<![CDATA[Katie Does It Herself - Home]]>Wed, 11 Apr 2018 23:25:19 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Semi-DIY Reno:  Kitchen pt. 1]]>Wed, 22 Oct 2014 23:59:34 GMThttp://katiedoesitherself.net/home/semi-diy-reno-kitchen-pt-1
Well, it's been quite a while since I've last posted, and with good reason:  I earned an MFA, moved to another city and began my first post-grad job.  That being said, life gets a bit dull without hands-on projects--at least for the handsy type.  (Sure hope I'm using that adjective correctly..)  Since my significant other and I have been fortunate enough to be involved with the renovations of our rented space, I thought it might be a good opportunity to get back into the swing of blogging and document this adventure.  After all, many of the projects will be less permanent and more universal, for renters and owners alike.  Since the major changes will be happening in the kitchen, let's start with a before and a plan of action.  Read on if you like to get handsy!


First of all, I'm no material snob.  Those ladies (or men) on House Hunters who demand stainless steel appliances and granite countertops?  Not me.  There is a place and time for formica.  And honestly, this kitchen wasn't bad at all.  It seems as if this particular unit hasn't been updated (apart from paint and flooring) since the early 90s, however.  That doesn't only mean the appliances are aesthetically dated, but I'm thinking it might have some connection to the surprisingly high electricity bill thus far.  The goal is to swap fixtures & hardware, replace countertops, backsplash, appliances and to add personality with art and functional accessories.


Here is a "moodboard" of objects and finishes that embody the vibe of the future kitchen.  
1.  These precious hand towels from West Elm feature dapper animals.  I love their whimsicality!
2. Stax Living dinnerware - I found three variations of these modern, functional plates and bowls on sale for 2.99-3.99/ea at Bed Bath and Beyond.
3. This electric kettle from Kitchen Aid has been in my dreams for a while now.  May have to splurge this winter, when the tea drinking reaches an all-time high.
4. Glacier Bay faucet:  our choice for the kitchen.  Modern and functional.. I'm sensing a theme.
5. These Ikea drawer/cabinet handles are super cost effective (from 6.99/2 in stores), leaving more of the budget for appliances.
6.  Along with the handles, these more traditional knobs will give the old-fashioned cabinets an update while retaining the charm of the off-white painted wood.
7. This potential backsplash has been on my mind since I saw it in Home Depot.  It will definitely add some bling to the space if we choose it, and in that it's gray and silver, it remains somewhat neutral.
8. As I said, the cabinets are a glossy off-white color.  I usually prefer brighter whites, but these will be a design challenge that will also bring some warmth to the space.
9.  My boyfriend's photos from his series Nutrition Facts will definitely have a place on the blank wall of this kitchen.
While this is an undertaking that will involve professionals, next week I will be doing some smaller DIYs.  Let me know if you're interested in this type of documentation and if you have any suggestions/ideas along the way!
<![CDATA[3 Ways to Customize a Rental Space]]>Sat, 07 Jun 2014 02:03:37 GMThttp://katiedoesitherself.net/home/3-ways-to-customize-a-rental-space
Decorating a rental space can often be a challenge.  In many cases there are guidelines to follow, such as no painting, no changing light fixtures and no making substantial holes in the walls.  At the same time, though, it's important that your dwelling doesn't feel like a bland, cookie cutter space.  It's best to live in an environment that promotes productivity and personality.  I thought I'd share a few tips that helped me in customizing my rentals over the years.
1.  Decorating the Walls
Hanging art or decor to the walls is one of the best ways to add personality to a space.  Art can also serve as a great source of inspiration for a color palette.  Most tenants will allow small holes in the wall, especially since the damage is reversible with a little wall putty.  If not, though, there are various 3M strips that work with different levels of hanging.

A favorite piece on my wall is a portrait of my dog Oliver that was painted by a friend.  (You can contact her through her Etsy shop to request custom artwork!)  I placed it in an ornate frame to add to the cheesy factor of, well, displaying a portrait of your own dog.

