On a Color Coordinating Kick!

New condo, freshly moved, starting from scratch and living solo means one thing in my mind: decorating my place however I want, no matter how unconventional that may be.  For me this was an opportunity to cross a little something (and by little something I mean definitely a minor bucket list item…nothing I would look back on with regret if I didn’t completely….none the less: it’s on the list!) off the bucket list: color coordinating my bookshelf!  I often feel a little like a hoarder, even more so after just going through a move that took me (just ONE person) at least 2 weeks to prepare for….it took my old roommate all of a couple hours.  I feel even more like a hoarder when it comes to my books! I can’t get rid of them, won’t get rid of them, have a strange sense of accomplishment when I look at them all and realize how many great things I’ve read (and maybe how much time I have had on my hands).  What better way to show them off besides color coordinating them (alphabetizing is so last year)! This being said, moving into my own place was the perfect opportunity to break into the storage unit and roll out my many boxes of literary accomplishments (or in some cases literary guilty pleasures).  Final result…

IMG_4240(doesn’t actually feel like that many books when I look at this picture…especially after all the hype I typed about it above).  None the less…it brings a strange sense of happiness to me when I see it.

Another color coordinating opportunity I jumped on was when working on a large picture project!  I have lots of pictures I love and not many ways to display them so I figured I’d make one really big picture, with a lot of my favorite smaller ones…for some unconscious reason I envisioned it arranged via color scheme.  So after many hours on photoshop/InDesign, a few trips to the printer and too much money at the framer this is what I had (sorry for the yellowish coloring…bad lighting and I don’t feel like fixing them in photoshop)


a few up-close shots




Needless to say the last few days have been lots of fun…gotta love a blank canvas:-)

Next project: pallet coffee table

inspiration for it:



Blame it on the Kindle…

People who know me know that I love 2 things: quotes and books.  And what I love even more are quotes from books.  It occurred to me the other day, while I was reading and “electronically highlighting” phrases in my kindle that it had been a while since I updated my quotebook (paper and blog version).  I’m usually really good about updating these things but because of my ever increasing speed with which I’m going through books these days (not sure if that’s a good sign-spending my downtime more wisely…or a bad sign-replacing my people-interactiong with book-interaction) I’ve made the swap to the kindle (for environmental, spacial and dust-accumulating reasons).

Anyways, the tangible pencil marks and dog-earring I’d pervious done in paper books would sit and stare at me until I archived them is now replaced by button-pushing, pixel creating highlighting that gets lost in the vast digital oblivion that is my “kindle cloud.”  So here’s is my attempt to make up for that lost time.

Why are doors so much harder to open than they are to close?-Brand New Human Being (good book but a little frustrating as the main character spirals into a pattern of exponentially mindless, easily preventable and “told ya so” mistakes)

From The World to Come (awesome book…ends in a totally different place than it starts but really good!)

    • Time is created through deeds of true kindness.  Days and hours and years are not time, but merely vessels for it and too often they are empty.  The world stands still, timeless and empty, until an act of generosity changes it in an instant and sends it soaring through arcs of rich season, moments after spinning moments of racing beauty.  And then, with a single unkind deed, a single withheld hand, time ceases to exist
    • It is a great injustice that those who die are often people we know, while those who are born are people we don’t know at all.  We name children after the dead in the dim hope that they will resemble them, pretending to blunt the loss of the person we knew while struggling to make the person we don’t know into less of a stranger.  It’s compelling, this idea that the new person is so tightly bound to the old, but most of us are afraid to believe.  But what if we are right?  Not that the new person is reincarnation of the old, but rather, more subtly, that they know each other, that the already-were’s and the not-yet’s of our world, the mortals and the natals, are bound together somewhere just past where we can see, in a knot of eternal life?
    • When something matters, don’t wait
    • “Everybody around here likes to pave their roads with good intentions,” the already-was daniel muttered, “but those roads never seemed to get me anywhere.  So I built this one out of stupid mistakes instead.”
    • “Mistakes are a very durable building material,” the mortal daniel was saying.  “Most people just throw them away as soon as possible and never realize that you can learn from them.  But if you do, they can actually hold you up pretty well.”

