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January 31, 2007

Making the Cut

Look what I made in my laser-etching/cutting class last night!


Using clear Plexi, I etched the letters and then cut a rectangle around them. I know, pretty amateur, but now that I've learned the basics, I can go back to the workshop whenever I want and make more advanced stuff!

P.S. That's a Jill Bliss notebook underneath the Plexi. (Holly: Thanks for the notebook!)

January 30, 2007

Office Pranks

For fellow "The Office" fans: I'd thought I'd share this site that Nick sent me. It lists all of the pranks Jim has pulled on Dwight and Andy. Pretty neat — as long as you can get past the mistaken references to "Stanford" (should be "Stamford").

Target Finds

Last night, I made the trip to Target to see if the new Proenza Schouler "Go International" collection had made its way into the stores yet. Although the signs all said the line wouldn't arrive until Thursday, I did manage to find a few pieces — including a lightweight plaid jacket that was too cute to pass up (just $35!).

reeses-snackstersBut possibly an even more exciting find were these Reese's Snacksters! Junk Food Blog posted about them back in June. They include cereal puffs, cereal squares, Reese's pieces and peanut butter chips. I already ate two bags last night.

We don't usually do our grocery-shopping at Target, but we might have to start now! The Snacksters also come in a chocolate version, but in our house, peanut butter rules.

Image from Junk Food Blog.

January 29, 2007

Art Star

This Philadelphia boutique is one of my favorite resources for affordable artwork. Right now, I'm digging:

Tory Franklin's "Shoes"

Amy Sol's "Sweet"

Julie West's "Float"

January 28, 2007

Rock On

Despite getting completely soaked and hailed on during my golf lesson today, this turned out to be one of THE best weekends. Highlights:

  • A delicious Singaporean dinner + Classico Gelato for dessert on Friday.

  • Breakfast yesterday with Adam (mmm ... homemade waffles at Crossroads), followed by a quick walk along the Embarcadero with his adorable French bulldog.

  • A long overdue haircut! I think it had been 10 months since my last one?

  • Lunch and shopping with the talented and oh-so-sweet Jill Bliss.

  • The latest issue of the SF Chronicle's H&G section includes my article on designer Gordana Pavlovic's amazing work.
  • Dinner with a group of Jon's classmates at a very good (but very crowded) Indian restaurant.

  • Lunch today with my sister and her husband.

  • Bead-shopping this afternoon — so now I can get started on my next jewelry order.

  • Watching "13 Going on 30."

  • Winning the ebay auction for a fantastic rocking chair. (I have no idea where I'm going to put it, but I HAD to have it.)

January 25, 2007

New at Pottery Barn

Look what Apartment Therapy: Los Angeles found ... Sentiment Chopsticks!


To go with the Asian theme, Pottery Barn has also added a "Take Out" collection that includes stoneware boxes, noodle bowls, a sake set and a condiment set.

And PB has this carved wood textile hanger that I was thinking might work for hanging several small framed art prints in a row:


Another new product that caught my eye: film reel canisters for storage. (Although I'm guessing that if you can find them in an antique store or flea market, you'll probably get a better deal than $29/each?)


January 24, 2007

Daily Candy

Today's SF Daily Candy missive? It was written by yours truly — with some (much-needed) heavy editing. Nailing that DC tone is a lot harder than I thought!

In other related events: I spent all of last night completely re-writing a 1,500-word article. FUN.

January 23, 2007

Flat-Panel Storage Solution

While the color/size of this flat-panel storage unit wouldn't work in our house, I do like this idea (especially in a room that kids spend time in):



sassy_smAnother book that I need to pre-buy: How Sassy Changed My Life: A Love Letter to the Greatest Teen Magazine of All Time. It's written by Kara Jesella and Marisa Meltzer (who was the owner of the old Hayes Valley boutique, Wednesday & Proud), and is scheduled for an April release. As a former Sassy intern, this is a subject that is indeed near and dear to my heart.

Here's the book description from Amazon:

For a generation of teenage girls, Sassy magazine was nothing short of revolutionary — so much so that its audience, which stretched from tweens to twentysomething women, remains obsessed with it to this day and back issues are sold for hefty sums on the Internet. For its brief but brilliant run from 1988 to 1994, Sassy was the arbiter of all that was hip and cool, inspiring a dogged devotion from its readers while almost single-handedly bringing the idea of girl culture to the mainstream. In the process, Sassy changed the face of teen magazines in the United States, paved the way for the unedited voice of blogs, and influenced the current crop of smart women’s zines, such as Bust and Bitch, that currently hold sway.

