Friday, December 30, 2011

Hanukah Party

For the past few years Nate and I have been having a Hanukah party. This year I made latkes, applesauce, smoked salmon cream cheese spread and star of David sugar cookies. And Nate made "kosher" pigs in a blanket with Hebrew National hot dogs.

Lately Goodwill has been getting a bunch of the excess unsold seasonal items from Target. They had tons of 2010 Target Hanukah stuff at Goodwill and I managed to snag paper plates, napkins, a plastic plate, gift bags and dreidels. I made little party favors of a few pieces of chocolate gelt and a dreidel wrapped in fabric with tags with every possible spelling of Hanukah.

For decorations I made these felt circle garlands from this tutorial on the purl bee. They couldn't be simpler or cheeper. It only took about 4 sheets of felt which were less than a quarter a piece. You cut them into circles of varying sizes and then just run them through the sewing machine. I also used some of our left over wedding finger knit chains.

I also made lots and lots of six pointed paper snowflakes, but the cats managed to tear down any that were in their reach.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rug Rearranging

We love our new West Elm couch. It is super comfortable and great to both be able to stretch out while watching TV and not be super crowded. The only problem was that since it was a sectional it would slide on our wood floor and the couch part and the chaise part would end up sliding apart from each other. The reason this was happening was because despite that fact that the couch was almost 9' by 6' we had it sitting on our old less than 5' by 7' ikea rug. We had been looking for a new rug for a while. I found a bunch that I liked, like this one on ebay. But they were all a little too spendy. I actually really like a lot of ikea rugs, but they seem to have stopped making all the ones that I like that would be the right size. We ended up going to the West Elm store in Santa Monica so we could feel rug samples and found this one for only $229 for an 8' by 10' rug. It is kind of insanely cheep for that big of a rug.

Somehow, despite the fact that we measured, it is almost too big for the space. I think I will get used to it though.

We moved our old Ikea Alvin Triangle rug from under the couch to under the dining table. I was a little worried that the black and white triangles would be too much with the black and white ikea triangle fabric that I covered our dining chairs with. But I think it works.

The rug that had been under the dining table got moved to the barn. I got it for super cheep off ebay but it was too small for under the dining table and Keita managed to chew a hole in it, so I feel ok about relegating it to the barn. It looks nice with the black painted floors in there.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Get The Look

Our house was featured yesterday on the Etsy Blog in the Get The Look: Decor column. Check it out here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Guest Room Update

At our old house our bedroom was filled with all of the old blond wood ikea furniture that I had been toting around each time I moved since I have been in Southern California. When we bought our new house we got a new/old mid-century bed frame for our master bedroom and relegated the ikea stuff to our guest room. It looked fine in there, but we still really wanted to de-ikea the place eventually.
Flynn lounging on our old ikea bed

My aunt is in the process of moving from her main house to her guest house and has had to do some major downsizing. Since I am her only relative in Southern California, I got some family furniture from her that wouldn't fit in her new place. Both the marble top dresser and the drop leaf table had been at the farmhouse in Ohio where my mom and aunts grew up. I'm not sure how old they are exactly. I might have to do some research. I also got a set of Thonet or Thonet style chairs and a new bed and mattress. Most excitingly she gave me a Charlie Harper serigraph. It is perfect because one I love Charlie Harper, two I love puffins and three, there were already multiple puffins in that guest bedroom.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Home Brewing

Since we bought our house, besides getting really handy, Nate has gotten really into home brewing. This has required buying lots of big expensive equipment, turning our garage fridge into a kegorator and hours of sleep lost worrying about his yeast.

I don't really understand the whole process that well. It involves lots of boiling and draining and waiting.

But, I don't really mind all the time and money it is costing, because I do love me some beer and supposedly it will end up being cost effective in the long run.

Besides drinking the beer, my favorite part is getting to help name and design the logos for the beers. For the first beer he made, back at the old house, I got to make labels for the bottles.

Now since he has the kegorator, he is just kegging the beer and not bottling it, so there is no need for labels. I discovered that you can just write on the fridge with a dry erase marker and it wipes off with a wet paper towel. That seemed like the perfect place to list the names of the beers and also draw logos for them.

Coming soon is a hopefully hoppy and tasty IPA that the pictures above were of Nate brewing. I named it Hoppiness is a Cool IPA, a take on the Charles Schulz book, Happiness is a Warm Puppy.

Right now we have Ongenaet Belgian Wit, named after Belgian and former Syracuse forward Kristof Ongenaet. Nate thinks it is appropriate that the beer turned out considerably weaker than it was supposed to, since I guess Ongenaet was overly hyped and turned out to be not super great of a player for Syracuse.

The logo of course is Otto the Orange and it is best drunk out of a Darwin's glass. Darwin's was a bar next to campus in Syracuse that has gone out of business since Nate stole the glass.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Lemon Cucumbers

Lemon Cucumbers by krakencrafts
Lemon Cucumbers, a photo by krakencrafts on Flickr.

Lemon cucumbers sounded like a cool idea when I saw the plant at the nursery, but they have a really thick spiky skin and are hard to peel because of their shape. I think next year I will grow normal cucumbers.

