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Friday, January 30

MAKE // Marble and Copper Plant Stand


Back in the fall, we talked about brining outdoor plants inside to weather the winter. It can be a tricky process, keeping those things alive all those months, but somehow I've managed to do it. I'd even go so far as to say a few of my plants are thriving! I decided to celebrate (ahem..show off) my green thumb success, by making a lovely little stand on which to perch my favorite plant. So I gathered some inspiration from the million or so amazing plant stand DIYs circulating Pinterest right now, and headed to the hardware store to see what I could come up with. Thanks to some sage advice from a random and kind old man who was watching me struggle with fittings in the plumbing aisle, this plant stand is not only a cinch to put together, but cost me under $25 to make. I'm in love with how modern the copper and marble look together. And I think my plant is pretty happy too!


Three 3/4 inch Copper Pipes cut 10 inches long
Three 3/4 inch Copper Tee Fittings
Three 3/4 inch Copper Tube Caps
Six 3/4 inch Copper Tube Straps
Polished Porcelain Floor Tile (12 inches x 12 inches)
Plywood (10 inches x 10 inches x 1/4 inch)
Wood Glue
Twelve 3/4 inch screws

Step One // Lay the floor tile face down and center the plywood on the back. Glue the plywood in place. Make sure you follow the directions on the glue and allow to dry a full 24 hours.

Step Two // Plan the placement of the legs by laying the tee fittings and tube straps out on the plywood. If you go with three legs like I did, placing them in a tripod (or triangle) shape will make the stand most sturdy. Measure and mark where you will position the legs and then drill holes for the screws.

Step Three // Secure the tee fittings with the tube straps and screw in to place.

Step Four // Fit the pipes in to the tees and put the end caps on the open end of the pipes. Now your legs are in place!

Step Five // Turn the stand over and make sure it's level. I had to adjust one of my legs by bending it out ever so slightly. Place your favorite plant on top and sit back and enjoy!

What do you guys think!? Share your Foxtail + Moss inspired DIYs with us by tagging photos with #foxtailmakes.


Wednesday, January 28

LIFE/STYLE : Lately...


Winter is in full swing! And while the Midwest has been lucky enough to avoid blizzards and "snowpocalypses", we're still pretty settled in to our routines of snuggling up under blankets and passing the time indoors during these cold weather months. So today, we thought it would be fun to break up the monotony a bit and share what we've been in to lately!


Watching // FRIENDS just got added to Netflix in the beginning of the year, so on those blustery winter nights when all I wanna do is curl up on the couch in a blanket and drink tea; I've been in front of my tv watching this classic.

Trending // The L.L. Bean Boot has been popping up on everyone's feet lately and mine are no exception. My pair finally arrived on my doorstep (after ordering them 3 months ago) and they have been glued to my feet ever since. Order yours but be prepared to wait! Word on the street is you'll be behind 100,000 orders (omg!)

Listening // Lately I've been on a quest to find more current artists that catch my interest. My record collection is full of multi decade classics, but my new artist selection is a bit light. Alvvays has hit the spot and this Toronto indie-pop band has been played heavily in my home.

Learning // I've been a lover of ceramics for a long time and I've always wanted to learn how to make my own pieces. I took pottery in high school, but haven't touched clay since. This is the year! Bowls, vases, cups....here I come!

Watching // I'm completely caught up in Peaky Blinders. Have you watched it? The first two seasons are on Netflix now and a third season is scheduled to be released soon. If you're in to period piece dramas, boys with dapper hair cuts and British accents, gangster films, and Nick Cave, (just a few of my favorite things), you're going to love it!

Trending // Claire and I are both in the midst of giving our homes little makeovers. Currently, I'm loving that the color black is popping up everywhere in interior trends. I've been toying with the idea of painting a wall in our bedroom black. It's such a bold look. Here's a list of other trends for 2015. I'm pretty much loving them all!

Listening // I'm utterly smitten with Nikki Lane. She's got this whole outlaw Loretta Lynn thing going on and it's just so good. She's playing a show here in Chicago soon and if you know what's good for you, you'll go!

Learning // So maybe I'm like a year late to this whole calligraphy trend, but I've been toying around with it and hand lettering lately. It's just such a relaxing and repetitive art form, and a totally classic skill to have. I've got my eye on this starter kit for beginners (so lovely!) and am on the look out for local calligraphy or hand lettering workshops. Heard of any? Should Foxtail + Moss host one!? ;)

What are you digging lately? We'd love to hear!

Monday, January 26

BEHIND THE BRAND: Ms Matilda Designs (plus a giveaway!)

The brisk cold air was blowing and the snow was falling - a typical Chicago winter day - when we visited Marianne of Ms Matilda Designs at her in home studio. Greeted by her ever-eager pup Chester, we warmed up inside and spent the afternoon chatting about design, running one's own business, puppy love, and all things apartment living in the windy city. Ms Matilda Designs is a local paper goods and design studio that produces small batch social correspondence, note cards, modern greeting cards and prints that feature a mix of hand lettering and typography. Her simply clever one of a kind designs caught our eye last December at the winter Renegade Craft Fair here in Chicago and we instantly knew we wanted to learn more about this talented lady and invite her to be featured on our Behind the Brand series.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your brand Ms Matilda Designs.
I am a Chicago-based designer; I love the art of hand-lettering and typography, both of which play a huge part in my designs. I am constantly doodling and writing. I keep a small journal with me at all times (and many throughout the apartment) because you never know when an idea or inspired moment will arrive. The name is a family name, not only is it my middle name but also my grandmothers. I love it because I feel this vintage name represents the charm of handwritten letters. Our products also include small batch social correspondence, note cards, greeting cards and prints. I also worked over the last year on wedding invitations as well as branding and stationary for some local businesses.

