Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Are You a Procrastinator?

I am extremely fortunate to have great friends. One in particular is Amy Storer-Scalia. She's smart, driven and beautiful plus she's the editor of Cincy Chic. Just this morning, she posted an article about my business and my custom card offering! Check it out...

Oh and check out my Etsy shop at Pink Purse Creative on Etsy.

Have a wonderful day!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's Been Awhile

Pink Purse Creative took a bit of a hiatus. I had the opportunity to work as an Account Director for a local design agency for the past six months. It was a fabulous gig and I learned a ton! But now it's back to living my dream and driving forward with my passion.

You'll be hearing from me more often and seeing new designs posted in my Etsy shop soon. Right now I'm busy, busy, busy getting ready for two holiday shows. The first one is a private party this weekend where I'll be showcasing holiday gift tags, cards and the cutest new cozy pattern. The second is the following weekend and it is the Second Annual Legendary Run Arts and Crafts Show. If you're in the Cincinnati area, stop by! There will be ceramics, ornaments, jewelry, photography, silk floral arrangements, oil painting, pastel drawings plus my handmade cards and gifts.

Hope to see some of you there. Let me know you read my blog and receive 10% OFF your purchase.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Grand Rapids: Great Town, Awesome Art

I'm spending some time in Grand Rapids, Michigan to help out my brother and sister-in-law over Spring Break. One of the best things about this town is how well they support the arts. A number of large companies call Grand Rapids home including Meijers, Steelcase, Hermann Miller and Amway. They all do a fantastic job within the community to make it a better place to live.

I took Carson, my 6 month old nephew, to the Frederik Meijer Sculpture Gardens this morning and shot some great photos of the art. I'm a huge fan of sculpture and dream of one day having my own little sculpture garden...a girl can dream. I'll be posting some of my favorites and I'm thinking of running a contest to see which of my readers was paying attention in Art History.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Saveur: Savor a World of Authentic Cuisine

Among the things I enjoy the most in life is cooking and eating...who doesn't - they are not my friend. We all know that the kitchen is the heart of any home; where family and friends gather to talk and bond. Even at a party, most of the crowd is in the kitchen. It's a room that conveys warmth and nurturing especially when filled with the delicious scents of a home-cooked meal.

There are many magazines published for the food industry and I've purchased many subscriptions over the years but my absolute favorite is Saveur. Actually, I own every single copy EXCEPT for Issue 1. I will get it at some point, of that I am sure. When the newest issue arrives at the house, I can't wait to devour it cover to cover. And, trust me, not a single page is skipped not even the advertising. I love everything about this magazine!

Skillful imagery is key in a food publication and Saveur doesn't disappoint. The viewer should be able to see the quality of the food, understand the preparation and almost taste the completed dish or produce. The first thing I do when it arrives is peel off the mailing label so I can appreciate the entire cover just how the designer wants me to see it. Each and every image shows the thought process behind the concept especially the ones showing a gathering of people. It's the travel element that attracts me to the destination articles.

Short Articles
These tidbits of information are extremely well written and always interesting. They are not always about food but can cover a multitude of topics. Two of my favorites from the recent issue discuss Tupperware and smuggling.

Long Articles
Each and every article transports the reader to another place, whether it's Taipai or a ranch in Texas. You understand who the people are, the history of the foods they eat and how it strengthens family ties. Recipes are included as well as Where to Stay, Where to Eat and What to Do.

On the last page of every issue is this fascinating snapshot; some beautiful, some weird, some kind of gross. It is just that though, a snapshot into the lives of people and their food. Photograph by Martin Parr/Magnum Photos

I've made a number of the recipes over the years and refer to back issues often especially for holidays and parties. They are easy to read and follow, include helpful hints (like where to buy certain ingredients, how to accomplish intricate details, etc.), have images so you can see how it's suppose to turn out, and teach some basics as well as interesting pairings.

I've included the link to the website which just launch about a year ago. It is a great companion to the printed magazine and a wonderful source for quickly finding recipes.

And, of course, I follow them on Twitter (@SAVEURMAG)! The tweets usually correspond to the current issue with personal banter too. They have over 16,000 followers compared to my measly 183; but then again I've been on Twitter (cailin3) less than a year and don't publish my own magazine...yet.

Just so you know, I have not been asked to rave about Saveur...just a fan. No compensation in any form has been transferred between the two parties. I just hope you check it out and enjoy the magazine as much as I do. And maybe, just maybe, they'll send me that elusive first issue...a girl can always dream.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kit Kats from Japan

I received the best gift last Saturday!

