a surprise and a good book

Lego creationCreationary

I threw a surprise Lego party for Alex’s birthday Thursday, and I just have to tell you that it was a hit! Good dinner, great friends, and lots of Legos!! I also decorated his cake with chocolate Lego men. [Here’s how: Buy a Lego minifigure ice cube tray. Melt white chocolate and color it yellow. Fill the mold and wait for it to set. Pop out, and draw faces with black icing gel!] It was awesome. He got lots of Lego gifts and afterward we played Creationary. I love theme parties 😀

In other news, I’m in love with this book:

You may have seen me tweet about it a couple times. I’ve now read it cover to cover! It contains tutorials – some are simple and obvious, some are novel and interesting. It gives many ideas for living sustainably (cheaply, resourcefully) by reusing things in new ways, by creating your own natural products instead of buying chemicals, and by many putting to use things you’d otherwise throw away. And it includes a ton of profiles on art projects and artists who have done all these things! There are chairs made from suitcases, chandeliers from eyeglasses, and speakers from paper cups. There are vintage products made new, packaging made into furniture, and a million other trash-to-treasure stories. I’ve found it to be a great source of inspiration, and I bet you’d like it, too :)

3 Things Friday

Snow from the balcony 1Frozen Water from GutterChase with a snow-stacheFrozen fountain

Another week has flown by, and what a week it’s been! Our gym finally opened, I made soup for the first time, and we tried a new local restaurant. It’s been 80° and 17°. We had Groundhog Day [I’m all for pointless holidays, but they should at least involve candy!] and Chinese New Year – did you celebrate? But I’m most excited for today: SNOW DAY! What a great way to end the week! 😀 And when it boils down to my three things…

The good: I learned a new knitting stitch, and I absolutely love it! I’ve started on my first blanket with a soft, lustrous yarn in….Herringbone Stitch!Herringbone Stitch

The not-as-good: I wasn’t as productive as I could have been. I spent much of last night playing Sudoku (I’m addicted) instead of working on anything.

The best: I get to spend today completing projects! I already finished a painting, which was super fun, and next I’ll be sewing! Then maybe some crochet and cross-stitch…It’s going to be good :)

Granny Square Painting

What were your 3 things this week?

Sneak Peek: Bedroom

Interior design is one passion of mine. It’s a way of shaping the space we live in, of giving it a unique character to fit our lifestyles. It’s something I love to create and work on. In that spirit, I think it’s time to share with you our little space in the world.

We moved into this apartment at the end of November. We held our Christmas party two weeks later so that we’d unpack quickly. Well, we managed to unpack (!), but it took another couple weeks to get everything arranged just right, and to decorate with pictures on the walls and such. This month Alex and I have been working on our Style File for our home. We know we won’t be in this apartment forever, so we’re working on a vision of how we want our eventual home to look. Why buy things to fit in a temporary location? So we’re planning basic color palettes, fabrics, textures, and styles for each room.

I think our bedroom is the closest to “done,” although we have several things we still want to amend :) Right now the colors are grays and blues, but we eventually want to move to gray, silver, and a deep purple. We painted the walls a gray-blue color (over the icky taupe that was there) to create a cool, calming space. We have mainly low-profile furniture and a few of our favorite things displayed. This is the hardest place to keep uncluttered!

Bedroom

1. The heart tree painting looks great above our bed; I think it really fills in the space well. Alex will be repainting it soon with the new color theme!

2. We’ll eventually make a new bed (this one’s Ikea) – we’re still in the planning stages. I just made the body pillow (see the DIY here), and I have plans for a quilt.

3. Atop my dresser: Hand-painted tile mirror, jewelry box, cute photo of Alex, origami from a friend’s wedding, and an antique painting from my grandmother’s bedroom.

4. We’re also planning to build nightstands! My must-haves are shown: current books, sketchbook, reading lamp, my Batman alarm clock, and a basket for odds & ends.

Bedroom 2

5. “A is for amazing” print from our BFFs

6. I bought this vintage dresser for $10, then repainted it and added new handles for a fresh look! [What I checked for: the drawers slide smoothly, and no wobbles.]

