Friday, November 27, 2009


Grad school has made me rather thrifty. This year for christmas I decided I wanted to make my female relatives (aunts, mom, stepmom, grandma) candles. Since I've had some time off to relax, and I had multiple coupons for JoAnns, I decided to try my luck at making candles today.

Last weekend I collected some old canning and jelly jars from the salvation army to make the candles in. I decided to get them there so they were not all the same, and I got some pretty ones. Different shapes, sizes and patterns.
I got wax, wicks, dye and scent, and set to work. I don't have a fancy double-boiler candle maker thing, so I improvised. I read online that a coffee can would work, but I didn't have one of those either. I did, however, have a can of mandarin oranges. So I had a little snack, cleaned the can and started cooking! (kind of..)
I took action shots.
My high tech set up...

Three jars in various stages of getting ready: you have to put in the wick and then keep it standing while the candle hardens. They probably sell some fancy tool for this, but since I was using a can of mandarin oranges for melting the wax, I went with the low-tech "use a spoon" method. It actually worked out quite well.

I poured the tallest jar first, then I had to melt more wax to pour the next two. You can see the taller one is lighter than the smaller ones, and the wax continues to lighten as it cools.

This is about 30 minutes after pouring. You can see the wax is even lighter.

I used french vanilla scent and brown dye. Brown really wasn't my first choice, but Joanns had a limited, strange selection of colors. Lavender, yellow and brown. OK? I guess "french vanilla" lends itself to a brown color, so that's ok.
Since I wasn't sure how this was going to go, I only bought 1 pound of wax, which I used up. Tomorrow I will probably go to another store (Michaels?) to scope out their selection, and get some more wax. As the wax is drying, it settles, so you have to "top it off." I didn't plan well so I didn't have any wax left with which to do this. And I have many more candles to make.
I'm hoping to find one more color and maybe another scent. I don't want to get too complicated-- I have a limited supply of cans in my cupboard in which I can melt wax.
The best part about this is now I know how relatively easy it is. My new question, instead of "would this look good on my head?" will be "can I make this into a candle?"

Thursday, November 26, 2009


 The pink color in my armoire has been bothering me recently. I am trying to build a living room that is cohesive, and the pink was just not working with the other colors in the room. Either because this week has been rough or because I felt free for Thanksgiving Day break, I decided it was time to repaint the inside of the armoire. But what color? Perhaps a grey.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Small Spaces

I realized tonight while talking to people at a party that not everyone has an appreciation for living in small spaces. The word "loft" was tossed around like a dirty word. I was heart broken!

The conversation reminded me about an awesome loft I came across on a website (in stockholm) that for me, is really amazing. It might only be 32 m2 (about 350 square feet) but it looks very livable.

(picture of the living space from the loft bed)

I apologize because this website is not in English, but the pictures speak for themselves.

FYI- this studio loft is for sale if you're still looking for that perfect christmas present for me.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Little Chairs

Why are little chairs so awesome?
Every time I come across mini versions of designer chairs I have the urge to buy them.
So you can see what I mean, here are pictures of some mini chairs:

These sets are both from, but I know they are available elsewhere. So cool!
The first set is a mix of designers- Meis Van Der Roeh Barcelona Chair, Charles and Ray Eames, the Hardoy butterfly chair, The blue Panton chair, and others
And the second set is all Eames chairs.
You can order them for me at

Friday, November 13, 2009

Dresses I'm Digging

On Wednesday for a strange reason I was on State st. in Ann Arbor around lunch time. I had just had lunch, and had an hour or so before I needed to be back to school. I decided to check out this new store in town, called Pitaya. Pitaya is kind of like a...smaller, slightly higher quality Forever 21..
They apparently have locations in several college town places. You can check out their website at They don't have all of their stuff online unfortunately.

So I was drawn to this dress they had on display that was one shoulder, with a large flower on the collar bone. Turns out it was a "infinite dress"-- you can wear it many different ways, but all of them include a rather open back. I really liked the one shoulder look, but I didn't want to show so much skin. This dress seemed perfect for my department's holiday party. I've spent far too much time searching the internet for a classier version of this dress, finding some nice ones, but with much larger price tags as well.

