Archive for the ‘martha strewart’ Category

Crafting with Martha Stewart

January 20, 2010
 

Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts

Last week my copy of Martha Stewarts Encyclopedia of Crafts arrived in the mail. First off, don’t let the books cover fool you about the good stuff that’s inside. That seashell trashcan she’s making looks like total sh!t (in my humble opinion that is) and how that image became the books cover simple floors me. Needless, it didn’t deter cool hipsters from purchasing it – I did. 

No, I don’t really think I’m a cool hipster but it was fun to say.

Anyhow, I finally had a few moments to fumbled threw the pages of my new book and I’m scared. How will I ever have enough money to make all this stuff? Well everything minus the crappy seashell trashcan. Not sure what my first project will be but these eggs for an Easter centerpiece sure are enticing. Gorgeous!

 

MS Metallic Eggs via MS

In the meantime I still need to come up with a good Valentine Day craft. Anyone have something good to share?

a new year, a new me

January 1, 2010

clock faces, source of image unknown

There is something about the start of a new year that exhilarates me. I always start January with an abundance of confidence and optimism… like the world is mine. I love that feeling, that extra push to do big things and to find your happiness in life. So that’s where I am right now.

I must also mention that as of today I have been blogging for one year! Some days I thought I would never make it. Other days I just wanted to give it all up but mostly I felt good about sticking to it and seeing one year through. I can’t say to what capacity I’ll be blogging in the new year. But we’ll work it out, k?

I have big plans for twenty ten. Some are big secret plans and others I can talk about freely. And as much as I feel like I have the next year planned out there is still a lot left in the air, I think I like it that way. Given all the things I need to work on I have major plans to morph into a frugal girl. Not sure what, if any, home decor plans I’ll be working on. I do want to read more. I only read one book in 2009 so I’m gonna try and increase that by 4 more books. I know, I know, that just seems pathetically funny but it’s my goal and I’m gonna own it. I’m sticking to books that will either enlighten me, or make me a better person. I’m also excited about getting the Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Crafts. Apparently I’m disillusioned enough to think I have that sorta time on my hands.. plus, how do MS crafts fit in with my new frugal life style. Who knows, but I hope to make it work.  I’m feeling blissfully happy about all of this right now. So to all of you –

Go forth young ones and make big things happen. Live life and enjoy it.

party plans

October 19, 2009

My sons second birthday is this Thursday and I had every intention to write about the planning process but time escaped me. The big day is just a few days away now but here are a few details in brief.

Budget: I first figured out a budget – $50. I didn’t even know if that’s was reasonable but I definitely wanted to keep things in perspective. For those of you who have done this before, feel free to let me know if that was too much.

Decor: I love simplicity so I decided that there would be no real theme but rather a collaboration of thoughts and ideas that came to me. I still needed a starting point so I looked towards the gift that I wanted to give Graycen, a book. With my son still being so young  he’s happy for a laugh and some silliness so I’m trying to enjoy it while I can. After much thought I went with a Dr. Seuss book – Happy Birthday To You. It’s a wonderful book that talks about the greatness of being yourself. One of the two main characters, the Birthday Bird, is yellow and wears a red jumper so I used that as my primary color scheme. I then added bits of turquoise which I pulled from the cover of the book. See -

 

Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday To You!
Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday To You!

Set-up: On Thursday the plan is to set a display out of his favorite yummies as well as things he’s never had. Basically candy and sweets galore. Everything will be laid on our cocktail table which sits low to the ground and will allow Graycen to grab and explore at his pleasure. I really wanted this to be something he could experience on his own. I figure we will sit around – laughing and nibbling until we’re stuffed silly. Anything left after that will be packed up and given away. That makes me feel better about all the candy I purchased.

image via Martha Stewart
image via Martha Stewart

There will of course be a cake but we can only pray that cupcakes make an appearance as well. I decided a square cake would be perfect for the occasion and pulled out a three piece Martha Stewart pan collection. When I went to make the smallest tier I learned that it requires three cups of cake batter. For the look I want I would need to make two layers and wIth some quick math I realized I needed 6 cups of cake batter. Umm, that’s a lot of damn batter. Not to mention it’s more then you get from one box of cake mix. Thus I’ve spent the last two weekends baking cakes and thanking my luck starts that I started this process early. That means I still need to bake cupcakes – assuming I find the time between now and Thursday. Not that a family of two can eat that much cake but it does mean we’ll be able to feed our neighbors.

