Friday, July 31, 2009

"Banh xeo"

"Banh xeo", pronounced pronounced bahn sow, is a a delicious crunchy chewy crepe that is dear to the heart of all Vietnamese Southerners, including myself :). The word "banh" means "crepe", while the word "xeo" describes the sound of the crepe when it hits the hot skillet. Its vibrant yellow comes from a sprinkling of turmeric, and the filling is a combination of pork and shrimp, scallions and bean sprouts. Every savvy "banh xeo" lovers takes pleasure in wrapping chunks of the crepe up in lettuce leaves with herbs and dipping them in "nuoc cham", a special dipping sauce made out of fishsauce / nuoc nam and other seasonings.

Here's a wonderful recipe that you can easily follow and make your own delicious "banh xeo". Don't hesitate to give it a try!

(From left to right, top to bottom: flour mix, shrimp and pork filing, Mung beans, bean sprout, "banh xeo" being cooked, dipping sauce)

Banh Xeo
Vietnamese Crepe

makes 2 crepes

1 cup rice flour (Thai versions are fairly easy to find)
1 cup water
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
pinch of salt
vegetable oil for frying

4 ounces small shrimp
4 ounces sliced roast pork
4 scallions, sliced
2 cups bean sprouts

leafy lettuce leaves
fresh herbs such as mint, Thai or Vietnamese basil (optional) and cilantro

dipping sauce (see below)

In a bowl mix the rice flour, water, turmeric and salt.

Heat a little oil in a 10 inch non-stick pan and cook the pork and shrimp. When cooked through, add the scallions. Add a little more oil, you may need a tablespoon or two to make the crepe very crisp and chewy. Pour in 1/2 cup batter on top of the fillings and tilt the pan to spread the batter into a crepe. Top with bean sprouts and cook for several minutes until the bottom of the crepe is beginning to turn brown and very crunchy. Fold the crepe in half and drain on paper towels. Serve with lettuce and herbs and dipping sauce.

Nuoc cham dipping sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon chili paste or a chopped red chili
2-3 Tablespoons fish sauce
1-2 T lime juice (or lemon juice)
1/4 cup water
1 clove garlic, minced

Mix all the ingredients, taste and make any adjustments you like.

Voila! Here's your finished products! Yum!


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday's "Hidden Gem": AngelinaFongDesigns

I don't know about you, but I do look forward to featuring great Etsy artists every Wednesday and Saturday not just because of the "warm and fuzzy" feeling of supporting the creativity and talents on Etsy but also because I always learn so much from them!!! So, are you ready to meet another great Etsy Artists?

Today, let's forget IKEA for one day and focus on the contemporary art and Home accessories (pillows, acrylic paintings, etc.) of Angelina Fong of AngelinaFongDesigns. Angelina is originally from the Bay Area (California) and live there currently. Her shop recently joined Etsy on April 9, 2009.

Here's our pocket interview with Angelina of AngelinaFongDesigns.

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#1. Describe yourself in 5 words.

Creative. Ambitious. Outgoing. Sincere. Outspoken.

#2. What goodies do you offer in your shop?

Colorful, contemporary art and accessories for the home-- ranging from decorative throw pillows to original canvas paintings.

#3. How was your shop started?

I've always loved to create beautiful things through a variety of creative mediums -- sewing, knitting, crochet, painting. Friends and family have been telling me for years "You could totally sell this stuff!" but I always thought they were just being nice. After receiving more and more requests from friends and coworkers to buy my work, I decided to go full force and turn it into a business!

#4. What are some unique things about your shop?

My shop features items that are both stimulating to the eye as well as to the touch. With my pillows, I incoporate a variety of fabrics to create a unique mix of patterns, colors and textures. You will also see a lot of bold colors and textures within my paintings.

#5. What or who inspires you?

I draw much of the inspiration for my work from various elements of the Asian arts, jazz music and nature.

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?

