Recent Posts

Friday, July 29, 2011

Indie Craft Parade: VIP Gala!

You are cordially invited to attend the Indie Craft Parade VIP Gala! This is something new for this year, and we're very excited about it.

The VIP gala takes place on Friday, September 9, from 6 to 9pm. Attendance will be limited to 350 guests and tickets will be sold online beginning August 1, 2011 at 10:00 am. For only $25 a ticket, our guests can shop without the crowds as well as enjoy complimentary food, drink and live music, enter to win incredible giveaways, and view demonstrations by our talented artists.

We think this is the perfect way to kick off our 2nd annual festival! Not only does the ticket sales allow us to fund the rest of the festival, it gives our special guests a relaxed, uncrowded shopping atmosphere and a first look at all the fabulous handmade goods! (FYI, Saturday and Sunday are free admission, as always!)

See all the details here, and make sure you mark your calendar for the party of the season!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

I have pink hair.

I've been drooling over all the fabulous hair styles floating around on Pinterest, and really fell in love with the idea of colorful tips. This is the image that finally pushed me over the edge...

So I took the plunge! 

 (above, straight... below, curly)

Yep, I now have pink-tipped hair, and I love it. The nice thing is since it's just an inch or so on the ends, it's not destroying my hair and I can just get it cut when I'm over it. Though maybe I'll have to try blue tips too, or mint green...

Thanks so much to my awesome friend Janelle for her mad hair-doing skills! I probably wouldn't have attempted this on my own.

Want to try it yourself? Full details and instructions at this post.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Succulent Garden

After admiring countless succulent gardens online, I finally tried my hand at my own. I got 8 tiny succulents (from Home Depot) and planted them in an antique soup tureen. I love how sweet it looks! Now if I can only manage to not kill the little darlings.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Weekend Glimpse

I went to a baby shower for a friend over the weekend, and the hostess had decorated everything so cute! My friend is having a boy, so there were lots of blue, green, and yellow to be had. I love the pom-pom theme, it's so fun! Seems pretty simple and cost-effective too, I'll definitely be trying some of her ideas in the future!

 Pom pom flowers!

 Pom pom garland and crafting supplies... we all brought a bib or onesie to embellish for the wee one. I've done this before at a shower, such a fun and non-cheesy activity!

My gift for the little guy... I couldn't resist adding some gold!
(pinstriped kraft paper from Target, gold ribbon from Martha Stewart, tag from Olive Manna, and letterpressed card from Jane Hancock Papers)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Striped Storage

I am in love with anything striped and ombre these days, so these gorgeous storage baskets from The Container Store are right up my alley! 
They're on sale right now, so I just might have to snatch up that pink one! 
Rectangular here, round here.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

ICP: Artist Showcase

Have you been keeping up with the awesome Indie Craft Parade blog? If you enjoyed the featured artist posts I did last year, check out the some of the showcases for this year over at the ICP blog. Here's the fabulous artists who have been featured so far, and there's lots more to come!

Are you getting excited for this year's Indie Craft Parade? I sure am!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Over Zero: Sale!

Some of my favorite paper goods are on sale right now! Two Over Zero is having a huge "Christmas in July" sale ... all items in their shop are 50% off! I made sure to stock up on my favorite note pads and recipe cards, you should too. Don't dilly-dally, the sale ends July 31!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Strawberry Cream Pie

 The idea for this pie came to me, and I just had to make it. I wanted a deep, thick graham cracker crust, filled with a light cream layer, topped with huge glazed strawberries. It turned out looking great, and tasted even better!

Strawberry Cream Pie


2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 T. melted butter

Berries + Glaze:
4 cups strawberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 T. cornstarch
red food coloring, if desired

Cream Filling:
12 oz. softened cream cheese
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups whipped topping

In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and the sugar. Add the melted butter, mix well. Press crumb mixture into a lightly greased 9 inch springform pan, coming up the sides 2 - 3 inches. (I use a flat-bottomed measuring cup to press the crumbs, it makes for a firm and even crust.) Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes, let cool.

Reserve the prettiest and largest strawberries for the top layer. (I gently placed them inside the cooled crust to see how they fit.) Hull the berries by slicing straight across the top, and set them aside. With the remaining berries, puree them until you have 1 cup of liquid. Combine sugar and cornstarch together in a small saucepan, add the berry puree, mix well. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat, add a few drops of red food coloring if desired, let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, beat together the softened cream cheese and the confectioner's sugar. Beat in vanilla. Add whipped topping, mix well. Drop large spoonfuls into the cooled crust, spread with an offset spatula.

