Monday, September 26, 2011

d.i.why not? fab pink geometric painted rug!

i'm really excited to share my latest diy project with you!  it started with the fab white chairs in the above photo... i have been dying for eames chairs like these for ages but wasn't willing or able to pay the premium price for them (that nasty intern budget always rears its ugly head...)... then i found this awesome place online called advanced interior designs that sells inexpensive chairs that look exactly like the official dwr reproductions i had been pining for! and the bonus was that they have a warehouse in la that i could just drive to and pick them up!  in my eyes there is no difference in quality in person... just price tag!  i promptly sold my wooden side chairs on craigslist (for more than what these cost me so it was a win win!) and got to redesigning my dining room....

so, a white chair, with white walls and white floors doesn't work... at least not for me...  if you've seen other stuff i have done in my blog you probably realize i'm not afraid of color or bold patterns... and i knew i needed a great bright color on the floor for these chairs to pop off of... so, i set out to paint a rug and make that happen... below is the step by step on how i created this awesome rug! and it all started with an inexpensive erslev rug from ikea... oh, and i have to say "watermelon smoothie" by glidden is my new favorite color! and how groovy does it look with views into my striped hallway and painted bedroom wall and then to my living room??? i love it!!!

materials needed:
  • 1 1/2 quarts of paint (i used watermelon smoothie in flat by glidden)  note: i thought a quart would be enough for the project but i ended up going back to home depot for another when i was 3/4 done and out of paint! you may want to start with a gallon to be cost efficient.
  • fabric medium (i mixed two and a half 118 ml bottles of liquitex brand into one quart of paint... i used a total of 5 bottles of fabric medium)
  • 1 paint roller (i used a 3" roller)
  • 1 roll of scotch brand green masking tape (this tape was AMAZING! when i complained to my sister and my parents about the gold paint i used for stripes on my hallway wall dripping they all said to me "you should have used the green tape instead of the blue"..  i never knew about the green tape... so this time i made sure to get the scotch green and it rocked! and it was way cheaper than the frog tape)
  • 1 flat woven rug (i used the white erslev rug from ikea in the 4'7" x 6'7" size)
  • x-acto knife
  • measuring tape
here's how i did it!

1- i was inspired by the nixon pattern used by jonathan adler and sketched it on a piece of paper

2 - i taped out a border within the rug that seemed straight (as we all know, 4 x 6 in a woven rug does not have straight right angles and i needed to start with as close to a straight border as i could)

3- after i taped the border i measured the inside space that i was going to work with and had my calculator handy... i knew i wanted the pattern to be big and bold but not too big and i thought i wanted 5 squares across the 4' side of the rug. so, my squares were roughly 8 1/2" (measured on the outside of the tape) each.

4. i then taped the design out using long pieces of tape to ensure all of my rectangles and center lines would be as symmetrical as possible.
5. i then used my x-acto to lightly cut the design out of the tape without damaging the rug so that it looked like this (this whole taping process took me the longest of any of the steps for this rug!)
6. i then pressed the tape down throughout the rug in order to be sure it was sticking to it really well
7. i mixed the fabric medium into the paint really well (this was key because i think that using this fabric medium is what caused my rug to turn out so well! so don't skimp on the fabric medium)
8. i rolled the paint onto the rug and was careful to cover every white spot that was showing.
9. after several hours of drying i peeled the tape off the rug.   i have to tell you i was sooo nervous at this point! i had no idea if that scotch green tape had done its job or not!!

10.  i did my little happy dance because that scotch green tape rocked my world! and there was very little bleeding and the overall effect was super fab!!!  and my friends that have checked it out can all attest to the fact that it is not hard and flakey. it actually feels pretty good! and i think the paint will help to protect the rug from stains from any dining mishaps!

*** if you are just now finding this post because of recent press you should also check out my lemon yellow starburst rug tutorial found here 

*** and you can also check out my latest extreme stripes black and white painted rug tutorial here!

so, to celebrate the success of that project this weekend, a friend and i went to see e.t. at the local hollywood forever cemetery. it was the last screening of the summer and it was a really fun night!a sold out crowd, a great picnic, fun photo op with us on bikes & e.t., &  drew barrymore introduced the film... i have to say, i see her around town a lot doing things like karaoke or seeing concerts (we seem to have similar interests) and i am always amazed at how laid back and cool she seems in real life.  i hadn't seen e.t. in ages and it really does hold up over time. i still cried my eyes out and loved it just as much as i did when i first saw it with my family in the early 80s. i'm gonna have to get copies of the dvd for my nieces and nephews this christmas.... along with some bags of reese's pieces...