7. Vintage, tufted, yellow velvet bench I inherited from my nana.

8. Grrr…dinosaurs from my last birthday party stand guard in front of my upcycled planters, which were wine bottles I cleaned for centerpieces at our wedding reception!

9. A little stuffed collection! From left to right: Mr. Polar Bear, Ox, Mr. Bonehead (made by my bestie), Moxie, Ice Bat. We may like Ugly Dolls 😉 In front is the i <3 u pillow I made!

It’s definitely a work-in-progress, but that’s one of the things we love about it. It’s hard to get something perfect when you have strong tastes, a limited budget, and love making things yourself! But in the end, it’s definitely worth it. What’s most important in our bedroom is comfort: soft colors, handmade touches, and some of our favorite things.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little sneak peek into our home! I’ll keep them coming so you can see more of my style and what I like to make in my “free” time :)

3 Things Friday

The Good: I got some delicious, deep purple, dupioni silk for some upcoming projects. Ohhh it’s good enough to eat!

Purple Dupioni silk

The Not-so-Good: With the new job, I’m having a hard time fitting in much crafting!

The Great: I got to use a Canon EOS 5D – a digital SLR camera, and it was amazing. After a few photoshoots, I’m really getting the hang of all the manual settings! I may have to become a full-time photographer so I can have one for my very own ;D The photos just turn out so beautifully…

Canon EOS 5D digital SLR Camera

You Amaze Me, Possibilities

Although the beginning of January is like the beginning of any other month, it’s a great time for a little reflection. On Friday I posted a photographic review of my crafty year, and it was wonderful thinking of all the new things I learned, attempted, and created. December is for looking at the past, but January is for accepting it and looking toward the future. What do you want to accomplish this year? In what ways will you push yourself to grow?

You are creative and capable; if you set your mind to it, you can do it. Now is the time for dreams to become goals! I’m turning a few of my “some day I’d like to…” thoughts into “this year I will” goals. So, without further ado, I give you my crafty list for this year:

Creative Goals 2011

[I have a few other lists too, for my personal goals, as well as family and business. Keeping them separate helps me focus and organize. I think this one is the most relevant at the moment :)]

Remember: Keep it simple and do-able, but challenge yourself. Include things you’ve been putting off, things you’ve always wanted to try, and even plain necessities. Make your list fun yet practical. You’ve got goals, and you can meet them!

What will you accomplish this year?

Hair: A New Look

You may remember my Hair Hair Hair post, wherein I expressed a desire for a new ‘do and a loss for what it should be. Well, with the much-appreciated advice of the wonderful Maggie, Tara, and Finny, plus the expertise of a lovely hairstylist, I’ve made the cut!

New Haircut

It’s a long, layered bob, and I absolutely love it! I’m still learning how to style it, since I’ve never had to style my hair before! I’ve always been more of a run-a-comb-through-it-and-go type of girl. This is new territory.

Just wanted to give you an update :) Hope you’re having a happy Wednesday!

Etsy Crush: A New Year.

We live for change. A New Year marks a new beginning, a measuring point to see how far we’ve come and where we should go. [Click on the images to go to their listings.]

In 2011 I am going to set deadlines for my goalsCute Creatures Calendar 2010 2011 Printable Digital PDF Kawaii Yearly Month

I will find and cook new foods for friends and family Epicurean Footed Cutting Board in Lovely Ginger Brown Butternut (FP1042)

And travel as much as I canHand Painted Vintage Upcycled Suitcase

I’ll explore New York City with my best friends (just later than planned)NEW - Urban Throw Pillow - Style no17 - NYC - 12 x 16 PILLOW COVER

And join the Polar Bear Club while I’m there!Winter Sale ..... Red Retro Halter Swimsuit maillot pin-up

I’ll find new bike routes through AustinNEW--LA POMME Dark Yellow French with Bicycle Flap-Water-resistant tent canvas lining-8 Pockets

And go camping in new places The Sleeping on the Ground Tshirt - Mens LARGE

I’ll work on a positive self imageFriendly Reminder Towels -You Look Pretty Today- PINK

And focus on enjoying the here and now :)Remember Happiness- NEW- choose your color

What do you have planned for 2011?