Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Introducing Blitzentini the IV

Bit of a shoddy iPhone picture, but regardless, here it is: Blitzentini IV.

This is Wilbur and I's third tree together, and second tree that we have carried for six blocks on foot from Cole Hardware. We officially decided this was the best of the three thus far.

Happy Christmas, everyone!

The Felt Craze Continues!

Though minus any actual effort of my own - please see "About Me" regarding projects. However, the same cannot be said of my far more felt-devoted mum.

Here are some pictorial updates of her latest felt creations ....

Stylin' dog coat for Elwood (in progress)

Pretty in Poinsettas Pillow

Matching Table Runner

And matching stockings for Wilbat and I to appease my monogram obsession! (I cut out some of the shapes so I helped a teensy bit)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Hooo, Hooo's Feeling the Felt Love?

Apparently every major home retailer and design blog out there, that's "hooo."

Inspired by my famous Grandma Graham's feltariffic endeavors of the past and nostalgia for holidays spent with her, my mom and I have embarked upon a full out felt bonanza of crafting goodness. We both have fond memories of her creating beautiful, multi-colored felt doves to grace her tree and thought we would keep the tradition going. However, as per usual, we got a little carried away. Naturally, by carried away I mean that felt doves turned into further plans for felt partridges, felt owls, felt tree skirts, felt table runners, fanciful felt dog coats for Elwood, and felt stockings. Felt is to us, as Shrimp are to Bubba. The kitchen table is a DISASTER area.

My favorite of the felt projects so far are these cute little felt owl ornaments, which is not surprising, given my odd obsession with birds. Inspired by the smaller versions we saw at Crate & Barrel, we drew a quick template, picked up some felt, bargain quilt squares, googley eyes, and Aleene's Craft Glue, and stitched them up with a touch of stuffing. I love the whimsical mix of colors!

My mom also made these gorgeous felt doves to decorate her wreath - love the "JOY" stitched across the center bird!

More felt goodness to come when tree skirts, stockings, pillows (forgot to mention these above!), and dog coats are completed ... Moderation is for suckers!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Logan's Visit

Occupying one of my recent weekends was Logan's very first, all by himself, grown-up visit to San Francisco. When company comes to town, I frequently rely on San Francisco's surplus of swanky watering holes to occupy some time, but naturally this is not an option for my 15-year old little brother. Thus, we just about wore holes through our shoes trekking around and seeing all the age-appropriate fun the city has to offer. Being a bit on the taciturn and quiet side - okay, not a bit, he bought a house on that side - Logan offered neither praise nor censure for San Francisco directly to me, but when my dad asked him what he thought about the city, he replied that it was "hecka cool." I'll take that as a compliment.

Some of our stops included Chinatown, where Logan posed with an equally lanky statue, the deYoung museum where his neon pants made him easy to find in the crowds, discovering his new favorite stores in Union Square (H&M and Urban Outfitters), and a scenic drive around the Legion of Honor and Presidio, ending with a stop at the Palace of Fine Arts (Elly Smelly in tow).

And when I asked what his favorite attraction was? In true teenager fashion: "The Mall." Fair enough. Our mall is extremely awesome, sick, cool, or whatever the current form of highest teenage praise may be. The dome at the top floor, decorated for Christmas, does indeed take the cake.

Chicken Chilaquiles and Catch-Up

Ready. Set. Post.

Between holidays, visitors, and professional insanity, I have done a terrible job keeping up on my blog, a fact I hope to remedy right about ... now. Fortunately, even when my virtual pen comes to a stop, I am always armed with my trusty iPhone to capture whatever nonsense I may want to share when I snag a moment. In other words, I'll be relying heavily on visuals in my attempt to catch-up. :)

To start, here's a snapshot of one of my more recent culinary conquests, Chicken Chilaquiles. Thanks, Martha Stewart! Surprising, no?

UPDATE - link to the recipe by clicking here.

Gratuitous Whiteware Usage OR My Thanksgiving Wrap-Up Post

During all Thanksgiving's past, my concerns have been primarily gravy-centric. But this year, as I have found myself haplessly entangled in a net of interior design obsession, I paid a little more attention to what I was actually putting my gravy in. Thank you to Design*Sponge and Martha Stewart for making me feel inept were I not to make placecards for my dinner table for two or spray paint mini-pumpkins.

Random sidenote, I took Martha Stewart's "What Thanksgiving Sidedish Are You?" quiz, with the uncannily accurate result of "Mashed Potatoes & Gravy." Damn straight. Moving right along. After a quick trip to the craft store and gassing Will out of the kitchen with some 14K gold spray paint, I was able to whip out a cute Autumnal table in about half an hour!

Step 1 involved spray painting several mini-pumpkins gold, as well as a few of the faux fall leaves I picked up.

Step 2 was to make some quick napkin rings. Unfortunately, walnuts in the shell are hard to find on the fly on Haight Street, but I luckily remembered my dad gave me some unshelled pecans that worked just as well. I spray painted those gold, as well (shocking), wired each to a gold oak leaf, made some quick gold tendrils with beads and wire, and voila! Autumn napkin ring. Did I say Gold?

A few more gourds, pumpkin spice candles, some placecards, and leaf scattering later, I had myself a Thanksgiving table that would impress even my far more design-savvy mom!

Much to Will's displeasure, I took advantage of the Macy's sale on Martha Stewart Collection whiteware to pick up a few things ... and by a few things, I of course mean two cake stands (I really needed these), a pumpkin serving dish, and a gorgeous pedestal bowl. (The gravy boat hails from Crate & Barrel.) I had the pleasure of appreciating for the first time that everything on the table actually matched! Which is one of the virtues of whiteware that I have attempted to explain to Will from time to time ... It turns out the pumpkin serving dish, with its nice lid and capability of being put in the oven, was The Bomb for keeping mashed potatoes hot (a serious peeve of mine).

If it was not obvious, this year was more about aesthetics than food, but we still had a robust meal of roast turkey (it is freakishly limbless on purpose - so fast!), mashed potatoes & gravy (obviously), pineapple-cranberry sauce, roasted seasonal vegetables, corn, cornbread & sauge stuffing, and those really, really unhealthy white rolls. Mmmmm.

Last but not least, was the Bourbon Pecan Pumpkin Butter pie. Williams-Sonoma had me at bourbon. I saw the recipe on their site while deciding I really needed their fall leaves piecrust cutters. The leaves were actually way more fun to cut out than eating the pie.

And finally, after dinner was cleaned up, the table decor transitioned nicely into entryway table decor. Phew! Who's ready for Christmas?!