Corinne’s Christmas Wishlist

This year, I don’t want a lot for Christmas *cue Mariah Carey singing*. The practical (work-related) things I really do want are a $2,000 85mm lens and a new $300 Canon printer, but I’ve maxed out my Santa card in the past and don’t expect any of these things to be coming down the chimney for me. Alas, it’s the season of giving/getting, and without a wishlist, family and friends constantly complain they don’t know what to buy, so here’s a little round up of some knick-knacks and accessories I’ve had my eye on, and hopefully inspire you to support a few of these small businesses during your own holiday shopping.

1 // I’m absolutely obsessed with this adorable bat sleep mask by Appendage. I’ve never slept with a mask, but I might need to since too much light comes into our cave in the early morning and it’s cheaper than buying new curtains…

2 // The Sick Rose by Richard Barnet is a beautiful collection of medical illustrations documenting nineteenth century diseases. To say I need this book in my possession would be an understatement.

3 // San Diego is super spoiled with tons of talented local artisans. JaxKelly is one of those artists and I swoon over all her earrings, including these gold dipped rose quartz, every time I see them at Pigment.

4 // Madame Talbot is an illustrative genius and curio extraordinaire (I don’t think there’s an oddity shop in America that doesn’t have her work on the walls). Her Victorian gothic posters are so unique and stunningly detailed. We already have the Lincoln Ghost Train framed in our middle room and get compliments on it all the time. I’d love to hang The Everlast Embalming Fluid print by our bar.

5 // Surrounding myself with beautifully designed things is important for my creative process — and that includes pretty office supplies. I’m in love with these gold shears from Target’s Nate Berkus collection and would be pretty excited to find them in my stocking — probably more excited than anyone could ever be about scissors.

6 // Have I told you how obsessed I am with Madame Scodioli? Oh yeah, I have. Well I was ecstatic when she started making spray perfumes, especially of Elyria, my signature scent of earl grey and lavender.

7 // Okay, I don’t expect anyone to spend over $200 on shoes for me this Christmas, but I can dream. I’m on the hunt for a nice (affordable) pair of metal toed boots like these Jeffrey Campbell Bentley-2.

Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season so far and keeping sane during their Christmas shopping!

Gift Guide for the Oddity Aficionado – Pt 2

Back again with more unique gifts for the collector of strange and unusual wonders! Last year, my curated list for Pinterest’s Holiday Giving Guide was a hit, so I’ve gathered up a few more curiosities to inspire your Christmas shopping for the oddity aficionado in your life. Check out the whole board on Pinterest!

1 // Natural Histories Book and Print Set – ModCloth | 2 // English Bulldog Anatomical Embroidery – HandmadeEntomology |
3 // Antique Edison Cylinder Record Canister – AllvintageMan | 4 // Real Vintage Armadillo Purse – Ebay | 5 // Pearl Beaded Roe Deer – Virginia the Wolf | 6 // Genuine Spiderweb Necklace – PreciousCreature | 7 // Antique Prosthetic Eye – The Twisted Eye | 8 // Bat Patch – Gerri Tullis | 9 // Rare Autographed Photo of “Penguin Girl” – diabolic | 10 // Antique French Hair Reliquary – Mercurysmoon | 11 // Antique Medical Lithograph Manikin – TrunkGypsies |

Christmas Bucketlist 2014

Hello December! The holiday season is in full swing, the Christmas tree Instagrams are rolling in, and it’s time to start planning our winter-ish festivities. I’m really feeling this is gonna be a good year. Here are a few things we’ve got on the agenda for making the most of Christmas 2014 in San Diego:

✓ December Nights at Balboa Park

Kick off the season with lots of holiday spirit (and insane crowds) at December Nights, one of San Diego’s most popular holiday events. It’s a smorgasbord of art, culture, and general Christmas cheer. There’s live music and performances, food and gifts from all different parts around the globe, and the museums are open late too.

✓ Craft Himmeli ornaments for the tree

These geometric ornaments were super fun and easy to make.

