August 31, 2009

Sushi Sundays

I'm a novice when it comes to sushi, seeing that I just started eating it about a year ago, but I've loved it ever since. My boyfriend and I just moved 5 minutes from downtown Los Angeles and one of the first tasks on his list was to buy sushi grade fish in bulk from the warehouses downtown and make his own sushi.

Neither of us have ever tried to make our own sushi before but it turned out to be pretty uncomplicated, to my surprise.

There are some obvious techniques we need to perfect (such as the stickiness of the rice and the proper cutting techniques) but overall, I was very impressed with our first attempt (although he did all the real work).

Spicy tuna rolls, spicy hand rolls, and albacore sushi made for a pretty filling dinner. I think between the two of us we ate about $100 worth of sushi if we were eating at a restaurant but all together our total for cooking at home came out to around $15...not bad!

Making sushi was definitely a fun and adventures Sunday meal, while it may require a bit more time and patience, it definitely pays off in the end. If your up for the challenge, I recommend you give it a try.


August 28, 2009


As much as I love simplicity, I am a sucker for beautiful & intricate patterns as well. There's nothing that livens up a room more than a small burst of color and pattern (if done correctly of course). This particular pattern is one of my own drawing, a bit more intricate than usual but my attempt at pushing myself to be a little more out there sometimes. I was happy with the results and while I wouldn't line my walls with it, I think it would do great as gift-wrap!

I found this patterned wall at the Musée des arts Décoratifs in Paris at the jewel exhibition. They had wallpapered this entire room in old technical drawings of jewels, creating this wonderful pattern of detailed drawings and information. I thought this was such a great new use of these old drawings that, because of technology, wouldn't have much of a function anymore.

Patterned accessories (throws, pillows, tapestries, etc.) can set the whole mood for a room. I found these great patterns at a boutique in Paris' Marais district. The combination of the fun shapes and bold colors really sets these patterns apart. Just imagine a whole store filled with this liveliness. Quite intriguing!

If you really love patterns, what's a better way to show it off than by tiling your floors with it! I wish I had the guts to do something beautiful like this in my home but being the simplifier that I am, I will stick to my dark hardwood floors for now.


August 23, 2009

More Logos & Store Signs

While most people journal their travels through beautiful landscapes and famous attractions, I prefer remembering the places I've been through their design, more specifically, their type design.Heschung is a gorgeous shoe store in Paris. I passed this particular store everyday dans le Marais on my way to work. This simple & classic design gave the place such a chic vibe. The great thing about this store sign is the attention payed to the details. On first glance the sign resembles any other but looking closer at the letter spacing, combination of all caps and lower case italics and the classic font (which reminds me of Garamond, but that could be wrong) are a perfect combination.

I love this sign because it is a great use of Small Caps. Small caps are so often misused so it was truly exciting to see something so simple designed by someone who obviously knew what they were doing. The logo, the type, and the bright color work in perfect combination whith each other, really giving a modern twist to this classic design.

This logo / sign is so pleasing because it remains simple but is very playful and intricate at the same time. Taken one step farther, this logo could have become too complex and confusing but with just the right amount of adjustments, the type flows beautifully together. By keeping the line weight and curved angles consistent the logo remains easy on the eyes but intrigues the viewer to keep looking.

This was an amusing sign I found in Prague. A great play on the converse logo, although I'm not sure what it's supposed to be advertising...

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August 19, 2009

Silverlake Street Fair

This past weekend I attended the Silverlake Street Fair only 5 away minutes from my house. Sunset blvd. was completely closed off to traffic which was very impressive seeing that its pretty much the main road in Silverlake. Besides the steep entry fee ($20!) the street fair was a great Saturday afternoon activity, alive with music, dancing, art, crafts, food and lots of drinks.I must say, it was a bit different than other street fairs I have been too but anyone who knows the Silverlake area could only expect that. A mixture of hipsters, hippies, spirituals, and flat out unique people crowded the streets selling one of a kind specialty pieces.

The only drawback of the event was the unbearable 95 degree weather but they made up for it with water balloon fights, fresh blackberry mojitos and frozen strawberry daqueries; not a bad trade off in my opinion.

Although I didn't purchase any new arts or crafts at the fair, I enjoyed the diverse music the most. From turntables to salsa and everything in between (including the guys dressed up in animal costumes playing guitar). Can't wait for the next one!

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August 14, 2009

DIY: Floor Pillows

The last room in our house left to decorate was our living room. Because it was so oddly shaped we weren't sure what to do with the half not occupied with the couch and tv. We already had a dining room table near the kitchen and I wasn't really up for turning into a game room so we settled on the idea of a Japanese style hookah/sake room.We already had the nice big low table but we needed big floor cushions to go along with it. After shopping around a bit, we realized the cheapest floor pillows we could get were around $50 each! That was a little more than we were hoping to spend so I decided to take on the task of making them instead. I used the great silver canvas fabric I had purchased at the garage sale, some tan and gold buttons (35 cents each) and the cheapest big pillows we could find (Anna's Linens $9 each).
Collecting the materials was easy. The hard part was putting them all together. Since my sewing machine and I have not been agreeing with each other lately, I decided to sew them by hand.. probably not my best idea. After 2 hours I had about half a pillow sewn together, so I was 1/12 of the way finished. Frustrated and disappointed I almost gave up when I remembered my staple gun I purchased last year! Maybe not the most professional answer but it definitely solved my problems..quickly.

