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Posted by on Dec 12, 2013 in Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, DIY, Economical Activities, Education, Gift Ideas, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, Holidays, Homemade, Homeschool, Kids Activities, Kindergarten, Parenting, Preschool, Stay At Home Mom, This Is Homeschool, Toddlers | 0 comments

This Is Homeschool: Gingerbread Crayons

This Is Homeschool: Gingerbread Crayons

It’s snowy and cold. Winter is here, and so are the holidays…in full force!

As busy as I’ve been, I always try to make time to craft with the kids. For the past several years, we have collected broken crayons from our home, restaurants, etc. We just hold onto them to make our own crayons!

I found a fairly inexpensive gingerbread crayon mold at Hobby Lobby last week (it was 50% off) for a total of about $4.

The kids love to peel stuff (it’s a gene, I swear), so we got to work stripping the crayons. This takes a while, but with a little Christmas music & storytelling, we passed the time fairly easily.

Speaking of time, we’ve been learning about the passage of time – how long is a minute, an hour, a day. We guessed how long it would take to melt the crayons in the toaster oven. We didn’t get too scientific, rather we kept it simple. Each child guessed & Marsden came the closest! Then we did the same for guessing how long it would take for the crayons to cool. Tavia was closest this time.

A fun and pretty time consuming activity – with lots of play time in between!

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2013 in Arts, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Carnival Party, Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, Etsy, felting, Friends, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Happy Birthday Banner, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Homemade, Party, Product Review, Reviews, Second Seed In Stitches, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom, Support Handmade | 0 comments

Second Seed In Stitches – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Second Seed In Stitches – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Becoming a handmade artisan is one of the neatest achievements I’ve made in my lifetime, probably because it has opened my life to other handmade artisans. Each show I attend, I meet an eclectic and superb batch of people who likely think outside the box and are generally lovely people all around.

Not too long ago, at a monthly Brainery Bazaar hosted by Rochester Brainery, I was showing my playable art alongside Nancy Topolski, owner and creator for Second Seed In Stitches. I was immediately blown away by Nancy’s colorful display – ranging from her oh-so-adorable “Foundlings” to the hand-knitted fingerless gloves and felted floral arrangements. I just knew we’d become friends.

We spent the entire day chatting, everything from schooling (and un-schooling) to how to succeed in the handmade craft business. You see, Nancy’s a pro. She’s been in the game for a while longer than myself. She is full of excellent advice and had a gentle approach in lending her ear to my newbie questions. I wanted to share Nancy and her work with the world, so I decided right here on The Whimsical Sweet would be a good place to start.

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photo copyright Pamela M. Rayburn Photography 2013

Nancy created a one-of-a-kind birthday banner as part of The Big Carnival Bash. It was on display throughout the party, and it definitely added exactly what we were looking for. I don’t think the party would’ve been complete without the banner hanging proudly above the photo booth. I asked that she make one of her felted banners customized with red & white stripes and black lettering. She didn’t even have to ask any questions. She just got it. I love people that just get it.

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Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photography copyright Pamela M. Rayburn Photography 2013

Second Seed In Stitches is led by a strong and passionate woman who has a beautiful handle on her craft (or crafts, as the case may be). I have yet to see all of the varieties of art Nancy is capable of creating, but those I have seen, I have fallen in love with. Though she is no longer making the banners, her Foundlings are always available in her etsy shop & usually present at her shows. They are FANTASTIC! She gets down to creative business & repurposes/upcycles old wool sweaters into fantabulous, soft, furry creatures she calls Foundlings. Every child should have at least one, and grown-ups, two or more!

Nancy Topolski foundling

The good stuff? Second Seed In Stitches is giving away a super-fun, handcrafted felted “happy birthday” banner to one lucky reader! This fun & festive banner measures approximately 5 ft. with plenty of grosgrain ribbon for hanging.

Nancy Topolski banner

Everyone needs a family banner to celebrate birthdays year after year. It’s such a great addition to any celebration. We are looking forward to unpacking ours for each birthday for many years to come.

