Wednesday, October 29, 2008

This Kid is Kuh-Razy

I confess - I've been having a lot of fun with Twitter. Not only is it a great way to discover fellow WAHMs, trade business tips and tricks, and find loads of amazing products/blogs/sites, it's also occasionally... well... hilarious. I suppose when you get 700 rather outgoing people in a room together, somebody's going to say something funny now and then, right? The 140-character format is just perfect for those "OMG this hysterical thing just happened" moments, and I love posting weird and wacky little things that happen between me and my daughter throughout the day.

This morning I realized I could search my twitter history and started reading back over some of my recent "tweets" about Ms. Thing (generally referred to as the "girlie"). Because I don't share much about my family here, and, frankly, I'm drawing a bit of a blank when it comes to blogging today, I've decided to share with you some of my faves:

Me: "Sure you don't have to potty before naptime?" The girlie: "Don't worry, mom - if I have to go poopoo, I'll call you on your cell."

Me: "Better wear your coat, sweetie - don't want to freeze your tush off." Girlie: "I won't, Mom, I promise. It's strong stuck on!"

Me: "Night night, sweet girl. My lips are ready for a kiss." Girlie: "That's weird. My lips are ready for a nice big glass of milk."

Me: "You know what, sweets? I was just thinking how much I love you." Girlie: "Aw. I was just thinking how much I love your necklace."

Me: "Aren't you about ready for some breakfast?" Girlie: "Sure. I think I'll have some nice hot morning Nerds."

Girlie: "Maybe when I grow up I can be a chair. A strong strong chair... Can I have a vitamin?"

I have been informed that the little girlie's dinner "tastes like pantry." What do you think that means?

My daughter has just knighted me with her magic wand. I've been dubbed "King Princess of the Mom."

That kid's nuts I tell ya. Want to follow the adventures of King Princess of the Mom as they occur? Tweet me here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Now Available at The Pear Project

Macaroni and Glue is thrilled to announce that our stationery line is now available at The Pear Project. Lovingly curated by fellow artisan, Brooke Fuller, The Pear Project is a small business run out of a studio in Coastal North Carolina that specializes in artisan goods for everyday life.

We search the globe for well made innovative products that make life sweeter. We offer products from well known artists as well as a taste of something new. Take a look at our products and enjoy. Our team is passionate about finding the perfect products for the site to create a quick and easy shopping experience for our customers.

The shop offers an exquisite selection of hand-picked bags, jewelry, household items, paper goods, and fine art. From wall decals to letterpress coasters to adorable little clutches, The Pear Project is a treasure trove of unique and lovely gift ideas and special ways to treat yourself.

We're so honored to be a part of this exciting collection of artists and designers. Visit the shop here or check out The Pear Project blog for shop news and musings on the role of artisan goods in our everyday lives.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Stuff I Love - Twitter Edition

Lately I find myself spending quite a bit of time "hearting" things on Etsy. There are so many talented artists and designers out there and adding their treasures to my favorites list is my way of gathering them all up and carefully tucking them away in a special little box under my bed. My little collection of lovelies often serves as my inspiration, helps me break through a creative block, or challenges me to up my game.

This morning I thought I'd share some of my most recent obsessions, all discovered via Twitter.

Felted wool river rocks by lil fish studios:

Merrie print by The Dreamy Giraffe:

Nunavut necklace by Bijoux Bead:

The Fisher necklace by Brooke of The Pear Project:

Vintage reader from Salvage Nation:

Floral script woodburned box by Sixth and Elm:

Aunt Martha earrings by Simply Shell:

Gorgeous, right? I dare you not to shop now. Look for more "stuff I love" every Monday right here. Wanna join the Twitter fun? Follow me! Fair warning - I'm a mom. There may be potty and/or booger talk. I'd hate to offend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Totally Out of Character Food-Related Post

This week's EtsyBloggers blog carnival topic is recipes. While I may not seem like the four-course dinner type, I have been known to whip up a tasty dish now and then. And, generally, being a fan of lower-fat and lower-calorie alternatives to traditional ingredients, I do my best to feed the masses without clogging their arteries or causing unsightly bulges around their midsections.

I want to give credit where credit is due - the vast majority of my all-time favorite recipes, particularly the ones that I freeze for later, come from Cooking Light magazine's supercool searchable database. I'm fairly certain that's where this one came from as well. This is a great recipe for casual family dinners when it's chilly outside and you feel like serving something with a little "substance." Add a salad - mixed greens, some fruit, pecans, a vinaigrette perhaps? - and you're done. For you cook-ahead types, this does freeze well. Divide it in half, place in two separate freezer-friendly dishes, and freeze before baking.

