Jan 16, 2018

Tiny Envelope Template to Customize by York Avenue Studio

Tiny Envelopes with Cards to add to Packages by York Avenue Studio

Looking for something cute to add to your packaging?  These tiny envelopes and cards can be printed with your own logo and words.

Download the .jpeg file to your computer.  Open the file in a program such as Paint.  Select the existing logo carefully and delete.  Add your own images and text.

Check your print preview and be sure your printer is set to print Portrait and that it all fits one page.  Print, Cut, Fold, Glue.  Final measurement is about 1.5 inches by just under 2 inches.

Punch a hole and tie a ribbon in one corner to add pizzazz!  Use stickers or stamps.

I find mini anything adorable!  Hope you do too!

Here's the download:   TinyPrintableEnvelopeTemplate

Have Fun!

Jan 5, 2018

Oatmeal Cookies Big as your Hand

Oatmeal Cookies Big as your Hand

Avoiding refined sugar has helped Big Time with migraines.  So what does a girl do when craving an Oatmeal cookie that satisfies the need to sink teeth into crunchy chewy sweetness?  

Midnight scrolling thru Instagram!  I searched photos tagged #oatmealcookies and was looking for just the right size, shape and texture to fill my need, haha.  I found a gorgeous photo from @turbalroman who is a baker, photographer, fashion designer and more.  I enjoyed seeing the beautiful cookies that matched what I was craving, hoping that would be all I needed.

This morning, the craving couldn't be contained!  Normally, a nice hot bowl of oatmeal with honey and spices does the trick.  But there is a recipe on the lid of the oatmeal container for Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.  Cookies or oatmeal?  Cookies wins!

I was feeling creative and did not follow the recipe on the lid exactly. I was craving the big gorgeous cookies from the photo.  Somehow convinced, this is what I actually made using the lid recipe as the guide.

I present the ultimate, big a$$ oatmeal cookie recipe, created this morning:

1/4 cup Country Crock Shedd's Spread
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (mine is solid at room temp)
1 cup Raw sugar (granulated crystal Turbinado type)
1/4 cup Molasses
1 T Honey
2 eggs
1 t vanilla
6 dashes of Bitters (used in bartending)
1 1/2 cups flour
1 t baking soda
1 t special spice blend (see below)
1/2 t salt
3 cups Oats uncooked
1 cup add-ins (chocolate chips, mostly crushed cashew pieces to equal 1 cup together)

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Beat the first 5 ingredients until creamy with an electric mixer on medium.
2.  Add eggs, vanilla and bitters, beat well.
3.  Combine flour, baking soda, spices, salt in separate bowl.
4.  Measure out oats and add-ins to have aside and ready.
5.  Mix the flour mixture and wet mixture well.  Add oats and add-ins, mix well.
6.  Spoon 2-3 inch mounds onto ungreased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  Flatten the mounds to about 1/2 inch height.  The dough is sticky and just scrape and press to release it from fingers or spoon.
7.  Bake 10 mins.  Edges will show browning and centers will look set but not browned.
8.  Remove to cooling rack right away, slowly working the cookie lifter under each cookie firmly.
Makes approx. 24 cookies that measure 3-4 inches and 1/2 inch tall

Special Spice Blend
Mix spices together and use for the cookie recipe, then use a funnel to pour extras into a shaker.  I like to shake some on top of morning oatmeal, shake some on coffee grounds before brewing, over sweet potatoes before roasting, on bananas when pan frying, etc. Honestly, I eyeball the amounts and go heavier on the spices near the top of the list, lighter on the others and generally get this type of blend.  I believe this is a basic Chai mix.

1T Cinnamon
1/2 t Turmeric
1/4 t Ginger
1/4 t Nutmeg
1/4 t Cardamom
1/8 t Clove
dash black pepper

Warm spices blend in handy little shaker

Two dozen giant cookies!  Share them or stash in freezer.  Crunchy chewy craving solved!
Would these cookies be a hit or miss with you?  

Jul 2, 2016

Do You Think It Is Worth It? - How Buyers Decide Yes or No

A beautiful lady once showed me her large silver ring she was wearing.  I said, “Oh, I love your ring!” She thanked me and then followed with this question:

“I paid $300, do you think it was overpriced?”

(Sorry, I do not have a photo of her ring, but will share some photos of fabulous pieces!)

Fifteen thoughts flew through my mind, because we humans have wonderful thinking and imagination skills!

  1. Always be kind!  I firmly believe if all humans had this first reaction for EVERYTHING the world would be a lovely place for all humans.
  2. The other 14 thoughts occur simultaneous and so I will explain this as a story of perceived value.

Catfish Ring - Anna Siivonen

Buyers look for many things in a piece of jewelry.
♥ Does it have a function?
♥ Does it fill a need?
♥ What social benefits will be gained?
♥ Does it spark a personal attraction or meaningful connection?
♥ Does it spark curiosity or some new knowledge that intrigues?

Buyers that consider parting with their money look for a reason to say "yes" or "no".  After they choose, buyers check their answers, just like the desire to know if one’s passed or failed a test.

Corn Ring and Sage Ring - Lynn Cobb

Discretionary spending is one of those topics we humans feel it is our business to debate, even about complete strangers whose lives we don’t know but are so willing to judge others’ choices.  There’s a perceived debate even unspoken as we glance at other people or they glance back.  So it is important that as buyers make choices to say "yes" or "no", that they feel confident in that choice as they may face challenges  that they passed or failed.  Important to feel confident, but not always the case.

ID Stacking Bracelets - Heartsabustin

The price of a piece seems a mystery to buyers.  Most people tend to have the knowledge to assess the cost of materials used and the weight of the item or size, how much work may have been put into the design and fabrication as well as the package or the marketing.  Buyers may realize that the designer and artist needs to make a living of some level to continue working.  Buyers make the choice of "yes" or "no" and these factors may matter, more or less, and these factors could be close to accurate or far off base.

Supply and demand.  Simply put statement that includes all of the above.  Educated buyers vs. uneducated buyers certainly plays a factor in jewelry shopping.  Ethical sources vs. unethical rip offs and mass production play a part, too.

Channel Set Gemstone Rings - ppennee

My response to this lovely lady with the gorgeous large ring may not have been helpful.  I explained that I appreciated the material and work that went into the piece from a jewelry maker’s perspective.  I even knew the metalsmith she mentioned that made the piece for her and admire the designer’s work. I may not have confirmed her pass or fail in her mind to the “yes” choice she had made.

We did have a very nice, kind exchange of conversation focused on a striking piece of jewelry.  A ring that is made from materials that have existed long before we were alive and materials that will exist on well past the time we leave this world.  So owning the ring for a brief period of time may seem insignificant in that respect.

Opal Ring - York Avenue Studio

There is no denying that jewelry does, however, impact human interaction with each other and invokes thought and imagination about our values and what we value.

The very next person you come across, take the opportunity to spread kindness.  Perhaps a friendly smile or notice a piece of jewelry they are wearing. Then enjoy the brief interaction and there’s something to experience and gain for yourself and to share.

 P.S. It's been a year since my last blog post! I appreciate the views, the comments and hope everyone is enjoying their summer! Take care, and stay in touch! -Kathy