Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Gifts For My Lovelies

These last few days have been filled with felt, friends and frenzied behavior. My friend Whitney just wrapped up her 5 month stint with a popular Chicago drinking play, Bye Bye Liver. She was a most fantastic hostess and 'waitress.' It was also my chance to give her the present I'd be holding onto for quite some time. She was stoked...

the oatmeal coloring was a perfect compliment for her fair skin and dark hair.

Sadly, I also had to say a goodbye of sorts to a friend, Amy. I only wish we could have gotten to know each other better. She is a lovely person with a truly genuine heart, also known as artschoolgirl - www.artschoolgirl.com. With her move around the corner she needed to purge most of her supplies and collections. She honestly filled my car yesterday with vintage books, covers, baking and cooking ads, fancy paper and medical journals. I was speechless and beyond grateful. The kicker is she wanted nothing for them - just a good home. I feel honored to be their new owner. Knowing that I couldn't accept her offer for nothing I gave her a little package containing a handmade and die-cut retro journal, a screen printed card and a headband made especially for her skin/hair combo. She was super excited and put the thing right on!

 ^ for Amy

It's hard to determine which is better - creating something special for a really dear friend or seeing the enjoyment that a little gesture can bring. (I of course shall have to go with the latter).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fresh Felted Feathery Headbands

Hello all! I have been hard at work trying to make some new spring creations for my etsy shop. I'm still in my felt obsession, but I wanted to branch out and make something new with my current 'it' fabric. I have come up with 'feather headbands.' While they are not made from real feathers, the miniature hand-cut versions hold up pretty well. They are thoughtfully layered and assembled one-at-a-time ensuring the best craftsmanship possible.

They are a great canvas for experimenting with color combinations. They also look great dressed up with a dress or blazer OR dressed down with a pair of skinny jeans and some cute seasonal flats. Another awesome perk is that they are totally customizable - you can pick your own color combo and just request a special one!

But enough blabbering. Here are the 3 I have made so far. 2 are for sale in my shop, and 1 is mine all mine. Muahaha! (but as with anything else, there are many more to come)...

mine, for keeps!

neutrals, (for sale in my shop)

spring brights, (for sale in my shop)

I have been assured by a good friend that these are underpriced, but I was going for a reasonable and of course sellable price. Sooooo if you are a style-conscious recessionista - you're welcome! :)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Invites for the Kiddies

I have been trying to think of some more things to put in my etsy shop that could be customized for people's needs. What I came up with for now is party invitations for little kids. I made Dexter's this past summer and really liked them. They also got a good response from the recipients. Rather than have the typical teddy bear, pirate or licensed cartoon character, I decided to go with a cute narwhal - the unicorn of the sea.

Since the file is a digital illustration, it is easy enough to change the information content and personalize it for anyone. So hopefully you enjoy the happy little narwhal and my newest creation - the ice cream themed invitations.


As always, both these sets of invitations and all of my other creations can be located online at:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Felting the Night Away

From the title, you can clearly see that the wave of felted rosette brooches is still upon me. I know I may be sort of broken record by now, but they're honestly addictive. (I blame the Kelly sisters)! ;)

I have been wanting to add them to my etsy shop but not just individually. What I came up with was a mix & match 3 pack. It contains 3 different sizes (ranging from small, medium and large) and 3 different colors. They come in a simple homemade package. I've also included photographs showing examples of they can be worn together or broken apart.

Thanks, as always, for reading. These items along with all the others can be found online at:

Authentic Chicken Tortilla Soup

As promised, here is the recipe for the authentic chicken tortilla soup I made for dinner on Saturday. ( I actually found it via the All Recipes app for iPhone). It was really delicious, and we'll definitely be making it again.

