Monday, December 31, 2007

Lovely surprises upon our return from vacation...

We got back late last night from Scottsdale where we were visiting Brian's parents. The weather was disappointing (never really got above 55 degrees) but the company was great. I especially loved reconnecting with Brian's grandma, and the lovely Lodis pets, Zoey and Weber.

Weber, the 13-year old cat, only has two teeth:

And Zoey, in her old age, doesn't move around all that much:

When we returned, my mom, who had been staying at our house and watching our cats, had left me this note, which fully encapsulates my mom -- a go-getter, never-sits-down person (even though her energy is severely compromised) who shows her love through amazing acts of service.

"Welcome Home!
Call me with any questions - you might want to check your vacuum bag. I vacuumed quite a bit so it might be full. Vacuumed the sofa, rug (twice), all main floors except office - got started down the stairs (first 5 or so). The basement could use it for sure. I ran the crystal votive holder through the dishwasher so it's nice and clean. I mopped the main floors (dining room, living room, kitchen). I made you a pot of soup -- potato corn chowder. I brought you some cabinet hardware catalogs to look through. Washed the sofa pillow covers and cozy blanket - wasn't sure when it was last done. I tried to fix the silverware drawer front - it needs screws for the handle to be countersunk - that is part of the problem. It also needs new screws. Your drapery panels are at Sparkle Cleaners in downtown Ballard."

Brian's comment? "We really hit the jackpot with our collective sets of parents." So, so true.

Not only did she make a homemade potato corn chowder which was still warm on our stove, but she assembled our table -- literally put it together -- and set it all up so we could have a dinner when we got home:

Aaaaaahhh SHE IS SO CUTE!

She also bought us this plant (apparently $5.98 at Home Depot!) and potted it in the cute pot that Joan and Brian got us for our wedding:

In addition, perhaps the best news of all. While we were gone, our next door neighbor decided to give us an overt new neighbor housewarming gift and cut down this huge tree in his yard, so we now have a view of the ocean from our bedroom and top deck!!!! It kind of feels like somebody just handed us $20,000 (edit: my dad says $50,000!). It's really really unreal and something that I never ever expected. I am just astounded that we now have a water view; I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I guess schmoozing at a neighborhood holiday party (in the midst of unpacking) really paid off!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


One of the last weeks of 2007 has also been one of the busiest. We have been moving, and cleaning, and moving some more. We are finally almost out of our old apartment - about one more load to go.

After a full day of moving and cleaning at our old place, Brian really wanted to have an accomplishment on our new one, so he picked up the paint we had decided upon and painted our entire living room! The color doesn't show up that well at night but it's a very soft blue with a hint of green and a hint of gray. I think it provides a nice backdrop for our couch and furniture. Now all I can think about is painting the brass fireplace doors! Next week...

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My friends Jenelle and Stacy opened a boutique called Mapel in Leavenworth earlier this year. They recently launched their website,, and I hope you all check it out! They picked up a few of my jewelry pieces and it was kind of fun to see them on their website. And next time you are in Leavenworth for some bratwurst and stein, look up their brick & mortar location!

Monday, December 17, 2007

We have moved!

We are all moved in! There's boxes everywhere, but the main furniture is in place, cable is hooked up, and things are starting to come together. I am astounded at how much SPACE we finally have!

Thank you a million times over to Katie, Joan, Chrissy & Danny (<--who worked especially hard!) for helping us move in on Saturday. As my mom said, "You know you have good friends when they help you MOVE."

A few things of note: Brian purchased our very first laundry detergent last night. It felt really momentous. It was super fun to hear the quiet hum of a dishwasher last night. ALSO, I did our first load of laundry today -- in our house. It was so fun. I hope I never forget the feeling of these upgrades. I don't want to get used to these modern conveniences.

I am so sorry to all my friends - I know I've been tragically unresponsive lately. Moving plus jewelry shows plus the holidays plus work equals a very very busy me.

Photos later of the progression of our new Ballard home!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Why this works

This morning I had a little Photoshop project for work so I ventured on to Brian's computer, only to have one of those moments where you are totally struck with why you love someone.

