Sunday, February 28, 2010

Blog Giveaway Winner!

I won my first blog giveaway!  I was the lucky winner of a set of cards from Sarah of Dodeline Design on Etsy.  I received my package on Friday and was thrilled when I opened it up.  I love cards and still prefer to send greetings and notes via regular mail  - don't get me wrong, I love email, but there's something special about sending and receiving a physical card.  Below is the set of cards I received - so bright and cheerful!  Make sure you check out Sarah's shop for her stationery, cards and graphic services!

The giveaway was featured on the blog of Angi from Cokie Pop Paper Boutique, an Etsy shop specializing in pre-made scrapbooks, altered clipboards, keepsake tins, greeting cards and much more!  What caught my eye was her decorated recipe boxes - I love the vintage box below!  What a great idea and a cute gift for any cook!  I'd love to have this to organize all of my recipe cards.  Be sure to check out Angi's shop and blog! 

Many thanks to Sarah and Angi for being such sweet Etsy sellers!
  ♥ Kathy

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Comfort Food

It's days like this that I want to stay in and hibernate. Here's a pic of our backyard this afternoon.  It's been snowing all day and sure is pretty.  I went out this morning and filled the feeders for the birds.  It's a perfect day to make some comfort food.  For me, that means a large pot of tomato sauce with meatballs and sausage.  The house smells so good now and the kitchen is nice and warm.  The best part is sneaking a few meatballs for lunch.  I was lucky enough to have some crusty bread on hand too!

What's your comfort food?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Say Buy Buy to Cancer Event

If you're in Northeast Ohio and need a girls night out, mark your calendar for Thursday March 4th for the Say Buy Buy to Cancer event. Enjoy fabulous local vendors, a Chinese raffle and light appetizers.
Thursday, March 4th
6pm - 10pm
Elmwood Cabin, Rocky River
Admission: $5 presale/$10 at the door

100% of ticket sales benefit The American Cancer Society. For more info about this event, contact Jenny and Gina at:

I've donated my Rose and Smokey Quartz bracelet and earring set for one of the raffles.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Wedding Ideas ~ Touches of Black

A while ago I posted the latest wedding trends, one of which was to add touches of black to your wedding. I love how my new little black crystal earrings turned out. It's a simple design, but lots of sparkle.

I browsed around Etsy and found some more pretty ways to add a touch of black to your wedding. I love how black can be formal, fun or funky. I had a hard time only picking a couple pictures to share with you -- all of these artists are so creative and can work with your colors and theme to create special items just for you!

I found these beautiful handcrafted invitation and table number from Invites by Jen. You'll find such pretty coordinating wedding stationary, including invites, programs, menus and more!

These placecards are from Charlie and Cleo, a couture event design shop on Etsy. This shop has items that will personalize and your wedding and reception. I love the various patterns in black and white!
This penguin cake topper makes me smile! You'll find this and other cake toppers at Red Light Studio. For a more traditional look, bride and groom figurines are also available, and all of these toppers can be customized.

These save-the-date announcements from Orchard and Brown will certainly get your guests attention! Check out this shop for other designs and coordinating wedding stationary.

And let's not forget about the guys! I found these great ties at Tux and Tulle. I love these black and white ties -- I think these are fresh and clean looking -- perfect for spring and summer! Check the shop out for other colors and patterns!

Embellished by Tiffany is an Etsy shop with the prettiest wedding stationary. The soft blue and black invitation is one of my favorites, and I love the idea of using these cards when asking girls to be in a bridal party.

Many thanks to these artists for allowing me to feature their items ♥ Kathy

Oh Deer

I love birds and we have several feeders we set up during the winter. Our yard is fenced which has always protected plants and such from the deer. Yesterday I looked out and saw that a bunch of deer had hopped over the fence for a bite to eat. After cleaning out the feeders, all but one deer left the yard. Poor little guy couldn't figure out how to get out. Our gate is frozen shut, so we couldn't go out and open it. We have large windows in the back that he kept looking in -- he probably saw his reflection. So we stood there trying to distract him. The last thing we wanted was for him to jump through one of the windows! Finally he jumped back over the fence and left.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Tropical Dreams

As I write this I can hear snow plows going up and down the street and there's already talk about schools being closed tomorrow ..... ~sigh~

For all of you that are getting a little tired of the snow, I'm hoping these pictures perk you up. I decided to take a look back at some of my honeymoon pictures from Tahiti. So just picture it: you're on a beach, sunny and warm, not a cloud in the sky. And your biggest worry is whether to have a pina colada or strawberry daiquiri:)

And yes, that's a guy in the water pulling a floating bar. Gosh, I loved that man!

