Friday, October 31, 2014

Friday Favorites (Happy Halloween)

 Happy Halloween friends! How is it here already? October flew by! Weather-wise it was one of the most pleasant Octobers on record. What a huge change compared to the past few years…and yes, I'm alluding to Hurricane Sandy, which was almost two years ago exactly. I can recall all of the destroyed Halloween decorations among the storm wreckage. It was such a scary time…but not the good kind of scary...I'd much rather get my scary fix from a good ole' Halloween horror movie marathon on tv. 
 But let's keep it light around here. This year the weather held for the trick or treaters…the predicted rain showers never came. 
We love seeing trick or treaters but unfortunately we live at the very end of a dead end street and therefore we barely get any foot traffic. We saw a good amount of kids in costumes on our walk to the post office, but only received a total of three groups of kids at our door today. And yes…of course we had an Elsa! And we saw loads of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I guess those guys are back in a big way...amazing! 

I've been seeing some awesome costumes over on Instagram today. So so fun!! Being that Aaron and I have been in the studio all day, we had to live vicariously through friends! 

So, in the spirit of the day…here are some Friday Faves! To begin with…the above image is just so so cute, creepy, and sweet….but at the same time you can imagine a much more sinister story. I'm imagining a family moving into an old home out on Long Island (yeah, somewhere like Amityville), and the young daughter finds this costume in the basement. I love seemingly simple photos that have a story hidden in them.

And then I LOVE photos like these! I've said it many times before…If I could time travel, one of my very first stops would be to a 5 and dime around Halloween, Christmas, and Easter! I'd stock up on all the cheap throwaway decorations, the gift wrap, and party favors. These old timey photos make my heart all aflutter!!

This store display is so fun! That 'Tricks or Treats' sign! The masks! All of it! I need a Delorean with a flux capacitor stat!! Who's coming with me?

We can disguise ourselves as these gals. Check out those honeycomb balls! And those shelves that are just brimming with magic.

Speaking of old timey decorations. If you are into vintage, you know that the best vintage paper decorations were made by either Dennison, Beistle, or Eureka. I have been collecting and searching out pieces for nearly 20 yrs. No modern decorations have imagery that even comes close to the perfect designs from 50 or 60 years ago. 

The above piece is by Vintage Beistle! Based on the original designs of the 1920s-50s! 

The originals can be found on ebay, but you'll need a whole lotta dough! If you are ok with having new, then these reproductions are fantastic! 

Our friend Heidi over at My Paper Crane was lucky enough to visit Beistle headquarters last year, for an incredible factory tour. And she blogged all about it here. She's got awesome pics, and tells a brief company history…it's a great read!

I am in love with the Bella dress by Dear Creatures available at Hello Holiday! I think this would work perfect for me. I'm all about black, and layers, and textures…it's simple and sophisticated.

And if I had a party to go to tonight, I think my ideal attire would be the above dress paired with this creepy cool and stunning skeleton make-up. The details of which can be found in this tutorial from Dana over at Wonder Forest !

And ummm…since I'm not a candy person…I'd like my personal Halloween treats to be these Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls! We can always count on Minimalist Baker for amazing recipes! Aaron and I will baking these this week for sure! I can't even handle how crazy good these look!

Well, I think that's a perfect note to finish on!

Hope you guys are having a spooky, fun, and safe Halloween!
xo Jenny & Aaron

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Vegan Chai Spice Snickerdoodles

So Aaron, the self described non baker is now eating his words. Finally, I think he has to admit that not only is ok with baking…but it's a full-on hobby of his. He started with muffins, and soon they became a breakfast staple around here. Then he moved onto baking cookies (we gotta blog the amazing almond thumbprint cookies he made!), and last night he baked his first from-scratch cake! 
This recipe was one of his first attempts at from-scratch cookies. With Fall weather settling in it's the perfect time to warm up the house with fresh baked cookies. And the scent that filled our home and studio was better than even the best candle in the world could offer. The recipe comes from one of our favorite books: Isa Does It. This is a Vegan recipe, but I promise you that these could easily be a bake sale favorite! Or a fave at your local coffee shop. They bake up so incredibly perfect! I'd even say beautiful! Perfect texture and size! We love BIG cookies around here. This is the perfect cookie to have with a cup of coffee or tea. 

