Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Christmas gift I'm most excited about!

Most years, I hesitate to name any one gift as my favorite... not this year! Although I love the royal blue Rachel Ray cookware set I got from my mom, nothing could compare to what my husband bought me:



Introducing my new best friend - the Canon Rebel T3 - my first DSLR! I just got it yesterday, and I have a lot of learning to do with it. I'm starting by reading the instruction manual entirely - something I wish I'd done with my Fuji since I probably never knew half of what that camera could do.

I think it's ironic how the two shots that are possibly the last from my Fuji FinePix S700 are some of the best it's taken lately - it had my new homemade lightbox to help, but still, those are the raw photos, no editing whatsoever.

Did you get anything exciting for Christmas?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday favorites Dec. 16

I promise one of these days I'll get back to blogging something besides my Friday favorites. It's been a bit of a crazy week at work with the ad designer out sick for three days and having to do her work plus my own and then having to put together the Christmas edition.

But for now, some things I found to love on Etsy this week:

Gorgeous candle holders from blueroompottery. Love the color, and I'm obsessed with candle holders that throw shapes or colors on the surroundings.

Exquisite Andalusian drawing from EquineTreasures.

A super neat horse shoe star from BurdetteIronworks. I've seen lots of things made from horse shoes, but never anything like this.

From Pinterest:
Peppermint swirl cookies - I have so many Christmas treats made already, but I might have to make time for one more - only three ingredients too!
How to protect your camera in cold weather - I never would've even thought about condensation inside a camera, but it sure is easy to protect it.
Sesame chicken recipe - I LOVE sesame chicken, but there's really only one place I can get it, and it's 45 min. away and drowning in grease. Now I can make it myself and maybe make it a bit healthier.


I've been collecting a lot of Christmas goodie recipes this year. If you have any good ones, I'd love to have them!



Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Favorites Dec. 9

From Etsy:

Horse-shaped soap from Melsfunsuds - how neat is this? I'm amazed at how detailed and real looking they are - I thought it was a plastic model!

This white chocolate hot cocoa from tetoncocoacompany sounds especially good today since the temperature outside is ZERO!

This unique ponytail holder from Vacationhouse would be great to make an everyday ponytail a little special.


From Pinterest:
Beginner DSLR buyer's guide - Oh, so helpful since I'm starting to save/look for a DSLR!
Getting great color in your photos - Can't wait to be able to experiment with these.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday favorites Dec. 2

Wow, can you believe it's December already? I sure can't. I've started playing Christmas music and doing some Christmas baking, but I think until I get the tree up, it won't really hit. It also doesn't help that merely a week ago, I was walking around outside barefoot - that just doesn't happen in Minnesota.

A couple new Etsy favorites:

Rustic wreath from WildRidgeDesign. I love that it would work for so many seasons - Christmas, fall, Valentine's day, heck, add some white and blue ribbons, and it'd be 4th of July!

Some beautiful Friesian horse artwork from JoanneKilner. I love the composition, the simplicity, and the depth of that eye.


What I'm loving on Pinterest this week:
I want this menu planning board!
This is a genius idea - a cutting board right above the garbage.
These garlic knots look so yummy!
A huge list of good ideas.
A simple tool to help with hanging frames.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Craft it Forward

Sorry for the absence lately. November was a crazy month. I was out of town two whole weekends, and another was Thanksgiving of course, leaving only a single weekend free. We also just went through computer problems and then updates at work, so my computer has been down and/or being worked on, and I usually get a large part of my blogging done during my lunch breaks.

I'm working on some Project Pinterest projects including a lot of Christmas baking, and I'll be posting some about that in the coming weeks.

In the meantime - a post I started almost a month ago but never quite finished...

Perhaps you've heard of Craft it Forward - receiving a handmade item from someone and, in return, sending something handmade yourself to five others.

I received an adorable fabric flower clip from Tweal (blog or Etsy shop) several weeks ago. I'm ashamed to say it's taken me that long to get this post up, but since I finally have something resembling a light box, I finally got some halfway decent photos which is hard to do when I'm leaving for work in the dark and coming home in the dark.

Would you like to participate? I still have openings for people who'd like to receive something handmade from me. All you have to do is shoot me an email telling me you're interested or leave a comment with your email address and I'll email you (you will have to provide your mailing address, so we'll have to deal through email). 
Then you spread the word and find five people to send your own handmade items to. Even if you don't have a blog, you can still take part. I've seen people posting about craft it forward on Facebook and other social media.
Let's craft it forward!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Favorites Nov. 18

This belly dancing costume from PoisonBabe is my color palette. You could not possibly choose a combination of colors that I like more.

