Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh, Ribbon Tree, Oh Ribbon Tree

Last Christmas Steve's mom mailed us this Ribbon Christmas Tree she made. I stole it from the apartment and brought it to work to decorate my desk. This year I was excited to put it out again and it's gotten oodles of attention! I love home-made decor and this one's so cute I had to share it with you. I can't wait to take it back home today to spruce up the living room!

Wanna make one of your own? (I hear JoAnns is having a 70% off clearance on all of their Christmas stuff). Go here for a step-by-step slideshow on how to create your Ribbon Tree. Enjoy and happy Holiday crafting! 

I Hate New Years, But I LOVE Dressing Up

Christmas is in a couple of days and 2011 will sneak up way too quickly afterwards. New Years is by far my least favorite holiday of the year. Nobody can ever agree on what to do, there's always a lot of hype for a whole lot of nothing, everything is triple the price it normally is, one couple always gets into a fight, and everyone makes promises they'll break before the month is even over. I swear I am not this negative all the time- just for this one night of the year. 

The upside to this overrated celebration is that EVERYONE gets dressed up. It's the one night of the year where there is no such this as too much shine, sparkle, glitter, or sequins (I mean, in my world there's NEVER too much) and you can be as flashy as you like- the more blinding the better! These are some of my favorites for this dreaded holiday ;-)

1. Crystal Helix Necklace, J.Crew, $88
2. Strapless Dress, Rebecca Taylor, $495
3. Antique Jewel Stretch Bracelet, Forever 21, $6.80
4. Samantha Jacket, French Connection, $199.99
5. Crystal Feather Earrings, J.Crew, $58
6. Tiered Party Dress, Rebecca Taylor, $395
7. Chain Link Watch in Shiny Golden, Michael Kors, $225
8. Embellished Bow Headband, Forever 21, $7.80
9. Sequined Slingback Heel, BCBG, $178
10. Metal Mesh Foldover Clutch, BCBG, $128
11. Antique Stud Set, Forever 21, $3.80
12. Brings the Party Dress, Modcloth, $114.99
13. OPI Glitter Nail Polish from the Burlesque Collection (I am OBSESSED with the Gold Glitter, but that's only because I couldn't afford to buy them all. Waiting for Ulta to have their nail polish sale...)

Monday, December 20, 2010

I can't stop the rain...

It's not supposed to rain in Southern California, like, ever. But it has been... and it will continue to through the holidays. Don't fret! Rain means you get wear RAINBOOTS- one of my favorite footwear accessories. Not only do they come in a million styles/colors/prints AND price ranges, but who doesn't love a good puddle-frolic without having to worry about your feet getting muddy? I already have black and multi-colored polka dot ones I got from Target and sadly one doesn't really need more than one pair, but it doesn't hurt to look!

1. Ilse Jacobsen Rub 2 Short, Solestruck, $149.95
2. Hunter Boa Short Rain Boots, Bloomingdales, $205 (On Sale for $100.45!)
3. Emma Preppy Plaid Rain Boots, Target, $24.99
4. Hunter Festival Lace, Solestruck, $129.95
5. Merona Zenia Whales Rain Boots, Target, $24.99
6. kate spade new york "Randi" Rain Boots, Bloomingdales, $125
7. Zig-Zag Print Rain Boots, Target, $24.99
8. Hunter "Champery" Wedge Rain Boots, Bloomingdales, $175

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Weekend of Fairs

This past weekend was a BUSY one in Los Angeles. Two of the biggest craft fairs, Renegade and Unique L.A. were both held downtown on Saturday and Sunday. I thought it was strange that they were on the same dates since many of the vendors tend to do both, but Amy and I decided to take advantage and make an entire day of it- ready to blow some dough and support fellow local artists and crafters. We started with fabric shopping at Michael Levine's (supplies for my own crafting), moved onto Unique L.A. at the California Mart Building, grabbed lunch at the famous Philippe's, and finished the day at the park for Renegade. We were both exhausted by the end of the day, but it's always great to get inspired AND have a chance to enjoy some beef stew ;-)

There were too many things I loved to even count, let alone take pictures of, but here's a taste of some things I liked at Unique. SO CUTE! 

