Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Welcome Wednesday with We Are Bound Together

Please welcome Andrea and her Etsy shop We Are Bound Together

Creating with brightly coloured or traditional grey duct tape; Andrea also adds a simple and modern design, sometimes with a bit of punk to her product. All proceeds from her Etsy shop are donated to helping persecuted Christians around the world.

Now let's discover Andrea and We Are Bound Together

What is the first creative memory you have?

I have been artsy since I before I can remember. I have always been into drawing, painting and creating. I have a framed picture on my desk that my Kindergarten teacher took of me. In the photo I'm working hard at the painting easle in my pick sweatpants. It just continued to grow from there.

What or whom began your creative journey on Etsy?

I had heard about Etsy a few years ago from a friend, who said it was “dangerous” (as in there is so many neat things you just want to buy it all). Then a few months ago I figured I could open up my own Etsy store. We had recently moved back to Canada after being in Australia for a couple of years. It was the right time to start something myself, to go somewhere with my bookbinding.

How did you come up with your shop name?

I started my business on Etsy with the intent to raise funds to support persecuted Christians around the world through organizations like Voice of the Martyrs and Open Doors. We have so much here in Western Countries. We have freedom and we don't have to worry about were our next meal will come, or if we will be unemployed and beaten up because of our religion. The name “We Are Bound Together” has a double meaning in that I feel, as a Christian, bound together with other believers around the world. Also my books are handbound – bound together. The name is a double meaning.

Describe what creations you have in your shop?

I started out with funky coloured duct tape books. These aren't just recovered journals, but I make the whole book from scratch. I use reclaimed millboard (from binders and such) for the cover, tear the paper for the pages by hand, and hand sew it all together.

I also do leather bound books. Unlike the duct tape books which are hardcovers, the leather have soft covers. This style is known as limp binding. I love working with the soft leather and how pretty each book turns out. These books range from fancy diamond stitched spines to cute mini leather book keychains.

All my books are blank inside which makes them great as a journal, or a sketchbook.

Non-book related, I also carry RFID blocking credit card sleeves in funky colours to protect your cards from electronic pickpocketing. These are not just duct tape covered over RFID blocking sleeves. But they are tyveck sleeves (to protect your card from scratches, etc) covered with aluminium (to protect your card from electronic skimmers) and covered with duct tape to protect the aluminium and make them pretty.

What insprires you?

I get inspired by different things. As a person I am naturally motivated and despite having a disease that prevents me from holding a “regular” job, I feel great knowing that I can still do something and help others by my work. I am also inspired by just resting and taking it easy. Sometimes when we get too busy doing something, we lose our passion for doing it. So I enjoy the sunshine, take a break for the day. Usually, especially when I am too sick to work, my mind starts churning out ideas for when I come back to my work.

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I really enjoy the music of Ludovico Einaudi, a modern piano composer with absolutely beautiful music. Although, sometimes the really pretty pieces distract me for a bit too.

Please share a favorite recipe

My favourite recipe is a bit of a “taste as you go” one. When I got diagnosed with endometriosis I was advised to stay away from gluten, dairy and refined sugar. So, one of the first things I did was find a chocolate recipe! It's made up, so it's really to your own taste.

Place approximately equal parts (say 1/4 cup) peanut/almond butter, coconut milk, and cocoa powder in a pan. Heat on low, careful burnt chocolate is not good. It helps to mix the nut butter and milk together first, then add the cocoa. Add a splash of vanilla, a tablespoon or so of coconut oil. This is where the real taste part comes in. Add some sweetener of choice. The best ones being maple syrup or coconut sugar. Honey is too overpowering for chocolate. It really depends on your sweetener as to how much to put in. I also like dark chocolate, while some like it not so dark.

You can make this as thick or as thin as you like. I usually make it to a fudge like consistency and have coconut milk and flaked coconut on top.

Where else can we find you?


Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tribute Tuesday with Diningout

Holler out your tributes for Marie and her Etsy shop Diningout

A shop filled with wonderful machine embroidered creations...perfect gifts from house warming to the arrival of a new baby.
Simple designs that appeal to everyone of any decor.

