my favourite things: june.

Bye bye June!  June has been a pretty wonderful month, a lot of crafts, bike rides, getting to enjoy the sunshine a little bit and hanging out with flowers everyday!

Here are some of my favourite things that happened.  I got bangs, I started posting three times a week with new crafts and recipes, I made a embroidered locket, mixed up some rhubarb soda with the rhubarb from our garden, made a sweet little fabric flower crown, made some chocolate peanut butter cupcakes for father`s day and lastly started a new feature called paper love!  So all in all a pretty fun, busy but super wonderful month.  I can`t wait to find out what July holds!

xo. T.

paper love:. paper ink press.

above: African Animals flat letterpress card set. image from here.
below: Woodland Animals flat letterpress card set. image from here.
Happy friday!  I hope you have all been having the most wonderful week.  I leave for the lake today for a few days and I could not be more excited.  This week's paper love comes from Paper Ink Press, a letterpress and paper studio from Palisade, Colorado, run by a lovely lady named Melissa.

All of her letterpress cards are printed one at a time on her 1917 Platen printing press and then scored by hand with her early 1900's table top press.

As you already know from this post I adore letterpress. And her cards are no exception.  I especially love the different "animals" flat card sets.  The rhinoceros in the African Animals set and the hedgehog and squirrel in the Woodland Animals set are my particular favourites!  What could possibly be sweeter than a hedgehog letterpress block?!

I also love the simple but super sweet word cards, maybe it's because they all use brackets and I have a tendency to over use brackets?! I'm not sure, but I still think they are awesome!

If you would like to visit her shop you can see more of her cards here.  She is currently holding a spring cleaning sale and lots of wonderful prints are 50% off!
above: OMG folded letterpress card.  image from here.
below: THANKS folded letterpress card. image from here.
Have a lovely long weekend! I can't wait to share pictures of the lake! xo. T.

eat me: chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

These cupcakes have been on my mind a lot lately, mainly because they are delicous.  Which is why you need to make them.  Chocolate cupcakes with half an inch of peanut butter - cream cheese frosting, topped with chocolate peanut butter glaze and chocolate chips - these cupcakes are rich, but so worth the multiple calories they probably contain.  Just like, maybe go for a walk while eating one, it'll kind of balance out, right? And then you can go home and eat the leftover peanut butter frosting with a spoon [something I may or may not have done the other night..]  I should probably warn you that these cupcakes have weight from adding all those layers of goodness, so like, be prepared.
If that above paragraph didn't convince you to make these right now I don't know what will.  I love them because they are rich and delicious but not super sweet.  The original recipe from Smitten Kitchen makes it as a super lovely cake - I feel like they are a tad bit more managable as cupcakes!
Peanut Butter Chocolate Cupcakes. slightly modified from Smitten Kitchen.

1 C. flour.
1 C. sugar.
1 tsp. baking soda.
1/2 C. cocoa powder.
3/4 C. warm water.
1/2 C. sour cream or plain yogurt.
1/2 C. oil.
1 egg.
1 tsp. vanilla.
1 tbsp. white distilled vinegar.

Sift together dry ingredients. Add oil, then sour cream, then water, then egg, vanilla and vinegar, beating after each addition.  Pour into a prepared muffin tin and bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 degrees until a knife comes out clean.

Let cool then frost and glaze.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting.

1 brick cream cheese.
1/3 C. peanut butter.
2 C. icing sugar.
1/2 C. flour.

Beat cream cheese for a few minutes until fluffy. Add peanut butter, beat for 3-4 minutes then add dry ingredients.  If it is too stiff add a tablespoon of milk to thin it out a bit.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Glaze.

1/2 C. chocolate chips.
2 tbsp. peanut butter.
1/4 C. milk.

In a double boiler/a heat proof bowl over a pot of boiling water melt the chocolate and peanut butter over low heat.  Once melted and smooth slowly add milk, stirring constantly until it has incorporated and the glaze is smooth again - it will go kind of lumpy when you first add the milk.  Use immeadiately by spooning over frosted cupcakes.

This is probably the longest recipe I have ever posted.  But it is so totally worth it - make them!  Have a lovely week, xo. T.

d.i.y. fabric flower crown.

So, it is officially summertime now. Or at least it is supposed to be, yesterday was the first time I've seen the sun for an extended period of time. But besides sunshine, summertime also makes me excited for casual evenings, reading on the front porch, wandering walks through downtown and little craft projects to fill out the in-between times. Which is exactly what this project is perfect for. I have had a very longstanding love affair with headbands, I have been wearing them since I was a baby. I'm not lying. Although I tend to wear them less now I think they are a fun, slightly whimsical addition to an outfit.