Lavendar Jazz. This is a piece that I was conceptualizing in my head for a long time before actually putting paint to canvas. It incorporates several loves of mine --jazz music, art and the color lavendar! In this piece, I tried to capture the essence of jazz music broken down to its most basic elements and the ways in which jazz simultaneously exudes simplicity and complexity in its form.

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Beside her wonderful shop , Angelina also has a blog ( ) where you can get to know her and her work better. So, don't hesitate to drop by and say "Hi"!

That's all for today's Hidden Gem. Our new artist and I would love to hear from YOU, so feel free to share your comments and ideas. Do you have a favorite Etsy Artist? Why not suggesting him/her to be featured on this blog? Just let me know!

Does this darling put a smile on your face like it did to me? If yes, then don't forget to come back next week to meet the great mind (and hands, lol) behind this and lots of other incredible pottery, JudyBFreeman. Until then, Au Revoir!


For more information on "Saturday's Featured Artist" and "Wednesday's Hidden Gem", click here!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Extreme makeover for your shoes!

Dreaming of a new pair of shoes but running out of cash? I'm here to help. Here's some great ways to transform you "blah" basic black or white shoes into a new flirty and fancy pair of shoes. Get some help from these adorable Shoe Clips from talented Etsy sellers!

From TwistedCrystals

From BmdJune15

From Gemmersen

From BrimsandTrimsStudio

Monday, July 27, 2009

A cure for your Monday Blue!

Happy Monday, everyone! So, many of you probably do not know that I'm taking hairdressing class right now. I actually finish the basic training, i.e. basic hair washing/blowing, coloring, perming, cutting, and I do enjoy it very much. Can you tell I'm all about making women look their best :)

So, I thought it would be fun to share with you guys an easy-to-follow tutorial on how to create loose waves with your curling irons:) It's the most helpful tutorial I can find. I tried it, and it worked!

Have fun!

Please welcome my NEW Necklace!

This darling is called "Turquoise Delight". I hope you all love it like I do :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday's Featured Artist: Sosorosey

Hi friends, are you enjoying the last few days of July(By the way, there's only 2 more days to participate in Papillon Jewelry's Monthly Giveaway)? Today, we'll visit one of my favorite home accessory shops on Etsy, where you can find incredible upcycled fabric crochet items like these colorful and stunning coasters below! Let's give a loud round of applause to Jennie of Sosorosey! Jennie is from Manassas, Virginia, and her shop joined Etsy community on Nov 22, 2007 and have has 460 sales thus far.

Let's pick her brain! :)

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#1. Describe yourself in 5 words.
creative, sentimental, perceptive, thinker, old soul

#2. What goodies do you offer in your shop?
I call my shop an “Elegant Eco-friendly Crochet Boutique “. I design and create functional treats for the home, baby, and soul including many unique, upcycled fabric crochet items.

#3. How was your shop started?
I discovered Etsy in November of 2007, and was a buyer only for a couple of months. I quickly became addicted to the community and decided to dive in and see if others would appreciate what I have to offer.

#4. What are some unique things about your shop?
My shop is uniquely “me”. From the banner, to the photos, to the props and descriptions I take great pride in every detail. I love popping into my shop and strolling around! Customization is a special and super enjoyable process with me, and each item is always presented beautifully and lovingly to its recipient.

#5. What or who inspires you?
Besides the many amazing artists that inspire me every day on Etsy, my main inspiration comes from fabric and vintage colors and patterns. I walk out of every thrift store with tons of new color combinations that I want to try out!

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
I REALLY enjoyed making the Love Your Mother rag rug. It was created for an Earth Day team challenge, and I had a great time dreaming up the concept and putting it all together.

#7. What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?
Etsy can be a lonely place, and it can be hard to keep the faith in your work when you first get started. Hang in there! Stellar product needs to be backed by phenomenal customer service and excellent communication. Always consider your shop a work in progress, always be willing to listen to suggestions, never underestimate the value of your time and effort, and never say anything in the forums that you wouldn’t want plastered on the front page of a newspaper!

