As promised…

Posted in Main, outings at 2:24 am by carrie

For your viewing pleasure…

My friend’s boss sings the classic Vanilla Ice melody…

Apparently you can hire Mr. Van Winkle for $2000 for 3 songs, how about that. And we know this because the gentleman entertaining you below has hired him for a semi-private function. I wonder if he does weddings?

Yes… that’s us in the background at the end… it’s really hard not to watch this and start laughing uncontrollably! Doesn’t matter if you are familiar with this song, there’s something about karaoke to lift the spirits.
And to think… we’ve been passing this bar for months and months and never gone in! Shame on us ;) Do we know how to party or what?



Merchandising Obsession…

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main, sidenotes at 6:01 pm by carrie

When I find a display I like, I obsess on it and keep adding to it until I think it’s perfect… then something sells and I start all over again. I’m a tad odd, nice to meet you :)

Like many of you, I’m sure you purchase things you feel you can use “at another time”. I have several rooms full of these sorts of things. Including assorted paper lanterns. I had 4 in primary colors. While they were pretty alone, they needed something. So I dragged out my remnant box o’ ribbon and started embellishing the heck out of the lanterns.
It’s a tad hard to see, but I hung the 4 lanterns in my candy/cupcake/garden party section. I glued stripey grosgrain ribbon around the middles of the lanterns then tied all sorts of fun ribbon, including curly ribbon, to the bottoms. It really gave it a fun look :) I also ran out last week and got tons more candy. A ten year old child made the comment… “those twirly rainbow lolli-pops are really good!” to which I replied… “I don’t care how they taste, really… I just love the way they make the display look!”
See, obsessed.
Colorful spirals of pure sugar… it’s a good thing…

I got some fun new things from Cupcakes and Cartwheels (Two’s Company). Cupcake tealights…
and an apron that says “gnome is where the heart is”. I got these because of Alicia. She wants to erect an army of little garden gnomes, facing out, on her front lawn. North Carolina, you have been warned.
Oh, and I got two more art boards done… “party cakes” with glitter icing on the cake…
And “Real Lemon Flavor” where the “Real” is red glitter… I think it’s sort of snazzy :)

I got the boxes out for the giveaway… be on the lookout, winners! And YOU could be the next winner, you just have to keep checking back ;)

Last but certainly not least, Sue brought up some charm bracelets… aren’t they awesome???

“Paris” Bracelet

“Mother’s Day” Bracelet

“Easter” Bracelet

And I thought I would share my “power lunch” from the other day. The Star Cafe in Montrose has added Diane Salads to the menu… get one! They are awesome!!!

Yay! It’s almost Friday!!! And we are going on our adventure to Las Vegas soon!!!!


A Quiet Tuesday…

Posted in Main, sidenotes at 12:10 pm by carrie

Well, the Bon Voyage party for Scott and Alicia went pretty well. There are still bowls of chips everywhere and assorted empty cups and cans dotting our yard and living room. It’s like the college party I never had, minus the debauchery ;) Parties are always so much work and all I do is worry that all the food I made is the temperature it was supposed to be. I think I have finally gotten the “hang” of chafing dishes. I have so many great pictures and a few videos (cah-lassic karaoke videos) to share later on, I just need to sift through them all. Here are two of my favorite thanks to Ping:

Scott is perplexed at the large bottle of booze Oscar brought to the party for him to drink by himself, which is a normal Oscar thing to do… he’s very picky about his guinness.

On Sunday we helped them load their two dogs into kennels and got them to the Delta terminal at LAX and onto a plane. Seeing their house empty then watching Scott leave made the fact that they are leaving a reality… So, Alicia and I had a good cry. She’s going to stay here another week or so then head over to her new home on the East Coast. I really wanted to join her in driving across the country, but with Easter upon us, I can’t miss any time at the shop.

People move all the time, friendships change… but these two are our best friends. The four of us could just hang out and bbq and have a great time, hit Disneyland for the evening, go to the beach… or in the case of the other night, go bar hopping in search of karaoke and laugh our heads off all night. They were the first ones over when I was having a crisis at the shop and no amount of late night unpacking or heavy lifting kept them away. I’m really going to miss their Sunday wake-up calls for breakfast… “Hello sunshine! We’re right outside your door, open up!” I would answer the door with an angry grunt, but deep down, I was happy to spend a lazy day with them.

