Welcome Home, Ida.

I’d like to introduce the latest addition to our family:

(Getting the typical inspection from Moxie…)

Her birth name is PAC-1 (sounds like a Droid, doesn’t it?). Actually, it was just Herman Miller’s abbreviation of Pivot Armchair with Cast aluminum (or Contract) base and 1-piece upholstery.

But I’ve decided to call her Ida… as in Ms. Ida Blankenship. Let’s pause here for a moment. If you do not know who Ms. Blankenship is, please do not Google her. Rather, I implore you to go and watch Mad Men (starting with season one — no skipping!!!). Like, now. I mean it.

For those of you still with me, based on a little research at the Eames Office, my guess is she’s from the early 70s. So she’s a little rough around the edges, but she’s still got plenty of spunk.

This is a bunch of iPhone shots I took of Moxie and Moo trying her out (okay, so I pretty much forced them to sit on the chair in attempts to get cute pictures… Doesn’t everyone do that???). Well, Moxie wasn’t really feeling it. But Moo has really taken to her. Unfortunately, for him, I’m pretty sure Ms. Ida will be taking her rightful station at the desk. I just hope she can catch on to all that advanced technology…


Pimp Their Crib + Baby Grass

Just a quick post to share one of my recent projects.

Our friends, Curtis and Tiffany, who will be having a baby soon (and very soon), asked me to paint the walls of their nursery-to-be with a tall grass motif based on their crib/curtain set.

This is what we started with:

I transferred the design onto the walls with the help of an overhead projector. Tim came to help paint one day. We mixed up a few greens for some variety.

I took this picture with my phone, so I’d have proof that I’d actually done it.

After I finished the walls, the parents-to-be installed new bamboo flooring, shades (nice choice with the brown!), an area rug, pendant light, and a comfy glider/recliner. Nice job, guys!

I couldn’t resist including a picture of the family’s cat, Pepper.

Do not be fooled by her seemingly peaceful appearance. I put myself in harm’s way to get this shot. She is the queen of her castle, and ain’t nobody messin’ with that! Good luck, baby S.!


In a semi-related note, our sod out back seems to be establishing itself. Yay! Plus, I over seeded the area with some old grass seed we had in the shed, and some of it has been popping up as well. So, it seems we also have some of our own baby grass!

The Cat Came Back

This is the story of how a self-described “not-a-cat person” started to feel more compassionate towards a cat…to the point of bringing him into her home. What could possibly make someone who referred to the feline species as the “spawns of Satan” have such a change of heart?

Our neighborhood has it’s fair share of stray cats, and they make their grand reappearance every spring (where are they all winter, I wonder?). Whenever I saw one, I’d scare it off. Then, a little over a year ago, a black and white cat started hanging out between our house and our neighbor’s house. Our neighbors (who already had an indoor cat) began feeding him, so he stuck around. Moo, as I started to call him, was there most of the day, and would sleep in their planter at night. On the rare occasion that he didn’t return for the evening, I’d get a bit worried.

There were a couple of strays that would come through to bully Moo. And on the afternoon of April 28, 2009 (exactly a year ago) it came to a head. I saw Moo walk around to the other side of our neighbor’s house, a minute later heard a screech in the alley, and then saw Moo come back around with a bleeding tail. One of those cat bullies had attacked him! The poor guy sat there licking his wound for a while, but when I took out my camera, he posed for a few pictures for me. Uh, oh… I was starting to soften up…

See the blood on his right cheek he got from licking his wound???

But what really pushed me over the line, was his reaction (or lack thereof) to Moxie. Every other stray we had previously encountered on walks would either run away or hiss at the sight of her. Moo, on the other hand, just sat there. He would let Moxie get right up in his face without a swat or a sound. I would have never considered bringing him in if I didn’t think he and Moxie would get along.

Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?

I thought it would be a shame to allow a cat with such a seemingly calm temperament to remain on the streets to get “ruined”…or worse. So we got a trap from the vet (they required it, since Moo was considered feral), made an appointment to bring him in, and hoped he would be around that morning so we could lure him into it.

Poor guy didn’t know what was going on.

But after all that trauma, it didn’t take long for him to make himself at home.

And the rest, as they say, is history…


Last week I made cupcakes for, what I think was, the third time in my adult life. Previously, I’d made them for Valentine’s day and for a friend’s birthday (lemon pound cake/buttercream icing and red velvet, respectively). This time, I made chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, for no reason in particular.

Actually, I’d been eager to make cupcakes since before the holidays, when I bought a pastry bag and some decorating tips. This time, I found my recipes for cake and icing from the always-dependable, Martha Stewart (FYI: I got 18 cakes using 1/4 cup of batter each, and doubled the icing recipe). The recipes were simple, and the results were especially tasty (what more could you ask for?). Folks, my eyebrows actually raised with surprise upon my first bite into a finished cake! Seriously, they were that good.

This was my first attempt at piping icing. Even though I used the largest decorating tip available at Michael’s (4B), the icing didn’t come out quite as “big” as I wanted it to. Apparently, I need to use an even larger tip (1M) to get the look I’m going for. It’s okay, though. Buttercream is a rich icing, and may be a bit overwhelming in larger amounts.

And I’ll need to get a new one anyway. We went out that evening, and upon our return, found my pastry bag and tip on the living room rug. While we were gone, our cat, Moo, had fished them out of the sink, and then our dog, Moxie used the tip for a chew toy. Needless to say, she rendered it useless. Sigh. Those two are a tag-team of destruction. What are we going to do with them?