T H I N G S  W E  M A K E

The cutest kokedama that ya ever did see

Backyard/roof/terrace decor for summer. Fresh face featured = Octavia

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DIY, health, home, quick fix | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Currently into

C U R R E N T L Y . . .

Really considering some Cushnie Et Ochs Pre’O action. These looks are so on pointe.

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fashion, jonesin' | Leave a comment

Pipe Bookshelf

F I L E D  U N D E R :  T H I N G S  T O  D O  T H I S  W E E K E N D

I’ve had this one bookmarked for almost a year. I figured that maybe if I blog about it, I’ll finally tackle it. Anyone have experience with a pipe bookshelf? I love how minimal/practical they are.

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Stella x adidas

S T E L L A  X  A D I D A S

GUYS. Can we talk about Stella McCartney’s incredibly creative use of synchronized swimmers at her LFW presentation today? I just can’t with this chick – can she be any more likable?

Extra points for using women with realistic body types. You go, Glen Coco.

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DIY Argyle Stationary

D I Y  A R G Y L E  S T A T I O N A R Y

I was recently asked to make a card that my whole family could sign for my aunt’s retirement party. I bounced a few ideas around before concluding that one card signed by a group is a cop out – especially for such a landmark occasion. I figured my aunt would be much happier to receive a stack of nice notes from each of us and from there, I came up with the idea to DIY stationary. This is one of the easier projects I’ve done. If you want to give it a try (it would make a really cute gift, blank), you’ll need:

  • Glue
  • A ruler
  • White paper (for stationary)
  • Metallic pens (I used Sharpies)
  • Magazine scraps

Start by ripping out some magazine scraps. I made sure my scraps came from the same pattern, but that’s not necessary. Then, use your ruler to carefully draw squares on the opposite side of the print you want to use. Mine were 1.5-2 inches.

Cut the squares carefully and glue them onto your white paper. Again, use the ruler to make sure the squares are aligned with one another. Then, mark the center of each square and use the ruler to draw dotted letter X’s through them. The line should be double the length of one side of the square.

And there you have it! An affordable, simple DIY.

Tie them with a neutral ribbon for a nice finishing touch.

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DIY, home, quick fix | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

XMAS DECOR

S I M P L E  H O L I D A Y  D É C O R

This is my only full weekend in New York City for the month of December. In attempt to not be a total grinch, I busted out some Christmas lights today attempting a quick fix at my recent holiday neglect. At first, I wrapped my elephant sculpture (as a bit of a joke), but the lights actually got me into a festive mood, so I proceeded to decorate my favorite house plant (who I call Yves – everything in my apartment has a name!). I’m even making hot spiced apple cider and baked apple cinnamon chips as I type this. Nothing like delicate lights and good smells to get me into the Christmas spirit. How do you decorate for the holidays?

P.S. It’s time I show you guys the DIY tutorial for my elephant head – the project was <$10 and it totally makes my entryway pop. Maybe next post…

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DIY, quick fix | 2 Comments

Gracias Giving

T H A N K S G I V I N G

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – it’s like Christmas without the pressure! For as long as can remember, I’ve been in charge of Thanksgiving tabletop décor and I must say, it’s a task I take very seriously. This year I decided to keep it simple, so I let some funky miniature gourds be the focal point. They’re natural and easy to find at farm stands this time of year, but they also add so much texture and color to the table. I cut tags from card stock, hand-printed my family members’ names on each one and tied them to the gourds with an earthy string.

Once I made those, I almost called it a day but my craftastic sister Jessica suggested another DIY project that (and I quote) “took the simplest Thanksgiving craft project on the internet and turned it into something complex.” Oh well, that’s how we roll. Plus, I’m not one to turn down a  last minute sibling craft sesh.

Jess stumbledupon a picture that depicted a place setting of a folded up piece of paper with the words “thankful for” printed on the front (like, from a computer). Cool enough idea. She and I elevated it a bit by using nice paper, individually stamping each place setting and hot gluing the backs. We also glued yarn bows to each and finished them off with acrylic spray, so that we can use them in years to come (hopefully until they are filled up with different things each of us are thankful for!)

I know this next photograph doesn’t constitute a DIY project (or even anything remotely creative), but I had to share these cute chalk glasses that my mom got from Pier 1. Run –don’t walk–to this, um, URL. THEY ARE $3, PEOPLE!

