hometown digging

So I was back in my old stomping grounds of Hayward, CA a couple weeks ago and of course one of my top priorities was to check out the local thrift scene.  Sadly, it's nowhere near as good as it once was, Hayward used to have some really fantastic thrifting.  But I did find a couple things...first, I finally found a lampshade big enough for the giant genie lamp I impulsively bought at the Rose Bowl a while back.
It's been really tough finding a shade for this monster of a lamp (with the shade, it's over three feet tall!)  I didn't need or want a new lamp, but this one was hard to resist.  Check out the crazy glaze on this thing!
 I'm sure lots of people think it's hideous, but I love it.  It reminds of a lamp I found years ago and then lost in a break-up...I've always regretted letting that lamp go!

But the real find of the trip was a first edition copy of "I Married Adventure" by Osa Johnson...for $4.95 at the local used bookshop!

I ran home and looked it up on ebay...some copies sell for over $200!  I've seen posts about it before on several style blogs, and I've been on the lookout for a copy.  In addition to looking great on a coffee table, it sounds like a great story so I definitely plan to read it soon.  I also got a big stack of vintage craft books (which I'll try to post about later).  Gotta love B Street Books!


lazy sunday crafternoon

It's the last day before I go back to work...it's been a lovely break and I've gotten a lot done, though not as much as I'd hoped.  I'm working on a new ami but it's a gift for a friend so I can't post that yet...so here's a quick little project I did today in about 10 minutes.

Step one:
Take one of those travel mugs that you can insert your own picture in.  Mine was a cast-off that had a dorky photo of a raven in it (sorry mom).  Unscrew the bottom of the mug and slide out the picture.
step two:
Pick some fabric.  I had a funky 60's dress that I picked up at a thrift store with the plan to shorten it to a minidress anyway, so no harm in cutting a chunk off of the bottom.
Step three:
Iron fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the fabric, to make it stiffer and thus easier to slide into the mug.
Step four:
Trace the shape of the plastic template provided, or the paper that was in there to begin with.
Step five:
Cut out the shape with nice sharp scissors (which reminds me I really need to find a scissors sharpening place, you could ride to China on all of mine)
Step six:
Slip the fabric into the mug, screw the bottom back on, and enjoy your new fab-tastic travel mug!
(I have no idea if this is dishwasher proof, I highly doubt it.  so you know, don't come crying to me if you try this and you end up with a bunch of thread in your dishwasher.  Just hand wash it, duh.)


a statement on the importance of "before photos"

I thought it would be fun to make Stoli a cat toy.  So I crocheted one and filled him with catnip.
I really wish I had waited to give it to him until after I had taken at least one photo...


cooking up some new curtains

It's been a while since the last time I made new curtains for the kitchen, and the old ones were getting pretty faded.  It took a trip to the garment district in downtown LA, but I finally found some fabric that inspired me enough to sew something so boring (rectangles are really not that challenging).
the photo doesn't really do the colors justice, they are so retro and cute.  The print is utensils!  So rad.
and seriously, how cute is ric-rac?  Yellow ric-rac is like crafting's answer to Prozac.


2 weeks off, too many projects

So I'm currently between film gigs, which means 2 whole weeks to do whatever I please.  I decided this time I would NOT waste my hiatus watching Law & Order re-runs.  So I made a very ambitious list of projects around the house that I had been "meaning to get around to".  First on the list, buying a gosh darn dresser for my bedroom!
So that's done.  Picked up this Danish mod beaut at the Long Beach flea on sunday.  I knew no matter what I ultimately do with the decor in my bedroom, this is a classic and I'll always like it.

Next up was recovering the ottoman in the living room.  It's a funky turquoise vinyl that I've always planned on recovering but never found the right fabric.  I finally just bought something, knowing I can always do it over if I find something better!  Here were the steps:

 remove the legs, by prying loose the super rusty 50 yr old screws
 pry up the funky "woodgrain" cardboard
 cut the piping off with a matte knife.  not doing this would have meant a funky top edge once it was recovered, and I wasn't about to remove the nasty old vinyl, uncovering god knows what...
make piping.  I have mentioned before how much I dislike making piping.  At least this time there wasn't much to make.
 sew the top, piping and sides together.  this was easy for me, as I have upholstered many many cushions.  so I'm not going to explain the process, unless you really want to know in which case just ask.
 I had some cotton quilt batting lying around, so I stapled a layer of that over the cushion, thinking it would be nicer if the fabric wasn't sliding around on top of the vinyl underneath.
 stapled the cover in place, making sure to get a nice evenly tight fit.
 reattached the legs and woodgrain stuff and placed in the living room.  waited for the inevitable moment when a cat would decide that this was now a fine place to spend the afternoon.
I'm quite happy with it!  I even think the new nubby olive tweed looks more authentic than the actually authentic vinyl.  Total cost:  $12 for the ottoman (flea mkt) and $25 for fabric.  Total time:  about 3 hours.

