29 December 2011

BEST Team Weekly Feature - Happy New Year!

As part of my BESTeam commitment, once per week I will post short features of several of the fabulous shops and talented artisans who comprise the team.  What is BESTeam?  

It's The Boosting Etsy Shops Team and our goal is to support each other and help promote one anothers' Etsy shops through blogging. If you are an Etsy shopowner and interested in learning more about BESTeam, please visit the team page on Etsy.

Vintage Brass Acrobat
Redemption Art is home a fantastic assortment of vintage handmade up-cycled items that have somehow made their way to the islands. There is always something new and interesting  in her shop, so stop back frequently to find something wonderfully unusual that you just can't live without!At the moment, I am completely enamored with this fantastic patinated brass acrobat, she's only 6.5 x 8 inches. I know exactly where I'd display them in my house, wouldn't they look great on the hearth filled with vivid tropical flowers? Stay up to date  with Connie online Twitter | Facebook | Island Buzzy Blog
Vintage 1950's Japanese Crane Vases
Empty On The Inside features thoughtfully-designed, hand-painted, handcrafted cards that are "empty on the inside" for your personal, heart-felt message. You don’t need me or Hallmark or American Greetings to say it for you. These original art paintings are incredible and you can purchase them individually or in sets that you choose from the designs in her shop
Hand Painted Iris Card 
Hand Painted Spring Daffodils

Keep up with Annie's latest activities online:  Facebook | Dough, Dirt & Dye Blog | Twitter

Faith aka the Stitch Princess, started stitching at the tender age of four! She specializes in casual and evening dresses, skirts, aprons, purses, and small quilts. And she's also pretty good at vests, shirts, bow ties, baby crib bumpers, and anything else people may request!
Gathered Bodice Formal Gown
Don't you just love this butter yellow satin stripe gown? And now she's dabbling in photography, what can't this gal accomplish?? To keep current with her latest endeavors, follow the Stitch Princess online Facebook | Blog
Magnolia Flower Digital Image
Sandy Vern is a native New Englander with a plethora of crafty items in her shop. If I was a knitter I would surely choose the strawberry stitch markers, because they are so sweetly cheerful. 
Strawberry Stitch Markers
Oatmeal Bath Bombs
Who doesn't enjoy soaking in a hot bath at this time of year? I choose  Oatmeal because it's so nourishing for dry skin in winter, but the lavender and heart shaped aromatherapy bath bombs look great too. And don't forget to follow the Adventures of Sandy Vern!

28 December 2011

The Time in Between

We are still in the midst of a great festive season! We lit the menorah last night for the final time this year, the candles cast a glorious glow. Reflecting on 2011, there were so many lessons and things to be grateful for.
Fantastic friends from near and far abound, some new and others renewed! I am so grateful for our family's good health and sharing fond remembrance for those who are dearly missed and well loved.
RIP Margaret Fessler
Travel brought good times with family and dear friends on the east coast this year. Epic adventure at the Jersey shore, with parties galore, crafts, wedding and birthday!
Crafts with Kids in Sea Isle City, NJ
Local travel to Portland, the Oregon Coast and Northern California was delightful. And caring for friends in special ways brought us close to new friends and delivered unknown gifts that I had never imagined!  Dolphin hugs to all my treasured friends!
Green Laser Menorah near Tel Aviv
Whatever you are dreaming and scheming of in 2012, may the year ahead bring you closer to your dreams and all that you love!

21 December 2011

Cookie Season

So many cookies, so little time! Now the orders have been shipped, time to turn to softened butter and sugar, vanilla and cinnamon, icing and sprinkles and chocolate chips, chopped nuts and powdered sugar!
Baking cookies has become a tradition in our family! My favorite cookie is the pinwheel cookie it looks beautiful and tastes even better than it looks. I created a video series on facebook last year to demonstrate how to prepare the dough for this prized cookie. Here is the recipe for Pin Wheel Cookies (we always triple this recipe, as it is labor intensive and we always want more!!) 
2/3 c sweet butter 
2/3 c sugar 
1/2 vanilla bean 
1 egg 
1 3/4 c unbleached AP flour 
1/4 c dark cocoa 

