February 2, 2012

Tale of two closets

My closet has multiple personalities. I've got it to the point where I can control where everything that I own is placed exactly where I want it and know where it is at all times. As I've mentioned before, I didn't show the entire closet.

There's another part of this closet that's taken over by objects that are not mine and yet I've inherited the mess that it's all created.

Mom, forgive me, but I have to show this. 

1. The former resident of this room was my brother. On this side of the closet you will find his college notebooks, protein shake mix, a collection of change (that if he does not retrieve, will be deposited into my wallet), and remnant of things that he just did not throw away before he moved. Is that a tile scrubber under that binder? 

2. This lovely dresser is probably older than I am but definitely older than my brother. It's a product of the 80s, made of plywood and wood veneer. It's too small to hold any clothes but it's just big enough to hold about 20 years of junk and what my mom calls sentimental items. Please note that this dresser in the middle of the closet because mom decided it's the best way to hide some graffiti that my lovely sister produced when she was younger.

3. Above is no exception, this area became the place my mother just tossed things, to be reclaimed another day. This area includes manuals from her previous employment - three years ago. That tray up there is actually potential for a project but it's up here where no one can see it.

4. Okay, the hangers are my doing, it's where I place them when I'm not using them. It's a challenge to do so because there's a dresser in the middle of the walk in closet!!! What's the point of a walk in closet if you can't walk in it!!!! UGH! The metal you see leaning against the wall is part of a bed that is no longer in this house! Why would you leave the frame to a bed? Can I sell it for scrap metal?

Against that end wall is just more junk. Including a picture frame....that could be part of another project. (Muahaha!) Those sunflowers are from my old bedroom, that I decorated 13 years ago! And yet there they are, waiting to be reclaimed. I left my sunflower phase a long time so... there it will stay unless I pitch it. The jacquard print board over there is mine too. So yes, I'll admit, I contributed to this horrific nightmare.

Here's the challenge:

How do I pitch this stuff without violating mom's collection of sentimental items? 
When will my brother reclaim his stuff?
What do I do about the graffiti that bothers my mom so much?
How can I get this closet to have just one personality?

February 1, 2012

How I Run My Closet

Before I begin, I have to announce that I moved back into my parents' house. Yes it's an awkward time for me. I'm almost 28 and I had to downsize in order to move on up before the end of the year. It's an ugly chapter for me in order to follow my dream of becoming a home owner. I'm saving up, paying things off and getting mentally prepared for a very grown folks move in my life. No more renting!

Probably about 80 percent of my things are now in storage. Which means I have the bare necessities in my bedroom. That's all I have to myself right now. A bedroom. Quite depressing. I decided whatever space is mine, I will own it and this temporary little room of mine is no exception. So I started with my closet. As always, it's a work in progress.

 I have a dresser but it's the same dresser that I've owned since I was a teenager and it was about ready to explode. I decided to used these organizers from Wal-mart to hold some of my clothes and shoes. Most of the clothes are divided by color and darks. Which reminds me that I should get into more colors now that we're soon approaching Spring here in Jacksonville.

My blue moon shoes are those shoes that only work with that one outfit so I only have the chance to wear them every once in a blue moon. I have quite a few Goodwill worthy pairs of shoes and it's a matter of sorting through them and figure out which ones I need to just throw away or the ones that might be craft worthy. 


I want to do something like this to some of my shoes....

She used Mod Podge to update her shoes. So cute!!  

Ok, back at the topic at hand. The other part of my closet are my jean bins. I can't stand hanging so this little trick is great. I roll my jeans and put them in these open containers and they always come out unwrinkled. I scored the silver bins from the GW for $4!

That caca-colored fabric on my accessories bin will need to go soon. Just looking for the right fabric to inspire me. 

Maybe something like this

This is how everything is sorted: 

That's my closet. Very soon, I'll show you the other half of the closet, it's the part that makes me want to scream and grrr.

January 31, 2012

Fruit Bowl Turned Sculpture

I stopped by my good friend Hellitz' blank slate living room. In a corner, was a collection of things she considered donating to a thrift store. Most of it made sense to throw out but this glass fruit bowl caught my eye. You don't just go to any store and find a piece like this.

What I love the most about it is that it's interesting in every angle. 

We went to our local craft store where she picked out some paints. I love acrylic paints and we found that Decoart Dazzling Metallics worked well with glass, even though it took several layers before I couldn't see any light seep through the glass.

I lalalalove acrylic paint. I grew up on it. I've used it for ceramics, jewelry boxes, even for some picture frames. No fumes, you can use it indoors and it spreads where you want it to spread. Almost fool proof....almost.

