Making Old Good // Decorating @ Home

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.

More to come. ;o)

Kollaborating With Kollabora

So I have been involved with the great company Burdastyle since 2007, working for them & with them and am so proud of how huge the site has become. Check it out, if you haven’t already. Nora Abousteit, (one of the co-founders of Burdastyle, a woman of all trades, author, founder….), just c0-launched her newest creation, Kollabora . Propelling the DIY movement to a whole other level along with those who have also fostered it (Etsy, Threadbanger, etc.), wooooooo

“Kollabora is a social platform for DIYers, consisting of a craft supply marketplace and multiple maker communities linking to projects, supplies, and how-tos. Kollabora soft-launched sewing, knitting, and jewelry making communities with fashion-forward projects, and plan to expand into many more DIY communities, including home decor.”

They graciously send me a beautifully packaged and wrapped “Sewing Kit”, which came complete with a paper pattern in a variety of sizes, some fabric yardage, and a booklet of instructions.

They sent me some beautiful black and white dot cotton/silk blend fabric from Mood Fabrics. There wasn’t enough fabric to do the front and back in the dotted print, so I brought out some red raw silk and made the back and bias tape with it, respectively. I also used some black woven silk for the little bitty pocket and decided to do a lined pocket verses the suggested simple layer hemmed pocket.

The pattern was super easy to use and the instructions were super easy to follow.  I went with the Large size because I am 5’10” and it fits pretty well!  There was also an option to do a dress or tunic version, which I will try next time.  I think this is a great pattern for a nightgown! I will make hundreds.


**The inclusion of french seams, versus a regular seam.  French seams are very strong and I am happy that users can learn how to do them because they are rather easy. They are not only for more advanced garments either!

** Photos in the sewing guide, which are great for those who are visual learners

**nice thick pattern paper, great for re-use (tissue really falls apart after a while)

**It’s a fast project! If you’re an advanced seamstress, you can really whip this out fast and who doesn’t love that! If you are a beginner, you should have no trouble finishing this in a day.

** The wonderful thoughtful packaging

**How easy it was to upload photos to this site!

So, my top is a little 101 Dalmations or “What’s black and white and red all over?”, but I love b&w and red! Silk city, baby!

Thanks, Kollabora!

Duvet & Flange Are Strange Words

I moved into a new place June 2nd and have been obsessively sewing for home, as opposed to my usual fashion/accessories endeavors.  I just can’t stop!

A few months ago I made a duvet cover for my comforter out of lovely robin’s egg blue cotton and cream for the underside.  For a closure, I made simple ties.  Today I just finished some semi-matching flange pillowcases for accent.

I think I might start selling housewares in my Etsy shop.

Next project: cafe curtains to let some light in from my huge windows, while maintaining some privacy. :o)


Sometimes it bugs me how I often make really brightly colored clothing and good, and yet I don’t always wear these things myself.  Also, when it comes to home design, I have always been a disciple of a Martha Stewart aesthetic.  I wrote the woman a letter at 11 years old professing my adoration of her for godsake. With that said, I was just perusing the woman’s website, as I do often, and found this:

Martha's Take

Now, for the last four years, I have held up the same design in my three apartments I have lived in and here is the present:

My Room!

So, yeah, we’re totally on the same page. I love lawn prints and pretty things to surround me in my home, be it pillows, duvet covers, or eucalyptus arrangements, so I want to do the same for my Etsy Shop. I want to keep up the aesthetic I have, but also include dainty home design items and dainty accessories as well. I’m a 1920’s and 30’s architecture girl, as well as a Rococo, Art Nouveau, Eastern textiles, swirly nature-loving person. I do really appreciate modern design and sleek clean lines and this kind of design, but I feel coziest in cozy places.

Love this Room with pops of bright color!


Even mobile cozy!  Alright, now I am so excited thinking about pillows, that I am going to go to my studio and make some. New designs coming soon!  Happy Weekend!!!

xo Desira

DIM Do It Myself

I really like this stuff:

So I decided to make it fresh every day and avoid spending loads of money on pre-packaged varieties.  I literally have spent over $100 on LaraBars in the last year and probably a few hundred in the last five years. I bought a food processor, loads of nuts, dried fruits, coconut, seeds, and got to work.  You blend them and just add a tiny bit of water to bind them all. HIGH FIVE!

Now, I have severe celiac disease and severe erosive gastritis because of it, so my stomach is constantly in a state of owwie or eeeeeeee.  Ginger, the stellar almighty sacred plant of the stomach gods is the perfect natural antidote to any kind of gastro-induced blues.  It takes great, makes me feel great, and is all-around AOK, alright, happening, and groovy.



–chop fresh ginger into small pieces

–bring a pot of water to boil and “boil the shit out of the ginger”

–after the water has turned a slight golden yellow, remove from heat

– once cooled, add honey to taste, put in a jar, shake up and serve hot or cooled

I actually really like it ice cold in these summer months.



The DesiraBars, LaraBars version aren’t as amazing as the real thing, but saving lots of money and time is a good thing.

Hello! From Brooklyn

So lot’s of time has passed since my last post and so I will update you with some news…

Obama is president!  Just Kidding it’s only been like 6 weeks..

My Movie Debut!  Check out this trailer and me sitting very near Mr. Ben Stiller in one of my favorite directors, Noah Baumbach’s latest film due out in 2010.  The movie was a blast to shoot for a week of my life in April and I met some great great people.

AUGHHHH!!!  WOOOOO While in Los Angeles, I had a sample sale with my pal, Layla.  The female star of the movie, Greta Gerwig, came and is now a proud owner of a Desira Pesta top.  She is also a super sweet lady.  A blast.  Can’t wait to see the movie!!  Greenberg – Coming to theaters March 12, 2010. Cast: Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Jason Leigh

Never would I thought that four years ago after seeing The Squid and the Whale and thereafter watching it obsessively for a year would I get to meet and be on set with Noah.  AUGHHHHHHHHH  Similarly, Zoolander, one of my guiltiest pleasures and from which I can quote every line, is another surreal dream come true.  Follow your dreams.