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Thursday, May 31, 2012

thankful thursday: librivox


I have been known to watch the BBC production of Pride and Prejudice more often than should be admitted to.  What is less known is how many times I have similarly watched their productions of North and South, Persuasion, Emma, and Sense and Sensibility.  While I am an Austen junkie, my addiction to these films is due to a far more practical reason; they are easy to work to.  

I'm home by myself a good chunk of the time, which as an introvert, I'm perfectly content with.  But I like having noise of some kind to keep me company.  I have learned through much trial and error that no matter how much I may love music, I don't work well to it.  My mind gets distracted by any melody and collection of lyrics.  Give me talk radio or an audiobook and I work much more fluidly with great inspiration, focus, and determination.  Thus my love of Pride and Prejudice.  It is long enough that I don't have to worry about switching out the disk and has a steady enough flow of dialogue that I am not tempted to look at the screen.

But every so often, a girl needs a bit of variety.

A little while ago, my friend shared the podcast CraftLit with me.  It is a blend of craft talk with chapters from the book du jour being read to you.  I opted for their other broadcast Just the Books.  As its name implies, on this podcast I could listen to the books without the interruption of a debate on knitting needles.  I listened to their offering of Pride and Prejudice and revelled in Austen's words as I worked.  Once I was through the book, I craved more, but the podcast had little offering at the ready.

Enter Librivox, a podcast audiolibrary of classic literature at the ready.  The books are all public domain and are read by volunteers.  Honestly, it was a dream come true to find this!  Books I have been dreaming of reading but don't have the time to devote to sitting down with the paper in hand are now available to me.  From The Phantom of the Opera to The Iliad, this podcast has it all!  Best yet?  A healthy collection of Austen as well as my favorites, the Anne books by Lucy Maud Montgomery.  I now have ample material to keep me working for days and months on end.  Thank you, Librivox, for making all of these wonderful books available to so many!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

heating up

{denim: ralph lauren, tank: target, belt: stradivarius, skirt: target, baubles: gifts}


I don't feel dressed in t-shirts.  There, I said it.  I just don't.  Doesn't matter how well the shirt fits, unless I have a cardigan or a blouse on, I feel underdressed for any occasion.  Such has been my dilemma lately as I try to get ready for the simplest of outings.  The weather is getting warmer by the minute and I sweat all the more.  You would think  I'd content myself with just a  tee, but no.  I still need layers.  And a popped collar.  I need to find more short sleeve blouses I'm comfortable in or this is going to be a long, long summer...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

the new duct tape

hot glue is becoming my cure-all for home improvement projects.  a frame breaks?  hot glue.  wobbly chair? hot glue.  but this has got to be my favorite hot glue use to date.


this is our silverware tray.  it was the cheapest one our IKEA had available when we moved in.  I snagged it and have been using it ever since.  it fit perfectly except for one thing; it slid back into the drawer.  not a huge deal, but with all the sliding, it cut back on the space I could use in the drawer behind the tray.

enter hot glue.
one day while I was taking an afternoon break and polishing my silverware (yes, that is a break for me...I find it relaxing.) I realized the tray was empty for the first time in awhile.  I snagged it, flipped it over, and dabbed on dollops of hot glue to the four corners of the tray and a few staggered around the middle.  I let it dry while I finished polishing.  when I put it back in, guess what?  no more sliding!  it stays in place!  plus it saved me a few bucks since I didn't have to go buy one of those non-slip pads for the drawer. geen-yus!  I'm a big fan of cheap options to make life a bit easier.

Monday, May 28, 2012

just because


...I really love this photo.

Happy Memorial Day!


Friday, May 25, 2012

drawing inspiration


{from top, zara, local store, ikea}

Just wanted to share a little bit of what has been inspiring me lately as we go into the weekend.  All of these images are from my errand running.  Apparently I am totally into bold, geometric patterns right now. I have been daydreaming of how to use textures like this in my own work, so look forward to the results in the next few months.  With no Memorial Day to look forward to and a lot of church meetings, Mr. F and I will be sticking close to home this weekend and catching up on work.  And you know what?  It sounds kind of nice! But, if you're going to a bar-b-que this weekend, be sure to drink a root beer and eat a good burger for me.  Happy weekend everyone! 


