Wednesday, December 29, 2010

New Crafting Space

     Okay, I'm so excited I can't stand it. As some of you may know, my birthday is on Christmas Eve, so sometimes I get a combined b-day and Christmas gift from folks who have something in mind that's a tad more expensive than they'd like to spend on one gift. This year, my hubbie was the one who did this. It's been a couple of years since he's gotten me one big combined gift. Well, he actually had some little things that went along with my big gift that I got for Christmas, but it was still all for this one big thing.

     Sooooo, I've been wanting a couple of things here recently that have been kind of expensive. One is a mini greenhouse. I love gardening, homesteading, and living as self-sufficiently as possible. It's definitely a growing process, but we think it's fun. I always have trouble starting my plants from seeds in the spring so I've been wanting a mini greenhouse to help with this, plus it will extend my growing season a bit. But, they are EXpensive! So I kinda thought this would be what he was getting me, and he did say he looked for them. Another thing I've been wanting is a place to put all my crafting stuff. If any of you follow my personal blog, Pieces of Meagan, you've seen some posts on getting organized. As of right now, I'm in my dinning room for everything, so that means the table is covered with stuff and we've not eaten dinner here in months! I've been wanting a craft room since we build our house when we first got married. All along I planned on turning our huge attic into it, but it's full of things that we need to store. Plus it's hard to regulate the temperature up there. So here lately I've decided to divide our bedroom up because we made it so big, and we don't really need all that space there. One half will be our bedroom, and the other half will have a big craft desk and areas for storage. Have you seen the price of huge craft tables. They're a pretty penny too!

     Now I'm not too picky of a person, so my wonderful hubbie went to a furniture store and bought me a double desk with a hutch to use as my craft table. It's way bigger than a regular craft table. The only difference is that my sewing machine won't drop down into it, and it doesn't have as much storage space. But, almost everyone else who got me gifts, birthday or Christmas, got me things to help with storing things for my "craft room"! I can't wait to get stuff to get it organized and looking all crafty and cute! So without further ado, meet my new crafting space!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Baby Swank Items - Getting Started

     Okay, so I talked about trying to come up with some new items for my shop for this coming year in this post. Well my hubbie has come up with a great idea (I think) for a new product line for my shop, but first I'm gonna try it out here...well sort of. I'm gonna show my progress, and explain my idea to you. I'll show you how it works, and then you all can let me know what you think of it! Sound good? Great! I'm excited! Now all I need is to find time to keep working on it!

     So here are some starting pictures. Can you guess what it's turning out to be?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Etsy Featured Sellers: Terra's Treasures

Terra's Treasures

This week we have a new featured seller from Etsy. So please get to know her here a bit, check out her shop, and leave her a comment letting her know what you think! Check out where you can find her on the web at the bottom of this post!!

     This is Terra, the owner of Terra's Treasures. Terra is a seller from Twin Falls, and she sells super cute clothing and accessories for children and infants! I hope you all enjoy getting to know her as I have! Check out her shop, she may have just the thing you're looking for to keep your kiddo looking fashionable!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
   I'm a stay at home mom raising two wonderful little boys, Dylan (2) and Taylor (6months).

How did you come up with your shop name?
   My mother actually came up with it. She told me one day that I should start my own shop and call it Terra's Treasures.
When did you start crafting?
    I've actually been sewing since I was a little girl, but it wasn't until I had kids that I fell in love with making little clothes.

What first made you want to start selling your creations?
     I would make things and I had so many people tell me how cute they were and that I should sell them. I was already selling a few things here and there to friends. 
Describe your creative process to us.
     It could happen anywhere. I'll see something that I like or realize a need and then it's all I'll think about until it takes a shape. (a little obsessive? no comment....)

What inspires you?
    My husband. He's a very hard worker and always applies all of himself in whatever he does.

How do you promote your work?
   I have a facebook page and a blog that I'm trying to get up and running. I just need to be a little more disciplined and post more often. I think it would be a great way for people to get to know me better and for them to see some of the creative process I use to make things.

Are your items pre-made or made to order?
   Both. I have some things I sell that are custom orders and I also have some ready to ship things that I make when I have spare time or that are left over from a craft show. 

Tell us two short-term goals you have and one long-term.
   Two short term goals I have are to actually sell something in my shop and to organize my time better so I can be more productive. (Bad facebook! I can spend way too much time on there). My long tern goal is to be successful in this endeavor so that when my children start school I won't have to go back to work. 

