Sunday, September 30, 2007

It's Pink October!

PINK OCTOBER is here! I have been planning and working toward this month all year long.

I'm excited that starting today and all through the month, we will be working to contribute and highlight all kinds of Pink October activities. I'm working diligently to launch my new designs for the 2007-2008 Pink October Bags. I will have one debut today and the second one will be revealed in a few days.

There have been quite a lot of things not going as planned over the past two weeks that seemd destined to throw a wrench into the works for me, but I'm determined to push through and get on track. My hubby says plans are what you do when nothing else happens!

So even though we have fabrics on back order, some strangeness going on with some of my recent shipments, and I'm in the middle of moving my studio and office out of two rooms (on separate floors no less!) and into one much more spacious and organized room ... I will be getting into gear with my Pink October projects all throughout this first week of October.

I have quite the Fall lineup in progress - here's what to watch for!

My annual Pink October bags! I will reveal one of the bags today (Monday) right here on the forum and on my website, Mama's Pocketbook. The other will be ready to be revealed mid-week. These bags are really great, made from the softest, most gorgeous Amy Butler fabrics and this year instead of creating a limited edition, I've decided to make the bags available year round, from Oct 2007 to Sept. 2008, when I will reveal totally new designs for the next year. Mama's Pocketbook will donate quarterly, 20% of the profits from the sales of these Pink October bags, to Susan G. Koman For The Cure.

And speaking of Amy Butler, I'm thrilled to announce that I have just completed my very own, exclusive, up to the minute interview with Amy Butler! Amy's interview is being featured in the October edition of's "Women Who Inspire" column. You must read this and get to know one of today's hottest designers. Amy has great advice for all of us on how to manage a booming business and balance it with a busy family and personal life. Amy is also generously sending me some great patterns and kits to offer as giveaways to our readers of the "Women Who Inspire" column! It's going to get pretty exciting around here ... with more to come practically everyday!

My site is also featured this entire month on the front page of in the center kiosk! Very cool!

There are also more beautiful carpet bags in development under my new "DHD" label (Dianne Hadaway Designs). So please sign up for the newsletter if you haven't already, and stay tuned for the reveals!

Lots of my MMP Pink Sisters are participating in Pink October with special sales, donations, and many other great activities and projects planned for the entire month of October.

So, Have a very PINK day and help us all do all we can to give to the various charities and participate in the various events for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

XOXO ~ Dianne

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Pink Carpetbag Bliss!

UPDATE: The New DHD Elegance Carpet Bag is Now Available For Ordering on My Website

This is pure PINK inspiration at it's best. Even I am drooling over my latest creation! It all started just a couple of days ago, when I saw a really cool, huge carpet bag at Horchow, with a really huge price tag to match ($1,000.00)! Ok, so the fabric on that Horchow bag was hand embroidered and it's from a German designer, but I live in the real world and that's quite a chunk of change.

But ... I was inspired and I had already decided a while back that I'd like to add a larger "carpetbag" style to my line, so after some lively discussion with my Pink Sisters over at Make Mine Pink, I was really feeling the creative energy build.

Of course everyone agreed a pink carpetbag would be ideal, and I had just the fabric for it! I bought this damask a while back and it was a major splurge, but that little fabric buying junkie that sits on my shoulder and whispers in my ear actually shouted at me to buy it, so I did. I didn't know what I'd do with it, which is oftentimes the case when I buy fabric, but I digress...

So, ok, I was thinking, yeah, this is good! This is exciting! I'll create a carpetbag as soon as I finish my current orders and as soon as I get my new Pink October bags ready to launch on Oct. 1st. But this bag would not be put aside. Oh no, it is far too special! The universe shifted when I locked onto this idea of the Pink Carpetbag and it took over and viola ... manifested overnight!

Further inspiration came in the form of an opportunity to bid on an MMP spotlight ad that came available at the last minute.Seriously. I bid late yesterday on it, and THEN decided, hey... I'll make that Pink Carpetbag just in case I win the spot! I'm telling ya, the stars were aligned on this one. I went into the "zone" yesterday and with scissors snipping and fibers flying, and leaving an aftermath of brown paper trimmings, various buckles, buttons and threads lying about along with several Diet Coke cans, coffee cups and empty packets of 100 Calorie Lorna Doone snacks, I worked until the wee hours of the morning.

