four walls, no walls, you and me.

in with the new
February 2, 2010, 11:56 am
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After many delightful and delusional posts these past few years, I am switching over to blogger. I’m not completely sold on blogger yet, so I may switch back to WordPress in the future. Depends on how fast I can learn html!

Find my new blog here. It’s more art oriented which is what I’m focusing on these days. check it out. cut and paste or click on the link above.


January 7, 2010, 2:58 pm
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My friend Alice recently returned from a trip to Japan and brought back a bunch of goodies, including my all time fave, the elusive GREEN TEA KIT KAT!!! I’ve heard they can be found stateside but I have yet to see this phenomenon with my own eyes. Until then, I will have to savor the memory until the next time I or someone I know goes to Japan/Asia. If anyone knows of a place that is well stocked on green tea kit kats in the greater Los Angeles area, holler!

I love when friends travel because I always get such awesome souvenirs. Hopefully they can say the same about me when I travel! I love the wide variety of products available in Asia and the creative ways they combine seemingly incongruous ingredients to tasty effect. For example, the sweet potato kit kat on the bottom. I’ll be honest, I haven’t tried it yet and am a bit hesitant to do so. I also love the special feeling that I have something that few others can get their hands on. Such as the green tea hi-chews off to the side, or the rose scented L’occitane hand lotion on the right.

The only downside is that now I am ADDICTED to the green tea chocolates with jelly filling (the three square things in the middle) and it sucks to not have access to more!

Miller Harris Figue Amere
January 6, 2010, 4:38 pm
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This finally arrived yesterday and I immediately dabbed a bit on each wrist. First impressions are good so far although I see two big deterrents for this being a new favorite scent.

I love opening new boxes and taking a whiff. This smelled great out of the box. On my skin it was a little different. It was much too powdery for my chemistry. Others have smelled this in the basenotes but on my skin it definitely pops up sooner rather than later. The heavy powder lasts for maybe half an hour to an hour but once that fades it becomes a wonderful luxurious, strong, masculine scent. Which is the second problem. Although it is unisex, it tends more toward the masculine than feminine. I could see how this could be too much for some women but luckily I LOVE the smell of men’s cologne so it’s not really that much of a deal breaker.

The powder though… I have to assume that it’s just how it works with my chemistry since no one else has reported the same issue. So far Olivia Giacobetti’s Philosykos is by far my fave fig, as well as one of my top 5 fave scents and nothing else has come close. What I love about Diptyque’s take on the fig is that it is there is so much of the dirt, earth, leaves, and bitterness along with the fig leaving you with a rich olfactory experience. Miller Harris’ fig is much sweeter and yet more masculine, if that makes sense.

After writing about it I want to go home and spritz a little bit on now! I wonder if it smells any different sprayed. I like it aside from the powder and it was interesting enough to make me keep smelling my wrists every now and then when I had it on. The good news is that it lasts forever so I suppose I can spray this on first and then get ready for the day and hopefully by the time I walk out the door the powder would have dried down.

I got my bottle at Sephora, but they are all sold out! You can try department stores, the Miller Harris website, or other online retailers. $95 for 50ml, $140 for 100ml.

Winter Wardrobe
January 4, 2010, 4:01 pm
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While most of the year I live in flip flops, winter is finally here which means it’s boot time! Although let’s be real, you can still get away with flip flops year round in socal. And even though it never really gets THAT cold here, the minute temps drop below 50 I start to flip out and go on a hunt for warmer clothes. I can’t even imagine how I survived college in the midwest. I remember wearing chucks all winter long for a good two years before I bought Uggs. I didn’t even have boots this intense when I was in Chicago, where these really would have come in handy. I got mine on super sale from bluefly but you can get them anywhere. Also, they have since rebranded and are now known as Australia Luxe Collective if you want to get them elsewhere.

And two days later, because I am a consumer and weak willed, I also got these. Think they’ll up my street cred?!? Timberland 6″ Rounded Heel Boots, $39 from $120!!!

Also, if you were looking for the now sold out Barney’s Co-Op version, you can get these instead! I think these are cuter than the Barney’s version and are also made with leather, though not from Italy. Also in Black and Wheat which is SUPER cute, but not something I could pull off. Still on the hunt for the perfect winter coat…

the boys and the beach
December 21, 2009, 4:53 pm
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Some pics I snapped this past weekend with my new (used) lens. Nikon 18-35mm f/3.5-4.5.

We went for some fro-yo after. Not the best photo in the world but this cracks me up! Homeboy loves him some fro-yo.

Kombucha Lives!
December 21, 2009, 3:39 pm
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After not so much research, I got fed up with how little info there was on brewing kombucha using heat mats. All the websites that had info were basically trying to sell you something. Boo to that. I decided what the heck, I’ll just go get one and learn by trial and error. Sounds easier than it seems. I scoured all the local Lowes/Home Depots (ok, so maybe just 3) looking for a heat mat but each time all I got was a weird look and directions to the garden department where I got another wierd look. Finally one nice lady at Lowes told me to try a real nursery. I didn’t know of any nursery’s in the area so I googled and found that Hydrofarm has a list of distributors! One of then was even located conveniently down the street from my work!

