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

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!


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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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November 21, 2008

Recipe Roundup Giveaway!

It's the Pass It On Plates' first ever
Recipe Round Up!
One of the most frequently asked questions we get when people have Pass It On Plates is:
"What should I put on my plate?"
Be our Guest Blogger on our Plate Diaries blog - submit your favorite recipe post.

We're doing a recipe round up to gather recipe posts from people who want to be a Guest Blogger at our Plate Diaries blog at

The Giveaway runs Nov 22-29 and there will be two kinds of winners. Everyone who enters will become a guest blogger with the post they used to enter the Giveaway. One person's name will be drawn to win a beautiful cookbook with color pictures of each recipe.

1. Enter with a link to your recipe blog post.
2. The recipe post must include at least one picture.
3. The recipe must be for something that could be given away on a Pass It On Plate.
4. The recipe post can be from any date, so you can enter an older post if you want.
5. Entries not following the first three rules will be disqualified.
6. One recipe per person, please.
Note: If your recipe needs to be modified to meet the criteria in #3, please mention that in your entry. If you're not sure about #3, you can check out our FAQ to learn more about Pass It On Plates.

Giveaway starts at 12:01am PST on Saturday November 22, 2008 and ends 11:59pm PST on Saturday November 29, 2008.
Winner will be announced December 1, 2008.

So what do you get?
We actually have two kinds of winners. Everyone becomes a Guest Blogger with the post used to enter the Giveaway. In addition, one lucky person's name will be drawn to get an extra treat.

What's the extra treat that one person gets?

If your name is drawn, we'll swap recipes with you - This is a beautiful cookbook with some fantastic recipes and great food gifting ideas. Recipes range from sweet treats to savory relishes and easy snacky foods you can whip up in no time.

Gifts from the Kitchen
, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Everyone gets to be a Guest Blogger?
Yeah - That's the cool part. Since we need to publish a new recipe per week, every entry will be published on our Plate Diaries, giving you full credit and linking back to your site. It's a win-win. Even if you don't win the cookbook, you still get a bump in your Technorati rank and the potential for more traffic to your site. When the giveaway is over, we'll go through all the entries and schedule them into the Plate Diaries. We'll let you know when your post is scheduled to be republished. If you would like to see one of our guest blog posts, you can check out Deaf Chef at Large's recipe for Apple Crostata With Cheddar Cheese.

By entering this Giveaway, you are agreeing to let us republish your entire recipe post with pictures on our Plate Diaries site at This post will also include a link back to your site where it was originally published and an invitation to our visitors to check out your site for more recipes.

Remember - enter with a link to the recipe post, not a link to your entire site.
If your link just goes to your entire site we won't know which recipe you're entering and you won't qualify.

Get ready for tomorrow's Giveaway!

We're having a big Giveaway starting tomorrow - it's the Pass It On Plates' first ever

Recipe Round Up

One of the most frequently asked questions we get when people have Pass It On Plates is:
"What should I put on my plate?"
We had been posting a new recipe with pictures every week, but frankly, that's a lot of food for us to make, photograph, and blog about and we just don't have the time for it.
True to Pass It On Plates tradition of helping others, we've decided to round up some of the best food blog posts out there and share them with our readers to give them some great ideas for their Pass It On Plates. Basically, we're asking for you to be a guest blogger on our Plate Diaries blog - and you can use one of your existing posts. (What a time saver! No new writing!)
Keep in mind that your recipe needs to be something you could put on a Pass It On Plate when you give it away. This will probably rule out soup, beverages, and crock pot recipes, for example. Of course, if your recipe includes a way to give this food to someone on a Pass It On Plate, then it qualifies.
Are you excited yet? Start looking through your recipe blog posts and come back tomorrow for all the details and to see what you can win!

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November 20, 2008

Books, Books, and more Books

The living room bookcase is now in the garage - aka The Pass It On Plates Studio. No, we don't park in the garage of the new place; it's just the office. And what better place for our ten foot wide by six feet tall bookcase stuffed with books?

