Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quilts for Japan

There are hundreds, even thousands of efforts starting up to help the people of Japan.
Most of them are donations for money, which is much needed.  But heaven knows cash is a little scarce these days.

A wonderful reader let me know of this blog Flip Flop Mama.  The writer of the blog, Jamie, has posted a great way to give to Japan of a collection of fabric that some women are putting together.    They are trying to collect fabric for making tied quilts to send to Japan as soon as possible.  Since they are in the collection phase, this is a great chance for you to help!

They will take any size fabric, preferably cotton.  I have many fabric samples, fat quarters, or even scraps that could add to any quilt.  Look around your house!  Maybe you even have a cute pillow case that you never use...

If you are interested in donating, email Jamie at flipflopmamablog@gmail.com.  
I hope this will inspire you of other ways we can help!


Friday, March 18, 2011

{Green} Banana Bread

We had an entire bunch of a-bit-too-ripe banana's to use.  Sassy had been telling me about the Betty Crocker site and all of the awesome recipe's that I can use my pancake mix for (other than to make pancakes).  The closest recipe I found was a Blueberry Banana Bread...which sounded so good.  But I didn't have any blueberry's.  I googled and searched a bit more and found this recipe.  It was really easy.  Not as good as my grandma's banana bread, but a simple alternative to using up that pancake mix before it expires!

I mixed it, I cooked it, we ate it...
When we cut open the second loaf, we discovered a surprise from Lucky the Leprechaun,
He turned it Green!

Naughty Leprechaun.
Until next year Lucky...


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Saint Patrick's Day! {and a GIVEAWAY winner}

CONGRATULATIONS to Lucky comment number 7
(Courtesy of Random.org)

JESSICA @ My World Made By Hand!

Come on Down...You are the winner of this adorable necklace!
Please email us at thesassypepper@gmail.com.
Thank you to all who entered.

In honor of Saint Patty's day (and in the spirit of serving),
here are some amazing green-in-color Etsy finds that also help the Japan Earthquake/Tsunami Relief.


JAPAN Relief - Green Tea

Japan Earthquake Tsunami Nuclear Disaster Relief Lime Green Crane in Sterling Hoop

Japan Earthquake Tsunami Relief...Oak Leaf Ruffle Bowl...Ready To Ship

JAPAN EARTHQUAKE RELIEF - Harmony - 7x7 Mandala Fractal Art Print

Beige and Pistachio OOAK Slouch Hat - 50% all Sales to Help Red Cross Disaster Relief in Japan

Three Trees - JAPAN RELIEF

Tsunami Relief - Vintage Mid Century Modern Cole Steel Swivel Chair - 10% of Sale to Tsunami Japan

Little Rockstar ... Minky Blankie/Lovie/Security Blanket/Car Seat Blanket - ready to ship - FREE SHIPPING (50% will be donated to Japan disaster relief)

Disaster Relief Japan - Your moment of zen - A serene fine art bonsai photograph

Why not buy something and help someone at the same time?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Japan Relief Efforts

Waves of tsunami hit residences after a powerful earthquake in Natori, Miyagi prefecture (state), Japan, Friday, March 11, 2011.  The largest earthqua

Picture from Yahoo Japan Relief Effort Page

Sometimes in the crafting world I feel like I live in a bubble and don't know what is going on outside.  The recent disasters in Japan are heartbreaking.  Sassy shared this video with me that shows just some of what was destroyed in a matter of minutes.  In the beginning it doesn't seem like much damage will happen, but by the end of 7 minutes, cars, boats and houses are flipped and dragged blocks and I am sure even miles away from where they should have stayed.


I recently read a few articles about relief efforts.  One was about "fake" efforts that are on the web.  They are websites that look like the real thing but are just a hoax, and your money never actually aids in the relief at all.  Some of them even use similar names to the American Redcross, Salvation Army, Save the Children etc.  It is so sad to me how greedy people are that they would take advantage of people in such distress, and in reality steal from them.  So please be careful where you donate.

Luckily, YAHOO has made it easy with a link right up at the top of their site.  You can click here for a list of aid reliefs that will reach Japan and make a difference.  I couldn't donate much, but a little goes a long way.  Just imagine if every crafter donated just $5.00 or $10.00.  There are hundreds of thousands if not millions of us in the crafting world.

