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Authentic Polish Papercut Wycinanki Folk Art

Posted on November 21, 2019 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

This summer while visiting Poland we had the opportunity to discover many new products at the Polish Folk Art Fair in Krakow.  The products I am most excited about are these beautiful hand cut Polish Papercut Wycinanki !  We sell many products featuring prints of this style of Folk Art, but this is the first time we have been able to find someone who still makes the authentic traditional layered paper version.  These Wycinanki are so beautiful and unique - we wanted to purchase every single item the artisan had in her booth!

I wish you could see these in products in person, because they truly are works of art!  We spent last weekend carefully taking photographs in an attempt to convey just how special these papercut designs are - so be sure to check out the product listings to see all the images.  I also included lots of historical information in the description if you're interested in learning more about this unique folk art craft.

Being a Polish American family, I'm always looking for ways to add more of our Polish heritage into our home here in the United States.  I cannot wait to frame the Wycinanki we picked out at the festival to add to our decor - and now you can do the same!  The papercut designs will also make wonderful gifts for those with Polish ancestry. 

I'm so excited to make these traditional Polish Papercut Wycinanki  more accessible so that everyone can purchase a small piece of Polish cultural history for their own homes!

Boleslawiec vs. Rustic Ceramics

Posted on November 16, 2019 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

The world of online shopping has made it so much easier to discover new and interesting products.  But, not being able to see items in person can make it hard to decide what product is right for you!  That's why many customers email asking for my opinion of the differences between some of our Fermenting Crocks.  Today I thought I'd share my observations comparing the Rustic and Boleslawiec Fermenting Crocks

 

There are several differences between the Rustic Crocks and the Boleslawiec Crocks, but here are the most noticeable -  

Clay

The Rustic Fermenting Crocks feature a dense clay with thick wall construction.  This makes the crock heavier to move around as well as helping to moderate temperature shifts in the environment.  Customers also report that these crocks seem to be less susceptible to barometric pressure changes.  In contrast, the Boleslawiec crocks have a thinner wall construction and a smoother clay.  The result is a crock that is lighter weight and therefore easier to move around.  

Glaze

The smoother clay on the Boleslawiec crocks also contributes to a smoother glaze finish.  In addition, the glaze on the Boleslawiec Crocks is a glossy finish.  The glaze on the Rustic Fermenting Crocks is more of a matte finish.  The denser clay on thh Rustic Crocks also leads to a rougher finish than the Boleslawiec Crocks

Shape

The handles on the Rustic Crocks are large, making it easier to move them around.  In addition, the shape is shorter and fatter than the Boleslawiec Crocks

Reputation

Boleslawiec is the most recognized Polish ceramics company in the world.  The Rustic Fermenting Crocks are made by a much smaller ceramics studio that is only know within Poland and Germany. 

Hopefully these comparisons help you understand our products a little better!

Nuts for Fall Sale!

Posted on October 08, 2019 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

There is a chill to the air, the leaves are falling and we're hauling in the last of our garden harvests.  As the fall season sets in, we always like to bring out our collection of Mushroom Nutcrackers and a bowl of mixed nuts ready for shelling.  My children love to sit by our fireplace and shell the nuts while they nibble on their "rewards".  I love that they have a quiet activity to occupy their time, plus a nutritious snack all at the same time!  And what parent doesn't love a snack that your kids serve themselves!


While I love having nutcrackers around my house, they also make the perfect gift!  They are small and easy to keep on hand for those last minute situations, and their unique design and beauty mean that you never have to worry if the recipient already has one!  And with three different designs to choose from - Traditional Brown, Natural Heartwood or Red Toadstool - there's sure to be a Mushroom Nutcracker that even the most discerning giftee will love!

Don't forget - we aren't the only ones who love our Mushroom Nutcrackers!  Who remembers when it was featured in this New York Times article "Nutcrackers: Master of the Hard Shell", online and in the print version on November 20, 2014? Here's what Chef Chris Cosentino had to say about our nutcracker -

"He also liked a mushroom-like wooden nutcracker from Stone Creek Trading, which he thought resembled a porcini. "You can hold the top or the bottom to twist it together," he said. "That's nice, elegant and simple.""



In honor of our favorite fall product, our Mushroom Nutcrackers are on sale this week!  Now thru Sunday September 13, 2019 Buy 2 Mushroom Nutcrackers and get 1 for Free!  This discount is automatically applied at checkout, so simply add any 3 designs of our Mushroom Nutcrackers to your cart and the lowest price item will be free (no discount code needed).

You can use the discount up to 5 times (which would be a total of 15 nutcrackers for the price of 10!!) so now is the time to stock up for the holidays!

One discount per order - cannot be combined with other discounts.
Not applicable on Factory Second Nutcrackers.
Valid on in stock items only, no rainchecks.  Not valid on previous purchases. 

Garden Lantern Review in Heirloom Gardener Magazine

Posted on June 10, 2019 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

It's that time of year when we just want to be outside all the time. Meals on the deck and fires on the patio while the kids play in the backyard is the perfect way to spend a summer evening.  With so much time spent outside, our garden lanterns are very popular this time of year!  With 5 different styles, the garden lanterns are the perfect way to add a little extra decor to our outdoor spaces. 

It's exciting to see that we aren't the only ones who enjoy the garden lanterns this time of year!  Check out this review of our Floral Garden Lantern in Heirloom Gardener Magazine!*  We love hearing what others think of our products, and know it's so helpful for customers as well.

