Friday, August 29, 2008

Because It Is Friday...

Ice Cream Cake - Before
...and because I am bored and want to go home, and because I think this is more interesting than the average meme, here goes.
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating. (actually, since I don't know how to do that cross out thing, I'll just put them in italics.)
Also, if I don't know what something is, I'll add a link to it's wikipedia page.
BTW, this is supposed to be some sort of ultimate omnivore's list, foods every omnivore should try in their lifetime. But I am wary of those kinds of lists (ie 100 things to do before you die) so you can just forget about that. All right.
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba Ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho (duh, this is pretty much my favorite food)
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (apple wine at apple hill, yay for apple hill!)
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper (i dunno if it counts having it in a salsa, or if you have to eat a whole raw pepper....but I'm gonna count it anyway.)
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl (again, duh; I live in San Francisco)
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (i'm not sure about this one, because I think I wouldn't like a cigar, but I suppose I'd be willing to try one.)
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O (it is one of my great sorrows in life that I have never had a jell-o shooter)
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi (but only in sushi rolls that mainly comprised of something more delicious)
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV (honestly? I don't know.)
59. Poutine (dude, this sounds hella delicious, take me to Canada forthwith)
60. Carob chips (stupid)
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (this is basically dirt from China. Yum.)
64. Currywurst (this sounds awesome)
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost (i'm really tempted to say I wouldn't eat this, because it seems incredibly foul, but the truth is I probably would)
75. Roadkill (same as above)
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum (probably my second favorite food)
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant (not that I wouldn't eat it, but sorry, I will never be rich enough)
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare (is this the same as rabbit? I'm going to assume so)
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse (i'm similarly iffy on this. i honestly don't know if i could eat horse.)
90. Criollo chocolate (some super expensive kind of chocolate. i'm not sure if i've had this because i've had a lot of pricey chocolate.)
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (I think this is the dish my dad has fond childhood memories of. i am not anxious to try this because I don't like lobster, but I have never been known to turn down baked dishes described as creamy and cheesy)
98. Polenta (unfortunately)
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake
Conclusion: That list is stupid and I hate this kind of holier than thou because I eat offal sort of stuff. But I am happy to learn about poutine.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Etsy Finds - CheapCharlie

I think I mentioned a week or so ago that I had plans to reorganize my wardrobe by getting rid of clothes I didn't wear anymore. Well, I did that, and I was pretty hard on myself about not keeping things that didn't fit or that really just didn't look cute on me no matter how cute they looked on the hanger. And you know what? The result was that I was left with a lot of nice shirts and cardigans. And that's it, they were nice. Nice but super boring. My whole wardrobe was dark blue, gray or black; there were solid colors only, no patterns, and everything was either t-shirt or polo style. I began to fear I was going to look terribly old and square. My first instinct was to run out and start buying armloads of brightly patterned structurally interesting clothes somewhere like H&M. But then I came up with a brilliant idea: why not perk my boring duds up with some quirky brooches? Yeah, I know, I'm a fashion genius. Of course, I found loads of darling brooches, vintage and handmade, on Etsy. I mean simply loads. If you take a look at my favorites on etsy you'll see what I found to be the cream of the crop. My numero uno was cheapcharlie's shop, which was stocked with some absolutely incredible enamel vintage brooches. They are uncirculated deadstock, and so are in excellent condition. Many of the brooches she has for sale still have the tags attached! Bonus, they come in adorable animal shapes (I got a brown swan and an orange and black panda). She has sold a lot of her stock already but she still has plenty of cuteness that I expect will go fast. Better get over there dudes!

Vintage Goat Ram Enamel Brooch (orange)

Top of Post: Vintage Panda Gold Enamel Brooch (BrownBlack)
PS - did I mention that these (and shipping) are insanely affordable? For reals!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

