Friday, November 26, 2010

Beauty BFF Tips - From Ittybit's Body Care

I came upon some great tips through Beauty BFF for hair, hair products, make-up, nails and much more.  Click here

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lavender Winter Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner!

First of all I want to say thank you to all that participated in this giveaway.  The turnout was tremendous!  I wish you could have all been winners, but stay tuned as I am planning my Valentine’s giveaway at the end of December.  So without further ado the winner of the lavender winter giveaway is…

LESLEY!    Congrats!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Featured Artist - Everybody Else

While browsing through some of the Etsy posts I came across an artist named Melody DuVal of Everybody Else.  Her specialty is bright, whimsical illustrations that are available as prints, cards and ACEO's (art, editions and originals.)  Her artwork will surely put a smile on anyone's face.  

Samples from Melody's shop: 

1. Night Light

2. December  

3. Midwest Day Dreams

4. Winter Friends

5. Chocolate Chip Delight

6. Knitting Addiction

Here's a little insight into the owner of Everybody Else:
1. Tell us a little about yourself. 
My name is Melody DuVal, I live in rural-ish Indiana where you're lucky if you live within 20 minutes of a Target and you pass Amish buggies at least once a week. I love coffee, great books, good friends and expensive ice-cream. If I'm not at home drawing I can usually be found haunting a bookstore or grabbing a zebra-mocha with a friend. So frequently, in fact, that one of the shops I frequent has my drink ready for me by the time I reach the counter.

2.  How did you become interested in creating?   
My mom is an artist, so she always encouraged us kids to be creative. I don't remember a time when I wasn't drawing and, in fact, my family has photo evidence of a young me drawing on, literally, everything in sight. Skin, furniture, library books. My mom had to buy the books from the library and we grew up reading a copy of "Apple Tree, Apple Tree" with thick permanent marker splotches across it. It was one of our favorites, so I kind of don't regret that.

I've just always drawn, all the time and in the long run it made sense to make that a career. My day job is design and illustration and I love it so much that most evenings I come home and create some more.

3.  What is your inspiration?   
Stories. It can be a story from my day, a great novel, a tv show or just a random half baked story in my head, but stories inspire everything I draw. They're just little story snap-shops but they have "scope for the imagination"* I hope.
*"Anne of Green Gables", L.M. Montgomery

4. What is your favorite piece you’ve made and why? 
I don't know if I can pick a favorite, I love them all. But right now my favorite is my latest, "Night Light". I have a gorgeous framed print of it hanging for sale in a local coffee shop and if it sells it'll be a nice check, but a part of me hopes it doesn't so I can bring it home at the end of the month.

To see all of Melody's great artwork, check out Everybody else.

Shoe Shopping On A Budget - From Ittybit's Fashion Passion

I wanted to share another great find that I purchased from a local thrift store.   I was pretty excited about finding these beauties.  I rarely buy shoes since I'm a bit of a skeptic on where they've been.  But I couldn't pass these up since the price tag was only $7.00 dollars and they still had the original tag attached to them.   So once I got them home I used some rubbing alcohol on them to disinfect and they were ready to go.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sweet Spiced Caramel Apple Recipe - From Ittybit's Kitchen

                                                         Photo via Taste of Home 

I absolutely love caramel apples.  And not just during the holiday season either.  So when this one caught me eye I knew I would have to try it out. It looks absolutely delicious!    Please click here for the Taste of Home recipe.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cranberry Festive Sparkler Drink - From Ittybit's Kitchen

I came across this great sounding refreshing drink in the Oct/Nov 2010 issue of Taste of Home.  Presented by OceanSpray.

8 ounces Ocean Spray cranberry juice drink, any flavor, chilled
2 ounces sparkling water
Lime wedge, garnish

Fill a tall glass with ice.  Add cranberry juice drink.  Top with sparkling water.  Garnish with a lime wedge. 

Makes 1 serving. 

