Tuesday, November 22, 2011

my favorite things: nail polish

TODAY is the DAY!  My BIRTHday!

That's right.  Viente-seis, vingt-six, twenty six, 2-6.

It's a strange feeling when you find out that other people (that you see mostly in the media) happen to be the same age as you.

For instance, my fellow twenty-sixers:

Anna Jane, Fashion Blogger.
Keira Knightly
Kendra Wilkinson
I don't feel like I look as "adult" as these girls do.  Not that I am wishing I were, it's just weird to see someone your age that seems a lot older.  I am not quite sure if that explains it.  But whatever.

So, back to my favorites.

I love nail polish!

I hate painting my own nails!

It's a disaster. every.time.

I am fortunate that I am very close to a nail place that only charges $5 to paint your finger tips.  FIVE!  I would pay five dollars every day to avoid the mess of cleaning up after my nail painting explosions.

When it comes to colors, I am a classic girl.  Red & Nude.  Those are my go to shades.  More specifically:

MAC - Shirelle
Notice my thumb....bright, cheery, classic red.
OPI - Bubble Bath
The perfect nude. I love it every time.

Here are the most recent colors I have been sporting:

Essie - Chinchilly
It looks as if it's a brownish gray, but when you are wearing purple it takes on a purplish hue.  Kinda crazy.  I really liked it though.
OPI - You Don't Know Jacque
Very dark brown, sometimes takes on a dark gray hue.  Liked it.
Since it's my birthday, I am definitely getting my nails painted! Yup.

Here's what I've been thinking: (definitely fall neutrals, I can't help myself!)

OPI - Espresso
Loving the glitter!!!
OPI - Parlez-vous
This is a soft plum color.  I think I could do that.
Essie - Glamour Purse
A milky brown, a good neutral, I think.
Essie - Very Structured
A daring choice.  A burnt sienna.  It's on the red side of things. I think it would be nice.
Essie - Bobbing for Baubles
I love this navy.  I could be sold.
Essie - Angora Cardi
Probably my least favorite, but I think it could be fun.
Oh, the decisions.

Hopefully my nail peeps will not have all of my options, that way narrowing down my selection would be easier.

But OH how I love my nails painted.  It makes me feel like a million bucks.

It also keeps me from washing the dishes as much.   I can't stand getting my nails done and then sticking them down in dirty, soapy water only for them to emerge worn and faded.

I wear my rubber gloves with pride.  I do not fear ridicule.  My nails look too hot to care!

What are your favorite polishes!?  I could use some inspiration.

On a different note...

Here's a peek at the festivities of my birthday morn. I have a great family....all over the globe.
Happy Birthday!!
You know it's your birthday when you get to eat chocolate for breakfast!
Greasy Hair & Red Beard...at 6:20 AM
Janell was responsible for purchasing the breakfast goodies.  She even got up before noon to enjoy them!

Amy, starting her celebration of my birthday with a glass of water.  So exciting.
Caleb is so happy that it's my birthday (or that we are eating chocolate croissants) that he grew a second head. 

I'm off to the shower to shave these furry legs and get ready to fancify my nails.

Hope you all have a wonderful day during this celebration of fun!  Oh, and thankfulness.  I can't forget the turkey.

Keep Posted,

the rave

Monday, November 21, 2011

my favorite things: embroidery

It's my birthday week!  My official birthday is tomorrow.  I can't wait.  I love birthdays.  Mine. Yours.  Anybody's.  I have no prejudice when it comes to birthdays (or anything else, I hope!).

In celebration of my birthday, I am going to share with you a few of my favorite things this week.  Since Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays, and my birthday week is almost always during the week of this great event,  I will probably be posting some holiday festivities along the way.

But for starters, I love embroidery! It's definitely one of my favorite things.
Beautiful, right?
I started with cross-stitch when I was a wee lass, maybe 15 years old.  I had stumbled across some floss and aida cloth that my mom had started on years before.   The cute little animals and the colorful floss were so enticing that I couldn't resist picking up the tiny needles and giving it a go.

I soon gave that up.  I mean, high school, sports, friends...way more fun.  And time consuming.

Only very recently did I re-channel that desire for hand embroidered goodness.  It was actually on my study abroad trip to Costa Rica that I decided to pick up the needle and thread again.  I begged my tica momma to take me into the city to a store that sold floss, aida cloth, embroidery hoops, needles and a guide book.  Our communication over this matter was nothing less than a test of patience and linguistic skill.  Let me not forget the ever important and universal hand gestures.

I don't think I have mentioned that throughout this journey of cross-stitch awareness, I never actually completed anything.  At least not that I can remember.  Also, let me say that the graphics that I chose to cross stitch (and that were readily available) were baby farm animals and puppies.  Cute, but not really interesting.  Needless to say, I think I became bored with it.

