Mar 27, 2011

Tired. Full of Milk.

Tired, but I feel obligated to blog something. Tonight for supper we made the Chicken & Rice Casserole recipe from The Joy of Cooking (not the shortcut version with cream of ___ soup). If you don't own that cookbook, get it. Now. Seriously.

The recipe called for cream or milk or some sort of dairy to make a white sauce base. Luckily, I had participated in my family's monthly movie day today and acquired some fresh cow milk from my step-brother to use. He said it tested at like 4.8% milkfat, which is 4.8 more than what I'm used to. I do have to admit, it was probably the best tasting milk I have ever had. I'm excited that I can now proudly say that I've sampled REAL, FRESH milk. They had only strained and cooled it before I drank it. I really don't care for milk all that much and what I buy at the store is skim, which is blasphemy according to my dear brother.

After testing the fresh milk then cooking with it, I kind of feel like a new, rich and creamy dairy product is being created deep in my bowels. I should probably do some exercising and consuming of extra fiber tomorrow. Eh, tiredness makes me more blunt about my bodily well-being than usual. My apologies. I will make it up with a pretty collection from ArtFire.

Mar 25, 2011

Getting familiar with ArtFire

I'm trying to familiarize myself with Artfire, so I made a collection, which is the equivalent of Etsy's treasury. I hate to say it, but I think ArtFire wins on this feature too. The interface is awesome! When you see an item you want to add to a collection, there is an option to add the item to your collection queue. From that queue you can create a collection. When you're done, you can clear the queue and start over! Brilliant!

Here's what I made today

Mar 24, 2011


My goal for the blog this week was originally to post pics and explanations of the awesome foods I've created recently. That quickly changed last night once I decided to jump on the ArtFire bandwagon. I've been contemplating joining with a Pro membership for awhile, but couldn't bring myself to spend the ten bucks to do so. This month I've grossed over $100 in my Etsy shop (not bad for the 2nd month!) and decided that the ten dollars spent on ArtFire couldn't really do any harm. I may still try to get the food pics up tomorrow, but I'm doubtful it will happen. Hey, at least I'm honest!

Here's a link to my Studio. NicheStitch on ArtFire

I'm slowly uploading everything that I have on Etsy to the Artfire studio. So far I LOVE the interface. It seems a lot easier and faster to list items. I realize that my copy and paste from Etsy description to Artfire's cuts down a lot of time, but seriously, the listing process is all on one page and the upload time for photos seems faster, or maybe it's also because it's all on one page and I can insert data into another field while the image is uploading? Yes!

Also, I'm totally in love with the unlimited listings for the ten bucks. I easily spend that every month on Etsy with regular listings and renewals. Oh oh oh! AND ArtFire automatically uploads listings to "Gbase" aka Google product search. I spent A DAY trying to figure out how to get my Etsy listings to feed into a Google Merchant account only to find out that you can't upload products from a third party website yourself, the website has to do it for you. Thank you, ArtFire, for uploading my products for me!

I must sound like ArtFire has paid me to write this article. I assure you they have not. I'm just super excited about using this fabulous website that is growing in popularity amongst the handmade online marketplace. I'm also feeling a little guilty because I've loved Etsy since 2005. It almost feels like cheating...adultery...betraying my host site. I am still very loyal to Etsy, however, and will continue to utilize their services. They've changed a lot over the years for the better and although ArtFire is definitely "winning" in my life right now, Etsy will always have a place in my heart.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Mar 19, 2011

Awesome Craft Directory

In my search for places to promote my Etsy shop today, I found a site that has tons of links to craft and handmade sites!

Check out Free Craft Fair HERE

Mar 18, 2011

Day 3 of Front Page of Etsy

Another Cross Stitch Pattern from my Etsy shop has been featured in a front page treasury! What does this mean? Lots of views, lots of items added as favorites, and potential sales. I can't believe it's 3 days in a row! I have notice a common theme: a lot of treasuries with items donating sales to Japan. All 3 of my items featured have been those that I'm donating 50% of sales to relief efforts. So far I've only raised a little over $13, but anything helps!

Here's a pic of the pattern:

Here's a link to what the whole treasury looked like:
View an Etsy Front Page Treasury List - The Vault on Craft Cult

Mar 17, 2011

Another Pattern on Etsy Front Page this morning!

I had a terrible night last night...found out someone compromised my debit card information and made purchases in Canada. Getting that taken care of has been stressful but on the upside, I've had two items featured on the front page of Etsy in two days! How awesome is that?!

View an Etsy Front Page Treasury List - The Vault on Craft Cult

Mar 16, 2011

The front page treasury my item was in...

I found this on craft cult. How awesome!

Etsy Front Page!

