Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Hello Everyone!

I'm hooked on Spotlighting! And just what is spotlighting? Spotlighting is a super-cool feature at the artisan website that is similar to the Etsy Treasury feature, with a couple of significant exceptions: 1) You don't have to wait until the spotlights drops to 333 before you can score a spotlight -- how many times have you waited until 1 am in the morning to get in on the treasuries, only to miss it by like 4 seconds? and 2) You can use listings from sites other than Etsy, such as Artfire, 1000Markets, Made it Myself, and others!

Here's an example of a spotlight I recently created... featuring just some of the things I have on sale right now!

So as you can see, spotlighting can be an effective marketing tool! They're very addictive (and you don't have to create one just to promote yourself... you can create one based on a favorite color scheme, or a favorite theme... you are only limited by your imagination!)

Stop by today, and join (registration is free!) in the fun!


PS: don't forget my sale: 15% off all orders; 20% off all orders $20 or more; 30% off all orders $30 or more! Valid at all my stores, through March 1 at midnight!

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A New Blend, A New "Job" & A New Sale!

Hello Everyone!

Well, let me start out with the most exciting news of all, my herbal blend designed to enhance calm and relaxation is ready! I sampled it last night, and I really like it! I have tried other "night time" herbal teas, and I must say (not biased at all, mind you!) that I really think that this tea is better!

Some of the subscribers to my newsletter (if you're interested in subscribing, please enter your information into the subscription form in the left column of this blog) have volunteered to be my taste testers, their job will be to not only taste a sample of this new tea, but also to offer some ideas for a name for the blend! The subscriber who submits the winning name will receive a tin of the tea when it's ready (it won't be ready for release until late March).

Next on my list of exciting news ... I have been "moonlighting" as a tea reviewer on The Tea Review Blog! Now, I do not review my own teas here (as it might be considered biased), but I do enjoy other teas as well as my own... this past weekend, I managed to get three reviews submitted.

I'm enjoying this new position, hey, it gives me another excuse to drink tea (not that I need another excuse! LOL) and it also opens the door of opportunity for me to try something different, which expands my palate and my own ideas for what tea blend I might create next.

Finally, I want to announce my end of the month sale:

15% off all orders
Buy $20 or more, the discount is increased 5% (20% off the entire order)
Buy $30 or more, the discount is increased 10% (30% off the entire order)

This sale is valid at all of my stores: My Etsy Store, My Artfire Tea Shop, My Artfire Art Studio, and my Made it Myself Store.

OH... and I almost forgot... on ARTFIRE... no account necessary to purchase!

Paypal customers: Please process your order and process your payment. Upon receiving payment notification from Paypal, I will issue you a refund for your discount.

Prefer to mail a check or money order? No problem! Process your order, and then please wait for my confirmation email, I will calculate your discount, and email you with an adjusted total to reflect the discount.

Fine Print: Offer expires on March 1, 2009 at midnight (Pacific Time) and is limited to stock on hand. Discount applies to entire order before shipping charges are added, and is valid only on product, not on shipping charges.

Thanks for reading along, have a great week!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wow, it's Saturday already!

My how time passes when you're having fun!

I have been busily listing items in my newest venue:

Made it Myself!

Yes, yet another store! I currently have 3 other shops: My Etsy Store, My Artfire Tea Shop, and my Artfire Art Studio. And I am considering adding at least one more shop to this list, besides the new one at Made it Myself.

You might ask why? why make all these stores, why not instead concentrate my efforts into just one venue?

Basically, I'm doing it for added exposure. Since I am a one-person operation, essentially breaking even with this venture for the time being, I can't really afford the investment for a decent advertisement package. So, while I do what I can, blog constantly, join forums and hype my products, the fact is that I don't have the money that a lot of the bigger guys out there have to bring attention to my product. It's a great product, and once you try it, I feel like the quality of the product speaks for itself, but, it's about getting the exposure, getting my name out there to get the attention first... so I open these other venues with the hope that someone might see me at one of the venues where they might not have seen me at another...

So... this weekend, I'd like to celebrate my new venue with a special offer!

