things I like today

In lieu of actual information, since I'm supposed to be editing video footage. (Actually, it's almost done. I should be working on photos instead.)
- Hyperphotos. Extremely detailed images created by stitching together multiple telephoto shots. The closer you look, the more fascinating they are.
- Using Macromedia Flash to DJ. Slightly addictive.
- Cool things to put on the walls.
- I've been drooling over this chandelier ever since they posted it. Simply lovely. Now for a castle in which it will fit...
- Incubate your own eggs. I must be a homeschooler, since I find this strangely fascinating.
- Walking the Cabbage. Lovely, lovely images.
- White House photo blog. Lame interface; some cool pictures.
- Oh, and don't forget! NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow! I don't think I'll be participating, but don't YOU get distracted by those petty little details called life.


someone asked me today if I'm bosnian

someone asked me today if I'm Bosnian That would be a "no."
Grey sweater dress: thrifted
black tank (underneath): thrifted
black vintage slip (underneath): secondhand
black tights: walmart?
black boots: ebay

ruminations, or, how I love new words!

Confession: I read the dictionary as a child, and I still collect new words with the same alacrity that some people use for the acquisition of collectible plates. I also think slang from other countries is highly superior to that of America. Seriously, which sounds better? "Making out" or "having a good snog?" Exactly; the former sounds like some sort of clincal exercise, the latter like an activity highly conducive to the reduction of stress. (Which it is, I might add.) So when I learned the English word "twee," meaning "overly precious or sweet," I was ecstatic. We really have no good word for that in the American slang lexicon. And when applied to a description of inspire company's wares in this post, it seemed to fit perfectly. They do have some very precious or sweet items. Which isn't a bad thing; it just is. So imagine my dismay when one of her readers pointed out that it can mean "affected." No! That's not what I meant! I meant sweet, charming, precious. Why must people jump to the worst conclusion?

Maybe I should just stick to American slang.


works in progress

wristlet yarn
I'm almost done with one wristlet (on the left) and the yarn on the right, destined for a scarf, has been halfway turned into one since the picture was taken. The wristlets were intended for me; I think they're going to be part of my mother's christmas present. Note that in the picture I hadn't finished weaving ends yet; I couldn't find my darning needle. A trip to Joann's today not only yielded that useful instrument, but also yarn for a Jayne hat for le husband's cousin and yarn to make a more manly version of the wristlets (thicker yarn and simple ribbing instead of cabling). Yes, my hand is sore. But tonight we're having friends over for cheesecake and coffee while the wind howls outside and a log burns in the fireplace. Truly life is good.


stuff I like today

I spent the morning knitting madly at my desk (fortunately it's been quiet) and now I have one wristlet nearly done; I just need to do the thumb. I had to stop for a while because my right hand was getting rawther stiff. I hope to finish it up tonight, in between the video editing that I simply have to do. (Phooey on work when there's knitting to be done! And Christmas gifts to be assembled!) I'm exceedingly tempted to go back to JoAnn's and get more of the lovely olive-y yarn I got yesterday, maybe enough for a whole sweater for le husband? Or maybe I should stop for now, because my yarn stash is starting to rival my fabric stash. And when you live in a small apartment, that's not a good thing. Enough of my ramblings, though. Here are some lovelinesses dug up for you, my loyal readers.

Not liking:


my yarn-buying virginity is now gone

Actually, it has been for a while, I guess. That just made a good title. But for some reason I felt guilty while buying yarn today, like it's some sort of contraband. Maybe because 'm using some of it for myself? Maybe because it's not thrifted, not a sweater to refashion. I walked into Joann's and walked back out with four skeins of yarn, having paid full retail price. Two are sort of olive-y green flecked with gold (those were on sale!); two are shades of blue and one hundred percent wool. I'm not sure why I'm so obsessive with knitting lately; maybe I'm glad that the nephew's hat/mitten set is finally done? (Well, the knitting part is done. I still have to finish it and weave in ends and all.) Maybe it's because it's such a lovely, relaxing, productive thing to do; I can watch movies/spend time with my husband and STILL end up with something to show for it. Anyway, I'll be sure to post pictures are I get started on my projects, which list shows no signs of shortening. I want to turn the blue into a pair of these, the green into one of these and find the perfect yarn to make this sweater for le husband.

more gift ideas

  • What to give the person who has everything geek in your life: the breath palette. Their innate curiousity will, I think, be piqued by the flavors from curry to pumpkin pudding, and hopefully they'll actually use it.
  • And then you have the kids who are too cool for dolls, so try the boggerdoll. It reminds me of happytreefriends, if that tells you anything.
  • This is what my family (and friends and coworkers and random homeless men on the street) wish I would do with my gorgeous pink rain boots.

