10 cool homey things

Christmas tree bunting tutorial from Sadie and Lance. I take issue with most Christmas decorations, but this I like.

This isn’t too bad either. I think a string of dipped wax pinecones as bunting would be adorable. Tutorial via The Magic Onions.

Perfect bookshelf found via Cosmic Dust.

And another version of Christmas decor I don’t hate. Found via Style Files.

Love this. Wouldn’t it be the perfect studio? Found via Cosmic Dust.

Latch hook rag rug! Tutorial at Maggie Makes.

I am constantly desperately searching for this type of frame at thrift stores. Found at Smile and Wave.

Alright. That’s it. I need to focus my creative energies on making awesome bedding. (This is by doe-c-doe, naturally. Everything she does is magic.)

I’m thinking of making these for Grady’s next birthday party.

DIY Shibori bedspread. Obsessed. Tutorial found via Craft.

Empty womb


I finally started Janeal‘s giveaway present. I grappled with what exactly to make for ages, obviously, but I’m pretty excited about my final design, and if it goes well I might use the idea as a “custom item” option in the shop.

Anyway, there’s something really delicious about laying out a meticulous grid like this one before starting a project. I generally won’t do it for cross-stitch projects, but this design will be particularly difficult to execute, so I’m taking every possible precaution. I took this picture last night, and in the last 24 hours have spent every spare moment (between emergency trips to the chiropractor and cleaning toddler puke off of, well, every surface in my home*. sigh.) stitching tiny little exes, slowly making progress. I’m about 70% sure that the idea will work.

And no, I’m not telling you what the idea is yet. Not because I want to create any sort of anticipation, but because while I want to share my creative process, I can’t really allow any possible negative feedback while I’m in the middle of it. The smallest comment can shatter my confidence, and once that’s happened I just can’t stitch. So that’s where this teasing is coming from.

(Janeal, obviously you are exempt from this rule if you want to know what I’m doing.)

Sigh. Anyway, cross-stitching always makes me think of my mom. I guess I’ll talk more about that when I can share the finished product. (Which, if I maintain my current rate of stitching, may be in about two weeks. If we’re lucky.)

*W/r/t the puke: Grady’s been having a bit of a gastronomic episode this week. But, knock on wood**, she appears to be returning to her happy, healthy self.

**This and throwing salt are two superstitions I cannot exorcise, even though I do not believe in their supposed power.

Imaginary shopping spree: Amazon books edition

Left-to-right, top-to-bottom:

  1. Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned by Wells Tower.
  2. The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women by Jessica Valenti.
  3. The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America’s Man-Made Landscape by James Howard Kunstler.
  4. Mathilda and the Orange Balloon by Randall de Seve.
  5. Hey, Shorty: A Guide to Combating Sexual Harassment and Violence in Schools and on the Streets by  Joanne Smith, Meghan Huppuch, Mandy Van Deven, and Girls for Gender Equity.
  6. This Sex Which is Not One by Luce Irigaray.
  7. The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais.
  8. Roots Shoots Buckets & Boots: Gardening Together with Children by Sharon Lovejoy.
  9. The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence by Rachel Simmons.
  10. Dillweed’s Revenge: A Deadly Dose of Magic by Florence Parry Heide.
  11. Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour by Rachel Shukert.

10 cool random things

I should definitely embroider this phrase, right? And hang it in the bathroom? Found via This isn’t Happiness.

This isn’t something I would want on my body, but man. Everything about this design is mind-blowing. Found via F*** Yeah Tattoos.

Love love love love love. Found via F*** Yeah Tattoos.

I <3 ferns. Found via F*** Yeah Tattoos.

Toilet paper roll monsters
, found via Craft. I always dream of little arrangements like these among books on shelves, but my shelf space is constantly 100% occupied by books.

Found via this isn’t happiness.

Luuuuuv. Found via F*** Yeah Tattoos.

… Yup. Found via Le Love.

Don’t you just wanna spoon with him and all of his little sea-buddies? By Candace Jean on flickr.

In love with this. Seriously considering printing it as just a regular old photo, so it can be on my wall. Found via this isn’t happiness.

Written April 22.

If Shakespeare were a dermatologist.

“Two zits, both alike in dignity,
On the fair chin, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil bumps make civil face unclean.”

(Alternate title: If ‘Romeo and Juliet’ were a Proactiv commercial.)

Imaginary shopping spree: Modcloth edition

I’m thinking of making “Imaginary shopping spree” a new recurring post. However, this horrible idea is probably only in my head because I have the headache from hell and can only lay in bed with my computer and complain to whoever will listen and click through online stores lustfully.

