Last week I posted this dreamy outfit. I soon realized after posting that I knew why I gravitated so much to the fashion ensemble. It reminds me so much of my vanity vignette. All the same elements are there, slightly modern, a little vintage, and subtle girly. Yes that is me alright.
Vanity project posted here.
I am finally getting to post this project. I made a roman shade using Jenny’s tutorial. I would recommend this method if you are working under a tight budget or decorating a rental. It’s an inexpensive but temporary solution to window treatments.
I love the new plaid shade. A lot more youthful and fun don’t you think?
See you next week!
This post took a little while to write, and I warn that it is a long one.
I found out that I was pregnant in the middle of my fourth year Architecture semester. The prior year was absolutely grueling. I believe 90% of the remaining class pulled all-nighters every other night of the week. But fourth year was supposed to be the easiest year, with work intensifying again in fifth year. This did not calm my nerves about my unplanned pregnancy. But as most women do, the announcement that I would be having a girl replaced my anxiety with excitement. I had always dreamed of having a baby girl, and I immediately bonded.
Quickly, I was overcome with an urge to nest. Everything I thought about revolved her nursery, with the crib being at the top of the list. I have learned that it is in my nature to always want something different and what could be more different from a circular crib? I found a diy instruction package on eBay that claimed it was, “…easy-foolproof instructions.” It was perfect for me, being that i had mediocre carpentry skills.
I walked into our school woodshop, with instructions in hand, and walked up to the woodshop manager, Tommy Joe. He was of asian descent with a thick Texan accent and a stern face. Tommy Joe had been a master carpenter who had run his own business at one point but had given it up in his later years to retire in the school system. I softly whispered and extended my hand, “Hi, I am Dulce and was wondering if you could help me make this crib.”
He examined my printed tutorial thoroughly and finally said, “Yes I can, but the instructions are not correct, we can make it better. We can start tomorrow, after studio, every day for 2 hours each day. We should complete the project in two months.”
Faster than I could respond a ‘thank you’, he walked away, leaving my faulty instructions on his desk.
Week One, Day one-5 months pregnant:
Tommy Joe had made a list of supplies that included crib hardware, raw lumber, and plywood. He said raw lumber would be the most economical way to build a ‘heirloom crib.’
“Heirloom?” I asked a bit puzzled. ”I was thinking I may want to sell after the baby grows up…”
“Oh no, Dulchi, you are going to love this crib. You will never rid of it,” he said sipping on a diet Dr. Pepper.
Later I went to a local lumber yard and selected walnut lumber that came in logs. My $400 receipt that came from my student loans made it official. I was committed to building the crib for my little one in my growing belly.
Week two-5.2 month pregnant:
Smells are quite strong when you are pregnant. I began to familiarize myself with the smell of burning dust that came from the industrial Sander, the sweet aroma of Tommy Joe’s Dr. Peppers, and the strong odor of his chew tobacco.
The kind man oriented me through the shop. I learned how to use machines like a table saw, drill press, hack saw, planer, lathe, etc. First task on the list was to cut down strips to make the curbed rails that would be glued into place by a ‘jig’ that Tommy Joe had made the night before. I cut the timber into strips and then hand planed them shaving off excess wood with a machine that worked like a manual pencil sharpener.
This process would take weeks. It became a usual sight to see me walk into studio covered in finely shaved walnut from head to toe. But it was fun to get to know Tommy Joe, he was an interesting man. He was an architecture major while young, but his father became ill and he dropped out to take care of his family. He never married. Came close to it once but she changed her mind and it broke his heart. He was close to retirement age when I met him, and he talked a lot about his regret of never having children to pass down his skills. Hiding behind a stern voice and demeanor, was a very sweet man, I soon began to understand.
Week 9, 6.2 months pregnant:
Weeks passed that turned to months. My life at this point consisted of: Classes. Studio. Shop. Work at home. Sleep. Start over. Work load in my studio was somewhat reasonable as rumored. Even so I had to work until 2:00 am at times. It is the sleepless grind of an architect. When I first stepped foot in the shop, my belly was barely there. Soon it was in the way and made it hard to work around. My feet looked like I was baking bread inside my shoes, swollen and fat from retaining fluids. This was the most awful and painful part. But I had a deadline to meet and that was priority.
Week 12, 7 months Pregnant:
I asked Tommy Joe, “what happened to 2 months?” No response…
The deadline that seemed like it would never come was given an official date by my doctor who scheduled me for an induction. Close friends and my then boyfriend helped on final pieces. But still, Tommy Joe and I were working on the ball finials of the crib up until the very last-minute. I left the woodshop at midnight and was scheduled to start labor at 6am. My feet could not be happier.
To cut a long story short, I had my baby girl and now she is six. Six years later, it’s up again, used by her little brother. I am so happy that both my children got their use out of my handmade crib. It was a real labor of love, true in every sence of the word. Sometimes I wonder if either of my kids will really appreciate the crib. I wrote about this here.
Whatever the case is, when they want to be smart teenagers, instead of using the cliche “I walked 50 miles in snow tale”…I have a better story. I mean I did work on this an estimated 150 hours while preggers. I wonder how that compares to La Petite Maison?
And if you are reading this Tommy Joe, a huge thank you! I could not have done this without you-xoxo.
They really do. Is that weird? Maybe.
But in all seriousness, fabrics can completely transform a space. While thrifting I found this printed canvas for $2. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it but I had to have it. My first thought was to frame it. But I didn’t like that it would hide the texture of the fabric. So I decided to hang it, using grommets.
