Thursday, June 27, 2013

DIY: Southern Lovin'

You know, for the amount of verbal abuse this painting had to endure, it looks pretty good. If I might say so. Which, in saying so, makes me sound like a total egomaniac. Yeah, well, it's time you knew the truth. By the way, you can find diy-details on those painted flower pots here.
Ya'll might find this hard to believe but I'm not actually from The South. That's right and I have the majority of my teeth to prove it (aw, now, you Southern folk, don't get yourself all worked up. After all, ya'll are the ones that dedicate an entire festival to a lil somethun called MoonPies and RC Cola. For those of you unfortunate enough never to have sampled the delicacy that is a MoonPie, lemme break it down for you: ya got a flattened marshmallow sandwiched between two round graham crackers dipped in chocolate, or as the box calls it, "flavored coating". Which is heaven so stop wrinkling your nose. AND in case that's not enough, at the festival they deep-fry the suckers for you. My taste buds were all "What?! Have I died and gone to Taste Bud Heaven?!" meanwhile, three teeth fell out screaming, "Abandon ship! This here's a mouth gone South!") 

Wow. That was the longest parenthesis ever. What was I even talking about?
I have a cousin and an aunt that are the same age as me. Do you need a second to unravel that mystery? If you guessed that my grannie, my mom and her sis were all preggers at the same time, congratulations! My grandparents loved to take just the three of us on mini-vacations. One trip was to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is this tourist town completely overrun with Old Time Photo places (where you can dress your daughter up as a lady-of-the-night and your son as a gun-totin' outlaw. You know, family values kinda stuff) and air-brushed t-shirt joints. Our hotel just happened to be across the street from Hillbilly Golf where we went adult-less every single day. What we loved about that place, aside from the fact that we were sans grownups, was that you took this incline to the top of the hill and played your way to the bottom. After a couple-twenty times to the top, we started to get bored and just took to throwing the golf balls down the hill. Which is super fun unless you get busted. So, kids, listen to your elders: Don't. Get. Busted. (Did I just go from Super Long Parenthesis to Super Long Caption? Oops, my bad).
 I'm actually an Indiana Gurl (or a Hoosier even though I have no idea what that means and I hesitate to refer to myself as such. I mean, what if it implies I have a deep love for pickles? I don't even like pickles! Therefore, I cannot comfortably refer to myself as a Hoosier, er, pickle-lover). Indiana is actually a cultural mecca, in case you didn't know. I lived in a town called Peru (pronounced Pee-roo by the locals. Seriously. But it's actually more famous for being Circus City, U.S.A. I can't even make this stuff up) which is near both Chile (pronounced Chai[like the tea]-lie) and Mexico. See? Total cultural explosion.
I promise I'll get to the DIY portion of this here post! Bear with me, I'm on an entirely-too-much-ice-cream high. Because after 15 years of livin' in Tennessee, I've become completely Sugar-Coated Southern.
 Just how did I end up in Tennessee, you ask? (What I know you're really asking: "Is this going to lead to another story?! Because I have a life I wanna lead." Oh, whatever. You do not.) Well, I did my student teaching in Ireland (any Irish in the house?! Dude, your country is so rad. Love the Guinness. And how you say words like "thirty-three" [turty-tree]), my dad was all (rightfully) worried I was going to come home, not get a job and just mooch off of them (totally the plan). So he sent out, get this, 50 copies of my resume to schools all over the U.S. Including A-freakin'-LASKA. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Other than Alaska is as cold as something-super-cold and dark, like, half the year. When Nashville, Tennessee called for an interview, I loaded up my teacher-interview clothes and my grandma, who'd never been to Nashville, and got the gig. And the rest is history. Or, as the locals call it, a Tennessee Tragedy. Seriously. It's in their history books.
I love it here. So much so that I've dedicated several DIY projects to Tennessee. Last summer I made this giant collage painting using a map of Nashville and a vintage postcard as my inspiration. I also created this Tennessee-themed calendar, which took me forever. And I loved it. But, being that it's currently the end of June, I couldn't continue to allow this 2012 calendar to hang another day (oh okay, another six months, sigh). So I decided to create a brand new painting to replace it. I began by mixing up my favorite tint of blue (yes, on a dinner plate. Word to the wise: if I invite you over for dinner, BYOP [Bring Your Own Plate] unless you savor lead poisoning) and cutting up an old hotel key card as a texture scraper. 

