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Thursday, October 29, 2009


I'm about to indulge in one of these - god I'm excited.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blog's 1st Anniversary & Giveaway

To celebrate our first anniversary, we would like to introduce Juliette! The Juliette collection is a romantic journey of patterns to inspire your loveliest thoughts. The glitter and pearly accents are perfect for highlighting the love of your life and reminding you of sweet memories.

We have enjoyed creating projects and coming up with fun ideas for you this year. We really love all of your comments and appreciate the creative guest bloggers who have shared their inspiration with us. Thank you for your support! To show you just how much we love you, we are giving away some exclusive Juliette products. Our shipment doesn't come in until the end of next week. So, the winner will be the first to taste this sweet and lovely line!

All you need to do to enter is leave a comment on this post by Sunday, November 1 at midnight telling us what you would like to see happen with the blog in the next year. We will announce the winner on Monday. Last time we asked for this kind of feedback, Dorthea wrote everything down and checked it off for us as we fulfilled each request. The point is WE LISTEN, so leave us a comment!

Thanks again, Everyone!
sei art team

Can Not Believe I Missed This

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Party Time!

One of the wonderful things about this time of year is PARTIES! We love parties here at SEI and Friday we had our annual club SEI open-house. It was a huge hit and we just wanted to thank everyone who participated. As you can see from these pictures, it is a lot of fun and includes make-n-takes, giveaways, snacks, sales and lot's of great holiday ideas. If you are feeling bad that you couldn't make it this time, don't worry, we have more holiday ideas in store for our blog!

Lorelai & Keith = Heaven

Somewhere out there is a person who is just like me! I just found a YouTube clip of the Gilmore Girls set to the music of Keith Urban!!!! Where is this person and why haven't we met? FABULOUS.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Moravia Monday

Happy Monday, Everyone! We hope you had a wonderful weekend. We decided to get into the fall mood today with some Moravia project ideas. Handmade cards are a great way to show people you care. This little box would make a lovely gift box for someone special's birthday. Speaking of birthdays, Happy Birthday to anyone lucky enough to share a birthday with Hillary Clinton today.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Love A List!

We spent the afternoon with some very old friends today and the boys got to discussing music (as usual). They have come up with their Top 20 favourite songs and asked Surfer Boy to send them his list. As a result we've been listening to heaps of old CD's that haven't seen the light of day for years, trying to pin point our Top 20.
It's much harder than I first thought and I mentioned that my list today might be quite different from my list next week when I remember all the songs I've forgotton - they agreed and said their lists are constantly changing.
So here's my list as of tonight -

Jen's Top 20 (Today)(in no particular order)

Cecilia - Simon & Garfunkle

I Want You Back - Hoodoo Gurus

Don't Go Now - Ratcat

Enola Gay - OMD

Shocked - Kylie Minogue

Somebody - Depeche Mode

Do You Have A Brother - The Mavis's

You Suck - The Murmers

Son Of A Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield

Mansard Roof - Vampire Weekend

There She Goes - The La's

Wish You Well - Bernard Fanning

I Want You To Want Me - Chris Isaak

Clutterbilly - (Instrumental) Keith Urban

Don't Be Cruel - Elvis Presley

Echo Beach - Martha And The Muffins

I Want Candy - Bow Wow Wow

It's A Love Thing - Keith Urban

Innocence - Sarah Buxton

So What - Pink

Friday, October 23, 2009

Goodbye 'Q'

Do you ever watch a movie or TV show and cry so hard and for so long that your eyes become puffy and sore and your nose runs while you are letting out great heaving sobs?!?
This is what happened to me tonight courtesy of One Tree Hill, Season 6 episode 3!

Thank god I was alone!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

3rd Thursday: WinterSong

Club SEI's November kit will feature WinterSong. This collection is perfect to enhance your winter or holiday photos and projects. The papers are treated with a warm red flock, glitter and pearl accents. Click here to see what club members can make with this kit. If you aren't a club member, you can still sign-up and receive this kit.

This pretty present was made using the November kit leftovers. For instructions on making the pinwheel bow click here or check out JEK's (October's guest blogger) tutorial. If you would rather make a more traditional gift bow, get the directions here.

B & B

Bell and Bilson have been hitting the town together once again - I love a photo where I get two for one. As usual they look great.

I'm getting a double dose of Kristen today with her gracing the latest cover of Women's Health Magazine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

$1 Sale!

Those of you who subscribe to our newsletter know we are have a huge sale this week. Several items are just $1! The sale ends Friday so hurry and order while supplies last. For more information follow this link or subscribe to our newsletter here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Giveaway Winner + Surprise

Thank you for all your comments on Jessica's blog posts last week. The giveaway winner as selected by random.org is:

Congratulations Brenda! Now you can make that autograph book you like. All you need to do now is send your mailing address to us at seiblog(at)shopsei(dot)com.

