This was a denim skirt

This little guy was surprisingly fast to make. Isn't he cute? I love him. I was going to gift him for Christmas, but I decided to save him away for future little ones and keep him in the family.

I love the simplicity (that's why I didn't give him eyes or stitch a mouth) and the subtle details with  the baleen and fins. He's made from a Kenneth Cole Reaction skirt that I've had for years. It was time to let it go, so the skirt has been sitting in my craft closet waiting to be repurposed. It's stretchy and thin and was the perfect material for this project.

I found the tutorial here. Nevermind the Finnish, I made my own pattern on illustrator and followed the picture directions in true Scandinavian fashion (thanks for the practice IKEA!). Kudos Whale in Sweater blogger from Finland. Thanks for letting me borrow your creativity.


After five months of living in a shoe box on my dresser, my jewelry finally has a home.

I found the Guatemalan shelf at the thrift store on base at Ft. Hamilton. The framed decorative grate is Pinterest inspired.

I still need to find mini S hooks or figure out a way to rig some craft wire so I can hang bracelets and my necklaces with thinner chains.

But really, I'm just excited for any little thing that makes our apartment feel more lived in.

Happy Movember!

catch up.

1-2. Coney Island Labor Day 3. Early Autumn on my street 4. Madison Square Park and a nearly full moon 5. Glamming the streets of Manhattan (that's gold paint on the tree covers) 6. changing leaves outside a Home Depot with the best looking facade I've ever seen 7. evening commute 8. Friday night dinner and a movie 9. number 8's dinner, chilequiles 10. Free Friday at the MoMA 11. one of my favorite places in Manhattan, a crafter's dream 12. Lady Liberty -- Happy 125th Birthday!

1. brooklyn bridge 2.  great story put on stage, finally! 3. bebe on the bk bridge 4. the kitchen on my floor at work, all you can eat cereal all day 5. the view from my desk 6. grand central station 7. buy American 8. pineapple fried rice 9. blue crabs in chinatown 10.  the halloween parade in greenwich, aka: the village 11.  church harvest party activity site map (created by yours truly) 12. sidewalk graffiti 

1. getting out of the city 2-3. sharing a drumstick 4. vintage bottle cap collection 5. getting lost in all the vintage loveliness of a barn sale 6. some of my treasures 7. est. 1731 8. type setting 9. city boys lugging their spoils from the country 

I promised myself

That I would blog this weekend.
So here it is just in case I don't get around to something more substantial.

I love Redhook. If I squint at the buildings I can see Spot Collins shoot a marble from a sling shot peeking out from a roof top. It's so old and charming. That reminds me, I need to blog about Newsies at the Play Mill in NJ along with the last 10 months of my life. Fabulous.

I wonder how old these cobble stones are.


I have quite the collection of pending projects that I have found and repinned on Pinterest... *which I love, btw* But this is the first I've actually completed.

How I have lived without elastic thread until now, I just don't know. It is magical! Find the full tutorial here. google (restricted at work, so thanks blogger press iPhone ap!)

Thank you Irene

For giving us an excuse to do nothing today but read, nap, bake and relax...and that you haven't taken out our power so we can enjoy a wonderful hurricane dinner and a marathon of Lost.

Kind regards,


Need doesn't quite cut it

I just looked up "need" on to find a word that could accurately describe something I've been feeling lately. These are the definitions listed:

1. Want, requirement
2. Poverty
3. Emergency, pressing lack
4. Want something

Further explanatory words include:

The urge
Feel a dearth of
Feel the pinch

All of these words wrapped up together in one urgent package tied with a grosgrain ribbon, scratch the surface of this ache that seems to start in my shoulders and travel down my arms to my fingers. Everywhere I go I see images, hear phrases, that are crawling under my skin wanting to escape onto paper painted. in. watercolors.

Am I a watercolor painter? No, but I want to be.

Have you ever felt a pinch to do something you don't really have much experience doing but feel deprived because you aren't doing it?

Btw, I can blame two things for this. 1) Alisa Burke whose blog I drool over, and 2) our relief society activity last month where we learned a bit and I painted the picture above.

And now I need to do something about it, but there is a visitor (aka: hurricane) named Irene that has shut down public transportation and we are on an island and stuck in our apartment, but I'd rather be stuck in our apartment than stuck staying on someone's couch or an air mattress or in a hostel somewhere in land or not on an island like we are (strange though that long island is not really an island, right?)

Our first houseguest

And hopefully not our last! Btw, he said our guest bed is really comfortable :).

