Sunday, November 29, 2009

Etsy Limelight Giveaway- My Vintage Blossom

I am very excited to bring you our second Etsy Limelight giveaway!

I love purses- and just can't get enough.

Would you like to win this lovely bag? I would!

This gorgeous handmade tote (14.5in x 9in with a strap height of about 9in and one interior slit pocket) was made by Maggie of My Vintage Blossom. She used beautiful fabric from a local shop.

Let's learn more about Maggie (straight from her)...

I moved from New Hampshire to San Francisco in the spring of 2006. After several months, my old roommate from college moved down there too and we got an apartment together. She was in interior design, so she had begun making bags with great fabric samples she would get from work. It was on her sewing machine that I started making my own bags. My original company was in conjunction with hers, under Pepperdog East, but once I moved back to New Hampshire two years later, I reinvented my company as My Vintage Blossom. I decided to go with "My Vintage Blossom" because I constantly found myself so inspired by vintage styles, and although those styles may not be directly translated into the bags I make, the inspiration runs deep in my veins.

I am a highway engineer, so I spend most of my time in a cubicle performing roadway layout analysis, drainage calculations, and estimating. Sewing provides me with a creative outlet, which is crucial in balancing my life. I take a lot of pride in the way my bags are constructed (an eye for detail comes along with beng an engineer) and in the fabric I use. Everything I make has a little bit of myself in it.

I really love to sew, so I spend a lot of my time doing that. I love traveling, which we dont get the opportunity to do as much as I would like. I love watching funny movies and enjoying time with my family. I also LOVE fashion, so I spend a lot of my time going through various magazines (mostly Vogue and Instyle), cutting out my favorite items in the magazines.

My favorite item is the Ring around the Retro Clutch because it's such a fun, funky and unique piece. I love the combination of the bright pink with white, black and grey.

Maggie has graciously offered to give away this beauty:

Here is what you need to do to enter:

Visit her shop (notice that she is offering FREE shipping in the US and reduced international shipping through the holidays!!) and comment here letting me know what your favorite item is.

For an additional entry follow my blog and leave me a separate comment letting me know that you are a follower.

A winner will be selected at 12:00pm PST on Thursday, December 3rd. Check back to see if you are the lucky winner!

Know a new(ish) shop that should be put in the Limelight? Please email me at

Thursday, November 26, 2009

It's Turkey Day!

Have a GLORIOUS Thanksgiving!

Thank you for your support and encouragement.

I am so very thankful!

Give your families and friends some love today and enjoy this wonderful celebration!

Check out the shop starting tomorrow for some sweet deals.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

DIY Easy Tree Decoration

This idea was orginally going to be the centerpiece for my Thanksgiving table, but it got to be so big that it ended up being a beautiful decoration in the dining room. It's super easy and gorgeous...

Gather some branches from outside. I cut some off of a huge branch that was blown off a tree during a storm in our front yard. It has beautiful moss on it in various colors.

Use glass or real stones of whatever color you would like (I used river rocks and clear glass) to fill up a large vase (big enough to hold your branches). The trickiest part is arranging your branches. Try to make them look like a tree.

Now have fun with it and be creative. Try to decorate with things that you have on hand. I added a few copper glittered leaves (from my Christmas decorations).

I used raffia to hang glass tea lite holders from the branches (HINT: USE BATTERY OPERATED LIGHTS FOR SAFETY). These photos do not do the tree justice.

This holiday tree is going to be transformed into all that is Christmas after Thanksgiving is over.

Thanksgiving is TOMORROW!!!

I am SOOOOO excited about being able to sit down with 50 people from my mom's side of the family and celebrating all that we are thankful for...and we get to do some blueberry picking with them on the ranch. It's going to be wonderful!

I am thankful for so much and I don't say it enough. My seriously amazing family, my most supportive and encouraging and level headed and wise (I could go on..) husband, my sincere and loving friends, and my crazy cute always happy to see me pup.

Thank you God for giving me so much!

Monday, November 23, 2009

DIY Thanksgiving Centerpiece

We have already hosted two Thanksgiving meals at our home. As promised, I have a few little tips for affordable and fun Thanksgiving decorations.

