On the moon we had gold spoons.

adventures in quietude

DIY Glitter Flats

I was walking through Nordstrom’s the other day with three things on my mind. One, I hate department stores. Two, I love shoes. Three, I am cheap. And then I saw these.

And suddenly, all other thoughts were eclipsed. The only thought I had any room for was: I LOVE GLITTER. I don’t know, maybe I am a magpie or something. Too bad they are $60 and I’m unemployed, right? WRONG. The internet, as always, came to my rescue. A few months ago I saw this blog post/tutorial, filed it somewhere in my mental catalog as a Very Awesome Thing, and forgot about it until Steve Madden reminded me.

I took a trip to Michaels to grab some Mod Podge and glitter (It was about $20 total, and I definitely have enough of these things to use for more projects), and then to Target to pick up some plain black flats ($13 – but before you think I’m any good at saving money, I should confess that I forgot I have about four pairs of these flats that I’ve retired because they’re scuffed up, which could easily have been remedied by layers of delightful glitter; oh well), and then I started as soon as I got home!

Things that are important to remember: thin layers are your friend. Lots of very thin layers, with enough time in between for each to dry completely. Don’t do what I did, and go nuts trying to get great coverage on your first layer. They’ll look like this and you’ll be very nervous that you just made shoes that look like someone, uh, sneezed glittery phlegm all over them. Or something.

But Mod Podge dries gloriously clear, and then, about a thousand coats (I think I did four?) later, you have these. I did one extra coat with just purple glitter mixed into the Mod Podge at the end, to warm up the color, and I think that definitely did the trick.

I think mixing the glitter into the Mod Podge is pretty much the best idea in the world – I haven’t had a chance to wear these for any extended amount of time yet, but I’ve done some (nervewracking) bending tests and they seem fairly durable. And I haven’t found any stray glitter around the house, which is a good sign!

And here’s my helper/the bane of my picture-taking efforts.

So remember! When you’re bemoaning your lack of funds, turn to the vast community of genius bloggers out there, and you’ll find an answer! And if you want to make some glittery shoes of your very own, be sure to check this post out for more detailed directions.


Slippery Slippers

So named because I almost fell on my face within three minutes of putting these on. Maybe they aren’t the best match for a house full of hardwood floors.

I knit these with two strands of worsted-weight wool, and they are way too big for me. I followed the pattern exactly for about two-thirds of a slipper, then decided it looked too small and restarted with a few extra stitches to make up for my chronically tight gauge. Looks like I was too hasty. I’m hoping to shrink them a little with the help of some (very calm) hot water, but I’m a little frightened. They were a quick and easy knit, but I’ll still be mighty peeved if I manage to felt them this quickly.

The garter stitch sole on these is the best part – they are super soft and squishy to walk around in. The pattern doesn’t specify, but grafting is definitely the way to finish these off – nobody wants a seam running right along the sole of a pair of slippers, right?

On Ravelry
Pattern: Nola’s Slipper Pattern by Nola Miller
Yarn: Lion Brand Fishermen’s Wool in Oak Tweed (held double)
Needles: 10 US

Warm and toasty.

I love, love, love fingerless gloves. Whether they’re the kind with just the fingertips cut off (homeless chic?) or just tubes to keep your wrists warm (but I refuse to call them wrist warmers; maybe that’s irrational, but I detest that name), I love them. I think they look adorable peeking out from heavy coat sleeves. They’re perfect for wrapping around a cup of tea, for enjoying cool temperatures, for in-between days where you need some warmth, but can’t sacrifice dexterity. They were my saviors in college, when I found myself manning a produce stand in the middle of March, jabbing irritably at a cash register, or frantically studying for fall semester finals on the patio of the most crowded cafe on campus.

Of course, now I live in Phoenix, where summer and painfully high temperatures seem interminable, but I’ve been drawn to the simplicity of this pattern for a while. I actually ended up deviating from the pattern quite a bit, adding a fold-over ribbed cuff (inspired by this wonderful modification) and knitting it in a fingering weight yarn rather than the suggested aran (so there was some simple math and a few failed starts involved), but the basic structure is still there.

They knit up super quickly, and are, in my favorite yarn, quite soft. I can’t wait until it cools off enough for me to actually wear them for longer than three minutes at a time!

On Ravelry
Pattern: toasty by Leslie Friend
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Spiceberry Mix

Happy 4th!

1. Hey Baby, it’s the Fourth of July… 2. Untitled 3. July 4th Fireworks 4. red white and blue buttons and thread 5. red white and blue soapsicles 6. Classic Quick Berry Tart 7. red white blue 8. 7/4/09 9. Red White & Blue Bunting

Happy 4th of July to those who celebrate it, and happy Sunday to those who don’t! Past 4th of July plans for me have included a couple of very patriotic trips to Washington DC, where you sit in the heat all day, but get to see some pretty rad fireworks at the end of it, and, of course, a few barbecues. This year I’ll be eating French food, because, you know, why not? Everybody go drink a beer and eat something off a grill for me!

