Saturday, May 7, 2016

DIY-ing Update

A while ago I posted a recipe for a homemade body wash. It turned out pretty well, but my last batch started acting funny. Strange smell, extra clumpy, not lathering very well. Not sure which of the ingredients was the culprit, but I suspect the gelatin. So, I've discovered a slightly different version that I think will be better.

Body Soap

1 4 oz. bar of Castile soap (bought a three pack from Amazon)
Up to 12 cups water (start with about 10 cups)
2 Tablespoons vegetable glycerin (bought from Amazon)
1 heaping Tablespoon sea salt

Grate soap into fine bits. Fill large pot with about 10 cups of water. Add grated soap. Heat on high until soap melts (doesn't need to boil). When soap is melted, remove from heat, add glycerin and stir. Let sit for 24 hours. The mixture will have thickened slightly. Add sea salt (I used pink Himalayan bought from bulk section of WinCo) and stir. The salt will start to clump. Stir occasionally until the clumps grow. After about 30 minutes, use an electric hand blender or regular blender to thoroughly mix soap, smoothing out clumps. The soap will be frothy and rather thick. Add more water until you like the consistency. Transfer to storage containers. I like to add essential oils like grapefruit and frankensense, but I only add them to the bottle I'm currently using to keep the oils fresh. Since this is a new recipe, I'm not sure what long term storage will be like.

Saturday, April 30, 2016


My artwork has improved greatly over the years, but it's still not where I want it. There are things I struggle with and other things I stay away from as much as possible, especially trying to do faces from my own imagination. Of course, the only way to overcome these struggles is to practice. My hubby purchased some art tutorials a few years ago and has encouraged me to go through them so I can eventually get where I want to be. So far, it's been the basics, things I already know, but it's good to practice them anyway so I feel more comfortable and have a better footing for the harder things to come. I hope to open up a patreon account in the near future and see where that takes me. (If you aren't familiar with patreon, it's a site that allows artists/creators of every kind to showcase their work while supportive viewers contribute money for added rewards/exclusive content.) I'm not expecting to make big bucks there, (though some artists make a killing) but anything more than what I'm earning now would be awesome. Note: my current earnings from art is pretty much bupkis. Wish me luck!

If you still need a Mother's Day gift, you can use my etsy coupon code for 30% off when you spend at least $10. The sale ends on the 6th. The code is MOMSAVE. I've got great pictures that any mom would love!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Get That Gift!

I've got a discount code going on right now for my etsy shop in honor of Mother's Day. It's a pretty good deal. If you spend $10 or more, you can save 30% on your order using code MOMSAVE. (ends 5/6) This is a great chance to buy something unique for all the wonderful women in your life. Choose any of my digital paintings, including several lovely flowers. You'll also find a Mother's Day poem I wrote myself, which has three different background pictures to choose from:

All of my work is copyrighted. Please don't steal my poem :)

Get your gifts now!!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Here's How I Make Onigiri

I like making new foods from various places around the world. One I currently enjoy is onigiri (Japanese rice balls). I posted about a recent experience on Facebook and was asked to provide a recipe link. I looked around for the tutorial that taught me, but couldn't find it. Why not do my own? The only problem is that I often tweak the recipe, which makes it harder to remember steps that I do automatically as well as exact measurement. I think I got everything, though.

So, here is my attempt to offer a step by step guide to making onigiri. It isn't the traditional way, but it is fairly simple and less messy. Hopefully the pictures will be helpful. If you have questions, let me know.

You'll need sushi rice (I use Calrose from WinCo, which may or may not be labeled as sushi rice, but it works perfectly), salt for seasoning, a sheet of nori, which is dried seaweed if you didn't know, (I get mine at WinCo) cut into 1x3 in. strips, and a filling of your choice.

I cook a bunch of sushi rice (roughly 2 cups of dry rice). This should be enough for 5+ onigiri. I use a rice cooker and eyeball the amount of water. If you follow the 2:3 ratio for cooking rice, however, it should be about 3 cups of water. If you don't have a rice cooker, you should get one :)

After the rice is cooked, I spoon it into a large bowl and add 1 teaspoon of salt. I also add 1 1/2 Tablespoons of white vinegar and 1 teaspoon garlic powder, but they aren't necessary. It's how I do my rice for sushi as well. Mix gently. Cover with a plastic storage bag or piece of plastic wrap. I use the storage bag because it's sturdier, which helps in future steps. Let the rice cool for at least an hour, but I usually go for 2.

In the meantime, decide what filling you want. (It can be anything, really. BBQ shredded chicken, pepperoni, pork, scrambled or hard boiled egg...) If it needs to be cooked, do so beforehand and let it cool a bit. My recent favorite filling is a whole avocado, smashed and seasoned with salt and garlic powder, a couple Tablespoons of softened cream cheese, and five strips of cooked bacon, cut into small pieces. Mix together.