Fear not! I found a dress that fits what I was looking for. The dress in the lower left hand corner is from Target. It is part of their Limited Edition collection, for the holidays I guess.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jewelry I'm digging

After somehow making my way to the jewelry section of Anthropoligie's website, I fell in love. With their dramatic jewelry. If you've seen my other posts, you know that I'm not scared of a statement piece or two. I made the following cool little graphic of awesome jewelry from Anrthopologie (all still available, christmas is coming!) This is my first awesome little graphic, and my first time trying to post one to my blog to heres to hoping it works out.

Speaking of awesome jewelry, today while in Ann Taylor Loft I found an awesome necklace that I really needed, only it was 49.50, which is uh..49.50 more than my jewelry budget for this month. Even worse, its not on their website, and I can't find a picture anywhere!
I will try to describe:
It was a bib necklace, the main bib part was a black felt. There was a ribbon around the edge, and dark colored gems scattered on it. The chain was big plastic links.
I knew there was a Michael's across the street, and I knew I could cut out felt in a similar shape and glue sparkily stuff on it, so I decided to go see what I could find.
I got black felt, ribbon and a variety of fake rhinestones and shiny things. I was unable to find anything to make the chain part that pleased me, so I decided I would use ribbon instead.

(jewelry on a lamp? why not. Whitney has a belt on her plant)

Ok, maybe a picture will look better in daylight. But its a good start! I'm considering cutting the bib to make it more U-shaped...but I'm undecided.
It cost me about $12 to buy the supplies for this-- and I definitely have enough of everything to make another.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Office Closet

Remember this?Well, I did some serious work editing what was in my office, resulting in a couple trips to the salvation army, and reorganized my closet. This is what my bookcase looks like now:

Much better, right?
But even more exciting is what the inside of the closet looks like now. I had a much smaller bookcase in the closet, which was not big enough for my collection of binders. I got this one at target for a mere $19.99, and it fits very nicely. The additional shelves allow me to organize my extra office supplies out of my vision if I'm working at my desk, and the door can be closed!

On the other side of the closet, I got baskets and boxes to organize a lot of my craft and sewing stuff. The boxes on the top shelf have scrapbooking stuff, that box on the left holds 12x12 paper. That box was not easy to find! The middle shelf has some holiday decorations and other random stuff, and the bottom shelf has sewing things! One container has projects that I am currently working on, and the other has my collection of material, ribbon, facing, etc. (The patterns and thread and scissors are on the other bookcase, in the boxes on the bottom shelf) That big ugly looking box in the front is my sewing machine. Some day a project will be to clean that up. Perhaps with pretty contact paper? I'm hesitant because the sewing machine is technically an antique and I don't want to ruin its original box (ugh..more than it already is).

Glittery Pumpkins!

It has been a long time since I posted last-- same story-- lots of school work. I have, however, done a few things since I last wrote.
To decorate for Halloween, I wanted to use glittery pink pumpkins. My inspiration came from a post on casasugar about decorating with orange and pink for Halloween. I thought, easy enough, I'll find something glittery at target or Michael's.
Not so much. So I decided I was going to have to do it myself. I bought tiny plastic pumpkins ("berry size" according to the package), glue and Martha Stewart pink glitter and went to work.
MS's glitter is amazing, first of all. It is very fine, giving it good coverage, but it is still everywhere in my apartment. The project took a little more time than I expected-- only one side of the pumpkin could be done at a time, then it had to dry, some had to be spot fixed, and then after they were dry, sprayed with hair spray to try to limit the amount of glitter that came off.
All in all it probably took me about 3 weeks to get the whole thing done-- not 3 full time weeks, but 3 weeks of spending a couple nights a week gluing and glittering while watching tv.

Glittery pumpkins or Halloween decorations isn't a new idea, its not even an unpopular idea.
Jane from Jane & Josephine initially motivated me. You can see her decor here. (she was featured on casasugar)

Martha Stewart even suggests that glittery bones are an elegant way to decorate for Halloween.

Even pottery barn is stocking glittered halloween decor.