Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Eve

Bunny Here. I hope you are enjoying your New Year's Eve. I'm having some neighborhood friends over for food, games, movies and champagne. Its a low key party without fuss...

This time of year always makes me look back at the year. 2010 was so much better than 2009. I got engaged! I worked on some amazing projects and met some wonderful new friends. I have a very auspicious feeling about 2011 and can't wait to get started.

Somethings I want to accomplish in 2011 or my resolutions:

1. To plan a wedding that my fiance and I will love!

2. Scrapbook, archive and share photos.

3. Make some original crafts and post here.

4. Decorate my apartment.

5. Make some career resolutions...

6. Use ... sparingly.

Happy NEW Year's Eve! Almost 2011!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

T-Shirt Necklace. I made. I wear!

Once upon a time, The Martha Stewart Show was on basic cable. She was on basic cable and I watched her make a t-shirt necklace with Queen Latifah. I was impressed at this easy, adorable and craving worthy craft. I was then reading Whole Living and saw the instructions for the necklace. I cut out the instructions and taped it into my journal. A year goes by and I see t-shirt necklaces on blogs and on Etsy.

Last week, my favorite polo shirt ripped. I was going to recycle it with OROE in Union Square on Monday but had the brilliant idea to finally make a necklace with it!

What You'll Need-
T-shirt Scissors (or a rotary cutter)

Follow the directions on the Whole Living Site (link is above). I used scissors and it went very quickly.

Bunny Tips:

1) I just saw a comment on the site about stretching the loops all together instead of individually. I stretched individually and I have a couple that don't match up. So I recommend stretching all the loops together.
2) It wasn't specific about if you should wrap extra fabric over BOTH ends of the seems. There are seems on each end of necklace. I only did one and it looks fine when I wear it long or doubled.

3) I also thought about making bracelets with the sleeves! It would look cute to wrap up both sides of the seems at the end I think!

4) Why not recycles leftover fabric scraps? If you live in NYC you can bring it to the Office of Recycling Outreach booth at Union Square on Mondays!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wreath Interpretaions: A holiday outing

I'm always looking for holiday activities that will keep me out of Times Square and Rockefeller Center. I saw "Wreath Interpretations" listed in Time Out New York and gave my fiance a lunch date on our advent calendar. I wasn't sure what the Arsenal Gallery was and was pleasantly surprised to be lead to a building right before the Central Park Zoo. It is the offices of Park and Recreation with wreaths hung up on the third floor. It isn't shiny and it feels like a hole in the wall type place. But the lobby has amazing murals and the place is charming (esp. if you watch Parks and Recreation).

I've been obsessed with wreaths so this was the perfect thing to see. Some of the wreaths are inspiring and some are just plain strange. It is open until Jan. 6th and it takes 30 minutes MAX to look at the wreaths. Could be a fun and low key New Year's adventure!

Here is one of my favorites!

Checkout the Parks Dept. Website for more info.

Craft Submission- Stefanie Estes

"Cork wine holder? Yes! Cozy Rustic endeavor? Perhaps?" asks Stefanie Estes.

I think perhaps we will have to make this! How cute to set out on your holiday table or just to hold that half open bottle in the kitchen. I'm having some neighborhood friends on New Year's Eve and I'm sure there will be corks leftover....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Welcoming in the New Decade

Image from Vintage Culture.

Christmas has been a blizzard of activity as well as just a straight-up blizzard this year. My visiting family has turned into my stranded family, and my home feels crowded and crazy. I think this isn't an abnormal way to feel at the holidays, though. It is easy to become stressed with extra people and extra planning (not to mention extra pets, if they happen to be part of your family package), and one can forget to slow down and count one's blessings. My own frustrations with the blizzard and my crowded apartment lead me to stop and think about how I live my life.

The end of a year is always a time for reflection, so it makes sense that the end of a decade would be doubly so. This year, I would like to create a list of the parts of/moment from my life over the past decade that I am most proud of and the parts/moments I would have lived differently in hindsight. I think analyzing my past will give me a better shot at improving my future (as long as I take in what I need to and process it all without dwelling on anything - good or bad).

