diy | copper pipe wall sconce

DIY: Copper Wall Sconce

the dressing room,
the room i keep talking about
but haven’t shown you,
is the smallest room
and has the lowest ceiling
in our humble abode.
there is a small & tall window
in the corner
that peers out
onto the fire escape.
it’s all so very urban,
but you can imagine, it’s
a dark room.
in my humble opinion
for it to be a successful
room to dress in
it requires good lighting.
and that’s exactly what i
received when i told dw
that i absolutely cannot
get dressed in the dark anymore,
for fear of looking like
an assclown
(um. you guys.
who dressed me back then?!)

i showed dw what i wanted
and let him have at it
and like
jesus gawd
a boss
he made light.

DIY: Copper Wall Sconce

as inspired & adapted from Camille Styles

led bulb – $12.99 x 2
1/2″ tube strap – $0.29/each x 4
elbow 90 1/2″ – $1.29/each x 4
reducing elbow 3/4″x1/2″ – $3.49/each x 2
outlet adapter – $1.88 x 2
white heavy duty switch cord – $3.82 x2
1/2″  wood screws – $1.18/pack of 12
IKEA hemma cord set – $5 x 2
1/2″ copper pipe, cut to size: 3″, 5″ 8″ (2 of each) – free! this was because the salesrep was having a hard time cutting the pipe, felt bad and gave it to us as “scrap”. it would’ve cost approx $7.50, which we would’ve gladly paid

total for both sconces: $60.86

DIY: Copper Wall Sconce

things we already had on hand:
piece of wood, reused from broken down dresser – 3 1/3 x 9 1/4, 1/2″ thick, painted white
screws – 1 1/4″ wood screw to mount wood to the wall
plastic wall anchors, for same

  • connect copper pipes in order, with no glue. (insert them like legos, the tension holds them together). set aside.
  • the hemma cord is 15ft long, if you want cut it to desired length.
  • feed the cord through the copper pipe starting at the shorter end (you’re going backwards). *tip: as you’re feeding it through the copper, do not have the pieces assembled, go through each piece individually and then connect once the cord is all the way through.
  • when it’s all the way fed  through, attach the outlet adapter according to instructions on the package.
  • choose how high you want the switch to be attached, and hook it up according to instructions on the package.
  • the original inspiration did not pull the cord taut to the pipe, but instead kept her bulb danging. we decided to pull it to the hilt, but it’s up to you.
  • now you have a fully wired and connected lamp cord fixture. now prepare the wood against the wall.
  • place wall anchors and screw wood into the wall.
  • we opted to have the screws dead center of the wood so that the pipe would cover it, you don’t have to be anal like us. the last step: affix the fixture using two tube straps.
  • Plug in and BAM!

DIY: Copper Wall Sconce

previous dressing room shenanigans:
diy | linen board

diy | linen pinboard

DIY Linen Board

after what seems like
an eternity
the dressing room is done!
depending on how photos turn out
(i BROKE my tripod)
i might include a dressing room reveal!
just kidding
i was gonna show off the dressing room

DIY Linen Board

if you know me
you know that i don’t usually do
i almost didn’t wear earrings
for my wedding
i take off my wedding & engagement rings at night
(i’m not the only one who
when she sleeps sometimes ends up
with a ring crease on her face
or forehead from cradling her
head in her hand, right?)
having said that
i do have trinkets,
lovely ones,
tucked away in drawers
out of sight
and never worn.
with the creation of our
new space
i wanted to use up some wall
real estate,
showcase some pretty.

enter the linen board.
it’s not a revolutionary item
and the diy route,
while economical,
can be time consuming,
especially if you don’t have all
the materials & tools readily available.
our method worked for us
but i have read
various other ways
of creating it.
do what’s comfortable for you,
for your skill level,
and for your convenience.

diy linen board
as inspired by elephantine & this.


  • canvas – i went through a phase a few years ago where i painted. i know. i had a few blank canvases lying around that i use to bounce light. purchased at michael’s, value pack probably. free, obviously i paid for it but that was years ago.
  • 1 yard of linen, though you will not use the entire yard. $5.99, purchased from joann’s fabric (for the additional 2 boards we made, i did buy 2 more yards of linen, less than $10.00)
  • styrofoam – leftover from boxes of ikea stuff, was in the recycling bin, reused, so we’ll say it’s free. alternatively, you can use cork board or poly panel insulation boards ($7.25 for 6pk), that’s sold at home depot or lowes
  • staple gun – investment item, which will be used for other crafty stuff. will list price, but not in total. $20.99 BUT 40% coupon so $12.59
  • copper nail tacks – optional, for decorative purposes only, $1.99/box
  • fiberboard – optional, when we did up the dressing room, we broke down my very old, hand-me-down dresser and kept what could be re-used. this piece was one of it. free. it can also be called particle board, home depot & lowes sells them for super cheap and they’ll cut it to size for you.
  • saw tooth frame hanger – it was in dw’s tool box for whatever reason, so free, but it costs like $4.29/pack at the hardware store.
  • wood glue – i don’t know why we have this but we do, thankfully. free.

total for the first linen board: $7.98. take that pottery barn & restoration hardware.

note: dw made two more for me (the man spoils me. i also have a niggling feeling that he liked playing with the staple gun), and again the cost was so minimal compared to what the finished product retails for at designer home stores. keep an eye out for things that you can reuse, recycle, and use COUPONS.


