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I am painting, again.

5 Mar

A few months ago, I painted the break room at work, to show my employees how much I like them and to give them a relaxing atmosphere in which to unwind during their breaks. Most of them probably wish I never would have done this (even though the room turned out A-mazing) because I bitched about how difficult it was for at least 2 weeks after said project was complete. The ceilings were high, the 10-year-old fixtures in the room were dilapidated, stuff was screwed into the walls where it shouldn’t have been… it was really hard work! After I was done “extreme makeover-ing,” I made a chart and assigned everyone a week of “break room duty,” during which they have to sweep, mop and scrub the room; which is another reason they probably wish I hadn’t bothered. Anyway, I said it would be at least another year before I picked up a paint brush again. Here it is, just 2 or 3 months into my strike, and I am back in the kitchen with a can of glossy red!

At one point, I had cork sheets behind the sink. But over time, they got wet and gross. So I pulled them down and decided to paint it red — to match the opposite wall in our kitchen. This is coat #2, and I definitely have a few more to go! When I’m done, I will post pictures of the completed kitchen, I promise. AND — I have help:



3 Mar

I am not fancy. Occasionally, I put on make up or straighten my hair. I sometimes wear costume jewelry; “going out” entails pinning a brooch to my jacket or stringing gold chains with chunky charms around my neck. Mostly, it takes me literally 15 minutes to be dressed and out the door. I do, however, appreciate fancifulness. Last week, my mom and I ventured to San Francisco’s Legion of Honor to view their Cartier and America Exhibit.

It was down pouring outside, which really made it a perfect museum day.

The exhibit itself was really extensive. The collection is huge, and it seems like the jewels go on forever and ever. This particular exhibition was only dealing with Cartier pieces that were commissioned or purchased by Americans. Most of the jewelry belonged to heiresses of the industrial era. One that kept coming up, as in she owned an enormous amount of the pieces on display, was Marjorie Merriweather Post — the daughter of the creator of Post Cereal.

The keystone piece, the one used in most of the advertising for the event, used on all the banners around town and is featured as the very first thing you see when you enter the exhibition is this one:

Pendant brooch made by Cartier London, 1923, altered for Marjorie Merriweather Post (1887-1973) by Cartier New York, 1928. Emeralds, diamonds, platinum, and enamel; length 8 inches.

Yes, those are large drops of emeralds, emblazoned with diamonds and platinum, of course! CRAZY! But that wasn’t my favorite, in fact, it couldn’t be found on my top ten. I was more akin to the likes of this one:

Amethysts, turquoise, diamonds, platinum and gold. Made in 1947 for the Duchess of Windsor. Brilliant.

And Elizabeth Taylor’s rubies were stunning:

My favorite part of the exhibit was actually that they included the artists’ sketches, like this one (of the keystone piece):

It was really great to be able to see the process, from idea to finished product. I was disappointed that there was no credit given to individual jewelers/designers… it was all just “Cartier.”

We were joined by a large crowd of decked out old ladies (we’re talking large velour hats, white leather gloves, lots of boots, Burberry skirts and plastic hair scarves), which only made the people watching after the exhibit that much better.

wall paper

26 Jan

A few months ago my room-mate chipped some of the paint off her wall. (We have these old walls – when you drive a nail into them several trails of cracks scurry from the point of impact.) When the top coat chipped off it took layers of other paint off the wall as well. Years of paint, eras of paint fell to the floor, revealing wall paper from decades past! The land lord claims that the building was established somewhere around 1910; and the small peak of wall paper that we saw looked pretty darn old. I’ve heard about people discovering crazy patterns underneath years of coverup  — offering a small look at what their home used to adorn on its walls. It was really cool to see that small piece of unexpected history.

I just happened to be perusing the clearance books at Green Apple the other day when I came across this gem: Off the Wall: Wonderful Wall Coverings of the Twentieth Century. It’s a great book, full of neat wall paper samples from the past century. AND, of course, I have some faves:

1950s American wallpaper

Scenic Late 1920s wallpaper

French wallpaper of the 1920s

French wallpaper from the 1920s

It’s really a shame that wallpaper isn’t as popular as it used to be.


