Friday, July 29, 2011

West Elm!

Since the beginning of this year, West Elm has partnered with Etsy to feature some pretty awesome sellers in their catalogs. Each time I get a one, the first thing I do is flip through and see who had been featured. Its always very validating when I see my favorites on there and I have discovered lots of cool people with it too.

I am also excited to tell you that one of my posters had been chosen to appear in their catalogs and it just came out! If you get one of these, look out for it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sneak Peek: AHC

Within the next couple of weeks, I'll be opening up a brand new shop! Here is one of the items that will be in it. Stay tuned!

Friday, July 22, 2011


This past week has been miserably hot, heat indices reaching up to 114 degrees F (45 C) in some areas! So aside from the errands that had to be run, I was mostly stuck at home in the bedroom where our only air conditioning unit is. Bun has set up shop in there too for the past few days since she is 90% thick fur and of delicate constitution. I have averaged at least 3 showers a day. I am probably the cleanest I've ever been.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

My Cake Baby

For those of you who already follow my food blog, this will be old news but I thought I'd post about this here as well. Only because I feel like this cake is the best thing I have ever made (in terms of cakes). No seriously, I feel like this was such a big achievement for me. Even though I'm a pretty experienced baker, I have little experience baking a cake and even less experience making one actually look pretty.

I baked this wedding cake for two friends last month. I also officiated the ceremony which was an amazing experience but I was so thrilled with how this cake turned out. I had pulled a bunch of images from the internet of cakes that I loved the looks of and sent it to the bride. She then picked out which style she liked the best and I tried to recreate it.

It was still a little lopsided and I know it wasn't the most neatly decorated. The day was so crazy that I had to try to not shake so much and hyperventilate while piping the frosting but it was my baby. My cake baby.

I had made the flags as well, embroidering the bride and groom's names on them.

In case you'd like a recipe, I used Dorie Greenspan's recipe for Perfect Party Cake and I mixed some strawberry jam into the frosting to create the light pink hue. I also made the strawberry jam from scratch which is one of the easiest things ever and is so much better than anything store bought.

It was a beautiful day and the ceremony was perfect. I was so happy to be a part of it.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Eats

A few weeks ago we bought a grill. Its small but as you can see in the picture above we don't really have room for a big one. Of all the grills we have had, this is the nicest! And I know charcoal grills are supposed to be better but given our space constraints and the wooden environment of our outdoor area, the gas grill is pretty awesome. I don't think we've turned on the stove since we got it!

One of the best things are grilled vegetables. No grill pan, just directly on the grate. Even green beans which have been my absolute favorite!

The other weekend I threw together a lunch of a grilled vegetables salad. You can do this with anything you'd like. I had some artichoke hearts, fennel, broccoli, tomatoes and scallions. Just toss them with some salt, pepper, olive oil and grill. I would leave them large enough to grill and chop them smaller later on if you wanted to. Arrange on plate and drizzle over with some dressing. I used a spicy lemon, tahini dressing.

Here is my tiny recipe:

Juice of a lemon
Teaspoon full of tahini
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

1. Combine lemon juice, tahini, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
2. While stirring with a fork, drizzle in about 2 teaspoons olive oil or more if desired.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dianne Oh Deer

Trades are the currency of artists ! Its a great way to connect with people you admire and gives you the opportunity to have the things you like. Especially if you are like me -- buying nice, new things for other people, and mostly purchasing groceries and other need-based items for yourself. A fun shopping trip for me is usually a visit to the thrift store which is great and you can find really nice, unique items but sometimes you just want something new.

Recently Dianne Tanner of Dear Oh Deer and I did an exchange and I was able to get one of her beautiful necklaces. She was even so nice as to do a custom turquoise nugget necklace with a hawk feather. I love the combination of the two and the long length of the piece.

I am also happy to say that she will be stocking these feather & stone necklaces in her shop very soon! Sources say by the end of the week so keep an eye out for them.

Go see more of the beautiful things she makes in her shop!
And then go see her pictures and read her words on her blog!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Home Office

Its been over a year now that I've started to work from home. In the beginning, I still went in to my previous job as a studio manager at a photo studio a little bit every week but for the past half a year, I've really started to be a self employed person. Its hard to get used to since home has always been the place to not work and so it has been a bit of a bumpy ride trying to get myself going every day. Its great having such a flexible schedule and being your own boss but its also one of the hardest things.

(When you get to stay home all day, every day and the only conversations you have are with your pets -- which basically means that you talk to yourself--, you become really weird. Its hard to explain. You start dressing like a strange person and you mostly feel lethargic and antsy at the same time.)

Former office space, now kind of storage

One of the things that I had done to make home more of a place for work, was to move my whole operation from the tiny office room DH (my husband) and I shared (which was tiny and also dark) into my windowy and light filled living space. This might seem unfair to my other half but my reasoning was that since I work here, I should have a nice place to work which would be better for my business. Plus I had read, at some point, that an artist rented out this beautiful cabin in the woods and took the best room in the house and made it his workspace. This is my reasoning! I also promised that I would make it look cool and keep everything neat so as not to make our living area crappy. This has mostly been successful. A little bit.

Also I fully intend to clean up my old half of the old office so that DH could expand his operations to the rest of the room but life keeps getting in the way (50% of which is Internet). I will get there!

Despite the messes, it has so far been really great. I do feel more productive. I have a wall painted with chalkboard paint with things that I need to take care of right in front of me. I have lots of light. If I need a break, I can always walk a few seconds to my left and sit/read/sip a drink/zone out in our real living room and the space we call "The Golden Area". The golden area makes everything better.

The Golden Area

I love my new workspace. I've been working like this for the past 2 months and its been fantastic. Its really helped me get motivated about my shop and my work. It helps give structure to my day and I think it makes me better about being neater. I would love to one day have a studio space completely separate from my home but for now, this is perfect.

Monday, July 11, 2011

This is a new blog

My name is Debbie Carlos and this is my blog. As in a blog blog. Not a tumblr or some casual picture blog. I would really like this to be a place where I can share stuff in the form of words (plus pictures). And maybe sometimes there will just be a picture post because I know I can't always think of things to say. I want this to be casual, I don't want to put too much pressure on myself about this because I know that it will make me never want to update. At the same time, I want to be good about it.

This is a bit different for me. I'm not a very wordy person and I guess thats why I like to photograph as a way of showing people what I'm looking at and, by extension, what I'm thinking. I don't know that I even have a good 'voice'. I think I try to be too funny or weird sometimes and I don't want this place to be like that but I don't want this place without that either. Also, I need to be better about punctuation.

I don't know what I'm trying to say. The first post on a new blog is very intimidating and I've been mulling over what to upload as my first post for over a week now. I decided to just come on here and write something! A nice intro! I hope I was able to do that.

Readers, this is going to be fun and its going to be good for me and, hopefully, for you too. Hope you stick around!

Thanks for reading,