Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pumpkin Carving

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the entire year and missing pumpkin carving basically means the end of the world. What's October without a few creepy and kooky jack-o-lanterns? (then again it's currently snowing...)

This year the gang all met up at Travis's for some buffalo chicken dip and a pumpkin carving contest! Everyone's turned out fantastic and completely different - skulls and a cyclops were both graphically eerie; Liz's owl was intricate and detailed; Teri and Price had the best faces, and Travis, the most classic pumpkin imaginable. 

Since I had already done a Jack Skellington pumpkin two years ago, but a Nightmare Before Christmas pumpkin is always the first thing that comes to mine, so I set to work on Oogie Boogie this year. Aside from the part where I disconnected his jaw, I'm so pleased with how he turned out! And the scraping out of pumpkin goop? One of my favorite things in the universe.

Are you carving pumpkins this year?

Friday, October 28, 2011


Great Hall

I just now realized that I have a whole tag dedicated to 'Harry Potter' and have to wonder how much do I bring this up on a daily basis...

Every time the new term rolls around, I step into the Cathedral of Learning on Pitt's campus and gawk at how much it looks like Hogwarts. And it doesn't end there - with most of my classes and departmental to-do's taking place in the building, every time I'm in it I'm fairly certain that I send out a tweet regarding how much the Cathedral looks like Hogwarts. It's captivating apparently to the point where I forget that I mention it to someone every single day. Usually the same person. Twice.

But it is! Just look at it!

Cathedral of Learning

Cathedral of Learning Passageway

There are gigantic fireplaces on the main floor, hidden staircases tucked away in the corners, and just stepping into the main hall reminds me of, well, the Great Hall!

Cathedral of Learning
Cathedral of Learning Cathedral of Learning

Too bad there's no enchanted ceiling. And I still can't find the entrance to Dumbledore's study. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

link love

♥ Bento tend to be complex and adorable, but Jack Skellington and Frankenstein-themed Halloween bento tops the list! (can we also talk about how much I miss salmon onigiri?)
♥ I'm in love with the polka-dots in Everlasting Sprout's 2012 Spring/Summer collection at Japan Fashion Week!
♥ Carrie Fisher's audition for Star Wars at age nineteen!
♥ In honor of NaNoWriMo next month, LitLift is a pretty neat organizational tool for all you writers out there
♥ A flowchart guide to the NPR's Top 100 Sci-Fi and Fantasy books -- my love for diagrams is taken to a new level :)
♥ A Victorian-era Halloween dress up
♥ Some Spooky story recommendations for All Hallow's Read
♥ A hockey team with Star Wars jerseys? Yes, please!
♥ A sophisticated Harry Potter-themed dinner party
Wild Olive has a collection of Nutcracker Sweets embroidery patterns in her store -- I think the holiday spirit is creeping up on me already!
♥ Take Back Halloween has non-sexy costume ideas based on awesome women of history!

Have you found any good links lately?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lucky Streak: Sass & Peril Tote and Time Management e-book

Red Fox

I've had Sass & Peril's Red Fox Tote bookmarked in my Etsy favorites for a good while now, so I was completely surprised and excited to hear that I won Campfire Chic's Sass & Peril giveaway!

Sass & Peril

Red Fox

After reading Shannon's little note, I knew I had to toss this in the wash to have a soft, cozy tote to trot around with and I'm so glad I did! It killed me not to load up my books and head out with the tote immediately, but the extra wash really softened it up. I've been using it to carry my school books and take with me on trips to the library and it's absolutely fantastic! The tote is functional and sturdy, and the design is divine!

I'm apparently on a lucky streak, too (which is strange, seeing as I never even won a game of bingo in elementary school)! I was lucky enough to also win a copy of Ashley of After Nine to Five's "Stopping the Clock" e-book on time management from Shannon*Bear.

Sass & Peril

Friday, October 14, 2011

Gettysburg Travels

Why does vacation have to end? It was so nice to just have a little low-key getaway - nothing too full of things to do, but something out of the ordinary nonetheless.

The drive to Gettysburg through the mountains was absolutely gorgeous, (and even more laden with fall leaves on the way home) and gave us an excuse to break out our new GPS to co-pilot! There's no Darth Vader voice yet, but one day...



