Creative Expression

Jamestown Woman Opens Home Business

Shari Jamieson is perched on a newly “revisioned” bench while displaying pieces afixed with the vinyl decals she designs. The antique popcorn popper is another of her revisioned pieces. P-J photos by Beverly Kehe-Rowland

Nana’s Meatballs

Creativity can present itself in many ways, and Shari Jamieson’s talents are abundant. She can envision uses for a flea market, an antique shop and estate sale finds, to the point that she felt the need to start So Very Shari Creations, her home-based business.

It all began with the purchase of a wooden ironing board at an auction, which sent Jamieson on a search for a way to use it.

“After I saw a wine rack made from an ironing board, I pulled what I liked from 10 different ideas to create something totally different,” she says. “I have sold four of these. One lady saw it online and drove up from Tennessee.

Jamieson and her husband, Russ, work on many projects as a team, with him doing prep work or construction.

Nana’s Meatballs was Shari Jamieson’s grandmother’s recipe. The Strawberry Sugar Cookie Trifle recipe was originally written to be assembled in a 9” x 13” pan.

“We work well together,” says Jamieson. “I once brought home a damaged ship wheel, not knowing what I would do with it, but then I drew plans for a headboard which my husband built.”

After repairing the wheel and incorporating it into the headboard, the red, white and blue bedroom with nautical decor was created. A wooden anchor and another of her projects, a rope-wrapped mirror, were hung on the walls. She made curtains from nautical print fabric, completing the look and bringing the room together with a vinyl decal she designed and made for above the bed that says “Love Anchors the Soul.”

Jamieson admits her husband sometimes doesn’t see her vision when she first acquires a piece. “It was easier when I just bought shoes, because it’s hard to sneak a dresser into the house. I’ve even hidden things at my daughter’s house,” she says.

According to the entrepreneur, she is most known for her gossip benches. Interestingly, she has found many different styles of the bench that was invented shortly after the telephone and remained popular into the 60s in New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio and has refurbished 13 of them. Basically, they were a place to sit with an attached table that held the phone, the directory and possibly a lamp.

“My husband makes sure they are solid and then sands and paints them. I make upholstered cushions from a modern fabric and sometimes add stenciling,” says Jamieson.

A fun vinyl decal tells visitors they have found the correct address.

She calls the process of giving new life to an old piece “revisioning.”

“I am always looking for furniture I can revision. Sometimes I see items on Pinterest that I have no use for, but I will create them. I just have to challenge myself to see if I can do it.”

The entrepreneur uses the home-based business not only as an outlet to distribute her repurposed gems, but as a place to sell the vinyl wall decals she designs. These can be applied to wine glasses, mugs, gifts for wedding parties, garden flags or whatever may be dreamed up by the customer.

“I do a lot of sayings and nursery wall art,” she says.

To makes the decals, Jamieson cuts heat transfer vinyl into family names, monograms and logos and applies them to sweatshirts, tee shirts, baby onesies, raglan tees, and baseball shirts, as well as garden flags. Her custom designs have been used on shirts for birthdays, reunions and scrapbooking retreats. She can make one or several.

The sparkling letters in this heat transfer design are one of the many options available at So Very Shari Creations.

“I specialize in personalization, because I have been unable to find my name with its unusual spelling,” she says. “When I got my machine I started making things with people’s names on them.”

Jamieson is passionate about everything she does and says her projects are her “stress-relievers at night.”

“I get some of my creativity from my father, George Hedlund, who restores old tractors and does woodworking,” Jamieson adds proudly. “He likes to repurpose. He built a metal tractor that he mounted to a flag pole.”

She recently started selling JJ Boutique, a clothing and jewelry line which includes leggings, tunics, tops and dresses with most items priced under $40.

The creative woman is a quality engineer at Truck-Lite, where she met her husband, who has since retired. They have three daughters who live in Buffalo, Philadelphia and Jamestown, and enjoy attending their five grandchildren’s activities.

Cooking is another of Mrs. Jamieson’s many talents.

“Growing up we didn’t cook,” she says. “When I got married I could bake a cake and make Rice Krispies Treats.”

Jamieson eventually purchased cookbooks and put her own creative twist on the recipes.

“When my granddaughter was little we didn’t read storybooks. She wanted to read cookbooks,” she says.

Both her husband and daughter suggested she submit her bean recipe for this article, but she could not give it away because it contains secret ingredients. She has shared Strawberry Sugar Cookie Trifle and says the original recipe was layered in a 9” x 13″ pan with whole cookies, but she changed the recipe because the cookies were difficult to bite into. Her grandchildren now argue about who’s going to crumble the cookies when they help cook.

“The Cookie Dough Truffles never get dipped in chocolate, because I can’t resist eating them,” she says. “They taste better if refrigerated overnight, but I found a way to make them into a dip so I can eat them sooner. Nana’s Meatballs were based on my Italian grandmother’s recipe. They can be eaten as is, as an appetizer or placed in a sub or hoagie roll.”

