Archive | October, 2012

happy halloween!

it’s officially october 31st in australia! i’m all set and ready to go for some trick or treaters later this afternoon… fingers crossed we get a few! celebrating the holiday/trick or treating is still something a bit foreign in this country. i however refuse to forgo the american spirit (obviously).

in addition to the exterior home decor, the fridge is stocked with imported saranac pumpkin ale (interested in more about the beer? check out joseph from proper hops enthusiastic review here) and it’s the great pumpkin, charlie brown is teed up for viewing on the apple tv this evening. no costumes this year (a sad first after many years of winners), but the holiday is still in full swing here in adelaide.

happy halloween to all!

(btw, the diy in the mix includes: spray painted black roses, self printed + clothespinned kraft bags filled with candy – and countless small bits of decor that you unfortunately can’t see in the photos – there are several small spiders draped from the awning! oh… and the pumpkin + the skeleton in the cage make scary haunted house-like sounds.)

australia-halloween-2012halloween at our house – 2012

o.p.p. – jalapeño popper chicken

jalapeño popper chicken (+ corn on the cob and a garden salad) was on tonight’s dinner menu at our house… an easy & delicious diy recipe. the dish seems to stem back aways and has been repeated + altered like a game of telephone. the recipe i followed  is from a post on elly says opa!

check out the how-to here.

*note: i did forget to pick up eggs at the grocery store, so instead i just brushed a thin layer of mayo on each chicken breast – it worked as a perfect substitute.


twig & doily dreamcatcher

the past couple of fridays have been a “craft night” – just me, my supplies, a bottle of wine and some tv. at 32, i find this is my preferred evening entertainment (my inspirational programming of late has been junk gypsies, project runway and most recently – project runway all-stars).

this weekend i had a few projects in mind, a rummaged through my craft drawers and found nearly all the supplies i needed – which is always a plus on the pocketbook. then after a walk out to the garden (???) and $30 spent at the craft shop i was set.

i’m going to share one of those projects with you, but first a little story (which leads into my inspiration for the project)…

i’ve always been a lover of the southwest. rustic, colorful, full of history and heat (i love any place that boasts sky rocketed temps in the summer). a couple of years ago, i did one of my famous midwest to west coast road trips – solo. on the way back east, i spent time in arizona, new mexico and texas. it was a blast. soaking up the scenery, exploring the local cuisines and taking in some of america’s most authentic culture. i can’t wait to get back.

clockwise: eastern arizona sunset; meteor city exit (also one of my favorite joe purdy songs – i listened to it as i passed by, cheesy – i know.); abandoned souvenir shop near flagstaff; me and don henley standing on a corner in winslow, az; the most awesome tour bus ever in santa fe, nm; santa fe native american handmade vendors

while in new mexico, i bought ross a dreamcatcher. for the past 3 years we’ve had it hanging in our home(s). as a dreamer, i’ve always been in love with these native american good luck charms. my first dreamcatcher was a gift from my grandmother 20+ years ago.

for those of you that don’t know the background… certain native american tribes believed that a dreamcatcher could filter good and bad dreams only allowing the good ones to slip through the holes, down the feathers and into one’s sleep.

ok, now on to the project… a twig & doily dreamcatcher. i figure what better way to prompt only the best dreams than to make one of my own???

my handmade twig & doily dreamcatcher

what you’ll need:

  • a freshly cut branch/twig
  • a lace doily
  • leather cord
  • feathers
  • beads
  • super glue
  • string
  • ribbon

1) cut a branch off a tree… you must use a freshly cut one for flexibility and the ability to wrap into a circular wreath. 2) attach the doily to the wreath – i used some needlepoint string 3) tie three pieces of leather cord to the wreath, cut these so the middle one is the longest 4) string a few beads onto each cord 5) at your desired length lightly glue your feathers 6) pull down the beads over the top of the feathers 7) trim any excess leather cord 8) tie a ribbon around the top of the wreath 9) hang in your favorite spot 10) you’re done!


handmade find friday! (brass bolo tie)

i’m happy to introduce a new weekly installment to howd.i.y. – we are going to call it “handmade find friday.”

these regular posts will feature new handcrafted goods that i’ve recently added to my collection. it might be jewelry, home decor, stationary, etc… whatever it is – it’s probably something i purchased on etsy, at a market or from some other local gem with limited production.

this week i want to bring attention to my new bolo-necklace. i’m obsessed with it.

i’d been set on the thought of getting a bolo necklace for ages now. i’d had a few bolo ties in the past, but always something trendy with a leather or fabric cord and only suited to particular outfits (i was especially into them 20 years ago back in jr. high school… they were actually a bit frightening. i’ll see if i can dig up some photos).

this time around i knew i wanted something brassy gold and a bit timeless. i had spent months searching on etsy and then alas… one day i found CheyneByPaige. she had one nearly identical to what i’d been looking for. i contacted her and asked her if it would be possible to make a few changes to the chain… she could. and then voila, there was the perfect bolo-necklace! it’s a brass triangle with a long brass chain woven throughout it and dangling for inches (photo + link below).

(bolo backstory: while embarrasing to admit, i also saw a necklace similar to this one on bravo’s reality soap “gallery girls” – a show full of overly dramatic twentysomethings with not-so dramatic problems. claudia, one of the artsy hipster “brooklyn girls” (as opposed to the show’s preppy “manhattan girls”) was wearing a bolo tie in an episode. turns out it was marketing for their shop end of century. i had a look on the website and there’s one very similar to it for $396.).

i’m now even thinking about adding a few new bolo additions to everybutton… pending i find the perfect buttons for the job. stay tuned on that…

anyway – back to my beloved brass bolo tie necklace. here is what paige came up with:


“the pippin” brass bolo tie necklace by CheynebyPaige
$50 on etsy

a headless me – modeling my new bolo tie necklace…


thanks for joining us for our first handmade find friday. have a wonderful weekend doing something stressfree, creative and fun!



halloween is (nearly) here!

october. november. december.
these months are parents to my 3 favorite holidays + the prime time to purchase (in my opinion) the best smelling candle scents – pumpkin and apple cinnamon. with october here and halloween just 9 days away… i’ve been getting in a real harvesty mood lately, despite the fact the leaves here are turning green instead of crisp and multi-colorful. while halloween isn’t nearly as grand an occasion in australia as it is back home in america, that won’t stop me from celebrating the one day where kids young and old break free from conventional attire and attitudes.

last year we had a pretty elaborate gala at our home – with apple bobbing, a pumpkin carving station, costume contest and a haunted entrance to the event. i also decorated the outside of our house up in cobwebs, cardboard bats and mummy (streamer) wrapped pumpkins.

halloween house
halloween 2011

this year i’m thinking up a new, but similar plan. since our house screamed “american house with lollies (candy)” we had a few visitors – and though this year we are in a new house in a new neighborhood, i fully plan to uphold that reputation.

to get things started, we got a pumpkin this past week. it’s currently sitting on the front porch waiting to be carved. (fun fact: “american pumpkins” are very rare in australia – a standard sized one costs anywhere from $15-25).

as i plan a strategy for the exterior, here are a few festive ideas to help you (& me) get inspired! (btw, i adore the repurposed milk jugs…)

pumpkin spider tealight candles
mini pumpkin spider votives (good housekeeping)

spooky halloween terrarium
spooky halloween terrariums (country living)

ghost milk jug lanterns
ghost milk jug lanterns (

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