You will need:

2 chicken breasts (shredded)
4-8 corn tortillas (depending on # of people being served)
2 cups of water
1 can of chicken stock
1 can of enchilada sauce
1 can of whole peeled tomatoes (mashed)
1 can of green chiles
1 bag of frozen corn
1 medium yellow or white onion (chopped finely)
2 cloves of garlic (minced finely)
fresh cilantro (chopped) - I personally don't use, because I hate the taste! But go ahead if you like it ;)
chili powder (to taste)
cumin (to taste)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

Set slow cooker to Low setting.
Add seasoned chicken breasts (salt and pepper) and all liquid ingredients.
Then add each canned item and the frozen corn.
Put all onion and garlic in and stir.
Add chili powder and cumin, and stir again.
Cook for 6 - 8 hours, stirring occasionally.
(I take my chicken out 1 hour before serving and shred it using 2 forks. Then I add it back in for that last hour or until ready to serve. If I used fresh cilantro, I would also add it in at this time).

During the last 20 minutes preheat the oven to 425F.
Cut tortillas into strips easily with a pizza wheel.
Place them on a cookie sheet and lightly toss with olive oil. (Make sure they are evenly spread out before placing in the oven).
Cook until golden brown - just a few minutes! (They can burn easily)
Take them out, and place them on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
Set aside until ready to serve.

After ladeling the soup into bowls, garnish with the crispy tortilla strips.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Spring Fling

Well, today has proven to be a mighty productive Saturday. This morning I started out by preparing dinner. I found a recipe for a homemade, authentic Mexican chicken tortilla soup. It has been slow cooking away all day, and I cannot wait to try it later. (If it is decent, I will share the recipe in another post). I also made another whopper of a batch of mango guacamole to go with the theme.

When I was finished with the food prep, I decided to make some more crafts. I finally finished a headband I was making for my friend Whitney. I think she'll really like it. The color is a surprise, but I chose something that will compliment her dark hair and porcelain skin.

After that I was still in the mood to craft, so I made a few more cards for my etsy shop. Since spring is in the air I made some seasonal items:

"Happy Easter" Braille card

"Peace" Braille card

Felt & Button Flowers card (with a bound page)

Luckily Dexter was really content to read to himself and hang out solo for a monster portion of the day. It was nice to have some 'me' time and make some new things. I plan on adding a whole array of colors as far as the Felt Buttons & Flowers go. In the next week or so I will also be adding some felt accessories to my shop, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for those. :)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Itty Bitty Post

I will keep this short, because I am not feeling the full post vibe right now. Today I made a couple more headbands to add to the collection. I also put together some cute little spring card sampler packs.

These are available in my etsy shop:

It is going to prove to be another super busy, jam-packed weekend. So if I am not around til next week, have a lovely time! :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


So today Sarah and I decided to join www.postcrossing.com. It is a site where you can send and receive postcards from all over the world.

I actually used to do a lot of ATCs (aka artist trading cards) when I was in college. It was so cool to share artwork with new, international friends. This is immediately what I thought of. It is cool that you can detail what you'd like to receive too. Everyone has a profile, and your recipients are chosen at random. There is a 5 person limit for each round of mailings. I signed up for my first five and ended up with people from: California, the Netherlands, Finland and Poland.

Some people buy and send store-boughts, but to me this is another opportunity to design and illustrate and really explore creativity. I am looking forward to 'meeting' new pen pals and receiving some non-junk mail!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Dickie" Dress

I have been taking Monday night sewing classes for 2 years now. I have a few skirts and bags and one unwearable shirt (ha) to show for it. I decided I wanted to challenge myself and make my first dress. In hindsight, I probably should have chosen a sheath or something else that is really super simple. However, I have a track record of over complicating things, and I chose a cute little jumper dress.

Hopefully it will be retro-ly cute and not super turdish by the time I'm done with it!

Nothing has been overly hard yet. All of the mistakes have been dumb so far - like sewing the right side of the fabric to the wrong side. Duh! Rookie mistake. Anyhow, it is never any less frustrating that after two full years I still cannot read a pattern to save my life. Luckily my instructor, Nancy, has the patience of a saint.

