Tuesday, December 25, 2012

colorblock tie

Update: He loves it!

Merry Christmas, lovely friends! I'm excited to share this super-last-minute gift I whipped up for the mister. (I mean, check out that time stamp...) I've been wanting to try gold color-blocking on a necktie for a while but was waiting for the right one* to come along: simple, navy, cheap (in case of disaster). The stars finally aligned while I was out doing a little Christmas Eve thrifting.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

chicago mini trip

In the middle of this busy semester and because we are crazy, M and I took a quick weekend trip to Chicago for an education conference (M) and some free food and drinks (me). M rocked his presentation for an audience of geek-tastic dignitaries like Comic-Con founder, Mike Towry. I'm so proud of him!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

salted bourbon caramels

salted bourbon caramels mason jar gold spray paint

For my father-in-law's October birthday, I tried my hand at candymaking using this recipe found on Pinterest. A good Kentuckian, I of course substituted bourbon for the Jack Daniels. The caramels came out delicious (if a little sticky) and looked so cute in a mason jar with a gold-painted lid (new obsession). 

Q: Is 'Paint It Gold' the new 'Put a Bird on It'? I think yes.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

d.i.y. anthro: zigzagged bracelet

"Good poets borrow; great poets steal..." -T.S. Eliot

Anthro's Zigzagged Bracelet awesomely gave me an excuse to break out my bead loom, which I've had since my ninth birthday. It took me back to one unforgettable childhood summer: crafting bracelets a makeshift teepee of fenceposts and a sheet. Peddling them door to door. (Yes, that was me. I was that kid.) Enjoy this silent tutorial!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012


This afternoon, reading poetry from my students in a coffeeshop window seat, I saw this little lady on the sill. I wondered if she belonged to my backyard hive and then took her picture posed with my paperclip, which is gold because half the tiny things I own are now spray-painted gold. I think good poems are like bees: small, beautiful, dangerous specimens, not one hinge or socket out of place.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

good news, bad news

So, this happened.

This, actually, was not one of my crazy demolition projects. This was a not-so-minor domestic catastrophe which has kicked off a new phase in our home renovation called The Professionals Can Take it from Here.

Bad News first:

Monday, September 17, 2012

sewing table salvage

This little project has been in the works for a while. After many months spent looking for an old treadle machine for my sewing room (and failing to justify $100-200 at antique shops), I found this sewing table at my go-to thrift store for $24! Win.

Make no mistake: it was not in good shape. The actual machine was long gone, treadle and wheel rusted solid, and, by the looks of it, the thing sat in a shed or shallow grave for about fifty years. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

honeycomb + plans

Peeked inside the backyard hive this morning with The Germantown Honeyhound and got this beauty as a souvenir. In other spheres, plotting an awesome fall for my creative writing classes and biking with the Mr. to the fair.

Monday, August 20, 2012

le bracelet '92

Seen on Pinterest.

My fourth-grade self has a major crush on this necklace. I mean, seed beads? Floral sprays? Clearly this was created with my kitten-sweatshirt / stirrup-pant / Keds phase in mind.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


diy vintage silverware tussie-mussie

Feeling extra ambitious, I bought a set of vintage silverware to make some pretty pendants for my bridesmaids. Seven years ago. Alas.

Last weekend, one table knife fulfilled its destiny and became a necklace version of the traditional tussie-mussie. I've been wearing it all week and feeling especially Victorian. Enjoy this silent tutorial.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Saturday, August 4, 2012

i'm a little tea-pod

When I saw this amazing tea packaging by a Montreal design student, I went on a caffeine-fueled, paper-crafting rampage to replicate those awesome petal-shaped pods. Most fun project in a while. Sadly, I'm not tech-savvy enough to post the stencil, but I photo'd everything on my sewing tabletop to give a general idea of the dimensions. In sum: LOVE (and also pretty proud of myself for figuring out the design). Enjoy this silent tutorial.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

