Friday, December 30, 2011

Putting it Together - Website

I am so excited about my new website and HOW EASY it was to build, I had to share with you again. The last time I mentioned that I was working on a Website (here) it looked a little different. I wasn't so happy with the design so I worked on a different design template. It was soooo easy.

Here is my plan. I want this website to support my Artfire shop, and be a place where I can offer wholesale options to Brick and Mortar shops. I also want to offer, high end, unique designs on my Web Site. Take a look at how it's developing akacinders.com.

Also I didn't have my own domain, well I got a cheap one at GoDaddy.com and it was so darn easy to set up and for the first year only about $9 with tax. Look for a discount. Maybe at my favorite spot for that, retailmenot.com. I just followed the instructions for adding my domain from GoGaddy to Weebly, couldn't be easier.

Now I tried the website tonight at GoDaddy and I had the account for a year without ever being able to set it up.   I just love the Weebly ease of use. Look at this. You pick a template for your page and work with that. The toughest thing to do is make any graphics you might want. Maybe just a banner, like your Etsy or Artfire one. Now, grab the feature you want and pull it onto your page and edit. It's a SNAP.

I wasn't sure about making a shop either, but that is sooo easy too. If you have PayPal or Google Checkout, Weebly is set up to work with that. All you have to do is authorize it. I made a shop, but it is not visible, because I really want to have web only items for sale, and I'm still working on those. Click on the picture to go to my hidden shopping page if you want to explore on your own. I will be revising this one.

I f you've been thinking about a Web Site, like I was, but were afraid to try I can't begin to tell you how easy it is. Weebly has a Free site option or a Pro for about $60 a year. You can have 10 websites on your pro account. That doesn't include the domain (website name) but there are several places to buy that. There are a lot of options, but they are clearly explained on Weebly. You can use my link for a free month of pro (here) or just go to weebly.com.

Hard to tell from a blog, but I'm really excited about this. I just wanted to share my pure delight at how easy this was to set up. Don't get me wrong, it does take some time. Each picture is linked to my artfire shop and I had to go back and forth between sites and upload all the images. It takes time, but if you can list on Etsy or Artfire, or worse yet, eBay, you have got it made! OH, and PS, don't forget to add your metatags in advanced settings.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sharing - Keeping Busy Crafts

I've recently become obsessed with crochet. I made the cutest cupcake hat for Luna and learned a new stitch. I have loads of yarn sitting around an loads of time, so as long as I don't get distracted trying to watch videos and crochet, Luna will have lots of sweaters/booties this winter.

How about you? Have some time on your hands and want to try something new?

Try these cute DIY Rope Bracelets from honestlywtf.com - cute.

Ever want to try those Rolled Fabric Flowersjonesdesigncompany.com has a tutorial for you. Gonna have to try these myself.

How about sprucing your house up a little. I love these Vintage Wall Art Shelves found at Better Homes and Gardens, sooo much. I think I'm hunting in the room next door for some.

Hope you have a wonderful New Year and I'll bring you more ideas to spruce up your home next week.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Giveaway - Valentine Jewelry for You

Winter doldrums got you down? (What the heck is a doldrum?) Perk your self up with a pretty peony from my akaCINDERS shop.

Romantic Red and Ivory Peony and a Pretty Spring flower to remind you where we're going.

Entry is Easy! Tweet or Facebook Post Post any item from my shop akaCINDERS or just Tweet or Facebook My new Website akacinders.com.

Want extra entries? Post something Pretty on Pinterest for 2 additional entries.  Make sure you let me know what you did in the comments on this post.
Contest Ends January 31, 2012. That will give me enough time to get this to you by Valentines Day.

Please be sure that you leave a comment with a name I can use to contact, or check Back February 1 to see if you have won. No entry limits.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Life on Mars - A Wonderful Holiday

So I know I always talk about the neighbors and certain family as though they are the only dysfunctional ones.  You DO know that we are dysfunctional too (but not as bad).

The Holiday was nice,but not perfect. We had too much going on to get the house really clean or finished like we wanted. There were still buckets of clothing and fabric around. Our house is so tiny that adding a tree, along with baby things is just too much. I so want to add on a fabric shed. I guess if I got my own place, Poppy could put her some of her fabric in my closet.

But Christmas was nice. The tree now has a ceiling over it, and there is a bathroom so nice I don't have to close my eyes when I go in, even if it's not finished. We were able to go to my cousins, because we have a car, even if it's a moody old car (kinda like me). And we have the sweet baby Luna, even if she got her first virus and couldn't make it to cousins. I took the boys while Poppy stayed with baby.

The cats made Christmas a little more difficult, having left a little gift of their own under the tree. But fortunately the puddle wasn't on the tree skirt and only touching the bottom of MY gift bag. Of course Poppy stepped in it and didn't notice until she walked all over the house, so a little extra cleaning was necessary. That darn Simon kitty is going to be living outside soon.