You will also need a small bowl of water and an empty cereal-sized bowl. I'll add some pics to help with the next steps.

1. Remove plastic from rice. You'll want to dry off the condensation from the side that was touching the rice. Lay in empty bowl.

2. Scoop out about a half cup of rice and put on plastic.
3. Wet hands in water and shake a bit to get off excess, then gently push on rice to spread it out into a circle, it will probably be a bit bigger than the palm of your hand.

4. Add a bit of filling the center. About 2 teaspoons worth.

5. Lift plastic/rice out of the bowl a set in one hand.

6. Pull sides of the plastic together, bringing the rice to close around the filling. Add a bit more rice on top to close the ball if necessary.

 7. Press firmly to make the rice stick together. If your filling is soft like avocado, don't press too hard. Shape it into a ball, oval, triangle, octagon, whatever. Mine are usually ovals.

8. Grab a strip of nori and place at one end like a little green diaper. This makes it easy to hold onto the onigiri when you eat it.

I stand them up in a container with a flat bottom and tall sides while I work on the others. Space them out a bit so they don't stick together.

Make a bunch more. It's time consuming if you do it alone, but not too hard. Have the kids make their own :)

You can eat now.

We like to dip ours in salad dressing (usually Newmans Garlic Parmesan) but use whatever goes with your filling or no dip at all. Store extras in individual sandwich baggies or plastic wrap. Should be good for at least a day in the fridge. Eat leftovers cold or room temp. I wouldn't microwave them, but you can pan fry them if the rice gets a bit hard. I haven't tried that yet, so good luck.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

I "YouTube" Now

I've made a few time lapse videos of some of the art I sell on my etsy shop. They're on my etsy Facebook page, but I wanted to have them available elsewhere. Logically that means venturing into the realm of YouTube. I was kinda nervous at first. I'm pretty sure few people, if any, will watch them, but I might as well try. My channel is called Kacie Taylor. Original, I know. There aren't many videos on there at the moment, but I plan to add more. I may even gather enough courage to actually put myself on camera....

If you haven't visited my shop recently, I've added a bunch of new pictures. Go check them out! They make great gifts. If you're not sure where to get them printed, I recommend using I'm not affiliated with them at all, but I've used them myself and am happy with the results.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

He is Risen

Tomorrow we celebrate the most important event in the history of the world. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, suffered for the sins of all mankind, was crucified, and rose from the grave, all so we could repent and live again. His love for us and for Heavenly Father is incomprehensible to our mortal minds. Words cannot express the gratitude I have for His sacrifice. The world grows farther and father away from Him, yet He is exactly what we need. He never turns away. He is always waiting, hoping for us to turn to Him. He is my Savior, for without Him I am nothing. Happy Easter.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Easter Special

I finished a picture of Jesus last year and gave a copy to my husband's grandparents for Christmas. After starting my etsy shop, I hadn't really intended on adding it to my shop. I still probably won't, yet I thought about sharing it somehow anyway. With Easter nearly here, I had an idea. I want people to join my etsy shop email list, so why not offer the picture for free to those who join? I'm doing just that. From now until March 22, I will send a digital file of this picture to those who join the list. The same copyright rules apply- print only once, no copying, distributing, selling, or changing. The size will be 5625x4500, with a dpi of 300, jpg file. The picture will be sent out on March 23 through your email, which I will have once you join :) See how that works?

Here's where you join-

Here's the picture:

Of course yours won't have the watermarks. I'm getting one printed for myself. I found an online printer that I like called I recommend checking them out.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Serious This Time

I've made it known that I've had some struggles with my lastest book, Foretold. Things just haven't been going smoothly at all. Last night, I had a few epiphanies that I'm hoping will finally solve the problems. I admit I'm eager to get this book done and move onto my next project. Wish me luck as I tackle this beast once and for all!

For anyone interested, the winners of my giveaway made their choices.

Carrie chose the orange kitten
Emma chose the owl
Amanda chose the samurai

Good choices, ladies! If you haven't taken advantage of my coupon code, do so soon. It expires on March 31. Use this code at checkout GVAWY1

Saturday, March 5, 2016


First of all, thanks to all who entered my art giveaway. This has been the most successful giveaway I've done. It was fun to read the comments and see new followers on my Facebook page and shop. I hope you'll continue to participate as I move forward. Now, since there were so many entries, I decided to increase the number of winners to three. Three winners!! They were chosen randomly and have been notified by email. Here are their names:

Carrie J.
Emma C.
Amanda S.

