Category Archives: Home Decor

E(ART)H letters

Today we’ll talk about 2 of my favorite things. In one word. Although I’ve seen the concept of “Art” in “Earth” before, it seems perfectly fitting for me and all that I’ve been studying. The harp (my art) and the environment (…the earth). Plus, it’s so freaking hard to ever decide what word you’re going to spell out when you’re picking out letters at the store, so when I came up with “EARTH” I knew that I had to put it up on my wall.  Is it cheesy? Yes. Do I care? Not even a little.

First of all, I really believe that just seeing the word “EARTH” will remind me that:

1. I’m a miniscule, teeny-tiny, itty-bitty part of a huge planet so:

2. My problems are not that big of a deal and therefore:

3. Take care of the earth because you’re only a constituent of it, not the freaking owner.

and “ART” is one of many experiences that makes my existence meaningful.

So let’s begin! This is extremely easy. I’ve actually been holding onto these letters for a while–I was meaning to do a different project with them (ie using mosaics) but decided to just paint them because honestly who has the time for mosaics nowadays?

E(ART)H at www.ecospired.com

E(ART)H at www.ecospired.com

In progress!

Materials:

  • Paper Mache letters. Made out of 100% recycled paper! You can buy them here (or at any craft store, really).
  • Paint Brushes
  • PAINT!
  • Optional (for easy hanging): elmer’s glue, nails and a hammer.

This project is extremely simple but fun, and also ecospired (naturally! [pun intended])

Materials for Letters at www.ecospired.com Materials for Letters at www.ecospired.com

Directions:

  • Paint letters.
  • Optional: If you’d like to hang the letters like I did, a really easy way is to take off the plastic tab that is glued on the letter. Then, move the tab down half an inch (so the tab doesn’t stick out from the top) and glue it there using elmer’s glue.. Then, you can just hang it from there (using nails and a hammer). I would’ve taken a picture but because the tabs are clear, they don’t show up well.

E(ART)H at www.ecospired.com

E(ART)H Letters at www.ecospired.com

E(ART)H Letters at www.ecospired.com

I’d paint everything gold if I had the chance.

I painted the sides of the “ART” off white to make the letters “pop” off the wall and to give them definition. Don’t ask why I painted “X”s on the E and the H. I wanted to paint polka dots instead but I was too lazy.

E(ART)H Letters at www.ecospired.com

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E(ART)H Letters at www.ecospired.com

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What do you think? Have you jumped on the letters bandwagon yet? Leave me a comment and let me know!

-Daria

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I’m back!

It’s been too long. I have nooo excuses other than the fact that so much has happened and changed and it’s finally all settling down. To recap- two very close people in my life got married, I got to play harp in Capital Cities’ new music video “Kangaroo Court” (check it out here) and I’m officially a grad student at USC! So that’s nice, because I’ve felt like one for the past 4 years so now my life finally makes sense. Let’s be real, I never experienced college like most people did. For heaven’s sake, I have a blog about PLANTS. Welllll it’s more than plants, and sustainability is what I’m passionate about, so what gives, right?

A lot has changed over in my little apartment. The decor, for one. Here’s some of my most recent pictures:

www.ecospired.com

my place!

another blurry image of my place!

I’m not sure if I ever showed you before pictures. I’m not brave enough yet. One day I’ll gather up the courage.

Here are some more pictures of what I’ve been up to.

my sea glass chandelier at night.

my sea glass chandelier at night.

I put an exposed filament light bulb in my sea glass chandelier that I made. My tutorial is here and I seriously suggest you do this project. It’s so stunning during the day and night, and it’s totally doable.

manzanita branch!

manzanita branch!

An orchid from LA’s flower district.

The above tree branch is a Manzanita branch. This is one that hasn’t been sand-blasted– the ones you see as decorations are sand-blasted, which gives them their light color. I personally loooove the natural smooth texture and red color of the manzanita, so I bought one that wasn’t sanded. I got it from the Los Angeles Flower District  for $10! It comes assembled with a wooden box at its base. I personally wanted to hang my jewelry off of it, but you could just use it as a decoration or hang little jars with LED (battery-powered) candles inside it (I wouldn’t suggest real candles because it turns out, wood is flammable. Weird.) I also got the orchid at the flower district. I totally suggest going one morning if you’re local! I went with a friend of mine and we had a great time. The flowers are reasonably cheap and you can find any type of manzanita branch imaginable (think- pink glitter…). I wasn’t very impressed by their succulent collection, but they have a lot of great cut flowers.

