Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Record Clock

I made my dad a record clock for Christmas. It's hard to find a good gift for those people in your life that seem to already have everything. I think that's why I usually end up making a lot of gifts for the holiday, so people will get something unique...since my dad collects records and has close to 5,000 now, I thought this clock would be a good addition!

If you want to make your own, it is super simple. I just got a record at the thrift store (this one is "Dreamboat Annie" by Heart, isn't the mushroomie center as cute as pie, or as cute as a button-mushroom?!!). I bought the clock parts at hobby lobby and assembled it in less than five minutes. The only thing you have to remember is that the clock parts will probably end up being a little bit bigger than the hole in the center of a record, so just use a knife to gently make the opening careful to check the size of the opening periodically so you don't make it too big!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Lulu's Holiday Shindig

My best friend, LL is one half of "Lulu's"(and I am of course the other half). The concept of Lulu's was created one fateful night (after a few too many glasses of wine). We decided that when we cooked for friends we would have a pretend food television show and our friends would be the audience. This evolved into an actual video taping at our first holiday party 4 years ago, equipped with commercials done by party guests.

Now, it's a holiday tradition to cook up as many delicious food items as we can to fill the gullets of our friends and family! As you could imagine, it gets a little hectic, so I only managed to take pictures of two of the items on the menu this year.

Cake Balls (just bake cake according to box, crumble in bowl, add icing, roll into balls, freeze for at least one hour, then dip into white bark and add sprinkles.)

Salmon Sushi Bites (recipe from food network here)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tooth Plush Pillow

A good friend of mine is a dental hygienist, so for Christmas I made her a cute little tooth plush pillow. Doesn't he look happy?!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lisa Loves Yarn!

I have a friend Lisa who is super crafty and an avid crocheter. I can knit (and by knit I mean in a straight row, up and if you want a scarf, headband, belt, dog collar, pot holder, or anything else straight I can do that). However, I have always admired people who can manipulate yarn into intricate and lovely creations; via knitting or crocheting. I crocheted as a child (believe it or not, my super manly step-dad taught me), but when I tried to pick it back up in college it confused me.

These are some of Lisa's amazing creations (the "booger girl" tissue box cover up top is my favorite)!

Bath set with hand crocheted washcloths and other goodies!

Crocheted monster hat (Lisa's son is modeling, isn't he cute?!!)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Spice Project

I cook...alot! I love it. However, my dilapidated lazy-susan spice rack (shoved into a tiny cabinet) was not cutting it. So, I picked up some of those nifty magnetic spice tins at World Market and voila! Happiness! I already had my homemade chalkboard hanging by my oven, so I put them on there and labeled them with colorful chalk. So organized! So fabulous!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Luna's Heating Vent

Anytime it's cold in the house, Luna goes to a certain heating vent in the kitchen and sits on it to warm up. It is absolutely adorable and ridiculous looking at the same time. I love her!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


A couple of years ago, my mom gave me the beautiful stocking she crafted for me when she was pregnant with me. I have always loved stockings and haven't done them in a while. So, this year, I decided to make one for my dog, Luna and my boyfriend, John. Here they are... hanging in a row!


As much as I absolutely LOVE Christmas, I never had a real tree growing up (or ever). My mom always said it was too hard on her allergies and probably would be on mine too since they are an issue. But, I decided to get on this year and try it; since I have hardwoods and all. I also figured that even if it did start bothering my allergies, I'd have a tree for my porch! Luckily, it hasn't bothered me, and now that I've experienced having a real tree, I don't think I could ever go back to the fake, sad looking least not for awhile!

Most of my ornaments were either vintage ones I picked up at the thrifties or gifts from friends and families. I love the "ole-timey" look to it. I also used colored lights for the first time ever this year, and I thought they went pretty well with the retro look of the ornaments.
These are two of my favorite ornament finds. I got them at one of the thrift stores around town. Aren't they just adorable? I want to hold their little hands! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blue Checkered Monster Plushies!

