Friday, June 29, 2012

Blog Love Therapy - Yeah, We All Need Love!

Since I've joined the blog hops at Blog Love Therapy, I've found lots of fabulous people that I've started following. It seems that BLT's blog hop is mostly beauty blogs, but I don't mind because it's great to get out of the "craft" community once in a while.


Coming Soon: I will be doing features of the bloggers that I have found while hopping at BLT. They will always be bloggers that I am following now. I know that you will enjoy them as much as I do!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

When A Papercut Is A GOOD Thing . . .

{ The Artists }

Our names are Dmytro and Iuliia and we live in Ukraine. We love creativity and handmade things, because looking at them you can feel the inner world of the person who made them. We are fond of different kinds of sports, like traveling and try ourselves in painting. This year we have graduated from the economic university and now dedicate all our time and energy to grow in paper cutting and refine our shop. Our story begins from the childhood, when being children we visited creative classes such as painting, drawing and paper craft. Growing up and studying at university we didn't pay proper attention to creativity, but it always lived in our hearts.

{ The Art }

We are creating hand-cut paper silhouettes from a single sheet of paper and all of pieces are interconnected. Paper cutting is very amazing process, when at the beginning you just see a piece of paper and after spending several hours/days to cut, paper becomes a beautiful art work. Silhouettes for us are not just a
sheet of paper. We put in our works a piece of love, care, kindness, happiness and truly believe that people can feel the same emotions
looking at our paper cuts.

All our works are made with love & soul & are inspired by nature, life and people who like our works. To get inspiration we go for a walk to the parks, forests to enjoy the nature. Also we like meet with our friends and spend time talking and having tea. It helps us to relax and get new energy to create original works. We want to say through our art that world is beautiful, amazing and wonderful. Every second you can feel its perfection. There are main eternal values in the world like nature, love, help, kindness, care that everyone should spread, share and protect to live in harmony with yourself, other people and the whole world.

Once, we created a greeting card with hand-cut elements for our friend’s birthday. It was the first realized step how much creativity occupies an important place in our lives. After that, we took interest in paper cutting art & started creating paper cut silhouettes. We decided to create our DreamPapercut shop on Etsy and share our art with other people. When we thought of the name of our shop, we wanted it to be simple and memorable, but the same way describes what
we are making, so we named it DreamPapercut. “Dream” because we were dreaming to do what we like. “Papercut” means what we like to do.
Our shops:
DreamPapercut (Etsy), DreamPapercut (Zibbet)
DreamPapercut (Shoply), DreamPapercut (CraftIsArt), DreamPapercut (Dawanda)
Our facebook page:

{ The Cat }

We have a cat called Lisa. Despite her 14 years old, she is so cute & likes playing with us. She always meets us when we come home. She is really a truly friend & follow us wherever we are at home. She is very curious & likes to watch the papercutting process. We love Lisa so much and consider her as a member of our team.


Thank you, Dymtro & Iuliia! You are both beautiful people & I am just delighted that you shared your story here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A June Day In The Life Of A Jewelry Artist

I am excited to have this new feature on my blog: A Day In The Life Of A Jewelry Artist by Melissa of Uphill Dreams. I first met Melissa in May when she offered to be a guest blogger for Pin & Tack's Jewelry Joy event. Her post was fantastic! (Click here to read it.) She is funny, honest & quite interesting, so I asked her to return every month with one & she accepted. Yeah!

A Day In The Life Of A Jewelry Artist
by Melissa of Uphill Dreams


Who is this man and why is he trying to get me out of bed?! Oh, it’s my fiancĂ©, Bob. Apparently I told him to wake me up at 10:30 this morning… and THAT he remembered. Ugh, mornings. 


I finally rolled out of bed. It’s not that I’m a “lady of leisure” and can sleep until I feel like it. Oh no. I’m on a 2nd shift schedule because of Bob’s work schedule. Alarm is usually set for 10:30am, lunch is at 6pm, dinner is served at 11pm, and bedtime is usually 3am. 

I’m dressed (mind you, I’m in frumpy clothes because I have to wait for the water to heat back up since Bob just got out of the shower) and I’m ready to start my day as a jewelry maker. 