Let's start with a centerpiece.

Find a rustic fabric to use if you don't have a table runner that you like. I found this piece of fraying burlap in the remnants pile at a local store. It was the perfect size and I liked the frayed edges.

I dug through my vases and candle holders and found a few that were different shapes and sizes. I filled the small vases with a few of the flowers that my hubby had brought home for me the week before (mums last a long time and are not expensive).

The larger vases and containers were filled with acorns that I found in our front yart. There are so many great little things that you can use to fill these up- just head out into your neighborhood and get creative!

I used a white pillar candle and a few tealites that I already had to create some atmosphere. :o) I then added some doilies under a few of the candle holders. I have quite a few antique ones that I use for different projects- they are great to have on hand.

I found fall garland at a local craft store for 80% off and snagged it to add a finishing touch. You can cut a few small branches off of a tree from your yard if you can't find a garland you like.

It was so simple and very affordable.

My Cost-

Burlap: 0.49
Flowers: given to me
Acorns: Found in front yard
Candles: Already had
Vases/Containers: Already had (but you can find them at the dollar store)
Garland: 1.99
Doilies: Already had (you can even find doilies at the dollar store!)

Total: $2.48

Next up...a tree decoration that you can use for the entire holiday season...

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Winner!!

Congratulations to

Hope! selected you as the winner of the gift certificate to Lullaby Couture! I will contact you soon with more information.

Thank you to all who paricipated and Laura- thank you for sharing your creativity and generosity with us! I am excited to see what happens with your beautiful Etsy shop.

Be sure to check her shop out here.

...stay tuned for some holiday fun and get ready for more Etsy Limelight giveaways!

Happy weekend!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The First Etsy Limelight Giveaway

I am so excited to put our first store in the Etsy Limelight.

Moms- you may have to restrain yourselves from buying out this whole store.


Let's learn a little about the lovely woman behind these precious handmade items-

When did your passion for Lullaby Couture begin?

I decided to get into sewing only a little over a year ago (May 2008). I have always had a creative side, and wanted to do something to feed my creativity. I always loved to draw and do crafts as a child. On a whim I just decided to buy a sewing machine and see what I could do with it. I went that next day and bought a machine, a yard of fabric and a pattern for baby bibs. I was up at 5am that next morning sewing, and by 6:30am when my husband awoke, I had completed my first bib. From that point on, I just couldn’t quit, and I went on to design my own patterns for almost everything that I make.

What do you like to do for fun?

Lullaby Couture is a lot of fun to me, but I also LOVE watching my son play football, getting pedicures with my daughter, antiquing, gardening, and Saturday morning coffee with my hubby.

What is your favorite item in your shop?

My favorite item in my shop would have to be my halters and tunics. I made the pattern from a brown grocery bag! I love finding bright, bold fabrics to use for them, and they are really a great buy because they will fit for years, first as a tunic length, and later as an adorable top! Plus they can be worn all year long, with a long-sleeved T in the cooler months, or by themselves in the summertime.

Laura, the creative mind behind Lullaby Couture is graciously giving away a $20 gift certificate toward any item in her shop! The gift certificate will go toward your purchase(s) and shipping. More details regarding the gift certificate will be given to the winner.

Entering this giveaway is simple:

All you have to do to enter is check out Lullaby Couture and leave a comment here telling me what your favorite item is. For a second entry become a follower. THAT'S IT!

A winner will be selected this Friday, at 12:00pm PST.

Let others know about this giveaway- and consider doing some holiday shopping over at Lullaby Couture!

Do you know an undiscovered or new(ish) shop that should be in the Etsy Limelight? Email me at

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Something to Look Forward to...

I have some fun Thanksgiving table ideas to share this week, but first I have a little surprise.

I opened my humble little Lillian Ray Etsy store in the beginning of this year. I didn't know what would come of it or if I would even make a sale. I have been encouraged and sometimes even discouraged along the way, but I decided to keep going. I still consider my store to be a work in progress and have multiple items that I need to find the time to post.

