Deep New Year's Thoughts

The other night Scott and I rented Julie and Julia...or is it Julia and Julie?!? Anyhow, after previewing about 17 other movies I settled on it with much less enthusiasm than I would, say, NEW MOON, but I was interested. To back up, I'm not a Food Network fan. Don't get me wrong, I'm a food fan and I like to cook when I don't have toy box deadlines and have to help kids with homework. But I don't watch TV or movies about food, generally speaking.

While watching the movie, I felt some at-one-ness with Julie. Except she was cooking. And me, well, building. She started a blog to document her project. I started a blog to document my woodworking journey. Then sometimes she gets too wrapped up in her project and neglects her husband. And well, that is an understatement for me at times. And how she picks and chooses what she publishes..and gets told by said husband not to write about their fight(s). I, too, pick and choose. Sometimes (often) I just pick the parts that make me laugh or are funny on the page. I don't share everything but then again you knew that. What I probably should share a little bit more of are two things. My gratitude towards my supportive beyond belief husband and family. And the times that are so frustrating and painful that make me want to hang up the drill and go back to a job where I wear heels and do lunches.

I think in the New Year lots of good things will happen. And lots of frustrating (I've just been interrupted by my sweet 7-yr-old SIX times from the start of this entry), tear-inducing moments too. In honor of "letting go" of stuff before the New Year, I'm going to share a few things you haven't read on my blog. Here goes...

1. A handful of times, since starting this career, I've found myself lying on the floor in the garage crying from frustration and exhaustion. While I know it'll happen in 2010, maybe it'll just happen less than a handful.

2. I don't buy into the pink powertool/hand tool crap on the market. Why does a hammer have to be pretty in pink to appeal to women?

3. It's really hard to read negative comments/commentary on my work and sometimes I just want to write F*&$ YOU. But instead, I yell it at my computer screen and then write something back that sounds like I have a publicist. Just once this year, can I write F*&@ YOU? Ok...ok...I won't.

4. People assume since I build kids' furniture that I can build anything. Wrong. I suck at mitering and anything with trim. Don't even ask me how to use a router. Too complicated.

5. I sometimes wish I could take just a three month break from building anything with wood. Don't even want to see it for a quarter of the year. But I don't say that out loud because that would sound incredibly selfish, especially in this economy where I'm beyond thrilled to still have a thriving business. I just said it out loud, didn't I. Selfish bitch I am.

6. I don't thank you enough for being supportive, reading my erratic blog that sometimes isn't updated for weeks, and for just in general, making me feel like what I'm doing is a good thing. I wish only peace, love and prosperity for all of you out there. You keep me going, you really do.

That about does it for 2009. I'm leaving the wood behind tonight and we're making French food. Which OF COURSE, starts with buying a Presto Deep Fryer. Duh! Making Frites and Pets De Nonne (which is fancy for donut). But for a night, I'll feel like Julie who felt like Julia. And there will be butter. Massive amounts of butter.

Happy New Year!!!


The LA Times likes Riley...they REALLY like Riley!!!

Massive big thanks to Lisa Boone who unbeknownst to me has been checking in to see what crazy thing I'm doing in my garage. I woke up this morning to find this article and truly had no idea she was even cooking it up.



My Cup Runneth Over

My drinking problem. Yes, they are all half full. And yes, they're all days old.


Finally....a NEW piece!! Introducing The Riley Paige Toy/Storage Box

I've had this design in my head for a LONG time. Just didn't have time to work on it. I'm still figuring out pricing and getting permissions for patterns but I'm hoping to have this on my online store within the next few weeks.

A couple things I wanted to mention and get your opinion on....

Current Options:
1. Casters or Mid-century style legs

2. Dimensions are the same as the Owyn: 29.5 inches wide by 14 inches deep x 15/12 inches tall.

3. I am going to offer several different pattern collections. So far I have what you see above (or something similar) and was thinking of a pink/mod blue/brown pattern combo. Can you suggest other color/pattern recommendations?


Strep! Toy Boxes! Christmas!

I'm alive!!! And back in the saddle again. Damn strep throat (with vomiting - who knew?) knocked me on my rear last week. My mind is all over the place today so I thought I'd post some cool stuff going on in bullet form...