This is what’s been happening on the balcony:

www.ecospired.com

Getting up close and personal with some dill…

Trader Joes’ herbs! I totally suggest buying them. Only $2.50 and healthy. Love it.

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Malabar Spinach! I bought it from my local farmers’ market.

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I love farmers’ markets.

These are some of the things I love. What about you? What do you get to make your place “home”?

-D

PS: I almost forgot! I harvested my worm compost. It is messy. And gross. It is definitely not for the faint-hearted or for the easily-grossed-out-type. BUT once you get over the fact that you’re touching worms and their sht, it’s great! My plants are so happy with their compost! And I started another vermicompost.

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A $15,000 Stick.

Brace yourselves for another Anthropologie rant. They’ve really outdone themselves this time around!

Here’s a stick from Anthropologie. It’s not just any stick! The stick can make sounds! It’s called the “iTree.”

The bad news? It costs 15,000 DOLLARS. But guess what lovelies! It’s now 80% off, for a measly 3,000 dollars.

image from Anthropologie.com

image from Anthropologie.com

I appreciate the ecospiration (how’s that for a new word?) but seriously Anthro… after your “Glamping” debacle, you’re taking this too far! Still love you guys, though.

I know you must price your inventory for the shock value–right?

-D

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DIY: Chalkboard Pots Tutorial

Chalkboard Pots at Ecospired.comChalkboard-ing has been around for a while, but I hadn’t really hopped on the bandwagon until now. And the reason is pretty silly. I got this chalkboard pencil that literally screamed “ecospired” so loud, that I bought it just to shut it up. That might just be me justifying my purchase. Regardless, I figured that I had to get a chalkboard in order to actually use the pencil, but chalkboards are just soo traditional. Let’s think outside the box, shall we?

Chalk pencil at ecospired.com

I’m obsessed with plants, which is glaringly obvious to anyone who has read a line of this blog. So I decided to paint the rim of my clay pots with chalkboard paint. Clay pots are a lot better for plants than a lot of other pots. They let the plant breathe, and it’s harder to kill the plants if they’re in clay pots (I’ve learned from experience). Also, instead of buying new pots because you’re bored of your decor, you can simply paint them. Woo! So now, I can write obnoxious notes, informational notes, or just reminders. Or inspirational quotes. Allllll over my plants.

This is extremely easy, so run out and get the materials ASAP!

Materials:

  • Chalkboard paint- I got Martha Stewart’s chalkboard paint from JoAnns. Good ol’ Martha.
  • Foam Brush
  • Clay pot
  • Chalk
  • Towel or paper towel
  • Optional: Steel Wool

Chalkboard Pots at Ecospired.com

Directions:

  • Make sure your clay pot is dry and clean.
  • Paint the rim of the pot.
  • Let dry and wait for an hour.
  • Paint a second coat on the rim of the pot.
  • Let dry another hour.
  • Optional*–Rub the dry, painted area with steel wool.
  • Lightly “chalk” the entire painted area to prep it for chalking, and wipe it off with a dry towel.
  • Write messages! Be awesome!

Chalkboard Pots at ecospired.com

 

Chalkboard Pots at Ecospired.com

And…. drumroll…. my favorites!

To-may-to and to-mah-to

To-may-to and to-mah-to! 

 

Whaddya think? Leave me some comments, at the top left of the post!

-Daria

 

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Staghorn Fern Tutorial!

I’m happy to be writing this post today. So many exciting (and terrifying) things have been happening lately and it’s been hard for me to find time to do a tutorial. For example, I’m playing harp in a Capital Cities‘ music video tomorrow (woo)! But, on the other side of the coin, my grandma had a heart attack last night, but thankfully, she’s doing well now. We were extremely lucky, and my world is back in order. When it rains, it pours, right? I wish it’d actually rain here in Los Angeles to spare us from the agony of perpetual sunlight, which I must say can seriously be annoying. I guess I sound like an ungrateful diva, but when you’re born and raised in a sunny place, rain is a luxury. Forgive me!

