My summer has been incredible so far, filled with lazy days, a trip home, adventures around New York City & New Jersey, tons of healthy cooking using my CSA bounty, and seeing my friends and family. I started a new job as a barista at a coffee place in my neighborhood last week and that’s been a fun adventure! I’ve only done a little making (the butts patch above is about it) but I’m recharged and ready to roll!
It’s here! After a winter that can only be described as an endless frozen hell scape, Summer has arrived with a bang! I’ll be spending the summer in the city for the first time ever and I’ve been working on my “bucket list”, which I wanted to share with all you lovely people! Most of these things are cheap/free, and very few of them are “trendy” because I generally like to avoid scenes. They’d all be better with friends, so gathers yours around you and go on an adventure!
- Visit Inwood Park and see the site where the Dutch supposedly bought Manhattan from the Lenape. It’s almost definitely not true but it’s cool to see the site anyways, I guess. Yay founding myths!
- Picnic in Central Park near the Alice in Wonderland Statue.
- Picnic in Washington Square Park with your feet in the fountain. Fun fact, a few years ago the city dug up the fountain and moved it a few feet so that it would line up better with the arch.
- Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- Go on a Museum Hack tour of the Met
- …. or do one yourself by rounding up your friends, taking your smart phones, picking a gallery, and have everyone do research on the weirdest/most fun pieces they can find in 5 minutes.
For extra fun, sneak in some boozy lemonade (just don’t get caught!)
- Visit the Cloisters.
- Take a morning and head over to Smorgasburg and stuff your face.
- Afterwards, stroll through the Brooklyn Flea market.
- Visit the super touristy spots late at night: The Empire State building is open until 2, the lights at Times Square never dim (4 AM is my favorite time to go!) and Top of the Rock is open until Midnight some nights!
- Do a cheap or free outdoor workout. Try free Bryant Park Yoga, $10 bootcamp hosted by my kick-ass trainer, Nick, or scroll through the Shape up NYC listings.
- Go to a Free Friday Movie Night in Bryant Park
- Take a Trapeze lesson at Chelsea Piers!
- Visit the Popsicle Lady on the Highline
- Visit Coney Island.
- Get out of the city altogether and go on a day trip!
- Take the Staten Island Ferry, just to take it.
- Go to the Botanical Garden,
- Or the Prospect Park Zoo,
- Or the Bronx Zoo!
- This one is close to my heart (because I used to competitively do it) but also makes my ick-o-meter go off: kayak in the hudson.
- Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, grab some ice cream at the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory.
- Go to a Baseball Game!
- The Museum Mile Festival looks pretty fun
- This is one that I will 100% be attending: The Mermaid Parade!!
- Camp out at UCB for the free Asscat3000 show on Sunday night.
- Because this is my first summer living somewhere not landlocked, I’ll be trying to visit beaches as often as I can! Here are some off the beaten track beaches
- Have brunch at my favorite East Village brunch spot, Mud.
- Or splurge on my favorite West Village spot, Buvette.
- Pick up produce at the Union Square Greenmarket (or you can come help me eat my way through 1/2 of a CSA share)
- Bike around Governors Island.
- The Fringe Festival isn’t until August, but that’s still summer, and who doesn’t love funky and experimental theater?
- Visit my favorite crafty stores around the city: Purl Soho, Pins & Needles, and trusty Michael’s
- Get out of the heat and go bowling at Brooklyn Bowl.
- Go to a Celebrate Brooklyn concert
- Grab Halal from my favorite cart in the city (the one on 14th street closest to 3rd ave) and people watch in Union Square
- Walk around The Frick and imagine you’re a robber baron heiress casually strolling through your 5th avenue mansion filled with priceless art.
- For a more interactive museum, visit the Intrepid.
- or the Museum of Sex (I’m 21 years old and this still makes me blush to think about.)
- Stay inside, away from the heat, and order cookies from Insomnia cookies.
- Go to the Launch party at Makeshift Society
- Cook dinner with your sweetheart (or besties!) and then get ice cream at Big Gay Ice Cream.
- See a movie, plain and simple. Load up on popcorn and candy and a soda bigger than your head.
