Thursday, September 30, 2010

Setees and shopping

Truth be told, I have one room in my house that absolutely needs redecorating. Because furniture never seems to come free these days, I am usually stuck just daydreaming about all the pretty things I wish I could buy for this particular space. Currently, I am daydreaming about this perfect little settee in gray and yellow ikat. Ahhh, love.Also, am I the last to know that JCrew has an online factory store? Exciting news. Although, I just browsed through the selection and I still think you get better prices at the outlets. I mean, does $5 off really equate to "factory store" status? :)
Don't forget to enter our giveaway if you haven't already! Many thanks to those of you who have! We have such a great group of followers.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Giveaway -- Vintage AdaElle and Anthropologie

Hello Lovely Blog Readers,

To celebrate the kick off of our new jewelry line, Vintage AdaElle, we are excited to announce our first giveaway! It's a big one! One lucky person will receive a Vintage AdaElle necklace (see post here), personalized with a flower charm of choice and up to five hand stamped teeny tiny tags. The winner will also receive a pair of tiny rose earrings (in the color of your choice). These sweet little adornments are another new item you can now find in our Pretty Poppy Etsy Shop.
Giveaway Rules:
1. To enter, visit our Pretty Poppy Etsy Shop and tell us which item is your favorite. (Leave a comment on this post.)
2. Become a follower of The Pretty Poppy Blog. You must become a follower to be eligible to win.
3. Post the giveaway on Facebook to receive an extra entry.
4. Post the giveaway on your blog to receive an extra entry.
5. Tweet about the giveaway to receive an extra entry.
6. The giveaway will close on Tuesday, October 5th at midnight. The winner (selected at random) will be announced on Wednesday, October 6th!

We have one last special surprise for you! If The Pretty Poppy Blog surpasses 250 followers by the close of this contest, the winner will additionally receive a $50 gift card to Anthropologie! It makes us wish we could win! We love that place! So spread the word and happy entering!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our new line -- Vintage AdaElle

We are very excited to introduce our new jewelry line -- Vintage AdaElle. Inspired by our love of bright colors, flowers, vintage, jewelry and pretty things, we think this necklace is a wonderful addition to our Etsy shop. Each piece contains one vintage inspired lucite cabochon flower and multiple layers of contrasting chain. Ready for the best part? Each necklace is personalized with teeny tiny circle charms, hand stamped with the initials of your children, loved ones, etc. Thus, it really does fit in perfectly with the original motto of our shop -- hand stamped jewelry inspired by those you love.

This week stay tuned for the introduction of more new items from the Vintage AdaElle line, plus some giveaways celebrating our new designs!

Until then, check out our shop, where you will see our new stuff cropping up this week, as well as many other unique pieces.

Have a wonderful week!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tutorial -- A Cheerful Flower Topiary

I love ranuculous (the flower I used for this topiary). When I saw some on clearance at JoAnn's a couple months ago, I immediately purchased a handful of stems and stashed them in my craft closet. In the back of my mind, I knew I wanted to make a pretty floral topiary. And that's just what I did this week!

Do you want to make one too? I'll show you how!

*One foam ball of desired diameter.
*Flowers. Any kind that you love. I think smaller flowers would probably work best. I used 8 bunches, 15 flowers per bunch. I wish I would have had 9 bunches (I'll explain later.)
*A stick in your desired length. I cut mine from a tree in my yard.
*A pot.
*Floral foam.
*Old newspaper, magazines, or some kind of paper.
*Crafting moss.
*Glue gun.

I actually had all of these supplies on hand, except for the moss and the flowers.

To begin, grab your foam ball, your flowers, and maybe your glue gun. I pulled the flowers off their stems, put on a little dab of hot glue, and stuck the flower into the ball. Your flowers might have long enough stems to simply poke them into the ball without using glue.
I bunched the flowers close together so that you couldn't see any foam ball peeking though. P.S. My ball is red because in another life it served as part of the Pizza Planet sign for my twin boys 4th birthday party. The red color actually came in handy though since my topiary is red -- any parts of the ball that might have showed automatically blended right in.

