Career Day Photos!

As I walked up to the line of Kindergarteners today, I heard, "There's Grace! She's a furniture builder." It was the cutest thing EVER! And then I said, "You look AWESOME!" to a handful of girls dressed in their finery. Thank goodness they said, "I'm a teacher!" And I said, "I know (but I didn't)...you look just like a teacher! So great!" They all looked so cute I wanted to bite them. You know that feeling?!?!

I'm happy that she Grace won't have to withstand the awkward "what are you?" questions like I've endured for so many Halloweens (Flo from Alice, Mrs. Kotter from Welcome Back Kotter, the list goes on....)

(Notice the pencil in her hair. Classic.)


Update: Career Day

I totally messed up last week. Apparently, Career Day is THIS Friday so I promise to have photos of Grace for you. She's running around looking for a pencil to put in her hair as I write this. It'll take Little G two days to get her outfit together to look like me. Which is exactly how long it takes me to get ready every day. :)


Shelterrific Featured The Owyn Toy Box

Oops I did it again. This was posted in April and I just saw it today. But it's still cool. You'll see my response to the pricing/design comments made on the post. Good to know people are still talking about this on mod design websites/blogs even when the design is three years old.

But I do have one note about the comments section. I always find it to be a tiny punch in the stomach when someone makes a comment like the one at the bottom of this article rating my work. But then I remember, it's a big world and there will always be haters. Thank goodness there seem to always be WAY more buyers than haters, even in this economy.

How zen am I today?!?! Maybe I should eat more of those chocolate covered espresso beans get me ramped up a little more.


UPDATE: I don't think my response to the comments has been approved by the moderator yet so you won't see my response at 11:23am on Wednesday so I'm posting my comment here.

Hi Bay!

Thanks for the great write-up! I really appreciate it. As you may or may not know, I am a mom (who designed that very toy box almost three years ago based on what my kids needs were/are) so my goal was to combine aesthetic with functionality. The lids are wide enough for most toys and the scale is low enough that it’s easy to get to those buried toys. I’m thrilled to say that the Owyn Toy Box won the Etsy Handmade Kids Challenge Award in 2008 and was recognized for good design in London-based Thames and Hudson’s book, Designed for Kids, by Phyllis Richardson.

As for the price, the $495 sticker includes shipping so if you’re in NYC, you get a beautifully handcrafted, eco-friendly, heirloom-type storage piece completely assembled with wood dowels (not flat packed for you to put together) all the way from LA. Shipping alone normally costs roughly $125 to get it across the country. It usually takes me anywhere between 8-10 hours from start to finish. I still build everything myself and rely on this income for our family. I’m happy to report that I’m currently booked through August with 3-4 orders per week. I mostly sell to those who regularly purchase (or have their interior designers purchase) modern design from sites like Modern Nursery, Design Public and NYC boutiques like Capucine Maman.

Thanks again for the article! I sincerely hope this helps give more perspective on the design and the pricing.


Kiersten Says: Your comment is awaiting moderation.

May 20th, 2009 at 9:56 am
One more thing….thanks to your feature, I just received three orders from Modern Nursery. THANK YOU!! I’ll be sure to post it on my blog.


Like Mother Like Daughter

This one's a doosie, I promise! On Friday, Grace's kindergarten class is dressing up in the form of what they want to be when they grow up. Naturally, when she told me she wanted to dress like MOD MOM (LOVE THAT!!!), I asked what she thought she needed for her costume. Here's what she said in list form....

1. jeans
2. white t-shirt
3. tool belt
4. dirty fingernails
5. stain on hands and arms
6. fake toenails
7. hair in a bun with a pencil stuck through it
8. sawdust on the jeans

It's really too bad that Little G doesn't know me at all.

P.S. I'll have photos on Friday of Little Mod Mom Furniture :)

P.S.S. I almost forgot...there was one more added to the list but not to the official costume. Daddy said to N and G, "What happens when Mom bends over to pick something up in the garage?" In chorus, they answered, "HER BUTT SHOWS!" Yes, that indeed does happen sometimes but will not be part of Gracie's costume on Friday for those of you (Mom) worried about that.



.....could things get any weirder? In the past 24 hours, we:

1. Bought and installed one of those trashy above ground pools with flimsy ladder in our backyard. I'm stocking up on yard birds and beer cozies to go with said pool.

2. Had an earthquake...

3. ...which i believe hindered the Tooth Fairy's ability to get to our house and leave money under Grace's pillow. Anyone else's tooth fairy get off course because of the earthquake? That Tooth Fairy is a cheeky bitch, isn't she?!?


The Mother of All Lilac Festivals And Then Some

It was a gorgeous, hot Sunday in LA so we decided to trek up to the mountains to get a break from the heat. There's also the tiny fact that I'm obsessed with cinnamon candles and craft fairs and small mountain towns.

Scott made me breakfast in bed, the kids showered me with gifts, and by 10am, we were ready to get ready for our 1 1/2 hour drive out to an area called Frazier Park. Scott found out, through a friend, that they have a Lilac Festival complete with parades, crafts, cinnamon candles, and carnival-like food (elephant ears). No need to ask me twice, I was totally in!

