Holidays 2014 (aka it’s almost time for another year)

Can’t believe it’s the last day of 2014. In lieu of a Wishlist Wednesday post, this one’s a bit of an update.

I’ve really loved learning new DIY skills and blogging this year. Blogging was something I started when I was 14, but it was never really something I could regularly keep up with. With a blog dedicated to a theme, however, it’s been a lot easier, though I still don’t blog as often as I’d like. Part of it is not having the time to DIY stuff to, you know, talk about, but another part is that I don’t want to make things and blog about them just for the sake of the blog. That’s a quick way to ruin any interest I have in this whole endeavor.

As the year wrapped up, Christmas was definitely an excuse to putter around the house and craft things. Thing is, for the 6 weeks or so leading up to Christmas, I was in the application and interview process for a new job. As you can imagine, it took a lot of my time and energy, and the Thanksgiving trip that generated over a thousand photos just added to my task list. It wasn’t all for nought – I got the job! Meanwhile, I also got some pretty Christmas photos of our place and at our in-laws’.

Christmas tree

Red wreathI made another wreath to add festive touches indoors, and I love how this one turned out. I think I might just get into seasonal wreaths.

Other than the two wreaths, I did a photo-to-canvas transfer of a couple of photos form Alaska to have some fun with string lights.

Photo canvas transfer

I poked holes where the lights would go – I didn’t mean to poke so many holes in the poor reindeer’s face, it just happened to be a spot where the transfer didn’t take very well.

Photo canvas strings lights

SO yeah from the front it looks kind of ridiculous. I mainly added the photo to the canvas so it wouldn’t look like a blank canvas hung up on the wall during the day. However, it looks pretty nice from the side, and since it’s in a corner, you don’t really look at it head on.

RAV_4918

RAV_4937

I love lights and Christmas trees really make for great bokeh in photos. So I went a little crazy.

RAV_4949

More lights = prettier bokeh. I’ll remember that next year.

RAV_4884For this upcoming year I hope to tackle more (and more challenging) projects, and I also plan to dedicate a separate blog to my photography. It’ll take time away from this blog, but it’s something I love doing and want to get better at. So that’ll be my part-wish-part-resolution for today.

Bokeh Christmas Tree

Have a happy a safe New Year’s everyone!

xo Rucha

Wishlist Wednesday: December 17, 2014

I’ve been thinking about rearranging our living room lately, and one thing that bugs me is our bookcase. Our apartment is pretty decent-sized, but it’s astonishing how much real estate a 2×8 Ikea bookcase can take up.

There are definitely some gorgeous bookcase designs out there, but many of them still take up more space than might be ideal. Martina Carpelan, a Finnish designer, has a cool storage solution that I love.

martina carpelan corner bookcase storage shelfSource: Martina Carpelan

The design could just as easily be used in the kitchen or other rooms. What I like most is that you could use it both a positive or negative corner of the room. The downside is, one shelf wouldn’t hold too many books, and at 95 euros a pop, that’s quite a bit to spend. Even so, it’d be cute as a bedside bookshelf – if your room has weird proportions – and it’s also inspiration for a DIY version of your own.

Something else that I’ve been thinking of lately, is the large wall in our staircase landing. It’s pretty high, and it’s a lot of blank space to look at, which is rather uninteresting.

Eazywallz has a pretty awesome collection of removable wall murals, and you can customize the size, as well as create one with your own photos. I’m in love with this one (I couldn’t get a larger size):

SF pier 7  Source: Eazywallz

That’s a shot I’ve been wanting to get for a while now, and I’m considering attempting to DIY a photographic mural if I get the perfect shot. The biggest challenge would be covering a large wall, as well as figuring out a way to make sure it’s removable. The more I think about it, the more excited I am to try this out – so this is going on the project list for sure!

xo Rucha

Wishlist Wednesday: December 10, 2014

This week’s wishlist is a quickie  – mainly because I’m too distracted by Christmas decoration prep, editing my photos from Alaska (which is where we spent all of the week of Thanksgiving) and because I don’t want to distract from the awesomeness that is this item.

Today someone shared Buzzfeed’s 22 Pictures That Prove That 2014 Is The Damn Future. It’s pretty incredible, what we’ve managed to accomplish. But what really caught my eye is #10, this amazing futuristic door that puts all sliding barn door ideas to shame:

future 2014 door shifting Source: Youtube

The door, which also has an industrial-chic version made of solid steel, is the brainchild of Klemens Torggler, an Austrian artist. Also referred to as a “kinetic door”, it’s based on rotating squares that fold and pivot. From what I can tell, there’s no way to lock these so it’s not exactly practical to want one for a main door, but I think it’d make a beautiful interior door.

The best part is, Torggler custom-creates these according to the client’s style, so even if you don’t have a place with a really modern aesthetic, this could still work.

Here’s the steel door, for example.

Maybe I’ll put this on my Christmas list for next year.

Wishlist Wednesday: November 5th, 2014

Happy hump day!

I usually can’t read “November 5th, 2014” in my head without also going “Remember, remember, the 5th of November…” so for those of you across the pond, Happy Guy Fawkes Day too!

Bonfire Night Guy Fawkes Day Telegraph FireworksSource: The Telegraph 

In light of this particular day, today’s list will focus on lighting.

