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"Crafting A Meaningful Home" Book Party Report!


I had a total blast helping Meg set up the show for her book  launching party at Rare Device for Crafting a Meaningful Home! Meg & Kate had the idea to cover up  the gallery area in the shop with all cardboard sheets. We were cutting,  glue, stapling cardboard sheets like mad. It totally felt like school  again....ooh how I miss that adrenalin rush fearing that things aren't not gonna  turn out or that we'd have enough time to finish.... and the delirious feeling from  working so intensely and then have anxiety dreams the very night. Oh! How I miss all that!


Perhaps that's the workaholic side of me talking....

But to be honest, there IS something fun about working with bunch  people and doing hands on work like that!  We managed to pull it off in 2  days and even sucked my cousin in to help! Thanks cuz! :D

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Here's what the cardboard covered space  looked like after we finished!  They even made cardboard side tables,  mantles, coffee cups and a typewriter! Super cute!

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Below are the projects displayed from the book:

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From Left to right:   Wood Burned Family Crest by Chika Eustace & I / Vintage Fabric  Display by Cathy Callahan / Rockite Bottle Vases by Anna Corpron &  Sean Auyeung / Locker Hook Rug by Christine Schmidt / Family Banner by  Samantha Hahn / Family Teepee by Billie Lopez & Tootie Maldonado.

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From Left to right:   Printed Folklore chair by Diana Fayt / Needlepoint Racquets by Amy  Holbrook / Filipino Folk Art Replica by Meg Mateo & Marvin Ilasco /  Wallpaper Luminarias by Chrstiana Coop & Aimee Lagos / Gold leafed  lamp by Joy Deangdeelert Cho / Jewelry Tree by Carolina Saxl /  Decoupaged Plates by Lisa Congdon /Braided Rag Vessels by Sian Keegan /  Travel A-Z poster by Anh-Minh Le.

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Upper Left: a table full of treats that I almost O.D.-ed on.  Upper center: Lisa Wong Jackson from Good On Paper design & Joy from Oh Joy! Bottom left:Meg, Meg's extra super helper Dianne, & I. Bottom center: Rena Tom who runs Rare Device with Lisa Congdon. Bottom Right: Lorena of Petit Collage's little one doing what I was doing....hovering over the food table with food shoved in my mouth.  


Here's me by my (mini version of) Mega-Doily  rug...I had to make a smaller one so it'd fit the space better. And if I may say  so myself... I think the mini version actually looks pretty cute!! :)

You can see the rest of photos from the book party here!



BRITE Terrarium Workshop...Round 2!!

Due to popular demands we decided to do a 2nd Terrarium Workshop at BRITE again! This time will be a Valentine's Day theme terrarium workshop! Let's spread the love!
Date: Feb 12th
Time: 4-7pm
Cost: $20/person
Includes: Terrarium ornament kit, tools & materials, treats & refreshments, and good times!
More details & how to sign up here!

You can see some photos from our last event here!



Merry Holidays

We're REALLY getting into the last-minute holiday mood now...

I decided to put together some Cozy Peppermint Hot Coco kits with marshmallow popsicles as the holiday treats to give to people.

Here's the list of materials for each kit:
1/2 pt mason canning jar
2 Tablespoon hot coco mix
1 teaspoon ground up peppermint candy cane
1 mini peppermint candy cane
1 marshmallow
1 wooden Popsicle stick
1 plastic bag
decorative paper

Here's the instruction to make the ultimate cozy and foamy hot chocolate drink!
STEP 1: Add a bag of hot coco mix, add heated milk or heat milk with coco mix in microwave (without lid!!)
STEP 2: Close lid tightly and shake vigrously for 30 seconds.
STEP 3: Open lid and enjoy with treats!



Feeling the Holiday Itch

Since I got such a late start in actually working on holiday things for ourselves, I felt like I still needed to do something fun for the holiday
...and with the little time that's left to send out already late holiday cards, wrapping presents and making treats, I decided to cheat a little by cutting up these SUPER addicting Stroop waffle cookies to make them more festive & cute lookin'!! I get to eat the offcuts. :)
Just perfect!



Cool Gang Of Wool

This isn't your typical old lady yarn store filed with the scent of potpourri..... these ladies from Wool and The Gang had created a shop in making a yarn store and the act of knitting totally cool again...hipster cool again that is....
They offer bunch of more than stylish pieces in DIY kits including yarn, kitting needles, instructions, and all the coolness you'll ever need. And especially seeing their clean & cool branding designed by's just so hard to resist!

