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Posted by on Dec 9, 2013 in holiday shopping, Philosophy, Stay At Home Mom, sweet whimsy designs, Work From Home | 2 comments

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

This extreme thankful feeling keeps crossing my mind, as this season passes and the motivation to create is both necessary and overwhelmingly present – it just wouldn’t be possible without some wonderful people in my life. First, a supportive family – a husband who does laundry and dishes and even has learned to make a few good meals; independent children who don’t mind being neglected for the month (sort of not kidding) & who have been helpful & loving, and learning much on their own, many times even painting alongside me. An extended family of supportive kindness & the most awesome babysitters on the planet. Supportive friends who encourage and praise, making this gal feel oh•so•loved. And last but certainly not least, a fan base of clientele who ROCK THE CASBAH! Thank you all so very much, with all of my heart! We are grateful for your support & sincerely hope you enjoy your swd creations for years and years to come. Happy Holidays!!

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Posted by on Nov 25, 2013 in Arts, Baby, Children, Crafts, Creative, Decor, Etsy, Giveaways, Handmade Halloween, Handmade Holiday, Home Decor, infant, Lovey Letters By Leah, newborn, Nursery Decor, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, Stay At Home Mom, Support Handmade, Wall Letters, Work From Home, Working Mom | 3 comments

Lovey Letters By Leah – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Lovey Letters By Leah – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

It’s that time again…time for a wonderful handmade giveaway! Woohoo!

Lovey Letters By Leah is owned by Lovely Leah herself, Leah Carroll. I met Leah (way) long ago, through a mutual friend when we were (much) younger. We always seemed to have a lot in common, our ginger locks being most important :).

copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

Leah is the new-ish Mom to two beautiful toddlers – twins, in fact – who surely keep her days as a stay-at-home Mom quite busy. She must have them on perfect nap schedules because somehow she finds the time to create some really whimsical, fun wall letters! It all began in her quest to find the right décor for her boy/girl twins’ nursery. Leah had so much fun during the creation process that she decided she wanted more. She said when friends and family would visit, they would inquire about the letters and she began creating her unique, custom wall letters for more & more people, in turn, decided to bring them to the handmade marketplace and share them with the world.

copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

Lovey Letters By Leah‘s shop is full of personalized art that would add that special touch to any nursery, child’s room, home office, or even a man cave! Lovey Letters has even created letters for pets, how fun?! Most of her clientele are parents decorating their children’s nurseries, but let’s face it, she’s capable of just about anything!

Letters For Your Pet, copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

copyright 2013, Lovey Letters By Leah

copyright 2013, Lovey Letters By Leah

Burlap Letters, copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

Burlap Letters, copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

I asked Lovey Letters to create some wall art for sweet whimsy designs’ art shows and she came up with something that depicts swd so well! All I had to tell her was a little of what I wanted, something fun & whimsical, colorful, so this is what she came up with:

sweet whimsy designs, copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

sweet whimsy designs, copyright 2013 Lovey Letters By Leah

I think they’re perfect, don’t you?!

Leah at Lovey Letters By Leah was not only easy to work with, but she produces these pieces of art quite quickly, and always with a smile (even through email!). It’s simple to see this handmade business soaring to new heights because Leah is right, this is what has been missing from the nursery décor world all this time.

What’s In It For You?

Lovey Letters By Leah is giving away TWO wonderful prizes: 11 x 14 Initial Wall Letters, one per winner!! (a $23 value per letter)

These letters are fully customizable & can be done with Leah’s painless process:

The order process:
1) You choose the size of letters you would like. Either initials or the spelling of a full name.
2) Tell Lovey Letters By Leah your colors, font type, and theme or any decals you’d like to add.
3) Lovey Letters By Leah will then provide a story board of the design ideas for your approval.
4) Once approved, Lovey Letters will start hand crafting your letters. Each frame is individually cut along with the letters just for you. LLbL will then add the paper designs of your choosing. Each frame is trimmed with ribbon of your choice. She can add a bow for hanging or a saw tooth hanger, whichever you prefer.
5) Once completed, LLbL will send you final photos for your approval before shipped.
6) Each letter is individually wrapped in cellophane with ribbon. They will arrive ready to be gifted or a special gift just for you!
Doesn’t that sound like FUN?! We think so!
Tell us what you want to do with your letter, should you win! Where will you hang it? What colors will you work with? What designs do you love and can’t live without?
TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Two (2) winners will receive one (1) 11 x 14 Initial Wall Letter by Lovey Letters By Leah (a $23 value). Contest begins November 25, 2013 at 12:00am and ends December 2, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, December 2, 2013 via sweet whimsy designs’ Facebook page. Prize will be shipped to any of the 48 contingent U.S. states after verification and creation process is complete. Entries will be verified.
.Full disclosure: Lovey Letters For Leah provided me with a set of wall letters to review to be able to write this post. I have not been compensated in any other way to feature Lovey Letters For Leah in this post. It was completely my own doing, simply a collaboration, and I hope you never thought otherwise, even for a second :).
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Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 in Arts, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Children, Christmas, Creative, Etsy, Favorite Things, Gift Ideas, Giveaways, Handmade, Handmade Holiday, Holiday Gift Ideas, holiday shopping, Holidays, Jewelry, Lovely Lyla Jean, Product Review, Reviews, Shopping, Support Handmade, Toddlers, Work From Home, Working Mom | 0 comments

Lovely Lyla Jean – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

Lovely Lyla Jean – Review and GIVEAWAY! *CLOSED*

All right, lovely people, it’s getting a little crazy around here. It’s about to get a heck of a lot crazier with a giveaway from one of my favorite children’s accessories shop.

