December 12th, 2013
I love making ornaments. Some of my fondest childhood memories are from Decembers spent inventing hideous ornaments to put on the tree. They usually involved lots of glitter, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners. Now my homemade ornaments are a bit more dignified (although my Christmas cookies aren’t). I whipped up this little snowflake from wooden beads and copper wire. I think it would look great on any tree—rustic, traditional, or modern. Although googly eyes might take it to the next level…
wooden beads in assorted sizes
16 gauge copper wire
round nose pliers (the kind you use to make jewelry)
needle nose pliers (or something else to cut the wire)
1. Uncoil the length of wire and use round nose pliers to bend one end into a small loop.
2. Thread an assortment of beads onto the wire. The more beads you add the larger your snowflake will be.
3. Use the round nose pliers to bend the wire sharply at the end of the last bead.
4. Fold the wire back on itself making sure the length is the same as the section of wire you already beaded. Pinch the loop at the top with pliers to make it as narrow as possible.
5. Thread beads onto the doubled-up wire. Use round nose pliers to open the loop at the top, which will keep the beads from sliding off.
6. Repeat steps 3–5 to create the other arms of the snowflake. Six arms looked perfect to me, but you can make more or less.
7. Use needle nosed pliers (or your desired cutting device) to snip off the excess wire leaving about an 1.5″ long tail. Tuck the tail up into the bead holes of the first snowflake arm you made (the one that has a single length of wire inside).
8. If necessary bend your snowflake arms into their proper positions. Fashion a hook from a scrap of leftover wire, and your wooden snowflake is ready to hang.
December 10th, 2013
I made some pretty scandalous sugar cookies over the weekend! If you’re gearing up to do any holiday baking this sugar cookie recipe topped with this icing is a classic combo.
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!