Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday Wishlist

This week, I want these delicious looking pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.  Those hat embellishments are just darling! 
{via WhiskKid}
The recipe and more photos are on WhiskKid.  The recipe uses canned pumpkin, so it's pretty simple.  Yummmm.

It's a Rainy Day

It's a rainy day here in San Francisco...

Felt cloud mobile by leptitpapillon.

Rainy day card by me.

Rain and boots flat note cards by me.
Umbrella by David David via Oh Joy!

Delicate sterling silver studs by JoannaRutter.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

There's been a lot of hype about the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo now that it will be made into a Hollywood movie so when I was trapped at the airport with no reading materials, I did not hesitate to snap up my own copy.  I had no idea what the book was about apart from the fact that it's a thriller and a huge bestseller along with the other two books in Stieg Larsson's trilogy.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Without giving too much away, the book's main character is a disgraced journalist, Michael Blomkvist, who has been hired by a wealthy family to solve a murder/disappearance which occurred 40 years prior.  Somewhere along the way, Blomkvist enlists the help of a genius but troubled hacker investigator who can dig up dirt on just about anyone.  The opening was a bit slow, but the pace picks up after a few chapters.  I finished most of the book on my flights from San Francisco to Tampa, so it's a quick read, but it is graphic and sad.  The main theme of that permeates the book deals with sadism and violence against women.  It's not for everyone...and for that reason, I think I will have to skip the movie. 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Custom Wedding Thank You Cards

A few months ago, T, a bride-to-be, approached me with a request to create custom Thank You cards for her wedding.  T had the paper, the font and the colors already chosen, since the thank you cards were meant to match her letterpress invitation and reply card.  The theme of her invitations involved two loving elephants - symbols of loyalty and patience.  We played around with different layouts involving T and E's initials and the elephants, and finally, this is what T choose.

The cards were printed on Crane's lettra paper in ecru with chocolate brown ink.  To get the greeting on the outside of the card and the initials on the inside, the cards required two passes through my gocco.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Off to Tampa

Our dear friends T and E are getting married this weekend in Florida.  I've been busy wrapping up things at work and packing and will have to leave you for a long weekend with this post. 

We'll be hanging out on the beach at the Sheraton Sand Key Resort.  Yay!
The cross country flight might be brutal, but it will be great to catch up with old friends and to see what T has planned for us.

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ginger Carrot Cupcakes

I have long been a fan of Chockylit's delicious creations which are beautifully photographed and posted on Cupcake Bakeshop.  This past weekend, my sister-in-law asked if I had a good cupcake recipe, so we made my go-to recipe for Ginger Carrot Cupcake paired with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting.  The recipe is pretty easy, especially if you have a food processor.  The recipe below is based on Chockylit's recipe but I use a little less sugar and a little extra vanilla.
Makes 30 cupcakes

1 cup pecans
1 pound carrots
3 large eggs
1/2 cup 1% fat buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/4 cup candied ginger (purchased at Trader Joe's)
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. toast pecans in a 350 degree oven for 5 minutes
2. remove from the oven, let them cool, then chop coursely
3. peel, rinse, then grate carrots coursely
4. in a large bowl, combine carrots, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, sugar, vegetable oil,
fresh ginger, and candied ginger
5. in another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon
6. fold flour mixture into the carrot mixture
7. fold in pecans
8. scoop out into cupcake pans
9. bake at 350 degree oven for ~20 minutes or unti cake tester comes out clean
10. cool in pan for 15 minutes, cool on wire rack completely

I made these for my wedding and on several other occasions.  They are soooo good!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The CP Business Card!

Earlier this year, I realized that in order to approach gift shops with my cards and to show at craft fairs, I'd need a business card.  Our original Chunky Pineapple logo although very cute, does not lend itself well to gocco printing or letterpress because it cannot easily be reduced to a black and white image.  In my blog travels, I came across a great letterpress company called Dingbat Press and they offer a great little branding package.

As part of the package, Adrienne created three original designs in different styles based on my answers to a series of questions.  I wanted something fun, feminine and modern.  We went through two rounds of proofing and my wonderful girlie girls voted on the designs and helped me come to a final decision.  The proofs are below.  They are not 100% final, but I thought I would give you all a sneak peak.
The package comes with 100 business cards and 50 tags.  I had originally wanted to print in yellow to continue the pineapple theme, but it was just too light for the small font.  I love orange though!
The package also includes a file for a blog banner so there might be some changes here on the blog soon!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mmmmm....delicious photos

I took a techniques class at Williams-Sonoma this weekend about using slow cookers and pressure cookers to cook tough meats until they are tender.  The class was ok, but I mainly just like perusing the store.  I saw a copy of this book on display and loved the photos. 
Baked Explorations
The book contains recipes for classics such as Banana Cream Pie, Black & White Cookies, Mississippi Mud Pie and pages of beautiful photos.  It will be on my Christmas list for sure.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Wishlist

More Orla Kiely goodness.  This EVOKE Mio radio designed by Orla Kiely will be available in John Lewis in the UK in November and then at other selected retailers starting in March 2011.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Do you like spicy food?