Somewhere around 2 AM, after executing a particularly tricky seam just right ... or so I thought, I discovered my bobbin thread had run out. I took that as a sign and went to bed, remembering that my wee kiddos still needed me to get up in the wee hours and take them to school. I figured I'd grab a nap when I got back home, right after Coffee Chat at MMP.

Oh was I wrong! I guess somewhere along the way I figured someone surely had outbid me on the ad, but it was good to get that bag started anyway. Then the announcement. I WON THE BID. Holy cow. You know how they say be careful what you wish for. They are not kidding. At least be ready for getting what you wish for!

So I panicked for about 10 minutes then whatever dominant writer/creator gene it is that I possess kicked in (writers are notorious for working best under pressure) and I shifted into overdrive. I just barely beat the clock, but I got this gorgeous bag to the photo finish line just in time for the ad deadline. Whew. Now I can rest. Think I'll post my handiwork on the MMP forum and then maybe grab a catnap.

Well, I'll be darned if my good friend, the most illustrious BLOG QUEEN, Sharon of C'est Chouette didn't snag my first Pink Carpetbag right out of the gate! She's a go-getter that Sharon. You have to stay on your toes around her. So, this first one is her's and it'll be heading out on the midnight plane to Dallas tomorrow to be waiting for her when she arrives at the fabulous Hilton Anatole Hotel where the lucky lady is going to be enjoying the most exciting event in years ... The Victoria BLISS 2007 Event!

I wanted to go to that sooooo much. Victoria is my all time favorite magazine (and I'm a confirmed magazineaholic, so that is a strong statement) So just to know that Sharon will be there representing MMP and that she'll be toteing around my newest creation, the PINK CARPETBAG, well that is pure enough Bliss for me.

I'm really beginning to see how things come full circle sometimes when I listen to that voice that whispers in my ear!

Thank you to all for the wonderful comments!!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Make Mine Pink For A Cure

Mama's Pocketbook is gearing up for "Pink October" and so is Make Mine Pink! Visit the Make Mine Pink For A Cure store to find all kinds of pink items and $2.00 from every Make Mine PINK for a cure product will be donated to breast cancer research.

I'll be unveiling my two new Mama's Pocketbook Pink October bags
on October 1st!

I had hoped to do pre-sales, but it turns out that time is not on my side for that. I will be sending out a newsletter on Thurs. Sept. 27th to remind everyone on my newsletter list about all the Pink October activities, including a very special interview I'll have in the MMP "Women Who Inspire" column, with a very special designer for Pink October.

Please sign up for my newsletter if you have not done so! (there's a link here on the blog, in the right side menu!) Thanks!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Last Fall Tea Party Prizes

I'm late to my own party. Story of my life! Time just really got away from me yesterday and today I was running errands all day long (ok, and shopping and garage saleing!!)

So, to catch up and finish up with the final Fall Tea Party celebrations and giveaways, I will have to be a little creative.

Let's see ... I started the giveaway with a drawing from Wednesday's comments and Michele of Rose Petals and Blooms won a lavendar sachet warmer

Then I backed up and decided to giveaway two more of those sachets in a drawing of those who had commented on Monday & Tuesday. Those winners were Anne F from Momma's Place and Debbie from Cozy Cottage!

So that brings me to needing Winners for Thurs and Fri. and I promised to give away a new design of mine... a lovely floral wristlet bag... On Thurs. I had 7 comments and on Friday I had only 1 commentor... so here's the random number the generator at picked for Thursday's winner:
Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:1
Timestamp: 2007-09-16 03:56:55 IST

That means Lynn of The Vintage Nest is Thursday's winner

and my one and only commentor on Friday was Vicki Palmer of All Bliss Be Thine so she automatically wins for Friday.

Thank you to all my commentors I appreciate each and every one who visited and who took the time to post to me about my tea. This was a lot of fun!

Lynn & Vicki, I will contact the two of you regarding your prizes!

OK, to wrap up the week of tea parties. I promised a final drawing by putting all the posters in a hat. To do this right I had to check each tea related thread for the week and put all the comments into a list in order that they were received. Some of you posted more than once or on more than one day so to give each an equal shot, I assigned your number for your first comment and put your name in the hat only once. That brought me to a total of 24 commentors with the randon winner for Saturday's prize being:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers:24
Timestamp: 2007-09-16 04:30:18 IST

Tina from Garden Goose is my final prize winner... and the prize since I put all the comments in a hat, is ... A Sunhat! Tina I'll contact you to get you info so I can send you a Sun Hat from Mama's Pocketbook.

