Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Cookie Machine Adds Cakes/Cupcakes and Saturday Lunch Hrs

My first experience with Cookie Machine was selling tubs of frozen cookie dough for an elementary school fundraiser many years ago. Cookie Machine is the only gourmet cookie dough business in Tarrant County and was the first cookie dough fundraiser company for local organizations.

Cookie Machine, located at 3100 W. Arkansas Lane (corner of Arkansas and Roosevelt) in Dalworthington Gardens, has been in the cookie dough business for more than 25 years. This summer, Cookie Machine is rolling out cakes, pies and cupcakes in addition to their freshly baked cookies and cookie cakes. They are currently offering a selection of 10 flavors of cakes and cupcakes, and 3 delicious pies.

I had the opportunity to try their German Chocolate cupcake at the Dalworthington Gardens 75th Celebration on Sunday, June 12. Cookie Machine participated along with other DWG food vendors to provide food and drink to the attendees at reduced prices. My cupcake was moist and fresh with a perfect icing. I have since tried the Italian Cream, Coconut, Southern Pecan (really tastes almost exactly like pecan pie) and Carrot Spice cupcakes. They are all wonderful.

Many years after the cookie dough fundraiser, I found out that Cookie Machine offers more than just cookies. It has a menu of soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts (including gluten free sandwiches and desserts. You can also order cookie platters and sandwich trays. They have added lunch hours on Saturdays from 11am – 2pm in addition to their regular hours on Monday – Friday of 10am – 6pm. I tried the grilled chicken breast sandwich Saturday before last when they started opening on Saturdays and was very pleased with how tender and moist the chicken was.

So whether you have an organization that needs a fundraising project, a party that needs sandwiches and/or dessert, you want to grab a quick, reasonably priced lunch or just have a sweet tooth calling out for something, stop by Cookie Machine to take care of your needs.

Location update: As of May, 2012 Cookie Machine has moved to 2304 Park Row Dr., Pantego, TX.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Design This – Wood Pens

All of my previous “Design This” posts have been about something that I designed for a customer or for myself. This post is about my search to have something designed for me by someone else.

Some time back I had milled a bunch of pen blanks from a sycamore tree that we had to have taken out because it had died from drought. I set aside a few that had interesting color or spalting and toyed with the idea of learning to turn pens myself. I decided that at this time this was one more project than I could handle, so I spoke with a few pen makers that I had seen at craft shows about the possibility of having them make pens for me out of my blanks. Even though they were interested and very accomplished, none were local. So since I wasn’t in a hurry, I decided to keep their contact info but keep looking to see if I could find someone in my area.

This past spring, I noticed someone selling pens at the Downtown Arlington Farmers Market (DAFM). He had a nice assortment of pens made from different woods and turned in a variety of ways. I approached him to see if he would be willing to make pens for me out of my pen blanks and if he needed any additional blanks. It was a yes on both counts if they looked properly cured and cut. I brought my blanks out to the DAFM the next weekend for him to look at. Bob liked the looks of the blanks and could see why I was interested in having pens made for myself out of the blanks I had set aside.

We discussed what style of pen, etc. each of the blanks was best suited for and settled on four thicker and two thinner pens. We worked a partial trade for my extra blanks and I placed my order. Before Bob started turning my special blanks, he worked with one of the extra ones first to make sure how the wood worked. I was able to pick up my custom order the next weekend. I am very pleased with my pens and happy to have mementos from the old sycamore tree that used to shade my tack room. If you are in need of a lovely and functional writing instrument and Bob Igel isn’t at the DAFM, you can contact him at to see what he has for sale from Igel’s Longhorn Woodshop.

I would not have thought of going to the Downtown Arlington Farmers Market to find a woodworker/ pen turner, however that is exactly where I found the craftsman to create my pens. In addition to locally grown fruits and vegetables, you will find fresh eggs, beef, poultry, arts and crafts and more according to the Downtown Arlington Farmers Market facebook page. I was there earlier today and couldn’t resist the dead ripe homegrown tomatoes. Check it out for yourself from 8 am – 1 pm Fridays and Saturdays at 215 E. Front St., Arlington, TX.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Little Patriotic Bling

If you haven't found that perfect red, white and blue accessory for your Fourth of July and Labor Day festivities, I can help. You still have almost two weeks from today to order so that your patriotic bling will arrive in time for the 4th, but don't delay as I only have one of each ready made and ready to ship.

It's the little touches that can really add the wow factor to your patriotic ensemble. From EDCCollective, you can choose from a pair of red, white and blue lampwork bead earrings or a zipper pull. The zipper pull is great to bling up a variety of items from backpacks to belt loops to purses, anything with a loop to clip to. For the math geek, EclecticSkeptic has a red, white and blue pythagorean theorem (right triangle) necklace.

While you are enjoying the holiday festivities and looking good in your red, white and blue please remember to stay hydrated and apply a quality sunscreen so that you will finish the day in as fine a form as you started out.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What's in Bloom? June 2011

Getting all of the loose ends wrapped up for the big DWG Celebration Weekend has kept me running this week such that I don't have time to write the post that I had planned. However, I didn't want to stop the weekly blog post momentum so this week I am sharing some photos of what is currently coloring up my gardens. Enjoy.

The leaves of these two shade loving plants (Japanese Painted Fern, Purple Leaf Oxalis) are reason enough to plant them. In addition to its pretty two toned purple leaves, the oxalis also sports pretty lilac pink flowers.

Standing up to the heat and full sun, my coneflowers and cosmos mix provide bright focal points. The cosmos attracts a wide range of butterflies too.

You will find other blooming beauties in my Texas Stars photo album.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thanks for the Treasuries - May 2011

Four different Etsians contacted me to let me know that they had featured one or more of my items in a treasury during May. Six May treasuries included one of my items. One of those items was featured in two different treasuries. You can see a collage below of my items from EDCCollective and EclecticSkeptic that were featured during May. (Click on the collage to see a larger view.)

I really appreciate being featured by the treasury makers. To thank them, I have listed below (in alphabetical order) links to the 4 different Etsians that let me know that they featured at least one of my items, as well as an item from their shop or profile that I like.

Enjoy window shopping and please click on the shop links of anything that catches your eye.

Look no further for gifts for a wine connoisseur who happens to appreciate hand made items.

Find hand painted, heirloom designs on stemware, jewelry boxes, signs and more in this shop that also welcomes custom requests.

This shop specializes in precut top quality quilting squares and is branching out by offering sewn goods and crochet flowers.

In this shop you will find etchings based on photographs and memories as an adult looking at photos from the artist's childhood.