One thing that would have made the feast perfect is a dishwasher, cause right now I am the dishwasher and I can't begin to tell you how many dishes I washed. I can say that it would have been at least 3 loads in the washer if we had one.

After a nice Christmas feast of Ham, Turkey, Stuffing, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Tropical Sweet Potatoes, Waldorf Salad, Macaroni and Cheese, Green Beans and Ghetto NA Wine (7 up and Grape Juice), we took a last look at out gifts.

Luna loves the dancing Christmas Snoopy so much that she was dancing with him, even though she had a rough day with her sick tummy. Dinky played with his  PSP (second hand from eBay, score) and Emerson went off to his room to play his new games.

I settled down in front of the TV and enjoyed the Dr Who Christmas special. OK, so Matt Smith is no David Tennant, but I have fallen in love with him too. So charming and sweet. Spoilers if you haven't seen.  I must admit that I teared up when he went back to Amy and Rory's for Christmas dinner.

Hope you all had a wonderful Holiday and Wishing you the Very Best 2012

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sharing Time - Holiday Gifts 2011 Part 4

Getting so close to the Holidays and I am looking all over for gifts and decorations to make for friends and family. Did you get your gift from me yet? I think it's in the mail.

I do wish I found this one earlier for you, but if you run out now you might have time to make it. This is the cutest ever "Book Bag". A little handbag recycled from a vintage book binding.

And you can't fool me. I know some of you have not finished decorating yet. Here is a Fabric Yo-Yo Tree.

And Better Homes and Gardens has some cute Decorations for you.

Back to gift ideas, how about a quick easy Monogram Mug? Fill it with a bag of Cocoa.

Here's another easy one. Lemony Kitchen Hand Scrub. I think I want this one for me.

I love this Etched Trifle Bowl, and I have etching paste. Why didn't I think of that?

Oh and a handmade Wooden Wax Seal I have all I need for this too. I better get busy!

Polymer Gift Tags. They would make such cute jewelry charms too.

OK enough for today. I hope you all have a wonderful Holiday with Many More Joyous Days to come.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What Evah! - Websites and Whatnots

I still have lots to do. Bathroom and all. That's almost done. Hopefully this week I'll get the trim up and I'll post some new pictures. But with all the orders finished and packed, I'm getting bored.

I had this brilliant idea. I need to sell my Jewelry in Brick and Mortar shops. So how do I do that. I can't walk all over the country. I also want to focus on shops that will appreciate my eco-friendly flowers. So I'm starting by designing a Web Site. I started with the cool one from Weebly. If you don't have a site yet, they have free ones and the pay ones are pretty reasonable too. The thing I really like about it is that it is so EASY to set up it's sic.

I got the free one for now, I'm still working on it but I like where I'm going. Something good to work on to keep me busy on the slow days between Christmas and New years, before Valentine sales. If you're interested use this link http://www.weebly.com/link/UDhLfS to start yours. You will get a free month of their pro service when you use the link (I'll get one too, thank you)

When I'm done with my website. I'll be sending samples of my flower jewelry to various stores, first in my home town, then around the country. I think, garden societies, floral designers, and health food/naturalist shops will be great places to start. I'm only offering items that I can produce at a reasonable price so that they can be marked up for the retailer. I think I'll have to make some new designs too. Maybe with other recycled materials like glass.

So what is a whatnot? Merriam Webster "any of various other things that might also be mentioned" Word of the Day! Now back to the Bathroom trim and whatnot.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Life on Mars - Taking a well deserved Break and Goals

rctees.etsy.com
Things have been crazy last week. Well that's nothing new. The MIL woke Poppy's DH to tell him that she thought we were in a serious car accident. Then he couldn't get back to sleep, it wasn't us. I wondered though, if she saw us in a serious accident, why she didn't stop to see if we were OK, offer to help, or if it was even us? And if the info was second hand, why the Hell did she believe it?

The car was OK this week, it does really need tires though. Well there was the issue with the Brake light going on, flashing and dinging and being really annoying. Apparently Poppy rests her foot on the Emergency Brake Pedal when she drives the boys to the bus. And that funny looking coin holder by the door, isn't a coin holder after all, it's the emergency brake release. What a freaking weird design.

Sunday I reviewed my blog, looking for an old post and I found that in 2009 I had 11 posts and in 2010 I had 21 posts. This year I resolved to try to have a new post every day. Well I didn't do that, but I did manage 169 170 posts so far. Wow! I sure hope I didn't bore you too much. At least the recipes are popular.

I'll try to make my blog a little more interesting in the new year. I'll try to bring you some more info to help you with your everyday life.

Hope you all met your goals this year, or at least half your goals. I did way better than I actually expected. Now if my goal of getting my flowers into specialty shops works, I'll be thrilled.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sharing Time - Holiday Gifts 2011 Part 3

Country Living Decorations
Hope your gifts are almost all "wrapped up" Here are a few more gifts and decorations to make.

Had to share this one - Rolo Turtles - CANDY - So good I'll let you know how they turned out.

