Friday, October 29, 2010

Wa Waaaaaaa

Went back to Salvation Army today with Bridge to buy these on our lunch break. I was going to get Peter, the salesman, down to $35 a chair. I just knew it.

I already started to scope out fabric to reupholster them in...

But then we got there, and the chairs were sold.

Lesson: When you see something at the Salvation Army and you love it - you BUY it.

Happy Weekend!

10 Under 10

Living in Manhattan can be super pricey - good thing I love the challenge of spending with in a budget! Here are my top 10 things to do/eat/see for under $10. Roll with it.

1. $8 Manicures - To pay more than $8 for a mani in New York is a travesty when there are so many affordable places!

2. Sephora - Don't be awkward about this, but I love refreshing my makeup before meeting friends for dinner. Instant pick me up.

3. $1.09 ice cream cone from McDonald's. 150 calories. Enough said.

4. Fountain drinks with good ice are hard to come by in the city. That's why I head to 7eleven for the occasional Big Gulp.

5. Grays Papaya - You can get 2 Hot Dogs and a drink for five bucks. Delish.

6. Sabon - Lotions, bath salts and creams from the Dead Sea. Each store has a giant hand washing station used to try the products - it's the best free refresher on a hot city day!

7. Salvation Army - You could buy an end table, an ottoman, or a set of lamps for under $10, easy!

8. Having a particularly gray day - pick up a $7 Revlon lipstick from the drug store. Love that red is a favorite of mine.

9. Magazines at Barnes & Noble. You can snag magazines from B & N, hunker down in a corner and read your little heart away - as long as you return them, of course!

10. Street Merch! Too obvious? Clearly, I'm a fan of finding furniture on the street and giving it new life, in case you missed that. The furniture is free, the fixin's (spray paint, hardware, etc.) are easily under $10.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet Lou!

My mom, affectionately dubbed Sweet Lou by my brother and his friends - it's a derivative of Little Cindy Lou Woo, is the birthday girl today!

Here are the top 10 Reasons Why I My Mom is Great:

1. She's the most clever and creative person I know when it comes to presentation, interiors, gifts, and staging.

2. She is a problem solver. I'm talking BIG TIME. In everything!

3. She's doesn't ever seem to sweat the small stuff. She's a big picture gal.

4. She helps lead our family with faith, patience and crafts.

5. She instilled in me, a love for Roadies, i.e. a good coke with good ice while you're on the road.

6. I have an incredible threshold for spicy food because of her. She says she ate a lot of Mexican while she was pregnant with me.

7. She's walked with me through many days of uncontrollable big frizzy curly hair. Bless her.

8. She thinks Rich, my dad, is as funny as I do (most of the time). I love her half laughing expression here. And that side pony tail - whoa baby mom!

9. She is so generous with her time, her gifts, her conversation. And she is such a hard worker.

10. And she always gets a kick out of my brother and sister. What a funny package we all are!

Happy birthday mom! Love you much!

How precious is that picture of mom and dad?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gus the Mouse

There is a plug-in you can buy at Bed Bath & Beyond that has changed the lives within Apartment 9A. It's called Riddex. It has worked wonders! We haven't seen a mouse or roach one since we plugged that thing in.

Until 2 nights ago, when I opened the cabinet under the sink and saw him. Sitting next to trash can, totally unbothered and in his own world. We call him Gus, like the mouse from Cinderella. He's a little pudgy, a little slow, and and completely uninterested in people. Which I am thankful for.

Over the next day, the roommates precariously peer into the cabinets any time we need to throw something away. No sign of his return for a day or so.

Leave it to me, to spot Gus.... again. At this point, I'm reminded of a quote, in the words of Home Alone, "Keep the change you filthy animal!" I shut the door. UGH. The roommates and I share in a grossed out moment and decide Joe, the super, will have to deal with this. I take one more glance into the cabinet and see he hasn't budged. I mean, I know Gus has a case of latharga (derivative from the word lethargic created by the Cindy Flora), but he seems really out of it!

That's when I realize, he's dead. (Those poison traps really work!)

RIP Gus.

Guess we won't be seeing you around the kitchen any longer.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Street Merch Monday: 92nd & Amsterdam

Here we go. This is what I found walking home the other night -

Such potential! After some careful shifting around, I found what I was looking for -

This vanity / cabinet thing. Didn't need the whole piece - I really just wanted the drawer. So I took it.

See, my mom repurposed an old wooden drawer and now uses it as a tray that sits on our dining room table. I wanted to do something along those lines. Here it is before - Please note the adorable hardware!

I used some Dark Green Rustoleum Lacquer spray paint I had from a past project, as well as Rustoleum's High Shine Aluminum spray paint for the hardware.

(If you've met my dad, then you'll recognize the above set up as being so him. Like how my screws are punched through a piece of box to promote full controlled spray paint coverage? He's like that - rigs anything/everything! This probably doesn't mean much to you, dear reader, but if you know my dad, it's just funny. Like father like daughter, I suppose!)

Next - I wanted to jazz up my drawer. Why not add a bright white stripe!

NOT. Party Foul. After globbing my paint between my tape lines (first mistake), patiently waiting for it to dry (first clue) and then precariously pulling up the tape (first cuss word) - ALL of the dry paint peels off with the tape. Welllll shoot.

So instead, I use paper I have in supply and take it to the drawer with a paint brush and matte medium. Great! All fixed? No. During my white paint peeling frenzy, I didn't seem to notice the off centered paper. So, I oh-so-cautiously add a small white stripe to help balance it out.

