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{sweet treat} Vintage Confections

Thursday, September 30

The Winner of this giveaway is
(Random numbers generated Oct 8 2010 at 5:35:22 by
Free educational resources for parapsychology, psychical research & mind magic.)

Erin said: "I have been drooling over this shop for a few months now. I am so glad you found it, too! The molasses marshmallows with gingerbread coating really do make my heart beat faster. In fact, I think they may be my first order. Heather opened her shop on Nov 16, 2008 and she currently has 1604 sales. Thanks for the yummy reminder and thank you both for the giveaway! :)
And I am already a fan of yours. You rock! :)

Congratulations Erin!!
I hope you'll come back and let us know how much you enjoyed your candy corn lollipops!!
And thank you to everyone else for ROCK!!

Good Friday morning everyone...
Happy first day of October!!!
I've got a WONDERFUL treat for you today - literally!!

In my search for some special lollipops for Ella's upcoming 2nd birthday...
I happily discovered Heather from Vintage Confections on Etsy.
(the shoppe name alone lured me in...*wink*)

She creates old-fashioned barley candy, caramels & marshmallows.

Take for instance....

"Tea Time" barley lollipops & "Rose Petal Marshmallows" (made with actual rose water)

Caramel Nougat Pinwheels & Butter Rum Caramels

Bubble Gum Ball-Style lollipops & Pistachio and Marshmallow flavored droplets

She even does numbers, letters and a variety of shapes

I LOVE homemade and I LOVE supporting small businesses so
I'm so excited to have found Vintage Confections.
The wide variety of sweet treats & the endless assortment of flavors
makes it easy to find something PERFECT for any celebration/event.
Heather's confections are ideal as party favors and for dessert tables everywhere!!
(And to top it off...they take custom requests)

So, besides making your mouth water...
and giving you a great resource for your next party...
what else does this mean for you?

Heather has graciously offered to send one of you a dozen of these....

Candy Corn Lollipops
Aren't these so stinkin' adorable!?
And perfect timing for your upcoming Halloween festivities!

#1: Go peek at Vintage Confections and find:
- what product makes your heart beat faster
- the date the shoppe opened
- the number of sales Heather currently has

#2: Come back here and leave me a comment with all three of those answers
#3: Go to my facebook fan page and become a fan
#4: Come back here and leave another comment to say you are a fan
(those of you who are already a FABULOUS fan...leave your 2nd comment letting me know)

That's it!!
Contest starts today: October 1st
Contest Ends: Thursday, October 8th
Winner will be chosen by and announced: Friday, October 9th

A special thank you to Heather of Vintage Confections for the sweet giveaway...
especially because she doesn't normally participate in them.

Hoping you all have a super SWEET Friday as well as a beautiful weekend...
and good luck to all of you who enter to win!!

I'm probably jealous you'll be winning the candy corn lollipops...but I'm not going to admit it. *wink*
I'm probably driving Heather nuts because I keep sending her messages about more things in her shoppe that I'm finding.
Just last night I stumbled upon a PERFECT flavor choice for one of the baby showers I'm helping to host.
I can hardly contain my excitement!

{my shoppe} Halloween Collection 2010

Tomorrow is a new month...
And this means we are heading into a new season.
It's time to capitalize on the excitement of it all...don't you think?
I'm excited.
And if for some reason you aren't all that excited...
I want you to GET excited!!
I'm hoping my new Halloween Collection will do the TRICK...
because you are in for a real TREAT!!

• cupcake toppers •
Look at the variation of cupcake toppers you can create with this new collection!
These AWESOME cupcakes are from Cupcake Delights in Mt. Dora - flavors are listed at the bottom of this post.

next up...
make it an "Eeeeeky Clean Halloween"
• bar soap wraps •
Add some holiday flair to your guest bath or children's bath
by cutting a couple of slits on the side of the cupcake toppers, string ribbon through the slits and tie to a bar of soap.
Notice the variations of wrapping, ribbon type & placement.

Ella is obviously mesmerized by this little spider...first the the soaps! *wink*

• lunch box wraps •
Add a special sense of excitement to your little ones' lunch...
Wrapping their sandwich or adding a cupcake topper to their food items always makes lunch extra special!

• home decor wraps •
Create decorative candles, glass jars, & so much more.
You can even make napkin rings with the collection or create paper chains.

