Friday, November 30, 2007

sweater pins

sweater pins, originally uploaded by tanisalexis.

Tanisalexis makes these super cool recycled sweater pins, which would look great grouped on a jacket. Much of her items for sale and their packaging are made from recycled materials, which is pretty cool!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Betsy Blue w/ Red Hair

Betsy Blue w/ Red Hair, originally uploaded by craftilyeverafter.

Sadie Lou Who makes these adorable ornaments in a myriad of colors and designs. Her flickr has oodles of them, but her shop seems to be sold out at the moment. Definitly contact her about getting yourslef (or me...) one. So cute!

Rossetti - Shoulder Slouch Bag

Sweet Sugar Cane has great bags, clutches and zippered pouches perfect for gift giving, or just getting for yourself! Her wristlets are perfect for carrying to holiday parties.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Pilot piggie

Pilot piggie, originally uploaded by @susa@.

Some of the cutest stuffies you will ever see are in the etsy shop of Susa. She has some adorable Christmas offering including a sweet little momma bear and her triplets.

phanty's box

phanty's box, originally uploaded by pangodin.

Love these elephant ornaments! I would use these all year round, not just during the holidays. Get a set here!

Mechanical Man paper toy

"Here is a better pic of my Mechanical Man paper toy. It's a 2 color letterpress print on silver metallic paper. There is a limited edition of 250 print that will be signed, numbered. You can get it flat or hand cut and assembled by me. The first few will be going out to the Kismet Gallery's Plush, Vinyl , Clay show. He is now available at!"

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Button Up! It's Cold Outside!

What cuter way to dress up your lobes then with a pair of dangly, button earrings! These cuties look great with any outfit. Made with silver-plated ear wires and real buttons. And at $8 a pair, they are a steal! Buy a pair for yourself and some for your friends at

Got a t-shirt lover on your shopping list?

Visit to find a perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend or relative. You are bound to find a T that will fit them to a "T"! My personal fav is picture below. Won't you buy it for me please???


Monday, November 26, 2007

memory board

memory board, originally uploaded by katie jean.

Vintage lovers should look no further than Katie Jean for vintage inspired home goods, clothes, toys and more.

Orange Wild Flowers

Orange Wild Flowers, originally uploaded by myzoebug.

My Zoe Bug makes adorable felt embroidered hair clips for big and little girls alike. They are currently carrying adorable holiday designs, so hurry and get some before they are gone!

Fort Cloudy Shoot

Fort Cloudy Shoot, originally uploaded by Fort Cloudy.

Give your stud muffin a gift that tells him what you really think of him this Christmas. Fort Cloudy makes cool shirts, bags, scarves and more for the whole family.

Head Over to "I Pray to Gouda"...

For a spectacular recipe that should definitely grace your dinner table on Christmas! This Sweet Potato Souffle
will be a huge hit.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Holiday Baby Set

Holiday Baby Set, originally uploaded by doodlesprouts.

Doodlesprouts makes sweet holiday gift sets for baby with a cozy hat and lap blanket to keep baby warm this holiday season.

Home Sweet Home magnet set

Block Party Press makes amazing polymer clay jewelery pieces and magnents. My current fave (which changes with every flickr upload she makes) are these home magnents. Click on over to her shop to see loads of gorgeous pieces. Good luck trying to only choose one!

Jingle Mousekins

Jingle Mousekins, originally uploaded by maggierama.

For Christmas decorations so cute you might scream look no further than Maggie-rama. This little mouse is killing me with it's cuteness! Find all sorts of holiday decorations at her shop.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

that's a lot of fish

that's a lot of fish, originally uploaded by lilfishstudios.

Lil Fish Studios makes these adorable wool felt fish ornaments that are cute for any time of year!

Sock Walrus and his bucket of fish

We have been lucky enough to spend our Thanksgiving Holidays at the beach with family and in honor of that I forund our friend Wally, here. He is made by toymaker Knit Owl and can be found here along with many other squeeze worthy friends.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

My Holiday Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! With thoughts of recipes, shopping lists, and home-baked pies swimming in my head, I can't help but think of Bob. Who is Bob? Bob was very special to me. Bob was my very first Thanksgiving turkey.

