I'm sure you're all dying to see my bathroom. So now you can! who hoo! I LOVE it! It's spacious, clean, water pressure is amazing, the sink is new and pretty, the tile is nice ... if you ever saw my last bathroom, you'd understand why this is a HUGE step up!

And I'm in love with the decor, if I may say so myself :) White, gray + red and a bit of black. The poster "Keep Calm and Carry On" is a British design from WWII. It was designed to be hung during times of extreme crisis + fear in order to encourage people to continue with their daily lives. You can buy them from sfgirlbybay here.

The cabinet is Ikea. I bought the back part from the "as is" section. Then I just purchased the glass door, shelves (both at 1/2 price) + feet to add on. Total, approx $40. The fabric that I lined the door with is also from Ikea. The design is composed by flipping/repeating the number "2" (I believe in Helvetica).

i need silverware

The past few nights in my new place have provided some interesting meal times. I don't have any silverware or plates yet and every time dinner rolls around, it seems I'm too wiped out to bother going out for plasticware. The first night here, I didn't have my stuff out of storage yet so this was my homemade utensil for eating the Indian food I had delivered:

Yes that is a "spoon" cut from a SOLO cup!

The past two nights, after the delivery of the rest of my belongings, I remembered I had a spork. And a pan to heat leftovers in the stove (no microwave).

mattress disease

When I was "researching" mattresses, I read all about how mattresses are sprayed with fire retardant which is filled with toxic chemicals; think rat poison. And clearly, the "off-gassing" of these chemicals can make people sick. Well I don't think it's all made up because I suddenly have an itchy throat and eyes ... and it almost feels like the back of my throat is enlarged, making it harder to swallow and talk. Yesterday I also woke up feeling nauseous but I attributed that to something else that comes once a month. I felt this way yesterday morning but by the afternoon, after walking around outside and such, it had subsided. Now I feel awful again. It could also be due to all of the paint fumes. This place is just a giant headache! I guess I just have to hope that it goes away in a few days.

Before purchasing my mattress, I asked the woman at Ikea about the "off-gassing" and she said that Ikea follows the strictest guidelines set by CA and Germany in the production of their mattresses. And she said something about how the fire retardant is "organic". I'm not sure I believe her now!


home . SWEET . home

I can't tell you how nice it is to be HOME! Finally, after almost 4 months, I have a place that's mine. It's a huge relief to know that I don't have to move again anytime soon.

And it's so nice to have all of my things in one place again. I know they're just things but they really do help to make me feel "at home". My sublet was comfortable and the roommates friendly, but it still didn't feel like my place. The room felt cold with just some boxes in a corner and a bed in the middle of an otherwise big, empty room. It just felt like I was staying at a friend's house for 3 months. Some people don't mind living like that but for me it is uncomfortable. I guess I like to "nest" :)

(Did ya notice the beautiful mantle in my bedroom? Sorry just had to brag!)

Need to infuse this living space with some color because there is an awful lot of dark wood but it is beginning to come together. My arch lamp finally has the right place to shine! The high ceilings and huge windows in this place are amazing. They make me feel small!

show me to my bed.

This bed stole 4 hours of my life. Probably more like 10 if you count all the time I spent at Ikea.
Hopefully it gives me thousands of peaceful hours back. And it looks pretty nice, right? Well don't let those beautifully woven bed slats fool you, I had to do that all myself. Thank you Ikea for always testing our patience in reading bad infographics. I will report back on the comfort after the back pain from moving stuff—or more likely, from building Ikea stuff—subsides.

I decided to get a latex mattress after reading tons of disconcerting stuff about polyurethane foam mattresses (off-gassing for one thing). But there are so many funky smells in my apartment right now (it was just painted) that I can't tell if this mattress smells. I guess they all have to be sprayed with fire retardant which is not good for you. I would love to be able to afford an organic mattress but unfortunately they are pretty pricey.


more CL love

My new lamp, thanks again to craigslist. Isn't it gorgeous?!

my pre-holiday weekend

Was probably quite a bit more calm than what most people are accustomed to. Mostly just a whole lot of this:

I did all of my wrapping and shipping last weekend so that was all out of the way. Here's a preview! I'm very "anti" the typical Christmas wrapping paper. I do really like plain brown paper with nice ribbon, but this year I thought I'd use those single sheets of paper sold at paper and art stores since all of my gifts were on the smaller side. It's a little more pricey and not really budget friendly or practical if you have a lot of large stuff to wrap up, but if you're wrapping smaller items you can get 3-4 gifts done with just one sheet. And it packs a punch!


craigslist finds

What did people do before there was CL? Today I purchased these three tables from a gentleman who kindly delivered them to my apartment. I wanted to wait until I move to start buying things, but if you see something, you just have to snatch it up before it's too late!

