what i love: fall clothes

I've been good this year. When Nordstrom had their anniversary sale (they only have sales twice a year) I didn't go even though I KNOW all the fall goodness that was there.

And when it comes to fall clothes shopping at other stores, I've held strong.

buuuuuut I am tempted. Especially when there are so many gorgeous fall things out there!

 if I do get anything, I'm getting that belt. I have a major thing for belts. maybe I'll get those shoes too..

But despite all those gorgeous fall things, I'm waffling whether I actually want fall to show up.

I'm not ready for colder weather yet. I feel like I've just gotten warmed up. 

How about you guys? Ready for fall or is another month of summer sound good?

linking up! 


blackberry pie

Blackberry picking is a violent activity.

And I never do any activity half way, which I is why I pushed myself into the brambles to get the elusive, juicy plumb berries just out of my reach.

let's just say my arms and legs look like I got in a fight with a mean kitten.

But it was worth it for this:

Pie-making is a bit of lost art, or rather pie crust making is a lost art. So I encourage you to bring this skill back and I have just the recipe for you to try.

the best Pie Crust ever

2 cups flour
2/3 cup shortening
1 tsp salt
5-8 tbs cold water

Mix two cups of flour with salt and add the shortening, mixing it with a pastry blender until the consistency is coarse and crumbly.

 add the tablespoons of cold water one at a time, stirring with a fork until the dough begins to clump and clear the sides of the bowl, like so:

form the dough into two equal-sized lumps, cover with saran wrap and refridgerate for at least an hour and a half

Get the dough out of the fridge and roll each out to 1/4 inch thickness. Use lots of flour on the counter and rolling pin and roll out slowly. Tip: If you work the dough too much-- ie rerolling it-- it will begin to get harder to work with.

Place one in the bottom of the pie tin. Place the contents in the center of the pie and layer the second piece of dough over.

Trim the excess dough edges with baking scizzors. Then go around the pie and pinch the edges together, alternating as pictured below:

 Cut a slit in the top of the pie and pop it in the oven!

Blackberry filling: 

4 cups fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar

Mix the blackberries, 1/2 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup flour in a large bowl. Mix until you can't see the white of the flour and sugar anymore.

Beat one egg and brush half of it on the bottom of the pie crust. This keeps the pie bottom from getting soggy.

Pour blackberry mixture in, top with pie dough.

Brush remaining egg on the top of the pie and sprinkle with sugar.

Cook for 15 minutes at 400, and 20-25 more minutes at 375. (Mine cooked in 20 minutes)

enjoy with ice cream! nom.


guest post: betsy's tips for decorating on a budget

My best friend Betsy is one of my favorite people to craft with, decorate with and dream with. She recently got married and has been putting together her new place with her husband. I asked her to share some of her tips... enjoy!
Hi everyone!
My name is Betsy.  Erika and I have been friends for several years now and it is my delight to be writing a guest post on her blog!  
The two of us share a love for all things that are creative, inspiring and full of love.  We dream about one day opening a shop that encompasses all of these things, and perhaps some music and good wine on the side.  :)
I am recently married and have been in the process of decorating my new home!  I thought that today, I would share with you a few of the ways that I have decorated my small home on a small budget.  Enjoy and I hope that you are inspired to create!
The first piece of furniture that I purchased for my home was an old, smelly and a little bit dirty trunk (I like to imagine that the trunk used to belong to someone in the circus who traveled with it across the country).  I brought it home seeing the great potential that lay within the trunk-TV stand, Coffee table, end of the bed trunk, end table etc !  My husband thought otherwise, but thankfully with a few inspiring speeches he was convinced that the trunk would be a good fit to our little home. 

We decided to turn this circus trunk into a coffee table.  On to Home Depot!  Thank goodness for Home Depot because they kept all of the required tools for this project on the same shelf! I purchased four feet (see image below) and the kit included a metal piece which came with screws to attach to the trunk.  Once the metal piece (sorry, I don’t know the official name) was attached the feet twisted right in.  Easy as pie! 

 Now the trunk is no longer used in the circus, rather it sits in our living room as our coffee table.  And I am loving that fact that I have furniture with a history (whether the history be true or false).
Something else that I use in my home is this.  H for Hartman, my new last name! 

