Goodbye 2010. Hello 2011.

I have an elaborate New Year's Eve party planned. Not for this year, silly people, but for some year in the distance future when I have a home big enough to host a party and friends close enough to show up. It involves confetti, cupcakes, balloons, streamers, noisemakers, silly hats, paper crowns, mini lights and fun. And sparklers. 

The dress code will be 'fancy' but open to interpretation. I can't wait even though I know the planning of it all will make me feel like this by the end of the night. 
This year, I'm keeping it simple. I've got two good friends coming down to visit me so we can drink fancy cocktails and ring in the new year at whatever Brooklyn bar we end up at (still taking suggestions). It will be fun, because I will be with friends, who are probably stuck in about one million hours of traffic right now  just to be with me tonight. I feel loved.

Although in many ways 2010 feels like a bit of a wash for me, mixed into that was plenty of good. I tried new things, started to work towards new dreams, and made a few new friends (both near and far). I think I mean it when I say I have no regrets. So, thank you, 2010, for the memories. And thank you to all of my friends and readers who have been checking in on this blog day in and day out. 

Wishing everyone out there the very best ending to 2010 you could possibly hope for, and, if you need it, that fresh start in 2011.
Happy New Year!

I've never been in a floating house before.

I love video montages. When I was traveling in Costa Rica, we ended up on this amazing public bus that showed about 4 hours worth of clips from 80's & 90's music videos. I never thought anything could equal that (it was pretty amazing), until I saw a vimeo montage of Pixar film clips by Leandro Copperfield on Fubiz. For some reason, it got taken down soon after it was posted due to copyright issues? who knows. (You can still see some of the film stills here. UPDATE: I found the video on youtube and included it at the end of this post after the jump).

There were a lot of amazing films featured in the video, but my favorite clips were the ones that showed the balloons from Up. Thinking about that movie makes me feel happy and sad in the best possible way.
Honestly, I can't think of anything better than floating off to a distant land via an enormous bunch of helium balloons. Can you? Can you tell I am procrastinating thinking about and sharing my New Year's Resolutions?

(I actually would never stand like the girl above. It looks pretty, but I have a very specific fear of helium balloons popping in my face, inhaling the pieces, and then choking to death. Irrational? Maybe. Could it happen. YES.)

A hundred million swoons for all of the above.

(images found on weheartit.)

UPDATE: Found the video on youtube!

Time is priceless, but it's free. You can't own it. You can use it, you can spend it. You can't keep it.

I've started to write this post a few times and the problem is that words cannot fully express how I am feeling about the passage of time these days. First, there is the complete and utter shock that somehow in a few short days it will be 2011. And then the knot that has been sitting in the pit of my stomach grows a little as I think about how much I've squandered this past year. Somehow, 2010 just slipped through my fingers despite the fact that originally it held so much promise.

One thing that is getting me through the ticking time bomb that feels like my life is that I am finally starting to pursue the things I've been postponing for all of these years while I waited for the right moment. You've heard this once, you'll hear it again, and a million times more, but the truth is that there isn't a right moment for anything. Things just happen and we are forced to move forward. Time doesn't stop and wait for us to be ready. 

Normally, my friend LJ gives out advice for the year, but this year, here is mine for 2011. 
(by Hanna Viktorsson found on Pine)

And if you need to keep track of the hours, the minutes, the seconds, so you don't wake up on December 31, 2011 shocked and appalled you are on the cusp of 2012, this week's Etsy picks may help.

I'm terrible when it comes to using alarm clocks. I pretty much rely on my iPhone and this talking battery operated Apple (it shouts the time at me because I am essentially blind in the morning). Every year I ask for this alarm clock by L.L. Bean because I think it might be nice to wake up to artificial sunlight. But after seeing this retro number... I might have changed my mind. I don't know if anyone has seen I am Reed Fish, but I think he has this on his nightstand. And I want it.

It turns out I am really picky when it comes to picking out clocks. It all comes down to the hands, I think. I hate those weird curvy ones that look like something out of a Matisse painting. This honeycomb clock fits the bill for what I'd like to look at on a regular basis. The white lattice work can fit into any color scheme. Granted, I'd have no idea what time it actually was... but who cares? I wear a watch that is a color wheel and somehow it all works out.

Speaking of items that won't help you actually tell time... I love this sewn felt calculator watch bracelet. I pretty much wanted to be Penny from Inspector Gadget and she had that awesome computer watch that helped her communicate with Brain as together they solved all of the world's problems. This reminds me of that. 

