Category Archives: Uncategorized

Blog Reboot!

If you haven’t read anywhere, this is my last month of teaching jewelry-making classes at Michaels. I will genuinely miss my coworkers and all of my students from the past 2 years, but I am excited about the new crafting opportunities that have been opening up for me this year. Also, since I won’t have to keep up with my Bead Corner Design Academy blog or facebook listings anymore, I hope that that will give me more time for this Ripping It Down blog! As part of the reboot I’m going to be doing some theme posts, starting with Music Mondays! No promises that these will stay regular, but it’s a start!

Thanks to everyone for sticking with me. I hope to see you all at a class or show soon!


Blog migration

I’ve just moved my blog over from blogspot to my own domain, a process which is definitely still a work in progress! I seem to have lost 3 sidebar widgets that were definitely there after the move last night, and the layout looks different this afternoon too. Interesting… but have no fears! I will soon get it sorted out!

After that, the first order of business will be profiles of the vendors who have already registered for the Have a Heart Bazaar that I am organizing, to be held in Richmond on July 31. More details TBA, but if you haven’t heard about it and you’re in the Richmond area, drop me a line and I’ll send you more info! That is, if the email link is still visible somewhere…

Cranberry Apple Casserole recipe & post-Thanksgiving deals!

I am stuffed with all my Thanksgiving favorites and I’ve been getting my etsy and artfire shops ready for the big weekend sale. Check them out and take advantage of free shipping anywhere on everything in both stores! Meanwhile I am hiding from the random Thanksgiving thunderstorm, good thing we went for our walk earlier! I thought I’d share my favorite holiday recipe; in our house it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without it!


3 apples (usually we use red delicious, this year we tried gala and I don’t think the cooked casserole tasted much different but I nibble while I cook and these were tastier uncooked than the red delicious!)
1 bag cranberries (fresh or frozen)
3/4 c. sugar (the recipe calls for 1/2 but we always use more)

for the topping-
1 stick margarine or butter, melted
1 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. pecan bits

Chop the apples and mix them with the cranberries and sugar in a large baking dish. Usually we mix the sugar with the apples as we chop them as this helps to prevent browning. In a separate bowl, mix melted margarine, oatmeal, brown sugar, and pecans (you may want to break them into smaller pieces if they are too large). We prefer to use a large, shallow baking dish, and up the topping ingredients to 1 1/2 sticks butter, 1 1/2 c. oatmeal, 3/4 c. brown sugar and 1/2 c. pecans (that’s just how they come). Bake at 325 for 45 minutes. If the casserole is very liquidy, you may have to cook it a bit longer, but if you have leftovers they will soak up the remaining juice nicely. By the way, be very careful transporting this dish because it stains! (yes, that’s experience speaking)

By the way, you can now follow RippingItDown on twitter too!

Now I’m ripping it down on too!

For the month of October,, another online arts and crafts marketplace, has been offering unlimited listings and some other features to their free account holders that are usually reserved only for their paid members. A while ago, I’d taken a look at Artfire and registered with them, as it’s always good to get additional exposure, but it didn’t seem worth the effort to list the small number of items that basic members are usually restricted to, especially since I hardly have time to list anything on Etsy these days.

Then I came down with strep throat and was sick in bed for 3 days. Down but not out! I spent a lot of the time editing photos I had taken back when there was actually sunshine and free time, and listings those items on etsy and artfire. Thanks to the artfire deal, currently all of my jewelry there is a bit cheaper, and that price break should last through the holidays, so be sure to have a peak!

Ripping It Down on

I think this earring and necklace set is my favorite new item, although the image at the top of this post is probably my favorite new product photo!

although this psychedlic photo of one of my mermaid bracelets is probably my favorite new product photo!

16 Reasons You Should Have Business Cards

You know how a lot of restaurants these days have those little bowls by the register where you can drop in a business card for the chance at a free lunch? Well, I never really thought they actually pulled names, but apparently some of them do. Two weeks ago a manager from Chipotle called to tell me I’d won dinner for myself and however many of my friends or whoever else I wanted to bring. No strings, no advertising message to sit through, me and 15 of my friends ended up enjoying a very tasty, very free meal from Chipotle 😀 I don’t even remember eating there in the first place, much less dropping a business card in, but my friend says we went there for her birthday lunch and I dropped a card in, so there’s a very good reason to have business cards handy.

