Friday, March 30, 2012

Win this Sassy Pepper Banner!

You may have noticed new items being added to The Sassy Pepper Etsy Shop ever few days.

Well, here is your chance to win something for FREE!  Your very own Banner in Primary Colors of Red Yellow and Blue. Made by yours truly {Pepper}, but offered to you by Our Lovely Life Blog.
Go Here for details on how to enter.  You have the whole weekend to enter!

Good Luck!  Cheers, 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

From Black to White!

Take a look at this sad table.  I normally love black furniture, but this freebie from Craigslist needed a little pick me up.  How ever could I brighten her day?

Wow!  Look at her now!  A new spring coat in vintage white.
She looks lovely.  I would never guess she was free!

I used this paint - Rust-Oleum Heirloom White Spray Paint.
I sanded the table down once with heavy grit sand paper.  Applied 2 coats of spray paint, another light sanding with very fine grit sand paper and she was done!

What project can you brighten?


Monday, March 19, 2012

365 Giveaway WINNER!

Time to announce the winner of the 365 Alphabet Photography $30 credit giveaway! generated a truly random number from 1-21 (the number of entries in the contest). And the winning comment is lucky #10!

Stuart and Kimber, who said:
"Decisions Decisions! Either my last name or welcome. Super cute!"

Congratulations to Stuart and Kimber!!! You've won a $30 credit to be used toward your favorite images from 365 Alphabet Photography! Can't wait to see what you make. :)

For the rest of our fabulous Sassy Pepper readers, don't forget that Jodi is offering an amazing 60% off any print orders at now through March 26. Use coupon code SP60 at checkout to get this awesome deal!

Thank you to all who entered, and a huge THANK YOU to Jodi at 365 Alphabet Photography for bringing us this giveaway and promotion! We love you all and hope you take advantage of this fab deal so you can share your creations with us! Yay for giveaways and promos!

Alphabet Photography Family Sign: Tutorial

As promised, here is a tutorial on my family name sign. I really love it. Thank you to 365 Alphabet Photography for providing the beautiful images!

Well, here's how I did it!

Note: This is more of a here's-what-I-did than a tutorial. It's not completely step-by-step. I wanted to create an original project similar to the way we've created Mod Podge canvas projects here in the past to show you that you can use the same methods but different materials to achieve a different look. You can take the idea of my project and simplify it by creating a simple rectangular or square sign of your own. The guys at your local wood source can cut the wood for you. You don't need all the tools and you don't need to spend as much time as I spent on this project! Don't be intimidated by words and phrases like "jig saw" and "beveled edge."

I started with a plain piece of 1/2" MDF (50"x25"), which cost me less than $9. Using a pencil, I traced the shape I wanted to cut onto the board.

Then I cut it out with a jig saw!

Beveled the edges with a bevel tool attached to my router. Oh, I just love beveled edges. A pretty edge gives any project a more finished and professional look. More "handmade" than "homemade," if you know what I mean. (My husband says it is a "profile tool" not a bevel tool. Just a little FYI.)

I brushed off all the saw dust and sanded the board until it was smooth and uniform. Then I primed it (twice) and sanded it smooth again.

I painted the sign with two coats of leftover paint from previous projects. I wanted a semi-neutral sign, but decided to paint the edge a bolder color to give it a little oomph. I was going for depth with this project. Do you recognize that Dragonfly blue from 2010's bench project? Still one of my favorite colors.

Along with the 1/2" MDF, I also picked up a very thin 1/8" MDF for just under $4 to use as backing for my letters. I painted it to match the sign's edge.

I cut the thin MDF with a circular saw, measuring a 1/8" excess on all sides to make it slightly larger than the 4x6 images. In other words, I cut out nine 4.5"x6.5" backings for my photos. Then I inked the edges to give some extra depth and definition.

Once that was completely dry and smudge-proof, I Mod Podged the images to the backings. Aren't these gorgeous? Thank you, 365 Alphabet Photography!

