Wednesday, October 31, 2012

we are ok!

We are safe and sound but we lost power during the storm. Visiting a friend who has power right now, recharging phone and laptop batteries and wanted to give you a quick update..

Yesterday we walked around our area to assess the damage and witnessed this rescue effort. A woman and her two dogs that got trapped in her apartment were able to get out with the help of this contraption. Good to see people looking out for each other! 

Talk to you soon! xx

Monday, October 29, 2012

week forty three

Another week has passed by. This week already marks the end of October and the beginning of November..

On Saturday Santa and I checked out another estate sale in our area and I scored two more globe lamp shades for only $5 for both of them and a small table with hairpin legs. The legs are the best part of the table and for $12 I could not pass it up. The table had two conflicting price tags one said $20 the other $25 and I asked the people working the sale if they could work on the price for me. They came down to $15 which was my target price but I couldn't resist bargaining some more so I asked if I could get the table for $12 and he said yes. Yay! Now the table sits in a corner of the basement with the rest of my projects...Hopefully I can work on it soon because I already got a couple of ideas what I could do with it...

 Have a great week! Stay safe, dry and with power!

Friday, October 26, 2012

have you heard about the bird - diy birdfeeder

Back in September I showed you my list of unfinished business, four projects that are lying around unfinished. One of my photos showed an old glass globe lampshade and pink rope and some of you were wondering what I would do with it. Now I finally finished the project and the old lamp shade became *drumroll* a birdfeeder.

The lampshade was left over after I switched it out with a smaller one because it was too big for the space, it made it almost impossible to open our backdoor without hitting the light fixture. Because I cannot throw anything away that is not broken I hung on to it and when I came across a DIY tutorial on The Art of Doing Stuff on how to make a birdfeeder with a glass shade I knew I wanted to make one for myself. Instead of a white rope I bought bright pink rope and the third item needed for this little project was clear waterproof silicone, which I had on hand from a previous project. Because I had the lamp shade and the silicone on hand I spent only $4 on the rope. Not bad, right?

Items needed:
-globe lampshade
-clear waterproof silicone
-I needed an extra set of hands and made P hold down the globe for me while I ran a bead of silicone around the rope

Since it was not my DIY idea please click over to The Art of Doing Stuff for the full tutorial. She deserves all the glory for coming up with the idea. It is such a simple project, it took only about 10 – 15 minutes to create my birdfeeder and I let it dry for a day to make sure it will hang safely in the tree in our front yard. Now I am waiting for the birds to show up for their fancy feast. 

Do you have any plans of doing a DIY project this weekend? Whatever your plans are I hope you will enjoy your weekend!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

where to go from here?

Last week in my Boot Camp class we had the assignment to make a moodboard that reflects what we want our blogs to be like. This is what I wrote as a little description of my board: The inspiration for my blog comes from my love of diy and renovation projects for our home as well as design and architecture in general. I would like to make the things I already like on my blog to stand out more and be more consistent with content as well as style. Also I want to make the overall look more cohesive.

I used only my own photos to create the board, the ones chosen reflect what I like most about this blog. This is mainly where I showcase the projects I do around our house, the occasional diy project as well as exploring the architecture and design around me and taking photos in general. Some of the photos I took just for the board some I pulled from my archives. It is pretty evident that I like whites and greys with a pop of color, mainly orange, here and there. Now I just (ha, ha!) have to pull those things together and incorporate it into the blog. Nothing easier than that right?

Here is last years moodboard I created exactly one year ago as a comparison. Colors, camera and having tools present is consistent. I am already curious about what next years moodboard will look like...

Monday, October 22, 2012

week forty two

Oops, it is already Monday evening. I totally forgot to schedule this post...

The past week was pretty uneventful and I don't have that many exciting photos to share. Mostly I was busy with my BYW Boot Camp class, still enjoying it and bouncing ideas around my head to make this blog more fun to read for you. My biggest problem is my time management and lack of focus lately, I always get sidetracked and then never return to what I was doing. THAT has to change and I know I CAN change it because at work I am very organized so I should be able to translate that into my personal life as well...

