Monday, August 12, 2013

Treading Water

Hello readers I am still here and will continue to post on this wonderful blog. I have been absent due to some medical issues and set backs in my search for a fix to my chronic back pain.

 I feel like I am just treading water, not really moving anywhere at all. My days are filled with ever increasing pain and a lack of care provided by my doctors. I don't want surgery, but it seems that's were I'm headed. I am limited in what my insurance will cover and approve. And now I am not a person in pain but a medical chart / number that is being passed around as each doctor runs out of options.

So I just pray for healing and a solution to this wonderful mess that is my life right now and look to the future.

I hope to be back at my projects and tutorials soon and hope that you will all hang in there with me and continue to read!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Pinned It / Tried It - Banana Muffins With Struesel Topping

Pinned It / Tried It - Banana Muffins With Struesel Topping

Salllys Baking Addiction

Banana Muffins with Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Streusel
  makes 16 muffins
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 and 1/2 cup mashed bananas, very ripe (about 3 large ripe bananas)
  • 3 Tablespoons yogurt (I used vanilla greek yogurt) -  
  • I used vanilla honey yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts -
  • I did NOT use walnuts my family doesn't like them
Preheat oven to 425F degrees. Line muffin tin with baking cups or spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Make the streusel first by combining all ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, gently toss together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Using an electric stand or hand mixer, beat the sugar, butter, and egg in a large bowl until fluffy, scraping down the sides as needed. On low speed, beat in the mashed bananas and yogurt. I mixed the banana and yogurt together in a separate bowl then added it to the batter. By hand, stir in the dry ingredients mixing until everything is *just* combined. Do not over mix.
Layer one spoonful of batter into the muffin cup. Sprinkle with streusel. Layer another spoonful on top and layer with more streusel. Continue to layer batter and streusel into each muffin tin.
Bake muffins for 5 minutes at 425F degrees. Lower temperature dial down to 350F degrees and continue to bake for about 14 more minutes until the muffins are set and lightly browned.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes in the tins and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

I am not that great at baking and these muffins turned out perfect and were gone within hours. They are so fluffy and moist. I love the topping!!!!!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Top 20 Tips for Selling at Craft Shows & Flea Markets

Most vintage sellers and upcyclers / repurposers (like me) participate in flea market type shows. I only do about 2-4 shows per year, but other sellers often do 1 show per month. These shows can be very profitable, but they require a lot of work. Here are some tips that I try to follow to make these events run smoothly.

1. Have a plan - I normally start planning a month or more in advance for what I am going to sell and how I want me booth to look.

2. Get organized - Get everything tagged / priced and packed the night before.

3. Have an attractive display - This does not mean that it needs to be organized to the T or need to have expensive props. But if the customer doesn't want to look at what you have then they won't come over and make a purchase.

4. Have a balanced sellers personality - You need to be friendly, but your mind needs to be on making the sale. Don't be overly loud and aggressive because that will scare the seller away. Be sure that if you have room to come down on the price, then accept the buyers offer.

5. Be nice - You want to make sure that you are engaging and polite. Many people will make a purchase based on your interaction with them.

6. Change your display - If you are selling the same item at each show / event then make sure to change your display. If you display is the same every time people may get board and not stop by. You want your buyer to be excited about your product, want to look at it, and want to purchase it.

7. Restock and have new merchandise - If you are participating in a 2 or 3 day show make sure that you have plenty of inventory that you have bring out as the days go by. Having a trailer or U-Haul is important.

8. Sell what people want - I already know what you're thinking "how do I know what others are going to want?" Well after doing a few shows you will start to see what people are buying, especially if you have done the same show more than once. I can tell you that at smaller flea market / vintage type events smaller items are better. If you are at Alameda or a LARGE show then larger items might sell better.
9. Price reasonably - Don't be greedy -  Make sure to price your item with a profit, but you cant expect that your buyer is going to pay through the roof when they can get it two spaces down for less.

10. Advertise - Most shows / event hosts will advertise, but that doesn't mean that you cant do a little of your publicity. But an add on craigslist or contact the local paper.

11. Social Media - This goes along with advertising - post sneak peeks and event info on twitter, facebook, instagram, etc, etc. Using social media might get you sales before you even get to the event!

12. Enlist the help of your friends - You cannot do a vendor show by yourself...YOU WILL NEED HELP! Plus its always more fun when you have someone to talk too! And that way you can shop!

13. Get there early - There is nothing worst then getting stuck in a line of cars and cargo vans all trying to get to their spaces and get get their early!

14. Be flexible and embrace change - Nothing every works out exactly like we think it will, so be flexible and embrace changing the plan or changing the design.

15. Take notes - Take notes along the way. Whether it be about what other vendors are doing, what you want to change the next time, or what you might learn from talking to customers and other vendors.