What does a typical day look like for you? My days vary depending on the project load. I am always glued to my computer working mostly on web designs and branding projects. I like that not every day is exactly the same. I update the shop and fulfill orders throughout the week and on the weekends.

What is inspiring you right now?
There is so much to be inspired by these days, so many amazing makers out there and the accessibility to discover new artist is incredible. I can get lost on pinterest for hours and then look up and wonder where my day went. My journal is filled with doodles and funny thoughts. I will often thumb through these journals for inspirations for cards or just a good laugh. I like to take cues from real life and turn them into something to share with others and hopefully brighten someone’s day.

What are your hobbies/interests outside of Ms Matilda Designs?I spend so much time in front of a computer that if I’m not working I try to explore and take time to learn new things. I have recently rediscovered weaving, growing up I was surrounded by fabric and yarn, my mom has always been very crafty, you could say it’s in the genes. I love exploring this wonderful city, Chicago has so many great things to offer and it’s amazing to think I’ve lived here for 10 years and still have so much to see and do! Going to shows and music in the park during the summer with my boyfriend are a few of my favorite things. Nature is also very important to me; I have a collection of plant life that I treat as if they were pets. I love my plant babies, and of course then there is my fur baby, Chester, who I could snuggle with all day every day for the rest of my life.

What is your advice for artists and designers that are thinking of starting their own business?
It takes a lot of time and motivation. I have experienced highs and lows and moments of self-doubt, but that’s ok, it’s normal. Don’t be scared to get yourself out there.

What do you have in store for Ms Matilda Designs in the coming months and years?I am working on my new website which will include an e-commerce so that is very exciting. I want to grow Ms Matilda to a full design studio with additional services like branding and wedding invitations. I’m looking forward to summer, and participating in some street fests and shows throughout the city.

Valentine's Day is right around the corner and Ms Matilda Designs wants to make sure you're prepared! TWO lucky readers will each win three of Marianne's lovely cards just in time for the holiday. Send one to your bff, one to that special someone, and one to your favorite family member. Or hey, just send them to whoever you want!

Here's how to enter and win:
Step One // Follow Ms Matilda Designs on Instagram and "like" Ms Matilda Designs on Facebook.
Step Two // Visit Ms Matilda Designs shop and have a look around.
Step Three // Leave a comment below (with your name) telling us which card you'd love to send that someone special in your life.
Step Four // Cross your fingers!

The winners will be chosen at random on Sunday, February 1. Good luck and thanks Marianne for showing us around Ms Matilda Designs studio. We had a blast!

Friday, January 23

MIXOLOGY // Fancy Gin Gimlet + Chicago Distilling Co

At last week's Herb Wreath Workshop, we were lucky enough to have a signature cocktail crafted just for us! Family owned and operated local craft distillery, Chicago Distilling Company, concocted a gin gimlet inspired by the herbs we used to make our wreaths. Gin gimlets rank high on our list of favorite classic cocktails but this infused version was by far the best we've had! The citrus flavors had us dreaming of warmer weather while the herb undertones balanced it out for a more heavy wintery vibe, making this the perfect drink year round.

Finn’s Fancy Gimlet
Created by Shannon Bandur with Chicago Distilling Co

2 oz Finn’s Gin
1/2oz Lemon Juice
1/2oz Lime Juice
1oz Thyme, Rosemary, Sage Infused Simple Syrup
Club Soda

Place first 4 ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake to mix. Strain in to a Collins Glass, add ice, and top with club soda. Garnish with fresh herbs or a lime wheel.

To make the Herb Infused Simple Syrup, blanch herbs in boiling water for 30 seconds then place them in a bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Meanwhile bring equal parts of water and sugar to a boil, let cool, and blend in the herbs. Strain to remove larger pieces of herbs. Store in a clean glass container for up to 2 weeks.

Go a step further and freeze whole herbs into ice using silicon ice cube trays. 

Wednesday, January 21

Parallel Line Balsa Wood Necklace

My wardrobe these days has mainly consisted of solid colored shirts, blouses, and sweaters, which leave me with a nice canvas for bold and colorful necklaces. I've been slowly purchasing more jewelry for my neck, but I also decided this would be a great opportunity for me to design some of my own! Creating the wood bead + copper necklace a while back, made me realize how much I enjoy making jewelry and lately I've had a desire to experiment with other textures and elements to construct different necklaces.

Have you ever made anything with balsa wood? It's an extremely lightweight wood that's perfect for crafting, model making, and creating jewelry. Next time you're at your local craft store, grab some and make this parallel line necklace. The necklace is light around your neck and makes a bold statement, even with soft tone colors like the ones I chose.

Balsa Wood Necklace
Balsa wood strips (0.5 in. width)
Exacto knife
Acrylic paint
Small paint brush
Super glue
Bead reamer (tool)
Jump ring
Chain necklace

Step One // Measure and cut the balsa wood strips with an exacto knife.
Step Two // Paint balsa with acrylic paint.
Step Three // Once the paint is dry, lay out the wood in a design you like and super glue the strips together.
Step Four // Using a bead reamer, punch a hole parallel on either side of the design. for were you will be attaching the chain.
Step Five // Put a jump ring through each hole and attach your jewelry chain to the rings. Your balsa wood necklace is ready to wear!


Share your Foxtail + Moss inspired DIY's by tagging your photos #foxtailmakes