Friday, April 29, 2011

Two cities in 7 days.


What a week!  After Easter I decided to stay in Seattle with my sister and her husband.  Their tiny apartment in just one block from the Pike Place Market in Seattle.  I can't wait to show you some pictures of our adventures next week!

On Wednesday we took the train to Portland.  We met my husband, Mom and kids at the station.  We all surprised my Dad at a business banquet.  We had to keep it under wraps because he was winning an award.  So fun!

I'm still walking around Portland with my family, but I wanted to wish you a happy weekend!

p.s.  Remember that contest I entered?  I'm a finalist!  Hop over to Urban Scarlet and take a peek and leave a comment.

*photo by Randi Edwards for Swoon

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hand-dyed Invites


Have you met my fabulous sister Melissa?  If you have, you know that her and her husband, Ross, are moving to South Korea in June.  She is going to be an English teacher there (let's keep ignoring the fact that my little nuclear family will be spread all around the world very soon...).  We're having a little get together soon to send them off.

Remember the dip-dyed cards I made a while back?  I made these colorful invites using the same technique.



Color is everywhere this year.  Have you found yourself adding more to your life?

*Photo of Melissa courtesy of Ross James

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Little Flower School.


Lately I've been thinking a lot about flowers and plants: arranging them, growing them, admiring them.  I think my thumb is still somewhere between black and green, but my interest is growing.  I am fascinated by which flowers go together and how to make them look their best.

While browsing I stumbled upon The Little Flower School I immediately put it on my list of "things to do in New York" (this is also on my list).  Nicolette Owen  (of Nicolette Camille) and Sarah Ryhanen (of Saipua) have teamed up to offer one of a kind classes all about flowers.



Don't these photos just make you want to sign up?  Anyone in Washington state want to start something like this soon?

*All photos courtesy of Little Flower School

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pasta Al Pomodoro.


I've found it!  I super simple recipe for tomato sauce with great flavor. 

The current issue of Bon Appetit is all about Italy, so naturally I was all over it.  This dish was featured on the cover, but I pretty much wanted to cook (ok, honestly, eat) everything that was shown in the whole issue.  If that's your kind of thing, go snatch up a copy for yourself!

Do you want to make this dish yourself?  Here is the recipe (taken from page 142):

Heat 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a 12" skillet over medium-low heat.  Add 1 minced medium onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 12 minutes.  Add 4 minced garlic cloves and cook, stirring, for 2-4 minutes.  Add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes; cook for 1 minute more.  Increase heat to medium, add one 28-oz can peeled tomatoes, pureed in a food processor, and season lightly with kosher salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes.  Remove pan from heat, stir in 3 large fresh basil sprigs, and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a 5-qt pot.  Season with salt; add 12 oz bucatini or spaghetti and cook, stirring occasionally, until about 2 minutes before tender.  Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

Discard basil and heat skillet over high heat.  Stir in reserved pasta water to loosen sauce; bring to a boil.  Add pasta and cook, stirring, until sauce coats pasta and pasta is al dente, about 2 minutes.  Remove pan from heat; add 2 Tbsp. cubed unsalted butter and 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan or Pecorino; toss until cheese melts.  Transfer to warm bowls; serve with more cheese, if desired.


*All photos by me

Monday, April 25, 2011

You spin me right round (baby right round)


Are you smiling yet?  Be nice to us Monday.

Photo One
Photo Two
Photo Three-source unknown (found via Pinterest)
Photo Four.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Happy Easter


Ready or not, here comes Easter.  We're heading to Seattle to celebrate with some family and maybe do a little shopping.  I went simple this year and just got the girls each a little book (pictured above).  I have a feeling they'll be getting  plenty of candy this weekend from other sources!

While I'm busy driving west, here are some links for your Easter weekend:

Cardboard, all dressed up
More than a bunny: The Easter story according to Twitter
Say yes to books
When did Toms get so tiny?  
Ruffles + cake = magic 
Hands down, favorite wedding of the week: s'mores!
I'm heading to Anthropologie soon to try this on. ps-check out the main page of the site-I love the styling of the shoot!
What I wish I was eating instead of hard-boiled eggs.
Free shipping at JCrew!  I'll take one of these these,  and how about these (yeah right).

