31 August 2011

Tutu Celing Light

Wouldn't this be fun in a little girl's room? Or, AHEM, a not so little girl's room. Did I ever tell you about my ballerina snowglobe? It was so cool! Okay, not as cool as my Liberace snow globe, but, you know, who doesn't a love a ballerina? Especially since that Black Swan movie came out and they started looking all hungry and interesting, instead of skinny and stupid and perfect. I mean, even Angelina Ballerina (a cartoon mouse), is looking a little deranged after keeping company with Natalie Portman. I like unhinged people who wear lots of pink. They make me feel comfortable.

Wow that was random.

Back on track: I made this light before I had a blog (read: no tutorial) but it's easy to make using a white wire basket from the dollar store and a bunch of tulle. Same exact process as the plastic bag lamp, only girlier.

Warning: This thing is simple and cheap and loads of fabulous but it attracts dust like a mo-fo. Be prepared to vacuum!

30 August 2011

You can't argue with facts.

Look y'all, I don't advocate anyone trying to eat their feelings, but Lord, if life is going to get messy, it may as well come drizzled in hot fudge.
Photo and recipe for Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n' Oreo Fudge Brownie Bar courtesy of Kevin & Amanda.

25 August 2011

Spangled Flannel Lanterns

 I can't stop thinking about these flannel lanterns from Free People's series of store displays. I'm not going to make them because 1. I don't have space 2. I'm moving 3. I already have to pack 23 homemade light fixtures and for someone who lives in a 5 room apartment, that's pretty effing impressive.

So you have to make one and tell me how it turns out. K?

Bounce over to Building 25 (Free People's blog) and watch the video. And pop around while you're there: mucho nifty stuff.


It's the Little Things

Look, if I have to box up and label everything in my possession, it may as well be cute, no? And, the movers are going to be so impressed when they see these precious labels! (Five bucks says that's the first time anyone has ever put movers and precious in the same sentence).

Making something as fussy as moving labels might seem frivolous, but it's the little things that make the process fun. Plus, now I have an endless supply blank stickers to use on fun things like gifts and stationary. These are so nifty, I can't stand it! And as long as I was printing them for myself, I uploaded the PDF so you can have some too. Click here to print.
Note: I designed these Ikat labels to be compatible with multiple brands and label sizes. I'm using Avery 5163, but you can use any size as long as there is a center seam (ie two labels across).

Note: Some desktop printers will add a white border around the edgeconsult your manufacturer's manual.

23 August 2011

Welcome Home Inigo!

Months ago I googled up "Inigo Montoya painting"
and found this thumbprint image...
little did I know he was the real deal
If by chance you should ever write about your love of black velvet paintings and Mandy Patinkin, and, you just so happened to post your wish to commission a portrait of Inigo Montoya on your blog, well, don’t be surprised if out of the blue you get an email that says, Hi. Your wish has come true!

Fast forward to last Friday, to me, standing in the crowded downtown Chicago post office tearing apart a giant cardboard box with my teeth —no literally, with my teeth—only to behold the latest member of my household: Inigo Montoya has come home!

The guy next to me stopped filling out his postage forms and exclaimed, Praise Jesus!

While the woman behind the counter smirked, Crazy white lady.


Y’all. This is good. I mean, real good. Obviously I am a fan of the subject but the quality of the painting wasn’t something I was expecting. It is superb. These photographs don't do him justice. I wish you could see him in person. He looks real. His eyes follow you around the room. It’s kind of amazing.

The artist is Bruce White, North Carolina native, tattoo artist and painter extraordinaire. If you are in the market for a one-of-a-kind work of art that is guaranteed to start a conversation, you need to check him out! Bruce’s portfolio is filled with just about every movie icon and cult hero you could ever hope for. Star Wars fan ahoy! 

I plan to get him properly framed after I move, but until then I have him temporarily hanging on the faux velvet wallpaper above my bed. And just to make it even more weird, I put a frame of twinkle lights around it. Awesome much?

Between the lights and the dark velvet and the eyes that follow you around the room, Inigo has become pinnacle of some sort of diabolic shine. Friday night I went to bed I felt like I should have brought an offering of goat’s blood. Now he’s had a few days to settle and I find more and more to love about this painting every time I look at him  it him it...him or it? I can’t decide. But perhaps thats the hallmark of a true art – the piece takes on a presence and personality far larger than the confines of a canvas. He It feels like a real person.

Welcome home Inigo!
Thanks again to Bruce White for making my wish come true! You can check out Bruce’s work or follow him on facebook and twitter.

