Thursday, February 18, 2010

New-old mixing bowls

A couple weeks ago on the way to a family function we stopped at our favorite* pair of vintage furniture stores, 30 West and Mission Mod, which both are coincidentally in the same town where my mother lives.

While we didn't see anything on a larger scale that we needed--not that we need much at this point--we didn't leave emptyhanded. This assortment of pyrex mixing bowls were a much-needed replacement for the chipped and cracking set we'd been using.

I love the colors, and I don't even mind that it's technically not a matching set--in fact, I like the mis-matched aesthetic much better.

*I'm not just saying that because there is an insanely cute french bulldog named Olivia waiting at the door to greet you at 30 West. The man who works there is also very friendly and knowledgable
, and the prices are great. But man, that dog is cute.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Recipe card file

I've been more and more turning to food blogs for recipes, which has resulted in lots of scraps of paper, with ingredients and directions scrawled on them, overflowing from between the cookbooks in my kitchen. Which is really not the most functional way to store them. So I began to search for that perfect recipe card file. I love this one that I found on etsy, but am not in love with the price tag, so I set out to create a similar, more budget-friendly version.

First I found a plain wooden box, also on etsy, for $6.

It came with a variety of alphabetized dividers, but I decided not to use most of them (I haven't completely discarded them though).

Also inside the box were these index cards dated from 1966. I'm not sure what exactly they refer to or what type of institution they might have been used by, but this Murray guy did a lot of fighting and "horseplay." Also of note is the name "Julius McJunkin."

Moving on...I bought a few packs of multi-colored index cards and used the address stamper to add "INGREDIENTS" and "INSTRUCTIONS" to each card.

Then I copied all of the handwritten recipes onto them. This was particularly time-consuming. And I'm not nearly done, as I still have to copy all of the bookmarked recipes online.

I cut up a thin cardboard mailer to make the dividers and used some alphabet stamps to label them, creating five categories (one for each color of index card): breakfast, sides, soups, entrees, and treats.

Finally, I made a stencil and painted the top to add a little something to the plain wooden box. It may not be quite as nice as the letterpressed cards, but it cost me less than $10 to make.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Evolution of a jigsaw puzzle

I bought this Charley Harper jigsaw puzzle for Dave for Christmas, and it sat on our living room rug being slowly pieced together for several weeks. Here it is in its various stages of completion.

Now I don't know what to do with it! It's too big to lay flat on a piece of furniture. Framing it seems a little weird. But I can't bring myself to take it apart.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Valentine's Day gifts and treats

Dave and I celebrated a pretty laid-back Valentine's Day. No big grandiose plans, just hanging out watching No Reservations, eating sweet potato enchiladas, and exchanging a few gifts.

Dave made me this wrestling-themed valentine--oddly enough, I had been attempting to purchase these cards for him but couldn't find them at my local supplier of paper goods. I instead looked to an airmail envelope for inspiration,

including a silly, telegram-style message inside. (I somehow forgot to add spaces while using the rubber stamps.)

I received some chocolates from the Lil' Chocolate Shoppe in Pleasantville, NY.

I finally attempted to make this paper goldfish mobile for Dave (I had bought the floral wire several years ago but never got around to doing anything with it). After a bit of a false start (I do not recommend using thin thread, as it tangles like nobody's business) it was looking pretty great hanging from the light fixture in our bedroom.

Also very exciting was this incredible book that Dave gave me (somebody's been paying attention!). This year's Valentine' Day has really had a wrestling theme going on.

You haven't wrestled till you wrestle the "Cleveland Cruncher."

I made these oatmeal coconut pecan squares as a Valentine's Day treat (to be accompanied with the above chocolates).

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

San Marzano tomato can planter

I've been admiring the label on this can of crushed tomatoes ever since I made some soup with it (with its contents, that is) last week. I'm thinking about saving it and using it as a planter. Or maybe just a canister. The only problem is that the image is made of paper (and not part of the metal can) so it might get destroyed over time. We'll just have to see what happens.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Finally finished my sweater

Quite awhile ago, I mentioned that I was starting to knit a new sweater. Now, six months later, it's finally finished.

Actually, I was done with the knitting part several months ago but for some reason procrastinated on buying and sewing on the buttons. I even wore it a few times without buttons. But now that I've finally added them, I feel it's really and truly finished.

Here I am wearing it.

A slightly closer look.

I'm pretty pleased with it. Right now I'm in the thick of my Albers-inspired rug but once that's done I've already got a new sweater idea in mind. For next winter, of course.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My birthday (was last week)

Last week was my birthday, and in addition to a beautiful cake, Dave gave me some pretty good gifts.

The long tube-shaped object, ingeniously disguised as a baseball bat to fool me, is actually...

the James Brown poster from YeeHaw Industries that I have been wanting so much! The other two smaller objects turned out to be Werner Herzog's Conquest of the Useless and the movie Fitzcarraldo (a nice little correlating gift set).

I also got a little bit of money from relatives, so now the fun part is to decide how I want to spend it. Excuse me while I list a few things I've had my eye on...

For one, I love these canisters from Huset,

although I'm not sure what in particular I would store in them. But they're just so nice to look at, I'm sure I would find a practical application for them too.
Or I could pick up a book or two

that I've had on my list for awhile.

Or, maybe I should just use it as spending money in May when I go on vacation.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

La Lucha

I am loving these little pieces of gum that we got at La Lucha, a new Mexican restaurant on Avenue A that has a lucha libre theme. Not only did the place look awesome--wrestling posters and masks adorn the walls, with old movies projecting with the sound off--but the food was also delicious. Possibly one of the best Mexican restaurants in the city.

Maybe the best part of the night was at the end when the check came in a lucha libre mask inside of a miniature wrestling ring, along with a handful of these colorful Mexican gums. They're so cute that I don't want to open them.

Even though we were served chicken instead of cheese flautas, and waited a very long time for the check, we will definitely be back. Just not when we have to be somewhere at a certain time immediately after dinner.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Faceted necklace

Last week I decided to treat myself (my birthday is this week after all), so I bought a necklace I'd been eying from Brooklyn Rehab.

The packaging was gorgeous--of course, I am a sucker for that kind of thing. I took this picture right before putting it on and leaving for work, so the lighting is a little dark. But I wanted to preserve the way it looked--the chain wrapped around the tag, the feather peeking out of the tiny brown paper bag.

Later on I tried retaking it but forgot to include the paper bag and the tag. You see why I took the first one.

As for the necklace, I love it. It has a little bit of a patina on the metal, so it's not all polished and shiny (which is a good thing as far as I'm concerned).

Maybe I'll get this one next.