26 May 2012

A Wonderful Weekend

I wanted to wish you all a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend (for those in the US).  Whether you are celebrating the holiday or not, I hope that wherever you find yourselves, that you are surrounded by friends, loved ones and that you have an amazing and relaxing weekend.

Dan and I will be spending today bbqing with friends.  And I'm currently steeping some rosemary from our garden in a simple syrup to make these tasty Rosemary Gin Fizz cocktails later on.  Tomorrow a few of us will gather at Chaddsford Winery for their annual Blues Festival.  I really can't wait for this- it's one of the greatest days of the year in my opinion. :)  Last year, I snapped the above image while lounging on the winery's grounds.  I love this photograph.

I also wanted to announce the winner of my Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway and thank you all for participating.  I was so excited to read all of your recommendations and I am looking forward to checking into each and everyone of them.  From all of your suggestions, my summer reading list seems very promising!  Also, I wanted to send a genuine welcome to all of my new followers.  I'm so happy to have you here.  Welcome.

So, with that said, the winner of my Everdeen Earring Giveaway is:

Appie, number 72, who recommended the Left Behind Series.  Congratulations Appie!  I will be contacting you shortly. 

23 May 2012

Everdeen Earrings Giveaway

That's right folks! You heard it here- Monday marked Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day!  Giveaway Day is awesome, to put it frankly, and it is 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!

I happy to announce that I am participating for a second time.  My giveaway back in December was such a success and I was so happy to make new blog friends through it all.  This time around I am giving away a pair of earrings from my Summer collection, which will be released near the end of June.

Like the Atenas Earrings, this pair is adorned with hammered copper tear drop shapes that give the earrings a very organic look. Faceted Labradorite coin-shapped beads are suspended at center and wire wrapped to a  vintage, raw brass chain.  The earrings are finished with hand-forged brass ear wires.

Now, on to the giveaway, shall we.  One winner will be chosen at random, but in order for you to enter you MUST answer a particular question of mine in the comment section.  I'm looking for new summer reading and I'd love to hear what you all have to recommend for me!  I just finished up the Hunger Games (book one) and once that series is over with, I'll be itching for a new read.  And as a side note, the Everdeen Earrings may or may not have been named as such because of my most recent read. *wink*

So, in the comments, please tell me:


It's as simple as that.  I'm also offering up a second chance to win if you are a follower of my blog (as a thank you).  You in no way have to follow my blog to participate, but if you do- please let me know in a SECOND comment! 

One winner will be chosen at random on Saturday morning (9:00 AM), May 26th!  If you do not have an email attached to your profile, please be sure to leave it in the comments so that I can contact you.  Also, if you are running a giveaway- let me know! I'd love to swing on by. :)

And one more thing: I will ship INTERNATIONALLY!

Best of luck everyone!!

17 May 2012

Custom wedding jewelry sneak peek

Oh hey, this is my 100th post!! Awesome. :)

I just recently finished up a set of wedding jewelry for a lovely bride from Missouri.  Once all of the photos are edited and ready for viewing I'll post them here with a little bit of background about the design and the brides' inspiration.  But in the meantime, I wanted to share a little sneak peek of the pieces:

Blue and green seem to be the wedding popular colors these last few seasons- which is fine by me because they look amazing together!

In other news, our garden is sprouting up quite nicely.  I think that I may even be able to snack on my strawberries in a week or two!  Dan and I are very lucky that our garden did not suffer too badly in the terrible flood our street experienced the other night.  Unfortunately, our elderly neighbors across the street from us were not so lucky.  Their garden was completely submerged in the flood waters and now they will have to destroy their entire bed of lettuce and all of the other crops.  I didn't see their garden, but Dan did.  From what he told me, our garden pales in comparison to theirs.  Hopefully, since we are only at the beginning of the planting season, they can salvage what is left of this spring and replant.  

Emmaline Bride feature!

As I was going through some unpublished posts of mine I realized that I've been keeping something very exciting from you all!  On March 8, Helen Ethel Studio was featured on Emmaline Bride!!  Here is the link if you care to take a gander.  Emma, who is the absolute sweetest, featured the Art Deco inspired wedding collection that I made last spring.  It was such an honor to have my work shown among the many other artisans on the Emmaline Bride blog.  In addition to the feature, Helen Ethel Studio is honored to be a featured artisan in the Marketplace!  I've been busy working on a new collection specifically designed for bridal parties.  It is all centered around my Allegory of Spring earrings which are proving to be quite popular.  Hopefully we'll see it in the Marketplace soon. :)

Honestly, I can't believe I forgot to mention this on here!  Better late, than never I suppose!

07 May 2012

Scooped Ice Cream, West Chester, PA

I've been a bit preoccupied with thoughts of ice cream as of late.  With the warmer weather I was reminded that finally, finally, we have a kitchen with amble counter and storage space to comfortably operate and store a homemade ice cream machine.  I've been wanting one for years but the size of our old apartment's kitchen shattered my dreams of cool, creamy homemade ice cream confections.  

These thoughts were only strengthened when Dan's sister and her daughter took us to a delicious little ice cream parlor in West Chester, Pennsylvania a few Saturday's ago.  I snapped a few shots of the quaint shop to share with you all.

Scooped Ice Cream is a small ice cream parlor that offers housemade ice cream and gelato at their two locations in downtown West Chester and in Chester Springs, where the ice cream is made.  The shop's use of local ingredients (including cream, fruits and chocolate) sourced from a certified free-range and organic farm in Lancaster, Pa is evident in the quality of the ice cream.  My two scoops of Mint Chip were so creamy and absolutely delicious they left me craving another visit in the near future.

Scooped offers an exciting and somewhat unusual variety of flavors that change daily and seasonally. When we visited, there seemed to be the traditional varieties available and less of the more exotic flavors, but all seemed enticing.  I tasted a few, including a raspberry chocolate chip, but settled on the tried and true mint chocolate chip.  

Other flavors that the shop has made are Candied Bacon in Maple ice cream, Bailey's Irish Cream, and Cookie Monster.  Dan's sister raved about their Cantaloupe ice cream offered in the warmer summer months.  Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be any gelato offered when I was there.  I suppose that only means that I need to go back for another visit!  According to Scoops twitter account, which posts updates on the changing flavors, Coconut Macaroon, Chocolate Hazelnut and Espresso are amongst their gelato flavors.  According to a commenter on FourSquare, Scooped also makes a Chocolate Caramel Sea Salt ice cream.  In all honesty, I might actually stalk a business for a taste of that ice cream!

The West Chester location was perfectly quaint and everything you'd expect and hope an ice cream parlor to look like.  According to this article, the location is said to have once been a speakeasy. Even better.

So even though I don't have the capabilities of making my own ice creams and gelati yet, I find comfort knowing that Scooped is there for me when I am in need.  

Address and info on both Scooped locations:

Scooped Ice Cream on Urbanspoon Scooped Ice Cream & Gelato on Urbanspoon

We planted a garden.

Yesterday, Dan and I muscled up and constructed and planted a raised garden.  Here are a few photos of the process.  Later this week I'll be posting a more detailed account of the process, including what we planted, and how it is organized.  From there, I'll be posting weekly updates on it's progress.  We are so excited to embark on our little raised garden bed adventure. :)

The raised garden bed, with a layer of enriched soil.
Arranging the plants.
Plants, after planting.  I'll be adding a few more later this week.
Our helper. :)