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knee-hugging love

8 Dec

my first official vintage knee-hugging elf! this, of course, deserves a post of its own.

obviously.

*thrift store rant – why, oh why, do thrift stores place their packaging tape across the best bits of vintage goods? i got a vintage christmas record with great songs and an awesome cover, but there is packing tape all across the front and i know that when i get the courage to take it off, there will be massive paper-tearing. boo!*

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365 :: july 3, 2010

8 Jul

july 3, 2010. when did july 4th celebrations start to happen on july 3rd? i spent most of the rain-filled day with my sister’s family, first shopping, then cooking and eating (and drinking) before heading out for some fireworks.

we made some sangria to go with grilled porkchops (braised in beer – oh-so-yummy), asparagus, deviled eggs (a holiday does not exist in my family for which we do not devil the eggs), and a cucumber, tomato and onion salad with garlic and balsamic vinegar, which was so very good.

365 :: april 4, 2010

5 Apr

april 4, 2010. definitely the cutest bunny i saw all day.

365 :: march 17, 2010

21 Mar

 

march 17, 2010. yes, this is about as close to green as i got today (these cacti remind me of jill bliss). i usually don’t work wednesday nights, but for some reason i volunteered to fill a gap without realizing it was st. patrick’s day. i had wanted to go to the flying saucer for guinness with friends, but i settled for a can of store-bought guinness, a few episodes of father ted, and a good night’s sleep in my paint-spattered ireland t-shirt.

my favourite and my best…

10 Mar

though i am admittedly not a birthday party kind of girl (my favorite birthday was the one i spent alone in a foreign country), i am definitely a birthday party planner kind of girl. so, when i finally decided that i wanted to have a party for my thirtieth birthday and bring together all of my friends, i knew that i wanted something colorful, fun, quirky, and filled with scrummy things to eat and drink. thus, my favourite and my best became the theme of the party. if you are unfamiliar with my favourite and my best, i am sorry. please go watch some charlie & lola on youtube right away.

i sent out invitations through pingg.com. e-vites are normally high on the things that annoy me list, but i honestly did not have enough time to make handmade invitations that i would have been proud to send. so, if i had to send a digital invitation, i wanted it to be unique and well-designed, which is exactly what i found when i spent hours (no, really, hours) poring through the design choices. once you have decided on the design and specifics, you can share your invitations through e-mail, sms, postal mail, an event webpage, and with social networking sites.

because it was a favourite and best birthday party, i asked all my guests to bring their favourite and their best dishes – anything beside dessert, which i would provide. let me tell you about the food… so much good stuff: greek dip with pita bread, pesto & parmesan chips, chicken enchiladas, homemade tortilla soup, guacamole, jalapeno cornbread, drunken risotto (my favourite)…

asian hoagies…

fresh vegetables with roasted pepper aioli…

and a cheese platter with fresh blackberries.

in return for their bringing food to a party, i provided more food in the form of sweets.

chocolate kahlua mocha macarons. i have to say… these macarons were seriously amazing. exponentially better than my first attempt. i followed the same recipe for the macaron shells as before (adding two tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder after partially folding the egg whites and the sugar/almond flour mixture) and used this recipe for the kahlua mocha buttercream filling. only crumbs remained at the end of the night.

chocolate bacon pigs. i made over 100 of these piggies and one of the best parts of the night were the reactions of the people who tried them. i made milk chocolate pigs with applewood smoked bacon and dark chocolate pigs with morningstar farms fakon (for my two veggie-loving friends).

the best ever chocolate chip cookies. seriously chewy, moist, and a tad salty. these were gone by the end of the night, as well.

and, because it was total dessert overkill, butter and butter-fudge cupcakes. i did not make these (a local cake legend did that job for me), but i really wanted cupcakes just to use these hilarious toppers. the ‘staches are awesome and i customized the speech bubbles with funny and snarky pop culture phrases…

to go along with the idea of favourite foods, my sister suggested a wine tasting. because i know absolutely nothing about wine, i agreed and had friends who wanted to participate in a blind tasting bring a bottle of pinot noir.

each bottle was wrapped in a brown paper bag and numbered.

all participants scored each wine based on sight, aroma, taste, legs, and overall appeal. the wine with the highest score was rewarded with a gift of pinor noir stemless glasses.

the favors were my favorite thing i made for the party. following not so humble pie’s recipe for sea glass candy, i made six pounds of hard candy: banana cream, raspberry, rootbeer, and buttered rum.

i bought colorful mini latte bowls from anthropologie,

filled them with the candy,

and boxed them up with leftover yarn and punched paper tags.

of course, i decorated with my ruffled streamers.

and i made everyone drink out of pick your nose cups.

i picked them (pun intended) with my niece lauren a few weeks ago.

i think they’re awesome.

and i think my party was pretty awesome, too.

