Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Featuring Sweet Lollipop Shop

This week we would like to feature Louise from Sweet Lollipop Shop!

The Sweet Lollipop specialize in custom hand poured lollipops and favors for all occasions, including crystal barley hard candy lollipops in hundreds of shapes and delicious flavors.

With over 300 different themed hard candy molds in stock and over 30 current flavors in stock, there is something for everyone and every theme imaginable and we specialize in customized orders, including weddings, birthdays, baby showers, Christmas, Easter and so much more.
Can you explain exactly WHAT is Barley Candy? How did you get started making it?

I stumbled into making barley pops almost by accident after a friend suggested I begin selling the candy I made for family and friends parties as gifts because she thought people would go crazy for it. I mostly made chocolate but was experimenting with other styles of candy including gummies and hard candy and developed a passion over time for making traditional style barley candy because of their natural ingredients, taste and how pretty they looked.

Barley candy is a traditional British boiled sweet style candy that became very popular in the early 1900's (although has been around much longer) and was used to create 3D toy candies and was also given to relieve sore throats and upset stomachs. Whereas it used to be made using cane sugar and cream of tartar, the cream of tartar is now not used and instead corn syrup is used which helps to stabilize the candy mixture and also extends it's shelf life.

My own recipe is a tweaked and modified family recipe from back home in the UK and I do not use HFCS as I wanted to keep the ingredients as natural and as healthy as possible and also keep the sweetness of the candy as natural and subtle as possible, which is how barley candy is supposed to taste.

Tell us how long you have been in New Hampshire and what brought you there from the UK? And...would love to know about your family!
I have lived in NH now for almost 4 years, but I've been away from the UK now for about 12 years. My husband is what brought me to the US, he's a NH native, I have 4 children, ages 19, 18, 16, and 9.
What do you miss most about the UK? what do you like the best about New Hampshire?

I miss my dad the most, although we've never been really close he's always been there if I've needed him. I also miss where I used to live in Paignton, Devon, minutes walk from the beach and the local zoo where I volunteered and dressed in a funny lion costume to entertain children! I also definitely miss the food, cheese and onion pies, chips, mushy peas and gravy used to be one of my favorite treats.

My favorite thing about NH is definitely how beautiful and peaceful it is, I can drive in any direction and be surrounded by trees and mountains and natural beauty and I can look up at the sky and see the stars on a clear night without the glare of city lights spoiling the view.

Thanks for letting us get to know you!

Check out Sweet Lollipops SHOP and her BLOG!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Recipe Series! Bread Machine Challah Bread

Bread Machine Challah Bread

Italian Spiced Challah Bread!

I wanted to make bread in my bread machine, so I searched for a good recipe. This one is A-mazing! Very easy to make, and you can turn it into so many different flavors! Here we go!

3/4 cup Milk
3 Eggs
3 TB margarine/butter
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teas. salt
1 1/2 teas. active dry yeast

1. Add ingredients to the pan of the bread machine in the order suggested by the manufacturer. (Usually wet ingredients first, and then dry)

Then do EITHER of these options:
A. Select Basic Bread and Light Crust settings. Start. Bread will be cooked completely!
B.(I did it this way) Select DOUGH settings and press Start.

  1. After the machine is done, take the dough out, and place it on a very lightly floured board, punch the dough down, and let rest for 5 minutes.
  2. Divide the dough in half. Then divide into 3 equal pieces, roll into ropes about 12 to 14 inches, and braid into a loaf. Do the same with the remaining other half. Gently put the loaves on a greased cookie sheet, mist with water, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours in a warm, draft free place, until double in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a small bowl, beat together 1 egg and 1 tablespoon water.
  4. Brush risen loaves with egg mixture. Sprinkle with sugar. (optional)
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Then, cover loosely with foil, and bake for another 10-15 minutes. This prevents the crust from browning too soon.
Then, check out all the variations I have thought of... and let me know if you come up with more!
* Add 1-2TB Italian herbs to dough. Sprinkle garlic powder on top of loaf after spreading egg/water mixture. This tastes BETTER than Italian Bakery Bread! (The top picture is of the Italian bread!)

* Add Cinnamon, Sugar, Nutmeg to dough. After cooking, drizzle cinnamon roll frosting on top!

*At your machine's add-in cycle, add shredded cheese and spices.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Friday Food Fest for 4/24/09

Come party with Team EEAT!

It's Friday Food Fest once again!

* Sales are good for Friday nights only
* Secrets: Find the word "Secret" in an item description and you get the prize that the shop owner has outlined.
*Only 1 secret per person per night please!

Sales and Secrets!