Back to the post. I love houseplants. First of all, they help clean the air in your home. Did you know that there are likely more toxins inside of your home than out? So much for escaping the pollution by staying in, huh? So today, I’m going to be posting about mounting a Staghorn Fern to the wall, to have a cool way to clean your air (and to have cool, living decorations).

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

I’ve also always liked the idea of “antlers” on the wall but not the actual idea of taking antlers from an animal and putting it on my wall (vegetarian over here!). So, the Staghorn Fern is an great environmentally-friendly option for those of us who like to keep up with the American tradition of antlers on the wall without necessarily harming something in the process. Anthropologie recently had Staghorn ferns on their wall, too. We all know how much I love Anthro!

Another cool, environmentally-friendly option is cardboard cutouts of animal heads or antlers, which you can get on Etsy.

Image Courtesy of Etsy shop "Cardboard Safari"

Image courtesy of Etsy shop “Cardboard Safari”

Apartment Therapy has a great tutorial for this project. I referenced it when doing mine, although I deviated a bit, mostly because I was determined to not have to buy extra supplies (aka leave my apartment).

Check out their tutorial here!

Materials:

  • Staghorn Fern- Check out your local nursery for this. I bought mine for 5 dollars from Sunset Nursery on none other than Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles.
  • Wooden Plaque- I got mine for 3 dollars from JoAnn Fabrics.
  • Wire
  • Sheet Moss
  • Hammer
  • Nails

Total time: 15 minutes

Total cost: Under 20 dollars

Materials for Staghorn Fern  Tutorial

Materials for Staghorn Fern Tutorial

Directions:

1.  Hammer 2 nails into the back of your board and secure wire in-between the 2 nails, as pictured.

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2. Soak your moss in water.

Moss!

Soaking Moss!

3. Hammer 5-6 nails in a “circle” (epic fail pictured below).

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

4. Place your moss on the plaque and secure it onto the plaque with wire (so it won’t fall down).

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

5.  Take your Staghorn Fern out of the pot and gently “break apart” the roots. Basically, you want your fern to be able to attach to your moss. Staghorn Ferns are epiphytes, so they grow off of other things, hence why we can hang them up on the wall.

6. Place your fern on the moss “bed” you’ve created. Then, wrap it in more moss, so the soil/roots are covered. Then, wrap the wire around the plant, while remembering to secure it to the nails too. This will ensure it stays on the board. I don’t have a particular picture of the step, but this is the finished project because it’s the last step!

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

Staghorn Fern tutorial on ecospired.com

Caring for your Fern:

Staghorn Ferns like to “dry out.” In other words, don’t overwater your plant! They’re similar to orchids in this way.  Spray it with water (from a bottle) once a week, or when the roots are actually dry. They like warm temperatures and high humidity. So feel free to hang them inside and spray the leaves with water whenever you feel like it. They’ll love you for it.

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What do you think? Are you tempted to create some living art for your place? Leave me some comments and let me know!

-Daria

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“Your Style is Just…Ecospired.”

Hi there! It’s been a few days! In my excuse, it was a national holiday (4th of July!) and I was busy buying furniture. So the little break is completely justified, right?

I was talking with my mom and she was trying to explain my furniture style to me–which sounds weird in retrospect–but she made a good point. It’s going to seem super obvious. She said: “You’re style is just… ecospired.” First of all, it’s adorable and sweet of my mom to use the word I made up, (#1 fan, thanks Mom) and second of all, she’s totally right, although I’m afraid that my ecospiration may result in my place looking like the inside of a Goodwill. I seriously hope not. But, I have a few DIYs coming up, and some new furniture, in which case the fact that I am “ecospired” will become glaringly obvious. Get excited!

This is my newest beauty in my apartment. If this doesn’t scream “ecospired,” then I don’t know what does:

It’s a driftwood coffee table that I bought off of craigslist!

