Creative Estates-my weekend hanging in the ‘hood

I just have to start out by saying that I had the best time at the Creative Estates blogging conference this weekend. I went there just knowing of a few bloggers and left with some new friends. There was a ton of networking and a some very inspiring advice from some bloggers with very established blogs.

First, and most importantly, the amazing people I met:

image via Coffee At Three

Clockwise from top row: Aimee from Paging Supermom, Heather from Sweet & Simple, Michele and Lauren from Coffee @ 3, Whitney from Turbo Bubblegum, and lastly myself. I had such a blast getting to know these ladies and many more who I don’t have pictures of. Next year I promise to take more photos.

One of the most important things I took away from the conference was from Char of Crap I’ve Made, who said her motto for this year was “never regret behaving appropriately.” I love that. It’s important to be yourself and share yourself, but don’t share too much. This can be applied on so many levels through out life, not just blogging.

I also learned the importance of social media in relation to blogging. I have been avoiding Facebook like the plague for a couple years now, for a variety of reasons. But I have learned that it is essential in connecting with blog readers on a more personal, day-to-day level. So I am currently working on a Sparkle Facebook page. Will you ‘Like’ me?  I also set up a Twitter account, @sparklepantgirl. Twitter is fun, and it’s easy to hold a conversation with others, especially my new friends from Creative Estates.

Coming up I’ll share with you the goods from the swag box and the Handmade Marketplace..

friday favorites 4.8.11

Hi all! Sorry this post is coming out late today.. I spent the day at the Creative Estates blog conference and have had so much fun. I am learning so much and meeting some awesome bloggers.

via Lemmemakeit

This photo is of tulips in Holland found via Poppytalk and at Lemmemakeit. Aren’t the colors spectacular. Tulips are my favorite flower, white tulips are the best.  Did you know that there was once a tulip mania? Way back in the 1600s the prices for tulip bulbs reached extraordinary high levels and then quickly dropped. They say it was the world’s first economic bubble. Hmmm.

via Livet Hemma

Livet Hemma is an Ikea inspiration blog. I love what they did above with the Pränt boxes. Something you can easily replicate, you just need the boxes some paint and binder clips to hold it all together.

via Houzz

Lots to learn from this post: 12 Ways to Style Your Interior Photos Like A Pro from Houzz. The post is funny and I especially love the Arrested Development reference.

via Lottie + Doof

How about those diet breakers? Doughnut Muffins. Muffins that taste like doughnuts. Yum. Over at Lottie + Doof.

Keep on keeping on folks.

bacon deviled eggs

With Easter coming up I’ve been thinking a lot about eggs, particularly deviled eggs. Just the thought of them makes me drool. Since I’m the only one in the Sparklepants household that follows a low carb diet, these treats are treats for me.

Ingredients

6 hardboiled eggs (I use 8, just in case one or two of the whites rip)

1/3 cup of mayonnaise

1 ½ teaspoon mustard

2 strips bacon, finely chopped

¼ cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded

1 green onion, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Carefully cut your eggs in half lengthwise. I put mine in this Easter egg thingy I picked up at the grocery. It only holds 11 halves. Isn’t that weird? Anyhow, once the eggs are cut scoop the yolks out and put into a bowl.

Add the cheese, bacon and onion into the bowl. Then add the mayonnaise. I start with ¼ of a cup and then add more until I get the consistency and flavor that I like. Same with the mustard. I use Beaver Deli Mustard, not only because it’s from the town I grew up in, but also because it’s the best.

Mash ingredients with a fork until you get a smooth consistency. Add salt to taste if you’d like and then spoon the yolk mix onto the whites. Or use a pastry bag if your fancy like that. Sometimes I just throw all the ingredients into a Ziplock bag and squeeze the bag until it’s mushed, then just cut off a corner and squeeze it onto the whites. But that wouldn’t make a very good picture.

Sprinkle the eggs with a little freshly ground pepper and you got yourself a tasty appetizer!

Sometimes there’s leftover yolk mix and maybe a ripped white or two that I didn’t use. I just chop up the whites, throw them in with the yolk mixture and I have a delicious egg salad for lunch. It’s a win-win situation folks!

 

Linked at: Moms Crazy Cooking,

herringbone vase and planter

I have been working on Project Herringbone the past couple of days. My inspiration is this fabric design, Herringbone Pond, by Joel Dewberry. I love how the herringbone is a little uneven, and gives the piece character.

via joeldewberry.com

I started with a plain old terracotta planter, that I sprayed with a coat of white primer, then a coat of white paint. As that was drying, I used my paper cutter to cut a bunch of thin strips of sticky vinyl, about ¼ of an inch wide.

Then I started placing the the vinyl, making my herringbone pattern, on the planter. I wanted the pattern to be slightly uneven, like the fabric. Not all the vinyl strips were exactly the same size, which was good.

vinyl planter

It took some time, you know, any time I try to focus on something the Sparkletots want to see and take my supplies, they were all about the vinyl strips. Projects like these usually involve playing a game of chase. Once I was happy with my vinyl taping job, I took the planter outside for more spray paint. I chose yellow, I’m not too sure why, but at the moment it felt right. Now I wish I would have chosen something more subdued. Oh well.

I carefully removed the vinyl and sprayed a clear sealant on it. Once dry the planter got it’s very own succulent.

I did the same with a cheap stemless wine glass that was on clearance at Target.

With the glass, the painting had to be perfect and not get on the inside. So I turned it upside down, and made sure the paint didn’t get inside. A couple of fine coats was all it took. I didn’t put sealant on this one, because I wasn’t sure how it would look. I hope the paint doesn’t scratch off. Sad little flower in there. It’s all I could find.

Linked: Blue Cricket Design, My Backyard Eden, At Home With K, My Girlish Whims, House of Hepworths, Somewhat Simple, Today’s Creative Blog, I ♥ Naptime, Nifty Thrifty Things, Centsational Girl

friday favorites 4.1.11

Happy April Fool’s Day! Did ya fool anyone? I haven’t, but the day is not over yet..

via HGTV.com

They say that honeysuckle is the color of the year. The thing that annoys me about is that the “color of the year” changes every stinking year. Honestly, how are we supposed to keep up? So this year it’s honeysuckle, AKA pink. Well kind of a melon-y pink. I don’t like. What I do like is this room in the photo above. It appeared in my inbox as an email from HGTV. It is a good use of color and if you replaced the honeysuckle with aqua or lime, I’d melt with delight.

via Peas and Crayons

Panko pesto mozzarella balls over at Peas and Crayons. I can honestly say that anything made with panko rocks my world. It adds amazing crunch. I want to just throw out those frozen mozzarella sticks in the freezer and make these all the time. Yum.

via Lemon Squeezy

These printable fox bookmarks designed by Sharon Rowan at Lemon Squeezy found via How About Orange are so cute. There is even an adorable back to print too. You know how I love foxes..

via Lonny

The March/April edition of Lonny. Love that dining space!

Be good kids!

project herringbone

I’m going to something that many design bloggers and DIYers and interior designers are going to frown upon. I’m over the chevron. Chevron is sooo last month. I mean honestly you see it everywhere. People have it all over their blogs, on business cards..on their doormats. I know, the chevron doormat has been my most popular post yet. And I get it.. The chevron is clean and predictable..something you can take home to mom and dad. But, maybe it’s too clean, and too predictable. I’m moving on. My new love: herringbone.

Herringbone has more versatility, a little less perfect. For example:

via Puffed Peonies

Love the lime herringbone pattern from Puffed Peonies. Gorgeous, no?

via Allisa Jacobs

And this organizer made with Joel Dewberry fabric, from Allisa Jacobs. I may have ordered it.

Photo by Marilynn Harris at Redbubble

It’s hard not to love herringbone, once you start thinking outside of the fabric of old men’s smoking jackets.

Be prepared..I’m working on herringbone type projects as we speak..

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