 After painting the entire canvas blue and scraping the texture, I began to draw in the design. Now, I gotta tell you, this is not an original design. Because I, my friends, will be the first to admit, I don't have a single original thought in my head. Just ask pinterest. Which, after doing some research on vintage travel posters, I found there (this is actually the next one I wanna attempt. I can't seem to find the one I was working from). Turns out you can buy these reproduction posters but I got all big-headed and decided I could do it myself. So I started by penciling in the landscape and painting it in, paint-by-numbers style.
 Do you have a wedge paint brush (not to be confused with a wedgie-paint brush which are very uncomfortable...or so I've heard)? I never really used 'em before because they seemed too Bob-Ross-y to me. But now I know why ole Bob used 'em -- they're amazing! You can create these awesome hard edges with them that would have required a lot of painting and repainting with any other brush. That Bob. He knew what he was doing.

 Dude. This was seriously as easy as it looks. Not confident in your drawing skills? Enlarge your image and trace it. Or, better yet, if you have a projector (which would probably require a time machine, but you got one of those, I'm sure) that'd be even better.
 Yay, landscape complete! I was so happy with how easy this was. Little did I know that hard part was yet to come (cue dum-dum-duuuuuum music. DUMB being the key theme of the song.)
 The. Freakin'. Lettering. UGH.

Sigh. So first there was the measuring out to make sure all my letters fit. Blah. And then there was the actual drawing of the letters. Double Blah. But the worst of it was painting each letter. Since I was using thick acrylic paint, this required a lot of painting, touching up and repainting. Good times. If I were to do this again, I woulda used one of those paint brush pins, as I used on this calendar.
I promise my lettering isn't this crooked. It's my crooked photography skillz that make it appear as such.
And there you have it, some Southern Lovin'.

I just hope that one day the South'll love me as much as I do it. We've had our rough patches, that's for sure. Like the last time I was in the Smoky Mountains enjoying the seriously amazing amusement park Dollywood. I was getting on the wooden roller coaster Thunderhead when this happened:

Roller Coaster Announcer Dude: As you enter the ride, please scoot all the why over.

Me to hubs: What did he say? 

RCAD (with obviously amazing hearing): I say-ed, scoot all the WHY over!

Me to hubs: Is he asking a question? I don't understand.

Hubs: He's saying "way". Scoot over!

Not-So-Friendly-Southern Lady in the Seat Behind Me: What the hail?! Scoot over!

Me to hubs: Did she just say hail?! Is it going to hail while we are on the ride?! Get me off of here!

Yeah. So. Me and The South. We got some more gettin-to-know-each-other to do. But that's okay. I'm not going anywhere (sorry, Tennessee!).

Monday, June 24, 2013

DIY: A Bonfire of Banana Bread and ... a Giveaway (Now Closed)

 So wouldn't you know the moment I start doling out recipes like I'm Martha-Flippin-Stewart, I turn my house into a Bonfire of Banana Bread. Not familiar with such a thing? Well, lemme tell you how the pros do it. First, you start with the batter and the only teeny tiny bread pan you have on hand. Then you fill the bread pan just half full (because the recipe says so) but that looks like an entirely too empty pan so you decide to fill it to the rim. Because you hate to see wasted space. AND because you only have one teeny tiny bread pan (you really should get more pans. Just sayin'). Then you throw it in the oven and almost forget about it...until that distinct burnt hair smell reminds you...

