January 31, 2007

Fluffer Nutter

One of my favorite things about owning my own business is talking to other small business owners about their experiences- sharing resources and stories, etc. We have only been open for a few months now, and all the lessons we are learning and the hurdles we are encountering seem so new and monumental to us, but it turns out they aren't all that uncommon! Spending time with other people who are also working full time on their businesses is really inspirational and reassuring, and it's something I need to do more often.

That said, last night we hung out with our friend Paulina, who owns and operates an awesome company called FluffyCo here in San Francisco. I'm sure you've seen her silkscreened vinyl wallets and accessories in your favorite indie shops, and check out her site for tons of cute t-shirt designs and more. She also just opened her showroom to the public a couple days a week, so if you're in town you should definitely stop by to say hello.

January 30, 2007

Bag and Purse Patterns

OK so I couldn't resist buying just one more Japanese craft book the other day- this one is dedicated to purses and bags. My initial internet search for purse frames and clasp hardware led me to lots of Victorian-looking ornate frames, so I'm still on the look out for some nice and simple brushed metal frames so I can make these coin purses right away. How cute are they?

January 29, 2007

My Cotton Friend

Why must all the best craft books and magazines be in Japanese?? The other day I came across the Summer '06 issue of my new favorite sewing magazine, Cotton Friend, on sale and I snatched it up right away. The best thing about it is that patterns are included for everything in the magazine, and process shots for most of the projects should make the steps a little easier to follow. Unfortunately though, ALL the patterns are printed on the same tear-out sheet (see below). It is dizzying and beautiful, and practically impossible to figure out. Wish me luck! If I can decipher the patterns, I'm hoping to make everything here, and more!

January 23, 2007

Todd's House in Met Home

Make sure to pick up a copy of the February issue of Met Home to see the story on our friends Todd Oldham and Tony Longoria's gorgeous country house. Not sure why it's featured in their "White Issue", (since it practically explodes with color) but it is a nice contrast from all the minimal, white interiors throughout the rest of the magazine. The brilliant outdoor movie theater, the beautiful gardens and their amazing art collection are dazzling, but just wait until you see all the incredible things Todd has done with paint on the interior walls of the house.

And don't forget to watch the premier of Top Design on Bravo next Wednesday, January 31st at 11 pm. Todd is the host and mentor of this new show, which I already know I'm going to be addicted to, and it hasn't even started yet!

January 22, 2007

Sawdust in his pockets.

Lauren and I had the pleasure of visiting our friends Danny and Erin at their lovely new house this morning. They recently bought a place down by the beach and are in the process of converting it into what is quickly becoming a great little beach house. When I finally got to work around noon, I spent a good amount of my day clicking around on their websites. Danny is a ridiculously talented woodworker and creates extremely beautiful and highly covetable hand-shaped surfboards which you can ogle at Hess Surfboards. And Erin is a photographer extraordinaire, equally adept at making people and places look gorgeous and dreamy and wonderful. I highly recommend exploring her site too.

January 18, 2007

Time Management 101

As an obsessive list maker who still manages to feel overwhelmed with things to do most of the time, I have recently started reading up on time management and have discovered that there is a whole world of time management books, gurus, blogs and gadgets out there that make up a real subculture of time obsessed freaks and geeks (like me!).

Getting into the tools and accessories needed to help organize lists and "action tasks" (important buzz word) is no problem for me, as I love buying pens and notepads more than anything. These notepads from KnockKnock are are incredible!

Blogs like 43 Folders and Life Hacker are fun to read, although they are sometimes too tech-oriented for a pen and paper organizer like myself. Mostly I just like to read other people's tips on how to be more productive, and it's reassuring to know that I'm not the only one who checks her work email the minute she gets home from work (which is something I really need to stop doing).

I have also been rereading Getting Things Done by David Allen as well as his other book, Ready for Anything, which, although a little cheesy and self help-y, is actually working so far! I figure January is a good time to try to get some new organizational systems in place, but I'll have to check back in a couple months to let you know if they're working out.

