Friday, November 27, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature

Nikki Makes Scents

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Nikki and I live on Long Island, New York in a city by the sea. I live about 4 blocks from the beach & boardwalk of which I hardly take advantage of. I love to travel, web surf and craft and spending time with friends and occasionally family (j/k)

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?
I kept seeing other shop links to Etsy and thought it would be a good place to list some of the one of a kind items I make since I no longer do craft fairs. I signed up in October 2008 but didn't start listing and become immersed in what a wonderful community for handmade items until July 2009. I love it!

3. Do you sell your products anywhere else?
My website., friends, family and a couple of stores.

4. How did you choose your shop name?
My name is Nikki and I make scents...thus Nikki Makes Scents. Nikki Makes Scents is my business name nikkicandles is my user and Etsy shop name.

5. What are your favourite things to do?
If I had time I would travel more, read, write, and make more candles.

6. What inspires you?

My inspirations come primarily from my customers. If they say I want a candle that is blue and smells like bubble gum if I like it I try to see if such a candle would appeal to the masses. I also am inspired by the scents. Some scents just immediately sparks the imagination to make certain candles or bath & body products.

7. Of all the products you sell, which do you enjoy making the most?
After 10 years of doing this, making candles and being impatient to see the final project I still enjoy making the most.

8. Which products are the most popular?

It depends on the season although my chunk votives are a hit year 'round.

9. Which handmade possession do you cherish?
My mother is a crafter too and several years ago she made a beautiful dried floral arrangement for my office when I was promoted. To this day people still think it's real and a lovely bright arrangement. I bring it to any office I'm in and spray it with a linen fresher in a floral scent that fools everyone.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.

* XOHandworks
* Sea Babe Jewelry


Thank you so much to Nikki Makes Scents for being my featured favourite shop this week. I found this shop while in an Etsy chat not long ago and just loved all her stuff. The thing that I like about this shop is its not just candles. There are body lotions, perfumes, lip balms and all sorts of good smelling stuff all in the one shop. This appeals to me as I like to use good smelling stuff not just while burning candles but on me as well. I see many ideas for gifts for the people I know and for myself. She even makes it easier by having a gift set section. The pictures in this blog feature are just the tip of the iceberg. You have to go and see the other goodies you can find in this shop as well.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Holiday Greetings!

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are off to Joe's cousins house very soon for the much awaited turkey and cranberry sauce. I cant wait to enjoy all those Boston Cream Minis I made yesterday. Fingers crossed I will get one.
I hope everyone who is celebrating Thanksgiving today has a great day.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Good Old Fashioned Tasty Tuesday

It was pointed out by my Mum that I haven't done a Tasty Tuesday in a long time. It wasn't on purpose, I just kept forgetting. So here is a long overdue recipe. I thought I would use this recipe this week because I will be making these tomorrow to take with us to Thanksgiving at Joe's cousin's house. These are sure to be a hit as every time I make them they disappear. What are they you ask?

Boston Cream Pie Minis

1 pkg (2 layer size) yellow cake mix
1 cup cold milk
1 pkg (4 serving size) Jello-O Vanilla Flavour Instant Pudding & Pie Filling
1 1/2 cups thawed Cool Whip Whipped Topping, divided
4 squares Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare cake batter and bake in 24 greased medium muffin cups as directed on package. Cool 10 minutes in pans. Remove to wire racks: cool completely.

Pour milk into large bowl. Add dry pudding mix. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Let stand 5 minutes to thicken. Meanwhile, using a serrated knife, cut cupcakes horizontally in half. Gently stir 1/2 cup of the whipped topping into pudding. Spoon about 1 Tbsp. of the pudding mixture onto bottom half of each cupcake; cover with top of cupcake.

Microwave remaining 1 cup whipped topping and the chocolate in small microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after 1 minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted and mixture is well blended. Frost each cupcake with about 1 1/2 tsp. of the chocolate mixture. Refrigerate at least 15 minutes before serving. Store leftover cupcakes in the refrigerator.

Makes 24 cupcakes

These are so easy that we made them with Megan's old Girl Scout troop and they turned out great. It is completely crazy cooking with about 10 crazy girls but we had fun and they loved the end results. We have been making them in our house over and over ever since.

I hope you try this recipe and let me know how yours turned out.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Mae is the best part of three ladies - Peta, Emily and Rebekah. We make fabric wall stickers for children. Mae is Australian made and owned, and we always keep the environment in mind - all our supplies and materials are sourced from local small businesses, we use recycled packaging and our stickers use eco inks.

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?

We have all been big fans of Etsy for a long time. It was an easy way for us to get our stickers out there, to start selling. It's a whole lot easier than the markets!

