The satisfaction in eating bread that you baked yourself is, well...satisfying. Recipe courtesy of the lovely Smitten Kitchen.

I am finally pouring the resin tonight in my new brooches. In the next few days they'll be in the shop. My plan for balancing the impending move with working, is to work hard up until next Wednesday, and then cut back those hours to start packing. Then I'll work on making the new place a home as quick as I can so that I can be productive in my new creative organized workspace!
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A New House + A Fresh Start = Moving (which kinda sucks and is awesome all at the same time)

I've been a craigslist addict lately looking for a new place to live. We have found it and made it official yesterday. I'm so relieved and excited I can barely contain my decorating brain. The house we're in now suited our needs great for the year that we were here, but the space isn't as user friendly for us and we decided to downsize into a smaller place in order to save money so I could really put more time and energy into craftyFOLK. We were fully accepting that we'd be moving into an apartment or duplex, which can be a hard adjustment after living within all your own walls in a house for quite some time, but once again the rental gods have smiled upon me and my obsessive ways and thought patterns when searching for a new abode...we found a house. For what we were expecting to pay for an apartment, we have found a cute little unassuming house with wood floors and a wood stove. A little further out, but it's all ours which makes it worth it. I've already mapped out how far I'll be to Michaels and it made me very very happy. I'll have to share some pictures once I get in there, some before and afters would be fun. One thing I really want to put a ton of time into from the start is my workstation, finding really functional furniture and shelving is key!

Because I don't have any photos to look at and get inspiration, I sketched myself a layout of the house to make plans with.

*note the "coffeemaker" area that looks about the size of a closet. This will be our Hot Beverage Station with the espresso machine, coffee maker and kettle. Woohoo!
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Butter and Brooches

I'm working on some new painted brooches to pour tomorrow, with plans for them being in the shop Sunday. These are more in line with my last set of cameo pendants, I like the more detailed paintings, I think they'll be a cohesive addition to the shop. I love the bigger gold pieces, especially the girl with the feather in her hat:) Here's a little peek at some that are ready for the resin and a few that aren't finished being painted yet.

Today I've been getting some domestic delights underway, I like to do this after I spend time cleaning or doing not as fun stuff to reward myself. A few days ago I got my new issue of BUST magazine, while thumbing through, I read a small article on how to make your own butter. First off, I love anything that makes me feel like a pioneer woman, so this is right up my alley. Since I've been planning on making bread (thank you Smitten Kitchen), I thought this is the perfect excuse to actually do it and not just think "Hey, I should do that sometime" and never quite get around to it. I feel like I've accomplished mountains today, because my Kitchen Aid and I made butter.

Here's the basic idea-

Pour a pint of heavy whipping cream and a pinch or two of salt into your mixer and put on high. I've read a few other recipes where it says to add the butter afterward, I'm no expert I just followed what the article said and it turned out great. After about 10 minutes maybe longer it'll turn yellowish and grainy, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times to ensure even mixing throughout the whipping process. Once liquid is present, turn mixer down to medium so that the buttermilk that is separating won't spray everywhere. After another minute, stop mixer and pour the buttermilk into a cup and save for baking. My favorite kitchen tool, the spatula scraper is awesome for combining the butter into a manageable ball and not wasting any of that yummy butter on the sides of the bowl.
Form a ball and transfer to another bowl, at this time I was able to squeeze some more buttermilk from the ball with my hands. Add some cold water to the bowl with your butter ball, knead a few times in your hands (when I tried to knead against the bottom of the bowl, it just stuck to the bottom, so I think the hands is a good way) and then pour off the water adding new cold water. Do this a few times till the water runs clean. Put your beautiful butter ball into a bowl or canister, I think putting it in a little porcelain canister like this would be perfect. I didn't have one that wasn't being used, so I'll be getting another soon.

After pouring out buttermilk, but before
forming a ball, kneading and rinsing.

Finished product-

Make your own butter, you'll feel like a champ.

