THRIFTY & BRAIDS

October 18th, 2012

If you’ve followed this here blog for a while, you might recall that I used to thrift constantly – and by constantly I mean constantly. Like instead of going to a movie or the beach or seeing loved ones, I’ve consistently preferred spending my time wandering through endless hot and smelly thrift stores filled with strangers unwanted crap. Come on, you all know I’m just choosing to live super classy or whatever and so for the last fifteen years I’ve thrifted for the pleasure and the frugality of it, but honestly I’m just addicted to the gamble of maybe finding something unexpectedly amazing and budget friendly. I’m cheap! I like a deal! I like stuff! The central problem that arrises from these years of accumulating furniture and vintage things? Well, first they come home with me and then they get all needy about having ‘space’ to fit in. Shocking I know. Stuff takes up space! And now I’ve finally managed to run out it.

The solution to this problem seems easy, but breaking down and renting storage seems like giving up and admitting to moving out of the ‘collector’ zone and into official ‘hoarder’ status. I’ve put off getting extra storage for a year, then put it off more, then piled more stuff in any random open space left, then kept putting it off followed by putting it off again. This procrastination meant that I slowly began to take some kind of an unplanned thrifting hiatus in order to allow for my love of blindly ignoring the vanishing space issue at the house. Don’t get me wrong, its not like I’ve completely stopped all my vintage buying cold turkey. Come on. Are you crazy! I mean really? No. I will never stop and admittedly I’ve continued to buy things via ebay and craigslist here and there, but hitting up a bunch of thrift stores and randomly shopping? Nope, no way. The temptation to buy more and more crap I don’t need (like all the studio pottery made, ever) is just too difficult to resist.

I’ve been so good. So chaste. So in control.

Then my friend Alison asked if I could take her and her very nice mom thrifting around Palm Springs to help find a few replacement pieces for her new apartment. I was like sure, no problem, happy to help, would love to tag along, how nice, this will be fun…until it happened. THRIFT BINGE 2012.

At the end of the day Ali and I amassed and inventoried our finds behind the Angelview in Cathedral City and grabbed a couple iphone pics of our conquests. No big deal, no worries, whatever…only about 80% of that pile is mine even though I was supposed to be helping her find stuff and NOT buy things for me.

Whoops.

I fell off the wagon in a big way, but hey, at least I did it with style.

What the what is mine? Shame list:

Vintage Eames wire chair (with vintage effiel base!)
Tall teak salad bowl thing / soon to be planter
Big leather pouf
Rattan magazine holder
Three pillows from around the world (Turkish, Mexican, Japanese)
Two tall ceramic vases
One glass container / future terrarium

*Yes. I actually let Ali pry that sweet fiber art hanging from my greedy clutching fingers. Obviously because I’m super generous and just amazing in general. She deserved it. Dammit.

**Also, thank you to Mrs. Brislin for coming along and funding all the stuff I made Ali buy for her new pad.

Despite the initial photo evidence to the contrary, things haven’t been all thrift scores and amazing vintage finds for my buddy Alison the last few months. Pretty much? Everything has been terrible after the sudden onset of some major medical issues, best described in her words:

Over the summer I had to have emergency surgery to have a grapefruit sized tumor in one of my ovaries removed, a sudden and shocking discovery during a routine exam. It was rapidly growing and compromising my organ function, and having been cut off of my insurance just mere days prior by my ex-boyfriend, I had no choice but to hand over my credit card to the hospital to perform the surgery. Which leads me to where I am today: buried in $15,000 of debt. I was incredibly fortunate to bounce back health-wise and I’m doing great now, but it’s impossible to get ahead and a daily stress on my life.

My friends and I put our heads together to figure out a fun way to have a fundraiser to help pay my medical bills. I’ve been braiding hair ever since I was a little girl, when my mom taught me how on my American Girl dolls. I’ve never stopped! Braids By Brislin is a braid bar fundraiser and a fun night of hair braiding and friends – to help me shave off some debt and to make some ladies feel pretty. Whitney of Myrtle has been lovely enough to host the event at her store, so I hope you can join us for a wonderful time. We’ll be scheduling braids and accepting walk-ins, so email me to schedule a time or if you have any questions. Thank you so much for your support, I’m incredibly grateful!

Scary awful crap city.

I’m ecstatic that Alison is now healthy, but also intensely pissed that in order to be so, she was buried under a huge pile of medical debt. Personally? Her exact situation is a constant crushing fear of mine being similarly uninsured, now getting older and dealing with my own ongoing medical issues. This fundraiser hits me right in my sympathy bone and it seems unfairly cruel to force anyone to choose between their health and crippling debt.

*On a side note: I’m not super comfortable outlining the various reasons and history of why I don’t have medical insurance. Its personal and complicated, but mostly its boring. Do please assume I’m at least a mildly clever freelance person who has made a huge effort to find a solution which just hasn’t panned out yet.

Braids By Brislin >> come get your hair did, shop it up and hang out with nice folks this Saturday for a good cause.

A bunch of super great ladies have banned together for the Braids By Brislin | Braid Bar fundraiser being held this Saturday at Myrtle, Los Angeles. View the braid menu here or email Alison directly via braids@alisonbrislin.com to schedule a private appointment with her or check if there are any appointments left. I believe Ali is mostly booked up for Saturday but there will be open time each hour for walk-ins as well.

Can’t make it? Want to help? Go ahead and make a donation to Alison directly right here.

