May 29, 2008

Show booth in Lincoln City

Here's our booth from the recent Cause 4 Paws artist benefit for the Lincoln County Animal Shelter. The show was a great success and we were glad to be able to donate 20% of our proceeds to the cause.

Show booth in Lincoln City, Oregon 5/24/2008, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

We're all about re-using things. Pass It On Plates are meant to be re-used and re-gifted. That's also why our PlateWraps are made of re-useable, washable fabric. You can use a PlateWrap to dress up any large dinner plate, platter, or serving bowl. Try one for your next pot luck event - you'll be sure to get a lot of attention when you 'gift wrap' your food in one of these.

With the thought of re-using in mind, we've jumped on the re-useable shopping bag bandwagon, too.

In the upper right of this photo, you'll see our tote bag promo that we're running right now at shows and fairs. These bright cheery tote bags are your free with any complete Pass It On Plates purchase. That means when you get your plate, PlateWrap, special paint pen and a Pretty Little Doo Dad, you get to take it away in one of these re-useable bags. Just hurry, this offer is only good while supplies last!

Be sure to check out our ongoing show in northern Wisconsin this summer. You can find us at the Monday Flea Market which is located at the Sports Center in Hayward, WI. Ok, yeah, we completely hate the term 'Flea Market' but that's what they call it. It's a quaint local term, maybe? This Monday Flea Market is full of antique and vintage dealers, artisans and crafters, food and treats, and other cool stuff worth checking out.

While on vacation in the area, you could pick up a Pass It On Plate, choose a delectable local treat at one of the food booths, and you'll have an absolutely perfect gift to take back home with you. This Monday market is exciting for us because we know we'll have so many opportunities to show our friendly new gift idea to folks vacationing from Chicago, Minneapolis, and points beyond. The Hayward lakes area has resorts, cabins, and vacation home rental and is busy-busy all summer long.

When you stop by our booth, tell Donna and Rachel you heard about us through our blog and they'll take 10% off your total purchase.

Hope to see you there!

May 28, 2008

Introducing - Pass It On Plates

A Pass It On Plate is a traveling plate for sharing cookies... or other food gifts.

Each Pass It On Plate has a unique tracking number on it which relates to an online 'diary' for that plate. Click here to see an active Plate Diary for one of our plates.
When your plate travels from one person to another, we track the plate diary comments for our Plate Diary Dollars program. With each Plate Diary comment, we donate up to 15% of our proceeds to charity. Many plates help support as they travel. Some plates were purchased through a fund-raiser and the Plate Diary Dollars from those plates go to the non-profit organization who sold that plate.

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You can customize your Pass It On Plate with some neat accessories.
Get a re-useable cloth PlateWrap to 'gift wrap' your Pass It On Plate. Just slip it over your plate before passing it on to a friend. You can even top off your PlateWrap with a Pretty Little Doo Dad, like the ones shown below.
Yes! We do have Birthday and Holiday themed PlateWraps.


You can also accessorize your Pass It On plate with one of our special paint pens. Write your name on the plate before passing it on. Just bake the plate in your oven at 300F for half an hour to make the paint permanent and food safe*. Then leave a message for your friend in the online diary, load the plate with treats, and pass it on. Don't forget to include the pen so the plate can collect names as it travels!

*The ceramic paint is food safe as long as it is not scratched. Just avoid using metal utensils on the plate. Hand washing is still recommended, to prevent abrasive dish detergents from damaging the paint.

The plate shown above has an active plate diary. Click here to see where this plate has been and what it has carried. (Thanks George, for loaning us the plate for this illustration.)

If you have more questions, please look through the rest of our FAQ or contact us if you would like more information.

May 27, 2008

Special Paint Pens

DSCN0472, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

We have recently modified our design for the special paint pen that travels with each Pass It On Plate. The pens now have a pin attached with a color-coordinated ribbon so you can pin it directly to the PlateWrap.

