Thursday, July 29, 2010

Big News!

While the apartment I currently live in serves me well, my lease is up mid-august and I AM MOVING!!
This is awesome news for my blog, as decorating a new apartment will surely generate lots of material about which to write.
My current apartment has 2 bedrooms and is about 670 square feet. It also has wood floors in the bedrooms. It doesn't have any outdoor space or a dishwasher, and I have to pay to use the washer and dryer which are in the basement.
My new apartment is 1 bedroom, but 970 square feet, and has a balcony, dishwasher and washer/dryer IN UNIT! Both the living room and the bedroom have sliding doors that go out to the balcony. The kitchen/dinning/living room is one big open space. 
I'm super excited to work on decorating an outdoor space. Since I decided I would be moving, I've been paying super close attention to other bloggers posts about outdoor spaces. If I could choose anyone to come furnish my balcony for me, it would probably be Nicole from Making it Lovely- Infact, my inspiration for the bench/loveseat that I'm after is straight from her blog.
Nicole posted this picture just days after I had seen the same bench in Target, but we have had similar luck in tracking one down.
I found another contender, this time at JCPenney, but had similar issues- on backorder online, and not available in the store. Also this bench was quite a bit more pricey than the Target version and the Ikea option.

She then decided to go with two benches from Ikea, and I can't lie, I think thats a pretty solid option. The benches look very fetch on her front porch:

Could my balcony look like that?
I also wonder, could I use more than 2 of those benches as a sectional? I've always wanted a balcony that is like one featured on Style Channels show "Dress my Nest" with Thom Felicia. This outdoor space was designed for Audrina Patridge, of MTV's show "The Hills." Both her  space and her budget are bigger than what I have to work with, but it serves as excellent inspiration.

I think the important things to remember are: streamlined upholstered furniture, bold throw pillows, and accessories. I'm seriously excited to start working on this space!
I was able to get into my unit today to take a look (previously I had only seen units like it), and I took some pictures. I'm not going to share them all at once, but since we're talking about the balcony I figured I could share those.
I will be on the second floor. You can see the balcony is rather larger- according to the website it is 18'6 long and 5'4 wide. I probably would have guessed it is wider. As you can see, there are TWO sliding doors-- one in the living room and one in the bedroom. My cats are going to love running laps, I'm sure.
Below: Potential Balcony set up:

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Welcome to My Home, Volume 2: Recent Thrifting Finds

I wanted to share some of my recent thrifting finds. I like to browse the Salvation Army, looking for treasures, which I sometimes find. This week I was particularly successful. After seeing it in several kitchens in blog land, I decided I needed to start my very own collection of colorful Pyrex dishes. Boy, was I in luck!! I found a Spring Blossom Green mixing bowl. Apparently collecting vintage pyrex is kind of a cult thing, there are several websites devoted to it- the one I used to identify the bowl I got is In case anyone is looking to buy me a book to guide my collection, there is "PYREX: The Unauthorized Collector's Guide (Schiffer Book for Collectors)" available for sale.
This picture makes the bowl look particularly scratched- I think its just how the light is coming through. Regardless, Its a good start to my collection and will look nice in my cabinets or on my counter. Not bad for $2.99.

The second thing I found doesn't have a least not that I know of. It's metal- perhaps bronze, it has a lid like a jar, but is also has cut outs. It is very pretty. I imagine using it on my dresser or in the bathroom, to store cotton balls, q-tips or even make up brushes. I really dig the cut out pattern--it reminds me of the lamp in the living room. This little gem cleaned up very nicely, and maybe, just maybe, will look even better after some spray paint. Kelly green, anyone? This baby was a little more expensive at $4.99, but I had to have it.

The last thing I bought is a pair of wooden candle sticks. Sure, they look silly now. But after a cleaning, a light sanding and some spray paint, they will look completely different. The hardest part here is deciding what color! I could go wimpy- white or black,or something more dramatic? Can't beat the price here at $1.99 for the pair.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Trying my Hand with Jewelry

I love tortoise shell. I have long been in love with a certain tortoise shell watch by Michael Kors, although I have been unable to find it in person. I'm not entirely in need of a watch, although I wouldn't turn in down. Below is the original watch. 
In attempt to find a similar but not exact watch, I came across lots of (spendier) alternatives:

(how cool is that wrap one??)
I also looked for tortoise shell jewelry. This was a bit harder. I found two really good candidates, at Lands Ends:

In the end, the Lands End pieces were a little more pricey than I wanted (although much better than the MK watches). The bracelet was originally $49.50, although is now on sale for $26.99 (hmm, maybe I SHOULD buy it), and the necklace was $89.50, now $48.99. 
One day, I did find a decent candidate at Target for $7.49, and although its both a watch and tortoise shell, it quickly proved that its not what I want. It doesn't lay flat, a near deal breaker for a detail oriented person like myself.

So in the end, what did I do? Attempt to make one myself, of course. I found some beads at Michaels that are very close to what I wanted (although not a chain) and decided to DIY (or, DIM- do it myself). It really wasn't so hard, given the right tools. In addition to the wire, clasp and beads, I purchased a book with some instructions, a crimper (like pliers, specifically for beading), and crimp beads.

 In all, I spent about $50 but I have enough beads left over to make another piece, in addition to two clasps, lots of wire and of course the crimper and book. I am very happy with this investment, and of course happy that I am able to tell people that I made it. I've had comments about how it looks like its from Ann Taylor, etc, which of course pleases me. :) It was quite a quick project, I made it in one evening while watching tv (and even had to restring twice) and wore it out to dinner with friends the next night! 
Truth be told, I don't love the clasp, and I think its probably made for a necklace, so if I ever come across a better clasp I will restring once again.