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Unfortunately my valentines were a little late this year due to a BLIZZARD that shut down the post office. But I think they make up for timeliness with adorableness, no? I had seen a tutorial for gum paste roses online somewhere and thought they were cute as the dickens. I’m not much of a baker, but I did have some old polymer clay in my craft box so I followed the same principle to make the roses and then baked them. The clay was super old and hard, but luckily my husband has big strong hands so I convinced him to condition it for me. Then I rolled it into a log, sliced off thin circles, overlapped the edges of the circles into a chain of around 7, and then rolled the whole thing up into a flower.

I hadn’t really thought as far as what I was going to DO with these cute tiny flowers. At first I thought they’d make nice pins, but I didn’t have any pin-backs and safety pins just didn’t quite work out right. I did happen to have some swanky gold paper clips on hand, so I decided to use those to make book marks. I made some clay leaves as a backing piece, baked those and then made a hot-glue sandwich of rose, paperclip, and leaves. Theoretically, if you had really small, nimble fingers, you could attach them all before baking and not need glue, but I found it was too easy to squish them that way. I only had white clay, and I actually liked the look of  it plain, but a few of the flowers got a little goobery because the clay has a tendency to pick up any stray linty bits from your table. Not wanting to waste my hard work, I just painted the goobery ones pink. Good as new!

 

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IMG_6035Pair it with some kitty valentines and you’re good to go.

 

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I think it’s actually the year of the snake, but sloths are way cuter. Also it would be silly to make a snake out of felt, because they are not fuzzy.

I apologize profusely that my last post was in September. I am embarrassed myself,  but the holidays (which in retail basically means from Labor Day through New Years) have been very busy for the Hornwinkler household, and have left little time for crafting. But it’s a new year! So here we go:

IMG_6033I made this little guy to hang on your Christmas tree. I meant to make several and give them as presents, but I only got done with about one in time….so look forward to next year, friends! I think he’s pretty cute. He likes to just hang around.

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He’s not very quick on the draw, but other than that he can be a good guard sloth when hung from a door knob.

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I’m loving the simple, graphic look of block printed fabrics lately. There are plentiful machine-made versions to be had cheaply these days but the true beauty of these printed pieces lies in their handmade imperfections. Conveniently, you can make some yourself for even cheaper than you can buy a made-in-china knockoff. All you need is an eraser. I hoard school supplies so I have several going unused somewhere in the pencil-shaving covered abyss of my desk drawer, but you can also buy them for well under a buck. This is also a good use for any bits and pieces of actual lino blocks you might have lying around if you’ve done block printing projects before.

I’ve wanted to block print on fabric before but I had to experiment a bit with paints. Most inks made specifically for block printing are for paper only. You can find some oil based ones, but that gets messy, and often the process of heat setting the fabric is more trouble than it’s worth to me. Fabric-permanent silk screening inks are more readily available, but they aren’t tacky enough for these purposes. Luckily, regular acrylic paint works pretty perfectly: it won’t wash out and is typically cheap and easy to come by. You can’t get the precision that you could achieve on paper, but keep your designs simple and you shouldn’t have any trouble.

For this pillow case I simply used the long, rectangular side of an eraser, dipped it in some paint that I had spread on the back of a glossy magazine, and pressed it onto the fabric in an alternating angled pattern. Don’t worry about it being perfect! The variations in pressure give it a great texture. Play with different sequences and repetitions to get a ton of patterns out of just one simple shape.

A lucky find at my favorite local thrift store scored me the matching sugar pot to go with my set of Blue Heaven mugs and creamer. And for under a buck. A happy girl am I!

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I think they make a nice little addition to this summer place setting. Care to join us?

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First farmer’s market flowers of the season. For $3!!! Posing with my favorite Dahlhaus vase.

I got this bike as a bday present two years ago and now it’s only fitting that I give IT a birthday present this year: a pretty lil basket. My old bike (RIP) had giant baskets on the front and back which were great for carrying six packs and watermelons and what not. However, the added weight and bulk on an already massive fendered steel bicycle made it almost impossible for me to carry that beauty up the stairs. Which is why I always left it outside and it was inevitably stolen. I’m sure by some needy child who will care for more than I ever did. But I digress.

This time around, I wanted something a little lighter. I’m saving my pennies for a fancy pannier, but in the meantime, farmers market season is here and I needed a quick, cheap way to bring home any veggies I might acquire. So I bought this wicker basket in Target’s dollar section, and zip tied it to my handlebars. Not the world’s sturdiest get-up, but it will certainly do to tote some fresh spinach home from the market until  I feel like making a little more of an investment.

 

Ps. Notice that gunk on my bike tires? I rode through a big pile of petals under a flowering tree one night. What was so magic in the moonlight by the morning never is.

My college roommate’s birthday was last month and I wanted to send her something to celebrate. Naturally I would never live with someone who wasn’t crazy about cats, so I decided to make her a portrait of her kitty, Draco. I hear that Draco was unimpressed with his likeness, but I won’t take it personally.

 

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I thought our repurposed wall-art needed a little dose of color, but I was afraid to detract from its rustic charm by adding any paint. So, inspired by a weaving project from work, I broke out my stash of embroidery floss. I’m not much of an embroiderer, but the stash had belonged to my step-dad’s mother so there’s a sentimental factor, plus I love the vibrant colors. I thought this would be the perfect project to showcase the great colors without permanently committing to anything. I just wrapped the floss around the lattice in various spots, securing it in the back with a knot. I’m pleased as punch with the subtle pop of color the technique provided to my living room. The little birdie perched in the middle likes it too 🙂

Got a big bag of blood oranges a while back, and try as I might could not eat all of them. I didn’t want them to go to waste though, so I squeezed a few that I didn’t think were going to make it, added some simple syrup, lemon juice, and whatever spirits we had on hand. Tasty tasty! Plus it looks purty.

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I’ve always had bad teeth, so when I had a filling fall out a week or so ago it was no big suprise, but it sure was a pain. I had to drink out of a straw and only ate bananas and yogurty things for almost a week. I had a serious hankering for nachos the whole time, but was terrified of their pointy edges. So when I finally got it taken care of, I celebrated by making the world’s best nachos to finally satisfy my cravings. The beauty of nachos is that you can put whatever you want in/on them and almost never go wrong. We did layers of refried beans, garlic, chives, jalapenos, serano peppers, green peppers, olives, salsa…..popped that in the oven for about 20minutes and then topped with some homemade guacamole and dabs of sour cream. And cheese, of course. Lots and lots of cheese. They were so worth waiting for!

About

I know this much is true:

I graduated in 2009, thinking I wanted to be an architect. I'm not. But I do get to organize and beautify things for a living, which is a-okay by me. After college I packed up a van and moved a thousand miles away. Now I'm in Boston and a little out of my comfort zone. But there's a lot to learn and see and do! My interests, aside from architecture and leaving Indiana, revolve around everything beautiful. Furniture, houses, stationery, clothes, trees....I just want it all to be lovely and functional and clever. Also I like cats.

Beyond those simple facts, I'm kind of at a loss.

So this is a blog of what I DO know is true. Ideas, inspirations, crafts, cats... the things I think are beautiful and honest and real.

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