Category Archives: Make

The Library Store featured in Los Angeles Magazine!

Just found out that Christine’s store, aka The Library Store, is going to be featured in February’s “Hidden L.A.” issue of Los Angeles Magazine as one of their best “below-the-rader boutiques”.  Hooray!

Cooler still is the fact that the magazine only chose six stores to feature in the retail section of the issue. That’s right, amigos…of the hundreds, if not thousands, of super cool retail haunts in the Los Angeles metro area, The Library Store is one of the top six picks. How cool is that?

Oh yeah, and on top of all that, The Library Store was also voted Best Bookstore last year by the Los Angeles Downtown News. And, as anyone who has shopped there before can tell you, unusual books are only one of the many, amazingly-eclectic gifts on sale at The Library Store.

I dunno, I might be a little biased here, but, I don’t remember rad things like this happening before Christine took over the buying. So, rock on, sweetie. You and your super cool staff deserve every honor you receive!

For those of you who haven’t checked out the awesomeness for yourself, The Library Store is located in the heart of the historic Richard J. Riordan Central Library at 630 West Fifth Street in downtown Los Angeles.

And if you can’t make it there in person, check out the scads of groovy gifts available on their website here. Long live The Library Store!

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The WordPress/Make.See.Eat.Do. Year in Review (2010)

Happy 2011, everyone! With all the “year in review” wrap ups going on right now, I thought I’d throw my hat into the ring with this super cool Blog Health email I got from WordPress today.

Wow…who knew that people cared that much about Denny’s and the freaking KFC Buffet? Thanks for sharing, WordPress. You guys rock! So, without further ado, I give you our blog’s  first official Year in Review. Enjoy!

__________________________________________________________________

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how your blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads: Wow!

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

About 3 million people visit the Taj Mahal every year. This blog was viewed about 53,000 times in 2010. If it were the Taj Mahal, it would take about 6 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 70 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 494 posts. There were 228 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 39mb. That’s about 4 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was February 9th with 432 views. The most popular post that day was Free Grand Slam Day @ Denny’s!.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were designdazzle.blogspot.com, nurserymuralsandmore.com, en.wordpress.com, flickr.com, and search.aol.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the orphanage, kfc buffet, bettie page, baby nursery, and marla singer.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Free Grand Slam Day @ Denny’s! February 2009

2

Greta’s baby nursery featured on Unique-baby-gear.com March 2009
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3

“The Orphanage” October 2007
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4

The KFC Buffet August 2007
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5

Bettie Page (1923-2008) December 2008
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Some of your most popular posts were written before 2010. Your writing has staying power! Consider writing about those topics again.

See you in 2011!

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Battle of the L.A. Craft Fairs!

Wow, talk about an embarrassment of hipster-holiday-shopping riches! This weekend, December 11th & 12th, Los Angeles will be home to not one, but two of our favorite killer craft shows. That’s right, amigos, the Renegade Craft Fair is returning to duke it out with her older, more-established sister show, Unique L.A.…on the exact same dates no less! Crazy, huh?

If we didn’t have such a busy weekend planned, we’d probably try and hit both shows, but the fact is, we do have a busy-ass weekend planned, so, it’s looking like the Renegade Craft Fair might win out this year.

Sorry, Unique L.A., we still love you and all, but the other show has a lot of the same kind of stuff, and best of all, admittance to the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Sale is totally, 100% FREE. So, guess which price we like better?

Check out the flyers for more information on both shows. And whichever artsy L.A. gift show you chose this weekend…happy shopping!

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Renegade Craft Fair: Los Angeles

We might not have made it to Comic Con this weekend, but we did spend the afternoon hanging with some insanely-hip DIY geeks at the second annual Renegade Craft Fair: Los Angeles, so, I’m not complaining.

A twisted sister of sorts to the home-grown Unique L.A. independent design show staged twice yearly at the California Market Center, the Renegade Craft Fair is being held this weekend, June 24th and 25th at the Los Angeles State Historic Park (aka “the cornfield”) in downtown L.A..

Unlike Unique L.A., which highlights mostly local artists, the Renegade Craft Fair is open to hip, crafty vendors from all across the country. So, while you do get a little of bleed-over — we saw a lot of the same stuff we saw at Unique L.A. this past April — the Renegade Craft Fair definitely had a grittier edge.

It might have been the open air venue (which was gorgeous!) or the free-flowing concert-in-the-park feel (several of the vendors we browsed were shirtless and maybe a little high too boot!) but the stuff on display was all very cool, so, though we got a bit dusty on the drive in and out (again, just like an all-day concert) the groovy, laid back feel of the event made everything A-OK.

So, if you’re looking for some fun, outdoorsy shopping, or even just browsing — seriously, there was some truly stunning one-of-a-kind art on display here —  slap on some sunscreen and head on down to the Renegade Craft Fair: Los Angeles.

Oh, and parking and admission is totally FREE, gotta love that! For more information on the event please click here.

