Wednesday, October 27, 2010

technicolor tulips

My grandmother uses email. Frequently. And she knows how to attach pictures. This is a feat neither of my parents have yet to master. And she knits. And bakes. And throws a mean party. My gramma is pretty cool. She does, however, suffer from email-forwarding-syndrome. So when I see cute bunnies in my email, I usually delete.

These images, however, took my breath away. It is currently tulip-planting season in The Netherlands. Personally, I love the anticipation in Fall and Winter of what awaits in Spring.

How fun would it be to plan a trip there in May??

Have any of you ever been to The Netherlands?



Monday, October 25, 2010

Happy Happy, Joy Joy

Four years ago today I gave birth to a beautiful, sweet, strong-willed baby girl. She has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. I am so proud that I get to be her mama.

 you miss Harper Lee!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

yearning for yarn

A lingering cold and some rather blustery days have me hunting for warm, knit goods.

I'm dying to learn how to knit an Aran throw

or perhaps a chevron throw in black and white

I'm loving the sideways chevron on this coffee cozy

knitting, felting and braiding - oh my!

This headwrap is gorgeous and even looks feasible to recreate!

I'm feeling very inspired to pick up my needles after a summer's departure from them!!



Thursday, October 14, 2010

feeling dilly

My posting has been back to the bare minimum this week. Fighting a cold and working full time is no picnic in the park! I did have a great weekend and the joy of that has carried me through this week and moving full-steam ahead in preparation for next weekend!

Last weekend we had a great trip to the Farmer's Market. I love when the seasons change and there's a fresh crop of new goodies to explore!! There are still some remaining signs of summer - and I snapped up some cucumbers after recalling a quick pickle recipe I recently spotted.

I'd never made pickles before and I figured it was now or never.

I did a little internet research for a recipe I liked. I had some criteria: it had to be easy and it had to incorporate what I already had in my pantry. Lazy much? Yes.

What I wound up with is my own recipe based on various others found online. Keep in mind that I wasn't really exact with my measurements. Again, lazy. The following recipe made me 4 - 8oz. jars of pickles.

Quick Dill Pickles

Jars, rings and lids
6-8 small cucumbers
4 small carrots
handful of beans - I used dragon's tongue beans, a fave in our house
fresh dill

head of garlic

3 cups water
2 3/4 cups white vinegar (I used a combo of rice and brown rice vinegar, but use what you have)
pinch or two of sea salt
sprinkle of celery salt

Prepare your jars rings and lids. I did this by boiling the jars and rings in a shallow pans of water. The lids just need to be dunked in some warm water so I waited for the water I had used on the jars to cool down and plopped the lids down in there for a few minutes.

Slice up your garlic - or leave it in whole cloves. Its entirely up to you! Place the garlic cloves, along with some of the peppercorns down in the jars. You could also sprinkle in some chili flakes for heat or chopped chilies for more heat!

Prep your veggies. I cut the end off my cukes and carrots and sliced them in spears. My beans I just cut the ends off. I did not cook my beans, but I'm thinking that I maybe should have. Once you have all the veggies sliced, assemble them in the jars. Pull off a handful of the fresh dill and stuff that in with the veggies.

Boil together the water, vinegar, salt and celery salt. You could also add fennel seed, cumin, coriander or celery seed. Once the salt is dissolved, distribute evenly amongst your jars leaving about 1/2 inch at the top. I used a ladle to pour in my liquid but you could also use a funnel just as easily. Put on your lids and rings then allow the jars to cool a bit. Once they are cool enough to handle, pop 'em in the fridge and try to resist sampling them for about 2 weeks. I failed that test and tried one the next day. They seem to be coming along quite nicely!

I was totally in love with this entire process and hope to do some more pickling in the future!!

Have you ever tried pickling anything? 

Please share any favorite recipes or experiences with pickling.



Saturday, October 9, 2010

mini hideaway

there are definitely some days I feel like I want to just hide away, read, think, drink tea and take five without someone calling out, "MOM, where are you!!! I'm hungry/wet/cold/hot/thirsty/on fire". I'm incredibly jealous of whatever kid gets to call this place home. I'd like a grown-up version to call my very own. 

Thank you very much. 