  • NEW TOY BOX COMING SOON! I posted a preview of a new toy box I'm finishing on Facebook. Look for more info soon. :)

  • Thanks so much to Darryl Masterson for featuring my work on his blog. Darryl is a fellow woodworker that I met through Lumberjocks. www.anetsyfavorite.blogspot.com

  • A new store called Baby Bot in Canada is officially launching this week! They have 15 Mod Mom storage pieces in stock so if you're in Canada and need one pronto, check out Baby Bot. www.babybot.com

  • Happy Holidays! And thanks for reading my silly blog. :)


The Bertie is Featured in Chilean Magazine: Revista Vivienda Y Decoracion

A couple of weeks ago I received a very kind email from a woman who works in Chile for Revista Vivienda Y Decoracion magazine. She asked if I would supply her with photos of my work for a feature in an upcoming issue. Two things surprised me: 1.) that the woman somehow found my work in the first place, and 2.) that two weeks later, when I checked out the magazine online, I found my Bertie Box already in the magazine. I'm always so amazed and excited when people in other countries stumble upon my toy boxes.

And then, of course, I get all cocky. But inevitably, someone, like my son, will say something to bring me safely back to Earth. The other day in the car on the way to school he asked Scott, "Dad, what does Mom do all day at home?" Nice.

Here's the magazine link...


Happy Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day! And a big thank you to veterans, soldiers, and all those amazing military families who miss their loved ones on a daily basis.

I've been thinking a lot about my family members who served today and wanted to honor them in some small way . My mom was kind enough to share some of what she knows about my grandparents so I've included it below. Thanks Mom!

(Juanita Pennington, 1945)

My grandmother, Juanita Pennington was member of the WAVES (Women's Navy) and worked in D.C. during WWII. (Photo above was taken in D.C.) One of her jobs was to decode Japanese messages. She was put on a train with other WAVES. Juanita had no idea where she was going or where she ended up due to the black-out curtains hanging in the train windows. She got off the train at a secret location and worked on the messages. The women would be brought back to their bases the next day.
My grandfather, Lawrence Pennington was a paratrooper during WWII. He was in Africa fighting Rommel (German) as well as parachuting into Europe where he was one of the first paratroopers to drop over the Ziegfreid line when Americans invaded Europe. Most of the men were killed as they parachuted, but he landed safely and hid under a snow-covered tree. He was discovered and held as a prisoner for nine months. The Russian army liberated him and when he came back home to the US he was sent to the Biltmore House Estate in North Carolina to recuperate due to his poor health.

(Clifford Parsons with my dad, Barry Parsons)

My grandpa, Clifford Parsons, was in the Army Engineers division who was responsible for building the roads and bridges before the rest of the troops advanced. He fought in Europe and was ordered to invade Normandy. A week before the invasion, his units' orders were changed or he would have been one of the first men there.

(Charles Hathcock)

Scott's grandfather, Charles Hathcock, also served during WWII. Charles came from a family of six siblings; he was the youngest of four brothers. At one point during WWII, all of the Hathcock brothers were serving in the war. Charles was recruited much later in the war and served in Austria Germany in two main roles. His first role was as a Military Police(MP) officer watching over German war prisoners. His second role gave him the opportunity to explore the German countryside as part of the communications reconstruction team. Charles helped hang telephone lines and open back up communications between German villages. He never had to fire a single shot in either role but instead left the war with an appreciation for the German Austrian people and their countryside.

My grandpa, Calvin Deeter, served in the Navy aboard the The USS Conklin DE439. There's a wonderful website dedicated to those who served on the Conklin: http://www.ussconklin.org/index.htm.
If you have more info, photos, or different memories to share, please let me know! I'd love to add them to this post.


Happy Fun Day

"Dad, what fun stuff are you guys going to do with us on Wednesday since we don't have school?"

Oh NO!! Grace didn't get the memo that said Dad and Mom have to work on Veteran's Day. How could she have not gotten that memo!?! Of course, my initial reaction is panic since I really do have a lot of work to do this week. And then the panic dissolves into guilt since I'm anticipating some of her friends saying they're going to Disneyland...or the beach....or Europe on that one day they have off this week.

I really do love my job but if I were working in an office somewhere, I'd just take a personal day (or pretend to be sick) and that would be that. (I know this is how it would play out because I lived it from 1998-2003.) Anyhow, my only stress would be wondering how the hell we'd get to and from England in a 24 hour time period. There wouldn't be the tug of war between duty and guilt I feel inside because I know I have to work every day in order to meet my production demands. And I know it's just me doing the work so the slack can't be picked up by someone else. If it doesn't get done, it just doesn't get done. But, of course, in the bigger picture, I have it set up the way I want it even if it means I work til midnight. So what will I do with my kids tomorrow? I HAVE NO FREAKIN' CLUE. Most likely they'll play Wii for hours while I'm working and then for fun, I'll offer to take them out to lunch only to hear them say, "But that's not fun like _______ is having fun. He's in Europe today."


