candy, gum, cigarettes

it wasn't as labor intensive as last year's costume, but here is how i made my 1920's cigarette girl costume come together.

purchased & borrowed:
- black halter dress
- back seam fishnet tights
- elbow length gloves
- black heels
- assortment of candy, gum & cigarettes

how i made:

pillbox hat
1. cut a 6" diameter circle out of a cardboard box
2. cut a 16" x 3" strip out of cardstock
3. circle the cardstock strip around the cardboard circle, secure using masking tape and staple the ends together with staples
4. spray paint the hat whichever color you like, i chose gold
5. let dry and use black book binding tape to create a black border along the top of the hat (this will make a seamless transition between the materials & add a nice detail)
6. secure a thin elastic band to the inside of the hat using book binding tape

concession tray
1. cut an 16" x 28" rectangle with 3" taps on each edge
2. using the black tape again, secure the edges together to create a tray
3. spray paint the tray
4. after it dries, use the tape to create an edge around the top of the tray
5. duct tape a bungee cord to the bottom of the tray & use an old purse strap to attach to the bungee cord hooks

it was actually pretty simple & the costume is a lot of fun, although people tend to steal things from you during the night. see more pics


little girls in my designs

here is precious little nora in the owl onesies i made her a while back. so cute, she may have to be the face of my onesies in the etsy shop as soon as it opens.

i also found out that american apparel sells adorable sweats for kids. i think that i'll get those & a matching long sleeve shirt to do some screenprinting + embroidery over for my nieces as holiday gifts. if they turn out nice, i'll put those in the store as well.


fall dinner

i finally found a shelf at ikea for my kitchen; it has blessed me with new found counter & butcher block space. it was really important for me to get my kitchen working as well as possible before winter set in & the amount of cooking & baking doubled.

i read apartment therapy on a pretty regular basis, but yesterday was the first time i took a look at their kitchen section. i was fairly pleased with the posts, but was really excited about using this recipe to prepare the huge sweet potato that is sitting in my kitchen.

the recipe my way modified to serve 2 & other things

1/2 large spanish onion
1 large sweet potato
1 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, slivered
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

salt, pepper & red chili pepper flakes
dash of brown sugar
dash of nutmeg

peel and chop the onions. peel and chop the sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes or matchsticks. heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat in a large heavy frying pan or 4-quart pot. sauté the onions slowly over medium heat until they are turning amber, then darker brown - about 15 minutes. once the onions are caramelized, add the sweet potato chunks and garlic. continue cooking over medium heat, turning up the heat a little if the potato does not brown at all. cook until the potatoes are also slightly browned and golden.

add the water, turn the heat to low, and cover for about 10 minutes, or until the potato has softened. remove the lid, turn the heat back up, and add the ginger, paprika, nutmeg, brown sugar and salt and pepper to taste, sauté just a little longer, then remove from the heat and serve.

i served this with chicken breasts, covered & baked at 350° in 1/4 inch of water & 1 tablespoon of olive oil. to season i used salt, pepper, chili pepper flakes & dried rosemary.

try some sweet pots soon! it all turned out *pretty, pretty, pretty good & was very fall-ish.

*this is a joke of yet another television show i don't watch, but hear on a very regular basis, thanks to div, gautam, jessie & erin.


can't resist sprinkles

why is it that everytime i think to myself, "i'm going to eat really healthy today" a coworker brings in top pot donuts? i can't say no to vanilla cake with pink frosting & multi-colored sprinkles, so i say yes to a quarter of one at a time.


bat for lashes - love for dixie

i went to go see bat for lashes on sunday night at the crocodile cafe. it was my first show there, as well as my first show alone. i can't really tell what that says about me. it started to seem like it was going to be a down & out night. first, no one could/would go to the show with me. second, i get to the venue & my tickets were not at will call. i was happy that i had cash for once & paid to get in anyway (i have a strong dislike for ticketmaster & ticketweb now). the guy at the door said that i could contact ticketweb the next day & that he'd confirm that my name is not there if they contacted them. so, i went outside to call my friend chris to see if he wanted to get a beer while i waited for the show, seeings that i was in his hood. he's out & about, but the call did inform me that i had two pair of locals flip flops at his apartment. this is the first turn around; locals are the best flip flops & can only be found in hawaii (in searching for the website, i find that you can order them online now). i've worn my pair to near death. the news made me happy. as i went to walk in the door, a 40-something british guy asked me if i want to go on tour & stamp hands. there is a little exchange between me, the doorman & the british guy. he introduced himself as dixie, the tour manager & sound engineer for bat for lashes. i went inside, got a drink & the opener came on. about 30 minutes later dixie walked past, said "excuse me ann." my interactions with dixie became the second turn around. the show was incredible, the crocodile is such a great small venue. the opener, chris chavez was a little too political folk for me, but he was an amazing guitarist & easy to look at. bat for lashes was out of control. the band consists of 4 beautiful women in crazy barbarella outfits. natasha's (lead singer) vocals were amazing & there was an array of other things going on: violins, flute, keyboards, bass, crazy percussion. man, it was incredible & ends up being the third turn around. the show ended all too quickly. i walked out, but remembered that there was a concert poster i wanted to take off the window, but can't get too. i asked & the doorman he went behind the bar to get it for me. i'm excited, fourth. i was ready to put on my coat & head back up the hill. dixie was outside smoking a cigarette, he pointed at the sign in my hand & said, "you got an autograph didn't you?" i said no & he led me back to natasha, where she signed it & posed for a couple pics with me. ahhhhh. what a great night.

