Monday, January 31, 2011

Key To My Heart

Seems that most of you like the idea of the 'Key To My Heart' design.  
I will have a version of this necklace coming soon.  Stay tuned!

Key's seem to be all over the place these days.  
Here are a few handmade items that have caught my eye lately. Enjoy!

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How cute would this be for a baby gift?!  

Fox & Feathers


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What a fun necklace, and I'm in love with the long chain length.

Marolsha
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Another precious baby gift idea...
Schmoo1515

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I have always had a love for vintage postcards.  
These gift tags would come in handy to decorate all those baby gifts ;)

Beehive Cottage

Happy Monday and don't forget to....
Support Handmade!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Vote for a NEW design!

I need your help!  Here are two designs which I have sketched for
a new and exclusive Magpie original.  

Vote for your favorite!

Note: These are rough sketches during the concept stage.

Thanks for your input!
Emily


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Thankful Tuesday

My lovely sister has a blog that shares her ups and downs, joys and trials, and triumphs and failures as a wife and mommy of three. Her honesty and real experiences are inspiring and often make me go places that I may not want to go.  One area in my life that I have have wanted to challenge is my quick instinct to often grumble and complain about life.  Tuesday's will be a blog day dedicated to challenging this not so pleasant character trait....wish me luck! 

Five things to be thankful for TODAY:
  • A warm and cozy house as the temps are in the negatives right now.

  • The second trimester goodness seems to have set in (Cross your fingers it doesn't leave me)

  • A snoring dog sleeping next to me


  • My hubby who loves to serve me without complaining (especially these last few months!)
  •  Monday night TV (my guilty pleasure, The Bachelor)
Those are just a few things to be thankful for today.  What are you thankful for?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Candy making

I think I'll stick with jewelry making.  My attempt at Sea Salt Caramels didn't go so well.  I think the main problem was the lack of a candy thermometer.   I gauged the temperature by eye and a meat thermometer which in the end caused a hard rock caramel.  Oh well, it was something I have always wanted to try, so I gave it my best.  No pictures of that disaster recorded.


 I did, however, succeed at Peppermint Bark. I combined several recipes and came up with one that worked for me.   This is what I came up with:

18 oz of semi sweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips- a bag and a half
18 oz white chocolate chips
3 boxes of candy canes, crushed
1/2 TS of peppermint extract
  • Crush candy canes in a plastic baggie, set aside 1/4 of the pieces.
  • Prepare TWO cookie sheets with wax paper.  I sprayed the cookie sheet with cooking spray so the wax paper would adhere better and didn't slide around.
  • Melt the semi sweet chocolate in a glass bowl. You could use a double boiler, I opted for the microwave. If using the microwave, total cooking time is 6 minutes.  First, melt on 50% power level for 3 minutes.  STIR.  Then put it back in for another 3 minutes.   
  • Add 1/4" teaspoon of peppermint extract.
  • Spread chocolate on cookie sheet in even layer.  Put in refrigerator for approximately one hour.  I took it out after 45 minutes because I'm impatient.
  • Melt white chocolate chips.  Same technique as above.
  • Mix in 1/4" teaspoon peppermint extract AND 3/4" of the crushed candy canes.
  • Spread over chilled dark chocolate.  This white chocolate layer is lumpy, so be patient and spread to the edges as best you can.
  • Sprinkle the top with remaining crushed candy canes.
  • Chill until hardened (about 4 hours or overnight), then break apart into bite size pieces.
  • Will keep in fridge for 5-6 weeks.

 I think it came out pretty darn good! I packaged the bark in some festive tins and shared it with my neighbors.  Now that all my baking and candy making is done, I need to get back into the studio to work on pending orders and design some NEW ones! Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Snowed in and the WINNER.....

Hello everyone!  Sorry for the delay in sharing the results of the giveaway.  I have been sick for the last two days and then yesterday we got slammed here in CT with 22" of snow!  

Here's a short video of my pup in the snow- playing for just a second to appease me.

video


And the winner of the Nolan Necklace is..... Steph!  Steph's email is thelazybees@yahoo.com.

Steph, contact me at Emily@magpiedesignz.com to claim your prize!

Thank you everyone for entering the giveaway and make sure to look out for more chances to win a Magpie Original again!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Mommy Monday

My awesome (and older) sister who has three kiddos writes a Monday blog called "Mommy Monday".  Every week she blogs about advice, ideas, baby gear and other parenting topics that will be VERY helpful for me as I enter the world of mommy-hood for the first time. It is also opened up the the readers to share their struggles, fears, and advice so that I can learn from all you experienced mothers!

I know it can be completely overwhelming being a first time mom (from what I've heard :) and I am starting to feel the pressure.  Do I register for the wipe warmer or diaper genie?  What baby carrier do I get?  And the stroller, oh my, so many choices!  

I can't believe I don't have ONE decent picture of my sister and I!  This is all I got folks, pickle and all! 

Deli in New York City, hence the ginormous sandwiches!

So if any of my readers feel moved to share their mommy advice, go to my sister's blog and comment on her Mommy Monday posts.  Make sure to check back every Monday to see what the new topic of the week is!

Monday, January 3, 2011

First 2011 giveaway for blog followers ONLY!

Welcome 2011!  With the new year here, I want to thank my loyal blog readers with a fabulous giveaway. The Nolan Necklace is one of my most popular designs, so I know that one of my readers will enjoy it too!
It comes with a tad bit of work though, see below!

 Up for grabs... The Nolan Necklace!



TWO Mandatory entries: (Leave entries in comment box)
1. Visit my website at magpiedesignz.com and tell me which design is your favorite.  (Leave your email address so I know how to contact you if you are the winner.)
2. <-------------Follow my blog. You have to be a follower of my blog in order to be entered.  (see "Follow" button on left side of blog)

Extra entries:  (Leave entries in comment box)
3. Share this giveaway on your facebook page
4. Become a fan of my FACEBOOK fan page
5. Tweet about my giveaway
6. Follow me on Twitter

*Winner will be chosen using random.org.  Giveaway ends next Monday January 10th at midnight.

This is a giveaway to show my appreciation for my lovely blog readers.  So THANK YOU to my current readers and WELCOME to my new readers!  Following my blog DOES come with perks!