Friday, February 26, 2010

o! weekend! so happy you're here.

So I drank two Sam Adams Cream Stouts after work (mmmm) and made two of the little magnets from the tutorial yesterday. The Diamond glaze is a smidge too shiny for a photo, but I think they came out OK! I used some scrapbook paper cut into circles the size of a quarter, stuck them in the caps and covered in diamond glaze. I think I should have glued the papers to the bottom of the caps first (duh..) because the paper floated up when the glaze was hardening, so I learned that lesson. It takes about 24 hours to completely dry. When dry, I'll superglue two pieces of magnet tape to the back and put 'em on the fridge. Springy, vintage-y floral I think!

Here are some other Sofites made this week!
Made another Russian doll, but I think I'm gonna put these on the back burner until I learn how to use a sewing machine. They're just too difficult to do by hand and make them look nice.
Do you have big plans for the weekend? Tomorrow I'm heading to Austin! Peter lives there and Michelle is flying in for a wedding so we'll get to visit with her for a little while. Happy to see her, wish her husband Dylan could visit too! Almost the whole family!
Hope your weekends are beautiful! Will have lots of photos next week!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Tutorial Thursday!

Pure coincidence, but it's another Green one! I really like the look of these bottle cap magnets, completely customized to suit you! Open your beers carefully and save the caps to create mini works of art for your fridge. Save an Altoids tin, throw 6 in there and give to a friend! The tutorial is over here- she uses resin, but I think I'll use diamond glaze- found @ hobby/craft stores and Texas Art Supply on Montrose. I'll give it a go and let you know how they turn out!

Now go drink a 6 pack and get to makin' magnets. Even if they're terrible, they'll be cute to you after 6 beers.

Oh hay pretties!

I love Eastertime! ( "ohhh yeah blah you love all holidays... ") no srsly, i do.. because all the pastel things come out! Easter baskets, plastic eggs begging for candies to fill them, bunnies, chicks, that light green easter grass that somehow makes it way throughout your entire house...( maybe even your cats eating it...), shopping for an Easter's so good. On this beautiful Thursday (tutorial coming later today!) I wanted to share some beautiful pastel inspiration. Enjoy!


so i'm not fancy.. and i don't have an iphone... but...

...i can make neat little iphone cozies for my fancy friends! don't let it get all scratched! don't spill beer on it! it's expensive! protect your tech!

Cassette tape cozie love

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I love Russian nesting dolls. For Christmas, Ryan gave me a wonderful hand painted owl in the style of the smallest, innermost solid piece- was such a great addition to my teeny tiny but growing collection. Below are photos of nesting dolls/ collections, art, etc that caught my eye today.

If I was gutsy, (Mom, stop reading here) I'd love to get a bright, colorful tattoo of a pretty Matryoshka. Below are photos of Silje's artwork, of Little Bird Crafts, whose blog I read frequently.

This tattoo photo is her own, on her leg, and it's pretty big. I don't think I could ever pull that off, but she's a tattoo artist so she can. (Her blog is fantastic, by the way. She's so creative, a really great artist!) I have a pretty doll sitting on my shelf at work, in the most beautiful colors... pinks, reds, oranges, green, floral, lots of different patterns, bright pink cheeks. Inside, instead of smaller dolls, there’s a piece of paper, rolled up and yellowed, obviously no clue what it might say:This is my soft and squishy translation of my Matryoshka doll... I’d like to make sisters for her, get better at it.
There's a Russian/Slavic/Eastern European shop in Old Market in Omaha called Red Square. I go into this shop almost every trip, look at the nesting dolls (so expensive..) attempt conversation in my feeble Czech with the shopkeeper, but usually leave empty handed. I think next visit, I'll take one home.

The first Russian nested doll set was carved in 1890 by Vasily Zvyozdochkin from a design by Sergey Malyutin, who was a folk crafts painter.

Its kind of hokey, but I like the imagery of the proverbial onion layers...things may appear static on the outside, but there's always more and more to discover on the inside.

[ photos: Silje Hagland, Weheartit, google images and authors own]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Springtime! Lets get Twitterpated!

