Sunday, September 27, 2009

Featured Artist Mini - SquidArt

I am very pleased to be featuring Katie of SquidArt as this weeks featured artist. One look at her shop and I was instantly engrossed in her fun and vibrant photography. After browsing for a good ten minutes I decided that it was going to be impossible to choose a favorite. I instead decided to list my top three - Moose Love, Chicken Love, and Penguin Love. These darling photographs are all in her Animal Love series.

Please go and check out her shop now; for an example of her work check out the 'Weekly Featured Etsy Mini' on the right hand side of my blog.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Featured Etsy Mini - VeryVerdant

A few years ago I was searching for luggage tags. I looked all over our town and ended up settling for something I was less than satisfied with. If only I had known about Etsy! I was delighted to discovered VeryVerdant and it's plethora of unique sewn items - especially the luggage tags. They are bright and unique; you buy a set and you will have no trouble spotting your bag again.

Now is the perfect time to head over the VeryVerdant. Sonja has offered 15% off the entire purchase price to my readers! Just type STORYBOOK in the comments box when you checkout. Offer good through September 30th, 2009.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Craft Therapy - Indoor Herb Garden

This weeks Craft Therapy project is one that I have wanted to tackle myself. Putting together an indoor herb garden takes very little time or supplies, and is a very relaxing way to spend part of an afternoon.

What you will need:

4 Small Garden Pots with Saucers
Herb Seeds (parsley, sage, thyme, and chives all grow well indoors)
Small Pebbles
Indoor Potting Soil
12 Toothpicks
Plastic Wrap
4 Rubber Bands or Twine

•To ensure good drainage, fill the bottom quarter of your pots with pebbles.
•Add the Indoor Potting Soil to your planters. Plant 3 seeds in each pot at the recommended depth on the packet.
• Using luke warm water, water the soil well.
• Poke three toothpicks into the soil around the rim. Drape the plastic wrap over the toothpicks and secure around the bottom of the pot with rubberbands, or tie with twine.

Check your soil everyday, adding water if needed. The soil should feel moist, not soggy. Remove the plastic wrap when your seedlings sprout and move to a sunny location. A room with a south facing window is ideal. Thin your herbs down to one plant when the seedlings have two true leaves. When the humidity is very low in winter, you may want to lightly mist your plants daily.

Enjoy your new indoor herb garden!

*Be careful not to place your plants too close to a very sunny window. Even in winter the sunlight can be intense enough to burn your herbs. I lost a thriving mini rose this way last year!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Featured Mini Monday - MamaBethBling

Every so often something will catch your eye while you're browsing Etsy. You know the item, the one that makes you stop and truly study it's beauty and complexity. You browse all the photos, read the entire listing, and then browse the photos again. This isn't just a piece of inventory; it's art. That describes my first experience with MamaBethBling's shop.

I stumbled on this lovely necklace while doing a little early Christmas planning. This is hand stamped jewelry at its best. Her pieces are beautifully classic, yet unique in design. She has an amazing selection of quality jewelry that can be customized to suit your recipient or occasion. This particular necklace is priced at 30.00 dollars. I have seen generic mass produced jewelry that is made of cheap metal for double that in a department store. With beautiful, reasonably priced items like this, why buy anything but handcrafted?

MamaBethBling has generously offered free shipping to the readers of my blog! Just mention Storybook Stitches when you checkout.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Our Giveaway Winner

The Winner of the Moist Heat Therapy Set is: Mattscraftywife!

Congratulations! I hope you enjoy your new neck wrap and slipper inserts.

To thank everyone who entered, I am offering 20% off any item in my shop if you mention my blog. (Credited on your PayPal account).

Thank you!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Blog Carnival - Brag on Yourself

As a new member of the EtsyBloggers Team, I feel that I jumped in just in time for a difficult Blog Carnival topic. Brag on Yourself. What are You Most Proud of in Your Life? Brag on myself? Yikes.

