Friday, March 30, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well no, not really.  I already left and came back last week from LA.  I had a mini Vacay with my friend Claire. It was amazing.  Last time I went to LA not so great but that was because my friend I was visiting had just moved there himself and couldn't tell us where to go at all and we were in Santa Monica without a car.

This time I got to see:
Santee Alley
Little Tokyo
Korea town
and a whole lot of Downtown by public transit

I'll just give you a little day by day like I did with Pittsburgh because I don't want to overload with a long post of pictures.

Today is Santee Alley!  It was like a combination of China Town and Little Mexico tons of street vendors selling amazing different Mexican street foods and assorted fashion goods from things that fell off the truck, cheap sunglasses, belt buckles, perfumes, makeup that was mislabeled and CLOTHES!  oh the clothes!  It was like everything I have been on Nasty Gal and Tobi but 1/4 of their prices.  Had I known what I would be walking into I would of researched a bit more to pick out some key pieces.
The main alley was about 4-5 blocks long and completely bursting with people shopping and vendors.  Even for a Thursday it was bustling and the music was blaring terribly inappropriate lyrics for raps songs.  I was a bit surprised by that given that there were so many children with their parents (ha).

Sexy Heels?  Yah they are! 

Mannequin butts as far as the eye could see!

 On the way to Santee Alley is the Fashion district of LA.  Walked past tons of showrooms and manufacturers.  It is very different then the NYC Fashion district, you had a mix of the upscale and the smaller fashion lines.  Also it went from bargain bin fabrics like this store to very swanky Mood and Vogue Fabric type stores.

 I seriously could of wandered those stores alone all day.  If only I had budgeted my money for this!  Happily for my friend it is enough to make me want to come back for frequent visits.  I just wanted to dive right in and take advantage of all that discounted fabric and trimmings.

 We also came across this store which I wish had been open.  I can only imagine what kind of things the "Craft Depot" would have in an area next to Santee Alley and the Fashion District.  It was also amazing to me while in Downtown LA how much Korean I saw around there.  I know in my head that Koreans make a large percentage of the population but I was prepared to really see them all over the place and their businesses.  While I was in Santa Monica I saw almost none of that but downtown it was everywhere.  It also got me into some funny mishaps where I am so used to automatically giving every Korean elder respects that I was doing it all the time and they would perk up (apparently not a lot of LA kids bother to pay respects to elders unless they know them closely). 

Collectively I got a lot of new clothes in LA so I look forward to some new OOTD the next coming weeks as well!  Until then have a great weekend my friends!  I've got 3 major personal projects that I am in the works to start so that will also kickstart some other new posts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Gifts from overseas

One of my Best friends lives in New Jersey and the other in Seoul, Korea.  We were roommates in College even though we weren't always "technically" roommates, but we spent more time together then we ever did apart in college.  I haven't seen my roomie in Korea for YEARS and it makes me sad.  This summer I am hoping to change that and make a trip out there with the Hubby for our one year anniversary.

Until then we have been sending each other snail mail letters and packages over the years, if infrequently.  Recently my oldest brother has been doing business in Korea again and met up with my roomie to give her my package and to bring me mine.

Seriously no one knows me as well as these two ladies. She got my package dead on.  Kawaii gifts of masks, stickers, decorative tapes, Alice in wonderland and Le Petit Prince related then lastly cat related stationary and stickers.

The overall haul:
Animal Face Masks
Le Petit Prince Fox pen
Decor Tape
Alice in Wonderland Planner
Stickers and more Stickers
Le Petit Prince Post it Notes

A close up of my Post it notes. They are so pretty I'm not even sure where or how I will use them.  It's been a dream of mine to make a knitting Le Petit Prince Universe Mobile. Maybe this is the kick started I needed to start the project.

The Jetoy cat stickers.  I LOVE them, they look so much like my little Rambo kitty. She has the biggest eyes I've ever seen on a cat.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Weaving & Card Shuffle

Tuesdays are usually one of my more favorite days but last Tuesday was a little sad.  I got my letter regarding Graduate school and I did not get in.  I'm not upset about not getting into where I applied as I am upset that I have to continue to stay in a stifling day job that is completely without challenge and any sort of artistic endeavor. I have my teaching on Thursday nights and the summer I have that month long stint of teaching both CE and College Preview, but throughout the year sometimes crafting on my own just isn't enough to deal with the depressing day job.

Thankfully from my friend Claire I've found this weaving class.  It is a complete gem. This is something I have been looking forward to on my Tuesday nights which makes the day go by so much more quickly. I really needed it last week and was happy I drudged through and went instead of sulking at home watching Korean Dramas ( which I am now watching Bachelor Vegetable shop)

This is the warp another women set up, It is just so pretty with all the colors.  It's not my personal taste but I can appreciate the visual candy of it.

