Monday, March 30, 2009


Oh my goodness I'm excited. I just bought 36 rectangles of beautiful wool felt (not the icky polyester felt you usually find) from a seller on Etsy called Giant Dwarf. She makes these rad felt rosette fascinators that sell at Anthropologie! It was such a score. They came in 45 different colors and I got to choose any color my heart so desires. They're 9"x12" rectangles so that's a craftload of felt! My mom is gonna be jeeeeaaaalloussss! I have no idea what I'm going to make with them, but I trust inspiration will strike when they arrive in the mail and I get to bask in their beauty. Is it weird to get so jazzed over felt? Didn't think so either.

I'm going to dress Lily Mae up when I get home.

I'm loving this new trend of anthropomorphic art. I found Ryan Berkley of Berkley Illustration through Etsy a few years ago and bought a ton of his little prints because they cracked me up. How can you not love these??

Then when reading Grace's blog, I saw the work of Mark Weaver. So weird and awesome. I think Jeff would like his stuff.

He also does beautiful photography, and has an Etsy site as well.

Who doesn't love fresh paint fumes in the morning?

This weekend was probably the third most productive weekend in my life. On Friday Jeff and I went to see a house that is for sale on 8th street, just around the corner from us, mostly out of curiosity. It was really nice looking on the outside (a craftsman) with beautiful landscaping, a one bedroom unit in the back, and super cheap! It was listed for 320K which is pretty good for a 2000 square foot home. We weren't too jazzed after taking the tour, even though it was nice inside we kept saying to ourselves how much better our house was for us. This is a picture of the house:

So when we got back home, we felt pretty lucky to be living in such an awesome house and had a renewed spirit for making it the best it can be. We bought Jeffy a push lawnmower called the Task Force and he went to town on the lawn (we decided to let our gardener Alberto go so we could use the money to buy iPhones! So spoiled...). I planted a few more succulents and tended to the garden but when I went inside the house, I had the overwhelming urge to paint the kitchen. My parents know, and Jeff is learning, that when I get an idea in my head of something I want to do, it kind of has to be done right then and there. So after fake crying and complaining to Jeff about how the kitchen was dark and bummed me out, I tricked him into saying he'd help me repaint it. After a call to Gina and Brian for their painting blessings, I was off to Lowe's!

This is what our dining room looked like after I emptied the cabinets. We have a LOT of stuff. :)

This is a "before" picture. I sewed new curtains for the kitchen cupboards and then realized they did not go with the green cabinets at all. The solution? Paint the cabinets! It was a lot of prep work. We had to sand everything, take off hinges and hardware, clean and scrub the cabinets, move appliances, sheesh! Quite the undertaking, and a good workout!

This was after the first coat of Linen White. We decided to go with the same color as all of the trim and doors in the house because it would make it easier to touch things up, plus it's a really creamy and pretty white.

While Jeff taught his weekend classes, I did most of the painting. My right hand is sooo sore from that stupid little roller. I want a paint sprayer gun for my birthday. Jeff- take note.

And the finished product! The kitchen is so shiny and new now, and looks a lot bigger we think. When I came downstairs this morning and the sun was shining into the kitchen, it was so happy and cheerful and fresh. A job well done we thinkest.

Next up- the upstairs bathroom! Jeff picked the color, a light minty aqua and I'm going to find some mounted staghorn ferns to hang on the walls. If we can swing buying the joint, Jeff's projects include Geoff McFetridge's Yeti wallpaper for the downstairs bathroom and a window in the wall between the stairwell and den closet. Because who doesn't want a window in a closet?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Abbott Kinney and the UCC

Erika got a new job! Yay!! She will be the President of KTLA, or some similar title, I sort of forget. All I remember is that she will likely get her own parking spot with her name on it!! Totally important. She starts this week so we looked at a few apartments for her on Sunday. We didn't find any winners but there were a ton of For Rent signs out there so I know she'll find something fabulous. Good luck friend!

After apartment hunting in Los Feliz, we did a little shopping in the area and went to Reform School and Kelly Green in Silverlake. I got the coolest planters at Kelly Green. They're made of bamboo but feel like plastic and come in great colors. After a few years, the planters will crack and start to fall apart, and you just bury the entire planter and plant in the ground and it biodegrades. Neat! They're super cheap too. The biggest one was only like $8 I think. Here's my lot: 

After that Erika took me to Abbott Kinney in Venice because I've never been. It was the cutest strip of boutiques and fun house stores, loved it! The whole street has beautiful landscaping too, these succulents were my favorites:

THEN after that, we went to Santa Monica to go check out the Urban Craft Center, a.k.a. coolest place on Earth! It's a studio space where you can have a monthly membership or even pay hourly to use their space and equipment. They have sewing machines, easels, screen printing stuff, you name it. They also have a giant circular sofa to lounge on and a store attached to the studio full of goodies. It made my heart squeal. If I am to ever leave the world of science, it would be to do something like this. I'm not creative enough to be a full-time artist, but running a creative business is something I could see myself doing. Something to combine what Jeff does (art gallery, illustration instruction, painting) with something I enjoy too somewhere great in downtown Long Beach would be such a dream. Walk or ride a bike to work, be surrounded by pretty fabrics and fun supplies, and to get to craft to my heart's content would be such a dream. Ahhh....

