Friday, July 31, 2009

Sublime Stitching


Having seen lots of cool embroidery around lately I've been dying to try my hand at it but had no idea where to begin. Luckily for me I found Sublime Stitching which describes itself as "this ain't your grandma's embroidery". That intrigued me and I was excited to see they have beginner embroidery kits so I purchased one. I can't wait to start stitching my brain is already whirring with ideas. As soon as I've finished my first item I'll share it with you..unless it's really bad and then I probably won't!

I feel like embroidery is coming back into fashion now...Does anyone else do embroidery?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Releasing Henry

A few months ago my boyfriend found a turtle (eastern painter) in his parents driveway. It was a tiny thing (the size of a quarter) and we couldn't figure out how it got all the way over there as it was so far from any water. We took it home and bought it a tank and made a nice set up for it but for the first week we had him he wouldn't eat and didn't even move around much. After some nursing back to health he developed a voracious appetite and doubled in size  and became so lively.  I used to put him on the floor and watch him run around like crazy trying not to lose him behind the sofa! I named him Henry for some reason : )

 After a few months I figured that we should probably release him back "into the wild" so he could have a normal turtle life so we took him to a nice quiet pond where lots of turtles hang out and set him free! He was a bit unsure at first but soon scampered into the water. I like to think that he now has a turtle family but I do really miss him!
I took some pictures to commemorate the occasion:



Has anyone else rescued an animal that ended up becoming a pet?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Etsy London Finds

I just got back from London where I enjoyed catching up with friends and fam. Here are my top finds from Etsy sellers in London, England.
Rome Fascinator - Feather Flower Headpiece and Birdcage Veil by Tied and Feathered http://tiedandfeathered.etsy.com
For a day at the races perhaps?
Toadstool Pincushion Pot by Big Sister http://bigsister.etsy.com
The base is needle felted from a blend of fine white English wools. The lid is needle felted from the same wool, with a layer of red Merino wool and spots made from silky white Wenslydale wool.
Silver Stitch Texture Ring by All Those Threes http://allthosethrees.etsy.com
This fine silver ring is cast from an actual row of stitches on a t-shirt!
Bespoke Map Dish by Bombus http://bombus.etsy.com
A custom hand made decoupage map dish is covered in the map of your choice
Midsummer Journal by Immortal Longings http://immortallongings.etsy.com
A journal bound in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.Faeries and mischief in purple stars and gothic trees.
Union Flag Love Heart by I Love Hearts http://ilovehearts.etsy.com
Inspired by the Union Jack, this love heart celebrates a love of the United Kingdom. Fond memories of summer holidays by the sea, Sunday drives through the countryside, thatched cottages and gardens full of roses.
Summer Love Hair Accessory by Aalicia Accessories http://aaliciaaccessories.etsy.com
Alicia cuts and sews every petal by hand, so each one is utterly unique!
No Entry Earrings by Cup of Sea http://cupofsea.etsy.com
One for the Brits - a "No Entry" road sign for the ears.
Handknit Cushion with Tulip Cables by Strikk http://strikk.etsy.com I can imagine cuddling up to this on my sofa!
Little Reversible His and Hers Apron by London Boutique http://londonboutique.etsy.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Zucchini Muffins


My boyfriends mom's vegetable garden has been overflowing with giant zucchini lately, she is up to her ankles in them - must be her green thumb ; )
I nabbed a huuuge one the other day (I wish I'd taken a picture of that - I mean seriously she could be entering competitions!)and wanted to make something sweet so I settled on zucchini muffins. They turned out really yummy and so moist from the juicy zucchini so I'm sharing my recipe. I added walnuts and raisins for some extra flavor but you could substitute for cranberries or whatever you feel like.
 
Ingredients:
3 cups grated zucchini
2/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp baking soda
A pinch of salt
3 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2  tsp nutmeg
1 cup walnuts
1 cup raisins (i used jumbo)
 
Preparation:
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray your muffin pan with a little vegetable oil spray.
 
In a bowl mix together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla essence. Add the zucchini and melted butter and stir to combine, then add the baking soda and a pinch of salt.
 
