Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Out of the Box Sample Team has an Easter Egg Hunt

OOTBS Team 2nd Annual Scavenger Egg Hunt!

Come join the fun with the OOTBS (Out Of The Box Sampler) Etsy Team’s scavenger egg hunt!
You’ll be playing for a chance to win some incredible products and gift certificates from our team members shoppes. Total prizes value over $270.00!!

Here’s how to play:
You must begin here on at the OOTBS Etsy team shoppe. We will be hiding our team scavenger hunt egg picture among the listings in our shoppes. Check my listing below for the egg picture and the name of the first shoppe in the hunt.

At each shoppe, you’ll look for the same team egg picture. Once you find it, the description in that listing will tell you the name of the next team shoppe in the hunt. Along the way, there will also be keywords listed at some of the shoppes.
You must keep track of each shoppes name in the order of the hunt and also any keywords in order also.
When you get to the final shoppe in the hunt, you’ll be given the directions on where to email your shoppe and keyword list. If you have all the shoppes and keywords in the correct order, you will entered into the drawing for the prizes.

The first person to email me all the correct answers will win the grand prize basket valued at $60.00!

Everyone else with the correct answers will have their names put into a drawing to win 2 other baskets and various individual prizes.

So let’s go egg hunting!
*( hunt begins March 24th and runs thru March 31st at midnight (est) All entries must be mailed to me by midnight, March 31st to be entered)
**Please do not share your information with anyone else. If we find that you have shared information or answers, your name will not be added into the drawing.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Artist of the Week - PoppyLuxe Designs

1. Why did you decide to open a shop?

Well, I have been shopping on Etsy for quite a while and when I started making my own crafts, I got the bright idea to sell them on Etsy. I love the community and also the whole format of the website, I really don't like Ebay at all and this venue was something that was already comfortable for me. I truly believe in buying handmade, if I can find something that I plan on buying on Etsy then I will do so, and hopefully when someone is thinking about buying a jewelry box or picture frame they will go to Etsy and hopefully find me!

2. How did you get into your art? 

I actually stumbled into my art. Last November, I was staying with my Grandmother and Great-Grandmother out of state because my Great-Grandmother broke her hip and my Grandmother had a decoupage book laying around. I picked it up and immediately loved everything from the technique right down to the finished pieces. I started out decoupaging random things around the house and slowly got into picture frames, jewelry boxes and other items. My crafts may not look like textbook decoupaged items, but that is where I got my start and my inspiration.

3. What do you love about what you are doing?

Oh man, I love creating stuff! It really is as simple as that. I also love that I have endless possibilities with what I do, I don't have to restrict myself to just a certain material or theme. I can branch out and try new things and if I don't like it, I don't like it. There are no rules and regulations for what I do. There is also a freedom in being able to play music and sit down at my table and just make something. I sometimes find myself at that table for hours just making stuff.

4. How does your art fit into your dreams for your life?

I feel my art fits into my dreams for life because I am really hoping to become successful at this. I am unemployed right now and honestly believe that maybe this is why I am unemployed. I believe everything happens for a reason and maybe this is meant to be, so that I am doing something that I love and not working the 9 to 5. Also, in the future when my Husband and I start a family this is something that I would still be able to do. Even though it's tough to get started, I am hanging in there and letting this dream take off!

5. What have you learned about yourself from starting your shop and learning your art form?

I've learned many things about myself in these last few months since I have started my shop! For one, I have learned that I have no problem with hard work or perseverance! I feel they go hand in hand and there have been a few rough patches since starting my shop, but it has paid off to persevere. I also have learned that I am a more outgoing person that I thought I was. I always felt shy talking to people online for some reason and this has kind of forced me to talk to people and I see now that I am not shy, I was just nervous. But no longer, I love talking to people and making new friends!

You can connect with PoppyLuxe Designs here:

PoppyLuxe Designs recently underwent a name change and as you can see used to be known as karmascrafts... same awesome stuff... just a new name!!! 

Friday, March 19, 2010

And the Winner is....

unless I missed it somewhere... there isn't a winner this week...hmmpf 

This was the riddle:

I have one, you have one.
If you remove the first letter, a bit remains.
If you remove the second, bit still remains.
After much trying, you might be able to remove the third one also, but it remains.
It dies hard!
And the answer is (drum roll please)   ~    habit

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Food of the Week - German Potato Salad

One of the things that appears to be traditionally German is our hot/cold potato salad. Yes you can eat it hot, you can eat it cold, make it a side dish or the main dish.