One of my earliest DIY projects was a frame collage, which has been with me for a few years now.  Originally, I gathered an assortment of frames from Goodwill and spray-painted them a matte white.  This past year, I added a gold gradient to the bottom third of the collage using--you guessed it--gold spray paint.  I also hung a festive garland that I made over the winter holiday.  The garland was a very simple project:  I cut triangles out of pre-glittered paper from Michael's and used hot glue to adhere them to string.  Garlands just look so joyful and fun!
2.  Adding Lamps or Other Light Sources
Sometimes overhead lighting can be minimal and far from ideal.  As a renter, I've been a victim of almost no overhead lighting for a while now.  Another major pitfall of renting can be the color temperature of the light--for example, those dreaded fluorescent kitchen lights.  Since lighting can be one of the most important factors in creating a mood within a space, it's something worth investing in.  This customization is also fairly inexpensive.  Look for desk or floor lamps at thrift stores, but be careful with old wiring; sometimes it can be a hazard!  I bought this particular desk lamp from Target to put in my bedroom.  This, along with the icicle lights, ensures that it's cozy and well-lit, especially considering the lack of overhead lighting!
3.  Creating Additional Storage
Living in a studio apartment with almost no storage (apart from kitchen cabinets and a closet) has been an interesting challenge.  I've found that it's almost always necessary to bring in additional methods of storage, the size dependent on the objects to be stored.  In my bedroom area, I've been using a cube organizer, with the little fabric drawers.  It's been a great value so far--great for storing magazines, smaller things like socks/undergarments and craft supplies.  I'd imagine this particular organizer would be perfect for children's clothing, too.

Creating wall shelving is another simple way to make storage for books or other items you'd like to display.  I must admit, most of my wall shelving is "cat shelves"--aka, carpeted shelves for a cat to perch upon.  The one pictured is uncarpeted, though, and perfect for books and small objects.  With only wooden planks and brackets, this project is pretty self-explanatory, but if you're curious, I used some inexpensive brackets, picked out the wood at a home improvement store and had it cut to the lengths I desired.
Hope these simple tips and examples gave you an idea of how to customize your own rental space!  Let me know other ways you've found to make your temporary home your own without making any permanent changes!
<![CDATA[Color Palette: Photographs of Margaux Roy]]>Wed, 14 May 2014 15:16:35 GMThttp://katiedoesitherself.net/home/color-palette-photographs-of-margaux-roy
I recently discovered the work of photographer Margaux Roy through one of my favorite websites for art and design, It's Nice That.  Clean, bright and minimal, her images are reminiscent of summer memories that have been bleached by the sun.  The pastel tones captured in her photographs are subtle and equally balanced by the more neutral tones.  Upon viewing them, I felt that these photos were begging to be color sampled.  Enjoy, after the jump!
All images are © Margaux Roy from her series "Wahed," used with permission of artist.
Let me know if you'd like to see more posts like this!
<![CDATA[Multipurpose Skincare Under $5!]]>Sun, 13 Apr 2014 17:01:48 GMThttp://katiedoesitherself.net/home/multipurpose-skincare-under-5
What's better than a product that is a bargain?  A product that is a bargain, unisex and serves multiple purposes!  I thought I would cover some skincare staples that I find myself repurchasing constantly.  Many of these will be familiar, but hopefully you can discover a few uses that you hadn't thought of before.  I'll incorporate my tried and true methods of using these items as well as others I've read about.  Now let's get started..

Johnson's Baby Powder

• Most commonly made from talc or corn starch, baby powder is perfect for absorbing moisture.  This makes it great to use as a dry shampoo.  Just sprinkle some at your roots and massage into the scalp with your fingertips.

• It also makes a fantastic deodorizer, replacing deodorant, shoe powder, or even the musty smell from old books.  

• Applied before waxing, baby powder will prevent the wax from adhering to the skin, while simultaneously absorbing moisture that would interfere with its effectiveness.  

• Many use baby powder to keep bedsheets cool during a hot summer.  It also helps to absorb grease from fabric.

• Baby powder can help to remove sand from your feet after a day at the beach.

• Apparently, it is an effective ant repellant, but use at your own risk!

• Finally, baby powder can serve as a great blotting powder for the face.  I can attest to this, and a little goes a long way!

Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque

• This inexpensive masque contains sulfur and it is perfect for drying out oily skin.  Just apply after cleansing to the entire face, let dry, then rinse with warm water.

• Like other masques, this one can be used as a spot treatment for blemishes and blackheads.  Dab it on problem areas before bedtime and wake up with visibly reduced redness and swelling!

• This can also combat oiliness along the chest or back area.

• I've found that this product is perfect for calming irritation that comes with a breakout.  It makes your face feel overall more smooth and even.

• Make sure to moisturize after using this masque, as it will leave your skin feeling nice but fairly dry!

Johnson's Baby Oil

• Made with mineral oil, baby oil is an amazing moisturizer.  Whether in the bath, after a bath, or before a bath, it's a great way of locking in moisture.  I love using it on my cuticles after a manicure.

• Used before or after shaving, baby oil can prevent or ease razor burn, specifically on the legs.

• While baby powder helps combat oil in the roots of hair, baby oil can add moisture to dry ends.

• Baby oil is my go-to product for removing eye makeup.  It works especially well in combination with a facial wipe or cotton ball, helping to remove even the most stubborn mascara.

• It also helps in removing other grime from the skin, including paint, gum and the adhesive leftover from bandaids.

