Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Taste of Home subscription for $4.58 a year!

Here's another great deal on Taste of Home magazine subscriptions!

Just go to Best Magazine Deals and search for Taste of Home. Using the code PXSS45 at checkout will drop the price to $4.58 per year!

I've been getting Taste of Home for years! It's the only magazine I get, and I really enjoy reading through the magazine as well as making many of the recipes!

If you make your purchase through Shop at Home, you'll also receive 15% cash back on your purchase as well as a $5 sign up bonus if you haven't signed up for an account before!

(Note: The Shop at Home link is my referral link, I get a bonus if you sign up using my link. Thanks for your support.)

$15 Ebay Voucher for only $7 on Groupon!!

Yay! Here's a great deal! Groupon has a great deal right now offering a $15 E-bay Voucher for only $7! That's a 53% discount! I love shopping on E-bay, and this will make some deal even better! This can even be used for shipping fees! :)

You must already have an E-bay and Pay Pal account to purchase this deal, and there is a limit of 1 per person.

This deal will only last a couple of days, so be sure to snatch it while you can! :)

Edited to add: Don't forget when you're ready to spend your E-bay voucher that if you purchase through Big Crumbs, you'll get  approximately 4% cash back on your purchase! Or if you order through E-bates, you'll receive 1% - 5% cash back depending on what you're purchasing. :)

(Note: If you're new to Groupon, Big Crumbs, or E-bates and sign up through my referral link, I'll receive a bonus for referring you. Thank you for your support!)

Friday, March 25, 2011

I'm Running Out of Room!!

Help! I am running out of room to store all of the clothes I've been making! Artfire suggests having at least 100 items in your shop, and I'm working toward that goal, but I'm not sure I'll have enough room for that many dresses, skirts, jumpers, tops, and sundresses!! :)

So I decided to have a spur of the moment sale here on my blog! If you've been thinking of making a purchase from my shop, now would be the perfect time to do it. For the next 5 days, I'm offering you, my blog readers, a 20% off coupon good for any 1 item in my shop. Just use the code MAKEROOM at checkout. This code is good through March 29th on any ready-to-ship item in my shop.

And here's one of my newest outfits that hasn't made it to the photographer yet. Isn't it sweet? :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Home Fires of the Great War

We are excited to announce that you can now purchase Home Fires of the Great War online!

Here's the synopsis of the book:
"Thirteen-year-old Maria Mitchell, known to all as Ria, and her friend Lydia have been assigned to write a report on a hero or heroine of the Great War (World War I) for a school project. Instead of picking some well known figure, the two friends decide to search for someone forgotten or unknown. When asked to help, Emma Mitchell, Ria's mom, brings out old letters she and a cousin wrote during the war. The girls are sure the letters hold the key to their success of finding a forgotten hero! But will they? Is that all that these letters bring to light? Join Ria and Lydia, Mrs. Mitchell, an old neighbor called Corporal, and others as they re-live the years of home life during the war."

And here's what one family had to say about this book:
"We used this book as a family read-aloud and all of us were crying and laughing so hard that we cried. It was one of the most fun books we have read. The characters are real and inviting. Their antics are strange and engaging. It will give you a new perspective on the war that changed America forever."

If you love to read, enjoy history, like to be drawn into the lives of the people in the story so that you can share their joys, their sorrows, laugh with them, and cry with them, see God's hand in their lives, and just enjoy a good story, I'd love to encourage you to try out Home Fires of the Great War!

You can order through Amazon, or through Barnes and Noble! You will also soon be able to order this through Light of Faith Resources, but my brother hasn't had time to get it put on the website yet. :)

Right now if you're looking for the best price (like I usually do :)), Barnes and Noble is the best way to go. Their price is $14.79 which is 48% off the retail price! PLUS, if you purchase this through Shop at Home, you'll get an extra 6% cash back on your purchase!

