collabo, diy

collabo post: Juice Box Media

IMG_8064_Valentine's Day Minis_r

Photo Courtesy of Juice Box Media

I love getting together with friends and creating.  Usually, I have an idea and I rope my friends into helping me, lol.  In this case my childhood dance buddy Trisha reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in collaborating with her and her husband’s photography/videography business and style a Valentine’s photo shoot.  Visit their website here and visit their instagram page @juiceboxmedia for a chance to win a free photoshoot!  I had no idea what that really entailed, but I was on board.  I asked for some direction and Trisha sent me a few images from Pinterest….just search “valentines photoshoot” and you’ll see tons of images.  That was my jumping off point. I had no idea what I was going to do…until…these pallets found their way to me.  We were receiving a shipment at work and the delivery guy let me keep the pallets, and even gave me the ones on the truck too!  Free materials are the best!IMG_5969 I wasn’t sure what these had to do with Valentine’s Day but I was going to make them work for me!  I have the tendency to make a job harder than it has to be…I love a challenge.  I’d always wanted to make a vertical garden out of pallets for my backyard so I used this project as motivation to build a wall that I could later transform into a garden.  The transformation from this project to that will be in a later post, I’m sure.  So…pallet wall…a bit rustic for Valentine’s, but it was going to work, I just knew it.  With the right embellishments, you can make raw wood pretty charming, that was the idea at least.

Step One: Deconstruction IMG_6026I used a Sawzall (thank you google search for the recommendation).  I had first tried using a chisel to separate the wood and pull out the nails…WAY too hard.  The Sawzall just sliced right through the nails.

Step Two:  Laying out the planks IMG_6018 I used 6 foot fir strips (aka cheap/lightweight wood) to attach the planks to. I made two separate walls for the sake of transportation ease.  I laid out a pattern with variations of light and dark and made sure the widths of the planks were similar to those of the second wall so there would be a smooth transition from one wall to the other.  I used wood screws to attach the planks to the fir strips. IMG_6025

Here’s a closeup of the wood color and condition

Step Three: Embellishing the wall to make it more Valentiney IMG_6157I cut out hundreds of hearts in pinks, reds, and gold and strung them on fishing line.  Remember when I mentioned how I rope my friends into helping me?  Yup, I got some major help on this task.  The LOVE marquee is from Target.

IMG_6159Model: Amie (sister I never had/project assistant)

IMG_7635_Valentine's Day Minis_r IMG_7281_Valentine's Day Minis_r

Photos Courtesy of Juice Box Media

Models: Kids of Juice Box Media

After the walls were finished I still had some wood left so I decided to make a kissing booth as well.  I wanted to incorporate the chalk typography art fad so I gave it a go.  The kissing booth is painted with chalkboard spray paint and I freehanded the type in chalk, that way I could change up the text if need be in the future.   I made the tissue tassels by following this tutorial.

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IMG_8062_Valentine's Day Minis_r

Photo Courtesy of Juice Box Media

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 IMG_8005_Valentine's Day Minis_r

IMG_7564_Valentine's Day Minis_r  IMG_7465_Valentine's Day Minis_r

Photos Courtesy of Juice Box Media

Models: Kids of Juice Box Media

IMG_8050_Valentine's Day Minis_r

Here’s the finished product Ooh La Loo!


art, design, diy, girly, home, home decor

childhood home takeover vol.1

Bedroom Before and After

bedroom before and after

This past June I packed up my beloved Redondo condo and moved to my childhood home in Torrance.  It’s hard to believe that a single (then 31-year-old) gal could need more space than the condo provided but when your hobbies require table saws and things of that nature you quickly start feeling cramped in a 900 square foot dwelling.  I now have a 4 bedroom home to play with…oh the possibilities! I have so so many ideas and plans…where to begin?  I made the obvious choice. The bedroom.  First, I had to decide which room I was going to sleep in.  You would think that the master would be a no brainer…but did I mention I have a lot of craft supplies??  I opted to make the master my office/work space and take my brothers childhood room as my own.  It’s west facing so it receives great light.  It’s actually been occupied by guests for the past umpteen years, so don’t be alarmed when you see floral wallpaper border…not that there’s anything wrong with that lol.  My mom was way into wallpaper, as you’ll see in many of my “before” pics.  It’s actually a skill I’m rather grateful she has…I love me some wallpaper as well…it’s back guys!

