patterned paper: fontwerks
stamps: fontwerks (lines), psx (small letters), office depot (date), decorative frame (purple onion designs)
transparency: hambly
letter stickers: making memories
other: photo corners, cardboard, acrylic paint, "today" letters printed by computer


so many good things.

[warning :: this post is long and completely scrapbook-related]

i took another class at scrapbook oasis last night down in irvine. my in-laws were nice enough to get the kids in the afternoon so i could leave before traffic got too bad. (thanks b+d!)

since i had a bit of time before the class i headed to paper source's new store at south coast plaza. the selection was basically the same as the beverly hills store but it was 10-times better because i was there alone and could take my time looking around.

n-e-way, the reason i was taking another class at scrapbook oasis is because kristina contes was teaching the class; she's one of 'em organic, free-stylin' scrapbookers (like maria grace, whose class i took last time at sb oasis). i think i mentioned before that i am not one of 'em organic, free-stylin' scrapbookers. but i am really warming to this style and trying to learn to just go with the flow with my creativity. not to sweat the small stuff. to enjoy the process.

it doesn't seem possible that i could learn to be like that; it's so counter to my ocd/type-a scrapbooking personality. but, cheesy at it sounds, watching others scrap and just being exposed to their enthusiasm for this art form is inspiration enough to take my scrapbooking to a different level; not just documenting the special times in our lives, but the ordinary and not-so-special times, too. to be more real, i guess.

the class project was to document an ordinary part of someone's life. i chose to talk about my tea-drinking during the winter. it seems like such a mundane topic and not something most non-scrapbookers would think is important enough to document. but, in the end, aren't these the kind of things that define us? i think a lot of scrapbookers are moving in this direction, instead of focusing on event-specific layouts (although there's nothing wrong with that either).

kristina's version is a 12x12 and she actually journals about the things going on in her life today (a specific date). i made mine a 8.5x11 size so it would fit into my album. for specifics on materials, click here.

after the class there was a crop until midnight. because i wasn't chosen to have a layout created during maria grace's class, i was determined to have kristina create something for me; when i saw she was making stuff i asked her to make me a layout. honestly, i didn't care if the other students thought i was too forward. i wanted to have something in my hands that was made in a free form style. kristina didn't disappoint. she accidently cut the patterned paper the wrong size (no thanks to me telling her where to cut -- oops!) but that didn't stop her from tearing it and using it anyway. she made an adorable layout of maya while we chatted about new york (where's she from). thanks, kristina, i totally love it!

(link to the store's posting about the night.)

i really wish i had taken kristina's thursday night class, right now mini album. i've never made a mini album but they're so cute and a quick, creative way to document a single subject. kristina's was a great way, i thought, to get into documenting the everyday, her favorite things right now. but i also wish i'd taken the class because kristina was really fun to be around. this weekend was her first time teaching a class but she has great projects, techniques, and energy. i guess part of that's the "lawn-guylander" in her! listening to her accent was endearing and brought back memories of my days in new york. she also brought some of her recent layouts from the effer site and i particularly liked seeing the simple layout from dare #55. she brought the adorable "otto the owl" stamp by rubber soul to class, and it was really popular among the students.

although it'll be a good while before i could ever scrap like kristina (if ever), i'm embracing the imperfections of creating. i kinda screwed up on the layout i worked on during the crop (posted here) but that's okay, i salvaged it and kept chugging away instead of getting frustrated about it. and i hope that'll cross over into my everyday living so i can accept the crappy days and not dwell on the negative so much.

other highlights of the evening: i got 3 compliments on my threadless shirt, the dares were there in support of kristina, i won a typesetter letter stamp set by fontwerks in a drawing, kristina liked my (incomplete) hanukkah layout enough to take a picture of it, shimelle laine (from england!) was taking the class, one of the other students was surprised that i had two kids -- she thought ian was my little brother and i was still a student(!), and we got some free purple onion stamps. all in all, not a bad evening. not bad at all.

unsolicited plug: kristina's husband is owner/chef of mosaic restaurant in st. james, ny -- check it out if you're in the area.


link round-up :: 01.2007

just cleaning out my sidebar ...

stuff that intrigues me ::

  • wee wonderfuls make-a-long story

  • tim gunn bobblehead

  • scrapped, the movie

  • good eats fan page

  • the sultan's elephant

  • ashes and snow

  • kitty craft

  • oh joy!

