Friday, December 13, 2013

mini makeover VIII - cherry tree branches

This is actually a double makeover, first we cut the cherry tree in the front of the house as it was growing way out of control and getting too close to the overhead wires. When it was time to bag all the cut branches I had the idea to bring a few inside and put them in a vase. To make it a little bit more christmassy (is that a word?) I added some fabric mushrooms I bought at Ikea a couple of years back. I thought they were super cute in the store but then they got stuffed into a drawer and never saw the light of day again until now. Still think they are cute, now I just need them to face in the right direction, I want to see their dots in the front ;) Are your homes ready for the holidays or are you not decorating this year?

Have a great weekend and stay warm!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

week forty nine

Yes, I am a bit late again...This week I decided to go into hibernation, I have been going to bed basically right after getting home and in the morning after taking a shower I have been crawling back into bed to take another nap. Is there such a thing as hibernating humans? Anyways I feel like staying in bed all day and sleep, sleep, sleep. Anyone feel the same?

Last week I received my Black Friday and Cyber Monday online purchases and of course they are shoes. One can never own too many shoes and I really needed the duck boots for the slushy New York winter, also ordered a pair of shearling insoles to keep my feet warm. On Saturday we had about 30 people over for our Christmas party, we had German Christmas cookies and Stollen, all store bought though, as I did not get the chance to bake some myself and of course there was Gluehwein. We, actually P, made it for the first time from scratch and our guest must have liked it, all in all people drank 10 liters of it! Sunday we went to the Project Market here in Jersey City, which featured local shops and restaurants. Of course I didn't leave empty handed and bought two Jersey City prints for the next gallery wall project and two small porcelain numbers, of course together they form the number 40.

Well now it is already Thursday, hope you will enjoy the rest of the week, the weekend is near!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

quick diy advent calendar

P's birthday was a few days before Thanksgiving and this year I had no idea what to give him. Then  it hit me, why not take him out to dinner at Peter Luger, something that was on our list for years. I made a reservation and crafted a gift card but still needed a good idea how to wrap it in a cute way. Because I was able to get a reservation for December 1st I thought giving him the dinner as part of an advent calendar would be fun. With only a couple of day lefts to finish the advent calendar I went to The Container Store for some inspiration and quickly found the kraft paper coffee bags. Initially I wanted to write numbers on them but then I found these tree gift tags and an idea was born. The bags were so easy to make, I just used doubled sided tape to add the trees to the bags. All in all it took maybe half an hour to finish the calendar. As the bags are pretty sturdy I will be able to reuse them in the next years, they would also make cute gift wrapping for smaller items or cookies. Most of the bags are filled with chocolate, some contain messages on these dry erase bubble magnets and some contain wooden animals. I thought the animals would go very well with the woodsy theme of the calendar and look cute if they were added one by one to the "forest on the mantle. 

Do you have an advent calendar or made one for a special person in your life?

PS. In case you are wondering but this post has not been sponsored by The Container Store, I was on crutches and was only able to visit one store so I needed to choose wisely ;)
PPS. No need to worry P does not read the blog and I won't spoil it for him with this post...

Monday, December 2, 2013

week forty six through forty eight

So many things happened in the past three weeks. The backyard was finally finished (yay!), we painted the fence in front of our house black (not so fun), although first it got a coat of brown rust inhibiting primer, I tried out a new gadget (mat cutter. love it!), hung a gallery wall (finally), sprained my foot (I still have two big bruises), had to walk on crutches (exhausting), made an advent calendar for P's birthday (last minute), made a cake and decorated a tree. I am still a bit flabbergasted that Christmas is around the corner, like every year it sneaks up on me but this year we have already decorated the tree, bought most of our presents and are hopefully not feeling stressed out by the holidays. What about you? Are you guys prepared for the upcoming holidays?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

house industries and uniqlo

As of lately I am always a step behind and I did not even realize one of the companies I have a crush on collaborated with Uniqlo and created a series of t-shirts with their numbers, lettering and patterns that arrived in the stores in August. Did I mention I was a step behind, after writing this it sounds more like two or three steps behind. Have I ever mentioned that I love fonts and symbols? Well I do and if I had found out about the collaboration with House Industries sooner I might have been able to pick up one of the tees with an ampersand on it, big fan of the yellow ampersand print and the striped arms. When I finally realized that the collaboration was out there the store was pretty much picked clean but I managed to grab the first tee in the collage below. There are still some designs left online in case you are in interested, they are on sale too. What are your company/store crushes you cannot get enough of?

