Saturday, October 31, 2009


I will remember today the gift(s) that I have received from my ancestors and give thanks.

Our table decorations from last year.

A photo of one of my great aunts in Colombia, South America. Early 1900's.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rose Geranium

Attar Rose Geranium drying in sugar.

Skeleton Rose Geranium drying for essential oil extraction.

Our wedding cake called for using Rose Geranium leaves during the baking process. We wanted to grow it ourselves and give the amount needed to Renata. This was in the winter so Hyams, our favorite garden spot, didn't have any plants in stock. We knew it would be close to the wedding date when they'd get some in so we turned to Lingle's Herbs, our trusted herb supplier. They are really amazing to work with but John was low on supplies so we ordered Attar Rose Geranium and Skeleton Rose Geranium. They also have a minimum order of six plants, so we tossed in a few others. Never can complain about that!

I worked in the garden this weekend to clear out much of what had taken over during the hellish summer months. The mosquitoes were so bad here that I just lost my inspiration to spend time in the garden in the late summer. I collected most of the leaves from both plants. We're drying some in sugar that we'll use for a touch of rose flavoring in baked goods and such. We'll dry the rest to be distilled into essential oil.

My favorite 'female' bath tonic contains a combination of some or all of the following:
Rose Geranium
Clary Sage

It's heavenly!

Design*Sponge DIY Feature

We've been blogged at one of my long time favorite design blogs, Design*Sponge!

Thank you Grace!

ETA : I love d*s reader Azzy's suggestion of painting the vellum with India ink. I'm thinking of trying it myself when I can get downtown to pickup the supplies. Thank you!

brian dettmer: cassette tape skeletons

I posted this earlier but I was having firewall issues with the image causing my browser to hang. Credit goes to my dear friend Aad.

brian dettmer: cassette tape skeletons
'atlanta based artist brian dettmer creates intricate sculptural skeletons using altered cassette tapes. dettmer began creating the pieces in 2005 as he was thinking about the demise of analog media in the increasingly digital world. one day as dettmer was walking down the street he spotted a dead bird and an idea hit him. ‘here was this thing that used to live, its used to fly around and play a vital role, and now it is dead and all that remains is the solid material.’ dettmer was quick to extrapolate this idea linking the bird’s life to that of the cassette. he transformed the skeleton of old cassettes into literal animal skeletons. this lead to a series of 12 human skulls made from tapes, each with a different theme like heavy metal or hard rock. the most complex piece in this body of work is a full skeleton made from over 180 cassettes. all the pieces are made using only cassettes tapes with no glue, tape or other outside materials. while dettmer couldn’t revel his process to designboom, he did tell us that he heats the plastic up so he can literally form and weld them with his wet hands and other tools.'


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yes! Michael is on his way home from Atlanta and in his possession is one wooden bowl from IKEA so we can start the acorn bird feeder project. I'm sure we could have found something in town, but he was there and it made sense for him to swing by and grab one.

Oh IKEA, how I miss thee!

Monday, October 26, 2009


{ Photo credit left: Jenna Cole | Photo credit right: Stacey Bode }

A couple weeks back the photo of Michael's boutonniere - on the right - received a comment from Mary Lorraine, a very sweet bride-to-be, asking how we managed to secure the acorns. I replied back with a couple tips and and voilĂ ! She posted a photo of her version, and I think it's really beautiful. You did a great job Mary Lorraine and congrats on your wedding!

Update: Mary also sent me a link to her sweet blog.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

diy project: kate’s acorn bird feeder

I meant to post this when it first appeared. Here is the full tutorial posted at Design*Sponge.

Michael loves this and it's been put 'on the list'. I think we may go the peanut butter route instead of using gelatin as the 'adhesive' and Michael wants to have some kind of 'perch'.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Woodsman's Wife

I really need to finish a couple of the projects I've been yammering on about, but inertia has gotten the better of me today. Instead, I'm posting this lovely piece I found cruising through the intarwebs. I'm always looking for something that I can reproduce as a costume.

Steven Kenny

Found via FFFFOUND!

My favorite pumpkin of the season so far. Sent to me by my friend Aad.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Boys and their toys

This is Michael's 'lab' where he produces his high voltage toys. The lab is upstairs next to the bedroom so we have to deal with the same hurdles/restrictions as the bedroom, such as the awful carpet and the mauve/purple Formica shelving. Mmmmm.

I have one more photo I might try to slip in later.

Jiffycoil's Toys

Jiffycoil's Toys
The silver globe on the floor is a Van de Graff generator, Michael's current project. The stand is the first cake stand for our wedding cake until we realized we'd cut it too narrow.

Jiffycoil's Toys
Mmmmm...I love power tools.

