Friday, November 30, 2012

fill-in-the-blank friday

Hi there, ladies and gents (...mostly ladies, I get the feeling).
I hope you've had a wonderful week, and that you're enjoying an exciting Friday night, whatever that means to you.  To me, it means getting into my pajamas and drinking a laughably huge cup of tea.
Here are this week's blanks!

1. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is..." by giving handmade gifts.  I LOVE doing this.  I think it means so much to give someone a little bit of yourself by putting time into creating something just for them.  And nobody else in the world will have quite the same thing!  But on a smaller scale, just smiling at someone when you cross paths and being a little extra-kind to people is a great way to spread the spirit of the holiday season.

2. The holiday season is one of my favorite times of the year.  I love when decorations seem to magically spring up overnight, and Christmas music is playing, and it becomes perfectly acceptable to walk down the street clutching a steaming mug of hot chocolate in mitten-clad hands--- ahem.  Can you tell I like the holidays?

3. When it comes to holiday decorating I go for cozy, rustic decorations with some subtle sparkle.  And twinkle lights!  Lots and lots of twinkle lights.  This is the first Christmas in four years that I haven't been decorating a dormitory hallway as an RA, which is kind of weird.  Although there also won't be anyone drunkenly pulling my peppermint-candy wreath off my door and throwing it down the hallway, so that's a plus.  

4. The thing I look forward to most about the holidays is oyster stew.  No kidding.  On Christmas Eve, we have (an amazing) dinner with my dad's side of the family, including oyster stew.  My dad used to be in charge of making it, and last year my brother took over (I cried, naturally.  Sad tears and happy tears.).  It is the most delicious food in existence, and even the thought of making it on a day besides Christmas Eve is totally baffling to me-- so I am super excited for Christmas Eve.

5. My favorite holiday tradition is spending time with my brother on Christmas Eve morning-- every year, we went to the diner in our hometown with my dad (while my mom finished wrapping our presents, in retrospect) and listened to Christmas music on the jukeboxes in every booth.  My dad and my brother always had French onion soup, and I had rice pudding, and then we went for a walk around the park.  Last year, my brother and I couldn't quite bring ourselves to go to the diner, but we did go have soup at the local Chinese restaurant for lunch and went for a stroll through town. 

6. My favorite holiday food is ...oh, I kind of took care of this one with the oyster stew answer... Well, my other favorite holiday food is cookies!  I love making them-- it's going to be the first Christmas making them without my grandmother, which will be rough.  It was our tradition to watch The Sound of Music while we made a zillion varieties of cookies and sometimes 'danced gracefully' to the musical numbers.  It was a blast.  Last Christmas, when my grandmother wasn't well, my mom and I situated her in a chair at her dining room table between us as we made cookies and she told us about Christmases when she was growing up.  It's such a special memory to me.  Anyway.  Cookies.  My favorites are oatmeal-butterscotch, chocolate with mint chocolate chips, and classic sugar cookies.

Have a wonderful rest-of-your-day!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Hi friends, I hope you're having a wonderful week!
Here are a few snapshots from my life lately.

autumn trees\
the last of the autumn leaves, bright in the afternoon sun

dried autumn hydrangeas flowers
hydrangeas-- not so colorful anymore, but still beautiful

siamese cat beekeeper's quilt hexipuff
Bucky snatched a hexipuff from my busy bee blanket.  He's really, really possessive of it.

cute yellow house cottage
This is my dream house.  And I saw it after having a pumpkin pancake with custard and cinnamon, so the whole morning was just perfect.

Have a beautiful day!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

on the needles: busy bee blanket

Hello, and happy Sunday!

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
I'm still knitting away on my busy bee blanket-- I'm up to 77 puffs!

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
Here's one of my favorite little clusters.

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
I just made this strawberry puff yesterday-- The seeds are actually tiny seed beads.  It's one of my favorites so far!

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
These striped puffs are the colorful single-ply left over from this yarn, navajo plied (3-plied with itself).  

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
And here's the whole blanket so far!  
It's about 19" by 22" at the moment, and I think I'm going to start joining the hexipuffs together when it's about three times as long and twice as wide.  I still have a long way to go on it, especially since I'm not planning on knitting exclusively on the blanket for the entire time.  But the process is just as fun as the finished blanket will be.

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs busy bee blanket knit
I hope you're having a wonderful day-- It's snowing here!  Yay!

just a reminder-- you can get 20% off all purchases from my etsy shop by entering the code 'blackfriday2012' at checkout through Monday!  there are lots of pretty flower crowns and bobby pins and cards and notebooks that make perfect gifts for loved ones...or for yourself!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

happy thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US!
And to my international friends, I hope you have a wonderful Thursday.