Now let's discover Marie and Diningout

What is the first creative memory you have?

When I was 12 years old my mother started teaching me how to sew. I loved it and my very first project was an apron.

What or whom began your creative journey on Etsy?

Since retiring from teaching after 38 years I was looking for things to do, my very creative daughter who also sells on Etsy encouraged me to open up my own little shop. I was sewing for everyone and anyone and never charging a penny so I decided it was time to do so.

How did you come up with your shop name?

Really, I was just looking for a few extra dollars to go out for dinner with my husband, hence the name "diningout".

Describe what creations you have in your shop?

I love to create fresh, young and modern things. I started out with embroidery items, pillows, table runners, home decor items. I even digitize my own embroidery designs. After taking a year off due to illness, I came back even stronger and added quilting to my shop......personalize baby quilts which I love to do. All of my designs are created and sewn my me. I quilt all of my quilts in a special frame which attaches to my sewing machine.

My specialty is custom orders. If you check out what I have sold, you will see that I have completed many custom orders. Anything in my shop can be embroidered. All of my designs can be completed on any colour of fabric. So it you see an item that you like but it is not in your colour, all you have to do is convo me with your choices and desires.

I have shipped all over the world...Australia, Saudi Arabia. Really I ship anywhere.

What insprires you?

Modern, contemporary fabrics motivated me. I love that fresh clean look, that classic, simple look. Also my daughters motivated me. They are always encouraging and inspiring me on to new projects.

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I enjoy silence during the creative process. Concentrating on the immediate project is most important to me.

Please share a favorite recipe

Really! This makes me laugh. I never have time to cook because I am always sewing. My husband does all of the cooking in my house these days. But when I do, I love to make french fries in the oven. Just cut up potatoes with their skins on. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and bake on a oiled cooking sheet for 30 minutes in a 450 degree oven.
Simple and yummy!

Where else can we find you?

I only sell on etsy. It full-fills all my needs and is enough for me. After all, this process is not about money for me, it's all about having fun. I am so blessed in my life, I have a wonderful husband and family and to top it off, I have Etsy. I am one luck women. Who could ask for more.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Welcome Wednesday with Something Special By Suzann

Please help welcome Suzann and her Etsy shop Something Special By Suzann

Fun and whimsical creations for that special event in a woman's life...her special day...her BACHELORETTE PARTY!!! She also has items for the bridal party and wedding day as well.

Suzann has offered 15% off of your purchase from her shop with coupon code: AMY15

Now let's discover Something Special By Suzann

What is the first creative memory you have?

When I was little I would cut cute images out of wrapping paper and gluing to sticker paper to create my own stickers

What or whom began your creative journey on Etsy?

I have a very supportive husband who encouraged me to join Etsy to see what might happen. His positive attitude has always been fuel to keep me going when sales are slow! I love bouncing ideas off on him to see what he thinks and I really value his opinion (and he is always willing to help with rush orders and shipping).

How did you come up with your shop name?

Prior to joining Etsy I started selling my handmade greeting cards, party favors, and calendars at craft shows. When I started my mom and I were brainstorming different names and I was totally stuck. One afternoon she popped her head into my craft room and said "What about Something Special by Suzann". I immediately LOVED it! A few years later my mom passed away from Ovarian cancer and when I finally opened my etsy shop - I was so excited to enter my shop name and it keeps me connected to her. My mom was always crafty with sewing and I know if she was here she would love to hear about sales and new items in my shop! She would be PROUD!

Describe what creations you have in your shop?

I have alot of wedding and bachelorette related items. It's that time of the year and I love providing unique party favors! I have wide array of t-shirts for wedding parties or groups of girls wanting to really get noticed while out celebrating. I also have custom moist towelettes for BBQ's, outdoor wedding receptions, engagement parties, or those very popular thumbprint trees so guests can quickly wipe the ink off.

What insprires you?

I just love to create and every time a customer says ‘thank you, it was perfect!’ I get even more inspired to make something new!

