13 December 2011

Glass + Resin Pendant Giveaway

I am excited to announce that I am participating in the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day! What is Giveaway Day, you might ask? Well, first off- it's awesome. Second- it's a chance for you to win many, many amazing handcrafted items from some very talented crafters. Bloggers and shop owners are giving away fabric, handmade bags, items for the home, jewelry, and accessories - the list goes on and on!  So be sure to visit from  Sew, Mama, Sew now through December 16th for your chance to win!

I've chosen to give away one of my Glass + Resin Pendants in the Lichen color way.  Each handmade pendant features a microcosm of tiny glass spheres encapsulated beneath multiple layers of glass-like resin and is set in an antique brass bezel. The Lichen color way features a monochromatic selection of green and gold glass spheres perfect for the holidays!  

The pendant includes an 18" hand-oxidized brass chain and will arrive boxed and ready for gift giving!  

To win this lovely necklace all you need to do is comment on this post and tell me what your favorite holiday tradition is.  Do you bake an assortment of cookies for family and friends?  Do you host a party? Is there a particular dish that you make each year?  Tell me- I'd love to know!  Be sure to leave an email address so that I can contact you, too!

There are two more ways to win, and they are in no way mandatory.  I am simply offering these two additional entries as a thanks for my old and new followers.  : )
a.)  If you are a follower of my blog, please leave an additional comment and let me know!
b.)  If you have fanned Helen Ethel Studio on Facebook, be sure to comment that you are a Facebook follower!

You will have until Friday December 16th to enter.  Comments will close at 5pm PCT on December 16th and one winner will be chosen at random (using random.org) on December 17th.  I will announce the winner no later than Sunday, December 18th and will note whom that is in this giveaway post.  If there is no contact info, or if I do not hear back from the winner within a week of my original email, I will select another individual at random.

Finally, I will ship INTERNATIONALLY!

Thank you for stopping by and participating in this great event.  Be sure to visit my my shop, Helen Ethel Studio, as there is still time for holiday shopping!  From now until December 17th,  I will be offering free shipping on all items.  This is open to domestic and international shipping.  Please enter the code FREESHIP2011 at check out.  Thank you!

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06 December 2011

Regarding a current cookie obsession

Happy December everyone!  Like many of you, I can hardly believe that we are already trucking our way through December and knee deep in the holidays.  I will not lie- I'm rather excited this year, for many reasons.  One of those reasons just happens to be due to all of my baking plans!  Now that Dan and I have moved and are for the most part settled in to our new place, I finally have a space to dedicate to cooking and baking.  Our last kitchen was a tiny 6'x4' (I'm being generous here) space with next to no counter space.  It was a depressing site for any one with a desire to get serious in the kitchen.  By the end of our 5 years in that apartment I rarely desired to bake as it would only end up in massive bouts of frustration as I strategically created counter space where counter space should not belong and wedged cookie sheets into our tiny little oven. But, one must do what must be done if one wants to enjoy homemade sweet confections.

Thankfully, this year will be different.  We now have a kitchen that is nearly the size of our old apartment's living room and kitchen combined! AND I acquired a dining room table off of craigslist a few weeks ago (a vintage teak Danish Modern piece, I might add!) that will allow me to really spread out and get down and dirty as I bake my way through the month.  I've been thinking a lot about cookies- sugar cookies in particular.  The ones made of rolled buttery dough, formed by quirky holiday themed cookie cutters, and adorned in jewel-toned sanding sugars and sprinkles.  The ones I never would have dared to even consider baking in our old apartment.  THOSE.  Sugar cookies and I have got big plans this holiday season and it all begins with a recipe for Cardamom Sugar Cookies I saw on Etsy a few days ago that I just can't get out of my mind.  I picked up a handful of woodland and elf themed cookie cutters from Ikea last night that I can't wait to use with the recipe.  I also hope to make these Salted Caramel Cups, package them up nicely with the delicious sugar cookies, and take them along to a holiday party later that night.  I will then repeat the process over and over again until I can hardly take it any longer.

In honor of my recent cookie fixation, I've created an Etsy treasury dedicated purely to delicious and beautiful holiday confections.  Warning:  I highly advise having a cookie within arms reach while perusing the list!

What about you?  Do you have any recipes you have been gravitating toward?  What is on your holiday dessert menu? Do share!

'Sweets for the Holidays' by helenethelstudio

...mostly sugar cookies. I just can't seem to get them out of my mind!

