September 30, 2008


And the winner is..., originally uploaded by passitonplates.

We had a recent giveaway, asking you to share some of your favorite Halloween blogs.

Very impressive suggestions, ladies - I loved them all and will post about them soon.

Meanwhile, Meghan from Meghan's Mindless Muttering has won the drawing and will have our two new Halloween & Autumn Pass It On Plate Lite kits sent out to her! Please visit her blog and congratulate her, please? While you're there, take a minute to read her posts. She's funny, upbeat, creative, and very down to earth. I'd love to have her as a neighbor.

Sorry it took so long to post a winner. I didn't realize how much moving chaos would ensue when I returned from my class in Los Angeles, and not only is everything hectic and disorganized, but the Halloween costumes are inaccessible for the time being. I finally decided to drag Rachel to Wally World to get a picture of her in a costume as she pulled the winning name out of a pumpkin. Too bad she refused to wear the axe hat. It looked stupidly creepy with the hockey mask.

Fortunately I was clever enough to pack up and set aside the winnings so they wouldn't get packed away during the move. The sole remaining braincell in my noggin is working overtime, I tell ya.


September 29, 2008

The Plate Diaries just got a lotta love

The Plate Diaries have a new look. Have you checked it out lately?

It took a few hours to tweak, but after switching over to three columns we had to fix a lot of ugly. The layout just didn't work and navigation was impossible.

In short, the Plate Diaries needed a lotta love. Here are all the changes:
  • We've got a fun, interactive guest book - thank you Laurie B for finding that goodie and posting it on your own blog - a constant source of inspiration
  • Added a more concise description about what the plates are and how they work. Clarity is power.
  • We have nifty sidebar labels which are photos edited on flickr. Remember our tutorial? You can use it for oh-so-much-more than just PW ads. At the very least, check out those labels.
  • A more organized recipe section
  • At the bottom, we added two travel maps to show you where Pass It On Plates have been. Please help us fill it up! Oh - does anyone know where I can find an interactive map that shows each Canadian province? The map must be easy to use. Sorry, I'm not going to Google maps and trying to crudely draw the outlines of each province. Have you see the Nova Scotia shoreline? And for the record, while in Los Angeles earlier this month some amazing and brilliant women from British Columbia have adopted a few plates. I hear one of them will be sent to Cambodia, but more on that later.
  • One-stop browsing to find all our promos and giveaways
  • Our favicon is back in place
  • And a survey to fill out in exchange for a free tote bag. Have you used or made a Pass It On Plate? Do you want a free tote bag? What are you waiting for - click your little tush over there!


September 26, 2008

Halloween Gift Ideas

Laurie at Tip Junkie recently asked for all kinds of Halloween related tips, from decor and costume ideas to gift ideas. The little light bulb went off in my head.

How perfect are one of these cute Pass It On Plates?

Boo! close-up, originally uploaded by passitonplates.
Check out these fun Halloween PlateWraps!
This very limited edition is only available in the Pass It On Plate Lite kit. If you don't know what that includes, just click the link for the lowdown.

Treat... or treat!

Punkin Cutter close-up, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Do you want one? Better hurry, they're going fast fast fast!
You should see the ones with a Witchy Pez tied in to the Doo Dad.

Witchy Pez, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

and Pumpkin Pez, too!

Pumpkin Pez, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

But wait - it gets better!
Some have green backs and some have black and white stripey backs.

DSCN4343, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

They come with your choice of pen color - orange, green, or black - and your choice of tie-in Pretty Little Doo Dad:

  • Boo! cookie cutter
  • Pumpkin cookie cutter
  • Witchy Pez
  • Pumpkin Pez

These are all limited edition PlateWraps and when they're gone, they're gone.

Click here to visit Etsy and get one today!

Next month - Thanksgiving PlateWraps will make your hostess gift the one she'll remember.



September 24, 2008

Andi's Dresser

I have mentioned my friend Andi in other posts, especially on my family blog, The Adventures of Pam & Frank. She is such a neat girl that I'd like you to get to know her better.