20% OFF
1 SECRET worth a $5 gift certificate for my shop

Sweet Treats by Maryann
10% off entire purchase excluding shipping. Refund will be sent via Paypal.
2 Secrets! Find the word "secret" in item description, and get a half-dozen Red Velvet cookies with your purchase.

Just Bakin'
10% off entire purchase excluding shipping. Refund will be sent via Paypal.
2 Secrets! Find the word

A Thyme To Bee Comforted
15% off entire order, excluding shipping
2 Secrets! Find the word "secret" in item description, and get a free order of my Dark Chocolate Covered Pecan Fudge-Brittle

Double Dipped Sweets
Buy One get One 1/2 off!
*Discount applies to product equal or less in price. Refund will be sent via Paypal.
2 Secrets! Find the word "secret" in item description, and get a $5 gift credit towards your purchase!

Megs Creations
Free pint sized Snickerdoodle mix with every order.

2 secrets!!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

New Team Member Spotlight: mysweetserendipity

For those of you that follow the Team Eeats blog post you will be happy to know that our team is continually growing!! Which is AWESOME for you followers as it means there are going to be more delectable treats for you to choose from!! Yes I know there is already a HUGE selection to choose from, but really can you have too much dessert....I think not!

I would like to welcome our newest Member Darlene of Mysweetserendipity! I know how all of you blog readers like to get the inside scoop about featured artist so I did a little interview with Darlene.

What is your favorite treat in your shop and why?
Oh any and everything chocolate!!

Tell us a little about yourself, i.e. family, favorite color, food, etc
Well I have been married to my best friend for almost 9 yrs now and we live on a small hobby farm which is both our true love. We have 3 boys "dogs" Buster, Bubba, and Barney who are the light of my life, we raise chickens for eggs, have goats horses and cats also. I love primitive antiques and you will find me most of the summer out working in the large veggie gardens we have (a true country gal in jeans and t shirts) over the last couple of years we have acquired state and county licensing to bake and also do canning for local farmers markets. LOVE my life!! I also am love to create unique altered memory books. Favorite Color BARN RED of course LOL

Who is your favorite chef (if you have one!)
Love Paula Dean and Sandra Lee

Do you sell your goodies any where else besides Etsy?
From my blog, in a couple of local stores and at markets.

Finally, what are some of your other favorite online sites or stores?
Oh I love all everything about Etsy and am proud to be a part of this great handmade site. All the gals on the team EEAT have some wonderful products and I love seeing what everyone comes up with! I like to say "live life joyfully, create something new"

Now what Darlene hasn't mentioned is that she has another Etsy shop where she creates primitives. If her sweet treats don't tantalize you then maybe her adorable primitives will. So go on get in your recliner, get comfy and take a leisurely trip through Darlene's stores! I am sure you will fall in love with something!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Hello! Happy Monday everyone!!

I recently received the following article from a friend who had been lucky enough to acquire it from a fellow Mile High Etsy - Colorado team member.

Jesi,, was previously in online marketing for a retail store. Jesi was lucky enough to get paid to go to online sales conventions and take classes in how to sell online. She has now put together this wonderful article on tips and tricks for your Etsy store.


1. Banner: Make a banner (or have one made) that has your shop name in it, preferably a picture or two of your products too.

2. Announcement: Make your announcement short and sweet. If you click on your shop and have to SCROLL to see products, your announcement is too long. A quick hello, here is what I have, and any VERY important info should be in your announcement. The rest can go in store policies and/or your profile.

3. Fill in your profile and tell a little about yourself and your crafting. Lots of people want to read about who they are buying from - that’s the fun of Etsy!

4. Store Policies: Etsy has a great tutorial/article about setting your store policies. I also like to check out some of my favorite shops and get ideas from their policies. Make sure to include things like returns and damaged items.

5. Set 3 Featured Items for your site and change them every few days. This is a great way to showcase new items you have in your shop, seasonal items or best sellers.


1. Titles should be catchy but not too long, and should include what the product actually is (i.e. “necklace”, “bib”, “pocket diaper”). Many people will find your items by doing a search, and they could potentially have HUNDREDS of items to scroll through. If you are vague in what you have they won’t even click through.

2. Descriptions: Describe your products as if there are no pictures - in my opinion you can’t have TOO MUCH of a description. The big difference between shopping online and at b&m stores is that the customer isn’t able to touch, feel or try on your products over the internet. BUT you can help them get that experience through your descriptions! Make sure you’re adding in the colors, how it feels, who might like it, what you might use it for, and size/measurements.

