kriselkeeper: January 2012

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jonathan Adler Canisters

Holy Moses, these are awesome!  I have no idea how long they've been out but these Jonathan Adler canisters are a riot!  Ganja isn't even the best one!  Others are labeled with:  "peyote", "kitty crack", "shrooms", "disco biscuits", etc!  It's too funny.  

The other canister I found quite funny was the one below. The Georgia Cookie Jar. I must say it would be sort of an appropriate push gift no?  
All images via Jonathan

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Push Gifts

Dave came up to me today and said "Ok, let me get this straight, a push gift is not for the baby but for the mom?" To which I replied "Yes! Exactly, and it usually comes in the form of diamonds...or so I've been told."  But as I think of it, diamonds aren't my thing.  I told him I really wanted a Kitchen Aid mixer but he refuses to get me any kind of kitchen appliance.  He says that's a normal day to day purchase, like buying cameras for him. It's part of our "work". 

What's my thing?  Accessories for the home.  That's my thing!  So here is a list, for me to remember and for Dave to see of the things I'd consider an awesome push gift.

I guess I haven't really mentioned it officially but I'm pregnant.  Unlike the last time I announced it, I'm pretty far along. I'm in my 3rd trimester. I've actually been afraid to jinx it but after numerous tests and ultrasounds we are pretty much in the clear.  I asked my doctor a while back when I could stop worrying. She gave me this funny look and said "You're a mom now, have you stopped worrying since your daughter arrived 4 years ago?" No! No I have not stopped worrying. It's a perpetual thing as a parent.

With that in mind these are the things that will keep me semi worry-free as I see them around the house. I know there are more things on my wish list but this is all I can remember right now!

image via DWR

image via DWR

Bullet Planter. Med or tall: $155-160
image via Hip Haven

 image via Potted

image via Crate & Barrel

I have no idea why I find this vase so charming but it's the kind of thing I'd never buy myself but I'd love to see it in the house.
image via Jonathan Adler

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bed Inspirations

David Kohn designs

These three beds are what I want.  Basically it's a box underneath the bed.  It works for us because for one it doesn't add inches to the width or length of the bed.  Two, and this is a big two, it looks easy enough to do.  Besides the bench project I've never built a piece of furniture from scratch.  I've refurbished furniture but never built it. Therefore, I want to work with a design I think I can handle. And in the event it fails and falls apart at least we won't have far to fall in the middle of the night. But I think I can make it so it's solid. 

See, this is what I mean about involving your kids in doing projects.  What on earth would possess me to build a bed?  Let alone when this pregnant?   Well, it was my dad. I remember asking him one time "how did you know how to do blah blah" ( I can't remember the specific project. It was something to do with plumbing or electrical.) And he said "I don't know how to do this but I know I can figure it out." I thought it was so brave of him to take on a challenge he knew nothing about.  Don't you?  

Anyway, so this is a quick picture of our bed and I want a box underneath it so it looks more refined.  I actually like how the bed looks right now but you should see the looks on some people when they see our mattress on the floor. I can just hear the thoughts in their heads "it's so college era". To me it's very European and simple.  I could use the 12-14" height though. I must say it's been a bitch to get in and out of bed while pregnant. 

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Monday, January 16, 2012

E and K Vintage Wood

I'm finally getting to building a king size bed for us.  It's either now or in 2.5 years. That's what pregnancy will do to you. It lights a fire under your ass to get stuff done.  I have 8 weeks to go till my due date.  So it is on!

I spent the last two Friday's at E and K Vintage Wood. It's the same place I picked up the reclaimed wood when I did the bench project, except they've moved and grown. Man! Have they grown! The first Friday I went by myself to their showroom on the Westside near Venice.  They have some amazing European Chestnut that was gorgeous....but out of my price range.  All of their wood is amazing actually and their showroom is inspiring.  I stuck with the same Douglas Fir I bought when I did the bench. I was interested in the thickness and width. I was looking for 2" thick and a width of 12"-18".  They had it at their warehouse so I did a pickup a week later.

