October 18, 2012 § 6 Comments
As my housemate and I have vastly different schedules, it took a few months before our new apartment felt like home. A box unpacked one day, rearranged furniture another day, whenever we were in the same space together. It wasn’t until one very late night that we tackled decorating our walls.
It took us a ridiculous amount of time, measuring, and second guessing what we were doing (neither of us “get” math), so of course our first decision was to make this momentous event a time lapse (the first video I’ve ever made!). Enjoy, and welcome to our home.
February 20, 2012 § Leave a Comment
In my recent spring cleaning, I tossed out quite a few things from cassettes I listened to in junior high (will cassettes – like vinyl – ever make a comeback? I may regret this move) to notes from college classes (my stats class never proved useful). I also came across things I forgot I had and found new uses for what I might have tossed. Shoe boxes get gift wrapped to hold photos or office supplies, homemade quilts become wall hangings, and stacks of books hold up frames given fresh photos.
It got me looking at how other people are reusing their materials, such as this gallon-drum-turned-bench from Etsy, complete with a bike gear as a drink holder.
And Dan Phillips builds stunning, affordable homes out of upcycled materials – anything discarded and durable is fair game and each of his creative innovations adds a unique touch, like the ceiling of frames below.
View The New York Times slideshow of his work here and listen to his TED talk below – his take on our waste and perception of what is perfect is both funny and thought-provoking.
This last story is my favorite. By using empty soda bottles, water, and a few tools, those living in poverty in San Pedro in Manila can finally have light inside their homes during the day. It’s cheap, provides jobs, and cuts down on waste. And so creatively simple.
What are you reusing and upcycling?
February 15, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Guest post by Grete Bauder.
Since I was nine, it’s been my job at family gatherings – i.e. Thanksgiving and Christmas – to make the table’s floral centerpiece. I use whatever flowers Mom has picked up at the grocery store, evergreens from the yard and nearby arboretum (Shhh! Don’t tell!), and oasis from my stash under the sink. Every year I try to top the years before in creativity and beauty.
This year Mom bought a bouquet of just-opening roses in all shades of pink. I thought they looked delicate and Victorian, so I wanted to create an arrangement in the same vein. As I pulled tapered candles from the top sideboard drawer, the lace coasters and doilies caught my eye. What could be more romantic and Victorian, well, other than puffed sleeves? I had to find a way incorporate them, so here’s what I did.
1. Pinch a lace doily, coaster, or hankie at its center. A round one will work best, but squares work too (as pictured here). Bunch the sides together and hold tight.
3. Fluff your flower, arrange its petals, and voila! A lace doily and pale blue, lace-edged coaster among the roses.
October 21, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The crisp fall air is making early morning rises much more difficult. The cozy weight of warmth under my five blankets (Yes, it’s true. I have five blankets on my bed.) persuades me to snooze a little longer. However, once I peel away the layers of blankets and realize the fall air means school is in session, I’m quick to get out of bed. This weekend I’m traveling a bit for a family wedding. I’m especially excited to spend some sweet time with my niece and nephew. Weekends are such a coveted time, and I’m definitely looking forward to this one. Join me in the Weekend Do:
1. Do listen to Ben Howard. He is a singer songwriter from England. His voice reminds me a bit of James Vincent McMorrow from Ireland. Watch the beautiful video of his song Old Pine. The song is about being careless in the summer, but it makes me want to cover up in a blanket, by a fire, under the cool night stars. This is soul-pleasing to me. If you enjoy the video go here to listen more.
2. Do make fall decorations for your home. I made the fall wreath below with yarn, felt, fabric scrap, and a straw wreath.
We lined little pumpkins on the ledge of our peek-a-boo window between the kitchen and dining room.
3. Do bake a fall treat. I say, “To eat is to share.” I’m going to try this recipe for Pumpkin Nutella Bread.
During the fall season, what gets you in the cozy mood?
August 26, 2011 § Leave a Comment
The last weekend of the summer has arrived. Starting next week I will rise early with the sun to go to school. My days will be filled with students coming and leaving my room as I try to fix erroneous articulation patterns, encourage smooth speech fluency, encourage use of correct language structure, and role-play appropriate social interactions. I am very excited to be with the students again, but I still have one more summer weekend to enjoy and savor.
1. Do be a good neighbor and join in on some community. This weekend my roommate and I are participating in the community garden clean up. We are new in the neighborhood and excited to build relationships with the neighbors.