I found myself staring at the ceiling the other night, trying to fall asleep, pondering this question. There are countless things I'm proud of.

•My children play nicely together more than they fight.
•I make seriously awesome dark chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips (I am willing to share the recipe).
•I actually harvested radishes this year before I got bored of my garden and found better things to occupy my time.

So what am I most proud of? Everything. There is no momentous achievement that overshadows the rest. My world is a collage of seemingly tiny moments. Little insignificant details, that when spun together, make the beautiful tapestry that is what I am proud to call my life.

Monday, September 7, 2009

People Eat Flax Seed?

Flax seeds are wonderful; I use them in all my heat therapy packs. They are composed of 30 -40% oil, and this gives them the ability to stay toasty warm for long periods of time. Grains like rice or wheat will dry out after just a few uses and lose their ability to hold heat, but flax seed will stay moist after repeated heatings. As you can see, flax seeds are perfect for heat therapy. But for breakfast?

Recently flax seeds have been getting a lot attention in the health community. So I took an afternoon and did a little research. Apparently the oil that is great from a therapy standpoint is even more amazing if ingested internally.

Ever heard of Omega-3's. Who hasn't, right? The all important fat that feeds your brain and heart is found in high quantities in each little flax seed. That's great news if you aren't a huge fan of fish! Flax seeds also contain more antioxidants and plant estrogen rich lignans than any other plant foods. About 75 - 800 times more. Need more fiber? Try 4 grams of fiber per two ground tablespoons. Pretty good stuff!

So how do you incorporate them into your everyday diet? The first step is grinding them, or buying them preground. Your body will absorb more of the nutritional benefits this way. Then you can start adding them to all sorts of dishes. Oatmeal, sauces, smoothies, and yogurt are all a popular choices.

What's my family's favorite way to flax seeds? Tucked into the foods they eat every day! I like to replace some of the flour in a traditional quick bread recipe. You will have a delectable flax rich treat...that tastes nothing like flax seeds. Here's my favorite recipe. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup quick cooking oatmeal
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 cup milk
1/3 cup applesauce
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup raisins

Blend the oatmeal and flax seeds in a food processor until coarsely ground. Blend in baking powder, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and flour.

In a separate bowl blend milk, applesauce, egg, vanilla extract, oil, and brown sugar. Mix with dry ingredients until just blended. Add in raisins.

Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake at 375 degrees for 23 - 27 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Makes approx. 12 muffins.

The Results Are In!!!

The winners in my Autumn Scents Poll are:

Vanilla Pumpkin and September Woods!

Be sure to check by my shop and browse the new selection. The new scents will make their debut towards the end of September. Thank you for voting!

Want to be informed when I add the new scent line? Go to Storybook Stitches and contact me with your e-mail address.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Apples and Pumpkins and Spice...Oh My!

Fall is in the air. Mornings are crisp and evenings are cool. Soon pumpkins will be showing up on doorsteps and trees will be sporting the first yellow leaves of the season. I am thrilled. This is by far my favorite time of the year, and to celebrate I intend on flooding my shop with yummy autumn aromas. But how do I choose? Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Apple, Chrysanthemum, Autumn Woods…There are so many tantalizing aromas to pick from!
You, trusted followers, must choose for me!

Vanilla Pumpkin - Who doesn't love pumpkin? This traditional fall scent is accompanied by cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Subtle vanilla accents the blend, giving it a lovely sweet note.

Apples and Oak - Apple and spice with rich woody undertones. Warm, inviting, and earthy.

Autumn Meadow - A celebration of the flowers that make their debut in early fall. Chrysanthemum and chamomile play stars in this blend that is clean, earthy, and slightly floral.

Apple Jack Spice - Tart apple mingles with orange, cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Like strolling through an orchard on a cool autumn day.
September Woods - Pine, oak, and just a faint hint of spice. A rich blend that will transport you to a warm fall day in the forest.
So which one's your favorite? I will be choosing two scents for this autumn season, give me a hand and vote now!
Poll located on the right of this page.