Do you see the band-aid aka flesh colored mess below that is the old vinyl covering from the Saarinen chair I found on the street. Next step is to make a pattern and start cutting the new fabric. The wooden seat structure and the molded backrest both got a good scrubbing with a water and bleach solution. You never know where the chair had been and also it smelled a bit musty. Also tried out soaking it in water and vinegar as Erin suggested in the comment section on Santa’s post about the different uses of vinegar. Actually Erin mentioned that using vinegar on a damp cloth can remove musty smells from wood furniture but I felt I needed a bit more power hence the soaking. After everything smelled clean and fresh I let it air dry in the sun. Both chair pieces smell fresh like they have never been neglected. Can’t wait to work on the chair again on Thursday!

Have a great week! xx

Friday, October 19, 2012

NYoy - high line at the west side rail yard

Today would be time for another NJoy post but I want to share photos of my walk on the undeveloped part of the High Line with you, which technically would make it a NYoy post ;)

Last Sunday P and I got the chance to walk along the High Line at the West Side Rail Yards, which runs from West 30th Street to West 34th Street and is still in its wild state. The rare chance to experience this part of the High Line before it turns into part of the park was also part of Open House New York and also sponsored by uniqlo.

When standing on this part of the elevated tracks you get a great view of the Hudson River and a peek of the West Side Rail Yards, where Long Island Rail Road trains get stored on their way to and from Penn Station. With 26 acres the West Side Rail Yards is the largest undeveloped property in Manhattan, it belongs to the MTA and they have leased the development rights to a private real estate development company that will build a platform above the yards to create approx. 12 million square feet of residential and commercial space.

I am a big fan of the High Line park and in the summertime I sometimes walk around the park or just hang out and read a book during my lunch hour, as it is within walking distance to where I work. Love to get a glimpse of the untouched wild landscape and the train tracks before it will be turned into a section of the park. I can clearly see how the wild landscape inspired the idea of the High Line and the design that was chosen for it. The Rail Yard section of the park is slated to open in 2014 and although most of the tracks, ballasts and plants will be removed during site remediation the new design idea includes plans for an Interim Walkway that will wind through the existing self-seeded landscape. I have to say I cannot wait for this part of the High Line to open. Fun fact about the High Line is that the last train that ran on it carried a load of frozen turkeys….

Have a great and sunny weekend!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

ohny - park avenue armory

Our last stop on OHNY weekend was the Park Avenue Armory. I recently saw something on TV about it, which made me want to see the space with my own eyes. The show was about the restoration of the interiors and how it now serves as a space for artists. They host art and antique fairs as well. Unfortunately I cannot remember what channel I watched to gather more information about the program, googling didn't help either. My co-worker watched it too but he also can't remember. I think it might have been on PBS...

The Armory was built in 1881 by the National Guard's prestigious Seventh Regiment and served as a military, cultural and social center for the Regiment as well as New York's society of the Gilded Age. The Drill Hall consists of 55,000 square feet (about 5100 square meters) of unobstructed space, making it one of the largest unobstructed spaces in New York. It felt so humungous that I didn't even attempt to walk from one side to the other. Because of the large scale of the space the Royal Shakespeare Company was able to build a replica of their home stage in it for performances in New York or artist Aaron Young have twelve motorcyclists help him create his art. But I have to say I was much more fascinated by the meticulously restored rooms with its beautiful, intricate woodwork and the detailed wallpaper. Absolutely loved the fireplaces! I could picture living in some of the rooms but would choose modern furniture to contrast with the old details but the sheer size of the space would freak me out a bit. I could not stay home alone…

I hope you enjoyed following me around visiting some of New York’s architectural gems and hopefully we will do it again next year! What was your favorite place I visited?


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

getting in shape

Last week on Monday my blogging your way boot camp course started full force and of course I am already lagging behind but that is ok because it does not affect my motivation. The class is taught by Holly Becker from Decorate and she also enlisted the help of two guest teachers, Nicole Balch from Making it Lovely and Jeanette Lunde from By Fryd.  

I did sign up on a whim just shortly before the class started because somewhere along the way I felt lost on what direction my blog should take or if I should just stop writing all together but honestly I enjoy writing this little blog. I hope with your help and the help of Holly, Nicole and Jeanette I will get my mojo back and finally implement the changes I wanted for my blog for a while. I definitely need a push in the right direction. For reasons unknown sometimes I thrive under pressure and now the pressure is on! Hope that my other reaction to pressure does not make an appearance because it is complete paralysis. Not that I don't have enough on my plate already with my upholstery class, planning of a bathroom remodel and life in general. Please bear with me during the "construction" phase. Looking forward to all the changes to come!

