Friday, May 28, 2010

Larger, Fluffier Garland...oh my!

I have been working with a bride for her custom order of garland.  Ms. Melany suggested a larger width, so when you see the garlands together it they would be visually interesting. What. A. Fantastic. Idea.  My friend Ms. Bina, also mentioned that she was picturing the garland fluffier. My original inspiration was for crepe paper streamer style garland, where you can see the twists.  I am still new at this.  I am learning as I go.  I think both together is totally fabulous!

This new guy is 3" in diameter, and I increased the ruffle so its a bit fluffier.  The larger size accentuates the fluffy.  See the pics of it compared to the smaller 2" size.  Lovely. 

I have only made samples of this guy, but will definately have it at the Taylor Street Market.  Which I am a "sneak peek" for the fair here

Nella Designs

I LOVE this! I NEED this! er...these?!

Custom Silhouettes by Nella Designs
Super cool, you can choose from generic silhouettes or she even makes them out of your OWN photos, two boys in cowboy boots coming right up...

I Heart Garland

Sorry ladies, I have been so crazy busy that I have neglected to share some of my faves from etsy.  Did you miss them?  I have determined that I really need to have more parties just for the heck of it, just so I can use all of these pretty little garlands!

I saw this last week, and didn't click into it until today.  I was thinking, "what an awesome idea, so pretty and so simple, so martha..." So I clicked in today to get the links and boom - it says "as seen in Martha Stewart Weddings"  OF COURSE!  Lovely! Kuddos to dsharp!

I love buttons too, check out this cool paper garland.  I wish I had it for the baby shower! Blue Graph Paper and Paper Button Garland from packagery.

I have seen this seller all over the blogosphere... I love her pictures against a blackboard.   LOVE!  How incredibly creative. Love the flower garlands, made from fabric. Juicy Fabric Flower Garland from PrettySwell.

I am really loving the vintage pennant shape on bunting lately.  The classic triangle is awesome, but this is pretty darn cute.  I have been toying with the idea of doing a bunting sign for Taylor Street Market next weekend, and I think this shape (way bigger of course) would be pretty in muslin for my sign across the front of the table.  I love the colors! Pretty Party Bunting C from paperklipdesign.

I am a sucker for hearts. Its one of those things that I grew into (as my former anti-girly teenage self growls) and I now squeal in delight.  Wierd, I know.  It happens, I guess it could be worse.  I made a red felt heart garland for Valentines Day, I wish it was this cute.  red love garland by deardesire (love the shop name!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

my new tractor seat & divine chocolate cookies

Hello darlings! I still hold my apprehensions towards Mondays, even though every day is Saturday to me...Mondays still hurt. This was by far the BEST Monday in forever.  I shall explain...
Saturday was my long awaited "day off" and I cruised the two community yard sales along the loneliest road in America, HWY 50.  Well, there were only two anywhere near me, even though I am sure other locations on the coast to coast yard sale were better.  I did not end up in California as hoped, b/c my poor little car is now 100K miles old! Happy Birthday Little Maudinator aka "the focus."  These two little sales were not as bountiful as I had hoped.  Regardless, I had a pretty cool day off flitting around the library and bookstores.  Ahhh...all without the boys. Little luxuries, if you have ever been to a book store anyone under 5 and tried to look at anything NOT in the kids section, you feel my pain. 

My disappointment in yardsales was discarded this evening when my hubby came home with this lovely vintage tractor seat from work! Thank you! Thank you!  Soon, my lovely, you will be a delightful stool, courtesy of my metal working loverboy.  Yippee!  I will post pics when she's all done.

And the SECOND reason I love Mondays, well this one, is gooeyness and yumminess. 
Last weekend, Ms. Dylan made her sis-n-law's bbq brownie madness (see here, scroll to the bottom for the brownie recipe.) Alas, the shortest of my clan is allergic to peanuts.  Phooey.  While craving them, and simultaneously cruising the baking aisle at the grocery store...I saw a box of Ghirardelli Walnut Brownie Mix. On the back of the box was a recipe for Chocolate Overload Cookies...oh dear...with white chocolate & semi-sweet chips added to the mix...the mix that has walnuts already.  YUM!  Add one jar of marshmallow cream...can you see where I am going with this?  Bake the cookies, while still warm, take two cookies and add a heaping dollup of cream between them.  Let melt and goo up.  Eat with fork.  I still dream of her PBcup/marshmallow/brownie goodness but, this was pretty darn good, and best of all, Hunter loved it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

birthday garland - fit for a "Superstar"

My friend Ms. Bina, has a very close friend, Ms. Superstar.  I have only met her a couple of times, but have you ever met someone who just makes you smile before you even talk to them?  Or have you seen some person standing in a coffee shop, and they, some stranger, just brighten your day?  In my crazy rebellious days in high school I had this book about what color your aura is.  I can't even remember what mine was, I always retook the test because I didn't agree with the answer, it was probably right, I think with my infinite middle-aged wisdom, ha ha ha. Anyways, the color of your aura.  People that puppies and babies are drawn to.  People you feel instantly comfortable with.  People that bring sunshine where ever they land.  That's what Ms. Superstar does, and it was her birthday on Saturday. Happy Birthday Ms. Superstar!  I made these garlands for her party based on her favorite color being red.  I just hope she'll like them, they really don't have as much red in them as I originally wanted but they remind me of her.  Happy, fun, sunshine.

packaging etc...

