Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Lovely Package Exchange

This is the first year I'm participating in the {lovely} PACKAGE EXCHANGE graciously hosted by Danni from oh, hello friend.
Nearly 200 lovely bloggers signed up to exchange pretty presents by mail and I was matched with Carrie Koehmstedt from Carrie Loves and Sweet Faerie Designs. And oh happy day, her thoughtful gift was one of my favorites from Etsy: a Gourmet Sea Salt Kit from Cook Outside the Box.  
My offering was a bracelet from Wish by Felicity and little Moleskine notebook set since Carrie's favorite colors are turquoise and pink and she put the most adorable photo up on her blog:
[photo by Carrie Koehmstedt]
Thanks, Carrie and Danni for the holiday cheer!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

I Heart Holiday Prep

Call me cheese-y if you need to, but I'm a lover of holidays...and especially of planning!
Aside from event planning for a living, back in 2010 there were big plans for Christmas time (even though only 4 out of 7 were accomplished) and prep for my first flower arranging job.  And back in 2009 I recapped my haul from Michael's when they opened a Manhattan location, so exciting!
Last night Justin kindly drove me out to Bayonne, New Jersey and patiently walked down every aisle with me in awe "like a kid in a candy store" as he said.  The Michaels motto is "Where Creativity Happens" and it's impossible not to agree while swooning at the Martha Stewart section.  I tried not to overfill the cart, but it was amazing knowing I had a whole car to drive me home.  So, here's the somewhat controlled haul (which includes the pretty ball ornaments above):
Mint Drops and Wilton pink gel coloring for a January Gingerbread House-Building Party and Martha Stewart sequin stickers, glitter glue and a snowflake stamp set.
Sparkly blue paper, striped pink paper, lavender blank notecards and (finally!) a paper punch in a nicely sized tag shape that I've been trying to find for a while: no need to ever buy tags again.
Styrofoam in tree, ball and wreath shapes, plus pipe cleaners to make even more snowflakes.
LOTS of ribbon (there was a 50% off sale!), glitter glue pens, mini pompoms and mini jingle bells in bright and subdued tones.  Do you know how hard it is to find mini jingle bells elsewhere in New York City?  When I needed some to make amigurumi cat toy mice and a reindeer I had to cut them off a cat collar.
I had coupons from joining their e-mail list and I also signed up for MichaelsRewards ("where Creativity Counts").  If you can read the prices on the receipt you'll see how little I spent for so much, PLUS in the bag were more coupons!
Maybe on my next visit I can get a discount on buying more time.  
Christmas is only a week and a half away....Happy holiday prepping!
Addendum!  Forgot to mention I also snatched up the premier issue of Stitch Craft Create Magazine, lots of great holiday inspiration here.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

SweetAnd Condensed

Oh my, oh my has it been a crazy month: welcome to December! I feel blessed, I feel happy....I feel...tired.  I heart the holiday season there's just so much to do and so much going on... 

I love being busy though and made some cookies for the 2nd Annual New York Holiday Cookie Swap event today organized by Bloggers Without Borders to benefit the Cookies for Kids' Cancer charity.  So many great blog friends to catch up with and new ones to meet.  Oh and did I mention all the cookies?!  

So, someday I'll catch up on blog posts about flower arranging, (birthday present, 2 Thanksgiving dinners, 2nd year of amaryllis for a big fashion client), canning (Brooklyn Swappers event and Justin's first pickles), sewing (new book and material to make my first skirt), knitting (another beautiful book and lilac-colored socks), felting (have the tools, don't have the time), paper crafts (squirrel place cards and so many great friends who are into this!), craft fairs ('tis the season), friends visiting from out of town (yay!), holiday parties (double yay!) and holiday projects (oh so many in mind...)  

But this week is the busiest one of the whole month for catering, so I'll resurface very soon.