I have accomplished the bodice so far which has a strong resemblance to a dickie right now:

Lol. This is not my garment but the results of a Google image search for "dickies." (Note, NEVER search for that again. XXX). Lesson learned.

Albeit somewhat stumped by my current choice, my jumper does not seem unwearable yet - which is a good sign. The fabric is an ultra smooth black on black pinstripe stretch corduroy. I love it, but it will undoubtedly pick up every lint particle in the atmosphere. So I will remember to accessorize with a lint roller when wearing it.

I will post the progress as it is being made...

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Happily Humbled

So this is the first time I clicked on my positive ratings list in my etsy shop...Wow, all I can say is thank you! Here is what one of my lovely customers wrote:

"Novel2010 says:
Dessertforbreakfast is an extraordinarily GREAT Etsy store. The seller is an excellent and highly responsive convo-writer. I ordered a Valentine's Day card in Braille and, at my request, she even added the name of the recipient in Braille to make it more personal, in Braille. This was beyond the call of duty and was a generous, kind, considerate and gracious act of human goodness. This seller is not only a superb artist and creator, but also a very kind human being, which makes it all the more wonderful to do business here. I will be a repeat, repeat, REPEAT customer and I recommend this extra special Etsy store with my highest recommendation. Beautiful selection, beautiful work, great Etsy experience. Highest praise for dessertforbreakfast and for the creative and lovely person who is at its heart."

My absolute favorite part about this posting is that it came from someone whom I did not previously know. I met this woman via our transaction, and it means so much to me that she had a positive and delightful experience. She went above and beyond the norm for buyer feedback, and I greatly appreciate it. :)

I cannot wait to start feeling better so I can add some more new items!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

A Long Weekend, A Brief Absence

Wow. I feel like I have really let myself down by not posting anything for a week. It was a busy weekend though. We had not one but two awesome birthday parties to attend.

First up, Mig turned 24 this past Monday, (but we celebrated Saturday night). In true tradition, he took over Five Star Bar. Though Phil and I aren't really drinkers anymore, it was amazing to get out and see old, dear friends and nice to chat up with some new ones too. This is just a fraction of the awesomeness that happened:

The birthday boy and me

my fave lil bro figure, Nick

Larissa and I meeting (for real)

There were so so so many other awesome moments that happened in this night. I got to see Joy for the first time in forever, Steph and I were rose twins and Denny even tried to pull off a little mom-grind (for shame)! All in all it was a fantastic night out for a good cause.

The very next day we celebrated Phil's dad's 59th birthday in Schiller Park with the family. As per usual, I totally gorged myself on snacks and then again on dinner. (There is never a shortage of sustenance in the Giordano household). I'm pretty sure his folks are trying to fatten me up! A few Tums later though, and I was able to somehow manage my way through dessert. 

Cyndi always takes care of the birthday cake. She made this awesome chocolate cherry cake (with a generous dose of alcohol). I tried something new and made Aida Mollenkamp's recipe for a chocolate malted tart. Both were a big hit. The tart was incredibly thick and dense and fudgy...almost too much so for me, but like I said, I managed.

St. Bald Rick, Cyndi, Dad and desserts (hers totally won on presentation factor)

We also got to give dad an awesome present we had up our sleeves. Many years ago I guess he tried to get a Giordano's apron from the restaurant - just as a cool keepsake. They refused to even let him purchase one. With a little help from Photoshop and a sweet friend we were able to get him one:

Finally, completely unrelated to the last posts I did get a chance to make a few things this week. It had been hard since Dexter has not been sleeping nights. He is fighting a bit of a cold and some new molars. I also haven't been feeling up to par, so I have been laying low. However, I did manage to make a new headband and a couple more brooches:

new green and black headband

2 more rosy brooches - experimenting with a two-tone one in dark chocolate & cocoa

Thanks for reading through this medley of posts. Next time I'll try not to be so schizophrenic with it all. Also, here is Aida's tart recipe. It is delicious, you should definitely try it!