I got a job. It is really really cool, and I’m loving it so far. I don’t want to get much in to it though, but its at a small studio in SF called Studio Far. I get to help design bags, and its awesome. I get so excited about it every day. I love it! I am so thankful and blessed to have such an awesome opportunity. Being paid to do what you love is so awesome… It feels too good to be true, so I try to appreciate every day of the job.
Because of this job this whole crafting summer thing hasn’t really happened, but after a very depressing shopping trip today I realized that I need to stop BUYING things to make and use what I already have. (except for shoes, I am on an on going quest to buy good quality shoes after having serious bouts with plantar fasciitis) My goal is to try to upcycle clothes that I’m unhappy with, and slightly alter clothes that I don’t wear because they fit funny.
Trying to get back into sewing. I’ve been having a hard time, with a few botched projects that didn’t turn out. I’ve been doodling stuff, what sucks is I get some great ideas in my head during bike rides and I can’t seem to draw and bike at the same time.
But here is my first real attempt at “upcycling” or refashioning clothing. This was a strapless 3 tiered ruffled dress, but it just made me look too ruffled and fluffy, so I made it into a peplum top.
If there is something you must know about me it is that I am VERY addicted to clearance. If it is cool and 70% off or more I usually get it. I love cheap thrills. It is a huge problem. I think my wardrobe is built around clearance. Anyway I finally got around to buying some studs so that I could do some damage to a $3 pair of flats I bought 4 months ago… haha see? I bought these clearance flats for a future DIY 4 months later. clearance hoarderrrrr
Here is the final product instagrammed of course.
I think what I love about DIY is this whole customization thing. Though I started off with generic flats that anyone could purchase, I made them mine with a few simple snips. No one else can recreate these flats exactly, unless they measured out each of the studs from each area. There is something that I really love about DIY, its that sort of emotional attachment that I get to all of the things I made. I have dresses I haven’t worn in years that I’ve sewn but I keep them because I made it, I put my mark on it…. Especially when it comes to altering my clothes, which is my favorite way to DIY and customize (because its much easier then starting from scratch)
Upcycling or revamping clothes is almost like graffiti, you’re leaving your tag on this product, on this object. Same could even be said for sneakers, some people wear shoes till they have holes in them, but its that sort imperfection that gives their shoes personality. They are yours, they are custom molded to YOUR foot. No one has your feet, unless they get some sort of cool innovative technology where they can take a mold of your foot and surgically attach a prosthetic or something. That sort of thing hasn’t been invented yet, but even then it would still be a replica, and not the original… Blah blah I could go on for hours.
I wrote this little thing to myself while I was trying to sketch. I kept thinking “Man I want to sketch something really cool!!!” but the thought of sketching something cool intimidated me. And I realized I’ve just graduated from design school. There is a huge part of me that wants to impress everyone (for employment purposes) but part of me wants to take a break from that, and I think I will try and do that here. I am not going to judge myself before the final result. I’m just going to do what I want to do and be done with it. I will make lots of mistakes and that will be OKAY here.
I am not a photographer. It is something that has held me back from blogging, being too lazy to edit pictures… but whatever, I would like to document some of this.
As I struggled to find the perfect elipse and pretended I could sketch something great a la spencer nugent, I decided that I need to do something for MYSELF and not worry about what others think of it.
Theres a strange high I get from making things, instant gratification. So i blatantly took this design and made it with scraps I had lying around, specifically some industrial felt scrap that I swiped off of my friend (Thanks Tommy) + elastic…
Simple as hell, and it beats that $50 price tag.
Since the elastic broke off the last felt wallet I made.. I made up for it in stitches.
Ah, it feels good to know I can beat the system and make something out of nothing. Instantly gratified. I totally copied it, but at the same time… its a piece of fabric that wraps around your cards, can you really patent that?
I was finally able to do something I’ve been meaning to do all year which was go to downtown San Jose’s farm fresh fridays…. I bought some romaine, cherry tomatoes, peach, pomegranate, portabello mushrooms, and foccocia bread for $10… a steal! I was inspired since my boyfriend has fallen in love with mushrooms to make a portabello burger, so I grilled some with balsamic vinegar, dried basil and garlic.
Lately I haven’t been cooking too much since my design classes have started kicking my ass. I recently tried to make savory oatmeal and I hated it, and a slew of other fails. But on a lighter note, a place called Psycho Donuts just opened up in downtown San Jose and Chris and I went on a little date to check it out… (Mmm Key Lime Pie Donut) I can’t wait to go back! I wouldn’t say they are amazing like a fresh out of the oven krispy kreme glazed, but the shear novelty of it and the fact that they are only $1-$3 each make it a fun little adventure.
After visiting my family at home, I came back hauling a bunch of groceries to my sj apartment. (Thank you Mom and Dad!) For some reason I’ve been in a huge cooking mood, so after only three days I already have a ton of pictures.
