Striped Super Easy Knit Blanket

Striped Super Easy Knit Blanket

The instant I saw this purl soho baby blanket on pinterest, I knew I had to make a similar blanket for Laelia. Not only that, but it sparked the inspiration for a new color scheme in this room, going from a more pastel set of primary colors used in her nursery (aqua, pink, yellow), to a cleaner more bold set of colors; navy, bright pink, a fresh clean blue, yellow and gray.

Striped-Knit-Blanket

DSC_0389

I did not follow the pattern directly, because I knew I didn’t want to create a crib blanket (I have already knit Laelia a crib blanket), and a garter stitch blanket is so straight-forward. I think I cast on 120 or 150 stitches, and each stripe is 40 rows high. It took me almost exactly one year from start to finish, and I started the blanket six months after I bought the yarn! I knit in the car mostly, and when I watched TV and more often after Luca was born. It came out much larger than I expected, but I’m glad for it–it will certainly keep her warm even when she is grown! I deliberately wanted a colorful machine washable yarn, and it also had to be affordable. Although I would have preferred the color selection to be a bit more vibrant and less pastel, I chose Martha Stewart’s Extra Soft Wool Blend and I was very happy with it. Its warm and soft and squishy, it has great stitch definition, and I can throw it in the washer and dryer! I ended up having to buy a second skein of each color after I started the blanket, and unfortunately the lot dyes vary pretty greatly… if you look closely on the right of the above picture you can identify where I started new rows.

DSC_0394

It felt great finishing this blanket. Knitting is an excellent tool to reinforce the idea that each step forward, no matter how small, is another step forward to accomplishing your goal. It felt like I was never going to finish it! And when I did and Laelia was finally able to use her blanket to sleep with, she was so happy. It is her “special-warmest-blanket-ever-that-mommy-made-me” (*dries eyes*).

My Kitchen Update

My Kitchen Update

The last big kitchen post I made was two and a half years ago, fresh after we had painted and hung the shelves and new blinds. It hasn’t changed drastically since then, but it is significantly more finished!

Kitchen-Nook_SFW
We upholstered the benches, hung some art, I made the little planters (from leather from a pair of old boots!), and we swapped out the light fixture. We use the upper shelf to hold all of our vases, candle holders, containers and the like, and it isn’t arranged in any specific way other than color. I’ve tried a variety of things on the two smaller shelves, but I don’t think I’ve found anything that has particularly worked yet, so in an effort not to force things, I feel like nothing is better than what I’ve got right now. We also had baby #2 in that time, and we really wanted to forgo a high chair in favor of one of these clip on chairs; they save a ton of space, and I use it at my desk when I’m working and at the coffee table when we decide to eat there as well. Plus I love how the color is repeated by the light fixture!  All in all, I think it looks pretty similar to my nook sketch, and it’s always fun when reality compares favorably to your fantasy!

Kitchen Nook 2DSC_0454DSC_0443DSC_0447Kitchen 5

Instead of outright replacing the black brown billy bookcase that serves as our pantry with a white one, I decided to just buy white full length doors, and I think it works out great. I taped up the contact paper that we have in the drawers and on the shelves to cover the glass.

Kitchen 7Kitchen 6DSC_0477DSC_0484

Our old O’Keefe and Merritt stove finally passed on; a gas leak started at the temperature gauge and it would have cost significantly more than the cost of a new stove to replace it, since they don’t make parts for the old stoves anymore. We were pretty bummed about it, but we didn’t have a choice. I was just happy we got another white stove! I was kinda worrying it was going to be black, and despite that this is my dream stove, I don’t think a huge black stove would work well in this kitchen. Also, half the old stove was storage! So I did some fast thinking and bought a 9 inch cupboard from Home Depot and my dad put a couple of large tiles on the top, and we did it for $70. We store all of our baking sheets, cake pans, and pot lids in this little cupboard!

Kitchen 2Kitchen1DSC_0531Kitchen8Kitchen 3Kitchen 4

Fun fact! Behind this little door (which we painted in chalkboard paint) is a fold out ironing board. The little island we bought from IKEA rolls right out of the way so we can iron pretty easily! (And, YES we do use it fairly regularly, but mostly when I’m sewing–which I always do at the kitchen table, and the island is the perfect size and height for my cutting table!).

DSC_0508

I hope you enjoyed our updated kitchen! I may or may not post the utility/laundry room (through the lace curtains) one day!