Let me introduce you to Lovely Lyla Jean!

A wee side-note – I would not have met Melissa Griffo, owner of Lovely Lyla Jean, if it wasn’t for the Rochester Brainery. Melissa & I tabled next to each other at a Brainery Bazaar show this past summer. *Rochester, NY Locals: If you haven’t made it to a Brainery Bazaar, you are seriously missing out! LOADS of unique, handmade goods from an eclectic mix of artisans. Second Saturday of each month, and TWO SHOWS in December!)

Lovely Lyla Jean creates the most fun and whimsical accessories for girls & boys! The Chunky Bubblegum Beaded Necklaces are what stand out, but there are oh-so-many more sparkly pretties to select!

Lovely Lyla Jean holiday purple necklace

Melissa is a super-fun Mom to two littles who began creating her beautiful jewelry for her toddler daughter. What little girl doesn’t LOVE jewelry, right? (What little boy, for that matter?!) Where she finds the time, I’m not sure, though I have a pretty good idea it’s in between her full-time job, making dinner, and catering to her small children. You know, there’s just so much time left in a day to whip up lovely necklaces, earrings, and other accessories. Yes, I think that’s spot on. 😉

Lovely Lyla Jean earrings

Lovely Lyla Jean’s pieces are fun to play dress-up with, yet sophisticated enough to wear for a photo shoot or a family outing. Melissa is great about creating customized jeweled pieces to coordinate with that favorite outfit, especially with upcoming holiday attire. If you don’t see something that matches in her shop, she will be more than willing to whip up something wondrous for your little charmer to don in those Christmas card photos (sneaking up on us quickly!).

Lovely Lyla Jean Christmas
Lovely Lyla Jean Hair Ties

It’s no surprise that the creations that come from Lovely Lyla Jean’s shop are so much fun – Melissa is a ball of energy with lots of laughter and a positive outlook on life. She is excellent fun to be around, and that certainly shines through in her art.

Lovely Lyla Jean Thanksgiving

When I saw Lovely Lyla Jean’s display at the Bazaar, I knew our kids had to have a handful of somethings from her shop. We ended up with a few zipper pulls and hair clips. Our son wears his zipper pull on everything, his belt loop, backpack, he even clips it on his shirt and pants. The hair clips are so adorable on the girls, and they always get compliments when they wear them. It’s hard not to purchase everything Melissa makes, it’s all just so darling! I sincerely hope she has plans to expand to making jewels for Mom…I think I need a chunky bubblegum bead necklace stat!

Lovely Lyla Jean Sweets

Photo by The Whimsical Sweet

Get your cutie gussied & get ready to accessorize, because Lovely Lyla Jean is giving away a super adorable Purple & Cream Faux Pearl Holiday Toddler Necklace and Bracelet Set (valued at $32.50)

– Lovely gift for your favorite Daughter, Granddaughter, Goddaughter or Niece
– Necklace measures 19 inches long with 2 inch extender chain for adjustable sizing
– Bracelet is made of strong highly stretchable cord to stretch and fit little wrists
– Perfect addition to any holiday outfit
– Beautiful photography prop for your holiday photo shoot
Lovely Lyla Jean giveaway 2 Lovely Lyla Jean giveaway 1

ENTER TO WIN HERE!

In the meantime, visit her shop or read her blog, and for goodness sakes, start making a list of every little girl you know and gift her lots of lovelies from Lovely Lyla Jean this holiday season!! Start SHOPPING!

 

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: One (1) winner will receive a Purple & Cream Faux Pearl Holiday Toddler Necklace and Bracelet Set (a $32.50 value). Contest begins November 11, 2013 at 12:00am and ends November 18, 2013 at 12:00am. Winner will be announced Monday, November 18, 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 two weeks of winner announcement and claim. Entries will be verified.

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

All photos copyright Lovely Lyla Jean, unless otherwise noted.
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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 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

artdisx

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 Aug 28, 2013 in Arts, Baby, Birthday Parties, Birthdays, Children, Creative, Etsy, Holiday Gift Ideas, painting, peg dolls, sweet whimsy designs, Toddlers, Work From Home, Working Mom | 2 comments

sweet whimsy designs’ Update!

sweet whimsy designs’ Update!

August is nearing a close and I have a great, big announcement…

…but that will have to wait ;).

First, I must give a big virtual hug to all of you amazing sweet whimsy designs’ supporters for allowing the shop to have it’s BEST MONTH EVER! August brought some wonderfully creative custom requests: superhero wedding cake toppers, custom castle blocks and colored knights, pirates and a spiffy new pirate ship, even a first birthday diapered baby cake topper! I would love for you to follow my Facebook page for all the latest posts including the “Paint Of The Day” photo which features a daily project for you to see. There’s lots more in store!

As always, thank you for allowing me to bring your ideas to fruition. It has been such a fun summer creating!

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