When Things Start Slipping

watermelon cake

watermelon dessertThere is a point between control and out of control when things just start slipping. Nothing too terrible has really happened, or isn’t likely to happen, but you have that uneasy feeling that life has slipped a bit. When your head is so full of dates and deadlines, of people and problems, of mundane to-do’s and big wishful thoughts that everything begins a slow-mo slide down from the control tower of your brain.

This “cake”? It became a metaphor for that emotion: I tried to make that beautiful and brilliant watermelon cake for Father’s Day, have you seen it on Pinterest? It looked so refreshing and so easy and I was super excited to give it a go for Dad’s day. But about ten seconds into icing the watermelon with my cool whip frosting, I realized this was not going to be a very merry dessert. Nothing sticks to watermelon, did you know that? I really want to know how other people do it because from the moment I began frosting to the moment I realized I was NOT going to serve this guy, my icing did a slow, sad, soggy slide down the sides of my melon and concluded in creating a watermelon-juice-soggy-moat at the bottom of the fruit dome. MMmmmm, now doesn’t that sound delightful? I did try to regain control, in fact, all things considered it was a fairly heroic attempt: I added the raspberries I was going to decorate the top with to try and give the icing a bit of a grip, but this only succeeded in quickening its descent downward. Then I thought, well, why waste the sugar-coated walnuts? That might add some much-needed crunch to the mess so I threw those on as well, and, because the walnuts I guess wanted to add to the whole effect of the fail, they decided to be rancid and that at last concluded my attempts of cake-salvation.

I guess if metaphors give us morals then the moral of this one is, if things are slipping, something’s gotta give because if you don’t choose to throw something out, trust me, it will slip all by itself, despite your best struggles to save.

 – <3 A. 

Other VMMV Recipes (that worked!) 

header  DSC_0701-002  lemon cheesecake cocktail

    Coffee Squared               Lemon Raspberry Cake       Lemon Cheesecake

Guest Pinner: If Clarence Day Pinned

life with father guest pinner

life with father guest pinner

life with father guest pinnerLife with Father repins via | via | via

In the 1947 film version of Clarence Day Jr’s novel Life with Father, William Powell plays the ridiculous, yet wise, often irate, yet quickly made gentle, father of the Day family and a perfect muse for a modern Father’s Day. Clarence Day is an ambitious financier on Wall Street and is something of a faux tyrant in his household, for his wife Vinnie and four sons have learned that underneath his irate and buttoned-up exterior, he’s something of a loving, gentle soul, adoring his wife and unfailingly proud of his sons. If anyone could make pinning a masculine past-time, I’m pretty sure Clarence Day would be the man sophisticated enough to pull it off.

If you’ve noticed a trend from my last few guest pinners, local milk is one of my new favs for pinterest-pinning-pros. She’s got such an organic yet vintage style among her boards that is quite alluring!

– <3 A. 

Other Guest Pinners: 

 houseofmirthpin    littlewomencollage

             Lily Bart                               Mrs. March

Guest Pinner: If Mrs. March Pinned

little women vmmv collage

littlewomenvmmvcollage

little women vmmv collage

marmee image via / all repins via

When Louisa May Alcott wrote the character of Mrs. March (or, “Marmee”) for her novel Little Women, Alcott succeeded in creating arguably one of the most beloved mother caricatures in literary history.  Besides being kind, loving, and the stalwart supporter of her four daughters, Marmee also has endless monologues teaching her girls the importance of education, independence, and equality for women, in a time where those things were nothing to aspire to for “well-brought up” ladies. Marmee exuded love and devotion to her husband and family, standing as the heart of one of the coziest, most adorable family portraits ever put to paper. The March family life was simple and rustic yet in its quaint raw-ness, it was overwhelmingly beautiful, for Alcott wrote a story of what family life should be, what motherhood is, and what all girls can be. I think if Mrs. March pinned, her boards would be something to see.

– <3 A. 

