Posts tagged #diy

Save $2,287 with this DIY!

Well, okay, so you won't really save that much unless you have always wanted to buy a random light but never had the budget for it. What is a random light, you ask? Well, let me explain!

The random light was designed by Bertjan Pot and it has been in the moooi collection since 2002. I have been in love with it since 2010. But that was only because it took me 8 years to discover it. Typically, designers use these lights in large spaces in groupings of 3 or more because they provide a very sculptural design element to tall ceilings and lofts. Here's some evidence:

The light comes in three sizes and two colors: small, medium and large and black and white. And, surprisingly, the process for the real light is not very different from the process of the DIY version:  a resin drained yarn is randomly coiled around an inflatable beach ball creating a translucent 3D fabric. The beach ball is then deflated and extracted from a round opening in the lamp. Sounds simple, right?

Well, it is and it isn't. Let me explain. 

First, for the record, this is version 4.0 for me. Version 1.0 and 2.0 did not succeed because I did not use the correct materials and did not have the patience to finish respectively. 3.0 was a fantastic light that was well loved for a good 5 years. Unfortunately, it met its early demise in transportation to DC. Which brings us to version 4.0! This version had its own challenges, mostly, due to our new location and my lack of desire to drive anywhere... I wanted to make this light entirely with materials bought on Amazon. And surprisingly, this actually worked!

Here's what you'll need (for a total of $66.88!!)

As you will notice, I picked a ball that is 36" in diameter because I estimated that to be the size that would fit best in our breakfast nook. You can choose as big or as small of a ball as you'd like. I had actually purchased a 42" ball originally, but then realized that this light fixture will end up being larger than the dining table under it...

Next disclaimer? This is one MESSY process. Wear something you won't be upset about ruining, and do it in an area you won't be upset about messing up. I did this in our tiny back patio. 

Here are the steps you will need to take:

  1. Inflate beach ball.
  2. Using a sharpie, draw a circle towards the top with a diameter of about 5" or so.
  3. Cover thoroughly in vaseline.
  4. Open wallpaper adhesive (in lieu of resin).
  5. Open yarn roll (but do not unroll).
  6. Submerge said yarn roll in wallpaper adhesive bucket. 
  7. Hang greased beach ball from a high place (I used the cable that holds our string lights).
  8. IMPORTANT: Put on gloves. 
  9. Start coiling soaked yarn around ball in random patterns.
  10. Avoid coiling over your drawn circle. This is the opening you will use to extract the deflated beach ball and change the light bulb later.
  11. NOTE: The first few rounds that set the foundation are the hardest. Once you have a few layers, it becomes a repetitive and rather easy process.
  12. ANOTHER NOTE: This glue holds very well so do not stress if the yarn is not stretched tightly around the ball. It will still hold its shape when it's dry. 
  13. Put as many layers as you would like. I liked mine tightly packed because it serves as a better light diffuser that way. But you don't have to make it as tight. I used the entire yarn ball and all of the glue for 4.0. 
  14. Let dry for at least 24 hours, or maybe more. This depends on your humidity. The more humid it is, the more time it will take to dry. This one dried in about 24 hours. And it was bone dry by that time.
  15. Deflate beach ball.
  16. Attach light kit (I was surprised to see that the small opening on top where I had attached the ball to hang it was stiff enough to hold the light kit without losing the light's round shape!). 
  17. IMPORTANT: Turn off electricity.
  18. Install light fixture at the height you would like, which will depend on your ceiling height. Our ceilings are at least 11 ft high and I therefore installed this at about 40" above the table. 
  19. Turn electricity back on and enjoy your magical new feature!

And this is it! A couple of hours of elbow grease and a few thousand dollars saved later, you will feel as accomplished as ever!

Posted on October 24, 2017 and filed under Design + DIY.

A new skill to practice... Watercolors and calligraphy!

Hello, hello, world! 

In between trips to Chicago and DC, I somehow managed to also enroll into a watercolor class (one of the perks of working at a university!). And, what a treat! A mere three weeks into it, I am already addicted to this new (to me at least) art form. A mere three weeks into it, and I am already wanting to share my experimentations with you! 