In a separate bowl combine the flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Fold in to the zucchini mixture and last add the walnuts and raisins.
 
Using a spoon or ice cream scoop spoon the mixture into the muffin pan cups filling them up to the top. Bake until the muffins are golden brown (around 30 minutes - or longer if you have an old electric oven like me!) Test for doneness with a toothpick/skewer, leave to cool a few minutes then remove from the pan and let cool 20 minutes or so and then enjoy!

Favorably fashioned Giveaway

This months giveaway comes to us from Michele from Favorably Fashioned. Michele designed my fab business cards and stickers and also specializes in note cards, tags and invitations which you can check out at her Etsy shop www.favorablyfashioned.etsy.com

She very kindly asked if I would host a giveaway for her so one lucky person will be the winner of a set of 12 gorgeous handmade note cards & envelopes. Perfect for those thank you cards you've been meaning to write! There are 6 prints, each a little different, and 2 of each design. This prize is valued at $12.50

All you have to do to enter is follow the instructions below:
Prize: Set of 12 cards & envelopes
Prize Value: $12.50
How Many Winners: 1
End Date: August 10th, 2009
Can Be Won: World Wide!
Prize From: Favorably Fashioned
Giveaway rules: ♥ Visit Favorably Fashioned's Etsy Shop www.FavorablyFashioned.etsy.com then leave a comment on this post of which item from Favorably Fashioned is your favorite ♥ For a 2nd entry follow Favorably Fashioned on Twitter twitter.com/michelenichole  ♥ For a 3rd entry Twitter about the giveaway ♥ For a 4th entry follow my blog venetiajewelry.blogspot.com♥

Entries will be accepted now through Monday, August 10th, 2009. ♥ The lucky winner will be notified by email and will be chosen by Favorably Fashioned. Prize ships directly from Favorably Fashioned.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Amy Winehouse Tattoo Sweater

I had to share this with you because I thought it was hilarious. Artist Andrew Salomone has embroidered a sweater for Amy Winehouse with all of her tattoos in all the right places to keep her warm. Amy never seems to be wearing a lot of clothes perhaps because she loves to show off her tattoos? So Andrew made her this sweater.

To learn more about Andrew Salomone click here:
http://andrewsalomone.com/blog/2009/07/05/a-jumper-for-amy/


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Etsy Seller Feature Favorably Fasioned

Today's Etsy Seller Feature is on Michele from Favorably Fashioned who made my awesome stickers and business cards. Michelle is a California girl transplanted to the beautiful Pacific Northwest and now lives across the Puget Sound from Seattle. She loves crafting gorgeous paper works and designing custom projects and gives great customer service. It was a pleasure for me to work with her!

Michelle has also very kindly asked me to host a fab giveaway for her so stay tuned for that!
Custom Black and White Damask
Have you always had a love of paper and stationary and how did you get started making cards and invitations, stickers etc?
Always! I started with birthday/Christmas cards and scrapbooks. 2008 was a blitz of showers and weddings, so I started creating paper projects for other people and have loved (almost!) every minute of it :)
Custom Mini Cards

Are most of your customers Etsy shop owners and do you sell anywhere other than Etsy?
For the moment, I'm only selling on Etsy and yes, I have mostly sold to fellow Etsians, they are fabulous to work with! Of course, all of my clients have been awesome!
Custom Tank you Tags
Do you have a favorite item in your shop right now and what are your favorite items to design? I adore most mini things! Right now I'm a big fan of these mini cards http://bit.ly/minicards I love their unique size and all the different ways they can be customized.


If you also have a "real" job, what do you do?
Right now I'm enjoying some time off from my 'real' job world as an administrative assitant in residential real estate. I love paperwork and solving problems almost as much as crafting :)
Garden Rose Note Cards
Where do you find inspiration for your products?
Does it sound completely cheesy to say everywhere? :) I often see clever ideas and color combos out in the world, shopping, grabbing a cup of coffee, etc. I'll usually snap a photo and find a way to make it my own.

What do you love about your business?
People! I love filling a need and bringing people joy. Plus, its so much fun to send out orders, I love the idea of things I've crafted going so far outside my little world.