Which I also used as decoration at my wedding.
My Grandpa is a master carpenter and made the letter for me! I covered it with turquoise yarn and yellow ribbon.  At first, I attempted to make the yarn wrap perfectly around the H which I soon discovered was very difficult.  In the end, I wrapped, twisted and tied the yarn any which way! “Life doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful”!   In the end, I think it turned out just right.  This is a fun, easy and cheap way to add a bit of color and personal touch to your home. You can use a letter, a shape or even a lamp- twist, spin and wrap any color yarn around the object.  Tie of the ends.  Add maybe a flower or ribbon for zest and volia! You have a masterpiece! As you can see below, the H rests in my living room on this self.  

 I found these guys at a goodwill near my home in San Diego for 99 cents, yes please!   

I covered them with fabric that I had laying around in my craft boxes.  It’s really very simple and you can decorate however you’d like.  One hook I covered the entire piece with fabric and glued the back.  To finish it up I added some ribbon and a cute button. The other hook I cut out a circle to match the shape and then decorated the edges with a ribbon and more buttons! Hurray for buttons! 

My tip:  Try to use supplies that you already have.  Maybe an old jacket that you never wear, but happens to have cute buttons.  Perhaps, an old tank that is too small and has a stain on it, but the pattern is super cute.  Try to find ways to make the project as inexpensive as possible. 


 Thanks Betsy!
Don't you guys love her? And shouldn't she have a blog? :)
I can't wait to go to San Diego and see her... as well as the cute place she's put together!


Five Things Friday [#6]

top: american eagle forever ago
skirt: anthropologie
necklace: gift
sandals: target
giant willow tree: our backyard

One of my favorite things about our house is the enormous willow tree in our backyard. We recently had it trimmed and the arborist (tree guy) told us it was the biggest he had ever seen in Seattle. Hopefully by the end of summer we can put a swing in it and I can enjoy it before the weather turns. 

Happy Friday by the way! Notice anything new? If you're viewing this through Google Reader, you might want to click through and see the remake my little blog got from dear Danielle of Take Heart. She's raising money for adoption and because some day I want to adopt (and my blog needed some help) I decided to hire her.

She did a great job, don't you think? :)

This week was long but I feel like every week is long but still I've found plenty of good things to share, but here are my top five:

1. Reading O2 by Richard Dahlstrom (the pastor at my church) about balancing life-- breathing in God's grace and exhaling it to others. I'm not good at balance... I'm mostly a whirlwind of insane activity. :)
2. Moving offices at the ol' day job-- meaning Friday is a half day! Can't wait to get home early!
3. Eating veggies from my garden. I can not get over the fact that I'm eating zucchini, squash and beans that I planted! I love the wonder of it.
4. Stunning, freakin' gorgeous sunny weather here. Sigh. I loooove Seattle in the summer.
5. Girl night with a good friend. Trader Joe's French onion soup, a bottle of red wine and painting toe nails. Does it get any better? 

My five favorite posts from around the interweb:
2. Heather Marie of PaperDollSmile's thoughts on success
3. A for Ampersand has a free vintage dating reference card (so great because I'm a-going thrifting this Sunday!)
4. oh Danielle's home--featured on Life Made Lovely
5. love me some interior design & michaela has some great tips on her blog 
what have you loved reading this week? and anything exciting happen? or, better yet, anything exciting going on this weekend? 

there are some blackberries by my house. 
I think I may tackle them for some blackberry pie.

xo erika


scarves up!

How do you hide dirty hair?
I was inspired by Busy Bee Lauren to use a vintage scarf as a headband.

And you may not be able to tell, but these photos were taken with the new camera. It came in the mail and the husband and I are still getting used to it. We spent most of last night playing around with it.

Nesby was the subject of most of our shots. :)

he's not always a fan of holding still. 

I still have room for sponsors. It's free!
Send me an email at rougeandwhimsy [at] gmail [dot] com if you're interested.


what i wore & other stuff

Nesby insists on always being in the photo. He's a bit of a goober.

I'm getting better at the whole "taking photos of my outfit" thing but I'm no pro. The husband is getting better at taking them too... and of course, the dog is getting better at finding ways to get into every photo I take. He's such a ham.

Two things of note today:

1. I'm giving away $15 shop credit in honor of Beth's one-year blog-ivarsary. Go enter and give her some love. She's an absolute sweetheart :)

2. If you win that $15 credit you should check out all the new goodies in the shop. I uploaded them last night and to be honest, I'm really proud of what's there. I hope you like them as much as I do.

Happy Wednesday!


sponsor me?

I love free things, don't you? Free Ben & Jerry's cone day, free slurpie day and of course, free blog advertising.

If you have a handmade shop or blog, I'd love to feature you for the month of September FOR FREE.

Email me (rougeandwhimsy [at] gmail [dot] com) with you 250 x 175 horizontal ad to claim your spot!

