Monday, November 24, 2014

It's Giveaway Time! Who wants to WIN an OttLite?!

It's that time of the year again for us artists and makers. A whole lotta long long days and late late nights spent locked away in the studio. We're busy as can be working on holiday orders…tons of diecuts and signs, but it's our ornaments that take up the majority of our time. When we debuted the ornaments a few weeks ago the immediate response was amazing, and since then the orders have been coming in steadily. As I said in a previous post…we're immensely flattered and grateful. So happy to be on the same page with so many of you guys. 
Anyway, this blog post couldn't be more fitting to the situation at hand. We happen to be doing the exact type of work that requires an OttLite, and it's also the season of giving! So yes, you read the title of this post correctly…we're giving away an OttLite!!! 

    Very recently OttLite contacted us to ask if we'd like to try out one of their lights. Of course we were super excited, because we had wanted an OttLite for years. I know many of you fellow artists and crafters are probably shocked to learn that we hadn't already owned one…or several of them. But I've always been terrible when it comes to buying things…I have so much trouble making specific choices when it comes to making an important purchase. Seriously, at least a dozen times me and Aaron were in either Jo-Ann's or Michaels, standing in front of the display of OttLites, but we were unable to pull the trigger. We are weirdos.
But we got lucky this time around. The gal from OttLite who contacted us took matters into her own hands. She asked us what type of work we'd be doing mostly, what type of studio we had, how much available space, all that stuff. And then she made the decision for us. She thought a tabletop model with an attached magnifier would be very helpful when it came to making our ornaments. And she was totally right! 

We also told her all about how concerned we are with color, and that we do a majority of our painting early in the day because nothing beats daylight when it comes to seeing colors correctly. And this is where OttLite comes in. As far as artificial lighting goes, this lamp is the closest thing to actual daylight we've ever worked with. Most other lamps give off a yellowy glow, but the OttLite casts a cool even pool of light directly on our work surface…no glare, no flicker, no heat. We seriously Love it! It has made our late nights in the studio much more pleasant.  

All of these ornaments were made over many of those late nights...and there are plenty more of those late nights still to come. I believe we'll be working non stop right up until Christmas Eve!

Ok…this is where it gets good! Up at the top of the post you probably noticed the pic of Aaron holding a brand new, still-in-the-box, OttLite. It's the exact same model that we own, and we promise…it's fantastic. We can't believe we get to give this away to a lucky Everyday is a Holiday blog reader. The people at OttLite are awesome!
Below are all of the product specifics from the OttLite website: 

The perfect tool for seeing details easily and colors accurately, the 13w DuoFlex Magnifier Lamp couples the benefits of OttLite Illumination™ with optical grade 3x magnification in this sleek and flexible design. Two flexible arms extend from a sturdy base so you can individually and easily position the light and magnifier exactly where you need them. 

Product Dimensions:
Max. Height: 21.5"
Min. Height: 7.5"
Base Diameter: 9" x 7.125"

It's perfect for artists, crafters, makers…perfect for art journaling, scrapbooking, sewing, embroidery, sculpting, and wow, it would be perfect for miniatures. For us it makes precision cutting a lot easier. It's great to have a light directly over the project so that there aren't any weird shadows to throw you off. And the magnifier makes for a safer experience when using an X-ACTO blade.
And now…here's how you can win it: 

Entering is super Easy! 
Just be a follower of this blog, and leave a comment below telling us what type of crafting or art making you will be doing with your OttLite!? For an extra entry like OttLite on Facebook , and leave a separate comment below letting us know that you did! 

That's it! Good Luck! And a very big THANK YOU to OttLite!

xo Jenny & Aaron

Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Favorites

If you're familiar with the work that me and Aaron do, it probably goes without saying that Wayne Thiebaud is one of our favorites. Going way back to when Aaron and I first got together we can remember going to see his paintings in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. I don't think there is another painter who has rendered cakes so authentically. The way his paint sits on the canvas…his textures…his highlights and shadows…can almost be described as delicious. And his paintings never require explanation. They simply are what they are. 
A friend of mine recently pointed out the work of Sharon Core, which you can see above. The top image is a Wayne Thiebaud painting. The image directly below it is a photograph by Sharon Core. Yeah…crazy right?! She had the imaginary Thiebaud cakes made in real life, and then photographed them to exactly mimic Thiebaud's painting. Amazing! 

