Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Product Reviews and Sponsored Posts On My Blog

Just wanted to let you know that in the next few weeks I’ll be sharing some new and fun products with you plus there will also be some giveaways. First one is tomorrow!

There will be more of these posts than usual in the next few weeks, just because it’s the holidays so there are a lot of campaigns and events going on. It may seem that reviews are taking over but I want to be clear that the focus of this blog is mainly to share my craft tutorials, thrifty finds and creative inspiration with you.

That being said, I will be pursuing more sponsored opportunities for my blog in the future. I enjoy learning about new products and telling you about them. I will try my best to keep the posts relevant to your interests. If I find a product to be useful, you might be interested in it too because you read this blog and therefore probably have similar interests to mine. And my opinions on the products will be my own, not swayed by anyone or anything.

I know that some don’t like it when bloggers are paid for their posts. I won’t go and justify my reasons or anyone else’s reasons in detail and I don’t want to make a big deal out of this. But basically, running a craft blog takes time as well as money. If I am compensated for my time and money spent on crafting and blogging, it will only make this blog better. It will only make ME better. Plus, I’d like to buy my husband a present or a nice dinner out. And that’s all the explaining I’d like to do on this subject.

So in summary, now and then there may be some product reviews, sponsored posts, giveaways or affiliate links on this blog that I will try to keep relevant to you, while giving me a little somethin’-somethin’ to keep things going around here. I do not expect the overall feel or purpose of this blog to change. If anything, it might improve around here! I will still be bringing you the best (free) tutorials that I can create.

I hope you understand and continue to support this blog. But if sponsored posts, reviews, giveaways or affiliate links make you feel uncomfortable or negative, you can simply skip those posts, or even unsubscribe/unfollow my blog. I hope that doesn’t happen, but I also don’t want you to stay if you no longer like it around here.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy what’s to come on my blog. I am looking forward to it myself!

siggy

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Snowflake Gift Card Holder

My niece and nephew are a tween and a teen, respectively. Thus, they love gift cards. I thought I’d dress up their gifts this year by creating a personalized gift card holder, attaching a little envelope onto the humble toilet roll snowflake.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Holiday Wreath Giveaway Winner

And the winner of the Holiday Wreath Giveaway is…

WreathWinner

Evelene S.!!!

I’ve sent you an email, Evelene!

Thank you so much to all who entered the giveaway! If you didn’t win, you can learn how to make this wreath with my Spring Yarn Embroidery Hoop Wreath tutorial but use whatever holiday colors you wish. It’s a great project for sitting in front of the TV and crafting.

Have a great Thanksgiving Week!

siggy

Friday, November 18, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Fabric Pinecones

Pinecones signify the beginning of frosty weather to me, and they also bring back memories of crafts I did with my mom during the holidays (I wonder if she still has the pinecone Christmas tree we made). So I made some fabric pinecones now that it’s finally sweater weather around here.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Giveaway: Holiday Embroidery Hoop Wreath

Annie @ Santiago Twin Girls is one of my first bloggy friends, and each year at this time she hosts a Black Tuesday Giveaway event. The purpose of the event is basically to help us get ready for the holidays. That is, if you win a prize, you have one less present to shop for, or one less decoration to worry about making or buying. I’ve participated every year (so this means we’ve known each other for 3 years, which is just amazing).

This year, I’m giving away a Holiday version of my Spring Yarn Embroidery Hoop Wreath:

HolidayWreathGiveaway

The wreath is 10 inches in diameter, and I’ve left a long strand at the top so you can adjust it as needed. And if you already have a wreath, remember you can hang one anywhere these days…on another door in your home, over a mirror or frame, over your mantel, or by your tree. And I wish I had one of these to cheer up my dreary cubicle back in the day.

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Or you could give this as a hostess gift if you’re spending Thanksgiving at a friend or family member’s house. Or if someone is moving into a new home soon, this would be perfect to give them as well.