January 17, 2007

About iPods and New Music...

You would think that after all the problems we've had with our iPod (I had to exchange it for the THIRD time this week after it got stuck with a sad face again- thank god for Apple Care!) we would have learned our lesson and would not be coveting the new iPhone as much as we are... but there is something about a bright and shiny new gadget that makes us want to pull out our credit cards and say "I'll take it!" Fortunately they're not available until June, and we're hoping that our iPhone fever will pass by then.

Derek did go to the MacWorld expo last week to catch a glimpse of this crazy new device, and stood in a crowd of people and 2 security guards ogling it as it rotated under a glass case.

The other gadget he reported back about was this hilarious toilet paper holder/iPod dock, a totally useless and awesome invention. All I can see of the box is some type that says "Enhance your Experience" which is good enough for me!

New gadgetry aside, I am actually quite happy with our newly refurbished iPod and have just finished loading all of our music onto it. Some new stuff that we have been listening to nonstop are:

Sam Prekop's new album, Who's Your New Professor. We love the Sea and Cake, but I think I might like lead singer Sam Prekop's solo stuff even better.

The new Shins album, Wincing the Night Away, has been highly anticipated and is really, really good. D brought home an advance copy from work, and I highly recommend getting it the moment it comes out!

Clare Rojas is one of our favorite artists, and she is also an amazing musician, playing sweet country-tinged songs under the name Peggy Honeywell. Her third album, Green Mountain, is the soundtrack for all my mornings working at the studio.

January 11, 2007


Lots of our friends have traveled to Japan this year, and all have reported back about their shopping sprees at MUJI, where they have stocked up on dozens of their signature kraft colored notebooks, matte silver pens, and simple clear and white plastic storage containers, among other well designed and highly covetable items.
The name MUJI is short for Mujirushi Ryohin, which translates as "no brand, good product." Some of their household items and office supplies are available in the US at the MOMA store, but from all accounts, MUJI Japan is your one stop shop for everything you'll need to live the completely minimalist, MUJI lifestyle. In addition to stationery and household accessories, this includes clothing, furniture and even food!

Our friend Christina brought us back some MUJI snacks from her recent visit, including these odd and wonderful marshmallows, which are pastel in color with just a hint of flavor, and filled with a lemon gel that kind of explodes in your mouth when you eat them. Crazy! Of course, they are packaged in a brilliant and simple clear bag with the famous MUJI non-label. What more could you ask for?

MUJI Snacks
MUJI Marshmallows

January 06, 2007

Quote of the Day

I don't believe in this 'gifted few' concept, just in people doing things they are really interested in doing. They have a way of getting good at whatever it is."

- Charles Eames

A reassuring thought for those of us who are determined to learn how to do all sorts of new things without any formal training. With the right amount of focus, inspiration and patience, there are ways to become proficient at almost anything! (I write this as I sit here trying to learn more about photo lighting digital photography. I can and will figure this out!)

January 03, 2007

Kim Family Benefit Auction

Today marks the beginning of the online auction to benefit the Kim family. It was organized by artist/crafter/blogger Lisa Congdon and features an amazing array of wonderful items made by a few of our favorite peeps. We didn't know the Kims personally (though we are big fans of both Doe and The Church Street Apothecary) but our hearts go out to them. So please check out the auction and buy something beautiful (bidding ends on Sunday the 7th).

January 02, 2007

Art by Mandy Wilson Rosen

Happy New Year! I hope everyone enjoyed their holidays. We took a few days off to hang out with friends and family, enjoy the sunshine, and spend some much needed time in front of the TV eating junk food and watching DVDs.

We were lucky to see lots of people who were visiting from out of town, including our lovely and talented friend Mandy from New York, whose art is pictured here. She is an amazing painter, and we are lucky to have 2 of her pieces hanging in our apartment. Check out her website to see more!