Wednesday, August 31, 2011

stopping to smell the flowers...

ok so technically most orchids don't have a scent (but some do!) but i really love this photo that i took with my handy camera phone at my local sunday  farmers market and thought it was fitting for today's post...  orchids and peonies are my favorite flowers and today i am having such a wonderful day and really stopping and taking a moment to take it all in!

well, i have to say this is probably the best wednesday on record for me! hump day?? i think not! i thought my week was already off to a pretty amazing start when i learned that centsational girl shared my brass pendant diy on her site.... and then today apartment therapy posted my wall painting diy on theirs! i mean... AMAZING! i have been following that site for ages and dreaming of living in some of the spaces they have featured and to be included in it is really really cool! and THEN to top it all off lindsey at better after posted both my wall painting diy AND my brass pendant diy on hers! well, needless to say i am floating on a cloud! and all of the really nice comments from the readers have been great to see!

lots of folks have posted questions on paint colors, etc from the apartment therapy story and i  want to let you know that you can go here to get the paint color and stencil info from my hicks hexagon painting project.... also, lots of people have asked where my bed and bedding are from... well, the bed i bought on clearance from a store in venice ca that has closed but serena and lily offers some amazing upholstered headboards as well (pricey but beautiful!)... and i have seen some pretty awesome online tutorials on making your own if you're feeling crafty.... the bedding is from west elm which i have to say is one of my very favorite stores around these days!

interning yesterday was cool because i spent a lot of time working on revising plans in cad just in time for class last night... auto cad class was ok... well, except for the fact my head was spinning when i left it at 10... class ends in a week so there's a reason to celebrate!

i am in the midst of helping lots of friends reorganize their lives these days and one of my projects involves helping an unemployed friend downsize from a one bedroom apartment to just one bedroom... it's a big project involving ebay, craigslist and a big upcoming yard sale in two weeks... but hopefully she will have a weight lifted from her shoulders and lots of cash weighing down her wallet....

so, for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... oh and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter

until next time!

the almost 40 year old intern

Monday, August 29, 2011

california dreamin'...

so last week ended wonderfully! on thursday while interning i was sent on an errand to a client's home. this particular project is very close to finished and it was really cool to see THE designer's work on a residence up close in person... i had only seen it in photos (which are pretty amazing) up until this point.  and i helped collect some of the items used in this project (during many of my intern errands!) so that was pretty cool to see them in their final home! oh and i also got to visit a job site of a project that is in the middle of construction. i know what the planned end result is going to be and to see the process in works is really awesome! all in all a great day for soaking up knowledge...

i spent the weekend in newport beach with my aunt and cousin (they invited me for a fun girls weekend) and it was so beautiful and relaxing!  a great weekend chillin' with family with blue skies and cupcakes (courtesy of sprinkles in la)... what more does a gal need?  oh and as a side note i met the gal that started sprinkles while working out at the gym last week.  her story is pretty inspiring! she quit a high pressure job in investment banking to start a little cupcake shop which just happened to cause the cupcake craze here in la and is now a big success!  plus she's a really cool down to earth chick!

and last night i learned that centsational girl posted my brass pendant diy as part of their best of the blogosphere! how awesome is that???? folks that found my site from their link have left me some of the nicest comments! what a fabulous start to the week!  i can't wait to see what the rest of the week brings...  dare i say my auto cad class tomorrow night could be amazing as well??

oh and before i sign off, below is a photo i took of my cousin's toddler's (does that make him my second cousin? i dunno...) tiny little footprints on the sand. so precious!

oh and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter!
until next time...

the almost 40 year old intern

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

flea market fantasies

interning yesterday was good... i got a glass and mirror lesson from possibly the sweetest older man ever while running an errand for one of the designers. i was trying to help her achieve the effect that she wanted while sourcing glass and mirror for a custom table top. the owner of the glass shop was so amazingly patient in explaining what would work and what doesn't work while we layered different colored glass tiles on top of each other.. it is moments like that where i am confident that i am learning a lot more in this internship than i ever could in school... of course i tucked his card away for my own future projects... oh, and i was able to practice more auto cad in the office so all in all a pretty good day!