Laelia’s Big Girl Room

Laelia’s Big Girl Room

When we first moved in to this apartment, we were so excited by the luxury of a whole second bedroom. Moving from Tyler’s 150 square foot studio in Venice to this space felt unbelievable! First it was an office, then it was a nursery/office, then it was just an nursery, and then we transitioned into a toddler room, and now it is a fully-fledged big girl room. When I last blogged about this room, it looked very different!

Laelia Headboard-2Laelia-Bed-2

Since the last blog post about Laelia’s room, we re-painted (in July 2013) with Benjamin Moore’s Horizon Gray. I was feeling like the old aqua color was going to compete too much with the brighter, bolder colors I knew I was bringing in for her big girl room, so I wanted a more neutral color to help ground the bright colors. And while I wanted this room to be girly and fun, we didn’t want it to scream “girl”. We finally hung the shelves and the wall dots (from All Four Walls) in February 2014. We painted the nightstands and her bed. I finished her quilt and the stripey knit blanket, I made the sleeping cloud pillow and the cardboard and fabric letters above her bed, and I added plenty of touches with some raspberry colored spray paint. I also painted some details on her curtain finials, and repainted the IKEA abacus to reinforce the color scheme. I swapped out the old black-brown Expedit for a white one, and swapped out the old cane chair for the Eames style rocking chair.

DSC_0179DSC_0183DSC_0184DSC_0187DSC_0188DSC_0196Eames Rocking ChairDSC_0359DSC_0405

DSC_0226

These are the cake toppers that graced Laelia and Luca’s most recent birthday cakes, respectively.

DSC_0223DSC_0243DSC_0225

DSC_0240

I painted these little peg people for Laelia’s 5th birthday cake, which was small world themed.

DSC_0224DSC_0369DSC_0365DSC_0394DSC_0221DSC_0222        DSC_0245

 

Laelia-Letters

I made these letters with cardboard, tape, quilt batting, fabric and glue. I had planned on making a tutorial for how to make these, but it was delaying this project by almost 2 years! But I’ll make one if there is a big enough demand–if you want to know how I did it, please comment!

DSC_0268

I painted the standard IKEA abacus to anchor the color scheme of the room. It’s kind of like seeing the color palate on a mood board!

DSC_0254

Laelia’s pinwheels from her first birthday, still going strong.

DSC_0409DSC_0408

DSC_0417

To see the before and after of these $5 Rose Bowl Flea Market night stands, click here.

DSC_0376

DSC_0383

For more detailed information on the play kitchen, click here.

DSC_0284DSC_0404

DSC_0307

Laelia came into her room as I was winding down the photo shoot; we decided to take some photos of her in her element.

All-Hail-Queen-Laelia1

All hail Queen Laelia, first of her name. Queen of “lollipops”. Mother of MagiClip dolls. Protector of Lego realms.

DSC_0389DSC_0294

All in all, even though it felt like it took a long time to call this room “done”, I feel happy with it now. And most important, Laelia loves her room!

P.S. I may update this later with photos of her closet. I think photos of how I organized it could be very helpful, and we did get a new set of mesh drawers to complement the IKEA system we previously installed!

Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool 2015

Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool 2015

Kitchen-Nook_SFW

I am excited to announce that our submission for Apartment Therapy’s Small Cool 2015 contest has been accepted! I have to admit that I have been pretty lax over the last couple of years about taking photos of our apartment and updating the blog, which is a shame because I feel like it’s really been in this time that I have finally started to feel like it’s all come together nicely. With this in consideration, I used this contest as an excuse to get it together enough to get back to photographing the entire apartment, room by room! So YES, that means I will be blogging each room with detailed shots very soon! The fact that our submission was accepted to the contest is really just icing on the cake!

Laelia Headboard-2Living-Room-1-SFWBed1Luca's-Corner

Deciding which photographs to submit was really tough. I wanted to post more of the kitchen, not just the breakfast nook, and one of the hallway and the bathroom, in addition to a second view of Laelia’s room and our living room, but we could only submit five photos, plus a layout! Thank goodness I had the home tour layout from this blog; it just needed a bit of updating, and it was ready to go. I will be updating the blog to reflect the new layout soon.

We’d really appreciate you favoriting our post on apartment therapy! Thanks so much!