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DIY, food, home, quick fix | 2 Comments

Homemade Limoncello

H O M E M A D E  L I M O N C E L L O

With this year’s DIY Christmas gift in full swing, I figure it’s finally time to post last year’s. Gifting alcohol is always an easy bet with my family and friends, but the personalized touches made our homemade limoncello a serious grand slam.

After lots of internet research, Andrés and I decided to use this recipe. We had to go with vodka rather than tradition grain alcohol, since Everclear is illegal in NYC. Since we made about 40 bottles, we multiplied the recipe x 20. We set aside 5-6 hours one day  and zested 200 organic lemons. We added the zest directly to the vodka and let it sit in this jug for a month or so. After that, we added the simple syrup and let it sit for another month.

Bottling was the most time consuming part since we funneled everything through coffee paper filters (our bathroom smelled like lemons for weeks). However, it was also my favorite part, since we were finally able to use the labels that I designed (here).

We also purchased vintage-esque glass bottles and stoppers to maintain a uniform look. I’m all about finishing touches, so I created gift tags that each had a different limoncello-based cocktail recipe inside. We attached the tags to the bottles with little ornaments and twine string (to toughen things up a bit).

And finally:

Not sure how this year’s gift will pan out in comparison – I’ll let ya know in 2013!

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DIY, food | 5 Comments

DIY Circle Scarves

D I Y  C I R C L E  S C A R V E S

Last winter I was thoroughly reliant on my circle scarves (like this one from the Gap). At some point, I realized that I had my only TWO circle scarves on rotation for most of the winter while my collection of “normal” scarves remained rolled up in storage under my bed. Not exactly ideal.

So I grabbed a chunky knit scarf I had snubbed for too long, took out a needle and some matching thread, and made my very own circle scarf by sewing the two ends together.

Stingy? Genius? All of the above? I’ll let you decide!

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DIY, fashion, trends | 9 Comments

Wall Stenciling

W A L L  S T E N C I L I N G

I came to a realization a few weeks ago. Ready? Here goes: I’m never. moving. again. Luckily, I don’t have to, because I spent weeks painting every square inch of my new place with a carefully thought out color palette and intricate finishing touches. Perhaps my favorite detail is the stenciled accent wall in my bedroom. I’m thrilled that I can write that and mean it because the process of stenciling that wall nearly caused my boyfriend to terminate our relationship. Kidding…kind of.

In my last apartment I painted vertical stripes on one wall for visual interest. Stripes, stencils, and painted details are a great option for renters as they often give the illusion of wallpaper, but are easy to paint over once the lease is up.

I bought my stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils. If you decide to give this project a try I would highly suggest ordering the stencil essentials kit, which includes a small, dense roller and a paint level that attaches to the stencil. It also comes with a brush that I found pretty useless. Instead, I’d go with a basic foam brush. Additionally, you’ll need your paint colors, painter’s tape and paper towels.

I started in a spot that allowed me continue along in a straight line without interruptions (such as trim or sockets) like so:

The stenciling itself takes longer than you might imagine. Once I finished the first section (using the level to ensure that it was perfectly straight), I moved left along the wall. To be certain that the pattern was perfectly aligned, I taped the stencil over one fully finished column of the design. This does slow down the process quite a bit. Furthermore, each time I loaded the paint roller, I made sure that there was a perfect amount of paint by rolling over some paper towels before moving to the wall. If there is too much paint, be prepared for it to seep behind the stencil, which can be tricky to touch up.

After 50 or so hours (you think I’m joking…) the wall was nearly complete. I saved the tops and edges for last since they are the trickiest. This is where the foam brush I mentioned comes in handy. You’ll likely have to bend the stencil into the corners of the wall, in which case a roller won’t allow you to be detailed enough.

SO WORTH IT. Am I right or am I right? After all that, making the bed was just too much to ask.

I’d highly recommend this project on a smaller accent wall. If you’re really ambitious (or naive – as I was), the results are fantastic, but a large wall = a serious time commitment.

P.S. my camera was packed away during the move, hence the über poor quality of the first two photographs. OOPSIES.

Stay tuned for more apartment updates! Hint: chalkboard paint and an homage to my vertical wall stripes.

*Edit* I’m as OCD on my blog as I am in real life. I made the bed:

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DIY, nyc | Tagged , , | 6 Comments