Buy any 2 tins of tea from my Made it Myself Store, get a box of T-Sacs (size 2, 100 count) absolutely free! Hey, I won't even charge you additional shipping! ABSOLUTELY FREE! This is a $6.00 value (that's what I normally sell these boxes for) free of charge!

Now, if you, for some reason, can't find your favorite LiberTEAS flavor at my Made It Myself store, simply email me, and I'll get it listed for you. Or, you can shop at one of my other two tea sites - My Etsy Store ~or~ My Artfire Tea Shop and get the same deal. I won't hold it against you! But please, do take a moment to visit my Made it Myself Shop first!

To take advantage of this offer: simply place your order for the 2 tins (or more!) of tea, and process through paypal (or if you prefer, you can pay via check or money order). I will automatically include the T-Sacs with your order, so long as you've ordered 2 tins of tea!

Now, if you're a tea purist, you probably don't like T-Sacs and want nothing to do with them! Alright, I can appreciate that. I'm somewhat of a tea purist myself, although I have been known to use T-Sacs on occasion (especially when I'm brewing a Rooibos blend, as the needle-like leaves of Rooibos are very thin and often sift right through my tea strainer!)... so here's a special offer just for you!

Buy any 2 tins (or more) of tea, and get a $5.00 rebate on your total purchase.

To take advantage of this offer, you need to let me know that you'd prefer the rebate over the T-Sacs. So, please email me after you've placed your order and processed your payment (or if you're mailing your check or money order payment, please email me before doing so, so that I can give you an ammended total). I will refund $5.00 from your paypal payment as soon as I receive notification of the payment.

So, what are you waiting for? This offer is not going to last forever... in fact, it is only going to last through Monday, February 23rd, at midnight (Pacific Time). Visit my Tea Shop at Made It Myself right away and take advantage of this amazing offer!!!


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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lemon Cupcake Recipe (Contest Winner!)

Hello Everyone:

Well, I've heard back from the contest winners (there were two!) and so I think it's safe to publish one of the two recipes -- I'll post the other one in a week or two.

Here is the recipe for Lemon Cupcakes, submitted by Christine from Ohio! I used Meyer Lemons for this recipe, mostly because they were available at Whole Foods when I shopped there, and they looked irresistibly beautiful!

Lemon Cupcakes


1 cup of butter (room temperature)
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
zest from 4 lemons
2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
Juice from 2 lemons
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Lemon Drizzle:
Juice from remaining 2 lemons
1/2 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray muffin tins and dust with flour. Alternatively, you can line the tins with cupcake liners, however, there is a step that follows baking that can leave your cupcake liners somewhat sticky. If you don't mind sticky cupcake liners, then use the liners instead of spraying and flour dusting.

Cream butter and sugar together at medium speed for about 5 minutes. Do not skimp on this step, it greatly affects the texture of the cupcakes.

Add eggs, one at a time, to creamed mixture, blending well before adding another egg. Add lemon zest, and blend well, taking time to scrape down the sides of the bowl of your mixer and the mixer blade. The zest accumulated on the blade for me when I made these, so do make sure that you scrape the blade to make sure that the zest gets well incorporated.

Sift together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. In a different bowl, mix together the lemon juice, buttermilk and vanilla. Gradually add 1/3 of the flour mixture, blend, and then half of the lemon juice mixture, blend. Add another 1/3 of the flour mixture, blend, the last of the lemon juice mixture, blend, and finish up with the last of the flour mixture. Mix for about 20 seconds on medium speed, making sure that batter is well blended but do not over mix.

Scoop batter evenly into muffin tins, filling each cup about 2/3 full. This makes about 24 cupcakes.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Cupcakes are done when a wooden skewer inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean.

Now for the sticky part!

Juice the remaining 2 lemons (remember, you zested 4 lemons, but only juiced 2 of them), and pour into a small saucepan with 1/2 cup of sugar. Heat over medium heat until sugar is completely dissolved.

