Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Using Swarovski Crystals

Using Swarovski Crystals
 
This is something i will post more about because it is one of my new ideas. I want to be able to use these crystals to embelish items to resell such as shoes,jerseys and pacifiers.
Here are some photos i love using the crystals!
 
These shoes are also hand painted (all items can be bought at HOBBY LOBBY to make these) except for the shoes. You can buy similair heels to decorate at some stores in your local mall such as Charlotte Russe or Wet Seal. Our local store has them on sale for $12/pair! You can decoupage the shoes or stone them.


 
info compliments of www.edelweisspatterns.com
 
Everything You Need to Know About Using Swarovski Crystals
Twenty years ago, an elegant prom dress or skating costume was likely to be adorned with sequins, pearls, or hand-applied beads. But for the last ten years or so, the creme de la creme of embellishments has undoubtedly been Swarovski crystals! These Austrian glass gems come in dozens of vivid colors and a plethora of sizes, making them the ideal addition to sparkle up even the plainest of sewing projects. Moderately priced and remarkably easy to apply, it’s no wonder Swarovski crystals have made their way onto Olympic ice skating costumes, couture wedding dresses, and First Ladies’ Inaugural ball gowns. Whereas Queen Elizabeth’s formal gowns of the 1950s required hundreds of hours of hand beading to achieve that “over the top” elegant look, now even a home sewer can create an equally dazzling dress with no hand sewing at all!
Before we look at how to apply Swarovksi crystals, I’d like to explain a couple of terms which are important to understand in the world of “bling” vocabulary
 
 
 




  • First, let’s take a look at the term a “gross” of stones. This just means a package of approximately 144 crystals of the same size and color, and is often times sold at a wholesale price.
  • In recent years the term “to stone” something means to cover it with Swarovski crystals. (For example, when I was talking with a mother whose ice skating daughter had costume qualms, the lady said, “I’m just going to buy three gross of stones and stone the living daylights out of her outfit.”)
  • But the most important thing you can learn about Swarovskis is the difference between “Hot Fix” and “Flat Back“.
  • Hot Fix crystals are probably the most commonly used Swarovski stones, simply because they are the easiest to apply. These round crystals have a hardened glue on the back on them, which melts and bonds itself to the material when you apply it with the Hot Fix Tool. (More on that later!) The nice thing about Hot Fix stones is that you can arrange all the crystals exactly where you want them on the garment, then simply place the hot fix tool over the top of each until they’re all attached to the dress.
  • Flat Back crystals look exactly the same as the Hot Fix stones but they have no glue on the back at all, so they must be applied with regular craft glue. There are some advantages to using Flat Backs, and they usually cost a couple cents less per stone than the Hot Fix variety.
  • Finally, proper pronunciation of the name “Swarovski” can make you sound like a pro. Please don’t say, Swar-vo-ski“! The word is pronounced just like it looks: Swarovski (rhymes with star – off – ski). In Austria of course the word would sound different, but in English we say it just how its spelled. : )
  • With these terms under your belt, let’s take a look at how to apply the Hot Fix crystals!
     
    How to Apply Hot Fix Swarovski Crystals
    You will need:
    1. Hot Fix Swarovski Crystals
    2. Tweezers
    3. Hot Fix Applicator Tool
    Unless you are using NON HOTFIX stones and then you can use a fabric or craft glue to attatch (still picking up with tweezers)
     
    But before you start, make sure you know when to put the crystals on your project:
    1. After your garment is completely assembled, finished, and pressed.
    2. At least 24 hours before you will wear the outfit!

     
    So to start out, let’s take a look at the different heads for the Hot Fix applicator tool. The package your tool came in should include a good half dozen heads, some of which are beveled (rounded) and some which are flat. The instructions on the packaging most likely tell you to heat up the tool with the beveled head attached, place the stone color side down in the head, then flip the stone over and hope it lands at the right point on your garment. Don’t believe a word of it!

    The first thing I recommend doing is forgetting the beveled heads altogether, as they almost defeat the purpose of having a hot fix tool at all! (By the way, I didn’t come up with this method myself, but learned it from a lady who’s one of the biggest Swarovski crystal experts in the Northwest.)
     
    The flat heads for the hot fix tool are so much easier to work with!
    No matter what sort of stone you’re using I would always recommend using a flat head. This way you can arrange the crystals exactly where you want them on the garment, then “iron” them on using your Hot Fix tool for the most precise and hassle-free application. You may observe that there are not as many sizes of the flat heads as there are of the beveled type, but as long as the flat head is large enough to cover the top of the colored side of the stone it will work out just fine.
     
    Before you plug in your tool, you will need to screw in the appropriate head to the hot fix tool. Then, plug it in and let it heat up for at least ten minutes to be nice and hot.
     
    While you’re waiting on that, now’s a good time to start placing the stones in the right position. The possibilities of Swarovski crystal designs are truly endless, and there are absolutely no rules about how to arrange them! The one thing I would caution you about is that the more symmetrical you make your design, the less likely it is to look “perfect”. We try our best, but occasionally a stone can accidentally get bumped out of place and ruin the effect. Try arranging them in lots of different ways before you decide which way you like best. (This goes without saying, but make sure the backing of the stone is on the fabric, with the colored side of the stone up and facing you.)
     
    Now that your tool is heated up, all you have to do is press the heated tool onto the top of stone for thirty seconds! (Keep the heated head only on the stone. You don’t want to touch the tool to the fabric itself as it might melt some synthetics.)
     
     
    Once all the stones are attached, let them cool and set in place by leaving the garment undisturbed for at least twenty four hours. After that, you’re good to go! And as far as washing instructions go, most genuine Swarovski crystals can be laundered in the same way that the garment would usually be washed. (For example, a prom dress would still have to be sent to the dry cleaners and a t-shirt would still go through the washer and dryer.)
    How to Apply Flat Back Swarovski Crystals
    All right! Now that we’ve seen how to use the hot fix tool, you might be wondering what to do if all you have is regular glue. Whether the stones you have are hot fix or flat black, you can attach either kind using the regular glue method! (Conversely, flat back crystals cannot be applied using the hot fix tool.)
    I’ll admit that this is not my favorite plan of attack for embellishing a gown, since regular glue is messy to work with and may leave slight marks on the fabric even if it is supposed to dry clear.
    However, if Flat Back Crystals are the type available to you, they will still add a glorious sparkly effect to your project!