simply smashing

You have to understand that I usually listen to soundtracks like I do mixtapes; I'm looking for my next favorite song. Rarely do I like the whole thing, and I always skip past the instrumental bits. After all, I got my fill of soundtrack music years ago, when it was the only thing livening up my classical collection. Besides, all instrumentals start to sound the same after a while; you have the sad, heart-wrenching bit, the happy moment theme, and the final, soaring, triumpant finale. So. Not. Intothatanymore.
Not Little Miss Sunshine. It's wry, and sweet, and charming. It makes me laugh as I recall favorite moments from the film. I'm not sure if I would love it as much if I hadn't seen the movie, but that's a moot point. Oh, and if you see me squiggling down the street with a huge grin on my face, it's probably because I'm listening to "Superfreak."
$13.99 at Amazon


idea for Thanksgiving table decorations?

Glittered pumpkins. Also shown here. These would make very cute placecard holders if you slit the top of the stem and tucked a card in, or you could just arrange little pumpkins trailing down the table.


vintage umbrella loveliness

I realize this is a cross post, but I thought this picture fit in here. This is the vintage umbrella that I bought off ebay a few weeks ago; I'm completely enamoured of it. I keep hoping it will rain so I can carry it! The only way things could be better is if it matched my rainboots. Anyway, besides using it in the rain, I'm thinking it will make a fabulous prop for photo shoots.

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat

Maybe it was the snowflakes drifting down this morning, maybe it's the fact that I'm starting to kick into overdrive on the gift-acquiring end of things, but it's getting to be that time of year when one has to figure out the perfect present for everyone on your list. I've found a few spots that might help you along.

  • Jansdotter.com has some lovely, well-designed items for the home and the closet. I'm especially entranced by the tissue-box cover. I hate tissue boxes, so I never keep those handy things around. But that? Just might make me change my position. (I wouldn't think it would be that difficult to make, either.)
  • Inspire company, besides having a charming site, has some lovely gifty ideas. Although some of their things are a bit twee, who wouldn't like the toile notes or coral necklace. And I want the birthday ring!
  • I just found out about my bonnie and clyde today, but I'm already addicted, I think. It's all indie artists and crafters. Check out the blackbird pillow, chaos lamp, and the nanette clutch. I think Porkchop might need that last one.
  • These images are almost enough motivation for me to learn to crochet. Wouldn't they be fabulous stocking stuffers for small people?
  • And then, if all else fails, there's always Amazon. If you can find their wishlist, you're home free! Personalize a book by wrapping it creatively, and you're guaranteed a gift that they'll like.

I just realized that most of these gifts are very feminine. I'll have to come up with some things angled toward the testosteron-laden gender. I post them as soon as I think of some creative ideas...which I desperately need. (Have I mentioned that it's very tricky for gift-giving when you've grown up in a family of mostly girls and marry into a family of mostly guys? Very tricky, indeed.)



This magazine cover looks like it will be cool. What is up with me and miniatures? I'm also loving these creative uses for everyday objects. Especially numbers 2, 6, and 21. But number 15? What on earth???


today I like

- this video. It makes me think of my sisters. The title, I mean. And the video is weirdly cool. I want to be a little green man!
- chocolate lace
- 25 most stylish films of all time. This is on GQ, so it's about men's fashion, but it's still fabulous. I might have to adapt some of these ideas for le husband.
- Alexander McQueen fashion shows. Amazing.
- Kristan Cunningham. I'm not sure where I heard about her, but flipping through some of her ideas can be very inspiring on a practical level.

Coming soon: pictures of all my thrifted treasures today, including a lovely brown and cream tweed that is COVERING my loveseat! Hooray!


so I'm a little bit of a nerd

I taught the family how to play "dig" the other night. Gratifyingly, they were soon as addicted as I. I still won, but only because I have years of practice playing against the mastery of my aunts at family gatherings. So in my mind, the only thing better than a scrabble necklace would be scrabble throw pillows. And those? Would be extreme awesomeness. I think I'm going to make some. Can you imagine the fun that guests will have spelling messages on the couch? I think I'll make them double-sided, too, for twice the fun.
I'm thinking that if I applique the letters on using black felt on a cream felt background, it will be easier to keep those clean lines. I can then embroider the numbers down in the corner. Or would it be easier to paint it all on?
Suggestions? (In case you can't tell, I'm completely enamoured of this idea.)

a little bit prairie?