If you are one of them, check your email and let me know which picture you'd like!

I'll share they're choices later on. In the meantime, I wanted to offer everyone else a discount for being awesome. Head over to my shop and use the code GVAWY1 to save 20% on your order. This code expires on March 31, so use it soon. Please also consider leaving a review on my shop as well so other potential buyers will have some added encouragement. Thanks again!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Yes, I Binge Watched Fuller House

I will not include spoilers for those who haven't watched it yet. First, I assumed from the get go that the show would be ripe with the same cheesiness as the original. I was not disappointed. Catchphrases were plentiful, there was lots of hugging, and you couldn't outrun the special, tender moments if you wanted to. Not that they're a bad thing. I liked the original show. It was perfect for families. Fuller House is a bit more adult, seeing as how the youngsters are all grown up, but it is still family friendly. I also found it to be hilarious. Seriously. I laughed many many times. DJ's middle son Max is adorably funny and Steve (or Steve-a-reeno, as I like to call him) was probably my favorite. He was charming and sweet and so funny. Even Kimmy Gibbler was fun to watch. (I know, the universe must be imploding.) The original adults (Danny, Uncle Jesse, Aunt Becky, and Joey) show up here and there, which was fine, though I could have done with less Joey. He was never a favorite. I wasn't even sad that the Michelle twins weren't there, though there were a couple of times they were there in spirit. I know some people are worried that the actors' personal lives will somehow taint the experience. I knew about most of the dirt beforehand, but still enjoyed the show. I laughed (a lot), got teary-eyed, and wanted to see more. From what I've read online, there's a good chance there won't be a season two. If there is, I'll totally watch. If not, I'll watch season one again someday. Good times.

For now, I'll go back to watching Frasier. And The Office. I've gone through both several times and keep going back. Thank you, Netflix.
P.S. They don't need a reunion/reboot.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


I FINALLY got the new Enya album this week. I had hoped to get it for Christmas, but our tiny budget allowed my husband and me to get each other nothing. Anyway, I've been listening to it pretty much nonstop and I love it (as expected). My favorite song by far is Echoes in Rain. Here is the video on YouTube. It is a quintessential Enya song. I repeat it at least four times when it comes around. I really love her voice and the soothing melodies she creates. She is magical. Sometimes when I write and envision what certain scenes would look like, I listen to her music. If any of my books were ever made into a movie, I would absolutely love it if she did at least one song. Sigh...

Have you entered my art giveaway yet? I'm so impressed with the number of entries. I did a lot of promoting on other websites, which has helped immensely. Thanks to all who've participated so far. I've decided that I will be offering a coupon code to all the non-winners. Hopefully you like my art enough to buy it. I'll keep adding new stuff, too. I have a good feeling about my shop. I just need to find that elusive something that gets it in front of the right people. Word of mouth helps too :)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

So Close

I'm sure we all saw the news about the almost 8th Harry Potter book. It was the best literary news in years. Now we know it's just the play's script in book form, which I guess is the next best thing. I'll totally read it, since I likely won't get the opportunity to fly to London for the show. Even if the play comes stateside, I'll still probably never get the chance to see it. However, I am planning to go to one (or both) of the Universal Studios' Harry Potter attractions someday. Maybe even this year, if the stars align just right. Anyway, all this HP news has made me want to read the books again. I've read most of them at least a dozen times and I've listened to the audio books a bunch too. (The version read by Stephen Fry. He's the best.) I never really got into the movies, though. They were okay. The actors did fine for the most part, but they just didn't live up to the books. I would have mixed feelings if someone wanted to make one of my books into a movie. On one hand, it would be awesome to see the characters and story up on screen, but I know things would be changed, and that would be difficult to allow. I would want to be involved to keep everything as close to my version as possible, and I know that isn't usually granted. I guess I'll just be happy with people reading the books :)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Art Giveaway!

*This giveaway has ended*

Winner announcement can be found here.

I'm still trying to figure out the best way to promote my stuff. Right now, I want to get my etsy shop out there because I really think it can be successful. So, to get the ball rolling, I'm doing a giveaway! I will be giving away one of my digital art pieces to TWO winners, winners' choice. You'll receive the picture through email and be able to print it at home or save it on a flash drive and take it to a local print shop. If you're feeling adventurous, you can use an online printer and get it printed on canvas or whatever. Or just use it as a computer or smartphone wallpaper. Whichever you choose, though, you're not allowed to share it with others or print it more than once. There's a few other copyright related things as well, like no modifying, reselling, or making copies. It's open to all countries, ages 18+. If you're a minor, you need parent's permission. It starts now and ends on Friday March 4 at midnight (Mountain time). Good luck!

