Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Roasted Garlic Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

The name is long, but this recipe is so easy, and very tasty too!

You will need:
2.5c (or 1 can) of chickpeas, rinsed & drained
2 cloves of garlic
1/3c fresh lemon juice
1/4c tahini
1-2 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or hot sauce
1 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
up to 1/3c water

1 head of garlic
1 large or 2 small red bell peppers

Friday, April 26, 2013

Sponsor Special Giveaway

Violet's Buds is happy to host a giveaway brought to you from our great sponsors! Meet our current sponsors and blog contributors:

Lily & Bo features boutique couture accessories that are unique, stylish and affordable creations for every occasion.
Etsy ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

Origami Delights provides customized and unique decorations for any occasion. "Each and every one of my items are personally folded by hand and all custom orders and items are crafted with your design input and ideas."
Etsy ~ Facebook ~ Twitter

Gramma Bean's Homemade Gifts  Handmade Gifts and Patterns
Etsy ~ Facebook
Mystigail Adornments  handmade jewelry,"What started as a secret santa gift turned into something I love and enjoy doing! I also take custom orders on hand stamped jewelry. All orders are shipped and ready for gifting."
Storenvy ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Coupons

Thursday, April 25, 2013

April Showers finally bring some flowers!

Spring has arrived much later this year. I am happy to say that it has arrived, and I can see it all around with the flowers, budding trees, birds building nests, and watery-allergy eyes. Here are a few flowers from around our house to help us welcome spring. Happy May Day!

Have a great weekend!


The Best Etsy Coupons for VioletsBuds

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

How are you Green?

Yesterday was Earth Day, which had me thinking about what things I do, and can do better, to make my business and life more green.

For years we have recycled. I reuse every mailing container I have, cutting some to fit. The tissue paper I use for packaging all comes from my friends & family, who save it for me after birthdays and holidays.

When I am creating anything for Violet's Buds I try to upcycle, & repurpose when I can. For instance, my grandmother makes quilts from old clothes and linens. She sends me all the zippers and buttons, and some fabric that is too small for her to make items from. Just last week I spent time with my daughter sorting buttons, then I made button flowers for clips.
 When I make accessories like these flowers, I try to use the small end & odd pieces for small rosettes, like the one shown below.

I am able to use most size & shape of fabric as I can cut them into strips and piece together any that are too short. With the strips I can make rosettes, or carnations like these.

 My favorite way to be green is to take all my teeny scraps and threads and put them in an upcycled netting (former onion bag) for the birds to take for their nests. Just last week I watched the tufted titmice use some scraps to take to their nests. It makes me smile knowing my scraps aren't going into landfills, but are being repuprosed again!

I will continue to do my best to reduce waste, and lower energy costs. How are you Green?

Link up at

The Best Etsy Coupons for VioletsBuds

Mad Mad Makers Mad Money Giveaway

Want to win some Mad Money?
You could win a $100, $50, or $25 Etsy Gift Card from Mad Mad Makers gift card giveaway, prizes totaling $175! Enter using the Rafflecopter widget here, or on Mad Mad Makers page. Next, please remember to stop by Mad Mad Makers to vote for your 10 favorite photos for the Mad Mad Merchants contest.
Want to shop with the Mad Merchants? Check out all the discounts being offered to Mad fans!

Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Best Etsy Coupons for VioletsBuds

Monday, April 22, 2013

Fabric Challenge Sneak Peek

Its been nearly a week, and I am well on my way to completing my fabric challenge project. A group of crafters from Mad Mad Makers* got together for this fun collaboration & game. You can read more about the fabric challenge here in last week's post Challenging Fabric, Fabric Challenge.

Without giving too much away, here are a few photos of my workspace, my helper, & work in progress. 

The beautiful pink button from the photo above is from fellow Mad Mad Maker, Smalltown Dreamz. She makes such pretty buttons, with tons of shapes & color options. Visit her on Facebook, or her Etsy shop. I bought this set of buttons from her before the challenge fabric arrived, and I think it looks perfect together.

The deadline of our project is May 3rd, and we will have fans vote on their favorite item! Be sure to check back for details on the contest.

This photo is of my "helper" V. She loves pirates and pretend play costumes. The sewing project doesn't have anything to do with that, other than she was a pirate that day when she was helping me. It is too cute of a photo not to share.

