Friday, December 13, 2013

marimekko christmas stockings

when bffbf announced that he wanted christmas stockings this year, my mind immediately began whirling. 


i have a sad childhood story that i won't bother boring you with, but the consequence of this trauma has been an unhealthy obsession with stockings and the tiny surprises inside.

in previous years i made felt stockings to gift, sell, and use, but i failed to move them to san diego with me.  so i got busy and extracted my three file boxes of fabric from the armoire.  after many minutes of obsessing, i found myself with a large pile of fabric, paired by type and style.

after some consideration, i reluctantly put back a couple before presenting the options to bffbf.  clearly, i could not be left to make such an important decision alone.

i had many non-traditional color schemes and patterns in the mix, and i hoped in vain that he would favor those.  but, as i suspected, bffbf voted for the traditional red and green, and with some negotiation, chose two marimekko patterns (i personally was rooting for gray and orange).

it's a good thing that i've been saving remnants of red on red marimekko samovaari fabric for you know, like, 5 years.  the marimekko karmiini fabric also wound up being quite fitting in stocking form.

here they are, hung by our white tinsel tree.  are stockings part of your christmas tradition?  what does yours look like? would it be crazy if i made different stockings every year?

Saturday, December 7, 2013

oh christmas tree

over a week after thanksgiving, and i still haven't fully recovered from all the fooding.  oddly, i was more conservative in my pigging out than usual, but i still feel as if i've accumulated an extra layer of fat that i'm not entirely sure i'll be able to shed!

we hosted thanksgiving this year, and it began days earlier with a beautiful brine and ended with a heavy chocolate peanut butter tart.  

because we were a bit too eager to get the christmas season started, we jumped the gun this year and wound up decorating for christmas the weekend before thanksgiving... even though i've previously sworn i'd never do that.  judge me if you will.

we found this fun little pop up tree from target that took less than five minutes to assemble.

whimsical and fun, it fits nicely in our living room next to the fireplace that we've chosen to block with a tv.  i dislike fireplaces. like a lot. judge me if you will (again).

with the addition of a poinsettia and white lights bordering the room,  it may be slightly untraditional but still quite festive!

how are you planning on decorating for christmas this year?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

christmas tree lighting at the old globe

this past weekend we embraced the holiday season by attending the christmas tree lighting at balboa park. i discovered this yearly event by accident while purchasing tickets for the grinch later this season. since tickets were free, there seemed little reason not to go.

i had heard that balboa park is quite beautiful at night, and it really is.  i have previously only visited during the day, and at most twice.

the line to pick up our tickets was amazingly long, but we still got in a good twenty minutes before the program began.  we wandered around before the program began taking a few pictures, and taking advantage of the free popcorn.

the event itself was pretty short, a little cheesy, but still festive and fun. the performance included christmas songs by members of the grinch cast, and fake snow accompanying the tree lighting.  it was definitely catered more to children, and it is likely that we were the only adults there that didn't have any in tow.  

it was a refreshing way to kick off the holidays, and made me all the more excited for the rest of the season!   what kind of holiday festivities are you participating in this year?

Monday, November 18, 2013

dritz plier kit review

i frequently find myself attaching snaps to my craft projects.  even with practice, i found the old fashioned method of using a hammer and a spool a thread a little too unreliable results wise.  so then i turned to this plastic contraption, which i quickly realized wasn't better at all... and in fact was possibly worse.

one day i was at joann's clutching a 50% off coupon with nothing to buy until i stumbled upon this plier kit.  at half off,  i decided it would be interesting to give it a try.  the tool also can double as an eyelet attacher, and it came with a handful of eyelets and snaps.

that was over a year ago.  

the other day i decided it'd be wise to get a head start on christmas gifts, so i made a couple baby bibs and tested out the plier applicator... jaw... thing. 

doesn't it look like some sort of robot dinosaur? 

the directions from dritz are on the back of the package, and as usual i found the instructions rather lack luster.   i figured out that the rubber pieces included in the kit were supposed to go over the metal pieces  as you see above.  the idea is simple enough-- each snap is comprised of 4 pieces, and the tool is used to clamp together each half of the snap (so 2 + 2).  

i immediately liked how the rubber kept the pieces from moving around, so they'd be perfectly aligned. this can be a little trickier when done the most basic way with a spool of thread and hammer.

however, when i squeezed the clamp together, i realized the fundamental flaw with the applicator--the pressure is difficult to make even on all sides, so you run the risk of one side of the pieces not being fully attached to each other.  i wound up doing some extra hammering to secure them tightly.  i tested a handful of these snaps, and the results were unimpressive- about half were ruined.  

overall, i was pretty unimpressed. i may give it a couple more tries in the future or just go back to the most basic method.