I ended up buying a seedling heat mat from a hydroponic store (not a nursery) which was probably why I never noticed it was there even though I’ve driven past it probably a million times. I called ahead and found that they had it in stock and for only $20! I drove down after work to pick it up.

First, let me say a few things about this store. It’s a hydroponics store which means they carry supplies for people who grow plants in water, hence hydroponic. However, one’s understanding of the word “plant” can be interpreted in a variety of ways. I’m not making any claims, I’ll just leave it at that.

So I walk in and all 8 people behind the counter immediately stop what they’re doing and stare at me. Not weird at all. Also, I’m the only customer in the place. Also, if I were to run into any of them in the street, I might be a little afraid. However, the woman who I spoke to on the phone and who handled my order in the store was very nice. She had misquoted me the price but honored it, although she said she would have given me a discount anyway so it all ended up being the same in the end.

Anyway, I went home and immediately plugged it in, dumped a bottle of GT’s Original into a glass jar, and made it nice and cozy on the mat. Online retailers that market these mats to kombucha growers will charge you an arm and a leg, but also sell it with a thermometer for temperature control. In my opinion, you don’t really need all that. The wattage is low enough that it never really gets *too* warm.

I have all this set up in a wooden box since there’s nowhere really dark that’s also close to an outlet. Works really well. On the bottom of the box I have the heat mat, on top of that the jar of kombucha, and the lid held slightly open by the cord that is attached to the mat. I was afraid that it wouldn’t get enough air with such a tiny opening but it wasn’t a problem.

The warning says you shouldn’t put anything directly on top of the mat but I did and it’s fine. Also, if you don’t do it that way, I doubt it will ever really warm up the mix enough to get it growing. At times I thought it got a little too warm since there was condensation on the inside of the jar, and it was warm to the touch, but I guess it ended up being just right because within the week I had a nice thin SCOBY! It has a hole in the middle but it is definitely a SCOBY! The hole was caused by the shape of the jar, which curves up toward the middle. It’s a prety big jar (2 gallon) so one bottle of GT’s wasn’t enough to fill it up past the curve in the middle, thus a donut shaped SCOBY. No big deal.

A few days ago I brewed some tea (organic white tea), mixed it with sugar, and let it cool overnight. It showed a slight oily film but not as much as other teas. Last time I used white tea I got great results so I’m not going to mess with a good thing! Right now I’m just waiting to see what happens. Hopefully the SCOBY will get thicker and in a few weeks I’ll have some nice new kombucha to drink!

Sashimi and Screen Prints
December 11, 2009, 5:33 pm
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Per usual, Hanna came over for our weekly art time. It was such a cold miserable day outside, I was kind of out of it and not really in the mood to do any work. On top of that, one of Hanna’s screens didn’t work out right, so she had to start over on that one. We spent some time trying to clean that screen, which was nearly impossible, even though I tried 3 types of solvents that usually get the emulsion off our screens at work with ease. Finally we drove to Lowes down the street and bought a bottle of Greased Lighting which did the trick. Here’s Hanna scrubbing her screen.

So, this is the part where I accidentally lock us out of the building, or so I thought. Turns out the key was in my backpack the whole time. Of course, I didn’t realize this until I was all the way home. 😛 It worked out for the best though, because I got there just in time for dinner and I was STARVING! One of my dad’s work buddies is a fisherman and had just caught a HUGE Bluefin so we had fresh sashimi. It was SO delish. I was too busy eating to take a pic, it was THAT good! I made us some Intelligentsia to go, and we headed back to work. It was definitely a huge pick me up because we ended up working until 11 that night!

Here I am either checking to see if there were blocked areas or trying to clean out some smudges, can’t remember! Photo Credit: Hanna

Paper, meet Screen. Trying to not dirty the nice paper with my ink stained hands. Photo Credit: Hanna

We were working in the kitchen so a spoon filled in for a spatula. I love this pic! Photo Credit: Hanna

Love this pic too! We used Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink. The consistency was very weird, kind of like thick pudding. Here I am applying a thin coat over the entire image (called flooding) before actually printing. This helps to ensure that you get an even print since it takes a lot of energy and pressure, so if there isn’t an even coat of ink and you rely solely on the ink on your squeegee, then some areas may be light, or not print at all. Photo Credit: Hanna

Finally printing! I didn’t bother using the manual press we have at work, or any of the DIY mounting methods. It came out fine. I guess it might help to have it mounted but this way works too. Photo Credit: Hanna

Finished print! Yayee! Photo Credit: Hanna

Hanna prepping her screen with a light coating of ink.

Trying something new. Hanna wanted a marbled effect, but then also realized that secret messages could be placed in the print too!

A tooth to go with the heart.

To get this to work you need to make sure the screen is NOT flooded with ink. If you flood the screen then only the ink that is in immediate contact with the screen will print.After you make the design, you can spread the rest of the ink out to cover the whole screen, like Hanna did above, or you can fill in the rest with the color of your choice.

I loved watching the way the colors mixed and the way it looked with the letters of her design.

Pulling the print.

Finished print! It looks soooo good in person. We traded prints so I have one of these, although I think I got the better end of that deal!