This has been a lot of fun, I've met so many nice people and found some amazing blogs. How will I ever keep up with them all! THANKS again to all who visited me this week! Please come back again real soon. XOXO ~ Dianne

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Silly Me! More Prizes...

See this is what happens when you try something new and don't really know what you are doing! LOL! It just went back and looked at all my wonderful comments and realized that the people who visited and posted comments on Monday and Tuesday should have a chance to win a lovely lavender sachet warmer too! Silly me! I was the one late to the tea party, so those who came to see me on those days should get a chance to win a pretty too.

In fact since there are two days there of comments, I'll give away TWO sachets!

Ok, I'm rolling my trusty little random number generator.... for numbers 1 - 9 and the two winners are:

Here are your random numbers:
Timestamp: 2007-09-14 03:45:54 IST

Which means my lucky winners are: Anne F from Momma's Place and Debbie from Cozy Cottage!

Congrats ladies, I will email you to let you know you've won, and I am completely tuckered out so I promise to post photos of the lavendar sachets tomorrow. I'm going to add these to my site too! They smell sooooooo wonderful! I mix high grade lavender buds with white rice so that you can warm your sachet in the microwave for one minute and use it to soothe tired eyes, headaches and muscle aches ... they are great on the back of the neck!.


Wednesday's Sachet Winner!

Hello Everyone!

I know, I know, you've been hanging around all day waiting, wringing your hands, drinking mug after mug of spice tea, and I see I need to whip up a few more batches of chocolate chip pralines, but... finally I have arrived!

It's been like Christmas around here! All this fun with visiting tea parties and making new friends and getting totally sucked into the time machine that is my computer! If only my body would physically adapt and rest and repair itself while I am in the dream-like altered state that I enter when I fall down in the rabbit hole of blogdom, I would not have to feel guilty about it all. Eh, who am I kidding, I DON'T feel guilty! I'm sure I should but I don't have time to feel guilty about how I spend my time!

Back to feeling like Christmas.... Today has been such a groovy day. My new computer and HUGE new monitor has arrived. I'm so jazzed. I want to set it up RIGHT NOW! But I'm forced to wait. Agony. Pure torture. I have to have a place to set it up down in the studio, or rather the STB (studio to be) because it is not going to work on this dinky desk I have in my dining room/office/magazine vault. So, I am learning my lesson in delayed gratification until I can go to IKEA this weekend and shop for my new desk, shelves, storage, file cabinets and other organizational miracles that will transform STB into MPA
(Mama's Pocketbook Atelier! Fancy, No?!)

Ok, Ok, enough of my chattering, forcing you to endure the same torturous delayed gratification (torture loves company!) ~ here we go!

I have mastered the mathematical challenge of selecting a winner fairly and squarely by using a random number generator from

Yesterday I had 11 lovely comments on my tea party post and so I entered the very complex computations to generate one random number out of the array of from 1 - 11 and the lucky number was:

Random Integer Generator
Here are your random numbers: 3
Timestamp: 2007-09-13 19:11:52 IST

So the winner of the lavender sachet warmer is my 3rd comment poster, myy lovely and dear new friend Michele of Rose Petals and Blooms! ( Congratulations Michele! Please email me your mailing address so I can get your prize shipped off to you right away. (I will post a photo ASAP)


I promised prizes for today and tomorrow too! So prizes there will be!

There are only a few new comments today so far, but I'll give it til midnight to determine the pool of potential winners of a brand new design I have fashioned ... how about a Wristlet? Do you know what a Wristlet is? It's an adorable (if I do say so myself) little bag with a wristband that makes it easy squeezy to carry around on errands or to those Fall Festivals where you don't want to have to tote a heavy bag and it leaves your hands free to browse and eat the yummy turkey legs and caramel apples and such! I'll post a picture of that too, just as soon as possible!



THE BONUS ROUND will come on Saturday, when I'll throw all the commenter's numbers in the the hat and give everyone a second chance to win a Grand Prize Prize! How's that!

