Tuesday, December 30, 2008

My etsy shop helper

This is Momo, a mosaic chinchilla. She helped me post this necklace last night. (I'm liking my new eyeshadow, but it looks funky here. Oh well.) She's such a good helper. She nibbles on my buttons, and makes chilla-poops. If you scratch her behind the ears she makes a cute squish face. My husband and I adopted her a year and a half ago through Petfinder, which is an awesome website. My mom found her dog through them as well.
Yesterday I discovered this shop because the owner has her chinchilla in her avatar:

Buy Handmade

I'm not sure this post has a point, other than chinchillas are cute. Adopt one today!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas!

I took advantage of spending a holiday at home, and made even more decorations. I wrote up a blog entry about it for the {NewNew}, click to see!
The holiday was really based around food. For Christmas Eve I made veal parmigiana with fresh mozzerella, and cupcakes for the office:
I did use all of the stencils, but these came out the best. Devil's food cake + vanilla frosting...mmm...
On Christmas morning I made challah bread French toast:
And sweetened the coffee with some Bailey's mint chocolate, it's good stuff. Wow, for a craft blog this is awfully focused on food! I'm working on some new designs, including one of a kind pins. So far so good, but I have to let some gloss dry before the next step. I'm very impatient, I just want to finish it now.
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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas! Celebrate with pie!

Paula Deen's Peppermint Pie has been a hit with my family for the past few years, and is now requested at the work potluck. It only takes a few ingredients, and is a good way to use up some candy canes! Her instructions are super simple, so here are some photos and notes to help-
See photos & notes

Step 1- Gather ingredients
Step 1- Gather ingredients
Oreo makes the best chocolate crust in my opinion. I used these massive peppermint sticks to cut down on plastic waste.

Step 1a- Pour self a glass of wine
Step 1a- Pour self a glass of wine
House Wine, love the label. The wine itself is just ok. The festive red glass makes the pie taste better.

Step 2- do you see what I see?
Step 2- do you see what I see?

Step 3- smush!
Step 3- smush!
Rolling pins, hammers, and other blunt objects work well.

Step 3- done!
Step 3- done!
Make sure they're nice & small, otherwise it'll take forever to melt.

Step 4- melt!
Step 4- melt!
This is what it looks like when you first add the cream. It starts to take on that great pink color.

Step 4 continued
Step 4 continued
Keep the heat very low, and stir often.

Still melting, but...
You can take the opportunity to make a sandwich and refill your wine glass.

Here we go!
This is a good consistency, it won't all melt completely.

Step 5- secret trick
Step 5- secret trick
It always seems that a few solid pieces persist, so I strain out the mostly melted candy. Let it cool at room temperature, don't chill (the gelatin will make it solidify). Stir every 10 minutes or so while it's cooling, otherwise a skin forms on top.

Step 6- whip & fold
Step 6- whip & fold!
For best results chill your bowl and whisk in the freezer before whipping. I have a stand mixer, so it makes super fast work of this step. (The mixer is also pink...hmm...)

Step 7- Fill crusts!
Step 7- Fill crusts!
Don't worry if you have too much filling, or a few crumbs end up on top.

Sprinkles will fix it!
Sprinkles will fix it! I didn't fill these too high because they had to travel, so...

If you have too much peppermint cream...
The extra filling goes well with hot cocoa or coffee, just be careful not to make a huge mess like I did...

Your tasty pink peppermint pies are done! Voila!

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas to you and yours!
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Monday, December 22, 2008

Upcycling Feature on Etsy 365!

What is Upcycling?

I'm featured on the Etsy 365 blog, which features a new item or shop each day. It's cool to be #7, thanks! The author of the blog runs the etsy shop The Old Oak Tree, which features natural products for babies. (Jen, take note!) Thanks for the feature, and best of luck with your blog and shop!

And I totally meant to do this last week, but I just found out that my sister is selling some of her designs via cafepress-

RUBBISH & Assemblee Line
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Sunday, December 21, 2008

New design!

I was playing around with some of my supplies and came up with this necklace. It's just long enough so that the star rests in the center of your collarbone, so cute. The beads are glass faux pearls, and the star has a piece of the NANA logo on it (which is my favorite series of anything ever). I made another one with black chain, and experimented with another necklace design too. I'll be testing them a little, then listing them in the shop. Today I listed two new pairs of earrings- http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6266247&section_id=5750979

I hope everyone had a nice weekend before Christmas. I personally avoided all the stores, but did get quasi-lost in the Bronx en route to a friend's apartment. C'est la vie.
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Handmade Holidays for my sister

The package arrived yesterday, so I can finally post about these. It's been tough keeping mum, I really like everything I sent her! I cheated and posted them on flickr, which my family didn't know about, but now that's busted. C'est la vie! Onto the goodies-

The best part is that she called when it arrived, so I got to hear her open it. It really made my day!

