Taste The Rainbow

delovelydelightful

With World Pride soon to be hosted in my fair home city and with our final meeting of the inter-school Gay-Straight Alliance this coming Tuesday, I set myself to baking this past weekend.

delovelydelightful

What does one bake for a GSA party? Rainbow cupcakes, naturally!
Rainbow confetti on the inside, rainbow icing on the outside.

delovelydelightful

 

Advertisements

For The Man Who Has Everything

A colleague of mine with a penchant for fancy socks is retiring this year.
To honour him, I was commissioned to create a bouquet of…. socks.

delovelydelightful

It was exactly the kind of challenge I love!
I spent a week or so thinking about how to go about it and then I sat down and got started.
I had six pairs of socks, so ended up with twelve “blooms.” Each sock became a single flower. After some trial and error, I ended up using some embroidery thread to gather each sock, using a running stitch along the bottom of the sock and pulling it tight. You can see in the photo where I stitched each one, indicated by the red dotted line.

delovelydelightful

Once each sock was gathered, I just wrapped the gathered edge together, using the toe as the centre of each flower. A few stitches secured each one in place and soon I had twelve rosette-style flowers.

delovelydelightful

What do to for stems? I decided to use a black button for each flower’s centre, securing it to a paper straw with a dab of hot glue (I stuck the shank of the button into the opening at one end of the straw). Then, I slid the straw through the centre of the rosette; the button stopped it from falling out. A few more stitches of embroidery thread through the paper straw and the sock to hold each flower together and, ta-da! Twelve sock roses!

delovelydelightful

Next up, I used garden twine to make a French-tied bouquet and then tied on a jaunty polka-dotted ribbon I’ve been saving in my stash for just such an occasion.

When he is ready to wear the socks, all the recipient has to do is snip the embroidery thread (I was sure to use contrasting colours so that it would be easy to see) and unfurl each sock. The perfect bouquet to extend the length of time between loads of laundry!

delovelydelightful

My colleague was delighted with his bouquet, I am happy to report.

A Westerosi Feast

delovelydelightful

Remember this little get-together?

delovelydelightful

Well, of course I had to extend the Game of Thrones theme to the food, too!
I started out by making a few tags to label the food– I used card stock and washi tape to make the labels. Paper straws served as the “stems” for the labels.

Then I put my thinking cap on and tried to remember food and food-related events from the novels. I had to stretch a bit in places, since a lot of what gets eaten in the novels is not the most appetizing (raw stallion heart is not exactly the ideal item to serve to a group of ladies on a Sunday afternoon…).

Here is what I came up with:

delovelydelightful

Of course we had to have Sansa’s Favourite Lemon Cake (lemon coffee cake), some Highgarden Berries and Fruits and some “You know nothing, John Snow”-ball Cake Pops. We also had Danaerys Targaryen Blondies.

delovelydelightful

What would a Westerosi feast be without Red (velvet) Wedding Cupcakes?

delovelydelightful

The drinks were similarly themed– Lady Arya Punch (though, upon further reflection, maybe Lady Arya Packs a Punch would have been more appropriate…), Queen Cersei’s Vintage (which ought to have been red, but I took some license), and a Dornish Rosé (which should have been a Dornish White, I know).
There was even a carafe of water from The Sapphire Isle and some Summer Isles Bellinis.

delovelydelightful

 

All Gangstas Must Knit (Valar Knit-ulus?)

delovelydelightful

My darling BFF is CEO of a cool little company called Wool and the Gang. It’s the brainchild of two Central St Martin’s grads who had a vision to focus on sustainable fashion, their love of knitwear and the growing maker movement. You can read more about them here— they are so cool and so are their products!

This past weekend, Delovely HQ became Gangsta HQ as my pal J and I hosted the inaugural Knit Your Own Jewelry Workshop! I was SO EXCITED! The jewelry in question was the Sansa Choker and the Khaleesi Bracelet.
Yes, you heard me: making pretty things and Game of Thrones. In ONE EVENT!
Seriously, interweb, I could hardly contain myself; my little geek soul was soaring, I swear.