3. Do you sell your wall decals anywhere else?

Yes, you can check the stockist page on our website

4. How did you choose your shop name?

We created Mae as a character that we all aspired to be like - her name matches her personality - sweet, charming and old-fashioned (to a certain extent!). She comes from a place where things are far less complicated, and everything is beautiful.

5. What are your favourite things to do?

Eat, snuggle my cats and draw pretty patterns

6. What inspires you?

Good blogs, pretty photos and creative people doing what they love.

7. Of all the wall decals you make for your shop, which is your favourite?

Hmm. I would have to say Teatime, but that could change with the new range coming out in January!

8. Which decals are the most popular?

Easily the Build a Tree, Forest Critters and Twitters.

9. What handmade possession do you cherish?

My family portrait which was painted by Audrey Malo:

Rebekah's Family Portrait

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.

nothing elegant
Proper Pact Vintage

Thank you so much to Mae for being my favourite Etsy shop feature for this week. Don't you just love these wall decals. So many possibilities and ideas come to mind when I see these. What a wonderful and easy way to make your children's room look beautiful. I was so excited to read that there are going to be new designs coming out in January. I know I will be rushing over to see what they are when the time comes. If you love the pictures you have seen on this feature hop on over to the Etsy shop or the website and see the other designs. You will fall in love with them too.

A little message to my sister, make sure you check out where they sell in NSW on their website because they probably have a stockist near you.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feeling A Little Rusty

I just listed these cable fingerless mittens in Knitted For Ewe. These are so fun and quick to make. I love this yarn as well. It feels really soft and comes in really great colours. This has to be the first yarn where I want a ball of every colour it comes in. You may have heard of it, its called Vanna's Choice.

Megan was my lovely model again. She much prefers to model these types of things because she doesnt have to worry about her facial expression hehe.

I went back and forth on this rust colour and what it would look for. This colour tends to take on a different hue with whatever colour it is paired up with. It looks especially nice with brown.

Im still working on things for this craft show that is coming up in a couple of weeks. If I dont sell much at the craft show then my Etsy shop sure is going to have a huge boost in inventory. We shall have to wait and see how it all goes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sad Knitting News

I met a lady last night at the new Monday night Knitting Group at the library. We have been having a Knitting Group on Wednesday morning but now we have one at night for those who cant come in the day. We were discussing yarn shops in the area and I mentioned The Falconer Yarn Loft where I use to go all the time. They lady I was speaking with asked me if I had heard that the lady that owned it had passed away. I had not heard this and I am so sad to hear it. This lady was always so so nice to us. She sold my knitted critters in her shop and I use to get store credit. We would also just go there so I could get a yarn fix every now and then. She just loved Victoria and would always try to get her to come out of her shell when we were there. She liked to give her a little something just to brighten her day. Without her we wouldnt have Victoria's beloved Dragon Mittens that she has worn non stop all winter for the past 2 years. She chatted football with Joe and always commented to Megan on how tall she was getting.

She had decided to move to California to be near her children and grandchildren. She said she had always dreamed of living near the beach and decided the time was now. She had giggled with us as she talked about wanting to ride a motorcycle across country. It saddens me to say that I found out last night that she had only been in California for 2 weeks when she passed away. It just really puts you in that mindset of you just never know whats going to happen and to live every day as if it was your last. I am so glad that for at least 2 weeks she lived her dream.
She will be sorely missed.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Hat

This past week I finally got to add something new to my Etsy shop. I made this Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Hat and I love how it turned out. I love it so much I have since made a second one. They dont take very long to make. The second one I made is brown and a silver blue. It will be going to the craft sale that is coming sooner than I want to admit.

So many different colour designs start bouncing around my head when I think about making this hat. I think each one would give a different affect. You may be seeing more swirl hats in my shop in the future.

About a week ago I sent some knitted critters off to a lady I met through Etsy who asked me about doing some wholesale knitted items. I really meant to take a picture of them all together when they were finished but ended up finishing them and quickly sticking them in the mail. I sent her a baby monkey in blue and white, a fuzzy bunny that was big and fat and black and white, a Marcel Mouse and a lamb with a pink cardigan. I found out the other day that these guys are going to a real shop to be sold which is kind of exciting. So if you happen to be in New York city go to
Canine Country Club
at the dedicated Stoopher & Boots displays
452A Columbus Ave (between 81st and 82nd sts)
New York NY

If you happen to see them there I would love to hear about it. Maybe you can take a photo on location. That would be so fun.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Friday Feature

Vessels And Wares

1. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hi! My name is Jeanette and I live in Atlanta, Georgia. I am a clay-nerd.

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?

