2/28/11

easy as pie

If there ever was a misnomer, it's the phrase "easy as pie."


[source]
Pie, is not the easy. Yes, easy to eat, but not easy to make. I'm guessing the phrase was invented in the 1800's when making pie was easy--compared to doing laundry, crossing the country on the Oregon Trail, or sewing all of your own clothes. 


Cake is easy. You can get a mix and it tastes *almost* like 98% as good as homemade.


Premade pie, not so much. 


And I'm a pie snob. While I love pie, I only love homemade pie, preferably my mother's. None of that Sara Lee premade crust or Shari's pie or Costco pie... it's not as good. It's just not. 


And this just in: homemade, gourmet pies are now the new cupcakes. A few years ago fancy cupcake shops popped up all over and it was hip to pay $5 for a cupcake, or have your wedding cake replaced by cupcakes.


Now, it's pie, and just like cupcake shops, pie shops, including one near my work, are open for business. I can not be more excited. Simply because in my mind, (homemade) pie > cookies > cake. (I went to a wedding recently where they had pie instead of cake... now why didn't I think of that?)


But before you run out to that new gourmet pie shop on the corner, or (gasp) get one from the grocery store, I'm going to share my pie crust recipe which (with practice) is easy as, well, pie. 



You need:
2 cups flour5 to 8 tbs. ice water
2/3 C. shortening
1 tsp salt
In large mixing bowl, whisk flour and salt together. Add shortening and mix with pastry blender till it looks like course crumbs. Add ice water a few tablespoons at a time mixing with a fork till dough starts to clean the sides of the bowl and pull into a ball. Split dough in half, place in 2 sandwich bags and refrigerate for at least an hour. (You can refrigerate this longer, but it can get tough if you leave it in there overnight.)
Sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with flour (and have flour on hand.) Roll out 1 bag of dough to about 1/4 of an inch thick slowly and gently. Do not overwork the dough-- it will make it unhappy.
What your dough should look like after rolling it out:

Lay it gently over your pie tin, using baking scissors to snip the excess.


Then, using your thumb and forefinger, pinch the crust all the way around. This technique takes some practice. I suggest making crab pinchers with both hands, and and move slowly around, alternating between pinching the inside and outside of the pie dough. 


Fill your pie with anything delicious! (Like pumpkin or apples.)

2/27/11

winter blast

Despite it's penchant to rain, Seattle really isn't that cold.

Which is why, when it snows, the entire city holds its breath in anticipation, whether in fear (oh my gosh! I'm stranded) or in sheer wonder (snowflakes! so pretty!) I'm more of the latter. As the rest of the United States was hit by blizzard after blizzard, Seattle stayed in the low '40s, gray, some rain. Borrrring.

Last week, Seattle decided to get with the winter programming and it snowed...and it was cold. But it's near March, and despite the beauty of snowflakes, I'm ready for s p r i n g!!

Of course, 29 degrees is nuthin' compared to the rest of the States. My question is how do people even deal with 4 degree temperatures? And you're probably wondering how I deal with so much gray. (I'll address that in another post.) :)


2/23/11

what i {should} have worn

Working a 9-5 "real job" (though it's more like 5:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.) doesn't leave a lot of room for exciting and cute outfits.

So I'm taking a leaf out of Pugly Pixel's "what I wish I had worn" post and Gussy Sew's "what I would have wore" Wednesday posts.

Here goes a little "what I should have worn" instead up my usual shirt plus scarf. [Creative, huh?]





1. Striped shirt by Banana Republic (I love stripes. They remind me of France)
3. I am really in to filigree rings, especially this one by the lovely Sandy a la Mode
5. High-waisted trousers by Anthropologie. (I really want high-waisted, wide-leg pants to make me feel elegant and grown-up.)

Of course none of this is realistic because it's currently snowing where I live right now.

So we could just throw this over it all and call it good:
[source]







indie 3.0

Raise your hand if you liked school growing up.

[source]
 I did. A lot.

In first grade, my parents told me that I had to miss a day of school because we were going on a family road trip. As they packed the car that morning, I told them I was going to school anyway and walking down to the bus stop. I strapped on my backpack and walked down the driveway.

I wasn't too defiant; I only made it to the end of the block. My mom watched me dart from bush to bush in the neighbor's yard as she continued to load the van.

I'm well out of school but recently I just enrolled in what should be my favorite school yet: Indie Business 3.0.
[source]

I can not wait to learn all that I can from brilliant handmade business women Leigh-Ann, Jill and Lisa.

I'm kind of making this whole handmade business thing up as I go along and I need direction... really any direction.

So I'm sharpening my pencils {real and imaginary} and counting down the days until the first day of class.

[source]
 {I can hardly wait.}

2/20/11

President's Day sale

My inbox is full of President's Sale spam-- coupons from Macy's, J Crew, Gap-- all these places tempting me to shop. As if I'm difficult to tempt.

I've decided to join in the Monday discounts with my own promotion (minus the spam-mail.)

