Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why I oughtta!

This weather makes me feel like a bag of old bones just like that fist pumping/threatening skeleton below.  Or is he just checking his manicure?

Yesterday I started planning the layout of my giant linoleum block. It was intimidating to start.  Next I'll be transferring the drawing to squares of transfer paper and transferring it to the main block.  I'm still undecided if I should transfer the whole design at once or work in squares.  Scintillating, I know.

I'm also going to run some errands, including mailing some 6 inch platform knee high boots I wore 10 years ago to raves (and also in public) and recently sold on ebay  I sold another, shorter pair last week and the guy at the post office made fun of me.  They're off to Massachusetts to an appreciative goth/raver/short person who also buys corsets on ebay.

Want to see some old photos of me at a rave?  TOO BAD.

Happy leap year day!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Look how big this linoleum block is!  Another Valentine surprise from V.  This is going to be my largest linoleum block yet.  Maybe I'll sell some prints on etsy when I'm finished and become a millionaire.

It's supposed to get stormy today.  Jag is enjoying as much sun as he can before his tiny little square disappears.

Fall 2012 Fashion: the good!

I love everything in this collection but the prices.

Toronto twins have some cute retro preppy chic outfits (did I just type cute retro preppy chic?)

I especially like the greenish pants on the 2nd model and the sweater on the 4th model.  

I have a pair of cropped navy pants from J.Crew that I never thought I'd like.  The sales lady convinced me to "just try them on" last spring and I'm glad I did although there is no way I can wear them with flats without looking like an old marm.  

Fall 2012 fashion: the bad

What is happening on the runways?

A leather dickie with matching gloves, an over sized fur hat, and a one shoulder dress layered over a long sleeved shirt.  Awful.

Enormous saddlebag pockets, an over sized raincoat with fur trim and a big poofy two piece. No.

I wore something like that black dress in highschool, I saw someone wear that orange fur jacket at a rave once, and that frou frou turtleneck dress used to be a curtain. Gross.

In other fashion news, did you watch the Oscars?  Jennifer's Lopez' dress looked like part of an outfit I used to have for my brunette Barbie (her name was Whitney).  There weren't any outfits that were super amazing, were there?  There can't have been because I don't remember them.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Around the House

V was out of town this weekend and I surprised him by finishing the laundry room and hanging curtains, coat racks and blinds in the laundry room and in the kitchen.

Llorca supervised

I was so wishy washy about the curtains worrying that the print would be too busy, or too bold, or too bright so I went with sheer white with a chrysanthemum pattern on it.  

I cheated a little too.  I bought full length curtains and just hemmed them.  It ended up being cheaper than buying fancy fabric.

One of the rods is hung higher than the other because they wouldn't fit at the same level.  That's what I get for getting 3$ rods at Walmart.

Cut branches from the yard.

Friday, February 24, 2012


I was looking through some images of New York Fashion week and came across a photo of this guy.  Have you heard of him?  I had to google him.  Rick Genest's whole body is tattooed to make him look like a rotting corpse.   I'm pretty sure I would scream if I woke up to that every morning.

He's a model for Mugler and did an ad for some crazy dermatology makeup.  The video is cheesy but I watched it anyway because I don't want to work on cleaning up the mess in the kitchen.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I am still undecided on which fabric to use for my mini curtains in the laundry room.  I've spent a lot of time looking online for the.perfect.fabric. and I've changed my mind on all the fabrics I mentioned in this post.  Many of you commented that I should include a bit of red in the fabric so I've been trying to find something that works with that in mind.  Thank you!

J had a good idea.  She suggested browsing through vintage tablecloths for sale to cut up to make curtains.  There are a lot of cute ones, almost too cute to cut up.  It's a great idea if you're looking for very unique fabric.

The photo for this tablecloth available on etsy made me laugh out loud.  The seller's write up is pretty funny too.

How about this fabric?  Who would use this?  And what would they make? That guy is winking AND HIS PANTS ARE UNBUTTONED!!!

I spoke too soon.  A quick etsy search shows that apparently you can buy a shopping bag (to buy tools?) made with this fabric.

Pups and privacy

I was in a mood for about 2 seconds until I saw this.

Image source

That photo is from piccsy.  I don't know what piccsy is and I don't like typing the word but I like browsing the site.  It looks like it's all photos and similar to pinterest (my sad pinterest is here) in some ways.  I did a search for "husky" and found these great photos below.  Recently, I was (am?) obsessed with huskies.  I say was because I really, really wanted to get a husky pup up until I found out that in the past month my parents have spent 2 handfuls of money on unexpected vet bills and the only handfuls of money I have left to spend are going towards all my immigration fees.  My parents two pups are fine but the cost of having another pet in our household is just too much right now.  I can wait.  Until then...

