Tag Archives: holiday

Its not easy being green…

‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’ by AriesArtisticJewelry

Inspired by Kermit the Frog

Bohemian Earrings~Indian Ear…


Wearable art, Original print…


Top drilled Sea glass 5 pcs …


Mystic Rainbow AB necklace, …


Knitted Headband, Ear Warmer…


Green leather backpack – Voy…


recycled bracelet metal Brac…


Succulent Photography, Botan…


Ceramic Bowl Small Green Pet…


Sea Green and Gold Bracelets…


Vibrant Green Cactus Paintin…


Toddler Beret with Bow, Gree…


Evil Cat plush. Hand Embroid…


Mint quilted pillow – modern…


Waterproof shopper bag, doub…


Knitting Pattern, Knit Cowl …


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My Treasury is 4th down on the first page of Etsy!

I am so excited, to be that close to the number one slot on Etsy is totally exciting! I would love for anyone who can to visit, comment and favorite if you wouldnt mind! Thank you so much!

‘My Chic Blue Cottage ‘ by Hippiechicjewelz

Deck the halls and your home with these wonderful finds! Created for theHGTV Treasury Challenge 2011 collections

Painted Cottage Aqua Chic Ro…


Shabby chic 13×13 pillow mad…


Upcycled blue painted Victor…


owl home decor in Mint julip


NATURAL Cotton ,Eco Friendly…


Library Table Writing Desk H…


Enchanted Nights- scented wa…


OOAK Assemblage Aunt Ann Doe…


Beach Cottage Hand Painted T…


Honey jar and dipper – Blue …


Tea cup – yunomi Green & Cle…


Personal teapot 7 – One-of-a…


Vintage Script Coasters-A Un…


Wall clock- Hand painted on …


Shabby chic coathook shelf f…


Pique Assiette Shabby Chic S…


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

Why Is Creative Packaging Important?

Creative packaging, how important is it anyway? If you are selling handmade goods, the answer is VERY! I have interviewed a good number of online sellers of handmade art and you will be surprised to read how very important creative packaging is!

My grandmother used to tell me “It’s what inside that counts”, however in the handmade industry nothing could be farther from the truth!

Imagine purchasing a beautiful necklace for someone special in your life, when your parcel arrives you find the beautiful necklace you ordered wrapped in newspaper and thrown inside a large envelope mailer. There is no note nor a business card from whom you placed the order.

On the flip-side, now imagine that same necklace you ordered safely packaged in tissue paper and secured in small box that has been tied with ribbon as to not come undone while mailing. When you open your parcel you find not only the carefully packaged necklace but also a handwritten note and the sellers business card in case you have any questions or would like to order again in the future. There is a huge difference in how receiving that parcel in example one would make you feel as in comparison to example number two.

There are many more reasons that you should pay attention to your packaging, your packaging not only shows off your handmade item in an attractive manner, it helps brand and differentiate you from other online sellers.

You have to remember as well that you are competing with not only other producers of handmade lovelies, but also with the thousands of mass produced items offered in department stores. Yes, your handmade products are more expensive than those manufactured by a machine, but don’t think your shoppers aren’t aware of the quality they will receive when purchasing a handmade item. The extra time, effort, and expertise and the Love and passion that goes into your handmade item is what makes them worth the extra price to your buyers which is why your packaging needs to reflect this to your customer.

Your packaging doesn’t have to be “over-the-top” to impress your customers, sometimes even the simplest packaging is the most effective.

General Tips:

1. I have found that including a photo of my packaging has prompted my “window shoppers” into “buyers” , it’s a good way to let your customers know what separates you from the other thousands of shops online; presentation is important.

2. I like to have all my packaging materials such as tissue paper, ribbon, raffia, gift tags, tape, scissors, boxes and envelope mailers all in one place. This saves me time from having to hunt down each individual item and saves me time. A gift tag is a nice additional touch. I like to create my own gift tags from card stock and beautifully designed scrapbook paper. Once I create the gift tag, I wrap the item in corresponding paper and use tulle or ribbon and attach the tag. It only takes a few minutes to add this special touch to the items I sell and my clients always comment on my packaging!

3. When packaging, keep things looking consistent such as the style and theme of your packaging.

4. Your product and packaging should correlate with each other, you don’t want to package your leopard print hair bow in a Victorian style wrapping paper topped with a delicate ribbon and bow. Use the same care in packaging that you would coordinating your fashion wardrobe.

5. Make sure that you inspect your packaging before mailing, is everything in tact and tidy? Is the name and shipping address spelled correctly?

