Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summer craft series: hanging glass planters

Last week, I showed you two of Terrain's little glass globes with succulents and then promised to show you how to do them for far less than $38 a piece.  Let's get started:

I found my glass pears at Michael's for $1.99 each--yes, I have the decimal in the right spot.  The stones are also from Michael's ($2.79) and the succulents are from Wal-Mart which is the only affordable place that I could find them.  Typically, I can find them at Home Depot and even at the supermarket. These were the only two that were salvageable from the pathetic assortment I found ($2.50 each ... borderline not worth it).
ummm ... excuse me.

Ok, you two have at it and I'll get started again when you're done.

Remove as much of the dirt as you can without damaging or breaking the roots.  Place it inside and get your stones ready.  I love how this little one is wearing red lipstick.

Add enough stones to hide the dirt, pushing them around to the back.  I think white stones would look really nice too.

Taa-daa! I kept the pears on the cardboard to help them stand up while working on them.  That is the one advantage to the glass globes at Terrain: You can hang them or they can sit without tipping.

The one on the left is mine--I did buy the airplant at Terrain ... that's the most expensive item in all of these shots: $7

I figured out that these will sit up if you place them in a small dish--this bowl is from the nesting bowls I have sitting in my cabinet.

But, I'm going to hang mine since I have little space on the plant shelf in my room.  I grabbed the ribbon from an Anthropologie shopping bag.

Once a week, I have to pull him out and submerge him in water for about an hour.  He's only resting on top of the stones, so that should be easy.
So here's the math:

$7 (air plant) + $6 (glass pears) + $3 (stones) + $5 (succulents) = $21

If I had skipped the air plant and done three succulents, it would've been something like $14.

Can't beat it with a stick!

If you would rather buy one, I would check out Longwood Gardens (if you live around here)--they sell them for $20 and use moss rather than stones:

You can buy the air plants separately--only $1 less than Terrain, but I guess a dollar counts.  They're also really cheap online if you do a search for them.

These are air plants too--I noticed them in a large terrarium as a backdrop for purple orchids. Very pretty.

These little dishes were really cute up close--I think $28 ... I was still expecting sticker shock, forgetting where I was.

Ok, enough griping about money for now.

But, you should make your own little floating garden--I love walking by mine in my room.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

It's time to play ....






Wahoo! And we're playing it at my favorite place: Terrain.  (I think that's the only place we ever play this?) I'm pretty mobile these days (relatively speaking), so my mom took me out so I could get an anniversary gift for Ron and to Terrain because I haven't been there in forever.

Let's get started:

Problem: I hid the price tag to take the picture and now I don't remember how much this really is.  The footed dish alone has to be $60-70.  So everything combined ... hmmm ... I would say $128? I love that garden gate behind the fern.

We searched in vain for prices on these.  My guess? $6 each.  Aren't they cute?  At least they all look really healthy.

They had a few of these big jade plants--really beautiful.  Want to guess?  If you guessed under $70, you're wrong.

Ok, this is to die for: A gorgeous fig tree. There were TWO of them.  I hope I can train mine to take this shape--I like fig trees rather than fig bushes.  I couldn't find a price and didn't care anyway. A girl can dream.

Ok, here's a fun one.  Take a guess on that wide black cabinet on the bottom: $500?  $750? no ...

The cabinet's $1,598!  At that point, I started laughing and my mom got borderline annoyed: "Are you serious? This is a joke.  REALLY?? COME ON!!"  Ok, what about this little guy here with the succulents?

Or this pear-shaped guy in the middle? $20? $25? Come on now: $38.  I won't lie, I really wanted one badly ...

I did get one ... but it's not from Terrain! I'll do a separate post and show you how I did three of these for a grand total of $21. Not kidding.
I saw this idea in the current copy of Sweet Paul magazine while I was there.  I don't like the idea of plastic, but it's something to think about.