- Walk down Bleeker Street west of 7th Ave and marvel at the fancy stores on a very cute tree lined street that’s less intense than doing the same on 5th Ave further uptown.
- Visit the Irish Hunger Memorial.
- Wander South Street Seaport and think about what it was like when the entirety of downtown manhattan looked like that! If you’re interested in preservation, look into the South Street Seaport Museum.
- The guy who runs the New Amsterdam Market visited a class I was in this spring and he’s very cool, so you should totally go!
- Drift through the Hester Street Fair on the Lower East Side.
- Go to the food court underneath the Plaza.
- Grab high tea at Tea & Sympathy!
- Attend an event at NYU or Julliard. Cheaper than Broadway and just as great!
- Visit one of the Shake Shack locations NOT in Madison Square Park for shorter lines and food just as yummy.
- Sit in on a Literary Event at the best bookstores in the city: McNally Jackson, The Strand, and my favorite, Three Lives & Company
- Makerbot holds workshops & events in their Nolita storefront, so if you’re geeky like me, check that out!
- If none of these floated your boat, poke around Meetup.com for events and hangouts that interest you!
PS: I’ll be tracking my adventures on Instagram with the hashtag #AdventureOfTheDay or #aotd! I want to see what all you lovelies are up to too so post with me if you want!
The Venn Diagram of people who are happy about summer’s arrival includes: students, east coasters who dealt with the polar vortex, and people who like to eat outside. If I could, I would draw this diagram for you, with a big “ME!” printed right in the middle of the intersection of all three. Sadly, I can’t draw, so I’m going to have to ask you to do the work for me and imagine. If this were a particularly fancy diagram, I would include the above picture of me twirling too (it’s probably a good thing I’m not a designer, no?). PS: My poor, long suffering boyfriend had to take about 30 pictures of me twirling in front of my front door until I got the right one. He’s a keeper.
I had a hard & long week between school ending, going on some interviews for jobs I really wanted (that didn’t pan out, sad trombone), and going on interviews for more jobs I also wanted (that did pan out! happy trombone!), so it felt really good to doll up & sit in the sun. This dress is one of the ones that I always know will make me feel really good. It’s pretty durable so I never have to worry about being too precious, which makes it the perfect dress for sitting in the grass, eating messy food, and going on adventures in!
I’ve had this dress for… forever, I think (and therefore can’t remember where I got it?). I style it a little differently every time I wear it. This time I paired it with an Anthropologie vest and sandals I’ve also had forever. I slapped on my fav pink lipstick and went to hang out in Washington Square Park with some new & old friends! This weekend is dedicated to lounging, going on New York City adventures, and working on some projects that I’m excited to show you guys! What are you up to this weekend?
Have you ever seen a craft and thought “dang, I’d love to try that, but I’m too worried about getting a visit from the craft troll who screws up my projects and makes me scared of trying new things forever and ever?” Me too! It’s also how I used to feel about Inkodye until Monday evening! I rounded up my boyfriend and his best friend to go on a crafty friend date to learn about, and play with,the awesome photo-reactive dye (for free!). How cute are they?
Creativebug hosted us at the super awesome Brooklyn co-working space, Makeshift Society. Champagne & the yummiest looking snacks greeted us when we arrived, so I knew it was going to be an awesome night no matter how our crafts worked out. The representative from Lumi, Jessie, was super sweet. She had on the raddest floral skirt, knew her sh*t on the science side of things, and was just generally the perfect person to teach us all about Inkodye. Sadly I don’t have any pictures of her, but if her bosses are reading this, she was the best!
This is me starting my astronaut tote bag project.
Inkodye is so much fun you guys. The mess is super minimal if you’re even a little careful, and even though it smells a little like cat pee (because of the ammonia), it’s super super easy to work with. If you’re allergic to perfection like I am, this is the craft for you. You don’t need to be precise or deal with small pieces or anything, you just splooge on the dye, blot of the excess, lay down your pattern and off you go.
We used UV lamps to activate the dye because our event took place at night! You can see my astronaut pattern peeking out here. The dye is activated by UV/sunlight, so the printing with it works the same as printing a photo negative- wherever the light hits will be activated, and wherever it doesn’t will stay the background color.
