Thursday, January 31, 2013

Home and Away: Weekend Washington

I took a mini vacation and went home for an extended weekend, and for the Nicolai Christmas! It was so much fun, I love being at my Washington home. I always make sure that my plane seat is prime for seeing Mount Rainier.

Wood burned spoons

After seeing Alisa Burke's wood burned spoons, I decided to break out my wood burning tool and fancify a couple wooden spoons for Second Christmas. Now we all know how I struggle with straight lines, so my arrows are, admittedly, a bit on the wobbly side. However, the wood-burned stops and starts and wobbly lines only reminds me of the arrows Robin Hood uses in the animated Disney movie. I like everything about that, and I'm betting the sisters feel the same...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Bo Peep Scarf

I'm still trying to catch up on all the fancy projects that I knit (or might still be knitting, hey Christine!). This week I wanted to show you Monika's little Bo Peep scarf from Tiny Owl Knits.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Make: Pressed Plants

One of the many wonderful perks about being home is sifting through all the awesome estate sale finds from the past year. This one is courtesy of Christine and is super amazing. Yes, that's right, an entire box of nature pressings from the Tacoma area in 1965!

We believe a school project may have inspired the collector to start cataloging these specimens. Whatever the case, we are excited to enjoy them now...

Monday, January 28, 2013

Book Report: The Murders in the Rue Morgue

Edgar Allan Poe's brilliant observationist detective, Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin, is considered by many the origin of the classic detective character. He made his appearance in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", which is, again, not a novel but a short story. I feel like I'm breaking an oath: this is a story report rather than a book report.

Still, if you've read the works of Conan Doyle, you'll definitely see where Doyle found Sherlock inspiration in the character of Dupin. The similarities aren't limited to the preternaturally intelligent detective either; "Rue Morgue" is, like the Sherlock stories, narrated by the detective's faithful sidekick. Or, to keep the chronology correct, perhaps I should say that the Sherlock stories, like "Murders in the Rue Morgue", are narrated by the detective's faithful sidekick. I guess Doyle, as many authors since, didn't want to muck up the perfect formula...

Brief Musical Interlude: Haim--Don't Save Me

I recently learned of Haim through my friend Chase (see, you're getting credit). Haim is made up of three sisters (just like us!) based out of LA (just like Monika!)! I've been listening to them a lot this weekend. Check it out, I think you'll enjoy it!

Saturday, January 26, 2013


These past couple weeks have been all about working, driving, fog/snow/ice storms, post-Christmas cleaning, and thank you notes. These things are not all equally represented on my instagram feed. You are quite welcome, by the way...

Friday, January 25, 2013

DIY: Cocktail Napkins

More second Christmas treasures revealed! The Nicolai's love their tea towels, (embroidered, dyed, inked, or printed) so I hoped the same love would be extended to cocktail napkins. These particular cocktail napkins were inspired by Anthropologie's Naraka Napkins, and here's how I made them...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Home & Away: Recipes into tea towels

When I have some free time, there's really nothing I love more than working on a project at home. Get ready, you get to see more of my cat and my house. Win!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Woodland shawl

Now that second Christmas is over, I can reveal what I've been working on! Unfortunately it's not finished yet, but Christine is a very patient person, and she'll have her wrap soon enough.

Brief Musical Interlude: Andrew Bird & St. Vincent

Possibly I've been listening to much too much Andrew Bird lately, but there's something about his meandering sound and contemplative lyrics that just loops around and around my brain, making me serene and a little sad. I don't mind. And am I only person who thinks St. Vincent (Annie Clark) is a doll? I mean that in the best, least reductive way possible. 

You'll find a tidy little review of Andrew Bird's album, Break It Yourself (on which "Lusitania" appears), on Pitchfork. And if you've never poked around the wonderful French site, La Blogotheque, you simply must. They feature a wide range of amazing musicians, as well as performances called Les Concerts a Emporter or Take Away Shows. Here's my favorite Andrew Bird take away from 2007. Oh, the whistling! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Make: Kittens!

