Monday, February 27, 2012

I've got the Pinterest Bug. Bad.

Of course you are familiar with Pinterest, the following is simply my take on it and yes, I'm a little late to the party.

If the internet is anything, it's vast.  You can find anything and everything you might possibly need on the internet.  Keeping your findings organized can be troublesome.  If you're like me, you have about five-hundred bookmarks and no idea what those things are when you go back and read the tiny drop down descriptions.

I wish there was a visual way to keep it all organized. And wouldn't it be great if rather than only depending on those search engine spiders, I could see what other women, women just like me, have already found during their searches, after they filtered out the other junk? I mean, how cool would it be if I could see the things that other people have found, including the items, ideas, recipes and projects that I was never looking for in the first place? Basically, I'd like an organizing internet filter.  Is there such a thing? 

Truth is, I never thought beyond the book marks and text results from search engines.  But thankfully, someone else did.

And then there was Pinterest.

My sweet friend Kristin, asked me to join Pinterest about six months ago.  Kristin happens to be one of the funniest and coolest people I've ever known (we've been friends since high school).  I completely trust her judgement. And oh, she's pretty and skinny too- always has been. But, I love her anyways.

Even so, my attitude was sort of along the lines of:
"Eh, not sure that I have time for that."
She said, "Noooo, it's so fun.  You'll love it, there's all these boards and tons of cool stuff!"

She sent the invite. 

Once I got over the fact that I had to be invited, I took a look around and thought it was okay (actually "okay" is a bit of a stretch).  I didn't really get what all the fuss was about. I pinned a few things and left my account unvisited for a while.  Then later I went back and took another look, and another, and another...

At this point, I can't walk by my computer without taking a peek at Pinterest.  I'm a sick crafting-cooking-sewing-party planning fool who's finally learned the proper technique for applying eye shadow and using the white balance settings for my digital camera, all thanks to Pinterest.

My money says she made that apron.

I'm obsessed with the DIY pins.  Let me just say this: People are brilliant!  Things that sound like they would be really silly, are so freaking cool, like lamp shades made with vintage doilies using the old paper mache technique and DIY yourself beaded chandeliers made with hanging baskets from the dollar store that look amazing. Are you kidding me?!

There's also a lot on there about fitness, but I just tend to look the other way.  And it's so easy to look the other way,  because you can bet that next to that "Ten things to Make you Love Running Even More!" pin, there's an awesome "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge Recipe" pin (leaving me with little choice). 

What's better? I can quickly 'like' the running pin and save it for I when start running, ya know, later down the road.  Because sure, I definitely plan on becoming a runner some day.  And, I know it's going to be smooth sailing because Pinterest has all those great running tips wedged in between the fudge recipes just waiting for me.  There's also tons of great 'cleaning tip' pins that I've liked and might put into use after my jog. But for now...

Saw it on Pinterest (

I find that Pinterest is like facebook in the sense that some people pin A LOT, others just tend to follow and look around, maybe adding an occasional pin.  There are times when I see people pin about fifty original pins at once.  I'm surprised that they are capable of moving from site to site that quickly.  But, everyone can use the site as they choose and people choose to use it differently.  It's an organizational tool and some people just have more to organize than others.  I know if I were planning a wedding, my Pinterest boards would be crazy!  Pinterest boards completely beat the big fat bridal binder that I had in 2001.

Not the goal, but knock yourself out.

But other than the time vacuum aspect, Pinterest is completely different than facebook.  Facebook is all about people, Pinterest is all about stuff.  They're two different animals. But for conversations sake, if given a choice between spending a free moment on facebook or Pinterest, I'd choose Pinterest.

Truth be known, I'm not really all that interested in hearing about some one's morning (pretty sure they're not remotely interested in my mornings either because I can promise you, they are always the same), but I totally want to see what kind of sink they'd love to have in their dream kitchen- or any one's dream kitchen for that matter.

I mean let's face it, there's always the possibility that their dream kitchen is better than mine and if that's the case, I need to make some adjustments and quickly- but, you can bet that I'll be crafting, sewing, cooking and party planning along the way.

I love it.  I really love it.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lilly Book

Release date: July 24, 2012- source

Lilly: Palm Beach, Tropical Exuberance, and the Birth of a Fashion Legend

I just ran across this book this evening here.  It's scheduled for release this summer.  For now, I'll just leave it at that.

Here's the description (source Amazon):

"Publication Date: July 24, 2012

The real story behind a very private American fashion icon—Lilly Pulitzer

Today, Lilly Pulitzer's iconic brand of clean-cut, vibrantly printed clothes called "Lillys" can be spotted everywhere. What began decades ago as a snob uniform in Palm Beach became a general fashion craze and, later, an American classic. In contrast to the high visibility of her brand, Lilly Pulitzer has largely kept her tumultuous personal story to herself. Bursting forth into glossy fame from a protected low-key world of great wealth and high society, through heartbreaks, treacheries, scandals, and losses, her life, told in detail here for the first time, is every bit as colorful and exciting as her designs.