I only missed the first 15 minutes of the Tophatter Town Hall Meeting this morning. This is where Tophatter creators and employees video chat while us sellers submit questions and use the chat room to discuss their answers. This was my first time attending, and they actually got to my question! 


Yay! A buyer just moved my item from standby to upcoming by placing the first bid on it. Today is going to be a good day. I just made this item last night. These Cellini Spiral bracelets are really popular! I mean, I make one, it sells, so I make 3 more and two of those are gone in a few hours. I love it! If you keep buying, I will keep creating  


Time to take product photos! It hasn’t been too rainy today, so I’m hoping the sunshine is out this afternoon. (Be right back with photos!)

This is where I take my product photos, on my screened in porch next to the pool (which is calling my name). 

And here are the product photos taken today. 

You’ve got a good eye if you noticed that not all of the items above are handmade! Hah. One of the things I’m listing in an auction today is a small lot of 15 “dream” charms. If I have to buy something in bulk, like those charms, I sell the rest through the supply auction at Tophatter. It helps pay for more supplies, and it gives someone else the chance to use unique things they may not have found otherwise. 


Looks like those “dream” charms got into the supply auction today! Now to pray to the auction Gods that they sell at a fair price. 


I got out of the shower and dressed just in time to hear the mailman knocking on my door. This is the first time I’ve met our mailman since we moved here two months ago. I always drop my packages off at the post office on the next block. Anyhow, the mailman, who I assume is an older military vet, asked if I was running a small business out of my home. When I said “Yes, I make jewelry,” he went into this sales pitch and told me I should only use USPS. It was cute. I swear by USPS! I love the history it has, and I can’t beat the convenience of having a post office literally behind my house! 

One of my packages is from Romania, which I had to sign for. I don’t remember ordering anything from overseas, so it feels like Christmas as I stare at the package and let my imagination run wild. 


Yay! My “dream” charms received a total of 6 bids! Now to prepare for the next auction, add more items to my online store, and make more jewelry! 


I finally opened that package from overseas. It was a hand painted pendant I won at auction last month. Unfortunately, it’s slightly damaged (some of the paint on the top is cracked and chipped). I’ve been looking forward to this piece for a while! I emailed the artist, so we’ll see what she says to do. I worry about wearing it as is because I don’t want to cause more damage to it in case it’s an issue with the sealant used. See the light spot in the photo on the top left of the pendant? That isn’t glare, it’s missing paint. 


I’ve got items waiting in standby in two auctions right now (thinking positive thoughts). In the meantime I will sit here and bead while watching my email like a hawk for a notification saying my item has been promoted from standby! 


I spend a couple of hours on the phone with my sisters tonight, chatting about wedding details and making plans to see one another. I am the oldest of 3 girls, and two of us are getting married this year. We’re gonna have some busy parents! Hah. 

(From left to right: Jennifer is the youngest at 22, I am the oldest at 29, and Amy is the middle child at 27 years old.)


I may have only sold 2 items today but I also made more contacts in the artisan world. My little jewelry business is growing every day and will continue to do so with my dedication and hard work. 

I had to order new business cards tonight. I have 8 left, so I had to pay an extra $7 for fast shipping. I shouldn’t have procrastinated as long as I did! Before I go to bed let me show you the cards. 

Here are the old ones…

And here are my new business cards….

Alright, my pillow is calling my name. Thanks for joining me today. I hope you had fun (and maybe caught the inspiration bug)! Until next time….

Melissa will be back next month for another look into her life. If you'd like to contact her or check out any of her handmade creations, you will find her here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Alchemy Challenge #20: Furry Companions

This week at Tuesday Alchemy, we are celebrating our furry companions. Do you have any in your life? I have cats & a dog. They are a great joy, provide lots of entertainment & offer unconditional love. I can't imagine my life without them!

I decided I would give my picture frames a new look. They currently reside in my dining room, displaying my big pup (He's over 100 lbs, by the way!) & flowers that bloomed in my garden a few years ago.

I wanted to move the frames into my living room. It's main color scheme is red, black & white. I painted, distressed & sealed the frame before adding red glitter to the corners.

To add more pizazz, I created the flowers & punched out leaves from vellum. I made my own matte for the three photos, which are all the same. Three different cardstocks are layered on top of each other.