Other Guest Pinners: 

annecollage4         beatrixpotterpinterest

  Anne of Green Gables                    Beatrix Potter

May-Day Streamer Bouquet: DIY

diymaydaystreamerbouquet

I have been itching to try the billions of crepe paper flower tutorials circumnavigating Pinterest. Flowers are so wonderfully cheerful and these little crepe ones have the added benefit of being well, wonderfully un-dying. I finally decided to try this version of the DIY flowers just in time for May Day except, instead of crepe paper, I used old rolls of leftover streamers.

you will need:

  • streamers
  • tape
  • wire
  • glue
  • seed-beads

I followed the directions over at The Bride’s Cafe pretty much exactly except that I didn’t use the floral tape because you can’t really see that part of the flower anyway if you’re planning on making a whole bouquet. So I cheated and just used regular scotch tape. Other than that and my streamers though, it’s pretty much the same:

collage1

  1. Cut a strip of streamer about 18″ long and fold in halves until you have a small square. 
  2. Cut one side of the folded streamer into a semi-circle.
  3. Unfold the streamer and refold it not quite in half so your cuts will be offset. Then cut the opposite side of the square into another semi-circle.
  4. Unfold the streamer and fold in half lengthwise then attach to the wire, looping the wire around one end of the streamer.

collage

DSC_0534-001

You have to play around a bit when you get to steps 5 and 6. Trust me, I had quite the pile of angrily torn streamers and hideous “flowers” before I was satisfied with my final ones. You can make different sizes by cutting the streamer length shorter, or, tape two strips of streamer together to get a wider streamer length and a larger flower.

If you want a little something more for your crepe flowers, add some beads to the center to make it look a bit more realistic:
collage2

DSC_0540-001

And that’s it! I arranged mine in some floral styrofoam to keep them standing upright and added a few fabric leaves cut out of green seam-binding and hot-glued to more wire (an unnecessary but fun step) to make it look more like a real bouquet and add additional color. DSC_0548-001

diy streamer bouquet

diy may day crepe flowersMay Day is sort of a forgotten celebration of spring/summer. But I’m all for bringing it back. How fun are anonymously left baskets of candy and flowers dropped on a friends porch? And if you doorbell ditch this whimsical bouquet, you’ll leave a never-dying memory of this May behind. Happy DIY Friday and happy weekend! You’ve got four whole days to crepe-flower away until May 1st!

– <3 A. 

Posts Like This: 

felt roses       place cards

 Felt Roses Three Ways               DIY Place Cards

Guest-Pinner: If Anne of Green Gables Pinned

vmmv collage repins via pinterest

vmmv collage repins via pinterest

vmmv collage repins via pinterestAnne Shirley, heroine of L.M. Montgomery’s series Anne of Green Gables is impossible not to adore. Her ridiculous quotes, fantastic romantic ideas about life, and hyperbolized emotion are so endearing…I’m pretty sure her pinterest boards would be just as adorable. If you’ve read the novel, you know that the poor girl was constantly embroiled in a battle with her red hair. Tortured by her future love interest Gilbert Blythe, who dubbed young Anne “carrots,” Anne wanted nothing more than to transform her fiery mane into something more sophisticated. I think she would definitely take advantage of the blog-world’s explosion of hair tutorials to try and come to terms with her unusual, natural look.

Always the Plain Jane, Anne longed to be beautiful and wealthy, even quizzing whoever would listen to her whether, if they had the choice of course, they would be “divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?” The biggest ambition of her young life was to go to a ball in a dress with puffed sleeves and have Gilbert Blythe admire her in all her puffed glory. Of course, Anne learns that Gilbert loves her for her red hair, that she is admired for striving to be a teacher when most women only married and had children, and no one expected her to be “angelically good,” only to be simply Anne with an “e”—completely unique. If Anne of Green Gables pinned, her boards would definitely be something to see.

People laugh at me because I use big words. But if you have big ideas, you have to use big words to express them, haven’t you?

Repins Via / Via / via

-<3 A. 

Posts Like This: 

          beatrixpotterpinterest

            If Beatrix Potter Pinned

Guest-Pinner: If Beatrix Potter Pinned

beatrixpotterpinterest

beatrixpotterpins

beatrixpotterpinThis week I’m starting a new blog-post-theme, or more like a new goodwill quest: giving vintage muses the opportunity to become part of the Pinterest world by pinning (in their honor of course) things I am certain they would adore. What would Grace Kelly’s Pinterest look like I wonder? Hepburn? Monroe? What about Virginia Woolf? Perhaps a little dreary, ok…what if Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice were given a username? Gertrude Stein? Are you intrigued yet?  To start things off and in honor of Easter peeking around the corner, today’s “guest” pinner is the brilliant and lovely Beatrix Potter.

