Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dr. Seuss Night

 I can't in good faith call myself an unequivocal Dr. Seuss fan. Even at the tender age of 5, I knew the guy was a little preachy, but like generations of kids (generations now!) the illustrations had an impact even if the anti-war, anti-development, anti-capitalist sentiments didn't really find purchase.

But you know what, just because a girl likes a scoop or twelve of Chunky Monkey or Cherry Garcia doesn't make her a Stinky Commie Hippie, and with that reasoning I happily attended.

 "Oh Where's the Cat in the Hat?" by Mall

Nucleus, the illustrator's gallery in Alhambra had a Dr. Seuss tribute show called "Look at this! Look at that!" (cute.)

There was some really sweet gouache work. Like this:

"Did You Ever Walk with Ten Cats on your Head?" by Joy Ang

And this:

Horton Hatches the Egg" by Becky Driestadt

Here's my favorite piece:

"Thank you! Thank you" by Cuddly Rigor Mortis. 

It took me a second. I'm not gonna lie.

This was Minh's:

"Change" by Glenn Kim. 

It's a little hard to make out but it shows a little kitty looking into a lighted storefront eyeing a large striped red and white hat. A dawn of anticipation :)

You can still see the pieces online at their site RIGHT HERE. Do it. And get some ice cream.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

They're here! They're here!

Jamie from A Desert Fete and her best very good friend Michelle Pullman from Michelle Pullman had the brilliant idea to start shooting weddings together and boy am I ever glad they did!

It was such a treat to have them spend the day with us and having these pictures means more to me than I ever really thought it would. Best wedding photographers ever!

Sweet Mackerel I can't believe how many pictures there are! This is going to be a while, so join me!

If you want to see (TONS of) pictures from the wedding:

Visit their site Rad + In Love

Click on Client Access

Click on our heads

And type in the password: "Everlasting Light".

If you'd like a little soundtrack, click play below :)

Man . . . I'm one blessed individual.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Maiden + Mount Curve

The property belonged to a family of serious rock hounds.

They had tons of lapidary equipment, hand tools, books, and much more machinery on top of the usual garage stuff. As usual, I bypassed anything with a set price and went straight for the slab table.

This huge makeshift plywood table was packed with containers of cut slabs. Agates, petrified wood, druzy geodes. . . just tons. Most of them were smooth but far from being perfectly polished. In order to get a better feel for what you might end up with they had little buckets of water you could dunk your slab into and PING! - you could see all the color variations and transleucency beautifully. I had no idea what I was really dealing with so my choices were purely aesthetic: interesting colors, transleucency, amazing detail, and complete borders.

It was cool! There was a lady going through them with me who owns a gem and stone site whotold me to go with my gut and tittered encouragements like, "Oo that's a good one!" whenever I picked up something extra nice. She said she came solely for the equipmetn but couldn't resist going through the pile with her husband. They knew not only the names of the stones but WHERE they were mined just by looking at them.



"Look like Robinson Ranch Hrughmmuh Blahble to you?"


After parting company with my mineral mentors,I cruised the tables as an afterthought and found an old military belt, a tiny smelting pan and a pretty blue jar WITH A LID. FINALLY.

This day didn't have a whole lot going for it in the beginning. I was late, was on a super set time limit of 15 minutes (unheard of!) and spent about 25 minutes (heard of...), and it wasn't the house's first day. But by staying away from set prices and being nice (seriously. so important. People will actually be happy to cut you a deal if you're pleasant) I made out pretty well.

Here's the loot sitting pretty in the passenger seat :)

Quite a few of the slabs will be kept in our budding rock collection, but many of them I'll shine up a little and sell in little collector bundles in the shop.

Thinking about making little framed slab sun catchers. . .

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Making Rice

So last week I mentioned cauliflower rice. Ever since I started making it we don't go a week without a batch, and just like I hoped the grater came in super handy.

Cutting out grains has had some huge high points (fat loss, more energy, better sense of taste, etc.) but the downside is I MISS THEM LIKE CRAZY. I get cravings for stuff like baguettes, anything with corn in it, and O Mother do I miss fried rice. I should say I used to because when I eat this it totally hits the spot.

Minh's mom was nice enough to make us a big batch of pork and prawns this week (so. good.) so cauliflower rice was a given.

I'm not into measurements or detailed instructions when it comes to cooking but you can look it up somewhere if you really need a step by step. I'll just hit the highlights.

So here's what I use:

!/2 head of cauliflower (so. cheap.)
1/4 onion
1 shallot
4 cloves of garlic
a little canola oil
some ground ginger
sesame seeds
2 or 3 green onions
2 eggs
1/2 bag of Trader Joe's Kimchi (I know! I can't believe it either!)
red chili flakes
maybe some pineapple tidbits? yes.
and a couple snippets of bacon. This really makes it. Don't leave it out.