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“Not Forgotten” nominated for 2010 Saturn Award

Speaking of Sci-Fi…a few weeks back I got the super cool news that “Not Forgotten” had been nominated by the Academy of Science Fiction Fantasy & Horror for a 2010 Saturn Award for Best DVD Release. Yay! I didn’t blog about it then, because I wanted to make sure I got invited to the show first…and guess what? I did! So, whoo-hoo…let the celebrating commence!

If, like most non-hard-core sci-fi geeks, you have no idea what the Saturn Awards are, please allow me to fill you in. The Saturn Awards have been given out to the best of the best sci-fi, fantasy and horror films, TV shows, plays and home video for the past 36 years, and unlike the Oscars who traditionally shun such genres, these guys are true fans of the first order.

This is the organization that in the past has given Best Film Awards to “The Empire Strikes Back”, “Aliens”, “Poltergeist”, “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” and “Children of Men”…smart, bold genre movies that more staid institutions completely shut out. I used to read about these rocking, underground award gatherings in Starlog and Fangoria magazines when I was a geeky kid…so, to have something I co-wrote and associate produced be nominated at all, in any category is kind of mind-blowing.

And the fact that I will actually be attending the show tonight, rubbing elbows with the creators and cast of “Lost”, “Avatar”, “Star Trek”, “Harry Potter” and the like…well, shit…I might just explode!

However, in the highly-unlikely event that I actually do make it through the show tonight intact, I promise to post some pics soon, so, stay tuned. To see a list of all this year’s Saturn Award nominees, click here.

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“Not Forgotten” on Showtime

Just found out that “Not Forgotten” had it’s pay-cable debut last night on Showtime. Yay! We don’t have Showtime, but, for those who do, “Not Forgotten” plays several times over the next couple of weeks on the networks of Showtime and will be available at Showtime On Demand through the end of the month.

Finally, those of you who missed “Not Forgotten” on the big screen and on DVD and Blu-Ray will have one more chance to see my movie. Whew! 🙂 Oh yeah, and if you really don’t know anyone with Showtime, you could always watch it on NetFlix On Demand, like my brother-in-law did today. Thanks, Rob!

To see the complete schedule of “NF” air dates on Showtime, click here. And if I could just say one last super nerdy thing before I sign off…how cool is it that my movie was the lead-in tonight for groovy, award-magnet shows like “Nurse Jackie” and “United States of Tara”? Awesome!!

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Christine’s award-winning Gingerbread House Bundt Cake

OK, we have been waiting to blog about Christine’s award-winning bundt cake for a year. Literally! See, by the time we finished making it for Christine’s work Christmas party, it was already too late in the season to blog about it, so, we skipped it. Well, not this year!

Actually, there isn’t much to this thing…all you need is a Nordic Ware Bundt Pan, Gingerbread cake mix and all kinds of crazy candy for the outside. We bought our Bundt pan the year before at an after-Christmas sale at Sur La Table, and from what I can gather, our exact style is no longer available on most sites. But I did find a similar pan at Wal-Mart that would work just as well.

For the cake itself, we used Trader Joe’s Deep Dark Gingerbread Cake and Baking Mix, which is freaking delicious on its own, but even better in tiny Christmas house form. Yum!

As you can see in the second picture above, the cake comes out of the over kind of rounded on the bottom, so, we cut that part off and promptly ate it. Then, with the bottom of our Gingerbread house flattened, we placed it in the center back of our cake plate (gotta leave room for a big, snowy front yard, yo!) and got down to decorating the outside of our house.

Aside from the little jelly candies we used in the windows — which we found in the candy aisle at our local CVS — we stuck to pretty traditional candy decor: M&M’s, Red Vines, candy canes, and marshmallows.

The most expensive “building materials” we used were probably the Williams-Sonoma chocolate covered peppermint sticks (aka North Poles) we used for the fence. They weren’t cheap, but we only needed a few of them and since we had them in the house already, we used them.

The snowy ground cover in the yard was powered sugar mixed with water and, lemme tell ya, that stuff was hard to work with! You have to wait for it to kinda half-dry before anything will stick to it and if you wait too long, it gets too hard and you’re screwed. Trust me, this is where having two people working on the house came in very handy!

After plopping down a marshmallow snow woman in the front yard, we dusted the entire house with more powdered sugar and hurried off to the party where, lo-and-behold, we actually won a prize! Hooray!

But even cooler than the shiny award certificate or the $20 Target gift card that went with it, was the fact that the people at the party positively devoured our Gingerbread house. I’m not kidding, man. I saw a dude scraping the sugar snow off the plate…crazy!

I’m not saying everything we used wasn’t edible, because it totally was, but, wow, we never thought anyone would actually eat the whole thing. Yikes…guess the pickings on the buffet table were slim.

Anyway, if you’re looking for a quick, easy-to-make Gingerbread house this holiday season, Nordic Ware has the pan for you. Happy Baking, amigos!

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