Because this product offers so many different variations of "wrapping" to add pizzazz to your holidays...
I introduce to you:
Here's a view of the two page collection you get when you place your order!

If you weren't geared up for the upcoming season - I hope you are now!!
I can't wait to see what you do with these products!
Be sure to check in tomorrow for a SWEET giveaway...

(If you are should consider picking yourself up some of these ghoulishly delicious
and boo-tiful cupcakes from Cupcake Delights)
flavors: (top to bottom, left to right)
Twice As Nice, Peanut Butter Creme, Mummified, Kahlua & Creme, Cookies & Cream, Hot Chocolate

{home} a couple of finds

Wednesday, September 29

While I'm busy wrapping up some design projects...
Now is the time to share with you some images of OTHER projects...
things I've recently picked up for the house.

First up...

this perfectly weathered shutter
I picked this up during my trip to Renninger's the other weekend & I'm using it in my office.
My plan is to create individual laminated index cards to stick in the slats to help keep track of orders...
...write on, wipe off & reuse as the orders are finished.
(the mirror to the left is what I've been using for orders).
The reflection of the gold paint in the mirror & the paint swatches on the wall
are tattle-taling on me. I'm STILL painting. *wink*

Speaking of paint swatches...

here's one of the other things I picked up at Renninger's.
(the paint swatches did NOT come with the original purchase - keep reading).
I was looking for something for the foyer entrance and thought this would be perfect.
I fell in love with the hooks and the little box on the front that opens for keys, etc.
Guests can slide their shoes underneath when they stop by for a visit.

After getting it home, it was MUCH more "yellow" than it looked in the shoppe.
(and I'm not talking about a sweet butter yellow either - Nor is it a "creamy white" like the picture would have you believe).'s GOT to be painted.
I immediately thought of the two colors mentioned recently on The Lettered Cottage:
Blue Hubbard a retired color from the Martha Stewart collection at Sherwin Williams
Sea Salt by Sherwin-Williams.
I even considered painting it black.
After trying out all three of those, I decided on using Aqua Smoke 470E-3 by Behr.
Can you guess which one it is?
(it's a softer blue than what the photo would lead you to believe)
Sanding, painting and sealing are in my very near future!!

And then there's the TOP SECRET project...
(of course there are no pictures for this one). *wink*
Just know that I've got the cutest idea ever for a party product that I think...
and HOPE...everyone will eat up!!
It's cute enough for a patent.
Seriously, it's THAT cute!!
And I know NOTHING about obtaining a patent people.
But trust me, I've been learning A LOT over the past few weeks.
I've even got a prototype ready!!

So how about you?
What have you got going on in your corner of the world?

I'll be doing a photo shoot today to launch my new Halloween Collection.
The ideas are SO cute it's a little "spooky"...*wink*

Here's the reason behind the creation of the "Keeping It Real" I include at the end of most of my posts:

Sometimes when I read back over my posts,
I'm left with a sense that my life couldn't be more perfect.
...working on patents
...home decor projects shoots, etc.
Although those things are true...
my life is far from perfect.
Trust me...
there are days when:
• I want to pull my hair out...
• I'm in tears...
• I'm completely exhausted...
• I feel overwhelmed...
• I'm guilt-ridden, feeling i don't spend enough quality time with my kids.

We ALL have days like that.
That's when it's time for a little R&R and R...and R:
• regroup
• reflect
• rethink
• refocus.

I'm just a girl trying to find the perfect balance - just like the rest of us!
It's important to me for you to always remember that!! *wink*

{real parties} Tea Party inspired by Ava's Tea Party

Tuesday, September 28

Remember the Ava's Tea party post from a little while back?

I had a reader, Cupkate's Designs & Events, who was so inspired & touched by the story behind Ava's Tea Party...
she decided to participate.

And boy did she ever.
You won't believe the beautiful outcome of it all...

But first, here's what she had to say:

"When I read about Ava's Tea Party after finding the link via Pen N Paper Flowers, I knew it would be the perfect event to help launch CupKate's Event Design. A meaningful, happy day to celebrate the little spirits that we love so dearly. Using the artwork from the Ava's Tea Party website and many of the fabulous details from Pen N Paper Flowers' "Sunshine and Lemonade" as my inspiration, below is my take on a beautiful tea at the park."

