Thursday, November 25, 2010

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Coupon Code for TheJuneBride on Etsy!! (and a GIVEAWAY!)

Hello dear readers! I hope you are gearing up for a great Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends!

Since I'm preparing for a busy Christmas shopping season, I'm offering my blog readers a 15% off coupon for everything in TheJuneBride Etsy shop starting now (!!) through next Wednesday. Just use coupon code "2010CYBER15" at checkout! Additionally, $1 from each item sold in November will be donated to local charities that offer food, heat and medical treatment to families in need. All my items are handmade and eco-friendly (and they ship for free in the USA!), so you can feel 100% good about your purchase!


And the giveaway? I'll be offering ONE (1) lucky reader TWO (2) reclaimed wool flower pins of her/his choice (retail value $25-$30 USD). International participants are welcome too!

There are NINE (9) ways to enter the drawing (and you can do them all!!):
  1. Follow my blog (and comment)
  2. Heart my Etsy shop (and comment)
  3. Tweet this on Twitter (and comment)
  4. Share it on Facebook (and comment)
  5. Blog about it (and comment)
  6. Comment and indicate your favorite flower pin from my shop
  7. Comment with something you're grateful for this Thanksgiving
  8. Comment with your favorite Thanksgiving food
  9. Purchase any item from my Etsy shop (and comment)
RULES:
  • Maximum entries per person is 9, and each entry must be its own comment on this post.
  • Using random.org, 1 winner will be chosen on Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 5 PM EST.
  • Participants are welcome worldwide.
  • Please make sure to leave an email where you can be reached if your account doesn't link to one!
  • Have fun!

My Life in a Nutshell: Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful this year. Very, very thankful. For so many reasons.

During my short stint as a drill sergeant for juvenile offenders at a weekend rehabilitation camp (this was many years ago, folks!), the crew was making their introduction to the group of delinquent teens. After the head of the program gave his amazing life story… he was found, at the age of 2, fending for himself in a house where his mother had been lying dead for a week, surviving by drinking from the toilet and eating crackers left on the table. His father, who had not permitted the “female operation” that would have saved his mother’s life, abandoned him. He bounced around foster homes for years and was involved with crime and drugs before ultimately finding God and a reason to turn his life around. He then introduced me, saying, “And this is Karen… Well, I don’t know for sure, but I think she may have had the perfect life.” It was humbling after his story full of sadness and turmoil to have led a life with seemingly no challenges. Now I can reflect on the power of growing up with a home life founded on true love, and a faith that makes many obstacles shrink in comparison. Having lived much more of my life since that time, I have experienced some challenges, and I’m grateful for them and for where I am now.

I am content. I am thankful. I am truly blessed.

Here’s my top 10 list of reasons why I am thankful:

  1. For having been given life.
  2. For having a Purpose.
  3. For getting to live everyday with my sweet, wonderful, strong, kind, supportive, hilarious, charming, manly, generous, attractive, and loving husband!
  4. For the 6 little feet stomping around the house, for the 2 stomping around my bladder, and for the tiny two stomping around in Heaven.
  5. For a family and family-in-law who I respect and really truly love to be around.
  6. For an abundance of inspiring, supportive friends.
  7. For the multitude of wonderful children in our lives to help our children grow up right.
  8. For a house filled with with much more laughter than tears.
  9. For talents and the means to use them.
  10. For the ability to appreciate that nothing I have is truly mine, and what a beautiful gift that is.

I wish you a safe, happy holiday full of good company and delicious food!

DSC_8433 thanksgiving

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Random Finds: GiveawayScout.com

This is just what I've been looking for in preparation for offering a giveaway... GiveawayScout.com! It's an established website that collects blog-based giveaways, promotes them and helps you get entrants and views. Wonderful! I'm looking forward to getting a little help publicizing my giveaway, and I would definitely say they're worth checking out if you have similar plans :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Life in a Nutshell: The Party is Over

We had a great party today!  We had 46 wonderful people in attendance… 28 of which were kids… all 8 and under. Michigan did not even nearly win over Wisconsin, but we were able to console ourselves with a fantastic potluck meal. One 18 pound turkey, one 8 pound ham, bread dressing, gravy, mashed potatoes, gouda and herb scalloped potatoes (a fabulous Cooks Illustrated recipe), sweet potato casserole, homemade garlic and herb rolls, two salads and fresh veggies, cranberry sauce, homemade applesauce, green bean casserole, apples with dip (I’m holding their serving dish hostage until I get that recipe!!), pumpkin pie, mint chocolate chip pie, and a crunchy chocolate-caramel bar that is too good for me to remember it’s name (oooh… yes, they’re called Kit Kat bars and I already have the recipe!). Amazingly, the real cleanup consisted only of a little vacuuming, the fixing of only one miniscule carpet stain, and the stowing of copious quantities of delicious leftovers. And I don’t have a single photo to show for it!