As I review my year, I also like to make my New Year's Resolutions. Though, the word "resolutions" has always bothered me, as it seems like I've just "resolved" to do these things, when really, I have usually been working on them for ages. It's not New Year's Resolutions so much as a restating of my goals. Anyway, here they are, and I've also included some tips and tools from other blogs I love.

1. Become an organized person: Always have goals and action plans to help reach said goals. Know where information you need is. Don't let your home become disorienting or muddled.
Suggested reading/tools: Sara Cottner of Feeding the Soil and 2000DollarWedding has the most amazing organization binder I've ever come across. And she was kind enough to put her downloadable templates online!
I also am loving Simplify 101 which sends email tips and has online organization courses. Give it a looksee.

2. Create daily: Continue writing and finding joy in writing. Collaborate often. Don't hesitate and second guess your creativity. Blog. Create things you can and will use. Make all the time, whether it's poetry, music, movement, food, or decor. Always make something.
Suggested reading/tools: Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist's Way, also wrote a book called The Right to Write: An Invitation and Initiation into the Writing Life, which teaches one to turn off all the voices that say why we can't write and to pick up a pen and go at it. I love this book and recommend it constantly. You will write if you read it.

3. Be fiscally wise: Control spending. Manage your budget wisely. Build up a safety net. Pay down student loan and credit card debt whenever possible.
Suggested reading/tools: I've been using Mint to budget, though it is a little frustrating when I transfer funds from one account (checking) to another (savings), but it emails me a weekly report and keeps information in one place.

4. Love: Show the people you love how much they mean to you. Don't forget to tell people even if you think they already know you care about them. Be kind to strangers, animals, people you love, and even people you don't really care for.
Suggested reading/tools: Volunteer Match can show you tons of ways to help others, and you probably know lots of ways already.

That's it for my upcoming year and decade really. These are broad goals, yes, but I think the simpler ones are the steps within these, and they will certainly make appearances here on the Cozy Rustic blog.

Happy New Year, everyone!


Monday, December 27, 2010

What's for Dinner? A Monday Blog Share

I think this would be a really yummy dish to try at dinner tonight! A warm and delicious antidote to this cold, snowy day. It may not be the best post-holiday detox meal, but it would be a lovely New Year's treat. We've made this twice in the Bunny Household and it feels a special occasion when we take it out of the oven!

It is a very simple dish consisting of mushrooms, butter, garlic, oil (we used olive oil), parsley and lemon juice. And make sure you have some crusty bread to dip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I got the "Garlic Butter Roasted Mushroom" recipe from Smitten Kitchen, my favorite cooking blog! A friend turned me on to it over a year ago and I've tried countless recipes. I have a few more go to dishes that are from the blog. Smitten Kitchen will surely inspire you...and the photos are amazing!

Bon Appetit!

* I'm going to try to cook this next time sans butter for my vegan friends and my lactose intolerant self. Will update on the comments section. Please comment with any suggestions you might have! More Oil/lemon?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry After Christmas Snow Storm!

Merry Day After Christmas! Luckily, I made it back home despite the snow storm. I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, ate yummy food and got to spend time with family. I hope that you are finding time to relax and enjoy the relief of post holidays!

Wanted to share a few photos and wish you all a Merry Christmas! New Years is coming and I'm sure we will be posting craft ideas and resolutions for 2011.

I was so taken with Bea's Advent Calender that I crafted one up for my dear fiance. I used envelopes, the front part of old Christmas cards, decorated index cards and a couple punched out circles. It brought us some much needed time together during the holiday hustle.

And finally our 2010 Christmas cards! My mother tapes them up in a doorway every year and in college I started the tradition of taping them up to my front door. Though I've been thinking about maybe using them on the tree or making them into a wreath...

