Woodworking - mid-century modern media console

In January 2016, I purchased access to a Chicago Park District wood shop facility, and decided to undertake my first major woodworking project ([way] previous projects being: a painting canvas, a small wooden bird, a toy airplane) -- building a mid-century-style media console. Goodbye, IKEA TV stand!

The design of the console was largely inspired by a piece being offered by a major furniture company in early-2016. Under the guidance of the shop supervisor, I drew out the design, purchased walnut plywood and got to work. As I had never before built a piece of furniture, nor undertaken such a large woodworking project, I learned a great deal more about wood treatment, joinery, grain direction for various cuts, specialized power tools, construction and hardware installation. I'm incredibly happy with the end result. See process shots and the final piece below.


This past Sunday, I took my parents to Shatter Glass Group in Chicago, so we could give glassblowing a try. Interesting enough already, made better by the expert knowledge of Ashley, who led the workshop. She explained about how the glass manufacturers manipulate the chemistry of the glass to allow it to be worked with at different temperatures, about the elements used to make different colors, and more. We spent two hours with an instructor, and we each created a pint glass/vase. 

UPDATED: Both pictures of a glass vase are my final piece, before and after cooling.

Recreating the infamous "Pretty in Pink" prom dress

Some critics have called it "the worst prom dress ever," but, love it or hate it, Andie Walsh's self-designed prom dress is a standout in movie fashion history.

For the prom finale of the 1986 "Brat Pack" film Pretty in Pink, Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) borrows a dress from her 'older and wiser' friend Iona, and, with materials from another, thrifted dress, overhauls it to create an entirely different look to wear to prom. 

True to character, in preparation for a John Hughes-themed birthday party to which I was going as Andie, I deconstructed a relative's cupcake-of-an-80s-prom-dress, and with some new fabrics mixed in, created my own pattern and made Andie's infamous prom dress for myself.

First attempt at reupholstery

I received these dining chairs as a hand-me-down, and, while the original fabric had held up shockingly well for its decades of wear, these chairs definitely needed some perking-up to live in my apartment.

When I impulsively hopped over to the fabric store on a lazy Saturday morning, I didn't really consider that this wasn't going to be the simple 'smooth the fabric across the seat of the chair and staple it underneath' reupholstery job I'd witnessed growing up. Instead, I had to remove the fabric from the chair--it started to fall apart as I did so--and have enough intact to create patterns from which I could sew the new cushion covers. Wear and tear, and some original production flaws, made the cushions' pieces slightly different dimensions over the years as well. Another challenge was locating the drilled holes in the fiberboard (hidden within the cushion's filling), and lining them up with the screws on the chairs' backs after the cushion covers were sewn shut.

I may have been pretty glad when this project was complete for more reasons than just a final product to be proud of... but I learned some new questions to ask when embarking on my next project, and it's a joy to see these spruced-up chairs every time I enter my home. 

Cake victories!

I recently came across Tara O'Brady's Cranberry Ginger Cake, and it was too pretty not to try making for my own Christmas dinner. More of a cook than a baker, I was pretty proud of how this one turned out!

AND for my nephew's birthday, my mom and I spent 18 hours (between the two of us) getting into a fondant groove to create this Minecraft cake. Don't regret it one bit. 


Mobile photography

Some photos I've shot lately with an iPhone 6 (some shot using Olloclip lenses).

For photos shot with my Nikon D5100, visit my Flickr.