If you haven't already signed up for a Shop at Home account, now would be a great time to do it! It's FREE to sign up and you'll receive a $5 sign up bonus! That's like getting an extra $5 off your purchase! :)

Or, if you have Amazon gift cards you've been hanging on to from Swagbucks, online surveys, or something, you might want to choose to purchase Home Fires of the Great War from Amazon for $22.03 (24% off of retail).

The third option is to wait just a little and purchase an autographed copy through Light of Faith Resources! My sister said she'd be willing to sign books for anyone who wanted one, but those books would have to be purchased through Light of Faith either online or at one of the homeschool conventions we will be at.

So there you have it, three options for purchasing this hot off the press new release book!

Note: The links on this post are my referral links. If you order or sign up through them I get a small commission. I greatly appreciate your support! 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Etsy Kids Spotlight - Melon Dot

It's time again for another Etsy Kids spotlight. This time the shop is

Melon Dot specializes in "Unique, Fresh, and Fun Clothes for Babies, Girls, & Boys". Here are a few examples from her shop. 

For Baby:

For Girls & For Boys

Melon Dot specializes in doing special and unique items for your children, so if you have an idea that you'd like done but don't see it, just ask! Custom orders are welcome! :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Book!!

We had some major excitement at our house yesterday! For the last 6 years my sister has been working hard writing, writing, writing, and now at long last she has just gotten her first book published!! The review copies arrived yesterday!

It is so exciting to see the fruit of her labors! She is a really good writer, and I'm so glad that she will soon be able to share what she has written with so many others through her book: Home Fires of the Great War.

And the Winner Is...

The winner for the Silent Moments giveaway was chosen this morning by random.org. Out of the 60 comments, the winning number was #28. "i posted on FB http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=118926001516981&id=168508646518271" Congratulations Valerie @ My-2-Cents!

The winner has been contacted by e-mail and has 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Thanks so much to all of you who participated in this giveaway! Keep an eye out for the next one... :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Chocolate Chip Mint Brownies

These brownies are SO easy and quick to make, and they sure are yummy! Whenever I take them to our church lunches, they disappear in a hurry, and I never have leftovers to take home. Everyone seems to love the combination of gooey brownies, chocolate chips, and mint pieces! Yummy!

All you will need to make these is a brownie mix (plus the extra ingredients to make the brownies), chocolate chips and Andes mint pieces. I use an Aldi's brownie mix which our family thinks is the BEST brownie mix there is (and it's cheaper than a name brand mix! :)).

Mix your brownies according to the directions on the box. Stir in approx. 1/2 cup chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup mint pieces. Mix thoroughly and spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle additional chips and mint pieces on top of the batter. Bake according to package directions.

I usually use somewhere around 1/3 of a bag each of the chips and mint pieces for each brownie mix, so a bag of each will give me three pans of brownies.

This is my very favorite way to make brownies, and I hope you'll enjoy it too! :)

Change of Plans

When I first began to make this jumper, I had a slightly different plan for it than the way it actually turned out. I thought I'd make a plain, simple little denim jumper, and maybe make a pink flowered shirt to go with it. But my plans changed when I discovered a problem! Check out my Artfire Blog to discover the change of plans.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Silent Moments Feature and Giveaway

I love photos! Photos make such wonderful memories especially when they are of people you know and love. People photography isn't the only type of photo I like though. I love looking at pictures of  God's amazing creation! Our loving Creator has given us such a beautiful, wonderful world to live in!

Silent Moments is an Etsy shop that offers beautiful photographs from way up in Canada! :)

Please tell us a little about yourself.
I'm 29y/o and I've been married 10 years this June. My husband and I spent many years hating each other until I dropped to my knees, tears pouring down my face, broken and desperate and asked Jesus to take control of my life. It's been a few years since then and the hatred has melted away. My husband became a Christian this past December and our lives are now on a new and wonderful path. Together we have 3 sons. Our oldest is almost 13 and our twins are 9. When I'm not busy being a mom/housewife/artist I enjoy learning piano & guitar, writing songs and poems, silent moments in nature, knitting and listening to music.