Thus begins my official start the to the “holiday season”. I don’t usually like to refer to it as such, but since for me it is encompassing both Thanksgiving and Christmas, I’ll let it go. Unlike the Reynold’s Oven Bag recipe for “Holiday Ham”…  Couldn’t we just call it “Christmas Ham”? It’s definitely not “Hanukkah Ham”, now is it? Ah, commercialism.

Well, I’m off now to put up my sore pregnant feet and revel in the quietude with a piece of mint pie and some tea. Happy Saturday-Before-Thanksgiving :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

TheJuneBride News: Featured @ the rikrak studio blog!!

Oh boy! The wonderful and kind Kristal at the rikrak studio blog is featuring my sugar cookie recipe and a giveaway today!  I’m so flattered and excited :)

therikrakstudiorectangle

 I featured Kristal and her fabulous eco-felt Christmas stockings a while back, and she’s been a longtime treasury friend on Etsy. Such a  sweetie… Hop on over and check out her lovely and inspiring craft + fun blog!!

I’m also super excited today because I just hit 3333 sales! Sort of random, but a little bit exhilarating as well :) Just 1111 more sales until this sort of alignment happens again. I’m hoping to see that in 2011!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My Life in a Nutshell: 7 Days of Cleaning Makes One Week

In preparation for our biggest party of the year, I am on a mission to accomplish some basic housecleaning. I do this every year… plan the projects that I’ll complete before our big event. Some people clean on a schedule so their house always looks spic and span, and if you drop by unannounced they apologize for the teacup they left on the end table… really, they didn’t know you were coming. Not me. I clean for company and rarely otherwise*. It’s a good thing we have people over fairly regularly, otherwise nothing would ever get done.

Today is Day 6 of the week of cleaning. I made myself a little day-by-day list of what I hoped to accomplish, trying to be both reasonable and thorough. It seems to be working so far. I am still managing to fit in some crafty Etsy stuff too, so it’s not all work and no play.

Day 1 (“The Day of the Bi-Fold Door”) – Install 2 sets of bi-fold closet doors using new tracks. Fix another set of bi-fold doors that haven’t closed properly since before my 3.5-yr old was born.

Day 2 (“The Day I Justify Estate Saling as Shopping”) – Stop by our Kiwanis Sale and an estate sale looking for some eclectic yet practical items for organization… find awesome wall-mounted jewelry display shadow box that solves one major annoyance. Also de-clutter master bedroom and tidy up little boy’s room. Purchase largest frozen turkey available at local grocery store and begin process of thawing.

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Day 2b (“Resting Day”) – This was Sunday, so apart from going to Mass (which can seem like work with 3 little kids when one’s husband is playing piano for Mass), I didn’t do anything notable except make a shopping list whilst lying on the couch…

Day 3 (“Ultrasound Day”) – Clean the living room, put away some bigger items of clutter. Shop for other party dinner needs then try to safely fit them in the fridge around the thawing turkey. Pick up the 1st grader to go to my 20 week ultrasound with the rest of the family. See Little Tiny Baby and get some cute pictures to share with all of you.

whole body  profile feet

Day 4 (“Grandma Day”) – Clean family room, re-shelve the kids books and scoop Duplos out from under the couch. Begin kitchen cleaning and de-cluttering. Then fabulous mother-in-law came over to watch kids so I could run errands. Shop for some basic household things that I’ve been continually forgetting (shower curtain, hand towels for main floor bathroom, nice smelling candles, clothes that fit my growing belly, etc).

Day 5 (“The Day I Hit Halfway”) – My official halfway point in the pregnancy (yay!).  After a morning of pre-school with the two little ones, celebrate by moving furniture in the sunroom, vacuum high and low and wash slipcovers. The big TV for the football game watching goes in there, so proper arrangement of furniture is critical for adequate flow and optimal viewing (or so I’m told). I’m not sure yet whether the Master and Commander will rearrange my work, but at least I know that even the carpet under the couches is clean. Spot clean hall and stair carpets.

