02 December 2013

Cyber Monday Sale!!!

Today only: Receive 20% off your order with a purchase of $40 or more in my Etsy shop.  Use code HAPPYJOY13 at check out. :)

25 November 2013

Thanksgiving and the question of dessert

Terrain at Styers, October 2013
With Thanksgiving just a few days away I'm having a bit of a tough time trying to contain my excitement.  For one, Thanksgiving might possibly be my favorite holiday - if not my favorite it's certainly tied with Christmas.  But secondly, it's our first Thanksgiving as newly weds! Hooray!  And I have two days off!  Double Hooray!

This year we are spending Thanksgiving day at my sister-in-laws so that they can christen their new home with a good ol'Thanksgiving feast.  Friday we'll be traveling out to central Pennsylvania to partake in another feast that Saturday.  It's looking to be a promising holiday, for sure.

As usual, I'm bring desserts to both dinners.  No complaints here!  For the past few weeks I've been tossing dessert ideas around in my head and am having, admittedly, an embarrassingly hard time deciding on what to make!  I really just can't make up my mind.  I'm determined to make a cheesecake.  I've never made a cheesecake before- most likely because I never had a proper spring form pan.  Now that I have one in my baking arsenal I think it's time to put it to good use.  Originally I wanted to make  a pumpkin cheesecake.  Then I decided on a pumpkin chai cheesecake or one subtly flavored with cardamom.  But alas, after endless pinning, I just couldn't settle on a recipe.  I continued my search for a pumpkin cheesecake only to abandon the idea because there will probably be 101 other pumpkin treats that day.  Instead, I'll be make this incredibly decadent orange cranberry cheesecake with dark chocolate crust.  Who cares if we are all stuffed and the thought of a slice of cheesecake will send us all over the edge?  A sliver won't hurt anyone and I'm sure it will be even better in the days to follow.  I was asked to bring a second one to my sister-in-laws so in addition to the cheesecake I plan on making this brown butter tart with pears instead of apples and a dash of cardamom for good measure.  I'm drooling on my keyboard as I type this.

My mom requested a pumpkin pie for her dinner so I'll be jumping on the creme brûléed pumpkin pie bandwagon of Thanksgiving 2013 with gusto.  I'll make a simple pie, hopefully with a gingersnap crust, inspired by these delicious little confections.  And with that, I think I'm ready to go!  Now, to get through the next three days of work.

In other news, have any of you watched the movie What Maisie Knew?  I saw it last week and can't stop thinking about it.  I highly recommend it if you find yourself with a good lazy day on the couch kind of day this holiday weekend.  Let me know what you think if you watch it.  Are you cooking or baking this holiday?  If so I'd love to hear what you are making!

09 October 2013

I'm married!

It's been a long time since I've posted on here but for very good reason:  I'm married!  Dan and I tied the knot (literally- we did a hand fasting) this past Saturday, October 5th under a beautiful blue sky and in unseasonably warm weather.  It was perfect.  Below are a few black and white polaroids snapped by our incredible photographers, Tin Sparrow Studio.  Matt and Anna were an absolute joy to work with.  I can't wait to see how they captured our day- which was described by my new sister-in-law as being like "Narnia, but with out the snow!"  I'll take it!

Our wedding was filled with so much DIY that I hope to showcase here in the coming months- hopefully once we have the photos back from our photographers.  A few things that I made were 13 bow ties for the groomsmen, our fathers and the ring bearer in Liberty of London prints.  I thought they'd be the death of me but I pulled through in the end!  The men were also gifted with handmade cufflinks that I made with resin much like the pendants in my shop and boutonnieres made from vintage millinery leaves and dried lavender (I hope to start carrying these in my shop- I LOVED making them!).  Jewelry was made for the bridesmaids and lots and lots of decorations adorned the grounds. 

One of my favorite things that we constructed was a DIY photobooth.  I purchased a Fuji Instax 210 camera and lots and lots of film a few months back.  Dan made a backdrop stand out of PVC pipe (I'll share the tutorial when I post more on this) and I made a fabric backdrop out of ombre dyed burlap streamers.  The props that we used were printed for free from patterns that we found online (I'll also share those).  It worked out so well and everyone seemed to have lots of fun with it.  Now I have a whole stack of photos to put in an album that will surely bring lots of laughs for years to come.