I’m going to be there hanging out (even though my hair is sadly too short for braids). Kate Miss will be there being awesome (she also designed that great Braids By Brislin site and logo). Laure Joliet will also to be representin’ (whose head has been an inspirational vessel for braiding). Plus tons more attractive and fascinating (and maybe single?) folks.

Come! Say hi! Be merry! Help a lady out!

BRAIDS  BY  BRISLIN
A braid bar fundraiser

October 20th 2 – 7pm
Myrtle
2213 Sunset Boulevard,
Los Angeles 90026

MORE NEON DIY

October 15th, 2012

I’m a dipping fool.

Dippin’ it and dippin’ it and dippin’ it well. Oh, and yes, that is an LL Cool J lyrical metaphor for how I dip things in paint like LL makes sweet love to ladies.

Well, I had some leftover spray paint in florescent yellow and tape from my recent coffee table DIY, so how could I resist customizing up an Ikea planter with the aforementioned paint and zero new ideas…since I’m out of fresh ideas now and apparently stuck in a loop doing the same thing over and over and over in slightly different ways.

How to DIY it?

TAPE.

SPRAY.

PLANT.

Incredibly complex and clever DIY, right? How could anyone have actually dreamed up this brilliant and completely original idea? How, tell me HOW?! Sarcasm aside, this ‘adding some color to things’ is such a simple idea and easy application that it’s dumb how surprisingly effective the outcome is. I mean, I really like this thing, but who knows what the future holds. I’m a fickley fickle lady.

Once the planter was all neon dipped up, I planted it with one my favorite neglect loving houseplants, the Split Leaf Philodendron, and called it a damn day.

Plants. Am I right ladies?

I’m still experimenting with some other DIY planters, but for now I’m going to try and take comfort in the words of someone who has some experience with design or whatever:

“Innovate as a last resort. More horrors are done in the name of innovation than any other.” -Charles Eames

DIY NEON TABLE

October 5th, 2012

I made a new coffee table for the den and so can you! You know, if you want to or whatever. I don’t care! It’s your coffee and a place to put it, homeslice.

The den has always been my nemesis in terms of awkward layout, weird wainscoting and overall browntown-ness and remained so despite a year living with that gorgeous tulip table. Sometimes marble isn’t able to solve all your problems, so when I ran across this wood slab top on Craigslist I thought, hey, why not throw in some more brown to browntown and maybe – just maybe – add a touch of neon pizazz to fix this mess of a room.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED 

- Table Top (I found this slab on Craigslist – eBay is a great source or THIS might work for you, but any top can work)
- Hairpin Legs (Logan from OneFortyThree made these ones – oh, and check out his shop too)
- Florescent Spray Paint
- ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape
- 3M Advanced Abrasives Sandpaper (I used the 150 and 220 grit)
- 3M TEKK Protection Saftey Gear (gloves, mask, ect.)
- Orange Glo Spray Cleaner
- Howard Feed & Wax
- Cordless Drill
- Tape Measure
- Screws (length and type best suited for your table top)
- Rags

HOW TO DIY 

1. My wood slab had some surface scratches and vintage grim that needed to be ‘refreshed’, so I started hand-sanding with the rougher 150 grit sandpaper to knock down the majority of the damage and finished up with the very fine 220 grit for a nice smooth finish.

*Tip Corner: Depending on how rough your wood is or if it has any sort of lacquer or stain finish, you might prefer using a power sander to expedite the sanding process. Wear some eye protection and a mask if power sanding off any kind of preexisting finish, ’cause seriously who knows what it is or if you should ingest it (you really probably shouldn’t FYI). Anyways, my wood was in pretty good shape and didn’t need a ton of sanding to look and feel good.

2. After sanding, go ahead and remove all the dust and icky stuff with some Orange Glo Spray and a clean rag in order to prep the wood for the final buff.

3. Sometimes when refinishing wood I’ll use Danish Oil to restore and treat the wood and then buff it, but this slab was already in pretty good shape and didn’t really need it, so I finished up by buffing on some Howard Feed & Wax (aka my favorite thing ever).

*Tip Corner: After years of gross oil hands turning into gross oily hobo hair (when I inevitably touched my hair with my oily hands) I finally threw on some gloves and avoided the whole situation. Now I am an adult. An adult doing things safely or something.

4. After the top was all finished up I flipped it over and roughly placed the hairpin legs to eyeball where they should go.

5. Once placement was decided, I taped off the legs at 4″ to prep them for the neon spray paint.

*Tip Corner: I taped the legs all the way down in order to avoid any over-spray. Why? Because I’m a messy and lazy spray painter, duh.

6. I threw on some gloves to avoid that messy nozzle spray paint finger thing that always happens and then gave each leg a few coats of paint. Also, go ahead and wear a mask and some eye protection for extra safety – you know, if you go all willy-nilly and spray paint crazy and want to protect stuff like your health. SAFETY.

*FYI, florescent spray paint seems thinner than normal paint and ended up taking more coats than I expected.

7. I screwed on the legs and then pulled off the tape.

BOOM. Done.

Easy-peasy custom neon fun times.

I’m super happy with how the coffee table turned out and really enjoy this little florescent touch to what has always been browntown central. Now if that lame wainscoting would just disappear without me having to do anything…

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This post is a collaboration with 3MDIY. To learn more about safety and preparation, visit 3MDIY.com