16. Keep good records - You want to make sure that you are keeping track of your sales. You want to do this so you know what's selling, how you are making, and in case their is a problem. I use The Square and sometimes its a little finicky so I always keep a note pad with the customers name and the amount of purchase just in case.

17. Have business cards - You don't want to have stacks of them laying out everywhere because you pay for them and it adds to the bottom line, but if you want people to call you or find your shop / Etsy then give them a card. I also give keep customer that purchases a card.

18. Use a canopy or pop-up tent - This will protect you and your buyers from the weather and give your space a more store like feel. You don't want you buyers dying in the heat or getting wet if its raining.

19. Signage - You want to make sure that you have a sign clearly showing your name or company name so people remember you. Have repeat customers at an event is very important and since you might now always get the same space you need to have signage.

20. Have FUN!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monday, July 15, 2013

Going Camping - Be Back Soon

Just wanted to let you know that my family and I are off living in the moment. We are camping with family for the next week. Be back blogging when I get back.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Not Enough Hours in The Day

I don't know about you, but summer is always one of the busiest times for me. There are just not enough hours in the day. Today is a perfect example, non stop go since 9 a.m. and here I am at 11 p.m. writing this blog post. And I still have some pictures to take of my sneak peek for my 1st Instagram Sale. The weekends are no better because we are off having fun with family and friends.

The good news is that my family and I are having tons of fun! And next week and weekend we will be camping with more of our family - in-laws and cousins! Pictures to come.
I could really use some tips on how to stay a little more organized and to increase my time management so I can get more done during the day (A.k.a nap time).
If you want to follow along or see whats for sale in my Instagram sale @ thehouseofdiyshop - find me personally on Instagram @ houseofdiy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Camping

Our family is going camping @ Snowflower Campground Ca next week. So here are some camping pictures to get inspired by.

Country Living Magazine

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

6 Steps for Planning Trips

My family loves going away on vacation and we enjoy it even more when others come along. BUT why is it so hard to get two groups (and I only mean two families) to make decisions? I'm the kind of person where if I want to go somewhere I look it up / call around and plan it. I don't like to dilly dally around for 3 weeks and then try to finalize everything the week before we leave.

Here are the tips that I use when planning a vacation:

1. Decide where you want to go. This may need to include the area immediately around your ideal locale just in case you can't find a place to stay.

2. What kind of trip this is going to be? - camping, hotel, vacation rental, etc.

3. Have a budget - How much do you want to spend on where your staying, food, and fun?

4. Make your reservations - check the cancellation policy and make sure you keep your confirmation numbers with you.

5. Meal plan - Plan your meals and leave a little wiggle room for eating out. I also get together with my friend / family members and do a joint meal plan so the cost of meals is shared.

6. Get with the group that's going and plan your activities - we always plan some together and some separate because not every one wants to be with their friends or extended family for 24 hours / 5 days.

Using these 6 steps will help take some of the stress out of planning a vacation, because vacations are for relaxing not stressing about what's to eat or where to stay.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Pinned It / Tried It - Copy Cat Starbucks Passion Fruit Tea

Pinned It / Tried It - Copy Cat Starbucks Passion Fruit Tea

During the warmer months of the year (or if I am stricken with a hangover) I love to drink Starbucks Sweetened Passion Fruit Tea. It is so refreshing and delish!

The recipe I pinned was from shadycatladysmom


2 quarts / 8 cups water
1/2 cup sugar
4 Tazo Passion Tea bags
1-2 tablespoons honey (this is my addition to the recipe, a sweet flower honey is best)

Add the 2 quarts of water to the pan, add sugar and honey and bring to a boil.
After you get to a nice boil shut off the heat and add your tea bags, then wait……..

I let my steep for about an hour and a half, I really think the longer the better.
I let mine steep for about 30 - 45 minutes
Pour the tea into your container and refrigerate.

After the tea has chilled pour over ice and enjoy! The best part about this recipe is you don't have to go anywhere to get it and it only costs about .50 cents per glass.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Easy and Chic Flour Sack Hand Towels

Super Easy and Chic Flour Sack Hand Towels
I can never have enough hand towels whether it be for the kitchen or the bathroom. And I think that they should look great! I just found some flour sack towels at Walmart and I really like them because they are so cheap and I can dress them up any way I want to.

The best thing is that you can really do anything to these towels - dye them, paint them, stencil, screen print, iron on transfer, add embellishments buttons or ribbons, or cut and sew them into something else. The possibilities are endless REALLY!

Here is what I did using iron on transfer paper -

1. I took each towel (they come in a package of 5 at Walmart). I folded them in half and sewed the edges together so they became two-ply and closer to the size of a kitchen or bath hand towel. (this is completely optional)

2. I then went online and found some free printable graphics (graphics fairy is a great site to check out). At this point its up to you what you want the end product to look like, but I changed the color and altered the images a little in paint shop.