If you're not familiar with Wayne Thiebaud's work, you should check out this short video. With our work we have always strived to celebrate everyday, and I think Thiebaud's work has the exact same spirit.

I swear, Mercury glass is one of my favorite things ever. I have been collecting for years and lucky for me, it has become more and more popular. Lately I have been able to find so many beautiful vases and candle holders, and when the holiday season rolls around I'm amazed at the latest offering of Mercury glass ornaments and christmas trees. I love this set of cream, pink and mauve votive holders. They would be perfect in our bedroom, where our color palette gets deeper and a bit more…romantic might be the word. We've got Victorian rose studies in our bedroom, and deep grey walls. So you can imagine how well the above set would work.

And here is the "Sea Glass" set in cream, aqua, and greens…which totally works in the downstairs rooms of our house. I think we may really need this set for our living room! I am on the hunt for a large serving tray to keep on our ottoman which also serves as a coffee table. I think this set is officially on my Christmas wish list. 

This piece from Dot & Bo would be perfect in our kitchen or dining room…but I don't know if we have the space for it. I love it's rustic industrial feel, and I can see it full of our cake stands, favorite cookbooks, and kitchen things.

One of my favorite decorative elements is lighting. I'm not really a fan of overhead lighting. I like lighting a room with candles, lamps…and especially strings of lights. They just make the space feel festive. They've got a magical twinkle, and work both outdoors and in. We have strands of lights in our studio, which bring a carnival feel to the room. Last Friday I shared a fantastic Edison bulb lamp…so it's fitting that this week I follow up with these Edison string lights. I just adore them! 

When we were at Target the other day we spotted some really cute holiday items in our favorite shades of aqua and turquoise. This pillow would be perfect in our living room. Actually, the entire collection is lovely.

This incredibly cute bottle brush tree is also a part of the Target collection…and you'd be correct in thinking that there was no way that we could pass it up! It has a slight iridescent finish, which I am not normally a fan of, but I can totally look past it here. This is the larger size one…it's 15" tall.

Here it is temporarily...yet happily...sitting on a table in our kitchen. 

I just adore these metallic geometric trees from Studio Mucci. I've been instagram friends with Amina, the talented and fun gal behind the brand, for some time now. I can always count on her for eye candy galore! 

I just adore her classic tassel garlands! I think Aaron and I really just need to finally decide on which color combo would work best in our home. They are perfect for celebrating everyday…as I stated above…that's our motto! :)

Ok, thanks so much again for reading! I hope you're staying cozy! Have a great weekend!
xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

In the Mail, In the Shop, and In the Stores!

So…the Mailman totally made our day with today's mail. Actually, he made our week with this special delivery. Yep…our stamps arrived!!!
And thanks to all of the sweethearts who pre-ordered, a big chunk of them will be leaving here just as quickly as they arrived! After we wrap them up nice they'll be heading right back out the door. We'll hopefully get them all out by Saturday. I'm really so psyched for everyone to receive them!

We've shared these pics before, but I just wanted to show some details again, and show how cute they come out, even with the most minimal embellishments.

Using only black ink and haphazard painted polka dots, we stamped some simple tags to tie to our candy pops for our students at Art Is You last month.

The stamps really turned out so great! They're available in two styles, "Allie & Amy", and "Classic  Cakes" . 
 We are so excited to see what you guys do with them! 

 Very excited about this new piece! A JUMBO Triple Scoop neapolitan ice cream cone die cut is now in the shop! It's so big and so fun! It looks super sweet hanging in our kitchen!

Here's another shot…to give you an idea of size!

And I don't think I've shared this yet…this is very cool. Artful Blogging magazine included us in their "Banners we Love" section! So FUN! 

And when we ran out to grab our copy of Artful Blogging, we were also super excited to see that our book is popping up in more and more Barnes and Noble locations.  It also finally showed up in our local Michaels. For the longest time everyone we know had been able to find it at their nearby Michaels, but for some reason, the Michaels closest to us didn't have it on the shelves. Well it's there now, and that's a very good sign!

