Friday, February 27, 2015


I love houses with turrets, I'm always snapping pictures of them.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

capsule wardrobe

I've decided to try out this whole capsule wardrobe thing I've been hearing about, starting next month. Essentially a capsule wardrobe is a limited amount of clothing, planned out and worn for a season. I like the simplicity of the idea, and frankly I've been wearing the same few things for months anyway so it seems as good a time as any to try it. So I went through my closet and pulled out all of the things I've been wearing regularly and photographed them and then I laughed.

It appears that without curating much at all it was already so matchy and organized. Turns out I wear a lot of red, blue and black. Also stripes and button ups.
Since I have never done this specific version of a limited closet before this is only a tentative plan. Most of what I've read suggests a number between 30 and 40 (including shoes and outerwear) and as it's San Francisco I feel I need to cover a lot of variables as far as season, so I am starting with 30 pieces here. The dresses and skirts I added in hopes of more warmer weather, but I intend to remove things in a few weeks if I find I haven't worn them, and I can always add a few as well, I'm thinking of allowing myself a surplus of 5 more items. Anyway, not really crafty or decorate-y but I like organizing things and I like pretty little color stories and this turned out to be so amusing, maybe I'll check back on how it's progressing after a few weeks.

Monday, February 23, 2015

light things

I tend to space out from time to time. Sometimes I will find myself staring at something and realize that I have been staring that way for quite a while. Sometimes I come up with cool/weird/odd ideas during such bouts of staring. The other day while I was eating dinner I realized I was staring at the light. It wasn't on, I wasn't staring at a bright bulb like a moth, rather, I was staring at the actual fixture, this vintage 'cage' light of sorts that I had spray painted and turned into a hanging fixture. And I was thinking of how maybe I could hang things on it, change the fixture around, use it as a base of sorts for various decorative things. 
So I rooted around in my party box and my sewing trims (and even foraged for greenery on my block again) and came up with some options.
The first try was very simple, just the little felt garland that I had left over from my paper Christmas tree. It was delicate but kind of pretty.

Next I tried out some yarn pom poms that had left over from who knows what. I threaded some mint ribbon through them and tied them to the fixture with bows. I feel like this looks fairly 'baby' but that just means it could look super cute for a shower, or younger kids birthday.

Then I broke out the crepe paper streamers. First I just draped cut lengths through the frame of the light which felt very 'fiesta' though perhaps that's just the colors that I picked? I really liked the saturated pink and green with the pastels. This version was very pretty with the addition of a bit of breeze from the open window.

Then while I had the streamers out I tried doing an alternating color waving through the frame. Not sure that I like how it turned out quite as much, though it did transform the light very well. And of course the pink combo is pretty darn girly. I think this could be really interesting with different colors of ribbon.

Then it was time for the greenery. This might be my favorite thing right now. It was a bit of a mess to do as the leaves liked to fall of in places and I may have whacked myself in the face with a branch once but it turned out beautiful (not to toot my own horn) and organic, and it softens the light from the exposed bulb so well while also casting really pretty shadows on the ceiling. I think I might have to leave this one up for a bit (unintended pun, whoops!

After the glorious leafy light I switched gears and tried some mini pompom trim from my notions box. I tried to be very regular about the draping and while it didn't block the bulb at all I thought that it was an interesting look.

And finally, it was time for some gold and fringe and super festivity (is that a word?) I took apart an old tassel garland I had and used the gold and gray tassels from that, as well as some shinier gold tinsel tassels (also left over from an old project). I tried hanging the tassels both at varying lengths, or more equal and frankly couldn't decide which I liked best so I figured I'd just include both.

And that's my little adventure in hanging things on my living room light because I just can't leave well enough alone. So what else do you think I could drape on this thing? lights? flowers?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

February cocktail & favors

So, what kind of cocktail would one serve at a lonely hearts club party? I thought about it as I was setting up the table, and I decided on something with champagne. I started by muddling some strawberries and fresh ginger at the bottom of a glass. Then I added the bubbly, as well as some homemade ginger syrup. Simple and tasty, and I liked how red and messy it looked, almost gruesome. For decoration I just cut out a black heart and skewered it. This could of course be served in a champagne glass, either a flute or a coupe but I liked the more generous portion that a rocks glass lends itself to.