This is a perfect project for the winter and reason to stay cozy at home, knit, and drink some (or a lot) spiced wine! But of course if you want more of an instant gratification, they also have already made pieces you can just purchase! What bunch of smarty-pants they are!



"Crafting A Meaniful Home" Out Now!

FINALLY the book that we've all been waiting for!! (Or at least I have!)
I seem like only yesterday when we first met Meg and got the opportunity to be in her book!
We got our copy of Meg's "Crafting A Meaningful Home" book recently and was totally blown away by the quality of it all. The beautiful cover, all the lovely colorful photos, and 27 seven amazing project by all amazing designers/artists/crafters!

Here's a little sneak peak!!
Meg and her husband.
I'm on the first page! Crazy!L&G's Mega-Doily!
R&L's wood burned coat of arms for the Dupe!
I just love this photo...
Here are all the project & the people in the book
About the book
As the second decade of the 21st century begins, we’re more compelled than ever to find refuge in our homes and personalize our living spaces with DIY projects that celebrate who we are and where we’ve been. In Crafting a Meaningful Home, Meg Mateo Ilasco shares 27 projects that tell personal stories and celebrate heritage, all easily created on a budget. Learn how to decoupage a plate with photos of a best friend; silkscreen upholstery with folk motifs; artfully display love notes; sew a teepee from a vintage quilt top; or create family silhouettes for a festive banner. Contributed by a hip cast of well known designers from across the country, the projects are, at once, nostalgic, sentimental, and modern. Clear instruc­tions are easy to follow, even for beginning crafters.

You can get your copy here!



I'd Like to Make This...Chandelier

Our friend, Herman Yu informed us about LIndsey Adelman's work and her beautiful molecular-esque chandeliers. The combination of the organic blown glass shades and the machine-like metal brackets creates such a wonderful contrast and a beautiful sculptural piece. They seem to fit so well in both traditional and modern interiors. But what's EVEN more amazing is that Lindsey also provides a whole how-to-instruction with all the parts needed on her site, so you can create one of these beauties yourself!!I really want to try it!! It seems a little involved, but with some time, patience, some skills in wiring, and tolerance for couple of electric shocks ...I'm sure I'll be able to make one of these!
It'd be TOTALLY worth it!



Baby Felt Slippers In Use

I posted about the little felt slippers I made for little Clara (the new addition to Piano Nobile)....and I just like to show you some photos of adorable Clara wearing them!
Me holding her as Clara poses in her sleep...
I love how she was totally fine with us messing with her while she's sound a sleep. I was even tempted to draw some mustache on her, too...but we decided not to go there....she might grow up hating me. :P



L&G/Chikabird in Meg Mateo Illasco's New Book!

So around last August we briefly mentioned that Meg Mateo Illasco is working on some home decor book....but we forgot to mention that both Chika & I are also gonna be her book!!

Ok, you totally want to hear the whole story, right?
Well...let me tell you! It was a total serendipitous thing.....
It all happened on lovely mid-July day in San Francisco when Chika & I traveled there to sell our goods at the Renegade Craft Fair......But this particular day was more than any other craft show days we worked at. We had the pleasure to meet Meg for the first time that day when she was doing book signing for her book "Craft Inc."
I decided to get a copy of her book to have her autograph it since I'm a big fan of her work and I love the book and wanted to get it for a friend..but instead of acting like my normal self....I some how turned into a giant dork too shy to say much besides looking awkward and mumbling some less than significant words like "uh..your books is, uh, really cool...yeah...I like how you talk about business...and stuff...but for crafters....uh...that's pretty cool...yeah, totally."
Well...those weren't the exact words..but I'm sure it was pretty close. :P

But of course, Meg was totally cool and SUPER friendly and just started asking me what I do...and as it turned out, Meg actually knew about our work!! AWESOME!

