Thursday, August 23, 2012

Color crush: Pink + Navy

I'm majorly obsessed with navy (all the time) and pairing it with hot pink (lately). I currently have navy and orange in my bathroom, but I think I'll be trying to slip in a bit more pink in the new house. I just made this anchor print that I plan on hanging in our bedroom. Here are some other color combos, what do you like with your navy?


{sources: image 1, image 2}

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Recipe: Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies

Sometimes when I want a snack, I stand in front of open cabinets, tapping my toe and thinking "sweet or salty? Sweet! No. Salty. Definitely salty...shit, no. SWEET!" And sometimes I walk away eating both. Which isn't good for me, or for anyone. 

So if you can relate, I have the perfect solution for you. BAKE THESE. They are obviously not the healthy snack option, but when you're debating sweet or salty, these will satisfy both taste buds and won't leave you heading back to the cabinets. I made them once before, and gave them the honor of being the first batch to come from my new pistachio KitchenAid stand mixer. Here she is, hard at work:

Mixer or not, here's the recipe for these delicious babies.

Salty Peanut Butter Chocolate Cookies | makes 2 dozen

I N G R E D I E N T S :

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 oz chocolate chips (half of a standard bag)
2 tbsp sea salt

D I R E C T I O N S :

1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, oats, baking soda, and salt and set aside.

2. In a large bowl (or stand mixer) cream peanut butter, sugar, and butter together until fluffy. Add honey, egg, and vanilla extract and blend until smooth. Add dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in chocolate chips. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes or until no longer sticky.

3. Preheat oven to 350°F. Roll a heaping tablespoon of dough in your hands and place balls on cookie sheet two inches apart from each other. Use the bottom of a glass, or your hands, flatten each cookie slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until just starting to brown on edges but still soft in the middle. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

These cookies actually taste better once they have cooled, you can really get the sweet/salty combo when they're not so warm. Enjoy – and good luck stopping at just one.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Lake Erie Love tanks

A few weeks ago, I worked with a group here at American Greetings to produce my "Lake Erie Love" prints into some cute tanks for summertime.

The display looked so cute, and the tanks went over so well, so I decided to make some on my own and add them to my shop. 

They came out great and I love the little anchor on the back. There is still plenty of summer left, so you can head over here to check them out. I'll definitely be wearing mine on our next boating trip!

Friday, August 17, 2012

DIY: Créme de la Créme Sweatshirt

When I first spotted this Zoe Karssen sweatshirt on Blair of Atlantic-Pacific, I was totally in love — clean type, a fun phrase, all on a cozy pullover? That's a recipe for the perfect weekend piece for fall. As with most things Blair wears, the sweatshirt was sold out—and even if it wasn't, I don't think I could have convinced myself to spend $160 on a pullover (and I can justify pretty much anything)!

Luckily, Dale of SavvySpice posted this awesome DIY to emulate the sweatshirt, so you can get the look and save some serious coin. You can head over there for the full DIY, but here's the jist of it.

I got a gray pullover from H&M for $9.99 (it was actually men's) and a few packs of iron-on flocked letters from Michael's. If you are trying this DIY, definitely head to a Michael's store—I was unable to find any iron-on letters in this font online, and the type here is key to recreating the look (obviously).

Here's my crappy iPhone shot of the process. Cut out the letters you need and arrange them on the sweatshirt. I cut my letters into their actual shapes rather than in rectangles so I could be sure they sat on the same baseline, and so I could space them out perfectly (that's what being a designer will do to you).

Place a cotton press cloth over the letters and iron per the package directions. Let cool, then peel the plastic backer off, and you're all set.

It's not exactly the same, but it's still pretty close. And the whole thing cost me $26. Score!

Shades: Karen Walker | Sweatshirt: DIY | Pants: J Crew (old) | Wedges: Steve Madden | Bag, watch: Michael Kors

Monday, August 6, 2012

Another Birthday Weekend

My sister and I have birthdays that are exactly a week apart, so it's been quite a month of celebration for us and our family. We had an awesome weekend together, starting with rooftop drinks and dinner at The Greenhouse Tavern, and ending with a Saturday night out in Lakewood. The summer is now winding down, she's headed back to school and I'm back to planning for our big move and house makeover — it was fun while it lasted!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

DIY: Driftwood Hurricane

In preparing for our move into the new house, I've already started pinning and shopping for things to help build up each room. A few weeks ago, I ordered this amazing driftwood hurricane that was on sale at Anthropologie for $10. I thought it would look perfect in our living room with all of the other textures and neutrals I'm using, plus it's nautical and can I really say no to anything shore-related?

The rest of my order shipped like normal, and I noticed the hurricane was missing from the box. To my dismay, I had an email waiting for me saying that they were no longer in stock, SORRY, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. Naturally I was upset, but it was time for plan B - DIY!

I actually think it worked out for the best, I'm not only really happy with the result, but now I have TWO that are made with driftwood from our very own Lake Erie shore. Even better. And the cost was pretty similar, if not less since my wood was free—thank you, Great Lakes.

So here's what you'll need to make one:

30 or so pieces of driftwood (go comb your local beach, if you can!)
A bucket
A glass candle holder (this one was about 4x8," from a craft store)
Hot glue gun and glue
A votive candle (or larger)

To do it:

1) Gather your driftwood and place in a bucket. Fill the bucket with water (or use a strainer) and rinse the driftwood 3-4 times just to remove any sediment. Fill with water for a final time (so the driftwood is totally under water) and add 1/2 cup or so of bleach. Allow the wood to soak for 24 hours - this will kill any bacteria or creatures living in there - ew. Chances are the wood will lighten in color, so if you would like to retain more of the original color, use less bleach or shorten the amount of soaking time. I soaked mine for 24 hours and it lightened up to this nice sun-bleached color.

2) After the wood has soaked, rinse it, and lay out flat on newspaper to dry. You can leave it out on a porch or somewhere in the sun to make this go quicker. I let mine dry overnight and it was fine.

3) Now the fun starts - heat up your glue gun, and get to stickin'. You can glue the wood pieces in any manner you want, the more organic, the better. I set down a base layer to cover most of the candle holder, then layered some of the funkier/more textural pieces on top—this will create a nice depth. Try not to fill every little space, either, since the open spaces will allow the candlelight to escape. It's truly like putting a puzzle together. Just lay all your wood out in front of you and try different pieces until you get the design that you want. 

*Tip: Since the wood shapes are never straight/perfect, try lining the piece up before you adhere it, and only place glue where the wood will touch the glass. Chances are it's not going to glue perfectly flat on the glass. Hold it briefly until the glue cools so it stays in place. The nice thing about hot glue is that you can also almost use it to 'caulk' between pieces if they're not sticking quite right.

And there you have it!

View of the layers from the top.

When lit, these set off such interesting shapes on the wall and give warmth to the room. I can't wait to light these as summer winds down into the fall. Plus, they look great unlit. This was such an easy DIY, I'm actually glad I ended up making my own, especially with the wealth of driftwood just laying around in our own backyard. Let me know if you guys try this, I would love to see pictures, as they all come out so differently!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

WMC Fest talk video

My talk from this year's WMC Fest was recorded, and is now uploaded for those of you who might have missed it. Or for me to watch and cringe ;) You can follow along with my slides in PDF form since you can't see them in the video, there's a link in the video description. You can also see all of the other awesome talks on WMC Fest's YouTube channel. I can't believe this was already two months ago, I had such a blast and watching the talks totally takes me back.