I remember it clearly. I was standing over the sink early one Thanksgiving morning (last year, actually) and I was looking at Bob with distain. I pulled him out of the tub of icy cold water and proceeded to reach my hand up inside his posterior to extract his organs (thank goodness they came wrapped neatly in a little plastic bag). This was an experience horrifying enough to make me consider vegetarianism for more than an hour. Oh, believe me, I thought about setting Bob free. I told him to fly South — "just follow the other birds," I said. But Bob just looked at me as if to say "I've been plucked. Do you really expect me to go out in public like this?" And since Bob had suffered enough humiliation for one day, I decided that I owed him at least, one delightful last meal. So I finished cleaning him (a disgusting experience), slapped him into a roasting pan, shoved some stuffing where the sun don't shine, then drizzled on some melted butter with fresh herbs and seasoning. Then off he went, into the oven, only emerging every so often for a quick basting of melted butter and seasoning. Finally, some hours later, Bob was ready to eat.

Poor Bob — rest his soul — he was not one of those fancy corn-fed or free-range turkeys, but he was delicious.

The secret to a great turkey: a salt water brine. Think of it as a sort of cold raw turkey soup. Okay, don't think of it like that — it sounds way too gross. I actually got the idea of using a brine from a local radio host (check out Rob's recipes on Maybe you should check out his description of a brine:

A brine is simple a seasoned salt-water bath that the turkey soaks in for 6-12 hours prior to cooking. The brine adds some flavor, but most importantly provides a chemical method to keep the meat tender and juicy while cooking.

Below is his recipe. I followed it pretty well, just added a little poutry seasoning to the mix along with the fresh herbs.

Raw whole turkey
5-gallon bucket (like from Home Depot)
3-pound box of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of whole black peppercorns
2 gallons chicken broth (water mixed with bouillon cubes is fine
1-gallon ice water
1 whole bunch fresh thyme, torn roughly
1 whole bunch fresh oregano, torn roughly
1 whole bunch fresh sage leaves, torn roughly
1 whole bunch fresh marjoram, torn roughly

To Make...

1. Clean the raw turkey and remove the neck and giblets.
2. In the bucket, combine the cooled (room temperature) broth with the ice water, salt, pepper and fresh herbs and mix well.
3. Place the turkey in the bucket, breast side down and cover the bucket. Leave it sit somewhere cool, I usually use the garage (unless it's summer time obviously).
4. After at least 6 and no more than 12 hours, and prior to cooking your turkey, remove the bird and rinse it with cool water, then proceed with your cooking prep.

* I have some fears about leaving my turkey "in the garage." If you are cooking a smaller turkey, you can actually soak it in a large pot in the fridge. I left mine in over-night. You could also try the bucket method, just remove some shelves in your fridge.

So now you know the story of Bob and why he was oh, so special. On Thanksgiving day, think of Bob and all the other turkeys that sacrifice themselves for tradition. And make the best darn turkey dinner that you can.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Chocolate Bar Cozies (a tutorial)!

I've never met anyone who didn't enjoy a nice chocolate bar. But I needn't tell you that you can't just hand out a single candy bar and call it a Christmas gift. Unless, of course, that chocolatey goodness comes packaged in it's own sweet little chocolate bar cozy!

This is a great way to turn an inexpensive item into a lovely little gift! You will need the following supplies and about twenty minutes to complete this simple project:

- a large-ish chocolate bar, preferably with a foil inner wrapper
- a thrifted wool sweater, washed and dried with utter disregard for the care instructions on its label (felt that bad boy!)
- a few buttons (I like using vintage buttons)
- embroidery floss, needle and scissors.