HolidayWreathGiveaway2

I’m a little late with my giveaway (if you read my Facebook page, I confessed I thought there was another week before Thanksgiving. Yeah I was WRONG). So because the giveaway ends on Black Tuesday (November 22) this giveaway will be a short one. So if you need a wreath for the holidays, there’s not a lot of time to enter! Which brings me to…

How to Enter

  • Mandatory Entry: Just leave a comment. Maybe tell me what you’d do with the wreath. Keep or gift?
  • Optional Entry 1: Follow me on Google Friend Connect, subscribe via Reader or by Email (or if you’re already following/subscribing).
  • Optional Entry 2: Like The Silly Pearl Facebook page (or tell me you’ve liked it already)

Please leave one comment per entry (total number of entries=3). Please leave your email in one of your entries if it’s not linked to your profile or blog so I can contact you if you win.

Giveaway ends November 22 at Midnight Pacific Time. Giveaway is open worldwide. Winner will be chosen by random.org and will be contacted by email. Winner will have 72 hours to claim the prize; after that, another winner will be chosen.

PS Annie has two giveaways going on herself, sponsored by Etsy stores LilMommas and Printable Party Packs. Go here for links to the giveaways.

siggy

Monday, November 14, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Apple Turkeys

Last week, the girls made apple turkeys at school. When I picked them up, I saw a whole table full of them, waiting to go home along with their proud owners. We had to cross the parking lot to get back to the car, so the girls and I had a “discussion” on logistics i.e. how do I hold both of their apple while holding both of their hands to get to the car? And by “discussion”, I mean me making suggestions followed by loud vetoes by two little turkeys in particular. We made it to the car eventually.

Apple Turkeys - Multiples in the Kitchen

Anyways, they love their turkeys so I knew I’d be making more this week for Turkey Day as they’d want to show their creations off to Grandma and  Grandpa. They made their turkey tails with candy. My version makes them with feathery lettuce instead of candy to make a cute but a little more grown-up centerpiece.

Materials:

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  • Apples
  • Lettuce: Use something with narrower leaves with a thick stalk. We found this duo of red and green “artisan” lettuce at TJs. Romaine would work too.
  • Toothpicks
  • Scratch paper to make a template for the head.
  • Paper to make the head and hat. Scraps are great.
  • Glue, Scissors

Directions:

It’s best to do the lettuce part the day of. I actually made these last night and left them out on the table, only to wake up to wimpy turkey tails this morning! But you can make the head earlier.

Cut out the template for the head on scratch paper. Keep in mind the size of your apples and keep it proportionate. I shaped their heads simply, like a butternut squash. I have one facing front, and one facing to the side. Then trace onto your paper and cut two pieces.

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Put glue on each head and sandwich a toothpick in between.

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I used a mailing envelope to make the beaks.

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Cut out the hats in a contrasting color. I just free-handed a pilgrim hat. Ok it looks like a top hat. I also used a small hole punch for the eyes.

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Repeat everything for the front-facing turkey. I used a Paper Source catalog for the hat. From the spring. Hoarding for craft purposes is okay.

appleturkey0b

Cut your apple along the side, at an angle so the apple doesn’t roll around. Your kid(s) may or may not suck on the cut-off apple piece all day long and you may or may not throw it away in secret after it has turned brown and icky. Practice looking innocent when they start looking for it.

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For the lettuce tails, stick a toothpick through the stalk as straight-down as possible. Do about 3 or 4.

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Poke the head onto the apple towards the front. You’re done.

appleturkeys

Took me longer to write this post than to make them!

There are a zillion things you can use for the tails. The lettuce are quite delicate and maybe not as easy to work with for kids. You can use all kinds of treats skewered onto the toothpicks to make them more kid-friendly. Maybe I’ll go get some marshmallows.

Happy Thanksgiving from my little turkeys (ignore the burnt one).

Turkey_thumb 

Steph

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Apple Strudel on Multiples in the Kitchen

For this month’s Multiples in the Kitchen post, the girls and I made Apple Strudel, a recipe I learned from Steph @ Pendants by Steph (remember I reviewed one of her lovely hand-stamped pendants?). Not only is she creative with jewelry but she can cook as well!

Apple Strudel 

Check out the full how-to plus more pictures of my girls making “Apple Stroogle” (as they call it) on my Multiples in the Kitchen post on the Multiples and More Blog Network today.

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Thanks Steph @ Pendants by Steph for sharing how to make this easy and yummy dessert!

