My Workspace

You know how Apartment Therapy has home tours where they always have them write something about what they love about their space?  They usually say things that make my eyes roll (because I’m a terrible person) like “Living here makes me feel free to be the artist I am inside.”  Actually, I think I just nailed it.  Right off the top of my head, I nailed something irritatingly sappy, yet completely true.  OK.  The ones that really make me mad are the ones that say “I love how all the light in our apartment makes me feel like I’m sitting on a cloud.”  I don’t know.  I didn’t nail the second one.  But most of the time they’re just jealousy-inducing (you know that I live in black hole, right?).  That being said, I recently ran across a company called WeWork.  They are a coworking company which means that rent out amazing and modern office space (more like cool lounge space full of awesome) from something as small as a desk to an entire private office.  And I’m not being overly dramatic when I say amazing.  Seriously.  Click on the link and see the office space – don’t just glaze over it.  Click on it.  I’m making you SO CURIOUS, aren’t I?!  The ones here in LA include…free beer.  I think they might have to put a cap on that for Ryan.  They’d lose their shirts.  Anyway, they asked me to show what I love about my workspace which went along nicely with some of the things we’ve changed in the apartment that I wanted to show you.  Because…my entire tiny apartment is my work space.

So, let me say what I love about my apartment.  I love that, even though it is VERY small, we have learned how to make our entire living space a workspace.  I sew on the dining room table, I stitch on the couch, I fold origami on the coffee table.  I haven’t shown you it yet (don’t get too excited), but…Ryan created a desk for our bed which consists of a plain, old door, so that I can make the bedroom my workspace.  Granted, it was only so he could play his PS4 in the living room while I was in the bedroom watching old Poirots).  And we have gotten creative with storage.  So, instead of the “normal” showcase of a workspace, I thought I’d just point out parts of our apartment that I like the most.  Some of them are new to the blog, so it’ll be the very first time you’ve seen them.  Can you contain your excitement?!

First, the living room.  I think I do most of my work here because…I like to watch TV while I work.  And the newest “change” in the living room is something long-time(ish) readers will recognize.

new couch cover

We have a new couch cover!  (Side note – I could not stop Ralph from jumping on the couch every time I went to take a picture.  He’s a total camera hog. And I didn’t even realize Ted was there too.).  I know…the Tangerine Dream is no more.  The gross reason – Ted (being from the land of Barfur), had hairballed it so many times on it and it just was becoming harder and harder to clean.  So we checked out Ikea’s catalog and found a cover we really, really liked.  The beauty of having an Ikea couch is the fact that you can pretty much have a whole new couch every couple of years.  And Ryan’s herringbone coffee table looks fantastic with it, right?!  And notice the mod cat bed and “bear skin” rug for Ralph and Ted?  The only way I could get them to lay in it was by cutting up the felt from the cat cave and putting it in there.  Because…they apparently love the feel of felt on their butts, just not while being inside a cave.  Total jerks.

The always inspiring shelves:

shelvesI love these shelves that Ryan made.  What started as something to cover the wall heater turned into a great accent wall.  Maybe people think this is too busy or straight up weird, but you know what – EVS.  I love them.  A wall where I can rotate different display items and pictures?  Yes, please!  And in an apartment where wall space is limited, it’s nice to have a place to display the projects you make!  Like the Royal Tenenbaums cross stitch pattern I just bought and will show you when it’s completed!

The dining room (aka sewing table)

dining room

Not only do I love the fact that we swapped out the chairs that came with the set (no, we did not toss them out – they’re in our storage space) with these Eames chairs, but this table becomes GINORMOUS which means I can do something like quilt a queen-sized quilt more easily than I could with this tiny round table.  I say “more easily,” but we all know it’s still awful.