How and when did you become interested in your craft?
My interest in photography began as a young girl. My dad gave me a great appreciation of nature early on and it left me longing to take pictures of animals, birds, flowers, trees, you name it. I finally picked up a camera in 2007 and have been dabbling with it ever since.

What inspired you to open your shop?
My best friend opened up one of her own and was an instant success. I figured I'd give it a shot and see what happens.

Is there something that you do differently than other people in your craft?
I "ruin" the image with text! Most leave them untouched, but to me a picture isn't complete until God's word or something inspiring is written on it.

What is your favorite item in your shop?
Be-still-square-photography-art-print  I've had this one on my wall for over a year now and it still catches my attention. This dock is one of my favorite places to be. Whether it's a warm calm morning or a raging storm with big beautiful waves crashing on the shore, it's always the perfect place to just be still.

What is the most exciting thing that has happened since you've started?
Selling my first mug was very exciting for me. The night before it sold I was talking to the Lord and asking him if I made a mistake by starting a shop. My husband recently became unemployed and with 3 kids and money being so tight it seemed silly to be paying into something - even as little as 20 cents a listing. I prayed that God would help me sell something as a sign that I should keep going. The next morning I had a sale!

Why do you do what you do?
The photography I do because I believe God wants me to and I enjoy it. The mugs I do for a few reasons.  I often doodle in my Bible with flowers, vines and crosses and I write verses all over my house. I've always had a liking for mugs and since one of the best moments of silence is in the morning while reading the Bible and sipping coffee, I figured I'd combine them into one. And thus the mugs were born!

Not only does Crystal make and sell such beautiful and meaningful photos, magnets, and mugs, she's also graciously offering one of my readers a 5x5 print of their choice! These would be perfect for a special gift for a loved one, or you could use it to decorate your own home. I love having Scripture verses on my wall, and it would be extra special with a beautiful photo accompanying it.

There are several ways to enter this giveaway, but the mandatory entry must be complete first or the others won't count! Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Don't forget to include your e-mail address in your comments so that I can contact you if you win!

Mandatory Entry:
Visit Silent Moments, browse around, then come back here and tell me your favorite item in her shop AND leave me your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win.

Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each one and don't forget to leave me your e-mail address!):
*Follow me with Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
*Blog about this giveaway (2 entries)
*Tweet this giveaway (can be done once a day - 1 entry each)
*Share this giveaway on Facebook (1 entry)
*Share this giveaway with friends through e-mail and let me know you did (1 entry)
* Sign up for an Artfire PRO account with this link (10 entries)

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. The giveaway will close on March 21st, and the winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail. The winner has 48 hours to get back to me with their address or a new winner will be chosen.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Beautiful Spring

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.

Song of Solomon 2:11-12

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Cookie Cutter Guy

Have you ever looked for a specific cookie cutter and couldn't find it? Have you ever wished for a unique cookie cutter for a special occasion? Look no further! Sandy at The Cookie Cutter Guy has about about any kind of cookie cutter that you might want, and if she don't have the exact one you're looking for, you can request a custom creation!

How and when did you become interested in your craft?
I started making them about a year ago.  You will note that those listed are commercially made.  We do make custom cutters when ever possible.  I started making them because so many were asking me for special cutters that just can't be found.  It took some research for me to find a way to attach the ends.  The kits you buy just use sticky tape that doesn't last.  I found a tiny riveter (the price wasn't so tiny).  I now use it to permanently attach the ends.

What inspired you to open your shop? 
I opened my shop simply because I had a ton of cookie cutters sitting here all Winter when our seasonal store is closed.  It seemed like a good idea to get them online.

Where did your shop name come from?
Cookie Cutter Guy came about because this was supposed to be my husband's baby.  That lasted about 5 minutes as he made a stab at figuring out Art Fire.  It rapidly became my job.  It was actually a happy little accident!

What inspires you to create your work?
I just love to create.   The cookie cutters are inspired mostly by folks requests. 

