December 30, 2008

Tuesday Tips 12/30/08 - Another idea for ceramic paint pens

My family had our big Christmas party last weekend. There was a "no gifts" rule between all the grown ups, but as usual, everyone broke the rule. (I hate that rule, anyway. I love giving gifts.) This year I made all home-made items - and had so much fun watching everyone open them that I think I'll do that every year from now on.

One of the gifts was a clay garden pot with a phrase written on it.
I used one of the PIOP (Pass It On Plates) special paint pens on the pot to write:
It's not a houseplant; it's a botanical masterpiece.
There are stars drawn around the outside rim on the saucer.


The pot is in the oven, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

These paint pens are designed for writing on ceramic, pottery, glass, and metal. When the paint is dry, you just pop it in a cold oven, turn the temp to 300F (150C) and once the oven comes up to that temp, set the timer for 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, shut off the oven and let the piece cool down with the oven. At this point, the paint is permanent a food safe.

It may be silly that I baked a garden pot
, but I figured if it was going to be outside in the weather, I didn't want the painted words to be permanent and not wear off from rain or other weather.

For more info about this special paint pen
, you can check out our Paint Pen FAQ.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I originally planned this post before the family party
, but now there's more to the story that touched everyone. It's a little long, but I just have to tell you what happened from that simple little pot.

This clay garden pot was part of the gift for Friedel
, my Dad's 'friend,' (he never refers to her as his girlfriend but...) Friedel has been a part of our family since she and Dad became an item. We all love her, she loves all of us, and she fits right in. Even my mom, halfway across the country, chats with her on the phone and sends Christmas cards to her. We couldn't be more lucky.

In the pot I added two pairs of leather gardening gloves, a little bottle of Jägermeister (her hometown is Wolfenbüttel, Germany, where they make it, and she loves the flavor - and probably the hallucinogenic qualities?? LOL.) I also included a large river rock upon which I wrote "You Rock!" with an enamel paint pen. We also included a pretty desktop rotating picture frame. Everything was wrapped up into the clay pot and ready for her to open.

It was to be a simple gift for a family member.

It turned out to hold a lot more meaning than originally intended.

When we got to the family gathering, everyone learned that Friedel's daughter didn't send a Christmas gift, card, or make a phone call to wish her a Merry Christmas. Nothing. She said she was crushed for several days then decided that was enough moping and tried to forget about it.

At gift opening time, she opened the pot first. She loved the gloves, she screamed with delight as she saw the Jäger (she didn't know I remembered,) laughed at the rock, and marveled over the pot. Then she started to cry. I don't remember much else about what happened because I got all choked up myself and we hugged each other for a long time. I just remember feeling good about giving her the gift, and helping to make up for what was turning out to be a lousy Christmas for one of my favorite people.

This simple little clay pot and a collection of items for someone who likes gardening (and Jägermeister shots) made the biggest impact I'd ever seen. To me, that's the spirit of Christmas: Giving for the sheer joy of giving. And in return, I got so much more back.

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December 27, 2008

Chicken for Christmas


Garlic Ginger Chix, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Our extended family is getting together tomorrow to do Christmas.

We'll all gather at my local sister's house and the crowd will include both sisters, spouses, kids, dad and his S.O. (our kinda-step-mom, of sorts) and the three of us.
Rachel called and got Caesar invited, too, so he's already had his bath.

Because the family Christmas is tomorrow, I spent some time tonight making Dad's gift. He likes food gifts, and this year, instead of buying him food he could buy for himself, I decided to give him a food he would not otherwise have.

I seasoned and vac sealed 6 individual chix breasts, two of each variety. This one is the Garlic Ginger chicken and the seasoning includes a little granulated onion, smoked paprika, black pepper, garlic, and ginger of course, and oh darnit I forgot to add cumin.

Oh well, it'll taste just fine.

We call our food vacuum sealer "The Food Sucker." This was my first time using Frank's food sucker and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be.



Chicken Provencal, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

This is the Chix Provencal, with a classic French combination of herbs, cracked black peppercorns, and a slice of dried black truffle. (The orange arrow points to the truffle on one of the breasts.)