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

sunday chic

blouse: j.crew, thrifted. skirt: wal-mart. shoes: macy's. belt: stradivarius.  bracelet: gift, garage sale.  earrings: gift.

I really struggle somedays to get dressed.  Nothing feels right, a malady which absolutely baffles my husband.  My bed will be covered in skirts, dresses, jeans, sweaters, and whatever else I can pull out of my drawers.  Inevitably, all I need is a shirt with a popped collar and I'm good to go. Embracing my preppy side makes me feel so chic and sophisticated and ultimately more like myself.  This last Sunday was no exception to that.  I put on my navy blue polka dots with my pearls and could not have felt any prettier.  Sometimes you just have to go with the tried and true.

Monday, May 21, 2012

father's day


for the men we would knot be the same without, I have a few new cards at the ready!  sorry for the delay in their creation!  cards are $3 each and need to be ordered by 30 May for timely delivery.  email me for ordering information.

berfday


birthdays were made for strawberry lemon bundt cake, watching the sun rise, cool, crisp breezes, delightful friends and hearty conversation.  they were made for cups of tea, curling up with favorite books, and afternoon naps.  they were meant to full of brown packages, some tied with string, some handmade, and others mailed from halfway around the world.  birthdays were made for hugs, loving letters, and kisses.  birthdays were made to remind me that I am one deeply blessed girl.

Friday, May 18, 2012

four days



Dreaming of more weekends like this...  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

what i wore sunday edition


I admit it.  I read a fair number of fashion blogs.  They're fun!  Girls my age wearing some fantastic outfits and some really high heels.  They have daily photos of their perfectly coordinated, accessorized, sponsored outfits.  I can't get enough of the pastel skinnies and flowing blouses!  All of those photos have left me daydreaming of a life where I wear stilettos without worrying about blisters or tripping as I try to avoid an oncoming scooter.  How fun would it be to take note of the days you really look good?  You know, document the days you put in extra effort or something just works out the right way with your hair and you can't help but strut around a bit?

Well, this is as good as it got for me.  I looked good Sunday morning for church, like goooood.  Navy blue pencil skirt, white tunic blouse, jade necklace.  Man,  it was a dream.  I was a swaggering fool I felt so good!  What do you get a picture of? Me at the end of a long walk, covered in dirt wearing knock-off Birkenstocks, crazy baggy thrifted shorts and holding a Snapple.  No heels, no baubles, just the first traces of sunset and a girl who was really happy to not have an afternoon full of meetings and time to spend with her husband.  While I loved feeling sassy for a little while that morning, the pure joy of a spring afternoon with Mr. F is something I want to remember a lot longer than a pencil skirt.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

bloglovin'

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mortimus maximus

Before you keep reading, you need to understand a few things.  First, I love Chirstmas cacti.  It's a deep, abiding love that only me and the cacti understand.  Second, the first cactus I ever owned was named Mortimer.  I had to leave him behind in Provo when I moved to Columbus.  It still hurts to talk about it.  Thirdly, the next cactus I owned was purchased for me by Kitty and The Tall Guy. It was the saddest, loneliest little thing that ever tried to live in a cold, dreary Ohio.  I loved it so.  It's name was also Mortimer and it now dwells in Florida, where I had to leave it when we moved here.  Fourthly, I was convinced when we moved to a desert island that cacti would grow well and that a new Christmas cactus would be fairly easy to come by.

With that preface taken care of, I am pleased to introduce you to....


Mortimer the Third.

I went to a new (to me) DIY store today during my I-have-the-car-today-I have-to-go-everywhere bout of errands.  I was nearly through the gardening department when these scraggly little stems caught my eye.  Mortimer! I thought, You found me! And it was love.  And he was mine.  And I've brought him home, though I think he fits rather nicely in the cup holder in Peggy Sue.  But he's home now, needing a pot, but definitely not needing a name.  He's Mortimer.  And after seven months on this island, I finally found him.

