#CIJParty 2015 – Creator And Designer Becky

Guest blog post by Becky of LollysCubbyHole

I was born in Huntington, West Virgina in 1951.  I think that officially makes me old, but I am fighting against that for now!

LollysCubbyHole

LollysCubbyHole

I loved Christmas always. I grew up in my grandparents home, and Christmas meant lots of good smells from the kitchen, prickly pine trees that we picked out at the Christmas Tree Stand next to the local Dairy Queen and a good holiday argument always!

LollysCubbyHole

LollysCubbyHole

Mostly the arguments seemed to come from standing the tree in just the right corner of our tiny living room and putting the lights on. I think of that now, as we easily put up a lighted tree, right out of the box!  The slinky silver “icicles” blew around every time the door opened and landed on the sofa and I would get the job of collecting them and placing them ever so gingerly back on the tree!

LollysCubbyHole

LollysCubbyHole

I come from a family of crafters, sewers and artistic people so I have dabbling in paints, glue and fabric forever it seems. We always had some sort of project and the holidays were no exception.

One of my delicious memories was getting to snip the sugared gumdrops with an old black-handled pair of scissors for the “Pork Cake” otherwise known to most people as “Fruitcake”. I don’t remember it being the dreaded Fruitcake of the Chevy Chase standards, it was moist, with gooey fruit inside and nice crunch on the top. The secret was a piece of pork fat that was used in place of lard, butter or Crisco. My Grandmother made it every year for as long as she was able to cook.  I would love to have a piece of it today!

LollysCubbyHole

LollysCubbyHole

Another tradition was the Turkey with Oyster Stuffing INSIDE the turkey…YIKES!  Some folks really frown at that process today, but oh, was it delicious! The extra stuffing that would not fit into the the 24 lb. ( or more ) Turkey were shaped into patties and placed around the Turkey in the pan…they were crispy and soaked in the juice of the baked Turkey…my choice of the entire meal.

And who could forget making Snow Ice Cream during the winter…even if it was late at night, when the snow would fall, ever so silently for hours, we were allowed to run outside, sometimes in our pajamas, to scoop up a metal bowl full of clean snow. ( no yellow snow, please!)  Add to that some sugar, vanilla and a little milk and it was the most delightful treat ever!

LollysCubbyHole

LollysCubbyHole

For your own Christmas, maybe you would like to try the Oyster Stuffing!

GRANNY’S OYSTER STUFFING ( as written by me in 1971 over the telephone w/Granny)

Approx. 2 loaves of white bread, cubed & toasted
1/2 stick of butter ( melted )
1/3 C chopped celery
1/4 C chopped onion
1 tsp of salt
dash black pepper
1 can of oysters
1 C of milk
“Crumble” 1 tsp of dried sage

Wash inside & out of Turkey
Turn upside to drain
salt & pepper the inside of Turkey

Cube & Toast your bread under the oven broiler and set aside to cool
Place in a large bowl
Pour the milk over the bread cubes, add your melted butter, celery, onion, salt, pepper and oysters.  Mix well with your hands.

Stuff the cavities with your stuffing mix.

Place the turkey legs back in place and secure with baker’s twine. ( today they have clips)
If you have extra stuffing, make patties and place around the Turkey in the baking pan.

Wrap the whole Turkey & pan with aluminum foil uncovering to brown for the last 20 minutes.

BAKE 20 min. per lb. in a 325 oven or until turkey leg juice runs clear when pierced with a fork.

Allow to stand for 15-20 minutes before carving!

If I breathe in deeply I am certain I can smell that Turkey baking now!

No need to wait for December, Happy CHRISTMAS IN JULY 2015!

Blessings,

Becky

My social media sites:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/beckybsb

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lollyscubbyhole

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LollysCubby

Instagram: https://instagram.com/lollyscubbyhole

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Heartfelt Christmas Memories On Etsy

Guest blog post by Kristy Jo of KrystalKlarityBeads

Christmas is about memories and memories are what we make of them.  We often share these with our children and our loved ones because they are part of us; part of our past, part of the history of our families – and often a vital part of who we are.

