Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Curtains and all their Drama

We live in a beautiful old house built in 1912.

It has lovely features like a large foyer, high ceilings, and wide windows. They're not only large, they are some of the largest I have ever lived with, and are wonderfully blinds-free. Not since college I have lived without blinds, and my solution back then was buying an entire bolt of blue jersey for a dollar and using fabric ducktape (yes that's a real thing) to get them to stay.  It looked slightly better than it sounds.

So with Cory's blessing, I took the creative freedom reigns and began the hunt for curtains. Of course, I wanted to thrift them. I had previously purchased a brand new Target curtain to spice up my cubicle, so I figured I wouldn't have too much trouble. BOY WAS I WRONG.

The biggest obstacle of thrifting curtains was the need for four matching panels. The windows are very wide: they required 100 inches of fabric to be fully covered. Because of this I couldn't get away with one panel per window.

The stock that I did find was boring and overpriced. $20 for used beige Target curtains?

Weeks of unsuccessful thrifting forced me to move on. Finding fabric and making my own panels came to mind until I discovered how  insanely expensive fabric is these days. For the amount of fabric I would need, the end cost would be $30 in fabric, plus all the time it takes to sew them. I've just recently gotten back into sewing ( formally an 8th grade pillow/purse/jeans-to-skirt maker). My skills are pretty dull and I knew if I was going to spend that kind of money, I wanted them done right.

TJ Maxx and similar stores had great prices ($12-$30 for a pair) but a terrible selection of colors. More beige curtains? THE WORST.  I had the urge to throw paint on them.  Color is a serious need in my life. If you have doubts of this ask anyone in my family about my middle school/highschool bedroom which was modeled after an Indian circus. My family just recently painted over the muti-colored stripes, and thus confessed how hideous they thougtht it was. Even my sweet grandma labled them "very unique," which in kindly South Dakota talk means "the worst color combination I've ever seen." :) Love you grammy!

I finally purchased panels from West Elm, a home furnishing company.

Yellow Chevron Curtains from West Elm

They are more gold than yellow, but look great with our decor so I'm happy.
Also Cory and I were tired of looking. ($39 per panel)
When I first started looking, that felt like an outrageous price
but similar curtains are selling between $50 - $100 per panel.


With all this fabric cost, I wanted a super cheap way of tying them back.
Being a renter, I try to be mindful of marking up the walls. 

My solution: Curtain Ties!

Creative Curtain Ties: Reusing bracelets
Add caption

Remember 2 years ago when arm candy was raging? Well, I found a use for all those bracelets.

I think it's easiest to use bracelets with closures as opposed to ties.
Don't forget to be mindful if you're using delicate fabrics,
you don't want to snag beautiful curtains!

Bon Nuit!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Reuse, Redesign, Repurpose: A Desk Part II


 As you can recall from Reuse, Redesign, Repurpose...Part I 

I was making over this lovely desk.





You may also recall, painting it turned out to be a bit of work.


So all that effort and there's still two large cracks that render the bottom unable to hold any real weight.
That makes it a little more difficult to use as a writing desk (I have many non-leather bound books).

So now what?


What if it was re-purposed for the hallway?


Above is a view of our foyer.  It's surprisingly large for the size of our house.
Before the desk, I had a bookshelf there, but it didn't quite fill up the space like I wanted.

Most of the accessories seen here are second hand. The frame (left) was $3.50 at Snooty Fox. The lamp was bought as part of a garage sale pair ($5 for the set) then spray painted sliver and given a new shade ($5 from Target). The mail sorter (right) was thrifted for a mere $.50. The thrifted white bowl for keys and what-not was $1. The middle photo in frame is actually our holiday postcard ($.30 each including postage) in a thrifted frame ($.25).  The bottom silver Target tray was $10 new and disguises the large crack.

I should mention that these items were not purchased during one shopping trip or even within one year. It takes time and energy to find useful, useful gems. If it wasn't challenging, everyone would do it. That's why mass production exists, for the ease of consumer access. And also, probably to make someone money. 
Sorry choir, I'll stop preaching now.

This knob is so cute. I'm also a big fan of wear-and-tear.  It says "Hello! I've been loved!" and I like that.

The final texture.