Wait! Before you feel bad if you didn't win. We have a surprise! Jessica created a bonus tutorial for everyone. Thanks so much Jessica!

Pretty Pretty Pinwheels

Hi there! If you noticed in my Making the Bed post, there was a shot of my bed with a pretty pinwheel garland above it. All the materials I used came from the Dill Blossom collection, well, except for the spray adhesive!

Here is what you need to make your own pinwheels.

* Dill Blossom Linen Squares
* Five 6” by 6” inch squares of printed paper
* 5 brads
* Scissors
* Spray Adhesive
* Tiny hole punch
* Ribbon from the ribbon collection (the burlap works perfectly.)

The first thing I did was cut my paper squares so that they were slightly larger than the linen squares,. This is so you can match them up more easily when they are all sticky-tacky with spray adhesive.

In a well-ventilated area, spray your adhesive to the backs of the linen squares and plop them onto the backs of your printed paper, allow to dry.

Trim the edges of the paper so that you have perfect five by five inch squares.

Determine your center and make four diagonal cuts, one in each corner that travel from corner towards the center of the square. Do not cut all the way through, leave about and inch in the center.

Using the hole punch. Punch a small hole in every other corner of your square and one in the center.

Thread your brad from the bottom up through your first corner and bend toward the center of your square. Thread the remaining holes through the brad, one below the other from your first hole. Can you see the pinwheel shape?

Push down and thread the full brad through the center hole and flip out those little metal arms. Ta-da! You just made a pretty pinwheel! Continue for each pinwheel.

Gather your pinwheels and strand of burlap ribbon from the Dill Blossom collection. All you need to do to finish is unbend your brads and poke them through the burlap and fold them out again. If you are using ribbon that is too thick to poke through, make tiny cuts with your scissor and poke those brads in.

Hang in a pretty place and admire! You can of course make as many as you like, you just may not stop! I hope you enjoyed my time here on the blog, I had blast hanging out with you!

~jessica aka jek

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I have a 'pineapple condiment thingy' update! Remember my fabulous Savers purchase that I was so excited about? Well last weekend the family trooped off to 'The Famous Blue Raincoat' and look what I found....

These fabulous people have their own 'pineapple condiment thingy' which they use for their bits and pieces. They have removed the wooden dishes but they actually have the spikes that stick out of the top of the pineapple!! I was sooooo jealous. Surfer Boy took photos of the sticks so that he could make me some. He's such a lovely boy.

As we were leaving I told the 'Kaz, the lovely lady in charge that I had one too and when she discovered that I had no sticks .... SHE GAVE THEM TO ME!!!!!

I can not begin to tell you how excited I was. I am one very happy lady now that my pineapple is complete.

So a massive thank you to Kaz for her overwhelming generosity! You made my week - or year even.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Giveaway Reminder

Just a reminder - tomorrow is the last day to enter to win the Dill Blossom products Jessica used this week! Read Friday's post for more details!

Friday, October 16, 2009

May I Have Your Autograph? + GIVEAWAY!

Back in grade school, we didn’t have yearbooks. What can I say, we were twelve. We did however have a penchant for autograph books (and those hideous stuffed wiener dogs that were made of itchy white fabric and stuffed to the gills with so much sawdust that after three swipes of an inky pen they started to leak said sawdust all over the place). How lovely those autograph books were. With their pastel pages folded to alternate points, they were happy little bound bits of memories.

Often, as I encounter those that brighten my day, I wish for an autograph book to appear so that I may treasure that moment. Just last week I was at an author event and while I had oodles of kids books signed and garnished, I wished I had an autograph book along as well. And then I thought; what am I waiting for? I should make one for myself and so I did.

Using the Dill Blossom collection, I was able to create an autograph book that not only was useful but pretty to boot. Here’s how I did it.

First, I swept through the tiny casa in search of blank pages I could add to the book. Forgoing the buttermint look, I culled from my paper collection of newsprint, copy paper, vintage books and other fun pages. I thought that I could add business cards and other accoutrements to the printed pages while signatures could camp out on the blank pages.

Next, I sized my pages using a regular old sheet of notebook paper as my guide. I folded it in half width wise and tore along the fold so that I had two strips of paper measuring 4 ¼ by 11 ½ inches. I cut up the remaining pieces of paper to follow suit and stacked them all up on top of each other and then folded them in half.

Here’s the fun part. After you have folded all your sheets, play around with the ordering and layering. Once you turn all the pages into a book, the bulk of your pages are going to be folded into partial triangles so you will want a fun collection of solids and prints to shine through with plenty of accent pages in between.

