15 October 2010


Thanks to all of you who have faithfully followed me here on Blogger.  In the latest website update, I decided to move the blog over there, to ByMaggie.com!
One-stop shopping for all your BodiceGoddess needs.

I've moved all of my entries and all of your comments to the new site, and will start blogging from there from now on!
If you're using an RSS feed like Google Reader, the new feed URL is: http://www.bymaggie.com/?feed=rss2

Sorry for the abrupt change, folks!  I'm still super-excited for the Etsy shop re-opening on November 2nd, so keep an eye out for that, too!  More sneak peeks and updates to come over at ByMaggie.com and on my Facebook page.

04 October 2010

Etsy Sneak Preview #1

Vintage wallpaper, salvaged from the attic of a 100 year old house.

Scrapbookers, take heed!

Borrowed from Apartment Therapy

Yeah, that's right, another post on Apartment Therapy got me thinking, and I felt I could write more than a comment on their site. Adrienne Brieux posed the question, "If you were interviewed for a magazine and asked to give your top 10 home and personal items you can’t live without, what would they be? And most importantly, are all the items on your list currently in your home? If not, why?"

So here goes. My answer in an incredibly large nutshell.

1) My bedroom set, which used to belong to my grandparents.
I didn't know it when I got it, but apparently, mid-century furniture is super-cool and trendy now.  I just liked having a headboard that has the slidey-doors and ample shelving.  I also appreciate the lingerie drawers in my big dresser, and the fact that I have a matching mirror atop my short dresser.  Not to mention the fact that it belonged to my grandparents, who were super-cool in their own right as well.

2) My tiny pot.
I got it at a Cub Foods in college, when all I wanted to do was be able to heat up a can of soup.  Soup's much better when heated over the stove, and this pot is the perfect size for the heating (and eating) of a whole can.  It continues to serve me well.

3) My yellow scarf.
I went on a trip to Utila, Honduras, at the beginning of last year, and when I wasn't in a wetsuit SCUBA diving or drying off, and the sun was still up?  Chances are I was wrapped in my yellow scarf with a swim suit underneath.  I got it on the first day of the trip, wore it every day, and treasure it.  Also, it has fishes on it, and you can't tell unless it's unfurled.  That's fun, too.

4) My laptop, PJ.
Yeah, lame, I know, but I like having a computer.  PJ's my only computer.  It's also an entertainment laptop, and can run just the DVD player and the screen without starting up.  That's certainly handy for trips.  I've gotten in to the habit of watching documentaries on Hulu before bed, and I enjoy it too much to not want to always have PJ around.

5) My brown chair.
It's worn around the edges.  The cushion could use a restuff.  It squeaks whenever you sit down.  But I've had it forever, and there's no where else I'd rather curl up and read a book.  Some of my earliest memories happened around this chair (and its mate, broken in my parents' garage), and I can't imagine a home without it.

6) Oscar the Grouch.
Honestly, Oscar was the first thing I thought of when I read the question.  I have a plastic Oscar the Grouch figure (complete with trash can) that my grandmother always kept by her front door.  Oscar was her favorite, and it was always nice seeing him keeping guard of her house.  Now, in her absence, he guards mine.

7) My steamer trunk.
It's not living with me yet, and instead stays at my parent's house until I can fix it up (it's dirty and stinky on the inside... and I know I can change that.).  I have always wanted to have a steamer trunk of my own, ever since growing up with one at my parent's house.  They're beautiful.

8) My cast iron.
I can't imagine ever having a kitchen without cast iron ever, ever again.  It's a simple set of 3 seasoned pans - 1 large one, perfect for a family helping of yams with marshmallows; 1 medium, perfect for a single-serving chicken breast and vedg; and 1 small, perfect for a Saturday morning egg scramble.

9) My collection of "literatura"
All of my books and magazines, for sure.  I've parsed down my collection, and it currently resides on shelves and in boxes, but I'd like to have it all out for the world to see.  Especially my short stack of old magazines, ranging back to 1928 ("Is your Vitrola spread out like the dog's breakfast?"  Great late-20s ad campaign.), and my "The History of Architecture" book from the 40s or 50s, leather-bound.

