Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY: Valentine's Day Wreath

Who doesn't love a seasonal wreath?  I had never made one before, but I always thought about how cute yarn covered wreaths were and such.  So as I was cleaning up this weekend, I saw a wreath mold stuck behind my desk covered in dust balls that I had bought at Target for $1 a loooong time ago and thought to myself, "Today's the day!  Today is the day I'm going to utilize that impulse buy and pretend that it was a necessary purchase all along!"  Because who doesn't sift through the dollar bin at Target and buy stuff just because it's a dollar and there is a sliver of possibility in the future that you'll use it?  I had some extra scrap paper, felt, and butcher paper that I hadn't thrown away and realized they had been saved for just such a project.  Now I could make a cute wreath and get rid of my trash in one fail swoop.  Done and done.  I wouldn't say the workmanship of this wreath is top notch, but it's kind of cute from a distance and makes me feel like I tried to decorate for the appropriate holiday.  The instructions are super easy.  Just wrap the wreath mold with whatever you have lying around, secure with hot glue, and stick something cute to the front of it.  I chose to make a fabric rosette to give it a little extra pizazz. 

I'm curious, does anyone else make impulse purchases and then find them months later collecting dust?  Do you end up using the items for projects?  Sound off in the comments below!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Dinner date

This weekend we went to dinner with my awesome brother and beautiful sister-in-law.  Can't you tell we're related?  No, you say?  He's too tan and good looking?  Well, I'd have to agree.  I always tease him for secretly going to tanning booths, but he still vehemently denies it every time.  One of these days I'll catch him.  Maybe I should just let go of my angst of being the sibling with pale, see through skin.  What was I talking about again?  Oh yeah!  Dinner!  They have two adorable little ones who my parents graciously agreed to watch so we could have a fun night on the town.  We were free to go anywhere!  Sky was the limit!  So where did we end up?  Drumroll please.......Cheddar's!  For those of you not familiar with Cheddar's, it's pretty good.  It's like an Applebee's or Chili's.  We just all laughed about it, because we're all too old to care anymore about going to the new trendy restaurant.  It didn't matter where we went, though, as long as we got to hang out.  The funny part I wanted to talk about were the drinks.  You can see in the picture above that my brother got a beer....with a straw!  Hi-larious.  Then, my sil ordered a dry martini.  We should have known something was wrong when the waitress asked if she wanted it on the rocks.  It cam over ice in a short glass.  I've never seen a martini like that before, but maybe that's the cool new way to serve it.  It sure gave us all a chuckle.  It was a blast, and I can't wait until our next dinner date.  Below is what I wore.  I'm seeing a trend now with my wardrobe.

Sweater/shirt/socks: Old Navy   Jeans: Gap   Shoes: Sperry  Specs: Ray-ban  Necklace: By me!   

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Life lately

Pretty fabric, right out of the oven cookies, and wishing it was summer already sums up my life right now.  It helps that I have an entire room that looks like it's Florida year round or I don't know what I'd do in the dead of winter.  Better keep working on that scarf.

Shop update

Just added a new necklace to my shop.   I fell in love with this salvaged fabric that I found in a little place in Lawrence, KS.  It has a lot of great colors that you wouldn't normally expect go together, but mix really well.  I know I say this every time, but this is my new favorite.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


Style is a tricky word.  I don't feel like I have a lot of style, but I do feel like I've been honing in on what I want my personal style to be.  Ok.  I'm going to throw out the word hipster.  I'm not cool enough to be a true hipster, but maybe saying I'm not cool enough there in fact makes me cool enough to be a hipster?  I may never know.  Regardless, my new glasses and recent acquisition of true skinny jeans has really brought me closer to the style I've been going for but have been too chicken until now to try out.  I like the look of boots with skinny jeans, but even though I have relatively comfortable ones, they still hurt my feet and knee after a while (yes, I'm old now and have knee problems).  So I wanted to do a rolled up jean look with argyle socks and boat shoes.  I guess my look here was more nerdy librarian, but I loved it.  Let this be a lesson to myself--have more self-confidence and wear what I like. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

This time

Saturday morning I woke up early (well early for me) and went into my craft room to knit. It was nice to just sit there peacefully, not feeling like there was anything I had to do. Not to say there wasn't a lot for me to do like clean the kitchen, mop the floors, blah, blah, blah.  But those aren't fun things, so I like to pretend they aren't necessary.  Anyway, that's what 3 day weekends are for, right? Being able to put chores off until the next day since you have one more day to finish them (but don't ask me if I accomplished everything on my to do list, because I don't want to lie to you and say I did). The sunshine streaming through the window warmed my face and tricked me into thinking it was summertime. I put on a couple records by The Lumineers and Bright Eyes and was completely content. Man, that was superb. I need to do this more so maybe I can finish my scarf before next winter.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Book Review: Red

One of the regular posts I'd like to incorporate into this blog are recaps of the books I read.  I know there are so many amazing current authors, but I've always been drawn to the early to mid-1900s writers.  My favorites include Somerset Maugham, Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, and Ayn Rand.  So those are the books I'm going to start with.  Maybe this will create a resurgence in these past greats.

Up first is a story I read from a volume of Somerset Maugham's short stories I found in a book store last year and have been slowly making my way through.  I love his short stories.  They always seem to have some sort of twist at the end that is jaw dropping, even almost 100 years after he wrote those words. 