 Oh, crap! The banana bread! 
When I threw open the oven door, it looked like a bomb had gone off. There was smoke, fire and bubbly melty banana bread everywhere (okay, when bombs go off, I'm guessing there's not bubbly melty banana bread unless the bomb goes off at a Banana Bread Factory but that's just ridiculous. What kind of crazy person would blow up a banana bread factory?! Everyone loves banana bread! Well, they did until they saw this photo). I managed to salvage this wee loaf with what looks like fake vomit stuck to the side. It was at that moment, hubs walked in. And this happened: 

Hubs: I'm hungry...wait, what's that smell?

Me: Um. Banana bread...?

Hubs: (noticing said bread on counter) You mean Blackened Banana Bread? 

Me: I got the recipe from Bon Appetit!

Hubs: You know, when I look at Bon Appetit, it's funny, the food looks just like that.

And then he insisted on taking a photo of my gourmet cooking and that I share it with you on this here blog. So that you may never get a Banana Bread Hankerin' again. You're welcome.
Remember this fabric? Because it has an early 1960's vibe to me, I decided to pair it with this 1962 dress pattern sent to me from a friend (thanks, Kristin!). I love the neckline, the bow belt and the bows at the bottom of the back straps. Check out this amazing dress in the same fabric sewn by The Girl with the Star Spangled Heart.
But, wait, what was that other thing mentioned in the title of this post? Did someone say giveaway (and is this someone currently talking about themselves in third person? Someone is creepin' me out!)? That's right, you read the title of this post correctly, I'm givin' away stuff, Oprah-style! ... except I'm not going to give you a brand new car. Sorry. Not in my budget. But what I got is even better (no it's not, just trying to make you feel better) so don't you dare scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to look for the giveaway details.* Because if you do, you'll miss all of the fascinating tales of this here dress and those thar oven mitts.**
That forced-grin photo on the left kinda reminds me of the day I wore my thong wrong. Which takes skills so don't act like you aren't impressed (and that you haven't had to pause a second before slipping into your thong. I mean, there are just too many entry points and too little fabric). I noticed that day that I kept walking crooked, bumping into anyone that was crazy enough to be near me. A trip to the bathroom lead me to discover my problem (well, one of them): I had one leg in the leg hole, the other in the waist hole and my waist in the other leg hole. Needless to say, it was as pinchy and uncomfortable as I look in that photo on the left. Is this too much information? Am I over sharing? Let's change the subject: Look At Those Adorable Bows! (...did that help...?)

So this pattern was pretty rad...and it introduced me to a series of firsts. Like lining. I've never lined a dress before and look at that photo below. Look at it! This is my first dress that just as pretty on the inside as it is the outside! I'm considering wearing it reversed just so people can admire how stinkin' awesome it is. They'll be all, "Dude, your lining is so rad!" and I'll be all, "I know, right!?" and that's pretty much where the conversation will end because I'm a pretty sucky conversationalist. And, let's face it, if we're not talking about me, I ain't got nothing to say.
Another first? Putting in something called a waist stay. When the pattern called for that, I was all "whah, huh?" Then google informed me that it was pretty much just a ribbon that kept my gathered waist from ungathering while covering up those unsightly gathers.
Just a view of the back. And those bows, gah. I loves 'em. So much so that I even made the bow for my hair using the same pattern. It's super easy. One of these days, I'll show you how. By the way, I got off easy as this dress fits like a glove! And by "glove", I don't mean an ove-glove. Because that would be too big. No, man, this was a no-alterations needed pattern. Which is great because I can't even put on a thong correctly so altering would be outta the question.
 When I went to the grocery today to pick up the ingredients for that bread (ahem), the checkout dude gave me the up/down (you know, when someone looks you over from head to toe with a "what the h***?" look on their face) and said, "Do you dress like that everyday?" And for some reason, my mind immediately thought, Oh no! He knows I'm wearing my thong wrong! and I was tempted to blurt out, "No! I just made a mistake! There are so many holes and so little fabric, it's confusing. You would NEVER understand!" And then I realized he meant my dress and I was all, "Yeah...I guess." I've never left a grocery store so quickly in my life.

