December 27, 2012

20% off for 2012

get 20% off in the shop through 12/31/12 with coupon code "202012." get some fresh holiday decor now as a gift to yourself for the 2013 season!

December 20, 2012

HHDE day 19: roasting

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

we had a chicken to roast, so i decided to roast nearly every vegetable in our house along with it! what have you been making lately?

herb roasted chicken with pan juices

roasted carrots, parsnips, and radishes
(L) roasted beets; (R) roasted eggplant, red pepper, fennel, and onion

December 19, 2012

HHDE day 18: making things christmas-y

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

our house has been christmas-fied: tree and wintery wreath is up and i've created a cute little vignette in our entryway with a felt snowflake garland, paper cardinals, and the xmas cards we've received. we got a tiny tree this year; since we just rearranged the house to accommodate the new tv set up, we didn't feel like rearranging everything to accommodate a big ol' tree, too. we're supposed to get some snow in chicago this week. if we do, it'll help make things feel extra xmas-y!

short and stout xmas tree

Winter Wyandot wreath on the front door

entryway vignette

HHDE day 17: making my office work

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

while this is not done, and so i hesitate to share prematurely, i did spend most of my day on monday making my office work better for me. i don't know what's gotten in to me after almost 7 years in this office, but i have finally decided to do something about the set-up and functionality. i have a very small office, but it is my own office, with a door and a window! i process and sign a lot of paperwork and disseminate a lot of stuff, so i make a lot of piles and have very little room to spread out. i was scored a "new" (old) desk from the warehouse, one with a large desktop and drawers, glorious drawers. there is still some reorganizing and reconfiguring to be done, but here's a glimpse:

big dark desk

snack drawer!

re-organized shelves

organized drawers!

what's left to work out is (1) if a different chair will work any better with this desk; (2) where can the printer move to and if there's a smaller piece of furniture for it; and (3) reorganizing the bulletin board.

it's kinda mad men-ish, yea? maybe i need new lighting and a cocktail cart, too?!

December 17, 2012

HHDE days 13-16: parties, packages, and cakes (oh, my!)

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

it's party time, people! i had two events on friday, two on saturday, and another on sunday. that plus all of the usual weekend hullabaloo, and you've got an absent (but busy) blogger. i had a ton of packages to mail, both etsy and holiday, so i got to play wrapping elf, boxing (and box-building) elf, and mail elf.

for our first official family holiday gathering yesterday, i made this earl grey chocolate bundt cake. it was good, but i only tasted the earl grey in the batter, not so much in the cake. oh, the batter? yes, i still lick the beaters.

and, we had a great time spoiling our nieces yesterday, and i think they liked it, too!

i've been messing with my office set-up and will be back with photos of it soon. cheers!

December 16, 2012

free shipping day is tomorrow (and today)!

twigs, twine, and thyme is participating in free shipping day on monday, december 17. you can read the original post about it here, but for you, my dear readers, i give you the offer one day early! get free shipping with orders over $50 with the code FREESHIP. All items will arrive in time for christmas, so go for it! 

December 13, 2012

HHDE day 12: miscellaneous making

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

today was a hodge-podge of making. i prettied up my drab winter coats with some felted wool pins and  swapped purses.

i also wrapped more presents. we plan to get a small tree this weekend and do our real decorating then. i'm also aiming to box and ship the presents that need to be mailed.

speaking of packaging, i also had to wrap and ship a buy now/ship later gift for an etsy buyer who sent this terrarium as a christmas gift.

Succulent Air Plant Terrarium w vintage plastic squirrel

and, finally i listed this jewelry display/storage branch in the shop:

what have you been up to?!

December 12, 2012

HHDE day 11: stops and shakes

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

i've got a few non-pictorial statements to start!

today i made:
  • stops for attempted xmas shopping after work
  • myself go to yoga
  • more stops between yoga and home
  • myself go to bed at 11 p.m. and get 8 full hours of sleep
and, finally, a shake! or smoothie, depending on which you prefer. a KALE shake. i guess i use the two terms interchangeably. it wasn't bad and i will probably do it again though i will add some honey to sweeten it up a bit next time. if you still have reservations about it, i will say that it smells more like kale than it tastes like kale.

kale smoothie and a fabulous reusable metal straw

here's my non-recipe recipe:

1/2 an apple
1/2 frozen banana
two handfuls kale, already cleaned and prepped
dollop of greek yogurt
almond milk

dump all ingredients into vitamix blender, let it rip, drink  and enjoy!

while we're on the subject, i'll give you a little preview to my day 12 activities, which started with shake. that's two back-to-back meals involving shakes! this one is an orange, frozen pineapple, pomegranate shake with the usual 1/2 frozen banana, dollop of greek yogurt, and almond milk. one of my favorite combinations!

fruit shake and another fabulous reusable metal straw
i'm planning to tackle some crafty activities tonight, so i hope to have a fun update for you tomorrow!

