Homes And Gardens – All Things

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Homes and gardens. Just say the words and all things homes and gardens come to mind. Inspiring home and garden items from members of the Etsy ChristmasInJuly Team and their stories fill my mind with ideas! Please enjoy!

Kelly from ColourscapeStudios shares that she’s just gotten back into gardening recently. It’s her escape from the daily mummy routine! She has started growing herbs and a few pot plants, hoping to expand out soon to more flowers and eventually a veggie garden as well!

Rosemary Fine Art PhotographyFrom ColourscapeStudios

Rosemary Fine Art PhotographyFrom ColourscapeStudios

Jennifer from CaffeinatedPapercuts loves butterflies (or flutter-bys as she always called them) and looks forward to their return to her garden every year. So when she found this fun butterfly paper, it immediately made her think of my seasonal visitors in all their glorious colors perched atop her flowers. And hey, this means she can see butterflies year round!

Multicolored Butterflies Handmade Tile Coasters From CaffeinatedPapercuts

Multicolored Butterflies Handmade Tile Coasters From CaffeinatedPapercuts

Veronica from AVAArtsSupplies loves these red flower acrylic rhinestones because she doesn’t have a green thumb for flowers! She has tried and tried and yet her flowers always die. She can keep a garden full of veggies growing, but those flowers… she may as well plant plastic flowers. At least those would last a little!

Red Flower Acrylic Rhinestones  From AVAArtsSupplies

Red Flower Acrylic Rhinestones From AVAArtsSupplies

Amy from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy wonders what says garden more than a lovely little lady bug? She used to love capturing them at her grandmother’s house. She would give her an old Tupperware container with grass in it and holes cut out of the lid. Amy would proceed to fill it up with ladybugs and carry it around all day. The next day, they all miraculously escaped, and her grandmother would send her on her way again. Pretty sure her motivation was a) extra lady bugs in her garden from everyone else’s yard and b) to keep Amy busy! When Amy found this pattern, she thought of her. One of these towels hangs in her kitchen every spring, and it makes her smile!

Red And Black Ladybug Embroidered Hanging Kitchen Towel Potoholder Combo From BeadsandThreadsbyAmy

Red And Black Ladybug Embroidered Hanging Kitchen Towel Potoholder Combo From BeadsandThreadsbyAmy

Candy from WickedlyCreative loves vintage items and fell in love with this bee gardener pattern! She loved embroidering the flowers and think it would be a perfect gift for a mother or grandmother who loves gardening.

Bee And Flowers Hand Embroidered Pillow Decor From WickedlyCreative

Bee And Flowers Hand Embroidered Pillow Decor From WickedlyCreative

Jeanne from CedarwoodsCreations observes there are all types of bugs and bees around a garden. Dragonflies have always fascinated her. They intrigue and scare her at the same time. Jeanne doesn’t think they sting but whenever one gets close to her she flinches and get spooked. They are very cool to look at though!

Dragonfly Rock Cairn From CedarwoodCreations

Dragonfly Rock Cairn From CedarwoodCreations

Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital loves sunflowers and lady bugs! This was a fun clip art set to make, and she has used it for making greeting cards for late summer/early fall.

PDF Clip Art Sunflowers With Lady Bugs Printable Digital Papers From ButterflyFeetDigital

PDF Clip Art Sunflowers With Lady Bugs Printable Digital Papers From ButterflyFeetDigital

Majorie from mscennaa acquired this little vintage flower shaped jewelry embellishment and has been saving it for a creation this spring. Looking at flowers outside and thinking about picking flowers inspired her to make it into a ring!

Red Flower Ring From mscenna

Red Flower Ring From mscenna

Elizabeth from ElizabethLovesGlass is a store that is partly vintage, partly handmade. This item is is a vintage treasure and is perfect for the gardener whose flowers are blooming. When it’s time to start arranging flowers and creating beautiful indoor arrangements, a flower frog will help keep those stems in place!

