Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snow. Show all posts

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Around here...

To say that we are ready for Spring would be stating the biggest understatement of 2014. On the drive home from the post office today I looked around at the slushy roads and said "I'm over this." Yep, we've been blanketed in white for days, but this being the NJ Shore, it would be more accurate to say gray. Our geographic location, probably owing to our close proximity to the ocean, will transform most snow storms into what they call a "wintery mix". It's very wet, messy, and all the traffic dirties up the snow. In the Tri State area...NY/NJ/CT...everyone commutes. The bus to NYC loops through our little town and picks up right at our corner. On the way back from the post office we were talking to Aaron's dad about how crummy it would be to mass transit commute in this weather. Being dressed for work and having to negotiate your way across a gulf of slush, snow and ice wouldn't be fun at all. But the veteran commuters are hardcore...they've got their tricks, their change of clothes, plastic bags inside their shoes...whatever it takes.

The thought of all that humbles us. We know we are very lucky to not have to catch the bus or train each day. Our "office" is right here. Our commute is the length of the staircase. So I really shouldn't complain. We open the curtain in our studio on days like this and the room gets so bright from the sun reflecting off of the snow outside. I pulled out some of my favorite supplies...lots of pinks and reds, some old photos, trims, stamps and inks. Can you tell that I've got Valentine's Day on the brain? Something sweet and lovely is in the works...though I'm not exactly sure what it'll be yet.

We're painting lots of jumbo wood die cuts. The pink frosted cupcake is by far our top seller of 2014...sure, the year is still young...but there has been such a rush on these!

And as soon as each one gets done it then get's the Everyday is a Holiday customary gift wrap. 

And oh boy...we're matting up prints galore!

And most of the orders we get are mixes of all sorts of things. Prints, kits, signs, diecuts, sticker name it. Getting everything packed up and organized is a job unto itself. You do a whole lotta stooping over and squinting to read invoices...running from station to station...grabbing tissue paper, cellophane bags...crossing things of lists. 

Seriously, 99% of the job is clerical in nature. So, after very long days of that stuff we try to cram in a tiny bit of designing. This was from the other night...the very beginning stage of a Pancakes die cut! We are so excited!! Designing new stuff makes all the busy work worth it. But we never get to really hunker down and design something from start to finish in one sitting. It kills us to set projects aside, but that's the only way we can get anything done. We have a systematic way of chipping away at all sorts of things throughout the day and week. We keep lots of irons in the fire...and bit by bit things come together.

And whenever we get to pause for an hour or two we try to do some home improvements. We are so so excited to finally be finishing up some long overdue home repairs. We were busy with work and put all that stuff on pause. Now we're finally going to really work on the livingroom and kitchen. We just cannot wait to be back to normal. Having a home with decorations hanging...our favorite things on display again. It has been so long! This here Exit sign is a new favorite of ours...I can't wait to hang it! We just have some repairs and some painting to do before we really get the ball rolling. Our plan is to have the painting started this weekend! And they're predicting more snow on the weekend...maybe we'll stock up on canned goods, let the snow barricade us in, and paint and do room makeovers until Spring! Or then again...maybe not. We'll just keep chipping away like we have been.

Ok, that's it for now. Just wanted to say Hi and fill you guys in on how things are going in the great white (actually gray) north (and not really too far to the north) ha! Anyway, thanks for checking in! I'll be back sooner than later...hopefully with some great stuff to share!
xo, Jenny...and Aaron says hi!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's a Snow Day!

Well it's officially winter here on the NJ Shore! It's a real deal Snow Day! Nothing close to what my parents have gotten in upstate NY, or what we have been seeing across the country. The news and Instagram are chock full of "snowpocalypse". But we've got 3 inches or so, and it's still coming down...very prettily I may add! 
We are in full on Elf mode...working round the clock on orders and doing as much as we can production line style. But I must tell you...our December Daily supplies took over much of the work table in the studio (see above), so we have orders drying and piling up on every surface in every other room. Hey, it happens! What can you do? right? (those last couple lines are supposed to sound like I'm convincing myself just as much as I'm convincing you. :))
Right now with the Holiday rush there truly isn't a line between personal space and workspace anyway. 

Speaking of December Daily...of course we are a bit behind, but that was expected. We've been doing our best to chip away and take a few mins here and there when we need a break from work. When you are doing something creative for yourself it's best to just do it even if you know you're going to fall behind. That is way better than not doing it at all.

Here is the cover. Those trees are vintage wrapping paper, and that house is one of our own original paintings. You can find similar houses on our Christmas sticker sheets here. Which happen to be 25% off with code: Holiday25 

This is my newest vintage paper pack from my fave ephemera gal... Lisa Cook. Isn't it all absolute perfection?! I want to eat it all!  