ENTER TO WIN!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) ‘Happy Birthday’ banner from Second Seed In Stitches (a $50 value). Contest begins November 9, 2013 at 12:00am and ends November 16, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Saturday, November 16, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize must be claimed within one week of winner announcement. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: Second Seed In Stitches is providing the winner with the prize of a felted birthday banner. I was not compensated in any other way to feature this artist. All opinions are my own It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). I support local, handmade art and you should, too. :)

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Posted by on Oct 30, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Busy B Boutique, Carnival Party, Children, Crafts, Crafts, Creative, DD Lish, DecoArt, DIY, Economical Activities, Family, Featured, Friends, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Happy Birthday Banner, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Homemade, Memories, painting, Pamela Rayburn Photography, Party, Photography, Precious Peanut Shop, Product Review, Reviews, Save money, Second Seed In Stitches, Shopping, Support Handmade, Tiny Chaos, Work From Home, Working Mom | 1 comment

THE BIG CARNIVAL BASH!

THE BIG CARNIVAL BASH!

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Our daughter recently turned the big FIVE years old. Since we haven’t really given her a big party (most birthdays have been celebrated with family), we decided to throw her a big carnival bash to celebrate her wonderful self. A carnival seemed fun, easy, and affordable. In reality, it was! My husband & I made most of the games with what we had around the house as well as some inexpensive shenanigans I found at craft stores and local shops. DecoArt sponsored some of the artwork which I used to create one of the games as well as the face paint pens (um, hello?! These were right up my alley!). It helped to have a handy hubby who cut wood & nailed things together for me ;). More on this coming soon…

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In my quest to support handmade shops, I decided to incorporate different things into the party from both local and distant artisans. This is my new mission on this blog: To support handmade artisans.

Enter beautiful, amazing, wonderful people.

First, I found a phenomenal local photographer who was not only willing to come capture the party in all it’s glory, but she did so in such a swift and lovely fashion that we will likely have her photograph our family for years to come. Pamela Rayburn Photography is owned and operated by Pamela Rayburn herself. She is so kind and such fun to work with! But more on her later *hint, hint*. Just look at these gorgeous captures! (Locals, you should do yourselves a favor & look into booking her for your holiday photos!)

There were so many people involved in pulling this off properly (which happened just by the skin of our teeth!). My husband, as supportive as he is, allows me to get a little lot carried away. The kids were cooperative and had a ball dressing for the part on the day of the party and even lended a hand with decorations and games. My sister, Deidre of DD Lish yumminess, baked one heck of a cake that tasted even better than it looked, if that’s possible. My mom “voluntarily” was coaxed into cooking fresh, homemade tacos for everyone to enjoy (we did our best to serve healthy foods). My dad & best friend were roped into coloring in the signage I created that morning. My brother-in-law donated some grass seed bags from his company Crosman Seed Corp.

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Then there were the shop owners, artisans who donated their craft to put the icing on the cake!

Did you get a peek at the perfect dress & headband our little t was wearing? That was designed by me, and created in collaboration with Precious Peanut Shop. Julie was incredible to work with. But again, more on that later.

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Dress and Headband by Precious Peanut Shop
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

In case you haven’t picked up on my *hints*, these beautiful shops and artisans will be featured throughout the next several months as part of our Fall Frenzy: Festive Fall Features. Stay tuned!

Then there’s the bowtie on our son & hairbow on our youngest daughter. Would you get a load of this?! Tiny Chaos made this set of bows to add to the festivities. She is amazing.

Bow by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bow by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bowtie by Tiny Chaos
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

We whipped up a photo booth with help from Busy B Boutique‘s Bethany Crocker and Nancy Topolski from Second Seed in Stitches. Bethany made some really fun photo props while Nancy crafted the “happy birthday” banner. Fantastic work-woman-ship from both ladies!! I can say it’s been so fun working with Bethany as we’re good friends as well as craft lovers. She even painted a few faces at the party. Talented Mama :)!

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Face Paint Pens by DecoArt
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Photo props by Busy B Boutique
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Banner by Second Seed In Stitches
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

I think those that attended would all agree that C&C Bouncers stole the show with their hoppity-hooping bounce house! Shari & Ted, owners of C&C, are working on opening a great place for fun in the Finger Lakes area so locals, get ready!

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

Bounce House courtesy of C&C Bouncers
Photo copyright Pamela Rayburn Photography 2013

It was just SO MUCH FUN and rose beyond expectations of our little ones. They had smiles all day long, as did their friends and family. It is always so wonderful and almost dream-like to have so many loved ones all in one place celebrating alongside us! I think we’re locked into throwing a party like this for each of our children’s fifth birthdays, and we’re totally fine with that. We’ll have to do a little more ourselves next time, but live and learn, right?!

I’m looking forward to showcasing these wonderful shops and artisans, as I’m sure you will, too. Just wait to see what’s in store for you!!