Pale Blue Flower Frog   From ElizabethLovesGlass

Pale Blue Flower Frog From ElizabethLovesGlass

Laura from VintagePlusCrafts finds joy growing these in her flower garden and what to spread them all over the world!

Hollyhock Seeds From VintagePlusCrafts

Hollyhock Seeds From VintagePlusCrafts

Karen from APaperPardise believes that cannot be a girl in the world who hasn’t at some stage in her early life, proudly presented her mother with a bunch of daisies picked from the lawn – how fitting then to announce her birth with a daisy cupcake.

10 Pink Daisy Cupcake Baby Announcements, Shower or Birthday Party Invitations with Custom Wording From APaperParadise

10 Pink Daisy Cupcake Baby Announcements, Shower or Birthday Party Invitations with Custom Wording From APaperParadise

Kazaa from TangerineToes feels this beautiful Sanderson fabric is already inspired and she fell in love with it instantly. Kazaa created this sweet little accent pillow showing off pink roses and lilac growing and glowing happily together!

Cushion Cover Throw Pillow Soft Pink And Green Floral Roses Lilac Shabby Chic English Garden Pillow Cover From TangerineToes

Cushion Cover Throw Pillow Soft Pink And Green Floral Roses Lilac Shabby Chic English Garden Pillow Cover From TangerineToes

Sarah from TheFeltCollector feels this felt fabric is definitely garden inspired. She likes the colors of the pretty flowers. What would you create? She is thinking an owl would be super cute.

Garden Floral Felt MaterialFrom TheFeltCollector

Garden Floral Felt MaterialFrom TheFeltCollector

Watler from WalterSilva is fascinated by the way roses are grown and loves gardening!

Rose Bouquet Pill Box From WalterSilva

Rose Bouquet Pill Box From WalterSilva

Sarah from BellaBoutiqe23 designed this card originally for her Mom to give to her 3 girlfriends from high school. They have been friends for over 50 years! Sarah loved the saying for them “Plant a Seed of Friendship, Reap a Bouquet of Happiness”! The paper line is from Graphic 45 secret garden line and she loves the flowers. Sarah designed each card to be a different flower to represent her Mom and her three girlfriends, each beautiful and each unique.

Tealight Candle Friendship Card From BellaBoutique23

Tealight Candle Friendship Card From BellaBoutique23

DickensKnits added a special touch to this rather plain sun top by embroidering a flower on it!

Flower Baby Sun Top, From DickensKnits

Flower Baby Sun Top, From DickensKnits

Freesia – Pantone Fashion Color For Spring 2014

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

Color trends are a wonderful way to celebrate the seasons! According to Pantone one of the top colors for Spring 2014 is Freesia.

Freesia is a blazing yellow that is sure to illuminate this season.

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Members of the EtsyChristmasinJuly Team have many Freesia items in their shops! Here are a few!

Amy from BeadsandThreadsbyAmy made these as party favors for her niece’s spa-day sleepover party. They were a big hit with all the girls so she decided to list them. They have been a popular item, mostly for use in spa packages and the like. It’s an adorable little pattern, and the microfiber towel is perfect for facials and manicures.

Extra Large Spa Girls Washcloth Towel From BeadsandThreadsbyAmy

Extra Large Spa Girls Washcloth Towel From BeadsandThreadsbyAmy

Majorie from mscenna created these funny dice earrings that are a mix of vintage, re-purposed beads that she acquired from a friend. Roll into spring!

Freesia Dice Earrings From mscenna

Freesia Dice Earrings From mscenna

Camille and Susan Thorton from upCdooZ wonder what little girl would not want to look sassy with her tweety bird dress and matching shorties? They feel that the coordinating colors make the ‘freesia’ really pop. Girls of all ages should have fun clothing with maybe a little attitude.

Girls 4/5/6 Upcycled Tweety T-shirt Panel Dress With Triple Ruffles And Matching Shorties From upCdooZ

Girls 4/5/6 Upcycled Tweety T-shirt Panel Dress With Triple Ruffles And Matching Shorties From upCdooZ

Karen from APaperParadise shares that her business began with her making cards for friends and family. As her business grows she feels the need to go ‘above and beyond’ the cards in her shop when designing for her family. She made this for her daughter who urged her to list it immediately. Now all Karen has to worry about is how to beat this for her graduation!

