The Little Monster Market is Tomorrow!

Another late night but it's all good. I'm getting ready for the Little Monster Market in Studio City tomorrow. If you live in LA, be sure to stop by and shop the cutest handmade goods in the Los Angeles area! For all the details, go to http://www.littlemonstermarket.com/ .

In other news, the Still Thankful, Still Giving Charity event was a lot of fun! Grace was my date, as you might know from a previous post. She was so excited and a tad bit overwhelmed by all the cameras and tv crews filming but handled it like a pr pro. In fact, a photographer came up and asked if he could get our picture. He politely asked her to smile at the camera AND SHE DID! That's huge because she's a little one the shy side. Anyhow, back to the celebrities. We saw Meredith Brooks perform some songs for the kids. I brushed past Lauren Holly -- gorgeous. And saw Molly Sims come in -- stunning. There were lots of other stars too but I was too busy trying to keep Grace from disappearing in the crowd so that's about as much as I can report. Oh, and the toy box looked great and was named the "treasure box." Kids picked (or grabbed in handfuls) toys from the box and then sat and ate mac and cheese on it. You'd be proud....I did not give into my urge to move the kids and mac and cheese from the toy box. I took some deep breaths and then stuffed the little buggers IN the toy box. Just kidding about that.


Typical Day

I was recently asked to contribute to an article that will be published on the Etsy Storque about what it's like to be a Work At Home Mom. One of the questions was "What is a typical day like for you? List work and home stuff." I thought I'd post my answer to that very question. It'll be like me interviewing me. That sounds really narcissistic doesn't it??? You know me....all narcissistic and such. The funny thing is that each time I just typed the word narcissistic, I misspelled it. Then that must mean I am absolutely NOT narcisitik.

1. What is a typical day like for you? (List work and home stuff.)

On Monday, Wednesday and Friday, my kids are in school from 9:00-3:00pm. So this is MWF....

7:00am --Awake and getting the kids up and ready and drive them to school while thinking I desperately need a coffee….and a driver

9:30 am --Back from the morning school commute (it’s LA so it’s long) – I’ll either head to the hardware store/lumber yard or I’ll fire up the table saw and cut for awhile if I’m at the beginning of a project,

11:00am --Grab a handful of something to eat and eat while checking email do the paperwork/email part of the job – invoices, shipping notices, respond to inquiries and wholesale requests, creating marketing materials if needed

12:00pm --Only 2.5 more hours with out the kids so I rush back out to the garage to finish building, staining, or whatever needs done.

1:00pm -- Look at the laundry piled up next to the table saw. NOT put it in the washer cuz that would be too much work.

2:30pm -- Get ready to pick up my son. I normally wear what I’ve been working in all day so I’m covered in sawdust and paint and am a general embarrassment.

3:00pm -- Both kids are home and asking for a myriad of things….snacks, tv, art projects. I tell them I have another hour’s work to do in the garage. Noah watches tv, Grace comes with me and asks me hundreds of questions and wants to play wood shop. I end up getting nothing done…or maybe a hinge put on a toy box.

4:00pm -- Frantically clean up the house that’s a wreck and stare blankly into the empty fridge. Plan to eat out or maybe, if I’m lucky, I can pour some red sauce over pasta, add a bag of salad and some green beans that are microwaved and call it a meal.

5:00pm -- Eat dinner and get Noah started on homework. Hubby helps me clean up the kitchen or he does it himself so I can go back to the garage. He’s a keeper!

7:00pm --Play with the kids a bit, explain for the fifth time that the word “damn” can only be used in reference to a beaver’s dam, get them bathed, etc…

9:00pm --Kids go to bed, I do one of the following: a.) go back to the garage, b.) bring furniture in and watch tv with my hubby while I polyurethane or paint.

10:30pm -- Back to the computer to field more emails, order, etc. Pay bills and do personal financial stuff (that sounds seedy, doesn’t it?)

