Posted in giveaways!, Main at 7:41 am by carrie

Another giveaway!

It’s been a while…

For 1-20 entries – The Black, red and white kitty cross stitch from Midwest
For 21-40 entries – add the little red naughty/nice stocking ornament
For 41-60 entries – add the blue/white snowflake festooning garland
For 61-80 entries – add the red scottie dog peg wall piece
for 81-100 entries – add the framed embroidered dog piece by midwest
If over 100 people enter… well… I’ll have to get creative, but I would really like to send something to everyone :)

So, tell your friends! :) hehe!

Only one comment per person, please.

I will draw names on Sunday, December 7 at Midnight… which happens to be the last day of our amazing sale over at www.violetcottage.com. 15-50% off, you may want to check it out! :)

Happy weekend everyone! Good luck, too!

Sunday -ish at 1:30 am….

And the winners are….

#3 – Cyndi gets the kitty cat embroidery
#17 – Lisa gets Naughty/Nice Stocking

Yay! Congrats you two!!!!

20 bags…

Posted in Main, Sharing the Handmade Love at 4:55 am by carrie

As a gift for our friends Mike and Rachel, who are getting married this weekend, I painted 20 bags with green flowers to match their invitation.

I love these canvas tote bags. There is a pocket on the side for a water bottle and they are deep and sturdy with a nice gusset. M+R are going to fill them with stuff for their guests who are attending their destination beach wedding in Mexico.

I’ll be painting more of these with different designs and sticking them on the website, soon. If you would like to purchase a plain bag for $7.50 + shipping, please let me know! I have 70 of them :)

Congrats to M+R, coming home a mister and missus. Yay! :)


A few pictures from their wedding…

Turkey in the Hay!

Posted in Main, Sharing the Handmade Love at 4:32 am by carrie

I have never attempted a Thanksgiving meal from start to finish. I somehow decided I was going to give it a try this year. With the help of the Barefoot Contessa, I think I sort of pulled it off :)

Tuesday Evening…

Pumpkin pie cheesecake with a gingersnap crust… cover and put in fridge (This is just the crust… I was in a zombie-like state when I finished it). Also, made cranberry sauce using orange juice and orange zest. I had no idea cranberry sauce was 90% sugar. Wow.

Wednesday Morning…

Inventory potatoes. Boil most of them and whip them up in the kitchenaid a la Martha and Snoop. I added 1 full stick of butter, 1/3 block of cream cheese, 2 whole roasted garlic, not cloves, the whole garlic (what’s the plural of garlic? I looked it up, it’s garlics!), a bit of milk and S+P. Put in fridge.

Chop up these herbs… add olive oil, salt and pepper and put it all over the turkey… below the skin and over the skin. I got a turkey breast with the skin on it. It was bigger than a breast… it could have been an ostrich… the butcher was really nice. I trust too much.

Prepare stuffing with apples, onions, butter, celery, S+P, Bread etc… Don’t add the liquid until tomorrow.

Bake yams… pull of skins. Put in fridge.

Make gravy. Great tip from Ina… keep the drippings from a roasted chicken frozen, make the gravy using that and put it in the fridge… all done the night before. Totally easy.

Thursday Schedule…

Anticipated Eating Time (AET): 6:00 pm

3:15 – Turkey into 325 degree oven for just under 2 hours
3:30 – Make table
4:00 – Take everything out of fridge so you know it is there
4:30 – Prepare yams by mashing, adding butter, sugar, cinnamon, egg & mini-mallows
4:45 – cut up veggies for salad, arrange in a nice plate and back into fridge. Also, dressing into little bowls
5:00 – Wash and prepare asparagus for roasting. Cover with olive oil, S+P. Put in pan or dish that can fit into your toaster oven (I love having this little oven, it’s so handy)
5:15 – Turkey out, check that it’s 165 degrees using button thermometer, cover with foil
5:16 – Turn up oven to 350
5:20 – Yams into oven. They will cook for 40 minutes
5:25 – Add 1 cup of chicken/vegetable stock or 1 egg and possibly some dried cranberries into the stuffing and mix it up.
5:26 – Preheat a toaster oven to 400 degrees
5:28 – Gravy from fridge into small sauce pan, heat up slowly on low. Add some cream to thin it out
5:30 – Mashed Potatoes (covered) and Stuffing (uncovered) into oven with the yams at 350. Both will cook up for 30 minutes. To be safe, take the potatoes out 15 minutes in and stir them.
5:35 – Asparagus into toaster oven
5:45 – Ice into ice bucket, drinks out on the table. Pies out onto servers.
6:00 – everything out of their ovens! Turn the toaster oven onto broil…hopefully the yams will fit in there because for 1-2 minutes they’ll be in there to make the marshmallows toasty. Watch it, they will start smoking! You can also use a creme brulee torch or butane lighter (one of the large ones with a flame that actually makes a noise).

So, this is what it all looked like when it came together….

And, the yam casserole. I made another the next night since we didn’t have leftovers because it was gone immediately. It was SO good. I was never a fan of the yam until moving here to North Carolina. After tasting the sweet fluffy goodness that is a sweet potato casserole… I am hooked. Toasted marshmallows are so pretty.

