Thursday, June 28, 2007

First Day Of School

And the first day of the end of my life (for 2 years). Today, I take my first class at UCLA in order to get my Masters in Information Science and become a librarian. I'm nervous, but I'm really looking forward to this class, it is American Archives and Manuscripts. I'm also taking Statistics and an Intensive Technology Workshop, which don't sound quite as exciting to me. As I was off to purchase my school supplies, Brian insisted that he wanted to get them. I reminded myself that being a control freak is not good, and agreed to let him pick out my supplies.
My New School Supplies
I was so glad I did! Besides from him buying my supplies is absolutely adorable (like kitties and bunnies and oohs and ahhhs adorable), but he got me some good stuff! I hope he knows that now that I have been spoiled, he has to continue this until I get my degree.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sprinkles Cupcakes

Today at work, there was a going away party for someone, with dozens and dozens.. and dozens of red velvet Sprinkles Cupcakes! I took this cutie back to my desk...
Sprinkles Cupcake
... I was bouncing off the walls soon after I ate it, but then fell into a sleepy daze. This is common for Annette + Sprinkles, but it's so worth it. One of my co-workers had one for the first time and could not stop saying, "Oh God, Oh God, Oh God, Oh God" while she was eating it. I'd say that's an accurate description. One thing I love about Sprinkles is that they don't pile a massive heap of frosting on their cupcakes. It's still a bit too rich for my blood, but I usually just smear a little bit of it off, and I'm one happy snacker. Sprinkles still wins the prize for best cupcakes I've had in LA, sugar coma and all.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Veggie Pasta

There's a bi-monthly farmer's market for staff, at my work now. I didn't buy anything at the last one, but this time I decided to make a fresh veggie pasta dinner. These guys kind of look fake, am I right?
Fresh Veggies
Definitely not fake. Veggies + olive oil + garlic + basil + other various Italian style spices, turned into this.
Those veggies made this
Mix it with a little fresh pasta...
Fresh Pasta
.. and then we eat it too fast for a picture.
Mix it all together

Monday, June 25, 2007

New Shelves (Or The Day I Realized I Should Have Paid For My Drill)

Pre Shelves
Stud finder...
My new tool
Post Shelves

I really liked that I had one big empty wall before, but I really needed these little shelves. Let's hope I used to stud finder correctly and these shelves don't collapse on me. I got the cheapest stud finder I could find, so it worked a little shady.. sometimes it beeped on a spot and other times it didn't. Luckily, it's mostly holding fabric, so nothing too heavy to cause a fall.
I kept running into hard spots to screw my nails into the wall. That could be where the wood in the wall started, or it could just mean I need a better drill. I got mine for free one day when I signed up for a Home Depot card. I never used the card, but I got so much use of the free drill. I think it retails for about $30, it's good for building Ikea furniture or hanging curtains, but screwing nails into wood might call for a not-so-free drill.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Finding Inspiration At Work

It's not too hard to find inspiration at work, especially if you work at a place like the Getty. Lately, I've been making an effort to take a walk up and down our little hill. It hasn't been too bad, considering what a nice view there is.
Walk up the hill
Not only that, but since I've been trying to force myself to do the walk sans-headphones (nothing wrong with a few minutes of meditation), I've noticed so much. My favorite is the shadows made by the flowers. I couldn't help being reminded of how commercial this design has become.
It's also nice to come back to my desk and discover a few love birds, enjoying the view.
birds outside my work window

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Book Covers

I was very inspired by this when I made these. Just trying to make everything as white as possible in my new light room. Having a lighter, brighter room has really made such a difference in my mood too! Waking up is easier then ever.
Making bookcovers
I'm not sure how much I'm going to cover, probably not every book I own, but I'm going to try to mute the loud ones a bit.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A Little Sketchy

In order to keep my mind focused on one idea for my bedroom project, I've been doing lots of sketching. For as long as I can remember, I sketch everything out. Ideas, dreams, projects... it's easier to erase and edit ideas this way!
a bad drawing
This is the bedroom sketch, so far. I have this desk idea for my back wall, but it's going to be a real challenge getting it to happen. I also have a dresser, a file cabinet and huge computer desk that are standing in the way of it. Those have got to go, if I want my dream desk to come true.

