Friday, April 30, 2010

Monkey Business!

There's something about sock monkeys that just make me smile!  Who can resist those big ears and arms just waiting for a big hug!  Here's a picture of a few of my sock monkeys - I even have a sock turtle!

I did a search on ETSY and found the cutest little guys that I just had to share.  Please take some time to visit the shops of these artists ~ you'll find lots of great items.

First up is the classic red-heeled sock monkey by Chadley of Terrace Hill.  Everyone needs one of these classic monkeys!  In addition to sock monkeys, Chadley makes fabulous vintage inspried aprons.

Need a bit of sunshine?  Check out this Citrus Stripe monkey created by Dawn of Sunset Girl.  If this guy doesn't put a smile on you face, then nothing will!   Dawn's shop is filled with colorful sock monkeys and birds!  Love them!

The final monkey to share is this soft and cuddly Peaches and Cream monkey from The Monkey Shop.  Dulce creates the cutest monkeys in all sizes and colors.  It was hard to choose just one to show you, but this guy stole my heart!

Thank you to Chadley, Dawn and Dulce for allowing me to share their creations! 
Kathy ♥

Monday, April 26, 2010

New items

A few new spring-inspired items in my Etsy shop:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pepperoni Bread Recipe

I often make pepperoni bread on Sundays.  It's great to snack on and easy to toss a slice in our lunch bags.  It's a great recipe because it doesn't have exact measurements.  And if you're not a fan of pepperoni, any sliced lunchmeat and cheese will work.

Pepperoni Bread
pizza dough
pepperoni (I like sandwich pepperoni, sliced thin)
shredded mozzarella cheese
Italian salad dressing

I take my dough out of the fridge and let it warm up to room temperature for about an hour or so.  Roll out to a rectangle on a floured surface.  Lightly brush with Italian dressing.  Sprinkle a handful of cheese over dough and then add a layer of pepperoni.  Top with another handful of cheese.

Fold in each side about an inch and then beginning at the top of the rectangle, roll the dough.  When you get to the end, lightly wet the dough with water and pinch the seam together.  Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet with the seam side down.  Bake at 350 degrees until lightly golden, about 30 minutes.

Note:  for those of you in the Cleveland area, I get my pizza dough at either Alesci's or Heinens... both are very good!

And sometimes no matter how well I think I've pinched the seam, it bursts open!  But it still tastes good!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

In celebration of my birthday, I'm offering free shipping to the US and Canada on all items in my shop this week!

Visit Sweet Bird Designs on Etsy!

Have a good week!
♥  Kathy

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Beach-Themed Wedding

I recently finished a custom order of charm bracelets for a beach wedding. The bride requested blue/green, so I used various shades and stones to create a casual yet elegant bracelet. The nice thing is that her girls can wear these long after the wedding.

I loved my wedding, but I'll admit that there were several times during the planning process that I thought about escaping to someplace warm and tropical for a small beach wedding with close family and friends:)

I searched around Etsy and wanted to share some of my favorite items I found. I think you'll agree that these would all be perfect for a beach-themed wedding!  The great thing about all of these Etsy artists is that they will work with your colors, theme and vision to design the perfect items for your special day!

First up is this pretty invitation from Mon Cher Designs.  The light blue and beach design are so fresh and breezy:

A fabulous way to greet guests arriving to a beach wedding is this sign from Our Hobby to Your Home

Serendipity Crafts makes beautiful keepsake platters that are a terrific alternative to the traditional guest book:

I couldn't resist this sock monkey cake topper from Spirit Mama.  Isn't this pair of monkeys adorable?

A perfect way to make sure your guests are comfortable is to provide bottled water.  Print Your Party designs labels to add a special touch:

Many thanks to these artists for allowing me to share their designs!  
Kathy ♥

Monday, April 12, 2010

Easter Baking, part 2

A little late, but I wanted to post a picture of my cucidati, which are Italian fig cookies. 

I enjoy researching Italian recipes and cooking traditions, especially around the holidays.  I keep a folder of recipes I come across and go through it periodically to see what I can make.   The filling of these cookies is full of figs, spices and orange zest.  The recipe called for raisins, which I think I will leave out next time.  It definitely takes time to make these, but I made the filling a day before to make it a bit easier. 

I used my favorite baking tool when making these cookies -- a rolling pin made by my brother.  We have his turned bowls and vases all over the house. 

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gemstone Focus: Kyanite

Kyanite is a gemstone whose name derives from the Greek word "Kyanos", meaning deep blue.  While kyanite is typically a blue color, it sometimes comes in green, white and yellow.

Metaphysical healers use Kyanite as a calming stone. It helps to focus the mind and dissolve mental and emotional confusion. It helps the wearer let go of his or her anxiety. It keeps the mind focused and able to ward off distractions.  Kyanite is often polished smooth and is cool to the touch.

I love how kyanite looks with sterling silver.... cool and shiny, perfect for warmer weather that's right around the corner! 

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all - Enjoy your day  ♥

Friday, April 2, 2010


One of my favorite Easter traditions is visiting Eggshelland.  If you are anywhere in the Northeast OH area, you need to visit!  For 52 years, the owners have transformed their entire frontyard into a different Easter display!  The design theme varies each year, but always includes a 50 foot cross and the Easter Bunny.  This year's design was made up of over 32,000 hand painted eggshells. 

Today's weather of over 80 degrees made it a perfect day for our tradition -- a visit to Eggshelland followed by icecream! 

Easter Baking, part 1

So many things to bake, so little time!  I have 2 things done - the pizzelles (or waffles as my family calls them) and the Italian Easter bread.  The pizzelles are pretty easy.  They just take a while.  Fortunately I can see the tv from the kitchen, so I just sit at the counter and make them, 2 at a time.  I make the traditional anise flavored for the holidays, but I've also made them flavored with vanilla or chocolate.  Yum! 

The more challenging task was the Easter bread.  This is a tasty bread which is flavored with anise seed.  It's also very good toasted with a bit of butter.  I am not a bread maker and yeast scares the heck out of me.  I'm always so excited to see my bread rising!  This year I made rolls as usual, but also some mini loafs of bread, which turned out well. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Blues

I was looking through my items and noticed that I use a lot of blue gemstones!  The earrings below all use chalcedony, which comes in such pretty shades of blue.  I made the bracelet of smooth, round quartz beads in shades of blues and greens.... so pretty for spring!  All are available for sale in my Etsy shop.