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April 16, 2014

in a lot of ways it may seem like i saved lola from a harsh, short life as an outdoor cat in rural minnesota  when i picked her up from the farm where she was born. after eight years, though, i'm certain i was the one saved that day.

happy eighth birthday, sweet sassypants.


April 15, 2014

april is a big wallop of celebrations around here. first, lola's birthday is on the 16th (i celebrate my cat's birthday, it's true), my birthday is two days after that on the 18th and two days after that is my wedding anniversary. in the spirit of celebration, i made a playlist which i'm considering the virtual equivalent of offering you a baked good (definitely not one i made, though). 

april, man. gonna kiss it on the mouth i love it so! let the jubilee commence.

listen right here or on spotify:


April 14, 2014

lisa hackworth of hackworth design house makes wall hangings she calls, "tasseltries." when i saw them on instragram for the first time i fell in love deeply and with great enthusiasm. by the time i finally made myself go to her website to buy one, they were sold out. so, i did the next best thing and made one myself. because i am a problem solver, is why.

here's what i used and how i did it:
i bought one yard of linen fabric, a 1/4 inch dowel and two packs of .5mm bead cord (i wouldn't recommend this stuff.)

+ cut dowel to 24''
+ fold the fabric in half horizontally and cut 1'' pieces (approximately 13 of strips)
+ take two pieces, fold in half and cut to create four; set one piece aside
+ gather remaining three so they are roughly equal in length and tie bead cord approx. 1'' from the top
+ take fourth strip and tie around the neck, concealing the bead cord
+ start from the left and tie tassel onto dowel approx. four inches down
+ repeat steps two through five, moving each tassel down by an inch or so until you've reached the middle of the dowel
+ continue adding tassels but move them one inch in the opposite direction to create "v" shape

the cliffs notes version: make a bunch of tassels and tie them to a dowel in a "v" shape; wing it, mostly.

i attached each tassel to the dowel by wrapping the end of the bead cord around one time and securing it on the back side with a little hot glue. i wouldn't use bead cord again because the stretch of it made it difficult to create really secure knots (i added a little hot glue to the backs of each tassel to keep each knot in place.) i would use fishing line or sew directly through the tops of each tassel like lisa's.

ta-da! diy-ing! it's pretty rad.


April 7, 2014

1. decide you're going to make blackberry and meyer lemon cheesecake bars for your significant other to take to work in a moment of regressive gender essentialism/pure insanity.

2. go to whole foods and buy $79 worth of ingredients because a.) the cobwebs in your pantry just sort of moan and roll their eyes at you when you go looking for actual food in there and, b.) emotional manipulation in the work place isn't as effective if it isn't organic.

3. drive home feeling smug about the baking endeavors about to commence; believe for a fleeting moment that you might find some small pleasure in it.

4. open recipe bookmarked on your computer and begin with the first step, the crust: graham crackers, butter and sugar.

5. sail through the process of crumbling graham crackers into vitamix; take a few calming breathes after nearly choking the vitamix motor with cookie particles. question if a vitamix is a poor substitute for the food processor suggested in the recipe.

6. ponder the reason melting butter in a small stainless sauce pan feels so "chefy."

7. mix all three crust ingredients together, smash them into a buttered glass pan and feel wholly self-congratulatory for making crust from scratch. 

8. begin blackberry puree by adding blackberries, sugar and water into another small sauce pan and decide it too feels "chefy." realize the mere act of being in the kitchen doing anything that is at all like preparing food is probably the real reason you feel that way.

9.  pull graham cracker crust from the oven at just the right degree of golden brownness. again, feel enormously self-congratulatory.

10. let blackberry puree come to a boil, strain and decide it seems too thin but forge ahead anyway. reassure yourself the cloud of doom slowly circling around you is natural and it will probably be fine in the end.

11. read the rest of the recipe and note you do not have a square pan or a large baking pan in which to bake the cheesecake after you've added the  puree and "swirled" it into fancy, baker-like patterns.

12. feel complete befuddlement that cheesecake needs two pans to bake. wtf, cheesecake.

13. stare into space for a second and ask yourself what any contestant on top chef would do in this situation.

14. realize you do not have a fraction of the experience or knowledge any contestant on top chef has (even the contestants that go home after the first episode of a season).

15. say, "eff it" and continue despite being down necessary accessories because you're a scrappy, improvisational sort of person anyway. ask your cat what the proper definition for a pan is because 'accessory' seems wrong.

16. conclude your cat also lacks the experience of top chef contestants.

17. add cream cheese to vitamix to begin cheesecake batter; nearly choke the motor a second time. conclude with unflinching certainty that a vitamix is not a substitute for a food processor, hand mixer or a stand mixer.

18. turn vitamix off and eyeball its contents with enough hot rage it nearly implodes and vanishes instantly into an alternate universe.

19. take $11 worth of organic cream cheese and chisel it off the sides of your vitamix with scalding water so that it begins to smell like fermented toe jam and speckles your sink with hot chunky globs.

20. drive yourself to the grocery a few blocks from your apartment and buy cookies from the bakery because it's what you should have done all along.


April 4, 2014

the thing about my long haired cat is that her coat takes a little maintenance. on occasion lola gets little mats of hair that need to be brushed or (if they're really tangled) cut out. the knots she gets in her mane are always the stinkers i end up cutting out because they seem to spring forth over night into the tightest, most stubborn balls of hair you've ever met in yer life.

yesterday, she was laying in a nest of blankets on the couch when i sat down next to her to pet her good morning and generally convince myself she does love me. i was running my hands around her ears when i felt a knot. i grabbed the mini scissors designated for her grooming purposes and proceeded to cut it out. except she had her head cocked at a funny angle and i was so focused on the delicate work of removing the knot that i didn't notice the majority of her whiskers were between the scissor blades.

i think her facial expression says it all.


March 28, 2014

a few days ago west elm left a comment on my instagram feed asking if they could use one of my pictures featuring the nylon light cord on their "website, catalog and emails." um...yeah ya can, west elm! it was posted to their share your style section yesterday and good golly, that silly little photo made me happy. even after i realized that users can upload their own photos to this section (which did make it seem less important for a minute because, listen. i want to feel like a special little social media snowflake sometimes too.)

if it makes it into their catalog you can bet your sweet bottom i'm framing it.


March 26, 2014

the last time i posted an instagram recap was a few days before i started demolishing my kitchen. today, it's been done for a week and some change. i have to say, now that it's over - my apartment put back together and cleaned deeply and in a spring-like fashion - it all feels slightly anticlimactic? my kitchen was appalling on many levels and with nothing but sheer determination and a modest ability to find my way around a can of paint i made it not that way. there's gotta be a metaphor for life in there somewhere.

follow along on my instagram account if it tickles yer pickle.

ps - i finally got around to figuring out how to add the "pin it" button to each individual photo and that is just terribly thrilling in a number of ways. i did it! it's the little victories sometimes.

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