Sunday, July 31, 2011

5 4 3 2 1 Things About Me



1) Jewelry made with my girls’ artwork.

PaintedNecklace2 mpbeadsa


1) Pursuing a career I wasn’t interested in but did it anyways because I thought it would provide a secure future.


2) Rushing through things resulting in…lots more mistakes.


1) I like to mix up things - styles, patterns, colors, time periods - that don’t normally go together.

2) I make things for my girls and their needs that reflect their personalities

PatchworkTote30 PatchworkTote31

3) I don’t quite fit in anywhere and everything I make reflects that.




1) Xyron sticker maker


2) Windows Live Writer

3) Sewing machine





1) My Bahk Bahk (my dads maternal grandmother) and My Poh Poh (my maternal grandmother)


2) My Mom and Dad


3) My Girls


4) The Farmer’s Market


5) Thrifty Finds



**************************************************************************************************** things about...Craft did a profile series of their staff called 5,4,3,2,1 Things and invited their readers to do the same. I learned a little bit about myself while answering these questions. I mainly reflected on the people who inspire me and how I would like to emulate them. For example, if I have the privilege of being a grandmother, I hope my grandchildren speak of me as my dad speaks of his grandmother.

You can too…just write a similar post answering the questions and post a link here in the comments section. Can’t wait to read your 54321!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Wooden Bead Summer Wreath

Summer’s already half over and I still have my Spring Wreath on my front door! I’m long overdue for a summer wreath. I wanted something cheerful with pretty colors. And something about stringing wooden beads together makes me think of summer as well.


So here’s how I made my Wooden Bead Summer Wreath!


  • Wood beads with fairly large holes. These came in packs of 30, and I used 5-6 packs.
  • Kitchen twine
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
  • Spray paint
  • Newspaper (not shown)
  • Masking tape or painters tape
  • Cardboard
  • Round template about the size you want for the wreath, like an embroidery hoop
  • Glue gun


First we’ll string the beads and make the weaved pattern. Determine how large you want the wreath to be. I thought this 9-inch embroidery hoop was a good guide. We're going to use both ends of the string so we have to estimate how much we need...I thought 3 times around the hoop was good. summerwreath2

Thread one end of the twine through the tapestry needle and string some beads. Form a loop as you go and determine if that's the size you want. Here, I decided 15 was good. Tie a knot to secure. Remove the needle.


If you look at the finished picture, you'll see that there are 7 beads in each blue section and 8 beads in each yellow section (so 15 per loop). So first, string a bunch of beads on the other end of the string. It will be a multiple of 8. As you string, lay it out in a weave pattern to determine when to stop stringing. Each weave has 8 beads. When you've met the other side, stop stringing. For me, I made 11 weaves, or used 88 beads. I know that sounds like a lot!

Now we'll join the two ends i.e. the end of your long strand of beads to the original loop you made. Thread the long strand through the 8th bead in the original loop and pull until the beads meet.


Now we’ll start the weaving pattern. String on 7 beads (the pink numbered beads in the pic below) and then count 8 beads on the other strand (the black numbered beads). You’ll thread the string through the 8th bead. Repeat the serpentine pattern til you get to the end. summerwreath6

To finish, thread your needle through the 8th bead of the original loop, and then tie a knot. For me, the final knot was in the same spot as the very first knot I tied to make the original loop. You can add a dab of glue to all the knots for extra security but it should be ok.


Note: Be sure to pull the string taught but not so much that the loops look warped. And try to pull them all equally taught or some might be bigger or floppier than others.

Before painting the beads, start creating the wreath form. You can always purchase a wreath form and base the size of the wreath on that, but cardboard is perfectly adequate. I took the 9-inch embroidery hoop and laid that on top of the beads. Then I took a bigger hoop and laid that on top as well. As long as the beads overlap the hoops it should be fine.


Then lay the two hoops onto the cardboard and trace around. Set aside for now…you can finish this part while the paint is drying.


Ok, time to paint! First I painted the blue section, so I took strips of newspaper and wrapped the other beads (that I would later paint yellow) and taped them down. The 8th bead through which you weaved the twine to make the pattern will be yellow, to be the “point” of the sun rays. So make sure you cover that one well to avoid color overlap


Note: you can always paint the beads first. Since this was my first time making this wreath, I didn’t know how many beads I wanted to use, or how many would be yellow or blue. But if you follow this tutorial exactly, or if you want to make it all one color, random colors, etc, you can definitely paint the beads ahead of time and you won’t have to worry about covering sections and overlapping paint.

