CARNIVAL Certified Links

Indian Moon Goddess by Twisted Figures

See How a Rodeo Cowgirl Turns into an Indian Moon Goddess Twisted Figures

Strawberries aren’t only meant to be eaten My Best Friend’s Soap

Crowns & Unbearable Cuteness Kiss the Frog

A Shopping Adventure in Amsterdam Tizzalicious

Calling All Lovers of Vintage DZ Fantasy

A Fun Time With Snow Shadows The Mum and the Rose

$7 CIRCUS SALE !!!!!

$7 Circus

It’s so good, it’s crazy! Grab yummy goodies galore in CARNIVAL’s $7  CIRCUS EVENT!!! For 2 weeks only, ALL candy and cookies are on sale for $7 (excluding Carnival Sampler) + $2 OFF the purchase of 3 boxes/bags or more of candy/cookies. And the cherry on top: FREE GIFT WITH PURCHASE! Type coupon code: 555BLOG in the Message to Seller portion of your transaction. Not only will you enjoy big-time savings, you’ll also get to treat yourself to the indulgence you deserve 🙂 Hop on over to CARNIVAL’s shop . . .

I’M BA-AAACK . . .

It’s been too long, my little beautiful ones. But lo and behold Carnival’s blog is back and set to take off . . . into the blogosphere that is. I have tons of new goodies coming to the Carnival shop and I’m sooooo excited about it! I’ve already added a few delicious items, take a peek below:

Carnival Candy

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Milk and Honey Halo Bars, Supreme Nut Caramel Clusters, Cinammon-Nut Crunch Cookies, Curried Roasted Nuts

Not only can you purchase the scrumptious treats above aaaaaaaand look forward to new items coming soon, Carnival has a bunch of amazing blog features right around the corner. Stay tuned, you definitely don’t want to miss a thing!

Each time I do a special feature on my blog, I like to ask the artist: “We all pull from different things to inspire our art. What 3 things inspire your creativity the most?”.

There’s a reason why I ask. It’s not because I feel like taking up space on the page. And not because I couldn’t think of anything else to inquire. My purpose is simply this: I really want to know.

I want to know what motivates an individual to pick up a pen to draw a picture, a pair of pliers to mold an earring, a yard of fabric to stitch a wonderful creation. There has to be something that makes one’s pulse race. That something has to be fuel to charge the creative mind.

For me, that something is fashion. I’ve been in love with it since I was a third-grader skipping around in a brown, plaid Catholic school uniform, with penny loafers to match.

I’ve come a very long way since then. Gone are the days of bland, mandatory clothing and here now is my penchant for skinny jeans and 3-inch heels. I work in New York City by day and the world of fashion is at my fingertips each time I step out of the subway station on 34th Street and 7th (better known as Fashion Ave.).

As soon as I emerge from underground, I encounter the mammoth that is Macy’s Herald Square. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting that popular flagship store, you’ll no doubt remember its windows. If you haven’t had the opportunity to visit, one of the most exciting things about Macy’s on 34th (besides the gazillion celebrity appearances) is the fact that the windows change every two weeks (it seems). The store’s visual team does an excellent job of creating eye-catching window displays that are guaranteed to pull you in.

The most recent window displays have turned out to be my latest source of inspiration. The beachy summer theme along with a few Spring windows have caused me to walk by in awe. The colors are BEAUTIFUL! They’re bold, they’re bright, they’re everything I love for my candy to be.

I could easily use the basic dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or white chocolate in Carnival’s candy recipes, but after being saturated in the world of fashion for most of my life, I can’t fathom not injecting color into my original candy creations. Fashion pushes me to the limit every time I pick up a pen and piece of paper to jot down combos that will come next. I pull from everything I’ve learned and reach back to all of my inspirations.

I’ve participated behind the scenes at Mercedes Benz Fashion week, sat in on the design process at major fashion companies, and come across some of the most fashionably (an unfashionably) colorful characters that are the everyday people of NYC. Can you blame me if I take it all in and dish it back out?

Macy’s amazing team has charged me and given this candy-maker a desire to interpret these windows into new candies, cakes, and cookies for the Carnival shop. Take a look at the images I photographed below, see how these glimpses of inspiration have caused the gears to start turning in my head:

I recently added Choco-Chiptastic Citrus Mini Cakes and Sweet Spice Orange Cookies to my shop, but this window has me pondering an orange-chocolate type candy. Maybe something with a little white chocolate thrown in. An orange sherbert of some sort, maybe?

I’m going green . . . like green as in a new cupcake or candy bar or something else that’s guaranteed to be pretty and delish. The brown in the bathing suits is a perfect touch too. I can’t wait to play around and see what ideas develop.