MS cake set

MS cake set

flower school

May 9, 2009

I’ve been meaning to write more about my floral class at Red Rose and Lavender but time has escaped me.

If anyone recalls, I had mentioned I was taking two floral classes. The first was to be on French arrangements. I hadn’t a clue what that meant but it sounded lovely. Well, I was a bit surprised when I showed up at my first class and on the table was a small vase that resembled concrete. Like sidewalk concrete! But it gets better. Peeking out of the concrete was one flower. One single flower people?! Now, I’m not one for confrontation so I just stood there and thought – WTF? I mean, did I just pay money to learn how to put one flower in a vase? As much as I wanted to say something I just smiled and made small talk. All the while I had to wonder if there was some way I could get my money back. Again, come on, a vase with one flower peeking out? But stay with me and keep reading.

Eventually the class starts and that’s when the teacher explains that today’s class has been changed and we would now be learning the art form of Ikebana. A lot of information was given to us and then the single flower on the table began to take shape into something else. It would be too hard for me to explain the art of Ikebana arranging so here is a small informational from Zen Images:

Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arranging, originated during the 6th century in Japan with the introduction of Buddhism from China. It was the custom to place floral offerings in front of altars to honor the Buddha and the souls of the dead. Over time, these floral offerings evolved into floral arrangements designed to express the harmony between man and nature and between spirit and matter. By the 13th century, the practice of Ikebana became a form of meditation for Zen Buddhist priests. In 1927, a radical new approach to Ikebana was launched by Sofu Teshigahara, the late founder of the Sogetsu School. Teshigahara broke with rigid classical rules and emphasized the artist’s freedom of expression. He said, “Ikebana is not just about sticking a flower into a vase: it is about the love and need of the artist to create beautiful forms.”

It ended up being a really wonderful class. I think it was the perfect first class for me and as someone who greatly appreciates art I found Ikebana to have a similar attraction. Hard to explain but in Ikebana a lot of focus is placed on the look of a stem or the movement of a branch. It’s truly beautiful. And if you are into Asian Minimalist I think you’ll love this style. It’s simple and graceful. And it requires a lot of thought and patience.

I pulled these images from this blog dedicated to Ikebana arrangements so show you how the masters do it.

image via zen-images

image via zen-images

image via zen-images

image via zen-images

image via zen-images

image via zen-images

Now my Ikebana arrangment didn’t look anything like those. :) It ended up being a branch with a few ranunculus sticking out of a concrete vase but I loved it and I think it looked pretty nice. Here is the only image I have from that arrangment. You can see a bit of the concrete vase at the bottom that I used. I was smitten over the concept of this beautiful flower with this unique stem popping up of something so sleep and almost cold.

first floral class

first floral class

The second class was lovely as well. We focused on Low and Lush flower designs. I was so proud of my final arrangment. I loved everything about it.. the colors, my flower choices, the texture of the different items. I know I’ve already posted an image of my arrangement but here go some additional shots that I took. I used mostly ranunculus, which I’ve loved since seeing my first arrangement with this flower in Martha Stewart Weddings.

my low and lush arrangment from flower class, detail shot

my low and lush arrangment from flower class, detail shot

my low and lush floral arrangment

my low and lush floral arrangment

Floral Class Two - Large Image

low and lush floral arrangment

Aren’t those colors amazing! I had so much fun taking these classes and meeting some great girls.  It makes me realize I need to be doing more. As full as my life is, there is room for me to keep learning new things.

fate

April 23, 2009

Ok, maybe using the word fate would be taking things a bit far but this is a true story. I think I’ve mentioned before that I can be a bit obsessive about paper products and such. I also get this way with things I deem “pretty.” It’s a random and bad bad habit but that’s me. It just is what it is, you know?

