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Thursday, May 27, 2010

too hot

(image via etsy seller Lazy Bones Photography)
It was too hot to blog last night so I don't have a post for today.  My apologies, but I was too busy sweating while doing nothing but laying down upside down on our bed so I could reap maximum benefits from what little breeze there was.  I may be back tomorrow, but I may not... we're going away this weekend and our plans are very last minute.  We're celebrating my birthday and our two year anniversary, both the last we will celebrate sans children.  At the very least, you'll hear from me again on Tuesday.  Any Cape Cod recommendations?

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Studio Hop

A couple of weeks ago my friend Jaclyn and I visited some shops on the east side of Providence.  One of our favorites was Studio Hop at 810 Hope Street - it was filled with birds!  Not real birds, of course, but birds painted on things and hanging from the ceiling and hiding in little birdhouses.  I took home this adorable little cup which now houses a spool of thread in my sewing room.  It's not the most practical storage container but form is more important to me that function.  What kinds of containers do you use for storage?      

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

happy birthday tara

Yesterday was my birthday and Matt organized a little celebration for which he did all the baking!  He made a funfetti cake and cupcakes as well as this yummy Peanut Butter Cup and Pretzel Terrine, only he used chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla.  I loathe vanilla anything.  Sadly, there were no photos taken of the terrine as it disappeared quickly.  
 
I had a lovely day - nice weather, flowers from Matt, gifts from family including a gift card for a pedicure, fresh smelling shower gel and lotion, a few books (baby- and sewing-related), wind chimes, a pretty new quilt pattern and all the fabric to go with it (more on that later), and the coveted ebelskiver pan.  Here's to what I know will be my best year yet... even though I forgot to make a wish when I blew out all my candles!  
 

Monday, May 24, 2010

under the sea

This post has about a thousand images because I couldn't get enough of all the sea life I was finding everywhere.  Well, I guess it wasn't really everywhere, it was only at anthropologie, but it's all gorgeous.  Summer is coming and I love octopuses so much lately, but I have no idea why.  I don't even like the ocean that much but those eight-tentacled sea creatures have captured my heart.  Check out all this dinnerware...

From the Deep Salad Plate and the very similar...
My favorites are the tea set and the two tumblers.  And then there's this hilarious Spiny Lobster Rug, which is sadly no longer available.  I was seriously considering buying this funny lookin' guy to adorn the floor of our porch, but I guess I'll have to keep looking.
And finally, a dress!  I spotted it on design*sponge last month and have been drooling ever since.  Designed by Parisian artist Nathalie Lete, I think it's the most gorgeous article of clothing I've ever seen. 
all images from anthropologie, except the last two - via design*sponge

Friday, May 21, 2010

drumroll please

And the winners are...
Leah, who said, "Oh that is hard. I really like Michael miller and amy butler but there are so many out there.  thanks for the chance to win."
Jenny wrote, "Just saying hi!  I think I'm going to win!"  She was right!
And finally Anne, who said, "very pretty!  I think Joel Dewberry is my favorite fabric designer. Ever time I go to the fabric shop, I'm drawn to his stuff.  And congrats on your impending arrival! I'm also due in October!  P.S. I'm following your blog now, too."  I love that Anne's twins are due in the same month as our baby.
Congratulations, ladies, and thanks to everyone else who visited, commented, followed, etc. this week!  I've enjoyed browsing new blogs and online shops and look forward to finding further inspiration around every virtual corner.  Thanks again to Sew, Mama, Sew for hosting Giveaway Day.  I'll definitely be participating again, so be on the look out for more freebies in the future!  What were some of your favorite prizes? 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stacked Coins Baby Quilt

My cousin Shannon and her husband Matthew welcomed their third child, Matthew Jr., into their family in late March and it took me until last Thursday to visit.  I had made Matthew's cousin Leah a quilt when she was born last October and I heard through the family grapevine (OK, so my aunt told me) that Shannon would love a quilt for Matthew.  Well, I love making quilts and it's even better when I have an excuse to make one so I got right to work.  I used some fabrics from a jelly roll that I bought at Joann's, but some of the prints were too girly so I had to buy some coordinating fabrics.  I used three different Stonehill Collection fabrics, including this stripe, this polka dot, and this geometric pattern.  This was only the fourth quilt I've ever made so I used a fairly simple pattern, stacked coins found at the moda bake shop, and completed it entirely on my own!  Lorraine, my teacher, would be proud.  I did, however, have to walk down the street (luckily Blaine's is only a two minute walk!) to buy a new needle when I was mere inches away from finishing the binding.  What kind of quilter only has one needle?  Apparently that would be me.  Fortunately, there was a sale going on and I bought three packs of needles for the price of two.  I should be all set for a while, especially since I don't change my needle nearly as often as I should.  That might explain the broken needle...  Anyway, I hope Matthew enjoys his quilt!  I enjoyed making it and am looking forward to beginning a new project soon.  

