Monday, November 29, 2010

Fall foods

This fall has been full of great food. My friends had a 'family Thanksgiving' yesterday and I must say we have stepped up our game from back in the day when we used to just pop pizza rolls in the oven!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

First Giveaway!

It seems like people are determined to ruin my Christmas spirit- well they have no idea who they are dealing with. I have my iTunes 'holiday!!!!' playlist set and cranked and I plan on digging out the decorations tomorrow. The season is only just beginning and I am excited and ready.

To share some Christmas joy I have decided to do a giveaway! Yes... to you 3 people that read this blog you have a really good chance of winning something.  I just made up some embroidered Christmas ornaments that I thought would be fun to share.

To win just leave a comment sharing your favorite Christmas ornament. Could be something from childhood, could be something you made, or something someone made for you! (Just make sure I have a way of contacting you.)

Using the random number generator I will choose 2 winners. The first will win a handmade ornament in the shape of the state of your choice! (If you are from MN you will get this one sent to you!)


The second winner will win the 'Silver and Gold' element set. Nerdy and Christmasy at the same time.

You have until December 1st at noon to enter!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday. I am spending the time at my Grandma's. This weekend I will be back with a shop update and a giveaway!
What are you grateful for this year? I am grateful for my friends. They are the whipped cream on the pumpkin pie of life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gearing up for Christmas

I am sooooo ready to start celebrating Christmas full on!  I follow the rule of no celebrating before Thanksgiving (this is to hopefully curb Christmas to sneaking farther and farther back and finally into summer!) but it has not stopped me from planning. I have decided to do a completely homemade Christmas this year. Every gift I give will either be homemade by myself or handmade by others (Etsy here I come!). I may make a couple of exceptions but all gifts will have at least 1 handmade element to it. Part of my decision to go this route is practical- I don't have the money to be buying everyone gifts and I am that crazy girl who sees something as says "I can MAKE that." My poor mom. She will say "Oh I saw that such and such store has pumpkin cheesecake." And I practically scream back "I will MAKE YOU a pumpkin cheesecake!!!" Yeah. Scary I know. Maybe I will get over it at some point but not any time soon. I already have a long list of gifts to make and I have also gotten it into my head that I need to make more of my own clothes- starting with pjs. I am mostly a shorts and t-shirt kind of girl when it comes to pjs but I am just in the mood for perfectly matched sets, luxurious nightgowns, etc.

Where was I? Oh yeah, CHRISTMAS! I already made the first 'official' Christmas purchase of the year when I bought those little Christmas mini-loaf pans but I added to the list when I found some boxes at Wal-Mart. I know I know WalMart is an evil corporation but I just needed some facewash ok? And I just happened to wander down all the Christmas aisles. But I found these adorable boxes with matching tissue paper for a good price so I snatched them up. They will be perfect for the homemade baked goods people will be receiving.  And let's face it- I am not going to add to the madness that is Black Friday.

Then I made one of the most important purchases of the Christmas season- the Christmas CD. I love Christmas music like Santa loves making toys. I need it...and over the years I have amassed quite the insane collection on my itunes. I have traditional, instrumental, swing, and emo Christmas music. So I limit myself to 1 new X-Mas themed CD a year. This year? Hells yes to the Johnny Cash Christmas CD! It is actually a 2 Disc set and although I have not listened to it quite yet I am uber excited.

So are you ready for Christmas? I already know a couple of my friends are freaking out about it. Stay tuned for an epic month of Christmas related posts, plus a giveaway (yes a giveaway!) in the near future.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mr. Button

Onto happier thoughts. This last week I finally got around to giving my good friend his birthday present (almost a month late- whoops!) He is a first grade teacher and yes his name is Mr. Button. Is that not awesome? It is the PERFECT name for a teacher. So I decided to go with a theme (surprise surprise). I wanted to make him a mug from my new place of employment. Then to round it out I included some packets of hot chocolate and homemade shortbread cookies shaped like buttons! The cookies turned out so perfectly adorable and delicious I am going to be making this recipe again- and soon.