I didn't want to be a health food store grocery buyer anymore. And my pottery was starting to pile-up. I thought that maybe, just maybe, I could support myself doing what I love. So I opened an etsy shop to begin building a business.

3. Do you sell your pottery anywhere else?

I have pottery in several stores nationwide.

4. How did you choose your shop name?

I really have no recollection of where my shop name came from. I remember drawing this hideous picture for a banner that included a sailboat. Some sort of clever/weird word-play on the "vessels" part. Thankfully, I didn't know anything about how to turn that picture into a banner at the time. But I kept the "vessels" in my name.

5. What are your favourite things to do?

I like reading and the internet. I like to cook. I like to wander aimlessly around thrift stores.

6. What inspires you?

Pretty much anything. I seem to have this urge to translate everything I see into clay. So I do lots of experimenting and playing in clay. Mostly, these little projects just sit around gathering dust. But every now and again, I will incorporate them into what I produce.

7. Of all your different pottery items, which do you enjoy making the most?

Berry bowls.

8. What is the most popular item you sell?

It is pretty evenly split between berry bowls, cupcake stands and mugs. I think.

9. What handmade possession do you cherish?

I am lucky to have lots of handmade items in my life. But one of my favorites is a small painting that my grandpa did. Unfortunately, he passed away before I was born, but that painting allows me to have a connection to him and his artwork.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.

That is tough. Really, really tough. I have been known to lose hours just clicking away on etsy. I love looking at other people's favorites and have a ton of favorites myself.

New discovery:

Just a gorgeous shop (and current source of inspiration):


One of my favorite potters:

Kieffer Ceramics

Thank you to Vessels And Wares for taking part in my favourite Etsy shop feature this week. I love her pottery. Not only are the designs beautiful but the colours are amazing. Its so great when something is not only useful but pretty to look at at the same time. You just have to go over and take a look at the rest of the pottery in her shop. These pictures are just the tip of the iceberg. The trouble you will have is picking what you want to buy first.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Late Halloween Photos

I am finally showing off the pictures that I took at Halloween. A little late I know but here they are. I just had to show Victoria in her vampire costume. Her picks this year was to either be a vampire which she had been talking about since last Halloween or a late entry of being Darth Vader. She ended up going with a vampire which was nice and easy to do. One cape which apparently has to be black on the outside and red on the inside and a set of fangs that came with the makeup. She just loved those teeth even though they were a little big for her mouth and turned her into a very drooly vampire hehe. She was very specific about wanting the blood dripping from her mouth as well.

This Halloween we saw a completely different Victoria. I was so proud. In the past we had to walk her up to every door as she edged her way there. She wouldnt say Trick or Treat and was to shy to say Thank You. This year she was running to each house, shouting trick or treat and saying thank you all over the place. The only thing we had to do was keep saying slow down so that we could all catch up to her. It was pretty chilly that night but she was determined to be a true vampire and refused to admit she was cold to put a jacket on. Her hands were red with cold but she wanted no part of being warm and who were we to rain on her parade hehe.

So this Halloween brought Victoria out of her shy shell a bit and it was wonderful to see. Now Megan being 15 said she didnt want to dress and all she wanted to do was be with her friend Maya so off she went. I knew being with Maya that some dressing up would have to take place, I was right. It was very Megan's style though. She wore her panda hat that I made her and her Zebra mask on the back of her head so she was a Zebra and a Panda. Wish I could have seen that hehe.

I just had to show the drawings that Victoria did on her pumpkin this year. They make me giggle when I see them. I just love the monster. He reminds me of a monster from Where The Wild Things Are. We were all impressed. She is a good artist, even her Art teacher has told us so. Just like her big sister.

Victoria is still talking about this message she wrote on her pumpkin. If you are having trouble seeing it, it says, Vampire! run for yor lives! She thought this was really good.

So that was our Halloween this year. I hope everyone else had a great one too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Little Bit Of Sugar

Ive been meaning to share my sweet little bear for a while. Her name is Sugar. She was found a Handmade Teddy Bear Convention that I went to many years ago with my friend Nerida. My love of handmade bears comes from her. She and her mother make wonderful mohair bears and when your around that you cant help but fall in love with them. Sugar was part of a set. Her partner is Spice and he is brown. Nerida bought Spice and we couldnt seperate them so I bought Sugar.

While living in America my sister had gone over to my Mum's house and seen Sugar there because all our stuff is still at her house. She decided that Sugar wanted to come and visit her house for a while. Well this was a very long visit. You could say Sugar moved in. Years and years she had been there. When Kylie said they were coming to America I realized this was an opportunity to have at one of my bears here so I asked her to bring her with her. She is kind of heavy so posting her would have been alot. My collection isnt that big, I probably have about 3 more sitting in my mum's house just waiting to join me. I especially miss Charles Winston III the eccentric millionaire. He has such character. These bears are such a luxury so I dont get them very often. I do drool on Etsy alot though hehe. If you checked out my favourites list you would find quite a few of them dotted throughout my long list.