3D Birthday Card With BalloonsFrom APaperParadise

3D Birthday Card With BalloonsFrom APaperParadise

Ramona from UrdHandicrafts was thinking about making a nice spring piece, so freesia was a natural choice when it comes to color. Spring jewelry should look fresh and vibrant, just like this ring.

Sterling Silver Stacking Ring From UrdHandicrafts

Sterling Silver Stacking Ring From UrdHandicrafts

Barbara from AuntBsAttic shares that seldom does a detailed story of inspiration get included in her listing descriptions, but like her Cherokee listings, Secret Garden haunted the Attic until she was willing to share it’s story. Barbara lives in a very rural area, nestled in the rolling foothills and surrounded by endless acres of pastures and woods surrounded by mountains. Bordering, dissecting, or appearing as islands in the middle of pastures are wooded areas, generally left because they are protecting small cemeteries from long ago. Some have broken, decaying split rail fences, while others have rusted wrought iron. Secret Garden pays tribute to these reverent places protected by the fences and sheltered by the woods, which are havens for their natural vegetation and breeding grounds for their wildlife. The white ruffled fabric holds the skeleton keys. If you sit quietly, those keys unlock the recorded history of our land, as well as open your mind to untold stories of days long past. They also unlatch the windows to the future as you catch a glimpse of the well being of our natural wildlife. What better depiction of past, present and future living together – paloma, and all the shades of gray to black in wrought iron scrolls representing the past – and freesia – in the butterflies and wildflowers climbing the fences, representing the present and future.

Freesia Crossbody Bag From AuntBsAttic

Freesia Crossbody Bag From AuntBsAttic

 

May Holidays – National Teacher Day – May 6th

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

The origins of National Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress to create a national day to celebrate teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only.

NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May.

Most celebrate this holiday by holding a celebration,an awards ceremony or having sales for teachers. There is so much we can all do to show the teachers of the world we appreciate them and their hard work and dedication to  teaching our young ones.

Candy Rauber of WickedlyCreative let me know:

As a child I moved frequently and therefore went to many different schools in several different states. I don’t remember the names of a lot of my teachers but I do remember what I loved about my favorite teachers. They engaged you in class, encouraged free speech and really listened to what you had to say. They pushed you to think about things in a different way, expected a lot of you and in response you stepped up to that challenge. To all of my wonderful teachers I would give them an A+!

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Cindy Ely of cecrafts said:

I was always a very shy little girl. I had one teacher that showed me it was ok to be just me. A red haired overweight child. She gave me all the confidence I needed to go on to succeed.
I would give her this.

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Jeanne of CedarwoodCreations told me that:

In 8th grade my History Teacher acted like no other teacher I had ever seen. He would get on his desk sometimes to make a speech like a famous historical figure. He would get ‘in character’ by changing his voice and act like a war hero from the past. You never knew what he would do. He made learning fun for our class and kept us all interested. Here’s to you Mr. W—–.

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Amy Spock of  BeadsandThreadsbyAmy stated:

Ms. Cummins was my high school math teacher as a freshman and then again in calculus as a senior. I had the privilege of having some very good teachers, but she holds a special place in my heart. As a sophomore, I had a very troubling summer and decided to drop my honors class in math. While she clearly expressed what a ridiculous idea this was, she also supported me the following year, spending hours helping me get caught back up. As a result of her help and her confidence in me, I was able to get through that class. When she presented me an award at Baccalaureate, we were both tearing up. When she found out I couldn’t afford a calculator for college (they were really expensive back in the day), she said she needed some help around the house. I washed her car and found a new calculator in the back seat. I only hope I am as inspirational to my students as she was to me. You see, she is the reason I became a teacher. Science, though, not math.

Here’s to you, Ms. Cummins! Congratulations on helping me through! I hope I make you proud!