Image source

Image source

I hadn't heard about piccsy until last night.  It's still in beta and they aren't currently accepting new members.  Do you use it?  What about pinterest?  

Earlier this month a friend and I were having a chat about how we love the idea of making boards and remembering ideas with pinterest but don't necessarily want to share those favourites and ideas with everyone. She is an interior designer so I can totally understand that feeling of wanting to keep special finds to herself.  I feel that way too.  Right now everything you "pin" on pinterest is public whereas on a site like etsy you can make your favourites private, which I like.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Who's with me?

This will be great!

Circles of hell

They are here!  In Sacramento!  And I went to three of them.

What started out as a quick trip to Ikea turned into a three-hour nightmare.  Yes, a nightmare.

The Sacramento Ikea is a mess right now.  In fact, it looks a lot like our kitchen and laundry room which I went to Ikea to escape from.  They're doing renovations at the store so huge white tarps are covering most of the departments.  Merchandise has been moved around and some items are just not available at all.  I walked through the ENTIRE store twice because different employees gave me different answers on where I should "try" to find what I was looking for. (Side note: one of my pet peeves is back tracking.  In a store, in the car, anywhere.)

I'm trying to spruce up the laundry room on a very, very tiny budget.  I wanted to replace the cheap plastic coat rack that was hammered onto an old piece of wood, that was hammered into the wall with something cuter and sturdier.  Initially I was going to make my own pretty one thinking that would be cheaper but I don't have scraps of salvaged redwood lying around and the kind of simple hooks I wanted  COULD NOT BE FOUND IN IKEA.  So, I picked out two, white coat racks with 5 silver hooks each (cost: $10 each).  A cute coat rack doesn't make too much sense anyway since it will be covered with coats.  

Seeing this now, I think 10 hooks might be excessive.  We'll see.  V has a lot of coats.

I must have been in an Ikea haze because I somehow convinced myself that I had to go next door to Wal-Mart.  Wal-Mart?!  I hate Walmart!  But I did like that they had two thin, tiny cafe style curtain rods for less than 3$ each which are perfect for my little window project.  The main reason I went in was to get one of those little plastic mats with ridges that you can put your wet/muddy/sandy boots and shoes on without making a giant mess on the actual floor.  They didn't have exactly what I wanted and what they did have was 15$ which was too expensive for something so ugly.

When I am stressed or angry, I like to eat a McDonald's cheeseburger.  How convenient that there is a McDonalds, an In and Out, and a Burger King within the same complex as Ikea and Walmart.

I resisted and went to the grocery store instead.

Sacramento friends, have you been to the Food Source on Stockton Boulevard?  It's owned by Raley's but looks absolutely nothing like Raley's inside.  There are even two parking stalls exclusively for police vehicles and 80% of the time there are cops dealing with an issue outside.  I usually need to be in very high spirits to shop there because it can be depressing inside.  Yesterday was no exception and the only reason I went was so I didn't have to backtrack to go to another grocery store.  I bought some supplies to make veggie burgers for dinner and got the heck out of there.

Today I'll finish painting the window trim and the back door and tonight, an episode of Downton Abbey!  (I started watching Season 1 on Netflix last night!)

 Fact: My parents attended a wedding at Hichclere Castle (where the show is filmed) a couple of years ago and wore fancy hats.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hot buns

This book has been out for a couple of months but I just reserved it from the library.  I'm excited to read some of Hockney's quotes on creativity and art from the series of interviews.  Some of  his quotes over the years are highlighted here

If you're anywhere near London, why not check out his current exhibition?  There's a short interview on the main page about the enormous size of his "pictures" and how they likely wouldn't have even been painted had he not been approached by the gallery for this (current) exhibit.  Interesting!

Today I'll be doing some more painting of my own, of the un-creative variety; I want to finish painting the doors in the kitchen and the laundry room and then start on the window frames.  

I've been making the job easier by listening to a handful of shows on BBC Radio 1, including my usual listens to the Essential Mix, and Annie Mac's dance radio show.  Until yesterday I didn't know they had a dancehall show but they do!  All good painting music.

This photo looks like it could be from an anthropologie catalog:  
One old door, with a patch of vintage green paint: $1099.