to sum it up:
- bat for lashes are incredible performers (see pics)
- dixie is the best
- shows alone can be the best kind

check out bat for lashes on npr.


fashion blogs & the torture

i covet this outfit.

i have an extensive list of blogs i visit most days, but some of my favorite stops are the fashion blogs. it all started with a link sent from chris, hel-looks that would be followed immediately by a link to pike/pine. from there i would find la femme, the satorialist & face hunter (where the above photo is taken from).

i'm not going to pretend that i am any sort of fashionista, not even close (i have trouble even defining my style). i appreciate the way that things look & fit on the body. i like the colors & the lines of clothing; i also like the statement that some outfits can make. i always think that it would be fun & that i will make an effort to be more creative or intelligent about the clothes that i put on my body. what stops me? i've narrowed this list to three things: money, time/energy & indecision.

money - i have two sides: frugal & consumer. growing up my dad wouldn't spend more than $30 on jeans and my mom poked through departments for hours stores buying new outfits for every occasion. for this reason, barney's gives me anxiety; i love their clothes (the cut, the fabrics, the colors, the fit). i like the finer things, the reality: i'm too cheap &/or smart with my money. i could rack up credit card bills, have a roommate, eat ramen noodles, but i'd rather have the balance in life. i can't give up nights out, crafting projects, homemade meals or my apartment for a $600 jacket.

time/energy - to have a unique & extensive wardrobe (on a budget) a person needs time & energy. it's needed to surf the sale racks, the consignment shops & the thrift stores. i have a lot of things that i passionate about. it seems that clothes shopping often takes a back seat to crafting, movies, spending time with friends, concerts, errands, etc. i can't tell you how many times i've put "go to red light, atlas & value village" on my to do list without ever crossing it off.

indecision - i can't decide which direction i want my style to go in any area of my life, let alone my wardrobe. so far, the only staples i have in my wardrobe are black vintage flat boots, matchstick jeans, bootcut jeans & a peacoat. i find it difficult to invest my money or time on/for things i think are temporary in my life. i have to be conscience about what i purchase, which makes every decision a big one & let's face it, i'm indecisive.

diy cupcakes

this happened a while ago, but i forgot to post it. divya's mom was in town & made a small group of us some yummy grub. we decided to follow it up with a little "diy" cupcake session (it is the beginning of baking season right?). the vanilla cupcakes were baked, the frosting was dyed an assortment of colors & the sprinkle army made an appearance.

check out the lovely pics at your own pace.


ipod cozie ii

i got a new 8o gb ipod because a dear friend gave up his apple promo rebate. i love having all my music at my fingertips, instead of a limited amount on my old mini. since this will be going everywhere with me, it needs some protection from klutziness, harsh conditions & droppage.

no tutorial for this, just a simple explanation:

- i started with a simple liner pocket (amy butler fabric from pillows & sachets)
- knit (16k per row) for 8 inches
- folded the knit rectangle in half & stitched up the sides
- sewed the liner into the knit pocket
- created a tab from liner fabric
- sewed the tab to the inside back of the cozie
- attached a hook to the opposite end

see more pics.

shot of pink

i had read an article a few months back about a woman who was trying to choose paint colors for her new house. she hired a specialist who asked her to gather all the things that she loved & to pick a color that complimented them (instead of the colors they were). she was surprised when pink ended up being the best color.

i developed a color palette when i first moved into my apartment, pink was one of the accent colors, accompanied by chocolate brown, yellow, rust & deep turquoise. i then sent in a picture of my living room to apartment therapy, where the advice of one person stuck, "paint the wall behind your couch a rhododendron pink & get floor to ceiling chocolate brown curtains." both of these were things i had considered & having it come from a 100% outsider made it happen.

i went with matte finish, tiger pink by behr & the ritva curtains from ikea. i'm really happy with how it turned out. next up is a something for behind the couch. i'm currently looking for 10 24" inch (varying width) plywood or chip wood pieces to create a "forest" of cartoon birch trees. hard to explain, but it makes perfect sense in my head.

i think that pictures make the wall more "bubble gum" than it really is, but i could be tainted. more pics.



add it to the blogroll

after spending an unreasonable amount of time checking out the links on san francisco bay girl's blog, i found spray glue. it is a comprehensive design blog written by 26 year old south african, gary payn. he's got a great eye & fantastic sense of style. bonus fact: he likes high waisted jeans on women.


sarah silverman - fresh air

listen to her interview on npr's fresh air.

i like that she describes her humor & character as "ignorant arrogance." new show tonight on comedy central!

gettin' my kicks on the side

i dabble. in the past couple of months i have been lucky enough to work (both design & organization) with two nonprofits.

earth to table, a nonprofit that will act as an online marketplace connecting local agriculture producers & food buyers founded by my good friend ragan. i was really excited when she asked me to work on the design for the project. the team knew that they wanted something that was wpa poster inspired. my job was to select a typeface, color scheme & logo artwork. it was important for me to capture the essence of wpa stylings, with a touch of urban. we are still finalizing the design, the above artwork being the latest.

chicks play hard is something i got involved with last year as a group lead. it is a non profit organization that strives to build self-confidence in girls by providing them with a nurturing environment to try different activities. girls ages 9 to 13 participate in workshops led by high school students who are, in turn, mentored by women experts. this year i was asked to join in planning efforts from the beginning. i, of course, offered up my design services, creating postcards & posters announcing the event, in addition to finding volunteers, activities & donations.