I was trolling the internet a few weeks ago and came across an article about Nestle marketing a line of Kit Kats only in Japan. The reason it is such an interesting story is that they incorporate regional flavors into the candy. Here's the link to the original article from Advertising Age; which happens to be one of my top reads! Make sure to check out how they branded a post office for the "Kit Kat Mail" campaign. As seen in my previous blog post, I've got a thing for Asia being that I'm half Korean. Turns out, my sister was traveling to Tokyo for business and I asked her to pick up some of these Kit Kats. So I got a box of wasabi Kit Kats and a box of soy sauce Kit Kats. Strange. Weird. Yucky. Gross. Delicious. Unique. What do you think? Which one would you want to try? Which one do you think would be better?

You should check out the link above highlighted by the word Kit Kat (or here again). This brings you directly to the Nestle Japan website which is cool in and of itself. I'm talking FUN! I'm also a huge fan of Japanese design whether its packaging, graphics, fabric patterns, flower arranging, rock gardens, etc.

So this is the general consensus from some of my family members: They are both surprisingly good but the majority felt the soy sauce melded better with the flavors of white chocolate. The wasabi was a bit overpowering to the sweet and there was no heat to it, only the flavor of wasabi. Uncle Jim was the only person who disagreed and preferred the wasabi over the soy sauce. I just wish we could get more but they are only sold in Japan. Lucky Asians! BTW, I love this fact from the Adage article:

Nestle was struck by the discovery that the Japanese translation of Kit Kat -- Kitto Katsu means "surely win" -- and realized it could be paired with the tradition of sending students good luck wishes before they take tough higher-education entrance exams.

Enjoy! Tell me about some interesting foods you've tried especially the ones that turned out to be better than expected.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Asian Influences

Lately I've really been on an Asian-kick. Perhaps it's because of the Olympics. Perhaps spring makes me think of the exquisite cherry blossoms that are so prevalent in Korea and Japan. Perhaps it's because my sister just went on a business trip to Tokyo. I think all of these are responsible and I'm not complaining!

One of my favorite sites for scrapbooking supplies is Two Peas in a Bucket and they started sending these daily specials that I can't I click. I usually end up somewhere else on the site (good job, your marketing plan is working!) and I found the most delicious paper collection. Of course it's from BasicGrey and incorporates the loveliest color palette, floral patterns and graphic patterns paired with some great embellishments. Typically I don't buy entire lines of a new collection but this one is extremely tempting and  I just received Archivers 30% off coupon.

See ya, gotta run to the store! Do you love this collection as much as I do? Let me know which new product line makes you all giddy and ready to get creative!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not a Basketball Fan

Probably because I don't really understand the game and I think the salaries the NBA players make is obscene. Top it all off with the "stars" thinking they are above everyone else and turn it into a bad attitude. No one likes a troublemaker.

But this post isn't about my ranting and's about our own children and supporting them as they grow and develop. My oldest son - he's 11 - loves sports. Actually, all my boys love sports! This was Luke's first year playing basketball and even though I wasn't very excited about the prospect, we signed him up.

Organized sports are a wonderful way to teach teamwork, hand-eye coordination and good sportsmanship. All of these can be brought along on their life journey (back to the statement that no one likes a troublemaker). He has developed even stronger friendships and it boosts his confidence. He also has a great coach, Andy, who pushes the boys to reach & exceed their potential, encourages them when they are losing and congratulates them whole-heartedly when they win. Did I say, he's a great coach. Thanks Andy!

This season, the team didn't do so well. Ok, they really stunk, winning only two games and those...barely. Now we are in tournament and it appears they have found their mojo! The first game was a win of 46 - 18 and Luke made 8 points with multiple assists. The second game was more of a nail biter but they pulled out a win of 30 - 20. They play again this Saturday at Indian Hill Middle School. We will all be there to cheer them on. You have to be their life coach, cheerleader and shoulder to cry on.

That's what family does.


Friday, February 26, 2010

Little Birdie Secrets: place mat purse tutorial - three projects in one

Little Birdie Secrets: place mat purse tutorial - three projects in one

DIY Placemat Purse : Little Birdie Secrets

I came across this incredible DIY project at One Pretty Thing and am totally going to make this placemat purse! The post was originally created by Little Birdie Secrets and has great step-by-step instructions. What a super gift for all the girls in your life and I think it would appeal to all age groups.

One of the issues that kept popping up in the comments was where to find cute placemats so I did a little hunting and found these. What tends to happen to me is that I see a project and want exactly what is pictured; you get an idea stuck in your head and it's hard to think outside the box sometimes. I hope this brings you some inspiration. Besides the ones below, don't forget to check out your local TJ Maxx and Tuesday Morning. I love both of these stores for their prices and the excitement of the hunt!