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I generally have my craft space quiet and I enjoy that time to clear my mind and be creative.

Please share a favorite recipe

Caramel filled Chocolate cookies
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Firmly packed brown sugar
1 Cup Margarine or butter, softened
2 eggs
21/2 Cups Flour
¾ Cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking sode
1 Cup chopped pecans
48 Rolo unwrapped
1 Tablespoon sugar

In large bowl, combine 1 sugar, brown sugar & margarine; beat until light and fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs; blend well.
Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup; level off. In small bowl combine flour, cocoa and baking soda; mix well. Add sugar mixture; blend well. Stir in 1/3 cup of the pecans. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate 30 minutes for easier handling.
Heat oven to 375 degrees. For each cookie, with floured hands, shape about 1 tablespoon dough around 1 caramel candy, covering completely. In small bowl, combine remaining ½ cup pecans and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press one side of each ball into pecan mixture. Place, nut side up 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake at 375 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes or until set and slightly cracked. Cool 2 minutes remove from cookie sheets. Cool 15 minutes or until completely cooled.
In small saucepan, melt candy coating over low heat, stirring constantly until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cookies.
4 dozen

Where else can we find you?


If you are planning a bachelorette party...make sure and check out her Etsy shop and come back and tell us your favorite creation(s) in her shop.

I think this "Last RAWRRR" tank top is too cute!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tribute Tuesday with Sissy's Place

Shout out your tributes for Hannah and her Etsy shop Sissy's Place

A shop filled with handmade lovelies that are a little shabby chic with a vintage look...perfect gifts! PLUS sales from her shop help support Hannah's true passion for animals.

Now let's discover Sissy's Place

What is the first creative memory you have?

Besides early creations with Playdoh, I would have to say macramé in the 70’s. I made plant hangers using those ginormous colored wood beads, large wall hangings and friendship bracelets. The largest project I ever made was a wall hanging of a large lion’s head. It was an incredible amount of work and, honestly, I wish I had saved it.

What or whom began your creative journey on Etsy?

I had never heard of Etsy until a local antique store owner mentioned it. I loved the idea of a ‘handmade’ market place and decided to open a shop to help support my animal rescue efforts. All proceeds from my shop help toward the costs of spaying and neutering homeless animals.

How did you come up with your shop name?

That was easy. Sissy is the nickname of one of my beloved cats that lost her battle with cancer a number of years ago. She was an amazing friend with an incredible uniqueness. Seldom a day goes by that I don’t wish I had one more day with her, so I named my shop Sissy’s Place in honor of my little girl.

Describe what creations you have in your shop?

Handmade greeting cards with a shabby, vintage style and hand painted home décor.

What inspires you?

I guess I’d have to say I’m inspired by color and patterns. Typically when I paper craft, I’ll thumb through all my paper and pull out those patterns and colors that click with me that moment. Then I began pulling other elements of the project together.

For painted projects, I would have to say primarily color. I prefer a homespun style versus primary color projects.

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

Zip, nadda, nothing! There is so much noise everywhere these days that I love the quiet when I’m in my studio.

Please share a favorite recipe

Tortellini Tomato Spinach Soup

1 T olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, mined
4-6 C chicken broth or vegetable broth (typically use 6 cups)
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (9oz) pkg fresh tortellini
salt & pepper
10 oz fresh or frozen chopped spinach
1/4 C grated parmesan cheese, optional

1. In a soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
2. Saute the onion and garlic, stirring often until onions are translucent.
3. Add broth, tomatoes and spinach (if using frozen).
4. Stir to break spinach apart. Then turn heat up to bring to a boil.
5. Add the tortellini and cook according to package directions. If using fresh spinach, add when tortellini is almost done. (I cover the pot at this step. It keeps the broth from steaming away.)
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
7. Serve immediately.
8. Garnish with parmesan if desired.

This recipe is from I’ve modified slightly for ease.

Where else can we find you?