All Thumbs

New book in the shop, what's up! This is Thumbs Tubby, an old time honky tonk piano player from the 1950s. This is one of those notebooks I made thinking it probably will not be especially popular, but maybe someone would see it and love like I do, be beguiled by the name Thumbs Tubby and his grinning cigar smoking ways. And if not, hey, maybe I'll just keep it for myself!
I'm a little bummed on business this week, even though it's been pretty brisk, because I've had my first experience with cancelling a sale. In fact, I had to cancel two sales this week! It makes me feel bad for a couple reasons, obviously the first being that, boo, I thought made a sale but now it turns out I didn't. That sucks. But also it makes me feel bad because I realize how soft spined I am; it took me longer than it should have to decide to cancel these sales, I wanted to give the non-payers the benefit of the doubt, "maybe they just don't understand the checkout process...maybe the MO got lost in the mail..." When what I should be doing is sticking to my shop policies. I'm just trying to be a nice person, but the business world is no place to be nice. I guess. I'm hoping in the future I'll do better. How was your first time cancelling a sale?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

reading list

ava sticks out her tongue
We're taking Ava and Nick Nolte to the vet for the first time tomorrow. I think I am way more excited than I should be. It's just that it's the first time since we brought them home that they will be out in the world! I'm not used to having indoor cats, when I was growing up my cats were indoor/outdoor, but really mostly outdoor. I think Ava will be really excited and Nick Nolte will be really really freaked out. And probably I will be a little worried because of Nick freaking out, and also hoping that they are both ok (I think they might have ear mites, I hope it's nothing more serious). I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.
I've got some blogs I'd like to share with you, and, since we were just talking of cats, how about we start with a cat-centric blog? Whether or not you are a reader of The Sartorialist (but especially if you are), you will certainly appreciate the dry wit and gentle parody of The Catorialist. But really, it's hard to resist cute cat photos.
I am a big fan of Gracia + Louise, I have mentioned them here before and I have one of their gorgeous zines. So I'm kind of embarrassed that I have just now discovered that they have a team of completely lovely blogs, with a stress on the lovely. They are filled with their watercolors and collages, works in progress as well as peeks at books and shows, etc. They have individual personal blogs; Gracia at high up in the trees and Louise at elsewhere. They also collaborate, along with Elaine Haby and special guests on a blog of illustrations of collective nouns called a skulk of foxes and a husk of hares. It just sounds delightful, doesn't it?
Another blog I've been enjoying immensely lately is elephantine. Always gorgeous photos, always fun shopping links, always whimsical writing. Also, there are often photos of the author's beauty of a cat Rufus.
PS - To any San Francisco readers, this sunday there will be a pilot run of Sunday Streets San Francisco, where a stretch of road (mostly the Embarcadero) from Bayview to Chinatown will be closed to motor traffic. You will be able to stroll comfortably in the streets without fear of being run down by a car! (I can't make any promises about not being run down by a bike, so be careful!) If you are in the area you should check this out, it would be wonderful if this experiment were a success and this became a weekly event!

Monday, August 25, 2008

First Steps

I got my gocco you guys! It finally came late last week, which is so exciting. is currently still in the box. Part of that is that I have had a lot of other things on my plate since it arrived and also had to deal with a small crisis the other day, which means that I haven't been doing any creating (except for some extremely satisfying knitting). Also, I am a tiny bit scared of it, but I'm sure that feeling will fade once I crack open the instruction manual and track down some of the tutorials I know are floating around out there in the interwebs. But mostly, I am, wait for it, feeling uninspired! Yes, I'm sure if you've been reading this blog for a bit, you might have heard this from me before. But I really don't have a clear plan as to what I want my first exciting project to be, besides making a little design with my web address to print in the backs of all my books. I was heartened today when I saw an easy diy photoboard project on the paper and stitch blog, super cute and super super easy. Hello, obviously what I need is an inspiration board! I can't wait to get started on my research.

Friday, August 22, 2008

PikaPackage: The time is now

Mel Roska's prints
We've already established that I've been neglecting my blogging duties lately, but it's even more aggrevious because I've had some very exciting news to share: I am participating in this month's PikaPackage! I can't believe I not only didn't share this with you a week ago like I should have, but that I also forgot to tell you about it yesterday! Oops. Anyway, I contributed original linoprints and some of linoprint buttons. I'm really excited to be in the company of some really wonderful artists like Elise of Argyle Whale, Shelby Healy, Julia Pott, and Gracia + Louise, among many others. There are 39 contributed artists this round! The driver of this whole thing is the lovely Amy, if you haven't had a chance to check out her blog PikaLand, do it right now! It's full of lovely art. Oh, and if you'd like to buy your own pikapackage, why you can do so by clicking right here. And guess what? Two dollars from every sale go to Amnesty International.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Etsy Finds: sonFlower