Packaging. I think the hardest part about a business is not the product itself.  It's all the other stuff.  Business cards, packaging, shop set up, and marketing, don't even get me started on Facebook and Flickr.  I haven't been posting about all the little cute things I have found because every second I have goes to playing around with Illustrator, Photoshop and then cheating occasionally (ok alot) with PowerPoint.  I have made my first sale. Yippee!  I was super excited, and then I realized I still had to finalize my designs for my packaging. Eeek! They were all there, but I had about 3 different options.  As much as I would love to farm it out to the oodles of talented designers out there or even just kinkos for printing, its just not in the budget.  Its just me, and although its much harder (with a learning curve that looks like a circle), when I finish, it is immensely satisfying. PS, I love kraft paper almost as much as muslin, can you tell?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Ina doesn't like cilantro

There are two kinds of people in the world, those that like cilantro, those that don't, Ina doesn't. Neither do I, Ina, neither do I! Just another reason I love you, Ina. Now, off to find your banana bread recipe...

Taylor St. Market - Reno

So, Sunday was Mother's Day, and after being brought the paper, I turned to the Horoscope section. Yes, I read them, to the dismay of my brother "how can a fortune possibly be for the millions born that month?" to which I reply, "it rotates people, someday, it will be my day." A habit of mine, and I just like it for laughs, but sometimes coincidence really happens. 

As it did on Sunday.  From the Reno Gazette, "If there's something your selling, you'll be getting some interesting leads.  And even if you don't have concrete goods and services to market, you will be winning people over with your ideas and personality."  Shortly thereafter, I checked my email, and there it was, an Etsy convo from Pickled Tink, inviting me to join the Taylor St. Market on June 5th in the Midtown area of Reno.  YAY! Someone, that I don't know, likes my stuff! Yippee!  See, coincidence or not, that fortune was pretty right on.  Of course, I saved it for my brother.  hee hee hee.

But this street fair couldn't be anymore perfect for me as my first real event.  The theme is "Vintage Inspired and Insanely Cute Stuff."  Hello...yes, perfect! The lovely ladies hosting the market?  Pickled Tink, a super adorable blonde (you should see her engagement photos on her blog) that has a lovely vintage shop with all the shabby chic trimmings a girl could want.  Creamy whites, yes, rusty chippy stuff, yes, so perfect.  I have always wanted to go in there, but not the shop for two mini men...(that I always have on my trips into town)...sigh.  Don't even get me started on 41Taylor. A deliciously charming house, made just for parties.  Gorgeous.  I want to live there!  Just wait and see.  One day, I vow to get a real photo shoot done of the girls (garland) there. 

So pardon me, while I do my little happy dance!

Monday, May 10, 2010

can you put sprinkles on chocolate chip cookies?

Yes.  Yes, you can.  I am starting to think you can put sprinkles on anything.  It was Mother's Day weekend, what is with all the red, white and blue, you ask...well, it was my boys' best friend, WD's birthday party on Saturday.  I made him a special birthday boy garland, which we girls love, but (note to self) I still need to boy it up a bit.  It was darn cute though.  I found two of the cutest pillowcases at the thrift store, in the classic reds and blues that are those wonderful vintage colors from way back when.  I had to have them for garland. 
I paired the vintage strips with bleached muslin and made them slightly smaller in width than the standard garlands. The recovered fabric made three total garlands, one for Willie (well, really Ms. Dylan), and two more, of which are so darn cute I'm not sure if I will part with them.  But, maybe if you ask really nice, I will sell or even giveaway one for Memorial Day. 

Anyhoo...back to the cookies...I took my trusty Mrs. Fields cookie recipe here, and used my 1" cookie scoop, and rolled the tops of each scoop into a plastic tub of patriotic sprinkles ala Target. 

Gosh, I love the dollar bin.  I should do a post about the wonders of the Target dollar bin, it's like the dollar store, but filled with stuff you actually want.  The same can be said for the Michaels dollar aisle...I digress...again. 
Cook exactly like you would sans sprinkles.  Voila, and yes, they were delicious.  I learned that you can decorate a chocolate chip cookie, just like a sugar cookie.  I might be the last person on earth to figure this out, but that's okay, I still haven't seen Avatar, I am used to it.  I did just watch Zombieland this weekend, it was a riot!

