Old School Spud Stamps

by Kate on June 19, 2012

Remember making these when you were a kid? Stella and I decided to make some tater stamps one afternoon. We used a couple of baking potatoes but I’m sure the red and white ones work just fine.

I started to carve freehand and apparently I’m terrible at that. Instead, we created our shapes by pressing marzipan cutters about 1/2″ into the spud.

I found it best to carve out the shapes by first slicing a bunch of lines at 45 degree angles. Otherwise it’s easy to cut into your little shape.

Then slice in again from the side and the bits pop right off. Be so careful not to slice yourself! If you’re going to get an injury you should at least have a cool story (ie. “a shark snatched my craft scissors right out of my hands yesterday”).

We mixed tempera paint and brushed it on the shapes. The stamps come out a little funky and imperfect, which I like.

Stella had fun with the potato stamps until they turned brown. I rubbed lemon juice on them and that seemed to hold for a couple of hours.

This kid-friendly project costs almost nothing. And you probably don’t even have to make a trip to Hobby Lobby.

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Stella’s Lunch

by Kate on June 14, 2012

{ hotdog flowers + happy brown rice friends + Babybel cheese wheel + corn & pea succotash }

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Vintage Succulent Garden

by Kate on June 12, 2012

I’m busy assembling mini succulent gardens for our anniversary party in August. This has to be my favorite DIY of the summer (so far!). First of all, I am a fool for tiny succulents of all colors and shapes. AND I’m planting them in assorted vintage tins and containers. Succulents and antiques go together like pb & chocolate. Look at this Golden Nugget Mixed Nuts tin that I snagged for three little ol’ dollars.

And feast your eyes on these babies.

I lined my tin with a sturdy freezer bag to minimize rust. Then I filled it 2/3 full with cactus mix soil.

I pulled the little cuties out of their plastic pots and loosened their roots & soil. Then I arranged them in the tin, filling in and tamping dirt around each one.

Once everybody was planted I trimmed the plastic all the way around the edge. I left about about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of plastic peeking above the dirt line.

And now I have a tin of Golden Nugget Mixed Succulents.

The trick will be to water without overdoing it since there are no drain holes in the tin. I’m hoping that the dry summer air will help keep the soil from staying too wet. If I start to see issues I may have to drill holes in the bottom (gasp!). Meanwhile…how damn cute is my little succulent garden? :)

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Vintage Finds

by Kate on June 11, 2012

These vintage Barbie duds were a lucky score at $3 each. They’re both in great shape, though I have no idea when they were made. If I had to take a guess I’d say early ’70s based on the condition of the fabric and the styles. Ooh Stella is going to be so excited! But probably not nearly as excited as I am :-)

Who sews the bitty ric-rac on there? Somebody with freakishly miniature hands I think.

These enamel darlings came from a farmer’s market stall yesterday. Kettle corn, cherries, carrots and vintage brooches.

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Stella’s Lunch

by Kate on June 8, 2012

Let’s start with dessert. It’s the best part of lunch, after all :)
Stella knocked back two homemade choc chip cookies with milk. I folded washi tape around toothpicks to make the little flags.

My latest vintage treasure is this little glass (circa 1960?) with deer one one side and chipmunks on the other. Arg! Cuteness in a cup!

I did manage to get something healthy in her before the cookies. She had chicken kabobs over curly noodles + tomato cucumber salad and orange wedges. Mostly just so she could get to the cookies.

Can you stand to look at this adorable plate? No! You cannot! It’s another find from my Paris trip.

Translation: I don’t talk with my mouth full.

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Mod Podged Votives

by Kate on June 7, 2012

Mod Podge is my boyfriend. Seriously, it’s an all-time favorite ingredient and I used some to make these votives. I started with a glass canning jar like so:

Then I cut some fabric strips – enough to wrap the whole jar. I cut my strips just shorter than the jar and pinked the ends.

I painted Podge on the outside of the jar and adhered the strips, one at a time. I smoothed each strip down and painted Podge over the top to seal them.

