Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Review

I don't know about you, but for me 2012 has been a great year.  Amidst the usual work days, hours in the classroom, birthdays and outings with friends and family, play time and snuggle time with Duchess (my kitty), and goofing around with Frank (my wonderful boyfriend), there are been some events that have stood out and some projects completed that I hope to tell you more about soon.  So here's a little review of things I've done in 2012. *Stared items are things I hope to devote a whole post to in the future.

Brought in the New Year in Las Vegas with friends. No real big wins, but lots of fun, lots of love, and we came up on some fancy New Year hats!

Took a perspective class and applied my rendering skills to my Commercial 1 project, a bluegrass music inspired restaurant, which I named Plain Spoken.

Turned another year older and got this (below) in the mail from my sister shortly after. Made my day! I love my family!

Got this hand made card from my loving sister, Emily.

My Plain Spoken presentation boards where chosen to be displayed in the school's "Hall of Fame" as examples. *I'd love to do a post on my restaurant design, especially with the popularity of the Pinterest board I made to collect my ideas for the project. Everyone seems to love mason jars and reclaimed wood.

Advanced my Photoshop skills and learned important Building Codes including how to make a space ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant for the elderly and disabled.

Went to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego with my mom and Frank. We missed my favorite, the gorillas!, but got to see many other cuddly (not exactly) creatures.

Made an upholstered headboard for my bedroom.*

Hung Ikea shelves in my home office to display school projects. *I hope to show you more of my office as I pull it together. It's kind of become the catch-all room, but I plan to spruce it up soon.

Headed back to Las Vegas for Frank's Birthday. This time I got to see the beautiful Chandelier Bar at The Cosmopolitan... talk about amazing interior design!

Didn't forget to stop and pick up some alien beef jerky on the way home!

Spent the 4th of July relaxing on the beach then watching friends shoot off fireworks.

Had a strangely jarring dream about a friends pregnancy about a month and a half before she was due. Woke up and said a prayer. Two days later Isabella was born by emergency C-section. Crazy right!?

Celebration x3 on one August day!  Went to 2 baby showers, and a housewarming/engagement party for my wonderful friends.  Marveled at the bride-to-be's beautifully decorated LA rental. *Maybe one day she'll let me take more photos so I can so you what an amazing job she did.

Isn't her place beautiful!? Modern, chic and cozy. Love it!

Repainted dad's carved wooden pheasant that greats you as you come down his driveway.

Happy Dad

Took Frank's sons and their friends to a Padres game. Although crazy traffic made us almost an hour late, our seats were right behind home plate and the boys got themselves on the big screen making the trip a great success!

Began transforming mom's TV room. First step, reorganization of office supplies into the closet where it could be hidden away. Next, hung a gallery wall of mom's art. Bought an Ikea Ektorp sofa and filing cabinet on Craigslist... I love Craigslist! Stenciled an Ikea curtain panel (got a few more to go). Then bought pillows. *This whole process and final before and after photos coming soon!

Took a few West Coast Swing dance lessons with Frank. Unfortunately I don't have any photos.  :(

Began this blogging adventure!  This has been a super inspiring and motivating new addition to my life, so thank you blogland and thank you readers!

Practiced applying barrier free design and learned about the planning process in a Spaceplanning class. Many bubble diagrams later, I laid out 3 plans: one for a small attorny's office, another for a a real estate office, and one for a large marketing firm.

...Duchess helped.  We also took a field trip to Systems Source in Irvine to check out the many office layout options in the Knoll systems furniture line.

Learned about the assembly of a structure, laughed at silly construction jokes, and saw my teacher in Halloween costume in a Construction Principles class.

Added a little seasonal flare to the apartment with fall decorations.

Made a quick DIY fairy costume for Frank so that we could be the cutest fairy couple in town for Halloween.

I put together a design for Melissa's modern enchanted bedroom. I also found a night stand (craigslist again!), which Melissa transformed with a little paint and hardware.

Participated ASID's Real World Design Week (RWDW) at Cosentino, "the world's leading producer of Silestone quartz surfaces." Not only do they care their Silestone quartz products, but they also have all sorts of beautiful granite, marble, sustainable ECO products.*

Then, continuing the RWDW, we toured the fabulous Fixtures Living store in Costa Mesa, which has the most beautiful installations of stone surfaces, fixtures, and appliances. They even give you free coffee or smoothies when you enter!*

Had non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Dad's. Even made cute little menus for the event!

Began DIYing like mad and switched out fall decor for white, silver, and gold accessories to create a Fancy Feather Christmas in my apartment.

Made ottomans out of Lack side tables from Ikea to give mom for Christmas for her TV room.

Celebrated the holidays with family and friends.

My amazing family!

I gave each of my family members a cute little gold elephant, which I made
by spray painting an inexpensive plastic toy with a little Rustoleum

So a year that began with lots of love, was filled with lots of love, and ended with lots of love. And I can't wait for God to provide more of the same next year!