Monday, November 11, 2013

week forty three through forty five

Hello! Do you still remember me? The past two months I was so busy at work that I put my life on hold and only wrote this blog once in a blue moon but hopefully now that my workload is back to normal I will be able to ease back into blogging. Besides work other exciting things happened, I volunteered at Open House New York again, our backyard remake is almost finished etc. There will be posts on everything that happened very soon. Oh and there are a couple of things I want to cross off my to-do list before the end of the year, which will give me lots of material for posts as well. One thing that needs to be crossed off my list is creating a gallery wall in our living room, the frames have been piling up for years, now it's time to change that...Hope you had a great weekend and have a great week!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

happy halloween

Happy Halloween! I am not that big of a fan of Halloween decorating but in the fall I like having pumpkins on my front steps and this year I added some Halloween decor that I found at the Dollar Tree. Those stores are usually a treasure trove when it comes to buying cheap items to decorate for the holidays. The crow already lost some feathers, I think a neighborhood cat thought it was real and tried to wrestle with it. One morning our stoop was covered in black feathers and on top of that a bird pooped on the crow as well. At least I took the photos before this happened. Are you guys going all out with decorating for Halloween or are you not even acknowledge it? Whatever your plans are for today/tonight, have fun!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

week forty two

Remember that last week I told you I wanted to catch up on sleep and be back with posts here this week, well of course I jinxed it, instead of the work getting a little slower we got a new deal in and the next two weeks will be pretty busy again. Lately I spend up to twelve hours a day at work and have not much time for anything else but I am not complaining because I really like my new job. On the other hand I feel guilty about not being able to blog and most of all reading yours. I miss you guys!

Last week we finally got our new driveway poured only to get it ripped up again this week. It was not looking too good and our contractor convinced us to have it redone. Progress in the backyard is pretty slow at the moment at least when it comes to the finishing touches. Today the footings for our new deck will be poured and after a couple days of curing we will get a new deck. On Saturday we started painting the chain link fence that sits to the right of our driveway. Not the best idea I had, the work is a bit time consuming, but it is looking so much better than the green and rusty mess we have right now. Oh, and the highlight of the week was that I finally received my Eames House Bird I bought myself as a belated birthday present. It's looking pretty good in front of our fireplace. 

Have a great week!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

week forty one

Only eleven more weeks and we are starting a new year. I still cannot believe it and need to start cracking the whip on myself to finish one or two more of the projects that I had on the list for this year. Week forty one passed as quickly as the past weeks and because I finally need to catch up on sleep while I have the chance, I decided to take this week off from blogging again. I will be back with posts about my Open House New York impressions and the progress of the backyard. The site I volunteered at had amazing views (see below) and the rest was not too shabby either, actually it was a quite amazing apartment.

Hope to see you all back here next week!

Friday, October 11, 2013

before and after - tv corner

In my post yesterday I totally forgot to include a picture of our TV situation before we upgraded to the new dresser. Because it took so long to finish this dresser I will have to milk it for as many posts as I can ;) This and the fact that my week was pretty hectic and exhausting again, with no time to prepare a post for today, gave me the idea to just show you before and after shots of our TV corner.

Looking forward to catching up on sleep this weekend and volunteering at the Open House New York Weekend again. Hopefully I will be able to share my experience with you again within the upcoming weeks. Have an awesome weekend!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

mini makeover Vll - dresser

Drum roll please! I finally finished the dresser I acquired on Craig's List, mind you that this whole process took over two years, this makeover was anything but mini in the end. When I first saw the dresser online my  idea was to quickly paint it another color but when it arrived I was intrigued what kind of finish might be lurking under all that paint. I whipped out my trusty stripper to strip a small corner of the dresser, lo and behold I discovered nice dark wood veneer. This motivated me to strip the whole dresser. Once I had most of the dresser stripped I started sanding the already stripped parts for what felt like an eternity, so I took a break from working on it. At that point I did not think that the break would be two years long but that is how long it took for me to get back around to this project. First thing on my to-do list after the break was scraping out paint residue from the grooves in the drawer fronts, I used wooden skewers for this because I did not want to damage the veneer, not the most fun job I can tell you. After that it took me another three weekends to finish sanding, my hand felt like it would be permanently stuck in the position of clinging to the electric sander. Once I deemed the dresser ready for some staining and oiling, the finish line was near. I stained the dresser on a Sunday and oiled it the following week while watching TV in the evening. Oh, I should not forget to mention the hard work that went into polishing the 12 brass pulls. All in all I am very pleased how the dresser turned out but the process of getting there was not fun at all. Now our TV finally has a nice piece of furniture to sit on, if only I could hide the cables, the DVD player and cable box. In my eyes they ruin the whole look but I did not want to get rid of the items for the photos, as they are there in real life and hard to hide. 