Also cute.
Then I discovered a more free-form hand embroidery technique by a girl named Jenny Hart.  She creates some incredible hand embroidered artwork.  It's fun, it's interesting, and it's totally doable.
The Queen of Embroidery
Day of the Dead Skull, a Jenny Hart design
I became hooked.  I was gifted her how-to book as a Christmas gift and was totally excited to see girly skulls, goofy birds, and beautiful colors and a variety of stitches throughout the pages.
My very first completed hand embroidered project was a tiny flannel dress that I made for my niece Caroline.  It featured the goofy birds.  It was so simple (back stitches and french knots) and so stinkin' cute.
Goofy Birds, a Jenny Hart design
Another item that I finished was a free-form design (meaning I didn't use a pattern, I just let my hands move to the rhythm of my imagination) and it formed into a little matroyshka doll face and I filled in the gaps with a variety of stitches and colors.  I was pretty proud of it when it was completed.  I also gave that to my niece Caroline.
The finished product has two eyes, but I didn't get a picture of that.
I have half started a few other things, my most recent embroidery project is family stockings.  I am only embroidering the names of each individual in my household and then using my machine to sew the stocking together.  They are turning out really nice.
Yeah, it takes a while to use the satin stitch technique to do each name, but it's so bold and rich looking that I think it's worth the time I've invested.

I'm almost finished.  I have Peter's left and most of my own.  After that it's stocking construction time.
Also, these stockings are pretty non-traditional.  They will be the traditional stocking shape, but the fabric I will be choosing/using is not your red and green holiday cloth.  The boys don't care for that. Heck, I am taking a risk assuming they will even care for the stockings at all.
Dustin's stocking will be made of a Carhartt-esque, caramel colored duck cloth (it doesn't get much manlier than that without crossing the tacky threshold).  I think I will line it with a flannel, manly fabric.  Caleb will have a plaid fabric, mostly because he likes to wear plaid shirts.  Peter's stocking will be made of a fabric that he brought back for me from his home in Ghana, Africa.  I think he will appreciate that.
I am still debating on the girls.  They are much easier to choose for, but at the same time I am still unsure.  Regardless, they will be awesome and I will have a great sense of accomplishment once they are finished.

Is anyone else making stockings this year for their families or friends?  Do you prefer traditional Christmas colors/fabrics or are you more likely to go with something non-traditional?

I will admit that I love cross-stitch stockings with a primitive, country flair like these:
A Bent Creek pattern

A Bent Creek pattern
If you are interested in learning to embroider or just to enhance the knowledge you already have, here are some great resources:

Needle N' Thread - for patterns, tutorials, everything you need to know

Rock Sea Embroidery - great pictures and tutorials for a variety of stitches, stitch dictionary

Carina's Craft Blog - frame your finished work

Carina's Craft Blog - paper transfer tutorial

Tada Creations - Heat Transfer Pencil Method

Don't be afraid, go to Pinterest and search "embroidery".  Get inspired!  It's my birthday week anything is possible!!

Keep Posted,

the rave

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pie...Oh My!

Don't have much time, but I really wanted to share some pics from this past Saturday's  Pie-Making-Class at our church.

Dustin volunteered me to attend.  I, in turn, volunteered him to attend.  We're even.

We had a blast though.  Dustin is an excellent and motivated chef/baker.  I knew he would have a great time once he jumped the hurdle of the stigma that making pies is a girly thing.

Let's just say, he's ready to impress his Nana with all of the talent he displayed (and confidence gained) during that class.

Most of the pies...Apple and Pumpkin....Dustin's has the creative pastry cutouts on top.
The Bakers and their pies.

Apple and Pumpkin....did I mention he hand-drew and cutout his "P" and leaf?!

The All-American Pie

A mix of apples....Granny Smith, Braeburn & Cortland.  It turned out to be pretty tart.

A perfectly spicy pie.  Is that a cute pie plate?!  Dustin's Aunt gifted that to us for a wedding gift, I think.

Dustin's Masterpiece
That was our Saturday morning/afternoon in a..."pie"shell....hehe.

I am on my way to do more work on the thrift store that I keep sporadically mentioning.  I have partial before and after pics too!!  Yippee!

The store is scheduled to open the first Sunday in December.  I don't have much more time to get things together.  I am soooo detail oriented too that it's difficult to get to the bigger things that need to be done, i.e. organizing and moving things into the room, when I can't stop thinking about the minor things, i.e. painting signs for clothing racks, painting bookshelves, etc.

Just a bit of background.  The thrift store is located in the a room in the bottom floor (basement-esque) of the church.  It was in a fair state of disrepair with moldy, dark wooden walls, mis-matched tile floor with random missing tiles and a bad leak from somewhere.

We've painted the walls, found and fixed the leak, and ripped up all the tiles and painted the concrete floor that was underneath.


Walls have been painted a pure white to brighten up a dark room.
These tiles were AWFUL to tear up.
Walls painted, floor painted.  GREAT Improvement.
Up close of painted concrete floor.
Dustin adding the final touches of sealer to our "glitter-fied" floor
Up close of glitter floor.  It makes me so happy!
It adds to the brightness of the room, don't you think?
 Here's the tutorial I loosely followed for the glitter floor...The Crafty Chica.

 So, I'm on my way there.  I need to do a lot more to get it ready for opening.  But I will update you as much as possible!  I can't wait.

Oh, I designed a logo for the store too.  I would love to know what you think.  I am debating on colors, mostly because, on a church's budget, you have minimal wiggle room.  So I will probably have to use any paint on hand to fancy up a few bookcases I found in the basement of the church.  We also have some red and white fabric that donated, which I think we will use for curtains on the windows and door that leads to the garden area.

P.S.  Is is a bad thing if you eat pie for dessert and breakfast?!

Keep Posted!!

the rave