Check out the other dishes and treats the girls have made, here.

siggy

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Vintage Sewing Notion Wall Art

Vintage Sewing Notion Wall Art

Remember these lovely vintage sewing needle books I found in this yellow sewing box?

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I thought keeping them at the bottom of the box was a safe place, beneath my trims and elastics. Whenever I opened the box, I would see the needle books and smile.

Then I thought it would be even better to enjoy them all the time by hanging them up on the wall in my Craft Corner.

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I plan to hang this up on a narrow wall space, so this thrifted frame was perfect.

VintageSewingNotions1

I painted the frame red, since there were traces of red in some of the notion packaging. I used Martha Stewart Satin Paint in Habanero, with the sponge applicator tip attached right onto the bottle, which I just LOVE. I used two coats.

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At first I was going to only display needle books, but in the yellow box I also found lovely packaging for buttons and these lingerie strap holder thingys, and wanted to include them too. I was going to use the mat that came with the frame but I needed more room so I decided not to use the mat. I instead made little backgrounds for each of the notions out of vintage linens, with another vintage linen in the background.

VintageSewingNotions3 

When I was happy with the colors and arrangement of the notions and the background pieces, I had to stick them somehow to the background piece of fabric. I decided to use Steam-a-Seam2 fusible webbing. It’s safe to say that I’m addicted to that stuff! I cut the webbing in the same size as the backgrounds, peeled off the paper backing and used my hand to press it onto the back of the backgrounds. Then peel off the other paper backing to arrange them onto the background fabric. Since we haven’t used the iron to fuse the backgrounds yet, the adhesive isn’t permanent…I could rearrange the squares easily but they stayed in place.

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I took some pictures of the arrangement before fusing it down, and looked at it on my computer. I liked the patchwork-y look but it was crowded so I decided to leave some white space in between some of the backgrounds.Then fuse the backgrounds to the background fabric.

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I used these removable mounting squares to stick the notions to the fabric. I’ve had these in my stash since 2004 when working on my wedding invitations. I don’t know how many adhesives I tried out! Glad I’m finally using these!

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I cut them in half because these notions are rather small (and because I want my supply to last another 7 years?). I just stuck a few on the back of each one and pressed them onto their backgrounds. Again, they’re removable so I can rearrange them until I’m happy.

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Wrap the fabric around a piece of cardboard (confession: I wrapped it around the unused mat…instant storage! I used a few more mounting squares to adhere the fabric to the mat. Pop it into the frame. All done.

Vintage Sewing Notion Wall Art

Some close-ups of the notions. I adore the vintage graphics and fonts.

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This needle packaging had this “carved” border, very similar to the frame. The packaging for the lingerie strap holder is fittingly feminine.

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My girls like the monopoly-type magician guy on this beading needle book.

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For now, I’ve just propped it up the frame on my desk. I need to add some hanging hardware to the back. Will update this post when it’s hanging in its place. You’ll also see it when I finally reveal my Craft Corner makeover sometime this month (I hope!).

Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie ::Sassy Sites :: Rook No. 17 :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Tidy Mom:: Creation Corner :: Whipperberry :: Tatertots and Jello ::Lolly Jane Boutique :: Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Hazel and Honeysuckle :: Apron Thrift Girl :: The Thrifty Groove :: Radcrafter :: Her Library Adventures :: The Vintage Sheet Blog

Disclosure: I received the Martha Stewart Paint and Tools to write a product review for this post. Click over there for more details.

siggy

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Craft Corner Makeover: A Sneak Peek!

It’s been extra quiet around here because I’ve been doing a lot of painting and organizing to spruce up my messy and totally blah craft corner! I am so excited about the little changes I’ve already made. This is the main thing I’ve been working on all week…these two 70s dyno-mite spice racks that I painted and repurposed to hold craft supplies. Here’s a little peek at them, already filled with fancy fabrics, pretty paints, and groovy glues:

shelves 

Will probably give you a few more sneak peeks before I reveal the whole thing. And I’m also working on the other half of this room, the girls’ play area. So the craft corner + the play area= “The Big Room” (it’s supposed to be the downstairs master bedroom). My craft supplies and their toys and books are spilling over, so I’ve got more painting and repurposing left to do.

Thanks for reading my blog!

siggy

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