Day 6 (“Today”) – Feel sore from furniture-moving and so decide to blog, pretending it’s necessary and that people will read it. Find big box and roam the house collecting errant items and other clutter. Label box “Donations” and set in garage for Purple Heart. Make nursery habitable for visiting babies. Tackle basement workspace, preparing for kids to play down there at party. Block off entrance to workspace so curious little hands don’t get into the scissors. Do laundry. Cut boys’ hair.

Day 7 (“Tomorrow”) – Cut bread and chop vegetables for dressing. Choose serving bowls. Clear kitchen counters of anything unnecessary. Pull out turkey roaster and warming tray. Make children clean their rooms. Clean bathrooms. Vacuum every carpet. Wash windows (I use these amazing cloths from FlyLady… no chemicals and very little elbow grease involved!).

Big Party Day! – Begin cooking turkey! Wait for people to arrive :) Watch football. Catch up with friends. Laugh lots. Eat well.

The day after Big Party Day is always a great one too… the house is clean, there are leftovers for a week, and everyone is happy. Then we get to celebrate Thanksgiving with our families and someone else does the cleaning and most of the cooking :) Fabulous!

*One time I also cleaned for sanity (don’t ever watch any TV show about hoarding, especially late at night when your house isn’t immaculate), and on several occasions I’ve cleaned for charity (it’s so much easier to clean someone else’s mess, isn’t it?).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Etsy Tutorial: How I Take Product Photos for my Etsy Listings

Since I am in the process of taking and editing hundreds of photos of TheJuneBride Etsy products this week, I figured it would be a nice idea to share how exactly I go about planning and setting up my product shots. Any Etsy seller who has ever stopped into the forums or read a featured seller article has learned that the best way to make sales is to have great photos. But how exactly does one do that? I’ve stumbled my way through product photography (and I’m still stumbling… I’m no professional) by way of point-and-shoot, then dSLR… but I’ve realized that nothing makes better pictures than simply thinking about composition, then working on technique.

First, there are a few things I think about when I plan to photograph items:

  1. What can I highlight about the product to grab potential customer’s attention in the main photo?
  2. How does the item display best?
  3. How will the product be used? Can I show it in a “real life” situation?
  4. Should I include a “group shot”? Will showcasing this item with other related items help make a larger sale?

My first question gives me the foresight to plan one picture to really stand out among the millions of item photos on Etsy. Rather than simply choosing the “best” of the pictures of any particular item, I try to take one with “wow factor”… something to make people want another look to see what it’s all about. Most of my items are small, so getting a close up of the texture of the wool I use tends to get good results in the view department (and more views turn into more sales). But this will vary depending on what you’re trying to sell, time of year, relative saturation of that category on Etsy, etc. It’s worth the time and energy to come up with something unique that can be fairly consistent throughout your product line, something that will ultimately become recognizable as yours.

When planning how to display the item, I have a few cardinal rules that I have come to realize cause the best views for my items… this may differ for yours, but it’s still worth considering. Below you can see my setup for photos of my flower brooches (and sometimes the food stuffs I blog about) – a foam-core board with or without a scrapbooking paper “curve”. Near a window in indirect sunlight. On the floor. Classy, eh? But it works… I just get as close in as I need to feature the item, and later can digitally crop out any undesirable aspects. No flash means naturally lit photos that best represent the true color of the item.

basic setup basic uncropped basic closeup

I always use a simple uncluttered backdrop for smaller items… a solid color without majorly noticeable lines is generally the ticket. The photos below show some “cluttered backgrounds” that draw attention away from the product. These examples could be worse because they are not too bold, but you get the idea. Polka dots would be a bad idea…

cluttery background 1 cluttery background 2

I choose a background (almost always gray or white) that helps the items show up best. I try to find the tone that best makes the item “pop”, and it can also help solve the bluish tinge that is very hard to edit out in some photos (see the pink flower below for an example). For bigger tabletop items (handbag, scarf, etc) I use a giant roll of white paper as my “curve” and background… cheap but very effective, and easy to white balance when you are digitally editing your photos.

gray on gray gray on white

fiery red on gray fiery red on white

pink on gray pink on white

Now, if you’re shooting larger items or “real life” situations (ex. a skirt modeled on a real person in your backyard), you’ll have to figure out how to keep the attention on the item you’re trying to sell, while letting a compatible background complement your color scheme. Aside from that tip, all I can say is that the overall picture should be appealing. It should not look like a snap shot. Using a flash is generally not a good idea. Get creative. Try out a few things till you find what works.