18 August 2011

Veruca's Wallpaper

Original images via Payton Turner. Click here to see more!
Eeeeeeeeeeeeep! I KNOW RIGHT?  Is this not the most amazing thing you have EVER SEEN?!
So. Flippin. Cool.  It's from a 2009 multi-media exhibition by Brian Kaspr and Payton Turner. I'm so sad I never got to see it in person, although, it's probably just as well since the whimsy factor in the room would have spun my head clear off my shoulders.

Reminds me of the scene from Willy Wonka where they all go licking the fruity wallpaper and Wonka says, Try some more. The strawberries taste like strawberries, and the snozzberries taste like snozzberries! 

And Veruca says, Snozzberries? Who ever heard of a snozzberry? 

So Wonka looks down at her and goes, We are the music makers...and we are the dreamers of dreams.

Well go ahead Willy Wonka, just go ahead and blow my mind with your fruit-filled nuggets of Buddhist wisdom why don’t you. See if I cry. You'll see.

And can we just talk about Veruca Salt? Has there ever been a cooler pre-pubescent villain. No. No there hasn't.

This wallpaper reminds me of everything...of my grandmother's dining room...of Victorian grandeur...of Trapper Keepers and pencil boxes...of happy days spending lunch breaks in the schoolyard swapping stickers with my friend Heather (yes, we were Sticker Nerds, thank you)...and now I'm wondering what I did with all those stickers? They were too precious to put on my binders like the other kids...what did I do with them? Where is that shoe box? How am I going to make this ridiculously awesome wallpaper at home WITHOUT THAT SHOE BOX?

And this, my friends, is why I hoard things.

15 August 2011

Sequins and Misker Puffs

A few folks asked about the sequin pillow featured in this photo from a few weeks ago, and I'm so glad you did! It's one of my favorite things :)

The pillow is made from an old sequin tube skirt that my cousins picked up in a thrift store in New Orleans and gave to me for my 16th birthday. Judging by the style, cut, age of the sequins (they are like a super fine metal?), lack of tag or lining, I believe it was initially made as a Mardi Gras costume in the 1930's or early 40's. The matching top -- a sleeveless, blousy sort of tank top with pearl trim -- was sadly lost to a former roommate after an epic battle of Hungry-Hungry Hippos. At one point, in a monumental outburst of teenage flair, I wore the outfit together on top of my conservative school clothes, topped with a tiara and finished off silver orthopedic shoes from the local nursing home's lobby-side charity shop. Holy crap did I know how to dress.

Few years ago I gave up on ever fitting my butt into a size 6 ever again, so I grabbed a slice of pie and my sewing kit, stitched up the sides, stuffed it with goose down, and in 20 minutes I had myself a majorly snazzy pillow. And I didn't even get any pie on it!

Years have gone by and it has held up nicely. These days it sits in my living room, rarely seen without Lola in close proximity. Man, does that cat love her some sequins. Out of all the cats I could have brought home from the Treehouse shelter that day, it is no coincidence that I came home with the one that loves to rub her face on anything spangled, sparkled and sequined. If you come over to my house wearing a bedazzled sweater, 1. You are awesome and 2. Expect Lola pounce on your lap and start rubbing her misker puffs all over your chest. 
*Old School Breakdown for the Non Crazy Cat Ladies; Misker Puffs: The areas on either side of a cat's nose scattered with whiskers and fur, most prominent when yawning or being cute in general. Which is always. 
Lola likes to sleep next to it in the yellow arm chair, and after a while the down feathers and old metal sequins really start to heat up....it's only a matter of time until she wakes up from a nap and starts rubbing her face all over it, sometimes going so far as to bury her whole head inside and punch her paws back and forth like she is making biscuits.

11 August 2011

Slowly packing up the house is drudging up all sorts of crap. Physical and emotional dust bunnies abound, not to mention a skeleton or two. This is typical with moving, especially for someone with  hoarding tendencies like mine.

This morning I was clearing out a junk drawer and found myself debating whether to throw out an unused roll of super-sticky fly tape. Simple enough, right?  Toss it, right? Then I remembered the time there was a roll of fly tape above the trash can in the alley when I dropped in my garbage bag and accidentally flipped up my elbow-length hair, successfully taking down the gluey-tape and several dead flies in one fell swoop.

And it wouldn’t come out.

And then I had to go to work.

