Friday, September 30, 2011

Pinworthy

Is there anyone out there who hasn't been sucked in to Pinterest yet? I don't know what we did before Pinterest. Had lame bookmarks I guess.
Here are a few DIY and recipe finds from Pinterest I thought you'd like!

 Pop a magnet inside a pretty tin, and you have an adorable place to keep pens and a grocery list! 

 "How to decline an unwanted marriage proposal." Oh, we need this. Stat.


An old suitcase can be turned into a medicine cabinet with a mirror and a few shelves. 


Need a gift idea for a friend who loves to cook? A handmade apron in a jar is so cute!


 Keep a jar of this in the fridge for instant authentic chai. Perfect for fall


I've sat here for like three minutes trying to think of something to say that will truly encompass how ridiculously adorable this is. I got nothin. The pattern is a circle skirt. A CIRCLE SKIRT! You can do this. We can all do this. And force our daughters to wear matching clothes with us.


How did I not think of this!? Can you imagine how perfect this would be for my living room? Genius.


Also perfect for my living room. And a fantastic price!


Brown Butter Cake with Cookie Dough Frosting.
You had me at cookie dough. I love the way the hand is just taking a big ol piece of cake right out of there. This cake must be so good that we're not even expected to attempt using utensils like civilized beings. And I'm ok with that. Completely ok.


Eeeeeek! So cute. Cannot handle the cute. And so brilliant. Seriously, I've always wanted to do something with all those delicate little clock parts in the clock aisle at the craft store. But not cheesy like making a clock out of my cat's photo or something. This is precious.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Fashion: Lace and Gunne Sax

As soon as the weather hits sixty degrees in the Spring, I start fantasizing about Autumn- Crunching leaves, pumpkin lattes, and the scent of wood-burning fireplaces. I fantasize about seeing my breath in the crisp, cold air. Sweaters. Mittens. Fur-lined boots. I even see myself scraping my windshield in the morning wearing a velvet-and-lace Gunne Sax dress.


Yes, it's true. I've always wanted one. Or a dozen.
 I'm pretty sure I had one when I was little. It was dark blue with a pattern of tiny pink flowers. It had lace trim everywhere and a big ruffle on the bottom. It was my favorite dress, and I distinctly remember wearing it to the Q & U Wedding in first grade. At the time, it was a big deal. Looking back, it's just creepy and kind of embarrassing. I guess all the first grade teachers at the elementary school thought that just telling us that the letters "Q" and "U" always go together wouldn't do the trick. To really explain this difficult concept, they arranged an elaborate wedding between the first grade boys and girls. They set it up in the gym and our parents were invited to come and take videos. The boys had to pick a plastic wedding ring for their brides out of an assortment of colors. I told my groom I really wanted pink, but he spitefully chose a white one because I had cooties. I tried to trade with the other girls with pink rings who apparently did not have as severe a case of cooties as I, but nobody wanted the ugly white. Men are the worst! As if being forced to pretend-marry a boy who hated me wasn't enough, we had to hold hands all the way down the aisle. 
You know, I'm still not really sure who was the Q and who was the U. Either way, I'm scarred for life by the memory of a forced marriage to a mean little boy with a rat-tail hairdo and sweaty hands.

Now where was I going with that....
Oh yes, Gunne Sax dresses.
Aren't they the best?




I definitely need to start a collection of these. I would seriously wear them every day.
Anyway, what reminded me of my favorite childhood dress was all the lace-trimmed dresses and tops I've seen recently...
 
   ModCloth, $85   

                                                                                                    Ruche, $43                                                                                                    

Asos, $83                                                   









I was also thinking that many of last year's sweaters in my closet could get a quick update with a lace collar. There are a lot of pretty ones on etsy!


I think it would also be quick and easy to embellish a plain zippered hoodie with a few strips of lace trim. Any other Autumn wardrobe lace ideas?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Browned Butter Cookies with Spiced Buttercream


I know, right?
This recipe is responsible for the involuntary consumption of approximately three dozen cookies in the past two weeks. All by myself.


I will admit right now that this recipe may not be for everyone. It's extremely rich. The only reason I could singlehandedly consume half the batch as soon as they were out of the oven is because my stomach has gradually built up a tolerance. Some might take one or two bites and daintily claim that it's just too sweet. But whatever, more for you, right?

