Friday, December 30, 2011

It's A Madcap Life Now, and in 2012

    As many of you know I have embarked on an adventure late this year, opening my own Etsy shop,  The Joyful Princess Boutique, and I have experienced so much in so little time as a result that I can not wait to see what happens in 2012! 

    I've already reached milestones that were mere dreams three months ago, and have so many new and exciting things planned for life and the boutique in 2012 that I can hardly hold in my excitement!  Earlier this week I shipped out my first international order, and reached a total of 20 sales, two amazing events to celebrate.  And in April of 2012 I am getting married to the most wonderful and supportive man that any woman could ask for and will celebrate my little angel's 3rd birthday!  I have many projects and new items in store Joyful Princess style for 2012 too, and plan to attend our local farmers market and some arts and crafts shows when possible.  In short, 2011 was an awesome year, full of excitement, love, and joy.  My hope is that 2012 holds the same plus much more and that I will continue to share my joy with others and that everyone has a blessed, successful, and joyful 2012. 

   Now, if you are asking what exactly I mean by "It's A Madcap Life", let me tell you.  It's the title of my newly found Etsy team, I liken them to my Etsy family and talented coworkers.  As a team we love art, culture, and design while being innovative and stylish.  We share a love for the handmade movement and for vintage art, clothing, and jewelry that many fall in love with once they have discovered these gems for what they truly are.  In addition, they do a lot of charity work for wonderful organizations. I have met so many talented and kind hearted individuals and plan on being a very active member of the "It's a Madcap Life" team now and in the future, so look out madcappers! I want to thank them all for the invite and the support I've received. I'm ready to time travel and explore the madcap shops and hope that my subscribers come along for the ride~here is a glimpse of what Madcap Life is like...
When The Clock Strikes 12 and as always ~Enjoy & Have a Joyful New Year



   
     

Friday, December 23, 2011

For the Love of Basset Hounds

        In life there are many gifts, but perhaps the greatest gift of all is that of a pet that touches our hearts in a way no other can. I've been fortunate in that aspect of life to have a few pets that have left their paws, hooves, and feathers in my heart. With that said, there is one in particular that made his way to The Rainbow Bridge far too soon.


       Flash was a great dog, a friendly, fun-loving Basset Hound that brought warmth to the hearts of all who knew him. At 8 months old he developed a limp that many discounted as growing pains. He underwent a very involved surgery on both of his front legs before he was 10 months old, bi-ulnar osteotomies. After 90 days of a long recovery, combined with physical therapy, he was a new dog. He never stopped running, playing, and loving on anyone who was within reach. I think of it as the gift we gave to him, without it, the only other option was euthanasia. My daughter Hailey was born a few months after his surgery and he was her pal from the first time he laid eyes, and ears, on her. Wherever she went, he followed, and he never cared if she laid on top of him, pulled his ears, or sat on him. He was truly happy in life, and so were we.

      Then tradgedy struck, he was a little over 2 & 1/2 years young when he became gravely ill. Radiographs showed abnormal enlargement of one of his kidneys and his blood panels were so affected by his illness that the veterinarians diagnostic machines couldn't properly determine many of the levels. Too weak to undergo any exploratory surgery we made the heart wrenching decision to euthanize him. Most likely he had developed some form of cancer or kidney disease that would have been untreatable, but it still was, and is, a very hard pill to swallow given his age.

       I think of him often and Hailey does as well, from time to time she asks about him and I tell her he is "in the clouds playing with God" and she seems to be okay with that. For a dog that was present for such a short time on Earth he left a huge pawprint on many hearts. I am glad we gave him the gift of his "bionic legs" for it allowed him to cherish his time with us. Perphaps he knew it was limited because anyone who knew him knows he lived life to it's fullest. Either way, today and everyday when I think of him I like to say that if he could have spoken to me he would have said, "Live Long!"

       Today he seemed to cross my mind more than usually and I was inspired to create an Etsy treasury of all the great Basset Hound items out there. It dried my tears and even made me chuckle a few times a hope you enjoy the treasury, and remember, "Live Long!"

In loving memory of "Flash", the greatest Basset Hound who ever lived, however short he may have.
For the Love of Basset Hounds

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

What is Better than Homemade Caramel???...Homemade Gingerbread Caramel of Course!

I found this recipe in one of the "mini papers" that we get from time to time and had to share it because it sounds DELICIOUS! The best part is that only 10 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes of cook time are needed to make about 40 of these treats that can store for a month in a tupperware container!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Gingerbread Caramels Recipe~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
What you will need to get started:
  • a small saucepan with lid
  • 4 qt or larger saucepan
  • 8 in square or larger baking pan
  • aluminum foil
  • small mixing bowl
  • candy thermometer
  • whisk
  • wax paper
Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
Cooking Instructions:
  1. Butter a sheet of foil large enough to line an 8 inch-square baking pan allowing 2 to 3 inches of foil to overlap the sides of the pan. Press the foil into the pan and butter any exposed sides of the pan. 
  2. Combine the cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, and ground cloves in a small bowl.
  3. Combine the whipping cream, unsalted butter, vanilla, and salt in the small saucepan over medium heat.  Allow it to warm up jsut enough to melt the butter, then remove the pan from the heat and cover the pan to keep the cream mixture warm. 
  4. In a 4 quart or larger saucepan stir in the sugar, corn syrup, water, and molasses until they form a uniform paste-like mixture.  If sugar crystals make their way to the sides of the pan wipe them away with a damp cloth. 
  5. Attach your candy thermometer to the side of the pan and turn the heat just above medium.  Continue to heat the mixture to a boil, then cook it until the thermometer reaches 310 degrees. 
  6. Whisk the cream mixture into the sugar slowly.  Be prepared because the sugar will triple in size before settling again. 
  7. Stop whisking and continue to cook the caramel to 245 degrees, or cook the caramel to 250 degrees if you prefer firmer caramel.
  8. Whisk in the reserved spices and pour the caramel into the prepared pan.  The bottom of the pan may contain crystallized sugar so avoid scraping the bottom of the pan.  Allow the caramel to cool overnight. 
  9. Pull up the foil, lifting the caramel from the pan, then remove it from the foil.  Cut it into squares, you may need to spray some nonstick cooking spray on your knife to do this, and then wrap each caramel in wax paper.   
Now for the nutritional information, you can skip reading this portion if you would like!
Nutritional Information Per Piece:
70 calories, 3 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 11mg cholesterol, 10g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 19 mg sodium, and 0 g fiber

For this and other great recipes visit http://www.thekitchn.com/.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Have you seen melted crayon art?????

