Great Designer: Christopher Takakura

hana

En Español

Some people just have too much talent. Christopher Takakura is quite something.
Love the clean lines and the desire for negative space.

hanahana

hanahanahana

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echoing the sounds

echoing the soundsechoing the soundsechoing the sounds

A Family Trip to Europe

En Español

My husband and I love to travel. When we were just us two, we had the opportunity to go to Southern Spain, Venice, and Chile. Here in the States we have gone to San Francisco, San Diego, and various beaches in California. Those of you who have kids would understand how difficult it is to go anywhere with little ones. Now that our girls are a bigger, we are planning on a Euro trip.

London Travel Guide
London
The Grand Palais as seen from the Alexandre III Bridge. Image by Eric Pouhier/Wikimedia.
Paris

We would like to go to London, Paris, and then to Italy (Cinque Terre, Rome and Florence) in the year 2014. Yes, it will take us that long to save for a trip for our family. There are a few things that we have discussed in order to have a smoother trip. For example, we have discussed the idea of only taking a one week worth of clothes per person. (We are planning on a 3 weeks vacation.) The idea with the one week is because, well,  most places that you stay at has a washing machine near by. With a one week luggage, we have lighter bags and more space for souvenirs. We also figure that we wouldn’t need to bring shampoo and such with us. We can always get them at our destinations.

We would also like to experience each place we go to as locals and as tourists. Back in October, I discovered a fabulous website called airbnb.com, here and here. This website talks about different places you can stay, around the world, which are rented by locals. They are usually houses, or rooms or apartments, that charge very little in comparison to hotels, and are located near areas of interest. You would also be close to the local’s everyday living with their mannerisms and stores near by. this sounds very appealing to us.

My check list of what to take care of so far:

Passports for everyone
A copy of the kids’ birth certificate
Firm umbrella strollers
Distinguishable luggage
Tourist books
Appropriate clothes
Etc…

There is a website called Travel with Kids, which has taught me a great deal of things about traveling with kids. Here is some of what they say about packing for kids:

“Packing can be a challenge with kids, especially with today’s baggage restrictions. But not to worry, over the years we have compiled a list of packing tips to help you along the way…

Check temperatures before you go. Weather.com’s 10-day forecast allows plenty of time to pack.

Don’t stress: Forgot something? Buy it when you get there. Remember every country has babies and kids, which means every country has supplies for babies and kids. It may not be your exact brand, but sometimes you will discover something even better!

Involve your kids in packing their bags: They feel the anticipation for the trip. They take responsibility: You are not blamed for what’s brought along (and what’s left behind!).

Roll clothes: To save room, prevent wrinkles and keep us organized without having to think about it on the road, we roll each outfit together and wrap it with a piece of masking tape. We even put the date on it (but we’re filming so we have to be super organized). That way we can just hand the day’s bundle to each kid and be done!

Carry-On: A two day supply of necessities in case of delayed luggage including swimsuits if you are going somewhere tropical. You don’t want to miss a whole day of vacation waiting for your luggage, or have to purchase expensive clothes at the resort. It’s a good idea to buy travel insurance in case luggage does get lost or delayed, then the insurance company foots the bill for replacing the clothes, etc.

Contacts: List of email addresses (and physical addresses if you want to send postcards) so the kids can keep in touch with friends back home. Ask your child’s teacher about getting credit for sending the class pictures and travel journals from the road. It will lighten their make-up work and helps the class learn about a neat destination along with your child!”

After this, they give a list of what to take in the luggage.

if you have any ideas on “where to go” in the places we want to visit, please let me know. It would be wonderful to get a personal perspective on things.

Belle

Great Design: Cloned Video Animations by Erdal Inci

poi by Devrim, 2012. performed by Devrim Ekin Sahin , Sundance, Antalya.  

En Español

when I look around for inspiration I sometimes find the most amazing things. There are a few animated .gifs that Erdal Inci has made public on the net. Very interesting stuff. Apparently he has being experimenting with cloned video animations since 2004. I hope they don’t take too long to upload for you. Enjoy.

runner on the cliff , 2009. performed by Ogun Kekul.  video version : https://vimeo.com/7355242 self with whippy stick , 2009. video version: https://vimeo.com/7488778 Self with torch in Tunel Square , Istanbul , November 2012 skater in besiktas square , 2010 self in front of Laleli Fountain, Galata 2012 Fire staff by Huseyin in J-fest 2012 Sundance  

Great Artist: Jovi Schnell

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Pictures courtesy of Meighan O’Toole

En Español

When I first met Jovi Schnell, I found her incredibly interesting and became, on the spot, one of my favorite people. She is an artist who interprets the world around her in a very diagrammatic way. I love her color palettes as well as her simplistic chaos.

Jovi has been featured in many galleries around the country. She works on paper, panels, cut outs and murals. As of late, she was asked to create a mural for the US embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. She currently lives in San Francisco.

