Friday, August 31, 2012

needlepoint, etc. - kitschy digitals

I came across the site Kitschy Digitals after seeing these cross stitch superheros on the blog Goodknits.

The pattern is by Wee Little Stitches via Kitschy Digitals, which has some really cute stuff. I especially like this Tea Time Treats pattern by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.

Check the whole site out here!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

anna eats - lunch bags

I want to spend this post talking about a company I love: BUILT. A few years ago I got a black lunch bag from the New York based company BUILT while on Block Island. It looks like this but with a white image of block island printed on the lower right hand corner:

I use it to bring my lunch to work most days, and I am always surprised at how much food it can fit. The bag is also very light, which is great for when I'm coming back from work. 

BUILT has a bunch of designs for lunch bags, including this cute roll top, expandable one:

For the past few weeks I have been eyeing this reusable sandwich bag: 

I always feel bad throwing away zip locks from sandwiches, so I decided it was worth gifting myself this bag. I am so happy with it so far!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

hair, etc. - headbands

My hair is getting long, which has led me to start wearing headbands. At work, or while I am knitting, it is nice to get my hair out of my face.

Lately, my go to headbands are the soft, elastic bands from mane message.

I've been wearing the solid colored ones for work, but since I work at an art school, I'm thinking about busting out a tie dye headband.

As fall approaches, I find myself wanting to buy a fabric headband like this one from Leah Reena Goren.

I love the pattern, and it looks comfy too!

Monday, August 27, 2012

organizing, etc. - color block magnets

Work is very busy for me at the moment, which means I have organizing on my mind. I don't know about you, but I've always been more into organizing supplies rather than the act of organizing itself... One such organizing supply I've been eyeing lately are these Color Block Magnets.

They are by Cuppa Color, and come in all different hues. I really like this purple-y pastel bunch.

So cute!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

anna knits - pug ornament update 1

I started on my pug ornament today. I have no idea how it is going to turn out but I am optimistic!

My plan is to blend the patterns I used for my knit pug and my pig ornament. I am not sure exactly what I want to do, but I decided to just start knitting and see how it goes. Hopefully I will get some knitting done while travelling this weekend. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

anna cooks - summer fruit crostata

Sunday night I got inspired to make a summery dessert. I flipped through some of my cook books and settled on Ina Garten's Summer Fruit Crostata. The recipe originally comes from the restaurant Al Forno in Providence, RI, which has THE BEST desserts. (Al Forno was recently named one of the Best Italian Restaurants in the U.S. by Travel and Leisure Magazine.) Ina tweaked their recipe a bit to make the crostata using summer fruit rather than apples.

Here is a picture by Sohini R. via Yelp of an Al Forno made to order pear and walnut tart:

I made the crust a few hours before dinner. I don't know why I get intimidated by pie crusts, because they really are very easy. I didn't even use a food processor, but instead cut the butter into the flour mixture using two knives. I just hate getting the mixer dirty when I don't have to!
The crust turned out nice and flaky, and the mixture of summer fruits Ina recommends (black plums, peaches, and blueberries) was delicious. I will definitely make this again.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

anna wants - knitting bowl

This knitting bowl was featured in an email from Etsy today, and I thought it was too cute not to share.

It is by Lenny Mud, which makes homemade pottery. I not only love the bowl, but I also love the photography. The orange yarn choice really makes the letters pop against the white background.

Monday, August 20, 2012

fashion, etc. - birchbox

I got a six months Birchbox subscription for my birthday. The company sends you sample sizes of new beauty items each month, which you can then buy full sizes of at discounted prices on their website.

One of the items in my first box was an aqua nail polish from Color Club. I had wanted to try a color like this since last summer, so when this polish came in the mail I was very excited.

I put it on my toes for a trip to Scituate I took this past weekend, and I think the color really worked well beachside.

I love the way the aqua looks with these neutral colored sandals I got from J. Crew. 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

anna knits - knit ornament update 2

I started my knit ornament a few days ago, and I'm already done. It is a little pig with a heart on him.

The end product came out better than I thought it would, because I wasn't watching the yarn tension much. Stuffing the ball was very easy, and it took away the awkwardness from the tension.
I will definitely make another one of these. They are a fun, fast, and easy project. Here is the book from which I got the pattern.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

anna cooks - leftover buttermilk

I had some leftover buttermilk from making my birthday cake, so I decided to make some buttermilk muffins for breakfast. I found this recipe for chocolate chip buttermilk muffins from the blog Life's a Feast.
They were quick and easy to make, and turned out great. I'll definitely make them again!

Friday, August 17, 2012

knitting, etc. - boot topper

My cousin Carolyn sent me this picture of a knitted boot topper, which I was able to track down on Ravelry.