Want to see what the other challengers are up to? Read the sneak peeks here:
Cara's Handcrafted Crocheted Ornaments

Pink Snail Boutique
Or check out their Facebook pages to see what is happening:
Just Cheeky Boutique 
Two Geeky Hookers  aka The Crafty Geekette
Gramma Bean's Homemade Gifts  
Whimsy Stitch by Sarah 
Ella Bella Bows 
Mad Mad me 
Simply Stitched by Sheri Anne 
Sewing by Shannon Cox 
Forking Queen 
Breezy Lane Embroidery 
Spiffy Dolls 

*Mad Mad Makers has an amazing giveaway & contest happening right now. Three lucky fans will be selected to win a $100, $50, & $25 Etsy gift card. Hurry & enter here!

The Best Etsy Coupons for VioletsBuds

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Kale Quinoa Salad with variations

I love quinoa & kale. I could eat it 7 days a week and not get bored for a long time. On its own, quinoa is so very versatile. As a salad, kale & quinoa go well with many different combinations and flavors. I like that it is a simple meal, and I can make a huge batch and it lasts for days.

I'd like to share the basic prep method & recipe, plus several variations we have tried. For the main recipe you will need:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Pan-Seared Salmon with Mushroom Risotto and Balsamic reduction

I am a lucky lady. My husband cooks often for my daughter and I. What is even better is that he is a good cook! A week ago he came up with this pan-seared salmon steak with mushroom risotto, asparagus, and a balsamic reduction. It was amazing. (The photos don't do it justice)
 Lucky for everyone else, he is sharing his recipe with you!
dinner, yum

Mushroom Risotto
26 oz carton Chicken stock
1 ½ cups short grained Rice
4oz fresh button mushrooms
1 Tbs of Parmesan cheese

Pan Seared Salmon
Side of Salmon, or 2 fresh Salmon Steaks
One lemon
Olive oil

Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
1 Tbs Agave nectar
Salt & pepper (to taste)

Asparagus, blanched*

Thursday, April 18, 2013

It's not Storenvy vs. Etsy

Cody from Lu & Ed writes regular posts on the goodness at Storenvy, and just completed a series of Storenvy is Awesome posts to celebrate her 3rd Envy-versary. Read on to learn more about making the most of your business options.

There seems to be some line drawn where handmade people think you have to either sell on Storenvy OR Etsy.

Total myth.

You can sell on both. They work well together. And it's easy. Storenvy never set out to compete with Etsy. They just wanted to create a place where indie artists and creative entrepreneurs could open a free online store and enjoy the benefits of being part of a marketplace full of other creatives!

Here is some blunt perspective on this non-existent Etsy vs Storenvy war and how they can actually work hand in hand:

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Challenging Fabric, Fabric Challenge

I am participating in a fabric challenge with fellow Mad Mad Makers crafters, and have been pretty excited to get started. The rules are to make an item using as much or as little of the challenge fabric as you want (think Chopped or Iron Chef, but with fabric). You can incorporate any other materials to complete your item. We have a deadline of May 3rd to complete our items, photograph them, & submit them for voting. Yes, there will be a winner, along with a giveaway for fans (details are in the works).

Part of the challenge was only the team member in charge of distributing the fabric knew what we were receiving. I had visions of richly designed, brightly colored fabric arriving on my doorstep. I had assumed that I could make a table full of hair accessories from my one yard of challenge fabric.
To my surprise, as well as the other challengers, this fabric was not what I had envisioned!
I think team member Cara's Handcrafted Crocheted Ornaments, said it best, "MeLinda outdid herself picking something WAY outside the box and I wasn't the only one astounded! Out of the 14 participants, I think I only saw one immediate 'oh yay!' response." Now comes the tough part. What in the world do I make?

I am not very proficient at machine sewing. I've given it a try several times, and I'm not very good at it yet. I am trying to experiment with different ways to use it with my hair accessories, but am not inspired yet. I'm hoping to have a lightbulb moment soon, because the deadline is going to arrive before I know it!

I'd love to know, what would you make with this fabric?

Mad Mad Makers

The Best Etsy Coupons for VioletsBuds

Candy Shoppe Collaboration

The Candy Shoppe collection was beautifully photographed by Luvin Pictures Photography. See more of the photo shoot here.
Dress your little one in the same cute clothes with these ultra-cute Candy Shoppe collaboration specials, available for a limited time only!

Link up at

The Best Etsy Coupons for VioletsBuds
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