The colors we currently have available are, from left to right: Lapis Blue, Peridot Green (bright green), Amazonite Green (dark green), Agathe Orange, Scarlet Red, Anthracite Black, and Peacock Blue (turquoise).

When you pass the plate on to your friend, they'll see the pen on top of the PlateWrap and it'll be easier to explain how it works.

These pens contain a water-based, thermo hardening ceramic paint. You can use these pens to draw on any ceramic or porcelain surface, and once you bake it in your oven the paint is permanent and dishwasher safe. It's easy to bake it in your oven, too. Just put the plate in a room-temperature oven, turn it on to 300 degrees F, and set the timer for 30 minutes after the oven reaches that temperature. When the timer dings, shut off the oven and let your plate cool back down with the oven.

(Yes, you can use these pens for your other craft projects - you can draw or write on any plate, ceramic tile, etc. Just make sure they are included with your Pass It On Plate when you pass it on!)

Every Pass It On Plate includes one of these paint pens, but these pens are also available separately. Click the "SHOP" link at the top of this blog to buy one of these neat paint pens.

May 22, 2008

Tie-In Pretty Little Doo Dads

Introducing: Tie-Ins, a pretty ribbon to help you attach a second gift to your Pass It On Plate.

We're making lots and lots of these in fun bright colors.

You can tie a cookie cutter, gift card, fun jewelry, cd, or any other small gift into your Tie-In Pretty Little Doo Dad.

What would you like to tie into yours?

Cause 4 Paws at the Lincoln City Cultural Center, May 24, 2008

Coordinator River Stone of Off The Hook Hats has been working like crazy to get everything ready for this big event.

Here is some press about the show:

Stop by to say hi and mention this blog post for 10% off your purchase.
Hope to see you there!

May 21, 2008

Look for us in Hayward, WI this summer

Donna and Rachel will be bringing Pass It On Plates to the Monday Flea Market in Hayward, WI this summer. This weekly craft show/vintage sale/shopping mecca is located in the Hayward Sports Center. The Monday Flea Market is open every Monday from Memorial Day through Labor Day from 7:30am to 2:30pm.

To find the Monday Flea Market, take Hwy 63 to Hayward, WI. Turn onto Vermont and you'll see the Hayward Sports Center eight blocks down on the left.

If you are vacationing in the Hayward Lakes area from Chicago, Minneapolis, New York, or from anywhere else, please stop by and say hello to Donna and Rachel!

For more info about the Monday Flea Market, contact the Hayward Sports Center, 715-634-4791.

For more info about Pass It On Plates at the Monday Flea Market, contact us at pam[at]passitonplates[dot]com.

May 20, 2008

Free tote bag with purchase

At the Artists for Animals Cause 4 Paws show in Lincoln City, Oregon this weekend, we will give away these fun striped canvas tote bags with every $40 Pass It On Plate purchase.

Supplies of tote bags are limited, so when they're gone, they're gone.

Be sure to mention this blog for 10% off your purchase.
(Yes, that means you can get a Pass It On Plate for $36, but this still qualifies you for one of these handy tote bags.)


May 19, 2008

...and the winner is...

Well, we just don't know yet.

A Pass It On Plate with this pink sunflower PlateWrap was donated to Mommyfest 2008 as one of the prizes and we're anxiously awaiting an email from Mommyfest organizer Marie.

We will keep you updated on who the winner is as soon as we find out.
Can't wait!

I wonder what kind of cookies she'll want?

Update May 27, 2008:
Still no word on the winner and eagerly anticipating the news.
It looks like Karen of Sillymonkeez has indicated an interest, but the final word has not come out yet. If you'd like to keep track of the progress of this prize, you can visit the Mommyfest prize page.

We'll be sure to announce the winner as soon as we find out who she is!

May 17, 2008

Wait a minute, Mr. Postman...

As promised, here's our ranomized list of name suggestions for the newest PlateWrap fabric.

And I've got to say, wait a minute, Mr. Postman! I have a plate of cookies for you to ship from our Oregon studio to Katie in New York.