Hope your Holiday was Merry and Bright!
Love Bunny

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Spoiler Alert: DIY Candles

Spoiler Alert: I'm giving these out to a couple people tomorrow! They aren't involved in the Secret Santa and I'm pretty sure they don't follow Cozy Rustic... so, it is safe to post....

About a year ago, I spied (with my little crafty eyes) tea cup candles in Martha Stewart Living and all over crafting blogs. They are so adorable! I mainly saw them with cups minus a saucer... and really...isn't it usually the tea cup that breaks first??? Anyway, as you may or may not know... I'm kinda crazy about recycling. So this craft seemed amazing to me! Because you could use leftover wax from old candles around the house and you use other things besides tea cups.. let your imagination run wild!

I did some research about the most Eco and easy ways to make candles. Soy Wax was the best way to go. This way there is no paraffin involved and the bees can take a break! The large box of wax was not that cheap... but I think it will make a lot of candles! And there are directions on the box!

What you'll need:

Two vintage bowls with saucers from Fishs Eddy
Soy Wax

Bunny's Simplified Directions:

1) Clean bowls and let dry.

2) Fill the bowl with wax. Put in the microwave. Test in 30 Sec increments.

I eliminated pouring the wax into the bowls b/c the bowls were microwave safe. I had to guess about how much wax but I added more when I was off. It melted in my microwave in 1-2 mins.

3) Insert the wick right away.

Normally, you would pour in the wax to a container with the wick already in the container. But this was so easy and there were no air bubbles, wells or holes in the middle of the candle.

4) Let dry. This will take an hour or two.

5) Cut wick to desired length.

I recommend browsing other directions online or the box of wax. The wax should reach a certain temperature but my thermometer broke mid-craft so I didn't pay attention to temp at all. Hopefully... that doesn't make a difference!

Cork Wreath

Bunny here. Remember when Bea made that adorable cork wreath? Well, we both put the word out looking for corks and I got a bunch from Madame Marble... who then sent me an amazing picture of a cork wreath at Curbly. Thus I found Curbly (amazing blog!) and the inspiration to make this wreath! The tutorial on Curbly doesn't direct you to make the wreath they have pictured. So, I googled directions and found some amazing directions from Lolly Chops.

Bunny Tip 1: I highly recommend reading ALL the directions before you start! She has a tip at the end about saving corks with pretty designs for the last layer! And I wish I had done this.. but I made mine as I got corks in batches.

Bunny Tip 2: It does use a lot of glue in the glue gun... so make sure you are stocked up!

I gifted my wreath to Madame Marble for Christmas yesterday! I gave a gold ribbon with the wreath for hanging or decorating. And I can't wait to see where she hangs it in her home! The wreath drew some attention from shoppers in Despana's where we had lunch! And it seems impressive.. like it took a long time to make...but it didn't take long... and it was fun!

This wreath could not have been made without the generous cork donations of Bea, Madame Marble, Bea's bartender friend, AND Scott and Sarah.... I met Scott and Sarah at a party and after hearing about my wreath came back to the party with a bag of corks! Luckily, they lived down the hall! So, thank you!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Paper Wreath! A Monday Share

So, Bea and I are kind of obsessed with crafting blogs lately! And it is nice to see what others are making, up-cycling and crafting. I've been loving the cork wreath that Bea made and had been wanting to make a wreath for myself. And I sure did get inspired to make this wreath!

I first saw this wreath over at Curbly, which led me to the directions by Jeffery Rudell over at Craft Stylish where you can see all the directions. I followed them and made a wreath! My color scheme is very bright and I love it! I think it will work for Christmas and New Years and all winter long. I was tempted to hang it inside my apartment so I can look at while I'm home...but now I have something bright to see when I come home.

A couple tips:

1) I used scrap booking paper and come of it didn't hold up to well to the glue gun. So, heavier paper or painting tiles are good ideas. Though I was able to cover up the areas quite nicely with other circles.

2) I like to keep my crafts as Eco as possible. So, i used a bunch of scraps from my scrap booking paper for the circles. I was reluctant to buy a Styrofoam form... but I caved in and did. I bought a "weathered" green form at Michael's that was sturdier and less expensive than the white. And I plan to reuse it over and over again!