  • wee wonderfuls pattern booklet

  • haba toys

  • 2006 reads ::

  • the secret supper by javier sierra

  • the little gentleman by philippa pearce

  • the anybodies by n.e. bode

  • math and the mona lisa by bulent atalay

  • the complete maus: a survivor's tale by art spiegelman

  • the year of magical thinking by joan didion

  • like water for chocolate by laura esquivel

  • what the numbers say: a field guide to mastering our numerical world by derrick niederman & david boyum

  • people by peter spier

  • the glass books of the dream eaters by gordon dahlquist

  • the wright 3 by blue balliett

  • odd boy out by don brown

  • the sisters grimm: the fairy-tale detectives (book 1) by michael buckley

  • princess academy by shannon hale

  • the sisters grimm: the unusual suspects (book 2) by michael buckley

  • the nobodies by n.e. bode

  • the golden compass by philip pullman

  • the best american travel writing 2005 (parts of it)

  • walking the bible by bruce feiler

  • the penderwicks by jeanne birdsall

  • chew on this by eric schlosser and charles wilson

  • this little piggy went to prada by amy allen

  • diy: design it yourself edited by ellen lupton

  • happy greeting card book -- pooka style

  • what i listen to ::
  • tim gunn "project runway" podcast

  • npr :: this american life and fresh air

  • yo la tengo

  • death cab for cutie

  • weezer

  • greenday
  • 1.18.2007

    i {heart} the library

    one of my new year's resolution is "spend less, save more" (i'm not sharing the rest of my resolutions because then i'll be held accountable) and one of the areas i intend to spend less money on is books.

    that doesn't mean i'm going to read less. quite the contrary, i intend to read more. (and i don't think it would even be possible for me to read less than i did last year. as i mentioned before, i only read 13 books last year. how pathetic is that?)

    i love books. i like to read, but i actually think i love having books around me even more than i like reading them. it brings me great joy to be surrounded by books; no surprise i love hanging out at bookstores and buying books. also no surprise that i enjoy and admire my bookshelves, even though they're full of books i haven't read ... books i've owned for years and years. so it seems like kind of a waste of money to keep buying books if i'm not going to read them.

    instead, i plan to use my public library more. lucky for me our library is half a block away; i walk by it everyday on my way to drop ian off at school. it's a small branch of the county library system but they have a pretty good selection. and what i can't get at this branch i get by ordering online from a different branch.

    i was totally thrilled today when i came home with eight books i've wanted to read, most of them new releases. had i bought them all i would've had to spend $100 on hardbacks or wait months for the paperback to come out. but now i get to read them for free and they won't take up space in my house. yay "free"!


    do you mochi?

    we japanese eat a lot of mochi around the new year. my parents have a mochi-making machine (not the same kind as shown in the picture in the wiki entry) and they make a lot of mochi at the end of the year, for eating and for decoarting. for some people (like rupert) mochi is an aquired taste, probably because it doesn't really have a lot of taste on its own and it's very glutinous. but it can be very tasty if you eat it with "toppings," which can range from sweet (red bean) to savory (shoyu, soy sauce, and nori, seaweed). also, if you grill it the mochi aquires a very toasty, fragrant crust that's delicious even without any toppings.
    we were invited to a mochi-tsuki taikai (mochi pounding ceremony) today by a japanese friend. well, actually, she's the wife of rupert's boss ... but a potential future friend. ian's familiar with the machine-made mochi but he's never seen the traditional way of making mochi, which uses something similar to a mortar and mallet. special mochi rice is steamed and placed in the mortar (usu) and pounded with the mallet (kine). ian even got to pound some rice with a mini kine.
    you have to be very careful when eating mochi because it can easily get lodged in your throat if you take too big of a bite or don't chew it thoroughly. every year people die from choking on mochi. so we were cautious when feeding maya the mochi, but she liked it enough to eat it with red bean (azuki) and (kinako).

    ian prefered his mochi with a sugar and ground black sesame mixture.

    new toy

    it took two weeks but we finally replaced the laptop in the house. rupert was kind enough to quickly purchase a laptop so i could get back to emailing and blogging. usually it takes him forever to decide on a (high-price) purchase; not only does he research various options, but once you think he knows what he wants to get, he usually changes his mind and comes home with something else ... after like two hours at the store. but this time we looked through the sunday ads, chose a laptop, he went out and came home pretty promptly with the one we chose. so, thank you, dear. (fyi, i usually do not call my husband, "dear" because i am not a dutiful, nice wife.)

