Archive for June, 2007
The lighting was better today for me to take pictures of the Asian-inspired miniature card set (with envelopes) I created yesterday. This is the first set of several (or perhaps many) that I plan on making, bundling together, and giving as gifts, along with personalized gift tags. I’ve been making my own wrapping paper and cards for years, but I never thought of bundling them together as gifts — or making my own envelopes — until seeing what some other talented crafters are doing inspired me.
Each card/envelope is approximately 2″ x 2.5″ and hand stamped and glued by yours truly. They come in four color combinations: turquoise with black, pink with turquoise, sage with red, and burgundy with white.
These were so much fun to make. I love creating minuscule crafts, and I especially enjoy giving a loved one a bunch of tiny, handmade gifts. It’s even more fun when they can – and do! – actually use them.
Now that we’re comfortably settled (and organized, thank god!) in our new apartment, I realize I have a lot more space in my craft corner than I originally thought, so I’m starting to rebuild my craft stash a little at a time. Today, shopping list in hand, I wandered the aisles of Michaels, not expecting to see — GASP! — bright red clearance signs all over the store! Oh, today was definitely my day.
There was an entire wall of clearance ribbon, and the only ribbon I have these days is the curly-cue stuff used for gift wrapping, so I stocked up. They had pink polka-dot and red polka-dot ribbon!
I also bought several packs of beautiful, thick paper that I’m going to use to create giftcards, and I carefully selected some unique and versatile rubber stamps. I have about a thousand projects in mind for the stamps.
I actually made four tiny (2″ x 2.5″) cards and envelopes with my new set of Asian stamps, but I’m waiting until tomorrow to post photographs of those. I tried to take some pictures of them tonight, but the lighting wasn’t right and the images simply don’t do the cards justice. I don’t know what it is about creating really tiny things that’s so cathartic to me.
I also found a fabric-lined basket (that I’ve hung from the hooks above my craft table — a GREAT space-saver), which Nola managed to shove herself into like a loaf of bread when I mistakenly left it on the bed for a few minutes.
I can’t say I blame her; it looked quite comfortable. But I’ve rescued it, lint-brushed the cat hair, and hung it back on its hook, where it sits waiting to be filled with more (preferably furless) goodies.
I’d like to share a recipe that I made for the second time tonight. My sister came over for dinner, and because she does not consider herself to be an adventurous diner, I like to cook meals for her that are slightly different than what she would normally choose for herself.
Tonight, I made macaroni with Gorgonzola, a recipe that I found in Cooking Light magazine a year or so ago. It’s a wonderful combination of bell peppers, Granny Smith apples, pecans and arugula, served warm and topped with a sprinkling of Gorgonzola cheese.
You’ll notice the ingredients (below) call for two red bell peppers, but I made it with one orange and one yellow pepper instead, since the selection of red at the local market left much to be desired.
Of course, Quinn helped me cook, because who doesn’t need a fur-shedding, opposable-thumb-lacking creature helping her in the kitchen?
Here’s the recipe. If you ever decide to make it yourself, please let me know how it turns out!
Macaroni with Gorgonzola (originally from Cooking Light magazine)
16 ounces whole wheat pasta
2 cups diced red bell pepper (about 2 medium)
2 cups diced Granny Smith apple (about 2 medium)
6 tablespoons chopped* pecans, toasted (*I prefer them crushed)
2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
4 tablespoons champagne vinegar
1.5 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
Cook pasta according to directions. Drain. Add bell pepper, apple and toasted pecans. Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, vinegar and salt. Stir until blended. Pour over macaroni mixture, tossing to coat. Stir in arugula, and sprinkle with cheese.
It’s been a while since I did any paper crafts, so I dragged out my old cardstock and rubber stamps to make these delicate, tiny paper boxes. I planned on making some minuscule cards with matching envelopes, and some personalized gift tags, but couldn’t resist trying my hand at this adorable design first.
And on a completely random note, we let the cats explore the courtyard yesterday for the first time ever. Nola took to it immediately…
but Quinn — always the scaredy cat — was a bit more tentative…
and eventually went back inside.
I’ve wanted to refinish these two chairs ever since we moved into our new apartment. My landlord inherited these beauties from an old tenant, and they’ve slowly deteriorated over the years. They’re a complete mess, but they’ve got a good soul and great bones, and I’m really hoping I can do something beautiful with them.
I really, really, really want to paint them pink, but the chairs will be in a “communal” courtyard that my landlord and neighbor use, and I’m sure they would not appreciate pink.
I’ve never refinished furniture like this, so I bought a couple of cans of spray paint today to practice on something smaller that wouldn’t devastate me if I were to completely screw it up. I dug out an old cardboard jewelry box that I bought years ago but had been hiding in a drawer because I no longer like the design.
A couple of coats of robin’s egg blue later (my neighbor asked if my favorite holiday is Easter), and I’m now using it for sewing supplies, which I spent the afternoon reorganizing. I love how it looks next to my other blue craft storage boxes.
I’m proud to announce that I officially have the hang of spray painting. Rusty chairs, I’m comin’ after you next. You have been warned.