Have you ever dragged on a project as long as I did? I have to admit I have another piece of furniture that has been waiting for years to be finished, most parts are already sanded and only need to be painted. I swear this will be finished this year as well.

Monday, October 7, 2013

week fourty

Good morning everyone! Another week flew by, I feel like Thanksgiving and Christmas are around the corner...On Wednesday the brick foundation of our extension got repointed, one corner looked very scary and some bricks were loose, you could just take them out. It was like playing Jenga, you would pray that the house would not cave in at that corner. Now everything looks great again. On Saturday we had planned to pour our driveway but because of the weather the concrete will now be poured on Thursday, fingers crossed. Friday a friend from Germany arrived and we took her shopping on Saturday and on Sunday we strolled around the city. Finally discovered Sockerbit, why did I not know about this Swedish candy store before? Of course I went crazy with licorice and all things I put in my bag were delicious.

Hope you had a great weekend as well? What were you guys up to?

Friday, October 4, 2013


Some of you might remember that I posted a picture on Instagram of me trying on a houndstooth coat at Zara back in August. Well, you gave me the final push to make the decision to splurge on it and I ran back to the store a couple of days later. I love houndstooth and apparently others do too, for instance the people at Ligne Rose, who celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Togo seating collection with a special edition upholstered in a houndstooth print fabric by Alcantarra. Do I have to mention that I want want want it? But it is not going to happen, we have two nice sofas and we won't change a thing about them. BUt a girl can dream, right? 

Have a happy weekend! Any fun plans? I have a friend flying in from Germany today and tomorrow our driveway will be poured. I still cannot believe this is finally happening...

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

backyard - fix me now

After about three years of dreaming, pinning ideas, bouncing ideas back and forth, not able to make a decision we are finally under way with our biggest project as of yet, the backyard. When we bought the house we were already certain that the concrete mess that is, nay was, our backyard needed to go eventually. Last year after submitting our yard for a makeover contest we got the final push to start with the project. Unfortunately we did not win the contest, we did not even manage to get to the last round.

 Last Saturday our yard was taken over by a crew of men and machines that removed all the concrete. I have to say even the dirt looks much better than the concrete. The whole process has been smooth so far but I will be so happy when it is all done, the whole anxiety of everything turning out the way I imagined it is giving me a constant headache. I'm probably the worst client because I want to be in control and involved in everything. Argh...Guess I need to compensate with more DIY project of my own in the next months.

Are you a little bit of a control freak like me? Do you have any plans for a big renovation or are you in the middle of one?

PS. Do you see our door leading into nothing? There used to be a deck and I have been tempted to open it so many times but so far none of us accidentally tried to step out.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

week thirty five through week thirty nine

Good morning October! Bye bye September! The last month was a blur, right after Labor Day worked picked up to a crazy level and with my family in town for two weeks I had no time for the blog. But now I am back and it looks like the new month will be under the motto backyard renovation. Last Saturday, the day after my parents left, we had a crew of guys demoing the concrete in our driveway and the backyard. You can't image how much better it already looks, even though we are left with dirt for now. Today they are digging a trench for the drainage and tomorrow our foundation will be getting re-pointed. If all goes to plan the new driveway will be poured on Saturday. I will be writing some posts with backyard updates this month and hopefully be able to show you the finished project as well. If the weather is kind to us, we might even fire up the grill one last time to christen our new deck...

Have a great week! It's so good to be back, now I will have some catching up to do what you guys were up to in September...

Friday, August 30, 2013

ikea dollhouse furniture

On Wednesday I browsed the new section on the IKEA website and one of the first things I saw was this set of tiny dollhouse furniture. So cute! I want it even though I don't need it. All items that are part of this set are from IKEA's regular sized furniture collection.