The photos are my pup when he was actually a pup. Isn't he the cutest thing in the world? He wasn't little for very long & I can hardly remember him not being HUGE. This snapshot of him is a wonderful reminder of those brief puppyhood days.

I would love to see your furry companion photos, or better yet, why not join our challenge at Tuesday Alchemy & include it in your project?

If you participate, you have a chance to win a prize from our wonderful sponsor, Di's Digital Downloads AND Latte Dah's Design. Yep, we have two prizes this week, so two people will win!

{PIN}spirational Challenge #13: Inspiration Photo - Butterfly Cupcakes

A new Tuesday means a new challenge at {PIN}spirational Challenges. This week, we are inspired by cupcakes covered in a creamy mint frosting & topped with pretzel butterflies. Sweets always taste better when they look so beautiful, right?

How does this photo inspire you? Are you taken by the colors? The cupcakes or their unique embellishments? We would love to see what you come up! Create something new & share it with us at {PIN}spirational Challenges.

By participating, you have a chance to win a prize from this week's sponsor, Melonheadz. Their digital graphics are very cute & have that illustrated look for lots of fun!

Ok, so, yeah . . . I loved this picture & I was inspired by it rather quickly. It's always nice when that happens! I quickly put together this creation. It's CAS, but oh, so lovely :)

Instead of making cupcakes, I decided to create an ice cream cone as I'd already done the cupcakes on a past {PIN}spirational challenge. If you are like me, you enjoy a triple decker cone. Who wants just one scoop, anyway?

The ice cream & the cone was made using foam that I covered with glitter embossed cardstock. It's shiny & sparkly, although, you may not be able to tell from the photo. The butterflies are die cuts. I gently bent them in the middle to give more dimension to them.

I decided to keep it completely CAS, so the entire focus is on that yummy dessert.

Recommendation: Chocolate Peanut Butter, Organic So Delicious (Turtle Mountain.)
{ Fun Facts }

The U.S.A. enjoys an average of 48 pints of ice cream per person a year. That's more than any other country! (I'm not quite sure if this is something to be proud of.)

July is National Ice Cream Month in the U.S.A. It was proclaimed as such in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan.

What is the most ice cream cones prepared in a minute? Nineteen!

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Fashionable Cook

{ Tulip Apron With Heart Neckline }

Aprons have come a long way from just protecting your clothing from food splatters while cooking up a meal for your family. They are now little pieces of fashion with lots of feminine touches & fun patterns!

Heart & Sow Designs definitely understands a woman's need to be pretty no matter what she's doing. These aprons are perfect for everyday, but they also work perfectly for parties as they look like beautiful dresses. In fact, you'll probably wish it was a full outfit!

Heart & Sow Designs offers a variety of styles. All of them are fun, fun, fun! And one size fits most. If you don't need an apron, Heart & Sow Designs has lots of other pieces, such as hair accessories, scarves & tote bags along with inspirational items.

{ Rainbow Polka Dots Apron }

Heart & Sow Designs' creations are handmade by one woman. When she was a teenager, Gail Metcalfe learned to sew from her mother. They would often times make her clothing together. She has been sewing ever since & it's been over 30 years now!

She is a natural crafter, so she's created many things from party cakes to wedding bouquets. Her love has always been fabric, so she's stayed with creating fabric accessories.

She enjoys using fun patterns & adding a vintage flair. She also uses recycled fabrics - What an eco-friendly woman! She also does custom orders. She loves to work with people to come up with a completely one of a kind creation.

You can find Gail and Heart & Sow Designs here:

Vegan Barbecue Bonanza: WINNERS

First, thank you to the Vegan Barbecue Bonanza sponsors! You are all wonderful & very generous with providing my readers with fantastic prizes. I appreciate it very much!

I also appreciate all of the guest bloggers. You offered splendid content that was thoroughly enjoyed by myself & my readers. You made this event extra special!

Now, let's get to what you have all been waiting for - The winners. There are 3 winners that were randomly chosen. Ok, can I get a drum roll, please? Drum roll . . . And the winners are . . .