In your opinion, what sets you apart from the rest?
We carry the largest variety of cookie cutters on Art Fire and Etsy.  Adding the custom order option makes our list infinite!

Do you take custom orders? If so, how do they work?
Custom orders are the foundation of my creativity when it comes to cookie cutters.  If others don't give me ideas I stagnate!

Describe your creative process.
As soon as someone requests a custom cutter I start looking for a design I can use to create it.  All I need is a rough outline.  Many times the person requesting the cutter provides me with their idea.  The part I find the hardest is finding the right things to bend the metal with.  I have collected a large supply of different sized circles and angles.

What is the most exciting thing that has happened since you've started?
I had an order for 200 cutters once.  That was thrilling.  It's never happened again.

Why do you do what you do?
I just love to make things with my hands.  I can't stand to just sit and watch TV.  It seems like a complete waste of time so there is always a project or two - or three - waiting to be finished.

What advice would you give someone new to online selling?
Find something you love to do, and do well.   There is a lot of competition on the Internet so you will have to find something special that makes your work different and desirable.

Anything else you'd like to share with our readers?
Cookie cutters are just one my talents.  My first love is beading.  I love to make jewelry.  Unfortunately, jewelry doesn't sell well these days.  There are way too many great beaders and metal smiths selling online.   I also love crocheting.  I've just started making hats to sell online.  If they sell, they will probably replace my jewelry shops.

In addition to these shops, you can also find Sandy at her blog, on Twitter, or in her Vintage shop. She is one busy and talented lady, and she's even offering my readers a 10% coupon! Just use the coupon BLOGDISCOUNT at checkout to receive the discount. This coupon is good through the end of April. Go check out her shop and see what else you can find!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Get a FREE $30 Credit to Shutterfly plus FREE Shipping!

Here is a wonderful deal for anyone who has a PhotoWorks account! PhotoWorks is closing and they are offering a FREE $30 Shutterfly credit to anyone who transfers their photos from PhotoWorks to Shutterfly.

Transferring your photos is very easy. Simply follow these steps:

Sign up for a Shutterfly account if you don't already have one (you'll get 50 free prints when you sign up).

Go to PhotoWorks and click "Transfer My Photos. You'll be asked to log in to your Shutterfly account if you aren't already logged in.

Within 48 hours, you'll receive an e-mail from PhotoWorks with your Shutterfly credit.

Not only can you get this free $30 credit to Shutterfly, you can also combine that with a FREE Shipping code!! Just use the code SHIP30 to receive free shipping on any order of $30 or more!! You may get a message saying these don't work together, but the site seems to be taking them both anyway. That's one thing I love about Shutterfly - you can combine codes for some really wonderful (and sometimes completely free) deals!

I've had a PhotoWorks account for years, but have rarely ordered from them. I love Shutterfly though, so this was perfect! I received my code within an hour of doing the transfer.

Even if you're not sure if you have a PhotoWorks account, go ahead and try this. Some people are finding out that they had an account that they had forgotten about. :)

And the Winner Is...

We now have a winner for the Luv'n Crafts giveaway! Using random.org the winning comment from the 66 comments was #42! Congratulations to Mandy who said, " I like the round hot pads".

The winner has been contacted and has 48 hours to respond or a second winner will be chosen.

Thank you all for participating in this giveaway! Keep a watch for other giveaways in the future!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sneak Preview

I just got pictures back from one of my photographers! More spring and summer skirts are coming as soon as I can get them listed, but for now, here's a picture of a couple of them being modeled by two sisters. :)

A big THANK YOU to  Your Pic Photography for the pictures!

Taste of Home subscription for $3.99 - ENDS SOON

I don't know about you, but I love Taste of Home! I've been getting their magazine for years and have quite a few of their books too. Many of the recipes I make are from Taste of Home.

Not only are these magazines great to use yourself, a subscription to Taste of Home also makes a wonderful gift for a new bride or a friend. Besides the great recipes in the magazines, you can also enjoy all the thousands of recipes on the Taste of Home website.

