Before + After: Antique Lamp

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 10 Comments

The other week I finally got my act together and polished this old lamp and bought a new drum shade for it. This lamp was my grandmother’s, and she gave it to my mom when she was 17, and my mom gave it to me when I was about 15. And by gave, I mean I usurped it and it went into my room, and then came with me to college, and then sat in storage for 3.5 years until Tyler and I moved in together! The old shade was the one my mom had on it, but I re-upholstered it with the Anna Maria Horner fabric (sketchbook – ivory) that we had all over the old living room. This was probably the third or fourth time I had recovered it somehow. I decided I really still love the AMH fabric I used here, and I really wanted a drum shape shade, so I just bought a new shade. :) It definitely sits in this room much better then the old shade which was competing with everything else in here. I realize now, I haven’t really done an update for the living + workspace, or any “before” shots, so I should put that together soon. We are definitely not in a full-blown “reveal” state, but I want to start posting more “in progress” shots, especially considering how many months this room has taken to come together…
So anyway, back to when I got this lamp when I was in high school; This was my favorite lamp when I was growing up (I love the glass/crystal detail… I thought it was magic when I was a kid), so when my mom asked if I wanted it in my room I jumped on the chance! But, there was this thing going on in the late 90s where no one wanted anything to do with anything yellow gold or brass; instead, silver was all the rage! Like an idiot I painted this lamp with a silver marker so it would match all the other metals in my room (this was a primary concern of mine. I even spent my after-school-job money on brushed silver knobs for my desk. I guess I’ve been into this stuff for a while, huh?).  Never give an antique lamp to a 15-year-old with metallic markers! Or, at least make sure they know how to repair it later! So, I got out my trusty bartender’s friend and brass cleaner, and set to work. The silver pen came off rather quickly, only to reveal a layer of black gunk. We realized it was sooooooo dirty we really needed to take it apart.

We soaked all the bits in a vinegar/water solution and scrubbed with all manner of cleaners. I even scraped out years of gunk with a toothpick for hours! The results were quite impressive!
We might have over-scrubbed in a few areas, but it certainly closer to its former glory, and now it is BRASS again (♥)! What do you guys think?! 

Living + Workspace Series:
• (09/15/11) Living + Workspace Layouts
• (09/29/11) The Midas Touch ← mood board
• (10/04/11) Building Our Own Coffee Table
• (10/13/11) Living + Workspace; Built-in Sketches
• (11/11/11) Living + Workspace Update
• (11/14/11) Bookcases
• (11/22/11) Painting a Projector Screen
• (04/06/12) Before + After: Front Door
• (06/19/12) Living + Workspace: Current Layout and Mood
• (06/20/12) Living + Workspace: A Revealing Update

How to Hang a Mobile

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 1 Comment

Today, I’m going to show you how we hung our favorite blabla knit mobile! :) A few people have asked me how we hung it, and we had to re-hang it since we moved the crib after we moved out all the office furniture, so I figured, “why not photograph it?”! Also,  I felt I should share it as a part to sharing the quilt wall. I took this opportunity to paint the wood block white and gold. I don’t know why I ever even stained it black in the first place! What was I thinking… You can revisit what it used to look like in the old office|nursery tour.
1: Museum Putty
2: Wood Block Moulding, with a 1/4″ hole drilled into it. (We did this ourselves, they do not come pre-drilled).
3: A large paperclip!
4: A Staple Gun
5: A cute mobile!

Step 1: Straighten your paperclip, but leave the smaller curved edge.

Step 2: Slide the paperclip through a hole in the knitting at the length at which you want your mobile to hang, so as not to damage the mobile string.

Step 3: Insert the paperclip into the hole.

Step 4: Pull the paperclip and the mobile string through the hole, but do not free the string (there should be two strands of string).

Step 5: Staple the string to the wall at the point where the paperclip was. Be sure the staple goes around the string, not through it. (This is Tyler’s hand!)

Step 6: Make four balls of museum putty.

Step 7: Place one ball of putty at each corner.

Step 8: Pull the wood block up to the ceiling while keeping the string taut. (I was doing this one-handed so I could photo it, but you get the idea, right?)

Step 9: Secure the woodblock in place.

And it has never fallen even once! :)

Marin’s Mucha Inspired Invites

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 3 Comments

... yes I used the Simpson's address. I didn't want to transpose another set of addresses!