Without further ado, I present the best spinach lasagna recipe EVER.

Cooking spray
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup sliced mushrooms
3 ounces 1/3-less-fat cream cheese (about 1/3 cup)
1 (12-ounce) container 1% low-fat cottage cheese
1/3 cup low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
12 cooked lasagna noodles
1 (27.5-ounce) jar low-fat chunky mushroom pasta sauce
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

Beat the cream cheese at medium speed of a mixer until smooth; add the cottage cheese, sour cream, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, and eggs, beating well. Add the onion mixture and spinach, and beat well.

Spread 1/2 cup of the spinach mixture in the bottom of a 13 x9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 3 noodles over the spinach mixture; top with 1 cup of spinach mixture, 3/4 cup of pasta sauce, 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese, and 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers, ending with Parmesan cheese.

Cover and bake at 350° for 50 minutes. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese; bake, uncovered, an additional 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.

Yield: 8 servings

CALORIES 413 (29% from fat); FAT 13.3g (sat 7.5g, mono 3.7g, poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 26.7g; CARB 47.9g; FIBER 5.3g; CHOL 90mg; IRON 4.2mg; SODIUM 834mg; CALC 400mg;

And there you have it. Relatively easy and absolutely delish. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Skwigga-zine Blog Ring -- Blog of the Week

This week's featured blogger is Lily of Tulip's Talking, Tulip's Treasure Box, and Mocking Bird Lane, her newest venture.

Mocking Bird: Its scientific name, Mimuspolyglottos, means "many-tongued mimic," and the Indians called it Cencontlatolly, which means "four hundred tongues." Although the Indian name may exaggerate the bird's talents, the mocker not only has a beautiful song of its own, but also can imitate the songs of dozens of other birds.

The bird actually sings at great lengths in musical phrases that are pure mockingbird song. As the bird sings, it repeats each phrase three to six times, and it can change its tune as often as eighty-seven times in seven minutes. This repetition and the sudden changes of song help distinguish the mockingbird's sounds from those of other birds.

A fantastic jewelry artisan, avid up-cycler, and faithful blogger, Lily offers something for everyone. Visit Tulip's Treasure Box to find elegant special-occasion jewelry and Mocking Bird Lane for vintage and eco-friendly pieces.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Newsletter or No Newsletter -- That is the Question

This morning finds me battling equipment issues, as seems to be the case at least one week out of every month. Ah, the perils of small business ownership... So, given that my time and attention is required today in areas other than writing, I'll keep today's blogging to a minimum. I do, however, wish to pose a question for my fellow small business owners about using newsletters to keep in touch with customers.

With the holidays fast approaching (much faster than I'd prefer, truthfully), and given that I'm a greeting card company, I've been seriously considering using a newsletter to help spread the word about the availability of my holiday designs, opportunities for custom ordering, and Mission Soldier Support, the EtsyGreetings project to get handmade cards into the hands of our troops overseas so they can send them to their friends and families in time for the holidays.

I do have an existing (relatively small) mailing list, and have done mailings in the past. But my business has grown to the point that I feel a more, shall we say, professional newsletter is in order. Price, however, is of course an issue, particularly with the astounding number of equipment expenditures that have been required in recent months.

Constant Contact seems to be the standard email marketing service for small businesses. However, as I understand it, there is a monthly fee. And, frankly, I can't see myself using the service more than a few times per year - more than that would feel spammy to me and I fear my customers would balk. I've heard of a few pay-per-use companies (MailChimp, I believe has been mentioned by some fellow Estyians?), but haven't a clue as to which is the best fit for my company.

Which brings me to my question(s), fellow business owners, should you care to weigh in: How do you use email to keep in touch with your customers? Are you happy with your service? How effective are your email campaigns at driving repeat business? How do you handle opting in? Via blog or direct customer interaction?