The pattern and pictures are by Sara Gresbach, the woman behind Addiesma Designs

This project is the ideal way to get that cozy, knitted look for fall, without spending hours and hours knitting a full sock. I will definitely give it a try soon!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

blogging, etc. - KathmanDoings

My friend Jessica arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal this week, where she will be living for the next four months. She's started a blog called KathmanDoings to document her experiences. She is a great writer, photographer, and on an adventure - what more could you want in a blog! Check it out.

photo credit Jessica Mirabella

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

anna knits - knit ornament update 1

I started on a knit ornament from the book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit by the Norwegian duo Arne & Carlos.
I decided on white and navy blue yarn, which was leftover from some mittens I knitted this past winter.

I decided on a pig design for my ornament, which I think will turn out super cute. 

Time to drink some of the Kusmi tea I got for my birthday, and keep knitting!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

baking, etc. - anniversary pie

Yesterday was my parents' 29th wedding anniversary. My mom made a pie to celebrate. She is a master pie maker. Photo credit goes to Dad Devine.

As I mentioned in my last post, it is almost September but there is still lots of summer food I need to make! I have been meaning to bake a pie since I got this light blue bird pie funnel from Sur La Table for christmas.

Perhaps this peach and raspberry pie recipe from Saveur Magazine is in my future...

Do you have any favorite summer pie recipes?

Monday, August 13, 2012

cooking, etc. - summer pickling

I was in Newport, RI for the weekend, enjoying some beach time with friends. Being at the beach in August got me thinking about all the summer things I want to do before it starts to get chilly. One such thing is at-home pickling.

I saw this article on small batch summer pickling a few weeks ago on the blog food52. (I am a huge fan of food52, which operates on an interesting concept you can read about here.) They always have great posts from food bloggers and chefs.

The recipe comes from Ashley Rodriguez of the blog Not Without Salt, which has some amazing food photography.

I am particular interested to try pickled fennel. Maybe I'll get it together to pickle some things this weekend. First though I need to find the right jar!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

anna parties - birthday cake

Yesterday was my birthday! I turned 25. I had a little after dinner party of cake and prosecco on our roofdeck. Despite generous offers from others, I decided I wanted to make my own birthday cake. For me, birthdays are all about the cake. I chose Ina Garten's Beatty's Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.
I had never made it before, but it turned out wonderful. It was an easy cake to make, and the buttermilk in it made it very moist and delicious. The frosting was good, but definitely on the sweet side. I might make something less sweet next time.

Here's to my first quarter century!

PS: For more info on the dress I'm wearing, click here

Monday, August 6, 2012

knitting, etc. - arne & carlos

After writing yesterday about knit spheres, I did a quick search on Ravelry for knit ornaments, and came across the book 55 Christmas Balls to Knit by the Norwegian duo Arne & Carlos.

I have to admit, I was mostly intrigued by the picture, but after looking inside the book via amazon, I thought the patterns looks fun.

I have a bunch of stuffing left from my knit pug project, so I decided to order the book, with plenty of time for Christmas.

I knit some gloves with a fair isle pattern last year and really enjoyed the project. Pattern available for free here.

You can watch an interesting video of Arne & Carlos talking about their knitting (and other crafts...) here:

Sunday, August 5, 2012

knitting, etc. - knit sphere

After finishing my knit pug, I started to brainstorm an easier way. I decided on knitting a sphere that I can color like a pug. I found this free pattern for a knit sphere from the blog I Like Lemons.

I'm hoping to make one with faun and black, and add a smooched nose and curly tail.

I think they could make cute christmas ornaments!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

anna parties - welcome back diy

Today my boyfriend comes back from Brussels, where he has been doing an internship for the past two months. To celebrate his arrival, I made a quick Welcome Back banner and cookies. I like the homemade look of the banner, and the rainbow sprinkles on the cookies match nicely.

I cut the letters out free form from construction paper, and then punched holes in the letters. I strung ribbon through the letters to hang them. I didn't have enough ribbon to make a second row, so I tapped the next row of letters to the first row.

Welcome back, Jake!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

knitting, etc. - ravelympics

I'm a little late with this story, but as I watch the women's gymnastics all around competition, I feel I should share a recent news story concerning the Olympics and knitting. It is an interesting situation, as well as an interesting intellectual property question.

Read about the "Ravelympics" - I mean "Ravellenic Games" - here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

needlepoint, etc.

Now that I have finished my union jack tea cosy and knit pug, I need a new project. Rather than knitting, I am thinking of doing some needlepoint. I really enjoyed making my needlepoint iphone case, so something like that would be fun.

For inspiration, I love this Obama modern cross stitch by Wall Work on Etsy.

This embroidered card from Blue Eye Brown Eye on Etsy is also a great DIY idea.

I also really like this Midsummer Sprigs ABCs Counted Cross Stitch Sampler by Alicia Paulson.

Alicia Paulson also has a free embroidery pattern for days of the week dish towels, which might be a good project for me to start doing embroidery.

Any suggestions for needlepoint projects?

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