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pistachio Cupcakes With Rose Petal Flavored Buttercream Recipe - from Ittybit's Kitchen

These are some great tasting cupcakes.  I made these cupcakes awhile ago but I found the recipe on 52 cupcakes' blog.   It's titled "Week 39-Pistachio Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Frosting." 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F  (makes 18 standard cupcakes)

Here's the recipe: 
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 (3-1/2-ounce) package instant pistachio pudding mix
2/3 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup miniature chocolate chips
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped pistachios

1. In a mixing bowl, add the first 5 ingredients; stir to combine. 
2. Add in the mini chocolate chips; stir to combine.
3. In another bowl, add the eggs, milk, oil, chopped pistachios, and vanilla;stir to combine.
4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture; stir until well mixed.
5. Fill paper-lined muffin cups 2/3 full.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until pick comes out clean. 
7. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling. 

*Instead of using vanilla cream frosting I simply used pure rose extract that I purchased at Sur La Table and added a little to my butter cream frosting. I added a handcrafted sugar rose that I made out of fondant and gumpaste.

I really enjoyed these and plan on making them again.  :)

Happy Baking!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Shopping On A Budget - From Ittybit's Fashion Passion

It seems like now-a-days we're watching our penny's more closely on everything.  From food, gas to basic necessities.  And if we're lucky we may have a few dollars left to go and treat ourselves.  Like myself, I know most ladies out there like to go out and purchase something.  And we still can even if we're on a budget.   Yes it's nice being able to go into a department store but there are times when I really don't want to spend $15.00 on a simple t-shirt.  So here's some other options to think about: thrift store and yard sale shopping.   I promise...if you take the time to shop the racks and rummage through clothes at a yard sale you will find some excellent priced items.   And the items are in really great condition!   Above are four pieces of clothing that I purchased at a yard sale or found at the thrift store.   None of these cost more than $5.00.  They were all in great condition.  All I did was simply toss them into the washer.   Like they say..."Another man's junk is another man's treasure."      Stay tuned for more great finds to come.

Pumpkin Cupcakes - From Ittybit's Kitchen

Mmmmmm....pumpkin cupcakes.  What a tasty little treat.  I made these for my Church's Harvest Festival.  I took a basic white cake (from the box) used some orange gel to tint my white batter.  I made some butter cream frosting from scratch and tinted that green so I could use as the main frosting on my cupcakes. For the pumpkins I made them using krispy treats. While melting the marshmallows I added a few drops of orange gel and then once again in the process of adding the rice krispy's.  Once the rice krispy batter was ready I could start making the pumpkin ball.  This part was a little tricky plus I had to work fast so the rice krispy's wouldn't harden. I used shortening on my hands so the rice krispy treats wouldn't stick to my fingers.  For the stem part I took a piece of a tootsie roll and cut it in half. I then piped some leaves and vines to finish these pumpkins. 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Christmas Present Lapel Pin

This Christmas present lapel pin has been handcrafted using a combination of purple and silver polymer clay. A great fashion addition to any jewelry collection. This is for sale in my Etsy shop.

I'm in the last stages of finishing up the handcrafted Christmas felt goody bag (similar to the Halloween felted goody bag.) This will be for sale in my Etsy shop soon.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Handcrafted Flower Bracelet

This bracelet was made for my sister as a birthday gift. I handcrafted the three main flower beads out polymer clay and incorporated some green glass beads, clear bicone beads, wooden beads and spacers.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Handcrafted Halloween felted goody bags & black rose lapel pins

I wanted to hand out some candy corn to some friends but didn't want to deliver them in just any cello-bag with a handcrafted card. It needed something. So I decided to design my own felted goody bag and place the little cello-bag inside. I used a basic black felt for the main bag, 2 thin orange strips for the handles and some orange embossing string for the side stiching. Viola! But it was missing a final piece....

But of course...a black rose. So I got to work in my little studio and I handcrafted a few of these roses and attached them as a final touch to my felted goody bags. They each loved their little gifts.

I'm currently in the process of designing one for Christmas to hold my Christmas present lapel pin which will be for sale soon in my Etsy shop. So stay tuned.

Bag size: 4 1/2" w x 6" h