Monday, November 30, 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

My second Swap Package came in! I just want to say, I've been a fan of this shop ever since we were paired up for the Shop, Swap & Blog event. I was so excited to open this one because the packaging was simply stunning. Once you find yourself wandering into this charming little shop, you wont wander out as easily. STELLA + HODGE is filled with quality, handmade surprises hidden here and there. Devon does an amazing job drawing you in with her packaging as well as her gorgeous handmade items. Read as Devon shares about her business below.

Interview with Devon of STELLA + HODGE

A bit about you: I'm a midwestern girl, born and raised. I've been making stuff for as long as I can remember. I went to art school and studied and explored all kinds of art. I've been working as a graphic designer for the last 6 years with a strong passion for packaging design and product development. I believe presentation is everything. I'm the girl who spends just as much money and time on wrapping the gift and the gift itself.

What made you start your business:
I'm a total creative geek and am always coming up with new ideas and things I want to make. I've always loved giving creative handmade gifts and have always wanted to sell my handmade creations. That is what led me to etsy.

What do you plan to accomplish with your business:
I'm happy as long as I'm creating beautiful, handmade products that people enjoy. And whether buyers purchase for themselves or as a gift, I want receiving my package to bring a smile to their face. I want STELLA+HODGE to stay a hodge-podge of items. So people can visit and find new things. There is something for everyone.

What you get most out of having your own business:
I love the freedom of creating exactly what I envision and being able to work at 2am if that is when I'm feeling creative. And etsy is a wonderful community. The helpful nature of other shop owners and the warm feedback from happy customers makes it a really positive experience.

Contact Devon:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I recently signed up for the Shop, Swap and Blog event over on Pattie's blog, Structured Chaos. I am so thankful she went through all the hard work of coordinating this fun event for everyone! I was so excited to open my first package from Holly at Vinyl Wall Art. Let me just say, I wasn't expecting this little package to explode with all kinds of little, beautiful surprises! Visit Holly's charming store, blog, or facebook.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Eco Tip: Mothball Alternative

Did you know..

..Mothballs often contain a compound called para-dichlorobenzene? The reason mothballs contain this compound is because it is very harmful to moths.. but, guess what? This carcinogen you are putting in your drawers with your clothing is also very harmful to you!

A safer way to keep pesky moths out of your favorite clothing items is to buy sachets with the scents of lavender and cedarwood. Moths steer clear of these scents and you'll be one step closer to making your home greener.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Etsy Front Page

My Canaan Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Soap was featured on the Front Page of Etsy today!

Monday, October 26, 2009


Here I am. Unveiled.
With my Honey Cakes.
For my friends on the Christian Artists and
Crafters Team at Etsy (TeamCAC):

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shop Feature: Red Bracelet

I would like to feature a very special shop today. I've been lucky enough to have been introduced to this shop through the Double Shot Cafe Buy and Replace Forum on Etsy. I couldn't help but make a purchase, and, well...

I must say, this is one of the most fabulous purchases I have ever made. EVER. First of all, I get this charming eco package with stamps and writings that give it so much character already. I can't wait to open the package, but I slowly peel it back so that I can take the most pleasure in opening it. Like a little present. Inside I find a beautiful card, and two envelopes I have to open before I can get to the treasure I have been waiting for. I carefully open the first to find an envelope adorned with two red bracelet logo stickers a single thread and a single turquoise bead! "Such care in the wrapping.." I found myself saying out loud. Which made me anticipate the anxiously awaited treasure even more! Finally I slide out this bracelet that is incredibly beautiful, feminine, brilliant with color. The bracelet is soft in texture and wraps perfectly around my wrist in layers and clasps comfortably with a silver adornment. Wow. I'm impressed and I am so excited to wear it. I only wish I had them in every color so that I could wear one with every outfit! RedBracelet is such a pleasure to work with and you will not regret making a purchase from her! I have been so moved by her beautiful treasures that I've decided feature her on my blog!

How did Red Bracelet come to be?

As all good things in life are accidently, I designed and created a unique turquoise hamsa-hand necklace. One pair. For myself. For years I think that turquoise is a vital color, I have design lots of jewellery from metal and sometimes combined turquoise components. My love to this color is mostly in the jewelry field, not connected to folklore beliefs, but to fashion taste. I think this powerful color goes well with almost every color. I had all materials because I needed to add some products in a shop to get to a certain sum for credit card transactions. I took calcium, polymer clay etc. I had some stones I bought 3 years ago during a vacation abroad and used only few of them since. Crafting tools I had already. It all combined together into a wonderful, strong and unique look. Many people were asking me to make for them. I was use to such requests since more than 10 years I craft jewelry as a hobby. But, this was different. It looks like no other thing…I decided to respond and accept the orders. After few months of marketing to shops I started to get the interest of on-line marketing. This format was really cool because it suits my life-style as a career PR woman.