Finished product! See what I mean about perfection being overrated? I love the condensation spots (the orange bits) where the dye didn’t fully activate. The only thing you have to remember is that the dye stays photo reactive until you wash it out of your fabric, so keep it away from the sun until you wash it or else the un-developed parts will start developing and you’ll lose your pattern! Oh no!
PS: I’m a Whimseybox influencer now! If you want to try some Inkodye crafts for yourself, use this link to buy your supplies, and I’ll a) love you forever, and b) get a % of that sale to put towards more awesome crafts and content for you guys!
Manifesting and positive thinking get a bad rap. I think a lot people read half of The Secret and throw it out because they think it’s total hippy-dippy nonsense, and they might be right. I’m weary of “change your life through the power of positive thinking” too. A good life takes effort, not sitting in your room wishing something would happen. You have to go out take what is yours. Sometimes though, sheer willpower isn’t enough. Sometimes, you need a little extra oopmh and that’s when these steps to manifesting swoop in and save the day. Manifesting is just the practice of inviting the universe to meet you halfway. Positive thinking is an important step, for sure, but this is a guide to taking things into your own hands at the same time. I’ve come up with eight distinct steps to take when you can’t see a way out of the jam you’re in, or a clear path to the live you want to lead.
Step One: Cultivate gratitude. If you want to lay out a welcome mat for the universe, you need to be grateful for what you already have. Like us pesky millennials, the universe needs positive reinforcement. This isn’t the cheesy “I’m thankful for… ” crap you say at Thanksgiving dinner when your grandma forces you to think of something. The gratitude you need to make manifesting happen is the kind that makes you jump out of bed, put on your brightest pink lipstick and kiss your reflection in the mirror. I know those moments don’t happen all the time, but you can up your chances of having them by noticing when your thinking gets needlessly negative, and forcing yourself to think one thing you’re thankful for. Bonus points if you’re thankful for some aspect of the thing that’s currently stressing you the fuck out. One thankful thought a day is all it takes.
Step Two: Define the problem. Be clear about what the problem really is. Dig in and think about every single thing that needs to get solved about it. I am officially giving you permission to give into your inner worry-wart. This doesn’t mean wallow in misery– this means think about every little piece of the problem and really understand what solving this problem is going to take. Don’t write it down, don’t do anything about it. Just have it in your head. Quickly come up with a two or three word way to describe the problem. Then, I give you permission to do a Very Adult Thing and completely ignore the logistics of solving your problem. This is probably going to give you heart palpitations– ignore those too.
Step Three: Narrate Your Perfect Solution. Instead of focusing on the logistics, I want you to think about the juicy details of how you are going to feel when a solution presents itself. Focus on the feelings, and the logistics will make themselves clear. Here are some questions to ask yourself to get yourself started (keep going if the mood strikes you): What does your day to day look like once you’ve solved your problem? What are you wearing? What does waking up every morning feel like? Going to sleep? What does a typical day look like once you’ve solved this problem? What do you get to say on the phone with your best friend at the end of every day? What does being in your skin feel like? I feel like this goes without saying, but these should all be good visions of happy feelings. Keep these close to your heart. Manifesting isn’t always the easiest process, and you’ll need a reserve of good to keep you centered.
Step Four: Tell everyone about your problem. The key to not doing this annoyingly is to focus on the fact that you’re fixing the problem and already have it under control, but if they have any advice/help/contacts for you, take them up on it. For me, the best way to do this is to throw it in at the very beginning of conversation. Start conversations with “Hey, how are you?” and the other person is likely to say “fine, how are you?” Your answer to that has to work in your problem without complaining about it and then immediately give the other person an out of talking about your problems if they don’t want to. Example: “I’m good… in the middle of solving this (two or three word description of problem from step two) thing, but otherwise really good. How was your (trip/first day at a new job/whatever)?” People will either bite if they want to help you, or they’ll just talk about themselves if they don’t want to deal with your shit. Bringing it up to new people helps too, but there’s less of a script for that. Ideally you’ll have the conversation above, with a mutual friend, in front of new people. I trust you guys to understand how to interact with other human beings without being weird.
