Monday, May 17, 2010

to reverse or not to reverse.

A clutch, that is.

What is the consensus? totally tacky? or brilliant? Is it one of those things that you would buy but then hide from your friends? or would you flaunt it (whatever that 'it' may be, in your case) with pride?

I've been toying with the idea of creating a reversible clutch. Then, I get awful images in my head: fluorescent windbreakers (pink on one side, green on the other), terribly bulky sweatshirts, hideous UMBRO shorts (always white on one side). These images are of my childhood, which took place in the 80s and 90s, and they are NOT pretty. Insert the big hair and puffy painted socks and I want to hide my head in shame for decades of horrendous dress.

So, can it work (in a non-tacky sort of way)? I'm not quite sure, but I think I will take a gander. Check out these reversible rugs at Apartment Therapy - Reversible Rugs: Double Your Decor Options. Pretty cool, eh (I think so too)? They definitely work, right? I like them so much that I may even have to pick one up.

So, take a leap of faith with me, will you?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

day one: organization (baby steps).

Okay, so the challenge is set. The deadline is in place. And now, I need to get organized. What I really mean by this is I need to turn my giant, oversized closet (aka. our spare bedroom) into my creating space.

Step one: get rid of old clothes and take to Goodwill. Check and check.

Step two: de-trash, de-clutter and de-furnish (only the useless furniture, of course). Check, check and CHECK.

Step three: set up SEWING MACHINE. CHECK.

Step four: sit back and adoringly compare the before and after. 


This is a good start, right? I know it looks as baron and uninspiring as a sweatshop, but that won’t last. I plan to visit my mother’s flea market (err, I mean basement) this weekend (remember, I’m on a very TIGHT budget), so before long, the d├ęcor will be plentiful.

Next stop: FABRIC STORE (well, first my mom's pseudo-flea market and THEN to the fabric store I will go). 

Friday, May 14, 2010

operation: starting an etsy shop on a [VERY tight] budget.

You all know that I have quite a bit of time on my hands, right? But, have I told you that I dream of being self-employed? Well, I do (along with half the world, I'm sure). Unrealistic, definitely. Doable? possibly. Does that make sense? not sure.

Well, I'm going to try. My first mission is to create an Etsy shop (my second mission will be to make a *successful* Etsy shop, but one step at a time, ladies and gents). My deadline: September 1st. And, here on my blog, I plan to chronicle my headaches, triumphs, obstacles and victories, in a very Julie Powell-esque-inspired manner. As in, if I could achieve the fame that she did for mastering the art of french cooking in 365 days (laugh, if you will), I will forever be a hero (in my own eyes, anyways).

So, I have 108 days to create a shop on Etsy. My shop will have handmade items: some clothing, accessories (including, but not limited to, earrings, headbands, belts), and handbags. I am a sucker for standout vintage pieces also, so I will include the occasional vintage item (if I find any that I can live without keeping in my own wardrobe, that is). I will have 30 pieces for sale with, at least, 10 items in backstock. So, 40 items in 108 days. If Julie Powell can cook 524 recipes in 365 days, then I can create/find 40 items in 108 days. I am sure of it.

The challenge begins tomorrow, so check back for what I hope to be more triumphs than defeats!

[credits to my big brother for the inspiration]

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

my thumb is black.

It's also what many people refer to as a 'hammer thumb', BUT, that is a another story for a another day.

Black generally signifies death, right? Well, my thumb pretty much does too, when it comes to gardening, anyways. I kill all plants. It is not intentional, though. It's completely inevitable. 

So, this is the year, where my black thumb TURNS GREEN. I have plans, BIG plans for my immense garden. But first, I have done some [much needed] research.

The first of my problems relates to the absurd amount of weeds that have overtaken the flower beds, which once a upon a time (aka. before we lived here!), looked quite beautiful. In light of being eco-friendly and saving my grass-, weed-, flower-eating canine from a terribly upset stomach, these tips will hopefully become my life savers...

4 Eco-Friendly Ways to Kill Weeds

So, what caught my eye about this article? I don't know, but maybe the question, 'If your backyard is beginning to look like a wilderness campground, it may be time to get rid of the weeds.' Yes, I think it is time. And for the record, both my front and backyards are beginning to look like said wilderness campground.

My next problem: CHIVES. I have wild chives growing in my backyard. I can't rake without crying. I can't cut the grass without PUKING (over the awful B.O. stench). Based on my research, these are, apparently, just weeds, so I'm assuming they can be handled the same way as the rest of the weeds. Keep your fingers crossed.

As soon as I can get my problem areas tackled, I can get to the fun part: color (flowers) and herbs and veggies. And the goal here: DO NOT KILL.

Check back for my progress. I'm thinking Friday will be THE DAY THAT I TRANSFORM MY YARD.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

i think i'm in love.

The dog is walked and fed, my coffee is brewing and I have sat down to get my daily dose of Apartment Therapy (well, and to vote for my sister and brother-in-law's beautifully decorated rowhome, in the FINAL FOUR of the small cool contest), and I fell in love.

This is a photo stolen from Apartment Therapy's (from here on out, I'll just refer to it as AT, because it will visit my blog again) house tour on the home of Netherlands stool designer, Ingrid Jansen. See complete house tour here - Ingrid's Wood and Wool Wonderland. Let's just say, I'm in an infatuation phase.

I think it's a three-part love affair, actually. I'm in love with the house, of course. I'm in love with the idea of picturing myself living there (with all the decor, obviously), and I'm in love with the fact that she has the dining room table that I HAVE BEEN PINING OVER and have commissioned my father to build for me for my birthday next month!!!

Could it be fate?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

reno of the kitchen.

[Reno], as in, R-E-N-O-V-A-T-I-O-N. well, almost.

When we moved into our house, two and a half years ago, the countertops were green. And, they still are (gasp). Unfortunately the renovation hasn't gotten quite that far, however, I have made some progress from the green-countertopped, unoriginal (as in, every other run of the mill, American family has) cabineted (sp?) and sad peach-walled kitchen!

The walls are painted! It's a light gray color, that I had originally bought for our basement (with the hopes to have it on the walls of a new man-cave, which was under one foot of water last month). The painting was the easy part. After taping the ceiling, cabinets, etc., I had it done in no time. It's a neutral, cool gray and it looks divine. I plan to add some yellow accents (in the form of pictures and possibly curtains) to compliment the starkly colored walls.

Installing the shelves did not happen with ease, of any kind. well, they were easy to *buy* (along with the other hundred dollars worth of items that quickly filled up my cart at Ikea last week), but they were not easy to install. Somehow the drywall in my house is softer than any, and the studs are much harder than any. So, I made three trips to the store for stronger screw anchors, before finding one that worked. And, I got a screw stuck in the wall and a drill bit BROKEN in the wall. I cried, I screamed. I dropped quite a few f-bombs and my dog was essentially afraid of me (my husband would have been afraid of me as well, had he been home). Note to self: make sure to tackle projects of this nature when ALONE in the house.

But, the finished product awaits you:

The first thing my husband said when he saw it was, 'we need to get some more interesting glasses'. I guess it's a good thing that he's warranting me to go shopping (he's a bit of a finance warden), but it wasn't really the response I was looking for. Especially not after my mentally exhausting day.

Check out these other photos as well...

Imagine these cabinets covering the entire kitchen:

Opposite wall before (it did have oak-colored shelves, but I forgot to take real 'before' pictures):

Opposite wall after:

I am very proud of my handiwork and I hope you enjoy it too!!

Next week: cabs go white.