Friday, December 20, 2013

Holiday Break

It's that wonderful time of the year...where candles are always lit, friends come to visit, gifts are under the tree, and day drinking is acceptable (as long as you're baking while doing it).

I'll be back on the blog in the new year, as I'll be spending way too much time in front of this fireplace. Wishing you all a merry and bright holiday season — cheers to the end of a wonderful 2013!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Christmas Cookie Round-up

As promised—my favorite Christmas cookies and treats. They really need no introduction...click the names to view to the recipes. 

These are just perfect. The dough for the sugar cookie base has that light almond taste, and they are pillowy soft in the middle. These are also a great way to use up extra candy canes!

I've always been partial to soft gingerbread vs. crunchy, and these melt in your mouth. Possibly my favorite Christmas cookie to make. They're easy, and you can make them as big or small as you want. I've made them bite-size before and they're perfect for a holiday party. I swear by the white chocolate chips, but you can swap in anything you'd like.

These make a great gift, wrapped in parchment or a cute tin. Who doesn't love caramels? They're also foolproof to make. Gifts for neighbors and the postal carrier: done and done.

Everyone has a chocolate-loving wino in their family, right? Oh yeah—I think they're called women. These combine every girl's two favorite things. Admittedly I haven't made these yet, but will be making them this year. These would make a perfectly festive yet decadent gift for friends and family.

These are a year-round staple in our house. I've never had anything like them—they're amazing. A soft, chewy chocolate-marshmallow cookies oozes over a graham cracker for the perfect s'more bite every time. Toasted marshmallow is the perfect taste element for fireside hangouts.

A Christmas-red brownie? Yeah, I'll get down on a pan of those. These are on my baking list this year as well. The color alone makes for a classic statement dessert. 

What are you guys baking this year?

Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Card Outtakes

Hello again, Monday. You are usually not my friend, but since we're in holiday-countdown mode, I'll be nice.

Our Christmas cards were made and sent last week, and picking just one photo was pretty impossible. I guess we could have sent out a couple designs, but I'm an uncomplicated girl and that just seemed unnecessary. So here are some of our favorites and a few outtake shots from our little shoot with my talented pal Jenna Hunger. I'm still totally obsessed with Jim's red + navy plaid — a little more unexpected but still so perfectly Christmasy. 

Getting a dog to smile and say cheese requires a three-ring circus of treats and squeaky toys, but we finally got the right shot of the three of us.

So this was the winner. Thank you, Cooper, for finally understanding what I mean when I say "vogue!" (just kidding).

Hope you guys have a short week ahead, full of gift wrapping and cookie baking! I'll be back on Wednesday with my go-to Christmas cookie recipes. You won't want to miss every delicious bite!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Friday Links + Giveaway Winner!


Thanks to everyone for entering the Pattern Pod giveaway! The winner was chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, and the winner is Emily! Please email me at novak.rachael@gmail.com to claim your prize.

Here are some of my faves for the weekend—hope you are all staying warm out there!

1 | Stamp your correspondence with a clever "vintage email" stamp (Wit & Whistle)
2 | This DIY faux bow clutch is the perfect for holiday parties! (I SPY DIY)
3 | Wishing you all Happy Alcoholidays! (Scout Mob)
4 | These bite-sized holiday bark treats look like an awesome snack. (Happy Hour Projects)
5 | Stella & Dot has released some swoonworthy new arrivals – loving the citron! (Stella & Dot)


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Toothakers Wedding Print

Recently, I had the pleasure of creating a custom print for the lovely Kayla Coleman's wedding. She wanted a fun, cute tooth for their guests to sign as they united as the Toothakers—isn't that so cute? We incorporated their wedding colors into the print and left the tooth blank for signatures. 

Kayla wanted the print to be the first thing guests see when they enter their home, and recently shared this photo with me of the final result. The frame she chose is beautiful and I love this cute vignette in their home! The print was printed and framed by Canvas on Demand, and the photo is credited to Kayla, who is an amazing photographer herself. 

Thank you, Kayla, for giving me the opportunity to create something special for you! I love hearing how couples are adding personalized touches to their weddings. What are some of the cutest things you've seen lately?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Giveaway: Wrapping Paper from Pattern Pod

Today I'm super excited to share a giveaway, and introduce you all to Pattern Pod! Pattern Pod offers affordable, modern pattern designs for you to use to decorate your home, enhance your DIY projects, or customize your everyday accessories. You can use sites like Zazzle or Spoonflower to create whatever products you've dreamed up.

With the holidays coming up, Pattern Pod and I would like to give one reader a head-start on their gift wrapping by offering one winner a free pattern and a $25 gift card to Spoonflower, to be used towards a roll of premium wrapping paper or an item of their choice. Spoonflower's wrapping paper comes in either a satin or matte finish, and is a beautifully weighted stock (which prevents that pesky present peek-through you get with cheaper stocks).