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Karen Crisp of APaperParadise says:

I went to high school in England, and for both my O levels and A levels I had the same teacher for maths. He was patient, passionate and talented. Maths soon became my favorite subject. I stayed on at school for an extra few weeks after the end of school to prepare for the entrance exams for the university I wanted to attend, once again, he was there to help me. It was during this time that he revealed to the class of 4 or 5 students that while he was at college he had worked as a grave digger.

Now, 30 some years on, I think of him every time I write the phrase ‘thank you for your interest in my coffins’ in response to a convo about my coffins.

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Veronica and Andy Fritsch of AVAArtsSupplies said that they:

 loved science. My favorites were biology, chemistry (1 and 2), and physics! I had great teachers for all of them, but my favorite was an older gentleman who volunteered to help us. He worked on the atom bombs when he was younger, after he retired he wanted to still be involved in science so he contacted our high school to volunteer. He was always there to praise us, help explain stuff to us, or to tell us stories. He was super patient with us when we didn’t quite get it. He was strict if we gave him attitude, but you could tell he still cared. He came to the school Monday, Wednesday, and Fridays and was there from my freshman to senior year. His love of science made it come alive to me. 

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WalterSilva of WalterSilva discussed:

My freshman year in college I had a wonderful intro to literature instructor. She was so down to earth, in touch with what was going on in the world and super smart . She was so passionate about teaching and that was evident. I learned so much from her and always got excited for the next class. Dr. C gave me the confidence to embrace difficulties and challenges, twenty years later I still remember how influential she was and still is… I would not be who I am if it was not for her! I would gift her this anchor pill box, perfect since she was my anchor during a time I had no confidence or idea of what or whom I was … Good teachers make an impact and that she did!

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Amanda Marie of JoiedeVivreCrafts relates that:

I am a teacher, and I know I wouldn’t be half the teacher I am without my wonderful mentor and professor, Dr. Foster. He inspired me to think outside the box. He challenged me to question how to teach close reading. He showed me that plays are meant to be performed, not read for homework. He helped me see how to teach classic literature and young adult literature. I know I owe most of my career to him. He was still so in touch with what happens in the classroom. This wreath reminds me of him. It’s bright and vibrant, just like his teaching. He always loved things that were a little wacky!
He still teaches at my university, and we keep in touch via Facebook.

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I hope wherever you are that you give a little something back to those that have done so much!

Easter Traditions and Crafts go hand in hand

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

With Easter coming up this weekend, I thought why not do a piece on the holiday, the traditions of our families and our crafts.

The stories reminded me of my childhood, as I believe they will for you.

Sarah Johnson of BellaBoutique23 says:

I remember dying Easter eggs the night before. The morning of Easter, my mom would hide big baskets full of goodies that we would search for and I remember one of the times that mine was hidden in the laundry closet! She was such an amazing gift giver. We would go to church that morning and after get together with family. It was so nice living so close to my grandparents and all the cousins would get together at my grandparents house and we would have a big Easter egg hunt. Lots of fun memories! 

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Karen Crisp of AParadisePaper told me about:

I remember spending Easter with my Grandmother (when I was very small, probably about 5 years old). She give them to my sister and I to draw patterns on with a candle. When we were done, they were boiled in water with food coloring and they came out pastel colors with white patterns. Just like the eggs on this treat box well, okay, not quite as pretty as these, but we liked them anyway!

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Carola Bartz of CarolaBartz explained her memories:

I lived in Germany for 40 years, and on Easter night (Saturday->Sunday, in some regions Sunday->Monday) it is a tradition to have a huge Easter fire. The wood for the fire would have been collected over several weeks and piled up high. On Easter night after dark, people would come together around the pile and the fire would be started. We watched and sang and just felt the magic of this special night. When Easter was early in the year, it was pretty cold!

I don’t have any special Easter items in my store, except for a few Easter cards.

