Too Cute Tuesday: Pralines

Too Cute Tuesday: Pralines

Every Tuesday, it's friends, a craft, and a cocktail at Too Cute Tuesday. Get in on the fun, start your own TCT chapter, check out the archives, or connect with us on Facebook.

I just got back two weeks ago from Savannah Georgia, home of River Street Sweets and their wonderful pralines. I bought some for Chef Dan and proceeded to eat them all in the hotel room (shhh). I brought him back some pecans (in a sealed bag) and vowed to make some pralines when I got back home.

Chef Dan stirs the praline mixture, essentially sugar, vanilla, and pecans. Hey, even if it doesn't turn out, at least it'll taste good!

Then, I proceeded to sprain my ankle for the third time this summer. Thank goodness my pantry is stocked and Chef Dan only needed to pick up two of the ingredients on his way to Craft Central. Also, thankfully, there wasn't too much involved in praline making and people were able to 1) relax and give me sympathy for my injury and 2) recover from last week's epic craft failure, the first in Too Cute Tuesday's history.

As Sue said of the experience, "Our crafting egos needed a reality check anyway." True. But we were back on game tonight with this super easy craft. Dan whipped us up a signature drink: The Sad Lemonade to celebrate him finding blue curacao in our geographic area (for those wondering, Global Beverage Warehouse in Ellsworth).

Materials:

Sue helpfully licks the praline dish to help me with dishes. She's so sweet...or is she just opportunistic?1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups pecan halves

wax paper

Cocktail of the Night: Sad Lemonade
Put 1 oz vodka and 2 oz blue curacao in a glass. Fill with lemonade (or if you're fancy like us,pomegranatelemonade)

Looking for something non-alcoholic or just more southern? Try the sweet tea recipe I was going to make before I got gimpy.

Marketing Monday: Tom’s Terrific Tattoos

Marketing Monday: Tom’s Terrific Tattoos

Every Monday, Breaking Even looks at a person, company, or website doing something cool to promote itself online. Have an idea for a future Marketing Monday? Let Nicole know!

I recently went with a friend to Tom's Terrific Tattoos, located in Ellsworth Maine. I've long seen the bumper stickers on people's cars. I feel like I even heard about the place before moving to Downeast Maine, probably because the name is so memorable.

When one of my friends wanted me to go with her to get her tattoo, I jumped at the chance to finally see the inside of TTT's.

Being memorable, especially in the creative industry, really pays off.

Have a memorable name.
If you are thinking of naming a business or rebranding a part of your business, a memorable name can help people keep you in mind when they are ready to make a purchase.

Give away free stuff with your memorable business name on it.
I noticed on the counter, Tom had bumper stickers and business cards with the business name on it. Also, he give my friend a 'goodie bag' which included one of the bumper stickers as well as care supplies for the tattoo.

A variety of promotional materials are available on the counter at Tom's Terrific Tattoos. A side effect of making your business name fun: people will want to promote it.

Have a website with examples of your work.
Tom has a fairly basic website with examples of his work. If I was shopping for a tattoo place, I'd want one with a website, if only because I would feel a business with a website is more established. Is this important when I'm considering someone putting a needle into my body? Absolutely. Is it important to other people? I can't say for sure but probably.

Too Cute Tuesday: Bottle Glasses

Too Cute Tuesday: Bottle Glasses

Too Cute Tuesday is a weekly event involving a craft, a cocktail, and friends. To learn more, read all the archived entries at www.toocutetuesday.com or join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/toocutetuesday.

This week, we attempted a craft that I (Nicole) saw in a ReadyMade magazine, or so I thought. I ripped apart the house looking for this article. I am now convinced I am crazy and somehow hallucinated it. Nicole 0, Craziness 1.

This cheesy Youtube video allows you to believe that cutting a bottle half with string is easy, involving fire, acetone, string, and cold water.

And when Nicole was on her trip to Savannah Georgia last week and saw glasses made of beer bottles inthe SCAD store (the glasses aren't online but they have other pretty things at the online store), an attempt was going to have to be made by Too Cute Tuesday.

A final semi-successful attempt at the craft. After this ta-da moment, we called it a night. Craft fail!

Materials
Acetone, and lighter fluid
String
Scissors
Bottles of Corona, empty
Lighter
Basin of cool water
Safety glasses (sun glasses)
Sandpaper (was supposed to smooth out the small shards left over)

Cocktail of the Night: Coronas (so we could use the bottles)

Marketing Monday: Working With Creative People

Marketing Monday: Working With Creative People

Every Monday, I profile a business, person, or website doing neat things online. I thought I'd take a little break from the usual format and talk about something I see a lot: business owners working with the creative people they hire: webdesigners, writers, graphic artists, internet marketers, etc.

Admittedly, I'm somewhere in between. I do creative services for people but I feel like I also do a lot of organization of creative people to keep things moving forward too. Here's what I've learned over the last couple years:

1. You might not know exactly what you need but be as specific as you can with what you do know. There is a reason you're hiring someone to create a logo, a website, a painting, or anything really: You don't know much about it or you don't have the time/interest to do it yourself if you do. Creative people understand this.

That said, to get the best quote possible, be up front with what you do know: budgets, other players on the project, and deadlines are all helpful. It'll keep the person from doing something embarrassing like bring up the name of a rival company or time wasting, like generating a quote for a project four times your actual budget.

Too Cute Tuesday:  Clothespin Animals

Too Cute Tuesday: Clothespin Animals

Every Tuesday, it's a craft, a cocktail and friends. To join the action, check out past posts at www.toocutetuesday.com, fan the page on Facebook to get the inside scoop, or contact Nicole to start a chapter where you live.

The following post is written by guest blogger Sarah, head of the Saint Louis division of TCT. They get organized on Facebook so join them there to follow their crafty pursuits!

This week, since Nicole is out of town in beautiful Savannah, Georgia, Too Cute Tuesday ) St. Louis picked up the slack and, instead of just crafting like we usually do, tried to pitch in with a blog post.

Are we above using cute orange cats to promote our crafting agenda? Absolutely not. Meet Patty. She loves Too Cute Tuesday.

This week, it was just a few of us since there's a St. Louis Cardinals game tonight (and at 95 degrees outside, I think we have the better end of the deal). And, in honor of it being summertime and being able to hang our laundry out on the line (or, we would if we had a backyard), we're getting crafty with clothespins.