What inspired you to make your handmade items?
When I got married my grand mother, who came a long-long time ago from Bulgaria to Israel, put in side my bra, at the morning of the wedding day, A GARLIC! She said that it will protect me from evil-eye and will assure that only good energies are around me. That strong memory was on my top of my mind when I first created this turquoise-turquoise… which is another belief of my grandmother. This family tradition gives the concept a real meaning.

What does your work space look like?
A clean table from wood with high chair and lots of colored and clear plastic boxes to organize all of the small components inside and craft tools and materials. The room has lots of windows and air directions. I think that is what makes it easy for me to sit for hours and work. I have a place in the corner of my table for a laptop, but I try not to touch it with dirty hands.

Tell us a little bit about you!
I am a mother for 2 children. Shelly is 11 years old and Alon is 5.5 years old. We live in Tel Aviv - ISRAEL. I am 38 and well educated. My MA is in political sciences and communication. I am a co-manager in a PR firm. My husband works in a family business now, after 10 years of managing in Adidas, Israel.

Who has been your closest supporter?

My DH… my husband helps whenever he is able and willing to fill my requests for buying materials or send something when I can't. My kids are wonderful too, and tell me all the time how talented I am and how they adore my collections. Since my daughter is a trend setter and leader at school – all the girls bought necklaces.

What is your next goal?
My next goal is making my RedBracelet temple perfect – lots of work with new pics and all the time having ideas for texts and sales… I would like to set a management routine for weekly and daily activities on Etsy and to open more shops in more sites. I now build my own site and in a developing process of marketer agent in Los Angeles.

Where do you see Red Bracelet in the next 5 years?
I don’t know- it can stay the same or get really big wings. I'll go now to wear some LuckXury against evil-eye and for good luck… maybe it will lead me to a good direction, and fulfilling path. If it won't help… well… it won't harm!! Max-I will enjoy the colors.ו

You can find Red Bracelet and her lovely creations here, at
If you would like your shop to be featured on my blog, please comment below and I will get back with you.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Fab Find

This is quite literally a fabulous find. The Etsy seller selling this beautiful card found the artwork near her home by the seaside.

You can find this Found Art Photo Greeting Card and more great items at
Her items also benefit Brynn's Memorial Arts Bursary(scholarship) Fund which helps to send young people on to Art School after high school graduation, in memory of Brynn.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fab Find

Another Fabulous Find...

Drama, intensity, a splash of gorgeous, eye-catching color and, even better, affordability... are what these two little beauties are made of. You can find these Tibetan Turquoise Dangles, and more great peices at

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Fab Find

This is sure to put a smile on your face...

You can find the Pink Monday Monkey at

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Thursday nights from 8pm-9pm EST the Double Shot Cafe hosts a little event called "Javapalooza".

For those of you who don't know what Javapalooza is, let me just say, it is an experience. So, throw on your jammies, grab a cup of joe (you'll need it to keep up), and tell your husband, wife, kids, cat, Mary-Jo, fluffy, whoever.... that you need an hour of uninterrupted focus, 'cause we move FAST!

Javapalooza is great for a few reasons:

1. Promoting your Etsy shop

2. Getting sales, hearts, and views

3. Making friends with a crazy group of people

4. Having an excuse to monopolize the computer for an hour

5. It's an hour of FUN FUN FUN!

Come on in and see what all the fuss is about!

Rules are on the first page. If you have any questions after reading the rules, just ask. It goes by fast, but we are all willing to help. Try to ask questions before Javapalooza starts. This way you understand the game and you can make the most of your hour!

If you have a sale, post post post! This is one hour that spam is allowed. If you are looking for gifts, something for yourself, or just a reason to shop, this is the perfect time to do it! Our shops offer all kinds of discounts, prizes, and specials so take advantage of them while you can!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Who spiked the Egg Nog?

Just formulated my new Spiked Egg Nog with Peppermint Candy Sticks Soap Bar. The great thing about my soap is that they don't contain any artificial fragrances or colors. They are all made with natural fragrance or essential oils from real plant/seed extracts. The colors are derived from natural herbs, spices, purees, seeds, beans, etc. 

My eggnog soap is kicking off the holidays pretty early! For all of you early shoppers, I bring to you the cutest soap stocking stuffer you've ever seen!

See my store for more great natural soaps:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Double Shot Cafe Contest

I am so excited today! Because tonight we start the Double Shot Cafe Referral Contest in my Buy and Replace Forum on Etsy:

Come participate! You can grab a much beloved cup of coffee (don't forget to try my easy homemade Coffee Creamer Recipe), curl up in a comfy chair, and chat with a great group of shops! We are a very supportive group and this is a wonderful place to promote your one-of-a-kind artistry. We can't wait to get to know you!

