October 31, 2011
My Halloween flowers have since died, even though my August flowers freakishly continue to bloom, despite never watering them and a recent 1/2 inch of snow. I won’t show you the pictures of tricks, like dead bird that showed up outside my door on mischief night. Ew. He’s now buried beneath 1/2 inch of snow. Onto treats..
September 21, 2011
Just barely a week after her baby shower, Shannon delivered a healthy, super-handsome, amazingly perfect, little boy named Riley. It was so incredible to meet this little man that Shannon and Bill made. And it was super sweet to watch him snuggle Shannon, just hours after being born. We got to hang out and realize how fun it can be to watch a little person sleeping and hearing loud little baby farts.
I’m so proud of Shannon and excited for her and Bill. Seriously, just look at that little face. Perfect.
September 13, 2011
In less than one month, one of my most favorite friends, Shannon, is going to be a mom for the first time. She is probably one of the strongest & smartest people I know and I’m so excited about Shannon and her awesome husband, Bill, to become parents. To celebrate, her grandmother hosted a beautiful tea party at the Rittenhouse Hotel.
It was a great time with Shannon and friends where we were welcomed with champagne & pink lemonade followed by a traditional English tea with mini sandwiches, scones, chocolate covered strawberries, and all other things delicious.
Since I’ve heard that Shannon is expecting, I’ve been wanting to make something handmade for her & baby. One day at the fabric store, I spotted the softest fabric ever and knew I needed to make it into a blanket. Thus began my first attempt at quilt making. I didn’t really follow any directions or do much research but sewed some squares together for the front side, put some batting in the middle, stitched it to the super soft fabric, and added some trim. I’m crossing my fingers that the homemade quilt can stand the test of durability, but I can safely say it survived a trip through the washer and dryer. I also got the brilliant idea of using the blanket as gift wrap (but of course forgot to take a picture of the blanket before I had it perfectly folded around the books).
The invitation requested that in lieu of a card, we sign our name to a book to begin baby Riley’s library collection. Because Shannon and I had traveled to France together last year, I immediately knew I wanted to get a copy of the beloved French children’s book, The Little Prince. You might notice another book stuffed in there. Because of Bill’s supposed “cat allergy”, I couldn’t get Riley a real cat so I got him this great cat book with plenty of furry cats to pet.
Congratulations Shannon & Bill
August 2, 2011
Sherry, Katie, Emily, and Lana implemented the Pinterest challenge last week. They challenged themselves and the worldwide web to get their creative juices flowing by DIYing a project in a weeks time based on an inspiration image or project from Pinterest. I pinned a ton of ideas that I want to accomplish in my own home, but it was when I stumbled upon one of Sherry’s pins (original image found here), I knew I found my challenge.
Let’s rewind back to the winter for a minute: a few months ago, my mom found a telephone bench in the trash. She brought it over to my house and after I spent a week staring at it (my own house phone has been unplugged for over a year because the only people who ever called were telemarketers) it went straight into my closet where it was promptly forgotten about. Seriously, what can I use a long 2-tiered table for? Perhaps remove the second tier?
I scored this Waverly parchment fabric for 40% off at Joann’s Fabric, grabbed some foam, batting, a staple gun, and spray paint. The top “shelf” was only attached by 3 screws and after removing it, I was left with a little rectangle table and within 45 minutes I was able to bring this table straight out of 1950 and into today.
This guy isn’t going into the closet anytime in the soon, especially because of it’s versatility. As of right now, it’s being used as an ottoman, but I can definitely see this under a window or in the hallway. Or most likely as a cat bed of some sort. Don’t forget to check out what Katie, Emily, Lana and Sherry made! And be sure to check the end of Sherry’s post where you can view her readers’ take on the Pinterest Challenge!
May 29, 2011
March 18, 2011
“One of the 24 similarities between women and fish, they’re both attracted to shiny objects.” – Barney Stinson
This is true. This past week, in a Manhattan shoe store, I was attracted to every pair of shoes or boots that were glittery or shiny, but all the shiny shoes were size 10. Boo. Today I was attracted to a mini-jar of super-fine black glitter. I needed to have it. And the only thing I really wanted covered in black glitter were shoes. I have an unnecessary amount of black flats, meaning I would have a new pair of shiny shoes for $5.99 (kind of expensive for less than an ounce of glitter but it looks toooo good). Then I had an awesome flashback of myself doing this same project 10 years ago. I was Dorothy for Halloween in middle-school and I couldn’t find any ruby-red slippers that weren’t meant for small children. I found a pair of red leather heels and painted them with red glitter gel. And then I discovered that it’s hard to walk in heels and I ditched them. That being said, flats seem like the better choice this time around.
I blocked off the inside and sole of the shoes with paper towels and painters tape to prevent them from getting super sticky (and subsequently gross) and so I wouldn’t waste glitter. I recommend 1. using spray adhesive outside (it travels through the air and now and 10 foot radius of my floor is sticky, and 2. wearing gloves. Spray adhesive is serious stuff and I spent at least 15 minutes trying to scrub the black glitter off of my hand. It looks like I have poppy seeds wedged in my cuticles.
I sprayed the adhesive on, working on the shoes 1 “section” at a time, so I wouldn’t risk sticking my hand on the fresh adhesive. I poured the glitter onto the shoes working over a piece of tin foil, while trying to avoid the tape area. I used the tin foil to funnel the glitter back into the jar, and put two more coats of adhesive and glue on.
