Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tout est beau.

Good day, dear followers. I hope all is well with you and yours. I for one am in a fantastic mood. This summer has gotten off to a beautiful start, regardless of the rainy weather we've been experiencing. My little sister is in town for a short visit, so of course I went on a binge shopping spree, and spent way more money than I should have, but I think that's alright every once in a while, and I'm pretty satisfied with my haul.
 I've been absent-mindedly crafting through the rain (with an anime or two playing in the background of course), and I now have a whole slew of lavender sachets that I need to get rid of. They're so cute, and so easy to make, that I got a  little carried away.
I also finally had a few strands of feathers put in my hair earlier this week! I had my girl on the inside, Sarah Rae, put them in for me at a cost next to nothing. When you're trying to live as frugally as possible, it's really nice to have a best friend that only charges about ten dollars (or a free drink) a service. I'm especially pleased with this new addition to my locks because I've been sticking feathers in my hair for as long as I can remember, so to have them at least semi-permanently installed is a dream come true.
Well, I am now off to make soaps and shampoo, as well as prepare for mon copain anniversaire. Have a wonderful afternoon, and enjoy the sunshine!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Bonne fête des mères!

Reminiscent of Cinco de Mayo festival.
Mum and I decided to spend this Mother's Day at the Festival of Nations in St. Paul. I won't deny that it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment, but I still managed to come home with a bag of inexpensive goodies regardless. I was on a mission to find a roll of Tibetan prayer flags, and succeeded. I also fell in love with a gorgeous wire-wrapped ring, a woven key chain of sorts (I'm sure there is some significance to it, but I am no savant of Tibetan culture), some Nag Champa incense sticks (like I need any more), a couple of bracelets from Bolivia, and an utterly full stomach. I haven't eaten since lunchtime, and I'm still miserable.
Made entirely of thin wrapped wire.
I was completely enthralled with the Tibetan booth. All of the goods came from a store in Minneapolis called "The Heart of Tibet", and the woman running the stall was kind enough to give me a huge discount on the ring since it was the last day of the festival. The Japanese booth was less than impressive- food included. I saw nothing there that one couldn't have found in a kitschy gift shop in a suburban shopping center, and the only foods available at the stand were sushi (snooze), and fortune cookies. Perhaps next year I'll volunteer my time to the committee and add some real pseudo-asian influence. This sad display reminded me of a discussion I had heard on MPR regarding the separation from Japanese culture that many American-born Japanese experience. It saddened me, and made me feel like even more of a nerd knowing that I had a better understanding of Japanese culture than the Japanese teens that were running the booths. Ah, well!

video

Cottage Kitsch

Two of the finished products.
I've decided to spend the last few nights in to take a much-needed break, delve into the utter calm of playing the recluse, and get a few projects done that I had been putting off. I have a queer obsession with anything kitschy and cottage-esque, and being a city girl, the closest I've come thus far is with home decor. I found an adorable white side-table next to a dumpster a few days ago, and replaced the knobs. The paint is a little chipped, but it's wear almost looks intentional, and seems to add more to its quaintness rather than detract from it. I'll have a photograph soon.
A little piece of literary history.
I've also taken on the daunting task of wrapping all of my unsightly clothes-hangers in scraps of material left over from previous projects, and they look adorable if I do say so myself. Though time-consuming, it's an incredibly inexpensive way to brighten up one's closet, and it also makes choosing outfits a bit more fun! I'm taking my cloth-wrapping obsession one step further by covering some of the various vintage novels I've picked up at thrift stores. The one pictured here is a 1946 copy from Everyman's Library, founded in 1906, and contains miscellaneous essays by author William Hazlitt. It's not in any condition for collectors (which is probably why it was only a dollar), so I had no qualms about revamping it. Had I thought more in-depth about this project, I would have sewn the title into the cloth before applying it to the cover, but luckily I have quite a few novels set aside for the same "fate", so I'll have the opportunity to practice more ornate stitching when I get around to it!