Thursday, October 31, 2013

"let them eat (pumpkin) cake!"

I forgot to get a picture of the finished product until after it had been half eaten, but I made up this pumpkin spice cake earlier this week when a friend came over for dinner and I was feeling seasonal. While it was cooling I poured a ginger glaze over the top which it soaked all up making it even more moist and flavorful. Here's to fall and a Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Color story

I grew up in a colorful home. When I was young I believed that when I had my own space it would by white and neutral like a pottery barn spread. I also thought I wanted to eat lucky charms and drink soda all day, but after a week of it when I first got to college I was calling my mother asking for a delivery of granola. So while it's not entirely surprising that my home ended up being much more colorful than I imagined, it is amusing.
Also I have discovered a pattern in my color-picking style. I have a thing for food names so perhaps painting makes me hungry? Seems like a funny thing to do but it also seems to be working just fine!
My bedroom is "Heavy Cream" (somehow the only picture I have of it is this one which is terrible-apologies)

and the closet is "Candy"

The kitchen is "Butter" bits of "American Cheese" accents

The living room is painted in "Black pepper"


and the hallway is a custom mix of "Tangello" and "Melon" which I suppose I should call "mengello"!

I'm thinking it's time to do some touch ups on the bathroom so I wonder what type of meal that color will end up being named after...

Monday, October 28, 2013


This weekend was even more about costumes then the last but no complaining here as I do love getting dressed up. Friday night I was Rosie the Riveter in what used to be my brothers boiler room jumpsuit (I took it in a bit, ie reconstructed the entire top!) then Saturday we went Greek. I was the demon Medusa again and my friend went a bit more on the good side with Athena. Our costumes took up an entire wall of my bedroom and the place looked like some sort of glitter/hair/snake explosion went off but it was great fun!

Friday, October 25, 2013


Just some little bits of my life. Kitchen progress, unfortunate injury and a party animal sweatshirt doodle.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Hallway before and after

So other than a teaser and some pictures of me mixing paints like a mad scientist I don't think there's been a lot about the apartments hallway. It's a bit dark and gloomy but it's got a big open doorway leading onto the living room so it's very visible from that space. I decided that while I was updating the trim in there it would be a good time to add a little color and maybe...something extra.
After mixing up the perfect melon-y orange hue I was envisioning, I decided that I wanted it to look like a subtle wallpapering in there and I looked down at my arrow print shirt and knew exactly what I should do!
So I made a set of three one inch by three inch hand cut stamps, and got to work. It looked something like this:
And when I was done with all the gold (over a series of four evenings and lots of listening to records and many dance breaks) it looked like this:
But I felt like something was missing, so I added just a few white arrows to the gold which I think added just enough dimension. My intention was to make the space almost glow, and have just a subtle texture that you saw from the right angle, and I feel like that worked out pretty well.

Of course now my arms are sore from all that high up or way low crouching on the floor stamping. Maybe next time I will pick a larger pattern.....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

kitchen progress

You may recall the kitchen starting out something like this.


And I am happy to report that there has recently been a flurry of activity in this space motivated partially by a home depot sale and a desire to have a brighter and more functional space for the coming dark cold winter (in which I will be wanting to make a never ending series of casserole type dishes of course). The trim has been painted and while he was visiting earlier, the handy Papa (HP?) planed down the tops and sides of the cabinet doors so that they finally close properly.
I also decided that since the hardware cannot be changed (the screws have been painted over enough times that they have become fused to the knobs and are no longer removable) and I don't want to risk my health by stripping away all the lead paint, I picked up a sample pot of the yellow a few shades down from the wall color, and painted the fronts of all of the knobs to make them look new. I also added hardware to the freshly painted sink cabinet which makes it seem much more integrated into the surrounding hardware.
Taking it from this:

To this (admittedly blurry quick iPhone shot taken last night- but it gives an idea of the progress and hey it was really late at that point, and dark!)

Here's a close up. My intention is that the yellow will make the three different hardware style blend together a bit better. And in other news, my new kitchen work space arrived last night and my friend Kaitlin valiantly assisted in it's setup despite having a bit of a cold. It made a huge difference and seems like it will perform it's intended function (providing both work and storage space) admirably. 

Monday, October 21, 2013


It was a long weekend and mostly full of holiday festivities of the costume-ing pumpkin variety. I did manage to get a bit more work done in the kitchen including an update of this cute metal plant stand my mom brought me a few weeks ago.
Just a few quick coats of spray paint up on the roof and it was all bright and cheery and more in the color scheme the kitchen is moving into. The room is coming together and already much more satisfying to cook in. I even made a batch of applesauce yesterday to warm and perfume the house. It's definitely feeling like fall.

