11 October 2010

Green Needle

My wonderful friend Melanie is the talent behind Green Needle. She is a committed stay-at-home mom who uses her free time to create almost anything using fabric and her sewing machine. She is always thinking of new ways of re-creating things in her home too. I designed a business card for her this summer. It is one of my favorite things I've made so far.
If your curious where you can purchase Green Needle items, she displays purses, headbands, phone cases, scarves and many other fashionable accessories in the Paper Dolls consignment shop in town. You can also find other adorable items, such as, onesies and burp clothes in her Etsy shop.


I asked Mel to fill out a short survey. To find out what she has in store for her business and some of the items she's currently working on.

1. What is your favorite thing about fall?
My favorite thing about fall is the smell! from the smell of the crisp air in the morning to the cinnamon apple candles burning in the living room, and lets not forget the sweet smell of pumpkin cookies baking in my kitchen.
2. How many hours a week do you spend at your sewing machine?
Depending on my families schedule, I spend anywhere from 5 to 10 hours a week on the sewing machine.
3. Are there new things your going to create this fall/winter?
In honor of my family finding out that we are having our first little boy in Feb. some new stuff that I will be working on this fall/winter are some Jon Jon's and cloth diapers. Some other projects are clutch purses, owl back packs, ornaments, and dog toys.
4. What are your favorite things to create when sewing?
My favorite things to create when sewing are appliqu├ęs, I love taking different fabrics and sewing them together to make little designs on onsies, purses, wallets, and clothes.
5. Where do you get your inspiration from?
I get my inspiration from friends, family, sites like etsy and different peoples blogs. the best is when you know the person really well and know exactly what to create them just by knowing them and what they are into.
6. Is there an important goal you have for Green Needle before the new year begins?
Before the new year begins I really want to have everything ready for my little man when he comes. when my girls were born I didn't know how to sew yet so this is the first one of my own I can make crib bedding and all that fun stuff for, I am really excited. I also would like to make a bunch of stuff to have lots of inventory ready for different fairs and concessions.

25 September 2010

Appeal Magazine

Back in the middle of August, I got asked by a fellow local blogger if I'd be interested in illustrating for her column in our local magazine Appeal. I was unsure at first because I had not seen the magazine and I am not too keen on the local magazines I see around town. So I picked up a copy and was pleasantly surprised by the printed quality and the quality of the content. Yes, it's still a Texarkana local magazine, but it is by far the most well executed one in town. You can read it online here.

06 September 2010

Robot Dance Party

My friend Sarah contacted me in July asking me to design a birthday party invitation for her son who was turning three. At that point I was pretty excited because my favorite kind of invitations to design are for birthday parties. But then she proceeded to tell me that she wants to throw him a robot dance party and wanted to have "emo-bots" drawn on the invitation. Haha! This was one of the coolest birthday party ideas, I'd ever heard. And I was loving the idea of giving robots some emo flare. I wanted to pull from some of the design elements of classic vintage robots from the 1950's and 60's. So below is how the invitation turned out, along with some pictures she took from the party. I was blown away to find out she had the cake designed from the invitation with the little emo-bot sporting the mustache. She did a great job making the party come to live.



31 August 2010

Home Improvements

So, Kelly has become obsessive about re-lining (re as in we have done this before) the kitchen drawers and shelves. He went and bought scrapbook paper from Michael's. He measured, cut and taped the paper in our drawers and spent a little too much money in the process. But it is actually a really good idea since it is nearly impossible to find contact paper with a good design on it. Here's an example of one drawer he completed. The other's are in progress.














After a 10 days, my Kombucha is carbonated and ready to drink. The picture below is what my bottles look like after the second fermentation that lasted 3 days. I added chopped cherries in two bottles, fresh crushed blueberries in another and lime juice and ginger to my fourth bottle. But you don't have to add any fruit at all and it is just as good. It's amazing how this started off as sugar, black and green tea and now it is a fully carbonated healthy drink.

17 August 2010

vegan, vegetarian, and cruelty free adventures.