This is how far I got with the flowers. Not quite enough. But, I didn't fret. You can't tell at all once the topiary is finished.
Next, head on outside and find a good stick to use as your stem/trunk. I just cut a branch off my front yard tree. You can cut it however long you like. Allow enough length for the stick to sit low in your pot (mine touched the bottom), and still be tall enough.

Next, burrow a hole a few inches deep into your foam ball. I just spun my stick around for a while (it's messy, maybe do it outside.) You could also use a Dremel. ACTUALLY, it might be smart to make the hole first -- that way you won't smash your flowers. See, always a work in progress! Then, insert the stick. Apply a whole lot of hot glue on the stick, in the hole and around the stick for extra reinforcement. Then, hold it in place until it dries. It won't take too long.
Don't mind the next couple pictures. I finished this craft up at night and the light wasn't superb. I used a terra cotta pot from Home Depot.

It was about $1.50. I previously used it when I grew my wheat grass. I grabbed one and some cream spray paint and got to work. Once dry, I took it back outside to distress. I was out of sand paper so I decided to actually "rough up" the pot. I rolled it down the street. I rubbed it on the sidewalk. I must have looked insane to any neighbors that saw me. I loved the way it turned out -- with some green paint from the previous spray job, and the terra cotta peeking out underneath. You can see some of the distressing in the picture below. I think I actually want to rough it up more because I like the effect so much. It was just so dark when I was outside doing it that I couldn't really tell how it looked.

Once your pot is ready, grab some floral foam (that super messy green stuff), and use a kitchen knife to cut some pieces you can use to wedge in your stick. I just sandwiched it between two. Grab that glue gun and glue the the foam to the pot and the stick to the foam.
Then, stuff some newspaper, or magazine pages into the space left in your pot to even out the surface.
Cover the magazine/floral foam jumble with crafting moss. I found mine at JoAnn's as well. It was less than $5.00 for the package. It was located next to the wreaths. I pulled off some larger pieces and, in puzzle fashion, arranged them around the pot. Once they were all in place, I used my hot glue gun and secured them.
All finished! And how easy was that? Let your creative juices flow. This topiary can be customized to any decor scheme, depending on the color, type of flower, and style of pot you choose. Go have fun and make a little craft! This could probably be completed in less than two hours.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Pillow Fight!

What is my favorite time of the day?  Right when my head hits the pillow.  What makes it my favorite time?  That great pillow that's been waiting for me since I left it that morning.  Everyone has a pillow type.  My pillow...extra firm.  Don't give me that awful soft thing that leaves a big hole where your head rests.  That's not for me.

Nothing upsets me more than coming to my bed, hopping in, getting nice and cozy, only to realize that my nice, extra-firm, perfect pillow is missing.  I know who the culprit is.  This has been happening to me 5 out of 7 nights a week and it's been going on for a couple of months.  This is why I have bags under my eyes, in case you were wondering.  I can whoop this kid in a real pillow fight, but this new pillow fight has become a war!  I'm in this war with my 7 year old and I'm getting slaughtered. 

From the moment he discovered this pillow, it became his property, or so he thinks.  If you ask me, he's a little thief!  Whenever I so kindly ask for it back, or even when I demand it back, he cleverly says, "You can have the case!"  He knows this drives me mad.  That is when I respond with, "I don't want the stinkin' case!  I want the pillow inside the case!"  At this point you'd think he'd kindly hand it over, but he's not scared of me anymore.  When did that happen?  I then retreat back to my bedroom and decide to use whichever pillow is handy.   

So, what do I do?  Do I continue with this war, winning a battle every once in a while.  Or do I cry defeat and head to the nearest Linens n' Things to buy me a new Hollander, extra firm pillow?  I probably need a new pillow anyways.  It really is the best!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ikea love

I've been feeling the need to make an Ikea trip lately. I love that place. Everything about it makes me pretty happy. Here are some of the things I've had my eye on.