Top the cream layer with the reserved berries, placing the flat cut side down. Gently press them slightly into the cream layer. Pour the berry puree over the top, completely coating the strawberries and filling all the crevices (I used a pastry brush to make sure all areas were coated). Chill until ready to serve, at least 2 hours. Enjoy!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Color Crush: Midnight Blue

 Lately I've really been drawn to midnight blue... it's a blue-black, very deep and intense, darker than navy. It almost seems to shimmer...

Source: None via Erin on Pinterest

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Source: None via Erin on Pinterest

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Source: via Erin on Pinterest

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lay Baby Lay

I recently stumbled on a new blog that has quickly become a favorite of mine. Lay Baby Lay is a project by the oh-so-talented Joni, who posts about nursery inspirations and other child-related delights. She has an amazing eye for design, and even though I'm not in any need of a nursery, I just love seeing what she pulls together.

My favorite feature is the nursery moodboards. What fabulous combinations!

Neutral Niceties for a Boy, see original post for source list. 

Macaron Delights, see original post for source list.

 Joni also posts some great free printables and project tutorials.
 And you've got to check out the nursery she put together for her baby girl, Vivi Charles. It's one of my all-time favorites.

Head over to Lay Baby Lay for more fabulousness!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Peach Dumplings

I made peach dumplings a few days ago and they were SO. GOOD. Fresh peaches are in season right now, so scoop them up while they're local and sweet!

What kind of dumpling is this? You're probably most familiar with apple dumplings, but peach is my new favorite. It's a soft pastry dough, with fresh fruit inside, wrapped up like a little package and soaked in a sweet syrup. When it's baked, the syrup soaks into the dough and fruit, and it all melds together in a wonderful way. I like to bake the dumplings in individual pie dishes for a pretty presentation, but you can bake them all together in a large pan.

Here's how they come together...

 Dough is rolled into a square, and sliced peaches are sprinkled with sugar.

 Cut the dough into wedges, then fold it all up and seal the edges.

 Dumplings are placed into baking dishes (I like to top mine with a few pretty cutout shapes), then covered in the sweet syrup.
 One more sprinkle of sugar for some sparkle, then into the oven.

Yum! Top with a couple peach slices and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Dig in!

Peach Dumplings

1 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. vanilla

2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
6 tsp. butter
1/2 c. milk

6 medium peaches, sliced
1 T. sugar + 1 T. sugar

In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Bring to a boil, simmer for 2 minutes, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Set syrup aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Cut butter into small pieces, use a pastry cutter to cut in until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk, mix with a fork until just combine. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, knead 10 times. Roll out into a large rectangle, cut into 6 - 10 squares (depending on what size servings you wish to make). You can also divide the dough into 6-10 pieces and roll each one out individually, whichever is easier.

Divide peach slices among the dough squares, mounding them in the center. Sprinkle with 1 T. sugar. Cut the edges of the surrounding dough into wedges, and fold each one in towards the center, overlapping the edges and moistening the seams with water to help seal. If desired, cut decorative shapes out of the dough scraps and place on top of the dumplings, using a little water to help it adhere.

Place in lightly greased baking dishes. Cover with the sugar syrup. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 T. sugar (the chunky sanding sugar is very pretty). Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown. Let cool 15 minutes, then serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Yield: 6 - 10 servings. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

My Wedding: Photography

In celebration of our five year anniversary, I'm sharing some photos from my wedding. Cory and I were married June 25, 2006 at Shea's Theater in Buffalo, NY.  See the first post here.

Our wedding photos were done by Gary Ventura Photography. 
Here's some of my favorite shots!

I absolutely love our wedding photos, they're exactly what we wanted. We have some beautiful metallic prints of some that I had framed for the bedroom, and a lovely wedding album.

Here's where I have to post a disclaimer about the photos... While we couldn't be happier with the finished product, we did have some issues with the photographer himself after the wedding, when we were trying to get what we had paid for. He was fantastic all before the wedding and the day of, but fell off the map afterwards. In the end, it all worked out, but it was a bit of a hassle which involved us thinking he was dead, me tracking down someone he did free-lance work for and asking them to make him call us back, and him having no excuse for his behavior and trying to appease us with free prints. This experience is apparently nothing compared to the horror stories of other couples he left high and dry. It looks like he went off the deep end about a year after our wedding, there were no negative reviews when we booked him. Hopefully he's getting himself straightened out, it would be a shame for his talent to go to waste. All that to say, I can't recommend his work in good conscience.

In addition to the wonderful photos, our photographer put together a short slideshow a couple weeks after the wedding. It was great to get a preview of the images and to send it around to friends. Take a look!

Well, that's it for the wedding posts.
It was fun to look back at this wonderful day!