To celebrate the summer and the new review, we decided the garden lanterns are the perfect choice for this week's Product of the Week! So order any design of the lanterns this week (6/10/19 - 6/16/19) and automatically receive 20% off!

Now comes the hard part - choosing which one!

*The review in Heirloom Gardener lists a price of $19.  This price did not include any shipping fees.  However, we recently restructured our pricing to greatly reduce shipping fees, which is why the current price on our website differs.  The new price for the Garden Lanterns is actually less than the previous total price because of the large reduction in shipping charges!


 

Spring Refresh! New Logo, Pricing & Shipping Fees

Posted on May 14, 2019 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Have you noticed some changes around Stone Creek Trading lately?  We've been taking this time of growth and renewal in nature to also freshen up things here on the website! 

We started out by updating our logos across all platforms to make sure they reflect who we are and what we are known for!  What do you think of our new taglines?

Once we saw how easy it was to make some graphic changes, we decided to finally tackle our biggest struggle - shipping fees.  We have heard lots of feedback from customers on our "high" shipping fees.  The truth is that the shipping fees we are charged by UPS and USPS are expensive and they keep going up at least 5% every year!  We have tried not to increase our prices as much as we can, but we also have to stay in business!

Because we aren't a big corporation with locations in every state, it can be expensive for us to ship to customers that are far away.  From our location in the Midwest, it can be quite expensive to ship to the coasts, especially locations like California, Oregon and Washington.  Add on top of that that our best selling products are large, heavy and fragile - and the shipping charges really add up!

Nowadays, many people expect free shipping.  However, the free shipping model won't work for our small family business.  With our one location, the shipping fees we have to pay for a product will vary greatly depending on the location of the buyer - which makes it difficult to build the price of shipping into the product price. 

But we know how frustrating it can be to find a product and price that works for you, only to discover a big shipping fee.  We've been playing around with ideas for awhile, and we think we've come up with a way to reduce the shipping "shock", but still keep our prices fair. 

We have reduced the shipping fees across the board, making some of our smaller products ship for free!  We have now incorporated some or all of the shipping fees into the price of the product, helping you to see more of the price upfront.  We know it's not a perfect solution, but we think it's the right mix of what our customers are asking for and what our small business can do!

Take a look around the website and let us know what you think!  If you have any questions (or find any errors) send us an email - emily@stonecreektrading.com!

 

Sauerkraut with Ginger

Posted on April 18, 2019 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Sauerkraut has always been my "problem" ferment.  I have tried many different methods and recipes, but I can never seem to get it to come out right!  I have a hard time getting the salt ratio correct since you aren't making a brine with water, but using the natural cabbage juices with the salt to create the liquid.  I will often add too much salt, and end up with salty cabbage instead of sauerkraut!  And then the next time I don't put in enough salt and it molds!

As I've mentioned in the past, we tend to follow a more "relaxed" method of fermentation like our ancestors did.  We don't use testing strips or weigh our ingredients for precise outcomes.  We do a lot of experimenting, combining ingredients we have on hand or are in season to see what works best for us and what new flavors we can discover!  Of course, this method means sometimes we get "fermenting failures", but that's just part of the process!

I recently had a breakthrough with my sauerkraut ferments thanks to a recipe that Dawn Dunkin shared with us.  She used both ginger and turmeric in her sauerkraut when she made a video using our crock to ferment!  You can check out the video we shared last year on the blog here - https://www.stonecreektrading.com/blogs/news/sauerkraut-making-video

Since then I've been experimenting with using ginger more in my sauerkraut. Based on my experiments over the last year, adding ginger to my sauerkraut has completely changed the process for me!  Every time I add ginger in, I get perfect sauerkraut!  

I don't have a specific recipe for you, but here are the ingredients I used for this last batch of sauerkraut -

1 large & 1 small head of cabbage shredded on our Small Cabbage Shredder

3 large carrots shredded on a cheese grater

~1.5" piece of ginger finely chopped

~1" piece of turmeric finely chopped

Salt

I ended up with too many ingredients for our 2L Mountain Cream Fermenting Crock, so I had to put the overflow in our Stone Creek Trading 2.5L Fermenting Crock.

We have already eaten half of the sauerkraut that we finished a couple weeks ago!  It goes with everything - from scrambled eggs in the morning to my favorite nachos with sauerkraut! 

So if you struggle with sauerkraut like I used to, give it a try!  Or is there another fermenting recipe that you struggle with?

Happy New Year (a little late)

Posted on January 11, 2019 by Emily Kociolek | 0 comments

Sorry for the radio silence here during the holidays! As a small business, we try to do it all, but the truth is we have to make priorities. During the busy Holiday season, our top priority is to get orders out the door quickly. I’m happy to say that despite one of our busiest years yet, we stayed on top of our 1-2 day processing time and had zero late shipments!

In addition to being a small business owner I’m also a mom, which means the holidays are also a time filled with school parties and chorus concerts, tree trimming and cookie making. So instead of posting on social media during the busy season, I spent time making memories with our daughters. I hope that all of you had a chance to do the same!

Now that I’ve finally caught up on my sleep, I’m feeling refreshed and ready conquer the new year! Today I took a break from the boring accounting I’m trying to wrap up to organize one of our “packing stations”.

Having a clean and efficient work space means packing goes smoother, which means I have more time to devote to everything else!

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