83. Plans for “new” TV stand.

Jason and I are in the process of getting ready to move (more details about that soon!), and I’ve been busy selling off a lot of our current furniture so we can upgrade to new(er) stuff.

I’m really digging this TV stand.

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South Shore Reflekt TV Stand

I am not, however, digging the ~$216 price tag.  You know how I love getting what I want for as little as possible.

My solution is to just update out current TV stand, which is an older Ikea Besta model:

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Ikea Besta Adal TV Stand

The shape is pretty close already, right?

The plan is to paint it white, add some wood veneer to the front of the drawers, and update the legs.  The hairpin legs I picked out were delivered yesterday, and they are gorgeous.  I’m planning to work on this project over the next few days, so I’ll hopefully have some before and after goodness ready for you lovelies by the weekend!

XO,
Gabriella

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82. as·pi·ra·tion

An aspiration is defined as “a hope or ambition of achieving something”.  There are a number of things I would like to achieve this year…in all facets of my life, be it personal or professional.  This is my year to do great things and to make an impact on the world around me, I can just feel it.  It’s this tingly sensation right below my skin.

Here’s a short list of my aspirations for 2016:

  1. Save up money.
  2. Put a down payment on a house with said money.
  3. Continue to pay off debt.  (I hate you, Student Loans.)
  4. Write & release more music.
  5. Travel more.
  6. Finish the half-cooked craft/DIY projects on my to-do list.
  7. Write more blog posts.  (Goal: At least 5 per month.)
  8. Publish a booklet of original knitting patterns.
  9. Find beauty, love, and happiness in each day. 🙂

(Doesn’t a list of aspirations sound way less cliche than a list of “New Year’s Resolutions”?)

This may seem like a daunting list to some people, but I truly believe I can do it!  Some of these are personal goals I’ve had for a LONG time, I just never made a serious effort to accomplish them.  I’m done with that kind of attitude.  If I want things to happen, I have to go out and make them happen.  Putting this in writing will also help to keep my accountable; these are basically promises I’m making to myself, and I can’t let me down.

Quotes-From-Walt-Disney-Wallpaper

What are some of your aspirations for 2016?

XO,
Gabriella

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80. I knit a lot of sweaters.

If you didn’t already know it, I am addicted to knitting sweaters.

I recently finished knitting the “Portage” cardigan by Melissa Schaschwary.  No photos yet, because I have to fix the pockets.  I seamed them before blocking and now they look weird.  C’est la vie.  I can’t wait to show you the final product, though, because other than the pockets, it’s a glorious sweater!

I’m currently working on two additional sweaters: “White Pine” by Amy Christoffers and “Cozy Neighborhood” by Joji Locatelli.  Both are gorgeous sweaters that I can’t wait to finish (and wear), especially Cozy because I used such pretty yarn.  Here’s a sneak peak (I’m further along now):

The Craft Queen

I’m using Malabrigo Arroyo yarn in the color “Glitter”.  The name is a bit confusing, because I’m not really sure how that corresponds to a colorway consisting of shades of brown.  Either way it’s super pretty!

If you don’t think I’m crazy already, I’m itching to start another sweater: Demi by Kim Hargreaves.  I’ve had the book in which it’s printed (Rowan Vintage Knits) for at least a few years, and I finally went ahead and bought the perfect yarn for this project: Plymouth Encore Tweed in the color “Grape Jam”.

The Craft Queen

Photo credit: yarn.com

Purple-y goodness, yes?  I’m especially excited for this sweater, the number one reason being this yarn is machine wash AND dry.  Scoreeeeeee.

So, what’s on your needles at the moment?

XO,
Gabriella

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79. Before and After: Tiered Shelf

Guess what? I turned that trash shelf into something gorgeous!

I think this might be one the quickest furniture makeovers I’ve ever done.  There are still things sitting finished in my apartment that I haven’t written about yet, but this one I got done in record time AND actually took proper before and after photos.  I’m patting myself on the back right now, you should see it.  I look pretty ridiculous.

Let’s start off with the before shots:

tieredshelfbefore

Meh.

Definitely not in the best condition, but definitely not awful.  It just needed some tender loving care!

I started off by lightly sanding to the whole thing and giving it two coats of Behr Premium Plus paint in the shade “Mountain Pine”.

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Image credit: thehomedepot.com

I really like this color.  It’s even prettier in person!  Just wait.

After the second coat of paint (which I let dry for ~24 hours), I distressed all the edges by sanding with a light grade sand paper.  Super easy.

tieredshelfcloseup

After that, I decided that the finished piece would need a little more pizzazz, something to make it look more expensive…or at least like I did something else to it besides slap on a coat of paint.  The solution I came up with: stamped aluminum sheets.  These are sold in the building supply aisle of hardware stores; I got mine at Home Depot (exact here).

