Just a quick note wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a safe, happy and joyful New Year.
Sharon and Ann
Well, not exactly a girls' night out--more like a girls' day in. Our good friend Cindy came up with a fun idea which turned into a great way to work in a get-together with our core group of girlfriends. We have all known each other for...um...I'll just say a long time. As the years have gone by we still stay in touch, but as you all know, it gets harder to find the time to get everyone in the same room. The solution: A cookie baking/cocktail drinkin'/girl-gabbin' marathon. We all pre-made our dough so all we had to do was show up and take turns baking batches. This took care of two problems: Holiday baking and catching up with who has a new boyfriend (Kim), who's gotten a tattoo (Kim), who's life is going swimmingly right now (Kim). Damn her. Just kidding...we should all be having the great time she is having. What am I saying--we are all having a great time. Sharon and I are busy with Secret Leaves, Diane is enjoying her new cute little house and Cindy is content hanging out at home with her husband Jack and her dogs, Atticus and Talullah.
Below are some snaps from the event. And if you have been searching for those perfect Christmas drink recipes, I have also included the recipe for Kim's tasty Bourbon Slushes (I told you she was living the good life). That girl always knows what to bring to put the party over the top. And thanks to Cindy for opening her home to an afternoon of dough-slinging good times.
KIM'S BOURBON SLUSH RECIPE
1 can frozen lemonade, slightly thawed 1 can frozen orange juice, slightly thawed 1 bottle sweetened tea 1/2 can sugar (use empty lemonade or orange juice can for measurements) 1 can bourbon 4 cans water
Freeze in an empty gallon ice cream pail--the plastic kind with the handle. Take out and let thaw only to the point that it is slushy. Pour some in a glass and enjoy. YUM!
Cocoa-chocolate chip and oatmeal crisps ready to go in the oven
Have you sent your Christmas cards out yet?
I was writing Christmas cards the other evening and a couple of thoughts hit me: One, I remembered something I read recently about addressing envelopes. The USPS (that's the United States Post Office to you) suggests not using punctuation when addressing your envelope or package. Apparently, it's harder for their machines to "read." So that is Tip #1.
Tip #2. Hand-address the envelope. It's probably OK to use labels (or a custom rubberstamp would be cool!) for the return address, but it's just more personal to handwrite the recipient's address rather than use a label or pre-printed envelope.
Tip #3. My friend Kelley includes an inspirational quote in her Christmas cards. She prints the quote on a piece of paper, cuts it out with decorative scissors and inserts it inside the card. This is a nice personal touch and a gentle reminder of the spiritual side of the season.
Tip #3. Don't forget the envelope! Decorate the outside of the envelope with a rubberstamp or seal--it's always more fun to get decorative envelopes. You know it's something special before you even open it!
So that's it! Those are my greeting card tips. Happy licking and stamping!
This week's choices are all over the map. We enjoy the old stuff so we dug out some of the standards... T Rex, the Band, and Bob Dylan. Then we ventured into the 80's with some This Mortal Coil and the Pretenders. Sharon's husband made us a playlist on Napster which totally took us down memory lane with bands like Bauhaus, Iggy Pop, Wire, PIL, to name a few. He is addicted to downloading these lists so there is more fun to come. Ok, you are wondering if we ever listen to anything beyond 1984. Well... yes we do. We rounded out the week with Essex Green, Guided by Voices and Lily Allen.
And speaking of Rock and Roll. This weekend is the annual Rock and Roll Craft Show here in St. Louis. This is a super cool event that showcases the area's finest crafters with an alternative flair. It lasts two days and includes live bands and a cash bar. Who could ask for more. Is Secret Leaves participating? Of course we are! It is our fourth year and it just keeps getting better. It is put on by a group of women who run a smooth ship and the variety and quality of the goods is very much worth your time. Check it out!