Here’s what I was working with

 IMG_2354  empty before

You’re looking at 30 year old carpet…yikes.

Step One: Strip the carpet, remove baseboards, and patch holes.


Step Two: Remove wallpaper.


Step Three: Pick out wall color.  This is the hardest part! I mean…look at all the options!


Picking paint is tricky…it never looks like the sample, it’s always way darker on the wall than it is on the little paint chip…when it’s covering a large area it can be overwhelming.  I’ve learned this lesson the hard way! I would usually sample a bunch of colors on the wall and see which works best with the flooring/furniture but in this case, the walls were my jumping off point.  I had a blue sheet that was exactly the color I wanted.  I hung it on the wall for a while to make sure I liked it with the natural lighting in the room.  Once I decided to pull the trigger I brought the sheet to Lowes with me and matched it to the samples.  I found a perfect match! Olympic B56-4 Aqua Blue.



Lucky me…I have the most helpful friends! Jess came over and helped me paint!

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Step Four: Laying the wood flooring. Boy…I thought picking paint was hard…installing flooring is worse! I think my body ached for two weeks after this process!

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Step Five: Baseboards and decorative mouldings. I picked the baseboards I wanted and found that they offered them in a contractors pack…it saves money to buy it that way!  They have the pack in both 8 and 12 feet but I opted for the 12 so I would have less cuts/seams…downside was I had to drive with them hanging out of the back of my car!

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You wouldn’t believe the impact new baseboards make….look at the before and after!

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In addition to the baseboards I wanted to add decorative mouldings to the wall.  For very little money, it adds a sophistication to the room.  I needed a miter saw and nail gun for this project.

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Step Six: Furniture

I’m using most of my existing furniture from the condo.

Bed: custom from The American Iron Bed Company

Bedding: Pottery Barn

Bedside Table: Home Goods

Bedside lamp: Home Goods

Reading chair: Home Goods

Ottoman: Target

Reading Lamp: Ikea

Desk Chair: Ikea

Desk and Chest: I got these from a furniture builder in Redondo Beach who has since gone out of business.  They were both white (shabby chic). The desk was painted green and I painted the chest and orangy/red…Sunset Skyline to be exact (from Lowes)

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 Step Seven: Decorating! The best part. Here are a few details that went into the room.

Curtains: They are actually shower curtains from Anthropologie…I had a 20% off coupon.  Using shower curtains saved a lot of money, window coverings can get really expensive!


Rug: Ikea


Lanterns: Anthropologie…Clearance! $148 down to $34.95!!


Antlers: DIY…I got these at the Rose Bowl Flea Market and covered them with fabric.



Books: Ebay


Vases: Anthropologie (Christmas present from my Best Friend Kelly)


Prints: Moonrise Kingdom Sam and Suzy Prints from Etsy (Christmas Present from my BFF Andy)


Finished Product

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Ooh La Loo!

Antiques, crafts, design, diy, girly, home, home decor, Style

If I was famous and had a “life and style” magazine segment…

I’m going to be saying goodbye to my recondo (Redondo Beach Condo); which I have called home for the past 5 years.  I’ve had a blast putting my touch on every wall and I’m sad to say goodbye.  Before selling, I asked my little sister Chanie (Amie…not related…but the closest thing I have to a little sis) to take some pics of the place, just so I could have them.  She captured it perfectly and I’m in love with the images.  She also got some of me and Tawnie…my 9 year old Yorkie (who I bought with my first paycheck as a teacher)!  There were about 422….but here are just a few.

First is my living room.  I spent about 16 hours painting that chevron wall….well really the most time consuming part was the taping!

living room collage

living room collage 2

One of the best parts about living in Redondo is the proximity to the pier…I loved throwing Tawn in the back of my bike and riding at the beach.  She loved it too!


I bought these hanging globes from CB2 and made these terrariums using air plants…super low maintenance!

corner nook collage

I was really into the Chevron trend for a while…as you can see!  This wall was super fun.  What was not fun was when a plumber knocked on my door and said there was a leak behind my shower and had to cut out a 10×20 inch chunk out of my hard work….and then proceeded to LEAVE THE HOLE.  Thank God for my rent-a-husband Danny who came in and patched the drywall.  Don’t know what I would do without the Richards family…..they take care of me for sure.  I never did get around to repainting that spot…

bathroom collage

The composition of the pic is fun.