Andi is the most talented and interesting girl I know. Not only does she have a blue belt in karate, she is a very skilled violinist and teaches violin lessons, she knits fun hats, she makes thought-provoking word collages from magazine clippings, she keeps a hand-written journal of funny things, and she paints stuff.

Recently she bought an overhead projector. You know, the kind a teacher uses in school. She used it to project a picture onto a dresser to aid her in painting (by hand!) the picture onto the front of the dresser. This is not paint by number, mind you. This was a picture from (I think?) a calendar that she had, and she decided it would look great on her dresser.

She's right.
Andi says, "I'm totally in love with my dresser!"
She used an overhead projector to help her paint the image on the front of the dresser. Very cool, Andi. Very cool.

September 22, 2008

The Art of Promotion
& The Learning Curve

Do you have a blog or Etsy shop or some other creative business that you're nurturing? I bet you're always looking for new ways to promote your stuff and find new readers, customers, or followers. "How do I promote myself" is a common question in the Etsy forums, and so many creative people ask this question again and again.

Instead of making a list - there are so many lists out there, but they're just lists - I have started addressing each item on the list, digging into the tools or tricks and explaining them or offering a little tutorial to help you, my dear readers, promote yourself.

If you are a new reader and want to catch up on some of these "how do I promote myself" tips, here's a tip. Look for the label (or tag) "The Art of Promotion." (Or just click that link to see all the posts in that category.)

Also, if you want to catch up on some other tips and tools to help develop your creative business, try checking out the label (or tag) "The Learning Curve" which focuses more on what you can do to grow your creative business and there are little tutorials to fine-tune your blog and whatnot.

Because I love promotions, promoting, and marketing so much, I recently started a new blog that focuses on just that. When there is a particularly useful post over there, I may mention it here, but you may want to bookmark or use a reader to subscribe to both blogs so you don't miss a thing. You can find the link to subscribe to this blog in the sidebar, not too far below the picture and the FAQ. In the other blog, it's also in the sidebar, near the top.

-Pam Hawk


September 20, 2008

Portland Road Trip #2

While we were in Portland's Nob Hill neighborhood, we strolled up one side of West 23rd and down the other. It was Sunday, so a lot of places were really quiet, but it was still nice to window shop. Care to join us?

DSCN0552, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

(The guy in the gray jacket is Frank. I was snapping pictures when he got impatient and ditched me.)

DSCN0567, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

I just love the colors in this outfit. Rachel visibly gagged (she's twelve; what does she know?) and Frank raised one eyebrow. If they had it in my size - and price - I would have gotten it just to be seen with them in public.

Unfortunately the size and price were too little and too big for me. But I still love it.

DSCN0563, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

September 19, 2008

Yes! We have a third exciting thing to announce!

New PlateWraps! New Pretty Little Doo Dads!

This one is so exciting that we're actually dragging our carcasses out of bed at the crack of dawn to go outside and take pictures of all the awesome new stuff.

Green Gingham with Thanks tiles, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Donna in Wisconsin and her coffee klatsch of seamstresses made PlateWraps that were for sale only in the midwest. Pam in Oregon, (our chief photographer, blogger & Etsy manager) sewed up a bazillion PlateWraps that were for sale only in Oregon or online.

Donna was nice enough to send a big care package with several selections from her studio, and for the first time we have her beautiful PlateWraps and Pretty Little Doo Dads available online.

This charming gingham check is one of them. The words "THANKS" are spelled out in our latest Pretty Little Doo Dad, Letter Tiles. You can order these either by the letter or by the word. (Wouldn't they look great on a denim jacket, too?)

Check back often as we unveil more of Donna's stunning designs.

September 17, 2008 why do we have goosebumps?

Something we're even more excited about is:
Now you can Mix-n-Match your Pass It On Plate!

This one has us so excited to announce that we've got goosebumps up and down our arms.

We noticed people liked putting together their own combination of plate, PlateWrap, Pretty Little Doo Dad, and pen color when they bought from us at craft shows. Our friends all said they wanted the same thing when "talking plates" with us.

It's a totally custom Pass It On Plate or Pass It On Plate. Just tell us what you want when you place your order and we'll put it together for you. You can browse everything in the shop and if you see something you love, you can have it in your Mix-n-Match PIOP.

