Saturday, February 28, 2015

itty bitty cakes made from antique candy molds

What are these you ask? They're antique candy molds that were sent to us by our sweet friend Lisa. Lisa collects some of the best ephemera and vintage bits, and she was kind enough to send these our way! To make use of them as candy molds you can press them into a tray of packed brown sugar, pull them out, and then fill the recess with melted chocolate or liquid candy and let cool. 

I totally love them as-is, and I'll be keeping the majority of the collection this way. But I had a few doubles of the same exact design and I thought they would look amazing if they were painted to resemble tiny cakes. 

Some are super elaborate, and these ones looked like tiny bundt cakes. So with acrylic craft paint I painted one a buttery yellow, and the other chocolate. 

To create the transparent glazes I mixed some paint with Liquitex Gloss Fluid Medium and some water until I achieved a consistency that would drip ever-so-slightly down the sides. 

And then just kinda dabbed the glaze around the top of the cake ring until it dripped.

Right away I had the idea to paint this one to resemble lady fingers topped with cherries.

I love how the crosshatch of golden cake peeks through the aqua glaze on this one. 

This is one of the fancier shapes. It was destined to be chocolate with a dark chocolate glaze. I love how the gloss of the glaze makes it stand out against the chocolate cake.

I think they turned out super cute! I can imagine turning them into brooches, or rings! 

What a perfect fit for our little cast iron chef!

This was a fun little project to work on while orders were drying today. I love projects that really only require a fraction of your attention. That way you can craft and make things while still accomplishing your daily work goals. I think I did them all in about 45 minutes while doing a bunch of other stuff at the same time. 

It's still super cold here in Jersey but Aaron and I have our hearts and minds set on thinking Spring. When those sunny warm days arrive we'll be waiting with open arms and hearts brimming with inspiration. We are really looking forward to making and debuting our 2015 Spring collection! 

Hope you are having a great weekend!
Love from the Jersey Shore!
xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi! 

ps. Thanks SO much Lisa!!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Friday Favorites

I don't actually have any sort of formula for the way I put together my Friday Favorites, but I know that if I were to go and look back at a handful of my Friday Faves posts, a fairly distinct pattern would emerge. I don't know if this makes sense…but I feel like I put together a Friday Faves post in the same way that I'd plan out my absolute perfect day…
There would be good weather, a fun location, I'd be wearing a great outfit and maybe I'd have freshly dyed hair, maybe I'd stop for some new art supplies, in my travels I might stop to take a look at a cool hand painted sign that has words of encouragement, and I'd finish off that perfect day with some fantastic food. 
Seriously…I think I have a habit of finishing my posts with a food fave. But this time I broke protocol and came right out of the gate with my food fave. And if there's one worthy reason for breaking protocol, I'd say a cake from Miette Patisserie is it. 

Yes, cake first! And as I said, it's not just any cake. It's Miette Patisserie and Confiserie's "Old Fashioned Cake". I have yet to taste it "in real life" but I have been drooling over it for years thanks to blogs, and Flickr…which is where I first saw it!
 And don't you just love their sign
One day I will get to Miette, eat "Old Fashioned Cake", and take my own photos. But for now, lets all just be thrilled with the fact that we have the recipe!

And then there's this place. I just adore the basic black and white styling, the fantastic lettering on the glass, the simple yet artful display, and the classic styling of the mugs! This place is just really up mine and Aaron's alley. I can almost smell the beans roasting.  

To read more about Barista and to see more absolutely gorgeous photos check out this fabulous post over on Endlessly Enraptured. What a great blog!

These Aqua soup crocks are so so beautiful. We have been making lots and lots of delicious soups recently, and it truly is the perfect cold weather meal. Me and Aar are definitely soup aficionados. I'd love to have a collection of soup crocks all in different styles that suit different types of soup. I totally feel that the taste of the food is enhanced by the vessel it's served in.  

