Monday, March 21, 2016

Silk Dyed Easter Eggs

If you're looking for a very easy, but impressive easter egg project, this is it! I have to give credit to the infamous Martha Stewart Show, which is where I learned this technique.



Materials:

  • Patterned Silk. I used silk scarves, but you could use any silk fabric (ties, scarves, shirts)
  • Raw eggs (they will cook while they are being dyed)
  • White cotton
  • Twist ties or rubber bands or string
  • Non reactive (glass or enamel pot) although I don't have either of these so used metal and it works
  • White vinegar and water



Directions:

Cut your silk into squares that will fit around the eggs. Also cut the white cloth to the same size. You can eyeball all of this, it does not need to be exact.


Wrap each egg in the silk and tie with a twist tie, rubber band or anything that will tie it tight (I used baking twine). The tighter you tie it, the more pattern you will have.


Wrap each silk covered egg in white cotton. I used an old t-shirt that had seen better days. The layer of cotton helps to keep the dye in place.

Place the eggs in your pot and fill with water so that they are covered. Add approximately 3 tablespoons of white vinegar to the water and bring to a boil.

Bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes.


Remove the eggs from the water and let them cool. Unwrap each egg and see your work of art.


Each one will be unique. An optional step is to add a little bit of vegetable oil to a paper towel to wipe each egg to make it shine.





You can also paint or use markers on the eggs after they are dry. I added some green marker to the one on the bottom to add some extra interest. I should also add that you can save the used silk to use again. The purple pieces were previously used a few years ago for the same project and still came out great!


What's your favorite way to dye eggs?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

let's celebrate!

Celebrations are one of the most wonderful experiences of life. You can celebrate anything, babies, marriage, graduation, a new job, a birthday, an anniversary, or insert-your-own-celebration-here! I think it's really important to be able to throw together a celebratory party at any time, under any situation. It's almost easier (actually definitely easier) to invest a minimum amount of time in planning and executing it. You just have to think outside of the box and take advantage of what's already there and available.



In the age of pinterest, it's easy to get overwhelmed with the millions of ideas that you find all around you. I speak from experience of getting caught in the black hole of infinite ideas and trying to plan an event. You could go crazy with the amount of food ideas, decoration ideas, invite ideas, game ideas, etc... But you know what? Most likely people are just going to remember the event and not pick apart the minuscule details. Sometimes you just gotta set a date, invite a few friends, and order a goddamn pizza!

We did a teeny bit more for this party, but actually not much. We picked a date (which was actually was the hardest part), then ordered food (Indian), bought desert (Termini, of course, the best dessert in probably the whole universe) and set the scene. It helps that I have a collection of candles and planters. But all I actually bought for the party decorations was a banner and letter kits from Target and plants from my local grocer. But these ingredients for our "BABY" party can be used and re-used for any number of parties.



Here's the breakdown:

Decorations: Usually I would DIY the banner, but I was seriously running out of time and found these in the dollar (or $3) bins in the front of Target. I took the banners and letters, spelled baby, sewed them on with some  yard I had laying around and then strung it all with the same yarn. Voila. Then I centered a bunch of candles on the table with some plants that I picked up at the grocery store. I decided on pansies, but a close second was house plants. The plants served two purposes, to decorate the table, and to be the favors so that everyone could take one home.


Food: Order it! DIY is also awesome and my number one choice, but if time is of the essence, just order it. If it's between spending hours in the kitchen that you do no have, or just ordering your favorite foods from your favorite joint; order it. No one will judge you. And if they do, screw them and their ideals.




Then it's time to sit back and enjoy the company of hanging out with friends, because that's what it's really all about.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

wallpaper sample project and bedroom update

While trying to decide on a wallpaper to use in the dining room, I ordered a bunch of samples from York Wallcoverings. You can order large format samples and then use them for DIY projects in your house! This pattern was a close second choice for the dining room, but I am happy that I talked Dave into my first choice

Wallpapering can be a real commitment and expense if you use it in an entire room or wall. If you don't want to make that big of a commitment, but really LOVE wallpaper (which you should) you can just paper a small area, as I have here. Our bedroom has a built-in vanity area with a couple of high shelves with a set of doors. The doors were the perfect canvas for this project. This wallpaper is called Wild Poppies and is flocked with a slightly shimmery base. It is a super cool and modern print. 