From The Fault in Our Stars (also really really good book! Originally I wasn’t detered by the opening sentence of the book description (as I told my bookclub not to be) because despite the “terminal teenage cancer thing” it was pretty witty and humorous.  But as I found out while sitting on the plane, stopping myself every other paragraph or so to prevent myself from crying and embarressing myself…it lives up to it’s descriptions first-impression.  (still a great great book…but I should probably inform my bookclub members)

    • Were she better or you sicker, then the stars would not be so terribly crossed, but it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he had Cassius note “the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”  Easy enough to say when you’re a Roman nobleman (or Shakespeare) but there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars.
    • You are so busy being you that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are
    • As he read, I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, and then all at once
    • We stared at the house for a while.  The weird thing about houses is that they almost always look like nothing is happening inside of them, even though they contain most of our lives.  I wondered if that was sort of the point of architecture.

Now I guess it’s time to add these to my bedside quotebook.

Some other books on my to read list:

  • Tell the Wolves I’m Home-Caol Rifka Brunt (which I’m about 10 pages into)
  • The Red House-mark Haddon
  • The Age of Miracles-Karen Thompson Walker
  • The People of Paper-Salvador Plascencia
  • The Light Between Oceans-M.L. Stedman
  • The Ministry of Special Cases-Nathan Englander
  • Giving up the Ghost-Eric Nuzum
  • Hunting and Gathering-Anna Gavalda



Mother’s Day Extravaganza!!

So I know it’s been a very long time since I’ve posted…which I’ve felt pretty bad about (not so much because I know people are anxiously awaiting my next quib on life, but because I spent so much time making this site that I don’t want to feel like I’m wasting it!).  But I did hear something the other day that made me feel a little bit better.  A local guy who has come talk to us a few times during our Americorps meetings, and who is a local freelance writer (aka does lots of blogging) said there’s not a specific volume of blogging one should do…the correct number of blogs to post is however many times during that week/month/year you have something good to write about.  and when I think about it, I’d much rather be the occassional exciting package that comes in the mail as opposed to the spammy stuff you get everyday from the credit card company.

But none the less…I’m back and I have something good to post (or at least I think so).  What better way to come back than with a post about one of the greatest crafting holiday opportunities of all…MOTHER’S DAY!  I know no one ever believes me when I say it but my favorite part of the holidays is just having everyone (or almost everyone) under the same roof.  I feel like for a while most of these occassions for our family seemed to be centered around sad events so it’s always so much fun when you can get everyone together to just be happy.  I think that also has something to do with why I like decorating, cooking, crafting etc. for all these holidays…like if I make it a really fun, over the top event people will look forward to it as much as I do (a kind of “if you build it…they will come” situation), even though I know my family looks forward to it anyways.  But that’s just me…plus it gives me an excuse to do all the things I love doing: if it involves colors, crafting, baking, displaying, presenting etc (basically stuffing peoples stomachs and visual capacities) then it’s right up my alley.

At these occassional picture opps are of course always in order…and of course Chic snuck her way in there as well (ok maybe she didn’t sneak in as much as she was hoisted from her peaceful roaming for photo opps and stalked around the house with a camera)

But anyways…onto the festivities!  I’m not going to lie, I spent a lot (bordering on a slightly sad) amount of time trying to get everything ready or organized for the brunch.  My life the past week has consisted of grocery lists, different menu options, seating arrangements, color themes, streamers vs. ribbon, table setting ideas, sketches of possible arrangements and different ways to make poofy paper balls and card stock pin wheels…the important things!  I also spent a lot of time at Michales (thank bajesus for gift cards), Party City, Sprouts Farmer’s Market, scouring the back of my cabinets and the depths of my craft drawers and in the digital world of Pinterest.

