Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy Little Wreaths

Etsy surfing always gets my craft juices flowing. I found these adorable wreaths that look like they've come out of grandma's closet. They're adorned with colorful yarn, gaudy foliage, and little woodland creatures. Totally kitschy but oh so cute! Here are some of my favorites...

So, I was stuck at home and wanted to make my own one day. Unfortunately, I didn't have a foam circle. boooo...So I had to make one out of found objects, and instead made teeny weeny ones! Awwww....

I will try to sell them on Etsy, which is uber exciting since it will be my first items I've ever posted on there. Wish me luck!

Oh, and if you would like to make your own regular size yarn wreat, I just found some foam circles at Dollar Tree for a dollar!!!!!! So don't get ripped off anywhere else.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What's In Our Belly


Aldi is fuuuull of surprises. Yesterday I found they have acorn squash for a dollar something each! Yessss! (They also have big pumpkins for $1.99. Seriously.) So in preparation for dinner tonight I scanned foodgawker and found this recipe: Acorn Squash (from Sweets by Sarah). Easy Schmeesy! Just five ingredients: acorn squash, kosher salt, butter, brown sugar, and pecans. I didn't quite follow the measurement of the ingredients; I eyed it. I skipped the kosher salt (for no reason. I just forgot...oops) But it still turned out spectacularly delicious. Daniel particularly enjoyed it because he has a stuffy nose from allergies, and the warm, soft, sweet acorn squash soothed him.

Out of laziness, I thought it too much to take pictures of the whole process of following the recipe, like what some bloggers do. So I just snapped a shot of the end result: clean spoons and clean-scraped squashes. Mmmm...it's in our belly.

Treasure Hunting

Every Saturday, Daniel and I scour all of Pittsburgh in search of treasure! We find the most goods in Mount Lebanon for some odd reason. Daniel's explanation is, "It is where Pittsburgh's old people have come to die." According to the map on the Pittsburgh Estate Sales website, most sales are located south or southwest of Pittsburgh. So our theory is that at some point in the 50's/60's a lot of new couples moved to these areas where they developed new and affordable housing. They made babies and raised families and settled, while amassing furniture, glassware, jewelry, tools, clothing, and a lot of other junk. Now, after retirement or sadly, death...they have left these houses stockpiled with things. Their grown children, overwhelmed with the situation and with the stockpiles, hire outsiders to take care of the job for them. This is where Daniel and I come in, because when we get there the junk becomes treasure, the outsiders make a buck, and the grown children have less to worry about. Everyone wins! Well, except for the person who used to own all these things...but anyways...Look what we found this weekend!!!!!!

From Top Left: 2 paint brushes (50 cents ea.), wire basket ($1), 2 collar necklaces($1 ea.), vintage liquor box ($1), produce market basket ($1)
From Bottom Left: cloth tracing paper (50 cents), 3 vintage dress patterns (50 cents each), ornate upholstery nails (50 cents), Rembrandt pastels ($1, made in Holland)

Handmade Prairie Dress (50 cents). I bought this dress in the last house we went to, which is where I got the other clothes below. The previous owner had such GOOD taste in clothes. There were beautiful vintage dresses, shoes, belts, and coats. But unfortunately, she was slightly bigger than I, size 10 and size 8 in shoes. Everything was 50 cents. These were the only things that fit.

Vintage dress (50 cents)

Vintage Strawberry Sweater (50 cents)

And the best finds of the day were this white leather chair (slightly dirty, minor rips, but can be cleaned and repaired) for $5 and this mid-century modern wooden lamp for $15. These pieces are going to be in my husband's man pad. He is happy.

Hmmm...wonder what we will find next time!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Manly But Stylish

As my very manly husband is downstairs yelling at the television (the Philadelphia Eagles are losing...), I am wrapping this very manly but stylish present for his birthday coming up. Notice the paper of choice. Very manly. The ram, a male animal, represents strength and dominance. Blue, the color parents choose for baby boys and is therefore a more masculine color than red or pink (which is very random to think about, because it is strange our culture gives colors gender connotations). The button, not manly but has a nice touch. Twine, rough texture and with knots. Yes, I think this manly wrapping will tickle his whimsy of manly things. Now that this is finished, I will go downstairs. The game is done. The Eagles have lost. And, my hubby will want me to hold him.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Vintage Matchbook Wall Art

I once saw this great idea for wall art on the internet once but cannot find it again. Some person had arranged vintage matchbooks in rows and simply framed it. But it turned out uber awesome! My husband and I found a huge jar of old matchbooks at an antique store several weeks ago, and we bought three frames. We decided to arrange the matches in rows of color for the biggest frame and just used double stick tape to set them in place. However, one matchbook has come undone now, so we might have to go back and use a dab of glue.

