Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pom Pom Garland

Thanks to buddy Erica of Hill Vintage for linking to me today and motivating me to finally update.

And look! Actual content! And it's craft-related!

 Like most artistic people I know, I keep a (very full) folder on my computer dedicated to images I collect on the internet that serve as a virtual inspiration board. Recently the garland photos have been "piling" up and I decided to do something about it.

Pom pom garland!

This was as easy as it is adorable. A strand approximately 6ft long took no more than 10 minutes from start to finish. The task is simple: use a larger needle and embroidery floss to string pom poms (you know the ones, in the feather/pipe cleaner/popsicle stick aisle) in any pattern you choose. You can spread them out as I did, or squish them close together for a completely different and precious look. 

Pom poms are incredibly affordable (I purchased 200 for under $3.00), and even mildly crafty folks should have a needle and thread/embroidery floss lying around. 

So, get to work, dudes!

I can't wait to fill my entire home with these in varying color schemes.

Day Off, Two Ways

Good 'ol fashioned (get it!?) outfit post from two different days off of work.

Ode to Buddies
Shirt: Handmade gift from Ramona (now of the Swimsuits!)
Skirt: Vintage, originally calf-length and a-line, reconstructed by myself, $2.38
Belt: Vintage, a gift from Jessica
Necklace: Handmade and gifted by the talented Carissa
Flowers: from my beautiful cousin's summer wedding in Indiana
Approximate Total: $2.38, the cost of the skirt
Top: Vintage men's dress shirt, with rolled sleeves for feminity, 50cents
Jeans: "Teen jeans" on sale from an embarassing big box store, $12.00
Lapel pin: Unseen, a large, gold "B" sent in a care package from Carissa
Cat: My new roommate, Bill
Polka-dotted Legs: My attempt to heal bug bits from this day even though I don't have any clear nail polish--I'm a class act!
Approximate Total: $12.50

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Photo Update 2, Indiana Weekend

1: Myself with my Aunt Paula and dad, celebrating my cousin's wedding. 2: Big, pink, shiny face in front of a big, yellow, shiny wall. 3: Outside wall and blue skies at a children's center in South Bend, Indiana. 4: Third time's a charm. 5: Children's center parking lot, covered in pavement games and paintings. 6: My boo climbing trees in Leeper Park. 7: About to get dirty at Leeper Park. 8: Collecting rocks and shells in beautiful, clear water. 9: This would be my dream job, if only I could get paid for it. 9: Our bounty from the river.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Photo Update 1

1: Muschi passed out with his tail in the air.  2: View from my "office."
  3: Dress and belt ($3 and $1 respectively), bounty proving Chicago thrift is a-okay.
  4: My mom and I enjoying Allagash White while waiting at Kuma's Corner (the wait is 100% worth while).
  5: Mussels, eggs in a hole, and brunch pizza at Revolution Brewing.
  6: Spiral green room stairs at the Subterranean. 7: Ramona and the Swimsuits opening for Leslie & the Ly's at the SubT.
  8:. Pennyhawk at the SubT.  9: Mother Gem herself, bringing the masses out on a school night at the SubT.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Top: Old, stained white Hanes undershirt, dyed and altered myself during this dye party and inspired by a retired design by Diane Muse, FREE
Skirt: Vintage, thrifted and altered myself, $2.50
Belt: Thrifted, 25cents
Shoes: N/A spent the whole day barefoot in the kitchen, as a lady should (kidding!)
Approximate Total: $2.75

Friday, August 5, 2011


Yesterday we carted off to the South Side to visit the Ashland Swap O Rama, which was listed by Refinery 29 as one of the best swap meets in Chicago. Upon thorough personal investigation, it appears to be more of general market of all things targeted toward a Hispanic demographic. Fun! Booth after booth of new-in-packaging sundries, discounted shoes, stereo equipment, pornography, with a few "junk booths" with Goodwill (and lower) quality goods. 

The two of us represented half of the Caucasian patrons out of nearly a thousand visitors. Coming from one of the "white breadiest" areas in the midwest, I thought it was a really wonderful and valuable experience. This did, however, keep me from taking the photos I would have liked to. I stuck out enough, I certainly did not want to offend anyone by trivializing everyone else's experience by coming off as a tourist or treating it as a novelty.

Admission was $1, and it felt incredibly safe. It wasn't as easy to find one-of-a-kind gems as I'd hoped, but I recommend it for someone looking for a fun day or cheap home items. There was some beautiful handmade jewelry and clothing as well!

Jake snagged a rusty (he likes rusty) rack for his bike. I nabbed a new hand-juicer for limes and all of this of dirt-cheap produce. Tomatillos, chiles, garlic, and a dozen limons for $5.00! Totally worth the visit.

Swap Meetin'
Top: Vintage bedazzled gem, $2.00
Shorts: Current summer uniform, cut from unflattering jeans, FREE
Shoes: Shameful Old Navy purchase in a sandal pinch, $10.00
Approximate Total: $12.00

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Farmer's Market Potato Salad

 Our move to the Big City has made farmer's markets available to us at least once a day. I try to make it to at least two a week, and about 90% of our produce comes from these local, organic farmers.

Sometimes, we go a little overboard and our fridge rivals those days of my CSA, when I would look in the fridge crisper and have a tiny panic attack. When they pile up, they start to look like delicious ticking time bombs, threatening to rot before you can do anything with them.

Last week we stocked up on the good stuff due to an impending visit from friends. Potatoes, cucumbers for pickles, dill, kohlrabi, radishes, carrots, onions, more cucumber, etc etc. Our visiting friends had other plans, though, and not only did we eat out every meal, but they brought us their week's CSA bounty as well. GAH! Amazing and terrifying.

First we made this delectable "kohl-slaw" (so good on BBQ sandwiches!), and then made a refreshing, crispy  dilled potato salad. A classic but hearty side-dish, perfectly Midwest Summer. This recipe made enough to feed three hungry people or four semi-hungry people. Simply mix all of this good stuff up:

6-7 Yukon gold potatoes, cut to bite-sized, boiled and let cool.
3 medium-sized radishes, diced or matchstick-ed
1/2 medium kohlrabi, diced or matchstick-ed
1/2 small onion, red or white, diced
1/4 cup dill or sweet pickled, chopped (we used homemade and it was so worthy)
1/4 cup dill, chopped
1/8 cup mayo*
1/8 cup yellow mustard (I assume it'd be yummy with just about any mustard on hand)*
3 good splashes of red wine vinegar*
salt and pepper*

*I recommend doing these more "to taste" than following these exact measurements. I wish I'd used less mayo more mustard*

What I Wore While Eating It
note second photo from left, where my boo was infringing on my "No Jakes Allowed" rule in the craft room
Top: Thrifted turtleneck, reconstructed by me, $1.00
Shorts: Old unflattering jeans cut off, FREE
Headband: Recycled t-shirt fabric braided by myself, FREE
Shoes: White slip-ons from the discount store across the street, $3.50
Approximate Total: $4.50

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Quick Hello!

Well, I am doing my best to get back into this habit again. 

Unfortunately, my craft room hasn't had much action lately, as I've been an unattentive lover. Hopefully my sewing machine will get a swift fix up within the next month, and I scratch my sewing itch again.

Until then, I'll have at least one recipe to share (tomorrow?) and maybe some of "this" and "that."
Downtown Stripe Brigade (as seen on my work balcony!)
Top:  Church sale, $1.00
Skirt: Goodwill, $2.38
Belt: Salvation Army, $.25
Shoes: Not pictured, white slip-ons from a discount store, $3.50
Approximate Total: $7.50