Oh... The winner for Lisa's Giveaway was chosen and announced over on Lisa's blog here. Congrats! And thanks to everyone who entered! Stay tuned...we will definitely be working with Lisa again soon! 

See this? Well I see it in my sleep these days. Ornaments galore! Lots and lots and lots of them! And these will all be shipping out to happy new homes tomorrow! If you ordered one or a few we'd LOVE to see pics of them hanging on your tree! Or tied to gifts, or hanging from chandeliers...

This happens to be a tiny pile....which grew and grew as the day went on. My cutting station. Me in front of a plug in heater...cutting till my hands no longer work. #elflife 

And here is Aaron adding antiquing washes to a batch of Starlet ornaments

This face! You know what this face is? It's his..."mom pick me up so I can be glued to your side in front of the heater" face. 

And here is what happens when he gets his wish! ha!

Well, back to work! Just wanted to pop in and say hi, and to let you guys know what we are up to over here! 

Hope you are staying warm and have been finding a few minutes to do some holiday crafting! We'd love to see your Christmas crafts and December Daily albums!

Love from the NJ Shore, 
xo Jenny...and Aaron says hi!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snow Day! ...and a yummy recipe! "Sloppy Joe Squares"

Hey guys! Well they weren't lying! Nemo dumped a good amount of the white stuff over the tri state area. We got about 7 inches! Poor Connecticut got 38 inches!!! NUTSO! I'm happy with the amount we got. Enough to make it officially a snow day without feeling like we are snowbound and isolated. Like the awful feelings we had in the wake of Sandy.  

Today we have the Walking Dead marathon on in anticipation of tomorrow night's premiere! Can't wait! And for lunch we had super yummy Sloppy Joe Squares! They are super simple to make and really really yummy...especially on a chilly day like today! As a kid my mom made traditional sloppy joes and they were always a family favorite. This version is not only easy but the neatness of them is very appealing...and the biscuity goodness that they're enveloped in takes the sloppy joe to another level. I know kiddos would probably love them!  Keep reading for the recipe! 

We are taking the day to clean the least in the areas that still feel like a house. We're dusting, mopping, and organizing. I'm sure some of you have gone through some sort of home renovation where things were completely turned upside down, but you don't feel sane unless you keep that tiny livable area in some semblance of order. Probably about one half of our first floor is ok. But the other is totally unfinished, cold, and looks like a storage facility. So we have crammed everything that we need for everyday living into one area. Yes, it does feel like the walls are closing in on us sometimes. But in an attempt to maintain sanity (who am I kidding...I haven't been acquainted with sanity in years!!) we decided to take this snow day to clean up a bit so that tomorrows creative endeavors can be approached with less baggage in tow. 
In order to mop Aaron pulled the furniture out and Jack, liking his new vantage point by the front window, took it as a cue to sit up high in order to keep a stern eye on our shoveling neighbors. I mean who knows...without ole snake eyes on watch they could end up stealing some of our snow!

And then this little old man figured it didn't take two guys for that job.

We had some paint left on our palette so we went outside to play a bit! When I was little I did this with food coloring...which was soo fun! Today we had acrylic paint, watered it down, and just let it drip! Silly? Yes...Fun? Yes! Snow cupcake!

Even though it is cold out there it is really bright and fresh...I loved taking deep breaths.

Ok so now for that recipe!!

Sloppy Joe Squares

1 tbs butter or olive oil
1 medium sized onion
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
2 garlic cloves minced
1 lb ground beef
1 cup ketchup
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
3 tbs Worcestershire sauce ( I use Lea & Perrins)
1 tbs red wine vinegar
3 tsp chili powder 
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp mustard powder

You will also need:

2 cans Pillsbury Big & Buttery crescent rolls
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (we used a block of Tillamook Sharp Cheddar)

First, heat your oven to 350 degrees. 
In a large skillet,  melt your butter (or heat olive oil) and add your onion and garlic (and crushed red pepper flakes if using them)...cook until soft. Add your meat and cook until browned. Drain the grease.
             Now, add the salt, pepper, mustard powder, chili powder, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, and water, stir until well combined, and reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. 
Next,  in a 9x13 ungreased baking pan, roll out your one roll of crescent dough. Press into the bottom  and about 1/2 inch up on the sides of the pan. 
Now, evenly spread the sloppy joe filling over dough. 
Spread your cheese evenly over the filling, and then cover the filling with the other roll of dough. 
Bake for 30-35 minutes. 
Let cool about 10 mins before eating. 

These squares heat up perfectly the next day...if there are any left. ;)

Let me know if you make them!

Happy Snow Day to you friends! (even if you are just living vicariously through blogland friends)
xo Jenny