Holiday Party Menu w/ Winter Cranberry Sangria

I recently hosted a small Holiday Gift Wrapping party with lots of ribbon and bows and wanted to share my favorite drink recipe and holiday menu with you. 

Winter Cranberry Sangria
1 bottle sweet red wine - should have made double
3 cups lemon-lime soda
1 1/2 cups orange juice
 2 cups fresh cranberries
That's eat, easy right?
A splash of Cranberry juice, or pinch of cinnamon would be perfect here too.

Wrapping Party Menu:
* 2 cream cheese balls  - one covered in raspberry chipotle sauce the other rolled in cheddar and almond. Both were served with sesame seed infused crackers.
* Chicken Pigs in a blanket (haven't eaten mammals in years).
* Veggie tray with broccoli, cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing. -Perfect holiday spread.
* Cubed Gouda - my Fav.
* Spice Cake mini cupcakes drizzled with vanilla.

It was important to me to keep the menu filling, since the party was hosted during dinner time, yet finger foods so that my guests could wrap and eat at the same time.

What's your favorite holiday cocktail?

Browsing Etsy for Upcycling

Found an awesome treasury today featuring a number of different upcycled mediums.
What is your favorite?

Recycled Cardboard Crafts!

So there are of course a million things that can be done with paperboard rolls (Think toilet paper and paper towel roll inserts). From elementary school crafts to larger designs I thought I would share a few with you all that I created and recently posted in my Etsy Shop.  While they do take a while to create they are very elegant and eco friendly . - Who thought toilet paper rolls could be so chic??

1. Save up paper towel rolls and cut to a manageable size.
 2. Paint rolls a color of your choice, I chose a Folk Art GOLD and let dry. (not shown)
 3. Once dry inside and out, cut to the width of your choice. I find 1/2 inch works well!
 4. Using an adhesive - I use hot glue - form into desired design!
 5. Go back and paint cut edges which will show the cardboard brown color. . . This is probably the most labor intensive step, it takes a lot of patience to get into all the cracks and make it look even. 
6. Coat with a gloss of your choice for a more finished look and feel!

Eco Friendly Recycled Golden Floral Votive Holder

Gold Paper Succulent Set of Two - Recycled Cardboard - Eco Friendly

What have you made with paperboard rolls?

Etsy Logo - Creating a Banner, Avatar, Facebook, and Business Card Image

As I mentioned previously I wasn't completely thrilled with my Etsy Banner. The background was clear, but the text formatted and appeared blurry. Recently, I ordered new business cards with my Etsy shop name, e-mail, etsy site (OF COURSE) etc. I picked the pattern as something gray and white (which to me is classic, as are my vintage items) with a cute geometric design (which a lot of my products have or are inspired by).

I recently receive my cards in the mail in a cute little box and THEN. I thought "Hey, why not make this image consistent throughout Lynn's Mix ?," So I DID!

I went to the website I got my business cards from to get the background image and used Word Drawing Tools to transform it into a banner and avatar that were actually the correct size. Etsy wants banners to be sized 100x750 Pixels, only my Drawing Tools weren't allowing me to adjust pixels directly. If you have the same prob just convert to inches when resizing: 100x750 = 1 inch by 7.5 inches :D

     Same for the avatar which should be sized 100x100 Pixels... thus 1 inch by 1 inch.
Facebook avatars support a minimum of 180x180 Pixels so I had to make a third graphic, but no worries. Feel free to check that one out too. (Remember, "Like" Lynn's Mix on Facebook and receive exclusive coupon offers for my etsy shop!)

I sized the background images, then sent it behind text, added a text box w/ no fill and no line, chose my font, centered, and grouped. Easy as Pie, I don't know why I didn't do it sooner.

Tell us how you choose your Etsy Logo.

Working Toward A New Way Of Eating

Slowly but surely...

 A few years ago I started to contemplate becoming a vegetarian, which I suppose I did for two months or so. Then I ate steak all the time. But guilt and reasoning crept back in... Two years ago I stopped eating mammals (cows, pigs, lamb). No not beef, pork and mutton - such terms simply detach us all from what it really is. 
 So to this day, for the past two years I have not eaten mammals.

 I'd say about a month ago I read Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals . It's a great book from the point of view of a non-vegetarian. So there's no "preachy-ness". While as inspiring or convincing as it may be - I stopped eating chicken which is DISGUSTING by the way for about a week, until I got right back into the swing.