They also look really cute with my new bangs.
Anyways, this is a super quick and easy d.i.y to add some floral magic to your summer and a little bit more understated than some of the larger, silk flower  floral crowns floating around out there.  Still sweet, it just looks a little bit less like an actual flower garden is growing out of your forehead.  I think this may be one of my favourite d.i.y projects so far!
What you need:
_fabric, mine is a soft grey polka dot cotton, but you can really choose anything.
_sewing machine or needle and thread.
_rotary cutter and cutting mat.
_headband.  mine is from the "supplies" section of Etsy.
_glue gun.
1_cut out six 1" x 22" strips of fabric.  As you can clearly tell it doesn't really matter if they're perfect.
2_ stitch along the length of each strip using the loosest basting stitch, making sure to leave a good length of thread on either end.  Note: you could also do this with a needle and thread, sewing long, loose stitches, it would just take longer.  Gather each strip of fabric to roughly half its length by gently alternately pulling on the top two threads, spreading out the gathers somewhat evenly. 
3_using a hot glue gun and starting at one end start forming your rosette by rolling the end inwards a bit and gluing.  Continue wrapping the fabric around, while fanning it outwards, gluing every 1/4 turn or so until you have reached the end of your fabric strip and formed a rosette flower.
4_repeat for all strips of fabric.
5_by this point the fabric edges will have started to fray.  Trim off the excess threads.  The flowers will fray a bit over time and you can either leave it or cut them off every once in a while.
6_using a glue gun, apply a small amount of glue to a headband and attach flowers individually, starting in the centre and working your way outwards.
We took these pictures in a lot that used to house my favourite vintage store, but met an untimely death by fire.  Although I do miss that store I love how the lot has become completely overgrown with prairie plants: purple vetch, fox tails, wild rhubarb, and some tiny little yellow flowers I don`t know the name of.  I love love the prairies.  xo.  T.

paper love:. halfcat studio.

above: the entire set of Geometric Elements cards.
below left: detail of the water/winter card. below right: detail of the earth/summer card.
images from here.
Happy Friday!  Today I get to introduce you to one of my new-found paper loves: Halfcat Studio.  I discovered her lovey little shop after browsing through the paper goods section of Etsy one day.  Not only do I love her cards, especially the Geometric Elements set pictured here, but she's local!  The studio is run by Nicole Neufeld, out of her design studio here in Winnipeg and is the nicest person. She designs all of the cards and hand selects the paper for each one.  I absolutely love the slightly speckled, natural aesthetic of the milkweed paper that this set is printed on.

The Geometric Elements set is designed for each of the seasons/elements, winter, summer, spring and autumn.  I love the simple shapes and bold colours of each of the cards, especially the blues and purples in the winter/water design.

If you would like to see her more of her lovely work you can visit her Etsy shop here.
left: detail of the air/spring card.
right: detail of the fire/fall card.
images from here.
Thanks for letting me share another one of my paper loves, have a happy weekend! xo. T.

drink me: rhubarb soda.

Well it's mid June and my rhubarb plant is finally ready to be picked! I've waited all year to have rhubarb again so I decided I needed to make something new and special out of it. For some reason all I've talked about with my friends lately is flavoured syrups and sodas, probably because we're so very awesome. So I decided that this would be a perfect moment to make some of my own! It makes a super delicious and refreshing summery drink! I'm excited to use the same basic recipe to make a whole bunch of different drink syrups over the summer.
rhubarb simple syrup.

3/4 C. brown sugar.
1/2 C. water.
2 C. coarsely chopped rhubarb.

In a small saucepan bring the water and sugar to a boil on medium-low heat, stirring every once in a while to keep the sugar from burning. Add rhubarb and bring back to a boil, simmer for a few minutes and then remove from heat. Let steep for one hour and strain. Makes one cup. Store in the fridge in jar or other airtight container. The stewed rhubarb can be reserved to eat with yogurt or just on its own!

Simple syrup on it's own is just the sugar and water, so you could replace the rhubarb with anything, I think that peaches, pears, lemons or grapefruits would make a really delicous drink as well!

To make into soda pour 3 tbsp into a glass, add ice and top with sparkling water.

Enjoy! xo. T.

d.i.y. paper doll shadow boxes.