I couldn't leave without buying fabric. I picked up a yard of this Kokka fabric, it's a beautiful purple heavy-weight cotton with hippos and hippo butts on it. Awesome!
This is the storefront. If you're in the area you MUST check it out. 2433 Main Street in Santa Monica. I'm going to take my mom when she comes to visit and hopefully take one of their classes. 

Dinner party!

This past Saturday while the boys were at a BBQ/Nike sponsored drinking fest, Mandy and Erika came over and we got our craft on. Erika made a pair of lobster imprinted peejay bottoms with Mandy's help, I made a bunch of little jewelry/gift bags out of fabric scraps, and Lily Mae made friends! She licked Erika's pants and shocked Mandy by letting her pet her. Progress is being made all over the place.

These patterns are so ridiculous. Erika is supermodel tall (like 5'10" I think) and look how long the pants are!! The waist was crazy big too so she had to take them in there also. She used the size 'small' pattern which means that if I ever want to make clothes for myself I'll have to shop in the little people department. 

These are my little bags, made out of leftover wedding ribbon and remnants from the curtains, a tote bag I made, and the new kitchen cabinet "doors". Picture of that coming soon...

This was a little baby quilt I made for Karen's baby shower gift. Mark and Karen are keeping the sex a surprise so I thought horses and denim were pretty gender neutral. The wood hippo is a teething toy made of a super-sanded wood and organic flax seed oil. I bought it from Little Alouette on Etsy.  

Then on Saturday night, Erika spearheaded our latest dinner party and bought the ingredients and brought the recipes for a cashew kung pao shrimp stir-fry and veggie and tofu spring rolls. We found out that an extra 2 boys were joining us so we whipped up a fried rice with the spring roll guts leftovers and had just enough food. Dessert was a delish mango sorbet from Trader Joe's. It was one of the best, thanks Erika and Mandy!!

My first spring roll attempt looked like a water willy and Erika wanted to banish it to the reject plate. After she saw Pete's spring roll attempts mine made the final cut! 
Jerod came just in time to help with the fried rice. It was a team effort. The girls did most of the food work, but Jeff went to town on the dirty dishes so he gets bonus points for that. 
This was the group! Mandy and Seth, Erika, Jeffy, Jerod and Kurtis, Pete and my bro Jan.
It was too much excitement for poor Jan. The Karaoke Casio wiped him out. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Dirty Pilot show!

Jeff's latest show just went live on the website! It's titled "Zuben Rat Salad and Friends." Of course. The show is an online show which is soooo 2009. And eco-friendly! He doesn't frame or ship them until they are sold. Pretty genius. Some of these latest paintings are pretty off the wall. I like the green tiger one. Check them out here!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Joisey Girls!

Last weekend my good ole friends Brooke and Nikki came to visit! It was their spring break and Brooke wanted to come out to see her family so we got them for a few days of fun. We went out on the town in Long Beach, toured all of Brooke's old haunts in Orange County, had amazing sandwiches at Panini's on Redondo in LB, went to LA and saw the Griffith Observatory, Silverlake, Beverly Hills, and wrapped it all up with dinner and Erika in Santa Monica. Loads of fun!

Look at those huge bee- I mean- apple juices they're all drinking! That's like a whole week's worth of vitamin C.

You can barely see it but that's the Hollywood sign above Nikki's head. I should have been in the middle because Brooke and Nikki are supermodel tall and I'm fifth-grader short. 

Sailing the seas of trash...

My friend Jerod got in his physicist brain the other month, the desire to build a boat to sail the canals of Long Beach, solely made out of found (and free) materials. The design took on many forms based on what he could scrounge together from FreeCycle and dumpster diving with Tim Tim and the Dumpster Muffins. This weekend I was lucky enough to be an honorary member of Jerod and Jeff's sailing club (but never for the Kayak Club- Boys Only. Whatever. In exchange for being an honorary member of the Sailing Club, apparently I have to quilt them a flag for the boat) and got to tag along on the first launch. Jeff and I helped Jerod to screw together his milk crates and milk jugs, two by fours, and trash can filled with spray foam and pushed him off into the sea. He was triumphant when he realized it actually floated and would bear his weight, and then somewhat frightened when it subsequently started to sink. Luckily he wasn't far out in the canal and the coast guard was close by. He made it back to shore safely.

Lessons were learned and plans were revised, and now both Jerod and Jeff want boats so they can "sail" them together. I think I'll stick with the Recipe, Craft, and Social Activism Clubs for now.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

um... adorable.

You can tell spring is quickly approaching when you see daffodils in a felted pig coozie.

via Rose and Radish...

Monday, March 9, 2009

:: paperwink ::

One of the best things about being married is all the new personalized paper goods you have to buy! Case in point: Our new return mailing address stamp! I'm over labels and handwriting our name and address. This stamp works perfectly and paired with my new stamp pads from JoAnn's (40% off this week btw) makes for one sassy envelope. The stamp was made by the lovely ladies of Paperwink, Tara and Darcey, and the whole process of searching their website, ordering, and customizing the proof was quick, inexpensive, and fun! Such a deal, only $18 for a lifetime (or however long we stay on Toledo Walk!) of stamping goodness. I got the burlap stamp and I was thrilled to pieces when it came in the mail last week in a cute little bag. They also do notecards, labels and invites. *swoon*

I was also tempted to pick up these goodies:

Visit Paperwink here!