About six weeks ago my boyfriend and I took up residence in a 122 year old Downtown Jersey City apartment, relocating from Brooklyn after ten years for him and seven for me. It was a big and well-needed shift and we love it. Despite the fact that our building has survived several wars, yes, It’s a trendy Pre-pre-pre-pre War… (It’s been around since before the Spanish -American War), it has needed some TLC, which I love doing.
After moving in, I couldn’t wait to do research on the building and found that it had been a saloon in 1900, owned by a German named Gustav; and our landlord told us that it went on to become a boardinghouse….. Not to start the idea train, but I am thinking saloon+boardinghouse = whorehouse!
Photo: IFC Films // House of Pleasures
Back to renovations….The hugest undertaking to date has been the re-modeling of a pantry closet off the kitchen. Flaking paint, rounded walls, poor workmanship to seal off what used to have been a shared bathroom complete with ancient flooring kept past tenants from using this large walk-in pantry off the kitchen, yet without much storage in the entire apartment, we found it necessary to bring the space to utilization, we had to fix it. I, being a Bob Vila/Norm Abram fan since I was around nine years old, with parents who fix everything, dove into this/these projects.
I bought paneling, paint, and with a lot of sweat c/o a handsaw, I managed to cover the possibly lead-inflicted surfaces with the white paneling and also painted the existing bead-board a lovely light blue. Lastly, I brought in inexpensive black and white tile laminate flooring, which transformed the space to a whole new look. It’s a lot better. We still are in disbelief that no other tenant had touched some of the antiqued space since the ’60s.
After Paneling, Paint, Flooring & Sweat
More to come. ;o)
Don’t you love having your…err…period? I just started tearing up listening to Dolly Parton’s 9-5!!?? I mean, come on! So many crazy things happen to us ladies every month, be them out of character, irrational, melodramatic, angsty, or just plain insane. We can’t help it.
hahah. Happy Sunday.
I started making these pouches a few months ago for myself and have decided to start offering to the good people of Etsy. Fun and bold patterns on Michael Miller oil cloth for just $10. A nice big size too.
Pink & Pretty
Keys in Cream
I AM FINALLY after six years of insane crazytown apartments/roommates/neighborhoods in SEVEN different apartments in NYC, am moving into my very own studio apartment!
YAY!!!!! With that said, I have a lot of purging to do to fit comfortably.
FREE SHIPPING in my ETSY SHOP, lots of sale items, newly listed and reconstructed vintage garments, and a whole slew of sewing stuff going up for sale on Craigslist.
Here’s a nice tune for Monday morning.
Some bitchin’ boots, yo.
The vintage scene, as I am sure you know, has really quadrupled in the past eight or so years. One of my regrets in life is not buying it up before it’s price tag become like antique furniture. I went to college in upstate NY and am from Pennsylvania AND often went on family vacations either up north in New Hampshire or Maine or down South in South Carolina or Tennessee. Why in the hell did I not buy it up? Stock up? Shit. I’ve been a vintage whore since I was probably 14 and used to adore California for the same loves– vintage cars, vintage furniture, and good old-fashioned vintage frocks!
Man, I used to daydream about moving to Cali and driving my 1965 Mustang Fastback to and fro furniture shops, fillling my 1930’s bungalow with treasures. I used to fill my last college house with some really fantastic vintage finds as well. I wish I still had some pictures. Actually, let me dig:
a-ha! Found some, thanks Facebook!
A vintage find that inspired a painting
My Last Apartment in Upstate NY's Living Room
Feigned Discomfort at a College Party in Vintage Pinks & Earrings
The Only Time I've Lived Alone: My Sitting Room With Vintage Finds
A Crazy Outfit, But Probably Cost $10
My College Bedroom, Somewhat Homeless-Looking, But Hey! It Was College!
Over-the-top, yet Vintage
Anyway, I miss the days of finding really stellar stuff for super cheap. Nowadays, trying to find some sweet vintage boots online becomes a search for a bargain over the ones we really want. I always seem to find exactly the pair and then see that they are $148.00 Yikes. I totally understand why vintage is worth a lot and I am glad that people respect and care for old threads and shoes, yet sometimes people take advantage. On Etsy, I spent about 30 minutes this morning looking for a nice pair of vintage size 10 boots in any shape that strikes my fancy. I found over 30 pages worth and a lot of these boots were questionably vintage, in terrible shape, or waaay too overpriced ($115.00 for boots without a brand and without clear pics???) Yikes. Anyway, yeah, I miss the days of being the weirdo amongst weirdo friends who wore vintage when everybody else shopped at Abercrombie in college. BUT! It’s also amazing that people do now value vintage and antiques so much. Let’s use the quality items we’ve got already here on earth instead of producing IKEA IKEA IKEA and other junk that is constantly filling our landfills. UGH nothing pains me more than shit production than seeing beautiful, slightly bruised antiques in the trash. LET’S USE WHAT WE’VE GOT AND RESPECT IT!
It’s my first day off in three weeks and I am going to take full advantage! I submitted to my bed last night at 9:45 and awoke at 10:20am, recalling dreams about new apartments, riding on waterslides with dolphins, and parties with friends. Oh brain!
I also realized this morning that I have tomorrow and Friday off too, so rather than dig myself an early grave and continue doing work, I’m going to the woods! I’m hopping on a bus to my parents house and I can’t wait to play with our dog and watch movies and run through the woods at 100mph, falling in holes and climbing trees…. if my weary body can handle that.
