Friday, June 28, 2013

I ♥ Your Time

I ♥ your support and feedback and community.

If the barrage of posts hasn't given it away, I've committed to the blog.  Committed to trying to build our creative crew.  Focused on imagination for our surroundings, inspired ideas for living, and uncouth attempts to spread joy in the process.  And it means the world to me to have you a part of it.

In the process I have been making changes, adding buttons, changing labels and inserting page breaks.  I hope most go unnoticed, but for email and RSS subscribers, page breaks means getting a snip of the story and requiring a click through to Read More online.  I appreciate the extra effort and welcome any feedback you have. About anything - not just page breaks.

Spousal sympathy for Anthony

Did you know that if you subscribe by email you can just hit reply to send me a message back?  It doesn't get lost in the feedburner abyss.  It comes right to me. Keep it classy though. Or not.

Have a great weekend.

xo Heidi

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Studio Organization: Fabric & Tools Closet

Organization isn't easy for people with a hoarding inclination.  More specifically, not easy for me and my fabric stash.  But with a closet containing built in shelving and a few new storage accessories, my sewing stash went from shit storm to serene breeze.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Genius: Purses with a Charge

Did you know that there are purses on the market that can be charged in order to give your phone a second life when the battery dies?

I had no idea.

~ works with later iPhone version and the Samsung Galaxy S3
~ purse charges by placing it on the included charging mat
~ retails for $189-$319

Mighty Purse
~ works with all micro-USB phones and tablets
~ purse charges via USB cable hidden in the center pocket
~ retails for $89.99

Extra juice on the go?

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Let There Be Light

Last time you hung out on the patio it had just been rugged.

Last weekend, it got illuminated.
With sensual mood lighting.
From my new candle chandelier.

It was a $37 purchase from Amazing Treasures, an antique shop in the Melrose District of Phoenix.  

And the credit for the find goes to my sister, Holli.  While she held it up excitedly and proclaimed the price, I plastered on one of those jealous sister smiles. You know the smile I'm talking about, the one that says, Yay! Yay for you for finding a delightful treasure for such a bargain price! I'm sure I would have found it too like 30 seconds after you, and got it for myself, but no biggie. I seem happy for you, right? Yay for you!  Luckily her next proclamation was that I should get it for my house.  Thank you sweet Jesus.

Anthony bought a heavy duty hook to hang it.

Found a stud located right where I wanted it to hang.

Used a nail to find the center of the stud before drilling.

Attached the base of the hook.

And I slid and twisted the hook on.  Obviously the exhausting part.

With the new accent lighting and the rearranged chair layout, the patio is starting to feel much more homey.

And while I wasn't completely in love with the flameless candles I ordered for the chandelier, they were one of the few options that I knew wouldn't leave waxy carnage all over the patio compliments of the Arizona sun.

But then that night, laying on the patio couch with a cocktail, I embraced them - the candles - and knew that they just needed to be enjoyed from the right perspective.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Training with Isaac

Isaac and I don't get to see each other as often anymore. He's busy walking, getting ready for a daycare school next fall and taking those baby survival swimming lessons.

Yep, those lessons.  The ones where they simulate falling into the pool fully clothed and teach babies how to flip over onto their backs so they can breathe.

He's quite adapt.  And still pissed at me for taking pictures during one of his lessons instead of jumping in to help him out.

We reconnected recently to hash out some details for his 1st birthday party, that was last Friday.  He requested my assistance in making train party invites and a train smash cake.

I was honored.

It sounds random, but I have a train cake pan.  And about 30 other Wilton cake pans, courtesy of my mother-in-law who had her own cake business when Mr. Anthony was a chap.

Santa, Alf, Holly Hobby. I've got the gamut.

So, the train pan worked like a train wreck.  At least for the side that stuck in the pan because I didn't use 'solid vegetable shortening' to grease it like the Wilton instructions said.  Lesson learned. Nothing extra blobs of frosting didn't fix. Is that the key to decorating?

I've got to hand it to Wilton.  They have all of their shaped pan instructions posted online and even offer different decorating tutorial options for each one.  Knowing that my design options are limitless makes me feel less like a hoarder for having so many.  

My decorating tackle (prepared frosting, colored fondant, cake board) came from ABC Cake Decorating Supplies, another Phoenix wonder shop.

The attached Isaac photos, not edible, glossy prints from Walgreens.

Isaac was delighted.

And displayed incredible 1-year-old generosity, by sharing his cake with all of his friends.

Tiny hands from all directions.
Frosting oozing out of knuckles.
Double fisting cake.
Heidi 1983's fat kid heaven come to life at Isaac's 1st birthday party.

Friday, June 21, 2013

I ♥ Hannibal

I ♥ Hannibal

No, I'm not a psycho. And only mildly disturbed.  

I just like a good mystery and something that dives into the craziest of crevasses of the human condition.

Also, it is a show that Anthony and I like to watch together.  And since this weekend is one full of birthdays and some serious project catch up, I'm looking forward to some time next week being with the one I love, whilst being lost in wonder of the show, Is Hannibal eating some liver or someONE's liver right now?

And on a side note, I also ♥ the curtains in Hannibal's office.

Have a great weekend.

xo Heidi

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Handwriting Tea Towels

Have you seen the popular Pinterest pin about turning old recipes into tea towels?

You should do it. Emma has good instructions on the Spoonflower site.

