Thursday, May 31, 2007

Envirosax Update

The bags loaded with goodies.

Here is an update on those Envirosax I ordered a while back. I have now used them twice and love them. The first time, almost everything fit into one. But I now know that I'm a two-bag girl when I go grocery shopping. I really tried to do one bag, complete with telling the disbelieving bagger at Kroger that it would all fit into one. It was not to be.

This is what those bags contained.

There could have been more food in the green one but the combined weights of the milk and water bottles made it too heavy (for my shoulder, not the bag.)

I am very glad that I bought these. Go and buy some for yourself here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

I Have A Problem With Committment...

The Facts: I had three sewing projects I needed to work on. That was the goal.

However, I recently finished the bolster pillows from last fall and wanted to photograph them on the love seat for the blog. But that would mean I had to readjust the slipcover again.

The Truth:
I hate to admit it but the above refit from months ago doesn't really look like that all the time, especially not after I take a nap on it.

So, while I'm gearing up to do the 'pull this here and tuck that there' stuff I think of a new and drastic way to refit the slipcover. And before I know it out comes the scissors (!) and pins.

The Problem: I now have to finish this new thing I started before you see the bolsters from last fall on the love seat and before I finish those three sewing projects. This is why nothing gets finished in my home. Except the bolsters, see the lovely bolsters below.

Seriously, somebody help me.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

SHELTER - A Study in Yellow

While browsing Flickr, I encountered an apartment that reminded me of why I started SHELTER. With an emphasis on achieving maximum visual impact without a lot of expense and construction, this apartment looks stylish and comfortable. Brooklyn resident Jacinta (aka Flickr’s summerinbrooklyn) agreed to be my first profiled home. Brave, brave Jacinta. She possessed such an enthusiasm for her space and actually kept me updated on changes that she made after I first contacted her months ago. She owned this interview, all I did was send her some questions (perhaps too many?) and she took off running. Amazingly, this is still just a small excerpt from her great interview. Enjoy.

What was your biggest influence in choosing your current décor? The space! (Or lack thereof...)

I got lucky in that my boss was deconstructing his office, and offered me that lovely credenza. He's got great taste in decor, and I think that piece is some mid-century modern or reproduction piece... I don't know where it's from, I keep forgetting to ask him... The credenza fits exactly where it is, and I had to work my way around that. Also, the lack of counter space meant I wanted to get a kitchen island. Once the credenza and island were in place, there wasn't much of an option for the other pieces!

I love mid-century modern design, and I love the design philosophy of "if it ain't got a function, maybe it shouldn't be there", but I also love the idea of subverting a classical look and using it in a modern way. Obviously I have lots of things laying around that don't serve a function (a few knick knacks) but I purged most things when I moved, and kept only a few choice things that had dear sentimental value What

What has been the most expensive change you have made to your space? The wall-mounted Elfa shelving system. I went with that because it took up the least amount of real estate, and also it's expandable. If I ever needed to have more shelving, I could continue with that and have uniformity. I also love the utilitarianism of its design.

What has been the least expensive, yet influential change you have made to your space? Paint!! I love paint. I love deciding on a color, going to look at paint chips, buying paint. I don't particularly like painting only because moving furniture around can be a pain, but it's fun once it's complete. Then I get to sit there and look around and feel like it's a brand new space!

Also the sea blue curtains (I got them cheap at Target!!) in my bedroom make the room feel dark and cozy - the way I like my bedroom. Ideally, I would love to get rid of all the freestanding closets and drawers in the bedroom, have it all built-in behind closed doors that I would also paint that same ink-blue*, have a wall mounted flat screen TV and a DVD mounted, and I'll sleep in a cave... :)

What a great use of that yellow. Was their anything in particular that made you choose that color? 

I can't live without color. I refuse to wear all black most times. When I do, it works out to be kind of an "outfit", costumey... To me, an all white space is the equivalent of wearing all black. It's neat, it works for some people, but it depresses the hell out of me.

I chose yellow** only because my previous space had a fresh spring leaf green, and also a balmy sky blue in the living area. I just wanted a new color... I also had a hankering for yellow. I don't have enough of it in my wardrobe, and found myself extending my desire to see it into my home.

How did you come up with that ingenious way to cover your intercom and deal with your light switches? I actually stole the idea from an issue of Domino mag*! Someone interviewed there had had a carpenter custom make a little door to cover their intercom. I had this old hinged box with no back from IKEA - I repainted yellow like my walls, and found it fit exactly. Call it kismet... :) Those light switches I "hid" with the black shadow frame aren't ones that I use often, so I thought, not needing easy access, I should "echo" that boxed idea with the light switches too.

Do you find that the colors in your clothes closet show up in your home? I would like to have more lemon yellow in my wardrobe! But I do wear a lot of bright colors, a lot of spring greens and oranges. Not colors in my home at present, but next year may be another story!

Would you consider yourself an artistic person? Yes, to a certain degree... I am not a designer by any means, but I think I have a decent eye as to what works and what doesn't. I find myself more critical of fashion, use of colors in various products/designs (not just for clothing). I have leanings to styles for architecture and interiors, but don't profess any sort of expertise in critiquing them!

Jacinta was really onto something with the yellow kitchen stools, wasn't she? Check out this image from Domino magazine:

What do you plan to do next in your space? Well, I'm hanging on to this space for as long as I can... It's rent-stabilized and right next to the C train! Plus, it's within walking distance of both Brooklyn parks, and my dog [Summer] appreciates that!