How about these awesome Hand Carved Rubber Stamps? I used to make them. I might have to dig out my tools.

Here is a group of DIY Christmas Decorations from Country Living. I love the Wrapping Paper in little picture frames. I might come up with some cute wrapping paper ornaments too.

This one is the most awesome thing ever. You have to click to see this wonderful Waterless Snowglobe. I'm definitely making this one. With maybe a felt or polymer cover for the base.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Life on Mars - Friday is Monday this Week and What a Week

Been a full moon kind of Week. Sunday, went to the car to go out to buy supplies. Even offered a ride to the carless neighbors, who didn't need a ride fortunately. Climbed up the hill to the car and no start, as a matter of fact barely any power at all.  Battery? Wiring? Alternator? Checked pricing and Battery expensive, but not too bad. $80. 




Finally got someone to jump the car Wednesday, didn't work. Guess I have to join AAA. $49


Thursday Morning I woke up to a message on eBay. Do they want my stuff? No they wanted to just tell me how beautiful I was. My reply "That's sweet. Are you looking at the picture on my me page? Cause I'm 60 years old. Those boys are my grandsons. Next time though, please leave me a message telling me you want to BUY something from me. Because I am not here to receive flattery, I am here to support my family."


Then AAA able to start the car and I drove to the Garage. Yep the battery. That's good, it could be so expensive. No, the battery is under the engine, behind the wheel and the wheel and well have to be removed to replace it. WHAAAT??? Who designed this piece of crap? Estimate $190 for a car battery. I think I'm going to send Chrysler the bill for bad design.


So while I'm calling Poppy to have her check around for a better price, she tells me the serger died. WHAAAT??? There goes another $200.


Car finished and the estimate was a little high. Total only $160, for a BATTERY.


Well one good thing happened this week, although I find it hard to call it good. A woman from the MIL's church died and Her DH gave MIL all the food in his house because he doesn't know how to cook. So she gave us half of it. He emptied his freezer and those people had very good taste in food. I feel bad that the woman died and the man is alone but we can sure use the break after having to spend all that Christmas money.


Oh and remember this cute snack stand? My new $4.99 Roasting pan from World Market that I put on the Fridge with a few odds and ends in it, slid off and it all fell on the stacker and kinda smashed the center parts. Back to the drawing board. Guess it wasn't so cheap after all.


OK maybe it's not as bad as I make it. After all, most of the kids gifts were already bought. The one who will really suffer is the Landlord (in laws) because  we'll have nothing left for him. And my dreams of finally getting a new pair of sneakers after a year and a half is shot to hell. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sharing Time - Holiday Gifts 2011 Part 2

Another round of DIY gift ideas for you today.

Well I made my Treat Stand. What do you think. I found some inexpensive Snowman Themed plates at a discount store and $1 candlesticks at the Dollar store. Total cost without the E-6000 that I already had? $4

I'm making one for a friend and another for family. Shhhhh! Don't tell them.

Here is another one I'm dying to make for our house. It's a recycled T- Shirt Rag Rug Great blog and tutorial.

Here is a list of 10 Gifts to Make But my favorite is the Photo Wreath. Too cute.

Do they have a Fireplace or Camp out a lot. How about these Great Eco friendly Fire Starters? What a great use for all that darn dryer lint.

And finally the cutest little marble Magnets. I think I'm going to have to make these too.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What's Cooking? - Almond Puff

This recipe is my favorite treat for the Holidays. My mom found it in a huge box of recipes she bought. It had recipe cards that you purchased by a set a month. So much easier to buy a book.

This recipe was worth the cost of the whole set and I really can't remember making anything else out of those recipe cards.

It looks harder than it is and it is really worth the effort. Don't be afraid, just jump right in and you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can accomplish. We've tweaked the recipe a bit over the years to add a bit more yummy almond.

ALMOND PUFF

BOTTOM LAYER
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold water

TOP LAYER
1/2 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3 eggs

GLAZE
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

1/2 cup sliced almonds


1. In a medium bowl, cut the 1/2 cup of butter into the 1 cup of flour
until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add the cold water one
tablespoon at a time. Using your hands or a fork, stir until the dough can
form a ball. Divide dough in half. Roll or press each half into a 12x3 inch
rectangle. Place them 3 inches apart onto an unprepared cookie sheet.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
3. In a saucepan, bring the 1/2 cup of butter, and 1 cup of water to a
rolling boil. Lower heat and stir in the flour immediately with a wooden
spoon. Continue to stir vigorously until the dough forms a tight ball.
Remove from heat. Stir in eggs one at a time, then stir in the almond
extract. Spread equally onto both rectangles. Bake for 10 minutes
before lowering the oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees
C). Continue to cook for 15 to 20 more minutes. The top should be
crispy and brown.
4. To make the glaze, beat the confectioners' sugar together with the
melted butter and almond extract until smooth. Spread over the almond puff
when cool, and sprinkle with sliced almonds. Cut into strips and serve.
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