oliver jeffers

Back in March I saw a post on one of my favorite blogs Gems (formally Where the Lovely Things Are). It was about the collaboration between Oliver Jeffers and Digby & Iona. Together they created a new collection of jewelry based off various characters and objects from Oliver Jeffers' children's books.

All the charms looked so cute but I had never heard of this Oliver Jeffers fellow, so I decided to investigate. And soon I fell in love . . . with his books.  I love his illustrations and his stories are just so wonderfully bizarre.

My dad and I have always shared a love for children's books.  We were always on the hunt for a new book with eye catching illustrations, so when I saw Oliver Jeffers' illustrations I new I had my dads birthday present down pat. 

I wanted to get him "The Great Paper Caper" but the bookstores didn't have it in stock (and it somehow never entered my mind that the internet exists, with it's vast knowledge, endless supplies, and shopping cart function)
 So instead I got him "The Way Back Home." I don't have any kids (and I won't for sometime - don't worry) but I might have to start my children's book collection early.

In addition to a kids book I also got my dad a bottle of Red Eye Coffee Porter by Two Brothers, because he's a grown up.
And I made him this card, because he like's sittin'.

STUFEST Continues!!!

stufest 2012!!!!!!

Happy STUFEST Everybody!!
To the coolest Man both sides of the Mississippi
Happy Birthday Dad!!

It's officially Stufest, so find a shady spot grab a frosty beverage and just do nothin'

Watch out, because somethin' is coming for ya!

mom's day bouquet in may

My mom got her Mother's day present on Tuesday (honestly not as late as I thought it was going to be  :) way to go FedEx!).  So now that it won't ruin the surprise I want to show you what I made her!

I love flowers and beautifully arranged bouquets but damn can they get expensive, so as a lady on a budget I was trying to find an alternative that was cheap to purchase without being cheap looking, and voila! I found tons of great tutorials on how to make crepe paper flowers!

The funny part was how difficult it was to find crepe paper.  None of the art or craft supply stores in Chicago had anything, or even knew what I was asking for, so I took to the internet. 
Oh trusty internet, your knowledge and supplies are so vast.

I mostly used this tutorial but this one was also helpful for variety.
I used the thicker wire to bunch them together and stick them in the vase, and then I added a few "leafs" for greenery and to fill in any gaps . . .

It was super fun to make the flowers, and I'm definitely going to make some more for my own house.  I'm terrible at keeping plants alive so it'll be great to have a little floral pop in the house without having to worry about it getting moldy. (Does that happen to anyone else?)

I also made my mom a card from a photo my Dad took of us sleeping (or pretending to sleep) when I was little.  It turns out that the original photo was actually taken on Mother's Day! How cool is that!
I Love you Mom!

brooklyn bonanza {part three}

Our last day was great great wonderfully great.  We started the day the only way a day should be started. . . With a pizza-off!

There are two pizza places right across the street from each other next to the train where our friends live.  Justin had always wanted to figure out who makes the best plain slice and there's no better time than the present, right?

First was Tony's Pizza. 
Oh man, it was crispy-cheese-greasy heaven! 
Second was Carmine's Pizzeria. Only judging from the plain slice Tony's beat Carmine's fair and square.  But Andrew decided to mix it up once we crossed the street, and got a Sicilian slice, holy crapola was it good. I don't normally like thick crust on pizza, but this was delicious.  In the end I think the final consensus was just about any pizza place in New York is better than just about any pizza place in Chicago. . . hands down.

Dana wasn't feelin' too well so she headed back home after pizza, and the rest of us journeyed into the city.

We spent almost all of our time in Manhattan in Central Park.  The Man was too young to remember the time he went to New York, and I only remember getting lost in Central Park when I came to the city with my parents in high school, so, in some way it was a shinny new experience for the both of us.

And it was a blast.
 (The Man thought this was just too funny to pass up)
I was shooting pictures left and right and I wanted to take more pictures of the carousel, but Andrew and Justin told me I was being too creepy, so I stuck to the iron work
We happened upon a great performance by this blues band, I can't remember their name, but I wish I could because they were wonderful.  We kept a tally of all the musical performances we saw along our walk, I think by the end of the day we were up to 4 or 5 (including a pan-flute band of course)
We exited the park so we could take a gander at the Guggenheim, but you had to buy a ticket to see the inside, so we stuck to the exterior.
 I've only ever seen a dog walker with this many dogs on a cartoon.  It was hilarious to see how the dogs interact with each other, how all the little guys stick to the back and try not to trip over each other, while the big pups lead the way.
I just had to get a picture of this statue.  I'm going to have to get Briana's help with this but I'm pretty positive that it's on one of the segues on Friends (you know when they're changing scenes and it's just video of a random New York building). I'm I right?

