Category Archives: Gifts

Hanging It Updates

Hey everyone – it’s been awhile so I thought I would just plunge in with some updates, highlights and clips of what life has been like around the Living Analog household lately:

After another trip around the blazing hot sun (it was 104 degrees here yesterday on the first day of October!)  JT rewarded me with something I have had my eye on for a while now …. an Eames Hang It All!


Husband is actually very smart and lets me self-select most gifts as I am ridiculously opinionated on all things that live in our house.  He did also surprise me with flowers at work this year, bonus points husband.  Back to the Hang It All – is it a little overpriced for a coat hook? Sure.  Do I love it and want to keep it forever?  Yes please.


It’s right inside the front door so I can now just drop my purse and bag right when I get home from work.  It keeps everything off the floor (e.g. dog hair free) and did I mention that I love it?  Moving on …

Some more little updates from our world:

– Also for my birthday (did I mention I’m pretty spoiled?)  JT and I took a weekend road trip to southeast Arizona.  We visited Tombstone for a few hours (that’s about all the touristy time we could handle) and stayed the night in Bisbee, which I really loved and reminded me of the American West version of Portwenn in Doc Martin but far and away the highlight of the trip was the winery region around Sonoita.  It was so beautiful and there was some good wine.  We are going back and hopefully soon!


The high desert is amazing.  I took this picture from a moving car while driving east from Sonoita towards our hotel in Sierra Vista.  Amazing views for miles and miles.  And – five years late I joined Instagram.  I posted the above picture up and was proud to add the hashtag #nofilter!  My Instagram handle is ct.livinganalog.  I’m hoping to use Instagram to help me get my photos out of my phone more and into an actual printed form.  If anyone has some good recommendations for Instagram prints, I’m all ears.

– Sophie (the dog) is on antibiotics after getting her first UTI.  She started peeing inside the house once a day and we figured it was just a part of the old age thing so we got her a doggie diaper (that didn’t stay on … I also tried the toddler diapers from Target with a hole cut out for the tail but that was even worse …).  The drugs seem to have kicked in and we are back to a pee-free house.  However, we are now also a rug free house because she has done a LOT  of damage.  The carpet on the second level was pretty well toast when we moved in but now it’s beyond gone.  Thanks Sophie …


(She’s so cute though  And we’re glad she’s feeling better.)

– JT made me a log table!  We had a tree crew come and cut down a dead and mostly knocked over tree as well as the tree at the back most corner of the yard.  Couple that with our backyard neighbor getting their tree (excessively) trimmed due to aggressive hybridized “killer” bees, and things got kind of bare in our backyard for a while.  The quail all quit us for a little bit but we got a huge bird feeding block from the hardware store and now they’re starting to come back.  JT will have to do a proper post about the log table but it’s been a great addition for the living room – perfect for holding a beverage and just looking cool.


– There have been other, more terrifying bugs than the hybridized bees around … I found this THING in the garage the other day, words don’t even do it justice.  It appeared to be part large black spider and part scorpion or crab.  It was waiting for me at the door from the laundry room to the garage (it was inside the garage though, not actually in the house).  I was too terrified to get a picture of it while alive and the dead picture doesn’t even show what it could be but here goes ….


The body part of the creature was about the size of a quarter and then the legs when out from there …. I hope I never meet that bug’s mother.  I think it was an alien.

– We’ve been taking lots of little trips and one big trip (to Portland!).  We’ve been traveling around Arizona and camping and staying as many places as our three day weekends allow – Payson and Lake Pleasant and Tucson, Jerome, Prescott and Apache Junction.  We’ve driven to Las Vegas from here once (it’s about 5 hours and you go through about 5 different types of environments – even a Joshua Tree forest).  Driving in Arizona is fascinating and terrifying because once you get out of the valley, the scenery is breathtaking but the roads immediately become steep, winding and full of tractor trailers going too fast.