In honor of George Washington and good ol' Abe Lincoln (that's who Presidents Day celebrates, right?) I'm offering free shipping for all the items in my shop with the code "presidentsday".

Tell your mom, tell your friends. Maybe even send 'em a [spam] email or two. ;)


2/18/11

love letter


Yeah. 
I know. 

It's a little strange. But to those of you out there who have used a crock pot-- you know what I'm taking about.
Throw some stuff in, turn it on, and come home hours later to dinner. It's brilliant and I'm not sure why it sat so long in the closet in its box after I got married. I was missing out big time. 

So yesterday the husband was sick and I knew he needed something hearty. 
Enter the pot roast plus some carrots, onions and beef broth. (Plus a little splash of worchester suace.) Voila. Dinner for days.

Now where are my apron and pearls?




wedding number 4

No it's not me. I've only been married once (and I plan on keeping it that way.) But another one of my dear friends recently got engaged and I'm on the list to be a bridesmaid...

for wedding number four in six months.

But I'm excited! I love weddings! Love love love weddings.

And in honor of my dear friends getting hitched, I'm working on a wedding line of hair accessories. I haven't posted any of them yet, but I bought some gorgeous satin and French tulle...

and put together a few things.

     

We'll see what more I'll come up with this weekend. It's supposed to be pretty chilly [for Seattle] so I'm hoping to hole up for a bit. :)

What are you doing this weekend?

2/16/11

what i wore

So it would make sense to write "what I wore Wednesday" but I cheated; this is what I wore Tuesday:


I'm outside my little house and I'm such a mean wife because I dragged the husband outside to take the photo. (He's sick and was sitting on the couch, surrounded by various cold medicines.)

Dress: Vintage Goodwill find, hemmed & altered by me (done a little too quickly, unfortunately)
Cardigan: Marshalls 
Tights: Fred Meyer 
Boots: Nordstrom (big splurge a year or so ago)
Headband: New creation by me

I just started a new line of elastic headbands with a simple flower and feather and am really excited about them, especially my new one in yellow. It's so cheerful and bright for spring. I'm doing my best to find comfortable elastic because I think most stretchy headbands end up being too tight on my head!

isn't it cheerful and fun?

Check out the new listed headbands here and here.

2/15/11

my momma and me

I think I get my crafty-ness from my mom. Not a sly personality, but a love to create and design.

While I am more on the creative, artsy (read unorganized & whimsical) end, my mother has a gift for interior design. While I could put together a somewhat decent room, my mom knows exactly why something does or doesn't work. Which is why, when my guest/craft room became a shamble of mismatched finds from Goodwill, I called upon my mom and her business partner to figure it all out.

And slowly but surely, they're putting together a room that I'm already obsessed with.

It's not done by any means, the walls need another coat of paint in places and nothing is quite organized, but there are pieces that are already (at least to me) completely magical:

the inside of the painted dresser drawers. Some adhesive & cute paper & my momma :)



the headboard. plywood + foam + fabric + staple gun... and again, my momma

Goodwill desk + chair on the side of the road I spotted + yellow spray paint. (the doggie is Bridget)

It makes me want to craft! [not that I needed the encouragement... ] :)

Where do you guys craft? Before this, it was on the kitchen table, much to the dismay of my husband...

2/14/11

pup's first valentine

I didn't do so well with Valentine's Day this year.

I had so many grand plans. Plans for cards mailed out ahead of time so they arrive in mailboxes on the 14th.  Cookies from scratch for work.

The only thing I achieved was a handmade card for the husband and a French press. [The gift of a French press is slightly selfish-- I knew he wanted it, but at the same time, it was an encouragement for him to not buy Starbucks as much.] ;)

Getting home from work I decided I needed to do something for Valentine's Day. And that something ended up being valentines given vicariously through the pup.

So I fished out my crayons [yes I own crayons... don't you?] and the pup and I [well mostly me] put together some Valentines for his favorite neighbor doggie friends.

Yes I have the deluxe 120 crayon box. I know you're jealous.

Nesby the puppy is quite the artist

I stuck the card in a baggie with some treats [mom why you giving away my cookies?!]

and off we were for delivery!  

Now the husband is cooking me dinner and I'm blissfully blogging. Life is good. :)

2/11/11

happy friday & some photos

I promised to post the photos Thursday, but the husband and I went snowshoeing with some friends and I collapsed into bed shortly after we got home.

But I have the photos posted on etsy & a few put together for here:





now I'm looking forward to a great weekend at home with a lot of crafting to do-- some flowers for bridesmaids and a lil wholesale order I'm thrilled about. :)

happy friday!

2/9/11

{sneak peek} photo shoot

I've been thinking for a long while that my etsy shop images are just not up to par.

Thankfully I have great friends, like Betsy, who are up for a photo shoot. I don't have all of the photos edited but I'm pretty pleased so far.

Here's a sneak peek at the photo shoot:

I love Betsy, and her willingness to pose!