The story is called Red and opens with a fat, old ship captain exploring an island where his ship landed.  With great effort he makes his way to a house on a hill and encounters the homeowner, a middle-aged man from Europe.  The ship captain is invited inside and is at once struck by the amount of books this man has.  The homeowner then goes on to tell the story of how he came to the island 25 years ago and about a pair of young  lovers who he has immortalized as the epitome of true love. 

I would have to say that this is my all time favorite short story by Maugham.  The way the homeowner goes on and on about the young lovers representing life's highest ideal and then the jaw dropping realization at the end makes this a can't miss.  It isn't very long but packs quite a punch. 

Verdict?  Go read it right now!

Candy Crush Saga

Has anyone else been totally taken over by the game Candy Crush?  A co-worker downloaded the game on my phone, and I can't stop playing.  Argh!  I go to sleep with visions of the different colored candies.  What makes it so alluring is that you don't have unlimited lives.  Unlike most of these types of games, Candy Crush is not all about instant gratification.  Now you could pay the $39.99 for I don't know what.  You'll probably beat the level, but what kind of satisfaction is that?  I swear they have some sort of reader that says how many times you've failed a level, because just at the point I'm about to give it up for good, I win and am drawn in to the next level.  I need to start weaning myself.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

DIY: Ferris Wheel

I've had a fascination with ferris wheels and old timey carnival themes for a while.  Put "old timey" in front of anything actually, and I'm there!  So when I thought about a 30th birthday party theme, I was natuarally inclined to sway towards a carnival.  Maybe that had something to do with all the cute pictures I had recently seen on Pinterest about carnival-themed weddings and first birthdays.  Yes, this party could have easily been a girl's first birthday, but I don't have a baby so I'll just go on record as saying it's a perfect 30th birthday theme for a lady.  But I didn't want any of that red and white mumbo jumbo.  Instead, I wanted a plethora of peaches, pinks, and aquas to meet sparkling silver and gold colors.  So now that you have the back story on why I chose the theme, you should also know that I had an unfinished ferris wheel hidden behind the couch in my craft room for about 6 months.  I had lost interest in it before, but I felt a renewed surge of energy to finish the project and make this wheel spin!.  I'm sorry I don't have better pictures of each step.  I wasn't sure if it would work out, so I didn't document the process very well along the way. 

Supplies:  Wheaties box, 2 Crystal Light canisters, and a wooden dowel.

Step 1:  I eat Wheaties every morning.  And I mean every morning.  Have I mentioned before that I am a total creature of habit?  Well, Wheaties isn't just the breakfast of champions, it also makes some pretty sweet wheels for your ferris wheel.  I cut up a Wheaties box and laid it out flat and drew a giant circle on each side, using a plate for guidance.  Then I just used a ruler to draw in the spokes of the wheel.  Using an exacto knife, I cut out the space between the spokes.
Step 2:  Then I cut holes above each spoke using an exacto knife.  These holes are what the dowel rod will fit into, so make sure they're big enough for the rod.  Also put a hole in the middle of the wheel.  Next, I spray painted the wheels.  It takes quite a few coats since one side of each wheel is covered with the Wheaties logo.  You could use a plain cardboard piece to fix that. 
Step3:  Then cut your dowel rod into equal pieces and paint if you like.  I just used a craft paint, which worked well.  Then put the painted dowel pieces into the holes you punched in Step 2.  Cut a longer piece for the hole in the middle of the wheels since that is what the ferris wheel will be resting on.
Step 4:  Now it's time to create the objects that the ferris wheel will be resting on so that it can spin.  I used 2 old cannisters of Crystal Light, but you could use anything for this as long as it keeps the wheels in the air.  I just wrapped the cannisters with tissue paper and tape/glued in place.  You're done!  You have a cool statement piece that is 100% customizable and can be fun all year round!

Friday, January 11, 2013


"Home is wherever I'm with you." I always think of that song when I think about the hubster. So glad this guy is home after being on a business trip.  Just in time to make our weekly dinner date to Chipotle. I'm especially am looking forward to it since I've had to fend for myself this week for dinner.  Yes, ladies.  I married up.  My husband likes to cook!  And he's good at it!  I didn't realize what a positive that was until he went out of town soon after we got married, and I tried to make what I had made for myself before we were married--an omelet out of egg beaters:(  It just didn't have the same pizazz. I had become accustomed to the finer things.  So now I just let him do all the cooking.

New glasses

Things look a lot clearer now. After waiting 6 weeks (a looooong time) I finally got my new glasses. They're going to take a little getting used to (look more black than tortoise), but I think I love them.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Goodbye 2012 and hello 2013

2013. It just sounds futuristic. Like we should all be driving around in floating cars. That's probably another year or two off, though. We said goodbye to 2012 with good food, good friends, and good times. As for new year resolutions, I'm going to have to do a little more soul searching. I want to blog more so that I can remember all these special moments that pass by so quick. And I want to knit a scarf. And learn how to sew on an actual sewing machine. I guess there are some good ones right there. So here's to 2013!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


The hubster's birthday was last week, and we went up to Iowa where is family is to celebrate. His brothers surprised him with a limo on Saturday night! Classy. We had a blast. It didn't hurt that the drinks were served with dry ice, so they smoked. Again, classy.