Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Growing Flower Garden

I love receiving a Growing Flower Garden Kit back from my customers. The ity bity hands and feet just make my day. Plus then it means I can make another keepsake.

I am working on a tutorial for these, hopefully one day soon, to post! But for now here is the progression from the cut out hands and feet to the finished original watercolor painting.

This order was for a hot pink and orange flower. To find these kits click here.
And the $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway is still going on for only a few more days! Click here to see the details.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mix-It-Up Monday Recipe Review


First off can I have three cheers for the first edition of Mix-It-Up Mondays! Hip-hip-hurray! Okay, calm yourselves...back to our scheduled programming.

I have to give the credit to my sister-in-law and my sister for finally convincing me grape jelly belongs with beef. I know! When I heard the words grape jelly I automatically thought, peanut butter sandwhich or toast or sticky kid faces at lunchtime recess, but not meatballs. Oh how glad I am to be wrong. So without further ado here it is, under 5 ingredients and faster than a rolling meatball:

Secret Sauce Sweet 'n Sour Meatballs.

4 heaping tablespoons of grape jelly, (please fight the urge to be stingy!)

1 8oz bottle of cocktail sauce (hang in there...this is as weird as it gets)

1 24oz can of crushed pineapple, juice in all...go ahead toss in...

54 meatballs (half of a large bag of frozen meatballs)

Pick your most non-staining pot, and have a cooking party. All the above ingredients are invited. Crockpot would be a killer time saver! Stew for 25 minutes for the pot, 2-3 hours in a high cooking crockpot, 4-5 on the low setting. Laddle over some lovely fluffy rice some freshly steamed greenbeans and ta-da, dinner is served.

All my kids loved it and asked for seconds. In fact it was gone before I could even think about taking a picture.

I loved how fast and easy it was to make, with the added bonus of getting some counting practice in with my 4 year old. She wanted to know why her older brother and sister got 5 meatballs and she only had 3. Her counting and comparison seems to work just fine.

So what did you venture to make this week? Share your recipe and review with all of us!

Please remember to link directly to your post and not just to the home page of your site. So let's see 'em, people!

**P.S. My cutest ever thumbs up model decided today was not a good day. We were just doing our best to turn her frowny face upside down and didn't want to push our luck. Toddlers can be spunky! Instead I featured another great Etsy Artisan's craft and love of cooking, nelladesigns' Print Your Own Retro Recipe Cards-Perfect for Mother's Day.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Like a Suspenseful Movie

As usual I stayed up way to late because I have the hardest time stopping once I start an art project. It would be like stopping at the climax of a superbly suspenseful movie to go to bed. I just have to see how it turns out. But it was worth it. Here they are the three custom Tulip name and monograms.

Now on to another custom of the cutest baby hands and feet flower painting! I am already in love and I only have the watercolor done so far. More on that on Tuesday!

Don't forget Monday will be the first Edition of Mix-It-Up Monday Recipe Reviews. I am reviewing Secret Sauce Sweet and Sour Meatballs. You won't want to miss it...I have the best thumbs up picture to show or thumbs down if the recipe stinks. :D Plus all of you can join HERE to read the post.

And my $50 Gift Certificate Giveaway in honor of Mother's Day is still going strong. I have to thank all those so far for such great feedback and participation. What would you do with $50 at my Etsy shop? Read HERE for more details. Contest ends next week so don't delay!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

AH-HA! Moment

You know the moment that your brain clicks with an idea that has just been surfacing enough to tickle your imagination but not showing enough to be an actual tangible idea? This has been me for weeks with my Flower Letters. They are so versatile but I just couldn't quite put my finger on what I had planned next. And as luck would have it, a custom order came along that was just different enough to push me outside of my usual.

Here is the picture show of my progress...

My first sketch did not go over to well. It was way over done and simply to busy.

So I gave it another shot with the words 'organic' and 'understated' rolling around my mind.

This went over much better, so much so she had me proceed and here was my 'ah-ha' moment. I need to make sure I am still open to all the styles that are mine, not just the current style my mood might be in. This work is still very imprinted with my artwork stamp, but it is given a chance to not be my normal thing either.

The first complete of the set of three color pencil Tulip Name Drawings:

Looking for the $50 Giveaway to my shop? Click here.
Want to exchange and review your new recipe of the here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mix-it-up Monday Recipe Reviews

Update: First Edition posts 5AM Pacific Standard Time, Are you ready?


Tired of my same old routine of staple dinners, I want to branch out! I decided the best way to mix-it up and benefit all of mankind, would be to share my culinary experiences along with my children's reactions to the new food journey my family is going to embark on. Come join me. Won't it be fun?

Every Monday we can list our experiment here and give it the good ol' thumbs up or thumb down, Ebert and Roeper style. Tell us what you liked, disliked and could do differently the next week in your own blogs along with the recipe for any other adventurous types. I will have a Mr. Linky available for link-love.

So get busy this week and try something new! Next week the Mix-it-Up Monday Reviews begin.

As for my house, let us see what the kids do with Secret Sauce Meatballs. Doesn't sound to scary, till you hear grape jelly.

