Thursday, August 26, 2010

bedroom take 2...

So, Kinsey and I have been on the path to improving our bedroom. Gone are the cold, harsh, white walls.  Not too long ago, we made the room changing paint color (read about it here) and have been trying to find time to tackle a few more issues... (like hiding the hideous built in air conditioner).   Our window treatments were pretty basic.  No curtains (I've had a pack of really nice brown ones for months and months, but haven't actually put them up yet.  Why?  I really don't have a good answer.), just white apartment grade blinds.  They blinds were functional and served their purpose, but we longed for something a bit more exciting.  We've often looked at the blinds on our weekly home improvement store trips, but held off getting them because we kept measuring wrong.  (We were convinced our windows measured 26", but of course this isn't a standard size, so no blinds would fit.  Then one day, it just clicked....the windows were in fact 27", we somehow had constantly measured wrong.)  So we picked up two packs of dark brown bamboo shades for our coastal blue room.  

I'm not going to pretend that this pictures are good.  They're not.  However,  it does give off the overall feeling.  Things we learned in the process:
1- Read how to measure for blinds and actually measure that way.  It's quite simple.
2- Blinds really do make a huge difference.
3-Pull down and to the right on the cord to open, down and to the left on the cord to close.  Or is that backwards....Kinsey will be sure to tell me if it's wrong.  (Okay, well I was the only one who learned this step.  Kinsey is a blind expert.)

Total cost:
$25 per bamboo blind = $50

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

a good find....

The other day I came across these old medical plates from an old book via a friend at work. Parts of the body, stomach parts, and blood have the tendency to make me queasy, but I immediately loved these prints.

One of the really fun parts of them is that they have a number of different parts that lift up. It shows and labels the local of different parts of the body, the names, and the order everything goes in. The only downside is, upon framing these, you won't be able to lift up the parts. For now, I just have these loose.

How fun are these?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

corn and what appears to be a jungle....

Hands down my favorite summer vegetable is sweet corn.  Well...zucchini is a favorite too.   And of course a nice, fresh, crisp cucumber.  But corn is easily in my top 5 summer vegetables.  Anyway, my aunt and uncle have a really large corn field in their yard.  I'm not entirely sure what they do with all this corn.  But the past two summers they've given us lots and lots of their sweet corn.  We've always gladly accepted this offer and proceed to them spend a few hours husking all of it, boiling it, and them freezing it.  We recently put corn away for the season, which was just in time because we were fast approaching our last bag from the freezer of last year's corn. 

 Here's our progress a few bags in:

The corn is grown organically, so there's always the chance of a few bugs or worms along the way.  Here's a bright green one that I found happily chewing away as I peeled back the husks:

The corn was dropped off at my parents'  house, so while we were there, we checked out the decline of what used to be a garden last year.  Yes, these are weeds that are taller than me.  Last year at this time, there were tomato plants and zucchini planted here.  A few random tomatoes did come up from seed this year.  There's a plant in the front right side of this picture.

.  Actually, there is a zucchini plant in the front of the picture below.  In May, there were rows and rows of sugar peas planted here.  We harvested many, many baskets of them.  It's sort of crazy to think how different this area was a mere three months ago.  Not sure how high these weeds will grow....

Friday, August 13, 2010

a perk of being a wife....

Lately, Kinsey has been practicing and creating a lot of art with dip pens and ink.  He's been doing a few over his lunch at work and in the evening if time allows.  His images are sometimes abstract, sometimes not, but always really beautiful.  He's been practicing write letters lately and often draws little pictures with a note or two attached for me.  What's not to love? 

Remember this?  I don't know how he keeps his hand so steady with all the detail. 

Look for some of his pen and ink designs in our Etsy shop soon!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

recycling and embroidery...

So during the day, Kinsey and I are bookstore managers/baristas.  The cafe we work in uses all organic and fair trade coffees and teas, as well as gets our milk delivered in glass bottles.  Of course, we're the type of people who think the milk from glass bottles just has a better taste to it (which is very true!).  We're also the type of people who try to find ways to reuse things.  Old flyers for a past event?  We cut them in quarters and make scrap paper tablets out of them.  Old books with falling out/destroyed pages?  We cut them up and use them for color and design on signs we make for our coffee and other items for sale.  So we were eager to find a way to re-use one item that seemed to pile up fast....milk caps.  

I've been occasionally saving a few for a number of months, but didn't know what to do with them.  Magnets seemed easy enough, but it wasn't something I'd like to make tons of.  Then one day, after looking at a towering stack of them, I thought about embroidery.  Maybe pendants for necklaces?  

Start with a milk cap.  Something I love about these is how sturdy they are.  Not your typically thin, plastic, supermarket milk jug caps.  These have a little girth and hardness to them.  The color scheme is limited to bright green, red, blue, and clear, however because of the nature colors I tend to use to stitch, the cap colors are a perfect fit!

