Thursday, September 26, 2013


These three little stamps (they are about 1" x 2.5" each) worked real hard this week. They are tired and may never recover. Hopefully the hallway will be cured and dry and ready and all the other elements will settle in over the weekend so I can take pictures!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Running late

My hallway makeover is running a bit late (I decided to do something CRAZY and time consuming) so to tide you over here is a picture of an experimental dessert pizza. It was good. Delicious even with yellow plums from a client of my roommate. So good in fact that I ate the entire thing while working on the hallway.
Which is hopefully done soon so that I can share....

Monday, September 23, 2013

Adventures in painting

I woke up this Saturday to pouring rain. After weeks of Indian summer this was a bit of a bummer but it did gel with my plans as I had been planning to paint the hallway so I wasn't too disappointed.
The hallway is very wide and has four doors in addition to a large open doorway onto the living room but it still managed to be dark and a bit dingy. I knew a fresh coat of white on the trim would brighten it up but I also wanted to do color and maybe some pattern as well. I couldn't seem to find the right orange I wanted so I scored a few free quarts and decided to mix the perfect color myself. 
Not to coral, not to neon, just right.
It was a bit shocking when the first few strokes went up on the wall but after two coats I am totally happy with it. Just the punch of color I was looking for.
 Now I just have to decide on a pattern. I've been scouring pinterest for ideas which isn't un-fun research.
I also tried out my new popsicle molds with a raspberry yogourt recipe that was super tasty. Not sure why I didn't have one of these earlier considering my prefernece for frozen treats but that's been remadied now.
And finally, as I plan to move my trunk from the living room into the hallway (plus a cushion so it can function as a seat to remove shoes all winter) I had to come up with something else for that corner. Luckily this piece was on the move from another corner of the apartment and I was able to appropriate it as it's the perfect spot for book and my newly repainted record player. Looking forward to listening to some tunes in this room.

Friday, September 20, 2013


One of my goals this year (it's my Saturn return so I felt like making a to-do list) was to make at least one piece of ART art a month. Last night I broke out my paints and brushes and things and tried them out.
It felt nice to get my hands dirty.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Somehow these photos have been languishing here in an unwritten post through several seasons now without me noticing. I posted some process pictures in the spring when I was working on designing a set of save-the-dates and wedding invitations for Heather and Josh and then, well, stuff happened, and I guess I forgot to post photos of the final project. Since it is almost wedding time, it seems there is no time like the present.
First the save-the-dates. Since they were open to whatever I came up with I suggested a white on black chalkboard style postcard. In the end this heart shaped tree was their favorite and I added the gold carved monogram on the back.
The bride was fairly loose with design, saying she wanted cream, gold and blush as her colors. At some point coral was mentioned as well. And possibly orange. As there was no distinct theme or concept she had in mind I struggled with what to present her with as far as options. Pinterest helped narrow things down and I drew out a few ideas, focusing on round hand drawn lettering and various wave designs. We picked gold lined cream envelopes and when the right color paper seemed impossible to find I hand painted cream paper with a sunset wash of pink, orange and blush. 

It was an interesting and personally challenging process. I learned a lot and came up with some interesting ways to solve the different problems that arose throughout the project. In the end the couple were happy with their invitations and that's what matters most. I hope they have a lovely wedding next month.

Monday, September 16, 2013

At my desk

I had a  (very needed) break of a weekend. I mostly caught up on rest, and ate a lot of pancakes and ran errands out in the sunshine. I also worked on some smaller projects that have been lying around giving me the stink eye forever. Like this pearl collar. It is vintage and beautiful, I think my mother found it or gave it to me or something? Anyway, it has always been falling apart at one side and I always meant to fix it, you know, so I could wear it instead of storing it in a zip lock bag.
Well the day for fixing finally came!

Friday, September 13, 2013


I spent the last week gallivanting around New York City with one of my favorite people and so instead of just one random picture or two this Friday I have many! This is actually just a smattering of the photos I took, I was a very obnoxious Instagram user for the duration of the trip (and I warned my friends of this beforehand), it almost feels like I'm still there to look at these!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A new bar cart!