Well, I’ve been holding on to a few random things in my kitchen cabinets because they are “too pretty” to trash. Things we don’t use, things we don’t need. It’s crazy because I’m a minimalist at heart but certain things I can’t part with.. too pretty. Yet, my sons assortment of food is getting bigger and bigger so I needed the space but I still couldn’t part with everything. Now, I’m not a hot tea drinker but through my husband we’ve managed to collect several hot tea sort of things. Like two tins from our travels to London that had loose tea in them. They are too cute and the top has this raised seal – no way could I just dump ‘em. See, this is it… cute, right! 

cute tea tin

cute tea tin

 

I won’t even mention the part about the trip to London being about 4 years ago and how the tea was still sealed into the tins. We never opened them and even if we had the tea wasn’t fresh anymore. But I’ve kept them because they are adorable, you feel me. Well I finally took them out of the cupboard and snapped some photos cause I wanted to see if you folks had any ideas on how I could reuse the tins that I refuse to dump and then… it happened… I saw this photo while perusing through on old Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. (Summer 2006)

via Martha Stewart

via Martha Stewart

It’s fate, right? And such an adorable idea, don’t you think? Also, it seems I’m not the only one thinking about pretty tea tins. While trying to hunt down an online photo of this image I came across this recent post by decor8. Nice to see I’m not the only one holding onto pretty tins.

crafts: favors and flowers

April 16, 2009

Flowers for a Baby Shower

Flowers for a Baby Shower

Shhhh.. don’t tell anyone but I belong to a Secret Society. That’s pretty much all I can tell you about this amazing group of woman. Well, that along with how smart, charming, witty and down right fashionable they are. Ok, enough about the Secret Society.

A few weeks back we had a baby show for one of the girls. I got to be on the Decorating Committee, which basically meant I supplied favors and flowers. I’m a crafter who never really crafts so I get excited when I have a chance to be creative and make pretty things. But sometimes I get ahead of myself. Like in this case… I knew I wanted to do something in a box and only came up with the what part after purchasing the boxes. Not really a horrible thing BUT I waffled back and forth between a cupcake and cookies. Cookies won out because we were getting a fancy cake for the shower and the double cake thing seemed a bit redundant. Bad idea! Or maybe the bad part was using recipes I had never made before. I decided to go with two types of cookies, a chocolate chip cookie and a Martha Stewart Butterscotch cookie. Both turned out pretty crappy and I was honestly embarrassed to have my name attached to them. So much so that I didn’t even include the chocolate chip cookies in the box.

Even if what was inside the box sucked at least the decor on the box was cute to look at, no?

Flowers and Favor Boxes

Flowers and Favor Boxes

I got the idea for boxes adorned with ribbon and silhouettes from Sara Hicks Malone of Party Perfect blog. It’s a great blog so check her out.

Wedding of Sara Hicks Malone, Martha Stewart Weddings

Wedding of Sara Hicks Malone, Martha Stewart Weddings

eggs, baskets and hats

April 9, 2009
Image from Martha Stewart Living

Image from Martha Stewart Living

Ack, Easter is almost here!

I’m getting more and more excited since this year Graycen will be getting a little ol’ basket. I debated about this since at 17 months he has no clue what’s going on but my desire to start traditions has won out. I then proceeded to spend way too much on goodies. Unfortunately toys cost more then candy and we aren’t candy giving kind of parents (at least not yet). So this week its been like a mini-Birthday Bash going on in our place. Slowly packages have been arriving and every day I’m tempted to skip Easter and just hand the goods over. It’s so hard for me to practice patience and wait for Sunday to arrive. Clearly I’m the one having all the fun at this point but… well, it’s fun!