Monday, May 14, 2012

ikea hack



Not long ago I stumbled across this IKEA hack over at Stephmodo. It blew my mind!  This is so simple.  I could have done this ages ago!  I have had these similar drawers since I was 18.  They have moved across the country with me, been in every college dorm and apartment, moved back to Detroit, Columbus, Florida, and now Cyprus.  And I have never done anything with them. Not even paint them white, which I'm prone to do with everything!  With a new found resolution and a shame in my delay, I went forth to make them look more presentable.

What I used:
IKEA drawers (similar)
heavy and fine grade sand papers
foam paint brush
small container of stain
screw driver
drawer pulls from Zara Home



I took the drawers out and gave every inch of them and the casings a solid sanding until the wood felt as smooth as a well worn linen shirt.  (Tip, follow the grain of the wood when sanding for better results.)  Then I lightly brushed on the stain, again following the grain, using long strokes.  I went around and did one coat on everything and in the process the stain had set on the  pieces I had started with.  This allowed me to jump right into my second and third coats pretty seamlessly.  I stopped at 3 coats, not wanting to go too dark.  This is what they looked like at that point.


I was really pleased with the result but felt like I could dress it up even more.  The cutouts on the front suddenly seemed way more noticeable.


I took the drawers out again, sanded down the backs, found the center by drawing an X across the front, drilled holes, followed the same staining process, and screwed in the knobs.  Most complicated part of this process?  Drilling the holes.  We don't  have a drill, just some screws and screwdrivers.  Luckily the wood was really soft, so I could widen the hole twisting vigorously with the screwdriver.  The first half of The Sound of Music later, I had four holes.  Moral of the story: power tools are awesome.


And this is the finished result!  Aren't they great?  We went from having a college hodge podge entertainment unit to something rather sophisticated.  Watch out world!  We're growing up!  I'm totally inspired now to see what other ways I can make our little home look more elegant without killing our budget.  Let the adventures begin!

So just one more time for good measure, here are the drawers before and after.





Sunday, May 13, 2012

happy mother's day!


Dear Nana, 

First Mother's Day without you.  So weird.  I've been thinking about you a lot lately as it dawns on me that it's been nearly a year.  I keep thinking that you'd be proud of me.  Mr. F and I have about a dozen callings between the two of us.  One of mine is to be the chorister during sacrament meeting.  I feel you with me often when I'm conducting, sensing your pride that I'm using one of the talents you shared with me to help build the kingdom.  Oh, Nana, Thank you for loving the gospel.  I never realized what a treasure your testimony really was until you were gone.  I've begun a project inspired by you.  If Fern lets you free from canasta for a few minutes, do you think you could help me out every now and then?  I don't think you're done teaching me.  I love you, 

engquist


Dear Mor Mor, 

Have I told you how much Cyprus reminds me of being at your place?  There aren't nearly as many thrift stores, but I'm discovering some really cool museums.  The way the grass changes on the mountains really reminds me of your neighborhood.  I've been painting a lot recently and keep thinking of you.  You were the first person I ever sold a piece to.  I don't think I'll ever forget that and how it has motivated me to keep moving forward.  You saw something early on in my art that I think I still struggle to see.  Thank you for your confidence in me.  I love you dearly, 

engquist



Dear Dot, 

I miss your stories!  Can you come help me decorate my apartment?  After seeing you in September, I can't get grey walls out of my head!  I've made a few friends here from the South and there's been a good deal of talk about grits and butter which makes me smile and think of you!   I love you Nana!

engquist


To the Nurse:

I really admire you.  You and Viddy are such a good combo and are so supportive of one another.  I admire your determination to become a nurse practitioner.  Plus you're doing all of this with Lulu! (Who's stinkin' cute, by the way.)  Thanks for being such a good friend and surrogate sister to me.  

okloveyoubye!



