Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays from the Ginger Tea blog! There was so much I wanted to share with you this month - DIY decorations, handmade cards, and knitting! Unfortunately time got the best of me and I had to sacrifice some blog time in order to get everything done for the holidays! I will share everything with you when I return to blog land in the New Year!

I hope all of your holidays are merry and bright!


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Photography: Frost

Day 28/365, originally uploaded by mtheginger.

The frost has set in my lovelies. All I want to do is sit by the fire with a blanket and some hot tea, but the holidays have me running around like a chicken with no head! I'm pushing to get all of my Christmas cards sent out this week. That includes my handmade cards for Brooklyn Bride's Holiday Card Swap. I'm also finishing up knitting/sewing the last 6 gifts on my list for friends and family.

I have a confession. We still haven't decorated my house. I've been too busy, my mom is away on vacation, and everyone else has been too tired. Tonight I finally prodded my stepdad into going with me to pick out our tree. Usually this is a tradition that involves me, my mother, and my stepdad together - but we'll have to make do. We usually pick the tree I want anyway. If it's not too dark when we go I might have some pictures of our find later for your.

I do apologize for the irregular posting for the last few weeks. As soon as this craziness passes I do promise to return to regular posting.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Design: Minted Design Challenge

Voting is open!

Voting is now open on Minted for their next batch of independently designed Save the Date cards! I have 8 designs submitted so if you like any of them, please give me a rating! Support independent designers and pick your favorite designs that you would like to see sold on Minted! You can vote for more than one!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Inspiration: Hard at Work

Fans work hard to keep us cool in warmer months, just like I've been working hard all week on the Minted design contest, as well as holiday gifts and cards.

I promise on Monday I'll return to regular posting with gift guides, the two DIY decorations I had promised for this week, and with the Friday Etsy Post that didn't get done today.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Inspiration: Holiday Ribbons

Gift ribbon heart and bokeh, originally uploaded by ♥ Moa Maria.

I'm a busy little elf in my "workshop" aka the dining room, working on gifts and cards. The holidays are creeping closer and closer! Do you have everything done yet?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Inspiration: Tea Cups

Morning all! After yesterday's post about Alice in Wonderland I spent some time on etsy stalking vintage tea cups because I have a slight obsession with them. Wouldn't you love to have this quirky little set in your collection?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Design: Minted Design Challenge

Vote for my
design on minted.
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see more from Mary Veterano
vote for me!
Check out my competition in Christmas photo cards and Save the Date cards at Minted.

You may have noticed this button on the sidebar. I have designs submitted in the Minted Design Challenge, so if you like what I have submitted vote for me! If my designs win, they could be sold on the Minted website.

Photography: Down the Rabbit Hole Engagement Session

Three Nails Photography
{ via Green Wedding Shoes }

Today I saw this absolutely amazing Alice in Wonderland themed shoot on Green Wedding Shoes shot by the brilliant Hunter Leone of Three Nails Photography. I'm a huge huge huge fan of all things Wonderland as well as Three Nails Photography so I thought I'd share this with you. The shot is styled beautifully, and they have brilliant elements - the rabbit (a sweet little white and grey dwarf), the outfits (styled and created by Hunter and his fiance), painting the roses red, the frames, the vintage details - it's insanely perfect. And how cute is the couple? They couldn't be more perfect if they tried.

Just last night Roy mentioned an idea to me for a proposal/Save the Date card using the eat me and drink me elements. I'm designing it this week, so I'll show you when it's finished.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Blog Break

Mary Veterano Photography

I need to take a blog break today. My cat got very sick over the weekend and unfortunately we had to put her down this morning. My beloved Suzy is in a better place now.

I will return tomorrow.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Papercraft: 2010 Holiday Cards

Mary Veterano Photography

Happy holidays to you and yours from Mary and Roy!

Here's the whole gang of me, Roy, and my friends that I illustrated last night.

Mary Veterano Designs

Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Etsy Picks: Recycled

Upcycled Messenger Bag
{ via Betsy and Bess }

This is a great looking messenger bag upcycled from corduroy pants. What I really love about it is the inside fabric pattern! It's so charming against the strong, and sturdy corduroy. The bag is sizeable, which is great for those of us that have a lot to carry! You can also trust that it will last when it's made from corduroy.

Mustache Necklace
{ via Sevenply }

This trendy mustache was cut from an old skateboard. It has a lot of character and personality - it's quirky! If you're looking for something one-of-a-kind and really individual check out this necklace!

Leather Wallet
{ via Curio Designs }

This wallet uses recycled leather to create a classy piece to carry your things. With an elastic and button closure you can be sure that you'll always be able to close it no matter what. There are three thick slots for cards and a long money pocket. You can't go wrong with this supple looking wallet!

