Spring Gift Tag Adornment…

Posted in Digital Download Art Projects, Fun Stuff, Look What I Can Do Wednesday, Main at 4:33 pm by carrie

So, I took those free printable gift tags that I made and shared last week then added a little spring to their step…

First I added a ton of glitter to the flowers, stripes, butterfly and umbrellas in the images…

Then, I punched out 3 flower petals per tag using a Martha Stewart paper punch. I then punched a small hole in the middle of each flower, added glitter to the outsides of the petals…

and then used a grommet to attach the flowers, with petals staggered so you can see each color popping through, to the tags (the cats with umbrellas tags didn’t get a fancy flower).

Then, I put ribbon that matched the tag through the grommets…

And voila! You are done! These tags would make great little gifts all by themselves, too!

I used May Arts Ribbon, AD20 in 3/8″, BM66 in 3/8″ and KA45 in 1/2″.

I also used assorted glitter from Art Institute Glitter.


Violet Cottage is Participating in Free Shipping Day!

Posted in coupons, Fun Stuff, Main at 10:08 pm by carrie

We’ve decided to participate in the 2nd annual Free Shipping Day!

Over 600 merchants will be participating. Many of them will have free shipping without any other restrictions (like us!) Order anytime on Thursday, December 17th and get FREE shipping with guaranteed delivery by December 24th.

So, on December 17th from Midnight PST to Midnight PST, we will offer FREE SHIPPING on all orders! No minimum to buy! :) Enter the code “freeship” at checkout to receive your free shipping.


Drink and Be Merry :)

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main, Mind Wanderings, Sharing the Handmade Love at 12:24 am by carrie

Here are a few quick and easy gift ideas… with a drinking theme…

A little gift set with a tea cup and saucer along with ginger-infused honey & herbal tea mixes would be a hit! (Thanks Home Made Simple!)

Take a bottle of sparkling apple cider, wine or champagne and add a big bow and an ornament… it’s festive, cheerful and easy to do! We sold these at the shop a few years ago… at first they were props, but then they flew off the shelves. (Thanks, Babs!)

Or… you can be super adventurous and make your own flavored liquor… We got some homemade Kahlua one year as a gift… it was fantastic! Check out this Kahlua recipe. (Thanks Beth & Morgan!)

If you are lucky enough to be in the Los Angeles area, why not check out Galco’s Soda Pop shop and get everyone some nostalgia in a bottle (I think they ship, too). Bubble Up, Nesbitt’s, Dr. Pepper in a glass bottle and my favorite… Mint Julep soda. We carried these at Violets are Blue for a while. It was so much fun to watch people light up as they grabbed their favorite childhood soda… and even more fun to watch them wince and say “I don’t remember it being this sweet!”

Just look at the outside of the building and the magical fluorescent lighting… time stands still when you are in there… literally! :)

Now I want to look up peppermint martini recipes (anything with a fancy sugar rim), investigate items that can be put in mugs and stock up on gourmet coffee from A Southern Season (If you are ever in Chapel Hill… GO). And someone out there, not naming any names… will be getting a gallon of blueberry syrup from her favorite gourmet eatery, The Cracker Barrel… that’s sort of a beverage, right ? :D

Oh, and I just bought some pumpkin eggnog at the store… it’s a little (or a lotle) overwhelming, but isn’t that what the holidays are all about? ;)


ZOMG… it’s snowing!

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main, outings at 10:02 am by carrie

And it’s like six inches DEEP!

I grew up in California… I’ve been in another state all of eight months now? They said snowing here was rare… but everyone in my neighborhood has a snow shovel, a mini snow shovel for their kids and the plow king is extra busy this season plowing the roads today.

Okay okay, it’s supposed to be gone in a day or two and every school and most businesses are closed, so that shows that this is rare. But dang it, I want my flip flop weather back ;)

It started with the frozen fountain at the mall on Saturday evening… which was totally whimsical and gimmicky… then after a few days of cold weather… we woke up to this….

I’m going to go play some more before it all melts :)

Oh yeah, I’ve been doing art, too… I’ll post that soon ;) Happy Inauguration Day!