The asparagus was cooked down to almost nothing, but it was really tasty. The store-bought apple pie was pretty good… the pumpkin cheesecake I made… well… it had a creamy, tasty center then a tough-as-leather crust. I’m not a food engineer, but I don’t think that’s how it’s supposed to work. I’m thinking heat had something to do with it.

Besides eating, how did you celebrate Thanksgiving? What are you thankful for?

I’m thankful for our dog Meg… and that she lets me put bows on her.

I’m also grateful that her armadillo toy hasn’t sprung to life those times I’ve stepped on it in the dark and squealed. Thank you squeaky ‘dillo.


My Office…

Posted in Main, Sharing the Handmade Love at 3:13 am by carrie

My workspace needed more pizazz.

Lots of color planning & layout debating later… Welcome to my colorful office…

Rosettes waiting to be painted

I got a tissue pom-pom kit from Michael’s (Martha) for Halloween… it only had black and silver, so I added the brown and green

I really love the pom-poms :)

Garland made out of rosettes and little hand-painted pennant triangles

Computer desk…

Work table… for making messes

Another garland over the jewelry cabinet

Finished jewelry & Shipping area…

Now it’s ready for impulsive creating!


oooh oooh, fun stuff!

Posted in Main at 9:50 pm by carrie

These cool things are in the mail and will be on the website next week!


Hydrangea Hills, Girl Next Door & The Penguin Project

Posted in Main at 11:45 pm by carrie

My friend Sheryl recently launched her jewelry website, Hydrangea Hills… she sent me a sweet little care package with promo items and fun goodies!

The package reveal… one layer at a time…


If you have a need for quality pet sitting in the Los Angeles (more specifically, near Agoura Hills) area, my friend Kristina is simply amazing. Her business is called Girl Next Door House and Pet Sitting Service, and she has a really cool logo. She even sent us pictures to our phones of our dog, Meg, when she watched her while we were on vacation. Whenever Meg hears Tina’s voice on the phone, she gets so excited, she whines. It’s adorable. And Tina used to babysit me… indulging in my strange requests such as blue milk. So, you know she will go the extra mile ;)!

Kristina sent us an amazing and thoughtful Halloween gift care package and I tore through it so fast, I didn’t take pictures. It was THAT good ;) Meg even got a ghost squeaky toy, which she adores. I’m going to be patient and do it right next time… and share.


Want to visit Antarctica with 20 fun-loving people? Or… perhaps you would like to receive a postcard that visited an iceberg in Antarctica? Well, here’s your chance…

If I weren’t so chicken, and had $6K to spare, we’d be on this trip with them! Just check out the website and itinerary… this looks awesome! Pinguino has outdone herself… again :)

Photo courtesy of “Antarctica: penguins.” Online Photograph. Britannica Student Encyclopedia

Photo courtesy of LMEM G Cunningham of HMS Endurance via flickr

I have amazingly creative, thoughtful, fun and chic friends!

Getting to know our area…

Posted in Main, outings at 3:59 pm by carrie

We ventured out about 45 minutes into Sanford to visit the Sanford Antique Mall… we eventually ended up in Pinehurst for an early Thanksgiving meal for R’s Birthday :) But they had to tear me away from all of the awesomeness of the mall first.

This antique mall was HUGE. Next time I’m smuggling my camera in… but my hands were too full of glass compotes and drawer pulls that holding a camera would have been impossible. The mall was across from the cutest train depot. The buildings were so cool, and this is just a small sampling. A very quaint town that I’m going to be taking everyone to :) If you are coming out here and even slightly like treasure hunting, we’re heading here.

And… the sunset (from our yard). So beautiful and vibrant! The air is so clean here… crisp. I’ve been completely fascinated with the air and changing of the seasons. And apparently, I’m super super allergic to ragweed or some other native plant that blooms at this time. I read somewhere you should consume honey from the region you are in to build up a tolerance to the pollen and foliage. So smart. We purchased some local honey and this place called A Southern Season. It’s like the food network exploded and had a tryst with the gift show in the moonlight. It’s really amazing.

I got two kinds of honey… Lee’s Bees Raw North Carolina Wild Flower Honey (featuring Blackberry, Tulip Poplar, Tupelo and Sourwood plants) and E.L. Selph, Jr’s Sourwood 100% Pure Raw honey. I’ll report back later as I conduct operation stop NC allergies :)

Here’s a story about Lee’s Bees and the concern about his bee population dwindling. Sad :(

Oh, and it SNOWED last week. It didn’t stick… but coming from California, when white dots come out of the sky, you assume there’s a fire nearby. It caught me off guard. This cold weather is catching me off guard in general… what did I say… “Snow is a novelty! You go to visit it on vacation wearing a stupid ski hat, it doesn’t come to YOU!”

What a weakling ;)


Can’t pick just one…

Posted in Main at 8:52 pm by carrie

Christmas display… love the colors SO much, I couldn’t pick just one picture :)

I’m getting all this on the website and it should be up in a day or two! yay! I’ll add links here to the exact items when they are up :)

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