Even though it hardly feels like Spring today, with the threat of "snow" (which in Houston just means it's going to be a nasty, freezing day so I hope you brought your lunch to work because you do not want to go outside..) I'm trying to will it here by doing and making Springtime things. With lows in the 30s, I think tonight will be a perfect "stay-in-and-cook" night to try my hand at ever-so-appropriate Vietnamese spring rolls, one of my favorites! Crank up the heat, put on a tank top and just pretend.
Found a great recipe for Vietnamese Spring rolls at Design Sponge!

In another attempt to persuade Spring to hustle, I made a few little birds (do you want one?). I want to make dozens and just hide them all over the house to remind myself that yes, it will be sunny and 70 again soon. I want sandals and shorts (without tights) and pink cheeks and wheat brews, and picnics and bike rides and pastel nail polish.

[damn groundhog.]
[photos: thumper-google, spring rolls- design sponge]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Nothin' like a little friendly competition!

Each month, Sew Crafty Houston does a little contest- you make something, submit a photo and they post all the photos on their facebook page. The craft with the most "likes" wins prizes and this is my first month to enter. When they post my photo, please vote for my owls (only if you like them, of course)! I'll put the link here when the photo is up.

Yay! Contest! Thanks! (@v@) that's a computer owl... yeaaaaahhhhh
Also, I have noticed.. it does happen to get better with practice. i mean... look at this guy...from like.. 4 days ago. (he looks like I just didn't care..poor thing)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New things! Tutorial Thursday!

I've decided to do some weekly posts here @ Notes from the Republic, the first being Tutorial Thursday! I'll do my best to bring you little DIYs I come across using things you may have around the house. Sometimes it will be a craft, sometimes it will be a little recipe.

Today's DIY is this great (and green!) magazine (or newspaper, craftpaper, even fabric scrap) gift bow found on How About Orange. I made one just now at work using an ad from a page from SPIN, staples, scotch tape, and a glue stick. Hurrah for office supplies! For some reason, I had a little bit of a rough time figuring out how to "twist" the paper strips...but once I got it down, making the bow was quick and easy. Hope to bring lots of good DIYs each week!

Sigh. Maybe it gets better with practice?

poor little owlie. i gave you a face, and it's not very pretty. so maybe hand sewn felt owls aren't my forte. thats ok. you were fun to "make"... i can learn other things...? maybe you can be a dog toy... wait, what's that? you want a girlfriend?.... mannnnnn.....

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Day!

Kids in Texas get Spring Break. Kids in Louisiana get Mardi Gras break. It's understood. The grown-up are off work, kids are out of school, and there's a spirit in the air... of friends, good food and celebration.

It was hard to adjust when we first moved to Texas from Thibodaux... "Why isn't anyone excited? How come no one is wearing purple, green and gold? Why do we have to go to school? It's Mardi Gras day.. grumble grumble"

By this time, we'd been eating king cake for breakfast for the past 2 weeks. The parades were so much fun, it was almost like Halloween in the spring; We wore costumes and painted our faces. People would park their cars along the parade route hours before the parade started and just camp out, eat fried chicken, walked up and down the street "visiting" with friends and neighbors. Our parents didn't worry about our safety, who we were with, where we were.. of course we were safe...we're surrounded by hundreds of our closest pals. When we were small, Dad would hoist us up on his shoulders, our arms flailing in the air so we'd have a better chance of catching beads and toys. It was just fun, and it was uniquely ours.

And this time of year, I miss it.

For more info on the history of Mardi Gras, click here.

Monday, February 15, 2010

felt madnesssss

I want to try to make more felt things, flowers are safe- it's not too hard to cut circles with pinking I think these little guys will be challenging. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of vacuuming of tiny felt scraps..bandaging of needle-pricked fingers...but who knows? They may turn out kinda cute!

But then... who knows... they may turn out like this...
It's a fine line between cute and totally creepy when making things with eyes....

[ all images: google images ]
Friday afternoon, after work, I went downtown to do a little shopping. I found parking on the corner of Clay and Main, right in front of this beautiful Methodist church. As I was walking down Main, the noon bells started, I think they played music for a good 5 minutes. It was so pretty. Sometimes I wish I worked downtown so I could walk around at lunch and discovery little Houston secrets, like lunchtime serenades from old churches. This year marks the 100th anniversary of this First Methodist church, the first service held on December 18th, 1910. Video: Lunch time bells:


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