Saturday, July 21, 2012

Goner Goes Graphic

I found this dresser at the Salvation Army for a measly 40 bucks.  I was really intent on finding one with some bowed drawers.  This piece was perfect!  Clean lines and mid-century tapered legs with ultra feminine curved top drawers.

I somehow managed to cram this baby into the back seat of my little Nissan Altima and up the twisty flight of stairs in my Victorian apartment.

Then I broke out the paint.  It had some scratches and chips, and the plain-jane wood wasn't really doing it for me.  So after meticulously measuring out my plan, I drew up some templates from craft paper for the repeating elements to make it look nice and even.

Totally crazy I know, and not for everyone.  But it was stunning in my bedroom.  It played off the baby blue walls and tied together all the various cool tones around the rest of the space.  The knobs were from Home Depot, as was the paint.  I actually didn't need all that much of each color, so I got those tiny test pots in each color and had plenty.  It was a great way to save some moola.  I also wielded a wood burning tool to carve out some grooves in between each color for a more worn and bohemian look.

I loved having such a unique and one of a kind piece that everyone always commented on.  So now I'm taking my own work as inspiration for the table I rescued from the streets and am currently reworking.  While the stain looks nice with its second and much more even coat, I have some pretty graphic plans for this baby!

And don't mind the dark corner, its just a glare.  So what do you think?  Does a patterned piece scare you or excite you?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Intern Freebies

One perk of the very chaotic move from the office in Mountain View to the new space in Palo Alto was down sizing.  So the sorting was less than fun, but it did mean getting my hands on some awesome materials that were no longer needed for projects.

These "3 form" samples are awesome semi transparent plastics.  I am especially drawn to the metallic series!

These recycled glass counter top samples have held my admiration for a long time.  While I would love to actually have a counter top made from this material, I will have to be imaginative in finding a fun way to use these little snippets for the time being instead.

These squares, meant to be flooring samples, are some sort of composite tile with nice variation in the color.  Again, no idea what I'll make from them yet, but I sure do love having all these free and unique materials on hand!

Lastly, the paint chips.  This is a very small sample of the paint chips I took home with me.  I have the traditional long strips with multiple colors on them, these larger rectangles in about 300 various shades of blues, greens, and purples and an entire book of very large format swatches with no written text, it's all on the back!  Score!  So I've seen many paint chip projects on good ol' pinterest, but none that have screamed "make me now!!!"  So what are your thoughts?  Any super duper genius ideas for some of these fabulous materials?  Please do tell.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Dining Curbside Style

Moving into a new apartment clear across the country in your twenties generally means that you don't bring whatever furniture you've acquired and must start from scratch... on a shoestring budget.  Enter Craigslist, flea markets, goodwill and good old fashioned abandoned on the curbside pieces praying to be taken in off the mean streets.  Which is where I found this guy.  We hauled it up to our friends roof where I could get my sanding on, which this table needed a lot of.

After a good amount of elbow grease and 220 grit sandpaper, the table was dusty but ready for a fresh face.  There were some odd blackish marks on one side which wouldn't come out completely, but I figured the stain would help them to blend away.  Plus, the piece was a freebee so if it didn't work out, it was really no loss. 
I chose Minwax Wood Finish in Old Mahogany for it's rich tones.  With a 1inch paint brush I coated the whole top generously in the direction of the grain and then ragged the excess of in gently sweeping strokes.

I admit it came out a bit on the streaky side.  Naturally I blame the wind.  No really!  It was super windy and so by waiting the recommended set time before wiping with the rag caused the finish to become far too tacky, so I ended up pulling a great deal of the stain off rather than just the excess.  Lesson learned.  Wind matters.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Birthday at the Beach

Today was a great day.  Well of course as it was my birthday and it was happily spent lazing around the beach in Santa Cruz.  The beach has always been my idea of a good time, and being a summer baby it is usually where I like to spend my special day.  Hope your day was just as lovely!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Succulents by the Sea

Since moving into my humble abode, I've noticed that without plants the space feels awfully sterile and dead.  So after an impromptu trip to Mendocino that had amazing views of dense forest and mountainsides...

that opened right up to salty air and ocean breezes, I was more than feeling the urge to bring all that nature back to the city with me.  I am brand new to the west coast, and so far I LOVE what I see!

But since I couldn't actually bring all of what I saw home with me in the car, I settled for several of these little cuties that were sprouting up everywhere on the rocky bluffs above the sand.

For anyone who doesn't know about succulents you are missing out!  They are insanely easy to care for needing very little water (aka you can forget and they will forgive) and can settle onto a vertical hanging wall, any little pot or even a glass dish like the one I used.

This dish, from IKEA a couple of years ago, has previously held spare change, jewelry, and other odds and ends.  I think it is much better serving as home to my baby succulent, which sits in some native sand and pebbles I grabbed from the beach it came from and topped off with colorful sea glass also found in the area.  How's that for a zero cost, nature inspired project?!