Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A curtain, fit for our King bed

With each apartment arise fun new challenges usually surrounding storage and the like (especially if one of you is an artist and the other an avid outdoorsmen- you have a lot to store!)

Our Bedroom is one area that keeps evolving! First, back in April my mom and husband made a king headboard! And now something new.....

Background: Since we live in the downstairs of an old Victorian that once was a single family home, we have a door in our bedroom that leads out into the main hallway. With two windows to the right of the bed, and a closet and radiator at the foot of the bed.... placing our king bed in front of this door was our only option.  In order to make the bedroom more cozy and to have it feel like a contained space, my mom ever so lovingly made us a curtain that we hung over the door.

tah dah! The final result, more cozy and more like a finished/complete room!
Next on the to do list: window curtains and a light fixture update for our ceiling light! Stay tuned!

ps: detail shot of the fabric- on the headboard and of the curtain.

Monday, June 28, 2010

New in my home decor shop on ETSY

I am adding new vintage items to my Grayday- shop for the home on etsy this week!
Here's what's up so far!

Vintage book ends, cute for a children's room!
Stay tuned as I continue to add more items!

Bon Voyage Clutter- an organizing tip!

After my Jewelry organizing post- I have been hinting at future organization posts... and here's one of many to come! Many years ago I inherited a great collection of old vintage suitcases from my grandmother and other family members. Not only do they look awesome and fit with my decorating aesthetic, but they can be oh so functional in so many ways! I have a total of 5 suitcases and this stack of 3 act as a little coffee table between two seats in our living room as well as provide much needed storage!

If you are short on closet space or book shelves, might as well come up with a funky alternative that looks nice while being functional.

Here's a fun tip: I use paper luggage tags to label each suitcase with its contents.

And here are the suitcases in their setting- a stack of three as a side table between two chairs, and the other set tucked into our non functioning fireplace.

What are your organizing tips and tricks!?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hump day links to get you through the week

I never played with legos but my brothers did and thus the red portion of this graph resonates with me! 
(click image to enlarge)
The only way to play Guitar video.
Kitten riding on turtle video.
Spider crab sheds exoskeleton - this made my mouth drop open!
Jim Breuer, former SNL cast member, tells a father's day tale during his interview on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Warning: crap your pants/potty humor, but made me laugh till I cried and had to hold my eyelids open.

Feel good about your world, links:
Inspired by the Uniform Project comes a new project 6 items or Less where folks from California to Dubai will only wear 6 garments for a month to promote awareness about our clothing choices and their global impact. Should be cool!
A Farm in the Bronx- ny times article about urban farming!
Let's color project- working with communities around the world to add a splash of color to their surroundings and perhaps in the process bring about a positive change!

Design Inspiration links:
coco+kelley- aqua and rust pallet inspiration board. (inspiring since I've been thinking this color combo would be a fun alternative to the standard green and yellow unisex pallet for baby gear  ie: colors I will knit with for our baby)
Lobster and Swan: does a nice review on the book- the homemade home.
Made It blog- offers an inspiring interview with little star design asking how she crafts, works on her business while balancing being a mom!
Check out this Open Air Kindergarten on handmade charlotte.
Swissmiss has a great post about resource furniture- an Italian furniture company that makes space saving designs!

Misc websites:
Rubikcubism- art made with a rubik's cube!
The Frisky offers 10 inexpensive ideas to help combat boredom.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I Scream for home made Ice Cream!

With the summer solstice on Monday, we decided to celebrate with some home made ice cream! We received our Kitchen Aid ice cream attachment 2 yrs ago and this was sadly it's maiden voyage.  And now that we have hopped aboard the natural ice cream train there might not be any way of getting off.

We decided to play it safe with our first ice cream experiment and start by making classic French Vanilla. The ice cream maker came with a little how to instructional including a few recipes. In the future we plan to venture out beyond the standard recipes with green tea ice cream and maybe even a rhubarb sorbet.

