Category Archives: Gifts

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.

Christmas Fail

Christmas Fail #1: Two words: Olan Mills.  OR – Matching Dresses.

Merry Christmas from the early 90s!!!!!   (or was it the late late 80s?  Not sure).  At any rate, I’m the one in the white dress with the horrified expression.

Christmas Fail #2: I’m not going to finish 3 of my Top Secret crochet gifts.  One will live on as a January birthday gift but I gave up on the others.  Threw in the towel.  Since they were extra “stocking stuffer” type of gifts, I’m okay with that.  Two of my bestest friends live out of state and the girls are in town!  I’m not going to be saddled to the sofa with a crochet hook when there is life to be lived and drinks to be drunk.

Happy Christmas from Living Analog (and Olan Mills) to you!!!

Christmas Update

It looks like Santa has been here . . . .

(Or JT and I finally got busy and wrapped some gifts . . . )
And the cards have started to come in so I double-stick taped the photo ones up on the mirror.

The one present I am most excited about is not wrapped . . . . and it’s for the dogs (of course.)

See it peeking out there, hanging out with the Grinch?

It’s the Y Bowl from a great designer in Chicago — Doca Pet.  The dogs will now be drinking their water in style.  (Because you know they are very concerned about being in style . . . or maybe just their owner is).

Sophie and Shenanigan actually received their very own Christmas card yesterday and thanks to a little peanut butter, Shenanigan opened it himself while Sophie looked on and hyperventilated.  I guess this is the point where most people tell us we should just go ahead and have kids.  Yikes.

Christmas with Monograms and Sheepskins (the essentials)

I have a major thing for the letter “T”.  It’s my last initial (now that I’m married of course) and I can’t seem to stop collecting them.  I worked as a graphic designer in college and still do a lot of graphic work now inadvertently for our school clients.  So a part of me has always loved fonts. 

I was meandering around Hobby Lobby the other day, when lo and behold, what did I see but “T” ribbon.  It was perfect and I bought all the rolls they had. 

Now it’s making an appearance on our Christmas presents for the other “T” family members. 

And no, there’s not coal in that bag — it’s gift cards!  I saw it at Schnucks and couldn’t resist.  I have been wrapping all the gifts in simple brown craft paper and I pulled out one of my faux-fur sheepskins for the tree skirt. 

On a side note, I saw this sheepskin blanket and fell in love.  Love.

Soft, turquoise goodness.

It’s $800!!  From a store in the mall!!  I promised JT I would wear it as a coat every day (even in the 100 degree humid STL summers)  and sleep under it every night but no dice. 

So there you have it.  Although I’ve been trying to do some Christmas good deeds (I donated blood on my day off on Monday!)  I also suffer heavily from the “I wants” and other such first world problems.  I’m no stranger to the green-eyed monster.  Just trying to keep it all in perspective.

Is this a dog blog or a decorating blog?

Y’all I know things have been a little heavy on the dog pictures lately but as I learn to use my new camera, it’s so hard to resist photographing their little faces.  My new camera (early Xmas gift) has a cool feature called “Burst” where it takes multiple quick shots with only one push of the button.  It’s great for photographing a moving subject — like, you guessed it —  a dog or two!

Sophie and Shenanigan posed for their photo shoot after a nice brisk walk last weekend.  Since I go to work when it’s dark out and then come home in the dark, weekends are pretty much the only time I have to do any photos.

I’m getting further along on my secret crochet gifts.  I now have 5 complete and one has already been mailed.  Unfortunately I still have 6 more to go.  I’m surprised my fingers still work for typing actually . . .

(Sophie and Shenanigan also want to say thank you to their auntie for coming over and taking care of them so frequently.  Sometimes Shenanigan’s way of saying thank you may be kicking you in the ankles, but thank you is still what he means.)