Contest Details:

Starts: Saturday 8/8 @ 12:01 AM Etsy time
Ends: Monday 8/31 @ 11:59 PM Etsy time
Winner announced: Tuesday 9/1

Referral Contest: August ONLY!
1. Referring shops must be on the most current list.

2. Refer a shop to this BnR.

3. BOTH the referring shop and the referred shop must post in the thread letting everyone know who they were referred by BEFORE making a purchase.

4. They are then eligible for discounts that shops on the list can offer exclusively for referred shops. Once they make a purchase, they get added to the list with a DOUBLE shot.

3. The referring shop gets FREE gift AND an extra SINGLE shot for the referral!

4. THE BEST PART: The shop with the most referrals will join me as LISTMASTER!

Friday, July 31, 2009

How to Make Paper: An Easy Picture Tutorial

Lets get right down to it. You want to try your hand at making your very own paper. Sounds complicated, but it is quite simple. You need paper to make paper. The kind of paper you use will determine the kind of paper you get, and you can get pretty creative with it. 

::STEP 1::

Wood frame (you can use an old picture frame)
Fiberglass screen
Staple gun
These items can be found at Home Depot. 
Just stretch the screen tightly over the frame and staple into place with the staple gun. (Watch your fingers!)

Deep tub or plastic basin like this:

It must be larger than your frame so that your frame 
may be totally submerged.
I used a cement mixing tub that I got from home depot for a few dollars. It works perfect and fits the larger 12x12 frames.


(I used a margarita blender.. you DON'T need the pour spout, mine just happens to have one.)

Scrap paper:

Any kind of paper will work for this, I usually mix up what I have in my scrap paper stash. Old bills, letters, scraps from crafts, magazines, tissue paper, construction paper, napkins, you name it.
For thick paper use postcards, old greeting cards, advertisements, etc.
I usually use a mix of both for a medium stock paper. I use this for my soap labels.

Paper Shredder:

(This is not mandatory but it makes the process loads easier. You can rip up the paper by hand if you don't have one.)

A few last supplies include:
Fleece, flannel or felt fabric
Liquid starch (optional)
Hand and body towels
Newspaper or brown paper
Additives: Flower petals, colored thread, seeds (for plantable paper), herbs (for coloring), etc.

::STEP 2::

Okay, now you are ready to start making paper!
First, shred or rip your paper:

Fill the blender half way with your shredded or ripped paper:

Fill the blender the rest of the way with warm water to soften the paper:

Pulse mixture slowly at first and then increase speed. Blend until the paper is pure pulp. If there are still paper scraps and pieces, blend longer. This usually takes about one minute or less:

Fill basin or tub half way with water. Then pour pulp into basin. Repeat as needed until you get the desired amount of paper pulp. The more pulp, the thicker your paper will be. I usually use about 2-3 batches of pulp. Add 2 teaspoons of liquid starch to mixture (this is optional but it will prevent ink from bleeding if you plan on using the paper to write on). Stir mixture to evenly disperse:

Slide prepared screen mold into basin and immerse completely. Let paper settle over screen, making sure the paper pulp settles as evenly as possible:

Once it is the thickness you would like it, lift frame up out of the water (I set mine on the corner of the basin) and then you can add botanicals, colored thread, leaves, or pretty much anything else. Get creative! You can also add these to the basin when you are pouring your pulp, but I like to add it once the paper is on the screen so that I can use the left over in the basin for a different decoration or style:

Transfer mold (screen down) onto the fabric of your choice:

Fold fabric over top of paper:

Press firmly to remove excess water:

Turn over mold, carefully, not too loosely:

Lift off screen side fabric, which should now be on top:

Sponge screen side to soak up water until the paper releases from screen:

Cover paper with towel to soak up as much excess water as possible:

Slowly lift paper on towel. Curl over with your hand under the paper while lifting so that it doesn't fall and tear. Stack onto other towels. I had made several other sheets prior and I continue to stack them on top of each other with layers of towels in between:

Layer towel on top so that it can soak up any excess water:

After this sits for about 30 mins, I uncover and transfer each sheet to a newspaper or brown paper to dry. Depending on the thickness, you can use a clothesline. If the paper is very fragile, I wouldn't recommend it. The newspaper is usually your safest bet:

The rest is easy, just wait for it to dry, and it is ready to use and enjoy!
I hope you've found this tutorial useful. If you have, please leave a comment so that I am encouraged to make more! I'll be eagerly awaiting your feedback. If you would like to buy some of my plantable or decorative handmade paper, see me on Etsy at