Your opinion is very much appreciated. Without you, how would I ever accomplish a thing? And with that, I'm off to the printer wars. Check ya tomorrow when, hopefully, I'll be up and running again.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Interview Posted on Etsy Featured Artist Blog

A huge Macaroni and Glue thank you to new friend, fellow Twitterer and jewelry artist extraordinaire, Debbie Gootter, for featuring us on the Etsy Featured Artist blog today. I've become a big fan of Debbie's blog and was so honored to be asked for an interview. Please take a moment to check out the blog and leave a little comment love. And while you're at it, Debbie's Etsy shop is just filled with beautiful silver treasures like this Sophie Multi-Circle Necklace just waiting to be snapped up for you or your BFF. Christmas will be here before you know it!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Skwigga-zine Blog Ring -- Blog of the Week

This week's featured blogger is Hilary of Designing Hilary. Here's what she says about herself:
Me? Wife, mother, grandmother, jewelry designer. How it all fits together, I still don't have a clue. But I'm having a ball being clueless!

An amazing jewelry artisan and thoughtful blogger, Hilary is definitely worth a look. Check out the Designing Hilary blog for some stunning photography and honest musings, and visit '57 Design Studio to get something wonderful for your jewelry box.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

EtsyFAME Feature On This Mom's Life

I'm a little behind on this one, but I wanted to send a shout-out to Andrea Baker of This Mom's Life and Andrea Baker Designs on Etsy, and fellow EtsyFAME member, for featuring Macaroni and Glue earlier this week.

Let me introduce you to Macaroni and Glue. She’s super awesome and so easy to work with. Actually when I placed my custom order with her, she was thinking along the same lines as I was and that made for a super team. I ordered some pink and white thank you cards for my Mary Kay business. She customized them with the word thank you on the outside. My customers love them...

You can read the rest of the article here. Andrea actually made me the cutest little keyring/business card cozy which has now become the single most important thing in my (giant) purse.

I not only use it for my cards, but also as a mini-wallet which can take the place of said purse on short jaunts to the store or walks to the park. I'm such a nerd that I've even attached it to a caribiner, so when all available hands are occupied with kids and/or shopping carts, I can clip it to something. I'm sure I look really cool with my keys clipped to my beltloop and my iPhone in its little armband-thingie, but whatever. I'm all about hands-free!

Thanks again, Andrea, for the feature!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Photography Follow-up -- My New "Studio"

Last month I told you about my most awesome birthday gift EVER, a professional light cube to replace my cardboard home-built version that was literally coming apart. I promised to show you my set-up, so here it is:

As you can see, I use the removable top as the bottom of the cube so I can continue to use my beloved dark woodgrain background (my kitchen table, in case you've ever wondered). Another side zips open - that's the side I shoot through.

To my surprise, the new lightcube actually lets less light in than did my homemade version. So I struggled to find the right camera settings for days on end before finally deciding that I simply needed a third light source (duh!). So I'm now using three office-type lamps, each with a 100 watt GE EnergySmart DAYLIGHT bulb, and I'm happy with the results. With just a teensy bit of contrast correction in Photoshop, here's what I get.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Holiday Designs and Savings for Blog Followers

I'm happy to announce that the remainder of the Macaroni and Glue 2008 holiday line has been completed and boxed sets are available for purchase in the shop. It's not too early to stock up for the season to come! Order your cards now and have one less thing to worry about after Thanksgiving. And, if you add this blog to your "follow" list, you can receive a $1 PayPal refund for every holiday card set you purchase - just add the code "FOLLOWER" in Notes to Seller at checkout. Here's a peek at some of the fun new vintage-inspired designs to choose from:

Monday, October 13, 2008


I confess, I'm that girl who fills out emailed questionnaires about my favorite lollipop flavor and husband's most annoying habit, and then sends them out to all my friends in the hopes that they'll send back all their most intimate secrets in return. So it is no surprise that I'd be happy to oblige when my blog was tagged by fellow EtsyGreetings member, Heather (winemakerssister). So here goes.

The idea is to tell 6 things that people may not know about me, then tag 5 other bloggers to do the same.

1. My husband and I lived on a boat for the first two years of our marriage. And no, it wasn't, like, a houseboat. It was a boat boat. We loved it, actually. Although, I will say that the Seattle winters were even more damp (if that's possible) out on the water, and it was a long, sad walk up the dock in the morning drizzle to my car each morning. I also wasn't big on having to share a bathroom with the businesses that occupied the marina office building, but I digress...

2. I studied theatre in college and have acted/modeled professionally, both onstage and in commercials/print advertisements. Most of that was a loooooooooooong time ago, but I'm actually appearing right now in an a TV commercial for my Democratic candidate for US Congress.

