Before & After: Rast Hack

After taking care of some business online today, I decided to treat myself to a surf of my favorite design blogs and came across this amazing IKEA Rast hack by Kelly of Hello Boudreau via Jenny of Little Green Notebook. I can’t stop looking at the pics! This is, in my opinion, the best Rast hack I’ve seen yet.

Kelly started out with this...

Kelly started out with this…

...and ended up with this! Sweet, no?

…and ended up with this! Sweet, no?

Check out more pics of Kelly’s project at Hello Boudreau: Ikea Rast Hack. For extra credit check out more of Jenny’s picks for best Rast hacks at the top of her post.

Until next time!

Sandy Craftalong

I don’t make a lot of money… I’m pretty much still a retail drone and I’m lucky when I get to treat myself to a little something, something. Sometimes, even when I really want to, I’m hard pressed to come up with a few extra dollars to donate to worthy causes. Still, I felt really strongly that I should try to donate something, anything that could help my fellow Americans hit by tropical storm Sandy.

While I was surfing twitter links, I came across this great idea from Natalie Soud and Brett Bara to make warm knit, crochet, or sewn items like socks, hats, scarves, gloves/mittens, and blankets to help Sandy victims get through this tough time of no power or heat. I’ve never really participated in something like this but I wanted to contribute somehow. So, I’ve started a cowl (because I’m not a decent enough knitter to do hats and gloves yet and a full fledged scarf would take to long for my novice hands to create).

So, a free Lion Brand cowl pattern and some Cascade 220 that I have had for a while and never used is being knitted up for someone in need back East. I’m so happy to be doing something for someone besides myself for a change and I truly hope my finished knitted contribution will make a person”s life just a little bit warmer this winter. If you’re a crafter and would like to contribute, check out Manhattan Craft Room or A Dose of the Delightful blogs to see all the details about where you should send your completed projects and how to share the word on Twitter and Facebook.

Blood Sweat & Tears

Uh… my experience wasn’t quite this sexay! LOL

It was my first day back to work after being sick (really sick, so sick I wanted to die) for nearly a week. But first – I had to vote! Thing is, life was conspiring against me today… but I showed life! Yes, I did.

Well, technically life showed me… the power company came and did some repair work to our meters and the power was shut off, so my uniform was not washed and dried when I planned for it to be. I lost track of the time because I didn’t reset the clocks in the house right away and had to mad scramble out the door (at which point I twisted my right ankle so hard that I went down crying). I made my bus and got to the Kent Regional Justice Center with 10 minutes to walk onto the grounds, deposit my ballot in the drop box, and then get off the grounds and down a mall sized block to my next bus (which I ran part of the way). I just made it!

The good news is, I voted. The better news is, I wasn’t late to work because of it. I feel good about doing my duty today… it cost me a bit to do it (my ankle is still swollen and I’m going to have to launder my shirts again from all the sweaty) but it was worth it. I made my voice a citizen of the United States heard. I hope you did too!

Reading Room: Spectyr & Wrayth

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I haven’t been to the bookstore and ages. In fact, it’s been so long that I can’t remember the last time my foot crossed the threshold of a bookstore that didn’t have used/thrift somewhere in the mix. So, it was kind of cool to hit Barnes & Noble this weekend after a random conversation we had on the bus about Robin McKinley’s Sunshine (I would buy it for her if she was interested in reading it, she declined). We both wandered around the store looking at books (she was all over the teen paranormal romance section. Yes, they have one! And I was camped out in science fiction and fantasy) and craft kits (you can buy a crockpot with a slow cooker cookbook… at B&N, y’all), Harry Potter gear (they are still selling it!) and all the cool new board games (Munchkins? Apparently, it’s a funny take on D&D) too.

We were winding down, just about to head out the door when I thought about a series, Books of the Order, that I had started when I still worked at the book warehouse. The first book was called Geist and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that I was on pins and needles to read the next book… but life intervened and I forgot all about it. Well, today I got Spectyr and Wrayth, the second and third books in the series. I haven’t started the new books (I’ve got like five things going right now) but I’m excited to start them when I cross a few of my current reads off the “currently reading” shelf.

Are you reading anything good lately?

Art: Erin Cone

I discovered this amazing artist by clicking through to a board that someone I follow on Pinterest repinned from. Whoo! That sounded convoluted, didn’t it? What isn’t convoluted is the artwork that I discovered by Erin Cone. Her work has an cool, almost photo-realistic look to it. I also love the strange visual jogs that are seen in a lot of her work. Here are a few pieces I really liked while surfing her website:

Perchance by Erin Cone, acrylic 44×36.

Subtle (2010) by Erin Cone, acrylic 24×20.

Chance (2009) by Erin Cone, acrylic 30×30.

Transparent (2004) by Erin Cone, acrylic 35×36 (sold).

See No (2005) by Erin Cone, acrylic 30×30 (sold).

Amazing, yeah? I think so too! You can view more of Ms Cone’s work on her website, as well as finding news, and contact information… You know, in case you’re thinking of buying. ;-)

Well, I’m off to spend a few hours at the big blue box. I’m hoping to get a handle on my storage in the coming days (it’s one of many fall projects I’d like to finish before the weather gets truly bad), knock out making a vase from a Pom Wonderful bottle, and looking into what it will take to switch this here blog to a self hosted vs wordpress.com site. I’ll see you tomorrow with a few words on hats… and scarves… and gloves… OH MY!

Put A Lid On It

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My new hat. Cute, huh?

I bought a hat at Target the other day. It is a summer fedora but I couldn’t pass it up because I love hats. Frequently, however, hats don’t love me back… They are too small or the wrong shape for my face or some other weird thing. This hat fits perfectly and looks good on me, so how could I pass that up? Plus, since it’s off season I got it for a mere $3.88 + tax. Can you beat that?

While I’m happy with that purchase, what I really went in there for was to see if I could find some Fall/Winter accessories so I could stay warm during these chilly seasons. One small problem: I was totally underwhelmed by Target’s offerings this year. That really bummed me out because Target is my go-to place for fashionable, reasonably priced accessories.

So… I had to start looking elsewhere. I admit that so far I’ve only looked online. But I’ve found some stuff that is funky and fun enough for me to be happy with! Here’s what I found:

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Kate Spade NY 'Big Apple' hat and convertible mittens @Nordstrom.

I really love the tinge of color on the edges of Kate Spade’s mitten/trapper hat combo and it’s a wool blend so it’s probably super warm. Honestly, the $80+ per piece price range isn’t too terribly realistic right now, so…

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Old Navy's 'Color Block' & 'Super Soft Sweater' cold weather accessories.

Old Navy comes to the rescue! All of these pieces are $15 or less… and prove conclusively that I love green! While I do like these pieces the set I found online that I love the most is this multi-color set from Kohl’s.

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'Zigzag' slouchy hat and infinity scarf @Kohl's.

I really like the ribbed chevron on the Zigzag set, don’t you? Well, the search continues… Where do you get your cold winter accessories from?

Have a good weekend, everyone! Until next time…