This cart is a beautiful piece. It can serve as a side table / plant stand, display cart, etc. and then turned into a long table for entertaining.

The four foot bench you see pictured will look really cute with some cushions on it for extra seating. And the coffee table is also a really beautiful piece. Nicely made and very sturdy with a "lip" around the edge.

22 beds in 2008

I got to thinking the other day about how many different beds I've slept in this year ... I know that sounds weird, but I was thinking about moving again and how my new bed will be my third one this year. But then I thought, what about all of those other beds I slept in this year during my travels and the nights at friend's houses? It's bizarre to think about. There was the week or so I spent in Connecticut at my mom's house, the hotel in Barbados, the house in La Quinta, CA, the home in Scottsdale, AZ, the 2 different homes in Los Cabos, Mexico. Then there was the home in Hawaii and the few nights there camping in my tent. There was a couple of nights at a hotel in NYC. Then there was a night or two at Lori + Justin's house, a night spent on the couch at Stacy + Catie's, a night at Kim's, a night at Carolina + Erik's, a couple nights on the couch at Ang + Paul's place. Then the road trip up the coast from LA to San Francisco - 3 separate hotels. I also spent a few nights here in San Francisco at Jackson's place before moving into my sublet where I'm currently staying. I'm probably forgetting something in there somewhere. That adds up to 21 different beds when you add in my last apartment in Jamaica Plain. 22 if you count the new place I haven't moved into yet.

I was actually thinking that it was too bad I didn't take a picture of each of those beds for a 2008 bed series! So I decided to start taking a picture of my bed every day right after I get out of it. Maybe it will be stupid or maybe it will end up being an interesting look at something you don't generally pay much attention to. Who knows? Most likely I'll forget to take a picture one day and the whole thing will be ruined!

While we're chatting about beds, I was shopping for some Christmas decorations for my desk at work and decided to purchase some white lights. They were buy one get one free but they only had one package of white, so I thought I could find a fun use for some pink lights. I would not normally ever decorate like this (the pink wire looks atrocious when not lit up during the day) but since I'm only here for another week and it's xmas, I thought it would be cute! It reminds me of the Madonna Inn. I'd love to sleep in one of their beds :)


my xmas wish list

I absolutely cannot wait to move into my new apartment (next week!), but there are a lot of things I'm going to need and I love home decor so pretty much everything on my wish list is home-related. These are the visions dancing in my head right now.

Marimekko Tuuli shower curtain in gray from FinnStyle for my new bathroom.

Ikea Malm bed in oak veneer and Ikea Anno Unni panel curtains for my bedroom. I can't open the shades in my room—ever—because I'm at street level. But I think I could hang these a few feet from the top of the tall windows, to allow light in and still have privacy. BUT I'm not sure how see-through they are since I haven't seen them in person.

Or window film by Emma Jeffs or Tord Boonjte to give the appearance of a frosted window. Never have to use blinds or shades again! I guess I could go with a cheaper plain option from Home Depot, but these are so pretty!

A great article with more links to designer window film.

New bed linens including new comforter that doesn't shed feathers!



hello goodbye : DIY

Inspired by Kate's DIY project on Design*Sponge, I decided to make my own version as a gift for the roommates I've had during my first couple of months here in San Francisco. I'm just subletting, but they've been incredibly warm + welcoming and I'm really appreciative. They've really helped make my transition to life on the West coast a friendly and comfortable one.

Rather than spelling out "goodnight", I went with "hello goodbye" which I thought was just more relative considering how short my time here has been (at least in the grand scheme of things), but also thought it would make a nice sign for the entrance. And of course it's also a great Beatles song and we are located right at Haight-Ashbury.

I chose to forgo the printing + tracing + planning that Kate's step-by-step calls for and instead just pulled up the phrase on my computer screen and eyeballed it. Turned out pretty good, right? I think I have a pretty good eye and a good sense of typography though, so if those two things aren't your forte, you may want to refer to the more detailed steps.