This last Friday I kept P out of school and the two of us hauled across town to pick up the planks.  I love doing projects like these with P.  I think it's important to involve kids because they pick up so much just from being there.  If anything they gain a familiarity with DIY projects that I believe gives them a confidence to try new things as they get older. Maybe not! Who knows really, but I know it's what I got from tagging along with my dad on his home projects.  And here I am trying to pass on the same to my kid.  

I would have loved to look around their warehouse more.  I'm so in love with all of the wood. Even their scraps look like amazing material for unique projects. But, when you're 7 months pregnant the last thing people want is for you to walk around a warehouse that has nails, etc all over.  And much less with a 4 year old in tow. I remember walking around the original warehouse back in Sun Valley when P was 2. It was a fun juggle but I totally get it seems crazy to others.    

We now have our four planks! The guys loaded them up in the car! I drive Ford Flex, which I love, and love even more after this adventure.  Four 7.5 foot planks fit comfortably on one side while P rode on the other behind me.  The front seat folded down nicely so the wood laid flat from front to back. Loving this Ford Flex more than I ever thought! 

I have a bed design in mind and I've talked it over with Dave. The only thing that might change is the headboard.  I didn't plan on having one. He would like one. Easy enough.  

My only issue so far is that since I'm pregnant I can't sand the planks.  All that wood dust would not be good for me right now.  It's a lot of wood to sand.  Fortunately Dave has some friends who have industrial sanders and he's going to try get them the planks this week. In the meantime I'll be doing some drawings so he knows what I want.  He's going to be doing most of the heavy lifting. I'm looking forward to doing this project with him. I figured we made it through a bunk bed we can make it through this....I hope!

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Hanging the TV

Who knew TV wall mounts were going to be so complicated!  Dave and I did lots of research and discussing before buying our Sony Google TV in November.  We never thought hanging it was going to be the bigger issue.  We could have hired someone to do it for about $140. It seemed like a simple enough project so we tackled it ourselves. We also realized you can spend more on all the accessories and labor than on the TV itself.  

First, we needed a "tilt and swivel" mount.  They cost more than just the tilt. Because of our ceiling-height Mid Century windows we need to be able to move the TV in an many directions as possible. Glare hits it from different places at different times of the day and different times of the year.  The sun moves!  

Second, the wall mounts come in different VESA compliance standards. You have to read the instructions of your TV to know what wall mount to buy.  The VESA numbers tell you the width and height of the screw holes in your set.  I read our instructions over and over and still wasn't quite sure what we were. Or, I knew what we were but couldn't find the exact numbers for the mount that went with our TV. 

Third. It's best to anchor into the studs for this project. You don't want your expensive TV to end up on the ground during an earthquake.  Our 1950's Mid Century home has studs at 24" on center instead of the now standard 16". That meant we needed a mount with one one "arm" to anchor not two.  

So, after all these requirements and considerations we went to Fry's, Walmart, Best Buy and Costco.  The wall mounts we needed for our set were ranging from $150-$300!  So, now we're looking at the $150 for wall mount plus $140 for installation!  I'm telling you, it's the accessories that kill you with the electronics these days.  We bought two different mounts at Fry's but they were missing parts or had the wrong screws and no one had answers or was helpful. They were quite helpful in offering their installation services though.  That just made me more determined to do it myself.  

I decided to go to the web.  I love the web!  I found a site, Monoprice .  They had the wall mount I needed for $55 including shipping! I thought it was too good to be true but the mount fit and was it perfect!  It definitely took both Dave and me to mount the TV but we did it!  And I'm still doing a Snoopy dance that it cost us only $55!!! I almost considered having it installed but I figured we had made it this far. We could finish the whole thing! 

