Monday, February 27, 2012

Flop or Fortuitous?

"You just never know."  That's the common sentiment among vendors when I attend a craft show.  The man in the booth next to us attends 90 shows a year.  For 2012 he has already attended 15.  Sometimes he pulls away nearly sold out, wiped clean.  Other times he sells much less than anticipated.  This weekend he sold one item.  A disappointing first for a man who has been at it for 10 years.  Personally, I sold just enough to cover the cost of my booth.  A first for me as well and my booth was one of the busiest.  So, while on the one hand the event was considered a flop, it was also a bit fortuitous. 

The lack of customers meant vendors had plenty of time to mingle, admire each others' work and swap tips.  For me, Petal Pusher has never simply been about turning a profit.  It's also been about building community and meeting other like-minded creative individuals.  The afternoon may not have been spent writing up sales and wrapping orders, but it's value came in the form of laughs and camaraderie.

Sporting my hat and shades - 80 degrees in February, what!?

Petal Pusher Rings

Petal Pusher Upcycled Jars & Cake Stands

Petal Pusher Upcycled Jars & Cake Stands

My booth buddy, Dana from Applewhite

Colorful cuffs from Applewhite, perfect for spring 

Applewhite message board

Darling handcrated dolls by While Lena Naps

I mean that crown!  How adorable is that?

Colorful banners and accessories from Penn & Livie Finery

Sweet little felt hair clippies

Snap-on bow ties

Mardell's Closet offers sewing lessons and custom clothing.  This outfit is sharp from head to toe.  She took a men's XXL polo and fashioned it into a kicky skirt, jazzed up a plain tee with a heart shaped from safety pins and topped it off with a retro vintage gumball necklace.  And, yes, the skirt price is only $15.  You can reach Mardell at or 646-242-5657. 

The only thing better than this chunky ring from McClimon Design Jewelry?  Jill McClimon.  She was a true gem and helped us turn a lemon day into lemonade.

The photo does not do this necklace justice.  Beautiful stone statement necklace for only $29.  Support your local artists, people!  It's a win-win.

If it hadn't been so dang hot I would have snagged this chunky knit scarf (handcrafted by Jill McClimon) and worn it all day.
I think Kim Alvey of Soaps Just 4 U wins the Biggest Giver Award.  The woman donated over 200 sample size soaps for the giveaway bags *and* provided a coupon for a free full size soap as well.  Her handmade glycerin soaps are custom colored and scented.  I snagged a couple of these bunny ducky soaps for Easter baskets.

I think these would make sweet party favors.  All her soaps are only $2 each!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Southwest Dinner Menu

My family was in town this last week and I made the most amazing Southwest meal for them (if I do say so myself). Everything could be made ahead of time - minus grilling the chicken and corn - which is a huge bonus in my book.

Unfortunately, because I was not thinking, I didn't snap any prep or after shots. Only about 3/4 of the way through did I think, hmmm...I should blog this! Oh well. Here are the recipes direct from the sources. The flavors worked amazingly well together.

They suggest serving with beans, tortillas, lettuce, etc. However, I served this grilled chicken on it's own with the delicious sauce. I also left off the cheese - why smother perfection?  When I make this dish on a weeknight I usually only do the marinade, but you really must make the extra effort to whip up the sauce.  Well worth it!  Marinating the chicken overnight makes it extra moist when grilled.

Our store was out of cotija cheese so I used queso fresco, which is easy to grate or crumble by hand. The grilled corn took longer than estimated, but turned out oh so delicious.  Shown fourth down in this photo.

Don't let the one star (from one reviewer) dissuade you! Like the reviewer, I too used Greek yogurt which made the dressing a bit thick, but it wsa easily remedied by adding cold water a teaspoon at a time and blending further. The color was vibrant and the coriander oil and cilantro provided the right Southwest twist I was looking for. For the salad I mixed spring greens (arugula would work nicely too), red onion, red pepper and toasted pepitas (typically found in bulk section or Trader Joe's).
Roasted Corn and Radish Salad with Avocado-Herb Dressing Recipe

Friday, February 17, 2012

Willo Recap

It was a gorgeous day on Sunday for the Willo Historic Home Tour.  The kind of February day that makes you grateful to live in the valley of the sun.  I shared a booth with my good friend Dana from Applewhite and it was a day of smiles: meeting new people, listening to the live music, eating from the food trucks and just soaking up the amazing weather. 

So many charming homes to peruse!  Unfortunately, I was at the booth pushing Petals so didn't get to peek inside any of them, but I did snap a few exterior shots on my cell phone as we were driving out. 


Monday, February 13, 2012

Have Your Cake

So excited about this new addition to my home decor offerings.
Here's a sneak peek at what's to come...

I've scoured local antique and thrift stores to find vintage candlesticks and plates and repurposed them in to darling cake stands. 

You don't have to save these for dessert though!  They are perfect for holding jewelry, soap and other little treasures. Each cake stand is unique in size and materials used.  

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Willo Historic Home Tour

Arizona isn't known for having a plethora of lovely old historic homes.  So the Willo Historic District is a real treasure.  Once a year the residents open their homes for a tour.  The architecture varies from Pueblo to American Colonial to Tudor to Greek Revival and all from the 1920s and 30s.

The Willo Historic Home Tour is this weekend, Sunday, February 12, from 10am-4pm.  At the end of the tour is a market featuring food, crafts and live music. 

Petal Pusher will be participating in this year's market so come by the booth and say hello!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mingle with the Moms

Our neighborhood is full of families and, like us, most have moved here within the last year or two.  I figured, someone's got to get this party started and decided to initiate a Mingle with the Moms happy hour at our house.  My neighbor and I dropped off some fliers inviting other moms to swing by, bring an appetizer or wine to share and meet up.  For my apps, I decided to make these two easy, fresh finger foods that friends have shared with me recently.  Enjoy!

Appetizer #1
Fill a container with marinated peppadews (usually found in the deli section at the olive bar).  Stuff them with gorgonzola crumbles.  Set them on plate and watch them disappear. See, I told you they were going to be easy.  The sweet, slightly spicy peppadew mixes perfectly with the creamy strong cheese.

Appetizer #2
Spread goat cheese on a small Boboli pizza crust.  In a bowl, toss arugula, sliced strawberries and toasted pumpkin seeds (pistachios or pine nuts work well too) with olive oil and lemon juice.  Place atop pizza crust and sprinkle with shaved Parmesan.  So fresh, so simple, so yummy.  Oh, and pretty too.  Tip: slice the pizza crust after spreading the goat cheese, but before adding arugula mix.