Saturday, June 25, 2011

Etsy updates



I've been working hard on my etsy shop. I've been focusing on building up inventory, and making the surprise give-away item to include when someone orders something.  I'll put these in the order when I pack it up.  I'm also going to include a coupon when I pack up the orders, for savings on the next order.  I started first with adding new keychains to my shop.  I've made 3 new pleated bags that I need to photograph and post for sale.  I also think I'm going to have little items, like some potholders, bookmarks, and other things; ways that I can work on decreasing my scrap abundance.  I need to work on advertising with people I know and spreading the word that way.

I am going to do custom orders based on the webbing and ribbon choices pictured in the last two photos.



elated or early?

front view above, and back view below

I purchased the materials for this project intending it to be a wedding present for Keith and Lucy.  Well, when it didn't get done immediately, it kept losing its position in my craft queue.  I made them about a month or two ago, just in time for it's purpose to be ambiguous.  Is it a belated wedding present, or an early first anniversary present?  

Krista's Baby Shower


rista's Baby Shower

My mom and I hosted a baby shower for my friend Krista.  I met Krista growing up at my home church in Richmond.  We became good friends through the small group that we were both in during high school.  My mom and I invited all of the small group members, as well as their mothers to this shower.  My group had not been all together since we all graduated, so it was a really special time to catch up with one another.  

My mom and I had a lot of fun throughout the whole shower process.  We started by making the invitations for the shower.  Each of them were unique.

We used stamps and stamp pads, tools that cut special edges and corners, and coordinating paper, along with the usual fare of scissors, glue, and pencils.  Our front stamp said, "Happy Pregnancy" with a round-bellied dress on a hanger, as you can see below.

After we had sent the invitations, we started planning the party.  We each made some decorations.  I made the bunting to hang from the entry way of my parents' house and to welcome everyone.  The mom and dad-to-be named the baby Kassie.  We were able to incorporate that throughout the decorations and the party.

Another paper craft we did was to make some paper diapers to hang with tiny, colored clothespins.  I got this idea from my friend Kat at Danielle's shower.

We also had a prayer/message tree, where the guests could write messages to expecting family.  My mom and I used hot glue to decorate the branch we foraged from the back yard with little coral flowers.  The messages are attached with little, calla lily, bendable flowers.  (We got the flowers and the bendable flowers from Michael's.  They came in a bunch, and we just cut them off of/out of their bunch.  That really stretched money!  It was only a dollar for each bunch.)  The branch is sitting in a vase filled with marble rocks to stabilize it upright.  The bunny was holding the directions and the basket for the attaching flowers.

The completed tree was really special to send home with Krista.  We also had a small stuffed-animal tea party as a center piece for one of the tables.   

Since daisies were one of Krista's wedding flowers, we incorporated them in our decorations.  We had small jars each filled with colored water.  The daisies looked very cute in the different shaped and colored jars!

It seems I missed taking a picture of the food and cupcakes.  I was able to use my cupcake tree to display the cupcakes.  I just made chocolate cupcakes from a box mix, and we iced them with Ukrop's white, butter-cream, icing.  If you're a Richmonder, you know how good the food from the Ukrop's bakery is.  Another nice aspect of the shower was that we were also able to reuse a lot of things we had made or purchased for my wedding.  We used glass marbles, table clothes, and serving trays.

It was really fun to plan and execute a shower with my mom.  We had a lot of fun making most everything, and I think it all flowed together.  I know it was special to me to get to reunite with close friends from high-school, and I think everyone enjoyed it, too.

Summer Baking


hocolate, Coffee Cake

I've been enjoying my summer by doing lots of domestic things.  I've enjoyed baking from scratch, along with my usual crafts.  Don't get me wrong in thinking that I like to cook.  In my opinion, baking is very different from cooking.  I am not good at the improvisation required to be a good cook. To succeed, I need a recipe, specific directions, and precise amounts.  If I have to judge by look as to whether or not something is done, I'm doomed.  But, if the recipe says to keep the item in the oven for 20-25 minutes, I can stick a toothpick in the thing and decide if it's done or not. Moral of the story:  don't ask me to cook if you're dying of hunger, but I could make you a cake and save your life with sugar and the oven.

Anyway, I baked this cake for a co-worker at my school.  It was a chocolate, coffee cake.  I got the recipe for both the cake and frosting from the magazine Real Simple.  It is a really easy and good recipe to follow, as the cake turns out moist and full of flavor.  The frosting wasn't my favorite, but it turned out well enough.  I decorated it with sliced almonds.  I thought about writing on it with icing, but that seemed too sloppy.  I like the more abstract route I took.

I have made three of these cakes to date; one as an experiment, the one I've mentioned for my co-worker, and one for a charity, dessert banquet.  The one pictured directly below was my experiment.