I have a good friend who is a professional mycologist (mushroom hunter.) Every now and then we're lucky enough to get a few of the highly sought-after black truffles and Oregon white truffles. Just a sliver transforms a dish, and the little slice of black truffle on these chicken breasts will turn them into an amazing meal.


Enchilada Chicken, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

This seasoning blend includes everything I throw in the pan when I make Chix Enchiladas: Oregano, onion, garlic, chili powder, cracked black pepper, lots of cumin, lime juice, and bay leaf.

I left the salt out of everything because Dad is on a low salt diet. That's another big advantage to making my own seasoning mix: total control over added sodium.

This is the neatest homemade gift I think I have given in a long time.

I bet Dad will love it.

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December 23, 2008

Tuesday Tip: Heirloom Christmas Tree Ornaments

We have a thirteen year old at home who eventually will move out and set up her own Christmas tree in her own home. My own tree has several ornaments I got on trips or as gifts from dear friends, and they're all part of my own heirloom Christmas tree ornaments. Even the plastic Santa selling ice cream cones that I got on a road trip to Florida is one of my heirlooms, not because of the quality, but because of the memories surrounding it.
When my kiddo was a teeny baby, I knew she would need some of her own ornaments when she set up her very first Christmas tree (she can't have my plastic ice cream selling Santa), and so we started a cherished family tradition that she loves.
This is today's Tuesday Tip: start a collection of future Christmas or holiday heirlooms for your children to have when they set up their own homes.



On her first Christmas, she was a 2 month old preemie, only about 4 pounds, and still dwarfed by her preemie jammies. One of this tiny baby's gifts was an ornament that showed a teeny tiny baby teddy bear and the words "Baby's First Christmas."
Every year since, Santa has given her one or more ornaments that represent something significant from that year. By the time she sets up her first Christmas tree in her own place, she'll have a collection of heirloom ornaments to place on the tree. Each one will have a story that she can eventually tell to her kids and grandkids.

The pictures in this post are borrowed from flickr users, but Rachel's ornaments include:

A pelican from when her dad lived and worked 90 miles from home (boy did we miss him!) right on the beach at a restaurant called The Pelican Pub. We loved visiting him and climbing the big 300 foot tall sand dune just yards from the pub.

A sewing machine - when she was in third grade, her class sewed aprons as a class project. She was especially proud of hers and I still wear it when making cookies.

A truck - a few summers ago she visited G-ma and G-pa on the farm in Wisconsin. She was only 10 but that summer she learned how to drive the old farm truck. (In the field.) Later, when she returned home, she offered to drive my car for me, since she already knew how to drive. Thank goodness logic prevailed and she understood "no license-no driving."

When she started playing the cello in orchestra my sister Tina came to the rescue with a cello ornament. G-ma Donna also sent a music stand ornament the same year.

This year things have changed a little with Christmas. She approached me and said, "Are you giving me another ornament this year?"
I told her, "Yes, of course Santa will give you another one."
She raised one eyebrow. (I wish I could do that!) "Yeah, whatever."
Before she could stick her ipod headphones back into her ears I quickly asked, "Do you want to pick one out or be surprised?"

She smiled. "I want to be surprised. I love the ornaments."

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Well that was an exciting blog remodel

I was so prepared. Last week I went through every little widget in my sidebar and copied the HTML code into a Notepad document. Next, I copied all my layout HTML into another Notebook document. I felt smart and smug.

Do you know where this is heading?
Do you think I backed up these two files?
You should be nodding then smacking your forehead at the last two questions. Know why?

I didn't back up. Why? I was just going to do a simple layout replacement then re-install all the HTML from my sidebars. It should take a couple hours, at most.

Ha-hah! {{evil cackle}} this tempted the computer gods and my computer crashed.

Enter my Knight in Silicone Armor: The ever helpful Mr. Pass It On Plates. He knows a thing or two about computers and offered to help by resetting the previous settings back a day. Should be good.

No. The computer was reset back to March 2007 and everything not backed up after that point was gone.

Poof. Shazam. Gone.

