Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Um... yeah... so we weren't the only ones who went to the beach this weekend.

Oh, lovely beach. We drove by en route to something else on Saturday and that blue ocean and white sand called to us. We decided right there and then that Sunday would be beach day. So we headed out early on Sunday, snagged a good parking spot and nestled into our little patch of sand. Things I love about the beach:

1) hot sand between my toes when the wind starts to stir up a little chill
2) people watching
3) staring out at the horizon where the sky meets the water (feeling like I'm right on the edge and knowing I'm not land locked)

We always say we'll go to the beach every weekend this summer and then we never end up going as much as we would like. But it's there - and we know it's there. We see people picking up and leaving for places where you can buy twice as much house for half the price and it often is tempting. But I don't actually think Tom and I could ever leave the coast. Even moving an hour inland is too stifling. But, once again, we're not the only ones with oceanlust. The beaches around here are so much more crowded than when we were kids. Where did all these people come from? I see entire hillsides turning into housing developments and I think, how can we possibly accommodate more people? I can't imagine what the beach will look like when my kids take their kids. Well, by then, our house will probably be oceanfront, what with global warming and the possibility of California slipping into the ocean and all, so at least we won't have to worry about parking - that is, if we're not all hovering around with jetpacks on our backs.

Friday, July 27, 2007

maybe tonight I'll even try a bit of this steak

Quick post about dinner.
(last night's dinner, that is - I'm so behind)
As I'm finishing tonight's dinner, I'm posting about last night. Tacos last night. Simple simple. Tonight - it's special. Not only was my man big enough to go through everything he had to go through this week, he also called me on the cell this evening while I was quickly picking up something at the store to cook up for dinner, to tell me he was home and would meet me at the store to get littler Mr. 3-Year Old for a trip to the park. And, he's in public relations and often edits me whenever I talk about his work-stuff here online... so I'm just not even gonna go into it. But, it was a tough week for him at work. So, I thought I'd cook up a good dinner for him. Steak. Fillet minon. Some potatoes and some cocconut shrimp on the side. Surf n'turf, baby! Seriously folks, I'm so jealous of this carnivorous craving for beef. Maybe tonight I'll even try a bite of this steak. I'd love it if it stuck. I'd love to love steak. But, got a boneless, skinless teriyaki chicken breast in the wings if the bloody stuff doesn't take.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

even though I had cash in my wallet

Even though the baby was crying,
even though my son was fighting,
even though it was hot hot hot,
even though I had cash in my wallet -
I cooked dinner.
(that aaaaalmost rhymes)
Yesterday evening required a couple glasses of wine to sooth my nerves before I could even think about starting. It was just One. Of. Those. Days. Imagine a 3-year old running around the house refusing to put any clothes on. Imagine me begging and pleading with him to put on his shorts. Imagine the glee in his eye when he yells, "NO!" And, yes folks, I actually uttered the words, "Wait till your father gets home!"

On the menu:

Grilled Teriyaki Chicken (I just LOVE Yoshidas!)
Brown Rice
Vegetables sauteed with Garlic

For this evening I've thawed a chicken breast we grilled a while back. Tacos maybe? Could be simple. Maybe even just chicken sandwiches. I am so sleepy this afternoon. Staring at the computer trying to finalize designs for "Project Backyard" has my eyes tired. Really want to get these drawings done so we can move forward with this. I'll try to share what I've been working on tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

pretty, pretty, pretty

I'm thinking I may soon put an end to the fabric I'm selling through my website. It seems that every time I print up a huge batch of fabric, I get a big order and end up having to send it all out. (and I shouldn't be complaining - I'm not really - I'm always happy to get orders!) But I really want to start making my own things with the fabric I make. Still haven't had a chance to sew up a quilt. We'll see. But if you're reading this and have been thinking about ordering fabric, do it soon. Because it might soon be a thing of the past. Time for me to start putting that new sewing machine to work!

I'm completely zonked this afternoon. We just got back from a couple hours at Chuck-E-Cheese. I feel like I was really losing my cool at the end there - frustrated that little boy got so much joy out of simply plopping tokens into the games without any clue as to what to do once the game had begun. I know I should just be happy for his happiness, but I get all strangely competitive and think we can't let that token go to waste - game must go on! And then, all the questions! "Mommy, why is that girl crying, why? Why is he fixing that machine, why? Why do we have to pay money, why? Why does that go round and round, why?" I feel like my ears are still ringing from all the noise, I can feel my temperature rising just thinking about it and the questions have not stopped. "But why should I not put play-doh in my hair, why? Why should I be quiet, why? Why does your head ache, why???"