 In the middle of dressmaking, I decided this fabric just had to become a set of pot holders. I mean, look at it! It's screaming, "Make me into a pot holder right now! After you make me a sandwich!" (geez, this is exactly what that other fabric said to me. Must be a trend.)

 Wanna make some pot holders? I borrowed heavily from Denise Schmitt's Quilts book. But I did some tweaking and thought I'd share my version with you. You know, because this blog post isn't already long enough. 

To start, I sewed two contrasting fabrics together and pressed the seam open, as seen in the photo on the left. Because I was making two mitts, I created four of these panels. I then pinned the pot holder parts in this order: panel, quilt batting, heat retardant fabric, inside fabric. These were about 9" X 11" in size.
 Then I set my machine on a basting stitch (so that the stitches would be really long) and sewed a series of vertical and horizontal lines. The beauty of her pattern is that you don't have to sew straight lines. They can be as wonky as me walking in a crooked thong.

 Earlier, I had traced my fave oven mitt (which is currently covered in banana bread goo, no lie), added about 1/4" all the way around and cut out the template you see on the left. I drew the horizontal line to match up my two fabrics. The template was placed on the sewn fabric and cut out. To finish the bottom edge, I used quilt binding tape that I held in place with Stitch Witchery until I could stitch.
 I wanted pom-poms on the bottom of my mitts, so it was at this point that I sewed them to the wrong side of the mitt. After that, I pinned the two mitts wrong sides together and sewed around them with a 1/4" hem.
 Right before turning them right side out, I clipped really close to the inside of the thumb. Turning them right side out wasn't it's important not to make your mitts too small. Then they'll be a royal pain to turn. When turning these, they reminded me of the Hamburger Helper oven mitt. Makes a great meal. Or so I've heard.
And the mitts are finished! But enough about that...let's chat about the GIVEAWAY! 

Here's the deal: I have two yards left of this Michael Miller fabric and I wanna give it to YOU! Along with this little vintage cookbook, because, let's face it, I really shouldn't be cooking. So here's how to enter: 
  • Leave a comment below and tell me what you'd create with this fabric. I'm dying to know! And I'll probably end up stealing your ideas and never sending you fabric...kidding! But only about that last part.
  • For extra bonus points, I'd totally dig it if you'd follow my blog. Because you need more Burnt Banana Bread blog posts in your life. And stories of thongs. Oh, forget about it. I wouldn't follow this thing either! (Seriously, you don't have to become a follower to enter).***
 How does that sound? I'm excited to hear from you! I'll keep this giveaway open until Monday, July 1st. AND it's open to international commenters too. On that date, I'll throw all the names into a jar, pull one, announce the winner and send this good stuff your way. Chat with you soon!

*Ha! You DID skip to the bottom! Well, the details of the giveaway aren't here. So get yourself back up to the top and finish reading! Geesh.

** Ugh, I'm bored by this post already, aren't you? WHAT?! You are?! That was a trick and you, my friend, you failed. No free stuff for you! Now go leave a comment so I can "accidentally" forget to put your name in the jar.

***Yes, you do...****

****Seriously, you don't. Now go away and leave a comment.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

DIY: How to Never Lose that Recipe Again! And Other Stuff.

