Different Strokes

It’s been nearly nine months since I moved into my little home, and I often forget just how much work I’ve done to make it feel like mine. This weekend while I was cleaning out the files on my computer, I came across the original photos that were posted to the Craigslist ad for my place, and it was quite the welcome reminder what a little love, patience, and sweat can do to a space. Let’s go for a spin down memory lane…

Living Area – Then

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Living Area – Now

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Kitchen – Then

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Kitchen – Now

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And my personal favorite… Bathroom – Then

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Bathroom – Now

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It’s pretty spectacular what you can do with a little imagination and a grad student budget. Bless the colorful woman that lived in my home before me, but may I never be tasked with decorating a room alongside her. Can’t wait to keep watching this place take shape.

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Curtain Call

When I first moved into my new apartment, I decided to hang my curtains from my old apartment in the living area. They worked to an extent – added some color, covered my window – but they were far too long, and when I bought my area rug they quickly stuck out like a sore thumb. I knew I wanted to replace them with something yellow or mustardy to tie into the rug. I scoured etsy, my go-to place for all fabric (really you can find anything on there). After many days of internal conflict (I’m telling you… the things I stress over are laughable), I settled on this guy.

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The commas just make this grammar nerd weak in the knees! After the fabric arrived, it sat on my kitchen table for nearly a month as do many of the projects I undertake. But finally this weekend, a fire was lit under my behind, and I broke out the iron and hem tape. I won’t bore you with the details of my no-sew curtains again. You can read how I made them here if you really want to. The only thing I did differently was used scrap fabric to make tabs at the top instead of threading jute through the fabric. Now let’s get down to the good stuff – the AFTER photos! (P.S. I know they look more orange, but I was shooting at night in terrible lighting and I just couldn’t get my white balance right.)

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Unlike my old curtains which had 4 fat tabs for hanging, this time I made 8 skinnier tabs. Not to reinforce society’s standards of skinnier is better, but it was definitely a better choice as they hang much more evenly.

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Comma comma comma.

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Have I mentioned I love my apartment?

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Gold Boots Glitter

Okay y’all. This post has nothing to do with my apartment, but this project still qualifies as DIY so bear with me.

In 6 days, one of my favorite bands, The Wheeler Brothers, will be performing at the Hamilton. Naturally when I found out this devilishly handsome and talented group from ATX was headed to my neck of the woods I had a minor freak out. Tickets were immediately purchased, and I quickly realized I had quite the fun DIY project ahead of me.

On April 2nd, The Wheeler Brothers will be releasing their new album, Gold Boots Glitter. To market their new album, the band has been littering Austin, TX with pairs of gold boots (genius I say). So I knew that there was only one way that this boot-loving girl could watch the Wheeler Bros live… why in gold boots of course! So I found me an old pair of Dan Posts online, made a trip to my Ace Hardware Store (they know me well now), and got to work. The hardest part? Finding a place to spray paint when you live in a small apartment behind a cafe. I managed to find a space by the trash cans, but it was certainly not without my fair share of confused and skeptical stares. I took all of these photos with my iPhone so apologies for low quality.

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Final product. What do y’all think?

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They even have glitter glue stitching 🙂

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The best part is I got to add yet another pair of boots to the collection. I think they fit in nicely.

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Needless to say… I can’t WAIT for Saturday! Wahoooo! In the meantime, I’ll spread some Wheeler Brotherly love with you to hold us over for the next 6 days. Enjoy!

It’s Been a Long Time Coming

But a change finally did come! 100 points to Ravenclaw if you understand my Sam Cooke reference. But really. After three months of puke-orange kitchen nightmares, it’s finally gone. Completely gone. No more nights staring at my kitchen walls telling myself this would be the week – the week I finally paint my kitchen. And people, it feels oh so good. I’ve never felt so satisfied staring at a blank white wall. So here she was in all her puke-orange glory (sorry for the bad iPhone pic):

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Kitchen BeforeAnd here she is now…

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DSC_0004Don’t get me wrong… there is still a TON of work to be done. And there really is just no hope for that awful tile. That being said, just getting rid of the orange has made such a difference. But, let me tell you, it was no easy feat. There was a lot of climbing on top of refrigerators and behind washing machines and under cabinetry… and on top of counters. You get the idea.