Step Five: Cast a wide net. The Internet makes this so easy. This is an extension of step three, but digital. This step could also be called “take it into your own hands.” This is the part where you make profiles on every dating website, apply to every job tangentially related to your skills, sign up for community classes in something you’re interested in. Nothing is too small at this moment, the point is to have your name and number absolutely everywhere. Don’t get too attached to any one option, just send out your best vibes everywhere.
Step Six: Loosen the reigns. This can be a really hard step for us Type-As. But do your best to go to live your life. Let the universe work it’s magic while you do your thing. Let those managers read your sparking cover letters, and those cuties on OKCupid get excited about your profile while you take yourself on a date or do a craft or see a movie and sneak in drinks with your best friend. Take a deep breath. You’re almost there.
Step Seven: Follow up with everything. Step five can take a while. But you’ve gotten this far, and you cast a wide net, so you’re going to have a bushel of opportunities coming your way. Your mission, should you choose to accept it (and you should!), is to seize all those opportunities. Spoiler alert: a lot of these things won’t pan out. This is the exhausting step. Things are going to feel out of your control, and they are. The despair is expected, just keep your eye on the ball. Focus on the juicy details from step four and stay rooted in your gratitude. This is the part where you make it happen, where you meet the universe halfway. It can be helpful to look for signs that you’re on the right track during this step. I don’t know what that means to you, but to me it means little coincidences and moments of magic. You’ll know them when you see them. Keep going, keep following up, the energy you spend will come back to you. Stay open and grateful, even when if feels like it’s going to kill you.
Step Eight: Arrive. Just when you feel like you’re going to keel over and give up, a solution will present itself. It might not be wrapped up in a pretty bow, but you’ve done the work, and you know what you want. You’ll know you’ve worked it out when something makes you feel the way you wanted the solution to make you feel. It will fit with your vision of what you want and, most importantly, it’ll be easy. You won’t have to fight, or scream at anyone, or cry. The logistical work you have to do (and there will be logistical work) to make it happen will flow. This is the part where you savor every moment because you did it! You met the universe halfway and kicked-ass in the process. Now it’s time to rinse and repeat on the next thing.
Secret Step Nine: Take care of the stuff you manifest! This means be a good friend to the girl you worked hard to get to know. Keep that perfect apartment clean. Have fun and be honest with the boy you think could be the one. This is a tangible form of gratitude, one that’s easy and so, so powerful.
Stitch. is a multimedia stitching project and poem I made this semester. It’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever made. It was originally published on my school’s online magazine, Confluence.
Start by knowing nothing.
10 running stitches
A French knot
12 running stitches
Know a little more.
3 french knots
A smattering of bullion knots
5 chain stitches in one color
15 in a different color
Make pink thread look like veins
Button hole stitch 6 inches of thread
Back stitch around what you’ve done so far
Spider web stitch
Blanket stitch 7.5 inches of thread
Make black thread look like teeth
Use thread the color of the sky
Make black thread look like teeth
Split stitch over everything
15 French knots
30 running stitches
Start to like yourself again
Grow 27 French knots on stalks
Kiss every finger
7 sideways rows of running stitches
Feel hope again.
34 un-attached chain stitches
Make a sun.
Grow more French knots on stalks
Close your eyes.
Use your reddest thread.
Open your eyes.
Make a web.
4 rows of running stitches.
Start something you hate.
Cover it up with something you don’t.
39 blanket stitches
Happy Monday, Everyone! How was your weekend? I spent mine running around like a mad woman starting with tea at a townhouse on the Upper East Side (for class!), stopping in at the Frick to see Girl With A Pearl Earring, going to M&J Trimmings and grabbing dinner with the roommates JUST on Friday afternoon/evening. Saturday I saw Catching Fire, got brunch at my favorite spot in the east village, had coffee with friends from high school and had a holiday photo shoot with my incredibly talented friend, and Sunday I went to the renegade craft fair in Brooklyn! Luckily I had some time Saturday night to make a sparkly headband, which is something I’ve been wanting to make for weeks.
What You’ll Need
– Some elastic. I bought a yard because M&J has a minimum, but you really only need about 6 inches, maybe less.
– Rhinestone chain (Optional). You guys know my affinity for sparkle, so I had to add this. This headband would be just as cute without it. Make sure you get enough to go all the way around your head, that way you can cut it down later.