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I measured the inside portion of all the shelves and cut out the appropriate size from the larger sheet using tin snips.  A word of caution: Definitely wear gloves and eye protection when cutting!  I tore up my fingers in the process and am still wearing bandages. :/

After I had the sheets cut out to the sizes I wanted, I used contact cement (exact here) to adhere the sheeting to the inside of the shelves.  I chose to close off three sides, but doing just two sides or just the back would also be a great choice!  This stuff works really well, but it is SMELLY.  Definitely use this stuff outside if possible, or at least somewhere you can open a ton of windows.  It’s fairly simple to use: paint both surfaces you want to stick together, let the stuff dry until it gets “glossy” (i.e. shiny), and then press the two surfaces together.  The only downside is you can’t really readjust once you put the surfaces together, so try to be as precise as possible!

The finished product, which I absolutely adore:

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tieredshelfafter

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So, what do you think?  Did I do the piece justice?!  I honestly think it’s super cute.  I was going to sell it, but I’ve decided to keep it instead.  What the crap…I’m turning into a hoarder.

beforeaftershelf

Thanks for reading, check back soon for more transformations!

XO,
Gabriella

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77. Whoops.

Life caught up with me, and I [obviously] haven’t written anything in a longgggg time.  My bad.

Anyway, my new job is going really well.  I’m having a blast, actually!  Now that I’m back in the swing of things and used to my new schedule, I can get back to doing all kinds of fun projects.  The newest one?  A gorgeous tall shelf that I pulled out of my neighbor’s garbage.  That’s right folks: Yours truly has now become a trash picker!  In my defense, this shelf is still in great condition.

Free shelf? Worddddd.

Free shelf? Worddddd.

See!  Why on earth would you just put this to the curb?!  There are a few minor nicks and a water mark or two, but other than that, there’s really nothing wrong with it.  If it were me, I would have at least dropped this off at Goodwill so someone else could maybe get some use out of it.  I’ll never understand why people insist on being so wasteful.

I already have big plans for this baby, but you’ll just to have wait and find out what they are when I post about the finished product. 😉

I also plan to write about more than just my DIY projects.  I’ve got too many interests…I’m excited about them all and want to share them with you!  I know it’s considered a “no-no” in the blogiverse to write about more than one topic/theme, but honestly…IDGAF.  It’s my life, and my blog, and I can write about whatever I want, yo!  If I wear a cute outfit, I’ll write about it.  If I redo a piece of furniture, I’ll write about it.  If I played an awesome show with my band…you guessed it, I’ll write about it.  All of those things are part of my life and my persona, so of course I would mention them!

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Okay, rant over.

Have a lovely evening, kittens!

XO,
Gabriella

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72. DIY Wedding: Table Runners

So, I haven’t done one of these posts in a LONG time.  We’ll be married three years this May, and I still have a few of these left up my sleeve.  I got an email the other day asking about our table runners and whether I had written up a tutorial for them…and I haven’t.  I decided to write up some easy instructions in case anyone else was interested!

DIY Fabric Table Runners

First, I picked out some fabric.  I decided to go with cotton, mostly because the print I happened to like was on cotton fabric, but also because it’s the easiest to iron and sew.  I purchased my fabric from fabric.com.

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I ended up making about a dozen table runners, each measuring 13″ x 72″ (please note: these are the final measurements AFTER the sewing was finished).  You can make yours narrower or wider, but this worked out well for me because the fabric I chose was 42″ wide and fit three runners across perfectly.

I cut out long rectangles measuring 14″ x 73″.  Next, I ironed a 1/2″ hem down each of the longer sides and sewed a seam down each side.  Then, I repeated this process on each of the shorter sides.  Finally, I ironed the table runners and rolled them up until we were ready to use them.  THAT’S IT.  Easy peasy.

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If you have basic sewing machine skills, and you know your way around a tape measure and scissors, this project should be a piece of cake.  It just takes up a chunk of your time!

Thanks for reading, I’ll try to post the last of my wedding projects over the next few weeks!

XO,
Gabriella

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63. My first jewelry show is Friday!

My Etsy shop has been open for almost three years, but I’ve never made the steps to show my work at craft fairs and markets.  Until now!  My very FIRST jewelry show is this Friday at Bay View Gallery Night! Here’s a link to the event if you’re in the Milwaukee area and would like to stop by: https://www.facebook.com/events/141921984168333

I’m so excited for people to be able to see and touch my items in person.  It really makes a difference in terms of whether or not I’d buy something, so hopefully that translates to other people as well.  Crossing my fingers that I make some sales!

I’m really trying to make sure that my displays are on point, so I’ll be sharing my ideas (and how you can make these displays for yourself) all this week!

Here are a few sneak peeks to tickle yo’ fancy.

Wooden crate jewelry organizer:

crate jewelry storage

Recycled wine crate headband holder:

wine crate storage

I also have an old window frame that I’ll be converting into a necklace display.  The best part: it was FREE!  I totally trash-picked to get it, but it was just laying on the sidewalk begging for me to bring it home.

I hope this got your Monday started off the right way!

XO,
Gabriella