While at Whole Foods I also picked up a little organic instant cookie dough set- that makes 24 cookies, by Immaculate Backing Co. Very tasty and affordable (around $3)! Thus I made myself a little ice cream sandwich! In the future- when I am perhaps not so impatient to taste the ice cream, I will spread the ice cream between the cookies and then put the sandwich back in the freezer to solidify the combo into a tasty treat. Our ice cream was so good it seriously rivals Haggen Daz!

Happy Summer and here's to more home made ice cream!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Gone out to the country

We went out to NH to visit some family and friends on Saturday. It was so nice to get out into the countryside where we ate yummy burgers followed by some wacky homemade ice cream!

I thought I would share some pics!

Question: How many people does it take to make ice cream? 
Answer: 3 guys and a little lady...

The beautiful surroundings. I spy a white horse behind the fence.

Their horse and one of 2 donkeys in the distance.

Chow Time!
Our little Millie trying to get in there amongst 7 dogs.
We had a great time, got some much needed knitting done and had some fun fellowship.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Urban Knitfits- featured on Etsy Blog

My rope braided necklace was featured on Etsy this Friday- for shops that offer free shipping!
Unlike what some comments on the etsy blog might say- I do not tack on an invisible shipping cost to the price of my item, I do take a hit because I understand that buying knit goods during the summer is not always on someone's mind. Thus I like to encourage my customers to shop with me over the warmer months by offering free shipping!

Here's the screen shot and check it out in person on the etsy blog!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Portland Maine Farmer's Market, a slice of heaven

Another lovely Saturday at our local Farmer's Market! I love that we have both a Saturday and a Wednesday farmer's market. (Saturday's is in Deering Oak's Park and Wednesday's is in monument square) I enjoy seeing all the farms and their handmade signs and beautiful produce. A big reason we moved here last spring was for the more "green" and "local" things Portland has to offer. And even with my stuffy nose I could smell the loads and loads of strawberries as we approached the market. The abundance of plants- flowering and vegetable, make me pine for our very own garden one day....

But for today we came home with strawberries and some golden beets. It's a hot one this weekend that really convinces me that summer is in fact here. I hope everyone has a great summery weekend!

Friday, June 18, 2010


It's getting to be Cherry Season, and I am so excited!

I have always loved cherries, but my passion for them intensified after spending two summers in Michigan near Traverse City. Traverse City is known as the Cherry Capital and every summer they have a Cherry Festival! Yeah, that's right a Festival completely dedicated to the wonderful fruit that is the Cherry! I'm half tempted to take a road trip this year to the festival, and I'm sure in years to come I will be one of those tourists who books my room a year in advance for this special occasion.

Another Michigan favorite of mine is Cherry Republic! Their ice cream is AMAZING- Cherry Garcia doesn't even stand a chance!  And if you can't visit their lovely shop and ice cream store in person- their online store fits the bill!!! I'm even signed up for their email updates, which are fun to get throughout the year, especially during the gray months of winter.

We have a little Cherry rule in my family- To make a classic Cherry pie you will need Cherries packed in water. This makes the pie so fresh and tasty with none of this corn syrup crap, no thank you! ( Let me know in the comments if you want our pie recipe and I'll share it!)

Huffingtonpost's food section has some fun Cherry recipes from classic desserts to fun sides like Cherry salsa!

I hope this has inspired you to get yourself some cherries and to whip up something fun this summer or keep it classic with a simple bowl of the tasty fruit!

Time travel, can we all be 30 at once?

I remember maybe 10 years back or so, my father waxing nostalgic and sweet- proposing how much fun it would be for everyone in the family to be 30 at once- grandparents, children and grandchildren all hanging out at 30... As my 30th year ticks away and my big birthday approaches in January, and as I count the weeks until I bring a new family member into the fold... my husband and I have fun now and again thinking about this concept and playing it out in our imaginations. It would truly be sweet for sure...  

And once again going through more family slides as I look for landscapes for my etsy shop, I came across these two images that reminded me of my father's concept. 
Above is a picture of my Maternal Grandmother horsing around while on vacation. Sweet dress huh?