Pregnancy Magazine's Nursery Must Haves Includes The Owyn Toy Box

Being that I'm always on top of Mod Mom Furniture press, it should come as no surprise to you that the Owyn was featured in Pregnancy Magazine"s New Mom's Handbook Edition in September and I'm just now finding out about it. :)

Thanks to Krista Worth (of HGTV fame) for including Owyn in the list of must-have nursery gear for those woodland-minded parents. I just created a new catch phrase with "woodland-minded", didn't I?!?!

Check out this link to the spread on Krista's press page. It's a PDF files so it may take a tiny bit to load.


Halloween is finally over!!

As promised (Ray), here are the photos of the Haunted House Entry we worked on for weeks inside our house and/or in our back yard. It seemed to be a hit so we're pleased as punch!


To Sophie and the group of architects in Monterrey...

To Sophie (who's opening an architecture + interior design for kids store in Monterrey, Mexico),

Please send me an email message again to kiersten@modmomfurniture.com. I couldn't find your email address in your form inquiry but I'd love to chat with you.



When I'm not building toy boxes or haunted houses...

Don Draper and his pregnant wife Betty from Mad Men. Notice the long fake glue-on nails. I currently only have 5 left between both hands. It was fun while it lasted but it's hard to build furniture with long nails.

NOT REALLY PREGNANT!! Just a prop. As is the cig. I think I might, for fun, just be faux preggers every once in awhile. People do stuff for you like bend down and pick things up.

And finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO OONAGH!!! You're my favorite slapper...I mean flapper...of all times!! You do birthdays goods!!!


My Living Room

Just an ordinary day at the Hathcock's. Complete with partially contructed 8 ft. parts of a faux haunted house.

Our house has never looked better!!


Deep Thoughts by Mod Mom

I'm feeling all list-y and philosophical today so here goes....

1. My kids are now 11 and 7. When did that happen? I know everyone says that but really...when did they grow up? I must have been staining furniture.

2. A designer friend sent a link of a very similar owl toy box (to my Noah Owl) being sold on the Internet. I think I've realized I feel flattered. And I'm truly not feeling animosity because I was once a naive furniture builder making stuff that looked a lot like other designer's stuff just trying to make a living. And then I learned the laws of the modern furniture design world. It's not like the fashion industry or even Target where loads of knock-offs live happily ever after. You live and learn, right? And hopefully come out better for it on the other side.

3. I am a person desperate to be organized but I live in a disorganized, cluttered person's body. I do have bouts of manic organization but in between, I have Miller Dowels on my desk next to furniture polish, an old cup of tea, jewelry, and sunblock. My poor, poor husband.

4. Lastly, how can Sally Field make me cry every time she does that crying speech she does. It happened with Steel Magnolias...and again last night at the end of Brothers and Sisters. She's got mad acting skills! And she's even really good and natural in the Boniva commercial where she looks like she's living in Alaska on an incredibly high pier with a dog whilst not feeling her arthritis pain.


Dwell Magazine's Make It Yours Buyer's Guide is Out! And Bertie is in it!

This Dwell Special Edition Buyer's Guide is AMAZING!!! And not just because the Bertie is in it. But that does make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. :) If you're looking for ideas and products to make-over your modern home, this is the book for you! It's on sale at newsstands through January 1, 2010 for $9.99.

It includes 197 tips and ideas as well as the 2009 Buyer's Guide for: kitchens, baths, living rooms, home offices, bedrooms, outdoors, dining rooms, and kids' rooms.

The Bertie Box is featured on Page 102 (kids' room section). They flipped the image so the bird faces the opposite direction than I design/build it but it looks cool to me! They could've added a mustache and a beer under Bertie's wing and I'd be happy with it. Thanks, Dwell!


Managing Employees Is Hard Work

I know you've all been wondering if I've just gone and run off with Edward but I'm here to say my feet are firmly planted on the ground.

But there has been one tiny issue with my new assistant....

HE SCARES THE S*&$ OUT OF ME when I forget he's there and think it's a real person standing in my garage. I've done that twice today and nearly gave myself a heart attack. So the poor guy now resides behind my table saw. Dreamily, behind the table saw.

