Friday, November 27, 2009

Curly Girl Black Friday

Avoid the mall (like the plague!) and buy handmade this holiday!
For this weekend only
- until midnight PST Monday 11/30 -
I'm offering
on all jewelry in my Etsy shop.
Just click on the pictures on the right to be
whisked off to the wonderful world of Curly Girl.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Kitchen Calm Blue

What a difference a $20 can of paint can make! The challenge here was to find a color (uh, not beige) that would go with the wood cabinets, copper tile, bronze-colored appliances, beige counter tops and burnt orange carpet. I wanted to go to the cool end of the spectrum. I wanted something bold and bright, but calming. The little curtain/valances were something I had from my old house and just happened to not only go with the paint color, but actually pulls everything together. Until I can get around to completely redoing the kitchen, I really like what my small investment in paint and time has done. I'm thinking I've brought this kitchen right on up to the 90s!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Deflowering the Kitchen

I was going to wait. Really I was. But then one evening, waiting for my tea water to boil, I picked at a little corner. Just to see what was underneath. It was idle curiosity. Next thing I know, I'm peeling the orange wallpaper off of the kitchen. Thing is, it's vinyl so it neatly and easily comes off in complete sheets. Not to say that it doesn't leave residue and not to say that there isn't still the old wallpaper beneath, but it was just soooo satisfying. Getting rid of the old, feeling like I was doing something constructive (yet hopefully temporary) to update the kitchen. Frankly, I found the shiny 70s flowery stuff pretty oppressive. Once done, the room actually felt bigger. Maybe it was just me. Here are some pictures of the deflowering in progress. I've already started to paint too - pictures to follow.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wallpaper Archeology

When I started to peel the kitchen wallpaper, I naturally exposed the layer beneath. The floral paper that came with the kitchen (at the left in the photo) was probably put up in the 70s. The paper underneath has a distinctly French feel and, I think, is from the 50s. Maybe even the 40s. I love how the color palettes are pretty much the same. The beige areas are the backing paper from the vinyl flower stuff. I haven't found anything underneath these even though the house is from 1911. I do have more than a passing wonder about the people who picked out these papers and lived with them for so many years.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Today's Reality Check: Child Labor

"Sweatshop boys: Twenty years after the U.N. adopted a treaty guaranteeing children's rights, Bangladeshi kids are still working in factories like this balloon workshop in Kamrangir Char. While fewer youngsters are dying and more are going to school, an estimated 1 billion still lack essential services."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chilly Basement Bathroom

To the left is the bathroom in the basement. This is actually after I clean it up. There were several colors of paint, rusty pipes, wall needing patching, etc. I've painted all the walls (in the rest of the basement too) and pipes one color so - I tell myself - it looks industrial, not just crappy. The color is actually a warm beige, depends on the light though.

This is right outside my studio/office and is currently the only shower in the house. In other words, I use this bathroom a lot. For some reason, the builders of this facility couldn't see their way clear to actually putting the wall all the way to the ceiling. Therefore, when you shower all the heat is gone by the time you step out. This is in the basement and it's November. It's a bit nippy. I needed a cheap, quick, but hopefully not totally unattractive fix for this problem. After much thought of options, I naturally came to draping something. I was hoping for something that wouldn't get yicky too. My cheap solution: a clear shower curtain, sliced up, hole punched and strung on monofilament. I'm happy to report that it works! Because it is accordioned it still lets in some air (good) and light (good), while also keeping the warm air in (also good).

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Today's Reality Check

"Manna from heaven: Girls collect sorghum grain spilled from split bags that were airdropped over the village of Pochalla, Sudan. The United Nations World Food Program has resumed food airdrops into remote southern areas for some 155,000 people cut off by poor roads or regional conflicts."

More info about the UNWFP is here.

Photo: Peter Martell / AFP / Getty Images