Sunday, March 16, 2014

Happy Spring!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

After some time off from my Etsy page, I have taken it off vacation status and it is open for business once again.  I have only activated a small, select assortment of my items to see how things go for now.  I have also lowered prices a bit.  I am not going to be making my living off my Etsy shop so I changed prices to reflect more of what I think is a fair price.  I had taken some advice (most of it unsolicited) and made changes in pricing and the look of my shop because I thought others who had been selling on Etsy longer knew better; part of what I realized during my break from Etsy is that I know what is best for MY shop.   What works for one person may not work for another, just know your product and be yourself.  Another thing I realized during my break is that the forums did not work for me.  I don't mind being part of a couple but some of the forums are so over wrought with rules and policies, just trying to abide by all the rules was just too much.  For me the forums were not creating any monetary worth, so I have cut down on my activities with forums.  Another tip, again what works for one doesn't work for others, is that I created a separate Facebook personal page to use to share with other artisans on Etsy.  When you "like" someone's Facebook page for their business you have to do it from your personal Facebook page.  My personal page was being overrun by Etsy shop pages and I didn't feel comfortable with my personal life events necessarily being seen by people with whom I had just a business relationship.  As time goes on you will see other changes with my shop.  I bought a Criqcut machine and will be doing some paper crafting that will get added to the shop, so I will also be changing the name of the shop to reflect a wider assortment of items and mediums.

So much for Etsy, I have a recipe to share that is basic and most everyone has a recipe for it, but for those who don't it is a good easy one to try.

Chunky Goulash (or some call it American Chop Suey)


1 lb. ground beef or lean ground turkey
2 medium green sweet pepper, diced (1/2 inch dice) (you can also use red, yellow or orange)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 gloves of garlic, finely minced
2 Tbls. good olive oil
3 14 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes
2 tsp. oregano
1 Tbls. paprika
1 tsp. salt (I use kosher salt)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 lb. dried elbow pasta, cooked per box instructions.
pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

In medium deep sauté pan or dutch oven, place olive oil in pan heat on medium high heat until oil is slightly warm, add diced peppers and chopped onions.  Cook for about 10 minutes until onions are slightly translucent and just soft.  Add oregano, paprika, black pepper, salt, cayenne and minced garlic.  Let cook for 1 to 2 minutes, to let the spices bloom.  Add ground meat and cook until browned and cook through.  Add 3 cans of stewed tomatoes.  Simmer on low, covered for approximately 1 hour.  In the meantime cook pasta per box instructions to just under al dente.  In the last ten minutes of the meat/tomato mixture cooking time, add the cooked pasta, continue to let simmer for the remainder of time.  The pasta will finish cooking and abosorb the flavors.  Check for seasoning and adjust to taste.  Serve with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and some good crusty bread.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

It is a snowy but sunny day here in my part of the country.  Today is a day of rest and catching up on things around the house for the most part.  Working in retail makes this holiday difficult to do anything but.  I have two long days ahead of me, but I am doing a few festive things to make it feel like a holiday.  I decorated the kitchen table with a small arrangement and I put out a nice cinnamony smelling potpourri.  I have baked a pumpkin pie that looks fabulous if I must say so myself.  My husband and I will have a turkey dinner of smaller proportions, but still Thanksgiving feeling to us.  I have also made my cranberry-apple compote.  This is a simple and easy recipe that beats the can stuff anyday.  This is a great addition to a meal anytime of year and it is terrific with pork as well.  Enjoy!

Cranberry-Apple Compote
1  12 ounce bag of cranberries
2 medium apples peeled, cored and diced (quarter inch dice)
zest of one large orange
juice of one large orange
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup of honey
2 tablespoons of brown sugar
1/3 cup water

Put all ingredients in pot on stove, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer approximately
10 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaportaed.  Taste for sweetness and adjust to your desired sweetness level.  Let cool for 15 minutes then serve.  If you are not serving immediately then store in a covered container in the refrigarator.

you can serve this warmed or chilled.  It is also greet with pork.

Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Sunday, April 28, 2013

OMG!!!!! Has it really been over a year since my last post?  So much has happened in the last year and it has been extremely stressful.  Things are moving now in a positive direction and I plan on getting back to posting more on my blog and creating new and exciting items for my Etsy shop,  I am going to expand from the bracelets and button brooches to other items made with beads and buttons, and even some papercrafting items, such as gift tags and note cards.   

My husband and I bought a house, so I will have a proper office/work room once we move in.  We plan on being moved in by the end of May.  It was a longer process and much more stressful process than we anticipated, but 2 real estate agents and 2 house later we have a wonder cape in a fantastic neighborhood.  We are so looking forward to being there and really creating a home life for us and the two cats. 

Spring seems to be struggling a bit to arrive this year, we had snow here just last week, not a lot but still snow.  Plants and trees are really blooming this week and we are seeing more of the sun.  Always a good sign.  I did break out my flip flops, and my toes are really happy!!!!  The cats are enjoying sleeping in the sun and having open windows. 

I am really looking forward to the rest of the year and the exciting new adventures awaiting me.  I hope you have some exciting adventures too!


Saturday, January 28, 2012

My how time flies..

First Kiss Bracelet has been so long since I posted anything.  I had kind of gotten discouraged by the lack of sales (meaning 0) in my shop on Etsy that I stopped.  I thought maybe reverse psychology would work.  It did not.  I had a sale last week from a co-worker!!!  Yay!  I am going to be putting some work into promoting my shop but not as much as I before the New Year.  I work 40 hours a week and there were some weeks that I was putting in as many as 25 hours a week into my Etsy shop, with few results.  Etsy is a hobby for me at this point in time and as much as I would love for it to be full time for me and my main source of income, that day is far far away.  I need to balance my time better that is all. 

I am having a Valentine's Day Sale in my shop.  Save 25% with coupon code ValLove2012.  Who doesn't love a great bracelet as a gift, especially for Valentine's Day! 

I finished buying all the equipment I need to do some letterpress cards and paper items.  I will be working on this to see how things work and who knows maybe I will create a new shop on Etsy with my paper crafting items.  I will let you know how I do.  


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Keep Moving Forward

Well with Thanksgiving over and the leftovers gone it is time to move forward to Christmas.  My shop did not do well over the weekend.  Views were no better than normal and I had no sales.  I was hoping for at least one sale, it would felt like a little reward for all the work I put into promoting the sale and the shop in the weeks leading up to the weekend.  Oh well, I just keep moving forward.  I am doing free shipping until the end of December with coupon code HOLLYFREE2011.

I did get 4 new bracelets in the shop for the sale weekend so there is some new items there if you haven't taken a look yet.  My sister has asked me to do a custom order for my niece as a Christmas gift. They may be the only thing I make between now and Christmas.  Work has been hectic and tiring.  Retail will do that at this time of year.  I did somehow manage to get this weekend off.  I can't wait, 2 days in a row!!!  This will be my opportunity to put up a Christmas tree and decorations if I am going to get it done.  I don't put up a lot and there have been years that I have not even done a Christmas tree, it will just be enough to make it festive.