Above is a snap from one of our jaunts – the Elvis Chapel at the Superstition Mountain Museum.  Yes, Elvis (or a non-lifelike replica statue) was inside. Yes, my sunglasses are too big for my face – look at all that sunshine!  A girl has to take cover where she can get it in this state.  Portland (Oregon) was so amazing and such a great respite from the heat we’ve been plodding through.  I’ll do a better Portland recap in my next post.  I loved it there and I could easily see doing a 6 month split with Phoenix – live in Portland for the 6 months of summer and Phoenix for the 6 months of winter.  Now I just need to find a job that will let me telecommute like that …..

I hope all is well with my interwebs friends!  I’ll be around more and I hope to catch up with everyone.

Cheers – CT

Who’s Schmoopy?

A while back we started calling my sister and her then-fiance “Schmoopy”.  Why?  Well because they were.  Googly-eyed and smoochy, they were so disgustingly in love that the only appropriate descriptor was “Schmoopy”.  And it stuck – somehow it became their pet nickname for each other.  As the Matron of Honor (do I sound old or what!) I gave a toast for my sister where I wished her a lifetime of Schmooopy-ness.  And I think they’ll do it!


(Another wedding picture I snagged off Facebook.  The Schmoopies are Smiths.)

As a shower gift, I made a little something for the Schmoopies.


With my handy computer and a little Photoshop action, I used an 11×17 size paper to create some diner-style paper placemats.  There’s a cute little print shop near us in South City called the Ink Spot.  I used them for the placemats, the bachelorette invites and also for the wedding programs (fans) and guest book cards I designed.  They’re super close by and I can upload the files online and call them and work through all my issues.  And when I went in to pick up my stuff, I fell in love with the decor.

Ink Spot

Above are some pictures I furtively snapped with my phone while picking up the placemats.  Call me a design snob, but I totally prefer to give my business to a place that gets my aesthetic.  MCM daybed with cute pillows and molded fiberglass chairs?  Sold.  I’ve got no skin in this game, I just thought I’d pass along a great local source for any STL people needing a printer out there.


Sister asked about framing one so I think she likes it.  And I still have the file so if Schmoopys’ Kitchen Cafe ever runs out of placemats, we can reprint some more.  Now that the wedding craze has passed I think I should whip some up for Living Analog as well.  We just need a handy slogan .  . . .

*Tutorial* Quick & Easy Tissue Paper Pouf

Hey everyone. . . I’m slowly emerging from under the rock that was my huge deadline at work.  Between working long days and still attempting to stay health-fully nourished and rested, I am afraid much has fallen by the wayside.  I am not one of “those people” who can do a lot, e.g. thrive while they’re super-busy.  I go into survival mode.  Them’s the breaks.

What’s been going on with you?  Last weekend was my sister’s first bridal shower which is very exciting and also very crazy — the wedding is now around 40 days away and I have a lot to get done!  So why not detour into a quick tutorial, right?

Well, it’s wedding related.  I had wrapped up one gift already with some cute green chevron paper (from Target) and purple ribbon only to realize I was out of purple ribbon for the second gift.  That was not happening on my watch!  So with minutes to spare until my ride arrived, I grabbed some tissue paper (only thing I had in purple) and went free-form with it.


#1 – Cut your tissue paper into as close to the same size rectangles as you can get and stack together.  I probably did about 3″ x 5″ or so.  If you cut your pieces really small it might not work as well.  If you cut them really large, you’ll have to do a lot of “fluffing” later to get any fullness . . . .


#2 – Gently fold/crease in half and staple.

#3 – Cut equal-ish strips out of each side of your creased and stapled tissue paper stack.


#4 – Fluff, crinkle and pop your way into a tissue paper pouf.  Use double stick tape or a loop of tape to attach to your package and you’re ready to go!


See how well it all “goes” with her invites?  Purple – check.  Green – check.  Chevron – double check.  This is nothing super fancy folks but it does give a present a little extra “pop” I think.  (Also wrapping it in electric green, burn-your-eyeballs-until-you-can’t-see helps as well).

And I took the chevron theme forward onto the invite I made for another wedding-related party — the  bachelorette party!!


The theme is Cinco de Mayo and I can’t wait.  Ten bonus points if you can properly identify the movie quote on back (Disclaimer: you can’t play this game if you are either a) my sister or b) my mother).  Here it is bigger for you:

“There’s a difference between like and love.  Because I like my Skechers but I love my Prada backpack.”