There are obviously other good reasons to have business cards like, you know, to hand out to the person behind you in line at the grocery store that asks where you bought your bracelet. Sorry, I don’t have 16 different reasons you should have business cards, and even if I could think of 16 they probably wouldn’t be any different reasons than you could find suggested anywhere. Still, my business cards more than paid for themselves Friday night! I bought mine free for the cost of shipping from I know a lot of people have had problems with that site before so I’m not really comfortable wholeheartedly endorsing them, but I will say that I didn’t have any problems with my order, and my business cards, promo postcards and magnets turned out very professional looking. The little self-inking stamp is pretty cheap, but still, it all came to under $10, around the cost of dinner and a drink at Chipotle, and I’ve enjoyed handing them out to friends and customers.

And now I have 15 people who owe me dinner if they ever win, now that they all know to drop their cards in too.

Free food!

Yes, I know this is totally un-craft-related, but seriously, who doesn’t like free food? Apparently a lot of people, and I’ll tell you more about that at the end of the week, but for right now I wanted to share some free food offers I’ve stumbled upon tonight that you can enjoy too. Hopefully someone amongst you enjoys free food more than my friends…

If you’re one of the first 250,000 people to sign up for Chick-fil-a’s, they’ll send you a coupon for a free original chicken sandwich. They’re currently over 240,000, so hurry up! You also get entered to win a $50 CFA gift card. Yum!

The next one comes with a few more restrictions. If you’re on facebook, visit and, well, fan woody. IF he gets 500,000 fans, the first 500,000 fans will get a coupon for a free $5 Jack Daniels burger or chicken sandwich valid from 10/11-10/14. The link came from the TGI Fridays official website, so it is legit. He doesn’t have anywhere near 500,000 fans yet though, so help him out, and help yourself out too!

Mmmm Cupcakes!

Or should that be fairy cakes? Either way, I’ve been taking the Wilton course 1 cake decorating class which has been a lot of fun. I’ve been struggling with getting the consistency of my icing just right, which has made things difficult, but I think I’m getting the hang of it.

Sunday is the final project, which makes me a bit nervous, but I can’t believe it’s almost over! I’d love to take course 2 and 3 and learn more fun flowers and things, but I think it’s been a bit difficult arranging my work schedule around it so that might not happen right away. Ah well, I’ve had fun, and I’m already dreaming of fun things to decorate for our Christmas goodie trays this year, AND my coworkers have already decided I’m making one of the cakes for our American Heart Association cake raffle next month. That should be interesting…

American Heart Association Fundraising

At my office job I am on the American Heart Association Fund Raising Committee. Our locally based, family owned company has made a large pledge to the AHA, and as part of that effort I will be donating 10% of my proceeds from my etsy shop, starting July 1. Hopefully I will be able to contribute more than when I pledged last December to join other members of the EcoEtsy Street Team in donating 10% of my sales to Heifer International, but didn’t make any sales 🙁

We’re doing a lot of other fundraising events at work- snack and bake sales, bingo, a car wash, a yard sale, lunches, a golf mini-event, some raffles… if you have any tips or suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Why the American Heart Association? The company has always been charity-minded, but we choose to focus our attention on a few select charities in order to help them more deeply. Our president suffered a major heart attack a few years ago, and he and his family were touched by the people and the work of the AHA, so we have decided to support them in their ongoing efforts. Cardiovascular disease is America’s number one killer, and I imagine most everyone knows someone who has directly or indirectly been affected by its consequences.

Sunshine at last!

Sorry I haven’t posted recently. It’s this whole “real life” thing, whatever that is. I’m not entirely sure, but I know I don’t like it when it takes away from my crafting time!!

You’d think I’d have gotten used to damp grey days after living in England for a year, but if anything I notice the weather even more now! I’ve been yearning for some free time and sunshine for quite a while, and on Easter Sunday I was off of work and able to enjoy the sunshine! (and yes, I enjoyed my friends and family too) I took advantage of the sunshine for some nice clear photos of new items I’ll be listing on etsy when I get back from New York next week, but I couldn’t help but snap some photos of the signs of spring around the yard!

Makes a marked change from the last time I took photos around the yard!

I’m traveling to New York Thursday-Monday to be in a wedding, and the new craft that may be occupying much of my time on the trip (or perhaps just really frustrating me) is nalbinding, a yarn art that predates knitting. A wonderful friend dropped off a nalbinding needle for me, the question is, can I learn from youtube & printed tutorials in the next, errr, 24 hours?? I’ll let you know how that goes…