I know we come from all over – all places, races and religions – and that is just something else that I love about being here on Etsy! I know that we do not all celebrate Christmas – and those of us who do may do it in many different ways.

For those of you who do celabrate this time of year in whatever your way – I would so love to show how we are linked to those memories we have made and are making with our families and friends and how we are reminded by what we sell, see and or buy here on Etsy!
Sometimes our memories are about something touching, something treasured, or even just hilarious.  It can also be about remembering those who may not be here with us physically, but have left their imprint on our hearts and are remembered in a special way at holidays.

Here are a few stories from our Christmas in July Team that I would like to share with you during the Etsy CIJ2015 celebration.

Betsysbijoux

Betsysbijoux

Betsy Keep from Betsysbijoux shares:

In my house Christmas was always a time of mass decoration. We had mantles, swags, tree – even a decorated lantern beside the door. And boxers everywhere – there was much food involved and where there is food, there are boxers. The lantern brooch reminds me of our decorated light and the dog reminds me of friends gone.

As for memories – you should have seen our house the year I tied 2 adult boxers to the christmas tree. They ran upstairs and got the tree wedged in the staircase with 2 boxers stuck under the tree and 3 year old wailing at the foot of the stairs.

Amazing that I made it to 63 – when she was alive my Mum never let me forget that one.

Hugs,

Betsy

You can find these and other wonderful things at Betsysbijoux  store on Etsy.

Betsysbijoux

Betsysbijoux

DesignstheLimit

DesignstheLimit

DesignstheLimit shares:

We have personalized hundreds of ornaments, but a few stand out to memory. We do not remember most of the Our First Christmas Together, Babies First Christmas, or Family Christmas ornaments we have created. Unfortunately, the ones we remember the most are the Baby Memorial Gifts.

We are proud to help our customers show their loved ones how much they care and are saddened by their loss. We believe that personalized memorial gifts are a great way to show your affection towards loved ones suffering from loss.

We have never advertised for memorial gifts and we are troubled by the number of companies that do actively advertise specifically for memorial gifts. We only share this story because after reading the posted topic, it was the first thing that came to mind.

When customers place an order for an ornament or enquire if we can complete an order for a memorial gift, we wish that we could work for free. On more than one occasion, tears have been shared completing and packaging memorial ornaments.

These are not the orders we look forward to, but when you celebrate your Christmas with your children remember to hug them, kiss them, and remember how blessed you are to have them.

Christmas is a time of high emotions, even in July!

You can find these and other wonderful things at the DesignstheLimit store on Etsy.

Go here to find out about how this store donates to different charities  and how you can help when you make a purchase: Donation Match – Design’s The Limit And You Can Make A Difference Together.

DesignstheLimit

DesignstheLimit

Thank you, Betsy and a special thanks to DesignstheLimit, as I do understand that this was to share your story.

I am a lung cancer survivor and as such, I try my best to live each day like it is Christmas because it is!  For each of us every day is a chance to make memories with those we love.

I hope that your year is wonderful and that this Christmas 2015 is a great celebration for you and yours.

—Sincerely; Kristy Jo

My social media sites:

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+KristyRoetter4KrystalKlarityBeads/posts

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kristyroetter/wwwetsycomshopkrystalklaritybeads/

Tumbler: http://kj4krystalklaritybeads.tumblr.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristyRoetter

Etsy: KrystalKlarityBeads

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Designer Wendy

Guest blog post by Wendy of WJoyDesigns

WJoyDesigns emerged out of a desire to simply design, (or manifest) simple joy back into my life.