Mod Podge Tip: when working with photos, it is best to paint a layer of Mod Podge to the back of the photo itself, then affix the photo to whatever medium you're working with (wood, canvas, children--I'm kidding, don't Mod Podge your kids). If you paint the Mod Podge to the wood/canvas first, it will cause for an uneven, bumpy finish or "sucked-in" areas. This is because the wood/canvas material is very porous, whereas the photo paper is thick and non-absorbent. 

Paint Mod Podge to the back of the photo, then line your photo up where you want it and smooth it on for a perfect finish.

See how the Mod Podge dries clear? I can tell you were a little worried about the milkiness of the previous picture!

I decided that, after all the work I'd put into this project, I really wanted to love the end product. So I splurged! I spent as much on these two little decorative mouldings as I did on the rest of the materials combined. But it was worth it.

I painted the mouldings to match the sign. They really gave my sign a beautiful finish.

I meticulously measured and spaced, centered and nudged until everything was just where I wanted it to be. I used E-6000 adhesive, which dries clear, to permanently affix everything to my sign and voila! The finished product, at a whopping 24.5"x48.5":

If you haven't already done so, remember to enter our current contest to win a $30 credit to 365 Alphabet Photography! Go leave a comment on the giveaway post telling us what you'd create with Jodi's gorgeous images! The contest ends today at 5pm, so get on it!

Pepper and I would LOVE to see pictures of any projects inspired by our tutorials and posts. Email us anytime!

Friday, March 16, 2012

365 Alphabet Photography Giveaway and Promo!!!

Yay, it's giveaway time at The Sassy Pepper!

Recently, our friend Jodi from 365 Alphabet Photography sent me some of her gorgeous images to create a unique project with. I decided to go a different route from the Mod Podge canvases we love and opted for a wood plaque of my crazy last name. It turned out beautifully!

It took some time, but I love the end product. I wanted something unique to showcase Jodi's images and I think this did the trick! It's the perfect addition to my entry hall. Of course, thinking of you, I took pictures along the way and will post a tutorial next week. ;)

Now let's get down to business. One lucky Sassy Pepper reader will win a $30 credit to spend on whatever images they love at 365 Alphabet Photography! Woohoo!!! Choose your favorite images to create a name, welcome sign, etc. Then frame it, Mod Podge it to canvas or wood--go crazy!

And because you are all wonderful, Jodi is offering an exclusive and FABULOUS discount to all our lovely followers! Use the code SP60 to save 60% on anything at 365 Alphabet Photography. Wow. Talk about a killer deal! The discount is good through March 25, so choose your favorite images and get planning!

I love Jodi's images, especially because they are so affordable, but with this awesome discount you can create signs for your home, gifts for friends, even get a jump on holiday decor for next to nothing. Here's the price breakdown after the discount:
4x6 =   $3.99   $1.60/ea
5x7 =   $9.99   $4.00/ea
8x10 = $19.99 $8.00/ea

Oh baby. I'm already planning projects in my head. Maybe I'll do some Mod Podge canvases for my newlywed friends? Or some cute little name plaques for my daughter's rooms? So many options!

Enter to win this $30 credit to 365 Alphabet Photography by leaving a comment below. Tell us what you'll make!

Winner will be announced Monday, March 19 at 5pm Pacific Time. With this being such a great giveaway, please note that the discount code will not apply to the $30 credit prize. Best of luck to you all--now get planning!

Leprechaun Pie by Oopsey Daisy

I would like to introduce you to Oopsey Daisy if you don't already know about this blog.  Fantastically crafty, you will love this blog.  This is the yummiest recipe for a lucky day.  Get your supplies to make it for tomorrow's festivities!

Tis the season for green, right?

Well, this leprechaun pie is as green as it gets!  You can whip this up in no time and call yourself festive!  And the best part is that kids love it!  This delicious treat has a purpose: To find the leprechaun’s gold. There is a fun printable poem that goes along with this treat, too.
With just a few simple supplies, I whipped up this cup that easily won over my own lil’ leprechaun!

First, gather your supplies.  Nothing too fancy.  You will need:
* Instant pistachio pudding mix. (I am not a huge pistachio fan, so I chose to do Cookies N’ Cream with a bit of green food coloring!)
* Milk
* Whipped cream
* Oreo and sprinkles (optional)
* Foil-wrapped chocolate coin (I could NOT track these down, so I just used a Dove chocolate.)
* Clear plastic cup
The whole goal of Leprechaun Pie is discovering the leprechaun’s gold at the bottom of the cup.  To begin,I dropped this Dove chocolate in the bottom of the cup. Unfortunately, Little Man saw me do this, and he was very frustrated.  He wanted to eat that candy immediately!
Now mix up the pudding.  I did this in my liquid measuring cup.  This is easy:
Combine 2 Tablespoons instant pudding with 3 Tablespoons milk. Stir well.  It will thicken up a bit.
I transferred the pudding to the cup now.  I added some whipped cream, an Oreo, and yes, even some green sprinkles!  (Yes, this is loaded with sugar, but fortunately it is a very small dose!)
Little Man’s only motivation was to find that candy.  He was a bit impatient, and didn’t want to eat the pudding at first.  He was almost pouting about having to eat dessert!
“No way, Mom.”
Finally, he was able to find the candy in the cup.   He literally shouted, “Hooray!” when he saw that elusive candy.  Between the two of us, we cleared the pudding so he could eat his leprechaun’s gold!
Happy now.
There is a darling poem that goes along with this treat, too.  Just click the image below to download the poem.
Poem Credits
Clip art designs and/or fonts copyright Dianne J Hook. Used with permission from DJ Inkers. I could not share ANY of these cute fonts and clip art with you except for their support!  Thanks guys!
Every holiday needs some sugar to make it a special occasion!
Enjoy your weekend!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tiny Troublemaking

That stinking Leprechaun has been causing trouble around our house.  He really thinks he is funny.
He keeps knocking over chairs when we are out of the room, or dumping toys and food on the floor.  I feel like I have multiple toddlers in my house instead of just one!  My two girls are convinced that Lucky is bigger than their pet turtles, but smaller than their two year old brother.

Lucky the Leprechaun turned our milk green last night!  The kids actually thought it was really funny.

I am assuming he did it with his Leprechaun magic...but if I were to do that, I would simply add 10 drops of green food coloring to one gallon of milk.  I think that would make the same pretty mint color he whipped up.  WAY easier than making green eggs and ham. 



Monday, March 12, 2012

Peanut Butter Twix-Alikes

I really miss Peanut Butter Twix bars. Those terrible replacements they put in stores with the chocolate cookie make me cry inside, mourning the loss of their most superior predecessor.

Sigh. I don't really cry inside, but I am not a fan of someone ruining my favorite candy bar! Peanut Butter Twix were my kryptonite. Or maybe just a guilty pleasure, but the point is they were really, very delicious. And they got me through many a midterm.

I recently ran across a recipe for homemade Twix bars, and I thought, "Maybe I could make my own PB Twix-Alikes!" So I did. I was too excited to eat them to spend the time turning them into true Twix-like bars, smothered in chocolate, but behold the scrumptious--and easy!--end product:

Peanut Butter Twix-Alikes
Shortbread base layer:
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 cup confectioners sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour

Peanut butter center:
1 18oz jar of creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup confectioners sugar

Chocolate layer:
12 oz chopped milk chocolate (or approx. 1 package of chocolate chips or 2 large Symphony bars, if that's what you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 300F. Lightly spray a 9"x13" pan or line with parchment paper.

Beat together the butter, confectioners sugar and vanilla extract until well mixed. Add the flour and continue to beat the crumbly mixture on medium until it comes together into a stiff dough.

Press dough evenly into the pan, then prick all over with a fork to allow steam to escape during baking. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until golden brown on top with slightly darker brown edges.

While the shortbread is baking, prepare the peanut butter center. Mix the salt and confectioners sugar in a medium bowl, then scoop the entire jar of peanut butter into the bowl and mix with a stiff spoon until blended. Set aside.

Once the shortbread has cooled completely, use a spatula to spread the peanut butter mixture evenly over the top of the cookie base. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler on very low heat or in a chocolate melter (love mine!) until it is smooth and lump-free. Pour the melted chocolate on top of the peanut butter layer and spread evenly.

Place the entire pan in the fridge to cool and set for about 30-45 minutes. Cut into long rectangular fingers or bite size squares and share!

These store beautifully in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer, so you can make them a day (or week!) ahead, or just have them on hand for bad days and/or last minute celebrations.

Mmmmm...I promise these won't disappoint. I'm eating one right now, so you know it's true! And judging by the number of bars Pepper inhaled this weekend, I'd say she agrees.

Eat up, buttercups! Peanut butter cups. Peanut Butter Twix-Alikes...cups...bars.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Giveaway Teaser and Upcoming Project Reveal!

The Sassy Pepper has teamed up with 365 Alphabet Photography to create an original project using 365's gorgeous nature/architectural alphabet photography images.

I have been hard at work creating a very large scale project for my ridiculously long last name. I am so excited. It's going to look AWESOME! And it'll fill a big blank spot on the wall in my entryway. Double yay!

Here's a sneak peek at my 48" work in progress:

But who cares about my project? The real excitement here is that next Friday, March 16th, we'll be hosting a fabulous giveaway from!

One lucky winner will receive a $30 credit to use toward any images at Woohoo! There are endless project opportunities with these images.

On top of the fab giveaway, 365 will be offering Sassy Pepper followers an exclusive 40% off coupon code, good toward any prints on the website.

Get excited, people! And come back next Friday to enter the giveaway and see what I've created with these awesome prints!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Thrifty Pepper

Good Morning Crafting Friends!

I know there are a TON of amazing couponing sites and saving money blogs out there.
Rarely do I find one place where I can get all of my DIY supplies I need at a great price.
Because of that reason, and because there are so many CRAFT sites out there that are always posting amazing projects that I would love to try at a fraction of the cost, I am starting a CRAFT DEAL BLOG.

It will simply be deals on Craft supplies, my favorite crafting sites and stores, and any and all giveaways having to do with DIY items that I can get my eyes on.  I hope this sharing will bring some crafting fun to your computer screen!  

Ready Set, Craft!  Oh, and Save $$$!  
Please give a warm welcome to the Thrifty Pepper Blog!
Don't you just love the little belted pig?

I am sure it will be ever changing, so make sure you check back often.  There is already a giveaway and a freebie I found on there right now!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Free Subway Art over at Eighteen25

Who doesn't like St. Patrick's Day?
Rainbows, pots of gold, leprechauns and the color of nature...
I love it, do you?

If you do, head on over to Eighteen25. (We love this Blog, if you aren't a follower yet, become one!)  Make sure and download your very own FREE Subway art to make your house a little more "green".


Monday, March 5, 2012

Spring Organizing!

Does this time of year come around and you have so many things on your list?  You know, the list that you end up spending all year trying to cross at least a few things off of?

Last year we bought these awesomely HUGE cabinets.  They are, believe it or not, from IKEA.   The Pax system is versatile, not bad to look at with many color and door options, and we added the hardware ourselves to spice up the look.  Most importantly they are GIANT, so a person can store a ton of things inside.  I learned quick that bigger isn't always better if you aren't organized.  Soon enough, we couldn't find anything inside, and it was more like a giant junk wall.

So, in the midst of my start of spring cleaning, I found myself distracted one day organizing these monstrous closets of stuff.  Mostly kid and craft stuff.  Since I have 3 kids and a craft blog, you can only imagine...
it was a lot of stuff.

This single cabinet below holds ALL of our puzzles, kids games, coloring books, school folders, play dough, stamps, markers, crayons, and stickers.


Take a look inside!

I discovered yet another lovely use for my ever growing love of vinyl.
Cut it up, write on it, and stick it where I need things to stay...

Now my kids can be organized too!  All they have to do is read the vinyl, and make sure to put things back where they belong.  I know, easier said than done, but it will be easier to keep it clean this way!

Happy Organizing!  Cheers, 

P.S. The winning project from the "What's Your Pinterest" post will be the DIY boxpring - no bed skirt required!  Look for that soon. :)