Hidden Wall Outlet

Our internet was out all day yesterday. Waah. I was pretty relaxed about it until I wasn’t. And then poor Keith spent all night working on it. Poor us. Happily, everything is back up and running now. Lucky, EVERYONE. Haha

Anyway … my brother and I painted the dining room on Sunday, and it is soooo goooood. You’ll have to wait for pictures, because I have to change a few things and it’s too dark to take a picture now anyway, but you can take my word for it. I love it.

In the meantime, let me tell you about this nifty, little thing:

Hidden outlet behind artwork via My Hands Made It

I’ve complained to you before about the rando electrical outlet in the middle of this wall. It was ugly and stupid, albeit conveniently located for our coffee and toast equipment. I was tired of looking at it, so I took advantage of this genius’s idea and covered it with artwork mounted on hinges.

Hidden electrical outlet behind artwork via My Hands Made It

Now I, too, can call myself a genius. I thought maybe it would be too fussy for an outlet we use repeatedly throughout the day, but it’s actually kind of satisfying and so tidy. Keith has requested that all of our artwork be hung with hinges – it’s significantly more fun that way. We could hide things all over the place. Anyway, it’s pretty cool, and it makes our kitchen look WAY better. Yay!


Filed under MADE IT

I Have No Patience

If you’d like a little glimpse into my psyche, this is a classic example of how my brain works …

I was sitting here at the dining room table, returning emails, going through fabric orders, doing necessary things, when I looked up and thought:

“You know, I have half a quart of the paint I want to use in this room sitting in the pantry …”

My Hands Made It_painting the dining room

A) This took less than an hour, so it’s not that big of a deal.

B) This also required pretty much all of the energy I have for the day, so I’ll have to live with it like this for a while.

C) I don’t think I should paint above the picture rail on my own, so I’ll have to wait for someone else to help with that. Who knows when that will happen.

D) I don’t care about any of those other things, because I LOVE IT.

E) That lamp just died in my dining room’s arms tonight. It looks so good in here.


Filed under MAKING IT


*ack! For the first time ever, I hit “publish” when I meant to click “preview.” Whooooops.*

I just put together my ‘to-do’ list for the week and I’m already hating my Friday self for not getting nearly enough done. Like, I just don’t even know that this list is possible. And I’m really missing all of the energy I used to have. My body just can’t keep up at the moment, and my brain could not care less. I am at once completely frustrated and totally at peace. So figure that one out.

Today I must devote entirely to TAXES, and you know how much I love that. I’m super proud of myself for finally figuring out Quick Books, and that should be really great this time next year, but in the meantime …. ehhh. I am determined to focus and finish that up today – please send me all of your extra energy and concentration.

As for the rest of the week …

I’ve got lots of fabric to order, patterns to make, muslins to sew, photographs to take and lots and lots of sketching to do. Of which I’ve already done a considerable amount …

custom bridal sketches by veronica sheaffer

… for all of the complaining I do, it’s been a VERY good year so far. Not all of these ended up as the final choice either, so imagine how much fun those are going to be. I’ve got some very stylish brides this year!


Filed under MAKING IT

2013 Custom Bridal! And … the Dentist

I have to go to the dentist today. Wah. For someone who has basically no issues with their teeth, I shouldn’t be SO upset every time I have to go. But whatever. I’m bummed. I’m also bummed at my body this morning. Sometimes I think I have kind of a cute little bump going, but other times it’s one giant barrel torso and I just look like a blob. A blob who gets to walk around in a bathing suit this weekend. A blob who can barely fit into any of her bathing suits. P.S. I’ve only gained FIVE POUNDS.

I think I’m having one of those days. You know, the kind that makes you feel like a schlump when you spend all of 30 seconds looking at Pinterest? Everyone is prettier and thinner and tanner and happier and more successful and creative and driven than you and you can go ahead and just collapse into a puddle on the floor. Thanks, PINTEREST.

No really, you guys. Things are especially good, I’m just pi$$ed about the dentist.

I haven’t told you at all about my fun, new custom brides yet. I’m so excited about ALL OF THEM. And because the baby is due in August, my goal is to have everyone ready by early July. Ooh la la! Bridal Whirlwind! The approach is a bit different this year – I’ll be focusing mostly on the muslins myself and using additional sewers to stitch up the actual gowns – but as always, I’ll try to document as much as possible along the way. Like this foundation and muslin for Lauren:

silk taffeta foundation corsolette

muslin fitting


It doesn’t look like much now, but it will eventually become something similar to this look from the Valentino Spring ’12 Couture collection … but completely different. We’re using an antique lace that I’ve had in my stash for going on ten years, and I’m thrilled. Thrilled about the whole thing, really. Thrilled about all of my brides. Not one of them is going super-traditional, and we’ve got LOTS of color this year. I can’t wait to show you all of the goods!

