Monday, April 7, 2014

button covered everything

we now have these hippo and alligator magnets alongside my kiwi bird magnets holding up all our other wedding invitations, baby announcements, greeting cards, and other random items on the fridge.  i originally entertained the idea of making a large number of these, but quickly realized the linen fibers were too thick for these button covers, and as a result I wound up with many frayed edges and some very sore thumbs.

since i already had dug out a bunch of fabric and button cover supplies, i went ahead and made these ridiculously large paper clips as well.   i once again went with my kiwi bird parade fabric  (since a single bird fits so nicely on these buttons) and some marimekko fabric.  

then i decided to make a set of thumbtacks with some of my linen hedgehog fabric that also proved very difficult to use-- plus a bunch of other japanese fabric quarters that my mom bought for me many years ago.

although i technically don't really need them, i brought a tin of these to the office and randomly stuck them into my cubicle walls.  i also keep a few of the paper clips on my desk for good measure. 

whatever makes the work day better, right?

Friday, March 21, 2014

a little hut paper quilt collection

while searching for more items that my silhouette could cut, i stumbled across this set of boxes/ paper wall art from a little hut.  several of these fit in nicely with my style preferences, and a few of them even resemble some of my own designs (particularly the second one down on the right).

i purchased her paper quilt collection (a file set of nine), and spent an afternoon cutting, scoring, and taping before putting them above the mantle. the silhouette is actually pretty slow! 

i didn't realize what a pain accurately spacing them out would be.

despite my best efforts, they still appear a little askew-- partially because of the slight curving on the sides of the "boxes".  i decided i don't care.

overall, i'm pleased with the look, and since they were so inexpensive to make, i can always change them out for something else later or make some alterations as i see fit. i'm already contemplating removing my least favorite ones! 

they can also be used as gift or storage boxes, so it's likely i will cut more in the future for those purposes.  

Friday, March 14, 2014

naturebox review two

it was raining demonically when i came home and discovered several sopping wet packages on my doorstep, two which were from nature box.  two?  yes, two.  

mystified, i brought them inside and immediately peeled away the mushy cardboard and found six identical snack packs in both boxes.  six? yes, six.  we randomly received an extra snack (normally a box comes with five) without explanation.   both boxes came with a slip with my name and the same order number.  it appears they may be having some processing issues.  lucky us.

this time we received the following:
homestyle cheddar mix
praline pumpkin seeds
seaweed rice pops
lemon meringue waffles
bbq kettle kernels
honey crunch crisps (the bonus pack)

the hands down winner in this box was the praline pumpkin seeds.  these were really delicious and pretty addictive. we almost finished an entire bag in one sitting.  the honey crunch crisps also ended up being really yummy, so i definitely appreciated it's mysterious appearance in our order.  

the rest of them were fairly good, although i felt that the bbq kettle kernels could use more bbq flavor, and the homestyle cheddar had a strange consistency.  we also wished that the seaweed rice pops were completely savory-- they had a slight sweetness to them that we didn't expect or want.  the lemon meringue waffles were very light but a decently strong lemon flavor.  

we have one more box coming and then we'll have to decide if we want to continue the service.  i'm generously relinquishing my reign of control and allowing bffbf to choose all five snacks for our final shipment.  so kind, i know.

Monday, February 24, 2014

craft space expanded

our living room is long and rectangular so we were able to nicely split it into a dining, living, and crafting area.  my craft desk from my last apartment fit perfectly into the space next to the fireplace. the nook has amazing natural light during the day, and is a great place for me to tinker away on the weekend. 

over the months it slowly became a surface for storing piles of of paper and miscellaneous junk (amazing how this always happens over time), and i found it difficult to work on projects and wound up working on the couch and dining table instead.   

bffbf pointed out that there was sufficient space to expand my space into an L shape, and at the next opportunity, we were off to ikea to get another cabinet, table top and legs.

the configuration is practically identical to the one i had in boston, and while i still struggle with keeping the surfaces clear (really, you should see my desk at work) the extra surface is definitely welcomed for my various projects, especially the ones where i use the silhouette, paper cutter, and sewing machine practically simultaneously.

