Monday, December 26, 2011

new traditions

My family used to have very specific Christmas traditions when it came to where we spent our holiday break. Now that my sisters and I are adults we've started taking turns hosting our family during the holidays which has resulted in each year being new and different. This year was spent in Savannah and might have been the most different so far but it has still been great!

I think each of us secretly missed the chance of it being a "white" Christmas but you really can't beat having the opportunity to visit the beach the day after Christmas.

Today at Tybee Beach. Photo by me.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

christmas tree lights

My family is having a southern Christmas this year, therefore, holiday decorations will be in short supply. My tree and the bulk of my Christmas decorations did not originally make the move south with me and our packed-to-the-brim car has no space for them now. I've been enjoying my mother's tree while home and I spent my last evening taking photos of the tree to tide me over. I was experimenting and thoroughly pleased with some of the results.
All photos by me.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

white christmas

I was really excited to pop over to Design*Sponge this morning and see my favorite Christmas movie of all time featured as the "Living In" movie.

Photo from iVillage.
See the whole post here. They pulled together a beautiful collection of Vermont-y rustic items that remind me of all the Christmases my family spent in Vermont.

Enjoy some Bing Crosby singing White Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

what I'm working on: button earrings

You know what I decided to tackle five days before Christmas, a new project. I am that kind of crazy.

I've had these in the back of my mind for awhile but just got around to buying the supplies now. I have a plethora of vintage buttons that I've inherited and love the idea of wearing them in a different way. I know this idea isn't the most original but I like that it really lets the uniqueness of the button shine through. My sister has incorporated buttons into her jewelry for a long time in much more interesting ways and inspired me to see them as more than just something to be sewn onto fabric.

Available in my shop soon.

Monday, December 19, 2011

from the weekend...

I just wrapped up my final side trip to sister #2 and her new hubby in Columbus, Ohio. I finished up my Christmas shopping and helped my sister finish some of her Christmas to-do list. Then I got to accompany them for the second year in a row to their holiday tradition of the Columbus Zoo's Wildlights exhibit. We bundled up and wandered the zoo admiring the pretty lights and sleepy animals. This is the only way I have ever seen the Columbus Zoo, therefore, I haven't seen a whole lot of the animals in my visits. It was a spectacular visit and it made it a little easier to leave knowing we would be reunited in just a mere 5 days in Savannah for Christmas!

Top to bottom: Nesting penguin feet inside their little habitat. Santa diver feeding the fish frenzy. A very small example of the zoo's extensive light exhibit.

All photos taken by me at the Columbus Zoo.

Friday, December 16, 2011

embroidered maps make great Christmas gifts

Still in need of a special handmade gift for someone on your list? What about an embroidered map of their favorite state and city. Custom orders can still be placed and received in time for Christmas. Visit my etsy shop to see more state and color combinations.

Get your orders in before Sunday, December 18!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

adventures in cooking: chocolate and peanut butter squares

I took a little weekend trip to Indianapolis to visit friends and wanted to come armed with lots of chocolate and candies. I find that everyone is excited to see you when you come bearing food!

My original plan was to make homemade caramels which I attempt to tackle each year, and each year I fail somewhat miserably. This year was semi-successful because I came away with one delicious batch and a second that never moved beyond the gooey stage. The back-up plan was chocolate and peanut butter squares that were a heck of a lot less time consuming and (maybe) better tasting.

The caramel catastrophe happened at about 10 p.m. so a late night run to the grocery store was in order because I was short just one ingredient. Luckily, making the chocolate and peanut butter squares took no time at all! These proved to be the perfect last minute dessert!

 The recipe:

1 pound white chocolate
1 cup peanut butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup heavy cream

I first lined an 9x13" dish with wax paper to make removing the chocolate easy once it had set up. Next time I make this I think I'll use a slightly smaller pan so my squares come out a littler thicker. 

Next, melt the white chocolate in the microwave for about one minute and stir until creamy. Add the peanut butter and blend until smooth.

Spread mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate for about an hour until firm.

In a saucepan over medium heat combine the chocolate chips and heavy cream. Stir constantly until smooth and creamy then layer it on top of the firm peanut butter layer. Refrigerate overnight (or about 3 hours if you're in a hurry) and then lift it out with the wax paper and cut into squares.


I found the original recipe on Souffle Bombay and stayed pretty true to her instructions.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

from the weekend...