Bed & Breakfast

We checked into our Bed & Breakfast and then set out to take a walk about the town to explore. We stumbled across all of the things we wanted to see and do by pure mistake! We happened to take a turn down the very street nearly everything we wanted to see was located on. We had a lovely dinner in the basement tavern of the Dobbin House, took a horseback tour of the battlefield the next morning (which I'm still sore from ><;), went on a midnight ghost tour around the town, and most importantly -- relaxed! It was so nice to just stay in, relax, and read.


Writing Desk



Civil War Building


We kept a tally of how many times we were asked for directions in a 3-day span. Five times. Five. I guess we look friendly? Or like locals? We were generally of no help (except somehow knowing where the Chinese buffet was located...) but couldn't help laughing between ourselves every time a car would roll down its windows as it drove by.


Up, up, up

Every opportunity (and excuse!) was made to soak in the claw foot tub. With a book in hand. Absolute bliss!



The ride home took us on a brief detour to a morning wine tasting at the local vineyard. I came home with two bottles, and I'm sure they won't last long!


Pulling off to the side of the road to take in the beauty of the vineyards couldn't be helped! We jumped out of the car amidst the apple pickers for some quick snaps...



Thursday, October 13, 2011

Things I Love Thursday

First, a big thank you to everyone who helped out while I was away! My vacation was fantastic; it was really nice to just shut off my phones (save for directions and dinner recommendations ) and get away from it all.

♥ Gettysburg was a much needed relaxing vacation. We kept it low-key, but active enough to feel like we weren't just back at home. Even just driving through the gorgeous autumn mountains of Pennsylvania was worth the trip! But it's definitely good to sleep in your own bed again :)

♥ It's officially hockey season! Kallie and I went to the Pens home opener Tuesday night and my, my, have I missed those boys. The seats Kallie had were pretty awesome, and perfect for her creeping on Versteeg. I can't wait for our captain to come back, it's been so long, but regardless, it's going to be a good season!

  little loves
♥ cold apple cider ♥ GPS (even though they're kind of creepy, knowing what the speed limit is in an area and whatnot...) ♥ buying my first bottle of wine ♥ autumn's color-changing mountain leaves ♥ frolicking in vineyards ♥ 10/52 ♥ gearing up for extreme pumpkin carving! ♥ knocking off #11 and #16 from my 101 in 1001 list ♥ taking luxurious baths in a clawfoot tub! ♥ autumn walks

What are you loving lately?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Felt DIY with Heather of Lilac & Lace

Heather sent over this charming and simple fall cardigan update and I was blown away at how just a little bit of felt could completely transform a closet staple (well, at least for me. My closet is 1/3 cardigans xD). If you make one yourself, I'd love to see!

HI Teacup teamsters! Heather here, from the blog Lilac & Lace and I am so thrilled to be sharing some of my favorite things about the season here on Kristin's fabulous blog!  There's a strange, inexplicable connection in my mind with Fall and felt...It just always seems like the fabric of the season and I guess I'll never really be able to explain why.  But with that in mind, here are a couple of felt-y how-to's for you to "fall" in love with!  ;) 

First, the fall sweater:

Since the cooler weather calls for some cover-ups, spice up a plain cardigan with some easy felt leaves. Simply cut out the leaves in the colors you prefer (I went for warm, autumnal shades.)

Figure out the pattern you want and glue your leaves down to the sweater with liquid stitch glue.  It can be found at most craft supply stores. 

Then use embroidery floss to make a few stitches for the leaves spines.  This will add definition and ensure your felt foliage stays put.  And there you have it!  A festive sweater in no time at all!

 Next I want to share the simplest how-to for making felt flowers.  These little buds are a cinch to make and look great in hair accessories, as clothing ebelishments and on a festive yarn wreath like this one:

Make your very own by finding a small piece of felt and cut into a circle.

Cut your circle into a spiral, leaving a round bit at the end and not being too precious with the size of the spirals...some variation actually makes for a more realistic-looking flower. 

Roll the spiral up into a tight bud, finishing off with gluing the round bit under the flower to keep it altogether and supported. 

There you have it--flowers, leaves and plenty of felt fall fun! 

Happy Crafting!