Having company means we get to do things we really want to do but usually forego for the likes of laundry. We met Nate under the bridge for some Grimaldi's pizza. We timed it right and only had to wait about 40 minutes for a table. It was worth every minute. Best pizza I've had yet!

Then we took a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. I think I loved this architectural feat long before I could tell you what it was. I just love the lines! And someday I will paint/sketch/vector-ize this image.

Sisters and Sunday v-chats

Thank goodness for modern technology. It makes it a little easier to be so far away.


I found the materials for a lot less at Top Trimmings and opted for a copper colored leather cording instead of the black -- this I did get at M&J Trim, but could've also found it at Toho Shoji. 

I also found tons of beautiful fabrics that would work perfectly with my mom's color pallet, which is peach, blush pink, ivory, watermelon (coral), and platinum. It's such a romantic pallet and will be so pretty.


I'm about to head out to the Garment District to rummage for some fabric finds for my mom's upcoming wedding celebration, and in doing some research before I do...I stumbled upon this.

Being as cheap as we are, I don't get much exposure to fashion and/or style magazines so maybe you have already met Jenni Radosevich, the resident DIY-er from InStyle magazine. She does some amazing things with fabric and trim. I may just have to try this tutorial and add rhinestones and thick chains to my look out for list.

Also, this blog is the best I've found for garment district resources:

Wish me luck! And tireless feet. 

ispydiy : step 8

been working this morning...

Free hand vector...the only part I didn't draw is the grass.

Just an idea for a client's (aka: my Mom) logo. I really like how it turned out, though it may need some tweaks. 

they say don't count your chickens before they hatch...

...but you can definitely still get excited at the prospect of food on your table--or if your of the veggie persuasion, then friends in your chicken coop!

I am awaiting an official offer to arrive by post early next week from Macquarie, Australia's NUMBER ONE bank and a rising star here in the New York finance industry. I couldn't be more thrilled!

To start August Eighth.

faith renewed

While I definitely experienced a set back with my first job here in NY, my faith in my recruiters has been renewed. I went on eight (8) interviews last week. All incredible companies and great positions with great teams.  I voluntarily chose to not pursue one of the opportunities and a couple of the others I could go either way on. BUT there are three, that for me, are in the final running and I hope I am in their final running too. I had my first follow-up of the week today, a third-and-final-round tomorrow and a second-possibly-final-round on Wednesday. Today was psychometric testing and skills assessment. By the time I got off the metro, I had an email asking for me to come back to meet the executives. I am in a bit of shock, (1) to realize that we are actually living in NY, (2) that I may be receiving multiple offers from top international finance firms, (3) that I am being considered.

I read an article in the New Yorker the other day about Sheryl Sandberg--a VP at Facebook. Here's a clip:

Sandberg graduated first in the economics department. At her Phi Beta Kappa induction, there were separate ceremonies for men and women. At hers, a woman gave a speech called “Feeling Like a Fraud.” During the talk, Sandberg looked around the room and saw people nodding. “I thought it was the best speech I’d ever heard,” she recalls. “I felt like that my whole life.” At every stage of her time in school, Sandberg thought, I really fooled them.

I can identify with Ms. Sandberg. Not because I am unqualified or a bad candidate or fraudulent in any way. But, because there is something about walking into these high-powered office buildings among high-powered people that makes me look down at my $8 Ann Taylor suit from the Friends of St. Asaph's thrift store that I altered myself because I didn't want to pay the $16 to have it tailored and think to myself, "Who do you think you are?". 
Here's to thinking big and reaching for the stars. And if I can do it, anyone can do it. 

And if you ever move to New York and are looking for great recruiters, look up Glocap (Colette is my contact--though all of my interviews have come through her colleagues) and ExecuSearch (Jordana is fantastic).

I am so not Manhattan.

I am so behind. I have lists upon lists of things that I need to write about. Happy things. But not today.

Because today I'm bummed. Some people around here call it the Brooklyn Blues. I think there are as many causes as there are people who get sucked down by the Brooklyn Blues. Though maybe mine are more of the Manhattan sort.

I am realizing that I am so not New York. I am more Brooklyn than Manhattan, but really I am just a first generation immigrant from the wild, Wild West.

Our air conditioner isn't working right now. No one wants to come fix it for us. I'm exaggerating. Our landlady sent one guy who doesn't care to take the time to fix it for us. Now, this wouldn't be such an issue if I still had the job that I was offered on the 2nd of July and was sitting in an air conditioned office instead of our oven of a top-floor apartment. (which I still love, don't get me wrong.)