And here are my maternal grandparents doing what they did best, teasing, laughing and loving each other.  Yes indeed, it would be awesome to all be 30 at once. But in many ways I feel like I did see a young side of my grandparents throughout my childhood, they were always very youthful and carefree. So maybe that's the goal- to continue to be our best selves and not to put a label or expectation on age or aging....  anyway, I've read and have personally realized- how one's pregnancy is often a time of reflection on your past, your family, your childhood etc. So this photo documenting process I'm certain is a part of this whole retrospective I'm happily particiapting in plus I like these pictures and wanted to share. (remember- click on them to view larger)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sneak a peek! upcoming on my print shop

I've been working on some sketches for silkscreen prints for both paper prints and to print on fabric. I am going to print on canvas bags and swatches of fabric for pillows etc for my graydays print shop. Let me know what you would like to see more of in my shop, I love feedback!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Father's Day gift ideas: some inspiring links...

Alpha Mom has a fun diy custom Father's day foodie gift package idea.
Craftzine will teach you how to etch glass ware for that special Dad!
Martha Stewart has some fun home made card ideas as well as tasty recipes!
Stylecrave offers a unique list of Father's Day gift ideas for the "Man's Man".
Frugal Living offers 8 cost effective ideas for Dad!
Urban Outfitters has a cool Recreaction section that is ripe with inspiration for dad.
Fashion in Motion has a variety of classic and untraditional father's day gifts, with a few world cup inspired items in the mix!
And as always I LOVE the gift of Art! and 20x200 has a lot of great work to choose from!

Hope this helps with your last minute ideas!

Some Links to get you through...

Mint- a design blog that I subscribe to. Love getting their little email gems in the morning.
Been enjoying the chill new album from Josh Ritter "So Runs The World Away".
Video of a tortoise helping out his buddy.
Coco+Kelley- another fun design blog.
A list of the 50 best "Mom Blogs"
Weleda- natural skin care and beauty products. (I am using one of their oils for my "pregnancy skin")
And always a favorite- Design Sponge and Not Martha.

Happy hump day!

Monday, June 14, 2010

French Film: To be and To have

Tonight, while knitting and prepping for my busy day off tomorrow, I was excited to learn that one of my favorite french documentaries was available to watch instantly on Netflix.

To be and To have chronicles a teacher in a small French town who teaches a variety of ages within one classroom. I am always struck by his patience and calm in handling and negotiating everyday school situations.  This is a darling film where the kids are cute and the story is uplifting and warms the heart- worth the watch (over and over again)!

Friday, June 11, 2010

NEW Wrist bands on UrbanKnitfits!

Finally added two new color wrist bands to the shop! A Rosy Pink, and a Sea foam Green.
 Both very soft and stretchy. Custom sizes are available!

Looking back and Looking Forward- converting slides to digital

I have a bucket load of old slides that my Grandparents took over the years. Some of the images are so fabulous I felt that I should convert them to jpgs for family preservation.  My grandparents traveled a lot and thus within their collection are vintage images of Hong Kong, Paris, Egypt, etc.  The Travel images and some of the ones between, I will list as photographs to buy on my grayday etsy shop for the home.

Today was my first day using my slide attachment on our new camera. There are still a few kinks to figure out before I can list images. Mainly I need a tripod a more consistent light source, practice and ideally a light table would be awesome!  But for now here are a few of my favorite family images.

Above: is my Uncle on my grandparent's speed boat on the Chesapeake. I think this picture would look awesome SUPER SUPER big in a contemporary/simple frame in a living room or a fun surprise in a kitchen.

My Grandfather playing one of his many accordions at my great grandmother's house.

And my beautiful mother in all of her 60's fabulousness.

I will share more as I go along, and ultimately you will be able to purchase some of these prints on my shop

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lonny Mag: featuring my sister!!!!

If you haven't heard of LonnyMag, you are in for a treat!!! It's like my birthday every time a new issue is published on their website! And this month is especially sweet since my sister Elizabeth is featured. Her quote is on page 49!  The article is about a lovely Condo in Georgia she worked on as an Interior designer at Bunny Williams.  I'm so proud of her!

On another Note: Lonny Mag is awesome in the direct links it offers on almost every product that inhabit their lovely photographs! Simply roll your mouse over a couch, a vase and poof the link appears- making it a great resource for your own inspiration boards and projects as well as a look into how Magazines can evolve and stay current in our fast paced media overload society.