After the more “workspace” specific areas I’ve shown above, I also wanted to show you guys some of the new things we’ve gotten since the hiatus.

credenza

We got a new entertainment center!  (Sorry, this is the best picture we could get – the black hole we live in…).  Remember when I wrote that post about wanting a mid-century credenza?  Well, Ryan’s family was listening because THEY MADE US  ONE FOR OUR ANNIVERSARY!  Well, when I say “they,” I mean my brother-in-law who owns a woodworking business did the physical making.  It’s solid walnut and it makes me feel like a grown-up (if that’s possible).

kitchen lightWe finally got rid of the leaded glass ceiling light and got something a little fancier.  Actually, this was gifted to us by a friend and I love it so much that it hurts a little.  But as much as I love it, seeing this picture of our dumb rental kitchen tile makes me sad.  But just look away from that.  Look at that shiny light!  Isn’t it pretty?!

ceiling fanAlso…a new fan!!  I’ve been DYING to get rid of the matching light/fan set forever, so we finally just went for it.  I don’t know why we hesitated so long as they aren’t that expensive.  And I love it!

Another thing WeWork asked me to show is my DREAM work space.  So…here goes.

mid-century desk

Photo credit.  I can envision myself right now sitting at this desk writing this blog post.  I’ll also take the giant brick wall.

modern workspace

Photo credit.  I might be…sewing in here?!  Forget the dumb books!  Think of all the fabric I could store there!  That table is a great width for a sewing table!  The lighting…I can’t even think about it.  And the Womb Chair.

conference room yellow whitePhoto credit.  And if we’re going to live in the world of unicorns and leprechauns (aka Imaginationland), then this is the conference room where my staff and clients will be clamoring for my opinion on…everything.  And I will say things like “DALE!!  WHERE’S MY LATTE???!!!”

waiting room

Photo credit. And this would be my waiting room.  Yes, I realize that the style is kinda running the gamut (I mean, this waiting room doesn’t really jive with the conference room), but whatever.  IT’S ALL ABOUT ME!

office lunchroom

Photo credit – (No idea.  I lost it in the search and can’t find it again.).  If we’re gonna play this game, I’m going to pretend that my office is SO LARGE (because, duh, who wouldn’t want to hitch their star to THIS wagon) that I would need a staff lunchroom.  Poor Dale.  Actually, LUCKY Dale because this is awesome.

pool

Photo credit.  This would be the super cool pool we have. Because I’m a giver.  Not because I’d want a pool or anything.

Anyway…  Back to the grind.  Is it just me or do you feel depressed now?

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Wedding Festivities

As I mentioned last week, my sister-in-law got married a few weeks ago.  Yay for Christian and Tate!!  Because I am nice (read: pushy), I offered (read: pretty much demanded) to make a few things as wedding decorations.  I was very close to being a bridesmaidzilla.  I mean, I had a Pinterest board created about 5 seconds after the question was popped.  Mainly, I offered to make paper peonies for the bouquets and those origami flower balls as the centerpieces.  After the words came out of my mouth, Ryan just looked at me and shook his head.  He reminded me how time-consuming both of those projects are and said he just wanted me to be SURE that I could handle it.  I assured him – easy peasy (wink, wink).  I had several months notice, so done and done.  First, let me show you the finished pictures of the bouquets which took me the longest and I think might be the crown jewel of all the things I’ve ever made in my entire life:

Wedding bouquetsPrepare yourself for the fog horn level of tooting you are about to hear.  Guys.  These things were gorgeous.  And let me run down the steps to make them – 1) tear up sheets of printer paper, boil them, blend them in the blender and spread them onto trays to form sheets of pulpy paper; 2) draw the petal template onto the paper and cut out (each flower consists of…50 petals); 3) hand dip each petal into a paint/water/enamel solution; 4) shape each petal; and 5) hot glue (I burned myself SEVERELY once – bourbon and hot glue might not mix well) each of the 50 petals together to  make a flower.  This doesn’t include the drying time after steps 1 and 3.  I made 50 flowers.  If you ask people who saw me working during any point of this process, they will assert that I was working like I was a sweatshop employee.  There were trays of drying things splayed all around our tiny apartment.  And…I loved it!  Granted, it was a lot of work, but when a project turns out better than you ever imagined, you don’t really mind.  It’s akin to having a baby, I’m sure.