It was a "temp-to-perm" position. They seemed to love me and offered me the position on the spot. I have never done any temp work before so I really didn't know what to expect and since they seemed to want me so badly, even asked me to start the next business day, I thought it would be more similar to my direct hire experiences. But it wasn't and I guess I know now what it's like to be treated like a temp. To be the "them" sitting opposite the "us". Funny though, because the HR manager who interviewed me first kept saying over and over that in this particular firm and especially the team I would be working on, there is no "us and them". Well, they proved her wrong.

They gave me four days. FOUR days of nearly no training and no orientation. Not even so much as a tour around the office to introduce me to everyone or show me where I could find a pen or sticky notes. And at the end of the FOUR days, they told my recruiter that it just wasn't a good fit. And the only example she gave was that I sent the team and email asking for projects and if any of them had time to sit with me to go over some of the processes. I guess I was supposed to stand on my chair and address the whole group vocally at once. Please keep in mind that the executive that I was hired to support wasn't even in town the entire time I was there. So tell me this, who made the decision that I wasn't a good fit? grrr.

I am so not Manhattan.

When do we get to go out West again?

a new adventure

A new look for a new adventure. I would have waited to post the new banner until AFTER we were actually in the BK, but the movers contractually have 7 days to deliver our stuff and since today is my last day at work, that means I'll be computer-less for a few days.

I like how my illustration turned out. I guess we'll find out next week how true-to-life it really is. It may be a little unfinished...maybe I'll add to it as we get to know our neighbors :).

happy birthday to us!

The Captain's computer died in April and mine is really on it's last leg...given this scenario and not having a TV, we decided to splurge on ourselves this year for our birthdays. And let me tell you, it is a beaut and well worth it!

sum sum summah

summer is coming and ever since I was a youngster summer has been for bike riding, for a few years it was beach cruising, and now I just want one of these. I spied this propped up outside of the blue duck tavern on my way to work the other day. I have no idea what the make is and since I took the shot with my bb it's too blurry to tell. Anyone out there know?

and speaking of bikes, how cute is this MSL craft?


I've been advertising the wrong dates! Saturday we'll be on the west side of University Avenue around about  4500 North (just south of riverwoods mall). Click here for a list of some of what you may find! 

2 coasts collide...

...and crash smashingly into DC! At we aren't leaving the city empty handed (not that the Captain nor I had anything to do with it).

 Behind the Bisnow branding (a gift from an advertising vendor that we signed a contract with a few weeks ago) these are 100% Sprinkles. This California-based cupcake original makes one good piece o' cake.

Is that...? Yes it sure is! NY has decided to share. The line was ridiculously long when I walked past today on my way to its neighbor for lunch. I wanted to tell all the stuffy businessmen that were gauffawing at the line that they should be so lucky as to have to wait for such a burger.

What's next? Cafe Rio??? Oh wait, some obscure town north of here in Nowheresville, Maryland got it.

if walls could talk

I had a voice mail from our new landlady this morning telling me that her local paint store didn't have "igloo" which was the Behr paint color we had emailed to the broker who was talking the owner into repainting some of our new apartment. She (landlady) sounds like the sweetest thing--called me honey. I have no idea how to place her accent, but I looked up her surname and it belongs to Saudis. She asked if I would pick a Benjamin Moore color. That is what they carry at her local paint store (which may be our local paint store since she only lives a few blocks from the apartment). I sent her this:

Because I've been drawn to light and airy decor lately and I think a light gray will make white gauzy curtains look so great

Because of the promise of all the tall windows and natural light that we'll have

Because the wood floors and accents look very warm in the photos and I wanted to find something that would "cool" the rooms down but also give a little depth

I have to keep in mind that she is only painting the bathroom and the office/second bedroom, though I do have secret hopes that we'll get there and she will have liked the color so much that she'll have the whole apartment painted.

A girl can dream, right?

in the news :)

the last time I was in a local publication, I was a missionary in Nanaimo, British Columbia running a Family History booth at a mall with my companion.

better mark your calendar!

love this

before & after via Curbly

I know a name, a glorious name

quote via curbly

I will be forever thankful that I have the mom I do.

welcome friends!

Now that we've signed our lease, I'd like to introduce you to our new dwelling place. We are trying to convince the owners to repaint, but she seems like a hard sale. Obviously this is furnished with the current tenant's belongings. As we settle in, I'll post some afters. 
master bedroom
dining area
another angle of the dining area and kitchen bar

living area

IKEA online magazine

 maybe this is old news, but I loved browsing through this...

fingers crossed

Last weekend the Captain and I took a bus ride to the big apple. Our mission? To find an apartment...or at least figure out what area of Brooklyn we want to live in. After a lot of walking and a few bumpy public transit bus rides, we narrowed it down to two neighborhoods. The problem is that one is a lot "nicer" meaning straight out of the movies people. Brownstones and tree-lined streets, cute and trendy shops and cafes, lots of young professionals and families. The other, not quite so cute and trendy but still not ghetto, but a ton more bang for your buck when it comes to the interior living space.