6. I always include how to care for the item, this is vital information that your customers will thank you for. Not all online sellers take the time to include how to care for their items which is a shame, this is part of exceptional customer service.

I gift wrap every item that leaves my studio, even when I sell jewelry to a woman who is just buying it for herself. Your packaging can make a long lasting and beautiful impression, and gives the customer a feeling that she just treated herself to something special.

Here is a photo of one of my items and one of my packaging, my customers have come to expect my bright and fun packaging which is awesome because that is part of “BRANDING you SHOP”.

KBlossoms from KBlossoms says:
I totally agree that beautiful packaging that protects the item during shipping is necessary. Most of my buyers buy my jewelry items as gifts for others and they want the packaging in a box. I wrap mines with beautiful wrapping paper and ribbon and place my necklaces on a necklace card in a plastic bag that sits in a chiffon bag that goes into the box, so when the receiver opens it, it’s like opening a special hand made gift! They love it! Here is a picture of KBlossoms wonderful shop items and her beautiful packaging.

HuntingDragons from HuntingDragons says
Packaging is important, because it’s a first impression. Just as if you met someone for the first time, you look at their face, their hair, their clothing. In the etsy world, you look at the envelope, the wrapping, the box, the card/ribbon or note inside. It creates an impression, and one that lasts. If packaged well, a purchaser will actually remember the experience of opening the package and the thrill of the first meeting.

Rhonda Cooley from LilBitSassy:
I think packaging is a very important part of selling handmade items. People are looking for unique items and I think buyer’s love when their items come nicely packaged–it’s like an added bonus to buying handmade. I also believe it shows off your personality and lets the buyer know that you truly appreciate their business.

I package my items “plainly” in tissue paper with my tag tied onto it and a sticker that says, “Thank You for Buying Handmade”. I also put all items in a plastic bag to protect them–especially this time of year! Another thing I like to do is enclose a little “thank you” gift with every package. This can be one of my cupcake toppers, a matchbook notepad, or any other small item I’ve made myself. Buyers really do love a little extra something that they weren’t expecting.
Here is a picture of Rhonda’s apron and a picture of her ADORABLE packaging, all wrapped up and ready to be sent to a lucky little girl!

Devora from devorajewellery says
I’m doing exotic things with washi tape, baker’s twine (just don’t tell the baker) and plain brown Kraft tuck-in boxes … looks cute when I’m done!

Sandy from TesoroDelSol says:
Packaging makes a huge difference and impact and first impression. I have received packages that were just the item and nothing else. Yes it got to me safe and sound but the presentation left much to be desired and it didn’t make me feel special.

It depends what you sell though. I don’t expect to receive my supplies with pretty packaging and thank you cards etc. However, if you are selling a handmade product, I believe that you should have some sort of branding going on. At least make it look like you care and put in the effort to make that buyer remember who you are….it also shows passion in your work.

I keep it simple but I show off my brand. I will be redoing my biz cards soon because I had a new logo and branding done. Generally, I place all my jewellery in a black gloss jewellery box with a satin ribbon and my business card with the Thank you message hand written on the back and I put the buyers name on it. I also include a little free gift with every purchase. I value each order I receive, not so much because they paid me for my jewellery, but because they chose MINE over everyone else’s here on Etsy. It means a lot to me.

Ashley from KeepsakeKrochets says:
I think a nice packaging is great! I do agree to keep it minimal. In my packaging I use a nice tissue paper, since it brings out my crochet products and then I top it with a handwritten letter. People seem to like it so far.

Sharon from Dollybirdblythe says
My packaging is very simple and practical, but I would be happy to send you a photo later today (if the damn sun comes out from behind the clouds!). I have to keep a few things in mind with mine:

1. My items are very inexpensive so my packaging must be too! Otherwise I end up with no profit.
2. Being an international seller, I have to keep in mind that few people like to spend more on shipping than the cost of the item. The only way that I can do this is to send my item flat.
3. As my items have such a long way to travel, they have to be protected from the elements so that they arrive in perfect condition.

Marianella Contreras from DelectableDecadence says
Pretty packaging and hand written thank you notes in the handicrafts business is an integral part of why we sell.
When people buy from an artisan, they’re dealing with the individual– not some mass producing manufacturer.
It’s a huge part of the charm when buying hand made; because it has a personal touch which large corporations cannot compete with.
While it may not be viable for some, such as suppliers on Etsy, for a person selling a finished product, it should be made as much a priority as taking care of the photographic presentation.
I feel that presentation is 9/10ths of the law. I feel better buying from someone who took as much care packaging an item, as they did making it– I don’t feel like just another customer when I receive those little hand written thank you notes.