I started by decking out our front door wreath in WATG style:

delovelydelightful

I invited a posse of knitters, artists, fashionistas and all-around creative types. They came in droves and we had a blast, knitting, sipping (I’ll do a food post a bit later on) and chatting up a storm. Everyone left with a bracelet and a necklace she had made herself, a pair of gorgeous rosewood knitting needles and a pattern booklet so that she can make more  jewelry at home.

delovelydelightful

People could order from the WATG website; they sell both ready-to-wear and knitting kits. We had samples of the yarn on-hand for people to see and touch, too. I am a sucker for the Crazy Sexy Wool and the Jersey Be Good. The latter is made from off-cuts of t-shirts, the kind of thing the textile industry would normally just trash. It comes from Turkey, where the off-cuts are sent to various villages to be wound onto cones for WATG; the initiative makes use of textile waste and employs women in the villages. What’s not to love? We also had a Lacy Sissy scarf that my BFF made me for my b-day a couple of years ago and our gorgeous Hold Tight Clutches.

delovelydelightful

The knitters came with a range of knitting ability and, once they got their rhythm going, there was no stopping them. The littlest Gangsta took to it like a duck to water!

delovelydelightful

Of course, being me, I embraced the whole Game of Thrones theme with a passion. I tarted up the dining room bulletin board with the WATG name, logo and hashtag, re-worked for the party with a GoT flair as “House,” “Sigil” and “Words.” (Remember when Maester Luwin was drilling Bran?)

delovelydelightful

I laid out the supplies on our dining room table (after protecting the surface with some kraft paper) and labelled each component with GoT references.

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful
(I used black chalk; in retrospect, chalk pen would have been better as the chalk got dust on our supplies.
Womp womp…)

I loved seeing everyone’s individual, #madeunique creations.

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

I think Sansa and Danaerys would approve. 😉

Hoppy Easter!

delovelydelightful

Need some quick and easy favours for Easter dinner?

delovelydelightful

Here’s what I did with some cloth bags from the bargain bin at Target. First, I hand-stamped them with the recipients’ names and then filled them with some cute treats: Easter-themed bubbles (because nothing says “Spring!” like going outside and blowing bubbles!), and a few sweets. I had some heart-shaped thingies meant to jeuje up Ikea string lights, so added those to the ties on the bags and, quicker than you can say, “The Easter Bunny’s your uncle!” I was done.
My kinda project: speedy and sweet.
I gave mine away to my students, but they’d work well as place settings, too.

delovelydelightful

If you celebrated Passover this week, I hope you had a great time and ate lots of yummy goodies.
If you are celebrating Easter this weekend, I hope you have a great time and eat lots of goodies.

delovelydelightful

 

Hop To It

delovelydelightful

Recently, I was overcome by the NEED TO SEW SOMETHING. It had been far too long since I had made anything from scratch and I was longing to get out my sewing machine and some fabric. Serendipitously enough, I stumbled upon this post about Mandi‘s home-sewn bunnies.  Aren’t they adorable? I couldn’t wait to make a few of my own!

bunnies

I put my own spin on the size and shape, but I really loved the mis-matched eyes and the quirky personalities of Mandi’s bunnies, so I made sure to give my funny bunnies similar.

delovelydelightful

These ones will be making their way to some little ones I know and love. This weekend will see me whipping up a few more in order to get them off to their destinations in time for Easter.

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

What are you up to this weekend?

Circular Impressions

A few weeks back, I managed to snag the only Nate Berkus brass lamp base in the store at my local Target. I had had my eye on it online, so I was pretty chuffed when I ran across it.
I snapped it right up, even though there really wasn’t a shade that worked with it.

Luckily (M would certainly choose another word…), I am a lampshade hoarder, so I knew I’d have something in my stash that I could use to finish it off. In the end, the only thing I had that was the right scale was a plain white linen shade.
It looked okay. But it was, to be honest, too white for the room.

The search for the right shade was on.
I tried the coordinating Nate shade, in navy. Didn’t suit the room.
I found a burlap-esque one at Homesense and tried it. It was okay, but a bit too small and it made the light too dim.

delovelydelightful

Then, I noticed Jana Bek‘s lovely desk lamps in her Instagram feed.