The Ingredients

Boil in their jackets, peel and slice:
4 large potatoes
5 thick slices of bacon
1 Cup chopped onion

Mix dressing ingredients in measuring cup:
¼ Cup wine vinegar
¼ Cup water
¼ Cup sugar
Use to taste: salt and pepper

The Directions

1 .Fry the diced bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until almost crisp.
2 . Add chopped onion and continue stirring until onion is cooked and turns slightly golden brown. 
3 . Add mixed dressing ingredients, heat and stir until mixture boils and sugar is dissolved.
4. Add sliced potatoes, mixing everything together well.
5. Season with salt and pepper.
6. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, for at least 10 minutes, or until the potatoes have absorbed all the liquid and are heated through. Continue heating and turning the mixture over for another 5 to 10 minutes. May allow to stand for additional 10-15 minutes to let the flavors blend completely

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Featured Item or rather project for the week

So this past week or two I have been crocheting baby outfits! They are super simple, super easy, made out of cotton and that makes them awesome for spring days, cooler evenings and well just plain cute!
 I remember when my kids were little I was not into crocheting clothes or accessories as I was more of a afghan/filet crochet kind of person. Now that I have been crocheting for 20-some years (started in like middle school home-economics class of sorts) I have ventured into different items...interests...skills..

Some of my friends are having babies and I am working on a project for an upcoming baby shower (can't reveal what it is because she's also a fan..haha). I had ordered a bunch of cotton yarn but didn't want to just make wash cloth or place-mats and this lil outfits are perfect. In the cooler spring days and colder evenings of summer...a baby doesn't need to be overly dressed/too warm but more comfortable without breaking into a sweat...look cute and all that jazz!

I remember my oldest (who is turning 18 in 3 months) was wearing a bib because well babies are messy and how many times do you want to change their clothes? This cotton bib is awesome, colorful with a cute frog button on top! Yeap, I'd used it if I'd have a baby..but the youngest is 6 (so no need!)

In the next week or so I hope to list some in the etsy shop along with the other addition to other items swirling in my head!

Well, I am off to finish another bootie to have another complete set in blue! 

I do take custom/special orders if you are interested!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Artist of the Week - TDN Creations

1. Why did you decide to open a shop?

I wanted to share my creations with the world, and have an opportunity to sell them to people who appreciate handmade items.

2. How did you get into your art?

I have been crafting for as long as I can remember. I "discovered" wire working several years ago, and a passion was born. I then decided to take metalsmith classes to bring my creations to the next level. I've been working with many different materials, from felt to silk, to polymer clay and crystals. But my favorite of all is silver. Especially silver wire. Now, most of my work include wire. It is so versatile. You can twist it, weave it, crochet it, knit it, make jump rings and chainmaille with it... So many possibilities that I want to explore thoroughly.

3. What do you love about what you are doing?

I love being able to create all day long. I enjoy the process as well as the result and welcome any surprise as a lesson to improve my technical skills and abilities as a metalsmith.

4. How does your art fit into your dreams for your life?

As a child, I never dreamed about becoming an artist because people told me it was a tough world out there and that I needed an academic education to get a job and earn a living. So I went to university, graduated in Foreign languages and Economics and found a job in a big company. But that was not my dream. I needed to create with my hands. I needed art in my life, because without creativity, I felt empty. That’s when I decided to change my career and become a professional artist.

5. What have you learned about yourself from starting your shop and learning your art form?

Jewelry making is an art form that demands a lot on concentration and patience. Everything you do is miniaturized and precise so you have to be very careful in all the steps you’re taking in fabricating a piece. I used to be impatient to see results, but now, I learned to appreciate the process when working on complicated projects.

Starting and managing an online shop taught me how to be very organized in all aspects of a business. Being the only person  in charge, from marketing to accounting, through shipping and taking pictures, I learned to manage my time better.

This is where you can find TDN Creations

I hope you enjoyed today's feature. If you are interested in being featured, please contact me:

Monday, March 15, 2010

Thought for the Week

Your heart is the most important part of you; don't let it be hurt by another living soul. Be your own life driver, stand up and never be afraid to face the world on your own. Remember you managed to fight for 9 months on your own before you were born so you have passed your 9 months probation. Why can't you take it from there and make things happen?" Written in 2009 by Siyanic M.L.