I expect things to return to normal here by the end of the month.  I look forward to creating some new jewelry pieces for the holiday season and reworking my website.  We are in need of change!  In the meantime I have my etsy shop set to vacation mode as we will be on our honeymoon next week.  I can't wait to get away for a decent period of time and just relax.  We've purchased a fancy new camera and I expect it will get lots of use in Mexico! :)  

See you soon!!!!

01 July 2013

Adios, Google Reader!

I suppose with it being the first of July (the first of July! How are we here already?!), and with the first of July being the last day that Google Reader is available, I'm a little late in the game to tell you that you can find me on Blog Lovin' in addition to FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.  Don't forget to find me elsewhere once Google Reader says farewell for good!  If you have a Blog Lovin' account, transferring your blog feed over from Google Reader is a snap if you follow this link.  (Thanks for the tip, Laicie!)  Or, if you prefer, subscribe to me via email (at right).  I've transferred everything over this morning, so my blog reading should resume as scheduled tomorrow.  I hope yours does too!

If the methods listed above aren't your thing, here is a list of additional alternatives to Good Reader.  I'll be looking into them in the near future so maybe I'll see you there, too.

P.S. If you are on Blog Lovin' (or not) and have a blog that I'm not currently following please let me know in the comments below!  I love discovering new blogs. :)

24 June 2013

The weekend we got dolled up for a roaring 20's party!

Well, it's back to the grind after a lovely, lovely weekend.  But before I jump into this week, I wanted to share a few shots from this weekend's activities. Dan and I attended a friend's 30th birthday party that had a Great Gatsby theme.  It was wonderful!  We dressed up in our best 1920's inspired garments and laughed the night away.

It didn't have a sparkly flapper-esque frock to wear for the night and couldn't really find anything on our thrifting excursion last weekend so I opted for an emerald green dress that I re-constructed a few years back out of a full length, long sleeved 1980's dress.

Enroute to the festivities!
I set my hair in pin curls, pinned it up and topped the style off with the perfect bit of sparkle thanks to my Giant Dwarf bobby pin.

LOVE this photo of Dan! BEST.
Dan went as dapper as can be, fashioning his pants into plus fours (or knickers) and pairing them with a vintage wool vest and a handmade bow tie made by me! (More info on that later this week!)

Mood lighting.
Once Sunday rolled around I was pretty much dead to the world as I had one too many glasses of champagne punch.  It was delicious, but sneaky.  I did find the energy to complete a project I've been wanting to tackle for the wedding:

DIY Swizzle Sticks!  Here is a snap shot from yesterday:
I plan on posting a materials list and a link to the tutorial that I followed later on this week as well.  Thanks for reading- I hope your weekend was just as fabulous!

21 June 2013

New (ish) work: Tara Necklace

With the wedding approaching, my jewelry designs have sadly taken a back seat for the mean time.  I haven't all together stopped creating, though!  Over the past few months I've made a few pieces here and there and I'd like to share some of them with you.

This set was created for an old friend of mine- our friendship streches as far back as elementary school.  She was one of the first friends I made when my family moved to out to the sticks in central Pennsylvania when I was in second grade!  Tara had picked up the most beautiful pendants and asked that I create three necklaces with them- one for her and one for each of her sister-in-laws for Christmas.  The finished pieces came about through Tara's beautiful vision and I was so happy to construct them for her.  

If any are made in the future and they find their way to the shop, they'll be known as the Tara Necklace. :)

Each multi-strand necklace features a pair of amethyst and chalcedony gemstones set within gold vermeil bezels.  The pendants are suspended from a double 14k gold vermeil chain.  The tiniest faceted pink amethyst and aquamarine faceted gems have been hand-wrapped in gold filled wire to the chains.

City Hall

City Hall, Philadelphia

Happy Friday and the first day of summer, my friends!  I snapped the above photo last Friday, when I was on my way to meet up with Dan and a friend of ours.  There was just something about the sky juxtaposed against City Hall that made me stop in my rush and snap this photo.  I wasn't the only one to have been taken by the scene, either.  Later on, as we were all talking we realized that each one of us had taken nearly exactly the same photo all within a few hours of one another.  That put a smile on my face.

I hope you all have a wonderful day!