(* Some guy who was casually walking past my open garage asked, "Is that James Dean?" I just said yes for fear he'd think I was a crazy nutjob cuz I had a vampire cardboard cut-out in my workshop. Somehow, James Dean doesn't seem so off the wall, ya know?!?! Did I ever mention that my sweet family gave me Edward AND a Twilight t-shirt for my birthday. Now that's love!)


I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends

I got A LOT more done today with Edward at the table saw. Look at him in his safety glasses...he's all Mr. Safety Guy.

Here we are talking about health care and the obstacles small businesses face today.

This is one of those serious talks you have while drinking Corona Light. He's a complex man.

To lighten the mood, we had fun with hand mirrors (Oonagh) and yes, you can see his reflection in the mirror (Jim).

I popped up behind him and he had no clue. We laughed so hard afterwards.


The Daily Norm

Aside from the intense heat, today was just one of those ordinary days when you call up your favorite Brit and ask her if she'd like to ride out of town like Thelma and Louise or go grab some coffee. She chose the coffee. Then we decided to beat the heat and extend our vacation from work and see a psychic. Why not, right? Being that neither of us had ever done that before, it seemed to be the natural way to spend a portion of my Thursday. That, and the fact that we were curious if the psychic could tell us more about the potential TV show I mentioned here .

It sounds as if, even given my complete lack of ability to do good voice-overs, the show may just fly! But I don't want to jinx it, give too much away, or appear crazier than you may already think I am. So I'll just leave you with this question to ponder...

When we get booked on The Tonight Show with Conan and Robert Pattinson is also a guest, should I be honest with him and tell him I have a small Twilight poster in my closet or just pretend to not know him? Ah, the tough questions asked by we modern moms.


Dluxelist - A Chic Guide to Beautiful Things

(photo courtesy of dluxelist.com)

Dena Smolek contacted me recently about wanting to write a post about my furniture. So I told her ABSOLUTELY NOT! Actually, I kept my fingers crossed for days hoping she wouldn't suddenly find my furniture repulsive and not post it on her website. Her site is very cool -- I've become a bit of an addict checking out her lists daily. She has great taste in all things modern and fabulous, from clothes, to jewelry, to hand bags, to shoes, to body care products. She even posts alerts to online sales.

Check out her site at http://www.dluxelist.com. Even better, check out this link with an article about Mod Mom Furniture. :)

Here's a bit about Dena, the creator/writer....

D~LuxeList is written by Dena Smolek, a freelance writer and based in LA. She is a fashion fanatic, shopping pro, and beauty product junkie. This is D’s list of favorite things. When Dena is not busy writing or scouting story ideas, you’ll most likely find her shopping (which is technically a requirement of the job) or relaxing at the beach. Other work by Dena can be found in C Magazine, The Tip Jar and California Apparel News. Her work has also appeared in Daily Candy, Robb Report Vacation Homes, Woman’s Day, California Home & Design, EcoFabulous, Glam, Refinery29, Splendora, The San Francisco Chronicle, Trendcentral, Malibu Magazine, Metro.Pop, Citysearch, Elle.com, and SOMA, among others. View published clips at DenaSmolek.com


Bloody Hot

A bloody nose has been my new workshop sidekick. I wished for R.P. helping me in my garage but I got a bloody nose and friends being evacuated because of the La Canada Flintridge fire. I'm now refusing to hand over any more coins to the fountain. It's been unbelievably hot here (plus the fires close by) so my workshop is a toasty 100+ degrees and all I can think when I'm opening the garage door is why am I doing this? The air quality is so bad right now -- there's ash on everything that hasn't moved for 10 minutes. But I do anyway because if I don't, after a few hours in a closed garage with no cracked windows, I'm roasting and can't see through the veil of sawdust particles in the air.

I can remember back when I worked in a tall office building in downtown Chicago, we had a very different kind of pollutant scare. Someone sent fake anthrax to the office so naturally we were all sent home while the HAZMAT team examined the envelope and its powdery, white contents. It was a weird, scary feeling to think you may have just inhaled something horribly toxic. Ironically, living in LA with its gorgeous scenery and mostly blue skies, I forget that everyday I'm breathing in some form of toxic agent whether it be the smog, fire ash, or sawdust.

I'm thinking a nice mountain cabin in Colorado sounds really good right about now.