And then my co-worker Jeannie had to rub my entire head with ice cubes because she called her mother for advice, who said, ice gets gum out of hair so it should work on fly paper, but you know what? It sure didn’t. So then Jeannie just started cutting out chunks of my hair with a razor blade envelope opener, and then that weirdo bearded guy in shipping came by and said you look like you just came out of a can, so then  I had to go to the beauty salon and get ALL MY HAIR CUT OFF up to my ears, only to take some solace and said to the hairdresser, I’ll gladly donate my hair to Locks of Love, but she snapped her gum said, No Hun, those cancer kids don’t want flies in their hair either.

So now I’m standing over my junk drawer, feeling horrible just thinking about all the sick, bald headed children I denied a new wig because I got sloppy with the fly tape.
Good news: I recently learned that smothering your hair with peanut butter will remove fly tape and any other sticky substance, including hot glue. Who knew, right?
Bad news: Now that I know the peanut butter trick, how can I possibly throw out the fly tape?
This is how my mind works: Keeping the unused roll of fly tape + One Jar of Peanut butter = Doing my part to help kids with cancer. Throwing out the fly paper would be the equivalent of snubbing an ill child and would derail my path to Sainthood. The whole But-Peaches-You're-Not-Even-Catholic-Thing will be overlooked if only I keep the fly tape. So clearly, I'm keeping the tape. 

Moving is going to be awesome.

10 August 2011

Cleaning out the cupboards in preparation for a move will unearth some unusual things.

Ahem, for example: red wine and chocolate milk. 

In the same bottle.

It pours like paint.

Question is, Can I still regift it if I put it on my blog?

The answer is, Obviously.


08 August 2011

Damn skippy you guys are good.

I asked folks to guess what I was making last week and nearly everyone said hanging light or lamp or pendant chandelier. And here I was, thinking I could trick you. Shame on me. Y'all are too good!

Clearly, either I am getting predictable or y'all know me too well. This probably means I should to cool it on the light fixtures for a while. *Sigh*

A hearty congrats to Jackie for coming up with the winning guess. Hope you have room for a ruffled, exploding jellyfish light on your ceiling. She needs a good home!

Safety Update: Don't anyone go and set anything on fire! Make sure your basket and light bulb have a good 6" or more in gap space, otherwise you might risk overheating or the bags melting onto your bulb, and that's no good. Give yourself lots of air room, use a low watt bulb, or an LED bulb that does not generate heat. Safety first :)

04 August 2011

The world is divided into two different types of people:
  1.  People who buy bags of tortilla chips.
  2.  People who make their own.
The rift is wide. Deep. Controversial, you might even say.

Some folks would never dream of frying things in their home because it’s messy and gross and makes them feel like they are living in a fast food restaurant; while some folks wouldn’t be caught dead buying a six-month-old bag of chemical laden and crispified chips in the store when they can make their own with a 39cent bag of tortillas and a quality, heart healthy oil.

It’s not hard to tell which group I belong to.

Question is, who’s bringing salsa?


The Giveaway I’m Not Giving Away

Mystery thing modeling courtesy of Badass Besty"Don't make me look crazy!" Kiki 

Here is a project I started six months ago and never finished. Has this ever happened to you? I blame it on cable television. Darn you Bravo!

...so now I’m clearing out the cupboards...tossing junk left and right...and here it is, rearing it’s unruly head, waggling a finger at me and my lack of productivity. Thus, I have come to the conclusion that there is too much time invested into this thing to give up on it.

Kermit the Frog as my whiteness, I am going to finish this thing tonight.

Bad news: Even after it's finished, I will no longer have use or space for it.

Good news: Someone else might want it, so sound the trumpets, I’m giving it away!

I know what you are thinking: But, um, Peaches, errrr, what is it?

And here is where you come in! Leave a comment below with your best guess and if you guess it right, you win the finished product. If multiple people guess the correctly, I’ll do a random drawing between all those who guess correctly.  In the off chance more than ten people guess correctly, I'll draw six random winners, one will win The Thing, the other five will receive something I previously made with my own two hands (I'm moving y'all: there is a lot to unload!)
* Note: The winner will be chosen Sunday, August 7 at 9pm CST
* Note: Please be sure your email address is linked to your profile, or leave it with your comment (if your'e not sure, leave it in the comment) Comments are now closed. Thank you to all who participated!

This is sort of like Michelle L's  "Guess the Mystery Thing" style giveaway where the fun comes in at the reveal. So put your brain to work and make your best guess: What is it?

03 August 2011

Like ten bajillion other people on the planet, I love Julia Child.

