Thursday, December 18, 2008

loveli art

This entry is not about home, but it's still about DIY and it's still art related.

I've always been a little bit shy of my husband calling me an artist. When he told his friend I was an artist, I just shrinked thinking that I'm just someone who makes things around the home, and I can be a little crafty and creative...but not an artist!!! I love to have the glamorous stuff, but I just don't want to pay glamorous price, so I try to make it myself. If I could build a mercedez benz myself, I wouldn't have bought it, I would make it! LOL!!! G just has been sooo supportive and telling me I'm an artist even before I believe it myself!

So I guess we are both DIY artists. Me doing home design, and him doing spoken word. He has been his own manager his whole career, so that's even extra DIY!

He's so proud of me, and even though I don't put it on my blog or say it, I'm so proud of him too. He's not shy about supporting my art, so i shouldn't be shy about supporting his art too.

even though 2008 was not that easy of a year for us, I think all the hard work he has done as an artist has finally starts to pay off this year. An agent approached him this summer and wanted to represent him. He was unsure about it because he likes to do everything himself, but when he saw the kind of celebrity they represent, he decided to do it. They are called American Program Bureau and they seem to like him a lot. Now he has the same agent as Jay Leno, Ellen Degeneres, LL Cool J, Jon Stewart, Nas, Mary J Blige, Spike Lee, and Kim Cattral! It's legit, not one of those guys on the streets who tell you they work for a modeling agency and ask you for a $200 deposit LOL! They already booked him a show at a University in Texas and they took care of him really well.

And while he is a great performer and an entertainer, he is also respected in academics. Last year, Harvard produced a documentary about three artists and he was one of them. But what I love most about him is that he really is the most humblest dude. If you talk to him in person you can have a hard time imagining him onstage and he has a hard time talking about it. and me, I'm less humble. I'm just a BALLER on a BUDGET!

Another thing that happened this year was G was in an independent movie playing a conceited poet. He says he based it on someone he knew but I promised him that i won't say who! We heard that it got accepted into the San Francisco Asian American Film Festival! It's the biggest asian american film festival in the country...hehe...and my man is the star!

One last moment of bragging- He was just invited to teach a college class at UMass Boston next year too! The University asked him to teach a class about story telling, poetry and performance in 2009.

I'm just sooo excited for him!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Green pinkish red and purplish dinner party

Over the past weekend we were invited by Kalianne to attend a holiday party/birthday party in Waltham. The theme of the party was Asian food, so anyone who brought food had to bring something Asian. Those that knows me know this is what I do best! Because I'm really bad at following directions, I'm not good with following recipes - but with Asian food it's best to cook with feeling and love.

I brought Yum Woon Sen, a spicy cold noodle dish with lots of fresh herbs we picked from the garden in our stairwell.

Kalianne may not speak a lot of Khmer but she can hella cook Khmer food LoL!!! She made amok, and I was very impressed with it. And G liked it a lot too...but too bad I don't know how to make it for him! She also made prahok katih, a fermented fish dip with fresh vegetables. Her buddy Sabrina also cooked too, like brussel sprouts that actually tastes good! It was so good, I thought there was meat in it, because you know nothing tastes good without meat!

Check out the dessert...the pictures can speak for itself. Kalliane made most of them, and she is a great baker!

I love how the hostess were very detailed, like the tables were all set so nice, with cut flowers as centerpieces and snowflake doilies hanging from the ceiling.

We are looking forward to the next get-together!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pho soup!!!

In a few days I will go visit these dudes. Can someone tell me why they are sooo greasy? hi Jermaine Jackson!! I love kissing these kids, but I think there mom greases there face as a kiss repellent.

Friday, December 12, 2008

diy menu

this is another project from a while back.

G and I work as creative co-directors for my brothers thai restaurant. last year, we repainted the whole interior with the help of my cousin kunthea in one night using three colors. customers who came in friday or saturday, then came back in on monday were shocked! but we forgot to take pictures of how bad it looked before we painted!

so anyway, this post isn't about that, it's about a more recent project: the menus.

my brother soden who is the owner of the restaurant was going to order new menus because his old ones were so shitty. but it costed like $700 for 25 menus! i thought i heard it wrong, but i confirmed with him that this is actually the cost! so being the frugal person i am, i volunteered the tek-li factory to produce new menus - and he would only have to pay for materials. no labor, what a deal!

I knew I wanted to work with bamboo. it has that raw organic feeling that them folks like. That's just the demographics of our customers.

we found some bamboo place mats, and used them as covers for the menus. but the place mats were too floppy, so i went to broadleaf studios, owned by theresa and sophea for some advice. When I got there, I met with both consultants. They helped solidify a concept. Not only did they helped find a solution to make the place mats stiff by using chipboard, but also recommended using photo corners so that the menu could be easily updated. Thanks Theresa and Sophea for all your help!!

Even though most of the materials were inexpensive, i did not cut corners on paper. I bought exotic paper from the Paper Source for the inside covers. I used different papers so that customers could feel that they're handmade and not all the same.

Giles did the most important piece: he wrote the introduction and rewrote the menu, and formatted it all.

it took a really long time to get them done. but we made 40 menus for less than $300. Our customers thought they were dope! Some even wanted to keep the menu after placing an order so that they can take time to read through. It's good to know that our hard work was appreciated.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

DIY dress to apron

one really DIY project i like to do is buying a cheap dress with an interesting pattern and turning it into an apron. funky aprons at anthropologie cost about $30! so why not buy a dress from the clearance rack at forever 21 for $7 and just cut it up?

anthrolopolgie's apron mostly just looks like a cut up dress anyway. they want it to look like it's recycled, but you don't pay a recycled price! all their stuff has that look - as though it's repurposed stuff you find in a thrift shop...which makes it real easy for me to rip off their ideas! LOL!

i think i made this one about a year ago, but iwas going through my old photos and found this - and i wanted to share because i think my model is cute.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Preston Bailey fo cheap!

Happy Holiday everyone!

as a kid, my refugee family never had a real christmas tree during the season. we only had a dinky fake one, and i always dreamed of having a lavish beautiful real tree in my home with ornaments and lights and the wonderful fresh scent all through the house.

but the grinch named G never had a real tree either, and he STILL doesn't want one! he says he doesn't agree with killing a living thing for decoration. last year i disagreed, but this year, i just used it as an opportunity to be creative!

now you all know i like to window shop, but even more i like to sidewalk shop! that means i walk around the neighborhood for old furniture people have thrown away, and that i can freshen up and use again. this time, me and the Grinch walked around the trees in back of our building and picked up a bunch of fallen branches and brought them home.

we spray painted them white, cut them in the appropriate places, and then put them in a tall vase that we used as decoration at our wedding. i cut up some wack garland and turned them into cute little ornaments - AND i put a bird in her nest on one of the branches, because birds have been the theme this year!

i was going after a whimsical look like Preston Bailey - and the result is our own "found" holiday tree that cost us the price of just one spray paint can. AND grinchy G didn't complain about killing a living thing. i'm happy we went through this trouble, because it makes it more special than if we just bought a tree from home depot. we get to have the holiday spirit, but with our own flava!