Friday, November 20, 2009

Black Friday Countdown...

The day after Thanksgiving has become known as "Black Friday" because that is when many retailers are able to replace red ink with black ink in their financial books thanks to Christmas shoppers. Usually the best sales of the season are offered on Black Friday.

LOC Design Studio will be having a Black Friday sale beginning Friday, November 27 and ending at midnight on Tuesday, December 1.

Black Friday, November 27 everything in my shop will be 50% OFF the regular price!

Saturday, November 28 everything will be discounted 35% OFF the regular price!

Sunday, November 29 the discount will go to 20% OFF everything that remains PLUS shipping will be discounted by 40% for the remainder of the sale!

I will start marking down prices before midnight on Thanksgiving Day, so you may catch a reduced price before the sale begins!

Also, items that have color/style options are relistable so don't let a sold sign stop you! I expect to be near my computer all day on Friday so if I haven't gotten it relisted yet, convo me and I'll get it taken care of PDQ!

Here are some examples of items available in my shop:

Regular Price: $55 Black Friday Price: $27.50
This is one of my newest items!

Regular Price: $18 Black Friday Price: $9.00
This is my most viewed item!

Regular Price: $75 Black Friday Price: $37.50
This is my most "hearted" item!

Check out these sites for lists of Etsy shops having fantastic Black Friday Sales:

Support independant artisans and crafters:
Buy Handmade ~ Buy Handmade ~ Buy Handmade

Monday, November 16, 2009

I'm in an Etsy Treasury!

I just had to share my surprise and excitement about being in an Etsy Treasury for the first time. Timing is often everything and such is the case with my Treasury appearance. I was browsing the threads in the Promotions Forum and I came across one titled "simply make a comment and be in this treasury". I clicked on the link to the Treasury and to my surprise there were only a few comments. In the few seconds that it took me to post a comment there were a few more ahead of me but I was comment #9 and made the list! The curator of the Treasury is mulberrymoosetoo and she has the cutest shops (check out mulberrymoose also)! The featured item from my shop is my Swarovski Crystal Butterfly charm:

Be sure to visit the Treasury and check out all of the great items featured along with mine. Happy Shopping!

Buy Handmade ~ Buy Handmade ~ Buy Handmade

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Family Traditions and Holiday Recipes

For years, I have made three casseroles for Thanksgiving and Christmas family gatherings that have become part of our holiday tradition. My husband and nephew, Will, can eat their weight in my Sweet Potato Casserole. My sister-in-law, Pam, loves my Broccoli Casserole. And I think almost everyone in the family saves a special spot on their plate for a serving (or two) of my Hash Brown Casserole.

About a month before Thanksgiving, I start hearing little "reminder" comments from various members of the family, making sure that I don't "forget" their favorite! This Thanksgiving, my brother and his family will be spending the holiday with Pam's family in Alabama. Will has already made a request, by way of my mother, for Aunt Vicki to make a "small" Sweet Potato Casserole for him to take along on the trip!

Here are some photos of my family sitting around the table after enjoying last year's Thanksgiving dinner:

I hope that your family enjoys some special food traditions also. If not, here are some time-tested favorites from my kitchen to yours--it's never too late to start your own traditions. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Casserole
Fresh sweet potatos, enough to fill a cookie sheet, baked, pealed and mashed (about three cups)
Two eggs
One cup sugar
One teaspoon vanilla extract
One quarter cup milk
One third cup melted butter

Mix the above ingredients and spread evenly in a greased casserole dish. Mix the following ingredients to make the casserole topping:

One cup shredded coconut
One cup chopped pecans (I've used walnuts in a pinch!)
One cup brown sugar
One third cup plain flour
One Third cup melted butter

Sprinkle topping mixture over sweet potato mixture. Cover the surface as evenly as possible. Bake the casserole for approximately one hour at 350 degrees or until bubbly and golden brown on top.

Hash Brown Casserole
Two cups (or more) shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
One can cream of chicken soup
One cup (or more) sour cream
One cup (or more) chopped white onion
Melted butter or vegetable oil
Freshly ground black pepper
One 32 ounce package frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cheese, soup and sour cream. Mix well. In a large skillet (I use a Dutch oven because stirring is easier and less messy), lightly saute the onions in the butter or vegetable oil. Add the thawed potatoes and mix. Let the potatoes heat through and brown slightly, stirring ocassionally. Add salt and pepper as desired. Remove from heat and add the cheese/soup/sour cream mixture. Mix well. Turn mixture into a grease casserole dish. Mix the following ingredients together for the casserole topping:

One cup (or more) crushed corn flakes
Enough melted butter to coat the amount of corn flakes you use

Sprinkle topping over the potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour or until the casserole is bubbling hot and the topping is golden brown. TIP: To prevent the topping from over browning (aka burning!), bake the potato mixture for 30-45 minutes without the topping. Add the topping for the last 15 minutes of baking. ANOTHER TIP: I have found that it is difficult to use too much cheese or sour cream in this recipe.

Broccoli Casserole
Large bag of frozen brocolli florets, thawed
One large white onion, chopped
Shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Cream of mushroom soup
One or two small cans mushroom stems and pieces
Slivered almonds
Freshly ground black pepper
Dash garlic powder
Melted butter or vegetable oil

In a large skillet or Dutch oven (my preference), saute the onions in the melted butter or vegetable oil. Add the broccoli and allow it to heat through. Add the remaining ingredients (salt and pepper to taste). Stir to thoroughly combine. Transfer mixture to a greased casserole dish. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour or until bubbly and golden brown.

FINAL TIP: Unlike baked goods, exact measurement of ingredients in casseroles is not required. As you may have noticed, I didn't give exact quantities for all ingredients. Feel free to use a little more of this or a little less of that to make these casserole dishes your own!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Things I think Jesse would like...

Yesterday was my younger son Jesse's 22nd birthday. While reading posts in a promo forum on Etsy, I came across several "funky" items that made me think of my Jesse. Thanks for endulging me as I walk down Memory Lane explaining why I think Jesse might like each item that I am sharing and perhaps you will find something you like as well. Enjoy!

The first item that caught my eye was a pretend chicken made of fabric. The pieces are held together with velcro, allowing the bird to be "cut up" for "cooking". This unique toy reminded me of Jesse and a birthday cake toy that he had as a tot. The plastic cake was divided into wedges and came with candles and plates (if memory serves me correctly). Jesse actually wore out two of these toys before he outgrew serving us plastic birthday cake!

For several (most) of Jesse's childhood years, he insisted on having Christmas-themed birthday parties. He loved Christmas trees and all of the accompanying lights and decorations. At one birthday party, we played "Pin the Ornament on the Christmas Tree." Jesse's love of all things Christmas is how this "funky" snowman ornament made my list.

Jesse is an artist and a musician. When I saw Wobble Bowl by AlyshellsCraftShack I immediately thought "funky" followed by "I think Jesse would like this!"

Jesse's older brother Luke was a dinosaur fan for many years. Jesse and some of his high school friends caught "dino fever" at a much later age. So when I found the Jurassic Planter in Treebottom Nursery shop on Etsy, I immediately thought of Jesse and purchased it. Here is a similar planter currently available at Treebottom Nursery:

Jesse enjoys a good cup of tea. Early in my Etsy experience I marked the Teaman's shop as a favorite because I knew that I would be shopping for some tea gifts this year. I don't really think of the tea as funky but I do know that Jesse will like it!

I hope that my trip down Memory Lane will spark some happy memories for you also and that you will visit these Etsy shops, and others, for your gift shopping. Support independant artisans and crafters by buying handmade!

Buy Handmade! Buy Handmade! Buy Handmade!