• Speaking of grime, baby oil can help in removing leftover wax from the skin after waxing.

• Use it in the home to spruce up wood furniture as well as stainless steel surfaces.  Baby oil is also said to remedy a squeaky door hinge or a stubborn zipper.

(P.S. - Promise I'm not sponsored by Johnson and Johnson...but I'd like to be.  What up, J & J!)

Dickinson's Witch Hazel

• Witch hazel is an all-natural skin toner that is much-gentler alternative to all of the harsher toners out there.  It's great for using on the face after cleansing to ensure it is thoroughly clean.

• Dr. Oz featured this product on his show for its supposed anti-aging properties.  While it's normally best to take cosmetic advice with a grain of salt, it couldn't hurt to try!

• As an antiseptic, witch hazel is an effective disinfectant for minor cuts, burns and scrapes.

• It can also be very useful in soothing itchiness that comes with eczema and bug bites.

• This particular formula by Dickinson's contains alcohol that may be somewhat drying.  Overall it is quite gentle, and while the alcohol may be beneficial in drying out blemishes, be sure to moisturize after using!

Purpose Cleansing Bar

• This cleansing bar is my absolute favorite for washing my face.  Apart from being unbelievably cheap, I give it lots of credit in clearing my skin.  It is also super gentle, leaving a very soft, clean finish.

• Its mildness makes it a great soap for the body, but keep in mind that a little goes a long way.  Too much lather may cause drying.

For more uses of bar soap, continue reading below:

Dove White Soap

• Dove's soap is classic, and with good reason--it's light, moisturizing, and despite being called a "beauty bar," quite gender-neutral.  I'm a fan of no-fuss bar soap that can be used for everyday cleansing, but it has many other purposes:

• Bar soap can be used on sticky drawers or windows as a lubricant to help them glide more easily.

• It can serve as a deodorizer when placed in small spaces such as closets, luggage or drawers.  Just be sure to keep it away from spaces where it has the potential to melt, like in the car!

• Like witch hazel, bar soaps are also said to help alleviate itching of bug bites.

• Spray sudsy water on plants to repel insects and keep them from getting into your garden.

• And for the wild card, soap is very helpful in sewing!  Wrapping fabric around a bar of soap can make an extremely effective pincushion, as the soap lubricates the pins, making them easier to glide through fabric.  It can also serve as a means of marking a hem.

Udderly Smooth Hand Cream

• This hand cream works extremely well in alleviating dryness in overworked hands.  It's quick-absorbing, so it never leaves a greasy feeling.

• It is said to be helpful for irritated skin, helping out with chafing and itching.

• I've read that many use this cream to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the hands, and I can see why.  Its formula definitely helps in smoothing lines and healing cracks on the hands.

• During the winter months, this cream can serve as a very helpful insulating agent, protecting from the harsh weather as well as treating dry patches that come along with it.

• Not just for hands, this product is a perfect as a foot cream, especially post-pedicure or as a means of helping cracked heels.  Slather some on before bed under socks for optimal moisturizing!

• As the name hints, this product was originally developed for use on dairy cows.  So this cream is perfect for helping old Bessie because, well, she gets chapped too!

So there you have it.  I hope this post was helpful to any of you interested in the above products or curious about their potential uses!  I'd love to hear about your favorite multi-purpose skincare, or any other uses you've found for the items I shared!
<![CDATA[DIY : Using Paint in Your Wardrobe]]>Fri, 04 Apr 2014 23:05:04 GMThttp://katiedoesitherself.net/home/diy-using-paint-in-your-wardrobe
One of my favorite ways to customize clothing is by using paint.  Paint makes such an impact and it's fairly low cost, meaning the possibilities are endless.  Read below to see how I used paint to transform a denim jacket, pair of boots, and some old jeans!

Gold Painted Boots

• boots / shoes
• paint brush
• fabric or acrylic paint

As much as I loved these brown suede boots, I thought they could use a little something special.  I considered haphazardly dripping white paint on them, but when I found this champagne-colored metallic paint in my craft supplies, my eyes lit up.  YES.

I used a small brush and painted a light coat along the sides of the boots, careful to avoid painting the sole and the elastic section.  (TIP:  If you don't trust yourself, using painters tape to block off the areas you don't want painted is always a safe bet.  Using a clear coat before the paint can also ensure a solid line.)  After painting the edges I moved to the middle section.

I decided to stop painting when I reached the seam of the mid-section and leave the heel as it was.  I quite like the tri-toned effect!

Graphic Heart Jacket

• denim [or any] jacket
• fabric or acrylic paint
• paint brush
• scissors
• paper
• pencil

What's more adorable and uplifting than a giant red graphic heart?  Not much, except maybe kittens or puppies.  For this project, I wanted to add a bold pop of color to this everyday denim jacket.  I wear this thing too often, and denim is the perfect breathable fabric for the warmer months!

