Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Giveaway Time! (US and Canada ONLY)


CSN is here for another giveaway! As you probably know CSN's 200+ stores are filled with anything you could possibly need from eveything for your home, like furniture, to anything for your travels, like their variety of sling backpacks.
I've been working like crazy on holiday orders and I'm sure you'll be getting a lot busier too now that December is only hours away. Chances are you'll be spending a bit more time in the kitchen and that's why CSN and I are giving away a kit that will come in quite handy in this time of year. Not too mention it's cute and has lots of owls!

Ok, up for grabs:

A women's apron, oven mitt and a set of potholders!

All you have to do to join is leave a comment. But please note that this is a US and Canada giveaway only!

As always there are extra entries to earn:
+1 if you're a follower
+3(each) if you grab my banner(s)
+1 if you like me on facebook

To keep things a little clearer for me please leave all entries in ONE comment in which you state how many extra entries you've earned and how

Winner will be announced next Tuesday.

Thanks for joining and good luck!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Etsy Shop Tip: alleluja

I don't know about you, but whenever I see an adorable fantasy creature in a movie I just want it as a pet. Of course that is impossible to arrange, but when this pendant by alleluja arrived I really felt like that wish had been granted.

Because it's porcelain I was a little worried about how it'd be handled by the postmen, but when I saw how carefully and well it was wrapped I knew I had nothing to worry about. And doesn't it look beautiful too?

When I held it in my hands I discovered it must be pretty sturdy too, because it is so compact. And it is unbelievably smooth! And it has the cutest little curly details all over the top and back.

This Creature Pendant, as well as nearly all the other items, can also be used as a pincushion, it even came with a beautiful little pin, which I didn't take a picture off, but they're shown in Sawako's shop.

There are still plenty of cute items found on her Etsy, but they can be sold pretty quickly. (As a matter of fact one of these Sparrow Girl Pendant was sold as I type.) So I was lucky to snatch up my own little creature in time.

Sawako also has an amazing flickr account where you can see all the little creatures as well as some "in progress"-pictures.

You can definitely tell that a lot of love and care, as well as imagination, has gone into each and every piece. And I have to say alleluja is one of the most original and special shops I have ever come accross. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I would come accross a pendant like that and then to find one I could actually afford was just amazing.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Etsy Update: Packaging and Christmas Goodies

Lately there have been a bunch of changes made to my shop. Not only do I have a new header and banners(which you can find and copy here), but I also changed my packaging to this:

Until a little while ago I used old magazine pages to make packages like the one below. I liked it a lot and of course it was "greener" because of the recycling. I might still use it occasionally or get back to it later, but for now I'm sticking to the new floral bags.

However I also have special holiday wrappings, because I wanted something more Christmassy in December.

Inside you will find the bookmark in a clear bag with my logo. And on the back my url. I made them in all sorts of colors to match any bookmark.

I hope you like everything, I thought it was a more professional look. Plus this all gave me the chance to use my owl-logo more, I even have it stamped next to the address on the bubble mailers.


It's Thanksgiving today, but I know lot of "foreigners" aren't celebrating anything, including myself. However somehow I'm in a pretty festive mood so I thought I'd show you my Christmas bookmarks.

Most people have already started planning and decorating. And for those of you who want to shop for gifts online, this is the right time to start.

Of course I couldn't stay behind on the holiday designs so I made my fair share of Christmas bookmarks.

Some of which you can even customize yourself by picking your favorite Christmas color.

So if you're looking for a Christmas themed gift or a cute stocking filler there are plenty of choices in my shop. And as always I'm open for custom orders too.
The bookmarks would make a nice gift for anyone who likes to read no matter what age. And since I invented them it really is a unique present.

Anyway, enough with the shameless self promotion;) Are you already busy doing, making and buying things for Christmas too?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pretty Paintings

The Dutch have a pretty long history of amazing painters and I feel very lucky to live in a city where lots of those works are shown in lots of different musea.

However there's currently an exposition out of town where I badly want to go to.

Kees van Dongen has such a unique style of painting, the brush strokes are somehow special, but you mostly recognize him by his women. Even though they are often a bit extravagant, the paintings are always very calm.

Loads of people love his work, but I know he's not loved by everyone. I suppose, once more, this is a "love it or hate it" kind of style.

But I find his works very intriguing and I really hope I get a chance to see the exhibition.

Thankfully I've already seen some of his works in real life but I'm dying to see more. There is just something so special about seeing art "in the flesh". Computer screens and books can show images very clear, but to see the life sized thing is something else entirely.

Sometimes a painting can have a surprising effect. I remember seeing a huge Kandinsky and even though I never particularly liked his work I loved seeing it in it's true size and glory.

Have you ever have something like that happen? What was your most special "museum-experience"?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Owl Things Considered

While searching for cute owl brooches on Etsy I came across the lovely shop Ilzuks. When I noticed the pink one I just had to have it. I ordered it immediately and the package arrived today!

Isn't it adorable?! And it came in such a cute box too.

But the whole shop is filled with amazing owl brooches. In so many colors!

I love how they all have different faces too, which makes them look like they have their own little personalities. It's so cool that they're all unique. But somehow that makes it both easier and harder to pick a favorite.

Apart from owl brooches there are lots of cute felt flowers, but there's also an owl oil painting!

You can definitely tell Ilze is very fond of owls too and I'm sure that any owl lover couldn't help but fall in love with her creations.

You can check out her shop here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Marvelous Music

Sometimes commercials feature the cutest songs. I often find myself looking up songs I heard on tv and this is one of them.

I have to admit I haven't really listened to anything else by Joy Williams, but I thought "Sunny Day" was pretty cool. I will check out the rest soon.

