Brilliant Idea

Lately I've been trying to figure out how to make more money. Was it necessary to try and get a second job, while going to school full-time? I don't think so, seeing as I barely get through the week without wanting to take a nap every day with working at 4 am and coming back from school when its dark. So heres my new plan...why don't I sell some cards and prints to get some extra money? I have most of the supplies, I really enjoy doing it...so why not? BRILLIANT IDEA.

I just opened my Etsy shop, so I will try to get this whole "business" thing up and running ASAP (probably after finals). Holy moly, I can't even explain how excited I am. Today I browsed Paper Source and picked up flat note cards, stamps and ink for my holiday cards and tags. They came out SO cute, I thought "hey, I could sell these!" I mean, I'm pretty sure I can, right? I would also sell my woodcuts, and also some of my photographs. OH MAN, I think I'm on to something. Now all I have to figure out is standard shipping/packing materials for stuff like this. Does anyone have advice? How do I sell stuff easily on Etsy? I need money!

EDITED: heres the front page of my shop! I just did the banner, I love it! www.lauradeponte.etsy.com


Holiday Card Round-Up

image from flickr.com

I am SO SO SO excited for this post because, 1. I LOVE cards of all kinds. Birthday cards, Thank You cards, any type of card. 2. I love letterpress, and anything involving printing, pressing, and paper. 3. I love searching through etsy and finding these great artists who make awesome cards. 4. I love the holidays! Its a time for festivity, fall, winter, shopping and christmas music! I decided to do a round-up of my favorite holiday cards for the 2008 season.

Most of the artists I found were on Etsy but also have their own websites, and thank you to them all for being awesome and (hopefully) allowing me to post their products up on my little blog. Here we go!

My first card round-up comes from a GREAT shop on etsy, littlebrownpen. They create images in pdf files that people can buy (for extremely cheap to be reused over and over!) and use to create their own cards and calendars for the holidays. This is an incredible option for people who are short on cash this year (I know I am). Just print, cut and give to friends and family.

Fun, cute images abound. They even offer printable calenders for your desk or for a friend. Brilliant idea, I want them all!

Next up we have the super talented Tara Hogan from Ink+Wit. Shes been around the blogosphere many times, inspiring little bloggers like me to try out letterpressing! Her letterpress cards are simple and sweet, and many of them are holiday appropriate. Tara Hogan also helps out with Tenth and Grant, a collective of artists based out of Portland, Oregon.

Look at her, working out the gray and yellow combo! These thank you cards are perfect for post-holiday thank-yous.

Tara also puts out limited edition letterpress calendars and prints. They often sell out fast so if you have a chance to grab one, DO IT! They may never be seen again. You can shop at Ink+Wit here.

Yup, loving Ink+Wit all around. I think if I try my hand at letterpress I'd want my stuff to look like hers, clean and simple, short and sweet. Great work, Tara!

The gals at Dutch Door Press have me hooked on their folk-art letterpress goods. Their patterns and Dutch-style images recall a cuckoo clock we had when I was a kid. Everytime I see their work around shops I get all giddy and warm inside.

See? Warm and giddy, like you just found some old gem in the attic, except its in the form of a card! You can buy Dutch Door Press goods here and at their etsy shop here.

I found the lovely Jen at PaperWren while randomly searching Etsy for holiday cards. Her cute, vintage Gocco printed cards caught my eye. I'm definitely loving the boughs below. Jen has been kind enough to give me some help and advice for starting my own etsy endeavours, thanks Jen!

Nothing says "keep warm" like her cards. She uses a variety of vintage images and great colors to make some awesome cards. My faves are the lace and chrysanthemums! You can find Jen at Paper Wren's etsy shop here.

Alright, I believe thats about all the fun I can take in one sitting. Maybe I'll get around to a Christmas wish-list soon...and pictures of my cards soon!

Pumpkin Bread (recipe included!)

Yesterday I made my first ever pumpkin bread! It took a little checking up on since I made one loaf and pumpkin muffins, but it turned out really yummy and...dare I say it? Moist (cue cringing). I figured I wanted to try something involving pumpkin before I got sick of seeing it all over Tastespotting. The recipe I used was off of epicurious.com, and makes 2 loaves (I only had one loaf pan and a short attention span so I improvised with the muffins and baked them simultaneously). I just love the light sweetness of the bread. It goes great with walnuts sprinkled on top and some cream cheese spread over the top. Enjoy!