The kit came with this steel tube and a small wooden block. The block was placed behind the fabric per the directions that came with kit. It was supposed to make a hole but mine didn’t. I could have continued to bang it, but instead took the easy way out and just made a hole with scissors. It was pretty easy to follow the directions and was super quick too.
Yay! I always wondered how you put in grommets. Now to hang. I’ll leave that for the next post. And here is a peak of a package that was just delivered via. I love it! I can’t wait to share what I am doing with it.
To be continued…
I hardly ever post real pictures of my home or kids. So I thought it be a nice change. But back to the agenda…
Accomplishment One: my baby boy!
He’s turning out to be so rambunctious, into e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. As all boys should be, I suppose. He’s a lot of fun.
Accomplishment Two: my little girl!
She is a smart six-year old, at elementary school right this minute. Which explains why she is missing from the post.
Accomplishment Three: my handmade crib.
You read that right. I made this crib, while pregnant, in my third year of Architecture.
Is he not the cutest!?
I could hardly get him to be still for these pics.
Have a great weekend!
This is a long overdue before and after. I started way back here. But I ran into major problems with gold leafing. The guy at the Art Supply store warned me that it would be difficult. And I didn’t listen, nor did I read the instructions or even googled for a tutorial. I just winged it. My first attempt came out pretty smooth and nice on the exterior with the exception of a few spots that wouldn’t fully take the gold leaf. I figured I could just add another layer. But then I tried leafing the inside of the open shelves and I couldn’t get the gold leaf to stick. So I kept adding.
Layer. after. layer. after. layer.
And somewhere between those layers, I began to get frustrated and impatient. You could see the caked up leaf in some spots by this point. Stubbornly, I proceeded, confident that I could mask with yet another layer.
The husband, stopped in front of my work area one day and casually said,
“It looks like chunks of gold nuggets.”
He was right.
So, perfectionist that I am, I started to sand. and. sand. and. sand. And sand.
But the thing with gold leaf is that you have to apply a very sticky adhesive, so that the gold will stick. And when you sand, the adhesive starts to come through like a big gooey mess. So at this point I was considering trashing the whole dresser, but I couldn’t bring myself to not finish. After 3(!) coats of stripper and 2(!) coats of Goo Begone, it was ready to be gold-leafed again.
And long story short,
Here is the finished dresser.
Just a few more days till you see it in it’s proper setting.
Can’t wait to finish!
Do you think
I hope so, because sometime soon I am totally diy’ing. A pair of gold hue mercury glass lamp pendants will be perfect over my dining table.
What about this iconic staple:
I have been collecting teapots, saucers, and teacups for a while. My version will have a black shade with a clear cord, for my little girl’s room. Pretty timely tutorial found here.
And for my little boy’s room, I have this in mind:
I have a mid-century teak lamp base that I am dying to use. A rugged little man lamp, wood from head to toe, is what his room needs. This tutorial will definitely come in handy.
Just taking a mental break from La Petite Maison. Do you realize I have been working on this project for over a year!?
Any projects you care to share that you are die-ing to finish?
How do you get over the last hump?
A few years ago, I made stockings for my little family. This one is mine.
It was made from my Betsey Johnson-circa 2000, graduation dress.
This cutesy one is my daughter’s. I tried to persuade her to choose a pattern that would be more complementary with Betsey but failed.
“I want sprinkles!” she sternly said with her little arms wrapped tightly around her chest.
Sprinkles it was.
A Christmas Story, is and forever will be, my fave. My husband shares this sentiment, so naturally I made a sexy leg for him. I must say that I was a novice at sewing when I made the stockings. But I managed to make them sans pattern. Have I not told you that I love a challenge!? One thing though, don’t look at the insides. It is not pretty.
And the big present that year was a real size leg lamp ,of course! I knew that we would all enjoy it year after year and it has become a very special tradition for us. My husband still says it is the best present that he has ever gotten.
And I just now realized that I have a little man who is in need of a stocking. Eek! I have to take the dust off my machine! The last time I used it was when I went into labor.
So how about you? What are your favorite Christmas traditions?
Note to self: I must have a bigillion Prisma pencils such as this,
organized and gradating in every color of the rainbow.
I MUST have shelves, upon shelves, upon shelves of orderly craft supplies, neatly displayed for easy use.
I WILL have a craft/laundry room one day. Is this not the best idea ever?! I can imagine spending hours in there doing “laundry.” This would be my happy place and the husband would never suspect.
Or even this sweet little nook will do. Just as long as there are lockable doors.
What’s with the crafty spaces, you ask?
I had a busy weekend working on La Petite Maison projects. And I have to say that it is really coming together! So exciting!
But I digress.
I spent 5 hours making a coffee table. Well, the first time that is. Let me explain.
After holding the sides of the table to allow the glue to completely dry, I set it down on my makeshift work area. I admired my work briefly before my five-year jumped on top of my bed, slid on my silky sheets and landed with a thump, like a giant on top of my masterpiece.
The second mishap was due to my husband not being able to see the tiny acrylic coffee table. In what seemed like slow motion, I yelled, “NOOOOO!” As his shoe kicked it clear across the room, breaking in several pieces.
Needless to say, I would kill for a craft room. One where I could leave sharp things out and just lock the door! One where I can create while sitting on an ergonomically correct chair without my back-breaking! A space where everything has a place and where I have no worries!
So currently I am stalking Martha. Here is her craft space.
Can you imagine what madness goes on in here? I imagine that behind doors and inside drawers are the most spectacular things. I am like a kid in a candy store just thinking of it. I can smell her lavender-scented drawer liners and can feel the stacks of beautifully organized paper. I am weak in the knees!
Watch out Martha I am watching you.