So what combination of PlateWrap, Pretty Little Doo Dad, and pen color would you put together?

Tropical Batik Print with Primary Curls Doo Dad, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

September 15, 2008

Why are our heads all tingly?

We're so excited to announce this that the tops of our heads are all tingly.

Introducing the Pass It On Plate Lite:
Due to popular demand and after a lot of testing and surveying, the first new thing that we have is the Pass It On Plate Lite. Or the PIOP Lite. Basically, it's everything in the Original Pass It On Plate but the plate. You can learn more about what's included here.

The PIOP Lite is easy to customize with your own plate, pie pan, serving bowl, platter, etc.
It's a fun crafty project that requires no special equipment or sewing skills.
The PIOP Lite is a great item to keep on hand for thank you gifts or hostess gifts - The lucky person you give it to will be amazed at your cleverness and they'll remember youf gift forever.

Like making jello, you just need about an hour or so to get your PIOP Lite ready to give. (You will also need a plate or other 11"-13" dish to use that you are willing to alter and give away.)

MeeeOwww with Beaded Organza Doo Dad, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

September 12, 2008

Portland Road Trip #1

On a nice day this summer, the three of us piled into the car, picked up Rachel's best friend Ashley on our way out of town, and hit the road. Destination: West 23rd in Nob Hill, Portland, Oregon.

Okay, it was only about 45 minutes on the road, but it's still a road trip. A mini road trip.

We do go up there as often as possible, since I think we are all really city people at heart. Of course, I brought the camera so I can take a little bit of the city back home with me to Salem. I always find delight in seeing designs and patterns and color juxtapositions, and I wanted to share some of this with you.

While we were wandered around the neighborhood I spied this interesting grassy boulevard along a sidewalk. The legs belong to two silly girls named Rachel and Ashley.

DSCN0574, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

In the same spot, I turned and spied this lovely "back yard." The homeowner may lament that it's messy or needs more work but how nice would it be to sit at that little table and sip a morning coffee when the air is still cool? This was shot in June, so the flowers have surely exploded into a million brilliant colors by now. Above the table you can see the bright green rhododendron leaves. Those evergreen shrubs blossom into huge ruffled flowers in the springtime. I bet it's stunning.

There is something about the color of terra cotta and green plants that seem so peaceful, and the plant and stone textures in this tidy little yard just add to the mood.

DSCN0575, originally uploaded by Adventures of Pam & Frank.

Mark this up as a possible dream home/neighborhood for me, ok?

September 11, 2008

Join the Pass It On Plates Flickr Group!

This new Flickr group is all about Pass It On Plates.

Have you made a Pass It On Plate with one of our kits?
You can upload your pictures here and then email us a link at myplate [at] to activate your plate. This email address is also in the instructions along with your plate's tracking number.

Laurie B from Laurie *Beggin Glass Musings* made this plate!

Have you received a Pass It On Plate or passed one on?
Have you seen one at a pot luck dinner or party? Have you received one as a hostess gift?
Post all your Pass It On Plate related pictures here.

Suzanne from Brambleberry Row made this plate!

Include your plate number with your pictures either in the title, tag, or description, and we'll post it under that plate number in the online plate diary, giving you the credit and linking back to your Flickr photostream or any other link you want promoted. Just make sure your picture is set as public so we can blog it directly from Flickr.

Suzanne from Brambleberry Row also sewed this PlateWrap and made the Pretty Little Doo Dad on top!

Andi's Andes cookies on plate #0803049.



September 10, 2008

One more little HTML lesson tutorial

You know how to make bold and italic text, right?
Those are just a quick little <b>before and a</b> after for bold, and a little <i>before and a</i> after for italic.

How about a strike out? My clever daughter just showed this one to me.
Just type in this text: <strike>strike</strike>

Want to see it in use?
Sure you do. Besides, it'll make you feel really good about your well behaved kids.

While typing this, my exuberant 12 year old nearly 13 year old (and old enough to know better) was sitting on the back of the couch, reading over my shoulder as I typed. Something brushed my right ear and there was a huge WHUMP! and a shriek as she fell over backwards, landing on the cushion of the couch.