Ok, just wanted to pop in to say hi! We hope to find time to share a couple projects here on the blog using our new stamps. We also look forward to seeing creative pics of our stamps in action from any of you guys who ordered them…which reminds me…any of you dolls who pre-ordered...keep an eye on your mailbox this upcoming week! Stamps are on their way shortly!

xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Super Yummy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hey everyone! This is Aaron writing this one. We figured that I should be the one to share this recipe being that I'm the one doing the baking. Yes it's true, I used totally dislike baking. I love cooking, but baking always intimidated me. Most likely because I was always watching Jenny bake, and she is really really good at. But sorta recently I got over my fear and started baking things whenever I got the chance. I really like the idea of Vegan Baking. It's really not all that different from traditional baking, but I love all of the creative substitutions that are used in vegan recipes. Namely, the "flax egg". To make a "flax egg" you just combine a certain amount of flax meal with a certain amount of water…whisk together, and let it sit until it thickens. This will take the place of an egg in most recipes. I know it's a simple concept, but it still impresses me (I'm a cheap date). And there is another big bonus to vegan baking…you can ALWAYS lick the batter bowl…never ever a chance of salmonella from raw eggs. :)
Anyway, we had a very flavorful dinner the other night and we needed to finish the evening with some chocolate. I found this awesome recipe for Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and within minutes I had the ingredients prepped and was popping the dough in the oven. There are lots of vegan chocolate chip cookie recipes out there, but Jenny and I can totally vouch for these. They're really really good, and they stay soft and moist. Lots of other chocolate chip cookies get hard, and I'm not really into that type of cookie. These were so easy to make, and we've already added them to our stack of reliable go-to recipes.

Here's what you need:
2 Tablespoons flax meal
3 Tablespoons water

2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cups + 2 Tablespoons or 1 ¾ sticks Regular Vegan Butter or margarine, at room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar

2 teaspoons molasses
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F, and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.

1. First prepare your flax mixture, or what is often referred to as your "flax egg".
 In a small bowl whisk together the flax meal and the water. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes so the mixture thickens. 

2. Now it's time to combine the dry ingredients. In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the all-purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt until well incorporated. Set aside.

3. In a separate large mixing bowl cream the Vegan Butter and sugar until well mixed. Then beat in your flax mixture from step 1, followed by the molasses and vanilla extract.

4. Now add your bowl of mixed dry ingredients into you larger bowl with the creamed butter and sugar mixture. Mix until combined. I used a wooden spoon, but being that the dough is pretty thick, you may want to use your hands to really get in there. Lastly, stir in the chocolate chips.

5. Form the dough into 1 ½ inch sized balls. Space the balls out on the cookie sheets so that they're about 2 or 3 inches apart. You should get between 22 - 24 cookies. 
Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the cookie sheets halfway through the baking time. Being that they really don't turn golden brown, it's a good idea to keep a close eye on the clock. When they're done, take the cookie sheets out of the oven and let the cookies rest on the sheets for a few minutes. Then transfer to a cooling rack.

The cookies will have a perfect, moist texture. We stored ours in an airtight container, and three days later they were still perfect.

Again, these cookies will definitely be in our regular rotation of trusted recipes. We hope you love them as much as we did! Thanks for reading!

xo, Aaron…and Jenny says hi!

Monday, November 10, 2014

I heart November

Being self employed, working from home, and making up your career as you go, will often put you in a place that makes you feel slightly out of step with the rest of the world. But all of that changes around the holidays. For artists, crafters, and makers such as ourselves, this is a very special time of year. All of the sudden we feel like we are exactly on the same page as everyone else. Beginning on pretty much November 1st, we debuted this year's Everyday is a Holiday ornaments, and in the following days we shared more and more pieces…and to say that the response from you guys was AMAZING, would be the understatement of the century. Me and Aaron actually cannot believe how well our ornaments are being received. And don't take it the wrong way…I am in no way boasting. I'm just insanely THANKFUL. But I'm thinking of it on another level that isn't related to sales. I guess what I'm trying to express, is that right now, me and Aaron feel so utterly CONNECTED to all of you. We feel like we made the exact stuff that you guys were looking for. Like somehow we knew precisely what you guys wanted this holiday season…and we delivered it! 

