Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I'm excited to introduce you to Megan of Rue Renee!

Her shop is filled with the most gorgeous and fun stationery~

Tell us a little about yourself ~

I grew up in suburban Colorado, but I've lived in New York City for the past ten years. In my student days I majored in fine art and have always loved drawing, painting, and photography. I now work as a graphic designer in the magazine industry by day, and enjoy reading novels, watching films, and making things in my spare time.

When and why did you start your Etsy shop?

I recently starting working freelance instead of full-time, and found I had some extra time on my hands. I've been a fan of Etsy for a long time and always thought it would be fun to try and set up my own shop. Since I've always enjoyed making cards for my friends and family (for birthdays etc.) and got good feedback from them, I thought that might be something I might have success selling on Etsy. Initially, I just listed a couple cards I had already made, and then that lead to working on some new designs and putting together stationary sets. I have a nice big apartment (well, only by New York standards!) in Astoria, Queens, which affords me the luxury of an extra bedroom which I use as my office and work space where I've literally set up shop. Since I'm just making cards I don't require very many supplies - just an inkjet printer, paper, a paper trimmer, shipping supplies, and a digital camera.

What are your inspirations and the long term goals for your shop?
In the future, besides continuing to add more card designs to my shop, I've also thought about expanding to offer custom wedding announcements, party invitations, and business cards designs. I'm really inspired by other Etsy sellers. The breadth of talent on the site is amazing, so I'm constantly looking at other shops for inspiration and for ideas on how to to improve my own store. I see it as a constant work in progress.

Megan's work is so original and her prices are unbeatable!
When I 1st found her on Etsy,
I knew instantly that I wanted to share her with you!

Megan is so sweet to offer one of you lucky winners
these 2 fabulous cards from her shop:

To enter:

Visit Rue Renee and find your favorite item. Return here and leave a comment letting me know what it is. Be sure I have a way to contact you in case you are the winner.

For additional entries:

*Become a Facebook fan of Rue Renee. Leave a comment letting me know you did.
* Make a purchase from Rue Renee. Comment with the item and transaction #.

I'll draw a name the old fashioned way on Monday.
Thanks, Megan!!!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

What every cook needs....

....a delicious recipe.

And a handsome, scantily clad assistant.

Lucas was perfect.

The lime-drenched-bitter-nastiness-encrusted salmon was not.

But I found a fantastic cookie recipe... tweaked it a little and wanted to share the recipe with you. These are so easy to make and they are really unique and delicious. Enjoy~

Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies~

1 cup butter , softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp Mexican vanilla (if you don't have Mexican you can use regular vanilla)
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2-3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate bar zested or grated VERY fine (optional)
2 cups quick cooking oats

Preheat oven to 375. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in chocolate (optional). Mix in oats. Cover and chill dough about 1 hour. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and slightly flatten with fork dipped in sugar. Bake on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and leave on the baking sheet for a few minutes until the cookies "set" and you can remove them to a plate to cool. Yield: 3 dozen

Monday, February 22, 2010

And the winner is.....

(April Yeager)

Thanks to all who entered the giveaway and visited Dawn's shop!
Remember to mark Designer Favors as an
Etsy favorite for your next party or event!!!
Thanks for sharing your shop with us, Dawn!!!

Check back for another shop feature and giveaway later this week~

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Giveaway Time!!!

I am so excited to introduce this week's featured shop:

So Zachary's birthday is coming up and of all the popular party themes
out there to choose from, what kind of party does he want????

Tom and Jerry.

Yes, quite possibly the best cartoon ever created,
but it's EXTREMELY hard to find Tom and Jerry party supplies!

Enter Dawn of Designer Favors.
She created the cutest Tom and Jerry goodie bags for me!
I'll fill the bags with some delicious retro candy and the kids can take
home a cute "thank you" gift for coming to Zachary's party.

Designer Favors has fabulous party decor in her shop (and fantastic prices!!!!):

(cupcake toppers)


(Wedding favors)


(Treat bags)

...And there's so much more in her shop!

Dawn has generously offered one of you 24 custom treat bags!!!!
That means the winner of this giveaway will get 24 treat bags specifically designed for their birthday party, wedding or baby shower!!!!
(hint: visit Designer Favors past sales section and click on the custom orders.
You can view some of Dawn's custom work!)

How to enter???
Visit Designer Favors and then return here leaving a comment
with your favorite item in the shop. Be sure and leave your email address or another way to get in touch with you in case you are the winner.

