Tuesday, August 30, 2011

On our late summer table...

Usually, I put a little music up on Wednesdays, but sadly I'm feeling a bit parched in the music department. Any suggestions? While my ears are starving, I've noticed that at least our table, and my belly, has been fully of delicious late summer veggies in all forms...

Spinach, leek, and tomato quiche {with extra-thick crust!}:: ... um, it looks a bit deflated the second day, but what it lacks in volume, it packs in that Popeye-spinach punch.

These are quick, easy, and oh so delicious! Refrigerator Pickles

3 average-sized cukes {more if you're using smaller, pickling cukes}
1 green pepper
1 onion
1 Tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons celery seed
Chop, slice, etc. Let stand 1 hour

Mix the following and add it the veggies::
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Then add 1 sliced lemon and stir. Cover the container and refrigerate 24 hours before eating {we sampled them five minutes in, two hours in, twelve hours in, and finally 24 hours in... we are down to half a batch and need to make more ASAP!}. Serving suggestion ~ on your plate next to a warm and toasty grilled cheese.

Dilly Yellow Beans::
{recipe found here}

Roasted Veggies two ways::

{Zucchini, Vidalia Onion, Carrots, Bell Peppers}

{Beets, Potatoes, Leeks, Carrots}


And to go along with today's theme, I found this beautiful, inspiring video...watch it and then go bake a cake!

beet cake from tiger in a jar on Vimeo.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sneak Peak

Did a little something fun in the craft room! More pictures as soon as we tidy up.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A sweater!

This sweater was inspired by a new pair of shoes {pictures to come}, which got me thinking about cool fall days, apple picking, and another wine tour in the Finger Lakes region?! oh my

For now, I've been slipping the sweater on to ward off the chill of early mornings... and that's just when I took these pictures ~ on a cool morning still in my pjs!

The pattern is Cassis, by Thea of BabyCocktails {a great read if you're looking for blogs!}.

As you can tell, I made a few modifications. Knitting sleeves and making it slightly shorter than the pattern. For the sleeves, I following this version ~ adding the lace pattern to the sleeves, and decreasing slightly as I knit them down from the shoulder. The yarn is Lion Brand's Fisherman's wool, and I used size 7 Addis.

Sweater length is always a puzzle for me. This sweater was supposed to be longer than I knit it. I stopped short because I was worried that the length wouldn't look good on me ~ making me look bottom heavy and frumpy. After I was finished, I realized that the sweater stops right at the widest point of my hips {you might not be able to tell from these pictures}. It doesn't look bad, but I'm wondering if it would look even better if it stopped just above that point? decisions decisions. If I get ambitious, I'll take some pictures and analyze the heck out of it :)!

I'll think about it while I'm out picking flowers...

Have a happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday Soundtrack

These cool evenings make it feel like Autumn's right around the corner... I'm preparing by eating as many juicy peaches as I can and by keeping the vases fully stocked.

A slower summer song...

Monday, August 22, 2011

No, Really?

How does this::

Turn into this::

Both pictures from our yard this weekend!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Gifts for the girls in yellow.

And we're back to the wedding. I put together little boxes of goodies for the bridesmaids. And yes, before even discussing the contents, I was ecstatic with my "wrapping". Just a plain brown box, wrapped in baker's twine with a tag attached. You'll see both the twine and tags again in a future post! I'll pause while you gag on the matchy-ness of it all.

Quick note before I dig in ~ This post is heavy in pictures and links to some of the fantastic Etsy shops I used for supplies. One of the things that really made me happy while planning the wedding was searching out the artists and local or small shops for supplies.

Inside were a combination of purchased and handmade gifts. Each girl received a different botanical necklace from Elizabeth Scott Designs. I love her shop, and she was so patient as I deliberated on my choices! Since you never know what the weather will be like, and since the dresses were sleeveless, I included a white pashmina scarf. And then... I wanted to take the time to make something special for inside the boxes.

I've always wanted to make clutches with the metal frame opening, and thought the wedding was a perfect excuse to give it a shot. I was also hoping that the little purses could come in handy the day of the wedding for storing any odds and ends that the ladies were carrying around. These were made using the pattern and hardware for 5 inch clutches from this shop.

Inspired by the bee and honeycomb touches that we were incorporating in to the invites and wedding decor, I began the process looking for some sort of modern-honeycomb fabric. I started this project in January, and at the time, I wasn't excited about any of the designs I found. That said, I did a quick google search this afternoon and found a few nice options. I thought about designing something myself and getting it printed by Spoonflower, but, as it usually happens with projects like this.... inspiration struck, and I went in yet another direction.

Using the hexagons from our save-the-dates, I embroidered a honeycomb design and each girls' initial on the front of the purses.