I cut the tall edges away and smooth down the sides.  This leaves me with something that looks like this:

After hand embroidering a scene onto some fabric scraps, I'm left with some great, one of a kind pendants.  To make a necklace, I just string the recycled cap on to a piece of brown cord.  
Small,  embroidered art that's wearable.  

Both of these examples can be found in our shop.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

wildflowers as far as the eye can see.....

One of my favorite things to do in the summer is the pick your own wildflowers that a local farm offers. Kinsey and I have gone at least once every year since 2007 or 2006. You just grab a coffee can, a pair of clippers, and walk out to be faced with rows and rows and rows of flowers in every color.

This summer has been incredible dry with very little rain, so the flowers weren't flawless, but compared to everyone else's flowers, it was amazing that they looked so good!

I loved these rows of bright purple flowers.  They grow in sort of a "Y" shape with groups of little paper like flowers at each end.

We always seem to pick one of the hottest days of the summer to go flower picking.   Yesterday was no exception at about 95 degrees.

One coffee can full of flowers came to about 8 different arrangements for us. At around $9 a can, this is definitely quite a deal.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bedroom Blues...

I won't lie. When Kinsey and I first saw our potential house, the bedroom was one of the rooms that sold me (The first being the dining room...painted in the exact shade of green we've always wanted and with a wonderful wood floor to add to that!) It used to be the master bedroom and a smaller room, but previous owners combined the two rooms to form a very generous and large master bedroom, complete with cedar lined his and her walk-in closets. I also was immediately drawn to the beams on the ceiling. We love the look of restored barns and all the woodwork, and while ours beams certainly aren't salvaged wood, they do the trick.
Anyhow, the one thing the bedroom lacked was, well, color. The carpet is a very neutral tan, the walls were a shade of white and all the trim in the room was a medium tan. It at times could seem very apartment like. Given the color of the walls in the rest of the house (green in the dining room and orange on two of the living room walls), it seemed that it needed a little boost. After occupying the house for exactly 10 months and going between a million various shades between light blue and light aqua, we decided to go for it.

Here was our bedroom right before painting began. Rather plain and actually almost dark despite the white walls.

Here's the color we settled on - "Aquatic Mist" by Valspar. We picked it because Kinsey made the statement, "It makes me think of Maine". Oh, and see that little red tool? It's one of those paint edgers you see all over in home improvement store that I never thought we really needed before. All that's changed. While I did still tape along the bottom of our heater, it completely eliminated the need to tape the trim on the ceiling, windows, and doors. Not to mentioned I feel like it saved a ton of time. Just one sweep of it is all you need. Perfect, perfect, perfect. And it's only about $2.50.

The first strip of paint using our new favorite tool.

The final result! This is right after we painted and of course before we moved everything back to their respectable spots, but you can see what a complete difference it made. The room is so much brighter now and gives off a coast of Maine feel to us. We're completely in love with the room now.
I'll have a more finished room picture posted soon.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

gardens, wedding, donuts, and owls.....

This past weekend was Kinsey's sister's wedding. The ceremony was held outside in the Hershey Gardens, in Hershey Pa. The weather was beautiful and was quite an enjoyable time.

Here's the rehearsal. They got married beneath the archway.

These were the centerpieces on the tables. Yes, donuts. The reception was all breakfast foods catered by the Hershey Hotel, which is a Rice favorite for breakfast. Yum!

Here's my sister in law, Hilary and my new brother in law, Shawn (Shawnzie).

Here's Kinsey and I after the ceremony.

Just one of the many butterflies hanging out.

This tree was in the Japanese gardens. I love how curvy it is.

Hello owl!

This is the first of two sibling weddings K and I will be attending this year. My brother is getting married in October. This was actually the first wedding we've been to since we got married ourselves. It's nice to just be able to sit back and get a chance to talk to people who you never see and eat the food at the reception. I found that I hardly had time to eat much of anything at our reception and could barely say more than hello to everyone that came. It's hard to believe that it's almost been 3 years already!

Our wedding in September of 2007.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

fair ribbons....

We like ribbons. We like arts and crafts. So what to do? Enter the fair, of course!

Last week was our county's community fair. We've never entered anything before (in fact we've never been because it's about 40 minutes away), but thought we'd give it a try just to see what happened.
We certainly am well aware that our style isn't really what is typically entered in county fairs. Not that all fairs are the same, but you see a lot of cross stitch geese and flowers really. Not that there's anything wrong about those things, but it would be nice if people enter a more wide range of work.
Anyhow I entered a pot holder, my Acadia embroidery/painting, my forest mini art quilt, and one of my favorite embroidery hoops of an eastern hemlock branch. Kinsey entered a magazine collage and a new pen and ink drawing. We weren't really able to go see the fair to see if we won, so we had to wait until this past Monday when we picked up our work to find out.
We won ribbons! Yeah!

Here's Kinsey's work. The collage won 1st and the pen and ink got 2nd.

My Acadia wall hanging took 3rd and my tree mini art quilt and embroidered tree hoop each took 2nd place.

We were pretty excited to win ribbons (which is the whole reason we entered), but weren't even aware that winners received a little prize money, too.