But if I ever move, it would have to be for larger space. If I didn't have any issue with money, I would love to get refinished wood flooring stained a walnut, have space for a nice large seating arrangement (for some reason I love the idea of sectional sofa with a chaise - lots of space to lounge around and fall asleep on), a wall of windows, high ceilings, a huge wall painted a bright cheery color, and an indoor tree by the window. I would also love to have a wall of hidden closets, and then using some photos I took in
Costa Rica (on vacation), blowing them up, and papering the doors with them. I have a pic I would love to use - it's all dreamy and misty of tropical lush greens, morning sun peeking through the leaves. Blown up, it would look weird and it would take a while for you to figure it out, but the colors and dreamy quality of the light would be enough to transport you. Realistically, the next space I would move into, I'd pay for the floors to be refinished, and get new kitchen cabinets (see her temporary fix using wallpaper*** in the pic above) and a new counter top. :)

*Benjamin Moore's Wood Violet #1428**Benjamin Moore's Delightful Yellow #335

*** Black & White #BK32062

*Anita Calero interview, Feb 2007, p. 94.

My future best friend...

Couldn't you just eat him up?!

One of these days, one of these days, he will be mine.

Photo found on Cute Overload!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Spring 2007 Grades

Done. More C grades than I wanted, but it's over!

African & Oceanic Art B
Aesthetics & Modern Theory C
Environmental Science B
Environmental Science Lab C

Semester GPA: 2.6

Monday, May 14, 2007

I Can't Get No Satisfaction...

Women of Rock: PJ Harvey and Björk!

Excellent cover of Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction"

Friday, May 11, 2007

A REALLY good mail day!

All arrived on Thursday, May 10, 2007

My international magazine swap from Switzerland complete with Swiss chocolate.

My Envirosax bags, which I will be using today to take advantage of Butterick patterns being $.99 until Saturday at Hancock Fabrics.

French speaking mail! Oh la la...

Yesterday I received my French decor magazines from Switzerland. Thank you Jany!

As you can see I now have copies of Cdeco, Maison Magazine, and the always lovely Marie Claire Idees.

*(look closely at the picture)

There are so many beautiful things in these magazines. Cdeco is a full-on D.I.Y. magazine with loads of projects that I can't wait to learn about.

However, there is the small problem of language. I did study French for 5 years in high school and college, however, my memory is bad and I have a problem with laziness. Reading these will take some time because every sixth word will have me running to an online French-to-English dictionary!

Do you see it in the picture? Jany also sent me a bar of Lindt Excellence Chili, extra fine dark chocolate flavored with red chili peppers. She says it tastes wonderful with a glass of red wine, Bordeaux or Merlot. I'm not so sure about the heat factor. I think I will have a glass of milk nearby, just in case. (By the way, have you had their truffles? Y. U. M.)

Chocolate from Switzerland. Where else would you want it to come from? Yea!!!

All pages translated with Google Language Tools.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Queen of "just getting by" is no more

I missed by Enviro-Sci exam this morning.

Normal hour for class is 11 AM. Exam time was 8AM.

I knew this beforehand and the alarm was set.

I woke today at 8:15 AM, alarm was turned off, and a horrible loud droning sound was inside/outside my apartment...street cleaning machine.

Raced to class. Drove around endlessly trying to find parking spot just a few inches bigger to fit my car. No dice.

Walked in. Looked at instructor. Was told no. Walked out.

No excuses being made.

Wait and see.
(Grade update:

Correction: I forgot to mention that our lowest test grades were going to be eliminated, final exam included. So this does not mean immediate failure, just that I lost an opportunity to get a high score and raise my grade. Otherwise, my grade stands as it was before the final.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The Kids are not alright

Being around younger students on campus creates a clear line that says I am much older than they are and more mature.

Fine, but must I start to sound like their mothers?

Case in point:

My Environmental Science lab presentation.
(Grade update: A)

My lab group consisted of me and two other students: one 22 yr old and one 20 yr old. We were all tasked with gathering our own research that we would then compile in a PowerPoint presentation.

When we met on campus, we found out that the 20 yr old had not done her research. She also did not call us and let us know this so that we could have taken up the slack. So, she has shown up with nothing and during the time she is with us she still has nothing to contribute. We suggested that she go use a computer terminal somewhere else in the library and do her research and she refused.

We tasked her with coming up with answers for our presentation's conclusion while we work on other things. I could tell there was nothing cycling through her brain so I drafted some things, just in case. After waiting to see if she would come up with something, we went ahead and put my pieces in. She had the nerve to be upset that we were doing it all without her. The girl had NO awareness of the fact that she had done wrong and should be working her butt off now making up for lost time or at least keeping her mouth shut. As it ended up, everything that she was supposed to supply to our presentation was done by me.

She was there less than two hours and had to leave to go to work. The 22 year old asked her to call into work and finish this with us. She refused, supposedly on the grounds that she was too responsible. By this point I just wanted her to leave, there was nothing she could give us and her presence was an irritant. The other student and I ended up working 10 more hours on the presentation.

Part of me wishes I had pulled her aside and let her have it, let her know this wasn't the way to go about school or life. However, another part of me just did not care. Especially since it was clear that she didn't.

Friday, May 04, 2007

This book MUST be genius

This is the most brilliant marketing tactic I have seen. You may have even seen this before, it's so unique that someone probably sent the link to you.
It is for Miranda July's book, No one Belongs Here More Than You.