I love the dining area.  Those are three mirror doors that slide and conceal a large storage closet.  I painted them with gray chalkboard paint and covered the center with paper wall tiles.  Super easy to install!  One of my favorite pieces in the house is the chandelier I fashioned using vintage cage lamps and light coverings found at a flea market.

dining room room collage

And last…here’s my bedroom/craft room.


bedroom collage 1

desk collage



sideboard collage

crafts, design, diy, home, home decor

highlight your favorite things!

 I made a marquee y’all!

17-marquee final product

I’ve been wanting to buy a marquee for a long time and have seen many takes on the retro sign decor idea. I love the use of upcycled letters from signs…take a look at the los vegas neon museum here…or google “las vegas sign graveyard.” AMAZING right? Anywhoo…those are really really big and even more really expensive. Go onto etsy and you’ll find that a single letter will run you about $100. That ish cray. Coming from a girl with a “I can do that” mentality I decided to try to do it myself. The question was…how can I make this happen on a budget? I saught out alternative options such as this option where the JunkArtGypsyz use 16″ laser cut wood and install lights or this option from one of my favorite blogs with pre-made 12″ cardboard letters. The wood and cardboard letters are accessible at the craft store but I really had my heart set on metal letters. I ran across 16″ aluminum letters by Danny Seo at Marshalls. Each letter ran me 12.99. Deal! I wasn’t so much into the color…but the bones for my project were there.  The only limitations were…I had to pick letters I could flip around…such as I Y O M A C V W T U E.  Try making words out of those letters! haha.  The K didn’t flip perfectly, but good enough.  You’ll see when I post how I’m decorating with these why I chose the word “CAKE.”  Runner up option was HOME but that wasn’t as fun!

Here is a pic of the letters before I got to work on them:

1-beginning marquee

I measured out where I wanted the lights and took to drillin’

3-drilling marquee

You can see where I drew out the spacing for the lights a little better in this next picture:

4-drilling c marquee

…and the tools I used in this next one.  I already owned all of the tools so that didn’t cost me a penny!  I hit a snag while drilling the “K” which you can see there!  There is a structural wire on the inside which I thought I had avoided while spacing out the holes for the lights….but NOPE! That little snafoo wasn’t going to get me down…onward ho!

 5- drilling marquee with tools

Here it is with holes drilled:

6-marquee with holes pre paint

Then…it was time to get my paint on! Valspar Metallic gold on the inside. I already had the paint too from my last project…so more pennies saved!

7-pre gold paint marquee

8-gold paint marquee

Valspar Satin Black (3.99) on the outside:

11-marquee with holes before paint 2

12-black paint

Voila…paint is done!

 14-holes and paint 2

I attached lights from target.  It took 2 strings (13.99 each).

15-marquee lights install

Ooh La Loo! There she is!!

19-cake marquee

crafts, diy, gifts, upcycling, Yarn

pinterest party!


My college girlfriends and I got together this month for a pinterest party! I kept referring it to as a pinterest fail party….have you seen all the pinterest fail posts on social media? google it…they’re amazing.  Not to say that I didn’t have faith in us…but we were doing things we hadn’t previously tried so you never know!  Some of the girls chose pinterest baked goods while others chose craft projects.  I of course gravitated towards a craft.  I browsed my pinterest feed and looked for something that looked simple enough but still cute.  The first one I picked was linked to this site.  I’ve seen a lot of mason jar ideas in the past…but this one was too cute to pass up.  I deviated from the mason jar and went with jam jars.  Ideally you would use jars that you have collected from home and re-purpose them but since I was providing jars for the whole group I had to pick some up.  I also needed plastic animal toys…I planned on stopping by a couple places but my first stop had everything I needed.  I went to Daiso, which is a $1.50 Japanese store, which carries virtually everything.  I’m not kidding!

Pictured: My Daiso basket (each item $1.50) compared to the price of plastic animals at Joanns!

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Step One: Pick the animals you’d like to use

Step Two: glue those bad boys on the lids

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Step Three: Spray paint the lids and the jars a color of your choice


These were the paints I had in my stash…we only ended up using the four pictured on the right

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Here are more pics of the process.  For this one I did a two-tone design.

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I removed the lid, covered the bottom with painters tape and painted the jars white…once I took off the paint I ended up with this two-toned look.  Ooh La Loo!


