Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The truth is...

Pale pink, springy green, and silver - what could connect them into a cohesive treasury? A song called "Restore" by Chris August seemed to fit with all the pretty rings and floral images we found among the CAST shops. What do you all think?

'And He will restore....' by HandiworkinGirls

Nobody's growing old together, we've made it easy just to quit
Love has become a negative percentage, why do we bother to commit
We've got a long list of excuses, ways we try to justify

Well, I propose to you the truth is, marriage does not have to die
I know you're feeling like it’s falling apart and it can't go on anymore
But God is a God who knows how to heal so just give it up to the Lord
And He will restore

Nature Photography 12x12 Dusky Pink Coneflower print - bbrunophotography Initial Jewelry Antique Silver letter L Pendant LOVE Necklace Wedding Bridal party - nanine pink scarf - light pink, bohemian lace, crochet - women, teens, all natural fibers, spring fashion, in stock, ready to ship - BaruchsLullaby Peridot Trillian Ring, Triangle Cut Peridot Sterling Silver Ring - DalkullanJewelry
Wedding card, anniversary card - Love is patient, love is kind: 1 Corinthians 13 modern christian card - RedLetterPaperCo Pastel  Pink Pincushion Flowers,  Dreamy  Fine Art Photography 8x10 Print, Wall Decor, Cottage, Shabby Chic Wall Decor - KarieJorgensen true love ring - sterling silver and stamped with couples initials - amycornwell Pink Flower Cluster on Metal Headband 698 - LaceandLuxe
Headband, Shahrene, Vintage Cabochon, Accessories by dspdavey on Etsy - dspdavey LOve Knot Ring - Sterling Silver - Minimal design - ArtAffectionsJewelry Lilac Daydreams Digital Photography Download Sparkle Floral Fine Art Photo Spring Flowers Pink - regiftstore LOVE - bible verse - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 - CreativeWildChild
Jade Ring Wire Wrapped Sterling Silver Princess - holmescraft mineral eye shadow . Orchid Purple . Gentleness - RedeemingBeauty god gave me you hand stamped sterling rectangle pendant and date charm for him - PureRoxFaith Pink Cherry Blossoms 5x7 Fine Art Photograph - CaptureBeautiful

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Cream Cheese + Dark Chocolate + Berries

...equals something seriously good! We love having cheesecakes for birthdays and family celebrations, but even with our wonderful springform pan, it is still a little hard to slice the "cake" and serve it intact. (Doubly hard when we've topped the cheesecake with our favorite chocolate/berry combo.) Enter the mini cheesecake - with its shiny foil wrapping, serving is a cinch. Topped with a rich, dark chocolate ganache and a slightly tart, mixed berry sauce, these little cheesecakes end any meal with a perfectly delicious note. In this recipe, we have modified a favorite to include xylitol (a low-glycemic sweetner with numerous health benefits), but it does work just as well with normal white sugar!

Mini Cheesecakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache
and Berry Sauce

2 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1/3 cup xylitol (or granulated sugar)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (or 2 teaspoons cornstarch)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cream cheese in mixer until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, and follow with remaining ingredients. Beat all ingredients for about five minutes.

Spoon mixture into foil-lined muffin tins, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Centers should be set, and a knife poked in the center should come out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes before topping with ganache and berry sauce. Chill for at least one hour before serving, and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Makes 12 standard muffin-sized cheesecakes.

Dark Chocolate Ganache

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
1/2 cup cream or half and half
1/4 cup xylitol (or powdered sugar)

Melt ingredients together in a double-boiler. Stir carefully until the chocolate is completely melted and the sweetener is dissolved. Let cool slightly before mounding onto the cheesecakes.

Berry Sauce

1 cup frozen mixed berries (can substitute any berry, except strawberries)
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter
1/8 cup xylitol (or granulated sugar)
1/4 teaspoon glucomannan or 2 teaspoons cornstarch, mixed with a few tablespoons of water.

Warm berries and lemon juice together in saucepan. Add sweetener and stir until dissolved. Carefully blend in thickener while stirring with a wire whisk to prevent lumps. Heat through or until thickener is fully cooked, if using cornstarch. Cool to room temperature before spooning onto the mini cheesecakes.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Come to the waters...

Watery aqua blue seemed the perfect choice for today's treasury. Inspired by Tenth Avenue North's "Love Is Here" and intrigued by this shade of aqua popping up all over Etsy, we choose to mingle hints of white, silver, and pale gray with our blues. The finished look is springy, fresh, and a little bit retro. Please take a minute if you can to visit a few of these charming shops, too!

'Love Is Here' by HandiworkinGirls

Come to the waters
You who thirst and you'll thirst no more
Come to the Father
You who work and you'll work no more

All you who labor in vain
And to the broken and shamed
Love is here
Love is now
Love is pouring from His hands from His brow
Love is near it satisfies
Streams of mercy flowing from His side
Cause Love is here