Simply measure your chocolate bar (sizes will vary), and cut one piece of felted wool large enough to wrap around it front and back, and the length of the bar. (My cut pieces average about 7x7 inches). You want it to be snug - It's a cozy, after all!
Attach your buttons to the upper right hand corner of the cut piece, leaving about 1/2 inch allowance on each side.
Now line up the top and bottom edge of the wool, right sides facing out, and sew a simple blanket stitch along the top, joining the edges.
You shouldn't need to finish the sides at all, because the felted wool won't run - but go ahead and embellish, if you'd like.
Insert chocolate bar (I remove the paper wrapper first). If the cozy is too loose to support the chocolate bar, cut the bottom edge, trim as needed, and blanket stitch it closed again. And that's it!

I keep a stash of these on hand, wrapped up in vintage wrapping paper, for last minute gifts during the holidays. You should, too! But if you haven't the time, or the inclination, to whip up a batch of these beauties, please stop by my etsy shop - I will have a few available there for purchase.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Daisy ribbon ball ornament

Daisy ribbon ball ornament, originally uploaded by mizusugi.

Mizusugi Creations has these amazing ribbon ornaments in a myriad of designs and colors. Definitely a unique and gorgeous addition to any holiday tree.

yeteenies....tiny yetis

Little Black Forest makes these adorable and teeny tiny yeti's for the holidays. They look to be more of a cute conversation starter than toy for junior, though. How fun would it be have a couple of these peeking out from between the branches of your Chiristmas tree?

superbot at the park

superbot at the park, originally uploaded by BAM POP!.

If I still slept with stuffies, I think I would definitely want to cuddle with this one. Gotta love the robot who can't leave the house without his chonies! These cuties are made by BamPop! and are quite the bargain at $15 each!

Sampler stacks!

Sampler stacks!, originally uploaded by amanda bel.

A Bel Emporium has all your miniature holiday kitsch needs. Just pop on over and order yourself a tin fulla little littles that would make great ornaments or wreath adornments.

Spice Up Your Holidays....

Everyone knows that along with the chilly temps, the falling leaves and the turkey, comes holiday stress: family, large amounts of cooking, meal planning, hostess duties and travel.

You could solve it with yoga. Maybe meditate a little or inhale some weird calming incense to deal with the frustration that can accompany the Thanksgiving holiday.

Or. You could mix yourself up quite the yummy little seasonal cocktail, stop worrying about whether your jewel-toned napkin holders match appropriately to the perfectly coifed linen napkins and tell Martha Stewart to shove it.

Pumpkin Pie Cocktail
1 oz. Malibu Rum
3/4 oz. canned pumpkin pie filling
1/2 oz. Kahlua
2 oz. with cold milk

Garnish: sprinkle of cinnamon. Mix ingredients in blender with ice and blend thoroughly; Pour into graham cracker-rimmed highball glass and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Jingle Jolly to you!

Jingle Jolly Table Runner
Being the Charmaholic that I am... I had to find a way to put my stash to good use! And while it looks like I eat alone, in actuality - I'm just too stinkin' lazy to set a full table just to snap a photo.

I know there's a way to photograph quilts so they don't look all wonky. I just don't know what that way is. And it certainly doesn't help matters that my method of photography is point-pray-click.

So anyhoo... this little Jingle Jolly finishes at 16'' x 40''. I used a pack of Holly Jolly by Sandy Gervais for Moda. My pattern calls for 37 charms... exactly what's in the Holly Jolly charm pack!

The entire pattern is free for download here. If you like this pattern, you might like to go hog wild and make a 62'' x 68'' size quilt from a 12 fat quarter bundle from Karen Snyder's pattern "Cheaper by the Dozen" in her book "Bundles of Fun". I know it's fun... because I've made one. It's a perfect "retreat project" or sewing with friends.

Cross-posted here:

Corduroy pouch with striped ribbon

Nest Pretty Things has an assortment of cute pouches perfect as wrapping for any small gift. Nothing better than wrapping that is part of the gift!


Flamestitch offers a range of totes and messengers with personality. Those who are unafraid to carry their laptop in a bag constucted of vinyl and astro turf (yup!) will find much to love here.