Here are some much better recaps of the event, enjoy:

Three Many Cooks: thank you so much for organizing such a fun, tasty event!
Justcook NYC: in which he made THREE kinds of cookies, oh my
The Diva That Ate New York: with a video!
Sweets by Sillianah: she even volunteered for the event
One Tough Cookie: my award for best presentation with her cookie TREE

Healthy Green Kitchen: mmm iced ginger bars...
Abby Dodge: sooo sorry I didn't grab a piece of her caramel 
macadamia coconut shortbread before they all got snapped up

Open Mouth Insert Cookie: an amazing picture summary of the assortment

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Impress Me

Who hearts lettepress?  On Saturday my friend Suzanne and I took an introductory class at Studio on the Square with Mindy Belloff of Intima Press.
What is it about letterpress?  
One classmate said it was "delicious", another that in a world of flat screens and flat pages, it's nice to be able to feel something tactile and real.  
OK, that second person was me, but still...
in just a few hours Mindy taught us about the history of the art and the incredible amount of detail and attention involved in setting type.  
I always love seeing the tools behind the craftsmanship.
It was a little scary working the huge press, but Suzanne did a great job!  
We definitely want to go back to get more practice and learn more.
But we were very happy with our first efforts!
You can go to Mindy's blog to see how how she recreated the Declaration of Independence -- all set by hand!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fun with Fruit

Happy November!  I've been so inspired by lots of fall fruits and events lately, everyone is as busy as little bees....I really enjoyed Pie Party Live hosted by Jackie & Ken -- great job, guys!  I even won a copy of the Sarabeth's Bakery Cookbook, hurray!!
I'd been meaning to make a pie (or 2!) but being sick for the whole month of October threw a wrench into my plans.  Eventually I got back to canning with some black grapes and red plums from a recipe in Canning for a New Generation.
Love how the kitchen smells when fruit is simmering...

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Helping the Little Guys

Casually scanning Twitter the other day I saw a tweet by Brett Bara with a link to this article about the plight of penguins who survived an oil spill in New Zealand.  
[photo by Toby Zerna/Newspix/Rex USA seen on abc NEWS]
Even though I don't know much about that part of the world (aside from Flight of the Conchords) I found this especially touching: Skeinz yarn store was calling for knitters to make jumpers to warm the penguins before and after rescue workers cleaned them, and to protect them from preening their oil-soaked feathers and being poisoned.  What a great way to use crafty skills!
[photo from Adorablog]
A similar request 10 years ago from the Tasmanian Conservation Trust for 100 jumpers resulted in over 15,000, and now already Skeinz has reported on their blog they've received enough to reach "critical mass"!  Here's video news proof with cleaned up penguins swimming happily.  But if you've already finished a jumper, or just want to try your hand at creating penguin clothes, you can still use this pattern and send to Skeinz for the Wildlife Rescue Team to keep on hand if needed.
So hooray for penguins and for all the knitting and cleaning hands that helped them out.  I'll leave you with my amigurumi penguin: I crocheted him for Christmas 2009 from a Lion Brand Yarn pattern and I love him so. 
For further reading on penguins and crafting doing good:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vanilla Peach Lemon Abundance

My 4th canning venture went pretty well.  Justin was away, so Kate came over for Chinese food, wine and to keep me company in the kitchen.
Peeling peaches was easier than I expected, just a little boiling water bath, then a plunge into ice water and....
gasp!  Naked peaches!  They kind of looked like big egg yolks.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Last Slice of Summer

Today's the last day of summer and I hope everyone had a great season.  It's strangely grey outside in NYC but I'm thinking back over the last few months and these Citrus Coasters I made from the Purl bee.
Here's the process going backwards.  
I still want to make them in all of the summery colors.
So simple and so cheerful. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Craftiness at its Finest

[from Pursuitist]
Happy NYC Fashion Week!  
On Tuesday I had the pleasure of attending a gallery reception at the 
Hermès boutique on Madison Avenue showcasing photographs by 
[from Wallpaper*]
A fashion photographer originally from South Africa, he is the first to gain access to the famous and historically secretive Hermès workshops where the beautiful leather, silk and other objects are hand-crafted.  Over seven years he documented and compiled his work into La Maison, a collection of 11 volumes: Horses, Saddles, Kelly Bag, Clothes, Perfume, Bugatti Veyron, Gardens, Special Orders, Silk, John Lobb and Collection Émile Hermès.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

After the Storm: Sunshine & Macaroons!

Hope everyone had a good, safe weekend since Hurricane Irene's visit. I headed out of town for a few days, but am back in NYC and the sun is shining on a beautiful, cool day.  And even better about today: Ladurée has opened on Madison Avenue at last!
I saw the mention in the Times today and trotted up to Madison & 71st in these 5" heels.  I reported on Twitter that they were 4", but then came back and measured, yikes!
We make macaroons here in the kitchen at the catering company I work for too.  We start with almond flour.

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