Hope everyone is having a good week. Is it short for everyone? My schedule is so random that I don't work until Saturday so I am spending some time baking and catching up with errands and cleaning. Plus I am getting ready to go into full throttle production mode as I am doing a "handmade Christmas" this year.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Goodnight, sweet prince

Today is a somber day. Today Professor Richard DuRocher died. He was my professor at St. Olaf College for two classes. He taught my first-year writing course and one of my favorite classes "Shakespeare and his contemporaries". Though I can not say that I had the privilege of knowing him well I knew he was one of the kindest people I met while at school. I have a lot of mixed feelings about those years. Most of it was great but I went through some dark patches but I remember Professor DuRocher was always exceedingly kind to me. My thoughts are with his family. He will be missed.

One of my favorite memories of him was when we were in my Shakespeare class (which was super small). We had a foreign exchange student from Germany in  our class. As another student was discussing a play she used "WTF?" to describe something. Professor DuRocher asked her to explain what it meant so that the exchange student would understand. The girl blurted out "Oh. It means 'What the fuck." Everyone giggled a little bit and Professor DuRocher just said "I didn't mean that way." It was such a silly little moment. He wasn't mad or anything he was just flabbergasted.

In his honor I have found my copy of "The Necessary Shakespeare" from his class and I am finally going to read Macbeth. No it wasn't assigned reading in the class that I skipped. I was actually one of the few who hadn't read it and we read Hamlet instead. Well now I am finally going to read it.

Good night, sweet prince; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Be still my heart

The new Jane Eyre trailer is out! You have to check it out. It looks insanely good and they have made me wait so long! After sort of half-seeing a couple of versions of Jane Eyre I actually broke out the book and I LOVED IT. Part of it is of course the time period, the manners, the romance but the thing I really love about this story? It is dark. Like super dark. Ghosts, secrets, and whispers oh my! Also I am a big fan Edward Rochester. He is the classic grumpy but really has a heart of gold man. Also a big fan of film versions casting foxy foxy men in the role. Mr. Rochester is not supposed to be handsome but let's be real, who would watch it? Which brings me back to this new version- Michael Fassbender is going to be playing Mr. Rochester. I am squeaking with excitement just thinking about it. Don't know who he is? You are missing out. See 300 for some amazing ab time. See Inglorious Basterds for some smooth charm. See anything with him in it because he is amazing (note: if you want to see a good movie check out Hunger but be warned that Fassbender gets so scary skinny in it that I was sad for days afterwards). After careful viewing of the Jane Eyre trailer (repeatedly) I am actually torn about how good he looks in it. He has some really tough competition from Toby Stephens from the 2006 mini-series version. I mean damn. The hair, those eyes, that voice. Mmmm. I have never seen him in anything else and I don't think I need to. So bring your A-Game Mr. Fassbender because I will be judging you. (Just kidding I love you forever and always.)

Other good versions of Jane Eyre include the Orson Welles/Joan Fontaine version and the one starring William Hurt/Charlotte Gainsbourg.

You would think I couldn't get any geekier than this could you? Well I can. All I can think of is how amazing next year zombie pub crawl would be if I could get people to dress up with me as Jane, Mr. Rochester, and crazy wife. Would that not be epic? Once again if I find a man who would be willing to wear a period costume that I make him I will marry him on the spot. Now I just have to wait until March for this movie to come out so I can geek out some more!

Michael Fassbender looking dapper. As per usual.

Toby Stephens as Mr. Rochester from the 2006 BBC version    

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Shop Update: Ready for the Holidays!

I am so excited to bring you some of my new holiday collection today! Playing off of the 'classic' RubyMarilyn designs I am bringing some holiday cheer and kitsch into the mix.



