The internet is evil, evil, evil. It makes me want to paint black walls like this one. I just discovered Door Sixteen, and I've added it to my list of inspirational homes. I've been intrigued by walls painted black for a while now. Every time I see one I'm struck by how warm and sexy it is, not gloomy at all. I want a black accent wall so badly. Gosh, and I'm in love with that wooden shelf right above the bed.

Another home blog that inspires me is The Brick House. I am so friggin' envious of everything Morgan does for her home, and I wish I could harness her thrifting prowess. That woman finds the best deals ever, which is not surprising given that she has a $100 rule: she doesn't spend more than $100 on any one item. Whenever I visit The Brick House blog I'm drooling over all the vintage furniture and decorative items that are strewn about in every nook and cranny of Morgan's home. There's also has a black wall in the house and a black fireplace.

The Dude thinks I'm addicted to design porn. Maybe that's the reason I constantly stress about how our apartment looks. Trying to beautify our place on a microscopic budget gets wearisome real fast. (Plus, I don't know what the hell I'm doing half the time). It's very difficult to source affordable vintage furniture in Vancouver. Attempting to decorate our place following the $100 rule in Vancouver would be impossible. If we tried, we'd end up with either an empty space or a place full of ugly, dilapidated furniture.


When I finally began feeling Christmas-y (about two weeks ago), I got me two holiday albums: Pink Martini's Joy to the World and Shelby Lynne's Merry Christmas. The first one took a while to grow on me, but now I absolutely love it. My favourite track on it is the Hebrew song "Elohai, N'tzor." It is absolutely sublime and so moving. I can listen to it a million times and not get sick of it. The other track that really got to me is the Chinese song "Congratulations (A Happy New Year Song)." So fun!

Shelby Lynne's honky tonk Christmas album is a nice break from listening to jazzy Christmas songs, which make up the bulk of my holiday music collection. I love her voice and the way she interprets the classic Christmas songs we're all famliar with. And included in the album are two original tracks she wrote.

I think the selection of these two albums was appropriate for this season because of their atypical offerings. Now I'm kinda sad that Christmas is over because I was just starting to get into it.


My purse diet officially ended when this tote arrived from rib & hull. It's the first handbag I've bought since 2006! I'm pretty sure that was the last time I bought a purse, and what a fabulous purse it was, a vintage snakeskin clutch that I use for special occasions. Anyway, I've been gifted a few purses during the dry spell, but I'm proud that I resisted buying a handbag for myself in all these years. My purse addiction is no more - I hope. 

Bought this fun orange tote from an Etsy seller based in Poland. It's constructed very well and worth every penny I forked over. I love buying handmade. I also bought from the same seller a case for my scratched up iPod touch, which I mainly use as an alarm clock these days. But now that I have this cool iPod sleeve maybe I'll take it out more often.


This blank wall makes me sad. The plan is to put up wall shelves using the cedar 1x8 we got a month ago. But I haven't been able to find the right hardware to put up the damn shelves. I was waffling between white or black brackets. And when I finally decided on black, of course nothing comes in the size I need. ARRRRRRGH.

Here are the cedar shelves just sitting in our entryway looking rather forlorn. They remind me every day how slow this project is going.

So the hardware that I need is at the Home Depot in the U.S. Home Depot Canada for some stupid, stupid reason doesn't carry the shelf brackets in the size I need. They carry it in white, but not black. jfkajfslafowiejsalkfjsajfklajfdsaklfjsalkfs!!

I've wasted so much time going here and there looking for shelf brackets. I'm just hoping with all my might that the Home Depot in Bellingham, WA will have the goods. While I'm down there I'll pick up other things that I can't get in this third world of a country I call home.


99 beeline

The Dude and I have been having half-serious conversations about moving for a while now. Although we enjoy living in Kerrisdale, the bus that gets us to the places that promise us fun is infrequent and unreliable. Hence, we don't go out as much, and our social life is suffering as a result.

Well, last night we had our first fully serious conversation about moving. We're shooting for next spring, probably in May or June. Exhaustion overcomes me just thinking about moving. But we really do need to move. Ideally, our new place will be near Broadway and Cambie where the 99 B-line bus and the Canada Line are readily accessible. It's such a central location, and we can easily get to all the places that promise us fun. So no more excuses for staying in!

Although I have mixed feelings about moving, in the long run it'll be good. But there are things about Kerrisdale that I'll definitely miss. For example, I particularly love the yoga studio that I frequent, and I'm not sure if it'll be realistic for me to keep going there once it's not within walking distance. This makes me very sad.

Well, one advantage about moving is that I'll have a whole new space to decorate! And I'll get to apply all the lessons I learned from the mistakes I made in our current apartment.


Finally picked up the pine armoire I mentioned before. This is now the second biggest piece of furniture in the apartment. I spent the better part of yesterday afternoon polishing it up with some Feed-N-Wax. I don't think it made a difference. Maybe I should have cleaned it first with wood cleaner before polishing it. Anyway, next month I'll give it another polish and see if it visibly makes an improvement. In the far, far future I want to sand it down and refinish it.

Now the pine armoire has one outstanding flaw, among other problems. It's not square - it does not stand up straight at all. It drives me nuts that it slants very obviously to the left. Sometime in the future I hope to fix this problem. Other than that I love it. It provides a lot of storage, and the dimensions are perfect for our living room. But I feel it's not worth the $369 we paid for it. IKEA had an armoire for $200, but I went with the pine armoire instead because I want as little IKEA furniture that I can get away with. I just tell myself it's worth the price because it's not IKEA, and it replaced a crappy IKEA dresser that used to be in its place, and it's made out of solid wood, and it looks rustic, and we saved it from becoming firewood. Now I don't want to come across as an IKEA hater. I do love some of their products. I just don't want our place to look like an IKEA showroom.


After seeing this project and this project, I was inspired to make a plumping pipe desk in the same style.

First, I found a table at the Salvation Army that I liked. And I took off its ugly legs.

Then I went to Home Depot to get the following supplies to make new legs:

6 - 1/2" x 24" black plumping pipes
4 - 1/2" x 3" black pipe nipples
4 - 1/2" diameter black tees
8 - 1/2" diameter black floor flanges
round felt guards

Before joining all the pipes I washed them with dish soap and water to get the grease off.

I joined one 24" pipe to one end of the tee and then screwed in the pipe nipple to the other end of the tee. Did this 4 times for the 4 legs. Then the remaining two 24" pipes were used to make the crossbar, so you end up with a pair of legs like this:

Next I screwed in the floor flanges to the top of the nipples so that the legs could be attached to the underside of the table like this:

To make sure the legs were going to be attached right I outlined the four holes in the flange on the desk with black marker and drilled pilot holes for the screws that were going to go through the flange holes. I screwed up a bit at this part in that I didn't care to align the flange in such a way so that the crossbar wouldn't be in the way when I used the power drill to screw in the screws. Hence I had to redo the pilot holes in order that they wouldn't be right underneath the crossbar. By the way, the screws I used were the ones that were used to hold the former legs.

Then I attached the rest of the floor flanges to make the feet and stuck some felt pads on them to prevent them from scratching the floor. And, voila, my dream desk!

The Dude, of course, helped me with this project. A hiccup we experienced in the project was that the pipe nipples we originally got were too long (4" nipples) and had to be replaced with shorter ones (3" nipples) so that the desk wouldn't be too tall. The desk ended up being just short of 30" high, which is the standard desk height. Really, it's good to measure twice. Overall, this was a very simple DIY project.

Last thing to do is figure out a way to hide all the wires and cables. Can't stand them.