“But I love my Skechers.”

“That’s because you don’t have a Prada backpack.”

We’re headed up to Iowa this weekend for another shower.  More to follow!

A weekend’s work is never done . . .

It’s back to Monday folks and I am having crazy crunch time at work.  That is why I value my time at home so much.  So many people in the field I work in are workaholics.  I have always tried to work really hard (and efficiently) while I’m at work, but then leave it at the office.

And come home to . . .

Baby booties?  My Stitch and Bitch project is finally complete . . .

(See this post for the Purl Soho pattern and info.  Super easy to make, just takes a little time — best done in front of Netflix & How I Met Your Mother).

New bamboo shades?  I tried again (very unsuccessfully) to do the black-out cloth on the back of the woven shades we had already.  Total fail.  But they were all pretty busted up anyways (don’t buy cheap!) and afforded zero privacy.  So on a routine visit to Home Depot, we splurged(ish) on new shades for the music room and bedroom.

These are terrible, terrible pictures.  JT speed-installed the blinds on Sunday night as the light was fading fast.  I’m going to take all new pictures of the music room soon . . . .

And new light fixture (coming soon)?  The soffit over the kitchen sink has long had a scary, scary hole in it. . . Hole no more, light fixture to come. . .

Back to the grind.  I’m already looking forward to next weekend and finishing up some more projects (I’m looking at you kitchen soffit.)

Another baby pillow, but for a big boy!

Sometimes my lack of follow through on projects means that instead of delivering a gift at a baby shower, I instead deliver it when the baby is three months . . . or almost two years old.  Yikes!  Better late than never I guess!

So, Jackson is the almost-two-year-old in question and he is adorable.  Since he loves dogs and has a cute little blue and green bedroom, I came up with this . . .

I was thinking about going with J. Dog on the side, but wasn’t sure if his parents were ready to explain rap music and all the surrounding terminology . . . According to some pictures I got from his mom, I think he likes it! My first user review!

Since JT and I don’t have any toddlers of our own, I didn’t think about the ubiquitous child’s show “Blues Clues” although my little sis sure watched it a whole lot when we were kids . . . and my younger cousin looks suspiciously like the boy/man character.  But Jack apparently caught on right away and got his very own “Blues Clues” customized pillow.  Hope you like it little man.

Have a great weekend everyone!  I’m off to finish these baby booties before all these girl babies are born!

Another (little) project

My sewing machine and I are getting better acquainted day by day.  Soon, very soon, my sewing machine and I will be learning how to do zippers. 

Another new baby has come into our lives, this one is the son of one of JT’s band mates.  He is named Harrison after the best Beatle and I couldn’t resist a little Beatles’ inspiration.

“Here comes the sun. . . ” Little darling.  Harrison is pretty darling.  His nursery is all grey and yellow which is very sophisticated and fun.  Methinks the Eames rocker might look pretty good in little Harrison’s nursery as well.  I was digging the yellows together when I photographed it.

It started out the same way I did my monogram pillow (see instructions here) – normal acrylic paint mixed with fabric medium.  This time I used three different shades of yellow to give it a “beachy” feel.

The best part was how the sun really started streaming in when I was taking these photos.   I think George is somewhere up there smiling down on little Harrison . . .

May everyone have a little sunshine in their life.  Cheers!

Monograms and sheepskins

For those of you who have been reading this for a while, you know about my (slight) obsession with the letter “T” and also with sheepskins.  They are addictions I’m not sure I want to cure. 

Imagine my surprise when my family and friends picked up on these idiosyncratic obsessions of mine.  Maybe that puts them in the category of enablers.  At any rate, it makes me one lucky lady.

For Christmas this year we did a name swap/draw on my side of the family.  It turns out my mother drew my name. (Hi Mom.)  Great gift #1 was a large “T” for my growing collection on the mantel.  I wanted to customize it a bit more so it paid a visit to my backyard spray booth (which is a cardboard box top.  Fancy.)

That little black handle is the best $3 I ever spent.  I got it at Home Depot and it clips onto the top of a can of spray paint so you can grip with your whole hand and get a nice easy layer of spray paint. 