From deep inside our hearts, THANK YOU to everyone who was a part of this awesome celebration. We all appreciate it so!!

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Posted by on Oct 18, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Children, Christmas, Crafts, Creative, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Homemade, painting, Party, peg dolls, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, sweet whimsy designs | 0 comments

What’s Going On: October 18, 2013

What’s Going On: October 18, 2013

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hello & happy friday! so much going on in the world of sweet whimsy designs / The Whimsical Sweet, i thought i’d share. feature on psiadoreyou you runs through tomorrow. giveaway on thewhimsicalsweet.com ends 10/20 (which also happens to be my birthday!). craft fair at Ellwanger-Barry nursery school tomorrow 10/19 11am – 4pm (locals to Rochester NY, this should be a super fun-filled family event)! lots of holiday inventory prep & fulfilling orders left & right. upcoming giveaways from handmade shops & finally, hopefully, the blog on the big carnival bash featuring TONS of wonderful reviews and giveaways.

{i’m intentionally writing in lower case because sweet whimsy designs is for little ones. and because i’m nursing a baby and too tired to turn on auto-correct. 😉 }

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Posted by on Oct 14, 2013 in Arts, Children, Costumes, Crafts, Crafts, Crazy Mom-isms, Creative, DIY, Economical Activities, Etsy, Giveaways, Halloween, Handmade, Handmade Halloween, Handmade Holiday, Holidays, Homemade, peg dolls, Save money, Stay At Home Mom, sweet whimsy designs, sweet whimsy designs, sweet whimsy designs, Work From Home, Working Mom | 17 comments

Homemade Robot Costume & sweet whimsy designs GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Homemade Robot Costume & sweet whimsy designs GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Last year, our 2 year-old (at the time) was MAD about robots (or “Oobots”, as he called them). There was really no option in his mind when it came to dressing for Halloween.

Upon looking at our vast collection of old diaper boxes, crates left over from our summer CSA, and used toys, I decided to create his very own Oobot. I documented it well, however, our computer has since crashed & I have (hopefully temporarily) lost a few years’ worth of photos & videos. I don’t want to talk about that. Instead, I have decided to post this “how-to” make your very own robot costume without detailed step-by-step photos. I hope you get the gist.

Here he is, in his absolute glory!mars robot costumeThe box on his head is a diaper box spray-painted in silver metallic. Also sprayed were three large & three smaller vegetable/fruit crates (you know, the green cardboard) and a red plastic cup. The eyes are painted peanut butter jar tops which were super-glued around the edges to adhere to the box.

The box for the body was an amazon box repurposed with metallic silver spray-paint as well. I definitely used several coats to insure any printing was covered. The boxes’ squares were simply cut out with a pair of scissors. We added padding to the shoulders, as the costume was getting rather heavy & wouldn’t be easy to walk in come Halloween night.

I created a panel on the inside of the body with a piece of cardboard, slightly larger than the opening, covered in tinfoil. The panel was then Duck-taped to the inside of the opening. On the panel, I added a switch plate which I found at Lowe’s for under $1.00. I also grabbed a light switch for chump change along with four white caps & painted everything in a variety of colors from DecoArt Americana paints then outlined in metallic silver puffy paint. Target had some working blacklights in their dollar section, so I purchased two of them & attached them to the top & bottom of the panel with double-sided padded tape.

I also cut an “infinity” shape out of cardboard & covered it in tinfoil to begin the turn-key at the side. After cutting a small “x” slit in the side of the body, I covered a paper towel roll in tinfoil & sliced a slit about an inch long in 2 places to slide the infinity shape & make a key. So easy!

The “Marsbot 2012” was painted in DecoArt Americana Bright Yellow paint (2 coats) then outlined in silver glitter puffy paint. I asked my husband to screw in several plastic gears of various colors that were part of a board game no longer in use. They were loose enough to maneuver & everyone who came close enough would love to play with them! Our son was like a walking toy!!

Likely the most costly purchase for the costume was for the arms. We bought ducts from Lowe’s, costing a total of around $13 with much to spare. I cut pieces long enough to cover his arms and was sure to tuck in the edges to prevent cuts. We wanted to make legs out of the ducts as well but figured it wouldn’t allow him to walk…at all. Good choice, I think ;).

Everything was put together with silver Duck Tape. I just love all the colors and patterns Duck Tape now offers!

The back side had some fun things to see, too. We glued a Frisbee that he painted & some buttons to push.