I unscrewed a weird sliding lock from the pantry type door in the photo above yesterday so I could sand and repaint the door.  I uncovered a small patch of minty green paint underneath which appears to match the kitchen tile exactly.  I am really curious about what the kitchen has looked like through the years.  I've always though it would be a nice idea to have some sort of log somewhere about the different transformations houses have been through, throughout the years.  Our house was built in 1948.  Almost 65 years old!  How many families with different tastes have lived here before us?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sung to the tune of "Neverending story"

Never ending kitchen projeeeect, aaaaa, aaaaa, aaaaaaa!
It's true.  The never ending kitchen project is still in progress.

This weekend I cleaned the walls, removed the crummy plastic blinds, hammered off old hardware, filled the holes with putty, taped off edges, covered the kitchen with plastic (again) and started painting the walls and the ceilings in the laundry room and kitchen.

I'm going to sew some curtains for the two windows in the back room to replace the yellowed mini blinds that were there before.  The door is also going to be painted white.  Maybe at some point we will replace the plastic edging nearest to the floor and also the floor itself.  In the past these rooms have been painted yellow, pink, green, and off white.  Imagine those colours with faux wood laminate.  Gross.

I'm going to be looking for curtain fabric to coordinate with this red and mint green tile that's in the kitchen and laundry room.

A few that have caught my eye;






Any favourites?  I like 1, 3, and 4 the best, today at least. (All fabric by Amy Butler)

The cabinets in the laundry room used to be the same colour as the drawers and cabinets in the bottom of the kitchen.  Those will be painted at some point too.

Weekend manicure

Boiling over

We've been using this stunning design piece to boil water to make tea ever since I let the kettle boil too long and burned the enamel off the bottom a couple of months ago.  We had to toss it.

We do have a heavy cast iron teapot that takes forever to boil and we are much too busy to wait for a kettle to boil.  Whenever we get the chance we look for a teapot that we might both like but haven't seen anything yet.

Most of these ones are vintage so we probably couldn't use them just in case there is something toxic inside which could harm the feathered friends in the house.  They are nice to look at though!

This vintage French set by Salins studio is interesting but too angular for me.  It's also $200.  The set comes in other colours too if you look around online

The colours coordinate well with this Pierrot mime teapot. Also nearly $200

Laide.  (That's French for ugly.)

I kind of like this one but it reminds me a little too much of the Tin I should be filling it with oil instead of water to make tea.

What's your favourite kind of tea?  I generally only drink Earl Grey and sometimes a lavender chamomile one if it's late at night.  I can't stand fruity teas.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I've been wearing my hair down lately since that's how the the menfolk in this household like it.  Llorca is always whining at me, "girl, let your hair down!". Such a pushy cat.

But isn't this cute?

I read through the comments on the blog on how to do this style but I can't get it quite right.  I have come up with some cool looking results.  I think this would be pretty in the warmer weather to keep your hair off your face without having a standard ponytail.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Antlers and taxidermy

A couple of weeks ago my pal Erin of Bows and Sparrows hosted a craft night with our group of crafty friends.  Whoever hosts the night picks  the craft, which usually takes a few hours to complete and then you get to go home with a completed project.

If you haven't heard, painted antlers are the next big thing.  At least that's what we're hoping.  West Elm should be calling any minute now for the rights to these photos.

My naturally shed antler pre-paint

Antlers and wine!

My sad little paint tray

Oh this?  Yeah, I painted it myself
An example of good antler painting form.

Antler colours inspired by E's shirt

Crafty lineup

D, working hard on her project

Erin has more photos on her blog if you're interested in antler overload.

And if antlers aren't cutting it for you, may I suggest a visit to Foster's Bighorn in Rio Vista.  It's a nice afternoon drive along the river between Sacramento and San Francisco.  The bar and restaurant is covered wall to wall with stunned taxidermied animals put together in the 30s and 40s as well as amazing, can't-look-away photos of vintage hunting expeditions 

One of my favourite sad stories with an accompanying photograph is of the wolf who was shot in the jaw.  The wolf was still living, just unable to attack.  The hunter needed to get back up a hill so he held the wolf by its tail and had the animal drag him to the top.  

Sad and creepy but so interesting.  The day V and I visited in September 2010, I had a massive headache but after seeing the fate of these animals and having a beer I felt pretty lucky to only be suffering from a headache.

Photo by amenfoto

Apparently they have one of the world's largest collections of taxidermied animals with over 300 heads.  They don't just have your usual specimens, they have everything.  Giraffes, lions, elephants, rhinoceros' and wolves.  Or maybe these are usual things to taxidermy.  What do I know?  I just paint antlers pretty colours.

The dining room, photo by thomashawklooklook