Et voila . . . . . it is now the new theme color of teal/sapphire blue and proudly displayed on my restyled mantel.

It looks so happy against the new white wall.  On the ottoman you’ll also see the big  red book of “Design*Sponge at Home”, another great gift from my mom.

See anything else new on the ottoman?  Remember a few posts back when I was agonizing over the Anthropologie $800 fleece flounce throw?

JT was a good husband and got me the Z Gallerie alternate and at about $50, it is so much more affordable.  I didn’t have to promise to wear it as a coat every day and sleep under it every night.  I can’t put it on the bed or the sofa because Sophie and Shenanigan will do inappropriate things to it.  So for now it is adorning the ottoman where I can rest my feet on it at night and revel in its sheepy softness (and it’s actually faux so no real sheep were harmed.  Win and win.)  And it’s teal/sapphire. 

Shenanigan will still do circus dog tricks sometimes and stand on the ottoman so I put a tray on top of my new throw to protect it a little better.  I used to have a long rectangular dark brown tray on the ottoman which popped nicely off the white vinyl.  I had to switch it around a little and mixed in a white round tray instead to give some contrast off that teal fur goodness.  The tray also is an old friend who visited the backyard spray booth — it used to be red.  I’m telling you, I’m crazy with the spray paint. 

And back to the monograms we go – did you think we were done with “T”s?  My mom has a friend in Kansas City (Hi Barb!) who is a whiz with a sewing machine.  She has one of those uber-fancy digital ones that I dream of owning someday after I learn to master the Kenmore basic model I have now.  Mom sent Barb some plain napkins and Barb sent these beauties back . . .

(PS – I took approximately 29 pictures of these place settings to find one picture that I liked.  JT saw the table set and asked if we were having a dinner party he was unaware of.  Just staging things for the blog hon. That’s normal, right?)  They’re very subtle which I like, kind of tone on tone.  Barb made us a set of white monogram “T” napkins for use at our wedding (7 years ago!) and I still have them but white is a bit unforgiving for daily use so I’m happy to have a set of the tan color as well. 

So that wraps up the story of monograms and sheepskins.  I am enjoying them all thoroughly.  My other great gifts will be the subject of an upcoming post — it involves artwork and I’m trying to get them all framed and hung before I post but I may just give in and share before I can get it done.  We’ll see.  Have a great weekend everyone!

It’s 2012!

I decided to have one last adventure in (hand) sewing to finish off 2011 and ring in 2012 with a bang.  JT was taking me out for an anniversary/New Year’s Eve dinner and I had the perfect dress but it was a little blah.  Inspired by the corsage, I thought I would try to see what I could whip together.

(Image above from’s website — you should check it out.  I especially love the sequined heart pins.)

I rummaged through my basement “craft” room (aka where I put odds and ends I don’t want to get rid of because I might make something with them someday) and came up with some black tulle and Haworth mesh chair back fabric from our work runway fashion show.  (A little more on that here.) While catching up on Season 2 episodes of “How I Met Your Mother” I began cutting, folding and stitching the tulle.

I cut out a backer from the Haworth fabric and stitched it onto a pin I already had (and I can simply clip the stitches off and wear the star pin by itself again someday.

I used the leftover cut tulle and stitched and hot glued the mess onto a hair clip for an extra accessory.  The hot glue didn’t really hold so I ended up stitching it up as JT waited patiently in his nice clothes to go out.  In the end my tulle corsage resembled one of those shower scrub poufs a little more than I would have liked.  I think it would have worked better with organza.  Oh well, what’s a girl to do.

We went to Brasserie by Niche in the Central West End.  The food was so good and Fraanch (as JT likes to say).  I asked our waitress to snap a photo to which she was very obliging and all we ended up with was a very “How I Met Your Mother” photo in a dark bar kind of picture.

So I photographed my outfit again this morning for your viewing pleasure.  If only my waist were that small in real life!

JT put up another of his guitar hooks on this little piece of empty wall which is pretty perfect actually.  However he found out the adjacent vent throws hot air right to that spot and de-tunes his guitar so I found some other uses for the guitar hook. . . .