The snowman is from this pattern, it's free but you'll need to register to see it.
The white and green yarns are my grandma's, but the red isn't. I finally ran out on Snowman #4!

The instructions for the large ornament, called a kusudama, are on folding trees:

The other star ornaments are from instructions that came with a pack of origami paper, but zencrafter posted an exhaustive tutorial here (as well as many variations, like wreaths):

The lucky star garland is about 6 feet long. All of the origami are made with Sephora holiday catalogs. I usually give my sister makeup for Christmas, but the budget is tight this year since DH and I are buying a co-op. I figured this was the next best thing!
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas is coming...fast!


I just listed new earrings, I had two "stocking stuffer" sales yesterday! I got them both in the mail this morning, phew. I'm very happy that my sister's gifts made it to her safely! Currently my peppermint pie filling is cooling. Later it gets folded in whipped cream, then served at tomorrow's office potluck. The DH is out at his school's holiday party (which included a recorder concert!!!)

Amid all the holiday crafting and hoopla I've joined two etsy street teams. I'm very excited to be a part of both of them.

First is the {newnew}, which is a regional group. They're very active, which really appealed to me. The Handmade Holiday Cavalcade they put on was a great show, and I'm looking forward to meeting the members soon. I'm glad that they include Connecticut! I've signed up for a blog post on Christmas day about crafting with holiday leftover (wrapping paper stars, anyone?)

Second is the Eco Etsy team! Shocking, I know. I'm having a little trouble navigating the yahoo group (google is so much simpler) but so far so good.

Not a team, but I did join indiepublic yesterday and twitter today. I haven't had time to really explore them yet, but so far a bunch of people have welcomed me! I feel so loved!
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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Earring preview!

The Fire Mountain Gems order came in on Tuesday, and I've been playing with all the new stuff since. I was way low on supplies, it's great to have headpins again! There are also new colors of the tiny swarovski crystals, lots of teals and greens. Purple too...mmm. One of the map earring pairs are for me to keep, but I'll list the other in my shop shortly. I did photograph them individually, but they didn't come out so great. I need daylight!
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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Etsy finds- yummy yarn

Handspun yarns always look so delicious. I have no idea what I would make with them, some are pretty enough to be displayed on their own. Here are a few of my faves currently up on etsy:

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

I still have to finish a things using my regular yarn, but it's nice to daydream!
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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Back from the cavalcade!

I had a blast at the {NewNew} Handmade Cavalcade! My mom met me at Grand Central, and a co-worker met us at the Knitting Factory. Two of my friends went as well, but I didn't run into them. I bought a sampler from Dirty Loves Clean, and the most awesomest tote bag in the history of tote bags from Fact & Fancy. The swag in the goodie bag was amazing! I love the earrings from Silver Dot Designs, as well as the uptown / downtown pendant and all the pins, stickers, postcards, and other goodies. I've yet to sort through it all.

After the show my mom and I walked to Little Italy for some delicious pasta, then to EMC2 for a talking Tim Gunn bobblehead. We took the subway back uptown to Bryant Park. The holiday shops are nice, but definitely not diverse. Tons of jewelry, lots of knitted stuff, etc. I did get a second pair of earrings at Momo Glassworks, I wear the studs I bought last year constantly. I also got the coolest keychain / phone charm / doo-dad there:

Don't be jealous. There was a really cool stall selling bags made from chains of candy wrappers, magazines and the like, but it was definitely out of my budget.

When I got home I found out that I had a sale, from my husband's cousin, but hey! A sale is a sale, and he picked it up in person! I also had a convo telling me one of my items was featured on this blog- Andee's Designs. Does this mean I'm big in Germany, like David Hasselhoff?

What a good day!

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Friday, December 5, 2008

I lol'd

This is a very cute Colbert Report clip about a crochet / knit artist that makes cosies for SUVs.

NY / NJ / CT area people- tomorrow is the Handmade Cavalcade at the Knitting Factory! I'm nervous about going, since I want to join the {NewNew} etsy street team! Well, I'm more nervously excited.
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sorta bad day...

So...someone dropped a heavy briefcase on my feet, the subways were delayed, someone else stepped on my heel and knocked my shoe off on a crowded stairwell...yeah. At the end of the day I missed my train and had over 20 minutes to wait. Luckily the kaliedoscope is running, and I had my camera.

From Grand Central December 2008

By taking these photos and videos I lost whatever street cred I had, c'est la vie. I may as well bury it in the ground by sharing this-

View Larger Map

I didn't know you could make custom maps in google! This is too addictive. Here are some of my favorite stores and restaurants on Manhattan's (mostly) West Side. Blue tabs are fabric or art supplies, purple are clothing and other stores. So Mom, that's how far away the Knitting Factory is from Bryant Park. We'll catch the Cash Cab.
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