Home and crafty book giveaway!

Free! Anybody want any of these? Trying to pare down so the house will be easier to stage.

Not shown: Amy Butler’s In Stitches, which I think has all the patterns in it.

If I know you, I’ll be happy to deliver or ship (my treat).
If I don’t know you, the books are still free, but I’ll need you to PayPal me for shipping.
Coming soon: cookbooks!

I did a thing! Toddler art gallery

For months and months, I’ve been looking for a way to display artwork at the boys’ eye-level.

Unfortunately, “eye-level” means it would also be within their arms’ reach. Which means anything left unattended would very shortly end up in their mouths and on the floor. Likely in many sharp little pieces.

No deal. The Van Goghs and Rembrandts and Monets would have to wait.

But wait!

Serendipitously, I got lost in Target, one day scanning aisle after aisle for trash cans. (How can you hide a bunch of trash cans? They’re as big as…well.)

In my search, I found this nifty little undermarketed artwork holder that showed promise.

I forgot to take a picture of the package and Target's own website doesn't who it. Found this one on ebay.
I forgot to take a picture of the package. Found this one on ebay.

No glass, no hard plastic even, and it’d be easy to switch out images every so often, without having to take it off the wall. And only $10!

Did I mention “undermarketed”? Check out Target’s own web presence:

Nothing says “celebrating the colorful creativity of childhood” like this paen to bleakest minimalism.

I promptly bought it, brought it home, and lost it for 2 months.

Getting warmer

The recent playroom expansion gave us more wall space and the perfect excuse to find and install the artwork holder.

For the first fill, I found a cat calendar at Goodwill for $1, and a puppy one at Target’s dollar spot for $3ish. Cut some of the cutest down to fit the pockets and hung the whole thing up with some Command poster strips. Et voila!

Hoity, meet toity.


But what did the critics think?

Felix approved of the way the display validated photography’s long-acknowledged power to mirror both the face of the world and of the most important things in the world: dogs.


Emerson noted that the gallery was by turns euphoric and despairing, prey to utopian optimism or deep spiritual disarray, depending on whether you were a dog person or a cat person.

And finally, here’s an overly-long video of them worshiping at the quadruped shrine.

Verdict: I did a thing!

Have you done anything lately? Tell us about it!

Some things I bookmarked this week #3

  • 27 Gluten-Free Recipe Substitutions | Greatist – This list included several subs I haven’t considered before. Onward!
  • New Taste Journal – Lots of whole foods dish ideas.
  • Walnut-Raisin Baked Apples – Love the idea of mixing a bit of orange marmalade into the filling.
  • Cabbage and Raisin Slaw – I am always looking for good slaw recipes. We’re big cabbage eaters.
  • Creamy Potato Salad – Very much like my friend’s a-may-zing potato salad recipe, which she printed out for me and I lost and am too embarrassed to re-request. I do remember that you’d want to double this recipe for a potluck-sized bowl. omit the dairy products. and add 1/2t of celery seed and a handful of chopped parsley.
  • Spicy Parmesan Green Beans and Kale – I’m thinking this bad boy’s going to make an appearance at our Thanksgiving table: one pan as written for the dairy eaters, and maybe one pan, with sourdough breadcrumbs instead of parmesan, for the non-dairy folks?
  • Orange Kissed Almond Cookies (Gluten and Dairy Free) – I always want to buy the almond paste when it goes on sale after the holidays, but I don’t have a good reason to…until now!
  • Brussels Sprouts with Pecans – This recipe introduced me the possibility of slicing and sautéing brussels sprouts, instead of just steaming them. The extra slicing gives them the loveliest frilly texture. It takes longer to prepare but is totally worth it when you have good fresh sprouts.
  • Eggnog Mousse
  • Baby Cardigan Onesie Tutorial – I want to make some for our friends’ with the baby, but I’m having the damnedest time finding onesies that are cheap, long-sleeved, not pink, not zippered, and don’t have a giant applique across 3/4 of the front.
  • Magic Cupboard | Helen Musselwhite – I want to make one of these and change it every season BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE ENOUGH PROJECTS.

To whit: a picture of my dining room craftermath taken the weekend before Halloween, annotated with (most of) the visible projects and the “Percent Complete” indicated in parentheses.


Not labeled: salt shaker, because we used to eat here.

The rest of my favorite links are here.

Pumpkin Carving? More like getting stabbed in the heart.


I haven’t slowed down long enough to post about it, but we enjoyed the annual SuperPals pumpkin carving party on the 20th! Along with delicious barbecue and great company, we all carved pumpkins on the front porch as the sun went down. I forgot to take a picture of the deviled eggs I brought, but they were a version of these.

Source: foodista.com via EJ on Pinterest


The real pumpkins didn’t turn out too badly, either:

Despite a dry and mild weather week, these pumpkins didn’t even last a week. Here they are Thursday after, what, 6 days?

I’m giving up on the intricate details. Next year I’ll just carve the outline of an icecap, so at least when it sinks in, it’ll look like it’s SUPPOSED to be melting.

I made something I Pinned! (again)

This is becoming a habit.

Last night, I made a scarf like one I had seen on Pinterest. I’m almost done knitting my neckwarmer, but it’s turning out uglier than I wanted due to the cheap yarn, and I needed something to wear in the meantime.

The inspiration: a lovely flannel scarf from Make It and Love It:


Cute, no? I didn’t have any scrap flannel lying around, so on our last trip to Goodwill, I picked out a man’s extra large flannel pajama top that I thought might work.

I think it worked.


I’m mad for plaid. I even left the pocket on. It falls nice and high, and it can hold my phone when I walk the poodle!

Thanks to MI&LI’s great tutorial, the whole project took less than an hour.

I made something I Pinned!

The Inspiration:


from realsimple.com

My Masterpiece:


It’s hanging just inside the kitchen door, on the long formerly-blank wall. And yes, I’m looking for new oven mitts. I can’t even remember how long I’ve had these cheapy terry cloth ones. They’re functional, but way grungy. And I want green.

If you look closely, you can see where I even worked in a (hastily framed) version of the Inspiration. If you’ll do your own version and put a picture of mine on it, for infinite kitchen shelves, I will explode with happiness.

Bonus fun: I got the $15 shelf essentially for free! KK and I ended up at a new Goodwill’s grand opening weekend, and while I was trying to talk myself into a smaller, cheaper, uglier shelf, I won the hourly drawing for a $25 gift card. Cha-ching!

The goodwill shelf didn’t have any hook-like apparati, so I bought four extras of the knobs we’re using on the cabinets. Easy-peasy coordination! And, since it’s hung just above eye level, I don’t have to worry about losing an eye on a hook if I come around the corner too fast. Because I worry.