Tuesday, January 31, 2012

red velvet. sweets & treats.

top: my version 
bottom: scratch recipe from smells like home.

I recently came across a photo (above) of some scrumptious looking red velvet brownies on pinterest... 
more specifically...
recipe via smells like HOME.

They looked so delicious that I was inspired to make my own, 
except I searched for a recipe with a box mix base. 
I barely have time for baking right now, so fast & easy is pretty important!

The recipe I tested out can be found at Duncan Hines
Super easy... but not so much the brownie consistency I was expecting. 

1 Duncan Hines box of Red Velvet Cake mix
3/4 cup butter (melted) - that's a stick and a half!!!
1 egg
1/2 cup water
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can of buttercream frosting (or whatever looks good)

Baking Instructions
-preheat oven to 325 degrees F
-mix egg, butter & water in a bowl. add box mix & 
stir until everything is combined, and lumps are gone.
-add chips into the mix & pour the mixture 
into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan
-bake for 40-45 minutes. let cool.
-frost them up & eat!

In my bakers opinion, this recipe was definitely good, for a 
rich, red velvet, chocolate cake recipe... 
but the consistency was certainly not a brownie-esque.
It was actually more crumbly & messy then I had anticipated. 
None-the-less, it was delicious! just not as I expected.

Next time I'll take the long route and go from scratch, 
or just follow the recipe on the box as-is and make a super simple. 

outlined nails.

inspiration photo.

my version. not too shabby.

nailtiques: formula #2
milani: silver glitter
sally hanson: lacey lilac extreme wear 
sally hanson: celeb city extreme wear (not pictured)
(for base on the ring finger)
sally hanson: nail art pen in black/noir

base coats.

drawing the black tips... 

I could only find a nail art pen at Duane Reade.
I would have opted for a detail brush to do it free hand, 
but I gave this one a shot... 

It was okay, but it only gave me enough freedom to do the tips, 
it was too marker-like to do a full outline.

On the glitter finger I globbed on 3 coats of the glitter over the base.
note: don't even try to get the glitter off on your own. 
go to a manicurist. it can be annoyingly difficult.

I think I can do better, but for a first attempt... not so bad.

I got the correct supplies & finished the job today.
Kiss nail art paint (with a skinny brush) $7.99 at Duane Reade for a 3 pack set
(black, white & silver glitter)

& with a steady hand, carefully outline your nails.
It really wasn't that difficult. I promise.

Now... i'm super happy with this.

Oop! this just popped up on missladyfinger.com
but not before mine :) & I did mine a little differently. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DIY. paint swatch valentines.

BEHR Premium Plus paint swatches from Home Depot are fantastic!  Because...
they are larger (6" long & 5" wide) then standard paint swatches which means that
there are so many more possibilities for re-use or up-cycling!  

Below are more samples of the quality swatches BEHR carries.
If you don't already know this... they're free (within reason).
I make it a point to grab a handful each time I hit up Home Depot, 
in the off-chance that I will find a use for them.

BEHR paint swatches
A2 4 3/8" X 5 3/4" size envelopes ( I got mine from BLICK)
rubber cement, scissors
heart hole punch
scrapbooking paper, notebook paper, doilies etc.
valentine sticker assortment
rubber alphabet stamps & ink
hot glue gun
safety pin
embroidery needle & floss

To create the card:
Step 1: take your color swatch and fold down 1/3 creating a flap
Step 2: to back the inside - lay swatch over scrapbooking paper to create a guide & cut to size
(I cut mine into 2 slices making it easier to bend so it's less bulky in the crease)
Step 3: paint thin layer of rubber cement on the back side of both surfaces
Step 4: blow on the adhesive until it's tacky, then press surfaces together to create a bond
Step 5: roll off excess glue with your finger tips

Decorate your love notes!

I used a heart hole punch that I got from BLICK for $6. great investment!
Also used some card board scrapbooking stickers from Michaels.
Notebook paper (tends to not be opaque so I added another page to back it before attaching)
Doilies (use just a touch of hot glue on this, tricky because of all the holes)
If you are using heavy or bulky things, add a dab of hot glue to reinforce them
(even if there is already adhesive).