Once it was time to set up and began as I usual do with projects such as these: set EVERYTHING I’m going to use out so I see what I have to work with.

And then it was time to build the tables…starting from the bottom up.  After careful consideration I decided to make the table runner from tapped streamers (did you know they’re like $1 and seem to be as endless as the bottom of Mary Poppin’s bag?) and did perpendicular lines (aligned with the various seating positions) out of ribbon of coordinating color.  Top those off with very large doilies and homemade place tags and it’s time to start adding all the fun stuff.

And by fun stuff I mean tissue paper “pom-poms” in different shades of pink and white, different size, shape, height vases, celebratory champagne flutes, mason jars painted light pink on the inside and pink and white tulips! (and then of course more streamers hanging from the chandelier above which, to my luck, I have no pictures of).

We also turned a small side table into the Mimosa stations (sparkling cider station for my nieces :-).  To add some variety (which is the spice of life) to the table there was, of course, orange juice but also ruby red grapefruit juice, a tropical peach, mango papaya juice and rasberry lemonade.  the table, of course, had to also have doilies, colorful labels, matching garnish and streamers!

And finally onto the food table!! I feel like this is where you really have to get creative wtih what you have (I obviously don’t want to go buy new presentation plates but it’s almost impossible to find cheap cake stands at the party store that don’t have some disney character on them…which normally I would love…but I don’t think my mom is as into little mermaid and strawberry shortcake as I am).  At this point I was very greatful for the plethora of serving trays, baking pans and doilies my mom has scattered throughout her many kitchen cabinets.  When it comes to tables like this I think it’s all about different heights and small accents so I pulled out the flat trays, the tall cake stands small crystal champagne glasses and stuffed them on with color, food and flowers.  In addition to the food on the “menu” I also went to the local grocery store baking section and got those cheap donut holes and mini cinnamon rolls to just add some extra (and edible) place fillers.  (There were also matching streamers hanging around the edge of the table which, again, I have no pictures of).

The final menu consisted of:

Kale Salad

Raw Berry Crisp (OhSheGlows)

Oven-Roasted, Rosemary Potatoes (which were very easy: 6 diced potatoes roasted with a chopped yellow onion, EVOO, s and p and rosemary sprigs for about an hour at 350…was more than enough to feed 8 people).

A Cinnamon Struesel Bundt Cake (made by mamacita Plattner herself)

Scrambled Eggs with a variety of toppings (cheeses, chives, salsa, hot sauce and ketchup)

Chocolate Graham Muffins (EatingWell.com)

Lemon Poppy-Seed Loaf (superhealthykids.com)

Cupcakes my brother and his family brought

and then of course the decorative, $1, donuts and mini cinnamon rolls

needless to say there was tons of food left over

Although my Mom said she wanted “the brunch” to be her gift I think it’s way more fun to give someone something that is a tangible keepsake.  So I went to Target and got one plain-white, wide-rimmed dinner plate and a matching side plate for not very much money and a black Market from Michael’s that was meant for writing on glass, plastic and metal (it didn’t say porcelain but I figured it if can write on plastic and hold its form…it’ll work on porcelain).  I kind of struggled with what to write on the plates.  Although I tend to be very nostalgic I have a hard time being lovey-dovey and I definitely don’t go for cheezy mooshy quotes…which as it turns out categorizes 99% of quotes about moms.  So I tried to do some quotes from books that are relevant to my family and that had a tad of humor to them (written around the rim of the large plate using a long piece of tape, continuously moved down with each line, to keep everythin aligned). The smaller plate has a heart with the word “mom” in different languages.  Thanks Aunt Linda for sending me this personalized plate idea!!! I think good old Rhonda liked it…she’s surprisingly pretty easy to please.

Overall Mother’s Day: A Stuffing Extravaganza Success (if I do say so myself).