I found a file on his desktop entitled "house decor ideas," which, on its own, is probably the most adorable thing EVER. But then inside it, I found this photo, titled "wall color, wood, materials".

I am not even sure how I will concentrate the rest of the day. He is SO cute, and he has such great taste.

My other recent moment like this was this past weekend, when I was gmail chatting with Lindsay about a few new Laura Ashley prints, found on her new blog obsession, The Peak of Chic.

She said that these prints would look good in the style of our new home (rather traditional), and I agreed but replied, "Brian would die first." But then I remembered that I should give him a chance. He looked at the prints on my computer screen and to my surprise, pointed out a few of them that he liked. Then, one of the more adorable things ever came out of his mouth:

"Yeah, I've always wanted to do a small bathroom in an ornate print."

I just love that my husband said "small bathroom" and "print" in the same sentence. It's like my secret dream. (Oh, he is going to just kill me when he reads this post.) But see guys? This is why it works!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What to do, what to do

Lately I’ve been experiencing a whole new obsession with jewelry making.

My metal work class is coming to a close, and although I’ve spent nearly 30 hours in the studio, I don’t really feel like I’ve learned anything. It was such a whirlwind of a class – so much to learn. Especially because I’ve never been a particularly handy person. I’ve never really used a tool. Yes, I said, A tool. I mean, sure I’ve pounded a nail into a wall with a hammer but that’s literally about the extent of it. Last week at class, it took me about 7 minutes just to figure out how to put the drill bit in the flex shaft thing. I mean, the whole thing is entirely confusing.

Last week I used the disc cutter for the first time. I made these little lovelies. (I’m really into all things wood, so I hammered the discs to make a bark-like texture.)

Anyway, one of the things that I’m struggling with as a result of this new hobby, is that I don’t know what to do with all the energy I have for it. It’s literally borderline insane how much I think about it. And really have nowhere to direct my new interest! I say that because I only have three hours in the studio per week, two of which are usually spent listening to and watching my instructor. I want to apply these techniques that she teaches us but the one hour left in each class doesn’t suffice. So that’s why I feel like I’ve learned almost nothing, and also why I am really feeling frustrated.

It’s also bringing up all these unexpected feelings like – why didn’t I pursue something more artistically inclined way back when? I took a ton of art classes when I was little, both in school and on my own time. I loved to paint and draw, and had so much fun in my pottery class. And then as soon as I was privy to the concept of money and jobs and how those two things are related, I started on this dreadfully boring path of political science. God knows why. I mean seriously, there’s almost nothing that I’m LESS interested in today than politics. That’s probably a bit of an overstatement. But come on, really. I can’t believe I used to think that I’d work in politics! Still to this day, I absolutely despise The Pant Suit…what was I thinking?

So I guess I’m open to all suggestions (a.k.a. blog therapy) on what to do here. I kind of wish more than ever that I was a student studying jewelry making under some famous designer. If I lower my expectations just a bit, I wish I had more studio time, and/or maybe a home studio where I could actually solder and make things on my own schedule. Or one of those jobs where you have to use your hands all day. I’m not even being terribly overambitious about this; the other day I drove by a metal fabrication business in Eastlake. I kind of wish I worked there. I don’t even know what they do exactly, but I wish I got to cut and forge metals all day.

Oh dear, I feel this is terribly unrealistic, as I quickly approach 30 and have an impending mortgage payment.

Brian would probably ask me if this was just a phase. I am, after all, a person of phases. But if I think about it rationally, it doesn’t seem like a phase. I started making jewelry a little over a year ago. I had no idea what I was doing but I just thought “that doesn’t look hard, I can do that,” so I started playing around with it…bought some tools, some supplies. Over the course of a year, I’ve only become more and more obsessed with making jewelry. The whole process, from finding the best supplies to learning new tools to making something interesting – it’s kind of the best thing ever. I really haven’t felt this way since my horse riding days. Which I got REALLY into – for about 10 years. So even if this is a phase, it will probably be a long lasting one.

