Friday, December 23, 2011

Thrift Wrap: Part 5

I wrapped my grandmother's gift in a kraft bag I saved from my October visit to Terrain. Every piece of their packaging is so beautifully designed and worth holding on to. The graphic magnolias inspired me to finally use the vintage paper magnolia I'd picked up from Parcel a couple of years ago.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thrift Wrap: Part 3

The rich and colorful pages of Anthropologie catalogs make for great wrapping paper. I cut this page up and sewed it back together using Sajou metallic thread. That little bit of gold adds the perfect touch of glam.

Thrift Wrap: Part 2

In this little collection of gifts I reused packing materials from my online holiday shopping, tissue paper, and painter's masking paper. A handmade bird stamp and some stitches really dress them up nicely.

Thrift Wrap: Part 1

Anyone that knows me knows that I will drop good money on paper. My obsession helps keep stores like Kate's Paperie and NY Central in business. I also come across great paper finds on a daily basis, some that are so ordinary some people might mistake them for trash. Not me... almost anything has the potential for a second life as gift wrap including security envelope lining, butcher paper, catalog pages... everything's up for grabs!

Monday, October 31, 2011

DIY: Terrarium Tutorial

Succulent terrariums are so easy to maintain and just as easy to make. They hardly need any water or attention to thrive, just a sunny windowsill. Here's my simple how-to:

How to Make a Succulent Terrarium:

Before you begin, select your container. You can use something as simple as a mason jar or glass bowl, which you may already have laying around the house. For more traditional terrarium vessels, you can find them at floral shops or specialty stores. The one I'm using here is from Terrain, which offers an amazing selection.


•  Glass container with wide opening
•  Selection of succulents
•  Gravel or Pebbles
•  Charcoal
•  Cactus Soil Mix
•  Spoon or Mini Shovel
•  Newspaper, for easy cleanup

1.  Choose your succulents. Select plants that vary in height, color and texture. I bought a couple extra so that I would have options once I started arranging.

2.  Place a layer of gravel or pebbles on the bottom of container; this provides drainage.

3.  Place a layer of charcoal over the pebbles; this helps control moisture.

4.  Place a layer of Cactus Soil Mix, a fast-draining soil that retains little moisture.
5.  Arrange Plants. Remove plants from pots, gently tap off extra soil and place roots in the new soil. Be careful not too over-handle. Succulents have very delicate leaves that fall off easily when touched.

6.  Admire your creation! Place your terrarium in direct sunlight every day for at least five or six hours. Water once every two weeks. The water should freely drain to the bottom. After watering, there should not be more than an inch of water visible in the gravel at the bottom.

* Optional: Place a layer of sand or pebbles on the top layer of soil for a finishing touch.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Kitchen Aids

For Jess' birthday I wanted to give her something with both form and function. I went back to Simple Sewing by Lotta Jansdotter for inspiration (who, by the way, I am collaborating with at Fishs Eddy!). After some deliberation, I decided to make her an apron and potholder using Kokka Canvas Ticking as my main fabric. Jess is the ultimate hostess and decorator so when she's not using them, I can imagine them hanging nicely in her kitchen.

Lotta noted that this is one apron you won't want to take off after your work in the kitchen is done. She wasn't kidding! I had a hard time parting with it after the photo shoot, but I'm happy when I think of Jess on a Sunday afternoon, going about her domesticities in style.

* Thanks to Silka for taking these great shots!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Field Trip: Terrain at Styer's

It's always a good feeling when you can finally put a face to a name. That's how it felt when I visited Terrain with my mom and Rachel for my birthday this past weekend. Because there's only one store (located in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania) I have only ever shopped with them online. I can say now that the experience is a whole lot better in person.

As soon as we pulled into the driveway we knew the two-hour drive (plus traffic) had been well worth the trip. Pumpkins, flowers, and a plethora of seasonal plants awaited us, and that was just the parking lot.

The shop itself consists of sprawling adjoined rooms, with each nook devoted to a different category: canning, terrarium, kitchen, bath, tabletop. The use of skylights and natural materials made it hard to tell where the outdoor ended and the indoor began. We looked at each other with wide eyes and broad smiles each feeling the same inspiration overload, which is never a bad thing if you have the time to enjoy it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

New & Improved

I paired my special finds from Liberty of London with fabric from Purl Soho, and sewed a nifty shoulder bag that holds just the right amount of things I need-- the things I actually need.

When I was living in Park Slope I bought a very similar bag from Nest, which is sadly no longer there. Jess has the same one. We both were smitten with the illustration on the fabric by Japanese artist Shinzi Katoh. Unfortunately, I hardly ever use mine due to the fact that the handles are white (not very practical for an artist) and there is only one small pocket inside.

So on my version I sewed mutliple pockets into the lining: one for my iPhone, one for my mini planner, one for my keys and the two for a pen & pencil. I added natural colored handles to camouflage day-to-day dirt and to pull out the warm tones in the floral printed lining. Happily, I found a use for the fabric-covered button I picked up in London, though I think a zipper would have been more practical. All in all it has been my favorite new accessory this fall.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

London Calling

I've been a fan of Liberty fabrics for a long time and finally visited the department store during our recent trip to London. Not once, but twice! I picked up a few fun items and would have gone nuts had the rate of the pound not kept my wallet in check.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Office Space

The other place in our apartment where I like to set up shop.

Pickle People

I can count on my dad to share my appreciation for pickles, whether it be kosher dills or French cornichons. For his birthday I made and packaged him a batch of his favorite, Sweet Pickles.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Baby Face

Last July 4th I drew my nephew Théo for the first time, just a few hours after he was born. He's almost a year old now and has changed so much since his initial portrait. He has four teeth coming in, blows kisses, and has already taken his first steps by himself.

For Théo's 1st birthday I made a cut-paper portrait out of Color-aid and framed it for his bedroom. I would love to create an annual portrait to commemorate each birthday, varying the mediums from year to year. It'll be quite the collection by the time he's 20!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Room with a View

Our balcony garden is starting to fill in nicely. I chose a cooler palette for the window boxes this year: 'black heart' sweet potato vines, purple ageratum, miniature yellow petunias and and the one boxwood shrub that survived my winter garden experiment.

I added a few more edibles too: kale, red mustard, frisé, strawberries, 'white currant' cherry tomatoes and cucumber. The cucumber is by far the most entertaining to watch. It's taking over the balcony railing and is already bearing dozens of small prickly cucumber buds.