As if this is what it looks like when I sit down to enjoy a cookie or four. Shoot, by the time I actually get to the table, I've gotten a cookie and a half crammed into my gullet. I am convinced that eating while standing doesn't count. In fact, I'm pretty sure in Weigh Watchers-land that'd be considered negative points. Bonus points, maybe? Extra credit work. That's it.
What you are about to read involves a recipe by yours truly. I know, I know. I probably should have allowed a little more time to lapse between near foot-amputation via a food processor and a blog post of cooking tips. But this here cookie recipe is too good not to share. In fact, hubs, who is a sweets aficionado, calls these his favorite and requests them often. Which is kinda a problem because I'm a flippin unorganized disaster that misplaces this recipe constantly. So I decided to perma-ize it on to a tea towel and a thrifted platter. 'Twas easy, lemme show you how.
Are you checking out those ingredients? You know anything that involves a stick of butter, sugar and chocolate has gotta be good. In fact, these cookies simply taste like chocolate butter. Which would be the best invention ever. And if you don't think these cookies are amazing, than, I'm sorry, but something is seriously wrong with you. I hate to be the one to tell you. Maybe your taste buds are broken. I heard once that you can get Taste Bud Transplants (actually, I've never heard that). In which case, you'd come back to me all apologetic like raving on and on about how incredibly wrong you were and how incredibly incredible the cookies are. Which, after TBT surgery would probably sound something like, "Oh my Dod, Cathie! Theeth cookieth are tho delithith!"
(Did I just insult people who may or may not have had Taste Bud Transplants? Er, if you exist, thorry).

Because my hand writing may be a touch difficult to read, here are the ingredients for a small batch of 12 cookies: 
  • 3/4 cup of flour
  • 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Hershey's)
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick of unsalted, room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons of steel-cut oats (really any kind of oatmeal is good, we just prefer this)
  • 1/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Small amount of coarse sugar (like the raw stuff) in a bowl
  • Handful of cocoa nibs, if you got 'em
Oh, but back to the tea towel. So I used some linen-esque cotton I had in my stash. I cut it to 18" X 24" and began the entirely-too-long process of creating those light blue loose-leaf-paper lines. I set my machine on zigzag and zipped along. Once finished with that, I added the light pink vertical line and serged the edges out of pure laziness. 
Once you've russell up all the ingredients, do this:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  By the way, always check the inside of your oven before turning it on or you might discover that the crusty food on those dirty dishes you put in there when the in-laws were coming over is gonna burn and stink to high heaven. Not that I would know anything about that.  
  2. Mix the first 4 ingredients into medium sized bowl.  Using an electric mixer, beat the butter in a large bowl until fluffy. Ummm, fluffy butter. 
  3.  Add sugar and vanilla to the butter and continue to beat until blended. 
  4. Add that floury stuff from the first step and attempt to beat. It'll be a little tricky because that stuff is about to get thick and clumpy. Which is usually never a good way to describe someone's cooking, but stay with me, the cookies are worth it. 
I used a fabric pen I picked up at the local craft store to write the recipe. That was a pinch tricky as the ink of the pen liked to bleed a bit so I just wrote a little larger than normal. By the way, did you know that they no longer teach cursive writing in elementary schools? This seriously bums me out. When I was a kid, we didn't have art class so those purple ditto cursive writing sheets were the closest thing for me. And I totally rocked 'em. Couldn't do long division or pass a spelling test, but you give me one of those hot-off-the-presses smeary purple sheets and I'd cursive write it all the way to Peru. Not the country. Peru, Indiana. The town next to the one I grew up in.

5.   Mix in oats, chocolate chips and cocoa nibs (which are totally optional. We just happened to have a stash and I add them for their crunch) with a spatula. 
6.  Shape a big ol' tablespoonish amount of the cookie dough, roll it around in that bowl of coarse sugar and kinda flatten it onto a cookie sheet. That's if you even get this far because, if you're anything like me, you're going to have consumed nearly half of that cookie dough before it even hits the sheet. Which is a good thing because this cookie dough doesn't contain raw eggs and thusly won't give you worms that crawl out your back door in the middle of the night (you know, call me naive, but I'm pretty sure most recipes shouldn't include the worm-crawling-out-yer-butt visual. Sorry).
7.  Bake them bad boys for about 10-12 minutes, let 'em cool for five seconds and drop 'em in your mouth like the hot-as-coal-from-a-grill chocolate buttery goodness that they are. Don't worry about those silly burnt taste buds. After all, you can always get TBT.
 For some reason, I got it in my heard that the recipe-emblazoned tea towel just wasn't enough. So when I spotted this giant platter at the thrift store, I decided to glaze the recipe onto it as well. I filled  one of those fine metal tipped glaze bottle thingies with black glaze and then I set to work transcribing the recipe.
Which makes the whole process sound much easier that it actually was. Because of the heavy glaze already on the plate, the surface was super slick and hard to write on. And the glaze liked to do this coming-out-in-clumps thing which was totally awesome. After doing some serious writing, wiping off and rewriting, I found that the best thing was to drag the metal tip of the applicator across the surface as I was writing. The above is how it looked before firing...
And here's the after. Which looks exactly the same.