✓ Throw another awesome ugly sweater white elephant party

For the last couple years, I’ve hosted ugly sweater parties centered on watching a horrible movie. Last year we watched the Star Wars Holiday Special, and in previous years we’ve done horror films like Santa’s Slay, Jack Frost, and even an Evil Dead II zombie themed Christmas party.

✓ See the lights at the zoo

Renew our San Diego Zoo passes and walk around at night during Jungle Bells when the park is open late and illuminated with colorful animal lights.

• Buy new leather pants

To rock with oversized sweaters all winter long.

✓ Bundle up and head out to Julian

Grab some legendary apple pie and do a little antiquing in the historic mining town. And maybe see some snow if we’re lucky (my favorite part about living in Southern California is having the perfect warm weather all year round and crisp mountain air just an hour away when we need it).

✓ Concoct a new Christmas cocktail

I’m thinking a hot buttered rum, or a festive white russian.

✓ Partake in our traditional annual Elf fort night

Every year we get together with friends, build a blanket fort in the living room, and watch Elf inside it — like all 20-something & 30-year-olds should.

• Sew our own stockings & fill them with fun little gifts

My mom always gave me fancy new underwear for Christmas and it was my favorite, haha. Dave might be getting some underwear in his stocking this year…

✓ Shop local

Buy gifts from small businesses in our artsy little neighborhood of North Park.

• Celebrate Krampusnacht

Really bummed we won’t be able to make it up to any of the Krampusfest events in LA again this year. But if you’re in SoCal, check out some of the happenings in celebration of the folkloric Christmas devil.

✓ Throwback with Christmas(-ish) movies we haven’t watched in ages

We started with Batman Returns and Home Alone. Next up… Just Friends and Edward Scissorhands.

Now I want to know what you guys have going on this season! Any unique plans, favorite holiday movies, long-standing traditions, or go-to recipes for the best Christmas cookies? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook!

Christmas Pinspiration – 3 Holiday Decorating Styles

I’m not usually one to get ultra prematurely excited for Christmas. But this year, something’s gotten into me, and I was ready to start adorning the mantel with garland the moment Halloween was over. The housemates and I agreed to wait until after Thanksgiving, but that hasn’t stopped me from pinning a zillion holiday decor ideas in the meantime. Here are some style moodboards I’ve put together in preparation for the upcoming season.

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Dreaming of a Natural Christmas

I know I don’t have to tell you, but I am not a red-and-green-and-plastic-santas kind of xmas decorator. Instead, I like bringing natural elements into the house (scrap cuttings from the tree farm, pinecones, branches) and wrap all my gifts in brown Kraft paper with jute twine and a sprig of pine.

Get the Look

This is such an easy (and potentially free) look – which is why it’s always my favorite. Gather pinecones to display on your shelves, in a bowl, or even make your own ornaments. Take home scrap cuttings from the tree farm (most trimming stations have a trash bin they’ll gladly let you scavenge from) and stick them in vases or make your own natural wreaths and garlands (check out Molly’s DIY triangle wreath tutorial).

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Sugar, Spice, & Fur

I love the warm cozy vibe of glowing candles, deer pelts, and deep brown tones everywhere. Makes me want to bundle up under a fur throw and sip chai by the fireplace while waiting for a batch of gingerbread cookies baking in the oven.

Get the Look

Okay, maybe this look is a bit dreamy and out of budget for most. But if you’ve got it, arrange luxurious natural elements like pelts, antlers, drift wood, and feathers around the house. Collect an assortment of candles and votives. And of course, constantly have fresh baked cookies lingering in the air.

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Glitzy Copper Christmas

Dave and I have been obsessed with copper this year. It seems to be popping up everywhere now, so why not try to incorporate some penny into our Christmas look?