Chop the onion, shallot and garlic and grate the cauliflower.

Add the chopped stuff, some oil and the bacon to the biggest pan you own. Let it cook but don't burn it. you will be sad. When the onion is kinda transleucent turn up the heat and add the pineapple, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Before anything burns add the cauliflower. There's a lot of moisture to cook off, so stir it frequently. Looking good? Less moist? Add kimchee! Mmmmm...

Try a bite. Kinda wet? Keep stirring!

Getting better? Crack open 2 eggs and stir into the rice. Sesame seed time! Give it a few final tosses and then add your chopped green onion.

Here it is!

Minh likes this one a lot. We had it with grilled lamb last week.

Still. So. Good.


Mine frosty kalanchoe hath bloomed!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Unexpected Treasure

The Lincoln sale had one BIG surprise.

Minh was wearing his Pahrumph, NV fireworks shirt and struck up a conversation with a guy who asked him about the show. We told him we like going out to Nevada to do it because there's no fun hands-on way to celebrate the 4th in California. He says he likes to put on his own shows which I interpret as him buying some illegal stuff and doing it out in an unincorporated part of town.


The dude (who is AWESOME) works for a pro pyrotechnics company here in L.A. and wanted to know if I was interested in being a pyrotechnician. Um, lemme think about it heck yes! So he gave me his name and number and it looks like Minh and I will be going to a BBQ/yearly safety meeting next month! If we're into it we help with a show that night in Cerritos and if we help load the truck we get credit toward the 8 shows we need under our belt to be certified!


You just never know!

Lincoln + Glenoaks

Today we cruised over to Burbank for a pre-sale and that can only mean one thing: Kim Hutchinson. I'd take a bullet for this woman. She's LOVELY and always gives me a crazy low price on whatever I'm getting. We've only been to a few of hers before but she's remembered us since the second one and always gives us a nice wave. Friendliest seller by far.

Other than being nice she totally rules because even though it's a pre-sale her prices aren't jacked up. Some stuff is firm which I totally get but the little things we like we get for next to nothing.

This house made me smile. It seemed like a pretty austere, but really happy place. It was very neat and everything had a place, even before Kim had to set up you could tell. No weird smalls and the furniture and carpets were spotless. And we know they had a cat (only because there was kitty litter and food in the garage) so that's no easy feat. Good solid German Protestants.

I think the biggest luxuries in the house were music and books. These were my kind of people. They had a petite organ, TONS of LPs and a BEAUTIFUL collection of old German Bibles with illustration and leather covers. There was a small memoir with a suede cover too. They were all delicate but in pretty great condition. Some of them immaculate. Boy, I really hope they go to a good home.

I felt a kinship with the owners and wanted to steward at least one of their books, and since everything else was so cheap I bought a 1906 Sunday School Hymnal. It has songs and also some beautiful readings and prayers inside. I'll have fun reading it over.

The kitchen was sparse. They only had what the really needed it seems and one thing I've been looking for is a flat grater. SCORE! Now I can make my zucchini pasta and cauliflower rice with ease, and It doesn't take up a grip of space.

From the back porch, the garage didn't look too promising, but there's a rule that made us go in and it paid off. NEVER overlook the garage. Dudes sometimes squirrel away things only they like, like cool old filler paper and slate baseball stat clip boards! Score!

So we get up to in line with the goods. She takes a quick look and says, "You guys are so funny you always get paper and the weirdest things (giggling)...six bucks."

Love. Her.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Crinkled Gem

I've been in and out of the print lab ever since graduating college and this has been hanging on the sink wall the entire time.

His name is Adam and he loves words. Type. I remember him being an "Aw, shucks" kind of guy. He did a screen print of a stripmall sign grouping, one of those lighted posts that have spaces for each business and the shops all have contrasting type. It was so elegant. I'm sad I didn't get to ask him for a trade, but I like this a whole lot.

I think I'll draw it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Corned Brrf!

This looked so sick when it started boiling I totally lost any desire to eat Irish last night.

But 4 hours later thar be happy goodness! Cue the bodhran and tin whistles!

I still think boiled cabbage is sick nasty and smells like hospice so we ate it with slaw. We eat tons of slaw.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Whatever, Brooklyn. . .

One of my 2 favorite thrift stores is pretty close to my new place but not close enough to be dangerous. Good thing!

So Community Thrift isn't like Goodwill or Salvation Army. It's a for-profit and sometimes those can be a huge let-down. Come to think about it Goodwill has turned out to be way worse as far as high prices and boring selection. They're branding themselves to be more like a Ross or TJMaxx, and Salvation Army has more people weeding out valuables during sorting which means more trash, less treasure.

