Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Boo-goodness

Booooooooooooooooooo! Halloween is a fun holiday. Sweet costumes, silly costumes, sweet treats and fun times. Back in the day, I was rockin' some pretty great looks on Halloween.

I decided to spread the Halloween love a few years ago and have been preparing and sending some "Boo" care packages to loved ones for Halloween. I found some great images to print off and cover the boxes with on Martha Stewart and Matthew Mead. It is always great to find project resources and ideas when you are short on time and long on things to do...

Last year I got these finger cookies in the mail from my amazing friend Carrie. They looked so gross...I almost couldn't eat them. The keyword there is almost. Hope you are enjoying the fall season and Halloween festivities.

Friday, October 28, 2011

This Moment 10.28.11

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. (From Soule this tradition so I am striving to do this as well...I need to take more time to savor and it will be such a treat to look back and remember these moments)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Georgetown Cupcakes

I know I have been writing often about cupcakes as of late, but I just had to write a quick blog about some cupcakes I tried from Georgetown Cupcakes in Washington DC. They are famous due to their show "DC Cupcakes" on the cable network TLC. I have heard they have horrible lines due to their popularity and tv show notoriety. Fortunately for me, my good friend Jamie's mom lives there and brought some down a few weekends ago. Jamie was nice enough to share some with me. (I am not sure I am nice enough to share cupcakes, but she is a sweetheart.) I had three different flavors: Red Velvet, Lemon Blossom, and Apple Cinnamon.

My favorite out of the bunch was probably Red Velvet. I am a red velvet junkie. I think I could eat Red Velvet cake or cupcakes everyday for the rest of my life and not grow tired of it...yes, my sweet tooth is that big and I really do love some Red Velvet desserts. Have you purchased or baked Red Velvet cupcakes or cakes that you would like to recommend? The blog comment box is always open for baked good suggestions and comments.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Book Review Wednesday 10.19.11 "Sewing Green"

Book of the week: Sewing Green by Betz White

Betz White is awesome. I love, love her website and blog. They are filled with inspired and inspiring ideas and projects. In our disposable culture, it is truly refreshing to see someone whose work advocates the opposite. She really does live by the manta "reduce, reuse, recycle." Her latest book, Sewing Green: 25 Projects Made with Repurposed and Organic Materials, is full of projects that give new life to old items. The variety of projects in the book include: an apron, coasters, lounge pants, pillows, and a wrap skirt. Two projects that I am pondering are the "woodland draft buster" and the "breezy sundress." Living in an old condo building means that every door and window in the place is drafty. I start each winter thinking that a draft blocker would be helpful and never quite get to the store with that in mind. The breezy sundress is just adorable and would look so summer-y and perfect on my little bird. Attempting this project might require some sewing lessons with my mom or with Kristin at the Craft and Sew Studio. If nothing else, the book reminds me that repurposing can be fun and fabulous. Check out Betz White's work and see what you can repurpose this winter.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

This Moment 10.14.11

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. (From Soule this tradition so I am striving to do this as well...I need to take more time to savor and it will be such a treat to look back and remember these moments)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Book Review Wednesday 10.12.11 "Felt Jewelry"

Going to take a break from highlighting knitting books for the next little bit. I could probably write about different knitting books everyday of my life, but variety is, as they say, the spice of life.

Book of the week: Felt Jewelry by Teresa Searle

This book includes 25 different projects using a variety of felting techniques. A few of the projects are a little too over the top for my jewelry taste (I am not a fan of large felted flower bouquet necklaces or felted flower headdresses.) I would love to tackle a few of the other projects, including a tye-dye necklace, bangles, and a bird brooch. I have never actually felted something so I am going to keep my fingers crossed and attempt a bird brooch. This book seems like it would please felting newbies and pros alike. The leaf shadow scarf, inspired by a photo of clematis vine, seems like it would be a great challenge for experienced felters, and is just gorgeous. If you are interested in felting and jewelry crafting, take a look.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Winding our way through VA wine country

