Make: Valentine's Cozy

Monday, January 23, 2012

Did your mommy leave you sweet little notes inside your lunch box? No? Mine didn't either. But moms did and do lots of other amazing things that let us know we were loved and cherished. So here is a sweet(and easy) little V-day gift tutorial for yo mama to show her how sweet her love was and still is, and how much you love her too! (Obviously you can use a different name or leave it blank to give this gift to another valentine. Whatever you want to do, the power to choose is all yours.)  This one says mom because when I think of handmade valentines I am harkened back to grade school and the gifts we made for our moms. Mom's love handmade stuff the best, and always will, no matter how hip handmade ever gets.  So this is for all the mom's that have always loved our crafted goodies!

This is a super easy and quick craft and you can totally make this on Feb 13th and no one will ever know. It's a good one to incorporate with the kiddos too. They can help with the cutting (supervised of course) or if they are a chip off the old block and a little older, they can probably tackle this one all on their own!

First you need to cut off the cuff of an old sweater. 
Then you need some red felt. I traced my heart first (a size that will fit your cuff) and then sewed on "mom" before I cut it so I had a bigger piece of material to hold in my hand while I was embroidering "mom" on there. Then you simply cut your heart out (um, your felt heart!). After you have embroidered or chosen not to, you will stitch it on your cuff.

If want to go for a decorative stitch around the heart feel free. But I just stitched this on willy-nilly to show that you don't have to have mad embroidery skills to do this project. Just be sure to leave the top open so you have a little pocket to place your notes.

That's it! Make mom a cup of coffee, write a little good-fortune note and voila, Happy Valentine's Mom!

Memory Quilt {it's on my to-do list}

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I embroider, a lot, which is pretty time consuming. My etsy shop, Plumed, is mostly embroidered pillows and many of my sales are custom items. I can understand why some may shy away from this craft because of that but the cool thing about it being so time consuming is I get really familiar with my customers. Because I spend so much time on a piece I remember them very well. Much of the work I do is personal, custom and meaningful to the person making the purchase and I get to be apart of that. Not only do I remember who they are and the stories behind the orders but I often remember what I was doing and what was going on in my own life when I was making their special piece. This has inspired me to make a "memory quilt." I'd like to embroider little pictures/sayings that reflect times in my life. I am okay with this taking a long time...years even. For one, a memory quilt with only a month or two worth of memories isn't what I am going after. And, two, I need to learn how to make a quilt!

(c) Christine Dinsmore, Plumed 2012
here is an example of a custom order i recently completed for a customer. it's a valentines gift that she is framing. so sweet! this is what i have in mind but on a smaller scale of course; this is an 11x15 piece

this is the first piece i have set aside for my quilt. when i first started doing embroidery again this was a little practice piece i made. it's not perfect (that bird is especially sad looking) but it's special to me because embroidery actually changed my life! weird, i know. 

Here are some really great memory quilts to be inspired by. 

Made from ties by a website that makes custom memory quilts for folks. This is so cool!! If I had a dad who wore ties (er, or any dad for that matter) I would love to do this. But, hey, who needs a dad when you've got thrift stores?! Love this idea Via

t-shirt memory quilt - made using old tee's Via

Via Etsy "This is a really, really old quilt square. probably 19th century. It's from a memory quilt (sometimes called friendship quilt) where several women make one square and add their name or a quote. The squares are then all sewn together and given to the recipient to remember their friends." I LOVE this. Velvet and satin quilts are just gorgeous. That added sentiment in this piece sends me over the moon. I wish we made more stuff for our friends like this these days...