Kate from BirdsBeadsTX says:
I think packaging is like the front cover of a book – it sets the tone for what’s to come. I love opening a package that’s been wrapped up nicely. Pretty packaging gets you excited for what’s inside. Its nice to know that the seller took that extra time and effort to make every aspect of the product pretty. It’s also reassuring to see sellers who package their products not only to look nice but to also ensure that the product remains intact. Being able to make “safe” packaging also look pretty is very impressive!

Clara Lambert from MarigoldandSage says
I want my customers to feel like they are opening a pretty little gift when they receive their orders. I always appreciate a nicely packaged item when I make purchases, and am a little disappointed if something I purchase comes crinkled up in a boring box. I use sustainable and recycled packaging, but take the time and extra little effort to add some pretty touches that I know my customers appreciate.

KoutureCrochet from KoutureCrochet says
The thing about good packaging is that it’s not a matter of do you or don’t you agree.
It is a FACT that packaging does impact how customers view a company. Apple is the master of this. The packaging of its products serve as ads. So much so that some ads for apple products are just a picture of the product in its packaging.
Now of course not every customer will love any packaging, but well thought out and effective packaging is not a matter of do you or don’t you agree, it’s a matter of do you or don’t you have to time, money and energy that it takes to find and create stunning and impressive packaging.

Elizabeth from mimiandlucy says
As a buyer, I do find that a little extra care in the packaging is a nice touch. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, I got a thank you tag with a supply order that was made out of corrugated cardboard and I loved the rustic handmade quality to it. Yes, it just got tossed but I felt like the seller wanted to show her appreciation of my business with that little extra.
I’ve ordered things from ebay that arrived in used cereal boxes. Not quite the same and yes, a little disappointing.
I have this shop and a supply shop and like to package my orders in either little store bought paper bags for the supplies and in hand folded gift envelopes for the handmades. It doesn’t cost much for the wrapping, I use scrapbook papers that I get on sale and it doesn’t add any more to the shipping costs than the copious amounts of bubble wrap that I use to protect the handmades. I’ve had many many buyers comment upon the packaging and how much they liked it.
It is up to each seller how they like to package, but something about Etsy makes buyers want a package that’s just a little bit more special than buying from a big box online retailer. It just feels more personal when you are buying on Etsy.

Valerie from discerningchichi says:
At heart I’m a girly girl and so I’m a sucker for nice packaging (AND it does not have to be expensive – for example plain tissue and a bit of ribbon, yarn or raffia tied around it and packaged securely so it arrives in one piece. If I’m spending my hard earned money to treat myself to something nice – it enhances the experience when I can see some thought has gone into the packaging. PLUS – I recycle/reuse lots of my packaging (e.g. have never had to buy bubble wrap and if the padded envelopes are presentable they get reused).
Supplies – I don’t mind – so long as they are packaged securely. Having said that there are a couple of suppliers I’ve bought beads from on Etsy and their packaging is a delight and so feminine.
At the end of the day – each to their own. Do what is best for you, what you sell and how you wish your brand to be perceived and experienced.

Julie from ziggystoocooltags says:
I agree packaging is important. I hate when I order a beautiful handmade item and it arrives tossed in a plain box or envelope with no packaging whatsoever. I don’t go crazy with packaging, but I do wrap my items nicely in colorful tissue paper and include a handwritten “thank you” to at least make them feel a little bit special.

In closing I have to share with you thoughts on packaging from a man’s point of view, this may surprise you!

My husband actually wrote:

“If I am buying a some nails or screws from a hardware store, a paper bag is fine. When I buy some toilet paper from Wal-Mart, a plastic bag if fine, if I buy a MASS PRODUCED item from a department store a bag is suffice, but when I bought my wife’s engagement ring packaging was everything! I sure Wasn’t going to give her a ring in a paper sack or plastic bag!”

I think he makes a great point here, when you are purchasing HANDMADE items online, you are buying from an individual artist, not a mass corporation. People expect that extra touch of individuality which is why they chose to shop handmade in the first place.

I would love to read your thoughts on this, please leave your comments!

This weeks STATTEAM Spotlight Featured Artists

What a better way to start off your Monday than with a wonderful feature from our STATTEAM SPOTLIGHT featured artists for this week!

First is Lindsay Maree from Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/LindsayMareeJewelry Her shop is featured in the STATTEAM SPOTLIGHT today.