This bag from Stay Home Club... Just YES!!! 

Love everything about this outfit. It's simple, casual, chic, and cute. Though as freezing as it is right now, I'm kinda dying over her bare ankles. But those shell toe Adidas bring back so many memories. I had a pair in my late teens/early twenties that, I kid you not, I would paint the stripes of to match my outfits. There were times when Aaron's band would play a bunch of shows over a weekend, and I can remember painting and re-painting the stripes right before bed each night to match whatever outfit I would be wearing the next evening. The colors of my wardrobe back then were most often red, lavender, or sea foam green. 

This building in Rome. It is what dreams are made of. My ultimate fantasy would be decorating the big open rooms inside. In my minds eye I can clearly see all of the interior details…the high ceilings, giant doorways, moldings like piped buttercream frosting...

I just adore this little outfit. It makes me think of a Parisian carnival…and I know that the little girl wearing this would have an adorable doggie sidekick that wears a clown hat, and can balance rings on his nose. 
You better believe that if this came in my size I would certainly own it. 

These DIY Edible Chocolate messages from Sugar & Cloth are fantastic to look at…but you can also make some for yourself if you follow the detailed tutorial! How cool is that?!

I love this! And a little change, or a big one, is always a good thing.

Thanks so much for stopping by and checking out my Faves again! I hope you're staying warm and staying inspired wherever you are and whatever you're up to. 

xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

And the happy mail continues

Just the other day I was just reminiscing about the "good ol' days" of blogging. I was talking about swaps, and the fun of sending and receiving packages filled with vintage bits and pieces, craft supplies, handmade gifts, and all those things. And whattayaknow…the incredibly sweet and fun mail that has been showing up at my house lately is making me feel like I've time traveled right back to those so called good ol' days!

In fact, this morning's mail contained a totally unexpected package from our friend Jennifer Perkins, who you probably know, or may just recognize as one of the talented gals in the Valentine's Day Wreath Blog Hop from a few posts ago. She was actually the gal who put together the Blog Hop.

 So today's package from Jennifer was pretty much a "just because" type of package. Which are the greatest types of packages. She's familiar with what me and Aaron like to collect and what we like to craft with. And she's got piles and piles of creativity and style to spare. So you better believe that a package coming from her is going to be a very fun package indeed.
It was just packed like a tin of sardines with all sorts of adorable vintage ephemera, and cutesy bits. And all in our color palette! So so fun and thoughtful! Do you see those adorable little cat eye sunglasses? And the sweet little 1949-50 school photo of the sweetly smirking blonde? And the tally card, and playing cards, buttons, paper doll, and there's even more that I couldn't fit in the picture. 

Love the little plastic dentures, and the golden A charm! 

I knew immediately who would be wearing those glasses! Perfect fit! 

Oh and this vintage floral brooch made of tiny seashells!! I ADORE it!! I'll totally be wearing it, but when I'm not I'll be keeping it in this little glass dish filled with my favorite tiny aqua glass ornaments, and honeycomb ball. This is the sort of stuff that makes my heart beat a bit faster. 

Just such a fun fun surprise! I adore it all and am totally inspired to create cute things using some of these pieces. I'm hoping to find a bit of time this weekend for personal crafting. We are also planning another @shoplikeitsaholiday instagram sale! The last one was so fun and we're going to work hard at gathering enough worthy stuff so that it's just as fun this time around! I'll be announcing the date soon! We'll be doing our gathering this weekend. 

We are totally buried in work right now, and doing our best to not freeze. As I type this it is 11 degrees…ughhh…and it's going down to 1!!! And with wind chill…just forget about it! yikes! 

Hope you are warm and cozy wherever you are. Thanks bunches for popping in! I'd love to hear about what you've been up to! Any fun craft projects? Swaps? Home improvements? 