About 5 years ago I purchased what I called an Indian Necklace t-shirt at a thrift store. It was a white crew neck t-shirt with a colorful screenprint at the neck line that was supposed to look like necklaces with a Native American feel; you know, turquoise and feathers and all that. I wore it all the time, I wore it to see Huey Lewis at the California state fair. And then I gave it up. For love. And I don't regret it, exactly...I just miss it. So imagine how excited I was to find sonFlower's etsy shop, and this:

icarus on heathered grey by sonFlower

Not exactly an Indian necklace t-shirt...I think it is definitely classier and might even not make a certain person in my life want to throw up. Here's a nice detail shot:

Yep, I think next payday this will have to be mine. Doesn't the t-shirt look super soft? This grey version of the shirt is actually not available right at this moment, but the same design is on white v-neck tees as well. sonFlower also has some really cool totebags like the one at the top of this post. If I didn't need another bag like I need a hole in the head, I would have snatched that up real quick.

The really cool thing about the sonFlower shop? 15% of proceeds from sales go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation. From sonFlower's profile:

The "Hate Clips Our Wings" collection of shirts focus on the thousands of hate crimes that happen every year. In 2006 5,449 people were attacked because of their race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and religion. Every feather represents one of those victims. 15% of each shirt's price is donated to The Matthew Shepard Foundation that fights for stricter hate crime laws as well as the equality and acceptance of gay & bisexual youth.

mel always feels like Friday

Bunnies - Aerial

I know, I know...I have been a really terrible blogger lately. Actually, I kind of can't believe it's been almost a week since I last updated...I feel really awful about that, sorry. What that means, though, is that I now have loads and loads to share with you. Like the photo above? That's from a new notebook I made that I'm pretty excited about. I'd love for you to check it out right here.
Besides making a bunch of books (that you can see in my flickr stream if you so desire), I went to Oakland last Sunday to check out the Birth of the Cool exhibit at the Oakland Museum of California. The exhibit focused on midcentury modern design in a wide variety of mediums; architecture, painting, animation, music. And of course lots of Eames designed furniture. We went on the very last day of the run, so you can no longer catch it in Oakland, but if it comes to your town I highly recommend stopping by.
We walked around a bit in Oakland, through Chinatown to the downtown business area. Before I had never had an opportunity to spend any time exploring Oakland, and it was a lot different than what I expected. I guess I thought it would be more like San Francisco, but more industrial. Really, it was like San Francisco but sleepier and quainter without that stress that sometimes hangs in the air in San Francisco. The Chinatown there is so different from the Chinatown here in San Francisco! The streets were so quiet...and there are a lot of really gorgeous little houses in that area. Oh, and I can't forget the school playground with a pirate ship! So awesome. Yep, Oakland is ok with me.
PS - If you are in Oakland in the Chinatown area and you are hungry for some tasty vegetarian Vietnamese food, Golden Lotus is super delish.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Night Moves

New notebook for sale!
Oy, I am sleepy today. I've been sleepy pretty much all week, but today especially because last night I stayed up too late watching the Olympics. I couldn't help it though, it was gymnastics! It's like reliving my childhood when my sisters and I would skate around our driveways, pretending we were Kristy Yamaguchi. I know, that's ice skating, but I just mean that I when I was little the Olympics were a big thing for me, my whole family would sit together and watch every and any event. But I haven't watched an Olympic event since I moved out of my parents' house in 2002, so last night was oddly nostalgic. Even though scoring in some events may have changed and I don't remember feeling quite so cynical about the commentators when I was 9, I found comfort in the fact that swimming and gymnastics look the same as they did 16 years ago. Maybe that sounds weird, I don't know. I just know that it's still exciting and thrilling to watch these amazing feats of athleticism, and to know that millions (billions?) of people are watching and thrilling right along with you.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Walking Weekend

My New Wallet!
Erin and I unknowingly walked four miles on Saturday! This (above) is the new wallet I picked up on our travels. It is a Betsy Walton design by Poketo and I got it at Rare Device. Poketo makes so many awesome wallets with so many awesome artists, it was really really difficult to decide which one I wanted. I decided on this one because I've been lusting after Betsy Walton's work in her etsy shop for a while now, so I figured this would be a gateway of sorts. Soon I'll be be snapping up her prints, I'm sure. In fact, they had some at rare device, and now I'm kind of hitting myself for not buying one. I'm hitting myself for not buying a bunch of prints they had there actually, I really need to make a trip back soon.
Another place we hit up on Saturday that I need to get back to stat is Little Otsu. I think what was going was it was super hot on Saturday, I was walking around, getting all sweaty and I wasn't thinking straight enough to know that I wanted to buy buy buy everything they had! They collaborate with artists to make awesome exclusive to them items like calendars with Jennie Smith, adorable planners with Martine Workman, and this genius film diary (want it!). Of course they are also stocked with tons and tons of sweet stationary and notebooks and pins and postcards and wallets...oh, and right now they are offering free shipping on orders over $25 on their website! That's a pretty good deal. Be sure to check out their fun blog too.
The only downer on Saturday was that we didn't make it to the Curiosity Shoppe because they were closing early, but we did get to drool a little over the window display, which was all weaving. They were showing a portable loom like the one in Craft that I've been using, but instead of paper it was made out of what looked like acrylic. Needless to say I am aching to get in there and buy that! Luckily, Curiosity Shoppe is practically next door to Little Otsu, so it will be very easy for me to visit both next weekend. See you there!


