Friday, November 27, 2009

Today's the Big Day!

Today is Black Friday - the official launch of the Holiday season. I am in the studio working on ornaments and other "Handmade Holiday" goodies.

As part of the huge Etsy event, SalonDArte is offering FREE worldwide shipping* and gift wrapping on all purchases through Cyber Monday. To see other participating shops in this event check out my friends with the EtsyTwitter Team and for beautifully handcrafted items and great sales for the Black Friday Extravaganza.

Shipping will be via USPS first class parcel post. Due to the fragile nature of handmade paper ornaments - this tends to make the shipping a little costly. I am an artist and I want to put my handmade originals in as many happy hands as possible this holiday season : )

I am offering shipping upgrades - and these can be purchased additionally. Please convo for cost upgrades for Priority mail or overnight shipping upgrades. I be happy to bundle shipping costs on multiple items. I do not profit from nor markup shipping costs.

I hope everyone has a great Black Friday weekend! I'm going to get back to working on my "Handmade Holiday" creations and this year's ornament creation for my Grandmother's 2 dozen painting students...SMb

Happy Thanksgiving

I am a turkey baby, my first meal was Thanksgiving dinner. My mother had me at 3:05am after a big family Thanksgiving dinner 38 years ago today. This is my favorite holiday and my birthday all wrapped up in pumpkin pie.

So, I celebrated by cooking a feast for my husband, myself, and my best girlfriend who is from Louisiana. Born and raised on turkey feasts, this is my cooking specialty. This year, I made an Emeril's CAJUN turkey. I highly recommend this recipe, this spicy version is sure to please. My guest "Cajun" was raging with delight. It is roasted like traditional turkey, but with a cayanne "Kick" and stripes of spicy goodness in the meat. Mouth-watering isn't it...this needs smell-a-vision...

Emeril's "Pepper Stuffed Turkey" Recipe [also in "Real and Rustic" cookbook by Emeril Lagasse].


  • 2 sticks butter cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • Salt and cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 8 to 10 pickled peppers (recommended: Cajun Chef Brand Sport Peppers)
  • 3 tablespoons pickle juice from the pepper jar
  • 1 small turkey, about 10 to 12 pounds


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Season the butter with salt and cayenne pepper. Freeze the butter for 30 minutes. In a small bowl, combine the onions, peppers, garlic, sport peppers and pickle juice together. Season the mixture with salt and cayenne pepper.

Place a large towel on a cutting board. Place the turkey directly on top of the cloth. This will prevent the turkey from sliding. Remove the neck, gizzards and livers from the cavity of the turkey. Rinse the turkey under cool water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey, breast side up, on the work surface with the cavity facing you. Using a sharp knife, make three slits on either side of the breast bone, without breaking through the skin. Insert 2 to 3 slices of the frozen butter into each slit. Season each slit with salt and cayenne pepper. Insert about a teaspoon of the vegetable mixture into each slit, pushing with your fingers. Gently pull the drumstick forward and outward to expose the inner thigh Pull the skin away from the meat. Make a slit following the bone line from the top of each leg. Using your index finger, make a path and stuff with the butter and vegetables. Season the skin which has been loosened around the inner thigh with salt and cayenne pepper. With the neck opening facing you, lift the skin flap and make a slit down each wing from the shoulder, again following the bone lines. Stuff each wing with butter and vegetables. Season the outside of the turkey with salt and cayenne pepper. Stuff the cavity with any leftover butter and vegetables. Secure the wings by folding the lower half back over the top of the wing. Tie the legs together with kitchen twine. Place the turkey in a large deep roasting pan.

Roast the turkey for 15 to 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 350 degrees F. Cover the turkey with a lid and bake for about 3 to 3 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear. Remove from the pan and let cool for 10 minutes. Lift the turkey out of the pan and carve. Serve with the pan juices.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday. We all have much to be thankful - family and friends, our health, good home cooking... and pumpkin pie! SMb

Friday, November 20, 2009

My Friend Linda B and our

Friends at EtsyChai Team Are Having A Sale!

EtsyChai and Etsy Israel Hanukkah Contest & Sale

Several of our Etsy Twitter Team members are on the EtsyChai and EtsyIsrael Teams. So we’re helping to promote their sale and contest because they were kind enough to blog and tweet our Trunk Show. I love working with other teams to make promotions a success!

The details: Many of their team shops are offering discounts until November 22nd. A list of participating shops is on the blog at

The contest: Shops have hidden an image of a Menorah. The people who find the most Menorah images will win prizes. Prize winners will win a prize bundle (1 per winner). And, while you're looking for images, you will see some great discounts on handmade Hanukkah and other handcrafted items.

