Friday, October 21, 2011

What to Wear to Work...

Smart Casual
Michael Kors, J.Crew, Gorjana, House Of Harlow
A smart casual and comfy pulled together work week look with a little splash of pick me up color!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Using the iphone for business

I love my iphone! I am not saying it is for everyone, but I personally think it makes my life much easier! I am trying to find new technologically advanced ways to jump start my jewelry business and I have found some very cool things out there to add to my business wishlist (yeah I actually have a wishlist for that too).

Taking Photos of Jewelry with an iphone 4 and Modahaus Desktop Studio

As I was browsing the web in search of tips for taking pictures of jewelry I found this site. They use this very cool desktop photostudio. I really like this idea because it can fold up and it doesn't take up space. I could take it with me when I travel and still be able to have room in my little studio room here at home. The price is not bad considering that if I use the app they suggest for my iphone ($1.99). The app is call "Camera +" and I found it quickly on itunes.  I would spend well over $300 for a new camera and a pop up tent on ebay, which is what I was considering before seeing this. Check out it out:

how to shoot jewellery with iphone 4 and modahaus table top studio

Credit Card Swipers

Currently researching this option to have a card reader for my iphone. This is also available for the ipad (maybe my husband will give me his ipad 2 and upgrade to another one). I plan on doing some craft fairs and possibly farmers market in future so this may come in handy. I would love to take this to the next level and I like the technological advance aspect of the card reader on the phone. I have never had a merchant use this so it would innovative and easy to use. I also like the simplicty of design. I do not want to have to purchase a cash register or use paper receipts (now I am going all green SOL). I do not have a brick and mortar store so I think that for ease of possible phone orders or internet orders this will work wonders.


ProPay is a company I found through  They have a ProPay Jak which is a small card reader that works with smart phones. They do not have a monthly subscription fee but you pay $49.95 for the card reader and you pay annual fee for the ProPay account which varies depending on which one you choose. I am looking at the pros and cons of utilizing this company because I could use it with my Artfire studio shop, but I also have an Etsy shop now.
ProPay JAK


Square is another company who does card readers, you download the app on ipad or iphone and they send you a card reader for free. There are no hidden costs or monthly subscriptions. Even the app is free. You pay 2.75% for each card transaction. It has a very streamlined look and I like that I can get additional card readers free of charge. I found out about this one through a friend and think I may go this route since the reviews look good, but I  like to research so the hunt will go on till I am happy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Born Again Lace Cardigan Tutorial

The kids started school yesterday and I have been going through ratty, tattered, outgrown clothes for weeks. I came across this lovely cardigan at a school clothing swap before school ended months ago. It was free because there was a tiny hole near the tag on back. It looked as if it had been worn maybe once or twice so I could not just throw it away because of a tiny hole. Because it is still warm outside but the mornings are getting cooler, I thought it would be perfect to cut out the fabric and insert some pretty lace instead. My daughter can now layer this over a tee or tank top.

I forgot to take a picture of the sweater prior to cutting it but you get the picture. I basically just cut out the back leaving a little room for a seam and the binding on the top for neck and binding along bottom.


I carefully cut out the lace using the cut out from the back as a pattern. Remember to leave some room for the seam. (fig. 2)
fig. 3

I pinned the lace cut out to the sweater matching up the corners and edges.

fig. 4

I used a serger to serge the seams. I find that it makes it easier, faster and a little more comfortable when wearing it.

Now you have a lovely and breezy little transition cardigan! Best part is that I only paid $2.99 for the chantilly lace and I was able to utilize something old!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Organic Chocolate Truffles

My daughter asked me to make chocolate truffles for her birthday last week. Actually she asked for "those chocolate ball things you make". Since I am moving to more and more organic foods I decided to get organic chocolate for this dessert. You can find organic chocolate at Safeway, Raley's or your local health food store. You can also find the organic heavy whipping cream, and organic butter to go all organic; although I just used what I already had.

These pair well with fresh organic strawberries and whipped cream. Another request from my youngest daughter.

Organic Chocolate Truffles

8 oz. organic semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking chocolate broken into smaller pieces.
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons Brandy (or other alcohol if)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (cut into pieces)
Cocoa powder

I melt and mix the chocolate and buter, pour in the cream, let boil. Let it sit for about 2 minutes and pour in brandy and mix well. Place in covered bowl and let set in the fridge unitl firm enough to form into balls. Using my hands (this does get messy so I normally powder my hands with the cocoa powder first) I form small balls and roll them in cocoa powder. Place them on a tray or plate and chill in fridge before serving.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Favorite Latest Shopping Finds and Wants

What I am shopping for: 

Effortless, Classy Shorts

 J. Crew Shorts. $49.50; LC Lauren Conrad shorts. Kohls $33.00

Classic and Comfy Espadrilles

Espadrilles $112.00

Franco Sarto Kashmir  $49.50

A Breezy Chambray Summer Dress 
The Dupont Dress. $110.00 

Target is also carrying a lovely chambray dress but I was not able to locate it online so I took a picture of it in the store!  I believe it is $24.99.

