Blades of Glory

Noah: "Mom, ya know, if you taught other kids to skate like you taught me and Grace you could make a lot of money."

Me: "Yep, I know. But then I wouldn't get to build kids' furniture....and I'd have to wear those little skating outfits."

Noah: "Ok...stick with the furniture."

(Photos were from our snow trip with my family before the holidays. I used to skate a bit on ponds growing up in Ohio so I taught the kids how to skate....er, fall gracefully.)


Decor8 likes Mod Mom Furniture

Check out the post on 12/19 as well as the rest of the really great finds. Decor8 is a fantastic blog written by Holly Becker, "a writer and interior design consultant who created decor8 to catalog beautiful finds and to inspire others."

Getting Back to Normal

So I gave myself a couple of weeks out of the garage and technically, still have a few days but last night I found myself out there plotting a custom storage piece for my kids. Funny how you can get so burned out of it after doing it week after week but I know it must be real love, cuz I was a little jumpy to get back to cutting and sanding and all that jazz.

I'm looking forward to creating some new pieces in 2008 and am happy to report I'm booked in the building/already sold department until mid-february! This year should be interesting because I'm now at the point where I definitely need help building in order to keep from making folks wait three months for their pieces. I'll be looking into some extra hands to keep production running smoothly. Another clue that made me think I might need help: my kids asked me a couple of weeks ago if I could just take one day off of building. That made me think a little about the workload. Packing in a full-time job with virtually no kid-free hours is a challenge!

On a family update report, we're still in the dark about my husband's TIAs and he's supposed to be getting a couple more tests run but I think he's frustrated, as we all are, that there are no clear cut answers. So for now, he's taking aspirin everyday and I'm calmly telling him that if he strokes out on me, I'll kill him!


Merry Christmas!

We captured Gracie putting together a creation from her Build-It-Yourself Workshop kit that Grandma and Grandpa gave to her. In true Hathcock style, she's building in her best Christmas dress and smearing glue on the floor and her dress. Like mother like daughter!

Hope you're having a wonderful day!


Editor's Pick of 2007 -- Cool Mom Picks

I was cringing when I opened my e-mail inbox today just knowing there would be more bad news about something I made or shipped. But there wasn't!!!!

Good news only...

Check out the post from Kristen and Liz at Cool Mom Picks. They included the mid-century "Gracie" toy box in their Editors Picks of 2007. Both purchased the mid-century toy box from me back in the summer and thankfully, both made it to Brooklyn and Atlanta unscathed.

If you haven't seen their blog, check it out. They are two very funny ladies with great taste and serious writing chops.


Making Spirits Bright

I've been absent from blogging for a few days because my parents are in town from Ohio for Christmas. And I'm doing my best to not "work" but it is hard. I'm not doing any building until next week; however, since I have my mentor in town, he'll be showing me some router tricks later today. WHOOHOOO!! I am breathing a little easier about the shipping disasters because we're making progress on the whole claim or refund process. But that's not to say I'm a little more gun shy about shipping now. How do you all feel about metal toy boxes? Those don't break!!!

I hope you're all enjoying the holidays with family and friends. We're having a good time decorating, baking and mixing pomegranate martinis. A karaoke party will soon be taking place filled with swingin' Christmas songs crooned by my talented husband and his "karaoke wife", Oonagh. Let's just say I can build better than I sing! (NOTE: You did not read that we're having a swingers christmas party. Just a karaoke party with some christmas tunes....and a hot tub....and some drinks. Uh oh....JUST KIDDING!!!!)



Shipping Disasters

I'm still on "vacation" but I have access to a computer so I thought I'd write in about some recent shipping disasters.

Here's the part where I question why I'm shipping my pieces...during the holidays....and via UPS.

So I shipped out two toy boxes (mid-century style) before we left on vacation and was so happy to have everything caught up and a few weeks off from building. I unfortunately received two emails that said virtually the same thing...received the toy box but it's broken. WHOOHOO!!! I've shipped this particular toy box roughly twenty times and no issues until now.

So now the poor recipients and I are working through the UPS PACK AND SHIP PROMISE claim details.

Did I mention I had two glasses of wine at dinner?? Yep, that's how i'm feeling right about now regarding the whole shipping thing. I'm questioning it and noting which pieces hold up better when being thrown haphazardly from truck to truck.