Cookie and platter close up. Look at that prettiful hand-writing, would ya? All that hard work, it pays off. Just don't ask me to do any of that long division nonsense, ermkay? By the way, I know it looks like there are raisins in cookies. There isn't. It's just what happens when you wrap freshly made cookies in layers of Saran wrap and stick 'em in the freezer. More on that later.
Yay! Hub's fave recipe immortalized! The end.
Okay, not really The End. I just had to share this with you. This is how hubs keeps his extra stash of cookies: in 13 layers of Saran Wrap and a zip lock baggie in the freezer. You know, if some coke fiend came to our house, lookin' for coke in the freezer (cuz that's where one keeps coke, right? I don't know about these things and I'm afraid to google it for fear that "angel dust in freezer" will most assuredly get me fired. Again.) they'd find these instead. Which, being jacked up on coke, they'd be able to wrestle through those 13 layers much faster than me (I'm pretty sure one shouldn't curse and break into a sweat as much as I do before enjoying a cookie.) Now that I think about it, I wonder if those layers aren't meant to keep these cookies Cassie-proof. Hmm...I just might have to have a cookie or (one, two, three...) eight! in order to figure this one out. 

Until next time, go make yo'self some cookies! And then come back and tell me how amazin' they are!

Monday, June 17, 2013

What the Art Teacher Wore #67

Sunny Yellow Monday: So I've been hitting the local hardware/plant place recently (because as a serial flower killer, I find it a sound investment) and I've noticed something: there's a lot of old dudes workin' there. And, it turns out, old dudes are fascinated by retro-dressin' chics. Not in a creepy "I'll-show-you-where-the-tools-are,-honey,-heh-heh" kind of way. More like an "aw-my-mother/girlfriend/wife-used-to-dress-like-you,-heh-heh" (sorry, in my mind, all old dudes end their sentences that way). Which kinda makes me twenty years when the "retro" look means wearing a vintage Hooters uniform, will the old dudes be like, "Aw, I remember when classy ladies used to wear thick-a** nylons under their construction-worker-orange shorty shorts, heh-heh" and then off they'll go to satisfy their sudden and unexpected wings craving? dress: vintage Swirl dress, picked up in St. Louis; shoes: Target, last summer; giant flower: just a fake one I glued to a clip after I changed out of my Hooters uniform
Hi! I'll have you know that since last chatting with you, no one has been sliced, diced or tampon'ed. Aw, don't look disappointed. I've got a month and a half left of summer vacation. I'm almost positive I'll be short a limb by the time I return (geez, if that really does happen then this will suddenly become The Most Awkward Post Ever. And we shall never speak of it again.)

