Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Glass Lanterns

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I came across this article on HGTV.COM  (great ideas!) that I have put on
my "to-do" list and wanted to share.   :)


Check it out at:

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Featured Shop - fAveritte creations

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Hello Everyone! I hope your week is off to a great start  :)   Today's featured shop is fAveritte creations. Read Amy's interview below to learn a little more about her, see some of her crafty work, and ways to become a fan!








When did you start getting into crafting, and what did you start with?
I have always loved "arts & craft" time in school and loved being creative with any project. I would always get compliments about how creative my science project was or my map for Geography was. I remember spending hours on projects making them unique and different. I didn't know it then, but I was falling in love with creating. I started truly crafting in 2009 and I began making earrings and hair pieces that I would just sell or give away to my friends. After many of my friends wore my pieces and received     many compliments from others...I truly began thinking I should start creating and marketing myself.



Do you work outside of your Etsy shop? If so, how do you find time for both?
I am a full time, stay at home mom of an 8 year old girl and a 13 month old son. Currently I work for the few hours my son is asleep during his nap and I set my daughter up with a craft as well. It is our "arts & crafts" time! Anytime during the day when my son seems to be intrigued with a toy or actually sits down long enough to watch Sesame Street; I will try to work by either sketching or writing down ideas or by cutting out pieces to my creations. Then of course after they go to bed at night, I am up for hours on Etsy creating treasuries or just browsing...I love Etsy!!!






How did you learn about Etsy?
I learned about Etsy by a fellow college classmate who suggested I check it out to sell my earrings on.


When did you start your shop?
I started my shop in January of 2010 with just some left over stock of earrings from a exhibition I was featured in at a local gallery. I soon discovered there is thousands of pieces of jewelry on Etsy. I was pregnant with my son and began creating nursery items for him which then turned into me creating items for friends and family. I truly started selling again on Etsy in January of 2011.

Where does your inspiration for your items come from?
Most of my inspiration for my items comes from deep within my soul, way back many years ago to when I was a small child...and of course my own children. I love to create bright, fun items that a child will love to investigate for hours and may just keep as their best friend throughout their childhood. Images on childrens clothing, Etsy and color and patterns on fabric also inspire me. This may sound very cliche but I allow the colors and patterns within the fabric to speak to my creative soul and suggest to me what it would like to become.



Is there a certain item with a story behind it?
The monster themed prayer flag created with primary colors was originally just created for my sons nursery as part of his decor. Friends and family came to visit after the nursery was set up and decorated and we were just waiting for my little guy to arrive. I received so many compliments on the idea of the prayer flag. I was also in a Fibers course at the college and presented the flag as a project. A fellow classmate suggested I market prayer flags as custom nursery decor. I thought there is no way people will purchase them. Of course friends and family loved the idea and thus I began making custom prayer flags for childrens! That prayer flag was the spark for me to begin creating items for other children and parents to enjoy in their childs life.


Do you have advice for any shops just starting?
Advice for shops just starting...you truly have to be patient. You can not expect a sale right away in most cases. Do your research and join teams and forums. Don't spend all of your time on Etsy obsessed with your own shop and give love to others with items you love and simply adore. Every Etsy shop on here is yes your competition, but they also will bring customers your way too.



Do you have a Facebook fan page? Twitter? Blog?

Facebook:

Twitter (I just started it so it is in very early stages):

Blog (again, in early stages):

And finally Pinterest (if you have not checked this out - YOU ARE MISSING OUT!)





Please stop by Amy's shop at   http://www.etsy.com/shop/fAverittecreations  and show her some Etsy love! Favorite her shop, or an item (or two!) so we can show off her talent!

What's your favorite item?


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Monday, August 29, 2011

Adam @ Home

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TrinketsByDana Giveaway Winner

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Thank you to everyone who entered TrinketsByDana's Giveaway!

The giveaway winner is comment # 8
Kimberly W

Congrats! Remember to check back for a new giveaway posted each Thursday!!!

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Friday, August 26, 2011

Have My Cake & Eat It Too

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Happy First Birthday To My Little Man!



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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Giveaway! - Gwenwalls (Ended)

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Our newest shop to join in on the weekly giveaway is Gwenwalls! Check out her feature and enter to win her earrings and necklace set!












When did you start getting into crafting, and what did you start with?


2007, with polymer clay pendants






Do you work outside of your Etsy shop? If so, how do you find time for both?

Yes, I'm an instructional designer. I like to stay busy, so it's nice to have a relaxing project to come home to!







How did you learn about Etsy?
A friend posted about it on her blog



When did you start your shop?
2007






Where does your inspiration for your items come from?
Mainly from literature and entertainment...I like to think about fashion from other times.



Is there a certain item with a story behind it?
Not really...my stuff is pretty self-explanatory! 









Do you have advice for any shops just starting?

Take good pictures!!!










Do you have a Facebook fan page? Blog?


Facebook:

Blog:










What you can win:


Black & Blue Earrings & Necklace Set





MANY WAYS TO ENTER:

1. MANDATORY ENTRY - Be a follower of my blog.


2. Follow Gwenwalls' blog.



3. "Like" Gwenwalls' Facebook page.




4. Favorite Gwenwalls' shop.



4. Favorite an item from Gwenwalls' shop.
(Favorite as many items as you like, just leave a separate comment for each entry/item)

5. Refer a friend to enter the giveaway.
(Have your friend leave a comment you sent them for your entry)

6. Favorite 1 item from any of the previous "Featured Shops".
(Find previous Featured Shops through 'Browse By Sections'. Leave separate comment for each entry for each shop.)

