Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Manly Canvas?

A few months ago, Rachel and I had an extra canvas lying around and decided to make some art for our friends' Grey and Spencer's new (and pretty bare) house in Clemson. 

It's pretty similar to what I did with this painting, where we taped it off and painted each section a different color. The guys requested manly colors, for obvious reasons. Blue, black, and gray seemed like a good choice to me! 

I made the squares different sizes and painted each square a different color.  I marked a general idea of what color I wanted each square to be. Again, I wanted to make sure different colored squares weren't touching. I left a few squares white where I wanted the newspaper to be.  

Next, Rachel and I cut squares of newspaper to the exact size of a few of the squares and stuck it down with Mod podge. We put a layer of Mod Podge on top to seal it. 

After it dried, we peeled off the tape and voila! Art! I like the colors because it won't look too girly hanging in a guy's house.  The hardest part was waiting for it to dry, or maybe making sure no two colors were touching, but other than that it was easy!

I love simple art projects like this! If you have any idea for more, leave me a comment! This new apartment has some bare walls that need sprucing up! 

Saturday, July 20, 2013

I left my heart in Sacramento...

Before I moved to DC, I went to visit Brenden is Sacramento! He's working at UC Davis this summer in their physics department. So, I spent my last weekend as a South Carolina resident...in California. Worth it!

I stayed across from the state house (more like palace; it was pretty!) in downtown Sacramento.  The grounds of the state house were gorgeous! We walked around the gardens and I took pictures with my film camera. I haven't gotten those developed yet because the roll isn't full, but I'm excited to see them!

We ate at plenty of cool restaurants too, like cafeteria 15L, Mikuni, Ten22, La Terraza, and Zia's Delicatessen in Davis. I would much rather go to a cool local place than some Ruby Tuesday's that I could find anywhere. The food was always delicious too! 

On the flight over, I saw the Great Salt Lake. At least I think that's what this is? Who cares, it's pink!! 

Sacramento was weird. The trees were blue! But the palm trees lining the street around the capitol were really cool. And so tall! It looked like something you'd see on tv, and for a small town South Carolina girl who mostly sees Palmetto trees (there's a difference) the palm trees were awesome. 

We also walked around Old Town Sacramento. It was like a little town stuck in the 1800's! On purpose, of course. It was quite the tourist attraction, but still really cool. They had people dressed up in period costumes walking around like they would have been back in the day.  Brenden told me that Sacramento used to be the actual wild west.  It also used to be about 10 feet lower than it is now, and apparently they had some serious flooding. It was fun to learn a little bit of history while we were there. 

The bridge was actually this color! When the sun hit it, it glowed.  So pretty! 

Brenden posing on the river. 
A picture of me to prove I was there. Otherwise I was behind the camera the whole time! 
One of my favorite parts of Old Town was walking around the shops.  We found a candy store that let you sample as much as you wanted for free! I only had like 13 things, including chocolate chip cookie flavored salt water taffy.  I liked the antique shops and quirky little costume stores too. Outside one of them was this bear- made entirely out of Legos!

We also went to a Rivercats baseball game. The Rivercats are Sacramento's minor league team. We had pretty good seats in the shade!! And we got to see fireworks after the game. They were great! It was such a fun time. 

On Sunday, Brenden gave me a tour of the UC Davis campus and downtown Davis! The city's logo is a bike, so it wasn't surprising at all when I saw bikes EVERYWHERE. Literally more bicycles than cars, and the bike lanes are wider than the car lanes.  Brenden's co-op had an extra bike lying around so I got to bike all around town too! It had been forever since I was even on a bike, but it was really fun!!

Davis also had a bike powered carousel.  Haha, of course they would. It was pretty cool though! The park that it was in was really pretty too. Other than the heat, I think California's a nice place! 

It was so great to spend a whole weekend with Brenden! It's not too often I get to do that now that I'm in Washington.  Even though it was only a weekend, I'll take every little bit I can get! 

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Thursday, July 18, 2013

A 90's Refashion

I went to the thrift store last week for 25% off Monday! I found these shorts for a couple bucks. They're a really pretty blue, even though you can't tell it from the first picture.  They're a terrible shape though! I feel bad for the person who used to own these.  I could tell they're from the 90's from the tag. Old! 


I ripped out the seam in the crotch. Easy enough! It was a good thing to do while watching tv.  

After that, I drew a line where I wanted to sew the legs together. Fabric chalk is super useful! 

I pinned the legs down where I wanted the new seam to be.

Sewed it down!

I cut off the extra fabric where the legs came together. 

And ta-da! A new skirt! It's straight through the hip and thighs, but really flowy too! It's so light and airy, and perfect for summer. So comfortable and no more 90's shorts! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

A Quick Fix

A few weeks ago, my sister Anna came to me with a pair of jeans she was very meh about. She wasn't fond of the fit or wash, and hadn't worn them in months (years?)  

Aaaand that's where I come in. We turned them into shorts! Well, I did. But I used it as an opportunity to give her a quick sewing lesson! 