So I teach sewing lessons at this great play in Chelsea in Manhattan and I had a two hour break in between classes yesterday and decided to go to the gym. It had been a little while and I was tired, but I thought, oh man, energy’s a comin’! After running and cycling, I felt worse. My body was like, okay girl, this is it! When I got back to the sewing studio to teach, I decided to tell my students that English was my second language because I was making no sense. I kept using grammatical endings incorrectly. I was dog tired. The gym was not my savior.
I had a really erratic sleeping schedule these last few weeks, having to be at some jobs on set at 6am and then having to work at other jobs til 1am, this created a wonderful dose of insomnia, my body confused as to when it should wake up. Last night I caught up! Sleep has always been a thing of mystery for me. It sometimes escapes me for multiple nights of lying in bed for 9 hours with no dozing. I aim to create rhythm and repetition in my schedule to doctor this. Sleep is important, man!
On a happy and healthy note, I have been writing a new play and it’s been really fun. I have been doing a lot of research to develop the characters by watching a lot of rock n’ roll documentaries and I cannot wait to perform it for my theatre company soon.
On that note, we are having a show at the end of this month in NYC for five consecutive weeks!! Here are the deets and the new promo video we filmed two weeks ago: Me amo rock n’ roll and me amo acting/theater/my company!
This morning my alarm went off and finished my nutty dream. It was the nuttiest one I’ve had in a while and I must say that I wish I could synopsize all of the details. I can draw it probably, but then I will be late for work!
I had a dream that I was riding a motorcycle really really fast up an endless escalating parking garage ramp for an hour and then wound up at a garage guest house where my friends Tygar & Delaney lived. Tygar greeted me into the kitchen and I kept trying to leave because I thought she didn’t want me there. Then I wandered into Delaney’s bedroom, which was “the big bedroom” and the size of a Kmart. To the right, she had at least ten giant ornate antique wooden beds in strange shapes (one was triangular and reminiscent of the Addams Family. She also had brass beds to the far right and I commented on the fact that I always wanted one, which I do. Delaney also had tons of grand giant furniture & she said that she had had to buy a dumptruck to get all this furniture from PA. I thought to myself, oh she’s a furniture conneisseur. I followed her over to the left where there was a loft above us and a tight space below. She started smoking a cigarette and I turned to look at what was beyond the loft and saw a giant projector screen, which was screening a video on bugs atop very very green vegetation.
The weird thing is that I can pinpoint exactly what in my day yesterday spawned this dream. For instance, after work, I passed a garden supply store, which had green green grass and plants. I also went to my friend’s house for the first time and he has very large grand antique wooden furniture. I also saw Tygar last night and walked home with her. Before I fell asleep last night, I thought about how I should make a fabric covered faux headboard for my bed, and lastly, I saw an amazing motorcycle two days ago and almost wanted to get on it.
It’s so incredible how the brain then creates a map between these things and thus, a story. High five, brain! I was thoroughly entertained.
Gah!! It’s February already. Shite!
NEW Belty belts for the new month in my shop!
I grew up in the woods.
And I moved to the city so when it snows here, I first get very very excited like any kid at heart and then in the rapid succession of minutes afterwards, the snow turns to grey slush and then disappears with the salt trucks that come barreling through the urban streets. This leaves us all barely enough time to finish our morning coffee before the ability to sled has become nil for anyone living near modern roadways. On Sunday, I awoke, stretched, and had a feeling.
I had a feeling that it had snowed and boy was I right. I threw open the blinds that obscure my nearby neighbors from spying on me and beheld a glorious site: SNOW SNOW SNOW!
I had lots to do, oh boy, but I could not and would not wait until the sun went down to go outside. No one was around so i went out alone. I live on the edge of Brooklyn where it meets Queens and walked towered Queens where I knew there would be more of a suburban feel and thus more snow to traverse. I walked with no goal in mind and everything is obscured when it’s covered in snow anyway. I passed a McDonalds and a Dairy Queen and kept walking. As I approached a very high hill, I saw a huge scary building up ahead and decided to check it out.
That scary building turned out to be a “crematory”, where they cremate people. AUGH!!!
Scary! This building was right across from a massive cemetery and to be honest I really enjoy going to cemeteries in the city no matter how weird that may seem because it’s the closest thing to woods i can find without spending an hour on the train to get to Central Park or Prospect Park. Sigh. I wound up walking four miles that day. I went really far out coming upon a giant mall with a BJ’s. I love walking long distances and do it often. That must have been why it wasn’t ok for me to live in LA. You really can’t walk there. It’s dangerous. I did though and I got stared at and honked at and overall it was mildly unpleasant because when no one else walks, it’s no fun. I don’t know where I was going with the post other than sharing my weird and long and nice walk in the snow and also that frankly I miss the suburbs sometimes.
Saw some cool stuff though:
You know one of those days that is like 18 hours long and you can’t remember if this morning was indeed this morning?
That was today. Now, it is over and I am drinking wine and eating popcorn and clipping coupons from Whole Foods, grandma style. It was a good day and yet I am glad it is over. I worked on the tv show, Smash!, for the fourth time and was 3′ from Anjelica Huston, who is amazing and has amazed me since The Witches, The Addams Family, Buffalo ’66, Royal Tennenbaums, and Alexander Calder’s jewelry model and others that I have forgotten to name in my tired stupor. YAY!
This is a good ending song to the day and it’s playing on shuffle right now anyway:
Oh man, I want to go on a trip soon. I like traveling too much to be sedentary. I guess I can always watch Planet Earth…
Godspeed, goodnight, Gute Nacht