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

produce cheat sheet

Now that I'm pregnant I've been paying even more attention than I usually do to what I put into my body.  Heidi Kenney's produce cheat sheet will definitely help me out when I'm wandering the aisles of fruit and vegetables at my local grocery store.  Now I'll never forget what I should always buy organic and what's not so bad.  (Thanks, Karissa!) 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

the birds

(image via spool sewing blog
When I first started sewing about a year ago I became obsessed with making these birds which I found in the free pattern section of the sidebar on the spool sewing blog.  The spool bird was the first project I tackled without the help of my teacher, Lorraine, and I was exceedingly proud that I could, in fact, complete a simple sewing project unassisted.  In my excitement I thought to myself, I shall make 100 birds.  It became my short term goal and I busily began cutting out bird backs and bellies.  Making 100 birds has now become a long term goal because as of today I believe I have only made about 17 birds and nearly a year has passed.  To be honest I sort of lost track.  You see, I made 5 or 6 feathered (fabric-ed?) friends very quickly and then I was asked by my friend Ari if I would make birds to be attached to the chairs at the end of the aisle at her wedding ceremony last summer.  I happily agreed and stitched up a whole flock of gold and white birds.  See them?  They're watching Ari and Matt walk down the aisle as a brand new married couple.
Ari also asked her friend Nicole to whip up a couple of birds.  Her assignment was the cake toppers and let me just say that she completely showed me up.  The groom bird had a top hat and the bride bird had a veil.  Plus they were just neater all around.  I wanted to take them home with me. 
Anyway, the problem is I don't know how many birds I made for the wedding, and therefore do not know how many birds I've made in total.  I have a basket full of bird pieces that are in various stages of life.  Some only need to be stuffed, other have yet to be sewn together, and still others are just pairs of coordinating scraps.  Maybe some day I'll pick up the project again, but for now I've been drooling over this mobile that I saw on the spool blog last summer.
  
(image via spool sewing blog
I love that each bird was handmade by a different friend of the expectant parents.  Each one is unique and so full of personality.  If it were my mobile I would give each one a name, but maybe that's just me.  Recently, while browsing ohdeedoh for nursery inspiration, I discovered this nursery tour of a baby named Charley Mae, none other than the recipient of my favorite bird mobile!  In addition to the little birdies, I love the yellow crib, zebra rug, and wall art mural.  Let's hope my baby's nursery is as inviting as Charley Mae's!    
(image via spool sewing blog

Monday, May 17, 2010

Hooray! It's Giveaway Day!

Yay, it's finally here!  I've been wanting to have a giveaway on the tiny hummingbird and Sew, Mama, Sew has given me an excuse by hosting May Giveaway Day.  I love entering giveaways on other blogs, and while I've never won one I haven't given up!  
By entering my giveaway you have the chance to win a set of three handmade quilted cards made with fabric from Lila Tueller's Santorini collection.  I'll actually be giving away three sets of cards and there are three ways to enter, so listen up.
1. Leave a comment on this post telling me one of your favorite fabric collections or designers.  If you don't have one then just say hi!  
2. Become a follower of the tiny hummingbird.  
3. Mention my giveaway on your blog, facebook page, or twitter and link back to this post to spread the word!
Do all three and you'll increase your chances of winning by three!  You have until Thursday, May 20th, to comment, follow, or re-post so get busy.  I'll choose a winner randomly and announce the lucky recipient's name on Friday.  Don't forget to visit Sew, Mama, Sew on Monday to check out all the other giveaways, and good luck!

Giveaway Guidelines
- You have 4 days to enter this giveaway (closes Thursday, May 20th at midnight)
- anonymous comments will be ignored so make sure I know who you are and how to contact you!
- the winners will be chosen randomly and announced in a new post on Friday, May 21st
- winners, please respond within three days to secure your prize

Friday, May 14, 2010

Giveaway Day!