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 twitter

until next time...

the almost 40 year old intern

Friday, September 23, 2011

l.a. artists

this week has been pretty fabulous so far... it feels like it has been flying by! between interning and a couple of last minute diy projects i have been keeping super busy... i am going to unveil one of them on monday and i think you will love it as much as i do! my favorite interning task this week was when i was sent to the pacific design center to collect updated showroom catalogs to stock THE designer's library.  it was a fun task because i was able to visit showrooms i haven't been to before and check out all of their wares.... usually i am just stopping there rushed during a lot of other intern errands...

one of the best things about this last year is that i have met so many awesome people that i never would have had the opportunity to meet in my past career... a lot of them are folks i met during my many art classes while on the quest to "find myself."  the home of all these fabulous classes (weaving, pottery, metal smithing) is this amazing place called barnsdall... if you live in la i highly recommend you check it out! there's a gal in my metal smithing class, the creator of the beautiful cuff bracelet at the top of this post, that is so amazingly talented i only hope to be able to create pieces like hers! she was living in nyc and moved back to la a few years ago in order to take care of her mom, who was really ill. well, her creative release/ escape was our class and she just really blossomed in her talent! if you are interested in checking her stuff out you should go here ... it is all really really beautiful!

last weekend i hit a local flea market with a friend and happened upon my new favorite painting (above)... the artist that created it was hanging out with her friend who was working in a booth and brought one painting with her to sell. it stopped me in my tracks i loved it at first sight & i had to have it! bonus that it was at a super low flea market price! when i was paying for it i begged her to show me her others and asked if she had a website... she then told me that i was the first person to ever buy one of her paintings and she wasn't sure if they would sell! amazing! well, i gave her my info and asked her to send me an etsy link when she had one and here it is.

i hung it on the bedroom wall opposite from my fabulous hand painted wall & i think it looks pretty great!

and the friend i was at the market with almost had a someday chair experience like mine except we turned around at the car and went back to the booth one more time before we left the market and she snatched them up at a major bargain! they look pretty awesome and i can't wait to see how they turn out once they are restored!

so, a friend pointed out to me today when i was speaking to him that i use the word "so" quite a lot.... hmmm... i scrolled through my blog and apparently i do it a lot her as well... i guess you should all know that it is my voice for sure and i do write like i speak...

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 twitter

until next time...

the almost 40 year old intern

Monday, September 19, 2011

yard sale 101

so i am happy to say that this weekend's yard sale was a big success! yay!  we had a steady flow of traffic from the moment we started putting stuff out until we packed up for the day!

and it was actually a lot of fun! the 9 hours from set up to closing really flew by! we met all sorts of interesting folks who popped by to peruse the goods... my favorite was a couple that said they just moved to la from washington dc and needed to furnish their place... they lived about a mile away and walked over to check our sale out.... well, they  fell in love with my friend's upholstered headboard and were mulling it over for a while and telling me they had an air mattress so they weren't sure if it would work! needless to say they bought the headboard and said they would be back to pick it up (they didn't have a car and needed to sort out how to transport the queen sized headboard... my car was too small to bring it to them)... well, a couple of hours later they reappeared with a very small dolly that they found at their apartment building and planned to bring the queen sized headboard back with... just roll it home! i love it! they were ready to make anything work to get that headboard home... and you know they are going to have the best looking air mattress in town! i could have used them when i saw my "someday chairs" at the flea market last month...

well, my friend was amazed at the success and relieved to get rid of most of what she wanted to sell and make some cash... i was confident that it would be a success as it was not my first yard sale... garage/yard sales have been a part of my life since i was a kid... you see, my dad used to work for the air force and when i was growing up we moved every few years... my mom would hold a garage sale before every single move in order to clear things out and lighten the truckload...  also, my mom was a garage sale shopper as well & i have to say i had some of the coolest halloween costumes as a kid that were found by her at those sales... my favorite was a sparkly sequined majorette outfit with matching top hat... too bad a midwestern halloween was always cold and therefore required a turtleneck and thick tights and a coat to ruin the look of that costume...  anyhow, one of the best things about being a former marketing maven is that i know how to get the word out and market the heck out of a yard sale and i thought, why not share it with you so that you are ready in the event that you want to clear some clutter and make some cash at the same time!

