Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope you have a very happy and healthy new year!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Let It Snow!

No, not really. In fact, if it doesn't snow this week, that'd be awesome. Every year I really try to relax the week after Christmas before I really gear up again for the new year. I go on day trips and try to spend as much time as possible with family and friends, and a snow storm could really ruin my plans to do that. So no, please don't let it snow this week!

Instead, I'm sharing my two latest "snowy" finishes, and the last of 2016!

Snowy String

I love these samplers because they're so unique!

Pattern Details:
Designer: Lizzie Kate
Pattern: Snowy String

Ready for Snow

I've had this pattern for two seasons now and I've never gotten to finishing it. This year, I promised myself I would get to it, and I'm really glad I did. I absolutely love it! I changed just a few colors but tried to keep it true to the original.

Pattern Details: 
"Ready for Snow"
Designer: Lizzie Kate

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Wishing you all a safe, relaxing holiday and a happy and healthy new year!

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Christmas Cookies

As many of you know, every year my mom and I bake dozens up dozens of Christmas cookies. It's a tradition we've kept for as long as I can remember and even though it's a lot of work, and makes the kitchen a mess (a problem for us clean freaks!) it's totally worth it in the end. We enjoy these cookies throughout the holiday season and share them with our friends, family and colleagues. They're always a big hit!

Every year, we have the "staple" cookies. These are the cookies that are on the "to-bake" list ever year, without fail. They're Italian Pizzelles (see below for details), thumbprints, butter balls (aka Russian tea cakes) and basic shortbreads. This year we also added lemon drop pecan cookies, peanut butter cookies and pistachio-cranberry cookies. Four dozen eggs and 5 pounds of butter later, this was a sampling of this year's finished products.

My personal favorite are the Italian Pizzelles. We use my great-grandmother's recipe every year and they're usually the cookies that go first at our holiday parties. I really look forward to them making, and eating them every holiday season! 
These traditional waffle cookies, which get their name from the Italian word, "pizze," meaning "flat and round," have been staples in Italian bakeries and kitchens for centuries, first originating in the Abruzzo region of south-central Italy. To this day, these delicious cookies are found at most Italian weddings and celebrations, and are rarely missing from Christmas dessert tables due to their snowflake resemblance. In my family, Christmas wouldn't be the same without them. It's for this reason that I'm sharing our family recipe.
My Great-Grandmother's Italian Pizzelle Recipe

Each batch will make approximately 3-4 dozen cookies.

You will need:

Pizzelle Machine
6 cups eggs
3 1/2 cups flour
 1 1/2 cups sugar
4 tsp. baking powder
2 TBSP anise
2 TBSP vanilla
1 cup butter, melted

Beat eggs, adding sugar gradually. Beat well. Add butter, vanilla and anise flavoring. Sift flour and baking powder and blend with egg mixture. Dough is sticky.

Make sure Pizzelle Machine is preheated and slightly greased. Drop batter by teaspoon. Cook 35-45 seconds (adjust accordingly). Cookies will be a light golden brown when they are ready. Remove from Pizzelle Maker and move to cookie sheets to cool.

After 10-15 minutes, sprinkle powdered sugar on top and enjoy!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, December 19, 2016

My Handmade Christmas Wish List

Every year I'm asked to make a list for my family of things I'd like for Christmas. And every year, the usual suspects all appear: blu-rays, specific clothes items from my favorite store, usually a techie gift or two -- yada yada. But this year, many of the items I really want are available only in Etsy shops.

Here are some of my favorite items that were included on my handmade Christmas wish list this year:

Best Creative Fuel Ever Mug
Last Christmas I received the "Every Day I'm Hustling" mug from this shop and I loved it, so this year I'm back for another. 

Artist Mixed Media Print
I cannot wait to frame this and display it in my art studio! 

Literally ANY Painting by Leonid Afremov
The only artist I've been this excited about since Vincent Van Gogh (duh!), is Leonid Afremov. His paintings are insanely gorgeous and I would be honored to have one of his originals hanging in my art studio. Until that day, his paintings will continue to be my Smart Phone and tablet desktop backgrounds. 

Needle Felted Owl Ornament
I adore this shop! So many cute items!

Artist Pallette Clock
from RipdNTorn
If this isn't the most clever idea for an art clock, I'm not sure what is! So fun!

Van Gogh Infinity Scarf
I mean, really? I have to have this!

Owl Bookends
Sticking with the owl theme, I think these would go perfectly in my office.

What's on your handmade wish list this year?

Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Snowmen Round-up!

Every year I make and sell my Snowman with Bluebird ornament and it's always one of the first ornaments to go. And every year I tell myself I'm going to make time to stitch one up for my own tree, and it just never happens.... until this year! 

I'm also featuring two more snowmen-themed finishes from this year:

Snowmen Holiday Box

Snowmen Basket 

Holiday Box and Basket Snowmen Pattern Details:
"Ho Ho Ho in a Row"
Designer: Lizzie Kate

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Free Digi Stamp - Frosty in Wonderland

Right click on the image and choose the "Save As" function to download this image. 