I'm Cantonese, so hot spicy peppers and sauces were not very prevalent in the food I ate growing up.  In fact, out of all of my friends, I'm probably one of the wimpiest when it comes to spicy food.  Until about 2 years ago, I would always shy away from the heat and often wondered why people would ruin perfectly good ingredients by making it painful to eat.  I'm not really sure what has changed, but I find myself enjoying some tasty spicy Chinese dishes.  Maybe I killed off a sufficient amount of taste buds at Spices II.
{Photo by Telstar Logistics}
Spices II specializes in Szechuanese and Taiwanese style Chinese food.  The food is pretty consistent, though once in a while a little on the salty side.  The dry braised string beans and the deep fried fish with chili peppers (la zi yu) are amazing!  Another one of my favorites is the iron pot of tofu which includes four different types of tofu in a brown and slightly spicy sauce.  They're also known for stinky tofu if that's your thing.  We do ask them to bring the spice down a notch for some of the dishes so that I can try everything.  Some items on the menu are just TOO intense.

Spices II is located on 6th Avenue near Clement in the Richmond district.  There is another Spices on 8th Avenue which has a different menu.  We definitely prefer this location.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bold Wallpaper

I've been seeing bold wallpaper patterns in a few places recently.  They look great in the photos, but I'm not sure how long it would take before I would start to find that it's either too bold or outdated.
Mod Green Pod
{via Design Sponge}
{via Apartment Therapy}

I've also seen blog posts about framing patterned wallpaper to make an "art" piece or adhering it to the inside of shelves and cupboards.  That's a less permanent way to dress up a wall or accent a room...less messing with all that water and glue too.
{via The Zhush}
{Orla Kiely via La Maison Boheme}

Monday, October 11, 2010

Multilingual Christmas Cards

I just posted these Christmas cards in the Chunky Pineapple Etsy shop over the weekend.  I created the image of a Christmas tree with different languages and different fonts.  How many of the languages can you identify?
On Cranes Lettra paper
On matte white paper

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Winter Wonderland Craft Bazaar

I just found out today that Chunky Pineapple has been accepted to participate in the Winter Wonderland Craft Bazaar on December 4 at Urban Bazaar in the Inner Sunset.  The fair will feature handmade goods (with a holiday focus) created by members of the SF Etsy team.  More details will follow as the date of the event grows closer, but I just wanted to share the happy news and get it on some of your calendars early.  Yay!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Christmas Gift Cards

They're finally ready!  I'm excited to show you the Christmas gift cards that I designed and printed and have just added to our Etsy shop.

I used six different colors to print this card, five of which are shimmery metallic inks making these extra festive.
These cards are too small to be sent through the mail as Christmas cards, but they are perfect for attaching to gifts as gift tags.

Friday Wishlist

In high school, I had pair of black lace up oxford style heels.  That menswear-inspired look, though updated, has made a comeback and seems to be in all the stores now. teenage styles are being recycled already. 
Two things that I didn't have back then air technology in a pair of heels and the smarts to know that I should look for wider width shoes to save my feet from all kinds of suffering.  These stylish Cole Haan Air Violet Oxford Pumps are available in C Width.

Update:  This popped up today...20% off of these lovelies if you donate to Common Cents.  Sounds like a good deal to me.

Details are here.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Blue Bottle Coffee

When I moved to San Francisco three years ago, Mr. CP had chosen an apartment on Linden Street in Hayes Valley.  It didn't take us long to notice the long lines on the other end of our alley every morning, particularly on weekends.
{via Yelp}
What is this magical place, we asked?  It turns out that we lived right down the block from one of the most beloved coffee roasters in San Francisco, Blue Bottle Coffee.
{Photo by Brook Peterson}
{Photo by DennisandLuba}
My favorite is their iced coffee and Mr. CP has forsaken all other types of coffee and buys their beans to make coffee at home.  It's not just SF hype either, because we've brought out of town guests there and they can't get enough of it.  Sometimes, I bring bags of beans back to NY with me for friends.
{Photo by zzi}

In the three years that I've been here, Blue Bottle has opened up additional locations around the city, including a coffee bar in the Ferry Building.  If you're in San Francisco and down for some strong caffeinated beverages, you should definitely check them out.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So Pretty!

I saw this wedding guest book on the front page of etsy this morning.  There is something about the simple lines and color contrast that really make it stand out for me.  It's customizable and perfect for almost any style of wedding...well maybe not the super floral or old school styles...but I just love it!
White Sparrow Bindery

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Christmas before Halloween

I know it's not just me.  I know you have all noticed it too.  Retailers have always started to prepare for the winter holidays early.  It used to be that you'd see seasonal items appearing right after Thanksgiving...then the Christmas cards and wrapping started to creep onto shelves earlier and earlier prior to turkey day.  Now...I've seen Christmas candy and all sorts of things lining shelves way before Halloween!

This phenomenon has hit Etsy as well, so I've posted a few of my favorite holiday cards below.  And get ready...I'll be posting a couple new Chunky Pineapple holiday designs soon.  =)

Two Guitars
Crafted by Lindy
Lucky Bee Press
Port Hope Press

Monday, October 4, 2010

Gray Nails

During my last pedicure I wanted to try something new.  Red looks better with my skintone than light pink and I can't get anywhere near coral or orange-ish shades, so I usually stick with a nice red like Opi Chick Flick Cherry or a slightly brick-ish color like Opi Paint my Mojitoes.  I saw an interesting brownish grey color called You Don't Know Jacques and it came out nicely, but I then became obsessed with finding a grayer, less brown, nail polish.
You Don't Know Jacques
After extensive magazine and internet research, below four of the shades that look appealing. 
Concrete Jungle
YSL Tuxedo
Chanel Particuliere
China Glaze Recycle
The Chanel shade is a little on the brown side and the YSL shade might be a bit too dark for me, but you never know until you test them out.  =)