This antique quilt is so inspiring. All had stitched (i am assuming) with scraps of beautiful fabrics and hand decorative stitching. This would be such a great project to do with pieces of textiles you may have from your old clothes, or those of your family;  memories of your first apartment, your wedding, baby's favorite blanket... Via

Now I need to go investigate the break-up of Seal and Heidi Klum. I loved them together! Maybe because they are so "unconventional," yet, seem to be one of the most normal hollywood couples!  (They met while she was pregnant with her daughter that was not seals biological child. But he was there for the birth and later adopted her. They went on to have 3 more kids). Heidi was pregnant every other season of Project Runway showing you can still work it while you are pregnant - which I loved. Probably because I was pregnant with my twins when I started watching P.R. (on a side note: that was the best time to be pregnant with twins! because it was totally en vouge! all the best of hollywood was pregnant with twins) Well, I could go on about why they were my favorite hollywood couple but once I start talking about it out-loud it starts to make me feel a little weird. Anyway, it's just too sad! Hollywood, hollywood, hollywood.

Walls + Art {Design Inspirations}

Thursday, January 19, 2012

After I figure out which color to paint my living room (which I have been pondering for about 4 months now - so who knows when that will be), I am going to start hanging some art around mi casa, with a little more design purpose than I have going on at the moment. Here are some photos of inspiration...

This is not actually what I have in mind because dusting just isn't my forte and this looks like a real dust trap...but it's designed beautifully. Maybe in my next life I will be better at dusting... In fact I'd have to eliminate the old dried flowers too. I kinda think hate might actually not be too strong word to describe my feelings on dried flowers. I am sure the dust has something to do with it. And the crumpling they do, and stiff way they move when you try to do something with them, or the way they seem to be rooted to the vase when you try to remove them. I look at them and just feel confused, then angry. So love this without the dried flowers. I do like finding a little dried flower in a book though, say something like a buttercup. {I don't know the original source for this but I found it Via}

I love the mix of art on her wall. If I did this I would be sure it looked horrible but this is what I am leaning towards doing because a) none of my frames match b) my art is all random pieces c) i need to go into this project without the idea of hanging my art with an precision or i will end up sweaty and wide-eyed at 3 o'clock in the morning straightening frames. d) it looks warm and cozy and unpretentious and that's kinda like me and my style. By Kristen Buckingham Via 

 love, love, love the way the art and photos are displayed in this one! It really feels like it is an extension of their home more than "designed" - though it is designed wonderfully. I don't know what is at the very top? Polaroids? Tiny picture frames? via

I love this painting! I wish I had some real knowledge on art but I don't. Does anyone know who the artist is??? Gorgeous. Via

I also have some antlers I need to hang; I love how these are placed so subtly in the room. By Gary Spain

I love that this is both eclectic and pretty symmetrical- this is actually how I will try to model my art wall. I like the space between them too. I am naturally cluttered so - walls with art too close together makes me have panic attacks about all the closets in my house that need to be cleaned out. Via

How gorgeous is this bedroom?! It's probably good my bedroom looks nothing like this because I don't think I would ever leave it! I want that bedding too and I wish everything was labeled with where everything came from! Oh, those little yellow pillows are killing me.
Ok, now for the art collage wall...I love the deep, deep teal walls. This color makes that close grouping of art and photos look cohesive and warm without looking cluttered. But while this color might be great for a boudoire I think it might be a little too dark for my living area - which is naturally dark anyway - despite my wall of windows! How is that is possible?  Argh Via

Has anyone tried an art wall before? Did it turn out? My biggest fear is getting tired of it or feeling like something is out of place and it taunting me all the time. Which is crazy because there are a million things out of place in my house at any given moment that I choose to ignore for weeks or even months. I just know trying to get a bunch of pieces that don't match, yet look cohesive and not messy - to make it all look a little accidental on purpose, well, it's a big job friends. It's a big scary job.

The Golden Globes, Enchilladas and The Snow Storm That Wasn't.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Monday! 

The snow storm that wasn't: I am in Portland, Oregon and when there is the chance of snow or a frozen puddle found in a local parking lot the town goes a little kooky. We owe this in large part to our local news stations who kindly provide us with 24 hour news coverage, in which our A-list newscasters stay up for days to cover our "winter blasts" or our "big freeze." In 2008 we had real snow. A lot of snow (for us) and everything closed down and we watched our bleary-eyed newscasters for a couple weeks straights. It was the most snow I have ever seen here and since then we keep waiting...

