Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Layout and Background-

Well, I changed my blog look around some tonight. What do you think? :-)

Featured Etsy Seller- Winchester Lambourne ♥

Well, a week or so ago I was on Etsy, posting in forums and checking out shops, when I came across this shop!  I was immediately impressed with how professional her designs looked! I also noticed she is running a sale in which all of her services are only $10.00!! This impressed me even more, so I decided to have her make me a more professional looking banner. Here is what she came up with!

I am VERY pleased with it!! Next I hope to get her to make me a blog header, but I have to make some more sales first. :-) She was SO friendly and easy to work with!!

Be sure to check her out! She does custom labels, Etsy banners, blog banners, stickers, gift certificates, business cards- and everything is still $10.00! That is a limited time sale though, and it's for a SECRET amount of time. :-)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Of Lavender Soap, Icy Roads and Awesome Husbands

So Sunday was a good day. It was freezing rain outside, so we slept in late and had a nice relaxing morning. Then I decided that it would be a great time to make the Lavender soap I've been planning. I measured my oils, my water and my lye, brought them all to temperature, and mixed them together. My plan had been to use Grape juice to color the soap a slight purple color, but just to be safe I tested the juice in a small amount of my soap mixture first. I'm so glad I did! When I mixed the juice and sample lye soap mixture it turned a bright, beautiful................ BLUE!  Not quite what I was going for. :-) Instead, I decided to use a little bit of Blackberry puree. It won't color the soap much, because I didn't use much, but it adds interest. :-)

(Frozen wild blackberries from our back yard)

Then, I added the Lavender essential oil. Ahh, it smells wonderful!

Then, when it got to the right consistency, like this ^ I poured it in my wooden mold, and put it on my counter.

While I was waiting for it to set up, I got to smell the lovely lavender while I was doing dishes! :-) Then, last night I pulled it out of the mold and cut it into bars. Here's the finished product!

They will be sitting here on my counter for the next week at least. Lucky me! :-) In a few weeks, they'll be ready for use!

Now, I have to go back to Sunday afternoon. While I was making this soap, my sweet husband came in and told me that he had a surprise for me, and that we would have to go to town for it. So right after the soap went into the mold, we bundled up and went got in our truck. The freezing rain had given way to snow, and we already had close to 2 inches of it. We realized when we got out to the highway that the snow plows hadn't even made it out yet! It was a very interesting drive the 30 miles or so to town. Thank God for 4 wheel drive!

(Our yard)

We slid around a little bit, but there was almost nobody on the roads, so it was harmless and fun. Look at how icy the roads were!!

The surprise? He was taking me to a movie I really wanted to see, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader! I grew up reading those books, so I really enjoy the movies. He was so sweet to take me!!! And you know what's even sweeter? He told surprised me last night with a trip to go see my family in FLORIDA for Christmas! :-) My parents and 7 (yes SEVEN) of my brothers and sisters live in Central Florida. I'm soo excited to get there! I have the best husband ever! :-)

Friday, December 3, 2010

Robin Hood Couture- Etsy Seller of the week! ♥

Hello everyone! I am VERY excited to introduce you to this week's featured Etsy seller, Robin Hood Couture, a shop that is full of stunning Neo Victorian and Medieval jewelry. 

Linda, the artist behind the shop, lives in British Columbia and says this about her style: 

"My style is an eclectic mix of old world, Victorian, vintage and modern looks. I chose the name Robin Hood Couture to evoke the Old World. But like Robin Hood, I steal elements from days past to give to the new era a looks ranging from rom-antique to 'steam pretty.'"

Her day job is writing a blog about e-commerce, which has lots of great information for her fellow online sellers. In fact, I am going to be referring to it often! Her passion for e-commerce and love of making handmade jewelry are the reasons why she started her Etsy shop. And let me tell you, I'm really glad she did! She is highly talented, wouldn't you agree?

Linda shoots all of her own product photos with her Canon Rebel and macro lens in natural light, which is difficult during wintertime in Vancouver in a ground floor Northeast facing apartment! She says she often has to shoot an item over several days, but that's just "part of the fun of it all!" :-)

As far as prices go, Robin Hood Couture is very affordable, and you can get a stunningly beautiful gift for a loved one without breaking the bank this Christmas! Can you believe that there is nothing in this shop that costs more that $40.00?! Shipping is great too, and if you get more than one piece shipping is FREE! These gorgeous antique silver snowflake earrings are only $12.00! 

I hope you've enjoyed this little look at another beautiful Etsy shop. Make sure you check out all the other beautiful pieces from this shop that I wasn't able to fit into this post, because there are a lot of them! Here's one more, because I couldn't resist! :-)

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Cookies! Peppermint Sandies with a White Chocolate Glaze ♥

So, it's the first day of DECEMBER! Can you believe that?! We are busy putting out our Christmas decorations, listing new things in our Etsy shop, listening to Christmas music- and baking!! I discovered these peppermint cookies a last year, and they have quickly become a family favorite. They are really easy to make too! I hope you get a chance to try them. :-)

1 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cup crushed striped round peppermint candies (about 11 candies~ a little extra doesn't hurt either :-)
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons whipping cream
6 ounces white baking chocolate

Step 1.
Preheat oven to 325. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add powdered sugar and 1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in water, vanilla, and peppermint extract until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as possible with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour with a wooden spoon. Dough should not be sticky. ( I had to add some extra flour.)

Step 2.
Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 1 inch apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake about 15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Transfer cookies to a wire wrack; let cool.

Step 3.
Meanwhile, for white chocolate glaze, add whipping cream and white chocolate to a medium saucepan and melt over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth.

Step 4.
Spoon glaze on top of each cooled cookie. Sprinkle with additional crushed peppermint candies. Let stand until set. 


If you have a family favorite Christmas recipe, please share it with us! We might even feature it here on the blog! :-) And don't forget to check out the Peppermint Cookie Soap - inspired by these cookies! :-)