Now please go check out all of her chic paper creations in her Etsy shop and come back and tell us which item(s) you LOVE! I think this set of treat pocket/gift card holders are rather cute!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meet Monday with An Astrid Endeavor

Let's meet Astrid and her Etsy shop An Astrid Endeavor

Colorful textiles and embroidery art with her passion for Ethiopia in every stitch; Astrid's creations are interesting and beautiful statement pieces and perfect unique gifts!

Please enjoy 10% off of your purchase from her shop using coupon code: BLOGLOVE10

Now let's discover An Astrid Endeavor!

What is the first creative memory you have?

I've been crafting for as long as I can remember- that, I get from my moms side of the family. One of my first memories is going to a weaving class with my mom, I was defiantly the only kid there- which, of course, makes a kid feel very special and "grown up". We did weavings on a round frame. I remember it was really funky and abstract and I loved it! I also created a series of Teddy Bear paper dolls, they were very intricate and detailed. I was really intent on selling this idea, so I sent them off to a designer who made teddy bear stuff at the time- God, teddy bears! The 80's!!

What or whom began your creative journey on Etsy?

I had been toying with the idea of trying to get my Etsy shop up and running for awhile. Finally I was inspired by my coworker who helps her mom manage her shop. She convinced me! I am so happy I did- it's been great to connect with fellow Etsians and creative people. I love it!

How did you come up with your shop name?

An Astrid Endeavor, which I've used for awhile now, seemed like the perfect name since I'm always embarking on a different project or art medium. Jewelry is always the constant, but I didn't want my name to somehow "trap" me into just one art form. I've worked with clay, glass, weaving, paper, paint, fabric, wood- you name it!

Describe what creations you have in your shop

I am making primarily jewelry at the moment- bright, unique, fun pieces that are mostly hand embroidered. It's easy to work with textiles and embroidery when you have a little one and need to keep it quiet at night. That's when I get all of my work done!

I also have embroidered ornaments that honor the birth continent of my little one, as well as cards and treats that celebrate Ethiopia and adoption.

What insprires you?

People and the natural world- jeez- everything! I just got hooked on Pinterest and it's been so addicting- the images are like candy for my eyes! I have also been so inspired by so much beauty being created on Etsy, in my community, and across the world that I've been able to experience in person and right on the web!

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

That's hilarious, because I just finished going through "The Office" on Netlix. I was laughing constantly, and now find myself singing the theme song when I get going with my crafting! I managed to also get through all the episodes of "Mad Men" and "Arrested Development" that way. If I don't want the added distraction of Netflix I like to listen to NPR and my favorite radio show called Radio Lab. It's awesome- you learn so much and the commentators are so witty!

Please share a favorite recipe

Here's one I found on Pinterest that I really want to try since I love beets so much!
Beet pasta with ricotta!


1 pound red beets, trimmed, scrubbed
1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling
Coarse salt
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1 tablespoon chopped tomatoes
Red-pepper flakes
12 ounces farro spaghetti
1/2 cup fresh ricotta


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Drizzle beets with oil and season with salt. Wrap tightly in foil and roast until tender, 1 hour. Peel and chop once cool.

2. Pulse beets, walnuts, and tomatoes in a food processor. Season with salt and red-pepper flakes.

3. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup water, and return to pot.

4. Toss with beet mixture, adding pasta water until creamy. Serve with ricotta, a drizzle of oil, and red-pepper flakes.

Where else can we find you?


Check out all of Astrid's creations in her Etsy shop and please come back and tell us which piece(s) you LOVE! I do adore these earrings!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Salutations Sunday with Creative Designs by DiReichertsArts

Shout out your salutations for Diann and her Etsy shop Creative Designs by DiReichertsArt

Original artwork to fill your home, Diann's creations are amazing in detail and skill and would also make great gifts!

Now let's discover Diann and her Creative Designs

What is your first creative memory?

My first creative memory is drawing horses as a pre-teen. I thought they were the most glorious creatures! The long, flowing manes, the graceful movements! I breezed though art classes without having to work hard, something that I struggled to change in my professional life, in college and in my designer's job.