On top of what was already an exciting interaction with Meg, things just escalated from there. Next thing I know she was in our booth checking out our stuff and chatting with us as if we're already friends (I love friends!)...and JUST when I was thinking that things can't get any awesome-er..Meg all of a sudden says to me "Hey, I'm working on a home decor book and is looking for people to submit some creative projects with a personal story, you guys wanna do it?"
I looked at her like a deer in the headlight....then looked at Chika who also had the same look as me......I looked back at Meg and thought "Could this be real?!"....then realized I should provide some sort of response since she asked me a question....then finally I responded with great confidence "......yesssss?????"
I totally thought it was too good to be true and thought maybe she just wanted to feel it out and so I was prepared that at some point we'll get an email from Meg saying that she found someone better with a better project or for whatever reason.....but everything fell into place....and we realized it was truly official when both Chika & I went back in SF 2 weeks after we met Meg, and found ourselves hanging out at Lisa Wong Jackson's lovely mid-century modern house doing a photo shoot with Meg, Lisa, Joy, and Joanna with Thayer Alllyson Gowdy the photographer for the book. Everything happened so fast I couldn't even register it all!!!
The book will consist of of 25+ other well-known designers/artists/crafters each with a DIY home decor project that has their personal stories or memories. We were thrilled when Meg told us all the awesome people like Joy from Oh Joy!, Lauren & Derek of The Curiosity Shoppe, Lisa Congdon, Lisa of Good on Paper, Cathy Callahan of Cathy of California, Tootie of ReForm School and more were all contributing to the book!
With a power group like that, I don't even have to know what sort of projects they are doing for me to just KNOW that this book will amazing!

Here's some photos from the shoot. I want to live in Lisa's house!
Lisa & Virginia (Meg's lovely assistant) in their matching striped shirt watching the photo shoot take place.
Below are the projects that got shot that day....
My Mega-Doily Rug....Oh how I wish my living room looked like looks much better than my long skinny coffee table sitting on top of it...
For Chikabird, we made a Coat of Arms for the Dupe with all the graphic icons that represented us and then we wood burned them!
Joy's beautiful gold leaf glass lamp
Joanna's lovely stamped door curtainAn here's everyone sitting down for a nice lunch break. It's amazing how exhausting styling a shoot is! There were lots of moving objects back and forth going on, standing back to look at it, framing the shot with our hands, tilting our heads, squinting, and then repeat....
Yum yum almond croissants from my FAVORITE SF bakery, Tartine!!
I still couldn't really believe that this whole book thing is actually happening even after several months in when we already done the photo shoot and submitted the instructions and story...for some reason I just feared (and was trying to prepare myself) that there would still be a chance that we could get edited out.....for simply looking stupid in our photos or something like that...but they decided to keep our project! Even though I wouldn't argue one bit that I probably do look a little stupid in the photos... :P

I'm just more than excited the fact that not only will this be our FIRST time getting published in a's gonna be in a book by Meg along with an amazing group of people that we've always found inspiring, too!
There's just too much awesomeness all around! Can't stand it!
The real book is plan to launch this early fall!
Stay tuned! 



Makeshift Muji

4 years ago Jean made one of my wildest fantasies come know the one about owning a wall mounted Naoto Fukasawa Muji CD player (which at the time was not available in the US). She had so thoughtfully picked it up on a trip back to Taiwan, lugged across the Pacific Ocean, wrapped it up with care, and presented it to me with pride...What a women! It sat so proudly on the wall occasionally playing a CD, but mainly just looking totally awesome until one day I went to pull that so-satisifying-to-pull power cord only to have nothing happen! :( I was told by a local repair shop that it couldn't be repaired. Double :( !! Now there may be hope for those yearning for a working version of the same concept. If you don't have a totally awesome gf who will buy you one or if yours broke like me or if you just think the real deal isn't rough enough around the edges, give this crafty version a try: All the instructions are located here. Looks like a fun, but involved project! If done right, it just might quench the urge for the real thing. via Blue Ant Studio



Big Love for Big Knits

I love knitted, crocheted, laced things....but especially when they're enlarged and used in an unexpected context. As you know I hand-crochet a giant doily rug last December for JOIN:Design Seattle, and named it....Mega-Doily. (Don't judge because of the name. I'm not the most creative when it comes to naming things.)Since then, I've been getting links to all these other cooler knitted art/design/jewelery that totally puts my rug to shame! UGH! It's so unfair! People who try to make me look less cool totally sucks! I wish my friends never sent me those links! It's as if they're indirectly saying "Hey check this stuff out! This reminds me of your rug, except your rug isn't nearly as cool as this! TTYL! XOXO! :D"
But despite my obvious jealousy-manifested hatred, I'm glad I saw them...cuz they are cool...I suppose....And I guess I SHOULD still share all this with everyone. Whatever....