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Beside her wonderful shop , Jennie also has a blog ( ) where you can get to know her and her work better. So, don't hesitate to drop by and say "Hi"!

That's all for today's Featured Artist. Your Comment and Feedback are much appreciated! Next Saturday,
we'll meet Jeanette Lin from Singapore, and her shop. Here's a sneak peak at these amazing felt food and toys that you can make using pattern/tutorials from her shop! Yum!

For more information on "Saturday's Featured Artist" and "Wednesday's Hidden Gem", click here

Monthly Giveaway!!!

July 25 is coming, and as usual, here comes Papillon Jewelry Giveaway!

WHAT: This lovely "Sheer Elegance" Necklace is the giveaway item. I'll even pay for Shipping.

WHEN: Winner will be announced on July 27

HOW: Become a fan of Papillon Jewelry on Facebook. Then post a comment on this blog with your name (You don't have to be my Facebook Friend to become a fan). It's that easy! :)

Here's the Fan Page:

Good luck!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

No! Don't eat these jewelry!

So, what is the better way to let other know that you are a super sweet gal than wearing your favorite dessert as a necklace/earring/ring/bracelet? BUT, like our mama says, we gotta finish our dinner first before dessert. So, here's a delicious cheeseburger and some chunk chips with salad. Yum!

Burger and Chips Necklace by Tuckshop

Then for dessert, you have three options: chocolate strawberry cake, fruit tart and rose cake. What is your choice? If it's too difficult to pick one, maybe all three would be nice? (Don't forget to watch your waistline, though. Lol) Enjoy!

Chocolate Strawberry Cake by Kacchan

Fruit tart Earrings by Sweetgalaxy

Rose Cake Bracelet by Hyoko

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday's "Hidden Gem": Meatbagz

How often do you go grocery shopping? At least once a week, right? Today, we'll meet Mackenzie and Kate of Meatbagz, my favorite shop for reusable shopping bags (screen printed). These bags "are ready for anything. Pack them, store them, crush them, and manhandle them everyday and they'll still be ready for more! Everybody deserves nice Meatbagz, so join the reusable revolution and display your Meatbagz proudly". Ready for a fun ride with our two featured artists today?

Here's our pocket interview with Mackenzie and Kate of Meatbagz.

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Q: Describe yourself in 5 words.

A: I'd describe the two of us as quirky, goofy, fun, moms, and friends.

Q: What goodies do you offer in your shop?
A: We offer a variety of handy bagz and totes (as well as the occasional piece of meatbagz related wall art) with a wicked sense of humor. All are screen printed by hand with our original designs.

Q: How was your shop started?
A: Our shop started over tea one night...we've been friends since high school, and generally when we get together things start to get a little goofy. We were discussing how much we hated using plastic bags but also hated the boring plain canvas totes-or, even worse-being advertisements for big box grocery stores-and we decided we needed to make some fun market totes to bring home the meat in! one thing led to another and meatbagz was born!

Q: What are some unique things about your shop?
A: I'd say the most unique thing about the shop is our sense of humor. We only put designs up that make us laugh, and we hope they brighten other peoples' days too!

Q: What or who inspires you?
A: We inspire each other. We get together every week or so and while our kids are having a playdate (we have three 2 year olds and two 5 year olds, put together) we have meatbagz meetings. We make a pot of tea and sometimes just start cracking each other up, and sometimes we're inspired by a new bag we're trying out and the bag leads us to the design it needs! Generally, though, if we both think an idea is funny it's going to end up somewhere in the shop.

Q: What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?

Hmmm, we can only pick one? I guess at the moment it's our 100% recycled cotton market totes. They are absolutely delicious with their double handles and we love the fact that they're made with fair labor/wages. We were excited to find those within our budget.

Q: Your additional notes to my lovely blog's readers
A: We're trying to change the world, a few meatbagz at a time! If you check out our shop and like anything you see, please mention "Hidden Gem" in the notes to seller and we'll refund your shipping!