11:30 or 12:00pm --Off to bed. If I’m lucky (and if my husband is lucky), I’ve actually put on pajamas as opposed to just falling into bed in the same clothes I wore while sanding. J


It’s all out the window. I’m trying to keep a 5-year-old engaged and happy so I normally take her to the lumber yard and run errands. And squeeze in some building time when she’s busy playing or watching tv or writing on furniture with permanent marker.


Swag And Cradle and Design Deals Daily

It's 11:30pm and believe it or not, I'm taking a break from putting polyurethane on a table and chair set. This week is a wee bit on the exhausting side as I'm trying to get 3 pieces built by Saturday. I normally average about 1 piece per week. Late nights and early mornings, coffee, and lots of playing "wood shop" with Grace are making up my week.

With that said, you know how hard it is (even when you love something) to keep going when you're mentally and physically tired? Well, I was having a tough time juggling Gracie today (off school) and getting myself into the garage. I checked my email earlier today and found two lovely notes. One from Allison at Swag and Cradle and one from Kara at Design Deals Daily. Both Allison and Kara wrote such appreciative, uplifting messages and told me they would be or have written posts about my furniture on their respective websites.

I can't tell you what a difference those messages made today. I built two chairs, finished a table, and painted and sealed all three pieces. Many thanks go to both of these women who happen to have AMAZING taste in furniture. :)

Check out both of their websites by clicking the links above. They're both fantastic!


Still Thankful for My Jeans

So guess who's wearing her new jeans in the garage today? Yep, you guessed right. The one who pledged to look better and not wear my new jeans while I work. So here I sit covered in sawdust on both my jeans and black shirt. In need of a shower. And you know what I 'm going to do??? Pick up my son and daughter from school....in my jeans....and saw dust covered black shirt. And hide behind my baseball cap.

Maybe I don't care as much about looking good....er, clean...as I thought. What I do really care about is a new piece I created for the Still Thankful Still Giving Celebrity Charity Event on Thursday night. I've even been invited to the event so Little G (grace's hip hop name) and I will get to party with the stars. It should be a blast until Grace starts hiding behind my legs and punching my rear end while I'm trying to have a conversation about wood working with some A-List star.

Check out the piece below....it's a little mix of several things I've designed recently. A little country and a little bit rock n' roll, as the saying goes...



While I was away on Thanksgiving holiday, one of the stores here in LA, Cool Baby, that carries my furniture line was damaged severely by a crane that fell onto the store while mounting a billboard.

My heart goes out to the owners, Ayn and her family, and I can't imagine what they must be feeling right now. Certainly, no love for cranes or billboards. They've handled it with such grace and have gone over and above to help us with our upcoming event. Hopefully, the space will be repaired and up and running in the next few months.

We were scheduled to hold the the West Side version of The Little Monster Market at Cool Baby on December 8th but are now looking for a new space, with the help of Ayn. Hopefully one that is close by the Cool Baby location. Stay tuned for a new location....


HGTV's 24 Hour Design -- We were on it!!!

Happy Thanksgiving! We're vacationing with friends in Arizona but I had to write in about a design show that Scott and I were on called 24 Hour Design. It aired last night on HGTV at 9:30 and ironically enough, we COULDN't WATCH IT. Apparently, our hotel doesn't have HGTV. But we've gotten reports from our family members.
The report read...
Scott was hilarious. Kiersten was sweet. Good show. No mention of your handywork/woodworking skills. Scott had all the funny lines.
So I'm guessing they cut all my sarcastic funnies and most of my personality/woodworker side but that's the way editing works, right? I'm still (jokingly) cussing at my husband since he was "the funny one" and I'm the inept sweet housewife. I think it'll air again in December so if you want to watch us have our bedroom redone and see me devoid of a personality and kids and a dog....watch it! You'll see a Body Snatchers version of the Mod Mom. The one who has no clue how to do anything with her hands.
Do I sound bitter???? Ok, maybe just a tiny bit bitter. BUT we had a blast and were very grateful for our bedroom redo. HGTV rocks!!!! Really, I do mean that.