Okay, check these knits with gigantic upholstered tube by Bauke Knottnerus.... Titled 'Phat Knit'. They are indeed phat and literally your MOTHER! OH! BURN!
This yellow knitted bench by Imaginary office have been making its way around the blogosphere. They're pretty awesome.....Like your MOTHER!...oh wait...that doesn't work. crap!

But my jaw dropped when I saw these amazing series of knitted lamps with single strand of cord by a Korean artist, Kwangho Lee...I couldn't stop looking at them. It's simply brilliant and totally stunning. I love the more tangled ones, too. Lee has tons more other stuff that are beyond your....ahhh- I give up.
Via come up to my room.

Elegant looking knitted necklaces from Jaclyn MayerAnd of course, who can resist Yokoo's edgy knitted accessories. I got a mustard scarf from her a while back, and is still totally in love with it. But now I'm dreaming about how I can rock the big knitted chain look....maybe if I wear my jeans backwards and sag them a little then I might be able to pull it off...hmm?
But I'm still warning all you out there who's trying to be better than your back! Because I'm totally gonna say angry things about you and make fun of your mother (when I get the hang of it) on the blog with my angry face!
Like this -->\ --/
Like this -->\ - >\ Or does that look more like an Asian face? Ugh! Double crap!



Sweet DIY Valentine Treats By Twig&Thistle

Kathleen from Twig&Thistle blog made these darling DIY treats with lovely packing designs she made for anyone to download (printable straight from your printer!) It's super cute and I'm totally gonna try making them!!Kathleen has a wonderful blog where she shares lots of her own delightful DIY projects and designs as well as things she likes such as graphic design, packaging design, weddings, kid's design and everything lovely and sweet!! We were delighted when she included Chikabird's new Animal Love Patch Kits on her blog! Thanks Kathleen!




Guest Blog on Poppytalk for the New Year!

This week Jan from Poppytalk invited L&G to be a guest blogger!! Hurray! Dylan and I are super excited about this one where it's about celebrating the new year. It's a instructional post about creating an easy and impressive mix-your-own cocktail bar. What is this about?? summarize it, it's about expanding your New Years drinking options that's beyond cheap champagne. It's about making the guests feel like they're participating in something fun while in reality, it's about you doing less work and having more fun at your own party for once. And even with you putting all your guests to'll still be rewarded by the praises from your guests. You can say BOOH-YAY! to that my friend.

Read all the details on Poppytalk about how to make this into your reality!Here are some drink recipes to jump-start your ultimate New Year celebration party!
Irish Coffee (via Drinks Mixer)
15 oz Irish whiskey or Irish Cream
10 tsp brown sugar

60 oz hot coffee
Heavy whipping cream
Cocoa powder

Make the coffee (stronger the coffee the better), add sugar and mix Irish cream or whiskey (or both!). Mix. Whip the whipping cream. Put whipping cream and cocoa powder in separate bowls on the side.

Oolong Infused Ginger Plum Wine (L&G Recipe)
1/2 cup of Loose Oolong tea leaves

10 cups of water

1 bottle(750ml) of Plum Wine
1-2 inch chunk of fresh ginger based on preference

ginger ale on the side (My favorite is the Organic Santa Cruz Ginger Ale…it has real ginger! It makes 10 times better.)

Prep the tea the day before. But if you don't have time, cut the water amount in half and add the other half with ice instead. Brew the loose tea leaves with hot boiling water. Let it steep for 3 minutes. Strain the tea leaves, Simply add the plum wine, chop/shred the ginger. Mix it all it in a pitcher and there's your mix. Put the ginger ale on the side in an ice bowl to keep it cold.

Lemon Mint Sparkling Mimosa (L&G Recipe)
1 750ml Bottle Champagne
16 oz Lemonade (blood orange or grapefruit juice are also fantastic)
½ of fresh mint
2-3 Lime or Lemon
1 pomegranate

Tonic water

Mix Champagne and lemonade in a pitcher. Chop and crush the mint and add it to the mix. Put the lemons or limes and pomegranate in separate bowls on the side. Put tonic water on the side in an ice bowl to keep it cold.

