01/10 DIY

DIY Gold Leaf Jewelry Tray

Gold Leaf Jewelry Tray with Jewelry

I love gold, and I love jewelry, so the idea to decorate this tray was an easy choice.  Stripes are also a huge favorite of mine, so you’re seeing a lot of what I love through this DIY!

DIY Jewelry Tray Steps

The tray is actually a ceramic “salad plate” I got from Target, though that should not suggest this project is food safe (it’s not!).  I taped the design with 1/4″ 3M blue tape, then applied a gold leaf pen in between the tape.  This took a few strokes on some parts and I also needed to apply a second coat on little areas after the first layer dried.  That means the overall look is not a factory finish but a more organic texture that shows the gold leaf strokes, which I like!  This could also easily be done with a gold Sharpie, followed by curing in the oven (ask me how if you want to know).

After removing the tape, I took a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol and cleaned up any imperfect edges.

Gold Leaf Jewelry Tray

I applied a few layers of clear acrylic spray on top to protect the design.  Mod Podge or another similar sealant would work as well.  The protective coat can be skipped all together, but I figured with all the jewelry traffic this tray will be seeing, the protective layer would be best to have.

Jewelry Tray Display

I’m in love with how it turned out!  Organizing my accessories is something I’ve been needing to work on and plan on doing soon, but for now what I needed most was a place where I could just throw off my jewelry at the end of the day.  That still counts as organization, right?

What do you think of my jewelry tray?  Would you have a use for one of these as well?

01/06 Tips

5 Ways to Make Your Place More Homey

5 Ways to Make Your Place More Homey

2014!  What?!

I was vacationing in Chicago last week and let me tell ya… I’m SO thankful to be back in LA.  I do think Chicago is one of the greatest cities, but there’s just no way I could ever get used to the cold again.  I much prefer sitting here, writing this post, wearing a t-shirt and shorts in this most excellent LA weather.

So I’m a tad bit behind… but in the spirit of the new year, I wanted to do something that would involve looking back at some of the blog posts I’ve put up last year (well, last year from September since that’s when I started this blog!) and I thought a fun way to do it would be to recap some of the ways I’ve made my apartment more homey.  “Homey” is, after all, in the name of my blog ;).

The only new photo in this post is the one in the title, which starts us off with the first point.

1) Hang up pictures and art.

Photo Gallery Wall

Hanging up pictures in my apartment was the last thing I did after moving in, though I think it is the best way to make a place feel like home.  I also think the act of drilling holes and hammering nails brings a greater sense of permanence, like staking down a sign that says “Hey, we live here!”

My boyfriend and I jokingly call this wall our “relationship shrine”, though a few of the photos are of our families (oops!).  We have a hallway that is yet to be filled with more photos and art, and I anticipate that will be something I share on the blog in the future :).

2)  Have flowers and plants.

Succulent Box Display

[From DIY Succulent Box]

I refer to this little area near the living room window as our mini garden.  We’ve had a lot of losses since this photo was taken (succulents CAN die, guys), but also many additions to our family of green friends.  I think especially with apartment living, it can feel really disconnected from the outdoors, so plants and flowers bring in some much needed life, literally.

3) Decorate for seasons and holidays.

Fall Centerpiece 2

[From Fall Centerpiece]

I used to have this misconception that decorating for holidays is more elaborate and expensive than it’s worth, but that is not true at ALL.  Being festive can be as simple as bringing in the season’s colors, like with the warm yellow sunflowers that got me excited for last fall.  I’ve learned that whatever makes you feel spirited or look forward to the season and holidays ahead is always worth spending some time embracing in your home.

4) Display books.

Books in vanity tray

[From Mirrored Vanity Trays]

I’m new to seeing how books add a lot of personality to the home, and as I’ve mentioned before, this has encouraged me to ditch the e-books and go back to good old-fashioned paper books.  This isn’t to say you should only get books just to display them (though I’ll be real… I’m tempted a lot to buy a book because it’s pretty), but display the ones you have and play around with arranging them, like I did with the vanity tray above.   Infusing your place with your interests will always help you feel more at home.

5) Play with lighting.

H&M Candle Holders with Flowers Lit Up

[From H&M Candle Holders]

Ok, so I’m still working on this one.  The lighting in my apartment is, simply put, bad, and with fixture changes not being an option, I’ve found that the easiest and most economical way to change up lighting in terms of setting a mood is with candles.  We all know how cozy it feels to be sitting by candlelight, right?  I love how something so little can make such a big difference on the way I feel.  I’m maybe addicted to candles.

It’s fun to look back on little bits of what I’ve done so far and see the progress I’ve made not only with my apartment, but with this blog!  I’m looking forward to stepping up the homey this year, and maybe even add more tips to this series as I learn them myself.

What do you do to make your place more homey, whether it’s something I have or haven’t mentioned?  I’d love to know and pick up some tips from you guys!