10) Rerun.
"Rerun" is a painting I did as a part of my Stagecraft class in college my first year.  We were instructed to go out to the store, purchase a greeting card, and from that card, recreate the image to scale, assuming the bottom of the card is now two feet wide.  A friend and I painted ours once we scaled it, and mine ended up looking like a cartoon 4-year-old in his dad's aviator sunglasses and jacket, giving you the thumbs-up.  It's cute and kitchy, and makes me smile every time I see it.

22 September 2010

Etsy Shop Grand Reopening...?

I've been sitting on it for far too long. I'm going to allow this holiday season to be what spurs me on.

JUST ANNOUNCED on the BodiceGoddess Facebook page!

I'm looking at a Grand Re-Opening of BodiceGoddess on Etsy sometime this fall (probably November)! Folks here on FB will be the first to know. I'm looking at doing more upcycled shrugs, scarves, and possibly hair fascinators or pillows. What do you all think?
I'll also be doing a giveaway here on Facebook and my blog as soon as I reopen. Stay tuned!

My Etsy shop has, until now, simply been an outlet for my crocheting habit.  While I will keep it that way, I've been doing a lot of experimenting with upcycling while the shutters have been closed, and I've learned a lot.  I think it's time to come in from the cold, or rather, supply items to those going out in it.

I've been inspired by a lot of Etsy users and other designers, and I'm excited to get started again!

What do you think?

16 September 2010

Sincere Flattery: How I Met Your Mother

Inspired by Etsy's "Get the Look Decor" series on The Storque, and design*sponge's "Living In" series on their blog, and my own proclivities, I've decided to put together my own series.  I'm calling it "Sincere Flattery," because imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  Considering how stoked I am about the How I Met Your Mother season 6 premiere next Monday (on CBS, 7pm Central), I've decided to cover something that's near and dear to my heart: Ted's kitchen.

My own kitchen experiences have been varied: growing up, it was a small, and then a large gathering place when my family moved.  In college, kitchen design was never an option (though we did get new cabinetry my senior year).  Since college, I've had one medium-sized kitchen, followed by two small galleys.  I've been jealous of Ted's kitchen since I first saw the show.

Special thanks to sweet nothings for sharing pics from her visit to the set!

First off, props to the set dressers for making Ted's kitchen look like something people actually use.  It's cluttered, but not terribly so.  It's full, and not staged, which is nice.  I'd rather look at a kitchen from a TV show than a kitchen from a home design magazine any day of the week.
The first thing that strikes me is how huge this kitchen looks!  In "reality", it's not huge at all.  It's as regular as a kitchen in a rental unit can be - not a whole lot of counter space, a mild and neutral color palette, non-matching appliances - and yet, the renters have made it their home.

Now, where to get started...

Neutrals, but we've covered that.  I'll do my best to match the Behr or Dutch Boy paint colors - they're the brands I'm the most familiar with, have the coolest names, and have proven themselves through my use and through legitimate vouches (the painters on Holmes on Homes use Behr).  The colors that I've found that most closely match are:
Behr's Antique White is perfect for the cabinets, while Toffee Bar is a great complement for the wall color.

The Floor
The floor appears to be something very simple - vinyl floor tile.  I've been seeing it make a resurgence in recent years, since it's typically an inexpensive material, it's durable, and it's easy to replace if need be.  Black and white checkered is a classic pattern that never goes out of style.

The Countertop
1) It matches the floor... mostly.
2) There isn't much of it.
White tile with a black edge is a very clean look.  The colors match the floor, and make a nice break in the room.  These countertops are something I'm incredibly used to - rental unit, not a whole lot of counter space. After using up that corner for storage, they really only have the area in front of the pass-through (to the left)

The Cabinets
Obviously painted - and Behr's Antique White is the best choice.  The other things to notice are the hardware, the fronts, and the backs.
Since cabinet hardware can sometimes be one of the most expensive parts of a renovation, I'm going to the old trusty sources for inexpensive hardware.
IKEA's KOSING are nice, round knobs in a chrome.  Granted, the knobs in Ted's kitchen are black, but chrome is another accent in the lighting, so it wouldn't be out of the question.
Target - believe it or not - carries decent cabinet hardware as well.  Their Amerock Colonial knobs in black match the kitchen pretty perfectly, and are about a dollar a piece ($3.99 for a 4-pack).

The lower cabinets have a full front, however, the upper cabinets have a nice glass front.  I'm all for this idea.  It looks like they use their upper cabinets for food storage (check out the iconic Campbell's soup labels above the dishwasher), and this strategy would definitely force you to keep your cabinets more organized and good-looking.  Also, having glass-fronted uppers makes a kitchen look bigger and fuller when it may not be.