Mother's Day

Aren't these lovely? The succulant was picked out by my boys for me on a shopping trip to Trader Joes. My sweet little monkeys. The bath goodies are lavender, yum, that my lovely partner in crime/hotmama/neighbor made and had her hubby run them over last night. So pretty, love the little wooden spoon, and they smell heavenly! I can't wait to use them, as soon as little Hunter gets over his fever, poor guy.

Friday, May 7, 2010

cowboy quilt

I did finish this.  Last weekend, I swear, before I started the etsy madness.  One quilt down, one to go.  I will probably have to go into Reno to find the chunky muslin for the reverse, or just use the buttery soft Kona muslin I was saving for my quilt (and save myself the money from browsing my favorite store).

The large orange dots are from Denyse Schmidt, I also have the yellow dot colorway and I think I will use that for Hunter's quilt.  It won't change the overall look, but will tie in the yellow quilt binding he picked out.  My littlest mini man chose his favorite color, and it is yellow. The big guy's fave has been blue since I don't know when, and I have been hinting for Hunter's to be red or lately I just get two blues to save an arguement.  So perfectly fabulous and fitting to his personality.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hank + Hunt Etsy shop s O-P-E-N! Yay!

After running around yesterday afternoon, and after the already late dinner (to the dismay of the hubs), I finally got a few of my garlands listed.  Please visit my shop here. I am super excited and can't wait to make more.  I was so anxious getting the store open, and now I feel as if a weight has been lifted.  The little darlings are there, in all their glory, ready for the world.

Since, you may have noticed, I love garland and bunting, like a crazy person. I also love muslin for its pretty color and simplicity, why not use both?  Throw in a twist of ruffles for the perfect little garland that you can use again and again.  Bridal shower, check.  Wedding, check.  Mother's Day brunch for the new MIL, check.  Baby shower...what?  Going to fast for you? You could use this garland for years.  I am even going to test washability (I have two boys, you learn that you will have to wash EVERYTHING eventually), although the listed garland edges are pinked,  I am also working on a finished edge version.

Other goodies on the way for the shop?
1. hemmed edge version
2. gradual & bold colors
3. vintage fabric editions
4. pleated, crisp edition (in white, of course)
5. pom pom garland
6. magnets (see earlier posts)
7. handmade, small batch fabric ribbon

I am even working on a DIY to show you how to make these garlands.  Of course, I would love you to buy them, but I know some of you love to make your own, and I will share with you how!

So don't forget to visit me!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

wood doilies...super!

I had my cup of coffee and was doing my morning rounds.  Saw these sweeties, a set of five laser cut birch coasters, and attempted not once, but twice to buy them. Too slow joe...blast!  So, I shot Uncommon on etsy an email to see if they have any more.  So cute! They even have a super large one.  You know I love girly and this is just awesome.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

super sorry! technical difficulties...

Aren't these pretty?  The men folk mowed our weeds (hey, at least its green) and found a little quail nest of twenty little eggs.  I think their mama abandoned them, so I ran out yesterday morning and got some pics in before the neighbor's cat (or other random critter) eats them. So pretty. I have never seen so many eggs in one nest. It makes sense, since in a few weeks we will see long lines of little mini babies running around behind mom & dad.

I just wanted to post that I am still learning how to post from my new iphone.  I have the app and I can put pictures with the post, but it keeps messing up a little bit.  I really want to figure it out, since the phone is much faster than my slow dialup.  So, I am SUPER SORRY in advance and will try to fix everything.

yummy, ready-to-bake goodness

Thi is La Boulange, Cafe and Bakery (shop in SF) carton of ready-to-bake oatmeal raisin cookies. Delicious and ORGANIC! This (and the Pleasanton, CA Flea Market, end of May) seals the deal of a visit across the mountains this summer- road trip!
The main reason that made me try these delectable little guys? The packaging, I am a sucker for pretty wrap.
How incredibly charming and lovely!
Yes, the first photo is a bite out of a raw cookie.  The first step in addiction is admitting it. I love cookie dough, oh well.  Here's the cookies baked, they didn't last long either...


How cool are these wheels? I want to have the hubby make a coffee table with them, wouldn't that be awesome? A weekend or two ago I took the boys roaming around a mining and farm equipment antique store. We were on a mission to find tractor seats. Found!

While flitting around etsy, I saw a stool someone had fashioned out of an old seat and wood. It was fabulous!
I have always loved going antiquing, but a two and four year old next to aisles and aisles of breakables? I am not crazy nor rich enough to attempt. The boys did great at the acres of old rusty goodies. They evendid great when we snuck inside to see these...

I have a love/hate relationship with American Pickers, jealous that they get to do that everyday, crazy over all the cool "girly" stuff they don't even glance at. Lucky boys, lucky boys.