I made some for my sisters and my mom last Christmas, and ended up sending one to my aunts and cousins too.  

There is so much energy in handwriting. Sewing and pinning, I couldn't stop thinking about the women they were and what I learned from them and if my Grandma W really is one of my sewing angels and if Grandma H actually offered the women at Ladies Aid a 'society chip' or if she just said 'Don't forget to grab a pickle Loretta.'

The recipes needed some touch up in Photoshop, but not much more than desaturation and some work on the levels.  I take that back.  I had to fix some of the smeared letters on the right side of the fritters recipe. 

My point is, don't give up just because the recipe card is rough.

One yard gave me four tea towels.  

Unlike the tutorial, I didn't do a colored border around the edges.  Which meant that I didn't give enough consideration to the seam allowance to fold over the edges.  Learn from me, leave about 2 inches in between.  I ended up sewing right up to some letters because it was tight.

Cutting is a breeze with a rotary cutter.

I put twill tape on the upper left edges.

One of my cousins framed the towel. And I actually use mine as towels. Because I am adamant about using the things that bring me joy instead of keeping them in a drawer or cupboard. 

Especially when replacement just means clicking the 'reorder' button.

But don't get me wrong.  I do take care of them.

Because they have to be in good shape for when my tea towel fantasy plays out.

Its the one where it isn't 100 degrees like today.
And my sisters are magically transported 1500 miles into my backyard.
And we imbibe out of Grandma W's iridescent glasses.
And I get to listen to them tell all the best grandma stories because they are older spent more time with them.
And while I reach for my third cookie, Grandma H whispers in my ear, haven't you had enough?, but I just smile and whisper back, We have Spanx now grandma and they are glorious. Eat a fritter.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Coconut Cookies

My mom and sisters have been eating really clean lately and have noticed results. 

And by clean I mean:
No gluten
No dairy
No sugar
Only Healthy Oils
No alcohol
No corn

I think those are the main ones, but will let you know if I forgot some. Anyway, my mom has lost over 30 pounds and has the energy of a spring chicken.  I've been trying to eat clean myself, but have left the door open a crack for alcohol, some cheese cravings and chocolate.  I have needs.

That's sort of what this cookie recipe is about.  It isn't some magic healthy cookie. But it is something that I can make and enjoy without blowing to hell every clean eating guideline I am trying to follow.  {Agave instead of sugar, rice flour instead of white flour, coconut oil instead of butter} Delicious moderation.

1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup + 2 T agave syrup
2 eggs (room temperature)
1 T vanilla extract
2 cups gluten free all purpose baking flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips (I like dark chocolate)
2 cups shredded coconut (optional, but if you leave it out, you might want to add a little more flour to thicken the batter)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray cookie sheet/line with silpat/get out a baking stone...whatever it is you do.

2. In a mixing bowl, use a mixer to beat the coconut oil and agave syrup.  Add in the eggs and beat together well.  Add in the vanilla.

3. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder with a whisk. Mix the flour mixture into the coconut oil mixture a little bit at a time until all the flour is incorporated.  Add in the chocolate chips and coconut and mix well.

4. Drop by small rounded spoons onto the baking sheets.  Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned on the edges.  Let them rest on the baking sheet for a few minutes before removing them to cool on a rack.

*different rice flours give me different results and levels of crumbliness. I've had good luck with the Bob's Red Mill AP GF flour and the Trader Joe's AP GF flour. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Credenza Transformation

About two months ago I bought a laminate credenza off of craigslist for $40. 

No great back story like Milly's chair, just one of those sales where you are glad you brought a friend along.



I'm trapped in credenza enchantment.

This was my process:

For the first time ever I used a deglosser instead of sanding.  I thought it might help keep the integrity of the laminate and also let me be lazy. I did have to bust out the sand paper for a water damaged section on the top though, so it wasn't completely grit free.

Another first, I tried the Clark & Kensington paint from my Ace Hardware. 
Paint and primer in one.
Semi-gloss white (1 drop of black per quart).
Two coats.

Followed by Minwax Polycrylic.
Clear semi-gloss.
Two thin coats.
No sanding.

You know I like shiny.

The doors are magnetic closures where you push them in to shut the door and push them again to pop them out, so I knew I didn't want traditional hardware.

I ordered push plates from LookInTheAttic.
The 10-inch Broken Leaf polished brass ones.
And resisted the urge to order glass door knobs for all the rooms in our house.

I centered the plates on the doors, measured once to make sure they were all in the same positions and then watched Anthony measure an additional ten times.

Then had to run back to the store to get shorter brass screws.  The screws included with the push plates were longer than the width of the door and I didn't want them poking out the back.  Anthony even put a piece of tape on the drill bit, so I wouldn't go through the door when pre-drilling my holes.

I also wanted to add feet because I love them and like being able to sweep & see under things.  I found simple cylinder options from Tempe Sales and, after sanding, tried to spray paint them to match the polished brass of the push plates.

I obsessed a little over the matching and alternated between light sprays of brass then gold.
Then gave them two coats of polyurethane.
In the little wood stand that Anthony built me just to make spraying legs easier.

When the hinges went back on, it took all my might to turn them open and shut.  Seriously.  Anthony graciously razored away some of the paint and sealer build up behind the hinges so that they could open with ease.  And since it is hidden, I didn't care.

Now it sits happily in my studio space.

Providing a ridiculous amount of needed storage.

And giving one more crappy credenza a new lease on life.