Weeeeeeeeee, this is so much fun!

Oh... and I almost forgot to give you some new recipes!

This is my hubby's specialty...
Caramel Glazed Pear Cake
This is a family favorite that my grandmother always requests my husband make for family get-togethers! Melt in your mouth goodness!

4 ripe Bartlett pears, peeled and diced (about 3 cups)
1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup evaporated milk

Toss together pears and 1 tablespoon sugar; let stand 5 minutes
Beat eggs, 2 cups sugar, and oil at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended
Combine flour, salt, and baking soda, and add to egg mixture, beating at low speed until blended
Fold in pears, chopped pecans, and vanilla extract
Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch Bundt pan
Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean
Remove from pan, and drizzle Caramel Glaze over warm cake

Stir together brown sugar, butter, and evaporated milk in a small saucepan over medium heat
Bring to a boil, and cook, stirring constantly, 2 1/2 minutes or until sugar dissolves

Now being a Southern Girl through and through, you know I drink lots of sweet iced tea, sometimes with lemon. The secret to making great Southern Sweet Iced Tea is the way you mix the tea with the sugar and adding a pinch of baking soda! You simply cannot mix sugar into the tea later to get the right sweetness. It doesn't work. Or as my brothers would say... That ain't right!


3-4 cups water (to boil)
1 to 1 & 1/2 cups sugar (depending on just how sweet you like it)
3 Family size tea bags
Water and Ice to complete filling gallon container

Bring 3-4 cups of water to a boil
Add a pinch of baking soda to the water to boiling water and add 3 family sized tea bags
Remove from heat and cover, allowing the tea to steep for about 10 minutes.
Pour warm tea in gallon size pitcher and add sugar
Stir well to dissolve sugar
Fill pitcher the rest of the way with cold water or add water and ice to fill the pitcher
Refrigerate. Serve cold with thick lemon slices.

Baking soda cuts the bitterness and darkens the tea a bit but doesn't affect the flavor.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Welcome to My Fabulous Fall Tea Party!

What an amazing week this has been for all those making the rounds to all the gorgeous Make Mine Pink Virtual Tea Parties!

Isn't this the most fun thing ever? I'm meeting so many wonderful, creative women and I'm simply overwhelmed by the sweet comments and new sites and blogs I'm discovering. Thank you all for visiting me and waiting for me to catch my breath long enough to put together my Fall Tea Party.

As promised I have some delicious recipes to share with you today! First we'll start with a big mug of spiced tea. Yes! I did say MUG! Fall is here ... at least inside my happy little tea room! It's a sunny, but cool Indian Summer day, the leaves are turning, the breeze is blowing, and this spiced tea is steamy and yummy just for you!

Would you like to try some of my Soft Southern Chocolate Chip Pecan Pralines?

1 1/2 ea Sticks unsalted butter
1 c Sugar
1 c Packed, light brown sugar
1 c Milk
1/2 c Heavy cream
1 c Coarsely chopped pecans
2 c Whole pecan halves
2 T Vanilla extract
1 1/2 c Semisweet chocolate chips - Chilled!

Gather all the ingredients and utensils before starting to cook.
(Measure out the chocolate chips and keep in refrigerator until needed.)
A large, heavy-bottomed aluminum pot or skillet with deep sides
A long-handled metal whisk or spoon
2 large spoons (or an ice cream scoop with a manual release)
A very lightly greased cookie sheet.

Melt the butter in the pot over high heat; add the sugars, milk, cream and chopped pecans.
Cook 5 minutes, whisking constantly.
Reduce heat to medium, continue cooking and whisking for 10 minutes.
Add the pecan halves and continue whisking and cooking until done,
about 8 to 10 minutes.
Lower the heat toward end of cooking time.
Stir in vanilla
Immediately drop about 1/4 cup of chocolate chips into about one-sixth of the batter.
Stir quickly and just enough to cover some of the chips with batter
but not enough to allow the chips to melt.

Quickly drop the chocolate mixture onto the cookie sheet by heaping spoonfuls,
using the second spoon to push the batter off the first spoon,
or use ice cream scoop
Each praline should be about 2 inches wide by 1/2 inch thick.

Repeat dripping mixture, stirring again before adding more chocolate chips.
The cooled pralines should be light brown, soft and crumbly.