I painted the back of the glass so that the lines and curves in the front of the bowl weren't compromised and if Hellitz or her boyfriend Pablo ever decided to fill the bowl again, the paint wouldn't get scratched. It's new home is now a built-in bookcase, it's propped up to show off its beautiful lines. 

There was also a canvas panting that she bought from one of the local big box stores. It didn't match the new color scheme of silvers, grays and blues so I suggested we paint color fields over the painting,. If you can draw a square, you can paint some color fields. 

Divided the painting in half with with black paint. 

It took a few layers of paint to cover the painting. Note to self: invest in primer. 

This Mark Rothko painting was the inspiration to our humble piece. I'm definitely no Mark Rothko but I think the painting is just right for her space.

She scored these curtains from Target. Love em! Yes, it's a cell phone pic. Promise to get better pics for the final reveal. :D 
We're still looking for a rug, wall decor and throw pillows.Ah! The hunt continues! 

What I learned:
  • Paint and glass aren't the most compatible but it helps to wait for the layers to completely dry before you move on to the next layer. 
  • Before you go shopping for the small stuff, always look around and use your imagination. Free is just smarter. 

January 26, 2012

Baby Shower Revisited

I have too many excuses reasons why I haven't been writing. I've neglected my blog for too long. Part of it is that I had a writer's block but it's also been a really busy few months. I actually had to work at the office and it was right around the time that I was trying to tie all the loose ends for the baby shower. All fun, I tell you, all fun.

Like most Torres events, there were many voices. There was my mother, sister, Wendy's sisters, and her foster mother wanting to be a part of the planning. It was a constant push to make sure that above all, mother-to-be was happy with all of the decisions made.

In the beginning, we all agreed that if it was a baby boy, that the motif was going to be building blocks. Everything else fell into place! Yea right! We had pow wows and emails exchanges. We took seven different trips to seven different stores to get everything that we're looking for. By the end of it, I knew the layouts to Joann's, Hobby Lobby, and Michael's. We had craft parties to paint favors. Mom even took trips to Orlando to get the more traditional keeps sakes, including this shoe-shaped candy holder.

The guy with the mic is my brother, he was pretending to be an emcee and yet I'm considered the dork of the family. Sigh.

In the end, even though I was frazzled by it all, I was happy with the end result. Baby-to-be is the first grandchild so having this baby shower made it all the more real. I was satisfied with the end result and I'd like to think the parents were too.

The best part of it all was:

These two are now engaged.

My brother decided to surprise everybody. When the last present was opened, my brother got down on his knee and proposed to Wendy!

Almost all of the women that were planning this baby shower, including myself, were brought to tears. It was definitely a moment that made everything perfect. 

By the way, my nephew is due February 9th. He's coming any minute now. It's Operation Wait and See right now. We're waiting for that phone call or text message from my brother or from his FIANCE (ah!) letting the rest of us know that baby is on his way.

EDIT: Wanted to thank Martinez Restaurant and Bakery  for such an amazing cake. Thanks Maria!

October 6, 2011

A Blank Slate

A friend from college, Hellitz, and her boyfriend Pablo moved into a new apartment. It will be the first time they will get to decorate their place together.

In my opinion, that's the biggest challenge in decorating: finding the middle point in styles between a man's and woman's ideas of what they consider home.

Especially when their personalities are almost polar ends. It works for them. He's the ying to her yang. She does all the talking for a man of few words. He's the retreat to her party.

Hellitz and I talked at a get together and I told her how much I loved decorating, she seemed stuck on how to start and soon she'll have an out of town guest. I was more than happy to help. Eventually the mister and I would need to do the same thing so why not get some practice. Besides, I love to shop when I'm not spending the money.

One of my favorite couples had a lucky advantage:

They had a blank slate. 

No furniture. Not much art and what they did have they were willing to sacrifice for a new start. No talking fish or porcelain doll collection, phew.

The first step they wanted to take was decorate the living room. When she bought this apartment she saw herself hosting parties and so she wanted to make sure her guests were comfortable yet not overwhelm the room with too many pieces of furniture. 

So I googled and searched different color schemes. For me, that's where it all starts. Once again, Rate My Space came to the rescue and a new site that I stumbled upon, Apartment Therapy

She fell in love with the gray schemes. It's sexy and grown up and it's the new neutral. Just like brown, you can play up gray with different colors. She's considering yellows, blues and silvers. 

So a hunting they went and found this beautiful sectional from American Signature.

I think it's a great start. We'll be working on some projects to accessorize this weekend. Wish me luck!