Saturday, March 31, 2012

March Giveaway Winner

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With the blogiversary happening this week and all of those great giveaways, I almost forgot about our monthly giveaway.  Can I just say I'm secretly jealous for this winner?  I really loved this collection!

Using random.org, the winner was lucky #27 with the following comment:


                     Favorite dessert??! hmmm...homemade oreos!


I'm hoping she'll give us her recipe for those homemade oreos.  Although I might gain a couple lbs. just reading it ;-)


Congratulations Kim!  


Friday, March 30, 2012

Sunny Vanilla Giveaway - Last day of blogiversary

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Today is the last day of our week long blog bash and I can't believe it's already over...wasn't it just Monday yesterday?!  I just want to say thank you again to all the girls who helped celebrate this week with me.  I couldn't have done it without you!!!  I'd also like to thank all of you who follow along with Sunny from week to week.  I've said this before, but I truly love hearing from you and reading your comments.  I think one of my favorite things is reading your personal answers to random questions I ask for my monthly giveaways.  Somehow it makes me feel a sense of connection to all of you...not in an odd way though.  I just appreciate such a great community of creative thinkers and talented DIY's.    

THANK YOU

And to thank you for taking this journey with me, I'm giving away one of my new bow tie wristlets.  I chose a soft, yellow linen look fabric with a peach zipper to celebrate spring.






Let Rafflecopter walk you through the details and good luck!  

xo,
Jen

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Blogiversary with Handmade by Hilani + One Artsy Mama

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We're already at day four of the giveaway and that means two more fabulous ladies to showcase.  Let me first introduce you to Hilani of Handmade by Hilani.  I recently met Hilani and was immediately impressed with her sewing skills and fabric combos.  She crafts hand sewn items for babies and adults and everyone in between.  A true talent!  Check out her story below...



Hi, I'm Hilani, an early 30's something Aries who's been married for 11+ years to a man that still makes me laugh.  I've acquired the nickname, by friends & family, as the "Go-To" girl.  I happily carry that title along side the heart on my sleeve.  I've been sewing on and off for over 13 years, and never get bored by it.  You can find me at my sewing machine when I'm looking for an outlet.  Which is often because I'm kind of hard to sit still. I was a social butterfly growing up; well, I guess I still am.  I also noticed, when we moved from the West to Mid-West, I felt a strong need to make our new house a HOME.  I feel handmade brings a sense of warmth to a persons personal living space.  I enjoy being creative, when free time of two boys allows, and right up there with being creative, I heart family time.  Together they place in the the number 1 spot of things I love and enjoy!  

I love what Hilani is giving away today!  If you're a coupon gal like me, then you're going to love this giveaway.  It's a coupon organizer and I just love how you can sit it in the front or hang it from the shopping cart.  So smart!  She's also offering Sunny Vanilla readers a $2.00 off coupon on any products from her shop.  Just use coupon code SUNNYSPRG.






There are a total of seven entries for this giveaway.  Let Rafflecopter walk you through it.  Good Luck!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Blogiversary with mArrineRs MonTage + Creative Carmella

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It's day three of Sunny's blog bash and I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am to present today's giveaways.  You will love them and their handmade jewelry!!!

Up first is my buddy, Kymmie, who owns mArrineRs monTage on Etsy.  I sat next to her at my very first craft fair that I just blogged about.  I don't think I could of picked a better person to be placed with.  She is so fun!  Even better yet, she's extremely creative and can make anything from crocheted hats to porcelain clay earrings.   



Hi there! I'm Kymmie from mArrineRs monTage - 1/2 of a hubby and wife team. I'm a momma of 2 sweet girls ages 9 & 12, and am staying home with them. I also substitute teach when I can.

Starting this home business store was a dream of mine and my hubby, Chris, jumped on board full swing!
We love to create useful art in a variety of mediums. My passions are working with clay, crocheting/knitting, and sewing. Chris' passions are glassblowing, slumping glass, and clay. We offer a variety of creations to help beautify your life!! A MONTAGE OF ARTWORK!! 



These earrings are made with the finest porcelain clay - Helios. They are tenderly made out of handmade stamps. Some are made from antique buttons from my great grandmother, others are handcarved. They are lightweight, and all fastenings are made from Sterling Silver. The colors were chosen to be perfect for the Spring. The front is glazed in a special process to make the design 'pop'. The back is left unglazed - & you can spray a touch of perfume on the back to let it diffuse with the warmth of your body if you so desired!


So dainty and so pretty! I love that you can spray perfume on the back of the earrings for a sweet smell.  Genius!  


There are a total of eight entries.  Let Rafflecopter walk you through it.  Good Luck!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Blogiversary with Seven Alive, All Livin' in a Double Wide + Yes, Teacher Crafts

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Happy Tuesday!  It's day two of the blog bash giveaway and I'm thrilled to bring you two more terrific giveaways today.

First up today is Kadie from Seven Alive all Livin' in a Double Wide.  I met Kadie through a mutual blogging friend and we've been blog pals ever since.  She writes about everything from cooking and gardening to crafts and crocheting.  And speaking of crochet, she's a master at it!  Take it away Kadie...  