Happy Friday and hope you get to enjoy the long weekend! I will have to start clearing out the guest bedroom as it has become more of a storage room lately, in order to store some of the stuff away I will have to reorganize the basement. Sounds like fun...not! Do you have plans for the long weekend?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

mini makeover Vl - spray painted lamp base

I know you are waiting for the photos of the finished dresser, I did take a bunch last weekend but there were so many of them that I was not able to make a decision which ones to include in the post yet. Instead I am showing you a table lamp I bought at an estate sale a while back, which was pretty much picked clean because it was the last day of the sale. One of the few items left was the lamp base, it didn't look like much and I was able to get it for a couple of dollars. The metal parts were in rough condition but I really liked the white glass pieces and thought a bit of spray paint could take care of the rest. I still had black satin spray paint on hand and got right to work, not really taking good before pictures, just some I snapped with my phone so I could look at them for reference when putting the lamp base back together. Because I did not trust the old wiring I ordered new cloth covered cable on Etsy, the new lamp shade I found at Target. On the before pictures you can see that two pieces were made out of wood but they were not the same kind of wood, which lead me to the decision to paint the upper wooden part as well and I am glad I did because I like the one wooden piece in contrast to all the black and white. This was my first rewiring project, I am somewhat scared of all things that involve electricity but it was much easier than I thought, a piece of cake actually. Have you ever rewired something?

Monday, August 26, 2013

week thirty four

Good morning week thirty five, good bye week thirty four! Today I am still recovering from the rafting trip we took on Saturday. Even though it was just a lazy river, paddling in the sun all day left me exhausted in the evening. We started our trip near the picturesque town of Frenchtown, NJ, where we stopped afterwards for food, drinks and a little bit of chair shopping. When you see the photos of the river below you might think we were the only ones floating around but it was actually quite busy on the river. We have done similar trips at a different location twice before but this time they were already booked so we chose this one instead. What a fun day, I can highly recommend it if you live near a river to explore your area from the water. Our tour took us around 4 hours, with a little pit stop at the floating hot dog stand and some lounging on a deserted  island. Last night I rewired an old table lamp that I purchased at an estate sale a while back, a post about its transformation will follow soon. What were you up to this weekend? Any plans for the upcoming week? I am still working on getting the house ready for our visitors in September. And on Thursday I will see The Book of Mormon, I received it as a gift from P today and am looking forward to finally see the show.

Friday, August 23, 2013

NYoy - voice tunnel at summer streets

As you might have already read and seen in my week thirty three recap P and I with a lot of other New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike took over Park Avenue and Lafayette Street, which were closed to car traffic on three consecutive Saturdays in August from 7am to 1pm. A total of seven miles is being utilized for bikes and pedestrians during Summer Streets, from Brooklyn Bridge up to 72nd Street. Throughout the route there were rest stops, activities, arts and performances. We decided that we wanted to see the Voice Tunnel by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer in the Park Avenue Tunnel, it was the first time it was open to pedestrians for this event. Because the Summer Streets website informed us that the lines for this event close at 11:30am we got there shortly after 10am and the line was huge but moved in a steady pace and about an hour later we entered the tunnel. Inside the tunnel was another line for people who wanted their voices echoing through the tunnel. The voices influenced the intensity of the 300 theatrical spotlights positioned in the tunnel, sometimes it was pretty dim and then as the voices grew louder the light got brighter. We skipped the line for the intercom, after waiting to get in we didn't feel like getting in line again and I also didn't want to hear my own voice echoing from the walls of the tunnel. It was a great experience nonetheless and of course I took way too many photos, none of the intercom you could speak into though, but Tina over at Life in Sketch did.

What are your plans for the weekend? I am looking forward to a three day weekend as I took Monday off. Tomorrow we will be going rafting with a group of friends and on Sunday I might work on one of my projects. Monday is my birthday, I do not have any plans yet and will just do what I feel like that day...Happy weekend!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

estate sale finds - stool

My latest estate sale find is definitely in the category one man's trash is another man's treasure. That Sunday I went to two sales, both were picked clean and I was pretty bummed out that I couldn't snag a cheap big pot. Getting a pot for cleaning up the hardware of the old door I stripped was the only reason we went to the sales, luckily they were in close proximity to each other. Then I saw the stool and although the seat was broken I had a vision of making my own seat for it. I already bought some rope and am playing around with ideas. Once the stool is finished it will make an appearance in the mini makeover category. At the same sale they had an old workbench that would have made an amazing island in someones kitchen but it was too big for our car so it had to stay behind. Maybe I need to invest in a van or a trailer? ;) Still looking for a cheap pot though, might have to try Target or other places because I want to hang the door again before my parents arrive next month. Is anyone else working on a cool project? I know that Christine of The Plumed Nest is working on the desk she found on the curb. Can't wait to see what she did with it.