I have been trying to go on a weekly bike ride after my monday classes to grab groceries at my local Vietnamese market. Its so cheap and they have a ton of different products, so I’m trying to experiment around. I had a huge craving for tonkatsu and they were selling pork loin already thinly sliced for only 2 dollars a pound. I made a few for a quick meal for my boyfriend (a huge katsu fan) and I
I bought two avocados and since one was ripened, I decided to have brunch, and I added bonito flakes and a bit of kewpie mayonnaise to it, it was very tasty but I wish I didn’t run out of bread… It would have been much more complete with a pan de sal to accompany it.
I’ll end on the note of my gazpacho that is currently chilling in the fridge. I borrowed the recipe from my lovely Seattle cousin Julie Mae, and it turned out quite well. It is flavorful and very healthy. (I need something healthy considering what I’ve been making lately heehee!) I couldn’t wait so I tried it and it was already delicious! I can’t wait to take it out after the flavors merry a bit more
So this week I had a craving for oil poached shrimp, I had it this summer at ‘wichcraft in union square… (although for being owned by Top Chef’s Tom Collichio I wasn’t that impressed)
I decided to take my hand at making it, and it turned out to be supremely easy… It cooked very slowly so I could prepare it first and poach while I was making other things, ex: hollandaise recipe from Barefoot Contessa and roasted broccoli. Basically, you heat the oil on low, let it warm up a bit and add the shrimp and cook it slowly. You could probably do it while studying in the kitchen, just checking on it around the 10 minute mark if its done… the result is a tender succulet piece of shrimp. Drain of the oil and add your own veggies.
I decided to ride my bike to the local vietnamese market on 2nd street, they have the cheapest produce ever, I LOVE IT. I was originally going to roast asparagus but found broccoli instead… but it made me feel healthier adding it to my meal.
Anyway, in other news, I scored a herb window sill garden kit, I just potted my seeds, so if it turns out I’ll post some pictures later.
Oh I also tried out my homemade ginger ale, and it turned out quite tasty. I’m going to make more batches when I can. Soo great and so cheap!
I caramelized some onions and froze them, they came in really handy when I whipped up this quick meal… So indulgent though, (the sauce is butter!) but it took me only 10 minutes to boil pasta as I browned the butter…
After straining the browned butter, I tossed it with the caramelized onions, goat cheese, a bit of Parmesan cheese and spaghettini.
Sorry for all the pasta posts… I’m a huge pasta fiend.
After the dinner party and going to downtown sj for South First Friday, I took most of the weekend to have some downtime. I finally had some time to complete a recipe I found on TheKitchn.com, and try my hand at making ginger ale, which I have yet to try.
A wonderfully rich mushroom sauce with chicken broth, white wine and some herbs… I didn’t have sage on hand so I tried using basil, it came out a little bitter but next time I’ll reduce the sauce more. The parmigiana cheese added that extra something something. Also, who doesn’t love bow tie pasta? I’ve been in love since I was a little girl, when I used to think boys couldn’t eat it… How sexist of me.
My ginger ale sitting comfortably by the window… We’ll have to see if this turns out, I’m afraid it will be a fail, but it literally costs like a buck to make a liter each.
The past few days I have been celebrating birthdays, one including going out for a drink at Singlebarrel in San Jose, CA. This bar does it a little differently, you go up to this guy at a door dressed like a newsboy and he lets you in down to this speakeasy style bar. The bartenders inside ask you what kind of flavors you want in your drink, and they make you one of their specialties. I had a lot of fun, as it was a very chill place… The price was stiff ($10 a drink) but it was worth checking out.
I got an English Cosmo… from what I remember he muddled cucumbers together and added some sort of liqour (I believe gin) and some lime and simple syrup. I wish I was paying closer attention, because it was DELICIOUS!
Yesterday I cooked a feast for a bunch of my friends, as it was Trevor’s 20th birthday. I had given him a list of different restaurants to go to but last minute offered to cook. He chose that, and then we decided on a traditional steak dinner. A big thanks to Joe and Alyssa for helping prep! (and thanks to Chris as well for helping move stuff around)
this ciabatta bread from costco was really cheap, and it saved me while I was broiling the steaks… that +oliveoil and balsamic make a good appetizer while your guests are waiting! Super cheap as well!
The MONEY SHOT: Homemade Cesar Dressing + Romaine, Corn with oven roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions and goat cheese, the steak, and a roasted garlic mash.
I asked everyone to help me out with the groceries (as we’re not all made of money) and all of that food (plenty of leftovers that I gave to the Birthday Boy!) cost only $7 a person! Thank you Costco and Trader Joes for making my life easier.
Obviously later in the year I won’t have as much time cooking, but I had a lot of fun even though it was a lot of work. Good food and good company really make a great party, can’t wait to do another one!
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