Turns out my darling daring daughter nearly kicked me in the head as she lost her balance. I tried to scold her and she kept whooping and yelling, "That was fun!!"

She agreed to wait until I'm done before she tries again. She needs a ride to a friend's house later this evening.

September 9, 2008

Spiffied up CD jewel case liners

Here is a nifty CD case insert
Originally uploaded by passitonplates

Boring and Bland are my two enemies. Their evil plan is to make life as boring as possible, and we just can't have that now, can we?

Whenever possible I try to foil their evil plan... with as little time and effort as necessary.

Maybe I'm cheap and lazy. No, don't try to be nice. I admit it.
I am cheap and lazy.
With all kinds of fabulous stuff that I made myself. (wink!)

And it's fun on the inside, too
Originally uploaded by passitonplates

Fun fun fun on both sides of the insert.

It's just a single sheet of scrapbooking paper
Originally uploaded by passitonplates

Yeah, I'm thinking those "design your own CD case insert" programs are awful and my printer is not that great. This is faster, easier, better-looking, and I can do it when it's someone else's turn on the home computer.

See? Tell your mother it's not a such bad thing to be lazy. And when you admit to her that you're cheap, be sure to point out you mean financially. Not . . . the other kind of cheap.

The paper has designs on both sides
Originally uploaded by passitonplates

This was so easy and looked so great that I made a bunch and then scoured the house looking for more vacant CD cases to spiffy up.
Ok, ready? Here's how to make yours:

1. Select a sheet of two-sided scrap booking paper that you want to use for this project. Decide which side will be shown when the case is closed and which side will be shown when the case is open.

2. Fold the sheet of paper, making sure that the paper on at least one side of the fold is as large (or larger than) the CD jewel case.

3. Align an existing CD insert with the folded edge of your scrap booking paper. Using the CD insert as your template, and a really light touch with your pencil, trace around the remaining 3 sides of the CD insert.

4. Cut along your traced line.

5. Embellish as desired. I traced the shape of the CD on the front and cut it out.

6. Slide into place.

Ta dah!
Now poke through the house looking for more boring CD jewel cases to spiffy up.

You know you want to.

September 8, 2008

Halloween is creeping up on me...

...but I'm ready for it. See?

Boo! close-up, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Check out these brand spankin new PlateWraps. Are these cute or what?

Punkin Cutter close-up, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Do you want one? They're on sale, you know.
You should see the ones with a Witchy Pez tied in to the Doo Dad.

Witchy Pez, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

and Pumpkin Pez, too!

Pumpkin Pez, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

But wait - it gets better!
Some have green backs and some have black and white stripey backs.

DSCN4343, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

They come with your choice of pen color - orange, green, or black - and your choice of tie-in Pretty Little Doo Dad:

  • Boo! cookie cutter
  • Pumpkin cookie cutter
  • Witchy Pez
  • Pumpkin Pez

Want one? Better Hurry.
Every Halloween Pass It On Plate Lite is
on sale for
40% off for a limited time.

~When you order, enter coupon code #PB8LH~

Sale ends at 11:59pm PST on Tuesday, September 30.

These are all limited edition PlateWraps and when they're gone, they're gone.


Just click the Etsy mini below to be directed to the shop



September 7, 2008

The World's Greatest Marketing Seminar

Tomorrow morning I am flying to Los Angeles to attend a week-long, intense marketing seminar with the same title as this blog post.

I can't wait to see what's in store for me.
The last time I attended one of these seminars I returned home with a big smile, self confidence, and a broken piece of wood.
I still have the wood.

Last year, when I turned 40 I finally finally figured out what I wanted to do when I grew up. Well, I always knew I wanted to figure things out and help people put things together but I didn't know what that meant. In the late 80's when the Nickolodeon channel started Nick at Nite, they had a little station ID thing where a girl was watching tv on the roof of her building. Something crazy always happened to the girl, and each very short "short" had a different ending. I was 19 or 20 and that's when I knew I wanted to figure out how to create stuff like that for other people.

Not having the greatest career counselor
in high school (my graduating class had 45 kids in it and that included the exchange student) or college, for that matter, so I had no idea how to make this kind of magic happen.