1 - signs - make them big and bold with clear info and put them where it counts!!!
  • it sounds simple but i have to say that i am amazed at the number of times that i see yard sale signs that look as if they have been written on letter sized paper and are lacking in pertinent info such as the time and date of the sale! it doesn't cost a lot to invest in a good sharpie marker and bright colored large poster board... date time and address of the sale should always be on the sign. if it isn't, how do people know this isn't a left over from the weekend before??? (see one of our signs above... and yes that is la landmark hotel, the chateau marmont, in the background).  we had to be super strategic with our sign placement... my friend lives in a part of town that not only requires securing a permit from city hall to hold a yard sale but they do not allow signs to be posted within the city limits. so, we got a map of the city and thankfully she lives blocks from the los angeles border. we posted those signs at every major la intersection nearby that we could! and you know what? a few people commented on how great our signs were!
2. craigslist & penny saver usa- write an ad that would be appealing to you as a shopper!
  • i feel like i have really perfected the art of a great craigslist ad... i have noticed that there are a lot of folks that could probably benefit from fine tuning their own craigslist ads. what i tell most of my friends is that you need to write an ad that includes every possible search term that would be used to look for your item... for example if you are selling a sofa be sure to include terms like "loveseat" and "couch." there is no such thing as too much info when it comes to these ads... if a lot of your stuff was purchased at pottery barn, crate & barrel or fits a certain design type be sure to mention that too! so, i posted our yard sale ads on wednesday and on friday through craigslist an i made sure to include every single type of item we were selling (and keywords related to those items) and highlighted the fact that a lot of it was furniture, electronics, cds and dvds since that is what a lot of folks are interested in...and i added photos of big furniture items... this way anyone searching for those items on craigslist would see the ad for our sale! and if your home is smoke free and pet free, include that! it is a selling point, especially for upholstered items!
3. facebook & twitter - create an event! post on your wall & get your friends to do it too!
  • so, facebook is an amazing tool for spreading the word on something! we created an event and called it "the most fabulous yard sale ever" and invited all our friends and asked them to spread the word. also, we went through our friends list and sent private messages to those that had a lot of facebook friends and asked them to paste our event to their wall.  it was such a big help and most everyone was accommodating! also, we posted this on thursday, friday and saturday to be sure that our friends didn't miss it!
4. pricing - keep in mind it is a yard sale & people like to bargain for a bargain!
  • so, i know as a yard sale shopper that people want a bargain... the sticker price on an item is only a first price... so, with that in mind, you should be pricing things a smidge higher than what you actually want for the item.  this way, when someone asks if you will go lower (because 9 times out of 10 they will) you can go lower and they feel like they've gotten a deal and you've gotten what you wanted and everyone is happy! easy peasy! and just like the guys selling at the flea market do, be sure to drop prices as the day progresses... is it really worth it to you to get an extra dollar for something when you may be stuck lugging it up 3 flights of stairs in just a few hours, only to bring it to goodwill the next day?  and if something you have to sell is worth quite a lot to a specific collector demo then perhaps you should set that aside for ebay.... 
so, with those few tips, you can easily have a successful sale! also, enlist some fun friends to help out (easpecially with the set up and clean up because it can get a little crazy with the early bird shoppers...)... oh, and be sure to have snacks on hand to keep your energy up! one of my new friends, a gal i met in drafting class earlier this year, stopped by with muffins and pink lemonade for us! how cool is that? such a sweet gesture! and the two other friends that were enlisted to help with our sale ended up staying the whole day because they were having so much fun and really wanted to help! pretty cool, right? plus one of them (the gbf) provided comic relief while strutting the cement "catwalk" in front of my friend's building while modeling her gold heels and groovy handbag!  i'm not gonna lie, i was a little jealous that he walks better in heels than i do... here he is striking a pose....

so, lots going on this week... my friends who enlisted me for help with their master bedroom after the toilet pipe explosion from their neighbors place caused a flood in theirs also want me to redesign their living room, dining room, office and guest bedroom! yay!!! and another friend of a friend has reached out for help with his place!!

starting a new diy project tomorrow... fingers crossed it will look like the image in my head...