Have a great weekend!

DIY: Holiday Gift Wrapping

Mary Veterano Photography

Do you go out every year and spend money on wrapping paper, bows, and ribbon that is over priced and runs out too quickly? I used to, too. But why should we feed into consumerism when we're crafty?

It's quite easy (and quick!) to make your presents look merry and bright this year without breaking your wallet! I picked up some tulle, lace and ribbons by the spool in the dollar section of the craft store. I used a roll of kraft paper to wrap my packages and added little notions to them to spice them up.

Mary Veterano Photography

I only added lace, twine, and ribbons to mine (with the printed gift tags found in the freebies section. If you have stamps you can easily use them to create patterns. I also considered doing felt shapes to add to my packages. Another easy embellishment (with no knitting skills required) is a yarn pom.

Simply cut out two circles with the centers cut out, wrap your yarn around the template, then stick your scissors between the templates and cut around. Before you remove your yarn from the template tie another piece of yarn around the pieces and make a tight knot. Trim the edges of the pom and roll it around in your hand to fluff it up. Monday I'll be back with a post about my yarn garland!

Here's a good video tutorial for yarn poms. And here's a free pdf template I've created for your yarn poms.

Sewing: Busy at Work for Christmas

Mary Veterano Photography

I'm sorry I didn't have the gift wrapping post I'd promised up yesterday! I got sidetracked working on some Christmas presents. This is how I looked all day yesterday, making measurements and cutting out pieces to be quilted.

Stick around, later today I should have something up about gift wrapping!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Inspiration: Frosted Berries

Frosted Gift, originally uploaded by Tommy Simms.

It was nippy this morning! All of the rain from yesterday turned to frost and I was out there, trudging around with the dog before I went off to the gym.

I bet there berries would be icy and crunchy! I've got cranberry scones to make today and these reminded me of that.

And I wanted to say welcome to the new followers!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Gift Guide: Jonathan Adler

{ via Jonathan Adler }

1. Cookie Jar Set
2. Ornament
3. Cocoa Mug Set
4. Popcorn Jar Set
5. Bottle Stoppers
6. Hurricane Vase
7. Votive
8. Bottle Stoppers
9. Napkin Ring
10. Vase

Here's my picks for some great gifts to get for the people on your list this year from Jonathan Adler. I love love love the Jonathan Adler website, and the holiday section doesn't disappoint! My favorite are the carbs and calories cookie jar sets, they crack me up!

Twice a week up until Christmas I will be putting up gift guides from my favorite places to shop.

Check back tomorrow for a gift wrapping post with DIY wrapping decorations - no more buying the overpriced paper from the store!

Inspiration: Let It Snow

Snowflake, originally uploaded by Yani Ioannou.

Happy December 1st! I'm dreaming of snow while it's pouring rain outside.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Inspiration: Sweet Hearts

DIY: Star Garland

Star Garland
{ via Creature Comforts }

Check out these super amazing (and super easy!) star garlands from Creature Comforts! Click on the image above to read all about how to make these adorable little decorations. They're great for your tree, centerpieces, adding a little extra spruce to your pine garland or your mantle. They're also perfect for gift wrapping!

Freebies: Holly Holiday Gift Tags

Mary Veterano Designs
To & From Tag, Download PDF
Happy Holidays Tag, Download PDF

I have two more free holiday gift tags for you! These ones are round with a scalloped edge. I would suggest punching them out with a large hole punch if you have one, these tags measure 4"x4" or you can scale them when you print (make sure you have constrained proportions) to make them 2"x2".

For best results print these on card stock, or a thick textured paper. Check back later for examples of uses once you've printed them out in my gift wrapping post!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Knitting: Craft Fair

{ via Google }

This weekend I got an email from one of the ladies in my knit group and she invited me to get a table at the Burlington Craft Fair. I was so excited! It was very sweet of her to think of me, especially since I barely remember mentioning that I was prepping knits for sale, but unfortunately I don't even have the spare funds for a one-day table rental fee ($75) nor enough merchandise to be ready for this Saturday! She had hoped I would bring my spinning wheel and do a demonstration, so I might be heading down there on Saturday to do that.

Cooking: Cran-Apple Walnut Stuffing Recipe

Mary Veterano Photography

I made some delicious stuffing for the holidays! The dish behind the yams is 3lbs of cran-apple walnut stuffing. It was the hit of the dinner!