Yes, we have a winner!

Katie will have a Pass it On Plate loaded with chocolate chip cookies sent to her. Her plate will be wearing the "Wait A Minute Mr. Postman" PlateWrap with a coordinating Pretty Little Doo Dad on top.

Congratuations, Katie!

May 16, 2008

Mommyfest 2008 contest

Update: We have a winner! This PlateWrap will now be called "Wait A Minute, Mr, Postman."
For the winning announcement, click here.

Here is our latest new fabric on the sewing table. Before sewing it into PlateWraps, though, it needs a name. Can you think of a good one? Can you think of several good ones?

This fabric features a scattering of envelopes, mailboxes, stamps, and fountain pens over a black background. Dominant colors are red, pumpkin yellow, dark sage green, and lavender.
Here is a close-up of the print (or just click on the above image for a larger version) :

Add your comment here with the name you think we should use for this particular PlateWrap. Enter as many name ideas as you like, but please just one name per comment. Make sure you include your email or a link back to your site so we can contact you if your name suggestion is the winner.

How will we pick the winner? At the end of the blog party, May 16, 2008 at 11:59pm PST we will enter all the names here and the whichever one ends up in the number one spot will be the winner. We'll announce the winner in this blog and notify the winner by 11:59pm PST on May 17, 2008.

So what do you get if you win? We'll send you a Pass It On Plate with this PlateWrap on it. This is a complete Pass It On Plate with not just the numbered plate and PlateWrap, but we'll dress it up with a coordinating Pretty Little Doo Dad and special paint pen, and we'll even include a dozen chocolate chip cookies. How cool is that? The plate alone is a $49.95 value, and the cookies, which are usually only available locally, are another $9.95. Holy cow, that's almost $60 worth of traveling-cookie-plate-goodness. Better think up a whole bunch of good names for this PlateWrap.

What if the winner can't be contacted? That's a good question. We will make every effort to contact the winner and get their mailing address so we can send out the Pass It On Plate. After two weeks with no reply to our contact attempts we will award the prize to the second name on the list. Hopefully this won't happen, but if it does, that's the plan.

Good luck!

No purchase necessary. Due to shipping constraints, this contest is open to addresses in the US only.

The Pot Luck Pass It On

What's this? No plate?

That's right. Just in time for the Cause 4 Paws show coming up on May 24, 2008, we've got new Pot Luck Pass It Ons.

These are large white ceramic serving bowls that could be used for any kind of salad, side dish, dessert, or even a fruit bowl. The PlateWraps available with the Pass It On Plate also fit perfectly on these bowls, so you can dress up your bowl when attending your next pot luck gathering. Each Pot Luck Pass It On comes with a PlateWrap, a Pretty Little Doo Dad, and a special paint pen for writing your name on the bowl.

Yes, every bowl has its own number and you can find their diary in the same place as the other plate diaries. These bowls are meant to be passed on, just like a Pass It On Plate.

How cool is that?

At this time, we only have these available at the show. Stop by and mention this blog for 10% off your purchase.

5 Things About This Mom

1. I am working two full time jobs right now: One is starting my own company called Pass It On Plates and the other is a full-time day job that I'm hoping to phase out so I can focus on my nifty plates business.

2. My beverage of choice is coffee. Good coffee, bad coffee, gas station coffee, espresso drinks... I love it all. Ok, I especially love espresso drinks. I think my blood type is C.

C is for Coffee.

(I should drink more water that hasn't been heated and filtered past ground coffee beans, though.)

3. I love going on road trips with my family. Trips to the beach are the best, but I also love long trips out of town. My daughter and husband (don't forget the dawg!) are a lot of fun to travel with.

4. The best thing in the world (for me) is to have a house full of happy people, good food and drink, and knowing everyone is having a great time. That's my happy place. We won't talk about the mad dash to tidy up, a half an hour before the first guest arrives, though!

5. A secret hobby of mine is to wander through fabric stores just to see the colors, patterns, and to touch all the textures. Can this count as some sort of therapy?