For now the hook will stay because it’s an ideal spot to photograph JT’s guitars.  The one above is another that he made and is about to post for sale.  It’s gorgeous although I’ve never been a huge fan of the SG body style — those two points look like devil’s horns to me.  The best use of the hook has been this large clock we got as a one year anniversary gift to each other (because that’s the traditional one year gift along with paper I think.  I didn’t even bother to check and see what the seven year gift is.  Yikes.)

I have so many more posts coming your way.  Resolutions and little projects I am working on around the house.  I also need to post some of my awesome Christmas gifts — here’s a hint — there are monograms, faux fur and artwork.  Oh my!

Christmas Recap

Some of you may have seen the movie Four Christmases.  Here at the T residence, we have Three Christmases. 

Christmas #1 was Christmas Eve at JT’s brother’s house.   Sophie and Shenanigan’s cousins “the corgis” live there. (aka Danny and Starck)

 Brother-in-law and sister-in-law just acquired a vintage Malm fireplace.  I’ve been coveting one for  awhile (old post on former blog here) and this one looks just perfect in its new home.  The “problem” (I say sarcastically) with our house is that we already have a fireplace so bringing in a second fireplace just doesn’t make sense.  Maybe our future house will have one of these bad boys ’cause they sure are gorgeous.

Brother-in-law and sister-in-law are also big fans of mid-century modern.  Here’s JT sitting in his present before he realized it was his present . . .

It was a nice, low-key Christmas Eve.

Christmas #2 began bright and early Christmas morning at my mom’s condo.

This picture (above) was taken after the devastation.   She has a nice two-story living space and hung some cool star fixtures from the loft above, scored on our one-day-Ikea-adventure a few months ago.

You can see my sister modeling her crochet chain link necklace along with her Cardinals World Series champion um, apron?  The stars are hanging up behind her.

My mom is always changing out her tablescape so this holiday she had styled a festive silver tabletop for our omelet brunch.

Sophie and Shenanigan traveled with us on Christmas morning, so I entertained them with a reading of How the Grinch Stole Christmas to keep them on their best behavior.  They were NOT attentive listeners, but did stay still long enough for one photo.

Christmas #3 was at JT’s dad’s house.  They live at the top of a bluff overlooking the Meramec River and have some amazing views.  I really liked their outdoor decorations on some antique fences they picked up at a barn sale.

I loved the “Happy Holidays” garland.

My father-in-law also has a great high-ceilinged living space and the tree filled the space nicely.  The lights on the fireplace and outdoors on the fences twinkled which added to the ambiance. 

Once I get better with this camera thing, I need to go around and take some good photos of the family’s living spaces.  Each house has its own distinct style which I love.  So that’s the Christmas recap.  Did anyone else have three Christmases or even four?  Who’s making New Year’s Resolutions?  I am!

From crochet to Eames

Now that Christmas has come and gone, I can now show my crochet project.

I made the crochet chain loop necklaces for my mom and sisters.  They’re a lot of work!!! (See the tutorial here.)  The orange one I did as my trial run didn’t finish out quite right so I made it into a fun cat toy for Squiggy, my father-in-law’s cat.

I realize now it seems like I blogged up a lot of crochet angst for three things but there was actually 5 more I forgot to photograph before sending on their merry way.

The crochet necklaces are hanging out on JT’s birthday present . . . an Eames Herman Miller shell chair on a rocker base.  Beautimous.  (As I post this I realized my pictures as still sub-par even with the new camera.  It was dawn at the T household and we were on our way to family Christmas.  Sorry peeps.)

Has everyone seen the Eames PBS special?  It aired last Monday on the American Masters series and it was really engrossing but also (because it was only an hour and a half) touched only briefly on a lot of topics I would have been interested to hear more about.  JT got this great gift from his brother and sister-in-law and they had scored it from a local thrift store.  It used to be on a desk chair base which they switched out so JT could be a rocker.  I’m lucky my husband is a man of style and good taste so he can appreciate such an awesome present. 

In unrelated and random news and amusements, I got back in to the office today and had a postcard waiting in my mailbox.

Yikes! “Upholstery humor!”   I’m about to have some “upholstery humor” as I pick out fabric for our new daybeds.  Wish me luck.