I folded a piece of paper in half to cut out my heart shape to ensure that the shape was symmetrical.  When I was happy with the shape, I centered it on the upper back portion of my denim jacket and then traced it with a pencil.  (TIP: To ensure the paper doesn't move, some double-stick tape might come in handy.)  I first began painting around the edge of the heart using a paint brush, then filled in the center area.  

I noticed that the paint didn't turn out as opaque as I liked on the first coat, so I went back later and painted another layer.  If you're concerned about perfect edges, painters tape may also come in handy with this one!

Polka-Dotted Jeans

• pair of jeans
• fabric or acrylic paint
• paint brush
• scissors
• paper

I've always loved the look of polka-dotted denim.  It seemed that the styles in stores were a bit too busy for my taste, though.  In order to create a more subtle style with the same whimsy, I decided to only partially adorn my denim with dots.  I used a pair with a bit of stretch, but if you're concerned about the uniformity of the dots I'd suggest using a less-stretchy style!

To create a stencil, I cut out a 2"x2" piece of paper.  The square size determines the amount of space between the dots, so feel free to customize it to your own liking!  I then folded the square in 4ths and cut out a small hole on the center corner for my dot shape.

Using the hem on the edge of the jeans, I lined up the stencil.  After stippling (not stroking!) the white paint with a small brush, I then lined the stencil underneath the previous dot, making sure not to smear the wet paint.  After completing one column, I began the next row by turning the stencil diagonally, wedging it between two dots to create the first dot of the next set.  I then switched back to the method of lining up the stencil under the dot to make sure they were evenly spaced.  Continue until you're satisfied with the amount of dots then let em dry!


I hope these projects served as some sort of inspiration, even if these particular styles don't happen to be your cup of tea.  It feels great to revive a garment or accessory by using something as simple and cost-effective as paint!  Paint creates a stiffness in most fabrics and is always subject to cracking, so choose your fabric type accordingly.

I'd love to see the ways that you may have revived a garment, using paint or other means!  Also, please leave a comment down below if you'd like to see more posts like this!

<![CDATA[Pinspiration : Spring Vibes]]>Tue, 01 Apr 2014 23:15:02 GMThttp://katiedoesitherself.net/home/pinspiration-spring-vibes1
Ah, Spring.. the soothing warmth of the sun after a cold, blistering winter.  Only kidding, here in the south the temperature rarely drops below 50 degrees F.  But still, plants are sprouting their new leaves and the heat feels different then our winter heat, you know?  There's something in the air, besides the pollen, that makes you want to sit outdoors with a lemon thyme cocktail (recipe here), gather a bouquet of flowers (source here) or lie in the grass with a nice book (source unknown).  What is your favorite spring pastime?
<![CDATA[Thrift Haul & Welcome!]]>Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:31:52 GMThttp://katiedoesitherself.net/home/thrift-haul-welcome
There's just something about thrifting on a Sunday afternoon.  What is it about Sundays that makes every activity seem leisurely?  Just recently, a Goodwill store opened down the street from my apartment.  It's spacious, clean and filled with loot--the trifecta of ideal thrifting conditions, I'd say.  I certainly don't mind the occasional crammed, musty shop, but it's just not as relaxing of an experience.
Focusing mainly on housewares, I picked up the following:  crystal lamp base, glass soap dispenser, miniature ceramic house, transistor radio/alarm clock, and an awesomely inaccurate Louisiana-shaped plaque.  Here she is:
I also grabbed a Navajo-looking belt and a chained collar clip from the accessory section, because well, yeah.

Here's my mindset while vintage/antique/junk/thrift shopping:  buy it if it is (a) inexpensive in relation to value, (b) functional within my space, and (c) if not currently functional, DIY-able so that it may function within my space.  I believe that a "function" can range from an object that serves a practical purpose to an object whose purpose is to look adorable.  So yes, I will buy small, unique "
tchotchkes" without abandon to use sparingly as home decor.  While I am no means a minimalist, we can all agree that a cluttered shelf of animal figurines can go from cute to crazy pretty quickly.

So as far as DIY projects, I am planning on customizing most of the items that I purchased (excluding the clock and collar clip), so I will document those in a future blog post.  It tends to be more interesting to see how these types of items can be incorporated into one's own personal homestyle rather than just seeing the goods themselves.

And now to address the obvious:  this is my first and hopefully not my last blog post!  There are various topics I'd love to cover apart from vintage and DIY, including contemporary art, general inspiration, books, films, and the occasional fashion or beauty post.  I would love to get any feedback or suggestions, and feel free to add me on Bloglovin' to join me on this journey!