Half of my walls are also covered in some pretty nasty 70s paneling which had some pretty wild cracks from floor to ceiling. But what girl isn’t always equipped with a jar of spackle and a spackling knife? I ended up spending quite a bit of time repairing the cracks which delayed the process by about a day. But my spackle starts off purple and then turns white, which makes me really happy, so it was all good.

DSC_0066And if that stupid orange hadn’t caused me enough heartache already, it took nearly five coats to completely cover.

DSC_0060But after much hard work, a lot of paint in my hair, and some really sore quads, she is done. I can’t wait to find some curtains for the window and figure out something fun to do on all my blank wall space. So many options! Simply can’t wait!

Here she is… one last time 🙂

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Subtle Changes

I love how even the smallest of additions can make spaces in my home feel so much closer to complete. Over inauguration weekend, a dear friend of mine came to visit from NYC and with her she brought a darling metal “A” for my new place. Not sure if it was by chance or she is just extremely observant and thoughtful, but it matched perfectly with my new photo gallery wall.

This weekend, I finally added it to my gallery and it makes the whole thing feel so much more complete. Here’s what she looks like:

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Cute, no? I really really love how it turned out. Thanks, V for the awesome A! I’m hoping to add more frames in the future, but I want it to evolve slowly. Until then.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

In my previous apartment I had a photo frame collage on my wall that I loved. The only thing I didn’t love? The frames were black. They always felt too heavy and a little too traditional for my style. So when I moved to my little Old Town haven I knew I wanted to spruce them up.

One of my January Cure projects was to paint my frames grey and finally arrange a new and improved photo frame gallery on my wall. So this weekend, I finally bit the bullet and tackled yet another project for January.

I started by laying out half of my frames out on some old newspaper, mixed my paint, and got a’ workin’.

Closet Curtain and Frames 028When they were finally all painted and dried, I decided to replace the photos inside to change things up a bit. Then I laid the frames out in a pattern that felt thoughtful but still a bit haphazard.

DSC_0001I then flipped each frame over and covered them with a big sheet of wax paper.

DSC_0002Using a gold sharpie, I traced the outline of each frame and marked a dot where the hook of the frame was.

DSC_0004Then I taped the piece of wax paper to my wall so that I could center the collage.

DSC_0007Next I hammered a nail into each of the dots I had marked on the wax paper (sorry neighbors), tore down the paper, and hung each frame. Here is the end result:

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I really love how it turned out, and I’m excited that I left myself room to allow it to grow. I’m so looking forward to making some 2013 memories to add to my wall.

Pay No Attention to the Clothes Behind the Curtain

FINALLYYYY! I finally finally made the curtain for my one baby closet that houses my entire life. I ordered the burlap months ago but never got around to actually making the curtain. But today? Curtain is hung and I am a happy girl.

I originally learned how to make no-sew curtains when I started reading Young House Love two years ago. Since then they’ve become a DIY love of mine. I made my current curtains for my old apartment and made my sister a set of snazzy yellow and grey curtains. So I was looking forward to tackling a project I had done before.

When I finally unraveled my yards of burlap I realized that I got less than I ordered and was about 7 inches short. So I started by trimming 4 inches off width wise which gave me a few extra scraps and the potential to get creative.

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After I trimmed the edges, I needed to hem them. I prefer to iron the hem first so I can see the edge without committing to anything.

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After I had the hem ironed down, I placed my Heat n’ Bond hem tape in the crease and ironed the hem closed.

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After I had both sides hemmed, I needed to add some length to my curtain. I started by taking my scraps and cutting them into four pieces. Then I just hemmed them to the bottom of the curtain, which created a cute striped detail.

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(And I trimmed that little bit of excess on the end). Then I took some jute string I had and threaded it across the top of the curtain so that I could hang the panel.

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The final product? Heaven.

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Here’s a better look at the striped detail at the bottom.

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And I just love how it looks next to my necklaces.