16 May

Is it true? Podcasting is the last totally free art form?

It is free.

I love my iPod and more recently, I have dedicated a lot of time to the digital download  of several podcasts. The closest thing to podcasting is talk radio. Podcasting may not be an art form, but it is surely the future of radio.

Sound Opinions was referred to me by my bestie. Podcasts are almost entirely marketed by word of mouth. Their popularity seems to be more organic. It’s not based on a big mysterious rating system. Sound Opinions features two well-known music geeks who produce a weekly showcase of music news, feature an artist or a music-centered discussion and then critique new albums. It is inherently interesting and totally gets me pumped about new music. The discussions are intelligent and actually relevant. The most interesting discussions occur around the future of music, and the music industry.

sound opinions

Of course, I listen to This American Life, a program that is, week after week, iTunes’ #1 downloaded podcast. Best described as a collection of small sound documentaries, it is exactly as the title reads, life today in America. Fascinating and ironic and honest.


The last of my top-three podcasts is the newest to the mix, The Adam Carolla Podcast. I have stated  that I was a huge fan of LoveLine back in the day, so the Carolla podcast features the funnier of the LoveLine duo, Adam Carolla. The podcast is essentially a one hour rant. Carolla hosts guests, but he does most of the talking. I am fine with this… in several ways, I think Carolla is extremely smart, and a talented comedian. The man can make an analogy to explain any situation, which is brilliant.


So, what do you listen to?

this is still relevant

5 May

This poster became really (re)popular a few years ago. Originally, it was a WWII poster plastered in England to inspire comfort during a time of world unrest. Today, you can buy it in a post card, mouse pad or tee-shirt form. I love it.


I also like this incarnation:


And I can see the humor in this one:



11 Nov

Inspired by Miranda July‘s Learning to Love You More, assignment number 63, I decided to make a banner for a friend’s birthday. I’m pretty happy with how it came out, and it got my craftivity flowing too…




I think I have a project.

6 Aug

But, I’m not sure how long it will last. The other night, I was buying a sub sandwhich, and while a waited for the toppings to be added, I grabbed a copy of the SF Gaurdian. The current issue is their Best of the Bay Awards – where readers and editors pick their favorite places/things/people in the Bay Area (mostly SF), and publish them in the tabloid-like, mostly-advertisements paper. There are tons and tons of listings, for pretty much everthing imaginable. From “Best Cafe” to “Best Paper Clips With A Past,” if it’s considered cool, it’s in there.

So my project is to walk to all the ones I find interesting. I kind of figure, that San Francisco is only 7 miles by 7 miles, and I live pretty much in the middle, so I couldn’t have to walk too far to get to these places.

On day one, I walked 1.5 miles down to “Black and Blue,” ranked Best Tattoo Shop.

My friend, Lindsay, had a consultation there with Idexa, the owner. So I got to meet her and see the woman-owoned and operated shop that is kind of famous in this area. I talked to Idexa about the fact that the Guardian said this about her shop: “The renowned female artists at B&B may not be able to pee while standing (we think), but they’ll man up to the needles any day. Best tattoos in town.” That sort of grossed me out… for several reasons. ONE – how did whoever wrote this know that they all identify as female? TWO – how did they know that they can’t pee standing? And THREE – why do they have to “man” up to needles. Gross. I was pleased that Idexa felt pretty much the same way I did about this.

Yesterday, I walked 2.2 miles to Green Apple Books, ranked “Best Independent Book Store; Best Used Book Store.”

It’s down on Clement Street, in what I would consider to be Richmond? Anyway, it was totally cool. Working in a “big box” store, for some corporate, giantman, I am always excited to see how little indie places run. It’s just so more creative and fun. Everything was labeled with posterboard and markers. There were quirky signs placed throughout. There were interesting books stacked everywhere, with seemingly little order. It ruled. I didn’t buy anything because I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular – and it was sort of over-whelming. But, I kind of think that’s the purpose.