Monday, August 19, 2013

week thirty three

Week thirty was a busy one, almost every evening after work I worked on the dresser for the living room and this weekend is was finally ready. I even polished the old brass hardware. Love the brass in contrast with the dark wood. We moved the dresser into the living room on Saturday, still need to take good pictures for the blog though. It is standing on the right side of the fireplace and now it is super obvious that the other side of the fireplace needs some attention as well. Another project for my ever growing to-do list ;) Saturday we managed to go to the last day of summer streets in New York: On three Saturdays in August, 7 miles of streets were closed for traffic, and you could bike or walk uninterrupted from Brooklyn Bridge to 72nd street. We walked from 32nd street to 72nd street and back. After our  1.5 hours walk I was pretty pooped, not sure how many miles we walked but it felt like a lot. The Voice Tunnel was part of the summer streets but I took so many photos it'll deserve its own post at the end of the week. Of course a weekend is nothing without some good cake and on Sunday I stopped by the Old German Bakery in Hoboken with my friend Ms. K. I hat a super delicious cheese crumb cake and a Quarkball, thinking about it makes me hungry again...How was your week/weekend? Have a great week thirty four!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

keep calm

The last two days I was busy oiling and finishing the dresser for our living room, so there will not be a real post today. Hope I will be back on track on Friday. I am trying to make Keep Calm and Get Things Done my motto for the rest of the year. It feels so good to cross things off the list, especially when they have been on the to-do list for so long like the dresser. It took me two years to finish it. Actually it is not fully finished yet, I still have to polish the hardware and we have to carry it to its final location in the living room. There will be a post about the whole process and the new set up in the living room soon. Happy hump day everyone!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

week thirty two

Another week has flown by, so fast that I totally forgot to post on Friday. Ooops! Saturday we went to relax at the beach with a group of friends and had dinner on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. I washed down the food with a delicious cucumber and gin concoction, so good. On Sunday I got a little closer to my goal to finishing the dresser for the living room before mid September. The body, as well as the legs got another round of sanding and by the end of the day I was able to stain all the pieces. Now I only have to oil the whole shebang and I will be done.Trying to knock that out this week while watching tv in the evenings, so I can start the next project on my list. Talking about my to-do list this weekend I added another project to it, as if I don't have enough already. I found a little stool at an estate sale. Originally I just stopped by the sale because I needed an old pot to use for stripping the hardware of the old door I am still working on. I want to give the crockpot method I found on This Old House a try. Will definitely let you know if it works or not. This past weekend was the perfect mixture of work and play but next time I should work on Saturday and relax on Sunday, my arms are still sore from sanding like a maniac and I could have used the extra day to recuperate. What was your weekend like? In any case here is to another great week and crossing projects off to-do lists!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

instagram obsession

In April 2012 Instagram was finally available for my Android phone and I have been hooked ever since. Before that I have already admired the Instagram photos of other people and have envied that they were able to order Stickygrams. Now I can order my own Stickygrams, a mini booklet with all my shots or even a little projector with my images. There are so many great ways to display your Instagram pictures or any kind of photos actually. Another great idea is to make a memory game out of it like Fluxi did with her vacation photos. If you browse the Internet there are so many great diy ideas floating around that it's hard to try them all. Not sure what way I will go, if I will be able to reach a decision with all these great options to choose from. Have you printed out some of your Instagram pictures or any photos lately? I kind of miss having paper photos...

Monday, August 5, 2013

week thirty one

Judging from my Instagram photos the past week was dominated by work and food. So on Friday I had organized Cronuts to be delivered to a client. Unfortunately we didn't get the amount we had hoped for and all Cronuts were delivered to the client. They looked and smelled delicious, apparently this months flavor is coconut, I had a hard time not to bite into one. On Saturday I sanded the door and it is now ready to get a coat of matte polyurethane finish, next is getting the hinges stripped off all the paint so I can rehang the door. I also started working on a dresser again, which we got through Craig's List two years ago. Cannot believe that I took a break that long. Two years ago I already stripped most paint of it and gave it a good sanding. Two more rounds of sanding this weekend and I was able to stain the drawers. Hopefully I will be able to work on the dresser again next weekend, maybe even finish it. The dresser will become our new TV stand in the living room, the old one is a rickety old thing from IKEA that has been past its prime for years but we did not want to buy anything new because we still had a humungous old TV sitting on it. Now the TV has been replaced with a modern flat screen one and it's finally time to upgrade the whole setting. All the hard work was compensated by a delicious bowl of pasta at Vapiano and a backyard bbq at a friend's place. Have you noticed the plates and napkins straight from the 80ies? How was your weekend like?

Have a great start into week 32!