Jiffycoil's Toys
One day I'll take a photo of Michael reenacting the famous Nikola Tesla portrait where he's holding the giant lightbulb

Jiffycoil's Toys

Jiffycoil's Toys
Meters and regulators.

Jiffycoil's Toys
Neon Sign Transformers

Jiffycoil's Toys
You can see the Marx generator in the background.

Jiffycoil's Toys
I liked this photo better.

Jiffycoil's Toys
Control box built by Michael featuring a variac.

Jiffycoil's Toys
Yup, this is anal but I cannot tell you how much time this has saved trying to find the right screwdriver when Michael has his hands full and can't reach them.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Vintage Plates - refired with new images

Dinner plates with skull, eye, snake, scorpion beetle, lizard or lobster.
Border designs and sizes vary.

Blog switch!

I'm really not on crack.

Several years ago Michael and I used to have the domain Stupidly, we let it expire and someone snatched it up. I took up the blog moniker 'dan y deri' a few weeks ago but honestly, I've been hankering for the old name. It seems to fit me better. So...I scored it here on Blogger and am exporting the older blog over, which seems to be working since this latest post imported!

A few of you have graciously linked me on your sites. I'd really love it if you updated those. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

For Family & Friends

On the left - copies that are going out to family members that couldn't make it to the wedding with a note from our parents.

On the right - copies that will go out to some of our friends as part of our 'Thank You' gifts. We're doing some other stuff for them as well.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Vaseline Bowl

Vaseline glass, also known as uranium/ouraline glass glows under black light and has a beautiful hue with natural light. We have a few pieces and always want more. Michael has a little black light just for the purpose of highlighting the glass.

Many old glasses have uranium in them and will have a slight glow under black light. Some of them begin to develop a purplish hue as they age due to this. If you have any old glasses, put them under black light and see if it glows. Another interesting detail is that some of our modern Pontarlier glasses actually have a glow. They were made using the old molds and some of the uranium imparted into the glass.

This bowl was a gift from our dear friend Stephanie and her husband Josh. Little do they know we'd had this style of bowl on watch before. I can honestly say it's a perfect match! We're so very lucky to have received so many wonderfully unique treasures from everyone.

Thank you!

Pin Cushion Cuff

When my friend Aad was getting ready to come over for the wedding he asked his dear friend, the incredibly talented Natasja Martens of G+N / fashionfugitive, to make something special for me. He kept joking that I'd never guess what was coming. One day he wanted to know if it was alright if he asked me a personal question. Sure! Then he asked what I thought was my waist size. So I gave it to him, in centimetres. He kept coming back to me saying that it couldn't possibly be right, that it was far too big. Um, ok I knew I'd gained some weight in the last couple of years and that the Dutch are generally much more fit than we Americans, and it took us about 10 minutes of trying to figure out if something was lost a bit in translation (Aad's english is actually better than mine) only to discover that my slightly hazey eyes misread the question. They wanted to know the size of my WRIST. :)

The silk comes from the late Dutch designer Percy.

This is one of the many one-of-a-kind gifts we received. A piece that I absolutely adore and I cannot wait to meet the lovely Ms. N.

I am hoping to do a more stylized photo op sometime soon.

One of several new projects.

Recent thrift store purchase. I love milk glass and I love hobnailing, but they're not mutually exclusive. We're trying to decide in which direction to go with restoration.

Do we...
- strip the wood and brass and then reseal both
- strip the wood and either stain or paint, and leave the brass (polished)
- paint both?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Spooky Silhouette Votives

I love our tumblers and will find ANY excuse to take photos of them in our decor. When not 'in use' we have them sitting on our bar with our absinthiana.

I recently stumbled upon a post where someone hacked their own version of silhouetted candles. Nicely done, I think, but I'd like to take it a step further and combine it with these instructions found on Country Living.

STEP 1: Measure the height and circumference of the glass candleholder you want to transform.
STEP 2: Scan or download a copyright-free black-and-white illustration onto your computer (we used antique drawings from The Clip Art Book, from $7.59; Gramercy). Using Adobe Photoshop or a similar photo-editing program, adjust the image's size and orientation to fit your vessel's measurements (it may help to print a sample first).
STEP 3: Once the image is the correct size, load white vellum into your printer and print. Gently set the image on a flat surface for a few minutes to allow the ink to dry.
STEP 4: Trim the vellum so it measures exactly as tall as your candleholder and half an inch wider than its circumference.
Wrap the paper around the candleholder and secure the overlapping ends with double-sided tape. Fit the glass with a candle and light.

I'll be back in the next week or two with our own versions. We need to purchase vellum this weekend for a couple of projects. But for now, I'll get this up for anyone to try.

