Wednesday, January 30, 2013

From my Mother's kitchen, part II

Like I said before, whenever I am back home, I always rummage through my mother's cupboards and search for lost kitchen gadgets. Along with the fancy butter molds, I found this old school frosting decorator kit.

It came with 6 different tips.  Even though I already have a cake tip set, I thought it would be fun to compare the two. Plus it just looks pretty awesome.

So in went the frosting and I gave it a shot. Woah. I quickly learned that you need to have some major hand/finger muscles for this contraption. It was so hard to get the frosting out, let alone make it look pretty.

I totally should have taken a picture of the finished product.  But alas, I just ate them instead. Trying out this thing made me realize how lucky I have it to just use a pastry bag and tips. So much easier!

I ended up just hanging up the retro decorator thing-a-ma-bob up on our kitchen wall for some decor. It was fun to try out though!

Hope your week is treating you well.  It's halfway done!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Antique finds

I shared a little bit about my and Ryan's little trip last weekend, and promised another post with our antique finds.  Here is that promised post!

Ryan and I always try to go in at least 1 or 2 antique stores when we are visiting a new town.  It's something we started to do back when we first started dating. Ryan would always help me look for Shelley cups for my mom.  He quickly developed a keen eye for them and we always had fun finding interesting things.

So when we took our little trip last weekend, one of the first things we did was look up some nearby antique stores.  The first one we went to was called Window Box Antiques in Camarillo. One of the most exciting finds for me there was this:

I have seen this cookbook popping up all over the web, but it's so hard to find a reasonably-priced copy out there. Even on Amazon, a "new" version goes for $60! That's a little too rich for my blood. So that's why when Ryan and I went into the Window Box Antiques (one of the best organized antique stores I've ever been in!), I was astonished to see that little buddy for only $16...on sale!!! I may or may not have let out a high pitched yelp. Ok, I totally did.

Needless to say, I quickly snatched it up, took it home, and tried out the Brazilian Coffee Cookies. Yum. They were pretty darn tasty. Very crispy which I enjoyed for a change.  The perfect coffee-dunking cookie (or "cooky" as Betty Crocker refers to them) if you will. 

I thought it would be hard to top that purchase.  But we forged on and found this little beauty (also at Window Box):

Ryan and I are collecting different antique plates for our china.  I'm excited for the day when we have enough to have a fancy dinner party and can set our table with our hodgepodge of plates. I love the blue.  Even though it's from England, it looks Scandinavian to me.  Then again, I think a lot of things look Scandinavian, maybe because I just want everything to have some kind of Scandinavian flare. 

And last, but certainly not least, we found this awesome old suitcase. Brass hinges and everything. Sorry for the terrible, grainy photo of it below. It measures 35" by 20" and when I saw it I instantly thought that we could make it into a coffee table (maybe someone else had the same idea...see the ring on top? haha)! So we bought it with plans of building a wooden base to set it on.  

I told my mom all about our finds and mentioned our old suitcase we were going to make into a coffee table. Then yesterday, I got a text from my mom (so technology-savy, isn't she?!) saying she was in Pottery Barn and saw an old suitcase turned coffee table displayed there!  Pottery Barn's table is $699.  Needless to say, I'm glad we bought our suitcase for $15. 

All in all, we had great success antiquing this time around.  Sometimes we don't find anything.  It's always fun to score some sweet deals and relish in some nostalgia. 

Happy Friday people! WOOO!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Little day trip

After a pretty busy and stressful week, Ryan and I were surprised that our Saturday was wide open - no plans.  This rarely happens to us unless we plan it that way, so we decided to take advantage of our free Saturday and hop over to Ojai, California.  It was totally Ryan's idea and I'm so glad he thought of it, it was a great day!

We got to Ojai just before lunch and started our time there by checking out the new Fiber Arts exhibit at the Ojai Valley Museum.  It was awesome! I thoroughly enjoyed the exhibit.