And, of course, to quote Dazed and Confused: “Okay guys, one more thing. This summer when you’re being inundated with all this American bicentennial Fourth Of July brouhaha, don’t forget what you’re celebrating, and that’s the fact that a bunch of slave-owning, aristocratic, white males didn’t want to pay their taxes.”

The great affair is to move.

I love the New York Times travel section. Okay, I can’t afford to take a single trip the way they tell you to, but that doesn’t mean I can’t look at the pictures, right?

Article: 36 Hours in Bogota, Colombia

Article: Henry James Walked Here

Slideshow: In New Orleans, New Life By the River

Article: The Mighty Colorado at a Glide

Article: British Columbia’s New Vine Trail

Article: Adventures in Bolivia (this is possibly my favorite NYTimes travel article of all time – it makes me want to be more adventurous)

See my problem? Six gorgeous photos of six places I want to visit (and things I want to do – I’ve obviously seen the Colorado River, but I’ve never set foot in it, and I’ve definitely never set kayak in it). And yet, I am here.

When in doubt…

…make snickerdoodles.

They’re from this recipe, which is almost identical to every other recipe I’ve used; for interested parties, it comes down on the butter side of the butter vs. shortening debate, and I can definitely get behind that. Something odd I’ve noticed about snickerdoodles – unlike most baked goods, I think they’re almost always more delicious at room temperature than fresh out of the oven. They always taste a little bit bland and disappointing when they’re still warm, but delightful and comforting a few hours later.

Friday, Saturday

Hanging up pictures of people and places I love and miss, drinking tea and eating homemade bread. I spent last night watching the 80s made-for-tv Anne of Green Gables and rekindling my long-term love for Gilbert Blythe. And I remembered that I love knitting, which is something that has sort of fallen by the wayside in my life. A decent couple of days, really.

Those white vases began life (with me) as 99ยข cast-offs from Goodwill. I threw some white spray paint on them, and voila. Brand spanking new.

The chalkboard is another really simple crafty project, this time lifted from Ikea Hacker.

Hope you guys are having a stupendous weekend!

Homemade Soda

Right now I’m really into the idea of making my own soda. I don’t really drink soda very often (occasionally I backslide into my obsession with Dr. Pepper for a week or so, and then I have to cut myself off again because it’s so terrible for me), but my weird desire to be unusually self-sufficient seems to be prevailing over my natural tastes right now. The idea of making my own soda, like something out of Little House on the Prairie (did they make soda? I’m sure sarsaparilla played some role in at least one of those books), appeals to the same part of me that loves baking my own bread, wants to brew beer at home, hates going to Safeway with a fiery passion.

As much as I want to (and I really want to), I can’t really afford to go out and buy a bunch of gorgeous heavy glass bottles with flip-tops right now, so I might have to do this in things I’ve already got around the house (or maybe I should just take a trip to Goodwill?), but I’m thinking this experiment will happen sooner rather than later. Ginger beer (I hate your misleading name), here I come! I will, of course, document my progress.

As always, photos belong to their very talented original photographers, and if you click on them they will direct you right back to their Flickr pages!

To live deliberately.

Lately I am obsessed with camping. I haven’t been in several years, so I’m really romanticizing it in my head, but come on! You get incredibly filthy, but it doesn’t matter, because everyone else is dirty too. You stay up and talk around a campfire, and eat s’mores. You wake up when the sun is just barely rising, and you drink coffee and eat simple food, and then you go play in the wilderness all day. And, you know, I can title this with a Thoreau quote and I can pretend camping is a spiritual, enlightening experience for me, or I can be real and admit that I just want to go hang out and drink beer in the woods with my friends. I never said I was classy.

All images belong to their original photographers. Image credits: 1. Untitled 2. manzanita beach. 3. Untitled 4. Beer Collage 5. Memorial Day Camping 6. Appalachian Trail – Race Mountain, MA 7. Firewood 8. Craft Beer For Sale at the Park! 9. 3 Campfirey Nights 10. home by the sea 11. Morning Fire 12. Sara and Todd~Anytime Shoot

Flagstaff or Bust

(all of these were taken by blindly pointing my cell phone at things and hoping people behind me didn't see my foolishness - unfortunately, at least a few of them did)

I took advantage of the long weekend by driving up to Flagstaff, AZ to visit my cousin Jessica. She goes to Northern Arizona University up there, and I’ve been promising to visit for, oh, months, and shamefully never following up on it. Turns out I should have gone up a lot earlier, because Flagstaff (or at least, the part of it I have now seen, which is admittedly quite small) is pretty cute. Read the rest of this entry »