I digress.

So Community Thrift can sometimes have shockingly high prices ($12 jeans?! $37 embroidered tablecloths?!) But don't be discouraged there is some sweet stuff to be found.

Today? Not so much . . . not much of anything really. The store looked more barren then usual.

Linen rack? Duds. Houseware shelves? Nuthin'. Ladies' long sleeves? Don't even get me started.

As a last resort I flipped through the frames thinking maybe I'd come across a nice shape from decent hard wood, and didn't like any of them.


I found an old original photo from around 1910 and I know SOMEBODY wants it.


Because a) Everybody is a freaking hipster, b) it's a documented fact that freaking hipsters love old things and Brooklyn and photos (not necessarily in that order) and c) because this is a PHOTO of BROOKLYN taken in OLD TIMES a.k.a. 1910. It's nature. You can't fight it.

It's got a clear shot of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges but the best part I think is the cool painted signage on all the buildings and the smattering of steam clouds coming up from the smoke stacks.

I'm just here to help. Really.

Palm + Sewahnee

I went into this sale knowing it would suck.

Second-days are the worst. Everything good is gone and most of what's left is either more expensive than anyone in their right mind is willing to pay, or else it's stained, cracked, common, rusted through, or simply void of any redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Most of the time.

The one silver lining about second day sales is that they're willing to wheel and deal a little more. Second days are probably the best days to go through linens. Sure the crazy good stuff might be gone, but handblocked textiles and cute kitchen towels are still up for grabs. Like TODAY!

I got some cotton kitchen towels from India with a nice red contrast-stitch going around the perimeter for 50 cents yessir. . . and a sweet textile finished-edge sample sheet from the 50's with handblocked tang dynasty horses smiling. The print's really bold, has fantastic coloring, is in excellent shape with not discolorations or holes, and it still has the sample tag attached. It's one of those things you see and sigh, "They just don't make them like this anymore. . ." for cheap cheap cheap!

Mini heartbreak of the day: an intact vintage floursack, soft and thick, with lovely red striping. . . and moth holes. Boo. They sell throw pillows made of vintage floursacks at the Rose Bowl Swap Meet for $70+ and I've wanted to find one ever since. I looked over the bag hoping the holes were relegated to one half of the bag or the other but alas... little dudes took bites all over.

This is where it's really important to exercise self control: when the quest for an ideal blinds you from looking at something objectively. You have to hold it in your hands and say even though this bears a slight resemblance to something I want (real bad!), this ISN'T IT.

"No Ashley, you can't bleach that stain out, or cover it with something cute, or only turn it sideways, or find the other half later on ebay, or upcycle. YOU DON'T HAVE THE TIME."

Having the Platonic Ideal in your head all the time puts you in danger of buying a total piece of junk. And becoming a hoarder.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Silverwood + Wildwood

I don't like missing Eagle Rock sales. They're always worth the drive especially if you're early which I wasn't. In fact I was really late to this one...

But the view was nice!

The guy who used to live here was a toy prototype maker. He had LOTS of specialized tools and precision instruments, clothes, glass and kitchenware (full cupboards which sometimes makes me sad because that means it was sudden), the usual world traveler tchotchkes (incense burners, pottery that fits in suitcases, carved this and that), and more books on sexual dysfunction than I knew what to do with. Poor dude.

Walking through, I stopped in my tracks when I saw a doe-eyed girl holding a steel base, rough wood-topped table. I did an immediate about-face, scanned the back yard again and scored the second one for the house.

I like.

One of the things I liked best about the living room was a tangled piece of driftwood hanging from a chain near the fireplace. I had a tumbleweed I found on the train tracks hanging in my studio for a year, but couldn't bring it because it'd take up a fifth of the living room.

He had a soft spot for natural carved and a GRIP of geodes, but alas... As respectful and cheery as I intend be I had a split-second urge to hip-check this tiny woman who snagged the last one. Estate sales can make people very...human.

One tip that came in handy today was a looking for items without price tags. Usually on tagged items usually they've done their homework and you end up paying about as much as you would on ebay. NOT the goal!
And for my searching I was rewarded with a free-ish can opener (after finagling open tomatoes with vintage bottle openers left over from the wedding this was something to celebrate) and some other things I'll post to the shop this week :)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

White Dress + Red Rock

He's the best...

It's even pretty on asphalt!

And just a few more in Zion...

I made an impromptu bouquet out of dried grasses and seed pods and tied it with some scraps from the skirt. It felt like the right thing to do...

Its hanging out in the house now.