Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Importance of a Companion {Secrets Revealed}

Do you remember Daisy? I recently posted this picture of her on Instagram (@thegentleflower), but I thought I'd share it here as well.

I crocheted Daisy 3 years ago, without following a pattern. I was inspired by pictures I saw on the internet, and tried making my own version. After I made her, she goes with me everywhere on my travels. She's been so many places! - California, Nevada, Arizona, Toronto, Chicago, Michigan, New York, Italy, etc.

Even though I'm 20 now, she's always in my hand bag on my travels. When we drive around, she sits in my bag or in the seat next to me and enjoys the view with me. This picture was taken last year during our road trip in the US and Canada. She's enjoying the view from my hand bag, after visiting The Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. She loves road trips just like me :)

It's nice having Daisy as a companion. It may sound childish, but I find comfort in inanimate objects. She makes me feel safe, and I think everyone needs that no matter what age, don't you think? And I always feel extra cool and like I'm kind of getting away with something whenever I walk through security at the airport, because no one can see her, except me and the scanner-person. We share our own little secret, and they have no idea that the doll is mine ;)

Is there something special you take with you on your travels? I'd love to hear your stories in the comments below :)
~ Katrine

Monday, July 29, 2013

Interview with BabyTweeds

1960's White, Blue and Red "Daisy" Pinafore

Step back in time and get nostalgic: BabyTweeds sells the vintage children's clothes you grew up in. 
Today I'd like to present a talented woman, Christine Schell. She is the woman behind a lovely store selling the cutest vintage and handmade baby and children's clothing called BabyTweeds.

1. Name: Christine Schell
Where are you from? Originally from Michigan but now live in Seattle, WA

2. Tell us a bit about yourself and your shop/ business.
I opened my BabyTweeds shop at the start of 2011 which features handmade children's clothing and vintage children's clothing. Prior to opening my Etsy shop, I was a stay at home mom for 1 year and prior to that I worked in the high tech industry in the area of Human Resources.

3. When did you open your shop?
At the beginning of 2011.

1950's Lord & Taylor Double Breasted Sunshine Yellow
and White Linen Coat

4. Why did you decide to start your shop?
I had this idea in my head for months about starting my own business and making handmade baby clothes. I just couldn't shake the idea and my husband encouraged me to move forward with my idea as I was so passionate about starting this business. This morphed into my current shop which mostly features vintage children's clothing and accessories and some handmade items (made by me). I was also anxious to do something new and needed to have a business with flexible hours and I wanted to do something that nurtured the creative side of me.

5. How do you promote/ market your business? What works best? 
I have a Facebook site, a board on Pinterest, and I also have a Twitter account. I also love to create several treasuries every week and belong to several Etsy Teams which is a great way to gain exposure. I also have business cards which I try to give out as much as possible. I am going to create a blog in the future and I also plan to begin working on my Flickr and Stumbleupon site. I think that Facebook works the best and Twitter is a close second.

I can see why this is her favourite!

6. What’s your favorite item from your shop and why?
Well, my favorite item just sold today (editor's note: the day the interview was written)! It was a girl's powder blue 100% wool coat with blue satin lining and faux white fur from the 1960's. My new favorite item is an Infant Vintage Cream Satin and Lace 5-PieceChristening Gown Set from the 1930's.

I love this set because it is all made by hand and the satin material and lace is absolutely exquisite. It is also versatile enough to be worn by a girl or boy which is great.
7. Where do you get inspiration? 
Other Etsy shops, feedback/support from family and friends and my 3 year old daughter.

8. Who is your target audience? 
Moms, grandmothers, anyone needing to buy a baby gift.

9. Do you ship internationally? 

10. What has been the most challenging part of starting and running your own business? Finding the time to take photos, uploading the listings and ensuring that the listing descriptions and tags are correct in order for potential customers to find me via various search tools.

11. What has been the best part of starting and running your own business? 
The creative aspect of it in terms of making clothing but also the enjoyment that I get out of finding vintage baby clothing to sell. The flexible hours are also a huge plus.

1930's Handmade Red Embroidered Velveteen Vest

12. Do you have any business tips you’d like to share with us? 

Stay positive! Selling can be tough these days for a variety of reasons but do not get down on yourself or your shop. Also, make sure that your photos are clear and simple looking, that your listings are as descriptive and detailed as possible and that your tags are correct so that people can find your shop easily when they do searches on Etsy, Google, Yahoo, etc. Buyers only have a picture and description to go on when they buy something online so make your listings so "real" that they buyers can almost touch and feel what you are selling. Also, join Etsy teams that have shops that are similar to yours. I have gotten an incredible amount of great advice/feedback from various team blogs and also gotten some great visibility from other team members who have tweeted out my listings or treasuries or featured them on their blogs.

13. If there were anything you could change about your business, right now, what would it be? 
I wish that I was more visible on other websites already like Stumbleupon. Flickr, Tumblr, etc. -there just aren't enough hours in the day!