Here is Isa's recipe: (Aaron didn't change a thing)

For the topping:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch cloves

For the cookies:
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons non-dairy milk (Aaron used almond milk)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix the topping ingredients together on a dinner plate. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, use a fork to vigorously mix together oil, sugar, syrup, and milk. Mix for at least a minute, until it resembles applesauce. Aaron believes this step was key…you really want to stir it all the way until it's the right texture. Then mix in vanilla.

Sift in remaining dry ingredients, stirring as you add them. Once all ingredients are added mix until you’ve got a pliable dough. Get in there with your hands to mix, it’s the easiest way to get the dough to come together.

With clean, moist hands, roll dough into walnut sized balls. Pat into the sugar topping to flatten into roughly 2 inch discs. Transfer to baking sheet, sugar side up, at least 2 inches apart (they do spread a little). This should be easy as the the bottom of the cookies should just stick to your fingers so you can just flip them over onto the baking sheet. (Aaron agrees with Isa…the formed cookies easily flip onto the cookie sheet.) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, they should be a bit browned on the bottoms. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

If you love snickerdoodles you'll love this unique take on a classic. You might be hesitant to add the cloves to the topping in the beginning, thinking that the taste might be overpowering…but it is not…these are sweet and delicious, and not "overly spiced" at all. 

Give them a try!! And check out Isa's blog for lots of amazing recipes!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

My "rescheduled" Birthday

After having the worst possible weather ever on my actual birthday, I think I was owed a sunny weekend. But yesterday's weather was way better than I ever could have wished for. Mid to high 60s, sunny, calm, and picture perfect. Seriously, it was the ultimate Fall day! I was so so happy to be able have a do-over day! And in my absolute favorite birthday place…Lambertville, NJ and New Hope, PA. Two very old towns that are situated on either side of the Delaware River…and the bridge over is such a pleasant walk. Lambertville has an older, more historic feel…tons of antique shops. And New Hope is more touristy...chock full of little gift shops and eateries…lots of hippie types and tons of bikers. 
The five of us went…Me, Aaron, my brother Walt, his girl Val, and Lt. Dan. And if you are wondering why Carlos didn't come…being around crowds gets him all sorts of excited…like way too excited. The little old man that he is...he'd much rather stay home curled up in his bed watching the Weather Channel. 

It's my ultimate birthday place, and I'm so happy that Walt and Val made time to go with us. We hadn't been there in a few years, so it was a thrill to be back. This is a shot of the midpoint of the historic bridge between the towns.  

We had to stop on the bridge for pics with the incredible view. Yeah, I've got a derpy look on my face…I was squinting from the sun, and I'm pretty sure Walt snapped this just as I finished saying something. There were too many folks walking across to stop traffic in order to snap another pic.
 But you have to look closely at this pic…you can see inside Aaron's "purse". Get a load of that tiny little face in there! Yep…it's Lt. Dan. 

Here's Walt & Val. I Love these guys to bits!

So, like I said…the towns of Lambertville and New Hope  are at once very similar…and Vastly different. Case in point...Love Saves the Day in New Hope. I don't think this store could stand among the antique shops of Lambertville. It's brimming with vintage collectibles, clothes, and crazy stuff galore. It's part museum, and 100% psychedelic claustrophobia. Even though we know exactly what to expect when we visit Love Saves The Day, we always have to do a quick walk through to experience it all over again. ha! And don't you love their sign?! 

And their alley is always a treat…eeeek right? They've been doing these displays for years. Doesn't that guy all the way to the right look real? Like he's hiding out among the mannequins?  
Both town were full of amazing fall and Halloween displays! 

Walt was pretty psyched about the Pumpkin Ice Cream! It had chunks of pie crust in it!! 

Here's Aaron looking for fish in the pool at the top of the waterfall in front of the Bucks County Playhouse, which is located on the site of a former grist mill right on the bank of the Delaware River. 

And he found them. A whole lotta carp just lazing about in the afternoon sun...they were huge! 

Both towns are super dog friendly, and there's lots of outdoor dining. Here's Lt. Dan on his Uncle Walt's lap waiting for dinner! 