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful
I’d seen them around the interwebz and liked them, but Jana had made her OWN version and I thought to myself, “Self, this idea could be adapted to solve the lampshade problem….”  I figured I could easily transfer the painting idea from the base to the shade. Why not?

delovelydelightful

Out came my favourite new paint and my brushes. I took a deep breath and….painted.
It looked….not too bad!
But the shade was lacking something, so I taped off the top and added a band of gold.

delovelydelightful

I’m pretty happy with it. I will (because it’s just the way I roll) probably keep looking for the Absolutely Perfect Shade, but this one works just fine for now. The shade only cost $20, so it’s not a huge investment if I find something better down the line.

delovelydelightful

Crazy Sexy Pom Pom

delovelydelightful

 You might remember this from the festive season.

I loved the look of the pink glass bauble dangling from the antler of our golden ibex (or whatever he is) and I missed it when I de-Christmasified.

delovelydelightful

Serendipitously, I found myself with some of leftover Crazy Sexy Wool in Hot Punk Pink after I knit myself my fabulous Billie Collar from Wool and the Gang.
I figured it was just about enough to make a big ol’ pompom. So I made one!

delovelydelightful

I love the way it adds a pop of brightness to the wall above our bed.

delovelydelightful

delovelydelightful

The size I chose to make was probably a bit too big for the amount of wool I had leftover, but I like the way the “looser” pompom allows for the movement in the wool to be visible. It is the most amazingly soft, thick wool and I like that I can see its sort of curly texture.

delovelydelightful

Feel like making a giant pompom or two this weekend?
Here is a tutorial.
(I used a rectangular cardboard piece cut out of a box, rather than using an embroidery hoop.)

DIY Off-Piste

delovelydelightful

If you are a DIY-er like me, then you know that projects do not always go according to plan… Sometimes, the thing you have envisioned so perfectly in your brain (which, for me, usually involves lying awake at night, figuring out how to make that vision into reality), ends up looking….well…. a bit crappy. There is even a big trend in the blogosphere of posting your most hilarious DIY failures.

But, sometimes, things work the other way and, though your finished project ends up looking nothing like your original plan, it ends up looking…. SO MUCH BETTER!
This is what keeps DIY-ers going– this SO MUCH BETTER THAN I IMAGINED result is the equivalent of DIY crack, Gentle Reader. It’s like seeing a unicorn.

I had just such a unicorn moment last week when I finally got around to making over a picture frame I picked up in the As-Is room at IKEA for a whopping $7.  I liked it because of the size of the mat– I am a sucker for an oversized photo mat, I must say. But I hated the cheap, damaged, faux-wood frame. Of course, as you know, I never met a bargain I didn’t want to paint, so home it came with me. My original plan was to  copy er, emulate these frames:

delovelydelightfulsource

I got started with my Annie Sloan chalk paint, but not even Annie would cover the weird, slick surface of the laminate frame. Frustrated and in a hurry (when am I not?), I wiped off the paint and gave the frame a quick sanding and then primed it. Next, Annie Sloan, but the colour was too yellow. So, I added a couple of coats of Farrow and Ball’s All White.

delovelydelightful

And then, the unicorn moment: being in a hurry, I started to paint on the gold (how I LOVE this gold craft paint— it is soooo perfect!) before the white was totally dry, figuring I’d just go back and tape off the clean lines once things were dry and then fill in the gold up to the tape line. BUT, the gold paint goes on in a beautiful, sheer way and I really liked the way it created an ombré effect. Luckily, I had to sleep on it, as the paint was not dry enough to tape off. When I returned to the project the next day, I realized that the way the white and gold faded into each other really could not be improved upon.
Another coat or two of gold to add depth and I was done.

delovelydelightful

And, then, I put the mat in and the sample of Timorous Beasties’ Thistle hand-inked wallpaper and there, Interwebz, was the unicorn: it looked sooooo good!  SO MUCH BETTER THAN I’D IMAGINED!
(Even M had to admit it was an impressive finished project. 😉 )

Also, just signed up for Bloglovin‘. I know. I’m very late to the party.