Category Archives: The New Apartment

Crafterall Papercut Map Art

My brother and sister-in-law gave my husband and I some beautiful artwork for our wedding and we’ve finally got it up on the wall so I thought I’d share it here.

Crafterall map artThese beautiful layered papercut maps are from the Crafterall Etsy shop and my family knew that I had been drooling over them for quite some time. Imagine my delight when we got a set of our very own!

The map on the left is the San Francisco Bay Area, where we met and currently live, and the map on the right shows the San Juan Islands off the coast off Washington, where we got married (we had the ceremony on Jones Island).

Map Art San Juan IslandsWe briefly toyed with the idea of hanging this art in our living/dining room to have it out where people can see it, but look how perfectly it goes with the origami swallow mobile I put up in our bedroom! How could we possibly hang it anywhere else??

Crafterall San Francisco map

Also pictured here are the adorable anchor pillow shams a friend gave us for Christmas

Now all I have to do is figure out what to do with the vast expanse of white space above our bed! Living in earthquake territory, we’re nervous about hanging anything heavy or framed in glass. I’ve suggested a big beautiful tapestry but my husband is lukewarm on that idea. I’ve been wanting to make us a big Japanese shibori-inspired quilt in shades of white and indigo, maybe if I ever actually get around to doing that we can hang it on that wall…

You should check out Crafterall, there are tons of other beautiful maps available in all different colors (I love the map of the Great Lakes too)! You can get custom work done too but, according to a bulletin on her shop, she’s got custom work keeping her busy through June of this year! Way to go!




Organization: Entryway Key Shelf

I put on my handy-woman belt today and finally installed our new front doorbell! I moved in to this apartment in March of this year and the old bell hadn’t been working for long before that, so it was about time!

Anyhoo, that little bout of handiness reminded me that I’d never posted about a little key shelf I’d put up a couple months ago to help organize our entryway. So I’m posting now!

It was driving me crazy to not have anyway to set things down when I got into the house. Things like keys, umbrellas, sunglasses and pocket change didn’t have a place to go. Which meant they were ending up places they weren’t supposed to go. Like the dining table, the bar, the coffee table, etc. Which, as I indicated already, was driving me crazy! The solution? A simple modification to a little floating shelf we picked up at the hardware store.

Entryway storage solutionI pre-drilled some holes into the bottom of the shelf (being careful to avoid where the metal supports insert inside it) then added some of our hand-dandy screw hooks.

Mudroom organizationI added a couple nails in the wall beside the shelf to serve as home to our umbrellas and voila! Suddenly everything has a place and I have one less thing driving me crazy on a daily basis.

Entryway organizationIt’s amazing to me how I’ll put off these simple projects forever and then when I finally do them it only takes about 30 min to finish and satisfies me on a daily basis. Yet I never learn my lesson and continue procrastinating on these little projects!

Anyway, I haven’t been as active with my other crafting in the last couple weeks but I’ve got some projects on the go that I hope to share with you soon!




Thrift Find: Bar

My husband and I got a bee in our bonnets a little while ago about getting ourselves a bar for our living room. We host friends for football games, etc and having everything crammed onto a little kitchen cart just wasn’t working. One weekend we made an amazing find at San Francisco’s Building ReSources.

I’ve written about this recycling center briefly here. Building ReSources is a fantastic non-profit organization that works to recycle construction materials and keep them out of landfills. Folks redoing their kitchens, bathrooms, etc can donate the unwanted construction materials so that folks like me can pick through them and find the gems at a steal! The center itself is organized beautifully so you can find what you need. It’s a great place to pick up a few tiles for a small project, a small piece of cabinet or counter top, and just about any bit or piece you can think of. One of the things that’s really great about the center are the great gardens and art pieces spread throughout the property to provide some inspiration (next time I go I’ll have to take some pictures and share them here!).

Anyhoo, onto our new bar!

Bar ReFinish


This magnificent piece is sold wood, exactly what we wanted and just needs a little TLC! The best part was the price! The same day we found this piece we were out shopping at home stores and found that this beautiful bar actually cost LESS than cheap particle board versions that were half the size when buying new.

We’ve got just a few touches to make this bar perfect. One of the doors is missing it’s little magnet bit that would normally keep it closed, so it hangs open a bit.

DIY Bar RefinishThe top definitely has a few big gouges on it that, unfortunately, we think happened at the ReBuild center. There was a huge box of nuts and bolts and a bunch of other junk piled on top of it when we cleared it out.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Thrift Furniture RefinishLuckily, the top is such a nice thick slab of solid wood, we’ll be able to sand that down no problem! Finally, someone at some point felt the need to label the contents of one of the drawers.

Thrifted Bar RefinishHmmmm. I’ve been sitting on this post for a while and my husband suggested I, you know, get on it. I’m glad he suggest it, we bought this bar a couple months ago but it’s just been sitting unfinished in the living room. Pulling together this post has given me new enthusiasm for the project!!

