Thursday, July 30, 2009

something a little shady...

Shouldn't there be a fanfare? Trumpets blaring? Crowds cheering? Someone announcing a public holiday? Perhaps it could be called 'Roman shade day.' Yes, I have at last finished my Roman shades! Taking no less than a month to complete (really that's not too bad for me, considering it took 6 years to finish my last project), the shades are now hung up and look lovely. I am still considering additions to the window treatment; a swag, sheers, even curtains at the sides? Any input would be appreciated. For now, I will sit back and enjoy another completed project! Each section of the shade pulls up neatly underneath the next. To hold the shade in place, the cording is wrapped around silver cleats. There is something really aesthetically pleasing about how smoothly the cording drapes over the metal cleat.

Note: To make these I used a book called So Simple Window Style by Cate Burren & Gail Abott t
hat I bought at the Cupboard. It is really a great book with a ton of step-by-step (with pictures!) instructions for various window treatments. Apparently it is not available anymore, but Amazon has it listed used for 57cents and (my fave site) has it listed as low as 75cents - I'm telling you it's a deal!! It almost makes me want to buy a couple to give as gifts!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

here comes santa clause...

Working in a craft store makes it seem as though we are always a season or so ahead. If only I had a nickel for every crafter who said they were 'working ahead' on Christmas gifts... I however never seem to be the least bit motivated to stitch up a reindeer when the sun is shining and the grass is green outside my window. But I have made a decision that I will work (at least partially) through my half-done box of crafts before endeavoring on another project. So, on the top of the pile was a bunch of snowman pocket purses. Originally I had made them for party favors, but I only finished the exact amount I needed. That meant a bag full of cut out snowman heads, leftover beads, and the like. All told there were 7 unfinished bags; and I am proud to announce there are now 7 finished bags - and it only took 6 years! Hopefully this victory will encourage me to continue in my project-finishing quest! Next Up: wool felt laptop case (oh yeah, and the roman shades still aren't finished :0)

Friday, July 24, 2009

she sells seashells...

pl. ter·rar·i·ums or ter·rar·i·a
A small enclosure or closed container in which selected living plants and sometimes small land animals, such as turtles and lizards, are kept and observed.
Ohio... the 'northcoast' True, there is a body of water. True, there are a few areas of sand. True, there are sea creatures and you can swim in some places. But a 'coast' - not quite. On an inspiring trip to Pat Catan's and the flower factory I started thinking about our recent trip to the Caribbean (now, that is a coast, a real beach). A couple of weeks ago I made a few moss terrariums. Just an old jar with layers of river rocks, soil, and some freshly exumed moss. It has been fun to decorate - first a ceramic squirrel, now I have moved on to a tiny bicycle. It got me thinking - why not a seaside terrarium. A tiny piece of 'terra' from along the ocean. With a cup full of sand, a few scattered seashells, a few twigs, some wire, and a petite fimo crab I created my own little 'vacation in a jar.' Maybe if I can't have this view outside my window, I can still look through glass and be reminded of the beach!

I recently have been captivated by terrariums - or maybe reinspired by them. In college I took a class on plant life and biology; I filled a bottle with lake water and let nature do the rest. For weeks and months (even years) we watched as the dirt settled to the bottom of the bottle and the water cleared and sea life emerged. Snails were the most predominant (I think they ate everything else). It was a simple pleasure to come home and play a game of where's the snail. I think this was my first experience being captivated by an 'ecosystem' in a jar. To veer philisophical: it's a little like how God must feel as he ponders on his creation, food for thought.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

please no 'corny' jokes...

To me, nothing says summer like grilling. There is something about cooking (and eating) outdoors that lets you know that this is a special season. I'm sure it didn't matter as much to our caveman ancestors who probably cooked and ate outside ALOT more than they would have liked. Another sign of the season is corn on the cob. Not creamed or in a can, just delicious! We recently enjoyed a fresh tank of propane (by that I mean we used the grill not drank/inhaled the propane) by grilling some corn on the cob. It was so delicious you didn't even need to butter or salt it! I imagine there are a million and one variations that you could try, here is the recipe we loved:
Grilled Corn on the Cob
1/3 C Butter
1 1/2t Ground Cumin
1 1/2t Chilli Powder
2 Cloves Minced Garlic
12 Ears Sweet Corn (still in the husk)
Kitchen String

Soak the corn in the husks and the kitchen string for 20-25 minutes. Pull back the husks without taking them off; remove all of the silk. Mix all of the remaining ingredients together. Spread butter over each ear of corn and then gently pull the husks back up. Tie each ear with the kitchen string.Put them on a medium heat grill for about 20 minutes. They will need to be turned often and the lid to the grill should be closed when possible. To check for doneness: the husks will be blackened and the corn will be tender.

Like this recipe? We got it from the Gooseberry Patch cookbook Summer in the Country (thanks Nicole!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

rome wasn't built in a day... and neither were their shades

Our DIY quest has led us to redecorate the master bedroom. A month is a normal time to repaint, right? I'm sure it is nice to have clothes in dressers and on hangers, but for now we prefer piles of clothes stacked on the floor and in numerous (unlabeled) plastic bins. I'm just thankful for some progress. Currently I have been battling a couple of Roman shades. Beautiful, elegant, sophisticated, and incredibly time consuming to make. Yea! for my new Rowenta iron (thanks Jordan) - I think each shade has been ironed no less than 20 times.

I finally finished the nearly 400 inches of hand stitching, an accomplishment really. I had a contest with myself to see how many pins I could sew past before removing them and revealing the finished hand tacked product - small pleasures. Now to sew on the velcro, make the cornice board it attaches to, hand sew 48 plastic rings onto the backs, attach the eye hooks, add the cording, and voila - Roman shades!

don't panic...

If only they made a 'hitchhiker's guide' to blogging... So far blogging is already worrisome - such pressure to come up with the perfect name! A name that says who you are, but is catchy and not obvious. A name that is descriptive but nondescript as well. A name that you want to put out into cyberspace... forever. So I have settled upon 'craftnosis' -nosis from the greek meaning a form of knowledge. I think of craft in the more wholistic way; a craft something you do, a profession, hobby, or passion; not simply plastic canvas kleenex covers. The plan for this blog is to detail crafting, gardening, cooking, baking, and daily living - a little bit of everything. Hopefully as I share pieces of my life it will encourage you in yours!