Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Craft(y) Project: Mamegoma

Ok, so unless you live in the glittering metropolis of San Francisco or the scummier and more dangerous but still extremely sparkly L.A., where holographic flake stickers and imported Hello Kitty candy rain from the skies, Mamegoma merch is really freaking hard to find. 

Carl loves Mamegoma, and I thought, "it's just a blob with a cute face, I'll make him a plush for Christmas". :D

Am I going to provide you with a pattern? No! Haha. I never sew and I pretty much just did this, so I'm sure all of you super crafty blog-browsing creatives can figure it out just as easily. I want to sell them online, but I'm going to try to figure out of some kind of copyright infringement is involved first.

Aww! I fixed the uneven bit in his muzzle. The felt and black cotton fabric are recycled.

This fabric is called "ultra cuddle". I got it at Joann. It was half off the original price, and then I asked for a discount and got half off *again* because there were dirty spots where someone had stepped on it. I got two yards for $6.50. ◕ω◕

Finally, I took a picture of it on my head for scale. I love this as much as the Totoro plush I made a while back. I'll post that next time!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Weekend (12.18 - 12.19): That Old World Feel

I had a day so fabulous that it's gotten me back into posting. I've updated the deco box post, so check it out. It'll also be nice to finally post the Halloween costumes I put together - and look! Only two months late. That's nearly timely. :D 

If you're wondering, the shirt is Old Navy but was thrifted, the vest is Classiques Entier and was thrifted, I got the pants on clearance from Alloy, the belt is vintage, and the jacket was a gift from my mom. It's from Target and has a super cute layered lace tail in the back. I was trying to look like a male model, lol. No one reads this anyway, it's fine >_>

I won't lie, I think I was subconsciously inspired by/trying to channel Norman Reedus. Man he was pretty in the 90's.
Anyway, back to the story at hand. My mom decided some time ago that she should splurge and take us to get manicures - part of my Christmas present. Instead of an angry Vietnamese guy who half-asses the polish while telling me why Chinese is so much better to learn than Japanese, I got a very nice Polish woman, as did my mom. They were thorough, careful and took their time, and my conversation with one of them about my tragically soft and fragile nails (which I assume is the only known consequence of my long term vegetarianism) led to the suggestion of the use of a new type of nail polish. It's a gel polish that lasts as long as 3 weeks. It stays for so long that you can eventually see the blank spot as your nails grow from your cuticles outward, and the polish stays in place.

Let me tell you, it's amazing. I've done some extremely ill-advised things and have even felt my nails bending, which they just do, and nary a chip to report three days later. My nails are silver and my mom's are a dark maroon. Hers haven't chipped or gotten damaged yet, either, despite a couple of 8-hour stints in the after-Christmas fracas at Border's. It's an extra $35, but if you're going to do your nails the fancy way anyhow, you'd might as well make sure they last. So far I give it two perfectly painted thumbs up.

After that refreshing experience, I took my mom to lunch at Le Chalet. It's easily the most unique restaurant in Glendale, the Never-Ending Cookie Cutter Suburb. I've been going since before their grand opening and it's been delicious every time. They imported their head chef and rather a lot of the other things there as well, including much of their wine and cheese. It's a crêpe and fondue restaurant with an alcohol selection and live music (which I've never seen, but the stage looks like a cave somewhere in the Swiss Alps or possibly a piece of the Matterhorn ride), as well as a impressive French affinity for showmanship. Order something expensive and you'll see what I mean. But wait - I'm allergic to wheat, you remind yourself. Well, I'm pretty sure there are more eggs (and air) than wheat in crêpes; there's practically nothing to them. They've only bothered me once or twice, so I eat them.

I got the Bergère savory crêpe, which is filled with homemade ratatouille and melted mozzarella, and topped with a circular wedge of roasted goat cheese. The onions in the ratatouille are abundant but very large and easy for me to pick out (that allergy is probably twice as inconvenient as the wheat, fyi). It's a great vegetarian dish. My mom got the chicken dijon crêpe, which was also delicious. Both came with small green salads and we also ordered a side of sweet potato fries, and split the Grand Marnier crêpe for dessert. Originally it was drizzled with melted bittersweet chocolate in addition to the candied orange rind, whipped cream, almond slivers and small scoop of vanilla ice cream, but now you have to request it. This cost as much as lunch and a dessert anywhere else but was twice as tasty and unique. The people preparing the food there are physically incapable, I believe, of making anything that tastes bad. I hate goat cheese, and I ate the goat cheese. The food is that good. They absolutely deserve 5 stars, hearts, horseshoes, clovers and blue moons.

They have a super cheap $6 lunch special going right now, check out their website (though it may take a minute to load): 

So after all this extravagance, I had to drop my mom off at work and I stopped by the Arrowhead Savers (though it took me like 20 minutes to get there riding the frenzied last minute Christmas shopper tidal wave) and took my time browsing. I found some real treasures this time.

First, this Whitman's Salmagundi tin. I love Art Nouveau and this caught my eye immediately. I looked it up online, and I'm pretty sure the only Salmagundi (the name of this woman, painted by Mucha, and also fun to say) tin that doesn't say "Salmagundi" at the bottom is the one from 1924. I paid 99 cents for it. It's not worth much and mine is in shitty shape, but I don't care. This is treasure.

Second, I found this set of Arimi Japan bowls. The flounder and squid were so goofy, I had to bring them home. I paid $1.48 for both.

I also found these bizarre antique silver hors d'oeuvre picks. Look at the creepy little goat men on the sides! They remind me of Satan. :/ I wish I knew where these were from and could see who once used them. I paid $3.99 and after 40 minutes of polishing and washing I think it was worth it. I'm not going to sell them (Edit [2/2015]: I totally ended up selling them when I left the States.).

Last but certainly not least, I found this exquisite Boden skirt. Based on the current retail prices of their embroidered skirts, I'd guess this was originally $68 - $78. I got it half off for $3.50. It's wool but is lined, has its tags and is in like new condition. It also looks like Roma, Ro-ma-mania and makes me feel Eastern or Central European.
Speaking of Eastern and Central Europeans, I've decided to take on a Romanian minor and see how it goes. It's easy to understand, will be fun, is more obscure and therefore more marketable in terms of translating than Spanish and Japanese, and it could really bolster my GPA. I intend to do the 5-week study abroad session to Romania (and 5 other countries) next summer, so I'm pretty stoked. I have a feeling Professor Orlich, who I pretty much consider to be my mentor, will make good on her promise to get me a job at the University of Bucharest if I decide I want one. :3

Monday, December 20, 2010

I Spy Unpacking

Wondering where I've been? Well, I've been unpacking! Wondering why it's taking me so long? Well, wonder no more. It's like a little version of those I Spy books! 
1. Find Donald 2. Find the Eiffel Tower 3. Find Molly (this one's tricky!)