I am so thankful for every single one of you, and for my wonderful family and friends.

Get 20% off in my etsy shop through Monday by entering the code 'blackfriday2012' at checkout!  This can also be applied to custom orders placed through Monday-- just send me an Etsy conversation.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

moonpie shawl

Good morning!  Or afternoon or evening, whenever you're reading this. 
Today I want to share with you my finished Moonpie Shawl. (You can read about my progress here.)
citron grand shawl moonpie jill draper
I'm so pleased with how this shawl came out.  It's soft and light and airy, but warm, too.  And knitting with my own handspun always feels extra-special.

moonpie shawl citron grand handspun
It's also huge!  I didn't even block it out as intensely as I could have, because I didn't want to lose the ruffled effect.  (For non-knitters, blocking is when you hand-wash a finished knitted object in wool-wash,  then pin it out to the size you want it on a flat surface to dry.)

moonpie shawl citron grand handspun
I'm looking forward to lots of cozy evenings snuggled up in this shawl with a cup of tea.  I love that it can also be worn like a scarf-- perfect for chilly days or overly aggressive air conditioning.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, November 19, 2012

much love, monday

Well, hello there.
I hope you had a lovely, relaxing weekend, full of just the right balance of friend-time and alone-time.
Here's what I love this week.

muse fairy tiny studio
my tiny studio muse fairy
this adorable muse fairy from My Tiny Studio

owl and tree couple tattoo
these sweet wedding tattoos
knit bird peter pan collar
this Orla Kiely peter pan collar

twig branch fairy light snowflake
these magical twig snowflake lights

pomme de pin cardigan
pomme de pin cardigan
this cozy sweater-- I'm spinning yarn for this right now, in the softest hot cocoa-colored alpaca

whistler the artist in his studio crop 1865
this crop from James Whistler's "The Artist in His Studio," 1865

 Have a beautiful day!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

feeling nest-y

Hi, and happy Saturday!
Every year around this time, I start getting really inspired to decorate.  As it gets chillier, I'm naturally indoors much more, and when I am outside, I love coming in to a cozy home.  So today I want to share some of my favorite decorating ideas and items!

gold dot shower curtain
I lovvvve this gold dotted curtain by Kontextür.  It's been on my 'nesting' board on Pinterest for ages, and it's so ethereal and playful! (But let's be serious-- will I be spending a hundred and fifty dollars on a shower curtain?  Gosh no, I will not.  I will be DIY-ing this for under twenty.  It's discs of gold taffeta sandwiched between a layer of tulle and a layer of organza.  Easy-peasy.)

green cabinet
I think painting a smallish piece is such a clever way to introduce a bold color while keeping the space feeling airy and light.

bathroom shelf medicine cabinet
A shelf and separate mirror instead of a medicine cabinet-- such a pretty alternative, especially when sink-side essentials are kept in sweet vintage containers.

fabric embroidery hoops
I'd love to create an embroidery hoop display with bits and pieces of vintage fabric that are too small to use for anything else, and too pretty to be hidden away in a scrap box.  (Fun fact: I actually saw this in person before Purl Soho moved to it's new location, and it was even prettier in real life!)

anthropologie who's the fairest mirror
This fairy-tale mirror is so lovely and just the right size for on top of a dresser, and the branches would double as hooks for necklaces!

bee vase

anthropologie hanging vase
I try to always have fresh flowers around.  These non-traditional vases are simple and unpretentious and charming.  How pretty would those hanging ones be in a window?

twinkle lights bed canopy
Sheer curtains over twinkle-lights give the nicest glow while hiding the wires of the lights.  I really like the idea of having curtains around a bed, making it into a cozy little nook.

I hope your weekend is off to a great start!

Friday, November 16, 2012

fill-in-the-blank friday

1. My best quality is my high energy level and productivity.  I'm always working on a zillion projects, planning and organizing and making things!

2. One of my less flattering qualities is that I'm not great at just plain relaxing.  It used to drive my mom crazy when I was home sick from school, because I don't like feeling unproductive.

3. I'd rather be decorating.  I'm feeling very nest-y lately, I think because it's getting colder outside and I want to create a cozy living space. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on decorating ideas I'd love to try!

4. Something I have been challenged with lately is cutting back on sugar.  I love hot chocolate and warm fresh-baked treats this time of year, but I also feel much better when I'm not having much sugar.  Womp womp.

