Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hi, welcome to my bathroom--

--and wait, when did this become a fashion blog?

Don't worry, it didn't. I just snapped these pictures as part of a little monthly event called "Charity Shop Challenge" that some ladies across the pond came up with.

I found out about it via the charming blog of Jen Collins, who also happens to be a super-talented artist & illustrator. I recently bought this lovely Scottish wildlife print from her and can't wait to display it, just as soon as I procure the right size frame (apparently, Target induces this weird neurological condition in me where I can never buy the correct size picture frame on the first try. I've done this three times in a row now, I think).

Anyway, since I work from home I need a little extra motivation to put on an actual Outfit in the morning (as opposed to whatever pair of saggy jeans happens to be hanging over the bed rail), and I looove thrifting, so it's a meme made in heaven as far as I'm concerned.

I'm wearing:
Black cowl-neck dress: clothing swap
Blue sweater vest: Ann Taylor Loft via thrift, $6.99
Teal leggings: Forever 21 (and they suck, honestly)
Brown boots: Born
Wooden bangle (that miraculously does not fall off my laughably bird-like wrists): thrift, $2.99
Indeterminate carnivore brooch (I think it's a fox but 2 out of 3 members of my household say it's a cat): thrift, $5.99
Silk scarf: thrift, $1.99
Cat hair on sweater: c/o Buster, free


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Even after all these years, Mom still knows the way to my heart

Look what my mom sent me in a Valentine's package last week, along with a whole batch of totally deadly oatmeal/raisin/chocolate chunk cookies.

A tablecloth given to her by my great-aunt Frances:

And two aprons made by my great-aunt Evelyn. My mom remembers her doing the stitching on them in the early '60s:

And how clever is this? Negative-space cross-stitch hearts:

I want to try that myself!

Then I called to thank her and she said, "Really? You don't mind that I send you my junk?"

Oh, Mommy. You silly goose.

Monday, February 14, 2011


Happy Valentine's Day! Or as the Swedes would have it, Happy "All Hearts' Day," which I think is a sweet and lovely way to put it.

This year I played around with embroidery on paper. For far-away loves, some bits from an atlas (photocopied and then copied again until the right size), with an arrow stitched between our cities:


Inspired by

And for my main squeeze:

Inspired by this pillow made by Sarah of The Small Object--but I figured peanut butter and jelly wasn't quite quirky enough to capture what we have.  Mmm, peanut butter and pickle: it sounds so wrong but it tastes so right, and that about sums it up I'd say. (Plus, I like the double meaning: when I'm in a pickle, as I so often am, here he comes to fortify me, just like peanut butter.)

How I wish I'd drawn that pickle just an eighth of an inch higher--but hey, I never claimed to be perfect, so I guess my Valentines aren't going to be either. I'm pretty tickled by those French knot warts though!

Wishing an evening full of love to all you lovely hearts.

Friday, February 4, 2011

By Request

...nope, not the puppet patterns (yet!) but something more urgent. A friend asks for:

"Quick and easy Valentines a preschooler (and his well-meaning but lazy mother) can make for his 16 classmates. Preferably more creative than your standard construction paper and doilies."

How about construction paper and random items from the produce aisle?

I've seen stamps made of vegetables here and there lately and wanted to try it myself. Ignore that head of lettuce there above; it didn't quite work out. Instead I ended up with a starfruit star and a celery stem rose.

So cut some hearts out of construction paper.

Put a stamp on each heart.

Since the stamps are a little, uh, abstract--and have a tendency to go even further in that direction when a preschooler is in charge--I made little drawings to help solidify the stamps' rose and star identities.

Add a sweet star- or flower-related saying and that's it!

Seriously, this project took more time to blog than to execute. Which incidentally meant that it was just right for my kid's attention span. She was delighted with it.

If produce stamps aren't your speed, there are tons of free printable Valentines out there:

Color Theory Valentines from Mer Mag

Love Mail Valentines from Noodlehead

Class Party Valentines from One Charming Party (via 17 Dove Street)

Looking for more Valentine ideas? Check out my Valentine board on Pinterest. (Though it turns out that few of those ideas are truly quick & easy...which must explain why the house belonging to well-meaning but lazy me currently features the wintry dregs of Christmas and a couple of bedraggled paperwhites.)

Happy Hearting!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

True Love

I sent these Owl & Pussycat hand puppets as a gift to a friend's toddler son a while back. (My friend loves the Edward Lear poem, and I found a copy illustrated by Jan Brett--one of my favorites. I modeled the puppets after Brett's stately owl and soft gray feline.)

I have it on good authority that the puppets also work well as slippers. And oven mitts. (Or as somebody calls them around here, "gloving mitts.") So, very useful indeed!

I hesitate to even say this, and I'm not making any promises about the timing, but would anybody be interested in a pattern for these two?