Yes, you read that right. We have a lot of books. While I have a ton of tapes, CDs, and downloaded MP3s, Mr. Pass It On Plates is Deaf and he buys books. Most of these are his, and about a third are cookbooks. (He's a Chef, so several are professional books.) The rest of the books range from theology & Bibles, (yes plural - I think he has over a dozen different versions), Chess, politics, horror, classics (Thoreau, Shakespeare, Poe), history & anthropology, finance, gardening & herbs...


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So... which books are Pam's?

Pam's other books, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Now that you know that we have a HUGE amount of books (and there are about 10 more boxes of books still in storage) are some of my books.

Pam's Books, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Here are move of my books. In college, I was a Graphic Design major and now am studying Marketing, so that's where a lot of my interest lies.

Ok, so I also have some Sue Grafton (I love Kinsey Milhone!), Janet Evanovich, Lillian Jackson Braun (is Qwill a Youper - from Michigan's U.P? I always wonder if that's where Pickax is.) Of course, Harry Potter is there somewhere. Rachel is trying to get me to read Twilight, but I know I won't be able to put it down and I just don't have 24 hours to sit and read the book straight through right now. I do that with every Harry Potter book that comes out and although I love the book, it kills any chance that I'll get anything done.

Maybe if I ever schedule foot surgery... Nah I'm kidding. But with every Harry Potter book I started Friday night and finished up Saturday evening. Straight through without sleeping.

I'm nuts, I know.


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November 19, 2008

Attitude and Gratitude. Cool.

Surprise surprise - another award! Yay!
This honor came from Laurie B at The Looking Glass
and if you have not checked out her blog, I highly recommend taking a look.
She is very fabulous and very talented.

The rules for giving and receiving this award are as follows:

* Put the logo on your blog or post.
* Nominate at least 3 blogs which show great Attitude and/or Gratitude!
* Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
* Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
* Share the love and link to this post and to the person from who
m you received your award.

This thoughtful award will continue onto... (drum roll please!)

Nikki at Project: Domestic Bliss

Libby at Aurora's Garden

Bella at Bella Casa

This award came at an auspicious time for me, as a positive attitude has us torn between doing two things. Both are important but we may only be able to have one or the other.

As I write this, I'm in my bedroom looking out at the old plum tree on the other side of the fence from our patio. The owner has neglected it and the weight of the plums at the end of summer has caused the branches to droop over the fence. Overripe plums have dropped onto our cement patio, leaving purple-black stains, the leaves cover everything, and we think a December wind storm will cause one of the large limbs to fall on the fence and into our tiny space. Frank's worried it could crush our little grill.

Frank wants to borrow my dad's pole trimmer to clean up some of the upper branches and cut back the tree so it doesn't lean on our fence. The tree trunk is offset and bulk -and weight- of the tree is nine feet north of where the trunk comes out of the ground. Or put another way, the trunk comes out of the ground about seven feet south of our fence. In this part of Oregon, the storm winds come from the south and we usually get huge wind storms in December.

Needless to say, we're a little concerned about the tree.

Our bedroom window, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

On the other hand, my bedroom window is eye level with the top half of the tree where the mossy branches hold daily sparrow and finch traffic. I'll have to get a bird book to i.d. all the breeds that visit, but when it's not too cold I like to open the window to hear their conversation. Sometimes a blue jay stops by and scares them away, but soon they return... little yellow birds, red-breasted finch-like birds, chickadees, and one silly bird that likes to run back and forth across the interior branches like he's on a racetrack.

Despite our concerns over the old tree, here is what I get to look at every day as I work on the computer or fold laundry:

We have lots of little yellow and red birds in the plum tree

Can you tell me what kind of birds these are?
And what do they eat?
(Besides plums - they love the dried up plums that didn't fall in September.)