Little Miss Pass It On Plates was sitting on the couch next to the computer armoire and she looked at us, thinking there was going to be some sort of huge fight with lots of yelling and blame. They're extremely rare, Thank God. She was nervous because it was so darned quiet. We were hiding behind the door to the armoire whispering about her... in sign language, of course; he's Deaf - hiding behind doors makes it really easy to whisper in sign language.
"How do we tell her all her iTunes stuff is wiped out?"
"You tell her."
"I'm not ready for that kind of upset."
"Yeah, but she lost her entire library. Hundreds of dollars in iTunes gift cards (blowing into hand and gesturing) gone."
Chuckling, "What about the 5000 pictures of her feet standing here and there, and her bathroom mirror self portraits of goofy faces and spiked hair?"
"Those are NOT irreplacable."
"So do you want to tell her?"
"I think we should wait."
"Didn't you back up anything?"
"Yeah, a while ago, but we couldn't figure out how to back up iTunes stuff."
"What about your business files?"
"Backed up on my thumb drive. It's good. The biggest loss is the music. But I don't want her to know just yet."

Just then a hesitant little voice came from the other side of the armoire, "Mom? Did we lose my iTunes stuff?"

On the other hand, the computer runs a lot faster without all the photos and un-backup-able iTunes music stored in it. I guess that's the upside to this lesson in being anal retentive in backing up even the stupidest little things. Frequently.

Now this morning, 14 hours into the project, I'm sitting down to finish my 2 hr blog remodel. Without all my widgets and code, though, I feel a little like my skirt is tucked up into the back of my pantyhose... If something is hanging out that shouldn't or if something looks a little odd, will you be a friend and let me know?
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December 22, 2008

Join our new Flickr Group!

We started a new group on flickr: Recipe of the Week

This is a place to share your recipes and other great food gift ideas to use on a Pass It On Plate.

Join our group today and share your food photos and recipes or ideas (like the Garlic Jelly and Ciabatta bread) and we'll feature it as our Recipe of the Week in the Plate Diaries blog.

Just click the picture below to join...

Recipe of the Week. Get yours at bighugelabs.com/flickr





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This is a test. This is only a test.

Had this been a real blog post you would have been informed, entertained, and subliminally coaxed into performing a dance with a sock monkey for your kids at the mall.

Nah, not really.
Just testing my post footer...
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December 21, 2008

Blog makeover day...

If my blog looks like a mess today, it's because I'm sitting at the 'puter fiddling with the HTML. I've got the backgrounds and elements in place, but it's going to look terrible until I get all the sidebar widgets back in place.

Sorry if this makes it hard to surf today and I apologize if you see things moving around as you try to click on things over here. It'll look great tonight, though.

Intrigued? Check out www.PamHawk.com between Christmas and New Years' for tips and a tutorial on how to spruce up your blog for the new year.

TTFN!
-Pam
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December 20, 2008

Ponemah Labor Day Brave

The phone rang at 6am about a week ago. Fearing bad news at that hour, I dragged myself out of bed, and mumbled "Hello?" It was my long lost sister-in-law calling from Minnesota! After I realized who was calling, she exclaimed, "I finally found you!" She had moved and we lost touch with her a couple years ago, so I plastered our names all over the internet to help her find us. (In the end, she found our phone number on a slip of paper at her home.)

We caught up with each other and I found out she now has a cell phone, so I gave her Frank's cell phone number. I think she was surprised that her Deaf brother would have a cell phone, but they have been texting each other ever since.

This morning, Frank told me to go to You Tube to see one of our nephews dance. He is the young man in the red and green outfit, with the white sash across his chest. He was honored with the title "Brave" at the Ponemah 2008 Labor Day Pow Wow.

I asked Frank what it means to be named "Brave." He has no idea, but thinks it's some kind of award for being the best dancer within a class. Since Frank grew up as the only Deaf kid on the Rez (Reservation), he missed out on a lot of information that parents either explain to their kids or things that kids learn by overhearing. What he knows is just what he has visually observed, without a verbal explanation. There are a lot of things he just didn't learn, but nevertheless, we're still so proud of our Brave.

(Thank you to LisaMoose2007 for uploading this video.)

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December 19, 2008

New Traditions


Giddy, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

When our family gets together to celebrate Christmas and open presents, we take turns wearing a Santa hat and handing out presents. We hand out one gift at a time and everyone watches while it's being opened. When the present is opened, that person puts on the hat and reaches under the tree to give away the next present.