As soon as I was old enough to be in charge of my own library books, I am positive I never returned a single one on time. I used to sneak overdue books into the library after hours chute and cross my fingers that they never recorded the late fees (they always did). In college, we had a nifty option of paying overdue fines with canned goods around the holidays. I am pretty sure I was the only one who took advantage. This print is a reminder of how easily time can slip away. Don't let your life become past due this year.

Ooh, I love woodland creatures (when they are captured in images or sculptures and tacked to my walls, not eating, living, and breathing while scurrying about inside my walls). This clock is charmingly cute. I love the cut out forest creatures and how the numbers are tucked into the design so as not to overwhelm.

I am not sure about this steampunk trend right now, but I happen to like this necklace watch that puts itself in that category. Especially because it is to keep track of the days of the week, which would be incredibly useful in my life. I can never seem to tell apart my Tuesdays from my Wednesdays.

I tend to buy couches and armchairs in solid colors so I can spruce them up with interesting printed pillows. I particularly like the black and white clock pattern on these.

Normally clocks are limited to circles, sometimes squares. What's cool about this one is that it is a long rectangle AND the numbers aren't the ones most typically highlight. Plus, you know how yellow makes me feel all sunshiney inside.

In my search for time themed products, I stumbled across this time wasting project. I can only imagine what my life would look like if I chronicled it in such a specific fashion. Scary to think about because it would probably include a lot of units like these two.

Should I add this to my bicycle collection?

I could not, for the life of me, find any wristwatches I particularly liked today. So here's another necklace watch. Which might be my new favorite way to wear a watch anyway. I love the collection of charms on this one. It is both fashionable and functional.

I found quite a bit more of time-related items... but I can't share them all here so I will post a treasury soon! (maybe)

I invented post-its.

This is the time of year when we all sit around pondering our New Year's Resolutions. We take the pesky little thoughts that have been lurking around in the back of our brains and bring them out into the light of day to be organized and dealt with. I can't think of a better tool to make this process easier than the post-it. 
I've always loved the convenience of sticky backed paper that I can use for notes to myself. I like how they are small so I am forced to keep the note brief. They are portable so I can take them with me and stick them anywhere. I usually have some note or another stuck to my wallet, and I keep a pad of post-its in my purse... just in case I need to jot something down quickly or redecorate my apartment on a whim.

But the reason why I think they'd be perfect for recording New Year's resolutions is that they are disposable. Part of me likes this because there is no better satisfaction than cleaning out a pile of post-its on your desk and throwing away the completed squares of colorful paper. The other part of me likes to have an exit strategy for all of my failures. If you write all of your resolutions on one list, they sit there in a column, permanently unified. If something doesn't work out despite attempts.... you can cross it off the list but its memory is never completely erased. It exists in the black out of a permanent marker or the smudges of erased pencil. A post it, on the other hand, can be crumbled and chucked into the oblivion of the New York City trash collection. Or, it can be folded down into a tiny but neat little square and tucked into a pocket of a winter coat to be found and re-evaluated for next year's list.

If you are a creepy-sort-of-pack-rat, on the other hand, you could save all of your notes and stick them to your wall. I suggest being extra creepy and putting all of these in a secret room or shed in the backyard and not telling anyone about it. 

I haven't come up with my list of New Year's resolutions yet. Instead, I find myself doodling owls and robots on the post-it I have in front of me and wishing I was in LA so I could go to the Giant Robot's Post It Show 6 (running through January 11). 

(images found on weburbanist and colourlovers)

Sometimes I believe six impossible things before breakfast.

I am a sucker for fairy tales. So when I saw the artwork of Julia Humpfer on DA today, I formed an instant literary art crush. She is currently working on illustrations for the French fairy tale Donkeyskin. I can't wait to see how it all turns out, so far it is stunning.

EW Wednesday: Until next week.

I think I forgot it was Wednesday. Or, I forgot that there was a Wednesday this week. I have some good excuses: (A) It's Christmas in a few days. (B) I am babysitting my almost-3-year old niece and she is pretty bossy and only lets me use the computer to show her Elmo videos. (3) I really want to paint my nails like this and I have a feeling it might take me some time.
Needless to say, I didn't get it together to get the weekly EW post done ahead either. And I plan to be MIA in an off the grid kind of way for the next few days while I do my down-to-the-wire Christmas shopping, wrap presents, and bake cookies.
So, until then, enjoy whatever time you have off, and I wish you all the Christmas miracles in the world this holiday season. Oh, and World Peace.

Happy holidays from this muppet to you and yours!

(top two images from weheartit)
(muppet images from A Muppet Christmas Carol)

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas.