Above are a ton of ideas on how to apply patterns to your decor and accessories. I know you fellow pattern lovers agree when I say there's nothing better than perfectly executed pattern mixing!

SO - for the fun part. Starting today, enter below by completing some or all of the entry options. One winner will be announced Friday, 12/13 here on the blog. From there, we'll get in touch and get you what you need to start wrapping!

Good luck!

*Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Pattern Pod. I received one prize for myself and one prize to give away. As always, opinions are my own and promotions are shared because I, too, love the products.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 6, 2013

Friday Links


Friday time! So happy. Some of this week's inspiration is below – be sure to come back on Monday for a very special giveaway! Have a great weekend.

The gold sequin letter above needs to come home with me asap – especially because it's an R.

Pantone has announced that the color of 2014 is Radiant Orchid. Here are some tips about decorating with all of 2014's upcoming "it" colors.

This rope bracelet is perfect for any girl this Christmas – whether she's nauti or nice. See what I did there? Oh gosh. I need the weekend.

Super cool lettering by Zachary Smith.

Still photos of dogs responding to "shake" will easily cheer up your day.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Holiday Ornaments

Happy {Cyber} Monday everyone!

I am trying not to get overwhelmed by holiday deals, but really...how can I help myself when a 50% off sale is happening? But I digress...

Now that the turkey and stuffing has settled, it's totally time for Christmas mode. We put our tree up on Friday and didn't waste any time decorating—I've never decorated so early, but I think having Thanksgiving so late made me ready to move on to the holiday season.

I'm happy to have a collection of hand-painted ornaments up in the shop, as well as on display in Made in the 216. They're all delightfully simple and have gold metallic details—and the monograms especially make for a great gift topper. I plan on using them to personalize gifts for friends.



 Have you started shopping and decorating yet? Are you totally feeling the holiday love this year?

Monday, November 25, 2013

Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe

It's that time of year again!

The ever-fabulous Made in the 216 Holiday Shoppe launches with a bang this Friday, the 29th and runs until Christmas Eve. If you're interested in more local-focused Black Friday shopping, then head to Room Service for some handmade goods, a hot toddy, and some sweets!

I'm thrilled to have some prints and handmade ornaments in this year's shoppe. This event is not to be missed!

More details below - hope to see you all there!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Friday Links

Happy Friday, everyone!

I've been quite busy over here, packing orders and getting new holiday items added to the shop. BUT I always have time to bounce around on the internet, and wanted to share some of the things that have me diving head-first into a pool of holiday cheer (vodka added).

Thanksgiving recipes you can make ahead of time.

These sequin track pants seem like a holiday season no-brainer to me.

This recipe for beer mac 'n' cheese would make a tasty post-Thanksgiving meal with that leftover Great Lakes Christmas Ale (wait, is there such a thing as leftover Christmas Ale?)

Anthropologie made a gold version of their signature monogram mugs – a perfect $10 gift.

I have a giveaway coming up on the blog – get to know Pattern Pod before December 9th.

A birch vase DIY.

A tasty last-minute gift idea for your Thanksgiving hostess: salted caramel bark!

Hope you are all getting excited about the short week ahead, and the "official" kickoff to the holiday season! I know I am...I can feel my little grinch heart growing by the minute.

Cheers, and see you next week!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Target Holiday: Cozy Luxe



Our pumpkins were practically still lit when Target came out with their holiday decor collections, which always seems too abrupt, but their decor for holiday is absolutely killing it (per usual) so I don't even mind. I'm so on board.

 I love decorating for the holidays but I like to keep it subtle. Anything I buy has to be flexible enough that it could pass as everyday decor (besides our Christmas tree, of course). Typically I keep things neutral and just add a lot of sparkle and metallics, which is why these Target finds are getting me right into the holiday spirit. Affordable and chic—there's really nothing better.

Have you started to decorate yet? I wanted to keep my pumpkins and wheat up until Thanksgiving, but I'm not sure I can wait much longer for Christmas to move in!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween


Happy Halloween everyone! I'm looking forward to a night of hard cider and Trick-or-Treating at the house. All of our neighbors come out and I love seeing all of the kids' cute costumes. I seriously look forward to Halloween all year! I'm a dork.

Hope you all have something fun planned, or at least have some treats to enjoy tonight. I've been eating so much candy corn lately that it's showing up in my doodles—so I went ahead and channeled my craving into this pattern.

Happy haunting!

Monday, October 28, 2013

What Scares You?