In the meantime, I saw this little guy.  If not for one of my favorite bloggers who has a real love for beetles, I would've been all "ewwww, gross! He's huge!!" rather than, "Oh, cool!"  He was a lovely creamy beige color--about the size of a silver dollar.  I hope he moved out of his spot since he was bound to get crushed by someone not watching their step.

In the parking lot, I noticed another fig actually planted in the the parking lot.  Figs always remind me of California.

They'll be ready to go in about six weeks ...

Friday, July 26, 2013

5 years ...

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Revival of the summer crafts series? (ie, Katherine's apron)

Yesterday I showed some pictures of Katherine's wedding. In early May, I missed her bridal shower (a tea party! and I missed it!).  She and Manny registered at Crate and Barrel, so I picked out some of the baking items she asked for, and I also made it a point to pick out a dishtowel to make her an apron.  Remember Ali's dishtowel apron from last summer? I bought the same dishtowel in black and whipped up another apron for Katherine.

I made the waist tie extra long so she can wrap it all the way around her waist and tie it in a fancy bow.  Katherine's waist is so tiny that she could probably wrap it around twice and still tie it in a bow.

I used a portion of her shower invitation as the tag for the care/washing instructions--one of my friends gave me this idea when she gave me a present at my own shower years ago:

I also saved Katherine's Christmas card photo and used it to make a card rather than buy a shower card at the store--how gorgeous are they all together?? That's Brinkley in the middle:

Speaking of Christmas card photos, how ridiculous is this?  Throughout Katherine and Manny's entire wedding weekend, complete strangers kept coming up to me and Ron saying, "Oh, hello!  I know we've met before: I'm so-in-so."  The first few times this happened, we were mildly panicked: We've met before? Who ARE you? I never forget a face--what's going on? Inevitably, the stranger would say, "Wait a minute: We've never met ... why do I feel like I know you? ... OH MY GOD! You're the people with those big, fluffy cats on Katherine's fridge! That's why I feel like I know you! I literally see you all the time!  How are your cats? Are they that big and fluffy in person?  One does that one [Pearl] look so unhappy?"  We literally had this exact conversation word for word with twelve different people because Katherine puts our Christmas photo on her fridge.  See?  People can make fun of Christmas photos all they want, but they're totally worth it.

Even though summer has mostly passed (yeah, I just said that), I think I'll revive the barely-breathing Summer Craft Series anyway. I made this apron back in May, I finished another baby blanket in June, and I'm working on several other crochet projects during my bunion convalescence.  There are a few things I want to sew ... but I sew with the same foot that I use to drive and both of those things are slightly impossible right now. (I bet I could sew with all of this bandaging ... messing up while sewing isn't nearly as dangerous as messing up while driving.  It's also not illegal for me to sew right now ...)

This apron project is so easy, though. If you go to look for a fancy dishtowel, make sure you look at the towel's pattern carefully.  Most of the really adorable ones at Anthropologie, for example, have a really cute image that runs vertically rather than horizontally. In other words, if you were to use it for an apron the image would appear sideways on the finished product.  Maybe this wouldn't bother some people or maybe it would actually improve the final product in some cases.  Just keep it in mind while you're shopping.

It's so easy--if you have a machine give it a try, and click on the above link on Ali's apron so that you don't ruin your grosgrain ribbon making the mistake that I made twice before I got it right.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Katherine and Manny's wedding

People who know me have heard me say many times, "I made two friends in college: Katherine and Anthony."  The same people who have heard me say this many times have also never met Katherine and Anthony, so they probably assume that I made these characters up and that I, in fact, made no friends at all in college.  (Also, Katherine and Anthony are not/were never a couple ... don't get confused by the post's title.  Actually, I don't think Katherine and Anthony ever met each other so maybe they each think the other one is made up? I swear, both of these people are real.)

