Apartment Therapy!!

I’m an avid reader of Apartment Therapy. I was so excited to see my porch and patio featured in their new Outdoor section this week!! They called it “Perfect” Woot! I hope they come banging down the door to see all the trash to treasure INSIDE my house one of these days!!

Read the Full Apartment Therapy Feature Here!

 

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State of the Union … Jack …

…or state of my kitchen table … as the case may be.

My kitchen table was purchased from an entertainment industry charity event. The table was formerly a Warner Bros. prop and I picked it up, together with 4 perfectly mismatched antique chairs, for a mere $11.00. It was initially painted an icky brown – not even a wood grain or nice finish – just a flat brown. I quickly covered it in a robins egg blue and was pleased with it for a couple of years until this past Christmas came around. I was using the tabletop to iron some fabric that I was making into pillows and I burned the top of it.

Sigh… I figured no big deal, I’ll just repaint the top at some point after the holidays. Well the holidays came and went and I was ready to fix that burn mark. I went to my stock of paints only to find I could NOT find the robins egg blue. How could that be? I had plenty of it – I’ve got all the other paints I’ve used. I figured I must have given the leftover color to another friend – which I am prone to do -but I don’t remember who, and I figured I would have a hard time matching the exact color again.

I decided, instead, to work with the imperfections of the table. I’ve been given free reign to decorate in any manner I see fit in my household and used that to my advantage.

I taped off my pattern...

Et Voila ... my Union Jack Tabletop

Going Green

I found these horribly gaudy chandelier earrings on a clearance rack somewhere. I mean, I love their shape, but they’re just so painfully icky otherwise with their sad little gemstones. So with a quick dab of nail polish I turned the white crystals to an emerald green which will make me actually want to wear these earrings.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

PLUS DAT

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

EQUALS THESE

C’mon Down to the World Famous Rose Bowl Flea Market!!

 

I will be at the World famous Pasadena Rose Bowl Flea Market on Sunday, September 11th with my good friends at “La Sirena Bags“!! Please come and visit! We’ll have a nice variety of bags, totes, clutches and jewelry along with sassy upcycled vintage plates by my new venture “Tongue in Cheeky“. We’ll be in booth #604, we hope to see you there!

 

Rose Bowl Flea Market – Directions – Rose Bowl Flea Market and Market Place regular admission starts at 9am for the general public at $8.00 per person, children under 12 are admitted free with an adult. We also have an express admission from 8:00am – 9:00am at $10.00 per person, an early admission from 7:00am – 8:00am at $15.00 per person, and a special preview VIP admission from 5:00am – 7:00am at $20.00 per person.

THERE IS PLENTY OF FREE PARKING AND THERE IS ALSO VIP PREFERRED PARKING CLOSE TO THE ENTRANCE watch for the signs that direct you to the parking you prefer.

Heidi Klum at The Rose Bowl Flea Market

Everything Old is New Again

I have a gazillion pairs of shoes … so it seems … but I do have my go-to favorites. These in particular I love because despite their height, the stacked bottom makes them tolerable to get through an evening in.

And, because they weren’t expensive shoes to begin with, I felt no fear in updating them once they began to show some wear n’ tear. It was a stupidly simple project and brought my old favorites back to my new favorites.

Only Suckers Buy Bookcases

Living in Los Angeles … with an Ikea less than 3 miles down the road … there is never a shortage of disposed of furniture lurking around every corner. In route to the grocery store Friday night I snatched up 2 decent sized and sturdy bookcases in the alley across the street from my home…albeit with the typical oak-like veneer. Of course when I say “I” – I mean I screeched to a halt, kicked my boyfriend out of the passenger seat and had him carry them back to the house. He’s a good sport though and declared “hey, only suckers BUY bookcases”.

We have 5 bookcases in our home (and 3 more in the garage) that were all found in the garbage (save for 1 that I paid $5 for at a yard sale that is actually constructed out of real wood). Never to be discouraged by the look of fake wood, I set about in my typical fashion and refinished them over the weekend (similar to what I did here – in fact, I replaced that one shelf with these 2). They could have been done earlier except that I took 2 ½ hours out (time I will never get back) to go see “Tree of Life”.

It’s a good thing we found those bookcases, because within that discarded pile, we also found a library of books so obviously, we needed the bookcases.

Laundry Room Makeover

The laundry room may not be the first area of the house one chooses to makeover, but my laundry room is situated between the kitchen and a bathroom and because our pup remains sequestered in another area of the house, we’re forced to walk thru the laundry room numerous times a day.  Probably no one else would have noticed the hunter green mini blind that covered the window in my laundry room, but I felt it staring at me with disdain every time I passed thru.

There is also ample built in storage in there, but my boyfriend was expanding our liquor cabinet and slowly pushing out the laundry room necessities. So, as a result of the aforementioned eyesore of a hunter green mini blind, coupled with laundry room bits strewn about, I decided to undertake a small makeover.

BEFORE:

I started my hanging 2 small shelves … in fact my boyfriend walked through during this process … not offering to help mind you … but simply expressing “I’m glad you can hang shelves” as he continued on thru.

The piece de’ resistance, however, was the window treatment I fashioned from some hand designed fabric I found on Spoonflower with an octopus chandelier design (ok, maybe it’s a squid, but it’s a Cephalopod just the same) and some remnant ribbon.

With cheap Ikea frames, I adorned the wall with some images I found online and voila … simple, chic, laundry room makeover.