I was able to McGyver a bar cart out of an old rolling drawer cart a while back and it served it's purpose faithfully. However, as I found myself making cocktails more and more and expanding my vintage barware collection a bit, the little makeshift cart became crowded and impractical. I felt the need for a larger space, less cramped storage for glasses and room to actually make cocktails on the top of the cart. I began looking for a suitable replacement. 
However it turns out new bar carts are extremely pricey and since they are experiencing a resurgence in popularity the old ones are few and far between. I began looking at other structures that could be made to work, various kitchen carts and wheeled islands. I found this one on Amazon and the reviews made it out to be very sturdy. I actually liked the industrial feel and figured I could find or make a wooden cutting board to use on the top as a work surface. I spoke to a friend who had it in a past kitchen who recommended it so I snatched it up.

It was pretty simple to assemble. The height of the shelves can be adjusted so I'm trying this configuration out now but I may tweak it later. I like having a place to hang the monogram tea towels my mom found on the side. I like that it doesn't feel so jam packed and I like that I have more space for more libations.

I do have to admit, seeing it all spread out like this, that I  may have a bit of an addiction to straws, skewers, swizzle sticks and umbrellas but then again, I like my drinks festive so that seems just right to me.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Window seat recovered

The back window seat was one of my favorite parts of the apartment when I came to look at it. It seems like such and inviting place to sit and read or snack or nap or people watch. However the seat had been sitting in the window for many years and it was faded and the fabric was rather rough and needed an update.
I scored several yards of gray outdoor upholstery weight fabric at the Fabric Outlet and it was during the sale so it was an additional 40% off making it less than $20 for the entire piece. It was a fairly straightforward sewing project, only made difficult by the massive scale of the cushion, leading to some awkward wresting to get the cover on and off as I checked fit on the foam insert but it was in an evening. 

I find myself much more inclined to sit here now. Of course I'm sure the upgrade to the rest of the room helps and obviously the freshly painted trim and removed blinds helps make this spot appear much more bright and new looking as well.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chairs re-covered

When I was redoing the living room, much as I would love to go out and purchase all new furniture, that wasn't really in my budget. Therefore I was forced to do a lot of making due, including using existing furniture. My roommate had a great solid wood dining table and it had four matching chairs however the chairs looked as though they had seen better days. But after giving them a thorough scrub the wood frames looked just fine and it turned out it was only the old and unfortunately stained beige seats that needed a change. Luckily reupholstering seats is an easy beginner level project.
Unfortunately, for me at least, that beginner project involved removing a million old and rusty staples with a Flathead screwdriver and some pliers. I had to bribe myself with a milkshake just to get through it.
There was a whole lot of this littering my desk and quite a few on the floor as well. I made sure to do a thorough sweep to save my feet from some unfortunate accidents down the line. They already have to contend with stray sewing pins.

I used an orange twill for the new seat covers backed by canvas for strength. There are a lot of good tutorials out there but honestly all I did is lay the foam and seat back on my fabric and start attaching it, pulling it tight as I went. Then it was just a matter of screwing it back into the chair frame and voila! Such an improvement and so easy too.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Anniversary cocktail

My friend Kaitlin and I celebrated our 14th 'Friendiversary' this last weekend. I was unable to drink as I'm still recovering from being ill earlier in the month but that didn't stop me from making a fun mock-tail for our celebration dinner.
It's a pretty basic concoction, of muddled strawberries and basil, topped with lemon soda and a fun heart stir stick but I always enjoy adding a festive touch whenever possible. So here's to 14 more years, by which time we will officially be old ladies (which I'm sure will be most excellent)!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Living room reveal!