Once you are set, stack all your pages up and cut yourself a slightly bigger strip from a sturdier paper, cardstock or thin cardboard. This will be your cover. Add your cover on the bottom of the stack and stitch or staple your binding. I like the way sewn paper looks so I stitched mine up using the longest stitch on my machine, which is a four. I had to make two signatures though as my pages were thick. (Oh, and yes, that is a lunch sack poking out just after the cover. I thought it would be neat to add a place to hold cards and other momentos).

Because I had to stitch up two signatures, I needed to glue those together. I uses a line of tacky glue as it is pretty pliable and I held the pages in place using two clothespins.

Decorate your cover as you see fit and once everything dries, go through your book and fold your pages into that classic autograph fold. Starting with the second or third page, fold down the corner so that it lines up with the edge of the paper and crease. This makes a triangle point. For the next page, fold down the opposite corner and continue on. Leave a few pages flat and add photo corners or brackets for future photos or cards.

My book ended up being quite fat so I hand stitched a strip of ribbon from the collection along with a button directly onto the front and back covers. Now I had a pretty way to keep my book closed and all its goodies inside. You can even scrap up a few of the pages to help you remember the event where you collected all your autographs or make a special book exclusively for a party you are attending. It’s like a wee mini collaborative scrapbook and it fits in your bag!

Now, if only we could throw a party right now and swap autographs. How nifty would that be?

Thank you, Jessica! Doesn't she have such lovely photos and creative ideas? She makes me want to get up, make the bed pretty, have some special oatmeal, and get baking and crafting. Lucky for you we are having a give away with the products Jessica used to make this autograph book so you can do just that! Just leave a comment by Sunday October 18th at midnight telling us which post was your favorite. We will announce the winner Monday. Be sure to check back next week to see if you are the winner because if we don't hear from the winner by October 26th we will pick a new winner!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Wee bit of Sweetness

The best thing about October is the feeling of fall. Contrary to popular belief, Los Angeles does indeed have a fall. It may not be as showy as some, but after days and weeks of hot, hot heat, the brisk chill and the breezy days are a welcome relief.

For me, the best thing about fall though is that the tiny casa is finally cool enough to bake in. And what better fall ingredient to bake with than pumpkin? I have to admit I get my pumpkin from a can. But that’s okay because it is a very big can that allows me to make my favorite pumpkin squares, pumpkin bread and pumpkin pancakes. Plus, there is a nifty can leftover that can be covered in pretty paper and used for gift giving or pen corralling.

Mixing it up a tiny bit, I decided to kick off this fall with a wee batch of pumpkin cakes. I used this square recipe and cut the sugar by ¼ cup and added a healthy dose of black pepper. Instead of baking as squares, I greased up a small cupcake tin and added a small dollop of batter to each cup.

After fifteen minutes in the oven, I pulled out the happy cakes to cool. While they were cooling I decided that the best way to celebrate fall baking was to add a bit of pizzazz by way of toppers so I pulled out some pretty paper, toothpicks, glue, scissors and stickers and went to town. While the glue dried on my toppers, I whipped up some cream with just a smidge of sugar.

When everything was cooled and dried, I added a dollop of cream to six small cakes and then topped them each with another small cake. I now had wee happy topsy-turvy towers, all they needed were the toppers. So I graciously obliged…

Let the party begin!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Swan Lake the Chinese Way

I think this may just be the most awe inspiring thing I have ever seen!!!
Please take the time to watch it - it is amazing.

Mad for Macarons

I blame it all on flickr you know. As a self-proclaimed flickr addict I can often be found perusing the pretty, pretty pictures from my contacts’ pages. What’s a girl to do when suddenly her eyes are filled to the brim with picture after picture of these pretty party confections?

Why, she hits the internet (and yelp) to see if she can find them in her very own city. For those of you in the know, French macarons (as opposed to coconut macaroons) are addictive. They have the most intense flavor whether it is a simple vanilla delight or a cotton candy colored exotic such as rose petal or lavender. Even without the fabulous flavors, the texture alone makes my toes wiggle in delight. They are light and delicate to the touch and that first bite is a doozey.

Unbelievable as it may seem, they are at once crispy-flakey and ooey-chewy. They melt in your mouth and that swipe of crème in the center tickles the senses and before you know it, you are in love. For those of you not in the know, a French macaron is kinda like a very fancy sandwich cookie. One macaron consists of two flakey almond flour cookies sandwiched together with a hefty dose of buttercream or ganache. They range in flavors from classic vanilla or chocolate to salted caramel, lemon or green tea. I really haven’t met a macaron I didn’t like. But to be truthful, I do believe I enjoy taking pictures of them more than I like eating them.