Every single one of those threads has to go through it's own heddle.  If there is a pattern like the one I am intending on doing you have to thread your heddle into a pattern on a multi harness loom.

This particular loom she is working on is an 8 harness floor loom.

These are the colors I am working with.  I was inspired by a blog I read the day I picked my colors where someone is knitting a scarf row by row each day depending on the clouds or color of the sky that day. Even though I won't be doing that with my weaving the Idea of cloud colors was really nice to me so I wanted to use those.

There is so much prep work to weaving that I had forgotten because in college the Teacher did it all for 3 looms that we time shared in the beginning fibers class.  This is the Inkle loom where we measure out the distance for our warp before we thread the loom.  It took me a little less then two classes to get this done.

There is also a computerized loom in this class that looks amazing!  I want a turn at it so badly!

The full room of looms (swoon)  I could stay in that room forever.  There is just enough space to work and sometimes not even enough space to walk around each other when we are all working.

I'm on a humble little 4 harness loom since my work isn't too wide or complicated.  I got everything threaded in about two classes even with a few mistakes.  My teacher Pat Bullen was impressed that I got it done that quickly (gold star).

Another look at my  390 some threads on the loom.

I also got to do my foundation weaving and play with my design for a little bit 

Tonight I look forward to continue my weaving and getting into my final pattern colors.  I'm hoping to make this simple square bottom tote bag with a flap that I can line with padding for another easy to carry camera bag.

As for Graduate school, it's just not in my cards this year.  I'm going to shuffle the deck again and start over.  Keeping my eyes, ears and heart open while continuing to do the things I love like sewing, craft, being a part of my community.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Kawaii and Sandwiches

I think this post ends my adventures in Pittsburgh. I got to go to this Kawaii (Cute) Stationary shop that I've ordered from for many years and try out the famous Primenti Brother's amazing sandwiches.

First let me walk you through going to the Stationary store Kawaii Gifts.  It is very easy to miss because it is off the side street down it's own individual alley that shared with one other store that sells jewelry.  If I hadn't looked it up on Google Streetview ahead of time I would of probably missed it and been very frustrated.
The narrow alley reminds me of Apkujung (a high class neighborhood in Seoul) in Korea where it is clean and cutely decorated to seem more like being in the alley is a privilege instead of an offbeat retail occurrence.

Simple entrance plastered with postings but the large window is inviting and you can get a good view of all the wonders inside.

Once inside it was like a Kawaii Forest of racks of San-x, Kamio and dozens of other brands.  I spent about 2 hours milling around inside touching, picking up and shaking virtually everything (because that is what I do at Sanrio).

Here is the view on the way out so you can see how truly secluded the little store is from the street.  he's standing at the end of the alley way where we walked in from the street.

After our Concert for the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds we went for a classy dinner, by classy I mean messy and delicious in our best clothes.  Primenti Brother's was exactly what we wanted after walking around and exploring Pittsburgh and a little bit of Carnegie Mellon all day.

We had some super messy but in my top 5 for delicious chili cheese fries. I could of just had those and called it a meal and a night for the food coma it induces.  We trucked on and I got a Black Angus Sandwich and the Hubby went for the Pastrami.  They were HUGE, amongst the normal description each one is piled with their version of coleslaw and hand cut fries.  It was one of the best things I have eaten in a long time.  I'm usually not a fan of coleslaw but theirs wasn't so much the Mayo as it was a pickled flavor.  I will be making it a regular thing to eat whenever I get to visit Pittsburgh now.


Friday, March 16, 2012

A little Tea Party & Warhol

While we were in Pittsburgh we stayed at this old hotel in the heart of downtown called the Omni William Penn Hotel.  It was gorgeous and had antique chandeliers, charming mail chutes and a gloriously large lobby with seating area for High Tea.  Even though we didn't do the whole High Tea shebang while we were there I still treated myself to some night time comfort on our way back from meeting some friends the night before the concert.

I decided to play a little photographer to show you how ever detail was paid attention to in this hotel.  The tea is Forte which I had never seen before but now will keenly look for ordering for myself.