Lucky Diaz -- Musical Genius and Mod Mom Supporter

A few years back, when I first started Mod Mom Furniture, I posted a note on a site called Apartment Therapy, where loads of design-minded people go for inspiration. A super nice guy named Lucky offered to help me with a marketing piece (for free) that I had attached but wasn't functioning properly so no one could see anything I was talking about. I figured he lived in NYC but after a phone conversation, learned that not only did he live in LA but he loved what I was doing and genuinely wanted to help. That's not something that happens everyday. I built a few pieces for his adorable daughter in exchange for his web design experience. I think I got the better deal out of it. He designed my first fully functioning website in addition to fighting the good fight against some folks who weren't quite on board with what I was doing...without a design degree...in my garage. He's always been a huge supporter and I can't thank him enough for that.

Fast forward to a few years later when I learn that not only is he an amazing visual artist but he's also an extremely talented musician/singer/songwriter. Scott and I went to see him perform a couple of times and sat there in the audience like proud family members.

You couldn't find a cooler guy. A more genuine guy. And I couldn't be more thrilled to promote his album, Rainy Day Dimes. He plays with a group (Hitchcock Soundtracks) and also on his own. He's also coming out with a children's album that I know his five-year-old daughter is thrilled about!

Check out Lucky's music at the following places.



Lucky Diaz was destined for a life of music. Born in December of 1977, lucky has fond memories listening to radio hits in the backseat of his parent’s Oldsmobile Station Wagon. His biggest influences were and still include music legends like The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw, Joe Jackson and Stevie Ray Vaughn among others.After studying the acclaimed Berklee College of Music, Lucky based himself in Copenhagen, Denmark while touring Scandanvia. He also started composing songs for other artists, producers and various film and television projects.With an innate talent and musical ear, Lucky writes songs that leave the listener moved by their sincere emotion and catchy yet creative tune. Although his roots are firmly placed in Blues and Roots Rock, he draws inspiration from many different lyrical and musical influences. He describes his style as being funky and eclectic appealing to many audiences all at the same time. It is that versatility that has landed his songs in music compilations and feature films.Now back Los Angeles, Ca, Lucky is currently a session guitarist and busy promoting his newest EP Rainy Day Dimes


"Oh Spud! I'm a chain!"

Remember in Steel Magnolias when Spud (Truvy's husband) drives Truvy up to her new second location of her beauty shop called Truvy's West? I knew you would. Anyhow, she excitedly says, "Oh Spud! I'm a chain!"

That's exactly how I feel seeing all those boxes stacked three high with their official Mod Mom Furniture labels.

I'm just finishing packing up the last four of the fifteen toy boxes that are making their way to Canada on Wednesday. They were purchased by the new store Baby Bot (www.babybot.com) which will launch in September. Babybot will be the official carrier of Mod Mom Furniture in Canada so if you're Canadian and you're having a toy box emergency, they'll be available to buy (no waiting period) in September. Whoohooo!! I know, it's not as exciting as a nativity made entirely out of sparklers but it's something.

While we're at it, here are a few other good lines from that movie I've been known to throw out from time to time...

"A dirty mind is a terrible thing to waste."
"If you don't have somethin' nice to say, come sit by me."
"It looks like two pigs fighting under a blanket."

All this has me thinking I might just have to make a blood red cake in the shape of an armadillo to celebrate.


The Reason....

.....I haven't been updating my blog lately. Seriously, that's my living room. And there are eight more (as seen below) in my "clean" garage. You all knew I couldn't keep it clean, didn't you?


Childhood Memories

Today, I had to run out to a CNC wood shop that mostly cuts cabinet parts with its big expensive CNC machines. I've been doing this for awhile now. They cut some of the base pieces for me that way I don't have to run everything through my tablesaw. Anyhow, I had to take Grace with me and as we walked into the big warehouse of a building with all the machines going and all the guys waving hello, I had this sudden flashback.

I was elementary school age walking into my dad's weight room at the high school. He's been a football coach for many, many years and I couldn't be more proud of him. I have such fond memories of being in his weight room/locker room/coaching office, on occasion being on the field during practice, drawing pictures with chalk on his chalkboard in the athletic office during basketball games, and walking the field with him on Parent's Night. I could go on for days with all the little snapshots in my head.

I wonder if Grace will remember trips to the CNC shop like I remember trips to the football field during two-a-days? The smell of the sawdust in the air, the sound of the machines, the nice men helping me load wood into our minivan. But most of all, I wonder if later on down the road, she'll realize like I did, that those small moments shaped me more than my Dad or anyone could've possibly known. I hope she always feels like she belongs in both worlds. I just hope that she stays out of guys locker rooms until she's 35. Ok, maybe 30.


