Sunday, November 30, 2008

Featured in the Free Shipping Gift Guides

I was browsing through the Etsy Gift Guides to see what was new, and I stumbled upon my Last Leaf earrings!

What a wonderful surprise! There they are, third column on the bottom row. Thank you for the feature, Etsy!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Christmas Wishlist - To Be Updated More Later

With the holidays approaching, I have already received inquiries about my Christmas wishlist. I figured I would post it here and could simply provide the interested parties with the link.

Still growing...
Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer

jersey dress form from Store Supply Warehouse - MINE!

Lindstrom Supreme Flush Cutters

Lindstrom Supreme Round Nose Pliers

Lindstrom Bent Chain Nose Pliers

Lindstrom jewelry tools

pie crust shield - for 10 inch pies

a pretty blue or pink silicone rolling pin

other kitchen essentials: pastry brush, candy thermometer, bench scraper

Slim Organic Stacking Rings, size 8.5, 2 gold-fill, 1 sterling silver

Life Trio rings, size 8.5

Yarn and Cowls and Cozy Things

I have been searching around for the perfect yarn to purchase for use in my first knitted cowl. I once felt suri alpaca yarn in a store and it was heaven! I found some baby suri alpaca and merino wool blend in the loveliest colors here.

I am trying to decide between these three colors:




Aren't they all so beautiful? I think the Seamist is simply gorgeous, while the Snow and Fog are fantastic neutrals. The thing is, I am needing a new wool coat sometime (mine has seen better days) and I find it hard committing to a color without knowing what would look best paired with the coat.

I am very much a beginner knitter. I only learned the basic garter stitch last winter at a short little knitting workshop at my college. I have been meaning to practice and teach myself some new stitches but haven't had the time. With Thanksgiving approaching-and a lengthy trip to spend the holiday with family of the hubby-I find myself presented with a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time with my needles. I am planning on attempting a very, very simple cowl. A straight tube essentially, in the stockinette stitch. I have done a little research and am fairly certain I know how to go about the task. Since I am going for a very large, loose cowl I have a feeling the project will be very forgiving. I look forward to having a luxurious, warm new winter accessory for my long walks to and from campus.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Trunk Show!

I couldn't be more pleased to announce that I will be having a trunk show this Friday, November 21st from 5-8pm at Isle of You here in Lexington. This has been the most exciting event in my career to date and I am so honored and thankful for the invitation from Isle of You. Isle of You is a fashion gem in Lexington and the ladies who run the boutique couldn't be any sweeter!

I hope you'll stop by the show and enjoy an evening of shopping, socializing and fun. The trunk show will correspond with Lexington Gallery Hop. I will have lots of pieces from my usual line as well as some very special pieces from my fall and winter collections. Several one-of-a-kind pieces will be available, so you'll be sure to find something to set you apart from the crowd this holiday season.

That Winsome Girl Trunk Show
Friday, November 21st from 5-8pm

@ Isle of You
591 West Short Street
Lexington, KY 40507

See you then!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Gift Packaging Featured in the Etsy Storque!

I was browsing through recent Storque articles as I do every couple of days, and I happened upon an article for Packaging Ideas and lo and behold, there was my Hands in Pockets packaging about half way through the article!

How exciting! Neither of my shops have ever been featured in the Storque, gift gifts, or on the front page. What an honor and an encouragement! Thank you, daniellexo!

The photo shows the packaging I've been using for around a year for Hands in Pockets. I'll soon be upgrading to a bit larger, square purple jewelry boxes with white organza ribbon. I've been packaging That Winsome Girl orders in the loveliest jade colored gift boxes with white satin ribbon and peach colored paper flower bouquets. I think it is so important to package items beautifully, it really shows the customer that you care and are thankful for their order. Additionally, with jewelry, shipping in jewelry boxes is a great way to ensure the customer receives their item(s) safe and sound.