Sometimes I think we get carried away with life problems and find ourselves 'stuck'. I know that in my time there were periods that I was stuck and I simply could not move forward and make things happen. And yet those stuck moments in our life give us food for thought. What can we do to make it happen? What can we do for change that encompasses personal growth? As a counselor in the making (working on my master's degree) personal growth is an important element. Self-awareness are key in which we must be aware of what drives us, what stops us (though isn't it true that we stop ourselves?). In my early twenties I knew I wanted an 'arts & crafts' store, and I also knew that I wanted to help children and adolescents. I am clear with my reasoning's behind this. So what has taken me so long (15 years) to do the things I always wanted to do? I know now what was holding me back and I know now what will keep me moving forward. 

What are the things that have kept you stuck? What are the things that have allowed you to move forward? 

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Taking a break

There are times we often 'forget' to take a break. Our schedule and often times hectic lives may not allow for us to do so. That's why today you will not find the regular post on eco-friendly thoughts and notions but rather I am taking a day off (well kinda of, its difficult to do as a mom).

With that said, I wanted to let you know about a Sale I am having in my bath & body shop!! From March 14th, 2010 thru March 21st, 2010 ... it's 20% OFF on all bath & body items (does not include shipping). You can either go to the Etsy store: Hippie's Bath & Body and I will either issue a new invoice or refund the difference.

In my artfire shop of Hippie's Bath & Body, the discount is already calculated in. Most items will ship the same or the next day!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Contest - Give Away - Riddle Me This

 This weeks riddle is this:

I have one, you have one.
If you remove the first letter, a bit remains.
If you remove the second, bit still remains.
After much trying, you might be able to remove the third one also, but it remains.
It dies hard!

Leave your answer in the comments, all individuals with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing that will be completed via 
The winner will receive $5.00 off to be used in any of the 3 stores:
Contest ends Wednesday March 17, 2010 at midnight.

Good luck and HAVE FUN!

And the Winner is....

Alli .. Congrats!!!

You have won  $5.00 gift certificate to be used in any of the 3 stores:

The correct answer to the riddle was the match.
Without the match you couldn't have lit any of the other items in the riddle!!!n 

In order to stay fair the drawing was done via!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Food of the Day

Pork and Sauerkraut Stew


1 lb Pork Ribs
1 quart Chicken Stock
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 Turnip, cut in large chunks
1 cup chopped onion
2 chopped apples
1 pint sauerkraut

1 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons paprika
Salt or chicken flavoring
Chopped parsley (for garnish)

1. Add all the ingredients in a crockpot or dutch oven and simmer for 2 - 3 hours or until pork is tender.
2. Follow the recipe for the dumplings.

3. To serve place several ribs in the bowl, spoon in some vegetables and top with some kraut.
Top with dumpling, and then ladel broth to fill bowl.
This recipe is often served with dumplings (knoedel)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My featured item of the week

I have been making shampoo bars for a year and have never looked back into buying other companies shampoos. Sure the bottle is convenient but this is what I say about my shampoo bar:

Before I created this awesome bar of shampoo I needed conditioner after each shampoo. Since using this I am happy to tell you I now longer need two products to take care of my hair. When I am washing my hair, I lather it real good, leave it for a few minutes before rinsing it..and it is about as soft as it will get.

My partner said he hasn't had dandruff problems since he started using this bar of shampoo.

So I welcome you to try and treat your hair to a bar of shampoo that cleanses, nourishes and softens as you lather.

Each bar is about 4-5 oz. and is scented with Tree Tea and Fir Needle. Tea Tree essential oil has natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties to help in healing and keeping your skin healthy.

Most commercial shampoos contain harsh synthetics that ‘cleanse’ by stripping your hair of everything, including natural oils. This not only leaves your hair dry and unmanageable, but also dull-looking.

I realize that I cannot make claims and I do not make claims about this, but rather letting you know about my experience with this product. It has been one of my best sellers (and is currently in the mold as I am almost out). I currently make 2 different scents : Tea Tree with Fir Needle, Geranium with Plumeria and Herbal Essence with Tea Tree. 

My family always use my product and we never test it on animals  though I wonder if this will make my dog smell better?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Artist of the Week

1. Why did you decide to open a shop?  I was making so many pieces of jewelry that I had no place for it all.  My husband put a moratorium on purchasing more beads until I placed the pieces I already had into good homes.  So I started giving the jewelry to friends and family.  They are the ones who suggested that I open a shop to sell it.

