Sunday, August 29, 2010

The World's Newest Crocheting Monster

"No more vacation..."

Jeff and I have returned from the land of ultra-flat landscapes, corn, and good ol' Midwestern mentalities.  Illinois!  I bought an old '65 license plate to remember the trip.  Along with many, many other things.  Our first stop was to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Arlington Heights, which is a suburb of Chicago.  Mitsuwa is, by their own decree, "the largest Japanese marketplace in the U.S."  No surprise, with my lustiness of all things Nippon, I love that place.  We bought some mochi, plenty of candy (including Pocky, even though it's pretty trendy--it's still delicious), and some sushi for my mom.  I tried to pick out a book or two but their entire bookstore is in Japanese so I wouldn't have been able to read anything.  Shame on me for never learning that language!  We also visited Anderson Gardens, which despite the bland, American name, is actually a very cool Japanese garden in the middle of Rockford.  I've been there a few times, but somehow it was my mom's first trip--and she's lived in Rockford for a loooong time.

Plenty of pictures were taken and I will slowly be putting up my favorites and giving more details of the trip.  Most of the shots were taken at AG, but I have some random weird shots too.  

Oh, I might as well mention that I learned to crochet during the trip and have already made 3--yes, THREE!--dish cloths.  (Thanks, Sally!!)

Vanity plates in IL are very popular.  We spotted this one on the way to Mitsuwa.

 My first crocheted dish cloth!

 Sudoku...what Jeff did during most of his free time. :)

 A turkey (who tried to eat my camera strap but I stopped him, thank you very much) at Edwards Apple Orchards.

 My second crocheted dish cloth (hey, I know you're getting sick of them, but that's all I know how to make, so far!), titled "peaches & cream."


 The spectacular North Gate at Anderson Gardens.

 The AG tea house display, which visitors are sadly not allowed to enter.

 The waterfall at AG.

  The "guesthouse" at AG.

  Awesome, right?

 My mom, knitting yoga socks. :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Let's kick the BEAT!


Jeff and I are going on vacation, starting tomorrow.  I saw a couple of cool things I wanted to get down on "paper" before we leave, so that I can start letting them inspire me when we get back.  Firstly, how awesome are paper cranes?  They're totally awesome.  This awesome, to be exact:

                                                  {emmasdesignblog find}
I can so make that.  And I will, as soon as I'm back from Rockford, IL. I've also (via emmasdesignblog) found a site called finelittleday, which is so fantastic--although it makes me quite jealous with all its great photos of mid-century and rustic furniture.  I don't know where people find that great mid-century, Danish teak furniture, but I want all of it.  I'm in particular need of a dresser, a coffee table for the living room, and maybe a new TV stand. 

I wish I had a cottage in the woods somewhere!  100sq ft, that's all I need.  Well, some day.  

Just bought this print from finelittleday.  I'm not sure where it will go, but it's so full of win that it couldn't have been turned down.  Not with a gun to my head could I have resisted. 

Sunday, August 8, 2010

IKEA scavaging!

"Hooray for the everyday."

I received the brand new, 2010 IKEA catalog in the mail this past Thursday.  This is always a momentous occasion for me, as I 1) LOVE IKEA, and 2) love reasons to go there and spend money. I bought a bunch of small things, from vases to shower liners to candle holders ($.99 each!), but my main reason for going was to buy supplies for a small DIY project.  I was inspired by this post from Anna @ D16 (call me creepy if you want, but I lurk at D16 because everything she has done to her home(s) has been so incredibly inspiring to me!).  She took an old, ugly stool and covered it with a beautiful wooden tray that she had found.  I figured, if someone else can do it, so can I!  And when I got that catalog and saw they were selling a black stool for $6 and trays for $14, well, I couldn't pass it up.  So, I sanded down and stained the trays with IKEA's "antiquing" glaze, and glued them to the stools.  Here they are, my new IKEA-hacked end tables!


And there you have it.  Not quite the same as Anna's, but then I'm not one to copycat entirely.  I'm like Japan--take a good idea and make it your own. :)

Here are a few more random shots from this weekend, which is sadly almost over already.  Oh, Mondays, you are wicked!

PS - These tree vases are so great!  And I've never seen them at my local IKEA.  I. Want. Them.  (Also, this entire room is amazing--do places like this really exist?)

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I often wonder if they know the word "manners"...

I talk to a lot of people in my job.  It's 90% customer service, and I know how to do it.  I'm extremely good at solving the problems that these people call me about and I do it with a lot of grace and politeness, and that's saying a lot - considering these people are East Coasters (more specifically "Main Liners") and therefore very rude, and very obviously entitled.  Here's a sample of the kind of person I have to deal with help in a day:

A woman calls me and announces herself as "Adri-aaahhh-nah," and says that she had left a message for me earlier in the week and I never got back to her, so she's calling me again.  I've never heard of her, so she is either making up that she called or she called and left a message for the wrong person--someone who is not me.  At any rate, she says she has bought tickets from us in the past and says that she's decided to do something different this year (ooh, ahh!) and buy tickets to our family series.  Adriaaahhhnah then goes on to ask if we get more money to do those particular shows, because "they're soooo much better than your other shows.  The sets look much better made, there are more people in them..."  I try to explain that actually our other shows have bigger budgets and therefore we spend more on them, but that all of our shows are made to the highest standards regardless of budget.  Adriaaahhhnah ignores my reply and begins talking over me to say that she just realized that she doesn't have any idea what dates she wants.  She will have to look at her calendar because she has season subscriptions to every single sports team on the East Coast.  (Literally--she listed about 10 teams out to me.  Didn't even know we had that many out here.)  So she asks for my direct number, and before I can get out that I have an extension but the receptionist will probably pick up the phone and just transfer Adriaaahhhnah through to me, she interrupts me again to say, "you know what?  Can you just call me in an hour and I'll give you the dates then?  I don't want to have to call and get the switchboard to patch me through."  Switchboard...?  Honestly, what era are you living in?  At this point, my only stunned thought is, "JUST WHO THE HELL DOES THIS LADY THINK SHE IS!?!?"  (Gurren Lagann, anyone?  Anyone??)  I'm totally over her at this point so I say sure, I'll call her in an hour.  I go to lunch, and when I get back there's a message from her (ohmigosh, she actually called the right person this time!) saying that she is just calling "to tell you that I still don't have the dates for all of the home games, so I'll call you some time next week."  Right.  So in other words, you called me upset that I hadn't called you back because you were in so much of a rush to get your tickets...and now you're going to call me when you feel like it.  Mmhm.  ...I sincerely hope she forgets to call me, because we don't need her money if she's going to behave like that.

And now that I've ranted, here are some fun things to look at!  These are a couple of shots I took of our Teen SummerStage program kids rehearsing & creating advertising for their piece.     Happy Thursday!   

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It's hot, in To-pe-kaaaaa.

Of course my computer would choose to restart itself as soon as I start a new post.  Yay, technology!

I found something very interesting online today whilst looking for vintage ad photos for a design project at work.  This is something that would NEVER be used these days, but I love it:

Can you believe that?  Neither can I!  Even if it's fake (and I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if it was), it's still awesome.  

It's getting warmer again, maybe Indian Summer is coming.  I know it's only the beginning of August but it was so nice and mild this past weekend, and I was hoping it would stick around!  Too bad, it will just make it harder to drag myself outside to use my awesome new weed-wacker.  Tested it out today around the garden, and I LOVE USING IT.  I'm into power tools (ladies with tools - it's sexy). 

Well, that's about all for now.  I'm off to destroy some WoW bad guys.