    For the flat back crystal method, I'm going to show how to embellish a pair of high heels!
    You will need:
    1. Flat Back Swarovski Crystals
    2. Craft Glue (Gem-Tac is my personal favorite)
    3. Toothpicks
    4. Tin foil




    Set up your glue and toothpicks on the tin foil, far away from the garment itself. Place the stones in the general arrangement you’d like, then, using your toothpick as the glue applicator, place a small drop of glue on the garment. Put one of the crystals on this drop of glue (using your handy dandy tweezers!), but don’t put any pressure on it lest the glue run outside the stone and leave a “ring” of glue.
    Continue dabbing small drops of glue across the garment and immediately covering them with the stones until all the crystals are in place. You want to be very careful not to bump of move the embellished item until you’re sure that it’s completely dry. The twenty-four hour rule definitely applies to this method as well!
    And here are the finished shoes!
    Once you’ve started using Swarovski crystals, you probably won’t be able to stop! I’ve seen ladies go to town embellishing otherwise ordinary t-shirts, purses and cosmetic bags, high heels, hats, and belts, besides much more elegant items such as wedding veils, formal wear, and bridal gowns.
    And in case you’re wondering about the two projects I showed in this tutorial, they both have to do with 1950s photo shoots! The lavender duchess satin gown is my latest creation from Butterick 5708 which will be photographed shortly. I am thrilled with the way this dress turned out, but I thought it could still use a few Swarovski crystals to dazzle it up.
     
     

    BlockBuster Cookies

    Blockbuster Cookies
    Mixing your fav snacks into your fav cookies!
    recipe compliments of Parents Magazine...
    I decided to give these a try with my daughters this past weekend
     


     
    REVIEW: These look better than they tasted! I would omit the popcorn next time...
    I used Butterscotch chips,raisins and popcorn instead of raisenets
     
    Ingredients
    • 2 1/2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
    • 1 cup light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate Raisinets
    • 3 cups buttered and salted popcorn, store-bought or homemade
     
     
    Make It
    1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, the baking soda and the salt.
    2. In a large bowl, use a stand or hand mixer on medium speed to cream the butter until it's light and fluffy. Add both sugars and blend until they're well combined.
    3. Crack one egg into a small bowl. Separate the white from the yolk of the second egg and add the yolk to the first egg. Discard the white or reserve it for another recipe. Add the eggs and the vanilla to the butter-sugar mixture and blend on medium-high until they're fully incorporated.
    4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in three batches, blending well after each addition.
    5. With a spatula, stir in the Raisinets, then gently fold in the popcorn.
    6. Use a medium cookie scoop to shape the dough into mounds (about 2 tbsp each), and put nine of them, staggered, on each baking sheet. Bake the cookies until golden brown, about 14 minutes, turning the pans halfway through. Transfer the cookies to a rack to cool. Repeat the steps to bake the remaining dough.
     

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    Cinnamon Christmas Tree Ornaments!

    This idea was inspired by an ornament i made when i was in preschool a long long time ago! We ended up making these at the beginning of the week and let them air dry thr last few days so they don't crack when we decorate them. They are fun and easy to make but a lil messy.

    You will need the following

    1/2 cup cinnamon
    1/3 cup applesauce
    1 T tacky glue (at walmart in craft section) optional

    Mix all ingredients in a bowl and stir until well blended. Work mixture in hands for three minutes to form a ball. If it is too dry, add applesauce, if too wet, add more cinnamon. Knead ball on cinnamon-sprinkled surface until it holds togehter well. I roll this out and use cookie cutters for the shapes. I also use a drinking straw to cut a hanging hole. I would suggest using a small coffee stir straw if you make smaller shapes so the hole isn't too big. We used a spatula to pick up the cookie cutter dough once shaped to lay on a rack to dryout.

    This was really fun for my 4 yr old daughter Maddyn. She loves doing crafts with me and these made the entire house smell like cinnamon for days! Today we are decorating with puffy paints and glitter.


    This is our "Heart Families" 2012 ornament (this is what Maddyn says to us when she is in loving mode) so cute lol!
     
     
    Use decorative ribbin to tie loops to hang on the tree. You can also personalize these and give as a gift to relatives/friends. We like to use a toothpick when the dough is still soft and "engrave or poke" letters or the year into the ornament and when it dries it will permanetly be there!



    Everything Laid out and ready to Decorate!

    Yes-My girl is painting a Pink Christmas Tree!

    My New Year Promise

          I vow to blog with my big ideas atleast 3-5 times a week with ideas/crafts for the creative business-minded fellow moms like myself or just people with big ideas like me! Everyday i wake up and start my daily routine-Taking my oldest daughter to school (i call her dotty) and then coming home with 20 min before i get my youngest child up/bathed and to school.....Then i have about 2.5 hrs to get done mommy stuff before i pick her up and then the day really starts! That is when the fun starts. Maddyn (my 4 yr old) always wants to do a "craft" when she gets home. I never run out of ideas! I will start posting all of my crafty ideas with photos and instructions to this blog so please subscribe so you don't miss out. If you have any ideas that you would like to add please feel free to let me know and i will link your site to mine! Today we are doing Cinnamon Tree Ornaments. I will post later today on the how to make these wonderful smelling gifts!!

    Monday, December 10, 2012

    Creating Playdoh Jewelry

    Great for Kids or a different idea to sell jewelry!

    I was playing playdoh with my lil girl and thought of this!

    Doh Jewelry!

    • 1
      These balls need to be smoother before they can be used as beads.

      Roll small pieces of Play-Doh into balls. These balls can be of different sizes, and you can even make some ovals, oblong shapes or cubes and rectangles if you wish.
    • 2
      Sprinkle the glitter on the flat plate. Spread it out so that it forms a thin layer over much of the plate.
    • 3
      Roll the small balls in the glitter to make them sparkle. These are your beads. You can coat them heavily with glitter or go light for a more subtle shine.
    • 4
      Thread the fishing line through the large plastic needle. It should not need a knot in either end, since you will be tying the ends together later.
    • 5
      String the beads onto the fishing line. You will poke holes in the beads with the needle as you thread them. Push them down the fishing line so that there is room for many beads. Long strings will be necklaces, while shorter ones will be bracelets.
    • 6
      Shake up a small amount of child's craft glue in the spray bottle of water. This will create a glaze for the jewelry, so that the glitter does not all fall off when the beads dry.
    • 7
      Mist the beaded strings with the glue/water mix. Make sure you coat all sides.
    • 8
      Microwave your Play-Doh jewelry for five minutes. You may detect a funny smell; that's the dough baking. Once the Play-Doh is completely baked, you will have permanent jewelry that will not revert to Play-Doh if it gets wet.
    • 9
      Touch-test the Play-Doh by pressing very gently on a large bead. If it is still squishy, then microwave it for another two minutes and then test again. It it is rock solid, your new jewelry is ready to wear.