This morning I logged into my Etsy account, only to see one of my beautiful patterns on the front page!!!!!!!!! And yes, the of !'s is directly related to level of excitement! Not only was the front page image waiting for me, but so was a sale! What a great way to start a day!

Here's a link to the pattern: Musashi Pattern

Besides Etsy excitement, life is settling down a bit. We have all of our belongings moved from the old dump to the new place. Not everything is organized and in it's permaneant home yet, but we're close. The kitchen, bathroom and living room are completely done and I would have to say that they're probably the most important rooms, so we're in good shape.

Last night I made some DIY pie stands/risers as an experiment. We're having a pie buffet instead of a big ugly wedding cake for our party, and I decided we should have some depth to the display. I went to the Salvation Army and found a couple of glasses and lightweight plates, went across the street to the hardware store to get some adhesive, then bonded them together! (I'll edit this with pictures once I find my usb cord for my camera I promise).

There also happened to be a mini-marathon of Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe on after I made these stands, one episode in which he made blueberry pies with old ladies. After watching that fiasco, I decided I will make a pie today. I flipped through my bible (The Joy of Cooking), and decided on an Orange chiffon pie because I just happen to have a mound of organic oranges that I need to use. I'll just have to go buy some gelatin, which isn't an ordinary purchase for me.

Oh, and in weddings news, I received a package of flexible leaf molds to use for cream cheese mints! I may try to make little chocolates with them too, I don't know. I should have another package arriving soon of maple leaf molds to go along with them. Only 6.5 months left until the big day!

Mar 12, 2011

Crazy Week!

Ok, so I had all sorts of plans to talk about these fabulous recipes that I tried last week, then the floodgates opened this week. Tuesday night, the ceiling in our kitchen caved in and released all kinds of toxic mold dust throughout the house. I had an immediate allergic reaction and, to make a long story short, it was TERRIBLE! The only good thing about this was that we had been looking for a new place for a couple of weeks and had just looked at and got approved to rent a place the day before! We couldn't move into the new place until Thursday, which is record time for the look at/ get approved/ move into rate, but was not fast enough. Our good friends allowed us to stay with them Tuesday and Wednesday night so that I didn't stop breathing, and during the day we packed the rest of our belongings in short intervals while doped up on antihistamines and covering our nose/mouth with bandanas. (Why we didn't buy masks, I don't know.) We spent all day Thursday moving in, I worked Thursday night, moved more in on Friday, worked friday night...and now it's Saturday. I'm working my 24 hour shift and just happen to have some time to type.

It was all kind of like that movie, The Money Pit, but the crappy house didn't have as much potential and Tom Hanks wasn't involved.

To add to the stress, my step-dad had knee surgery Thursday and I worried about that the whole morning until I got a call that he was ok. Oh, and then that huge earthquake hit Japan and I worried about my brother and his wife! Thankfully the internet was available to them and they were able to keep us all updated.


I believe I've survived and now have been rewarded with 3 sales in my Etsy shop in one evening! A new record!

This coming week I really want to do some cooking, get some photos of last week's awesome meals up (as soon as my desktop is in order), and make a rockin Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner for St. Patrick's Day. Hopefully nothing caves in or blows up.

Mar 2, 2011

It's March?!

February seemed to go by quickly...A blizzard, a 70 degree day the next week, Valentine's Day, thunder snow, thunderstorm...enough to pass the time quickly I guess.

OK first thing's first. ONE OF MY PATTERNS WAS FEATURED ON A READYMADE BLOG!!!!!! (sorry for the caps, just SO EXCITED!!!!)

ReadyMade is one of my favorite magazines of all time, so I about lost control of my bowels when I saw this! Here's the link:

Awesome, huh?

In wedding planning news, I really like this cake topper:

Not sure if we'll buy it, but I should probably start making decisions on things so as to not stress myself out later. Yesterday marked exactly 7 months until the big day!!!

In cooking news, I made a Buffalo Chicken Chili last night. I got the basis for the recipe from a book or magazine at work...don't remember which one exactly. Here's what I threw in the pot (which was a little different from the original recipe):

about 3 lbs chicken thighs, skinned, boiled, cut into chunks
onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
a handful of cherry tomatoes cut in half
about 2 cups cooked black beans
can of pinto beans
about 2 cups chicken broth
1/4c to 1/3 c Frank's Red Hot sauce
lots of chili powder
salt & pepper

I topped each bowl with a couple dashes of Frank's and a few crumbles of Gorgonzola. Delicious! I also made corn muffins to go with them.

On the menu for today: Chipotle Shrimp tacos with lime cabbage slaw and my version of Mexican-style rice.

I should really get in the habit of taking pictures of my food adventures. Maybe I should just leave my camera in the dining room with all of my cookbooks.