based on bffbf's enthusiasm for the newly expanded desk, i suspect he may slowly try to take it over...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

my very first stitchfix: february 2014

first naturebox, now stitchfix-- i'm just trying all kinds of things aren't i?
i first heard of stitchfix a couple months ago, and since i've been grumbling for years that i need a personal stylist, i decided it was a service i should try.

to provide a brief overview, stitchfix is a personal styling service. you fill out a detailed profile online, they send you a box of five items to try on, you pick what you want to keep, send back what you want in a prepaid envelope.  you're charged a $20 styling fee for each box, but that's put toward anything you buy.  if you buy everything in the box, you get a 25% discount (you see how they get you?).  

i initially wanted to receive a box in january, but the first available date i could choose for my shipment was in february -- it seems they've been overwhelmingly popular lately!

i inadvertently "cheated" and saw the list of what i was receiving by logging into my account before i actually received the package... and then once i saw what i was getting, i started a mad hunt across google trying to find images of my items.  i know. i know.  i shouldn't have done that.

i was immediately concerned about the prices (see below) and the fact that i was receiving two pairs of pants. i had requested a pair of skinnies but i was also hoping for a dress.  anyway, i could only find images of 2 out of the 5 items online , and i was still bouncing with excitement when my package arrived.

the clothes come tissue wrapped with a personal note and style cards that give you an idea of what you can wear the pieces with.

this is what came in my box:
sweet rain isaac floral print tab-sleeve blouse - $48
carlsbad lace detailed sleeveless blouse - $58
dear john kelli slim bootcut jean - $68
kut from the kloth danny (jennifer?) 5-pocket knit pants - $78
zad kayla metal teardrop earrings - $32

the sweet rain isaac floral print tab-sleeve blouse was one of the items i managed to find an image of online, and i knew already that i was going to love it.

Friday, February 14, 2014

heart brownie roll-out cookies

as i was prepping the dough for smitten kitchen's brownie roll out cookies (you see, i was determined to make more heart shaped things for valentine's day), i reflected over my aforementioned affection for the holiday.

to be clear, thanksgiving and christmas are on top of my favorite holidays list, but i suppose you could say that valentine's day is third (or dead last considering i couldn't care less about all the other ones.  i think... mainly because none of them are 'pretty'.).

yes, it's true that i have been in a relationship for every valentine's day since 1999, but i really do mean it when i say that has nothing to do with it!  i have never had one of those swoon-worthy, over the top romantic valentine's day, and nor do i particularly want or expect them.  rather, i look to anniversaries for those moments, because those clearly have more meaning.

my fondness for this day primarily stems from childhood-- i have strong memories of decorating treat bags and eating cupcakes from PTO moms at valentine's parties at school.  every year, i went to the store with my mom and carefully picked out the cards i'd be distributing.  i remember many of them, my card selections ranged from strawberry shortcake, bears in sweaters holding a corresponding colored crayon, and cartoony dinosaurs.  this may be why, as an adult, i've tried to mimic these childish joys at the work place.  so, i printed out these free cards to pass out with these cookies. and because ilikethemSOmuch, i left a slew of them around the apartment for bffbf to find. 

these are the simplest roll out cookies i have ever made. generally speaking, i avoid cut-out cookies because typically i find the dough unwieldy even after refrigerating, and once baked, they tend to be hard and sandy, and i prefer soft and chewy.   instead, these have a semi-soft texture when you bite into them, and are quite tasty.  as you can see, i popped in some color by adding large heart sprinkles that i impulsively purchased during a recent grocery run.

i don't normally buy sprinkles. or eat them.  turns out they're disgusting.

disgusting but cute.

happy valentine's day!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

paper heart garlands

i'm not particularly attached to the romantic connotations attached to valentine's day, but i am fond of the excess of pink + red, hearts, and chocolate.     

i made a couple paper heart garlands this weekend to festive-fy (not a word you say? it is now) my cube at work. the image above doesn't portray the colors that accurately, but you get the idea.  the other strand is in the front part of my cube.  

i cut out a bunch of hearts in various sizes (and some circles) with my silhouette and sewed them together using pink and white thread.  i really love meshing paper crafting and sewing.

i'm starting to notice that my current silhouette mat is already losing it's stickiness, and my blade is getting dull. they really don't last very long!

do you ever decorate your office space?


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