I ordered a bunch of seeds for fall vegetables from seed savers exchange. Hopefully they will come soon so I can start planting.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Our Wedding Blogged on

For some reason after our wedding, I really wanted to try to get it or aspects of it featured on some of the wedding blogs that I read leading up to the wedding. It was confusing though with the rights to our pictures. I couldn't just submit the pictures without watermarks to blogs, blogs didn't want pictures with watermarks and our photographers seemed unenthusiastic about submitting pictures for me. So I kind of just gave up.

So I was very happy when the folks at wanted to use some pictures on their blog (taken by our guests and myself) of our huppah and ketubah/quaker wedding certificate. They coined the name quaker ketubah and I think I'm going to steal that term.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Morning Light in the Garden

I've really been enjoying having actual dirt to plant things in at this house. There wasn't much planted here when we moved in, and a lot of what was here we pulled out. But things are finally starting to fill in. The nasturtiums are going crazy even though they have a horrible aphid problem. I guess they are supposed to attract the aphids away from your other plants, so maybe that is ok. The tomatoes are finally getting ripe. I'm starting to think about what fall vegetables I can plant in the planter box and am trying to get Nate to build more planter boxes for next year.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Puppy Playdate

We had some friends over last week to finally test out the kamado smoker, drink some of Nate's newly completed home brew and have our puppies finally meet each other.

Ollie is a 7 month old miniature Australian shepherd and though still incredibly cute, was possibly the cutest puppy ever to exist when he was two or three months old.

I swear Keita and Ollie really loved each other and were playing very nicely despite how ferocious they look in the pictures.

After dinner (Nate made baby back ribs in the kamado) we used the fire pit for the first time and had some s'mores.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Keita Update

Keita is four months old now and getting big, well not big, just bigger. When we adopted her the rescue group said that she was a labradoodle, but we are now pretty positive that there is neither lab or doodle in her. Probably she is some kind of terrier mix.

She is growing up so fast, so I thought I would post some puppy pictures of her in chronological order.

Here she is with Nate at 6 weeks, when we first went to look at her and her siblings. She was definitely the sweetest and cutest of the bunch.

Here she is with her brothers and sister and a tiny jack russell puppy. I think she is the one on the bottom left.

Here she is with me at 8 weeks the day we brought her home.

At 9 weeks.
Meeting Harris for the first time. You can kind of tell, even though it is blurry, that she definitely smaller than Harris.

At 10 weeks, back when she wasn't able to climb over the baby gates in the kitchen.

11 weeks and never sitting still long enough to get a clear picture.

13 weeks sitting with Nate on the couch.

She got spayed at 14 weeks and had to wear this dorky looking bib/smock for two weeks afterwards so she wouldn't chew at her stitches.

And just today, exhausted from her first trip to the dog park.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Wood Pests

I have been in kind of a creative drought lately. Besides sewing some housewares for the new place, working on other projects around the house and a few hand made cards, I haven't really done much with my crafting since we moved. Nate has really been the creative one around here lately with all his wood working projects. (He's a writer so he is always being creative, but I mean more physically creative.)

I decided I needed to get back into making things, so I dug some of my art supplies out of the boxes they are still in and I painted these forest pests on a piece of scrap wood from Nate's shop. Hopefully this is just the start of more creativity to come.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Some of Nate's Woodworking Projects

Since we bought this house Nate has gotten exponentially more handy. He bought a table saw and keeps trying to find projects to work on. Since we aren't ready to tackle any major interior projects, he has kept himself busy with outdoor stuff mostly.

I think either the first or one of the first things he built was this picnic table. It may have ended up costing more to build than one of those prefab ones from home depot, but it is really big and made out of pressurized lumber so it should last a long time.

We have gotten a lot of use out of it already. This was one of the first meals we had on it (turkey burgers with avocado and turkey bacon) and we have had countless more meals out there since then. I'm pretty sure we have sat down to eat a meal at the picnic table more times than we have at our dining room table.

I really wanted a fire pit for the back yard. My dream fire pit would have been the cast iron fire bowl from DWR but $465 was a little out of our price range. I also really liked the revolver solid base fire pit especially because it had a wooden top so you could use it as an outdoor coffee table when not in use as a fire pit. $250 was still a little more than we wanted to pay. So we ended up buying this square fire pit that still has a nice modern look to it, but was a little more in our price range. The only problem was, no wooden top. But Nate managed to make this top for it out of super cheep fence boards. It has two holes drilled through so you can lift it out.

Our house has this weird little wooden shelf on the front of the house under the window to my office with a frilly decorative lip on it. I'm assuming that it was intended to hold a planter box and it seemed pretty silly without one. So Nate built this planter box to fit the dimensions of the shelf. He drilled drainage holes in the bottom that matched up with the space in between the boards so water could drain directly into the planting area below.

I pained the box white to match the trim on the outside of the house (the former owners left a gazillion cans of paint in the garage and it is always a challenge figuring out what color goes to what part of the house). And I planted the planter box with potted succulent plants that I brought from our old house. Amazingly I didn't buy any succulents for this thing, I had way too many little pots filled with succulents.

Hopefully someday we will replace the frilly edge on this thing, or maybe eventually the succulents will get long enough that they will cover it.