Are you ready for Fall? or if you are visiting from "down under" you should be ready for Spring right? Either way, please tell me all your plans for Fall! I love hearing your plans!

Please keep reading - as I have some surprises for you!

I adore the changing of the seasons, it's like getting a new lease on life. I love everything about Fall ... the colors, the air, the leaves, football games, county fairs, wearing sweaters, going to the Fall Festivals and Arts & Crafts Shows, ohh they are so much fun! I can't wait for my favorite t.v. shows to return for the new season.

I also have lots and lots of exciting plans going on for Fall at Mama's Pocketbook to share with you, so please come back tomorrow for more new recipes... and news, and more fun!

So, if you leave a comment today, you'll be entered into a random drawing tomorrow for my little blog prize giveaway just for fun!

Now, let's see... what shall I give to the lucky poster who comments today (Wednesday)? How about a nice lavender sachet warming pouch! Pop it in the microwave for one minute and lay it over your forehead or your eyes to ease away tension, or place on sore muscles for a fragrant soother. This would be perfect to help you relax while you enjoy some more spiced tea!

I'll post a picture of the sachet a little later today

and after I have some spiced tea to wake me up because...

I was up extra late last night making sure my tea was just right
and I was chatting and burning the midnight oil with my friend Roxie!

You all know Roxie don't you?
Roxie of Jorabeels! Sure you know her!

Well Roxie has been hard at work and has a surprise of her own for everyone today!

The unveiling of her new website
Roxie has taken an absolutely brilliant idea and turned it into ...
And please come back to see me for tea again tomorrow... and more recipes, and more prizes!

Have a beautiful Wednesday!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Would You Join Me On Wednesday For A Nice Fall Tea Break?

Hello and welcome my friend!

Are you enjoying visiting all the lovely tea parties on the Make Mine Pink's Virtual Tea Party circuit?

I have to admit, I have been so overwhelmed by all the blessings pouring into my life lately that I have not quite caught up enough to present a proper tea for you today. Would you be able to visit with me and have virtural tea and treats on Wednesday? And on Thursday and Friday too!

Meanwhile make sure to make the rounds everyday this week here in MMP's Pretty Pink Blog Network to find lots of fun filled, gorgeous, and inspiring gatherings.

I'm so looking forward to spend some time with you chatting and catching up. I've been so busy these last few months I've hardly ever taken time to relax and unwind. It will be so nice to mark the change of the seasons here with you and share a delicious and fun Fall themed tea party!

I'll have recipes to share for some great spice tea and for a batch of friendship tea that you can mix up for great Fall gifts! And some delectible delights such as Southern Pecan Chocolate Pralines and hmmm, not sure what else I'll find to serve up to all my lovely friends. I'm sure I'll rustle up a nice surprise or two to give away too, so please be sure to come back and visit with me and have some tea! Oh, and leave comments. I love comments!

Sunday, September 2, 2007

My Newest Fall OOAK Carrie Purse

My new TOTALLY VINTAGE Carrie Purse makes me soooo ready for for cooler weather, fall festivals and arts & crafts shows! How about you?

UPDATE!: My new purse SOLD already! To one of my best repeat customers! Thank You Susan! I know you will love it! ... And there are more OOAK's on the way, stay tuned!

This OOAK pocketbook was so fun to make. I wish I had enough fabric to make more, but this is a vintage linen I have been saving for a long time and there was only just enough to make this one lovely Carrie handbag.

When I found the gorgeous and unique tatted cluny lace, it was the perfect match for this fabric, then I spotted the little blue metal button with the rhinestone center in my stash of vintage buttons, and was inspired to add a whole row of unique vintage buttons.

The runched calico handles are so sweet and comfy, I know I'll have to create more bags with those kinds of handles again soon!

The second photo is truer to the color. I took the first one on the table in my entry and just could not get the pinkish tint out of the image. The fabric is a creamy linen and the leaf print is in shades of ecru, tan, denim blues, and there are little golden-yellow berries and tiny flowers sprinkled about.

I've got the fever now to make lots more pretty Fall purses, so if you aren't the lucky one to snag this one ... keep tabs on the new listings here on the blog, or join my newsletter, or bookmark the site! I hope to add new creations every few days.

Thanks for looking! AND please comment.. I love feedback!!