Monthly Archives: February 2013

Sorry I’ve Been MIA!

Hi everyone! I apologize for being MIA the past few days. I’ve been busy getting myself acquainted with my new job and routine, and I’ll be honest, the commute is kicking my butt! I’ve been getting up at 5:00 am to catch the 6:34 train, getting home at 6:45 and have been in bed by 9:00/9:30. Basically, I’ve had enough time to shower, eat dinner and watch a 30 min tv show. I’ve wanted to blog every night after work, but I come home and feel like this…

Luckily, that will all change in a week when I move to Hoboken! My 4 hour commute will change to less than 2 for the day and it will give me time to blog again!

One up-sides of commuting is that I’ve had time to read again! I haven’t seriously sat down with a book in a couple of months because I’ve spent all of my free time blogging or working on projects. I now have 4 hours everyday to read and it’s been awesome. I started Ready Player One By Ernest Cline (published by Crown!) on Monday and am a little more than halfway through it. It’s a futuristic novel, which normally isn’t what I gravitate towards, but I’m really enjoying it. The storyline is entertaining and there’s suspense, which always pulls me in!

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Aside from the exhausting commute, my first week at Random House went very well! I really like everything I’m doing so far and everyone is so nice and welcoming! I’m excited to be learning new things and to be challenged by something again. Since it was the first week, I’m still just dipping my toes in, but I’m looking forward to seeing what next week will bring!

I hope you all had a great week! Does anyone have any fun plans for the weekend? I’m spending today and tomorrow packing and doing last minute shopping because I’m moving next Saturday (eeeeek!!!!!)! This is all I have packed so far…

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Yes, my calphalon bread pan and my JT cup from his Future Sex Love Show tour (you can all judge me because I’m judging myself right now). Clearly, these two things are what I’ve decided are most important in my life. I need to get busy (and reevaluate my priorities) today or else this will be all I have in my apartment. I have never moved before, so I’m feeling slightly incredibly overwhelmed by the whole process. On my list of kitchen items to pack are my stenciled napkins and the mug I made in my pottery class. They’re going to look awesome in my kitchen!

Happy Saturday, everyone! I apologize in advance if you don’t see another post from me until after March 2nd. I will do my best to try to pop on here and at least say hi!

Thanks for reading!

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DIY Stenciled Napkins

With apartment decorating on my mind, I did a fun and simple DIY project last weekend – stenciled napkins! I have been thinking about how I can bring my own personality into my new space and one of the things I came up with was my very own set of cotton napkins. I had bought a pack of four from Michaels a couple of weeks ago and hadn’t done anything with them yet. So last weekend, I decided to turn them into a “new apartment” project. I came up with four different designs, one for each napkin because I wanted to have a set of four individual pieces, and got to work stenciling.

Here is a tutorial just for you, so you can try stenciling your own! (Remember, this doesn’t only apply to napkins. You can stencil anything you want, from napkins to pillowcases to t-shirts!)

What you’ll need:

–        a design (keep in mind that this is a stencil, so fine lines can be tricky!)

–        transparency paper (this is what I used as a stencil)

–        permanent marker

–        x-acto knife/razor blade

–        scrap fabric

–        napkins

–        fabric ink

–        stencil brush

–        masking tape

–        hard surface and some cardboard or newspaper to keep things clean

Supplies1

1. Pre-wash and iron your napkins. You will also need some test fabric, so it’s helpful if you have this ironed and ready to go as well.

2. Create your design – either draw or print your design onto paper (the black areas in my design are what will be cut out and made into a stencil) *Note: if you’re confident enough and don’t feel the need to pre-draw a design, then just draw it directly onto the transparency and skip to Step 4!

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my 4 designs all on one sheet of paper

3. Place a sheet of transparency paper over your design and trace it with a permanent marker.

Step1 Step2 Step2b

as you can see, I did two designs on each sheet of transparency, just to save paper

as you can see, I traced two designs on each sheet of transparency, just to save paper

4. Once you have traced your design, cut out the shapes using an x-acto knife. (don’t forget, you’re going to cut out all of the areas that were black)

Step3

5. Now that you have your stencils made, you’re ready to print. I suggest doing some test runs on scrap fabric before you stencil on your actual napkins. Unforeseen accidents are always possible, but it’s easier to avoid them if you do some tests prints first.

Step4 Step4a Step4b

first test run of all four designs

first test run of all four designs

I didn’t like the way the blue looked, so I decided to try the circles in yellow. I like the yellow better!

I didn’t like the way the blue looked, so I decided to try the circles in yellow. I like the yellow better!

6. If you’re happy with the way your test prints turned out, then you’re ready to print on your napkins. Take your napkin and lay it flat on your table. Make sure it is smooth and tape the sides down with some masking tape so that it doesn’t shift.

