Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dice and Dessert

I turned 21 last week, so some photos are in order! First off, I love our apartment's kitchen; checkered floors and wainscoting are the perfect backdrop for this. And of course the ice cream parlor chairs, which I don't think I've ever posted about - they're from that phase of crazy furniture refinishing circa Summer '08, that also included the dresser and the farmhouse kitchen table. They were originally chipped, lime green, Craigslist finds, but my roommate and I each refinished one in pale yellow - it was quite laborious, scraping paint off all that twisty metal, but definitely worth it. Anyway on to more birthday-ish things...The table setting was really just a gathering of odds and ends, loosely themed: decks of cards (for playing 21!), vintage buttons, dice and dominoes (as stand-ins for poker chips), an apothecary jar filled with other notions from thread to pearls, champagne flutes, striped cocktail napkins, mini strawberry shortcakes (made from upside down cupcakes + berries and cream), sparkling pink lemonade (Trader Joe's), cupcakes with pennant flag toppers (diy), bakery boxes for cupcakes to-go (Martha Stewart Crafts), ribbon "streamers" (just spools of quarter inch ribbon from Michaels), and finally my favorite part - handmade mini triangle bunting (I cut a bunch of triangles from double sided cardstock and sewed them together on the machine, it was a surprisingly quick and easy project).Have a lovely week!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Romantic Sampler

I've been inspired by the 18th century lately, which is probably a side effect of my courses this term (18th century intellectual history and women in the American colonies). I put this illustration together earlier in the week from some older drawings and a few pieces of more recent work. I wanted it to have the symmetrical, folksy qualities of a sewing sampler and of course some fashion elements reminiscent of the times. I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Bouquet Boxes: A Craft Tutorial

Hello everyone! I've been dying to share this with you and finally have it all finished up. I was thrilled when Emily, of Once Wed asked if I'd contribute craft tutorials - of course there's nothing I like more than a creative assignment. Here's what I came up with, and I think it fits in nicely with Valentine's just around the corner, with all of its pale-pinkness and doily-esque detail.
A list materials and the full, illustrated instructions can be found at Once Wed - just click the button below and you'll be on your way!
The inspiration for this project came from an antiquing trip I took with my roommate over Christmas break. We trolled booth after booth of carefully arranged vintage goods, mischievously trying on hats from the 1940s and patiently perusing stacks of old postcards. My treasures of the day were a bouquet of pale, faded pink paper posies (a few are tucked amidst craft store paper flowers above) and a pair of old, petite and delicately embroidered gloves. All so ladylike and foretelling of springtime

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Danish Treats

Hello everyone! Firstly, thank you for all the lovely comments of late - the cute remarks regarding Pete made me smile! Today I wanted to share what came in the mail last week. A Field Journal was mentioned (along with photos from this post) in the current issue of BoligLiv, a Danish home and design magazine. It was such a sweet surprise to come home from work Monday evening and find this package of goodies nestled inside our narrow mailbox. It's a lovely magazine with so many intriguing images - I do wish I could read Danish so I could fully enjoy it. To see more of the blogs highlighted in the issue you can visit here for a compiled list. Enjoy the rest of the weekend - I'll be hard at work with midterms and perhaps a Valentine post before the week is out!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Meet Pete

All winter, snippets of Rockford socks, wispy orbs of stuffing, yarn trimmings and a pair of bright red scissors have filled my sewing basket. Upon a closer look you might have seen a pair of jet black buttons, a tiny spool of cream colored thread, or maybe even the charismatic face of a particular sock monkey. But he's quite more than a pom pom tufted hat, and quite more than a comic conglomeration of lanky limbs. You might say he's an American story in heathered brown and ivory. A perfect synthesis of industry and arts and crafts, a natural harmony of ingenuity and thrift (he is made out of a single pair of socks after all, with hardly a scrap of waste!). You can almost see the imposing facade of Nelson Knitting Co. borne of the Industrial Revolution*, wherein the clatter, the looms and the spindles eventually produced that iconic pair of red heels.** The rest is history - an uncertain history at that. Perhaps it was a wearied mother, whose eyes strayed from the hem of a feedsack dress toward a pair of work socks on the mending pile. Perhaps her tired gaze ceased momentarily, as she rose to light the kerosene lamp, once again took up her needle, and worked into the night in the stillness of a farmhouse kitchen.

Above is my modern day sock monkey, called "Pete", who is every bit as cute as his "ancestors." And he can spell.

*(pre-1899 to be exact, according to this source)
**various sources have contradictory dates, anywhere from the turn of the century through 1932.