May 22, 2013
By thesweetbeast in Roundup, Trends, Want
You’ve probably heard all about JC Penney‘s image overhaul, complete with store renovations and a new business model. They’re shooting for a younger audience, enticing us with brands and designers we recognize and care about. They’re even going by a new, hipper name: JCP. The new stores feel more open, boutique-y and fresh. I had heard about all this and thought it was smart, but none of it drove me to visit a JCP store.
And then I read Maxwell Tielman’s post for Design*Sponge about Terence Conran for JC Penney. It blew my mind. It’s like they’re Target or something, in a good way. I immediately clicked through and found not only Design by Conran, but Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler and Michael Graves Design. There are a lot of solidly cute pieces, some more affordable than others.
Take a look. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
1. Bleecker Sofa | 2. Bookshelf Clock | 3. Katie Small Canister | 4. Lola Medium Canister | 5. Lucina Table Lamp | 6. Skipper Stool | 7. Elizabeth Square Pouf | 8. Lola Owl Bookends | 9. Charlotte Fabric Picture Frame | 10. Turquoise and Gold Picture Frame | 11. Celadon Candle Holder | 12. Celadon Footed Vase
Tags: Happy Chic, JC Penney, JCP, Jonathan Adler, Micael Graves, Terence Conran
March 27, 2013
By thesweetbeast in DIY, Furniture, I have an opinion
I did it! I finally did it! I bought this chair over a year ago for only $25 with big dreams of dressing it with beautiful, gray wool cushions. After washing the cushion covers and replacing the foam, we lived with the orange, holey and corduroy cushions for over a year. I frowned every time I looked at them but I couldn’t bring myself to spend $40-100/yd for my dream fabric. And then my patience and frugal fortitude paid off when, at long last, I found the perfect black and white slub fabric at a surplus fabric outlet for $4.75/yd. I saved more cash by reusing the old zippers and quickly whipped up new cushions over the weekend. Hooray! It looks seriously handsome.
Wood frame, two cushion lounge chairs are a mid-century furniture staple. They’re fairly easy to come by, even easier to reupholster and certainly worth a little extra effort to restore. If you find one, here are a few things to check before you buy:
- Test the frame for sturdiness. If it wobbles, it probably needs to be re-glued and that’s more work than most of us are ready for.
- Is the wood and finish in good shape? Are there any major blemishes or scratches?
- Remove the cushions (if there are any) and check the seat supports. Worn out jute or sagging rubber straps can be replaced. Rubber straps with metal clip-ends are a cinch to replace but you’ll spend around $50 for 3 straps. If you’re up for it, I recommend Fagas Straps by Evans Inc.
It’s pretty much a given with chairs like this that you’ll need to replace the foam and upholstery. If you know how to sew a zipper, you can make a box cushion. And if you’re extra fancy, you can add piping. Design*Sponge has a great box cushion how-to. The key to buying any piece of vintage furniture is knowing what you can and can’t fix and how much time and money you’re willing to invest. Be honest with yourself and you’ll be rewarded with furniture you’ll love forever.
Tags: furniture, lounge chair, mid-century, reupholstery, sewing, vintage
March 18, 2013
By thesweetbeast in Veganables
I love cake. I would eat cake for every meal if my health would allow it. I like my cake vegan and simple, my ultimate favorite is yellow cake with white icing. But sometimes, to spice things up, I like yellow cake with chocolate icing. And sometimes, when I’m at my most daring, I make yellow cake with chocolate icing + booze.
My all time favorite go-to yellow cake recipe is Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Golden Vanilla Cupcake Recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. I tried a different cake recipe for the mini 6 inch round cake pictured above and it was a dry disappointment. But the icing was delicious! The recipe below is based on Alisa Fleming’s Amazing Mylk Chocolate Frosting.
Vegan Chocolate Kahlua Frosting
Makes plenty for 12 cupcakes, a 3-layer 6 inch cake, or 1 regular cake layer
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons soy or almond milk
1/4 cup Earth Balance vegan butter
3-4 tablespoons Kahlua, to taste
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa powder and powdered sugar. Add soy milk and stir a little bit, this will help keep the powder from flying everywhere. Add the remaining ingredients and mix with a hand mixer on low until well incorporated. Mix on high to make the frosting nice and fluffy.
Kahlua icing is great on cupcakes, too. And I should know because I ate ALL of them.
December 21, 2012
By thesweetbeast in DIY
For our three month wedding anniversary, we had a little Christmas get-together for our wedding party. I made a set of invitations with black and gold washi tape under a triangle tree that swings to the side to reveal all the details. These worked great as invitations but would be equally great as Christmas cards. And if you’re into making cards, you should also check out the last minute greeting cards I made last year.