Here are what all of ours ended up looking like!

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Bekah found the next pinterest project from this site.

I embellished my trees with items in my craft stash: pipe cleaners, brads, and mini pom poms.

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Ooh La Loo! So cute up on the bookcase in my living room.


One more craft project found here.  I think I’ve mentioned my crazy yarn stash in a past post.  It came in handy for this project!


They turned out cute…I think I’ll make some for my friends for Christmas!

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Here’s our lovely host Alyssa! She made a goat cheese heirloom tomato tart! Yum!!


baby, Crochet, Yarn

baby boy beanie update

You might recall a post I wrote on 9/26: baby boy beanie 

Well…said beanie was used for Ryder’s newborn shoot.  I’m so in love with this little man and these pictures of him are precious!

_dsc9518-backgroundKris used this one for his announcement! He already doesn’t fit the beanie anymore…but we’ve already had our first crochet lesson so she can make him some herself as his little noggin keeps growing.  She said she wants to keep this one to pass down as an heirloom…so sweet!!

_DSC9584I mean…c’mon.  This is just too much.

_DSC9444I got a request for this little turtle set specifically for his newborn shoot.  Ooh La Loo! Turned out pretty good if I do say so myself! I mean the adorable baby isn’t hurting either. lol.

To make the shell I basically googled “how to crochet a pentagon” and “how to crochet a hexagon.”  I made 6 pentagons and 1 hexagon and connected the 6 pentagons to a hexagon in the center.

IMG_9307This is what one of my pentagons looked like…didn’t get any pics of the process….oops.

collabo, crafts, diy, fabric, Sewing

collabo post: matryoshka dolls

It’s not very often I get to see all of my college besties…we’ll that’s not true.  We seen to get together more than you would think seeing as how spread apart we are.  My lovely Laura lives all the way in PA and made a special pit stop in LA on her way yo a wedding in Santa Barbara, our college town.  I got her all to myself for an entire afternoon.  We had chocolate chip pancakes at the Original Pancake House, cookies at Torrance Bakery, discovered a new vintage shop, and hit up one of my favorite fabric shops Momen +.  She got the Torrance tour it seems.  While at Momen, Laura found the cutest little hand made elephants…she couldn’t resist them for her sweet baby girl’s room.  She got a free “fat quarter” with her purchase.  She thought she could make something cute with this pattern…we put out heads together and came up with these little stuffed dolls.  SO easy to make!

IMG_9443Here’s the cute martyoshka fabric!

IMG_9444We cut out the individual dolls.

IMG_9510  IMG_9511Pick a coordinating fabric and trim around the doll.

IMG_9513Sew a tad bit away from the doll outline.

IMG_9516You can get a feeling for the seem allowance in this pic.  Keep an opening where you can flip the fabric right side out.

IMG_9518After you flip it…press it…stuff it…and hand sew the hole

IMG_9507  IMG_9508Here’s an example of why you DON’T sew right up to the edge…..the doll looks super skinny once you stuff!

IMG_9520Laura loo gave the machine a whirl too!

IMG_9533Here are the ones we finished that afternoon…can you spot the first two we made…lol!

IMG_9536Ooh La Loo!

Pretty cute huh?

cars, diy, ecamper

Useless Skill #9: Servicing Your Own Car

Here is the first installment in my acquisition of 20 useless skills series (skills listed in this past blog post).

I used this YouTube video to learn how to change the oil on my 2010 Honda Element…my pride and joy.

Ooh La Loo! I did it guys!

diy, girly, Sewing, sports

hello kitty ball cap

I was beyond bummed that I missed out on Dodger Hello Kitty Givaway night (both actually).  No bobble head or fleece blanket for me…wah wah. But I did however get to go to a game…and I was sure to make it a Hello Kitty night of my own.  I heard there was a HK section at the team store now…I was hoping they had a hat.  They did! But…it was all sold out on the online MLB store!  I actually couldn’t even find a picture online…but I image that it looked pretty darn close to the Padres cap.


HK…does she have no loyalty?  It’s hard to tell but there are little white ears…if you google Hello Kitty Dodgers hat a pic of another asian girl will come up wearing it…lol.