    Read more: How to Make Jewelry Out of Play-Doh | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2341032_make-jewelry-out-playdoh.html#ixzz2Eg2HAcHO

    Friday, November 9, 2012

    8 Characteristics of Successful People

    1. They don't create back-up plans.Back-up plans can help you sleep easier at night. Back-up plans can also create an easy out when times get tough.

    You'll work a lot harder and a lot longer if your primary plan simply has to work because there is no other option. Total commitment--without a safety net--will spur you to work harder than you ever imagined possible.

    If somehow the worst does happen (and the "worst" is never as bad as you think) trust that you will find a way to rebound. As long as you keep working hard and keep learning from your mistakes, you always will.

    2. They do the work...

    You can be good with a little effort. You can be really good with a little more effort.

    But you can't be great--at anything--unless you put in an incredible amount of focused effort.

    Scratch the surface of any person with rare skills and you'll find a person who has put thousands of hours of effort into developing those skills.

    There are no shortcuts. There are no overnight successes. Everyone has heard about the 10,000 hours principle but no one follows it... except remarkably successful people.

    So start doing the work now. Time is wasting.

    3. ...and they work a lot more.

    Forget the Sheryl Sandberg "I leave every day at 5:30" stories. I'm sure she does. But she's not you.

    Every extremely successful entrepreneur I know (personally) works more hours than the average person--a lot more. They have long lists of things they want to get done. So they have to put in lots of time.

    Better yet, they want to put in lots of time.

    If you don't embrace a workload others would consider crazy then your goal doesn't mean that much to you--or it's not particularly difficult to achieve. Either way you won't be remarkably successful.

    4. They avoid the crowds.

    Conventional wisdom yields conventional results. Joining the crowd--no matter how trendy the crowd or "hot" the opportunity--is a recipe for mediocrity.

    Remarkably successful people habitually do what other people won't do. They go where others won't go because there's a lot less competition and a much greater chance for success.

    5. They start at the end...

    Average success is often based on setting average goals.

    Decide what you really want: to be the best, the fastest, the cheapest, the biggest, whatever. Aim for the ultimate. Decide where you want to end up. That is your goal.

    Then you can work backwards and lay out every step along the way.

    Never start small where goals are concerned. You'll make better decisions--and find it much easier to work a lot harder--when your ultimate goal is ultimate success.

    6. ... and they don't stop there.

    Achieving a goal--no matter how huge--isn't the finish line for highly successful people. Achieving one huge goal just creates a launching pad for achieving another huge goal.

    Maybe you want to create a $100 million business; once you do you can leverage your contacts and influence to create a charitable foundation for a cause you believe in. Then your business and humanitarian success can create a platform for speaking, writing, and thought leadership. Then...

    The process of becoming remarkably successful in one field will give you the skills and network to be remarkably successful in many other fields.

    Remarkably successful people don't try to win just one race. They expect and plan to win a number of subsequent races.

    7. They sell.

    I once asked a number of business owners and CEOs to name the one skill they felt contributed the most to their success. Each said the ability to sell.

    Keep in mind selling isn't manipulating, pressuring, or cajoling. Selling is explaining the logic and benefits of a decision or position. Selling is convincing other people to work with you. Selling is overcoming objections and roadblocks.

    Selling is the foundation of business and personal success: knowing how to negotiate, to deal with "no," to maintain confidence and self-esteem in the face of rejection, to communicate effectively with a wide range of people, to build long-term relationships...

    When you truly believe in your idea, or your company, or yourself then you don't need to have a huge ego or a huge personality. You don't need to "sell."

    You just need to communicate.

    8. They are never too proud.

    To admit they made a mistake. To say they are sorry. To have big dreams. To admit they owe their success to others. To poke fun at themselves. To ask for help.

    To fail.

    And to try again.



    Not Sure if i completely agree with all of these steps especially #1 BUT i really believe in #7 (this is a true statments because i fall into this one and so does a couple other successful women in know)

    Wednesday, October 24, 2012

    Selling Consigmnent On EBAY

    Start Your Own eBay Consignment Business

    1. 1
      Decide how much you want to charge your consignors for selling their items.
      • Contact a few eBay trading assistants to find out how much they charge. You can get a list of trading assistants from the eBay Trading Assistant Directory. To get people to use your service, your prices must be competitive.
      • In general, the going rate for eBay consignment is 20 to 40 percent of the end sale price. The price you charge the consignor should be enough to cover your fees and still provide enough profit for you to be worth your time.
    2. 2
      Draw up a contract outlining the terms of your consignment sales. Be sure to include all fees that apply to the sale, what is to be done with merchandise that does not sell, and when and how the proceeds from the sale will be given to the consignor.
    3. 3
      Keep accurate records of your consignment sales. When selling consignment for others, the money paid to your consignors comes off of your profit the same way that you would subtract product costs if you were selling items you purchased for re-sale.
    4. 4
      Start with friends and family members to find items to consign on eBay. It is always best if you can get experience working with people you know before growing your business.
    5. 5
      Grow your business through word of mouth and referrals. A satisfied consignor will tell others about your service, helping your business to grow.
    6. 6
      Place classified ads, hang fliers in local businesses and hand out business cards to help your consignment business grow quickly.
    7. 7
      Go to a consignor's house to look at her merchandise when a call comes in requesting your services.
    8. 8
      Search for the items on eBay to determine if there is a market if you are not sure if an item has one.
      • A search of eBay closed auctions provides a more accurate look at the market, because auction-style selling often brings bid activity at the end of the auction.
      • Taking items on consignment that do not have an eBay market is not only a waste of time, and in most cases you will be out the eBay listing fees. In most consignment situations there is no cost to the consignor if the item doesn't sell.
    9. 9
      Take the items to your house for listing on eBay if you offer a full consignment service meaning you list the item, collect the payment and ship the merchandise.
      • Alternatively, some sellers offer only an eBay listing service and do not ship the merchandise to the customer. If you run your consignment business that way, leave the items with the owner.
      • If you are not taking the item to your house for listing, you must take pictures of the merchandise at the consignor's house. Also record all necessary information, including dimensions, weight, condition and anything else you need to know when listing an item.
    10. 10
      List the consigned merchandise on eBay the same way that you would when listing items you own for sale.
    11. 11
      Complete the sale and ship the merchandise to the customer.
    12. 12
      Pay the consignor his proceeds. The amount of time you wait before paying consignors is affected by a number of variables, including the payment methods you accept and your stated return policy, among other things. Make sure the transaction is completed to the customer's satisfaction before paying the consignor.
    13. 13
      Consider opening a storefront with a drop-off location for consigned merchandise as your business grows. This will allow you to handle more consignors without the travel time and expense of going to their homes.