Art Smock

What aspiring artist wouldn't love their very own ar smock? Fill the little pockets with paints and brushes and you'll be their favorite person. Get this pretty little smock while you can from Buttons Magee. If you missed out, don't worry she has plenty of other pretties sure to please!

Holiday 4 Pack - Flat Cards & Envelopes

I really should create a seperate card/stationary category! my first love is clearly paper. These cards by Nea Blossoms Shop do not dissapoint. They are a set of flat note cards with envelopes. They'd make a cute holiday thank you card. They may not look like a good kids gift, but it is never too early to trian the kiddos to write thank you notes (just make sure they mail them!).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Gift Card Holders

These gift card holders are quick to make with a few scraps of felt, two buttons and some string or twine.Once you've got the basic pattern cut out, you can embellish to your heart's content.
And then fill them up. Gift cards are the obvious filler but what about "coupons" for things like babysitting, or dish washing or lawn mowing? Neighbors, friends, spouses all appreciate coupons ;)

Again, I can't figure out how to add pdfs to blogger (if you know, email me) so I posted the pdf here.
MaderadeColores paints the most beautiful toys and holiday ornamanets from her home in Venezuela. Her specialty is this brightly colored box of typical Venezuelan toys. Adults and children alike will find the fun in these gifts!

Pixie Blossom Pin Cushion Tutorial

Pixie Blossom has kindly aggreed to share a tutorial on how to make adorable teacup pincushions. It is just the kind of thing I know all the sewing women on my family would love! Even a few of the non-sewers would love it just because they are so sweet!

After you are done making your cushions be sure to check out Zee's etsy shop. It is choc-full of Christmas cheer! But be sure to get some while you can, she says this will be her only holiday update!

I need a Gocco!

Just look at the cool images that people are coming up with! It seems as if the sky is the limit to what clever designers can make this handy little machine produce. A current favorite of mine is this print by 3P-3. They also have stunning holiday cards, and t-shirts. It truly could be a one stop shopping destination.

Who says it ain't easy being green? This grocery tote by etsy seller Nancy Gamon is as gorgeous as it is enviromentaly consious. It looks super roomy and would even make a cool weekend bag.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Taking Craft to School

If you hurry, there's still time to get to Chicago for tomorrow's DIY Trunk Show!
In it's fourth year, the Chicago Craft Mafia has rounded up 96 vendors showcasing the very best in DIY goods. This is one stop holiday shopping, people - and it's all handmade!

If you can make it to the show, please stop on over and say hello! Mention Handmade Parade at my booth (Sweet Jessie), and I'll even reward you with a little gift.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Best ever cookies in a jar

I know the idea of layering cookie ingredients in a mason jar has been around forever but this recipe is so tasty you'll forget this is a craft leftover from the early 90's. I made these for my coworkers last year and they seemed to be a hit.

Chocolate Cranberry Chews

Here's what you layer in the jar (not necessarily in this order):
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chocolate chips
1 3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Press firmly to make it fit.

Cooking instructions (to provide along with the jar of mix). I also put this on a pdf so you can download tags to print out but I can't figure out how to attach a pdf in blogger. Go here to download if you want tags like the ones shown in the photo--sorry for the hassle.

In any case, here are the instructions:
Empty cookie mix into large bowl. Add 1 1/2 sticks of butter, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Mix completely. Form into balls and place 2 inches apart on a sprayed cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 13-15 minutes.

Happy Baking!

Hands off!

Ever gone to work and come breaktime found that your coworkers raided your snack or come home from a long day and your roommate ate the last of your cereal? Well Dippylulu has the solution in these punchy snack clips. Each set comes with two clips and there are five designs to choose from.

Side one--------------------Flip side
#1 I’ve spat in don’t even think about it.
#2 Hands off...-------------...this is mine
#3 If you eat’ll regret it
#4 Buy your own ------------you *@^$#%&
#5 Ask nicely...------------...and I’ll still say no

They will even customise them if you want to be even wittier than they are. How nice.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'd Like to Introduce Myself...