I think this is one of the ladies

Five visitors in the old plum tree.
Can you find them? Click on the picture and it will take you to my Flickr - then hover your mouse over the picture to see where they all are.

Our solution so far? We will hang up some bird seed when we use the pole trimmer to cut back the tree. Hopefully the seed will encourage these cuties to stay so we can enjoy both the birds and peace of mind when the wind starts to blow.

Oh! I just saw one I hadn't seen before! He has a dark purple head and orange breast. Same size as the other ones, and his beak is the same wedge shape. Wow, I love that tree...


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November 18, 2008

Saturday's Craft Show

The craft show's over... the displays are disassembled, the inventory is packed away, and the teenager is unaware there's still a display plate full of cookies in the studio(hiding under one of the PlateWraps.)

If I met you at the show, Hi! Thanks for stopping by!
If you weren't able to make it to the show, here are some pictures of our corner of the auditorium...

Holey moley, those muffins are HUGE!
The PlateWraps are pretty generous and can cover up the biggest pile of treats you can fit on a plate.

Pan full of PlateWraps, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Another pan of PlateWraps, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

I display all my PlateWraps in cake pans.

This is what I looked at all day.

...when I wasn't cruising around the room, introducing myself to other crafters and encouraging some really talented people to check out
It's almost like I was on a mission to recruit for Etsy.

No seriously, I was on a mission to support local crafty talent and help them find a way to sell online that is quick and easy to set up. Etsy fits the bill.

I don't know what I'm looking at...
(Me in the green, Rachel standing behind me, and Andi in the red, leaning against her painted dressers.)

I'm probably checking the pottery table across the room to see if the guy in the orange jacket is looking this way. Andi had her eye on him all day.
(Whoops I spilled the beans! Sorry Andi! )

That red and blue puzzle chest in front of me is one of Andi's items. She paited puzzle pieces all over a wooden chest, then left three unpainted puzzle piece shaped spots inside - it looks like the puzzle is almost finished. Very cool. Darn, I didn't think to take a picture of the inside... sorry!

Pretty Little Doo Dads, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

We mounted the Doo Dads onto business cards, then stuck self-adhesive jewelry hangers (the plastic clip on the back of earring cards) to the cards. These were hooked onto a mini-blind that was zip tied to a coat rack (the kind that you hand hangers onto.

Pam at the Pass It On Plates table.
Don't you love the alliteration in that title?
You know, the more I look at this picture, the scarier I think I look. I'm not even smiling! I look like my feet hurt from standing all day.

Anyhoo, this collection of pictures would not be complete if I didn't show you what other talent was in my crafty neighborhood in the Lion's Auditorium on Saturday. Since Andi invited me to do the craft show, we got tables next to each other. On her other side was a huge collection of painted clocks that her dad made.

Andi's dad is pretty darn talented with a paintbrush. (No secret where she got her talent from!) He painted several clocks with scenes from the coast.

So now I have to drag you over to Andi's table.
Don'tcha love her dresser?

Sunset Dresser, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Three little painted mini dressers are on top of the Sunset Dresser.
One of Ernie's clocks is on the dresser, too.

Sunset dresser, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

I was hoping this picture would do justice to this beautiful dresser. In real life the colors are so brilliant that you can't help but stare and say, "Wow."
The top and sides fade from sunny yellow at the front to deep sunset red at the back.

Puzzle Chest, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

There's another puzzle piece on the inside. Neat.

The Blob Dresser, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Andi had some teenagers eyeing this dresser.

Painted seat, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

I like the kidney shape of this seat. Andi says the guy's butt is big.
Either way, it's a neat backless chair

Anyhoo, this collection of pictures would not be complete if I didn't show you all of Andi's stuff. She also had hats with the painted furniture.

There are notes on this picture of the hats if you click on the picture below - clicking will take you to flickr where you can see the notes.

Andi's hats, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Look at all these 'hatz.' Andi whipped up 40 in her "spare time."