3. Tags: Tags are probably THE most important feature of Etsy as far as marketing goes. This is THE way customers find you through a search on Etsy, and a way that fellow Etsians find your products to potentially use in a treasury, so use up all 14 slots! I’m not sure of Etsy’s stats, but something like 70% of people who shop on the internet go STRAIGHT to the search. Because of that, you want to make sure your tags are up to par. Use descriptive colors (brick red instead of just red), sizes, and even other words to describe the same thing (i.e. “shirt” “top” “blouse” as an example). Don’t forget to add common misspellings, and if you run out of ideas, your name, your shop name and your location are good fillers.

4. Photos: Photos can and will make or break a sale. Do NOT skimp on your photos! With a little planning and knowing how to use your camera correctly you can take GREAT professional looking photos with ANY kind of camera!

The best product photos are taken in natural light with the flash turned off. A flash lights up a subject but also adds unwanted glare and harsh shadows. Direct sunlight can create the same harsh shadows, so a nice bright room near a window or outside in the shade are two good alternatives.

Always use a non-distracting background - a yard of white or black flannel creates a soft background that doesn’t wrinkle easily and doesn’t reflect light either. Or, make a cheap light box and take pictures anytime - sunlight or not!

If your products are small and/or you need to take close-up pictures of details, use the macro setting on your camera. It is usually the little flower icon.

Again, remember that customers can’t pick up and look inside and around your product from the internet. So help them “see” your product by taking good INFORMATIVE pictures. Fill up all 5 slots with pictures of the entire front, back and close-ups of the workmanship. If applicable also take the inside, open, closed, in-use and “ideas for use” photos too. Artistic photos are great as long as they still show what a customer needs to see.

5. Shipping: Most shipping costs are lower than you think. The best way to figure out shipping is to package up one of your products exactly as you would if it was an order and bring it to the post office. They can usually tell you what the “usual” first-class and priority rates would be. Then add $.50-$1.00 to account for packaging material and time. It also maybe a good idea to look at your competitors and see what they are charging. Depending on how heavy your items are, usually adding one or two more to the order is cheaper yet - check this out again and charge accordingly. Cheap shipping on additional items can equal more sales!

Keep in mind that high shipping can really turn customers off. I have seen many shops that had too high of shipping and had a hard time selling. However, if they reduced their shipping but UPPED their product prices accordingly (i.e. they were still making the same amount of money per sale) they SOLD more! People would rather pay more for a product and less for shipping than the other way around.

Think about offering International Shipping. Many people from different countries (Canada especially) shop on Etsy and are perfectly happy to pay the additional shipping. Again, you may be surprised at how inexpensive it is to ship internationally. Canada is not that much more than US shipments and overseas is only a few dollars more. Of course this is for smaller, lighter items so if you sell heavier or large items it may not be totally worth your while.

6. Item Pricing: This is always tricky! The best thing to do is shop your competition and see how you compare. You don’t want to be too much higher OR lower than your competition, but there is usually a good baseline for what people are charging for similar products. Obviously you want to make enough to cover materials and TIME. Don’t feel bad about charging what you do! We will assume that everyone on here, although they love crafting, are also trying to make some money. It’s hard to get past that sometimes, but make sure you’re also making some money for yourself! Some people like to figure out how many of an item they can make in an hour and figure out an hourly rate for themselves to figure out price.

Sometimes it’s tempting to under price your items to get sales. Although this does work, in the long run you’re short-changing yourself and other Etsians. If everyone charged a fair price it actually makes everyone sell more!

Also, don’t forget to add in “hidden fees” when choosing a price. Etsy charges $.20 to list an item as well as $.20 to renew. Assume you’ll be renewing an item at least once if not more before it sells. Etsy also charges a fee when the product sells, and if you use PayPal to get paid, they also take out your fee. I assume that $1-$2 per product is going towards fees.

Overall you will always have some people who think you charge too much and others who would gladly pay more. Pick the happy medium!


Feedback: If you are brand-new to Etsy and have little or no feedback, consider making a few small purchases from other Etsy sellers to get some positive feedback. Many buyers are wary of buying from brand-new sellers especially if they do not have feedback.

Always leave feedback for your buyers. Some sellers like to leave it right away after the buyer has paid and others wait until the product has arrived to make sure the entire transaction goes smoothly.

The nice thing about Etsy is that it is a pretty “open” marketplace. This means that you can rather easily keep tabs on what your competition is up to. You can see recent sales, recent listings, shipping, etc. all on their site. Don’t be afraid to check out what your competitors are up to! I learned some great tricks by trying to figure out why certain sellers were SELLING so much!


Etsy does not work on the “If you build it, they will come” philosophy. If you take the time to put together a nice Etsy site with all of the above factors, you STILL won’t get many sales unless you PROMOTE!