Rosy Radish Relish: #6 - Tim L
Navy & White Nautical Turban: #1 - Michaela
1/2 lb White Fudge & Chocolates: #7 - David

To claim your prize, please send your addy to no later than Sunday, July 1st NOON Pacific. If prize is not claimed, another winner will be chosen at random.

Cupcake Craft 198: Put A Bird On it!

Oohh . . . I am a little sad to create this post. Why? Well, it's my last week for being a guest designer for Cupcake Craft Challenges. It was a lot of fun & they had wonderful challenges. I will definitely miss being a cupcake! Thank you, everyone, as I felt most welcome & throughly enjoyed my time with the team :)

Ok, so let's get to business . . . This week it is all about the bird. Put a bird on your creation & share it with us over at Cupcake Craft Challenges. There are always fantastic prizes & if you need more inspiration, check out my fellow team members creations, too!

Originally, I was going to fussy cut around this big, glittered flower. It was on a thorny stem & was so pretty. It was too big for the card, though. I went a little crazy & decided to deconstruct it, then place just the bloom on my card.

The birds are sitting on curly branches on the background. It's beautiful cardstock that I embossed with the design.

The "love" was cut from the same cardstock as the flower. Overall, it's very sweet & soft.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Christmas In June? What?

Yeah, yeah, I know. Christmas in June? How ridiculous!

Well, I found a blog that's challenge was exactly that: Christmas In June. I have a few boxes stuffed with Christmas supplies, so I decided to join in & create something for the holiday.

This is different than my normal creations as I made the base 4"x4", or what is known as a "fat page."

It has lots of warm gold colors with plenty of shine & sparkle, which is my favorite - I am a magpie after all!

This card was submitted to wonderful challenge blogs - See below for links & details, so you can create your own & join in the fun!

Fat Pages & Cards With Attitude: #16 - Anything Goes
Hooked On Craft: #22 - All That Glitters
Inspire Me Fridays: #64 - Anything Goes
One Stop Craft: #188 - Christmas In June
PaperPlay: #25 - Use A Die

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Butterfly Gold

"The butterfly is a flying flower,
The flower is a tethered butterfly."
- Ponce Denis Exouchard Lebrun

"The butterfly counts no months but moments,
and has enough time."
- Rabindranath Tagore

"Just like the butterfly,
I too will awaken in my own time."  
- Deborah Chaskin

"Love is like a butterfly:  It goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes."
- Author Unknown

This week at Tuesday Alchemy, we are lucky to have MazyArt sponsor our prize. I am very excited because I love her art! Her lines are crisp & clean, so it's easy to cut the image out - A must for any of the digis I use.

If you'd like to win lots of digital stamps from MazyArt, join Tuesday Alchemy's challenge here.

It ends tomorrow at NOON Pacific, so don't delay!

This card was submitted to wonderful challenge blogs - See below for links & details, so you can create your own & join in the fun!

My Crafty Mind Has Hit The Wall

This week I just couldn't sit down & create cards for challenges as much as I'd like to. I tried. I tried again, but I just ended up sitting at my table staring at my TV screen or looking out my window. I have a lot to do, but I just couldn't get myself to do it. I made sure that I completed my DT tasks & shop orders, of course.

Since finding all of my old jewelry, I had these wonderful plans to recycle it all into creations. I managed to create two things so far. This is the second one, the first one can be found here.

The bow is from a choker. It's actually the backing that was coming off, so I stripped it & turned it into the bow. Very soft & supple material with a rich brown color. I still have the rest of the choker to work with, too. 

The other details include a chipboard flourish that I covered & sealed with glitter, leaf stickers & faux flowers/

Have you ever been blah about your craft? If so, how did you get out of it? I'd love to hear your story :)

This card was submitted to wonderful challenge blogs - See below for links & details, so you can create your own & join in the fun!

Vegan Barbecue Bonanza: Make It Pretty!

When you have a barbecue, decorating is often best left simple. Since you typically spend your time outside, you really don't need to improve Mother Nature. Also, the focus is on the food, so you can keep everything else clean & simple.

A perfect example is a banner using clothes pins. I created this one using cardstock, chipboard letters, ink, paper & faux flowers.

The clothes pins were painted & distressed before I added glitter to one side. You don't have to fancy them up, though. Plain wood clothes pins are just as delightful for displaying a banner.