The treats in the cafeteria were particularly compelling this year. Just look at those displays!!! I didn't taste any because I was saving my appetite for Philippe's, but they looked YUMMY!

Philippe's is ALWAYS crowded, but they are a well-oiled machine that runs flawlessly, so you are never in line that long... trust me, it's worth it! We ordered a beef dip with swiss (to share), macaroni salad, beef stew, giant pickles, and Arnold Palmers to drink. Grand total? less than $10 each. Can't beat that price! After lunch it was on to the next one...

The great part about Renegade is, although it's smaller than Unique, it's free to park and free admission (which means more money to spend on THINGS!). As expected, A LOT of repeat vendors. We lucked out with a beautiful day- almost too hot out- for wandering around the Los Angeles Historic State Park. 

The best part of Renegade was the free photobooth! I love me a good photobooth and it's even better when you don't have to dig for $1 bills :-) magbooth had fun props (always a plus) and a super-cute booth that printed pictures so fast they were pretty much ready before you could pull back the curtain to exit. They also post their photos online so you can grab a digital copy if you need to. Fantasgreat.

We were so exhausted after the long day, I had to go home for a super-long nap. 

Monday, December 13, 2010

pretending it's cold in california

Every year around the holidays the city of Santa Monica sets up an outdoor ice-skating rink complete with Christmas decorations, hot chocolate stand, and cheery holiday tunes. It's become a sort of tradition for our group of friends to go, even though very few of us are very good at skating (the boys don't count because, well, they're good at everything). This year we went for my friend Lindsey's birthday and everyone was told to wear their Christmas sweater, so I put on my Snoopy and elf hat (naturally)

The rink itself was a little disappointing this year. Usually it's very heavily HOLIDAY theme, but that was replaced by bright, bold, floral decor (not what I think of when I think ice-skating) and instead of Christmas music they played a strange Justin Timberlake-heavy pop mix. I love me some JT, but if he's not singing Silent Night I don't wanna hear it on the ice. Just my opinion. Still, it was a great time and a good excuse for us to act like it was winter out even though it was probably around 75 degrees ;-) Gotta love Souther California!

my favorite: 2011 Printable Calendars

2011 is right around the corner! As the new year approaches we will all have to update our desks with new calendars. I really like to buy printable ones on Etsy. They're usually pretty inexpensive (between $5-10 per PDF file) and are SO cute. Plus, who doesn't love supporting independent artists? Here are some of my favorites (I bought the 2nd one for my desk at work). 

(pictured from left to right)

Owls in the Tree Calendar, valentinadesign on Etsy
Suki Tam Illustrated Calendar, tamptation on Etsy
Notepourri Calendar, notepourri on Etsy
Vintage Bird Calendar, janesays on Etsy

Friday, December 10, 2010

nobody loves L.A. like Miss Amy does

My old roomie and new workout buddy, Amy, does these awesome little paintings of Los Angeles landmarks and buildings and sells them on her Etsy store.

A few weeks ago she set up a Kickstarter to help fund her goal of 100 10"x10" paintings for a gallery exhibit. The money donated will go towards art supplies (we all know how expensive that can get!) and printmaking. Her goal has to be reached by February 21st and every little bit helps. Pledges can be as little as $1, so check out her sites and if you see what you like, lend a hand... err... a buck ;-)

Miss Amy Loves L.A. BLOG
Miss Amy Loves L.A. Etsy Store
Miss Amy Loves L.A. Kickstarter Pledge Page

Thursday, December 9, 2010

I Heart Stripes

Everyone knows I am stripe-crazy. Whenever I shop I always end up with an armful of striped items in various widths and colors (actually, that's a lie. Usually it's all black/grey/navy). Stripes are classic, flattering, and oh-so-preppy... just the way I like it! That being said, here are some of my favorite striped items out there right now!