3. My husband and I were die-hard minor league hockey fans before my daughter was born, and I was kinda famous for shouting particularly rude things at the opposing team. Apparently I once yelled at an injured player, "When there's blood on the ice, THEN I'll feel sorry for you!" Not my proudest moment. There was beer involved. That's all I'll say about that.

4. I cut my own hair.

5. I once spent a summer doing an internship with a pharmaceutical company, in a manufacturing facility. I was the only girl and the only person working in my facility under the age of 40. Awkward. I had to wear a plastic spacesuit, steel-toed shoes, safety goggles and shower on the way and in out of the plant each day. At one point, I was exposed to "dry product," had a reaction, and had to be moved out of the plant and into the administrative offices for the rest of the summer. Not my favorite summer job. Did I mention the hours were 6 to 6 (days and nights, alternatively) and the pay was $5/hour?

6. I'm a socialist. Just kidding. Kinda.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Skwigga-zine Blog Ring -- Blog of the Week

This week's featured blogger is Cherished Dreams. In her own words:

The memory I have of my first child blanket (my fairy tale blanket) is what inspired my to make images primarily for children - I still have strong memories of the blanket and carried it with me through most of college (I used it as a car lap blanket). So I know how important those first secure images can be for a child and I wish to pass on those pleasent dreams to as many children who receive them.

Check out the Cherished Dreams blog for some thoughtful musings and the Cherished Dreams shop for beautiful quilts.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Fabulous Fun Finds is hosting a week of awesome giveaways from over 40 great Etsy sellers. Macaroni and Glue is proud to be offering Giveaway #29, a boxed set of our "Deck the Halls" holiday cards.

To enter, just stop by the shop, come back to the FFF blog, and comment on your favorite item from the shop before midnight 10/15/08 PST

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

October Featured EtsyBlogger - BFBeads!

Congrats to Jen of BFBeads - she has the distinct honor of being this month's featured EtsyBlogger! Jen's shop is filled with beautiful, baby-friendly bead necklaces designed to keep Baby's little fingers occupied while breastfeeding. Her reminder bracelets help you keep track of nursing sessions. In addition to her great shop, Jen is the blogger behind Mama's Magic.

Mama's Magic records the daily delights and difficulties of family life, along with entries on writing and creativity. The cast of characters includes Jen (the Mama), her husband (S), their preschooler son (BJ), and toddler daughter (BB). At the moment, Jen is a SAHM. She's also a poet with a Women's Studies degree, a jewelry designer, the owner of Mama's Magic Studio, and the creative force behind Baby Friendly Beads breastfeeding jewelry.

Take a look at some of BFBeads awesome baby-friendly necklaces and bracelets:

Congrats again to BFBeads, and enjoy your month of well-deserved fame!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Great Cards for a Great Cause

Macaroni and Glue is proud to be taking part in the second round of Mission Soldier Support, a charitable effort by handcrafted card makers dedicated to providing beautiful handmade cards to our soldiers overseas for the upcoming holiday season.

Participating shops from EtsyGreetings are donating holidaay cards to send to our soldiers. The cards will be available for the soldiers to use to send to their loved ones (no Hallmarks in Iraq, you know!). Take a look at CapturedTimeBooks blog to see some of the beautiful cards that have already been donated.

How can you help? Now through November 7th, purchase a card or card set from one of the participating shops and add "MSS" in the Notes to Seller at checkout. Find participating sellers by searching Etsy tags for "MSS". Rather than being shipped to you, your purchase will go to the troops overseas in time for them to send to their friends and family in the states.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back in the Saddle

That's right, kids, I'm back in town and ready to rock. That is, of course, if your definition of "rock" includes cutting, glueing, folding, packing and shipping til your fingers fall off! Orders await, so I'll not hang out here talking (b*tching) about our road trip back from Minnesota. Actually, all things considered, our family did great last week - 2 days of relative quiet driving up, minimal complaining when our first hotel proved to be...uh... slightly less swanky than expected, a week of living together in a single room in a retirement home (yes, really) without significant incident, and then 2 days driving home. Nobody got sick, there were no serious discipline issues to deal with, and we managed to eat three meals a day at sit-down restaurants without breaking any dishes or even disturbing other diners (miraculous, right?).

While I was gone, I apparently missed another "front page moment!" Thanks to funkychicboutique, my IRL ("in real life," that is) Etsy pal for including me and for being so awesome as to make it to front page! Have you checked out Funky Chic Studio yet? Have a great Monday, all!