March 26, 2012

a peek inside

{some serious house photographs}

There's a little something posted over on Design*Sponge today! I'm essentially only capable of documenting my work and my feet, so it's pretty cool to have someone else taking beautiful photographs of corners of our house that I'm entirely unable to take myself. Here's a chance to see what's in the other parts of our apartment that's usually kept to dusty, messy studio shots.  Jennifer once again kicked butt with that camera of hers. I'm always amazed and in awe of her, and maybe even envious of her talent! I mean, I've photographed that hammer a million times and yet, boom! This is my new favorite picture of it, outshining every other {boy do I love me that hammer!} My only regret is that Ze wasn't there at the time to be in a photo or two, but psha, he probably would've hated that anyway. So cheers to awesome photographers and writers who miraculously like my stuff, and care enough to show it off. Thanks loves!

March 22, 2012

the chevron table repeat

{because we like this pattern, a lot}.

Yep, I made another one. It looks the same as the last I know, but trust me, she's new. I got commissioned to build two of these tables and they were ordered within a week of each other! I concur, this pattern is among my top most favorites too. I think one day when I have the time to build myself a giant dining room table {oh wait, no, I mean the space} I will make it this pattern. Maybe repeating a few times down the length -- Yeah! I like that idea. Bookmark that baby for laterz, fo sho.

from a distance

Three thousand and twenty-one miles away from me is the second love of my life, il vecchio. I am not there to photograph it, check in on it, make sure everything is just so, but I've made peace with that by now. I think about those tables everyday, like they are my children in a far off place. I wonder how they are wearing with time, I wonder if the kilim pillows are all facing the right direction, I wonder if the menu's are being printed on the correct paper {let me assure you, they are not}, I wonder if they are filling vases with the correctly subdued flowers or keeping the candles lit. I've got my minions over there keeping their eyes peeled, but alas, it's just not the same. But hey, I'm going there to visit. In april. Tables! I have missed thee! How are you feeling, my loves?

Well, here is a pretty little photo someone else took {snatched from the local newspaper's food blog} that made me quite happy. We call this the New York Nook, firstly, because I built it entirely out of materials that came from Brooklyn {oak wood flooring, old doors, and a bit of lath too!} and secondly, because it's a bit tiny. Meant for two, but there have definitely been times when five people have happily squeezed in there {what can I say, people in California love a wee bit of the New York experience, even if all it consists of is fitting into teeny-weeny spaces}.

Anyhoo, I felt like rambling today. There will be many more photographs of this lovely bustling place come April, when I'm sure to annoy many-a-guest with my incessant trigger-happiness. I'll try not to, but I can't promise anything. Now get back to work, girl!

March 20, 2012

a table for coffee

Another sunny day on the roof
{and the realization that every new piece becomes my favorite}.

Mostly, I took these photographs here for lack of a better place to shoot, but this table up on the roof with city in the background became so ultimately Brooklyn that I rather love the continuation of the story. These tables are made from the wood that people here have ripped from their houses, torn from these buildings, and here it is, that wood which was discarded as useless just the other day is now turned into this.

I always feel like a crazy person every time I'm caught red handed hauling old wood to or from my car. I know darn well that I'm only one in a hundred of us splinter-crazed-Brooklynites who dumpster dive, yet sometimes, I just wish I could have a cloak of invisibility to aid me in my self-embarrassment, so I could be left at peace, with no on-lookers, no judgers, no gawkers, no people dubiously asking me questions or telling me to be careful of rusty nails or splinters {you think?}. Maybe then with no one around to give me odd stares I could finally feel that what I'm doing is not, entirely, off-the-charts-insane. It is insanity, yeah I know that. But it's justified insanity. At least, once you see the finished product it is. Up until that moment though, I just look like a dusty pack-rat of the oddest sort.

Oh well! The wood speaks for itself, and is rather more confident than I. It says I deserve to be a coffee table goddammit, and not rotting in the landfill! What smart wood it is. What smart wood.

March 16, 2012

a table to dine on

{and me, ridiculously happy about it}.


This table has been a long time coming. I selectively pieced it together and spent hours just sitting and staring at it. How is that necessary, you ask? Well, this table is important to me. It should have been completed months ago, but the woman who commissioned it is a saint of patience and understanding, so here it sat, legless, waiting for the right house to be gutted so that I could have the perfect wood for the base. Finally, the right wood did appear, thanks entirely to Amelie who always has her eyes open for me.