December 11, 2012

HHDE day 10: pesto and link love

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

after some holiday drinks with the work girls on monday, i made the most of the basil in the fridge and whipped up a batch of pesto. despite the not-great photo, it's an especially delicious batch! i'll be having it for lunch today with some trader joe's butternut squash agnolotti.


1 large garlic clove, peeled
2+ cups fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup - 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

optional, which i did here to keep the bright green color: blanch basil in boiling water for 20 seconds and immediately plunge basil into ice water bath.

after blanching the basil and toasting the pine nuts, i took the lazy way out. i shredded the cheese and cut the garlic clove in half,  then dumped everything but the olive oil into the food processor and let it do the work (most recipes will tell you to stir in the cheese at the end). with the blender still running, slowly add olive oil; adjust the amount of olive oil so that the consistency is to your liking. since i also add olive oil on top to further prevent browning, i went light on it. tah-dah!

in other news, my friend and fellow blogger carrie has been playing the HHDE "game" with me. she blogged about her december mini book; check it out here. also check out the MiUS online boutique for a superb collection of USA-made clothing and apparel from emerging designers.

carrie's mini scrapbook

December 10, 2012

free shipping day is monday, december 17!

i didn't even realize until a few days ago that free shipping day is a thing. like, black friday or cyber monday, there is also free shipping day.  it goes like this: on monday, december 17, 2012, more than 1,250 shops, boutiques, and merchants will offer free shipping and other discounts with delivery by christmas eve in the contiguous united states. easy enough, right? 

twigs, twine, and thyme will be offering free shipping on orders totaling $50 or more. the offer will go live on the free shipping day site on the 17th, but maybe, kittens, if you are good, i will post it here sooner so you can get your shop on asap. 

use the following link to find twigs, twine, and thyme on the free shipping day site: 

HHDE day 9: making xmas cheer

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

i have yet to find my real xmas cheer this year, but i mustered some up yesterday in order to wrap a few presents and get some cards in the mail. our official xmas events get underway this coming weekend, with a family dinner and secret santa exchange and excessive spoiling of our nieces. i also have some gifts to mail, and i needed to inventory what i've already got and what i still need to pick up. there are more presents to wrap, but here's where i started:

the decorative paper elements you see on the presents are all former xmas cards repurposed into gift tags and adornments. i glued the bird image to the blue box to cover the shop logo and a row of the letterpress potted trees card works well as a gift tag. the santa tag on the silver present is a holiday tradition of sorts that my mom and i enjoy. she sent me the card; i sent it back as a gift adornment; surprised to find it back in her hands again, she held on to it and the next year it came back to me, and so the story goes ... back and forth between the two of us each year.

i've redacted the addresses on the xmas cards for privacy, but you get the picture. some get stamps, some get ribbon, some get stickers; most get washi tape; and everyone gets one of our round address labels that i made from these papersource labels. i love that no two are alike! i have a rather large collection of holiday cards that i buy each year after xmas, so the following year i get to pick and choose which one goes to whom. most of the cards come from hazel or virtu.

finally, our neighbors asked if i would take some photos of their dogs for them for xmas. meet "the JRs" ...

December 8, 2012

HHDE days 6-8: making orchids happy

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

admittedly, days 6 and 7 were slow in the "making" department. i had a dinner to attend on day 6 and an adult weeknight sleepover!! which kept us up beyond the wee hours of the morning, acting more like gossipy teenagers than adults and made me absolutely useless on day 7. i made myself dinner, but didn't document it – angel hair pasta with an artichoke-olive pesto-ish sauce, and a spinach salad. it did the trick.

however, day 8 was back on. check out my orchids, which i have apparently made very happy:

soaking orchids in the sink

you will no doubt be seeing more of these ladies once they are all in bloom – stay tuned!

December 6, 2012

HHDE day 5: making progress

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

last night was kind of a whirlwind. i had to build a box for a custom wreath order and i couldn't think of anything MORE BORING to show you than a photo a pieced-together box! after building the box and arranging the shipping details and pick up, i made a homemade pizza for dinner, which i enjoyed with more salad. i was so excited to dig in, that i forgot to take a proper picture of it straight out of the oven. here are the leftovers:

then i got to the real "meat" of the night: working on my 2012 minibook(s). i've been compiling my photos and ephemera for this years books, sorting it by month, and then waiting to do anything more with it. i've made two special minibooks already this year – one for the roadtrip we did with our BFFs before they moved abroad in january 2012, and another for a long weekend getaway that The Mistero and i took in february 2012. but now i have the other 11 months worth of "regular" stuff to tend to, so two weeks ago, i busted out all of my papers and supplies and got started, but then i had days and weeks when i made no progress whatsoever. i find that when i sit down to do it, it's kind of addictive! so much so that i stayed up until 1 am on a tuesday night (a "school" night!) feverishly racing against some non-existent deadline. if you know me personally, you know that having this strewn all over the dining room table for days and days on end was making me crazy. (side note: yes our table is purposely off the rug; the old media cabinet from the tv redeux is on the left. and yes, having it there is also making me crazy.) 