We hang out together for almost 40 hours each week at the same place... if you know what I mean.

I spend my spare time blogging and playing with my flickr account and she makes hats.

Hey, those aren't bad vices to have...

BTW, my one $5 sale from the entire day bought the grey and burgundy striped hat. So basically, I gave away a $5 item to someone and my company now owns a hat.

Several vendors didn't sell squat, so I'm not complaining about my $5 . The whole show was pretty pathetic. Of course, the pottery guys sold at least one $10 item. Andi took $10 out of her petty cash to buy a cup from the cute pottery guy in the orange jacket. As she walked away, I said I would write up a receipt so she could keep track of the money. I wrote,

"$10 to Andi for flirting purposes."

Don't worry, Andi! I'm sure he won't read this blog.



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So what will you show us on your video?

Last week at you learned how easy it is to put video in your blog. Have you need wondering what you could do with it? ...or were you even wondering why I told you in the first place?

Imagine you're at an art fair or visiting an artisan's village. You wander from shop to shop, marvelling at all the wonderful things for sale. Some shops have the items displayed on shelves for you to look at, other shops have items on tables that you can pick up and examine more closely.

A few shops feature the artist at work. They talk to the growing crowd about their equipment, supplies, and technique, and look like they're genuinely having fun as they create more of the same art they are selling. It's fascinating to watch them work and explain the process, both technical and creative. As you watch them work, you notice there is always a crowd around their shop and the cashier is very busy, constantly ringing up purchases. After watching for a while, you decide you like this artist, their style, their sense of humor, and you just have to have one of their items. Not only because you love the item itself, but you are enjoying the complete experience of how your item came to be.

You buy the best piece in the shop and bring it home. The next time the art fair comes around or the next time you visit the artisan's village, you look for the same artist to see what new items they are selling this time. You also recommend friends to check them out and talk about your experience.

So now let's think about your business.
While you're thinking, hop over to and see what totally creative, very easy, inexpensive big ideas I have for you. I bet you're going to love this post.

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November 14, 2008

Christmas Bazaar - Keizer Lion's Club 11/15/08

Tonight (Thursday) we were able to get into the Lion's Hall and set up for Saturday's Craft Bazaar. I loaded up a few pink crates of supplies and put my best inventory into one of those gigantic Ikea shopping bags and hopped over there to set up.

Ok, little detour on the story. I remembered it was an animal and Andi said it was in the building behind JC's Pizzeria in Keizer (Salem's one "suburb," if you will.) The sun was in my eyes and I pulled into a lodge-like building's parking lot. It was behind JC's.
"I'm here to set up for the craft show?" I asked.
"Not here."
"Where am I?" (Yes, I have been known to be a little ditzy at times.I swear those very pale hairs starting to grow in at my temples are blonde.)
"You're at the Elk's Lodge."
"Huh. And no craft show? Well I know it was an animal. Any other animal lodges nearby?"
"Yes. Lion's is the next building down the road, and the Eagles are the next building beyond that."
(Smart alek me couldn't resist smiling as I asked,) "So where's the Moose Lodge?"
The lady laughed.

I drove down the road, still blinded by the sun so I could see buildings but no reading was possible. I squinted as much as I could but the sun was starting to set and there was no way to shield it so I could see anything useful.

Pulled into a driveway, didn't see Lion's on the building, then turned around and went towards the next building. My phone rang.

It was Andi. "You turned around and left. Where are you goin', Turbo?" (She calls me Turbo. She's half my age. I love Andi.)

"Oh. That was it? My bad. I'll find a place to turn around and come back."

Despite my minor spaz, I got there, set up as much as I could, and snapped a few pictures before I had to run to Rachel's orchestra concert. Looking forward to the show.

Hey, if you're in the area on Saturday, mention this blog for 10% off your purchase!