    Sell for others On EBAY today!

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    There are two types of people in this world, those who know how to sell on eBay and those who don't. The people who do not know how to sell on eBay are actually more common than you think. So your job is to sell for these people and start making money with eBay.
    There are actually several steps that you want to go about doing before you start earning on eBay - this includes opening up a seller's account on eBay and opening an account on pay-pal as well. Once you have done this, you'll be well on your way to success.
    First off, as stated before, you must make sure you sign up as a seller on both eBay and Pay-pal. You will probably have to submit your personal debit card on eBay to pay for seller fees. Now on to Step Two for selling for others on eBay.
    You want to start by finding people or having people come to you in hopes that you may start selling on eBay. Start handing out business cards, helpful information, collecting e-mails, myspace, facebook, and doing whatever you can to start finding people who need items sold.
    There are actually people who go to other people's houses, sort through their junk and sell it on eBay - this could be you, because there are some of these people who are making 6 figure incomes by selling other people's stuff online! Maybe you want to make this much, maybe more or less - however it is just proof that it's possible to make cash through eBay and selling with others.
    What does the person want to sell? You want to be upfront with the person and see if their product will sale or not. You can easily go by checking the end auctions and seeing how many bids come up for that product - if it's a good profit margin, then be upfront and tell them that it's a good idea, & vice versa.
    First off, you want to consider several things before selling another person's item on eBay. You will want to discuss Pay-Pal fees, eBay fees, and Closed Auction fees, plus any other fee that you may have to charge the person - let's be honest; you do not want the money coming out of your pocket.
    If you are good or atleast somewhat knowledgeable on eBay you can actually pay and start giving tutorials to people who are searching to earn some cash or make a supplementary income on eBay. By being creative you'll quickly start to know that the sky is the limit.
    Start selling for others today. Do you have any family members? Any friends, or relatives? You may even start a whole eBay store based on items that other people want to sell! Can you see how lucrative this is? The hardest part is getting started so be sure to start today!
     

    Tuesday, June 12, 2012

    Garage Sale Millionaire

    Aaron LaPedis threw his first garage sale at age seven and has been buying and selling items ever since. In fact, he made his first million dollars by "flipping" garage-sale finds and used that money to open an art gallery in Denver.



    With yard-sale season upon us, U.S. News chatted with LaPedis about his strategies for pricing items, spotting money-making opportunities, and more. Excerpts:
    How did you get into garage sales?
    All I really knew when I was seven was comic books and baseball cards, and that's what I started with. When we had our first garage sale with my mother, my mom said "we've got to go through all your toys and whatever toys you don't want anymore, we're going to sell them, and I'm going to sell some stuff in the house that we don't need and whatever money we make is the only money that you can use for new toys."
    The sale did so well that around noon, we had nothing else to sell. So when my mother went to make lunch, she told me I was in control and to make sure we keep on selling. I went to the house and went to the living room and took some lamps, end tables, and some other stuff I could lift and brought onto the front lawn and sold that stuff. It wasn't until the next day that she realized I sold half of her stuff in the living room.
    Instead of paying full-price for items, we'd go to other garage sales and I started seeing all these comic books and baseball cards and other toys, and from there I went to coins. I started buying and selling silver dollars and stuff like that. Between age seven to 25, I made my first million from garage sales, estate sales, and second-hand stores, buying and flipping stuff. I took all the money I made and flipped that into starting an art gallery.
    [See How to Save Money on Toys for Your Kids.]
    What are your strategies for pricing items?
    I believe getting the other person talking starts to bring down the barriers. So anything under $15, I don't believe in pricing it. If there's no price, they're going to ask, "How much is this item?" and your follow-up would be, "What are you willing to pay for it?" They will come back to you with an amount of money and that's where you can start negotiating.
    A lot times when you don't price items, you may get more than what you were hoping for, but this way, guaranteed, it will trigger a conversation between you and the buyer. Most of everybody's yard-sale stuff is under $15, so it's usually time-consuming to price all those little things. Now, if you have items above $15 to $20, you want to price it because people will offer you a lot less than what you're going to want.
    What would you say to people who still think a garage sale is too time-consuming, so it's better to just donate the items to charity and take the tax deduction?
    You do a garage sale for several reasons. First, I believe it is a great way of not only meeting your neighbors, but making money. You go through your house, and not only are you cleaning out your house, you're going to make money. So you have this garage sale and if you do it right, you can make anywhere from $500 to $1,500. And then you take that money and flip it into going to second-hand stores and estate sales and finding collectibles or items that can be instantly flipped into more money. I encourage people to do a garage sale, but at the end of the garage sale, you bag up everything that didn't sell and then give it to a Salvation Army or a local charity that you think could use it.
    What tips would you offer readers who might be planning garage sales this summer?
    Signs. The No. 1 thing that people screw up is they don't put out enough signs, or else they're the cheap ones. You need big three-by-three signs that are bright at intersections, and you need 15 to 20 of them. The other tip is using your Facebook. You need to let people know on Facebook that you're having a garage sale. There's also an app called TagSellIt.com where you can add your garage sale for free or you can look up garage sales in your area for free.