Stapling away, I was able to finish all the pillows in less than an hour, all that was left was sewing up the one remaining side and adding on the buttons and voila, a new set of modern Japanese style floor pillows!

August 10, 2009

French Doors

French style, in my opinion, can be summed up by these Parisian doors. They are so classical, full of character, unique and ornate. My traveling partner this summer in Paris decided to document all these beautiful doors and these are some of my favorites. I think they really tell a lot about the city. Even if you have never been to Paris, you probably get a better glimpse into the true city than if you were looking at an image of the Eiffel tower.The french, while very classical and subtle are also not afraid of being modern. This door is a great example of their seemingly effortless ways of combining modern colors with classical design.

This door is one of my favorites. It reminds me of an art nouveau piece combined with a Jackson Pollock painting.

The detail is something you wont find anywhere else. The french really understand the importance of every single small component rather than just looking at the bigger picture.

These doors were such a great example of the power of light and color. The doors themselves were clear glass but the vibrant colors of the interior shined through and changed depending on your point of view.

August 8, 2009

Madeleine Vionnet

While not a trend follower, I do appreciate great fashion, especially when it comes with a story and history. The Madeleine Vionnet exhibit was just that; a great story of a Parisian woman starting her own business in the early 1900's and doing something completely different and innovative for her time. Madeleine strayed from the common restrictive clothing, allowing her clothes to flow and drape. This was a bold and innovative move that was not well received at first but has changed the way women wear clothing to this day.

I think all women can appreciate Madeleines work because who knows, if it wasn't for her, maybe we would all still be wearing corsets and hoop skirts!

August 5, 2009

Garage Sale Finds

Having just moved back to LA, I was a bit skeptical to move into my new place in Silverlake because I knew nothing about the town. Turns out I fell in love with it immediately; a great farmers market every Saturday, a weekly flea market, friendly people (very rare in LA!), and tons of garage sales. Moving into a bigger place, I realized how much space I needed to fill and what better way to fill it than to re-use someone elses unneeded stuff. I spent the weekend at various yard sales (another one of my favorite activities) and met some great people in the process. Here were some of my finds for the week.

This thick silver canvas fabric is great and so modern. I plan on using it to make floor pillows for my living room.

I couldn't resist this frame, not sure where I will put it yet but not a bad find for $3!

This is leftover wallpaper and the picture just doesn't do it justice. The gold leaf printed tree silhouettes might be perfect for my bedroom, maybe as art in my new frame.

I have been craving gorgeous vintage door knobs. I wish I could put them on every door in my house but I only found one pair so I will have to settle with just my office door for now. We definitely had a car full of great new finds by the time we were done but these were my favorites. Overall, I'd say it was a pretty successful week at the garage sales.

August 4, 2009

Website: The Balance Project

Following my previous post on silkscreening, I thought I would share the actual website that the Balance Project was designed around.
Basically when you go to the website you are presented with a completely balanced and symmetrical symbol. To the left are a series of questions about your life and depending on how you answer them, the symbol will change to correlate with your answers.

This is an example of my personal balance symbol.. maybe a bit unbalanced in a few areas but that's the point! The objective of the project is more to embrace your differences and your 'highs & lows' because that's what makes you who you are. When your finished finding your balance you can print it out and compare each section with its meaning.

The idea is then to be able to apply this unique symbol of balance to personal items, such as personalized paper or clothing. Its a way of bringing your symbol of balance to life. You can check out the whole project at: Enjoy!

August 3, 2009

DIY: silkscreening from home

One of my favorite techniques I learned while in art school was Silkscreening. As a graphic deisgner, I tend to spend a lot of time on the computer so I love any chance that I can get to be hands on and crafty. Silkscreening is a long process that requires a lot of attention and patience but can also be quite enjoyable and definitely rewarding! Silkscreening from home is not the easiest task and does not always produce perfect results but if you are up for the challenge and enjoy experimentation, this could be a great project for a rainy afternoon. Click here for project instructions and material lists.

Trial and error is another important note in silkscreening. Things ussually don't turn out perfect the first time around but it just allows for happy mistakes to happen that might actually lead you in a more interesting direction.
This particular silkscreening project I worked on was on a very large scale. I taped down an actual silk sheet to my living room floor and took on the ambitious task of printing a pattern over the entire sheet. The hard part about a pattern is that everything has to match up exactly. This requires a lot of patience so if you are looking for a more easy going project I would stick to a more simple design on a much smaller scale.
This was all part of a project I was currently working on called The Balance Project. It is all based around a website that basically allows you to visualize your personal balance in life and creates a balance 'symbol' that is unique to you. The image that I printed is an example of a particular balance symbol and how it can be applied to actual tangible things in your life, taking it from theoretical to actuality.

The final dress was more for show purposes than anything else but it was great to see it come to life, taking on an actual form and purpose.

August 1, 2009

Metro Posters

Nearing the end of my summer in Paris I couldn't leave before documenting the great metro posters I had walked by countless times everyday. It's too bad advertising in the States can't be this beautiful and experimental.
I didn't even know what most of the images were advertising but they were captivating none the less.

These posters for the 'Affordable Art Fair' are so funny and creative. The viewer understands the artist more than if they were to see an actual piece of their artwork in my opinion. So fun and entertaining!

I hope one day America will be a little more open minded about their advertising, I can't remember the last time I walked down the street in the US and something beautiful actually caught my eye..