16 November 2008

{ to white or not to white }

I have been trying to decide for weeks now whether to paint these chairs full white or leave the seat as is. Mum has been nagging me to paint them all white. After much deliberation, I've now come to a decision. All white it is. It would just look good in both dark or light walls. And the walls have been in constant makeover for a month now. From light gray to dark gray and now I think we are making it a rich purple or a light yellow. It's crazy, I know. But it is all for Christmas.

15 November 2008

{ made new friends }

I found a new best friend. His name is Jonathan Fian. He is now my wood panel supplier. He has a son my age, but they look funny together, they don't look like father and son. And I thoroughly enjoyed their messy, messy shop.

Well I know it is still early to say but you discern things and chatting with him for just under 30 minutes in his palochina wood workshop, I already learned a lot and you could just sense his passion and craftsmanship when it comes to wood. Palochina is pine wood. Unfortunately, that's just what I could find for now. And man, I even thought it was local because there is a lot of pine in this country. It is apparently being imported and it even just gets delivered by season. Next delivery they'll have will be on January. I wanted birch wood but that's out of the question. But for now, this would certainly do. I pick up my wood panels on Wednesday. Yey! Have to do a lot of studies still! But now it begins..

11 November 2008

{ how do you handle inspiration overload? }

I’m still feeling the warm glow from yesterday’s inspiration that came from Living & More magazine and Birgitta Wolfgang Drejer. I wish so badly that I could share each and every page of this German decorating magazine with you as the photos are just so super stunning and I really enjoy the crafty projects as they are easy and fun to do. I’m off to the craft store today to pick up some doilies to work on a small project that I saw in the magazine, if it comes out well I will post photos tomorrow so you can see it. I think that if you have a magazine in hand that gives you inspiration for days, fuels your imagination, and gets you moving in a forward motion you have found a great resource. Rarely do I feel this way from magazines these days. I was buying each and every issue of home magazines from this country and that country and now I’m not feeling it anymore. I need MORE. Often they still feel so snooty to me, like I’m not part of the club. I need to connect with other readers or the homes that I am seeing and not feel a huge gap between THEM and ME. I don’t feel as inspired by rooms I know I’ll never be able to live in — I never expect to buy a $15,000 coffee table and I’m totally okay with that. I doubt I’ll ever have the Malibu beach house overlooking the Pacific. I think that it’s important to be happy with what you have, no matter how humble, and cherish that space you’re in. Oftentimes a lifestyle is crammed down our throats that in reality, we really do not want but we think we want it because it’s being presented as ‘the’ way to live.

I want to address something I’ve found as a negative when it comes to design magazines, shows, even design blogs. Of course, I’m a silver-lined happy cloud (he he) so I have 1,000 positives for every negative meaning that despite my view being a bit of a downer here, I still continue to author a design blog and be part of a community that I love and cherish. I don’t plan to depress anyone by saying this… I think in every relationship there is always some negative aspects, even in a marriage or friendship. It’s part of life. So I’ll just put it out there. Do you ever feel like there is too much going on out there that you’ll never catch up? There are soooo many things you see, want, love, are dying to make, dying to do, but often feel overwhelmed by it all? Yeah, me too. I totally do. I was thinking today in the craft store as I was trying to find candles for this project I’m working on that it’s important to pause and not run yourself absolutely into a hole trying to get “it all done”. I think that we as women can easily turn inspiration into this twisty vine that chokes us called competition. Either with others or with ourselves, as weird as that sounds. I also think that YEARS ago before blogs and great magazines like Domino and Living Etc. I was almost content in my bubble that the way I decorated and the way my parents decorated was just fine — we had little back then to compare our decorating to I guess. Now it’s different. The second we finish our living room design we see something in the home of another person even on a blog or in a magazine, on television, wherever and instantly feel like we need to change something. We aren’t happy with the hardwood oak floors, now we saw a magazine with high gloss black wood floors and that’s ALL WE THINK ABOUT. Of course until we have the black floors and then we see a photo of someone else who did something ultra clever like stencil their floors with a doily pattern or something. See where I’m heading with this? It’s called a disease people and we all have it. We want our fix and there are hundreds of publications ready to give it to us. Which brings me to ask you…

How do you personally manage all of the information and ideas that you are exposed to on a daily basis so as to be somewhat productive? I stick diligently to lists and I often do not allow myself to move onto another project without first finishing what I’ve started. Mother always said that now didn’t she? “Finish what you start!” I also work very hard to filter everything I see and decide what exactly I should use and what is not perhaps practical and leave the idea alone. I think mood boards are VERY effective. Whenever I have a project, for instance decorating my apartment or someone else’s, I spend months collecting ideas and placing them all into folders and clear plastic sleeves in a binder and over time I start to see a definite pattern and then I know I have tapped into the exact look I need to begin shopping for. That’s exactly how I pulled together my current kitchen. I had a mood board, spiral bound notebooks, a very exact vision in my head and despite all the zillions of kitchens I’ve seen that I’ve loved since I started collecting inspiration for my own, I did not give in to impulse - I stuck to my guns and now I’ve pulled together a kitchen that really works for me and my husband and I like how it looks, how I stayed under budget by $4,000, and that in the end it is ME and my vision.