And not just because I’m a blogger and the whole Julie &Julia thing was popular a while back. No, I just think she’s the cat’s pajama’s. Always have. Always will. Yeah, I’m a decent cook, nothing special, but I know enough about the subject to recognize someone who loves it as an art. And even though I seriously doubt I could ever pull off Julia’s Duck à l’orange, I know the pleasure that comes from serving someone a dish that is made with love, enthusiasm and butter. Julia taught me that.

One of my earliest memories are of my mother standing over the kitchen counter attempting to read Mastering the Art of French Cooking, cigarette hanging out the side of her mouth, sweat on her brow, furiously beating a eggs in a bathtub size aluminum bowl. It went on and on for what seemed like hours on end, only to come to a sudden halt followed by a quick pop in the oven and an order for us to go play outside for fear that we would, get this, scare the soufflé. Who knew soufflés could get scared? Julia taught her that.
Julia's Kitchen inside the Smithsonian's American History Museum

If you follow me on Pinterest,you might have seen me going crazy for pegboard kitchens this week. I’m nuts about them. My current kitchen doesn’t have enough wall space to do one, so I am getting all excited about the prospect moving into a new space lined with pegboard and hooks. And yes, thank you, pegboard does indeed meet my threshold for what is considered excitement. Because I’m cool like that ;)

I don’t know if Julia Child gets the credit for coming up with the idea, but she certainly is most famous for bringing pegboard into the kitchen. Prior to Julia, pegboard was a material typically relegated to the garages or tool sheds, not suitable for gourmet kitchens. But now, thanks to her, it’s a common occurrence in kitchens across the world, particularly popular with urban apartment dwellers like me or anyone short on storage.
Side note: If you have been there, or seen the movie Julie & Julia, you already know that Julia’s kitchen was donated and put on permanent display in the Museum of National History in Washington DC. If you ever get a chance to see it (it’s free admission y’all!) check it out. The thing is TINY. I always thought she was an impressive lady, but then I saw the room in person and thought about her producing all that food AND a television show in that tiny space...whoa, talk about efficient.
Click here to see Julia’s 1960’s kitchen in action, and a first hand account from the photographer who was lucky enough to sit at her table.
And while pegboard might not be categorized as trendy, I am so pleased to see it making a come back. There are some seriously groovy pegboard kitchens out there...I'm hoping mine will be one of them! Julia would be proud :)

Pegboard Photo Sources (TBLR): The Inspired Room, Design*Sponge, Apartment Therapy, Domino Magazine

02 August 2011

Kelly and I swapped projects last week: she sent me a Pippi Longstocking Flamingo, I sent her this flowered lampshade. I was thinking my lampshade was pretty neato, but let's be honest--it's no Pippi Flamingo!

The project is easy -- just glue a bunch of flowers on a lampshade. The hard part is making the flowers, and lucky, that part is easy too! If you have followed this blog for a while,you have probably already seen them before (you might even be sick of them, sorry!) ...click here and here and here for my directions on how to make coffee filter flowers at home :)

Thanks again to Kelly for signing up to swap. This was too much fun!  

Update: By popular request, here is the scoop on the thatched paper wall and the pillow featured above. 

01 August 2011

Note the Batman potted plant.
Can y'all believe how quick the summer is passing? Seems like yesterday was Easter, then Whoa Nelly the stores are stocked with back to school supplies and I'm stuffing my cart with fruit snacks, squealing and chirping to the lady next to me OMG THEY HAVE THIRTY NINE CENT GLUE STICKS and then she's all DID YOU SEE THE DOLLAR PACK OF CRAYONS?!?!?!

And this is how I meet people.

These photos are from a backyard BBQ last year. Memorial Day maybe? Or was it Labor Day? I don't remember. This might be a sign I need to cut down on the stripes in my life...

When I move, one of the things I will miss most about my current place is the yard--it's a shady little postage stamp sized plot, but it makes a great place for impromptu gatherings in the summer. With very little time, money or effort, I can pull together a nice long table with space to seat 12+ people.

As much as I would like to fill the space with foofy stuff like napkins and place cards, I keep it empty as possible, that way folks can fill with food and drinks and whatnot. Nobody has to worry about spilling or being on their best behavior...they can have a good time and enjoy themselves!

Wrapping paper and beer bottles go along way, but good food and friends are what really make any party :)

Easy stuff. Nothing Special. Note, I did not label the slightly creepy, majorly decrepit statue in the back. I have decided she is the Saint of Barbecue. Still deciding if I should take her to the next place. Hmmm.....

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