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Archive for April, 2008

Carnival's Cookies

Oh sweet surrender . . . how good it is to set your mouth free.

Yes, Carnival has entered the cookie arena. But there’s no games here, just yummy, satisfying cookies in a variety of flavors. I’ve added to the shop (clockwise, L-R) Green Tea Cookies, Lil Miss Vanilla Cookies, Golden French Vanilla Cookies, and Mocha Supreme Wafer Cookies.

Treat yourself – It’s been a long week and you deserve it!

Love what you see? Get them here.

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With the warm weather showing it’s face more often, tiny buds waking up from their slumber, and birds chirping their melodic songs each morning, we all know that Spring is in the air! If you’re like me, thankfully, you celebrate the gorgeous weather each time you step outside to start a new day. And if you have a little princess that’s ready to turn one year older, I know you’ll also want to celebrate how she’s blossomed before your very eyes.

Look no further. I’ve stumbled upon a fantastic article at About.com that gives pointers on how to make your daughter feel extra-special on her birthday.

Every little girl loves a party! And why not go all out. Whether she’s into ballet, crafting, or rhinestone-studded everything, with a little questioning and know-how, you can produce the party of your sweetheart’s dreams. Read on to take note of some helpful tips:

Your primary goal is to make the birthday child feel special. A secondary goal is to ensure that everyone has a good time at the birthday party. The children will remember whether they had fun, not whether your house was spotless or whether you carried out your chosen birthday party theme down to the last tiny detail. As far as I’m concerned, a successful birthday party is one in which no one bursts into tears.

The first step in planning a birthday party is to sit down with your child and find out what type of birthday party he or she wants. Then determine if your budget, your creativity, and your energy can deliver that type of birthday party. If not, scale down. Don’t worry that your preschooler is going to want clowns or ponies. You may be pleasantly surprised. For his first “friend” birthday party (i.e. not just the immediate family), my son wanted to go to the play place at a nearby fast food restaurant. When my daughter turned four, she wanted everything to be pink — pink balloons, pink lemonade, pink cupcakes, pink napkins. Both birthday parties were incredibly easy and inexpensive.

You can’t be in two places at once. In birthday party terms, you can’t play musical chairs, cut the cake, and direct traffic to the bathroom at the same time. Enlist one or more “big people” (adults or responsible older children) to help you at the birthday party. If your birthday kid is very young, chances are the parents of your guests will ask if they should stay for the duration of the birthday party. The answer is yes! They can help with games, pour the punch, and take care of minor boo-boos. Just be sure to reward them for their service when you pass out the birthday cake. If you don’t expect any parents to stay, and you can’t talk your best friend into helping, hire one of your regular baby-sitters to help you. It is well worth the investment in terms of stress reduction.

. . . To read more, click here

Check out these Etsy items to help you plan that sweet Springtime birthday party:

How to Plan a Springtime Birthday Party for Little Girls

Tropical Berry Fusion Paper Cake $24 Blue Hydrangea in White Vase $40 Maki Girl $30 Vintage Kid Tea Set in Basket $49.95 Lil Miss Vanilla Cookies $9 Mini Colouring Booklet $5.50 Cake Photo Holder $9.90 Personalized Circle Stickers $12 Baby Blue Linocut Squirrel Birthday Card $5; TOP PHOTO: Roses are Pink Halter Dress $60

And don’t forget you have to dress your little one too. Here are a few more Etsy items to make her super cute:

Springtime Fashions

Butterflower Hair Flower $9 Kinchi Fresh Flower Dress $59 Glass Post Earrings – Blue Velvet $8 Boutique Autumn Flower Rhinestone Ring $6

Springtime Fashions

Rainbow Windowpanes Infant Dress $36 Turquoise Colored Spring Baby Shoes $25 Flower Power Baby Hair Clip $8.95 Fleece Rainbow Jacket $42

