A peek at what's been catching my eye lately...
Friday, May 9
See this bookcase?
Yeah, I built that. NBD.
I mean, sure. It wasn’t exactly difficult but I’m also not exactly handy. So it was a pretty proud moment for me. (DAD, ARE YOU READING THIS?! ARE YOU SO PROUD?!)
We’ve needed a larger bookcase for quite some time (see this post to see what I mean). I didn’t want a traditional bookcase though – I was picturing something more industrial. A little rougher. When I found this shelving unit on the Home Hardware website, I knew it was perfect.
We took a bit of a chance because they didn’t have one in store. We had to order online sight-unseen and just hope that it would be sturdy and attractive. Luckily, it was both!
The shelves themselves are just particle board. I think we’re going to attempt to stain them. (Side note: Can you stain particle board?) If that doesn’t work, we also might just replace them with stained plywood or maybe some vintage barn board. We shall see…
For now, these shelves are all styled up with a mixture of books, magazines, pretty file boxes and storage boxes (both from Target!), the boyfriend’s work awards, and some random miscellany. I think I’m going to pick up 2 more acrylic file boxes for that bottom shelf, and that stack of magazines on the third shelf is just a placeholder for now. We’re planning to put some kind of cool lamp there to cast light on the professor chair (yes, that’s ACTUALLY what it’s called haha). I think we’re liking this one from IKEA right now.
If you’re keeping track of Operation Office, we’ve painted and conditioned a chalkboard wall, painted the remaining walls, painted the trim, and bought a new-old desk. What’s left to tackle? A rug (previous thoughts here but I think we’re heading in a different direction now), two office chairs (considering something like this), hanging our degrees and some art, possibly adding a little side table and/or footstool for the chair, making/finding some curtains, installing new overhead lighting, and replacing the door with a french door. No small feat but it’s coming together!
Thursday, May 8
Have you heard of Trend Trunk? I only recently discovered the site – which is Canadian, btw – and it’s kindof awesome. It’s basically like Kijiji or Craigslist but for clothes. Nice clothes. Clothes you actually want to buy. So when they approached me about being part of Blogger Fashion Week, I couldn’t resist. Trend Trunk is featuring my closet today, which you can shop riiiight here!
It’s pretty neat. For buyers, there are no extra shipping fees – the price you see is what you pay. For sellers, Trend Trunk handles all the shipping. They email you a package slip, which you tape to the front of the box and then you just have to drop it off at Canada Post. EASY. Like, it took me 30 seconds.
And it actually seems to work! I sold an old Coach bag (in primo condition because I NEVER used it) within 30 minutes of posting it! There are so many wins here: A) I won’t miss it because I never used it so it just sat, sad and lonely, in my closet, B) It’s in great shape, so someone should get to enjoy it, and C) I made a little cheddar off the whole deal. So good.
In the past, I’ve taken bags and bags of nice clothes in perfectly good condition to Goodwill. And that’s still awesome, and likely what I’ll do with anything that doesn’t sell – but some of the items I donated were really nice barely-worn items that I was just too lazy to do anything about. Trend Trunk makes it crazy easy AND you don’t have to feel bad that you’re no longer donating your clothes to charity because…. You can donate a portion of your sale (up to 100%) to the charity of your choice! A portion of my closet sales are going to Laing House, which is an amazing organization for youth with mental illness here in Halifax.
If you’d like to shop my closet, you can find it here.
Tuesday, May 6
The tutorial connected to the Pinterest link doesn’t have any words, so after a little bit of close examination, I mostly figured out how to do it as I went. I put together a few things I learned in the process in case you’re interested in creating your own embroidered typography art.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- canvas (mine is 36x48"), which was on sale $35 at DeSerres
- alphabet stencils (mine are 6" tall & reusable, $25 from Michael's)
- embroidery floss in the colour of your choosing (49 cents each - I went through approx. one pkg/letter)
- sharp needle (strong enough to go thru reinforced canvas with a hole big enough for embroidery floss)
- washi tape
I started with some basic math - figuring out how to space the stencils so each word would be centered on the canvas, given the size of my stencils. I also laid out some lines on the canvas with washi tape to keep each word straight. The benefit to using washi tape is that it's easily removable when you're finished. After meticulously tracing each letter, it was time for the
fun hard part.
I cut each bundle of embroidery floss into 3 or 4 sections. Then, I looped it through the needle, knotted the end, and started to thread each letter, beginning in the corner. I went straight up and down the letters until the entire letter was covered. That's basically it - nothing complicated. But it took a long LONG time. I started this project last Sunday, as in... when it was still April. I fully expected to get it done in a couple of hours. Nope. False.
Be warned - if you use a canvas as large as mine, it will take you HOURS AND HOURS AND HOURS. As in, it took me close to 20 hours to finish this project. Now, they're fairly brainless hours - you can definitely watch Game of Thrones/Stanley Cup playoffs at the same time. But it will take FOREVER. Just a warning. (But I definitely don't regret it - I LOVE the result).
Two tips that I have for you:
1. Cut each piece of embroidery floss into 3 or 4 pieces - don't try to be a hero and use the entire piece in one go. It WILL get tangled and then you'll have to cut it anyway. Plus, it takes forever to drag the entire piece of thread all the way through each hole. I learned this quickly.
2. Use thimbles. USE thimbles. I ended up borrowing 2 (for my thumb and forefinger) before I even finished the first letter. Pushing the needle through reinforced canvas can be pretty rough on your hands.
So... what do you think??? Don't let my complaining fool you - I love love LOVE how it turned out.