1. cream butter & sugar, add vanilla bean seeds and beat in egg until smooth. Set aside 3/4c batter 
2. add 1c flour to remaining batter, beat until smooth, roll out dough between waxed papers to 12"x8", refrigerate 
3. mix remaining 3/4c flour with the cocoa and beat into remaining butter/sugar mixture, roll out as with white dough 12"x8" and refrigerate for 15 min. 
4. place black & white cookie doughs together and roll the rolling pin over both doughs to consolidate, then roll up dough into a tight jelly roll lengthwise and refrigerate wrapped for 1 hour. 
5. preheat oven to 375. lightly grease baking sheets 
6. cut roll into 1/4" slices, arrange on cookie sheet and bake 12 min or until golden brown, cool on racks.
Spiral Cookies, Russian Tea CCakes, Ginger Snaps and 
Chocolate Wafers and Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing 
What is your favorite cookie? Please feel free to share your favorite cookie in a comment. Perhaps some interest may be generated for a cookie exchange in the future? I fancy the idea of baking again tomorrow!

19 December 2011

BEST Team Weekly Feature - Green is the Theme

What a busy time it is as 2011 draws to a close, I find myself in a festive spirit at this time of year! The lights are strung, the tree is decorated, Pandora is playing Christmas music whilst I bake and write holiday greeting cards. So far I've managed to bake two varieties of cookies. Yes, the pfeffernusse has been baked and is aging to perfection in a special tin. Let's see how many varieties I can accomplish by Friday! Everyone has their favorites! Here's a picture of last years yummy cookie bounty! 
Planet Joy Cookie Extravaganza 2010 
I'm grateful for so many things, and this year I'm grateful for finding my BESTY's on ETSY! My commitment to the Boosting Etsy Shops Team encourages me to reinvigorate my blog and I am compelled to write a plethora of posts rather than blog solely about the BEST Team's rich creativity. So, if you enjoy a little peek into Planet Joy, please let me know with a comment, even if it's just a friendly little hello! Come, follow JHS on Facebook! You'll be glad you did! 

I don't know about you, but I've been burning the candle at both ends with family, home and business plus squeezing in time for recreation and exercise. Where does the time go on these short winter days? I so wish for a clone who's sole responsibility is to stand in line at the post! But enough about that! 

Green is the theme for today's BEST feature! 
Let's start off with this pair of pocket sized journals by The Orange Windmill. The rich color of their leather covers is stimulating, and since its a pair of journals, I get to keep one for myself! Shirley likens her creative process to Michelangelo's view of work. "In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine sees it." Check out the fruits of her labor online: Facebook | Blog | Twitter | Pinterest | Stumbleupon | Tumblr
Newsboy cap for babies
Here is a super cute newsboy cap for that amazing toddler in your life. This vibrant pea green is adorable, other colors are available by request. Veronica loves art and custom orders are her specialty! She creates basic everyday items designed to make your life a bit more enjoyable! The newsboy cap pictured on this adorable little girl will fit 2-3 year old's. Check out Knitful Dezigns online: Facebook | Blog | Twitter

Green Tea Aventurine and Onyx Bracelet
You will feel like a million bucks wearing this lovely aventurine and black onyx bracelet to work or a for a night on the town. The colors remind us of the health benefits of green tea, and so, you may find it is a good reminder to stay healthy when you are wearing it. Cindy finds inspiration in nature's beauty, her passion is creating classic silver pieces that are well-made, balanced, and elegant - pieces that you enjoy wearing. CK Silver specializes in sterling silver, pearls, semi-precious stones, and Swarovski crystals with a focus on earth and ocean colors. Facebook | Twitter | Blog 

Handmade Victorian Christmas Ornament 
Ellen has long loved needle arts and she has crocheted this beautiful 3 inch satin ball adorned with lace, flowers and ribbon. The beauty of this handmade ornament adorned with lace flowers and ribbon will last forever and is sure to become a family heirloom! You may have heard the expression 'So much yarn (thread) . . . so little time!' The possibilities are absolutely limitless, and she wants to explore them all! Learn more about the craft and keep in touch Facebook | Blog | Twitter

18 December 2011

The Waiting Game

We are still waiting to hear back from Ginnifer Goodwin about the hand painted shawl I made for and sent to her along with a group of artisans via The Artisan Group.
Satin Trimmed Shawl by Joyflower on Etsy

Apparently the parcel has been received by her agent's office in West Hollywood, California.