Santa Cookies - Hol...

Jam Rings Vanilla S...

Candy Cane Peppermi...

Christmas Tree Snow...

Christmas Cookies -...

Gingerbread Men Min...

FAVORS Decorated Co...

Assorted Christmas ...

Christmas Cookies G...

FAVORS Decorated Co...

Snowy Pine Tree Sug...

Coffee Pecan Sablé...

Snowman in Hat Ging...

Cookies Cranberry D...

ELF Cookies - GNOME...

Candy Cane Cookie P...

29 November 2011

Glass + Resin Pendants have arrived in the shop

Finally, I am getting my act together and loading all of these goodies into the shop!  Today I listed a handful of brass Glass and Resin Pendants in the Helen Ethel Studio Etsy shop and I invite you all to take a peek.  I have many brass pendants, but if silver is more your thing, you'll find silver Glass and Resin Pendants in the shop later in the week.  These pendants have proved to be very popular at the festivals I've sold them at and I hope you will all agree!  They look great with jeans and a relaxed top but look amazing against a simple black dress.  Fantastic for the holidays, no? 

04 November 2011

new work: focus on color

"Color is joy.  One does not think joy.  One is carried by it." -Ernest Haas

LE MER COLOR SHIFT NECKLACE: faceted blue agate + solid, raw brass beads + vintage brass chain + $45*

REIMS PENDANT: mystic purple drusy + hand wrapped in oxidized brass wire + vintage brass curb chain + $36*

*Necklaces will be linked to the shop in the coming weeks. Please stay tuned!

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12 October 2011

East Goshen Harvest Festival

Hello to all!  I wanted to drop a quick note to let you all know that I will be selling my jewelry and accessories at the East Goshen Harvest Festival in West Chester, Pennsylvania.  I'm pretty excited about this one because it is the first time Helen Ethel Studio will be represented at a festival in the Philadelphia region.  
The annual Harvest Festival, formerly the Pumpkin Festival, will be held on October 22 (rain date October 23) from 10 am -4 pm at East Goshen Park.  It will be family friendly with Hayrides, a Scarecrow Pageant, farm market goodies and prepared foods, music and pumpkins- lots and lots of pumpkins, I'd imagine.  So, if you are free and want to enjoy the harvest season please stop by and say hello!  I plan on having a mug of warm, mulled cider by my side, all day long. 

For more information, please visit the event's Facebook page.

06 October 2011

Thick, Chewy Granola Bars

This past Labor Day weekend, a group of friends and I travelled from far and wide to convene on a little patch of land, next to the Juniata River in Central Pennsylvania.  This was our third year participating and Dan and I consider it our last big exhale of the summer, where we can kick back, relax and just enjoy the warmth of the sun, laughs with friends, and nature.  It was especially important for us to really embrace the idea of relaxation because we knew the weeks to follow would be a bit of a roller coaster for us.  The month of September was a whirlwind of travel for a wedding, moving and all of the packing and unpacking that goes along with such things.  And because of that, I did not post one. single. time. in September.

This camping event has typically been a pot-luck sort of deal and it works quite well.  I signed up for salads and baked goods.  I tacked the baked goods onto my list because we had finally received our replacement oven weeks earlier after being without one for nearly six months. Oh, how I've longed to bake! But because our apartment was in a shamble sort-of-moving-limbo state, I didn't want to get in over my head by spending hours baking cookies or a cake or any other time intensive confection.  Instead, I opted for a practical, semi-healthy treat that would give all of us campers an easy snack on the run for our daily floats down the river.  I made these thick, chewy granola bars that I found on Smitten Kitchen.

28 August 2011

Spyglass Ridge Winery Celticfest: Booth Photos!

Here is a peek at my booth set up from this year's Spyglass Ridge Winery Celticfest in Sunbury, Pennsylvania.  This was my second festival appearance and I was very happy with the way things turned out.  I was especially happy with my booth display.  Below are a few of my favorite shots which give a nice overview of the set up.  I'll be posting more about the details in the coming days, so stayed tuned!