Then for favors, I just packaged up the syrup I made for the cocktail. I got these jars at the dollar store, and added the little labels and hearts. As for the ginger syrup, it's just simple syrup, plus a bunch of peeled and chopped ginger. I let it cook for a while to get as much flavor as possible (this batch was very spicy) and then I strained the ginger out before putting it in the jars. It could be nice also to include the cocktail recipe so guests could recreate it at home.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

lonely hearts club party

Well I've managed to keep this dinner party thing going, at least for a second month now. February is always an odd month. I feel like Valentines day is so all powerful and dominant that I traditionally run away from it. This year I decided to lean in, but in my own, slightly different way. I was painting and listening to Beatles records when I got my idea for this party, and the rest of it came together super easy. It's a lonely hearts club party!

I pulled out this old over sized pinata I'd made last year and added a black banner. Then I looked through my fabric box and pulled the gray sequin and gold fabrics for the table. The mini hearts were made from crepe paper and cocktail skewers and the candles were just from a 100 pack of Ikea tea candles which I wrapped with scraps of gold wrapping paper from the holidays. 

Since I was using just white dinner plates with no additional dishes I decided to come up with something for the napkin and silverware that also served as a place card. I cut card stock into two inch strips and wrote the names, then I folded them and glued them together so that they fit around the folded napkin and arched in the front to accommodate the silverware. I actually think it turned out quite nice. Simple but pretty.
The budget for this party almost nonexistent, but this is what I spent:
napkins fabric..................1.99
crepe paper......................1.50
jars (favors).....................3.00
The napkins were made from a sheet I got at the thrift store. I washed it and cut it down and hemmed it. I've found this is an excellent way to make napkins and table cloths in neat colors and prints for almost nothing. All of this came together very quickly, it took maybe an hour to make and set up. If I hadn't already had the pinata pre made it would have been several more, so I guess this just supports me weird hoarding thoughts when I actually said a few months ago, I may need this again later.
So that's February's party, I'll be back tomorrow with favors and maybe the cocktail too.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

long weekend adventure

Having an extra weekend day is wonderful. Somehow I am always able to get infinitely more done with just 24 more hours. This weekend a friend asked if I wanted to join her on a hike with her dog so we headed over to the Marin headlands and started walking. I don't think we were really prepared for quite how steep the whole thing was, there was a lot of scrambling up very steep rocky hills (felt more like climbing cliffs!) but the scenery was beautiful the whole way. It started out clear and blue skied and incredibly hot.

Then as we turned a corner towards the ocean the fog started trailing in between the hills. It got very moody, there were sections where you couldn't see anything beyond the particular path we are on. I'm sure on a clear day the view is spectacular, but there was a certain neat something  going on with all the fog.

There were some old grafittied bunkers (with this spectacular panda above!) and other various military buildings, even a giant cannon. And eventually we got to the ocean which reminded me of home, though perhaps with higher cliffs. Finally we crossed the beach and went through a short section of woods and were back at the car. It was a perfect day for a walk and I'm sure we will go out there again for more exploring. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

last minute valentine postcards

Last night I decided that I wanted to make some sort of valentine to send out to some far away friends. So I dug around in my collection of already cut blocks, picked out some ink and laid out some paper and made some cards. It was quick and messy, two dozen postcards took less than an hour. I always like getting colorful things in the mail so I'm hoping that these are fun to receive as well.

Monday, February 9, 2015

buried treasures

I haven't done any creative work in the past few days because I undertook a pretty massive closet clean out that turned into a studio clean out that turned into a apartment clean out and then of course a subsequent cleaning of said cleaned out spaces. So I was knee deep in detritus and unable to make anything pretty. Sort of unfortunate, but also supremely satisfying. In doing this life clean out, I rediscovered a bunch of interesting things. Including this mixed metal belt buckle that I made back in college when I was able to squeeze in a jewelry elective my senior year. It's amusing to see that I had a similar style (I still do the same exact house silhouettes) I'm just sad this was hiding in a drawer for so long. So, for now I figure my dress form Peggy can rock some cute accessories, but soon I'm going to have to figure out somewhere to actually wear this.

Also, as proof that I really was clearing things out, the below picture is what my hallway looked like yesterday. Not pictured are the bags that went to trash and recycling and thrift store which I had already taken. These are all just clothes going to various yard sale and or resale locations. So here's to starting a new year (ish) with a bit less stuff.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

researching exteriors

A lot of my time recently has been spent on a big project, and the other day I got to wander around my neighborhood taking pictures of pretty buildings all in the name of research, which was lovely. I can't really go into detail about the work itself but a big victorian house is one of the characters and so I've been collecting inspiration. These are just a few of the pictures I took that afternoon (there were so many good buildings!) and I was mostly focusing on trim and windows and how two different buildings lined up next to each other. 
Anyway, just wanted to share some of the pretty snaps I got. My walk was great in that it cleared out in my mind what I was really looking to do as far as the house style.
And now back to my desk.