Do This Today: LA Art Book Fair at MOCA Geffen


The Geffen MOCA is holding an opening for their LA Art Book Fair exhibit tonight, with the exhibit going through February 2. These art openings are always fun, so why not check it out. Check THIS page out for all the deets.

Event: LA Art Book Fair 2014 (link)
Location: MOCA Geffen, 152 N. Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Time: Thursday Jan 30, 2014, 6pm – 9pm
Cost: FREE!

Kitchen Storage Unit

A friend recently came to me and said, “Help, we need more counter space and storage in our kitchen” (I’m paraphrasing, as he is far more eloquent). As you probably know, I love any chance to build and use my miter saw.


The first step is drawing out plans and elevations. To get a sense of materials, assembly and all of our options. Since I’m a cheap-o and cost is an important factor in the design, I like to generate my materials list as I go and also divided into sections. This way I can easily say “If I want and extra shelf, it’ll cost me an extra $30” or “designing the table top this way is $10, but this other cooler way is only $5 more”. I take this list when I go to the hardware store and helps me effectively get all the lumber. This list also helps me generate a cut list. I cut list is as it sounds, a list of all the pieces of wood I need to make the table. If you follow your (accurate) cut list, you can cut the pieces and then assemble.


How much wood do you think it takes to make a table? Answer: a lot of wood. See above. It’s good to get an extra piece of each size of wood because you never know what issues might come up. These were each only a dollar or two, and having the extra pieces is really helpful and gives you more options while you’re building.


Once materials were purchased, I began by assembling the butcher-block style table top using nails and glue and then clamping it together. Since I knew this would be a slow process with drying time, I started with this first and then took time between gluing to work on measuring and cutting the other pieces.


Eventually, after lots of measuring, cutting, and screwing down wood, I got to take stock of all the pieces above. Since I knew I’d be transporting this in my car, I had to take that into account while planing my dimensions and assembly. I figured I could lay these elements flat in my car and then assemble them on-site at my friends house, but I wanted to make it so I had to do the least amount of work at his house.


The next step is sanding and staining all the elements. Above is the base of the table top. You can see how dark the stain is against the raw wood. While staining I find it best to lay it on thick, wait a few minutes and then wipe away to desired results. It’s also best to do this not in direct sunlight. You don’t want the stain to dry while you’re waiting for it to seep into the wood, since it’s staining and not painting the wood. Once it’s full stained and wiped down, then it’s good to put it in the sun to speed up drying time.


Look at what a difference the dark stain makes. It became so elegant looking. After more sanding, it was time for the clear coat to protect against moisture (which will keep the table from rotting if it gets wet). I used a luster finish of a clear coat polyurethane. I had used this on other projects and it makes the wood look so finished and smooth.


Doesn’t it look so nice? I did two coats of the polyurethane to really protect it. It also helps soften the rough spots and fill in gaps. I did this with the two shelves, 4 legs and base frame of the table top.


Now back to the table top itself. I let the butcher block style top stay clamped for the week while I waited for the next weekend to finish the project. Once the top felt solid, it was time for heavy duty sanding. The more sanding the better, as it will smooth and even out the wood. Mine wasn’t perfectly level, but I think that’s part of it’s charm. It’s also going in the kitchen of an apartment for three guys so the rougher and more manlier, the better.


The next step is to stain! Like a typical butcher block, they wanted to go with a lighter stain than the rest of the table to make it stand out. Once it was stained and sanded again I did the same two coats of the luster polyurethane and let it dry. Install time!! I drove the elements to my friends house for assembly. It was tricky doing it in their house, but with their help we made it work. I find a good trick is to only screw it in loosely until you feel everything’s at a 90 degree angle and at the right height. Then go back and add more screws and tighten the original screws. It’s very hard making things level and perfect, so take your time with this.


Isn’t it pretty? I’m really happy with how it came out.



Here it is “dressed” as we say in show business.

If you are interested in a table like this, or you want to commission me for a custom original piece, contact me! I love this type of project and look forward to more. I’m actually working on my blog shop, where you can place orders and even purchase art you’ve seen made here on the blog 🙂 I can’t wait to share it with you!

Thinkin’ DIY


This past weekend I worked on a crafty assignment with some friends (which will be blogged about soon) and it involved a stop at one of my favorite stores: Paper Source. While we were there I took a photo of this fun colorful crane mobile. I could totally see making this out of left over scraps of fun printed papers. Cranes are also one of the easiest animals to make as origami. Did you know I was in origami club in college? (Nerd alert!) #RISD #ArtDork

Do This Today: Etsy Craft Night: Printed Cards


The Craft and Folk Art Museum is holding a $7 craft night (or free for members) tonight from 7pm- 9pm. There will be materials, drinks, snacks and good crafting company. They will have carving tools and even a letterpress so you can make all sorts of custom cards. How cool is that?