The Taste of Home Recipe Finder is wonderful! My sister-in-law uses it all the time and I've used it a lot too. Often if I'm looking for a specific kind of recipe - one that uses specific ingredients or that is for a certain holiday, I'll pull of the TOH recipe finder and get searching!

If you don't have a subscription to Taste of Home or if you're looking for an inexpensive gift for someone, Tanga is offering Taste of Home magazine subscriptions for $3.99 a year! Use the coupon code TASTE at checkout to bring the price down. You can get up to 3 years at this price.

This deal will end in about 5 1/2 hours.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Etsy Kids Spotlight - Northwood Toys

This week's Etsy Kids Spotlight is for a husband and wife team - Northwoods Toys.

Northwoods Toys provides hand-crafted toys straight from the Northwoods of Wisconsin to you! This talented crafting team has been making toys since their 4-year old twin daughters were infants. They specialize in felt play food, fleece plushies, and puppets along with adding in wooden toys when they can.

Aren't these cute? I know my little niece and nephews would have a wonderful time cooking with these! :)

And what fun these plush "Squeez-a-ball" toys are!

For more handmade fun check out Northwoods Toys shop and see what else they have to offer or request a custom item if you don't see the exact item you're looking for.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Recycled Cookies

Recycle. Reuse. Those words seem to be everywhere these days! :)

A couple weeks ago I was trying to figure out what I could do with the two bags of cookies pieces I had in the freezer. We had had a bunch of homemade cookies for an event that were stored in ziplock bags. Some cookies didn't end up being used, but after traveling in their bags a couple different places, they were no longer whole. I didn't want to just throw out all those cookies, but I couldn't very well serve them at our church dinners in such small pieces. That's when I came up with the idea of Recycled Cookies. :)

 Recycled Cookies
Step 1: Crumble your broken cookies into small pieces (not crumbs). Any kind of cookie can be used. I had a variety of chocolate cookies, oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, and some others that I'm not quite sure what they were.

Step 2: Melt almond bark and a little shortening over low heat. You can use chocolate or white almond bark depending on what flavor cookie you have or the taste you prefer.

Step 3: Once chocolate is melted, stir in cookie pieces until they are well coated with the chocolate.

Step 4: Drop cookie mixture onto wax paper lined baking sheets. Decorate with sprinkles, crushed candy, or chopped nuts if desired. I used almond toffee crumbs for half of my cookies (crumbs that were left in the bottom of the box of toffee and stored in the freezer for just such a time as this :)), and some peanut butter crumb mixture for the other half.

Step 5: Place pans of cookies in the freezer for several minutes to allow to harden.

Step 6: Remove cookies from pans and enjoy! :)

These weren't the prettiest cookies I've ever made, but they sure were tasty, especially if you like chocolate. :) I prefer the white chocolate variety myself. :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

You Can Make This Coupon

You Can Make This is celebrating National Craft Month with a coupon code!

Use the code celebrate to receive 15% off your entire purchase! This coupon expires March 11, 2011.

And don't forget to sign up for their free newsletters to receive your free pattern bundles!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Luv'n Crafts Feature and Giveaway

While selling on Artfire and Etsy, I've come across some wonderful shops and sellers, and I'd love to introduce you to some of them! I have several shops already lined up, and I will be doing feature posts for them as I have time.

I'm especially excited to share this first shop with you. Christie, at Luv'n Crafts studio, was one of my first customers when I began selling on Etsy, and she has been a big encourager ever since. She has now moved her shop to Artfire and sells a variety of beautiful handmade items.

Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Christie. I am a stay at home Mom to 6. I love making crafts. My main crafts are crochet and making note cards. I enjoy gardening, photographing my children and nature, reading, chocolate!! (That one is really important!) I have a great time with my family, and we enjoy camping out and various outdoor activities together. I am a Christian, and enjoy reading and studying the Bible and studying God's creation.