One sad thing happened to poor Sugar during her stay with my sister. She had this puppy and apparently she didnt realize Sugar was a special bear and thought she was a rather nice puppy chew toy. My dear Sugar now has no ears due to some puppy nibbling. I was shocked a little when I saw them as I was informed that they were just torn a little only to find there really are no ears left but it just means I have to give her extra love and hugs. Im so glad to have her here with me. Thanks Kylie for lugging her all this way.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Favourite Etsy Shop Friday

Favourite Etsy Shop Feature


1. Tell us a bit about yourself.
Hello, I'm Leslie. I live in LA, and I make the Beastlies. When I'm not sculpting, I work at a comic book store. I love comics almost as much as tiny monsters...

2. What made you open your shop and why Etsy?

Well, I first became a fan of Etsy as a buyer. And then a few years ago, I made some little figures and took them to a comic book convention to sell. I was really excited when people actually liked them and bought them, so I thought I'd give it a shot on Etsy. It just seemed like the natural place for little handmade critters.

3. Do you sell your Beastlies anywhere else?
I still love taking them to comic conventions, so I do three or four of those a year. Usually the San Diego Comic Con, the Alternative Press Expo in San Francisco, Stumptown in Portland, and later this month I'll be at Designer Con in Pasadena. I also bring some Beastlies into Meltdown, the comic shop where I work.

4. How did you choose the name for your little monsters?
At first I was just calling them Little Beasties, but I wanted a name that would be more unique, something that wasn't quite a normal word. So I combined beasties with my first name and liked how that sounded.

5. What are your favourite things to do?
Luckily for me, I really love to sculpt and create characters. I already mentioned that I love comics, both reading them and helping create them (I sculpt the weekly Atrox comics at That sums up the majority of my waking hours, right there...

6. What inspires you?

I always love to see amazing character design, from the Muppets to vinyl toys. I also love to go to aquariums or just find photo books of strange or hilariously cute animals and take mental notes about the best features.

7. Which of the Beastlies is your favourite to make?
Anytime they look like they're yelling, or they look really especially dumb, those usually end up being my favorites.

8 How long does it take to create one of your Beastlies?

Usually in the neighborhood of an hour. Sometimes a little more or less, depending on the complexity.

9. How do you come up with the Beastlies names and their profiles?
The names come from anything I can think of, pretty much. For the profiles, I focus on their expressions and think of what this creature would be like if it was up for adoption at an animal shelter. I used to work at a rabbit rescue organization, and I'd write little descriptions of each bunny that was looking for a home. When you're doing that, you try to think of creative and interesting ways to convey if a rabbit is especially friendly or curious or shy. That's the basic idea of what I'm trying to do with the Beastlies descriptions. Sometimes it wanders from that a little, but that's what I start with.

10. Name 3 other Etsy shops you love to visit.

lauren m. wong
Melissa Sue
Miss Monster

Thank you to Leslie for being my favourite Etsy shop feature this week. How can you not love these little guys. They each have different personalities but all equally as cute. Whenever I look at this shop it makes me want to collect them all. Megan and I spent an afternoon once just giggling over them while reading their profiles. You really do have to check out the sold section as well to see all of the Beastlies that have been made in the past. I think every household needs at least one Beastlie in it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Fluffy Black Kitty

Here is a custom order I have been working on for the past week. Her name is Olive as was told to me by her new owners. She was to be black and fluffy with olive green eyes, a pale pink nose and cream whiskers. She was also to have an olive green colour. I asked if she should have rhinestones on her collar and it was said that she was a kitty who needed rhinestones. I really hope they like how she turned out.

They yarn that was used is Joann Sensations Beautiful. I hadnt used this yarn before but Megan and I have drooled over its complete softness so many times. I just knew I had to make this kitty in such a luxurious soft fluffy yarn. Every one in this house keeps harassing me on how fat this kitty turned out. I am trying to ignore the fact that she came out fatter than I thought she would. I have made this pattern before but in bunny form and he was much skinnier. I hadnt made this pattern in a long time and Im not sure if I adjusted the pattern when I had made it as this time I made it as was written. Gee I hope they dont mind that she is extra cuddly as I like to refer to it. Perhaps her super softness will make up the difference. Perhaps its just her fur that makes her look a little on the plump side.

I may end up making another one of these kitties soon as the customer hinted that they may just want one for themselves as well as the person they are giving this one too. Perhaps before they order I need to ask them do you want a sleek kitty or a plump kitty hehe.