That Coach bag looks like dulce de leche to me. And let me tell you, I LOVE to devour Haagen-Dazs’ dulce de leche ice cream. Believe it. You can also believe that I’d wear everything in this window. Why not create goodies to match? I’m thinking more caramel in the shop. A caramel something with blueberries? Or maybe something else that will be a surprise . . .

Spring, glorious Spring! Pink, red, cream – looks a little like Valentine’s Day to me, but I’ll take it. I’ve added only two candies with the color red in the shop (the Triple Treasure Rhapsody Tubs and the Bombshell Bites). Red is my least favorite color, so I don’t play around with it much. I have a feeling that will change very soon. Adding pink and cream may make me feel better.

A blue and orange color scheme always reminds me of the New York Knicks. Yet, I appreciate how much they complement each other. I’m not sure how I would translate this into a cookie or a cake, but something’s cooking in my dome.

Here’s orange again. Orange and brown make an exciting mix. All of my recipes are original so there won’t be any Butterfingers in my shop. Instead, I’ll add something peanut butter-flavored that I think will be absolutely perfect. I’m getting super-excited just thinking about it.

Brown and green again here, too. This window really did it for me, mainly because green and brown are two of my favorite colors to wear. I love a brown handbag and shoe, especially with hints of gold thrown in. Haven’t thought much about gold candy, but something golden and sweet will certainly do.

It was so much fun filling you in on my newfound source of inspiration! I’m signing out now, but check back often for my future peeks into the things that inspire me. Until next time, I’ll keep my eyes open for the next exciting wonder on the streets of NYC . . .

Carnival Choco-Chiptastic Citrus Cakes & Sweet Spice Orange Cookies

Oranges. They’re refreshing. They’re sweet. They’re one of my all-time favorite fruits.

Yeah, I love mangoes too, but since I’d already added the Mango Breezes Triple Stack Cookies to the shop, I decided to create a couple of orange-flavored treats for those of you who also love a little tang.

The Choco-Chiptastic Citrus Mini Cakes (Left) are 2 cakes packed to the brim with chocolate chips and orange flavor. If you’re crazy about the orange, but would rather hold off on the sweet bits of chocolate, you can munch on Carnival’s Sweet Spice Orange Cookies (Right). These moist and aromatic cookies are made with a blend of rind of oranges and sweet spice.

Enjoy either one with a cup up milk, tea, or rich hot chocolate. Or, if you really want to overdose on your orange fix, grab a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice. Your mouth will thank you big time 🙂

Also . . .

I’ve now added gift-packaging to the shop. If you find joy in giving, you can joyfully opt to have the gift recipient of your choice receive any one of Carnival’s mouthwatering treats in either a cake/cookies box or a candy box as seen below:

Carnival Candy Packaging

Carnival Candy Packaging

Carnival Cake/Cookies Packaging

Carnival Cake/Cookies Packaging

And you don’t have to go far for a greeting card either. These babies are hand-stamped (by me) with special designs. Add your personalized message to one of Carnival’s coordinating cards. I’ve added one card to the shop so far – 3 more are set to come very soon. Check them out:

Carnival Greeting Cards

Carnival Greeting Cards

To visit the Carnival’s shop, please click here.

Is there anything Aya Rosen doesn’t do? Ask and she’ll tell you: she’s a graphic designer by profession and a painter by definition. And then, just when you think those are a truckload of skills to last a lifetime, she reveals her web design, illustration, and crafting abilities too.

I say, more power to you, honey!

Aya’s move from Tel Aviv, Israel to her current residence in Brooklyn, NY may have been a huge jump, but her space in this bustling borough looks to be a cozy choice as she creates the thoughtful and fun pieces that can be found in her Louche Lab shop. Take a peek at her site and you’ll find foxes made out of sweaters, a pocket knife painted on leather, and even a woman baring her back on the front of a sketchbook.

Yep, Aya’s creative. But that’s only one of the words she uses to describe herself. There’s emotional and changing, too. With that last self-description, one can definitely agree. She regularly enjoys motorcycle rides with her photographer/artist husband, Ned. And just to switch things up a bit, she recently joined her other half for a bike trip down the Appalachian Mountains for his 40th birthday.

Read this great interview with Louche Lab’s talented founder. See where she’s been, what’s new, and the interesting changes to come:

In business, the 20 second pitch means everything. In 2 sentences or less, tell us what you sell in your Etsy shop and why it is unique.

The coolest thing about my Etsy store, is well . . . me. I’m an artist with a very different perspective of the world and a unique style. This comes out in everything that the store has, so that even though every day there are new products and items, the style is always personal, rough, and a little strange, like me.

What are your favorite materials to use in your pieces?

I love discovering new things to work with and I get bored doing the same thing over and over again. So, I keep finding and making up new things. The last discovery was leather. It’s amazing – I always liked how leather looks, but actually working with it is new to me. It’s very different than anything I’ve ever worked with before. Somewhere between clay and paper, but also like fabric. I can’t wait to experiment more.