I may be a silly girl, but I just love monsters, robots, dinosaurs and the like. I picked up some vintage fabrics at an estate sale recently and have been dying to make some plushies. These little monsters may be monstrous, but they have a big heart too! So cuddly. So cute.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dia de los Muertos

Day of the Dead (or Dia de los Muertos) is one of my favorite holidays. Traditionally, it is celebrated in Mexico every year on November 2nd. During this day, people celebrate by remembering loved one that have passed away. There are many traditional ways of celebrating; some of which include building altars in remembrance of loved ones, dressing up as skeletons, dancing, eating special foods (like Pan de Muerto), a procession or parade, a name call of the deceased, and decorating gravesites with flowers and marigolds. Often, people will also tell stories retelling fond memories of loved ones lost.

This year, I made a skeleton suit by sewing felted bones onto black clothing for myself and my boyfriend. We go a local festival each year, sponsored by a local art gallery called Bare Hands. It is fabulous! I also invested in some "real-deal" face paints from Snazaroo, with were also fabulous! They work just like regular paint...just add water and brush on. Having actual face paints really made all the difference (compared to last year when I just used those cheap paint sticks you can get at Walmart on the Halloween aisle)...better for detail and better for your skin!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Autumn Harvest Dinner

A couple of weeks ago, my boyfriend and I picked up a bounty of Autumn vegetables at Pepper Place (a local farmer's market). In true "fall" fashion, there was football blaring on the television all day after we got home from the market. We made an "Autumn Harvest Dinner" that turned out to be a very warm, rustic, and tasty dinner...all with an exotic twist!

We roasted acorn squash and stuffed it with Moroccan cous-cous, butternut squash soup with an Indian twist, and rutabagas with local honey, caramelized onions and a splash of ground ginger! I'm getting all warm inside just thinking about it all! I didn't exactly have a recipe for anything I made that day and I can't remember specific measurements, so I w,ill just give you a run down of the basics...

Roasted Acorn Squash stuffed with Moroccan Cous-Cous:
You will need 1 Acorn squash per 2 people (split in half, cover with melted butter and roast in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes). Prepare cous-cous according to packaging and add a smidgen of olive oil, raisins, chickpeas, roasted or powedered garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Stuff acorn squash halves with lovely concoction. Devour!

Butternut Squash Soup:
Now, I can't lie, this stuff was absolutely divine. I could've eaten an entire bucket of it! Cut your butternut squash in half, cover with melted butter and roast in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes (just like you did with the acorn squash). When the squash comes out it should be soft and gooey and easy to scoop out of the skin with a spoon. After you scoop it out, cut it into manageable pieces (one inch cubes is good). Add the roasted squash to a pot on medium heat and add the following to taste: heavy cream or half & half, butter, brown sugar, curry powder, garam masala (just use cinnamon if you don't have this on hand), and then add just a dash of nutmeg and a larger dash of cayenne pepper. Bring to boil, then immediately reduce to simmer and let simmer for about 20 minutes. Afterwards, I used a hand held immersion blender to smooth out my soup to a desired consistency, but I suppose you could use a food processor if you don't have one (be careful not to burn yourself with the hot soup though)! Eat with a spoon or dip some yummy bread in it!

Rutabagas with Caramalized Onions and Ginger:
Peel and chop the rutabagas (I used about 4-5 medium to large ones) into bite sized cubes. Boil for about 15-20 minutes. While the 'bagas are boiling, saute 1 small chopped onion in butter until brown and caramelized. Drain rutabagas, add to sauted onions, and brown rutabagas with onions (add more butter if needed). Add generous drizzling of honey and sprinkle in some ground ginger. Saute in pan for another 5-7 minutes until tender. Grab a fork and dive in!

Saturday, December 11, 2010


My friend April LOVES butterflies! For her birthday, I painted her two watercolor butterflies and mounted them on top of copper leafing. The butterflies are based on real ones that I picked out of one of my favorite art reference books: Cabinet of Natural Curiosities by Albertus Seba (full of gorgeous color woodblock prints of all things flora and fauna).