This side table. Thinking about getting a couple of these for my bedroom to serve as nightstands.
These also would make good nightstands, or even end tables. I love the extra storage the drawers provide! Perfect for remote controls and coasters!
Need another one of these little chairs for my baby whose high chair I just took down this week!
This could be a potential shoe organizer if I placed it horizontally. Insert some baskets and fill with shoes and socks, backpacks, swim gear and all that other stuff that would be nice to keep by the back door. We already have one of these in white in our toy room.
And this sideboard wants to come home with me. How delightful would this be repainted in a fun color. Yellow? Fire engine red? Add a little Anthro hardware and it would be a masterpiece!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Frye Boots

Even though the temperatures haven't cooled off yet here in Arizona, my heart still knows it's the Fall season. Ever since my beautiful sister and mother in law got their pair a few years ago, I have been craving/eying a pair of these incredible boots. These boots are not for the faint of heart -- they are rough and tough footwear. The Frye company was started in 1863. Their boots were worn by the American and Confederate soldiers in the Civil War, as well as by the Pioneers when they trekked out West. Clearly these boots are well made. However, they are also so stylish. I would be happy with any pair really. Here are some of my favorites.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Pretty Pleated Flower tutorial

I have been inspired by the many cute hair accessories I see all around me and I wanted one for myself.  This is definitely not your little girl's hair bow!  This is for you!  I love this and try to wear it whenever possible.  This tutorial will include a tutorial for the entire green, ribbon flower and a tutorial for finishing off the gold rosette.  I will link to my good friend, Shannon, for the tutorial on the actual rosette.

Here are the supplies used, but you can get creative and use whatever you wish!  By no means, is this the only way to do this flower.  This is just how I did it.  Also, my estimations for the length of the ribbons are a bit longer than what was actually needed.  I just cut my ribbon at these lengths and removed the excess if there was any.

3 yds of 7/8 inch ribbon (Green)
7 inches of 3/4 inch Faux pearls on lace (cream lace)
one medium sized magenta bead
1 yd of 5/8 inch Gold ribbon (gold rose)
1 yd of 3/8 inch ribbon (black polka dot)
1 yd of 7/8 inch sheer ribbon (black)
white thread
2 in diameter felt circle
extra felt

Thread your needle and make a knot at the end.  Begin by making a running stitch along the bottom of your 7/8 inch ribbon.  Space your stitches pretty far apart.  I did mine about 1/4-1/2 inch apart.  This creates more of an accordion style gather, rather than little puckers.

Continue your running stitch until the end of your ribbon.  When you come to the end, slide your ribbon down the thread towards the knot at the beginning, gathering your ribbon.  Does that make sense?  Hopefully!


Gather this pretty tightly. Not so tight that you can't slide the ribbon down any further, but pretty tight. You need a little wiggle room!

Once your ribbon is gathered, you need to attempt to flatten it out so that the bottom of the ribbon, where the thread is, is straight.  The ribbon tends to want to twist.  You will need to place your pleats where you want them onto your 2 inch diameter circle of felt.  Take your felt and while placing your pleats on your ribbon, stitch them to the outer edge of your felt.  Continue this completely around your felt until you end up back at the beginning. 

Once you have completed one circle all of the way around, you need to adjust your ribbon down a bit and begin a second layer.     

See how I place my pleats right where I wanted them and then stitched them into place?  Hold them in place with your thumb and stitch...simple, right?

Just keep attaching your ribbon in a spiral until you come to the very middle of your felt.  Don't make the spiral obvious though.  It looks better if you can't tell where you started the next layer.

Once you've reached the middle, just kind of adjust your pleats and stitch wherever it looks good.  Don't be too worried about it because the lace will cover this part up.

You have now completed your first pleated flower and you can knot off your thread!

Here comes the second part of the big pleated flower!  Thread your needle again and knot the end.  Pick up your lace piece and create a running stitch along the edge of your lace.  This one can be a normal stitch length because you want this one to pucker and not pleat.  With my lace, the holes were too big for the knot at the end of my thread so I had to thread it through the middle first and then make my way towards the edge.

Once you come to the end of your lace, gather the same way you did the bigger flower until it comes into a cute little circle, as pictured above. 

Once you have formed your little circle, stitch it to the center of your bigger, pleated flower.

Pick out a bead that you just love and stitch it to the center of your flower.  Tada!  You're done.  This is even pretty by itself so you can quit now if you're tired.  Believe me, I was tempted!

