2 Months Later……

Happy New Year, everyone! From the worst blogger in the world. Here’s what’s happened in the 2 months since my last post (oof):

♥ I typed up a post about refinishing the dresser and nightstand and wordpress DELETED it. For serious. I was all psyched to post it and then the next morning it wasn’t there… I’ve been too frustrated to re-write, until a second ago when I finally did. So technically it’s been like 30 seconds since my last post. I am a great blogger! Not really though.

♥ I spent a week putting my office together, and it looks awesome, if I do say so myself. Post on that later. Stop laughing, I will finish this series of posts if it kills me!

♥ I did NOT buy any furniture for the living room… it actually looks worse than ever (it is now a graveyard of furniture’s past). If we finish working on it before we sell the apartment, I will be surprised. Coffee tables are just SO $$$! I was psyched on this coffee table from Pottery Barn but when I went to see it in person all I could think was how much ramen I would have to eat to make up for spending $700 on a TABLE. I’d rather eat a huge plate of sushi on a folding card table than eat stolen saltines on a fancy glass coffee table. We also still haven’t hooked up the tv (long story) so we don’t spend very much time in that area anyway. This is what happens when you live in 200-400 sqft apartments your whole life and then suddenly you move into a 750 sqft mansion…

And in non-apartment news:

♥ I started doing event and graphic design… like, in a legit way. Working on some weddings and finishing some ads for real companies that will be in real printed materials. It’s all freelance, so if you want to talk, you know where to find me 🙂

♥ I also made a Facebook page for giftable designs… I’ve been trying to avoid all this self-promotion stuff but people were actually asking where they could buy my jewelry and stuff (!!), so now if something’s for sale it will be on there. I made a ton of new bullet necklaces so… have at it! I’m going to start getting stones custom-cut for bullet sizes that aren’t currently available (namely 9mm) so that will be cool. Here’s one I just sold, modeled by my ceramic gun vase (that’s double-self-promotion, kiddos!)

That was the most paragraphs I’ve ever started with the word “I” in my entire life. Back to normal blogging starting…now!

from old to bold

I’m definitely not the first person to figure out that old furniture + a coat of paint can equal a beautiful thing. But I had never actually tried to refinish anything until last year.

We happened to hear that someone in our building was moving out. In NYC, these are magic words. Free furniture– no delivery fees, no shopping through tourist- or flea-ridden stores– all we had to do was get it into our apartment before the cleaning crew stopped by. Honestly, this is how we got most of the furniture in our apartment. Some pieces are nicer than others. These had a lot of promise but needed some major work.

Both pieces from this particular apartment were antique reproductions and currently painted a filthy ochre. I did a bit of research, and purchased an aerosol paint stripper, tons of sandpaper, and rubber gloves.

Every website ever will tell you to do this outside. Well I will tell you, this is NYC. We don’t *do* outdoor space. All our outdoor spaces are taken up with beer gardens. So I opened our two windows all the way, set up some tiny fans, and crossed my fingers.

I applied the paint stripper three or four times… spray it on, watch NY1 until Weather on the 1’s comes back on (this is what we use as a timer when we don’t have a watch or a clock. Or cable TV.), and scrape it off with the plastic shovel thing. I also used a whole roll of paper towels to get the smaller spaces. I sanded down the whole thing by hand and gave it a few days to dry.

Note if you’re doing this with crappy furniture (or furniture from an unknown source): the paint stripper will completely f up anything plastic. Those little adornments on the front of the dresser drawers were (unbeknownst to me), and after letting the it sit for 10 minutes I had a bubbly, wrinkly mess. I ended up sanding off a few layers and then applying way more paint to that spot, but despite my best efforts it’s still rather visible.

Next step is priming. I bought some cheap-o black spray primer and put the dust mask back on (windows open, fan on, of course). I started with the nightstand and ended up using the entire canister. There was cursing, and then running in flip flops and ragged painting clothes to the local hardware store. Many hours and two coats of spray primer later, I was back to playing the waiting game. It’s super important to let the primer dry to get smooth paint application!

Painting is the fun part. 3 nice coats, let it dry in between. I used Behr Mosaic Tile (lacquer). It’s the perfect shade of deep teal… I love it (it also happens to be the color we painted our living room).

Aren’t they pretty?! I just want to hug them.

For drawer pulls, I didn’t want to reuse the originals. They were grimy and even if I spray painted them they would still look super old lady-ish. Which is cool sometimes, but not what I had in mind. I found brushed nickel pulls at Home Depot for the dresser, but the bedside table was so awkward I either had to drill new holes or make my own pulls. I opted for the easy secret option C: not using drawer pulls, until we got into the new apartment and inspiration struck.

Rope! I threaded thick twine through the holes, double-knotted it on the inside, and we have a nautical drawer pull. Tada!

So there you have it. Do you love them as much as I do?!

Oh, and by the way. Like a week after I finished this, Apartment Therapy posted this: (can’t find the original page but tracked down the photo to Something’s Hiding in Here)

Am I a genius or a pre-emptive copycat?

New Plan!

I know I was mostly MIA last year, but not a lot of knitting has happened, so I’m making an executive decision (this blog and my kitchen are my only jurisdictions, give me a break). As I mentioned in my destash post, M and I are moving– AGAIN. However, this time it’s not to the Deep South or way up North, it’s just across town. We bought our very first apartment, and it’s a fixer upper for sure, but that’s where we come in!

There’s a lot that has to get done– from mood boards to sanding and repainting furniture to tile shopping. And by the end, there will hopefully be a butterfly-like transformation from a dingy, generic space to a beautiful and inspired home. I hope that you poor neglected readers, who ever is still reading, will enjoy the journey. New readers, welcome! Any advice, tips, tricks, or horror stories are appreciated!

