Wednesday, July 31, 2013

How to safely indulge my sweet tooth

I am not a baby person, with one exception. My baby-cousin (that's the baby of my cousin, but I like to be confusing so whatever) is ridiculously adorable. I'm not sure why I find her so inarguably cute but I do. So I'm just going with it. And this is a good thing because I've been saving up ideas for cute kid projects forever with no kids to make them for so this is a win!
I've been seeing lots of images of play kitchens and play food and knowing how much I loved food and cooking as a little one I thought it would be fun to make the kiddo some play food. So I of course chose a lovely healthy option.

I know it's not really promoting health eating or veggies but they are so cute! Sprinkles and frosting colors!!
I used polar fleece and embroidery floss for the sprinkles. It was a very soothing project to do and satisfying to see the treats pile up in front of me.

Then I had to make a bakery box because I want to make sure that there is a convenient place for the doughnuts to be stored. And of course because it's cute. Bakery boxes of course are pink. I used felt for the box and vinyl for the window in the lid. It closes with Velcro and I added the name with puff paint (don't turn up your nose at the summer camp t-shirt decorating material. It's amazing stuff!)

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

well it's a start...

So the painting of the kitchen.....
I lucked out and had some leftover white from my bedroom. This allowed me to avoid buying primer (makes my wallet very happy also yay! recycling) which I totally needed to use on this space seeing as it was such a dark color that I was planning to paint over. It took two coats of white to cover up the dark red. The room was already starting to look better. Much bigger and brighter. I had the windows open and lots of good eighties music to dance to.
You may notice there is a serious lack of blue tape in these progress shots. It turns out that taping off is a huge waste of time (at least for me) and seems to actually make the paint job look worse (in my opinion) at least on an old San Francisco apartment like this where I'm working with a lot of crazy and about 20 layers of various "paint" executed at a variety of skill levels. I have a fairly steady hand and I found that this, combined with a pricier angled trim brush, allowed me to cut in by hand and avoid taping all together. This also makes the setting up and the cleaning up processes a lot quicker. And painters tape is expensive. Win-win!!
It's definitely still just a beginning, there is a lot of things left to do in this space, but boy there really isn't anything to equal the transformative power of a good coat of fresh paint! 
Also this shade of yellow makes me think of corn, and butter and good cheese. 
And now I'm hungry

Monday, July 29, 2013

To be continued

I bit the bullet and picked up paint for my kitchen this weekend!!!
I also may have (in a my-mom-is-coming-to-visit-oh-my-god-never-clean-enough) fallen into an insomnia fueled cleaning rabbit hole. I ended up scrubbing all the walls and cabinets and the floors of the kitchen in between coats of paint, ending up on a step stool to get to the ceiling at about 2 am (thank goodness my roommate was away for the night!)
I'm still waiting for the fumes to clear, and it's definitely nowhere near done, but as I expected the paint is a huge improvement. I promise I'll pull out my real camera and take some after pictures soon!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

plans for the kitchen

I've been in my new apartment for nearly two months now and things are starting to come together. It's never as fast a process as one would like, but I plan on being here for a while and therefore can afford to take my time. With my bedroom livable and my closet basically finished (more on that soon) I've decided that it's time to tackle the most daunting room, the kitchen (cue ominous music). 

It's a difficult room to do anything with. In typical San Francisco fashion it is a fairly narrow galley kitchen, with plenty of inexplicable hooks in strange places, cabinets repainted so many times the doors don't close, and only one window, which is conveniently blocked by a big tree. So the room is fairly dark.
The main thing I've noticed after using this space for the past few weeks is that there is very little counter space. There are some big limitations in storage as well. These are things that I am going to try to address.
Obviously if I could I would love to strip everything down or tear it out and start from scratch. This isn't the optimal way to set up a kitchen in this room for sure. But it is a rental and I think that the challenge of working with what you've got can produce some lovely results, so I am going to embrace the limitations and (hopefully) make something that will work better for me.
In my lifetime there is one thing that I have discovered can change a space (for the better, or I guess for the worse as well) and that is paint. Actually I changed and repainted my childhood bedroom so many times it's been joked that the room is actually slightly smaller now. In the spirit of a fresh start, and an attempt to brighten this space and make a more cheerful room for cooking and entertaining, I am going with yellow! Hopefully I can force my indecisive self to choose one and I can get this started this weekend.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Tasty treats

Did a spot of last minute baking this weekend when I realized I had promised a certain someone a chocolate cheesecake and this would be one of my last opportunities to deliver on that promise. It gave me an opportunity to use my small cheesecake pan for the first time, and although the top cracked a bit it was still very delicious.

Also while my brother was here visiting this weekend we stopped by the American Grilled Cheese Kitchen down by the ballpark where I had one of the best sandwiches I've ever eaten. Local chevre, apricot jalapenos jam and bacon. Super yummy.