How and when did you become interested in your craft?
Well, with crochet...My grandma crocheted. She gave me a crochet hook when I was 11. She taught me how to make a chain and do a single crochet stitch. I made a couple of pot holders. That was about as far as it got at the time. I was not a very industrious young person. LOL

When I was pregnant with our third child, my husbands Mother gave me a box of yarn she was destashing. I pulled my crochet hook out again, got a couple of "how to" books, and learned to crochet.

With cards, when I was pregnant with our second child, I went with my mom to a Stamping Up party. We went in together and bought a set of stamps. I started making cards then as gifts for friends and family.


What inspired you to open your shop?
I have always made my crafts as gifts. But I had many people telling me I should try to sell my crafts. Plus, our oldest daughter was already selling some of her hand made jewelry locally. She wanted another avenue for selling her crafts. I did want to be able to make a profit as well, so that I could continue my crafting and giving without dipping into hubby's hard earned income. (which is hard to stretch as it is with a family of 8).

Where did your shop name come from?
I LOVE to craft.....so "luvncrafts"  . It's not work to me, it's fun!

What inspires you to create your work?
God, creation, friends and family. Beautiful papers and pretty yarns. I see paper, stickers, yarns, etc, that I like and get ideas.

What are 5 things that you could never do without in your craft?
yarn, paper, crochet hooks, glue, scissors

What is your favorite item in your shop?
That's a tough one!! I think it is my Purple and Blue Hues Stripes and Shells Afghan

Do you take custom orders? If so, how do they work?
Yes. If I have the supplies to make something desired already on hand, then I go ahead and make it. The person pays after I list the item. If I am going to have to buy supplies, then I ask for a deposit of enough to cover the cost of supplies. I then make and list the item. And then the person can pay the rest that is due. I ship the item after payment is recieved.

What is the most exciting thing that has happened since you've started?
Getting custom orders!! The person to whom I sold the first afghan I listed loved it so much, she has ordered several more. And my dauhgter and I have had custom orders for hats, wrist warmers, cards, etc. It is exciting that people not only like what we make, but request more!! We LOVE it when it's personal and we can make something special for someone!

How do you make time to craft?
LOL It's very sporadic. In Spring/Summer I don't get much time to craft because we practically LIVE outside. I craft mostly in the evenings after I have cleaned up the supper dishes. The rest of the day is JAM PACKED! Winter evenings I crochet like mad! Also on Winter weekends. I try to stock up the shop during the Winter since I know I won't have much time during Spring and Summer. Fridays is Craft Day with the children. So, I set them to doing their craft, and work on mine. Some times we all make cards, or do beading together.

What advice would you give someone just learning your craft?
Enjoy it. Get a how to book. Watch some instructional guides. Then just HAVE FUN!

These are just a few of the many great handmade items in Luv'n Crafts shop! Come check out the rest of the rest of the shop with coupon! Just  use the code JOYBLOG at checkout to receive 15% off your entire purchase!

Now for the giveaway! Luv'n Crafts studio has graciously offered a set of 6 handmade greeting cards to one Joyful Service reader. Aren't they beautiful?

There are several ways to enter this giveaway, but the mandatory entry must be complete first or the others won't count! Please leave a separate comment for each entry. Don't forget to include your e-mail address in your comments so that I can contact you if you win!

 Mandatory Entry:
Visit Luv'n Crafts, browse around, then come back here and tell me your favorite item in her shop AND leave me your e-mail address so that I can contact you if you win.

Extra Entries (please leave a separate comment for each one and don't forget to leave me your e-mail address!):
*Blog about this giveaway (2 entries)
*Tweet this giveaway (can be done once a day - 1 entry each)
*Share this giveaway on Facebook (1 entry)
*Follow me with Google Friend Connect (1 entry)
*Share this giveaway with friends through e-mail and let me know you did (1 entry)
* Sign up for an Artfire PRO account with this link (10 entries)

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada. The giveaway will close on March 8th, and the winner will be chosen by random.org and notified by e-mail. The winner has 48 hours to get back to me with their address or a new winner will be chosen.