And now I must go floss.


Filed under MAKING IT

Embrace the Built-In; Be the Built-In

I love complaining to you guys. You may not love it so much, but I almost always solve my problem immediately after hitting ‘publish’. Which is exactly what happened yesterday. You should be a therapist.

As you’ll remember, I was upset that the wooden built-ins in the dining room were too dark and too wood and altogether too sad. But then I realized I was fighting things that could not be changed. It was time to embrace the dark and embrace the wood and then maybe it wouldn’t be so sad. And behold:

navy gray dining room mock up

That is one fine a$$ lookin’ dining room, and I don’t care what anyone says. It’s dark, it’s kinda moody, it’s magnificent. And when I put it next to a picture of the living room, worlds collide into a rainbow of Skittles.

All I need now is a new coat of paint on the wall, bamboo shades in the built-in and an amazing painting to keep the fun, bright stuff moving around the room.

Life is complete. Done and done.


Filed under MAKING IT

Being Mocked by a Built-In

So. The dining room. I’ve done a lot of work in here, you guys. It’s ongoing. And it gets closer and closer to something I love until I try to take a picture. And then I hate it. The thing is, when I’m walking around, I can ignore the things I don’t like and focus on the good, but when I take a picture …

colorful dining room_painted rug_wall stencil_dark wooden built-in ruining everything

… that giant, dark, wooden built-in MOCKS ME. It needs to be painted! It needs it so bad. I throw an internal tantrum every time I look at it. There are actually some really lovely details in the built-in, but you’d never know, because it’s so dark that the light just gets sucked up inside like a black hole, ruining my bright and colorful dining room. Ruining everything. Along with all of the other trim in the apartment.

And there’s really nothing I can do about it. It’s just going to be wood. I think maybe I should repaint this room entirely, but that won’t change the fact that it’s flanked on both ends by darkness (there are more built-ins leading to the living room). I also really want to get rid of the stenciling on that wall there, but Keith has grown very attached to it. Ugggh.

It’s got to be the walls, right? ‘Cause the wood doesn’t bother me nearly as much in the any of the other rooms.

No, it’s the built-in. I hate it and it should be painted. End of story. And I’m stuck with it.

At least I have something to talk about in therapy tomorrow.

UPDATE: Dudes, I have found ¬†the solution and it’s AMAZING. I’ll show you the Photoshop mock-up tomorrow. I’mma so excited!



Happy Valen … Ugh, This Again?

Hey guys, guess what I don’t care about at all? Valentine’s Day. Unless of course I’m surrounded by people who are getting flowers and stuff. Then I get all annoyed at Keith for ignoring something I told him to ignore. I mean, I think a day devoted to being cute and sweet is awesome, and I would NEVER turn away chocolates or flowers or sweet notes EVER. I just never really feel like doing¬†Valentine’s Day.

Of course if something incredible were to happen, I guess I would change my mind. Like, obviously, if you’re proposed to that day (by someone you want to marry) then, duh, Valentine’s Day becomes AMAZING. Or if you win a car or free food or get whisked away to a tropical place, then I’ll just shut up. But mostly, I give it a big ‘Eh’.

I do really like red and pink together, though, and I get to see a lot of it around this time of year. No complaints there. I don’t recall ever going on a Valentine’s date (ohmigod, is this why I hate it??), but if I did, I’d wear something pink with bright red lipstick. Hahaha! No I wouldn’t, that would be insane on actual Valentine’s Day, right? Would it? I have no idea, because I’m so far removed from this culture.

I think maybe the best Valentine gift I’ve ever received was my jadeite batter bowl. And I got it from a truly apathetic (now ex-) boyfriend who gifted it only because I nagged him about it for WEEKS. Whatever. I didn’t feel guilty at all, because he didn’t care about me and at least I got an awesome bowl out of a pointless relationship.

This post is getting weird.

Which is fitting, because Valentine’s Day is weird.

Except the cute and sweet part – I like that. So I wish you a very happy day of cute and sweet things, all completely random and surprising. LOVE YOU! xoxo

raquel torres vintage hollywood valentine