Archive for January, 2014

22nd January
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My kitchen has a little eating area near the back. This area has a pendant light as the light fixture. However, the light fixture was plastic, and had an Art Deco style to it which I wasn’t a fan of. I looked for something simple, glass, and something that went with the rustic feel I had going in the kitchen. I really like how industrial and rustic styles can go well together and I was able to find this light from Restoration Hardware. There was also a sale going on for 20% off, so I wanted to get in on that.

The fixture came with a 16 ft cord, so I shortened that. And then after turning off the power from the breaker, I installed the light myself. I would say the most difficult part was holding the pendant and trying to screw on the wire nuts at the same time. But after that, I have my new light fixture!

It’s not easy taking pictures of light fixtures. It tried my best. The first picture, is just a picture of the whole light fixture. Then I tried to take some close ups of the glass and light bulb itself since the light bulb is neat. It’s one of those “Edison” bulbs. I tried a picture with the flash and one without. I love how the light reflects off the glass, creating a hologram of sorts, reflecting the filaments from the bulb.

15th January
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One thing that I really wanted in my kitchen was a coffee area. There’s this wall in my kitchen, it was about 18.5in wide, and there’s an outlet near it. So that’s where I put my espresso machine, all I needed to do was find shelves to go on the wall. I really wanted some reclaimed wood shelves, and I wanted them to be the floating kind. I like how clean it looks when there are no shelf brackets in view, and it also maximizes space between shelves. The most difficult part of this all was finding 18in shelves. There were plenty of 12in, 24in, 36in, etc. I finally found these on Amazon from Joel’s Antiques and Reclaimed Decor and they were fairly easy to install. Now I have my little coffee corner. :)

8th January
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One thing I was really excited about after moving into my house was decorating the mantel. I had never had the luxury of a fireplace before, so that was exciting enough. But on top of that, I got to decorate the mantel. The living room in this house is small, so I really wanted to put a mirror above the fireplace. That way, it would reflect any light in the room to help brighten it, and then it would add extra depth, helping make the room feel bigger. However, large mirrors are expensive. Large framed mirrors are even more expensive. And then on top of that, I needed to find one that I liked.

windowframe Luckily, the previous owners of the house had left an old window frame. I don’t know it was originally part of the house, or maybe it was part of the garage? Or maybe it was from some other structure entirely and has nothing to do with this property. The frame was being staged as a outdoor table, place on a couple of larger planters. This is the best before picture I have. The glass was single-paned and grungy, it was covered in dirt. The frame looked like it had been painted numerous times and all the layers were chipping.

I took the frame, removed the glass, and cleaned it up. I didn’t really have a use for the glass, but I felt like it should be cleaned anyway. Then I scrapped off all the chipping paint and sanded the frame down. After that, I painted it. To give it a weathered look, I sanded away some of the new paint. I took the glass to a nearby mirror and glass shop. I had to take all 4 panes since each pane was a slightly different size. They cut 4 pieces of mirror for me. Then since I didn’t mark the which pane went into which slot, it was like a puzzle putting the mirror panes in place, but I finally got after a few tries. And for just about $50, I have a mirror above my mantel!

5th January
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When I first moved to Seattle, I a tv stand. I really liked the design. It had the number of shelves I was looking for, it was made of nice looking wood, the only problem was that the color was not what I was looking for. It was a darker chocolate brown color, and I wanted something lighter, something that matched the coffee table I had purchased earlier. So I figured I would sand it down, and re-stain it.


Well, it took me a year to sand it down. I also stained it with a light stain, and didn’t apply enough coats, so that wore away over time. Well, after moving into the house, I decided it was time to actually stain it right. This time, I did 3 coats of the stain. I think it turned out pretty well. And it finally matches my coffee table, it only took 4 years to get to that point. 😛

4th January
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For Christmas, Poonam wanted one of those necklace stands that looks like trees. I think they’re cute, and have been looking for some jewelry storage solution myself but hadn’t really found anything yet.

Recently, while I’ve been pinterest-ing, I came across a number of DIY necklace holder projects. The ones that I liked the best were the ones that displayed one’s jewerly, like it was art, it was part of the decor. I thought this page was really neat because it contained lots of ideas, so no matter what your style is, there’s an option for you. My favorite was the photo frame option.

I already had a frame that I wasn’t using. And I also happened to have hooks in my house. I had bought a packet of hooks from Target or some place like that years ago. I had used the hooks to help organize some wires/cords.