I've been on a major ghost story kick this week—from reading this thread on Jezebel to watching episodes of Celebrity Ghost Stories (don't laugh, it's amazing). I guess it's Halloween taking it's hold on me, but I've also always been interested in "the unexplainable"... I'm getting chills just talking about it.

I'm curious to hear about your creepy fears—are you afraid of ghosts? Clowns? The dark? Or are spiders pretty much your only fear? (I mean seriously, who actually isn't afraid of spiders).

One of the things that creeped me out the most growing up was my grandmother's basement. She was a ceramic artist and held classes once a week in her studio, which was in the basement of her house. She had two kilns down there, so she would use molds and fire a bunch of "blank" pieces to keep in stock for her students (and my siblings) to paint. The main room was lined with shelves from floor to ceiling, filled with white ceramic pieces. There were piggy banks, animals, figurines, decorative dolls...everything you could imagine. And it was creepy as hell. I would always be afraid to go down there by myself—it felt like everything was watching you. All of these smiling cartoon Easter bunnies, with their frozen expressions, were like an image out of a murderer doll-maker's shop. Obviously my grandma wasn't a murderer, but I don't think she had any idea how creeped out I was by that room. It was always so quiet down there too, and unless she was down there with me, helping me paint, I never felt at ease.


I  can't believe I was able to find a photo of the basement. See what I mean? To this day, I'm still a little weirded out by dolls.

So, what creepy things are you avoiding this Halloween? And even better—have you ever seen a ghost?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Ride On


Just riding on in to the new week with some new artwork...happy Monday y'all!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Etsy Hearts: Autumn Warmth

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Fall has finally come to Ohio—the leaves are falling in crunchy piles, the mornings are cool, and the houses in our neighborhood are decked out for Halloween. I love this time of year! My go-to evening routine usually includes a cheese plate and a pumpkin ale, so this card from red cruiser spoke to my heart (and stomach). Hope you all are enjoying the season!

Monday, October 14, 2013

iPhoneography: 5 Favorite Photo Apps

It's no secret: I love me some Instagram. It's perfect for sharing those memorable moments when the closest camera is our trusty iPhone. I also love following my favorite bloggers, musicians, and style icons to get a sneak peek into their everyday lives. It all feels very off-the-cuff and exclusive, and it's fun to see everyday shots you would otherwise never see. 

When if comes to sharing my own photos, the only beef I have with Instagram is that the filters are terrible. There are really no other tools (besides the tilt-shift and "enhance" buttons) to help you make any adjustments, so you're left to do a little pre-work before. Now, I know what you're all thinking—this is supposed to be "instant" and of-the-moment, and you shouldn't overthink this. And for most of us, you're totally right. You can put up your photo with no filter, or filter it...who cares. But there is a camp of visually-obsessive people out there who want to give a good shot the attention it deserves, so this post is for you. This is especially true if you're a blogger, creative professional, or business owner who relies on social media to establish a brand or grow your network. It's true that image is {almost} everything.

In my opinion, the extra steps are totally worth the result and don't take much time. And the editing apps are great for more than sharing purposes—if you ever send your photos to print directly from your phone, these will add the final touches.

There are hundreds of iPhone photo editing apps out there, but these are five of my favorite and most-used (and range from free to $1.99). 

AFTERLIGHT ($0.99)
Useful features:
- Can adjust brightness, exposure, contrast, temperature, highlight/shadow color, and more in great detail. This is probably my most commonly used photo editing tool, because of its versatility and range of functions.
- Nice built-in filters, which are all adjustable
- Crop, rotate, add borders

The bottom panel contains the master navigation, and the buttons on top are your options within that set. Shown here are the slider adjustments for brightness, exposure, contrast, etc.

A brief look at some of the filters available
VSCO CAM (free)
Useful features:
- Can adjust brightness, exposure, contrast, temperature with simple interface
- Limited (but nice)  built-in filters, which are all adjustable
- Crop + rotate tools

 A glimpse at the filters—there are only 8 or so, but they keep the interface simple.

A slider bar allows you to control how strong you'd like the filter to be. 

Simple adjustment options: brightness, temperature, contrast, rotate and crop.

CAMERA+ ($1.99)
Useful features:
- A collection photo-enhancing presets that provide a more natural look than standard filters—these are great for when you already have a great shot, and want to preserve the color or other elements of your photo.
- Wide range of filters and effects, if you're looking for a more highly-edited look
- Crop, rotate, add borders
- Adjustable self-timer—clutch!


PIC FX ($1.99)
Useful features:
- Wide range of filters and effects—including textures, light filters, and bokeh arranged in "album" sets to keep things organized
- Crop, rotate, add borders
- Can layer multiple effects on top of each other



PICLAY ($0.99)
Useful features:
- This app is funky and gives a highly-edited output. It has two basic functions: Overlay and Mirror. Mirror is self-explanatory; Overlay allows you to select two photos to make a composite shot. The two layers are adjustable, and you can apply effects to change the look of the overlay.
- Can layer pre-set light effects and textures over your image

 Mirror Mode: You can use this bottom row of buttons to add different types of lighting and texture enhancements.