Friday, August 2, 2013

shop 'til you drop - h&m

Well actually I didn't really shop, just filled my virtual shopping cart and never pulled the trigger. As you might have heard already yesterday H&M opened their online store and in addition to their clothes they are now selling their home line. Finally! Have you browsed through the store yet? Are you like me and filled the shopping cart to the brim? I think I might have to buy two of the pillows from the first image, other than that my shopping will stay virtual, at least for now.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

around the world

I have been dreaming about a trip to a foreign country in a while and hopefully in November or December P and I will be traveling for a week. Our idea is to stay in Tulum, Mexico and from there take a couple of day trips, to Chichen Itza for example. This trip has been on our mind for a while and I cannot wait to start planning. Until then I will tide myself over with some virtual trips and map inspired clothing and accessories. The print on the dress is a map of Paris, Erin you might like to know Carven made a whole line with the same fabric ranging from shoes, to tees and a Blazer. You can also sleep in Manhattan even though you might be somewhere else with the duvet cover from H&M, seriously we need to get the Home Collection from H&M in the US soon.

Are you planning any fun trips soon? And if you have ever been to Tulum or anywhere else in the Yucatan region I would be more than happy to hear about it.

Monday, July 29, 2013

week thirty

The past workweek was pretty uneventful, except for Tuesday were I needed to get some forms for the office signed by a city agency. When I got there first thing in the morning I was second in line and hoped to be in an out. When it was my turn the lady at the counter told me I needed to get another signature before she would sign and seal it and I would have to get it from an agency in the Bronx. So I hopped on the subway and trekked from the southern tip of Manhattan to the Bronx. I had to get off right at Yankee Stadium, an area I have never been before, so it was a little bit like sightseeing. In the end I got all my paperwork in order and made it to the office at around 2pm. My weekend was a slow and relaxing one, on Saturday we met friends for lunch at a new Mexican restaurant and the rest of the weekend was spent in a mixture of being lazy and working on the door. I stripped both sides of the door for a second time and one side now is mostly raw wood but the other side still has layers of paint on it. The layers of old paint look actually pretty good and I am thinking we might leave it like that and honestly I don't feel like stripping that door any more. So far I am pretty happy with the outcome of the door project but next step would be sanding the side that I stripped down to raw wood. Not my favorite part of the project because of the inset panels. Hope to be able to work on it some more next weekend. I want to be finished with this project when my parents visit in September and I have another project on my list that I want to finish by then. Sometimes I need the pressure to get things crossed of my list, especially when they are not really fun projects. What were you guys up to last week?

Have a great week 31!

Friday, July 26, 2013

estate sale finds - dresser with a surprise

Of course I could not stop going to estate sales, even during my blog absence, and this dresser is my latest find. Originally I wanted to go to that sale because they had some mid-century modern pieces but I went there on the last day pretty much in the last hour. Obviously all the goodies I had admired online were sold already. Instead this dresser caught my eye because I think it is a great piece for a mini makeover project. The idea is to paint the dresser and swap out the hardware. Not sure what color I should paint it. Something more neutral like gray or go bold, maybe even try an ombre effect? I still have time to mull it over because I want to finish my door project first and that might take a while. After a little negotiation I was able to buy the dresser for $20 and when it was time to carry it out we noticed one side was heavier than the other. Upon further inspection I realized one drawer was filled with sewing accessories. P told me to just leave it but I thought the items might be useful in one way or another. Once we got home I needed to investigate what extra goodies I had purchased with the dresser and found out I was now owning two button hole feet for Singer sewing machines, an assortment of needles and snap buttons and an egg shaped thingy that is very heavy. Does anybody know what this might be? But the biggest surprise of the day was yet to happen. When I opened the pink box, which contains a sewing machine foot and flipped through the manual, a gold bracelet fell out. The bracelet is marked 14k gold and of course I had to google how much it might be worth. I put the bracelet on my kitchen scale and with the help of an online calculator determined the gold is worth about $170. Have you every watched Storage Wars? I pretty much felt like the Storage Wars crew when they find a treasure in their lockers.

Next step is to figure out what color(s) to paint the dresser. I might want to use my vintage white porcelain cabinet pulls (similar) on this piece that I bought at an estate sale a while back. If you have any suggestions please feel free to share and also if you have any ideas what this egg shaped thingy could be let me know.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend everybody! Do you have any plans? My plan is to keep the door project moving, which means cleaning off the stripper residue and start sanding.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