This rug has some Scandinavian elements to it, don't you think? (There was no placard for this rug strangely enough so I don't know who made it/when it was made)

And one of my favorite pieces was the below work titled "Sonny and Chair". HA! I just love that kind of humor. 

"Sonny and Chair" c. 1998, mixed media, wood, fiber by Fran Bulwa (1921-2007)

And would you check out that tapestry below? Holy. Cow. I have to say, once I found out it was electronically woven, I was slightly less impressed...but it's still pretty amazing. There's no way I could ever come close to making something like that. Kudos to you, John Nava. 

John Nava, c. 2005, electronic jacquard, cottonwood viscose

There were some other incredible quilts, knits, and various other textiles and fiber arts displayed as well.  If you live in the area, it's worth checking out.

The whole exhibit was very inspiring for me.  It made me ponder the question, "what makes someone an artist?" I personally tend to steer away from ever calling myself an artist because I don't draw or paint (or have the talent to do so).  I don't have a problem calling other crafters artists, but for some reason, I feel like I have to achieve some certain level of artistic ability in the crafting realm before I can call myself a true artist.   But really, an artist is an artist, right? I love to create and design and even if I'm not the best in the world (or in my apartment complex even), I am going to try to think of myself as more of an artist. 

Wow, major sidebar there. Sorry.

Carrying on, we also did a fair amount of antiquing while we were there.  I will post our awesome finds in a separate post. The Peddler's Fair was cute to walk through.  A lot of handmade items and thrift store finds.

Ryan, being the candy fiend that he is, was very excited about Kingston's.

We took a little lavender lemonade break after the candy store.

Then we headed over to Bart's Books.  A really sweet used book shop that is outdoors! You walk around and books are just on shelves outside. It was one of the coolest book stores I had ever been "in".

I have no idea what they do when it rains though.  I'm sure they have a system...I just have no idea what it is.

A grand time was had by all. 

The end.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Sister crafting

Well folks, it happened. My sister, Caryn (pronounced car-in, not care-in), and I held our very first 4S day.  Which stands for Second Saturday Sister Soiree. Every second Saturday of the month, we have planned to get together and get our craft on. Most of our projects will be Christmas related since our Christmas craft list is pretty ambitious and we never think of starting the projects until, uh, Christmas.  And by then it's too late.  So we are starting NOW! 

Here we are preparing for our first project: Advent calendars. 

We were in search of a Scandinavian-looking, simple designed, cute DIY calendar.  We flipped through some of my Scandinavian craft books for inspiration. 

We searched the ol' world wide web.

And finally found a couple we really liked! 

This one from Craftsy was our fave. It's simple and modern Scandinavian looking.  We are going revamp it a bit so it is even more Scandinavian too.  Instead of "December" at the top, we are going to have it say "God Jul" (Merry Christmas is Danish and Swedish). We are also going to use some Swedish ribbon for the hanging part.  I love that you can change up what you put in the pockets every year.  Growing up, we had an advent calendar that my mom would fill with mini candy canes.  

This next one was a very close second for me. I love the details and embroidery.  It's eclectic and cute. And you could easily up the Scandinavian vibe on it by embroidering a Danish heart here and a little tomte there.

Linaloo made this one (super cute blog too, check it out!):

Hannah was so excited about our advent calendar project that she threw up a little bit. 

Doesn't that face just make you smile?!

So now that Caryn and I have decided on our design, our next step is going to be saving up our craft coupons and buying our supplies. Here's to Christmas crafting in January!

I hope you are all having a great week!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

From my Mother's kitchen

Whenever I go back home to visit my parents, I always peruse my mother's kitchen cupboards looking for long lost kitchen gadgets.  This Christmas, I stumbled upon this little guy: a butter mold.  

This day and age, everyone is more about flavored butters.  There are herb whipped butters, lemon name it! I love that you don't see many people mold their butters anymore.  It made it feel like a novelty when I gave it a try.

Don't they look elegant?

Now, I didn't make these for a special dinner I was making or anything.  I just made them for fun.  But I must say, it made eating breakfast this morning feel quite fancy.