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

d.i.why not? danish modern dreams

well, this week has been so amazingly fab so far! i probably sound like a broken record with all of this gushing lately but i feel like i have to really celebrate these moments...  lord knows i have come a LONG way from the day i was crying in my laundry mat while reading oprah magazine, and talking to my sister in the midwest on the phone about just how unhappy and lost i was feeling in my (then) career and having no idea what would make me happy again... oh yeah, it was as pathetic as that description sounds, probably worse... a scene from a bad lifetime movie... and by the way, i still have that oprah magazine... the one that was the tipping point leading to that scene in the laundry mat... with the bold cover asking "who are you meant to be?"  i experienced a lot of tears of frustration in 2010 and so far 2011 is really rockin my world... anyhow, i am just really happy to finally feel like i am on the right path! very thankful to have had that opiphany (my new favorite word, coined by a very good friend, when i described what lead to my decision to start over)...

sooo... about that fab photo (if i do say so myself) at the top of this post... that's my latest diy project!  i hope you love it as much as i do!  if you have explored my blog you probably gathered that i love mid century modern design... i feel the shape of these is sort of a nod to that era... well, i also love beautiful stationery... i used to stock up on it to write to my grandma in iowa often (she really enjoyed sending and receiving letters as well!)... but she passed away shortly after i lost my job last year and i haven't written very many letters since then. since she is gone i just don't have a great pen pal anymore... so, i recently visited one of my favorite stationery stores in town and i saw these beautiful wooden sheets of paper... a thin veneer... made from so many different types of wood (cherry, walnut, birds eye maple, aspen, red cedar... you name it!) and was really inspired by it.  i thought it would be perfect for creating a light fixture (clearly i am on a lighting kick lately!)... so, i did... two of them to be exact... and, i didn't think it was possible but i love these just as much as my brass pendant diy!

if you like what you see above, here are the directions on how to create your own...

materials needed:
  • sheets of  11x17" two ply wooden paper (for the smaller lamp i used 1 sheet of birds eye maple and 1 of red cedar and 1 of walnut and for the larger i used 3 1/2 sheets of the cherry)
  • 2 embroidery rings
  • 1 piece of basswood measuring 1/16" x 4" x 24"
  •  glue (E-6000 is my favorite)
  •  bulldog clips (i used both size 0 and 1)
  • x-acto knife (i used size #2)
  • pencil
  • measuring tape
  • long ruler or straight edge to cut against
  • pendant light
larger pendant: 
  • start with two embroidery hoops, one measuring 12" diameter and the other 5" diameter (i only used the fully formed hoop and did not use the outer hoop with the metal hardware attached)
  • cut 4 pieces of the paper measuring 1" wide and 11" long
  • measure the hoops and divide them into 4 equal parts and and mark each. then attach each piece of the wood strip to the top and bottom with glue and cover each end with bulldog clips until it sets

  • while that part is drying cut 1" strips of paper that are each 17" long.  note: i was careful to keep them in order because i wanted the wood grain to match when i glued them.

  • begin attaching the wooden paper to the large hoop first. as you attach them, line them up with the top of the hoop, clip the outside of each piece in order to hold it. note: i ended up buying and using a bunch more clips than i started with in order to be more efficient with my time. 
  • after finishing with the large hoop, move on to attaching each end to the smaller one. note: here i had to overlap the strips of paper in order fit onto the smaller hoop. i was careful to keep the grain lined up.

  • once dry, use a 17" long 1" wide strip of paper to wrap around the outside of the smaller hoop to cover glue and seams and use two 17" strips to wrap around the outside of the larger hoop
  • to create the piece that will hold your pendant, trace the inside and outside of your smaller hoop onto a piece of basswood. 
  • use your straight edge to draw a line from the inner hoop tracing from corner to corner to find the center of the piece. this is where you will draw a circle large enough to thread your pendant wire through (should be big enough to allow the plug to pass through)

  • cut where you traced the outside edge of your hoop as well as the circle in the center
  • slide the piece into the top of your fixture from the bottom
  • you shouldn't need glue as it will be stable with your paper strips holding it.
smaller pendant:
the directions are the same but instead of using a large and a small hoop, i used 2 small hoops. and instead of using one type of wooden paper, i used 2. and instead of 1" strips that were 17" long i cut 1 1/2" strips.  and i used 2 short braces instead of 4.

for these lights i am using a super duper low wattage bulb... i did order fire retardant spray to apply to them as a precaution but it didn't arrive in time for this post so i don't know if it will affect the wood...

before i forget, a big big thank you to curbly for highlighting my office/closet makeover on tuesday! well, i am off to my internship now....

oh, and 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 twitter

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

Monday, September 12, 2011

design junky

so one of the things i love most about living in la is there is so much fabulous, inspiring and great design all over town... especially from the mid century era that i love most...  not far from my favorite hiking trail in the pacific palisades is this amazing eames case study house (camera phone pic above!)... i love to visit it every so often and pack a picnic and sit in the lush green tree filled grounds and just experience it... oh, and also fantasize about meeting my own dashing architect and being the ray to his charles eames... and working on amazing projects just like this with him... i'm probably reaching a bit there... ok and guessing i should probably leave that tidbit out of my ad...  ha! anyhow,  i am so excited that in just a few weeks the la county art museum will be having an exhibit entirely focused on california design and i will actually get to see the contents of this house up close and personal! (you can only peak in the windows to see it when you visit the actual house)...