cos - collection of style

After writing about one of my favorite Swedes on Friday I want to introduce you to another one of my favorite imports from Sweden: COS, short for Collection of Style. I do not really write about clothes and fashion on this blog but this does not mean I do not have any interest in fashion, but I do not consider myself very fashionable. Unfortunately COS has not crossed the pond yet but that is hopefully going to change, although no date has been set yet. COS is a brand owned by H&M and they promise high end design and good quality at affordable prices. I really like their simplistic and minimalistic style but sometimes you really need to try on their clothes because on the hanger it just looks like a sack. So far everything I own from them has been great quality and some items have lasted for years without looking worn or faded. Every time I visited my parents in the last years I had to make a trip to the COS store in Hamburg, my hometown, preferably after Christmas, when they start their sale. Talking about sale, they have a great one going on now and of course I could not resist. I ordered 1, 3, 5 & 6 plus another dress, as well as a black merino wool sweater with batwing sleeves. Unfortunately they had to delete dress 3 from my order because it was sold out. Since I had to sent my order to my parent's house I still have to wait until September to see my goodies, which is ok as it is too hot right now to wear most of the clothes I ordered anyways. My sister tried on all the clothes and she and my mom think everything will fit and I will be happy with it too. There is just one dress that I might have to sent back because of the fit and my mom has an eye on the batwing sweater, as it might be a little big on me. We shall see...

What is your favorite clothing store? And are you such a sucker for a good sale, like me, as well?

Monday, July 22, 2013

week twenty nine

Week twenty nine flew by in an instant. I guess I had too much fun. Started the week with a picnic in Central Park, listening to the NY Philharmonic play. Wednesday night P and I saw OMD in concert. On Friday I had to rush home after work because we met with our architect, who is finalizing the drawings for the backyard. Yay, I cannot wait for the backyard project to get started. After we finished the meeting we visited a friend, who helped me to recover my SD card, which I stupidly stuck into my CD drive. Funny enough when I googled my predicament I saw that I wasn't the only one who would do such a stupid thing. After the crazy busy week I needed a mellow weekend and what better way to relax than to snuggle and nap on the couch with the dog visiting you. This was my past week in short...How was your week/weekend?

Friday, July 19, 2013

waiting for the new ikea catalog

My mailbox is longing for the newest IKEA catalog to come out. The time is finally here and I am counting the days until I will hold it in my hands until then you can already check out the online version.  I do not know why I keep waiting for this day every year but it has been like this for quite a while, I even kept a lot of my catalogs over the years. Since 2007 I have kept all of them, not that I really have browsed through them in the past years but I always feel giddy flipping through the new catalog for the first time and I will immediately pick my favorite pieces and dream about redecorating the house. Of course I will not buy many items but a girl can dream, right? This year the walnut veneer pieces from the Stockholm 2013 (available in the US in August) collection really speak to me or the yellow nightstand, you all know that I cannot resist yellow. And what about the green velvet sofa? It looks comfortable and might age well. Are you waiting with me for the new catalog to come out? 

Enjoy your weekend! Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

mini makeover V - yellow letters

It is time for another mini makeover, this time it really does the name justice and is a quick project that took not even half an hour of my time, not including drying time though. I had been lusting for a mishmash of vintage letters to write fun things on our walls and checked on Etsy on and off but in the end I thought I could make some fun letters myself. The paper mache letters I used I bought at a local craft store, they might be the exact same ones like these from Jo Ann. I still had some leftover yellow spray paint in the basement from a previous project and used it because yellow makes me happy. All letters got three or four coats of paint and after they were fully dried I stuck them to the wall with picture hanging strips, this way when I take them down I will not be left with any marks, at least that is the plan. I thought the area above the opening leading from the kitchen to our dining room is a good spot for the word eat because it will tell you what you can expect in the next room...Looking at all the vintage goodies on Etsy I might still have to get some more vintage letters. What would you write on your walls?

PS. I do not know why my images are so dark today. They look fine in photoshop but get messed up when I upload them to the blog. Tried different solutions but nothing works...

Monday, July 15, 2013

week twenty eight

Good morning week 29! Can you believe we passed the halfway mark of this year already? Didn't this year just start and I had all these dreams of finishing projects around the house or refinishing my street and estate sale finds? Oh well life happened and things did not necessarily turn out the way I hoped but there are still 24 weeks left to work on said projects. Actually I already started one of the projects on Sunday on a whim and immediately started to regret my decision. Originally we had planned to have the door stripped by somebody else and I would be refinishing it myself but yesterday I thought it would be a good idea to do it myself. Argh, it is not fun to scrape off old paint goo that has the consistency of a roasted marshmallow but I am sure that the effort will be worth it once the door is finished. Unfortunately it will take a while because I haven't even finished stripping one side if the door. On Saturday I had a pretty relaxed day, first hanging out with a friend in Dumbo and then taking the ferry up the East River to meet with P and another friend in Williamsburg, were we walked around but mostly hung out at the Spritzenhaus to play some Jenga and drink a beer. Hope you had a great weekend. Was your weekend more like my relaxed Saturday or work filled like my Sunday? Or something in between?