I'd love to add this Christmas carousel horse from AzEmbroideryBarn to my decorations this year!

Another horse's eye - this one from cindypriceart.


From Pinterest:
Banana ice cream - Not banana flavored - made from bananas! Going to have to try this and see if it's actually any good. You have to scroll down the page a little ways to get to the recipe.
Great quote - to inspire me to watch what I eat.
Peppermint star - gorgeous!
Lazy girl's apple pie - my husband LOVES apple pie, but I despise making it (if I'm going through all the work of pie, I'm going to make pecan!)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Birthday favorites 11/11/11

I'm not one of those people turning 11 today, but I still get to claim to celebrate a birthday on 11/11/11.

From Etsy this week, a few things I'd be thrilled to receive as gifts:

Love the colors in this fantasy photograph from DovieMoon - would go great in my future peacock-colored studio.

I love horses' eyes, and this equine eye photograph from theartofequus is no exception.

On the same note, a horse's eye painting from RobyBaer.

And a beautiful journal or sketchbook from MusedBooks.

From Pinterest:
Garlic Parmesan Fries - I've never liked making fries at home - they're just not the same - but these are AMAZING!
Curl your hair with a sock - for those people, like me, whose hair doesn't set well with heat, now curls are available instead of just waves.
Peppermint Bark Snowflake cookies - these have got to be the prettiest cookies I've ever seen.
Cookie cutter gifts - Bake brownies or make fudge right in cookie cutters, decorate, and give as gifts.
Easy way to transfer designs - just use newspaper!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday favorites Nov. 4

Found on Etsy this past week:

Fantastically beautiful photograph from bomobob.

Girls, is this not the neatest idea ever? A keepsake sketch of your wedding gown from MeganHamilton.

I can't believe this tiger pastel drawing from autumnlaneartistry isn't a photograph!

This cowboy keepsake box from TheJunkRanch would be perfect in my western bathroom!

Favorites from Pinterest this past week:
This pumpkin vase centerpiece is gorgeous.
I'm going to have to start something like this "I love you because" board for my husband. Such a great way to show you care.
These raspberry almond bars look divine!
I am so excited to be able to stop spending the money on and consuming the fat of cream of "something" soups!
Chicken pot pie is definitely one of my favorite comfort foods.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Project Pinterest

I swear, I had this idea first!

No seriously, I've been thinking I needed to do at least one project from Pinterest each month, but Katie Lloyd Photography's blog is kicking me into gear.

Problem is... now I can't decide which one to do!

Finally really learn to bake bread?

Make a lightbox - another thing I've been meaning to do?

Reorganize the silverware drawers?

"Pretty-fy" the plastic drawers in my studio?



Finally create the canopy bed I've always dreamed of?


Or forever be rid of the mess that is my pots/pans and lids cupboard?


Which one(s) would you like to see me do first?


Are you on Pinterest? Join the fun!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween: How I made my gypsy costume for cheap

I finally have my gypsy Halloween costume pretty much finished. I've been assembling it piece by piece for about seven years now.

I still want to find a billowy white long-sleeved shirt and some petticoats to give more flare to the skirt, and I have to tailor the vest a little since it's too big (it's the most recent piece, and I ran out of time with it), but overall, it's pretty complete.

Quick run down of how I did it:
Head scarf - scrap of purple jersey fabric from a shirt that was too big. $0
Forehead jewel - a bolo tie from a rummage sale. I slid the jewel all the way to the center and tied the ends behind my head. The head scarf covers the knot. ~50¢
Hair - washed the night before, braided in 8-10 tight braids, and left to dry at least 12 hours to make tight waves; scrap lengths of colored ribbon tied in near the scalp. $0
Earrings - clearance at Claire's. ~$4
Undershirt - from my closet. $0
Vest (see DIY below) - made from a thrifted vest. $6 vest, ~$3 embellishments and notions
Sky blue scarf around waist - wedding gift. $0
Teal & black scarf around waist - Goodwill. ~$1
Skirt (see DIY below) - made from Goodwill skirt and fabric. ~$2 skirt, ~$2.50 fabric
Shoes - (usually) black suede fringed moccasins from my closet. $0
Total cost: around $19

Making the skirt
This was the first piece of the costume I made. I started with a narrow almost-pencil skirt. It had six separate panels, and along each of these seams, I cut a slit to about six inches from the waistband.
I bought a couple yards of fabric from the Walmart clearance rack and cut from it six tall, narrow triangles the height of the slits in the skirt by about eight inches across the bottom. I sewed one triangle into each slit in the skirt.
I cut the remaining fabric into lengths about six inches wide and sewed them together into one long length. I loosely basted one edge and gathered it to the same length as the circumference of the hem of the skirt and then sewed it on.