So again I ask… How do you turn what some consider a negative (inspiration overload) into a positive? Any specific things that you do that may help other readers? How do you feel personally about all the rooms and objects galore that saturate the internet these days, do you enjoy having so much access to design around the world or does it sometime make you want to hide your head under the covers because you do not know where to start?

{ feathery light }

Great artsy-fartsy-crafty moments for me really happens in the wee hours of the morning. Maybe because everybody is asleep and no little brother asking for a hug or a smooch every five minutes. And no matter how much I make my work area nice, I always end up working on the dining table. Well it's bigger and it's a glass-top so cutting is a cinch. But for this particular project, I just needed a clean, large space and really sharp scissors.

Inspiration (left photo) $200 in Etsy *the link has expired though I just found it here with another inspired hack of the lamp (you might wanna also check out the ├╝ber cool workspace in that post). So from that 300PHP sale (right photo)...

... to this!

I made it like a hat, it's removable, it just slips on and off the original shade. Commitment is such a scary thing hehe and it's paper, it might burn if I make it permanent. Actually now it looks more like a cuckoo clock. I found the clock a bit off at first (mum bought it, well sale nga naman, ang mamahal din talaga ng mga lamps), but after a few whiff of silver spray paint (it was a tarnishing gold then) it looks a bit together na. Oh materials for the shade, just a whole 20x30 inch 4-ply bristol board, enough for all the trial and errors. Ended up with cute lamp and a not so clean table anymore. Have to clean it up before everybody wakes up. Not for boys. Should have put that on top. Haha.

{ end tables out of old, old chairs }

Well I have been busy for the past weeks and been very content. Not much ranting and blogging about work. Hehe. This afternoon an idea was realized when my mum gave me a go signal to salvage her 20-year-old dining chairs rotting in the yard.

There are six of these chairs and half of a dining table that came with it just passing time in front of our house in rain or shine. What I meant by half of a dining table, it was a grand dining table before and they cut it in half to accommodate space and I have no idea where the other half is now.

Then I cut out, using a traditional handsaw (yes, i know how to use one), the intricate back supports which I will maybe turn into a pot and pan rack later. I only used two chairs for this project by the way. The other four, awaiting deliberation.

Then cleaned it (or asked my brother to clean it hehe).

Then I fitted plywood in between the legs to serve as additional shelving. It was really hard in this case because the leg supports were already weak and they kept cracking when I put the nails in. I had to use a cementing agent (Waterstop) to repair the cracks. It was already dark when I finished. I'm letting the cement set overnight then I paint it white! I'm excited!

{ discovery project earth }

... is very interesting. Eight crazy experiments bold enough to change the world. So far I've seen the Carbon Dioxide Scrubber. It works. But there will be real issues regarding storing the extracted CO2 from the atmosphere. They plan to bury it under the ocean. Possible leakage. So they really have to make sure that it doesn't in the future. But one thing to consider would be to plant a lot more trees and maybe release the extracted CO2 gradually in the future and let the trees absorb and convert it. This is kinda like what I had been pondering on. Machines that have a little bit of souls. Because machines with full souls deteriorate on their own and go back as raw materials and I don't know if that will ever be invented. It's still up to us to recycle. Hopefully we could just stick to recycling.


I've seen Wall-E for like the tenth time and I just realized it has one big flaw. The people in the Axiom had still a lot of things to throw out. Remember the big dumpsite they have at the bottom of their ship and the big Wall-A's working in it and dumping the trash in space. Unloading trash in space means unloading load from the ship. Meaning the ship gets lighter every time. Unless they have this raw material producer that would still make plastics, metals, etc that would make those trash they threw out, that they never established (or maybe I just missed it) in the early part of the movie. One of the reasons humans still haven't considered dumping trash in space or dumping extracted CO2 in space for that matter is because it will be like making Earth poop, but the problem is the Earth doesn't eat to compensate for the lost poop (or does it?). You get what I mean? Earth has weighed the same since its creation (it does right?). Just think what would happen if we dumped stuff in space and Earth became lighter. The amount of matter that comprised Earth for billions and trillions and bazillions of years never changed. So it will be an abomination to subtract from it. Babies don't become babies just because of cell splitting. The cells still get "Earth matter" as I should term it to make more sense for them to split and become babies.

Blabbing again. Just check out Discovery Project Earth.