3. Once you have the images that you want - make sure to do a mirror image or t-shirt image and print them out on your transfer paper (there are two kinds of transfer paper one for inkjet printers and one for lazer printers make sure you get the right kind).

4. Cut out each image (you can leave a little around the edges or use an xacto knife).

5. Arrange the images the way that you like them with the printed side down and iron on.

The image on the left is ironed on, the image on the right is the printed image on the transfer paper

I hope this has inspired you to run out and get crafty with some flour sack towels.
Here are some links for other ideas for flour sack towels

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Pinned It / Tried It - Cinnamon Roll Pancakes

Number 2 Pencil Blog

Cinnamon Roll Sour Cream Pancakes Recipe:

Cinnamon Sugar Filling

4 tablespoons of melted butter
1/4 cup of firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and add to mixing bowl. Then add 1/4 cup of dark brown sugar (I used golden brown sugar), 2 tablespoons of white sugar and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and stir together.

Fold a quart size plastic baggie over a small cup, that way you can easily pour the cinnamon sugar mixture into the baggie. Close the baggie well and set aside to cool. To speed up the process a little I put my bag of cinnamon sugar goodness into the fridge

 Sour Cream Pancakes

1 cup of all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons of sugar
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 cup of sour cream
1/4 cup of milk
4 tablespoons of melted butter
1 egg, lightly beaten
I made traditional Bisquick pancakes

Let the pancakes set up on the griddle for about 2 minutes, then it is time to add the cinnamon sugar swirl. Snip just a small corner of your cinnamon sugar baggie, push the tip of your baggie into the batter, and carefully swirl the mixture into the pancake batter. Don’t just swirl the mixture on top of the pancake, it needs to be in the batter to make the signature cinnamon roll look. (I don't think I added the cinnamon sugar soon enough and didn't get it into the pancake enough). Try not to get too close to the edge of the pancakes with the swirl, or the cinnamon sugar mixture will run off.

Once the pancakes are cooked, about 7 minutes on the first side, and 5 on the second side, remove them with a large spatula sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Turn them onto the plate swirl side up. Work quickly when removing the pancakes, once the cinnamon sugar mixture cools on your spatula, the pancakes will start to stick.

These pancakes did make a mess of my griddle, but I have a clean up trick that makes cleaning up a snap. While your griddle is still hot take a wet paper towel and using your spatula wipe down the griddle. The steam from the wet paper towel loosens up all the mess and wipes it away.

These pancakes were very good, but I was expecting more of the gritty traditional cinnamon roll filling. I will definitely make these again in the future. Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Jars

I LOVE jars -

Jar Printable from Creative Cain Cabin

Ball® 6-pc/1-pt. Heritage Collection Ball® 6-pc/1-pt. Heritage Collection "NEW" Pint Jar
2013 marks the 100th anniversary of the first series of jars designed by the Ball brothers, each jar intended to be better than the one before. 1913 saw the launch of the first true "Perfect Mason" jar. These limited edition blue Ball jars are a celebration of the heritage featuring period-correct blue color and embossed logos on the front and back. These vintage-inspired blue jars maintain all of our modern standards for quality and reliability. Perfect for all of your home canning needs... or as a collectible item! Features New Jar Design! 6-pack Ball Regular Pints in period correct blue Modern standards for quality and reliability Perfect for all of your home canning needs,or as a collector’s item Vintage Ball embossed logo (front) 100 Year Anniversary embossed on glass (back) Vintage style tray carton 1st in a line of upcoming limited edition jars


Simple Patriotic Wreath

I have found that I am more successful with seasonal decorating when my projects are more simple. I found some cute cupcake papers at JoAnn Fabric. I had plans to make a wreath fully covered in the papers, but that was just unrealistic with the time that I had (at least I'm honest).
This tutorial can be adapted by adding as many cupcake papers as you like and by changing the wreath from a grapevine to a foam base.
 234x60 Fourth of July Sale Plus 10% OFF Coupon
Wire cutters
Cupcake Papers -  I used the regular size and the candy cup size
Jute / ribbon
Wreath - foam, grapevine, cardboard anything will work
I started by cutting down some of the regular sized papers so when I layered them you could see all three colors - red, white, blue.
Next I cut 3 inch lengths of wire (you will need I length for each flower)
I made a small loop at one end and slide on a bead

Take each wire with the bead and poke it through the center of your layered cupcake papers (you can put as many layers together as you like I did three - 1 red, 1 blue, and 1 white. I alternated the colors on each flower, but that's optional.

After you have all your flowers made then you need to decide how you want to place them. I did a grouping of three regular size for the bottom of my wreath and three small for the top.

To attach the flowers on a grapevine wreath simply feed the wire through the grapevines and secure it in the back by wrapping the wire around the vine.

To finish off the wreath add a jute hanger and a ribbon bow. (I hung my wreath from a vintage hanger and slid a flag behind the wreath just to dress it up.)