Friday, February 26, 2010

Pupscicles & cake pops

No time for a long post, because I'm off to girls' weekend! Oh how I miss living in the same area code as my best friends. I'm bringing them monogrammed cake pops as a surprise. Thank you, genius Bakerella. I'll blog more about my trial-and error process with these later.
It's been really cold lately and I'm hoping for a warm weekend, since we're running a 5K, but I don't think that's going to happen. This week was really long, trying to deal with all the severe weather coverage. There was only enough time to make an 8-inch snow bunny.Even sensing that huzz and I won't be home to let him out for 13 hours, BK prefers to avoid the cold and stay in bed.He's just too cute to argue with.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sewing's most forgiving project

I remember my mom telling me that pillows were the best thing to practice sewing on because the shape is so forgiving. I can't remember if that was something she told me when I was 7 or when I was 21 and moving into a new apartment and re-covering an entire couch. Either way, she was right. (If ONLY I could find a picture of that "clown couch...")
For my friend's birthday, I wanted to make her a monogrammed pillow and this site gave me the idea to make the letter out of felt. Couldn't have been easier.
I used my all-time favorite black crocodile felt that I stock up on each time I go to Hobby Lobby, and ironed it to the pillow fabric with that stuff that you iron to fabric. I'm no expert.
I was determined to make sure the top-stitching was equally spaced so I got the dumb idea that I would use baby power and a cake decorating tool to make guide marks. Awful idea. Well, not awful, but the baby powder wore off instantly, and the needle was too blunt and it took me ALL night. The stitches turned out pretty crooked up close, but I think it looks cute overall!
Grrr... my tassel burst all over the place! I have no idea how it happened, but one by one the beads started to slide off. I had to sew each strand back together. Oh well! I think it turned out really cute, and I think Mrs. F will agree.
(UPDATE: No need to warn my friend that the bottom left tassle was weak. The babysitter called and told her that her 3-year-old daughter decided to eat them. Glass beads. Down the hatch. No joke.)

Friday, February 19, 2010

LOVEly twist on Mimi's recipe

For Valentine's Day, the huzz and I decided to have a date at home. He was in charge of dinner and I was in charge of dessert. We actually ate in the dining room! No pics of dinner. It was so amazing that I will not defile it by attempting to visually reproduce online.

Huzz loves chocolate sheet cake, and my grandma had given me a recipe for it at my wedding shower. For five years I kept that piece of notebook paper hidden in a recipe box. Oh, the shame! It was SO good! Except, Mimi forgot to jot down how much sugar and flour was needed. She just wrote, "stir in flour and sugar." Luckily, I found this recipe which was almost exactly the same. I cut the recipe in fourths (or at least tried) and then used a cookie cutter to make the portions even smaller.
The only difference was that the online recipe calls for buttermilk or sour cream, but thanks to Mimi's extensive notes, I knew that 1 T lemon juice can be added to 1C milk to sub for buttermilk. She's great. And she will kill me for posting this picture of her!
We were shopping at an antique store and I made her put on this awful spaghetti hat and pose. She complied. Not my fault!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

20 minutes with Ruth & Jake

These two are getting married in October, and you can tell they're super excited about it!
It was absolutely freezing outside this afternoon, so we quickly got our routine down. Pose, snap, walk. Pose, snap, walk.

I'm going to know the coolest backgrounds downtown before long. Jake suggested this big yellow door on the back of the T&P, which turned out to be a beautiful place for pictures.
Ruth's eyes are so gorgeous! I love all the closeups.
This was the last chance to take pictures in front of The Proposal marquee. I love the colors on the Paramount sign, so let's hope next time I take someone to take pictures there there's an aptly titled movie showing!

Yarn frames and paper wreaths

I had no idea how many craft and decorating blogs were out there until recently. And many of them make their authors seem like beautiful, barefoot versions of Martha Stewart who happen to have materials like spray adhesive and medium-sized paper doilies on hand. I'll admit, I have a craft closet, but it's not stocked with an assortment of glues and lumber.

I found instructions online this week for a book wreath that required four things: a book, a styrofoam wreath, a hot glue gun, and some paint. Done. I tore up a book that I've had forever called "The Hamptons Diet" (choose your own metaphor). I've never read it, and don't really remember where it came from. I think an author must have sent it to me in a lovely little press kit. I'm sure the shipping cost more than this craft project.

Going back to look at the original inspiration, my wreath isn't as dense... but hey, it took me about 90 minutes and I was done. If I had kept going back to copy what she had done I never would have been satisfied and I'd likely have given up.
The other blog project that inspired me was for yarn-covered picture frames. Of course, this author actually built her own picture frames (ha!), but I totally cheated and used two frames I already had, and the round ones are more styrofoam wreaths.

We really don't have a lot of things hanging on our walls, probably because we've lived in five different places in the last five years and are haunted by nightmares of last-minute hole-filling. But these wreaths weigh next to nothing, so I was able to hang them with push pins. Voila!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Candace and Manny

The second I found out that The Proposal was going to be played at the Paramount this weekend I went on a wild goose chase looking for an engaged couple who would allow me to take some pictures of them. Enter Candace and Manny!

They were super affectionate, and Candace looked so beautiful, which made my job easy.

As excited I was about taking these pictures, I was just as excited as getting them into Photoshop to see what that baby could do. I don't have a lot of experience with editing photos, but it was fun to experiment.

As we turned around to head back to our cars, Manny decided to dapper up and dip his bride. I had no time to put down my tripod, let alone focus, but I love that it turned out blurry. I liked it in color, but my husband suggested that I make it black and white, so I just desaturated it a bit as a compromise. That's what you do in marriage, kids.

And there it is, my first engagement photo session! My husband just gave me the best compliment – "You did it! And you didn't embarrass the family."

Trial and Error

I tend to be a perfectionist when it comes to being creative... something that usually causes me to abandon ship when my latest and greatest brain child starts to take a turn for the eww.

But for me, the process is the best part. So I'm determined to make sure I share the trials and errors (and the occasional triumphs) of my crafty endeavors.

"Blogs keep creative people motivated," my blog-obsessed friend PJ told me. And she's a genuis, that PJ.

So here it goes.