Just when you think the whole "i own my own business" thing is running smoothly, something like this happens. I think I'll just go lie down and think back to the days of designing marketing materials and babysitting other people's kids.

Sometimes it seems A WHOLE LOT easier to just work for the man.



YEAH!!!! A snow vacation with family!!! It's finally here so I won't be posting for a few days. I'll be back on the 20th so look for more Life in My Garage action but for now, I'm off to pack my snow boots.

Happy Holidays!


Tangled and True Post About Mod Mom

I'm running out of time before our vacation with my parents and my sister and her family but I had to post a link to a really amazingly kind post by Kelli from Tangled and True. She's a very cool person with a gorgeous and very helpful blog.

Check it out when you have a minute...



My Proudest Building Accomplishment of 2007

So I was thinking about what I've built over the past year and what I'm really most proud of and I immediately thought of the play house my hubby and I built for our daughter's preschool. We LOVE LOVE LOVE the owners (and even vacation with them on occasion) which made building the playhouse even more special. SHAMELESS PLUG: If you live in LA in the Valley and are in need of a preschool, you have to check out The Little School! You won't find a better preschool!!

Anyhow, I designed the playhouse after looking at plans for several different houses online. I scaled it to fit the space and then learned (also online) how to build a roof. We built it in sections and then put it together onsite. Scott suggested taking the siding we used for the sides and cutting it into squares to make the shingles for the roof. Brilliant!

So far so good -- the house is still standing and from what I can tell, the roof doesn't leak.

I have to say I feel relatively confident that I could build us a little house if we're ever running from the law and and having to live in the woods somewhere in Oregon. That's a damn good feeling!


Check out one of my favorite blogs -- Lineanongrata!

One of my favorite bloggers, Julia at Lineanongrata is giving away a gift a day. She's an amazingly talented artist living in the south of France.

I'm proud to say I own one of her pieces. Leave a comment on her post and you might end up being the proud owner of a Julia gift.


My To Do List

I'm just now sitting down to my frozen meatloaf + mound-like form of mashed potatoes during my "lunch minute" so I thought I'd post today. As I'm sure you're all experiencing right now, I'm feeling a TINY bit overwhelmed by all the holiday + family + work stuff. So I thought this post might help me remember what I need to do today...

Does it look like yours???

1. Get kids ready for school. Dress Grace in unmatching clothes and a skirt that keeps riding up around her mid-section. De-geek Noah by mashing his hair that keeps sticking up on his head with hair gel.

2. Drop both at school and drive like a maniac to Toys R Us before everything is picked over and I'm forced to buy the "almost what they wanted but not quite" gifts.

3. Rush home. Write this post while eating something that says it's meatloaf but I'm not sure. In fact, it says "Eating Right" on the box but maybe it should say "Eating Shite"

4. Put together toy box that I've cut and stained already. Add hardware. Finish a second toy box with a last coat of poly and adjust lid support. Finish a third toy box by adding casters to the bottom and one more coat of poly.

5. Pick up Big N (that's what Noah calls himself since Grace is Little G.)

6. Keep working on number 4.

7. Do bills

8. I think I'm just going to stop this list now.

9. Wait...have a gin and tonic. If only we hadn't run out of gin....and tonic.

10. Ok, now the list is done and I don't feel much like doing any of them except #9.

I'm sure I'll have more get up and go tomorrow....right??? Right????


Thanks for coming out to the Little Monster Market!

I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who came out to the Little Monster Market on Pico yesterday! It was a great success even considering we had to change venues at the last minute BACK to Cool Baby's parking lot/side walk. We lucked out because it was a gorgeous day -- no rain as had been forcasted!

I enjoyed meeting everyone at the show! My next trade show/craft show is the Baby Celebration LA at the convention center in April. It's ENORMOUS!!! So if you're in LA and shopping for baby/kids things, be sure to come shop thousands of vendors at Baby Celebration. I'll be there in a tiny booth with very large furniture!!!

Check out the website Baby Celebration LA for all the details and a look at the vendors.


The Father of Mod Mom

I love this picture of my husband and my Dad. It captures his warm, fun-loving, goofy-joke telling side. Today's post is dedicated to honoring my carpentry mentor who happens to also be my father.