simple chevron necklace

I've been seeing a lot of "trade-bead" jewelry on Pinterest, made with cute, zig-zaggy beads (which are about as trend-tastic as I plan to get here in The Year of the Chevron). So, with my sis in town, I rooted out an old, forgotten envelope of these geometric beauties, purchased at a Ren Faire years ago (guilty as charged). They can also be found here on EtsyDonning our madrigal gowns, Dignity intact, we strung together a couple of simple slider necklaces the morning before she left for home.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

off to the races

I had a visit from my sweet sister at the end of June for a weekend filled with thrifting, pedicures, and general sisterly fun, capped off with an evening of night races at Churchill Downs. Here we are, all fancy in our dresses.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

la vie en rose

I've been thinking about how memories group themselves out of order sometimes, composing a history that ends up feeling truer than anything a timeline could reflect... So, M & I just returned from eight lovely days in Montreal and Quebec City with many moments and sights to share. But instead of ordering our photos into a daily diary, I've grouped them loosely by color: red, blue, black, white, green, and -today- pink. It's been interesting, though, to discover that certain colors are composed almost entirely of one day. (I guess some days are just more blue than others.) 

Duly prefaced, please enjoy a few moments looking through my rose-colored glasses. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

shooting spree

Credit: Aubrey Renee Photography
On the second-longest day of the year, I spent an evening at home with my dear friend and neighbor Aubrey, who captured a few moments around the house and garden just as the sun was setting. 
The full shoot can be found here, along with lots more work by this talented lady.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

good egg

First find. 
It's like Christmas morning. And Easter morning. All rolled up together and calcified into a smooth brown shell.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

honey and the bees

Just this morning, Erin of The Germantown Honeyhound and I opened up our backyard hive. We pried out a few frames and found plenty of honey and new comb as well as lots of capped cells, meaning Queen Elizabeth I is doing her thing, making bee babies. You go, your highness.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

d.i.y. anthro: felted soap

"Good poets borrow; great poets steal..." -T.S. Eliot
Anthropologie Felted Soap: $14
Happy Mother's Day! To pamper the mamas in my life, I recreated a couple of these lovelies from Anthro's December 2009 catalog. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

the honeyhound

On Derby Eve, The Germantown Honeyhound and I concocted this little beverage to toast our new backyard neighbors. All 10,000 of them.
The Honeyhound:
  • Kentucky bourbon whiskey
  • orange peel
  • honey or orange honey
  • apple blossom or any on-hand, edible bloom
In a mason jar or, better still, a rinsed out honey pot or jam jar, pour three fingers of your favorite bourbon. Add a small piece of orange peel. Coat a wooden honey dipper generously in honey and stir until disolved, pressing the orange peel lightly to release the oils. Garnish with a flower. Drink, and think of the bees.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

still life, suddenly

Achievement unlocked.
So, April was a busy month. We brought home two new Bettys and began our joint beekeeping adventure with the lovely lady of The Germantown Honeyhound. More bittersweetly, I ended the semester with my truly remarkable creative writing students and wrapped up a two-year position with UofL's Axton Reading Series. Missing these already. A lot.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

march garden

Thanks to the not-so-much-winter-as-prolonged-late-fall, M and I got a head start on this year's garden. With a little trepidation and a lot of knocking on wood, we did most of our planting during the first week of March. (I know... but so far everything's coming up roses!) Just this morning I was out clipping onion tops for omelets.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

a little light upholstery

I have some big plans involving a couple of thrifted wingbacks, twelve yards of taupe linen and these giant tacks. But, being a newb, I'm making my upholstery foray with this smaller, more manageable and, frankly, cheaper project.

This little chair caught my eye at my go-to thrift shop. It appeared to be someone else's early d.i.y. project, and (on the whole) I liked the choices the original upholster-er made, especially the entomological-themed fabric. Since the chair was thrifted (cue PSA), M inspected it for any real inhabitants of the entomological variety before I got to work on the design choices I didn't so much care about...

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

january, in sum

Still life with whatnots and winter light.
Took a quiet month away from posting. Spent mornings with Dillard, Handler, Hamby, and many cups of tea. Got my class underway. Celebrated six years married and M's 29th. Pulled down our back fence and met the neighbor behind it. Attended a beekeeping workshop. Made big plans for spring.
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