Posted in business-a-go-go, Events!, Fun Stuff, Main at 2:21 am by carrie

I feel like I’ve been in the jungle and I’m writing on an ancient typewriter, face smeared with dirt, wearing weather-beaten khakis, a pith helmet while surrounded by man-eating plants and various monkeys. The past week has been such a blur of gift wrapping, hors d’Ĺ“uvre making, coffee brewing, tagging and find-the-last-ornament-on-the-tree playing that I have neglected so many other things! yeesh! :) But, I’m so very grateful that we have been busy & the Holidays are finally in full swing… I was worried there for a moment :)

Quick side note, before I forget… we are out of pooping sheep & penguin candy dispenser things. All the pretty hand-dipped chocolate goodies… still here… pooping plastic animals… “Ewww, that’s disgusting! I’ll take three!” Seriously. Please tell me who you are buying these things for. I want reactions.

Holiday open house… check. Cathi Milligan’s demo days and bead sale… check. I can’t believe they are wrapped up! Pics below:

close quarters!

The backside of water… I mean of the counter :)

we made 100’s of tags…

And now… Cathi Milligan on the torch!

I love those pictures!

Gratuitous Meg-a-moo picture :)


Our Halloween Party…

Posted in business-a-go-go, coupons, Fun Stuff, Main at 11:54 pm by carrie

…was a smashing success :)

Cathi Milligan (glass bead guru) came up to visit & left with a scarf in her trademark turquoise and lime colors…

Miss Lou-hoo and I spent the entire evening making these cupcakes… at #42 I was like a small impatient child on a road trip… “Are we there yet?!?!” Isn’t it awesome to have a meticulous friend who is a whiz in the kitchen? Not to mention… her oven works ;) Mine’s on the fritz… Many many thanks to Graycee’s Kitchen!!!

Although in a cast going on 15 weeks or something, Raegan was a HUGE help!!! The most polite teenager you’ve ever met! (And very sweet brothers, too… but she may disagree! hehe) She cleaned up my messes, greeted customers with a huge smile and sprinkled pixie dust on the party to make it more magical. Thanks again Rae, you’re my favorite sarcasm buddy ;) (She’ll know what that means!)

Transmission to the world:
We have too much candy. (stop)
Please send help. (stop)
I made all those labels by hand. I’m insane (stop)

Remember how in the movies, they’d send a telegram and they would say “stop” a lot?
nevermind… my memories of old movies tend to have dancing food, Shirley Temple in every scene and well, things that just aren’t there :) Rose-colored character phantoms! Yay!
I digress… but…The above is just a sampling of the over 50 pounds of TAFFY I purchased. Caramel apple, banana cream pie, neapolitan, assorted, licorice, halloween mix… my teeth hurt now. Free tooth brush with every pound you buy! (kidding)

For being a Spooky Tea party, we sure didn’t go through much tea. Out of the 50-something people that attended the party, 40 of them had a cupcake, most had candy… ONE had hot tea. I got special swizzle sticks and everything but *sigh* our October has been in the 90’s… not very good tea weather. But I did have an awesome tea set out surrounded by flicker lights:
Besides the cupcakes and one cup of tea available… we had pumpkin bread, shortbread cookies and other snick-snacks. Oh, and iced tea, too. I made little “spooky” labels for each item. For example… “Peanut butter pretzels – to appease angry charging elephants”, “Garlic pretzels – anti-vampire formula”, “Hot water – For your tea and assorted spells”. Etc etc etc… I had them on the candy jars, too… and it turned people off to some of the flavors. “Twisted Root Beer Beans” is really just Root Beer Jelly Bellies… no need to fear. And “Rotten orange seedlings”, just Orange Sherbet Jelly Bellies. I could go on and on ;) (Have I mentioned that I LOVE puns and pun-like things?!???? We should trademark Nathan’s *groan* and eyeroll that he performs after I reveal a pun that I think is brilliant. It’s THAT good.)