I was really tempted to call the necklaces 'ugly sweater' necklaces but I don't think they are ugly! Over the top? Maybe. I think it really depends on how you wear them but I am absolutely in love. LOVE I SAY. So Christmasy and fun. The scarf and the neckwarmer were born into being to deal with my over-making of crochet snowflakes. I just can't get enough. Once I get a pattern in my head I need to make it and usually several times over! I love the gray scarf so much because most of the snowflakes are unique. I think that makes it kind of fun.

Stay tuned. More pieces will be added to the Holiday Collection later this week. I was just too excited about these to wait!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Online lovelies

Have some time to kill? Want some wonderful online inspiration for the upcoming holidays? Then I highly recommend these:

Gifted Magazine

Inspired Ideas: The Christmas Issue

Church Rummage sale

I am convinced that Church rummage sales are the way to go. There is usually a good amount of stuff gathered inside warm buildings and the prices are better than many thrift stores. (Why are thrift stores getting so expensive?)

I went to one in town and walked away with a couple fun things.

 I have a thing for sewing books. "The Vogue Sewing Book" and "The Dressmaking Book" had to be added to my collection. Then there was this funny little box. I figured out it was an ice bucket and for 75 cents I feel it is quite the steal.

 There are six funny little cartoons on the outside of the ice bucket.
 This is my favorite- "no more for me I wasn't even invited".

I did a little digging into who did the cartoons. Each picture is signed with a little Wm Box. After a bit of time on google (how did we live before the internet?) I found this wikipedia article on Studio cards. Apparently Box started off in the card business in the 1950's when humorous cards of this sort were not very common. I didn't find any like this on etsy vintage or ebay but I did find a newspaper ad for the ice bucket! The paper is from Dec. 7th 1959. Now that is cool!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

You think you are random?

Here are my shopping buys of the day:

 That's right. In this picture you see two vintage books, a couple of mini Christmas loaf pans, AND a leopard print skirt. 3 stores, 3 very different types of purchases. I adore the skirt. I have been wanting a skirt like this for awhile and this one was on sale!
 At a thrift store I found this gorgeous 1946 "A Treasury of Grand Opera". It is a soft cover book with tons of music inside. A little beat up but for some reason I couldn't pass it up.
 Also at the thrift store I found this cool "Cash" book. It is an old ledger with nothing written in it! I might start using it to 'keep the books' for the RubyMarilyn etsy shop. I love that it says "U.S. Government Printing Office Property No. 50185". I wonder how it found it's way to me?
The the craft store got me. I went on the pretense that I wanted to get Halloween stuff on sale. Well that didn't happen. Instead I got sucked into the wonder that is Christmas stuff. It was actually fairly impressive that I only walked away with 10 of these little cuties (5 of each design). Oven-proof, Christmasy, and only $1 each? How could I resist. So cute. I was really tempted by all the gingerbread stuff though. For some reason that is going to be my Achilles heel this holiday baking season. Gingerbread. I wants it. I wants it now!

Any other fun purchases out there lately?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Margot Tenenbaum

Margot Tenenbaum
Originally uploaded by somethingswings
I recently re-watched The Royal Tenenbaums and it has to be one of my favorite movies ever. And now all I want to do is find a great faux fur coat, break out my straight iron, and dress up as her everyday. Also when I went onto flickr to look for pictures of the coat so I can go thrifting I stumbled upon many Margot and Richie Tenenbaum couples costume and I am pretty sure that is the cutest thing ever. Love.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blog Love

It seems every time I log on with good intentions of writing new blog posts I get distracted with reading all the great blogs already out there! I have just stumbled upon Casey's Elegant Musings and it is a lovely blog that tugs at my vintage heartstrings. She is having a giveaway right now for an adorable '50s style headband. Check it out to enter!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Did you vote?

Yesterday was voting day. Did you get your 'I voted' sticker? I am still trying to figure out what happened in MN. I think they are talking re-counts.