What makes you unique at Etsy?
I will do everything in my power to make sure that my clients receive exactly what they are looking for, even if its a long process to reach that point, or I have to refer them to another seller more specialized in that area.
Mini Thank You Notes
Do you have any tips to share for crafters just starting out?
Network! Join a Team, heart shops that you love, talk to other sellers, check into trades, dive into the world of Treasuries www.etsy.com/treasury.php www.etsy.com/treasury_west.php , subscribe to Alchemy requests feed.
www.craftcult.com & www.craftopolis.com are excellent tools.

Be visable, don't get discouraged :)

I love to make handmade birthday cards, do you have any tips on how to make a homemade card look professional?
Keep it simple. Maybe choose one color and use two different shades with an accent color, like navy and powder blue with a khaki.
A print with a coordinating solid is another of my favorites.
New Address Announcements

Michele can be found at the below:
Etsy: favorablyfashioned.etsy.com
Twitter: michelenichole

Friday, July 24, 2009

Yummy Homemade Grapefruit Body Scrub

How about a home made scrub to get you buffed up for the beach and leave you smelling luscious?

I LOVE to make homemade beauty treatments out of whatever we have in the fridge/pantry. Its highly enjoyable, I think this goes back to my childhood when I used to make "potions" out of everything in the bathroom cabinet! I'll have "spa days" at home where I whip up all my potions and slather myself from head to toe and I honestly think that all the natural ingredients I use at home leave my skin looking waay better than anything I purchase in a jar. Plus I have sensitive skin so I like knowing that I am using all natural ingredients on my skin and I'm not going to break out or get a rash : (



Here is the recipe for my "Luscious Grapefruit Sugar Scrub". Play around with the measurements, I change it up everytime I make it and I always forget to record how much I use of everything - I am still looking for that perfect balance!

Luscious Grapefruit Sugar Scrub
Almond Oil (this is the main carrier oil so use the most of this)
Avocado Oil
Granulated Sugar (just use as much to get the right consistency not too much so its too dry but not too little so the scrub is too liquid)
A squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a citrusy smell
Shea Butter
Cocoa Butter (The shea and cocoa butter add a rich creaminess but don't use too much or it will end up like body lotion - maybe 1/4 to the amount of almond oil)
Grapefruit essential oil (I use quite a lot of this because I love the smell)

If you find a cute jar to put it in it makes a great gift too - althought its so good you will probably want to keep it for yourself!

I have a ton more homemade beauty recipes to share which I will be posting over the summer so stay tuned...

The Big, Bad Dos & Don'ts of Summer 2009



One of my favorite things about Glamour Magazine is their Do's and Don'ts. It's endlessly amusing!
Glamour.com has a new slide show of summer Dos and Don'ts to check it out click here:

http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2009/06/the-big-bad-dos-and-donts-of-summer-2009#slide=1

Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Fancy New Business Cards


I'm back from my London trip and I just had to share my fancy new business cards with you! I collaborated with Michele @ Favorably Fashioned (http://favorablyfashioned.etsy.com) to come up with the design and then she printed them for me.

I'm super happy with them, what do you think?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Travel in Style Etsy Finds

I'm in London this week for a much needed vacation catching up with family and friends. To celebrate summer vacations here are my top Etsy finds for travelling in style.
Luggage Tags by thecottagecupboard http://thecottagecupboard.etsy.com
Travel Bag in Buttery Cream by xcessrize http://xcesserize.etsy.com
Black Beauty Felt Camera Case by plushism http://plushism.etsy.com
Soy Travel Tin Candle by artedecera http://artedecera.etsy.com
Travel Notes Journal by moonlightbindery http://moonlightbindery.etsy.com
The Kindle Travel Bag by BorsaBella http://borsabella.etsy.com
Passport Case by simbiosisbyjulia http://simbiosisbyjulia.etsy.com
Mini Spray Perfume Samples by themefragrance http://themefragrance.etsy.com
Love Letters Travel Pillow by sygnetcreations http://
sygnetcreations
.etsy.com
Purple Rain Crochet Slippers ny 2muchyarn http://2muchyarn.etsy.com
Pin Up Girl Hand-Embroidered Lingerie Bag/Travel Bag by melysbaby http://melysbaby.etsy.com