I love paper dolls. I just need to throw that out there. I was obsessed with them as a child and would play with them endlessly. My favourite was this giant book of "Lettie Lane and her Family." They were replicas of Victorian dolls and they focused on a wedding. There was a bride, groom, Lettie, her mom, her multiple siblings, her bridesmaids..and her scary old grandma that I refused to cut out of the book. I had completely forgotten about them, but then they popped into my head the other day and I decided I needed to do something with them, because they are adorable and I think they would look sweet on my wall, so I made them into shadow boxes. I especially love all their hats. Lettie Lane is the one in the yellow floral dress in case you were curious.
_paper dolls.
_memory boxes, shadow boxes, or any type of box or frame you can open that has some interior depth to it. These were photo keepsake boxes that originally had glass on the top, but I removed it and flipped them on their side.
1_sand and paint the exterior of your box, I chose white. Let dry. You can also paint interior as well to make a nice backdrop, or you can add some pretty patterned paper like I did.
2_Arrange your dolls/whatever other objects you would like to use in your box, deciding on placement, outfits, etc. It's nice to layer them a bit to give your shadow box display depth!
3_If your dolls don't already have a stand make one by cutting out thin strips of cardstock or thin cardboard, folding in half and then gluing to the back of the doll. This lets the doll stand up and gives you a surface on which to glue it to the box.
4_glue in dolls using a glue stick, white glue or even tape if you have to, and voila! Your have super cute, whimsical doll art for your walls!
I love how whimsical and charming they are, and that I get to do something with my lovely, vintage paper dolls again! It's like a little minature stage in a box, a little fragment of a story and my childhood. You do this with any object you loved really, photos, ribbon, the bright yellow jelly shoes you wore when you were 2 (I just found mine in my closet the other day), any kind of trinket you happen to adore! I hung mine on my wall, the box had quite a thick lip around the bottom which made it super easy the hang on a nail, but it your box is flat you could either lean it on a shelf or attach a picture frame hanger to the back before painting.
Happy Monday! xo. T.

paper love:. amy butler.

above: sunblooms stationery box by chronicle books.
below: sunblooms correspondence cards also by amy butler and chronicle books.
both images from here.

So after I posted "things i love friday" I realized that I really really love stationery. And paper. And note cards. Therefore the only reasonable thing to do was to dedicate one day a week to discovering new pretty paper! And that day is today! I love writing letters so so much, I like the pretty pens and handwriting, the feel of good quality paper, the pretty patterns and prints, the anticipation of getting mail, everything!

Amy Butler is one if my favourite designers. I first discovered her through her fabric design, and most of the dresses and skirts that I've sewn are made out of her colourful, pretty, whimsical, gorgeous prints! Luckily theses lovely patterns can now be found on stationery, journals and note cards. So far she has two collections, the first "sunblooms" line [above] which I own the stationery set from, and "lucky flowers" [below] whose note cards my mum got for her birthday. [I may have bought them for her partly so that I could steal one or two.] Both of them make me so happy to write letters.

All of Amy's lovely designs and patterns come out of her Art of the Midwest studio she runs with her husband. Currently her gorgeous patterns cover fabrics, stationery, rugs, wallpaper and extend into yarn, sewing patterns and books! If you want to look at more of her sweet fabrics you can visit her website here:
above: lucky flowers mix and match stationery set, by amy butler and chronicle books.
below: lucky flowers note card book, by amy butler and chronicle books.
both images from here.
I hope you have the most wonderful weekend! I can't wait to share more of my favourite stationery with you! xo.

coconut whole wheat brownies.

These lovely quinoa coconut brownies at food coma blog had been tempting me for a while, they looked so fudgey and delicious.  So I decided that the best possible after work adventure would be to make some!  However, my hunt to find quinoa in flour form failed a little bit so I replaced it with whole wheat and they were still super delicious and a little bit healthy! They remind me a lot of the cakes we had in Brazil, having coconut and chocolate cake for breakfast everyday.
Coconut whole wheat brownies.  adapted from food coma blog.
3/4 C. unbleached flour.
3/4 C. whole wheat flour.
2 tsp. baking powder.
1 C. butter.
8 oz. (1 C.) chopped, unsweetened baking chocolate.
1 1/2 C. sugar. (this is way less than the original recipe, so add a bit more if you like things sweet!)
1 tsp. vanilla extract.
5 eggs.
2/3 C. unsweetened, shredded coconut.

sift together flours and baking powder, set aside.  In a double boiler (bring a medium/small pot of water to boil then place a heat proof metal or glass bowl on top, large enough so it doesn't fall into the pot.  This allows the chocolate to melt gently without burning.) melt the chocolate and butter together in the bowl, over medium heat, until smooth.  mix into flour and add sugar and vanilla.  mix and then add eggs one at a time.  pour into a prepared 9 x13" baking pan and sprinkle with shredded coconut.  bake at 350 degrees (or 325 degrees if using a glass pan) for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife or toothpick comes out clean, with a few crumbs stuck to it.  let cool and cut.  store in the fridge to keep them cool and moist.

These are incredibly chocolately and delicious and even more amazing when you leave them in the fridge for a day!  I'm still curious about what these would taste like with quinoa flour, I'm going to hunt down some quinoa flour and try it out soon!  Let me know if you make it with quinoa!

 xo.  Have a lovely week!

d.i.y vanity organization.

Okay. So, confession. I am the most contradictory person.  I absolutely hate mess/clutter/disorganization and think that organizing things is fun.  Most of the time.  Things generally stay clean for like, oh, a week after I re-organize and then slowly deteriorate into a complete disaster.  Which then drives me absolutely mad, but not always enough to make me clean again because there are 100 other more fun summer activities.  Hence, the need for this d.i.y. 