Last year for Valentines Day I made little kittens for my Mom and the sisters, to stay consistent, I didn't actually deliver them until March when I went home for my birthday last year. The way I look at it, who doesn't want to get a little something for themselves on someone else's birthday? If you follow the blog you may recognize the cats as Peanut, Matilda and Beatrix (aka little baby black bear)...

Monday, January 21, 2013

Book Report: The Thin Man

While still in the noir genre, Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man is much more lighthearted than Chandler's The Big Sleep. The plot runs thus: retired detective Nick Charles and his heiress wife, Nora, get dragged into solving a murder mystery. Where Chandler's detective, Marlowe, is a hopelessly jaded, world-weary anti-hero, Nick and Nora Charles are a team, dedicated to each other and wholly in love. Where the two novels intersect, is with their humor. All three characters are constantly cracking wise--the main difference being that Nick and Nora are all about playful banter, where Marlowe's cracks often come with a cruel edge. Oh, and Nick and Nora have a darling Schnauzer, Asta, which acts as comic relief...

Saturday, January 19, 2013


A lovely instagram from La Jolla, earlier in January, when Ben and I went down to see his new niece. It's so beautiful down there; those pelicans know what's up...

Friday, January 18, 2013

DIY: Lovebird Wreath

I decided to update my front door wreath for Valentine's Day. I wanted a simple, cute little wreath. I already had a gold wreath up I made for Christmas with two turtle doves. I purchased the wreath and the doves from the Dollar Tree.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Home and Away: The Museum

This is where I work: the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane, WA. I usually don't write too much about the Museum because I don't necessarily want the blog to end up all over our Google Alerts at work (Hello, Becky!), but I decided to talk a little about it this week. If you follow me on instagram--@christinesuzanne--the Museum is probably not new to you...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Socks Completed!

So you know those socks that I've been talking a lot about for the last, oh I don't know, six weeks? Well, I'm going to finally share some pictures with you!

Brief Musical Interlude: Lady Gaga

Catherine and Nicholas attended the Lady Gaga concert in Tacoma Monday night. Sources indicate that Gaga was AWESOME. Like we'd encounter any less than awesomeness from her. So, I thought about my favorite Gaga girl power/ Natural Born Killers/ Americana/ product placement/ Thelma & Louise/ Quentin Tarantino-esque/ revenge/ dance song: "Telephone." With a combo like Miss B & Miss G, you can't go wrong.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Make: Valentine's DIY Treats & Treasures

So we love to come up with new fun ideas ourselves, but we also love to pin the night away and admire the talents and tastes of others. So with that being said, here are some fun ideas for Valentine's Day treats and treasures for you to try...

Monday, January 14, 2013

Book Report: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

For me, Sherlock Holmes began with the British series, "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke. Even though I enjoy the BBC's latest incarnation of Holmes, as well as the classic Basil Rathbone portrayal, Brett is still at the top of my list. Of course, this is about the book, not the television series! Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories and novels about his consulting detective were incredibly popular in the late 1800s, and I think The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes definitely stands the test of time. I mean, it must since it's been endlessly remade to fit the screen, big and small...

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Friday, January 11, 2013

DIY: Confetti-filled paper hearts

It seems I'm perpetually behind on every holiday, so I decided to get a jumpstart on Valentine's Day with a simple project. This will be my year. I plan to keep telling myself that until I make it so. (Jean-Luc Picard reference!) As usual, I wandered my apartment looking for materials and inspiration, and I happened upon some thrifted confetti and thought: Hmm. This is festive, now if only I had a way to contain it... 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Home and Away: Weekending at home

It seems that I am getting busier and busier, which can be fun, but sometimes I need to stop and sit around the house on the weekend. Let me tell you, if I could, I probably would spend nearly every weekend at home. I always find so many things to do and I love being around Olive, even though she does a lot of napping. 

Last weekend I did just that, but I was pretty productive. I even took down the Christmas tree in time to put up Valentine's Day decorations (aka the heart garland Christine made for me). There's always a reason to celebrate and decorate...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Peanut & Purls: Hearts on hearts on Peanut

Love is in the air. Well, not always with Peanut. Sometimes Peanut isn't all about love, but when she's cold or tired and wants cuds, she loves you (read: your heat) to death! I decided to show some love back by knitting her a little heart cat toy that she can rub on, get a little loopy, and then go to sleep (probably on me...but who doesn't love a cat on their lap?!?)...