Let there be light. Instead of attaching a lightbulb as Kate did, I just plugged in a string of white Christmas lights, balled them up and stuck those behind the canvas! I guess I like instant gratification and I didn't have a hanging light, 2x4's, saw or a staple gun on hand, so this will have to suffice!

Next I'm going to make the same thing for my new apartment. But might try it in an orange-red OR dark gray so that it looks less harsh in the daytime.


Holiday Greeting from Dwell

The video I created for Dwell's holiday greeting. Enjoy!


Orla Kiely for Target

Orla Kiely
is known for her bold color and graphic patterns found decorating stylish bags, home accessories and more. Now she has lined up with Target to bring us a fun and energetic line of products at great prices. Yay! The line includes houseware and home décor items such as kitchen accessories, dishware, media organizers and more. I just wish they had done a line of bedding! Expect to see in stores and online this winter.

“My designs are based on quality and practicality,” said Orla Kiely.
“Through my partnership with Target, I am able to share this vision with a much
broader audience, providing them with great design at a great price.”

backseat driver

Everything - including this blog - has taken a backseat lately because I've been meeting up with potential roommates left and right. It's a little stressful knowing that I've signed a lease on a 3 bed (oh, I guess that's new news too) and now need to fill two rooms before rent is due Jan 1. It's been really repetitive ... saying the same things over and over but it's also been kind of fun meeting random people from various walks of life.

In the meantime, Thanksgiving weekend happened. Since I was here, I had a pretty low-key weekend reading and exploring. I walked all the way through Golden Gate Park, to the beach and back. There wasn't a cloud in the sky. So have I convinced you to come visit yet? This is gonna look pretty good when you're climbing over snow dunes to get to work!

On another day, I walked to Japantown to check that out. Not much of interest there, however I have since been back to go to the Kabuki Sundance theater which was really nice. You can choose to sit up in the balcony where you are eye level with the screen, have a little table and can enjoy a glass of wine with your film.

I saw MILK, with Sean Penn, which I HIGHLY recommend you see. I guarantee this thing gets some awards next year. It's about the gay rights struggle in San Francisco (and in the U.S. in general) in the 70s. But it's extrememly relevant still today and whether you're pro or against gay rights, it's a great film.


SF vistas

The view from the top of my street. The Golden Gate Bridge is visible far off to the right.

Viewing the city from the Observation Tower at the De Young Museum.

Warm day in Dolores Park with a crystal clear view of the city.

Beautiful architecture at every turn.

And diverse foliage.


Sita Sings the Blues

In moving to San Fran I wanted to be sure I got out and about as much as possible ... particularly to enjoy art/cultural events—even if that meant doing things by myself—which it certainly does when you only know a couple of people!

So when I found out that the San Francisco International Animation Festival was going to be happening, I checked it out and purchased tickets for a couple of the showings. Last Thursday was the opening night and the feature was a film entitled Sita Sings the Blues. I went in not knowing much about the film or it's director (and writer, designer, producer, animator), Nina Paley, aside from what I read on the website. I was completely blown away.

In this 82-minute feature, Paley employs the use of 4 main styles of animation and at least as many types of narrative, including song, to tell the story of an ancient Sanskrit epic Ramayana, creating a textured, visual feast. She also manages to tell us a true story of her own heartbreak that relates the ancient tale to modern times.

There are innumerable elements to this piece. Paley uses everything from montage to digital vector art to "cliche" cartoon elements (sing-a-long and graphic expressions such as "BANG!") to hand-painted art in order to illustrate the story and reference her various sources of inspiration. You can see the genie of Disney's Aladdin in the digital rendering of Rāma and Betty Boop in Sita. Her hand-painted work clearly draws from Indian folk art. All of this combines to keep the audience enthralled and engaged not just in the story but in the art itself.

Perhaps my favorite element of the whole piece is the incorporation of Annette Hanshaw's songs from the 20's. Absolutely genius. It's just wild to see how Paley is able to connect all of these pieces to create a cohesive piece. Ancient Sanskrit epic, jazz from the 20's and a story of divorce in the 21st century.


Verterra Dinnerware

I just found out about this product called VerTerra. This is similar to a couple of products I talked about in this post over on No Trash Challenge. Everything is "sustainable this, sustainable that" lately so it's no wonder that products like this are popping up everywhere. While I think it's pretty cool that people are developing materials made from unconventional sources, there's a fine line between the sustainable aspect and it still being all about consumption. "Buy this to be sustainable and environmentally friendly". I think it's smarter to buy things (preferably used) that are durable and will last a long time rather than buy something new just because it's biodegradable or produced in an environmentally friendly way.