In a matter of a few days you guys carved in stone what me and Aaron will be up to for the next few weeks. Yep, we'll be working round the clock, and I mean ROUND the CLOCK, on these ornies. Holy cow! We are gonna wear out dozens of X-Acto blades. And we couldn't be more thankful for it.  Just the other day we completed the final prototypes of our Holiday 2014 ornament offerings. I shared a bunch on a previous post, and below you'll see a bunch more that you may not have seen. Well wait…there are a few more on the way, our Starlets! but I put those in an entirely different category. I LOVE our Starlets! Last year they did fabulously…and this year we added some new gals with adorable little details. I hope to be able to share those this week…maybe by the weekend. 

But for right now, this particular collection of ornaments is complete. We wanted to offer a wide range, but not too wide. Our goal was to have something for everyone…and Jeez, so far it feels like we met that goal. It thrills us to flip through our latest invoices and see the sheer variety of ornies! So cool! Here's a few of what will be shipping out very soon.

This is one of our favorites! A triple scoop neapolitan sugar cone
And guess what?…we're working on a big wooden die cut of this cone! Usually we make ornaments based on our diecuts. But in this case we're doing the opposite. We loved the ornie so much that tonight we painted a large version of it. Tomorrow we'll be making the first printing of it, and we'll be cutting it out of wood. And it's gonna be big…like 16 inches…can't wait! It will be available in a day or so. I'll keep you posted.

This soft serve cone has been one of our best selling diecuts…and now it's one of our best received ornaments. I love the rainbow sprinkles.

We originally didn't have plans for making this Pink Mixer, but just last week a customer suggested it…so we stayed up late that night, and voila! 

Two collector favorites from last year are back. You can just barely see it in the photo, but they're both glittered!

Another holiday fave from last year. Our bottle brush tree with shiny brites. 

Also embellished with clear crystal glitter!

As you know, our color palette is heavy on the pastels. But we always make an exception for red. Especially when it's in the form of a Red Velvet cupcake. I love seeing these two versions side by side. And these are glittered too!

I love this little "feather" tree of ours. The "feathers" are actually vintage book pages. It's so cool that it's the perfect size to display exactly one of each of our ornaments. 

And despite what you may have heard…me and Aaron actually do leave the house every so often.
The other day, after completing all of the ornies and packing up some die cut orders, we realized that we were going a little stir crazy…and we also desperately needed some groceries! So we popped into Target, browsed a bit, and grabbed a small amount of food essentials. Target's food selection is getting better and better. And so are the dollar bins! That's where I found these super cute tags! They're perfect for adding to art journal and planner pages. 

And I feel like the stripy patterns and minty green of the tags work as the perfect segue for this pic. Also, more proof that we leave our house. We spent Sunday evening with my brother Walt and his girlfriend Val at their new place. Aaron worked some stripe magic in the bathroom! It looks so so fun! Walt and Val are remodeling the whole place, and me and Aar lent them our painting skills. Doesn't this pic look like a the set of a movie…like on a sound stage? That window looks fake. It's due to the lack of moldings, and the crazy bright spotlight. 

Happy Monday guys… hope your week is off to a great start!!
Love from the Jersey Shore! 
xo Jenny, and Aaron says hi!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Friday Favorites

The Fall is my fave time of year, and so far we've had a great one weather-wise. Pretty much all of October was fabulous…super mild temps and more sunshine than we're accustomed to. And now I think November is going out of it's way to get itself noticed. This first week has been so so grey and rainy…and after a flash of hail this afternoon (yes, HAIL) some cold blustery winds have moved in. So, you may notice a very specific lack of color in this post. My current Favorites are either black & white, or very close to it. And that's not a bad thing at all. We need periods of grey every once in a while. These will make our bright times even brighter.
Lets start with this skirt ! I Love love love black & white check! It really works as a neutral for me. It is so versatile, it's classic, and it seems to show up everywhere in my life. It's on our kitchen tablecloth, one of my favorite shirts, a favorite dress, my dishtowels, wrapping paper, Lt. Dans bow tie…you name it! 

I am dying over these Clare V. Sandrine bags! The patterns and shape are perfect! But with a price tag of $460.00…not. a. chance. 
I'm on the hunt for a non-leather similar style…maybe even a DIY painted version.

As a kid I was really really into Alfred Hitchcock, (nothing has changed…still into Hitchcock…still a kid). 
Anyway, being that my birthday is in late October, I always had sleepover birthday parties, and would rent scary movies. I loved all kinds of horror movies. Oh man, the 80's was a time period chock full of classics…like Night of the Comet, and C.H.U.D. !!
But my scary mainstay was always Hitchcock. I relished any time there was a marathon of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. But there was one episode in particular…one of the creepiest...that was my favorite, and it has stuck with me all these years.