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What a wonderful interview! Aren't you glad we got to know these talented artists a little bit better? Why don't you drop by to say "Hi" and make their day with a few encouraging words. Their lovely shop is here.

That's all for today's Hidden Gem. Our new artist and I would love to hear from YOU, so feel free to share your comments and ideas. Do you have a favorite Etsy Artist? Why not suggesting him/her to be featured on this blog? Just let me know!

Next Wednesday, we'll meet Angelina Fong of angelinafongdesigns. If you love contemporary art and Home accessories (pillows, acrylic paintings, etc.), you know you don't want to miss this interview!


For more information on "Saturday's Featured Artist" and "Wednesday's Hidden Gem", click here!

Great NEWs!

Please share my joy! My Greeny Earrings are proudly featured on this wonderful blog called Etsy by Numbers. Yay! :):):) Here it is!

Also, another lovely earrings have arrived at my shop. It's called Effortless Chic - Mother of Pearl Flower Earrings. Thanks for supporting Papillon Jewelry.


Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Things that relax me...

I love Lavender, whether it's the scent or the color. How can a flower have such beautiful color and soothing scent at the same time?! I think the roses should be jealous :)

Here's some of my great "Lavender" finds on Etsy. Enjoy!

Sweet Orange and Lavender Soy Candle by Aromatherapy

Lavender Essential Oil Soap by MorganStreet

Lavender Mint Skin Sugar Scrub by Opheliasapothecary

Lavender Cotton Scrubbie by KikisCrochet

Lavender Milk and Honey Hand Cream by PinkBowBathBoutique

New Listing - Oh Happy Day Bracelet

Oh Happy Day Bracelet (Green/Black)


Monday, July 20, 2009

Rise 'n Shine Stretchy Necklace! NEW listing!


Saturday, July 18, 2009


(Green Pastures Oil Painting by NewCreatioNZ)

Today, I felt rather discouraged... Honestly, things are not going so well. My plan of going back to school is heading no where, and I'm not sure what is the right thing to do with my life meanwhile.

Whenever I'm sad or lonely, I often read the book of Psalms in the Bible, especially the psalms of lamentations. Somehow, I see myself in the psalmists' pains and sorrows and thus find comfort and eventually joy... Psalm 22 is what I've read today. Besides the groaning of the psalmist, this Psalm is also a prophecy of Christ's crucifixion... It is indeed a divine intervention that Psalm 22 is followed by Psalm 23, a psalm of assurance and peace. Salvation has come, and after all, that's more than enough for me to continue to trust Him and stand strong...

Hope that this familiar Psalm will also bring you encouragement anew...

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.

He guides me in path of righteousness for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Saturday's Featured Artist: Mummumscrafts

Happy Saturday, everyone! Hope that you are enjoying the sun, warm weather and all summer fun this weekend. Even if you have sensitive skin that does not get along very well with the sun and many other things, have no fear! Today, we'll meet Lucy of MumMumscrafts, a wonderful shop of skin care and makeup products that work great for even the most sensitive skin!

Lucy currently resides in Hickory, NC. Her shop joined Etsy community on Dec 01, 2008 and have has 271 sales thus far. Lucy is also a member of Etsy's CAST team (Christian Artists Street Team) like myself, and it is indeed my pleasure to bring to you this short and sweet interview with her!

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#1. Describe yourself in 5 words.

Determined, caring, meticulous, loyal and...stubborn!

#2. What goodies do you offer in your shop?

A full line of Mineral Makeup, Makeup Brushes, Soaps, Lotions, Creams, Deodorants, Bath Teas & Treats, Lip Balms, and soon offering Lip Sticks and Mascara.

#3. How was your shop started?

I started my own jewelry making business in 2007, but had already been reading and studying natural skin care for years. In 2008 I started experimenting with making lots of soaps, lotions and makeup products. Once I got things just how I wanted them I couldn’t keep these great things to myself! I started selling at local craft shows and then branched out to selling online.

#4. What are some unique things about your shop?