I made these using supplies I had around. We have so much leftover watercolor paper from making a million paper flowers. My cards are 3 1/2 x 5 inches to fit in the extra envelopes from our response cards but it’s easy to make these any size you want.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: black and gold, brads, christmas cards, diy, how to, invitations, tutorial, washi tape
November 26, 2012
By thesweetbeast in I'm Obsessed, Veganables
I’ve caught Korean drama fever again. The worst (best?) symptom is craving Korean food. Mountains of it. I’ve been veganizing recipes like Bibimbap, Bulgogi, Kongnamul Bap and Kimchi Mandu from Korean Bapsang, a fantastic blog with a wealth of recipes.
Today for lunch, in the midst of the last few episodes of Full House, I made myself some kimchi fried rice. It’s based on a Korean Bapsang recipe, but with extra veggies, reduced oil and brown rice instead of white. Nearly any vegetables will work in this and kimchi fried rice is perfect for using up whatever leftovers you have rattling around in your fridge.
K-Drama Fried Rice
1 1/2 to 2 servings
1 cup leftover cooked short grain brown rice
1/2 cup frozen shelled edamame
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 cup or about 1/2 a head of broccoli, broken into small florets
1/4-1/2 cup kimchi, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons gochujang (korean red pepper paste)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Heat a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium low heat. Add frozen shelled edamame, cook for 1 minute.
Add chopped carrot, broccoli, kimchi and gochujang. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until kimchi darkens and gochujang has a chance to coat the veggies. Looking a bit dry? Add some kimchi juice.
Toss in rice and soy sauce, mix well. Cook until everything looks yummy and browned. Stir in sesame oil and remove from heat. Serve!
September 25, 2012
By thesweetbeast in Roundup, Trends, Want
[ aspergillus organica rust by Caroline Okun ]
This morning when I woke up and checked my email in bed (I know), there was a newsletter from Spoonflower waiting for me. If you’re not familiar, Spoonflower offers print on demand, custom fabric and an always growing catalog of fabric designed by independent artists. And now they’re doing for wallpaper what they’ve done for fabric. Plus, the new wallpaper is said to be easily removable. Yep. Sounds like the holy grail of wallpaper, PVC free, perfect for renters, students and the indecisive.
Wallpaper can add the perfect touch to a room and is usually best as an accent. Think the wall behind your bed or one amazing dining room wall. I browsed the selection and found some designs that I really love. Some are available now and some require contacting the artist. I’m curious how easy application will be — the paste is already on the paper, you just soak it in water before applying — as well as removal. I’ve got high hopes!
[ arrows scattered on navy & feathers scattered on tan by Andrea Lauren of papersparrow ]
[ plus one linen yellow & cloud lines linen by Holli Zollinger ]
Oh, and this isn’t a sponsored post or anything. I’m just genuinely excited about this and have always loved Spoonflower.
September 20, 2012
By thesweetbeast in Love, Wedding
It happened! On September 15, 2012 at the Barn at Fallingwater in Mill Run, Pennsylvania, Andy and I were married. It was beautiful and totally worth the months of work leading up to it. Seriously, it was so much work. The whole day went by so quickly I barely had time to snap pictures. Rather than travel (and spend even more money) we took a short three day honeymoon this week at home. I can’t remember the last time I felt so relaxed.
My engagement ring and wedding band are from the Marlene Harris Collection. Andy’s ring is from Ash Hilton and has two pine trees engraved on the inside.
My wedding dress was very different from what I originally imagined. After all that, I went with a long, strapless dress. Who woulda thought? I arranged my and my bridesmaids’ bouquets myself with white mums, salmon pink dahlias, dusty miller, hypericum berries and a succulent or two. Pink spray roses adorned the mothers’ corsages.
I’m really tired of crafting. We made nearly everything for the wedding and I hope it’s months before I make anything again. I don’t mean that. Together with our wedding party and friends, we made roughly 14 centerpieces comprised of an average of 12 paper flowers and 6 double tetrahedrons each with 1 gold glittered table number. Groomsmen Carlos and Jeff made 100 feet of gold glittered scallop garland. I baked 16 dozen vegan cookies and Andy punched over 2,000 three inch paper circles to make the photobooth backdrop. I made 8 boutonnieres with 3 polymer clay faceted shapes each along with gold wire, yarn, kraft paper and washi tape.
We had the best wedding party anyone could dream of. They helped with everything, cleared their schedules at a moment’s notice and spent evening and weekends helping with every crafty task. They came through for us in every way before, during and even after the wedding. I can’t imagine what it would have been like without them. And they never complained, not even once. Except for Carlos. But that’s just because he likes complaining almost as much as I do.
I can’t wait to share more pictures from the wedding and show off our gorgeous save the dates and invitations! Soon!