Using a wooden skewer, poke several holes into the crown of the cupcake. You should drive the skewer through to almost the bottom of the cupcake, as you want the syrup to be absorbed throughout the cake.

Now, spoon the lemon juice syrup over the cupcake. I used a soup spoon for this, and used about a spoonful and a half for each cupcake. Allow the syrup to absorb into the cupcake.

Allow the cupcakes to cool completely, and then frost them.

Thank you Christine for your winning recipe! I love these cupcakes! So yummy!

A note about the syrup ... do not make the same mistake I made and drizzle the syrup over the paper lined cupcakes while they were still in the muffin tin. Instead, move them to a cooling rack and drizzle them there... use yesterday's newspaper underneath the cooling rack to catch the drippings to avoid a sticky mess!

Christine won a Chatsford teapot, along with a tin of her favorite tea! (and I might add, these cupcakes are the perfect accompaniment to tea!!!)

Thanks for reading along, I hope you too will enjoy this recipe!


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Friday, February 13, 2009

My Valentine's Weekend Special!

Hello Everyone!

Well, here it is, Valentine's Day is here already! To celebrate, I'm having a special sale all weekend, through Sunday, February 15, at midnight (Pacific Time).

Receive 25% discount on all tea purchases that include either Chocolate Rose Romance tea ~or~ Breakfast in Bed tea!

This means you can purchase a tin of my Sweet Caramel o'Mine tea, and a tin of my Chocolate Rose Romance tea, and you qualify for the 25% discount on your entire order!

Or you can purchase any other combination of tea, and as long as you've included the Chocolate Rose Romance Tea, *OR* the Breakfast in Bed tea (or you can, of course, purchase both of them!) -- you'll receive the 25% discount!

Just visit my Artfire tea shop or my Etsy store, and place your order this weekend... and be sure to include either the Chocolate Rose Romance tea, or the Breakfast in Bed tea to receive a 25% discount off your entire order!

Discount offer is limited to stock on hand, and is good through Sunday, February 15, 2009, at midnight. Discount on product only, does not apply to shipping charges.


Paypal customers: Just place your order, and process your payment as you normally would. When I've received notification of payment, I will process a 25% refund.

Check/Money Order customers: If you prefer to mail your payment, please wait for me to send you an invoice with your adjusted total, then mail your payment within 5 days.

Thank you, everyone, for helping to make my Artfire tea shop a success!


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Monday, February 09, 2009

A Tea Story...

Hello Everyone:

Over the past 7 years as I've been blending and flavoring teas, I've created tea flavors that I have wanted. It all started with my Chocolate tea, now called Chocolate Rose Romance. I wanted a chocolate tea that was similar to the chocolate tea I used to purchase from my favorite little antique store in old town Orange, California, an antique store that went out of business, and they took their delightfully flavored chocolate tea with them.

So, I visited all the tea shops I could find in the area, and some of them had chocolate teas, but, none of these chocolate flavors were quite as decadent as my fond memories of the Chocolate tea from that little antique store.

This is how I became inspired to try my hand at flavoring and blending my own teas. My first attempts were very hit and miss... mostly... miss! I did some research, and I did a lot of experimentation. And there was even a time that I gave up and threw in the towel on the whole endeavor, certain I wasn't going to ever achieve that flavor for which I longed.

Then, about 7 years ago, I decided to try again, and I came up with a blend that may not be exactly what I used to obtain from my favorite antique dealer, but, it was certainly close, and quite possibly, better! Since that time, I've made various improvements on my original recipe, and I must say that now, it indeed IS better.

None of my other flavors have undergone as many attempts and transformations as my Chocolate tea.

I am often asked which tea is my favorite, and I usually list my newest tea, or the most recently blended tea... but in truth, my all time favorite is indeed my Chocolate Rose Romance. The flavor is rich, sumptuous... it is everything I want it to be and more. It's a nice chocolate indulgence with little fat (I say "little" because I do add a splash of half & half to this tea, so there is a small amount of fat), and little calories (sometimes I add Agave Nectar, sometimes, I add honey, and sometimes I add Stevia to this tea, depending on what I have handy!)

