Kristina

I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for the ‘pretty projects’ Category

February 1, 2010

weekend that blurs into the weeks ahead

Because I officially finished my last day of work (at the office) on Friday. Sooooo exciting. I’ve got a few more weeks (hopefully) to finish up some lingering freelance projects and then I’m taking a break to learn to be a mommy. Neat.

There are lots of things happening around the house as we frantically prepare for baby. Our diapers have been washed, the rocking chair is on the way, mobile hung… but of course there are still like 37 more things I NEED to have finished. Instead of doing them, this weekend was spent running errands and then doing a really fun project for 100 Layer Cake in Los Olivos. Fun? yes. Last 6 hour day in the car? YES.

It was so incredibly gorgeous though… worth the long day for sure.

Danielle, working her magic on the grey wood deck around the farmhouse.

Amanda’s awesome pink nails and golden iPhone case.

And me, 37 weeks. Doesn’t my belly look fake? Geez. It doesn’t FEEL that huge when I’m carrying it around. Officially full term. So it could be any time then?

(Do no pay attention to my crazy outfit. It was way colder than it looks so I had to ditch the flops for backup Uggs).

January 27, 2010

projects with fabric

SUCH a welcome break from pixels, I have to say.

First, so happy so many of your liked Away We Go too! I have another lesser known recommendation you might like: The Go-Getter. Add it to your queue.

Now then.

Back in the beginning of the year when I first became a seamstress (HAAAAA), I found myself at the UCC perusing their books on sewing. I was supposed to be walking before breakfast while Brock was running, but shopping and latte sounded better at the time. And I ended up with 2 lovely books by Lotta Jansdotter.

Simple Sewing and Simple Sewing for Baby (obviously).

So excited about these books. So excited that I found myself buying fabric remnants on Lotta’s site approximately 3 hours after I purchased them.

But I did actually make things from my scraps!

Coasters! I am currently restricted to things of the rectangular persuasion, but I am getting better.

Draft Snake! I went three dimensional over the weekend. Very satisfying. But we have approximately 10 old leaky windows in our house and only one snake to block the drafts. It moves from window to window.

Okay, actually I made a pillow over Christmas while I was on my bunting kick. So I’ve don’t 3-D before. But still. I can’t believe how satisfying it is to make things. Even though they are mostly squares.

I have all sorts of plans for making baby bloomers and things when we find out what kind of baby we have.

Only two more days of work at the office. Then I can indulge my nesting impulses to the max.

January 20, 2010

prep

Things are a wee bit hectic at the moment. I’m frantically trying to wrap up work for the time being, and prepare for our new little family member, and find time for self (for relaxation and things) in the middle of it all. So not much to share this week, but there are some things going on.

Like painting. Poor Brock. He asked me 6 months ago if I wanted to paint the front bedroom before the baby came and I was like No no no, it’s FINE how it is. I like the warm grey color.

Until 2 weeks ago when I opened my eyes on a Saturday morning and the first words out of my mouth were, “I think we need to paint the front bedroom.” Oopsies. But it’s so much nicer now!

It’s been so dark and rainy it’s been hard to get a good picture, but the color is a light robin’s egg sort of blue. Wishing we would have gone one shade brighter, but too late. I’m sure this will do.

And I’m in the middle of a few non essential sewing projects

There’s something about piles of little clipped corners that always get me.

It’s been pouring rain here for the last few days, which is really nice. We are desperate for rain in California. But still couldn’t resist bringing home a few bunches of wiry looking spring yesterday:

Daffodil season is so great. Cheap colorful flowers in every room possible. Still on the look out for anemones. Isn’t it their time of year yet?

So yep. I feel like I had lots of other things to report, but perhaps not. More soon.

December 21, 2009

getting closer

Feeling more ahead of Christmas than I have in at least 5 years. Tis a miracle on Bonaparte Ave, I’ll tell you that much. Pretty much the entire weekend was devoted to puttering around the house, (with the exception of a few hours of essential last minute-ish errands), finishing projects, starting projects, reading recipes, wrapping presents… things of that nature. Somehow this Christmas is shaping up to be much more relaxing than usual. What a treat.

Made my mom’s Christmas toffee, successfully, after only 2 failed attempts. I’ll be posting the recipe tomorrow, with step by step photos because while it’s very simple, it’s also finicky and requires visual aids to get it right. And um, it is the most delicious sweet that makes perfect presents, if you’re looking for a last minute project.

Turned those cute escort cards from Inchmark and Martha Stewart into gift tags. Tutorial and template here… though the template prints HUGE so I had to downsize it in photoshop. And I own every circle punch BUT the size I needed for the project (1.5″) and Michaels was out of that size so mine are a little proportionately awkward. There was no way I was waiting til Tuesday when their next shipment was due to arrive. These tags had to be made on Saturday and that was that.