2. Do finish the small projects around the home. The recent move into a new house has created many home projects. This last move made me realize that I do not like packing and moving, but I do love to set up a home. A couple of my favorite things about the new home is the backyard, the guest room to host loved ones, and the space holding my sewing and craft materials. One of the hardest parts of setting up home is hanging things on the wall. I am not very good with a hammer and planning always takes longer than I want, but I have the weekend. I will try my darn best to hang some art, photos, and other beautiful items. I am currently inspired by the photos below.
3. Do soak in the good weather. Summer days are perfect for a bike ride to the farmer’s market or to take a canoe adventure down the river. The cool summer nights are great to join friends for an outdoor music concert with a nice cold beer in hand. Tonight I will be doing just that with Peter Bjorn and John. They are a Swedish rock band that will definitely get us dancing and singing along. Listen to their song Second Chance below.
What are you doing this summer weekend?
June 10, 2011 § 15 Comments
I haven’t yet posted a Weekend Do edition and thought I’d write my first one on birds in honor of Pakou facing her fear of them in her last post. And as Portlandia pointed out, everything becomes way more hip if you put a bird on it. Thus, today will be my hippest post yet. Are you ready for hipsterness?
1. Do let your ears take flight (metaphorically, please) with my music playlist all about birds. Includes:
- Sparrow and the Wolf by James Vincent McMorrow
- Gather, Form, and Fly by Megafaun
- In Our Talons by Bowerbirds
- Parrots in the Tropical Trees by Breathe Owl Breathe
- Cage the Songbird by Low Anthem
2. Do observe how beautifully birds move, whether off your back porch or via these two dancers portraying a hummingbird and flower.
3. Do remember your literary birds. My favorite bird books are Mo Williams’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Lorrie Moore’s collection of tongue-in-cheek stories, Birds of America, Dashiell Hammet’s The Maltese Falcon (the originator of the hardboiled detective), and Anne Lamott’s inspiring Bird by Bird for writers.
“I do not know which to prefer,
The beauty of inflections
Or the beauty of innuendoes,
The blackbird whistling
Or just after.”
(from Wallace Stevens’ poem 13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird)
4. Do incorporate some bird decor into your living area. It’s essential. Go for pretty…
5. Do forget all about birds and sleep in or seriously relax this weekend.
June 3, 2011 § 1 Comment
For months, I have had fresh flowers in my apartment. My first vase of pretty petals were Gerbera daisies given to me from the neighborhood flower shop. My next vase was filled with yellow Mums, because they were abandoned in the teacher’s lounge. I couldn’t leave it to wilt over a weekend and have no one enjoy them. Finally, I got the guts to ask the neighbor boys if I could cut their beautiful white and pink tulips. Then my friend noticed lilacs at the side of my building and brought them inside for a dinner I hosted. It was the nicest addition to the little dinner party. Now, I have purple, red, and pink roses from my sister’s wedding last weekend painting colors in my kitchen scene. I simply love flowers.
1. Do go for a walk outside. Smell, look, and pick a flower-I dare you to pick a flower or flowers along your walk. You may walk home with a collection of flowers enough to fill a vase, and if not, put a stem in a bud vase.
2. Do listen to Émilie Simon’s song “Flowers.” The video is a little dark, but still beautiful.
What is your favorite kind of flower?
February 14, 2011 § 1 Comment
What do you do when you try your best: research, plan, execute the plan with the right materials, try again with a new idea, and it still doesn’t work out the way you want things to work out? And when I say “try your best,” I mean putting energy, thought, and feeling into one purpose. What do you do when you feel defeated? Blog family, I cry and give up. This weekend I was defeated – defeated by a hammer and nails.
It has been 6 months since I moved to my first apartment and I’m finally putting things on my bare white walls. It was my plan to put a collection of pictures up on my wall. Here is my vision for that to be accomplished:
However, after 3 hours of planning, researching, gathering, and failed, attempts I ended up with a white wall with little tiny empty nail holes and pencil eraser marks. Defeated. I was defeated by a hammer and nails.
I am in need of encouragement. Although my wall continues to be bare (I’ll update if that changes), I will leave you all with what brings me some optimism and solace to begin the week:
A mantra I should say about my house:
A Monday morning song start up for the week:
Aung San Suu Kyi, the hope of Burma, is an inspiration to me.