Mom, 

I lucked out in the mother-in-law department.  Like, really lucked out.  You're just the best!  Do you know how I know that?  Mr. F tells me every day.  He treats me really well because of you and has these crazy wonderful aspirations because you taught him how to dream.  I love learning how to cook from you long distance and that you call after you're done with seminary.  I really admire how even tempered you are.  You don't let things phase you, you just roll with them.  I'm trying to learn from that example.  Thank you for sharing your son with me.  I can't WAIT to see you next month!  As David says, "You da best."

Love, 

engquist

p.s. should we go to the quilt store or the beach first?  



KITTY!!!

Technology rocks if for no reason other than I still get to talk to you twenty times a day.  I get to be on the phone with you while you order at Macadocious (one large diet coke, light ice, please!) or while I'm figuring out how to get a stain out of a shirt.  I love how much smaller the world seems and how much nearer you, Nonny, and home seem through our infinite conversations.  Elder Holland said in this last Conference that it's a great blessing indeed for a man to count his own children among his dearest friends.  You are definitely that for me.  I so value our camaraderie developed over the years as well as the sage like wisdom and unconditional love I am privy to as your daughter.  You tell me often that you feel like you and Nonny lucked out to get kids like The Stud and me.  Well, I think we're the ones who lucked out.  Big time!  Jag √§lskar dig!

oceans, 

engquist

p.s. just keep swimming...


Friday, May 11, 2012

family crest


Would you believe me if I told you that this piece was born out of a desire to do something for a baby's nursery?  No? Good, that saves my pride a little bit.  I'm now shamelessly looking forward to Mr. F and  I having babies of our own so I can do something similar for us.  It's so pretty.  I keep walking back to it just to gaze and sigh at how charming it is.  Now I have to convince myself that I'm not a member of the Skoog family and mail it off to them before I hang it on my own wall forever!

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

i looked out the window

...and what did I see?


A bug staring back at me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

pinch me



As the weather is warming, Mr. F and I have been going out every Saturday in search of beaches.  And every Saturday we stand with our toes in the Mediterranean, blankly stare at each other and start laughing.  We live here...  Call me silly, but I really hope it never feels real and it always feels like some surreal, wonderful dream.

Monday, May 07, 2012

hand lettering




If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the girls I ate lunch with in middle school are officially the bees knees.  I would sit and listen to their stories while copying tidbits of their personal handwriting in my own notebook.  Their doodles would be scattered across the lunch table and I would lose myself in the myriad of fonts.  Not long after that my mum started working in a stationery shop and my lifelong love affair with fonts began.  

While I utilize standard fonts for my notecards, on my monthly calendars and custom pieces I paint and create fonts for the work at hand.  These are some examples of my recent work for clients and gifts.  A few are totally custom while others are personalized variations on some of my available work.  

Do you have a special gift in mind?  A certain phrase or motto that your family holds dear?  A new baby to celebrate?  A special bride and groom to celebrate?  I am available for art pieces for all of the occasions and more.  Click here for details on custom orders, special prints, and pricing.    Check out my facebook page for more examples of work going on.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

holiday

A few days ago, an old friend from college who is currently living on an island in the Pacific posted a question on Facebook.  "Where you go on vacation when you live on a tropical island?"  While Cyprus isn't tropical, it is definitely a vacation spot.  Everyday more tourists pour into our little home of an island for their summer trips.  I pondered this question for about a second and a half before realizing the place I want to see the most is home.



My mum is currently visiting my brother at college, which is also blissfully close to a large portion of our family.  They have been gallivanting about the Wasatch and for the past two weeks I have found emails loaded with pictures waiting for me as I start my day.  The pictures are full of cousins, favorite hideaways, the best Coke in the world, The Stud, and a whooooole lotta happy.


My heart aches to see sights like this in person.  Aren't they breathtaking?


I'm a simple girl.  I don't need an elaborate holiday extravaganza.  Sure, beaches in March are fun and ancient monasteries are cool.  But all my ideal vacation calls for is friends, family, some Coke, and I'm set!


And if that isn't an available, I'll take Paris.