A couple years ago Friedel (our "adopted" step mom, of sorts) started a new twist on that tradition when she suggested that each person should sing a Christmas song before opening their present.

We don't have a lot of brave singers in our family, but this has turned out to be a lot of fun, trying to think of something nobody has sung yet, or trying to come up with an obscure song that everyone has forgotten.

Has your family started any new Christmas traditions? Please comment here and share!

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December 17, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - Zoo Lights at the Oregon Zoo


Crocodile, originally uploaded by Josh Bancroft.



Rowr, originally uploaded by Josh Bancroft.


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"Last Minute Gift" giveaway winner!

It's official!
Beeb of Super Coupon Girl and Contest Corner wins the last minute gift or a PIOP loaded with Rice Crispy treats... Congrats Beeb!

random-08-12, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Oh my goodness, we had a lot of entries and I wish I could send a plate to everyone who entered. If you entered, please check back again for another giveaway early into 2009. Hopefully you'll win the next plate.

Meanwhile, please check out Beeb's blogs.
I perused her Super Coupon Girl blog and holy smokes, she is one smart cookie. I couldn't believe how clever she was to dumpster dive for savings. You have to read it to see what she did. I'm gonna have to try that. And she looks so glamorous as she sits there with her pile of stuff. I love it.

Her Contest Corner blog is a big big list of online giveaways and sweepstakes.
Go! Check it out!

Thanks everyone for entering
- hope to see you again soon!

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December 16, 2008

Tuesday Tip: Quick-n-Easy (and cute) Ribbon Organizers

I feel so clever... I put this together a few mornings ago when I was wrapping gifts before heading out to start my day. They're so darned cute I had to share. These are quick-n-easy ribbon organizers.
Didn't I tell you how much I love "Quick-n-Easy" ... and cheap? This is very cheap inexpensive. (Sorry, my bad.)

Gift boxes (cubes) come in packs of two
Originally uploaded by passitonplates

Here are my two ribbon organizers. I spent a grand total of $7 bucks for the set of nested boxes and 6 spools of ribbon (5 yards each). That's more than enough ribbon for all of this year's gifts... plus more.

Besides, aren't these cute?

Since I ship a Christmas box to the folks in Wisconsin, I need some kind of ribbon/bow that won't crush. I also am tired of the throwaway stuff and like the idea that Mom can re-use the ribbons next year when she sends stuff back our way.


Dollar store ribbon organizer
Originally uploaded by passitonplates


Each cube holds three spools
Originally uploaded by passitonplates

The 5 yard spools of ribbon (for $1 each!) fit perfectly in the gift box (cube). When the lid is on the box the ribbon pulls out easily but doesn't roll off the spool like crazy and get tangled... or in the way of the scissors and glue.

I'll have to pick up a few more sets of these boxes. These would be great to organize the ribbons I use to make Pretty Little Doo Dads. I need lots of eye candy in my studio to feel happy and inspired...

Know what I mean?

Don't forget to enter our Last Minute Gift Giveaway!

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December 15, 2008

Can't waste the display...

The cookies are a little dried out, but for some reason they're only being removed from this display plate one by one. In the morning. When I sit in the studio with my cup of coffee and do paperwork or work on this-n-that.

Hey, the cookies have oatmeal and eggs in them. Aren't oatmeal and eggs good breakfast foods?

I thought so.

(Behind the red plate, on the wooden shelf, is one of those chocolate dipped pretzels. Mmmm. That's lunch.)

(Just kidding!)

Don't forget to enter our Last Minute Gift Giveaway!

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December 12, 2008

Giveaway! Need a last minute gift?

Need a last minute gift for someone?
We're having a quick little giveaway - we're shipping out a Pass It On Plate with this Country Snowman PlateWrap and a Christmas tree cookie cutter in a Green Satin Tie-In. On top of that, there will be a dozen Rice Crispy Treats on the plate. (This is a $60 value; who wants to take advantage of this great deal?)
You can pick one of two choices:
  • We will ship it directly to your recipient at any location in the USA. If you want, we can write your name on the plate for you and email you the plate diary number so you can enter your own message.
  • We'll ship it directly to you.
Giveaway starts 12/13/08 at 12:01am PST
Giveaway ends 12/16/08 at 11:59pm PST
Package will be sent via USPS priority and we'd like to mail it by Thursday 12/18/08 at the latest to ensure it arrives on time.
To enter, leave your info in the Mr. Linky below.