This one was actually found at the sister site, CB2.

Horchow : absolutely stunning products with prices that match. Well worth the price though! : on the other end of the spectrum but grab them while you can.

For Little Girls

I hope this inspires you and remember, if you are having trouble envisioning what it will look like as a purse, fold the placemat in half. With some of the larger graphic patterns, you'll be amazed how they take on a different look when folded and turned on it's side.

Thanks Little Birdie Secrets for posting such cute and easy projects! Leave a comment here and share your pics of your own placemat purse.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Here's to the Olympics! Go South Korea!

Who doesn't love the Olympic games? Not me and I know I am not alone with viewership surpassing some of the highest rated tv shows! The winter olympics are even more interesting because there are fewer countries participating in fewer events compared to the summer games. This gives some of the smaller countries a big advantage against heavy hitters like the USA, Germany and Russia. One country in particular has been doing very well...South Korea.

Those of you that know me, know that I am half Korean. My father was born and raised in South Korea, graduating from Seoul National University, before moving to the United States to do his residency in Anesthesiology. He married my mom, an American, and had four children. Even though we were raised as American, there has always been a special place in my heart for Korea and the culture.

I want to highlight some of the amazing talent from Etsy that call South Korea home.

In many ways, Korea has become very "westernized" over the past few decades but they still retain a unique quality and respect for the earth. Nacreat's pieces remind me most of Korea and my parents have furniture in the mother of pearl inlaid style...absolutely beautiful workmanship! The delicate flowers on Woomi's embroidered ring pillow are reminiscent of the oriental threadwork on Korean kimonos especially the traditional wedding gowns. Akinamina's story reminds me so much of myself and her design's evoke a whimsical sensibility while highlighting fantastic color palettes! These are just a few examples of the incredible artistry and humor interjected into the art of Korea so take a minute and explore what they have to offer, learn a bit about the people, and savor the mental trip to another culture.

(from top left and over)

Enjoy and see you at the Games!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

MOD Notecards :: Free Download

Here's my first free download! I designed these very mod, very hip cards that you can print, trim and score to use for all sorts of great things; thank you, birthday, miss you, just because, etc., etc. You can download it here I recommend printing them on a heavier weight paper and make sure you score the fold edge before trimming them out.

Have fun and leave a comment :: I love feedback!

Please remember that these are for personal use only. You can use this freebie for any private project for free without restrictions. The design may not be resold, sub-licensed, rented, transferred or otherwise made available for use. Please link to this article if you would like to share this freebie.

Monday, February 15, 2010

I {heart} Doris Day : Get a Grip

I've always been a huge fan of Doris Day and love to spend a lazy afternoon watching some of her movies. Not only is she beautiful, she was a working woman too! Did you also know she was born in Cincinnati, Ohio?

The epitome of the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" mentality and "Que Sera Sera" mantra, Doris Day has weathered the numerous storms of both career and personal life, using these carefree and easygoing sentiments as a testament to the endearing endurance and eternal optimism that defines her infectiously positive outlook on life.

One thing I find most fascinating is all of her fabulous outfits; even working as an interior decorator, she wore a different coat in each scene - the next more exquisite than the last. Pillow Talk is at the top of my movie faves with all of its 1950s sexual humor. What attracts me the most to this movie genre is the overt differences in how men and women of the time handled situations. The best scene is when Doris had just found out Rock was beastly. She's sitting in a diner with Tony Randall crying her eyes out, he just reaches over, slaps her across the face and tells her to get a grip. Wow, what an outrage if that scene were in a movie today! What does Doris do? Stops crying and gets a grip! No wonder it garnered five Oscar nominations. Pillow Talk Intro
All images belong to their respective owners.

Valentine's Day Carrot Cake Recipe

Shane's favorite dessert is carrot cake and I have an incredible recipe...cream cheese frosting and all! If you think baking is difficult and making a cake from scratch is even more impossible, you need to try this one. It always comes out moist. I can't remember where I found the original recipe but I've been sharing it with friends and family for years.

Cake Ingredients
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Pinch of salt

1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs
3 cups finely grated carrots
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup drained crushed pineapple (optional)

Note: use whole nutmeg with a micro-plain, you'll get better nutmeg flavor. Also, I highly recommend pure vanilla extract. Lower grade vanilla has a high alcohol content and therefore delivers inferior quality and flavor. It's worth the additional cost so check the label!

