Archive for ‘DIY’

June 16, 2011


Winnspiration?  Really?  I’m sorry.  I recently stumbled onto these young “full-timers” via ETSY.  They are living out of an old Winnie that they gutted and remodeled themselves, selling beeswax candles molded from antique bottles and the like.  So. Jealous.  The interior is so breathtaking as to squash any doubts anyone might have about the potential awesomeness that is mobile living.  Or at least, it helps, I hope.

March 11, 2011

Amazing green RV

A Biofuel-Powered Hybrid Home on Wheels by Sunray Kelley.

March 8, 2011

DIY Music – Stephanie Niles

New Orleans-based jazz/punk musician Stephanie Nilles‘ fourth album, Fuck Off Grizzly Bear, is generating a substantial amount of buzz after it surprisingly climbed to the top of Pitchfork’s Album Title of the Year year-end list, an astounding feat considering it’s March.


Nilles and her upright bassist, Matt Wigton, took a loose DIY approach to the album, recording in Nilles’s childhood home, which she studio-nicknamed The Hell House as its surrounding town boasts more churches per capita than any other town in the United States. The duo recorded 3 hours worth of material over one weekend, and originally planned to release 7 separate e.p.’s, but a last-minute decision to “go green” halted the duplication of the project in its tracks.


According to the exhaustive liner notes, Nilles opted to record the entire album directly to a vintage Fisher Price cassette recorder, employing sound engineer Mike Judeh to use only its built-in microphone. After wrestling with the tape machine placement “for hours,” Judeh decided to surgically implant the recorder inside Wigton’s upright bass (resulting in a broken G string that had to be replaced with a bit of fishing line), illuminating a resonance and warmth lacking in today’s mainstream recording industry. Upon mixing the record, Nilles was unhappy with the “sound” of the opus, and so recruited mastering engineer Brian Lucey to digitally render additional analog hiss.


Why Nilles opted to title the album Fuck Off, Grizzly Bear is unclear. The cover alone is sure to enrage a number of environmental activists. I can only hope that the depiction of Nilles flipping the bird at a member of a soon to be endangered species was a digital composite. Why musicians think that they can abuse defenseless animals to help sell their albums (think the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds or Joni Mitchell’s Dog Eat Dog) is a mystery that only they and their therapists can answer. In any case, the title track is nothing more than a list railing against the absurdity of the digital age, spouting such jarring lines as “Facebook is just the gateway drug to stalking.” But apart from a vague reference to Grizzly Bear’s Two Weeks in the song’s opening piano riff, the darling band of the indie-rock community is left out of the equation. One is left wondering if Nilles even knows who Grizzly Bear is.


Stand-out tracks include For a HiLife Commercial, which is a vivid character study of a wall street frat boy. For it, all of the instruments were painstakingly tuned down a quarter-tone so that Nilles could occasionally utilize auto-tune (she sang into her iPhone’s T-Payne auto-tune app), which ironically serves to make her voice sound slightly and intentionally off-pitch throughout. Dark Matter is an original poem set to music by Mexican folksongwriter Jose Alfredo Jiminez. In order to write it, Nilles spent months holed up in her grandparents’ basement in Northern California, watching YouTube videos of Mexican rancheras.


With the exception of an achingly heart-warming version of Mike Bloomfield’s 1974 blues ballad Love Me Or I’ll Kill You, Nilles steers clear of love songs altogether, touching instead on such predictable subjects as the 2008 presidential election, the BP oil spill, pornography, and the integration of American public schools circa the 1950’s. All make this eclectic but disparate collection of originals and covers seem, at times, verbose bordering on pedantic.


Although the record’s piano work is nimble and intricate, it leaves the listener wanting more. Nilles began playing the piano at the age of 5, and, a child of the 80’s, she quickly set her sights on learning to play every musical instrument [that Prince plays]. It should be noted, then, that she is only 22 years into her career; it is possible that her craft will hone itself over time. That said, Nilles’ fourth record is a solid and inspired effort. A super-senior effort, however, just might be something for listeners to get excited about.


March 2, 2011

DIY Round-up

How to make a repeating pattern, designsponge.

Curtains on the cheap, Apartment Therapy.

Tassel Earrings, InStyle.

Headdress, You Me and a Skeleton Key.

Urban Outfitters duvet knock off, Kiki Creates.

Envelopes become Tote Bags, Orphaned.

$2 shoes, Aunt Peaches.

Hex-Nut Bracelet, Honestly WTF.

Driftwood hook, Semi Jewels.

Fbaric Prints with Tape, How About Orange.


March 1, 2011

DIY Antique Book Clutch

I’ve been lusting after these book clutches for some time now, and today at the flea market I picked out the perfect book to transform into my new purse.  I wanted something a little smaller, just to fit the essentials.  The Olympia Le-Tan clutches are beautifully embroidered, but at $1,330.00 I just don’t think I can afford it right now… or ever.

I’m not a huge fan of the Kate Spade version, and at $300 – still too steep for me.  I made my clutch in an afternoon, out of materials I had lying around the house.

Total cost: approx. $7.00.

How to:  Antique Book Clutch (under the cut)

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February 26, 2011

How to DIY Jackpot – Park & Cube

Park and Cube might just be my new favorite blog.  I have a short list of things to whip up before spring hits, and these amazing tutorials are very high on it.

February 26, 2011

5 year mobile plan

Everybody wants freedom and what better represents that than mobility?  For the last 5 years I have been daydreaming of and drooling over other people’s mobile homes.  Not trailers, or pre-fab campers, but specifically old school buses converted into green living quarters.  I want solar panels, veggie oil, composting toilet – the works.  Imagine never having to pay rent again.  It’s almost frightening to imagine a life with so many possibilities, and I want it!

Jake Von Slatt’s bus is one I have been seeing pictures of for years.  I love the light airy feel of it, though I’m not a huge fan of the floorplan.  These guys have really taken it to another level completely, taken it a step further.  They created a second story by welding part of a vehicle to the roof of the bus, which also happens to lead to a fenced in lounging area.

Now all I need to do is brush up on diesel mechanics, carpentry, and oh, yeah, how to raise a lot of money fast, and I’m off!

February 24, 2011

Kim’s MAGIC Kitchen Remodel

I was perusing the aforementioned Desire to Inspire, and OH MY GOD have you seen Kim’s kitchen transformation?  It’s unreal.

February 24, 2011

Recycled Home – Decor and Lighting


February 23, 2011

Upcycled Planter

I’ve been wanting more LIFE around the house, maybe I’ll gut a few books before I get that puppy…


VIA A Sensible Habit, & Found Shit.



Upcycled 55 gallon drum planter/benches VIA