He's always been, as has my mom, a hero of mine. He chose a profession that pays very little and comes chock full of headaches -- he was a health/PE teacher and a football coach turned athletic director up until a few years ago. And he put everything he was into doing the best job he possibly could. There are many former students/athletes that still keep in contact with him because he made a positive impact on their lives.

When he wasn't teaching and coaching (and sometimes roofing in the summers to make extra money), he was building furniture for our house. I remember he took old bleacher boards made of oak that were tossed out and put them through planer and built a coffee table out of them. He even used gym floor varnish to coat it so that baby was solid and very well protected!! We could stand on it, it was so well made, and very scratch resistant. He built a beautiful bed and a writing desk for my mom's late-night paper grading sessions (she was a teacher too). Not only is he handy with wood, but he completely turned our upstairs attic into a master suite complete with bathroom and adjoining guest room.

I did a lot of tinkering in his garage workshop as a kid but never really fully appreciated his talent, creativity and attention to detail until I started building myself. He inspired me at a young age that I could do anything I wanted. He, along with my mom, also made it very clear to me that if I wanted to be an athelete or do something that is considered "a boy thing" I could do it, do it well, and still be feminine. I didn't have to give up my feminity just because I was using a table saw.

I am very honored and proud to be Barry Parsons' daughter and am extremely grateful for all his guidance both growing up and now. I turn to him quite a bit with woodworking and general life/business questions. I can say thank you a million times but it's not sufficient enough in my eyes. He is my mentor and best of all, my dad. So no matter how many times i tick him off, he's stuck with me. And I'm VERY GRATEFUL to be stuck with him.


Family Update

Some of you who read the blog know us from school, are family or good friends. So you know a little about some of the recent medical drama that has plagued my sweet husband.

I won't go on too much about it and I'm mentioning it because it has affected my production schedule a bit (so if you're waiting for furniture from me, this is why I'm a tad behind.) My husband has experienced TIAs (transient ischemic attacks or mini-strokes) recently. He suffered one two years ago and spent four days in Cedar Sinai hospital. He recently experienced another whichi is the "medical drama" I mentioned above. The episodes last just a short time but affect his vision, speech, memory and cause numbness in various body parts. He's been undergoing tests ordered by his neurologist to get to the bottom of why he's having these attacks at age 36. So far, everything is inconclusive. And scary since we don't know why or how this is all happening. Hopefully we'll know soon.

He's armed with an aspirin a day and a wife who tends to his every need. Ok, that last part was made up. But the aspirin is true! To my customers, thanks for your patience. And to my husband. I love you and TAKE YOUR DAMN ASPIRIN...please.


The Daily Candy Post about The Little Monster Market

The Daily Candy Kids' Edition ran a post about The Little Monster Market today! Check it out below...
See the text below......
Little Monster MarketWhat: Crafty goods for kids by Mod Mom Furniture, Mahar Drygoods, Eeny Meanie, and others.Why: Handmade? Hallelujah!When: Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.Where: 6136 W. Pico Blvd., b/t S. Alfred & S. Orlando Aves., W. Los Angeles (818-795-5202).

Lights in the SkyWhat: Kids Interactive Theater Ensemble kite troupe performs.Why: Theater for kids by kids.When: Sat., 3 p.m.Where: Noho Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd., at Lankershim, N. Hollywood (818-340-5333). Tickets online at theatermania.com.
Festival of LightsWhat: Holiday music, games, crafts, bouncy houses, and snacks for all.Why: It’s a gelty pleasure.When: Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m.Where: Silverlake Independent Jewish Community Center, 1110 Bates Ave., at Effie St., Silver Lake.

ANOTHER Monster Market is coming!

Apparently, I'm an idiot. Holding two Monster Markets back to back sounds like a good idea back in September. But when it's smack in the middle of December, it's not so whooohooo!

The markets themselves are great but the prep and advertising and organization of them are a lot of work! Anyhow, I've been gone from the blogging world for two days due to Monster Market mayhem and building madness. Enough of me whining now.

The Cool Baby Cool Market is being held on Pico down in Beverly Hills Adjacent. ( I do love that you can throw adjacent to the back of a well-known name and voila! -- you're almost that place but slightly to the left and slightly not as posh.) :)

The address for the market is 6136 West Pico, LA 90035. It should be a lot of fun with a ton of LAs best independent handmade designers. There will be music and food and much more! And fun for the kids, too! Since we all know keeping them happy while you shop is the most work of all.


Ok, back to the garage I go.....