"Think small." Our absolutely favorite matchbook because of it's shape, simple design, and mostly because the ad was reference in Mad Men. :)

The finished product! It was actually very easy to make. The fun part was digging through the matches and picking our favorites to be put on display.

We also made two more wall hangings, so the pictures could be displayed altogether as a set. Some of the matchbooks had such interesting colored matches like the ones above. I opened them to expose the colors and funny messages inside when they were framed.

Daniel really liked the idea of grouping the beach scene matchbooks together. A pretty cool theme.

Library Love: Hat Heads by Trond Anfinnsen

5 stars!
I love the library! I can't believe something like this institution exists and citizens are allowed to take advantage of all it's benefits. My favorite is when I can make an account on the library's website and request books. Then I wait for an email saying I can pick them up. It's like Christmas! Or shopping! Except everything's free! And you don't need a receipt to return it, even though you've used it.

I borrowed this book a couple of weeks ago. It's Hat Heads: 1 Man + 2 Knitting Needles = 50 Fun Hat Designs by Trond Anfinnsen. I read some reviews online that were mixed, mostly complaining that all the instructions were for the same style hat just with different stripes, circles, colors, etc. I, however, have no complaints. I feel like Goldilocks finding the right chair. If you're a semi-beginner at knitting, this book is just right when it comes to following directions that venture you into that world and it's terminology, like "k2tog." Whaaaaat...? Yea, that's right. And there's also "p2tog." Not to mention "CC," "MC," and "yo." "Yo" is no longer a greeting to me now that I used to say in high school, it means "yarn over," as in to wrap the yarn around the needle.

Back to the book...Great pictures. Great designs. Great idea (The Norwegian author, also known as the "Knitkid," made a different hat for people he knew in his hometown of Stavanger. Every other page features a big picture of the person wearing the hat, a description about him/her, and next to it is the directions on how to make it.) If I was this creative, I would loooove to make a special hat for everyone I know too!
The trial: I let my husband pick out his favorite design in the book (which is the picture above), and I made it for him! The bottom picture is the finished product. I tweaked some directions because I was missing one of the size needles, but it still turned out satisfactory. Handsome handsome! mmuah!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Almost that Time of Year: Tea Time

I'm getting antsy about sweater weather! It's been a hot summer, especially with no ac in the house...so my mind has been a wanderin' through thoughts of leggings, fall boots, pumpkins, crunchy leaves, and tea. I LOVE hot tea, but my body can't physically take it unless it's at least 70 degrees or colder. If I tried, my head would get over-heated and I would feel like throwing up (like at yoga this past Tuesday. I have never sweated so much in my life!). Since I can't quench my tea cravings in summer, then I scurry around and store all my lovely tea things in a pile in the cupboard for when I can snuggle cozily inside my home and indulge. Now, I have a number of new loose leaf teas, some old but still good tea bags from last year, a couple happy mugs I like to use, and two infusers. I just bought one of the infusers at an antique store and thought how whimsical it would be to make a collection of them. Here are some neat ones I came across online and am secretly coveting...shhhh....

Too fun. Blurp...bluuurp...(I'm trying to write out how I think a submarine sounds, but it sounds better when I say it in person.) Tea Sub [by Ototo, via Monkey Business]

Wonderfully morbid; rooibos is the tea of choice for this floating trinket. [by Pablo Matteoda, via Matteoda's blog, Trends Updates]

I like round things... tea infuser and sacuer [via Arta]

Just plain cute. The Better to Brew You With Teacup and Infuser [via ModCloth]

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Early Spring Cleaning

To brush away my winter blues I have decided to do an early spring cleaning (early-as in, there is still snow on the ground). And what cheers me up more than spring cleaning is METICULOUS spring cleaning! Don't judge me; it's just the way I am.

For example, I usually wouldn't care about this pile of embroidery thread lying around. But it looked way too fun! I've looked at ideas of cutting pieces of heavy paper and winding the thread around it and color coding them in a box. Eh, too much tracing and paper-cutting.

So instead, I used corks as a kind of spool. First, I taped one end of the thread down. Then simply wound it around.

I used a craft knife to make a small nick at the top to pinch the loose end of the string in place.

A little basket will be perfect for holding the rest of these cork spools in.
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