I am way too overexcited about contributing to a blog to admit it. Well, to anyone else but you guys, of course. But I am! Claire has requested my virtual presence on Handmade Parade to act as a Resident Foodie. I made that title up, but I'm gonna go ahead and run with it. So look for my posts for recipes and other food related entries. Should you get a hankerin' (channeling inner Paula Deen here) for more food goodness, traipse on over to I Pray to Gouda , my little hangout.

For this first humble entry, I simply have a suggestion for a good read. You don't have to necessarily love food or cooking. But you should have a sense of humor. Because really, if you don't have that, you're going to encounter several problems in life that will begin with your loss of being unable to read this book. Julie and Julia is a hilarious autobiography of sorts, outlining the life of a 30-year old who decides to try her hand out at difficult French cooking for a solid year by channeling her inner Julia Child. It's severely on sale at, check it out and stay tuned for future recipe from moi!

i love re:made

The age old tie for dad cliche won't be such a drag to give or get if it is one of these reclaimed and screenprinted beauties by re:made. They also carry gorgeous vintage pillowcase skirts and dresses - the biggest challenge now is choosing which one to get! Everything in th ere:made shop has had a previous life and was reclaimed by the folks at re:made. Love it!

Free Vintage Embroidery Patterns

Bird Bag, originally uploaded by turkeyfeathers.

Vicki of Pattern Bee has graciously added more vintage patterns to her freebie collection. Browsing through th eofferings, my heart skipped a beat when I saw she had up several designs that my granny had given to me, but were too fragile to use. There are several different categories to choose from and she said today that she just reorganized the Christmas section. It sure felt like Christmas to be able to print off such lovely designs!

Appliqued Shirts

Shirts, originally uploaded by kirstencan.

The kirsten can store carries the sweetest, coolest, most fun appliqued kids t's and onesies around. Our favorites are the monsters and the cupcakes. Her site says a big t-shirt update is forthcoming. We can't wait!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Custom Pink Valise

Custom Pink Valise, originally uploaded by littlepinkstudio.

Little Pink Studio is offering custom valises filled to the brim with vintage goodies. She is offering two sizes, large and petite in her Etsy shop. I have a feeling these will go quickly!

Yoyo Necklace

Yoyos never looked as chic as they do in the necklaces by Shanna of Cookoorikoo (how much do you love that name??). She makes these necklaces and other yoyo adorned accessories.

Christmas Card Set

Christmas Card Fronts, originally uploaded by heidillustration.

These whimsical cards from Heidi Burton Illustrations are her current Christmas offering, but we think they would be great anytime. Her playful drawings remind me of the quirky pen and ink work of Shel Silverstein. Get yours before they are gone!

Gator Blood Notebook

DSCN8023-, originally uploaded by thekateblack.

*no gators were harmed in the making of this notebook*

The Kate Black makes interesting notebooks from 60 lb paper which has "a good amount of tooth and can handle ink, pencil and many other media" according to her descriptions. This one is simple in design, but her other use a wide array of vintage and new recycled materials. Find her noteboks and other interesting-ness here.

Bitter Betty has two super holiday tutorials to try. One is for this scrumtious cashmere headband and one is for pom-pom snow people. Both are completely irresistable if you ask me.

Headband tutorial

Snowpom tutorial

Monday, November 12, 2007

Nesting necklace

Nesting necklace, originally uploaded by skippingstonesjewelry.

Because we just can't get enough jewlery around here, we bring you these cool pendants from Skipping Stones Jewlery. Choose from three colors and many different styles. Our faves are the Nesting Necklaces.

More Mushrooms!

More Mushrooms!, originally uploaded by academybeldam.

More Blythe Love! I don't actually have one of these dolls (I have already posted my clutter issues over on the other blog) but if I did I would need to get the dresses offered by Academy Beldam. She not only makes the sweetest little dresses, she also poses them in such lovely ways. I think we need to convince her to do a postcard set...