It also looks like, while the cabinets themselves may be a wonderful antiqued white color, the cabinet backs appear to be painted with a bit more of a peachy color.  It could be a trick of the light, but personally, I like the idea of having a third color in there.

The Appliances
First - and wonderfully - they don't match.  Not even a little.  But they do show a history of the apartment.  The stovetop/oven/range combo looks to be from the 1940s, the fridge maybe from the 50s or 60s, and the modern stainless steel dishwasher and black microwave tucked in the corner bring us to today.

The Details
Finally, the details.  One of the things I love about the character of Ted is his passion for the history of things.  The whole point of the show is that he wants his kids to know exactly how he met their mother - and refuses to leave anything out.  (Okay, that's not true.  There's that story that Victoria told in Season 1, the joke of Barney's from Season 4, and his substitution of "sandwiches" for joints and "bagpipes" for loud sex... but you get the idea.)  It's the details that make this kitchen.  The vintage-looking tin signs, the big chrome light over the sink, the little towel bar for washcloths and spice rack next to the range, the red tea kettle, even the oversized utensil jar on the stovetop.  I like to look at the spirit of something, and go from there.  So in the spirit of this kitchen, here's a couple of my picks from Etsy:

Vintage Industrial Metal Red and White... by SugarCubeVintage

Mid Century Sconce Lamp by claireferrante (for that pop of orange over the sink)

LYLE Snack Server / Cookie Robot by reclaim2fame (Every kitchen needs an R2-SweetTooth!)

Vintage Wooden Spice Rack by lemontreefarm

Mosaic Serving Tray - Retro Blues by rushcreekmosaics (made in Ohio - just like Ted)

And one more IKEA pick:
KVOT Dish Drainer

I think that about exhausts me.  Beyond that, I'm full-on copycatting.  I really do love this show, and the design of the kitchen - and the accuracy of it! - plays but a small part in that.  One more thing - check out beanforest on Etsy for magnets.  They're little and kitschy... and just the thing that would be at home in Ted's kitchen.

06 September 2010

September already. Where'd the time go?!

Now I know I've been an absentee blogger folks, and I'd like to submit my humble apologies to all of you.  (Which I'd be glad to do in writing.  Seriously - e-mail me your address, and I'll send you a personalized postcard!)

What I've been up to:

  • My sister got married on 21 August 2010, to a gentleman she's been dating for something like 7 years.  It was a largely DIY affair - no wedding planner, no equipment rentals, just hand-making 200 purple boxes and filling them with Hershey kisses, assembling centerpieces, altering bridesmaid dresses, making the garters and the like.  It was a LOT of work, but we had a great time, and got some new family members in the mix!
  • My little brother left for college... the day after the wedding.  Let's just say August was packed pretty solid with family activity.
  • As part of my gift to the happy couple, I re-fabricated a pair or bedside tables I found on craigslist.  They were a pair of very simple pine tables, and now they're a very simple pair of pine tables with a lower shelf and a wonderful high-gloss espresso paint job to them!  (Post to follow...)
  • Last night, I completed my attempt at recreating the Kaylee "prairie harpy" dress from the "Out of Gas" and "The Message" episodes of Firefly.  I'm content with the results.  The pattern on the fabric's a little bigger than I expected, and I took some liberties with the piecing (made it a long tunic rather than a bodice and skirt, eliminated the back zipper since Kaylee never used it anyway, and used a taupe piece of doily for the detail rather than pink), but the spirit remains in tact.  As do the voluminous sleeves.
  • I'll soon be moving... I hope.  But more on that later.
  • The temp dropped like 30 degrees this week.  I mean, it's Minnesota, but it's also a huge slap in the face to say "HEY!  Turn your calendar page!  It's September now!"
I've been looking at Etsy a lot, and thinking that it's really been all about transitions at this time of year, especially late August.  With Katie getting married, Tom moving to college and myself and my roommates thinking about upgrading from our apartment, there's a lot going on and a lot to look at and think about.

Blah blah blah.  Enough windbagging.  Here's some Etsy picks for this time of year.