Everyone loves the traditional red & green of Christmas! Like these very festive earrings! Perfect to wear with any outfit this holiday season, or buy to place under the tree for someone else to open Christmas morning. Red and green glass beads hanging from nickle-free silver colored studs. Lightweight and measure approximately 2.5cm from the bottom of stud. If you would like to see this design in another color, just send me a message and I will do my best to accommodate! *Holiday gift wrapping is free!

Feathers are the “in” item right now! Surprise your best friend with a pair or buy them for yourself to complete that boho-chic outfit.Brown, tan, and orange pheasant feathers hanging from surgical stainless steel hooks (hypoallergenic). Measures approximately 3in from the top eye-hook. Ships in a jewelry box, wrapped with ribbon, and nestled in tissue paper.

My next shop is featured in the STATTEAM SPOTLIGHT on 12/06/11 is Barb D from quiltedhugsbibs , her adorable children’s item’s are perfect for baby’s first Christmas!

This adorable Zebra print burp cloth is made using 100% cotton DSQ (Diaper Service Quality) pre-folded diapers and are super absorbent to keep Mom’s clothing dry. They have been PRESHRUNK before embellishments are added in my smoke-free home studio. Free gift wrapping available.

Dress your baby girl in this adorable pink ballerina baby set trimmed with white lace. Imagine how cute she’ll look in this bib set for a birthday, Christmas or any time of year!

Free gift wrapping available. Just leave a note to me when you check out!

Every baby should have a girly bib with matching pacifier clip and burp cloth! They’re perfect for new mothers, baby shower gifts or anyone who wants to shower a special baby or toddler with love.

This set includes:
– An bib that’s 9” wide and 6-1/2” from neck front to bottom edge.
– One individually carded pacifier clip
– One burp cloth with coordinating fabric strip and lace trim embellishment
– Each set is wrapped together with a coordinating grosgrain ribbon bow.

The bib and burp cloth feature and white lace to look like a ballerina’s tutu.
BIB: made from high quality, 100% cotton fabric washed to remove any sizing and excess dye, have a NO PVC waterproof liner to protect clothing and a Velcro closure for easy on- easy off that is sewn down with a satin stitch to prevent the edges from poking your little one.
Pacifier Clip: measure approximately 10” from end to end including the CERTIFIED LEAD-FREE color coordinated clip with plastic grips to hold the paci clip securely but will not damage the edge of the bib, your child’s clothes or edge of the stroller. The pacifier is held with heavy duty snaps so you can easily change the pacifier.
BURP CLOTH: Made using 100% cotton DSQ (Diaper Service Quality) pre-folded diapers, have been washed & PRESHRUNK – they’re super absorbent to keep Mom’s clothing dry. The cotton ballerina-themed fabric accented with two rows of lace above the 6” wide fabric strip across the bottom that finishes to measure approximately 14” wide by 18” long.
Bibs are individually quilted in my smoke-free studio on my home sewing machine to accent the fabric design and create the look of a traditional quilt.

Feature STATTEAM SPOTLIGHT artist for 12/07/11 is 1treeyoga on Etsy, her shop has the perfect items for the yoga enthusiast on your holiday list!

This simple breast cancer mala bracelet represents courage, strength and the will to over come all things. It has 20 10mm pink cats eye beads and one 10mm white with black resin bead. They are strung on clear stretchy cord. The bracelet measures 8″ around but will stretch to fit any size.

The yoga mat bag is made from Joel Dewberry fabric “Spade damask in mulberry. The bag is fully lined with a burgundy cotton fabric. There is an ivory twisted cord to cinch the bag closed. Dimensions: Bag: 26″tall x 9 1/2” across the opening Shoulder strap: 26″long x 2″wide.

If your looking for holiday decorations my next STATTEAM SPOTLIGHT featured artist for Thursday 12/08/11 Cerra Haybecker from Cerra on Etsy has exactly what you need to deck the halls, or any other room in your home!
This set of 5 handmade ornaments are too lovely! These ornaments are lovingly made by hand, with shapes that I have cut myself from eco-fi material. They have been put together using my own special heat set method and will last you many years to come. They would make a great hostess gift or a great gift for any special person in your life. They can be directly shipped to a recipient of your choice with a gift card featuring your message. They would also work well as an addition to any gift that you give this holiday season, just put them alongside your regular gift tag on a package or sneak them in and your recipient will have a regular hanging reminder of you.

This banner has been lovingly made by hand, with shapes that I have cut myself from eco-fi material. It has been put together using my own special heat set method and will last you many years to come. The banner would make a great hostess gift or a great gift for any special person in your life, including yourself! The banner can be directly shipped to a recipient of your choice with a gift card featuring your message. This would look great strung across your fireplace with stockings hanging underneath. Each letter has been backed with a solid colour so that if it happens to flip it will still look tidy, although there won’t be a letter.