Here were my key supplies {minus the needle and thread}::

The following was done before sewing the pieces of the purses together::
~ Using an exacto knife I cut out hexagons in three different sizes from the card. In the end only the two larger sizes were used for this design.
~ With the magic disappearing ink pen, I traced one large hexagon and surrounded it by a hive of the medium hexagons, making the hive slightly different on each one. The pen really is magic ~ staying long enough for you to embroider but then completely disappearing in a couple of days {sometimes sooner if you really agitate the fabric}.
~ I used the backstitch to trace the honeycombs.
~ I then found a font that I liked and printed out the four initials that I needed. I used these as a guide to free-hand the letters with the magic pen and then used the stem stitch to embroider them, going back and making two lines of stem stitch where I wanted a thicker line.

PS. ::
~ This is my first embroidery project, so maybe there's a more standard method for embroidering letters? I did a few quick searches and some test runs, and then I winged it.
~ Many of these purse frames require you to glue the fabric into the frame. Everywhere I looked, people recommend Gutermann Glue. I had a hard time finding it in the typical craft shops, but was able to order some from this seller.
~ I think I drank a lot of coffee while working on this project. How I managed to get it all over the paper with the initials but not on the bags is a mystery.

Since the big design went smoothly, I wanted to add a touch of design to the back side of the purses. At first I thought it'd be fun to trace three medium hexagons, filling in one of them like so::

But my test runs looked a bit sloppy and came with the "wah wah" soundtrack of disappointment. So, back at the drawing board I came up with this:: I cut out a hexagon shape from the fabric I was going to use for the lining and using a zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine I attached it to the back of the bag. It might look a bit wonky in that picture due to the folds in the fabric.

The lining was made up of two fabrics. The top half was the flowered fabric::

And the bottom half was made from the same satin that was used to make my sash {more on that soon!}. You can see a snippet of the two fabrics in this photo::

I'm so happy with how these turned out and am a bit bummed that I didn't make more for the mothers, flower girls, and myself!

In addition to the clutches, there was another little project that I'd been wanting to make. Hairpins with little flowers:: A big thanks to my sisters for modeling/photographing these at the beach last week. I think everyone wore them the day of the wedding, and yet I can't find a bit of photographic evidence!

Of course these are unbelievably simple. Buy the flower cabochons and pins, glue one to the other and you're done! I purchased my flowers and hairpins from the Snapcrafty Etsy Shop. I used a jewelry glue that I picked up from Michaels that's meant to glue plastic to metal, and it worked really well.

Assembly tip :: Slide the pins onto a piece of card stock to hold them steady while applying the glue and flowers::

Quick confession :: I was inspired to make my own after I paid $12 to buy a set of two from a little shop in Boston. That was a few years ago before I knew where to find the flower and pin resources. Never again my friends, now you can make 10 for under $10. winning!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday Soundtrack

artist:: Vienna Tang
song:: City Hall

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Painted Door

Well it's Tuesday evening, so I'm more than fashionably to the Pinterest Challenge party, but so excited to join! Don't know about the challenge? Or Pinterest?

Pinterest is a fun, still new-to-me site, that allows you to "pin" inspiration photos that you find around the web. You can also follow other pinterest users, getting inspiration from their boards. The Pinterest Challenge is the brainchild of Katie from Bower Power, Sherry from Young House Love, with co-hosts Emily Henderson and Lana from Making a House a Home. Realizing that many of us pin a million and one inspiration ideas, but never get around to acting on them, they posed a challenge ~ to complete one project from our Pinterest board by today and share it.

Quick confession ~ without a TV, I'm usually a step behind when it comes to new shows, DIY superstars, etc. So until this challenge, I didn't know who Emily Henderson was. All that was corrected over the weekend with a few marathon sessions of Secrets From a Stylist, and now I can't get enough.

Here are my Pinterest Boards, and the project I took on this week was inspired by... this!

I really wanted to paint the door, and was looking for a nice, deep teal color. Everything about this house is beige/white, so I'm looking for ways to add in pops of color, and this white door was a great place to start::

In addition to the blah, white color, it had this crazy hook stuck to it at an angle::

So, step number one was to remove the hook, and give the door a light sanding to even out some bumps.

I had pinned that picture as I was thinking about door colors. At the same time I was thinking about my desire for a chalkboard wall in the craft room, and that's when I found Rust-Oleum's tinted chalkboard paint! I loved the idea of painting the door with chalkboard paint ~ now we can leave fun messages for each other for the way in and the way out.

I also loved the paint because it completely eliminated the anxiety of choosing amount the zillions of colors out there. They really nailed this color on the head, but now I'm having trouble deciding exactly what color I want to use in the craft room... In economics, a common assumption is that an individual's utility increases with the number of choices available. For many people this may be true, but I've always argued that past a certain point too much variety can be paralyzing. That's me standing in the paint aisle for hours.