Tuesday, January 29, 2008

New Pocket Album

I finished this pocket album late last night and I'm loving it. I really love the papers that I used and I've been waiting to use them on one of these. I have about 6 more in pieces that I need to get to today but am trying to do some housework first :) Housework somehow has turned into internet work though....how DOES that happen, lol?

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Loving These Bags

So I'm a Coach girl through and through when it comes to my handbags. I even got rid of most of my non-Coach bags about a year ago and I have a whole closet full of Coach bags. It didn't help that I lived VERY close to an outlet store when we were in Hawaii. However, after having seen some of the fabulous handbags on etsy, I may be leaning towards purchasing a few from some of the great artisan setting up so there. One set of bags that I really love is by Sew Gracious. I love the bright fabrics that she uses and how she combines them. I'm not much on the tote bag in general but I would love to carry one of these. You can also see that they are well crafted from her pictures. I just find them very yummy :)

She also does very cute mini wallets.

On a totally unrelated note, this weekend has been pretty much unproductive for me. Especially today. I really got NOTHING done today. Granted I've been trying to use Sunday as my non-etsy day so I'm not too worried about that, but I did want to work on my mom's scrapbook today. I still haven't finished her scrapbook from my wedding, almost 3 years ago now. I haven't done my own yet either. We're planning to go back to Indiana this coming weekend to visit with my dying grandmother and I wanted to have the album finished for her. It would be a total surprise.

So instead of working on that, here's what I did today. We went to church (finally found our home church here and are VERY excited) and then went to fellow etsian Amy's house to pick up a desk that she so wonderfully gave to us furniture-less folk. Then we went to Panda Express because Isaac was dying for some. That took FOREVER because our dumb GPS drove us right through the mall and then started taking us home without even telling us we were there. I have a love hate relationship with Garmin. Most of the time it's hate. Isaac was driving and was getting so frustrated that he started blowing through stop signs without even realizing it and almost got us killed 3 times. That was the end of his driving today.

We finally got there and we ate. Then Isaac went and got some more for dinner tonight. It's pretty far away so we never go there. The guy gave him a 10% discount and a free drink for buying more. Then I got to go to AC Moore as part of the deal of him getting more food. I got a few small things and then we came home.

We spent the next hour or so setting up the desk and then the next hour getting all the computer and stuff hooked up. Then we started trying to get my HP Photosmart C5180 to install on the computer. I was having trouble with it so decided to uninstall the software. BIG MISTAKE. I couldn't get it to reinstall and we'd been trying for almost a week. Isaac was working on it and I was getting frustrated so I went and laid down. I fell asleep for like 2 hours and then got up and called HP. I spent the next 2.5 hours on the phone with them. Finally I was able to talk to someone who really knows what they are doing. She freaking came into my computer and fixed everything for me. I loved it. I felt like the previous hour and a half was a total waste. If they can just come in and do it for you, then why don't they do that from the start?! Oh well, it's working now so tomorrow I plan to do some scrapbooking. The lady laughed at my test picture
Could this be considered doggie porn?

Friday, January 25, 2008

More New Cards

I'm having SO much fun lately doing these card sets. I did this one late last night and wanted to really have some tropical colors going on. I also NEVER do abstract things because I like all my work to be perfect but I went out on a limb and sewed abstract hearts on the cards. I love how they turned out!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

I finally made my cupcakes today and they are super yummy! I got the recipe from Paula Dean and halved it. Next time I'm going to use less cream cheese in the icing and less oil in the cupcakes. They are dense and moist just the way they should be though. I have a stomach ache now though because I ate three!

The recipe was this

For the cupcakes:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk, room temperature

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 tablespoons red food coloring

1 teaspoon white distilled vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 pound cream cheese, softened

2 sticks butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar

For the cupcakes:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 (12-cup) muffin pans with cupcake papers.

In a medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder. In a large bowl gently beat together the oil, buttermilk, eggs, food coloring, vinegar, and vanilla with a handheld electric mixer. Add the sifted dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth and thoroughly combined.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake tins about 2/3 filled. Bake in oven for about 20 to 22 minutes, turning the pans once, half way through. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick for doneness. Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth. Add the sugar and on low speed, beat until incorporated. Increase the speed to high and mix until very light and fluffy.

The aftermath

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Fresh Cards

Well, I almost got my goals for today done. I have been working away at the things laying on my craft table to get the finished and off. I did two sets of 8 cards today

and I also worked on four more sets of Tiny Sentiments. I didn't finish them, just adhereing them down to their bases. I still have six more sets of those to do and then I have to add all the sentiments. Shew!

I've been thinking about the movie 27 Dresses while crafting today. My hubby and I went to see it on Monday night. It was cute. Not quite as cute as I was wanting it to be but I'll still probably buy it and watch it over and over until I have all the lines and scenes memorized. That's sort of my thing. So anyway, I've been replaying scenes in my mind today while working on cards and also dancing around to my ipod. I'm sure my neighbors think I'm crazy but oh well. What are you gonna do?

Project Runway starts in about 30 minutes and I am uber excited. I love that show, especially with that Christian. He totally cracks me up with his comments. He annoyed me at first but now it's all love. Alright, enough blog love for now, gotta change so I can do my workout while I watch some fab clothing!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Crystals

I've been completely slacking lately on my crafting. You know when you work full time you think, gee, if I only didn't have to come to work I'd be able to get so much more crafting done. Then the day comes when you no longer have to go to work but yet you still find that you aren't getting much accomplished during the course of the day. Honestly, where do my days go? Too much time on the internet I fear. I've cut way back on my television watching to help with my procrastination and now I just need to work on internet time.