Event: Etsy Craft Night: Printed Cards at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (link)
Location: CAFAM, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Time: Thursday Feb 7, 2013, 7pm – 9pm
Cost: $7

Do This Today: The Craft and Folk Art Museum Free Event


The Craft and Folk Art Museum is holding a free Wearable Art Trunk Show Cocktail Reception tonight. Join artists and other guests for cocktails and get a first look at the items at this event. Remember when I went and explored the galleries? The place is really fun and who doesn’t like free events?

Event: Wearable Art Trunk Show at the Craft and Folk Art Museum (link)
Location: CAFAM, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Time: Thursday Jan 31, 2013, 5pm – 8pm
Cost: FREE!

Cheap Art Project for a Rainy Saturday


I have MANY do-it-yourself projects in the works, and although they are cheap projects they all involve a little seed money. For this upcoming rainy weekend, I gave myself the challenge of doing an almost-free art project. I found the image on the left from pinterest and thought pixel art could be fun. Then I found an image to blow up and become the image on the right. I also made a square viewfinder out of some scrap paper. My plan is to either use magazines or paint chips to generate the artwork above. The white viewfinder is to isolate the color square making it easier to find a color match. I also numbered each tile, so when I find the color to match I can label it on the backside, so I dont end up with a giant pile of random multicolored squares. I already own the glue and paper to mount it on, and paint chips are free! I also love that instead of a frame it’s hanging via old-school metal clip (something I don’t already own, but cheaper than a frame!). I’ll have to share the final product with you next week.

Do This Today: The Craft and Folk Art Museum Free Admission


The Craft and Folk Art Museum has free admission on the first Wednesday of the month (aka. today), so if you have the day off and are looking for something fun, check out this very cool museum. Current exhibits include L.A. Skin + Ink and Balancing Act: The Glass Sculpture of Steve Klein. Remember when I went and explored the galleries?

Event: Free Admission to the Craft and Folk Art Museum (link)
Location: CAFAM, 5814 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036
Time: 11am – 5pm
Cost: Free on the first Wednesday of every month (today!)

DIY: Spray Paint-ings!

Michael’s craft store often has some great deals on packs of canvases, and a while back I couldn’t pass on such an offer. I got 7, 12″X12″ canvases for around $10. I didn’t have a use for them, but I knew eventually I would. Sure enough, when planning how to fill my blank canvas, I knew these would come into play.

First I like to start with playing with colors and designs in photoshop, until I figure out a combination that tickles-my-fancy.

After making a plan and laying down a base coat of gold (to match the newly painted side-table top), it was time to tape up the design, and buy the colored spray paints.

Since I had the design (to scale) in my computer, all I had to do was print out the pattern and use it as a template for taping up the canvases. I also changed the color on the template so as not to waste ink.

In one case I needed a strip of tape half the width of the store bought painters tape. So I got out my e-xacto and cut 1 piece into 2. The other half I ended up using on the next canvas.

After the first canvas is taped up, it’s best to use that instead of the template. Since these are all being hung in a row, it’s ideal if they all look cohesive and the most accurate way to do that is to use the completed canvases as a guide.

Once they are taped, it’s time to layout the drop cloth and do some spraying!


Then let them dry. I was impatient and excited to see my new artwork, so I took them off soon after, but it’s best to let them sit a couple hours if possible.

I love it! Now for the others!

Color fun!

Even the discarded tape looked beautifully colorful. I’m sure if it wasn’t for the high heat that day, I would have come with a diy project that would put that tape to good use.

It adds the perfect pop of color for over the tv (and awkward space to fill). You’ll notice I added a turquoise color in the middle. Since this was so easy to do, I thought why not add in another color.

Now take these as inspiration and come up with your own fun design to spray over. Maybe a hip chevron pattern? Niiiice.

Weekend Guide June 15 + 16 +17

It’s Friday which means it’s time for the Weekend Guide! No plans this weekend? Perfect, now your weekend is all mapped out for you. There are a ton of movie screenings and bicycling events so get ready to watch and ride.

FRIDAY June 15

 LA Film Fest  is on from June 14-24 (so if you miss it this weekend, there’s always next weekend). THIS link leads you to a massive list of all their events and film screenings. Most of the films are priced at $13, which is better than your average movie ticket price (at least in LA).