Saturday, February 13, 2016

valentine's flowers


Perhaps someone gave you a beautiful bouquet of flowers and you're not quite sure what to do with them. Or maybe you have learned the importance of having fresh flowers around to admire and brighten your day, so you bought them for yourself. 

These flowers were bought from the grocery store. Starting at the left we have carnations (which I think are highly underrated), tulips and some greenery. Since it was the day before Valentine's day, the flowers were at least 50% more than they usually are. 


Start by picking out some vases or any type of container that would work as a vase. I started with the following: a milk glass pedestal vase, a marble wine cooler, a milk glass cup and a milk glass vase. Unless you have a very large vase, the amount of flowers in a large bouquet (or 3 small ones as shown above) usually look best as smaller arrangements.

Start by placing the foundation of the arrangement. This is best accomplished by using the sturdiest plants first, i.e. some type of filler. Think outside of the box if needed and (if it's not the middle of winter) raid your garden. In the past I've used hosta leaves, evergreen branches, ferns, and a number of unknown plants from my yard.

Eyeball the level of the plant and where it will best align in the base, as shown above. Make sure to tear off any greenery or leaves that fall below the water line. If they are in the water it will make the water turn gross faster.

After the base is set, follow the same procedure to place the flowers. Eyeball which part of the stem to cut by placing the stem in front or beside the vase and seeing where it would work best in the arrangement.

You can mix and match different kinds of flowers into one arrangement, or stick with one flower type per vase.

I decided to keep it simple and made two tulip arrangements and two carnation arrangements.

Just as I was finishing shooting the above flowers, my lovely husband came home with the beautiful bouquet below. He wasn't as cheap as I and bought them from a proper flower shop.

Since this was a large, awesome collection of different types of flowers, I thought it would work best as one large arrangement. But there was enough to make one large and one tall.

For wide vases, use scotch tape to divide the area into sections, as shown below. You can divide the tape lengthwise to get two pieces per piece.

Start with the largest, sturdiest flowers as the  base. Then add the flowers to fill the spaces. Vary the heights somewhat, so give it depth.

And here are the finished arrangements. The vase on the right is one of my faves from my vintage collection.


Happy Valentine's Day!

Friday, February 5, 2016

iceland: reykjavik

Dave and I took an amazing long weekend trip to Iceland in the beginning of January. It was so much fun and even more incredible then I imagined it would be.

This waHallgrimskirkja, don't ask me how to pronounce it

It was by far the most ornate building that I saw while we were there. The architecture was very modern and simple and I loved it. I will devote a future post to the architecture and design. 


Sunday, January 24, 2016

Sewing / Craft Room Update

I spent the Saturday of the blizzard rearranging and organizing my sewing / craft room. The room was set up in a way that just wasn't working for me. Now I can easily access the shelves again!



I finally figured out a floor plan that works. On Black Friday I saw a deal for a free Homepolish session so I bought it. This gave me an hour session with a designer who I facetimed with, Marcy Garcia. And by the way I never use facetime and hate being recorded, so I am pretty sure I was terrible at it. It was so great to get a fresh opinion on everything. She found me a lot of sofa beds that would have fit in this space. She also believed that the dark wooden trim at the top of the room should be painted white and I agree! I have been thinking that about the whole house ever since I first saw it. This is definitely in the future plans. As is getting new flooring.


blizzard

Our winter had been incredibly mild, but winter just arrived in the form of a 2 foot blizzard.

Here is when it started, Friday night.

And Saturday morning we woke up this.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Happy New Year

Our New Year's Day was spent in Philly with the Mummers. It was a blast, as usual.


Day drinking and hanging out with dogs. This guys is Jackson, our friend Ben's dog.