Friday, November 8, 2013

gala chicken, zion market

mmm... fried chicken.  

oddly located inside the new zion market (here in san diego) by the produce section-- and i do mean INSIDE the market, and not in the food court -- are a few unassuming looking food stands, one which is called gala chicken.  

the chicken is fried to order and comes in three flavors: sweet soy, crispy, gala spicy.  it takes about fifteen minutes, but boy... totally worth it.

customers can sit in chairs lined up at the bar while they wait.

bffbf and i have only tried the spicy chicken, and it's fantastic.  the sauce is quite spicy with a well-balanced sweetness to it, and the chicken is fried to perfection.  i believe the order below was 8 or 9 dollars, and comes with a little container of pickled daikon.  while the price may seem a bit steep, especially considering your back is facing the produce section while you eat, i promise you, IT'S WORTH IT.   

i realize that i already said that in the previous paragraph.  i get repetitive when i'm excited.  also, my stomach is growling like crazy right now just thinking about this.  

gala chicken (inside zion market)
7655 clairemont mesa blvd
san diego, ca 92111
open 11:30am - 3:30pm

Thursday, October 31, 2013

kiwi bird magnets

as part of my transition back into the crafting world, i recently ordered a bunch of cover button supplies for some fun and easy projects.  a few years ago, i made quite a killing at craft fairs making button  badge ids and magnets. they also made/make great gifts.

as i went through my boxes of fabric, i realized the graphics on my kiwi bird parade fabric were the ideal size to fit over two button sizes.  i decided to start with magnets, as the number of baby announcements keep growing on our fridge ,and i've had to be very strategic with magnet placement.

i'm hoping that i'll find the time to make some more soon, since i expect the fridge to be littered with christmas cards in a month's plus time!

Friday, October 25, 2013

tj's pumpkin

no matter where i have lived, fall has always been my favorite season.  i love the crisp scent of autumn, which i firmly believe i can smell even in the virtually season-less region of socal.   it marks the beginning of the holiday season, and the appearance of bin after bin of numerous squash varieties makes me dizzy with excitement.    

the other day i found myself in trader joe's, on the hunt for their pumpkin icecream.  by the time i made it to the check-out counter, i was clutching a couple cans of pumpkin, pumpkin chai latte mix, and pumpkin icecream.  i give the cashier a lot of credit for not making fun of me.   

promptly after i got home, i was shoving spoonfuls of pumpkin icecream into my mouth, and tried the pumpkin chai latte the following morning.  while i highly recommend tj's pumpkin icecream, i found the pumpkin chai latte mix a huge disappointment.  even overly diluted, we both found the drink coyingly sweet. within two days, i also made pumpkin bars, and bffbf made pumpkin pull apart bread, recipe courtesy of kirbiecravings. and then.. i made a pumpkin pasta bake.

today, bffbf requested that we move on to other seasonal squash for a while.   i guess that's fair. butternut? acorn? kabocha?
do you have a favorite squash?      

Monday, October 21, 2013

getting back into it?

over the last few years, i've noticed that my craft productivity is directly correlated with my stress level.   the more stressed out i am, the less creative i am.  for the first time in months and months, i felt the urge to sew and to complete some pending household projects.   i finally unpacked my serger, plugged in my sewing machine, and sewed a throw pillow for the couch.

it's a strange feeling to do an activity so familiar after such a long stretch a time.  i half expected to completely botch up my very basic project.  but aside from the usual issues with threading my serger, turns out sewing is sort of like riding a bicycle.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

making it all fit

as i mentioned in my previous post, we started with only two dining chairs.  we may purchase at least one more in the future, but for now, i decided to purchase a set of stools that would be useful for guests.   i wanted chairs that could be kept out in the open, but still small enough to prevent cluttering our space.  

i immediately thought of the three legged, stackable alvar aalto stool:

but at $260 a stool, there was absolutely no way i could even consider buying one, let alone four.       

my second thought was the ikea frosta stool, but unfortunately for me, it turns out they sell it at pretty much every ikea in the world except the u.s.  bummer. 

amazon ended up saving the day for me (hooray for amazon), and i was able to buy a set of four for about $75.

i tucked two in the corner underneath the kitchen counter.  another went to the bedroom, and the last by our shoe bins.  

totally space efficient and functional.  they may not be the best quality, but they are perfect for our current needs.

Monday, September 2, 2013

almost there

the walls in the bedroom, living room, and kitchen are painted.  the red concrete bedroom floor mopped no less than five times and covered with flor tiles.  the master closet carpet deep cleaned.    

we've moved the placement of the couch three or four times and moved the chaise from the left side to the right side.  we've gone back and forth on whether to keep the dining table fully or partially expanded.  

we are 99% unpacked and 99% furnished.  i suppose you can say we ran out of steam for the last 1%.  the likelihood that we will be at 100% by the time we move out is 99%.  

as we found ourselves close to being completely furnished, we found ourselves in danger of cluttering our rather spacious apartment.   we still wanted an end table and we needed more than two dining chairs.  due to our set up, there isn't a great deal of space for a end table, so we searched, with only mild gusto, for a c-table.

