#CIJCookieExchange – Four Way Fudge

Contributor post by Jessica of CrochetNature

Let’s Make Fudge – Recipe from Jessica of CrochetNature

Nanny's Fudge 02

1. What is your recipe?

“Four Way Fudge”
Recipe from Jessica – England

1 jar marshmallow cream
1 1/2 cups organic sugar
2/3 cup (158 ml) evaporated milk (or organic almond milk)
1/4 tsp salt
12 oz (340 grams) semi-sweet chocolate pieces (Green & Blacks Organic – Yum!)
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 c (57 grams) organic butter

How to make the fudge:
Combine marshmallow cream, sugar, evaporated milk (or almond milk), butter and salt in a large saucepan.
Bring to a full all over boil, stirring constantly.
Continue to boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.
Remove from heat; Stir in semi-sweet chocolate pieces and vanilla; beat until smooth.
Turn into greased 8-inch square pan.
Chill in refrigerator until firm.
Cut into squares.

Makes approximately 2 1/8 lb.

Nanny's Fudge 03

2. What is it about this recipe that you love?

I love this recipe because it holds special memories, it’s really easy to make, and it tastes delicious! You’ll see in parentheses that it can be made dairy-free as well, which my son loved!

Nanny's Fudge 01

3. How did you learn to make this cookie?

I learned to make the recipe from my mother who learned it from her mother. Each year, I’ll pass on the special recipe to my own children, and the memories will continue to grow.

Nanny's Fudge 04

4. Please share a story or memory to go along with the cookie.

This is a very special family recipe from my Nanny’s collection of holiday recipes. She made it every Christmas when my mom was a little girl. My mom continued the tradition by making it with my sister and I every Christmas when we were young. I remember sneaking lots of bites when no one was looking! Even now, the tradition continues. When we get together at Christmas, one of us (my mom, sister, or I) usually makes the special fudge for our annual ornament exchange party. And just a few years ago, I began to make it for my own family (easily making it dairy free by using almond milk instead of evaporated milk when my son’s diet changed). Besides holding special memories, this fudge is absolutely delicious. It will melt in your mouth and make you want more…and more…and more! My mouth is watering just writing about it!

Crochet Nature

5. What are your social media sites?


Eco-Friendly Thanksgiving

Contributor post by Jessica of CrochetNature

Thankfulness is on all of our minds this week, but there is so much to be thankful for all year long, including the beauty of nature. Today, I want to share just a couple of ways you can bring natural beauty to your table with some tips on how to make your Thanksgiving eco-friendly!



Why not decorate your table with nature’s delights? You might be able to find acorns like these in your backyard, but if not, you can find them in Cyndi’s shop By Light Of Moon. They would look lovely spread across the table….

acorn collage
…or in a candle or napkin rings.


Thanksgiving food can be even more delicious if it be organic and as natural as possible. Have you ever tried to make pumpkin pulp from scratch? It’s actually not that hard (my daughter did it with her Kindergarten class) and makes your pie sooo delicious! Here’s how:

Cut a pumpkin in half.
Scoop out the seeds and stringy stuff.
Lie face down on a recycled foil lined baking sheet.
Bake at 350•F until soft, about 45 min to 1 hour.
Cool, scoop out the flesh.
Use immediately or freeze for future use.


Above all, enjoy the days spent with family, friends, and beauty!

Happy Thanksgiving!


We’d love to hear your comments and your own ways of celebrating an Eco-friendly Thanksgiving!


#CIJRoadTrip – Malaysia: Selangor

Contributor post by Jessica of CrochetNature

Let’s travel to Malaysia – Selangor with Yee Von from whimsywhimsical! I visited friends in Malaysia years ago, so I quickly knew I wanted to write this post when the chance came up. Reminiscent memories of my trip include beautiful tropical surroundings, mouth-watering tastes of food, and a unique blend of cultures. Yee Von expands on these and more from her beautiful country!

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

Hello! I live in Selangor, Malaysia. The place I stay is actually pretty close to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia and it is just a 30 minutes drive. Our country is famous for its tropical climate and natural heritage like shoreline mangrove, mountains and beaches. We live in a multi-racial society and get to celebrate different cultures and celebrations like Chinese New Year, Deepavali, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and even Christmas, which make our country one of the highest numbers of public holidays in the world. The part I enjoy the most, thanks to our multi-cultural society, is that we get to enjoy unique blend of cuisine like nasi lemak (rice cooked with coconut milk), satay (beef / chicken skewer to dip into a sweet and spicy peanut sauce), Hainanese chicken rice or Roti Canai (local pancake to eat with Dhall and curries).

Satay And Spicy Peanut Sauce

Satay And Spicy Peanut Sauce

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

We have a good blend of metropolitan cityscape  (Kuala Lumpur), history & heritage trails (Melaka & Penang), jungle trekking and world’s longest canopy walk (National Park in Pahang) and of course an array of exotic islands and beautiful beaches for diving and snorkeling (Langkawi, Pangkor & Redang)!