I think what makes my shop unique is that I have a large variety of things! I guess I am sort of a workaholic because I just can’t keep myself from developing new products! I am also really sensitive to people with allergies and sensitive skin. I often will make custom items for people who can’t handle certain scents or ingredients. I don’t list or sell anything until it has been tested and I know it is safe!

#5. What or who inspires you?

Jesus is my inspiration in life and in business! I could not even make it a day without Him! I always try to serve my customers in a way that would be pleasing to Him!

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?

I can’t pick just one!! The top two are my deodorants and my mineral foundations! I was so happy to finally come up with a healthy deodorant that won’t cause cancer, and actually works! So I absolutely love my deodorants! It took a lot of trial and error to get it just right, and now I really think they are perfect. I also love my mineral foundation, because it was also really rewarding to finally get a finished product that I am so happy with and that does such a great job for so many people.

#7. What advice would you give to artists who are new to Etsy?

Be yourself and let your products reflect that. Don’t try to be like someone else! List as often as you can, so people can find you in the masses of items that are on etsy. And try to spread the word about your shop yourself. Don’t just post your items and wait for someone to notice them; blog, Twitter, take out ads, tell all your friends and family! Spread the word that you are HERE!

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Beside her wonderful shop , Lucy also has a blog ( ) where you can get to know her and her work better. So, don't hesitate to drop by and say "Hi"!

That's all for today's Featured Artist. Your Comment and Feedback are much appreciated! Next Saturday,
we'll meet Jennie and her "Elegant Eco-friendly Crochet Boutique", sosorosey. Looking at this wonderful set of bowls, can you tell next Saturday's interview is going to be so much fun? Don't miss it!

For more information on "Saturday's Featured Artist" and "Wednesday's Hidden Gem", click here

Friday, July 17, 2009

Rain drops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

"Sound of music" is my all-time-favorite musical. Let's sit back and savor memories of the good old days...

Sing along if you want to :)

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Cream colored ponies and crisp apple streudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favorite things

When the dog bites
When the bee stings
When I'm feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don't feel so bad

[Repeat all verses]

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Green + Butterfly + Pottery

I absolutely adore butterfly not just because they are gorgeous but also because their metamorphosis is the symbol for Christ's resurrection, which my hope and joy as a Christian. That's why my shop is named Papillon (French word for butterfly). Then, green is my favorite color, and there are so many great pottery works on Etsy that I don't even need an excuse to feature them in this blog :). So, a little search for "Green Butterfly Pottery" introduces me to these amazing items...

Bowl by DeBaunFineCeramics

Platter by dgordon

Mug by PotterybyAnn

Butterfly Wall Hanging by JudyBFreeman

Long time no see...

My Fern Berry Necklace was among the first works sold on Etsy. It is truly a delight to finally have the same stones to make it again. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday's Hidden Gem: SarahK

How are you today? Hope that the little painting above (by Sarahkdesigns) will brighten up your day a bit and give you a little boost for the day like it did to me. Today, let's sit back and enjoy a thoughtful conversation with Sarah Knight who is from Tecumseh, MI, and her incredible shop, Sarahkdesigns, is full of lovely digital prints and original paintings!

Here's our pocket interview with Sarah of Sarahkdesigns on Etsy.

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#1. Describe yourself in 5 words.
imaginative, artistic, capricious, mercurial, female

#2. What goodies do you offer in your shop?
I sell open edition prints (either of my digital collages or reproductions of my paintings, drawings, or illustrations) and my abstract salt on watercolor paintings.

#3. How was your shop started?
The name of my shop (sarahkdesigns) was what I came up with when I registered an account on ebay many years ago. I was mostly selling my snowflake Christmas cards, and I wanted something kind of adroit and demure since I was opening the account as a seller; I didn’t want to be like Sarah552 or something that sounded like words chosen at random out of a hat. My name is Sarah Knight, therefore I am Sarah K. The cards are my designs; ergo sarahkdesigns. I’m sure I could have come up with something more whimsical, but I didn’t want to trap myself to one idea or style.