2. How did you get into your art? I started creating things in 2005. I was having some mediacl problems and at the same time I felt this need to create things.  I found out that my "problems" were seizures.  Since I was never a creative person, I credit my epilepsy with the gift of creativity.

3. What do you love about what you are doing? I make a lot of Awareness Ribbon Jewelry and I love to be able to support Awareness.  I love hearing the stories by my customers about the brave person in their life that is the reason for their purchase.

4. How does your art fit into your dreams for your life?  It gives me the outlet for my newfound creativity.

5. What have you learned about yourself from starting your shop and learning your art form?  that I really do have a bit of patience when I want to.

And of course whatever else you would like to add

I love to make "regular" jewelry but I also make 3 special types of jewelry. Awareness Jewelry - I have most of the different colors of Awareness Ribbon beads so I can adapt any of my pieces to fit the color that each customer wants.
Metal Free Jewelry.  I know several people who are sensitive to metal so I usually have at least 1 metal free pice in my shop.  The clasp is even made using beads.  Hematite Jewelry - My husband has arthritis and loves the therapeutic effects of hematite jewelry.  I keep several hematite pieces in my shop too.

In mid-December I started making Treasuries in which all the items are Awareness items.  Some of the Treasuries have additional themes, like "Women's Heart Health".  The Treasury has been pretty much continuous since then.  That is quite a feat, but I am a determined to help promote Epilepsy Awareness.  I want the topic of Awareness to gain recognition on Etsy and the Treasuries are one way for me to do that.
You can find Cheryl's Purple Cow on Etsy: *

Facebook Fan Page:



Monday, March 8, 2010

Thought for the Week

Found this on the web ... and thought yes we need something funny eh? Click on Will and Guy's Funny Jokes, Short Stories & Amusing Pictures  and it will lead you to more funny stuff to give credit where credit is due .. I did not write this...the website didn't indicate who wrote it ...

Funny Thought for the Day - Inner Strength

  • If you can start the day without caffeine.
  • If you can get going without pep pills.
  • If you can always be cheerful ignoring aches and pains.
  • If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles.
  • If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it.
  • If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time.
  • If you can overlook it when those you love take it out on you when through no fault of yours  something goes wrong.
  • If you can take criticism and blame without resentment.
  • If you can ignore a friend's limited education and never correct him.
  • If you can resist treating a rich friend better than a poor friend.
  • If you can face the world without lies and deceit.
  • If you can conquer tension without medical help.
  • If you can relax without liquor.
  • If you can sleep without the aid of drugs.
  • .....Then you are probably the family dog!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eco-Friendly Rambeling

This morning I went on a search for eco friendly and there are definitely a humangous amount of links that come up. I ran across a website in the process called "Happy Hippie" which is retail directory to shop eco-friendly. I didn't take the time to investigate how much of it is homemade or handmade but when we try to be environmentally conscientious, this part doesn't really matter. Though personally I advocate and support the handmade movement and to the best of my ability I will purchase handmade too!!!  Back to the site, what I really liked about it is that they have an educational page in which you can learn different things. They call it Hippie 101 ~ Tips on Going Green and Other Sustainable Earth Articles. 

This includes hempucation, sustainability, simple living, healthy living, animal kingdom and more. I think it is time (now more than ever perhaps IMO) that we pay attention and be conscientious about our purchasing actions, waste management and more.

For more information you can go to Happy Hippie

Friday, March 5, 2010

Contest - Give Away - Riddle Me This

This week another riddle. 

You are lost and alone in the woods. You stumble across an old cabin, and decide to stay there for the night. You want some heat and light, but the only things you find in the cabin are a candle, an oil lamp and a wood burning stove. You look in your pocket but you only have one match left. 

What do you light first?

Leave your answer in the comments, the individuals with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing that will be completed via The winner will receive $5.00 off to be used in any of the 3 stores:
Contest ends Wednesday March 10, 2010 at midnight.

Good luck and HAVE FUN!

And the Winner is....

Ceridwen .. Congrats!!!

You have won  $5.00 gift certificate to be used in any of the 3 stores:

The correct answer to the riddle was Fire.