I set the jar in a window and it dried in less than an hour.

Add tea lights and you’re all set! This is a great DIY for party decor – you can make a bunch of them in no time at all. I’m planning to use these for our anniversary party in August. They’d also make a great housewarming or hostess gift.

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Vintage Finds

by Kate on June 6, 2012

I enjoy ogling vintage cook books and recipes, especially those from the ’50s. The idyllic illustrations, yellow-toned photographs and crazy food combos are cool. General Foods put out this little cookie pamphlet circa 1950. Most of the recipes include one of the Post cereal brands. You could whip up a batch of Icebox Krispies or Toastaroons when you weren’t busy ducking & covering.

Coconut Date Porcupines? Cereal Kisses? Twinkle Toes Clowns? Yes, yes, yes!

And I adore the back cover. Hurry up with that cookie jar you little whippersnapper!

Here’s another little vintage keeper. A banana in drag tells you how it is. It’s 1956 and I’ve got a hankering for Banana Castanet Salad.

Mmmm pork products with fried banana. Me like it.

Check out the handy banana use guide:

Now that’s useful info. I keep hearing their old jingle in my head:

I’m Chiquita banana and I’ve come to say
Bananas have to ripen in a certain way
When they are fleck’d with brown and have a golden hue
Bananas taste the best and are best for you
You can put them in a salad
You can put them in a pie-aye
Any way you want to eat them
It’s impossible to beat them
But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator
Olé!

I added the Olé :-)

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DIY Tea Bags

by Kate on June 4, 2012

You realize by now that I’m obsessed with tea. I drink at least four cups a day and I’m nevah evah gonna stop. So why wouldn’t I make my own tea bags? Turns out it’s super easy. To make the bags you just need loose tea, coffee filters, thread, and a template for tracing. I used the bottom square of a paint chip as my template and it was the perfect size. If you want to add a little decoration to the end of your string you’ll need some sort of paper and adhesive. I used a round die punch to cut my paper, and some Mod Podge for glue.

Trace your squares on the center of two coffee filters and cut them out

Line up your paper squares and sew around the edges as follows. I used a 1/8″ seam allowance.

Next, pop your bag open by creating a crease in the bottom. Use a small spoon to fill the bag about half full with loose tea. You could use more or less, depending on how strong you like your tea.

Mmmmm Blueberry Bliss.

Next, sew along the top of the bag from one edge to the other. Trim the thread on one side but leave it long on the other. Affix your little decoration to the end of the string. I sandwiched my string between two circles so that it’s hidden. Like my matroyshka stamp? :)

You’re done! Make a bunch of tea bags for yourself. Package a handful as a cute gift for someone. Put the used ones in your mulch pile. Throw one at the ceiling and see if it sticks.

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Little Pink Chair

by Kate on June 1, 2012

This tiny vintage treasure was desperate for a facelift. I spotted it at a local antiques shop, dusty and overlooked in the corner with the spider webs. It had some rough bits, a loose rung and chipped paint but was otherwise very sturdy. Here is a side-by-side of before and after:

She was a little rough around the edges.

Stella and I went to work on this little orphan chair. We got paint, sandpaper and brushes at Ace Hardware. Stella picked the color and what a surprise she chose pink. Italiano Rose, to be more specific. My job was sanding and smoothing the old paint and scraggly parts.

I poured some paint on a paper plate and handed Stella the brush. She attacked the chair with gusto and painted herself thoroughly. Oh, and she was buck naked. It’s the only way to do a good job. Truth.

Isn’t she pretty in pink? We shall call her Molly.

A little paint can make a big difference.

Love doing projects like this with my Pickle. She is my DIY wingman :-)

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Stella’s Lunch

by Kate on May 31, 2012

{ blue rice fish bowl + fruit salad + broccoli & edamame + nuggets + fruity food containers from Bonton Paris + bev served in a tiny Weck jar }

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