What or whom began your creative journey on Etsy?

I began on when 50% of the art galleries in Michigan closed due to the economy of the state. I thought this figure would change as things slowly improved, but this has not happened, Michigan is still 'dead in the water' and will be for a long time.

How did you come up with your shop name?

Shop name is Creative Designs, which describes what I do. DiReichertsArt is my business name. Creative ideas are what keeps me painting, inspiration is important to an artist, if nothing inspires you, if you admire nothing you cannot be creative.

Describe what creations you have in your shop

I paint in watercolors and oils. Birds have always been a favorite. A friend pointed out all the beautiful colors many years ago, he bought a bird feeder and began to name the birds and my eyes were opened. My mentor, artist Ken Freed, taught his class how to paint outdoors, how to take all the informantion and edit, focus, paint just one thing at a time. In this way others inspired me.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by light, the natural light from our sun that illuminates our planet. the artificial light that we human's have made, light that reflects and bounces back. It's awesome when eveything 'clicks' and I capture that light.

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I listen to nothing when I am working, I try to empty my brain completely and focus on the work. I ask myself questions constantly. Is it the right color? Is that line correct? Compare with model, measure, double-check.

Please share a favorite recipe

Mango Parfait: make mango puree out of ripe mangos, sugar to taste, one tablespoon of water. Blend and puree' til smooth. Keeps one week in refrig. To make parfait:2 T. mango puree, layer 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt, repeat layers and top with coconut.

Where else can we find you?

I go to art shows around West Michigan. These are held in museums and churches. I am currently exhibiting in a library, an art festival, and in a art co-op in St. Joseph, Michigan.


Now please visit her Etsy shop to see all of her wonderful and beautiful creations...I had a hard time just picking a few for her feature!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Fun Friday For The Teachers

Some of the kiddos may be out already...but some may be out soon for the summer. Here are a few creative ways to say "thanks" to their teachers.



WATER BOTTLE TAG from Blue Eyed Blessings

S'MORE TEACHERS LIKE YOU from Women Living Well


OWL MISS YOU from BasicGrey Altered

And finally...A CLASSIC APPLE from lisa storms

Hope you all have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Welcome Wednesday with Raising Ruby

Let's welcome Ruby and her Etsy shop Raising Ruby

Handmade baby gifts, not factory produced. Not every stitch and seam will be exactly perfect, adding to the homemade and personalized character of the items in Raising Ruby's shop.

Now let's discover Ruby and her creations.

What is the first creative memory you have?

As a child, my first creative memory would be entering coloring contests put on by local newspapers. At age 4, I won an Easter coloring contest. The prize was a gift certificate to the A&W Rootbeer Stand.

What or whom began your creative journey on Etsy?

I've always loved sewing and mainly produced gifts for family members, but the items in my shop are sold out of necessity. I'm currently unemployed so the items in my shop are a way for me to contribute toward the bills. I'd love to say that I craft for fun now, but it's become a need.

How did you come up with your shop name?

My shop is named after my adorable puppy, Ruby. I've raised her since she was 12 weeks old.

Describe what creations you have in your shop

I'm still struggling to find my "niche" on Etsy, so my shop features a variety of items. First and foremost, I sell baby quilts. I've also branched out to include luggage handle covers, since I love to travel. Fabric remnants are also for sale.

What inspires you?

For inspiration, I look online. A color scheme or product on Pinterest may catch my eye - then I put my own twist on it and recreate the item myself.

What do you watch or listen to while creating.

I love watching "The Nate Show" while I craft. He always has great ideas for home decorating on a budget.

Please share a favorite recipe

My favorite recipe is so easy - Crock Pot Turkey Breast. Take a turkey breast and trim off the skin. Rub it with dry onion soup mix. Cook on "high" for 7 hours. I've made this for Thanksgiving and Christmas - it comes out so flavorful and moist. You can substitute a whole chicken if you'd like.