For the next flower you're going to head on over to Shannon's tutorial to make a ribbon rosette.  I picked her tutorial because I wanted to stitch my rosette.  You can also use hot glue, but with living here in AZ, I could easily end up with a hot mess on my head.  I don't trust hot glue lasting in this heat!  Especially when I've been know to leave hair accessories in my VERY hot car.

Make your rosette and set it aside.

Thread your needle again and knot it off.  Pick up your 3/8 inch ribbon and create a 1/4 inch running stitch.  We want the pleated look again.  Continue until you reach the end.

Once you have reached the end slide the ribbon down the thread to gather.  Gather tightly so it appears like an accordion, as pictured above.  Flatten out your accordion ribbon and stitch to the back of your rosette.

This is how the back of your rosette will look.  Stitch the accordion ribbon all of the way around the edge of your rosette.

This is how your rosette will look from the front will appear.  Pretty.  Knot of your thread.

I'm so tired of saying this, but it must be said, thread your needle and knot the end.  Pick up your shear 7/8 inch ribbon and make a running stitch along the edge.  We want this one puckered so don't take as long of stitches.  Continue to the end of your ribbon and slide it down the thread to gather.  Once gathered, stitch this to the back of your rosette so the edges of your sheer ribbon peak out of the polka dot.

Isn't it pretty?

Place the smaller rosette on top of the bigger flower wherever you think it looks best and stitch it into place.

I then cut out a piece of felt that would cover all of my ugly work on the back of my piece and stitched around the edges.  Once that is done, cut out a 1x1.5 inch tab.  Stitch this to the bigger felt piece.  This tab will allow you to either slide the flower onto a headband or onto a clip.  There you have it!  Please let us know if you have any quesitons or if anything seems unclear.


Friday, September 17, 2010


This is the best Snicker doodle recipe I have found thus far and, I believe, my search is over.  My 5 year old hates chocolate so I've had to find a new cookie that we all enjoy.  These Snicker doodles were perfect...fluffy, crispy on the outside and soft and chewy in the middle.  This is very similar to Martha Stewart's recipe, but the baking powder and cream of tartar are slightly different.  I've tried Martha's and with this minor adjustment, I liked mine better.  I do like the acidic taste of cream of tartar, but not quite as strongly as others out there.  Because of this fact, I decided to half the cream of tartar and make up for it by adding baking powder in the other half's place.  Perfect, for my taste and my family's taste.  I also hate over baked cookies, therefore I usually under bake mine just a bit.  They might be gooey right at first, but as they cool the middle becomes decadent.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!  I baked my cookies for 8 minutes, nothing more, nothing less.  My oven is a bit hot though so try it out.  These cookies really don't brown so don't go off of that or you'll have one crispy mess.

Here is the lovely recipe:

Snicker doodles


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Cream together butter, shortening, 1 1/2 cups sugar, the eggs and the vanilla. Blend in the flour, cream of tartar, baking powder, soda and salt. Shape dough by rounded spoonfuls into balls.

Mix the 2 tablespoons sugar and the cinnamon. Roll balls of dough in mixture. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake 8 min., or until set but not too hard. Remove immediately from baking sheets.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Minute to Win it!

My seven year old and his friend were, obviously, bored one day and came up with the cutest idea.  After watching Minute to Win it religiously, they decided to invent their own minute to win it.  Without any help from myself, they went and filled 4 cups with water and proceeded to look for the ping pong balls.  Once found, the fun began.  

The greatest part was watching them try over and over again to get the ball into the next cup, which at one point seemed impossible.  Soon after, the other little ones followed suit and set up their own two cups with water.  My tile floor was covered in water within minutes, but it was well worth it.

Just look at my little one's face the moment his hard work paid off!  I just wish the photographer could have had her camera aimed just a bit higher.  Don't worry, I'm not a paid photographer.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


My little boy came home from school the other day with this little doodad.  I really think this is the coolest thing!  These are Smencils and they are made from 100% recycled newspapers.  That's not even the only cool thing about them...they smell amazing!  My son brought home cinnamon and I tried to talk him into giving it to me, but no such luck.  He must realize how cool they are too.  When I went onto the website I realized they also make Smens.  You really should get some.  If you want some get them here.  Make a bet I'll be sporting one next time you see me with a writing utensil.