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Happy heart ❤

The January Cure: Days 1 & 2

2013 is upon us and I”m feeling particularly focused on finding ways to eliminate negativity from my life. So when I heard about Apartment Therapy’s “The January Cure” I knew it would be the perfect way to start the year with positivity and clarity. The first day’s task of the cure was to do a walk through of your home and make a project list for 2013. I somewhat already had one of these, but have decided to make it a bit more comprehensive as per the cure. So here’s what I came up with by room.

Living Area:

  • Find a small sideboard/buffet for under mirror
  • Organize the chaos between my bed and the wall
  • Make or buy new curtains
  • Buy throw pillows to match the rug
  • Organize the mess behind my recliner
  • Paint my picture frames grey and create a photo gallery
  • Put a long floating shelf above my bed
  • Find an antique trunk for under my window

 

Kitchen:

  • Paint the walls
  • Paint kitchen cabinets
  • Organize food cabinet
  • Buy a large barn star for the wall

 

Bathroom:

  • Make no-sew curtains to cover my closet
  • Finish installing my new towel bar
  • Find a way to organize all of my earrings
  • Add more storage for my shoes

 

I have since updated my project list page above to include all of these new additions. And it feels so good to be able to see all that I want to do written in ink… html?

The second day’s task of the cure was to create an “outbox” or a space in your home where you place items you are unsure of. While Apartment Therapy suggested designating a corner of a room, my baby studio’s corners are all occupied so instead I’ve designated an “outbag.” It’s already filled with items I’ve been debating about for far too long. And you know what? Just by pulling those suckers out of my closet, I’ve already got a Friday afternoon trip planned to consign the items at the Current Boutique down the street.

Loving loving this much needed purge! If you haven’t already, make sure to sign up for the January Cure and happy cleansing!

ORB Family Fun

I’m back…. after much too long. This weekend I traveled far below the Mason-Dixon to my lovely hometown of Memphis, TN to celebrate my dad’s 60th birthday! The weekend was filled with lots of laughs, cocktails, mustaches, and a few happy tears.

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"Yo Yo The Big 6-0"

Amazing carrot cake made by Marian. Decorated hastily by me.

Check out my awkward arm... meh.

With my daddy and pretty sisters. Check out my awkward arm… meh.

After the festivities concluded, I being the DIY/YHL-obsessed girl that I am, convinced my Dad and Stepmom to paint their old 90s brass shower frame Rustoleum Universal in Oil Rubbed Bronze (ORB). My dad was clearly hesitant so we only tested the inside of two panels so he could see how it would look.

First we taped/papered off the glass and tile portion of the shower.

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Next, I carefully sprayed a thin coat of the ORB over the not-so-trendy brass frame. After testing a small section, my Dad seemed to totally be on board so I finished spraying the inside of the two glass panels we had taped off.

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After letting it sit for a few hours, we peeled back the paper and tape. Dad and Marian (my step-mom) seemed to be happy with the result (you know unless they just have really good poker faces and were humoring me, though I don’t think that was the case).

DSC_0238It looks black in the photos, but in real life it has this nice bronze-shimmery tone to it.

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I am just so in love with how it turned out. They’re hoping to finish the rest of it sometime in the coming weeks. I’m also planning on ORB-ing up my door knobs here pretty soon, and this project made me all the more excited to do so!

A December Groundhog Day

About 2 years ago I bought an advent calendar on sale. And while I love a good bargain, this special price came with a caveat: there were 2 December 3rds.

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So finally, two years later I decided to fix it. I figured that if I finished out the star, it would cover most of the 3 and I could hopefully turn it into a 2. I used some paint left over from my bathroom reno. And while it wasn’t a perfect match, it did the job.

DSC_0157Then I took a silver sharpie (P.S. people, that thing wasn’t cheap) and continued the top of the 3 and turned it into a 2. I’m actually quite proud of that 2. It’s completely free handed. Clearly I’ve got mad number writing skills.

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I think it worked out splendidly, and I’m so enjoying the Hershey kisses inside. And as any of you who know me know, I desperately want to move to ATX in the near future, so it’s nice to have a small reminder every day of what hopefully lies ahead. Until then, I’ll just keep enjoying my chocolate.

Happy Holidays Y’all!