Brief Musical Interlude: Bat for Lashes

Where Robyn is my Brit dance pop crush and Solange is my sweet newcomer crush, Natasha Khan (aka Bat for Lashes) is my haunting synth dream crush. Five years ago I fell in love with "What's a Girl To Do"--mostly because my bat lightning heart wants to fly away--but also, it doesn't hurt that Jon Hamm has a crush on her, as evidenced in the "Would you rather?" segment of this episode of Comedy Bang! Bang! (Be warned: it's explicit and hilarious.)

You can read about Natasha's new album, The Haunted Man (which is truly terrific), in Pitchfork's wonderful article, "Glitter in the Dark." (Spoiler alert: they tour the Roald Dahl Museum in Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire!) I read the article after listening to her new album and watching several of her new videos (like the one above, "All Your Gold") and found that it deepened my feelings about the music. Plus, I so dig her semi-creepy dance moves--in my eyes, a combination of flag-twirling arm and Black Lodge Twin Peak-sian body movements. Love her. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Make: Someone Loves You, Valentine.

I have long been contemplating completing a stately project, a gift, small token or treasure for someone...or many ones. After making some cloth bookmarks last week, I had it all worked out. Who wouldn't love to receive (or give) a lovely stately measure of their esteem.

Luckily for all of us it's pretty dang easy, and pretty dang sweet...

Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Report: The Big Sleep

When I asked my friend and master book-recommender, Dan, which book should kick off my foray into Raymond Chandler, he didn't hesitate to recommend The Big Sleep. Chandler has the kind of sharp, cool, hard-nosed, practically timeless prose that I've envied for days, months, years. And his master creation, the grim yet principled wisecracking detective Philip Marlowe, is a kick in the pants...

Saturday, January 5, 2013


Most of my instagrams lately are either cats or snow. These two things occupy the bulk of my wintertime concerns here in the Inland Northwest. And it's not surprising--the snow is there every time I leave the apartment, and a cat comes running and rolling as soon as I enter the apartment. This particular picture is from Snoqualmie Pass--technically Western Washington...

Friday, January 4, 2013

DIY: Cloth Bookmarks

I remember when we were younger and would frequent Waldenbooks (RIP), and after we found our reading delight would stand at the swivel rack of bookmarks and admire them so. I seem to remember a special unicorn bookmark, that belonged to Christine (maybe...?) that I would covet.

Makes me sad to think what that bookmark-enthused little girl would say to present-day me knowing I use thing such as receipts, torn off pieces of paper, bobby pins, and dog eared pages to mark my place. I don't think she'd be happy, and that's unacceptable.

Present-day me is getting it together and just made some fun cloth bookmarks to tickle her place marking fancy...

2012 in Review: Part 4

Thanks for the wonderful year, everyone!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Peanut & Purls: The never-ending sock

I've been trying to finish up Nicholas' new winter socks, and I've almost finished them!

Brief Musical Interlude: Robyn

Robyn has all the dance moves. I think I saw a variation on the Electric Slide in there. Color me impressed. But I guess what else are you going to do while dancing alone in a warehouse?

I love Dancing on My Own in part because it's the flip side to Call Your Girlfriend. Ms. Robyn gives both sides of the love equation equal play. Also, girl, what is up with your shirt? Is your earring connected? By chains? Robyn, dear, I must admit I don't get it. No matter, you're still reigning favorite in my apartment. I like to think my neighbors must have grown to love you as much as I do. Because I will not change my playlist until I'm good and ready.

2012 in Review: Part 2

Up tomorrow: July, August, September...

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Make: Happy this New Year!

Adorable pic from Hula Seventy

Make happy this New Year, and check out these awesome DIY's and be prepared to adorn your nest with gold, tinsel and cheer...

2012 in Review: Part 1

Yes, indeedy! Thanks to all of you, our wonderful readers, our little blog had a lovely year. Sometimes we get lost in the day-to-day business of keeping up with our blogging duties, and we tend to forget the individual projects and posts. So, I thought it might be nice, in the first week of the new year, to revisit some of our favorite posts from 2012...
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