Blogging about a variety of things I enjoy. Also peddling my wares at Thicket and Thistle on Etsy.

Monday, June 17, 2013

shopping finds at chain stores

We went shopping for a little patio table the other weekend and I found this fun peacock wicker hanging chair at Pier 1 ($299).  If I were between the ages of 4 and 14, I would want it desperately.  Chairs that hang from the ceiling (or a stand; whatever allows them to swing) are automatically fun for kids; my kindergarten teacher had one in our classroom and it was a special treat to sit in it.  The peacock motif of this chair adds extra flair and the cup holders...just stop it.  I've seen lots of hanging chairs lately, including a fabric type that's similar to a hammock folded in half.

Why do you refuse to stay right side up?  Oh, well. You get the idea.
I also spotted these pretty grey side tables ($70) from the Threshold collection at Target.  There are so many great items in this collection, like this pseudo sawhorse desk ($110) and this desk ($170) and pretty much all of the home decor.  I'm hankering for some translucent turquoise glass vases ($30 for the 15.7") but can't justify the clutter; they are such a pretty color in person, though.  Window shopping, it shall be.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

diy birthday card

I have so, so many cards, both RTW (ready-to-write) and supplies.  The problem is I'm lacking in cards specific to occasions.  When someone's birthday is coming up I stare blankly at my boxes and boxes of pretty everyday notecards, none of which is quite appropriate for a birthday.  I recently decided to start making my way through my supplies more diligently, as opposed to buying more, which is what I really want to do.

I decided to use some leftover Paper Source blank flat cards and envelopes from a bridal shower invitation project I did last year and made my own birthday, Father's Day, and bridal shower cards.  Using Microsoft Word Publishing Layout, I inserted a double-lined border and a double-lined multi-point circle, then a small text box with the appropriate message in this Parisienne font.  For this birthday card, I stuck on some rhinestones, too.  Everyone with a big event happening in the next month is getting a yellow and grey card; I just have to remember to whom I send one so I don't repeat. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

diy bridal shower gift

I like to justify my large quantities of craft supplies by making gifts for people.  For a friend's bridal shower next week, I painted some pre-cut cork coasters from Michaels with pale blue Martha Stewart good-for-everything paint using an initial stamp I picked up for a dollar, also at Michaels.  The coasters are a pretty good deal; I think they were two or three bucks for four. 

I used a paint brush to paint the stamp itself, pressed that on the cork, then delicately filled in the impression with more paint.  Cork is porous and has a mottled texture, which worked for and against me.  Even this fairly straightforward stamp gave me some trouble so a more intricate image definitely wouldn't work well.  I didn't do the best job of painting but I think the graininess of the cork actually hides some of the imperfections.

I'm going to tie these with a little ribbon and give them as a supplementary present to break up the (enjoyable) monotony of opening gifts my friend specifically registered for.  A pretty easy and inexpensive outlet for my craft craving.

Friday, June 7, 2013

getting in the spring of things

Spring showers are getting a bit of a late start here but we're getting our money's worth now; the forecast shows lots and lots of rain in the next week.  The rain is certainly good for flowers, though.  These peonies at Fresh Market are luscious but I'm happy with the multicolored bouquet of lilies that my husband got me this week.

For a Memorial Day barbecue, I made this veggie orzo pasta salad.  I was craving fresh food and this packed it in.

I used Giada's red wine vinaigrette from here (with vegetable oil in place of olive since I'd run out of the latter) and customized my salad components.  I boiled a pot of water, scalded some very thin Peruvian asparagus, then dumped a package of whole wheat orzo in the asparagus water.  I chopped the asparagus into 1-inch pieces, about half of an orange and half of a yellow bell pepper, about a third of a red onion, half a pint of grape tomatoes, and a zucchini.  Once the pasta was cooked, drained, and cooled a bit, I mixed everything together, sprinkled in most of a small container of crumbled feta cheese, and drizzled enough of the vinaigrette to coat and flavor everything.  I had a little bit of orzo and vinaigrette leftover, which I used the next day with the rest of the uncut veggies.  This is best served room temperature or only slightly chilled so you can actually taste everything.  Yum.

P.S. I'm pretty sure I spotted these white mixing bowls (blue lids not pictured) on the latest "Keeping up with the Kardashians" in Bruce's man-house.  Also a bottle of, I'm pretty sure, Pace Picante salsa.  This tells me that even rich guys would live like college kids without their spouses to surround them with high-end accoutrements.  I once saw the family use a set of black and white plastic Missoni for Target tumblers but that was more about employing the high-low trend.  Pace is pretty much low-low.