As of recent my husband feels very passionately about only eating meat and dairy from local farmers or from farms with a cruelty free environment. I support his convictions and have semi-vowed to go along on this adventure with him. We both understand where we live it is going to be extremely hard to live by these standards, so we are going to do the best we can. The key to success so far has been the planning and thinking ahead. The biggest challenge so far is to resist cheese, butter and eggs! Luckily we've been able to purchase farm fresh eggs and raw milk cheese from vendors at the farmer's market in Little Rock. But that supply will only last for so long. I personally don't have as strong a conviction about eating dairy. And the vegetarian recipes are way more tastier than the vegan recipes I've tried. Ali told me about Sunshine for Dinner a local farmer who delivers batches of her harvest at a low cost. This might be our way of attaining eggs along with some veggies and herbs.

I'm also going to start making Kombucha Tea. I've been hearing about it from a couple of my friends. It is a fermented tea that brings many health benefits: increased energy, improved immune system, and better digestion. I won't go into the details of making the tea or how it works because it doesn't sounds very appetizing at all! But if you want to read into it go here.
School starts this week! It hasn't hit me yet, but I'm sure it will when my alarm is going off 5:30 and my head hitting the pillow 14 hours later. My feet will be sore from standing and I probably will have a cracked voice from not using my teacher volume in 2 months. Pray for me!

03 August 2010

august update!

I can't believe it's been a month since my last post. I guess July was more jam packed that I thought it was. July was filled with celebrating Kelly's 28th birthday, and our 3rd wedding anniversary. I also taught private art lessons in my home for two weeks, as well as, getting an early start back to school with some inservice and classroom preparation.

For the next three months I won't be taking any mint&honey custom orders. I want to focus on helping my husband finish our updates on our house so we can get everything in place and actually relax and have normal evening at home. So I will be welcoming orders again starting in November, just in time for those custom designed christmas cards.

Here's a recent prayer card I created for a lady that's going to be spending the next year in the Congo teaching. It has a watercolor background with hand drawn designs.



05 July 2010

Grocery List & Recipe Cards

In case you didn't know I'm a little obsessed with maps. I decorate with them and like using them whenever I can with my art. I've used a vintage map of the Swiss Alps in the design of this grocery list. It's 4.25"x5.5" 50 sheet pad.


These double sided recipe cards have a hand painted damask design. They are 4"x6" cards, sold in sets of 12 for $10.

These all would make great gifts!

01 July 2010

Recipe: Strawberry Basil Lemonade

I just came across the most wonderful summer drink on Tastespotting. You have to make this instantly! I knew without a doubt that this drink would be delicious because of the strawberry mozzarella salad I make regularly. It would be perfect at any party, shower or for lounging by the pool.
Strawberry Basil Lemonade from What's Gaby Cooking

Ingredients:
10 Lemons juiced
3/4 cup of sugar
4 cups of water
8-10 strawberries, hulled
1/3 cup of fresh basil

Directions:
Juice the lemons and transfer the juice to a large pitcher. Add the sugar and the water, stir to combine. Add the strawberries and the fresh basil. Using an immersion blender, blend the mixture for about 20 seconds until everything becomes pink and the basil is finely chopped. Serve with lots of crushed ice and enjoy!

*If you do not have an immersion blender, add all the ingredients to a regular blender and it turns out just fine.

29 June 2010

papernstitch

Mint&honey has been accepted to be apart of Papernstitch's newest exhibition that will run until July 25th. The items available on papernstitch will link buyers directly back to my Etsy shop where they can purchase my paper goods or services. This will hopefully bring more traffic to my Etsy shop and bring more awareness to mint&honey. I'm really excited about it! I will be adding more items to the shop throughout the exhibition. I will also be offering free shipping with any order if you mention papernstitch!


25 June 2010

Recipe: The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

It has been important to me since I got married to make as many things from scratch that was possible or that time would allow. We grew up having desserts that were make from mixes: cake mixes, cookie mixes, Jello, or pudding mix. I'm not complaining that they weren't good, but as a child I assumed there was just no other way. My grandmother used to read Panda Cake to me all the time when I was little. It's about a mother panda who sends her two panda sons out to gather all the ingredients for a panda cake and how the boys obtain all the ingredients for this very special cake. I daydreamed about many homemade desserts because of this book.

I know I came across this recipe on tastespotting, but I don't remember the blog. I had tried about 20 different chocolate chip cookies recipes before I stumbled across this one. I was very determined to find the perfect recipe for me. The reason I love these cookies so much is because they are crunchy and gooey at the same time. So to me they are the perfect chocolate chip cookies. Another great thing about the recipe is that you can make as few cookies as you'd like at a time and stick the dough back in the fridge and it will keep a day or two.

