Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Giveaway Winner

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The January giveaway was such a huge success!  


I tried to personally thank everyone by stopping by to say hi on a blog or email.  It's great to see so many new faces and I really did enjoy reading all of your coldest January memories.

Okay, so here we go...

The WINNER for the January giveaway is #22 with the following comment:

S rager follows you on facebook

Congratulations!

Be sure to check out February's giveaway starting tomorrow!

xo,
Jen


Monday, January 30, 2012

Gasparilla Children's Parade - A Pirate Invasion

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A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I took our daughter to the Gasparilla Children's parade.  It's an annual event that takes place in January and runs through February with all kinds of different events.  It's like Mardi Gras but with a pirate spin and people from all over come out to enjoy the booty.


Here's our little one with all the beads we caught and a new set of shades.


Here's a float throwing beads.  Why is it that we get so excited to catch these little cheap necklaces?


Our little gal enjoying the parade from the best seat in the house!



You can't see it, but she's eyeballing a dog dressed like a pirate.

via here

The official pirate ship that "takes over the city" during Gasparilla.



via here

I couldn't help but add this last one so you could see how much the locals get into the pirate invasion.  Many homes will decorate their front doors with super gaudy wreaths, like this one, in honor of Gasparilla.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Featured Finds Friday #4

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It's Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday.  Sorry, I couldn't help but think of that song when I went to write my first sentence.  Terrible, I know.  

Moving on folks...

Here are my picks from this past week.  

Lovely, I tell you.  Simply lovely.


So simple and easy to make - bookmarks from Little Lovelies

Button and paperclip earrings from Ruffles and Stuff

Cute handmade baker's twine from Nifty Thrifty Things

I love how bright and cheery this bulletin board turned out from Heart Maine Home

Because toffee is soooo good, here's a recipe for cracker toffee from Lady with the Red Rocker


Wishing you a happy Friday!

xo,
Jen

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How to sew an easy pocket

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Don't be intimidated by the pocket!  I posted this pocket tutorial last week over at the Little Giggler and now I want to share it with all of you.  If I haven't said it yet, I'm still fairly new to sewing, so I like to keep things simple.  I found a tutorial from Made for the skirt in this tutorial, but I wanted an easier way to place pockets on the front of it...enter the easy pocket tutorial.

Materials
white broadcloth or cotton fabric
marker
scissors
paper brown lunch sack {something to trace on}
rick rack
buttons


I started by tracing the pattern for my pocket on a paper brown lunch bag.  The pocket for this skirt measure approximately 5 in. x 6 in.



Trace around the paper bag onto your fabric.



You will need to make four cutouts for two pockets.


Take one cutout and place the rick rack on top of it.


Now take your other cutout and place it directly on top {right sides facing}.  
Sew a straight stitch all the way across.


Flip it right side out and press.  Repeat for other pocket. It should look like this.  Don't worry if your marker peeks through a little.


Now you're going to sew a zig zag stitch around the outside of the pocket.  


Once you've sewn your zig zag stitch all the way around both pockets, you will need to press the sides inward like you see below.


Okay, you're almost done.  Now you're going to place your pockets on whatever...in this case, the skirt below.


Find the sweet spot for your pockets and pin into place.





Topstitch around the pocket.  I used a 3.5 setting on my machine {a slightly longer stitch}. 


Now add your favorite buttons.  These are two old vintage buttons that don't exactly match {one is more orange than the other} but I kinda like it that way.



Now you're done!!!  Sit back and enjoy your work...and let the little ones finds stuff to stick in those pockets.

xo,
Jen

Monday, January 23, 2012

Blog Swap with One Artsy Mama + Giveaway

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Hey everyone!  I'm swapping blogs today with one crafty and talented gal - Amy at One Artsy Mama!  Come check me out over on her blog after you read this great tutorial on metal stamping.  And don't forget to enter both of our giveaways going on!!!  Okay, show us what cha got Amy.  Hi Sunny Vanilla readers!  I'm Amy, aka, One Artsy Mama, and I'm so excited to be here today to share a project and giveaway with you!  {I'm also thrilled that Jen is returning the favor on my blog, so be sure to stop by and get your entries in for a pair of her tye-dyed socks!}  I'm a lover of all things creative, and I'm passionate about Jesus, dance, Ravens football, and my family. I've been married to my best friend for ten years now, and although I'm also a dance instructor, my main job right now is being mama to my "Little Crafter".
Aren't my boys handsome?!

Today I'm going to be sharing a brand new hobby with you!  I've been making jewelry since April, but just got the supplies for Christmas to try my hand at metal stamping, which is exciting and intimidating at the same time!  Here's a quick tutorial for how to make a simple pendant like this one:

COURAGE PENDANT

Here's the materials you'll need:
PENDANT:
- steel stamping block
- steel hammer
- blank discs
- set of stamps {I have upper and lowercase alphabet and numbers}
- black Sharpie
- tissues or polishing cloth
- painters tape

ADD ONS:
- pearl
- head pins, jump rings
- jewelry tools: needle nose pliers, wire cutters
 - necklace chain

The discs are available in a large variety of shapes, sizes, and metals.  I chose a circle for mine, but there are hearts, squares, rectangles, and all kinds of other options.  Play around to see what you like best!  Some just have a hole drilled, so you need to add a jump ring, while others already have something attached, like the one I'm using in this tutorial.