I got such a kick out of this pic. They both turned to see what was being served at the next table…I believe it was loaded nachos piled about ten feet high! And I love that these buddies had matching outfits on. 
Throughout the day we did so much walking, and even though we went in a ton of shops, we came nowhere close to seeing everything. Next time we'd love to stay the night. And it would be awesome to do the train ride on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad. We had parked our car in the lot of the old train station which has an old steam engine train that offers a fall foliage tour. In the daytime the station was so old school and charming, and by the time we got back there it was nighttime and all of the lighting was orange for Halloween…it was kinda creepy, but in a good way. 

And to finish our night we went into Red Bank to visit Carlo's Bakery. Yes…that Carlo's. I Love their boxes! So cute! 

It was such a fun day! I seriously can't get over how spoiled we were weather-wise. It was a much needed break before things get really hectic around here. Today is organization day, and Walking Dead, and Boardwalk Empire, and then it's back to work work work. 
Thanks again for reading!
xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Another Birthday and life lately

It was my birthday yesterday! I turned 25 again. ;) Unfortunately, it was a majorly gloomy and rainy day here on the Jersey Shore. When we woke up in the morning and looked over at the window, we seriously thought that dawn did not yet break…it was that dark. And as luck would have it…it remained that dark ALL DAY LONG. And rainy, and windy, and cold. We had to turn the heat on for the first time this year. Gross weather really gets me down. As much as I want to travel to Portland and Washington state, I know I'd have to keep the visit short. Grey rainy days are not for me.
Though I'm glad that the weather yesterday didn't ruin any plans. Being that we have a lot of work to finish, we had already decided to schedule any birthday fun for the weekend. So, on Saturday the weather is predicted to be sunny with temps in the high 60's! Me, Aaron, my littlest broth Walt, and his girl Val are going to take a pleasant Autumn drive and celebrate for real. I can't wait!

Aaron the "non baker" has been baking AGAIN! Little by little I think his fear of baking is wearing off. Now I think he's beginning to like it as much as he enjoys cooking dinner. And he's pretty good at it. He baked me the most deeelish carrot cake muffins! They turned out perfect! They're loaded with carrots, pineapple, golden raisins, and walnuts…and they're perfectly spiced, and super moist. My morning looked like this. Coffee in my fave mug, and a muffin. 
Complete with a candle so I could start the day with a wish. 

How cute is this little air plant Jack o' lantern? Would you believe we found it at A&P while grocery shopping? Air plants are said to be easy to care for. They get their namesake because they aren't planted in soil. That little Jack o' lantern is hollow…the base of the plant is just floating there in the air. To care for it you only have to mist it, or soak it a bit, and then let it dry well. And it doesn't require direct sunlight.
 I guess we'll see how well he does! 

The past week was filled with lots and lots of Halloween art work! While I was working away, and deep in the holiday spirit, I took a glance over at our Charlotte die cut  and knew that I had the perfect Halloween accessory for her. I think that she will be wearing this sequined mask all year round now! It fits her perfectly! 

We brought back our classic Halloween cupcakes plaques! I love this painting! We have many friends who keep this one hanging on their wall all year round.

And we had lots of orders for our Haunted House Cake plaques! Here they are in progress! They are now off into the world and we are so excited to see pics of them hanging in their new homes!

We added a few creepy cute vignettes around the house. We love this one! Our fave vintage cardboard skeleton and pumpkin look made for each other, and they look perfect perched up there against our chalkboard wall in the kitchen. 

Ohh and this is so funny…I had told the story on Facebook, and instagram, but just in case you missed it…
I had hung this Jack o' Lantern candy pail up on this peg rack temporarily. After dinner I was sitting at the kitchen table, and as usual, Lt. Dan was on my lap getting a back rub. Well, Lt. Dan glanced up and caught a glimpse of this guy…and guess what?…he let out a tiny little growl. Dan was so nervous. Who was this new orange guy with the big red grin?? He wouldn't calm down until I took the pail down to show it to him up close…and even then Dan kinda shrunk. ha! 

Ohhh and we were SO excited to finally see our spread in Art Journaling Magazine! 10 full color pages! It was such a fun interview with the fabulous RicĂ« Freeman-Zachery. We are totally honored to be featured! And it's a great issue! Pages and pages of so much eye candy! It's on shelves now, or you can order from Stampington. We that love our Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Art Journal page was used on the title page. 
And speaking of that…We've been seeing lots of blog traffic on that particular tutorial being that it is that time of year again. So if you'd like to create your own version of this journal page here is a link to that tutorial! Complete with full step by step directions and a fun little video. 