I hope your weekend is fabulous!  Did I mention my youngest is finally walking?  Lots of added fun to our Easter :)

PS- The winner of the "100" giveaway is:

 Please contact me @ swoonpaper@gmail.com to claim your prize.  Thank you for entering and for all of your sweet comments, they made my day!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

An accidental party.

Oops.  I had another party.  I invited some friends over to dye Easter eggs and I promised myself I wouldn't go overboard.  Then I realized there would be 10 kids in all, which definitely warranted a little trip to Target, to buy some snacks.  Have you seen how cute the Easter stuff is at Target this year?


We found these cute little cupcake liners first...


Then my daughter spotted this cute little egg stand (just what you've always needed?)...


Kids have to drink, right?


This old thing just happened to be lying around.  It was begging to be hung...



It was a little hard to snap pictures in the midst of pure pandemonium, but I did my best. I think it officially became a real party when the kids were jumping around mosh pit style, chanting, "party, party....".

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A festive doily garland.

I, my dears, have entered a contest.  The whole idea behind the contest is to come up with a DIY party idea on a budget.

Truth be told, this garland was already on my list of things to make for another project, but why not put it in a contest too?  You can see all the details of the contest here.  Fingers crossed!

Anyway, contest or not, I would love to share this project with you:


 Materials:

A variety of crocheted doilies (I found some great vintage ones for about 1.50-2.00 each)
Jute twine
Fabric stiffener (I used a bottle and a half for four large and two small doilies)
Nylon fishing line
Lobster clasps (found in jewelry section)
Waxed paper
Sponge applicator
Small bowl
Scissors


Step One:

Lay down some waxed paper on a hard surface and place a doily on top.  Pour some of your fabric stiffener in a small bowl.  Using your sponge applicator, brush stiffener on to the doily until it is saturated (follow directions on back of bottle).  It might take a lot!  Lay down some more waxed paper and move wet doily on to it to dry.  Repeat process with all doilies.  Allow to dry until completely stiff.





Step Two:

Once all of your doilies are dry, lay them out to decide how you want them to hang.  I chose a high, low pattern. 

Step Three:

Cut a piece of fishing line according to how low you want your doily to hang, leaving extra on each end for tying.  Tie one end to top of doily and double knot.  Tie the other end to a lobster clasp and double knot as well.  Continue with each doily.  String some jute twine up and fasten each lobster clasp to it until the desired arrangement is achieved.

 
I think this would look great over a table at a party or hung outdoors at a rustic wedding.  

 Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Hello 100

Today is my 100th post!  Can you believe it?  I am amazed by this thing we call blogging.  It's added a new dimension to my life and makes me notice the things around me a bit more.  It's kind of like being an investigative reporter and a magazine editor all in one!

In honor of the big 100, I would like to share a little something with you.  Today's giveaway is the biggest one I've done yet!  There's a little bit of everything.  Want to see?



The winner will receive:

Some of my favorite craft store finds: Tall white candles (12), blank kraft cards and envelopes (5), blank white tags in three sizes, doily tags, ribbon from the Martha Stewart collection (3), and some cute bunting embellishments (2).

$10 at my favorite place for a treat: Starbucks, of course!

Made by me: 4 Golden birdcage cards (with glassine envelopes), 12 kraft & lace cupcake toppers in a handmade bag.

And if that weren't enough, the winner will also receive:


A "spring in a can" kit from the very lovely Danyelle from Dandee designs (find her blog here)


And last, but not least, my favorite wall decal from Shanna Murray.  I think it would look so sweet in a baby or child's room, or even as a reminder on your mirror.

Crazy giveaway, right?  I just want you to know how much I appreciate you and this community I have found.

You have until Friday to enter by commenting on this post.  The winner will be chosen by Random.org and announced Friday morning!

Thanks again for being so lovely.  Have at it!

The winner of the giveaway is:
 Thanks for playing and for your sweet comments!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Swan & Shears


I ran across the delightful etsy shop swan and shears the other day and I'm already scheming of ways to use their items.  The shop has a French feel to it and carries some very unique finds-both new and old.

