December 5th, 2013
To be honest, the whole reason I designed the “you’re getting sleepy” stamp was because I wanted to stamp it all over my new sketchbook cover. I got a white ink pad, tested the stamp on the back cover of my old sketchbook, and grabbed my can of spray shellac to seal the ink and keep it from smearing. I thought of everything. Everything except the fact that my new sketchbook cover has a faux leather texture all over it. The bumpy texture made it impossible to stamp a clean impression, so instead of concentric squares of solid lines I ended up with dashed lines. It kinda wrecks the hypnotic effect I was going for, but I think it still looks moderately cool. I’ll have to hurry and fill this sketchbook so I can get a new smooth-covered one and try again!
I decorated my last sketchbook cover with washi tape. See?
December 3rd, 2013
My sister brought me a beautiful bouquet on Thanksgiving. (Thanks Michelle!) The lilies have been springing open one by one and begging to be sketched, photographed, or something. I wanted to paint them, but that would usually take me hours, and things have been so hectic around here lately I couldn’t find the time. Today I decided to set a timer and paint my flowers for 30 minutes. Whatever I had after 30 minutes, good or bad, I was going to stop working on it.
I started painting at my usual slow and careful speed, but I glanced at the timer and saw I only had 15 minutes left! I panicked a little and started slapping paint down quickly and not worrying about mixing the perfect colors or even capturing the details. Once my panic subsided I realized the 30 minute limitation was actually kind of freeing. If my painting turned out terribly it wasn’t my fault—I only had 30 minutes after all!
In the end I’m pretty happy with my 30 minute painting. It has a sloppiness that I don’t usually allow myself, and it felt great to work a bit looser and not worry about the end result. I think I might make 30 minute paintings a regular thing. You guys should try it!
November 28th, 2013
Today I made my first Thanksgiving feast! Everything turned out great, and my turkey finished roasting right on time. I have a whole new appreciation for the hard work my mom put into preparing our Thanksgiving dinners for the past 30 years. Thanks Mom!
It would have been great to photograph the feast making process and turn it into a blog post, but getting everything cooked and ready to eat at the same was quite a feat in and of itself. Instead, I did a little sketch of my first thanksgiving meal. We ate off my slowly growing collection of mix and matched dinner plates. I think they make everything taste better. I’m adding the turkey, pumpkin cheesecake, and caramel sauce recipes to my list of keepers!
Don’t forget about Wit & Whistle during the shopping madness this weekend! Now through the end of the day Monday use the coupon code YAYSHOPPING to take 15% of everything in the shop! That includes holiday cards, tea towels, pillows, notebooks, stamps—everything!
November 26th, 2013
I just added eight new rubber stamp designs to the shop for your stamping pleasure! I’m really loving these, and I hope you do too. They’re just the right size to stuff into a stocking, don’t you think? I’m discontinuing a handful of old stamps to make room for the new. The discontinued stamps are on sale now, so don’t forget to check those out before they’re gone!
Quick side note, the Rock & Shop Market is this Saturday (November 30) in Durham. I’ll be there selling my wares alongside over 75 other amazing artisans and makers. Last time it was awesome, and I could hardly keep myself from buying everything in sight. It will be perfect for doing some holiday shopping. I hope to see some of you there! Okay, side note over. On to the stamps!
vintage email stamp: because you’re awesome and you still write letters the old fashioned way
seal of approval stamp: for approving things of course (I plan to use it in my cookbooks to mark recipes that I’ve tried and liked.)
handmade stamp: for bragging that you made something by hand
thank you stamp: for expressing your appreciation in a pretty, hand-lettered way
par escargot stamp: to fancy up your outgoing mail
you’re getting sleepy stamp: for pattern-izing absolutely everything
thumbs up (or thumbs down) stamp: for thumbs-ing things up or down (I have an inexplicable urge to stamp this on people’s foreheads.)
better than an email stamp: for stating the obvious when you write someone a letter
Make sure you’ve signed up for the Wit & Whistle newsletter in the sidebar so you don’t miss out on any Black Friday deals! (wink wink)
November 21st, 2013
Pomegranates are my favorite fruit. No contest. I love this time of year when there are heaps of them in the grocery store. I take my time sorting through and finding the biggest, reddest, most perfect looking poms to bring home. Four years ago I wrote a blog post showing how to eat a pomegranate. My method was a slow and tedious, but it worked better than the many others I had tried. Well, thanks to YouTube I just discovered a far superior pomegranate eating method. I’ve been eating them wrong all these years! It’s so quick and easy I can’t believe it. The whole fruit just springs open like, “Hey, eat me!”
1. Cut a small scoop out of the top of the pomegranate around the nubbin at the top. Don’t cut too deeply, because you don’t want to hit any of the seeds.
2. Cut a slice of pomegranate skin from the base of the fruit.
3. Look at the pomegranate from above, and notice that it is not perfectly round. There are ridges that bulge out every so often. Use your knife to lightly score down the center of each of those ridges from top to bottom. Don’t cut deep enough to hit the seeds inside.
4. Place your thumbs in opposites sides of the dip cut in the top of the fruit and gently pull. (not pictured: my other thumb)
5. With almost no effort the pomegranate will fall open with all the seeds intact. I’m pretty sure it’s magic.
6. Sink your teeth directly into the seeds. I like to pretend I’m eating rubies. Nom nom nom. (Eat the kernels whole, don’t spit the seeds out. They are easy to chew, and doesn’t everyone need more fiber in their diet?)
Have you seen this trick before? If so, why didn’t you tell me about it?! ;)