Thursday, December 29, 2011

Year of the Dragon 2012 Calendar

Lunar New Year begins on January 23, 2012, starting a few weeks earlier than in 2011. So I’ve already gotten started on my Year of the Dragon crafts!

I created a dragon from shapes I found on I used the same process as in my Valentine’s Day printables from last year. Then I created the calendar part in Microsoft Word.

Year of The Dragon 2012

Visit to print out a .pdf of your own 2012 Year of the Dragon Calendar, for your personal use or to give as gifts. It prints on size 8.5x11 inch paper. Print it out on cardstock and either give it flat or roll it up tied with a ribbon, as I did with this hostess gift I made this past holiday season for my sis-in-law.


I hope to do more with my dragon image…definitely a dragon version of my Year of the Rabbit applique from last year, and maybe a fun t-shirt for my niece.


My niece and my dad are both dragons (rooooaaar!). It’s always extra fun when it’s you or your family member’s year. I look forward to showing you more with my dragon as Chinese New Year approaches. Until then, Happy (regular) New Year to you all!


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 :: Flamingo Toes ::Homemaker on a Dime:: The Gunny Sack :: Love Affair With My Brother


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Shabby Apple

If you’ve been around the blogging world you have no doubt heard of Dresses from Shabby Apple. I’ve been trying to win a Shabby Apple dress for the longest time and finally had good luck on Crystal’s Craft Spot’s giveaway (thanks Crystal!).

Yesterday my Bali Ha’i Dress arrived and here I am wearing it on the beach (hehe).


While I was admiring my dress, I noticed on the tag that Shabby Apple donates money to women all over the world who have taken on micro loans to improve their own lives.

Specifically profiled on my dress’ tag was a 35 year old widow named Govindammal from India who does bamboo weaving to “take good care of my children and also provide them with a quality education.”


I had no idea that Shabby Apple did this and it solidified my decision to become a Shabby Apple Affiliate myself.

While the links here and on my sidebar will give me a little sumthin sumthin, your purchases will give much more than that to women like Govindammal live their life’s ambition, to take care of their families. This is something I know I take for granted.

This week, Shabby Apple is having an After Christmas Sale! While the holidays are over, think of what’s coming next…Valentine’s Day? A winter getaway?

Dresses from Shabby Apple

Take 20% Off the Sale Section at Shabby Apple and Free Shipping with Code 'WINTERSALE'. Plus, you’ll get free shipping until the end of the year. Woooooo!

Thanks for reading and for your support of this blog!

Happy Shopping!

Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post. Links to Shabby Apple in this post are affiliate links. No that’s not really me in the picture, but if you did think it was me for even a split second, you have made my day/year/life and I thank you.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Craft Projects from 2011

I started The Silly Pearl in February 2011 after a year of posting some of my craft tutorials on my personal blog. During this last week of the year, I wanted to reflect back on some of my favorite projects.

Valentine’s Day Lollipop Printables: I’m noticing from Pinterest repins and blog traffic that you guys are ALREADY doing Valentine’s Day project research so soon after Christmas (some of you on Christmas Day!)! Don’t you every stop? I know, me neither. So here’s what I made for my girls’ preschool classmates last year!


Spring Yarn Embroidery Hoop Wreath: My take of the ever so popular yarn wreath. I used a thrifted embroidery hoop instead of a store-bought wreath form. {This was also my most viewed post of the year.}


Refashioned T-shirts to Girls Dresses: My mom gave me a serger last Christmas. This was one of maybe 10 times I’ve used it. Sewing with knits is HARD! But this is a really good project for first-time serger-ers because so much work has already been done by reusing the t-shirt’s neckline and hem.


Make Hair Bobbles with Fabric-Decoupaged Beads: To go with their dresses, I made these hair bobbles for them based on my previous decoupaged bead necklace tutorial:


Reusable Clean/Dirty Bags: These were an invention based on necessity. I was tired of wondering if my girls’ utensils in my bottomless pit of a bag were clean or dirty. There were times when I was wrong. GROSS!


Pig Graphic: Using the same process as my Valentine’s Day printables (above), I created this pig graphic for my girls piggy-themed birthday party last April. Here they are as an applique on their birthday outfits. I also used them on their invites and d├ęcor, and I recently used them on our Christmas card return address labels.


Party Blower Birthday Wreath: The Pig Graphic also appeared here on their birthday wreath, made from party blowers that I made with scrapbook paper and straws. Click here to see more piggy birthday crafts.