Hello Sunny Vanilla readers.  My name is Kadie I blog at Seven Alive all Livin' in a Double Wide.  I like to blog about all of my crafting adventures.  They include crocheting, sewing, up-cycling, and more.  I also blog about being a mom to 5 great kiddos. 

I am so excited that Jen asked me to be part of her blogiversary celebration.  Jen is such a sweet person, I am grateful to be able to call her my friend.  I am giving away a "Sunny" Yellow Ruffled Scarf.  It is a great spring time accessory, very soft, and can be worn in a lot of different ways.



Look at this beautiful crocheted scarf!  Doesn't it look dreamy?  Kadie's right, it's great for spring, but I think this scarf can be worn during the fall and winter months too.  The color is gorgeous!





There are a total of eight entry options for this giveaway.  
To enter, let Rafflecopter walk you through it.
Good Luck :)



Sunday, March 25, 2012

Blogiversary Giveaway with My Little Pixies & Shepherd's Daughter

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{Happy birthday Sunny Vanilla}

Today kicks off a week long celebration of fun giveaways, so get out your noise maker and your party pants, and let's have some fun!

Everyday this week, you'll find two giveaways from two different shops.  Be sure to stay tuned in all week so you don't miss out!

Today's first giveaway comes from Elizabeth, the retail pharmacist turned hair accessories extraordinaire.  She's the creative and talented entrepreneur behind My Little Pixies and she writes her inspirational story below. 





I'm a stay-at-home mom of two beautiful, energetic, and imaginative girls, ages 3 and 5. A couple of years ago, I stepped aside from my job as a retail pharmacist so that I could give the best of myself to my young family. I never really knew how to sit still, so somehow I found myself making things in my spare time and as our baskets of bows started to overflow, I knew my hobby needed a new direction, so I started out on Etsy. 

God has been so gracious to bless this business in this season of my life! I love making accessories for little girls (and big ones too)- and I'm always coming up with something new to try (often as a result of clients' suggestions). I love developing relationships with repeat customers, and have a Facebook page where I offer giveaways on most Mondays as a way of connecting with a community of people who appreciate pretty things and who, often, are a lot like me! My Little Pixies is named for my children, and I hope that I can be a blessing to them and to other families with the work I love to do.


My Little Pixies has a new spring collection out now and you have a chance to win this adorable spring packet.

Plus, she's offering 10% off everything in her Etsy shop from now through the end of the week {March 26 - 30.} Just use coupon code "sunnyvanilla".



Giveaway open to US and Canadian residents only

There are a total of eight entry options for this giveaway.  
To enter, let Rafflecopter walk you through it.


Friday, March 23, 2012

Blogiversary next week: March 26 - 30!!!

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Top of the morning to everyone!
{I used to work with a man who said that every single morning he walked in the office...sometimes I miss that.}

Anyhoo, I'm not posting my featured finds today because I wanted to remind everyone about the great giveaway happening next week on the blog.  Sunny is turning one and we have some great gifts for you!  

Everyday, Monday - Friday, you'll find two lovely giveaways.  

Here's what you can expect next week:


Monday, March 26 






Tuesday, March 27






Wednesday, March 28






Thursday, March 29






Friday, March 30

 http://sunnyvanilla.blogspot.com/ 




Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Craft Fair Do's: A Preparation Guide

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Hello wonderful people!  
I've been meaning to tell you about my first craft fair I did at a little art center in Palmetto, FL.  It was a great experience for me as I learned the ropes of selling homemade goods.  I met lot's of great gals - one of which is participating in my blogiversary next week.  

This craft fair was relatively small with an entry fee of $25.  I highly recommend doing something on the small side first like this one.  You can even try a farmer's market in your city.  If you're starting off small like me, you'll want to build some inventory and see how it sells first.  I learned the little barrettes you see below were one of my hottest ticket items.



Another great piece of advice is to stock pile good thrift store finds to showcase your work.  I found this little wicker spice rack at the thrift store for $1.50.  It was the perfect little house for all of my Christmas tags.  I added miniature bunting on the front to give it a little somethin' extra.



If you don't have anyway of display small ticket items like these, make your own.  All I did was create a square template in MS Word and added the description at the bottom.  You can fit several of these on one sheet of paper.  Make sure to use heavy card stock.


A crisp white tablecloth with a little bunting on the front gave my table a little personality.  Try and iron it...unlike me. ;-) 

This was my very first buyer...ever.  I asked her if I could take her picture and then I gave her a great big hug :-)

We had entertainment all day and these guys happened to be my fav.  They kept the place hopping to the sweet sounds of bluegrass.


Here's another spot in the art center where vendors set up and displayed their homemade goods.  See all the great ways to showcase your things?



Here's a list of my do's for your first craft fair...


1.  Scope out a few craft fairs or farmer's markets and take notes on ways to display your stuff.  If you see something you like, write it down.

2.  Go vertical.  Find things that allow you to use as much empty vertical space as you can without blocking your view.  The picture above gives you a little idea.  I've seen people use anything from vintage tricycles to old suitcases.