 Striped Ex-Boyfriend Sweater, Madewell, $72
 Short Sleeve Bow Back Stripe Fleece Dress, Aiko Gallant, Bloomingdales, $188
 Stay Tuned Dress, Modcloth, $44.99
 Hooded Rugby Stripes Sweater, Forever 21, $19.80
 Sadle Striped Scarf in "Cherry Lollipop Multi", Marc by Marc Jacobs, Shop Bop, $98
 Set Sail Tank, Madewell, $59.50
 Bold Striped Sweater, Forever 21, $19.80
 Butter Me Up Top, Modcloth, $34.99
 Love is the New Black Classics, TOMS Shoes, $54

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Even pups deserve presents!

Okay, okay... so this isn't actually Q's Christmas list. His would just be a picture of a Turkey. That kid loves himself some holiday bird. But these are the things I would like Q to have. Therefore, it's his list ;-) Design Sponge posted a "Gift Guide: For the Animal Lover" today and it inspired me to share mine!

1. Green Silly Monkey Pajamas w/ Ears, Rockstar Puppy, $25
2. Little Lamb Dog Slippers, Rockstar Puppy, $15.99
3. Premier Busy Buddy Bristle Bone,, $14.08 (this one IS on Q's list. He loves the one he already has. Your pet will too- it's guaranteed!)
4. The Temple Standing Feeder,, $80 (size Small)
5. "Furcedes" Dog Bed,, $225
6. Argyle Sweater,, $37
7. Lime & Chocolate Harlequin Collection Harness & Lead,, $52 (set)
8. Custom Vintage Pet Portrait, HotDigitalDog via Etsy, $49.99- HILARIOUS!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Supplies have arrived!!!!

A few weeks ago I ordered this color blanket from Fabric On Demand so I could start designing my own prints for various products. I didn't get it in time for the holidays, but you can look forward to original nanaNontra prints soon :-) 

also, my colored elastics have arrived for the nook/Kindle/iPad cases! That means it's time to stop lounging around on the couch and start sewing! WEE!!! so excited!

Trying Earthtones

what I NEED for Christmas

I guess I should have thought of this sooner, but I am in DESPERATE need of color rings. Ideally, I'd like the Solid Coated and Uncoated, the Fashion+Home, and the CMYK sets, but all of those can get pricey. As I continue to do more graphics work and work towards (yup) developing my own prints for nanaNontra products, it's really important that I have my own set instead of borrowing the ring from work each night and bringing it back the next day.

This set or this set would work great as a starting point ;-) Anyone wanna donate $200 to the cause? just kidding... kind of.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

iPhone mania

It only took FOREVER, but I have finally added some iPhone 4 cases to my nanaNontra Etsy Store! There's only one of each print, so if you want one, act fast! They are hard cases covered in fabric and then coated for protection. I use only three materials: Plastic, Fabric, and Modge Podge. It's been a long and messy process learning how to perfect these things (they aren't easy), but I am so happy with how they turn out every time!  

Get your unique iPhone 4 case today!!!! (Guys prints coming soon!)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

office gifts that don't break the bank...

Every year I struggle with what to give co-workers as Christmas gifts. I always tell myself I'm only going to buy a couple for the really important colleagues, then I end up getting more than I give and have to go out and get more.

Last year I gave everyone these and these mugs from Anthropologie. I think I bought around 10 @ $6 a pop. Not terrible, but last year I was new to the company and hardly knew anyone yet. This year I have almost two dozen names on my list so I figured I would use my craft skills to make something less expensive and more unique to hand out.

After lots of internet bargain-hunting, I decided to make paper-covered and monogrammed jars (you'll learn I have an unhealthy obsession with monograms) to fill with candies for each person. The idea came from a Design Sponge DIY post from forever ago on what to do with your decorative paper scraps. I'm not sure if I'm going to put the monogram letter on the lid or the jar itself, but I'll figure out the details when the time comes. Posts on my progress to follow!

Photos "borrowed" from

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

early present to myself!