Springtime Fashions

Angel Halo with Custom Headband $25 Pink Ruffle Sleeve Sweater $28 Hot Pink Felted Mary Jane Booties $22 Starlet 1st Birthday Name Bracelet $23.50

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Pretty In Peace

A proud native New Yorker, Tameka Allen-Mercado will tell you that she’s only hiding out in Goodyear, Arizona. With every bit of time she can find, the mastermind behind Pretty In Peace, creates jewelry, collages, cards and other pretty little pieces of art while pondering stuff to write about. Yes – writing is her first love. Yet, her hideout in the Grand Canyon State is where this wife and mother creates an amazing collection of earthy, eco-conscious pieces. Her warm and peaceful shop makes your fingers itch to purchase every pretty item that catches your eye.

When Tameka isn’t designing accessories, writing, or working on an original piece of art, she manages her family-owned Indie electronic label at Next Dimension Music.com. Obviously, Mrs. Allen-Mercado does it all. This fact explains why she describes herself as “Deep, rich, and brilliant!” to which she adds, “Modest, aren’t I?” Read her candid interview below to see why those three adjectives are more than appropriate to roll off her tongue:

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.

I design art and artistic wares that make Mother Earth smile. Stop, shop, smile and live Pretty in Peace.

What are your favorite materials to use in your pieces?

It’s a tie between junk and organic materials. In jewelry I absolutely love working with wood, copper and semi-precious stones. For my mixed media pieces, I’m rather fond of ephemera and random fabric scraps and such . . . y’know junk!

Which item from Pretty in Peace is your most treasured piece? Why?

I think this piece (below) is probably the best visual interpretation of who Tameka is. There’s smoothe stones and faceted ones and wood and rugged little bells. It’s all organic, and funky just a mix of loveliness. It’s my favorite.

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

I’m a cultural sponge, growing up in NYC has exposed me to so much beautiful color and culture. It’s all sitting in a grey fold somewhere waiting to make itself tangible. I listen to world music while I create and burn incense . . . so I’d say my inspiration comes from, “Far away people, places, and patchouli.”

What is your definition of success?

Success is the journey. As cliche as it is I have no destination, but everyday that I rise and create something is a successful one. Sometimes, it’s a meal other times a mess, but always a success.

Etsy selling is all about survival of the fittest. What has been your toughest challenge while running Pretty In Peace?

Not necessarily Etsy related, but on a whole I’m not sure how I feel about art as a business. Pricing a piece of my self is at times difficult, granted you have the materials but the creative process is really a part of your self and, putting a price on it is bittersweet. I want people to be able to afford my wares and at the same time I want to feel a deep appreciation for the creative process, money doesn’t do that. Coupled with not seeing and feeling the energy of my customers. Internet sales can be impersonal.

Share your most exciting experience while running Pretty in Peace.

There isn’t one, the mere existence of Pretty in Peace is exciting. Everyday that a new design is born makes me giddy all over again.

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

From my husband, an artist and musician, “You just gotta keep doing what you do.” It is so easy to identify the target demographic on Etsy (or anyplace else for that matter) and design around their desires, but in the end it doesn’t pay off on the grand scale.

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

Key West, Florida. We honeymooned there, nothing would please me more than to ride a bike with a basket in the front to work in a quaint little village town full of funky little shops and folks.

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

Corinne Bailey Rae. Before I took the plunge and left corporate America to “make stuff”, her song, Put Your Records On was my mantra.

(Corinne Bailey Rae; Trois Fleurs Ring by Pretty In Peace)

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

Actually, just today I listed my first mixed media piece, and plan to continue adding some ACEOs and other pieces of visual art alongside my wearables.

Visit Pretty In Peace to see more great items.

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Tameka’s MOST MEMORABLE CARNIVAL MOMENT:

Carnivals . . . aah sweet nostalgia, funnel cakes, cotton candy, giant rainbow swirl lollipops…of course these things taste much better on the way down than on the way up. o_0

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Carnival Mother's Day Gift Basket

Now’s your chance to win a CARNIVAL Mother’s Day Gift Basket!!! A grand basket of sweets at a retail value of $ 38.00 all for FREE!!!

