Etsy Friends and Hints

I think that it is very cool that there are a couple other friends on etsy (and hopefully more soon!).
onewordprints makes fun journals and collages (with the help of her goldfish).

mrsjennyjames is one of my favorite photographers and she has lovely prints in her store!

And here is a little hint for my winter break project! This picture comes from a movie involving delicious shoes - anyone know what it is?

what we've been eating.

Sweet potato pie & mushroom-red onion-chicken tart

Acorn squash & butternut squash ready for their water baths

Sauteed with garlic, onion, olive oil & basil and served over whole wheat pasta & mozzarella

Unfortunately, the Sweet Potato Pie had too much vegetable flavor. One slice was nice for novelty, but we didn't devour it like we would a pumpkin pie. I think that makes me give up on sweet potatoes; I've tried them multiple ways now and they never seem to succeed. Squash, on the other hand, has been really tasty - especially with a lot of garlic. Yesterday the New York Times had this tasty article about seasonal cooking, with recipes for fig tart with onions, rosemary & stilton, ratatouille & sausage potpie, and tomato eclairs with ricotta & basil filling. I think I need to get some figs?

Fall Weddings and Upcoming Attractions

Another wedding! Bride Sara asked me to do shoes for her and then decided that she wanted them for her bridesmaids as well. She had purchased jewelry already and so I went with the theme of black/silver/red roses to create the girls shoes.

Detail on one of the shoes. It was really fun because I did them all similar, but also different so they could each have their individualized pair. (How fun is customizing?!)

I bought some small pieces of vintage jewelry at the thrift store to incorporate into the shoes (like a pair of drop ebony earnings on the backs of this pair).

Doing these shoes involves my love of thrift stores, etsy, ebay and craft supplies. Even a small piece of ribbon can finish off a pair - left over from a gift or church rummage sale (where I bought a whole box of stuff for $0.50).

The bride's shoes turned out wonderful - vintage lace, a velvet rose and pearls and rhinestones - how decadent is that?

They almost seem like they could be the cake!

PPS and I have been brainstorming a lot recently. This has led to some thrift store purchases, checking out options online and a hopefully a crafting bonanza soon. She has some ideas to add to the store that I think will be really good. A spring line of fun fashion may be in the works! (And I also had a really fun idea of something I want to do over winter break!)

.muffins & foodreads.

apple whole wheat yogurt goodness. from smitten kitchen (with some variation by me).

here are some good food reads for Sunday night:
City Journal on how there is lots of good food in America - everywhere.
Mark Bittman of Bitten on how to make your own hummus.
Martha Stewart with 33 ideas on what to do with apples.

A great bookstore

Selexyz Dominicanen
Originally uploaded by rob4xs

 This picture doesn't do it justice, but if you jump over to The Coolist, you can read about and see more pictures of this amazing bookstore in Maastricht, Germany.

Field trip?


This was the start of a scrumptious roast stewed with carrots, onions, portabella mushrooms and thyme. I don't like beef very much, but N. loves it so I made this last Saturday. Even I had to admit that it was pretty delicious.
Part of the prompting for this dish came from the fact that it has been just a little bit cooler in the South this week, even though I know our real "Autumn" won't come until November. If you want your own inspiration for fall cooking, check out Nigel Slater's article on autumnal food over at the BBC...the Stilton, Onion and Potato Pie sounds fantastic (to easily convert from the metric system, use this tool).

Wearing Perfume (and on the cheap!)

I've always been disappointed that perfume never seemed to "work" for me. No matter how nice the smell, about 20 minutes after I put it on I began to smell like a combination of rubbing alcohol and the makeup aisle at CVS. Gross. But I liked the idea of having a signature scent and I decided that there had to be a solution!

I realized that if I spray the fragrance in my hair after I'm done blowdrying but before I do the final styling, it holds the scent and doesn't revert to the gag-inducing alcohol stench upon contact with my skin. Success! And now I have a signature scent (thanks to sweet N), which is Daisy by Marc Jacobs - classy and fresh.

With my new fragrance-freedom, I've discovered that the better department stores (Nordstrom, Macy's, Bloomingdale's) will happily give you sample sizes of all sorts of perfumes, even if you haven't made a purchase. A great way to find a perfume you like - or just to try out some new ones. I've been enjoying Lily Pulitzer's summery scents (Beachy, Sqeeze and Wink).

Lots of Shoes!

I have been quite busy working on finishing up a bunch of custom orders before taking a little break (now that school has started for the fall).

Here's what I've been busy with:

a pair of bride's shoes for a funky do-it-yourself wedding (she has some great ideas!)

a pair inspired by Anthropologie (my secret plan is to sell my shoes there some day)

classy, inspired by Chanel's recent line

this customer said "go all out". it was really fun (there are even pink feathers!)

Of course, sometimes I really just like to get a pair that's not for someone in particular and just see what happens... especially when the sister sends me some really fun shoes:

I just wish they were my size... but since they're not, you can buy them in my shop! I have some more fun happening in the shop, so I'll be posting again soon!

Book Review: Elizabeth Goudge

Elizabeth Goudge
Originally uploaded by rbjaneite

Elizabeth Goudge is the perfect author for that specific sort of reading which you do before you go to bed. Her books are Good stories with pleasant endings. They may not challenge you as a reader, but I like to think of them as Comfort Food for the mind. Goudge doesn't enjoy quite the widespread popularity that she once did (perhaps because her books now seem quaint more than anything) but I think she's ready for a revival.

Some of her prominent themes are the enjoyment of nature and beauty, of being tidy and of generally Putting Things Right. We could all use more of that.

I'd recommend starting with The Dean's Watch or The City of Bells. Your library has them. Check them out and see what you think.

Etsy Favorites

One of my favorite things about Etsy is the Favorite feature. Like most of Etsy's options, it's clean and easy to use without making navigate away from your item or getting all crazy with options like some sites do (Amazon, you know who you are).

Consequently, I frequently add to my favorites (you can either add an item or a seller). When I'm working on a project, I'll add a whole bunch of things and then I can look at them all together and delete items I decide I don't want.

So here's an outfit I've put together for fall. I always like it in magazines when they show you an outfit you can do for a certain amount.

This is my cute "under $100 Fall Fashion" from my current favs.

(polka-dot cardigan $10 from teamkrause, vintage plaid mini-dress $35 from tltvintage, corduory clutch $16 from bellevuevintage, leather slouch boots $35 from AnyywhereButHere)