Friday, October 18, 2013

busy busy

Something about having only a four day work week makes it seem like time is just sliding by so fast. Which isn't bad but seeing as I've got some fast approaching deadlines it certainly made my week very busy.
I also had to finish all my Halloween preparation much earlier than expected as I'm debuting my costume at a party this Saturday (rather early in the month for a Halloween party but I like to get to wear it at out as much as possible and so I'm not going to pass up the opportunity.) I decided at the end of the summer that I would be Medusa this year and so I ordered a bunch of plastic snakes off of amazon and figured I'd make it work from there. I was struggling with how to make some sort of head piece with snakes that would be easy to apply and would also look awesome and I kept putting it off while finishing up all other aspects of  the look.

Then last night it just sort of happened. I made a wire circlet I fitted to my head, then I cut up an old wig and made a number of smaller braids which I sewed to the wire. This left me with a thin dust of plastic hair bits all over my desk and floor.
And finally I wove the snakes into the braids and through the hairpiece. The idea is to have a crown/hat type creation that I can just pin on my head as opposed to having to create the hairdo each time from scratch. I'll make sure to photograph the entire costume this weekend but I am very excited about how this is looking! 

I also made a snap decision on my walk home from the train Tuesday night to finish painting the kitchen. It's all trim and corners and annoying bits but I knew it would look so much fresher so before I even ate dinner I had prepped, taped and tarped the whole area (and warned my roommate too!) I also sanded and painted the veneer cabinet the skin is set into which has always been an eyesore in it's inexplicably missmatched state. I'm hoping that with just a few more tweaks I can make this space a more bright and cheerful, and also practical, space to work.
After all, winter is coming, and that means rolling out pie dough and assembling casseroles and I will be much more inclined to do all of that if it's easier to work in the space.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Holiday weekend

I didn't remember until Friday morning that this was going to be a long weekend (thank goodness for bank holidays!) so I had a surprise extra day off and decided to take the whole weekend off from computers and gadgets in general. But I did get outside and enjoy the surprise sunshine we got, including discovering a fantastic cocktail place with some enviable tiki bar ceramic pineapple cups (please excuse the graininess, this was taken in dim light without a flash ), scoring some amazing prints at the last day of the fabric sale at my favorite fabric store, and doing some ice cream float experimentation's. There was also some paint-prepping and cape-making but more on that later.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013


I've been squinting over small ornate line work a lot recently. These are all just bits and beginnings but there are people out there who like snooping in my sketchbook so I thought I'd share some currently offerings. Here's hoping they turn into something.....

Monday, October 7, 2013

a wonderful weekend

This weekend was gorgeous. It was more summery than any of the actual summer days this year, and I tried to spend a lot of time on my room just reading and soaking up the sun when I wasn't busy with other things.
I did a fair amount of baking in between chunks of working at my desk (with the windows open trying not to get distracted by the sun and the people and music outside). There is a fresh batch of Popsicles in the freezer (pina colada) and a pile of peanut butter brownie bites on the counter.
I also got a (too quick) visit from my parents, who brought with them all the vintage baking stuff I had in storage, along with my glass nesting mixing bowls, my waffle iron and this fantastic plant stand complete with new plant babies that I will (fingers crossed) be able to keep alive. I might be painting to stand a lighter color to go with the yellow kitchen but it is nice to have more plants in the house. They always make things seem more alive!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

side table redo

My roommate was getting rid of this little one drawer table. Like most of his furniture, it is very dark (I suppose this is supposed to make it look more manly?) And it was going to go out on the curb (where all things magically disappear in about five minutes) but I held it back because I've often been burned by tossing stuff only to come up with awesome new uses for them once they are gone. So I put it in a corner of the living room where I would walk past it over and over again to see if I could come up with something.
And I did. 

I took it apart, cleaned it and gave it a few coats of white (used the semi gloss from all the trim painting I've been doing) and lined the drawer with polka dot paper with washi tape accents.
I looked around for a drawer pull  I liked, and while there were some interesting ones, I wasn't really feeling like spending $12 on one so I thought maybe I could paint of otherwise augment the current hardware to make it look like something like these Anthropologie So I removed it before the whole piece was painted and used nail polish (magic paint that dries super fast and goes easily over any material) and dimensional paint (puff paint).
And here it is in it's new home. I haven't really styled it up much short of adding a plant and my alarm clock (which I just spray painted blue last night to go with the tray also given a new coat of paint) and the stack of magazines that was previously sitting on the floor. I will see what else I can come up with, but for now I'm really excited to have a spacious drawer to throw all my mess into and somewhere to put my glasses at night other than the floor.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

a finished project

While I was stocking up on thread and zippers at the fabric store this weekend I was able to pick up some elastic for a project that has been lingering on my to do list for weeks now. I've had a collection of vintage belt buckles for years that I've been meaning to finish off with elastic so that they could  be worn and once I got down to it, it was a simple enough process of picking up a yard of the right size and color elastic for each buckle. I may some day go for a different color for the butterfly buckle (perhaps a yellow to match the butterfly) but for now they are all happily hanging in my closet and I'm glad to be able to wear them!