i'm just working on the finishing touches of my latest diy project today and am so excited to share it with you all later in the week... it is taking a smidge longer than i thought it would because i need to wait for the glue to dry in different stages...  you'll understand when you see it...

i am really loving that some of my recent diy projects are continuing to get such great attention! the folks at re-nest and curbly both posted my brass pendant diy on their sites! how awesome is that??  i hope everyone will like my newest diy just as much!

so, another friend has just become a client... last week he and his partner had the experience of burst pipes from the toilet in the condo next door to theirs causing water to gush through their master bedroom walls (yikes!) and now they want to redesign their bedroom and called me! i feel badly for them that they have to deal with the stress of contractors and walls and hardwood floors being ripped out but am so excited to work on this project (see, there is a silver lining to every cloud!)!

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 twitter

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

Friday, September 9, 2011

tryin' to stay cool in style

so, it is hot hot hot here in la this week... i am constantly carrying one of the many fans i have collected from  past trips to various parts of asia to try to keep cool (above are 3 of my favorites). i don't know if i look as chic as karl lagerfeld while fanning myself  but i do have to say they sure do the trick!

interning has been a challenge this week as far as trying to literally maintain my "cool."  i have to park outside and on the street and my car is black with black interior... and it has been in the 90's all week... hopping in and out of it for short interning errands while trying not to look like a sweaty mess when returning to the office is tricky!  not that anyone is really paying a whole lot of attention to my looks... but i do think if i was dripping sweat on everyone they might take notice!

i was at my local home depot the other day and while there i witnessed at least 10 people walk in and ask where the air conditioners or fans are... sadly home depot was sold out... it made me thankful for my little ac unit... let me tell you, this thing has been a thorn in my side since i moved into my apartment. aesthetically pleasing? it is not. someone years before i moved in had the bright idea of installing it in the middle of my living room wall. i tried to distract from it by hanging brightly colored vintage album covers on that wall but i need to come up with a groovy way to hide it (a future diy!)... but in the meantime i am embracing it for sure! i feel lucky to have one in weather like this!

i am happy to report that auto cad class is done! YAY! and i have been putting it to use in my internship...

just wrapping up my exciting new diy project and will have reveal photos for you on monday or tuesday!

now i'm off to continue the task of sorting through a friends stuff to prepare for next saturday's big yard sale...

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 twitter

until next time!

the almost 40 year old intern

Monday, September 5, 2011

80's flashback weekend

so this labor day weekend has been pretty awesome... somehow a lot of it was a celebration of my youth...  friday night my gbf and i went to the hollywood bowl for "80s night" to see berlin, the fixx, b-52's and human league.... so much fun! i remember thinking the b-52s were old when i saw their videos on mtv back in the day.... amazing that they are performing now! and when we learned that kate pierson (groovy big haired redhead in the group) is 63 now we were amazed! she looked fab (well, from the cheap seats we had at least!)...

anyhow, continuing with the unplanned flashback theme of the weekend a group of friends and i went to see edward scissorhands at the hollywood forever cemetery on saturday night... i forgot how much i loved that movie and used to idolize the pre-shoplifting winona ryder and dream of 21 jump street star johnny depp...  a great evening filled with wine and kfc! yeah, kfc was a fave from my childhood (known to me then as kentucky fried chicken)... i didn't grow up on fast food but as a treat for our birthdays my parents let my sisters and me pick between kfc, pizza hut and long john silvers for our birthday dinners... i haven't had it in so many years and i have to say it still tastes just as good as i remembered...

of course after an evening filled with fried chicken i needed to work it off and went for a fabulous hike on sunday morning at my very favorite trail in the santa monica mountains with a clear view of the ocean!  weekends like this one just help to reiterate why i love living in l.a.!

and i am in the midst of a new diy project that i can't wait to share! i hope to do so before the week is up! i ran out of supplies and the store was closed for the holiday so my completion will be delayed a smidge... it is going to be pretty awesome if i do say so myself... stay tuned... here's a sneak peak of some of the supplies used...

and if you don't already know you can like me on  facebook  and follow me on twitter
until next time!
the almost 40 year old intern