Betsy's boots were made for walking
I recently discovered red lipstick. I'm wearing 'Red Red Red' by Clinique


Betsy is SO cute & she's getting married this summer! :)

Nesby the puppy and Betsy

I'm hoping to get them all done and posted here, as well as a few on etsy, by tomorrow.

here comes the brides...maid

I'm in three weddings in the next 5 months.

Some people scrunch up their face in horror when I share this bit of news, but in fact I'm ecstatic. Each of them are marrying wonderful, wonderful guys and I can't wait to share in their day. (awwww)

And luckily the brides each have good taste in bridesmaid dresses, so there won't be any of this:


featured on tackyweddings.com
Or this beauty on uglydress.com:
See it in it's full glory here
In fact one of the brides has given us freedom to pick out our own dress, in navy blue.

"Go on ModCloth.com," she instructed us.

With pleasure.

Or how about the online shop Ruche? Their latest lookbook has made me feel proud to be a redhead for once. Do you see how cute the model is? Divine.

Spring 2011 Ruche

p.s. Do you have an ugly bridesmaid dress rotting in your closet ala 27 dresses? Check out this post from Apartment Therapy with instructions on how to make that beast a pleasing pillow.

2/7/11

valentines day

I hated Valentines Day growing up.

First of all, I usually got sick that week and during the classroom party was at home on the couch stuck with daytime television. (And we didn't have cable.)

And, secondly, as I got older, there was the whole competition to see who got more roses, more cards, more chocolate...more LOVE.

Most of the time it felt like I was the one on the sidelines, knobby-kneed, freckled and unlucky. Duped by Hallmark into thinking that Valentine's Day meant that it was about how much I could get, rather than how much I could give.

This year I'm excited for Valentine's Day, and not just because I'm married and guaranteed a gift.  I'm excited to make things and mail things and show others that the holiday is much more than a greeting card company invention.

I'm sharing a few {free!} things out there to celebrate Valentine's Day with you all. Enjoy!

--> I love love love this free DIY download from adorable stationary site Twig & Thistle.
Download the printable PDF at twigandthistle.com

--> Here's another free! (and paperless) way to share your love to all of the interwebs (first spotted on jenloveskev):

screenshot of withoutyouitsjustnot.us
A piece of the back story:
"I started this project for three reasons. First, to show my wife how much I love her. Second, to give others a simple way to do the same for their significant others. Third, and probably most important, is to help show people how good it is to love and be loved. My hope is that when people start participating and posting flyers, others would see the flyers and notice the movement."
How great is that?

And the final freebie, maybe not for your honey, but for anyone, from Amanda at Calico & Co:
image care of Calico & Co

Create five postcards and post 'em around your hometown, on your bus, at your grocery store to share a little love during February. There are even downloadable postcard templates.

What are you doing for Valentine's Day?

lollipopscards.com: YOU interviewed

Saw this post on the adorable lollipopscards.com and I'm answering it for all of the interwebs to see :)

1. what is your favorite treat? (any type)
Cherry turnovers made by my mama (no store bought stuff.) Her pastry crust is KILLER good. Flaky, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. 

2. what makes you happy?
crafts. my husband. my puppy. sleeping in. sunshine. my dear, dear friends.

3. what would a special day be for you?
a day at the thrift shops with my mom, crafting with a friend, sunshine-y walk with the puppy and a movie night with the husband :D

4. what is your favorite color?
it changes! Currently mustard yellow. Oh my gosh so '70s fab and I can't get enough.

5. what book are you reading right now? why?
"Major Pettigrew's Last Stand" It took me awhile to get into, but it was a gift and now I'm beginning to appreciate the slower pace that it goes.

6. what pushes your buttons?
when people don't live up to their full potential! (and a messy house.)

7. what makes you melt?
Back massages and when my husband does the laundry (that includes folding).

8.  what do you want people to say about you?
She is loving, creative person!

was i the only one?

I didn't watch the Super Bowl yesterday.
I didn't eat nachos, chili or barbecued pork sliders.

The only beer I had was after dinner, and it was in a bottle.

Instead, I tackled my guest/craft room, with the help of Nesby the puppy.

It's not close to done, but here's a little tease:




The walls ended up a warm yellow, which really make the gorgeous painted dresser pop. My mom, a talented spray-painter, redid this vintage dresser in a lovely Tiffany blue. Did you know that Sherwin Williams can customize spray paint for you with any latex paint? You're no longer limited to the few elementary school colors that Home Depot carries. 

My inspiration for this room comes largely from the blog House of Turquoise. Lover of all things aqua? Check it out, especially this adorable country cottage :

More photos here

See more of this adorable kitchen at houseofturquoise.com



2/6/11

puppy

The puppy turned one on Friday.

this is what he looked like one year minus eight weeks ago. (I'm not too good at math.)


this is what he looks like now.


and this is what he looks like when he's being naughty.



And he likes sewing as much as I do.

Theme created by Andrea Mehner Designs