The easiest way to promote is to renew your items. Renewing them brings them back up to the top of the search and gets it in front of potential customers and/or Treasury curators. There are many philosophies on renewing. Some people with tons of products renew multiple times a day. Others (like myself) like to renew one item once a day - usually an item that has been listed for the longest time.
Another way to promote is to spend some time on the Etsy forums. Not only can you learn a lot from the forums about how Etsy works, fix problems, and get critiques on your products and your store, you and also get SALES! Create an avatar that has a great product picture on it and post away! Do keep in mind that BUYERS as well as sellers post and read the forums so keep it nice!

Creating a blog is another great way to promote your site. Write about what you have been creating lately, other sellers you admire, shows you are planning to sell at, etc. Most blogs can also be tagged and it’s a great way to get traffic to your blog and your site. Create an “Etsy Mini” for your blog that shows your latest items on the sidebar of your blog and allows people to go directly to your shop.

And TRACK your orders, views and hearts! One of the easiest sites to track hearts and views is www.craftcult. com. When you add a new item, renew an item, change pictures, or just want to see how many views you get, it’s the best. Also sign up for Google Analytics. It will give you a TON of information about who is visiting your Etsy site, how they are finding it, what items they are looking at, etc. For marketing purposes it’s essential!
http://www.etsy. com/storque/ etsy-news/ tech-update- etsy-web- analytics- now-available- 3141/
http://www.etsy. com/storque/ etsy-news/ tech-update- etsy-web- analytics- enhancements- 3350/

And last, use every resource you have to get the word out about your shop. Get business cards made ( is quick and cheap!) and leave them EVERYWHERE! Give them to friends and family. Think about donating some of your items to local charity auctions to get your name out. The possibilities are endless!

http://www.etsywiki .com/index. php?title= Main_Page

I hope you find this helpful!

Have a wonderful day - Nicole!

Friday, April 17, 2009

FFF postponed!

We apologize, but Friday Food Fest has been postponed until next Friday! For now, check out our great National Food Month Sale!

Have a "Sweet" weekend!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Introducing Patty!

Patty is one of our original Team EEAT members! She has two amazing shops on Etsy.
Cakes by SugarPlums and
SugarPlums Cupcakery

We asked questions...she answered! Let's get to know a little bit more about Patty!

Chocolate Hazelnut Fudge Cheesecake Cake
HIGHLY recommended by me!

What's your baking story? How did you get into making such yummy treats?

My baking story STARTS with my father. He was the Head Chef on a Submarine during WWII and when he left the Navy..he opened a bakery in San Diego where we lived. (I was not there yet..LOL). When I was born...he was only baking at home...but he taught me everything I know...well mostly. He makes the finest pie crusts...cakes, cookies..(my mom baked was almost a competition). I am an only child (spoiled yes!) and every holiday we entertained at least 30 so I "got" to help bake! When I finished college and married...AND had 6 children...I had NO CHOICE but to bake my own goodies (they didn't like to help)...but it was my passion by then...and even though I worked as a paralegal full time also....I found it my "reprieve" from a hard day at the office.

I have been baking for others (weddings, birthdays, events, etc) from my home for about 15 years. About 4 years ago I had the opportunity to study alongside one of our towns best Culinary passion expanded. STILL LEARNING THOUGH!!!! girlfriend suggested I do "Etsy"....and thus, the story ends to date!

What do you consider to be your signature item or the first item that "got the ball rolling"?

The SugarPlums BerriLiciious Cake!!!! It is a cream cheese based pound cake that I worked with for a month or so to find the right combination. I got the idea to "fill it" and tried MANY different fillings finding that the combination of fruits made into a simple syrup and then adding fresh fruit to it really complimented the cake. I delivered a few "samples" to my daughter's workplace...and others...and soon everyone was asking if I could make one for them.

What is your fave kind of music and/or group :) ? If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be? What is your favorite creation?

I actually LOVE LOVE LOVE the TransSiberian Orchestra...and listen whenever I can. Actually, at the risk of being tagged a "nerd" minor in college was Music. I played violin with the San Diego Symphony for a few years. (now you all know my deepest secret..LOL). I toured Europe many years ago with the orchestra and my fav place of all time was I think I would love to live there. My favorite creation..hmmmm....a Topsy Turvy wedding cake I did with a Las Vegas Theme...each layer was a different flavor...but the!

So RUN, don't walk over to Patty's shops! She is participating in our April National Food Month Sale!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

National Food Month!

Did you know that April is National Food Month? No? Well, now you do!