Monday, June 18, 2007

My Little Succulent Garden

It's not much, but it's all I've got. They're easy to care for, but you still have to care for them! Somehow, I failed to revive 2 of them.
Dead Succulent
The chosen replacements are: Crassula "Baby Necklace" and Aeonium Haworthii v Kiwi.
New Succulents
I love them both, but I think the Crassula "Baby Necklace" is one of my new favorite plants, ever. The day I got it, I took pictures of him and was showing him off, like he was one of my children. I was (am) proud mama of that little guy.
My Little Succulents
All potted up and ready to go. Yay.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Duvet Cover Turned Curtains and Pillows

Remember that duvet cover I was sewing? Well, it turned into curtains.
Attempted duvet cover...
Curtains with lace detail.
Duvet cover curtains, lace detail.
Considering how this particular spot of my room looked before, I am quite pleased.
The duvet cover fabric was never ending. I also made some pillowcases, which are a little off. I think they'll be temporary.
As far as what I did for a duvet cover (since I used all the fabric for other things)? I bought one at Linen's and Things on sale for $30. It was so worth it, considering how much fabric costs (originally, i spent $100 on the duvet cover fabric). I might embellish the duvet cover, it's a plain white one. One thing I learned from all of this is to buy bedding first! It was so hard to try to match the bedding to the other fabrics I bought for the room. Next step is to sell and buy my computer desk and figure out where all the furniture pieces are going to go.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Hat Box Part Deux

I purchased a naked little hat box from Michael's today for about $14. A little pricey, but not too bad. I also purchased some Martha Stewart decoupage and got busy.
Naked Hatbox
Added a little fabric, and then spilled the decoupage all over my carpet!
A little decoupage...
Here is the finished product. I was originally going to cover the lid in the fabric as well, but I kinda liked it without. I think it would be too busy with the fabric.
Finished Hatbox
I officially start school pretty soon, so I've been working non-stop all day, trying to finish lots of projects. Pictures to come soon.
Lots of sewing projects in the works
Curtains, pillowcases, and trims, oh my!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Chicken Cordon Bleu

I was in one of those moods last night, where I really wanted to cook something new and a little fancy. I went to for a little inspiration and came across this recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu. My first instinct was to look away, because I don't think I've ever particularly liked this dish, but it had 681 good reviews, so I went for it.
I stuffed a few chicken breasts with swiss cheese and ham, and let them simmer in olive oil, butter, pinot grigio, and some chicken bouillon.
too graphic?
After they simmered for 30 minutes, I moved the chicken to a new hot plate and poured in a mixture of heavy whipping cream, cornstarch and fresh basil. I know it doesn't look like much, but it made the most fantastic sauce!
The Sauce
I steamed some green beans, with a little butter as a side dish, but I really wanted to keep the flavor of those kind of simple, not to compete with the sauce on the chicken.
Chicken Cordon Bleu with Green Beans
I sprinkled the chicken with some fresh basil to finish off. Brian and I agreed that it was one of our new favorite meals. It was well worth my surprise bouquet of orange flowers...

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

DIY Hat Box

Since I've been redecorating and organizing my bedroom, I've been keeping an eye out for cute storage containers. One thing I learned about them is that they are expensive! That's why I made my own fabric covered boxes. Even though I made 10 boxes, I still need more help with storage. I've been doing some research on vintage hat boxes, and found those can be pricey as well, so I decided to try making one out of things I found around the house.
I used a little hat box that I already had as a guide, and started taping thick envelopes together.
Making a Hat Box
Once I got the sides all taped up, I used old records as the base and lid. Making a Hat Box
I adhered them with packaging tape.
Making a Hat Box
Not too shabby. Well, a little shabby, but it can be done! If I ever redo this project, I might use cardboard instead of paper envelopes. I don't think I'm going to end up using this one. I might just buy paper mache ones from the craft store and cover those with fabric or drawer contact paper.
Making a Hat Box

