Friday, April 25, 2014

My First Grumpy Cat Meme

This song drives me so batty, I had to make a grumpy cat meme out of it.

Anybody else feel me on this one?

Favorite Find Friday: Pieri Mid-Century Modern Lamp from Eclectic Blue Vintage

Today's feature is a wonderfully vintage, mid-century modern chalkware table lamp by Pieri being sold by Eclectic Blue Vintage.

(Photo source)

I love this lamp in so many ways.  I mean, just look at!  I am very happy that I stumbled across it today.  It features a bowtie pattern in orange and gold and is hand signed.  Best of all, it functions properly!

This item is being sold without the shade and measures 20.25" tall and has a diameter of 25".  A very unique standout piece for your home!

Here are a few more of my favorites from this shop:

Georges Briard Vintage Glass Dish

I'm thinking about snatching up this clear and gold vintage glass dish for my plate and tray display wall.  Metal tones are very trendy right now, especially gold metal tones.

Rios of Mercedes Vintage Cowboy Boots
Vintage brown leather boots.  Seriously people, there is a reason why leather boots come with a price tag.  They wear well and only get better with age, and this pair looks fantastic.

Vintage Floral Paper Mache Trays with Matching Box

I have no idea what I would do with these little cuties, but it wouldn't matter.  I'm a sucker for anything vintage floral, so even if I didn't use them as a functional piece, they would certainly find a home in my everyday decor.

Eclectic Blue Vintage is based out of Iowa and has over 100 listings online - go check them out!  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

My Morning Gem

I found this little gem outside today.  It's not very often I get to see a bird egg, or a robin's egg for that matter.  It's such a lovely shade of blue.  I haven't been able to spot the nest yet - when the husband gets home I'm going to see if I can find it using a ladder so I can put this sweet little egg back into its nest.

Oh, happy spring!  Where new life is springing forth everywhere I look.

Work in Progress: Lu's Granny Stripe Blanket

I have officially created a crafting schedule.  I have so many projects in the works, like this one, that I can't hardly keep up.  I'm itching to get them all finished, but there's just not enough time.  And then I get bored with doing the same stitches over and over that I have to work on another to keep myself from getting burned out.

Here is another one of my projects on the schedule.  This is going to be a Christmas present for one of my nieces.  This is done in a traditional Granny Stripes pattern.  So easy, and so simple, yet when paired with modern pops of color, it looks so cool.  Not like it belongs in granny's house at all!

I'm using Hobby Lobby's "Yarn Bee Soft Secret" in Ivory, Flamingo, and Honey and a 5 mm hook.  I've purchased 3 skeins of the Ivory and 2 each of the Honey and Flamingo.  I hope it's enough.  I'm not sure what the final measurements will be since I'm crocheting by the seat of my pants.

I started this back in January.  Each row takes approximately 15-20 minutes for me to finish depending on the amount of distractions going on.  So far I have completed 43 rows.  43 rows x 15 minutes = 645 minutes = 10.75 hours.  Oy vey.  Good thing I started this Christmas present a year ahead.  At this point I'm about halfway done with the main body.  Who knows how long it will take to weave in the ends and finish the border.

For some reason the pattern and colors kind of remind me of a court jester's outfit.  Strange?

Classic pattern with modern color.  Score!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Redwork Embroidery: Rustic Christmas Snowflake

This was intended as a Christmas present.  Except it didn't get finished until the beginning of April.  And by the time I finished it, I liked it so much I decided I would keep it for myself (since I'm dangerously low on Christmas decorations) and make a different one for this coming Christmas.

Warning: you might become addicted to hand embroidery after completing one project.  It is a very cost effective craft, unless you start embroidering with gold thread.  And it is so, so relaxing.  I couldn't believe how much I was itching to just sit in my rocking chair with my needle, hoop, and thread.  

This is traditional redwork hand embroidery stitched on cream colored muslin.  I used DMC #321 (bright red).  Even with washing it, I haven't noticed any dye running - which makes me extremely happy.  I put it in a 6" hoop and plan to loop a red ribbon or perhaps some jute string around the screw so I can hang it on the wall.

This was really simple to do.  I basically found a snowflake online, printed it off and traced it onto the muslin using a water soluble quilting marker.  Then I used the split stich, or chain stitch, to form the pattern.  This is the first embroidery project I have done in about 5 years, so I was pleasantly surprised with how it turned out.  

For my next project I think I will try cream broadcloth.  I had issues with the fabric puckering, no matter how gentle and consistent I tried to be with my stitching.  But I'm no expert, that may be the problem.

At this point I haven't decided how I'm going to finish the back.  I've seen where people will pull the fabric tight, cut it short all around, and then glue the fabric to the hoop.  I kind of hate that idea.  What if it gets dirty somehow and you want to wash it?  I don't live in a museum, people.  I have dirty, grubby little kid fingers that manage to get in the strangest of places.

I think I will do a loose running stitch in the back that will pull the fabric and then tie the string in a bow.  That way if you ever needed to take it off the hook for a washing, all you would need to do is loosen the running stitch.  You would still have to re-tighten the hoop from time to time, but that seems kind of a minor setback.

Be inspired; go forth, and create!  Search on Google for different images or coloring pages for ideas.  There are thousands upon thousands of them.  Or draw your own on some fabric if you're good at that sort of thing.  I have the vision but don't know how to get my hands to translate that vision properly.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It's a Beautiful Loaf: Making No-Knead Bread

I just love bread.  I love the time and effort that goes into making a fresh loaf.  I like making extra's around the holidays to share with friends and family.  Bread is an act of love that you can eat.  Plain and simple.

But sometimes you just want a really easy, fussy free loaf of bread.  Maybe it's a busy day and you don't want to be tied down to the kitchen and rising times.  Or maybe you just really love bread but hate the process that goes into it.

Enter the easiest bread recipe ever: No-Knead Bread.

Isn't it just beautiful?  It looks like it was made by a professional baker and belongs in a professional bakery window.

 I love the split crust on top.  It looks a little rustic and definitely like an artisan style bread.

The thing that I love about this bread recipe, other than the fact that it is so darn simple, is that it has a super crunchy, thin crust, but it's airy and moist inside.  I assume this is from all the time it set out on the counter top to rise, creating several air pockets from the yeast.

Here's a look at the inside:

And because it's so pretty, here's another:

Now, this bread only has 4 ingredients: water, flour, yeast, and salt.  That's it.  So a few things to keep in, this bread is a little salty.  It has no sugar at all, so if you like a sweet bread, this isn't it.  Two, it's really, really crunchy on the outside.  So if you prefer soft breads only, maybe not for you either.

But the beauty of such a plain recipe is that you can play around with it all you want.  After I write this post, I am getting back into the kitchen for a fennel, garlic, and parmesan loaf.

There's already a great tutorial on how to make this bread - in fact, this is where I got the recipe from so  I can't take credit for it.  Go check it out on Simply So Good.  She even provided pictures for a super cute handmade gift idea using loaves of bread and some pretty dish towels.  I'm now dreaming up ideas of a hand embroidered tea towel that says "Merry Christmas" all in red, and all wrapped around a beautiful, handmade loaf of bread.  Christmas is months away, but it's constantly on my mind.