I started by removing the picture, glass, and photo back from the frame. This frame already had art pre-installed, and it wasn’t meant to be changed, so there were staples holding everything in place. I just used a staple remover to pull out all the staples. Then I just took the hooks (which have screws attached to them, and screwed them (by hand) into the frame. I didn’t even measure the spacing between hooks, I was fine with just eye-ing it.

The frame was black and the hooks were white, which was fine, but I wanted to further personalize it. I had bought champagne colored spray paint for my Halloween costume, so I took that and sprayed painted the entire thing champagne colored. I waited for that to dry. Then I took some acrylic paint I also had and mixed a couple colors together to get this teal color I was looking for (to match a color in my duvet). I painted over the frame with the paint, leaving some streaks so the champagne peeks through a little. Then I waited for this new layer of paint to dry.

And here are the results! I’m super thrilled with the results, and I already had everything I needed at home!

2nd January
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Pottery Barn has this pillow – Textured Linen Pillow. I really like it. I like how clean and simple it is, but it was $25, for a little pillow cover. And then the pillow insert was another $14. I didn’t really feel like spending $39 on a pillow especially on one so simple. So I decided to make one.

I didn’t have a pattern. I just went and bought half a yard (on sale) of a linen fabric I liked. Since it was easiest to buy only half a yard, I decided to make a 16in pillow. I was going to get pillow stuffing to fill the pillow, but then I saw that there were pillow forms on sale too. Then the hardest part was picking a button I liked. I think the button ended up being the most expensive item at $2.99. Then I went home and put it all together.

I think my pillow (on the right) turned out well. It was less than a $10 and took less than an hour. I think the ironing is what took the longest. And I still couldn’t get out all the wrinkles… but I felt much better about spending only $10 than $39 for a similar look.


1st January
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Things got a little busy towards the end of the 2013. So busy that I pretty much stopped taking pictures (other than with my phone)… This is my catch-up post. This is my post summarizing somethings that happened in 2013.

Back in May, I posted about how I bought a house. I got my keys at the end of May and so the very first thing I did was personalize the space. I still had my apartment for the month of June so I took my time moving my stuff over. I had moved all my stuff over by mid-June, and then came the hard part… trying to decide where to put things. I probably changed things around 50 times, even just this past weekend, I reorganized my closet, because I didn’t like where things were settled. When moving to my house, I was also nervous about moving all my plants, especially since I had spent so much time trying to take care of them on the balcony of my apartment. One of the most exciting things was seeing all my lilies bloom! I had gotten bulbs back in February, and planted them when it got warm enough. By the end of July, I had these! As fall and winter approached, I got excited to decorate for the holidays. Then I went shopping for decorations and I finally understood how expensive it was to decorate for the holidays. I ended up with minimal decorations for Halloween. It wasn’t even worthy of a picture with my phone. The place looks a little better for Christmas. I put lights around the front window and around the door. I also got a new tree (still plastic), but this one is five feet tall as opposed to the three foot tree I’ve been using since college. Since this tree was so much larger, I needed more ornaments. This time, I went out and got some specialized ones, ones that have some meaning to me. My Tae Kwon Do instructor even got everyone little martial arts ornaments! He also made everyone martial arts shaped cookies with holiday-inspired decoration on them. They were delicious!

Outside of the house, things at work had been going at full steam trying to release Xbox One. To get through the long days, various groups started sponsoring coffee. Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, you could get free coffee at the cafe in the Atrium. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, there was a coffee cart in our wing of the floor. It always brightened my day when the barista would spend a couple extra seconds making latte art for me. :) We never thought Nov. 22 would come, but it finally did. I know that out of the all the releases I’ve been a part of at Xbox, this was definitely the toughest. Things went well for a console launch. And slowly, people began to relax at work. People weren’t working as long of hours anymore. And that was just in time for the holidays, so every could have a well deserved break!

Then there was just a flurry of other things that happened in the last six months. The Cubs came to Seattle again at the end of June, and of course, I went to all 3 games. :) In August I tested for my high blue belt. I was really excited about this belt test because it was the first time I’ve been able to break two boards at once! I also had to do a flying side kick (Bruce Lee style) over two people to break a board. That was pretty cool. :) At the end of this year, I bought a bike. This is the first bike I’ve owned since I was a kid. And then over the holidays, my sisters and I went over to HOME bar in Arlington Heights to see Jay Cutler on Waddle and Silvy.

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