Country Snowman PlateWrap, originally uploaded by passitonplates.




Cookie Cutter Tie-In, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Remember to leave your info in the Mr. Linky!




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How to Dress Up a Gift Box


"Perma-Bow", originally uploaded by passitonplates.

I love pre-decorated gift boxes but sometimes they just need a little extra something. I also like putting collections of gifts (like gift basket kind of stuff) in the boxes and sometimes need to add to the box over a period of days and/or shopping trips. This makes it easy to gift wrap what I have so far and add to it as I create/shop.

Of course, this is only for gifts I'm taking to a friend's house or shipping out of state, because I think the temptation would be too much for certain family members at home who always eye the gifts under the tree and look for ways to sneak a peek.

This is super easy and I made (and photographed) this a couple days ago while I was having my morning coffee. And if I can make this with bleary eyes and less than a cup of coffee in my brain, you could do it too.

Materials needed:

Sturdy gift box with lid
Length of ribbon to coordinate with the box
Heavy-duty glue, such as hot glue or E-6000
Glue stick
Scissors

Note: You'll need enough ribbon to go around the box bottom + 4" and enough ribbon to go across the lid x 6. For example, if the box is 4" on all sides, you'll need a total of 16" of ribbon for the bottom of the box. If the lid is 4"x4" with a 1" lip, you'll need 24" of ribbon for the lid.


Tie a ribbon around the lid, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

To start, tie a length of ribbon around the lid, finishing with a bow and trimming the ends as necessary. Secure the bow with a dot of heavy duty glue in a hidden area.
When it looks perfect, turn the lid over.



Cut, glue, and clamp, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Cut the ribbon so you can form it to the lip on the lid. Apply a line of gluestick glue to the underside of the ribbon, starting at the bow on top, and ending at the cut ends. Use some sort of clip to hold it in place while it dries.




Mark the box, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

To make sure the ribbon on the box lines up with the ribbon on the lid, put the lid on the box and make little pencil marks as a guide.



Measure and cut the ribbon for the box.




Glue and clamp, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Glue and clamp the ribbon to the box. Make sure the ribbon lines up with your pencil marks.



Let it sit until the glue dries.



Ta-dah! Dressed up gift box!



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December 11, 2008

Local Inspiration, From Home

I want to take a minute and tell you about Wordless Wednesday. A couple weeks ago I mentioned that I craft when I'm trying to figure something out. (Like the stamp picture frames.) When I'm looking for inspiration and new ideas, I hop in the car and go for a drive, usually ending up off the map somewhere in a place I've never been. The newness of it all inspires me and gives me great ideas to take home and try out.

When gas prices were so darned high, plus buying a new home and Christmas on the way, I've had to find an inexpensive alternative to aimlessly driving around... Enter flickr and photobucket and picasa. I've also started taking my camera everywhere with me and shoot pictures of things that capture my attention.


Travel agency Originally uploaded by passitonplates

Between other people's photography and my own, I see so many amazing places that eventually I had to start sharing some of these photos. Wordless Wednesday is a way to share these places that have inspired me. All these photos are taken in the month I share them, either in the current year, or in the same month from years past. (You folks in the upper Midwest and NE who have lots of snow in the winter might be amazed at how green western Oregon gets in the winter.) They're all from my immediate surroundings, too, so you can get an idea what places I used to drive to, and/or nearby places that I love.

In a way, Wordless Wednesday helps me share my muse.
I hope these pictures inspire you, too.
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December 9, 2008

Tuesday Tip: Chocolate dipped pretzel sticks

This is a really neat gifty food idea I saw at a recent craft fair. I'm sorry I didn't get the name of the lady selling these because she had such cute ideas and I want to give her credit for this. Plus she was really nice and I thought she would be fun to hang out with.

These pretzel sticks would be a cute tie-in on any package, or a great stocking stuffer idea.

Ingredients:
24 Long pretzel sticks, the size of long cigars
2 c chocolate chips, andes candies, or any kind of chocolate melts
Baking decorations such as colored sugar, crushed candy canes, cookie sprinkles, etc

Instructions:
Line a cookie sheet with waxed paper and set aside in a cool area.