This costume made heads turn & was the hit at our town’s Halloween Parade where our son won Best Costume for his age group. He received a plaque & was (& still is) so proud!! He marched around the parade beaming & waving to the crowd. He loved being a robot for a day!!

The costume stayed together pretty well, minus a few mishaps, but nothing tape or glue couldn’t fix! He wore it to several occasions & by Halloween night, we wished we had insulated the costume – it was a cold night!!

We can assure you the look of sadness was due to the cold weather & not the awesome costume he was sporting!

We can assure you the look of sadness was due to the cold weather & not the awesome costume he was sporting!

I always seem to raise the bar each year. I have decided this year that I will make costumes only every OTHER year, this Mama needs a break! It is so much fun, though, especially if your significant other is on board to lend a hand.

What are you whipping up for Halloween this year? What are your little ones going to be?! Share & enter to WIN a set of PEG DOLLS from my shop!!

ENTER HERE!!!

wizard of ozsuperhero avengersroyal princess setpeg doll necklace

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive a shop credit totaling $45 & will include shipping. Contest begins October 14, 2013 at 12:00am and ends October 21, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, October 21, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way to write this post or feature any companies in this post. All opinions are my own. It was completely my own doing and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). 

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Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Arts, Autumn, Christine & Co. Design, Christine & Co. Design, Creative, Etsy, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Holiday Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Homemade, Jewelry, Motherhood, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom | 3 comments

Christine & Co. Design – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Christine & Co. Design – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Happy Autumnal Equinox to all our wonderful readers! With every change of season, it sure feels good to add a little something to your wardrobe. I may have just the thing for you. Christine & Co. Design creates beautiful pieces of affordable jewelry to compliment any wardrobe.

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I met Christine Meyer, owner and sole artist of Christine & Co. Design, at my first Brainery Bazaar. I was drawn to her clean space set-up and super-cool ninja pendants. Once I chatted with her, I immediately felt comfortable with her gentle and joyous spirit and of course her creative mind. Oh, and I also was and still am head-over-heels for her eye-catching business cards (see photo above) which, she realizes, leaves a lasting impression with her clientele. Christine is a mom to three beautiful children, hence the name “Christine & Co.”. She says she joked about signing her name this way, toting her kids around when they were young, but in fact the joke was a reality as they were always together (a sure sign of a good mom). Christine can often be seen with her teenage daughter, who lends a hand at her shows, and there’s always laughter coming from their end (another sure sign of a SuperMom!). Somehow she manages to create fun, whimsical pieces of wearable art and clever home décor while caring for her family and home. A SuperMom indeed!

christine & co ninja

Christine & Co. Design’s glass pendants are created with “high quality acrylic paints, wonderful washi tapes, and vibrant alcohol inks”. I love an artist with an eclectic mix of media! Her glass necklace pendants are sealed with a two-part resin that is crystal clear which will allow your piece to shine & last a lifetime! Some of my favorites include the ninja pendants as well as any/all of her glass pendants like the Primary Colored Painted Glass Circle Pendant, the Color Mosaic Art on Glass Pendant, and the Yellow Moon and Stars Glass Pendant. The mother in me adores the Personalized Family Pendant! They are each unique – no two pieces are the same. That alone makes for a perfect gift for someone else but an even better gift for yourself! Christine has found a neat use for washi tape; I will admire her work for years to come if she keeps finding new ways to create. Christine & Co. definitely has something for everyone in her shop on etsy. She even makes personalized home décor gifts like subway art monograms and perpetual calendars. These make great gifts for those hard-to-shop-for people in our lives. And everything is so reasonably price, especially considering the time and work that goes into creating each piece. Isn’t everything in her shop just SO FUN?!

christine & co perpetual calendarchristine & co monogram subway art

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WHAT’S IN IT FOR YOU??

Christine & Co. Design is providing one fortunate winner with a glass pendant necklace of their choice (up to a $30 value)! Choose from her shop – winner will be announced one week from today!

Enter to win HERE!!

What is your favorite piece by Christine and Co. Design?

GOOD LUCK TO EVERYONE! Looking forward to hearing your favorites!

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive one (1) glass pendant necklace of their choice from Christine & Co. Design (up to a $30 value). Contest begins September 23, 2013 at 12:00am and ends September 30, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, September 30, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states within one week of winner announcement. Entries will be verified.

Full disclosure: Christine and Co. Design provided me with a glass pendant necklace in order to accurately and honestly write a review for this post. I was not compensated in any other way to feature this artist. All opinions are my own It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :). I support local, handmade art and you should, too. 🙂

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