Happy Valentine's Day!

February is always a busy month in our house and 2011 has been no exception. So as usual, Valentine's Day has completely snuck up on me! In my 27 years, I have gone through the emotional life-cycle of this holiday. The highs of elementary school parties, grand gestures and office floral deliveries (bonus high: envious co-works). The lows of unrealistic expectations and the inevitable disappointments that follow. Now, I like to keep Valentine's simple and romance intentional throughout the year.

Tonight we're avoiding the restaurant mob scene with a picnic at home. I'm indulging in some of our favorites: simple baked brie with honey and chocolate fondue. I can't wait to break out my most recent vintage treasure!

My mom recently handed off this mid-century fondue set that had originally belonged to my grandparents. I remember it tucked away in our basement as a kid, neglected among boxes of junk. I love it so much that I keep it on a shelf in our living room. But a fondue pot isn't really fulfilling it's destiny unless it's filled with melted chocolate. Well my old friend, tonight is your night.


[diy] stabilizer 

Some of you may have had the pleasure of reading about my recent exercise ball purchase and subsequent injury. Mere hours after it's inflation - I was on the couch with an ice pack. Bending over backwards to stretch my back was momentarily refreshing... until I lost balance and was thrown, with great force, into the coffee table.

A friend reminded me that these are supposed to be STABILITY balls. In other words, they should be stabilized before doing acrobatics in your home. Slightly annoyed that I would have to buy another accessory (it's how they always get ya!) I realized I could make one myself.

I had recently bought material to make one of these awesome yarn wreaths. I tested out my 18" wreath form, which was a perfect fit to stabilize the 65 cm ball. In no time (ok... actually it was a few hours) I had this great, handmade base. It was the perfect snow day activity. Until my husband got stranded on the road and we lost electricity. Suddenly I was no longer in the mood for crafts.

18" Wreath Form and Chartreuse Yarn.

One bundle was the perfect amount.

Perfect fit.

Now I could even use this as my office chair without flying off and knocking the desk over. Which I also did.


[inspired by] MAD MEN SEASON 1

I have been stuck in another era since I was a kid. In 6th grade I wrote class assignments about the Beatles, exclusively listened to the Oldies station and wallpapered my room in groovy posters. My 12th birthday gifts included: The Doors greatest hits, The White Album and hanging door-beads.

My love of mid-century vintage has followed me into adulthood. I still find myself extremely interested in the ways and style of yesteryear. It was no surprise that I fell in love with Mad Men immediately after seeing the opening sequence. Season 1 was quickly devoured thereafter. What can I say? I am a sucker for good design and slow-building story lines.

Modern technology does often endear me to the here-and-now, however. It makes vintage style so easy to find... 

1. Graphic Halter Dress : Anthropologie $158 2. Silk Scarf :Wolfmark $18-24 3. Rotary Phone : Crosley $59 4. Wall Sculpture : inmod 5. Vintage Gloves : Baubles Bangles & Beads $41 6. Gold Tone Pen Necklace : 1928 Jewelry $20 7. Vintage Swallow Pin : DUSKtillDAWNvintage $12 8. Pearls : $59

1. Skinny Tie : Jacob Alexander $2.99 2. Lowball Glassware : Luigi Bormioli $20.99 3. Vintage Suitcase : vintagedame 4. Wool Fedora : Luxury Divas $22.99 5. Vintage Globe : VintageModernDesign $48 6. Sleeper Armchair : Target $149.99



That's right friends, family and casual facebook acquaintances... I'm back! After a reluctant but purposeful break, I'm happy to be back in the swing of things. ´╗┐Much has been happening in my cyber absence, of course... so I thought it appropriate to briefly look back at the year that was.

10 Things Learned in 2010:

1. I like tea and can afford wine. The world's most popular beverages are suddenly open to me.

2. A year without serious travel is seriously lacking.

3. Take care of your teeth. For real this time.

4. If you're good at something, do it. Develop and stretch yourself in your gifts. Stop doing what you're terrible at. You can't grow something that doesn't already exist.

5. My best friend is on loan from Lebanon. That 6 month extension was not long enough.

6. Maybe not being able to tan is actually a good thing.

7. A wool blanket in your car is almost as good as having working heat.

8. I watch too much TV. Netflix on your iPhone is a magical, yet slippery slope.

9. Yes, I still miss LOST. Glad I have a Constant.

10. Really, family is everything. Roots are important... especially when they are Italian and serving cannolis.






I know, I know - it's been a while since you've heard from me! But I have a treat for you in honor of my absence. Inspired by my recent trip off the grid, here is a look at what some other handmade artists are doing in the field of maps... 

Look at this beautiful hand pulled linocut map! It's bold and fun, and yet totally classic. 



How fun are these wool felt pillows?! I wonder how a funky state would look? Like how would Maryland translate in pillow form?



Love this. 



How beautiful are these topographical hand cut cards? Honestly, they make me think of LOST. Sigh. When will the hurting end?