My vanity is generally the first thing to fall into shambles.  Everything starts out nicely lined up and neatly tucked into makeup bags but as soon as I have one rushed morning everything ends up everywhere and all hope is lost.  Forever.  This is what it looked like the other morning.  I almost didn't want to show you this picture, but I think it makes the final result look even prettier? yes?!
So cluttered.  Therefore, Saturday morning when I went for an adventure to Old House Revival with my mum I was determined that I was going to find something adorable that would organize my vanity disaster and be sweet enough that I would be actually motivated to keep it this way.
This is what I found: a sweet soft green Pyrex baking dish (that I can actually use to bake with at some point in the future!) and this tin baking pan, I think maybe it's a jello mold? Or maybe an extra fancy bundt pan? No idea, but its super cute!  I also found an empty jar in my room.  Which is completely normal.  I love jars.  I'm not sure why it took me so long to realize they are perfect for holding mascara/makeup brushes/lipgloss etc., but it works perfect!  I threw all my eye shadow into the baking pan and reorganized and sorted through some of the rest of my things.
Not only is it super cute and organized but the containers are open enough that I can rummage through everything frantically without having to carefully pack everything back into a makeup bag after.  So perfect!
My vanity is much happier now.  And so are my mornings.  xo.

chocolate apricot oatmeal cookies.

And now for the real, non-hair-related, midweek post.
So, Friday.  It was super sunny all day and amazing.  Until I decided to go home,at which point it the weather decided that a torrential down pour would be way more fun.  The only thing that made me somewhat okay with this was that I could bake when I got home without the house overheating.  I decided that I really wanted oatmeal cookies, I don't know why, but I haven't had them in forever and I wanted them.  But I didn't want raisins, so I switched them for apricots and it was the best decision ever.  They're still chewy and moist and the apricots go really well with oatmeal and dark chocolate.  Make these!

chocolate apricot oatmeal cookies.
1/3 C. brown sugar.
1/3 C. white sugar.
1/2 C. butter.
1 egg.
1 tsp. vanilla.
1 tbsp. milk.
1 C. flour.
1/2 tsp. baking soda.
1/2 tsp. baking powder.
1 C. rolled oats.
3/4 C. chocolate chips.
1/2 C. dried apricots, chopped.

Cream butter and sugars. In a separate bowl mix egg, vanilla and milk and add to butter mixture.  Sift dry ingredients together and add to above mixture.  Beat until smooth and then add rolled oats, apricots and chocolate chips.  Mix and then drop spoonfuls (approximately 1 1/2" balls) onto a cookie sheet, flatten and bake for 10 minutes at 325 degrees until golden brown.  Makes 2 dozen.
Have a lovely day! xo.


In case you were wondering - a. clearly I am the one who has new bangs and b. yes, this is an entire post about my hair.  I just got it cut and I think it's super cute and felt you all also needed to experience it.  I haven't had bangs since I was like 6.  I was a little unsure if I should go for it.  Everyone gave me uneasy looks when I told them that is what I wanted most in life right now.  All I can say is I LOVE THEM. And now I have cute bangs. done.
I could go on forever about how much better my hair looks in a top bun with bangs, how soft my bangs are, how much I adore them, etc...but I'll spare you that.  I just needed you to see them too!  xo.

d.i.y. embroidered locket.

June continues to be sunny and wonderful, which is completely awesome and makes life so much happier!  This little craft project is one that I whipped up one rainy evening before the sun decided to come back.  It was super quick and easy, I've had this locket for ages but couldn't figure out what to put in it.  I decided to add some embroidered sweetness, I find hanging little pictures of people around your neck a little odd anyways.
All you need is an old locket, some muslin [or any white cotton fabric for that matter], a needle and embroidery thread.  A wooden hoop to pull the fabric tight in helps a lot but isn't necessary.  First I popped out the two thin, oval metal rings inside the locket [used to hold pictures in place], and traced them onto the fabric in pencil.  Then I lightly sketched out my design, put the fabric in the hoop and stitched away using a back stitch.  You could experiment with all kinds of stitches and thread thicknesses [sometimes I used all six strands for a thicker line, like on the heart, sometimes I just used three] to come up with all kinds of lovely designs!  I think this would make a super sweet, simple gift.
Also, since I've had more of a chance to work on blog entries I've also had more posts, which has made me decide that it is most likely getting pretty annoying having the bloglovin' links continually pop up on facebook. So, although that is the main way people connect to the blog I think I shall stop that for a while. Instead, you can subscribe to posts with bloglovin' [link on right], rss feed [link at bottom of page] or you can simply bookmark it and check back throughout the week! What do you think?

I hope you have the best week! xo.