3) It got a little tricky to keep all the circles lined up to be the same length because they start to bend... I would just take breaks and wait for the circles to dry. Then I would bend all the circles so they would be flat! I think thicker paper would help with this too. Mine was thick enough that I could bend it pack into place and crease it so it wouldn't bend again.

Here is the finished product before I hung it on my door with red yarn!

Weekend Fun.

As I mentioned in Sunday's post. I got a tad bit carried away this weekend with projects. Here are a few photos of my crafty fun. I'll put up a delicious gingerbread recipe later this week and add a photo of the stockings hung with care once their loops have been added and they are up and ready for Santa. And speaking of Santa, somebody met him this weekend!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Carried away

I got just a teensy bit crazy today with making things. Yesterday I got the futon that's on my big to do list here and some pillows and a throw which should have been on the list, but weren't. Anyway, they are both lovely and cozy and set up in my guest room/office/dog nursery (the dog nursery part is a joke, but don't tell Parsley that). The new furnishings really help the room feel welcoming, but the walls are still pretty barren. So, I got three cheap frames and an old wildflower field guide. Color pages were ripped from the book (please color photocopy; ripping a book feels like such a sin) and tossed into frames. It was something, but not quite enough.

So I made this.

How? I took a photo of Parsley that I snapped in the dog park yesterday.

Cropped it to highlight her pretty doggy head.

Turned it black and white, upped the contrast and balance to the extreme.

Printed it, cut it out, and filled in any leftover white bits with black Sharpie (my favorite crafty tool). Then I simply slapped the cut-out onto a plain old piece of printer paper and put it in an 8 1/2 x 11 frame.


Easy as pie! Speaking of pie, I also baked tonight, prowled Craigslist for dining chairs, found said chairs exactly one block from my apartment, bought and lugged the chairs home, and finally cut up the feller's old t-shirt and made his Christmas stocking.

I know. It's a lot. I'm just as impressed as [I sincerely hope] you are. But if you'll excuse me, I have a dog to walk.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Big Plans

Hi all!

This post will have no photos. Boring, I know.

I just want to gather my thoughts on what to do with my apartment. I live in NYC in a place I'm afraid to paint, but I'm ready for it to start feeling like a cozy home instead of a rented transitory dwelling. A dog certainly helps the space feel like a home, but it's time to work on decor.

I'll put up some before pics so you can see what I'm working with. It's not that the apartment isn't nice, it's just a little junior feeling. It could stand to be gussied up a bit.

Here are some ideas I have. Each one will be documented on this blog as it occurs.
1. Rug under the dining table
2. Shelves over dining table
3. Shelves in kitchen
4. Butcher cart in kitchen
5. Futon in guest room/office/game room
6. Rug in guest room/office/game room
7. Hanging light over dining table
8. Side table in guest room/office/game room
9. more plants and flowers everywhere
10. Frame pages from animal books
11. Frame monogram art
12. Frame posters for shows the feller and i have written
13. Headboard
14. Initials framed over bed
15. wall lamps at bed
16. Empty wine bottles as decoration
17. More candles
18. Replace oil in reed diffuser
19. Line dresser drawers
20. Cheap lamps, spray painted
21. See above, but with candle sticks
22. vase of postcards
23. Nightstand/shelf for the feller?
24. storage boxes/baskets for shoes, scarves, gloves, etc in closets
25. Wrapping paper inside glass on medicine cabinet
26. Line inside of medicine cabinet
27. Cover bare ceiling bulbs somehow
28. File cabinet/boxes for office
29. Reupholster desk chair
30. New drawer pulls and door knobs all over the place
31. cereal boxes into magazine storage
32. spray paint empty cans to be pencil holders, etc
33. keep a plate under the oil and vinegar
34. Glass soda bottle bud vases (3) in the kitchen window
35. Subway art to reflect where we've lived
36. Mirrors
37. Fancy sparkling water bottles grouped to catch the light
38. paper shredder (not really a decoration, but practical with clutter management)
39. get a safe
40. corkboard inside cabinets for shopping lists, coupons, etc.
41. hooks and shelves on insides of cabinet and closet doors

That's all I can think of for now. It's a pretty big list, but I think each item will help transform my apartment into a home.

