Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!  I’m currently in Portland celebrating the holidays with my parents and sister.  It’s baby E’s first Christmas, so we’re pulling out all the bells and whistles…even getting a real Christmas tree for the first time. :) 

Here’s a peek at our Christmas cards this year!  I can’t take credit for the design though; it’s from the cool people over at Minted.

The Story of Elijah

With all of my sister’s close friends and family living in various places across the country, it became very hard for us to throw her a traditional baby shower. Billy and I decided instead to invite Julie’s friends and family to participate in a virtual baby shower activity.

Julie and Billy chose the name Elijah for their baby boy because of how meaningful the story has been in their life and because they hope their son will have as intimate a relationship with God as the prophet Elijah did.  So Billy took the biblical account of Elijah and rewrote it into a kid’s story.

Each person was assigned a line from the story and asked to re-copy the phrase in their own handwriting and to draw a quick doodle to illustrate it.  After collecting all of the handwritten phrases and doodles, I scanned them all into the computer and tried to tie all the illustrations together by coloring similar elements the same color (note Elijah’s blue jeans in certain illustrations and blue robes in another! :)).

I love how each person interpreted their lines differently and drew Elijah in slightly different ways. I think it’s a beautiful reminder that baby Elijah, and Julie and Billy, have a wonderful community of people who all love them very much.


We’re moving…

…to the Caribbean!

Yep, it’s true. Dean and I will be packing up our bags and moving in January to the tiny island of Grenada in the West Indies. Dean will be beginning medical school there at St. George’s University, and I will be accompanying him. I won’t be able to work while I’m there, but I’m hoping to spend that time developing this blog more and creating more printables and custom invitation designs to add to my shop.

It’s quite a big change moving from Orange County to a tropical island, to say the least. We’re just getting started with all the preparations, so I will be sure to keep you posted on the developments! We don’t plan on shipping anything to the island, so we’ll have to bring everything that we need with us in our suitcases. I’ve already started thinking about which of my craft and design tools I’m going to have to live without for 2 years….and it’s really gotten me thinking about what items I really need (craft and otherwise).

So for all you readers out there, stay tuned for some upcoming posts where I’ll be sharing my top 10 must-have crafting tools. I’m not quite sure if I’ll be able to stick to 10 though…it may turn into 20.

Packing up the studio (in a studio)

Sorry I’ve been MIA recently. We’ve been going through some changes and recently just packed up our little studio apartment and moved out. We haven’t actually moved into any new place yet and are currently staying with Dean’s mom at her place.

We’re going through some transitioning and trying to figure out some things (like where we want to live and work the next year or two). In the meantime, please bear with me as my posts may be fewer and far between. We’ll also be taking some vacationing time to visit my parents in Oregon for a few weeks. I’m sure I’ll be able to sneak in a couple of posts here and there though. :)

It was a bit sad to move out, not only because it was our first apartment that we shared together in our first two years of marriage, but also because I had to say goodbye to my lovely studio in a studio.

I snapped this picture on my phone right before we left the apartment and turned in the keys. I’m sad to end this small chapter in our lives, but also excited at the opportunity to create something new and wonderful in our new home.

Happy Weekend!

Happy weekend, everybody! I’m spending this Memorial long weekend hanging out with family at the park, grilling some delicious food, and working on this quilt for a good friend.

This is my third quilt I’ve made, so I’m feeling pretty good about it! Here’s a quick peek at the back of the quilt. I love how all the seams lay flat and line up so perfectly. :) The repetitiveness, precision, and patience that go into making a quilt remind me so much of architectural model-making…

Happy Mother’s Day!

For Mother’s Day this year, I decided to make an apron for my mom because she loves to cook for her family and friends. Her specialties include pots of slow-simmered Chinese soup, antioxidant-rich “smoothies” that usually include questionable things like bitter melon and tomatoes (she used to offer these to Dean when we were dating and he’d have to down them with a straight face…poor guy!), and an assortment of Cantonese and Vietnamese dishes that my sister and I have since tried to learn.

I used a pattern out of the Martha Stewart Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts to sew the apron out of some linen I had on hand. I shortened and scaled it down a bit since my mom is pretty petite.

Then, I used my Silhouette SD cutter to cut out the images of a soup pot, blender, and wok on freezer paper. I ironed the freezer paper directly onto the apron, which created a seal so the paint wouldn’t seep through. At this point, I realized I didn’t have a single paintbrush in the house! Fittingly, I ended up using a kitchen sponge to dab the paint over the stenciled images, which surprisingly worked out okay. I let it sit overnight and then peeled the stencil off the next morning, put it in an envelope, and shipped it off to Portland for my mom!

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!

Birthday Celebrations

We celebrated my birthday this weekend, and Dean planned all sorts of fun goodies and surprises for me! I’m a lucky girl.

Call us dorky, but one of our favorite radio programs to listen to on NPR is “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me,” the Oddly Informative News Quiz! They have a portion called the Listener Limerick Challenge where listeners have to complete a limerick about a current event/news tidbit by filling in the last word. Anyway, Dean knows that I love NPR and limericks, so he decided to create a series of limericks for me to solve for my birthday – each leading to a present!

Look how nicely wrapped the gifts are. He even used my twine and followed my present-wrapping tutorial to wrap the movie. :)

I told Dean not to get me a big present this year because I got an iPhone recently (which I adore, btw), but he picked out a few small gifts for me that he knew I’d like. Okay, maybe he had some help from my Amazon wishlist…

My favorite gift was the custom DIY stamp kit!! Isn’t this the coolest thing ever??? It comes with two font sizes and two wooden-handled stamps, so you can create customized messages, notes, address, gift tags…even limericks. :)

My birthday festivities started out on Saturday with lunch at Bay Cities Italian Deli, where we tried their infamous Godmother sandwich. It was chock-full of tasty Italian deli meats, cheeses, and lathered with spread and some veggies. We also got some of their hot mac ‘n cheese, a loaf of crusty bread, and cute, single-serving nutella packs. The store was really busy that day, so we didn’t get to explore much, but I do hope to go back and explore more soon.

Our next stop was the Eames House, the home of my favorite American designers, Charles and Ray Eames. I’ve admired this house on the pages of textbooks and magazines, but it was another experience altogether to see and experience it in person. I’ll share more photos and thoughts in another post about the Eames House.

I happened to read somewhere that Takami Sushi was donating 100% of its profits to the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund, so we decided to check out this ultra-hip sushi restaurant located on the 21st floor of the Wilshire building downtown.

The view from the restaurant was pretty amazing. They had this really neat indoor/outdoor wrap-around patio area that offered a really great view of downtown LA. It felt like you were sitting inside a building, but you could definitely hear/smell/feel the air outside.

The food was okay, not extraordinary, but we only had food from the lounge menu for happy hour. I think the best part was just the environment and the view (and my lychee saketini). Admittedly, though, we felt a bit out of place amongst all the hip and glamorous Angelinos there.

Afterward, we stopped by the LACMA to check out artist Chris Burden’s Urban Light exhibit. Burden apparently collected the 202 old city street lamps over a period of six or seven years and restored them to create this installation, meant to create a connection between the LACMA and the Broad Museum of Contemporary Art next door, as well as to passersby and the community.

And our last stop of the night was at Doughboys, because what’s a birthday without cake?

Thanks, D., for a sweet and memorable day, and thanks to all my family and friends for all the birthday wishes!

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