Honestly, I'm not sure that "melted crayon art" is the correct term, but it is the easiest way to describe an awesome form of artwork I've stumbled upon recently and had to share.  Just when you thought that crayons could only color and draw.....


Yes, those are crayolas! Some use a dryer to melt the crayons, others put them in a hot glue gun and get to painting! (The glue gun becomes a designated crayon gun.) Combined with other artistic media melted crayon art goes from cool to breathtaking!


I love these pieces!


I guess you COULD do this on your own, but check out these awesome works of art availabe for sale that were made by Bisou Bisou & Co, a lovely Etsy shop.  Just gorgeous!  





So...next time you are looking at a box of crayons try something new, or purchase a wonderful piece of melted crayon art to hang in your home.  You will certainly have an original one of a kind piece for all to see, a definite conversation starter!
...And visit Bisou Bisou & Co, tell her I sent you, she also has lovely accessories, jewelry, and home decor items in her shop!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Day Two of Ten Days of Celebration Giveaway

     I recently discovered the joy in blogging and in reading blogs by others.  It has become a gateway to some of my project ideas, has been a road to discovering new friends, and a lovely way to spend an hour or so a day reading, writing, and sharing. 
     My blog is a work in progress, and I have big plans for it in the future, but I need to launch the blog and gather followers to go the route that I have planned.  This is where my awesome friends, family, and customers come in.  And, where you get the chance to win this lovely flower clip with headband for FREE!
     For days two through 10 of the 10 Days of Celebration join me in helping to raise awareness of this blog.  In return, I will do a giveaway to show my appreciation.  I think this will be a fun way to gain subscriptions and followers to the blog so that I can expand on topics, do more giveaways, and be able to host guests that I am interested in having. 

What do you enjoy most this time of year?.....    
  • Simply follow and subscribe to my Joyfully Sharing blog, then leave a comment to this post telling us what you enjoy most about this time of year. 
  • From there, share the blog address with others.  Have them visit the blog and comment to this post, in their comment have them leave your name.   
  • Your friends, family, etc may join in the fun by also following and subscribing to the blog, leaving a comment to the post telling us what they enjoy about this time of year, and by sharing the blog address with others.  Etc..
  • Note, it will be important to leave separate comments.  For instance, leave one comment mentioning the name of "who sent you" and leave a second, separate comment in response to "What do you enjoy most this time of year?"...
  • On Thursday, December 22nd a random number generator will be used to determine the winner of the giveaway.  The comment that corresponds to the number generated will win the giveaway. If the comment contains an individual's name they will be the winner, and if the comment is in response to the "What do you enjoy most this time of year?" prompt the composer of the comment will be the winner. 
What a great way to learn a little about what everyone loves this time of year and have a chance to win something from The Joyful Princess Boutique! I'm looking forward to reading everyones comments &  EnJOY~

Purple Is My Favorite Color

I was feeling inpsired by my favorite color, purple, and decided to see what lovely purple hued items I could find on Etsy.  I came up with this gorgeous treasury,
Purple Is My Favorite Color
 EnJOY!

10 DAYS OF CELEBRATION

I about fell over when I reached the 10 sale milestone mark in the boutique early this morning. It is a goal that I had set out for myself from the beginning, to make 10 sales within the first 2 months.  I'm glad to report I did that, plust some!

 I am so very happy that I found a hobby to keep me busy and share my joyful creations with others.  I am blessed to have such lovely customers, friends, and family.  I have so many ideas for the future and for my boutique in general and this year should bring many exciting things, but seeing the success of my boutique build is truly a joy. 

As a thank you to everyone who has made this milestone possible I have launched my 10 DAYS OF CELEBRATION~every day I have a new promotion planned to say thank you to all involved in my success.  Today's promotion is coupon code CELEBRATE10, use it at check out and receive 20% off your purchase. 

Again, my sincere Thanks and Joy!

Monday, December 5, 2011

All I Want For Christmas

   Since venturing into the world of online selling on Etsy with "handmade gifted" individuals I have come to meet some that are simply wonderful. They have taught me the "ways of Etsy" and the "ways of Twitter" and have been an inspiration to me because of their success and their wonderful creations. I wanted to introduce some of those lovely items and their associated Etsy shops with my readers.  My hope is that I can share the joy that they have already brought into my life with all of you.

    Handmade shops are becoming increasingly popular as "go to's" for those searching for just the right gift to give, or for a unique item for themselves.  It is through individuals such as these that we are able to do so.  Please help support the Handmade Movement and share this link and information with others.  And as always, EnJOY!

All I Want For Christmas Etsy Treasury

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Do Not Feel Neglected Blog

I felt that I should let my Blog know that I am not neglecting it on purpose, and have great plans for it in the very near future.  This week has been very busy and the hubby-to-be was on vacation so we did a LOT of family outings and I was just plain busy.  I make a promise to you, Blog, that I will return with gusto this coming week!

Sincerely,
Your Creator and Editor in Chief
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