Saturday, November 13, 2010

New blog!

Hello family, friends and fans!

It's been awhile, I know. Crafting has been on the back burner for me since last winter, as my husband needed the second bedroom for his study.

[Brian in his study!]

I was realizing that this blog was turning into more of an everyday blog for what was going on in the life of the Robinsons! Nothing wrong with that, of course, but I decided to start a blog dedicated to just that!

[The Robinsons outside our apartment in Queens, our lovely new VW Jetta parked next to us]

You can see it here:

Stay tuned for more crafty updates!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

not for the vegan hearted

memorial day weekend brought with it plans of relaxing.
plans of starting a garden in our apartment.
of roasting a whole chicken.

little did we know that some of these plans would not work out quite as we hoped.

or expected.

the garden is perfect!

it was the chicken.

using a recipe from a "Real Simple" magazine i bought a few weeks ago, i decided to roast a whole chicken, something i had never done before. on my own at least.

roasted with potatoes, onions, organic carrots and an entire head of garlic, i knew this was going to be fairly simple. the preparation was, and i really enjoyed it.

everything was ready to go, oven preheated, ingredients combined, chicken stuffed with fresh herbs from my windowsill garden and lemons. so i put the glass dish filled with yummy things in the oven to cook for the next 90 minutes.

an hour passed.

i decided to take a look at the chicken (by the way, i didn't smell anything cooking, and i was planning on removing a fully cooked chicken a half hour later). the chicken was still completely raw. not even warm.


our oven was totally busted!

we called our Super to see if he could fix it. luckily he lives right next door and is such a nice man. he looked at it and realized he couldn't fix it and thanks to the holiday, we wouldn't be able to get someone in to fix it until Tuesday evening at the earliest. ugh again.

all seemed lost.

then, our Super was so nice to offer the oven in his apartment! we took his offer and ran the glass dish filled with a 4 pound chicken and veggies to his apartment in the building next door. i will admit that i felt a little strange about doing this. i didn't want to interrupt his schedule, and it seemed so out of reach! but we put it in his oven, and went back to our apartment to wait.


about an hour and 25 minutes later, after running over to his place, we came back to our apartment with a beautifully roasted chicken.

and it was so delicious.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

new look and more of a break than i thought

hello my faithful readers!

i have been a bit MIA with the crafting since the holidays. they seem far away and yet really almost 6 months ago!

i've been taking a much needed break from sewing and making and creating, as the holidays were a very busy time for me. needless to say, i got a little burnt out and decided to let my listings on Etsy expire and start fresh! a new year, a new start. (that sounds familiar)

i have a lot of ideas rolling around in my head, most involving the decorating of our apartment. it's become a project and has taken over! the studio was going unused, and i was looking at my husband working day and night in our living room, distracted by my silly TV shows and knitting projects (yes, i still have those).

so i decided. to give him the studio to make into his study. a little moving around, a little organizing with plastic bins (i love plastic bins), putting them in closets and wallah! the clutter was gone and B has his own space where he can close the door and work quietly without hearing vampire slayage in the background (no, i'm not going to tell you what silly TV show i'm referring to).

see before as my studio. (what a mess!)

and after as B's study (B has a much hipper chair now).

this actually was finished quite a few months ago, in February, ugh! have i really been gone that long?


in other news, i really have not been crafting. other than knitting, i have been craft-less. my sweet mother who lives in Michigan visited the week after Mother's Day, and she stayed in the study. the sofa you see in the photos is actually a convertible sofa, and turns into a nice size double bed for our overnight guests. also quite comfortable i hear.

my real reason for posting today was to tell you about my "windowsill garden" that i've started in our apartment! i have recently been longing to live in a house, to have a backyard to call my own, to grow things. i read an article in my new favorite magazine, "Body + Soul" (which is changing their name to "Whole Living" from the website by the same name), a Martha Stewart publication. it was about a woman named Rosalind Creasy, a landscape designer in Northern California. she is known for her "edible landscaping." i was so inspired that i called my dad immediately to tell him about it! (my mom and dad are amazing gardeners, see my dad's blog here, he talks a lot about their garden, and my mom's blog here, she always posts beautiful photos of flowers and such)

(newest issue on the top)

i thought to myself. just because i live in an apartment in New York City, with no backyard to call my own, doesn't mean i can't grow fresh ingredients! i bought a basil plant when my mom was visiting, and it is the first plant in my new project. basil on the kitchen windowsill.

so this weekend, i think i'll venture to the local farmer's market in Union Square and get some edible plants that will thrive indoors! luckily this window gets a lot of sun during the day!!

i know i can be happy with this.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

in the meantime

long time no blog!

i have a post in the works about what is going on in the life of lesley and Pink Graffiti, but in the meantime, take a look at some pretty things.

Brian's cousin Molly is getting married in June, we are so excited to take a vacation to Fort Worth to visit the family! but of course this was an excuse for me to buy a pretty floral dress (pictured below). i must say that the fashion and clothing in every store very much resembles what i see in the Anthropologie store windows, but for much more affordable prices! take Charlotte Russe for instance.

Floral Poplin babydoll dress

just one of many many dresses i fell in love with at Charlotte Russe. i even bought matching turquoise sandals to wear to the wedding!