i recently started printing my photographs through mpix — i find their prices to be very reasonable, and they offer some great paper options, including the pearlescent paper i've written about before. i thought the easiest place to start the 2012 minibook(s) would be with our october 2012 trip to california. for whatever reason, i didn't make this a separate book, but it is definitely the substance of the october-november-december book. i started by trying something new: two page spreads ....

i also was happy to use my corner rounder (nerd alert!) and text and decorative thickers. the tjmaxx stores in chicago seem to get a pretty steady stream of thickers and i may or may not have lost my mind the first time i saw them there and bought a zillion packages.

and, while i was already huffing rubber cement with the papercrafting supplies handy, i cuted up something for one of my nieces for xmas:

 i'll be back at 'ya with more tomorrow!

December 5, 2012

HHDE day 4: butter lettuce salad

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments!

i know i said that the "handmade/homemade" endeavor didn't need to be a major accomplishment, but posting a photo of a (delicious) salad feels a little like cheating – i make salads all the time. but the rest of my day was busy with work, christmas shopping on my lunch hour (for which, i have to admit, i was getting creative with some gift ideas!), and yoga after work.

so, i give you my butter lettuce salad. it has shaved fennel, blueberries, chopped pistachios, and goat cheese (i forgot the cucumbers – whoops) with a honey-champagne vinaigrette dressing. tah-dah!

December 3, 2012

HHDE day 3: vignettes

* read the original HHDE post here. follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments! {click photos to enlarge}

handmade homemade december endeavor (HHDE) day 3 focused on vignettes. you see, my hubs, The Mistero, bought himself a new television which precipitated a whole furniture redeux. we purchased a new media stand (pictured) and shelf (also pictured), and moved the green chair in from our bedroom (which created new decorating problems in there, but i'll save that for another post!).

so, i got to decorating the shelf and shifting some other furniture around to complement what is now going around the television. of course i had to include a branch, but i also wanted to soften up the hard edges of the metal shelf (the edge of the media stand is also metal) and add several textures and colors. {click photos to enlarge}

the living room connects to the front sunroom and i tried to establish some continuity from one room to the next with the new set-up.

the other side of the sunroom and living room are still a work in progress, however, the existing vignette above the couch will stay as it is, or maybe get an update or addition. i can't decide, but will post more pics when i stop obsessing.

comments, questions, and suggestions welcome! do you think i need to move the hanging light from the sunroom to above the green chair next to the television? i also can't decide about that ....

handmade homemade december endeavor

it occurred to me just recently that i make something every day. not always something major or pat-yourself-on-the-back accomplish-worthy, but something. so, with that, i've decided that for all 31 days in december 2012, i will document whatever it is that i'm making. the safety net on this endeavor is that it does not have to be a unique project to fulfill this "challenge" – it can simply be a little creative moment, a craft project, a homemaking endeavor, or just what's getting whipped up in the kitchen. want to join me?! follow along and post your daily endeavors in the comments!

december 1:
brown butter snickerdoodles, for a cookie exchange party

december 2:

Holidays are Here Wreath for Eleanor

Reindeer Grapevine Wreath

Juniper Swag

November 27, 2012

freshly foraged

japanese yew coming to a new wreath very soon!

November 19, 2012

local loves

do you know about The 3/50 Project? it's a movement that encourages spending at locally-owned businesses, which is something i try to do as much as possible, anyway. with everyone making their holiday wish lists, i thought i'd share a few of my faves with you. you can order online through some of these shops, some are happy to take an order by phone if you see something on their site, and some will direct you to local businesses in your area in their "where to buy" section. others, you'll need to pop in to enjoy. i hope you enjoy and are inspired!

Deana Rose Handmade Jewelry
nature-inspired jewelry, for everyday and special occasions

Bazar Chicago
women's clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories

the perfect place to find something for someone who has everything.

Bellybum Boutique
mom-owned and run shop offering pre- and post-natal parenting resources, support, and education

stationery, jewelry, flowers, and gifts in one location; mens/womens clothing and other accessories down the block.

sprout home chicago
garden center and gift/home store

ruff haus pets
everything you need for your four-legged family members

praha  *no store website
furniture, antiques, home store