so, you may be wondering what the story is with the photo at the top of this post of what i believe are possibly the most amazing vintage lawn chairs on the planet.  well, i like to call these my "someday" chairs... i was at a local flea market this weekend and spotted them and was desperately trying to figure out how i could get them home and make them work for my space.  the price was amazing and and i doubt i will ever see these same chairs at that price or even double or triple or quadruple that price ever again in my life (can you get a sense of my extreme regret in not buying these beauties???)... mind you, i don't have a lawn or even a balcony....  nor do i own a truck to have hauled these the 20 miles to my home... oh, and no garage or storage space to speak of either... so, all i have of these chairs is this little camera phone photo to hang onto for "someday" when i have the home, the yard, the fab design career.... that would justify these chairs.  insert big sigh....

i did find these groovy spools of vintage boucle yarn in two of my most favorite colors! i think they are beautiful to display on a shelf and also perfect to wrap a gift! i love love love wrapping gifts even more than buying them... i do have a dream of having a home with a room specifically devoted to wrapping gifts just like candy spelling... heaven!

oh and i am a sucker for well merchandised items and there was a gal at the market selling vintage wooden printing blocks and i loved how she had them displayed in this silver tray! of course i had to buy my name!

tonight i am going to attend my friend's monthly fred talks ... i met so many cool people at the last one where i was a speaker.... one of them was this cool gal that is a pastry chef... she specializes in vegan desserts.  i am a big carnivore/ midwestern raised milk drinker so vegan isn't usually a selling point for me.... however i have a sweet little nephew with massive food allergies (wheat, dairy, eggs) so i am always on the lookout for recipes to send my sister. well, this gal lauren, creator of delectable you, brought the most amazing chocolate cake balls with sea salt to the event! they were heaven and you couldn't tell they were vegan from tasting them! she and was kind enough to send the recipe to me for my sister... i hope she brings them again tonight!

and i want to send a shout out to my new fan in san fran courtney.... thanks for the very sweet messages you have left on my posts & i love that you are also in the midst of a career reinvention! the same goes for bromliad... i appreciate you saying that my diy doesnt look diy... i think that is one of the best compliments, and btw your blog is beautiful! a big xo to you both!

before i forget.... i am working on my next big fabulous diy project... anyone reading this post have a fire retardant spray you can recommend? i found a few online and can't decide which to order....

oh and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter
until next time...

the almost 40 year old intern

Monday, August 22, 2011

i love a great after!

well, it's monday and my weekend was evenly mixed with fun activities and not so fun... my auto cad midterm is due to my professor via email tonight for class tomorrow and i spent a good part of the weekend working on that.  i'm taking a small break to write this post because i am soooo excited to share these after photos of my little closet/office makeover!  i live in an apartment building that was built in the early 1920's and have this tiny dressing room/closet that i decided to start using as a home office when i lost my job....

so, you may remember my mentioning my unfortunate decision to paint this space a blush color that morphed into pepto bismol pink and the daunting task of repainting the space that i was avoiding until recently....

well, my groovy flea market light and my parents recent visit finally spurred me into action! so, here's a little recap of what i did..

a gallon of behr white paint/primer really did the trick of covering all that pink... some groovy brass nail heads from home depot and silver vinyl from my local fabric store worked perfectly to cover the top of the built in dresser (it was not so cute before as it has been painted over a million times by past tenants).  also, i cut and hemmed a dwell for target tablecloth and attached it with brass nail heads in order to hide the shelves holding plastic bins and computer wires and equipment.  dwell studio designs some super cool prints and buying a tablecloth to use for the fabric works well on an intern budget!

and every good designer in training needs an inspiration board!

kooky vintage girly paintings i collected from the local flea markets add color to the walls... i decided to keep the upper part of the wall empty in order to maximize the really cool shadow effect coming from the light!

and my vintage globe rocks!

so, onto the next project now... well, after i finish with auto cad homework anyway...

so, for those of you just tuning in and wanting to know more about me you can by going here... and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitteruntil next time!

