Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Week of Giveaways at Simplemom

That's right - giveaways! Leave a comment on each of her posts this week to win cool prizes :) I'm especially interested in this one about Choffy. Brewed chocolate to be exact!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Handmade Goodies

Allow me to introduce some beautiful gifts from my siblings. My brother-in-law made two gorgious pens on a lathe, one for me and one for H.

The blue one is mine, and is made from a material I don't recall which was apparently very difficult to work with (sounds like me). The wooden one is H's, and is made from discarded wooden trim my BIL found in New York when they were helping us move. That means so much to H that he nearly killed me when I dropped it. Ahee. He has it hanging on one of our little entry way hooks so he can see it as he comes and goes everyday.

This gift is super special - it's not handmade, but it means ever so much. I used to have one of these when I was little, and I of course broke it to bits and cried a river. It's a seashell coin purse, which is ideal considering I've just moved to the beach.

I seriously considered putting it in my new purse, but I remembered crying over the last one, so this one is sitting safely on my bookshelf. I haven't decided yet what I should put in it...any ideas?

This wonderful stuff is handmade facial cleanser from my SIL. It is wonderful stuff. She has rosemary mixed in which is one of my favorite smells. This is just gritty enough for exfoliation, while still being gentle - it leaves the skin soft as a flower petal. Cheers!

This is also from my SIL, though you can see it's not handmade. I just aboslutely love the design of the tube - it makes me happy everytime I see it :) It also smells heavenly and is shea butter!

In my next post I need to show off pictures of my most intricate handmade gift from my sister. I'll give you a hint - it's short and stout :)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Winging It

I am very proud to present my very first sewing project made without a pattern! I kept seeing all these beautiful purses all over the internet, all the while mentally tweaking the shapes and colors to fit my needs. This is by no means perfect, I am thrilled with the results of my first flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants sewing adventure :)

I used my wonderful canvas weight fabric obtained from a discarded futon cushion cover in New York (I had to wash it twice to feel comfortable using it - heh). H likes the rose pattern so much he has decided to make peace with the fabric's seedy past. Hehe. The black strap and end pieces are suede - so soft! - which were harvested from a very old, oversized 90's style leather jacket. My sisters and I all wore it when we were teenagers, and while I did try to give it a happy home in my closet, it was just sooooooo worn and out of style.

I think it likes its new stylish life as a purse.

The zipper is from a make-up bag I acquired somewhere...not sure exactly. At my old job I frequently got leftover goodies from my bosses' travels. I have a small collection of cosmetics bags from various airlines and corporate party favors. The lining of this purse is the black canvas side of a black pastic-y travel bag. This gives it some heft without using interfacing.

I had way too much fun loading the new purse with my goodies. Note my super special change purse from my sisters, and H's old cell phone. Why is his old cell phone in my purse you ask? Welp, my phone decided to commit suicide out of my bike basket on the beach over Christmas break. My dad found it half-drowned in a tidepool. It does still work, but it has some very odd ticks now. Ahem. I liked H and my old phones much better anyhow, so I'm back to cuter ringtones and the pretty silver exterior. The battery doesn't hold up as well as a new phone, but it lasts all day and that's all I could ask for, or need really. I have an upgrade coming up in September, so let's hope I can keep everything zipped and dry until then :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Paint it Black

I have been hunting a pair of black flats for years. After getting repeatedly frustrated at not finding the right fit, style, etc, I gave up and said, "if you want something done, you've got to do it yourself!" Enter these lovely Kenneth Cole Reaction flats I got at TJ Max years ago. They are comfortable, suede, and adorable. I have another pair I like better in gray with a silver bow, and these were getting mighty grungy, being beige and all. I thought to myself, I wonder if I just tried some black shoe polish...

I did think about this considerably before doing something so permanent to cute shoes, and I am so glad I took the plunge :)

These are like Cinderella's little black slippers in the Disney cartoon. It sounds so silly to write that, but I think my mom would understand my love for those shoes - it's actually because of her that I wanted black flats so badly. She has worn black ballets around the house (and pink and white) for as long as I can remember, and only recently she said it was because she loved Cinderella's shoes so much as a child. If you could see me now, I have a goofy sentimental grin :)

I love ballet flats, and real ballets. My mom and I both wore white ballets at our weddings. I wore pink ballets as a bridesmaid in my sisters wedding, plus all of us were ballerinas growing up. I really want to take classes again as an adult - it's wonderful exercise and it develops such grace and poise.

I'm sure you can tell from the red marks on my foot that I was sitting for quite a while on the kitchen floor smothering these shoes with black shoe polish. Quite fun actually.

I was very surprised to find how difficult it is to take pictures of your own feet. I'm actually wearing these shoes now, and I love them. Next best thing to bare feet :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

Man I am exhausted. Christmas had a hefty dose of sadness this year, but there were still sweet moments that I have tucked into my memory. I have such high hopes for 2009!!!!!!!

This was the first breakfast H and I had in 2009. My mom brought me the waffle-maker which came from my Grandmother - very sentimental and fun to use! She also brought a couple of other waffle makers for different shapes :)

Next time I think I'll make pumpkin pie waffles - best waffles known to humankind! Or at least the percentage of humankind that loves pumpkin as much as I do.

I promised to show pictures of my new digs as soon as it was nice and clean, so here it is in all it's clean glory (this has not lasted). Note the absence of a couch - I hope to remedy this in 2009.

And here is the fully decorated tree! Which has not come down yet, I am thrilled to say. My mom was so disciplined and neat that our family tree always came down the day after Christmas. Now that I am free to be a slob (at least part-time) I am enjoying leaving it up :) Plus I think they leave trees up in Sweden until January 13, don't they? I'm sure I have Swedish in my blood somewhere.

I handmade about half of my ornaments - knitted stars, pinecones, paper globes, cranberry strands, foil and straw stars, etc. The other half was lovingly donated by H's mom. So much fun to decorate with brand-new-to-me sparklies! The cranberry strands were my favorite part of the tree, with the locally found pinecones in a close second. It's amazing what a little white paint, ribbon and a glue gun and do to a humble pinecone. Even though this year was a no presents year, I still made out like a bandit with hand-me-downs from my mom and mom-in-law. I got the aforementioned waffle makers, a giant crockpot, tons of dishes, and even did a little discount shopping. If you are ever in the Hilton Head area, you can get fantastic deals at consignment shops like My Sister's Closet (such a cute name!) - I mean I'm talkin' $3.50 for a mint condition lavendar button-down from Express. Ack! Plus it's eco-friendly. What's not to like?

Coming soon...photos of some sweet handmade gifts that my sister, her H and my SIL snuck in. Happy 2009!!!