Friday’s featured STATTEAM SPOTLIGHT featured artist is Martha Preble from ArtfulHummingbird her shop is full of delightful jewelry sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face this holiday!

I’ve used lovely moonstone and Swarovski crystals to bring these simple sterling silver chandeliers to life. Flashes of color from the natural iridescence of the stones, plus the “auorora borealis” crystals, brighten these earrings. You can toss these on with jeans or wear them out to an evening event – these earrings are great.
2 1/2″ from top of earwire to bottom of earring.

This bracelet is full of moonstone with bright blue flash. I use the highest-quality best stones I can find! I’ve blended several different shapes and cuts of moonstone with pearls, Swarovski crystals, and a few glass beads. The handmade box clasp – absolutely unique – is amazing. It showpieces a large abstract piece of moonstone set in gold vermeil (high-karat pure gold over sterling silver). This beautiful bracelet is bound to become an heirloom. Unique, beautiful, handmade, high quality.

I hope you enjoyed this weeks featured artists from STATTEAM on Etsy. If you are a self taught artist and would like to join a great team that offers massive amounts of support and promotion, visit us on Etsy:

You can even follow the STATTEAM blog here:

Saturday Salute to Etsy Texas Artisans

Tonight I wanted to do something special for all my Texas neighbors on Etsy.com
I was not born in Texas, but spent my early childhood growing up in Midland until I married and relocated to Rankin, Texas. If you look Rankin up on Google, you will see that its a TEENY, TINY desolate area that is home to around 500 people, including yours truly. So, to all my Etsy friends who live in Texas, this wonderful Christmas Salute for Saturday night is for you!

I am going to start of this Christmas feature with a well known saying: “Everything is BIGGER in Texas” and I can tell you that when it comes to Texas Artisans, the enduring charm of cowboy culture goes above and beyond!

My first featured artist is from Killeen, Texas; KayzKreationz. This shop is full of Stained Glass Mosaics, Art Glass, Fused Glass, Beaded Bookmarks, Wire Jewelry and more. One item I fell in love with this Mosaic Stained Glass Bird-feeder! Featured in Birds and Bloom magazine, her bird feeders have TEXAS size style! Looking for a unique birdfeeder for your garden or as a gift for a gardening friend? This is it. It is a mosaic birdfeeder with stained glass, set in grout. It is 8 1/2″ across the top from rim to rim. It has a yellow star, blue and white bluebonnet and mosaic Texas as it’s design. Sure to attract lots of birds to your yard and lots of looks from all your envious neighbors. Have a unique Birdfeeder for your garden that’s not like every other feeder in the stores and people’s yards. This birdfeeder could also be used as a small birdbath in your yard, if you like. The grout has been sealed, but is safe for the birds.

Corpus Christi is home to my next featured shop GirlieGals who offers you sparkle and shine Texas style! What would make a better gift for someone special than this Gold Pandora Christmas Bracelet with Poinsettia Charms, to tempt you even more, this bracelet is on sale! Price reduced by over 20% Dec. 3rd only. Free gift with this purchase!
Extremely beautiful – these pandora style gold plated crystal studded beads and clear crystal faceted beads will dazzle all on their own. Then add the lovely poinsettia and gold plated fluted round bead charms and you have a bracelet that’s not only stunning but is also very sparkly and brilliant. It’s a Bling Thing! Each charm hangs from an antique gold tube bead and has a dangling silver lined red seed bead for extra shine.

My next featured artist quidditydesigns is in Georgetown, TX. Her shop is full of beautiful Texas style flair like this Copper Flower Pendant Necklace with White Freshwater Pearls and Silver. Five softly burnished copper petals surround three pistil/stamens made of white freshwater pearls on fine silver headpins. The copper flower is about 1.75 inches, so it makes a statement. I made the necklace long so that it would fit over a turtleneck sweater.

I think Killeen Texas must be a popular place to reside, another resident from there is jdfootloose. It doesnt usually get too cold in Texas so her items are perfect for the winter months, like this Autumn Patchwork Scarf! A great Autumn statement piece. Crocheted in multi colored & Golden yellow yarn in various size squares to give it a patchworl look.

Houston, Texas is home to my next featured artist BirdsBeadsTX, her shop is full of delightfully fun jewelry! Check out this great necklace made up of matte, faceted black beads and printed shell tiles in orange, blue and silver with a toggle clasp closure. It measures approx. 34 inches in length.