the almost 40 year old intern

Friday, August 19, 2011

cookies and compliments

well, this week was all in all really cool! Design*Sponge featured my groovy brass pendant how to as part of their diy spotlight on wednesday... it is pretty awesome to get so many great comments and compliments on my work from people who have never met me! i have lots of other ideas for diy projects in the works and am even more excited to share them!

oh and i saw adele in concert and have to say she is the best performer! i feel like we could be bff's! or at the very least, perhaps i can be her interior designer? she is sassy, kooky and funny and tells the best stories! plus she is amazingly talented! her stage decor was super fab with lots of vintage lampshades hanging from the ceiling at various heights... inspiration for a future design project???? my camera phone pic is not the greatest but you get the jist...

interning this week was also great... i put some of my newly acquired  auto cad skills to use and then spent time at my very favorite antique hardware store taking photos for one of the designers... the only bummer is i was so caught up in all of the amazing finds at the store (they specialize in the most beautiful vintage drawer/cabinet pulls, hinges and door knobs and light fixtures) that i lost track of time and ended up with an expired meter and a $58 present from the city of la on my windshield! rats!!! that is my second interning related parking ticket in 6 months! well, at least i had some of my nonna's biscotti (fresh from a care package i just received from her) to eat my way through my parking meter sorrows... a little sugar always helps me deal with the not so fab things that come my way...  and plus, with the design*sponge glow this week nothing's gonna get me down!

until next time!

the almost 40 year old intern

Monday, August 15, 2011

d.i.why not? ceiling jewelry!

so, on friday i was able to finally finish the pendant light i designed for my hallway and i have to say i am pretty proud of how it turned out! since i used my metal smithing class to work on it i like to call it jewelry for my ceiling!  oh and my friends in class were cheering me on and giving me helpful suggestions throughout the process which was pretty awesome...  i have to say i love the results and the effect it creates in my newly striped hallway is exactly what i was going for! oh and the bedroom wall looks pretty cool with it too ... now i just need a cool rug (leopard print, i think!) to finish the look!

see below for the details on how i did it if you want to recreate your own spotted brass pendant!

i started with these supplies and a rough sketch on a post-it but ended up modifying slightly in order to achieve the look i wanted... scroll to the bottom of this post for the full materials list:

first i took my sheets of very thin brass and used my circle template (who knew i would still have use for my drafting supplies??) to draw my design on the first piece.

then i used a tool we have in class called a disc cutter and a hammer to cut the holes in the brass sheets. i think that you can probably do this with a good hole puncher as this brass was pretty thin and easy to work with...

i used the first sheet with the punched holes as a template to trace all the others.... and once finished with the hole punching i lined them up and marked where i was going to drill holes to attach them to each other using rivets. i made my own rivets using 10 gauge soft brass wire but borrowed these from a friend and wished i had more because they were so easy to use and worked well! all you need is a hammer and a thick nail. my original plan was to weave thin wire through drilled holes so i drilled more holes than i needed... you just need to do 3 (top middle and bottom) for the end of each sheet you are attachnig. i  used a total of 4 brass sheets for the top shade and 2 for the bottom shade.

and i painted the light bulb holder and ceiling plate with the same gold paint  i used on my walls.

to attach the smaller shade to the larger i drilled 4 matching holes in the top of the bottom piece and also the bottom of the top piece in order to thread a 10 gauge straight piece of brass wire through each side (note that i did not end up using the brass tubing or the 16 gauge wire that i started with from osh. instead i used 10 gauge soft brass wire).  i also soldered 3 spokes (i cut from the same 10 gauge wire) to a circle of brass in order to attach the top piece to the pendant holder (again, you could probably achieve the same look by just bending wire spoke around a circle of brass without the soldering). this way i just needed to slip it over the part that holds the bulb and screw the open round plastic donut (i have no idea what this plastic piece is called but it comes with the pendant kit i used!) to hold it in place.

i had a friend help guide me when attaching the pieces while hanging.   i waited to cut the excess wire after threading them through to top and bottom piece. i just used needle nose pliers to bend the ends in order to hold them in place.

