Saturday, December 29, 2012


I am currently in LA visiting friends for the new year. Here a few pictures from my adventure.

We went to a bar called the Big Lodge Inn, which is where you will find a flannel husby. There were a mix of hipsters and punks among the log-adorned walls. The DJ was good, playing a mix of retro and the Cardigans "Lovefool." Beer selection, meh.

We also had a visit to the LACMA Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Which was awesome because they had a STANLEY KUBRICK exhibit and you know how I love me some Stanley Kubrick. And if you didn't, you do NOW. They had the original twin dresses from The Shining.

Script excerpts from the Stanley Kubrick's Lolita. Of course it's pink. :)

The Shining labrynth model

Twin girls' original costumes
Did you know that in Stephen King's "the Shining," the ghost girls are sisters (not twins)? Then, Kubrick modeled them after his close friends Diane Arbus' famous twin girls photograph. I didn't know that.
Diane Arbus
Identical Twins, c. 1967
Also, I share a strange resemblance with the 13 yr old Sue Lyon that played Lolita in obviously - Lolita, or so my friend Christina said (below).

Sue Lyon in Lolita

So, I will share more photos when I return... Have a happy new year!


Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange exhibit at LACMA. These are replicas of the statues from the film's famous milk bar scene.

My idea of the epitome of an LA scene - in Melrose - great shopping BTW !

The Big Lodge Inn - Interior is a log cabin and all the bartenders are in flannel..nice :)
Preparations for the 2012 Rose Parade

Friday, December 21, 2012

Christmas in Chicago

The last two years, I have not been able to make it back to Michigan for Christmas. Sad, I know. My family comes to Chicago! I like it this way, because my Christmas decorations get to be appreciated and there are lots of fun holiday events in Chicago!
Millenium Park Ice Skating
     One of the things I love about Chicago is you can share all your favorite seasonal activities with a beautiful cityscape. Going to the beach in the summer or like above, ice skating right downtown in Millenium Park. Free admission and skate rentals are just $10. November 17, 2012 through January 8, 2013.
     German? No? Fan of Cuckoo clocks? I almost got one last year. They were adorable. Cuckoo clocks, that is. Not a German. The Christkindlmarket is a good place to find both though! Open from November 20-December 24th, this market is a must-see for the holidays. The perfect place to find a gift for your favorite craft-lover; nearly all items are handmade! The market features traditional German toys and ornaments to food and drink. Admission is FREE and located in Daley Plaza.
Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago
     The Renegade Craft Fair travels all over the country to bring handmade and vintage goods twice a year. Each December, the holiday craft fair is held at the Pulaski Park Fieldhouse in Chicago. This is the essential shopping destination for the hipster crafter you know. I also found many things for myself, including burgundy geometric earrings similar to the great necklace shown above. Etsy store: thislovesthat
Longman and Eagle
     And if you're coming from out of town, staying downtown is nice, but I know something better. In the Northwest neighborhood of Logan Square about a 15 minute ride on the blue line, you'll come to the best B&B style hotel ever. At least that I've seen. Downstairs, an award-winning restaurant and bar (below).

Merry Xmas,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Brownies in a Jar

It's Christmas time and that means it's a super stressful time of year when you have to try to figure out what the Hell to get people for the holidays. I loathe this part of the holiday season. It is great if I know exactly what I want to get someone, but when I don't, or can't find what I want, boy does it suck. So this year I am making some of my gifts and I thought I would share one really quick, easy gift that is great for relatives, coworkers or even the in-laws.

Mason Jar Brownies!

2/3 t. salt
1 1/8 c. flour, divided
1/3 c. cocoa powder
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. white chocolate chips
Please note this makes one jar

Also 1 quart size Mason jar (I suggest the widemouth kind...I did not use this and it made pouring ingredients in a bit more of a challenge).
And a ribbon or decorative top for the jar


In  a clean, dry canning jar, layer the ingredients as follows:
2/3 t. salt
5/8 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1/2 c. flour
2/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. sugar
1/2 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. white chocolate chips

I have a problem following directions, so mine is not in this order and therefore my colors are a little doesn't matter in the sense of making the brownies, just in presentation, so I suggest following the order listed above.

Close jar and wrap the ribbon around the top. Include the following instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 9x9 baking pan.
2. Pour the contents of the jar into a large bowl and mix well.
3. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2/3 cup vegetable oil and 3 eggs. Beat until just combined.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool and enjoy!

Ta-da! You're done! You may also add 1/2 a cup of walnuts or pecans to the top of this as well, I personally have family with nut allergies, so I decided to forgo that ingredient.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Ideas for designing your own wall collage

Wall collages have been prevalent among many design blogs in the past couple years. They need a makeover. How about doing one specific theme? Currently, I have a color themed collage in my living room. It is all black and white, which I chose because I have a tendency to decorate in too many colors at once...  

You can compose a collage around:

Content, like the sailboat collage above.

Color,  like I have in my apartment..

Or even a looser theme, where this person used neutrals and large mattings. 

I think these make even more of a statement than a regular collage and are also easier on the eye. It's also important to note that if you want a more cohesive look, be aware of the medium in which the art was created. If you are creating a family collage, are you using a collection of photographs and drawings? Maybe it could be more interesting if you only did all pencil drawings by your child, rather than to combine it with photography. Like most things, simpler is better, even with collages. :)


Graphic Designer's Gift Guide

Aaaand one last gift guide, this one for the graphic designer in your life.

Designers are creative and silly. We tend to be procrastinators and therefore spend a lot of nights up late working on projects (that and for some reason the best ideas seem to come at 3 am). And at least most of us hold a special place in our hearts for typography as well as photography. So these gifts cater to these traits.

1. An ampersand bottle opener...need I say more?
3. Typography Sketchbooks by Steven Heller and Lita Talarico
4. Super cute USB Toaster Hub and thumb drives
5. Moleskine notebooks
6. Biggby giftcards


Friday, December 7, 2012

Vintage-Lover's Gift Guide

Having trouble finding a gift for your favorite vintage lover or thrifter?  I have hand picked items from the internet for your convenience. Something for all budgets. Take a look:

Happy Gifting!