(I don’t know if I used “lay” correctly. That lay/lie/lye thing never got through to me and I am too lazy to try to once again memorize that rule. Mrs. Hadley? Help me out here?)

(Just kidding. I know that lye has nothing to do with laying and lying.)

(“Laying and lying: The bachelor years” – the perfect title for a chapter of an autobiography.)

ANYWAY. Here are the things I like from Modcloth:

Clockwise from the top left: Weekend thrifting tank, Throwback dance party dress, Dragonfly by dress, Sunset barbeque dress, Sheerly stunning top, Back of the pickup tunic, Creature comfort teapot, Triple threat wedge, By the bootstraps boot, Simply superb sandal, Antoine watcheau necklace.

Huh. Apparently I have a thing for neutrals. #realization

Also, all of these things are too damn expensive. Seriously. Years of thrift store shopping have made me totally unprepared for the price of real things.

10 cool movies now streaming on Netflix

A special edition of the “10 cool things” series! Woo!

As you probably know, I do a lot of knitting/sewing/embroidery/etc. This requires a lot of sitting down and staying still. And so, I watch movies. And television. Quite a lot. BUT. Not enough to pay for them. So I subsist off of Hulu and the instant streaming on Netflix – a dear kind friend gave me his password so I can use the instant streaming, but not the mail-order option. Anyway, for me finding a good show on Netflix instant streaming is a delight, so I thought I’d share some of my recent finds.

1. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof
. So much to love for this. The lovely curmudgeon Big Daddy, the incredible gorgeousness of Paul Newman when he’s sulky, Liz Taylor’s excellent wardrobe and performance, and most of all (obviously) the fantastic interpretation of Tennessee Williams excellent script.

2. Joni Mitchell: Woman of Heart and Mind.
A really well-done documentary. Probably one of my favorite music documentaries ever. What a lovely lady Ms. Mitchell is.

3. Best in Show.
Two great things: Christopher Guest and beautiful puppies. What more does a viewer need?

4. Charlie’s Angels.
It’s campy, it’s silly, and I love it. Also: Sam Rockwell and Bill Murray.

5. Easy A.
I kind of wish this had come out while I was in high school. But my favorite part is definitely Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson as Emma Stone‘s parents.

6. Wet Hot American Summer.
I don’t even need to tell anyone to watch it, right? You all already know you need to watch it.

7. Priceless.
A gold-digger mistakes a bartender for a rich man. Etcetera. I actually really enjoyed this movie, and not just because I have a huge crush on Audrey Tatou.

8. Persona.
This was my introduction to Ingmar Bergman, and hoo boy did I love it. I was glued to the screen at every second, and it took me about a week to watch because I kept on wanting to pause and think.

9. The Duchess.
More than anything else, this film is pretty. The acting and the story aren’t bad at all, but they just can’t outshine how pretty the thing is. And I’m a sucker for a pretty movie.

10. Theater of War
. This may very well be my favorite documentary ever. It follows the creation of a production of Brecht’s Mother Courage – the one translated by Tony Kushner – and is so incredibly beautiful. It covers Brecht’s history, the effect of Marxism on the script and the world the script was created in … Ugh. I don’t want to talk about it because it is too beautiful. It’s the reason I thought of writing this post, because I just want everyone to watch it.

10 cool sewn things

Gorgeous quilt block by Grumperina.

The lady at Grosgrain made this dress from a vintage blouse. Love it.

Found via Mr. X-Stitch.

Quilt block tutorial found via WhipUp.

TOO GODDAMN GORGEOUS. (Yup. It gets to be full-size with all-caps. It’s that gorgeous.) Found via Craft.

I’m not generally that into skulls as an aesthetic choice, but I dig these. Found via Craft.

WANT. Holybowie I love this quilt so much. Grey/yellow is one of my favorite color combinations, and I love traditional patterns in modern colors. From wise craft.

I will love Grady no matter what type of elementary-school-kid she grows up to be. But it would be particularly awesome if she became a kid who likes these lunch sacks. Because seriously, how awesome are they? Found via Craft.

This pillowcase pattern/post was made for the purpose of philanthropy, but, uh, it reminds me of how I need to make my own pillowcases. I think that would be the perfect way to extend the theme of my bed/living room (yup. 1-bedroom apartment means that my living room is where my bed is. It’s cool.) and simultaneously make a dent in my massive fabric stash. Found via Craft.

Little Birdie Plush tutorial
from A Beautiful Mess. I want to make these not as toys for Grady, but as decor. Which means I won’t be able to make them until she’s quite a bit older, because using toys solely as decor would kill the poor girl.

Written April 22.