Granted, I have so much to learn still. Gorgeous evidence via this inspiration

Meanwhile, I am just having too much fun mixing up purples and violets! If you are wondering why that is such an accomplishment... a bit of background. In the class I am taking ("Watercolor for All" with Ellen Orseck), we are learning the very basics of watercolor, such as types of brushes, types of paper, color theory, etc. Therefore, we are sort of stuck with some very very basic colors (think blue, red, green, yellow and some brown).

In other words, there are no violets or purples in there. You have to mix it all yourself! Thankfully, Ellen knows what she is doing. This was one of our first exercises:

A value and hue color wheel, which is a lot harder to make than you'd think! (Aka, I made a few mistakes... which were smartly left off of this image :). But this exercise proved to be the one thing I needed to be able to produce this pretty little card!

As the first image would hint, I also made one card with orange and red flowers... But that was a learning one (ahem, not for a close-up :). So, back to the violet one that I seem to be pretty happy with:

I think I see a lot more of these in my future! :)

Meanwhile, make sure to follow my travel adventures on Instagram! A few more trips planned in the next couple of weeks.

How I built my first terrarium!

This terrarium is a desperate attempt at adding some greenery to the house without running the risk of killing the plants! Because, as it turns out, a closed terrarium is supposed to be a self-sustaining ecosystem. Let's hope it lives... I will make sure to update you if it doesn't :). 

So this is how this project started... With a bunch of pretty clear containers, some plants, and a terrarium kit:

And, as it turns out, making a terrarium is rather easy:

STEP 1: River Rocks

STEP 2: Active Charcoal

STEP 3: Potting Soil

STEP 4: Soak your sheet moss and apply.

STEP 3: Plant your goodies.

And, lastly, cap it off and enjoy! 

Easy, breezy, and rather pretty!

Happy Sunday crafting, everyone!

Posted on September 18, 2016 and filed under Design + DIY.

Spicing Up a Dull Office | A Succulent Garden

I have completely immersed myself into this new challenge which would sometimes result in my staying in the office for a good 12 hours at a time. And as great as my company has been to provide me with good office furniture, it just doesn't quite feel like home yet. So I wondered if maybe other people are also struggling with making their work space their own while complying with their office requirements of uniformity.

Posted on June 8, 2014 and filed under Design + DIY.

Pins to Inspire: Jan 14 | 14

Hi, my name is Katya and I am... a Pinteholic. 

I know I am not alone when I say that I love Pinterest. It serves as a constant AND consistent source of inspiration for me. Therefore, by the suggestion of a beloved friend, I decided to start a new weekly round-up of my favorite pins. I hope you enjoy!

This week my favorites include:

Posted on January 14, 2014 and filed under Be Inspired.

The Art of Gifting on a Budget

DIY Gift Guide 3.gif

The older I get, the more I appreciate the value of thoughtful gifts. What makes me even more giddy with excitement is when a gift was a handmade item created with me in mind! This year, I am challenging myself (as well as my family):  

To Gift on a DIY Budget!

Our budget limit is $10 a person (insane, right?!) The tight budget, however, has encouraged all of us to get very creative! Here are some ideas I have been toying around with.

For the bowls, I was imagining purchasing some of these bowls and using white spray paint I already own for the dipped effect, totaling at $3.95 a piece.

When it comes to the mugs, I plan to find some basic white porcelain mugs from Marshalls or TJ Maxx for less than $3 a piece. I already bought this porcelain sharpie to create the designs I like, making each gift cost less than $5. 

The infinity scarf would require some basic knitting skills but the DIY featured here is very helpful and thorough in helping complete the project. I am thinking about adding some sparkle with rhinestones? 

The minimalist painting is the perfect opportunity to spell out my love and appreciation for my family: all the things that are sometimes easier to write than say.

Dipped leather feather necklace (phew, that was long): I was unable to find an actual tutorial for it but I think it would be a pretty straight-forward project: purchase pieces of leather from the local craft store, do a simple stitch, cut the shape and paint with some liquid gold... 

Test tube mocha is an almost definite yes in my mind - it just seems so much fun. I am not sure if I will go all the way with the printout labels but I think some handmade ones are in store for me.

Do you have any DIY gifts in mind for the holidays?

Posted on December 2, 2013 and filed under Design + DIY.