Monday, June 11, 2007

Treat Street

This weekend, we went to Treat Street!
Treat Street
Treat Street
Treat Street
Treat Street
We ended up getting (from the top, l to r): pineapple cheese tart thing, chocolate brownie, jalapeno cheese tart thing, banana pudding, red velvet cupcake, pistachio cupcake, and another red velvet cupcake.
Everything tasted so so so good! The winner of this bunch was definitely the pistachio cupcake. I'm not even that big a fan of pistachio flavored items, but this cupcake was so moist and the flavor was subtle and perfect.

And on the way home, we saw this way too appropriate license plate.
Cupcake license plate

Friday, June 08, 2007

The Coop

The Coop
A coworker of mine claims this place has the pizza that tastes the closest to NY style that he's had in LA. Now, I love NY style pizza, so I had to try.
Pizza at The Coop
It had a NY style look and the smell was amazing. The taste was one of the best I've had in LA, but I have to admit, I've had better. It actually reminded me of a place I used to ditch class and go to in high school, Marco Polo Pizza. In all fairness to The Coop, we did order the pizza whole, and usually I like pizza by the slice much better. Whenever we'd get Marco Polo by the whole too, it was never as good. I really think this calls for a pizza taste test soon, only problem is that the 2 restaurants are about 30 miles apart.
One thing I like about The Coop a lot is that their ingredients looked very fresh and high quality. I got the antipasto salad, which had good ingredients, but I just thought it tasted okay. I know people who swear by it, but as far as antipasto salad goes, the best one I've had was at Big Mama and Papa's, in Sherman Oaks.

The Coop
10006 National Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 837-4462

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pack Rat, No More

All the boxes are covered in fabric! Only thing left is the hardware, but I didn't let that stop me from organizing. Only problem is that I have too much stuff. I could probably go another row up with these boxes, but I don't want to. Instead, I plan to do the unthinkable... throw stuff away!
Covered Cardboard boxes
Thankfully, my sister is a 5th grade teacher and could use a lot of the art supplies I'm done with. Even if I haven't seen most of my stuff for years, I have trouble parting.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Fabric Covered Boxes

I started covering my boxes with fabric yesterday. First, I cut the fabric to size.
Cutting the fabric to size
The boxes were 12"x12"x12", so I cut the fabric into a 13"x13" square. In order to save a few dollars, I'm only covering the front of the box.
Painting the glue on
Since I was dealing with a paper cardboard and fabric, I used PVA (polyvinyl acetate) adhesive. It's not as harsh on sensitive materials and will not cause as much warping. Using a piece of scrap board, I applied an even coat of PVA onto the cardboard. Then, I added the fabric on top, pushing out any bubbles.
Fabric covered box
This is what it looks like next to the other boxes (which will soon also be covered).
My next step is to find hardware, such as the white Lazy Daisy Knob, from Anthropologie, but at a better cost.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Little Here, A Little There

Oh dear. So much has happened in my world of crafts since the last update. I started sewing the duvet cover and not so good. I somehow managed to cut one of my pieces too short (15" too short). While any sane person would probably just go buy a new peice of fabric and sew the rest together, I ended up making the whole thing be 15" too short. I do like a challenge, but this has gotten a little bad. My cousin, Ana gave me the great idea of cutting the duvet in half and adding a 15" panel in the middle. I like that idea, so the search for my middle panel continues. I might even cut the duvet in 3 and add 3-5" panels. It's all up in the air for now.

Onto the next project, storage. After buying the shelf I've been wanting forever, I've been looking around for boxes or baskets that would organize my crafts/projects. Who knew nice storage boxes cost $20+ each? Did I mention I wanted about 10 of these boxes? So, I came up with an idea that was a little more cost efficient... cardboard boxes.
lots o' boxes
Well, they're good quality boxes and only cost $1.50 each! My plan is to cover them with fabric and add some sort of hardware to make them look a little nicer. I will post pictures of the process as soon as I start.

In other news... here are some of my new fabric purchases!
new fabric