04 August 2011

Art Deco Inspired Wedding Jewelry

First off, allow me to apologize for what seems to be the abandonment of my blog!  I've been seriously slacking with my posting this summer.  I vow to change this.  Secondly, my apologizes for this photo heavy post.  Hopefully it will be worth it.
The following set of jewelry was created for a June wedding that took place on a farm in rural Pennsylvania.  The bride desired a romantic, vintage aesthetic but for the most part gave me full artistic reign (thanks Katie!).  The color palette of sapphire and lime green was chosen by the bride to reflect her bridal party colors.  I chose to work in brass to quietly emphasize the vintage aesthetic and designed the necklaces as multi-strand pieces to stand out against her bridesmaids' simple, sleeveless sapphire blue dresses.  

14 July 2011

An homage to my camera phone.

Ree Drummond is focusing on photos taken with a mobile phone for this week's Pioneer Woman Photography Assignment.  I was excited to read this yesterday as I have a bit of an obsession with my phone's camera and the many photography apps available on the market.  In fact, I currently have 913 photos on my phone.  Oh my!  I think it's time to do some house cleaning! 

Anyway, as I was sorting through my photos for an image to submit to today's pool, I thought it might be fun to highlight a few of my favorite iphone photos here.  Some you may have already seen, but others you have not.  I love all of them and especially adore the feeling of shooting a photo, running it through an app such as Instagram or ShakeItPhoto, and viewing the new image.  This usually concludes with me getting all giddy-like and shoving the phone in front of Dan's face to show him how amazing the image turned out.  Well, amazing in my opinion anyways.  :)
A more recent shot, taken below the Spring Garden El stop in Philadelphia.  It was captured while waiting for a very late bus (again).  And though I have a great aversion to Philly's public transit system, and remember that I was very annoyed when I shot this, something about this photo (and I think it's that soft burst of light at center) calms me in the smallest of ways. 

08 July 2011

Oh, Friday

It's Friday and it's been a veeeerry trying morning.  All I can say is: Thank goodness it is Friday.  Mornings like this require a quick peek at this photo to immediately restore the smile to my face and make me all fuzzy inside.
It was taken on Heidi's first Valentine's Day with us.  She celebrated with a cookie from Doggie Style in Manayunk.  Actually, she celebrated with two, but we reserved the second for later in the week.  It's difficult to see in the dark photo, but she is literally licking her chops waiting for that cookie.  

I hope your morning has gone smoother than mine, dear readers- and if not, I hope this photo helped in the smallest of ways by bringing a smile to your face as well.

Have a wonderful weekend!

12 June 2011

Golden Rutilated Quartz Earrings

Here are a few photos of the earrings I posted yesterday.  
The earrings are composed of faceted, golden rutilated quartz and labradorite rondelles- two stones that I am obsessed with at the moment.  They are suspended from hammered brass rings, a component that I've been incorporating into my most recent designs.  The red brass really helps to pull out the golden veins within the quartz that make them so, so appealing.  They turned out just lovely and I plan to make more in other stones and metals.  This pair was made for a friend's birthday, but I think they would make wonderful bridal or bridesmaid accessories.

As I mentioned yesterday, I wanted to wait until I edited the photos before I posted them to the blog.  I used a free trial version of Aperture 3 that I downloaded this morning, and was quite happy with the results.  I've been searching for a photo editing program for our new computer for quite sometime now, and I've been curious about Aperture.  I'd love to purchase Photoshop, but can't quite afford that right now.  So far, it seems that Aperture might do just what I need it to do. Have any of your had any experience with this program?  If so, I'd love to hear you thoughts and/or suggestions!

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11 June 2011

A Productive Saturday

I'm delighted to write that after an incredibly hectic few months, filled with trips to Pittsburgh, Princeton and the Outer Banks, plus a bridal shower and a beautiful wedding, barbecues and weekend outings with friends, I finally found a day to do nothing but make jewelry and relax with Heidi.  It feels wonderful!

My most recent muses are these stones and brass beads that I picked up at the bead store last night.  I literally ran in for 15 minutes for a few headpins and I came out with the most beautiful strand of faceted (agate, I believe) stones.  I just could not resist their beauty and bought them right on the spot.  
I constructed these necklaces with the gorgeous stones that my sister gave me for Christmas.  They are simple, yet lovely, and are strung on a vintage brass chain.
And here is a photo of another pair of earrings I've been meaning to share with you.  Gold rutilated quartz briolettes are wrapped in gold-filled wire and suspended beneath a hammered brass ring and a cluster of labradorite stones.  I have better photos to share with you, but they need edited first.  For now, the good ol'iPhone photos will have to do.
No matter what you are doing this weekend, I hope you are all enjoying yourselves.  

