Friday, March 28, 2008

Lights Out!

This Saturday, join millions across the globe in almost 200 cities as we turn off the lights from 8-9pm (local time)... this simple action helps to show how individuals can make a big impact when we work together! The aim of the campaign is to express that individual action on a mass scale can help change our planet for the better.

More than 100 cities across North America will participate, including the US flagships–Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco and Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver.
Everyone throughout North America and around the world to turn off the lights for an hour starting at 8 p.m. (your own local time)–whether at home or at work, with friends and family or solo, in a big city or a small town.

Visit the
Earth Hour website for more info!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Make a Wish...

How pretty is this drawing/ photo?!

Photo from sue.h on Flickr

I realize that dandelions are technically weeds & undesireable, but something about them still reminds me of spring & makes me want to blow the seeds everywhere!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fabulous Fondue

My friends & family all know that Fondue is one of my all-time favorite meals. I even had a bridal shower at The Melting Pot (which I highly recommend - super fun!). Melted Cheese and/ or melted chocolate... what's not to like?! One of my favorite easy entertaining dishes is this super easy cheese fondue recipe from Real Simple:

1 garlic clove, halved (optional)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 10-ounce tub refrigerated Alfredo sauce
1 8-ounce bag shredded Swiss cheese (2 cups)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon kirsch or brandy (optional)

Rub the garlic clove (if using) around the inside of a fondue pot or nonaluminum saucepan, then discard. Add the wine and heat to boiling. Reduce flame (or stovetop) to low and add the Alfredo sauce, Swiss cheese, and nutmeg. Stir constantly until the cheese is melted and very hot. Add the kirsch or brandy (if using).

Image from Kimberly Michelle

It is delicious served with baby carrots, sliced apples, and bread for dipping... though I am of the opinion that just about anything can be helped by a dip into melted cheese!

I have an electric fondue pot (hooray for wedding registries!) that is amazing- I love being able to turn the dial & get the cheese melted & warm to just the right level. Plus, as the cheese gets eaten, you can turn the temperature down to ensure that nothing burns. If you love fondue, this is definately way easier than dealing with a candle/ flame!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Vintage Book Cover Designs

I came across this great resource via Craft Magazine's Blog (via Bluelines)- a database of vintage paperback book covers!
I love the colors, graphics, layouts- so many interesting ideas! Plus these could be really cool printed & included on fabric, decoupage, etc... the possibilities are endless!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Underwater Flowers

I went with a friend this weekend to meet with a potential florist for her August wedding... and one of the ideas that the florist had was to do some of the tables with flowers underwater & a floating candle on top. Such a pretty way to add some interest to the reception, without blowing the budget! Some examples can be found here:

Underwater Flowers
From InStyle Weddings

Wedding Arrangement from Larkspur in Chicago
This blog also has more info on how to DIY this type of arrangement.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Easter!

Pug Bunny

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Industrial Stools

I am drawn to so many different styles... some days I dream of living in a cottage, or in a modern space, or in a more bohemian-chic home. I think these industrial stools would look nice in any of them:

Industrial Stools
Stools from CB2

Picture from Designer's Library

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Letterpress in Action

I mentioned before that I have a mini-obsession with learning to screenprint (the class I'm taking starts in a week! yay!), but another love is Letterpress.

I even once secretly was investigating buying a machine, but luckily came to my senses as I remembered that I lived (at the time) in a tiny apartment in a high rise in the middle of the city, with no extra storage/ work space. At all.

For now I can live vicariously through
SeeSaw Designs... How cool is this video of their machine in action?!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Loving It: Pretty Labels

Pretty LabelsBeing a girl who loves all things organization, I instantly fell for these beautiful labels over at See Jane Work. The addition of one of these would just be the perfect touch for a present/ envelope/ storage box/ really anything!

I actually already have the Addison ones (bought at PaperSource years ago), but the Jansdotter* one is calling out to me...

Pretty Labels

* I am only 1/4 Swedish and those genes are definately recessive (not tall, thin, or blond), but my mom & I are very proud of our Swedish heritage (wishing we were tall, thin, and blond), so love all things Sweden!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Happy Birthday, Babies!

My little munchkins turn 1 today! We have plans for a yummy meal for them*, but they're both having some, um, stomach issues, so we'll wait till that clears up. I'll have pictures of their family 'party' when the time comes, but for now, a walk down memory lane...

Frank & Boozer - 3 months old
Frank & Boozer @ 3mo

Boozer - 3 months old
Boozer @ 3mo

Frank & Boozer - 3 months old
Snuggling @ 3mo old

Frank - 3 months old
Frank @ 3mo

I realize that they're not all that big or old, but look how adorable they were as tiny little puppies! Makes me miss that phase... though I probably wouldn't go back to that time unless they could retain their potty-training skills!

* I bought them some wet dog food for their bday treat & was all excited about it, but two separate people have told me that their dog gets real meat on his birthday. I am such a slacker mom! This could lead to trouble... J will get super jealous if I cook for the dogs and not him!