In order to stay fair the drawing was done via!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Food of the Week

I love love love Pfannkuchen even without Apples. I make them for dinner or  or snacks. Instead of Maple Syrup however, the traditional items to use are jam, jelly or marmalade (depending on where ya from), or nutella (chocolate spread) or cinnamon and sugar (note step 13 in recipe). I tend to use a bit more sugar so that they pancakes are already sweet and do not need much sugar on them. So I don't use apple often but this is a very nice twist on a very good recipe!!

Apfelpfannkuchen (Apple Pancakes)


  • ⅔ cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into thin slices
  • 1½ sticks butter (¾ cup)
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Confectioners sugar


  1. Combine the flour with 2 teaspoons sugar and salt and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk together.
  3. Gradually add flour mixture to the eggs and milk, and beat until smooth.
  4. Melt ½ stick (¼ cup) butter in a saucepan.
  5. Add apple slices and cook gently until apples are softened.
  6. Mix 2 Tablespoons sugar and cinnamon together and stir gently into apples.
  7. In a 6-inch frying pan, melt 2 Tablespoons of butter.
  8. Pour in batter so that it is about ¼-inch deep.
  9. Cook until the bubbles on top of the batter burst and the pancake begins to set.
  10. Spoon about ¼ of the apples over the pancake and cover with more batter.
  11. Allow it to set, and then gently turn the pancake to brown it on the other side.
  12. Repeat to make 3 more pancakes.
  13. Dust with confectioners sugar and serve.
Serves 4.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Artist of the Week

JOYful D*Sign

1. Why did you decide to open a shop?
I had great local sales with my jewelry, but had been procrastinating about opening a webshop. The catalyst to do so was when I was walking the beach in the Bahamas collecting seaglass and a wealthy lady from Chicago who loves seaglass asked me if I had a website and I had to say NO! I didn't even have business cards with my phone number or email on them! I lost a great client that day, so when I got home to Florida I got busy on my shop.

2. How did you get into your art?
I have always been a crafter and artist, inspired by my mom from a very young age to sew, draw, crochet, whatever sounded fun at the time. I was already making jewelry and doing beadwork. I had so much seaglass piling up, I just decided I had to start creating something with it. I started out making car mirror suncatchers for friends, jewelry and frames for myself - it just grew as friends saw my jewelry and wanted a piece for themselves.

3. What do you love about what you are doing?
I love that the ocean has taken our trash and made it into a beautiful treasure for me to use in my creations. I love walking on the beach with my boyfriend hunting for the treasure and that he is my partner, doing all the drilling for my projects. I love doing custom orders - working with a client one on one and brainstorming about colors and design - especially with seaglass they have found, it makes the experience so special for them! I love all of the great friends I have met like you who love what they do and have such great passion for their arts!

4. How does your art fit into your dreams for your life?
Of course, my dream is to be able to quit my day job! But even better would be to move to a quieter place on a Caribbean island where I can find lots more seaglass than we have here in Florida!

5. What have you learned about yourself from starting your shop and learning your art form?
I have learned that I am learning something new and honing my skills every day, that there are fantastic crafters and artists out there willing to help me along my journey, that I have many great gifts and talents to offer my fellow artists in return, and that I absolutely LOVE what I am doing!

You can find more of JOYful D*Sign in her Etsy Store

Monday, March 1, 2010

Thought for the Week

So I have some exciting things happening. I just signed a contract and my soaps are now on consignment. I am looking forward to this for many reasons. It shows that not giving up and working hard does pay off and that any self doubt one may have is less. It also now promotes my soap in another part of the country, in a physical location (other than my home). So exposure is definitely going to happen. I can only feel that if I continue to work the way I do and just stay with it, yes I will be successful.

Today my shop(s) are also being featured on the Createability Blog and I am a proud member of the team. While I may not chat or 'check' in as often as I like, it is an awesome team with an awesome support system. As a mom of four (one with his special needs) days at times feel like a long run on sentence (it never stops), but don't tread I take the good with the bad eh? There are good days, crazy days, not so good days, funny days, hyper days, emotional days ..hey a normal life right? I've been reflecting the last few days, questioning if separating my stores the way I did was a good thing and the more I work at it, the more I communicate and create, it is by far one of the better decisions I have made. The payoff is to have a consignment with a store.

So what's my point, I think its been made time and time again by other successful individuals: If you work hard you will reap the reward. if you are persistent, it will pay off.

I want to thank everyone (near and far) for your support in being a fan on my facebook page, in being a follower on my blog, in being a customer (ha without you what would I do?). So thanks!