Friday, July 19, 2013


Was admiring all the different leaves on the ground when I was walking to work this morning and the contrast of this little patch of brick outside my apartment.
Last night I made an impromptu mini cheesecake (which should be called cheesepie but I digress) and while it cracked a bit upon cooling, I'm sure based on the aroma of chocolate filling alone that it will be delicious.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Red, white and blues

So I made a very patriotic (and delicious) breakfast the other day.

This is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, except that later that day, when I was at home and procrastinating from other more important things, and decided to make myself an apron to replace my abysmally worn and stained current baking apron, this image was in the back of my mind, and seems to have influenced my color choices.

I was also thinking of all the Anthropologie aprons I've liked in the past, with their cute trims and girly details. I always figured I could whip up something similar without too much trouble and it turns out I was right. They are almost too cute to wear and get all flour dust and butter grease-y, but that feeling only lasted about an hour until I had a craving for cookies that just had to be satisfied! 

Monday, July 15, 2013

At my desk

Just a bunch of random over here. Spent most of the weekend either dressed up super fancy or catching up on some much needed sleep. I made several very tasty brunches, including possibly the most excellent pancakes I've ever concocted (they were still delicious and fluffy the next day) as well as getting to go to the local Roller Derby leagues double header night (not much better than bad ass girls on roller skates, especially when you add fresh tamales!) and generally enjoying a total lack of productivity. Sometimes it's nice to take a break.
Funnily, all that lazing around was so nice, that by midday on Sunday I was both antsy and motivated and I whipped up most of a new dress using a sweet red cotton with mini polka dots. I even improvised a new bodice design with shoulder ties. Very cute. Will take proper photos when it is 100% finished.

Friday, July 12, 2013


One of the best things about where I work is all the food. There is a particular taco stand that only shows up once a week but considering that they make the most magnificent tacos ever it's totally worth it. It was so sunny yesterday that the to go container was practically glowing, or maybe that was just due to the divine deliciousness of the food contained within?!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

When technology stops working

When technology works, it can be fantastic. But when it stops working, well lets just say we (I'm using the royal we here) can be a bit lost, and unable to work without it. My phone finally kicked the bucket last week, right at the beginning of my holiday. Lets just say there was an incident with slippery sunscreen hands and a body of water and what with the screen already being cracked and missing glass in some places, no amount of rice absorption was going to bring that sucker back from the dead. RIP zombie phone. So I got a new phone and took a bunch of really awesome pictures of my weekend but somewhere in the syncing process they were zapped into cosmic wherever. Adios vacation photos. I've been doing epic digital battle with instagram to try to salvage at least the images I posted there, however, despite the fact that they are my photos, this has so far proven impossible. So in the meantime some things have fallen by the wayside. Which makes me a terrible person, blah blah, etc etc insert mumblings about technology and vacation and such. I will sort out my technological woes, and in the meantime, here are some funny pictures from the most amazing store I stumbled into on a meandering walk on my last lunch break. It's like a 99 cent store but everything is $1.50. And it's all amazing stuff. Lots of kooky cookware, fun colorful office supplies, and the most amazing dishes. I could come up with endless projects with supplies from this palace of wonder so stick around!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013


I have been dreaming of pinata's for a while now. Of course I dream of elaborate and beautiful pinatas more than the violent and destructive acts used to break them open to expose the goodies inside. I have always enjoyed the texture of the fringe and the fun shapes. So I decided to make a pinata purely for decoration.
When I picked up some large furniture at Ikea last weekend the box it came in it provided the perfect material for constructing a frame. I decided to make a heart shape to be simple and I also figured it would be a fun and easy decoration at the next party I throw. I cut out two hear shapes and enough long 4" wide strips to wrap around the front and back and I taped it all together. The fringe was created using this tutorial. I (of course) overbought crepe paper but such is life.
After doing the first side in solid white fringe I decided it would be fun to do the other in something a bit more colorful and fun. Since I had two shades of blue I decided on a fun ombre zigzag design. It was very tedious and ended up more than a bit lopsided but I think it makes for a cute alternative to the simple white.

Finally, I wanted to do something extra festive for the sides so I went with gold. I used this gold foil paper I have had sitting around for a while. I picked it up at a craft store because it was shiny, despite the fact that I had no plans for gold paper. I cut the foil into four inch by two inch pieces and then cut fringe into just one side. It made for a delightfully shiny mess on my desk and some very pretty confetti on the floor, my hands, in my hair, trailing behind me on my way to the bus in the morning.
There was a bit of delicate finagling at both the top and bottom of the heart to make the fringe meet in a tidy way but it was so darn shiny I wasn't too bothered.
And there you have it. For now I have it hanging above my headboard. It's a really satisfying texture but with the all white side facing out it doesn't feel too obtrusive. 

(I have to admit I'm strongly inclined to making another one that's ALL shiny gold foil-I'm such a magpie!!)