Driftwood Table on Ecospired.com

Driftwood Table on Ecospired.com

Driftwood Table on Ecospired.com

Driftwood Table on Ecospired.com

My best friend (the one who endured high school with me) came with me to buy it. I’m always too chicken to go to random people’s houses via craigslist by myself. It was 25 “LA” miles away (which is the equivalent of at least 2 hours) and extremely heavy. But as my best friend said– “We’re women, we can lift this”–which was inspiring enough to sacrifice potentially throwing out our backs and bringing it into my apartment. But as you can see, we are women because it is now sitting comfortably in my living room. 😉

Love it!

Love it!

Um. Gorgeous, huh? I’m getting a bunch of new furniture because I need to love to (my roommate’s moving out). I was fishing for compliments on the table and asked my roommate, “isn’t it prettttyyy?” to which she seriously responded: “Mmhm, my grandma used to have one too.”  Thanks for that, roomie!  Apparently all the stuff I buy was once owned by someone’s grandma, so no hurt feelings here.

I also bought a chest/armoir/desk/I’m-not-really-sure-what-it’s-called a couple days before the coffee table. I’m like 107% sure that someone’s grandma owned this. I bought this at a thrift store, the second someone donated it. I literally followed the worker as they wheeled it into the store and claimed it as mine as the rest of the thrift store jealously glared at my new purchase (or something). I took it to my parents’ house because I’m considering painting it a grey/black or grey/taupe color. Or burnt orange. The white paint of the shabby-chic isn’t really my thing, but it’s growing on me. That might be the laziness in me talking. What color do you think I should paint it? Should I leave it white? Please leave me a comment and let me know!

Here’s an extremely unflattering photo of the “thing” while I was at the thrift store, which is evidently the only photo that I have of it:

ecospired.com

The theme of this post is: thrifting!

Buying used is buying green.

I know that I say this all the time, but it’s really true. The more you can imagine different possibilities with a piece of used furniture, the better off you (and the environment, and your wallet!) are. Buying used ensures less production of precious renewable and inefficient nonrenewable resources, and cultivates the mentality that you don’t always need to buy NEW things to have nice things. I’m really into home decor, but I firmly believe that it’s important to recognize your carbon footprint in all that you do, and to do something about it. A huge proponent of sustainability is simply buying used. Try it out!

By the way, am I the only person whose home decor resembles the jungle? If you’re out there, holler!

-D

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DIY Sea Glass Chandelier!

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

This is by far my favorite DIY that I’ve ever done. I made it by upcycling and using renewable materials, which is how we do it here at Ecospired! I originally saw a sea glass chandelier at none other than Anthropologie (surprise.)but it was about 10 times my budget and not exactly my style. When I find the original picture, I will definitely post it. It’s been a couple of years since then!

I first made a smaller version which you’ll see later on the in post. I like it, but it doesn’t have the BAM and grandeur as the larger chandelier. I’ve kept the small chandelier in my balcony and kept the large one inside.

Warning: This project is very time consuming, but definitely worth it!

Materials:

  • Sea glass! If you don’t have access to get it from the beach, check out Target. They have a bag of sea glass for about 5 dollars. I’d suspect that you’d need 1 of their bags to make the small chandelier, but more for the larger one.
  • Wire: I bought 24 gauge steel galvanized wire from Home Depot. 24 gauge is sturdy yet easily maleable.
  • Pliers: not completely necessary, but will make your life easier.
  • Wire cutters
  • Metal hoops (1 or 2, depending on size of project- look for picture below)
  • Beads, fake crystals, real crystals, whatever!
  • twine, rope or yarn–whatever you prefer.
  • mason jar
  • candle to fit in mason jar
  • Optional: hot glue gun
  • **If you plan to hang it, make sure to get a sturdy, appropriate ceiling hook.  If you go to your local hardware store, they can help you find the right one. 
Some of the tools you're going to need.

Some of the tools you’re going to need.

Metal hoops from JoAnn Fabrics.

Metal hoops from JoAnn Fabrics.

Here's the ceiling hook I used, as well as how I made the top not.

Here’s the ceiling hook I used, as well as how I made the top not.