“Hey muffin, I have this idea… will you log onto your computer so I can tell you?”
“But, you’re on the phone now
“Just log onto your computer!”
*silence and typing*

I’m going to miss you guys!


Franchising, Part Deux

Posted in business-a-go-go, Main at 1:02 pm by carrie

Okay, so… I’ve gotten a bit of buzz about opening a Violets are Blue Franchise so I’m going to talk a little more about it :)

I’m going to learn as much as I can about the subject of duplicating my business “model” (it’s not really a model… but we’ll just call it that! ha!) then possibly hold a little “clinic” at the shop about running a store. I’ll answer questions and possibly serve punch and pie (now… everyone will be there because hey… free punch and pie).

If you are truly interested, gather up your questions and let me know! I do have a few out-of-towners so if you think you can drive in, please let me know your schedules so I can plan accordingly :) I don’t think I’ll be organized for at least a month, especially while we try to get our classroom up and running. Perhaps I can talk someone into video taping it so we can send copies to those who couldn’t attend :)

No pics in this post! But I have some coming since we are putting together this garden party for Saturday afternoon! Ugh! What is with not being able to find a gardener? We’ve had 3 just disappear on us and I spent all week calling around with only 2 callbacks. And one guy wanted over $600 to do a simple “mow and blow”. Perhaps I’m in the wrong business! Landscaping and lawn mowing, here I come! ;) Although, I’d have to work on my skills… our yard currently looks a little choppy to say the least!

Happy Friday to all!!!


And the Winners are….

Posted in giveaways!, Main at 10:19 pm by carrie

After printing almost 40 pages. I cut them into strips and filled up a large bowl…
Lots and lots of little strips of paper :) *this is my attempt to build anticipation*
I picked 12 names…

And the winners are…

I will be notifying each of you to let you know what you won :) After I picked the names, I drew little numbers one thru twelve and assigned each name with an item :) So, I’ll let you know what you won via email :)

The strips of paper took OVER an hour to cut out. I’m really thinking I should hold onto them and use them in another drawing, just because it seems like a shame to throw them all away ;) So stay tuned, you may win something soon!

Congrats to all the winners and please check back for more giveaways, I really had fun with this! yay!


Hey, Joe!

Posted in business-a-go-go, Fun Stuff, Main, Mind Wanderings at 2:42 am by carrie

Whaddaya know??! :)

Our friend Joe (uh-hem, no link because he hasn’t put a BLOG together yet!!! He hasn’t even acquired a CELL phone!!! All this talent and so little technology to share it with the world! hehe!!) was recently published in the March/April Issue of Belle Armoire Art To Wear Magazine! Too cool! So, here’s the piece they showcased in the magazine! Click on the smaller images to take you to a larger image:

Isn’t that Necklace piece AMAZING??!? Such talent… I’m so blessed to be surrounded by it!

I guess that leads me into my next announcement… We’re going to start teaching classes up at the shop! :)

I was talking to my friend Sue and said something along these lines…
“if you want to spearhead some classes and take care of it all (so I don’t have to pitch a tent and live here more than I already do) etc an so on, it would be fun!”
Little did I know she was actually interested, would take me up on the offer of a little empty room and classes will be in session soon! (I didn’t mean for that to rhyme, although not well)

Sue is amazing at manipulating photos, assembling assorted paper art and collaging with mixed media… not to mention she has the vast collection behind it! She has a knack for finding old postcards and other fun paper ephemera and baubles since she actually rises on Sundays and hits all the swap meets… and even hits swaps and tag sales while at their vacation home in Ohio! ;) She is going to share all this fun stuff with us! We really are the lucky ones ;) There is also talk of making sugar skulls for Halloween/Day of the Dead! Oh! And her art cards are being displayed at an exhibit in Ohio!

Joe, once convinced that he needs yet another teaching job, will offer his skills in the art of mixed media collaged shrines and a sock puppet workshop :)

We may also offer classes with the lovely and talented Cathi Milligan. You may not be able to walk out with your very own self-built cupcake bead, but I’m sure you’ll feel empowered after bending molten glass ;)

As for me… I may teach jewelry making, soap making and perhaps we’ll put together some hanging art boards with glitter or something. I have a few tricks up my sleeve… putting the steps together in an orderly fashion… that’s another story :)

Lastly… I was approached this Saturday and asked… “Would you consider Franchising?”