Do you like my groovy 70′s print from Lincoln Fabrics? I’m so into that store right now. Even though there is dust covering every inch of every bolt of fabric. Buried treasure is all I’m saying.

All but 3 presents successfully wrapped in paper grocery bags and fluorescent pink ribbon. I went back for their entire stock after I used it for my uncle’s bookmarks.

And am diligently making my way through my list of edible gifts.

Granola. I’m not comfortable enough with my own recipe to share… mostly because I don’t really follow a recipe. I just throw a bunch of stuff together and then my oven burns it. But I will offer this nugget of advice, because I’m not sure all recipes note it’s importance:

DO NOT BAKE THE FRUIT. Add it just when the oats and nuts come out of the oven. The heat from the granola plumps it up perfectly. If you bake it with the oats you will be sorry.

Here’s to the last few days of preparation for Christmas-celebrating folk. For those who don’t, be glad you aren’t part of the frenzy. Though I do love Christmas I must say.

I have to go into the office this morning for a rush project. IMAGINE. Working on Mondays. Sick.

(I’m usually working from home on personal projects on Mondays, in case I’ve never mentioned that before).

Toffee tomorrow. See you then?

December 18, 2009

It’s a project kind of weekend

Actually it started last night with the first round of wrapping. Now the living room floor is covered in little bits of paper scraps and ribbon trims. And I’m enjoying an eggnog-y coffee and listening to Christmas with the Rat Pack and plotting my course of project action for the next few days. Which includes a bit of baking, a few little errands, more wrapping, two birthday parties, and beginning to pack for 10 days out of town to San Diego and then to Mammoth.

And since they don’t let hugely pregnant people on the ski slopes, I have to bring an entire car full of project supplies to keep me occupied in front of the fire. I have a SNEAKING suspicion that my most wonderful husband has succumbed to my incessant whining and will be giving me my sewing machine for Christmas. yessssssssssss. Which means I will be bringing it to Mammoth along with stacks of fabric so I can make a few things while I’m up in the snow. Including a few more strands of bunting flags for baby presents to a dear friend and to myself.

In a moment of weakness, while innocently looking up a project on their blog, I ordered a few more yards of fabric from Purl last night. Now that I am a “seamstress” I can do things like that. Maybe sewing will be my true calling. I will buy a lot of fabric and see how I take to it.

Happy Birthday to my ladies Leslie and Deja today!

And everyone have a festive weekend wearing sequins and tights and other cute things that I don’t own because I cannot fit into them.

December 14, 2009

A goodbye

oh look, it’s Monday again. Which means time for my weekly post? No, no. Let’s not make this a habit, self. But yes, I am slacking a bit in the blogging department. This time of year is so busy with so many things and to be honest, in the morning I don’t want to be sitting in front of my computer. Hence the sparsely spaced posts.

This weekend was the memorial service for my uncle. He passed away the weekend before Thanksgiving. Expected? To some extent, yes. But that doesn’t mean you’re prepared. He waged an intense battle against a particularly aggressive cancer that in the end took him very quickly. We are all so sad. He was an amazing man, father, teacher and generally essential member of our small family. I don’t think I can do him justice in a post, but it’s very strange that he’s not here.

The only bright spot was hearing from so many of his students and colleagues and friends that he made in his 51 years. He truly touched so many people, which is the mark of a good teacher I think. One whose untimely memorial service was jammed full of students and former students he taught at Santa Monica High School for so many years. He was the front man in a band in his youth, he was a wild adventurer, a philosopher, an inspiration to everyone he met. There’s no reason on earth that his life should have been cut short. Except that cancer sucks.

But I will say that as terrified as I was that my family would never be the same once he was gone (and we clearly won’t), I think we will be okay. And I know this because as sad as Saturday was (and the weeks that preceded), we still found moments of laughter. And for a family that thrives on silliness, things would have felt truly dire without those windows of happy normalcy.

My aunt asked me to make bookmarks to give out at his memorial. And I did have fun with the colored ribbons I tied on the tops of each. Sort of therapeutic, to be making something nice for people to remember him with, tucked inside a book I hope.

So that was the focus of my weekend. That and the surprising back pain that ensues when you wear heels all day when you’re 7.5 months pregnant and you haven’t worn heels since May.

If you’re in LA and haven’t been to Lincoln Fabrics in a while, I strongly suggest stopping in for their crazy ribbon and vintage trim selection. They have fluorescent ribbon people. It’s pretty cool. But warning, the store is not fancy, some of the fabric is decades old. Kind of like a scavenger hunt…

More soon, I promise.

November 23, 2009

a little engagement package

Overall it was a sad weekend for my family. Perhaps I will write more about it in a bit, for now I’m just processing.