So, just after Christmas of 2007 my mother told me about etsy, and I decided to just stick with the username. Of course, it would have been more convenient if she’d told me about etsy in like November, but, eh. Anyway, I’ve been drawing since I was 2 (or so my mother and her carefully hidden boxes of my childhood artwork allege) and every year I illustrate a calendar for my family and friends, oh, and I have a BFA from the School of Art & Design of the University of Michigan – so, selling prints of my many many illustrations just kind of seemed like the most natural idea.

(I also have another account, where I do house my Christmas cards from August through December. I design snowflakes, I think I’ve made about 70 different ones at this point. Anyway, through the magic of Photoshop I combine my snowflakes with scans of my photos or paintings, and viola — I have hundreds of different card fronts!)

#4. What are some unique things about your shop?
I do what is commonly known as “digital collage” without using other people’s stuff (stock images). All of the graphic elements used in the creation of my digital collages are my intellectual property. Those are indeed my drawings, my paintings, my photos, or scans of my stuff (like leaves from my yard). I suppose it might seem a bit self-centered, but it surely beats being sued for using (and therefore reproducing) someone else’s images, and I don’t have to pay myself licensing fees.

On a slightly less interesting note: my packaging is mostly re-purposed cardboard, therefore I make all my own boxes. So, the box your purchase comes in was specifically measured to suit the item. The cardboard comes from a grocery store. A lot of it was either unused cardboard display stands (those things you often almost run over with a cart when you’re trying to make your way through the aisle) or the cases that boxes of cereal are packed in (because they’re big, wide, and flat).

#5. What or who inspires you?
Nature, seasons, holidays, kitsch, the Midwest, birds, flowers, color theory, and happy accidents.

#6. What is the item in your shop you enjoyed making the most and why?
It sounds kind of sentimental, but I do kind of love them all like they’re my children, so it’s difficult to pick a favorite. That, and I pretty much use the same technique as it pertains to the kind of images (digital collages are all pretty much the same process, paintings were all a process, as are my watercolors).

I suppose one of my favorites is “violet night.”
I just made it. It wasn’t for a project or a calendar or a card front or a gift. And is a digital collage that was assembled from pieces that were all made for specific projects. The starry sky was an element that was created for the December graphic of last year’s calendar. The irises were an element created for the June graphic of last year’s calendar. The background is a scan of one of my many many unused (unfinished) acrylic paintings. And the luna moths were something I drew as a graphite pencil drawing for the state fair about a decade ago; I just scanned them into the computer and printed them out so I could colorize them. Oh, and violet is my favorite color. So everything just kind of came together. That and it’s one of my mother’s favorites.

#7. Your additional notes to my lovely blog's readers (optional)
When you have the time, figure out what makes you happy and how to go about doing it, and eventually: do it.

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Beside her wonderful shop, Sarahalso has a blog ( where you can get to know her and her work better. So, don't hesitate to drop by and say "Hi"!

That's all for today's Hidden Gem. Our new artist and I would love to hear from YOU, so feel free to share your comments and ideas. Do you have a favorite Etsy Artist? Why not suggesting him/her to be featured on this blog? Just let me know!

Next Wednesday, we'll meet Mackenzie and Kate of Meatbagz, my favorite shop for reusable shopping bags (screen printed). You know you don't want to miss this interview!


Please welcome this NEW necklace to Papillon Jewelry!

Dreamy Pearls Necklace


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Do you know, where you can check out items that have been on Etsy Front Page and see how many hearts you have/how many people added you as their favorite if you are an Etsy Seller? My "La Dolce Vita" Necklace is on the Carousel Ads there, along with many fabulous items of other Etsy shops!

PapillonJewelry's "La Dolce Vita" Necklace

Art Print by Darklingwoods

Cicada Pin by BackThennishVintage

Bunny Bowl from QuietAnimals

Original Painting from gingercatpress


New Earrings!

Beauty Queen Earrings