Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Jackpot: Craigslist Booty, Before and After, and a New DIY.

I spent the first few days of this year reading blogs that were new to me. First, I stumbled upon Brooklyn Limestone and read every post in her blog detailing the amazing transformation of her house from haunted to hubba-hubba.

If that didn't make me feel like a founding member of Underachievers Anonymous, I started reading Little Green Notebook. This young designer mom with two toddlers and a newborn kicks DIY ass and takes designer names on a weekly basis. Talk about feeling the need to step up your game.

My first project of the year was a small DIY of recovering the kitchen chairs with faux croc from JoAnn fabrics. Then I moved onto the project of making roman shades from mini-blinds as found on Little Green Notebook combined with a real roman shades project from Martha Stewart. I never realized how simple (if time-consuming) it is to make roman shades.

But when I saw the photo above on isuwanee and the project below from High Street Market, I fell in love and knew I had to get me some faux bamboo.

Here's how she found it:

Then when I saw this black version on 1st Dibs for $4500, I began my frenetic search.

So, I scoured Craigslist until I found this in Boston - a full set of Henry Link Bali Hai circa 1972 or so:

After weeks of waiting for its delivery, it is now mine. I really only needed the dresser or chest for our bedroom but I can use the rest around the house or at the beach. I also found a shipping company that will ship items up and down the eastern seaboard for reasonable prices. Email me if you'd like the info because I just noticed a dresser and chest on Craigslist in High Point, NC (apologies to MFAMB for getting dangerously close to her territory).

So, now I just need to get a power sander and get to town on this project. Either the dresser or chest is going to go in the Imperial Trellis project bedroom. What do you think: Dresser or chest? Black or white?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Flashback.

Thirty-five years ago this week, this song appeared on the Billboard charts. Probably on Casey Kasem, American Bandstand and The Midnight Special, too. "Sister Golden Hair" makes me want to hop in my parents' Bonneville convertible and drive with the music blaring, daydreaming of suntans and spring break...

Who else is old enough to remember this? And if you weren't even born yet? Keep it to yourself. :-)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Make This Headboard.

Now that I am feeling all DIYawesome, I am ready to take on anything (and I know you are, too). I really loved this headboard from A Single Man. It would be so easy to make a very similar version by copying Grace's headboard from Design*Sponge. Remember this?:

First, you need this fabric available at for $37.50/yd. (I think it's also at Calico Corners):

Laura Ashley Tilbury in Lapis

Then you need to watch this:

Then you need to send me a picture so I can ooh and aah.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Happy 70 Degrees!

I thought it would never get here - this gorgeous spring week. So, I am outta here. If I had to be stuck inside, though, I would love to be stuck in my new favorite kitchen ever.

This kitchen was designed by Tish Key for the 2006 San Francisco Decorator Showcase and shamelessly swiped from Deliciously Organized. I am not really feeling the upside down bouquet of dead flowers light fixture but I love the rest: taking the tiling up the wall, the cabinetry, even the skirt is adorable! And I don't care what you say about I.T., the yellow just looks like a sunny day.

Have a great, warm weekend wherever you are.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Rice, Rice, Baby.

I'm learning to cook Japanese and in learning about rice I ran across these photos of a village in Japan called Inakadate that has a crazy festival every year which began as a community revitalization project and is now a tourist attraction for the small village. Hundreds of people gather to plant different varieties of rice (which grow in different colors) in patterns. And they're not just any patterns but painstaking reproductions of famous works of Japanese art. The following shows the planting to harvest.

This is the harvest of a different field but you get the idea.

Isn't that just all kinds of excellent? Makes you feel pretty lame about the pot of tomatoes you're about to plant on the patio, doesn't it?

Cheers to you on this other Paddy's Day. And remember, don't drink and blog.

(Most photos came from

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Things I'm Watching on eBay.

Remember this gorgeous Pieces chandelier? It sold for $1750.

Pieces Pagoda chandelier via Cococozy

This pagoda chandelier on eBay is a very close second. Add a new coat of paint, new or painted candle sleeves and round bulbs. The current bid is $202.50.

I would totally be bidding on it but I don't really have a need for it. So, somebody please buy it, doll it up and send me a photo.

I was also watching this Hermes small porcelain Chaine d'ancre trinket/change tray but missed the final bidding last night while I was making dinner. The winning bid was $103.49 - more than I was willing to pay but much better than its original price tag of GBP 400-something. At least I thought so until I found this website, Park Avenue Gifts, wherein you can buy an entire 5-pc. place setting of the pattern for $336. Or a cup and saucer for $89. And when you're not drinking from it, you can just leave it lying around to class up the joint.

There's a smaller, nautically themed Hermes tray currently up for bidding on eBay and the current bid is only $24.99.

It ends today with no reserve. A nice little knickknack for the beach house, don'tcha think?

Here are a few things I was watching and decided against bidding on. My bidding strategy is to wait until the last minute of bidding and put in my maximum bid. It's take-no-prisoners on eBay.

The first two sold for more than I was willing to pay anyway but I think the person who listed this last item was being greedy. The bidding was up over $800 and it still hadn't met the reserve. And even though this is vintage (which can sometimes mean "smells like my grandma's cats") you can get it new for $1050 from the Gilded Mirror.

I do think eBay has really been stepping up its game lately. How about you? Have you seen anything great on eBay lately?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Train Wreck TV: High Society.

Did you watch? Have you ever?! There are no words to describe what I voluntarily watched last night in the form of Tinsley Mortimer's new reality show, High Society.