When I finally got us out of there I rewarded myself with a quick visit to Michaels, which is conveniently right next door. I still hadn't gone and looked at the Martha Stewart line there. I love the way everything looks. Great colors, nice packaging, pretty, pretty, pretty. Had to stop myself from buying everything. Ever since I saw My Paper Crane's post on the tissue paper flower kit, I knew there would be lots of fun to be had in the Martha aisle. (I especially like the way she hung them) All kinds of stuff for making mental notes of - like, next time I need faux wood grain paper in pink, I'll know where to go!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

no more wasted money on bad take-out

So, part of my monkey list (monkey's on my back) included finances. Feel like we've been spending like we're high rollers and it was high time for me to do some balancing and take stock of our situation. I was horrified to discover how much we've spent on take-out food over the past couple months. I guess the heat is partly to blame - don't want to heat up the kitchen cooking. But, it definitely woke me up. I mean, there's no need for us to spend so much beyond our budget simply because I'm hot and lazy. So, it inspired another project. Project Dinnertime! I'm quite capable of cooking, and actually enjoy it. So! Mark my words... at 6:00pm every evening, I will start cooking dinner. Pour myself a glass of wine and truly start to enjoy cooking again. Because, honestly, half the stuff we pick up isn't even really that good. We're all such picky eaters anyway - so cooking in means I can adjust recipes to our desires. For instance, I don't like a really meaty spaghetti sauce, while the husband does. So... solution = meatballs. This way, the husband gets his meat, I get the small amount of meat flavor without the chunks, we have plain spaghetti for the kidlet and everyone is completely happy. Exception is Tuesday night. We eat at my folks' house Tuesday nights. But - M, W, Th, F, Sa, Su... you can expect me to be cooking. No more wasted money on bad take-out! (it's what I'm challenging myself to do, anyway)

Last night on the menu:
Roasted Garlic Foccacia Bread
Spaghetti and chicken/beef Meatballs

Monday, July 23, 2007

cluchunk cluchunk

Here they are - two of my three babies. The one on the right is my little sewing buddy, as you can see - always ready to help. On the left is my new Baby Lock Quilter's Choice sewing machine. What a dream! I know I'm going to sound like a guy talking about a car, but, man does she purr! (and, yes, I've decided she's a girl - in this house of boys I need all the female company I can get) Compared to the cluchunk cluchunk of my old machine, this one just sings! I love all the stitches, and I really love the table extension (which you can't see much of in this picture - sorry). It gives me tons of space for maneuvering bibs as I sew. And don't even get me started on the automatic scissors built right in so there's no more snipping threads at the end of each run. I'm in heaven!

I was thrilled to be able to sew up a few projects this weekend. My little sewing buddy is modeling a new bib - it's up in the Etsy Shop. Nice blanket stitch, huh? On the machine it takes about 1/8th of the time as when I'd do it all by hand. I know it's nice to have that handmade touch too, so I won't stop doing some bibs by hand. But, now, with the machine, I'll be able to offer some bibs at a better price without feeling like I'm giving myself Chinese sweatshop wages to make them.

It's so nice to know that I can sit down to work on a project without having to hassle with my sewing machine. She's just sitting there ready to work for me. But today is catch up day - all those monkeys on my back. Laundry (sorry honey - you won't have to go fishing clean underwear out of the dryer tomorrow, I promise), paycheck work, filing, bills - you know, all that super fun stuff. Maybe the little Baby Lock and I will tango tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

second time round

So! Bought a new sewing machine. (or should I say, the husband bought me a new sewing machine - let's not forget who brings home the bacon) This is my very first attempt at lettering. It is so beyond anything I was able to do with my previous little machine. A hundred and eighty nine stitches more, to be exact.

Now it's time to watch that last epidsode of John From Cincinatti again - see if it makes any sense the second time round. Then, catching up on all the tivo-ed shows. Big Bro... has it really been 8 years I've been watching this dang thing? Oy vey!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

why do i do it?

Eating lunch, saying to myself, "don't turn that TV on don't turn that TV on."

I turned that TV on.

Wasted an hour of my life watching Scott Baio is 45 and Single. Okay, I'll admit it, I need an intervention. Television is poisoning my soul. What won't they put on TV?

Monday, July 16, 2007

have some aloha!