My next featured artist is from Dallas, Texas. Her shop is full of TEXAS style home decor that will warm up your home or that special someones heart! This Personalized Family Name Sign, Last Name Sign, Wall Art with Photo would make a perfect gift for that hard to buy for person! Beautiful personalized wood sign includes photo, first and last name, and optional established date. Medium and dark brown in color, sign is painted front and back in satin brown. Made of solid pine with decorative routed edge, Sanded edge adds detail and a vintage look and Sealed with a textured coating to protect and preserve the print. Saw-tooth hanger included, no vinyl used!

Here is a town I have never heard of! Bastrop, Texas; home of my next featured artist NMCJewelryDesign. Feather earrings are all the rage this season, surprise your BFF or that special someone in your life with these beautiful Wild Turkey Feather earrings! We don’t usually see turkeys this way, especially during this time of year..and especially wild unadulterated ones…for their beauty. These are feathers from a wild turkey and have been cleaned and assembled into an amazing set of earrings. The pattern looks near that of a tiger with the black and orangey brown stripes. They are topped off with a tigers eye gemstone and black crystal just waiting for you to show your wild side. Due to the natural materials (and the fact that the feathers were discovered on a walk) these are truly one of a kind.

Victoria, Texas, a town I have actually been to is home to RomanticThoughts. Dazzling Texas style jewels to dazzle your special someone with this Christmas! The glass Blue and Green Pendant is the centerpiece of this unique creation. The necklace is comprised of Blue and Green Swarovski crystal beads. This striking piece is designed to be noticed.

Texas is actually wine country, a great many wonderful wines are produced in Texas, who knew?! This brings me to a great Etsy shop CorkyCrafts from Fort Worth Texas. This shop has some very unique Texas style gifts that will delight even the hard to please! This wreath makes a nice gift for the wine connoisseur in your life! It is like a wine lover’s scrapbook of happy memories. It is very versatile, add a pillar candle or a vase of flowers for a lovely centerpiece. It is a great way to extend a warm friendly welcome for visitors and neighbors in a entry way, dining area, bar, Tuscany themed kitchen, and makes a great gift idea for those who love wine! Compare prices and save by purchasing it here!

Next is my very own leadeer from my Etsy team “STATTEAM”, she is responsible for the huge success of “The STATTEAM Spotlight” which runs Monday-Friday, she does an amazing job! Lubbock, Texas is home to BeckyHelmerDesigns. Her shop is full of Texas style beauty, like this Red Flower Ring! It is adjustable so it would make the perfect gift for practically anyone on your holiday shopping list!

Last but not least brings me to little ol’ me, based here in Rankin, Texas is this hot pink bangle with zebra print crosses. A TEXAS style statement piece that is sure to get some “Yee Haw’s” when you give this as a gift!
This gorgeous bracelet is a OOAK, you wont ever bump into anyone else wearing a bracelet exactly like this one! I started with a wooden bangle an applied 4 coats of Hot Pink paint, applied crosses that I created from polymer clay and then hand detailed the zebra print. For a finishing touch I added brilliant and dazzling rhinestones and a clear coat gloss to waterproof this lovely creation. This would make a wonderful gift to give someone special or to keep for yourself!

I would like to send a big ol’ Texas hug to all of ya’ll out there!

Peace, Love & Hippie Chic Jewelz

Gourmet Marshmallows, a special holiday treat!

Nothing compares to the sweet vanilla scented airiness of homemade marshmallows! These homemade marshmallows are not only easy to make, you will find that once you start making your own there is no going back!

Homemade Marshmallows:
1 cup (240 ml) cold water, divided
3 – 1/4 ounce envelopes (21 grams) unflavored gelatin
2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar
1 cup (240 ml) light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4-5 cups (460 – 575 grams) confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted

Homemade Marshmallows: Lightly butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, the bottom of a 13x9x2-inch (33x23x5-cm) baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Then sift about 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ (powdered or icing) sugar onto the bottom of the pan (this will help release the set marshmallow from the paper).Place 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water into the bowl of your electric mixer that is fitted with a whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until gelatin softens, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy two quart saucepan, place the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil.
Cover the saucepan with a lid and let boil for about three minutes to allow any sugar crystals to dissolve from the sides of the saucepan. Remove the lid and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Increase heat to high and boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F (115 degrees C), about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

With mixer running at low speed, slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until mixture has tripled in volume and is very thick and stiff, about 10 minutes (looks like thick marshmallow cream). Add vanilla extract and beat to combine, about 30 seconds longer.