most tables we found were the wrong price point, poor quality, or wrong height.  i was about to lose interest in the idea when my friend k- mentioned her stepmother had recently purchased one at world cost market for a very reasonable price, with a solid wood table top and wrought iron legs.  at the time it was even on sale for $59.99, and i also happened to have a 10 dollar off coupon i received in the mail.  we were sold.  it works perfectly in our space.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

eastvold coffee table

in many ways, i feel like i have restarted my adult life, like a fresh college grad, all over again.

my recent move was a small and a big one- i came with relatively little, as my roommate had a fully furnished apartment minus my bedroom furniture, so there was a lot that needed to be purchased.    
picking everything out has been a fun and simultaneously arduous process, especially when i saw the last couple credit card statements!  

my new place primarily looks like one giant ikea ad, with a few indulgent exceptions, one that i am particularly in love with: 

we purchased this beautiful, well-crafted, solid walnut coffee table off etsy from eastvold furniture, customized to our size specifications.  matt was responsive, and easy to work with.  even though we were originally sent the wrong sized coffee table, he sent a replacement and rectified the situation professionally without much trouble on our end.  i really appreciated his high level of customer service and friendliness.                   

this classic mid-century coffee table has been something i've been wishing for years, and we decided it was an investment... into our adulthood...or something? 

admittedly, owning something so nice is a bit stressful.   so my bffbf immediately ordered a custom glass panel to put over the top of the wood.   while it detracts a bit from the beauty of the coffee table, it's nice to have the added protection.   

maybe one day the eastvold credenza will be in the budget, but until then, a girl can dream.    

Sunday, June 30, 2013

sample flor tile mini table runner

as you can see in my previous post, my new bedroom comes with hideous red stained concrete floors.  we wanted to rid ourselves of any traces of the red, and explored our options with flor tiles, so we ordered a bunch of samples.  

but what to do with the samples after we made a decision?  it seemed like such a waste to throw them away.

i lined four of them up on our new ikea ps 2012 dining room table (which, btw, is a great little table) to act as a mini table runner.  these particular flor tiles are made out of felt, which work very well as coasters/trivets.  

a perfect way to repurpose these samples! 

the mini runner is also a preview of our living room color palette.  the red you see on the wall also has to go.  soon.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

in progress

this is why i haven't been around. 

stay tuned!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

washi tape accordion notecard

i've been busy getting sick, working, traveling for a wedding, working, and getting sick again.  yes, i said working.

so busy that once again crafting has fallen to the wayside.   the most i've been able to squeeze in is a quick washi tape accordion notecard.

all i needed was a sheet of cardstock, washi tape, and my corner punch (mine is from making memories), and five minutes.  i cut the cardstock into four notecards with my paper cutter, and put aside one since i only really wanted to make a trifold... is a trifold too small to be called and accordion?

placing two pieces next to each other flush, i ran a piece of washi tape centering it on the seam (i just eyeballed it), flipped it over and did the back seam.  i repeated this step for the last notecard, and also lined the very ends with more washi tape.  i trimmed the excess washi tape from the edges.

i then folded the notecard in half (so that it's just two layers, not all three), and used my corner punch to round out the edges.  i had to push pretty hard because it was so thick, but my trusty punch made it through cleanly.

as you can probably tell, i was so pressed for time that i didn't even bother pulling out my nicer camera and just documented the process haphazardly with my phone.  

the next couple of months will be equally busy but i'll try to be better!  what have you been busy with lately?

Sunday, May 5, 2013


i came home to a package that my roommate had placed outside my bedroom door.   i hadn't ordered anything online recently and i happily realized it must be a present! a surprise present!!

opening the box, i found three carefully wrapped jars of salt- truffle salt, green tea salt, and lavender salt that my friend d- had sent me.

truffle, green tea, and lavender are all obsessions of mine and i can't wait to use them.

any ideas of what to use the green tea and lavender salt on?

surprises are the best.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

brazilian cheese puffs

i was mindlessly browsing my facebook feed one day when i clicked on a recipe for brazilian cheese puffs that popped up from a friend of a friend.  if you have ever been to an allyoucaneat brazilian steak house, you've probably had these breads, served with a bunch of sides.  they are delicious and addicting, and i always find it hard to save room for the meat to come.

i have made these puffs no less than three times, with resounding success.  extremely simple to make and super delicious, the hardest part is finding the tapioca flour, which isn't all that difficult.   i recommend bringing a batch or two to a potluck-- i did a couple of times and they were devoured quickly.

the recipe is from my new favorite food blogger, kirbiecravings, who, coincidentally, also lives in san diego.  browsing through the rest of her blog, i've found myself developing a huge blog crush as her restaurant reviews and recipes excite me to the point of salivation (think i'm going to have to buy nutella in bulk from costco now).  from what i can surmise from her posts, we have fairly similar tastes in food-- and while it may appear from the general content of my blog that i am more partial to crafting and traveling as hobbies, i really love food above all else.

i think i want to make this next.  or this!  or this... oh boy. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

a friendly encounter

hello, friend.

so nice of you to drop by and visit.


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