See you tomorrow for Friday Favorites!
xo Jenny... & Aaron says hi!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What I received in the #epicgalentinesswap

Last week I had told you guys about the Galentine's Day Swap. In case you missed it, I blogged about it here. And I had promised that I would return to share what I received in the swap…so here goes!

The package that my partner sent me arrived several days prior to Galentine's Day, so I'm proud of myself for maintaining adult-like composure and somehow not sneaking a peek at what was in the box until the big day. As a group, we all planned to open our packages at the same time on Galentine's Day (Feb 13th). The gal that sent to me was Meghan from Juneberry Stitches. And oh my gosh did she do an incredible job putting this package together! So so me! Just look at the above pic! 

First was this vintage Valentine. Sweet as can be! 

Too cute right? They used the best fonts ever back then! A happy new addition to my vintage Valentine collection! 

Meghan also sent me this sweet pink and white check vintage apron with black detailing.  I love it! 

It looks right at home hanging in my kitchen! 

Meghan makes some of the most adorable bags, and I was so excited to receive this one. Linen burlap with a black doily and pink zipper!

Annnd this incredibly cute custom "basket". It's like a bag that stands up and can be used to store things…like make up…or craft supplies...or whatever.  I love it so much! 

One of the questions in our Galentine's Swap questionnaire asked what new craft or hobby we'd like to learn. My answer is that I would love to sew. So once again, Meghan paid attention to the fine print and handmade me this darling needle book! 

So so so cute!! And beyond thoughtful! So much care and time went into these beautiful things. 

She also included some black and white baker's twine…which I love! Never enough baker's twine!

And those top three rolls of washi tape are from Meghan...the black with white hearts, and the aqua and pink scallops. As you can see they are also right at home in my studio! She perfectly nailed down my aesthetic. 

And I love this adorable little cupcake stamp. 

I totally cracked up at these pencils! So so good!! She sent a whole pack of them! "Hoes before Bros" A Leslie Knope quote from Parks and Rec. 

“You know my code: hoes before bros. Uteruses before duderuses…Ovaries before brovaries.”

And check out this crazy cute vintage cake decorator! Ahh!! The pink plastic handle! It is so perfect in our kitchen. The shelf you see here in the background is it's new forever home.

Such a fun swap and geez what a perfect and incredibly thoughtful package I received. So glad I found the time to participate. Such a great group of gals. Sweethearts. If you'd like to see what everyone else got you can check out the #EPICGALENTINESSWAP hashtag over on Instagram! 

Meghan also sent me a bag of chocolate kiss truffles...I didn't even know they made those! 

Seriously, life moves so fast. Seasons blend together and holidays come and go in a flash. So taking time to connect with others for a holiday themed event such as a swap is so meaningful. First, it's so important to set aside the extra time and effort for making things and gathering stuff for someone else. It's so rewarding. And then there's the super duper added bonus of receiving a package like this. There are things here that I can display year round and know that they came from a great place.

Hope you enjoyed!
xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A big HUG came in the mail today.

I have been blogging since 2006, and when I started this blog I had no idea if anyone would read a single word of it. Back then my internet "neighborhood" looked nothing like it does today. I used Flickr a heck of a lot more, and I only had a few fave blogs that I followed. I started my own blog very soon after Aaron's near fatal van crash. Prior to the crash we had been living a super fast paced life. We had been making and painting our own line of furniture, and had a home accessories collection...both of which we sold to stores all over the US. We were often being featured in our favorite magazines and in general, we were sorta on fire. But then it all came to a grinding halt. 
Aaron was laid up for quite a while and there were several surgeries over a handful of years. It was a long hard road and most of it was spent at home. Running our business at full speed was no longer possible, but we still needed to make a living…so we had to figure out how to live life at half speed and half strength. To start out we took some of the artwork that we had been selling in our real life retail location, and listed it on ebay. Everything sold right away. So then we started doing lots and lots of that stuff…mainly one-of-a-kind pieces of wall art. Aaron did most of his work on a little work table that he'd pull up to the side of our pull-out couch. No heavy lifting required.
Anyway, it was in that period that I started blogging. I desperately needed a social outlet and the blog world was amazing back then. It was the days before Facebook and people were really passionate about blogs. On average a post would get like 30-50 comments. And oh jeez, the swaps were insane! I even hosted a few. Some of the swaps had over 70 participants. (was I crazy?)
I have so many great memories of those early blogging days. Many of my fave bloggers no longer blog these days, and we now keep in touch through Facebook. 

