A Day in the Life
Vintage Desk: Before and After
Today, I am excited to share final pictures of the vintage desk restoration.You might have followed or read the previous post, where I shared my tips and strategies for refinishing hardwood. Today, you will see the before and after pics finally! You may remember that I started this project way back in the New Year. As I began, it quickly reminded me of all the before and after projects that I have tackled over the years. This is how it looked before the initial process of getting it all sanded down above.
This piece truly aligns with the type of furniture or piece that like to refinish. I always recommend looking for a piece that's in good condition, has minimal repairs needed and is quality vintage or antique. This piece came from my client's family home in Laguna Beach, so there was a history to the piece.
Also, real natural unpainted hardwood is currently my favorite. One of the many reasons that I liked updating this piece is the natural wood grain and shape of the piece. Below, you can see how beautiful it looks in the daylight, out by the pool after I applied the dark walnut stain.
Both my client and I, loved the idea of reimagining the original mahogany hardwood and bringing out the character of the piece through darker stain. My top 2 favorite walnut stains are Dark Walnut and Special Walnut by Minwax.
We were able to renew the original brass hardware, on the sides of the mirror by scrubbing them with a scouring sponge and a bottle of Brasso. I was surprised how beautifully that they became clean and shiny.
Then, we brought the piece inside and moved it upstairs. We loved how it looked in the updated interior bedroom that was recently painted in gray. I have always loved the color of walnut against gray walls especially. Lastly, we found the crystal knobs at Anthropologie and I liked how similar they were to the original shape of the knobs. Yay:) It feels so good to have a new project all complete!
One new project that I recently finished is a Handmade Walnut Coatrack. A client sent me this beautiful photo as inspiration inquiring about a new piece for her entryway. She wanted a long coat rack to replace her existing one, with a slight ledge so small items could be stored on top as well. She liked the idea of using sturdy 5" bronze hooks that would be in a dark oil rubbed finish.
I loved the inspiration photo above and how the hats and belongings added to the overall style and feeling of the entryway, which reminded me of how we used these 5 tips to declutter our entryway at the start of the year. For me, the height and structure of the hooks, complimented the long 48" rectangular shape of the rack. I love it when, a custom project leads to a new product in my shop!
Currently, I plan to explore other types of hardwood such as Hickory that would pop against the darker hooks, I always admire lighter wood for a Scandinavian look. What other types of wood would you like to see this rack available in? It feels like summer is just around the corner in L. A, which means we will be spending more time outdoors and at the beach. We will have beach totes, sun hats and summer scarves that all need arranging. How about you?! What activities do you have planned this summer?
I promise to post follow-up pics of this project showing the new coat racks in Hickory hardwood, along with photos of my client's entryway, so check back in with me:)
Since 2011, we have been lucky to travel to all 4 of the larger Hawaiian Islands, Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai, each enthralling in it's own way. As a creative person, each trip has brought me renewal and inspiration, a respite from the city lifestyle and hustle that is Los Angeles. On our most recent visit we traveled to Kauai seeking relaxation, adventure and family time. I had been feeling overwhelmed by the never-ending list of work related tasks in the city, which in turn, had diminished my creativity. Once in Kauai, we headed to the North Shore, rainy-side of the island where I began to recharge my energy. On Day 2, we visited Kīlauea Lighthouse located at Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, where we saw protected birds such as the Nene and albatross as we soaked in the views.
One thing, that has charmed me about Kauai, is all the color green from every angle. Since Kauai is known as the garden-isle it is so lush due to the abundant rainfall especially on the North Shore of the island. There are a variety of tropical plants that make it especially verdant. Since, Kauai manages to be simultaneously rainy and sunny throughout a single day, it provides the perfect environment (for me, a rain lover) to vacation!
While we both enjoyed the north shore of the island, after 2 nights, we headed to the beaches of Po'ipu in south Kauai. Po'ipu was especially sun-drenched and welcoming. At Po'ipu Beach, we were lucky enough to swim with 2 sea turtles along with spot a monk seal resting on the sunny shore. Po'ipu and Brenneke's Beach was ideal for our toddler as well. He was able to stand in the clear blue ocean water and swim in a little cove off to the left that was protected by rocks. The rocks lessened the strong current as the waves broke further off-shore and we were able to see yellow and white-striped fish as they darted in and out of the rocks.