I actually wasn’t really a fan of the hat…and also…I don’t reeaaallly want it to be HK ALLL the time….just most of the time.  SO I got my throwback Brooklyn Dodgers hat and worked my magic.

hello kitty bow supplies

This is pretty much all you need!  I found a template to print online.  Get the bow template here.

hello kitty bow template

Just cut around the bow and pin it to the red felt.

hello kitty cut outs

Trim the felt around the bow.

stuffing hello kitty bow

After you cut out the two bows (one for the front and one for the back) use the center of the template to cut out the circle for the middle.  You only need one!  Also pictured is the stuffing.  I wasn’t sure if I needed it at first BUT yes…puffiness was necessary.

hello kitty boy diy 2

Glue all the edges together with the stuffing inside.  I folded the top bow in the center and glued the circle on top to give a cinched look…you can’t really tell in this picture but you’ll see what I’m talking about in the finished product. I used clothespins to hold it tight while the glue hardened.

stuffed hello kitty bow

Here it is.  I ended up sewing the edges because I thought it looked cleaner…but it’s not a must

hello kitty dodgers hat

Ooh la Loo!  There it is!

hello kitty dodgers bobblehead  hello kitty dodgers

Since next month my favorite sport season begins (Basketball), my HK bow will get a chance to girly up another cap….Clippers!!  And here is proof that HK loves the Clips as well.


 Luckily…the Clips have the perfect colorway for the bow…my favorite colorway actually.  I LOVE royal and red together…actually navy and red too.  I think the bow looks pretty good on my snapback if I do say so myself.

hello kitty clippers hat

baby, Crochet, Yarn

baby boy beanie

Two weeks ago I was on a baby moon with my besties Andy and Kris.  We thought the baby boy would be joining us late October…but he couldn’t wait to get here!  Kris texted us at the end of last week thinking he might be coming soon.  My first thought was about his safety as well as Kris’ and my second thought was…shoot, I don’t have that beanie ready I promised I’d make him!  Just a week prior Krisi had been looking up baby beanies on etsy and would send me pictures of ones she thought were cute.  She asked if it was something I would be able to do or if she should order one.  I told her she could stop searching because I would love to make him one! I had never made a beanie for a babe before so this process was a little trial and error as you’ll see later.  I don’t use patterns most of the time and usually rely on my eye when crocheting.  All this to say…there aren’t super specific directions.

I had the gray on hand which is a tad bid heavier weight than the blue.  The blue yarn is baby yarn which tends to be softer than your average skein.  I love mixing textures when I crochet.  I stopped by Michael’s for the blue on my way home from a boba run and was so mad at myself for not having my coupons!  I almost went home (I refuse to pay full price for anything at Joann’s or Michael’s), then I remembered I had the Michael’s app on my phone! I opened it and it had a 50% off coupon waiting for me.  Total coast of this project $2.99! Bam.

Stitch: Half Double

Hook SIze: H

Step 1: I worked a circle by starting with 4 chains.  Typically I work two crochets into each stitch until I have made 1 round.  From there I do 2/1/2/ the next 2 rounds.

Step 2:  After 3 rounds or about the size of a quarter I switched to the gray to start a stripe.

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Step 3:  It’s all about judgment in this process…if you see the work getting bubbly that means you are adding too many stitches and you should rip out as many as you need to and adjusting how many stitches you are adding.  Maybe switching from the 2/1/2 to 2/1/1/1/2.  To give you an idea I think I was adding a stitch every eight stitches by 5th round.  Once my flat coaster looking circle was about the size of my palm I stopped increasing and just crocheted one stitch in each loop which gave the circle a bit of a lift making it more bowl like.

Step 4:  I measured my finished product and compared it to average measurements of baby heads.  I was about an inch off (this is why you use patterns people). Sooooo…I scrapped this hat and made another one…which I made a bit larger before I stopped increasing.  You’ll notice that the finished product pictured a bit later starts with gray instead of blue!

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Step 5:  I decided that just because he’s a boy, that doesn’t mean his hat has to be plain! Pom poms it is! I realize the poms were in a previous post but…who cares!  Similar to the yarn and fabric method I showed in the upcycled bag post I mixed colors.

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Step 6: I added a little ear flap to give it the old school aviator helmet look and added the pom to the top.


Ooh La Loo! Baby Ryder fitting perfectly in his custom beanie!

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I promise next time I’ll actually write down what I do!  Coming soon…video tutorials. Woo Hoo!