If you are following along on the production of my Easter hats for the Bonnet Festival I am sad to report only one hat is complete. It’s two days until Easter and I still need to craft an entire hat from scratch while also figuring out how to attach a bird to my sons head. Cause… lets be real here, Graycen will not be wearing a full on Easter hat. At 17 months old it just wouldn’t go over well with him. Ideally Easter should be tantrum free, no? And he still has no pants to wear which is sort of important, right? If I have to dig something out of his closet it will be disastrous since he’s been sporting mostly high waters these days. What can I say folks, motherhood is a lot of work.

Well, I have tomorrow off from work so I’m going to try and do something fun with my son. If I don’t get back in here before Sunday – have a Happy Easter if you celebrate.

Before getting out of here I want to drop this off. I’m not a knitter but how cute are these from The Purl Bee.

via Purl Bee

via Purl Bee

 

via Purl Bee

via Purl Bee

craft: gift wrapping

January 29, 2009

Years ago my husband and I traveled to London. It was rather random as I had won a travel credit at work by convincing customers they needed some product they really didn’t. UK flights were cheap so we figured why not. Plus it was the furthest place we could get on $500. At the time it had been a few years since I had ventured oversees, though I did grow up in Spain.

Back then, in Spain, I collected pencils. I came across my pencil collection just recently. I was doing the obligatory Clean-Out-Your-Crap-from-Your-Parents-Home-Cause-You’re-an-Adult-Now-and-Don’t-Live-There. And it was there, in a purple Crown Royal box, where I reconnected with my beloved childhood pencils. I couldn’t bear to throw them away since apparently, in that moment, I discovered I still loved pretty pencils. But I’ve digressed.

Once in London both my husband and I were eager to shop. I was on the hunt for pencils, paper, stationary, ribbon… that sort of stuff. There, on a shopping trip in Harrods, I came across the most magnificent wrapping paper. To attempt a description would do it a disservice. It was sensual, and beautiful, and perfect. Even now I get giddy over my find. I had to have it so after paying some ridiculous sum of money I became the proud owner of several sheets. A few years have passed and I still own most of what I purchased that day.

I love paper, and ribbon and stationary but I also hoard it. It’s ridiculous, really. When I go to wrap a gift (or write a letter) I suddenly can’t part with my goods. I become attached which is almost (almost!) embarrassing to admit. Just recently my mother asked me to wrap a gift she had purchased my husband for the holidays. Now I love my mother (and my husband) but there was no way I was using my collection on such a thing. From there I began to lament over my ribbon and if I was willing to part with any of that. In the end I just gave my husband the gift.. nonwrapped with no ribbon. Shhh, don’t tell my mom but see, ridiculous. Slightly worse is my need to reuse similarly pretty things that I receive. Because you see, when I am so fortunate to receive a gift – if it has ribbon that I like I ever so gently fold it up and save it for later use.

How.. umm.. green of me!

I have vowed to be better. This weekend we were invited to a baby shower and I was most excited about wrapping the gift. I selected an adorable striped paper that was left over from when I lined envelopes for my son’s birth announcements. The paper is pink…. my child is a boy… long story – don’t ask! I’m digressing again.

I then found the most perfect ribbon that was a bit oversized for the gift itself. The ribbon is recycled from a gift my son received. I liked the contrast of the small gift against the wide ribbon. The package was then topped off with an elephant and giraffe cut out. I should mention that the animal cut outs are chipboards from the Martha Stewart Crafts collection.* And here goes the end product. Do you like?

a-gift-for-jina-large-image

Shower Gift

 

Close Up

Shower Gift, Take Two: Close Up

So there. I’m a bit bonkers about paper and ribbon and other such embellishments. I’m also selfish and not very giving when it comes to using these things that I’ve collected but I swear I’m going to get better. Really!

If you have a neurotic confession, please dish as I don’t want to feel all alone here.

* Chipboard animals can be purchase at Michaels. If you are here in the city try Lee’s Art Shop.

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