May 15, 2008

Well... Pass It On Plates is all about food and friends, so it's only natural to include a recipe for the MommyFest Potluck.

Ooh, ooh, before I forget, I have news! Just in time for the Cause 4 Paws show we're doing on May 24, 2008, we've got a great new item available in the Pass It On Plates product line. Check out this blog post for more details.

Ok, back to my Potluck recipe:
This is so easy and hard to stop eating once you start. Plus, if your family is like ours and you occasionally like to have an assortment of appetizers for supper, this is a big treat to add to your menu of hors d'ouvres.

Easy Cream Cheese Salsa Dip
1 - 8 oz block of cream cheese, room temperature
1 - 16 oz jar of salsa, try mango or pineapple salsa, or any fruit salsa from Harry & David
1 - big bag of tortilla chips

Place the cream cheese in a shallow bowl. Use the back of a spoon to spread it out a little, if you like. Pour the jar of salsa over the cream cheese. Serve with chips.
M-m-m-m-m. Addictive.

Hey, you know... You could put a package of cream cheese and a jar of salsa on a Pass It On Plate and take it to a party. When you're there, assemble it in front of everyone then leave the plate behind for the host/hostess.

I may have to try that next time I go hang out with my sisters.

May 14, 2008

Paul The Hamster - Sept 2006 to May 2008

Last night, walking down the hall to get everyone to bed, we reached into Paul's cage to discover that he had passed away in his sleep. Rachel, who is 12 years old, got very very quiet but didn't cry. We talked about the last time we saw him running around his wheel or chewing the bars of his cage in preparation for his next big escape, and we figured he expired either that day or the day before.

Paul was a reclusive little guy, whom we all agreed had some pretty unique traits. Here he is pictured with 21 raw almonds stuffed into his cheeks. It had been decided that if he were human, he'd be the guy who sits around the house in his shorts and grubby wife-beater (that's a tank top style undershirt,) smoking cigars and yelling at the neighbor kids to get off his lawn.

Funeral arrangements will be handled by me, with visitation and a short service today just before lunch. Burial will be handled by our trash man. Due to the nature of the ceremony planned, Rachel and Frank decided it would be best if they did not attend, but our dog Caesar plans to attend the event. In lieu of flowers, we may donate his unopened food and treat bags to the local humane society.

Unless Rachel talks us into getting a gerbil.

May 11, 2008

Mommyfest 2008!

Hi and welcome to the Pass It On Plates blog! Glad you could stop by!

To introduce myself, my name is Pam and I started Pass It On Plates about 5 years ago, so this is also my 5th year working on a project I live, breathe, sleep... and love doing. I'm a mom of a 12 year old 'teenager,' a 3 year old 'puppy,' my husband of almost 15 years (yes, I mother him too,) and a hamster named Paul. We live in the Willamette Valley in western Oregon where it's lush and green pretty much all year-round.

I like quirky silly things and would like to include a monkey or alien motif on everything I do... but I practice great restraint and haven't done that. Yet. On the other hand, I love my glue gun and will happily glue all kinds of weird things like beer bottle caps and tiny plastic farm animals to magnets and pins. Painting is also a little addiction of mine: furniture, walls, picture frames, shirts... I'd love to get an old junker car some day and paint that into a funky painted art car - and of course hot glue stuff to it as well.

Hoping to meet lots of other moms - so please leave me a comment here and introduce yourself!

May 8, 2008

Cleaning up for the party

Gosh, this is easy; I didn't even have to vacuum or dust. Too bad it wasn't this easy in real life.

The Pass It On Plates blog will be having an open house at the 5th Annual Mommyfest Blog Party, which runs from May 12-16, 2008. Bookmark me and stop by for a virtual cuppa joe between those dates to meet all kinds of moms and try your luck at our new fabric naming contest.

Mmmm, I love entertaining.
Especially when I don't have to tidy up the sewing table.