More pictures to follow. I saw Andi's painted dresser in person for the first time and that picture does not do it justice. It is AMAZING. Same for her puzzle chest. I'll post more pictures over the weekend.

November 13, 2008

This is my Obnoxious Butterfly tote bag

Bright purple tote bag, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

I have a thing for tote bags. As I sew up other projects, I find fabrics that go together and I often whip up a quick tote bag - the size is based on my immediate need.

A few months ago I needed one big enough to hold a couple three-ring binders and a few other misc things, so I took some leftover obnoxious butterfly fabric and some leftover obnoxious purple fabric and made this cute-and-not-really-obnoxious tote bag. The handles are grosgrain ribbon.

DSCN5118, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

My discerning (now) 13 year old decided I should put the butterflies on the inside and the solid color purple on the outside. She said it's for a visual surprise, but I think it's so I don't embarrass her if I carry the bag while we're out together.

Ok, yeah, it's wrinkly in the picture. It had been backed up for the move and i had to snap a quick picture and show you as soon as it was unpacked.

Cute, eh?


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November 10, 2008

How to put your own videos into your blog

Last week I posted a brief video of my car into my other blog to show my friend Amador how easy it is to post videos online.

Today I posted a quick how-to so you can post your own videos on your blog.

It's a lot easier than most people think.
Like I said last week in the other blog, I don't even own a video camera.
Please go check it out. Later this week I'm going to be talking about some incredible ideas that you can use your videos for... including increasing your Etsy sales. You're gonna love these easy ideas. I can't wait to show you.

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November 1, 2008

Hand made sew-in labels

More and more people are talking about making their own Christmas gifts this year. That's exciting to me, because I've always liked doing that and the gifts were always well-received. This attitude shift could be a really good, meaningful Christmas for a lot of people.
That in mind, I wanted to share a handy tip you could use if you are planning to sew anything and want a nice looking label for your handcrafted item.
We hand-wrote our website on the inside of the band on each PlateWrap back when PIOP started. This worked fine for a while, until I realized it was time to get a better sew-in label. I was getting ready for a craft show and needed something really fast. (And really economical, since I had already spent a lot of my budget on plates and fabric.)
No time to design and order machine-printed labels, I stopped in to see Lisa at Stampin' Cat, a local stamping store, to see if she could help. She smiled and pointed me to a dabber bottle full of water-based paint that is permanent on fabric.

I used this dabber paint with a silicone stamp I'd had made earlier. The labels were 7" long strips cut from a spool of 3" wide white satin ribbon that I picked up at Michael's for about $4.

To make the labels, I just dabbed the paint onto an index card, then tapped the stamp into it. I practiced stamping on the index card to get a feel for how much paint to load onto the stamp so I didn't get blobby results on the ribbon.

Ok, it's a little blobby, but readable. And instead of being all anal retentive and picky about the results I reminded myself that this is a handcrafted item and small variations are part of the label's character and should be considered a natural part of the PlateWrap.

Or something like that. Basically I told myself,

"Self, you have got to relax and let it be."

Nifty, huh?

Silicone rubber stamp, originally uploaded by passitonplates.

Oh darn it, I didn't think to take pictures of the labels in the PlateWraps.

To finish the labels, I folded each one in half around the band that encircles the back side of each PlateWrap, and sewed them in place. I use a serger, so that binds the raw edges on the labels. It looks clean and nice.

If you get a Pass It On Plate or see a PlateWrap floating around out there, check and see if there's a nice wide satin ribbon label sewn inside. (Not all PlateWraps have these.)


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I can't just decide

Harlequin Damask
Originally uploaded by passitonplates

I bought a bolt of this pretty fabric last summer for PlateWraps but haven't done anything with it because I'd also like to use it to make some pretty dining room curtains and a table runner.

It's still sitting on the bolt, just waiting for me to make up my mind.

What to do, what to do?

Do you have supplies you bought for one project but never used because you got another great idea and then couldn't decide how to use it?