Friday, February 25, 2011

MCP Project: 52 {week 8}

8/52: The View From Here

This week has been flying by as I try to wrap up one project and start another one.  I did want to take a moment though and post this week's photo.  The theme this week is "the view from here".  Sadly I didn't get to gaze upon some lovely far away vista so a little house concert at our friend Jackie's will have to do.  I even got to sing along for a song or two.  As I told Jackie that night, "if I had a voice like your's I'd sing all day, every day."

I promise that next week I will be back to design and focused on some lovely choices for my newest project.

Have a great weekend!

***Update***  My photo was selected as one of 10 featured photos from this week!  I am so honored!


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Get Crafty: Embroidered Portraits - Finished (sort of)

So I finally finished the portrait of Rosie.  I still need to mat and frame her but here's how it's turned out so far.

I learned a few things while working on this project.  After doing what I hope is not permanent nerve damage to my index finger, I've decided that the best way to punch the holes is with a tac that has a nice gripping head on it.  After squeezing on a straight pin for awhile I started to loose feeling in the tip of my finger.  Clearly I wasn't doing it correctly.  The tac works really great though. 
I also learned that it's easier if you back the papers you are punching with something that gives, like a nice piece of cardboard.  This allows the pin (or tac!) to move all the way through both layers of paper easily. 
And finally I learned that it would have been easier with actual embroidery floss, not just whatever sewing thread you just happen to have handy (that's what I get for randomly starting a project late at night without all the proper supplies.)  If I had used embroidery floss I could have more easily created different line weights. which would have made the piece more interesting. 
Overall it was a really fun and a surprisingly quick project.  I can't wait to try it again now that I have a better understanding of what I'm actually doing.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Get Crafty: Embroidered Portraits

via Country Living

Last night as I was catching up on my magazine reading I came across this wonderful project to custom stitch artwork from family photos in the February issue of Country Living Magazine.  It seemed like a beautifully simple idea.  It has also been a long time since I embroidered or crossstitched anything. That was one of my favorite crafts as a kid.  I'm also taking a break from the feverish knitting on the sweater I've been working on for the last month.  I got to the point where I could try it on and it made me feel fat - there I said it!  I decided that it was best to put it away for a bit and do something else for a while.  I think I might have found the diversion 

I gathered my supplies and got to work.  The directions are very simple.  I decided to try card stock instead of the suggested watercolor paper because it was what I happen to have on hand at 10:00 on a Thursday night.  I might try it again with the watercolor paper to see if it takes the pin hole punching any better.  I also used a clipboard to hold everything together because it was handy and seemed like a logical too to use.  

I got to work punching holes on a picture of the Sweet Puppy.  It was very easy though the card stock was a bit resistant to taking the holes.  I'm going to try using a soft card board backer next time.  I hope that will let the pin push through a bit better.

Of course, SOMEONE felt the need to supervise.  

I even started working on the stitches.  Alas, I don't have a finished product to show you.  It was past my bedtime so I had to stop the crafting for the night.  Tune in Monday though for hopefully a finished project.  We'll see how it goes.  

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend.  It is a beautiful day here in Virginia.  It makes me really excited for the spring to come.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

In Progress: Tile Is In, Let's Finalize Paint

I had a meeting with a client this morning to finalize the paint choice for her new Master Bath.  The tile floor had been installed last week (the shower walls and floor are still to come) and cabinetry will go in next.  I thought you might enjoy a peak at another project in progress. 

Here's another view of the tile close up - the camera isn't quite showing you the true color.  It has lots of shades of purple and gray, with bits of terracotta and brown.

The client really likes color and wanted to bring out the purples.  The cabinetry will be painted black with a black granite top.

She had a specific color in mind but I felt that it was a bit too saturated and needed just a touch of gray.  We decided on Yukon Sky by Benjamin Moore.

I'm really looking forward to seeing everything else installed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine

Sending out a little love on V-day to you.  Though it's never been one of my favorite holidays I do know that it feels good to love and to know that you are loved. 