Step5

7. Then line your stencil up along the bottom of the napkin, tape down the sides, dip your stencil brush into ink, and stipple the ink onto the fabric.

Step5a

my stencil was not as wide as my napkin, so once I stenciled the first half, I just lifted the stencil, being careful not to smudge anything, and moved it over so I could stencil the remaining section.

my stencil was not as wide as my napkin, so once I stenciled the first half, I just lifted the stencil, being careful not to smudge anything, and moved it over so I could stencil the remaining section.

I decided I wanted to have my designs on the bottom and top of my napkin, so once I finished one edge, I just moved the stencil to the opposite end and repeated the process.

I decided I wanted to have my designs on the bottom and top of my napkin, so once I finished one edge, I just moved the stencil to the opposite end and repeated the process.

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8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 on the remaining napkins with your other designs.

Green Magenta Purple

9. When all of your napkins are stenciled, let them dry thoroughly and then iron them to heat-set the ink. (*Fabric ink must always be heat-set)

Once they are ironed, they are ready to use however you please! You can place them around your table…

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Arrange them in a basket for display…

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Or even hang them over a towel bar on your refrigerator or in your bathroom – they are decorative, yet useful!

now you can see why I printed both ends

now you can see why I printed both ends

Here are a few more shots…

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I really love the way they look. I love the simple geometric designs and the colors I chose and I think they are going to be great for my new apartment!

I hope this post inspires you to go do a stencil project! If you have any questions about the process, please feel free to drop me a note 🙂

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If you liked this post, you may want to check out my DIY Heart T-Shirt and my DIY Pillowcase

My Week via Instagram

Monday afternoon in NY. Walking near Columbus Circle. Very foggy day.

Monday afternoon in NY. Walking near Columbus Circle. Very foggy day.

Galentine’s Dinner on Thursday with my best girlfriends. We went to a delicious French restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Pates et Traditions and enjoyed a three course dinner of scallop and shrimp puffed pastries, salmon, and crepes with homemade chocolate sauce, strawberries and whipped cream.

Galentine’s Dinner on Thursday with my best girlfriends. We went to a delicious French restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn called Pates et Traditions and enjoyed a three course dinner of scallop and shrimp puffed pastries, salmon, and crepes with homemade chocolate sauce, strawberries and whipped cream.

Friday morning in Williamsburg. The light on the street and building was very pretty.

Friday morning in Williamsburg. The light on the street and building was very pretty.

Happy Monday, everyone! If you have the day off, enjoy it! Tomorrow is my first day at Random House so I will be very busy preparing myself!

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If you liked this post, you may want to check out last week’s instagram recap.

I Found a Home!

In my recent post “2013: A Year of Ups,” I talked about all of the changes that are currently taking place in my life. I’m so excited to share my other bit of “big” news with you today!

If you read my post, then you know that I recently accepted a position at Random House in NY. Once I accepted, I figured I would be commuting from home for awhile because, let’s face it, the city is so expensive and I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford a one bedroom, or even a studio, on my own. I wanted to move out eventually because the commute is about 2 hours one way, but for now, I was settled on the idea of waiting a couple of months, that way I could save more money and maybe find a roommate to live with.

 

I should have known that things weren’t going to go as I had planned. Through a series of coincidental events, I was referred to a one bedroom apartment in Hoboken that is actually affordable! It is the cutest apartment and in a great area! So, as I’m sure you’ve now guessed, I signed the lease this past week and will be moving in March 1st!

 

About the apartment: It’s a one bedroom with an eat-in kitchen that opens up to a nice size living room. I love the layout because it’s long – you walk into the kitchen and move back through the living room into the bedroom. The setup creates a sense of privacy, which is something I feel like you don’t always get in a one bedroom. My absolute favorite part of the apartment though, is a little square room that connects the living room and bedroom. It has two sets of mirrored closets on one wall, which makes it a perfect dressing area. I am also picturing it as a little craft space. There is enough room for a desk, so I will have a place to work and will be able to create a storage space around it with wall shelves and drawers.

 

I can’t wait to post pictures once I get in there! Setting the place up is going to be a slow process, but that’s okay. I want to take my time and make it exactly how I want it. I want to add my own personal touch to it and try to do a lot of DIY projects for the space. So be prepared! In the coming months, you are going to be seeing a lot of posts about my new apartment, how I’m decorating it, projects I’m working on, and I will be asking all of you for advice on moving into a place and making it your own!

 

Happy Saturday!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sending lots of love today to all of my family, friends, readers and fellow bloggers! Happy Valentine’s Day! Whether you’re spending the day with your partner, your best friend, or by yourself, know you’re never alone. There is always someone out there who loves you!

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Image via: http://ptpb-adopt.tumblr.com/post/3295112566/happy-valentines-day-from-ptpb-remember-even-if