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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ettatorials ~ One Woman's Craft, Business and Story

Another Ruby's Musings Approved Product !

Recently I was messaged by a lovely woman by the name Krissy (@Ettatorials ),  that I am acquaintance with on Instagram about helping to get the word out about her Etsy Shop; of course I said "SURE", as I love supporting small business and especially those that are owned by women.  She asked the basic questions of how this all worked and I filled her in and the ball started rolling. A few days later I received a package in the mail for me to try and review. I already had an idea of what she would be sending but it is always lovely to get a package in the mail and then to have a couple extra surprises included is always even more delightful. 

I received a nicely wrapped gift pack of not one, but three of her products,
and the sweetest thank you card. Each item had a copy of either a
real photo from the 40's or a pinup girl, stitched and then applied onto
the match boxes/ card. So cute! 

For a gal that loves candles matches is always a nice thing
to have around, to have it in a cute little retro themed box is
even better... and the great thing is that after the matches are gone,
you are left with either a treasure box OR a gift box to pass to another! 

After writing a message back to let her know her gift had arrived, I let her know how delighted I was and told her that when she was ready to answer my basic questions and send me some photos that she might want to share of not only her products but also of her, so that you all can get acquainted with this lovely woman, her craft, business and the story behind it all. She obliged and what is to follow is her story in her own words and photos that she provided. **Photographs below were taken by Annie Lipton Photography 

Tell myself and my readers about yourself/dressing/living a vintage lifestyle:
Hi there!  My name is Krissy Harper & I’m the creator of Ettatorials.  I’m a native New Yorker who has been designing, creating & crafting for as long as I can remember.  Early on in life, I acquired a deep love for fashion, particularly the styles of the 1940s & 1950s.  After watching the movie Grease as a kid, I decided I would grow up and become a pink lady.  Being part of a girl gang who drove around in a convertible & met up for milkshakes & drive in movies, seemed more fun than I could imagine!  What really got me though was their style!  Those black cigarette pants, neck scarves & tight tops were the coolest clothes I’d ever seen!

By the time I had grown up, the 1950s were long gone, so I created a modern day version of my childhood dream by collecting vintage clothing & joining a roller derby league.  I realized my love for fashion went way beyond just dressing the part, so I pursued a degree & career in Fashion Buying & Merchandising.  Currently, I run Ettatorials, manage a vintage clothing store & freelance as a visual merchandiser.  Utilizing my talents through various outlets keeps me constantly inspired.

When not conjuring up a new greeting card design or window display, I can be found scouring thrift stores for hidden treasures, searching for the perfect red lipstick, posing for a photo shoot, running in the park or roller skating with my awesome husband John.

So how did you get into business?:
I started designing notecards back in 2000.  I initially made some cards for myself and showed them to a friend.  She loved them & placed an order.  I then went on to become a vendor at The National Stationery Show in NY.  My cards became available at multiple shops across the U.S. Then, my full time job took over and my little business was pushed to the side.  This year, I decided to bring it back to life and I’m so very happy I did!  I opened an etsy shop to reach people worldwide & developed personal relationships with customers by vending at local markets this past summer.  The responses (& sales) were fantastic!  My products are also once again available in several stores, and I can’t wait to expand on that!

Gift/Greeting Cards

Large match boxes....

Tell us about your matchboxes:
After designing my greeting cards, I knew I wanted to offer more upon them.  I liked the idea of creating something that had multiple uses while still being pretty to look at.  That’s when I came up with the idea of decorative matches.  They have the same design concept as my cards, but also have something useful inside!  Then once the matches are all used, the box can serve as a home for hair pins or desk accessories.

and small match boxes, all affordable and great for gifts
Where do you see your business going?:
I’m so excited for the future of Ettatorials!  My plans for the upcoming year are to expand on my brand and include more lifestyle products such as jewelry & housewares.  Also, there are a slew of markets where I will be vending to help reach more customers.