Stay warm and safe everyone! ♥ Kathy

Monday, February 8, 2010

Spring Colors

I'm in the mood for some Spring colors, so I've added a few colorful earrings to my etsy shop. I think these are pretty for wearing any day, but would also be nice for a spring or summer wedding.

Plus check out these other wedding items from fabulous Etsy artists in colors perfect for Spring or Summer!

I couldn't resist including this adorable cake topper from Emilie Friday. This etsy shop has the most adorable felted birds and I think this cake topper is the sweetest thing!

I found the fabric gift bags in the Sweetly Chic Etsy store and thought they would be perfect to use at a bridal shower or to give to bridesmaids with a little something special tucked inside. This shop has other bags in various fabrics that would be pretty for Spring and Summer!

The pretty invitation is from Taylor's Paperie, an Etsy store featuring beautiful wedding stationery. I love the colorful invitations in this shop!

The Flower Pomander is from RBK Creations. You need to check this shop out for gorgous button bouquets and other decor items. I love that you'll have a keepsake long after the wedding!

♥ Need more inspiration for Spring and Summer? Here are some pics from The Knot:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cleveland Handmade Giveaway ~ Stoneware Buttons

Cleveland Handmade is hosting a giveaway to thank all our supporters and customers, as well as give you the opportunity to check out the high-quality handmade art in our members’ shops. This giveaway comes from CMS Designs. These handmade stoneware buttons will make great additions to your creations—be it your latest cowl, hand sewn purse, or cardigan! All glazes used are lead free and food safe. Backs are smooth and glazed.

Visit the Cleveland Handmade site for giveaway details and a link to artists' shops. You have until Wednesday, February 10 at noon EST to get your entry in, so commence browsing. There’s lots to discover!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

National Wear Red Day ~ February 5th

February is National Heart Awareness Month and this Friday, February 5th is National Wear Red Day! Choose to be a leader. Inspire friends, family and coworkers to wear red and educate themselves and raise awarensess about this disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Even though most people associate heart disease with men, it's also the leading cause of death among women in this country. To raise awareness of this fact, the American Heart Association's Go Red campaign aims to help women take action against heart disease. So wear your heart on your sleeve by wearing something red on Friday, National Wear Red Day!

Check out the following sites for more info:

Love the heart pendant? You can find this and other fabulous enameled jewelry made by fellow Cleveland Handmade team member in the etsy shop Smashing.

♥ Be Heart Smart ♥

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Lifestyle Change

I've been trying to eat healthy lately. It's more than just a New Year's resolution. High cholesterol runs in my family. So I'm trying to make a lifestyle change and eat healthier and exercise more. Sounds good, but it sure is difficult, especially trying to stay active when it's so cold outside Any words of advice, wisdom or encouragement are welome:)

I often make a batch of these pita chips. Since they're baked, they're healthier than store-bought snacks. They're pretty addicting, so I usually make a lot to share - they're always a hit at parties.

When I have them on hand, I take a little bag of them to work to munch on. Otherwise the vending machine is too tempting!

The recipe is here: {linky} on the Proud Italian Cook blog. I also make the tuscan white bean dip that is included with these chips - very good! This is a great blog of Italian recipes that I've enjoyed reading for a while now.

Enjoy! ♥ Kathy

Game Day Recipes ~ Cocktail Cucumber Sandwiches

It's the week of the big game, and even though the Cleveland Browns aren't in the Super Bowl (ha ha) we'll be getting together to watch the game. Here's one of my favorite appetizers. Most of the ladies in my extended family have this recipe, so these always show up at family gatherings, especially picnics. These little open-faced sandwiches are tasty and easy to make!