But the word is she's out of pocket until further notice. I believe she's filming Once Upon a Time in Canada and otherwise having a bit of fun for the holidays!

13 December 2011

Secret Santa Sales by Joyflower

Santa's Little Elf
I want to let you in on a little secret: Santa knows that you have your eye on something, and here's your chance to score it ON SALE.  

Each day from now until Christmas one or more items will be specially priced for your shopping pleasure. When you are in Joyflower's shop, search "secret sale" for the daily sale items!  

Holiday time is precious time. Holiday traditions of decorating a tree, hanging mistletoe, adding special lighting (whether it be strings of electric light bulbs or candle light), special foods, visitors from near and far, greeting cards. What are your favorite traditions? 

My favorite holiday tradition is baking! I love to bake cookies, and I plan on doing just that today!! Here is a link to a demonstration video series on our favorite Pinwheel Cookies!

Santa's Secret Sale

Crafty Christmas

Where does the time go? I've been talking about making cookies all month, and here it is already nearly mid-December, I MUST make those Pfeffernusse Cookies asap or they won't have time to age and develop their incredible flavor. But before I dive into cookie baking mode, though, let me share the Planet Joy feature. I hope you will enjoy the creative works from my team, and who knows, perhaps you will be inspired to buy something for that special someone on your list or for yourself in one of their Etsy Shops!

The Poison Garden is home to three charmingly eccentric and impressively crafty ladies from Lafayette, Indiana. Suzette, the butterfly queen, Crystal the pumpkin tender and Melissa the toad catcher. The Ladies spend most of their time creating the fantastical adornments of their vivid imaginations. Using found material, vintage jewelry, ribbons, beads, feathers, bones, crystals and more to bring you original jewelry, accessories, decor and artworks. If you love the romantic, the whimsical, the eccentric then make your way through the clowder of cats and see whats in store! I found a couple of treasures that I'd like to share with you: 

Victorian Flowers and Lace Dream Meditation Prayer Pillow

I love to sleep and my dreams in winter can be dramatic as well as epic. Tuck this sweet Victorian Dream Pillow in your bed and sweet dreams are yours! And I adore the simple elegance of their custom mother's necklace. The necklace pictured here is a combination of the Margaret Pearl Necklace and the Celtic Rosary featuring peridot to symbolize mother and garnet and amethyst to symbolize the children. Contact them to create your own personal treasured heirloom jewelry! 

Custom Mother's Birthstone Necklace

Be sure to check out their Poisen Garden blog and tumblr pages for more fabulous NeoVictorian * Gothic * Steampunk Jewelry & Accessories!
This team is full of surprises! Imagine having peacocks in the garden outside your studio! That is exactly the sublime setting of Riorita's studio in Israel! These stunning beachglass items caught my eye, the color of the glass is so similar to my favorite gemstone, emeralds! Jewelry should give women a feeling that they look beautiful and special.
Gold-plated sterling silver beachglass hoop earrings
Primitive Silver Ring

Please visit Irith's website and blog to learn more about the repousse jewelry technique she utilizes to create sculptural dimension in each one of a kind piece!

Judy of AngelsNEverlastingsoperated a dried flower business from her home near Boston Mass. in the 90's and now that her children are grown, she has time to return to her passion. Home decor items, picture frames, tree toppers and wreaths are some of the items she creates with love. Here's a few that caught my eye, can you tell I love the seashell theme or what??
Seashell & Beachglass Photo Frame
Pink Everlasting Wreath with Seashells 
If you see something you like but would like a different color scheme, or just have questions send her a messageCheck out Angels & Everlastings on Facebook or twitter a Tweet!

