homespun holidays: pretty inspiration.

Good morning! I'm off to knitting and to pick up a few things at the craft store for some tutorials this week. I wanted to show you some morning goodness by way of this pretty little advent.

How easy does that look? I wonder how many matchbooks I can scrounge up this week. I'm sure I'll find some pretty paper at the store. What are your plans today?

See you this afternoon.

super {flea} sunday.

How was your Thanksgiving? Wonderful I hope; and I hope those of you that braved the sales made it out alive.

Our Thanksgiving was filled with too much laughter, mulled wine and food. It was perfectly perfect. I even had the chance to pick up some lovely gifts for my husband and family for Christmas.

I'm extremely exhausted, so I leave you these pretty papercut prints for this weeks {flea}. These would make an adorable last minute gift for Mum or your friends.

all via elsita

This week I'm going to be doing some tutorials, gift guides and inspiration posts. Please do come back!

happy thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving lovelies! What are you thankful for today?
I'm extremely thankful for my husband, my family, and the family I've created for myself.

Today we'll enjoy a Thanksgiving potluck with my friends from knitting and their families. They are the greatest bunch of people and I'm looking forward to the good food and laughs. It's always a show when we get together.

Are you cooking up anything yummy? I made three pies and sweet potato casserole. I hope they're a hit.

I'm thankful for you too; I've been so inspired sharing with you through my blog.I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with loved ones.
See you Sunday for the {flea}.

How cute is he?

homespun holidays: pet friendly decorating

When I asked my friends on Facebook if they needed anything for the holidays I thought I'd get the usual requests, but my friend Julie gave me something better. Julie's a newlywed and like alot of newlyweds, she and her husband are traveling home to see family.

 Insert her dilema here: Julie has two precious kitties, but said their nicknames should be 'Vlad the Destroyer'. Last year she and her man made decorations only to come home to them scattered all over the house. Not good.

Thankfully my little furball Hank has no interest in our tree or decorations, but I don't want leave Julie coming home to an unfestive, messy house.

The key here is to make something whimisical and pretty, but that A) doesn't cost a fortune and B) is pet friendly; that way if they do happen to get their paws on it, they haven't broken the ceramic tree your mom made in the second grade.

Most of the projects I have in mind are soft or paper garlands; they can be hung away from curious cats and reused year after year. Leave out the glass ornaments too, make these piece by piece to decorate your tree.

I adore this advent. You can't get much easier than felt, ribbon and thread. The link gives you all of the instructions, plus the heavy suggestion to fill these little pockets with chocolate (don't have to ask me twice).

This snowflake curtain is down right amazing. I haven't made paper flakes since elementary school.

This Tree bunting is fantastic and easy. Take it a step further by making a few smaller ones and stuffing them with catnip. Instant kitty gift that keeps them distracted.

Another felt garland; this one is just too easy and offers so many color possibilities.

A good swag works too. This piece makes me grin ear to ear.

All of these projects are easy, peasy, d-i-y, cost affective and cute.
There's the added bonus of setting aside an hour or two to to make something special with your loved ones.

Julie, I hope you can find something here to make, that you, your husband and 'little destroyers' will love.

homespun holidays: gifts for the book lover.

I love giving books for Christmas; they are such a thoughtful gift and so easy to make personal.
Giving to the book lover in your life can go way beyond hardcovers too.
Here are some fabulous ideas to keep the reading nerd in all of us happy!

I'm all for giving these Penguin Classics for the holidays, but also making a small collection of favorite authors or subjects. Tie a bundle with pretty ribbon and let the covers speak for themselves.

If the books your giving aren't so pretty, Book City Jackets makes the coolest book covers. Aren't they awesome? I'm completely in love with them and they are fairly inexpensive.

If you want to move away from actual books try a little d-i-y wreath.
I can see myself making these for so many people in my life; charming, easy and for under two dollars? Yes please! Just assure the giftee you didn't tear apart a vintage copy of The Great Gatsby to make it.