Now, I’m not completely sure what to recommend for a product “group shot”… it depends on a few things. Imagine you’re shopping for soap on Etsy. You find something that looks good, and in that particular listing, the seller has included as the last photo a shot of a grouping of that soap with other bath and body products from her shop that have the same scent, congruent packaging and clearly could be given together as a gift set. Maybe your Aunt Gertrude would love a combination of those items, and you decide to buy a few for her for Christmas. This is GOOD and is an example of a successful group shot. It turned into a bigger sale than would have happened if you had not seen more available items together. Now, imagine you’re shopping for a hat. In that particular listing, the seller has added as the last photo a shot of just a pair of mittens, indicating that she also sells mittens. Is this good? Well, maybe. Maybe they don’t match the hat, so you don’t think about them as a possible set. Maybe they’re cuter than the hat so you just buy mittens and forget about it. Maybe you do purchase both. The goal is for a “group shot” to act as a non-pushy way to encourage the buyers to consider making a larger order. So make sure the grouping is of compatible items and, if possible, the item for which the listing is intended should appear in the photo (or a VERY similar item should be shown so the buyer doesn’t forget why they’re there).

group shot 

One caveat to being successful with a certain photography style is that people will copy your style, if not your product itself. It’s a fact, people, and the best way to not be bothered by it is to simply move on. If it’s affecting your sales, think of a new way to display. Or choose a unique prop that your competitors couldn’t possible have. Getting upset won’t solve the problem (trust me), but getting creative will always give you an edge. And it goes the other way - use others’ styles as inspiration… obvious copycatting will not help you make friends!

For editing my photos, I generally only use the basic Windows Photo Gallery option (the default on any machine running Windows), though I like Google’s free Picasa software for straightening crooked photos (it happens to everyone!) as well as other basic edits if I’m already in it. I’ll even use Paint from time to time to resize images if I forget to use the small file size on my camera for photos intended for the web (I hate doing it that way, but sometimes it’s necessary and Paint is really quick and easy). For major edits and full-photo makeovers, I use The Gimp. I don’t have the funds to purchase Photoshop right now, and all these applications really work well as an alternative.

There’s so much more, but I don’t do much more than that myself. I try to keep the non-creating aspects of the business as short and sweet as possible to maximize my time creating, and I find that this works for me right now. It must be done, and it really must be done well if you want to generate interest and sales.

Happy photo shooting! Feel free to chime in with your own tips or questions  in the comments… there’s always more to learn!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From the Kitchen: Smitten Kitchen Peanut Butter Cookies

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These peanut butter cookie photos have been hanging around my desktop for quite a while now, waiting for a good opportunity to be blogged. Right now is perfect for a variety of reasons:

  1. I just woke up from what started out as an afternoon nap to find my house deserted. Turns out my husband took the kids to the store (and won’t tell me which one!), so tummy baby and I are all alone.
  2. I’m cooking dinner (beef stroganoff) and have some moments to spare.
  3. Me want cookies!!! I can’t really blame this on the baby… I’ve already fed him/her a bag of caramel corn, a hummus sandwich and, presently, a cup of tea. None of that is really doing it for us. Bring on the cookies…

Let me tell you how I adore Deb of Smitten Kitchen. I do. She’s fabulous. Her writing, photography and recipes make me want more. Lucky for all of us she’s a dedicated food blogger and she shares her wealth of skill daily. “Thanks, Deb!” I write as if she’ll ever read this :)

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I found her recipe on a Google search for the perfect PB cookie recipe. I should have known! They are truly delicious… who knew all they needed was a generous helping of chocolate chips? Deb, you genius…

And that’s all I have to say. I have to go finish dinner, so go read it. Then bake cookies. Now!