Tomorrow, I'll post the new kitchen curtains I whipped up this morning.  I'm really on a roll!


a very stylish pachyderm

Here's Cedric the Hipster Elephant.  He's not a fan of the hot LA weather so he's moving to Portland with the rest of the hipsters where he plans to open an organic coffee house/comic book shop.

(I made Cedric from a pattern in the book Amigurumi World, and added the accessories myself)



this is making me think about really trying to animate the little amigurumi dudes I've been making!  Awesome spot and super cool crocheted dudes.

BC Dairy Foundation, "Back Alley Puppet Fight" from Bent Image Lab on Vimeo.


wish you were here...

this is what I need to be doing right now:
that's taken at the Ace Hotel and Swim Club in Palm Springs.  It's pretty much my favorite place in the world these days.  Whenever I'm stressed and burnt out, I fantasize about hanging out at the Ace, feeling like a rich hippie, laying around in the desert heat and drinking date shakes.
I've had a plan for a while that I want to re-decorate my bedroom to look like the rooms at the Ace.  I'm a little worried that if I try to match them too exactly, it will cease to seem special when I go there.  But here are some elements I'm going to try to work in...

canvas curtains and lots of white...
ethnic rugs and pillows, and maybe a leather chair...
 natural materials...succulents...
and definitely some sort of macrame element...
oh, and maybe an elephant.


adventures in thrifting

Stopped by the Council Thrift on Venice blvd the other morning on my way to work...I have a love/hate relationship with the Jewish Women's Council thrift stores here in LA.  On the one hand, I hate them because the prices are usually insanely high.  On the other hand, those old Jewish ladies have some good stuff!  I routinely find great paintings and occasionally some good pottery.  And if I'm ever in need of some sequined cruise-ship attire, they've got me covered.

Anyway this time I only had 15 minutes, but I found two Vera scarves for a buck a piece:

and this mug with a mustachioed dude on it!

I mean, seriously... a mustache mug for 50 cents.  Who could resist?


vermicious knids

Besides sharing my home with one awesome roomie and way too many thrift store finds, I also get to come home to these two little faces every day:

What more could a girl ask for?  
(well...a girl might ask that a certain cross-eyed siamese NOT eat all of her ipod headphones, each of which cost more than a month's worth of cat food to replace.)


he wants to suck your blood. and then cuddle!

Here's the newest creepy cutie...

The roommate wants to keep this guy around, so I won't be giving him away.  I'm kinda tired of creepy now though, so I'm working on a couple new ones that are just plain cute. 


Scrap-ghan in progress

As I mentioned last week, I've been really into crochet lately and have several afghans in various states of completion.  This one was started as a way to use up all the random half-finished balls of yarn from other projects.  I just started doing rows, without any pattern to the colors used, until I ran out of a particular yarn.  But my design sensibilities wouldn't let it be quite that random, so then I started buying more yarn (thus defeating the whole "stash-busting" aspect of it).  Sigh...

Anyway this is what it looked like a couple months ago...it's since gotten big enough to cover my full-sized bed.  I could keep going on it, but it got way too warm to work on something this big and wooly.

Plus Stoli loves it so much, that whenever I work on it he insists on crawling under it and onto my lap, making it an even warmer situation.  I'll pull it back out when the weather turns cooler.  Which here in LA means it will be December before I can even stand to look at it!



I've been crocheting for a year or so now, and I'd seen these super cute little toys but they never interested me. I was mostly into afghans (of which I've made several now, and will post about when I get around to taking pics). But afghans are a pain to work on when it's hot. So when I saw the book "Creepy Cute Crochet", I decided to give these little guys a try.

I think they turned out pretty great!  I posted them on facebook and offered them to any engaged or married friends, and they found a home within just a few minutes.  I think I'm even going to give him a bow tie before I send them to their new home.

I'd never crocheted this small before, and never with cotton yarn, so it took some practice getting them right.  Of course I'm now obsessed with making all of the patterns in the book.  I'm currently working on Nosferatu, who is adorable.

well, this is awkward...

not that anyone was really reading this blog, besides my mom. But after almost two years I've decided to give it another go. And this time it's going to be about everything, as the header says...soup to nuts! Crafts, my thesis film, thrifting, my apartment, whatever I feel like.

So if you ever read it, welcome back. And maybe this time I'll find a few new fans!