Vintage bookends are a great gift too; I recently saw a pair at my local thrift of the biblical sort. I desperately wanted to spray paint them hot pink. Check all over, I ended up purchasing a similair pair for $5. My mom would kill me, she thinks owls are bad luck (don't ask).

Of course you want to knit something too, right? Ya, me too. Bookmarks are the kind of gift you can turn out for everyone in the whole family or your girlfriends last minute. The best part? You can use up your scrap yarn. Try these pretties and tell me your grandma won't gush.

via ninaclock designs : pattern via ravelry

via tjajudy : pattern via ravelry

Ooo and I don't crochet at all, so can someone puh-lease send me one of these? Fantastic.

via crochetroo : pattern via ravelry

I'm about ready to curl up with a book and a cuppa, how about you? I hope these work out to be some great go to gifts or make their way onto your wishlist.

Tomorrow I'm going to solve a friend's decoration/kitty crisis. Be sure to come back.

in all my glory.

So today was a great day. I thought I had to work, I didn’t. I gave a lovely knitter some scrapbooking stuff for her niece for Christmas and she kindly gave me 2 skeins of Malabrigo yarn in return; sweet.

I thought…maybe today is the day. I ran to my mailbox and my heart sank; 2 bills and a stupid Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon. Not today I thought.

Then I swung open my gate and caught something white, red, and blue on the ground. A package? yesssss. A large, fluffy package? double yessssss A Three Irish Girls package?!?!?! triple yessssss.

I literally threw my things on the floor at the front door. This package was all I cared about at the moment; this day I have been waiting for.

If you aren't familiar with my 3IG obsession, it's one that runs deep. Her yarn is exceptional and I ordered six skeins of yarn from the Dye For Glory contest in July; yes July. 3IG took home four of twelve categories, to give you an idea of how great her stuff is.

Anyway, back to the story....

Some lime green tissue, some Seacoast Springvale Bulky scraps (which were tied up as a headband in my hair right away), a huge sticker with a heartfelt note from my beloved Yarnista (which was cut out and saved for my bulletin board right away).

Then the unfolding began. Wait, I thought…it’s too damn dark in my kitchen. So I scooped it up and headed out into the sunroom and there in the perfectly sunny afternoon light I tore into that package that had been so lovingly taped. I haven’t been this excited since I got an American Girl doll when I was 8.

What happened next was too much for my eyes. There was a sea of color, the entire spectrum; Georgia Peach, Alchemy, Father Time and Zephyr. All for me??? I couldn’t believe it. This isn’t just yarn. This is the best yarn I have ever, ever purchased.

All insanely soft. All scrumptious. All mine.
I could care less what I get for Christmas now, give me Red Heart for all I care. Christmas came today!

Here are my beauties. Thank you Sharon for taking such care of these pretties and passing me a slice of my own, personal glory.

Georgia Peach (McClellan), Alchemy (Kells), Father Time (OMG! I died, on McClellan), Zephyr (Adorn Sock).

I'm off to fondle, err... pet my yarn. Have a happy day!

super {flea} sunday.

How was your weekend? Are you prepped for Thanksgiving? I worked and relaxed with my husband; a truly fantastic weekend.

This weeks {flea} is all about small treasures. I picked up these little sweets today. I know I should be thinking gifts, but really they are for me.

Clockwise: a teeny mushroom pin, a '13' pendant ( a huge score for me, I've never really found anything so pretty with a 13 on it.), and golden bow barrettes for the holiday.

What did you find this weekend? Are you buying gifts yet? Share your lists, I'm looking for some stuff for the guys in my life.

Make sure to come back all week, there's so much more Homespun Holiday I have left to share!

happy weekend.

What are your weekend plans? I hope everyone is enjoying some beautiful weather; it is gorgeous down here in Florida.

