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease 2 baking sheets, (or if you have Silacon sheets use those to line your baking sheets.)
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. (I use a smaller ice cream scoop.)
Place cookies, 2 inches apart, on prepared baking sheets. Flatten each cookie slightly.
Bake cookies until lightly browned around edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to wire racks to cool slightly. Transfer cookies to racks to cool completely.

I might add walnuts, raisins, freshly minced ginger, cran-raisins. You can add what you'd like to this basic recipe.
These truely are the best chocolate chip cookies and I've tried a lot of recipes.You can even make this one with honey and decrease the amount of sugar used and they turn out just fine.

Baking Tips~
Make dough ahead of time and freeze it. Later, use defrosted dough to make homemade cookies in minutes.

Hey, I've located a new recipe that I'm going to try tonight. I have my crock pot on and we're having beef stew tonight. I want to try these cheesy biscuits. You know the ones they serve at the Red Lobster!

Preheat oven to 400.

2 1/2 Cups Bisquick Mix
3/4 Cup Whole Milk
Tablespoons Cold Butter (1/2 stick)
teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 Heaping Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese

Brush on Top:
2 Tablespoons Butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Eggs Florentine

I have been cooking for many years now. My father was a Chef and my mother was a pretty good cook, as well. As were most of the women in my family. Many young women today have their hands pretty full with juggling family, working full time and the daily grind, which seems to leave them little or no time to cook.

If you need a recipe and can't find one, drop me a line and I'll help you search for one or send one of my own.
You don't have to study at the top Le Cordon Bleu Institute to become a good cook. But it wouldn't hurt to attend a cooking course either, if that's what you have an interest in doing.

Cooking just takes some time to master. As one of my favorite chef's Emeril Lagasse would say, "It's not rocket science here!" Time before shopping, your prep time once you've returned home from shopping and really good fresh ingredients to become a good cook!

If you don't cook, find a friend or relative who does who can show you some hands-on cooking skills and tips to use. Again, the net is a great research source of information. Great tutorials can be found.
Buy some c
ookbooks on "How To", or better yet grab some books from the library.

Try different cultural recipes. Have any friends from a different country? Go have dinner with them.
But not just dinner and eating, arrive early to help your host cook your meal.

If your going to be traveling to another country stay with a host family instead of a fancy hotel or resort.
Learn the culture and their cooking first hand.

Q: What does it take to be a really good cook?

A: A really good recipe for starters!

Cooking to me is a bit like knitting too.
To produce a great knitted piece it takes a really great pattern.

* For a quick and EASY sweet snack treat try this recipe I located online
These are so good!
You'll want to make more than one batch. Great for gift giving.

1 large egg white
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups pecan halves

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Brush large rimmed baking sheet with butter. (Instead of doing this I used my new silcon pads. LOVE, love, love them!) Whisk egg white in bowl until foamy. Add sugar, spices and salt. Whisk until mixture is thick and opaque.
Add pecans; stir until coated. Bake about 35 minutes or until deep golden brown. I also added some almonds to this mix. You could use any nut of your choice I would think.
These are so yummy. Not much sugar either. Good treat!
Store them after cooled in an airtight container.
They won't last long I promise you! lol...

Damn-Yankee BBQ Sauce
Note: This is my own original recipe that I use for chicken or country-style cut
After eating this BBQ you'll say, "That was Damn good BBQ"…

Digital Photography by Melody Tuli.

1 or 2 medium sized onion, finely chopped
½ cup favorite to
mato paste
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup soy, or worchestershire sauce; optional
½ cup balsamic vinegar
½ cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon hot pepper flakes
3 Tablespoons hot sauce, your brand, (depending upon your preference of heat)
Kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper to taste
2 Tablespoons garlic powder

I use double-dutch cooking pan.

After washing meat, place the meat in a wire colander.
Pre-cook your meat first by steaming, on medium high heat 10 to 15 minutes.
Whisk together all the above ingredients.

Note: The amount of sauce increases depending on the amount of meat you are p

Below are random photographs I've taken.