Taman Negara National Park - Malaysia

Taman Negara National Park – Malaysia

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

Ironically, I didn’t incorporate much of my country’s customs and traditions into the items I created. Most of my artworks are inspired by the nature as I grew up in the mountains when I was very young.

Sipadan Island Resort - Malaysia

Sipadan Island Resort – Malaysia

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

I’m currently working on new collection of invitations for birthdays and baby showers while approaching retailers for my products. Also I’m getting ready for year-end items like calendar 2015 and Christmas collection. There are a lot of monthly craft fairs in the city but I didn’t get to participate much due to the timing and the amount of work!

10 Personalized Invitations - Those Perfect Berry Cupcakes Tea Party From whimsywhimsical

10 Personalized Invitations – Those Perfect Berry Cupcakes Tea Party From whimsywhimsical

Winter Wonderland - Greeting Card From whimsywhimsical

Winter Wonderland – Greeting Card From whimsywhimsical

20 Stickers - Squirrel & Skunk Party From whimsywhimsical

20 Stickers – Squirrel & Skunk Party From whimsywhimsical

5. What are your social media sites?

Pinterest : www.pinterest.com/chanyeevon
Facebook : www.facebook.com/pages/yeevon/125949550760513
Blogspot : chanyeevon.blogspot.com
Instagram : @chanyeevon

#CIJRoadTrip – Dominican Republic: Santo Domingo

Contributor post by Jessica of CrochetNature

Let’s travel to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic with Angie Rodriguez from TheLarimarShop! What a great place to create. I can only imagine the endless creative inspiration that comes from living in such a beautiful country. Read on to find out Angie’s inspiration that is unique to her part of the world!

1. What city do you live in? What makes it special?

I was born and live in Santo Domingo, capital of the Dominican Republic. Our country shares the eastern side of the Hispaniola island, the western side is Haiti. It is special because our island was discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, who landed on the north coast. Santo Domingo city, with its Colonial Zone, was placed in 1990 by UNESCO on the World Heritage List.

Colonial Zone - Santo Domingo - Dominican Republic

Colonial Zone – Santo Domingo – Dominican Republic

2. What are several places everyone visiting your country should see?

Santo Domingo – It holds claim to the first cathedral, monastery, university, hospital, customs house and other monuments in the New World. In the Colonial Zone you will find 11 blocks of historical and fun-filled streets, where part of the city walls can be seen, holding the oldest permanent settlement in the New World. There are over three hundred pieces of history, which include houses, streets and monuments.

The Dominican Republic can be undoubtedly regarded as a tropical paradise, with its many breathtaking and secluded beaches, many with pristine waters, white sand, and wonderful islets with endemic species that you can reach with speed boats and catamarans. All water sports are available, specially at Cabarete on the north coast and La Romana on the east coast, with beautiful hotel resorts.

Kite Sailing - Cabarete - Dominican Republic

Kite Sailing – Cabarete – Dominican Republic

Eco tourism takes you to mountains, rivers, and waterfalls, where you can practice many sports such as paragliding, horseback riding, river rafting, mountain bike, swimming and much more!

Cayo Levantado - Samana - Dominican Republic

Cayo Levantado – Samana – Dominican Republic

We also have must see lakes such as the Enriquillo Lake – the largest salt water lake and the lowest in the Caribbean, home to American crocodiles and many endemic species.

3.  How have the customs, traditions, geography, nature etc. inspired the items you create?

When I learned about our Larimar stone, which is unique to the whole world being the only blue pectolite found so far, I decided to get involved with this natural beauty. The blue and blue-green colors, as well as the wonderful patterns reflect the blue colors of our Caribbean sea waters and the blue sky with white clouds. It is a stone that is hard not to fall in love with. This stone has been linked to the lost continent of Atlantis, as well as to dolphins, attributing special qualities to our Larimar stone.

Larimar is now our national stone and is a real representative of our country. With our Larimar, our Dominican craftsmanship has the opportunity to display its creativity to the world.

Larimar Collections From TheLarimarShop

Larimar Collections From TheLarimarShop

4. What are you doing this fall to drive your business in your community? Are you doing a festival or show? How do you reach out to your community?

We are planning to participate in a Bazaar in Santo Domingo this fall for in Santo Domingo, Bazaars are one of the best way to promote handcrafted items locally!