Neighborhood Friends

One of the advantages of working from home is that, on a occasion, you meet some really cool people who are just casually walking by your open garage. There's one in particular that I look forward to seeing by the name of Ray Kirkham. Ray works down the street at a paint store (and is brilliant at his job -- he's helped me a ton) so naturally, he walks past to go to his parked car daily.

Ray, who is of retirement age, shares his wicked sense of humor, wisdom, and thoughts on the world with me. He was even kind enough to give me a CD of his keyboard compositions. I think it's fantastic!! And I was honored he thought enough of me to hand one over.

Being alone in your garage gets old sometimes but knowing that folks like Ray may pop in from time to time makes it so much more enjoyable. Thanks, Ray, for always making me smile and for pushing me to get back to work when I'd rather chat with you.


Thank you DoMakeFindCreate!

Thanks to DoMakeFindCreate for this very kind article that I saw today.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Bring on the Toys

As any mother of a toddler can relate, the endless desire to find a storage solution for the growing collection of toys will make you crazy! I've used plastic tubs, baskets, bags... all of which I can't stand looking at. The backs of my sofas and chairs are now hiding places for eyesores. Today, however, I came across Mod Mom Furniture. This California mom's modern, handcrafted, eco-friendly toy boxes are so hip, you'll want to host playdate every week!

For ordering and/or a list of retailers visit ModMomFurniture.com



Designer Envy

A few days ago a Dwell Magazine fact checker contacted me to, well, fact check something she was told about my little company. She asked if I had designed the Bertie Box for Magis. To which I said, "Who's Magis?"

Well, apparently Magis is a phenomenal Italian design company that employs only top designers to produce the coolest kids stuff on the market. I looked them up on the internet and then went to the Designed For Kids book that by sure luck, I had several designs featured. Sure enough, Magis is all over the place in that book. One of the pieces called Nido was designed by Javier Mariscal who designed the mascot for the Olympic Games in Barcelona in 1992. And then there's Finnish designer Eero Aarnio who designed the iconic hanging Bubble chair in the 1960's. He's created the Trioli (see photo above) chair for www.magismetoo.com. Oh, and Rosario Hurtado and Roberto Feo who, on page 122, show off their Mico. One of those insanely smart, functional playthings that is in every design book known to man.

Why oh why couldn't that one fact be true?!?! Just this once, ya know?!?!

(Psst....Magis.....Call me! :))

(Bubble chair by Eero Aarnio)


Thanks Precious Quilts All the Way from England

Thanks Precious Quilts! Since you're in England, can you tell my good friend Oonagh Delaney Gottlieb I said hi and that I miss her. She's up near Manchester. I'll tell whomever you want in LA that you said hi.:)



Re-post: My Husband the Guest Blogger

I was reading through some of my old posts and came across this one that I'd honestly forgotten about (good wife, I know)....so I'm reposting it. I've never done that before and it feels a bit like cheating but this post made me smile. Anyhow, I think this guy is a good writer and really has some inside scoop on the Mod Mom Furniture empire. As all 21 of you who read this blog well know, it's tough to infiltrate the inner workings of my company since I'm so closeted about it all.

Here it is.....



Dust Bunnies

Who thinks the mask works better when a.) it's on your face and b.) isn't full of sawdust? You can call me safety girl.

What's wrong with me that I don't want to wear that mask? Next thing you know, I'll be taking up smoking to clear out my dusty lungs.


Midnight Hour

Last night, my house was quiet. My kids and husband were sound asleep. And I was genuinely happy to be in my garage working away at midnight. The downside of working out of your garage is it's flippin' hot here in LA in the summer. I'm inside getting cooled off right now but will shortly return to my oven, I mean garage, for more carpentry work.

And for those of you thinking, "get an air conditioner," it doesn't work that way when sawdust is involved. I would have to buy a ventilation system and an air conditioner. And that would significantly cut into the cash on reserve for fake toenails and non-mom jeans.

So I'll push through the heat. One plus side is on occasion, without proper hydration, the temperature will bring on some strange hallucinations. Like the one where my husband buys me a book called The Time Traveler's Wife and I put down Breaking Dawn and read it. I mean, come on!!! That's just crazy talk.


Another Edition of Translate That Article!!!

While the paint is drying on a toy box, I came in out of my boiling garage to cool off. Look what I found while searching the internet!!

Get ready because this time we're going to......AUSTRIA!!!!