WJoy Designs makes a variety of handcrafted candles, stained glass art, mosaic art and jewelry! From scented candles to stained glass ornaments and keepsakes, my original pieces make great gifts for any occasion.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

I am inspired by nature and our world. Bright colors are a favorite design element in my work. When I choose supplies for my pieces,those are always my main sources of inspiration.

My workshop is in Reno, NV. It is a dream to be just a short drive from such majestic mountains, endless forests and beautiful Lake Tahoe!

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

Gigantic 2.68 LB. rainbow chunk square pillar candle scented in your choice! 9″ tall 3″ across. Smells AMAZING!! Such a bright and cheery candle to have in your home! Beautiful rainbow colors merge into one another in this scented rainbow square chunk pillar candle.

This candle is made in a 3 pour process, and has a core candle with the rainbow chunks set around it. This process creates a better quality, longer burning candle. Not sure of the total burning time, but I still have one that I light from time to time and its been with me for 11 yrs! Colors will vary slightly as each candle is hand made. Shown here unwrapped, it will come to you, wrapped in cello and tied with raffia/hemp cord.

This gorgeous rainbow candle would make a wonderful unity candle for a wedding, a great gift for a friend or loved one or a beautiful sentiment for a memorial service.

Chakra is the Sanskrit word for wheel. There are seven chakras in the body, located in a straight line with your spine; this line runs down the center of your body, from the top of your head to the base of your spine. Each chakra is an energy center and is represented with its unique color. Color meditation involves focusing on each of your chakras and their color vibration in order to bring about balance in your mind and body; promoting healing and peace of mind. Each of the chakras relates to the elements of Earth, air fire water, ether, spiritual awakening and enlightenment.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

A magical iridescent green dragonfly encircled with a silver hoop! These earrings are sure to get rave reviews! Total length is 2 inches.

The dragonfly totem carries the wisdom of transformation and adaptability in life. As spirit animal, the dragonfly is connected to the symbolism of change and light. When the dragonfly shows up in your life, it may remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Those who have this animal as totem may be inclined to delve deep into their emotions and shine their true colors.

Iridescence is the property of an object to show itself in different colors depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on it.
This property is seen and believed as the end of one’s self created illusions and a clear vision into the realities of life. The magical property of iridescence is also associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

Delicate iridescent green dragonfly pendant in shades of green and iridescence! This pendant is 2 inches long and comes with a 23 inch silver chain with lobster claw clasp.

The dragonfly totem carries the wisdom of transformation and adaptability in life. As spirit animal, the dragonfly is connected to the symbolism of change and light. When the dragonfly shows up in your life, it may remind you to bring a bit more lightness and joy into your life. Those who have this animal as totem may be inclined to delve deep into their emotions and shine their true colors.

Iridescence is the property of an object to show itself in different colors depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on it.

This property is seen and believed as the end of one’s self created illusions and a clear vision into the realities of life. The magical property of iridescence is also associated with the discovery of one’s own abilities by unmasking the real self and removing the doubts one casts on his/her own sense of identity. This again indirectly means self discovery and removal of inhibitions.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

A single ray of light contains the seven colors of the rainbow and so does the human spirit, which reveals itself through seven degrees of consciousness.

The seven color rays are spiritual forces emanating from the white light. They are perpetually vibrating – not only on the surface of the earth – but also above and through it, encircling the globe in streams of endless energy.

Rainbow Aura activates all the energy centers in the body, clearing a path for the Life Force to manifest throughout the subtle bodies, bringing in a vibrant energy and zest for life. It is particularly supportive for those in dysfunctional relationships, by letting one see what lies ahead and helping to release negative emotions such as resentment or grief. It brings deep insights into one’s relationships at all levels, and aids letting go of karmic ties that may be hindering relationships in the current life. This transformed relationship then becomes vital and harmonious. Rainbow Aura is a master healer for any condition, and is highly beneficial in multidimensional cellular memory healing. It is an efficient receptor for programming and bringing the body into balance

This highly polished rainbow aura point is rainbow-licious! It is iridescence to the maximum with rainbows emanating from every surface! Hand wirewrapped with silverplated wire and comes with a nickel free silver chain with lobster claw clasp. total length is 24 inches.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

I find creative time in between to create my works when an idea comes to me.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

A single ray of light contains the seven colors of the rainbow and so does the human spirit, which reveals itself through seven degrees of consciousness.