Errr…. ummmm…. sssure?

So, I have purchased the book “Franchising for Dummies“. Technical reading isn’t right up my alley, but I’m curious…
Long story short… a Violets are Blue may be coming to a city near you! hehe :)

What else? OH, yeah… Scott and Alicia are moving soon…. BOOOOOOOO!!!!! and their going away party is going to be at our house. It’s weed central here in our yard and there is a lot to do by THIS Saturday but I’m glad to do it and I’m also very sad to do it… but with amazing friends such as these, they deserve the best sending off we can give them :) She may just open a Violets are Blue in North Carolina… keep an eye out for that ;) I’m trying to look on the bright side here, I’m going to miss them!!! *sniff*

And now it’s almost 3 am! Time to crawl into bed with my 20-something magazines (keep me away from Barnes and Noble, would ya?) and hit the hay! Have a super day everyone!!!

p.s.s.s.s.s.s.s – I’m debating on having “weekly” and “monthly” giveaways now! With the overwhelming response I figured I owed it to everyone to give you as many chances as possible to win stuff ;) Not as much stuff, but a few nifty things nonetheless!


Happy Luck o’ the Irish Day to you!

Posted in Main at 5:00 am by carrie

I’m going to be wearing my screaming green shoes today… and I’m sure you’ll pick out something in the green family as well. I certainly don’t want to get pinched ;) My 8th grade teacher, Mrs. Sowers, wore orange on St. Patty’s day, in honor of the Orange Order, I’m assuming. But, I’ll stick to green for the day :)

And… I drew a happy little birdie… again. What’s with the birds and cupcakes these days???

Have fun, consume a green bagel and do whatever it is everyone does for St. Patty’s Day! ;) (That’s invitation to let me know how you celebrate!)



Posted in Main, outings, sidenotes at 4:09 am by carrie

I blame daylight saving’s time… our schedules have been so strange. We took a nap after work today… a nap! argh… so… here I sit at 3:48 am wandering the internet and listening to synthpop 80’s music. The spam from the East coast is hitting my in-box as I type… they get an early start!

I had fun with dinner tonight! I made Irish Tiramisu! Next year I’ll add some green food coloring, but it was tasty without it! ;)

This was easy to make… I made a one layer organic chocolate cake, let it cool and poked it with a fork. I then drizzled Kahlua Coffee and Irish Cream liqueurs, let that soak for about 30 minutes then “frosted” the top with Tiramisu mascarpone which they had at our new Ralph’s. Since it wasn’t very sweet, I dusted it with powdered sugar and cocoa powder and then added more chocolate shavings on top of that. I served it with fresh Strawberries and it was divine!

This is my second attempt at making spicy stuffed shells like the ones we get at Buca Di Beppo (snazzy website). Last time I used ricotta but had more goat cheese than I knew what to do with, so I used that this time for the stuffing, along with some fresh herbs, garlic and chicken sausage. I sprinkled it with a few kinds of cheese and baked it, it was tasty and we have a LOT left over. If you want the semi-exact recipe, let me know and I’ll try to figure it out ;)

Here are a few pics from a walk we took on a recent Sunday afternoon…
I want a yard full of whatever kind of tree this is :)
We turned a corner… and chickens!!!! Meg was so excited about these guys…
I could live here…
This is a 4 month old Great Dane puppy!!! Every picture we took of them was blurry… but I had to show this. Our dog is 3 years old and 75 lbs. The owners of this cutie are brave!
House, house… horse!
We then started driving… if Nathan wasn’t on call that weekend we would have headed for the snow, but we had to get back down to sea level :( I think this is the Tujunga Wash… it’s up Angeles Crest somewhere :)

Stick! Meg found a very large stick… but she couldn’t get the idea that you had to hold it up to keep it from dragging on the ground and tripping you. She’s cute… acts tough… but really… she’s a dainty little princess ;)

Getting a little tired… I’m going to try to count some sheep now :) Thanks again to everyone for entering the giveaway! I’m amazed at the response!!!! We’ll definately be doing that again!

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