Mary Veterano Photography

  • Pepperidge farm stuffing breadcrumbs (I used 2 1lb bags)
  • 2.5c chicken/vegetable/mushroom stock
  • 2c chopped walnuts (Or whichever nut you prefer)
  • 6 apples
  • 2.5-3c cranberries
  • 2-3 heaping dollops sour cream (optional)
  • 1 egg per 1lb of breadcrumbs
  • 1 stick of butter/margarine per 1lb of breadcrumbs

  • Directions:

    1. Bring butter/margarine and stock to a boil. Add breadcrumbs, fluff, and remove from heat.

    2. Fold in apples, walnuts, and cranberries. If your stuffing gets too gummy or difficult to mix add more water or stock.

    3. Beat eggs (I used 2) and mix into stuffing.

    4. Add sour cream to balance sweetness. You could also use applesauce.

    5. Transfer to baking pan. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes covered, 15-20 minutes uncovered at 350 degrees.

    Holiday Weekend

    Mary Veterano Photography

    We had a great holiday weekend. There was even flurries on Thanksgiving morning! We had about 15 people over between my cousin's family, our family, and my grandparents. My aunt also stopped by with her two daughters, as well as my boyfriend and my friend.

    Mary Veterano Photography

    Mary Veterano Photography
    My parents admired their handiwork with the bird.

    Mary Veterano Photography
    We lured the baby into the house with goldfish.

    Mary Veterano Photography
    We had to put three tables together to fit everyone!

    Mary Veterano Photography
    Happy Thanksgiving!

    All of our food was wonderful! I made the pumpkin whoopie pies from the BAKED cookbook, as well as some pumpkin pecan bread and the stuffing. I'm going to share the recipe with you since it was so tasty!

    I hope all of you had a great weekend!

    Wednesday, November 24, 2010

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Mary Veterano Photography

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    After baking these for several hours today (busting out Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from the recipe in the BAKED cookbook) and with lots more cooking to do tomorrow I need to get some shut-eye! Especially since I've been asked to go shopping on Black Friday (a day I usually never go out on) with Roy's mom and his sister.

    I hope those of you in the states have a wonderful holiday weekend! And those of you outside of the states, have a great rest of the week and a lovely weekend as well!

    And, on a side note, welcome to the new followers this week! Thank you for following me!

    Music: Sophie Madeleine

    I am head over heels for this song (and this video!) it's so sweet!

    Is everyone ready for Thanksgiving in the states? What are you thankful for? How are you preparing for tomorrow?

    I am thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life - friends, family, and my boyfriend - they make me happy and we all love each other. I would not be here today without them.

    I'd like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes for the holiday weekend. I'll be back Monday!

    The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Tuesday, November 23, 2010

    Working on: Knits, T-Day, and Ukes!

    Mary Veterano Photography

    I've been a busy, busy little bee. Last week I updated the logo for my shop, preparing for my re-open in January! It's all been very exciting - planning and making new products and giving the shop a new focus, and creating an updated identity for the shop! These little seed stitch infinity scarves have been flying off my needles. I've got a bunch ready to be sold in divine colors, but this one is mine and I finished it last night. See more of it on flickr.

    Mary Veterano Photography

    We've been in full-on Thanksgiving mode in my house. This weekend we procured most of our groceries, just need to get a few more things for dessert. I am in charge of stuffing, biscuits, and some dessert. We've got 17 people coming for dinner! What are you doing to prepare for your holiday festivities?

    Mary Veterano Photography

    And finally, I am again testing my Jackette of All Trades skills and have decided to act on my dream of learning to play the ukelele. This beauty arrived today and I've already got some chords down!

    ETA: After a coule of hours practicing chords and strumming, I can now play "Home on the Range" and "I've Been Working on the Railroad" and I am enjoying myself very much!

    Monday, November 22, 2010

    Photography: Darling Train Tracks E-Session

    Butterfly Photography
    { via Butterfly Photography }

    You have to see this absolutely darling engagement session I happened upon today. So cute! Photographer Kimberly Chorney is a genius - the bike is from a scrap yard!

    Inspiration: Grasping at Fall

    My lovelies I'm trying desperately to hold onto Fall, possibly my favorite season, and it's slipping away! Almost all of the leaves in New Jersey have fallen off of their trees.

    Friday, November 19, 2010

    Friday Etsy Picks: Harry Potter Edition

    Flying Key Necklace
    { via AnnieJack }

    This lovely necklace takes us back to the first book and movie when the magic first enchanted us. Great for gift giving to the HP fan on your list!

    Deathly Hallows Necklace
    { via SwingingMartinis }

    There is also this Deathly Hallows necklace, from the final book and movie where everything comes together. Style yourself like Mr. Lovegood himself with this necklace!