Wishing you all the best in 2013

Friday, December 28, 2012

Ikea Lack Side Tables Turned Ottomans

I've been in the process of helping my mom with her TV room/den. You can see a little snippet of the reorganization we did here.  We also stenciled curtain panels, created a gallery wall, got a sofa on Craigslist, and bought a few new pillows and accessories.  I plan on posting more about all that soon.

Everything has been coming along nicely, but I knew it needed something and I had just the thing in mind.  The Ektorp sofa that we found for the room on Craigstlist is great for one person, but add another and it's not quite as comfortable. It's difficult to really stretch out and relax. So I figured the perfect Christmas gift would be a pair of ottomans customized to fit the room. Not only do ottomans provide a place to put up your feet, but they also function together as a coffee table and fill the space much better than the small table she had before.

Ikea Lack side table upholstered ottomans

Here are some photos of the process it took to make them.

Thanks to IKEA Hackers and all the lovely DIYers out there, I discovered that I could do this by upholstering LACK side tables, which are only $8 each!

I skipped expensive upholstery foam and bought a camping foam carpet pad at Home Depot thanks to Sarah M. Dorsey's tip for only $20.  With the table top lined up with the foam I cut along the edge with a sharp kitchen knife.  Duchess thought I needed some supervision. ;)

Then, you'll need some spray adhesive and batting.  I sprayed both the table top and the foam with adhesive and then simply slapped 'em together! Actually it took a little precision, but this part is easy as pie.

Next, I stapled the batting on starting at the center and stapling one side and then the opposite side to make sure it was evenly taut.  (If you're doing this project, when you get to the corners, make sure you don't cover up the hole where the legs will screw in.)


I used a hammer to make sure all staples were in there good and trimmed the excess batting away.

With Duchess's approval I moved on to the next step: stapling the fabric on. I used Ikea's Sofia fabric. Making sure to line the fabric up so that it was centered, I used the same method used for the batting and stapled away!

To make clean clean corners, I stapled down the side fabric first, pulled the fabric over the corner to the front, stapled again, and then folded down the front and stapled again. I'm not sure if that is super clear, but Sarah had great pictures of this on her post.

Ikea lack side table DIY upholstered ottomans

After the tops were done I wanted to cut some length of the legs so that the ottomans would be even height with the sofa seat.  I headed to Home Depot only to be disappointed to hear that they could not cut the Ikea legs because they were hallow.  I guessed this was because their large machine would split them, although I was frustrated at the time and didn't ask for specifics.  Instead, I asked Frank's cousin to help. He trimmed a few inches of each leg with a hacksaw and once sanded down, this worked great!

With all that done, I added a few coats of Scotch Guard for a little added protection.  Then I decided to wrap everything up separately, tie it in bows, and thoroughly confuse my mother as she opened each piece on Christmas (starting with the screws).  I didn't take any photos of the assembly process, but  all we did was follow Ikea's instructions and voila!  

Ikea Lack side table upholstered ottomans

My apologies for the dark photo.  By the time we got through Christmas festivities, assembling these, and rearranging some furniture, the sun was down.  But, check it out... success! Custom ottomans being put to good use by my lovely family!

A little candle light and a spot of tea in mom's newly transformed TV room was the perfect end to a wonderful Christmas visit with the fam before I took off to drive home.

Coming soon: I can't wait to show you the before and after photos of the room and tell you all that's gone into putting this space together. It's really been an amazing transformation!  So stay tuned!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Restyled Kitchen Shelf

When I was up at my moms for Christmas, I took a moment to spruce up her kitchen shelf. Keeping in mind the idea of layering, I hung one of her many pastel paintings (my mother is extremely talented!) to create a backdrop, a focal point, and fill the white space on the wall.  I love the look of the older cookbooks, so I separated them out and grouped them to the left to give them a more noticeable and prominent position. I also flanked the grouping of books on the right with an older Betty Crocker book so that you can see the pretty detail on its cover. The more modern books I turned horizontally and topped with a teapot which draws your eye up and away from those which, in my opinion, don't have that same vintage charm. A little holiday flowers and the shelf has a whole new look! You like?

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Wrapping {Now Unwrapped}

Happy Christmas dear readers! You are, perhaps, but a few, but are so ever important to me!  I hope you had a the merriest Christmas surrounded by loved ones, appreciating their company, and thanking God (or whatever you believe in) for all the blessing in your life.  I know I did (and do everyday)!   I went up to my mom's to spend the holiday with family as usual, but just before I left on Sunday, I got all my wrapping done and photographed so I thought I'd show you the finished product as it was before excited little hands tore the wrapping apart.   

I love coordinating my wrapping paper with my Christmas decor.  It seems to really pull together the whole look and accentuate the rest of the decor you've got goin' on.  So this year, I wrapped my gifts in gold, silver, and white wrapping paper as well as some brown paper that I bought in the painting section of Home Depot. I printed some free printable gift tags from Blush Printables and topped off gifts with bows and curly-ques in gold, silver, white, and a little black to continue with the subtle contrast I have in the rest of my Christmas decor.  The result: a dazzling array of glimmer and glitter, and holiday cheer!

Happy Holidays!