What is one thing you want people to know about yourself & your products?:
I love preserving things from days gone by.  Whether it be a vintage dress, an old letter or in the case of Ettatorials, an old photo.  Something that means a lot to me is helping pass on stories behind old pieces.

I was recently gifted a huge box of unbelievable vintage 1940s photos of a family.  The box came with a list of where each photo was taken and the names of the family members.  Most of the photos were of a woman named Frances.  She became the inspiration for my latest collection, ‘Adventure is Waiting’.  Her stunning beauty, contagious smile and adventurous spirit make her so relatable.  I want each of my customers to find something in my shop that speaks to them the way Frances spoke to me!

I am so pleased to stamp the creations by Krissy for Ettatorials "Ruby's Musings Approved!" I thank her for sharing her own personal journey with me and all of you and I urge you all to go check out her Etsy shop and purchase something for yourself or someone you love....if you do, Krissy has provided you with this code to use for a 15% discount by entering the code...RUBY15 at checkout.  Valid until Dec. 5th.
You can follow Ettatorials on Facebook, twitter, pinterest & instagram and of course ETSY

Friday, November 20, 2015

Harvest "Pudding" Upside Down Cake

Sometimes experiments work out! 

Well it is that time again, where I pick a recipe from my 1950's recipe book, and use it as an inspiration and because most of you all know me so very well, you know that I can not just follow the recipe and leave it alone, and this time it is no different.  This time I did leave it be tho... well sort of. Keep reading.... *wink* 

So here is what I had to work with, and also margarine not shown
and ..
...the recipe I started with.

Ok so by now you are scratching your head! So here is the story. When I was a girl my Grandma often would cook with me while I was staying with her, and one of her go to dishes was apples cooked in red hot cinnamon candies. I loved these. They were both sweet and well, hot at the same time, and served warm or cold they were one of my favorite, and she always made it for big family gatherings. I once shared her recipe on my blog so many moons ago, and it was popular. I always thought that it was her own personal recipe, but turns out it was a popular one in the 1950's! When I saw it in my cookbook I started craving them, and then the mad scientist retro housewife in me 
( how's that for a title *giggle*) , got to could I possibly tweak it?? Well I had also been thinking of making an upside down cake. I had not ever made one and was in the mood for a challenge. I had a cake mix from when I made whoopie pies and shared it here on the blog, a can of pumpkin when I made muffins , and then it clicked... I could make a harvest upside down cake...."WAIT!" you are saying, "so where does the pudding come in; I don't see any in the photo", well, you are right, it's not. The pudding comes from the what happens during the baking process. Between the apples, and the pumpkin, it creates a super moist pudding like cake!! Just like magic, and I was not even expecting it! So let's get started! First we will make the apples....

Core and then peel the apple....I only used two quite
large apples, the recipe is for four...I say make
the recipe and keep the extra to put over ice cream
or on pork chops even!

Slice apples as instructed in the recipe

Take the water, sugar and cinnamon candies and
follow the directions of cooking to a boil till all the sweet
part dissolves.

Once the liquid comes to a boil, add sliced apples
and then lower heat and keep spooning the liquid
over the apples cook as directed.

Cook till the apples are soft, but not falling apart.
set aside....
Heat the oven to 350 degrees and meanwhile,
gather some cooking spray, margarine and
cinnamon and a little sugar.

Spray baking dish, dot with margarine,
sprinkle with a dusting of sugar.....

Add 1 to two layers of apple slices, your choice. put a bit of the
liquid from the pan over the apples, and then lightly sprinkle
with cinnamon. 

Now, mix one can of pumpkin, 1 egg, 1 pouch of cake mix,
I used yellow, but spice would be yummy too! 

Mix together until well blended

Smooth the mix over the apples, put it in the pre-heated oven,
and I baked it for about 30 minutes, but basically bake
until a toothpick comes out clean. Once that is the case,
put cake on the counter on a rack, to cool for awhile ....but not
too long. I waited about 15-20 minutes. Then with a plate on the top,
carefully turn upside down..BE CAREFUL there might be some liquid that
dribbles out...I used a cloth to catch that. 
Isn't it pretty???