And finally, in my case against The Phase argument, this whole thing has made me realize how much I am like my uncle John. He has never had a traditional job in his whole adult life because he absolutely hates working for someone else (Exhibit A). He’s carved out this amazing (ly weird) life for himself. He has a garage full of tools, he fixes people’s German automobiles, he refurbishes army tanks, he buys random stuff at garage sales and sells it on eBay for a major profit, and finally and most awesomely, he collects used french fry oil from restaurants each Monday which he uses to manufacture his own biodiesel. In short, he’s my hero. He’s so freakin’ weird. The guy is a crafting machine. When he showed me the impeccably crafted knife that he made, with a drop dead gorgeous faux bois finished blade, it was confirmed that this man can make anything. I mean, anything.

I've never been one to approach something in a moderate fashion. I like to go all out. So, I guess I’m open to all suggestions on where to direct this energy. Since there's real life, and a mortgage, and my Claremont McKenna BA in government, and my scarce knowledge of tools, and fire hazards, and all of that stuff.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Details of our wedding

Way back when I promised to post more photos of our wedding, which I haven't done yet. Partly because I can still hardly think about our wedding day - I still get too freaked out because it was such a traumatizingly stressful occasion - but also because it takes a long time to post photos and I'm not very good at formatting on this blog yet.

Anyway, this week we got a call from the Knot wedding magazine and they wanted to post a photo of our wedding in their "Best of" edition. (Brian's response? "Sweet. Now I can cross off 'being featured in a bridal magazine' off my list.) This got me all excited so I have been perusing my photos again, and decided to post some goodies.

Here is the one they are using:

I think my favorite part of that photo is Gina's adorable leopard print sweater. I also love this photo because it makes our wedding look really dramatic, and cozy. Here's some other details of the wedding.

The boutonnières:

The boutonnières coordinated well with the guys ties, which were all different, and in the colors of brown, gold, beige, etc.

The bridesmaids also wore different variations of gold and brown. I got their dresses different places, from eBay to Nordstrom. Just in case you're wondering, the lowest price dress was the light gold Shoshanna dress that Christa (tall, in the middle) is wearing. It was originally priced at over $350.00 but I got it for $85.00 on eBay! The most expensive dress, worn by Meghan (black hair), was also a Shoshanna dress but alas, we got it on a time crunch . Luckily it did cost less than retail because Meghan is still friends with her old boss at a high end boutique, Fahrenheit 451, in the Hamptons - she ordered it up for wholesale for us.

My sister's dress (brown, on the very left of this 2nd photo) was made by Steve Moore two days before the wedding, after he made the executive decision that the one we ordered from Cicada in downtown Seattle was hideous (note: never go there). To their credit, after phoning Cicada, they agreed that it was unwearable and gave us our money back.

The dresses averaged out to be about $170 per dress which I feel is fairly reasonable, and the best part is that they were all designer cocktail dresses -- totally wearable again.

My dress was a Monique Lhuillier and it was a simple A-line with a feminine drop waist lace detail.

I had my necklace custom made by a woman named Carolyn Attal in Scottsdale, AZ. I loved it and thought that it really made my dress (sans bow jacket) more interesting.

Before the reception started, I took off my necklace and put on a fun Monique bolero jacket with a GIANT BOW. It was a hit! The woman I am talking to is my adorable Grandma Kenner.

We had a seating arrangement for the tables, and instead of having name cards at each place setting, we created a big poster and framed it in a gilded gold frame. It turned out really pretty, I think.

The menu paid homage to Brian's heritage --Greek-infused dishes such as grilled flatbreads with kalamata fig and white bean garlic spreads, and ouzo-spiked halibut with fennel cream sauce. The food was catered by J. Russell Catering in Bellingham, WA - and it was fantastic - hands down the most amazing wedding food I've ever had (added bonus that it was at my own!).

We wanted the wedding to be romantic and classic but we also wanted both modern and natural elements to it. This came out well in things like: the curly willow & lanterns, the tables the programs sat on, and the woodsy yet elegant chandelier that hung above the head table.

The classic and romantic parts really came through in the 500 stems of phallenopsis orchids that Steve Moore arranged in huge "trees"!!!

These were Steve's idea. I was a bit skeptical at first that I'd like them, but they were big and fancy, and turned out to be pretty photogenic.