Now please visit Raising Ruby on Etsy and show her some love. Please come back and tell us which of her creative items you like best.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tribute Tuesday with 3 Little Rascals and a GIVEAWAY

Shout out your tributes for Chelsey and her Etsy shop 3 Little Rascals

"A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don't have a top for it. "
-Jerry Seinfeld

Well Chelsey offers cute, modern, stylish and sassy creations to help keep your toddler clean. She has also offered a great giveaway! Check out all of the details at the end of her interview. Now let's discover 3 Little Rascals!

What is the first creative memory you have?

The first creative memory I have is painting on easels in Kindergarten. I remember loving watching the paint turn into what I thought was beautiful rainbows. Haha, there is something whimsical about childrens paintings.

What or whom began your creative journey on Etsy?

My sister-in-law is a great friend of mine and she had sold a few beatiful baby quilts on Etsy. Unfortunately she didn't have enough time to keep it up but she encouraged me to try selling my bibs.

How did you come up with your shop name?

I have 3 small children, ages 4, 2, and 8 months. They are my little rascals and I love them very much. They are what inspired me to make bibs, since I found myself constantly frustrated trying to buy bibs that would keep them clean. Finally I decided if I wanted them done right I'd have to make them myself!

Describe what creations you have in your shop

I currently have baby bibs, toddler bibs, a few burp cloths and the odd baby mobile.
Bibs are my passion though. I love a baby in a bib. So cute! My baby bibs are for ages 4- 15 months. Toddler Bibs are for ages 12 months and up! Even my 4 year old still uses them for soup and other messy meals. There are even good for art time!

What insprires you?

I suppose trips to the fabric store are one of my favorite things to do to find inspiration. I also notice what my children LOVE and go accordingly. They are pretty good indications of what little boys love and if they love their bibs, then they will actually wear them!

What do you listen to or watch while creating?

I've got to admit I'm a real sucker for Gossip Girl. Chuck and Blair keep me entertained for hours while cutting fabric. ;)

Please share a favorite recipe

Hmmm. I will share my no fail pie crust. It ALWAYS works, and people think I've gone to great lengths to make a yummy pie. Truth is it's pretty simple!

Plain Pastry

For a one 9 or 10 inch double crust pie, or one 8 or 9 inch lattice top pie or 6 to 8 tart shells:
2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
5 to 7 tablespoons cold water

1. Sift together flour and salt. Cut in shortening with pastry - blender or blending fork till pieces are size of small peas. To make pastry extra tender and flaky, divide shortening in half. Cut in first half till mixture looks like corn meal. Then cut in remaining half til like small peas. ( THIS ACTUALLY WORKS)

2. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the water over part of flour-shortening mixture. Gently toss with fork; push to one side of bowl.
Sprinkle next tablespoon water over dry part; mix lightly ; push to moistened part at side. Repeat till all is moistened. Divide dough for upper and lower crust. Form each into a ball.

3. On lightly floured surface, flatten ball slightly and roll 1/8 inch thick. If edges split, pinch together. Always roll spoke fashion, going from center to edge of dough. Use light strokes
To transfer pastry, roll it over rolling pin; unroll pastry over pie plate, fitting loosely onto bottom and sides.

4. Fill your pie.

5. Follow step 3 again for top crust. Slash upper crust with your own design. Trim lower crust even with the rim of pie plate, mosten the edge. Add top crust; trip 1/2 inch beyond edge of lower crust - this seals in juice. Crimp edge. Bake as directed in the recipe you are using.

Where else can we find you?


Now let's see what one lucky winner will win!!!

***ATTENTION: Free shipping for US or Canada winner, but any other international winner will have to pay $5. Please allow 4- 6 weeks for fabrication and shipping.

Bright Orange Baby Bib, Large Toddler Bib with Stripes
It is backed with terry cloth and the front is made of 100% cotton.

*Fabric placement may vary.

*Measures 9"x15"

*The top is secured with a fastener.

*All fabric is pre washed and preshrunk

NOW TO ENTER...please remember you do not have to do all of the following entries BUT keep in mind...the more you do the better your chances of winning!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now please go enjoy her bright shop and show 3 Little Rascals some love!