Beach day, left us feeling hungry. We tried a new modern restaurant The Lanai, which is connected to the Living Foods Market and has a great Happy Hour from 3-5 pm. Our favorite thing off the menu, was the Brie Arugula Pesto pizza with pears, macadamia nuts and Maui onions. yum! The memory of it is making me hungry.
Then on Friday, we planned to take a day-trip to explore Waimea Canyon. It is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific and it did not disappoint. For this journey, we planned to go in the morning because I heard that it gets crowded with tours later in the day and occasionally clouds begin to roll-in causing near white-out conditions. For a successful outing with our almost 3-yr-old, we followed Shelly Rivoli's tips to exploring Waimea. We left Po'ipu around 8:15 and arrived in Waimea by 9:15. The view from the Waimea overlook did not disappoint. The canyon was verdant, rugged, wide and deep. Equally thrilling were the views of the canyon seen from the Iliau Nature Loop Trail, a 1/3 mile loop which is flat and safe for toddlers.
Although, we saw an amazing 800 ft. waterfall from afar in Waimea Canyon, we decided to visit one close up on our last night in Kauai. On Kauai's east-side there are 2 drive up waterfalls, that are both located in Wailua State Park. We chose to see Wailua Falls based on the beautiful pictures that I saw online. The sound of the water thundering down as you approach the lookout gives you a feeling of the magnitude of this Falls. The lushness and depth of the Falls were hard to capture completely. We did this drive up to the lookout about an hour before sunset.
We spent our last night in Kauai, with a magical view at Lava Lava Beach club, an outdoor restaurant with tables in the sand. We listening to a local singer lull us with Hawaiian music as the evening came to an end.
Now, that vacation is over, I look forward to sharing a couple of new projects that I took on in the New Year, along with a custom coat rack that I recently designed for a client. I'm considering having some of these photos reprinted as functional pieces, tote bags, beach towels etc. What services have you used to print digitally? Please let me know, if you have a site that you love and recommend that does digital printing. I'm am looking for a quality product that is printed professionally to scale with good resolution. I would love to hear your experiences with this!
Pictured below is the Weekender Tote that I just printed using Pixel.com.
Other products that I would like to see include baseball caps and clutches, I think. I will share a pic on Instagram when it arrives.
So here you go! A quick recap our favorite places to see, eat and visit in Kauai:
1. Princeville and Hanalei
2. Kilauea Lighthouse
3. Poipu Beach
4. The Lanai
5. Kauai Juice Co.
6. Waimea Canyon
7. Salt Pond Beach
8. Wailua Falls
9. Lava Lava Beach Club
Have you visited any of the places on the list? What were some of your favorite experiences on the island? I would love to hear all about it.
A few weeks ago, I spent the morning with my friend and fellow artist, Flin Grant learning to make an aromatherapy spray. One of amazing things about being an artist is meeting other creative and conscious people. It is always a pleasure to have a friend who is not only creative but cares about wellness. Flin shared with me how to make a room spray out of essential oils. To celebrate friendship and the month of February, we are giving a set away! Please read on down to find out how you can be entered to win a pair of room sprays or one of Flin's aromatherapy hand balms.
I have been a fan of essential oils for some time now. Both for aromatherapy and their unique properties. I have always wanted to learn how to create my own room spray. For this project, I reached out to Flin to find out more. Flin hosts an online FB group Art of Essentials and sells doTerra oils as well. Today, as part of my DIY series, we will show you how to create an aromatherapy spray.
We began by pulling out some of our favorite oils, making a cup of tea and sharing our ideas. Smelling each oil gave us ideas about the type of scent to create.
Flin has a lot of knowledge about each type of oil and what they are used for. I have enjoyed learning about them through her. Last year, the online group tried out an essential oil recipe for handmade shampoo.
For today, we decided on 2 unique scents. We wanted to create a spray that incorporated jasmine and citrus in some way. We also wanted to create a spray that smells soft and floral, but is up-lifting. We called this one Love Blend.
