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A Spring Wreath

16 Apr

Our door has been looking so woefully bare since the Christmas wreath came down – it’s so much nicer to come home to be greeted by a lovely piece of art instead of burgundy sameness day after day. (Okay, it’s not that bleak.)

I don’t like storebought wreaths and I loathe fake flowers, all plasticy and … fake. So I decided to try my hand at a spring wreath, again in paper:

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Each petal is hand cut from white or cream cardstock, as are the fringed centers. Glitter and holographic embossing powder coat each petal, giving them a bit more depth and dimension. And each flower (after endless gluing) is finished off with a vintage button from my mother’s stash (and to think, just a short time ago I was going to get rid of the buttons altogether!).

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I won’t lie – this took me about a month and two false starts to get it right. But it’s so worth it, don’t you think?

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Hollywood Cemetery, 95-96

13 Apr

I have been laid out flat by allergies this year, so for much of the last two weeks I’m been operating under the influence of my favorite snot drug ever: Mucinex D. That stuff is a miracle worker. All that is to say that I’ve had some time on my hands because I’m indoors so much right now.

Last night I came across these photos that I took in college. They were taken at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond, Virginia. I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve been, and I spent a lot of weekends there shooting, both in black and white and in infrared (you know, from back in the day where you had to use a manual camera because the LEDs in an automatic would ruin the film). I thought I’d share a few of my favorites with you:hollywood3 hollywood4 hollywood6 hollywood7 hollywood5 hollywood8All images copyright Silver & Chalk/Megan Van Schaick.

Egg-cellent Easter Eggs!

1 Apr

I am not even going to apologize for that pun – you had to know it was coming!

My super cool aunt submitted these pics of my uncle and cousins trying out the nail polish swirly egg trick.

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Payten and Grandpa getting their swirl on.

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Christian – can you tell that he’s the precision type? This pic proves that even high school boys can down with some nail polish swirling!

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The end result – it really works!

So now tell me – did you dye eggs for the weekend, and if so, did you use this technique? (My mind is now buzzing with all the other things I can dye using this method – custom stationery, here I come!) How would you use this method on other media?

Sneak Peek: Upcoming Project

29 Mar

Can you guess what I’m making?

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I hope to have the reveal at the end of  next week!

Spring Tulips!

27 Mar

I can’t really grow tulips out here the way I’d like – way too hard to keep alive, especially once it gets hot (and it’s already getting there). But last night I treated myself to a small bouquet from the local market and they are just too luminous not to have been photographed.

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Aren’t they pretty? I could just stare at them for hours.

And I haven’t forgotten the cat scratcher post I promised. Our kitten seemed to think it was just fine as-is and now there is a lot of damage to repair. Crazy kittens!

Today’s Project: Cardboard Cat Scratcher

25 Mar

Our dear little Windom Earle is finally starting to get obnoxious (or talented, if you ask her) with her clawing technique. Maybe “refined” is a better word. As in refined to the very expensive trunk we just bought for the living room. You wouldn’t think it to look at her, would you?

Windom Earle

But it’s true. So it’s time for a solution.

Enter the Scratcher Sleeper (TM me, I just made that up right here, right now.)

scratcherMy version is still under construction, but I hope to have it finished today and in action by tomorrow. Stay tuned for ridonkulously cute kitten pics!

Upcycled Trellis – From Golf Clubs!

24 Mar

I found these lovelies at a Goodwill a few months back and I couldn’t resist them. They are aqua, they are bakelite, they are awesome. Still, what do you do with just two golf clubs?

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Trellis!

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It’s going to be planted with my new jasmine plant which smells soooooo delicious – let’s just hope it doesn’t fry in the summer!

Doggie Duo – Of Medication

29 Jul

That old hide-the-pill-in-cream-cheese trick is so old school. Peanut butter is passé. Goopy, stinky wet dog food? Pfft.

What a recovering dog needs is something luxurious. Something tempting. Something Michelin-star worthy.

Like this:

Okay, maybe not Michelin. But let’s be frank: when is the next time your dog is going to waltz into Joel Robuchon’s latest establishment?

Draya (my little pit) is recovering from a tooth extraction and lipoma removal. She’s getting a little sick of plain old wet food and rice. So we decided to get creative with a few of her favorite things.

What we have here is a Medication Duo: Tramadol-banana and Amoxicillin-strawberry quenelles atop apple fans, with peanut butter-honey kisses and Beneful dust.

(My quenelles could use a bit of work – but in my defense, banana is hard to quenelle!)

My Mother’s Mixer

18 Jul

I love my  mom, but she was a terrible cook. It’s not really her fault – she grew up in a tiny town in New Hampshire, rather poor and practically in charge of parenting four siblings. That’s on top of going to school and working. She grew up on Salmon P. Wiggle (canned fish on top of saltines with a white sauce). Oatmeal. Maple “syrup” (water and sugar with maple extract). Canned peas, for cripes sake!

So it’s not surprising that this carried over into our home, where she was dealing with two kids and a very time-consuming teaching job. Creativity didn’t factor into her meals at all – though she did make sure we never, ever had to eat a canned vegetable (unless you count cream of mushroom soup). So, just about every week we had cube steak and mashed potatoes, tuna casserole (not too far from her mother’s Salmon P. Wiggle), some kind of oven-baked chicken and pork chops smothered in cream of something-or-other soup. On Sunday we might have London broil and broccoli with Velveeta. She only baked on birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I’m still not terribly certain she enjoyed it.

And then, in 1993, like Moses coming down the mountain, so came the Food Network.

She.Loved.It.

She never quite got into Giada, but she did love Ina Garten. I’m not sure what it was that enraptured her so completely, but there it is. She had been pretty tentative about trying new recipes, and then she met these scones. I’m not sure what she loved more – the scones themselves, or the fact that we all loved them so much. When my dad gifted her a Kitchenaid one Christmas, it was on.

A few weeks ago I emailed my dad to see if he still had the mixer. He did have it, and he shipped it to me – along with every single attachment he could find (including things I still haven’t identified).

It’s beautiful.

I am so in love. I’ve been coveting one of these for at least a decade, while making do with weak little hand mixers.

I cleaned it all off and set it up, and then got started on my first dish: Ina Garten’s cranberry-orange scones.

I savored every last second, from the measuring of ingredients to just watching the paddle spin to the feeling of the dough in my hands, reliving all those moments with my mom in the kitchen, even after she had to do it from her zippy power chair.

The dough is so lovely and sticky – and we will all just ignore the fact that it contains 3/4 of a pound of butter (after all, there is fruit).

Aren’t they gorgeous? (I just said that to you in my Ina Garten voice.) They are so flaky, and buttery, and they have the tiniest crust of sugar on top. You should make them. My mom would love to compare notes someday.

Paper Cut in Progress…

3 Jul

… in other words, I promise that I’m actually working on something. Just a little something, but my brain has been churning around ideas for some much larger somethings.

It’s just a little card for a very dear friend who was recently hit by a car (and by hit, I mean smashed). She’ll be in rehab for a long time, which means lots of chances to create art for her!

And I have not forgotten her furbabies – the dogs will be getting a tin of peanut butter biscuits shortly. I am still working out what to make for the cats – I have a feeling tuna treats won’t ship well from Vegas to Boston!