1 cup of all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
1 stick of unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/3 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 egg
1 cup of dark chocolate chips

1. Whisk flour, salt and baking soda together. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, beat the butter for about a minute. Then add the sugars and beat for another two minutes until well-blended and creamy. Beat in the vanilla.
3. Add in the egg.
4. At the mixer's lowest setting, add flour mixture a little at a time until all incorporated.
5. Stir in the chocolate chips. Reserve a handful for later. Refrigerate dough for about 30 minutes.
6. On a lined baking sheet with parchment paper, spoon rounded tablespoons of cookie dough on sheet.
7. Bake them in preheated oven 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes.
8. Turn half way and let cool.

24 June 2010

Merci, Grazie and Thank You

I'm finally taking advantage of my summer and getting some more items in my Etsy shop. These thank you cards were all illustrated by myself. Each design says thank you in either english, french or italian. All three cards are sold together in a set of 6 and come with a pastel gray A2 envelope.

I've also added some recipe cards that have a painted design on them and I will be adding a grocery list notepad very soon!

22 June 2010

My Kitchen Revealed

Yay! I feel like my kitchen is the first completed room in our house. Kelly installed some track lighting from Ikea this past weekend and it totally changes the vibe. This just confirms how important lighting is to a room. My kitchen is completely inspired from a kitchen I saw in a 2008 issue of Blueprint magazine. In fact, most of my house is inspired from just that one issue. The colors I used were spring mint, antiguan sky, and hazy blue from Benjamin Moore.





16 June 2010

Light Fixtures Out of Reach

My mind is wandering to the idea of electrical work. Most older homes do not have light fixtures in necessary places. For example in our living room and den there is not a light from the ceiling. I know that light can transform the way a room looks and feels, so I'm beginning to give this more thought so when the time comes for lighting on our list of things to do for the house, it won't take a me months to decide on something. Here are a few that I'm in love with at the moment.

09 June 2010

Trying my hand at Watercolors....

This was my first attempt at joining mint&honey with watercolors. I can say I'm definitely liking where this is going. I haven't played around with watercolors since college and have forgotten how much I love them.
My friend Jill, who is having a girl and due in 3 weeks, is doing an owl theme in her nursery. This is no surprise to me because this girl has loved owls since I don't know when. My friend Mel is making her bedding from this super cute Alexander Henry fabric, long with an owl mobile inspired from the owls on the fabric! I can't wait to see the finished product.

Since summer has begun I've been having somewhat of an artist block. So once this cloud that is killing my creativity lifts I will begin on my 2010 calendar.

03 June 2010

Summer Has Began

Unfortunately I will not be spending my summer days relaxing on a beach enjoying the books on my summer reading list. I will be getting hardcore about finishing the projects on my house. I spent yesterday prepping the den and today I will priming and hopefully painting the trim. I'm thinking I will be finished with this project on Monday ::finger crossed:: Along with the den there is our poor little bathroom that needs paint, wallpaper and a new floor.

Because school was insaneville from the last of April until the end, there was not a lot of mint&honey action going on. Just a couple of mother's day gifts and baby shower invitations. But I'm in hopes of finishing my 2011 calendar this summer along with some other items I can load in my etsy shop.

I hope everyone is enjoying their summers and wearing plenty of sunscreen for all occasions.

20 April 2010

First Hand Painted Invitation

I've always admired Anna Bond and Katie Lombardo and their hand painted invitations and papergoods. Maybe that's why I was inspired to get my paints out while creating this invitations for a baby shower. I'm definitely going to be experimenting more with my watercolors and acrylic paint the next time I do invitations. I love how this turned out and I was just playing around with it and didn't expect for it to be my final copy. I'm working on painting some stationary and mother's day cards (for me to give, not to sell.)