The apartment as we found it was a scary place– covered floor to ceiling and wall to wall with the belongings of its previous owners, who had recently passed. It appears that they had lived here for a very very long time, and not made any changes or upgrades to the original 1952 apartment. It still has its original cast iron bathtub, 36” wide gas stove (here in NYC, 24” is the norm, 30” is an extravagance), metal kitchen cabinets, and deteriorating parquet floors. Once we got all the stuff emptied out, we noticed the severe water damage in the bathroom and back walls of the closets. We also noticed the electrical outlets– they are all two prong! Eek, this is going to be a big project.

Step 1: Get it empty… check! I’ll leave it here for now. Next time around I’ll post some inspiration boards and possible kitchen/bath ideas. I promise they will be good! Happy New Year, everyone!

little birds… but not the ysolda pattern

Going to the Renegade Craft Fair yesterday made me think a lot about my own work. I haven’t been knitting a lot recently, so I haven’t been posting here much. But I have been working– I just got up the motivation to take some pictures of my latest project!

I found a set of adorable glass owl drinking glasses at an antiques shop in Pennsylvania, made a plaster mold, and started casting it in earthenware slip. I’ve made 9 or 10 so far, and I think I might start putting some up in my Etsy shop. I’m in love! And I can’t wait to find more things to make molds of!

ps. Yes, I am still working on Ysolda’s Little Birds sweater. It’s slow going… the sleeves are about halfway done. Will post photos soon!

finally something!

I haven’t really been writing lately. Mostly because I haven’t really been knitting lately. But with graduation over (finally!), I just finished my first project in six months. Seriously. SIX. It’s not anything big, but it’s something.

Pattern: none. Stitch pattern based on a sweater in Christina Probert’s 1982 pattern book, “Knitting in Vogue”
Yarn: Sublime Organic Merino Wool DK in colors 112 (chalk), 116 (soap), 189 (floss), and 114 (twig)– one skein or less of each
Needles: US Size 4, 5
Started: February 22, 2010
Finished: May 17, 2010
(ravelry link)

I came across this book and was allowed to borrow it for a very short time in February. I absolutely loved this stitch pattern, but thought the sweater it was used for was horrible. I thought about turning it into a buttoned v-neck cardigan, but decided to start with a hat for fun. It’s pretty simple, but looks cute on so I’m happy. I’m thinking of adding a big fluffy white pom pom for the winter, but we’ll see.

Overall, I like the way the hat turned out. It’ll be great for skiing or just hanging out next winter. Unfortunately, I’m having a hard time even imagining cold weather right now. I’m having the same problem with my Little Birds Cardigan– the body is done and the sleeves are close, but it’s slowww going right about now.

So, a more weather appropriate project: I started a dress yesterday. The fabric is from the Portsmouth Fabric Company in Portsmouth, NH– it was too cute to pass up. Although a little more close to home, I’ve noticed this fabric brand (Echino) at Purl Soho, Brooklyn General, and the City Quilter. I love all their prints but this one particularly jumped out at me. I didn’t really have a vision when I bought it, so I decided a simple, strapless dress would make this a quick summery project that wouldn’t risk becoming too busy.

Once again, didn’t use a pattern– just winged it. I still need to sew on the pockets and add a belt. Oh, and a zipper, haha. So far I really like it, though! Hope you do too.

Happy summer everyone! Cheers!

bullet jewelry up on etsy!

hi all.

so, the event the other week went pretty well, but I’ve still got a few bullet necklaces left over. I put them up on my etsy so if you’re interested, take a look here.

I’ve also collected about 30 more bullet shells so if you’re interested in a particular style or color not shown, let me know!

cheers everyone!

ammo and snacks

looks like i’m not too good at keeping promises of posting lately. but i DID make something (knitting? wait, what was that again?) that i think turned out pretty cool

in case it’s not blatantly clear, i’ve been playing with the idea of bullet jewelry lately. i made a set of earrings and a necklace (sans gemstones) a few months ago and have been wanting to keep going with it. so here’s how it turned out… 22 and 45 caliber bullet shells with onyx (black and frosted), hematite, rock crystal, mother of pearl, rose quartz, and turquoise stones.

if they don’t sell tomorrow night at this event thing, i’ll be putting them up on my etsy. let me know if you are interested!

this is the next step, a 51mm shell from an israeli standard issue rifle, with a rock crystal asymmetric drop stone. when done, the pendant will hang horizontally like this instead of vertically like the others. i’m REALLY excited about this one. the guy at the gem store officially thought i was insane when i picked this stone.

speaking of which, i wanted to give a shout to my favorite gem store in the world, dikra. they don’t have a storefront and the 10th floor cramped office location has the potential to be realllly creepy, but everyone there is always beyond nice and so helpful. and it doesn’t break the bank either. plus, it’s less than a block from metalliferous. you can’t go wrong!

and lastly, i made these tonight. lucky charms rice krispy treats. basically, just follow the recipe on the box but sprinkle in lucky charms marshmallows right before pouring into the final dish. here’s a progress shot and a finished one– although mike did manage to sneak away with one of the smaller trays before i could even snap a picture

as far as proportions go, i made two full batches (1.5 boxes of rice krispies, 2 bags of marshmallows) and used every last marshmallow in the box of lucky charms. i’m going to be having really disappointing breakfasts starting tomorrow, but i think my dessert will make up for it 🙂

that’s all for now. have a good weekend, cheers!