I couldn’t have picked a more appropriate time to host my first contest. Without our mothers waddling around with us for 9 months, none of us would be here. With that thought in mind, it’s a must that we give gratitude to the mothers who have dried our tears, rooted for us, lifted our spirits, dished out tough love, showed us how to create art with our hands, and taught us how to be mothers ourselves. (Well . . . almost all of us – I have no kiddies yet!)

Anyone can enter this contest. I’m going to ask you a 2-part question and I want you to think long and hard about your answer:

1. What significant life lesson has your mother (or a mother figure in your life) taught you?

2. How has this lesson benefited you and molded you into the person you are today?

E-mail your answer to carnivaletsy@yahoo.com and you will be automatically entered. Your answer must be at least 2 heartfelt paragraphs and you may only enter the contest once.

I will go through each entry and choose the one I feel is well-written and stands out as the reason why we truly celebrate mother’s day. The winner will receive a special blog post with their winning entry published and CARNIVAL’s Mother’s Day Gift Basket which includes: 1 Almond & Brown Sugar Swirl Cake, 1 pack of Cocoa Caramelts, 1 pack of Peach Cobbler Chocolates, 2 Pumpkin Blooms, 1 Mallodamia Funday Bar, and 1 Blueberry Dream Funday Bar.

But wait . . . I couldn’t only give away 1 prize.

The runner-up will receive 1 free Almond & Brown Sugar Swirl Cake and their winning entry will be published as well!

The contest deadline is MAY 1st, 2008. The winner & runner-up will be announced MAY 2nd and your goodies will be shipped out to you on MAY 5th, just in time for Mother’s Day.

I wish you all good luck, now let the contest begin . . .

P.S. –

If you’d like to just go ahead and purchase this basket, it is available in the shop. It is a limited edition. All baskets will be made on MAY 3rd and mailed on MAY 4th for extra freshness. Only 4 gift baskets will be made. Now that’s exclusive!

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Make my space, our space.

Add me to your friends or just drop your link below and I’ll add you to my growing list. I currently have 83 friends on the Carnival Myspace page and I would love, love, love to add 83 more!

Click here to go directly to the hot spot and don’t hesitate to extend a branch. I love branches. In fact, I’m going to create a branch-flavored chocolate candy bar next week!

Just kidding.

But honestly, I’m all about “the more, the merrier”. I mean, just look at these for crying out loud. You can’t get any more chock full of more than that . . .

Ciao bellas 🙂 See you on Myspace.

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Don\'t lick your screen - lick your fingers . . .

Get ready to wipe the drool from your keyboard! New in the shop are the ridiculously delicious “Funday Bars”. Chocolate bars loaded with tasty chunks of nuts, berries, and fruit – they’re all for the craver who believes that variety is definitely the spice of life.

Last week, I added flavors to the shop – Blueberry Dream and Mallodamia. Today I will add 2 more luscious flavors – Flirty Fruit and Jumpin’ Cherry. Get yours today! At only $5.50 for a freshly made 2-pack, you can’t miss out on these wonderful treats.

Also . . .

check back on Saturday, April 19th, for details on CARNIVAL’s Mother’s Day Contest with the chance to win a box of mouth-watering goodies. It’s a contest you won’t want to miss . . .

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Get Your Geisha On . . . for $500! Found, Now Home

This Persons Sheep Made All the Difference The Peach Tree

A 16 Month-Old Creates a Masterpiece michvanetta

Wanna Own a Piece of Graphic Art? OMG! Lia?

Bring Out the Dragon in Your Man 1337 Art

A Quirky Greeting Card Obsession Nature Manipulated

Smell Good Enough to Eat My Best Friend’s Soap

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