    What about people who are going to garage sales in the hopes of flipping items? What are the hot collectibles they could be making money on?
    First, you need to make sure you bring your smartphone, because this is the way you figure out if you're getting a good deal. I believe in antiques, tin toys, old comic books, old fishing gear, old tools, stuff like that. Really high-grade stereo equipment that is in perfect condition or if it has the box it came with, you can easily flip that on eBay and Craigslist.
    If your expertise is old records, then you should become fluent in old records, for the Beatles or Led Zeppelin or jazz because a lot of those vinyl records are worth a lot of money, but then there are a lot of them that are worth nothing. Being an expert in two or three things would really help you be a weapon at garage sales.
    Usually when we talk about flipping a house, there's a lot of "sweat equity" involved. When you talk about flipping furniture or other items, are you restoring or repairing it?
    If it's antique furniture, you do nothing except for dusting it off to maybe tightening things. Restorations on antique furniture could be very, very costly, meaning that you would take away value of that item, so you more just want to clean it off and make it look as good as you can without changing the overall look.
    With newer items like maybe a bike, say, you buy a bike for $20 and you know it's worth $120, you could fix the flat tire, put a chain on, or tighten things. That's all fine. But you don't want to put in too much money, or else you're cutting into your profits.
    With consignment stores, yard sales, eBay, and Craigslist, people have a lot of different options for reselling items nowadays. Which avenue should you choose?
    Big furniture is really, really hard to sell on eBay because everybody wants it shipped and that's a nightmare, so that could be really perfect on craigslist, which is free. eBay does charge you, so between when you sell an item, you're paying anywhere from 6 to 9 percent of that item in PayPal fees.
    You do not have an antique store or another consignment shop sell your stuff. They take too much of a percentage and then they're only getting people that come into their shop or their closest clients. You need to eliminate the middleman, and you'll make more money if you go and sell it yourself.

    Sunday, May 20, 2012

    Luxury Brand Consulting-How to

    A career in luxury brand management


    The price tag on a Jimmy Choo shoe is enough for many to pop their eyes out and the cost of a Louis Vuitton gown enough for people to shake their heads in disbelief. Yet, if you are one of these who can see beyond the money associated with these ionic brands and find yourself admiring their lineage a career in luxury brand management may turn out to be rewarding.
    The growing number of Indians in the billionaire’s club coupled with a conspicuous rise of the urban elite class has seen many international luxury giants queue up to woo the Indian customer. Pulling out all stops on luxury a spectrum of premium merchandise and services ranging from designer dresses and handmade jewelry to watches and accessories, from custom cars and blue blood clubs to premium vacation resorts and exotic real estate is on offer for those who can afford to pay the price.
    The need for individuals who can manage this upswing in this demand as well the clientele who generate it has led to the creation of new careers in luxury brand management.
    Luxury brand management can best be described as an interdisciplinary subject that applies time tested management practices to businesses that offer premium services. The primary role of a luxury brand manager is to understand the heritage and history of the brand and associate its value with a potential set of clients. This person is chiefly responsible for the sometimes difficult task of keeping the brand popular while retaining its exclusivity, ensuring that the brand remains a popular and favored choice amongst both the masses in terms of desire and the elite in terms of purchase.
    A typical workday begins with meeting clients or planning new corporate gift ideas with senior decision makers. This may be followed by taking out some esteemed clients for a business lunch or attending a promotional event in the evening.
    A strong business management background coupled with functional experience in management practices is essential to the success of a luxury brand manager. Since luxury brand management involves a high level of customer interaction those with a natural flair for networking especially with the corporate class and the ability to build up a rapport with key decision makers will do well for themselves in this industry.
    Luxury houses possess zero tolerance for anything that is below average or of low quality. Thus, it is essential for an individual working in this field to set a high standard for maintaining quality good customer relations and efficient time management skills.
    It is essential for luxury brand managers to be in love with their product and believe that the company offers a value addition in terms of status and elegance to its client. A luxury brand manager who assumes the role of a mentor can spearhead the transformation of and merging luxury brand into a dominant market player.
    Premium segments like custom cars, fashion, wines, chocolates, spa services, jewelry, leather accessories, watches, signature pens etc. have arrived on Indian shores and are in need of experienced brand managers.
    With luxury brands spreading operations to newer countries, as a brand manger with a large luxury house, you can be the face of the brand in India or at a destination abroad managing the company’s operations and customer relations in that particular region. Thus a luxury brand manager also needs to constantly question and redefine the contours of luxury keeping in mind changing times, perceptions and tastes of the region’s public and also often provide design support to country specific limited edition product lines.
    In India, one can take off as an executive and move up the ranks to become in charges of exclusive brand showrooms. With experience one can expect to handle their brand regional business expansion plans, organize prestigious events to market the brand, develop promotional campaigns and headhunt for a popular brand ambassador amongst other responsibilities. The more enterprising ones can even learn the tricks of the trade and go on to float their own companies in the future.
    Currently, few options for study of luxury brand management exist in India with the only direct course on offer being the Global management Program for Executives in Luxury management offered by IIM- Ahmedabad in association with ESSEC Business school Paris. Professionals with an upper executive level experience can attend this unique program that aims to provide in depth training on the luxury business, its specificities the implementation old strategies and the exciting opportunities in emerging markets such as India. Participants of the program will get trained at ESSEC Paris where they get top interact with faculty, alumni touring international fashion houses and luxury business houses followed by intensive training at the IIM – A campus.
    Luxury brand management is offered as an undergraduate elective and as a PG specialization in a number of European colleges. If you are contemplating going abroad to study the subject, it would make sense to look at countries like the UK, France and Italy which are home to some of the best names in luxury merchandise.
    Some institutes offering popular courses in luxury brand management include;
    1) Ecole Superiure des Sciences Economiuques et Commerciales (ESSEC), Paris.
    2) Winchester school of Art, University of Southampton, UK.
    3) University of the Creative Arts, London, UK.



    Luxury Brand Consultant Career

    So..I'm watching The new season of the Bachelorette and this one guy comes in on a helicopter and he is a "LUXURY BRAND CONSULTANT" I look up on yahoo "What is a luxury brand consultant" and nothng really comes up? So is this a real job or career? Im gonna find out!


    ok this is the only thing i got so far..