The location of the TV may seem a little odd. It blocks a window. But, it was this window that gave us the worst glare no matter where we placed the TV.  I'm still trying to hide all the damn wires. I hate wires!  But I'm also still trying to configure all the other devices like Apple TV, Blu-ray player, surround sound, etc.  I thought we were going to be able to use my surround sound system I bought 9 years ago. I love it's sleek, simple design. But now all devices connect with an HDMI cable not the Component cables or S-video Cables.  (plugs with the yellow, red, blue, green or black and red cables).  

Anyway, electronics is not my forte nor an area I'm interested in becoming an expert in. I have a theory that the economic downfall of this generation has to do with the constant changing of technology. It causes us to spend money on "being compatible" every single year. My mom still listens to her music on a tape player/boom box she bought when we were in high school. We spend more on electronics in one year than my parents spent in 10!  

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Mini Art Studio

The changes to the living room gave us more space.  Well, it gave P more space.  I did some changes/additions to her craft area. It was looking like the picture above which was nice but it wasn't a useful space.  Every piece of furniture had stuff on it. The fridge had her sewing machine and materials. The art kit had all her brushes, scissors, paints and ribbons on it.  The table always had a current project or a combination of projects that were drying or something. I felt we were always short on work space.  All the art materials were in the rolling art kit but there weren't enough drawers to separate them properly.  

So, I got a few things at Ikea and for about $120 I made the "studio" less cluttered and more user friendly.  And, I should say "user friendly" for kids is a HUGE advantage when you want them occupied without supervision.  Ie, I'd rather P do art projects than watch TV while I'm making dinner.  

I got the Trofast frame for $39.99 and 7 drawers. I wanted this particular unit instead of one with the capacity for more drawers because I needed a "drying" space at P's height.  I needed more counter space essentially for her.  It's interesting how her creative needs have changed as she's gotten older.  This same corner use to look like this.  

Often she'll finish a painting but isn't finished working so she needs a place to put the wet pieces of paper as she continues creating more.  The table is usually covered with paints, water, brushes and other materials as she works.  This wasn't the case about a year ago.  Painting meant creating one piece and we were done.  Now she evolves from project to project.

Today for example she was working on Valentine's Day cards and they needed a place to dry. They were covered in glitter and glue.  Previously, we made heart and star shaped crayons. They also needed a place to fully cool. This space was perfect! Also, with this new configuration of drawers I have a separate drawer for paper, paints, stamps, play dough, misc art materials and her sewing machine.  Nothing is on top of anything else. 

The second item I got was the Grundtal rail with 6 of the cutlery caddy cups.  Now there is a clear, clean, defined, useful space for her crayons, pencils, scissors, brushes, ribbons and smocks!  And the kicker is that having all this stuff on display makes it more useful to her.  She's colored more in the last two days than she has in months! Of course having a clear table to work on is also conducive to sitting down and getting creative!  

The peace of mind for me is divine! I love to see her space organized and useful to her. She asked me to label her drawers so she knew for sure what was in them.  This cracks me up because she can't read yet.  But she wants them labeled with words not pictures so that's a good sign I think!

As you can see our living room is predominantly her space. But we like it that way. I can cook, do laundry, read, etc and she is in eye sight doing her things. It feels nice to be integrated but separate.

I still have to finish her toy sink and oven.  That's next on the list.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Love is Spoken Here

One of my Christmas gifts for Dave was this pillow that I found here. We've had a very trying year with family.  As sad as it makes us feel to not have support from those who should be there for us, it also brings us closer together.  I don't think we came together out of coincidence.  We are better, stronger, smarter united.  It's as if what we find in each other is what we lacked from our youth.  

I got him/us this pillow to remind us that we are not just products of the families we came from. One of our big goals is that our family, our girls, will be better in so many ways. We will do better for them and give them better opportunities and support. All this begins with crazy, amazing love at home. As this pillow states "Love is Spoken Here" in our home, no if, ands or buts. No matter how tired or angry we are we speak respectfully and lovingly to one another.

When objects of design bring us good memories or remind us of higher standards I think they're beyond beautiful. 

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