The next day before the Concert we hit up the Andy Warhol Museum.  It would of been better had it not been twenty bones and we only had an hour of exploration.  I feel like a lot of Warhol is lost on me because I know in his time it was all so revolutionary but now screen printing is done by any Tom, Dick or Mary, so it has lost it's value on me.  Also the "pop" art  culture is so far from where it started it is hard for me to get a grasp on his work.  No doubt I appreciate that he was inventive and revolutionary I just think too much time between my life and his has passed for me to see the genius as well.  I see his things and reference him to newer work when it should be the other way around.  Also unfortunately they have a very strict no photographer rule so I couldn't show you some of the things that did marvel and delight me such as the silver cloud room and the huge Elvis Screen prints on silver.
 What we could take pictures of was this one lobby area on the first floor that sort of gave you the Wiki version of Andy Warhol. I might want to go back with more time so I can sit and watch the episodes of his TV show and some other different artists exhibits.  I learned that he started "Interview" magazine which I didn't realize and now I kind of want a subscription.  It's amazing where some magazines get their start like how Style Rookie has blossomed into Rookie Mag.

Evidence that I was there!

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Just another random Thursday. 

 1. Finding a good Butcher. 
Sorry veggies but I am a huge carnivore and bring brought up on basically Korean BBQ is a big part of that.  I've been on the hunt for a good butcher that understands what kind of meat cuts I need when I can't explain them very well but have pictures.  I was happy to finally find some great butchers to work with me easily at the Market District in my hometown of Upper Arlington.  This is called California style galbi cuts, but in butcher terms it's rib in flank cut.

Photo is from Pour Porter
2. DIY bleached Leggings.
I love the way it looks like she was either spattered with her flesh or that her leggings are slowly eaten by a black plague or disease.  Sure I know it's not a very pretty description but it's fascinating to me.  This photo is from this new clothing website I am digging called Pour Porter.

3. Speaking of which Pour Porter.
This website I found randomly while going through my blogs I read and I am in love with.  It holds the same kind of style I am attracted to wanting to wear as an adult in a job where I have to dress "professionally".  Even though the clothes don't seem professional I would like to think I live in a world where it is.  Lot's of gorgeous hand dyed items and big drapey tops to make you look interesting while covering every bump and unseemly love handle.  Sure it is a bit pricey but so original and things you wouldn't normally see anyone else wearing.

4. Kawaii Cats
I love anything cats so of course when I was in Pittsburgh it was an amazing treat to get to go to this Stationary store (which I will get into more detail later).  I am a crazy cat lady so I am happy to get anything to put more kitties into my life (without actually have more then 3 real ones in the house).  This Character is Kutusita Nyanko Cat by San-X and this store is Shop Kawaii

5. Public Renegade Art
We found this during our Honey Moon in Paris while walking around the Montmartre.  If you do not recognize this it is a "space invader" by a French urban artist Invader.  if you still don't know what I'm talking about then you need to see the movie "Exit through the Gift Shop" and get acquainted with him and some other wonderful renegade artists.  I like the idea that art can be anywhere and people can have as much freedom to express their art and we are supposed to our speech.  I know it's not the same in all countries which is sad but every little piece we do if progress.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

OOTD in Pittsburgh

A couple weeks ago the Hubby and I were in Pittsburgh for a bit of a holiday. We were going to see the Distant Worlds Concert (which is music from the video game series Final Fantasy) with tickets that some friends had pooled together to get us for our Wedding present.  I don't talk about it very often on this blog but people forget I am at heart a huge nerd.  It is the 25th anniversary of the series and I was pretty damn stoked.  Being only thirty years old, I have spent my entire life growing up with this series and it has particularly influenced my life  in terms of style and art.  Playing and watching these games was like turning my dreams and fantasies into reality.

Now onto the Clothes!

Gary Graham Fall 2001 Silk Coat (I got this when I interned with him in the summer of 2002)
BCBG Maroon silk skirt from Jefferson Ville Outlet
Target tank top
Costume National soft pink pearlized shoes (one of my most favorite shoes)
Pearl Chandelier Earrings were a present from my Bestie in New Jersey

I love these shoes so much that I barely wear them for fear of wearing them out.  They are the most delicate pink pearl color in super soft and supple leather.  I found them on clearance at Filene's Basement many years ago (RIP).  The heel height is perfectly balanced to make them some of the most comfortable shoes that I own as well.

When my Best Friend got me these earrings for my birthday years ago I thought she was a little silly.  They were far too mature in taste for me but as time wore on I grew into them.  Now they are one of my favorite pairs of dress earrings.  The pearls are the same pink as my Costume National shoes which is a delight to wear them together.

A close up of my hair and makeup before I washed up and went to bed.  I just used a 1.5" curling iron for some soft curls at the end with no product so they would leave a soft tousled look.  My eyes were a combination of MAC and Lime Crime Products.

Here are some Candid photos from the Event.

 I have one more set to share with you from Pittsburgh but that is for another day.