What keeps you going when you feel uninspired or just plain lazy?

Me sitting at my desk will be something that P will definitely see more often this month but right now it does not look as neat as in the photo, there is paper scattered everywhere...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ohny - grand lodge of masons

I hope you are not fed up with my OHNY coverage yet, I am posting this on my usual days off and have lots of other posts lined up for you...Next stop on my list was the Grand Lodge of Masons in Chelsea. It is a building I pass by every day on my way to work and always wondered what the inside looks like but never got around to checking it out during OHNY weekend. It was the 10th year that the Lodge opened it's doors during the open house weekend and everybody got a commemorative button at sites that had participated every year the weekend has been going on. On our button is a little sketch of the library with the vaulted ceiling and George Washington standing at the end.

On our tour we saw three smaller meeting rooms and a large gathering place. The meeting halls all had different decorating themes but the layout of the furniture remained the same. In every room there was a G above the biggest chair (the seat of the grand marshal?), it stands for geometry. The 19 story building was built in 1910 and in the mid-nineties they hired somebody to bring the beautiful plaster work back to life as it had been painted over numerous times. Now everything is hand painted again in vibrant colors. What a contrast to the white and modern apartments I visited but beautiful in its own way.

What do you think?


Monday, October 15, 2012

week forty one

Where did you go week forty one? Didn't you just start?

This past week was filled with lots of  work but also lots of fun. On Tuesday P and I went to see Public Image Ltd and I think I am still deaf on one ear from the concert, as it was so loud but in case of concerts loud is good! On Thursday on my way out the office to grab lunch I stumbled across a homeless chair and because I liked how it looks I dragged it back to the office. I grabbed it just as the garbage truck stopped in front of them. Friday I took it home with me on the train and had P pick me up at the station. Most of my Saturday was spent looking for new tiles and fixtures for our upcoming bathroom and powder room remodel. Some of our tile we picked out was special order and they should arrive this week. Of course I will write about the renovation in more detail soon. Yesterday we had a warm and sunny fall day and P and I spent the day walking the highline and even were able to access the undeveloped part of it that will be opening in 2014...

How was your week/weekend?

Friday, October 12, 2012

ohny - chinatown loft

On to the next installment of my OHNY post. Sunday morning P and I trekked to Chinatown to check out a loft space that had been created in an old tenement building. When the owner Koray Duman, one half of Sayigh & Duman Architects, purchased the 750-square-foot corner apartment, it had three bedrooms. Hard to imagine the now open space chopped up like that. Duman gutted everything, exposed the brick and raised the ceiling to create more space. He even left a piece of history on the walls, old wallpaper that was discovered underneath the gypsum wall boards and left in place. One of his friends, who is an artist working with neon tubes melded her art with the remaining wallpaper and gave it to him as a house warming gift. Not a bad house warming present, right? All enclosed spaces, like powder room, toilet, closet and washer/dryer are hidden in the chartreuse wall that is part divider and part closet. The two sofas in the living room can be moved and put together like puzzle pieces to create one large lounging area, hanging out on them you can take in great views of Downtown Manhattan. My favorite part is the bed made of felt and magazines, what a great way to recycle old magazines. I could probably build a small house with the magazines I have collected over the years. Also love the continuous use of color in the space, the chartreuse works very well with the white but I am not sure if I could keep up with it myself. I just have so many tchotchkes and colorful artwork…

What is your favorite part of the space? Or is it too clean and modern for you?

Have a great weekend! 


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ohny - lazzaro residence

Peeping tomette is back! Because I visited so many sites this past weekend I will post on a daily basis this week, at least that is what I am shooting for...

Before Santa and I headed to our shift at One Museum Mile we squeezed in visiting the Lazarro residence in the Lower East Side. The apartment was renovated in 2009 by Azin Valy from I-Beam Design for herself, her husband and their pretty impressive furniture collection. If you read my posts about last years Open House New York you might remember I visited another one of their projects, an apartment in Nolita. 

