Wednesday, November 24, 2010

before and after: chairs

We needed chairs for Thanksgiving, and found these grungy ones at Goodwill for $6 each. Add a funky $2 bathrobe, and a DIY project is born!



Not bad, right?

Just don't flip the chair over and look at the bottom.

Were you to do so, perhaps you might find a crazy haze of staples and masking tape. Perhaps.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

birds on the brain

I've long been a fan of bird motifs. We've got bird-patterned curtains in the kitchen (pictured above). I got these in Japan about seven years ago and I still adore them (I think they've hung in every apartment I've lived in since -- about 5! -- getting hemmed a couple of times along the way to fit new windows). I have a bird brooch, candle holder, shirts, and several other items that aren't popping into my head at the moment.

However, I feel like in the past few years, bird motifs have gotten so dang popular (for good reason, I won't deny), that I'm starting to like them less.

Did Twitter and its omnipresent (and adorable) little bluebird seal the final nail in the coffin? And is it wrong to like something less as it gets insanely popular, or is it only natural?

Despite my increasingly hesitant feelings, here are a few bird-themed items that still appeal to me.

This dress is absolutely fantastic (I know the image quality is bad, but click the link!)

Cute owl pillow from Moontea Artwork on Etsy

Necklace from the adorable collection of Odette (everything in that shop is fabulous!)

One of many stunning bird prints from Gennine's Etsy shop

Last but not least, this gorgeous headboard (!!!)

Friday, January 8, 2010

happy apples

These apple cozies from Roxypop on Etsy are too adorable - and, it would seem, quite practical (especially for those of us who randomly shove apples in our bags and dig them out later, bruised and battered). Intrigued.


I haven't posted food pics on here in awhile, but that doesn't mean we haven't been eating. Quite the opposite.

So, for your consideration, two recipes:

Fried Salmon with Avocado Spread

1. Clean and dry the fish and sprinkle on some salt and pepper. Coat the fish in beaten egg and dip in flour (or maseca -- for some nice corn flavor).

2. Heat oil in a pan. Should be very hot. Then, fry your fish!

3. For the avocado sauce: Mash avocado, finely chopped onions, and a little garlic. (D. used egg in this as well, but add raw egg at your own risk!)

Very simple, but suuuuuper delicious!

Sweet Potato Mash with Bacon and Onions

1. Boil sweet potatoes. As they boil, finely chop onions and a little garlic. Cut the bacon into very small pieces and fry it (it may be easier to fry bacon first, then cut it).
2. Mash the sweet potatoes with onions, garlic, bacon -- and a little maple syrup and butter if desired. Do this while it's still hot, so the onions and garlic will cook a little.

Another super easy recipe, but it is devilishly delicious!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

cutest shoes (if only i had a man's size-ten foot)

Well... that wouldn't be great either. (My feet are already pretty huge.)

However, these shoes are so adorable. And only $35! Some size-ten-footed man (or lady with even bigger feet than me!) better act fast.

Monday, December 14, 2009

calm descends

Finally, our cats have grown to tolerate each other.

They even accept each other's quirks, though begrudgingly. Mivi allows Marlo, the kitten, to encroach on her food bowl after Marlo has gulped down her half of the Turkey Souffle Fancy Feast (or whatever froofroo cat food D.'s Mom sent us) in a crazed frenzy (this cat is going to be big!). Marlo grooms Mivi's head patiently, licking as directed by the changing angles Mivi tilts it.

There is still some hissing and apparent jealousy. But, as of now, this seems okay.

the old man and the car

It's Sunday afternoon. I'm walking to a baby shower in Berkeley, up a quiet street lined with lovely houses and trees, and the air is heavy with the scent of rain.

It's also raining. But only sort of. Just a drizzle, but the dark grey sky is threatening to soak.

I've just gotten off BART and I'm a bit disoriented, not sure if I'm heading in the right direction, which is important to know when you're walking in the rain, late for a party, and holding a bag of mini cupcakes.

I notice a man walking nearby and ask him if I am heading in the direction of Telegraph.

"You are," he answers. "This is my car here," he quickly adds. "I'm heading that way right now and happy to give you a ride.'

The man is older, wearing sophisticated glasses and a jaunty hat. He has the air of a history professor, and the address of one, for that matter (in a quaint Berkeley neighborhood). But yet, on instinct, I laugh and shake my head. "No thanks," I say, lightly. "But thank you."

"Well, you're welcome," he says, the emphasis put on 'welcome' -- meaning, I gather, that I am welcome into his car.

But again I shake my head and smile, trudging on. He smiles too, but there is a sadness in it. He gets into his car and drives off.

About 15 minutes later, two blocks from my destination, it begins to pour, and I scamper to the party a wet mess, my hair soaked from brown to black.

I've been thinking about that kind man and his kind offer. Had I accepted, I could have saved ten minutes and an afternoon of moist footwear. But... I can't help but wonder... what if? I'm sorry, I want to tell him, that I can't accept your kindness. And I'm sorry that this world has become a place where I can't comfortably accept it. I think the sadness in his smile was for that, for the fact that a young woman in this day and age can't even trust in the kindness of strangers.

Should I have taken the ride? Have I watched too much "Law and Order" or, let's face it, CNN?

I'm not sure.

another cute calendar

I happen to be in the market for a calendar. I don't think I realized until very recently how much having a calendar right next to my workspace reassures me. There's something about seeing the days stacked in neat, organized rows that helps me wrap my head around the passage of time, and feel like the coming month might actually make some sense.

I felt very threatened today when I saw that my calendar was coming to an end. And apparently we may not be getting new ones. (Can anyone say budget cuts?)

I am told I can make a request for one. But forget that! I want a beautiful one. Something that will fill my bizarre need to see time as boxes, and also add some color to my (still barren, though I've been working there a month) wall.
A calendar like the one above.
I love the way that artist Jen Oaks evokes the different seasons using images of women and buildings; she gets a lot of symbolic mileage (and lovely colors) from a change in outfit or weather.
Lovely, lovely, lovely!
It's available for $26 at her etsy shop:

Or... maybe you'll be lucky and win one at Bright Yellow World. (But hopefully not luckier than me).