Here's to feeling fancy! Happy Thursday!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Project Patio

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and the start of 2013!

I don't do new year's resolutions myself, but one of the things I want to do this year (ok, that kinda sounds like a resolution of sorts, no?) is to make our front patio of our apartment more homey.  I've posted a couple pics here and there of our patio over the year, but it's nothing to write home about.  It's actually quite spacious for an LA apartment and I have been meaning to decorate it more ever since we moved in...almost a year and a half ago! Oops. So here are some of the projects I'd like to tackle for our patio:

I think making your own coffee table out of wooden crates is an awesome idea. Becca, from DIY Vintage Chic, posted this great tutorial for how to make your own.  I was hoping I can score some free wine crates from somewhere. Or, just buy wooden crates and use Becca's idea of stenciling on a winery logo directly on the crate.  I could stencil wineries Ryan and I have been to.

I think this would be a great outdoor table.  Low-cost, cute, and practical.  I love that the crates double as a table and shelving.

Recyclart posts tons of great up-cycled projects. The table below actually turns out to be this product made by reSurface. But if I could come by some free wooden pallets this would be a cool table too.  Maybe a little more work than the crates though...I think I will stick with the crates unless it doesn't work out as planned.

Then as for the garden side of our patio, I'd really like it to be better organized.  And cuter.  Way cuter. Don't get me wrong, I think my little aloe plant is just precious.  But I think it'd be even more precious in one of these neat vertical garden planters.

Apartment Therapy, chock full of incredible-but-usually-really-daunting projects, posted about this nifty vertical garden idea:

And here's another version:

And even another:

Those are the two biggest projects I'd like to get done this year.  I'd also like to put up some lights out there. Perhaps these cute little guys:


Thank goodness for Pinterest! I don't know how I would have come up with these patio projects without it.

Any other patio suggestions? I'd like to put a little chicken coop out there too, but alas, I don't think our landlord would go for it. Someday.

Well, that's all for now.  Enjoy your week!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

This and that

I'm still adjusting to the "real world" after such a long and wonderful break.  I haven't done any crafts yet in 2013, but I definitely have quite the list going. Caryn (my sis) and I are planning on holding monthly Christmas craft days so we can actually accomplish everything we want to by next Christmas.  I will be sure to post what we create next Saturday.

I received a lot of Scandinavian inspiration over the break.  This wall hanging being one of the inspiring things:

My sweet little sister, Maren, picked me up this wall hanging at a local craft fair she was at (for $7, what a steal!).  

And Caryn bought me this little beauty:

Yes, that's right. I'm going to be a Swedish hardtack making fool. Or a knäckebröd fool as the Swedes say.

I also received a couple incredible Scandinavian Christmas books from my dear Mom/Dad and Aunt (thank you!).

I will be sure to post projects as I attempt them.  I also got a pretty awesome Swedish cookbook that I will have to share a recipe or two as I try new things.

All that to say that I am excited about all the new craft possibilities 2013 is going to bring. It's going to be epic.  And fun. And very Scandinavian. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy 2013 everyone! It's going to be a great year.

I hope you all had a great Christmastime wherever it was you celebrated! Ryan and I had a grand ol' time visiting the fam in both Michigan and Texas.

There was plenty of herring and glogg:

At one point, I even had two mugs of coffee at the same time.  It doesn't get much better than that.

Ryan and I celebrated three times. Once at our apartment, just us.  Then once in Michigan and once in Texas. Whew! 

 We are so thankful for all the blessings 2012 gave us and are looking forward to what 2013 is going to bring.  Happy New Year!

And again, a huge thanks to everyone who participated in the Scandinavian Christmas series this year.  I couldn't do it without you guys!  If you missed a day, follow the links back to check out the posts.

Day 1: Kathryn
Day 2: Mette
Day 3: Astrid
Day 4: Pam
Day 5: Rachel
Day 6: Carin
Day 7: Erica
Day 8: KJ
Day 9: Kathryn
Day 10: Astrid
Day 11: Mark, my pops!
Day 12: Ryan, the hubs!