Monday, May 30, 2011

4 Great Tools for Etsy Sellers

4 great tools for Etsy sellers:

1) Wise Stamp email signature.  Drive buyers to your shop just by your email signature. Make sure you are using Gmail, Yahoo mail, Aol or Hotmail for your email. I have another email so I  can't use this one but it looks nice, clean and professional.


2) Flyers. Make some quick flyers; type in your shop name here then go to helpers , pick single product or multi-product flyer, pick your item(s) and click; you now have a cool flyer!

3) For Bloggers, use this simple HTML code generator to easily add Treasuries to your blog.  I use the "tiny" size to fit inside my Blogger blog.
4) If you like to use a white background for your photos FotoFuze will give you a true white background and really make your product pop!

I am always looking for cool tools; if you know of any others please share them here!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

DIY Long "Patchwork" Chain Necklace Tutorial for Beginners

Here is a simple necklace even a beginner can make using bits of old chain and beads. These look great alone or layered with your favorite necklaces. The idea here is to keep it simple so it has a random whimsical feel. You can add fancy twisted jump rings or hammered loops, charms or whatever you have on hand; I like the look of using bigger jump rings for a more modern,  fun  look.

Tools needed: round nose pliers, wire cutters; You can get both for about $10 at Fire Mountain Gems.

Materials: bits of old chain, assorted beads, 4mm 20 gauge and 8mm 18 gauge jump rings (I used about 8 each per necklace), eye pins, optional clasp. If you already have tools and just need a few jump rings I recommend   Fusion Beads (free shipping!)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Recipe: Easy Quick Fix Ricotta Cake

Recipe: Easy Quick Fix Ricotta Cake

Everyone thinks I am weird for making my own birthday cakes but I like GOOD cakes; store bought cakes are just okay and I would never want my husband to bake one!  My favorite cakes are hazelnut torte, (not really a cake) which is a big project and this easy Italian inspired chocolate cake,  made from a mix with a yummy not-too-sweet satisfying ricotta filling.

First, bake your favorite mix according to the directions in 9" rounds; I add the zest form one orange and 1/2 tsp almond extract to the mix for more flavor.  I cool and freeze cake until needed.

For the filling,  I chop 1/2c each toasted almonds,  semi-sweet chocolate, dried cherries, candied ginger, zest from one orange and add to 15 oz ricotta cheese, along with  1 T Grand Marnier or Brandy, 1 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract

Whip up 1/2 c heavy cream with 3 T sugar and gently fold into mixture. Filling should be slightly sweet; may need to add 1T more sugar but you don't want it too sweet because the cake is super sweet!

Slice cake rounds in half and add 1/3 of the filling to 1st layer, then repeat with next layers, then I smush it together making sure everything is even and not leaning.

I frost with gobs of my favorite chocolate buttercream frosting. Tastes best if left overnight for the flavors to marry.