14. What are your goals and dreams for your business for the future? 
I would love to have a brick and mortar business somewhere in Seattle, but this is several years down the road.

15. Where do you hope your shop will take you? 
I would love to have enough visibility to be featured locally in the Seattle media and eventually would love to have greater visibility nationally and internationally.

16. What’s next now? Could we get a sneak peak of what you’ll be doing and sharing next? 
I hope to have a blog up and running as soon as possible. Also, I will be listing several amazing girl's dresses from the 1950's, many of which are made of chiffon with ruffles, lace and rhinestones.

17. Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 
I love being a part of the Etsy community. I have found the community to be incredibly supportive and great for getting constructive feedback.

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview, Christine! It's been lovely getting to know you and your business :) I can't wait to see what the future holds for you, and I hope that all your dreams come true. 

Readers, be sure to share your love by commenting your thoughts on Christine's business below, and follow her via twitter, facebook, pinterest - or shoot her an e-mail if you wanna get personal ;) And don't forget to visit her shop!

Let us know what your favourite items from her store are below :)

Ps. Be sure to check out our past interviews also.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Current Playlist

Do you remember my post from a while back? I wrote about how music isimportant for happiness? Well, I listen to a lot of music and it’s a sort of therapy for me. I find comfort in the lyrics, and I feel like the music is a companion. A best friend that will listen to me, yet give me exactly what I need.

I thought I’d share some of my current favourites. They’re perfect to chill to or to dance along to.

Taro – Alt-J(∆)

In No Time – Mutemath (Pierce Fulton Remix)

Carried Away – Passion Pit (Ryan Riot Remix)

Animal – Neon Trees

Sweetest Thing – U2

I Want You – Kings of Leon

Rebel Beat – The Goo Goo Dolls

Fans – Kings of Leon

Demons – Imagine Dragons

Get Lucky (Ft. Pharell Williams) – Daft Punk

Let Her Go – Passenger

On Top of the World – Imagine Dragons

Colours – Grouplove

I Got A Soul But I’m Not A Soldier – The Killers

Pumped Up Kicks – Foster The People

What are some of your favourite songs?

Have you heard any of these before? Which are your faves?

PS. Don't forget! FREE SHIPPING on all products until 22nd July! Read more about it here.

Friday, June 28, 2013

What I've Been Up To

  • I turned 20 (on April 23rd) :D It feels weird. When I was younger I felt that 20 was so old.. but I don’t feel old at all! Have you turned 20? What was that like for you?

  • I completed my first year of uni! J This is SO exciting. I’ve really enjoyed the past year; the friends I’ve made, everything I’ve learned, etc. I’m really happy with this career path, and I can’t wait for next year!

Delicious Pasta Pie

  • I’ve made lots of food and tried lots of recipes. I’ve always loved making things, but I never thought I’d be this fond of making food. It’s so much fun!

  • I’ve watched a loooot of The Only Way is Essex. Man, I love that show. Do any of you watch it?

  • I went to our school ball (Oscars Ball). It was lovely. I got to wear a long dress and felt like a princess J I will be wearing this dress at my cousin’s wedding tomorrow!! (I will post more pictures from the ball later)

  • I’ve made lots of new friends J

  • I have fallen in love with Tyler Knott Gregson’s poetry. Man, is he talented! You definitely need to check him out!!

Me wearing my new wedges and skirt on a sunny day :)
  • I have been enjoying summer.

  • I entered a poetry competition. Writing poetry is one of my favourite things to do, and has been an important part of my life from a young age. Putting pen to paper, and baring my soul helps me get through anything. This is when I’m most vulnerable and honest, and strengthens me to be able to face anything.   Crocheting, making jewelry and writing make my head go silent. I find peace through being creative and using my imagination.

What have you been up to? :)

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm Sorry. (important info. about shipping!!)

Hello my dear Gentle Flowers!
Long time, so see!
I'm so sorry for not having posted since March. There has been a lot going on in my personal life (exams, family, health, etc.) lately. Although I love blogging, making jewelry and keeping in touch with all of you, I have to prioritise school, family and health. I really hope I will be able to blog more from now, as summer has just started!!

As always, the shops (Etsy + Epla) are still open, you can also follow my daily updates on Twitter and Instagram. It's easier to be more active on apps that only require my phone, so be sure to follow me there (@thegentleflower).

I also haven't crafted in ages, until yesterday. I really missed it, but the stress of my exams and personal life put that on hold as well. I finally got to make some Mini Garden Pinks Brooches yesterday. This was so satisfying and I've had a huge smile on my face today as well. :) (Be sure to read the next posts featuring them ;) )

I also have lots of e-mails to catch up on. Please bare with me, I will reply to all of you! I really appreciate all e-mails and comments, and I do read all of them. I couldn't continue this journey without all of you, and I am really grateful for all of you.