Instead of a word, you can hang your special notes for your guests or recipes that you want to share with them.

And definitely bring nature into your decor! Place mason jars with freshly cut herbs on tables. Not only is it pretty, but guests can add them to their foods or just enjoy their fragrance. Small bouquets of flowers tied with twine are lovely and guests can keep them as a little gift.

{ Helpful Links }

Here are links to other ideas for decorating your next barbecue. Most are quick, simple & even the kids can help out.

Outdoor Decor Ideas By PurpleTrail
Paper Firewords by Landee See Landee Do
Easy DIY Decorating (Part I) By JenTatorTots
Easy DIY Decorating (Part II) By JenTatorTots


You could win prizes by participating in this event!

Rosy Radish Relish, Navy/White Nautical Turban & Raw Vegan Chocolates

(Click here for prize details.)

{ How To Win VBB Prizes }

You must be a follower of this blog if you are not already.

Add your name to the linky list provided. You do not need to include a link.

If you have your own vegan recipe, you can enter an additional time - Just make sure to link directly to your blog post about it.

NOTE: Linky list will be on every VBB post. If you enter on one, it will show up in the others. You can enter only once unless you create a blog post with a vegan recipe.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Blog Hop Til You Drop!

It's a Friday blog hop & it's open to all bloggers! Sponsored by Blog Hop Everyday, you can add your blog to the list & join fellow bloggers in a rules free hop.

Blog Hops Everyday Friday Blog Hop

Yes, there are no rules. That is true, but the host does have a couple of requests. They are simple & in everyone's best interest to do them.

  1. Post their badge somewhere on your blog, whether its a post (like I did) or your sidebar. This is always good because it'll bring people to the hop, so they can join up &/or check out the blogs. It'll bring you more visitors!
  2. Follow BHE's blog. This is always a good idea because their new blog hop post will show up in your reading list. Then you won't miss out on a blog hop! Plus, they also have a Social Media Monday Hop for your twitter, facebook & other non-blog medias.
I am also offering the link list here for you. You can just add your name & blog address to it, then it'll show up on all of the posts that have this link list. Isn't that just groovy?

Every Blog Needs A Little Love . . .

Every blog needs a little love & Blog Love Therapy is just the place to get it. Every week, BLT hosts a blog hop. It's open to anyone with a blog & the rules are easy:

  1. Follow Blog Love Therapy. (I recommend this because it's helpful to have their new blog hop show up in your reading list, so you don't forget to join up the next week.)
  2. Post about the blog hop on your blog, twitter or facebook.
  3. OPTIONAL: Give advice, comments & suggestions to a fellow blogger who wants their blog to be honestly critiqued.
  4. Follow at least 5 bloggers in the hop.
There you go - Easy, easy! I've found so many wonderful people! I've had a lot fun & I hope you'll join up & enjoy the experience, too :)

Vegan Barbecue Bonanza: A Few Tips & Ideas At Random

{ BYOC }

Introduce your guests to BYOC, or Bring Your Own Cup, It is a fantastic eco-friendly way to save lots & lots of those red plastic cups from ending up in our landfills. Guests will know which cup is theirs because it is theirs! It also adds an eclectic, homey feel to your barbecue, too.

For added fun, turn it into a "party game." This helps you feel less awkward at asking people to bring their own, too :) Whoever brings the ugliest cup wins a treat, such as a special batch of cookies or jar of homemade barbecue sauce that they can take home.

Bonus: You don't have to wash any cups except your own. Simply have your guest rinse them out before they leave & they can wash them at their own homes.

{ Say "No" To Aluminum Foil }

When grilling corn on the cob, did you know that you don't actually need aluminum foil? Leave the husk on the corns, soak in water for at least 15 minutes, then toss on the grill. Cook as you normally would. So, the next time you decide to cook corn, forgo the aluminum foil & keep it natural.

If you would like a full tutorial on how to do this (along with step-by-step photos), go to Grilled Corn On The Cob.

{ Add Some Unique To It }

If you are like me, you have friends that aren't vegan. I am lucky that many of them are open to trying new things & meat doesn't need to be in every meal. However, this is not the case for everyone. That's why I like to include fun & interesting things to my menu. It's always good to offer something different but is still similar to the well known version.