All over facebook there have been reports of snow across New England. I looked outside my window and saw the same gray street I have been seeing for the past couple of weeks. I am jealous of everyone who got hit by some sort of storm these past couple of days. I might have to go on a paper snowflake rampage and create something like this in my living room.
(found on weheartit)

Instead, I spent the past 20 minutes making this virtual wonder.

If you have some time to waste today but aren't allowed to leave your cubical, play with virtual paper and scissors here.

Or if you are at home and in the mood for decorating with a fun D*S snowflake project, click here.

I'm going to give you all my heart can give.

If you are like me and are in the process of getting worked up into a frenzy over the lack of time, money, etc, left this holiday season, here is a friendly little reminder:
(photo from thimbly things  via weheartit and you can buy it here!)

I've been meaning to add DIY posts into the docket for a while now, somehow I just haven't gotten around to it. Kind of like how I haven't gotten around to making those DIY Christmas presents I thought up months ago. And those two ideas converge into one massive DIY post about making some last minute Christmas presents. (Because if you can't go big, go home. Or something.)

I've scoured the web for some projects that are fairly easy, won't take up too much time to complete, and use materials that you can find around the home (if you are a pack-rat like me and never throw anything away) or at least are easy enough (and inexpensive enough) to buy from a craft store/office supply store/ fabric store/ Target/ Walmart/CVS, so you can still avoid the mall and all of those holiday shopping zombies out there.

Projects that involve cutting, gluing, rolling, and/or very minimal hand-sewing:
(1). Fabric covered journals from Between the Lines. These instructions call for some fancy fabric fusible stuff. Check out This to That for more gluing ideas. (2). Felt (or paper) ornaments from How About Orange. I love using ornaments as gift toppers. Just saying. (3). Glass magnets from Not Martha. My go to gift for anyone who has a refrigerator. (4). Recycled roses wreath from Alisa Burke. Love this wreath.You can also use this rose technique to make some cute headbands. (5). Another paper doodad from How About Orange. Think about all of the cool materials you could make these in! Newspaper, magazines, your credit card bill. (6). Fabric covered beads from Twirling Betty. Make these for your best friend.  (7). Calendar journal from Design*Sponge, via Pine. This is essentially a journal that you add to every year. I'd also include some paper clips in case the givee wants to add photos and ticket stubs to each day as the years go on.

Simple sewing projects (sewing machine needed):

(1). Punch out coasters by Mackenzie Sasser found on This is not my work. Simple and chic, perfect for that friend you forgot to give a housewarming gift to and she's been living there for a year now. (2). Coin pouch by Tiffany Harvey. I promise I wouldn't make you sew a zipper if even I didn't think this project was easy. (3). Snack placemats from JCHandmade. Perfect for the new-ish mom in your life. (4). iPod pouch from Made by Petchy. Also, I love the headbands made from old T-shirts also on this site, so check that out, too. (5). Shirt cuff wallet from Replayground. I am in love with this wallet and wish I had a boyfriend so I could make one for him. (6). Mug Cosy from Hazelnut Girl. These instructions show you how to customize a cosy for your mug. Imagine the personalization options here. (7). Fabric bookmarks from Anna Maria Horner. So easy to make for the booklover in your life.

Projects that require mixing, jars, labels, and/or a printer:
(1). Granola and honey from Design*Sponge. For the person who always skips breakfast or someone else who likes to hike. (2). Holiday cookies in a jar from FamilyFun. There are people who might think these are played out, but I think they are perfect for your next gift swap or grab bag. (3). Printable Weekly Menu from Ollibird. Frame this and give it to the organized menu planner in your life. S/he will then be able to reuse it week after week. (4). Rose body lotion from Design*Sponge. Make a huge batch of this lotion and package it up in pretty jars and sweet ribbons for all of the ladies in your life. (5). Curried Lentil Soup in a Jar from Food Network. I thought this was a cool looking jar so I had to share. Give to a foodie. (6). Printable cocktail labels and recipes from Hi Friend Designs . My theory is, when you don't know what to give, alcohol is the answer. Perfect if you are going to holiday parties and want to bring the hostess a gift. (7). Oreo truffles from Bakerella. Another sweet treat. Think about packaging up in an origami gift box (both found on How About Orange which is basically one of my new favorite designy/DIY websites). (8). There are tons of printable cards online. If you get good quality cardstock, you can print a bunch of designs out and make a nice mix for a friend who likes to catch up on correspondance the old fashioned way. You can even make your own envelopes to go with them. (9). and (10). two more printables found on How About Orange, bookplates and recipe cards. For the recipe cards, enter your favorite recipes in and you will get custom recipe cards out.