mixng patternsThis was an attempt to combine patterns--the varied stripes of the sweater with the polkadots of the skirt. I'm not a huge fan of how it turned out; I felt fairly dumpy most of the day. Maybe I needed a belt? I was thinking about adding another print in the form of a blouse, but I chickened out and went with a plain white tee. I think the print would have worked better; sometimes going over the top is just perfect.
shirt, sweater, skirt: thrifted
red tights: walmart clearance (50 cents!)
boots: ebay

so apparently I'm obsessed with all food

Not just Thanksgiving food. Because right now I think this food art is super cool, and I want a sandwich ring.


getting ready for thanksgiving

We're having it at our apartment this year, cramming in 13 people and one huge turkey. (The dog has to stay home.) I'm excited, and am making lists of all the yumminess I want to include. Angel biscuts, creamed spinach, glazed brussels sprouts. Corn pudding? I love it, but will anyone else? Stuffing, of course. But what kind? Not oyster stuffing--I hate it. But should there be nuts and dried fruit, like martha stewart's recipie? Or should I stick with onions? And what about appetizers? Ah, the delightful flurry of decisions that comes with throwing a party. I'm also looking at this as an excuse to covet buffalo-printed disposable coasters, more white dishware, salt cellers, and new napkin rings. Oh the bright side, aren't we all glad I'm not clamoring for lip-print plates?


I've been...

- working on putting together an official site. This is temporary until I get something better.
- watching Breakfast at Tiffany's. Lovely, lovely clothes/furniture/titles (on the DVD).
- listening to Yewknee's Halloween mix.
- reading In Cold Blood. Fabulous.
So that's why I've not been around.


a visual feast

On reading through my feeds, I managed to collect several sites that feature photography, and the portfolio of one man who makes lovely...sculptures? I suppose that's what they are.
  • downfloat fotographie. Love the site design as well as the images.
  • julia fullerton-batten. The teen girl photos are intriguing.
  • the classic: Robert Capa's D-Day photos. I saw these on display at the Smithsonian a couple of years ago, and the story is so incredible. What's amazing is how few of the images survived.
  • bookcut. These sculptures are so lovely--a combination of books and art. I am spending entirely too much time going through the images.


so everyone looked at this outfit and burst out laughing

perfect for a rainy day And it's not because I had that expression on my face all day, because I didn't. But that's ok, because I love my boots and they make me smile, too. I made sure to go jump in the fountain over lunch.
You either love or hate this outfit.
Black leather jacket: thrifted
hot pink silk tank: thrifted
black vintage slip (as dress): vintage shop
black lace-trimmed slip: thrifted?
black and white striped socks: gift
pink rain boots: gift
exceedingly dorky expression: all my own


the art and craft of entertaining

by Kimberly Kennedy, $17.16 from Amazon
I picked this book up from the library yesterday, and I'm quite enjoying it. While I can't imagine spending as much time preparing for a party as she does (I get the general impression she's a stay-at-home wife but I could be wrong; she might be one of those superwomen we all envy), she has some lovely ideas, including plenty of recipes and step-by-step instructions for simple, classy favors, invitations, and decorations. She reminds me of a young, citified version of Martha Stewart with much better hair.
The photos in this book are lovely, glowing warm with color and showing stunning details. All in all, it's a good read.

in lieu of whining

redboots Inspired by all the loveliness that I've been posting here, as well as the beautiful pictures others have shared, I'm determined to put some effort into our apartment instead of letting it remain the black hole of nothingness. I began by rasterbating the photo on the left, and am currently debating wether to hang it on the wall next to our fireplace (where you see it when you walk in the door) or around the corner, where it might be more difficult to see the pattern since you can't back up as far. I'll consult with le husband and see if he has any brilliant ideas.
I went on a wishing expedition at Ikea, and I've come up with a list that I think remotely approaches practical. We've been thinking about getting a folding screen for one end of the living room, to block my computer area from view and to make the living seem a little smaller. (Right now it verges on cavernous, even with a sofa AND loveseat AND piano. But we were having trouble finding a screen I liked in our price range(they're just so floofy and decorative, and I hate stuff that is merely decorative, photos being the exception) plus we always need more bookshelves, so I think I have le husband convinced that this shelf will make a good room divider. In the black-brown? I'll put books and heavy stuff on the bottom, and use the top shelves for maybe filing/storage boxes and more framed photos. Then I want a flokati rug to throw in front of the sofa and make more of an "area" instead of a "piece of furniture plunked down in the middle of a vast sea of ugly tan carpet." And finally, we're planning on getting the malm bedframe. Before you say anything--yes, I'm aware that Ikea is not the best quality. I'm also aware that there are some that believe that you should only buy really good quality and the thing you really like. Well, it's a nice theory, but since the next bed I like costs about 14 times more and the bed he likes costs about 8 times more and this is one of the few we agree on and we're currently sleeping with the mattress on the floor? I'll take el cheapo, thanks.
Next on the list: finding a slipcover for a camelback sofa.