To make the button closure:
Step 1: take the card & a button and visually place the button on the top flap
Step 2: use your safety pin to poke holes through the paper for a guide
Step 3: sew on the button with embroidery floss
Step 4: use your safety pin again, to create a hole through the back of the card
Step 5: knot a piece of embroidery floss and feed it through the back
making sure the placement is relative to the top flap button.  
leave the thread open ended to wind around the button on the top flap...
And you're done!

Easy, resourceful, creative & fun!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

chanel mohawk.

Chanel Spring 2012 Couture.

left: Cara Delevingne / right: lindsay wixon

couture mohawk.
i love a good mohawk.

images via glam

Monday, January 23, 2012

DIY. journal cover.

I've always held on to magazines for far too long, in the off chance that there is something I can salvage from their contents...  and today I decided to use a not-so-old, but super amazing LOVE No.6 autumn edition...  and hack it up into bits to create a journal cover! 

LOVE magazine filled with amazing typography and filigree...
perfect for chopping up...

Other great pages I found inside 
that I'm gonna hold on to for future projects.

I decided to go with 'private lives'... 
I thought it would be perfect for a journal/diary cover.

I started with a book blank that I acquired some time in elementary school 
and never got around to using it... but you can find them on amazon for around $3.

1. decide the placement of your clippings
2. paint a thin layer of rubber cement onto the book cover
3. paint a thin layer or rubber cement on to the back of the clipping
4. blow on each surface until they are tacky
5. stick them together for a permanent bond
6. use your finger tips to roll off the excess glue

I finished up with these alphabet stamps that I got from Michaels for around $2.
I couldn't find them online, but they were in the discount bargain bins last time I went.

I didn't have any numbers, so I opted to write out the year in letters.

practice sheet. cheap stamps need to be tested out first.


Tah-Dah!!! Now you have a one of a kind journal/diary!

The great thing about this project is that you can use any magazines or books you have laying around, just start cutting text, colors, textures, shapes, patterns etc. anything that seems to be visually appealing to you.... Have fun!

chinese new year.

Living on the outskirts of Chinatown has its benefits... sometimes.

enjoying the festivities on Mott Street.

confetti coffee.

warding off evil spirits.
(unfortunate bag over the head)

stormy sunset.

I die for these earrings.  
Check out Alexandra Rothwell's web gallery to see her other amazing designs. 
She does custom colors, design & length to suit your color palette & style.
Email her here for inquiries.  

Sunday, January 22, 2012

i love nyc.

Friday afternoon. Lafayette Street.


My nails have been very thin and brittle lately, so I figured it was time for something more serious than a standard mani.  I headed back to Marie Nails on West Broadway and Prince for my second visit and I was not let down.  The CalGel manicure is a little bit more expensive but definitely worth it if you have crap nails or if you are hard on your standard manicure.  

One color is $35 and it goes up from there based on design, but from the photos below you can tell that it's legit.  Highly recommend it for everyday, but especially for vacations or special occasions. 

nyc location.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

just my type.

Once again, I'm blogging about something that I found while antiquing in Ohio... 
Anyway, when I was at the old five & dime store I found a vintage Smith-Corona travel typewriter from 1954.  With the travel case intact & the product booklet in almost perfect condition.  
For $5. All I had to do was feed in a piece of paper and I was set to type.

These typewriters are insanely expensive when they are refurbished and the seller knows what they are dealing with. The exact one I found for five bucks easily sells for between $400 - $700.  
I got an email from fab.com last week highlighting a great deal on refurbished typewriters.  The same brand I found was marked down from $750 retail to the special price of $487. holy crap.

These typewriters are great antiques to have in your home, and it's been kind of fun to have it around.  Everyone that passes by seems to feel the urge to type a little message or random thought...

So keep your eyes out ladies and gentlemen.  These things are out there and they are waiting to be found.  If you should find yourself in a random small town, be sure to find the local antique store and dig around, you might be surprised with the gems you will find.

this is mine. :) if only it were pink.