Sorry, no REAL posts today

I'm covered up in toy box construction so I won't be posting much today. I'm trying desperately to get a lot done before the Thanksgiving holiday.

I'll try and post again tomorrow!

Back to the garage....


Mod Mom Furniture in Sparrow

Donning my new jeans (see previous post), I met with the owner of a new green baby boutique called Sparrow this afternoon. Terrie is an amazing mom/hairdresser to the stars/shop owner who is opening her gorgeous store on Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. Everything in the store is organic and, for the most part, made by local artisans and designers. I'm THRILLED to be selling my line in her store! I'll be placing several pieces in her store in the coming month -- the platform bed, the Owyn Toy Box, and the Eamonn Table and Chair set.

If you live in LA, stop by on Sunday, November 25th. Her store is located at 3266 Cahuenga Boulevard West, Los Angeles, CA 90068. If you don't live in LA, check them out online at the link above.


Middle-aged and fashion-challenged

WARNING: This has nothing to do with furniture building. I had this realization as I was dragging Grace around a local mall today looking for something nice to wear out with my husband tonight. Here it goes....I am in my mid-thirties and can't seem to put together an outfit to save my life. When did THAT happen?

I used to be able to shop with confidence. Now, I shop with dread. And a really confused, idiotic look on my face. How do you hide the muffin top without looking pregnant in your low rise jeans? To add insult to injury, I really thought I looked cute today as I marched out of the house in my year-old Old Navy severely faded (not on purpose) jeans and a layered shirt thing. But when I passed a mirrored wall in the mall, I realized those looks I was getting from the sales clerks made sense. Remember that scene from Pretty Woman where she goes into the Beverly Hills store and gets shunned by the sales ladies? Similar situation today. Only difference is I'm not a hooker. Anyhow, I looked so much better in my head than I did in that mirror. And with less muffin-top.

I did end up leaving the mall with a nice sack from Nordstrom. The jeans, I know are good since I paid an arm and a leg for them. The rest, I'm not so sure. What I do know is that I feel more comfortable at a lumber yard than in Macy's. But I'm going to strive for more balance (my husband will be so happy.)

My first step towards regaining my inner fashionista is to NOT wear the True Religion jeans while I'm sanding or staining. I'll keep you posted on my progress....


Custom Mid-Century Toy Box

Grace and I are off to deliver this custom mid-century toy box today to a lovely woman in LA. When Grace isn't in school, she's my assistant. One day she answered my cell phone while I was still loading something into the car and apparently talked to the prospective customer for about five minutes. When I came in to find her on the phone and asked if there was someone on the other end, she said yes. "It's Grandma." So I pick it up thinking it's my mom and the very kind woman from New Orleans said, "No, not Grandma, but someone interested in buying one of your toy boxes."
Obviously, I "hired" my daughter on the spot. She answers calls, does some light sanding, and says inappropriate things at deliveries. Now that I think about it, she needs a raise!!


Still Thankful, Still Giving Event

Check out this cool charity event being hosted by Lauren Holly and Meridith Brooks that celebrates adoption and raises funds to help the orphans at Casa Hogar Sion, an orphanage in Tijuana. Proceeds will also help fund the Jr. Sirens an opportunity to take a field trip to get hands on experience at volunteering at the orphanage, while seeing the positive impact they can make in the world.
I am donating a toy box for the event! The children in attendance will get to pick a prize out of the "treasure box" (my toy box) and it will later be auctioned off in the silent auction. Check out http://www.sirenssociety.org/stsg_event.html for all the details and ticket information.
I'm thrilled to have been asked to be a part of this great event!!


