Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vanity



I've been thinking of functionality a lot. And how to make my works space, well, work. Since my bedroom and studio are the same room I need to do whatever I can to make it feel like a real work space. The other complication of this apartment is the tiny bathroom with nonexistent storage and not the most flattering light. Which means I store any hair/makeup type things in my room and will usually do any sort of "primping" at my desk in the morning. And due to my love of sleeping in until the last possible moment, this usually results in my returning home to work and finding various morning ephemera strewn across my desk. Which is not very encouraging to getting any creative work done. So last week I made a (somewhat snap) decision, to come up with another space to do this. A vanity of sorts. And since I have a large closet and that's already where all my clothes and jewelry are, I thought why not. 
Of course this choice led me down a rabbit hole of looking for a table height piece of furniture that was no more than 12 inches deep. Which is rare and expensive or out of stock. Here i am thinking, all that I need is a narrow little tabletop ad some legs, why is this so hard? But luckily a light bulb moment while talking with my bff and a trip to the local hardware store (where they of course have everything that I've ever needed-at least in a home improvement sort of way) and all my problems are solved. The light bulb moment of course, was thinking why does the table have to have legs? Really all I need is the top of the table, why not a shelf? And why yes Cole Hardware does have a pre cut shelf in black (to match the shelf on the same wall that has my jewelry box) and brackets and plaster wall anchors. So less than 20 bucks and a bunch of hand screwing brackets later and I had my vanity space. Below you can see my brilliant method for holding the shelf in place at the right height while I screwed into the anchors.
Next step was storage. I of course looked at all the pretty carts and shelves at Ikea and Target and the Container Store. But it is always awesome to figure out a solution that costs zero dollars so before purchasing anything I took a look around the apartment and realized I did have something that could be re-purposed. Again. 
Remember the little metal cart in my kitchen? It's to the left of the work table in the above picture. It was originally craft storage in 2004 with rainbow drawers. Then it became in order, bathroom storage, a tiny bar cart and then kitchen storage. I was able to rearrange my kitchen a bit to no longer need the cart there and though I could change it up a little bit to make it seem new and exciting again. Which of course meant some gold spray paint and fun pink paper, both of which I already had on hand. So free!
The very last thing I needed was a place to sit at said vanity. Enter a chance encounter with Ikea and the pretty cool looking (and also crazy inexpensive) Marius stool plus some things I had on hand (white faux fur and more gold spray paint) and that was taken care of as well.
All that was left was organizing the shelves, adding a shiny gold lamp and some fun art. I have very much enjoyed my mornings so far this week getting ready at this little spot. It is not only convenient to have everything right there in the open instead of tucked away in boxes, but I also enjoy having the closet function more as a dressing room. It makes getting up in the morning a little less tiresome. 










Monday, April 14, 2014

Tart+quiche

Yesterday I went to the grocery to pick up a few things for the week. Blackberries were on sale and the plums looked so pretty so I picked up a few thinking I could bake something. I made a simple almond crust and pressed it into the sweetest mini tart pans that my mom found for me. Then I mixed up a filling of plums, blackberries and the juice and zest from this Meyer lemon I found on my counter. But the tarts looked a little bare so I mixed up an egg and some milk with vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg and poured it over the fruit filling, thinking it would be sort of like a sweet quiche if it worked, and threw them in the oven.

Within minutes my whole house smelled fantastic. The lemon mixed with the other fruits and the warm vanilla baking smell of the crust and filling. I took them out of the oven when the egg filling had cooked through and let them cool.

I took my first bite cautiously, knowing I could have ruined everything with my last minute addition, but I shouldn't have been worried at all. This dessert is a delicious monster, it would be perfect for breakfast (in fact that's what I did this morning) and the fruits could easily be changed and adapted based on what's in season (I imagine raspberries, cherries, pears, apricots). There are only two questions I have. One, what to call a tart and quiche hybrid? And second, who is going to help me eat them, whatever they are called?!





Friday, April 11, 2014

{snapshot}

Someone decided to paint the trim in the walk-in at 8:30 last night. I have no idea why anyone would paint trim in such a glorious high gloss putty color, nor why it took all of nine months to paint over it but last night I could no longer stand it and made a snap decision. Of course I took this photo in not optimal light conditions so it's not the most accurate depiction of the colors, but the trim went from the color of an old band aid to a crisp bright white. I also cleaned up all the over-painted wall color (three different colors no less) that had gotten onto the trim over the years.
The paint fumes may have gotten to my head however because I decided to stay up (as late as it took) to get a second coat on everything so that I would not have to continue painting today. This meant I didn't finish painting until 1 pm and then of course there was clean up. Sigh.

Another part of this process I didn't consider is that to paint the closet I had to take EVERYTHING out of it (thank goodness I have a spacious room and accommodating roommate) which means my bedroom currently looks like chaos and the living room couch is four feet deep in clothes and boxes and a crazy pile of hats. Turns out my closet was like a clown car storage wise. There was so much more in there than I could have imagines. I had an uncomfortable moment this morning when I realized I had to figure out something to wear to work from among the madness, but it will all be very exciting and worth it later when I get to put everything back where it goes. I may just sit on the fake bearskin rug and gaze lovingly at the newly painted trim........ or that just might be residual fumes talking.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

decoupage-ing


My record player has had several lives. It is often out in a prominent place so that it can be used and that means that it has to match the space that it is in pretty well. Or certainly not clash. I painted it turquoise (see here) and then gray with orange stripes both of which were an improvement over the original brown but when the dust settled and my living room was all done I realized that the wall color was just a shade or two darker than the turntable, and of course it made my eye twitch. I tried to live with it but of course I eventually gave in to my crafty urges and went for it.

However, this time, inspired by these fabric covered record players I spotted at Urban Outfitters the other day, I decided to try out something other than paint. Enter one old Thesaurus and my trusty friend Elmer's glue. That's right, I decoupaged my record player! and while it was somewhat tedious (going around all of the hardware and corner covers and angles) it was also such a wonderful transformation that it was totally worth it!


After I had covered the top and bottom I did three coats of Elmer's, letting it dry in between, to make a sort of shellac like effect so the paper is now smooth and shiny and sealed. I did end up cherry picking some words that I liked and interspersing them around, as well as adding the phrase "about this book" to the inside of the lid in place of a manufacturer name, but the rest of the placement was wonderfully random.
Overall I think it really helped with my efforts to lighten up the room, I feel more inclined to pull out an album for a short dance break and it makes me smile when I walk by. I will call it a success. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

weekends

It was unquestionably fantastic weather all weekend so I did a lot of outside things including farmers markets and the Alameda Flea. I did manage to take a few photos thankfully and even get some work done which hopefully I will be able to get pictures of soon (just have to get home early one night this week?)





Friday, April 4, 2014

{snapshot}

Just a quick glimpse of my little setup for a new project (and one that is particularly excellent as it is portable and good to work on while chatting with friends and while traveling)

Thursday, April 3, 2014

#100 happy days still going strong

I've continued to enjoy the 100 happy days challenge and in fact now being half way through I am saddened to think it is nearing an end. Maybe I can turn it into a longer challenge? A year of happy days perhaps? There continue to be trends in my posts, with food pictures being the top one of course (dinner makes me very happy most of the time and cooking often proves an escape when I am frustrated or upset) and some pictures of new projects and even my feet made a few appearances. I am excited to see the collection as a whole when the project reaches it's conclusion and I will maybe ruminate a bit about what I could come up with as either a continuation or a new daily project....