Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Absolutely Cuckoo

I've always wanted a cuckoo clock. For nostalgic reasons, we had them growing up... but my love of German decor kind of ends with Bauhaus and an A-Frame. What's a girl to do?  

Check out this bad boy. It's the new Cuckoo Clock from CB2. It sits among my books under a graphic print of San Francisco, Alamo Square perspective. As with all of my chotchkies, it's white, so it easily integrates into the existing space and kind of feels like the modern house in the old neighborhood. I did have to turn the cuckoo volume down because it scares the bejesus out of us in the middle of the night.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I love you Pumpkin

best jack-o-lantern ever.
One of my favorite things to eat in the Fall is pumpkin bread. I have been working on this recipe for a few weeks and I think I have finally figured out how to make it both moist and flavorful, in a more figure flattering way.

Here's the recipe:

3 cups whole wheat flour 
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon 
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 tsp ground ginger
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 15oz can pumpkin puree 
4 eggs beaten

Preheat to 350. Whisk the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls, combine and distribute between two 8" loaf pans greased with a little cooking spray.  Bake for 45 minutes (check with a toothpick). Allow to cool for a few minutes, transfer to a cutting board, slice into it warm.  Yum. Enjoy with a heavily creamed cup of coffee in the morning listening to a podcast of "This American Life", maybe on your birthday.

Friday, October 14, 2011

You Are My Sunshine

I think a bedroom should be simple and peaceful, a place you retreat to.  I tend not to overdecorate my bedrooms, I like to be surrounded by books, and comfy sheets, but our room has needed something over the bed for 3 years, I just hadn't found anything that fit the scale of the space, which is small to be kind.
The Wooden Dowel Project

The wooden dowel project was a sunburst mirror.  I've always wanted one, but I don't really love the harsh metal look in my own home.  I set out to create one using dowels, balsa pieces and a 10" round mirror, all sourced from Blick and Michaels. I mapped out the project and using wood glue, I pieced it together and let it dry overnight. I attached the mirror behind the ring using Gorilla Glue and it was ready to hang. The project took 1 hour for design and assembly, plus time for the glue to dry.  It measures  2 1/2 feet across and cost about $30.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rainy Day Woman

Sometimes the weather puts you in a mood that feels the way it looks.

I decided to make a big pot of split pea soup to really hammer it on home.

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups of dried split peas (rinsed)
8 cups of chicken stock
1 tbsp smokey paprika
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cracked pepper

Sautee the onion, garlic and carrots for 5 minutes.

Add split peas, stock and seasoning, bring to a boil.
Reduce to simmer for an hour.  
Serve with crusty bread and salty butter
Wear a cozy sweater, have a glass of wine and listen to Bob Dylan.

Sunday, October 9, 2011


My Grandma Maxine was the original make-doer. She and I had a very special relationship in the sense that I was very interested in learning how to do all of the things that were her hobbies. She taught me how to sew (a few times), rode me on the front of her horse, and enrolled me in golf lessons. She and my Grandfather built a beautiful custom ranch home in the late 70's and decorated it with their mid-century furnishings, some of which I have in my own home now.  She was always a creative inspiration to me.  I saw this wall of eyeglasses at Anthropologie the other day and it made me miss her, I think she'd really like that I have a blog dedicated to the things she also loved to do. 
Right now I'm working on a project using wooden dowels.  I love the natural wood with painted ends.  I'm going in a few directions right now, but I hope to have something finished up this week.  I'm also working on a few new pieces for Jasper Hearts Wren. I'll be doing a post about the new look on our website, new design ideas and our new blog Tongue In Cheek which will feature an interview with Elizabeth Leu, owner of Fiddlesticks in Hayes Valley.  

Monday, October 3, 2011

Haunted Haus

We decorated for Halloween on the last day of September.  It's too exciting to wait.  I held a very old fashioned Halloween party years ago and invested in some great pieces that I still use every year. Creepy black widow spiders, crows, haunted tree candelabra, a flying bat and a hairy spider that drops down on you when you walk beneath it.  You know, the usual.  Last year my son and I collaborated on the ghost garland pictured above.  
This year we're making bats...lots of bats. 

It'll function as his seasonal art installment in what has become his kitchen gallery. This project requires the use of printer paper, black markers, fishing line and those useless pennies you keep on top of your dresser. We chose not to use black construction paper, because it looked more "artistic" to color them in.  Simply fold a piece of paper in half, trace the profile of a bat, cut it out, color, attach a penny and fishing line to the top of the bat and hang, hang many to get to really get the effect. To make the ghosts, we used pieces of gauze (you could use cheese cloth) stuffed with cotton, tied around the neck with fishing line. We colored their faces with marker and using a sewing needle, I strung them together with more fishing line.

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