I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Introducing Parsley!

Hello, lovely readers.

Over the past few months I have been chasing my tail attempting to adopt a dog. Endless piles of paperwork, month long games of phone tag, joy, disappointment, more disappointment, three zipcar rentals and about $500 later, I am finally a doggie momma.

Yesterday I drove in the rain (and got lost in Yonkers) to adopt the beautiful Parsley you see below. I found her on at the Elmsford Animal Shelter in Westchester County, New York, and I loved her from the first moment I saw her.

Parsley, previously named Chantelle (but she didn't respond to her name, so I figured it was okay to change it. Judge me not!), has been a complete angel since arriving at our apartment yesterday afternoon. She was mellow and quiet in the car, which I know can be stressful to a dog that's been shipped around from shelter to shelter. She's only had one accident in the house since arriving. I know no one likes to clean up dog mess, but it is completely natural for a dog to want to mark a new space, and the confusion of the move would probably make me pee on the rug, too. Most amazingly, she seems to love us unconditionally even though we just met this weekend. She cuddles up to us and follows us from room to room, and she seems to trust us completely. I was pretty shocked that she didn't put up any fuss when I lifted her into the crate in the car. She hasn't begged at mealtimes, she doesn't jump on the furniture, she is great on the leash, she smiles politely, she hasn't barked (although she howled once while the feller was in the shower this morning; here's hoping separation anxiety doesn't result in all day howling), and she lets us hug and kiss her all over.

I think, thus far, she is a testament to the joy a shelter dog can bring to one's life. I adopted a dog that seemed unwanted, but has already exceeded my expectations. I have had a permasmile on all day, and I think that's definitely worth more than any price tag. I also just feel great knowing I helped an animal.

I've got her first vet check up booked for this weekend so we can make sure she's fit as a fiddle, and I need to call a dog walker to break up her days while I'm at work. I got her a sweater to wear in the cold weather tomorrow.

I know she's not a craft or a DIY project, but I think I might blog about her training and acclimation to life in her new home on here, because family and home is what DIY is all about to me, and she's family and she's helping to make my rental apartment become a home.

Here she is, world.Here's Parsley!


Sunday, December 12, 2010

How lovely are your branches!

We put up our tree too! Here is a picture of my Dear Fiance carrying our tree home that we bought off the street in Queens. It is from a farm on the West Coast.

This is my third New York City Tree and it always feels like something out of When Harry Met Sally. We did check out the trees outside our supermarket and at the Home Depot. The Home Depot's Christmas tree selection is the saddest thing.... It was filled with sad corralled trees, tons of families with small children, the scary sounds of chainsaws and a woman literally grabbing a tree away from others....

Thankfully, we hightailed it out of there! And found this wonderful little tree. We put it up on a table and we decorated it! I'm hoping to mix in a few of my family ornaments with my Dear Fiance's family ornaments next year.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 10, 2010

O Christmas Tree

Happy Holidays, Cozy Rustic-ers!

I'm happy to say I made it past Thanksgiving before putting up the tree this year, and I wanted to share said tree with you. We went with silver and candy canes this year to keep it simple, and our real tree was also a modest height. Based on comparing it with myself, I'd say 5'6". Anyway, Gregory, as I've been calling him, is all set up and sparkly, and I've tossed in a few photos of for you.

Merry Christmas,
Gregory prior to being unwrapped.
The tree stand, that for some reason was next to impossible to construct. I thought I would go on a killing spree.
Our tree all finished with silver balls, mirrored balls, clear lights, sliver tinsel, and classic candy canes.
The feller with the tree. You can see me in the window taking the photo. And our other family member, Aloe Ginsberg is sitting on the sill.