How about you? What artists have you discovered thanks to commercials?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Sequence

It is getting colder and colder. There's supposed to be snow next week already! I'm not much of a person for cold weather and just wanna stay indoors really. This week I caught myself wishing I could take a long hot bath on multiple occasions. Good thing we don't have one 'cause I would never ever want to leave it.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Feel Good Food

Baking is lots of fun, but it also takes up a lot of time and that does stop me from doing so at times. But when I read you could easily make a little chocolate cake in the microwave I tried it immediately. This was the result:

I just love this squirrel cake mold. It's from France and I bought it over the summer. It took me till now to try though.

This cake was made with some Milo instead of cocao, but it tasted really good. Later I've also tried it with some chocolate sprinkles mixed in and even some chocolate syrup. I love that it's so easily adjustable and that it's plenty for two to eat from. Here's the basic recipe:

Put in a bowl: 4 tablespoons of flour, 4 tbs sugar and 2 tbs cocao, mix together.
That crack an egg and add it to the mix along with 3tbs of milk and 3 tbs oil, mix well and (put it a mold if you like) microwave for 3 minutes.

Super easy and super quick! Now you can just whip up a chocolate cake when you have an unexpected visitor. Awesome, right?

Friday, November 19, 2010

Lovely Movies

Often I find that the big comedy actors, such as Will Ferrell and Jim Carrey, are great in serious movies. And when I spotted the cover of "Reign Over Me" I thought that it might be the same with Adam Sandler(even though I'm not to big a fan of most of his movies). On top of that the movie also features Don Cheadle, Donald Sutherland, Saffron Burrows and Liv Tyler, so it couldn't go wrong really.

However... I didn't expect it to be this amazing! It is truly a great movie. I know I love most movies I've just seen, but this one really is amazing.
It is realistic, funny, sad and the acting is superb. Especially the scene where Adam Sandler's character opens up to his parents in law(don't click if you don't want spoilers;), I was moved to tears but also had to laugh a little and that is a hard combination to achieve.

This is one I could definitely watch again soon and I have plans of doing just that. I can't believe I pulled this one out of a sale bin.

Oh, and one more thing. Watch the extras on the dvd!

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Herome's World Inspired Colors has released a new winter line. And it has a few lovely colors.

I usually blend a similar color to this dark teal, which I might even prefer because it has more depth that way, but I think this one looks pretty neat too.

I've never once in my life tried red nailpolish. I find that the classic bright red just doesn't match my skin well, but this one looks beautiful.

What are your favorite colors for nailpolish? I love to "blend" a lot, where I start with a plain color and then do a second coat of a different color that shimmers. It often leads to fun results and I just love to experiment with it. I'm currently sporting a dark greyish brown with tiny glitters in light purple. It's a bit rockstar-chique and I really like it.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Owl Things Considered

As promised here are some pictures of the owls a lovely friend of mine had sent me for Halloween. Aren't they adorable?!

Monday, November 15, 2010

When I first heard Little Dragon's Twice I instantly fell in love with the song. It's a slow song with such an interesting vibe, I can listen to it over and over again.

Most of their songs are completely different though, more up-tempo, electronic and jazzy. It's a very original sound and I love it!

The singer, Yukimi Nagano, does a lot of sideprojects too and has sung for both Hird and Koop and Little Dragon is currently touring with Gorillaz. As I'm typing this they're performing in my city, but I only just found out... Oh well, I'd rather see them solo anyway.

So what do you think? Do you know any music similar to this that I might like too?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Feel Good Food

Apart from making all sorts of warm lunches and one really basic dinner instructed by my mom I had never really tried cooking. But now I discovered a Japanese cooking channel on YouTube called Cooking With Dog(don't worry, it's just with a dog sitting next to the woman cooking, they don't teach you how to prepare one).
I was addicted instantly and saw most videos a bunch of times already. Immediately I started planning dinners and went to buy all the ingredients for all sorts of dishes.

First things I made were the Japanese sweets Tofu Dango with different toppings. This is the instruction video:

It is the most healthy Japanese candy and it was quite easy to make and tasted very good

I also thought it was time to properly make sushi, so I got sushi rice and even Dashi Kombu the seaweed they steam it with.

Here's my california roll and salmon filled onigiri.

Apart from that I also prepared a few side dishes. Japanese style spinach omelet and my absolute favorite: honey seasoned pumpkin! This is one of the best things I have ever tasted and it wasn't hard to make at all.

I slightly changed the instructions, because I didn't want to deep fry it. Here's the altered recipe.

You'll need:
  • Kabocha, which is a pumpkin like these(it might be hard to slice, but it's worth it)
  • Honey
  • Roasted black sesame seeds
  • Vegetable oil

Cut the pumkin into pieces ( I made them about 1" by 2").
Put them in a plastic microwavable container along with some water.
Microwave for 4 minutes.
Take the skin of(it's easier to do so after it's boiled) and cut in half.
Put a bit of oil into a pan and bake till the become a bit golden brown on either side.
Pour a bit of honey over it and sprinkle with the sesame seeds, mix to evenly spread it. Do this according to taste.


So this was the entire menu of my very first dinner, not bad right? Do you recall what you first made?
Next up will probably be Udon and Mochi. Have you ever tried your hand at Japanese cuisine? I'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Giveaway Winner!

It is time to announce the winner of the Chouettes (owl necklace + matching item of your choice) giveaway!

Thank you all so much for entering and following, blogging, "liking" and so on.
All of you combined earned 75 entries! But there can only be one winner and that is...

Enjoy your prizes!


If you just missed the giveaway and want to get a necklace like that for yourself or are sad you didn't win, you can always go and spoil yourself at Chouettes anyway;)

Thanks again and good luck next time!


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