Craft & Consumption

Monday, August 19, 2013

Currently Coveting: Summer 2013

Summer '13

I'm currently coveting this great striped dress. It's an Asos find and has a fun natural swing to it. The first day I wore it I got home from a long day at work and listened to my boyfriend practice his DJ set (he had an event the following night). I danced in our living room and the cut of the dress just encouraged more dancing. I felt like one of those 50's chics that you see in dance-instructing YouTube videos (like this). I say any dress that inspires that level of silliness is a closet YES.

I've been wearing mine with summer-appropriate gold and turquoise accessories from Sorrelli and my new wrap-leather Michael Kors watch (a gift from my extremely thoughtful colleagues). I also just got this great pair of 'Josephine' Michael Kors sandals which I've been wearing all summer long. Apparently it's been an MK summer in my household! The sandal find I owe to my shopping bud who tipped me off and introduced me to these simple, luxe gladiators! It's so nice to have a quality pair of sandalias that make any old outfit feel special. I've been trying to invest in quality pieces this year instead of buying cheap Target and Old Navy versions all year long. You'd be surprised how quickly $15 and $30 purchases add up to a few hundred dollars!

What are your summer staples? Striped dresses, turquoise jewels, some camel leather accents and I'm set. Can it be summer forever?

Monday, August 12, 2013

{DIY} Garden Veggie Markers

I was gifted this set of Tekton metal letter stamps and finally found a project for them! My sister brought over some strips of brass and we used a hammer to spell out the various veggies I have planted in my garden. We placed the brass strips on top of a steel jeweler's bench block (you can't hammer metal directly on a table or floor, unless you want hammer marks everywhere).

I'm pretty excited about these garden markers because I can use them year after year. I was using strips of wood and they really wear and fade each year in the outdoors. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Camping in our Geodesic Dome

My boyfriend has always been fascinated by geodesic domes. After studying them for years and building toothpick models of 2V and 3V constructions, we seized the opportunity this summer and built a real-life geodesic dome (and by that I mean he did. Did I say "we"???). A celebration ensued with friends, beer, and a campfire.

The 2V dome was assembled with EMT conduit that he cut and hammered by hand. This entire project was accomplished in a week's time, in the evenings after 5:00. When all of the rods were cut, ends flattened, angled, and holes drilled, the bolts were purchased. Then we drove to our campsite and assembled the dome on-location. I tried to help. Mostly Mark assembled it by himself. I took photos. 

We then covered the dome with a plastic tarp to keep the heat inside during the night.

Oh, and we thought this was a special enough event to commemorate via t-shirts. So Mark designed a graphic tee and this happened. Hooray for summer DIY projects and celebrating the great outdoors with friends.

Monday, August 5, 2013

NYC Neighborhood Hunt

Negroni at River Deli
My boyfriend and I recently went apartment hunting in NYC. We are making a big transition this fall! These are snapshots of our favorite haunts during the search. Out of all the neighborhoods in NYC that we looked at, the streets of Brooklyn won with their charming brick buildings, tree-lined streets, and quaint brunch locales. 

Oh Brooklyn, you had me at Clematis.

Huevos Rancheros at Iris Cafe

Friday, August 2, 2013

Cobalt Blue at Home

I think I've been nesting a little more than usual this summer. Not sure why. Maybe it's turning 27. Getting closer to 30 makes you want to decorate and cozy up in your house? I dunno... but I'm proud of our little home and love editing and modifying my surroundings so they feel like "us".

Graphic Ikea Pillow
I like the mix of bright blue, graphic black & white, and the colorful turquoise and indigo pillows my mom & dad brought me back from Bali years ago. 

Vintage lamp with Anthropologie Shade

I realize looking at this photo that almost everything in our house is vintage. The chair was a flea market find. The lamp was a flea market find with an Anthropologie shade on top. The yellow trunk is an antique that was refurbished as a gift for us. The only thing not vintage is the metal table (that serves up fresh hydrangeas) and the red painting (a portrait my dad made in the 80's.)

Monday, July 29, 2013

June & July Blooming Summer flowers (zone 6)

Tiger lilies from my mom's house that I scooped up for an indoor bouquet.

Cleome that re-seeded itself in my raised beds. I planted this last year and had no intention of planting it again. I was pleasantly surprised by these fuchsia blooms.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rabbits in my Garden {Fences and Gates Ed.}

I've been a little upset lately about my garden. I planted lots of cold weather vegetables back in March, including lettuce, spinach, kale, and beets. Unfortunately rabbits have invaded and found my bounty! They have eaten most of the veggies that I planted so far this summer.

We just purchased a garden gate and are working on a fence to keep the varmints out. It's not complete, but we're about 60% there! Here's the gate/arbor that we found. More info/photos to come. I am truly hoping this helps the rabbit infestation problem. Fingers crossed!!

Garden Arbor with Gate

Monday, July 22, 2013

Best (Cheapest, Cutest) Underwear

Ok, I had to share this. This summer I embarked on an underwear overhaul. It was time to grab some fresh new pairs, in bulk. I hate paying $5 or $8 or (gasp!) $12 for a pair of undies. I want to spend $3 or $4 - max. Right? Ok, I'm a cheap-o when it comes to undies. But why pay more when you can find a great pair for $3.50?

In looking for some new, affordable skivvies - my friend recommended I check out Aerie, the intimates division of American Eagle. Turns out my friend was right on the money (she is a shopping goddess after all). Aerie has a "7 pairs for $25" deal, in which each pair is only $3.57. You can mix and match any/all of their styles, including all of the ones you see below. 

I got beautiful lace and cotton pairs for $3.57 each. So worth it! My favorite styles from the overhaul are below. If you're in need (like I was!) for an underwear refresh, definitely go check out

Aerie Vintage Lace Tanga

Aerie Cotton & Lace Boyfriend Brief

Aerie "Vintage Lace" Boyfriend Brief

Thursday, July 18, 2013

April & May Blooming Spring Flowers (zone 6)

Purple Salvia

Lately I've been having some issues with my vegetable garden (read: rabbits). So I've focused my energies even more than usual on my flowers. Here's what happened this spring at our place that got me excited and happy. 

The salvia I planted a few years ago is strong and did well this year. I even had some seeds carry over into a second flower bed. We had little salvia transplants coming up and blooming! 

Creeping flox and Pink Rhododendron
The creeping flox was beautiful in April/May. It was super thick and healthy. I love the rhododendron we planted behind it because it works well with the flox, and it blooms early before the other rhododendron varieties bloom. This is one of my favorite parts of the art of gardening, timing all of the varieties so you have constant beauty throughout the spring-fall seasons. It's like a jigsaw puzzle of location, species, and climate that you have to figure out, constantly modifying as you go.

Monday, July 15, 2013

GiGi: The Greater Reading Gala

A few months ago one of my favorite local non-profit organizations, the Greater Reading Young Professionals, hosted their annual GiGi gala. The gala is a fundraiser to benefit GRYP and provide financial support for their year-round objectives. The main goals of the organization are to improve the Greater Reading area and provide career support for local young professionals. 

Each year the event is hosted in an unoccupied space. This year it was in a vacant section in an industrial building. The building houses a bar, club, and go-cart racing on the first floor, but the second floor remains unoccupied.

me, Robyn Jones of Berks County Living Magazine, and Elaine Fioravanti of Sorrelli Jewelry