I'm excited because I'll be listing a drawing here for the first time in a long time in just a few moments.

update: right-o, here it is - click!


Monday, August 11, 2008

Front Page

OMG you guys! I am totally on the front page of etsy right now! Go look, go look!

Edit: All right, I have a screen cap! (thanks to the Etsy Front Pagers flickr group)

FP 8-11-08 2.26pm pst
There's my cats and foxes notebook in the second row middle there. So exciting! And so cool that I'm with some of my fave shops like estasketch and bonspielcreations. And that sweater above my book, from CositasSeriasVintage; I was seriously considering buying that earlier today. I was going to write about some cool stuff I did this weekend, but it's going to have to wait until tomorrow, I'm going to have to just relish this for today.

Friday, August 8, 2008

8! 8! 08!

Today is my lucky day! And your lucky day! And, well, supposedly it's everybody's lucky day, because it's 8/8/08 and 8 is, in Chinese culture, the luckiest of lucky numbers. Before I run out to win the lottery, I decided to compile some of the best lucky charms to be found on etsy.

Cool coiled snake ring from Anomaly Jewelry, who says in this listing that snakes were common symbols of luck in ancient jewelry.

A bottle of sparkly lucky stars from kimiko611. Sweet!

This is such a great gift idea, from reillybelle: customized lucky pennies!

This pretty and poppy wallhanging by ebbtides is a lucky double whammy: you get your lucky horseshoe of course, and you also get some good karma because 50% of the purchase price will go to Utah animal shelter Best Friends.
This necklace from pendantflair is the definition of luck. Literally. Not to mention elegantly simple and striking.
I love the rich saturated colors in this photo of the lucky u motel by jkldesign, taken using a method she calls TTV. Click over to the listing for her definition.

Now, which is your lucky number... seven?...

...or thirteen?

Well, lucky you, reiter8 has both on lovely recycled canvas bags.

I adore this lucky paw keychain from astulabee; a cruelty free version of your standard lucky rabbit's foot! It is so adorable.

Catch some luck in this catch-all lucky ceramic tiny text bowl by palomasnest. So lovely.

Let some of your luck rub off on your guests (ha ha, get it?) and use these lucky horseshoe soaps from karenssoaps in your guest bathroom today.

Ok, I'm off to the races! Hope you all have a super lucky day!


Finally Friday

The tassle-eared squirrel. So so cute. In the shop now.
I am pleased as punch that it is friday. This has been an unpalatably long week. But now it is over and it is the weekend! Well, nearly anyway. I have vague plans this weekend to go through my wardrobe; I purchased a bunch of new clothes and shoes over the course of the last couple weeks and I really need to weed out some items to make room. My closet is an absolute mess, it's embarrassing.
Also on my plate for this weekend; barbeque with Steve's family (yum) and Pineapple Express tomorrow at the bargain show! And lots of maxin' and relaxin', cuz that's how I do.
Have a really beautiful friday!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This Is An Emergency!

Pigeon Power By Clare Bowers

Oh my gosh you guys! I have just discovered that one of my very very favoritest etsy shops is having an amazing blowout sale!!!! Clare Bowers (who also writes a nice little blog called Clare Cupcake) has significantly discounted every piece in her shop. Wow. This is a bargain you will not see the likes of again, I promise you. Her paintings are jam packed with cuteness. Look at this!
Quail Guardian by Clare Bowers

Oh yeah. You better get your buns over there.