Well, I didn't have the words, but the brilliant Chris Rovzar of New York magazine did. Read his dead-on take, titled "An Anthropological Examination of the Debut of High Society" here.


The snow has finally (mostly!) melted and I'm seeing the welcoming signs of spring. When my thoughts turn to green, they inevitably turn to this iconic wallpaper oldie but goodie: Martinique by Hinson.

Perfect for the beach house, right?


I must have it.

House Beautiful

Can you tell I need a vacation?

via Decorative Decor

I can't reconcile that I love this wallpaper but I don't like green. Ah, such are the daily aesthetic struggles at chez HG.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Kell on Earth =

Emily the Strange. All grown up.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Gorgeous.

Aside from the Supermodel Slump pose she is attempting, I thought Miley Cyrus was stunning. I find her adorable if not annoyingly precocious. What was your favorite Oscar dress?

More Monday Gorgeous: a sneak peek at my new DIY project:

Oh, silly wabbits. I am not going to do that. I am going to be outside enjoying the beautiful weather. (Although you know I could totally do that. Hmmmmm. Next house.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

These Mirrors Speak to Me.

How splendiferous would the poem from the last post look on an antique gilt mirror?

I feel another DIY project coming on...

If you had a mirror like this, what would it say?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Love.

I asked my boyfriend to write me a poem one Valentine's Day. I expected "Roses are red, violets are blue..." but this is what I got:

Yes, of course I married him.

Happy Anniversary, J. xo YW

Monday, March 1, 2010

D.I.Y.O.Y.? Imperial Trellis Stencil How-to.

Thanks to Erin Gates from Elements of Style for the post on my project and for perpetuating the madness. I did notice that someone on her blog commented that they wanted to hire me to do this project for them. Boy, did that make me laugh!! As if. But if you want to tackle it yourself? Be my guest (and if you are here from EOS, thanks for stopping by!)...

First, go to Decorator's Best and order a sample or two of Imperial Trellis for $7 ea. I'd order a dark color on white so it's easier to trace.

While you are waiting for it to be delivered, go to A.C. Moore or the like and get a packet of stencils like these from StencilEase (I got 12x18 and you want at least that size):

Mine are 4 mil but if I hadn't been snowed in, I would've gone to Philly to Utrecht or Blick to get something a little bit thicker because this doesn't clean well without falling apart. If you get anything too much larger, it will likely be difficult to keep it from flopping around once some paint builds up on it and weighs it down.

You'll need an ultrafine permanent marker (Sharpie) to get started. I started by drawing in a 1/4-inch border around the stencil with a 1/2-inch border at the top for taping.

Once you have the wallpaper sample, lay the stencil blank over the wallpaper as shown. Make sure it's straight or your final product will run crooked. If you get a piece of wallpaper that doesn't show the entire pattern, copy it and tape it together to create a pattern based on the first photo in this post.

My blank stencil was larger than the wallpaper sample so I just improvised by aligning what I'd already drawn over the pattern like this:

If you don't want to order a wallpaper sample, you should be able to print out all three of the following patterns in full size and overlap them to create a stencil. You won't really overlap them, you'll overlay the blank stencil onto Pattern No. 1 and trace it with your ultra fine marker. Then you'll overlay the blank (which now contains Pattern No. 1) onto Pattern No. 2 and align the pattern. Repeat with Pattern No. 3. Last, you'll add the little dotted lines which you will cut around (they will help to keep the middle parts from falling right out and stabilize the stencil).

Click on the photos and save them in a folder. Print them out full size in landscape format mirror image.

Pattern No. 1

Pattern No. 2

Pattern No. 3

Now cut out the pattern using an Exacto knife, leaving the lines within the dashes and the negative space like this:

Keep in mind that you will have to hand paint every line that is only there to stabilize the stencil. So if you want to quit, now would be a good time. If not, then:

Spray the back of the stencil with Repositionable Adhesive (available in spray or sponge applicator bottle) per instructions. Use blue painter's tape on sides and/or top as necessary to keep in position.

Place on the wall starting at the upper left corner. Use a level to ensure the sides are level (check your wall first to make sure; if not, adjust accordingly).

Roll evenly with paint using a miniature foam roller and tray. Remove stencil. Now fill in the spaces left behind from the lines holding the stencil together. Dry with a hair dryer to speed up the process. I waited to fill those lines in on my first wall and am still regretting it (and filling them in).

PLEASE NOTE: If you are using pearlescent or iridescent paint, touch-ups may be visible so you'll need to test which method of touchup of works best for you. Also, avoid painting over existing paint; in other words, carefully fill in the blank area only. I used a sable/synthetic Windsor & Newton No. 2 brush.

Keep carefully overlapping the pattern all the way down to the trim or bottom of the wall, checking to ensure the right side is level with each new stencil.

When you are ready to start a new column, overlap stencil over existing paint and paint where there ain't none.

Do this until the end of time.

Eventually, you will begin to make progress.

This will feed the beast. Well, that and lots of Nutella.

And eventually, it will look like this:

I used two base coats of Benjamin Moore Linen White in Matte Regal and for the stencil a ready-made quart of B.Moore Studio Finishes Latex Metallic Glaze in Pearlescent White.

So, if you add up the cost of the paints, supplies and 2 visits to the chiropractor, it still doesn't add up to the cost of one roll of Imperial Trellis. Plus when you tire of it or sell your place, no one has to remove wallpaper. And you cannot put a price on the self-satisfaction of being awesome.

If you do take on this project, please leave a comment and send me a photo of the finished product.
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