Larimar Studs Earrings From TheLarimarShop

Larimar Studs Earrings From TheLarimarShop

Amber And Larimar Reversible Bracelet From TheLarimarShop

Amber And Larimar Reversible Bracelet From TheLarimarShop

Wild Boar Tusk And Larimar Stone Necklace From TheLarimarShop

Wild Boar Tusk And Larimar Stone Necklace From TheLarimarShop

5. What are your social media sites?

Facebook: facebook.com/thelarimarshop
Twitter: twitter.com/thelarimarshop
Website: http://www.thelarimarshop.com/

Blog:  thelarimarshop.blogspot.com/


Eco-Friendly Summer

Contributor post by Jessica of CrochetNature

Summer is a great time to celebrate, which is getting ready to celebrate one of the biggest holidays of the year…early…is such a great thing to do with Etsy Christmas in July! Summer is also a time to enjoy the sun, beaches, lakes, rivers, and exploring the outdoors. If we don’t take care of our world, the beauty may fade. BUT we can have a totally Eco-friendly summer that is beautiful with the following lovely items from shops who are part of the Etsy CIJ team. Here is what these fabulous shop owners have to say about their Eco-friendly creations.

summer-bee photo-AngsanaSeedsPhoto

Shop: Angsana Seeds Photo

Item: Earth Day Photo Print

“This year I created a special cards collection in honor of Earth Day. Three prints each featuring earth-conscious theme were chosen for this purpose. The first one, “Harvest,” features a honey bee on Queen Anne’s Lace to remind us that the honey bee is an integral part of our environment. Without them, everything would perish. To make these cards eco-friendly, they were specially printed on acid-free, FSC-certified fine art paper from sustainable sources.”

summer-paper bracelets-byTheArtBug

Shop: byThe Art Bug

Item: Paper Beads Bracelet

“I first learned making these beads when I was in 6th grade! They always amazed me so much, it was fun to imagine how a junk piece of paper would turn into something so beautiful and unique. This art needs a lot of precision and patience which is what gives it the neat and delicate look. Each bead is hand cut, hand rolled and then covered with gloss before it becomes a part of the jewelry piece. I also design each of my jewelry piece. This Eco-friendly bracelet is unisex and is perfect to adorn your summer style.”

summer-shell ring-TreasureGrotto

Shop: Treasure Grotto

Item: Siebler Sea Shell Spoon Toe Ring

“Sterling silver spoons which were once given as gifts, collected as souvenirs and passed down through generations have survived the ravages of time but are often left to sit in drawers or boxes, unseen and unappreciated in today’s fast paced world. I transform these spoons into wearable art for today’s woman. The process is delicate because the spoons are often 100 years old, or older, and who knows what they have been through during that time. Using my experience and skills learned in the fine jewelry business, I cut, shape, smooth, and fire each piece to create the jewelry, then finish each one by hand to bring the glow of the antique silver back to life. Today these treasures find new life as jewelry from Treasure Grotto in an eco-friendly process that recycles the old silver while preserving the beauty of the original creations.”

summer-chunky cup cozy-CrochetNature

Shop: Crochet Nature

Item: Chunky Cup Cozy Crochet Pattern

“The yarn I used for these cozies is quirky chunky oversized yarn, taken from the fashion industry. It is made using the off-cuts from the textile manufacturing process which are then up-cycled into reclaimed yarn spools. It is highly ethical and quickly creates instant impact. It’s doubly good for the environment because it also replaces the cardboard cozies that many coffee shops hand out and it works well to know which cup belongs to who at summer BBQs.”


Shop: by The Crochet Bug

Item: Handmade Rustic Coaster

 “I hand crocheted these star coasters with 100% natural hemp twine. My inspiration for making these coasters is my love of working with natural materials, and the star design is nature inspired. The hemp twine gives these coasters a very rustic and elegant look. They can be used in any season, including summer!”

summer-wood fish-JuguetesEloisa

Which Dad? The one who is all natural.

Shop: Juguetes Eloisa

Item: Handmade Wood Fish

“I try to make my toys as Eco-friendly as possible. All of my toys are handmade with pinewood, produced in Chile (where I live) by very high standards of sustainability. I also use non-toxic water-based paint, which allows to the grain of the wood to appear beneath the colors and seals them with natural beeswax and natural oil polish. I think being Eco-friendly does not only lie in using Eco-friendly materials, but also transmits a desire to take care of our planet by being in contact with natural materials. Also, all of my toys are nature themed – almost all are animals! These fish reminds us of the sea, the beach and the bright colors of summer.”

summer-woven pot-ChickenJungle

Shop: ChickenJungle

Item: Origami Succulent Plant Pot

“When I was a little kid in the 1960’s, many of my classmates were making fancy folded paper chains out of gum wrappers…beautiful intricate creations, sometimes long enough to go around walls! I was always jealous of them because I could never seem to figure out how to fold the gum wrappers. Now 40-something years later I have finally figured out how to fold the wrappers right, but I don’t chew gum so I have no gum wrappers. But I do have countless many cardboard paper towel tubes. I have discovered that they are the perfect size to cut and fold, and they make very sturdy objects.”