5. I am looking forward to the third season of Downton Abbey!  I'm seriously emotionally invested in Mary and Matthew's relationship.  And what about Edith?  When is that poor girl going to get some male attention?  And when will she stop being such a sneaky so-and-so?

6. A super-random factoid about me is I have never had any artificial color in my hair.  No highlights, no dye, nothing.

7. I want to take a nice hot shower, get into pajamas, and knit a few hexipuffs before having my nighttime cup of tea and going to bed.

I hope you had a wonderful Friday!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


just a peek into my life lately...

lens flare
even as it gets chilly, we've still had some beautifully sunny days

garden squash
garden squash picked before the frost

red autumn leaves

yellow autumn leaves
the last leaves of autumn

hot chocolate
cozy hot chocolate on cold afternoons

Have a beautiful day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

much love monday

Happy Monday, ladies and gents!
Here are a few things I love this week.

origami dresses
these origami dresses

sew on dandelion
this beautiful photograph of dew on a dandelion

coraline mouse circus
my name as performed by the mouse circus from Coraline!

feather and flower dress
this amazing dress-- the bodice is covered in real flowers

pink globe
this peachy-pink globe from here

cat expressions
this adorable (and accurate) poster

vintage baking powder marjorie torre bevans
this 1920s advertisement for baking powder

and this fantastic video for 'Now Is the Start,' a song from the latest album by A Fine Frenzy

I hope you're having a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

on the needles: busy bee blanket

Happy Saturday!
I've been knitting away on my busy bee blanket, and I'm up to 52 hexipuffs.

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs
it's growing!  I've knitted three more hexipuffs since I took this picture yesterday.
beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs
Since it's my busy bee blanket, I naturally needed to make a bee puff!  It's one of my favorites so far.
The little guy on the left is going to be a gnome, I just need to get tiny black beads for his eyes.

beekeeper's quilt hexipuffs
And a fox puff!  I love the little black tips on his ears, and his shiny eyes.

I hope you're having a wonderful  autumn weekend!  It's chilly and gray here, so I'm going to curl up with a cup of tea and some knitting and a good book.

Friday, November 9, 2012

fill-in-the-blank friday

1. I like long car trips.  I have such happy memories of seven and eight hour drives on the way to family vacations, and of long trips on the bus of the fife and drum corps I was in with lots of wonderful friends.  Although I have to admit, I fall asleep very quickly when I'm in a moving car or bus.  ....Like, almost instantly.  It's a little ridiculous but at least I'm always well-rested by the time I get where I'm going!

2. A life goal of mine is to travel all over the world.  I want to experience as many places and cultures as I can.

3. The last thing you would expect me to like (even though I secretly do) is/are certain books that are generally thought of as being more masculine, or at least as being more appealing to a male audience.  Two of my favorite books are Catch-22, by Joseph Heller, and Steppenwolfe, by Hermann Hesse.

4. Some wise words that I love are, "And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don't believe in magic will never find it." --Roald Dahl

5. Most mornings you will find me muttering to one of my (very cute but very persistent) cats, "Bucky...stop poking me.  Stop licking me.  Go back to sleep."  He likes to wake me up by gently patting my face with his paw and licking my hand.  He'll only stop when either a) I get up and give him breakfast or b) he weasels his way under the covers to snuggle.

6. Right now I am super into cozy socks and sweaters and hot tea as it starts getting chilly.  Ooh, blankets, too.

7. Right now I am super over painting my nails.  Not that I do it often to start with.  I have many talents, but doing my nails is not one of them.  The only color I like on my nails is a dark purple-y red, but since I'm always knitting or spinning or sewing, nail polish tends to chip pretty easily, and then a dark color looks terrible.  So it's generally clear nail polish or just the snazzy buffing block for me.

I've been a busy bee and this week flew by--  hope yours was fantastic!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

one pretty thing: vintage button jar

Hi everyone!
First: American friends, have you voted yet?  If not-- stop reading this and go vote!  It'll still be here when you get back, I promise.

Anyway.  Now that we have that taken care of, I'd like to share with you part of a lovely graduation present from my best friend Marissa's family.

jar of vintage buttons
It's a jar of vintage buttons!  I love it.

jar of vintage buttons
The buttons are all different shapes and sizes and colors.

jar of vintage buttons lid top
Even the lid of the jar is pretty!  It's nice to touch, too-- it has that weathered-metal feeling.

jar of vintage buttons
I've collected vintage buttons for years, but this jar of them is special to me because it was such a thoughtful gift.  Then again, I shouldn't be too surprised-- it came from a wonderfully thoughtful family.

Have a fantastic afternoon!