Jamieson closes out with a story about a silly tradition that began with their friends, Steve and Ann Hammond of Bemus Point, during the Christmas holiday many years ago. After Russ refused to try the miniature loaf of fruitcake that Ann brought out during a visit to her home, the loaf, which was wrapped in holiday paper, mysteriously showed up under the Jamieson’s tree. This same loaf has sneaked back and forth from one house to the other for many years.

Take a look at So Very Shari Creations on Facebook. She can also be reached at

Everybody has a story. Are you willing to tell yours? If so, pull out your favorite tried and true recipes, decide which you’d like to prepare for the picture and shoot me an email at I’ll do the rest.

2 lbs ground beef

3/4 c milk

2 eggs

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp pepper

white onion, chopped (about 1/2 of medium size)

1 c bread crumbs

Vegetable oil

2 cans spaghetti sauce (26 oz each)

Put ground beef in a large bowl. Mix the milk and egg in a small bowl until well blended. Add wet mixture to ground beef. Add Worcestershire sauce and pepper and mix together. Add the onions and bread crumbs, mix until well blended. Form meat mixture into golf ball size balls. Add a little vegetable oil to a large frying pan. Heat over medium heat and add meatballs. Brown meatballs, gently turning as they brown, being sure to brown all sides. Remove from pan and place on paper towels to absorb any excess oil. Place sauce in a crockpot and add meatballs. Heat on high for at least 2 hours or low for 3-4 hours. Makes approximately 30.

No Bake Peanut Butter Crunch Cookies

4 c crispy rice cereal

1 c light corn syrup

1 c sugar

1 1/4 c peanut butter

5 Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups

1 c chocolate chips

Pour rice cereal in a large bowl. Combine corn syrup, sugar and peanut butter in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave for 2 minutes or until combined. Pour over cereal and mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and candy. Scoop mixture with an ice cream scoop. Roll into ball and then lightly flatten. Place on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Repeat process until bowl is empty. Cool.

Strawberry Sugar Cookie Trifle

3 c heavy whipping cream

1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 c plus 2 T powdered sugar

12 oz package mini sugar cookies, crushed

1 1/2 lbs strawberries, trimmed and sliced

1/2 c sugar

Place the bowl of an electric mixer, or a large glass bowl if using a hand mixer, in the freezer to chill for at least 10 minutes. Add whipping cream and vanilla to the chilled bowl. Whip on low speed while gradually adding powdered sugar then gradually increase speed as whipped cream thickens. Whip until cream holds its shape, but is not lumpy. Spread a thin layer of whipped cream into the bottom of a trifle dish. Layer half of the cookies, spread on another layer of whipped cream, and then top with one-third of the strawberries. Repeat layers – cookies, whipped cream, and strawberries. Cover dish and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Peach Crunch Cake

24.5 oz sliced peaches in light syrup

1 yellow cake mix

1 stick butter, cut into 16 pieces

1 c brown sugar

1/2 c walnuts, chopped (optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer ingredients in 13“x9” in order listed, starting with peaches. Bake for approximately 40 minutes. Serve warm with or without ice cream.

Cookie Dough Truffles

1/2 c butter, softened

3/4 c firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 c flour

1-14 oz can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 c chocolate chips

11/2 lb chocolate candy wafers

In a large bowl cream butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until creamy. Add vanilla. Gradually beat in flour and add milk. Add chocolate chips and pecans, mixing well. Shape into 1-inch balls. Place on waxed paper; chill 2 hours. Melt chocolate candy wafers in a double boiler. Using 2 forks, dip cookie balls into candy coating to cover. Place on waxed paper and chill to set. Store in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Sweet and Spicy Bacon Chicken

4 chicken breasts

bacon slices

salt and pepper to taste

garlic powder

chili powder

brown sugar

baking spray

Cut each breast into 3 pieces. Season all chicken with the spices and then wrap a bacon slice around each piece. Roll in brown sugar and place in an oven proof dish that has been sprayed with baking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and bacon is brown and crispy.

Jalapeno Popper Dip

2-8oz pkgs cream cheese, room temperature

1 c mayonnaise

1 c shredded Mexican blend cheese

1/2 c parmesan cheese

4 green jalapenos, chopped

1 c panko bread crumbs

1/2 c parmesan cheese

1/4 c butter, melted

Place the first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Spread the dip into a greased 2 quart casserole. In a bowl mix bread crumbs and the other 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese. Pour melted butter over top crumb mixture and mix well. Sprinkle crumb mixture evenly over the dip and bake in a 375∂ oven for about 20 minutes or until top is browned, dip is heated through and gently bubbles on edges. Serve with buttery crackers or sliced French baguette.

Broccoli Cheese Soup for Crock Pot

8 oz Cheez Whiz

1 can cream of celery soup

16 oz broccoli, frozen

2 c half & half

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and heat on low for about 3 hours.