Wednesday, May 30, 2012

gardens, etc.

About a week ago, I went on a Hidden Gardens Tour sponsored by the Beacon Hill Garden Club. I wanted to share some pictures I took on the tour.

It was a gorgeous day. Check out this view down Acorn Street:

Lots of great sculptures:

Bulldog! (Yalies?)

This one reminds me of my parents' black pug, Maeby:

I love this panoramic wallpaper inside one of the houses, which reflects the foliage outside. 

The tour made me want to start my own hidden garden. I saw some amazing flowers at the Beacon Hill shop Rouvalis Flowers. Since I live in a tiny apartment, perhaps I'll invest in a succulent garden.

Monday, May 28, 2012

anna cooks - dessert

My friend, Mara, invited me to a picnic in the North End. I volunteered to make a dessert after seeing an intriguing recipe for S'mores on a Stick on Pinterest. The recipe came from the site babble, and after reading the instructions (which include some wonderful pictures), I decided to give it a try.

I found these cute pinwheel toothpicks from iparty, which added some color and whimsy to the presentation. Overall, S'mores on a Stick were super easy to make and tasted delicious. I will definitely be making this again!

S'mores on a Stick - A Photo Recipe.

What you need:

What you do:

I added some heavy cream to my semi-sweet chocolate to make it extra decadent.

What you eat:


See a more detailed recipe from the babble blogger JULIEVR here

Thursday, May 24, 2012

anna knits - cosies

I am in the process of knitting a neon yellow and pink tea cosy for my Etsy store. It should be up soon!

knitting 1

In the meantime, I stumbled upon these cup cozies from The Cozy Project on Etsy. 


Seems like a great way to be more eco friendly when ordering a cup of joe. I have also been thinking about getting back into crochet for some time now. I haven't done it since high school, but making a cup cozy would be the perfect project to get back into it. 

Here is a free pattern for a mug cozy by Lauren Frank, found on Ravelry:


I also love this knitted cup cozy by Kara L. Mayfield (pattern for purchase on Ravelry):

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

anna letterpresses

Ok, so I'm officially obsessed... Here are a few more letterpress pictures thanks to my gorgeous friend, Jess!

As you can see, I am still struggling with alignment, but I have a better handle on the ink now. I want to get a new roller, as many blogs I've been reading about the Epic six suggest that for a more even distribution. 

braids, etc.

Today is a rainy day in Boston.

With 94% humidity, even my super straight hair is puffing up. In times like these I turn to the french braid. It keeps my hair out of my face and under control. I wanted to try something different so I went for what I'm calling a crown braid. I started with an inside-out sweeping french braid (you can read my post about this style here), but rather than finishing with the braid low I continued the braid as long as I could and then wrapped the end around my head. I tried to lock it down with bobby pins, and it has stayed mostly up, despite a hooded walk in the rain down Charles St. I kind of like it messy anyway!

After I finished this style, I was reminded of the half-crown braid look Claire Danes wore in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. The blog Hairdresser on Fire has a bunch of stills from the ball scene. Here are a few:

This style is more of a twist than a braid. I love the way it acts as a halo for her costume!

Monday, May 21, 2012

anna letterpresses

I spent a little time tonight playing around with my letterpress machine. Here is a notecard I created:

I am still working on getting my alignment right. I want to order a custom plate with a small alphabet, and my company name :). The blog nobiggie wrote a nice post about ordering custom plates for the Epic six. Here is the pdf she used to order her plate, as well as the plate itself:

I'd also like to create a pug icon to letterpress. I love this guy from Dirty Beard Press on Etsy. 

Do you have any ideas for images I could order on my custom plate? 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

nails, etc.

This weekend was particularly gorgeous in Boston. It was 75F and sunny all weekend long, which made it a great chance to sport new summer styles. While I've always enjoyed painting my toe nails, I've recently starting painting my finger nails as well. It is a fast and easy way to add color to an outfit.

Today I wanted to share my newest nail polish experiment. I was inspired by this picture on instagram from Meredith (author of the blog one sheepish girl) of @sheepishknitcrochet.


I happend to have a bottle of OPI (sparkle-icious) glitter nail polish I stole from my sister (sorry Jackie!), as well as a new coral, pinky color from Essie (e-nuf is e-nuf) I got on sale at CVS.  

I layered the two, because the OPI glitter polish is more like a top coat with specs of glitter. You would need to do many coats to get a full glitter look. 

I'm calling this duo Birthday Cake Nails, because the mix of the rainbow glitter on the pinky-red reminds me of a birthday cake. Perfect for summer!

Pink Vanilla Bean Birthday Cake by Smells Like Home on Flickr

Saturday, May 19, 2012

graduation, etc.

My friend Julia graduates from BU Law this weekend. I've been wanting to knit a mini-version of the knitted bag I made a few weeks ago as a gift bag. Since I was planning to give Julia a pair of earrings for a graduation gift, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to test the pattern.

I started with this Classic Elite Yarns pattern, but I made a few changes:

First, I used thinner yarn than was suggested. I decided to go with Cascade Cotton Rich DK Yarn in white, which I bought on Jimmy Beans Wool, with size 4US needles. I then cut the pattern in half, basically, by reducing the cast on number from 31 to 16 stitches. I hope to have the adjusted pattern on anna knits, etc. soon. It makes a super cute gift bag, or travel jewelry case.

I found these amazing pink, neon earrings at Crush on Charles St. I may have to buy a pair for myself...

I also used my new letterpress machine to make this graduation card. I got the paper on sale at Paper Source.

~ Tanti auguri, Julia! ~

Thursday, May 17, 2012

anna letterpresses

Today I made an exciting purchase: a letterpress machine! I have wanted one for a while now, but I was not willing to fork over the $160 Paper Source was charging for the at-home, L Letterpress. Luckily for me, I went to the store today and noticed one combo kit was on clearance (broken box was all). I scooped it up, and spent the evening experimenting. (You can also find the kit discounted on Amazon.)

The ink was a little hard to use, and I had a lot of problems with the word stamps, but once I started pressing without ink I was happy with the results. The blog Paper Crave gives a nice review of the L Letterpress.

Here is a card I made using the plates and the stationary supplied in the kit.

These are the plates I used.

I am now also able to resurrect my stationary company from elementary school: © a. devine creation 

It would be nice to order a custom print for my company's name if I ever decide to sell stationary on Etsy. The Paper Crave post talks about ordering custom photopolymer plates for the L combo kit from Boxcar Press. I definitely want to get some more plates, including a full alphabet, and a chevron pattern. 

Do you have a letterpress kit? Any recommendations for buying supplemental plates?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

jewelry, etc.

I have been thinking about knitting a pair of earrings for some time now. Before I set out to design my own pair, I thought I'd take a look at what is already out there.

I love these Yellow Crochet Earrings by Aliquid.

These neon knitted earrings by Zizi Rho Designs would make a great accent for a summer outfit.

Kitschy, but fun, these yarn ball earrings by Max's World are a hoot. 

I think I am going to go more abstract with my knitted earrings. Do you have an idea for knitted jewelry? Leave me a comment! 

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