Directions:

The trickiest part is getting the sea glass to stay secure within the wire. This took me a while to get! I don’t happen to have any extra sea glass hanging around or I’d show you. One trick I do have is to use your hot glue gun to glue the wire to the glass on the back (don’t do it on the front- it looks pretty ghetto). Leave me a comment and let me know if you’d like me to make a little video about how to secure the pieces on the wire. Here’s a picture of the front and back of one piece. See how I created two loops on either side?

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

Front

Back!

Back!

Basically, the point is to create a string of sea glass and beads, crystals, or whatever else you choose. However you manage to do it is great! You might consider drilling holes into the glass..which might be difficult too. Let me know if you have other ideas!

Once you’ve made one link, you need to make a few more. For each strand of mine, I have 3 white sea glass pieces, 1 green piece, one green bead and a “crystal”. Make a LOT of these strands. For my large chandelier, I have about 40 strands!

Secure the top of the strand of sea glass to the hoop, working around in a circle. I didn’t like the look of the bare metal (also one of my hoops happened to be gold, and the other silver) so I wrapped them in twine. Space the strands as close or far apart as you’d like. I wanted mine to be less of a wind chime and more of a chandelier, so I made sure they didn’t touch.

Once you’ve created a basic round of sea glass strands for one or both of your hoops, it’s time to secure the mason jar and candle. Wrap the top part of the mason jar with wire really tightly with 2 different pieces of long wire. Make 2 wire “handles” (or wires sticking out) so that you can secure them to the hoop.Then, secure it onto the smallest hoop and let it hang slightly lower.

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

Your last step will be to take three or four long pieces of string (or wire) to hang up the chandelier. I picked three strings because it looks less cluttered. Make sure your chandelier is even and not lopsided!

View from the top!

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DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

Here’s the baby one! It hangs out outside.

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

View from the bottom

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

DIY Sea Glass Chandelier by Ecospired.com

That’s all there is to it! I realllllly hope you try this project out yourself. It’s seriously one of the big reasons why I chose to start this blog in the first place. If you do try this DIY, please provide a link to my blog and send me pictures too! I’ll post them for the world to see. 😉

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I want to give a special thanks to one of my best friends, Melanie Lancon, for giving me every single piece of sea glass that I’ve used for this chandelier  She used to live in Santa Barbara and spent years collecting all of these pieces. When she moved, she gave me a sht ton of them! Thanks Mel! 😉

Please feel free to pin it, share it, and try it out yourself! To leave a comment, look on the top left corner of this post, next to the title.

-Daria

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I Win the Award for “Biggest Consumer of Recycled Glass”

If there was such a competition, I’d definitely win.

As much as I love poking fun at Anthro (clearly), I still love them. Kinda like when you’re crushing on someone but instead of admitting it, you make fun of the person. This may just be the 5 yr old thing to do but I apparently haven’t grown out of it. Okay, I’m admittedly a sassy person so I do this to pretty much everyone, regardless of whether or not I’m crushin.

I bought these “Effervesce Stemless Wine Glasses” from Anthro after seeing my best friend get one (I had no idea what “Effervesce” was so I had to look it up. Still confused). I wanted to get them a couple of months ago, but it’s one of those things where it’s hard to justify buying more of something (for 8 bucks each) when you already have enough, but when you see someone else do it, it’s totally justified. I dunno. But they’re made of recycled glass, which I’m clearly (PUN!) obsessed with. I think I write about recycled glass in every one of my blog posts. Talk about ecospired, huh?? I can’t get enough.

It’s a little too early to pour wine in them (it’s about 3pm here), and I’m by myself (party for one?) so I’ve been drinking water out of them. It’s amazing how much more water you’ll drink when you buy pretty glasses…

I bought four but I’m using the other one and didn’t feel like cleaning it for the photo, so here are the other three. I shelled out 34 dollars for these, but no one ever said drinking alcohol was cheap! …or something.

Anthropologie's Recycled Wine Glass

 

This may come as a total shock to you, but I also have a couple of these recycled glasses from Anthro:

Anthropologie's Euro Milk Glasses

But I bought those a year ago, so they’re practically vintage now.

-d

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Look Ma, No Vertical Blinds!