That's why I want to give you free shipping on all items from now until 22nd July. Enter coupon code ONHOLIDAY at check out. Shop while I'm on holiday! (read more about that below)

I will be going on vacation on Thursday, but will schedule a few posts to be posted during that period.
This means that you can purchase items from both shops, but they will not be shipped until 22nd July at the earliest!!

I'm so happy to be back here and can't wait to create more and stay in touch with all of you! :D

Ps. I would strongly recommend checking out the Vanilla Buttercream Cupcakes recipe I posted a while back. They are SO yummy and should definitely be on your summer to do list!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Fish Cake {Vanilla Buttercream Cupcakes} RECIPE

It was my Grandma's birthday last Monday, and I made her a "Fish Cake" made up of Vanilla Buttercream Cupcakes and a mini cake (I used the same recipe for both the cupcakes and mini cake). I arranged them to look like a fish because she's a pisces, plus I was inspired by a picture I found on pinterest which was just too cute not to try!

I found the recipe for the cupcakes using an app called "Cupcake", and they're SO tasty!! 
To make the fish cake, head on over to My Cake School's site for photo instructions. Oh, and I used a chocolates for the eye and the kissy mouth ;)

Here's the recipe I used for the cupcakes:

Vanilla Buttercream Cupcakes 
(from "Cupcake" app)
(makes approx. 15)


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Line standard cupcake tin with paper or foil liners.

2. Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment (it works with a wire whisk attachment also).

3. Add butter, sour cream, egg and egg yolks, and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until smooth and satiny, about 30 seconds. 

4. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula and mix until smooth and no flour pockets remain.

5. Divide the batter evenly among cups of prepared tin. 

6. Place the cupcake tin on the oven rack in the middle of the oven.

7. Bake until cupcake tops are pale gold and toothpick or skewer inserted into center comes out clean: 17-24 minutes. 

8. Cool cupcakes on wire rack to room temperature before frosting.

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1. Using the wire whisk attachment of your stand mixer, whip the butter on medium-high speed for 5 minutes, stopping to scrape the bowl once or twice.

2. Reduce the speed to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. 

3. Once all of the powdered sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and add the vanilla, mixing until incorporated.

4. Whip at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.

You can store any unused buttercream in the refrigerator in an a airtight container. Before using, let it come to room temperature and then give it a quick whip in the mixer.

There you have it! These cupcakes are quick, easy, light and yummy! They're a hit both with teens, adults and grandparents - definitely worth trying out.

And if you're worried about the decorating part, don't fret, the first time I made these cupcakes they did were not aesthetically pleasing at all. But thanks to a new squeeze bottle, my second time round was much more successful (though the taste was no different). 

My new best friend: squeeze bottle with yellow cap (yay!)

If you don't have a squeeze bottle, you can always spread it with a knife, which will looks way better than cutting a whole in a bag and squeezing it out, as shown below...

Let me know if you try making the cupcakes and fish cake!
Any pictures and stories of disasters and/ or successes are always welcome ;)

And be sure to follow me via instagram for "live" pics @thegentleflower (comment your username and I'll follow back) :)


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Confusion, Sweat and Adventure {I got my driver's license!!}

Yuppers, I finally got my driver's license a couple of weeks ago! I'm so happy.. I've been driving a bit on my own, listening to Young the Giant and cranking up the heat in the car to simulate summer. The freedom (nearly) makes up for my ugly driver's license picture. At least my driver's license is pink. Pink and glitter makes anything pretty.. maybe I should sprinkle some glitter on it? I wonder what the police would say then.. ;)

Oh, and I've only gotten lost once so far.. although the incident was quite embarrassing... I couldn't figure out how to drive to our local grocery store because there was some road work. I ended up at an apartment building's private parking spots and then had to drive really far to somehow drive around it and back. Let's just say it felt like summer then, cuz I was all sweaty when I finally arrived at the store. Oh well, what's life without a little confusion, sweat and adventure?

What's your sense of direction like?
What music do you listen to in the car? (I really need to burn a CD with all my gangstah music :D)
If you live in Norway, watch out, cuz I'll be cruising by ;)

Friday, February 15, 2013

When the Moon Hits the Sky Like a Big Pasta Pie

I've made lots of food that I've seen on Pinterest lately (follow me: thegentleflower). There are SO many good recipes out there! I thought I'd share one of them with you today.

I made this YUMMY Pasta Pie for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I've already made it once more since the first time. It was THAT good. And pretty easy. It was a definite hit at home as well, so I'll be making this a lot. I'd say it's a mix of Lasagna and Spaghetti Bolognese. Click here for the recipe.

It reminds me of this song (but I sing Pasta Pie instead of Pizza Pie of course ;))

If you're in the mood for some Italian, be sure to try out this recipe and listen to Dean Martin's song while cooking. You'll be smiling for hours ;)

Let me know if you try it! :)

And be sure to enter the giveaway.

Have a great weekend!
Katrine :)
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