Scrape marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a damp offset spatula or rubber spatula. The mixture is very sticky so just smooth it out as best as you can. Dust the top of the marshmallow with another 3 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar and let stand, uncovered, at room temperature until set, about 12 hours.

Remove the marshmallow from the pan by first running a small sharp knife around the edge of the marshmallow to loosen it from the pan. Invert the pan onto a large cutting board that has been dusted with confectioners’ sugar. You might have to use your fingers to help loosen the marshmallow from the pan. Peel off the parchment paper (the marshmallow will be sticky) and dust the top of the marshmallow with confectioners’ sugar. Cut the marshmallow into squares using clean kitchen scissors, a pizza roller or a sharp knife. Dip the cut sides of the marshmallows in additional confectioners’ sugar. Shake off excess sugar andstore the marshmallows in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to two weeks.

Makes about 24 – 2 1/2 inch marshmallows.

Celebrating Polish Independence Day

Today I was featured in a GORGEOUS treasury collection on Etsy in honor of the Polish Independence Day. Many of you know me as a “Hippie Cowgirl” from a small West Texas Town, what you dont know about me is that my family is originally from Poland. Yes, that explains the unusual blond hair and brown eyes!
Here is the beautiful collection that I was featured in, it is truly a masterpiece! Below the treasury is an explanation of Polish Independence Day.

‘Today is Polish Independence Day ! Celebrate with us !’ by Koroneczka

koroneczkowy nr 438

Handmade POLISH EAGLE Wood P…


Spot Two-Ply Reversible Skir…


ELISE, brooch felted, white …


Red Sinamay Straw Fascinator…


Red and Gray Earrings


Wood Stretch Funky Bracelet …


Fabric flower brooch with vi…


Adjustable Ring, Handmade Fa…


Wedding patchwork white and …


Pink, White, Magenta, Red Ab…


Red & White Swirling Heart 4…


Christmas Red Heart White Po…


Red and White Christmas Orna…


Red Heart Earrings, Swarovsk…


Peppermint Magnet or Push Pi…


SALE Crochet Cowl Scarf – Re…


Treasury tool by Red Row Studio.

For those of you who have never hear of Polish Independence Day I would like to share a little bit about it with you.
The Polish Independence Day is very different from the American 4th of July, with its happiness, feasts and fireworks. Polish Independence Day, celebrated on November the 11th, marks the restoration of Poland’s independence in 1918. After 123 years of partitions Poland reappeared on the map of Europe as a sovereign democratic state.

Polish Independence Day is strongly connected with general Jozef Pilsudski. After being feed from German prison Pilsudski came back to Poland on the morning of Sunday 10th November 1918. Only a handful of people knew about his arrival and came to Warsaw’s Vienna Station to welcome him. On November 11, 1918 the Germans and the Allies signed the agreement to end the First World War.

On the same day the Regency Council appointed Pilsudski Commander-in-Chief of Polish forces and asked him to form a Government. However on 13th November the Regency Council was dissolved and handed over to Pilsudski its “duties and responsibility toward the Polish people”. Pilsudski was now the highest autority of Poland and would remain so for 98 days until 20th February 1919 when he handed power to the Sejm.

Piłsudski came to Warsaw a day before November 11th, and on the date that is now celebrated as Polish Independence Day he was appointed Commander in Chief of the Polish Forces and given the assignment of forming the first real Polish government after a 123-year period. November 11th wasn’t announced Independence Day until two years after Pilsudski’s death in 1935. About that time, the largest of the Kraków Mounds , devoted to Pilsudski, was erected.

After World War II the Polish People’s authorities removed Independence Day from the calendar but not from the hearts of the Polish people. The reclamation of independence continued to be celebrated annually on 11th November. In 1989 the 9th term of the Sejm government gave the holiday back to the Polish people.

A huge “Dziękują! (Thank You)” to my friend and team mate, Anna, for featuring me in a treasury collection on Etsy in honor of this special day!

You can view my friend Anna’s Etsy shop here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Koroneczka?ref=pr_shop_more

My interview with SiriusFun from Etsy

Today I have a special treat for you, one of my favorite shops has agreed to do an interview with me! Meet Sheila from SiriusFun on Etsy, her shop is FULL of beautiful handmade gift tags that will add that special touch to any gift!

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1. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your shop.
I am Sheila Krook, owner of SiriusFun on Etsy! I am an animal lover, a fan of nature, gems, glass and paper, rubber stamping, disaster movies, mysteries, reading, Twilight Moms, travel and seeing new sights, ! Lots more too! 🙂 I sell handmade paper tags, glass magnets, earrings, scrapbook embellishments, stickers/envelopeseals, cards, shelves, and occasionally some vintage! Did I mention I love glass? I am addicted to beads and to making earrings! Last winter I made 400 pair!