One of our fellow NaBloPoMoers, TC of I Have Things, has tagged us for a meme. Kind of like a chain letter in Blogworld. So here we go, beginning with the rules:
Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog. Share seven facts about yourself. (Since there are two of us, you get fourteen--count 'em--fourteen facts.) Tag seven random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
Seven Random Facts about Ann:
1. The drums are my favorite instrument.
2. The middle toe on my left foot is my shortest toe.
3. I like to make my little rat terrier-mix Pilar dance to the theme song from Sex in the City.
4. My favorite numbers are 5 and 7.
5. Would like to have the super-power of becoming invisible any time I want.
6. Do not like to put my head under water.
7. I feel like I am still 27.
Seven Random facts about Sharon:
Sharon at her best friend Kelley's wedding
1. My favorite song is "Yesterday" by the Beatles.
2. I have a fascination with murder and mayhem.
3. I've seen the movie My Own Private Idaho eight times--four of them at the theater.
4. In my first two weeks working at Elizabeth House, I locked myself in back hallway three times.
5. The beauty of my physical surroundings is very important to me. (I understand why postal workers shoot people.)
6. I enjoy teaching people how to do stuff.
7. My nickname in grade school was "Derry for the Defense."
OK, your turn. We tag:
This Friday evening from 4 to 7, Secret Leaves will participate in an Artisan's Reception at Home Eco, St. Louis' first and only green general store. This is the second year we have participated and proprietors Terry Winkelmann and Phil Judd put on a really nice holiday event--festive atmosphere, lots of yummy organic sweets and treats, beautiful artisan-made items and plenty of eco-friendly products, from green cleaning supplies to solar panels to lovely and unusual eco-friendly gifts.
If you aren't doing anything, stop by and see us! We will be there selling our wares.
PS. Thanks to our friend Elizabeth Maxson of Elizabeth House for the use of her photos.
Greetings all. I am finally getting around to posting about Unique Boutique, one of the shows Secret Leaves participated/is participating in this holiday season. The annual event is held at John Burroughs prep school in St. Louis and vendors are by invitation only. It was a good weekend for us: sales were brisk and it was extremely well-organized and well-run. Our thanks to organizer Bren Souers and all of the volunteers for a job well-done.
Our big sellers--as always--were Scrap Journals and Take Cover Journals. We also did quite well with a couple of new items: our Cigar Box Album Kit and our new Map Albums. We are still in the process of deciding whether to add these permanently to our offerings.
Unfortunately, my photos are not great, so you will have to trust me when I tell you that our display looked really good!
The letters draped across the front were printed on pages from an old book. It looked really cool, but the show was so crowded and the hallway so narrow, I don't think many people saw them. (The artwork on the back wall is not ours.)
Thanksgiving with my husband Michael's family this year. Here was the menu:
Appetizers: chips and salsa, artichoke dip and crisps, dill dip with rye bread.
Main course: roast turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, potato casserole, corn in heavy cream, layered salad, pasta and broccoli salad, cranberry relish and sauce, cheddar biscuits and yeast rolls. Yes, it was heavy on the starch. Yes, it was delicious.
Dessert: pumpkin pie, cheesecake with raspberries, blueberry pie, apple pie with cinnamon ice cream, coffee for those who wanted it.
It was fun, relaxed, filled with laughter...a perfect family gathering. I am thankful for my loving family; Michael's loving family; my good friends (who are like family to me); my wonderful friend and business partner, Ann; good health; our dog Ellie and kittycat Lulu; a warm, comfortable house; decent cars to drive; enough money to go to the movies or out to dinner occasionally, the luxury of doing what I love...I have a lot to be thankful for and hope you do too. Happy Thanksgiving.
Here are the new Christmas cards we designed for this holiday season. They depict the first three verses of the Twelve Days of Christmas. They come in sets of 8, all the same card. All cards are printed with soy ink on 100% post-consumer recycled card stock manufactured at wind-powered plants. Yea green!
We also have coordinating Christmas stickers. These would look so cool as the seal on an envelope, on a gift, on a package to be mailed, on a place card...the possibilities are endless! Each sheet has 24 stickers with four different designs per sheet.
If you are interested in purchasing, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy holidays!
This will be a busy week at Secret Leaves World Headquarters. This past weekend was Unique Boutique and we are preparing for the upcoming Artisan's Reception at Home Eco on November 30, as well as the Rock-n -Roll Craft Show on December 8-9. I like to listen to easy stuff while I am working, so maybe it will be a little Red House Painters, perhaps Luna Penthouse--and I have been listening to Todd Rundgren a lot lately too. Ann is a fan of Kaki King. She might want to hear some other girl rockers too. We'll keep you posted...