I'm spending the bulk of my winter break traveling and kicked it off with a visit to my sister and brother-in-law in Chicago. I haven't been to visit in a really long time so we packed a lot into my short visit. Here are a few photos from our adventures...

I did a lot of my Christmas (and selfish me) shopping while I was there. My sister and I also went to the Art Institute which I haven't been to since a college field trip.

Top to bottom: The festive lion statue in front of the Art Institute entrance. Inside the Sharon Hayes exhibit. Store window of AllSaints Spitalfields on Michigan Avenue.

All photos taken by me.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

favorite books of 2011

I was inspired by Mint's book gift guide to compile some of my favorite reads from the last year but was shocked by the lack of (finished) books I had to choose from. School has really put a cramp in my reading time. I managed to come up with six (impressive, because I was only trying to hit 5!) books that I liked, although I think I cheated as one might be from the end of 2010. Four Three of the finalists can be attributed to my book club, those ladies have good taste, and the last two three were recommended by my sisters. If you need a good book to cuddle up on a cold night I would highly recommend any of the following:
The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

what am i thinking?

A completely frivolous want because I own an actual Holga camera but how fun is this Holga adapter lens for your iPhone? Maybe this will make me pull out the good'ol Holga and see what she can do.

You can buy it here.

Friday, November 18, 2011

random thought

It surely does.
This blog covers the three most important things; Tea, Coffee, and Books

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Sunday, November 06, 2011

books! books! books!

While my book wishlist is about 100x the size of this, these two are my current faves. I have been monopolizing The 3D Type Book from the school library and finally had to give in and return it and haven't been able to get it back. I figure that makes it worth owning, right?
I wasn't initially very interested in the Design*Sponge book but Grace Bonney spoke at SCAD last week and all the photos caught my eye.

Design*Sponge at Home by Grace Bonney, The 3D Type Book

identity investigations

A project I am currently working on for one of my classes has caused me to be even more aware of well-designed identities lately. I've been obsessively pinning them and thought I'd share some of my favorites from the recent weeks.
Identity designed for The Chop Shop by Ptarmak.

I just can't get over the animal silhouettes. The Crunchy Grocer identity by
The Tenfold Collective.

I'm apparently really into geometric shapes lately. It's really become a sickness. I'm
especially drawn to the colors in ITI's identity by Heydays.

This kraft paper-happy identity for Eastfield Village is simple but stunning by
Hovard Design.

Lastly, you've got to appreciate a well-designed barber shop. The website for Fast Eddie's
is pretty great as well. Designed by Richard Arthur Stewart.
This is just a few of those that have caught my eye. See my pinterest boards for more examples.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SPARKS gallery show

I made my Savannah gallery debut this past Friday in an exhibition featuring the work of my Design Methodologies course that I took over the summer. The show was a smashing success with a fantastic turnout and everyone was extremely encouraging regarding our work.

The entire group and our Professor.

My work.

Just a small sampling of our fantastic turnout!

Friday, September 16, 2011

adventures in cooking: bbq chicken pizza

I make homemade pizza on a regular basis. It has become a standard for me as a way to keep my leftover veggies from going to waste, yet it has never crossed my mind to try my hand at BBQ chicken pizza even though it is one of my favorite kinds to order. I pinned this recipe of The Pioneer Woman not too long ago which gave me the idea. I didn't use her recipe exactly but it was definitely the starting point for my creation.

First off, I know my limits and I stick to buying pizza crust in a tube. It makes the idea of making pizza a little less daunting. I cooked two chicken breasts in the oven for 25 minutes like her recipe calls for and used my personal favorite, Sweet Baby Ray's barbeque sauce. While that baked I prepared (rolled out) the crust and spread a little olive oil and kosher salt on the crust before adding the toppings. Go easy on the oil or else the crust will be soggy and don't skimp on the salt, it truly makes the pizza! I was working with what I happened to have in my fridge so my ingredients differ slightly from what she suggests. I ended up using mozzarella cheese, sliced jalapenos, and sliced red onion. I chopped up the chicken once it was done and rolled it around in the barbeque sauce to make sure every piece was nice and covered before spreading it on the pizza. It was delicious although it did seem like it was missing a little something. A little bit of scallions or cilantro like The Pioneer Woman's recipe called for might have have been just the thing.

Overall, it was tremendously delicious and incredibly filling!

