Shibori Experiments

shibori canvasI can’t get enough of the shibori projects I see all over Pinterest (my Shibori board) and Instagram. This last weekend, I finally tried my hand at it and wow is it more difficult than it looks. I do love the results though.

Because I want to make handbags, most of the items I dipped in indigo were canvas. I only recommend doing shibori on canvas if you pre-cut your pieces to smaller sizes. The inner folds of my canvas didn’t see any dye at all because I tried dunking pieces that were far too big. Even the thinner fabric was difficult to penetrate with the dye. Read more

Peru: A Two Week Itinerary

Machu Picchu

I’ve always wanted to go to Peru with my dad who was born and raised in Lima. That wish came true this last November and it was everything I had hoped, and more. My husband and I started out on our own and spent time in Cuzco, Ollantaytambo, and Machu Picchu. Then my dad came out to meet us and we took a tour into Manu National Park from Cuzco before finishing our trip in Lima. I spent a lot of time planning our itinerary since we wanted to fit in so many destinations. Below are the results of that planning. Keep in mind that I only plan the big picture and not every moment. Some restaurants were very memorable and I’ve included those, but I didn’t plan much in advance. Read more

DIY Colorado Beetle Kill Coffee Table

We were at Home Depot one weekend over a year ago and I saw a big stack of 1×1 beetle kill sticks from the side. I thought it looked really neat, almost like tie-dyed wood, and had the bright idea that we were going to make a coffee table out of them. Dave probably should have shot down this idea based on how much work it would entail. Luckily, he’s one patient husband and we ended up with an awesome coffee table about a year later.

Beetle Kill Coffee Table

We bought a few sticks, some nicely finished beetle kill for the frame and a piece of plywood. We started slicing the sticks using a saw we borrowed from Dave’s stepdad. Unfortunately, the saw had to go back before we could finish the enormous task of slicing a gazillion quarter inch tiles out of the sticks. Soooo the project was paused for about a year until we finally gave in and bought our own saw. Then Dave resumed the slicing!

Once we had enough wood tiles, I glued them onto the plywood with wood glue. Dave added a nice frame to the side. I painted a few coats of clear finish on top and we attached some blue hairpin legs to finish it off.

Voilà, the coffee table that took a year to build is finally complete!

Beetle Kill Coffee Table


Experiments in Watercolors

I got an itch to learn how to watercolor a couple years ago and have been dabbling here and there since then. I started by trying to recreate some patterns I found via Pinterest (mostly flowery ones by Rifle Paper Co.), but I soon needed to find my own watercolor voice. This year I began a series of watercolors based off of photos from my travels. In the process of creating these watercolors, I discovered that I’ve been lying to myself for quite some time. I always said I couldn’t draw, but it turns out I can! I think I’m getting better with every new page in my watercolor Moleskine sketchbook.

Here are a few of my favorite watercolors so far:

Read more

USS Pennsylvania

USS Pennsylvania Postcard |

USS Pennsylvania Postcard Writing|

Am home now. Very warm here. Left Oakland last Wednesday. – ?

I’m not sure who signed this card. Might be a Violet that I’ve seen sign other postcards. Something about this one seems special. It has a metallic sheen to it and the scanned image doesn’t do it justice. I’m not sure if the USS Pennsylvania holds any significance, but perhaps we’ll find out later in other correspondence. I did manage to find some interesting facts about the ship though. This was the first ship to have an airplane land on it and was renamed Pittsburgh so that a battle ship in the Atlantic fleet could be named Pennsylvania. This caused a brief confusion in my initial search because this postcard is from 1910 and the more famous USS Pennsylvania wasn’t launched until 1915.


Panama Canal Sept. 29, 1913

IMG_2975I inherited a large cedar chest filled with old photographs, letters, and postcards from my Grandmother last winter. As we went through her belongings it occurred to me that we needed to digitize the items in the chest for all of us to be able to look at since we are spread out across a few different states. As I started flipping through the old photographs and letters, it became clear that they were too neat to keep to ourselves, so I’m sharing my finds here. I’m not very familiar with the subjects, but as I go through everything I hope to learn more about this part of my family tree along with an idea of what life used to be like in the early 1900s.

For instance, take this postcard. It’s a picture of my great grandfather, Sam, who worked on the building of the Panama Canal. I had heard that one of my relatives had had a hand in the building of the canal and that the money he earned helped the family to get through the Great Depression better than most folks. Now I’ve found the photographic evidence and I was surprised that he had been able to turn a photograph of himself into a postcard wayyy back in 1913. I had thought that this was a relatively new concept that came with our smart phones and apps. Apparently people were doing this over a hundred years ago as well! Read more

A Happy Accident: Jeyuk 제육볶음


Time to wipe the cobwebs off my blog and start writing again. It’s been a while. How one maintains a travel blog after years of travel comes to a halt has floated in and out of my mind lately, but I’m not going to dwell on it too much and just see where things go. 

Last weekend we were supposed to have a potluck dinner with our friends and I was going to make “Korean Pork Bulgogi Baozi” from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Baozi or bao is more of a Chinese dim sum dish and I was intrigued by the title of the recipe. Bulgogi in my experience is usually a beef dish served over rice. I didn’t realize until I started cooking that I was most definitely not making bulgogi, but jeyuk -something I haven’t eaten since living in Seoul. Read more