Enjoy this fab Magazine and congrats to my Sis!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Reuniting and decorating with artwork...

My mother and sister drove up this weekend with more of my stuff!
They brought us another table (so now I have a larger work space in my studio) and a dresser for the baby to be, and this huge print I bought from a Penn grad student back in '07. I love it! As a printmaker I can totally appreciate the work that went into such a large etching. Inking it alone would be intense!  Also I love how the subject matter reminds me of a Beirut song, I can almost hear the inhabitants playing their instruments. (click on images to view them larger!)

Now the apartment is feeling more complete with this print in its place! On Sunday, after it was hung, I was finally able to arrange a little vignette on top of this cabinet. (again click image to view larger) I included two of my three taxidermy birds, a large glass jug that I bought at Terrain and filled with old wooden spools of colorful thread. I sprinkled in a few frames with favorite photographs, added a more "modern" element with the white glass hand, and included the paper diorama I made for the husband for our first anniversary. This little area is definitely one of my favorite spaces in our place. I love having fun keepsakes mixed with art books, knitting books, novels and photo albums. Note: a fun organization tip by my mother of course- is the folded fabric on 4 shelves. She folded them so nicely.... and they look great hanging out as I prepare to make them into pillows, etc for my etsy shop!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

creamy cucumber Salad- by the Barefoot Contessa

As I mentioned this last week- we made an awesome salad from the Barefoot Contessa's Bake to Basics cookbook. It was so tasty I wanted to share.  This salad is the perfect summer recipe, one that I am sure to bring to our knit night potlucks!

The recipe serves 8, so in the future we might half the portions in order to not have too many leftovers since although the salad is tasty it tends to get a little more watery as the week goes on! ; )

You will need:

4 hothouse cucumbers, thinly sliced (if not hothouse- then they will need to be peeled to rid them of their waxy skin)
2 small red onions, thinly sliced in half rounds
Kosher Salt
4 cups (32 oz) plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
2 Tablespoons Champagne vinegar, or white wine vinegar
1/2 cup minced fresh dill
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Mix the cucumbers, re onions and 1/ 1/2 tablespoons of salt in a bowl. Pour this into a colander and suspend it over a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours, or over night. NOTE this is very important- since cucumbers hold a lot of water and if you don't do this you will have a very soupy salad!

Pour the yogurt into sieve lined with paper towel and suspend it over another bowl. Wrap the bowl and sieve in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 4 hours, or over night. Once both bowl have sat for the allotted time- discard the collected water. Then roll the cucumbers into a paper towel, or dish cloth and press them lightly in order to remove any excess moisture. Then Put the cucumbers and yogurt into a large bowl with the sour cream, vinegar, dill 2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper. Toss well and refrigerate for a few hours. Then before you serve- sprinkle the salad with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Serve chilled!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Funky Street Art by Aakash Nihalani

Cool Street art Video! Check it out here.  I love the idea but most of all I love and appreciate his ability to tape with such precision and to tare the tape so cleanly and cut so neatly.... it's the little things! Enjoy and happy Friday!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Organization Station- finding a system that fits your BRAIN!

Last Month's Issue of Real Simple magazine was all about organization- naturally!  And the magazine offered a quiz to help you determine what type of organization best fits your lifestyle and personality- ie left side, or right side of the brain....  My result was not surprising- I'm the type of person who likes it visible, where I can see it. Seriously if boxes are stacked on each other I am lazy enough to not lift them to get to the other contents... for example: my jewelry boxes! Hence this blog post. The Above picture- is the before shot of my hot mess of a dresser with all of my jewelry. Check out my older jewelry post where I made the board to hang my necklaces.

SO- after realizing more about my organizational mind set I concluded something with drawers would really fit my organization style.  I started looking on etsy for industrial drawers and I found a few good ones- here's one and another. Ultimately I put this search to my mom and her basement full of treasures and she found this old nuts and bolts storage chest of my father's from our barn's tack shop back in the day. I cleaned it out- washing each drawer in our dishwasher and then prepped it for my new jewelry display/storage.