Thursday, September 01, 2011

book bound

I am officially finished with my second quarter and have one more book under my belt! I made a process book chronicling my Design Methodology class and all the projects that were completed. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

i hope to one day be this talented

I came across this on design work life and am currently contemplating recording my screen at all times in hope that I may have something even half as cool one day. Here's hoping!

Poster Process - The Black Keys from DKNG Studios on Vimeo.

Awesome, right?

I doubt my past 22 hours (continuous, for the most part) of design work for one of my classes would have been worth recording. It would NOT have made for very riveting watching! It included quite a lot of pinterest searching in an effort to overcome my designer's block that has plagued me throughout this entire project!

Friday, August 12, 2011

if i were rich...

I would shop exclusively at Steven Alan. Ok, maybe not exclusively...but I could definitely do some damage.
1. Libby Dress, $125-$149  2. Fairchild Dress, $169
3/4 Sleeve 50s Dress, $259 4. Willow Dress, $119

Thursday, August 11, 2011

adventures in cooking: parmesan chicken

I think I have finally found my signature dish. It is my firm belief that everyone needs one. That go-to recipe that never fails you and looks fancier than it really is. I think I have finally found mine and it is Parmesan chicken! It has been in my recipe box all along, and is written in my mother's handwriting even though I don't remember ever having it when I was younger. Regardless, I have already made it twice this week and think I've worked out what the key elements are to it's success!

They are:
First, crushing up the stuffing until it is nice and fine. I do this with my mortar and pestle but I'm sure you could use a food processor or a ziploc bag and rolling pin to achieve the same results.
Second, I've experimented with both butter and olive oil as the means to making the coating stick. I know some recipes call for egg and I may try that next. My only issues with the olive oil was that it made the crumbs slightly soggy but not enough to totally rule out using it in the future.
Third, I used smaller cutlets the second time versus larger chicken breast pieces so there was a smaller crumb to chicken ratio. 

The Recipe:

4 Boneless skinless chicken breast or cutlet
1/2 cup crushed stuffing mix
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp. Italian herbs (or just buy Italian Herb Stuffing mix and skip this)
2 Tbsp. melted butter (or Olive Oil)
1/8 tsp. minced garlic

Mix stuffing, cheese and Italian herbs in bowl. Brush chicken with butter and garlic mixture. Roll chicken in crumbs to coat and cook 45-50 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil for final 10 minutes.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

book work

For my Typography course this quarter I had the opportunity to try my hand at bookbinding for the first time. It took me several attempts to get my stitch down for the style binding I ended up using but I am very happy with the result! Here's some quick photos of the finished product before I turn it in this evening.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

chalkboard art

I've seen Dana Tanamachi's artwork all over the blogsphere (Design*Sponge today) and can't express my love enough! What's better then looking at chalkboard art? Seeing it made...

Stop motion video of Dana creating artwork for the Nagging Doubt wine label. See more videos and work here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

how cool is this

I originally saw this here along with her amazing tutorial. I think this is the perfect counterpart to the increasing trend of feather extensions that I've been seeing. I love the idea of the feather style but I've heard some alarming information about how they get the feathers that have made me hesitant to join in. I was instantly enamored with this colorful alternative. Can't you just imagine one or two streaks in the front or under layer?  And like she says, you can easily hide the streak in a bun because it is just the ends of the hair. I would love to try this but the bleaching part slightly terrifies me (in addition to her warnings about seeking professional assistance). We'll see how brave I am!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

i want these NOW

We had these growing up and I didn't appreciate them at the time but I'd love to be given a second chance! Just look at the options...

Letter Set Transfers from Veer

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

so neglectful

I'm just going to pretend that I haven't been absent for over a month.

I'm a few weeks into my summer quarter classes and one is a typography class. We take a very hands on approach to learning letterforms!
I had a shaky beginning...

This lovely f was my greatest accomplishment!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

finals week

I'm in the home stretch of projects for this quarter. I just completed this one today and wanted to share. Out of context it doesn't make a whole lot of sense but isn't it pretty?

Also check out the corresponding twitter @be_a_tree.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

amazing buildings

Can you imagine the pressure of choosing the titles that make up this architectural bookshelf. This is a library I would visit regularly.
From Interior Holic

Sunday, April 17, 2011

clever cards

I know these are all over but the messages are just so cute and clever. I appreciate a good "just because" card.

All images from Sapling Press. Visit their etsy shop for more letterpress goods.