Where do you like to hide away from it all?



Thursday, October 7, 2010

sew happy

Yesterday was sort of a long, sleepy day. With the gray and the rain, it was hard to be motivated to get all I needed to done. With a couple tired, cold-coming-on little ones and one too many nights of poor sleep for me, we were a wiped out lot by the end of the day. I was thrilled, however, to arrive home yesterday to some post.

I ordered some Andy Warhol prints for the kids room. The whimsical kitties made us all feel pretty happy!

I've finally made friends with my sewing machine. I've had it for quite a few years and I've used it for lots of hemming and repairs. But lately we've been getting to know each other much better.

I whipped up a few pillows recently. Both projects couldn't be further from each other on the difficulty scale.

For the zinnia pillow, I used Amy Butler's Midwest Mod pattern with some Amy Butler fabric that was on clearance. I'm pretty fond of the end result, although I see all the things I would do differently now. It was a lot of cutting. But it was my first attempt at following a pattern and it definitely boosted my confidence in the technical arena of sewing.

The other pillow I stitched up so fast I was amazed with myself. I scored the "80's tetris" pattern in a thrift store pile and followed this simple yet wonderful pattern from Chez Larsson's blog. I love all Benita's DIYs and this one was so easy and fast, I just couldn't stop marveling at it. I want to use the rest of the fabric for our office curtains...if I can get the Mr's approval.

I also recently upgraded our curtain sitch in our bedroom. I think I mentioned before that we had some serious red glow going on in our bedroom. When I came across this fabric at the thrift - an entire bolt of Kaufman no less - I knew it would be perfect for our bedroom.

I was afraid at first that they might be too busy. But after getting them up and living with them awhile, we both agree that they are awesome. Still need to finish the ones for the window above our bed however.

I'm definitely looking forward to getting to know my sewing machine better. Lots of plans for Halloween costumes and holiday gifts already swirling around in this head of mine.

Do you like to sew? 
What have you made lately? Post your links and share!



Wednesday, October 6, 2010

rug hunting

As we get more settled into our (not-so-new-anymore) abode, I'm finding myself craving a nice rug for the living room. I'm already envisioning cozy evenings curled up on the floor in front of the fireplace reading and watching movies on the projector. Only two - make that 3 problems with that equation - we only lit the fireplace once last winter (well, we moved in February), the projector is currently on the fritz, and there is no rug. Hey, its my daydream, no one said it needed to be rooted in reality!!

So, I took to the nets to gather some inspiration for the floors.

I've had my eye on this rug for quite some time. I especially fell in love when I saw the black/white goodness going on in this room.

But a certain man wasn't feeling it.

Perusing IKEA for some more inspiration, I came across this new lovely.

A flatwoven version in gray...

Or a plush one in blue...

And since I'm already , how about this

I'm loving the tribal meets chevron pattern in this one. 

Perhaps something a bit more bohemian is necessary to counteract the modern sofa

More inspiration found while persuing flickr

I think I'm in love with this entire room

What are you looking forward to this fall?



Friday, October 1, 2010

new addition

So...I have been a terribly bad blogger lately. Blame it on the over 100 degree heat in our neck of the woods. Blame it on the fact that my honey has been home all week which has meant lots of family time. Blame it on me just not having the energy to get it all done. I love blogging. I really do. I have a zillion ideas and inspiration floating around in my head at all times. But working full time, raising two kids and trying to be a good partner sometimes just takes all I've got and doesn't leave much time for blogging. Sometimes I guess its just good enough to be thinking about the blog - rather than actually blogging!!

Right now, it appears that every room in the house has some unfinished project lurking about. The kids new a new dresser/clothing receptacle. The bedroom needs curtains and a decent duvet. In fact, every room needs some new curtains. I've got a garage full of furniture I'm meaning to refinish/reupholster. You get the idea...

Our newest addition is no different.

We added an old wine barrel to our cellar. Plans are in the works for moving some junk out and into the garage, adding some stools and hanging up various posters I've collected from some wineries we've visited.

Looking forward to getting it squared away and then giving the full reveal.
Speaking of which, I've been asked to share a little house tour on a friend's blog and I'm hoping to get a few little projects done to make it photo-ready.

What projects do you have lurking around?