there is no such thing as valentime’s day

12 Feb

my poo cookies from valentine’s day a few years ago. such ambitions for these! the plan was to bake them, put them in brown paper bags, and leave them on the doorsteps of my friends. the actual baked product did not turn out as poo-ish as i would have liked, though, so i did not get to share my twisted sense of humor with anybody i love. most of the people i love are already fully aware of my sickness, anyway.

this year, i thought i’d try something nice and sweet, if only for the sake (and sanity) of my mother. and her friend, who is kind of like another mom. and i thought maybe some other crafty people would like to make something nice and sweet, as well. it does go over awfully well on february 14th.

first, let me apologize for the quality of the pictures – it was late and shadowy and i was distracted by the snow falling outside (read: i didn’t really care because it was snowing outside).

paper. you need it for this. specifically, you need:

  • 1 – scrap piece of card stock, measuring at least 4.5″ x 4.5″
  • 2 – 1.5″ squares, cut in half diagonally, in pattern/color ‘a’
  • 1 – .5″ square in white or cream
  • 1 – .5″ square in pattern/color ‘b’
  • 1 – 1″ x .5″ rectangle in pattern/color ‘b’
  • 1 – 1″ x .5″ rectangle in pattern/color ‘c’
  • 2 – 1.5″ x .5″ rectangle in pattern/color ‘c’
  • 1 – 2″ x .5″ rectangle in pattern/color ‘c’
  • 2 – 4.25″ x 5.5″ rectangle in color ‘d’

you will also need a pair of scissors, a 2-way glue pen (or any permanent adhesive), a seam ripper, a sewing machine, and coordinating thread.

1. begin by adhering the white square to the middle of the scrap card stock. glue the pattern/color ‘b’ .5″ square next to the white square and, using a straight stitch, stitch along the middle of two squares.

2. cut the thread and turn the paper over.

3. use the seam ripper to carefully pull the top thread through to the back. there should be four threads, two at each end of the line of stitches.

4. knot the threads and carefully trim the excess.

5. glue the 1″ x .5″ pattern/color ‘a’ rectangle down, forming a square. the two pattern/color ‘b’ pieces form a heart. there’s your love. stitch down the center of the square and, following the directions above, pull through the threads, knot, and trim. you will do this after each piece is sewn on.

6. glue down the 1″ x .5″ pattern/color ‘c’ piece as shown and repeat steps 1-4.

7. glue down one of the 1.5″ x .5″ pattern/color ‘c’ rectangles and repeat steps 1-4.

8. glue down the second 1.5″ x .5″ pattern/color ‘c’ rectangle and repeat steps 1-4.

9. glue down the 2″ x .5″ pattern/color ‘c’ rectangle as shown above. repeat steps 1-4.

the back of your scrap paper should look something like this.

10. glue the four pattern/color ‘a’ pieces as shown above, being careful keep patterns aligned, if applicable. begin stitching.

when you get to the first corner, keep the needle down, lift the foot, and move the paper 90 degrees. put the foot down again and continue stitching. do this for all the corners. when you are finished, repeat steps 1-4.

11. using sharp scissors, trim the pieced square as shown above. your square should be approximately 3″ x 3″.

12. glue the pieced square on one of the 4.25″ x 5.5″ rectangles of color ‘d.’ (obviously, i did not cut this before i took the picture. durr.)

13. change the stitch to a zig-zag stitch (number 2 on this machine).

14. stitch around the edge of the pieced square, keeping the needle down on corners (as in step 10). turn the paper over, pull the top strings through with a seam ripper, knot threads, and trim the excess.

15. using a scoring blade, score a line .25″ from the top of the paper. this score line will give the card some flexibility for opening.

16. place the scored card (with the pieced square) on top of the remaining blank, unscored 4.25″ x 5.5″ card stock. keeping the stitch as zig-zag, stitch along the score line. pull through top threads to the back, knot the threads, and trim the excess.

now you have a pieced heart quilt block card. did i mention that the inspiration for this card was quilt blocks? it is. i even have a nice punny sentiment for the inside.

if it’s for somebody you really love, you can write: the pieces of my heart belong to you. [valentine_1]

if it’s for somebody you love, but not in the significant other way, you can write: you are a piece of my heart. [valentine_2]

piece. pieces. get it? pieced quilt block? pieces of the heart? i kill myself.

yes, i even did the pdfs for you to download with the sentiment. if you want to print this on your card stock, do so before step 16.

and if you want something even better… make a matching envelope. i used the paper-source envelope template to make my matching envelope, so there’s no pattern i can post. but it wouldn’t be too hard to make a basic rectangle envelope. you could even sew one up by stitching along the edges of two pieces of card stock.

so, yeah. that’s enough sweet & nice for me for this year. you do know that my heart is genuinely snarky, yes?

america’s independents…

4 Jul

happy 4th of july! i’m off to austin for the explosions in the sky concert. pictures to come… possibly.