The proud and happy homemaker! 

Served warm, with or without ice cream and a glass of
either wine or bubbly, in this case to balance the sweetness
is a reward for a job well done. 

Come back Tuesday to find out what's in this pretty little package.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Daddy-O's ... a Review

logo image via the Daddy-O's web site 

***sorry this is a day late, but better late than never***

A few months ago I decided it was time to start thinking about coat shopping. Ok, so yes it was still nearly 100 degrees outdoors on a pretty regular basis, but I knew that as Sacramento has a habit of doing, it will go from scorching to freezing in a blink of the eye... and this year was no different; it happened over night. Anyway, so here I was thinking it was coat shopping time and I had no idea where to get a retro looking coat that I could afford, and as I shopped my normal online haunts for such things I was not having a lot of luck, then I remember an online shop that I once used to be a regular patron of many years ago, Daddy-O's ... a few clicks later and a familiar home page popped up on my screen. Daddy-O's is "your one stop shop for rockabilly & swing clothes, bowling shirts, and vintage inspired clothing!" , and they are not kidding! One of the best things is that they have quite a nice selection for women, but men and boys too, and at great prices. They carry brands that most pin up/rockabilly/retro guys and gals know about, but often at a lower price point, and they have a really good constant selection of items on their sale page. The cherry on top? Their customer service is spot on, both via email and over the phone for those people who don't trust punching in their credit card number to an online site. 

My helpful customer service lady
 was a complete doll!

I scrolled through all the pretty dresses and then remembered I was on the site to look for a coat, so I clicked the various links to reach where the separates where and half way down low and behold there was a photo of a glorious coat named "The 50's Car Coat".... PERFECT! I read the description, This coat just screams vintage and would be a great addition to your wardrobe. "This mint coat has a tweed look and has a rounded collar, front patch pockets and a button down front. "  The photo grabbed me first...MINT! I am rather obsessed with mint...yes, this former all black all the time gal is now in love with soft pastels, maybe it is my graying hair, and softening skin tone...but that's a whole other blog. The other thing I loved about it is that it is long, and has pockets!!! 

photo image is via the Daddy-O's web site 
I contacted customer service first to ask about sizing, as I was not sure if the coat was true to size and I was between sizes. The next thing I wanted to ask is if this coat would be going on sale? I quickly got an email back and was educated on the sizing and then told that the coat was going to be going on sale and if I could wait a bit , my customer service angel would find out for how much and if she could offer the price to me a bit early. A bit of time passed and I emailed again, and shortly there was another email in my in box and I was told "yes" I could get the sale price now and if I would call her, she could help me order my coat. OF COURSE I called right away! I had a delightful conversation with the mentioned customer service angel, and not too many days later I had my beautiful coat! It was just as glorious as it looked in the photo...and the colors soft enough to go with most everything in my wardrobe at the moment that I would want to wear it with.  The fit was spot on with the exception of the arm length..often and issue as I am a petite gal, but nothing that can not be fixed when I next take a stack of items to my alterations lady. It was not going to stop me from wearing it on the first cool enough day, and I did just that.... I had to add a scarf as it was pretty darn chilly out, but it did not take away the lovely retro visual of this lovely coat. 

I already have my eye on the short version of this coat, the "Kensie " , I think it would be perfection over my full skirts....and that is just one of the items on my long list of desires to buy from Daddy-O's.  I urge you, my readers, even if you are not into the same style as I am to go give them a look see, you might find a cute accessory, a dream worthy purse or fun pair of sunglasses, or maybe a fun shirt to wear or something for that man in your life that likes to wear the bowling type shirts...and if you do, tell that lovely customer service lady on the other end of the phone ( if you go that route) that Ruby's Musings sent you. 

See you here on Friday xx