I found a Board in the Trash

I found a board in the back alley… a seemingly unimpressive 2 x 4(ish) piece of plywood. “Perfect” I thought and quickly snagged it. It sat on my front porch for a year hidden behind the wall and slid out only to barricade my dog. It got rained on, it got moldy. My “perfect” piece of wood was looking less than.

I had intentions, but I was never really solidly sold in my head as to what I was going to paint on this board. I wanted my dog, Baxter, to have some sort of scenery to look at as he was sequestered to the confines of the porch. That’s not to say that he couldn’t just peek his little head above the board and see the goings on in the ‘hood, but I wanted to paint something silly just for him. Perhaps an aquarium…maybe a cityscape…or possibly shrubs…or maybe I could paint the board to mimic the wall. So many ideas – zero execution.

And then out of nowhere it came to me. So I set about swiftly and whipped up a line up of robots … holding balloons.

My boyfriend took one look at it and declared “that’s genius!” I said “um, relax, it’s just robots holding balloons.” He then began to ramble off about how robots became prevalent in our culture post WWII in the nuclear age. They are symbolic of the tendency in modern society of people wanting to have predictability in an unpredictable universe. People are instinctively scared to allow personal freedom while struggling with the whole notion of we could all die tomorrow.

Robots holding the balloons is the other side of the spectrum. Conformists and people following rules and programming are beginning to wake up to something else, something greater, something spiritual even. There’s no logical reason why robots would be holding balloons. The balloons could symbolize a spiritual awakening or the joy of life … stepping outside of ones programming. While predictability makes us feel safer, robots have been following programming their whole lives. Maybe now they’re discovering the beauty of life…maybe they’re discovering love.

I sat back and looked at, cocked my head a little, tried to absorb all the information I was just bombarded with, and then giggled and said “it’s just robots…holding balloons.”

Antique Dresser Upcycle

I’m an avid scavenger. I comb curbside and back alleys for one man’s trash regularly, looking for stuff I need. Don’t get me wrong, I pay it forward, when I purge household items, or furniture that no longer have a home in my home. I deposit my useless crap into my own back alley. No sooner had I finished cleaning out the garage, one day a few months back, then a man with a van (I assumed he lived down by the river) came and hauled the entire pile of my “trash” away, as his treasures.

When a former neighbor of mine moved out, she left essentially all of her furniture behind and my other neighbors and I descended upon the pile like vultures picking through the carrion. I helped a friend scoop up a desk, another friend scored a coffee table, and I was quick to grab an antique dresser.

The dresser sat for months, as found, in my bedroom certainly serving its purpose, but I looked at it daily just not quite ready to commit to how to refinish it, restyle it, or completely upcycle it. In fact, it wasn’t till I moved to my new and current apartment that I formulated the whole plan.

I painted the whole thing chartreuse. There was no finish on the dresser at all, so it soaked up several coats of paint. I then finished it with 2-3 coats of a high gloss lacquer. Although I pictured it with a carcoat sheen, I was still smitten with the results.

I then printed vintage bugs onto 1 ¼ inch pinbacks … minus the pinbacks … and adhered them with a cement/glue to brushed silver nickle drawer pulls for a special finishing touch.

The whole project took a weekend as I had to wait several hours between paint coats and overnight for the lacquer to really cure. The cost of the project was minimal but the impact was AWESOME!

A quart of paint was approx $10.00.
The brushed nickle knobs x 12 approx $12.
The vintage bugs printed on pin backs approx $10.
The piece went from merely serving a purpose, to being a furniture focal piece in my home for a total cost of about $32.00.

Bookcase Upcycle

I am no stranger to finding treasures in the trash. My back alley is strewn with all kinds of disposed of items, ripe for the pickin’. I’m not sure if my dog’s unbridled enthusiasm each morning is merely cuz Baxter’s a dog and he’s excited to start his doggie day, or if he knows we are undoubtedly immediately gonna hit the back alley to tend to the day’s morning business… that morning business being “his” or “mine,” is always a blur.

I’m always particularly happy when I find things I can handle with one arm, whilst tending to the pup with the other. So, I was more than thrilled to find a bookcase hangin’ out, waiting for me to gank, from the curb. Having an Ikea centrally located down the street, there is always an array of “I’m done with that” disposable furniture to be found. In this case — a generic gray bookcase in-tact, save for one mismatched black shelf. Typical, but I already saw it transformed in my mind’s eye.

I made a quick trip to the local hardware store, all ready to flirt my way to a tinted can of Kilz basecoat. I hit the guy behind the counter with my typical disclaimer: “I’m not gonna return a $7 can of paint.” I told him, “I’ve done it a myriad of times before.”  While at first he wasn’t quite about it, something about “This primer vs. that primer…” ‘Impossible’ was used several times. “Whatever,” I exclaimed! “Just tint me some primer!” Eventually, I forced my way into a tinted can. While he was reluctantly tinting my primer, I grabbed a can of minwax Polyshades in a mahogany satin finish and was on my way.

It only took one coat of primer to coat the piece completely. Which is good, now I have some on hand for future projects and won’t have to argue at the hardware store for at least another 6-8 weeks. The primer dried within the hour and I applied two coats of the Polyshades finish, letting the first coat dry overnight before I applied the final coat.

For very little investment, time-money-and-energy-wise (save the curmudgeon at the hardware store), I now have a delightfully upcycled bookcase.  The lamp was also found in the trash and I wrapped some remnant ribbon around the shade to give it new life.