Ok...are you ready?
Here are some of my favorite elements from the party...









Everything turned out simply darling...
• the tutu covered bench
• the ribbon printed "pinkies out" straw tags
• the cupcakes in teacups
• the use of the oversized wrought iron chair
• the kids with frosting all over their faces...LOVE it!

Thanks so much Cupkate's Events & Designs for sending me these photos!
What a beautiful and memorable way to launch the start of your new business endeavor!!
Be sure to check out her site for more details!

Did anyone else have their own Ava's Tea Party?
I'd love to hear all about it if you did. (even if it was a simple gathering with no pictures) *wink*

Happy Tuesday!

the results are in...

Monday, September 27

The results are in...
The winner has been announced for the cupcake skewer contest over at Pizzazzerie...
and phooey!
it wasn't me. *sniffle*
(go here for the results and to see some of the other "fabulous entries")!!

that means I can now share all of my entries with you. Yea!!!
Before I do...
let me explain my approach:

"Create something using innovative presentation & practicality".
I wanted anyone to be able to duplicate these, as well as make them easily consumable at a REAL party.
I focused on "out-of-the-box" presentation.
I didn't go for "fancy" artwork, etc.
I was thinking about my readers and how to inspire each of you to try your hand at making these.

First up...
my favorite entry...

• Oreo Cupcake Skewer •
LOVED using an oreo cookie as the platform & then topping it off with a mini oreo.
(The cupcake decor was inspired by Judy from my favorite cupcakery...Cupcake Delights)

a couple of skewers to gear us up for the upcoming season...

• a Halloween themed mini ice cream cone cupcake skewer •
These are SUPER easy to make...see this post.
I created a custom wrap for the cone & skewer - (easily adapted for ANY occasion)

• another Halloween one •
I printed "Boo!" onto tissue paper, wrapped the cupcake & tied with a bow.
(Again, super easy...anyone can do this and this can easily be adapted for ANY party theme)

And lastly...
• a little ladybug themed cupcake skewer •
Altering a regular sized cupcake liner adds a little pizzazz...
the possibilities are endless.

And really...
the whole cupcake skewer concept provides limitless creative thinking.
I'm so glad I participated in the contest.
A big huge thanks to Pizzazzerie for hosting it...
as well as a big hug to Bakerella for being guest judge.
My creative wheels have been turning because of it!
I can't wait to see more of the other entries as Courtney posts them...

Let's make it a great week everyone!
Hope you all enjoyed your weekend!

I'm SO disappointed I didn't win.
(you might find me in the closet with a box of tissues).
No. I'm just kidding.
(not about the closet & tissues...only about the "SO" disappointed)
I'm actually devastated.
No. I'm just kidding about that too...
it was only a cupcake contest for crying outloud! right?? *a tear-laden wink*

happy first day of fall...

Thursday, September 23

it's the first day of fall.
the air is crisp and cool...
the faint smell of nutmeg, cloves & cinnamon is in the air...
i'm ready.
are you?

need a little inspiration to get you geared up for the upcoming holiday season?
does this do it for you?

needle-felted acorns

go check it out.
it's a fun tutorial all about these adorable needle-felted acorns.
these would be the PERFECT addition to any fall dessert table.
they are relatively easy too!!!

make it a great thursday everyone!

the guest blogging feature was perfect timing -
my week has been crazy-busy and who knows if i would've even been able to post something today!
this made it REALLY easy! *wink*
thanks Carrie!!!

{mini desserts} ice cream cone cupcake skewers

Wednesday, September 22

today is THE day.
the final day to submit your creative cupcake skewers to Courtney over at Pizzazzerie!

because i'm just DYIN' to share with you my submissions...
i'm keeping them a secret for now...
here's one that i created but did not submit for the contest but is still completely adorable!! (and super easy)

mini ice cream cone cupcake skewer

what you'll need:
mini ice cream cones
cake recipe (a boxed version works too)
cream cheese frosting
red gumball
assorted sprinkles
"spice drop"

place mini cones upright in mini muffin baking pan.
fill mini cones barely 1/2 way with cake batter.
bake your cupcakes right in your ice cream cones for approx. 12 minutes.
remove from pan & let cool completely.
pipe on cream cheese frosting.
add assorted sprinkles & one red gum ball.
cut a sliver from the end of a "spice drop".
slide it onto your skewer as a base to keep the cone in place.
puncture a small hole into bottom of ice cream cone cupcake and rest on spice drop.
ta dah!!!

i hope this mini treat put a smile on your face!
i know i'll have a HUGE smile on mine if i happen to win this contest.
the prizes are FABULOUS!
my most treasured prize?