Playing Wood Shop

Grace is not in school today so she's hanging with me in the garage. I, as every good mom can attest, am trying to get her involved in something....chalk drawing....playing in the dirt....anything, really, so that she won't ask me 4 million questions JUST when I've measured and remeasured something only to be interrupted by a question. And remeasure again. Mom of the Year, right?

Anyhow, my attempts to get her involved in anything other than the workshop stuff failed so we played, like we do a lot, "wood shop" while I stained some furniture legs. She comes in asking for wood. I act like I'm selling her wood scraps and ask her questions like, "so what brings you here today, ma'am?" She always says she's building toy boxes and a bed for her babies. And when I ask if she does this for a living she says her company name, Mod Mom Furniture. (I always smile when she says that.) This time, I pressed further. "So Grace, who taught you how to do all that cool woodworking stuff?" I was waiting in anticipation and pride for her to say, "My mom taught me." You know what she said.

"Grandpa." "Grandpa taught me to build toy boxes."

(The photo is of Grandpa pushing the kids on the swings at Pismo Beach)

The Coffee Table/Building Blocks Table That's Sweeping Hollywood

Maybe not sweeping Hollywood, but it IS now sitting in really great, modern apartment in West LA inhabited by a very cool couple.
Here is the custom building blocks table/coffee table I mentioned a few posts back.
A few facts about it...

  • I built the table custom to work with the colors in their living room and the height and width of their sofa. I also didn't adhere the lego boards to the table in case they didn't want to use it as a lego table at some point.

  • Instead of building the cube chair for "playing," I, at the request of the owners, built a custom "drawer" with hand openings on both ends for housing magazines and what not. They can also pull the drawer out and place it somewhere else in the room, if they want.

  • One side of the brown doors opens to reveal hidden storage.
  • The containers are for lego storage on top. When not a building table, they could use the containers for anything, really. Candy. Plants. Remotes. An ashtray. Just kidding about, sort of. Do you remember when they use to produce built-in ash trays for chairs and sometimes side tables? Ahh, the good old days.

Drawer action...

Without the lego top.


The Little Monster Markets

I'm taking a tiny break from my garage to, well.. sit down for a minute. So it's the perfect opportunity to tell you all about the coolest craft market selling unique handmade kids' stuff. Two of them, actually.

My friend, Denise Love, founded the Little Monster Market (http://littlemonstermarket.com/) a little over a year ago. I met her through being a vendor at the first market and decided to partner with her on all things Monster Market. But back to Denise....she's an uber talented designer -- seriously one of the most talented people I've ever met -- who is now designing and making a really cool line of kids clothing called Eeny Meanie (http://www.eenymeanie.com/.) When she's not designing kids' clothes, she's doing all of the web design and marketing materials for the upcoming Monster Markets. Which leads me to.....

If you live in the LA area, check out http://www.littlemonstermarket.com/ for details on the

December 1st show in Studio City and the December 8th show in LA (down by the Beverly Center). Our unofficial tagline is "The Little Monster Market makes shopping with your kids fun....without wine or Paxil....really." We've arranged for activities/performances for the kids as well as yummy goodies to keep their tummies full while you shop. Nothing worse than shopping with your kids when they're (a.) not having fun and (b.) hungry. We've tried to solve both of those issues. Cuz we're both moms.

The one-day markets are featuring independent artists and designers, like myself, who make and sell handmade goods for kids. Even if you don't live in LA, check out the website anyways. There are links to all the vendors' webpages so you can shop from the comfort of your chair.

There's my hard sell. If you live here and make it to one of the shows, please stop by my booth and say hi. I'll be the one with the furniture...you can't miss me. :)

Some of Eeny Meanie's adorable clothing...


Exciting News!

Here are a few new photos (also on the Etsy site) of the Toddler/Twin Platform bed. I was in desperate need of new photos AND I received a call from a design writer in London wanting to include some of my furniture in a new book being published in England. HOW COOL IS THAT!?! I'm really excited and will share more details as the develop.

Toddler Bed.....

...to twin bed!