Our drive up there was gorgeous and event free. The only odd thing about the trip was that the purple signs we were instructed to look for were nowhere in sight. No worries, though cuz I had my handy dandy Blackberry map. About 15 minutes from the amazing, wonderful, totally freakin' awesome Lilac Festival, it donned on both of us that maybe, just maybe, we/he didn't look at the dates correctly.

You guessed it. The Lilac Festival is NEXT weekend. 1 1/2 hours back down the mountain (and I-5) we went trying anything remotely fun along the way only to be disappointed. Restaurants were all packed. Gold course with driving range was for members only.

Mother's Day lunch was spent at the McDonald's drive-through. We did manage to hit some balls at a driving range back in LA and realized that our son has natural talent but no interest. We also shopped around for drums (electric...duh) for said son with natural golf talent. Squeezed in some "Happy-we-drove-to-BFE-mountains-for-nothing-Mother's Day" Bloody Mary's with Oon and Jase and then finally, at the end of the day, my sweet husband and daughter made my favorite food in all the land. Beef and Noodles. And it really tasted just like the kind you get from Chief in Defiance, Ohio(really, Mom, it did!)

I hope your Mother's Day was filled with (almost) Lilac Festivals, McDonald's, driving ranges, cinnamon candles, and Bloody Marys! All the best things that life has to offer!!


Think Outside of the (Toy) Box

Thanks, LavieCherie, for the great article on my storage pieces!

Click this link for the article.


Get Ready for Another Round of....Translate That Blog Entry!!

I knew I loved the French!! I just found this blog article (written by a lovely shop owner in France) from 2008. Oops. Sometimes it's hard to catch all the press (boy did that sound conceited) and it drives home the importance of having a publicist/press person. Or in my case, a fictitious assistant who handles that stuff so I can build and design. She or He didn't show up today, my fictitious assistant. Which is not much different from She or He not showing up ANY day for the last three years. I clearly need to think up a new person.

Anyhow, many thanks to www.minouchet.com and its owners for writing about my furniture on their blog. I was happy when I read what the online translator spit out...it doesn't seem negative (right?) so that's good. :)

OK, here's the article and how it's translated:

Vendredi, Etsy : ModMom Furniture

ModMom Furniture, alias Kiersten, est déjà une star du web, mais ce n'est pas une raison pour ne pas en parler, ne serait-ce qu'à cause son profil : une ancienne cadre devenue mère au foyer puis ébéniste, ce n'est pas spécialement banal. En plus, les meubles qu'elle crée sont absolument exquis... La livraison est possible partout, il suffit de la contacter. Et qui sait, peut-être seront-ils un jour sur www.minouchet.com...

ModMom Furniture, alias Kiersten, are already a star of the Web, but this n' is not a reason not to speak about it, would not be this qu' because its profile: old tallies become mother with the hearth then cabinetmaker, this n' is not especially banal. Moreover, the pieces of furniture qu' she creates are absolutely exquisite… The delivery is possible everywhere, it is enough to contact it. And which knows, perhaps will be they one day on www.minouchet.com…

I would be honored to sell my furniture on www.minochet.com. Just wish I knew how to get it to France for less than the cost of a small jet propelled boat.

Remember Maddie

Madeline Alice Spohr
November 11, 2007 - April 7, 2009


Beautiful Memorial Video For Maddie by newrose


Dwell On Design

It was that moment. The Mom Moment. The one where you're annoyed as hell by your bickering kids who are constantly asking you questions in between fighting with each other AND WON'T STOP TALKING. I'd had it and was just about to let THEM have it and I checked my email. "We'd like to send you information on the upcoming show Dwell on Design in LA...and have a great area on the show floor that might interest you with special pricing for retailers: Modern Family & Kids Zone." In that moment, the bitchiness dissolved. I felt wanted again by someone from Dwell Magazine and they weren't asking for more Twizzlers. Just like that, I became nice again. That lasted about five minutes before the bickering started again.

(Sadly, I can't make the Dwell on Design show happen for Mod Mom Furniture due to scheduling issues and the amount of toy boxes I need to build between now and August. Oh, and the fact that it would take time away from my Twizzler-wanting kiddos and I'd hate to miss any of the bickering.)


Feelin' Good

I am so proud of myself today. I got up, worked out, and even offered to walk with Grace (as opposed to drive 100 miles an hour three minutes before school starts) to school AND take the dog with us. See how many things I checked off before 10am?

It's no secret I've been struggling with my diminishing ability to self-motivate. I think one thing people don't quite get (unless you yourself owns your own business) is that it's all self-motivation....every day...for three years. Sure, I have deadlines and a production schedule but I don't have set office hours anymore. Or a boss expecting praise-worthy work and praising me when I do well. There are days when I think, man, would it be great to know that if I work from 9-5, I don't have to think about this stuff until Monday.

Obviously, the upside is that I do get to be with my kids (and make money) which is what I wanted all along. And God forbid, if the swine flu closes our schools, I'll be home with them and not fear losing my job...or getting my pay docked like so many of these poor families in Texas whose little ones are home for two weeks. (Not that I think they shouldn't have closed the schools, just pointing out the logistics of it all.)

Just writing this today has given me more motivation to get back into the garage and work my tail off. Right after I surf the internet, watch a tivo'd Grey's Anatomy, make some late breakfast, call a friend, answer an email, and check Facebook.