the great thing about these materials is that they are lightweight and easy to manipulate to get the balance right on your ceiling... oh and not only does this light fixture brighten the otherwise flat gold stripes, it also helps to mask the slight dripping and feathering that occurred while painting them. i wish i had learned about the green painters tape prior to this project! scotch blue tape was not my friend when painting my unevenly textured walls... i still need to do a smidge of touch up work...

and here it is!

i think it even looks cool unlit (yeah, this hallway really does get no natural light at the high point... even better that i have this groovy new light!)....

this is what my hall light looked like before... gross old  halogen fixture... the stripes and the pendant sure jazz it up!

materials list below:

office reveal photos coming later this week... i will be busy at my internship tomorrow... i can't believe this is my 50th post!  i have come such a long way from my first post...

oh and if you didn't already know... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it! and follow me on twitter! once i figure out how to add the widget to the home page for my blog i will do so... this modern technology can sometimes be a bit overwhelming..

until next time...

the almost 40 year old intern

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

nailed it!

so this has been a great week so far... i  had a good day interning on tuesday and actually got to put to use some of what i have learned in my cad class. woo hoo! it turns out i AM learning something in that class despite of the tears of  frustration... between interning, homework and class i have been putting together my little office. the light fixture dad hung was just the beginning... i will have reveal photos of the whole thing in the coming days but the photo above is a little teaser of what i am doing... i LOVE brass nail head trim and have been dying to come up with a way to use it in my apartment and was able to successfully (i hope!) in my office.. i made a little desk blotter using the nail heads and some silver pleather... such an inexpensive way to jazz up an otherwise boring piece! also, that's a vintage gold ashtray holding my paper clips...

in addition to working on my office, i had the bright idea to make my own hallway light fixture... the horizontal gold and white stripes i painted on the wall look really flat without light reflecting off them (the hall does not get a lot of natural light).. i have been searching the local flea markets for the right piece that is also affordable and had no luck so i sketched a rough idea of what i wanted to achieve and went to my local osh hardware store to buy supplies (sheets of brass, wire and tubing)... not finished with it yet but will hopefully complete it tomorrow. below is a photo of what i started with:

stay tuned!

oh, and i almost forgot to mention... i created a facebook page... check it out and "like" it!

until next time...
the almost 40 year old intern

Sunday, August 7, 2011

let there be light!

apologies for the delay between posts.. i was off the grid for the last few days as i was in the middle of repainting my very small office (it is technically a closet). you see, last year when i started redoing my apartment i had the bright idea of painting my office a light blush color.  well, the actual color i painted was not so much blush but more of a pepto bismol color (yeah, paint never looks the same as what is in the can)... and while i was painting i kept thinking it would look much better when it dried. and it didn't. so, i kept meaning to paint over it for the last several months but never got around to it (just the thought of the hours it would take to cover all that pink was exhausting...).  until i found the perfect vintage pendant light for the space at the flea market a month ago  (only 20 bucks!) and my parents were planning on a visit which meant i had a free handyman (dad!) at my disposal so i was really motivated to complete my repainting project in time for this past weekend.

i don't care how old i get, i will always love having a dad that knows how to fix things and do pretty much anything.  he did own the entire 1970's/80's era time life series of books on how to fix and build pretty much anything in your home &  he is always my go to guy when it comes to anything car and home related that needs fixing that i can't handle on my own (no way am i navigating the 1920s era electrical wires hidden in my walls). so, i am very happy to say that dad installed my new vintage light and when lit it casts a really cool shadow on my freshly painted white walls! woo hoo!  i will have full office reveal photos in a few days ...

now if i could just find a boyfriend that is just as handy... i don't know what it is about guys i've been meeting these days, they don't seem to even know how to change their own flat tire. perhaps i should create an ad saying something like "looking for a guy with tools that knows how to use them..."

below is a photo of the light when it is not lit.... still super cool.... oh, and yes, it did need to be rewired but that was very easily fixed with a westinghouse pendant light kit i purchased on for $12...

until next time....

the almost 40 year old intern