December 29, 2011

back in the day


I wish I could say these were my family photographs, that the woman dancing and leaping was my great grandmother, that the cute little boy with the inner tube around his waist was my grandfather, and that the portrait of the old man was drawn by my great aunt. But alas, it's an unknown family that I swept up at my local antique store {the whole pile for ten bucks!}. I was rather moved by the always dancing woman, in her flowing dresses and pointed feet. What a beauty! There's one photograph of her in Atlantic City in 1941, and some others dated in swirly cursive on the back 1931. The old man portrait in 1936. Love!

December 28, 2011

light of my life {or of my kitchen}

I needed some better light in my kitchen, so I scrounged around in my junk boxes and came up with enough to throw this together! Then I added an adapter that converts a light socket into a plug, and {hiding the cord running up the wall} it turns on with the light switch! And I love that there's still a ten cent price tag on the shade -- I may have paid a wee bit more than that.

December 25, 2011

a tiny brooklyn christmas

A happy forty-six-degree christmas to you all! That's relatively warm, eh? I think we'll go out for a stroll since this is our first christmas staying in brooklyn -- we're curious about how many of the deli's are actually closed today. Tonight, we're making a boiled dinnah true New England style and drinking Chimay, the happiest of beers in my opinion, and probably polishing off that whole plate of spritz cookies. And I finally got around to making some very un-christmasy looking flag decorations {out of free Martha Stewart paint chips from Home Depot if you must know -- how's that for thrifty, eh?} and clearing a wall for my long awaited, highly anticipated Amelie painting. Yes. YES! Now that I have my little paws on one I'm feeling greedy and wishing for more please!

December 22, 2011

wrapping it faux bois style

I dislike nearly every wrapping-paper out there, so this year I'm going the Drawer Liner route. Yeah I know: ugly in a drawer, gorgeous on a gift! Plus, you can get it in a couple different "woods". I mean really, can one ever have enough wood grain in their lives? I think not.

December 20, 2011

baby it's cold out here

Okay, it is way too nippy to be doing this on the roof, but I'm sacrificing a little discomfort and trading-in icy toes and fingers to prevent severe sawdustiness in my house. It's worth the trek up and down the ladder every twenty minutes when you see the mess I've made up there, even with the wind blowing most of it away. And it's not a bad thing having to drink four cups of tea in two hours. But, seriously, brrrr!

Now up to the rooftop like old saint nick to make some more, hopefully in time to ship them before the big 'ol holiday day!

December 15, 2011

I know...

I know, I know. Enough already. We get it Ariele, yeah yeah, you're making a lot of cheeseboards. Yes! I may be overdoing the posts about them, but it's all I have time for! Plus, I think these ones are extra pretty so of course I want to share them! Every time I walk past these beauties sitting on my dining room table I nearly do a cat-call. My thoughts go like this:  

*Whistle* Hey pretty ladies, what's your fine woodgrain doin' in this part o'town? 

December 12, 2011

the new batch

I sanded down the first planks from the new wood pile, to find beautiful aging, serious knots, and just the right amount of nail holes and imperfections to, yes, make it perfect. When I sanded that one on the left --- oh my, it was like love at first sight! Just look at that knot!

December 11, 2011

the wall

I've had many-a-peeps ask what is that wall behind you! when I post photographs of my shop. Well, here's some details and a brief explanation of this crazy thing.

One). Yes, I made it. Two). It took me about a month. Three). It's made from eucalyptus leaves. And below is a shot from years ago when it was first completed. It had way more color back then! {and no nails rudely stabbing through it, no tools hanging from it, no piles of wood blocking it}. It's become a mere backdrop now, but I like it even better this way, incorporated totally and utterly into my daily life. 

So, there you have it. A tiny mystery explained.

December 9, 2011

sacrificial destruction, with a healthy dose of irony

Remember this table top here, sitting on my mantle?

I built it a long time ago, it was the first one, the one that started it all. Well, the other night, I... I destroyed it.Yep, took the thing apart. Like, gone. Whoosh. Adios. What! Why? Well, underneath that lathe pattern is none other than the planks I've been using for the cheeseboards -- this was built, of course, long before I realized that wood was anything special. So I thought long and hard and decided to sacrifice it in order to create. *tear!* I was sad. My boyfriend was sad. Even my cat looked sad. Of course, once it was dismembered and laying on the floor in a heap, I thought, Perhaps I shouldn't have done that.... But, what's done is done so I swallowed our collective remorse and got on with it.

So, yes, I succeeded in scrounging up a few more cheeseboards when I thought I was already out of wood. Hoorah! But of course, it just goes to show that impatience {a non-virtue of which I possess a lot} is bad. Stupid impatience, always coming around making me rush things. Because this morning, just after I  finished sanding my second-to-last board ever, I got a call from my neighbor:

Hey Ariele, I'm just around the corner and there's a whole pile of that wood you make your cheeseboards out of. 


{So three more up in the shop ------> }

December 8, 2011

shop view

{the clean part above the mess}

I've been conjuring up a dust storm in the shop today, working hard to make a few more boards. A few of you have first dibs, so I'll be emailing you shortly, but un-claimed boards should up in the shop tomorrow!

On a separate note, I have been making this for the last few years, and it's definitely one of the best chicken recipes ever. Yep. Ever! It's my father's recipe, and its so amazing I refuse to cheat on this chicken recipe with any other. It's. So. Good. Try it!

Brined Chicken

4 cups water
2 tblsp salt
3 tblsp sugar
chopped garlic
onions and potatoes 

Mix salt and sugar in water until dissolved. Throw in garlic and rosemary, place raw chicken in brine overnight. Turn chicken after 12 hours if not fully submerged.

Drain chicken, keeping garlic pieces and rosemary. Place chicken in large cookware. Fill the bottom with chopped potatoes and onions, which have been mixed with drained garlic and rosemary. Bake at 350 or 400 (my oven sucks so it depends on yours) until chicken is golden and the juices have filled bottom of pan. You know it's done if you pull a leg and it almost comes free. 

So freaking delicious! I'm sure you'll like.

December 5, 2011

butterfly-it {a reader corrected terminology switcheroo}

I couldn't quite justify throwing out a plank of wood just because it had broken in half. I mean, come on, we all know that's not my style. So usually, I'd put it aside for something else, but I'm having a shortage. I need more wood. So I decided to be brave and adventurous and tackle a woodworking skill I think it's high time I tried:

 It's definitely not perfect -- yes, there are tiny gaps and spaces where perhaps there wouldn't be if it was not my first time doing butterflies. But I feel very proud, nonetheless. Though, it just about took me forever

So anyway, today was productive and there are now three more, slightly larger than the last, floorboard cheeseboards up in the shop. See?