We really wanted to infuse some beachy sea-elements to the theme as well. This mostly was carried out through sand and sea shells placed on all of the tables.

I think way back when, I also said I'd post more advice. My best advice is to hire a wedding planner, because it's hard to anticipate how stressful a wedding can be, and if you have a good wedding planner, he/she will minimize that element. If you are having a wedding at an establishment that does everything for you, that might be a different story. But if you are trying to create a wedding from scratch in any way shape or form, I strongly recommend hiring someone to help you think of every single detail.

I also suggest trusting your gut while you begin the planning process. If your heart tells you that you want a small wedding, go with a small wedding, and don't let anyone change your mind.

What else. Oh! I also suggest doing your own makeup (that is, if you have any skills) -or at least having a practice run through (and take photos of yourself to see how everything photographs).

And last but not least, if you are having a big wedding, you should have someone designated to be your personal assistant. I always thought that sounded so bizarre -- to all of the sudden have a personal assistant just because it's your wedding day -- but I found it insanely difficult to get myself a beverage or remember to reapply my lipstick. Having someone there who checks in on you every once in awhile would make the night easier for you, I think.

I have a few friends planning weddings of their own right now so I hope they read this and get inspired, while taking my advice to heart! And look for our wedding in the Knot magazine next year!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

All my friends are getting famous

Today was a good jewelry day. In the morning, a pair of my earrings were featured on the homepage of Etsy (my secret dream). I had a few sales and a lot of great compliments from nice people on Etsy. One of my Etsy friends, Rachel (Adorned By Morgan) who lives in NYC and makes similarly cute gems out of vintage and recycled materials (which is why we became Etsy friends in the first place) congratulated me...and less than an hour later, when Etsy did the theme switch, a pair of her earrings were featured on the home page. What are the odds? Here's a few of my favorite things by Rachel:

Framed Owl Earrings, $22.00

Purple Stone, Purple Stone necklace, $45.00

And then, my day o' jewelry concluded with a good metal work class. At first I was so not in the mood to be there. I don't know what the deal was but I was on the verge of tears when I first got there, simply from exhaustion, I think (I've been running a million miles a minute trying to prepare for "secret things"). My bad attitude told me to leave. But I stuck it out, and in the end it was totally worth it because I made my first real metal piece -- a ring! Making rings is actually not that difficult, I learned. That is, as long as you have the right equipment and tools....which literally could set you back thousands of dollars if you did it up right.

This ring is made out of sterling silver. I hammered those lines into it before I shaped it into a ring and soldered it all up. I'm pretty happy with it, especially for my first project.

Apparently we are going to bezel stones on top of our rings next week. This blows my mind but okay!

Also, my good friends Cori and Aviva of The Adventure School were written up in Seattle's Daily Candy today. I thought it was a pretty good write up. Especially for DailyCandy, which usually drives me batty. Yay for them!!! (Cori reminded me tonight that world domination really isn't that far off. )

P.S. My husband has only 38 minutes left in his twenties!!!!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Late fall

Late fall is such a busy time of year. The holidays contribute, of course. And it just seems like even though everyone is ramping up to the holidays, work etc. just seems to escalate because everyone wants to get everything done before Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Our -- or at least MY -- hectic schedule can really be contributed to a few different things. 1.) Brian's 30th birthday (Thursday!), 2.) An important biz meeting on Friday, and 3.) Our impending move.

The following picture sort of encapsulates my busy life right now:

That photo might just represent the REAL (non blog) post nuptial least home-life. I feel like I have no time to keep up my home! I thought that once I worked for myself, that I'd have this lazy schedule where I could vacuum and organize all day. Perhaps if my priorities were different, I could do that. But I seem to fill my entire day from the moment I get up to the moment I go to bed, with entrepreneurial adventures.

Even though our house is out of order (ehem, disgustingly dirty), I have a good feeling that things will start to flourish soon. And even if they don't... WOW, I've learned a ton over the past 5 months. More than I've learned in the last 5 years of my 9-5 jobs, I would venture to say. But I still have so much to learn. I am busy setting up meetings with biz people who are smarter than I am, and I can't wait to glean tidbits of their invaluable information.