Monday, November 8, 2010

From the Kitchen: Fall Confections

DSC_8481 
Mmmm…. cookies! These maple leaf cookies were made using my favorite sugar cookie recipe. Yum! I had volunteered to bake some pumpkin-shaped cookies for my daughter’s class to decorate for their Halloween party, and had extra dough to “dispose of”. Well, it was a nice opportunity to use the multi-sized maple leaf cookie cutter set that I found for a pittance at Home Goods. Seize the dough day! They turned out great, if not exactly as I envisioned (more veining? I don’t remember the ideal I was shooting for now).

DSC_8484
I iced them in small batches of Autumn colors, then added the brown veining (done with a parchment triangle and no tip; enhanced by dragging a toothpick through it) and let them dry. To minimize my mess, I dyed all my run sugar glaze yellow (then iced a few), then added orange (then iced a few more), then a bit more orange (more icing), then red (more icing), etc. One bowl, so many lovely colors. Sometimes laziness does pay off! As I was photographing them, my daughter told me, “When they’re so close to me, I’m very tempted to eat them.” Me too, darling… me too.

DSC_8478

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Through the Looking Glass: Baby Zane

Yesterday I was lucky enough to get to visit a good friend who had a new tiny baby… little Zane. So cute! He was an obliging subject and I had a great time hanging out and snapping a few photos for practice, posterity and hopefully to help with the birth announcement.  I got to visit them in the hospital, but a couple weeks of sickness in my house prevented another visit until just now. It was nice to see his little eyes open (though he was a wiggler when he was awake), and he was quite a charmer.  I used The Gimp to do a little playing around with color/saturation (the green blanket I brought was a little overpowering in the pictures, but it worked well for digital manipulation!). I also added some "eye pop" in a few of the photos after seeing this tutorial. I forgot both my favorite fuzzy white blanket and my reflector (both of which really could have come in handy for the natural lighting). On the positive, the knit fabrics I brought for swaddling worked amazingly well, and I am thinking I should make a few swaddlers for my own little bean before he or she arrives in April. Here are a few of my favorites from the day…

DSC_8414 - CopyDSC_8524 color saturation eye pop DSC_8526 color saturation eye popDSC_8548 - BW cropDSC_8535 color saturation adjust cropDSC_8527 - BWDSC_8522 color saturation eye pop airbrush

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Get Crafty: Dyeing at Home

Are you ready? This is going to be fun!

I had hoped to make an assortment of not-so-frumpy maternity tops to wear to various holiday gatherings, and I wanted some appropriately festive materials to make them. So, recently, I found a beautiful pair of ivory silk dupioni curtains at my local Salvation Army... for $9.00. Bingo!

The only problem with this gorgeous fabric is the ivory color. Lucky for me, it was ivory, not puce. Enter iDye. iDye is a readily available, inexpensive ($3-4 per packet at your local craft store, or more on Amazon.com), washing machine compatible textile dye perfect for this project. There are many colors available for natural fibers, and I chose "gun metal"...

Here is the silk before (after removing the cotton/poly lining, the panel weighed only 6 oz).


One packet can ostensibly dye 2-3 pounds of material, but since I didn't much care how light or dark the gray ended up, I decided to only dye that bit of fabric and see what happened. So, after...
  • one trip through the washing machine (I ran and re-ran the wash cycle with the same dye water for a total of about 45 minutes),
  • making sure to follow the directions for silk (add 1/3 cup vinegar to the dye water as a fixative),
  • washing the silk with gentle shampoo and thoroughly rinsing (the water should run clear; shampoo is an animal fiber, so washing it with shampoo treats it appropriately and leaves a nice scent!),
  • then drying it,
  • and ironing it
 ...it was ready! Here is my dyed silk:


It is evenly dyed for a uniform appearance, though it also has a slight purple cast to it which I was not expecting but, in hindsight, may have been predictable seeing the color on the package. Additionally, the fabric has lost quite a bit of the sheen that it had an an ivory curtain, though that is the generally accepted and inevitable end result of any non-dry-cleaning dupioni receives. The texture now is more like a crushed crepe... not bad, and a less stiff drape. So, overall, I'm pleased with the iDye process.

Also, it must be noted that there was no stinky dye! And no icky clean up! I just wiped down the lid and top of the washing machine drum with a rag (the agitation splashed little drops of blueish dyewater everywhere), then I ran a large load of old towels to clean out the washer. Ta da! Done.

