Thursday, December 30, 2010


So, you know that tipi that I said Justin and I were making for my 3 year old nephew? Well, this is it!

Pretty cute! Right?

It's surprisingly simple...and you don't need much to make one. We used some bamboo from our backyard for the poles and a canvas drop cloth for the cover. And you can decorate it with pretty much anything. I used some stuff I had left over from previous projects like vintage velvet ribbon, mint green acrylic paint, and some metallic leather scraps.

There are a LOT of tipi building tutorials online. After looking through a bunch of them I realized that all you really need to know is that the basic shape of the cover when flat is a semicircle...and the poles for a tipi this small should be about a foot longer than the radius of the semicircle. After that you can kinda just wing it.

All in all it was a hit. My nephew loves it, Julian loves it, and I'm seriously considering building myself a big one next summer.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Happy Christmas Everyone!

Every year during the holiday season I spend way too much time listening to whatever radio station is playing (mostly crappy) Christmas music whenever I am in my car...just hoping and waiting for them to play this song...


Friday, December 24, 2010


Here are some of the gifts I have been crafting this season...

Terrarium ornaments...

Materials: clear glass ornaments, twine, spruce clippings from my tree, dried flowers, and paper butterflies. I made the butterflies from old engravings that I scanned and printed. Each one is double sided with wire in the middle (to get the wings to stay in the proper position) and then I added glitter...because, well, as far as I'm concerned EVERYTHING should have glitter on it.

Apple cider, mulling sachets, and ginger spice cookies...

Materials: glass jugs with festive trimmings (juniper, spruce, and pine cones) for the apple cider...and cheesecloth, bakers twine, cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, allspice, cloves, dried lemon peel, dried orange peel, and candied ginger for the sachets. I found the recipe for the cookies here...and I packaged them in brown paper bags tied with a bakers twine bow. And just for the record, the cookies are extra delicious when dipped in the hot mulled cider. I speak from experience.

Justin and I have also been putting together an epic wedding album for my parents and we are in the finishing stages of building a 6 foot tipi for my youngest nephew. I'll post pictures when it's done!

Okay, back to the Christmas factory. We elves only have a few more hours to finish making our presents.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Our tree has been up and decorated for a couple of weeks already but I haven't had ANY time to post pictures. I've been BUSY, BUSY, BUSY. Working and shopping and silkscreening and crafting presents. And CELEBRATING! We have a zillion birthdays in my family which happen to fall within the 5 days before Christmas...including MINE. Funtimes.

So, without further ado, our tree...

She's a beauty. Decked out just the way I like it. Big old-fashioned colored Christmas lights, aluminum reflectors, clip-on birds and glittery butterflies, vintage ornaments galore, and as many sparkly glass pine cones as possible.

Monday, December 13, 2010


My wrapping paper was featured on Design*Sponge! In its very own post! Check it out here. I am beyond flattered.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Anyone who has ever received a present from me knows that I'm SUPER into gift presentation. I get really martha stewart about it. And wrapping up a bunch of pretty little packages has become one of my most favorite parts of the holidays. For real. So this year I decided to get next level and hand print my own wrapping paper. Ambitious? Yes. It's definitely turned out to be a labor intensive (and expensive!) project...but I'm glad I followed through with it. The finished product is really lovely.

I used hand carved Indian printing blocks to make the initial pattern. Then I turned the block-printed image into a silkscreen. This way the results would be more consistent but still have the charming imperfections you get from hand printing.

Once I had all of my materials ready to go I set up shop in the attic and printed more wrapping paper than I could ever dream of using. But I plan on sharing the wealth. I will have some for sale at the One Mile Gallery holiday craft fair this Saturday in Kingston. And if you don't reside in the area but decide you can't live without some super sweet hand screened wrapping paper...don't worry...I opened an etsy store yesterday. Field Guide Design. Currently, the wrapping paper is the only item in there...but I'll be adding more soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Justin and I figured that it is only right that our first upstate Christmas tree be one that we chop down ourselves. After a bit of internet research (mostly on this site) we decided to go to Saltsman Christmas Tree Farm in Rhinebeck. It's only twenty minutes away, they grow organically, and they have Blue Spruces (also known as MY DREAM TREE. I mean...look at that color!)

After a few rounds in the field and some further inspection we picked out this beauty...

She's a little lopsided...but nothing a little pruning can't fix.

The whole experience was delightfully charming. Pastoral farmland, hot apple cider, rows of tiny baby spruce trees, stacks of firewood, ramshackle barns. They even had chestnuts roasting on an open fire. I mean...SERIOUSLY. This is the way to get your tree people! I'm never going pre-cut again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


On Tuesday Justin and I went down to Brooklyn for the annual friendsgiving celebration at Christian and Reshma's house. We cooked up two sides for the event: roasted garlic mashed potatoes and acorn squash puree with sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg. And we tried our hand at two new desserts: s'more pie and a chocolate caramel tart with fleur de sel.

I was happy with how everything turned out...but the chocolate caramel tart was DEFINITELY the biggest hit. It was rich and decadent and gooey and crunchy and salty and sweet and quite possibly the best thing we've ever made.

I found the recipe here. It's fairly involved and there's a lot of waiting for things to cool...but it is worth EVERY second.

Now go make one!

Monday, November 22, 2010


One of the things I love most about our house is all of the original hardware.

The door knobs...

The pocket door handles...

The entry bolts...

the mortise locks and strike plates....

The hinges...

The sash locks...

The keyhole covers...

They are all heartbreakingly beautiful. And they are still here. After 120 years.

This is why I am going to make it my mission to replace any cheap, unattractive, modern hardware that managed to sneak in over the decades.

The first thing I'm going to tackle: the slide locks in the bathrooms.

Currently, they look like this...

But how much better would it be if they looked like this...?

This one is a cast iron reproduction of an original Aesthetic Movement slide lock from House of Antique Hardware. I think it would go perfectly with our Eastlake style original stuff. And it's only $13.49! Consider it mine.

**NOTE: The image at the top of this post is a page from the 1895 Montgomery Ward Catalog. And look! One of those keyhole covers is the EXACT same one we have on our front door! I love that.