Walk us through a typical day in your life.
8:00- Get up, get the children up and everyone breakfast. Have a cup of coffee and check email.
9:30- Get the kids ready for the day, get myself ready for the day.
11:00- Baby goes down for nap. Take time to clean, pay bills, etc.
12:30- Lunch
1:30- Toddler goes down for nap, baby gets up from nap and gets lunch.
2:00- Work on patterns, sewing, research ideas.
4:30- Toddler gets up from nap, baby goes down for second nap.
5:00- Get started on dinner.
6:00- Dinner and spend time with family.
8:00- Bath time and get kids ready for bed by 8:30.
9:30- Sew, work on patterns, research ideas.
12:00- Bed. 

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment?
   My favorite item is the ruffle bottom pants. I just love ruffles. 

Ruffle Bottom pants CUTE 3m 6m 9m 12m 18m 24m

What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
    Same thing I tell myself daily. Keep plugging along, someone is bound to notice you! 

    So thank you so much to Terra - owner of Terra's Treasures - for sharing herself and her shop with us today. You can find Terra's Treasures on the web here:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Peppermint Fudge

     If you're like me, when the holidays roll around you get this intense craving to bake stuff. Especially deserts! I love sweets so this is an easy one for me. Well, I was talking with a friend today about using candy canes to hang on the tree, decorate with, or using them for craft projects like my Candy Cane Candle.  So what should you do with all of those candy canes after Christmas (or before if you want)? I don't really like peppermint too much by itself, but deserts parred with peppermint can be especially yummy. I found this great fudge recipe that I wanted to share with you all where you can use your leftover candy canes for the garnish on the top. This would make a great gift for someone or even a great addition to a party or dinner you're attending. My plan is to try making this. I've never made fudge before, so I'll try to take pics and let you know how it goes!

Makes 24 two-inch pieces


  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 3 cups semisweet or white chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy


  1. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with two sheets of waxed or parchment paper in a crisscross manner (one lengthwise, one crosswise) so ends overhang sides of pan; coat evenly with cooking spray.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, cook sugar, salt, butter, cream, and marshmallows, stirring, until butter and marshmallows are almost melted, 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil; cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chips and vanilla; stir until chips are melted. Pour mixture into lined pan.
  4. Let fudge cool in the pan at room temperature, 3 hours. Use edges of paper to lift out fudge; place on cutting board, and remove paper. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, or cut fudge into bars. Sprinkle evenly with crushed candy. Fudge can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Featured in a New Treasury

Baby Swanks Christmas Thank You Cards are featured in this cute "Happy Holidays" treasury on Etsy along with some other great holiday items. Check it out!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Item for the New Year?

     So I've been trying to come up with some good ideas on new items to add to my shop for 2011. One idea I came up with was cake balls. They're also known as cake pops and cake truffles. I love cake decorating, and this is just another type of it. You can really do so much! I thought it may be a good idea to offer them for baby showers, birthdays, and holidays. Anyway, I thought I'd post a picture of some I made for my churches Christmas Party so everyone could see. Let me know what you think, and if you think I should add them to my shop!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Traditions

     It seems like when the holidays roll around, everything just screams Family Traditions! Sure families have done things a certain way for years, but you don't really think of it as a tradition until the holidays least I don't. My family for instance has traditions around most major holidays and during other important going ons in life, but we have a lot more during the Thanksgiving - Christmas season.

     Why are traditions such an important part of family life. I guess it's because they are the ties that bind us together. Most people like routine. We expect it. Plus there's something sentimental about doing things the same way year after year in the form of "traditions".

     Anyway, as far as me and my family goes, at least during this time of year, here's a list of some of our traditions that have either been handed down or that we've started up ourselves!

1.  Watch "It's A Wonderful Life" and drink eggnog.                        
2.  Picking out a Christmas tree together.                         
3.  Drawing names for gifts.                        
4.  Get a personalized Christmas ornament.   
5.  Spending Christmas Eve night with my parents: staying up late playing games and making yummy treats!
     There are a lot more I'm sure! It would take some time to think of them all. So, as far as #4 goes, it's one that my mom started. Not from the time I was little, but from the time I got married. She kind of started it for me and my family, and we've just carried on with it. Maybe one day we'll have an entire tree devoted to personalized ornaments! So, I thought I'd show you the one's we have up to this point - with many more to come! These are in order from oldest to newest.