So go check their blog out at for some great deals and a chance to win neat prizes! Happy shopping!

Journey of Love Designs:

EtsyTwitter Team's Shop of the Week

Denise Kung, of, is a woman after my own heart. Most of her work is made with fascinating papers, many of them Japanese papers. I absolutely love paper! I want to buy everything in her shop!

She specializes in stationary, paper gifts, magnets, and even related products like invitations, escort cards, and table numbers.

Denise also has a second Etsy shop called She lists products made by her mother. Her mother had to retire early due to her poor health. Now she knits and crochets to pass the time. She loves to come up with new products to make. What a nice mother-daughter story!

Denise is currently working with Japanese chiyogami paper (chiyogami is a type of Japanese paper decorated with brightly colored, woodblock-printed patterns) for her products. “I recently returned from a trip to Japan. I bought a few sheets of chiyogami paper and will be using them for my new products. I would love to buy the whole store of paper! The colors and textures are so beautiful and delicate. I am inspired by the colors and patterns of the papers I work with and find. I am a visual person so my eyes get tickled when I see certain papers,” says Denise about her adoration of paper. Her work reflects an interest in Asian design like in this Chinese New Year Paper Orb Ornament.

“I have always loved creating things. My craft allows me to come up with ideas and carry them out to put together materials and create something new from them. Also, when I get an event related order, I enlist the help of my mother and we bond over our work.”

Follow her on Twitter: @journeyoflove
Read her blog:
Fan her on Facebook:

Special for This Week Only:

Free set of 6 gift tags with any order
Journey of Love Designs.

Free set of 2 scrubbies/coasters with any order
Seashell Baby.

Use code: "Etsytwitterteam"

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gifts & Goodies for One of a Kind Celebrations

Ah, the holiday season...chestnuts roasting on an open fire, frothy cocoa with melted marshmallows, the deep woodsy smell of fresh pine in the cool, crisp air, bumper to bumper traffic, crowded shopping malls, endless gift lists...

If the last three things on that list didn't exactly make you think "winter wonderland", the EtsyTwitter Team has a solution for you this year! We want to help you get a jumpstart on your holidays this week, with some great gift ideas, awesome recipes, and creative ways to wrap gifts that will leave you with more time to sit by the fire (and more money in your pocket!) Click here to visit our team's crafty and homemade goodness to give the gift of a Handmade Holiday... Sb

Visiting with Jenco13: EtsyTwitter Team's

Shop Of The Week...

Jen is one of my new pals in the EtsyTwitter Team. She is always answering questions and giving INVALUABLE advice to her fellow Etsians and I have learned so much from her insight. Also, I made a special "New York Yankees" themed handmade wedding card enclosure for her friends that just got married. They got the "ultimate gift" the Yankees won the World Series...

Anyway, Jen's takes her work to heart - her work is perfection, with unique & bright color combinations - I just love this jazzy red furry scarf! She also cares about others as she uses 10% of her shop sales for care packages to send to the troops overseas - an effort I will soon be joining as my sister ships off to Iraq later this year. I am expecting to receive my very own Jenco13 original cup cozy any day now...I am all for the go-green effort. Please take a few moments to get cuddled up with a cup of cocoa, a good book and one of Jenco13's "crocheted from the heart" creations.

Visiting Jenco13 is a sure way to feel a serious need for something warm. Multi-colored shawls, scarves (with pockets!), cup cozies, cuddly baby blankets and more fill this Etsy store.

Jen freely admits that most of her items narrowly miss being kept. "I love each item I make and sometimes find them very hard to part with! I spend anywhere between 6-8 hours on a scarf to make sure my stitches are even and consistent. If it's not up to my standards, I rip out the stitches until I'm satisfied. I only sell things that I would use myself. When I'm done making things, my husband, Joe, normally has to remind me I already have a million scarves and cup cozies of my own!"

Jen credits her mom, a graphic designer and artist herself, with inspiring her. "She is amazing with colors! We try to get together at least once every 6 months to do an art day for the girls."

Husband Joe is also supportive. "He is an amazing supporter of my art work and never says to me, 'You're crocheting again?' He helps me pick out what my next projects are going to be."

Jen ships her work internationally and is happy to do custom items. "I love to take custom orders from people when they see something new that I have not thought about making before."

As head of the Etsy Twitter Team's PR Committee, Jen is an avid user of Twitter and has a few tricks of the trade to share.