I love and I know I am loved in return.  It's not such a bad day after all.
{how can you not love that sweet face!}

Thursday, February 10, 2011

MCP Project: 52 {week 6}

6/52: Words

This week's theme is Words.  I can't think of a better way to illustrate "words" than by showing my teenage nephew glued to his cellphone, texting while the world swirls around him.    I am actually a bit of an oddball these days because I don't text.  The Husband and I try to be frugal in lots of ways.  One of those ways is a very basic cellphone plan that does not include texting.  Did you even know those things exist?  I don't have a fancy phone either.  I know we will eventually have to join the rest of the world but for now we will continue to be two old curmudgeons railing about what the "kids" these days are up to.

How would you illustrate words?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

No. 100!

  my favorite chair

I have achieved a very small milestone for a new blogger.  This is post # 100.  It's hard to believe that I've made it this far and also hard to believe that it has taken me this long to get here.  Thanks for reading and commenting and supporting me as I figure out what this is.  I'm looking forward to the next 100 and hope you are too.

Monday, February 7, 2011

What I Saw

I was running through Homegoods on Friday looking for something for a client (that I didn't find) but several other things did catch my eye. Beware, these were taken with my ipod so they aren't the best photos you've ever seen.

First up, chairs!  No surprise here.  I love them so much that I can't bring any more home and some that I own have been farmed out to friends and loved ones.  This was a simple arm chair with a tufted back and a silvery gray linen covering.  It would great with either this:

or this one:
The chair also had a great table beside it.

Love the shape of the base.  There were several more chairs that caught my eye too. 

I love the shape of this slipper chair.  I even love the print though I know it's been around for awhile.  It would also look really nice with the table in the previous pic.

Then I came across this armless number in a great print.  The colors were really rich and popped in person.  But wait,

that same great print is available in an arm chair with these lovely turned legs.  This chair has quite a slope in it's back that would make it great for lounging (with an ottoman/pouf).  Everyone needs a place to put there feet up and relax, right?

I also passed by these on my way out the door.

Normally I am only a fan of plain white plates.  But I was struck by the delicate, handpainted look of these.  They are very sweet.  Even the bowls are sweet.  (did I mention that I also have a mad obsession for bowls?)

But the I was reminded of "Put A Bird On It" from Portlandia and I felt so ashamed.  They really are cute though...maybe just the bowls.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

MCP Project: 52 {week 5}

So I'm very behind on a lot of things this week.  I am even behind in taking pictures.  This week the theme was Muse.  I wasn't feeling my Muse so I decided to bake cookies instead.

5/52: Muse

The recipe is from the Hershey's website but I've made a few tweaks of my own.  Here's my version in case you've lost your Muse and need to bake too:

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

2 cups   all purpose flour
1 tsp   baking soda
1/2 cup   cocoa - I used a Ghirardelli brand of ground chocolate + cocoa
2 tsp   instant coffee or espresso powder
1 cup   butter, softened
3/4 cup  light brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp   salt
2 tsp   vanilla extract
2   eggs
10 oz   peanut butter chips

Heat oven to 375

Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar, vanilla and salt until creamy, add eggs and beat well.  Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and coffee. Gradually add to butter mixture, beating until well blended.  Mix in chips.

Drop rounded teaspoons of the cookie mixture onto an ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes until set.  Cool slightly then remove from cookie sheet to wire rack to cool.  

makes about 5 dozen cookies

My modifications:  I reduced the amount of granulated sugar from 1 cup to 3/4 cup.  I used the combo mixture of ground chocolate and cocoa that I mentioned earlier.  I also added the coffee because a little coffee always makes chocolate taste better. 

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Why Can't We All Wear Hats

So I have a little secret talent that I'm about to share with you... I can wear a hat.  I look good in hats. Sometimes I even look stunning in hats.  Unfortunately for our purposes today I don't have photographic proof of that.  Someday soon I'll have to prove it to you those and you will be amazed.  I say all of this because we just finished watching the last installment of Downton Abbey and I am wishing I could step into a time machine and go back 100 years or so.  Check out a few of these lovelies.

I know this is completely off the topic of design but have any of you been loving Downton Abbey as much as me?
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