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Enchanted Party: Flag Banners

En Español

I made flag banners as one of the decorations for the Enchanted Birthday Party I’m making for may daughter’s fifth birthday. I researched a bit and came up with an easy way to create them. You can make the banenrs out of fabric or paper. I personally prefer paper because it retains the shape better when hung, and also, you can choose colors from literally hundreds of beautiful scrapbook papers. It is cheaper too. I got a block of scrapbook paper, 180 sheets, for $10 at my local craft store. Some people like to glue the flags and then sew them together but I found that to be an overkill.

What you’ll need:

Scrapbook paper
Flag template (mine was 5.5 x 8.5)
Pencil
X-acto Knife
Ruler
Double bias Tape
Sewing machine

How to make them

Make a line at 8.5″ (or however long your flags are) on the back of a scrapbook sheet of paper and cut with X-acto knife.

Turn your paper horizontally and place your flag template on it. mark its position down with a pencil three times. Cut on lines with X-acto knife and ruler.

After you cut all the flags you need, both in quantity and color, you will need to use bias tape in order to make the banner. I guess you can also use normal ribbon of about .5″ in thickness, but I have never tried it that way. Bias tape is sold, most commonly, in 3 and 4 yards at your local fabric store.

Double bias tape has the wonderful convenience of being a cotton ribbon which has been folded in half, making it easier to insert either paper or fabric in between.

Sew your flags between the folded bias tape. I used a zig-zag stitch because I figured it would be firmer than a straight single stitch. Besides, if a kid pulls on a flag it will not reap. Well… I guess it depends on how tenacious the kid is, lol.

Et Voila!! You have a flag banner. I made sure to leave a good measure of bias tape on both ends of the banner. This way it will be easier to tie and it will have a nice little tail of tape.

Princess Birthday Invitation

En Español

Since the theme to my daughter’s birthday is “An enchanted Birthday”, I created an invitation that would go with the whole idea. This little magic wand was very easy to make.

Materials

Cardboard (for the star)
Glue
Glitter
Scissors
Curling ribbon
Tape
Thin Dowel
Hole puncher
Invitation

Making the star

Draw as many stars as possible on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of cardboard. I used a cookie cutter as a template. Then draw curly-cues with glue. Drizzle glitter onto the glue and let it dry. Once it has dried out completely, cut out the stars. Cutting the stars at the end will allow you to have the glittered “curly-cues” all the way to the edges.

Making the wand

Choose a star and place it face down on a flat surface. Place top of dowel on top of the star and secure it with tape. Turn the dowel and star over. Congratulations! you have a wand. Now, to enhance it, cut out a desired length of curling ribbon and tie it once on the dowel. Make a hole on your invitation with the hole puncher. I found a little heart shape punch at Michael’s for $1. Then thread the invitation with the ribbon and tie a knot once again.

My invitation ended up being a small rectangle about 2.25″ x 4.25″. Of course you can make yours any size you like.

The invitation reads:
Once upon and Enchanted Birthday
Beautiful princesses and brave knights
Joined their hearts in celebration

A few alternatives on how to attach the invitation

  • Punch a hole on top and bottom of it and thread it with the dowel itself
  • Place it inside an envelope and insert the dowel through the “unglued” part of the flap
  • Make the invitation round and place it on the back of the star

I hope you enjoy making this invitation. Let me know how yours turned out.

My Boston Terrier, Perry

 

This is my Boston Terrier, Perry. He has been in our family for about 1.5 years since he was a puppy.

Funny story how we got him. We had been looking for a Boston Terrier for a couple of years. We wanted one because we knew that they were loyal, easy with kids, family oriented, good tempered, protective of the family and with energy. One day, I was looking through Craig’s list and there he was, for sale.

Believe it or not, Boston Terriers are pretty expensive. Here in Vegas at least they can be anywhere from $800 to almost $3,000. EXPENSIVE! So, when I saw the ad for $400 we jumped for the sale. turns out that the people who were selling him lived in Kingman, Arizona. That’s about two hours away. The owner decided that we could meet in the middle, between LV and AZ, which turned out to be right by the Hoover Dam. There we were. The whole family. Making a transaction at 10pm on the outside of a casino by the dam.

Perry was just 8 weeks when we got him. Such a cute little thing. We named him after “Perry the platypus”, from Phineas and Ferb. Now he is 1.5 years old. He loves to go out running and playing. He loves my girls and defends them from everyone. Even from us when we are playing with the girls. What a cuttie.

In his honor I created an Ornament for my shop. Shoot, I created other pets too. Really cute guys. Enjoy.

Boston Terrier Ornament, Perry
Boston Terrier Ornament, Perry
Green Dog Ornament, Alex

Green Dog Ornament, Alex

CUSTOM ORDER PETS

CUSTOM ORDER PETS

CUSTOM ORDER PETS

CUSTOM ORDER PETS

CUSTOM ORDER PETS

Blue Macaw Ornamnet, Blue