I know it's almost a week late but I believe someone said something once along the lines of better late than never, so I'm finally coming along with the before and after's of my living room after following along with Apartment Therapy's August Cure last month. I had some hold ups what with getting sick, and I also didn't want to rush furniture purchasing just because of the deadline and get something that wasn't right for the space so there's still one or two things that I'm keeping my eyes peeled for. I feel like decorating is pretty fluid but this was definitely a great way to get the room 'done' and livable and I am very happy with the results. 
You may recall the before's of this space. With nothing but a couch and some miscellaneous abandoned exercise equipment as far as furniture, old blinds, an over sized mirror and mismatched trim to contend with, the space, while open, was very intimidating to tackle.
And with some paint and a lot of homemade projects, this is what I've turned it into. 
The trim was repainted in Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace, and the walls are Anchor's Away. I removed the blinds from the bay windows and filled and covered the holes from the hardware. I have no intention of putting in new blinds and while I've been considering making curtains I ended up really enjoying the light and the open feeling of having unobstructed windows, plus the view of the trees outside doesn't hurt.
I kept the couch that was my roommates, which while it is not my style or color preference, is incredibly comfortable. I also kept the dining table which was originally in the kitchen, and replaced the upholstery on the chairs with a solid orange twill. The theater seats were an Alameda Flea Market find which miraculously fit into my mothers car and I added trim to the raw plywood base and painted it to match the metal. The side table is from Target, I repainted the top orange.
The trunk has been with me since college, it was originally black but I repainted it white with gray trim. The artwork is from various print trades in college and the frames were leftovers from a past gallery show. I made all of the pillows while I was home sick including the mountain and the T-Rex (I blame my fever addled brain for that one). I made a new cover for the window seat cushion with a remnant of outdoor upholstery fabric so it hopefully will fade a bit less from all the sun. The quilt on the back of the couch is an old patchwork project of mine. The rug I made out of floor mats from the dollar store. The lamps were made from flea marked wire shades. The bar cart was found on Amazon.

I'm sure I am forgetting something important, as much as I am sure that there will be further changes to this space down the line. I will be posting a bit more in detail about some of the projects in this space in the next few days but right now I'm ready to have a little soiree to celebrate my new room!
It is amazing what having a deadline and a schedule can do as far as motivation. I enjoyed following along with everyone else's spaces and seeing their progress. Unfortunately it's sort of like the "If you give a mouse a cookie" book and now that this room look great I'm itching to tackle the next space. Not sure which will come first, the hallway or the kitchen but I'm sure it will be just as fun!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

and some things

The internet in my apartment went down on Friday and I decided that it was the universe telling me to relax, get off the computer and enjoy my birthday weekend.
I did a lot of sewing but also spent a bunch of time outside and in the consuming of delicious foods.
I made three new dresses in the last week to add to my collection, including the pink seersucker that I snapped a picture of on Friday. That one involved making many many yards of bias binding tape myself to match. It was tedious but provided a very satisfying end result.
I also did some baking to use the surplus of groceries in my fridge before I go out of town this week, including an epic batch of carrot cake frosting on which my friend Kaitlin and I went a little bit crazy with the sprinkles. I have a whole bunch of different ones and it's very fun to play around with them.
On my birthday, as it was a Sunday followed by a holiday Monday, it seemed only appropriate to indulge in a mammoth brunch and what's better than bottomless brunch! I may have had my own weight in bacon (the cheddar grits and fried plantains were also most excellent) which was followed up with bowling and a long scenic stroll home as the sun decided to come out and it was beautiful and I just didn't feel like sitting on a bus anymore. 
I spent some time thinking about the last year and what I have gotten done and what I want to work on next year and one thing I did that made me feel very accomplished was start sewing my own clothes, specifically my own dresses from patterns I created myself. I lined up all my dresses and snapped this picture and felt that I have been very productive (there was actually another dress finished after this photo was taken which brings my total up to a staggering nine!)
I look forward to all the adventures this next year brings (saturn return so it should be interesting) starting with a week of exploring New York with one of my favorite people (there will be tons of pictures I am sure) I will also throw some final after shots of the finished living room up here in the next few days as well.