Absolutely Kismet from Spearfish Montana wants you to know that everything listed in her Etsy Shop is ready to ship. Please review the Shop Policies before making a purchase. Custom and special orders are always welcomed. Here are a couple of my favorites from her charmed selection hand-crafts. I love this cranberry red glass beaded bracelet, it's so festive, the beads are different sizes to create a truly unique look with an easy to use clasp.
Cranberry Glass Bead Bracelet
Pewter Beaded Wine Glass Charm Set
Be sure to check out Absolutely Kismet on Facebook and read/follow the Kismet blog too!
The Boosting Etsy Shops Team's goal is to provide marketing support for each others' Etsy shops by writing WEEKLY features on our blogs. Our team also shows support by offering free advertising for each other. This is a very dynamic, active group now accepting new members!

05 December 2011

BEST Team Weekly Feature - Beaded Jewelry Stocking Stuffers

I do not want to be part of the tsunami of  pressure that frequently accompanies holiday season. So last weekend I took off with a bunch of vintage Dodge enthusiasts in search of the perfect Christmas tree in nature. With that said, I am charged with the responsibility of promoting my besties on the Etsy BEST Team, a responsibility that I truly enjoy because my team mates are so cool and talented! I went searching for some great stocking stuffers, because filling stockings is about my speed this season!

Agnes, aka Beader Bubbe amazes me, as a mother of five and a grandmother to seven (all boys, mind you), she still manages to create beaded jewelry in her spare time!! This incredible butterfly pendant is one of  my favorite things in her shop, it's made of glass and the colors are so bright, I just love monarch's colors and the symbology of a butterfly alludes to transition. Most of us are going through changes, since that is the nature of life, so this must be a perfect gift for someone on your list! During the Christmas Season, get free shipping with the coupon code FREESHIP12.

I have one question for you Bubbe, when do you sleep? Blog | Facebook | Twitter

The key for my peace of mind during the holidays is giving, receiving and staying mindful under pressure. With all my creative friends, shopping is not a problem, its the shipping that gives me fits with family on the East Coast and Southern California!

CC at Blue White Wear adds an international flair to the modern East meets West jewelry collection in her Etsy Shoppe! Mostly blue and white with cinnabar and laquer-ware mixed in for good measure, it was hard to choose just one thing! I love this pair of coral and turquoise earrings though, and I hope somebody has the good sense to snap them up for a Christmas or Hanukkah present! CC reminds us that international shipping may take up to two weeks, so order now for timely holiday delivery!

Please comment and tell us what's your secret to balancing the holiday season madness? Or share your favorite cookie recipe!

04 December 2011

Quest for the Perfect Christmas Tree

This weekend I participated in the 3rd annual Dodge Power Wagon Christmas Rendezvous in Adin, California. The National Christmas Tree Association says that "about 23 percent of the consumers will purchase their trees from a "Christmas Tree Farm" while about 62 percent will buy trees from a retail lot." I occupy the 15% who seek out the centerpiece the holiday season in nature. 
Wreath-adorned Dodge Power Wagon.
Saturday morning we met up with a fun-loving and friendly crew of vintage Dodge military truck enthusiasts who had gathered from Reno, Santa Barbara, Santa Helena, LA and as far as Florida to drive their restored vintage Dodge trucks and military vehicles to find the perfect Christmas tree. We gathered at the Adin General Store in Modoc County to drink coffee before we drove up to the snow to cut the trees. I really had no idea how cool vintage Dodge vehicles were until this weekend! 
Sorensen's Catering of Santa Helena provided hot minestrone soup.

By the time all the trucks were admired, warmed-up, test-driven, and repaired, the sun had climbed higher in the sky and it was at least 20 degrees warmer than when we had first set out. We had perfect weather as we caravanned up to the snow, it was 33 and sunny! After finding and cutting 11 suitable trees, we enjoyed hot delicious minestrone soup from Sorenson's Catering for lunch, then dinner was the best BBQ in Modoc County at The Oney Frosty in Town - wow, did we manage to eat our way through this weekend or what!?! 
We fit eleven trees in the back of this old Dodge pickup. 
I not only got the perfect tree, but I also met some new friends who I hope to see again next year and hopefully there will be more snow, so we can go x-country skiing next time.