Frost Necklace- My first Etsy sale

Starting a store can be frustrating and I have learned that there are so many undiscovered gems on Etsy.

So, back to the surprise...

Well, a few adorable undiscovered or new(ish) shops are going to be featured on this blog and are ready to give away some goodies to my readers. I have LOVED getting to know these sellers and am so excited that they are willing to be the first of many to participate in a feature/giveaway of this kind! We will be taking the time to put them and their shops in the Etsy Limelight.

Are you ready to meet the first one?

Flu Recovery and a Giveaway!

I was hit hard with a flu the last few days so I have been out of it.

I am on the road to recovery today and actually managed to get out of my bed!

More posts are on their way but first check out another Lillian Ray giveaway at

Someone is going to win this beauty:

It could be you!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Jewelry Storage Solutions

If you're like me then you probably have spent some time untangling jewelry. I used to find jewelry all over my house stashed in little "storage" areas. It wasn't until I found one of these awesome storage solutions that I started to wear it more regularly because I actually knew where it was. The more organized your jewelry is, the more likely it is that you will wear it and enjoy it.

These handy pouches can hang in your closet. They are perfect because you can see your pieces and even arrange them by color or type. The ones that I have are double sided to maximize storage space.

Here is a jewelry organizer with 80 pockets for under $20-

I found mine at Ross so be sure to keep an eye out for them when you see them- and snag them if you do!

One of my all time favorite ways to store jewelry is to display it. Pottery Barn Teen came up with some awesome ways to organize jewelry. I can picture the perfect places that each of these could go in my Lillian Ray office...

Or for a different look-

click on the images to see where they can be purchased

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Winner

I apologize for getting this up a little later than I had hoped, but we have a winner for the Holiday Cheer Necklace giveaway!

Congratulations to Ashley from
Life Is Beautiful!!!

Please email me at with your contact information and I will ship the necklace to you!

As a thank you I would like to offer 10% off your entire order for the next week to all who participated in LR's first blog giveaway. Please convo me on Etsy or send me an email at BEFORE ordering if you would like to take advantage of this offer. This offer ends next Wednesday.

Stay tuned for some more creative fun and giveaways!
This is your last chance to enter to win the Holiday Cheer Necklace!

A winner will be chosen TODAY at 3pm PST.

The winner will be chosen by and will be announced this evening so be sure to check back!

Enter here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Calling ALL Recipe Lovers

Last year was the first year that I made almost an entire Thanksgiving meal by myself...twice! I knew I was going to have to take some risks because I chose mostly recipes that I had not tried before. When I told my mom I was going to do that she thought I was crazy.

I called some friends and got their favorite recipes and then I enlisted the help of my all time favorite recipe site: Allrecipes If you don't know about this site, then you should check it out.

I found a winner and have made it multiple times since then. I thought I would share this recipe with you- if you're a vegetarian you may have to get really creative with this recipe to enjoy it. It's the meat in this stuffing that really makes it tasty.

Awesome Sausage, Apple and Cranberry Stuffing

This recipe serves 10


* 1 1/2 cups cubed whole wheat bread
* 3 3/4 cups cubed white bread
* 1 pound ground turkey sausage
* 1 cup chopped onion
* 3/4 cup chopped celery
* 2 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
* 1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
* 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
* 1 Golden Delicious apple, cored and chopped
* 3/4 cup dried cranberries
* 1/3 cup minced fresh parsley
* 1 cooked turkey liver, finely chopped
* 3/4 cup turkey stock
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F (175 degree C). Spread the white and whole wheat bread cubes in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes in the preheated oven, or until evenly toasted. Transfer toasted bread cubes to a large bowl.
2. In a large skillet, cook the sausage and onions over medium heat, stirring and breaking up the lumps until evenly browned. Add the celery, sage, rosemary, and thyme; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes to blend flavors.
3. Pour sausage mixture over bread in bowl. Mix in chopped apples, dried cranberries, parsley, and liver. Drizzle with turkey stock and melted butter, and mix lightly. Spoon into turkey to loosely fill.