I'll throw all the names in a hat and let Zachary draw a name on Monday Feb. 22. Good luck!
Thanks so much to Designer Favors for this great giveaway!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quick and Easy Teacher's Valentine Gift~

1. Purchase 1 container of hand sanitizer.
Be sure and get the kind with a label that can be peeled off
rather than one with text printed right on the bottle.

2. Peel off the bottle's label.
Scrub the sticky residue
until your think your fingernails are going to fall off.
Then remember that you have a bottle of Skin So Soft
that you bought from Avon 3 yrs ago and rub that over the sticky residue instead.
Gently wipe away residue and clean the oil off with soap and water.

3. Apply any rub-on design of your choosing.
I had this cute Valentine one on hand.

4. Hot glue ribbon around the top of the bottle.
I added a button with eyelash yarn tied to it and hot glued it onto the ribbon.
My son's teacher likes monkeys so I added this cute one with magnetic paws
and tied him to the bottle with white yarn.

Easy and quick.
All teacher's use hand sanitizer, right???
You can make one tonight and have it ready for the big
Valentine party tomorrow!

(Hey...How did this cute little picture get in here???)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Ok, Ladies~ Get your aprons on....

Banana Nut Muffins~

6 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 eggs (good luck!)
4 very ripe bananas
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350.
Cream butter and sugar.
Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.
Combine salt, soda and flour.
Mix dry ingredients into creamed mixture.
Stir in walnuts.
Bake 25 minutes in muffin cups lined with paper liners.
You'll have to watch the time... may need more or less. Use the toothpick test.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Big Decorative Tassel Tutorial

So I found this cute little birdie at Michaels in my fav color~ green.
He was just a few dollars and I thought he would make the cutest tassel.
Last night I finished the project.

I made a little tutorial as I went along to share with ya'll.
There are a thousand ways to make these tassels so feel free to share your ideas as well.
This way worked out great for me with the supplies that I had on hand.

Here's what you need:
*A cute "figurine"
*Variety of fringe trims and ribbons
*Some kind of a base to adhere your figurine to. (Can be a wooden candlestick holder or anything you have on had that fits the size of your figurine. I used an empty plastic sour cream tub because it was perfectly sized, lightweight and on hand)
*Glue stick and gun
*Strong adhesive for bonding the figurine to the base
*If your figurine doesn't have holes in it to tie a ribbon for hanging (mine already did) and it happens to me made out of wood, you can screw in an eye hook for hanging.

Here's what I used:

Notice that I forgot to include the adhesive in the picture, so I just wrote it in.
I used E6000 which has warning notices all over the bottle.
It does have a very strong scent, so I went out to the garage when using it and put on my
"old man mowing the yard" mask which helped.

(which may or may not be upside down????
Don't know which way those things are supposed to go!)

So just use whatever strong adhesive you are comfortable with.
Oh, I forgot to put a glue gun and sticks in the pic as well. Opps~

Step 1~ Adhere the Figurine to the base with strong adhesive and let dry

Step 2~ Make a puffy "base fringe" to fill up the base~

How you go about this will depend on what size you want your tassel to be and what supplies you have.
I wanted a big, puffy tassel and had the entire sour cream cup I needed to fill up.
Plus I didn't have a lot of "puffy" fringe on hand.
So I used eyelash yarn for knitting.
I made a pompom ball, only I didn't cut mine into a ball shape, but left it as a bell shape instead. (I did this by tying my string through the loops rather than around the whole pompom ball.)
Then I hot glued it up into the base of the sr. cream cup.

Step 3~ Add fringe and ribbons~

Again, this will just depend on what you have on hand.
I got that fantastic tulle trim and burlap trim from this shop.
So I hot glued the burlap into 3 loops and adhered them to the base.

Next start hot gluing on your various trims and ribbons working around and around the base. Make it as thick, colorful, puffy, skinny, crazy as you want.

At this point my husband, Josh, walked by and asked, " What is that?"
"It's a tassel" I said.
"Who's it for? Paul Bunyan?" he asked.

Yes, it is big and puffy, and I love it that way!
But it needed a bow. So I made one out of that fantastic burlap with a pretty ribbon as the center. Then just hot glued it on.

Step 4~ Tidy up loose ends~
Now I trimmed up the eyelash yarn base, shaping it and trimming off the excessively long strands.
Then I tied a ribbon (I used eyelash yarn again) through the top for hanging.

Here is when Josh walked by again and asked if it was supposed to look like that.
Well, I guess there is no particular way that it is supposed to look. Just make it look however you want it to look. I wanted it to look big and puffy and that is how it turned out. :)

The final look:

Would love to hear your ideas/questions!