I still love blogging and I hope to start doing more of it. I love sharing bits of our life with you guys, and it's a thrill to see comments from names that I've been reading since those early days. I love knowing that we're still connected!

These days, hands down, my absolute favorite social media platform is Instagram. For me it is the closest thing to the old days of blogging. There really is such an amazing sense of community. Makers, Crafters, and Artists all supporting each other. We've got swaps, giveaways, get togethers, shared hashtags, we get to check in on friends daily…see what they are buying, wearing, eating, making. And I love how easily I can scroll back to see what me and Aaron have been up to for the past few weeks or months…in seconds I can just flick my finger and see a colorful stream of snapshots from our life.

Wow, I had no intentions of being so wordy in this post. I guess this most recent act of generosity and community has got me feeling nostalgic. But I can go on all night, so let me cut to the chase. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have heard that recently we had some of our artwork stolen and used on a toy that is sold by some very big stores. It was a shock and a heartbreak. But I don't really want to get into all of that right now. It's all too negative and this is a positive post. 
This post is all about our Instagram creative community being alive and well. And some stellar proof of that arrived in the mail today.

We got a package on our doorstep. It arrived totally out of the blue, with a return address from Kelley of Candelles. Kelley, along with a handful of incredibly talented and very very kind gals from Instagram all collaborated to put together a care package to cheer me and Aaron up and to let us know that they support us and that we are a part of an amazing community. To say that I was overwhelmed with emotion would be the understatement of the year. Just wow! Kelley sent me a custom Cake scented candle with this sweet sentiment on the label. I've been burning it the past hour and it is wonderful! 

This hand lettered print is by the incredibly talented Eva Taylor. The message is so perfect and it will hang as a constant reminder in our studio. Eva is so gifted when it comes to typography. 

This beautiful hand embroidered hoop is by Kristen of Gulush Threads. Kristen is also the gal hosting the Galentine's swap I mentioned in my last post. 

How beautiful is this floral? And that lettering is so so sweet!

Can you even handle how cute this is? A one of a kind hand stitched dream catcher from Made by Betty B. Customized with Everyday is a Holiday and bunny ears! How could you have bad dreams with this hanging in your home? 

Isn't it adorable? Jeez, I can't even believe all of these amazing gifts. 

And these fun fun fun prints from my friend Kelsey of Honey and the Hive. I love her style! so vibrant and happy! 

Kelsey also sent along this hoop. I'm pretty sure it is also a Made by Betty B. piece.  
I love this saying: "There are two ways of spreading light, to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it". 

I adore this beautiful hand stitched necklace from Ruthie of My Trash and Treasure. I love the colors and the contrast of the geometric design set against the antique brass. So pretty! And Ruthie also sent along a Starbucks gift card. So incredibly thoughtful! 

I'm just so blown away by how kind and generous and thoughtful these gals are. My gosh, I never thought today's mail would bear such a big big box of really good medicine. I'm so thankful for the friendships I have made through blogging, flickr, Facebook, ebay, etsy, and now Instagram! The world truly gets smaller every day. 
Sure, you come across lots and lots of depressing stuff online…but it's up to us to look for the positive good stuff. 

I hope you'll check out all of these sweet and talented gals on Instagram and in their online shops. I'm honored to be connected to all of these super talented people.

Thanks for reading, and thanks for being here! 
xo Jenny…and Aaron says hi!