Fast forward 20 years and at some point it dawned on me that I am a born marketer. I need to transfer all my graphic design college credits into a business degree with a focus on Marketing/Advertising. A graphic design minor is a no-brainer, since I've already had most of my core classes. Ok, I had to take Art History twice because it was a two hour slide show, twice a week, and as soon as the lights went out, I went out.

Hmmm, kinda hard to pass a class

So now because I'm working on finishing my college degree, my wonderful Dad enrolled me into a marketing class taught by some big muck-e-mucks whose names I'm not sure of (Jay Conrad Levinson of Guerrilla Marketing, I think?), and he's flying me down to LA for the class.

When I return, I'll have all kinds of
interesting tips and tidbits to share here.

I'm really, really excited about this class. The last class I took from this group of instructors was about changing ones' financial attitude and the instructor, T. Harv Ecker, was absolutely phenomenal. At one point in the class he wanted to impress upon all of us that we can do anything we set our minds to. We just have to see past the problem. It was during this exercise that I karate-chopped a piece of wood with my bare hand. No pain. No previous martial arts skills. But wow, did I gain self confidence! My mom attended the same class with me and she karate-chopped her own board. This class was a group of about 300 people and even the meek little old ladies karate chopped a piece of wood. It was awesome.

As soon as I return, Mr. Pass It On Plates and I need to get into high gear to prepare for our move. We just bought a condo and close on it at the end of this month. (The papers were signed a few days ago.) That means we have to pack up and move two weeks after I return. Am I stressed out? You bet. But I will post here at least three times a week with interesting stuff you can use - and again, most of the marketing and small business posts will be on my new blog.

Don't worry, though. I have written all kinds of posts ahead of time, so be sure to check back often during the next few weeks to see what's new.

Meanwhile, how about a giveaway?
Scroll down or click here for our Halloween Giveaway!

(trumpet fanfare)
Giveaway Alert!

Let's have another Giveaway, shall we?

Halloween is fast approaching.
Yesterday there was Halloween candy in the grocery store and our local Arkansas-based, super-duper-ultra-huge, people-watching-screaming-baby-mecca, mass merchandise warehouse store is already swapping out school supplies for costumes.

I love Halloween and get excited as soon as I see pumpkins stacked in front of the grocery store and all the candy and other stuff in the stores. (My birthday is on Halloween, so that's probably why - I learned to get excited over the approach of Halloween at a very young age.)

Let's get into the Halloween spirit and spread some Halloween linky love.

What to do:
Leave a comment here with a link to your favorite blog that is featuring anything Halloween already. It can be your blog or anyone's blog. One link per entry, up to two entries per person.
I have removed the nofollow on comments, so every link you put in comments will count and be searchable by Google.
This is a very good thing for you. (I'll blog about it later.)

This giveaway ends at 11:59pm PST on Saturday Sept 20th. That'll give you about two weeks to look for Halloweenie stuff and enter the giveaway.

The winner will be chosen at random on Sunday Sept 21st. Names will be written on paper and put into a trick or treat jack-o-lantern, then drawn out by my costumed daughter. We'll take pictures.

What the winner gets:
Two of our new Pass It On Plate Lite kits. One will have the Halloween PlateWrap and the other will feature our brand-new, not yet in Etsy, Autumn Leaves PlateWrap.

Halloween Witchy Pez, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Autumn Leaves, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Here's a close up of the Pretty Little Doo Dad that you get with the Autumn Leaves PlateWrap.

Harvest Basket Doo Dad, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

So. You ready? ...aaand GO!

September 6, 2008

Here's a teaser for you.

Boo! CC Tie-In, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Look what's coming soon!!
Isn't that cute?
Just wait, there's another one...

September 5, 2008


Check it out - line breaks in the blog title!

Want in on the secret? It's four little characters of html code that indicates a line break. It's so easy.

Here's the code: <br>
The BR means "Break"

When I typed in the title to this blog post, it looked like this:

Easy, peasy.
Now off you go, to let all hell <br> loose with your use of HTML.