Offers a close-up of Palm Beach society, replete with tropical mischief, reckless indulgences and blatant infidelities as well as fascinating stories about the Pulitzer and Phipps families and their world of eccentrics, high achievers, intermarriages, and glamorous trendsetters

Takes a fresh look at the Roxanne Pulitzer scandal and the atmosphere that fed it, and other episodes involving Lilly Pulitzer's family and social circle

Traces the many ups-and-downs in Lilly Pulitzer's personal life as well as her business, which suffered a decline in the 1980s before its resurgent transformation into the thriving success it is today

Includes 25 black-and-white photographs that bring Lilly Pulitzer's world to life

Lilly of Paradise is must reading not only for fans of Lilly Pulitzer and her Lilly brand, but for anyone interested in a journey through the world of privilege and the life of a true American original."

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Time to Order Mantis Eggs

Warning: if insects bother you, you might want to skip this post!

Every year around this time I order about five praying mantis eggs (I really want to cap. 'praying mantis', but it's the common name so apparently I'm not supposed to-still bugs me though).  Regardless, I buy the eggs.  People often buy them for garden pest control.  I mainly buy them because they're just really cool. The girls get a huge kick out of it and so do I. 

Praying Mantis Egg

Every egg yields about two-hundred teeny tiny praying mantises (or 'mantids').  I know, that's a lotta babies.  We leave the eggs inside, where they are protected from the weather in one of those butterfly pop-up mesh containers.  It takes a few weeks or more after they arrive before they hatch.  It's the warm temperatures inside that stimulate the hatching process. 

-On a side note, I've read that sometimes people find hundreds of baby praying mantises in their house during the holidays.  Turns out, they purchased a Chritmas tree with an egg attached to it unknowingly and then the inside temp. kicked the egg into hatching mode.  Kind of sad, huh?

Our eggs usually hatch at night while we are sleeping. But last year I happened to look at the eggs as I was about to go to bed and saw that the very first mantis had just hatched.  They have a domino effect on each other during the hatching process- one hatches, which disturbs the one next to it and also gives it a little wiggle room so it hatches as well.  The process repeats until they've all hatched. So, I was able to observe the entire two-hundred or so baby mantises emerge from the egg over a forty-five minute period.  I admit, there's kind of an 'Oh gross!' gut reaction, but once you get over it, it's really quite beautiful.

Praying Mantises Hatching (image from Agrihunt)

Newly hatched mantis or 'nymph'.  Just like Mom, only tiny!

 We keep the nymphs indoors and feed them aphids, ants and like until they are about an inch long and we feel that the worst of the weather is behind us (usually around mid April).  Then, we release them all over our property.

Every spring we'll receive a visitor or two from the previous year.  Usually we'll see one hanging around our deck lights at night where they are looking for a meal.  One of the girls will say, "Oh look, one of our praying mantises!" 

Hatching mantis eggs has become a spring tradition in our house.  If you haven't tried this and want to give it a go, you can find eggs here!

Finally, I want to share a few spectacular praying mantis images that I ran across.  These were taken by Igor Siwanowicz.  He's a photographer who studies the habits and physiology of the praying mantis.  Wow.

Image by: Igor Siwanowicz

Image by Igor Siwanowicz

Orchid Mantis: Image by Igor Siwanowicz

Friday, February 24, 2012

Vintage Lilly Pulitzer Fabric Pincushions

Oh hi, remember me? Yes, it's been far too long.  But I'm here and all motivated to blog and share because Pinterest has my creative side in an uproar.  Seriously, the project list is getting a little ridiculous.  I spent yesterday afternoon blowing on eggs so the girls can dye them and insert secret messages inside to send to their cousin as an Easter gift. Yes, I realize that Easter is more than a month away. Thank you Pinterest.  Meanwhile the laundry (or as we call it: 'Mt. Apparel'*) continues to reach new altitudes and I'm completely fine with it. Happiness is really all about acceptance.  Keeping that in mind...

Today I made these little pincushions.  Lately I've been obsessed with them.  Perhaps because I've been sewing more often these days.  Regardless, I got busy while the girls were at school and here are the results.  I added them to the etsy shop.

They are all made with vintage Lilly Pulitzer fabric.  Most of the patterns were designed by Suzie Zuzek.  One was designed by Amy dePoo (Suzie's daughter) and another by Peter Pell (he was a co-owner of Key West Hand Print Fabrics and did Lilly's print coloration for many years).

Pink and Green Lilly Fbaric Shell Milk Glass Pincushion found here

Peter Pell Print Pincushion found here
Strawberry Vintage Zuzek Lilly Fabric Pincushion found here

So fun!!
*Special thanks to Elaine L. for the Mt. Apparel thing : )