I'll let you know how my bread turns out. Happy Frackin' Friday folks, any Battlestar fans out there?
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The Most Bang for your Dollar

Last week I ordered the 100 free business cards using this little girl when Overnight Prints was running their special and I just received them last night. Well, they actually were sitting on my porch for over a day unbeknownst to me, apparently I don't get out much. I made them even more cost effective (you do still pay shipping, which for me was $9) by getting two designs printed on one card and then cutting them in half, voila! 200 business cards for $9 total, radical. Needing a versatile card that I can use as a hang tag or mini business card I went with the one sided option so I can add a sticker or write on the back if need be. I'm quite smitten with these! Overnight Prints is running a 100 FREE special on 4x6 postcards through tomorrow Friday. You can do the same type of thrifty printing with the postcards, cutting them in half, thirds, quarters, all sorts of ways. Get creative, it's a great way to spend $9.

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Two for You

I've decided the fate of the porcelain cameo paintings...very special pendants. I put in a silver jump ring and some simple ribbon and I'm quite smitten with the results. Each one will come with 3 different long ribbons to tie in a bow, cream, black and brown, so you can switch it up season to season or based on your mood. I've kept the antler girl one for myself (ha!). I wore it today for the first time and felt quite fancy and kept looking at it in every mirror and window I passed:) The other two are up in the shop now. These are quite a new direction for me, I want to explore more detailed one of a kind pieces, I'm really excited about these pendants. I'll be just a tad sad to see them go, may they find worthy warm homes.

*edit - Mrs. Brown Bunny has SOLD*

In Other Words is now carrying craftyFOLK pieces. They are a great shop, so please do stop by if you're in the area. They'll have pieces that are different than what's available in my shop.
8 B NE Killingsworth St
Portland, OR 97211
Tel: 503-232-6003
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New Project

I've been searching for new ways to broaden my small paintings, small vintage frames, vintage brooch settings, ceramic wall hangings. I get very bored of the "jewelry scene" and don't really consider myself a part of it, though by default I suppose I am. All I know is that I like painting in small scale and I want people to purchase and enjoy my art, whether they're wearing it or hanging it on their wall. While on the hunt I stumbled upon these beautiful blank porcelain pieces and knew they must be mine. I was only able to find 3 of these, so limited to three it shall be. They measure a wee 2 x 1.5 inches and will be in the shop later this week, check back here for shop announcements. I have yet to decide their final fate, a necklace?, a wall cameo? perhaps both?....hmmmm.

Who else is excited about being able to use google analytics for your etsy shop? I am. Perhaps it's another tiny time suck over a cup of coffee, but for us who have a goal of paying bills with art it's another step in the right direction.

Dear Internet,
I don't think I've told lately, but I Love You. I know I take you for granted and get all pissy when I have a slow connection, but I am grateful nonetheless.

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Wee Shop Update

Before I start on a new project that I will soon divulge (hint: porcelain), I listed a few new soft brooches in the shop. Enjoy.

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Out of the Woods

I am ready for this new year, I have my plans written on a text edit and I'm ready to commence. Here is the first shop update for the new year, a few new brooches made with white faux leather. I really like working on the white, it's a nice change. They'll all in the shop within the next few hours. Also below is a few of the handmade gifts I doled out this holiday season. I really enjoyed making all these, I took over the living room completely, set up my sewing machine and watched movies for about a week straight, it was really fun. I highly recommend rice bags for anyone that sews, these have an envelope cover so you can launder them. I bought a 20 pound bag of rice and that made 5 1/2 bags, the 6th bag got filled up the rest of the way with some brown rice from my pantry, so one of my recipients rice bag is a tad fancier:) You pop them in the microwave for 3-4 minutes and you have the best heating pad in the world, safer too. The magnets are a personal joke for one of my family, a pet peeve reminder of theirs for the fridge. They got big laughs.

Holiday Gifts-

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A New Year

I have yet to fully unpack, embrace and welcome this new year quite yet. Scrolling through my regular blog reads makes me a bit dizzy from others creative gumption. I'm recovering from the flu for the second time in six weeks, so feeling a tad sorry for myself and angry at my lack of productivity has been my past time of late. I must be allergic to too many family gatherings. We hope to stay in town next holiday season, let the loved ones come to us. I will share my handmade gifting goods with you soon, once I unpack and find that little adapter to my camera:)

With a stuffed up nose I do wish you all a good New Year!
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