I'm thrilled to be participating in Sew, Mama, Sew's Giveaway Day on May 17th.  Come back on Monday to see what I'm offering as a prize and don't forget to visit Sew, Mama, Sew on Monday, too... there will be tons of opportunities to win!  I can't wait to see what all my fellow bloggers are going to be handing out and I'm excited about the prospect of finding more crafty people to connect with.  I'm interested to know if any of my readers are participating... comment and let me know!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

babies

I promise all posts from here on will not be about babies, but last night I saw this movie and it got me even more excited for our little one's arrival in October!  It was laugh out loud funny - a baby being surrounded by cattle, stepping on a goat's head as it learns to walk, gnawing on an unidentified animal bone...  The entire theater was laughing, so get yourself a copy of the DVD and check out Ponijao (my personal favorite), Mari, Bayar, and Hattie.  

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

tiny happy news

It is with great excitement that I officially announce (although the cat is already out of the bag) that Matt and I are expecting our first baby in October!  It's a very welcome surprise and we already can't wait for the little person's arrival.  I'm four months along as of today (yes, that was a very long time to keep a secret) and we're glad to finally be able to tell anyone and everyone!  The baby is now the size of an avocado and pretty soon we'll be able to find out if it's a boy or a girl.  Also new in our house is this funny looking body pillow that Matt bought me for Mother's Day.  Ever since mid-March our bedtime conversation has sounded like this - 
me: I can't sleep!
Matt: Why not?  What's the matter?
me: I don't have a Snoogle!
Matt: ...(silence, or pretending to be asleep, also known as deliberately ignoring wife)...
me: SNOOOOOGLE!
Matt: (now sleeping for real)
So I think he bought it for me just so he doesn't have to listen to me talk about how much my life would improve if I only had a Snoogle for the next five months.  Anyway, we're looking forward to all the changes to come and appreciate everyone's good wishes!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

black with white or...?

Spotted (striped?) this photo over at Style Me Pretty and swooned.  Zebras are my second favorite animal and I love these three guys hanging out by Mexican lake.  I didn't know there were zebras in Mexico but apparently there are.  That just means they're closer and I can visit more often than if there were exclusive to the continent of Africa where I first realized they were one of God's finest creations.  Check out this awesome zebra jacket from j.crew... love it!
 

Monday, May 10, 2010

Celebrating Mothers

I can happily say that all of my planning and preparations for Mother's Day paid off.  We enjoyed the afternoon with our parents and brothers (Matt's sister is away currently stationed in Kansas and his sister-in-law was in New York visiting her mother) and then later visited Matt's grandmother, Mama.  My menu evolved some since my last post... we started off with Kathleen's (of Twig & ThistleDIY provincial cheese favors as appetizers which I served with four different kinds of crackers and sliced apples.  Next we had vanilla yogurt, almond granola, and blackberry and blueberry parfaits.  The entrees were a ham and cheese casserole found on the kitchn, broccoli garlic quiche from epicurious, baked French toast spotted here, and my friend Kelli's hash brown bake.  I served stephmodo's Blushing Pink Crush for a fun addition to the typical beverage menu, which, at my house, usually consists of orange juice, skim milk, herbal tea, and water.  For dessert we enjoyed banana chocolate chip muffins (adapted from the recipe found in Baked), chocolate chip biscotti (adapted from Giada's second book, Giada's Family Dinners), and fresh strawberries, pineapple, and watermelon.

Success!  I only wish I had taken some photos of the food, but we were all too hungry to bother...  I hope everyone had as lovely a day as we did!  

Friday, May 7, 2010

i love lemon

A few months ago I was asked to design the invitations for our youth group's annual parent teen cookout.  I took a page out of Jordan's book to make these nifty invites that only took me a few hours total, although I completed the project over the course of a couple of days.  I bought kraft boxes in bulk from Paper Mart, 5 pounds of Lemonheads from Candy Direct, and printed the invitations myself.    
I filled about half of the boxes with a layer of Lemonheads before running out so some quick thinking was needed.  I was making 50 invitations and only had about 25 boxes filled.  That meant I needed about 5 more pounds of Lemonheads and I didn't have enough time to order another bulk delivery.  I called a few local candy shops but the prices were ridiculous... $14 per pound?!  Were they joking?!  More thinking.  I knew I had seen Lemonheads at the Dollar Tree down the street from our house so I hopped in the car and was there in about one and half minutes.  Success!  I bought something like fifteen bags of candy and was able to completely fill the rest of the boxes.  My advice is this: if you decide to recreate these invitations figure that you need about 5 pounds of Lemonheads for every 25 boxes and place your order accordingly.  
My next piece of advice - print one invitation and have it copied at Office Max or somewhere so you're not babysitting your inkjet printer for 45 minutes!  These babies were double-sided which accounts for the extra long print time.  After they were printed I cut them down to size and rounded the corners.   
Rule number three is buy enough ribbon.  I don't know what kind of math calculations I was doing while in the aisle at Joann's but it was horrifically incorrect.  I only bought enough of the coordinating yellow and white ribbon to wrap maybe ten or twelve of the boxes.  That's right, I still had about forty more to go.  Instead of leaving the house to go to the store for the fifth time that day I dug into my stash of ribbons and fortunately found enough bright scraps to finish the job.    
I handed them out over the next couple of weeks and parents and teens alike were excited at the prospect of the candy inside.  I had teens begging me for extra invitations, so I directed them to their local Dollar Tree where an 8 oz. bag is, you guessed it, a dollar!    
Here is a similar project from Brooke over at inchmark that's perfect for any happy occasion.  Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