I sprayed 2-3 coats on one side. This particular paint dries in 10 minutes so I waited that long in between coats.

After the last coat, I waited about an hour and turned it over to paint the other side.


After a few hours to make sure it was completely dry, I repeated the process with the yellow paint. Cover up the blue sections and apply 2-3 coats, then flip over and paint the other side.


I noticed when everything was dry that I missed a lot of spots, and some of the yellow did overlap on the neighboring blue beads. So I went outside and sprayed some paint into a bowl and used a paintbrush to do some touching up. Just a thin coat should be fine. Allow to dry for an hour or so.


So during all that paint drying time, you can work on the wreath form that you traced out. Use scissors or an X-acto knife to cut out the cardboard form. Then start covering it up. You can use yarn, ribbon, strips of fabric, or paper. Since my front door is white and I wanted a neutral and clean background, I chose the same white twine. So tie a knot and leave a little tail. Wrap wrap wrap and wrap some more, then tie a knot to the tail you left.

summerwreath16 When you're done wrapping, Tie another length of twine at the top. This will be for hanging the wreath. summerwreath17

We’re almost there! Lay the beads on top of the wreath form. The blue beads just barely drape over the outside edge of the wreath form, and the yellow beads will stick out towards the inside edge.


Take one of the 8th beads and center it on the twine you just tied to make the wreath hanger. Apply hot glue on that bead and press down. Making sure the beads are evenly spread out and positioned well, glue the 8th beads towards the bottom, then on the sides, until all the 8th beads are glued down. Then glue down the blue beads to the side edge of the wreath form (just the 3 middle beads should be fine). If any of the loops sag, or if you notice beads that still didn’t get quite covered up with paint (argh!) you can glue those down too.


Hang it up, and you’re done!


Yay for Summer!

This was originally a guest post on Lolly Jane Boutique. Thanks again Kelli and Kristi for having me!

Linking: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie :: Sugar Bee-Crafts :: Rook No. 17 :: Tea Rose Home :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Sew Woodsy :: Somewhat Simple :: Momnivoire's Dilemma :: The Frugal Girls :: Tidy Mom :: WhipperBerry :: Creation Corner :: Craft Envy :: Along for the Ride :: Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique :: Be Different...Act Normal :: Flamingo Toes :: Hazel and Honeysuckle :: Homemaker on a Dime ::Sew Chatty


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Giveaway: Celebrating 300 Followers!

{This giveaway is now closed}

Yay! 300 Followers!

Since it’s because of YOU that I have made it this far, I want to celebrate this bloggy milestone with a giveaway!

I’ll be going on a few road trips this summer and figured you might be too. So I made some things to help you carry around your stuff using some of my favorite tutorials and fabrics.

So for today’s giveaway, we have…

A Roll-Up Tote


Three Reversible Clean/Dirty Bags


When traveling, we can always use an extra tote in our purse for buying souvenirs or for keeping extra snacks handy. And I read your comments on my Reversible Clean/Dirty Bag tutorial on what you would use it for (I made some small ones for my girls’ utensils). Some of you would use them for bigger items like plates or bowls, and others said you’d put a change of clothes in them. They’re great for picnics and eating on the road, all while using less disposables.

And I tried to make them slightly coordinated but not matchy matchy. Here’s the other side of the pouches, for when you’ve used your stuff and you’ll know later that they’re dirty.


If you’d like to try to make these yourself, here is the roll-up tote tutorial and here is the reversible clean/dirty bag tutorial.


Ready to Win?

First Entry (Mandatory):

  • Just leave a comment. Maybe tell me what you’d use these bags for, or tell me your favorite road trip memory!

Additional (optional) entries:

  • Follow The Silly Pearl via Google Friend Connect, RSS Reader or Email Subscription (or tell me if you already are one)
  • Like The Silly Pearl on Facebook
  • Follow me on Twitter

Please leave one comment per entry. Total possible entries: 4

THANK YOU for reading my blog!

Giveaway ends Tuesday August 2 at 11:59pm Pacific Time. Giveaway is open worldwide. Winner will be chosen at random. I will notify the winner via email (make sure you leave your email in one of your comments if it’s not available on your profile or blog, or I’ll have to pass you up). The winner will have 72 hours to respond, or another winner will be selected.