 Our 2008 "winter blast"
You know how kids get snow days from school? Well that is basically what the entire city of Portland does. When it snows it is pretty much a city wide snow day. So, while it is a little weird and unnecessary, we keep doing it - probably not so much out of need, but I think we just like it. So when our newscasters tell us that there is a severe winter storm watch a'brewin' we get pretty excited and you can bet all facebook status updates are going to have something to do with snow. We stock up at the grocery store in preparation; we wonder how long it will last; we dig our snow boots out of storage and start imagining sledding and comtemplate how many snow days off of work and school we might get. We await the big blast... For a week we heard about the snow. But this is what we got...

Sad : (

But while I held out hope for the snow to fall I made enchiladas to feast on while I watched the Golden Globes (I am a sucker for award shows!). I found a recipe on Pinterest which has been re-pinned over 6000 times! So I just had to try it. And it was really good, but if you have any cholesterol issues you may want to stay away - it is an cheesy-enchilada-soup-casserole and so, yes, let me say it again, it was delicious!

You can find the recipe at Joyful Momma's Kitchen blog here

Now for the Golden Globes...sadly I had not seen or even heard of several of the movies that were nominated. I just don't get out to the movies much these days. But not to fret award shows are also for the fashion. Here are a few of my favorite looks.

Madonna in Reem Acra ballgown.(because she looks fantastic and is apparently immune to aging. i love the way the top portion of this dress looks on her; it looks age appropriate with a little rock and roll.) not sure how i feel about the cross - it's a little too life is prayer for me. but i am sure i hate the bottom of this dress. if satin-weaving + ball-gown was on a dress menu somewhere i'd go to a different restaurant. i do love the satin woven through the sparkle part and wonder what this dress could have looked like.

Charlize Theron in Dior

Claire Danes - Love her and this dress by J. Mendel

 Emma Stone in Lanvin

Even Rachel Wood in an amazing couture Gucci dress. The bottom is embellished with hundreds of real feathers!

Globe images Via

And of course lastly but not leastly Happy MLK Day. 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

Favorite Finds | 8 | Anatomy of the Heart: Anatomical Designs

Friday, January 13, 2012

I have long been obsessed with the anatomical heart. Here are some fantastic design that encompass el corazon entero. (and see my newest pillow design in honor of this powerful organ at the bottom of this post)

Heart Carafe Via

Dear Frye's I LOVE You! {and other shoe crushes}

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dear Fryes,

I have adored you for quite awhile, I think of you often, see you everywhere and dream about the next time we will meet. But, lately, this has gotten out of hand. You know when you want something but you can't have it so you want it even more? Which results in a kind of like fatal attraction. Well, I got an email from a certain shoe vendor in which said they were having a huge sale on their Frye's...this was a trap. Normally, when I know that my obsession is running high and is unattainable I will not look, I will not torture myself by even acknowledging this. Say for example with Mac computers - I have wanted one for a long time, but I cannot afford one, so I stay away. But when I had to go into the Apple store for my broken Iphone and came face to face with the computer of my dreams I obsessed for a good solid week over that darn computer. I stalked it online, daydreamed about spending time together, decorating around it and having fantasies about how I could acquire one - which I will not even go into all that! Anyway, so, I opened said email and what did I see? Rows and rows of pretty Fryes staring back at me. I immediately started having fantasies of outfits, of which I do not own, in which you were the star; me out on errands, I do not run, in super cute tights and my new Fryes. Torture I tell you, torture! Now, the sad part is this was a few days ago in which I found their huge sale was not so huge. (Every shoe I liked was only about 5% off, which really doesn't help with $300 shoes and a lack of shoe funds). But I continue to keep looking and cannot get you out of my mind!!

