More Ai-kea hacks

The bones of my art studio are together, but I'm still working on the... guts. Meaning, trying to organize everything so they are all in place. I created another work space on the side using the gray Billy bookcase.

I took it apart, placing one of the sides on top of an Ikea Lack floating shelf that I already had. 

Then I attached the other side to make a larger table. I used some 2x4's to hold it together. But this was not stable at all. I went to the tool shed and found a 4x4. 

But too short! So I scrounged around, and I found this. I think I had bought it for my garden fence, but never used it

Hello! Happy dance when it fit perfectly under the table! (Don't you love how I just build things on the fly?)

I will admit, it's still not incredibly stable. Highly advise happy dances not be done ON the table.

I tried to use some wall brackets, but even with wall anchors, it pulled out some of the drywall. Oops.

I concocted some open drawers using the shelf components, hanging them with some eye screws, as well as screwing them into the 2 x 4's

Perfect for all my sketchbooks, which get half used and then I lose them in a closed drawer. 

Finally, I repurposed the brown Ikea shelf and put wheels on them. This way I can pull it out and access my Alex drawers. I also have this idea of rolling it out and using it for food photography, since this room has great light. 

Can you see how I repurposed all my floating shelves in the new space?

Now it's time to organize everything in its place, put on some labels, hang some drapes, painting touch-ups, oh and a few more hacks. This will take me... well, I bet you this will be an endless project.


365 + 1, Week eight, never too late!

... to learn something new. This week, I learned (rather realized via autocorrect) that it's brussels sprouts, not brusssel sprouts. And yes, named after Brussels. (Love Wikipedia!)

Aaaanyhew, I can't believe two months have gone by. It's almost March!

I made some yummy meals at home, including some kabocha squash gnocchi. And brussels sprouts (with bacon, as I don't think there is any other way. They should just make some hybrid sprout that already has bacon in it.) I realize if I plan the week's meal ahead of time, I do better at making them.

Food Week Eight

Weather here has been quite nice, and while I still haven't gotten the real bike out, I did do some swimming and a longer run. Legs are still sore from that one. Goal: real bike next week!

Activity Week Eight


More Instagram fun

Ever since I discovered Instagram, I've been using it. A lot. I use it for my 366 projects. I use it when I don't feel like bringing around my camera. I was out and about in SF yesterday, enjoying the beautiful day and the lovely surroundings.


A free Friday

A woman saw me taking this photo and asked me if the iPhone was any good at taking these shots (it was a shadowy and narrow stairway). She was surprised I was using a 3G, as she had the same one, and said her photos never turned out. Photo editing apps I told her, amazing what they can do!

Looking for inspiration

I think I will paint a canvas using this as inspiration.

Enjoying a day off

Banker and Baker bakery. Had their cream cheese muffin, yum!

Sparkles from above

I took this one a few weeks ago at a concert at the Fillmore. I love that place. And the lights. It looks better on the iPhone since it's blurry, but I love the lines. Like a spider web.



Ok, so I found another photography project. Aack. That would be Project Numero Cuatro. (#1 and 2 here, #3 here). But they are so much fun!

Today, it's Kat's Exploring with a Camera series. Luckily, this one is just monthly. As this is my first one, and the linkup is expiring, I decided to look at my archives. But perhaps for the next one, with some more time to go out with my camera, I'll be able to post some more recent images.

This month's topic was Silhouettes. As I was looking through my archives, I was surprised at how many silhouette images I had. A couple of other interesting things I noted:

Instagram fun

1) I took most of these photos with my Ai-phone.

A year ago today


A new year...

2) Sunsets play heavily in these shots.

Treasure Island

TI Music Fest

3) For most of these photos, when I took them, I wasn't consciously thinking, "Oh, look at that lovely silhouette!" I remember being mesmerized by the colors rather than the shapes. However, subconsciously, I think I was appreciating the silhouettes. All my sunset photos have some object that gets highlighted and it's what I appreciate now when I look at them again. I think that's why I've always loved watching sunsets. Not just for the color, but for the shapes they bring out.

TI Music

This one above is my favorite. So many different shapes, along with the fun sentiment behind the ferris wheel, and the city I love in the background.


This is one I took with my Nikon. I'm like Kat, in that I love the shapes of trees against the sky. 

Looking forward to more exploration. I know I've always loved photography, but these little projects tell me why.


Brunch with friends

My friend has the most lovely house in Oakland. It's old and seems like just the place to hold lots of memories. Every time I go to her and her husband's house, I find something new that makes me smile. There is also so much natural light and I love taking photos here.

While their kitchen could use some updating (which is next on their project list), it has some great light and a cute vintage stove. I love this painting hanging there as well.

A cup of coffee

Brunch at her place is always such a treat. I love her serving plates and the food is always delicious!

   Brunch with friends

After stuffing ourselves, we take a stroll through the neighborhood. Always such a pleasant walk, especially now with lots of signs of Spring.





I've already been to their house for brunch the last two Sundays, and another one is planned the first Saturday in March. Can't wait!

In love with the light
In love with the light

(I've linked this post to focus52, which is a great project I just found that prompts you weekly with a theme. I'm not sure I'll be able to do every week, as I already have two 366 projects! But it just so happened that my photos from the weekend fit the theme, so I get to join in on the fun!)



Cupcake Contests

When I was in Napa last weekend, I dined at Morimoto's, which was fantastic! I especially remember the dessert, kabocha squash cake. I put a note amongst the 5 million other ones in my head to try to make this at home.

Then I came across an announcement this past Friday for a cupcake contest at Omnivore Books. I've wanted to visit Omnivore Books for a while. And I've been dabbling in a few cooking contests. Ok, just one, but I've been wanting to do more.

Sooooo, I thought I'd kill like ten birds in one. Make a kabocha squash cupcake. Compete in a cooking contest. Visit Omnivore Books. Well, that's three. And do it all in a few hours.

Saturday morning, I headed over to the farmer's market and got some squash. The plan, freshly pureed squash, replacing the pumpkin in one of my favorite cupcake recipes. (Actually, it's the only one I've made in the last six months.) The kitchen was a mess, as I was experimenting with some frosting ideas along with trying to roast the squash and get it pureed.

I decided on a marscapone frosting. But unfortunately, it came out lumpy, which I believe is due to the fact that the ingredients were not at room temperature. With no butter left and only 20 minutes left before I had to leave, I just used it since it still tasted good. I knew I wasn't going to win any contests, but what the heck was I going to do with 70 mini cupcakes?

I got to Omnivore Books just as the contest was about to start. The place was packed! And not just with people, but with cupcakes! Holy cow, I was floored!

I was contestant #31. I think there were 33 total. And about 100 people jammed into a teeny space, which by the way, was adorable!

I think the white one with the purply frosting won. It was quite a pretty cake, but too lemony for me. The tally was released...

Woo hoo, I got some votes!

So where's my cupcake you ask? Well, after all was said and done, I never got to taking a good shot of mine. But I have a few extras left over, so when the light is good, I'll take a few and post the recipe.

After the contest, I stuck around and perused the shelves.

I bought a book on chickens. I'm getting chickens one of these days.
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