Vintage Wooden Spool Cork Board: This is one of my all-time favorite projects! I still keep my eyes peeled for vintage spools and hope to have more projects to come. {This was my 2nd most viewed post of the year.}


We Love Dada Week: The girls and I gave Dada some handmade gifts last Father’s Day: some Modern Art, a nerdy t-shirt and bag, a picture frame accented with computer keys, and these BBQ hanging towels:


Wooden Bead Summer Wreath: I loved using jewelry-making techniques to create this wreath to welcome summertime.


Vintage-Inspired Shadowbox Necklace: And speaking of jewelry…Betty Draper + A Thrifted Ottoman + An Original-To-Our-Home Pendant Lamp = a new necklace for me.

Jook Recipe: I finally mastered my mom’s Jook (aka rice porridge or congee) this year!


Felt Tiaras: Easy embellished tiaras for my girls’ fairy and flower princess costumes.

Embellished Felt Crown

Fabric Pinecones: Fabric cut into flower shapes and fabric stiffener stacked together to form pinecones, welcoming winter and holiday visitors.

Fabric Pinecones

Screen Printed Storage Ottoman: I got to try out several new things with this craft: reupholstering, screen printing and I finally got to make something to honor the lovely birch trees in our yard.

Screen Printed Storage Ottoman

Easy Lined Drawstring Bag: I love that the easy casing for the drawstring also results in a nice contrasting trim up top.


My dear readers, thank you for a wonderful year! Looking forward to what 2012 brings!

PS…Have you made any crafts based on my tutorials? Let me know and I’ll be sure to feature you!

Linking: Southern Hospitality, Home Stories A to Z, Delightfully Noted, Tatertots and Jello, Someday Crafts, Flamingo Toes, The DIY Showoff, Tip Junkie, The Gunny Sack, The Frugal Girls


Friday, December 23, 2011

Hostess Gift

My sis-in-law loves sea life so I screen printed some flour sack towels for her with these images I got from


I folded them into a little crate I found at the thrift store and wrapped it with some twill ribbon.


I added a light blue candle and a calendar I made. I hope she likes this gift as thanks for hosting Christmas dinner this year.


Wishing you a joyful holiday season with your family and friends!


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Easy Lined Drawstring Bag

My last giveaway was for a Goody Bag of My Favorite Sewing Supplies, but…there was no actual goody bag! So I quickly sewed one up before I shipped it to Jennifer, our giveaway winner!

Easy Lined Drawstring Bag

Pin It

This is a basically a large version of my reversible clean/dirty bag but instead of a loop and button closure, we’re going to fold down the top seam to make a casing for the drawstring.


Here’s how to make an Easy Lined Drawstring Bag.


  • Four rectangular pieces of fabric, cut to size (I based mine on the largest item in my giveaway package).
  • Applique (optional). This was a screen print (using my Simply Screen Kit) of a vintage dress form from The Graphics Fairy, fused with Steam-A-Seam2.
  • 1/4-inch wide ribbon. Length needed is based on the width of your bag. Double that and add some length at the end.
  • Iron and ironing board, sewing machine and thread.


If you’re going to decorate the outside of the bag with an applique or whatever your heart desires, do that first on one of the rectangular panels that you want to be the outside.



Then, sew the two outside panels around 3 sides, right sides together. Make sure your design on the outside is facing the right way! Repeat with the two panels used for the lining of the bag. Then turn one right side out and stuff it inside the other one, so that right sides are facing. Pin the side seams together and sew around the top, leaving a 3-inch hole for turning. Please see my reversible clean/dirty bag tutorial for more details (just omit the button and loop closure part).


Pull the bag out of itself through your turning hole, and push the lining inside the bag. Press the seam flat.


Then, fold over about an inch and crease. This will be your casing, and also creates a pretty contrasting trim on the top of the bag.


Take your ribbon and fold it in half. The opening in the casing will be at one of the side seams. Open up the fold you just ironed and insert half the ribbon flat into the fold, pushing it as far in as you can.


Pin down the ribbon. You don’t want to sew on top of the ribbon. Also, while you sew the casing, you’ll sew the turning hole closed.


Do this all the way around the bag, leaving a length of ribbon equally on either end dangling out one of the side seams. Measure about 1/2 inch on either side of the side seam. This will be your start/stop point for sewing (the pic below is before I’ve measured the 1/2 inch marks!).


Sew down the casing along the edge, catching the turning hole and sewing it closed in the process. (By the way, do you notice the two teal fabrics are different? That’s because I realized I ran out of the one with the black pattern, but not before I fused the applique on it already. So I had to find a similar fabric for the back and that’s what I came up with. Sorry, Jennifer!).


Here’s the casing opening i.e. where the ribbon will dangle out. As mentioned, it is 1/2 an inch on either side of the seam. There’s the mismatched fabric again!


Pull open your bag so it’s fully open and tie a knot at the casing opening. Then tie the two ends together about an inch from the end. And you’re done.