So then... Here I am AGAIN! RE-CONTEMPLATING. I know my personal goal is to become a vegetarian. Cattle production results in a ridiculous amount of CO2. Over 98% of animals raised for slaughter live in despicable environments - environments that are hidden from view - because it surely wouldn't be an appetizing sight. 
 In pursuit of my goal to actually become a vegetarian, I have another book that I am about to read Food Inc. I hope to convince myself once and for all... 

  I also have been looking up and making a lot of delicious vegetarian recipes for my husband and myself.  

I'd love to share with you what we just ate for dinner:
                               Falafel Pita with Tzatzik (Cucumber Sauce)
                           I will admit that the ingredients are a bit lengthy, but it's DELICIOUS!
You will need:
For patties:                                                                              For Sauce:
1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans                                      1/2 cucumber shreaded and chopped
                  1/2 large yellow onion                                            6 oz. plain yogurt (strained optional)
                  1/2 cup fresh parsley                                                          1 tablespoon sour cream
               1-2 cloves garlic, chopped                                                        salt/pepper to taste
                     1 teaspoon water
                             1 egg
              2 teaspoons ground cumin                                                         Toppings / Finishes:
                      1 teaspoon salt                                                                            Pita Bread
                      pepper to taste                                                                        Lettuce/ Spinach
                 pinch cayenne pepper                                                                  Chopped Tomato
               1 teaspoon lemon juice
             1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 slice of bread toasted and crumbled
                 1 teaspoon flaxseed
                  veg. oil for frying

Make Sauce. Shred and finely chop cucumber, add yogurt, salt and pepper. Stir and Chill.

In blender grate chopped onion, parsley, water and garlic until smooth. Mash garbonzo beans to a thick paste. Stir in blended onion mixture. Add egg, cumin, salt, pepper, cayenne, lemon, baking powder. Stir.

The mixture will be rather wet, add flaxseed and bread crumbs until able to form into small patties. A bit of flour is optional here too.

Make 8 small patties and fry in an inch of veg. oil until brown. Cook slowly on medium / medium low so that patties cook through without becoming too dark.
 Add slowly to pan so heat of oil doesn't drop too low, they should all fit:

Warm Pitas!                                        Assemble and ENJOY!

Wish me luck with the new book!
I'd love to hear your tips on keeping to my vegetarian goals!

Updating Etsy Shop - Lynn's Mix

Updating my Etsy Shop, Plan for Success, GET CRAFTING!
Thanks for visiting my blog!

First off, I must admit that I have been neglecting both my blog and my Etsy. :(

Although my blog more so... here I am updating on everyone on my shop!

Last time I mentioned  (only time)  my Etsy store: I was just starting to take my first photographs. I actually posted to my shop starting about a month ago and now have 23 items up for sale.

Things to Work On for Etsy Success:
  •   Many people say 100 is the magic number of items to be posted (Time to craft my butt off)
  •   My Etsy store front banner is nothing to brag about...
  •   Get my first sale . . . some how 
  •   Promote more!  Get more Views!  I recently joined a few teams on  Etsy, have created a few treasuries, been on the forums
    • I am really excited about one team in particular UPCYCLERS! They seem really supportive. The team leader is actually the one who kind of gave me a wake up call and inspired me to get back to work!  So here's to Cat!
  •   Update shop more often! The times I get the most views are when I add to my shop between 4pm and 8pm Central during the week... maybe it's just me. 

Our SunMaster Tomato!

 So about 2 months ago, Gilbert (my husband) and I planted 6 Sun Master Tomato plants. A breed meant to withstand night time temps up to 90 degrees. Thank God it has not been that hot but still. They are beginning to ripen.

While they may be beautiful and I must admit it feels good to have grown something rather than killed it like my brown thumb often does, the first pick was a little mealy/grainy. Little did I know that Gilbert had been watering them 3x as much what as I had been giving them.

(The lighting wasn't great so the picture is a little surreal. I'm telling you I'm not 100% about that camera)

I'm glad they are so big, a whole palm full for me.
Can't wait til we own our own house and can have a large garden PLUS a chicken coop!!
Time to water them less while the majority ripen- 50 to go :)

More info. about SunMaster tomato Dave's Garden is a Great Resource

Photographing Vintage Items for My Empty Etsy Shop !

After finding that the sunlight kept my images from yellowing, I think my cheap camera that I originally anticipated having to give away or sell on Craigslist (Vivitar ViviCam X029) will do just fine. Yet still I would recommend it to no one. 

But, since I'm hoping to keep start up costs to a minimum while staying competitive, I think it's going to be my best bet. 

I love the piece (1975 F.T.D white compote) but I still need to take situational photos (with flowers I suppose). Lots more to photograph! Wish me luck.