The seven color rays are spiritual forces emanating from the white light. They are perpetually vibrating – not only on the surface of the earth – but also above and through it, encircling the globe in streams of endless energy.

Brilliant rainbows flash everywhere wearing this gorgeous prism crystal! Cut to refract and bend light to create rainbows!! It is hand wirewrapped in silver with a pretty swirl accent and comes with a 23 inch silver chain with lobster claw clasp.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

I work well into the wee hours. My days are longer than they were when I was working for somebody else. It is a labor of love though. That’s what makes it so meaningful.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

Soar like the free spirit you truly are wearing this tribal feather headband! Comfy, soft, stretchy suede is braided and adorned with a variety of feathers in natural browns,iridescent green/black, rusty oranges and fluffy plum ostrich feathers. Each feather is accented with a brown wooden bead and there are espresso finished hand carved wooden beads on the longest feathers. Feathers can be moved to any position on the headband for a customized look to fit your mood! It is completely adjustable and closes with a sliding bead.

There is an eagle in me and a spotted bird hurrying corn to grow
The eagle flies to the mountains of my dreams,
flies to the corners of my distant hopes.
But the spotted bird stands among the cornstalks telling me to hoe.
My hands are the tools of my soul.
They make the drum,
the bow,
the flute,
and stretch the skin of the deer.
They work the earth and care for the sheep and plant the corn.
They greet my homeland each morning that I awake.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

I always make time for my customers and answer any messages or special requests promptly. I love to add a special touch to my orders by gift wrapping to create a special presentation. I am always happy to create something absolutely unique and love to make custom one of a kind orders.

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

I create something new every day. Now I can share what brings me so much joy to create with you!

wjoydesigns

wjoydesigns

My social media sites:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/wjoydesigns/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WJoyDesigns

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/W-Joy-Designs-Stained-Glass-Handcrafted-Art/353602301370206

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Vintage Decorations Continue Christmas Traditions

Guest blog post by Molly of MollyFinds

When my husband and got engaged we were given a gift certificate to purchase something from a catalog. I knew immediately I wanted a light up angel for our first Christmas tree.  We will be married 20 years this December with 2 children. Every year our family has continued the tradition that my parents started with my sister and I. Our kids take turns being the one lifted up to place and light her. It gets more amusing every year, as our son is now the same size as his daddy.

Vintage Christmas angels are something I try to collect for my Etsy shop, MollyFinds every time I find them.

This Paramount Electric Tree Topper Angel from the 1940s was one of the coolest I had ever collected and sold.

MollyFinds

MollyFinds

And I got the most heartwarming message from the lady who purchased her:

Molly, I received my order and it arrived safely. Thanks for packaging it so securely. My family had this angel tree topper (still has it) since before I can remember (I’m in my 60’s) and all my siblings fight over who will ultimately become heir to her. Now I’ve found the solution and can give a duplicate for one of them to cherish. Thanks! Linda 

Traditions are part of what make memories so special and build anticipation not only for children but also the adults each year.

Here are some Christmas angels I have available for Christmas in July

MollyFinds

MollyFinds

Choir Angel Light up Christmas Tree Topper

MollyFinds

MollyFinds

And this sweet table top Christmas Angel night light

Angels are not the only vintage holiday theme decorations that I have! Click the ornaments to go to my vintage holiday section!

MollyFinds

MollyFinds

My social media sites:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MollysMuses

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MollyOBryonWelpottPhotography

Instagram: https://instagram.com/mollyfinds

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – Christ kindle Markt: Christmas Markets The German Way

Guest blog post by Mary of StockLaneStudio

Christ kindle Markt:  Christmas Markets the German Way

Glänzend:  Glittery shiny German Christmas markets!

Germany has some of the best Christmas markets in the world.  Often crowded (überfüllt),  with well over millions of visitors, Christmas markets usually spring up all over Germany (and other parts of Europe) on the Friday before Advent and close up before Christmas Eve.  Known as a Christkindle Markt  or Weihnachtsmarkt or some variation of the two, each village market has something special to make it unique, but all are teaming with warm food and beverage, handmade holiday gifts, arts and crafts, twinkling lights and holiday cheer that last well into the evening.  Beverage booths offer ceramic mugs to fill with steaming hot chocolate or glühwein (grog or mulled wine) to warm our bellies while we walk around and mix and mingle with the smells and sounds and colors of visitors and vendors that have set up to celebrate the holiday season.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Schrullig:  whimsical and quirky

Bavaria is the southeastern region of Germany and boasts charming villages and cities.  Restaurants still maintain outdoor seating in the winter, often between walls of snow banks, just making sure heaters and warm blankets are part of the service.   The village of Rothenburg ob der Tauber can’t be missed, if only for the sake of their Schneeballen (my kids called them brain cakes).  Sort of like a funnel cake fried into the shape of a ball, these yummy treats are usually sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Schneeballen found at the Rothenburg market:

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

The Christmas market in the Bavarian town of Nuremberg market has its fair share of typical German Christmas booths, selling intricate and delightful ornaments or handmade scarves, traditional candies and chocolates that melt in you hands if you don’t eat them soon enough.  And the delightful collectable Rauchermen, or incense burning wooden ‘smoker’ figures that are carefully carved and decorated to depict all the members of society that you can think of:  the doctor, optician, toy seller, woodsman, mushroom picker, beer brewer, the list goes on and on.  But the booths of delightfully quirky prune people are what make you take a second look.  Yes, Zwetschgenmännle are little dolls made of prunes, nuts and figs: it’s a fruitcake and a doll all in one!  What better use of a prune can there be?  Placed in a windowsill facing out, these figures are said to ward off evil.  The comical figures are not unique to Germany, and can be found in many parts of Europe, but when I think of Christmas in Nuremburg, I think of Prune People.

Lebhaft:  animated

The market in Aschaffenburg, Germany takes place in the Johannisburg Castle Square and boasts a mini train carrying gleeful children to a giant two-story tall wooden Christmas pyramid.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Handcrafted Mini versions of this pyramid are sold in wooden stalls in most village markets  and for me, these charming pyramids have become another symbol of Christmas in Germany, ranging from simple and small to tall and elaborate.  All rotate magically by the heat of one or more strategically placed candles.

Blendend unt Schön:  sparkling and beautiful

Frankfurt’s Chriskindlemark  takes place on and around the Römerberg, the square that is the heart of the city.  Beautifully rebuilt and restored half-timbered houses are bathed in lights and trees and simple wooden craft stalls for the holiday.  A fun way to tour the market is through a horse-drawn carriage, clopping along with bells and warm blankets.  The Frankfurt market has its own version of ‘prunepeople’.  They call them Quetschemännchen.  Yes, still made with prunes and nuts, these are far more romantic.  Tradition has it that love-sick men used to send these off to girls they fancied.  I can’t think of a more romantic gesture!!

Köln Cathedral Spire:

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Currywurst, liebekuchen, kartoffelpuffer and apfel-pfannkuchen

In Cologne (Köln), climb the 509 stone steps of the spire of the Gothic Cologne Cathedral or Kölner Dom, and look down on the twinkling lights, red canopied booths and throng of shoppers snacking on warm apfel-pfannkuchen (apple fritters) or  potato pancakes.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Once you descend the spire, treat yourself to currywurst (a curry-sausage sandwich) and heart-shaped lebkuchen.  These giant gingerbread cookies are a Christmas Market staple, decorated with frosty wishes like:  Frohe Weihnacht (Merry Christmas) and Ich Liebe Dich (I love you).  The frosting can be quite sugary and hard sometimes, making these giant heart cookies best suited for hanging up as Christmas decorations than eating in my opinion.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

There is another more traditional lebkuchen that is delicate and just slightly sweet and flavored with honey, spices and nuts that suits my palate.

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

There are just too many famous and continuously traditional markets to list here– I feel like I’ve done a disservice not having mentioned Trier or Munich (Glockenspiel on the Marienplatz), or Berlin or Dresden or. . . .What is certain, is the tradition and cheer and warmth of bright lights and good conversation found in all of Germany’s Christmas markets, keeping tourists and locals coming back year after year.

Snow frosted bikes in Munich:

StockLaneStudio

StockLaneStudio

Stock Lane Studio is all over!

Find us on
Instagram @stocklanestudio:  https://instagram.com/stocklanestudio/
Pinterest @Stock Lane Studio:  https://www.pinterest.com/stocklanestudio/
Facebook @Stock Lane Studio:  https://www.facebook.com/SLSnyEtsy?ref=hl

For the next #CIJParty post please see main party post.

#CIJParty 2015 – 4 Amazing Free Publicity Opportunities for Your Small Business

Contributor post by Michelle of EviesToolEmporium

I’m excited to introduce to you today Gail from AttentionGetting. Many of you may already know her because of her fascinating website Attention Getting Marketing. Gail has written 7 marketing ebooks. She has 20+ years of marketing experience and I appreciate that she has taken the time today to share with us 6 tips for getting holiday sales from Attention Getting Marketing on Etsy.

Gail Oliver

Gail Oliver

You may not have heard, but  May 1st – 7th, 2016 is National Small Business Week (be sure to use the hash tag #DreamSmallBiz) and it is a good time to pitch a story about your business to your local press. Anything can be a possible story pitch, including if you have:

  • An innovative product or service idea
  • An eco-friendly business
  • Rapid growth in the last 6 months or year
  • New facilities or location opening
  • Engaged in a charitable endeavoNSBW

Now, I also came across four awesome opportunities to get free publicity for your small business.

1. Get Included in an American Family Insurance Ad

At the dentist office I was looking through a copy of People Magazine (which has a readership of 46 million), and the opening 3-page color ad was from a company calledAmerican Family Insurance, with their “Dream Fearlessly” campaign promoting the work of a photographer, a writer, and an artist who are all trying to turn their dream into a business. So, if you have pursued or fulfilled a business dream, submit it to American Family Insurance (scroll down to the form at the bottom of the page) and maybe you will be profiled in an upcoming ad.

2. Share Your Pinterest Success

I don’t know about you, but Pinterest brings a huge amount of traffic to my blog. Therefore, if you have a Pinterest success story of how it has helped your business, submit it to Pinterest and they just might profile your story in emails, on their blog and more, so other businesses can learn from your success.

3. AT&T Wants to Know Your Business Story

Telecom giant AT&T has a “Real Stories” feature that profiles business owners who have a great story to tell and insights to help other entrepreneurs. Submit your business story to AT&T and you could be featured on their blog (called The Business Circle) and their social media pages (250,000 followers) – a great way to drive more traffic to your site and gain more customers.

4. Be Part of the Globe and Mail’s TakeOff Series

If you are a Canadian small business or entrepreneur, you have from now until July to submit your story to Canada’s national newspaper, the Globe and Mail, to be profiled in their “TakeOff series. Essentially, they want to know what helped or hurt your business from “taking off”. You can get more details about what and where to submit here.

Things to Note

Thank you for joining us today Gail. I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to share the tips with us today. It gives us the opportunity now to start planning for 2016!

Please be sure to check out the on the main party post for the schedule of events.