I met Katherine on the first day of college orientation.  Oh God, there was very little I hated about college (aside from the almost-no-friends situation), but orientation WAS THE WORST THING I'VE EVER HAD TO ENDURE. Worse than any exam I ever took, worse than the two theses I eventually had to write, worse than bunion surgery, worse than writing a dissertation, worse than folding sweaters in the mall during Christmas season. (Well maybe not worse than working in a mall, but pretty close.)  Remember how Ralphie's mom FREAKS OUT over the leg lamp in A Christmas Story?  She finally just LOSES it and screams something like, "THAT LAMP IS THE UGLIEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN. IN. MY. WHOLE. LIFE!!!!!!!!!"  That's how much I hated college orientation.

(I'll digress just for the confused people out there who are like, "Huh?? Why?? How?" (Erin and Laurie) or "Well, duh, I guess that's why this chick never made any friends" (strangers who have never met me in person).  No.  No, I'm sorry, but any "program" that makes adults sing songs and play games like preschoolers in an attempt to make them feel more "at home" or "comfortable" in their new environment is THE DUMBEST THING IN THE WORLD.  I went to college relieved that finally! at last! no one would mistake me for a kid anymore, and I was forced to literally SING SONGS WITH CORRESPONDING DANCE MOVES IN PUBLIC FOR FOUR DAYS.  To refuse participation, one found herself literally threatened with public stoning.  Or a hold on her account or something.

Well, that's how I remember it at least.

Katherine is reading this and thinking, "ok, that's not what it was like at all.")

So anyway, I survived the ridiculous little kid camp that was "College Orientation" and made my first of two friends: Katherine was in my group.  Even though she was a sophomore, she was forced to attend because she was a transfer.  (Imagine, she had to do orientation TWICE.  Wow.)  I guess orientation worked out ok for her: I managed to score a friend in this mess, but she managed to score a husband. Not bad, right?  Manny was in our group too, and while they didn't start dating right away, they did stay friends and yadda yadda yadda they just got married last month.

Let me just say that Katherine is a class act.  The only person I can think of who rivals her is that OTHER Catherine as-in-Middleton. Seriously, they're both in the same category.  I can't explain it.  Everything about her is impeccable in the coolest-not-at-all-uptight way.  Usually, I'm the one who's screaming and yelling over something that really does not matter, and Katherine's the one going, "hmmm, yeah, that doesn't sound like fun.  But you'll be fine," and when she says that you believe her.  And usually she's wearing some adorable little sweater with pearl studs and the most perfect lip gloss ever when she says this.  Will could switch out his Catherine for my Katherine, and England would be in as good if not better shape.

Of course, traveling to an out of town wedding requires making some tough decisions and with my surgery on the near horizon, I chose to pack an extra pair of shoes in my carry-on rather than my DSLR.  Six weeks after the fact, I totally regret this.  My point-and-shoot can take a great picture, but it just doesn't cut it indoors. C'e' la vie.

How gorgeous are those wreaths?

I worked at a florist in high school--not a single cheapo flower in these.  Beyond swoon-worthy.

See! I told you: She's real! And impeccable!  Also, to my friends who are learning to work with their new DSLRs: the fuzziness problem in this photo is actually not blur, it's film grain.  This is what your manual means by "film grain."  My camera used an ISO of 576 which isn't too high, but I cropped way in to edit the photo and grain is too much.

The bride's niece--didn't leave the house without her bunny.

Everything for the wedding was emblazoned with the bride and groom's monogram.

Shrine time (because I can't help myself):

The whole weekend was beautiful beginning to end.  Katherine seated us with two of her childhood friends one of whom recently finished her PhD in psychology and works with families whose children are fighting traumatic illnesses. Naturally, we spent most of the dinner discussing the ethics of euthanasia (because what else is going to happen when you seat a person like that next to an ethicist?).

(Maybe this has something to do with my failure to make friends in college? huh.)

God help me, I love a chandelier.

