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Unmentionables

For anyone looking for new (affordable) underwear, check these out. I purchased them at Target last fall, wrote a few sentances, but then never posted them. Maybe I thought it was too risqué to write about panties? Anyway, it was post now or delete. So I’m posting. Not only are these unmentionables comfortable, but they also come in a range of contemporary colors (unlike the boring 6-packs of faded cotton hanes and dated fruit-of-the-loom prints). Best of all, they start out and wash up so small that you can delude yourself into thinking that your bum might actually be that small. Okay, maybe not. But at least it’s less depressing than pulling out old back-of-the-drawer need-to-do-laundry underwear.


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Japanese Variety

I seem to be stuck in a procrastination phase. I was hoping to be more productive this weekend, but I don’t think I was. Actually, I can’t even remember how I spent it all. Some of it was watching a few netflixed Alias episodes (great eye candy, although the mini anxiety attacks from all the suspense and drama are rough), surfed the net, a little gardening, attended a baby shower and put together some swap packages. I did get a little work done, too, so that’s good.

……….

Not far from my house is a Japanese supermarket called Uwajimaya. It’s a great place for exotic foods and asian gifts like ceramics, specialty papers, and traditional art supplies. We had an asian theme to our wedding (red tablecloths, paper lanterns, chopsticks, etc) and most of our food was ordered from here. I picked up the packages of candy shown above this weekend for some swaps (as well as some Haribo candy for myself). The whole side of an aisle is devoted to sweets, and of course I want to try them all.

Next door to the supermarket there is a Tokyo-based bookstore called Kinokuniya. Besides their unique office supplies and selection of kawaii, I love to browse the imported craft books. Their fine aesthetic and clean photographic style really appeals to me. Sometimes they’re written in English, too. My budget has pretty much limited me to only looking, but someday I’d love to bring a few home with me. For now I just try and soak up the inspiration while I’m there.


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The perfect craft table

I thought about mentioning my new Norden gateleg table from IKEA in the previous post, but since it is not in actually stored in the office I thought I’d add it separately. David got fed up with not eating at the dinner table because of all my craft and sewing supplies spread out all over, so for Christmas he bought me this.

Although IKEA categorizes this as a dining table, I think it works far better as a utility/craft table. It’s not much of a looker, but as you can see from the image above, there are drop leaves on both sides, which each lift individually. There are also 3 drawers on each side, perfect for storing notions, balls of yarn and knitting needles, and other items that need a home for themselves.

Our 10′ x 10′ spare room is used as the “TV” room, and David uses that closet as his wardrobe (he’s generously allowed me full reign over our bedroom closet. All I can say is that decent closet space was not a priority in the late 1940’s). We’ve squeezed in a futon, a TV stand and two bookshelves into that room, which just leaves the two windows, door and closet accessible. So you can imagine my skepticism when David said we’d find a table to fit.

The great thing about the Norden table is that it folds down to be a mere 10.5″ (x 31.5″). No bigger than a small bookshelf (which we had to take out). When it is not in use it fits my sewing machine perfectly on top with plenty of room to spare. When I want to sew I pull out just one side, and when I want to spread out large sections of fabric or other projects I can extend both sides for a whopping 5 feet (and no, the gateleg does not seem to get in my way with the sewing pedal)


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My New Favorite Mug and Other Dinnerware Confessions

cherry blossom cup

David and I were getting groceries at New Seasons where I saw the cutest mug. I was this close to putting it in our shopping basket, but I knew that the last thing we needed was more dinnerware. You see, back when I was in college I worked at Pottery Barn in the “Table Top” section. I barely had two pennies to rub together back then, but for some reason I couldn’t pass up certain sale items, especially since I got a 20% discount on top of the sale price (the regular employee discount was 40%).

So now we have all kinds of dinnerware and accessories for entertaining – multiple full sets of “Suppertime” and “Bianca” dinnerware, specialty dessert and cocktail plates (with different themes like vintage hula girls, french posters, and celebrate the century), 3 different colors of sets-of-three nested serving bowls, fondue and sushi plates (from Williams Sonoma, where employees also got a discount), and multiple patterns of complete pasta bowl sets (5 that I can think of off-hand). It’s insane how much we have, and that we still have items we’ve never even used. I haven’t even begun to describe our specialty glass collection, including old fashioned fountain sundae glasses and a gorgeous amber iridescent decanter for some liquor that I can’t remember and don’t drink because of an allergy. Seriously. It’s that scary.

The thing is, I am not that person anymore. I never shop at Pottery Barn or even like that kind of style anymore. Now I like things that are more modern, or fun and ‘artsy’, or even clever. I like things to have a little more personality, or maybe a handmade element. Living in Portland, there is no lack of small, independent boutiques, although I would just as soon shop at Crate & Barrel, where at least I can find nice things I might be able to afford.

My husband has asked me so many times to get rid of some of that stuff, but I just can’t bring myself to do. I’ve tried. Truly. But I just can’t do it. What if I need that adorable Thanksgiving ceramic butter dish with the little turkey handle on the lid (that has never been used and is still in its original box)? Or maybe that set of green unbreakable plates for the next time we decide to go on a picnic or have kids over (which has never happened, because our young nephew lives in Austin and none of our friends have kids… yet.) See? There is just no reasoning with myself. Until I can make a little space in our pantry cupboard, I will not buy that cute mug. Or that adorable matching bowl with the little flowers on the inside rim. Or any other piece of dinnerware.

(Sigh) Serves myself right, I suppose.


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Drawing on other people's creativity

“Treehouses” limited edition cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)

I was thinking today that I should feature other people’s designs more often, especially the ones that really strike me as particularly beautiful, creative, cool or otherwise inspiring. Since I can’t afford to buy anything right now (see this post if you’re wondering why), I thought it would be like “window shopping” using my monitor… or maybe it would be more like curating my own imagined shop? Plus, I’m really hoping to motivate myself to begin at least one of the projects that have been sitting in the back of my mind.

One of my very recent favorite finds is the letterpressed card shown above, a collaboration between Lara Cameron, an Australian designer, and Lynn Russel of Satsuma Press, based right here in Portland. There are a set of three designs: treehouses (above), japanese tree, and birch. According to Lara’s Etsy shop, each card is letterpress printed with a vandercook sp-15 on crane’s 100% cotton lettra paper with hand mixed inks. However, if you live in the US you’d save on postage by purchasing from Lynn’s shop. I love the single use of color, the mixture of thin lines and solid shapes, and especially the little details.

“Japanese Tree” limited edition letterpressed cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)

“Birch” limited edition letterpressed cards (photo and design from Kirin & Co)
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