Maybe I’ll get sanding today!!!! Maybe……

New Craft Caddy!

Imagine my excitement when a friend gave us a Bed, Bath & Beyond gift certificate as a wedding gift and I realized that I could use it to buy craft storage!!!! I love my new little craft caddy!

Sewing StorageBefore I got this cart I had everything crammed into a little sewing box that was literally bursting at the seams. I’d have to take everything out whenever I needed something, then put everything back in when I was done. But no more! Now I have a drawer for everything!!

Sewing Room StorageLook!! A whole drawer just for bits of ribbons and elastic!! And another for various glues and adhesives! I’m in heaven!!

Sewing CaddyI love that the cart has wheels so I can shuffle it around the apartment no problem, depending on where I’m working. If these pictures have made you completely jealous, well. That’s understandable. But you can cure that jealousy by picking up your own, here. I can’t wait until the project room is done completely so I can share some pictures with you!

What storage solutions work for you in your crafting space?



Bike Storage Corner

Bicycles are one of those things that are always tricky to store. They’re weirdly shaped and bulky, but need to be stored somewhere that they can be accessed easily. My husband came up with a nice solution for his bikes by creating a rack that puts them on display.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHe cut a piece of wood trim to about 3 feet in length and secured it to the wall, making sure to hit studs with the screws. He then screwed in 3 large hooks from the hardware store that the bike wheels hook into.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs you can see from the picture, the wheels leave dirt smudges on the wall where they hit, but just adding two more strips of board (one at the front and one at the back wheels) would save the walls.

To help add a little more interest to the corner and continue the transit theme, I added an old glass street sign we picked up at our local rebuild center, Building REsources in San Francisco (more about the center and our other find next week).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI just cleaned up the front and back with glass cleaner to brighten it up a little. I attached it to the wall with a mirror holder kit  that uses little plastic clamps to hold the glass artwork to the wall. Since I didn’t encounter any studs where I wanted to hang the sign I made sure to use drywall plugs that came with the kit for extra security. And voila!





The New Apartment: Bathroom Organization

Like many bathrooms, ours doesn’t have much built in storage space. With a pedestal sink, the only tuck-away storage we have is in the medicine cabinet. I hate having bits all over the place and cords hanging everywhere, so I wanted to find a storage solution for my flat iron and hair dryer in the bathroom.

I had pinned a few ideas on Pinterest, like this one below, thinking that maybe I could use mason jars to store my hair appliances.

pinsperationWe don’t really even have enough space around the sink for mason jars though, so Pete came up with a much simpler solution!

Pete just put a couple screw-in hooks from the hardware aisle at Target into the wall in a nook we have between the medicine cabinet and the wall.


My hair dryer already had a little loop to use to hang it, but my flat iron needed a little piece of ribbon tied to the end.


And voila! Neat, easy access, hanging storage for my hair appliances!

SAMSUNGI can’t claim any credit on this one. It was all Pete’s vision. I was making things much too complicated and sometimes the simplest solution is the best. I did, however, find a use for some mason jars in the bathroom. I removed the lid inset and used them for Q-tip, cotton ball, and make up pad storage on the back of the toilet.

SAMSUNGOne day, if I get enough fire under my butt, I might paint the rims of the lids to match our bathroom. But then again, probably not….


Found: Sewing Cabinet!

I’ve just moved in with my boyfriend and it’s been a crazy couple weeks with packing, moving, unpacking and trying to keep up with normal life on time of that! Unfortunately, pretty much as soon as I moved in, Pete had to head out of town for a trip that had been planned much earlier than our move. I’ve unpacked a bit and made a few organizational improvements but haven’t wanted to make any major purchases or executive decisions about decorating. It’ll be so much more fun to make our home together!

did however, make a great sidewalk find last night when I was out to dinner with a girlfriend……a cute little sewing cabinet! And it came with a free drawer full of spiders!!! Oh wait, that second thing was horrifying not exciting. Luckily, it looked like whatever had happened in there was well in the past and only a few dead guys remained (it was far too disgusting to take any pictures). It was a good reminder though that you have no idea where found furniture has been, so I made sure to give it a good once over with some all purpose cleaner.


It’s adorable as is and would probably make for some fine notions storage but I’m actually debating converting it into a jewelry armoire. I’ve been wanting one for a year or two now and all the ones I’ve been able to find online are either expensive or ugly (or both!). I’m thinking all this little cabinet would need would be a bit of liner/padding in the little wells and in the drawers below. Maybe use the wooden dowels in the lid, meant for bobbin or thread storage, as storage for necklaces? While a little rough on the top, the finish on the cabinet isn’t too bad but I might refinish the outside as well as the inside.

Anyway, I’m not sure yet what’s going to happen with the apartment but I’ll probably put up a couple posts with any clever decorating or refinishing ideas we come up with, as well as any good storage ideas I come across! While a pain in the butt, the one really nice thing about moving is that it is pretty much weekend project heaven!!!!!!!!!!!