*Leave a comment below for EACH entry*
(example: I follow Gwenwalls' blog - I added "item" to my favorites.)



PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL OR ETSY SHOP IN EACH ENTRY SO I CAN CONTACT WINNER EASILY :) THANK YOU!
Winner will be randomly chosen (random.org) from the comment entries below on Monday, September 4th!
GOOD LUCK!








Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Chicken Parmesan Recipe

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Hello! I hope everyone has had a great start to their week. Today I wanted to share a recipe. It is one of my Husband's favorite meals, and has become one for our little guy too  :)   It is fairly easy to make, and tastes delicious!



Ingredients: (This is what I used to make 2 large pieces)

2 Boneless / Skinless Chicken Breasts
2 Eggs
Italian Seasoned Bread Crumbs
Parmesan Cheese
Seasonings (if desired)
Oil (for frying)
Spaghetti Sauce
Mozzarella Cheese Grated
2 Bowls (a good size to dip your chicken breasts in)
Plate
Paper towels
Baking dish
Foil
Non-stick cooking spray
Pot/Pan for frying


This is a tasty meal to make, and it goes smoother if you have everything ready before you start  :)

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Now with the bowls- In one bowl add your eggs and beat them. This is your egg mixture. In your other bowl make a mixture that is half bread crumbs, and half Parmesan cheese. Add enough that will give you enough to coat your chicken depending on the size. You can also add seasonings of your choice. (I like to add a little garlic powder). This is your breading mixture. 
Now line your baking dish with foil- this helps from the chicken sticking and gives you an easy cleanup! Spray the bottom of the foil with a little non-stick cooking spray. Get a plate ready too by layering folded paper towels for you chicken after it is fried.At this time start heating your oil to fry to make sure it is hot and ready. 






Now to start cooking!
Blot dry your chicken breasts with paper towels. By drying the juices, the egg mixture will stick better, which will make the breading mixture stick better too  :)  



Now take your chicken and dip it
in the egg mixture.
 Flip it over a few times
giving it a nice thick coating.


Now place the covered piece of chicken in your breading mixture. Lay it down and using a spoon/your fingers scoop some more mixture to cover the top of the chicken. Press the mixture down hard on your piece of chicken to get a nice coating covering every part. Flip the piece of chicken over and do the same thing again. You should now have a nice thick coat of bread crumb mixture.


Carefully place your coated piece of chicken in your hot oil. After a few minutes check the progress by lightly lifting to check the color underneath. (Time can vary depending on the temperature of your oil) You want to flip your chicken over when it has a nice deep golden brown color- don't burn it.



 Carefully flip it over when it has
reached this color,
 and cook the other side the same. 



Place the finished chicken breast on the plate
with paper towels to absorb the oil.
Now dip and fry the other chicken breast the same.




Place both pieces of chicken in you foil lined baking dish, and place the dish uncovered in the oven. Cook the chicken for 25 min. Poke the chicken in the thickest parts to make sure the juice runs clear. If it does not, cook until it does. 


If the juice is clear- spoon some of your spaghetti
sauce on top to cover the top of the chicken.
(I used Bertolli- Portobello Mushrooms with Merlot... YUM!)
Cook for another 5 min. or so, 
so that the sauce it heated. 




Now sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the
chicken breasts. Continue to cook in the oven
 until the cheese is nice and melted-
about another 5 min.




Remove from oven and let cool a bit before serving  :)  
Serve with some pasta and you have a delicious meal!



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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Featured Shop - WindyCityKnits

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Happy Tuesday everyone! Today's featured shop is WindyCityKnits. Read below to learn a little bit about her, see some of her amazing talent, and ways to become a fan!













When did you start getting into crafting, and what did you start with?

I've always loved all different crafts, sewing, crochet, jewelry, but I didn't start knitting until about 11 years ago. A friend showed me how to cast on and make a knit stitch and then I taught myself everything else from books and online tutorials. 






Do you work outside of your Etsy shop? If so, how do you find time for both?


I work part time at a retail store and I care for my two daughters the rest of the time. I do my best to work on my Etsy shop while they're in school so I can spend time with them and not have knitting needles in my hands, lol.





How did you learn about Etsy?



I don't remember for sure, but I think someone mentioned Etsy on Ravelry, an online knitting site.

When did you start your shop?


I started my shop in January of 2011.






Where does your inspiration for your items come from?


My inspiration comes from the yarns I use and nature. I love picking up a skein of yarn, studying the texture and color and thinking about seasonal colors around me. Living in Chicago, where in the winter it can drop below zero with the wind chill, I definitely design and create knitted pieces that are functional too.





Is there a certain item with a story behind it?


My "Retro Kitchen Towels" were designed from a memory I have of my grandmother's house. She had towels very similar to these that my great grandmother had made for her and I remember admiring them when I was little.





Do you have advice for any shops just starting?


My advice to shops just starting is to be patient and get involved with teams because they are full of other artisans who have so much great advice and are there to help. 




Do you have a facebook fan page? Twitter? Blog? 












Please show WindyCityKnits some Etsy love and favorite an item (or two!) and her shop!



Which is your favorite item?




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Monday, August 22, 2011

Back To School

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