Craft It Roundup: Fabric Flowers

I have a cute pattern for a clutch that I bought years ago, but when I last tried to make it, the purse really needed something to make it pop. A fabric flower would be super cute. Rather than getting started and actually making the purse, I instead spent a while researching (i.e. 'googling'!) how to actually make a fabric flower for my yet-un-created purse... enjoy!

(To the Left) WiseCraft's Flower Tutorial

One of the most popular flower tutorials out there, with adorable results. Also check out the Flickr group for tons of beautiful examples!

(In the picture below) Clockwise from the top-left corner:
* Felted Flower (on an adorable purse) from Bets White
* Moniqa's Flowers
* Frayed Flower (so shabby chic!) from Maize's Diary
* Silk Flower (here on a Ring Pillow, but would be cute on anything!)
* A Layered Rose from the Carol Duvall Show on HGTV
* Rose from BurdaStyle
* Pretty Red Flower from BurdaStyle

Fabric Flowers to Make

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

In the mood for... Yellow Doors

Maybe it's the fact that I am desperately wishing for spring, but how fun would it be to have a pretty yellow door on your house?!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy International Women's Day!

International Women's Day PosterOk, so it officially isn't until tomorrow, but Happy International Women's Day!

I didn't know this was a holiday that existed before, but my employer has a big Women's Day event every year, so I get to spend the day hanging out & gabbing (I mean, networking and empowering ourselves! ;) with my work buddies.

According to Wikipedia:

International Women's Day (IWD) is marked on March 8 every year. It is a major day of global celebration for the economic, political and social achievements of women.

Started as a political event, the holiday blended in the culture of many countries (primarily Russia and the countries of former Soviet bloc). In some celebrations, the day lost its political flavour, and became simply an occasion for men to express their love to the women around them in a way somewhat similar to Mother's Day and St Valentine's Day mixed together.

The 1932 Soviet poster dedicated to the 8th of March
holiday. The text reads: "8th of March is the day of
the rebellion of the working women against the kitchen
slavery" and "Down with the oppression and narrow-mindedness of the household work!". (Image from Wikipedia)

In others, however, the political and human rights theme as designated by the United Nations runs strong, and political and social awareness of the struggles of women worldwide are brought out and examined in a hopeful manner.
(Ladies: Make sure the men in your life know about the underlined portion!)

I'm off to celebrate... have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Political Humor

I have my Google homepage set up with the 'Quotes of the Day', but a lot of times the daily selection is a bit strange... still, one of today's quotes made me laugh:

Political Quote

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Loving It: Chemistry Vases

How cute are these vases from Anthropologie!? Reminds me of Chemistry Class in high school, but in a good way! Plus the pretty colors are a nice update and are perfect to ring in Spring (hopefully soon!).

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Screenprinting 101

Silk Screening I've had a random obsession with learning to screenprint for a while now... I do love my Gocco, but I feel like it's cheating somehow- I feel like I should know how to do real screenprinting. This belief is completely unfounded and is probably partially based on the fact that there is no place in my Chicago apartment in which to do it. (Which somehow is part of the allure... J would just love it if I set up a printing shop in our living room... hehe...)

I signed up for a Screenprinting on Fabric class at
Lillstreet Art Center that starts at the end of the month that I'm fired up for, but in the meantime enjoy this "Silk Screening 101" tutorial from Craft Magazine.

In the meantime, here are a couple of tutorials for at-home screenprinting, both using an embroidery hoop as the frame for the screen:

-- CraftGrrl's version using glue to block off the 'negatives'

-- Limon Verde's version using a plastic stencil

Monday, March 3, 2008

Charting Life

I realize that I may just be easily amused, but I came across this graph over at Making it Lovely and couldn't stop laughing. Just try to read the graph legend without singing...! At my day job we do lots of excel & powepoint, always trying to make data look nice and presentable for the client, so maybe that is part of why I am so amused. Definately more interesting than the charts I normally spend my days working on!

It reminded me of a powerpoint presentation that has made the email rounds... it was created by a guy who worked at Boston Consulting Group (where my roommate at the time worked & heard of it) & legend has it was sent to a girlfriend after their breakup. For anyone who has ever had to create these charts for real work, the creativity is hilarious! (There's a version floating around out there with her response too!)

Read this doc on Scribd: Consultant's love life

This added some much-needed sunshine to this very gloomy, wet day in Chicago today... hope it helped your Monday too!

Creative Host Gift: House Wine

Even though it's Monday & I'm back to work, I seem to still have the weekend on my mind!

When we had people over a while ago, some friends brought us a bottle of this 'House Wine' - they even wrote in our house number above the door on the label, making it personalized. What a simple idea, yet so creative! I'm definately stealing this idea for the next get-together we're invited to... I have some friends that just bought their first place, so this would be a very cute housewarming gift idea for them!