Overlay Mode: Adjust the look of your overlay with a few pre-set filters.

There are a few other photo apps that I use sparingly, but these are my favorites. Do you guys pre-edit your photos before Instagramming? What apps do you like?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pumpkin Recipe Round-up


 I think everyone's favorite thing about fall is PUMPKIN EVERYTHING. Who can blame us? Pumpkin is amazing and I use every excuse I can to incorporate it into my baking repertoire. I made this Pumpkin Pull-Apart Bread a while back and have made it every year since. It takes a bit of prep time, but the warm, ooey-gooey goodness is so worth it.

Here are some of my favorite pumpkin recipes; some I have made, others are on my must-try list. Now that it's finally cooling down outside, it feels like the perfect time to get in the mood for fall. Enjoy!





The frozen yogurt actually looks really easy–I think that's next on my list. Are you big into pumpkin baking? Or is a Pumpkin Spice Latte all you need?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Tribe Vibes


Who's going to the game tonight? I have a feeling it's going to be magic...

GO TRIBE!

Monday, September 30, 2013

DIY: Prada Marfa Sign


When it comes to Gossip Girl, I am not embarrassed to admit that I know a bit too much about the show, and anyone who's a fan knows about the top-notch art collection shown in GG's various Upper East-side apartments. 

One of the set's most recognizable pieces is an illuminated sign by Elmgreen and Dragset, meant to serve as a road sign for the pair's famous art installation – a non-functioning faux Prada store about 60km outside of Marfa, Texas. It serves as a perfectly chic backdrop to the stylish characters and money-drenched drama—it's always somewhere in the scene. It's black+white and gorgeous, so clearly, I wanted it in our peachy-glam guest room.

As an art enthusiast lacking an art collector's budget, my only options to own this iconic piece were to either purchase a canvas version here, or make my own. You all know I like a challenge, so off to the drawing board I went. This looks a lot harder than it was (although it takes a steady hand) so here's a step-by-step plan if you're interested in making your own. 

WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

Pre-stretched art canvas - I went with 30x40" for the full large-scale effect, like the original.
Black acrylic paint + brushes
Black permanent marker
Printer
Adobe Photoshop or image editing software
X-acto knife and cutting mat
Ruler
Easily removable tape (painter's or washi tape will do)


1. Start by creating the template for the design. To do this, I used an image of the artwork online, and imported it into Photoshop. I created a new Photoshop file in the size of the canvas (30x40") and imported the image as a layer in that file. I played with the scale of the art until the size looked correct, and printed the giant image out by tiling it onto regular letter-sized sheets of paper. Each printer is different, so I can't exactly walk you through how to do this, but Google can be helpful if you're not sure. Since you'll be scaling up a low-res web image, the letters will be pixellated, but you can cut away that fuzzy pixel halo when you trim the letters out.

2. To make the stencils, you'll carefully cut out each number and letter. I found that it made the most sense to cut the larger characters out ("Prada" and the arrow) and the smaller characters away from the sheet of paper, keeping them together like a stencil. This way, they're easier to trace and you won't have to worry about aligning each letter on the baseline, as they're already aligned for you. 

3. Use a ruler to figure out the placement of the stencils on the canvas. I recommend having an image of the actual art pulled up on your computer, or printed out, so you can reference the linespacing. It won't necessarily be mathematically even, you just want it to look right. Double-check all of your measurements to be sure nothing is slanting up or down—the type is the hero here, and anything "off" will become pretty obvious once you paint. When you're sure, carefully tape everything down. 

4. Now, trace everything. Use a pencil and be very, very gentle. It's difficult to erase pencil off of canvas, and you'll only need a ghost of a line to guide you during the painting process. 


5. Once you've outlined everything, remove the stencils and tape and double check that everything looks correct before you begin to paint. I suggest taking a look from a distance – prop the canvas up against a wall and see how it looks from there. 


6. Finally, you'll paint in the letters. You can make it easier on yourself by outlining the letters with a marker first, to get crisper edges. You'll probably need a few coats of paint to get everything looking solid. It's actually better to have your paint thinned down a bit with water or acrylic medium, because it will make the paint glide more smoothly across those detailed curves. Just keep layering the paint on, allowing it to dry between coats. Acrylic dries very quickly—by the time I finished one application, the first letter I did was ready for a recoat.


Easy as that! I feel like Lily Van Der Woodsen already. We're still working on finishing up the guest room, but this is starting to pull it all together. Let me know if you decide to give it a try!