29 February 2012

Kitchen Chronicle: Spoons

Did you know that ice cream tastes better on a pink spoon?

Well it does.

I have been collecting miniature rainbow spoons in a baby food jar for years with the specific intention of pairing them with certain foods; pink spoons = ice cream, green spoons = peanut butter, yellow spoons = yoghurt...and so on. Sadly, it would appear that purple spoons do not go well with anything.

Sorry purple spoons.


28 February 2012

If I had to guess, I would say 30% of the people I know have a room in their house with a big empty wall.

27 February 2012

Polka Dots: The New Chevron

sources left to right:  washing machine | elle fanning | nails | shoes | tape | rainbow pillow
 | satchel | peach curtains | plate | genifer goodman sohr | vintage photo

My first grade teacher, Miss DeMoulpied, was beautiful. Stunning I would say. She had big and bouncy Miss America hair with a waxy rhubarb smile that enveloped half of her face. Each morning, her classroom commenced with her at the piano while leading the group in a patriotic song, displaying the sort of enthusiastic showmanship one might expect from a professional cheerleader, or worse, a giant faux-fur mascot. With her elbows wide and flailing, we followed her lead and marched in place at our desks.

You’re a grand ol' flag! You’re a high flying flag! And forever in peace may you wave!

24 February 2012

Kiki went to a charity event this week and needed a purse to wear with her sweater dress. Nothing too sparkly. Nothing too casual. Just something to add some sass to basic black dress. I thought she should take this – an old purse I covered with felt flowers made from old sweaters a few winters back—but she went with something plain black and boring. 

Snoozeville, Kiki. Snoozeville.

Oh well. I’ll find an excuse to use this purse again sometime before sweater season is over. It's been in storage for years now, so even if I don’t wear it myself, I’ll feel better knowing its had a moment in the sun by sharing it here with you guys. 

Sometimes I think having a blog is sort of like shoe shopping with thousands of friends; we all look at each others stuff and say “Shut. Up. That is so cute!” then scamper off to find a different pair of our own. And then, even if neither one of us actually buys or wears the shoes in question, we still had fun looking at what the other person picked out.

If anyone goes shoe shopping this weekend and sees some shoes to match my purse, holler back! 


23 February 2012

Advice from my boyfriend

My boyfriend, Ira Glass, is the nerdy dream host of NPR's This American Life, which is pretty much the best hour of broadcast you will find any given week (no offense, Downton Abbey).

He doesn't know he is my boyfriend yet, and I think he might be married, and I sort of doubt he is into women who are the human equivalent of Miss Piggy, but that's ok. I can wait. I'm cool like that. 

Anyway, as I was saying, my boyfriend, Ira, is giving out some great advice on creativity. These snippets are called "Ira Glass on Storytelling" but I think his words apply to something much broader than writing stories for the radio. Anyone who is looking to improve their creative abilities, or improve themselves through creativity, could benefit from his advice, which is, in short: stick to it.

22 February 2012

Stuffed animals are funny things.

Recently I was testing out some camera tricks and decided to use Pooh, my beloved and most favorite stuffed animal, as model. This was no big deal until I was looking through the resulting photos and it occurred to me that I had never bothered to take a single photo of Pooh before. Never.  

How can this be?

21 February 2012

Hee Haw

I spent a day in Nashville this weekend and I am feeling seriously outspangled. Seems like everyone in Nashville is either wildly talented and/or has great hair. Some of them yodel. Many of them wear rhinestones. It is glorious. 

17 February 2012

Sparkle Me Elmo

I'm prety sure my family thinks I'm trying to turn my 2-year-old niece Abigail into a drag queen.  First I tried to dress her as Priscilla Queen of the Dessert style flamingo , now I'm making disco balls out of her favorite Sesame Street character, Elmo.

Now, I should say, I'm normally too stuck up to make things with characters on them... but seeing as he is Abigail's favorite, and he is sort of a Muppet, I'll make an exception for Elmo. Plus, the little dude is starting to grow on me. Have you seen this?

15 February 2012

It's a Flying Pig. Literally.

I know, I know, I know.

Yesterday I said I was going to curb my cat lady ways for a while. And you guys, I totally meant it too!

But then, yesterday, I came home and found that my cat was recipient to what might possibly be the coolest package ever.

It's a pig. And it came priority mail so that means this pig flew.

No brown box or nothing. It came addressed to "Miss Lola" and everything.

And if that was not impressive enough, you know who the pig is from?

A hog.

14 February 2012

Yesterday I ran a wordle on my blog and it told me my most prominent word was “Lola.”

Which is really just the internet’s way of saying “Whoa girl, you need to chill it with the cat lady thing.”

So it occurs to me that some of y’all might not be cat people. Some of y’all might be dog people. And to those who have had their fill of me talking Cat Lady all the time, this is my Valentine to you: meet Pickles.