Monday, July 13, 2009

Champagne Sorbet Fizz


I recently caught an episode of Nigella Lawson's Food Network show, where she combined sorbet and prosecco for a delightful desert. I got to thinking that this could be a great cooling summer cocktail (that you eat with a spoon). Seeing as I had leftover lemon lime sorbet that I had just made I combined 2 scoops of that with some champagne and topped with some frozen blueberries and here are the results!

This recipe couldn't be simpler but here is a step by step guide below


Ingredients:
1 tub of sorbet (any flavor you like I used homemade lemon lime)
1 bottle of champagne, or any fizzy white wine
Fresh berries to garnish

Directions:
Fill the glasses with 2 scoops of sorbet then top with the champagne - be careful to not let the champagne fizz over the top of glass.
Sprinkle some berries on top and enjoy!



Adapted from Nigella Lawson

Summer Giveaway!!! - And the Winner Is!


And the winner of my summer giveaway is Suz!
Suz wins this gorgeous sky blue amazonite bracelet with a vintage star fish charm.
Congratulations Suz!



Don't forget to stay tuned for my next giveaway coming soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Homemade Crystalized Ginger


I love to invite friends down to our boat but what if they get seasick? : (  
So not fun!
Maybe this crystalized ginger would help?
 
 
I had a ton of ginger laying around so decided to attempt to make some.
Ginger is a home remedy for nausea and motion sickness.
This is an easy recipe for crystallized ginger that I found online and adapted a bit.
 

Ingredients:
1 cup ginger
, peeled and chopped into small pieces 
3 cups water
1 cup 
  granulated sugar
Additional sugar to coat
  ( I used brown sugar) 
 

Preparation:
In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Add the ginger pieces and sugar
, stir together and cover. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer for five minutes. Then remove the pan from heat and allow it to sit for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile heat the oven to 200 degrees F.  Drain the ginger slices and place in a glass pan. Place the pan in the oven until the slices are almost dry but still chewy  (this took between 30-45 minutes I lost track of the time) . Allow it to cool.
 
Toss the cooled ginger in sugar to lightly coat it, if desired.
 
Store the crystallized ginger in an airtight container for up to two months.
Its actually pretty yum I have been snacking on it as you can see by the half empty jar!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

June Wedding at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens

A while back I think I mentioned that I was lucky enough to be in a fabulous wedding at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens.  Well the photos are back from the photographer so I thought I would share some with you. All photos are courtesy of the photographer David - I forget his last name which is really bad I know. I'll find out and post it in the comments.

Wedding shoes! These gorgeous heels were from Stuart Weitzman
The Bride getting ready in the Bridal Suite
The gorgeous Bride getting ready - she looked like a princess!
The Bride and her Parents in the Rolls on the way to the Church
The Bride outside the church - doesn't she look stunning?
All the guests awaiting the Bride
The Groomsmen
The Bridesmaids walking up the steps to the church
Getting ready to get married!
The  beautiful Bride and her handsome Father walking down the aisle
Our Lady of Angels Church in Brooklyn, NY
After the ceremony
The Bride and Groom outside the church
The Getaway Car
The Cocktail Hour at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
The Bride and Groom riding the golf cart to the rose garden
The Bride and Groom in the Rose Garden - this is one of my favorites!
Taking Pictures in the Rose Garden
The Cocktail Hour




Looking into the Palm House
The Escort Cards
Panoramic View of the cocktail hour and the Palm House
The Bride and Groom's First Dance
The dinner was held in the Palm House
The Wedding Cake
The centerpieces
Outside the Palm House
The Photo Booth  - possibly the best idea ever!
The bride in the photo booth. I love this picture!
Everybody getting down on the dancefloor
The Palm House at Night
Cutting the Cake
Some of the Band - there were 15 of these guys!
The Grooms Cake


If anyone would like any of the wedding vendors information leave me a comment!