Friday, July 12, 2013

beat the heat

Phew, this week was all about beating the heat. As I mentioned on Tuesday the A/C in my office broke on Monday and we have been working without A/C or decent ventilation. In the morning I was fine but by mid afternoon my brain would strike, I have the feeling that the heat and the lack of oxygen makes me dumb. Of course my feet would swell and by the end of the day I was left with beautiful cancles. But I am not a complainer so I kept dreaming about all things that could keep me cool on a hot summer day. Who wouldn't like a kiddie pool under their office desk to stick your feet in? Squirt gun fight in the office? Sign me up. Usually those long infomercials on TV bore me and I never want to buy the product, not so with the chillow. I want one!

During the summer months I love to end my days with a glass of refreshing Summer Shandy or Radler, or as the people from my hometown would call it a glass of Alster(wasser), which translates into Alster water. The Alster is a river in Hamburg and it is believed that people think the mixture between beer and lemon soda/lemonade looks like the water of the river. Not true because then nobody would drink it, at least I wouldn't. In order to mix your own Radler just fill about half a glass with your soda or lemonade of choice, my favorite is 7up and fill the rest with your beer of choice, I prefer lager. If you want to forgo the alcohol it also tastes great with non alcoholic beer. Cheers!

Have a great weekend and stay cool my friends!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

week twenty seven

Hope you all had a great long holiday weekend! How did you guys spend it? Mine started off pretty busy on Thursday when P and I cleaned the house and then went to a BBQ at a friends place. We tried to see the fireworks on the Hudson from our friends roof. Unfortunately the view was blocked by some high rise buildings but the view was pretty nice as is. Friday I had to work, planned was a short day but I ended up working until 7:30pm because we had to meet a deadline. On Saturday we tried to escape the heat with a trip to the beach, which was nice but didn't bring the relief we had hoped for. In the afternoon we had to cool off in a nearby mall. Of course we didn't leave empty handed. The heat usually does not bother me so much, this year it makes me feel like a zombie. Because we do not have air conditioners in the whole house, only in our bedroom, we escaped to the movies on Sunday and watched Monsters University in 3D. So much fun, I can highly recommend it. Sulley looks even fuzzier in 3D and he already looked pretty fuzzy in the first movie. Speaking of no air conditioners, the ac at my office broke yesterday and they might not be able to fix it before Wednesday or Thursday. On my way home I couldn't even cool down on the bus home because the ac was not working either. Argh! If this week continues like that I might not have to go to a sauna ever again ;) How do you guys stay cool when it gets hot outside?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

week twenty six

Goodbye week twenty six, hello short holiday week! We spent the last weekend in Connecticut in an area with no cell phone reception, at least my phone could not pick up any signal. It is unnerving but on the other hand it was great to not be cellphone free for two days, although I used the WiFi at the hotel. The reason for a weekend in CT was the wedding of two great friends. They married in the garden of her family, beautiful setting. I will have to upload some photos to Instagram soon. When roaming around the grounds I found this red shed with a pitchfork leaning against it, recognizing its potential for a photo op. We tried to recreate American Gothic but because I always confuse left and right I am standing on the wrong side. Oh, well you get the idea...Hope you had a great weekend too! What was your weekend like?

Friday, June 28, 2013

NJoy - jersey city loew's theater - part ll

Back in April I already posted some exterior shots of this Jersey City gem and today I will finally show you what you can expect inside. The theater had opened its doors in September 1929 and closed down almost 60 years later. Luckily it was saved from its fate of being torn down by a developer. In February 1993 it was bought by the Friends of the Loew’s for the bargain price of $325,000. Since then the Friends of the Loew's are restoring the theater to its former glory with the help of volunteers. Every weekend volunteers are working at the Theater and do everything from minor repairs to major construction. This unique but successful approach was adopted out of necessity, as the theater has been rescued by ordinary citizens. Hooray for community involvement and volunteers!

Do you guys have an old revived gem like this in your neighborhood or something you would like to rescue yourselves? I always run into buildings I would love to save and then a while later someone else who has the funds does so...

Happy weekend my friends! Hope to be on a more regular schedule soon...

PS. Before the movies start someone plays the organ of the theater. Unfortunately it's not the original organ which now resides at the Arlington Theater in Santa Barbara, CA. The current organ came from the Loew's Paradise in the Bronx.

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