I love when I get to use an online translator!!!! I'm such a stealth online detective that I figured out that the article came from Austria. From what I can tell, this online site ran an article/slide show of international gear designed for kids from the 2008 book, Designed for Kids (Phyllis Richardson.) And I was lucky enough to have the Owyn included.

Here's the text...
Was tun, wenn die Kinder ihre Spielsachen in der ganzen Wohnung verteilt herumliegen lassen? Den kleinen Rabaukern nachlaufen und all das Zeug wieder einsammeln? Wenn, dann aber bitte nur in Begleitung von der Owyn Toy Box. Mit der verspielten Kiste auf Rädern, entworfen von Kiersten Hathcock (Mod Mom Furniture), macht sogar das Aufräumen Spaß!

And here's the translation.....
What do if the children her toys allow to lie around in the whole apartment distributed? To the small Rabaukern run after and collect all stuff again? If, then, however, please only in company of the Owyn Toy Box. With the playful box on wheels, sketched by Kiersten Hathcock (Mod Mom Furniture), even the cleaning out is great fun!

The link to the website http://www.news.at/channels/85/main.shtml and article/slideshow http://www.news.at/nw1/gen/slideshows/slide/show;wohnen/buecher/edition_braus/01_designed_for_kids/;template;susi/default/;kid;85

Thanks www.news.at!


I Heart Stock Lumber...and The London Hotel in West Hollywood

I just got back from Stock Lumber in Burbank (on Victory) and I just have to say, if you live in The Valley and need wood, Stock is your place. I really can't say enough about how great everyone is who works there -- and how helpful they are and have always been. When I first started out and was terrified to head to the lumber yard for fear I'd be laughed out the big metal gates, they treated me with such respect and kindness. I kinda feel like I'm walking into a local pub where everyone knows my name now. Except they don't give me booze, just plywood.

I've had my share of rude, chauvinistic encounters working in my male-dominated industry, and it's really hard to shake off sometimes no matter how much grief I give right back to them. It will go round and round in my head for days. And I'll think of all sorts of better responses I should have given. I'm again, so thankful, that all I feel at Stock is love.

Speaking of love, I tried out The London Hotel in West Hollywood for a night with my friends this past weekend and had the best time. Talk about surreal! One day I was at a posh hotel poolside sipping vodka tonics and the next, I'm at the lumber yard. A few dozen gorgeous skinny model types would walk by us at the hotel and I'd "guess" their occupation. Never once did I guess carpenter. Something tells me they weren't picking up casters and Baltic Birch today.

(Nice cabana, eh?!? And just look at that wood floor!!! Gorgeous!)



This post will suffer from A.D.D. today. My brain is all over the place for some reason so I thought I'd just jot it all down in case any of it is even the least bit interesting. In bullet form, no less.

* First off, a BIG shout out to Eamonn Gottlieb and his mom, Oonagh, for thinking of me when they came across an Edward Cullen doll in a local store. I'm now the proud owner of said "action figure." I literally jumped up and down when Eam gave it to me. I was the cool, furniture building mom in his eyes. Now I'm just the pathetic thirty-something with a crush on a fictional character. But whatever. Cool is over-rated. I HAVE A FREAKIN' EDWARD CULLEN ACTION FIGURE!!!!

* Scott's parents are in town and we're having a ball with them. And they're helping me out by keeping my kids occupied while I build my ass off. We had a Palm Springs weekend complete with lounge singers, more lounge singers, playing chicken in the pool, and poolside drinks.

* Sometime this week the production team that is working on getting a show sold in that involves me and my dear friend Oonagh will be here filming a bit more. And I have to do a few more voice overs. Why? BECAUSE I WAS CRAP THE FIRST TIME, I'm sure. Why is it so damn hard to sound casual when you have a a mic and camera in your face? Maybe if I stick Edward in my pocket, I'll feel better. I could go a WHOLE lotta ways with that but I'll just leave it. There. Right there. :)

P.S. I have to make it known that my husband saw the doll in a store and was going to buy it for me when Eam beat him to the punch. Since it's (I've) become the joke of our family, he's even hung up the Twilight poster in my closet without me knowing about it.



Confession time.


And the freedom it brings my life. Sadly, the last day is tomorrow so I'll now be the one figuring out what kinds of summer fun my kids have from 9-4pm everyday...all day...UNTIL THE END OF SUMMER!