06 June 2011

Spicy Coleslaw with Cumin-Lime Dressing

I hope you all had a wonderful and relaxing weekend.  Dan and I certainly had an eventful one spent with great friends.  We hosted our second official barbecue of the season, an annual tradition that immediately follows the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship.  Every year, we get together with a few of our friends, pack up our bikes and head to Lemon Hill where we spread ourselves out on the grass and eat sandwiches, cheese, and drink wine while basking in the sun and watching an always exciting cycling race.  It's one of the best days of the year.

On Saturday we had some major prepping to do and procured an abundance of fruits and vegetables from the market in the morning.  There were so many, in fact, that I had to empty my bags outside, on the patio table, to sort through everything.  
On the menu: Bangkok BBQ Chicken, rustic Panzanella, spicy Coleslaw with Cumin-Lime Dressing, grilled corn, curried potatoes and Summer-Fruit Angel-food Cake with Mascarpone.  Everything was delicious.

30 May 2011

Ginger Sewalong

I hereby announce my participation in the Ginger Sewalong.

Earlier this week, while skimming through a few of my favorite blogs, I saw that Sunni of A Fashionable Stitch is hosting a sewalong for the new Ginger Skirt by Colette Patterns.  I was a fan of the Ginger skirt ever since I saw it, but it wasn't until I saw Sunni's blue floral version that I was completely sold.  
I know it was the piping and buttons that did it for me.  According to Sunni, the pattern booklet, which is geared toward beginners (whew!), includes helpful hints such as adding piping and pockets.  I've been wanting to participate in a sewalong for quite sometime now, and this one seems to be the perfect fit for me.  It's geared to the beginner sewist, such as myself, and seems quick enough to sew up, so I can finish it in a short amount of time, if needed.

I immediately hopped on over to the Colette Patterns site and purchased my own pattern.  It arrived yesterday and I can't wait to get started.  All I need to do now is figure out what fabric to use.  Oh, the choices!  If you are interested in participating in a sewalong, I suggest you look into Sunni's Ginger Sewalong.  I'll keep you all posted as I make my way through the pattern!

Dreaming of days like this

After just one week back, the humidity of the city has got me dreaming of cool mornings on the beach, watching Dan fish.

25 May 2011

Dan's new love - Kite Flying

One of my favorite images from our trip.
Early morning kite flying.  Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina. 

23 May 2011

The Banker Horses of the Barrier Islands

On our second day in the Outer Banks, a few of us took a day trip to the Currituck Outer Banks to see the wild horses that live along the northern beaches.  Known as the Banker Horses, these wild mustangs have been well documented on the Outer Banks since the eighteenth century. 
Many believe the arrival of the horses dates as far back as the sixteenth century, when they arrived with Spanish colonists.  Though no one can be certain, it is thought that they were either abandoned on the barrier islands on exploratory expeditions, or that they may have even survived shipwrecks.

22 May 2011

The end of a wonderful, wonderful week

I have so much catching up to do.  Dan and I just returned from an amazing week in the Outer Banks, NC- celebrating the wedding of two of our dear friends and taking in the absolute joy of being around so many amazing people in such a gorgeous area of the United States. 

10 May 2011

Coca Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

Dan and I just returned from a long weekend in Pittsburgh, where we jaunted all over the city- visiting family; exploring breweries; eating delicious pirogies, kolski, and gumbo; visiting the Andy Warhol Museum; and we even squeezed in a little consignment store shopping.  It was such a great trip that I wanted to share with you all some of the wonderful places that we visited.  

First up is Coca Cafe, in the Lawrenceville section of the city.  Dan spotted this little gem amongst the many other cafes in the neighborhood.  We started with a simple latte.  While drinking this latte, it occurred to me that I could not remember the last time I sat at a cafe and enjoyed a deliciously, frothy latte straight out of a mug rather than in a cardboard cup racing around the city.  It was a sad realization and I've vowed to myself to make some room for more quite cafe time with a good book or good company.  Also, that latte was delicious.  
For lunch, we each ordered a sandwich.  Dan got the Club Panini - Turkey, ham, turkey bacon, cheddar, Jarlsberg & tomato grilled on country white bread - with a side of black beans and rice.  He said it was delicious and he gobbled it all up.  Even the rice and beans.  I snuck a bit of those and can attest that they too, were delicious.  (Please excuse the excessive use of the word "delicious".)