STEP 1: Choose your word{s}.  Names, birthdates, or anything significant to you makes for a great pendant.  I chose COURAGE because it's my word of the year.  If you're curious why, you can read all about it {and my New Year's Day helicopter ride} here.


 STEP 2: Tape your pendant to the steel block to hold it in place.  If you're stamping your word in a straight line, the tape can also act as a guide for your letters.

STEP 3: Line up the letters you need and figure out which one will need to be in the center.

STEP 4: Place your center letter stamp where you want it to be, hold tightly, and tap on the top with the hammer.  It takes practice to see how hard and how many times you need to hit it to get a good impression.  Too light means it doesn't show up well, or only part of the letter stamps, while too hard can bend your blank or show part of the square from the stamp.

STEP 4: Begin stamping other letters, working backwards and then forward from your center.
I find that stamping around the circle is helpful because I'm not stellar at getting everything lined up totally straight and perfectly spaced yet...hehe...  It's a good trick for making you look more skilled than you are!

 STEP 5: Use your Sharpie to color over the letters a few at a time...
freaky, but I promise it comes off!

STEP 6: Use a tissue or a polishing cloth to remove the excess Sharpie.  What's on the surface will wipe away, and what's down in the letter grooves will stay, coloring the letters black.
There's also an oxidizing process you can do to achieve the same effect, but this is much quicker and easier and doesn't freak me out with chemicals!

See, all better!  It's a little tricky to see the difference in the photos, but the black letters really do show up and make it a whole lot more readable than if you don't color them.  If you prefer just the silver on silver, though, that's cool too!

At this point, your stamping is done, but if you want to add a little pizazz to your pendant, you can add a bead or two or another charm.  Here's how I added my pearl.

Place bead on head pin, bend 90 degrees and trim.  Use pliers to form wire loop.

 Then, I just opened a jump ring with my pliers and attached it to the pearl and to the pendant.


All that's left is to polish it up and add a chain.  TA-DA! 
Now I have a wearable reminder of my resolution.

Whaddya think?  Ready to make your own?  If you do, I'd love to see!
...and, It's GIVEAWAY TIME!I also want to offer you the opportunity to win one of these necklaces, personalized with your own word of the year {or a name or word that means something to you}.
Rafflecopter will walk you through the entry process.

Good luck, and I hope to see you soon at One Artsy Mama!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Featured Finds Friday #3

Pin It Hello there my blog friends!  Are you happy it's Friday and our week is coming to an end?  It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?  Before you start your weekend plans, check out these fun finds:


Michelle Paige made these cheeky Mustache Valentines


I'm lovin' this necklace refashion from Miss Lovie


I'm officially in love with stripes.  Isn't this hallway redo at Sawgrass Home beautiful?
Screen shot 2011 12 22 at 8.21.08 PM1 Hallway Reveal at Casa Banke!


I love how the knobs turned out on this gorgeous find from Rustic Living.


What a great idea for a "t-shirt gone cardigan" from Simply Homemade.



Happy Friday!  Here's to wishing you a great weekend.

xo,
Jen

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Upcycle: Used Dryer Sheet Envelopes

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Who loves laundry?  That's what I thought.  I have a little project below that might make the laundry a smidge more fun.  How about making envelopes out of used dryer sheets?  I found this great little idea in Green Craft by Paula Spahr.  I thought it was such a super idea I had to give it a whirl.  Here's what you'll need to get you started.



Materials
dryer sheets
iron
ruler
marker
buttons
sew-in velcro


Start by ironing those little crinkles out of the used dryer sheet.  Make sure to set the iron to a low or medium setting.  If it's too hot, you'll notice the dryer sheet starting to lose its shape.


Now take two dryer sheets and line them up on top of one another. 


Now fold the bottom up and the top down as seen in photo 1 {it should look like an envelope}.  Take a  ruler and mark 1 1/2 inches in on either side.  Take the ruler edge and draw a line from edge to edge of the top as in photo 2.


Your dryer sheets should look like photo 3 now.  Now it's time to sew it.  Pin together as seen in photo 4, BUT be sure to unpin and lift the top of the envelope before you sew around the edge.


Sew about a 1/4 of an inch from the edge.



It should look like this...


Okay, now you're ready to sew on the velcro and button.  ***Note: make sure to put the sew-in velcro on first.  This will help to hold the thread as you pull it through the button.


I cut out a little note card from scrapbook paper and used that as my card.





Great for notes to those loveys in your life.  These would make cute valentine cards too!

Happy Laundry Doing!!!

xo,
Jen

As featured on:
Fine Craft Guild






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