January 22, 2007

Craft: Magazine, #2

02The new issue of Craft hits newsstands this week! I've barely had a chance to flip through it, but already I want to sew the Fitz Patterns cape, make some repurposed house slippers, and create felted fruits and veggies.

The first issue was fantastic, so if you didn't get around to picking up a copy in the stores, you can order it online. (Back in November, the SF Chronicle ran a story on my attempts at several of the projects in the debut issue.)


  • How disturbing are those new digitally enhanced TV ads with Orville Redenbacher and his MP3 player? They are so wrong and so creepy. (He died in 1995.)
  • Yet another reason to plan another trip to Tokyo.
  • Of potential interest to other UCSC alums: NY Times piece from last week, about the campus vs. the city.
  • If you are in the East Bay, pay a visit to Cesar and order a plate of fresh churros. Even if it's not listed as its own item on the dessert menu, ask. You'll be glad you did.
  • I'm in a fruit phase when it comes to fabrics. For example: Appelsiini (available in green and orange); Apples Jersey; Juicy (in blue and yellow); and Strawberry Corduroy.


January 19, 2007

Hang On There

We don't need any coat hooks in our house, but I thought I'd share this in case anyone else is in the market:


Available at Lekker.

Let There Be Light

Before we bought our house, it was rented by a couple for 15-20 years. (A couple who now rent a house two doors down from us.) It definitely needed a lot of TLC, even though the sellers made some minor improvements — such as updating all of the ceiling light fixtures to whatever was on special at Home Depot at the time. In other words, they aren't offensive, but they have no style whatsoever.

We immediately swapped out the dining room chandelier with a LeKlint. And our first summer in the house — which has no A/C — we changed our bedroom fixture to a ceiling fan.

Now, I'm on a mission to replace the entry, hallway, guest bedroom and office/craft room lights. Oh, and our living room needs a new table lamp. For the hallway, I'm leaning towards a Galbraith & Paul pendant:


Their shades are all hand block-printed on fabrics such as silk, linen and velvet. Pretty, pretty.

January 18, 2007

Sew Good

I am definitely pre-ordering this book!


Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing: Patterns and How-To for 24 Fresh and Easy Projects is scheduled for release on March 1. (And, no, that title couldn't possibly be any longer.)

By the way, have you seen Lotta's blog?

Candela Covers

We've been using the Candelas in our house for a while now. I initially picked up a set of four that, due to a poor battery set-up, went kaput after a few months (I can't remember exactly how long). So last Christmas, Jon bought me a two-pack of the new and improved Candelas. But just the other night, we realized that they had also stopped working. Luckily, this time, we can buy a couple of new batteries* and the problem will be solved.

In my Candela-related shopping research, I came across the colored covers that allow you to change the appearance of the plain ol' white ones. Festive!


* I think the 2007 version of the Candelas have rechargable batteries. But they also have more of a yellowish glow, rather than white. So even though I'll probably have to buy new batteries every year, I'll stick with the old design.

(Image from Unica, which also carries the covers.)

January 17, 2007

Scarf It Up

I was browsing Alyson Fox's web site tonight and was equally blown away by her fashion designs as I was by her artwork. You can check out her scarves, cuffs and belts right here. (I love the navigation for her fashion site!)

I am especially fond of her scarves — which, unfortunately for me, are made of wool. Those of you who are not allergic to wool can purchase them at Greener Grass Design.


January 16, 2007

The Weekend Retreat

Last week was insane. It was my first week back in the office after vacation, and it included visits from auditors and accountants (no fun!). Plus, I was working on three freelance articles that entailed lots of driving around the Peninsula.

Thank goodness for three-day weekends!

We spent ours in Carmel Valley, where I caught up on some sleep and some crafting. And, I made more progress on the writing. And we rooted for Tom Brady (local boy) and the New England Patriots. And we ate a lot of excellent food. And we celebrated my sister's birthday.

Even though I keep a separate food blog, I can't resist writing about the weekend's culinary highlights here as well — because it was so, so special. Jon and I joined my sister and her husband at the Chef's Table at Marinus. This was our first visit to the restaurant. I don't know what the dining room experience is like, but the booth in the kitchen was amazing. Pictures and descriptions of our Marinus meal — as well as our stop at one of my favorite spots, Big Sur Bakery — are here.