September 4, 2008

Etsy Shop Announcement

Have you been wanting to get one of our Original Pass It On Plates? We have an exciting announcement! After doing a little finessing with our shipping methods, we are happy to announce that shipping on the Original Pass It On Plates is dropping from $10 per plate to a mere $3 per plate. A very nice savings with plenty of time for holiday shopping.

Also, an update on our Etsy shop: We've been working so hard to get all the new items listed and plan to activate those listings very soon. When everything is up and ready we'll make a grand announcement and have a big giveaway.

Stay tuned! We can't wait to show you all our new stuff!



September 3, 2008

Keeping everyone on the same page easy HTML tutorial

Have you noticed this? When you are visiting someone's blog or website and you click on a link, sometimes the link opens in a new window (or tab) and sometimes you leave the blog completely and jump over to the new link.

Staying or jumping has to do with how the html is written on the blog post or website.

Sometimes this is a good thing, jumping from blog to blog, and other times it's annoying because what you were initially reading was very interesting and now you have to hit the back button to figure out where you were before the link sent you shooting off to someone else's blog.

As for me, I like to keep my readers here, partly for their convenience, and (from a business standpoint,) partly so my brand is not forgotten too quickly. Would you like to do the same?

Without any foreign language instruction, here's how.
Denise, I'm going to use your blog URL as the example.
I hope that's ok.

1. Start a new blog post in a new window or tab on your browser so you can keep your eye on this tutorial.

2. Type in the name of the site you want to experiment with, then attach a link to it. Here's the example:
Denise Clenney's Changing Designs

3. Now flip over to your Edit Html tab on your blog post. Take a look at the code for what you just did. It should look like this: <a href="">Denise Clenney's Changing Designs>

4. If you are extremely unfamiliar with html, I'll explain the different parts here, and please pardon my lack of technical language. I may be geeky but I am not a geek.

a href= This tells the browser that this is a link.

"" Tells the browser where to go.

< > These brackets tell the browser that this is where the code is, and not to make it look like text.

Denise Clenney's Changing Designs This is the text link you see on the page. Sometimes it's underlined, sometimes it's a different color.

Since the first bracket started with an "a" this "/a" tells the browser that's the end and closes the code.

5. If you publish the blog post and click on the link, you will jump directly to Denise's blog. So let's go back to edit the blog post and modify the link you just put in.

6. Go to the Edit Html tab again and enter some extra code to tell the browser to open a new window or browser tab when this link is clicked. Here's the code again:
<a href="">Denise Clenney's Changing Designs>

7. In the spot between the end quote
" and the end bracket > you'll need to enter the following code: target="_blank"
(There is a space before the word target.)

8. The link now looks like this:
<a href="" target="_blank">Denise Clenney's Changing Designs>

Now for those of you who are anal retentive about this kind of stuff, there's more.
(You can't see me, but I'm sitting at the computer sheepishly raising my hand.)

If you feel the need to go back into any older posts, (and try to restrain yourself PAM HAWK,) you can do a quick fix on all those pesky links that could potentially take your readers away forever.

1. Open any blog post you can't resist the urge to fix and go to the
Edit Html tab.

2. If you are using a PC, hold down the Ctrl key and tap the F key to open a Find dialog box. (If you have a Mac, sorry - I don't know how you initiate a search.)

3. In the search box, enter
a href="
Yes, you can copy and paste from this blog post.

4. Now highlight and copy this code
Remember, there is a space in front of the word target.

5. Search the entire bit of blog post html, and every time you find a link, paste in the code. Just position your cursor between the "> and hold down Ctrl and V to paste.

6. Click search click search click search your way through the blog post until it's flawless. Or until you realize you really need to stop and do something more productive, *ahem* Pam.

September 2, 2008

My True Love

Today I am announcing the official launch of my new blog!

It doesn't have a name yet, but it does have a specific focus that you may find interesting... and useful if you have an Etsy store or other small business that you want to either get off the ground or that is ready to grow.

The new blog is all about my true love, Marketing.

Yah, you may be saying "Ho hum... Business stuff is so boring," but I promise you this will be full of neat little tips, easy activities, and great ideas you can use to get noticed and make your art and crafting business really bloom.

Ok, enough talking about it. Go check it out!