Vertical blinds are hideous, and pretty much all (affordable?) rentals are equipped with them. I would definitely rather the windows be naked than to have to deal with that mess. Anyway, after a year of living in this apartment, I finally decided to take them out of my living room. I had taken them out of my room and replaced them with curtains a year ago, but I still needed to replace them in the living room. Of course, I also decided to give myself a manicure last night, which really only happens, like, once a year, because of this little inconvenience (hint: musicians usually shouldn’t wear nail polish), so they’re already chipped from all the nailing and hand-drilling. Cool.

Being super original and totally eclectic, I decided to go with white curtains. Oh, the surprise. In my defense, I hadn’t gotten my black couch yet, so I went neutral. It’ll just give me more opportunities to add more sht to make them more interesting, like the tassels from yesterday, which I am strongly considering for these plain curtains. Black tassels? Red? Green?

This project wasn’t particularly green, but it needed to be done (although, the curtains weren’t made of plastic, which I guess is a given because they’re not shower curtains…).  So, I got plain white curtains from Ikea.

Here’s how ugly the apartment looks with vertical blinds (I didn’t manage to get a picture of the other window, because apparently I was too excited to rip them down):

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Now, check me out:

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How’s that for some ghetto iphone photos?

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They all look like the same picture, but I wanted to show them off. Do you know how long it took me to figure out how to get these to turn out bright, even though the lighting was behind the shot? (A while).

After I did all this work (at this point, my biceps are HUGE! not), I was clearly out of it. I have this maidenhair fern that I won’t stop talking about (and here’s a pic),

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and I usually spray it with water because it likes the humidity. Today, however, I reached for the spray bottle and dowsed it before realizing that the leaves looked bubbly, which is weird, because water doesn’t usually DO THAT. Welllll, it was Simple Green cleaning solution. So, this poor plant, which was suffering earlier and finally coming back to life, has been seriously confused today. So like any plant-obsessed person, I hosed it off in the shower.

Also, this is the water I’m drinking right now, which I assume is really intriguing to you.

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I do have to say though, I got 4 of these 100% recycled glasses a week ago. I love the look of 100% recycled glass. Also, those are mint leaves from my balcony garden in my water. I’ve become such a diva that I can’t drink water without organic matter in it. Los Angeles has totally gotten to me.

Have a lovely thirsty thursday.

-d

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Lazy Days…for Days.

I’ve been pretttttty lazy lately. But this is some of the stuff that I’ve done in the past few days so hopefully that counts for something.

I wanted to get some new curtains to replace my plain white ones, but then realized that I shouldn’t; part of being green means working with what you have, right? Upcycling, as we say. So I decided to add tassels to them, as any logical person would do.  JK. But tassels are easy to make, fun, and trendy. I kind of jankily made each one with Sugar and Cream yarn (the cheap kind at JoAnn’s) and wrapped them with different colors of embroidery thread. Then, I hand-sewed them (again, pretty jankily) onto the curtains, about 3.5 inches apart from each other. What do you think?

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(It’s surprisingly hard to take pictures of curtains because the lighting’s behind the window… but I tried.)

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If you’d like me to explain how I made my tassels a little better, let me know. 🙂

I also got these super coool things from a thrift store in Orange County when I was down at my parents’ house (admittedly, on Fathers’ Day.. sorry dad. Although, I did make him a moss terrarium for Fathers’ Day so I hope that counts for something).

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Loooove these funky sixties/seventies grapes.  I love the drift wood/acrylic combo.

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Taking photos of mirrors are so problematic. Whatever, ferns are cool.

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I’ve started rereading one of the books that was required for one of my grad courses in Environmental Studies (and partially reading for the first time, let’s be real). I know that it’s summer and it’s weird that I’m even considering opening up a textbook, but this book is seriously awesome. I even took the time to bold that, so you should take me seriously. Anyway, it’s an especially great book if you’re into environmental politics and policy (who would have thought). I’m challenging myself to read it all the way through this summer. I’ll let you know if that actually happens.

I’ve started drilling holes to add knobs to our cabinets, as well as figured out how to attach a swivel hook from the ceiling in order to hang a DIY project. I’m finishing the final touches on this DIY project that I am SO EXCITED to show you guys. It’s amazing, if I do say so myself. I’ll show you guys once I get my hands on a better camera than my really ghetto iphone (trust me, it’s bad). Till then!

-Daria

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