I decided to omit the turkey liver just because it grossed me out. I still thought the recipe was amazing. If you would like to see the recipe from the site and change the serving size, then click the photo above.

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I KNOW that some of you have recipes that you and your family/friends look forward to eating this time each year. I would love some more recipes that are tried and true. If you have a family favorite for the holidays then please share the recipe (or share a link to it) in a comment.

Happy Cooking!

Now I am off to go add a few little goodies to the shop.

If you haven't entered the giveaway, then you can do it here. Only about 24 more hours to go!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Creative Wrapping Ideas

Good Morning!

I just love that I get to wrap up orders and ship them all over. It's so much fun! Packaging is another way to show creativity and personality and I am always creating new ways to express myself.

I love creating handmade tags for each of my items. It's a great reason to emboss:

Just because someone orders something for themselves doesn't mean that it shouldn't look like a gift when they receive it.

The little details hopefully do not go unnoticed!

With the holidays right around the corner I found a few great ideas for wrapping...

Take a look at this lace tape. I need some. Now.

Click on the photo above to find out where to purchase the tape

FrenchRevelation has some adorable tags

What about adding a little monogrammed ornament to top off the gift? Said In Stone has some great little gift toppers

Red Marionette has some insanely cute little ornaments too. Be sure to check them out!

Plan ahead and have some fun with it! Happy wrapping.

If you haven't entered the Holiday Cheer Necklace giveaway yet, be sure to enter here.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Etsy Giveaway

It's time to celebrate the new blog with a giveaway.

The Holiday Cheer Necklace is simple and perfect for the cool Autumn and Winter months. The wire wrapped green freshwater pearl and the gold stone bead are the perfect combination with this silver pine cone.

Click on the image for more details.

It's simple to enter this giveaway.

For one entry leave a comment about one of your favorite items in my shop.

That's all you need to do to enter. But if you want more entries...

For a second entry become a follower and leave me a comment letting me know that you did it.

For a third entry become a fan on facebook (see link on right side of blog) and leave me a comment letting me know that you did. If you already are a fan, then leave me a comment telling me!

Stay tuned for more giveaways, a lot of Etsy LOVE, and some creativity. It's going to be FUN!

The winner will be chosen this Thursday, November 12th at 3pm PST and will be announced that evening. Be sure to check back to see if you are the winner.

Link Love

Welcome to my blog. It's a work in progress, but I figured it was time to make it official. I will keep this updated with Etsy stuff from my shop as well as others AND all things creative.

Here are a few links I love. The people behind these links are awesome too- I know them all personally so please take some time to check them out. :o)

Mary's Monday Musicology: Each Monday Mary updates her blog with a great new artist. You can learn a little about the artist and hear their music. I love her music choices and I am sure you will too! is a great website/blog of a friend who is a great writer, communicator, and has an awesome eye for style and fashion. She has combined her loves and talents to create this site. Check it out!

Mel's Recipe Swap
is a fairly new blog that is dedicated to bringing you some tried and true recipes. They are ranked from easy to difficult and have been taste tested and approved. Be sure to check it out for some really great recipes. The photos just make me so hungry!

Christan P Photography offers quality photography to document those moments in your life that you don't want to forget. He is based in the Central Coast of California and is booking now! Be quick if you're interested in him because he is booking up fast!

Bethabee Designs is the cutest little handmade card shop. She puts lots of love into her creations and icing on the cake is her free shipping in the US. I loved the card that I ordered from her and I am sure I will adding more to my cart soon! Bethabee also has a blog here. It's a really fun read!

Frenchie and Flea is a great little Etsy shop for printed paper items and other goodies. I only know one of the girls behind the shop, but they seem to be a perfect team. They also have a blog here. Be sure to check out their handmade pledge!

Stay tuned for a giveaway!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Earring Promotion

With the holidays coming up it was time to start thinking about stocking stuffers. You can find some beautiful little stocking stuffer earrings for $5 right in my shop. Be sure to check them out!

Thanks to all who participated in my free earring with the first November purchases. I hope you all love your little earrings!

Off to fill some more orders...