Simple White Jeans

Paige Premium Denim 'Hidden Hills' Bootcut Stretch Jeans (Optic White Wash) (Petite) $119.00 sale price.

An Academic-Minded Bag

Fine-Ruled Satchel by Anthropologie. $268.00.

Sneak Peak of Craft Room

So here is a sneak peak of my craft room. No surprise the walls are green! I chose a lighter green for my side and a darker green for my husbands side of the room.  It is still bursting at the seams (just a little sewing humor lol..) but I am slowly unpacking the boxes and finding my lost things from the big move. I am sharing this little room with my husband so his side is very business like (that is the way my daughter has described it) with all the computers and files and my side is well kind of a mess right now but you can see more of my personality shining through each day. I was able to hang all of my husbands frames and the shelves on his side of the room today (I got tired of tripping over boxes trying to get to my desk).  My sewing machines are up and that makes me feel like making stuff. Soon this will all be organized and I will post more pictures!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Giddy Over Organic

I picked up my share of organic vegetables and fruit from Lucero Organic Farms. I met some wonderful people like Karen (owner) who greeted me with a warm hug! I was welcomed as a new member and I was eager to see how they pack the boxes. Lucero Organic Farms is only located a few miles away from our home here in Lodi, Ca. I actually ran by it a few weeks ago with my husband and did not reailze it was an organic farm. I received a beautiful array of zucchini, squash, cucumbers, red leaf lettuce, gourmet strawberries, peaches, and the cutest little carrots!!! I set up a scheduled pick up once a week and I am so excited to get all this fresh and delicious food! I was just giddy when I arrived home with my box. It was overflowing with color! I made a refreshing salad with cucumbers, strawberries and the lettuce, and steamed squash last night to accompany our dinner. If you have a chance to get local organic food you should really give it a try. Hmmm.. think I will go make dessert now (writing about strawberries makes me hungry). ;)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Healthy and Delicious Banana Bread Recipe

My kids love Banana Bread and I love this recipe! A few weeks ago we went camping near Yosemite National Park. I told my husband I would bake my Banana Bread the morning before we had to leave and it would be ready to go by the time he arrived from work. I was so busy packing the car I forgot to bake the banana bread!! It was 4:20 pm and he was going to be leaving work by 4:30 so I quickly got everything out of the pantry and literally threw it together in 5 minutes!! I threw both loaf pans in the oven and set the timer on my iphone! When my husband pulled up the drive way I told him the bread was still baking but it would be ready by the time we finished packing the last minute items in the ice chest. I was the last one in the house carefully taking my hot loaves out of the oven. I did not have time to cool on a rack, so I just pulled out the tin foil and carefully removed the loaves and placed onto the tin foil and wrapped them in several layers. I placed them into brown paper lunch bags, locked up the house and jumped into the car (everyone was already waiting in car). I rode with two hot loaves in my lap most of the way up to Yosemite! Except for when we got to our destination we arrived with only one loaf! The aroma took over my husband and kids and one of the loaves ended up looking like it was attacked by ravenous wolves! We still managed to have one loaf to share with our friends while camping and it made an excellent addition to our camp breakfast.

I have been getting requests for this recipe from family and friends, so I happily share my recipe for you to share as well.

Hatzin’s Banana Bread

1 cup organic evaporated cane sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
6 ripe organic mashed bananas
4 eggs- well beaten
1 cup organic whole wheat flour*
1 ½ cup spelt flour*
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup ground organic flaxseeds, plus a little more for topping
½ cup of raw unsalted pumpkin seeds

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cream sugar, vanilla and butter until fluffy, add bananas, eggs and beat until mixed. Sift together dry ingredients. Blend with wet ingredients. Pour into two greased loaf pans. Sprinkle a little extra ground flaxseeds on top. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool pans on rack. 

*You may substitute the above flour for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Flour if you are gluten intolerant. I recommend this brand because I have used this particular gluten free flour before with this recipe and it turned out great.

Makes two loaves.

-Hatzin Escalante 2011

Portland Treasures....

Things are finally starting to settle here at the new (old) house. We made a trip to Portland for work and fun a few weeks ago. I love Portland!!! I went boutique shopping with my wonderful friend Erin and found this awesome little green succulent! I love succulents and terrariums! I have been wanting to make one forever so this was such a fun and inexpensive little project and it reminds me of our lovely visit to Portland! I bought this succulent at Ink and Peat in Portland and found this glass jar/planter at Ikea for $12.00. I used a few cuttings from other plants I had on the porch and figured they would make a nice little addition to my kitchen window sill. Looks so delicate next to my little pretty green mister from Lowes. I have so many other projects like getting the molding and baseboards installed but this really makes me happy every time I look at it on the sill. If you ever go to Portland you must visit Ink and Peat, and Pistils Nursery (even if you just look at the awesome airplants and chickens). Another beautiful and whimsical place to visit is Flutter. Make fun of me if you want but I will want to buy it or make it if you put a bird on it! I found an awesome present for my step-son believe it not. It was a bull dog bottle opener! This is a great place to find inexpensive bird prints too!