Despite that, this product is neat. It's made from fallen palm leaves from plantations where the leaves would otherwise be burnt. Though I suppose if we want to get specific here, the palm leaves are sourced and formed into plates in South Asia ... so once you factor in the fuel / transportation it takes to get them here, I'm wondering if that all negates the environmental friendliness altogether? And it's also not really that fresh an idea. They've been making plates from plants in places like India for a long time.

Anyway, the deets on this product from their brochure/website:
VerTerra is all natural—chemical/bleach free—made with only two "ingredients", the palm leaves and water. They are non-toxic, 100% compostable and naturally biodegrade in 2 months. They're microwave, oven (to a certain temp) and refrigerator-safe.

At $12 for a package of 10 plates, will you be trying them out at your next party?


Nelson bubble x3

What's better than one Nelson bubble? Three!!!
Three times as good. Three times as bright (well, not necessarily). Three times as beautiful (definitely). Three times as affordable!


GOOD Magazine / Motion Design

Good Magazine, in collaboration with VolumeOne put out this awesome motion reel about the cost of war.




A heartfelt, sincere, uniting, beautiful speech, given with ease and grace that brought everyone to tears.

I have to say that I'm still in disbelief. I just can't even believe this HAS HAPPENED in my lifetime. But it's beautiful. And while it is historic that he is our first Black President, this election was about much more than that and I hope that the news will talk about this in a broader sense—and not just focus on race!

Tonight in San Francisco it's a clear night, the stars seem to be twinkling a little brighter and the copters are chopping up the air!! It's almost 11PM and it sounds like there's an army in the sky. I wish I could record the noise for you. I feel like I'm living at an army base. Maybe there's a big party somewhere that I'm missing.



update : life

Well it's a rainy, chilly day here in San Fran. A little gloomy but it's OK because I got 4 tickets to the sold out She + Him show tonight at Bimbo's 365! I don't even have 3 friends here to invite!

Anyway, I love the area where I'm working. I'm at the intersection of Chinatown, Little Italy + the Financial District in an area known as the Jackson Square Historic District. It dates back to the California Gold Rush — in fact, the alley where our offices are located is called Gold St. Walking tours full of hipbelt-wearing tourists regularly congregate outside of our windows. The Transamerica Pyramid looms overhead.

And it's a great place to go out to lunch! Sure beats the Prudential food court. Today I had Udon for lunch. Last week we had Viatnemese, Chinese, Mexican and Indian. I'm getting extremely spoiled.

That hot pink and white thing on top is a thin slice of kamaboko: a halfmoon-shaped fish cake. It tasted as weird as it looks and I think it gave me a tummy ache.

My cube is beginning to look a little more fun. Today I ordered this letterpress print by artist Dan Funderburgh. It's printed on recycled paper and ALL of the proceeds go to the Obama campaign. Since I don't think I'll be able to vote in this election (believe me, I'm pissed: I've requested my absentee ballot twice and still nothing), the least I can do is make a contribution to the campaign.

I also added this lively, bright screen print (meant to be wrapping paper) by The Magnificent Chatwin Brothers which I found at the store Eden + Eden that I mentioned previously.


Happy Halloween : Sustainable Caskets

In honor of Halloween, I thought I would share this modern & sustainable casket by UONO. It's available in 14 different colors (with individualized colors available through their "Haute Couture" service), is fabricated from untreated jute and eco-resin and is biodegradable within 10-15 years. It's also appropriate for cremation. From the website: "The high-gloss varnish is water-based and ecologically harmless."


New Music: She + Him

Beautiful combo : She { Zooey Deschanel } + Him { M.Ward }

You might recognize her name and face from a slew of movies and TV appearances (my favorite of which was her character on Weeds) but here she debuts with M.Ward on an album that delivers "that 70s California sound".


I hate the History Channel

Not really, but what do you know? Tonight I was watching a little TV, flipping channels and came across the History Channel. The program was "Mega Disasters" and the feature tonight was the next big earthquake in San Francisco!

Of course I knew prior to moving here that it has been predicted that SF will be hit by a major earthquake at some point in the near future, but watching that program was not at all comforting. Watch video from the feature here.

What really terrifies me, is to think that I could be alone and *really* scared for my life if a disaster like that struck. And they kept saying in the feature, "it could happen at 9AM tomorrow". So evil!