"Each month I go on to to see who has been following me, who are my friends, and who is not following me. I first figure out who is no longer using their accounts and get rid of those friends, so that I have room to add those who are following me. I only spend about 30 minutes or so, because you can really get caught up doing things on Twitter!"

She also makes it a point to respond. "I ALWAYS respond to those who RT my information, recommend me for #followfridays or DM me. I feel its important to make those connections on Twitter."

Jen credits persistence and determination for helping her get her store going. "I am the little engine that could! I never give up on things. When times are tough, I stick to my goal and keep on trucking."

Become a fan of Jen on Facebook : or Follow her on Twitter:

Jenco13 is offering a two deals this week:


Please note these deals are for the the lesser or equal amount of the second item chosen. Custom orders are welcome. It will be refunded through paypal within 24 hours of purchase. Buyer is responsible for shipping and handling of all items purchased (please see special rates for second items). Priority mail rates are available for US customers only.

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Getting to know Linda B's Beaded Jewelry

EtsyTwitter Team Shop Of The Week:

Since I've been a member of the ETT, Linda has been very active with the group, as well as very active with getting the word out on her fellow artisans - on top of running her own Etsy shop of beautiful creations. I for one as a newbie, have been featured in one of her weekly top 10 lists on her blog and I as well as many other are grateful for her time an generosity to the EtsyTwitter Team! Thanks for everything you do for us Linda, oh & BTW, hope you have a great Birthday this week, too : )

Take a virtual step into Linda Blatchford's Etsy shop and you will find yourself surrounded by fun, fresh, beaded creations. Gemstones and Swarovski crystals pair up with sterling silver and unexpected found objects in these one-of-a-kind designs that reflect Linda's love of color and symbolism.

Her initial inspiration often comes from the colors or shapes of her ever-expanding bead collection. "I see an image in my mind and as I create it, I may have to tweak it. I love it when it turns out better than my imagination. If it’s not spiffy, I start over. Now, I’m looking for more recycled items to work with: bottlecaps, pine cones, etc."

In addition to bracelets, earrings, and pendants, Linda also makes wire Kippahs and gorgeous Judaica themed creations that she is happy to customize with favorite colors or gemstones.

An avid Twitter user and dedicated Etsy Twitter Team member, Linda has a few Twitter tricks up her artistic sleeves. " I “converse” on Twitter, in addition to using it as a promotional tool. I use TweetDeck and have several columns tracking my teams and topics of interest. I follow other people’s followers to connect with more people and use to see how many people click on my tweets."

Linda recently became the new team leader for the EtsyChai Team and also features fellow artisans weekly on her busy blog, , but never lets the weight of a big to-do list weigh down her creativity.

"I am passionate about beading, and find it relaxing and fun! My favorite thing about it is that I can have different projects going on at the same time. Beaded earrings can take about an hour, while other pieces have different components and steps. "
With gift giving just around the corner ( 54 shopping days!), Linda's fabulous designs are sure to please friends and family on your list, as well as brighten up your own holiday mood!

In honor of her November 1 birthday, Linda is offering a week long discount:
20% off purchases totaling $10, excluding shipping
November 2 - November 8
Where to find Linda:

Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade

Monday, November 2, 2009

Holly Berry Altered Holiday Notebook

New in the SalonD'Arte shoppe Holly Berry Altered Notebook

With the holidays fast approaching, this charming altered notebook in traditional Christmas red and holly green is sure to make planning a snap. This would also make a great stocking stuffer or a place to enclose a gift card.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hallo-weenie Pups...a New Venture???

I have to say I had an out of artists' mind day in the studios yesterday - on "Halloween". But it was a fun day. I spent the whole day creating...YES I SAID CREATING - not working. At first, I admit, I was not looking forward to the task at hand - my boss at the printshop I work at volunteered me to dress up his 7, seven-week old cockapoodle puppies. I repeat, SEVEN. OK, no big deal - I had been messing around with my oranments and shipping at work to get them out - with no complaints from him, so I obliged. So I did a little searching on Etsy for inspiration, but I didn't want to make bandanas or converted baby bibs. These pups have personality! This is what I came up with and we laced them to the puppies with white satin ribbon which disappeared in their curly locks.

A little secret I'll never let my boss know... I had the most FUN making these!!!! And I think I have found my new calling...Puppy Costume designer extrordinare. Next Halloween, I will have these for sale at SalonD'Arte.

Here are my seven little fashionistas...

And last but not least...My personal Favorite...

This was not my normal Saturday, but it being Halloween, it was a perfect day off. I hope you all had an equally awesome Halloween!
; ) Sb
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