More designs for fabric. Thinking now along the lines of coordinated sets - like burp clothes, baby blankets and bibs to match. But, I'll admit, when I close my eyes without thinking every now and then, what pops into mind are very un-baby design ideas. They're such hazy images, so I'm not even sure what it is I'm thinking of, really. I suppose something that fits in with the Carlsbad surf scene. Maybe I'm more influenced by John From Cincinatti than I'm aware of - but I am feeling a strong beach blanket vibe here. Maybe these little guys need to be on a hoodie... I don't know. I just hate to pigeon hole myself into the whole baby world (and not that there's anything wrong with that... hello?... I have a 6-month old). Maybe it's all those years of trying so hard to not be caught up in that whole pink!blue!my ovaries are aching!--thang.

A couple years ago, my husband and I took our first trip to Hawaii post-baby. And, WE took the baby. You see, that's the way we hang - baby(ies) is(are) a part of us. Where we go, it(they) go. So, back to the story, we're on our first family trip and we get on board our plane and, as is expected, baby hits melt-down at about hour-4. Oh my gosh - the looks from the retired couples who are just so damn miserable in their grandchildless lives. I mean, I suppose I could sympathize with a younger crowd rolling their eyes - I, afterall, used to roll my eyes (I'm ashamed to admit). But on this plane were 2 couples who gave us stares and spoke very loudly about how there should be planes that don't let babies fly. "I would pay extra!" Bitch. (Oh, sorry, excuse my language - I just get so riled up thinking about this!) Have some aloha people! Hawaii shouldn't let people like that visit! How happy were we when we arrived on Oahu only to follow them over to our connecting flight to Kauai. It's like we were haunting them. We laughed very loudly in their direction. And then! - they were on our return flights home! How exhilarating! And, baby was a little angel for all remaining flights. In an attempt to intimidate, I stood next to one of the miserable women while waiting for our luggage and caught a glimpse of her name and address in big bold print on her luggage. (um, hello? If you're going to be a bitch, maybe it's not best to advertise who you are) But I'm a decent person, I didn't write it down and send her hate mail later. Does in make me indecent that I actually thought about it?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

night light

I recently got a nifty little gift from a friend (you know who you are... thank you vedy much!) - this night light kit for making your own images illuminated night light style. Of course I knew what I'd put inside, but of course, the way I roll, I didn't find a chance to open the box until absolutely necessary. (little boy's night light went kaput yesterday)

So cute! There's still one more for me to put together. Oh the possibilities. I do believe I am finally catching up on fabric orders. Looking forward to printing up a batch of fabric for my own projects. And I've got a big package of silkscreening supplies on the way, so I'm looking forward to some screen printing this week or next. If I'm lucky. That's what it's gonna take - the stars and planets all lined up, or whatever, so that naptime happens and I've got some spare moments to myself.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

losing my mind

It's always been my dream to make the house run like a well-oiled machine. Clutter tucked away, not behind on laundry, everything sparkling and clean. I got a couple birthday presents to help me stay on top of household duties - a couple things I wishlisted in giddy anticipation. A binder and kit for organizing take-out menus and another for organizing things related to household maintanence. Whooppee!

Both are created by a great little company - Knock Knock. Super fabulous. I love all their little notepads and stickies. Think I'll have to order myself the "Thanks A Lot" pad to streamline my thankyou process. (I'm about 6 months behind on thankyous - I know, scandalous!) In the spirit of KnockKnock, I bought all kinds of dividers, plastic sleeves and envelopes for a binder aimed to organize my head. Bills here, things to file there, ideas jotted here, receipts tucked away there. Let's see if I start to feel less like I'm losing my mind.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

hope you have babies

Back on that topic of music ...

I'm sitting here working and listening to a playlist in progress titled "Dawn's Lineup". Old favorites pop up - new favorites are added. A special little song, Breathe Me, by Sia just played. Man. Love that song - makes me think of death and how short life is. Insane, right? But, when you consider that this was the soundtrack song for Claire's cross country drive in the final episode of Six Feet Under - a montage of flash forwards - it makes sense. I hear this song and I start to take my life a little more seriously. More recently, a song that's remade it's way into our brainwaves, Don't Stop Believin', by Journey. Everytime I think of Tony Soprano, I'll start singing that song. Poor Tony.

Here's a little design I came up with for some burp cloths. Think I'm liking the way these burp cloths are going. Hope you have babies, cuz this is what I think I'll be focussing on! Set of three are up on Etsy.

