Friday, June 11, 2010

Featured Seller - Pretty and Personal Papers by Tricia 16

Tricia of "Pretty and Personal Papers" has been selling on etsy for almost a year. She started out selling monogrammed notecards, like the one below, and the business expanded from there.

Tricia had been making the cards to give as gifts at birthday parties and wedding and baby showers. She was approached at a shower and asked to make a custom set. Hesitant at first because she really enjoyed making the cards for gifts, Tricia took the order, as well as the advice that she start selling them to others.

Tricia's favorite items are her journals, such as the one below. She leans toward bright colors and uniquely patterned papers.

The idea for these journals came from her own experience with making a little notebook to write down the funny things her kids said or did. Tricia was always telling friends or family about her kids and someone told her she should start writing her anecdotes down. After writing a few stories, she made up a little journal titled "the funny things you say and do" and started writing in it for her own kids. Her first one started as a boring journal found at a local craft store that she decided to bling out. Now they are completely handmade. The journals are her most popular item. Tricia especially loves working with moms on their journals to make them fit the children's interests and personalities.

Tricia belongs to the Etsy Greetings Street Team and Busy Moms Street Team. She advises that those new to etsy join a street team, as she has found them to be amazing and helpful, supportive and knowledgeable.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dear Dad

I've just curated a couple of Father's Day treasuries on etsy's Treasury East and Treasury West. Here's a sneak peek. Click on the links to view the entire collections.

Thanks Dad

Dear Dad

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Summer, Summer, Summer Time

Tim, Brennan and I just returned from a wonderful trip to our old stomping grounds in Atlanta, GA. We stayed with old friends, Louis and Kathy Cahill. They are gracious hosts, so kind and accommodating. They also happen to be incredibly talented. Louis is a professional photographer. (Click on the link to view some of his photos.) However, he is also REALLY into fly fishing and makes his own rods. He also renovates houses. Seriously. I don't know how he does it. Kathy is an amazing graphic designer with a love for animals. She rehabs squirrels and used to work with elephants at the zoo. Oh, and she makes soap and cooks all sorts of yummy veggie food. There's more. They do so much more. Tim and I have named them the official most annoying couple on the planet! We love them, but they've got to give us a break. They're really making us look bad!

Anyway, while we were down in Atlanta, we visited the GA Aquarium. Amazing! The pictures I have don't do it justice. We also took Brennan to the zoo in Grant Park and the Botanical Garden. Both were lots of fun, but we about roasted at the gardens. It was worth it though. That's how much I love plants. I am willing to suffer sunburn and exhaustion to see as much plant life as possible. Of course, we also ate a bunch of amazing food. We tried Ethiopian food for the first time and love, love, loved it. LB liked it as well (whew!). The restaurant doesn't have a website, but it's called Bahel and is located on Briarcliff. We also had yummy falafel at Marco's on Ponce, Indian at Zyka on Scott Blvd. in Decatur and Chinese at Green Sprout on Piedmont (Try the Empire "chicken."). And then there was our old friend Veggieland. I can't say enough good things about this place. The food is so good. The service is wonderful. And, unbelievably, the place is cheap! Yay for Veggieland! If you're ever in Atlanta, you must, must, must try their veggie burger with avocado.

Being back in Atlanta made me miss big city living, but I haven't packed my bags yet. I think it will pass. I didn't care for that life when in any of the larger cities where we've lived (except for maybe NYC, but I'm not wealthy, so scratch that). I do love Louisville and I figure we'll be calling it home for at least a few more years.

It was super hot in Atlanta on Sunday. It really felt like a Southern summer day. When I returned from the trip and realized I had some treasuries to update on Treasury East, I felt inspired to curate an Etsy Greetings Team treasury dedicated to the summer (hence the title of this post). Here's a taste. Click on the link to view the entire treasury.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Items of the Week - in Purple

Here are some of my current faves on etsy. They all also happen to be purple. Click on the link to view the entire treasury.

View treasury.

Friday, May 14, 2010

What Do Vegans Eat? Food that Rocks!

I made a couple of recipes from "Vegan with a Vengeance" this week that I've never made before. This is an awesome cookbook from the Post-Punk Kitchen founder Isa Chandra Moskowitz. This isn't a cookbook that requires you to buy a bunch of obscure and expensive ingredients. It's full of simple, economical, and, so far, delicious recipes. I neglected to take pictures of the food before we ate it. You'll just have to take me at my word when I say they looked delicious as well. Here are the recipes. Let me know if you try either.

Apple Pie-Crumb Cake Muffins

for muffins:
1 and 1/2 c flour
1/4 c plus 2 T sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground allspice
1/8 t ground cloves
1/4 t salt
3/4 c apple cider
1/3 c canola oil
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c grated apple
1/2 c chopped apple (1/4-inch pieces)

for topping:
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/4 c brown sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/4 t ground allspice
pinch of salt
3 T canola oil

Prepare the topping by mixing all of the dry topping ingredients together in a small bowl. Drizzle the oil in while mixing with your fingertips until crumbs form. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F, lightly grease a twelve-muffin tin.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt. Create a well in the center and add the apple cider, oil, and vanilla. Mix, then fold in the grated and chopped apple.

Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full. Sprinkle the crumb topping over each muffin. Bake for 22 minutes.

Tempeh Reuben Makes four sandwiches.

8 slices good, dark pumpernickel bread
8 t nonhydrogenated margarine
1 and 1/2 c sauerkraut
2 dill pickles, thinly sliced
1 avocado, cut in half lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1 pound tempeh, cut into four equal pieces, then cut through the middle so that you have eight thin squares

for the marinade:
1/2 c white cooking wine
2 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
2 T Bragg Liquid Aminos or tamari
2 T fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, smashed

for the dressing:
1/3 c Vegannaise
2 T ketchup
Juice of 1 lemon
1 T minced onion
3 t capers
2 T sweet pickle relish (or equivalent amount chopped pickles)
a pinch of cayenne

Prepare the tempeh:
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade. Add the tempeh and marinate for at least one hour, turning once.

Mix together all the dressing ingredients and set aside.

When the tempeh has marinated for an hour, preheat a grill pan over high heat. Cook the slices on the grill for 4 minutes on one side, until dark grill lines have appeared, then use tongs to flip them over and cook on the other side for about 3 minutes.

Prepare the sandwich:

Spread a teaspoon of margarine on each piece of bread. Heat a large skillet over moderate heat. Fry each piece of bread on the buttered side for 3 minutes, flip over and cook one minute more.

Divide the ingredients equally among four buttered-side-down fried bread slices. Smother in dressing, top each serving with another slice of fried bread, nonbuttered side down, cut in half, and serve.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

etsy Greetings on Treasury East

I changed up my etsygreetingsteam treasury today. The theme is "love" because, as one seller put it, love needs no season. Here's a preview. Click the link to view the entire treasury.

Love, Love, Love

Giveaway at Adore by Nat

Adore by Nat is having a giveaway this week. It's a $20.00 gift certificate to etsy shop Tiny Made. Gorgeous clothes! Click on the links to view the blog giveaway entry and the Tiny Made shop.

Blog Candy at Killam Creative

Susan at Killam Creative is giving away a ton of stuff in honor of her birthday. There's a preview pic below. Check out the link for details and to view her blog. She's assembling a community of crafters who love to share new ideas.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New Arrivals

I finally listed some new items in the shop! Yay, me! I've posted them below. Also, don't forget that I currently have a HUGE sale section. Be sure to visit the shop and check it out.

Flora $4.50 (includes free domestic shipping)

Bird $4.50 (includes free domestic shipping)

Flowers $4.50 (includes free domestic shipping)

Welcome $4.50 (includes free domestic shipping)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Featured Seller - Isabellaflora Greeting Cards

Today's featured seller, Isabellaflora, is a collaborative effort between a father and daughter. He handles the photography and she the watercolor painting. They are (obviously) inspired by botanicals and produce many beautiful handmade cards for their etsy shop. I recently sent a few questions to Eve and found some favorites from her shop. Please be sure to go check out the remaining items!

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from flowers, leaves, trees and all things botanical. Both my Father and I love the beauty and textures that our green world presents to us.

Water Dance Card $4.00

How did you get started paper crafting?

Actually, my girlfriend suggested I start painting about 3 years ago. I immediately knew it would be water colors, as I am so drawn to that medium. My father started with photography in 1928, so he has had a lifetime with his hobby. I decided that greeting cards would be a fantastic way to share our art with everyone.

Purple Passion Card $4.00

What are your favorite colors and materials?

Favorite colors...that's a tough one...perhaps blues, green and purples. Favorite materials...the gorgeous way those watercolor paints just ooze and mingle and then create a life of their own.

Sunflower Card $4.00

What prompted you to open an etsy shop?

My girlfriend showed me the Etsy site and I decided to take the plunge. It's such a big venue with exposure around the world.

Rose of Sharon Card $4.00

Do you have any advice for your fellow etsians?

Advice for others: Join esty teams that unite like-minded crafters and artists. I have learned so much from esty greetings team. Advice for newbies: Give etsy a try. What is there to lose?