I did mention I have a ton of candy, right? Come ‘n’ get it! (Is there a 12 step program for over buying? There has to be… as I remember the mount Purse-uvius incident and hang my head in shame… BUT… we only have about 10 of those puppies left… so HA!)
Also… speaking of over-buying… guys… I got like… 50 tons of candles. They are great candles, don’t get me wrong… but my nose made me buy most of their scents. Bad nose! So, mention my “run-a-way nose” and buy three get one free until the end of November. See, a hidden Coupon… right over there!!! Go find it ;) I ship too, call me! (dang it… to clarify… buy three Colonial Candles and get one of equal or lesser value for free through November 30. Can’t be combined with any other coupons, specials or acts of nature). Colonial Candles… awesome candles and I got Potpourri, too. In Christmas scents (holiday cheer, holiday sparkle, fresh fallen snow and mistletoe). Also, pumpkin Pie, Indian Summer (my fave), ocean scents, florals, fresh cotton scents, papaya, honeydew… too many to mention.
Okay… so my cousin Allison emailed me and said… “I want a scarf (from your blog), how much… pick the coolest one.” I think Cathi picked the coolest one ;) So, Al, I know you don’t like purple, but what is your second favorite color? :) And do you want more serious or girly foo-foo? Is it cold in NC already??? (I’m turning my blog into myspace now, sorry… comments have their place! hehe).
And finally… we put these Doggles on Meg… we thought she’d spend the entire time trying to get them off her little head, but she really enjoyed them. And goodness, can you stand the cuteness??? We recommend these dog-goggles to protect your pup’s eyes… and you too, can swoon at the cuteness that is accessorizing your dog. (I’d whip out the head bows, sweaters, little shoes and tiaras with sparkles but Nathan won’t have it. I had to sneak a pink collar on my GIRL dog. So, Meg gets to wear jewelry when he’s not looking! hehe!)


October 1st at Sue’s…

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main, outings at 1:06 am by carrie

For those of you who know Sue T. and her amazing gift for finding vintage treasures, decorating, entertaining… and the sheer *wow* factor you get when you step into her house… you’ll realize that this blog does not do her home justice. Also, this was only one month into her Halloween decorating. She spends over 8 weeks preparing for her favorite holiday but her house is always set like a stage… as you will see :) Every little nook and cranny has a spooky surprise waiting for you…

This is the end of her downstairs hallway… fun little touches everywhere…

As you walk into her living room….
more living room…
One of her many *incredible* finds… a child’s vintage costume… complete with little pointy hat!
Oh, and there’s another… in amazing condition. C. 1910’s or 20’s. This one also has a little hat with silvery curly-q’s.
An old black and white print with owls… I love this artwork! Wouldn’t this be cool as pajamas (for some reason)?
Not spooky… but her Parisian guest room is just too cool!! I want 50 of those Eiffel Tower lamps for the shop!! How can I whisk myself back to 1950-something and purchase them?? :)

Typewriters, cats, candelabras and a book of spells!

Sue’s son is very involved in the selection of decor each Halloween. He was very excited to show me his collection of mummies and archaeological dig ephemera! I’ve promised to come back and help paint hieroglyphics on a wall or two to help with the Egyptian/mummy theme. Of course he was digging in the dirt and making stone etchings… it has to look authentic :)

I got the full mummy tour in the most awesome of tree houses I’ve ever seen (Well, it’s more like a playhouse on stilts but completely awesome none-the-less)! You have to cross a bridge/plank to get inside and it has a second story! I really really want a tree house! (these pictures do not do it justice, I must take more!)

I can’t wait to see everything when it’s all put together with low-lights, rolling fog and spooky sounds :) I’ll be sure to share those pictures, too! I’m pretty sure Sue should charge admission but it truly is a labor of love :)

Careful, they bite back!

Posted in Fun Stuff, Main, Sharing the Handmade Love at 12:15 am by carrie

So, I get this text message to my phone… “Cupcake decorating party tonight at my house!” How can I say no??! Pinguino had the awesome idea to make Spooky Cupcakes…

In order of appearance… (All these pictures were taken by Pinguino or Nathan…)

Tiny naked cakes!
Pinguino’s coffee table… where the magic will happen.

Oh no! (Mr. Bill?)
8 arms, 1 eye…
More eyeball squishy things…
And everyone found a home!

And these are my little edible art pieces… the turtle (on the right… it doesn’t really, err… look like a turtle) is covered with taffy that I rolled fimo style into swirls and sliced. 5 years of fimo-ing had to come in useful someday, right? ;)

The end!
**I’m SO doing a cupcake decorating party at the store for Christmas… any takers?**

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