The other thing about my Dorothy shoes is that the glitter gel peeled right off. Based on my hand-washing experience, I think the glue has a pretty tight bond and I shouldn’t have to worry about it peeling of rubbing off immediately. I actually would have liked to put more coats of glitter on, however my bottle of spray adhesive ran out. After 3 coats on each shoe, I was still left with half a jar of glitter. I love them. I don’t plan on wearing them in the rain or running in a marathon with them, but I think they look pretty good considering I only spent the same amount of dollars on them as I did minutes (that’s 6).
February 25, 2011
On Wednesday, Leah and I ventured into NYC for the 2pm taping of the Martha Stewart Show. Even though we gave ourselves an hour to spare, we got semi-lost right in front of the Lincoln Tunnel due to 2 large coffees, a last minute bathroom stop, a closed on-ramp, and unreliable iPhone maps. By the time we finally got oriented towards New York, it was 12:20. We had to be at studio at 12:30 but thanks to the luck of some miracle, we got through the tunnel and into a parking lot next to the studio by 12:27.
I’m secretly happy that we were late, because even though admission started around 12:30, we were still standing outside in the cold for another half an hour. Martha’s whole staff and crew was super friendly and organized from the very beginning. Shannon was supposed to be my guest, but couldn’t take off of work, so we had a few worries about Leah being admitted instead. It was no problem at all and soon enough we had our pink tickets, which I’m not positive but I think means we were in the last group of people picking up our tickets (since we were at the end of the line) therefore making us the last to get seating in the studio.
Once we entered the waiting room, we filled out some forms, checked our coats, and took free water bottles because you can never find free filtered water in NYC. Joey Kola came in and told us an outline of the segments and told us when to clap and when to say”MMMMMMMMM!!!” And then they called us into the studio by our ticket color. Making us last.
The studio was really cool, even though it took away from some of the magic of television. I like believing she’s just cooking in her home kitchen. There were a ton of lights, cameras, teleprompters, and just things to look at.
And then there was another miracle when, regardless of the fact that we had 1 lonely pink ticket (did I mention Leah somehow lost her ticket immediately after I handed it to her?) they sat us in the front row (well, behind the 2 rows of reserved floor seats for special groups, handicapped and elderly).We got really excited about this.
We were right in front of her craft area and green house, but of course all of her segments for that episode were filmed in the kitchen, to the left of us. We still had a great spot, but once the show started Martha was swarmed by about 20 crew members and all of their cameras/equipment. We had to watch a lot of what was happening on monitors. It was weird to say “mmmm” when you didn’t actually know what they were doing.
Martha’s made a hazelnut cake, talked with her friend and former editorial director, Margaret Roach, about how her new book, baked some beans, and made some sausage and cabbage. She looked great and happy and drank some beer.
After filming, she talked with audience, was really nice, and answered audience questions.
The audience left with a copy of Margaret’s book and a bag of the cranberry beans they used in Margaret’s baked beans. Leah also left with a copy of a book that Joey Kola gave her. It’s something about kissing and I think I remember seeing it on a Valentine’s Day episode. I think Martha re-gifted to Leah.
The episode aired today and it was neat to see how different things look through the television screen. I looked for us in the audience, but they seemed to focus more on the very center of the audience, while we were in the front to the side. And then, as the credits rolled at the end, it was time for the Dana and Leah showcase. There’s at least a solid 15 seconds of us clapping to the credits. Maybe more, but my DVR cuts it off and pauses at a screen-cap of the two of us.
February 19, 2011
The very first “dining” chair I ever owned, came from a super-fancy dining set I bought for under $100 at K-Mart over 4 years ago. After accidentally drilling through the table top and losing some screws, I was left with 3 barely upholstered, metal chairs. They were okay. I guess.
And then I got the brilliant idea to give them some sort of face-lift, thus making them my first spray paint project and my first fabric project. Being overwhelmed by fabric stores, I went to Wal-Mart. This was a terrible idea because of their lack of updated, current fabrics, but I’m impatient and ended up buying the ONLY black and white print fabric I could find. And 2 cans of spray paint–matte black & ballet slipper pink. After an hour with the staple gun, spray painting my sidewalk and some screwing & unscrewing, I ended up with these. An improvement based off of what I was working with, but still just okay.
I wasn’t really into the cheapness that the metal chairs were giving off, and the fabric wasn’t looking too hot either. I went to Ikea and bought 4 “stefan” dining chairs for $20 each.
They looked so much better, but I kept using my old, tacky, metal chairs anyway. The new chairs were way too uncomfortable on my butt whenever I sat on them longer than 20 seconds. I took my first brilliant idea and refined it. I ordered fabric, bought high plush batting, and 2″ thick, high-density foam.
When my fabric arrived, it had been printed on unbleached canvas, giving it an oatmeal color instead of the crisp whiteness I was hoping for. I soaked the fabric in a bath of 1 part bleach to 3 parts water for 10-15 minutes and luckily it lightened the negative space to white without affected the color of the print. I removed the chair seat & used spray adhesive to mount the foam onto the top of it, trimmed off the excess (my bread knife worked better than scissors or a box cutter), then stapled 2 layers of batting on top of it. After making sure the fabric print was aligned, I stapled that to the bottom of the chair seat, trimmed off extra fabric, reattached the seat, and now I have this chair (or 4 of them). I think this one is much better than that old one. So does Luke.