Oh my goodness! I cannot even describe how much I want these shoes right here! It makes me feels a little / a lot depressed thinking I might not own this shoe anytime soon. Jeans, dress, fun and bright tights...Fran X Stitch Fryes

I have wanted these boots for a long time, like 20 years long time. But I always go back and forth on them. I am back to wanting them. Pops of color are back in fashion and this "banana" leather color is pretty great.

 This would be the second shoe I obsess on most. I want, I want, I want.
 These are just too cute and sweet. However, reality tells me this heel would not be my friend.

These actually look practical for the summer and I would probably wear them A LOT, so I think I should have these addition to the others of course. And look at how cute that little detail is on the heel!

These shoes, oh man, I can really see myself living in these little oxfords. Cute, fashionable, practical and comfortable, bring it on! Pleeeeaaase...

Ok, now even in my fantasies these shoes hurt my feet and I take them off immediately. But they are pretty cute and they would be fun to hold and look at and try on at home sometimes - but I certainly don't have that kind money - so I am happy to admire these ones from a distance. You can find all these Frye's styles here.

So Frye's are pretty spendy not in the ranks of Louboutin or Manolo Blahnik; but not for the faint of heart either. About 200 to 400 a pair, which is why I dream little dreams about these shoes.

BUT here are the shoes I actually buy (er, or have bought in my past, when I bought shoes) which are more affordable and have lots of great styles. They are also comfortable because I hate it when my toes touch too closely together and I have very low tolerance for shoe pain... Here are my go to brands...

Indigo (by Clarks) 
This means they are still super comfortable but way cuter than their dad Clark! Find them here

I really, really love these and they run just a little over a hundred. 

Miz Mooz  - find these styles here

I love both of these so much!!! If I were in a store trying these on I am sure I would end up in a sweaty showdown trying to decide between them. They run between 60 and 120. And let me say it was really difficult to choose which shoes to feature here, Miz Mooz has a huge selection of shoes that make me go gaga.

Jeffrey Campbell - Find a HUGE selection here

So I have a pair of Jeffrey Campbell shoes that I absolutely love. They are super comfortable and were really reasonably priced, adorable but practical. Since then the majority of the designs have gotten a little coocoocachoo for me and would just not fit my lifestyle at all but are fun to look at.

This is the coocoocachoo I am talking about which are actually sold out online! This just looks way too whacky and terrifying for me...but fear not there are still some style for the more sensible chic

 These boots would make a really great new home for my feet.

And how fun are these? Okay, not totally practical but super cute! We are just fantasizing right?

Well, I probably just completely over-shared in my shoe fantasies but being as I cannot indulge in actual real-life shoe shopping, nor do I need really cute shoes to run to the store or hang out at my house, this is the next best thing. Which are your favorites?

Favorite Finds | 7 | Mod Chairs

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Who doesn't know Eames chairs for their mod and comfortable design. The rocker makes the classic all that more amazing!If I was rich and having another baby, which I am absolutely NOT doing, but just for the sake of pretend design, which is what I do... If I was designing a nursery for my future super stylish child, I would stick one of these in the corner.  Eames Molded Plastic Rocker

I love this chair made of bent plywood and leather! It is at once sleek and modern, yet totally inviting and warm. So fantastic! Via

 This chair is minimalist luxury! For one it would work in many styles, not just really modern designs, but could be incorporated in other design styles seamlessly. The wood is so pretty yet the design of the chair is really simple. Love! Via

Oh, I wish this wonderfully styled photo was a little lighter! This reclaimed wood custom loveseat chair is modern but has that rustic charm that we just can't seem to get enough of these days.  This one is on Etsy from Hammersheels

 What is it about "plastic" chairs that allures me so? I don't know - I have never actually owned one. I think it's so far from my naturally inclined aesthetic that the little modernist in me whats to gobble it up. Well these are actually fiberglass and they are, well, I guess cool would be the best word to describe them. Very cool. Via

 This chair pretty much epitomizes the modern chair - it is both functional and sculptural. I have to say this one would make a great addition to a kids room too. You can actually flip it over and it looks a bit like a volcanco, flip is back and it's a perfect seat for a reading nook. I want this chair!

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