Here's what the batter will look like when everything has been combined. I shred the carrots with my Cuisinart and blend everything with my Kitchen-Aid stand mixer. I've had both since we were married in 1996 and they really take a beating (no pun intended).

I always smack the pans on the counter to remove air bubbles. You can see the difference in these two pans (the one on the left has the bubbles removed). I think it makes for a denser cake and encourages more even cooking.

When the cakes are done cooking, remove them from the pans and place on a wire rack to cool. Do not frost any cake while it is still hot or even warm, your frosting will melt, making it difficult to frost and not look so nice either.

Icing Ingredients
8 oz cream cheese (softened)
1/2 cup butter (softened)
1 lb icing sugar (powdered sugar)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp orange juice
2 cups finely chopped pecans (optional)

Blend cream cheese and butter. Slowly add sugar, vanilla and juice. Ice after cake completely cools. Decorate with chopped pecans (if desired).

We celebrated Isa's 5th birthday. Lucky girl was born on Valentine's Day! I hope you make this recipe and enjoy it as much as my family.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

My Studio is Being Featured on Another Blog!

I'm thrilled! I'm flattered! I'm excited! I'm honored!

Thanks Ann Gorman! She's a fellow Etsian and happens to live in my husband's home country, Ireland. The internet is an amazing place that creates and connects people from so many places and walks of life. Please remember that when you are "surfing" it is important to be real and human. Go ahead and visit her blog and leave a comment!

Where People Create Blog

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

PDF Portfolio: LauraLee Kavanagh

Last week I applied for a Senior Designer position with a local design firm. Part of the process was submitting a PDF portfolio. Not to give away my age - it's how young you feel, right - but I didn't have one. So I spent an entire day going through DVDs and pulling a "short list" of work I had done and showed some of my talent as a graphic designer.

I want to post it here on my blog but I'm not sure how to upload a multi-page PDF. Here are the jpegs. I'd love to get your comments and feedback. The firm specializes in environmental graphics and does work for cities and universities mainly. Thanks all!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Another Snowy Day in Cincinnati

The kids are off school and the husband is home as well. This actually gives me some time to work as they are all out frolicking in the snow. Shane's been taking some pictures so I'll have to post them later.

I've been bouncing around a few ideas for blog topics so keep watching as I'm hoping to get a few down on"paper" today. Some news first:

  • My fans are now over 100! Thanks for being a fan and, if you aren't, go do it now. Become a Fan of Handmade Cards by LLK.
  • The Go Red for Women! event held at the offices of Dr. Lisa Larkin was on Friday evening. We had a so-so turnout because of impending bad weather but it was a success none the less! I met some wonderful women, ate some delicious food and sold over $200 worth of cards and cozies. If you live in Cincinnati, make sure you attend next year!
  • I've had a few promising interviews lately so keep your fingers crossed and say a prayer that something breaks soon.
  • Vienna is still on The Bachelor.
  • My new studio isn't neat and clean anymore.
  • I still have a few Valentine's cards left so check out my shop, send me an email or give me a call.
  • I was mentioned in a blog recently.
  • I'm one of four creative women that started a support group that encourages and shares our knowledge to help creative women start, build and be successful with their own businesses. The name of the group is W2Wcincinnati. No website or blog yet but we meet every Saturday morning at 9:00 AM at the Caribou Coffee in Anderson. Please join us if you are interested or let me know if you would like to speak at an upcoming meeting.
  • I added a new widget to my site so you can purchase my Etsy listings even easier! Look to the left of the postings.
Catch you later!

Monday, February 1, 2010

This Week's Special: Welcome to February!

This is the first of many specials I will be running from my blog!

If you ever go to your local coffee shop and grab a cup 'o joe, tea, hot chocolate or even the fancier temptations (my fave is a mocha), then you will LOVE my coffee cup cozies! They are each handmade by me from double-lined fleece and fit all standard drink cups. The best part about them is that they help keep our earth green. No more using and throwing away those cardboard sleeves. They are also...wait for it...wait for it...machine washable and dryable AND don't need to be ironed. Just take it out of the dryer, throw it in your purse and slip it on to your cup. They work really well for cold drinks too.

So here's the deal...for every cozy you purchase get a FREE handmade greeting card of your choice! After you make your selection here, just put in code Feb2010Special in the notes to seller. Also include the type of greeting card you want. This set would make a great teacher gift for Valentine's Day! Or give it as a gift to your mom, sister, BFF, mailman, husband, that lady down the street that thinks your weird, just about anyone would appreciate it! In fact, you may want to buy a few cozies. There is no limit but the offer expires on Valentine's Day (February 14).