 I designed these invitations for my cousin’s sweet 16. They invites were inspired by the artwork of Alphonse Mucha, which I can stare at for hours. The party was loosely inspired by art nouveau and art deco, turn of the century france, etc. The artwork in the invitation is definitely art nouveau, but the bob on the girl is more 20′s. I had a really hard time not being bothered by this, so I managed to convince myself that it was just a hodge-podge of eras, and that made it more modern and “inspired”, as opposed to being truly authentic. The girl was drawn by hand, then traced in illustrator, then colored in photoshop, then brought back into illustrator for formatting and text. If you follow me on IG, I posted many in-progress photos. It was a lot of work! And I didn’t want to stop. I tell you, I could have worked on it for another week, and I would still probably not be satisfied! But, they really needed to get in the mail, so… I had to be finished! Isn’t that how it always is? :)

instagrams of my hand and digital sketches

2 yr blog anniversary + 150th post

Posted by Jesyka D'Itri Marés on 2 Comments

March 11 was my 2 year blog anniversary! It’s always a good idea to use these milestones to look back at your progress. In my 1 year anniversary post I discuss how I had really only just started blogging regularly at that point, and how I expected the next year to be bigger than the previous year. I think I was right about that, but I can say that I hope for that to happen again this year!

This is also my 150th post. I thought I would check in on my progress of the 100 goals I made for myself in my 100th post. I said I’d hope to accomplish 80 of them, so let’s see how I’m doing! Today’s comments will be in BLUE! Strikethrough means I have completed the goal and underlined means progress has been made, but it is not fully satisfied yet.



  1. double my posting rate: I’d like to hit my 200th post by July 21, 2012. I would need to have 2-3 posts a week in order to meet that goal. I’ve been capable of doing that in the past, so I’m feeling good about being able to achieve this goal.
    (3/19 update) I’ve been doing well here, but I need to bump it up a little to make July 21–right now I’m at a pace for August. Too many days between posts lately!
  2. add a prints/patterns portfolio
  3. add an apparel graphics portfolio
  4. add a wood toys portfolio
  5. add a web graphics portfolio
  6. add a general graphics portfolio 
  7. add an invitations portfolio
  8. add a photography/photo editing portfolio (?): I don’t exactly consider myself a photographer, but I sure do plan, take, and edit a lot of photos! Maybe I need to include this in my portfolios…
  9. add an illustrations portfolio
  10. add a painting portfolio
  11. redesign my portfolio section; add some neat functionality: Hubs would have to get on board for this; his new career goal is to get into interaction design, and I want him to apply what he’s been learning to my website in general, but I think my portfolio is a great place to start!
     (3/19 update) I can safely say that I haven’t done ANYTHING in regards to revamping my portfolio yet; except some very vague ideas of how I might want it to look. Major sadface. 
  12. start a recipes category: I’ve been thinking about this for a while! I don’t think it would be a super regular feature, but there are a few recipes I’d love to document.
    (3/19 update) I will be getting to this soon! I have a list of recipes I’d love to share! But it might not happen until after we finish up the kitchen. Lots of stuff is happening in there soon!
  13. consider a tips category
  14. add more tutorials
  15. change the features section (I hate it)
  16. update about section (add photos)
  17. increase readership in an authentic way
    (3/19 update) I suppose I have done this, even if it is mainly traffic from pinterest! What I meant by “an authentic way” was that I wouldn’t make posts that were deliberately controversial or something just to increase traffic.  I currently have 400-700 page views a day. 
  18. categorize more efficiently
  19. add tags to posts that have no tags
  20. make graphics for categories
  21. finish my header/logo already!
  22. consider featuring what I wear (might help with the “get back in shape” goal): I already feature Laelia’s outfits, but I have a passion for and a lot to say about women’s fashion as well.  My first blog I briefly authored in 2007 focused on women’s fashion a bit more, as I was so inspired by other fashion blogs out there. I’d love to get back in touch with that part of myself. :)
  23. complete room tours
    (3/19 update) Well, I’m working on finishing up some of these rooms, and when that happens I can do the room tours, so there is a lot of progress happening here. Many other goals must be met before I can satisfy this one.
  24. birthday boards category: Laelia’s first birthday board is very popular, and I loved making it. I would love to make more boards for general inspiration purposes! I think I’ll also take suggestions for boards, or perhaps make custom boards for a small fee.
    (3/19 update) I’ve done a few of these! :) And more in the works.
  25. become more active in the blogsphere: I should totally be cultivating friendships with other bloggers across the land, but I’m not. I don’t think I’m doing my part. Mostly, it’s because I can barely time find to blog myself, let alone read other’s blogs. Also, although I am a confident person, I don’t say something unless I think it needs to be said (this is internet comments only), and I’m pretty reserved when it comes to self promotion, so I find myself reluctant to comment on things often (which is ironic, considering how much I write here). But following other bloggers is something I really want to and should do, and I should make time for it. I also think I should participate in more events.
    (3/19 update) I feel as if I have made some friends in the blogging community! Now I want to go to some conventions, blog meet ups, and read some of their blogs from start to finish! 



More photos after the jump

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