Penguin Stamp - handcarved by jackbear.
jackbear is a fantastic stamp carver, and I had to give him some props here on the blog.  As a shower gift to my sister, I made her a set of Thank You cards, and hand-stamped each one with a swan stamp jackbear customized and carved for me.
Also, my brother's favorite animal for a long time was penguins, so this is a little tribute to both of them.

autumn shine - necklace by airportlovestory
airportlovestory is a delightful 20-something woman who is way ahead of me on her Etsy journey.  I met her through Alchemy, we try to keep in touch, and occasionally swap items.  Like pen pals, only with crafts!  (and it's my turn :/ )  Her shop has come a LONG way since we first met, and it's been fun watching the journey.
kind, caring, compassionate and... - button by beanforest
beanforest's shop reads like a stroll through a very clever, one-off comic book.  I went on a shopping spree through his shop just before Christmas last year.  This button went to my roommate, Kathy.
My brother and best friends also got some.  It's really quite a fun shop, especially if you don't know what to get for someone.

Real comfort Jane Austen mug - by Brookish
I loved this shop so much, I forwarded it via Facebook to my best friend's mother, an English professor and Jane Austen scholar in Cincinnati, Ohio.

1950's Antique Samsonite Luggage - by Ms2SweetVintage
I picked this piece because I just found one and have spent the weekend fixing it up.  It's a beautiful piece, and the company had been featured on "Mad Men" - giving credence to its vintage cred.
vintage 1940s dress - by traven7
A beautiful vintage gown to wrap things up!

Well folks, That's that.

Here's to transitions.

27 July 2010

How To Grow Your Own Hipster; or: How My Parents Did It.

According to UrbanDictionary.com, a "hipster" is defined as the following:
Hipsters are a subculture of men and women typically in their 20's and 30's that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter. ... Although "hipsterism" is really a state of mind,it is also often intertwined with distinct fashion sensibilities. Hipsters reject the culturally-ignorant attitudes of mainstream consumers, and are often be seen wearing vintage and thrift store inspired fashions, tight-fitting jeans, old-school sneakers, and sometimes thick rimmed glasses. ... Despite misconceptions based on their aesthetic tastes, hipsters tend to be well educated and often have liberal arts degrees, or degrees in maths and sciences, which also require certain creative analytical thinking abilities. Consequently many hipsters tend to have jobs in the music, art, and fashion industries. It is a myth that most hipsters are unemployed and live off of their parent's trust funds.
Hipsters shun mainstream societal conventions that apply to dating preferences and traditional "rules" of physical attraction. It is part of the hipster central dogma not to be influenced by mainsream advertising and media, which tends to only promote ethnocentric ideals of beauty. ... Hipsters are also very racially open-minded, and the greatest number of interracial couples in any urban environment are typically found within the hipster subculture.
Although hipsters are technically conformists within their own subculture, in comparison to the much larger mainstream mass, they are pioneers and leaders of the latest cultural trends and ideals. For example, the surge of jeans made to look old and worn (i.e. "distressed"), that have become prevalent at stores such as The Gap, American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch, and Hollister, were originally paraded by hipsters who shopped in thrift stores years before such clothing items were mass produced and sold to the mainstream consumer. The true irony here is that many of the detractors of hipster culture are in fact unknowingly following a path that hipsters have carved out years before them. This phenomena also applies to music as well, as many bands have become successful and known to mainstream audiences only because hipsters first found and listened to them as early-adopters of new culture. Once certain concepts of fashion and music have reached mainstream audiences, hipsters move on to something new and improved.
Because of the rise of various online photo-blog and social networking sites, insights into urban hipster culture is reaching sheltered suburban audiences at an exponential rate. Cultural "norms" have been deconstructed by hipster culture as a whole. Hipsterism is often dismissed as just an image thing by some, but the culture as a whole is effecting changes in society, leading to feelings of insecurity and resentment in people who are no longer a part of the cultural ruling class. ... Anti-hipster sentiment often comes from people who simply can't keep up with social change and are envious of those who can.
Note: this is definition #1.  Further definitions from the website are unnecessary after this comprehensive one, and can get quite demeaning.

"No, we're not shopping there."
In my teenage years, when my ideas about how the world should work were still forming, I was growing up in a household with two younger siblings, a mom in grad school, and my parents got in early with the housing boom and purchased/built a new house.  Understandably, we didn't frequent the Gap or Abercrombie, where a single item of clothing was frequently over $20 (and still is).  We'd hit Target or Kohl's with a vengeance.  And clothes had to LAST.  I had several pairs of jeans growing up that would rip and tear all over, and it wasn't until I grew or a hole developed in the crotch that I'd give them up.  Every rip, every tear, I wore as a badge of honor and a testament to my active lifestyle.  Now, it's the "cool" thing to buy these pre-ripped jeans.  I don't understand it.  Why do that when you can make your own?
Also, the placement of the local thrift store next to my karate school made spending time there an absolute breeze.