Upadte 10.29.09 - The finished tutorial has been featured at Design*Sponge!

ETA : I love d*s reader Azzy's suggestion of painting the vellum with India ink. I'm thinking of trying it myself when I can get downtown to pickup the supplies. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Wheat, also at Gumps

Oh yes, wheat is another favorite.
Murano Glass Wheat Stems [set of 6]
'Delicate golden glass wheat stems are created by master craftsmen on the island of Murano in Italy. Arrange as shown, or in a vase with fresh flowers. Heads are glass, stems are silk-covered wire. 20"L.'

Oaks & Acorns at Gumps.

I think it's fairly evident from the wedding that I love oaks & acorns.
Handmade Pewter Oak Leaf Hurricane

'The exquisite details of our hurricane make it a compelling addition to any seasonal gathering. Handmade of solid pewter, the base features oak leaves and acorns that wreathe a 3” diam. candle (not included). Comes with a pewter-rimmed lift-off glass. 5” diam. x 6”H. Imported. Catalog & Web only.'

So very lovely!

Pewter Acorn Box
'Bearing a tiny seed that yields a mighty oak, an acorn is a symbol of perseverance. This piece is handcrafted from tarnish-resistant pewter with artfully modeled nuts and leaves. Imported. Also available at Gump's San Francisco store.'

Pewter Napkin Rings [Set of 4, 4"L x 3"W]
'Bearing a tiny seed that yields a mighty oak, an acorn is a symbol of perseverance. This piece is handcrafted from tarnish-resistant pewter with artfully modeled nuts and leaves. Imported. Also available at Gump's San Francisco store.'

Wonderfully charming!

Cohn-Stone Handblown Glass Acorn
'These harbingers of autumn are made by artists at California’s renowned Cohn-Stone Studios, whose works are prized by museums and collectors worldwide. To create the translucent palette, artisans layer colored glass beneath clear crystal, then blow and shape each piece by hand. Acting as sculpture and paperweight alike, the substantial, opaque acorn features a glass cap with gold luster. Each piece is signed by the artist. Made in the USA.'

On Sale at Gump's

Gump's, in San Francisco, was one of my grandmother's favorite stores. She had a wonderful sense of style and I fully understand why she loved this place so much. I decided to check out what they had on sale today. This is what I found.

Cornucopia Baskets
'Symbolizing abundance, our cornucopias make a festive harvest centerpiece filled with your own gourds, greenery, or dried flowers. They're woven from weathered rattan and stand on a stable iron base. Imported.'

Colonial Wax Candle
'With candle and base sculpted from a single piece of wax, these shapely points of light cast a ghostly glow for up to 15-18 hours. Place on a dish to protect surfaces. 17 1/2"H. Imported.'

Friday, October 2, 2009


We set up our autumn table today. We're actually using the coffee table in our bedroom. My mother has the domain of the downstairs, and I think she needs the distraction at this time. Sometimes it can be hard to get into the 'season' of things here as the foliage doesn't change. Leaves generally just die. We do get the most amazing sunsets this time of year.

Everything we used we already had in our possession, including a few things that were purchased for the wedding. The greenery came from the yard and I'm not sure what we'll swap out for Samhain. We may keep most of this and add our raven and maybe some webbing.

The Goddess pitcher is an antique Michael collected several years ago. The 'votives' are actually Carew Rice tumblers that were given to my parents as a gift for their wedding.

That's an antique horn that has been in my family for generations. More of my mother's wedding china...

The tea cup was a gift to my grandmother and I cannot for the life of me remember who it was. I will get that from mom.

Oh wait, I lied. The glass terrarium in the background was scored at the thrift store for $0.99. The vintage perfume bottle was purchased on eBay a couple years ago.

You can see Michael's sickle that we used in the 'day after' photos, in the front.

I love my hobnail vase. I've had a lot of bad luck with broken pieces in the past and hope to build up a collection one day.
{Photo credit: Evita Smith & Michael Judd}

Thursday, October 1, 2009

We're 'out'...

The Fall 2009 edition of Weddings Unveiled is out and we're in it!!!!! My mother wants to buy a ton to send out. We need to pick them up from different locations as to not deplete the supply for everyone else. :) Thank You Weddings Unveiled! We really enjoyed working with you!

evita and michael 05.01.09
Here are the screen shots, but EVERYONE needs to go buy a copy!

{Photo credit: Weddings Unveiled Magazine}
I've been collecting the mag since last summer and really love the diversity in the weddings they feature, but seriously? We are still a little amazed that we were selected and we're excited and honored to be featured alongside some really awesome events, especially the 'Free Wedding' in which they one of the sponsors.

I have no idea what happened to the Spring edition.