To give you an idea, the apartments we were discussing yesterday: [on the south end of the"nice" area, aka: borderline not so nice anymore, but about 6-7 blocks from the cute and trendy parts] 2 bedroom 1 bath, in a charming pre-war building with large bedrooms and closet space, hardwood floors, exposed brick (which is a nice feature), lots of sunlight, probably about 700-800 SF.

Sounds pretty good, right?

Compare with [in the more "affordable" area] a 2 bedroom 1 bath, top floor of a fully renovated brown stone, stainless steel appliances, recess lighting, dishwasher and washer and dryer included. Central air and heat. Open layout with huge living room and king size master bedroom with bay windows. 1000 SF. Hardwood floors throughout with massive custom closets. Apartment is flooded with light during the day. (description taken from craigslist)

The difference in price? Oh, only $400 a month. To get the same quality apartment in the "nice" area, we would have to pay about $600 more a month. Yes, this is me validating our decision to go for the nicer place in the less trendy neighborhood, but it's the right thing to do, right? Right.

As soon as we are confirmed [meaning, the owners want to talk to us before we can sign], I'll post some pictures. This will be our neighborhood. People. Do you know what this would mean? We will have plenty of space for VISITORS!! Maybe we can finally get some family to come visit us :).

Live with Virtue

I have felt a need lately to feel inspired. Every day I wake up, go through my daily routine, go to work, sit at a desk doing mundane work just to keep the money coming in. I go home eat some food, interact with the Captain for a few short moments before I'm too tired to keep my eyes open, crawl into bed to sleep and do it all again the next day. Auto pilot has taken over.

My spiritual life has been neglected and I am almost desperately trying to fill my life back up with positive messaging.So what do I do? I sign up for email newsletters from wellness professionals and come up with lists of things I should do, like mediate more, move more, eat more veggies and less crap, accentuate the positive and minimize the negative. Translation: be more diligent in my obedience to gospel principles.

In my inbox this morning, I had a note from a philosopher, Brian Johnson (who is, mind you, an exceptional person and positive thinker, lover of wisdom, but still from the secular) about Positive Psychology.

Near the end of my masters program in Family Therapy, several of my classmates got really excited about a relatively new movement called Positive Psychology. The founders, Martin Seligman and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi started on a quest to find identify the science behind happiness. To most of you the results from the foundational research will not come as any surprise.

Brian's note:

"Guess where they started.

"They went Old School—sifting through all the classic wisdom texts where they saw the same ideas repeated again and again. Although they differ on the details, these classics (from the Bible to the The Bhagavad Gita to the Bushido samurai code) say the same thing: Live with virtue.

"In fact, the researchers identified a constellation of six core virtues: wisdom, courage, love, justice, temperance and spirituality. They set out to *scientifically* establish that, when we put these virtues in action, we’ll live with more happiness, meaning and mojo.

"The equation is simple: Happiness = Virtues in Action (VIA)."

See what I mean by not surprised? Sounds a little familiar, right?

"Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven." ( Doctrine & Covenants 121:45

I love finding truth out there. And I love being reminded of fundamentals that I have known my whole life.

Brian's conclusion: "As Martin Seligman, the author of Authentic Happiness and the Godfather of the Positive Psychology movement tells us, one of the keys to happiness is simple: Use your strengths often. Do so in service to something bigger than yourself and you’ll be blessed with abundant happiness and a life filled with meaning and all that goodness to boot."

The first step to using your strengths often is figuring out what your strengths are. And then remember to use them to building something bigger than yourself. 

To revisit the my self-prescribed cure for auto-pilot, meditation (aka: pondering), movement, veggies and elevating my thoughts...Translation: be more diligent in my obedience to gospel principles.

Happiness = Virtues in Action = Obedience. Period.

I love paint too!

Those who know me well know that I love to paint. I'm not talking pretty pictures. I love to paint walls, wood, furniture. I am a HUGE fan of spray paint.

As much as I love painting, there are some items that cannot be painted until their original finish is removed. Not always the most fun job, but I just found this fantastic tutorial for stripping paint on a new-to-me blog, Natty by Design.

She uses this...

to make the paint look like this...

So you can do this (in only 3 hours mind you)...

and then this...

I am seriously coveting this desk and am putting out the best and most intense vibes I can for my future workshop. Please come into my life sooner rather than later!