Check out my shop to see what's available. I'll be adding more along the way :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Etsy Shop: Round Two

I had an etsy shop a while ago selling my ebooks. It didn't go well, most likely because I was new to the game and didn't have a strategy (or budget) to market it. I still don't have a budget, but I'm giving this etsy thing another shot, this time selling digital art. You might have noticed the pics over on the right side. If not, here they are:

These are available now. Here's the link to my shop, Kacie Creates. I have several more ready to add and many more ideas brimming in my brain. It's been a lot of fun. I just hope it's more successful this time. As an added bonus, when you make a purchase, you'll be given a coupon code for $1 off your next purchase. This expires on Feb. 29. I will be adding more to the selection fairly often. I already have two that just need to be resized/finalized. I'm also open to suggestions and may even do custom pictures if you like my style. You can contact me through my etsy shop or email me at

Last post I mentioned a gift I was making for my nephew. Here it is:

I call him Wobot. His arms can move. :) I also made a couple of superhero masks (Ironman and Hulk), but forgot to take pictures of them. My nephew is only three, so he probably doesn't appreciate the time and effort of homemade gifts, but that's okay. As long as he doesn't destroy them within the first week...

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Felt is Fun

Felt is a great material for craftiness. I've made quite a few things over the years, mostly as gifts for children. (Usually when I'm too poor to buy them something, which has been the case for a few years now.) A week or so ago, I made an anime character and posted it on Facebook. It got a lot of positive responses and one friend asked if I sold them. I started to think about going on that adventure. I haven't had much success with selling other things, but it couldn't hurt to try. I don't think I'll focus on specific characters and instead make original ones as to avoid legal issues. I've already got sketches of fairies I want to do. This won't actually be open for business for a while, since I'll want to have a small inventory ready and these take time to make since everything is hand-stitched, but be aware of the future possibility. Here's the anime character I made if you're curious:

If you've heard of One Punch Man, then you might know who he is :)

I'm currently working on a birthday gift for my nephew. A felt robot. It's gonna be adorable!

Saturday, January 16, 2016


I had a thought during my hiatus that I might want to try doing some video posts. Might. I don't really know what they'd be about other than my usual ramblings. And it depends on if I come off as a total goober or not. One idea is to do some cooking or art demonstrations, another is to read from my books. It would be every once in a while, perhaps only for my Super Fans. ??? Anyway, I thought I'd put the idea out there.

I'm finally almost done with my latest round of Day Job, so I can get back to focusing on writing. This round has dragged on for at least an extra month because I didn't have one piece of the project until this past week. What a pain. I love working from home, but this job is getting on my nerves.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

A New Year

I'm baaack! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays. I loved spending time with family. Here's a rundown of some of the happenings. On Christmas Eve, we went to my grandma's house. This has been a tradition my entire life. It's become a more simple affair now that the crowd has grown, but it's still fun. For the past several years, we've done a white elephant game. (If you don't know, a white elephant is a gag gift.) My dad reads a story that has us passing gifts to the right and left and at the end, we open whichever gift is in our possession. Good times. Afterward, we headed to my parents' house. There, we opened gifts from mom and dad, (we usually do a sibling gift exchange, but we decided not to this year.) We also let the niece and nephews open their gifts. As I mentioned before my hiatus, I gave my niece some princess pictures. Here's what they look like:

The Merida one is my favorite. My niece has hair pretty much identical to hers, though not as long. I also made her a hopscotch layout out of fabric and felt so she can unfold it and play in the house. My two older nephews got slingshots with little puff balls to sling (all of which I made myself. No pictures, sorry) and a little game I made called The Ham and Cheese Sandwich Game. It's a variation on a game I saw on Pinterest. The youngest nephew got a stuffed turtle (also made by me, also no picture). This was his first Christmas. :) It's so fun to watch them open gifts. For my parents, I crocheted some ear warmers (my dad got a red one with a big U on the side for the U of U, and mom got a Mickey Mouse silhouette) as well as this lovely picture I made on my iPad:

They gave us some gift cards, candy, and a Minnie Mouse oven mitt. They go to Disneyland pretty much every early December and usually get us something while they're there. From my husband's family, I got pajamas, scarves, and a cool blender. I made more ear warmers for several other boy family members and some candle holders out of wine glasses (thanks again, Pinterest!) for the girls. I was busy, but it was fun.

Now, time to get serious. I will finish Foretold this year. I'm disappointed with myself for not getting it done last year. I've had a goal to write and publish at least one book a year, so I need to get back on track. Also, I'm thinking of scaling down my blog posts to once a week, probably Saturdays, except for special occasions. I'm hoping for good things this year with my writing as well as other projects in the early stages of development. I'll get into those later on. Stick with me, people! I need you along for the ride!