03.21.11

Spring has Sprung… and a SALE! :)

Posted in Main, Sale! at 4:48 pm by carrie

Here are some of our favorite bunnies, chicks and cupcake items, all in springy pastel hues:


Click on any of the above items to see its price & description! :)

And… We have all of our scarves, wallets, handmade gemstone jewelry, most spring things and all sorts of other goodies on sale at our website!

And there are lots of things on sale at our ebay store, too! Take a look :)

The sales will be bigger at our website, but we have more odds and ends over at ebay. We can combine shipping and get you the best rate for all of your ebay/violetcottage website purchases together. If you check out and pay for everything separately, we’ll get you a refund of the difference ASAP!!

*************** Sale Ends on Monday, 3/28/11 ***************

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to get immediate blog, Sale and giveaway updates :)!

Click on the bird to follow us on twitter :)

03.14.11

Rosette Overload!

Posted in Main at 4:04 pm by carrie

I recently ordered more of these award ribbon rosettes in more neat-o colors:



1. White Center – Pink outside with pink ribbons (Quantity=9)
2. Lime Center – Dark green outside with red ribbons (Quantity =7)
3. Turq Green Center – Brown outside with lavender ribbons (Quantity =4)
4. Brown Center – Turquoise blue outside with brown ribbons (Quantity =4)
5. White Center – Red outside with turquoise blue ribbons (Quantity =17)
6. White Center – Turq blue outside with sage green ribbons (Quantity =15)
7. Black Center – Orange outside with black ribbons (Quantity =6)
8. White Center – Sage green outside with pink ribbons (Quantity =20)
9. White Center – White outside with white ribbons (Quantity =14)
10. White Center – Baby blue outside with baby blue ribbons (Quantity =15)
11. White Center – Pink outside with black ribbons (Quantity =9)
12. White Center – Sage green outside with kelly green ribbons (Quantity =10)
13. White Center – Pink outside with red ribbons (Quantity =10)
14. White Center – Turq blue outside with teal green ribbons (Quantity =5)
15. White Center – Pink outside with brown ribbons (Quantity =10)
16. White Center – Silvery plum outside with pink ribbons (Quantity =5)
17. White Center – Lavender outside with purple ribbons (Quantity =5)
18. White Center – Yellow outside with spring green ribbons (Quantity =15)
19. White Center – Pink outside with white ribbons (Quantity =12)
20. White Center – Baby blue outside with white ribbons (Quantity =15)
21. White Center – Black outside with white ribbons (Quantity =11)
22. Black Center – Black outside with black ribbons (Quantity =4)
23. Blue Center – Blue outside with blue ribbons (Quantity =8)
24. Red Center – Red outside with red ribbons (Quantity =5)
25. White Center – Red outside with white ribbons (Quantity =5)
Back tab shown

Size: Just under 6″ long and 3 1/2″ wide with metal tab/clip on the back (see picture)
circle in the middle is 2 1/4″ in diameter

I have these in my etsy shop, on ebay or you can email me directly (orders at violetcottage dot com) and I’ll get you a little discount if you decide to do that ;)

I’ve seen some really cool projects using them, and the vintagey ones are so gorgeous…



From J-Critter’s Flickr


A really cool blog post with lots of rosette ideas at the Tickety Boo blog


And more fun rosettes from it’s a bride’s life…

I really think they are a lot of fun!

p.s… I have some of the larger ones in my ebay store, too!



03.11.11

Foodie Friday – Cupcake Field Trip!

Posted in Foodie Friday, Main at 11:00 am by carrie

We recently went out to explore the cupcake possibilities in the area and we found The Cupcake Shoppe in Raleigh, and Gigi’s Cupcakes in Raleigh.

Both were good, in their own way, but I’m still on the bandwagon that Sprinkles in LA is the one to beat (Yes, believe the hype).

Our first stop was The Cupcake Shoppe:


We got four cupcakes:
Black and White – Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Buttercream
Pretty In Pink – Fresh Strawberry Cake with Strawberry Buttercream
Peanut Butter Cup – Moist Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Buttercream
Banana Cream Pie – Banana Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing rolled in crushed up vanilla wafers

Then, while driving around, we stumbled upon a second cupcake shop, Gigi’s. My husband was the one who spotted it, actually ;)


We got four cupcakes here, too:
Raspberry Champagne – Champagne-vanilla cake with Raspberry champagne icing
Wedding Cake – White cake topped with a vanilla buttercream frosting & sprinkled with white nonpareils
Scarlett’s Velvet – Red velvet cake with a vanilla filling topped with cream cheese frosting, a white chocolate heart and red sugar crystals
White Midnight Magic – Dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate chips, topped with a white cream cheese frosting & chocolate chips

We drove straight home to conduct the cupcake review:

Raleigh Cupcake Shoppe:

Texture & Appearance: We found that overall, the cupcakes from the Raleigh Cupcake Shoppe were really dry. The cake was dry and the icing had that “crust” on it that let you know it had been exposed to air for too long. The banana cake, which is hard to do I realize, was exceptionally dry and more like a muffin. The one exception was the chocolate cake in the black and white. It was moist and tasted fresher than the others. They looked simple and elegant… nothing too big or dramatic about them. I was hoping the flavor would blow me out of the water to make up for that.

Taste: The cupcakes tasted pretty good, but a tad bland. The chocolate cake was excellent, the icing on this cake was not too sweet and you could tell there was real butter in there. I thought that overall, these had a light taste, nothing overwhelming or overpowering… but not too exciting, either. You could taste the flour, the understated use of sugar (not too sweet, which was a plus)… it tasted fresh-ish (minus the banana cupcake for sure), although you could tell these cupcakes had been exposed to too much air, making them drier than they should have been. I wonder if I got a fresh one if I’d be raving? :) If I get a fresh batch, I’ll re-do my grading ;)

Atmosphere: It’s a cute little shop that looks like it used to be an older building. You can peek around to the back and see their baking area. Parking is a nightmare, so maybe you want to drive with someone who can keep the car running, or get ready to walk.