Why should you sponsor Rouge & Whimsy?
The nitty-gritty: I've been blogging here since March 2011 and I average 6 posts a week with 1,000 page views a month. I have several ad spots on bigger famous blogs for the month of September which should drive traffic here... and ultimately to you.
The not-so-nitty-gritty: I make a mean guacamole, I have lots of fun ideas for the upcoming fall season...
 and hopefully those ideas will include featuring you!

p.s. all the cool kids are doing it. 

you is kind

Sometimes I get stuck in the comparison mode-- especially when it comes to my blog.

My blog isn't good enough. I don't have enough followers and my photography is lacking.

My product isn't selling enough. Do I need to change it?

I am not working enough. I am working too much. 

These voices swirl in my head and I find it hard to listen to the one voice of God that I believe tells me that I am good enough.

This weekend I went to see the movie The Help. I've blogged about how much I loved the book and have been inspired by Kathryn Stockett.

Although no movie is ever as good as the book, I can still say that I completely enjoyed the movie, especially the message by the main character Abilene. 

Leaning over to Maie Mobley, Abilene whispers in the toddler's ear every day this simple message:
You is kind.
You is smart.
You is important.

And Maie Mobley, in faith, repeats it after her.

I think this is something that I need to repeat to myself every day. And maybe it's something you should repeat to yourself as well. 

linking up to Call Me Blessed today!

7 things

I was inspired by Maie Daie & Pie n' the Sky for this little series.

7 Places I Would Like to Visit:
- France (again)
- England
- Scotland & Ireland
- Africa
-  the Holy Lands
- Quebec & Montreal
- Washington D.C. 

7 Things I Would Like to Make:

- this pouf on Better Homes & Gardens
- a square top as seen on Cotton & Curls
- this is more write than make, but my own novel or book
- sweatshirt blazer restyle

7 People I'd Like to Meet (Dead or Alive):

- Jesus
- my mom's dad (he died when she was in her 20s)
- my great-aunt Fran-- she gave me her real silver silverware before she died (we never met though)
- Tina Fey! (my dream is dinner with her and Amy Poehler. Someone set that up please)
- Oprah-- random but she has so much influence and I feel like meeting her would be beneficial :)
- Mother Theresa-- I'm sure she could teach me a lot
- Kathryn Stocket-- author of The Help. She got turned down 60 times before being published. I would love to hear her encouragement & wisdom. :)

7 Things I Would Like to Own:

- a serger sewing machine
- endless time!
- a new car
- Canon Rebel T1i Digital SLR Camera :)
- my own shop-- it'll be a thrift/craft/music/wedding planning coffee shop/hangout run by me & my friend Betsy :)
- a bazillion frequent flier miles
- a house on the water

7 Things That Annoy Me:

- people who snort snot up through nose (instead of blowing it out into a tissue) yuck
- people who are negative-- about themselves & others
- not getting enough sleep!
- folding laundry or laundry in general. it NEVER ends.
- messed up, tangled, sheets. Especially if the bottom sheet is loose. eeehhhh!
- people who curse wayyyy too often
- greasy hair

7 Films I Love:
- Baby Mama (hands down favorite movie. i know, cheesy. But i love love love it)
- Mean Girls
- Top Gun
- Up!
- When Harry Met Sally
- The Little Mermaid
- Double Jeopardy

7 Funny Words:

- oogle
- smorgasboard
- toodle
- bonanza
- fruitition
- pooch
- frap

What are your seven things? Tell me in the comments or link up to your own post!


sneak peak: fall 2011

My new line will be debuting in the shop soon.

Nearly every piece is one-of-a-kind made from vintage brooches and earrings.


five days in france: le mode

It's true, Parisians are chic. It's that je ne sais quoi about them. It's the no tennis shoes, fleece jackets or baseball caps or sweat pants. It was the way that my mom and I could instantly pick out an American tourist in the crowd of people swarming the worn cobblestones.

Here is my style guide to faking that French oh la la look.

Few of them wear any noticeable makeup so start with simple makeup, nude eyeshadow, if you must do liner--simple black on the top lids only, and just enough mascara and blush.

For an extra boost, a swipe of perfect red lipstick.


Add simple, loose hair and perhaps a striped shirt

or a simple top and silk scarf. Scarves make any outfit glamorous. And Parisians wear a lot of them.

or a blazer and skinny dark jeans. You can't go wrong with this combo.

 Here's a few more French-inspired outfits that I love.


Where do you get your fashion inspiration?
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