*featured Letterpress Recipe Cards and Recipe Box by

Looking for the $50 Mother's Day Gift Certificate Giveaway Contest? click here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

$50 Mother's Day Gift Certificate Giveaway and Saturday Sales

Saturday All Day Sale!
FREE shipping on all orders over $14!

BOGO - Buy one flower letter 5X7 ABC print, and receive one free! Can be Requested as postcards with envelopes included! No limit to this kind of order, 1 purchase = 1 free, 2 purchases = 2, 10 purchase = 10. I think you have the idea. :)**

All 8 1/2 X 11 prints are now printed on the finest canvas paper that produces a print so close to the original you will have a hard time telling the difference, it is also similar to museum archival papers.

Plus, and here is the cream of the sale crop, every item purchased starting today till the end of April is an entry into my super fabulous $50 Mother's Day gift certificate giveaway! This certificate is good toward any item in my shop, as a combination of items or one large purchase*! The winner will be chosen and announced Saturday, May 2, 2009.

There is no limit to entries but you have to follow these guidelines:

1. To gain unlimited entries you can purchase items from my shop. Each item purchases is worth two entries.

2. You can twitter, blog, facebook, myspace, or announce the giveaway in your own shops making sure there is a link back to my etsy shop, for one entry each link. Send me the links to each of your efforts as separate comments for this blog entry. These must stay up till the month is out.

3. Follow my blog and/or twitter for additional entries each. alwaysadorable twitter

4. Earn another entry by heading over to my shop and voting your favorite item by leaving a comment here at my blog in this article!

5. Put another entry into the mix, by also leaving me a separate comment regarding your least favorite item in the shop and why.

6.One entry for a suggestion on shop improvement put as a comment in this article.

7. One entry for something you would like to see that I do not have in my shop but that you think would go with my current items.

So many chances to win this generous gift certificate for you or someone you love! Tell everyone and spread the word. This is going to be a fun giveaway party!

*Excludes monies for shipping.
**Free items do not earn entries as they are not actually purchased and are already a promotional gift.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tips and Tricks to Tags of Etsy

Update: QuirkyDolls so kindly added a great link in the comments, but I wanted this front and center. The information is invaluable! Click HERE to read the article on tags.

A big thanks to those who put on the Virtual Labs in the classrooms on Etsy. I always come away with such good information, that really helps my shop improve. Now I want to share my notes with all of you!

A week ago in the Tags Critique I gained a few tips and tricks to help your buyer really find you and want what you are selling. So crucial. Your tags might be pulling traffic, but if it all fluff traffic you aren't going to make a sale. You need those truly interested in what you have to sell to make the sale.

*hops off soap box*

Okay now to the tips:

  • -Having trouble finding enough to fill all 14 slots??? Never fear, you probably already have a passe in your description. Take a peek and see what you can't borrow from there as a new word. Say you have a listing with forest hills and cute bunnies. Try to sum them up into another word, like woodland. Ta-da, another tag.
  • -Here are a fews tags that might not get enough use: "sale" if you are having one, handcrafted, your location, "free shipping" when applicable, "world wide", "international", and your user name in a few of your shops listings.
  • -Always use your main color as a tag. This is how most treasury hunters find their items! Plus in another workshop where I played 'search guinea pig', the more specific, e.i. color I could get with my adjectives the better my results were. So get those color tags in there!
  • -and last but not least, try to go all the way to a sub-sub category in your tags. The farther you get within a category the better your chances are to be pulled by the relevance search engine.

Now, for the cream...the tricks:

  • The best way to test out your new tags are to search like a buyer. Imagine you knew nothing about your listing, but wanted to find it. What is the basic search word(s) would you use? See what page your item ends up on.
  • Then add the color you want, and a specific characterisitc of your item, that makes your item stand out...did you come up?
  • Finally, think about where you would use the item, and who would be using it. This will help you brainstorm your target market.

After reading this I hope you feel ready to tackle those tags and see if you can't improve their usefulness.

If you are doing great already, feel free to add your trick and tips in the comments!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Excited Like Christmas

After many suggestions and bunch of research, I have decided to start printing on Canvas Digital Rag Fine Art Mould Made Paper . It is what museums use, but besides that, it has an amazing feel and look. I ordered mine early this morning and cannot wait for it to show up. I feel like a kid again, anticipating Christmas day. I just want it to hurry up and come!

I do have to admit, shopping for paper was way to much fun. I seriously had to empty my cart five times to not buy things I want right now, but don't necessarily need. The iron on transfer paper was almost left in though. Oh the fun I could have with that!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Series Smorgasborg

Spicing up my series with flower letters with some more custom goodness. So many choices so little time. :)

Silhouettes are so elegant and Victorian that I couldn't resist.

Then I gave Spring Butterflies and Cherry Blossoms another whirl. More margin for framing, a better crop, and a few more depth techniques really helps this piece out.

With another reading with Hans Christian Andersen I was spurred on to recreate a rendition in more muted tones than usual for me, but thought it a worthy subject.

Thumbelina found in her Tulip. One of my favorite things about her is the flowy red tulip dress with those deep green eyes.