Place the chocolate chips or other meltable ingredient in a 2 cup glass measuring cup. Microwave on medium 30 seconds at a time, stirring between blasts, until smooth. Be careful to not overcook or it will burn, becoming hard and crumbly.

Tilt the measuring cup to the side and stick one pretzel stick in the melted chocolate. Twirl the pretzel to coat, then lift and allow it to drip. Place the pretzel on the waxed paper and sprinkle with baking decorations.

Reheat the chocolate as necessary, being careful not to burn it.

When completely cool, store in an airtight container or slide into food grade cellophane bags for gift giving.

Makes about 24


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December 8, 2008

Plate Diary Dollars ™

Last week I announced our exciting Plate It Forward program. This new program designates certain Pass It On Plates to raise money and awareness for a specific non-profit organization.

This week we'd like to announce our complimentary program:
Plate Diary Dollars ™.

Every plate not already designated to raise money for a specific cause in the Plate It Forward ™ program will still help hundreds and thousands (and hopefully millions) of hungry people across the USA.

When every plate travels from person to person, we'll donate a percentage of our profits to the Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest) "Fill A Bowl, Feed America" program. Feed America has partnered with Kraft, who matches all donations up to $200,000. Every dollar donated will fill 32 bowls of food for hungry people.

Just think - every time you pass along your Pass It On Plate, you're providing
32 bowls of food
to help feed our nation's hungry.
Isn't that awesome?

How does Plate Diary Dollars ™ work?
  • We keep track of this based on Plate Diary comments at http://passitonplates.blogspot.com/.
  • Each new valid* Plate Diary comment = up to $1.00
  • Money will be sent to FeedingAmerica.org once a month
  • Each month we'll announce how much money we donated and how many bowls of food we filled, with a link to their site.
  • You will not be asked to donate anything towards this program; this is just something we want to do.
  • It's free to make a Plate Diary comment.
  • Every plate not specifically designated to support a named charity under our Plate It Forward program is included in this program; even a Pass It On Plate purchased two years ago is included.
  • While we will not retroactively look through the Plate Diaries and contribute based on older Plate Diary comments, every valid Plate Diary comment made on or after December 1, 2008 generates up to $1.00 toward Plate Diary Dollars ™.
  • We reserve the right to change or modify the Plate Diary Dollars ™ program at any time without prior notice.
  • Here are more details on the Feeding America Fill-A-Bowl program.
  • What does "up to $1.00" mean, exactly? Pass It On Plates contributes 2% of the price of the plate to FeedingAmerica.org, for every qualifying Plate Diary comment, up to 10%. This means that for a $50 Complete Pass It On Plate, we contribute 2%, or $1.00, per plate diary comment. When this particular plate has 5 Plate Diary comments, Pass It On Plates will have contributed a total of 10% of that $50, or $5. This one plate, with 5 Plate Diary comments, will help to provide 160 bowls of food to hungry Americans.
* A valid Plate Diary comment is one pertaining to passing the plate on to another person, not something along the lines of "Visit my site," or "Thank you for the plate" (that's nice but doesn't show the plate is moving along). Multiple Plate Diary comments by the same person in the same time frame are also not valid. The bottom line is we need to see that the plate is moving from person to person.

How did we decide to donate to FeedingAmerica.org?

There are so many deserving charities out there, it was hard to choose.
  • First, feeding the hungry was the most logical cause to support with our product - a plate.
  • It is estimated that there are 9 million hungry children, 3 million hungry seniors, as well as the working poor, low income families, rural hungry, and others, totaling over 36 million hungry Americans (in 2007.) With today's economic situation, the number is expected to grow.
    Source: http://feedingamerica.org/faces-of-hunger/hunger-101.aspx
  • Because we have Pass It On Plates all across the USA, it didn't make sense to focus on just our local area with Plate Diary Dollars ™. Our Plate It Forward program with local groups - where the sale of every plate provides an instant chunk of cash to the organization with $1 donated every time those plates travel. (This winter we will start Plate It Forward locally and expand to local charities in other areas. Perhaps you will see Plate It Forward in your area in the near future?)
  • We visited CharityNavigator.org to research and locate the most appropriate non-profit organization for our $1 program. Charity Navigator is a respected site that rates non-profit organizations based on financial efficiency, and other factors.
  • FeedingAmerica.org is a four star charity, the highest ranking given by Charity Navigator, and serves food banks across the entire USA.
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December 7, 2008

Plate # 0804006


Plate # 0804006, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Here's how they all start.
This particular plate went to Patti, who used to live on a farm where she grew the most enormous sunflowers. When we talked about which PlateWrap she wanted, she definitely wanted the Pink Sunflowers wrap.