Can you spot the Emmys in the pictures?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

ohny - one museum mile

Yesterday I started the Blogging Your Way Boot Camp to whip me and my little blog into shape and our first assignment is to write three posts this week that cover certain topics. For my first post I picked something I am passionate about, which is the architecture and design surrounding us in everyday life. I like to walk around and just absorb my environment and then start dreaming about living in that cute little house or the old factory or whatever comes my way, sometimes my imagination runs wild and I start decorating "my" new digs.

Last weekend was the 10th annual Open House New York weekend and it was my fourth time volunteering for the event. As I previously mentioned in another post OHNY is dedicated to give New Yorkers and tourists alike the chance to experience the architecture of the city. Participating locations range from historic landmarks to private residences and everything in between. If you are not located in New York or anywhere close to it you can also check if your city is part of open house worldwide.

On Saturday I worked my volunteer shift with Santa at One Museum Mile, a residential building which will be eventually housing the Museum for African Art on the first four floors. The building was designed by a renowned team including Robert A.M. Stern Architects, LLP, Andre Kikoski Architects and SLCE Architects. Some of the apartments were staged in collaboration with Lignet Roset and are also up for sale. If you see something you like and can afford to part with a million or two or three contact CORE. Yes, CORE from HGTV’s Selling New York. There you got me on another passion of mine watching anything home or real estate related on TV ;)

Are you a “peeping tom” like me who loves peeking into other people's homes?


Monday, October 8, 2012

week forty

Can you believe the year only has twelve weeks left? If time keeps flying by like it was the whole year Christmas will be here in no time...

I had a pretty busy weekend because it was Open House New York weekend. On Saturday I worked as a volunteer with Santa at One Museum Mile but we managed to squeeze in a visit of private residence before starting our shift at 11am. I took a lot of photos all weekend that I want to share with you this week. From the roof terrace at One Museum Mile you have a gorgeous view of Central Park, the building sits right at the Northeast corner of the park and of course I will write a post about the experience as well. On Sunday P and I visited four more participating sites and it involved a lot of walking, riding the subway and more walking. Today I feel like I had a good work out yesterday and my whole body is sore. No pain, no gain ;)

Hope you had an equally fun weekend! Have a great start into week forty one!

Friday, October 5, 2012

happy weekend

I though I had a post scheduled for today but I had to find out I didn't. So I thought I would show you what I did in my upholstery class last night but unfortunately all the photos I took came out blurry. I had decided to work on the Saarinen chair I found on the street a couple of weeks ago and started to take it apart. Should have done that sooner because it must have stood out in the rain and assembled it couldn't dry properly. The chair smells a little bit like wet and mildewy basement but I am sure once the foam is off and I gave the frame a good scrub with a bleach solution it will be fine. Of course I will show some progress shots soon...

I will be back with hopefully lots of photos from this years Open House New York next week!

Happy weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

911 memorial

When my parents where visiting we took them to see the 911 memorial, it was something that I wanted to do since it opened. The memorial was designed by architect Michael Arad in conjunction landscape architect Peter Walker, their design has been selected in a design competition and evolves around two reflecting pools in the footprints of the twin towers. The names of every person who died in the 2001 and 1993 attacks are inscribed into bronze panels surrounding the Memorial pools, there are 2,983 names in total that have been chosen to be displayed in a random order. All the trees on the memorial site are Swamp white oaks except for one Callery pear tree that was found in the rubble in the plaza of the World Trade Center. The damaged tree was originally planted in the 1970s has been now nursed back to health and planted at the memorial and is now know as the Survivor Tree.

My initial reaction upon seen the pools was how beautiful the water looks cascading down into them but then I started thinking about what had happened in that exact spot and I felt my chest tighten and the water rushing down turned into something more sinister. I am not sure if it was the intent of the architects but the falling water reminded me of the falling towers and looking at the black bottomless hole in the center of each pool gave me a chill down my spine. It was really interesting to observe the reactions of everyone looking into the pools, I saw a couple of people crying, some just quietly looked around but I haven't seen anyone that was not moved in some way. Standing in a spot where so many people have lost their life is definitely something emotional and everybody's emotions are as different as the people experiencing them. Have you ever visited the memorial and if so what did you experience?

PS. Unfortunately the museum on the grounds is not open yet and I could not find a specific date when it will be opened. 

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