Blanket Fort Friday!

021This past Friday night, late work assignments and bad traffic meant the fiance and I couldn’t pursue our original plans for the evening. Still, we wanted to make our unexpected night-in special.

Of course, we did it like adults. Made paninis, uncorked some wine, and built a massive blanket fort in which to watch a movie ๐Ÿ™‚001

It was quite the undertaking, involving chairs stacked two high, lots of safety pins, some duct tape, the bookshelves on either side of our tv, the couch, and a rather long piece of pvc pipe.015

We dragged all our pillows and our comforter in from the bed and got cozy! The only light we had on was from our little fish tank. I think Candide (my beta fish) was a bit confused by the sheets draped over his tank…019

The movie we watched was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, which I enjoyed thoroughly. It’s a fun love story, that isn’t heavy handed on the love bit. And it’s set it 1940’s London, just before England entered the War, so lovely period costuming.009I’ve made a few forts in my day, but never used safety pins this liberally. I must say that they make a tremendous difference. I used them to join sheets together, to pin the sheets to the chairs, and to make sure the sheets didn’t slip off the couch.006

In a few places, I doubled down, using tape and a pin. The tape didn’t stick all that well to the fabric, so the pin made it secure. Additionally, I gently taped areas of the sheets under high tension before pinning so that the pins didn’t damage the sheets: Basically interfacing for forts!

The fort turned a basic movie night into something much more special, and I’m so glad we tapped our inner children to make it happen!

disclosure: Our inner children are pretty darn close to the surface ๐Ÿ˜€

 

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Snowed-in baking!

So there was a pretty massive snow storm in my area this weekend. Like 30 inches of snow in under 48 hours massive.

My car is somewhere under this snow.031

I wasn’t going anywhere. So I uncorked a bottle of wine, had my fiance cue up some of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (new favorite show! Glorious 1920’s costuming, thrilling murder mysteries, and sassy strong women!), and did some baking!

The pictures aren’t great quality, ’cause there was very little light in the storm. But the first thing I made was a goat cheese tomato basil quiche. 002I found this recipe in the Joy of Cooking, and will probably make it again, except with more cheese. The recipe calls for four to six ounces, and I played it safe with just four. Next time, definitely adding all six!020

For dessert, I whipped up cream puffs. These treats are my new favorite; I had no idea how easy they are to make!008 They also paired very well with the red wine ๐Ÿ™‚012

The morning after the storm, the sun rose on a glorious frozen world, and I had left over quiche to fuel me through a lot of shoveling!035

How do you keep busy during bad weather?

 

 

DIY Painted Pebble Necklace

Every time I go on a trip, I end up bringing home rocks. Usually not very fancyย  ones. Instead, I bring home nice flat rocks, which would probably be perfect for skipping across ponds, if I were any good at skipping stones. They end up in little bowls around my house, or occasionally find their way into my beta’s tank.030 (3) The rocks are little works of natural art, and reminders of wonderful places I’ve been.

But collecting dust in bowls is not the best way to display memories, at least for me. So I turned them into wearable art.032 (2) Some I leave plain, and some I jazz up a bit. If you’d like to make your own painted (or plain) pebble necklace, follow the tutorial below!006

Materials:035

  • Pebble. The best rocks for this project are thin and flat with smooth edges.
  • Necklace chain or cord or ribbon. Whatever suits your aesthetic.
  • Jump rings
  • Necklace clasp. I like lobster clasps, but again, whatever style suits you.
  • E6000 or other strong adhesive
  • Flat bit of metal with a hole in it. I used the tab a spring ring clasp fits into, but you could also use a bail. I’ve even used the clip part of disassembled clip-on earrings.
  • Pliers
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brush
  • Clear varnish. I used spray varnish, but a brush-on variety would work too.
  • Newspaper to protect your work space

Directions:

  1. Select your rock and wash it so there’s no loose dirt on the surface.
  2. Paint a design of your choosing on one side. I used bright blue to provide contrast with the natural surface. You can skip this step, if you like. Wait for the paint to dry completely before moving on.033
  3. Put down newspaper to protect your work area, and spray your stone with varnish, following the directions on the can. This will give your rock a permanently wet look and enhance its the natural coloring. As with the painting, this step is optional.034
  4. Once the varnish is dry, use the E6000 to attach your flat metal bit to the back of the stone. Make sure the hole or bail is clear of the top of the stone. Wait for the glue to cure before moving on.031
  5. Using your pliers, attach a jump ring and hook the stone to the jewelry chain. Also attach a clasp at this point.032
  6. And ta-da! Go out and rock your new necklace!

Tips and suggestions:

  • Try using metallic paint for a glam look.
  • If you find small enough rocks, try making funky earrings!
  • To get an idea how your rock will look varnished, run it under water. The varnish will mimic this wet look.
  • Don’t be afraid of puns! Use a paint pen to write “out” or “on” so your necklace reminds you to rock out or to rock on. You could also use a paint pen to write the date or location for your rock.
    • I made a necklace for a fellow swing dancer with a reminder to rock step, triple step (the basic footwork of swing dance).005

Happy New Year!

Happy 2016, everyone!004

…wait. Why are you all looking at me like that?

Did I show up late for the party? Again?

Ah, yes. Well. I suppose the first day of the new year was almost two weeks ago. And it’s been radio silence from me. But I have been doing stuff!

Mostly eating pasta. And making pasta! I received a pasta attachment for my stand mixer, and have been in. love. ever since. I’ve only tried the basic pasta recipe, but it is wonderful and lovely and all I need for the rest of my dietary life!

…okay, and chocolate.

But look! So pretty and elegant and tasty!

I’ve also spent hours gazing at my Christmas cactus in bloom, the delicate petals translucent and glowing in the sun.013

And as winter finally showed up (see, I’m not the only tardy one!) I decided to cozy up my desk area with some over-sized string lights! 002

I’ve been up to a few other things, and I’m planning to share a tutorial later this week, based on a winter solstice gift I made for a friend, so stay tuned!