Cocktail Cucumber Sandwiches
1 package cocktail bread, either pumpernickle or rye
8 oz cream cheese (I use light)
2T sour cream (light here too)
1 package Good Seasons Dry Italian Dressing Mix
1 cucumber, peeled and sliced thin (I like to use a seedless cucumber)
Dried dillweed

Combine cream cheese, sour cream and dressing mix. Refrigerate at least an hour or overnight. Spread mixture on each slice of bread and top with 1 or 2 slices of cucumber. Sprinkle with dillweed.

I usually make the cream cheese mixture the day before and then assemble the sandwiches a couple hours before the party. Assembling them too far in advance results in the bread getting a bit soggy.

Enjoy! ♥ Kathy

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wedding Designs ~ Pearls

Pearls and weddings go together! I enjoy creating jewelry with pearls and use both freshwater pearls and Swarovski pearls in my designs. Below is sample of pearl jewelry I have in my Etsy shop. Discounts are available when ordering multiples for bridal parties. Pearls are perfect to wear every day as well, and I like creating jewelry that a bride and bridesmaids can enjoy wearing long after the wedding.

By now you know that I love Etsy. I wish that I knew about Etsy when I was getting married! Pearls aren't just for jewelry. I found several artists using pearls in their designs. Take a look at these items featuring pearls, especially if a wedding is in your furture! I only have space to show a sampling, so I encourage you to visit their shops. Just click on the shop links or any of the photos to be directed to their Etsy shops!

Weddings and Such Boutique: First up is Jessica from Weddings and Such Boutique. I fell in love with the pillow below - how romantic! The pearls and crystals just glow against the ribbon, almost with a vintage touch. Jessica features wedding accessories in her shop, including various styles of brooches and clips, which can be attached to a dress, in your hair, anywhere! I love the soft, glamorous and romantic designs below! Take some time to browse through Weddings and Such Boutique to see all of Jessica's accessories.

Northwest Bridal: Jennifer is the designer behind Northwest Bridal. She makes the prettiest jewelry stems using pearls and crystals, which can dress up a bouquet. In addition to bouquets, think of adding a touch of sparkle to boutonnieres, centerpieces, altar flowers, pew bows, favors, wedding cake... the possibilities are endless! Below are a couple of bouquets with her pearl accents. Visit Northwest Bridal for all designs! Jennifer's photos are beautiful and will give you many ideas of how to use her jewelry stems.

The Treasured Petal Boutique: The first pearl item I came across from The Treasured Petal Boutique were the mason jars below. I can picture these at an outdoor wedding lining the aisle or placed around the venue to add a glow as dusk falls on an outdoor reception. So pretty! I love looking through this shop - Kristin makes such pretty accessories, including the sweet ring bearer's pillow and hair clip below. Perfect touches for an outdoor or garden-themed wedding! Visit Kristin's shop, The Treasured Petal Boutique, to see all of her designs!

Prim and Posies: Prim and Posies is an Etsy shop featuring hair accessories by Anna. These accessories are simply gorgeous and include hair fascinators, headbands and birdcage veils. These designs have a romantic, soft and glamorous feel. I love Anna's photos too. She does a great job showing various ways of wearing her hair accessories. The designs below are accented with pearls, but she offers other variations accented with feathers, crystals and rhinestones. Look at the birdcage veil below - stunning! I think you'll enjoy looking through Prim and Posies as much I have!

Vintage Champagne: If you need an extra something to add the finishing touches to your special day, these pearl studded kissing balls may be just what you're looking for! How pretty are these! These are created by Bobbie, the designer behind Vintage Champagne. These are ideal for a little flower girl to carry or to use as decoration at the ceremony or reception. I love the different colors that Bobbie uses. Her other wedding accessories include ring bearer pillows and flower girl baskets, and all of her items can be color coordinated for a beautiful look! Check out Vintage Champagne today!

Midnight Bloom: Karly is the talented artist behind the Etsy shop Karly's Creations, featuring floral designs of Midnight Bloom for special occasions. Karly designs hair accessories, boutonnieres, corsages and bouquets, all in a variety of classic and chic styles. I love how she adds in various design elements to make her accessories unique. I found these designs using pearls and thought they were so pretty! Be sure to visit Karly's Creations to browse all of Karly's creations!

Many thanks to these wonderful artists for allowing me to feature their designs. It was a pleasure browsing their shops! ♥Kathy