Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Leif's mom made this crazy cool lined crochet jumper-jacket-hoodie-like thing for Clio.  It has been a very mild winter and we have not really had a chance to use it much so we decided to put her in it and take some photos before she gets too big.

She was obviously pretty into it...

And my favorite one...

Squeal!!!  Here comes mama's hand in for tickles!!!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

lovely mail

One of life's little pleasures is getting packages in the mail, especially when they are wrapped up in brown paper and come with the promise of fun surprises.

Last week I received this package from Tara, of SewTara, full of fun goodies to use in various sewing and craft projects.  She had the great idea of setting up an exchange to pass on all the bits and pieces of supplies that we all have laying around to someone who may be able to make use of them.

Here are some of the things that she so generously passed along to me.

All these adorable items she sent my way has really got me excited for some new projects.

Thanks Tara!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Love fiercely

My friend's five month old son lost his life yesterday.  I feel it is absurd to post here about such trivial matters when something so terrible has happened.

Hug your family.  Hold tightly to your children.  Love fiercely for life is a puff of smoke.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

made by leif: baby announcement

A couple of weeks ago my friend Cristina gave birth to a sweet baby boy.  We were very honored that she asked us to take some photos of her little guy and make an announcement for her.  I have to admit, I had no hand in the way this turned out.  While Leif was taking all the photos I was gabbing away with my friend.  Once again, I think he did an amazing job.  Of course, with a face like Mateo's any photo is going to be adorable.

Hello Mateo Balan.  Welcome to the world.

Monday, January 23, 2012

thrifty; clothes for clio

How was everyone's weekend?
Good, I hope.
Recently Leif and I stopped by a local children's consignment store
to pick up a jumper for Clio
(those things are crazy expensive, for reals).
I picked these up while we were there. 

Each one only cost $1.

Most of them are 18-24 months but I couldn't resist picking them up anyway.  
Besides, the rate at which our child is growing she'll be in these at 12 months.
She's a biggin.

Seriously, I'll never understand why children's clothes are so expensive new.
That Janie and Jack dress, the last one, is like $60 new.
Whah?  Bonkers.

Friday, January 20, 2012

hot guys and baby animals

This morning I saw the following on the stat page for this blog.  For what it's worth I tried googling these terms to see if this blog popped up.  I gave up looking after the twelfth page.  It is a mystery.

But that last search?  Yes please.

five months

Well, Clio, my dear, here you are.
Five months old (and one week).

Phew.  You've learned a lot already.
You must be exhausted.

Rolling from your back to your tummy via the right and the left now.

You are no longer content with hanging out in your bouncy seat
or on the ground
for more than five minutes at a time.

You want to move.
Especially if moving involves being flown over our heads
like an
airplane or a super hero.

Sometimes we think that when you figure out that you can't really fly,
that it has been us holding you up high
you are going to be really pissed.

You'll probably never forgive us. 

Your hair is kind of getting crazy. 
It sticks up all over the place.
We still can't tell what color it is,
you little chameleon.

You are finally starting to show some interest in the food we eat.
But we aren't letting you have any yet.  
For now it is still all boob all the time.

Oh yeah, I've been meaning to read you something.
A little piece of advice that I think you should know.
It is from some dude who wrote some cool books.
You'll go through a phase where you read his books right up.
Sometime in early college, probably.

It goes like this,

"Hello babies.  Welcome to Earth.
It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter.
It's round and wet and crowded.
On the outside, babies, you've got a hundred years here.
There is only one rule that I know of, babies-
"God damn it, you've got to be kind."

-Kurt Vonnegut

Got that baby?

I think you do.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

sewing cabinet

So remember this cabinet that we got last week?

Of course you do.  
It was only last week.

Well, it was in really bad shape and I was deciding between
painting it or refinishing it.

See how bad it was?

I ended up doing neither the painting or the refinishing. 
I kind of just cleaned it up using
Murphy's Oil Soap
Danish Oil
Howard Feed N' Wax.

This is what it looked like after the Murphy's Oil Soap
and the Danish Oil rubdown.

After that was done I just put some of the wax on it and called it a day.

Why, what's that big red box there in the photograph?
I'm glad you asked.

It's my new Viking sewing machine.  
Recently I showed Leif some examples of the Ryan Gosling meme
that has been making the rounds.  

Like this one.

As he was carrying my new machine out from the store he said the following,

I totally do.  I totally do.

After all the spiffing and shining was done I 
relocated all my sewing materials to their new home.

Here she is in all her faded, but not as faded glory.

Learn From My Mistakes

Do not use all these products indoors.
It was crazy stinky in our house for hours and hours.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Clio's nursery came together much in the same way the rest of our apartment has.
As in it is a collection of new, used, found, and salvaged bits and pieces
that we slowly gathered from here and there.  

The rocking chair is one we bought cheaply at a flea market and then refinished and reupholstered. 
It is almost exactly like the one they are selling on 
only ours is old, real wood, and cost us in total half of what they sell it for.
The brass lamp we got from a little pop up sale from this lady.  

I made Clio's crib skirt from 1 1/2 yards of hot pink faux bois fabric that cost about $10/yard, I think.   Just simple panels that I used velcro to attach to the bedframe so that I could easily remove them for washing.

The photos are all of family.  I really liked the idea of having family looking over Clio at night, especially her namesake, my grandmother Irene.  She was a pilot and was going to fly relief missions during WWII as part of WASP but she ended up marrying my grandfather instead.  That middle one is her and the immediate one to the left is her with some of the other pilots.  Their flight suit had a high heeled shoe with wings on it.  How very cheeky.

That bucket we use for blankets is this bucket from my youth...

The book shelves are old specimen drawers I rescued from being thrown away at a local college.  Blue warthog was made by my mom, the bunny rabbit came all the way from The Netherlands from our friends Marc and Natalie and their son Sam.

It's probably as close to being finished as it is going to be for awhile.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

flea market mania

Before Clio was born I was addicted to thrift stores and flea markets.  I used to go at least once a week.  I would have liked to go more but I was working full time and so we went nearly every weekend.  During the week I would constantly be looking out for new stores to plunder.  The tinier and more obscure the store the better.  Nearly all of the furniture in our house has been rehabbed from thrift stores or flea markets and much of my closet is full of vintage dresses.  Of course, since I am breastfeeding (and still twelve pounds more than I weighed before I got pregnant) I can't wear them.

Honestly though, Los Angeles is a tough place to stumble upon good finds.  There are just way too many hipsters in Warby Parker eyewear looking for the same items I am.  Sometimes you luck out but most of the time you really, really have to be disciplined in looking or you have to be willing to shell out the bucks for what you want.

We're cheap.  Which usually means that it takes months and months to find a particular item.  Still, it is pretty satisfying when the item randomly pops up during the search.

Over the weekend we went to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena.  It was the first time that we had been since I was eight months pregnant.

Here's a little peek at the goodies we found.

It's going to be my crafting/sewing cabinet.  Honestly, it isn't in that great of shape and we probably overpaid for it by fifty bucks.  But I really wanted it and I knew it would fit perfectly in our dining room.
You can totally see Grey's Anatomy on in the reflection of the glass.  It is one of my guilty pleasures when Clio is asleep.

See, it is scratched up pretty badly, which means I've got to figure out what to do about fixing it up.  Refinish or paint?  Gotta think about this one.

Some cute vintage fabric.

A wire basket that I will spray paint, sew a liner for, and use for Clio's toys.

These sweet little guys.  I've got plans for them too.

Now I've got my hands full with lots of projects over the next couple of weeks.
I love that.