I mean, I could focus it on fire, but there are very few fire-related items I could keep around without major issues.

The Philips Hue System is something I’ve been coveting for a while. It’s an app-controlled lighting system that lets you control the entire house’s lights from your smartphone or tablet. As a tech-happy person, this makes me giddy. You can program different lights according to your schedule (imagine waking up to a slowly brightening room), preference (hate harsh bright lights? no problem!) and mood (capabilities include a full spectrum of color). This would have been really useful for our Halloween party, now that I think about it.

My favorite aspect is the option to get LED light strips .

Philips Hue LightStrips appleinsider Source: Apple Insider

Along with the regular lamps, the photo shows Philips LivingColors Bloom on the right (basically a colorful spotlight you can place anywhere in the room) and the LightStrips are underneath the couch. I love that you can basically customize different parts of the same room according to how you want to arrange the space – which would be perfect for open plan areas.

The cost is a little high for lighting – $60 a bulb, and $200 for a starter kit that includes 3 bulbs – but I’d say this isn’t just any lighting solution.

Philips hue romantic bedroom lightingSource: PSTOL

I also think these would be perfect for a rental space with less than desirable lighting – but then, I might be biased.

The second thing that would be pretty awesome to get, is a huge lit sign behind the bar(cart). I love the look of those industrial metal signs with bulb lighting:

Beer industrial light lit signSource: Custom Made

Okay, so maybe something a little subtler than “BEER” but you get the idea. I’ve never really featured our bar area because it’s not so much an area as a corner with a bar cart, even though its a pretty nice bar cart. It’d be nice to spruce it up especially since we’re actually pretty proud of the thing.

Okay so maybe I have one fire-related item today, but it’s a DIY. A friend found this awesome idea for a tabletop fire pit on Lifehacker – DIY Gel Fire Pits. The original tutorial is actually on Home Repair Tutor – which by the way, is an awesome resource in general.

Since we have a small patio that we share with our neighbors, I’m going to be making this one soon.

diy gel tabletop fire pit lifehacker home repair tutor concrete firepit

I hope those in colder climates are starting to cozy up by their fires, and if you’re celebrating Guy Fawkes, stay safe!

xo Rucha

Wishlist Wednesday: October 29th, 2014

It finally feels like fall is here in San Francisco. Temperatures are dipping, I’m going to track my scarves down soon, and I actually feel like decorating for the season.

Fall is my 2nd favorite season after winter, even though California doesn’t exactly have much of a winter. I love the serenity of snow and the transformed wintry landscapes, and the latter half of the year definitely makes me itch for a place of my own to decorate and change as I see fit. I dream of gorgeous stone fireplaces and cozy baths that I could design according to our tastes.

And if I really had my way, I’d have a ridiculously over the top bath. Say, one that included this bathtub from Fancy.com:

Golf leaf bathtub fancy.com 24k gold bath paris skyline
Source: Fancy.com

Of course, in my head, that (gigantic, of course) bathroom has natural lighting and creamy grey marble, with that tub as a focal point, maybe with a skylight over it. Clearly, in my head, I’ve also won the lottery.

That thing is a whopping $22,310, so this is definitely a wishlist item that’ll stay on the list. But a girl can dream right? It’s beautiful. Maybe one day I’ll have a bathtub that I need to replace and I’ll use it as a guinea pig for an ambitious DIY attempt. I’ll keep you posted – probably via a “What on earth was I thinking?” post.

Meanwhile, on the more realistic end of things, I’ve apparently been hiding under a rock because I didn’t realize that Darby Smart existed. I think I might have briefly seen an ad on Facebook – it’s a DIY monthly subscription box – and dismissed it because I wasn’t sure I wanted a prepackaged DIY project coming in the mail every month. I think it’s a really cool idea though, especially if you’re really busy, but like being crafty and making things regularly. What I also realized today is that they also sell supplies and project kits outside of monthly subscriptions – due to which I promptly bought their wood burning set.

Darby Smart wood burning set woodburning pen

Source: Darby Smart

What I liked about the set is that I could customize to fit my needs, so I eliminated the box in favor of just the pen, stain, brush and letters. I have a couple ideas in mind already, you’ll just have to wait and see!

In a similar vein, I’ve been obsessing over the 3Doodler for months. It’s a 3D printing pen that you can use to make sculptures and 3D drawings. The only thing stopping me is that I don’t want it to be a toy that I get and set aside after a gleeful three days, but the more I read their blog, the more I think that with practice, it would be a useful tool to have.

3Doodler 3DTotal Publishing bird kickstarter book master-your-3D pen

Source: 3Doodler

Imagine a world where doodling doesn’t waste time, but brings your ideas to life. That bird is made from doodles. Doodles, you guys. It’s like my bored-10-year-old-doodling-in-class’ ultimate dream come true.

(Hey Matt, if you’re reading this, Christmas is only 2 months away!)

Seriously though, I think I might get the 3Doodler in the next year or so – I’ve seen some mixed media ideas that I feel could be incorporated into a decor project, but it would definitely be a really unique way to attempt home decor. It’s plastic, and it’ll be hard to make it look pretty, but half the fun is experimenting and facing a challenge.

If anything, I’ll have a way to make Halloween decorations next year.

xo Rucha