It's called "An Unlocked Window", from 1965. It was filmed in the Psycho house! I love that Hitchcock was able to get some more mileage out of it. I mean, it was just sitting there on the Universal lot…why not shoot some of the stormy exteriors?

I had been telling Aaron about this episode for years, but I never once included any spoilers. The other night, just before bed we were looking for something to watch being that we completed the show Carnivale (boo hoo, I miss that show). So...I googled and was sooo psyched to find that someone uploaded the full episode to youtube! And it's just as creepy as I remembered. I'm so glad I never gave the ending away to Aaron. He watched it all the way through and never saw the twist coming...ha! 

So if you have 48ish minutes, and some snacks on hand…there it is up above. Watch it! 

I guess it started a little Hitchcock kick for us. Last night we watched the movie "Hitchcock", starring Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, and Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh. I love that the plot was about the making of a creepy film like Psycho, and yet overall it was a fun and sweet movie. Anthony Hopkins did a perfect job at talking to the camera the way Hitchcock did in his episode introductions.

Ok, this Orla Kiely dress is killing me! Not killing me like a knife through a shower curtain…but close. And I can imagine one of Hitchcock's blondes wearing it. It's a grey wool blend with a crepe feel. gosh I adore it! 

This image. I love when everything comes together like this…the idea, the meaning, the fonts, the door itself. A complete story.

And lastly…this Edison glass cloche table lamp. It's old timey yet futuristic...sleek yet rustic...all at the same time. I love it so much! I'd probably want more than one.
Santa…if you are reading…please take note! ;)

Ok, thanks again for reading. I hope these virtually colorless Favorites have brightened your Friday as much as they have mine!

xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like...

There are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who get utterly psyched when they see an all out blitz of Holiday stuff in the first week of November. And there are the other ones who just want to scream: "TOO SOON!" 
And If you read this blog, we'd guess you are most likely one of the psyched individuals. I've been looking back through my Instagram feed at all the pics from last Holiday season. It was months of non-stop production line style work over here. Ornaments galore! Cutting and sanding, and glittering, and packing. Some of the longest days ever. Sure, it was exhausting, and the whole season was pretty much a whirlwind…but we loved it, and it seemed like it was over in the blink of an eye. So now all of the sudden it is that time of year again! We are trying to get a jump on things. We spent the last few days splitting our time between working on current orders, and finishing up the prototypes of our ornament offerings for this year. We are so excited about all the new designs! And of course some of our best selling classics are back! 

We've got Pizza slices! plain or pepperoni. And if you are vegan...we'll send you a daiya cheese, and veg pepperoni version! (wink wink)

A trio of macarons

Of course we have donuts

Yep...Pancakes! Who wouldn't want these on the tree?! They bring to mind cozy Sunday mornings with the family. Perfect for the holiday season.

Kitty cats! We just launched these 24 hours ago, and already we are blown away by the response! Lots and lots of Kitties will be on their way to new homes.

Our classic vintage inspired "cardboard" houses. (with glittery accents…which you can't see in the photo…but the glitter makes them magical.)

And another classic ornie…our cherry topped cupcakes! These come as a set of 4 just like the houses.

We have a bunch more coming over the next few days, and we are bringing back our Starlets as well! We are so excited! Can't wait to share them with you guys!

We've also been working on lots of diecuts around here! The most popular right now are the Donuts. 

And apparently the cold weather has been the cause of lots of pizza cravings. We're shipping a bunch of these!

It never gets old to us seeing stacks of pizza boxes and bakery boxes.

We are really looking forward to the holiday hustle. We just ordered a bunch of supplies and made lots of lists. And from what I've been seeing online…most of our maker/crafter friends are feeling the holiday buzz! I'm loving all of the fun previews of whats to come in the handmade world this season! I look forward to buying lots of handmade gifts this year! 

Are you working on any holiday designs? Getting supplies together for December Daily albums? Planning cookie baking recipes? 
I'd love to hear about what you've been doing in preparation of the holidays. 

Thanks for popping in!!
xo Jenny…and Aaron says hi!