May 7, 2008

Advertise your own business on a Pass It On Plate

What is a Pass It On Plate?

Pass It On Plates are a fun and unique way to share treats with special people. These numbered plates travel from person to person gift wrapped in a re-useable, washable cloth PlateWrap. Each Pass It On Plate also tells a story as it travels. A special paint pen is included with the PlateWrap. This pen is used to write one's name on the plate. Simple instructions to cure the paint and make it dishwasher safe and food safe are included with the plate. In addition, each plate number corresponds to an online plate diary where one can leave a message for their recipient to read.

For more information, check out our FAQ listed in the sidebar.

So how does it advertise my business?

Imagine Meghan received a Pass It On Plate filled with home made cookies. She sees several names permanently written on the plate, including the name of the person who gave her the plate. There is also a number and website address permanently written on the plate, and she goes online to check it out. There, in her numbered plate's online diary, she sees a message to her from the person who gave her the plate. The message might be a "Thank you," or "Happy Birthday," or even a "Thinking of you" type of message.

Now Meghan has an occasion to give a gift to someone. She uses the special paint pen to write her name on the plate. She is a salon owner and hair stylist, so she includes the name of her salon. Next, she follows the simple instructions to cure the paint and make her name permanent. She goes to the website included on the plate, looks up the plate diary by plate number and leaves a message for Holly, a regular client, whom she plans to give the plate to as a ‘Thank You for repeat business’ type of gift. While leaving the message, she includes a link to her salon's website. Of course she's busy and has no time to bake cookies, so she runs to the store and buys cookies to put on the plate. (Nobody will know.) She slips on the PlateWrap, tucks in the special paint pen, then Passes It On.

As the plate continues to travel from person to person, they see Meghan's name and salon name on the plate, and in the plate diary they see her message and a link to her salon’s website. They also see the name of the client that she gave the plate to, a woman named Holly. Later, Holly passed the plate on to her co-worker Christy, who saw the salon name and realized that Meghan does Holly's hair. Christy has always admired Holly's hair, so she contacts Meghan and makes an appointment.

You can see the possibility for this to continue. Christy passes the plate to her sister Sheila who loves her sister's new hairstyle. Christy tells her sister how she learned of the salon from the plate, and Sheila uses the information in the plate diary to make an appointment for herself, as well. Sheila passes the plate to a friend and the viral marketing of Meghan's salon continues.

Within a short period of time Meghan got at least two new customers from one Pass It On Plate.

How many new customers do you think your business could gain from a Pass It On Plate?

The Little Cannoli Bakery only sells out of their store. Imagine what could happen with your online business?

May 6, 2008

A kind of a spendid brassy apple thing

I have been looking for inexpensive ideas on how to spruce up my wardrobe for spring and summer. Two weeks ago I bought a "Make It Mine" magazine and was reading through it, when I came across this picture. Boy, it looked really familiar.

Today I was visiting the blogs in my blogroll - and I sincerely recommend you check them out my blogroll, as there is a lot of talent in that little list! - Lo and behold, I saw this shirt! Aha - that's where I had seen the shirt before! It's a creation by Megan from Brassy Apple. Her use of fabric and color inspire me. Really, between visiting her blog and walking into an Ikea store, I get all sorts of good ideas to try out.

I've been agonizing about how to use the technique on the shirt in the magazine... what shirt(s) to use? Which fabrics? What kind of motif? Being a little goofy, I thought of a motif involving a UFO abducting a cow.

(I still have some cow print scraps from my MooMooMoo PlateWraps.)

My sensible daughter quickly put the kabosh on that idea.

Anyway, a recent post on Brassy Apple was about this much loved but holey sweater from Jeanetta of Splendid Things. Jeanetta won a packet of fabric pieces from Megan and went to work on her sweater.

Click here to see what Jeanetta ended up doing with her sweater.
It's much nicer than my UFO/cow idea. Bravo, Jeanetta! I love your sweater.

Photo credits go to Megan for the magazine picture and to Jeanetta for the sweater picture.