First we measured and marked with a fabric pencil, then we chopped! I love my ruler and that I can cut right along the edge for that perfect straight line. I did both legs and evened them up, then took them to the machine. 

I used a special jeans needle and jean thread. I used gold for the topstitch to give it a professional look. Using a needle for jeans is really important! Other needles are too thin to punch through the fabric the way they should, and it can be really dangerous if one breaks. They aren't expensive, so if you're sewing jeans invest in a good needle and the correct weight thread. And everything is very clearly labeled in the store, so you shouldn't have any problems. 

I folded the hem under and ironed it flat. I had to sew them right-side-out to make sure the top stitch was looking okay. Luckily it did. Now Anna has another pair of shorts for these stupidly hot days of July AND they were free. 

Because the shorts were cut off, it took away the silly dark, light, dark wash they had going on. I'm sure that was the trend when these jeans were originally purchased, but now they're even better! This took hardly any time, and I would highly recommend examining your closet before going out and buying a pair of shorts that cost the same as pants! (But really, where do retailers get off doing that? Less fabric = same money? Stop it) 

Also, I got my driver's license switched from South Carolina to Virginia! They punched a hole through my SC one at the DMV and I didn't even notice until the next day! They gave me a piece of paper that was my "license" for the time being. And yesterday I finally got my real one in the mail! There's a weird see-through circle with my face on it, and they wouldn't let me smile in my picture! Disappointing... 

But hey, looks like I'm a real Virginian now! Sort of. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Devil's in the Details

Guys. Setting up an apartment is hard. I mean, I knew it would be. But now that I'm actually doing it my bank account is crying.  I have most of the major stuff set up (couch, tv, kitchen is good to go) but it's the little things that are killing me! Here are a few things you might want to look into if you're moving into an apartment any time soon!

I always like to have a place to hang my keys so I always know where they are. I found these adorable little hooks at World Market today for $2 each, and I couldn't resist.  Aaaaand because I own no power tools (My birthday's in September! Hint!) I had to screw them in by hand. The one on the right is loose because I think it ran into a beam or something, but keys aren't too heavy so I doubt it'll be an issue.

I found this set of mirrors at Target for $20 and knew they'd be perfect for over my bed. I needed something on that bare wall! Again, I had to screw them into the wall by hand, but it really wasn't bad. There isn't a good way to secure them, so hopefully the neighbors won't play any loud music and knock them down.  Doubt it; it seems like everyone here has little kids. 

Of course, when I was trying to hang them I dropped a screw. Not only did it fall behind the bed, it fell in the crack between the carpet and the baseboard.  WHY is there even a crack between the carpet and baseboard??? I tried to dig it out and even pulled up the carpet a bit (shhhh), but there was no hope. Exaggerated sigh. 

Another little thing that's important to check? The bathtub! Our shower is missing the majority of it's grout (and I'm still waiting on maintenance to come fix it) and the bath mat was super slimy. Um, gross! I tried to peel it up, but all that was beneath it was the bare bathtub, without the glaze or whatever it's called. So that wouldn't do. I found a cute pebble bath mat at Target for $15 and put that down over it. Now we don't have to see the ugly, AND we don't have to step on the slimy. 

 There are no overhead lights in the bedrooms in this apartment. That's really weird to me, because I've always lived in places that had them. So! That means lamps just became really important. I found some great lamps at Goodwill for around $7 a piece, but I think this hanging lantern really completes my room. I found the cord at Goodwill for $3.50 (light kits at Ikea are way more than that, just sayin') and the lantern part was $5.50 at World Market. I got some cieling hooks for a couple bucks from Target and screwed them in my hand and tacked it up there. Not too shabby! Its a little washed out in this picture because the light is bright, but the lantern is my favorite color- peacock blue, the same as the bathmat in the above picture! 


Of course, I had to show some Tiger spirit in my room, so I hung this board over my closet. Now I can see it every day when I get dressed! 

And finally, I added a few homey touches to the balcony.  The adirondack chair is from Home Depot ($17!!) and the flowers are petunias. Petunias are impossible to kill, according to my mother, so it's probably a good plant for me to start out with.  

I'm looking forward to adding even more things (Curtains! Rugs! Other things!) to make this place a home. Who knows what I'll find!

Saturday, July 6, 2013


I made it to DC! The apartment's great, and I'm totally and completely exhausted.  I spent my last weekend as a South Carolina resident in Sacramento with my boyfriend (future post and pictures to come!!) , and spent all this week unpacking and organizing in my new apartment!

 Only one of my leather couches fit through the front door (terribly upsetting), but everything else is going fine! I got plants, and lamps, and silverware! It's almost looking like a real home now.  Sure, the lights dim when you turn on the hairdryer, but it's cozy!

Here is my couch, not fitting in the apartment. 

Organizing my closet was particularly fantastic. Shoes!

I also got a Virginia license and new Virginia license plates for my car! And one of those silly inspection stickers on the front windshield too. 

Lots more to do, but I think it's coming along nicely! You'll see plenty more posts about my attempts to turn this little place into a home.