Tonight LA County Bike Coalition, LA Film Fest and Universal Studios are coming together to celebrate ET with an ET screening and ET stunt. They will start the outdoor screening of ET at 8pm (at Figat7th), but for those of you interested in participating in an ET stunt, ride your bikes to the event at 7pm. They want to recreate the special cycling moment where Henry Thomas’ character rides his bike with ET. Fans who participate will get red sweatshirts (I imagine like the one in the photo above) and the photos from the event will be used in the ET 30th Anniversary release on blu-ray. How cool is that? And the whole event is free! Click HERE for all the details.



I don’t have an image to go along with this event (for obvious reasons) but on Saturday is the World Naked Bike Ride LA. Yup. It’s exactly like it sounds. This event originated overseas as a form of protest, and this years Naked Bike Ride is about celebrating sustainable energy, environmentally responsible living, human powered transport and body-positive value. If you want more information, click HERE for the full list of what’s legal and what isn’t.


B3: Bikes, Brunch & Beer is a charity event to help support The Pablove Foundation. On Saturday this cycling event will begin at Tony’s Darts Away with a carb-up brunch. Five miles later riders get to pit stop at Golden Road Brewing in Atwater Village for refreshments. Then the ride will culminate at Mohawk Bend with a discounted full brunch spread for those who completed the journey. Registration cost $25 (although raising more money is encouraged and rewarded), which isn’t bad considering you get a shirt, discounted food and the money goes to charity. Click HERE to register and click HERE to join the facebook group to see who else is joining you.


This next item is reoccurs once a month (every third Saturday) and is worth a mention because it’s FREE. Sports Chalet hosts a free introductory SCUBA course. If you’ve been meaning to learn to SCUBA but were worried about committing to the zillion dollars that it costs to get certified, try out this class to test the waters (hahaa, pun intended). Click HERE to find the closest store offering the deal and register.


Since you know how I love FREE events, I got so excited when I saw that the LACMA is hosting a free ArtWalk including live music, dance, and interactive art projects, at art galleries all along Miracle Mile. Admision to the LACMA, the Architecture+Design Museum and the Craft and Folk Art Museum are all FREE during ArtWalk. Click HERE for the LACMA website with all the deets.


If you like art you probably like music… and especially live music. Well then you have a hard choice to make. Also happening this weekend is Make Music Pasadena from 11a-11p and this event is also FREE. I went to last years massive event and had a blast walking around. There are so many stages spread out it’s a great way to see the neighborhood and get some exercise while also hearing a ton of bands. Click HERE for the downloadable pdf map.  Bring some sun screen!


Speaking of music and art museums, the Getty is doing their summer outdoor concert series called Saturdays Off the 405. This Saturday night’s guest is Allen Stone. That’s his photo above and here’s a youtube video I found of him:


Per usual, Summer Saturday Outdoor Film Screenings are on this weekend. The Hollywood Forever Cemetery is Screening Cheech and Chong’s Up In Smoke. Street Food Cinema is screening Rocky Hoor Picture Show. And Eat See Hear is screening The Goonies (in San Pedro). These screenings all have bands playing before they start and food trucks serving up goodies. Pack a picnic blanket and pick a film!



The Hammer Museum is showing Back to the Future @11am on Sunday. This is a free event with $3 parking under the museum. Why not get breakfast in the area with your dad and then stop in for the flick, which is probably Dad’s favorite.


If you need something a little less family friendly than the screening above, check out TJ Miller’s hosting a Fathers Day Matinee of Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid and A Dogs Life at the Cinefamily Silent Movie Theater on Fairfax. This event costs $12 and includes a back patio brunch (11:30-12:30p), then live entertainment and shorts (12:30-1:30p) then a screening of The Kid and A Dog’s Life (1:30-3p). That’s a great deal for only $12.


I know this Weekend Guide has been lacking the usual amounts of comedy, mainly because Chicago’s Comedy Festival (Just For Laughs) is happening this weekend and I think most comedians are out of town.  Anywho, I found one gem with the price. Flappers in Burbank is hosting the game show Stardumb for $15 starting at 9p on Sunday. Bil Dwyer & Erica Rhodes are hosting with game show guests/contestants Ben Gleib, Janet Varney, Jimmy Dore, Jon Dore, Maria Bamford and Samm Levine. HERE is the link to all the details and where you can get tickets.


That’ll do it for the Weekend Guide! Go out and have fun!