But before I start crying on the keyboard, I'll take a step back. To the year 2003. It was the year I became a stay-at-home mom after leaving my marketing job at A&E and The History Channel. It was one of the hardest, most depressing years of my life. I was supposed to feel so gleeful and head-over-heals happy that I was now a stay-at-home Mom but to be honest, I had a really hard time transitioning. To add insult to injury, I felt so guilty for not instantly falling in love with my stay-at-home life. I had always wanted a career and always wanted to be creative in some capacity that didn't involved glueing dried beans to a piece of paper. And yet I also wanted to be a mom who was there more than my corporate job would allow. So there I sat in my big house trying to reconnect with my son (then 5) and really get to know my baby Grace, (then 1.) More or less, I was trying to figure out who I was without my job.

It eventually got easier and we made the move to LA where I was forced to think about how to bring in an income but by that time, was SOOOO not wanting to go back to long hours and worries about daycare and all that jazz so I became a nanny to two incredibly adorable babies. It turned motherhood into a job for me so I treated it like that. We had a schedule, park dates, museum trips, etc. and I just plugged away like that for two years.

I'm now at that stage in my life where I have a full-time job working from home and for the most of the year, my kids are away at school during the day-time hours. Aside from really NEEDING time for my business, I feel like I really need time for myself.

Which brings me to.....AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Summer Camp is ending!!!! I have to plan outings, playdates, swim days, in between furniture building, client meetings, Facebook time, and rereading the Twilight series over and over again. I will somehow figure out how to work this job all the while limiting my kids TV viewing to less than 3 hours a day, so help me God. Ok, less than 5 hours a day. When would I have time to check Facebook if it was just 3 hours?


Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine: The Sequel!

I opened my mailbox to find another Pregnancy and Newborn magazine yesterday. And for a second, I thought someone was trying to tell me something. Then I remembered something about my furniture being in the summer edition. Low and behold, it is!

Thanks to Pregnancy and Newborn Mag for including the Noah Owl Box! And thanks to all the pregnant ladies out there looking at it and somewhat considering it for their babies' rooms.


Canada, Oh Canada

Mod Mom is international! A new Canadian modern baby store (launching at the end of the summer -- more info to come later) ordered 15 toy boxes to be driven by truck to Canada. I've been working on regular orders but have also had some help from an amazing local woodworker to help me produce all 15 in time for the launch. I am THRILLED beyond belief with this order for two reasons: 1.) the owner of the new store is a former client. She ordered them after receiving her Owyn Toy Box a couple of months ago. Nothin' better than that, right? and, 2.) it's one order for 15 toy boxes. At the most, stores generally buy two at a time.

I'm slowly, with loads of fear in my eyes, trying to figure out where to go from here. I'm getting requests from Italy, England, Australia, etc and have no idea how to fill them and make it worth their while monetarily. No surprise that shipping is through the roof.

So I'm slowly seeking out ways to partner with other furniture companies. Being such a design novice, I have no idea what I'm doing but I'm sure to get schooled on the internet, the way I do when I diagnose someone with a deadly disease that they don't have. Should be a piece of cake, right? Right?


Dwell Magazine - Product of the Day!

The Bertie landed the coveted Product of the Day spot on Dwell Magazine's online website. Many thanks to Jordan for seeking me out!!!

Here's the link: http://www.dwell.com/products/bertie-box.html


Happy Father's Day, Scott and Dad!

My two favorite men. Thanks for putting up with me. :)

Dad, I will always laugh at your jokes no matter how many times I've heard them.

Scott, I will strive to reduce the amount of sawdust and dirt that ends up in our bed. That's how much I love you.


The Real Deal

You're not going to believe the workshop make-over my husband did while I was fishin' (well...really just laying on the blanket) and eating beef sticks in Ohio. I was speechless when I saw it. Something tells me this guy still likes me after 13 years. He doesn't even seem to mind that I've fallen totally in love with Edward Cullen from the Twilight series that I read and finished over a four day span in Ohio. (No joke, all four books. And I normally can't get through a whole People Magazine.) Anyhow, back to the garage.

He surprised me with this complete redo. And now I'm freakin' out because it looks so damn official. Like I really AM a business. He even wants to put a TV out there but I said no. I can just watch TV on my laptop...or the Twilight movie over and over again for months on end until I realize that the movie isn't real, and those are just actors playing roles, and Robert Pattinson won't be walking into my garage workshop to help me sand furniture while he stares broodingly into my eyes. Sigh.

(Scott, you know I love you more than Robert Pattinson, aka Edward Cullen. Thank you for being you. And for working your ass off in my workshop. )