Monday, December 13, 2010

favourites of the week...

Here are a few of my Etsy favourites of the week...  

1)  I seriously love this Ceramic Eco-Friendly Travel Mug and I think anyone would love to bring it along with some hot tea or coffee and show it off.  
 travel mug by: yevgenia 

2)  I would love to place this romantic original signed fine art print in my new paris themed studio, it would fit perfectly!  
lumiere by: AliciaBock

3)  I love butterflies and I love cocktail rings, so what a great combination this Floating Brass Butterflies Statement Ring makes.  Plus it is such a unique ring and is sure to get many a compliment.  
butterfly ring by: BrillianceFound

4)  I'm just amazed with all their clocks but I'm especially enamored by the It's my forest clock.   Would look great on any wall and would definitely be a conversation started.  
laser cut clock by: decoylab

5)  What an interesting piece of art this would make! Omri is just adorable and I could see a long and lovely friendship with him. ;) 
contemporary folk art owl doll by: cartbeforethehorse


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday - It's a new day!

So, my post is late, but better late than never!

On Fridays Monica and I are going to try and talk about a new item or new idea that we are working on, so as our first "It's a New Day" post I would like to introduce Milo. A few customers have contacted us asking if we make any purses with dogs on them as we have several that feature cats. After a great deal of trial and error we came up with a perfect addition to our collection, Milo the puppy.

He's playful
he's charming
any color that you like

He's loving
and faithful
to your initial, day or night

You'll never feel lonely
when Milo is around
so give one to a friend
your good taste will astound

We've already sold two purses featuring Milo and he will have a custom listing up in our store this week! If you are interested in having a purse made featuring him before that, please contact us.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Sneak Peek into my new home...

As you may already know, my husband and I recently bought our first house!  Well, recently isn't quite the right word as we moved in during the hot summer month of August and now it's bitterly cold and our prairie landscapes are covered in snow.  So it's time to get warm, or at least our house thinks so.  

We're getting ready for our house warming party and I'd like to invite you in for a little sneak peek...  


Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Living in a winter wonderland often inspires the baker in me! If it's cold outside my favorite way to warm up the house is by turning on the oven and letting the whole place fill will the smell of scrumptious sweets! This week I decided to make  something simple that could be enjoyed in lunches or around the table with guests; a Pound Cake!

When I'm looking for a recipe that I know will work first try I always turn to my trusted and true Pillsbury cookbook called "The Complete Book of Baking".

Recipe: Lemon Delight Pound Cake

2 1/2  cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup apricot nectar or orange juice
3/4 cups oil
2 teaspoons lemon extract
4 eggs

The Glaze recipe the book includes is for a simple lemon glaze but because no dessert is complete for my husband unless it includes chocolate we used a chocolate glaze. I will include both and leave it up to you!

Lemon Glaze:
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Chocolate Glaze:
2 oz. sweet baking chocolate
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
Dash of salt

Heat your oven to 325°F, Generously grease and flour your 12-cup bundt pan. In a large bowl, combine all cake ingredients together. Blend at a low speed until moist; Beat for 3 minutes on medium speed. Pour batter into greased and floured pan. Bake for 40 -50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven. With a long fork poke holes ever inch around the cake to allow steam to escape. Allow to cool completely. Remove cake from pan and decide which side you want to have facing up. I personally like the rougher side to face up. It just has more character! 

Making the Glaze:

The lemon glaze is simple. You just blend the two ingredients together and then carefully pour it over your cake. If you prefer chocolate like my husband, here are the instructions.

In a sauce pan over low heat, melt 2 oz. chocolate with water and butter. Remove from hear; add powdered sugar, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla and dash of salt, beating until smooth. Stir in additional water, a few drops at a time, if needed for desired glaze consistency. Immediately spoon glaze over cooled cake, allowing some to run down sides.

You're done and Ready for some Holiday Guests! 


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To craft sale, or not to craft sale...

EmenGeeDesigns has been seeing a great deal of success on-line lately but since we now live in the same City we decided to try out some good old fashion Craft Sales!

The idea of setting out all of our designs on a table and showing the community what we do for the first time was an exciting endeavor.  Although, being our first sale as EmenGee Designs, we weren't quite sure what to expect and were careful not to set our hopes too high.  We decided to participate in three during November and December. The first was at a small community centre, the second at an Artist Co-op and the third at a well known music store.  Each sale was quite different but had one thing in common, not too many people showed up.  Maybe it's our crazy Manitoban winter weather, but the lack of craft sale go-ers was hopefully the main reason we didn't sell too much and not because they just didn't like our stuff.  But there were quite a few people who had very positive responses to our designs, some even double checking to see that we did in fact make everything and didn't just buy it wholesale in China.  And we can now say that our designs will be enjoyed by a few more Manitobans this year.

One thing we were surprised at though was the number of people who felt the need the say: "I could make this, what a neat idea!"  holding our carefully crafted items in their hands and examining each detail for future use.  But that's the thing with craft sales, being there in person you can actually see how people react to your creations and who's to say that we don't get many online visitors who do just the same!

Our third and final sale of the year was very slow going and we decided to hold an EmenGee Designs meeting in order to discuss some pros and cons about craft sales (from our perspectives anyways):

  • Promoting local business
  • Selling pre-made items instead of "as ordered"
  • Provides a connection to the Community
  • You receive input from your customers
  • Opportunity to sell small items that people normally wouldn't want to pay shipping on
  • A good end goal for stocking up your shop
  • Time could be spent making new items
  • Selling on-line doesn't require us sitting and waiting for a sale
  • People can easily compare our prices with others
  • If the sale is unadvertised it can be a waste of time
  • Larger craft sales cost a lot to participate in
  • Normally craft sales only accept cash
  • Awkward sitting right in front of people while they look through your stuff
In conclusion, we've decided to take a break from the craft sales, at least for this year and try to concentrate more on our online shop.  Have you had an experience similar to ours at craft sales?  Do you have any advice you can leave us?  We would love to hear from you, being beginner craft sale-sellers who don't want to give up just yet!  

Monday, December 6, 2010

Crafty Crafty Christmas!

The holidays are just around the corner and will be here before you know it! I personally love shopping for others (if only there was a way I could do that for a living) and so am completely finished searching out, commissioning and creating my gifts for my amazing family and friends.

Two years ago was the first Christmas that I was aware of Etsy's existence. That year I purchased only 2 Christmas gifts (ornaments for a friend). The following year, I bought roughly 25% if my gifts online. This year however, now that I am completely obsessed with Etsy (along with my other favorite online shops) I decided that I could do at least 95% of my shopping without leaving my desk, and I was right!

Unfortunately, I cannot share any of the amazing gifts that I am giving until after I have given them, but here are a couple of my favorite Etsy Stores that I discovered over the past few months that have helped me make the coming holidays very special!

 DIMDI's shop is an amazing find! I needed a gift for a real animal lover and couldn't have been happier with their finished product. Communication was amazing and shipping was quick. They offer ready to ship items as well as custom watercolor portraits of pets. So amazing. I must say...this is one gift I am really excited to give! Here is one of the amazing ready to ship items from their shop:

Hollandsworth's shop! What can I say? This shop was so accommodating when I approached them about making me a custom item. They patiently worked with me to make an idea into a perfect gift for someone special. The store is full of really fun ready to ship art including prints, magnets, paper dolls and my favorite, paper kitties! This is a shop you won't want to miss. Here is a sweet preview:

...and Etsy continues to amaze me. The artists on this site are so accommodating and friendly. It is truly a wonderful and special place to be a part of!