Fill it with giveaway prizes or birthday presents or your current knitting project (yes Mom, I’ll make one for you) or your kiddo’s favorite toys or whatever you like.


Jennifer, your Goody Bag filled with Goodies is on its way!

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 :: Flamingo Toes :: Homemaker on a Dime:: The Gunny Sack :: Love Affair With My Brother :: The Graphics Fairy


Saturday, December 17, 2011

Giveaway Day Winner

The winner of my goody bag of sewing supplies is…



I’ve sent you an email.

And check out what I won on Giveaway Day:

Vintage fabrics (woooo!) from Meika’s Little Treasures! Thanks Meika!


Thank you all so much for entering my giveaway. Happy Holidays!


Thursday, December 15, 2011

Sparkly Wine Gift Bag with Tulip Fashion Glitter

My parents often brought wine as a gift for their friends during the holidays, and I was in charge of sewing the gift bags. I would stencil some cotton fabric, sew it, and add a ribbon up top for tying it closed. So much easier and prettier than trying to wrap a bottle with paper.

Wine Bag

Inspired by champagne bubbles, here’s my present-day take, using Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Transfer Sheets and Tulip® Fashion Glitter™ Shimmer Fabric Paint.


I got to review this fun line of products from Tulip, available at


Here’s how I made my Sparkly Wine Gift Bag!


  • Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Transfer Sheet in gold
  • Large hole punch (3/4 inch) and Small hole punch (1/4 inch, or a standard hole punch)
  • White cotton fabric (two pieces, cut to 10x18 inches)
  • Freezer paper
  • Iron, ironing board and press cloth
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Tulip Fashion Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint in gold
  • Paint brush
  • Gold ribbon

I printed out this champagne glass image from to use as a template. Feel free to right click on the image and use it yourself.


I punched out some circles in different sizes and played with some designs. I finally came up with this one.


I had to trim the champagne glass template a little bit, and also made note of how many of each circle I would need. And I measured the whole design, which was about 6.5x6.5 inches.


I punched out that many of the large and small circles from the gold Tulip Glitter Shimmer Transfer Sheet. The small hole punch went through the sheet just fine, but the larger one sometimes needed some extra effort. But overall, the circles came out cleanly and easily.


Before we go on with the project, here’s a quick how-to for the transfer sheets.

  • First you peel off the plastic backing, revealing a rough glittery surface.


  • This rough glittery surface will be the side that faces up. The other side is smooth…this faces down onto the fabric.


  • Press with a press cloth for 40 seconds. It may stick to the press cloth when you lift it off…if it does, lay it back down and press again.

WineBag6 WineBag7

I cut the trimmed glass template from some freezer paper and ironed that to the middle of one of the white cotton panels, about 4 inches from the bottom.


And I started peeling the small circles. I positioned them all first, around the glass template. Then I carefully laid on the press cloth, making sure it was smooth so I wouldn’t have to pull on it and possibly move the dots out of position. Press as directed.


Then I started peeling and positioning the large circles, fusing one row at a time.


I ended up just putting 3 circles on either side of the glass for every row. This was more of what I was looking for than in my practice round.


Then I sewed the two panels right sides together, leaving the top open. Make sure the design is facing the right way! Then, square the bottom by forming a triangle with the corners, lining up the side seam and the bottom seam. Measure down 1 inch…


…and sew across. Repeat on the other corner. Then hem the top of the bag.


I added more glitter to the top 5 inches of the bag with the Tulip Glitter Shimmer Fabric Paint. I just painted one coat with a paint brush.


When the paint dries, sew on the ribbon. Cut about 15 inches of ribbon. I folded it in half, and sewed the midpoint to one of the seams, around where the paint ends.


All done! Grab your champagne bottle!


My Thoughts:

  • I LOVE how shiny and shimmery the transfer sheets are! It really put me in a festive holiday mood.
  • I did not try to cut the transfer sheets with my Cricut. I think my blade might be dull from cutting fabric so I didn’t want to waste the transfer sheets. I want to try this though!
  • The paint is beautifully sparkly. Lots of glitter. There were no areas lacking glitter. The paint did make the fabric rather stiff. Maybe a thinner coat would make it less stiff.
  • The products were really easy to work with and I had fun. There are lots of possibilities for projects and designs.

Let me know if you try out Tulip’s Shimmer Glitter products!

Though I received payment and product for this post, all opinions are my own.


Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie:: Rook No. 17 :: The Trendy Treehouse::Tidy Mom:: Creation Corner :: Whipperberry ::Tatertots and Jello::Lolly Jane Boutique :: Homemaker on a Dime:: The Gunny Sack :: Love Affair With My Brother


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