Wedding - June '06
1st Christmas - '06
2nd Christmas - '07

3rd Christmas - '08

4th Christmas - '09
5th Christmas - '10

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Card Garland tutorial

OMGoodness! This is so cute! I'm always wishing there was something fun and decorative I could do to hang my Christmas cards every year. Normally I just stick them up around my door-frames, but then I run into the problem of them falling out or not fitting in some places.

Anyway, I was looking at another blog I follow today, and they linked to this tutorial which is so cute and creative. Plus it seems super easy. Anyone could do this and it's way cheap! So here's the link...Christmas Card Garland Tutorial! Go check it out, and if you do decide to make one of these, post your pics here so I can see how creative you are. I may get around to doing it too!

Friday, December 10, 2010


Well, my shop's Christmas Sale starts tonight at midnight. All Christmas items are 25% off! Check it out here... Christmas Sale! Don't miss it! This will be my last big sale of the year!

Here's a look at some items on sale!

Christmas Gift Wrap
Children's Christmas Thank You Cards
Christmas Washcloth Bibs and Bundles

I hope everyone enjoys this sale, and by all me spread the word! I'd really appreciate it!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Newest Items

     Okay, so I got a custom order for two Washcloth Bib's over Black Friday weekend. Let me tell you, that was the only thing I got in my shop besides views that weekend, and it was really disheartening! Anyway, it was an alchemy request for a Pittsburgh Steeler's Bib and a Toy Story Bib.

     Here they are, and I think they look great! I'm really excited about both of them, but the Toy Story one especially because it's out of flannel, and I've never made one of my bibs from flannel before. It was so easy and it turned out really well. Let's just hope it holds up well and lasts!

Oh yeah, one more thing. Which picture do you all like best? The full view bib or the folded bib?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Etsy Featured Sellers: The Country Chic Cottage

The Country Chic Cottage

This week we have a new featured seller from Etsy. So please get to know her here a bit, check out her shop, and leave her a comment letting her know what you think! Check out where you can find her on the web at the bottom of this post!!

     This is Angie, the owner of The Country Chic Cottage. Angie is a seller from Mt. Pleasant, TN (yay, fellow Tennessean!), and she sells vintage and handmade items for your home! I hope you all enjoy getting to know her as I have! Check out her shop, she may have just the thing you're looking for to spruce up your home!

Tell us a bit about yourself.
   Hellow!!  My name is Angie and I run The Country Chic Cottage. I am a full time working wife and mother to three great kids. I stay busy with my blog and etsy shop. :) 

How did you come up with your shop name?
   I started my blog long before selling on etsy and it just made sense for them both to be the same.

When did you start crafting?
    I sell vintage and handmade items for your country cottage!  I have been crafting since I was walking I would say.  I basically taught myself to sew and I love it!!

What first made you want to start selling your creations?
    Gosh, too many ideas for my cottage!  When a nest gets too full of creations, time to open an etsy shop!

Describe your creative process to us.
    Mostly I come up with things in the car or in bed.  No I don't sleep much.... 

What inspires you?
   Other blogs, catalogs, etsy stores, brick and mortor stores, thrift stores you name it. I see something at a thrift store and see what it can become not what it is. 

How do you promote your work?
   Through my blog, other blogs, twitter, the etsymom team.  I love to cross promote with other blogs that have etsy stores.  It is a win win!

Quilt Block Framed Vintage

Are your items pre-made or made to order?
    Everything I have currently is premade.  With a full time job, I feel I would not be able to commit to a time frame to have custom work completed in.  So I stick with all ready to ship stock.

Tell us two short-term goals you have and one long-term.
   1)  I really want to get to 7 sales a week consistently.  
     2)  List 100 items in my shop.
Long term -- grow my blog and my etsy shop at a level that is comfortable for 

Walk us through a typical day in your life.
  I am up by 5:30.  I etsy and blog in the morning.  I try to list 1-2 things a day.  Three kids dressed and out for school by 7.  I head to work.  I thrift store hop at lunch.  I get off around 5.  I try to take some pictures, etc before it gets dark.  Supper, homework, dishes, tv, and bed (not necessarily in that order).  And start all over again the next day! 

What is your favorite item in your shop at the moment?
What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
     Get out there, get to know other people in the etsy community, blogs, etc.  It goes miles in getting sales!  

    So thank you so much to Angie - owner of The Country Chic Cottage - for sharing herself and her shop with us today. You can find The Country Chic Cottage on the web here: