5.28.2010

warps and wefts

looming
looming
Last night I had a little lesson in weaving from my friend's mom. It was really great to learn all about this amazing technique. Looms are really intimidating, but it is fascinating how they work. I had no idea! They have petals like an organ and each of the threads of the "warp" have to individually measured and threaded through the machine. Luckily she has a really little one that I can start a easier project on. It was really fun to have some crafting time, and to learn something new.

I hope you have a great memorial day weekend! We are off to Pittsburgh to explore that city and get out of our little town for a couple days. See you back here on Tuesday!

5.27.2010

sappy side note...

Kenz & Tyler
A few years ago. Now my hair is no longer long, and tyler accessorized that mustache with a beard (thank goodness!).

It was five years ago today that Tyler and I got married. Seems like such a long time ago, but also so short. We were just kids then, I had just turned 20. I almost hate to even admit it! When I was in NYC for my internship (without Tyler I might add), I think most people thought I was crazy. Seriously, like out of my mind. Being married young is not in vogue there. Not even an understatement. But I've never regretted it for a second.

I think our marriage is more of a true partnership than anything. I watch sports with him, and he embroiders with me. Since we have been married we have helped each other accomplish our individual hopes and dreams, something we both know we would have never done alone.

We're best friends, and we still giggle a lot. He's my #1 fan, and I'm his.

5.26.2010

sneaks

sneaks
sneaks_1

This weekend I finally got some new sneakers. I pretty much live in sneakers, no socks in the summer, and socks in the winter. Laces, no laces. I am not a flip flop wearer. I bought my blue and orange vans two years ago, and the purple ones at an estate sale last summer. I love the orange ones to death. such a perfect color, bright, but not neon. But as you can see they are starting to really look worn, and have the toe-holes to show for it. I can't help it that my right foot is bigger than my left, and my pinky toes are way longer than normal (maybe that's why I don't like flip flops?). My purples have been re-purposed as my garden shoes, hence the dirt.

I bought keds because they are really inexpensive, I have my heart set on a gray pair. Beware they run big, I got a 7 1/2 when I usually wear an 8 1/2. I need some other colors. I might get another pair of vans, because I really liked those. I am also planning on dyeing a pair this summer, because, why not?

Whenever I think of keds it makes me think of my dad, who to him all things jean are levi's, and all tennis shoes are keds. I remember an all-white pair I had to get when I was in band in junior high, to go with my high-waisted and pleated borrowed white pants and my brother's large maroon cardigan sweater that was the uniform for the Holiday parade. I was mortified as we marched to "phantom of the opera," every year, which was a stick-it-to-the-man move by my jazz piano-playing band teacher.

5.25.2010

finding the sun.

pup
Sometime I wish things were this simple. Gigi's life consists of finding a warm sleeping spot. I find my life is not that simple. Yet again I feel like I'm in a transition, still trying to find my niche and where I'm comfortable. But I'm getting closer, I think I can feel it. Maybe? 

5.24.2010

backyard exporation

peony
peony
flower bed
groundhog
This morning I went out to check out my garden. I saw a little groundhog friend, those guys are all over the place, with rabbits, and squirrels, which is why I put a fence around my garden. At least he was eating the weeds. My flower bed is doing pretty well (remember before?), I planted some flowers from seed this weekend, so hopefully they come up! I planted leeks, onions, beans, cilantro and rosemary in my garden also, the onions and leeks are all droopy though. Hopefully they perk up this week.

I spotted a peony plant in our neighbor's plants. The owner's son who lived there last year, put in a great garden and plants, and since now there are a handful of twenty-something undergrads living there, it has all gone wild and overgrown. The peony plant is all toppled over from not being managed, but I salvaged a couple blooms. I don't think the guys will miss them. They are my absolute favorite, I hope to have a few plants in my garden for next spring. I love having flowers inside.

That was really the most productive I was this weekend, we just relaxed (I might have taken a few naps), watched the first season of damages, and were waiting for the Lost finale. Did you watch it? I liked it, but I'm trying not to think to hard about all the details.

5.21.2010

open standard

open standard
open standard
open standard
open standard
When we were in NYC last, we had an amazing shake at the shake shack, called open standard. I decided to re-create it. It's a beautiful blend of fresh strawberries, orange zest, caramel, and poppy seeds. I softened the ice cream, and layered the ingredients in a glass and just stirred it together. The only thing I would change is that I bought thick caramel sauce, like the kind on a sundae, and I needed more of a runny sauce, which would swirl easier. I never would have put these flavors together, especially poppy seeds, but they add a great little crunch. It's a surprising and delicious combination. Tyler asked, "why is orange zest never in ice cream when it is so great?" I couldn't give him an answer because I didn't understand either! Grab some fresh strawberries and give it a try. I promise you'll love it.

5.20.2010

button button

buttons_03
buttons_06
buttons_02
buttons_04
buttons_05

Doing spring cleaning has made take inventory of my many young collections, one of them is my button collection. I gathered many of them in Buffalo at estate sales, and I bought 6 weck asparagus jars to keep them. I love weck jars, and this way I could separate them into colors: warms, blues, greens/purple, metal, black and mother-of-pearl. Do you realize how dirty bags of buttons are? (my sister-in-law with a button phobia could probably tell you all about it) I soaked them all in soapy water, and scrubbed them to take off decades of dust and dirt, rinsed and dried them. I have stopped buying buttons for a while, I have two other jars full of plastic ones.

I hope to document some of my collections over time. Do you have a new collection you're starting?

5.19.2010

brand new

mirror_01
mirror_02

Remember this guy? Well he got a face-lift and is now one of the focal pieces of our living room. I love how it turned out. It is so fun to transform thing we find at thrift stores. Now I need to re-style our mantle. It suddenly has a lot of room now that we shifted things around. I am dying to paint the inside of our now sealed up fireplace, or do something. It seems like getting done with one project always leads to another.

5.18.2010

I'm a messy mess

board
Last night I cleaned my studio. It was overrun with piles. I am a pile maker. (I'm somewhat notorious in my family for the messes I make.) My fabric has exploded and is a complete mess. I put up all my tapes on my board, I used a bunch of vintage corsage pins I got recently, but most of them were broken so I had to use my quilting pins for the rest. I have 24 washi tapes now, I didn't realize I had so many!

I need to simplify my studio, I have so much stuff it's looking more cluttered than cute. I need a way to store my fabrics and yarn on open shelves with some organization. Right now I have my fabrics folded and stacked, but I'm sure you know how long that stays neat. I'm thinking about using containers maybe like this, but I'm not really sure. Do you have any good ways to store fabric? My skeins of yarn are all piled on each other, which is sad because I have some really pretty yarn. This might take all summer.

5.17.2010

butter+sugar with a side of fruit

blackberry crumb bars
blackberry crumb bars
I have been craving some rhubarb crumb bars, last year at this time we were house-sitting in a wonderful home that had an amazing garden and all the rhubarb we could eat. It was the first time I had used it, I think even eaten it before, and I fell in love. I only had frozen blackberries on hand this time and decided to use those. I love these crumb bars, the texture of the cake on the bottom with the fruit in the middle, divine. Although it seems to always happen that the middle is always doughy for me. I take it out anyways, because I'm afraid of the edges becoming overdone. The edges are perfect, but the middle was so not perfect. I think my oven is a little hot, I should probably bake things at a lower temperature for longer, I guess I'll have to get an oven thermometer and try this again. But rhubarb is a lot better.

5.14.2010

some new seats

chairs
chairs
chairs
chairs
chairs

Tyler has been hard at work tackling summer projects since his semester finished. He just completed reupholstering these two chairs. Check out their sad sorry state before here and here.

These two chairs are fairly similar, and he wanted to use the same fabric to tie them together. We bought 2 inch thick upholstery foam, and used vintage fabric. The purple was a thick almost twill/jean type fabric, and he used a vintage upholstery weight fabric underneath.

He cut the foam to fit, for the smaller chair he had to trim it down on the top. Usually they suggest 1 inch foam, so they are really thick. He cut the purple fabric a few inches bigger and stretched it really tightly and stapled it to the bottom. Then he cut the bottom fabric to fit, ironed the edges under, and secured it by hammering roofing nails (didn't find upholstery tacks) 2-3 inches apart. He then used glue to smooth the rest of the fabric.

They turned out so great, they are now so comfortable. The one with arms will be used for Tyler's study desk, and the other is for my studio. No more feeling like I am sitting on a wood board. What a crafty husband I have. So lucky!

**thanks for all your lovely comments on my baby quilt, for those who expressed wishes that they could make quilts, it's really so simple (just sewing in a straight line!), I wish I could have you all over and we could do it together. Don't be afraid!

5.12.2010

London for Britton

London for Britton
London for Britton
London for Britton
London for Britton
London for Britton
I made my first baby quilt for a dear friend. She is naming her little boy Britton (after a love of England), so I couldn't help myself when I saw this quilt using handkerchiefs from Muji. A little baby pun. It was really easy to put together, I quilted it with straight lines I eyed in varying widths. I backed it with navy flannel to make it cozy soft and washed it before I sent it to break it in. I hope she liked it, I like making quilts that take only two days to make!

5.11.2010

bitty bed.

gingie bed

One of my projects to do has been to make gingie a little pillow bed. She absolutely loves curling up in a blanket, and I love to watch her "root" (or dig feverishly) before she lays down. She has been sleeping on a fleece blanket in her favorite spot on the chair, and it just had to go. I found a tutorial in the new martha stewart sewing book to turn a pillow and cover into a pillow with squared edges, which seemed perfect. I used fabric that I found at a thrift store a couple weeks ago. Let's face it, pretty much all my fabric is from thrift stores. I made an envelope style pillow cover, and an 18 inch pillow form. I had in mind making it about 19 inches square, but it ended up a little smaller than that. I was afraid that gingie wouldn't like it, but she soon adopted it as her favorite spot and is content to lay there for hours.

The light has been terrible yesterday and today, it's absolutely freezing and rainy. It's a little sad to have our heat kick back on, but I wouldn't trade that for hot humidity.

5.10.2010

my mom is the best.

trivet_3
trivet_1
trivet_2

Happy Mother's Day! I love my mom so much. She has taught me so many things. She is an artist, and I remember seeing her paintings and other projects she has done, and asking her why if she had these amazing painting talents, that she doesn't paint or draw more. She answered that she channels her artistic talents into her quilting (which she is amazing, where do you think I learned from!). I remember at the time, which was years ago, not exactly understanding her answer. But now I understand more than ever, and enjoy being creative in so many non-traditional "artistic" ways--so like mother like daughter!

I also have the best mother-in-law (not just a line, I am a lucky girl!). Tyler is definitely a momma's boy, and when we were married I wouldn't say that he had to cut the apron strings, but rather that she untied them and handed them to me. Tyler knows that he can count on his mom to be there whenever he needs it, and I know I can speak for him when I say that she means so much to him.

I made mother's day trivets/hot pads with some really great vintage fabric. I used a nice purple that I had from a thrift store on the back, with some scrap batting in the middle. I thought that it would be thick enough because the fabrics were really thick, but when I quilted it it compressed a lot. But my mom said they still work. My favorite part was the ribbon I tucked in that I recycled from Shanna's packaging, I think the bold stripe adds a nice modern feel to the vintage floral pattern. I used this tutorial as a rough guide, it was a really fun project to make. Did you make anything for a mother's day present?

5.08.2010

spot of green

plant_2
little garden

Today we worked a little more on our backyard. It seems so weird to be doing these things, so grown-up. We went to a local plant sale the master gardeners were having, to get started on our planting. After browsing around, we decided to get some:


Rosemary Barbeque
Creeping thyme (didn't see until later that it is groundcover, maybe not for eating...whoops!)
Chives
Tomatoes; New Girl, Prudence Purple, and Sun Gold
Peppers; Carmen and Lady Bell
Leeks and Red onion
Hidcote Lavender
Stokes Aster Blue Danube
Yellow Coreopsis
Bee Balm 'Jacob Cline'

We mostly chose the flowers on a whim, and most are perennials. I also have some zinnias and green bean seeds to plant that my mom gave me. Need to round it out with green onions, and cilantro, and maybe some other things, but we're getting there! It's still too cold to plant any of it, might plant the flowers next week.

We cleared some more ground today, but it was soggy and cold. We built a little fence around the garden so the numerous ground hogs, rabbits, and other little creatures won't eat it. We are also deciding on a BBQ. Leaning towards a charcoal grill, not as convenient, but we kinda want a true grill experience, and they are small and much more attractive to look at.

Have you gotten any plants lately? Any good ones to recommend?

5.07.2010

thrift trip

 Today Tyler and I made a little road trip to one of our favorite towns nearby to go to some thrift stores. (I forgot my camera, again! one day I'll be able to document it.) It was a fun trip, we didn't get too much, a couple shirts between us, two glasses, and this chair. We got it at a rummage/back garage of a thrift shop for 3 dollars. The upholstery is in pathetic condition, but I am determined to make this a summer project to redo it, and even redo the vinyl upholstery to match. I love the shape of the chair, and it is perfect for a little desk space that we are making for Tyler. I love finding cheap finds like this that I can learn from, I don't worry too much about messing it up. Adding it to our many many projects for the summer. Tyler has already gotten really busy this week, can't wait to show them all off!

5.05.2010

nostalgia.


It being 'roid week and all, it got me looking back at my pictures I took a couple years ago. I was really caught up in using my diana+ and Tyler had found a couple vintage Polaroid cameras that we used a lot. I love how simple film is, I love accidental double exposures, light leaks, things that happen when you're not even trying. Once I moved away from my schools photo lab, and large negative scanner, I stopped taking pictures with my diana+, and polaroids stopped being made (I think I still have a roll of film still in my diana!). I need to get back to film, I should find an old 35mm and pick it up again. I put up some of my photos on my flickr. Do you use film? When was the last time you took a film photo? Only getting one chance and having to wait until you could see it. Such a funny notion now.

5.04.2010

snuggle bug


Today I am trying to try up some loose ends. I have a few packages to get into the mail, so I've been wrapping and taking photos. My quilt got its inaugural wash and dry, and it now is perfectly puckered. I love how much better quilts get when they are washed. I set it down and Gingie took maybe a half second to jump up and claim her spot. A thunder storm rolled in, and I found out that she is terrified of them. She snuggled up next to me, all while shivering so violently that she was panting. So silly. Tyler is now done for the semester, so we had a nice lunch of warm egg strata while the rain pounded outside.

What do you do on rainy days?

5.03.2010

brunch pizza


For a really late brunch Sunday I made breakfast pizza. I have made it a couple times before, but this time I had some pizza dough left over from making calzones, which was fresh dough I bought at Wegmans (not frozen). I always make my own, but decided to try it because it was really cheap, and I had heard it was pretty good. It was the best pizza ever. Next time I am going to get the whole wheat dough. I usually make whole wheat dough for pizzas that are really thin and crispy, but the texture and elasticity of this dough is awesome. That crust made Tyler the happiest boy in the world.

This weekend while working on a project (I can't let you peek until next week) I watched the BBC series Emma. I loved it, but I always love a Jane Austen. Movies like P&P (both versions), Sense and Sensibility, and Emma I have watched dozens and dozens of times, I used to play them on repeat when I would have to pull all-nighters for school. I need to add this version to my collection. I also watched Bright Star, which was great also, I had to watch it after Abby recommended it. Really beautiful. I really adore highly stylized movies, which is probably why I love movies like Wes Anderson's so much.

Hope your weekend was great, and maybe you don't live in a place with awful humidity. blah.
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