    Amanda Tattam
    The massive growth of luxury goods has now extended deeply into China, India and other markets. Estimates vary, but some say the luxury market is worth between 60 billion and 20 trillion US dollars, including consumers who are trading up. That is, the increasingly wealthy middle classes, who 30 years ago, would have thought it luxurious to have two TVs in a household. Mark, can you explain how a luxury brand distinguishes itself from other brands?
    Mark Ritson
    The question today of what makes a luxury brand a luxury brand and how do we distinguish it is very hard to answer. The standard business response is to say, ‘they are more exclusive’. And we get exclusivity by having high price and relatively small amounts of the product available. The reality, however, of luxury brands is that they are sold in their millions, and in some cases, are not priced that much higher than the standard output. The only way I can really answer your question is to say, it is all relative. As you said in your introduction, it wasn’t that long ago in Australia that we would have considered two televisions to be a luxury, or even further back, one colour television. And you can make a strong argument, for example, that Starbucks in China, right now, is a luxury purchase – because of its cost, because of how frequently it is purchased by many people. So, I think the long answer is a complicated one, but the answer is, it depends who you talk to. I think in the business community what we would say, is that there is a small cluster of ‘more expensive brands’ which have a distinct strategy that we would identify as being ‘luxury brands’ and they start with the Rolls Royces and the Tiffanys and the Louis Vuittons of the world. And, I think that tends to be how we see them.
    Amanda Tattam
    Okay. So, what is the difference between ‘old’ and ‘new’ luxury for example?
    Mark Ritson
    It is an interesting one. It isn’t actually related to the age of the brands. So, two of the new classic luxury brands would be Coach, which is more than 60 years old, and in many cases would refer to Burberry, as using new luxury strategies. And Burberry is 151 years old. So, it isn’t their actual age. The term, ‘new luxury’ refers to a different approach to marketing luxury brands. A different approach in the sense that there is more focus on customers, greater production of the numbers. So, they might still have higher prices, but if you look at the typical Coach handbag, which is a well-known brand Japan, China and America, Coach would be making significantly more of it than the ‘classic’ old luxury brands like Gucci or Prada. And the final limit of new luxury which is of, I think, great distinction, is the new luxury brands have embraced production in China, far more so than the older luxury brands that continue to make most of their products, in some cases, in the traditional European artisan centres.


    Amanda Tattam
    Okay. When you market a luxury brand, what instincts and desires are you really appealing to and has that changed over time, do you think?
    Mark Ritson
    Clearly, when you are marketing luxury brands, you are selling more than the functional product itself. No one buys a Louis Vuitton bag for four or five thousand American dollars, simply because they want a bag. And, indeed, if you look at luxury watches, we spend, in many cases, tens of thousands of dollars for these items. Clearly we don’t need that, because our phone tells us the time. There is usually a clock in the room. We could buy a one-dollar watch, which would do an equally good job. So, beyond the function there is something else, and it is clearly the symbolic. Clearly, it is the identity, which the brand confers upon the owner. You might see that as being a sense of superiority, perhaps. But we don’t think so within luxury brands. We like to think – and I think it is true of most of the customers that we bring into luxury brands that the real attraction has always been a link to ‘something special’. A link to a story, or a founder, or a creator or a time, that is something a little bit special. And I think it is that ‘authenticity’. When one buys a Dior handbag, there is a strong line of authenticity, going all the way back to Christian Dior, 1947, this incredible moment of fashion. So, I think what we are really appealing to in a world where most people feel dislocated from any sense of authenticity, here is something which is ‘pure’, here is something which has a ‘specialness’ to it and you can be a part of that.
    Amanda Tattam
    You’ve noticed that there is a proliferation of these cheaper imitations, the fakes, especially with jewellery and shoes and handbags and so forth, this doesn’t seem to damage the genuine article, though, why is this so?
    Mark Ritson
    It is a very complex picture. And, I think, before we get onto these counterfeits and talk about why they don’t damage them, let’s also be clear that it isn’t a legal practice and certainly it is true that all the luxury brands have worked together with various different countries and law forces to attempt to reduce them. Now, having said that, from a business point of view, counterfeit goods have absolutely no impact whatsoever on the success of luxury brands. In fact, they may even work to their favour. The reason, first of all, why they don’t damage a luxury brand, is very simple, I don’t think that, in the history of Gucci, they’ve lost a single customer who bought a counterfeit rather than the genuine item. Now, do people buy the counterfeits? Absolutely, in their thousands. Would any of those people bought the genuine article? Absolutely not. If one is paying ten thousand dollars for a bag, it is certainly not because one is attracted to just the bag. It is the brand itself. And when one buys a counterfeit bag one is not buying the brand, and the consumer knows that. So, the first thing to say is that, I don’t think it cannibalises the sales.
    Now, another argument that is often used with counterfeits, is ‘yes, but it damages the brands exclusivity, to see all of these Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada bags walking around the streets’. Again, that may be true, but I’d offer an alternative explanation as well, which is: you’ll often see someone walking down the street and you might think in your own mind, ‘that’s not someone who should be carrying that beautiful Gucci bag. It must be a fake.’ In reality, perhaps it is not. And yet, that counterfeit mindset often allows us to offset, the ‘non-exclusive’ image of the brand. So, are counterfeits a problem? Yes. Do they cause a major impact on these brands? No. And in fact, many of the luxury brands use them very strongly to measure market demand. One of the reasons you know that a luxury brand is healthy, is when it has attracted a good deal of counterfeits.