My ex-roommate, super bestie, and fellow blogger extraordinaire, Miss Amy, recently got a job at TOMS Shoes which (fortunately for me) came with a SICK discount! I've always really admired the TOMS mission and do-gooding, but have not been able to afford a pair. Plus there's the fact that I hate wearing shoes and live in flip flops for as long as the weather will allow. I got three pairs today and they are THE next best thing to being barefoot! Super comfortable and cute! Do yourself (and a needy child) a favor and order yours today!

my {preliminary} christmas list

1. White Gold and Green Amethyst Ring, Kay Jewelers, $219
2. 15" Macbook Pro, apple, $1999
3. Michael Kors Two-Tone Oversized Chronograph Silver/Gold, Michael Kors, $250
4. Marc by Marc Jacobs Petal to the Metal Natasha, Bloomingdales, $428
5. Chanel 2.55, Chanel, WAY TOO MUCH but hey, a girl can dream
6. Sam Edelman Pierce Boots, Shopbop, $300
7. New York Jets Football Tee, Victorias Secret, $39.50

Monday, November 29, 2010

too soon? no way!

I got a lot of grief from facebook friends who thought I put my Christmas tree up too soon last Friday. Steve and I popped a bottle of champagne, played some holiday tunes, and decorated our tree. I thought it was normal do this the day after Thanksgiving, but got tons of comments saying that we jumped-the-gun! I personally LOVE the way a tree looks in the corner of our living room and there's less than a month left until the holiday sneaks up on us, so I'd like to have it up as long as possible! More pictures of my home-made tree skirt to follow ;-)

pray for leftovers

Every Thanksgiving my puppy and I both pray that the turkey isn't completely devoured that night... so that we can eat leftovers the next day! Steve, as well as other people everywhere, has a tradition of making a sandwich out of everything that wasn't finished the night prior. Below is a picture of his day-after sandwich (mine wasn't nearly as pretty and he took the fancy plate). YUM!

los angeles thanksgiving with friends

My friend Lindsey has made it an annual tradition to host Thanksgiving with friends. There are several of us who stay in town for the holiday, saving vacation time for Christmas or (in my case) weddings. She usually hosts the dinner at her house, but having moved to a smaller place with very little indoor seating, Steve and I offered up our home for the event. We had to clear out our living room to accommodate dining space for 12, but it worked out great!

Decorations: It wouldn't be a party at my house if there weren't decorations! I made (my favorite) Martha Stewart tissue paper pom-poms as centerpieces and hangings. (how to here) ** Personal tip- use more than 8 sheets for bigger pom-poms and make sure the length is longer than the width. 8 Sheets (cut in half to 10"x20") works great for smaller pom poms. Everything else was from Party City. I kept the budget under $50 for all decorating supplies and some left over!

Food: Everyone was responsible for bringing something different. We had two turkeys- one roasted and one fried. Steve bought us the Materbuilt Butterball Turkey Fryer on sale which might be the most dangerous appliance we own (we have since been plotting what other things we can deep fry in the convenience of our own home). After researching a bajillion recipes for Fried Turkey, we ended up using a cajun rub/marinade found here by an user. It turned out AWESOME and only took about an hour to fry. No mess, super delicious, and EASY!!! The fryer was well worth the money and the options are ENDLESS. 

I also made Macaroni and Cheese as well as Buttermilk Mashed Potatoes. I'll post the rest of the food pictures later (there are a lot!).

Friends: Thanksgiving just isn't the same if you aren't surrounded by family and friends. Great company is just as important as the turkey! Our Los Angeles family is very important to us and we were happy to have them all in our home for the holiday. There was SO much food AND booze- the night turned out great. We wrapped up dinner with some Jenga (also a new tradition), an Elf and Home Alone 2 screening, and lots of desert (YUM Pumpkin Cheesecake and Pecan Pie). 

Now, time to work on Christmas...

craft/outfit/idea sharing

I've been told several times that I should start keeping a blog of things I like because, well, I like a lot of stuff. I craft a lot. I love clothes. I love cooking. I love entertaining, so this can be my outlet for sharing all those things with you!

I am notorious for being terrible at keeping up on my blogs, but I'll try my best to make it work here. Enjoy!