Laelia’s 3rd Birthday

Laelia’s 3rd Birthday

Laelia-3rd-bday-Confetti_Balloon_Joy

Confetti! Sprinkles! Fun! Seeing as I last left off of regularly scheduled blogging right after Laelia’s third birthday, this is a good place to start back up from. It took place at our BFF’s lovely, gorgeous home. They have a great home for entertaining and it really has become thee it home to host gatherings. It was almost two years ago now, so please bear with me as I think I may have forgotten a lot of the little details about the day!

Laelia-Turns-3-Invite
3-pinata-confetti-balloon

I made the “3” piñata out of cardboard and tissue paper. I loosely followed the tutorial from Oh Happy Day, but I felt like it was pretty self-explanatory. I twisted some navy crepe paper and glued it around the edges to help define the shape a bit. 

We bought some 36 inch “clear” balloons (like the giant balloons from her first birthday), and filled them with large confetti, (I can’t find a link to them, but they are always at party city) and then tied little 6” heart balloons and streamers to make a sort of tail.

Sprinkle-Spoons_1

We made chocolate sprinkle spoons, following the tutorial at Sweetapolita.

confetti-party-bags-balloon

I individually glued pieces of the large confetti onto the party favor bags, and topped it off with a little name tag that I printed out.

TissueGarlandLights

We tied up her old tassel garland to some string lights in the backyard, it worked out excellently! Then we dangled a bunch of balloons from the center.

3-Candles-tissue-flower-crown-

Confetti-Balloonconfetti-popcorn

I made stand for the cones of popcorn out of a cardboard box that I covered in glittery wrapping paper. The cones were made from Martha Stewart confectionery paper (which I also can’t find online, but come on’! It was so long ago, and even then I found this paper on clearance!). We sprayed the popcorn with coconut oil spray from TJs and doused with sprinkles; It didn’t stick very well but it was so tasty.

tissue-flower-crown

The Tissue flower crown I made was admittedly a bit rushed, but I think it’s overall effect is cute. I made 3 little faux candles out of paper straws and tissue, to represent her third birthday.

DSC_1107Sprinkle-Cake-Sprink-Spoons

I made her cake  and we decorated it with large confetti sprinkles.

smiles

We had some tents and teepees and quilts out for everyone to lounge on.

confetti-cookies3-DIY-pinataconfetti-party-bags-tassel-garland-balloonsLaelia-3rd-bday_Confetti_BalloonConfetti-Balloon-Party

Finally, I took some photos of Laelia playing with one of the large confetti balloons while we threw confetti towards her and they are some of my most favorite photos ever! Especially the top photo, she has such an expression of joy, I just love it.

As I am now planning Laelia’s fifth birthday (which will be a joint birthday with her baby brother!), I am  having a rough time believing this was almost 2 years ago! I look at these photos, and as fun and happy as they are, I remember exactly where my head was at the time, and it’s hard not to be a little sad. Sad not only for what I was feeling emotionally, but also for being so preoccupied by it that I was letting life pass me by. It’s a good reminder to try to be present and enjoy the moment even if you are feeling glum. And with that lesson, hopefully, I won’t have to look back on any photos and feel that way again!

I’ll be sharing her fourth birthday photos soon; she wanted a “rainbows and hearts and stars” birthday theme, and we had to have it a week early just to make sure it was 2 weeks before Luca’s due date! So, perhaps needless to say, I was very pregnant and I tried to keep things as simple as possible, and it was actually pretty great! It was certainly the least stressful party I have thrown, even if it was hard for me to waddle around and get things done. I haven’t even really looked through the photos yet!

Welcome

Welcome to Visual Vocabularie! My name is Jesyka, and I am a designer, artist, mom to Laelia and Luca, wife to software engineer and UX designer Tyler, coffee lover, and all around enthused person. This is my blog; here I share my personal projects, whether it's a furniture makeover, a new painting, a birthday party, an invitation I designed, or a favorite outfit for my little. You’ll also catch a glimpse into our family life in Los Angeles.

Popular Tutorials

  • Pinwheel Tutorial

  • Tissue Tassel Garland

  • Triple Pinch Pleat Curtains

  • Ikea Mini Kitchen Makeover

 

Link with Love

You are free to pin to pinterest, or post my photos on your blog, but please give proper credit to my full name Jesyka D’Itri Marés (I know, I know, it's not the easiest name!), and you link back either the home page of this website, or the permalink of the original post (although, I'm sure your followers will thank you for the permalink!). I would LOVE to know if you enjoy my work enough to share it, so please don’t be shy and drop me an email!