I've been meaning to capture a lovely photo of my That Winsome Girl packaging for some time. I'll definitely move that to the top of my to-do list so customers will see just how their gifts will be packaged for the holidays!

I also just recently ran out of my old stock of kraft bubble mailers and ordered some lovely white ones. I have been dreaming up different ways to decorate them for shipping. One of my biggest goals for my Etsy shops at the moment is to work on organization and streamlining of listing and packaging.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Kitchenaid Mixer Dilemma

So, I have this dilemma, I am trying to pick out which color Kitchenaid Artisan Stand Mixer I would like to ask for as a gift and I simply cannot decide between three, beautifully retro colors. Part of the problem is I haven't exactly, 100% decided what color scheme I'd like my kitchen to ultimately end up. So far I have been going for a catch all of wonderful, 1950's pastels. I figure a mixture of pastels would look pretty against light gray walls and bright white cabinets, very Alicia Paulson. However, I have also been considering a more set color scheme, perhaps soft yellow walls and accents with bright white, inspired by the cover of the January 2008 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

At any rate, which color should I settle on for the stand mixer? I was originally totally set on the pink, but have fallen head over heels for the blue and the yellow. I do love that $50 of the profit on the pink mixers is donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. And I do already own a cute pink toaster... Help me decide! Please?

Which pretty mixer should I choose?

Friday, November 7, 2008

Craft Fair

I will have a booth set up at the 9th annual Bryan Station High School Band Craft Fair this Saturday, November 8th from 9am until 4pm. The fair will be located at the high school at 201 Eastin Road here in Lexington.

Bring your friends and enjoy a time of food, fun and shopping. Admission to the fair is free! It doesn't cost a thing to window shop tons of unique, handmade goods. This would be a great time to get a head start on Christmas shopping! I'll have a large selection of affordable, casual designs as well as some of my one-of-a-kind and higher end designs. I will also have pieces from my fall and winter collections available. There will be something for everyone. I can also work with you to create a custom design, in many cases I'll craft your piece in a matter of minutes while you watch. Gift wrap will be available for those purchasing presents.

Consider shopping local and handmade this holiday season to support real people and the crafts they love. There isn't a more thoughtful gift than one which is uniquely and lovingly handmade. Find something perfect for a friend, a loved one, or yourself.

I hope to see you there!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Vanilla Crème

I found a recipe last night for what Starbucks calls a Vanilla Crème, or what Martha calls Warm Vanilla Milk. Whatever you call it, the drink itself is absolutely delish. Light, cozy and perfect for fall. It is especially ideal for late night comforts as it's caffeine free.

Warm, Milky Vanilla Goodness

4 cups milk
1/4 cup sugar (I used some vanilla sugar I had made)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
ground cinnamon

1. Bring milk and sugar to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.

2. Remove from heat, whisk in vanilla and a dash of cinnamon. Continue whisking until a well blended and a pleasant foam has formed.

3. Serve in your favorite mug. For an especially delicious experience, top with homemade whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon or some festive sprinkles.

Of course you can tweak the recipe in a number of ways to make your ideal drink. Use whole milk, skim milk, soy or whatever you prefer. Adjust the vanilla, sugar and cinnamon as desired. I find that whisking the mixture constantly produces a lot of foam. If you aren't a fan of foam, simply stir. Very versatile.

I use vanilla sugar for mine as I have some made and I always jump at the chance of adding more vanilla flavor to any recipe. To make vanilla sugar I simply used two left over vanilla beans I had from the birthday cake I made my husband back in September. Never throw away your left over vanilla beans!

To make vanilla sugar:

Place the vanilla bean(s) in an airtight container with granulated sugar (two cups sugar per bean). Shake the container every day or so to distribute flavor. You will find that the sugar will absorb more and more vanilla flavor as time passes. I simply use the sugar as desired and refill the container as needed. Make vanilla sugar. Trust me, your baked goods will thank you!
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