Get the Look

A few metallic accents can really go a long way. Try Rachel’s DIY copper foil branches or check out this super easy DIY for glamming up those tea lights you probably have a million sitting in a junk drawer. It’s also always good to have a can of metallic copper Rust-Oleum around to give a spray paint makeover to any kitschy Christmas figurines you might find at a thrift store.

Hope some of these ideas have inspired your Christmas decorating style for this year! I’d love to hear your favorite looks or crafty DIYs for the holiday season. Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook!

DIY Skeleton Sweater

It still doesn’t quite feel like fall around here in San Diego (does it ever?) and October is quickly passing (as it always does). I’ve been planning on trying my hand at freezer paper stenciling and making this skeleton sweater for a long time, but I’m still wearing crop tops and shorts over here…

Anyways. We had a nice gloomy morning the other day, so I finally set out to make this ribcage/skeleton sweater. This was my first time attempting freezer paper stenciling and I’m officially hooked! It was so easy to do and turned out better than I could have imagined. I wore my sweater all day immediately after finishing it (despite the 75 degree and sunny forecast) and got numerous compliments on it. Expect lots more DIY projects and freebies like this from me in the future.

Comfy sweater
Fabric paint
• Paint sponge
Freezer paper
• Scissors or xacto knife & cutting mat
• Cardboard
• Printer (optional – you can draw yours by hand if you like)
• Ribcage design (Click to download!)

I made arm bones as well, but decided not to use them. You can download those here!

01 // Print (or draw) your design & cut out

Download my ribcage design here and print on the paper side of the freezer paper. I have a 12in borderless printer, so I was able to print a nice large design on one sheet. Depending on your resources, you may need to tile together a few sheets or hand draw your stencil to achieve the size you want. Then cut out all the shapes, and take special care not to lose any of the internal pieces (I kept the right and left rib spaces in separate piles).

02 // Assemble the design on your sweater

On a smooth surface, lay the stencil on the sweater with the plastic side facing down and replace all the internal shapes to reform the ribcage design. If any of your internal shapes were cut a bit jagged, feel free to smooth them out with your scissors now.

03 // Iron down the freezer paper

Carefully iron over the freezer paper on medium heat. I didn’t want to risk my inside pieces shifting around, so I gently placed the iron on top of each section versus dragging it across the design. Make sure all the edges are ironed down so no paint bleeds underneath the stencil. (Also don’t burn yourself like I did…)

04 // Protect with cardboard & start painting

Slide a piece of cardboard into the sweater in case the paint seeps through the fabric. Use your sponge brush to dab the fabric paint onto the sweater. Be extra careful around those thin right and left sides. Ideally, you should probably have a lot more paper protecting the sides of your design so you don’t accidentally get any paint outside the lines (like I did).

05 // Let dry & apply more layers

The first layer of paint will look fairly light as it soaks into the fabric. I got impatient and applied three more layers before allowing it to dry. (I don’t got all day to paint a sweater.) But this didn’t really work and only made it take much longer to dry. I waited overnight before applying the next layer. If you’re patient, you should wait at least 30 minutes before applying another coat of paint. I applied my next and final layer the next day. Let dry and reapply until you’ve achieved your desired whiteness (3-5 layers).

06 // Carefully peel off the stencil

When the paint has completely dried, carefully peel away the stencil. The paint will be gummy and may cling to the paper, so be gentle so you don’t tear any of the design off with it. For the center pieces, rather than picking at the corners to remove, I pinched the paper in the middle and peeled.

Protip! If any paint did happen to bleed outside of the stencil, no worries! Just use some black acrylic paint and lightly go over any mistakes. No one will notice. ;)

07 // Heat set

I don’t really know how necessary this step is, but another blog said to do it, so I did. The directions on the paint don’t require any heat setting, but the DIY instructions I read claimed it keeps the design from fading after washing. It also made the design feel less sticky. So place another piece of fabric (I used one of Dave’s old t-shirts) on top of the design and iron over it.

And there you have it! Your very own pseudo-“screenprinted” freezer paper stenciled sweater! And you didn’t have to pay $200 for it like a crazy person.