    we have a decent desktop in the "office," which is actually half of the garage. but i've found that having the laptop in the house is so much more convenient. i can quickly check my email or write part of my blog posts throughout the day while keeping an eye on the kids, laundry, and food cooking on the stove. it felt weird going for days without checking my email or typing something. my fingers are a little rusty and my mind has wandered away from blog-mode so it may take me a few days to get back into the swing of things.

    new project

    i'm starting a new blog with ian called 365books. his goal is to read 365 books this year. i would also like to read more books in 2007 (i finished a measly 13 chapter books last year ... 13!), so i'll also be documenting the books i read too.

    i don't think we'll be writing full-on book reviews -- just documenting the title, author, illustrator, and, if we have time, if it was good or not. maybe we'll try to come up with a rating system ...

    anyway, if you have any recommendations, please let us know by leaving comments for us. (ian is probably at about a second or third grade reading level, but he also enjoys picture books and non-fiction reference-type books.)

    [edited 01.14.2006: give me a few days to get 365books in order. i'm still trying to decide how to "rate" the books and, although it's a sell-out concept, i've decided to join the amazon affiliates program and include a product link to each post.]


    happy 2007!

    just a quick note to say happy new year! wishing you much joy and fulfillment in 2007!

    unfortunately, i ended 2006 with a dying dead laptop so i won't be able to post as often until i get that replaced. which is not necessarily a bad thing ... maybe i can convince rupert to get us a new mac! yeah, right!

    we spent new year's eve at home playing 1313 deadend drive and guitar hero 2 while drinking some sparkly. rupert and i even managed to stay up until midnight, but we missed the ball drop in times square because we were watching something else!

    there are new pictures of rupert's and ian's trip to montana at my flickr site. enjoy!


    14 months.

    maya @ 14 months :: january 4, 2007
    • some new foods: japanese-style egg porridge, matzoh ball soup, pancakes, ikura (salmon roe), mochi (pounded rice cake), tangerines
    • wants to play lego star wars 2 with the boys; rupert had to give her an old controller because she kept bothering them. she totally perks up and claps when she hears the theme song.
    • went to knott's berry farm.
    • likes to swat at bubbles.
    • continues to be very musically oriented.
    • first playdate with grandpa (alone!): december 15.
    • likes to look at christmas lights.
    • not really waking up at night. it's highly possible that our extremely loud front lawn sprinkler system wakes her up at 4:30am.
    • current favorite toy: mini pink plastic flashlight (with no batteries) --> she uses it as a microphone. but she's also getting into playing with dolls, feeding and hugging them, tickling their tummies, dragging them along, making them dance.
    • took 15 steps while nene and ian were watching her during my doctor's appointment: december 18. since then she's preferred to walk by pushing around her red chair.
    • loves any kind of blanket. she doesn't have a favorite "blankie" yet.
    • she's getting really good at accurately throwing small balls.
    • she was great while rupert and ian were gone. she slept like you wouldn't believe; three hour naps, no waking up in the middle of the night! she was also super friendly and playful with all the family members and new people she met during the holidays.
    • new tooth on the bottom left; she's been eating like a mad woman, perhaps to ease the teething pain?
    • making more sounds that resemble babbling conversation.
    • favorite books: lift a rock, find a bug (which she has managed to totally rip up); a blue's clues chanukah
    • push walking her little red folding chair. she stashes a snack and a buddy (a stuffed animal or doll) in the seat and pushes the chair around the living room. occasionally she stops for a snack. she takes steps here and there but generally prefers her monkey crawl.
    • plays a game with ian in the car: she says, "boo!" (sometimes is sounds like "buh!") and expects you to say it back to her. this goes back and forth, faster and faster, until she starts laughing hysterically.
    • got a sesame street music toy for christmas and she loves to dance along to the songs.
    • loves to take baths.
    • wants to sit in our lap to eat.
    • definitely has a short fuse --> easily frustrated (gee, i wonder where she gets that from?) and throws fits, pounding, throwing stuff, hitting and crying.
    • she imitates "ha ha" laughs, especially when she hears the emperor laugh on lego star wars 2 and cookie monster laughs on her aforementioned sesame street toy.
    • new tooth discovered (probably came out earlier) on 01.01.07: bottom left molar
    • she actually enjoyes going to bed at night: rupert warms a bottle for her (they do the timer countdown together and he tickles her belly when it beeps) and they say good night (oyasumi) before going to her room.