This is the plate she will be passing along:

She's got two different Pretty Little Doo Dads with her plate. You can see the Pink Organza Pouf and the Picture Frame Duo. Oh wait. In this picture you can't see how pretty that PlateWrap is. Here's our promotional shot (different Doo Dad, but that's the PlateWrap):
Align Center
Pink Sunflowers White Bow, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

I can't wait to see where Patti's plate travels.
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December 5, 2008

Have you seen our Christmassy PlateWraps?


Cookie Cutter Tie-In, originally uploaded by passitonplates.


Happy Santa PlateWrap, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Happy Santa PlateWrap, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

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December 4, 2008

Computer Paper Organization

I am a little anal retentive when it comes to being organized. Of course, you'd never know it if you walked through my living room at this moment. Keep in mind, I live with the Tornado Twins.

That's kind of why I took over the one car finished garage with my PIOP Studio. It's my "Girl Cave" and I don't have to deal with anyone else's messes in there but my own. Which I promptly clean up.
{{happy happy}}

Ok, so here's what I do with all my various computer papers. I organize them by type, then put them in a labeled magazine holder.

Stationery is obvious, but Biz Cards & Project Papers are biz cards, of course, and CD Labeling papers, Post Cards, Half Fold Greeting Cards, etc.

Labels are pretty much anything adhesive.

Even Mr. Pass It On Plates (the elder Tornado Twin) grudgingly appreciates the organization and can find what he's looking for within seconds. Success!



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December 2, 2008

Your first Tuesday Tip: Tuesday Tips!


Today I want to introduce a new feature to the PIOP Blog - Tuesday Tips. Since Pass It On Plates involve gift giving and food and getting together with friends, I wanted to share some of the handy tips and ideas we've come across along our journey. Even if you don't use Pass It On Plates, you can use these tips.

Check back every Tuesday for a new handy tip that will save you time, save money, and/or save you a lot of extra work and stress when giving gifts or entertaining.
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December 1, 2008

Plate It Forward ™

Plate It Forward:
Raise Money.
Raise Awareness.
Raise Hope.

Plate It Forward is a new program designed to help non-profit organizations meet their fund-raising goals. The nature of Pass It On Plates supports raising awareness for the organization, with an additional financial incentive to motivate people to keep their Pass It On Plate moving from person to person, sharing information about the organization.
How are these Pass It On Plates different?
When a non-profit organization sets up a fund-raising campaign with Pass It On Plates, their name and website would be hand-written on each plate with our special ceramic paint pens. Each plate diary includes info on what makes this particular plate special, and we also set up a special page for them on our website to explain who they are and what they do, along with links to their own sites for more information.

How does it work?
☺ A Pass It On Plate is for sale through our Plate It Forward program. The organization's name is hand-written on the front.
☺ On the back of the plate is the plate number and our website address so people know where to find the plate diary.
☺ The plate diary includes information about why this particular plate is special, and what organization it is helping to raise money and awareness. There are also a link or links to follow for more information.
☺ A person buys this plate and pays the retail price determined by the organization. The organization keeps 100% of the retail profits.
☺ This nice person visits the plate diary and leaves a message for their friend, then loads the plate with cookies or something yummy and passes it on, telling their friend about the organization named on the plate.
☺ We see a message has been left in the plate diary and donate part of our own proceeds to the organization supported by that plate.
☺ The friend goes to the plate diary and leaves a message for their friend, then loads up the plate with treats again and passes it on, telling them about the organization named on the plate.
☺ We see another message has been left in the plate diary and again donate part of our proceeds to the organization supported by that plate.
☺ Nobody else is required to pay anything as the plate travels from person to person; all we ask is that they keep the conversation about the organization going.

