Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cute Ribbon Stamps for Scrapbooking and Card Making




Hi everyone! I just wanted to share these cute clear stamps I got in the mail. I ordered them for card making and I can’t wait to use them. I’m thinking of making an entire collection of thank you cards using these different types of ribbon stamps. What do you think? Don’t like they look so real? I’ll post pictures of the final product once I’ve created a style I’m happy with. Happy crafting!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Los Angeles Public Library—My Search for Vintage Craft Books

     I’m always searching the streets of Downtown Los Angeles to find the most unique craft and fabric stores; and one day I had a thought—I wonder what kind of craft books and crafting ideas can I find at my local library? Being that The Central Library, located in the heart of Downtown L.A., is one of the largest publicly funded libraries in the world—there must be books older than I am about crafts or paper crafting; and it turns out I was right. After asking the clerk at the information desk for directions to the craft section I finally made it to the isles upon isles of books on the topic; and I anxiously began to pull book after book until I had a pile so high I could barely even see ahead of me. The first book I opened was one titled, ‘New Dimensions in Paper Craft’, by Sadami Yamada, published in 1966. As I was flipping through the black and white pages I began to realize that many of the paper crafting decorations I found in this vintage craft book were much like the party decorations that are in style right now. For instance, I found what looked to me like the beginnings of the pom-pom—made of tissue; and a template for an Easter tissue paper party decoration. There were so many wonderful ideas, and I thought to myself, “Why didn’t I come here sooner?”





I took pictures of some illustrations and templates from the book to share with you, but now I’m wondering if there might be some kind of copy write issue so I’ll just demonstrate some of the cute ideas I found in that book.
Here is the Easter tissue paper decoration template provided by, ‘New Dimensions in Paper Craft’, and shared by me.
Here is the result:
And here is another cute idea I found that was so simple yet so fun!


Thank you for stopping by to share in this adventure with me. I urge you to stop at your local library to search for craft books that our ancestors left for us. To reinvent their ideas or to simply bring them back to life.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Easy Tips for Taking Great Photos

Every once in a while I get questions regarding my pictures, and I love to share any information that I can with everyone. Most sellers are already aware of the tips I’m going to share on my blog today; but some don’t. So, I’m hoping this blog post will help those who are looking for a cheap way to create pretty pictures!
The first thing I did when I wanted to create my low priced photo-studio was find the cheapest items possible:
1.       Ironing board - $3.00
2.       Two pieces of white cardboard - $1.00
3.       Tape - $1.00
4.       Left over gift box (optional) –Free, I found it lying around the house.
5.       Props!
As you can see from my picture, I’ve simply taped the two cardboard pieces together and sat them on top of the ironing board; and placed it against the wall—which is near the biggest window in the house. One tip photographers always suggest is the use of natural light. Natural lighting always flatters the items—unlike a harsh flash. Lastly, I’ve placed my old gift box on the left hand side of the ironing board, since the window is to my right. By doing this, it slightly brightens up the area using some of the natural light coming from the window. Tip: to keep the gift box from falling over I taped it to a box.
Next, all you need is your items and your props. Then you’re ready to shoot! I like using things I have around the house. I don’t like to go out and purchase too much. I like using glass with my items, but by all means feel free to use what you think works best with your items. I’ll just briefly explain how I use some of my props.
I love to use this ceramic cup to hold my cupcake toppers and to lean my small zipper bags against, like so:
Here is the result:
I use the same cup for my toppers too!
I also love to use glass items in my photos—I always love shooting through glass. I think it looks really beautiful.
Then I like to use real life items when photographing my purses and lunch totes. This will help the buyer see the actual size of tote.
I hope these tips and ideas helped you. Feel free to use this affordable at home, handmade, studio for all your items. Use them for cards too!

For more pictures of my items feel free to visit my website unify.etsy.com

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Make Easy & Affordable Limeade

Hi everyone! I’m excited to share this little recipe with you. It’s a great drink to make when you have unexpected guests’ at your house and you need to serve something delicious and quick. You can even make this drink to go with your lunch or dinner—that’s what I usually do. My family loves it, and I’m sure yours will too.
I’m going to explain how I make it to the taste I prefer; but by all means use the steps I’m providing for you and turn the limeade into your own. The taste that I prefer is as follows! (Enjoy):
What you’ll need: 
1.       Blender
2.       Zester
3.       Fine mesh strainer
4.       Knife
5.       2 large limes
6.       1 ½ tbs. of lime zest
7.       1 ¼ cup of granulated sugar
8.       5 ¼ cup of water
Makes a little over a liter, prep time: 10-15 minutes.
Step 1: What I do first is zest my limes—about 1 ½ tbs.
Step 2: Cut both your limes in half like so:
Step 3:  Cut off the skin (being careful not to cut off the pulp).
Step 4: Add your cut limes, 1 cup of water, and ¼ cup of sugar to the blender and mix.

Step 5: Once blended, place your strainer over a bowl and pour the contents into your bowl, than you are left with the wonderful juice.


Step 6: From this point I simply add the rest of the water, sugar(4 ¼ cups water/1 cup sugar)and lime zest, but I add the water one cup at a time, tasting each time to make sure the flavor is where I want it to be. However, you can add as much or as little water and sugar as you like. Once you’ve got the 2 limes, 1 cup of water, and ¼ cup of sugar, you can add as much water or sugar as you like to taste.
Once you’ve finished—serve and enjoy! Cheers!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Tips for Perfect Photo-ready Cupcakes!

As you may know being an Etsy seller isn’t that easy. Sure we have cute items for sale in our shops, but the only way we can show the world how cute our items really are is by creating a pretty mini-environment for those items.  What I mean by pretty mini-environment is: an eye catching picture with cute props, and great styling. Many books, forums, and blogs stress that great pictures are essential in order to gain sales—and they’re right. That’s why I create beautiful cupcakes and/or props to show off my cupcake toppers.
One thing I like to do when making my cupcakes is, make sure they are always the same height and are perfectly iced (but of course they don’t have to be). The tips I’m about to provide are basic, and I’m sure most people may already know them, but these are tips I never knew—these are tips I had to figure out on my own. So, maybe I can save you some time by showing you what I do! ;-D
First, I use boxed cake mix, and store bought icing. I feel it’s cheap and it doesn’t matter what they taste like really, because Etsians and potential buyers will only look at them and never eat them. But they do taste really good, LOL.
So go head and follow the instructions on the back of the cake mix box. Then once that and your oven are prepared go ahead and get your liners in your tray, and get ready to scoop!
Tip 1: I use this wonderful mini ice-cream scooper.

Tip 2: Only pour 1 ½ scoops of batter into each cup. Some advise filling the cups 3/4th of the way up, but that leads to muffin-tops. By only using 1 ½ scoops of batter it will not only make a perfect cupcake; it will ensure you have enough for exactly 24 cupcakes.
Then once the baking is all done, your cupcakes should look like this:
Tip 3: I use jumbo size piping tools and a high quality piping bag.  In your local stores you’ll only find regular sized piping tools, but the jumbo sizes look much better and more professional.
Lastly, go ahead and add your signature pipe. Mine is just one circle with a dollop in the middle. But you can pipe the cupcakes whichever way you want. Make it your own so your buyers will always be able to identify your shop by your pictures.
Final result: