#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!


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!


CIJ Etsy Craft Party – Follow Up

Contributor post by Alicia of AliciasFindings

Etsy invites everyone to arrange a local party and craft the day away. This year the #craftparty (official hashtag of 2014!) was held on Friday, June 6th.


The theme was Recapture Photographs! What can you make when you take photos and alter them in some way? Lots of very crafty ideas apparently!

Team Christmas in July decided to do a virtual party via the CIJ blog and boy was it fun!!

Jennifer of CaffeinatedPapercuts made a few tutorials:

The first was a Patchwork Paper Shadowbox that was  a way of showcasing your photos around other objects.

She then showed us to make handmade coasters that I want to try!

Lastly she made a Altered Photo frame that was very shabby chic!


Jennifer also posted Ida of  HerterCrochetDesigns tutorial:

Decorating your tree with photo ornaments! It is super fun involving photos, glue, jar lids and lots of creativity!


Jessica of CrochetNature did a tutorial on:

How we can crochet an edge on paper. It has a lot to do with slip stitching and concentrating! Looked so lovely and fun!


We had swag bags made of all types of printable goodies! One of our little thank you’s for being there!

We had posts galore on all types of social media ranging from facebook, twitter, pinterest, google + and more!

Some of our members even had a Craft Party sale using the Code CIJPARTY14!

Finally we also had some members donate prizes to some lucky winners who entered our Rafflecopter Giveaway!

I want to thank everyone who participated in this especially CIJ captain Michelle and my co-chair Jennifer!

This was an amazing event and one I want to try again!



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!***

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!

lemon bars

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.


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


health symbol

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.


Pavlova Recipe from Taste.com. Lovely!



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…..


Lemonade Tie from BlessBeadTheTie.

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


Rosemary Chicken from socksandmittens.blogspot.com



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:


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!


Mom’s Pretzels from Sally’s Baking Addiction.



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.


Mustard Roasted Lamb and Potatoes.


Tote Bag Kit from SleepSchedule.

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


Vanilla Cupcakes from marthastewart.com


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!


FIngerless Gloves for S’Mores from CrochetNature.