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01/03 DIY

DIY Gold Leaf Jewelry Tray- Guest Post at meganquint.com

Gold Leaf Jewelry Tray with Jewelry

Hi, guys!  Today’s post is over at meganquint.com.  Megan invited me to do a guest post at her fashion and lifestyle blog and I thought this jewelry tray would be something both fashion lovers and DIY’ers would enjoy :).  Head on over to see the tutorial and make sure to look around and see why I love Megan’s style!

 

 

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01/01 Life

Happy New Year from…

Chicago Skyline

Chicago!  My first home.

It was five degrees when I took this picture.  I haven’t felt this cold in years.  My boyfriend and I were trying to go to the Shedd Aquarium but unknowingly came on the day of the week when admission is regularly discounted.  There were probably about 300 people in line waiting OUTSIDE to get in.  No thank you.  We cut our losses and snapped this photo instead :P.

So I’ve been freezing my butt off all week, having a great time seeing family and old friends, and thought I’d pop my head in on the blog to wish you all a Happy New Year!  No New Year’s projects or resolutions to share, but just here to send you my love for an amazing start to your 2014, hopefully with family and loved ones by your side :).

I do have a fun and exciting new post coming up this Friday.  See you all then!

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12/26 DIY

A Touch of Evergreen

Evergreen on a shelf

This probably won’t be the last time I tell a story that starts like this.  I was walking by the trash  outside on the sidewalk and something caught my eye.  To clarify, it wasn’t my intention to look around in the trash, but I just happened to catch a glimpse of this green treasure.

Evergreen

Someone had tossed out these branches from their Christmas tree.  Shame set in as I stood from a distance, my legs locked, unable to look away from the branches, thinking about what if someone was watching me at that moment and wondering why I was staring at the trash.  I acted fast and swiped the branches, making my getaway quick before I’d have one too many witnesses.

I’m here to report that my mission was successful and I regret nothing at all.

Evergreen in a vase

This bronze vase had been sitting empty since I got it and it was the first thing I thought of when I brought the branches home.  I cut off the smaller pieces and made this adorable mini arrangement.  That still left a lot more to be done with, so I took the rest and stuck them into a white pitcher.

Evergreen with ornaments

They were screaming for some ornaments, so I hung up these gold and white ones from the dollar store that I never ended up using this year… until now!  I’m perfectly okay with ornaments after Christmas.  In fact, I will probably be keeping my Christmas decorations out through January because I’m not ready to let go of them.  This holiday season just went by too fast!

Are you keeping your Christmas decorations up or have you already started putting them away?  At what point is it considered keeping them out too long?  I’m hoping you can agree that at least January is ok :P.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!

 

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12/22 DIY

Simple Christmas Gift Wrapping

Gift wrapping

Wrapping gifts is probably the funnest part of gift giving for me, so I thought I’d share how I wrapped some gifts for Christmas.  I wanted to wait until after I gave these gifts before putting them up on here, so we’re in the clear now ;).   At best, I hope it serves as some inspiration for your own, last minute gift wrapping.

You can see I kept my wrapping very simple this year.  Maybe it’s because I generally love keeping things simple, and maybe it’s because I didn’t have a lot of time.  Which one was it?  A little bit of both, but regardless I’m really loving the way all the wrapping turned out.

Gold deer gift wrapping

Ok, all except for this one.  I love the gold deer wrapping paper, but the oddly shaped object turned out to make for a really awkward and slightly sloppy wrapping job.  I struggled with this one and don’t even remember how I did it.  Still, I love the combination of the gold with the green ribbon and will be wrapping some remaining gifts for family members this way.  Those gifts are in boxes, which will be much easier to wrap, thankfully.

Polka dot wrapping

This I love.  It’s my favorite and I have a feeling it might be your favorite, too.  The polka dot craft wrapping paper first made an appearance on my Thanksgiving table and I’m SO glad I got it, especially since I wasn’t even thinking about using it for wrapping at that time.  The polka dot ribbon was a must and I love how it looks with the larger polka dots on the wrapping paper.

Cylindrical boxes

I came across these cylindrical boxes at Target and couldn’t leave without them.  They are so cute and chic, and most of all, re-usable.  Me and decorative boxes, guys.  I love them.  I cut out the gift tags from some card stock I had and tied them on with green ribbon.  I didn’t do anything to the gold polka dot tags, but for the other ones I applied a strip of black and white washi tape at the bottom.

I got a few of these boxes for my friends, the white ones for the girls and the black ones for the guys.  Want to see what I put inside?

Gift for the girls

For the girls, I monogrammed cups using the same method here but used silkscreen stencils this time around.  I filled each cup with shredded tissue paper and gold foil (a wonderful dollar store find, by the way) and on top of it put a bottle of nail polish tied with the same polka dot ribbon from before.

For the boys…
Mini spirits

I filled their boxes with an assortment of mini “spirits”.  Aren’t they adorable??  I know y’all love that Jager.

Hope you guys enjoyed this.  I really enjoyed wrapping and gifting it all :).

Have a very Merry Christmas, everyone!

 

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