In a nutshell: Taste homemade, with good ingredients… but not a lot of punch or pizazz. Cake is dry, icing is a little blah… but it still tasted pretty “natural” and “simple”. If I could get a batch of fresh ones, I feel like I could really give them a proper rating.

Overall grade: C+

Gigi’s Cupcakes:

Texture & Appearance: The texture on these were perfect. Soft, creamy icing, moist fresh and soft cake. The cupcakes were much larger than the cupcake shoppe. I loved the various toppings on the icing, too. Coarse sugar (gave a fun crunch), chocolate chips, little white sprinkles and the white-chocolate heart. All fabulous. These just looked impressive and creative when you walked in the door, like being in the Wonka Factory… it’s cupcakes you’ve seen in other places, but on steroids.

Taste: SWEET! 2 of the 4 of these cupcakes were overly sweet. Be prepared. The icing was gorgeous, and if you are an icing fan you might be thrilled because there’s more icing than cake, but the icing mostly tasted like whipped Betty Crocker tub frosting, minus that tub frosting after-taste :( (I’m so sad to say that). It just didn’t taste “home made” or light and buttery. It was more crisco-like, but really whipped. The raspberry icing on the raspberry/champagne was the least like tub icing, although this one is not a regular menu item (and alas, it was my favorite). The cake tasted like box mix cake, but with a kick… like they added a few ingredients or sifted it nicely because the cake was perfect, texture-wise. The red velvet cake was even moister because of a gooey pudding blob in the middle… not bad, but… it wasn’t adding anything to the flavor other than keeping that hard-to-keep-moist red velvet cake… moist. So… gosh… these are BETTER than grocery store cupcakes, taste just like “homemade” box/tub cupcakes, but they tasted just a bit better than the box/tub. But sweeter. And SO much prettier and you will impress your guests (as they scrape 80% of the icing off to the side of their plates).

Atmosphere: Strip mall. Lots of sun (blinding in the afternoons). Very simple cases and some logo retail items. The cupcakes are gorgeous and are the stars of the show. It’s a franchise, they are well-organized with lots of fun colors, fliers and menus. Easy and ample parking.

In a nutshell: Gorgeous to look at, lots of great creative names and flavors, well thought out as a business, but dang it… these cupcakes have the sweetest icing I’ve ever encountered. Perfect texture, but the flavor is a bit over-the-top and unnatural. I still would be happy to serve them (with a warning) to my guests, though… especially because they would look great in pictures.

Overall grade: B

Other cupcake places I’ve tried… Sugarland (which I gave an A-) , Sprinkles (which I give an A+, although it’s not indicated on my blog post, but you can see pictures!), Yummy Cupcakes (I didn’t blog about it, but they were pretty awful… SO dry, maybe I went too late in the middle of the week? C-) .

Again, Sprinkles is by far, the best… fresh, pretty and taste great! :)

Wouldn’t it be fun to travel the world and rate cupcakes? ;)

We’re going to NYC in May… might have to check out a few places and report back!

03.08.11

Nutmeg Goes for a Ride…

Posted in Main, Weekend Adventure at 2:25 pm by carrie


Nutmeg Goes for a Ride! from Rather Large Robot on Vimeo.

Our dog is pretty cute ;)

03.07.11

Hippity Hoppity…

Posted in Main at 3:53 pm by carrie

We have some Easter and Spring things listed on the website and over at ebay.

Here are a few shots of my Spring/Easter mantel (it needs bunting!):



Here are some items close up… click on each picture to view it at the website :)



And you can find all of our Easter & Spring items here :)

03.05.11

Free Digital Gift Tag Sheet added!

Posted in Main at 12:29 pm by carrie

I just added these little hand-painted labels to the “freebie” section of the website.

Just add the tags to your shopping cart, check out and download the file to your computer. It’s really quick and easy :)



Each tag is approximately 2″ tall. Would make great gift tags for Easter gifts!

Enjoy!

03.02.11

Digital Download Collections – New!

Posted in Digital Download Art Projects, Main at 7:33 pm by carrie

I’ve been painting up a storm to make these matching sets of art paper.

I love the handmade, hand-painted look… All of my labels for my store and my bath line as well as my logos are all hand-painted and one-of-a-kind… it was a lot of fun designing them, too!

I find that hand painted designs are more playful, unique, organic and have more texture and personality than the mass-produced papers, (but that’s just me).

You can take these sheets and print out note cards, scrapbook backgrounds, make bookmarks, make labels… lots of possibilities :)

Each collection has 4 sheets. Each sheet is sold separately for 99 cents. One sheet is 8″ x 10 1/2″ and 300 dpi. You get the Jpeg and the PDF versions. It’s easy to purchase, download from our website immediately and print them out as many times as you like! Here are our 4 collections… Agnes, Kelly, Heather and Penelope :)



The Agnes Collection can be found on our website here:
1. Art Sheet #123
2. Art Sheet #124
3. Art Sheet #125
4. Art Sheet #126



The Kelly Collection can be found on our website here:
1. Art Sheet #117
2. Art Sheet #118
3. Art Sheet #127
4. Art Sheet #128



The Heather Collection can be found on our website here:
1. Art Sheet #120
2. Art Sheet #129
3. Art Sheet #130
4. Art Sheet #131



The Penelope Collection can be found on our website here:
1. Art Sheet #119
2. Art Sheet #121
3. Art Sheet #133
4. Art Sheet #132

Back to painting ;)