Also, our move is coming up very quickly. One month from yesterday, in fact. My head is full of move-related thoughts. Like, I have to get my drapes dry cleaned! And, my goodness I don't want to spend actual dollars on something like cardboard boxes. Or, how ridiculous is our furniture going to look in this new house? I am mostly just super super excited. I can't believe this is happening. I can't believe I will have an actual, real office. I can't wait to have the luxury of a dishwasher. I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Halloween tends to be one of the more creative holidays. Personally, I am not such a fan of Halloween, but I do love admiring other people's work. To that end, I wanted to share a couple gems.

OMG... not a costume! But instead, a real life, horrifying moment.

But, oh wait... here you go. Lacy, as Brittany:

Not related, but also a good (albeit a bit frightening?) one... Katie, as Ewock:

Emily as the quintessential 80's exercise instructor:

What about Kenny, Joey, and Doug, as Prince and the Revolutions? (I can't believe that's my realtor...)

Okay, and so that's all I have for now. So I decided to post old news:

The height of my Halloween career: bush, box, beaver, muff -- and the Mayor of Cootertown!

Monday, October 29, 2007

What I will miss about our apartment

That's right...

For those of you who I haven't blabbered to already... we will be moving shortly because we have purchased a home! On December 5th, we will be moving into our new home in Ballard's Sunset Hill area.

Fate seemed to play a part in our search. We looked at upwards of 35 homes - maybe even close to 50 - I lost count. But on the first day of our home search, we saw the one that we actually ended up purchasing.

My dad came down for a day of house hunting. In true PK style, he insisted on driving around in one of the nicest neighborhoods in Ballard. ("You should start at the top, Krista, and work your way down," he said. I rolled my eyes, and he started giggling.)

We pulled lots of flyers on many mansions, all in the 1-2 million dollar range. We kept ooohhing and aahhing over the water views. I was just having fun spending a day with my dad in Seattle.

Then we came across a home that looked very nice but was priced a whole lot lower than the others. We pulled the flyer, drove around it very slowly, looked at each other and said, "Huh. Interesting."

We drove around for another hour so so, and then came back to this one to check it out one more time. The older man in the window saw us both times, so he came out and asked us if we wanted to see the home. He gave us a prideful tour, explained that he and his wife have lived there for 32 years, and expressed surprise that it had been on the market for 5 months already.

We went out our merry way, met up with our realtor, and saw a ton of creepy expensive houses, some of which made the blog a couple weeks ago.

A whole lot of fateful occurances happened in between then and the home purchase, but basically we felt like this home was quality, and priced right. Then we ended up getting it for a whole lot less, so it was really priced right. I think this couple was tired of open houses, and wanted to get it off their hands before winter. Just goes to show you that timing is everything!

After tripping over each other (and 3 cats) for the last 6 months, we finally see a light at the end of the tunnel, and are anxiously awaiting the move. Personally, I am looking forward to setting up a REAL home office, so I don't have to climb up on a chair in my closet to take down my printer, and plug it in underneath my side table next to my couch, every time I need to print an invoice.

We've had good times in this little place. I moved here exactly 3 years ago. It's been a fantastic, and unique Seattle apartment. Nestled away next to a (an extremely creepy) park, it has an unobstructed view of Elliot Bay. I will really miss this view -- photos taken during last night's amazing sunset:

I've had a lot of fun memories here, not the the least of which is the annual Palm Springs "Geriatric and Fabulous" theme party. (P.S. I love how Google Earth's map of my place still features a bright green astroturf covered deck.)

That said, there are too many positives about the new place to look back.

For instance, a big, beautiful yard that I get to dig into:

A walk-in closet!

Hollywood Regency built-ins:

A pretty entry-way:

And a real bedroom for my mom, and Lindsay & David! (Look how cute and excited my mom is about not having to brave cats jumping off the couch onto her her face in the middle of the night!)

There are other things that we can't wait to get our hands on and make small cosmetic changes (the kitchen cabinets, the very colorful maroon tile in the bathroom!!), but no changes are dire.

And, can anyone say... New Year's Eve party in Ballard? We will finally get to use the trillions of champagne glasses that we received for the wedding.