Saturday, May 30, 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
I am always trying to find pictures I don't hate. In my bedroom in Mississippi I have the botanical illustrations and here not much. I found these on etsy and I think they're quite sweet. I saw a painting of a girl carrying a red bucket on Design*Sponge ages ago and when my computer died I lost the information and I can't find it anywhere. I feel like a grubby girl in a field in wellies with a bucket is the embodiment of everything I hope for in life. Healthy.
I need to stop going to garage sales and Goodwill because even though everything is super cheap etc it's probably better to just not shop. However today I couldn't resist and had to buy THESE lovely things. I have been wearing the scarf tied around my head. I am considering becoming a recluse a la Beale and the sunglasses are pretty much the best things ever. Not bad for under four bucks.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Graduations are horrific occasions. Unless one is a proud parents (rather than weary and hot and worried about one's child's uncertain future as my mother was) or an excited graduate (rather than a bit hungover and miserable at being wrenched from one's school and friends into an uncertain and bleary future) it's just hot and boring and there is grass and you have to dress up a bit but not more or less than everyone else. Any bitterness toward my own college graduation and how it left me unemployed and a cat lady? Hmm. Anyway. I have to go to several graduations this year of the high school variety (I didn't go to my high school graduation, perhaps if I had I might be filled with happy thoughts about graduations). InStyle thinks that I should wear high heels and carry a clutch and look TERRIBLY chic. I feel like Greencastle PA high school probably requires something less. Flats at the least. What does one even wear to high school graduations? I didn't go to mine and I was living in England when Dos and Tres graduated. A very simple summer frock seems like a good idea. Something like this?
a) Charlotte Russe Floral Dress
b) Forever 21 Linen Summer Dress
Dorothy Zbornak wouldn't eat it but I tried. Using the ever so classy Philadelphia recipe below I made a seriously Americano Cheesecake. As you can see it split up the middle but was still delightful. Yum.
1-1/2 cups HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
4 tbs flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
PREHEAT oven to 325°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300°F if using a dark nonstick springform pan). Mix crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan.
BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, flour and sour cream and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
BAKE 55 minutes or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from side of pan; cool before removing side of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
I'm a big believer in grubbiness and scruffiness. I am usually a bit grubby, a lot scruffy. I think houses, cottages especially should be a bit grubby, a bit scruffy, a bit mismatched. I think furniture should be USED and that end tables and dressers should be beaten to death and that there is always room for inherited furniture. My dresser is the one my mum bought in Cambridge in 1979 and it was used then. I painted it white but it's old. As hell. I love it. When I was wee I had the bookshelf from my dad's old room and the desk I've always had in my room was originally in my great-grandmother's house. These are not deeply beautiful antique pieces. They are, as I said, beaten, and scruffy and a bit grubby. I am having to redo my room so as to have a larger bed and I love buying sheets and mattresses and pillows but the bed itself is an issue and a half. I want something beat. It's very hard to find pictures of beds and bedrooms that look beaten and old and fun without ACTUALLY being a Zara Home Catalogue or Anthro and while I love both in small doses I'm just not that hip.
Images via Summer at Design Is Mine and cottages for sale in Wales and the Lake District
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I'm getting a new bed. Which is exciting. I love mattress shopping, buying sheets, my duvet needs a new cover because its looking a little college at the moment. All of which I'm trying to do on the cheap. Part of me thinks that the above Ikea Manger headboard is heaven, but the house is very cottage-y and my ceilings are low. But it is so very fun.
I also love the Lillesand Ikea Bed but not sure about the black. My room is a lilac/lavendery/grey purple and all the other furniture is white so I don't know about the black. Maybe if I had light linens? What are our thoughts? Feelings? Help?!
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I found these over the weekend at garage sale. For two dollars for all the glassy things. Cuatro found the most the blue suitcase for a dollar. We are into dollars. Not spending them in numbers greater than five. I'm not sure what I'm going to put in the class shenanigan, maybe jewelry on my dresser? Maybe I'll just leave it there alone. It's pretty lovely.
So since I'm feeling slightly 'eh' I may or may not have been watching Golden Girls for the last hour with the cat and wishing I had some cheesecake. I know. Yes. I really am in my twenties. Not a crazy cat lady in my late sixties. In the event that you would like to make me some cheesecake and bring it to me you can bring this, from Nigella.