Aren’t these great – creative and oh, so summery!

We’d love to hear your comments and know if you have any other ideas for a fabulous Eco-friendly summer!


Eco-Friendly Father’s Day

Do you know a father who loves the earth and would appreciate and Eco-friendly Father’s Day gift? I know one for sure. My husband. He’s an Environmental Science teacher. Not only has he reached his students, but he has also taught and inspired me! I’ve grown to really love and care for our environment, inspired by his passion. One way I live it is by using yarn that is Eco-friendly and Fairtrade when I design a new crochet pattern for my Etsy shop. For this Father’s Day, I thought it would be great to see and share what others on the Etsy CIJ team have to offer for an Eco-friendly Father’s Day.

vintage tie - LivePastVintage

Which Dad? The one who appreciates history.

Shop: Live Past Vintage

Item: Vintage Tie

Eco-friendliness: Vintage is cool and this ticks the box for the second of the three Rs…reuse!

recycled coffee cup sleeve - SunshineMakings

Which Dad? The one who loves his coffee.

Shop: Sunshine Makings

Item: Recycled Denim Coffee Cup Sleeve

Eco-friendliness: First of all, it replaces all the cardboard sleeves that our favorite coffee shops like to slip on their cups. Second of all, the yarn is totally recycled! The denim cotton is broken down and the fibers are then re-spun into yarn!

felted slippers - feltinga

Which Dad? The one who likes to keep his floors clean and feet warm.

Shop: Feltinga

Item: Felted Wool Slippers

Eco-friendliness: Felt is made from wool. Wool is an environmentally friendly, sustainable source. What could be better?

scorpion pendant - BeadyEyedBird

Which Dad? The one who is all natural.

Shop: Beady Eyed Bird

Item: Carved Coconut Shell Scorpion Pendant

Eco-friendliness: It’s made from a natural, untreated material that would otherwise be a waste product. A cool fact about this pendant is that it came from Chichicastenango, Guatemala – say that three times fast!

paper beads bracelet - byTheArtBug

Which Dad? The one who is Eco-conscious.

Shop: by The Art Bug

Item: Upcycled Paper Bead Bracelet

Eco-friendliness: Upcycled paper beads join to make this unique & one of a kind gift.

***Wishing a Happy Green Father’s Day to all of you!***

Etsy CIJ Craft Party – How to Crochet an Edge on Paper

Contributor post by Jessica of CrochetNature

 Crochet Edge on Paper Tutorial25

Hi! I’m Jessica from Crochet Nature and I’m happy to be here at the CIJ Blog sharing my tutorial for how to crochet an edge on paper. It’s one of the many ways you can embellish your pictures for the Etsy Craft Party!

Crochet Edge on Paper Tutorial28

First, you’re going to need some supplies:
Thick Paper – Watercolor, Cardstock, etc.
Crochet Thread – Aunt Lydia’s 100% Viscose from Bamboo 10
Crochet Hook – Steel – size 6 / 1.6mm

Crochet Edge on Paper Tutorial 01

Step 1: Print pictures onto paper. I chose some of my Grandma – the one of he skiing always makes me smile!

Step 2: Cut picture out.
Step 3: Punch holes, evenly spaced, around edge of picture, about 1 inch apart.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 02

Step 4: Slip Stitch into corner where you would like to begin.
Step 5: Chain 9.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 03

Step 6: Slip Stitch into the next hole.
Step 7: Repeat step 5 and 6 across edge to corner hole.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 04

Step 8: Chain 3.
Step 9: Slip Stitch into same corner hole.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 05

Step 10: Repeat Steps 5 to 9 until you reach the beginning stitch.
Step 11: Slip Stitch to join with beginning stitch.

If you want a very simple border, you can stop here. Or you can continue…

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 07

Step 12: Chain 1.
Step 13: Single Crochet in next 9 stitches.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 08

Step 14: Skip slip stitch. Single Crochet in each chain across the edge, skipping each slip stitch until you reach the corner.
Step 15: Single Crochet 3 under corner chain.
Continue single crocheting around entire picture with 3 single crochets under each corner.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 09.5

Step 16: Slip Stitch to join with first single crochet.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 09

Step 17: Chain 4.
Step 18: 1 Slip Stitch in 1st chain of 4 chain.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 10

Step 19: Skip the next single crochet.
Step 20: 1 Single Crochet in next stitch.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 11

Step 21: Chain 3.
Step 22: 1 Slip Stitch in 1st chain of 3 chain.

CIJ Crochet Edge on Paper 12

Step 23: Slip Stitch to join with first stitch. Tie off. If you’d like to hang the picture, you can leave a long tail and tie it to the other side of the top edge.

Crochet Edge on Paper Tutorial23

Happy Etsy Craft Day!
I hope you enjoyed my tutorial and I’d love to see you soon at my shop!