Here's what's on Dawn's Lineup:
(some, I am embarassed to fess up to)

California - Joni Mitchell
Breathe Me - Sia
Resistance Song - Jill Sobule
The Hideout - Sarah Harmer
Caring is Creepy - The Shins
Hey Julie - Fountains of Wayne
Bring Me Up - Lisa Loeb
Polyester Bride - Liz Phair
Suddenly I See - KT Tunstall
Heavy Metal Drummer - Wilco
Porcelain - Moby
In the Waiting Line - Zero 7
Pink Moon - Nick Drake
Lullaby - Shawn Mullins
When I'm With You - Andrea Perry
Underneath it All - No Doubt
Hollaback Girl - Gwen Stefani
L.A. Arteest Cafe - Stew
Wouldn't it be Nice - The Beach Boys
I Kissed a Girl - Jill Sobule
Chinese Vacation - Steve Poltz
Window Shopping - Lisa Loeb
Comikbuchland - The Negro Problem
Mother Mother - Tracy Bonham

Monday, July 09, 2007

beautiful curves

These are the sorts of pictures we come home with after a trip.

The husband prefers photos with people in them.


So I finally toured the Disney Concert Hall by architect Frank Gehry. You've seen it - it's in all the commercials these days. A sleek backdrop for shiny cars or models draped in fashion. The design was all the buzz when I lived in L.A. but they didn't actually start building it until I left the city. No one trusted a design that required global positioning units designed by NASA to construct it. Silly.

So Gehry built sub sequential designs in other cities (Bilboa's Guggenheim Museum and Seattle's Experience Music Project). Finally L.A. thought, hmmmm... maybe we should build our curvy Gehry building!

Beautiful curves.

"I think the most significant struggle in any creative pursuit is to maintain the spontaneity of the original idea. So it's a careful dance: I have to capture it without smothering it, and once I've got it, the sketch becomes a sort of record; in a way, it becomes the ideal that I struggle and fight to maintain throughout the whole process. Sometimes I get it right, and when I do, it's all in the sketches."
-Frank O. Gehry

Thursday, July 05, 2007

my buddies Neil + Cyndi

I hope your 4th of July was as sweet as mine!

(double decker cupcakes and colorful rice krispie treats)

By far, the biggest disappointment of the day was not hearing Neil Diamond's, America, during the fireworks show we watched from my parents' front porch ... got a dream they've come to share, they're coming to America... today! Today! TODAY! Every time I think of fireworks I think of that song. I hate that it seems to have slipped from the 4th of July rotation. Boy oh boy do I love Neil. Must go put on the Essential Neil Diamond now. Is this silly? It makes me think of being little and hearing Neil albums play as my sister and I ran around doing cartwheels and riding big wheels. I guess that's what I love most about music - the power of it to take you back to a far away time. First tape I ever got was Cyndi Lauper's She's So Unusual. (1984 - how's that for a flashback?) Hearing any track from that album makes me think of a carefree summer with my pink radio, my newly permed hair and sleep-over's with my best friend. (remember those days, M?) Ahhh, yes, back when summer was still special. When the 4th of July kicked off weeks of adolescent fun.

But, we still had a great night - outside with our boys, a big bowl of popcorn and a fireworks display. Moments like that make the trials and tribulations of parenting minuscule. Squeals from my oldest son and the gaze of astonishment on the baby's face makes it all worth it. And on a holiday designed to celebrate one country, my husband and I couldn't help but want to celebrate humanity instead.

Monday, July 02, 2007

l.a. story

Back from a long weekend up in Los Angeles. We ended up doing a lot of the tourist sort of stuff - but what it really was for us was doing all the kinds of things we didn't do much of when we actually lived in L.A. Like...Venice Beach. I mean, yes, we've done the whole Venice Beach thing - but not together, and certainly not as a family. And, it was the first time we actually set foot on the sand and dove into the water at Venice Beach. I think it was always this three-ring circus thing with us and the fact that it was, indeed, a beach, escaped us. But a three-year old doesn't miss the fact that a beach is connected to sand- which is connected to water. Mommy, on the other hand, couldn't get over this graffitti wall. If it weren't for the fact that I was directly in the path of spray-paint fumes, I could have easily enjoyed the rest of the afternoon right there. (and by "I" I don't necessarily mean "me" - nah, I could care less about the toxicity of those fumes on me - just didn't seem appropriate to subject a baby to that)

We spent one morning at "The Original Pantry" right smack downtown. This is where I discovered the home of what I've come to know as the world's largest stack of buckwheat pancakes ever. Seriously, folks, I couldn't even eat have of these suckers!

I have so much more to write about, but... I really am literally falling asleep as I write this. Such a whimp these days when it comes to accomplishing anything at night. Please just allow me to leave you with this one final shot - a photograph taken from a friend's loft. Spectacular.