Lemon Poppyseed Cake

Italian Meatballs

Tilapia Fish Fillets

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Crocheting & Knitting

I've been knitting and crocheting since I was a child. My aunt taught me how to crochet, but she could only remember the single stitch. My grandmother crocheted fine, detailed Irish lace. I have a few of her cherished keepsake doilies. And two crochet hooks. One looks like it is either made from bone or ivory. The other one is a larger wooden hook that my father made for her.
I also have her brass sewing thimble, which believe it or not just fits my finger.

I've lost count of how many crocheted blankets and Afghans I have made for my family and friends as gifts over the years. But they lacked a lot of detailed workmanship, due to my lack of crochet knowledge, for the single stitch was all I knew at that time.

One of my favorite new finds is the Tunisian crochet knit stitch. Or formal known as the Afghan stitch. I love it! I've designed and crocheted a few really cute hats using this method. It is a very quick method to use. There are several different patterns you can use from this method as well. Tunisian has the look and feel of knit but is created with a crochet hook. The look is what I call a "waffle weave" effect. I found it one day while viewing tutorials on YouTube. The Art of Crochet with Teresa. Teresa is a very good teacher!
Here below are a few helpful links for crocheting.
Tunisian Crochet Knit Stitch Method
Crocheting for Beginners
Learn To Crochet
How to Crochet for Beginners
Crochet Guild of America-CGOA
Free Crochet Patterns


A Brownie leader taught me to knit when I was a young child. Again, nothing fancy. Just the bare basics of knitting. I only knew just the simple garter stitch of the knitting realm.

I began knitting again about three years ago. My husband spends a lot of his extra time on the computer, so I was looking for another outlet while watching movies or t.v. series at night. The knitting forum fit and...I was hooked. (no pun intended.) : )

It's become a passion or rather addiction of mine.Hey, it's fat-free so why not!
If I'm not knitting everyday then I'm thinking, "Oh what can I make next?" I'm also thinking about what I can design and make next when I'm still working on a present piece. I'll also go into to my Photoshop program and paint up a new idea. This I found is good for me, so I do not forget a new idea that I'd like to make later on.

I'm very computer savvy, or at least I'd like to think that I am. I have a background in computer graphics and website development. I began to research online and found many good, free patterns. There are also great free tutorials online at YouTube you can watch. I find it is much easier for me to actually see a new stitch or pattern than reading one. Or you can get free books from your local library to help you.

I also read a wonderful article about the Peruvian knitters and Native American's that crocheted and knitted. The one interesting article I enjoyed was reading about the spirit escaping through a worked piece. They believed there should be one "mistake" per piece worked and finished, in order for the spirit of each piece to leave. I just found that very interesting. In fact, I loved the thought of each piece having a spirit. What a wonderful way of thinking about your pieces. So, if I person finds an error in their vintage or antique piece it in fact may not be a mistake at all, but rather the exit of the spirit in that particular piece.

On the humorous side, if one makes a mistake and does not catch it in time, one could always make up the excuse "it t'was the spirit leaving" and not a mistake.
A really nice thought. About each piece having their own spirit.

Here below are a few helpful links for knitting.
Knitting For Dummies Knitting Help -Learn How To Knit With Free Knitting Videos
Knitting Abbreviations
Knitting Instructions - Tutorials
Free Knitting Patterns


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

O Baby dotcom

Welcome to my O Baby dotcom blog!
I create handmade items for your baby, toddler and child. My special hand knit and crocheted items include blankets, hats/caps, sweaters, jackets, overalls and dresses. My prices are very reasonable. Care instructions come with each item. All pieces are handmade by me in my south Florida home, in a smoke-free environment. I put a lot of love, time and care into each piece that I create for you. Great heirloom keepsakes, cool photography props or they would make a wonderful gift for giving to others for that special occasion or baby shower. If you need a special custom made piece, then please let me know and I'll work with you to create an item just for you.
Nominated on!
Baby Clothes

If your a "Fan" of O Baby dotcom you can follow me on