Technically, this was my first big commission {hence me saying that it should have been done months ago}, but that is why it will have it's place in history. With this, my world became hopeful and I thought for the first time that maybe, just maybe, I could actually get away with this -- "this" of course being: not having a real job, building furniture based on inspiration, from materials I do not buy, out of my apartment, with a few crucial tools, enough desire to power a refrigerator, the determination of a crazy person, and not much else. So yeah, this table saved me. As cheesy as it sounds, this table gave me hope. So here it is. My biggest, most exciting table to date.

And some questions that I am anticipating are answered as follows: No, I did not photoshop that pigeon into the photograph. The pictures were taken in a freight elevator and the poor thing was trapped in there and attempting to crap on my table. The second answer is: No, it did not succeed in crapping on my table. And thirdly, the underside of table is wallpapered with hand printed paper -- triangles! Not that you'll ever see it.

Then, on an aside, have you read this post yet? It's by an amazingly talented girl, from my newest favorite blog, who I now consider my newest friend. Well, you should read it. It's powerful and moving and inspiring, and it's a coming together of like minds in a way I never would have pictured happening if you told me that it would happen a few years ago. I mean, really, meeting friends online? Phfa! But alas, it's true and real, and freaking awesome.

And one last thing. Today, one year ago. Happy Birthday blog! We've come a long way together.

March 13, 2012

hello tables

A lot has changed for me in the past month, and it's been freakin' fantastic. Take these five tables for example. Here they are, on my roof, minding their own business. But in a couple of days they will be flying through the post, on a truck, on their way to Oklahoma. Yes! They are going to live happy little table lives in a sweet cafe called Evoke, where people will use them everyday, spill coffee, snack, and chat over them. It's all very exciting. And it's only my second commercial contribution since my California restaurant, and I'm pretty darn excited. So excited, in fact, that I busted 'em out. I have the splinters to prove it.

As we all know, I love raw, untreated wood. I've said it before, but it gets me every time. I just can't get used to it. I had to seal these with polyurethane for the high traffic use they will inevitably endure, and the wood got dark. Way dark. And yup, here it is again, my unavoidable, unjustified, three-hour-long period of mourning over the pale, soft colors that once were. *sigh*

But as the sun set and I sat there frozen and unable to seal the rest of them, I slowly kicked myself into accepting it. Whattaya gonna do? The first coffee stain on raw wood and, boom, not so pretty now, eh? So at this point, I'm happy. They look lovely and I'm proud of them. Tomorrow, surely, I'll have barely an hour of remorse as I seal the others. Then off to Oklahoma it is with the lot of you!

March 11, 2012

beekeeping, woodworking

My rooftop cheese board sanding was interrupted the other day when the hatch opened and my neighbor stepped out. He donned his mask and I grabbed my camera, since it was such a beautiful day the bees were out and active, so active, actually, that he needed to add another wooden box onto his hive {proper terminology here is totally unavailable}. Basically, the bees needed more space. His particular type of bees are calm and friendly -- in fact, I've seen him do this before without a veil and without gloves. I was so close to the hive that bees were bouncing off my face and a few were briefly caught in my hair. I was a little timid at first, but grew confident as they hummed around me as though I was not there, peaceful and polite. In the summer he gives us jars of honey and every time it's a different flavor, a different color, so delicious we only eat it with a spoon and refuse to waste it on anything else. Liquid gold, from the trees in our very backyards. Beautiful. It was a classic Brooklyn moment, beekeeping on the rooftops.

Oh, and P.S. Then some table making.

March 7, 2012

lately {bits of insanity and extreme messes}

Basically it goes clean, messy, clean, messy. Then it goes messy, messy, messy. I trash the place, explode saw dust and expand all over the dining table, a wee bit into the living room, maybe blocking the stairs now and then and definitely making others step over a lot of wood to get anywhere. I mean, I leave paths. Passageways, you know? Like a garden. Then I sweep it all up and start over. I find myself saying sorry often as my poor boyfriend tries to bring his bike through the living room which is, of course, blocked by a table. Where did this table come from! Uh, I just made it. Sorry sorry sorry. I should just have a sticky note stuck on every surface of the house, as though that would excuse it. As if it's the sticky notes fault. "Sorry!" says the sticky note to the very patient boyfriend.