Gorrill gladiator sandals from Aldo.

pretty shoes, pretty flowers and very very pretty colors. i think i even have a necklace to finish it off.

bubbles cluster necklace from Old Navy.
what are you wearing this spring and summer?

Saturday, January 23, 2010

featured artist : Padmaja

Pink Graffiti is happy to feature artist Padmaja Chaluvadi! a wonderful textile artist and surface designer from India, Padma is a New York resident, with a studio in Brooklyn. a fascinating person that i am lucky enough to have met and call a friend, she is traveling in India at the moment, painting and visiting family.

Padma working in her studio. her Etsy shoppe currently sells clothing, home decor and accessories, all hand painted and printed in her Brooklyn studio. we actually met through my mother and her friend, Rauf, who lives in India.

Padma was kind enough to answer some of my interview questions:

Tell us a bit about yourself, your shop, what you design/create!

Well, I am an Art director/advertising by profession but always been drawn to fashion and textiles since childhood. So now my work has the mixed influence of advertising, fine arts, as in having an idea/concept/thought behind the patterns. As well as cross cultural iconography, indian motifs with a western twist, a western motif with an Indian subtext.
When did you start creating things?

Five years ago, one Fall day, just for fun, I enrolled in an evening class of experimental screen printing at FIT, and now forever got hooked on the tactile medium. The interplay of the substrate is simply addictive.

How do you like selling on Etsy so far? Would you like to start selling anywhere else?

I just started, and I like the venue very much, but all the sales I made so far are from my friends and family :). So, That's not exactly true measure of sales... Yes, I want to try other avenues, high end boutiques, museums and custom orders.
What kind of materials do you like to use? What are your favorite tools to work with?

Natural and eco-friendly materials. I really try to be a fair trader and use low impact resources in the production process. My favourite tool is a loaded brush:).
Do you enjoy any other crafts or hobbies? What do you do when you're not crafting?

A lot of photography (my main source of imagery), a lot of reading, 'looking' and painting.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Everywhere... Nature, literature, and new york city streets.
Any tips for other artists starting a craft business?

Don't give up on your dream, and don't give up on your day job until your dream becomes real/possible. Personally and surprisingly, I am more creative and productive when I know my bills are getting paid than being a full time Artist and I am a 24/7 worry knot.

Where do you see your business going? Any future plans?

I want to enter home furnishing and interior design market and explore custom designs for fashion houses.

Anything else you'd like to share?
Thank you Lesley for your time and interest.
thank you Padma, we are so excited to hear about your work! Padma and i have had lovely conversations about design and combining interiors and fiber design. we wish you so much luck and a wonderful, enriching time in India!

you can also see her beautiful hand-painted and silkscreened designs here:

Friday, January 8, 2010

i'm featured on a blog!

oh how exciting! Felt-o-rama, a wonderful Etsy seller, and crafter, has featured me and Pink Graffiti at her blog!

see the interview here.

thank you so much, April!


the holidays are over, and i'm slowly getting back into crafting, i have so many ideas in my head! one of my biggest inspirations, a lovely necklace from Anthropologie.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

another year, another decade

merry christmas and happy happy new year!!! welcome back everyone, and i hope that all was merry and bright.

the husband and i stayed in NYC this year, just the two of us. it was quite relaxing and a blessing not to travel, but we missed our families dearly. here is our christmas corner, after opening presents and watching Christmas Vacation all day while we prepared our dinner feast.

i started cleaning and setting up the dinner table. candlesticks from my aunt and uncle from our wedding shower, bottles and vessels from our wedding, red beaded placemats from Kmart on sale, paisley napkins from Crate and Barrel, ornaments and gold leaves and berries from Michael's.

i spent the afternoon baking a cherry berry pie, which was so delicious. cherries, raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. very simple recipe actually. i topped the pie with the Texas state, in honor of Julia, my sweet Mother in Law. here is what i did:

-Pillsbury pie shells
-Cherry pie filling in a can (i recommend using 2 cans for a 9-inch pie pan if you want ONLY cherries - i only used one and had to improvise)
-Mixed berries, frozen

prepare pie pan as usual, with one pie shell on the bottom, cut to fit the pan.
place cherry pie filling inside first.
let the mixed berries thaw to room temperature before placing in pie.
add 2 T of butter. place second pie shell over top, fold in as usual.
you can use any cookie cutter shape you might have that would be fun! i was given this Texas cookie cutter for my bachelorette party last summer, so i used the remaining dough (after cutting to fit the pan), rolled it out and used the cookie cutter! this could be very fun with a star, or snowflake shape around the holidays.
bake as usual! yum.

the menu for the evening's feast:

-top sirloin steaks from Whole Foods (see Brian below grilling in the apartment)
-sauteed green beans
-baked potato
-crescent rolls

we love this grill. one of the gifts from our registry, both an indoor and outdoor George Forman grill.

our table set up for dinner, with our ware that we registered for at Crate and Barrel. thank you to our wonderful parents who sent us another place setting for christmas gifts, we are almost complete!!

finally, the dinner is ready and we feast.

we missed everyone so much this holiday season, but we were so happy to receive so many cards and photos. they are plastering our refrigerator. many happy wishes and may all your resolutions come true this year, this new decade.