Someday, there will be a photo in this frame and its life mission will be fulfilled. Today is not that day.

Yes, those are real, tiny pressed flowers between glass.

This lamp used to be matte-brown. Adding a bit of shine really made it modern.

 Isn't this an adorable mail sorter? Cory found it, so I can't take credit.
The color/texture combo really helped warm up the stark white of the desk.

Until next time, Bon nuit!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Reuse, Redesign, Repurpose: A Desk Part I


I bought this desk at a neighbor's garage sale
shortly after moving into our new home.


I loved the carved out legs and the overall minimalistic feel of it:
the open shelves, the petite size. It would be the perfect writing desk.
The legs had some serious wear, but I wasn't concerned because I
was planning on painting it from the moment I saw it.
Desk: $10

Repurposing a Desk

What I hadn't noticed before were the two large cracks,
one on the top and one on the bottom shelf.


The top crack was noticeable but didn't damage the structure. 
However, the shelf crack was a different story.
Due to time and age, the wood had warped and refused to re-fuse with super glue.
So no heavy books on that shelf. :/

The makeover of the desk was not as breezy as I had anticipated.  


This day was the first without rain in a week and a half.
With storm clouds looming above, I opted for the quick-dry option of spray paint.
I went to Home Depot and bought a sanding sponge ($3) and one can of white spray paint with varnish ($5). I thought it would take me one, maybe two cans, but since we don't live that far from the old depot,
I only bought one. 

Here's the process: 

Sand until your paint level is even. I then washed the desk because it had been sitting outside all day at the garage sale. If you are going to wash an item made of wood, make sure it doesn't soak in. If you are diligent about this, it should only need about 5 minutes in the sun before you're ready to paint.

My first can was a dud. 

Most of the paint collected at the top of the can and dripped down the side. Yikes. So Cory went out and purchased another one. About halfway through that can, I realized I was going to run out of paint again, and he ran back out and bought me two more.

Are you keeping track? That's 4 cans of spray paint ($20!) and one priceless fiancé.

 Suffice to say, I should have just bought a can of paint and a brush.
Total cost of project:  $33  -  I was planning on spending about $20. 
Lesson learned, next time research different paint options.

A close-up of the painted desk. 

Check out Part II of this post to see it decked out and in action!

Bon Nuit!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Laziest Way to an Outfit


Remember college?

The days of not showering and wearing the same cardigan for 2 weeks? Or was that just me?

Although I rarely applied it back then, somewhere along my collegiate path I learned the easiest way to get dressed is to wear one.

 Getting dressed like a lazy person. 
 Think about it. 

It's an entire outfit in one piece of clothing. 

There is no mixing of pieces. A printed shift like this can stand on its own without jewelry.  

I bought this gem at St. Vincent de Paul in Mt. Washington in January. I think it was around $5.

I paired it with a slim black belt for structure and black ankle motorcycle boots.
Boots and I are like Britney and Justin. Even though time moves on, the seasons change and Justin marries Jessica, you still want them to be together. Right? Or am I alone in this again?
These bad boys came with me to LA and went into the ocean. 

Turns out, they're not water proof.
I tend to assume all boots are and end up with wet feet.


And because we're talking looking "pulled together,"

above is a dose of reality in terms of photo shooting and of life.

My hair may never stand up to the elements but the dress sure does!
That's why they say jersey is the fabric of the gods!*
*may or may not be an actual saying.

The dress out and about at Findlay.

Bon Nuit!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Guys, I'm Alive

I promise.

I will post again real soon-like. It's been a crazy couple of months. Cory and I moved to a (rented) house (hooray)! When I wasn't packing boxes or moving furniture, I was writing spec scripts for television fellowships. Side note: I'm currently work on a spec script (as in example script for applicant purposes) for The League. If you're familiar with the show it's about a bunch of Chicago guys who play fantasy football. Of course, in my script no one has mentioned football. At all.

New posts are coming soon! I promise! I may even back date! Is that cheating? Whatever it is please don't feel neglected, large readership (i.e. Mom and Lebron James). I have neglected not only you, but my friends and family (sorry guys :/ miss you! Calling soon).

Peace, love and hoping for no more flash floods.

Bon Nuit!