On my other side was this super-cute couple: an entrepreneur and his photographer wife.  They were so hilarious, and I spent the other part of dinner talking to him about Hume because Hume was his favorite philosopher in college.

(I should add at this point: I rarely if ever want to talk about philosophy outside of work.  But whenever I meet someone new, the first question they ask me is ALWAYS, "What do you do?"  When I answer, "I'm a philosopher" it elicits one of two responses: 1) "Omigod I HATE PHILOSOPHY. It was my LEAST favorite class in college. Philosophy is so STUPID AND POINTLESS. I can't believe I had to pay money for such a dumb and pointless class.  Ugh. I hated it."  I most recently encountered this response from someone at a Fourth of July barbecue this year although I hear it all the time. I don't know WHY people think that this response is acceptable or NOT rude.  Just shut up already.  Honestly, what do you expect me to say back to you? "Oh, you're clearly some genius who knows what she's talking about"? Whatever.

The other response I get is 2) "Omigod THAT WAS MY FAVORITE CLASS IN COLLEGE!!!!! I loved it!! My prof was sooooo cool!  I wanted to major in it, but my parents said no.  Can we PLEASE talk about Hume/euthanasia/Sartre/Kierkegaard/atheism/Socrates/Aquinas???"  Sadly, whatever topic this person wants to talk about (ie, Hume in this case) is so distant from my area of specialization that I have little to say and this inevitably leads to disappointment and some skepticism that I know what I'm talking about.)

Everyone we met was so friendly and cool ... I thought Mr. Hume summed it up perfectly when he said at the end of the night, "Every guest at Katherine and Manny's wedding has been so nice ... but what else would you expect from Katherine and Manny? Of course they've surrounded themselves with the most positive network of people you've ever met."

At the end of the night, all of the guests waited on the front steps with sparklers.  The bride and groom appeared at the top of the steps, ran through the aisle of sparklers, and jumped into a gorgeous vintage car that sped them off into the night.

That's Katherine's mom in the gorgeous blood-orange silk blouse.  I wonder what it's like to wish your last daughter farewell on her wedding day?

Katherine seriously saved my life in college.  (So did you, Antonio.)  Sometimes I wonder what would've happened if she hadn't been in my orientation group. A part of me thinks I would have called it quits and transferred somewhere else.  I probably wouldn't have fit in any better at that other place. I just didn't get college student culture--nothing about it matched with any part of my personality, and I didn't have the money to keep up with it.  Katherine was just like all the friends I knew so well who were scattered up and down the eastern seaboard after high school graduation.  I automatically felt like I had always known her.  It would've been a tragedy never to have met her.

Katherine and Manny left for a dream honeymoon in Bali days after the party ended.  I hope their first year is just fun with no stress.  I hope their whole lives are like that.

And by "no stress" I mean: May they never have to wiggle around singing stupid, rhymey jingles in public ever again.

Unless they want to ; )

Sunday, July 21, 2013

omg, please tell me you know about this?

 * update--July 23, 2013--please read this post by the creators of the app I mention below.  Apparently, someone has ripped off the ideas in Elsie and Emma's app, and many people have bought the wrong app by mistake. Please don't mistakenly waste your $$ on the wrong app! *

I'm assuming that I'm the last person in the whole world to learn about the blog A Beautiful Mess?  Leslie sent me the link recently, and I'm so obsessed.  Flipping through all of Elsie and Emma's stuff has eaten up several hours of post-bunion convalescence.

Anyway, their new app is SO MUCH FUN!!! It all started when Leslie sent me this:

I responded with something like, "OMIGOD HOW DID YOU DO THAT????????????"

So look what I did:

This ...

... became this!

This ...

... became this!

Then I used my phone to take a picture of two pictures in a magazine (probably totally illegal):

An ad in a recent volume of Traditional Home ... I have no idea what the ad was for. I only noticed the bunnies.


And finally:

From the July 2013 issue of O, the Oprah Magazine

Pay $1 and download the app ... now!