Which item from Louche Lab is your most treasured piece? Why?

That’s a hard one. Over all, I don’t really treasure the items in my store. I don’t get attached to art so much at any rate. Most of my joy comes from the process of making it, not from owning it. And I love it when things sell in my store – it makes room in the studio for more things. Saying that, I do have this one painting (below) that I made a while ago, and for some reason decided to list it even though I had no intention to give it away or sell it after I made it. I think I was trying to challenge myself with selling something that’s really precious to me. So far, it did not sell (which is a bit of a relief). I would be sad to see it go.

Night Time - Original Painting by Louche Lab

We all pull from different things to inspire our art. What 3 things inspire your creativity the most?

More than inspiration, I’m just driven by a need to create and make stuff. My hands feels itchy if I don’t draw or paint or make things for more then a day or two. I have a sketchbook in my bag and I basically draw every minute I’m not doing something else. Between courses in a restaurant, in concerts, even, once or twice, on the back of the motorcycle.

However, I do use a lot of reference in my art, and one of the major influences is Ned’s photography. He’s an amazing fine art and fashion photographer and the way he shoots makes me want to make art all the time. Also, I love botanical or zoological vintage prints and I have a few books of those that I use a lot for both inspiration and reference.

Another big source of inspiration is the internet – so many amazing artist and people to meet and interact and share my art with. I spend a lot of time on Flickr and on Etsy making friends and looking at art.

What is your definition of success?

Being free. Making or having enough money to not have to work a 9-5 job. That, I don’t like. overcoming fears and having faith in oneself. Also, living a life in which you don’t have to lie or hide things and being able to be the same person at any situation without apologizing for who you are. Is that to vague?! I guess I’m still trying to figure it out.

Etsy selling is all about survival of the fittest. What has been your toughest challenge while running Louche Lab?

The hardest thing for me is to keep at it even when nothing sells for a while. I just came back from a 2 weeks vacation to visit my family in Israel and ever since I got back the store hadn’t really bounce back. It’s really hard to keep making stuff and listing when no one buy my things. So I guess for me just keep doing it is the hardest part.

Share your most exciting experience while running Louche Lab.

There is so much! It’s all exciting. Every time I make a sale I get all excited about it. I guess the most wonderful part was being picked for a video Storque article about our wedding. I love the way it came out. When we got married my family wasn’t there – they live far away – and so, being able to share a movie with them about the preparation and the whole thing was the next best thing. Tara – who made the video – shot us 2 evenings for about 3 hours each, so I had no idea how the whole thing was going to come out, but when I saw the movie, it all made so much sense and was beautiful.You can see it here.

What words of wisdom do you live by when selling on Etsy?

Just that it’s important to be original and make cool stuff, oh, and play nice with others

If you could open a brick and mortar shop anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

It would be right here in Williamsburg, I love this neighborhood, it’s a really nice place to live and a lot of young people and artists live here (even though the rent’s going crazy now). It feels like Brooklyn is the place to be right now, both with art and with craft. Plus, I like working close to home!

If you could select only one celebrity to be photographed with one of your pieces, who would it be?

I have no idea! I really don’t get that much media exposure, so I’m not even sure who’s a celebrity now. I love the author Chuck Palahniuk. Last year I went to a reading he did in a book store. He talked about how he loves to collect strange things that people send to him and sometimes he send them things back, just very random toys or papers or anything really, so I think it would be cool if he took pictures with one of my pieces before he sent it to someone.

(Chuck Palaniuk; Fly Away Business Card Case by Louche Lab)

What new things should we look forward to in your shop?

I’m actually really excited about that. At around Christmas, I illustrated a deck of tarot card, The full Tarot Deck is 78 cards – that’s a lot of Illustrations. It’s divided into the major arcana and 4 suites. At the end of December, I started selling the major archana which had 22 cards, and then, in February, I started working on the suites. I designed and illustrated the first one, which is “the cups”. I’m now working on “The swords”. I’m really happy to go on with this project and I know a lot of people are waiting for it. So, once I’m back from my big trip, I’m going to finish illustrating and start producing. In the meantime, the major archana and the cups can be found in my store.

Visit Louche Lab to see more great items. You can also visit louchelab.com

___________________________________________________________________________________________________ Aya’s MOST MEMORABLE CARNIVAL MOMENT:

I’m actually not a big fan. I have a traumatic fair experience from when I was about 3 which involved, me on some scary ride trying to jump off a plane shaped pod thingy and crying like crazy. I do however, love Coney Island, last summer we rode there all the time, and it’s one of the most wonderful places in New York and the world, I love the colors and crazy combination of old, new, beautiful and derelict. I’m SO glad it’s staying open for at least another summer.