I work this weekend and will spend Saturday decorating the house with my husband for Christmas. I am really getting in the spirit and can't wait until next week!

See you Sunday for the {flea}.

this one's for the guys.

I don't catch Oprah that often, but I love Tim Gunn of Project Runway so I had to watch yesterday as they made over a group of typical American men.

Now, my husband is in the Army and spends 75% of his week in a uniform. I will admit I am a sucker for that uniform and I certainly don't blame him for throwing on a comfortable pair of gym shorts and a t-shirt once Friday rolls around. But it's important for a man to have their own personal style.

I was totally blown away at the extremely handsome men hiding under the crazy hair and clothes.

Charles Masonesque before....

Russel Crowesque after...

This is the first makeover Oprah gave this man in the 90's....ouch.

He finally got the makeover he deserved. Lookin' good.

This young firefighter is probably the closest representation as to how my hubby dresses; minus the plaid.

Those jeans are to die for; his wife was all about showing off his tush.
Isn't that every the goal of every wife?

Saving the best for last. Oprah's people picked this guy up at Lowes.
I love a good beard, but that's a little scary.

 Tim Gunn really makes it easy for any man to have a classic, cool, and comfortable style that will turn heads and melt your wife's heart. This video series is perfect for those men that have a hard time knowing where to start.

And now....helloooo cowboy! I did not expect this.
My mom and I literally called each other and discussed him for ten minutes.

all via oprah

Can you believe it? I still can't get over how handsome this man is.

What is the one thing you wish you could take in your man's wardrobe and toss away? I would adore my hubby getting rid of all those Ed Hardyesque t-shirts (sorry, babe). I plan on picking up some classics for my man this holiday to keep him looking good and feeling great.

homespun holiday keeps you smelling yummy.

I'm really picky about my beauty products; I have combination skin that takes constant care and I really loathe a yummy smelling lotion that feels greasy on your skin. So when I find a line that I love enough to reccomend, I promise's good.

I first came across Biggs & Featherbelle at the HomeSpun Yarn Party in Savage, Maryland. I was lucky enough to meet Kasey and Kelly, the sisters behind the eco-friendly operation. They sweetly chatted me up and it was instantly apparent how passionate they were about creating products that were thoughtful of the consumer, packaged adorably, and hardworking to boot!

My husband loves the Muscle Soak after working out all week.

My favorite are the Body Butter Bars. Seriously, these are lightweight on your skin, smell awesome, and last forever; I've had mine since March.

So if you're looking for a bar of fancy soap to wrap up with those knit dishclothes for your mom, or a quick gift for your girlfriends or mom-to-be in your life, this is it.

I have bought a few gift packs also. Customizable and they are already cute, so you don't have to rewrap (can you say, bonus!).

And I know what you're thinking; "A bar of soap for my face? You have got to be out of your mind".
I swear by it; it is the only wash I use on my face. Barados and Bark are perfect for my sometimes problematic skin.

If you can visit them in person, be sure to visit Kasey and Kelly at one of many Holiday Bazaars they will be attending this season.
December 4/5: No Coast Craft-o-rama in Minneapolis
December 5/6: Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago
December 5: Holiday Heap in Baltimore
December 6: Bazaar Bizarre in Boston
December 12: Handmade Arcade in Pittsburgh (hint,hint, Mom)
December 19: Holiday Booty Market in Washington D.C

Can you tell yet that I am totally in love with their stuff? I promise you will not be disappointed. Get yourself some as a treat; it is the holidays after all.

homespun holidays: ornaments for all

I'm super thrilled to bring you the first installment of Homespun Holidays here at The 60/40. As we head into December I'm going to dig deep to bring you the best in gift guides, d-i-y projects, and merriment.

Today I pulled out all my Christmas boxes (crazy, I know) and I'm planning to crank up the holiday tunes and decorate all week long. Join me so I don't feel so nuts, mmmkay?