Pickles the pug is the model and muse behind Sweethoots, the talented mother and daughter team responsible for these glorious hats. Julie and Bernadette tell me that "Pickles is very much a diva. Pickles loves being in the spotlight.”

Happy Valentines Day!

Hope everyone who participated in the valentine swap is enjoying their mailboxes these days! These are just a handful of photos of the valentines in circulation right now --aren't they gorgeous?

Forgive me if I do not identify the source on each one as some folks wished to remain anonymous. Sometimes Valentines Day is a good day for secrets :)

PS: If you are expecting/missing your Valentines, keep in mind some are coming from overseas and may be taking a little while longer.
PPS: If you signed up for Valentines and did not send them yet, what are you waiting for? Don't stew on it and just get something creative in an envelope and out the door! So what if it's late? The recipient will still be delighted. Now go! 

13 February 2012

Under the Sea

Decided to take a break from the cold and spend the day hanging out at the aquarium last week, and can I just say, it was fantastic. Nothing like a few hours in a tropical environment to rejuvenate the soul. If it were not for the smell of sea lion poop, it might have been mistaken for a day at the spa.

There is an exhibit of jellyfish going on, which, apparently, I am not supposed to describe as jellyfish as they are not fish.They are Medusozoa. But it is safe to call them jellies. Or sea jellies. Some people call them medusas.

I used to have an English teacher we called Medusa because she had crazy snake hair and was really good at giving the stank eye. Had we known we were also calling her jellyfish I think we would have chosen another name. Like Hosebeast.

Oh wait...

Q: Do you know what a group of jellies is called?
A: A bloom, or a swarm, or a smack. Isn't that neato? Just once in my life I want cause to yell across the starboard of a luxury yacht, Beware the jelly smack! And everyone will know exactly what I am talking about.

I had seen plenty of science shows on jellies on TV, but seeing them in person was truly amazing. They have no bones, no blood, no heart....but their every move looks not unlike something one might associate with the pumping of blood. Like heart beats. Like swarms of gelatinous, poisons heartbeats dressed in beautiful ballgowns.

If you have never seen jellies in person, I suggest you seek them out sometime soon. Or watch this video for a minute and study how they move. It's nothing less than incredible.

Any school folks out there looking for a good jellyfish themed craft? Check out this exhibit display of bottle jellies floating from the ceiling. Cool beans.

Very similar to my bottle flowers. You can tell someone made these all white and uniform, but can't you just imagine them in all colors and sizes hanging from the classroom ceiling? Nifty. Nifty. Nifty.

I think just about anyone with munchkins at home could benefit from a trip to the local aquarium. You never know who you will see...

Heads up: Elmo craft coming up this week. Stay tuned :)


10 February 2012

My Special Song

Photo by Gabriel Rochette
Here is the thing: I am obsessed with Iceland.

Don’t ask me why. I have never been there. I have no relation. I strongly dislike the climate. That Bjork chic is a little disturbing. And their economy is in the shitter.

...but so what?

It’s Iceland.  It’s magic.

09 February 2012

Lola is a picky kitty. She likes the finer things in life. Cashmere in particular.  

If I’m wearing a cashmere sweater of scarf, it takes her all of ten seconds before she on me like a hair on soap. Something similar happens with sequins

She knows what she wants. And whatever Lola wants, Lola gets.

So when I found this old cashmere sweater had been eaten up by moths, I decided to give it new life as a bed for Lola. It keeps her super warm and, let’s face it, Lola looks great in red. 

Must give credit where it is due: I saw a similar pet beds for sale at a flea market last summer, but their construction was a bit different and the sleeves were much fuller, making the sides taller and not appropriate for all cats. Which brings me to....
Rambling cat lady side note: Not all cats like beds, and not all cat beds are the same. While most cats like to have their own special ‘nest’ for napping, some cats feel trapped or unsafe when sleeping in a confined space, like in a bed with four high sides. This is sort of like how some people can only sleep with their socks off (for the record, anti-sock people are just plain weird, but we love them anyway)… So if your kitty is anti-bed, try offering them a bed with low sides, or three sides, and see if they like it. Cat beds are great, because not only do they help kitty feel comfortable, they help keep shedding cat hair in one place. Win-Win!
  • Old cashmere sweater. Any sweater will work, but most cats will avoid acrylic on account of the static electricity. However, I have heard from people with small dogs who love snuffling on sturdy acrylic sweaters. Use your discretion.
  • Cotton quilt batting.
  • Needle and thread.
  • Glove warmers (optional).

1. Stuff the arms with cotton batting (see note above about cat beds with high walls)
2. Tuck the cuffs into each other so you get a sense of how large the bed should be.
3. Fold the corners of the sweater in to create a rounded off bed bottom
4. Stitch the neck and the bottom of the bed closed.