    The black market is much quicker, much faster, much leaner, much more entrepreneurial. So, when they start to copy your bags in Canal Street or in the markets of Shanghai, it is because they’ve recognised that market demand for that brand is growing. But it is fair to say that we spend a lot more time in luxury brands worrying about what is called the ‘gray market’. The black market is when you sell fake or counterfeit or stolen goods. The gray market is when you sell genuine products but through non-affiliated or non-endorsed channels. Everyone has bought luxury products through the gray market, they just don’t know it. It is a genuine watch, but it is sold to you through someone who isn’t one of the approved sellers. And he has bought that watch, from either a wholesaler from another country, he has got them in a cheap job lot, and he is selling them to you in a discount price in a non-appropriate way, in a non-appropriate place to a non-appropriate customer. These are the people that damage our brands. Because, over time what happens is, the prestige and exclusiveness of these brands is damaged when they are sold at discounts in the wrong places to the wrong people.
    Amanda Tattam
    You touched then about fashion and so forth, how does gender influence things, are there different ways that you market to men and to women and what about in different parts of the world, do Asian women respond differently to advertising, than say, western women, I know we’re using very broad terms here, ‘Asia’, ‘west’, but – and also the other demographics, age and race – I know there are some big topics there, but-
    Mark Ritson
    Gender is not as important as we might think. Luxury has always been a predominantly a female market; age is incredibly important. And it has become more important in the last five to ten years. We see a group of – to use the common phrase, Baby Boomers – but, essentially this demographic group that we see across the world, these people are now in their 60s and beyond. They have a large amount of money. They have limited amounts of time. Still, they like to travel and they know they are not going to be around forever. These people are discerning. You know, if you’re going to buy a bottle of wine and I’m 65 years old and I’ve 250,000 dollars in the bank, you know what? It is going to be a good bottle of wine. The final issue of race is an intriguing one, particularly in North America. I personally believe that the face of luxury in America is ‘black’. The group that leads luxury is not this WASP community of very well off middle aged Americans – who do buy their luxury brands – but the people who lead that market, are, for me, for the most part, African American. It would be a mistake to see, for example, the hip-hop community as being not consistent with the luxury brands. If anyone has grasped the true meaning and heritage of luxury brands, it is that African American community. So, I think there, race plays an interesting role to.
    Amanda Tattam
    Sure. So, in Asia, what brands or products do customers identify more strongly with?
    Mark Ritson
    It is interesting and I think if you look at the Asian region, there are a couple of different stories playing out. The first and the one we shouldn’t forget is the story of Japan. Japan has, for at least the last forty years, been the leading market for all things luxury. It is a generalisation, but it holds true almost every time, that all great luxury trends, all great brands have found success first in Japan. Very simply because the Japanese are probably the most discerning and tasteful customer on the planet. They love heritage. They appreciate the finer things in life. And it is very hard to find any example of a luxury brand that has not first had success in Japan.
    Amanda Tattam
    Even in good times and bad?
    Mark Ritson
    Especially in bad times. So, one of the intriguing things about luxury brands and Japan is a notable example, they’ve had a very tricky ten or fifteen years, only now really have they come through what has been one of their worst times in their postwar economy. And yet, during this time we have seen sales of most luxury items, whether it be luxury wine, watches, jewellery, leather goods, fashion, all of these products have sold spectacularly well. So yeah, even in good times and bad. Look, aside from Japan within Asia, clearly the other story is the story of China. And we are seeing in China a remarkable revolution in luxury. All the research that has been done, all the indicators we have so far, suggest that the Chinese consumer, is as, if not more interested in luxury brands than the Japanese consumer. So, once you do the maths on that one, it becomes pretty obvious where the future of luxury will be. And of course, one of the things that is feeding into that is that when, a new economy, like the Chinese economy, really gets going, it begins with luxury. It doesn’t start with small, domestic brands. It trickles down from the top. We saw that in Eastern Europe 15 years ago. The first stores to open in East Germany, for example, were the Versaces of the world. So, in that sense, I think there are two stories. The oldest story in the world, that is, of Japanese discretion and the story of Chinese growth. And yet, both I think represent the two, most important poles of the luxury consumption.
    Amanda Tattam
    So, you’ve talked about these demographics, what kind of market research and methodologies are used before you decide how money should be spent in a marketing campaign?
    Mark Ritson
    There are many so-called ‘old luxury brands’ that would perceive research to be the wrong thing. And will have a long, 200 year old history of being very successful and doing absolutely no research of any kind at any time on anyone. They would believe that their brands are about creativity, about fashion, and the definition of fashion is not about giving people what they want, it is about changing things. The creative directors make the decisions and the consumers will follow them. It is fair to say, however, that in the last five years, we’ve seen a revolution – and I don’t use that word lightly – from some of the brands who have used extensive market research. Similar to the kinds that we would see in the consumer goods: focus groups, surveys, the analysis of sales data. So, it isn’t the most advanced research. But there is a growing focus on doing it. And I think that is probably the biggest question mark right now for most luxury brands: to what degree should we ask the consumer what they want?
    Amanda Tattam
    So, as high-end consumers become more discerning and ethically driven with their purchasing, how does the luxury industry handle concerns for example, the use of sweatshop labour or sustainability issues?
    Mark Ritson
    It is an interesting one and for once it is not that relevant to luxury brands. And I say that because, the luxury brands have never had a problem with sustainability or with sweatshop labour. They’ve been playing a very sustainable game for a very long time. The idea of using sweatshop labour would be literally impossible for a luxury brand. Not because of any ethically driven decision making, but simply because of the quality and the huge necessity to produce the very best clothing or products – you simply wouldn’t use people who weren’t artisans, that weren’t very heavily remunerated, that spent a lifetime working for you. I think on the environmental issues again, there are some key questions. Specifically, I think in the areas of fur and in the way that animals are treated and in animal testing. But again, with those to one side, you can again argue if you look at the way that premium wines are grown and the way in which the land is respected, if you look at the relatively small amounts of product that are used, in a very sustainable way because they’re very expensive products, actually the luxury brand industry, I think, has something to teach the consumer goods industry on sustainable business practices too. Again, not because there has been any ethical orientation within these companies, simply because when the raw materials are so expensive and the need to produce quality is so paramount, a sustainable approach tends to be the one that is adopted.
    Amanda Tattam
    Finally, I would like to ask you about the expansion or contraction of the market for luxury goods, does making luxury goods more affordable to more people actually diminish their value – because, a lot of people want to buy them because they know only a small number of people have them, aren’t they always going to be by their very nature, exclusive and only available to a very small group?
    Mark Ritson
    It is absolutely true that in the original histories of most luxury brands, there was a natural limitation on the number of products that were available. So, exclusivity originally was, in the case of Champagne, for example – Champagne is an area, it is not a grape – there weren’t that many fields in Champagne, and the original manufacturer of champagne was a problem, because many of the bottles, almost 40% in some years, would explode. Because, in the early days, they hadn’t worked out the correct manner of storing the champagne. This is way champagne became a luxury wine. Because there wasn’t that much of it. There was natural exclusiveness. In the global world we live in today, we certainly sell a very large amount of these so-called exclusive brands. So, if it was purely being based on the number being sold, it would be very hard to claim that a brand like Bollinger, for example, is exclusive when it is selling two hundred or three hundred thousand cases of champagne a year. So, the trick is to get as many sales as possible, but while maintaining a very high level of quality and also using price to maintain that exclusiveness. So, if we were to begin to lower the prices of these luxury brands, combined with their large sales, it perhaps would begin to tarnish their images and that is where, I think, you will see luxury brands in trouble, when they begin to sell – not just a lot of these things, but at lower prices, not monitoring the quality carefully enough.