I found a small box of childhood ornaments, but since this is our first Christmas as husband and wife, I would love for my husband and I to craft some new ornament memories together. And let me tell you, I am not the kind of gal to go spend thirty dollars (or wait in line) to buy the newest Hallmark whatchamacallit (sorry Hallmark).

So we are going handmade and homemade. The little pretties above and these pretties below are courtesy of Concha of Saidos Da Concha. Skate over here and check out her totally awesome tutorial. I especially love the birdies; full of whimsy!

ps. those little trees are from ikea and insanely inexpensive.

If you're looking for a quick ornament gift or don't have the time to whip up your own, you know where to go. Etsy! As any sane person would expect Etsy is brimming with talent, and overwhelmingly so during the holiday season. Finding some beautiful, unique, handmade ornaments is just too simple.

Dash, Dancer, Prancer....

I adore this little kitty; Fern Animals is so talented, she just won Etsy and Martha Stewart's handmade wedding contest.

A sweet sampler.

These vintage inspired ornaments are filled with lavendar, so they smell yummy too!

Ooo and I almost forgot these Gingermen. They make me giggle.

via vivikas

How easy is that? A plethora of cuteness at your fingertips. Ornaments are such a great gift too, easy to personalize and perfect to tie onto a package for an added touch.

If you're looking for ornaments to knit try these quick and free patterns.

via canadian living : pattern via ravelry

via little cotton rabbits : pattern via ravelry

I'm obssessed with this 'lil guy. It reminds me of  my favorite Christmas commercial.

via disco smurf : pattern via ravelry

I want hear about your favorites here. What ornaments do you plan on buying or making this year? Do they hold special meaning? I want to see your projects and buys too!

christmas daydreams.

I planned on kicking off Christmas at The 60/40 today, but my Christmas boxes got in the way!
I know, it isn't even Thanksgiving yet, but I am in the spirit.
Over the next week I will be decking the halls, sprucing the spruce, sipping cocoa, and listening to carols.

I'll also be bringing you fantastic gift ideas, d-i-y projects, quick holiday knits for all you knitters, an avalanche of spirit at your finger tips! But today I'll day dream about Christmas; every gal deserves a day.

via dr hemmert, isn't his kitty adorable?

I would really like to hear your feedback today. Please leave me a comment and let me know what you are looking for this Christmas. The perfect cookie recipe? That easy peasy gift you can make for all of your friends in an hour? Your feedback is priceless, so let me know.

Tomorrow I have some absolutely fantastic ornaments for you; better break out that tree!

super {flea} sunday.

I have alot of little goodies I've picked up in the last few weeks.
I love heading out to the thrifts in the area and scouring the booths for the perfect find.

I've been on the hunt for some awesome needlepoint to add to these paintings, which are the start of a gallery wall going up my stairwell.

I came across this beauty for $8 at the local thrift and my neighbor gave me this wooden piece, which used to be the frame for drawers on a vintage sewing table.

I'm trying to come up with some cool cylindar shaped pieces to display inside the frame once I hang it on the wall; perhaps some skeins of yarn or glass rolling pins. I'll also white wash the needlepoint frame.

Then I found this rooster head. I love it, my husband thinks it's creepy. I didn't buy it the first time, or the second, but for $2 I had to buy it and it is now hanging in my craft space.

It's not that creepy, right? I chuckle everytime.

My last finds this week aren't exactly thrifted. My local LYS, Unwind , had a PJ Party and everything (and I mean everything) was forty percent off from six to eight in the morning. Proudly, I went in the day before planned out everything I was going to buy and was second in line at five-thirty am on the day of the sale.

You're looking at 4,033 yards of various wool, superwash, and alpaca.
The green in the center is Cascade Pure Alpaca and it is the softest yarn. I find myself taking the skein off the shelf just to pet it.

What finds have you dug up lately? I want to see your bargins too.
Come back all week, The 60/40 is going to kick off the Holidays right!