NEW book

SIGNED by my favorite creative cake-pop queen herself...Bakerella!
(did i mention she is also a JUDGE for the contest?...oh. my. goodness!)

and there are SOOOO many other wonderful prizes too!
keeping my fingers crossed.

i may have to squeeze in a few more entries before the 5p.m. deadline tonight -
that would be in between a hair appointment, school project for clara this afternoon, doctor appointment & real life. uh....yeah.
wish me luck!

{in the studio} where did the weekend go?

Monday, September 20

where did the weekend go?
well for me...
it was work. work. work.

i thought it'd be fun to give you a glimpse into a few of those "work work work" items...

first on the list...

• "katie's little lady" collection •

i finished this invite last week and i've been working on the coordinating party accessories...
they are turning out adorable i might add....

penelope collection • REVISED for a wedding shower
i always love when customers have me alter an existing design from my shoppe to match their particular event.
this shower will be held in december and i think the color palette is so "winter-fresh"...

• special agent oso• birthday invitation
when i receive customer requests to create invites to coordinate with commercial characters/trademarks/logos...
it's always a bit tricky, (& stressful), making sure to avoid any copyright issues.
this is the preliminary invitation design - we'll see what the customer thinks...*wink*

• keepsake nursery art print •
a request from a returning customer - i can't wait to see it framed!

in the midst of all the digital design work this weekend...
i managed to escape with my mom & ella on sunday.
we perused renninger's looking for some things for the house...
i found a mirror and a piece of furniture for the foyer.
when i can squeeze in taking some pictures i'll be sure to post them.

my goal over the next two days is to finish up my entries for THIS CONTEST from Courtney over at Pizzazzerie!!
have you entered?
lots of great prizes to should give it a try!
can't wait to share my entries with you...

have a GREAT monday everyone!
looking forward to sharing a little freebie with you mid-week!

while i was out at renninger's...
j did a fabulous job finishing up painting the kitchen.
yes people...
as embarrassing as it is...
we are STILL painting!! *blushing*

{real parties} sassy & sophisticated 1st birthday

Friday, September 17

while my head is spinning with "creative overload" due to three upcoming events...
all in the same time...of course!
i thought i'd take the focus off of me and share some party photos sent in by an adorable customer.

party girl: jenny
party theme: 1st birthday
studio collection used: "couture cake"

we started with the custom designed invite
invite - Couture Cake Collection

and then jenny worked her magic creating her own party decor.
1 - Couture Cake Collection

i thought the use of streamers was completely adorable...and jenny did a fabulous job at tying it all together.
3 - Couture Cake Collection

2 - Couture Cake Colleciton

isn't the photo wall she created an adorable way to showcase the first year of her beautiful little girl?!
4 - Couture Cake Collection

a super sassy & sophisticated first birthday party!
you did an amazing job Jenny!
thanks for sending in the pictures!


Wednesday, September 15

i'm always thrilled to work on design requests for my friend Kim over at the TomKat Studio!
I anxiously await the release of her new products incorporating the custom graphic elements I've sent her.
i'm like a kid opening a present when i see the link to preview the new product release!
i have to say...
out of all the of the designs/silhouettes i've created for her so far...(firetruck, alice, fairy & another one that's yet to be revealed)....

this "sassy witch" silhouette i designed for Kim's brand-new Glam Halloween Collection REALLY had me excited!!

isn't she just SO sassy!
sassy witch halloween collection
look at the magic Kim created with the party accessories and invites...