Can I follow the journey of one of these special plates?
When you leave a message in a plate diary, you are given the option to have future comments emailed to you as it continues to travel.

Where can I buy one?
Depending on how each non-profit organization chooses to sell these plates, they may be available through our website, through pre-sales organized by the organization, or in person at locations specified by the organization. We will make as many different organizations' plates available as possible for sale through our website.

What about the money?


We make our plates available to each organization at our wholesale price. The organization sells them at the suggested retail and keeps the profits. Every time a new message is left in the plate diary for that plate, our company donates a percentage of our profits to that organization, up to 15%. The more the plate travels, the more that organization earns, and the more people learn about the organization and their needs.

How can I use the Plate It Forward program for my organization's fund-raiser?
Just contact Pam via email at pam[!at] passitonplates.com 
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November 30, 2008

Ding ding ding - we have a Winner!!

We only had three entries in this recipe roundup, which made me wish I had bought more cookbooks so I could send one to everyone. There was only one book though, and Krystal wins it!
Giveaway 08-11
Since this is a Recipe Roundup, all three ladies will have their recipes and photos re-published on the Plate Diary blog with links back to their own blogs - so you can get to know them and visit their own kitchens.

Thanks ladies, for participating, and I'll let you know when your recipe is scheduled to be published at the Plate Diary blog.


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November 29, 2008

What do you think?

I've always turned to crafts in the past when trying to figure something out - or when I was restless and needed some kind of change. You know when you have a restless creative moment and you feel compelled to just create to calm the inner crafty beast for a while?

Even when I'm trying to figure out a new Pretty Little Doo Dad to go with a new PlateWrap fabric, I turn to other craft projects to help me think.

Write a letter - frame, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Lo and behold, I have a LOT of other completed crafty projects made when I couldn't figure something else out or when I just felt compelled to create. The dilemma now is I need to figure out what to do with all these creations and I don't dare craft away to figure it out. Not until I do something with all the other neat stuff filling my shelves and storage bins.


Stamps frame, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Aha! How about a little Etsy shop filled with all the nifty items I felt compelled to make? This is a totally random collection, but maybe that would do the trick. What do you think?

The pictures shown here are two picture frames I made from a decoupage of stamps, address book entries, air mail envelopes, and a pencil...

Are they Etsy-Worthy?
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November 28, 2008

Boost Your Biz


boost your biz - badge, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

As you surf the internet, watch for this badge.

When you see it, click on it to visit another blog I write at www.PamHawk.com

There you'll find interesting, creative but practical, and very very inexpensive tips and tricks to hep you grow your own creative business.

If you use any tips, I'd love it if you would grab the badge for your sidebar to spread the word!
Thanks!



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November 26, 2008

Ridiculous 70% Off Sale - Nov 28 through Dec 1

The Pass It On Plates studio is having a Ridiculous 70% Off Sale for this weekend only.
  • This means all Original Pass It On Plates are only $15 + $3 shipping for up to three items.
  • All Pass It On Plate Lite kits are only $10.50 + $3 shipping for up to six items.
  • All items are shipped USPS Priority so they'll arrive with plenty of time to get them ready for the holidays.
We don't usually run sales, so this is a rare offer.
Just use coupon code 11BF8 when placing your order.
Valid November 28 through December 1 only.
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November 24, 2008

This is huge. HUGE, I tell ya!

On Monday, December 1st, we are adding a totally new twist to the Pass It On Plates concept, called
Plate It Forward:
Raise Money.
Raise Awareness.
Raise Hope.

Plate It Forward™ is along the same lines as "Pay It Forward" and uses Pass It On Plates as a fund-raising and awareness-raising vehicle for your organization's next fund raiser.

Every plate in this program earns money for your organization with the initial sale, but the Pass It On Plates company continues to donate money to your organization as each plate travels from person to person, raising awareness for your cause as it travels.

What do you think of this concept?

With all the non-profit organizations out there needing help, we wanted to find a way to do our part in supporting all these worthy causes. More than just raising money, it was important to us to find a way to help spread the word of their work so more people could learn what they do.

Full details of the Plate It Forward™ program will be posted on 12/1/08.

We can't wait to see where Plate It Forward™ takes our Pass It On Plates!


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