Seafoam Cathedral Beads and Sterling Silver Earrings - mompotter Aqua Pleated Flower Pin - lovealittle Aqua Polka Dot Bow Tie for Boys - MeandMatilda Faith Hope Love Necklace Inspirational Copper Sterling Silver Brass Stamped Christian Bible Verse First Corinthians 13 Mixed Metal - ATwistOfWhimsy
Vintage Laurel aqua turquoise splattered serving bowl - katietwoshoesvintage Aqua Blue Czech Glass Beaded Earrings, Czech Glass Earrings, Beaded Jewelry, Handmade Earrings - BeadsNStyle Nursery Decor - The Fruit of the Spirit - Love, Joy, Peace - (Gray) - Galatians 5:22-23 - CreativeWildChild Aqua Blue Set of Two... Loopy Hairbow Pair...Set of Hair Clips...Flat Loop Hair Bows...Pigtail Bows - HomespunHoneyBee
Digital Painting 20x20 Abstract Print - Pacific Paradise - aqua turquoise teal - bbrunophotography Nursery Decor -8x10 print -  bible verse - Jeremiah 1:5 - CreativeWildChild Mint Green Flower Ring Spring Trend Floral Resin Ring - BlueBayCrochet Chevron print ruffled maxi dress. Sizes 2T, 3T, 4T and 5T. Other sizes available. - SimplieGirlieDesigns
Christian Necklace - Not Saved to be Silent, Not Redeemed to be Afraid - Hand Stamped Necklace - MotherDaughterJewel Aquamarine Cuff Bracelet - BraceletsbyLinda Like Dandelion Dust Aqua Flower Digital Photography Floral Photo Download Spring - regiftstore AZURE Bloom Necklace - Tiffany Blue Fabric Rosettes on a Ball Chain, Fits Girls through Adults - thestrawberryhill

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Shop Interview: KraftersKorner

For our first shop interview, we would like to present Crystal of KraftersKorner. Crystal has not only been a longtime friend of our family's (best friend to the writer), but also opened her Etsy shop a few months before we opened ours. Together, we have learned the ins-and-outs of running an Etsy shop, the excitement of connecting with other Etsians, and the crazy ups-and-downs of SEO. (That one we're still learning about.) Through Crystal's photography skills, we have able to keep up with what is blooming - or not - in the beautiful state of Missouri, and from her varety of handmade cards and seals, we glean color palette inspiration. If you have taken a peek into her shop recently, you will know what we mean.
Crystal has graciously offered to giveaway any two 4 x 6 prints from her shop to one lucky commentor. Please see below for further instructions.

mini cards Christian cross brown cream by KraftersKorner

Is there a story behind your shop’s name?

I knew I wanted something that would incorporate several different types of crafts because I am always looking to try new things. I thought about spelling it with a C, but that name was already taken so I thought why not just spell it with a K and be more original?

Which category is your shop’s best seller?
Right now most of what I am selling is photography because that is most of what I have listed. My hand-stamped items also sell well. I have had card sets sell within minutes of listing them. That is always awesome! :)

How did you discover your crafts?
I started photography when I was given a camera by a fellow CAST member last year. I have no formal training in taking photos, so I say all glory to God for any apparent talent! I was taught to sew by my grandmother at age 7. I taught myself to knit at age 12. My best friend (blog host) gave me some stamps that got me started in paper crafting and has given me tips along the way. I am always open to expanding my boundaries and trying something new.

photo card lake and grassland missouri fall winter by KraftersKorner

What inspires your handiwork?
God's creativity in nature.

Your most essential crafting tools are? My camera for sure! It goes everywhere with me. My stamps, ink, and craft punches are pretty necessary also.

What does your work routine look like?
I don't have a set time. Like I said, my camera goes with me everywhere and I take photos wherever I am. I mostly make other things on the weekends. Sometimes I can squeeze them in on week day evenings though.

bluebirds nest eggs aqua blue photo print by krafterskorner

Is there a Scripture verse that particularly encourages you in your work? Proverbs 12:24 “Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave.”

Can you recall your first Etsy sale?
I sure do! It was so exciting! I've come a long ways in two years! :) I am about to make my 1,000th sale now.

What is your best piece of advice for new Etsy shops? Get involved with a team or two that can help give you SEO advice and will help promote your shop. The best one I have found is CAST. (They are a Christian team.)

Your whereabouts on the Web?
I am on Twitter, Pinterest, and I have my own blog: , in addition to my Etsy shop.

Most-played worship song? "The Power of Your Name" by Lincoln Brewster and Mia Fieldes, featuring Darlene Zschech.

Latest movie? We just watched A Mile in His Shoes. I highly recommend it.

To participate in the giveaway, please visit
KraftersKorner and favorite any item. Then return here and comment, posting link to the item you favorited. Next week, we will be selecting the lucky recepient, using as our random number generator.

Thank you again for allowing us to feature your shop, Crystal! If you are looking for a fun stamped card, a photo-based gift, or even some tags for wrapping up your Etsy orders, please take a minute or two to browse KraftersKorner. You will find something cute in no time!

Monday, May 13, 2013

It's overflowing and showing us all...

There are certain music groups we listen to all the time (or so it seems), so we deemed it appropriate to use a song from our perennial favorite, Third Day, as our treasury inspiration. Besides the beautiful title of "Your Love Is Like a River," we also enjoy the fact that we can indulge our love of river photography while coordinating with the lyrics. Add a few pieces of rustic jewelry and accessories, and you have one naturally elegant treasury.

'Your love is like a river flowing from my heart...' by HandiworkinGirls

Your love is like a river flowing from my heart When this cruel world tears us apart Your love is like a river flowing from my heart When sharpened words have left their scars Your love is like a river flowing from my heart

And it's overflowing and showing us all
How deep and how wide is Your love
It never stops, it rages on
Your love is like a river flowing from my heart