Birthday Projects-episode 1

As I explained previously, this month is a crazy time for birthdays in my social circle. Seven, that's right, SEVEN, in one month. I have been busy lately working on various projects for friends and relatives and can now share them! I am going to start off with the kids: my younger sister, nephew, and niece.

This year, perhaps because I am lame, perhaps because I have been running around like a crazy chicken for too long, I decided to go the easy way and give them all the same gift, with variations. I was recently reminded of these drawing books that I remember from when I was a kid:

And, always one to try and foster the arts in young minds, I decided they would be a fabulous gift. So each kid got one of these books, a pack of brand new markers, a handmade (of course) card, and a coordinating handmade note/sketchbook personalized for each of them. (They also each got $25, too. Come on, I'm not that lame...)

The first project I will share is for the earliest birthday, my sister Hannah, who turned 13. She is most definitely not your typical tween. Any favorite outfit of hers requires camouflage. She hates pink and anything that might look like it could possibly belong to a girl. So, making her something is always tricky, but I think I succeeded! Here are the goods:

The card. The inside has a pocket and reads "just sending birthday wishes".
This airplane took some serious hot glue, but was well worth it for the cool factor! :)This book is a basic Canson sketchbook from the craft store (about $2 each, I think). I removed the cover and added a new one. They are a nice size for small notes/drawings: 3.5" x 5".

I used the new Cosmo Cricket line, The Boyfriend, which I love love! Other supplies listed below. One day here soon I'll be back with another card/notebook set. Until then...

cardstock, ink, twine, green bitty box patterned paper: Papertrey Ink
patterned paper: Cosmo Cricket
stamp (hey!): Hero Arts
other: white gel pen, hot glue

cardstock, ink, stamps (letters, grid, text): Papertrey Ink
patterned paper, journaling spot, arrow sticker: Cosmo Cricket
Other: white gel pen, embroidery floss

Shop Sale!

Just a quick post to announce a sale that I am having in my Etsy shop this weekend:

Friday Sept. 25-Sunday the 27th, I am offering 15% off your ENTIRE purchase, even including sale items. Just enter the code "weekend deals" into the message to seller field at checkout and either:
1- pay for your order and receive a refund via PayPal --OR--
2-wait for a revised invoice from me and then pay

It's easy! Happy shopping!

I will be back later this evening with a big post of birthday goodies to share-see you then! :)


Chocolate Mousse

I think I have a new favorite dessert.

I have now made it a total of three times: once to test it out, a second time to screw it up, and a third to finally get it right. And it's heaven.

It's Chocolate Mousse! Though I prefer the more refined sounding French version, Mousse au Chocolat...

It's a French classic, and after seeing the movie "Julie and Julia" (which is partially about Julia Child) a few months ago, I did some online investigation into her recipes. I stumbled onto this recipe from pastry chef David Lebovitz. He has a great food blog, which is both sweet and savory. He calls the recipe "Julia Child's Perfect Chocolate Mousse" and that it is.

I always thought that chocolate mousse was one of those things better left up to professionals. But it really is not that hard. A bit tedious, but not hard. It's rich, so not a dessert to make often, but I like David's logic:

"This recipe requires a vigorous bit of whipping. So if you've ever wanted to really know why French women don't get fat even though they eat all those luscious desserts, well...once you make this mousse, you'll soon learn the answer."

Amen to that.
That's all for today. I am making a cake and wrapping gifts and finishing up some birthday projects for a few of the (SEVEN) September birthdays we have this week and will have some goodies to show you soon. Hope you're having a fabulous Sunday afternoon!



I know, I know...it's perhaps a bit early to be thinking about Halloween. But I am! Though I have been keeping super ridiculously busy with work and school, I have snuck in time to get thinking about this year's Halloween party and have gotten started on the invitation design. It is coming sooner than we know it. Heck, hard-core Halloweenies (hee...is that a word?) send their save-the-dates out in August, so by their standards, I am already way behind! :) It is still hot here but little by little the fall is creeping up on us. I can already feel the days getting shorter and the air getting (slightly) crisper. I am getting excited.

I finally got around today to posting some new goodies in my Etsy shop for the upcoming holiday. I posted sneak peeks of these a while back before the craft fair, but hadn't gotten time to take any good photos for listing. So here they are now!

First up, a simple set of Halloween stickers using this delightful PTI Halloween stamp set.

Then, a few sets of Halloween treat tags in three coordinating colors.

And, the best thing yet, my Boo Banner! I love this so much that if it doesn't sell, I will just have to keep it and display it proudly in my house.

Check out the shop for more pictures or to buy.

What do you all think? Ready for Halloween yet?? Got any plans? I want to know! :)



Sunday Scene-results

Wow! It has been a busy week in my neck of the woods with school and work. But we have been having unseasonably cool weather here (cool enough to have the windows open these past few days) and I am itching for fall to start and so so happy for the long holiday weekend here in the US. My only plans are to play a bit with new goodies that just arrived and get some things done around the house since we spent the whole of last weekend preparing for....Sunday Scene!

I'll cut to the chase by answering some key questions that you're all just dying to know:
Did we sell a ton of stuff?
No. Not really. We sold two items (one of which was a card set, so we made almost enough to cover the entry fee). We had a few people take business cards.

Did we have fun?
Definitely! The weather was nice, hot, but breezy down on the river and there was good music. I think this was a really good experience for me, not having ever done any kind of craft fair before. I now know what to expect, what kinds of things to make, how I might display better...those sorts of things. And, if nothing else, I have a huge pile of new inventory I had been saving for the fair that I can now list in my Etsy shop-huge bonus! :)

I have a bunch of pictures to share of my booth (click on any of them to make them bigger):
That's me, manning the booth just as the event began.
These next couple are just shots of the booth. I had one table of merchandise and a second one where customers (mostly kids) could stamp a free card (tried to bring some people in).
I love love love the little banner I made for the table front.
These old shutters I bought at a local salvage yard, cleaned up and displayed cards hanging with Christmas ornament hooks attached to the back of the package with tape.

I had a couple of baskets of items, including this one with older sale items.I also bought this wooden box from the salvage yard (it's kind of half salvage/half junk). We improvised some hinges with ribbon and thumbtacks to hold it open and I concentrated my "head-start on Halloween" merchandise there.

This display rack was once meant to hold cigar boxes (also from the salvage store). I just backed each tier with cardboard and affixed decorative labels to the front of each.
All in all, it was a great day. Even Jimmy really enjoyed himself! The bottom line: Will I be doing it again soon? Probably not. But will I discount craft fairs forever? Not at all.

Hope you all have a terrific weekend!!