I mean seriously, do you know what happens to butter when you put it in a skillet? It's magical, you should try it. And it's not just that rich, dark, spicy taste- It's the texture too. I like my cookies to be soft and chewy in the center and a little bit firmer on the outside with the tiniest hint of crunch at the edge. Add in the gritty coating of sugar and spice on the outside and... it's.... I can't even... just......

sigh



*snaps back to reality*
Right, the recipe. Here we go.

Browned Butter Cookies with Spiced Buttercream
Adapted from SweetPeasKitchen.com

  • 14 TB butter (1 3/4 sticks)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 2 3/4 c dark brown sugar
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TB vanilla
  • 5 TB cinnamon
  • 5 TB pumpkin pie spice (you can substitute nutmeg and ginger instead)
  • can buttercream frostings

Melt 10 TB butter in a large skillet on medium high. Stir occasionally for about five minutes. The butter should be a rich dark color. Pour  into a large mixing bowl with the rest of the unmelted butter.




Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Mix the sugar, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, a TB of cinnamon, and a TB of pumpkin pie spice in a small bowl and set it aside. This will be used to roll the cookie dough in before baking.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, 2 TB cinnamon, and 2 TB spice, set aside.

When the butter has cooled for about fifteen minutes, add 2 cups brown sugar, vanilla, 1 egg, and the yolk of the other egg. Mix on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds.

Add the flour mixture, mix on low speed just until combined, about 30 seconds.

Scoop out small balls of dough and roll in the bowl of sugar mix. Bake 10 minutes.



For the frosting, mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 TB cinnamon, and 2 TB spice into the can of buttercream frosting. Wait until the cookies are completely cool to frost, if you can stand it!



Monday, September 26, 2011

Organizing for Etsy Sellers

I've been selling on Etsy for over two years now, and I'm finally getting around to inventory organization. I use outright.com for financial matters, but I've never kept track of what I have in the way of materials and listings that are ready to ship. It was never an issue when everything I made was one-of-a-kind, but ever since I went back to work full-time, it's been necessary to list pieces that I can remake several times. 
There are pros and cons to this arrangement. If I wanted to have entirely OOAK pieces, I would have to wait until the weekend to do photos and hope the weather cooperates, since I don't get home until the evening. On the other hand, remake-able pieces save a lot of photo time, but it's difficult to know how many times I'm able to remake something. Most of my listings use vintage buttons that I only have a few of, and my local craft store is notorious for discontinuing my favorite supplies. I do most of my online stuff at work, so if something sells I don't know right away if I have more supplies at home to remake the listing. By the time I get home from work, I've forgotten to check and there the listing sits until I get around to taking stock of my craft room.
So I've been developing a simple online spreadsheet that I can access from home or work to keep track of my materials and listings. I don't know how well it will work since I haven't even had a chance to fill it in completely yet!


I also needed a way to keep track of how popular a listing is by how many times it's been sold. I'm sure there are pre-developed databases out there just for etsy sellers, but I haven't had a chance to look around. It would be pretty cool if etsy had something like this right in your account, eh?

Another issue is that my home computer has been down for several weeks. I'm working on saving up for a new one, but until then it's difficult to remake listings that have sold without my uploaded photos. So I made this:



Now I can keep track of all the listings I plan to remake and even the ones that I haven't decided whether or not to keep yet. I like being able to take the card out and carry it with me in my project basket so I can work on it in the car or on lunch.


Little thumbnail photos remind me exactly how I stitched the piece the first time, and there's plenty of room on the back of the card for extra detail pictures.


Listings with lots of fussy pieces get their own little drawer. If I sell a made-to-order phone cozy,  all the components are ready to go. I can even take the drawers out and carry them around the house with me in my sewing tray.
If you sell handmade, what system do you use for organizing your inventory and supplies? I'd love to hear your suggestions!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fall Fashion

How about some new fall outfits to celebrate the first official day of Autumn?

 Jacket: Piperlime (also comes in three other colors!)
Skirt: ModCloth
Yellow Heels: Anthropologie
Green Heels: ModCloth
Briefcase Bag: ModCloth


 Dress: Asos





Bangle: Piperlime
Necklace: OrangeistheSun
Dress: Free People


I just came across this dress and I'm madly in love! I swore I'd never buy anything from Ruche again but it's sooo pretty. Sweater dresses are not exactly the best look for my body type though so maybe I can let it go?

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Last Day Of Summer



I want to cry with happiness for two reasons:
1. She's so beautiful that I can hardly stand to look at her
2. Tomorrow is officially the first day of Autumn!





This is Carly's "Ummmm I don't know!" face. Have you ever seen anything so adorable??