Well, after all that walking we were pretty famished.  We had already gone to three pizza places since we got to New York, so it was time for a different well known NYC food . . .

The Jewish Deli.
We did a little phone research on our way past the Met, I was hoping to go in but there was a red carpet in the way for, you know, the Met Ball, no big deal.  When it came down to it we decided to go with a well known classic, and boy were we glad we did.
We walked in and were instantly confused.  They give you a ticket and then you shmush into any space available at the counter to give your order.  We saw the prices for the sandwiches and almost turned right back around, but then thought we'd at least get one sandwich and share it.  The man behind the counter started making it and gave us a slice of pastrami to try and




Yeah, this sandwich is completely worth $16.00 
Deep in Pastrami Bliss

And to top of any New York experience we saw a celebrity. 
Alia Shawkat from Arrested Development.
 Oh Katz's, I think I love you, and I'm so sad I had to leave you.
(cutest pup!)

We had the best time in New York, and I can't wait to go back!!

Thanks Dana, Justin, and Nick!!!!

brooklyn bonanza {part two}

So, as I was saying, the Brooklyn Flea!
It was really fun, although it would definitely be more fun if you actually live in New York, and don't have to think about getting the things you want on a plane.
like this wood pig I wanted for some reason . . . and still do!!
There were tons of booths to look through and there was a good range of kitchen stuff, furniture, clothing, jewelry, toys, art, books, and other sweet antiques. And on the other side of the Flea was a bunch of food vendors, everything looked great, I really wish I had been hungry enough to try something.
And look at this completely awesome miniature Singer sewing machine.  You use the hand crank on the side to make the needle go up and down.  The guy selling it said people would use them to mend clothing on ships. I'm not sure if he made that up, but it's a fun story. We asked him how much it was and he told us he sold the other one he had for $200 . . . sooooo, I didn't buy it.

Sweet Star Wars Glasses!!!!
We had a blast and I even bought a few things
Some Earrings
And some Deeeeeelicious Pickles
 On our way home from the Brooklyn Flea we stopped at an ice cream truck with a beautiful menu.
And then The Man made Chicken Fried Steak for dinner! And Sausage Gravy from scratch! And Dana made Garlic Mashed Potatoes! It was SoOoOoOo Good!
It was an awesome day and I still have the sunburns to prove it.

And somehow the next day was even more awesome.
Right now you might be thinking "Wha? How can you top antiques and sausage gravy?"
Well, it's possible, but guess what. . .

yeah, you guessed it:
I'll tell you about that tomorrow!!!

brooklyn birthday bonanza

Guess what The Man and I did last weekend?
We went to New York!

Back in January I found some amazingly cheep tickets to New York, so I decided to buy The Morning Man's birthday present early.  One of Andrew's bestest friends lives in Brooklyn, and we haven't seen him in 2 years, so it was time.

So last Saturday we hopped on a plane and flew over to JKF.  The fun started right away when we took the Airtrain that takes you from your terminal to the subway and saw the Space Shuttle in it's little bunker still attached to the 747!
(it was hard to get a good picture!)

There wasn't much time for any sightseeing or big events once we got in, so we kept the first day mellow with a walk around the neighborhood and a birthday party that our friends had planned for Andrew.  Which actually wasn't mellow at all . . . yeah, I take back that mellow comment, there was a piƱata and 3 cakes.
(Deep Dish Pizza cake, Donut cake, and Perspective cake - doesn't it look flat!!)
(Some delicious pizza for a light snack before dinner)
(A walk to the river)
(Some Dumb&Sons homebrew)

 The next day we ate some breakfast at Jimmy's Dinner . . .
(pancakes, eggs, home fries, and home-made sausage)
(chicken and waffles)
(pulled-pork, cheddar, and sausage omelette)
(cheddar and grits)

And then we headed to the Brooklyn Flea!!
I have heard so much about it and I really wanted to go. . .  but I'll tell you about that tomorrow!

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