January 31, 2011

Seen live: No Age

Good music comes to those who wait. And that was exactly the case at last night's No Age show. The L.A. noise rockers were supposed to play Phoenix in December, but postponed the concert in favor of a smaller venue. I'll be thanking the music gods for that for a while.

The Trunk Space, which is super intimate, was the ideal setting for the energetic performance and pleasantly unexpected from a higher profile band like No Age. Singer/drummer Dean Spunt and guitarist Randy Randall replicated their sound perfectly in the live show and played a solid mix of songs from their three albums. Once again, Phoenix's music scene continues to impress.

More live music goodness can be found here.

January 30, 2011

Exploring Arizona: North Mountain Preserve

One of the cool things about living in Phoenix is that the city is located in the middle of a bunch of mountains. The fiance and I took advantage of the 70-degree weather yesterday and explored some of the trails on the North Mountain. A year later, I am still in awe of the beauty located only 20 minutes away from the townhouse.


January 28, 2011

Five for Friday: Well-rounded weekend

There's something for everyone this weekend. Live shows, sporting events, hiking, movies and design projects are right up my and the fiance's alley. Do you have anything fun planned?

1. Good music comes to those who wait

After postponing their December concert in protest over a crappy venue (thank goodness I'm not the only one who despises the Clubhouse), No Age comes to town for a Sunday show at The Trunk Space. I've loved the L.A. noise rock duo for a while, and I can't wait to see them perform live for the first time.

2. The Apple Cup of men's basketball

It's a big game for the Cougs, who not only look to beat rival UW in Pullman, but gain ground in the Pac-10 standings. WSU (14-6, 4-4) is coming off a close loss to Arizona. The Fuskies (15-4, 7-1) are atop the Pac-10 and ranked 17th in the nation. GO COUGS!

3. Oscar buzz

We saw previews for The King's Speech before Black Swan in early December and it looked promising then. And that was before the numerous awards and nominations. Plus, I'll take any opportunity to watch the hotness that is Colin Firth for two hours.

4. Back to nature

Taking advantage of the fabulous Phoenix weather before it's 110 degrees outside is a must and what better way than a hike in the North Mountain Preserve. It's pretty cool living in a city with mountains in the middle of it.

5. Paper chase

We are the proud owners of an all-in-one printer, something that was on my Christmas list. My mom gave us money to put toward one, and we finally picked it out last weekend. A trip to Staples for photo paper, cardstock and calling card paper, and I'll be printing to my heart's content.

January 27, 2011

Fabric frustration

I finally checked out SAS Fabrics By The Pound last week in search of some non-grandma floral patterns to compliment the geometric fabrics around the townhouse. And I'm sad to report that I was pretty disappointed by the lack of modern fabrics.

Truth be told, I really haven't been overly impressed with the area's selection of textiles. I struck out at Tempe Sales and Mesa Sales and was mildly impressed by HomeFabrics & Rugs.

So I'm calling on all AZ fabricistas (Pretty sure you can add "ista" to anything these days). I would love to know the location of your go-to textile paradise. Blogger friends can jump in here, too. What are your experiences with buying fabric online? Yeah or nay?

My naked dining room chairs and empty window seats would appreciate it. 


January 26, 2011

Give thx

Being thankful doesn't have to end with the holiday season. Just ask Leah Dieterich, whose handwritten notes are a refreshing and fun reminder that there's something to be grateful for each day. The creative director and writer at a Santa Monica advertising agency pens odes to everything from people who leave her a voicemail to Moby Dick to her heart at thx thx thx.

And for those in need of a new coffee table conversation piece or you just like holding actual print products (eff e-readers), she has a book of her daily exercise in gratitude coming out in June.


January 25, 2011

Thinking outside the box

I love when an artist does the unexpected. And Diem Chau's crayon carvings prove that with a little imagination, you can use just about anything to create something beautiful. Soak up more of the Seattle-based artist's inspirational work on her Web site and blog

January 21, 2011

Five for Friday: Friends, football + fun design

Was it just me or did this week fly by? I guess that's what happens when the dust finally settles. It was nice to catch up on laundry (I know ... What a fabulous life I lead when I'm happy to make a dent in the dirty clothes pile), sleep and creative projects, which were all casualties of the crazy past few weeks. What do you have planned this weekend?

1. The inn is open for business:

The fiance and I are hosting high school/college friends Sarah and Spanky for a second weekend as they return from their Mexican cruise. You can bet I'll be living vicariously through them for the next few days. We had a blast taking them to our "spot" last weekend. Sarah's former Gonzaga coworker and her roomie (who live up the street from us) stopped by, too. Yeah for meeting new people, especially those who have Pacific Northwest origins.

On a related note, we've had more friends and family stay with us in the 11 months we've resided in Phoenix than the entire three years we were in Fresno, which proves Valley of the Sun > Central Valley.

2. Happy Birthday, baby:

As if my nephew's first birthday wasn't special enough, my brother asked me to design the invitations. Not only was I completely stoked because it's for such a special occasion, but I'm always happy to create some graphic goodness

I have two of the four samples I'm submitting to him and my sister-in-law almost finished and hopefully, I'll be able to complete the project this weekend. It's also another step in the right direction, which is something I can't wait to share with you all.

3. DIY printshop in the works?:

Maybe after Sunday. We didn't get a chance to check out printers last weekend, so it is priority number one after the fiance gets home from work today. I'm still undecided between a Canon and an HP. The fiance is pretty set on an HP, so we'll see. Any recommendations?

4. Packers' bandwagon: Reservation for one:

Even though the Seahawks were eliminated from the postseason last weekend, I'll still be glued to the TV on Sunday. I've decided to support the Green Bay Packers for the rest of the playoffs kind of by default, considering I could never cheer for cheaters (Jets + Steelers) and a team (Bears) that employs Jay Cutler as its quarterback. Plus, I can totally get on board with a state that prides itself on cultivating delicious dairy products and incorporating faux cheese into game-day fashions.

5. Painting procrastination:

If time permits, I need to make a trip to Home Depot to pick up spray paint. I've been delaying a project I started way too long ago because I ran out of my go-to transformation-in-a-can.

January 19, 2011

In rotation: New tunes for the new year

Now that the holiday haze has cleared, bands are back in the sound kitchen and the first batch of 2011 new releases are quite tasty. Here are a few of the newbies released thus far currently blasting out of my laptop speakers. What upcoming albums are you anticipating the most this year?

And did you see the lineup for Coachella was revealed yesterday? It's pretty much all the musical goodness I love. A trip to Indio might be in order. Happy listening!

The Decemberists: The King Is Dead

"Don't Carry It All"

Tape Deck Mountain: Secret Serf EP


Fergus & Geronimo: Unlearn 

"Powerful Lovin'"

"Same Mum"

"Killin The Vibe"

"So It Goes"

"Take Me Somewhere"

January 18, 2011

Fireworks in January

A trip home wouldn't be complete without a stop by Fireworks, an eclectic store at the Sea-Tac Airport. Much of the inventory was the same as my last visit to the shop. But a few items caught my eye during the wait for my flight to Texas.

[Sorry for the craptastic iPhone picture quality. It was early in the a.m. and the handiness of the phone's camera was appealing at the time. Clearly, I shouldn't let sleepiness/laziness factor into what I use to shoot photos for the blog.]
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