Now tuck the cuffs back together again and stitch them to the perimeter of the sweater (which is now the bottom rim of the bed). This part gets tricky to demonstrate here but it's actually very easy to do, especially if you use some safety pins to hold the sweater in place while you stitch. I should note, I just use big loopy stitches with my needle--nothing fancy or hidden (Lola has distinguished taste, but not that distinguished).   

Tip for folks with mature pets : Lola has some issues with arthritis, so during the cold months I create a hot spot by tucking a glove warmer in where the two cuffs overlap. It doesn't warm up the whole bed, but it's provides a nice hot spot for her to warm up any achy joints, sort of like a hot water bottle.    

The fur in the photo above shows you just how much Lola likes her hot spot. It is already well worn!

Sweet dreams :)

08 February 2012

Valentine Ribbon Rose Wreath

My friend Ann sent me a giant box crammed with roll upon roll of red, pink, and white ribbons. Most of them wired, half of them satin, all of them extraordinary. 

Now, I should say, this wreath took a lot of ribbon to make, and yet, I used less than 20% of what Ann sent me in that box, which is extraordinary because Ann she said she sent me less than 10% of her ribbon stash, which is to say, Ann needs to start a blog ASAP so that she can take us all on virtual tours of her ribbon collection. This is something I have to see!

At first I was going to use these ribbons on my pink tree, but alas, the flocking was clashing with anything delicate as ribbons, so I reserved them for roses to use on a Valentines wreath. If you are a longtime follower, you might remember these from the bouquet I made for my bestfriend’s wedding

These suckers are Eee-Zee Pee-Zee (and yes that is how you spell it).

Materials: Wired ribbon, a wreath base, hot glue.  Boom.

  1. Start with at least 24" of wired ribbon (sometimes called French ribbon).
  2. Using your fingers to pinch the wire at one end, push the ribbon toward the center. Repeat on the opposite end.
  3. Keep pushing and gathering until the the gathered seam is less than one third the original length0 (in this case, I started with 24" and finished with 8").
Once you have a piece of ruffled ribbon ready to go, it's just a matter of rolling, twisting and pinching.. 

Now that you have the rose all rolled up, twist off the ends to keep it in shape so you can make a bunch more roses. For a 15" wreath base, I used 35 roses. I could have gotten by with ten less, but it would have looked even cooler with ten more. It's a matter of preference.

If you like wreaths as much as I do, you have to check out Michele's Wreath Blog. It's jam packed with oodles of amazeball wreaths! 


06 February 2012

Spot the Valentine

This is my bulletin board at work. I use it to sort and display everything from swatches to snowflakes to borrrrring paperwork. Somewhere in the rubble is a Valentine. Can you spot it?

Here, I'll give you a better clue.

Valentines aren't just cards, they are all shapes and sizes and colors, and I can't tell you how much I enjoying seeing all the photos you guys are sending in. Keep them coming!


Pink Math

Wonder how an old photo of my favorite candy turned into the new color for my kitchen?

Click here to read more. 


03 February 2012

Confession: I finally painted the kitchen pink last weekend.

Sort of. 

Guess which one I chose. I want to see how the tide turns. (Don't worry, I won't be offended if you like one I didn't pick, I'm just curious if my hypothesis is correct. It takes a lot more than paint preferences to offend me!)

My methodology for narrowing it down to these three was actually really interesting, at least to a color nerd like me, but I'll show you how with the results on Monday. I need another weekend to finish up.

Last weekend was bonkers.

In addition to the paint, I also did something crazy to the cabinets.

And not like Beyonce Kind of Crazy.

It was more like It's 3AM And You Want To Mix Solvents? Kind of Crazy.

You'll just have to wait and see...

Happy weekend!

02 February 2012

The Swap is On!

If you are one of the 234 people who signed up for the valentine swap in January, 1. Hooray! 2. you should have received an email from me by now with the addresses of three partners.*

If you signed up and did not receive an email, 1. Check your spam folder, 2. Forward me your initial sign up email so I can track backwards. I think I got everyone, these things happen. I don't wnat anyone to miss out on my account :)

Try to get them in the mail by February 5, but don’t freak out of it’s a day late, just so long as you send something. Think of the smile you will put on the recipient’s face – that always spurs me to get a move on!

Speaking of people getting a move on, look at these! I was so excited to see these --Jill and Bonnie sent me pictures of the Valentines they are sending out today and they are SO COOL. Jill made these frayed ruffle hearts and Bonnie made these wonderful collage cards. I know six people who will be so tickled to see these pop up in the mailboxes next week!

If you are sending or receiving Valentines as part of the swap, feel free to take a picture and send it to me, or link in the comments below. I would love to see what you guys are making :)

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