More freebies:  Free Digi Stamps

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 11, 2016

2016 Holiday Boxes

Well, that's a wrap on the 2016 holiday boxes for the year! The last of this year's collection was just packed securely and shipped to its final destination. Here was a sampling of some of the holiday boxes of the season.

Rudolph Holiday Box

The Rudolph holiday boxes were by far the most popular of the bunch this year. We had multiple variations (and Rudolph noses) available and luckily my dogs didn't eat any of them this year!

Snowmen Holiday Boxes

Joy Holiday Boxes

Noel Holiday Box

Hot Cocoa Holiday Box

To everyone who bought a holiday box this year, I hope you enjoyed them! Looking forward to creating many more varieties next year!

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, December 9, 2016

Let It Snowman!

Love this little guy!

Pattern Details:
"Let it Snow"
Designer: Lizzie Kate

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Gift Ideas for Paper Crafters

Paper-crafters (like me!) know the obsession that takes over your life once you embrace the art of paper. We can just never seem to get enough of it! And when holidays and birthdays roll around, you can bet that paper, or accessories that go along with paper, are on our wish lists.

If a paper-crafter had to shop for a fellow paper-crafter, there would be no issue. You would know exactly what to get. That's because in our world, everything revolves around paper and the endless possibilities that go along with it. Unfortunately, for our family and friends, it's not that simple. They say things like, "I never know what to buy you!" or "You are so hard to buy for!"  Ha! If they only knew just how far from the truth that was. They just don't know where to start! And with the paper universe expanding every day, complete with its own language and lingo, who could blame them!

Here are some great gift ideas for Paper Crafters:

Designer Paper
Obviously paper-crafters love paper. I mean, they wouldn't be paper-crafters if they didn't, right?  So when in doubt, the absolutely best gift for a paper-crafter is designer paper (or "DP") itself. Nowadays, purchasing designer paper couldn't be easier. Stacks upon stacks of paper is available in all different themes, colors and styles, and all are affordable. You literally cannot go wrong with this gift idea.

Embellishments (or "embellie") is anything that embellishes your paper-craft project. Embellishments can be, but are not limited to, stickers, chipboard cut-outs, die-cuts, buttons, ribbons, eyelets or more! If the aisle of embellishments at your local craft store becomes too overwhelming, many kits are available that include a themed sampling.

Paper Punches
Paper punches are used to cut shapes out of paper to be used as embellishments to scrapbook pages, journals and cards. The benefit of paper punches is that they are smaller and more affordable than die-cut machines, and do not require special software or cartridges in order to use them. Paper punches come in different sizes and shapes --- including frames, numbers and letters, borders, hearts, geometric shapes, flowers and more!

Art Stamps
Much like designer paper, art stamps are usually objects of obsession for paper-crafters. Art stamps come in rubber, acrylic, foam and even digital (digi) variety, but given as gifts, rubber and acrylic versions are probably the safest options.

Art stamps come in almost every theme imaginable and are mostly used for greeting card-making and scrapbooking.

Coloring Mediums
If you're looking for a very special gift for a paper-crafter, coloring mediums are perhaps one of the most appreciated options because purchasing paper-crafting pencils such as Prismacolor, or paper-crafting markers such as Copic, can be very pricey --- especially if purchased in sets.

The choice between pencils or markers is usually a personal preference, so before making the investment, it is best to understand which medium the paper-crafter you are purchasing them for prefers. In addition to pencils and markers, other more affordable coloring mediums are available to compliment the coloring process, such as colored stamp pads, watercolors and chalks.

Die-Cut Machines
Another idea for a very special gift idea is a die-cut machine. Die cut machines give endless possiblities to paper-crafters buy creating paper shapes, called "dies." These dies can be cut from many different kinds of paper (depending on which machine you purchase), and are used for many paper-crafting projects.

Die-cutting machines come in two different forms: digital and non-digital. Digital die-cutting machines such as the Cricut and Silhouette Cameo operate using cartridges, and/or downloadable software. The benefit of these types of machines is that thousands of die-cuts are available to be customized, re-sized and printed directly.

Non-digital die-cutting machines such as the Cuttlebug or Sizzix are less pricey, not do not offer quite the amount of possibilities that the digital, much pricier options offer. These machines work using a crank-type mechanism that slides the die over the paper, cutting it into the shape of your choice as it passes through.

Magazine Subscription
Another great idea for a paper crafter is to give them a magazine subscription to a paper crafting magazine such as Paper Crafts and Scrapbooks, etc. Magazines specifically designed for paper crafting can really get the creative juices flowing and offer a ton of inspiration.

Gift Card
When all else fails, I can personally attest that one of the best gifts to give a paper-crafter is a gift card to a local craft store such as Michaels, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores or AC Moore. Giving a specific art-themed gift card, rather than just a generic Visa, tells the recipient that you were being very intentional and thoughtful in your choice and that you were really trying to purchase a gift card they would thoroughly enjoy using.

Thanks for stopping by!