My Chocolate Rose Romance is a blend of black teas, Chocolate bits, Cacao Nibs, Vanilla, Apple, Rooibos, Almonds, and just a sprinkling of Rose Petals. The rose petals are not added as much for flavor as they are for visual appeal. (Note, if you like rose flavored tea, try my Breakfast in Bed tea!!!)

Is there a tea flavor you'd like to try? Is there a combination that you think would make a winning tea flavor? Please, feel free to drop a comment on this blog, and let me know what flavor you'd like. I'll try creating a flavor to your specifications, and if the flavor is a hit, and I decide to begin offering it in my shop, I'll send you the first tin of it... FREE!


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Friday, February 06, 2009

Weekend Special! $5.00 Instant* Rebate!

Hello Everyone!

Well, the weekend is here already! And it's tax season, so I thought I'd offer a REBATE!

This weekend, beginning Friday, February 6, and ending Sunday, February 8 at midnight, you can receive a $5.00 INSTANT* REBATE on your purchase of 2 or more tins of tea!

This offer is good at either my Artfire Tea Shop or my Etsy store.

Offer is limited to stock on hand, no rainchecks, and is valid on all orders placed before midnight on Sunday, February 8. To receive your rebate via paypal, simply place your order, and process your payment. Once I have received payment, I will refund $5.00 via paypal. If you prefer to mail your payment, simply email me after you've finished processing your order, and I will email you with a corrected total, less the $5.00 rebate.

*You will receive your rebate as soon as I have received notification of your payment via email, so it may not be "instantaneous", but, it will be prompt.

Also, I do not have all of my teas posted to my shops yet, so, if there is something that you want, but don't see in either shop, please email me and I'll let you know if it's available.

It's Tea Time!!!

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

A New Online Playground for Artists!

Hello Everyone!

This is a reposting (or a cut/paste) from my art blog. Just in case there are those of you who read this blog, but not my art blog... or the other way around... for those of you who read both blogs... well, read it twice?


I am writing today to share with you some information about a whole new website that has been created for artists.

It's called ByHand.Me and you can access it with this url:

It has been designed to be a social community to help promote handmade wares. It's a place for the artists who sell their wares on places like Etsy or Artfire. It's also a place where artists can find support, and learn more about how to better promote yourself as an artist. At ByHand.Me, you'll find:

  • An Artisan Directory - for artists with a business. You can add your business, along with where you sell online, and how you can be contacted. A great way to help build your business online!
  • Forums - a message board where members can post about handmade wares, ask for advice, promote your business, or just socialize!
  • Member Blogs - Each member gets their own blog. Also, and this is really cool... your blog entry can be on the front page of the site! Kind of like flashing, only you probably won't get arrested for it. woo hoo!
  • Social Networking - the social networking feature allows you to connect with other artisans.
  • Chat - A place to communicate in real time with other members. It's also a great place to facilitate your own procratination issues. If you're an artist, you probably know what I'm talking about.
  • Private Messaging - A safe way to talk in private. Maybe play a game of telephone with other members. Remember that game?
  • RSS Feeds - OK... so I don't know what RSS feeds are. But maybe you do... If you do, well, you can do that here. If you don't, well, then, you can continue in your blissful ignorance of them here. Or maybe, you can get into a private message or chat with Adam (the creator) and he can tell you what it's all about. Because artists support each other like that.
  • More! - just the way it sounds... more... not less. And more is more.
And it's all free! That's the best price. Unless you could find someone to pay you to join a site, and that, honestly, might feel a bit weird... sort of like paying someone to be your friend, or giving the bully on the playground your lunch money so they don't beat you up after school.

You can learn more by visiting Rebecca's Soap Deli News Blog.

Join today, and then find me on there and add me to your connections ... my user name is Liberteas... you know... like my tea shop? Speaking of which, it's really nice to brew a cup of tea before you sit back and socialize at ByHand.Me. It's sort of like having tea with friends... only you don't have to get dressed up and wear a hat. Unless you want to.

So, that's all for now. Hope to see you at ByHand.Me soon!

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