I'll do a future post about what exactly I'm going to make with this dyed fabric... stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

From the Kitchen: Cranberry Applesauce Bread & Mini Muffins

Hello moist, delicious quick bread! Welcome to my recipe box…

DSC_8449

Yum. Despite the name, this bread doesn’t taste too much like either applesauce or cranberry. It’s subtle. Or, maybe, sophisticated. Whatever it is, it’s delicious. Not so much healthy, per se, but I’m sure it’s tweakable to significantly lower the fat and sugar content without making it altogether a different recipe. I have a bunch of cranberry sauce around and wanted to experiment with recipes to use it , especially since there’s almost always some leftover after the big holidays. This recipe works! The batter is not pink, like I’d hoped, but it was tasty. The almond extract makes it a nice departure from so many cinnamon-laced quick breads, and it works well as mini muffins when topped with a nice buttercream, like the cherry version shown.

Cranberry Applesauce  Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (can cut down to 1/2 cup or less)
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 cup canned jellied cranberry sauce, blended smooth (use whole berry sauce  if you want more cranberry flavor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 x 4 loaf pans.  Beat together eggs, sugar, and oil. Blend in applesauce, cranberry sauce and then yogurt. Mix in flour, baking powder, soda, and almond extract. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake for 60 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.

For mini muffins, spoon batter into paper-lined mini-muffin pan (fill 3/4 full), and bake for about 15 minutes at 350. Cool on rack. Ice with your choice of buttercream frosting, cherry version outlined below.

DSC_8447

 Cherry Buttercream Frosting

  • 8 tbsp butter, softened
  • 3 cups confectioners sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp liquid from jar of Maraschino cherries, or grenadine
  • 2-3 tbsp milk

Cream together butter and sugar, then add cherry liquid followed by enough milk to produce a soft, spreadable frosting. Enjoy!

DSC_8445

Monday, November 1, 2010

Get Crafty: Make Your Own Fabulous Cake Stand

This is an easy one, folks. But the results are just so great that it would be a shame not to share it with you.

I had seen some very cute dessert stands recently, and since I am preparing for our big annual party, I figured one of those would enhance my “tablescape” (or whatever). I liked the look, but I’m… well… I’m… cheap. There. I said it. I’m cheap. Normally I prefer to refer to myself as “thrifty”, but “cheap” will work too. It makes me happy to be able to find serviceable things in good used condition or make something myself instead of buy it new for ridiculous prices. My kids break things (and sometimes I break things), and when I don’t have to spend very much on it, I don’t get quite so sad when I’m cleaning up the broken shards. That’s the truth, just for you.

So… to the cake stand. Really easy. Here are some of my inspirations… A Williams-Sonoma stand costing about $45 (left), and one from Pottery Barn at about $30 (right). I actually saw a pretty white one at my local thrift store for $30 (What? Yes… $30… at a thrift store. What is the world of pre-owned merchandise coming to?)… *sigh*

williams sonoma 45 pottery barn 30

Your basic ingredients will be 1 pretty plate (mine was $3 at local thrift store), 1 small sturdy bowl or short vase (I went with a heavy stoneware bowl to make the stand as bottom-heavy as possible; $0.40 at thrift store) and a tube of GOOP, E6000 or any other very strong clear-drying adhesive touting the ability to bond glass or ceramic. Oh, and a well-ventilated area… this stuff is stinky! I used GOOP because it loses its adhesive smell within days rather than weeks like E6000. I took my project to the porch for the gluing part. Make sure to choose a plate that will accommodate the type of dessert you intend to put on it. Mine will not hold a full sized cake, but it’s perfect for cookies, muffins, tarts, scones, pie or cheesecake.

1

To get a good bond, you’ll probably need to put adhesive on both surfaces… the plate and the base (bowl or vase). I squeezed GOOP onto the base of the bowl, then eye-ball centered it on underside of the plate to get adhesive right where they would attach. I then separated the plate and bowl, added more GOOP to the base of the bowl, and allowed the adhesive to cure separately for about 5 minutes (as instructed by the tube). I then stuck them together again, lining up the rings of GOOP, and rotated the bowl in place to make sure it was well-coated before applying significant pressure. It bonded tight in about 2 more minutes, and I allowed it to fully cure outside for 48 hours to avoid the adhesive smell inside my house.

2a 2b 3

And voila! Fabulous dessert stand in need only of delicious treats to showcase.

4

There. Now isn’t that nice? Mini muffin recipe tomorrow!

5