It would be so much fun to send guests home with treats in those vintage candy boxes, wouldn't it?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Happy Friday


This week has been long and busy.  Needless to say, I'm glad the weekend is here.

I'm feeling the need to just relax and be playful with my kids for a couple of days. Tomorrow I plan on reading lots of books (of the kid sort), making wooden bead necklaces and playing hide and seek.  There will be plenty of walks and spontaneous bubble blowing.

Who knows?  Maybe we will even make this cake:


Or maybe just some of this chocolate hazelnut spread:


I hope your weekend is all kinds of wonderful.  I'll be back next week refreshed and ready to go!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Easter Garland (plus free download)

I've never been one to decorate for every holiday.  Don't get me wrong, I celebrate them all, and usually end up buying my kids some kind of gift too.  I don't know what it is this year, but I felt like our house could use a little bit of Easter cheer.


Could your house use some as well? 

You can download the banner here: Easter garland. 

Hang it with clothespins like I did or punch two holes in the top of each card and string some pretty ribbon through. 

Happy Easter to you!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

It all started with a pin...




I came across these adorable vintage rompers last week via Pinterest and couldn't get them out of my mind!  I finally followed the link and discovered Elizabeth Antonia's sweet (and affordable!) shop, The Littlest.  She sells gently used vintage clothing of the little kind.  She herself is super sweet and also a fellow blogger. Find her here.

These little cuties should be arriving any day.  I can't wait to show you how they fit into my next project!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Calming hues meet fresh white.


From top: Image one, Image two, Image three (original source unknown),  Image four.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Made at home: Ice cream sandwiches


I ran across this amazing photo via Pinterest a while back and have been wishing we had an awesome Coolhaus truck in our town!

Nope, all we have here is an ice cream truck with Dora painted on the side.  Yes Dora.  You can't tell your kids no when they see it.  Evil.

Anyway,  yesterday I ran to the store and picked up some smaller sized chocolate chip cookies from the bakery, and strawberry and vanilla ice cream (FIVE is the best!).  I figured we deserved a little treat since we kinda worked up a sweat in the backyard.



 
What do you think? Definitely scaled back quite a bit.  Just slop some ice cream between two cookies and there you have it.  We wrapped ours in wax paper and put them back in the freezer for a couple of minutes so the cookies would be nice and cold too.  Yum!

P.S. The winner of Thursday's giveaway is Tara!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Twenty Seven.



This is what I woke up to on my birthday. 

Well, actually it was more like a 3 year old 2 inches from my face saying, "I have to go potty." And no balloons.

BUT, I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Any of it.  I am blessed in so many ways.

I hope your weekend is the very best!

Don't forget to enter the birthday giveaway.  See you Monday!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dip-dyeing + Giveaway



Recently, I decided to try my hand at a little dip-dyeing.  I'm happy to report it was super easy.  Want to know how?

Supplies:  Bucket, RIT dye of your choice, absorbent paper (I used watercolor), clothesline/pins.

Step One: Pour hot tap water in your bucket (at least 6 inches) and add a little bit of dye (I used about half of a "fuchsia" powder dye packet) and stir.  Let cool slightly.


Step Two: Holding paper as straight as possible, dip in dye to desired line.  Leave in until you are satisfied with the color.  If you aren't, you can dip it right back in.

To achieve the ombre look I did, hold the first dip for the longest amount of time, then move the paper down into the dye slightly and hold for a little less time.  Continue the process until you have the look you want (I did four. The first dip was 1 min, the second line was 45 sec, 30 sec, 15 sec, 5 sec).

Step Three:  Gently hang your paper using a clothespin to dry.  You might want to put an old towel underneath as the paper will drip a little as it dries.



Tomorrow is my birthday, and I've been trying to come up with a little something to give away over here.  I'm so grateful for the new things in my life this past year, including this blog, and including you.

I decided I would give away a set of four dip-dyed cards with envelopes.  All you have to do is comment on this post between now and Monday.  Random.org will choose a winner on Monday.



The original tutorial I followed can be found here.