Stay tuned for my fireplace makeover and my sewing craft room makeover.....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter with Easter Cookies Recipe

It is not about the beautiful colorful eggs, delicious chocolate candies and toys overflowing from baskets. I have started a tradition with my daughters a few years ago with Easter Cookies. This is sure to be a memorable tradition in your family as well. Thank you to KAMB 101.5 Celebration Radio who first posted this recipe on their website in April of 2009.

Happy Easter!!

Easter Cookies


To be made the evening before Easter

You need:

1 cup whole pecans

1 tsp. vinegar

3 egg whites

pinch salt

1 cup sugar

zipper baggie

wooden spoon



Preheat oven to 300 degrees (this is important-don't wait

until you're half done with the recipe)!

Place pecans in zipper baggie and let children beat them with the wooden

spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested,

He was beaten by the Roman soldiers.

Read John 19:1-3.

Let each child smell the vinegar. Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.

Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross,

He was given vinegar to drink.

Read John 19:28-30.

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life.. Explain that Jesus gave

His life to give us life.

Read John 10:10-11.

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it and

brush the rest into the bowl. Explain that this represents the salty tears

shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin.

Read Luke 23:27.

So far, the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add 1 cup sugar. Explain

that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves

us. He wants us to know and belong to Him.

Read Ps. 34:8 and John 3:16.

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are

formed. Explain that the color white represents --in God's

eyes -- the purity of those whose sins have been cleansed by


Read Isa. 1:18 and John 3:1-3.

Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper-covered cookie sheet.

Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was


Read Matt. 27:57-60.

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.

Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door. Explain that

Jesus' tomb was sealed.

Read Matt. 27:65-66.

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven

overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.

Read John 16:20 and 22.

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice


cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are

hollow! On the first

Easter, Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.

Read Matt. 28:1-9

Share The Easter Cookie Story With Friends and Family

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dreaming of an organized sewing room....

I finally cleaned my desk in the office. Now I must move it into my sewing room for my crafting space, and organize my piles of fabric. Excited to see the floor of this room! Stay posted....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

What I have been up to lately

Antique Pin Cushion found for my sewing room.
Antique Skeleton Key I used to turn into a necklace.

Here are some of my favorite finds from last week. My little girl is still getting over this fever, but I was able to sit next to her and do some beading. The pin cushion and the skeleton keys we found were awesome treasures, and the kids loved the antique mall. Both of the girls chose their key, and I picked up an extra one to make this necklace.

ArtFire Finalist

Please Vote!!! Artfire is a finalist in the 2011 Readers' Choice awards DIY Fashion finalists.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sewing Room Objects

Sewing room objects.
Sitting there...
Wishing someone would create something.
Wanting to be picked up,
pinned, threaded, and stitched.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The List Maker

So on our latest trip to our favorite little spot Avila Beach, Ca we took a drive to the bookstore to get something to read while sitting on the beach (and our room cause it did rain). I found this cool book/journal. It is like a guidebook designed with envelopes and binder to help you track what makes you happy and how you can keep track of your life lists. I have come to realize over the years that I work well with lists and it helps me visualize my goals a little better than to have them floating and dancing around my head. So instead of making resolutions this year I have a life list and soon to be life/timeline to go with it. I have already started my life lists and this blog is on that list! I am just figuring out how to actually post from my phone since it is attached to my body at all times, so I should be able to post more often and send more pictures!

Have fun list making!!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Artfire Studio

Please take a look at my new changes to my Studio on Artfire! I excited and getting ready to add more inventory to my studio. Here is a link to view the little facelift of the studio. I am going out to eat tonight with my husband and friends. Sushi is on the menu and I love to see how new places choose to do the decor. Maybe I will get some ideas tonight. This place was renovated so it will be interesting to see what they did with the place. Color is so important and I decided to use colors that invoke something. Not sure what it invokes for other people but these colors make me feel this way. I used calm (blue), life (green), and yellow(good energy) colors. What is your favorite color and what does it make you feel?

Monday, January 10, 2011

I have been so busy working on projects, work, and family that I have not been able to post this link. I started an Artfire studio for my jewelry and other crafts. I have been making dog beds, jewelry and I am working on some new projects inspired by my latest run. Yes, run! I have been trying to get out and burn some of these extra cookies from Christmas! I have long hair and I hate it falling in my face during a run with my husband cause then I have to stop and adjust it. I decided that I could make some running headbands that also keep my ears warm and tucked in since they stick out when I put my hair up. I made two so far. Well I will be posting some of my pictures and posting some for my artfire account once I am done!