Making the vest:
(Please forgive the red-toned photos. I had one evening to do this, and I discovered that photographing red clothing in my lighting doesn't work the best.)

 I started with this:
The best I could find at the thrift store was a zip-up collared vest a size too large, but I decided to see what I could do with it.
First, I put on the vest inside out and with a quilting pen (the kind that disappears on its own), I drew a line under the bust where I wanted the vest to end. I then cut along this line to a point about 1.5 inches from the arm hole. I then continued cutting along the arm hole to the shoulder seam.

Here's what I had at that point:
Next, lined up the sides of the zipper, so I had the cut side laying atop the uncut side as pictured above. I traced the cut I'd made onto the uncut side, and cut along those lines.

 That left me with this:

This is the point where I started panicking that I wouldn't finish in time, and combined with the poor quality of the lighting, I just stopped taking photos.

The next step was to decide the point at which I wanted the back neckline to be. I folded the vest in half and cut all the way across. Since the vest was too large, I cut through to the armholes, followed the 1.5 inch wide straps all the way to the cut and sewed the straps on at a point where they fit me better, but if your vest already fits, you would cut to the 1.5 inch point from the armhole, follow that up to the shoulder seam, and your straps would be complete.

At this point, I tried on the vest to make sure it fit the way I wanted. Then I used doubled-fold bias tape to finish all the raw edges I'd cut, sewed some gold ric rac on the front and tacked on the ribbon "corset". At some point, I intend to finish the vest by making the front an actual lace-up corset, but I didn't have the time this year.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Friday favorites Oct. 28

Found on Etsy this week:

Fantastic barnwood crosses from TexasTrashDecor. I collect western crosses, and this would be a perfect addition to my collection (hint hint to any family members who may be reading this!)


Very pretty wrap top from Marsilia21.

I'm a big fan of moccasins like these from MoccasinWoman.

This African print dress is so fun!

I love this western saddle painting from BrucknerCowboyArt.


Found on Pinterest this week:
Bread for beginning bakers - I've sworn off buying bread and am making it in the bread maker, but I don't like the shape it comes out, so I'm thinking about trying to make it the "real" way.
Magnetic menu planner - Such a great idea! I'm going to have to look for this "magnet paper" they talk about.
Angel food cake chunks on skewers with strawberries and drizzled with chocolate.
Homemade pizza dough - I've stopped buying pizza and have been making my own instead, but I'm still buying ready-made dough. Going to have to take the next step.
Start each day new - great quote.


My weekend plans include the wedding of two friends and a mini getaway with my husband. We finished up harvest this week, and I'm desperately in need of some time with him. He's been coming home after I'm asleep and leaving before I'm up in the morning (he can run on 6 hours of sleep, but I need 8).

Halloween will be Monday, but I already dressed up in my costume two weeks ago for my friend's bachelorette party, and I have no reason to wear it again this weekend. That's one thing that really stinks about growing up - you have to have a reason to dress in costume. I remember having a "dress-up closet" and doing it just for fun when I was a kid!

Any big plans for the weekend or Halloween? What's your favorite costume?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Favorites Oct. 21

Love the colors and Asian patterns in this quilt from DesignerDahliasEtc.

Adorable little Halloween unicorn from DragonsAndBeasties.

Beautiful dress from 8fantasie8!

One of the most beautiful ornaments I've seen! It's actually a beadweaving kit to make this ornament cover from BeadSphereJewelry.


From Pinterest:
Making a light box - I will be doing this in the near future!
Whole wheat pita recipe - I love pitas! But they are always so stiff and tear when I try to stuff them. Making my own fresh one's sounds like a much better solution.
Decorated Pringles can cookie tins - I'm thinking I found my solution to wanting to make all kinds of Christmas cookies but not daring to because I'd eat them all. Give them away! This is such a cute way to package them.
Great daily planner page - This is probably the best planner page I've found! (And believe me, I've looked at a LOT!)
And a little bit of sass! - Maybe only humorous for a woman who's tired of being asked when the babies are coming, but I think it's great!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

LEM photo challenge - anything

One of my favorite photos from my trip to Chicago this spring.

You wouldn't think a pencil artist would be so obsessed with color, would you?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...