FOR THE BASE:
150g digestive biscuits
75g unsalted butter, melted or very soft
600g cream cheese
150g caster sugar
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
11/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
11/2 tablespoons lemon juice
20cm Springform tin
extra-strength tin foil
FOR THE TOPPING:
145ml tub sour cream
1 tablespoon caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Serving Size : Serves 8
Process the biscuits until they are like crumbs, then add the butter and pulse again. Line the bottom of the Springform tin, pressing the biscuits in with your hands or the back of a spoon. Put the tin in the fridge to set, and preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas mark 4.
Beat the cream cheese gently until it’s smooth, then add the sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg yolks, then finally the vanilla and lemon juice. Put the kettle on.
Line the outside of the chilled tin with strong foil so that it covers the bottom and sides in one large piece, and then do the same again and put it into a roasting dish. This will protect the cheesecake from the water as it is cooked in its water bath.
Pour the cream-cheese filling into the chilled biscuit base, and then pour hot water from the recently boiled kettle into the roasting tin around the cheesecake. It should come about halfway up; don’t overfill as it will be difficult to lift up the tin. Put it into the oven and cook for 50 minutes. It should feel set, but not rigidly so: you just need to feel confident that when you pour the sour cream over, it will sit on the surface and not sink in. Whisk together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla for the topping and pour over the cheesecake. Put it back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.
Take the roasting tin out of the oven, then gingerly remove the Springform, unwrap it and stand it on a rack to cool. When it’s cooled down completely, put it in the fridge, removing it 20 minutes before eating to take the chill off. Unmould and when you cut into it, plunge a knife in hot water first.
I saw these images from Three Sisters Ink on Design Sponge so you probably saw them too, but I just had to comment because they are so darn pretty. I especially adore the Deco images, but the Whimsy images would also be darling for a child. Or a full-grown adult. Or me.
Friday, May 22, 2009
Something about being in the country makes me want to be a farmer's wife. I know a Scottish lady called The Hon. Mrs. Anastasia Something-Something or other. But she goes by Tuggy and wears wellingtons everyday and yells at sheep. She dresses up in very posh clothes for various events and goes into Edinburgh and London and Abroad for holidays and fun but most of her life she knits and worries about cows and sheep. I think I would like to be a posh farmers wife and ride to hounds and muck around with sheep and cows in the rain, wear the above. I think so.
Shop the above here.
I made this. I forgot about it until I came back here. I cut the wood and measured and drilled holes and then cut pegs. This is made with pegs and holes, not nails. I know. Then I applied varnish. Mum wanted a tiny table to put keys on that wouldn't stick into the door way. So I made this.
After dinner last night Cuatro and I went for a wander around the back garden and I took photos of the house and the hills. The farm house is in The Corner, as the locals call it, where the two mountain ridges meet. We are on the last paved road before the foothills of the Tuscarora Mountains. The farmer who rents our land has cows on it (no they don't smell) and the field is full of calves. It's just about my favourite place ever.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
When I was nine one of my best friends' mother started an activity club. She was one of those mums that can't have kid's just in the house, hanging out. Kids had to be DOING something so as not to set anything on fire/write on the walls/corrupt wee Rachel's mind. In one 'meeting' we made embossed cards very much like this one. I know everyone in the universe gets Martha's Craft of the Day emails but here this is anyway, it requires minimum capability. When I was nine we did nothing involving heat guns and just held it over a burner on the stove. Excellent craft if you have nine year olds. Excellent craft if you fear fire, crayons, corruption.
Mummie and Dad's wedding is at A Practical Wedding because they really did have the mellowest and nicest wedding. Look at my Mum's pretty face! Thanks Meg! See their lovely faces here.
Above: Mum and Dad cutting cake
Below: Cousin Lucy, Mummie, Uncle David, Granddad
This is what I'm going to try to look like to look like when I go to the farm stand and the grocery store later today. As an alternative to cuttoffs and my college sweatshirt I think it works. Not actually convinced I will manage. No one dresses up in Mercersburg, it's a farming community with a very posh prep school and some good restaurants.
Still haven't managed to unpack anything. I'm a right disaster today.
Pullover $39.99; Shorts$39.50; Sneakers $45.50
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
There was a dead bird in my bedroom. I freaked out and went insane with disinfectant. I live in fear of scabies. I cursed the house keeper loudly. There was screaming. We aren't sure how it got in but it's gone. So that's good.
After fifteen hours in the car with Cuatro and two cats, a night in a hotel in Bristol Virginia and a trip through seven states, it is nice to be in Pennsylvania. Now to unpack...