    The reality for most luxury brands is their shareholders these days, or their families demand enormous global sales. So, while they are certainly more available than they once were, in terms of where you can buy them and in what numbers, price prevents you from going out and drinking a bottle of Bollinger everyday. Simply because one cannot afford to do it. So, in that sense it is a balancing act. The numbers sold these days are extraordinary, of course, but the price, the quality, the creativity, if they remain leading and in the appropriate place, then, as we have learned over the last fifteen years, a luxury brand can sell extraordinary large numbers and still be seen as extraordinarily exclusive.

    Courtesy of: Marketing Magazine
    Sponsored By: Brand Aid

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Trade Shows

    Market your products or buy new productsto sell at Trade Shows! Check out this website www.biztradeshows.com to search for trade shows in your area. http://www.festivals-and-shows.com/sitemap.html Is another great site to search for events such as fairs and festivals.If you liv in Citrus County Fl www.hernandofarmersmarket.com or www.sumtercountyfarmersmarket.com  and even www.hernandocountyfarmersmarket.webs.com  Ocala has a great market in the circle downtown check out here for a vendor application www.ocalafarmmarket.com www.circlesquarecommonsfarmersmarket.com

    Parents Night Out

    This is a great idea for a caregiver or babysitter...or even just to make a lil extra cash every other week or once a month. Advertise your PNO atleast a week in advance and charge between $15-$25 per child and if the person has more than one child then charge a smaller fee for the second child. I normally charge $25 for the first child and then $15 for the 2nd.. Offer Activites,Crafts,a Movie and Popcorn or Pizza.. Buy a box of juice boxes and give each child a snack or peice of pizza. Make it s slumber party setting and hold it for 4-5 hrs.. 6-11 or 6-10 is a great time because it gives parents the chance to eat dinner and see a movie locally. You can also offer Moms Day Out for 4-5 hrs during the week and use the same platform for pricing and such. I would make sure you limit space to 4-6 children for safety reasons. Also make sure yu are CPR certified and have all safety precautions like outlet covers in your home for smaller children!

    Sunday, May 13, 2012

    Start a Wholesale And Distribution Business

    The products you buy at any retail store arrived there through a series of business transactions. The product was first manufactured then sold to a wholesale distributor who stored the product in a warehouse before shipping the product to the retail location. Wholesaler distributors can make good money provided they run an efficient operation and turn their inventory quickly. Starting a wholesale distribution business is a significant undertaking that will require substantial start up capital

    Instructions


    1. Determine Your Product Line

      • 1
        Conduct market research to identify the category of products you want to carry. Look for products that have current demand and are selling in the market today. Competition in a given market is a good indication of demand for that category of products.
      • 2
        Search for suppliers. Look for manufacturers and importers who can supply large lots of high-quality products at low unit prices. The key to being profitable in the wholesale business is buying low and selling high. Purchasing in volume and selling smaller lots is the basis of this strategy.


     

    Instructions

    1. Determine Your Product Line

      • 1
        Conduct market research to identify the category of products you want to carry. Look for products that have current demand and are selling in the market today. Competition in a given market is a good indication of demand for that category of products.
      • 2
        Search for suppliers. Look for manufacturers and importers who can supply large lots of high-quality products at low unit prices. The key to being profitable in the wholesale business is buying low and selling high. Purchasing in volume and selling smaller lots is the basis of this strategy.
      • 3
        Select those products from the products your suppliers have to offer that you believe you can sell profitably. Make a list of these products, including price points for various order quantities.

      Identify Your Customers

      • 4
        Search for retailers and large industrial operations that would likely buy items from your product line. Make a list of potential clients, including the products in which they are likely to be interested.
      • 5
        List and rank your potential customers according to the volume of product they are likely to buy. This will be determined by their retail sales volume and the product lines they carry.
      • 6 Approach the customers on your list with your product offerings. Negotiate volume and pricing with them for the items in which they are interested. Many will already have distributors they are happy with but some will respond to lower prices, while others may be interested in expanding their product lines.

    Set Up Your Warehouse and Distribution

    • 7
      Buy, rent or lease a warehouse of sufficient size to store your products. This is likely to be a large expense and will require insurance for the building and contents. Ensure that your warehouse is located in an area close to your customer base to minimize shipping costs and has facilities for loading and unloading freight trucks.
    • 8
      Develop procedures for inventory control. You must know what comes into your warehouse and what goes out at all times. A real-time inventory-control software application with bar-code tracking is the best option for maintaining positive inventory control.
    • 9
      Set up your distribution system. Depending on your operation, this can range from contracting with UPS to make delivery of your products to buying and maintaining a fleet of delivery trucks. Carefully evaluate the costs of the options you consider. Operating your own fleet can be an expensive undertaking and often carries a high degree of risk.

    References:
    Read more: How to Start a Wholesale & Distribution Business | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5863356_start-wholesale-distribution-business.html#ixzz1un9ZsJPe

    Mason Jar Ideas

    Dry mixes in jars are classic. Besides being a great way to store mixes they also make very fun gifts. I’ve found the best approach to this is to line your jars up on the counter and get all of your dry ingredients out. Measure out one ingredient at a time and place that amount in each jar. Continue to layer until you are done.
    Here are some good recipes to start with.
    My husband came up with this idea and i think i am rubbing off on him lol he had some other great ideas to this but i am gonna surprise ya all and tell you when i got it done!

    Pankcake mix in a jar


  • Prep/Total Time: 10 min.


  • Yield: 8 Servings


  • Extra Ideas-Use store bought mix and then layer different mix in ingredients in tha pacake dry mix Mark ADD WATER or ADD MILK Only on the container. "Breakfast in a JAr"
    10 10

    Ingredients

    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 3 tablespoons sugar
    • 2 tablespoons baking powder
    • 4-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS (for each batch):
    • 1 egg
    • 3/4 cup milk
    • 3 tablespoons canola oil
    • 1/4 cup chopped dried apples or cranberries, optional


    Directions

    • In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Transfer to a 1-qt. jar with a tight-fitting lid. Cover and store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months. Yield: 2 batches (3 cups total).
    • To prepare pancakes: Place 1-1/2 cups mix in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg, milk and oil. Stir in dried fruit if desired. Stir into pancake mix just until moistened. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto a greased hot griddle. Turn when bubbles form on top; cook until second side is golden brown. Yield: 8 pancakes per batch.

    Nutritional Facts 1 serving (2 each) equals 329 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 59 mg cholesterol, 634 mg sodium, 44 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 8 g protein.
     
    Images by Freepik