I had two orders for crystals on Sunday, one pink heart and one custom dog. I finished those up today and they are on their way to their owners. I also finished up a Papillon and listed it in my shop .

I also received a large paper order today so I have lots of new albums to come as well as some mini scrapbooks that I'm pretty excited to try my hand at. Meanwhile, my desk is covered in half finished cards and various other projects. My goal for tomorrow is to get everything on my desk finished up and to be productive!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Jewelry I Heart

I've been eyeing these earrings that I know I'm going to end up getting from Dancing Mooney

They are so pretty and I just love them. Such a great price too! I just hope they don't sell before I get some money to purchase them. I've made a commitment not to buy anything else unless I have the money in my paypal, which sits empty right now.

I also love this necklace made with sea glass from Sea Glass Things because of the amazing color. I also love the starfish charm attached. I love starfish so that really completes the piece for me.

And I also love this bracelet from Wire Gems. I really like the simplicity of it but the fact that it is very femine. I'm a simple jewelry kinda gal.

Pumpkin Finally Made It

The other night I made Toaster and now I've made Pumpkin and added him to my Shop . I'm really in the mood to get back into more beading. I think he came out really cute. I can't believe how tired my eyes and finges are though. It's amazing that a few weeks can take away so much!

In other news, I received a new corner rounder today, yay! So that means that I will be finishing those million sets of tiny sentiments in the coming week. I also need to sit down and come up with a list of things that I want to take to the Savage Arts and Crafts Show on Feb. 16th and then come up with a time line in order to get it all done. I can feel the excitement for that show growing now that it's less than a month away!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Price Tags

I started making these fancy price tags to use on my items at shows and decided that other people might like to have an alternative to the huge and ugly white one found at Wal-Mart or those sticky ones that you can get through bead supplies. I HATE those sticky ones. They leave residue on your jewelry and are just yuck.

I've chosen really elegant papers to make them with and I think they really help add value to the item and are small enough that they don't get in the way, but still do their job. I love them. We'll see if anyone else feels the same :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Today was a day filled with cleaning. This morning I could no longer stand the clutter in my house, built up from the last week of crafting instead of cleaning, so decided to do a full cleaning. I spent hours cleaning the kitchen and bathroom, computer area, and our bedroom. We still had pictures stacked in corners and other things that we just hadn't hung or put away since we moved in. I got about 75% of the cleaning done and plan to finish up in the morning.

After dinner, I decided to relax a little and get back into making my crystal animals. I've been wanting to get more dog breeds done so I did a dachshund tonight. My hands are tired from the weaving and my eyes are practically crossed since I haven't done any of these in weeks. I've still got to weave in the ends and cut the string but I'll post pictures in the morning. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Fun Shops For Your Doggies

So Bella's Boutique was named after my dog Bella. Sad, but true. I heart Bella. I'm the dog owner who treats them like royalty, buys them gourmet treats, the latest clothes, lots of collars to rotate, and bling. So of course I'm always looking for fun doggie shops on etsy! Here are a few that I've found so far

Furkid Fever

I love her dresses and embroidered pj's.

Fifi and Me

She has really fun hoodies, which Napoleon loves to wear, and fashion coats as well.

Mr Soft Tops

Lots of really cute sweaters and in different sizes.

Designs For Dinky Dogs

I'm always looking for fun new clothes for my babies. And another fun thing I found on etsy is that you can have a custom portrait of your animal done! I actually donated pictures of both my dogs to Ninner Fish Art and she did a portrait of Bella for her shop

You can also get a custom portrait from Lynne Adamson which I think are really neat. You can get them in a variety of sizes depending on your budget.

Demise of the Corner Rounder

So my corner rounder bit the dust today. The metal on the bottom snapped right in half. How the heck does that happen?! And of course it's a corner rounder that I have NO idea where to get another one. Plus, I already punched the fronts of 74 cards and was in the process of punching the card bases when it broke. I have about 60 more cards to punch. All corner rounders have different curves so I can't just get any old one to finish with either since I already punched ALL the fronts. Blast!

So I walked away from Tiny Sentiments and did this fabulous set of birthday cards

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sore Fingers

I recently got the most beautiful pearl finished papers and tonight I decided to start making sets of Tiny Sentiments with them. So I cut 14 sets worth of paper and have been sitting here with my corner rounder and punching all the corners while I watch American Idol. Both of my thumbs have big blisters on them now. I was even punching through my sweatshirt but it didn't help much. I haven't even punched the card base corners yet. Yikes! But, I'll have some great card set up in the next week. They are going to be perfect for wedding thank you's, just because's, and blank cards.
I also added two new pocket albums to my shop and there are a few more to be listed before the end of the week!

Monday, January 14, 2008

New Pocket Albums

Today was a day filled with making new pocket albums. I really love these altered tins with accordion albums. They are such a great way to carry your pictures with you and show them off with maximum impact. I've made sure that they will hold up in your purse or bag too by sealing them several times.

Here are two of my newest pocket albums with more to come in the next few days!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My Blog

I'm very excited to be entering the world of blogging! This blog is going to record my journey from hobbiest to etsy store owner to brick and mortar boutique owner. I'll be posting my latest work and projects I'm working on, asking for suggestions for future products, sharing my favorite esty sellers' work, talking about life and the struggle to become a successful online business, and whatever else I happen to feel like sharing. Stop by and check Bella's Boutique out at www.amyyang.etsy.com