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Kathy of KomebackKitsch lets me know:

I remember Sunrise service at church, my Mom being in the choir and my Dad taking on getting 4 little girls dressed in Easter finery and to church by 6am….quite a feat. Breakfast at the church, two services and a Sunday school, then home for the dreaded “Easter picture” – bonnets, corsages – the works. Finally, after the Easter picture, we could change into our play clothes, have lunch, an Easter egg hunt and dig into the candy in the Easter baskets! We always had one “special” egg which contained a $2 bill that my Uncle would provide. 

One later Easter, when I was about 12, on a whim, we all travelled to my Grandparents a couple hours south to spend Easter with them topped off with a fireworks show – of all things – in the evening. That whim turned out to be my last memory of my Grandpa, as he died in an accident before we could see him again, so we were all so glad that whim was acted upon.

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I hope you all have an amazingly blessed Easter surrounded by your friends, family and your craft.

CIJ Team Shares a recipe and a shop item to go with it

Contributor post by Amy of BeadsAndThreadsbyAmy

I thought it would be a great idea to share some new recipes with our CIJ friends, along with an item from our shops to help serve it, clean it up, or make it even more memorable!  Without further adieu, here are our recipes and items.  Just click on the pictures for a link to the recipes and featured items.

1) Carolyn T from Butterflykilns I have found the BEST recipe for lemon bars at allrecipes.com which would look great served on my sunflower plate!

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Yummy Lemon Bars!

sunflower platter

Stunning Sunflower Platter from Butterflykilns.

2) Jeanne from CedarwoodCreations says Keeping it delicious and healthy with these No Bake Bars from Baking Blonde served with a side of the Symbol for Health from my shop.

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No-Bake Bars (my idea of making dessert)!

 

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Health Sign Paperweight to hold down that lovely recipe from CedarwoodCreations!

3) Kelly from ColourscapeStudios says I’m making pavlova for my dad’s birthday with this failsafe recipe from Taste.com and serving it with his favorite coffee.

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Pavlova Recipe from Taste.com. Lovely!

 

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Coffee Photography from ColourscapeStudios.

4) Tree Southfox from BlessBeadTheTies says:

No sugar Lemonade

1 cup fresh lemon juice

2/3 cup agave nectar ( low glycemic sweetener)

6 cups water ice

Serve it with this tie on…..

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Lemonade Tie from BlessBeadTheTie.

5) Tanya from socksandmittens shares a lemon rosemary chicken and protects her Kindle in the kitchen with this cover…

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Rosemary Chicken from socksandmittens.blogspot.com

 

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Kindle Cover from socksandmittens. Keep that Kindle clean while reading recipes in the kitchen.

6) Dossie Garvey from petzoup shares her favorite recipe…

Blameless squares –

3 mashed bananas

1/3 cup apple sauce

2 cups oats

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 cup raisins

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp cinnamon

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes

egg less, flour less, dairy less and no added sugar

And says they are sweet like her friend here:

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Custom Portrait Ornament from petzoup.

7) Veronica and Andy Fritsch from AVAArtsSupplies says We love this pretzel recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction, but use all purpose flour instead of whole wheat, just like mom used to make!

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Mom’s Pretzels from Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

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Mom charms from AVAArtsSupplies. Great for a mother’s day project!

8) Alicia Salazar from SleepSchedule suggests a picnic for Easter with her Mustard Roasted Lamb wrapped up in a do-it-yourself tote kit.

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Mustard Roasted Lamb and Potatoes.

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Tote Bag Kit from SleepSchedule.

9) Include these cupcakes in your picnic shared by Karen Crisp from APaperParadise.  A Martha Stewart Recipe.

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Vanilla Cupcakes from marthastewart.com

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Cupcake wrapper and topper from APaperParadise.

10) And, last but not least, for those lingering winter days and cool spring evenings, Jessica Chong from CrochetNature shares her recipe for S’Mores served with the perfect S’More eating gloves! Place a graham cracker on a microwave safe plate. Place a marshmallow or mini marshmallows on the cracker, and chocolate on top of the marshmallow. Microwave for about 10-15 seconds. Place second graham cracker on top. Eat and enjoy!

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FIngerless Gloves for S’Mores from CrochetNature.