Fruit is one of the great things to include. Most people will try fruit without hesitation. I like to find fruits that I haven't tried or seen before, such as these Donut Peaches. They are flatter than the standard peach & shaped just like donuts!

For those that need a little meat, try these vegan versions by Field Roast:

Smoked Tomato Roast Loaf: Thickly slice & grill before serving.
Mexican Chipotle Sausages: Simply grill it as you would other sausages.

Field Roast is the absolute BEST! They have great texture, delicious flavors & offer a wonderful variety of products, including Herbed Chao Cheese & White Truffle Pate. I know this sounds like an advertisement, but I have tried so many alternatives to animal foods much to my disappointment (& sometimes disgust.) When I find something this tasty, I just have to share it :)

Do you have any ideas or tips? I'd love to hear them!


You could win prizes by participating in this event!

Rosy Radish Relish, Navy/White Nautical Turban & Raw Vegan Chocolates

(Click here for prize details.)

{ How To Win VBB Prizes }

You must be a follower of this blog if you are not already.

Add your name to the linky list provided. You do not need to include a link.

If you have your own vegan recipe, you can enter an additional time - Just make sure to link directly to your blog post about it.

NOTE: Linky list will be on every VBB post. If you enter on one, it will show up in the others. You can enter only once unless you create a blog post with a vegan recipe.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vegan Barbecue Bonanza: Let's Get Saucy!

This recipe is a favorite of mine. I use it for everything! It is easy to make & you most likely already have the ingredients in your kitchen right now.

It can be a marinade, salad dressing, dipping sauce & seasoning for any savory dishes you wish to make. Brush it on Portobello mushrooms before placing them on the grill. Drizzle over chopped vegetables & leafy greens for a fresh salad. Place in a shallow dish & serve with crusty bread. Toss it with pasta for a delicious meal!

{ Ingredients }

1 cup Olive Oil
Any oil will work if you do not have olive oil.
Try using canola, sesame or sunflower oils.

1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
Like the oil, any vinegar will do in a pinch.
I've used apple cider vinegar & it doesn't effect the taste at all.

2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
Soy sauce adds plenty of salt, so you will not need to add any.
It also offers lots of flavor and combines tastily with oil & vinegar.

Seasoning (To taste)*
Garlic, finely chopped or granulated
Herbs, dried or fresh
Nutritional Yeast (optional)

This recipe allows for you to create your own flavor. Pick seasonings that will suit your taste buds & the cuisine. If it's Mexican, add cilantro & cumin. For Italian, add oregano, rosemary & sage.

* I usually use an Italian herbs blend, 1 garlic clove, pepper & basil. I never measure my seasoning. I just go with instinct. Also, I taste & add more until I get the flavor I want.

1. Place all ingredients in a bowl & whisk together until mixed well.

{ Mushrooms }

This marinade is just made for mushrooms, whether they are portobellos or the classic white.

Here I add sliced mushrooms to the marinade (along with sliced zucchini.) Any vegetable will do, such as beets, onions & potatoes. Place the vegetables & marinade into a ziploc baggie. Move them all around (while it's sealed) to get the vegetables fully coated.

Store in your refrigerator until ready to use.
I recommended 24 hours because this will allow the marinade to be absorbed. However, you can use them right away & they will still be delicious!

{ Salad }

I did the same thing to watermelon radishes, slicing & allowing to rest in the marinade. Aren't those radishes beautiful? They have a green rind & the inside is a marvelous pink! I found them to be very mild, so if you don't like radishes a lot, you might give those a try.

I added them to a fresh green salad & used the leftover marinade for salad dressing.

This salad has arugula, carrots, mushrooms, red onion & tomatoes.



You could win prizes by participating in this event!

Rosy Radish Relish, Navy/White Nautical Turban & Raw Vegan Chocolates
(Click here for prize details.)

{ How To Win VBB Prizes }

You must be a follower of this blog if you are not already.

Add your name to the linky list provided. You do not need to include a link.

If you have your own vegan recipe, you can enter an additional time - Just make sure to link directly to your blog post about it.

NOTE: Linky list will be on every VBB post. If you enter on one, it will show up in the others. You can enter only once unless you create a blog post with a vegan recipe.