Last but not least... Gift wrapping ideas! 
(1). Snowflake decoration, tutorial from How About Orange. I love making cut out snowflakes and they'd be an easy way to add something extra to your gifts this year. (2). Funny story, I started to feel guilty that I had used too many things from How About Orange in this post. I wanted to know how to make those gift bows you can buy in the store, so I googled, "How to make gift bow" and came up with that lovely image from a blog, Sumo Sweet Stuff ... guess what it linked to? This tutorial from How about Orange. So there you go. (3). Some gift wrap tips, from Martha, with love, I imagine. (4). Homemade gift wrap from LA Times. It's meant to look like leather. I like it. (5). Grocery bag pom pom from Simply Modern Mom. Best use of a white and red target bag EVER. Seriously, how many of these do I have lying around? About a million. (6). If you are tired of wrapping your gifts in newspaper, make a gift bag instead. (From, you guessed it How About Orange). (7). A million and one gift topper ideas by BBB craft sisters from Design*Sponge. They have thought of every possible way to adorn a gift. And the claim is you won't have to leave the house for any of them.

Phew... so there you have it. I think this makes up for my lack of DIY tutorials previous to this moment in time. And perhaps it fills my 2011 quota as well. Good luck with whatever you've got left to do before your holiday gatherings (and I am sorry if you don't celebrate Christmas, but I am sure you can file away these DIY ideas for another occasion or perhaps just to make for yourself).

People who love ideas must have a love of words, and that means, given a chance, they take a vivid interest in the clothes which words wear.

Is anyone else obsessed with typography? I love finding different fonts to play around with although I never seem to use anything but Times New Roman and Arial (snooze fest). I was thinking it might be time to gussy up my resume (ha ha) and other important documents with some neat new fonts. What I never knew is that there are huge resources out there to download new ones for free. I love Little Trouble Girl designed by Blue Vinyl fonts. You can find this and more on Font Squirrel.

(website and others discovered via font posts in How About Orange)
(post title is a quote by Beatrice Ward)

The windows were of pure sugar.

I used to work for a company that had holiday parties on Thursdays. This meant that the Friday after you were a sorry hungover mess trying to make outbound calls to clients. One such Friday, a few of my co-workers and I all stumbled home for an impromptu gingerbread house making party. We used graham crackers (microwave each piece for a few seconds to make it easier to cut into shapes), regular frosting, and lots and lots of candy (my favorites were the multi-colored mini marshmallows and necco wafers). The results were... interesting to say the least. 

I've been poking around the web for a little bit of inspiration, as I think it might be fun to do a gingerbread house project this year. Maybe with real gingerbread pieces (let's be honest, I will probably stick with graham crackers). Feast your eyes on these little gingerbread nuggets.

Start simple by making some cute gingerbread men. I love how these are decorated (thanks, Martha) with icing and sugar. Check out the tie. I love ties.

If you want to keep it two dimensional but like the idea of a city or townscape, go this route. Take multiple house facades and decorate them all differently with piped on frosting. This would be the perfect backdrop to a dessert table. 
(found on Martha)

After I made my gingerbread house that one year, we left it out as a centerpiece for a holiday brunch at the apartment. I can't even tell you how many asked if we could eat it (and someone, I am not naming names, might have taken a bite out of it). By that point all the frosting had gotten crusty and my marshmallow roof had gone stale. If you want to make gingerbread houses for actual consumption... think small. Pint-sized gingerbread houses look lovely served in cupcake wrappers.
(found on weheartit)

And these sweet treasures might be my favorite gingerbread find today! I love how these little houses are made to garnish coffee mugs. They look both cute and delicious.

If you prefer a decorating style that is a bit more realistic than the norm of fairy tale gingerbread houses that abound, check out this more modern single level family home made of the good stuff.
(found on inhabitat)

Or this mod-style house. I can't help but wonder what Unhappy Hipsters would say about this architectural structure.
(found on ohdeedoh)

I love the above, but if I am going to make something, it's going to be tall and romantic, with oversized creatures guarding its doors. Swoon.
(found on hellotiger via weheartit)

People are much more willing to lend you books than bookcases.

Although at some point I am sure I will get an e-reader like the Kindle or the Nook, I will never stop collecting physical books. As I look at my plain, fake-cherry-stained, Target brand, 6 foot tall bookcase, I daydream about the day when I can have a real library of books.
(via fairybread)

I won't be surprised if books take over my entire home and infest every wall, corner, nook, and cranny.
Including the staircases...
(above two images via weheartit)

Even the doors can be homes for bookshelves, only revealing secret passageways or hidden rooms to those in the know.
(via bookshelfporn)

Call me superficial, but....
(via prettybooks)