Cheers to rebuilding Japan,


Monday, March 14, 2011

Lucky Green Giveaway!

I can hardly believe that Saint Patrick's Day is this week.  March is almost half way over!

Have you noticed that I haven't had much to say in the last two weeks?
I have been neglecting frequent posts for a few reasons...

1) Mr. Pepper is non-existent.  Are any of you wives of CPA/Accountant/Auditors?  You get it.

2) Because Mr. Pepper is working so much, I now have accumulated a garage full of FREE Craigslist finds.
I think I have more projects than I will be able to finish in 6 months.

3) I also decided to rearrange my entire house to make one extra bedroom available for Little Sister.
She now has her own room.

4) Lucky the Leprechaun has been leaving messes ALL OVER.
He dumps things out, knocks things over, thinks he is silly when he puts furniture where it shouldn't be.

Lucky sometimes leaves gold coins for the kids, so at least he is entertaining them.
C'mon Lucky, what about me???  Could you just clean up something for me?  Just once...pretty please?
I am still waiting for the Holiday to be on the calendar where some sort of magical creature just magically cleans my entire house.  THAT would be an awesome Holiday to celebrate...with my feet up. 

Not posting as much has left me in a sad mood.  I feel sort of bad.
I am sorry I have no exciting tutorial to post today...

In honor of Lucky the Leprechaun, I am giving away this green ribbon necklace!

Use the clip on the necklace or in your hair!

To enter this give-away do one or more of the following...
1) Leave a comment on this post telling me the naughtiest thing a Leprechaun has done in your house (1 entry)
2) "Like" our Facebook Page or Twitter page if you haven't already done so (2 entries)
4) Share this give-away on Facebook (2 entries)
5) Post this give-away on your own blog! (3 entries)

That is a total of 8 entries for you to win this cute necklace.
Winner will be announced on Saint Patrick's Day!

Good Luck!


Friday, March 11, 2011

Easy Devil's Food Oreos

Sometimes you want fresh baked cookies, but you don't want to spend an hour making them and cleaning up the mess. That's when you pull out a Devil's Food Cake mix and whip up a quick batch of homemade "oreos!"

What you'll need:
1 box of Devil's Food Cake mix
2 eggs
1/2 cup veggie oil

1) Make and Bake 'em: Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl until well blended. Roll the dough into quarter-sized balls and placed on a greased or non-stock cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Leave the cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for a couple of minutes, then move to a cooling rack until completely cool.

(Remember, I said this was easy and I mean extra easy...you could spent 15 minutes making frosting, or you could just whip out a canister of the store-bought stuff. I went with that option this time around. Cream cheese frosting is the perfect companion to these little wonders!) 

2) Frost 'em: Using a pastry bag with a 1/2" tip, or simply using a butter knife, add a tablespoon (more or less, depending on your preference for frosting) of frosting to the center of one cookie, then sandwich it with another similarly sized cookie and presto! Delicious homemade oreos in practically no time at all!

3) Eat 'em! These cookies are soft and chewy--and they stay that way for days (as long as you store them in an air-tight container). So yummy and soooo easy. :)

FYI: They'd make a great St. Patrick's Day treat! Just add a bit of green food coloring to the frosting. Then if you forget to wear green you can just smear some frosting on your upper lip while you're chowing down and call it good!

Happy baking!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Introducing Talents of Sisters and BLOG SHOWCASE GIVEAWAY!

Happy International Womens Day!  
To celebrate I would like to introduce you to the Talents of Sisters Organization.

A friend of mine has recently shared a venture of her and her sister and I think you all will LOVE this idea!It is a non-profit organization they are starting called Talents of Sisters.  It was an idea that came after reading the book "Half the Sky".  Mainly, they are turning to the handcrafted community to raise money and awareness for oppressed women all over the world.  This idea allows help in so many aspects.  They ask for donations of handmade goods, and then they donate all proceeds to women in different countries.  

In her email, my friend said this:  

"For example, it takes only $40 to totally finance a woman's portion of a fistula surgery in Ethiopia!  And that surgery can totally change her life, allowing her to emerge from being an outcast in her society to becoming a useful and contributing member of it.  We would like to pay for school uniforms for girls in South Africa, allowing them to go to school and be educated and stay away from the traps of poverty.  We want to pay for a year of school for a girl in rural China who would otherwise go completely uneducated, and therefore unable to better the situation she lives in.  Or to provide the capital for a former sex slave in Cambodia to buy shop supplies, and open a shop that will provide a meaningful income."

When I first heard about this non-profit, I felt so moved and wanted to help.  I just imagined it becoming a huge organization of women helping women.  I don't think it could ever stop growing!  Please go venture to their site talentsofsisters.org.  I know at the very least you will be impressed, and if you aren't inspired as well it would surprise me.  You can see items that are for sale on their Etsy Collective page.  For more information on donating you can go to their Contact page.  I donated a simple headband, and hope it sells!  

As an incentive to my crafty readers donating - I would love to do an entire Sassy Pepper post all about you!

Every donation wins!

To get YOUR VERY OWN SHOWCASE POST do the following:
1)  Donate an item to Talents of Sisters!
2)  Send an email to thesassypepper@gmail.com, letting me know what item you donated (so I can showcase that item in your post) and a brief bio about you.

I will email you with a tentative date for your post!
I hope many of you will enter!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Grow Chart and Sneak Peek

This weekend I realized my 2-year-old is growing like a weed! That weediness inspired me to create a little grow chart so she can see that she is growing, too. Plus I just ordered a bunch of vinyl a few weeks ago and haven't had a chance to make anything yet. :)

I whipped out a quick grow chart using my Cricut Expression and two cartridges. Who knew working with vinyl was so fun and so easy?!

(PS: here's a little sneak peek of the bed my husband and I built for our daughter! I'll put one more shot below...)

The bed is AWESOME. I will write a post with more photos to show it's ultimate coolness, but first we need to fix up the discoloration on the stairs. Word to the wise: if you use polyurethane on a painted project, make sure the type you purchase is not meant to 'enliven the natural glow of your wood' (aka: turn your white steps yellow).

Back to the grow chart for now! The flower is from the Sweet Treats Cricut cartridge. So cute.

The stem has little notches every inch to make measuring more accurate. I actually made the stem from a "border" option on the Wall Decor and More cartridge and it already had the notches programmed in. All I had to do was size it so the notches were 1" apart and voila! Grow chart!

I'm planning to make little leaves to add to the flower stem to mark each measurement we take, but I just slapped it on the wall a few minutes ago and no measurements have been taken as of now. I see more vinyl projects in the new future...


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Etsy Extravaganza!

Are you getting in the mood for St. Patrick's day?  
Take a peek at these adorable green finds for some inspiration!

LETTERPRESS Cake Pop Recipe cards, set of 10.

Flower Shoe Clips Medium Size in Spring Green

Keychain Snap Wallet

40% OFF  Brandied Pear Cupcake Bath Bomb

LEGWARMERS - St. Patrick's Day

NEW DESIGN Wall decal vinyl art sticker Blowing Cherry Blossom Tree

The Lil Spring Kickers in Key Lime Sky

Lucky Lime Cupcakes

Lime Green Ornate Vintage Style Picture Frame 5X5.5

The Lily Pad  Hat PICK A SIZE

I think I have been inspired by Green.  I need to get busy!

Have fun being inspired!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So Simple! Super Hero Baby Shower

A friend of mine is soon expecting a tiny baby boy.  With my little man almost 2 years now, I was reminiscent over the newborn phase.  So when we decided on a baby shower at my place, I just had to come up with a theme, which was hard!  What wasn't too dorky?  What wasn't too specific?  What was all boy?  
Was it a bird or a plane...

How about a

I kept it simple.  Streamers and tissue paper balls {hung with more streamers}.

For an extra Umph, I used iron on paper and images I found on the Internet to make some superhero themed onesies.  I hung them up during the shower, and the mom-to-be could took them home after the party!

Superhero themed cupcake toppers!

Ice Breaker Word search made HERE 
You can make your puzzle as easy or hard as you want!

On their way out the door, guests took a little favor from the B-O-Y table.
These were oval frames that I got from Michaels for $1.oo each.  I mod-podged scrapbook paper onto the front of the frames and glued chipboard letters to coordinated paper for display!

Goody Bags full of Junior Mints and little Superhero tags!

The thing I loved about this simple themed shower, is that it could totally be copied for a birthday party!
Maybe my little man will be a superhero for a day in about 6 weeks!

What would be your favorite theme?