Saturday, July 23, 2011


I love it when I find things I had put away a long time ago and look at it with different eyes.

Before my girls were born, I found a strand of paisley-shaped onyx beads with a variety of different striations on them. The strand was also made of different sized beads. This one was one of the larger ones.


I was probably dissatisfied with this necklace somehow, hence it was still with my beads and not in my jewelry box. I most likely wanted to add more to it.

But I’m happy with it as it is today. The bead speaks for itself and all it needed is a chain from which to dangle.


I found a few other onyx beads in my stash, and it seems I love them more now than when I first bought them over 4 years ago. I miss making jewelry. Hope to have some time to make more adornments from my new old (or old new) finds.

Happy Weekend!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Guest Post Today at Lolly Jane Boutique and Hello Friend Linky at Sassy Sites

If you love reading craft blogs then you must read Lolly Jane Boutique. But you probably read Kelli and Kristi’s blog already so I don’t really have to tell you that.

header w green bird

I was floored when they asked me to guest post for them this month! Hop on over to their blog today to see how I made this Wooden Bead Summer Wreath:


Thank you so much ladies for having me on your blog today! Make sure you check out their current giveaway for an Epic Six Letterpress machine (wooooo), as well as the fun craft night they have planned (wish I could go!).


Today I’m also linking up to Sassy Sites’ Hello Friend Link-Up for new craft blogs. Marni hosted a similar link-up a few months ago, when my blog was very very new. It was great to see so many new craft blogs. You can join in if your blog is 1 year old or less.

This time, Marni has made it extra fun by having us answer some getting-to-know-you questions. Can’t wait to read all of your responses and see if we have had any similar experiences!

  • Why did you decide to start blogging? I can’t remember the first blog I ever read, but one day it dawned on me that I could do that too. When my twin girls (now 4) were born, I would only be able to craft in my head. At first I started a personal blog about my girls, but when they turned 3 last year, I was able to start crafting with my hands. My Decoupage Kids Art Bead tutorial was something I’d been dreaming of doing since my girls picked up their first crayons. It was amazing to see it finally come to life. I decided to start The Silly Pearl, my separate craft blog, in February 2011.
  • When you aren't blogging, what are you doing? Arguing over silly things with my girls one minute and cracking up at the silly things they say and do the next, arguing over silly things with my mom one minute and cracking up at the silly things she says and does the next, sneaking snuggly moments here and there with my husband, rummaging around in thrift stores, and trying to improve my cooking. I used to work part-time, but a year ago became a full-time stay-at-home mama. I am so thankful for this time with my girls, because who knows if/when I have to go back to work again.
  • What is your blog about? This blog is about the crafts I make in between spending time with my girls and my husband. I love posting tutorials and talking about my thrift store finds. I do want to start posting more lifestyle/design-related posts, as well as acknowledge the talents of my fellow creative bloggers.
  • When do you find the time to blog? My girls are in preschool two times a week, so in addition to running errands and house stuff (bleh), I blog during that time. This is also when I craft and take pictures for tutorials. But most of my blogging time is after the girls go to sleep (like right now). I do steal a moment here and there while my girls are peacefully playing together, but once they see my opened laptop they come running and ask to watch Cars or look at pictures.
  • Why do you love blogging? The ability to express myself in ways I don’t dare as much to do in person, the connections I’ve made with other people, the creative outlet that keeps me sane, a place to document what’s been going on in my life, a reason to keep crafting, and something to be proud of.
  • What is your favorite post so far that you've written? Lately when I (mostly window) shop for clothes, I think about whether or not it would go with my painted necklace.


So whether you’re coming from Lolly Jane, Sassy Sites, or anywhere else, thank you for stopping by! And thank you again to Kelli, Kristi, and Marni for being so supportive of your fellow bloggers!

300FollowersYAY!PS I’ve reached 300 followers woohoo! I know it has been really quiet around here, so thank you for following anyways! As mentioned, I will host a giveaway to celebrate. Sigh…I’d hoped to have my giveaway item(s) ready by now. I’m shootin’ for next Tuesday to have the post up. Hope you will come back and enter. Thanks so much for following my blog…it means so much to me that you want to spend a part of your busy day here!


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