a few of my favorites

(image via Brownies for Dinner)
There are some things that never cease to please me, like the smell of patchouli on a scarf, sun streaming through our front door, and the sound of the ice cream maker whirring.  I know, that last one came out of nowhere, but I've been thinking about breaking it out now that summer is right around the corner.  We received our ice cream maker as a gift (thanks, Aunt Kathi & Uncle John!) and it's definitely a keeper.  You can find one here at your local Williams-Sonoma.  

(image via Williams-Sonoma)
Simply store the removable bowl tucked away in your freezer for days when you just have to have homemade ice cream immediately!  Select a recipe (may I recommend classic strawberry with a hint of lemon?), mix up your ingredients, and in about 25 minutes you can enjoy 2 quarts of ice cream.    

Another kitchen appliance that serves us well is our Cuisinart griddler.  We bought it at Crate & Barrel and never looked back.  I use it probably once every two weeks and it's great in a pinch.  Example: I forgot to take anything out of the freezer to defrost, there's no homemade gravy in the fridge waiting to be heated and added to pasta, we don't have time to go out, and Matt is going to be home in 30 minutes.  Or less.  And he's extra hungry because he forgot to bring a lunch to work.  Griddler to the rescue!  Slather four slices of bread with olive oil and lay two of them on the grill.  Add some sliced Mozzarella, chicken breast, and pesto, top with the the other two slices of bread and walk away.  Hot panini in less than 15 minutes!  Or switch the plates out and unhinge to make six pancakes at a time - also a great last minute dinner... well, I think it's great.  Matt thinks it leaves something to be desired, but he's not the one cooking so he can't complain.  Oh, I forgot to mention the best part about this thing... the plates are removable so you can stick them right in the dishwasher!  Clean up is a cinch!  

(image via Macy's)
Next, my favorite weekend appliance - our Krups waffle maker.  I whip up a double batch of classic waffles using the recipe from The Joy of Cooking and the first four waffles are ready in about 5 minutes.  We eat waffles all week.  Well, almost.  We eat maybe half of the waffles on Saturday and then we have a few leftover that we can heat up in the toaster oven for an on-the-run breakfast as we're flying out the door to church on Sunday and work on Monday.  My only complaint - although the inside part (no idea what to call it) is non-stick, it cannot be removed and therefore cannot be put in the dishwasher.  Or the sink.  Also, the instructions state that one should not use soap to clean the device since it is seasoned with use.  This means I have to spend the rest of Saturday morning cleaning the thing with a damp cloth and several hundred Q-tips to ensure it is in tip-top shape for its next use.  However, it is worth it.  I would not be singing its praises on my blog if it were not.  but you may want to consider one with removable plate things.  Just maybe.      
What do you love in your kitchen?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

olga's cup + saucer

One of my favorite things to do during school vacation is go out to breakfast and lunch.  Savoring a mid-day meal at a local bistro or cafe beats scarfing leftovers in the teacher's room while small children walk by and stare at us any day.  On Tuesday Ari and I decided on a late lunch at Olga's Cup and Saucer on Point Street downtown.  After browsing through the menu in the morning I decided I was in the mood for soup and a sandwich.  My craving lasted through the morning and I ordered a cup of minestrone soup, a tuna melt, and a bottle of Orangina.  
Ari had a hankering for a Cuban sandwich (one of the adorable mini sandwiches served at her wedding to Matt) and devoured half of it and her cole slaw quickly...
Olga's also serves amazing breakfasts on the weekends.  Last time Ari and I ate there we shared French toast and a yummy breakfast sandwich.  Read more about Olga's here in the Providence Phoenix.
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