Monday, December 29, 2008


I have secret fantasies of being this really great cook. That I can whip out tortes and souffles and perfectly round, melt-in-your-mouth chocolate chip cookies.

But then I remember, I can't even make toast. I don't know if I have some sort of genetic mutation that predestines me to always burn it but I am really good at it. I think I have about a 50/50 chance each time that my toast will come out smoking and blacker than dirt. And the really funny thing? I hate burnt toast. Even the smell of it nauseates me.

The only highlight to this story? I have found a recipe to make a wicked good cup of chai tea latte. It is a hundred times better than anything I have ever gotten from a coffee chain and I know exactly what's in it. And it makes eating burnt toast even somewhat bearable.

Perfect cup of chai latte, 4 servings

2 c water
1/4 c of honey (or less to taste)
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 cinnamon stick
5 whole cloves
1/4 t ground cardamom
1/4 t ground ginger
a shake or pinch of nutmeg
a shake or pinch of pepper (I use black)
2 c milk
4 black tea bags

Boil water in a saucepan. Add honey, vanilla, and spices - simmer for 5 minutes. Add milk and bring to just under a boil. Take pan off heat and add tea bags. Allow bags to steep only for 3-4 minutes (or as directed by the packaging). Remove bags and pour though a fine strainer. And viola! Perfection!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Treasury of Minnesota goodies

I snagged a treasury yesterday and took it as an opportunity to show off the wonderful talents that reside right here in the land of 10,000 lakes. I am especially a fan of Michelle Brusegaard (scarf, center top row) - I bought a tunic of hers at No Coast and I just &hearts it. I think my list is front page worthy but I am a bit prejudice in this case :)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Etsy love - Winter

With a nice, four-inch layer of snow on the ground and daily temperatures in the single digits - Minnesota winter has officially arrived. And since it is a terrible idea to go outside without a proper hat/scarf/mitten set, I picked my favorites from etsy:

You have to be a little kooky and a whole lot of crazy to choose to live in this climate. That is why I adore this hat from NormaW's shop - perfect mix of winsome, warmth, and wacky.

A warm scarf that also is soft and beautiful is worth's it's weight in saffron. I am in love with this scarf from alonalona, I think it would make me feel like the queen of the fair with gently braided cotton candy around my neck.

While these fingerless mitts would only be a layer over woolen gloves, layers are what winter is all about. They are super long (bonus), beautifully knit (double bonus) and would look lovely wearing them indoors for added coziness (triple bonus score!). They can be found at elizabeth76's charming shop

And finally, I feel like a snuggly pair of legwarmers should be handed out to every man, woman and child who reside in cold climates. They are the perfect thing to make you feel cozy when the wind and snow blow. This pair from off the hook's shop fit all the requirements.

Monday, December 8, 2008

No Coast craft show

A girl and her table, don't ask about the strange face I have going on!

So this past weekend was the No Coast craft-o-rama in Minneapolis.

What a blast!

I really didn't know what to expect this year. Last year was great but we battled with an epic blizzard which I know affected turn-out. And I knew that the economy was going to be a factor in people's spending habits this year, but I didn't know how much.

People were definitely more reserved with their money. That said, I still exceed my own personal goal in sales and was absolutely floored by the wonderful comments people had about my work. We should have started keeping track of how many times people came up to ask "Is this Shrinky Dink?" - but people seemed pleasantly surprised when I confirmed that yes indeed it was.

I got to meet some wonderful artist and crafters and wished that I could have seen even more vendors' tables. There was just so many people!

Thanks to the lovely ladies and gents who made it possible at the Crafter's Local 612!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Own the hour!

Maybe a good beginning to a motivational speech?

Or not. I just learned about the new-ish site Own The Hour which is an independent site that sells advertising spots for etsy sellers. You "own the hour" by purchasing a hour long time slot for $.50 USD along with 11 other sellers that will be displayed on the front page. It is cleanly designed (in the etsy tradition) and the sign up process seems easy and straightforward.

Around the etsy forums, people who have tried it say they have only seen a slight increase in views but no sales. The site gives no information of how many visitors they are getting a day so it is hard to determine if it would be money well spent or like throwing two quarters out the window. I need to hoard quarters for laundry myself, so I think I will wait to try it out - I would love to know other thoughts and experiences with the site if you have them...

Monday, December 1, 2008

new small earrings

Recently I got some EZ cut printing blocks to make some small stamps. I really got into linoleum printing year and years ago but kinda fell out of love with it after getting one nasty gouge in my finger. However, I never got rid of all my cutting/carving tools and they have been just hanging around. I am really pretty happy how the stamps came out since I hadn't really practiced in such a long time. The EZ cut is much more up my alley since it is truly as the name states: easy to cut. So what did I do with my thanksgiving?

Why made them into earrings of course! It was really just me being selfish and wanting some bunny earrings - but I like how they turned out so I made a bunch more.