31 March 2010

25 March 2010

Extreme Home Makeover: Bathroom Wallpaper

Ok... so I guess I'm going to start calling all the work we're doing on our house "Extreme Home Makeover" because to us, it's pretty extreme. We are crossing the line of people who didn't know anything about construction, carpentry, and basic knowledge on how to care for a home to people who widening their knowledge base by diving in head first tackling home projects we probably have no business doing without professional supervision.
I've been doing a terrible job documenting the process, because at times I don't want to be reminded of the huge mess we're making. But I definitely need to start! I'm currently spending my Spring Break painting my bedroom. I thought this was going to be a simple and fast project. But of course there are obstacles. I will mention them later when I show you before and after photos.
I'm also thinking ahead to my next project. The bathroom. Our bathroom needs a lot of work. Or maybe I should say, we want to do a lot of work to it. It's functioning, thank goodness, but it is ugly. We will retile it, because apparently the floor is rotting underneath. And instead of painting it, I would like to put up some wallpaper. I was apprehensive about doing this at first because I thought with all the humidity from the shower it would peel right off. But the gentlemen who put up my wallpaper in the dining room, told me if it was done right, it would stay forever. So I've been looking for wallpaper for the last 5 months, trying to find the right one. I've come across some beautiful wallpaper on the web. But not until last week did I find what I was looking for at a reasonable price. I wanted to find something I liked in yellow that was a modern yet fresh with a vintage feel. Below are some wallpaper that I think are beautiful and great, but didn't quite fit the criteria of what I was looking for.
































































This picture with the yellow wallpaper is from Miss Print and is called Saplings Wallpaper Sunflower Yellow with White. This is what I ended up falling in love with. I'm going to tile up four feet and paper the rest of the walls. So excited for this project to begin. Estimated time to begin is in two weeks!

All wallpaper images are from: http://www.5qm.de/







06 March 2010

Tea Party, Don't Be Late

So when my friend Mel asked me to make invitations to her daughters nineth birthday, I happily agreed. Then she proceeded to tell me it would be a tea party. I got pretty pumped. I immediately wanted to make it inspired by Alice in Wonderland. Even though I knew this would be typical considering the movie was coming out and all. I knew it would still be fun for her daughter and definitely fun for me to illustrate.
At the beginning of Lewis Carroll's book, Alice is doing her studies and it quite bored because there are no pictures to admire. That's why I decided to have an invitation like a book with something interesting look at. My vision was to illustrate the forest joining in on the tea party, along with the March Hare who in the book joins the Mad Hatter and the dormouse for tea. This invitation turned out exactly how I wanted it to; I am so happy with it!

mint&honey papergoods custom design/illustration for birthday invitations: $40

17 February 2010

M&H Business Cards

In case you weren't aware, mint&honey does offer custom design for business collateral. Here are some examples of business cards I have designed recently. I'm working on two more, one for my mother and one for my mother-in-law. The charge for custom design on a business card is the same for all other non-wedding related services, just $40. The cost of printing is separate.





12 February 2010

Valentine Cookie Boxes

Saturday was spent in the kitchen ALL day making cookies for my family for Valentine's day. Of course it was so much fun, and I love baking and being creative on holidays. I started out my day with Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Coconut Cookies. Kelly can't stand when I add things to chocolate chip cookies. So I never get to make anything like this for myself. I was banking that were would be a couple that wouldn't fit into the boxes so I could keep them for myself. The only thing I changed from the recipe was that I used dark chocolate chips. So yummy, I'm actually eating one right now :)

I had actually prepared the shortbread dough the night before so all I had to do was get my heart-shaped cookie cutter out and get to work. I used the recipe for Heart-Shaped Shortbread Cookies with Pink Sprinkles from the bread & honey food blog. The recipe was sooo good. This was my second time making shortbread and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite cookies; the pink sprinkles made it even better! So buttery and crisp!

Sulu is always hanging around whenever I'm baking or cooking, hoping he'll get a little sample. Sorry, but not this time. I didn't think my already hyper dog needed sugar in his diet.
While the cookies were cooling I started decorating these thin cardboard boxes I picked up from Michael's for .89 a piece. I decorated them from cut out hearts, doilies, and maps and created a label for the inside lid of the box. I had most the ingredients for the cookies already on hand, so I didn't spend a lot out of pocket for this project.

Here is the recipe for the only cookie I didn't document the baking of, my photographs didn't turn out that great. Flourless Double Chocolate Cookies. These cookies are the best right out of them oven; after a day they get pretty hard and crunchy and not as enjoyable. So eat them fast if you decide to make them!