Ohhh and we are so excited that so many of you have love for vintage bunnies too! Lots of these sweet fellas are headed out into the world this week! Thank you guys! 

It has been a really busy week, so our apologies on the lack of posts, but we have some awesome stuff coming up next week that we think we will totally make up for that! Including an AWESOME giveaway! So artsy/crafty peeps stay tuned! It's GOOD!! 

Thanks so so much for popping in friends! And thank you SO SO much for the super sweet birthday wishes on FB, Instagram, and emails! 

Love you guys!!
xo Jenny…and Aaron says hi!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday Favorites

My gosh…it's mid October, and it's still t-shirt weather. If Aaron had his way, it would stay this temp forever. I myself enjoy cool crisp Autumn weather. I'm totally not into the cold…but I like the idea of wearing layers in the Fall…good ol fashioned sweater weather. But I'm sure these warm temps are going to disappear overnight, and we'll be on the fast track to winter. Oh well. Right now we're getting caught up with work, and we'll soon begin the Holiday Hustle in earnest. Work-wise, it's the most rewarding time of year. Already we're getting lots of messages and emails asking about our handmade ornaments. It feels so awesome to be part of somebody's holiday wish list!
Some of the following Friday Favorites are part of my holiday wish list for sure. I get so excited to see the seasonal offerings of fellow artists and makers.
 Up above and below you'll se the work of The Frosted Petticoat, whom I discovered through Instagram. Yes, as you can see, The Frosted Petticoat specializes in darling whimsical chocolates. The above 1920's bride and groom made my heart melt! Do they look familiar to you? Go ahead and scroll up, and take a look at the center image of my blog banner! How cool is that?!

Check them out atop this amazing cake!

And I love the verdigris look of this Lincoln pop.

And this cutie made me think of my dear friend Jennifer Hayslip. Not only is it completely her style…it also could totally be the mascot of her Pink Ellie Photography.

And of course The Frosted Petticoat has the most adorable packaging.

This right here is what I was mainly referring to when I said that I'm excited to see the latest offerings from fellow artists. These tiny handmade knives and accessories are the incredible work of Tumbleweeds Handcraft. Aaron really loves the above knife and cutting board charm set, since he's the guy on cutting board duty every single evening. That knife looks exactly like the one Aaron uses! I really can't get over the amazing work that Beca and Doug of Tumbleweeds do. 

We have a friend who is a professional cook and he would absolutely love this one!

Can you even handle the Cleaver?! How can something be so adorable and so tough at the same time? ha! I love their stuff!
What you see here really barely scratches the surface of what Tumbleweeds Handcraft does. To see more, make sure to check out #tinyknife on Instagram. And their shop!

And yeah...these caged crow string lights are way at the top of my wish list. There's a corner of our living room just screaming out for these.

I'm hoping Aaron reads this blog post…cause ya know…my birthday is very very soon…and one of these Party Banner necklaces from would be the perfect gift! ; )

I had seen these a few years ago and loved them, but I couldn't remember where I had found them. Well, once again, big thanks to Instagram…I found them again! And now I can pass on the discovery to you. These Wood Doily Coasters are by uncommon.

And I love this darling larger one. It comes in a handful of pretty colors. They've got something for everyone! I really think I need some of uncommon's work in my life .

I'm swooning for this Heart Candy dress from Mod Cloth. I've got lots of cream & black heart pattern stuff. For me it totally works as a neutral. A classic base for any outfit.

Just this evening I was so excited and happy to re-connect with an old flickr friend! Boopsie Daisy! Missy's work has been a favorite of mine for years! Pure magic! Over the top cute! Electric pastels! Kitschy cute! 
I think Bust Magazine said it best:

"Imagine a 1950s diner on an acid trip & you’ll land at boopsiedaisy, who's prints are like pages torn out of an ongoing creepy-cute fairytale that could easily be turned into a Tim Burton film." - BUST magazine

This one is so incredibly FUN! I can't take it! 

So many amazing prints in the shop that you just have to see for yourself! And check out her dolls!!

Ok, I hope I've made some fab additions to your own Holiday Wish List. I know…we're not even at Halloween yet…but trust me when it comes to art and handmade stuff, you gotta plan your shopping early!
 Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!
xo, Jenny…and Aaron says hi!