It's easy to create your own concoction as long what your mixing all goes well together. You can add Mexican hot chocolate with coffee and coffee liquor, or use different fruit juice and fruit with vodka or gin.
But if anything, Martha always has tons of good cocktail recipes! And at Drinks Mixer you can find thousands of drink recipes...from the classic drinks to the really unheard of ones...anything you're looking for, they have it all.

We hope that this can come in handy for any celebrations! Happy New Year!



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Sneak Peak: L&G studio designs

On top of all other mayhem this holiday season, we're super excited to be participating in a design show that is showcasing NW design. It's called JOIN: Design Seattle and will be taking place beginning at the opening on Dec 11th at the Vermillion Gallery in Seattle.

What does L&G have up their sleeves you ask?? Here's a sneak peak with some process shots:


We're presenting two separate but related projects that look at ways to re-represent classic forms of vintage objects in ways that showcase their inherent qualities. Just like the goods in the L&G store, our goal is to help facilitate an appreciation of existing objects.

"AlphaBrass" is a series that re-formats ornate brass lamps in ways that enhances the varieties of classical forms they are available in. These lamps are modular, so the potential to mix and match is limited only on the supply available from local thrift stores. Adjusting scale, paring down details and reiterpreting function will hopefully promise to add value and appreciation for these typically stuffy living room fixtures.

For "Mega-doily" (the second project), Jean has taken her new found appreciation for crocheting doilies and channeled it into a grand interpretation of the common table top item. The result is an area rug with a satisfying knobby texture and bold graphical presence.


There will be more posts on both of these featured as we wrap up the final details and get these to the Vermillion just in the nick of time. If you're in the Seattle area, please please come visit us and come see it in person plus 6 other designer's work!


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L&G On a Blog Roll!

So check it! L&G got on the READYMADE blog!! ...I didn't even know they had a blog! Totally awesome! Once again, Jan from Poppytalk who's always in the know (I'm obviously not...), mentioned that readymade wrote L&G up! Woo Hoo! I really gotta say, if it wasn't for Jan and her great blog I wouldn't even be here blogging about being blogged! Big blog hug to Jan! \(^-^)/
Best of all, readymade used the grid and the hangers as an "idea worthy"example for the next MacGyver Challenge: Clothes Hangers , the challenge is due on July 21! Sounds totally fun....I should come up with something for that! Hangers do just take up space and they're usually not that appealing....especially the plastic ones. eck! But they do coming handy when you want to get spiderwebs off the ceiling corners.....or something....hmmm. Something tells me that readymade won't really like that idea....I suppose I should go back to the drawing board. (FYI, I don't really have a drawing board...that would be silly!)


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Our livingroom on Apartment Therapy Blog!!

So it has been a super exciting week for L&G, because not only did Jan from the Poppytalk Blog write a nice entry about our living room display, but Apartment Therapy (Chicago) also used it as an example for a display idea! I was floored when Jan passed that information to me! Thanks Jan!

There's been several comments and inquiries about the couch and here's a little info about it! The couch is a Knoll couch with a parallel bar base that Dylan scored on Craig's List (for a mere $125...they didn't know what they had!). It was originally a couch in the Seattle Public Library and was covered in hideous brown naugahide.....eew, I know. We had to get it reupholstered and chose a Knoll fabric called Alignment in blood orange. We were able to get for cheap on Ebay for only $9.00/yd. I love Ebay.....and Craig's list.
Those curious about the display grid: The grid is easy to construct with standard 2 x 2's from a local lumber store (they're actually 1.5" x 1.5"). We chose cedar because we liked the color and consistency. So here are the steps...pretty simple, but the main thing is that there aren't any visible fasteners.

  • Lay out the grid's verticals according to wall stud locations maintaining asymmetric spacing. The horizontal elements are arranged according to the desired height of shelves and prints.
  • Set the grid up on the floor and screw it together from the back.
  • To attach to the wall, we cut 4 short blocks of 2x2 down to about 1 1/2". Screwed each of these to the wall at a stud from the end to align with the grid.
  • Use L-brackets to attach the grid to the blocks...because of the height of these, the brackets are hidden from view.
  • Shallow shelves (up to 8" deep) can be cut to the width of each bay and screwed down from the top with nice looking screws (screwing down is much stronger than upwards from the bottom).
  • Decorate & Enjoy!