today's gorgeousness

I've been trying to get inspired to work on decorating our apartment, but it's just not working. At this point I consider it a victory if I'm caught up on laundry and dishes at the same time. But seeing others' houses and lovely pictures makes me want to do something--anything--to improve our living space. Today's links will hopefully push me in that direction, or else just give me beauty to feast my eyes one. Happiness.
  • polaroid panoramas. I love these. They make me want to dance happily.
  • romanian stencil archive. Ok, so I can't stencil the walls. That doesn't mean I can't use these concepts on tshirts or throw pillows or! Oh! I like this one! Maybe a giant stenciled image on a huge canvas that I prop over the fireplace?
  • archive of lovely, inexpensive art. Really good prices.
  • You know, if my apartment looked half as lovely as this miniature bachelor's pad, I would be a very happy woman. And look at the white bedroom! Ok, I do NOT need another hobby to use up time. Will not even consider the idea of working on miniatures.


can't believe I want

A pair of Keds. I mean, they're Keds, people! But these are just so cute, with their little owl print. With tights? And a funky skirt? Or jeans? Yes, I know they don't have a heel, but I'm learning the utter joy of wearing flats.
The racoons and cats are equally adorable, but I don't like the fleece lining. Too reminiscent of Uggs.
From Keds, $39.99

Smith Island Cake

With two birthdays being celebrated Monday night, I was responsible to bring the cake. I wanted something special, delicious, and that they hadn't tried before. I finally decided on Smith Island Cake; it's popular in the area I'm from, but unheardof around here. There was only one problem: I'd never made one before. But that's never stopped me before! So now, without further ado, may I present le cake!
smith island cake::the process Smith Island 10-Layer Cake
2 boxes Duncan Hines butter cake mix
2 sticks butter
8 eggs
1 12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix evaporated milk and enough whole milk to make 2 3/4 cups of batter. Pour cake mix, eggs, butter, vanilla and half of the milk mixture into a large bowl. Stir very slowly to blend. Mix on low speed for approximately 5 minutes, and add the rest of the whole milk. Blend on medium-high speed for 10 minutes or until batter is a smooth cake consistency.

Spray 9-inch cake pans. Spread 1 cup cake batter into pans evenly. Bake 10 minutes. Cake will turn slightly brown and begin to release from the sides of the pan. Repeat this until you have 10 layers.
smith island cake
2 sticks butter
2 1/2-ounce cans evaporated milk
8 heaping tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 pounds confectioners sugar

Directions: Melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in evaporated milk. Whisk in cocoa until smooth, return to heat and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Do not boil or scorch. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in confectioners' sugar. Cook slowly until thickened and mixture sticks to the back of a spoon or whisk. Frosting will form a ribbon when you drizzle a spoonful of the mixture. Allow to cool before frosting cake. To ice cake, spread frosting on a slightly cooled cake layer. Add crushed candy (Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, Milky Ways or other favorite). (This step is optional.) Repeat process for all 10 layers. Do not add candy to final layer. Finish frosting the top and sides of cake. Enjoy!


she wore a red headband

what she wore on Sunday
Not one of my favorite looks, but everyone else seemed to love it. I think the red lipstick helped.
red sweater: The Limited
black boucle skirt: the Gap
white collared shirt: thrifted
black patterned hose: Ebay
black snakeskin-patterned boots: Ebay
red headband: thrifted



I should have more pictures up later. I made a Smith Island Cake this weekend, so I'll get pictures of all its lovely layers when we cut it at birthday celebrations tonight. Also pictures of my (horrendously boring but everybody loved) outfit from yesterday.


inexpensive wall art

Over at Rag and Bone the suggestion has been posted to cover blank canvases with yuzen paper and hang them on the wall. As you can seen from the accompanying photograph, the effect is quite charming. I browsed around for an online source for these papers, and found this seller. Although the sheets are smaller than some, I like the fact that the papers come in packs of the same color family, but not the same print. I can see covering four small canvases and hanging them in a square or row, especially on a colored wall. Especially since it's such a simple idea, the colors could even be changed out seasonally.