Besides publishing twenty-three books during her lifetime and being perhaps one of the most beloved children’s book authors of all time, Potter was also a conservationist, purchasing “Hill Top Farm” in the English countryside and successfully preserving almost all of what we now know as the gorgeous “Lake District” of Britain. The scientific community during her era was also very interested in her work and illustrations in mycology, as well as her sheep breeding. During a time when women weren’t really welcome in the education and work-world, Potter successfully created her own illustration and print business with her adorable and now universally well-known creature characters and was respected in many spheres for her devotion to nature, articism, and creativity. If Beatrix Potter pinned, I’m pretty sure I’d be a devoted follower.

Bio info via Beatrix Potter Society | Repins Via: Poppytalk | Adored Vintage | Jepsen

– <3 A. 

Posts Like This: 

DSC_0229-001     woman in white        virginia woolf

DIY Hand-Painted Eggs   Emily Dickinson Style Secrets    Virginia Woolf Style Secrets

An Introduction

In case you were waiting with bated breath regarding news of my haircut from the this not that post last friday…it was a success! I feel much more human now.

In other news, I am super excited to introduce to you a new member of VMMV:

Nikon camera photographyI finally took the plunge and upgraded my camera. Hopefully with the help of this guy, I will be able to share more pictures with all of you to go along with my posts. I’ve been wanting/intending to do the upgrade for a few months now but this week, with Thanksgiving and the holidays on the horizon, it was finally the perfect time to do so.

So, stay tuned for the evolution of my photography! And, also stay tuned for more about these guys:

miniature pies for thanksgivingThanksgiving officially marks the beginning of the holiday season and with the numerous parties that I’m sure are marking your calendar, it can be a little overwhelming if you’re planning on making some homemade magic to mark the holidays. Pinterest is packed with updates on traditional recipes and quick, easy dessert options but it really doesn’t feel like Thanksgiving unless you have pie.

These mini-pies are so, so easy and fast that you won’t have an excuse not to make them. Plus, they’re the perfect size for an individual helping and, because they’re so easy, its fun to customize flavors that you know your guests will love. It doesn’t have to be pumpkin, apple, and pecan. Last year lemon was a top-favorite with blackberry a close second: yum, yum!

Recipe and top-secret tips to follow so stick around!

– <3 A. 

Handmade Dolls

The first raindrops fell since I don’t know when yesterday. Needless to say I could have counted them on one hand, but I am going to be optimistic and count that as the official advent of colder days, necessary sweaters, and excuses for keeping my slippers on longer than usual.

November is proving to be quite the party at my house. With two birthdays in as many weeks and more birthdays and Thanksgiving on the horizon, I am reminded why I love this time of year: so many excuses to decorate, dress up, light candles, make gifts, and plan get-togethers it’s absolutely terrific.

Here’s a picture-review of the recent festivities to see you into the weekend as well as inspiration for a little project in case you have a rainy afternoon this weekend that needs filling:

The party was terrific. I made pumpkin spice latte cupcakes that turned out more like muffins but were no less delicious.Email me if you want the recipe. I could argue that these should be a new pantry-staple, at least for the month of November, but I think I should probably restrain myself.

Handmade dolls

Lately I’ve been seeing the cutest pictures of little, handmade creatures all over Pinterest and the blogs I visit. I wanted to figure out how I could do it myself– even if it didn’t turn out quite as well, I think creating them is so much more fun than just buying one. So, here’s my attempt:

This project does require a bit of planning if you want to create your own image for some custom fabric. Otherwise, you could just buy fabric with an image you like and cut it out.

This was my inspiration:

Nokona loves attention so he was a very willing muse. After I drew a funny cartoon of my little-buddy, I headed over to spoonflower. Spoonflower.com is my new favorite toy. Upload an image into their fabric shop, edit it however you like, and they will send you your cartoon in fabric form:

This was my first attempt using spoonflower so all I ordered was a tiny little test-swatch to see what it would really look like. It was awfully cute when I saw it though so I decided to turn the pretty much unusable piece of fabric into a doll:

I cut out two of the image repeats…

…and then sewed them together like you would if you were making a pillow with the right-sides together:

Don’t forget to leave one side un-sewn, you’ll need an opening to turn the fabric right side out again and then stuff it full of pillow-stuffing. Once its stuffed, just sew up the remaining open side and you’re done!

If you have a little-someone in your family, I think this would be such a cute just-because gift. If not, its a fun creative exercise that pretty much anyone can do.

Have a happy weekend everyone! Hope there will be a lazy afternoon to fill with a little creativity, or, at least a little pumpkin-spice.

– <3 A.