January 10, 2007

Mural, Mural on the Wall

So our house has a decent-sized backyard, which is surrounded by a taller-than-me wood fence. When we landscaped the yard about a year ago, we decided to go easy on the plant purchases. We would start out with a small collection of them and see how they matured before deciding whether or not we needed more.

I suggested then — and still bring this up on a regular basis now — that we paint a nature-y mural on the back fence (the one you look straight at when you step out of the house and into the yard). Jon was against this idea in a big way. But I have discovered new ammunition in this debate:


This mural, by Decoradar, is exactly what I had in mind! It's described as "tri-colored silhouettes of flowers and weeds." I think I'm due for a new home decorating project ...

Rolling with MTV

Now that classes have started again and Jon's back to his studying ways (i.e., locking himself in the back room for hours every night), I have turned to the one friend who's always there for me (because Christina Aguilera and Ricky Martin were so right — nobody wants to be lonely).

MTV reality shows.

Interning at a magazine must be the "it" thing for the kids to do right now. Last year, MTV brought us "Miss Seventeen" and "The Hills" (which included Lauren's internship at TeenVogue). And now there's my current fave, "I'm From Rolling Stone."

Five of the six writers featured on the show are from California (weird). Four are from Northern California. The girl from San Francisco seems delusional: In Episode 1, she talks about making lots of money so she can take care of her family and finally buy a house. Um. When did entry-level journalists (or interns!!!) start making the bucks? And it seemed odd (okay, retarded even) that she didn't know who Jann Wenner is, yet would be interning at his magazine 48 hours later.

I do want to root for the young, Asian female journalist here. But based on the first 30 minutes, I'm liking Tika — who lives in Brooklyn now, but hails from Buffalo. When she was typing up her first piece, on the music scene in her hometown, she started with something like this: "In a place known more for its chicken wings ... " Gotta love anyone who can write chicken wings into a lede.

(Pssst ... You can actually read what some of the contestants wrote here.)

January 09, 2007


I just discovered Pictobrowser, a tool that allows you to easily include slideshows of your Flickr images right on your web site — as demonstrated below.

All of these photos are from our recent trip to Turks & Caicos. You can get the HTML code for your own Flickr photos by clicking the "info" button in the lower right corner of my slideshow. You can also just grab a URL for the slideshow (like this).

Knitted Nigiri



The photo is from the MagKnits site, where you can also find instructions to knit your own platter of sushi.

BTW, did you know that Twinkle by Wenlan now sells yarn?

Orla Kiely Newbies

I just popped over to the Orla Kiely web site because I heard there was a big sale happening on autumn/winter '06 merchandise. Perhaps even more interesting than the markdowns: The "homeware" section now carries wallpaper and cushions — in addition to the mugs that were added last year. Sweet!

CPRF6H-650-OR  CEST6H-650  CPRF6H-650-PK

January 08, 2007

Sum Kind of Wonderful

Yay! Susie Mendive has launched the online shop for SUM Design. No binders available on the site (yet), but plenty of other good office stuff.


Booked Up

I am a big magazine reader. I buy far too many. I horde them for months before finally spending half a day sorting through them, tearing out the pages I want to keep, and filing them away in my Russell+Hazel binders. Books, however, are a completely different matter. I hardly ever make time to read any, except when I'm on vacation.

On the plane ride home on Saturday, I finally finished reading The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game. I loved it. Michael Lewis is so good at weaving a crazy amount of historical/statistical info into the story of left tackle Michael Oher, who makes up the human interest aspect of the book. I really only follow football (pro and collegiate) during this time of year, when the playoffs and bowl games are on. But you don't have to be a fan of football — or even know that much about it — to enjoy Lewis' writing.

Designer Double-Wide

While I was away last week, the SF Chronicle ran my article on a lovely little double-wide trailer in Woodside, CA. It was my first house/homeowner profile, so I was nervous about it. But — thanks in large part to Nick's editing help — I'm really pleased with it.

January 07, 2007

East Coast Escape

Posting has been light lately because I was enjoying a winter vacation that didn't feel very wintery. First stop: Hilton Head Island, SC, where it was tank-top-and-shorts weather. Second stop: Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, where we spent our days at the beach, by the pool or on boats.

Sunset on Day 1 in Turks

View of the pools + beach at The Somerset

Jon sailing in Grace Bay

January 01, 2007

Happy 2007

nye-2007 010