LOVE these sassy table labels and cupcake toppers too...
sassy witch halloween collection3

and these sassy little treats from sweeties should get you REALLY excited for that giveaway i mentioned yesterday...
sassy witch halloween collection2

Kim did an amazing job and I hope you are feeling completely inspired for the upcoming holidays!
I only gave you just a teeny tiny peek at all of the fun details, so be sure to take your sassy little self over to her blog to see the full post!

photography: laura winslow
chocolate covered oreos: sweeties by kim

i'm REALLY jealous that Kim has two different photographers she can call on for her fabulous photo shoots!
"i want one!!" (lying face down on the ground, kicking and flailing my arms in a full tantrum)...*wink*

{in the studio} the carriage collection

Tuesday, September 14

lots of design work going on behind the scenes...
thought i'd share the latest collection with you...

• the carriage collection •


i'm also working on a second halloween collection...
the second?
what happened to the first?
the first little collection will be unveiled as part of a guest blogging collaboration with bella grace party designs & half baked - the cake blog coming up later this month...

i'm also working on a little giveaway from sweeties by kim...
i'm getting ready to post a poll on my fb fan page about what YOU'D prefer for the giveaway...
i'd love it if you'd head on over to chime in your two cents...*wink*

hugs to you all!
happy tuesday...

matters of the heart...

Monday, September 13

"matters of the heart"...
seems like SUCH an appropriate title for sharing several very different things...
all of which effect my heart in some way...

warms my HEART...
one of the side benefits of blogging and other social media.

i've been able to "meet" some extraordinary people since the start of my blog.
people from all over the world, actually.
some of them are readers who merely reach out and leave a comment.
some are people whose blogs i follow personally and derive inspiration from.
and others are often found through a mutual interest of some sort.

that's how i met renee.
many of you know how much i adore rhonna farrer - a digital designer & a household name in the scrapbooking industry.
some how....
through rhonna's blog & on twitter...
i met renee...aka: craftymom123
regardless of the specific details on how this friendship came to be...
the important thing is that it "came to be".
we've corresponded back and forth through my blog as well as my twitter account...
leaving encouraging messages and always "checking in".
a few months back, i sent a little gift to renee.
last week...
renee sent a little gift to me...

a housewarming gift, actually.

the handmade card...
the personalized towels & notebook...
SO sweet...
and with so much thought behind it.
thank you renee...
i'm so thankful for the kindness, generosity, friendship and thoughtfulness of others.
it warms my heart.

be still my heart...

don't know if you noticed...
things were quiet here on the blog last week?
only one post all week.
i have a good excuse.
see these socks?

these were complimentary during my one night stay at the hospital.
an unexpected stay after an irregular ekg at my doctor's office.
because i had a heart catheterization and an ablation done in 2002...
they had to rule out wpw wasn't flaring up again.
no worries though.
everything turned out good & i'm home now.
the assumed cause?
• underlying worry over clara's upcoming cardiologist appointment
lack of sleep
• an overabundance of caffeine consumption in this form
• and the one we are all too familiar with....stress.

a happy heart...
photos from customers/readers

nothing makes me more happy than to get photos back from customers/readers.
specifically photos using the products i've created to help make their celebration extra special.
needless to say my heart was DEFINITELY happy seeing this....

a banner from the •cottage garden tea collection• used for a recent birthday party.

thanks for sharing this heather!
everything turned out beautiful for reagan's 6th birthday!!

soothes my heart...
i said it.
i can't keep her underwraps any longer.
the "amazing artist" & the "secret interview" i've mentioned a couple of times?
this is her...
here's a peek at her dreamy, soothing, beautiful art...


and there's SO much more to see.
i don't want to give too much more away...
the interview isn't quite ready to share yet...
but i assure you...
it will be worth the wait.
and because i know you will react similarly to me...
(anxious to begin a personal collection)...
there might...
just might...
be a fabulous giveaway associated with the upcoming interview.

so there you have it.
"matters of the heart"...
all wrapped up in a nice little package this monday morning.
i hope we'll all be inspired to reach out to others...
take better care of ourselves...
fill our day with happiness...
and fill our surroundings with beautiful things...
today and everyday, for that matter.

i hope you all are well...
it's good to be back!

i've got a collection of photos sent in by customers/readers that i really need to share.
i hope to have them posted this week.

i may have played down the whole hospital thing - casually throwing it into the middle of this post...
in fact, i hesitated even sharing it because i enjoy keeping things "light", "pretty" and "inspiring" around here.
if i'm going to keep things real with you - it wasn't really an option NOT to touch on it at all...
now was it? *wink*
i assure you, it wasn't pleasant and i hope to never travel down that road again.
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