Friday, June 28, 2013


This is my favorite doorway in San Francisco. I get to see it every morning as I walk to the train. I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing the didn't need this second entrance to the building so they decided to turn the stoop into a jungle!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I've been meaning to use pom pom trim for a while, for something. It's just so much fun. Then I saw these Serena and Lily curtains and realized they would be really easy to replicate myself. I was able to get a spectacular deal on the trim because it was (inexplicably) in 4 foot lengths. Which is a little odd but it got it down to about 60 cents a yard so I'm not complaining.

My curtain panels were from Ikea and I just hemmed them to length. A small note on sewing pom pom trim while I've got you here, it's a delicate balance. I obviously didn't want to sew six curtain's worth of trim by hand but making sure the foot doesn't get stuck when passing each pom pom is a bit of a challenge. I used one hand to nudge each pom pom out of the way as I passed them and as there were 2 ever inch or so this got to be a bit boring. Luckily the final product was worth it. It's just the right amount of color and silliness.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Baking and jam making

I was puttering around the kitchen the other day and saw that I had some fruit that was looking a bit sketchy. The only thing I know to do with fruit at the end of it's life is bake with it or make jam. I decided to do both. I made muffins with the apples that were starting to look wizened and then while they were baking I cut up the apricots languishing in the fridge and added them to the last of the blueberries and cooked them down on the stove until I had a tart and tasty jam. I didn't worry about sealing the jar as I knew I'd been consuming the entire thing in just a few days and it was particularly tasty on the fresh muffins.

Monday, June 24, 2013

At my desk

My sewing machine inexplicable arrived broken at my new apartment. I have no explanation for this as it was working just fine a few days before. I spent two hours taking everything apart and oiling every gear I could find to no avail. I was left with the unsettling feeling that I was going to have to purchase a new machine. My first every after a lifetime of family pieces and vintage hand-me-downs.
Shopping for expensive and fancy tools is no fun. I am no good at making decisions and agonize over every different thing. Luckily my hand was a bit forced in that there was a brief and very generous sale at Joanne fabrics which, coupled with free shipping, made it impossible for me to put off this choice. This is my new fancy, automatic threading, fancy stitch sewing machine.
 I'm a bit uncomfortable with a computerized machine, it has much more things which could go wrong but for now I'm just trying to learn how it works, and get to know it's quirks. I've named her Nina after the project runway judge Nina Garcia (who is tiny and fierce as well and very into garments being well constructed) and I am hoping this will bestow any future sewing with good favor. Now I just need to get down to it and begin working through the pile of sewing projects that's been piling up at one corner of my desk.

Friday, June 21, 2013


Just working on some hand sewing projects. Unfortunately these are totally making me crave the real thing!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Infused cocktails

Back when I was working at a bar I had to come up with new cocktails constantly. I found that the easiest and most foolproof method was infusing liquor. There are three parts; a large glass jar, a bunch of fruit, and liquor. Oh and time. You take your jar and fill it with cut fruit and then booze (enough to cover the fruit) and then you seal it tightly and store it in a cool dark place for a few days or longer. The liquor will take on the colors of the fruit the longer it sits. When you feel it's ready you strain out the fruit and enjoy. Miraculously the liquor will take on a lot of flavor from the fruit, particularly the more juicy fruits like melons and stone fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums). Pineapples are also fantastic. Even herbs and vegetables can be used. Mint and basil are lovely (though they should stay in for much shorter times to avoid becoming super bitter) Often nothing is needed but a garnish, though the infused liquor is also very tasty mixed with some St Germain or Chambord, or topped with a sparkling soda. There are endless possibilities and so many opportunities for yummy experimentation. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

At my desk

I had some really comfortable wedge shoes. Riveting beginning of a story, I know. Anyway, these shoes were super comfortable but the wedges were an unappealing faux cork pattern that always made me put them back on the shelf. I decided since I already wasn't wearing them there was no harm in a bit of experimenting. So I painted the wedge portion black. But that wasn't interesting enough so I decided to add some of the geometric doodles I've been doing recently.

And they turned out pretty darn neat. I know it's not the most practical way to spend two hours but I've worn them twice already and I only used things I already had lying around so it seems like a good use of time to me. I mean, after all, shoes are very important!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

about my papa

People say I look exactly like my mother and while we are both loud and we talk and gesture with alarming similarity, I have always felt I looked more like my Papa.
When I was little my papa built our house and he has built beautiful custom furniture for every dorm room and apartment I've lived in. All of my organization and "I can make that" attitude comes from Papa, as well as my love of hardware stores. Ever day as I sit at my desk (which he made for me to my custom measurements so it would perfectly fit all my paper and scissors and brushes) I am thankful for him.

Friday, June 14, 2013


It's almost the weekend and it's gloriously sunny here (park here I come!) I passed this flamingo at the hardware store the other day and it took all my willpower not to take him home with me. Can't imagine what I'd do with a lawn flamingo but I totally wanted it!!!! Of course I don't have a lawn so that might be a problem...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

A bit of untangling

I've been trying to figure out a way to keep all my necklaces and earrings organized in the new apartment. I used to have them looped on wooden hangers on the wall but I found that took up a lot of space and I wanted to do something different in the new space. I was at the hardware store (again, I know. I have a problem) for an entirely different project when I saw these brass cup hooks and I knew exactly what to do.

I measured and marked along the bottom of the small shelf already hanging in the closet and then screwed the cup hooks into the bottom. There's two rows with necklaces in the back and earrings in front. It's easy to keep everything from becoming tangled and I find I'm wearing jewelry much more now that I can see it. And that's one more corner of the dressing room finished!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Getting organized

My neighborhood hardware store had a big sale this last weekend (yes I'm on their email list and yes that makes me super geeky but whatever) so I went and picked up all the little bits and pieces I needed for the new apartment including some fresh new canning jars. I've always meant to have all my pantry items in matching vessels and I decided that now was the time.

Goodbye drawer full of miss-matched canisters and zip lock bags. Hello OCD perfection! I made the labels by painting chalkboard paint onto sticker paper and then cutting them all down to size.
I also took this as a good opportunity to bake something, now that all my various flours were in such an organized state. This started out as a white chocolate raspberry tart but midway I decided I don't really like white chocolate and went with marzipan instead. It was delicious and is already half gone (I had help devouring) or still half uneaten depending on how you look at it.

Monday, June 10, 2013

At my desk

Not sure why but the closet seems to be a big focus of my unpacking/decorating energies. Perhaps it's cause this room just makes me SO darn happy! Anyway, I'm decorating with that in mind which means all my favorite things wind up in this room. Including these antlers which got a shiny update.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

apartment update

I am still deep in unpacking/decorating but here are a few quick snaps of the new space. The closet of course is the cherry on top of such a dream apartment and I'm aiming to make it look like a boutique. I am pretty much color organizing everything these days, even my books. But it does tend to look so much better and now getting dressed in the morning feels like going shopping, all my clothes feel fresh and new again!

Monday, June 3, 2013

At my desk

This is the view from my desk in my new apartment. I think I'll keep it!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

moving day

Moving day has come and gone. My assistants were extraordinary and now I am slowly figuring out where to put things, how to organize and then I get to start putting up artwork which is my favorite!!
Though maybe I need an art-ervention cause this collection is getting crazy. I may not have enough wall....

It's a slow and fun process and since I've unpacked the most important box I'm ok with taking my time.