For the Love Blend, we used:
Flin recommends that you store your room spray in a cool place to extend the shelf life to 1-2 months.
First, I poured the filtered water into the bottle leaving some space to add and mix in the oil. For a 2 oz bottle, you will want about 20 drops of the oil to achieve a 1.5% dilution.
Next, for the second blend, we decided to create woodsy scent that we called, A Walk in the Woods. I know, this will come in handy on days that I don't have time to work in my workshop or take a walk in the woods. This is a beautiful way to bring nature into the office, studio or even my car in L.A. traffic.
For the Walk in the Woods blend, we used:
For this spray, I learned that Rosemary acts as a preservative. Before spraying, it's best to shake the bottle to mix the oil in water, then spray!
Now for the best part, the giveaway! In celebration of friendship and February, we are giving away 2 gifts! One lucky reader will win an aromatherapy spray set which includes the Love Blend and Walk In the Woods pictured below. Our second winner will receive Flin's handmade Healing Hand and Body Balm made from her artisanal line of body products, Art of Essentials.
To be entered to win:
Entries will be open until February 28th, and our 2 winners will be announced March 1st.
***UPDATE: We are thrilled to announce the winners of our aromatherapy giveaway, Sophia has won the Set of 2 Aromatherapy Sprays, while Desirae has won Flin's Hand Balm. Congrats and thanks to all for participating!***
Today, I want to take you to visit my favorite museum in Los Angeles and show you how to make a Heart-shaped Dream Catcher.
While, I love many of the art museums in Los Angeles, the Getty and LACMA, CAFAM is at the top of my list. CAFAM stands for the California of Folk Art Museum. It showcases of traditional arts and crafts in a gallery setting. These crafts range from textiles, weaving, furniture making, book arts, printmaking and ceramics. I love the functional art that I find in their gift shop. They also offer community workshops and classes throughout the year. Here is a picture of the museum from the front, it is on Wilshire directly across from LACMA.
I attended a workshop on Sunday on how to make a DIY heart-shaped dreamcatcher. Dreamcatchers are something that I have made in the past. I loved heart-shaped idea to try out with my students or for an interior application such as as a wall hanging. This workshop was led by weaver and fiber artist Mimi Haddon and is the third class that I have attended at CAFAM.
Although, I made one dreamcatcher at the museum with my Mom. I decided to gather additional supplies and try out another one at home. For this project, I used:
To the right, you can see how I shaped a wire heart using gold and rose gold wire. I began by using the thicker gold wire and wrapped the rose gold around it. This is so that the heart shape will be grooved and those little grooves will catch the thread as you loop the embroidery thread.
Below, you can see how I loop the embroidery thread around the outside of the shape gradually working my way into the center. That is a technique that I learned in the past when making a dream catcher.
Also, I loved the idea to place love themed quotes into the dream catcher.
Next, I want to add fringe to the bottom of the heart. I cut several pieces of yarn the same length, then I folded them in half. I looped the yarn around the wire using larch knots. After I finished my heart-shaped catcher, I decided to make a second one b/c I still was not finished exploring the idea. For this one, I decided to use a small gold ring that I had been saving for an upcoming weaving workshop.
I followed a similar pattern with the ring. I wrapped it in rose gold wire in order to create grooves to catch the thread. Then, I visualized an inner hear shape that would be suspended by the thread.
Here is how I formed the heart slightly asymmetric looked charming. Then, I wrapped it with yarn doing a macrame knot every few inches or so to secure the yarn.
Later, I added the 2 red glass beads and the thread. Yesterday, I saw people adding crystals and gemstones to their weavings which looked amazing.
I personally think these would look sweet in a children's bedroom. I hope to make larger interior wall hangings with you soon. Please leave a comment below, if you would like to be notified or invited to a weaving workshop with a professional weaver that I will be hosting in Los Angeles this Spring!
Hi, I'm Hilary.
I'm an Artist, Designer, Blogger, and Mama. A Day in the Life is where I share my daily inspiration and work that is currently evolving from my studio. I hope to connect with design enthusiasts from all over the world. I invite you to share feedback and ideas about the products that excite you.
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