2. What inspired you to open your shop?
My daughter is an artist and has a shop on Etsy, EarthStarStudios, and she encouraged me to sell some of my creations on Etsy. I also wanted a creative outlet as well as a way to supplement my income from my day job which is in human services (think underpaid!!!).

3. Besides designing & creating things, what do you do?

I work as a Program Coordinator at the local Developmental Achievement Center which serves mentally and physically disabled adults. We used to have a “Seniors” program for the elderly clientele which I created and ran, but most of them have died or retired. As Program Coordinator I have 16 consumers whose programs I am responsible for at the DAC plus I supervise staff and communicate with the residential providers, case managers and families of our clients. It is a very challenging , mentally, physically and emotionally draining job that I will not be physically able to do much longer.

4. Where, who or what does your influence come from?
My influences are many! When I first began to notice digital designs on Etsy I found Lindamayk who specializes in vintage designs with a French flair! I was hooked immediately and began to create vintage tags. I love history, beauty, nature, animals, humor, books, movies, and so much more! I also am so very inspired by the creations of others on Etsy! I have only seen a fraction of the many shops here, and they always inspire me! Vintage, variety and vibrant color is my motto!!!

5. What inspires you to be creative?
Oops I guess I answered this question in number 4! I am influenced by my interests, visual beauty, exotic locales and activities, my grandchildren, nature and so much more!

6. How do you get out of a creative rut?
I try doing something else that is creative in a different way! When I get tired of making tags I might crochet or stamp. I love making earrings, but get very little time to do it now.

7. When did you first discover that you were or wanted to be an artist?

I have been crafting since I was a child. At 6 I learned embroidery, and tried knitting and crocheting. I was always drawing and creating pictures with lots of sparkle and shine! Glitter and shiny stars! Later on in life I started doing counted cross stitch and felt like that was similar to painting but with floss and fabric. I have tried making candles, molded candies, sewing and decoupage and love scrapbooking! I take a tremendous amount of photos! My parents were very creative and they encouraged me to be as well. My mother quilted by hand, crocheted, knitted, did needlepoint and counted cross stitch and professional level sewing while my father was a photographer who had his own darkroom and wood shop. My paternal grandfather was a painter and my paternal grandmother embroidered, was a master gardener and cook! My maternal grandmother embroidered, tatted, sewed, quilted, crocheted and baked while my maternal grandfather was a poet and tried painting and other crafts.

8. Can you describe your creative process for us?
I work from impulse and intuition. When I find a design that I find visually interesting and pleasing I want to work with it. When I see beads of glass or stone that I love, I immediately think of a design that I could create with them.Learning as you work by trial and error is usually what happens for me! “)

9. Where do you see or want your shop to be this time next year?
I would love to be able to participate in more craft shows throughout my area, I would love to be able to double the number of sales made each month and eventually I would very much love to create and sell full time on Etsy and/or other venues and work from home!

10. What is your best advice to newbie Etesian’s just opening their shops?

My advice to new Etsians would be to study shops that you like . Don’t copy other’s work, but see how the successful stores take photos, display their items, promote their items etc. Learn by reading the forums, join a wonderful supportive team like Statteam! Never be afraid to ask for help or advice since most of the Etsy artists and shop owners are more than willing to help and give excellent advice! Etsy is all about community and accomplishing great things as a group!

11. Which of your artwork pieces is your favorite?

I like all my listed items, and so many more that aren’t listed! I only sell things that I personally like!

12. Is there an artist you relate to?

I feel that I can relate in some way to most artists.

13. What would you call your style?
I would call my style “eclectic” since I like vintage, gothic, modern, glam, punk, impressionist etc.

14. How do you feel when people interpret your artwork differently?
I haven’t really had that problem thus far! 🙂

15. What is the most challenging part of being a shop owner on Etsy?

Trying to get views from potential customers!

16. What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Follow your heart and your desires and work in whatever medium you love!!!
If you sincerely love what you create, then others will too! Your audience may be small at first but continue to create! If you build it they will come!

17. Where else can we find you on the internet besides Etsy?

I have a facebook site which is under the name of Sirius Krook.

18. Do you have any specials or coupon codes for your Etsy shop?
When I participate in BNS treasuries I use the coupon BNS10 for 10% off anything in the shop! I also have sales occasionally and I will create special coupon codes for them!