3.  Build up inventory.  You don't want a halfway empty table at the beginning of your show.

4.  Withdraw lot's of small bills.  Unless you plan on accepting checks or you have a CC swipe attachment on your iPad, then you'll be dealing in old fashion dollar bills.  

5.  Wear an apron.  This one I learned after the fact.  If you can't make your own, buy a small apron with front pockets to store business cards, money, a pen, etc.

6.  Keep track of what's selling and what's not.  If you have lot's and lot's of little items like earrings, chances are you're going to forget which sold.  I learned this one from my buddy Kymmie who sat next to me.

7.  Visit other vendors' tables if possible.  There's a good chance they will come back to see you and possibly make a purchase.

8.  Make sure you know when and where the craft fairs are coming.  The big ones will want you to enter months before the actual fair begins...another mistake of mine.

9.   Smile.  Even if they are just passing by, a genuine smile goes a long way.

10.  Have business cards handy.  Either display them on your table or stick them in a bag with the buyer's purchase.  A little dish of chocolates next to your business cards is nice too.

11.  This is one I want to try next time.  Have a small giveaway at your table.  Have people follow your twitter page or like your facebook page and leave a small comment about which item was their favorite from your craft fair.  Then randomly choose a winner.  It's great exposure and now you've built a bigger base.

12.  Pick a good location if possible.  Sometimes where you sit in the line of traffic can help or hurt you.

I have one small don't...

Don't get your feelings hurt if you're not selling as much as the people around you.  I didn't sell much all morning and afternoon, but once the working crowd got off, I started selling my big ticket items.  I think I only did $75 or so in sales during the morning and early afternoon, but I sold about four times that later that evening.  It wasn't bad for my first fair!

Feel free to add anything to this list if you are a veteran at craft fairs :-)

xo,
Jen
  



Friday, March 16, 2012

Featured Finds Friday - Easter Place Settings

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Easter is one of my favorite holidays!  It's a time to gather around the table with the family and enjoy a little food and good times.  I'm a sucker for tablescapes and these place settings are all just lovely.  

{On a side note, sometimes I think just a big table loaded with Reese's peanut butter eggs would suffice}.


via here


via here

via here


via here


via here


via here



Don't forget about Sunny's 1 year Blogiversary happening March 26 - 30!!!  Check out all the great sponsors over here.



Have a wonderful weekend!

xo,
Jen

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A trip to the zoo

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Lions!  Tigers!  Bears!  Oh, my!  

The end of February marked my mom's 60th birthday {she's a leap year baby} so she hopped on a plane and headed down to Florida to spend some time with her kiddos and grand-kiddo.  We did so much while she was here, including a trip to our local zoo.


I told our little one that the penguins got dressed up in their tuxedos just for her.




Our little gal had the opportunity to get up close and personal with a goat inside the children's petting zoo.  I was so nervous and afraid that goat was going to hop up and knock her over.  Luckily for me, the goat must have been 110 years old because it wasn't budging for anything.




The "elfans" as she would say were one of my favorites of the day.  I'd give anything to be able to feed it a peanut or two.




Grandma and my little peanut at the penguin encounter.




She really, really wanted to catch that feathery little guy.




Not quite soaking wet yet.



Luckily we had diapers and a spare t-shirt in the diaper bag.  Otherwise it would have been a wet ride home.

What a fun time we had!!!!  Just the girls...all three generations!  It was one of those days you save and store away for a long time.  

I could've handled the weather to be about ten degrees cooler, but you get used to that here in the sweat state...I mean sunshine state.

xo,
Jen



Sunday, March 11, 2012

bow tie wristlet

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If you've been following along for awhile, then you know that I'm a somewhat newbie sewer.  And by somewhat, I really mean that I've only been sewing for a year or so now.  I've learned so much from reading online projects from fellow bloggers and even checking out a few books from the library.  I think out of all the projects I've made so far, this is one of my favorites.  I don't know what it is about the bow, but I love it.  I was even able to successfully put in a zipper that actually looked halfway decent.

I found a tutorial on how to make the bow {via pinterest} for this wristlet.  It's a great read that you can find over at elm street life.  I switched mine up a bit by making the shape of the clutch more rounded and the bow a little wider.  I couldn't resist the lavender color fabric because I think it screams Spring.








What are you making to put you in the mood for Spring?

xo,
Jen

Friday, March 9, 2012

Featured Finds Friday - Cupcakes

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Happy Friday everyone!  Cupcakes are the inspiration for this week's features.  If you haven't  heard already, the Beverly Hills Sprinkles cupcake company has installed a cupcake ATM outside their store.  You won't believe it until you see it here.

*Warning - you may gain a pound just for looking.*


Polka dot cupcakes from Martha Stewart


I LOVE these little sheep from The Creative Vault


Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes from Tidy Mom



To show a little St. Patty's love, how about these from Kitchen Fun with my 3 Sons


A scoop of ice cream on a cupcake?!  Brilliant.  From here.


Have a sweet weekend!

xo,
Jen

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