Spiced Pumpkin Bread
from epicurious.com

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 16-ounce can solid pack pumpkin
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Beat sugar and oil in large bowl to blend. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Sift flour, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, salt and baking powder into another large bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture in 2 additions. Mix in walnuts, if desired.

Divide batter equally between prepared pans. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to racks and cool 10 minutes. Using sharp knife, cut around edge of loaves. Turn loaves out onto racks and cool completely.

image courtesy blogchef.net


Rainy Days...again

The rainy season in Portland officially started on Halloween. All of a sudden its dark at 4:30 pm, the sky is a dull shade of gray and your'e finding yourself blowing hot air into your frozen hands. This is not a one-time bad-weather deal, this is Fall-Winter-Spring in Portland. Oh boy. I was just enjoying skipping around in the cool air watching the leaves fall, and now my face is permanently stuck to the pavement making sure I don't slip on a slimy, mushy leaf. Oh well, for now I've found some rainy weather items that'll brighten your day!

The best part about a fall and winter wardrobe are the COATS. Oh, I could go on forever about how much I love coats and outwear. They just make everyone look polished and cozy. Forget about lame college sweatshirts and baggy sweatpants, wear a cute coat and your whole vibe is changed. Forever21 is a cheap clothes fashionista's MECCA for coats and all things cute.

The top coat is edgy and fitted, I love the diagonal zipper. Its indie meets cool sophistication. The bottom reminds me of an Italian screen siren with red lipstick walking around Italy and drinking cappuccinos. And these coats are all under $50! Browse Forever21's enormous selection here.

Spotted on NotCot, these super cute umbrellas from Umbrella Society are sure to make you pop out in crowd of black and gray umbrellas (ellas, ellas!) Buy one, buy them all, they are so cute and hard to resist. I'm in love with the rose umbrella, I can totally see a cute girl in Paris looking adorable walking around the Lourve gardens (okay getting carried away here...).

Rainboots can totally make a cute fall outfit cuter. I'm loving these powder blue pair from Target. They have a great (and large!) selection of cute rainboots and most are only $25! They definitely keep your feet dry and look cute with leggings or with dark jeans tucked in. The herringbone pair are super sophisticated and will look great with any outfit. Also, if I had $2-300 to throw around, I would buy a nice pair of leather flat riding boots. Ah.

Last but not least, warm up with a hot chocolate! Starbucks has just rolled out their holiday drinks! Up on the menu: Gingersnap Latte, Peppermint Mocha Twist (FYI you can get peppermint mochas all year round!), Pumpkin Spice Latte, Eggnog, Caramel Apple Cider, Signature Hot Chocolates (I highly reccomend the Salted Caramel, it's SO GOOD.).

So theres my little warmth for you during the cold days! Stay tuned for my holiday gift guides for all price ranges! Stay warm!


For my own sake

Congrats first off to Barack Obama! Last night was a moment to remember...I hope I will be able to tell my kids about this amazing time in the history of America when we put aside our differences and elect the first African-American President. It shows that we have come a long way, and we still have strides to make but this was an enormous step. I was thinking how proud generations of African-Americans must be, it was quite an emotional night. The election also showed how strong Americans are and willing we are to take back our government. And like my sister said, our image has completely transformed in the eyes of the rest of the world (so glad! for a minute there I thought the entire world hated us...yikes).

Who else is so excited about the new First Family? Hes so in love with Michelle, and I think the rest of America is too, shes beautiful and graceful. Work it, Michelle! His daughters are precious also. Ah they are such a cute family I can't stand it!

Alright, moving on. I finished my 2nd print in my printmaking class, I just need to run them with colors. Super excited about it, it turned out exactly how I wanted. Stay tuned for pics! But for my third project (which has no guidelines, but is a reduction print), I'm having a bit of trouble getting inspired. I have a few ideas...but still not an "a-ha!" moment. Right now im leaning towards a very minimalist portrait of a bird...sparse and simple. The way I like it! In fact, this exact print gave me the idea:

I also really want to start taking this printmaking thing seriously. I really need to brainstorm and map out what I want to do with it otherwise I'll be doing school projects forever and not do anything truly of my own. Yea...so...heres to motivation!

photos from: onedroprule.org, cpluv.com, laurabeach.net