Okay, so obviously the Charlottesville area of Virginia is no Napa Valley, but it has plenty of wineries, cool shops, and restaurants to discover and it is a whole lot closer to me than California. Virginia wine country is also home to a wonderful piece of our nation's history as well- Jefferson's masterpiece-Monticello. I journeyed west with a few friends for a winery bachelorette weekend this fall. 
The weather forecast was gloomy (the bride-to-be packed rainboots), but it turned out to be a beautiful weekend full of wine, food, and good times with some of my favorite people. I will let the photos speak for themselves. If you live within driving distance to a winery or two, I highly recommend planning a winery weekend getaway. It is nice to taste wine with knowledgable staff to describe what was used to create the flavors and it is also great to see the winemaking process firsthand. We also visited Blue Mountain Brewery for lunch one afternoon. I tried some of their beer and brought some back for my beer loving better half. Don't you just love the flip flop wine glass holders? Adorable. While we were driving between locations I did manage to squeeze in a little crafting and cast on a hat gift project. (Christmas is still coming) Cheers to great adventures with the girls!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Book Review Wednesday 10.5.11- "Knits Men Want"

Book of the week: "Knits Men Want: the 10 Rules Every Woman Should Know Before Knitting for a Man" by Bruce Weinstein.

So, I think I have mentioned that I have a husband who is generally extremely supportive of my crafting habit. He goes with me to the supply stores. He listens to me talk (at-length) about yarn, and patterns, and projects. I thought I would be nice and try and make him something this Christmas...until I showed him this book and actually asked him if he wanted me to knit him something. He didn't seem that enthusiastic...after reading this book I realized that he may never be enthusiastic about getting a knitted garment from me. It is just a fact of life that most men don't care much about what they wear. Let's get on to the business at hand.

Book Review: My favorite quote from this book speaks to a truth I have discovered along the married way-- "Men like three things: simple designs, muted color, and soft fabrics. And to hell with what the magazines, fashion columns, and yes, even their women, tell them they should wear." The author lays out his ten rules to accompany various projects that should please all men. My favorites were "Rule #2: Men Resist Change" and "Rule #10: When in doubt, make him something basic." Rule two accompanies a great pattern for a basic pullover and rule ten accompanies a watch cap pattern. I have given this a lot of thought and I think I am sticking with #10. Knitters can rarely go wrong with simple hat gifts. Who doesn't like a nice, soft hat? Now I just need to find a nice, soft, muted color yarn to fit this project and I think my husband and I will both be pleased with the finished product. If you are considered making a knitted gift for a man in your life, pick this book up. The advice is honest and the patterns are well laid out. This is a great addition to the vast array of knitting books out there because most do not specifially address the tricky subject of knitting for a man. Definitely worth a look.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Apples, Apples, and Apples, Oh My!

I decided to drag myself out of my city-fied grocery store comfort and head to an apple orhard this fall. Little bird looooooves fruit of any variety and has a daily fix of apple juice. I thought she might get a kick out of seeing where apples actually grow. We went down to Carolina to visit family and squeezed our orchard adventure into the trip. Just down the road from my in-laws is this great place- J and A Orchards. After a very happy and loud "Apple" exclamation from our sweet girl, we got busy picking and filled a 1/2 bushel bucket.

I got home with this big bag of apples and was suddenly struck by the fact that I didn't really have any concrete plans for said apples. A busy week of work and party throwing went by and the bag was still sitting in my kitchen staring me in the face. I decided to tackle the bag with a variety of apple creations. I made:
an apple pie, of course, because one can never go wrong with pie
apple jam (recipe taken from the Jansdotter book I reviewed recently)
apple sauce (slow cooker recipe from
apple pumpkin muffins (also found here on

I am just about apple-d out. I love apples, but I think I will create a more concrete plan for the picked apples creations before we go again next year.
Craft Hope Spreading seeds of hope one stitch at a time