even I have boring days

what she wore I've been getting comments that I need to post more outfit pictures. Well, I've been pretty boring lately, so I tried to jazz things up with the pose. Do you know how hard it is to time a jump to your camera's self timer?
black tshirt: gap
lavender hoodie: target
black leather jacket: thrifted
silver belt: thrifted
jeans: plato's closet
diesel sneakers: DSW
silver necklaces (unseen): thrifted

lovely shoes

lovely shoes
The last gasp of summer shoes. (Let's not examine the difference between the thickness of my legs and hers.)


miss smith, take a message

I've been entranced with these lovely, brightly colored office goods from KnockKnock for some little while. There's no reason to have icky yellow legal pads; why not surround yourself with beautiful, practical, well-designed things that make you smile? I, for one, get more work done. (Well, we'll say that. Ignoring, of course, the fact that I might spent my workday ooh-ing and aah-ing over their loveliness. Also ignoring the fact that I don't really use that many legal pads. But I might! And if I did, I would want them to be well-designed!)
In other news, I am completely inspired when I click through the entries to Apartment Therapy's "I've Got Color" contest. I especially like the hot pink and red drama, the black fireplace, and the lime green wall with the yellow painting. That's awesome.
Oh, and since the youngest brother-in-law owns every other moderately priced Lego set, can we just get him this instead? He could make his own! And if we throw in some food coloring, he could have custom colors.


the joys of irresponsiblibility, part deux

lasted thrifted treasures
From left: vintage Christmas tree ornaments, fifty cent formal, vintage pattern, fifty cent tshirts.


tiny coolness

I'm not sure why miniature things are so fascinating, but there are. Check these out. And now, I actually get to relax with le husband with no projects hanging over me!. I'm tempted to use italics AND bold to communicate the enormous wonderfulness of that.

wonderful mind-expandingness

Or something like that. I've recently become addicted to craft lit, which is a literature podcast for crafty types. Fortunately, you don't have to be a crafty type to enjoy it. It's created by a woman named Heather, who seems to be quite addicted to classic books. I'm not sure if it's something she's studied extensively, but she definitely has more than a passing acquaintence with good books, and she shares her excitement with her listeners. For the past few weeks we've been listening to selected short stories (we finished Pride & Prejudice before that), and I'm enjoying listening to stories I've already heard as well as meeting new authors. This week was "The Yellow Wallpaper," and it's fabulously creepy. I've posted a bit of it below, but really, read the whole thing. Or better yet, listen to it over at Craft Lit.

I wish I could get well faster. But I must not think about that. This paper looks to me as if it knew what a vicious influence it had! There is a recurrent spot where the pattern lolls like a broken neck and two bulbous eyes stare at you upside down. I get positively angry with the impertinence of it and the everlastingness. Up and down and sideways they crawl, and those absurd, unblinking eyes are everywhere. There is one place where two breadths didn't match, and the eyes go all up and down the line, one a little higher than the other. I never saw so much expression in an inanimate thing before, and we all know how much expression they have!

the joys of being irresponsible

Yesterday morning when I got to work I learned that I only had to work a half day. I was quite delighted since it meant I could spend the afternoon catching up on things that didn't happen over the weekend, things like grocery shopping and finishing photo projects (only one left to edit! hooray!). But then I realized that my favorite thrift store was having 50 cent monday, and I hadn't been to that in months (since I started working) and I was faced with an important choice: working diligently in front of a computer, or rummaging through heaps of dusty, musty clothes and housewares. Well, duh! Of course I picked the thriftstoring, and my labors were not in vain. I walked away with this really random space shuttle necklace, a white transferware bowl, a dress pattern from the fifties (in my size!), a red formal that I'm going t recut for Elissa, and, the piece de resistance: a huge pile (more than 100, I'm sure) of vintage glass christmas balls in the champagne and silver that we used last year. For $4. I was so happy on that last one that I had to call the husband and gurgle estatically. I'll post pictures later, I think.

today I love

  • Shoe storage. There's the pretty option, and the practical option. Seeing as the difference is $15 per pair? I'll take the latter.
  • Beautiful wallpaper. If only I didn't live in an apartment....
  • Cool paintings. I love idea of painting tons of circles on tons of canvases; it would be a relatively cheap way to cover your walls. I'll put that on my list of things to do when I have time, which will hopefully be in the next decade or three.
  • Party in my Tummy by Yo Gabba Gabba. Guaranteed to make you laugh.
  • hand painted parasols. I've been wanting one of these; I think they would make a great prop for photo shoots. But I'll try to find them locally first. I also want the panda chopsticks. And the ladybug hairties, although the pucca ties are cute, too. I can see myself going crazy on this site for stocking stuffers.