"You can listen to whatever you want."
I don't think that when my parents gave me my first alarm clock radio in the second grade that they intended for it to set me on the path of hipster-hood, but it eventually did.  I started by tuning in to the local country music station.  The primary reason for this was because my Dad hates country, and I didn't want him in my room (at the age of nine...).  When the station I had been tuned to went off the air, I had to find a new one.  I discovered "104.1 The Point," a now-defunct alternative rock station.  I didn't understand the concept of a station that played a little bit of everything, including local bands, but I liked it.  Nay, I loved it.  And I still do. I've bounced from alt-rock station to alt-rock station which, while they typically are phased out after a few years, always pop up somewhere else.  My "current" favorite is MPR 89.3 The Current which, in addition to being mainly alternative rock and also a generally amazing mix including local bands, is completely member-supported public radio, and the only commercials they have are for themselves.
Also, The Current received a vouch from Wil Wheaton, who, upon discovering it last night while touring in Minneapolis, proclaimed via Twitter: "I think The Current from Minnesota Public Radio is my new favorite radio station."  Upon reading that this morning, my nerd-heart gave knucks to my hipster-heart in victory.  (Actually, there was an awkward moment where my nerd-heart went up for a high-five, and switched to the fist mid-air.)

"Oh, that's just Neil."
My dad's wonderful cousin, Neil, has been a constant presence on the periphery of my life since my childhood.  Ever since my family was still young enough that my grandmother had Christmas with her sisters at Gram and Pappy's house.  Now, we're Facebook friends, and it turns out he's had run-ins with a few of my friends at work, and they all adore him.  He's always stuck out in my mind as a person in my family to look up to as being connected to his family, his community, and his job.
Oh, yeah, also?  He's gay.  Always has been.  And it's never been a big deal.

"So.  Where do you want to go to college?"
I remember high school.  Not well, but I do remember it.  I remember that awkward time where my future depended on where I went to school.  I toured three campuses - all alma maters of my parents - the University of Minnesota, the College of St. Catherine, and the University of St. Thomas - and applied to all three.  I had very distinct expectations and things I wanted from each school.  I liked the U for its architecture program, St. Thomas for its varied liberal arts degrees and co-ed campus, and St. Kate's for its varied liberal arts degrees and women's campus.  When I got the nod from St. Kate's and St. Thomas, and the U deferred my application, I knew I was destined for a liberal arts degree.  My "architecture major, English minor" dreams turned to an English major, philosophy minor, and a single math class that I hated.
After my whirlwind tour of the campuses - a day at the U, and a day spent half at St. Kate's and St. Thomas - I quickly realized that St. Kate's was my favorite of the three.  There I spent four years, developing a well-rounded education on a campus deeply rooted in the community and yet welcoming of all walks of life.  Even men.  They just couldn't live there.

Looking back on how I was raised, it's easy for me to see why I've ended up in the particular niche I'm in right now.  It's all their fault.

24 June 2010

Borrowed from Apartment Therapy

As a semi-avid blog reader, I sometimes see something that profoundly inspires me to write something here.  Today, it was Apartment Therapy's Summer Interview series.  The questions are pretty insightful and quick, and I thought I'd give you all a summer update!

I like laying in the sun to relax, but if I'm working on something, there's nothing worse than having the sun beating down on you.

I've been really attached to turquoise lately.  I have an upcycled dress in the works!

The cabin.  It's simple.  My family has access to 2 cabins, and I've been going to both since I was a kid.  It's always been a great place to escape to.

Holy Land lemonade from the International Market at the Minnesota State Fair.  It's blended lemonade with mint leaves in it.  I need to figure out a way to make it at home!

Living in an apartment with no yard, a baby and a cat, planting space is limited.  However, on top of my stereo component tower, I have 7 basil plants just about thriving!  They're still babies, but they've moved from egg carton to milk carton and are growing fast.

"Cold Beverages" by G-Love and the Special Sauce

Jimmy Buffet's A Salty Piece of Land.