But I did manage to put together a cute little package for our friends Becky and Shane who had their engagement party this weekend.

That’s homemade chocolate chip + sea salt cookies, Sofia Blanc de Blancs (one of my all time favorite bubblies, though I think I like the 2007 and Whole Foods only had the 2008), and a cute little set of Sweetie Stats journals.

Sadly, I had to miss the celebration, but Brock went and celebrated for both of us. I’m so so super excited for their wedding in June. I’ve decided it will be my first big event post baby and am pinning all my hopes for upcoming adult fun on this one weekend at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. We’ve already booked our room. No pressure, B&S. Plus from what I’ve heard, Becky’s dress is amazing. I cannot wait to see it in person.

And thanksgiving is this week! Already. Wow. I think I’m finally going to make this.

November 19, 2009

can’t stop the nesting

Most of the things I’ve been doing as of late aren’t exactly interesting, unless you’re me. Like making lists and crossing things off ever so slowly. Last night I made it through one half of one item… Frame prints and photos that have been neglected for months and in some cases, years.

Successfully framed two cute prints for the kitchen:

We still have a few more to go, including two neat prints from Australia. Sadly I think those will have to be custom framed because they’re weird dimensions. Why is framing so expensive??

Also in the baby list department, we found our Doula! So excited. She’s awesome.

And baked those amazing chocolate chip cookies last night. Note: they’re still delicious even if you don’t properly age the dough overnight.

I made this yummy soup on Monday and we managed to have it for dinner for 3 nights in a row. So convenient. I substituted beet greens for the kale because I had 2 huge bags left over from farmer’s market purchases. And I added parsnips for more fall flavoring.

(sorry, no link. Martha’s food team has apparently been slacking in the “upload recipes from magazine to website” department).

I’ve also decided to give in to early Christmas mania. Peppermint mocha lattes, Christmas carols in every store, decorations have been up in Santa Monica for weeks… why fight it, you know? I’m going to break out my Julie London cds, drink egg nog in my coffee and start preparing for the crafting of gifts. Even though it’s only the middle of November.

October 15, 2009

project inspiration

I was trolling blogs yesterday for a bit and came across this awesome office re-do by Pearl Street Interiors on Abbey’s cute blog. I probably wouldn’t have reposted was it not for the wealth of DIY tutorials that came along with it. Mega inspiration.

She gives a tutorial on how to refinish two pieces of furniture in an extremely cost effective way. And, I’m more interested in these others, how to cover bulletin boards and how to make fabric window shades from your existing mini-blinds. I think I’ve gone to redecorating heaven.

We have mini blinds on every window in our house. They drive me insane but for whatever reason I’ve be able to live with them for the last 7 years. Look out mini-blinds. You’re about to be stripped to your skeleton and covered with fabric. Possibly this weekend.

And then there’s the bright red credenza/dresser thing and patterned cork boards. The credenza I’ll probably skip, but appreciate. Corkboards… you will be mine.

Also, I’ve always liked that Ikea rug… might be cute for baby’s room? I had a mini meltdown last night about our lack of space, our insane amount of stuff, and the impending introduction of lots more stuff into our life. Does everybody go through this when they’re about to have a baby? Brock reminded me that we could live in New York in a one bedroom apartment. True.

I’m desperately clinging to the idea that our house will remain and adult house, even with a baby. Tell me it’s possible.

September 30, 2009

i made bunting

And simultaneously conquered my fear of the bobbin. Good job me. This is called bunting, right? I never know if I’m confused or not.

Though I didn’t end up using the sewing machine I have at my house. The one from 1965 that’s been lurking in our guest room closet, behind our luggage and sleeping bags and old stretcher bars from when I used to paint. Yeah. I lugged it out. It weights approximately 75 pounds and I’m convinced is made of either lead or steel. And even my mom, who happened to be passing through town, couldn’t figure out how to wind the bobbin. You have to wind it in place. Like under the foot. It was kooky.

So instead I went to The Urban Craft Center (where I took my sewing class) and happily sewed away using a brand new, easy to operate, unmysterious machine.

(Cannot recommend this place enough, LA locals! You can pay to use studio space and supplies whenever you want. And it’s super cute and the girls are really nice and helpful. And they have laminated printouts demystifying the bobbin.)

I’ve already put in my request for the exact machine for Christmas.

Clearly, my favorite part about sewing is the fabric and patterns and colors.

I also think I may have made the most complicated, time consuming bunting ever. I realized after I already had everything cut and pinned and ironed that I could have easily just used pinking shears to make the flags and strung them along a length of yarn and the effect would have been the same.

But I was sooooo excited about sewing something. And these are a present so it’s nice that they might be a little more permanent.

Also, I’m digging these colors for a gender neutral baby room. Thoughts?