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).