The Final Result!!! I was able to get all of my jewelry into this vintage drawer case- giving me way more surface space on my dresser! I also eliminated some of the dishes and plates I had laying out displaying and holding jewelry.  IN addition I was able to include all of my head scarfs and headbands on top of the white cake stand in the left corner- a bit of a hot mess, but hey it's there and no longer homeless!  Of course this glory will be short lived- as this will ultimately be the baby's dresser and thus my jewelry will be moved to my new and much taller dresser- so the height might be interesting!  BUT until then- ie this weekend when the dresser arrives- I've been enjoying easier access to my jewelry. So far each day I have worn something new that I had forgotten about!  This new system is especially helpful as I've been given a lot of jewelry recently- from my mom and inherited from my grandmother.

Good luck with your own organization systems! Share tips in the comments if so inspired.  And PS- I have a few other organization posts on the horizon so stay tuned! PPS- I will be redoing my old jewelry boxes to sell in my grayday shop.

The 2nd Anniversary- Cotton, the fabric of our lives

Well here it is- our second anniversary and it's the year of cotton.... and I'm at a lose. Usually I am so great at gift giving, if I do say so myself.... but this year with $$$ the way it is, mentally I just couldn't go there so I put it off. PLUS last year we said we would buy ourselves new cotton sheets for our 2nd- and with our new King Bed in April we bought 2 sets! Sooooooo..... wait what's my excuse? and we have badass vintage tablecloths that I used to decorate the tables at our wedding and later in the summer at our big party.... so that idea is taken.    Last year was paper, which was fun- I was given a sketch book and pens and I made a cool diorama for Cam using a pic of us from our wedding day see our paper gifts here.... and check out Last year's blog post with more pics from our wedding day. Later in the summer I bought Cam a cool photograph of a bee keeper (something he wants to do) from a student at Salt. The photograph is framed and hangs in our bedroom.

In the mean time while I mull this over- here are some ideas for COTTON I have found through searching online: linens, towels, cotton hammock, furniture, rugs and carpets- hmmm this is actually on our nesting to do list...

anywho, I'll let you know what we come up with, but ultimately the important thing is having a nice meal together and traveling down memory lane and taking time to be mushy and all that stuff with a netflix movie in the mix and a walk with little dog.

*Update! we bought some nice new COTTON sheets this summer for our anniversary!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Our New Camera!

We finally scrimped enough money together to buy ourselves a replacement camera (after I slipped on the ice back in January breaking our little power shot).  I took our New Canon Rebel T1i to the shore for Memorial Day weekend and had fun taking a few shots here and there. Here are two of my favorites.  I'm so excited to have this new upgrade in our lives. It will make my etsy shops more crisp and colorful! Plus perfect for documenting our new baby!  One  thing to keep an eye out for- in my grayday etsy shop I am going to start offering reasonable photographs for sale- reproductions of old vintage slides from my grandparent's travels from the 50's and on ward. They are very cool! Can't wait to get started on that!

Nearing 5 months and starting to plan plan plan

Well I thought I would check in with my blog and share some helpful links and tidbits to how we are going about this whole birthing thing.  First- a shout out to our midwives! We are working with Open Circle Midwifery Services.  We are so excited to have the opportunity to give birth at home. We have loved the home appointments and laid back conversations! check out our midwives website here. To support our home birth we are also going to take classes at Birth Roots. We will take both pre natal and post natal classes and it's nice to know there is a venue for a community of women to come together and share their experiences and advice.

Other links:
The Business of Being Born trailer. This movie solidified our decision to have a home birth.
Mothering- website and magazine- a great resource for new moms- from cloth diapers to all the other nitty gritty stuff that comes with being a Mom. Warning- can be pretty crunchy! ; )
Bring Birth Home- is a great resource to learn more about the option of home birth and to read inspiring birth stories.
Week by week- preganacy calendar: We have had fun checking in each week to see what's going on with the baby, it helps the time go by a little faster!

Well that's about it for now, hope you have fun checking out some of these sites if interested.


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