Golden Throated Warblers - Detail
I am feeling a little under the weather today, friends. I think it may have something to do with a combination of a late night and a large hot sake and a pint of beer, combined with a chillier than normal (at least lately) night and an open window. But who can be sure. The point is that I am dragging a little bit today and am not exactly at my highest mental capacity. But! I edited some photos on flickr today using picnik! I had attempted this before, but for some reason could not get a result that I was happy with. All my colors came out garish and everything was overly blurry or overly pixelated. I had kind of given up on picnik, but decided to give it another whirl today, and I am very pleased with the results. I used the photos I edited for a new listing in the shop, a very pretty golden throated warblers notebook.
Also! I attempted a bit of weaving last night with the portable loom provided in the current issue of Craft. I got a very small piece of fabric made before my yarn broke. It was frustrating at first, but I was starting to get the hang of it towards the end. I am excited to try again, with some modifications. First, the tutorial instructs you to pass your yarn pieces through the loom card first, then tie the yarn to a stick. I'm going to try tying the yarn to the stick first, that way I can more easily ensure the yarn isn't twisted. Second, there is a cardboard piece provided to wrap the yarn you will be weaving into the loom around, I think it is called the shuttle, but I can't remember. Anyway, I found this to be too bendy to be handy. I will have to find something more rigid to replace this. I don't know what yet, I'll have to do some experimenting. Lastly, I will have to choose some yarns or threads that will be less likely to break. (Sorry if this is confusing or boring, I'll try to have pictures up soon to help explain what I mean). Anyway, I'm still really excited about it!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Plans Laid Bestly

So, nothing went according to plan last night. It's ok though, because that meant that I was able to take pictures of the books I've made. Finally! They'd really started to pile up. I haven't had a chance to list any in the shop yet, but I did manage to post the photos on flickr. Unfortunately, I uploaded the wrong folder, so ALL of the photos I took are up there, instead of just the ones I edited. Oops. I'll have to take care of that later today. Also, another plan undone, I did not start weaving last night, but I did read up on it and am still really really excited! I will definitely post pictures of my attempts when they occur.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Whoo! I am super excited about the issue of Craft that came out today. It features tons of articles on weaving, which is something I've been wanting to learn for some time now. (It also has a very interesting looking piece on flavoring vodka with skittles, yum) I just ran out to the newsstand and bought my very own copy and am very much looking forward to getting home and trying it out! Even though I'm kind of bummed that I won't be able to go to the issue release party this Saturday. But hey, San Franciscans, you should totally go if you can, it sounds like it's going to be totally rad; there will be weaving tutorials going on and it is at the very lovely Curiosity Shoppe on Valencia. Click here for more info.


I am a game-a-holic. I love games of (almost) all kinds. And I could play games all day. Literally. I am the type of person who spends four hours playing a game of Risk or Monopoly and then is sad because no one wants to play another round. This past weekend in Sacramento was all about games; Mario Party, then a wild goose chase for an Acquire set, then a nice two day Risk game. Steve picked up a Connect Four set at one of the Targets we hit up and we've been at that since we've been home (though, I must admit it's not one of my favorites, but it's growing on me). Anyway, I've got games on the brain now, so I was inspired to share some of my favorite game inspired etsy finds with you. This necklace from crimsonking is made from a 60s era Clue piece. Col. Mustard in the library with the revolver...

There are so many people on etsy using scrabble tiles to make jewelry, so it's refreshing to see littletilegnome using them to make lovely coasters. These would also be great for an impromptu game of Boggle, though I guess you'd only be able to play once.
I'm not very good at chess, but I wouldn't mind pretending that I am in this cool acrylic necklace from PaisleyChainsaw.
Here's a great little (5.5" by 5.5") clock from one of my favorite shop, IMOTIME, made from one of my all time favorite games, Sorry!

I absolutely love these pendants by prettytheory. Can you believe they're made out of game boards? (Scrabble on the left, Parcheesi on the right.)

A nice black leather dice cup from BeasBargains, perfect for Yatzhee or Perquacky.

Man, gathering these cool finds is making me itch for a game night!


Friday, August 1, 2008

Michelle Kendrick

I happened upon Michelle Kendrick's etsy shop the other day and was immediately impressed with her mixed media works. I especially love her 50 States series, because you know how I have a soft spot for anything remotely map related. But really I love her colors and how she uses white highlighting to give her works an ethereal feel that contrasts with the earthiness of the maple she paints on and the straightforwardness of the states. She also has some really wonderful figure studies in her shop. In fact, she's only had one sale in this shop so far, so you'll have a real trove of treasures to choose from when you check it out.


Original Painting - HSP Acrylic on wood by MichelleKendrick