Sshhh…keep that on the down low, will ya?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Making the Bed

Good morning! I live in a tiny California Bungalow on the fringes of Hollywood with my mister, our hissy-fit of a kitty and a slightly skewed assortment of sock monkeys. It goes without saying that our real estate within the tiny casa is at a minimum and if you toss in my hoarding tendencies you’re in for a little chaos. We have one closet. One. It can get pretty hairy. Being a crafter, creator and for the most part gleeful gal, I need my cluttered space to be happy. I also need to feel like I have accomplished something every day. Sometimes, the only thing I can tackle is making the bed; which I have raised to my own little art form. It has become my project.

Every month, I cull and curate from my ever-growing mass of vintage linens (thank you etsy!) to create the perfect bed for that month (don’t worry, the linens get washed more than once during that time). It takes planning you know so I only slightly obsess over it. Okay, it doesn’t actually take too much planning but when you announce to your small bubble of the internet world that you have a project you had better make sure to follow through, people are depending on you and your rep is at stake. So sometime during that first week of the month, I topple all those pop happy-flowery-vintagey linens atop my head and put together the best bed I can.

When you make the bed for the sheer dilly of it, you want to think about your mood, the month and the season you are in. Pillowcases are the easiest to make your bed happy. The more pillows you pile atop it, the more cases and prints you can use. You may think using a zillion prints in one go might hurt your eyes, but it doesn’t, not if you let yourself get lost in the game and take your time, shifting things around. It’s a bit like scrapbooking I think. While some may prefer a page to play around with, I prefer my bed. Just think of the linens as paper scraps, frames and sturdy pages.

Once the bed is made up, its time to break out the embellishments. My brother built my headboard for me years and years ago from a discarded door he found in an alleyway. I love the distressed appearance and the colors he used to pull it all together, it works perfectly with old and new. Back when I needed a good background to photograph some items for my etsy shop, I popped in some tiny screws to the headboard, strung up a hot pink ribbon and added a handful of clothespins and found myself with a nifty place for photoshoots. This has become the spot I use for my bed embellishments. Sometimes I add vintage prints or photos and other times it may be a handmade bunting. I love me some handmade bunting but that’s a whole other post.

So there ya go, a wee peek into how my scrappy-scrappy everyday life. Viva la bed making!

To see more pics of my bed project click here. Oh and if you want to play along, join the flickr group!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Beginning the Day with Pretty (aka 3 cheers for oats!)

Back in the days when my socks were longer than my skirts and my heroes were ElectraWoman & DynaGirl, early morning happiness came in a tan & green colored pouch. Unlike most kids who were kookoo for cocoa puffs, I was all about the oatmeal. It was probably because my mom wouldn’t buy me Coco Puffs but we won’t tell my seven-year old self that. Seriously though, I adored my apples and cinnamon instant oats and for decades I gobbled up those wee packs of instant goodness while doing my happy dance. Sadly, it never occurred to me that homemade oatmeal was almost as easy and even tastier than what came in those packs. Lucky for me, I figured it all out…and then some.

You may be thinking I’m a bit nutty for writing an ode to oatmeal but have you ever tried it a-la-jek? From the way you cook it to how you sweeten or even top it, oatmeal has an infinite amount of possibilities. Stick with me and you’ll see.

I enjoy my oatmeal a tiny bit on the chewy side so it is rolled oats for me. When the mister and I whip up a batch, we add a sprinkle or two of black pepper and cinnamon. The tiny hint of spice is delightful, plus it’s pretty to look at. Even prettier is the ½ teaspoon of turmeric we add to the mix. Turmeric is a wonder spice. Not only is its color bee-yoo-tee-ful, it’s heart happy as well. Really, you should try it!

Once the oats are all simmery-cooked and in my bowl, I add a squeeze of honey and mix it all in. Next comes a dash of milk (or if I am feeling decadent, half and half) and the toppers. If there is fresh fruit such as blueberries or tangerines (once I even added the remains of an apple pie), I add that, if not, I go for the dried cherries or cranberries. Next, I add nuts. The type of nut is determined by the color of the fruit. This is about creating the prettiest (and tastiest) bowl of oatmeal ever. From sunflower seeds to pine nuts to spiced pecans…I’m not very picky, I add a few that I know will taste well together. Once my bowl is assembled I take a step back and assess its prettiness.

Now, don’t you think that is one pretty bowl of happy?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Rory's Reading List

One of the main reasons that Gilmore Girls became my 'favourite show of all time' was the fact that literature and the love of reading played such a big part in the show. As a teen I was always teased for having my nose in a book (thanks Alex) and it was great to see a character like Rory also get off on reading.

Last year I decided to follow Rory's reading list and read some of the books she had read that I hadn't already. I started with Kafka's Metamorphosis and Proust's Swann's Way. Heavy but satisfying.

It turns out that I am not the only one with this idea. There is a website dedicated to Rory's reading list and a fan has now started a Twitter which documents her journey through the list.

Next up for me is Melville's Moby Dick - Season 1, episode 1! Wish me luck.