    Hogwarts Crest Decal
    { via SignsNDecals }

    If you don't want to wear jewelry, you can still show your Hogwarts pride with this crest decal for your laptop. These are removable, so you don't have to worry about leaving anything sticky on your computer.

    Stamped Cuff Bracelet
    { via MadamePoindextra }

    This gorgeous cuff bracelet is stamped with the Marauder's phrase "I solemnly swear I am up to no good" and would make a wonderful addition to your jewelry collection, or as a gift.

    Owl Post Gift Tags
    { via TheCrookedStitch1 }

    Finally, these little tags are great for giving gifts to add a little something extra.

    Have a happy weekend!

    DIY: Vintage Photography Tips, Part 3

    Mary Veterano Photography

    Welcome to the final installment of my 3-part vintage effects series! Almost all of the effects I'm talking about in today's tutorial can also be achieved with Picnik.

    Do you love vintage-looking photography with those soft colors and yellow-blue-red tints? Good. Do you like to take pictures? Good. Today I'm continuing the second of a three part series on how to get the above look, or similar, with your photos with different kinds of techniques and photo-editing software. Now don't fear, I have researched free tools and websites that will allow you to get very close, if not better, than the image above I have produced with Photoshop.

    I have been doing this for years and years to my photos, I've always been obsessed with color and have experimented with different ways to tweak my photos to evoke the mood I want to create. It's very easy to do and it creates a beautiful result!

    Before we begin I want to include a list of editing software and free tools available to you.

    Adobe PhotoshopCS5 - this is what I use
    Adobe Lightroom - this is what I use
    Adobe Photoshop Elements - your best bet for using Photoshop without all of the bells and whistles, and for a fraction of the cost
    Pixelmator - Most affordable
    Corel Paint Shop Pro - I used to use this

    Free Tools:
    Photobucket - New and improved editing features
    Pixlr - Very similar to Photoshop and should be able to follow the tutorial closely
    Picnik - Easy to use
    Photoscape -
    Paint.NET - Very similar to Photoshop and should be able to follow the tutorial closely
    Picasa - Google's photo editing tool

    Vintage Effects: Part 3, Extra Effects - Vignettes, Rounded Edges, Polaroid, Filmstrip Frame
    For this tutorial I will be using Photoshop, but do not worry - I will include examples below each section for how you can create these effects if you don't own Photoshop.

    ***Important***: Every image is different! There are different colors, different lighting, and different subjects. Because of this I do not use exact number/setting examples when I write tutorials so that you can experiment and begin to understand how an image works and what will work to get the end result you want. Experimentation is important!

    Mary Veterano Photography

  • Open your image and create a new layer. Using the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) hold the shift key and create a circle around the center of your image. Be sure to set your feather - experiment to see which effect you like best. I used 150px for my feather. The larger the feather, the more your image will show through. You can also create a non-constrained circle by not holding the shift key when creating your selection.

  • Inverse your selection by going to Select->Inverse and fill in your selection with black (or another color of your choice).

  • Adjust the opacity of your new fill layer until you have a result you are pleased with.

    Rounded Edges:
    Mary Veterano Photography

  • For rounded edges I use the Rounded Rectangle tool. Create a new layer, then select your Rounded Rectangle tool (U) and set the radius for the rounded edges. I selected 100.

  • Select the area you want to be your new image. You can go as close to the edge as you like.

  • Right-click (PC)/option-click (Mac) on your shape and select "Make Selection" and click ok when the window pops up.

  • Select your base image and hid the delete button to delete the edges. You can now delete your shape layer. You now have snazzy rounded edges.

    Mary Veterano Photography

  • You can download a polaroid frame (look in the notes for download link), or you can make your own (which I do). Create a new image in the size that you want your polaroid to be. I've made mine 1400px x 1580px.

  • Using the fill bucket and setting your fill mode to pattern, fill your document with a tan or grey pattern. If you don't have one, here are a few that work well.

  • The next step can be done two ways. One: Select the area where you want your image to be on the polaroid and delete it, then replace the empty space with your image (resize it to fit there). Two: Simply resize your image and paste it over your document.

  • Crop your polaroid if it has too much lip at the bottom, which I have done for this example.

    Mary Veterano Photography

  • Download a filmstrip frame. When using frames all you need to do is resize your image to fit the frame. You may need to crop your image to fit your frame.

    Other Site Examples:
  • Vintage Effects, Picnik - under "Create" tab
    Mary Veterano Photography
    Mary Veterano Photography
    Mary Veterano Photography

    This concludes the final part of this three-series post.

    I'd love to see what you come up with!
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