Thankfully, Ryan’s entire family chipped in to make the origami centerpieces.  I know this because I was sent video footage of the entire family sitting around a table, folding paper and depressingly looking at the camera while saying “Thanks, Lizzie…”  That’s right, minions [whip sound]!

The wedding itself was so beautiful.  The venue was amazing and the night was pretty much perfect.  Here’s a snapshot of the festivities*:

Wedding stuff 2

Wedding stuff

Yes, I did include a picture of my hair because it was gorgeous.  And one thing I want to mention is that my mother-in-law had the coolest idea of taking the picture Tate drew (I hate talented people) on the invitation and making it a giant framed guest book.  I love it!

So…there you have it.  And no, I won’t make your wedding bouquets.  Don’t even ask.

*After looking at the pictures again, I realize that there are more pictures of me than anyone else.  But…it’s all about me.  We all know that.

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Custom Stuff – Like Anything

First off, hello, hello, hello!  I know it’s been far too long and that you may very well have thought I died of some deadly disease (Ebola WAS going around) because I’ve been so silent for so long.  Honestly, I just got really burned out.  But now I feel like I’ve once again got something to say, so I am RISING LIKE A PHOENIX back into the blogosphere.  Me:

Phoenix rising

Illustration credit – [I have no idea and DID tried to find out and will change this reference if that person contacts me and threatens to sue.]

I’m not going to post as much as I did.  Well, I doubt.  I just can’t come up with that many projects to make and searching around online for fun stuff EVERY DAY was starting to become a chore and that’s not why I started writing this blog.  So, I took a break.  A long one.  But I’m starting to feel bloggy again.  We’ve actually done a LOT of things around the old Queen AnnE apartment which I can’t wait to show you all.  A lot of it has been on Instagram, but I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that not everyone follows me (probably because I don’t have many followers in general – you are missing out on some hilarious childhood pictures, my friend) which means I can safely share them here without everyone saying “Ugh – OLD NEWS, GRANDMA!”

ANYWAY…

For our anniversary this year, Ryan gave me a great present – and Etsy gift card.  At first I was like “I’m going to buy something super fancy and wonderful and I will cherish it forever!!”  But then I realized that a lot of the stuff I like on there is severely overpriced and I didn’t really want to “waste” my gift card.  So that led me to buy a TON of little things (I actually still have a good portion of the gift certificate amount left).  Things that have made me squeal with delight over and over again.  One of which I’m going to show you now because I just got the proof and I was so excited that my first thought was “this level of awesome needs to blogged about.”  But before I do, I just want to explain a bit about why I chose this particular item as some of you might find this “medium” of art to be…kinda old and dated and dumb.  First of all – suck it.  Second – you don’t know what you’re talking about.  Third – you are about to change your mind.  What am I talking about?  Cross stitch.  I know, I know.  You’re thinking of old-timey houses and lots of crisscross alphabets.  Well…you’re so wrong.  Let me show you what I found and am currently working on.

tenenbaums

Yes.  That is a cross stitch pattern of The Royal Tenenbaums.  A movie I love immensely.  IMMENSELY.  But then, upon further investigation of this Etsy Seller (weelittlestitches), I saw that not only do they do other awesome and hilarious TV and movie patterns, but also CUSTOM (hence the name of the post) patterns.  Guys, I love custom things.  Remember those custom pictures of Ralph and Ted that I had painted?  I seriously can’t get enough.  So…I bought a custom pattern, sent over some pictures and general information about us, and this is what she created:

Custom cross stitch

GAHHHH!!!  Ryan’s wearing a Space Invaders t-shirt!  I’m wearing flip-flops!  AND TED’S IN A BOX!!!!!!!!!  I think my heart may explode with happiness.  I can’t wait to actually stitch it!!

So that’s it for today.  I’ve got some other projects I did over the hiatus to show you guys, including my sister-in-law’s wedding projects which turned out wonderfully.  So…start getting used to seeing me around!  (Watch, I’m gone for another several months…)

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