This Street Merch is getting hilarious. I've gone full blown craftastic on this thing - but oh well, what can you do!

Life Lesson: Things often turn out much differently than planned. But why does that have to be a bad thing?

So the AFTER. I'll make you a deal - I'll show you 3 different ways to use this Street Merch Drawer, if you'll settle for non-detailed pictures of my kitschy/crafty/imperfect piece. Deal? Deal.

Use Number 1: Practical

Use Number 2: My favorite

Use Number 3: Current Status of the drawer

Thats it. I'm wiped out.
I think I'll treat myself to a manicure tomorrow.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Lunch Break

Bridget, my co-worker, and I have started a weekly ritual: During our lunch break, we riffle through the furniture at the Salvation Army across the street from our office. Our co-workers think we're crazy, but we are mildly addicted to the weekly mark downs, the constant warehouse reorganization and the absurd bargains!

Here is a piece we've been eying this week. Very Rachel Ashwell . . .

Now, while we both LOVE this piece, neither of us have the space or the money for it. So instead, lets pretend one of us bought it and now its time to fix it up. Below you'll find paint samples, fabric swatches and metal detailing to fit 3 possible profiles. Since this is all virtual imagining, I don't have to pick one. Ha!

Profile 1: Turner Outlaw. Born and bred southern gal. Currently dating a Florida guy. Lives in Atlanta. Has the most classic, coastal and southern style of anyone I know. Think Garden & Gun. Loves new things made to look old.

Profile 2: Bridget K. Co-Worker. Married. Had DIY flare and high design sensibilities. Born in the Midwest - Now shares a white monochromatic apartment in the flatiron district with her husband. Husband is part Art Director, part Graphic Designer and all boy.

Profile 3: Me! Texas bred. Oldest child. Lover of street merch and anything with character & potential (both in furniture and people.) Living on the Upper West Side + pre-war apartment + 3 Roommates that I adore.

All fabric from Calico Corners, Paint from Behr and Door Details from House of Antique Hardware.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Sparkle

I don't know about you, but I need a pick me up today.

Yesterday, I was introduced to the work of Aaron Dyer. He's a Brooklyn based still life and portrait photographer, most recently known for his Kate Spade work. I love his stark color palettes and flat lighting. Just the sparkle I needed today!

After Ivy and I shopped all day for wedding shower dresses, we passed through Lord & Taylor and tried on every pair of Kate Spade shoes we could find. Including those glitter ones in that purple handbag. I'm not kidding - the second we slid those shoes on our feet, our energy perked, our spirits lifted and our feet were no longer tired. That Kate Spade is amazing.

To quote Rachel Zoe, "Bananas."


Friday, October 15, 2010

Country Flea Market Merch - Part II

So back to Prattville, Alabama. Remember that Flea Market in Atlanta we went to? While we were there, I was also on the hunt for needle point hoops. Cause I had this idea....

And what do you know? We found tons! For cheap.

So we picked up some upholstery fabric from Joann's in Montgomery and put Melinda and Mark to work. Mark was thrilled. Ha. He was a great sport, actually!

It was so simple. We just stretched the fabric through the hoop, gave it a quick tighten and a small trim and we were done!

After trying a few different sprawled out layouts on the floor, we were ready to hang them.

(Ignore the superfluous fabric on some of the hoops! Guess this picture was pre-trim.)

We were quite pleased! The homemade/old school character of this project fit the house perfectly! Kim & Melinda - hope y'all are still liking it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

First comes love, then comes Marriage!

Spent last week with my best friends from college so we could celebrate Ivy's wedding that's rounding the corner! There are 13 of us, and because 7 of the 13 are already married, we wanted to give this bachelorette weekend a different feel. So we themed it out. Like way out.

Welcome to our Junior High Slumber Party!
**All Photos taken by J. Rawlings Photography**

Our focal point. We made paper chains out of scrapbook paper and rigged a pink sheet to become our 'lingerie opening tent!'

We flew Laura in to make our cupcakes.
Kidding. But in all seriousness, she is the best baker.

I used pieces of cardboard and left over fabric to craft the 'Ivy + Drew' centerpiece. I'm all about working with what you have.

For dinner, we picked up dough from Whole Foods and made a variety of pizzas. Soo good.

Drinks: Roy Rojers and Shirley Temples.

Our Junior High Spread of candy, pizza and coke!

Jess and I packaged smore's for later in the evening. What is it about individually wrapped things that is so darn cute?

Oh, we had LeighAnn, the graphic designer of the group, make labels for each item. Her skills are ridiculous.

And here she is. The engaged girl!

I came up with a new rendition of "Spin the Bottle" and LeighAnn made it happen. Ivy spun the bottle, it would land on a face, the person whose face it landed would draw out of a basket filled with questions and answers we asked Drew, if Ivy got it right, she'd spin again, if she got it wrong, she'd have to face the consequences.... ha ha ha! But trust me, the consequences were not bad!

A junior high party isn't complete with out a game of Twister!!

And our group would NOT be the same without our Melanie. She's living in Hong Kong with her husband. We skyped her in :)

It was a fantastic weekend. Thank you Jess for being such a gracious host and Leegs for rolling with the punches. Happy wedding Ivy! I love my friends.

All Photographs taken by Jessica Rawlings of J. Rawlings Photography.