So I thought I'd change it up a bit and share with you random photos from my week. I don't have Instagram but I do have A-Day-Or-Two-Later-Cam. Which is even better because I don't have to look at that amazing vintage find of yours or that totally stunning bouquet of flowers your boyfriend gave you (both of which I am sharing here. You're welcome). I've got a couple new DIY's coming up this week so make sure to pop back in and say hello (I've been hearing a lot from you lately and it totally makes my day!). And the next time you're ordering the wings at Hooters, tell 'em Cassie sent ya!
My amazing bouquet of flowers from my boyfriend. Who happens to be in kindergarten. But whateves, he's got good taste in the ladies and the orchids, so I'll take him.
Slice and Dice Tuesday: So if you've not heard the ridiculous story of my foot injury, go here. It's worth the read because it will totally enlighten you on the thinking of the dimwitted. Added bonus: you'll feel better about yourself and your obviously advanced intelligence. dress: made by me; shoes: ugh, Crocs.
Oh, lookie, a sneak peak. I started working on a new painting for the kitchen that I can't wait to finish off, hang up and share with you. It's very paint-by-numbers with out the numbers. Because they confuse me.
Wednesday, Unlimited: You'll never guess in a million years where I got this dress. The Limited. Yes, seriously. When's the last time you went to The Limited? For me, I believe it was back in '91 and I picked up a pair of Madonna-style trousers (you know the ones she paired with her bullet bra back in the Vogue days. I opted out of said bullet bra. Not enough ammo to fill it). My teacher neighbor at school, who always looks adorable, recently shared a photo of herself wearing the cutest dress. When I jokingly (sorta) said I was going to break into her house in the middle of the night and steal that dress (I was giving fair warning, I don't know what the problem was), she quickly informed me that she got the dress at The Limited. I immediately zipped over, found the dress and scooped up this one as well. So, where's the so-good-Ima-gonna-attempt-burglary-and-possible-jail-time dress? I'll show ya next week.
Can you freakin' believe this fabric?! Dude, I am so excited. I've got big plans to create what I imagine will be the most perfect pair of barbeque dresses even though hubs and I don't barbeque nor do we ever get invited to such things. Because vegetarians at barbeques suck. Regardless, I have a feeling these dresses, once created, will be more than welcome. Even if the dress is all, "Yeah, sorry about the person in the dress. She demanded to come," eye roll and sigh.
Hello, Neighbor, Thursday: You know, getting a photo of what you wear everyday is taxing. Especially when you attempt to do it in your front yard and the neighbors, who already think you are nutz, see you. But I do it for you. Now that's dedication, people. sweater: Target, old; dress: vintage, The Hip Zipper
Whatcha see here is my recent estate sale loot. It's become my Friday ritual to grab a buddy and hit as many sales as possible before noon. My favorite score of the day are those little doll dresses and that hand-knitted Anthropologie-esque sweater. Or maybe it's those mini-leather gloves. Possibly that dress with the blue daisies?...I just can't decide.
Free Tree Friday: Before I get to the tree, can we have a moment's chat about this dress? Because I lurve it. I ventured into a thrift store that I don't often frequent and there she was. This sweet little Anthro dress for a mere $10. I got all excited and started chatting with the lady at the rack next to me saying, "look at this dress! Isn't it amazing?!" Unfortunately, my new friend, who only needed to share in my enthusiasm with a high five, decided to become my personal shopper. Which woulda been great had her idea of my taste not involved vintage Jaclyn Smith. She was sweet for tryin', bless her heart (which, in the South, can mean many-a-thing. In this case, it's "get that Kathy Ireland frock away from me!") dress: thrifted, Anthro; belt: Pin Up Girl Clothing; box purse: vintage Enid Collins, ebay; necklace: Target, old
Me standing in front of a tree trunk. Like, literally. A trunk o' tree. Not too long ago, a coupla friends and I volunteered to help create the new window display at Anthropologie. It was so much fun. They served cookies, parfaits and mimosas. We skipped the snacks and instead drank our way through the crafting. Much to their dismay, I'm almost certain. In the midst of all our merry-making, it was asked what would become of the current cherry tree display. We were told that it was going to be given away to a good home. My buddy piped up that I was an art teacher that would love to have the tree...and, a week later, here we are with a mammoth tree in the trunk.
Dude, look at it. It's huge! I'm so excited to put it up...and it's totally getting me inspired and excited for the new school year. But I've still not settled on a theme. So! I'm asking you, whatcha got? Do you have any tree-themed book suggestions (please don't say The Giving Tree as I can't get through that book without crying which makes the kids super uncomfortable)? Art project ideas? Artist suggestions? Thanks in advance, I appreciate you doing my homework for me.

Chat with you soonish!