– Embroidery Thread, assorted colors. I used some of my pearl cotton that I have for my embroidery projects. I think it’s the best for this because the strands don’t split, but if you have just some regular embroidery thread it’ll work just fine.
What I did:
Pick your thread colors. I chose pinks, purples and grays. I chose 7, but you can obviously do whatever. I cut 5 strands of each color. Since this is a braid, I recommend a number of colors that splits evenly into 3s when multiplied by 5 (ex: 6 x 5 = 30, 30/3 = 10 –> good choice while 7 x 5 = 35, 35/3 = ??? –> bad choice). If that doesn’t make any sense, choose a number of colors you want and f*ck the math.
Like I said, cut five strands of each color. If you want your braid to be thicker, cut more. Lay out all the strands and your rhinestone chain like above, in three groups. This helps the braiding process. I mixed my colors around so there were various colors in each pile. If you want a more braid-y braid look, put colors in similar groups.
Braid! If you want to add the sparkle, just group it in with one of your groups of thread and act like it’s just another strand of embroidery thread. Work your threads in between the stones if you want them to really shine or just let the threads cover them in some places and not in others if you want a less sparkly look. The hand in the picture isn’t mine, it’s my boyfriend’s. He patiently held the braid while I did this, but if you don’t have the world’s most patient s/o, you can clip your braid to something or use masking tape.
When you’ve finished braiding, tie the ends by wrapping them around a bunch of times with about a foot of embroidery thread. Make sure you leave a tail out so you can tie it off.
The amount of elastic you need will depend on how much of your head your braid wraps around. I would hold your headband up to your head and then complete the band with your elastic and then remove about an inch and a half of that amount. I am no scientist. If you can think of a better way to do that, use your judgement. My methods for attaching the elastic were bad, at best. The next time I make one of these, I’ll just hand sew my elastic onto the part of the braid I wrapped with thread, which is what I recommend to you, dear reader.
And done! Super simple. The whole thing probably took me about an hour and a half.
PS: If you’re looking for a good book about crafting, you should check out Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity. It’s a neat read, but definitely not without it’s problems. One of my hopes for this blog is that I’ll be able to explore some of my deeper thoughts and feelings about crafting/femininity/feminism, but for right now my semester is taking up too much brain space.
Have a good week everyone & Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Friday, Everyone! Can you EVEN believe Thanksgiving is next week? I for one am super excited. As I get older (ha, I’m 20), Thanksgiving is becoming more and more my favorite Holiday. Good food, family, and a parade?? What else could a girl want? Here are my favorite things from Around this internet this week. Did I miss anything?
Feeling bored with your usual date night routine? Try these ten cute ideas!
Finals are around the corner (terrifying, I know) and if you’re not like me and actually have them this year, you should try out some new study tips. Teen Vogue has some that are actually pretty ingenious.
Did you know that the National Science Foundation sends an Artist-in-Residence to Antarctica every year? The one this year is keeping a tumblr about her experiences there.
This article about selfies hits the nail on the head! As someone who thinks a lot about the intersection of femininity/internet culture/feminism a lot, this was a really great read.
The selfie flaunts the restrictions of “good girl” culture like a badass teenager sitting in the back of the classroom, refusing to apologize for what she says. I, for one, want to sit next to her in detention.
Guys let’s talk about Dr Ruth for like 5 minutes. She’s on twitter and Buzzfeed put together a list of 12 Tips for Improving Your Sex Life. They’re all so cute!
Jacqeline Clair of York Avenue had the cutest apartment tour on The Everygirl earlier this week. I’m completely in love with her little studio apartment and it’s got my gears turning about how I could do one of my own…
Ooh this delicate Crystal Necklace from Stripes and Sequins is too pretty to deal with. I’ll add it to the long list of things I want to make when the semester is over.
I’m watching Scandal as I write this post (in bed, drinking tea) and I, much like every other woman in America, want to dress like Olivia Pope when I grow up so this article about her wardrobe had me frothing at the mouth.
Three words: Dairy Free Eggnog.
I just got this Linen Bulletin Board from Poppin and it’s perfect in my room for hanging pictures, inspiration, and finished products.
My mom sent me a link to this print on Etsy and I am 100% in love with it and all the other stuff in the store.