To celebrate, Etsy's Edible Arts Team is offering special discounts in their shops! What could be better? Nothing!

So, click on THIS LINK and go shopping! (Or, shops are listed on the right) CONTACT the store owner BEFORE making your purchase to make sure that they are accepting the discount!

Here's the technical stuff. No small font stuff here!

National Food Month Sale!

20% off entire purchase*
Use code: April EEAT (Must include in notes to the seller to receive discount)

*Excludes shipping. Discount will be refunded to your PayPal account at the time order is processed. Offer Expires at Midnight 04-30-09
CONTACT the store owner BEFORE making your purchase to make sure that they are accepting the discount!

Have fun shopping!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The New Faces of Eeat

For those of you not familiar with Team Eeat, we are group of people bonded together by the love of food!! Our members consist of very talented foodies that range from dipped pretzels to actual meals. If you are looking for fresh, tasty treats and meals, then you really want to be shopping in Team Eeat member's shops!

We have been expanding our team and have grown to over 52 strong! What does this mean to you? Well, it means that you have 52 opportunities to try the most delectable, delightful food that your mouth has tasted! The best part there is no trip in the car, these treats are delivered to your door!!

So join me in welcoming some of our newest members!! Sit back, put your bib on, and take a trip through their shops! I am sure that you will find something to satisfy your deepest cravings!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Featuring CakeBoxCookies!

Say hello to Kelli of CakeBoxCookies! We recently did an informal interview with Kelli on our Team site. Read on to get to know her a little better! Go to her SHOP to order her delicious cookies/works of art!

Where did you learn to decorate such beautiful cookies? How long does it take to decorate a dozen?

I am self taught. I read books and articles and practiced a lot! I was really obsessed with getting good at icing for about a year. I took one Wilton cake decorating class but that was actually more recently.

I don't keep really good track of my time, because I'll do the flood work (base layer) on one group of cookies, move on to another, then come back and do the detail work. If I had to guess, I would say I spend close to an hour per dozen, depending on the detail work and the amount of icing colors involved.

Why Cookies over another kind of baking?
I love to bake and cook all kinds of things, but baking cakes (or anything leavened) was really frustrating here in Reno because of the high altitude. At some point I became obsessed with decorated cookies. They appeal to me because they combine my love of art and color and food.

What is your favorite design?

I try not to play favorites! lol I have to say I do like my ice cream cone cookies - they are fun to do and everybody loves them.

What's your favorite thing to do just for YOU!?
My favorite thing to do for me is to go to the salon for a hair cut or mani/pedi or the spa for a facial or massage. Or even just to go on a long walk by myself. Anything I do just for me and alone.

What do you do to relax?

I love to take long hot baths to relax - with a good book or magazine.

What is your favorite main course and dessert?
I love to eat, so picking a favorite is hard. I do love a perfectly cooked prime grade rib eye steak. Enough can't be said about a wonderful roast chicken either. As for dessert, probably my bourbon bread pudding - omg, so good.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's time to PARTY!!

Yes, it's Friday Food Fest once again! Yeah! So, dress comfortably, sit in your most comfortable chair, and get your typing fingers ready!

Meet us in Etsy Chat rooms at 8pm EST for fun, food, and fabulous prizes!

A word on Secrets. Team members hide the word "secret" in an item description in their shop. Find this word, and get the prize that the shop owner has provided! How cool is that?


Double Dipped Sweets
Get 3 FREE chocolate dipped pretzels with any full-priced order!
2 Secrets. Find the word "secret" and get a $5 gift credit in my shop!


20% off Friday through Sunday AND
Free Cookie and Crumbrulee samples with any order
1 secret for $5 gift certificate

Nicole's Homemade Treats
*4 Free Coconut Clusters (milk or dark) with any purchase of $10.00 or more.
*1 Secret - $5.00 credit in my shop

Sugar Smitten Sweets
2 free Double Caramel Blondie squares with every order
1 secret

Lucky Dog Treat Company
get a free bag of Reilly's BBQ Treats with any order
1 secret worth $5 (does not apply to shipping charges)


BOGO on any cupcake order!
Secret/FFF win $5.00 Gift Cert. on any purchase of $10.00 or more!
***Gift Certificate good at either SugarPlums too!

Sweet Treats by Maryann
TWO FREE peanut butter cups with each order.
1 secret for a $5 shop credit

Megs Creations
Free pint jar snickerdoodle mix with all purchases over $15 now through Sunday.
2 Secrets Find Secret and get 20% code for any future purchase.


free shipping on any item (refunded through pp)
buy any item and get a free tea sample of my choice.

Check back often for more great sales!