Columbine Card $4.00

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Per my request, my husband took me plant shopping for Mother's Day. I wanted to go early and get them planted before the big day, so I could relax on the deck and admire the plants on Sunday afternoon. Here are some of the new arrivals, as well as some oldies that are in bloom. The hosta and fern garden is really filling out. The perennial bed on the terrace is looking really wild, just as I like it! Also, I couldn't resist putting in a pic or two of my baby girl's first trip to the dentist. Happy Mother's Day all!


low-growing yarrow:


lemon thyme:

I can't remember the name of this one:

perennial geranium:


My baby's first dental appointment:

Brennan was such a big girl! She was calm the entire time. The dentist said she did better than many grownups. I'm a proud mama.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Items of the Week

Here's a sneak peek of my latest "Items of the Week" treasury on etsy. Click the link here: "Items of the Week" to view the entire treasury. It was inspired by the greens of spring.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mother's Day Gift Guide 2010

While I just curated a treasury of gift ideas for moms, I couldn't resist putting together an additional gift guide for the blog. There are so many amazing things available on etsy! I know, I sound like a commercial. I need help! Here are some cool gift ideas. I'd love to give or receive any of them!

Mom's Handwritten Recipe on a Platter by Custom Sepia on etsy


Mom's Are Geeks Too Card by Gibberish on etsy


Flowers in Spring by Luiza Vizoli on etsy


The Four Seasons Appetizer Plates by Mary Wibis on etsy


Two 6-Piece Vegan Macaroons by The Greenwood Kitchen and Bake Shop on etsy


Little Bird Necklace in Silver by Lulu Bug Jewelry on etsy


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spring in the Garden

If you follow me on Facebook, you've probably seen my garden picks. Yet, I couldn't resist sharing them with the rest of you. My perennial garden looks awesome! It's all wild and tangled, just the way I like it. The ferns and hostas are coming in on the other side of the garden in the shade. The herb garden, however, needs some TLC. As soon as I get to it, I'll post some pics. I also have some new raised beds that Tim and my father-in-law built for me in the side yard. I am excited to be growing some actual food this year. Right now I have broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, onions, bib lettuce and romaine lettuce. I'll be adding tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and beans as it gets warmer.

Guess Who's Back? Back Again?

I should emphasize the "again." I know I have been terrible about keeping up with the blog (and with my shop, if I'm going to go all out and be honest with myself). But, I'm back, and I have some big plans for getting the blog and the shop back in gear. Stay tuned.

Etsy has a new treasury site called "Treasury East." It's a really neat idea. Anyone can make a treasury any time. The treasuries stay up until you remove them. And, etsians can post as many treasuries as they like. I made my first about a week ago for Mother's Day. Click on the previous link to view the entire treasury. The pic is just a preview.

Today I completed my second treasury on the new "East" site. I have plans to do a weekly "picks" or "finds" treasury of my current etsy faves. Here's a preview of the test run. Click the link for the full view.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Featured Seller - Vive La France Design

Kara of "Vive La France Designs" is a fellow team member on the etsy greetings team. She is a graphic designer and artist who enjoys paper-crafting as well. She recently answered a few questions about her experiences as an etsy shop owner and motivations as an artist. Please check out the examples of her work after the interview, and be sure to visit her shop for more great work.

What inspires you?

Nature... the colors and the way lighting affects the colors. I'd have to give my husband some credit too. My love notes are all inspired in some way by my husband, be it creating the perfect card for him or something from a conversation. He's always calling me tenacious--for a variety of reasons.

What are your favorite colors/materials?

Blue has always been my favorite color - in any shade, but I love color in general. I love painting in oils and the diversity it allows in blending and textures. I hope this translates in my art-print notecards. I also love the feel of Japanese paper. It is so thin, but strong and tactile.

How did you get started papercrafting?

I've always loved paper and making cards. I would make my mom cards and leave them under her pillow. Then in college, I took a calligraphy class. It was the first time I made an accordion-fold book. I illustrated my quote with watercolor illustrations and I was hooked. I also started making books using Japanese binding.

What prompted you to open an etsy shop?

I have been painting since I was seven and have a BA in Graphic Design -- I love combining art and design. I really enjoy the hands-on part. I found etsy about a year ago, but flip-flopped because of my health. I have a rare pituitary disease that was elusive for a decade and took away everything that made me me --except my creativity. So anytime I could muster up the energy I would work on a painting or a freelance design project. It eventually led to making scrapbooks for people. Then I had lots of paper......paper makes me happy! So I started making cards again. (I had been making watercolors cards and selling them at local craft fairs but lost interest). I had a pituitary tumor removed 3 years ago on April 19th, and it took a full 2 years to feel any better which = a bit more energy to work on my art. So I finally opened an etsy shop.

Do you sell outside of etsy? If so, where?

I sell a custom line of baby cards, tiny gift cards and thank you sets at 'Addison Marie, A Baby Boutique' in Albquerque, NM,
and I will have my art print notecards and handmade cards at a new brick and mortar shop, 'Queen City Emporium'
in Springfield, MO which is opening in late March.

What advice do you have for other etsy sellers?

Try. You never know what will happen. As for etsy, be a buyer as well as a seller. It makes you trustworthy and part of a community.

Here are a few of my favorites from Kara's shop:

8 Blue Baby Thank Yous by Vive La France on etsy

Torrid Love Note by Vive La France on etsy

Friendship Quote Notecard by Vive La France on etsy