so the back of the canvas has that space, fill it with either the styrofoam, insulation foam or cork board. measure it out accordingly. the sytrofoams i used were in pieces so i had to glue them to each other and dabbed a bit on the corners so they adhered to the canvas. (the last two boards were made with the poly panel insulation boards. we used one sheet for both boards, and there’s still some left over. super easy to cut, i used an old bread knife. this method did not require the glue, we measured it so it would fit snug int the space)

DIY Linen Board tutorial

if you want, iron out linen piece. measure it to size, you want there to be enough for it to fold over the canvas and be stapled comfortably. lay out the linen piece, place the canvas face down on it and pull the sides up & over it.
carefully staple one side, keeping the staples evenly spaced. when you reach the corners, fold them like how you would wrap a box. when you reach the opposite side of the canvas of the already stapled side, be sure to pull the linen taut. it helps to have someone pull and the other staple.
at this point, the board is done, it can be hung as is, but dw decided to add the backing and picture hanger.

DIY Linen Board Tutorial

cut the fake wood to size and lay down on the stapled side. staple it down onto the canvas.
if using, add the hook to the middle of the canvas.

DIY Linen Board Tutorial

hang and pin to your heart’s content.


DIY Linen Board

diy | toy kitchen

DIY Toy Kitchen

nowadays the conversation
inevitably turns to children
it’s that Time, you see,
after Marriage
it’s been that Time
for awhile,
since i’m in my 30s

i like kids
though it has been easy in
the past for me to say otherwise
truth be told,
i adore children
but since i was sixteen
i’ve been assertively
against procreating
i have a running tally of
Reasons Why I Don’t Want Children
it’s in the millions right now

the main reason though,
the only reason that counts:
i don’t want to be a Mother
it has nothing to do with
the fact that i didn’t meet
bio mom until i was 30
or that i have barely concealed
passive aggressive emotions
twds my stepmother
but it has everything to do
with the fact that
motherhood is just not my thing

know what is my thing though?
being an aunt
like i said
i like children,
other people’s children
i see a kid
of holding in your arms age
and i will butt in line,
elbow grandmothers out of the way
to hopefully be the first Asian
to hold that child
when poop and tears make an
the package is returned
and my uterus can stop panicking

dw is a fine man
i wouldn’t have balled&chained him
if he wasn’t
and everybody knows
my lurve for him is so deep
the goddamn ocean is jealous
so when i see him like this
my ovaries quiver
and i start to think about
having babies with this man
and how our kid would likely
have shitty eyes
cus both of us have shitty eyes
or that our kid would be lanky
cus lord knows dw has a bottomless pit of a stomach
despite the amount of food he puts away
and i was all knees & elbows
until i discovered alcohol
and the Waffle House in college
he makes me realize that
fathers do participate
that motherhood with him
could be my thing
if only the other million + one
Reasons Why I Don’t Want Children
didn’t exist

DIY Toy Kitchen

diy toy kitchen & what i learned:

|| i’m useless with carpentry stuff: i’d been wanting to make a toy kitchen since before pinterest came along. so when dw’s friends’ kid expressed interest in the culinary arts i decided the time had come. i basically told dw what i wanted and he went forth and made like Jesus and did a bunch of wood-working while i sat on the couch & told him what to do.
|| things add up: we thought that it’d be a quick and cheap project. then we realized we didn’t have any tools, like, oh, a drill. in the end it still was a relatively inexpensive endeavor because we added to our inventory of tools. i meant to keep tabs on all the costs but with the holidays and birthdays the receipts got annoying.
|| dw is detail oriented. i wanted knobs, he measured every single space to ensure it all lined up and made sense. had it been me, i would’ve plopped the dang things anywhere there was a smooth surface.
|| on the one side of the stand that i did not photograph there is a dry erase magnet board attached to it, for menus or you know, doodling. initially i wanted to paint a chalkboard surface but it seemed a lot of work.
|| miniature kitchen tools are adorable. i damn near bought an entire set for fake cooking use.
|| for the sink, the bowl is actually a doggie dish from the dollar store and the faucet is a plastic pipe i painted grey.
|| for the burners, i bought wooden circle thingies from Michael’s and painted the top red. i almost did the spiral but again, it seemed like a lot of work.
|| the side table was a craigslist purchase for $15, it used to be a record stand holder.

inspiration & resources:
i wanted a backboard to either put a shelf or hang kitchen tools.
for extra counter space.
knobs are from anthropology.
other supplies from Ace Hardware and Home Depot and Michael’s.

DIY Toy Kitchen

how to make bouillon cubes

Chicken Bouillon Cube

how does one celebrate the
End of Summer?
how does one encapsulate the very essence
of pre-dawn july light
capture the juicy moment
of the first berries picked
in the unfurling, but delicious heat of august?
personally, i don’t know
it’s an impossible
exercise to bottle it all up,
like sand slipping from a loose hand

and so, like the ant
in the fable i set to task
the job of making tomato paste
and the most concentrated soup stock
for the coming cooler months
for meals that call for hearty stews
and soups
beyond just the benefits of gelatin
and how incredibly inexpensive it is,
this particular exercise
isn’t futile,
instead it’s one that
perfectly secures for the
times during darkness
when grace is elusive
and you’re clutching for something comforting
these bouillon cubes could save your life
or at the very least,
nourish your spirit,
coddle your soul

Chicken Bouillon Cube

homemade bouillon cubes
as inspired by the musician, who cooks

like most things that i do, i don’t have exact measurements. and so, my notes:

this past summer we participated in a poultry csa. whether we roasted, grilled, stewed, whatever the chicken we kept the bones and skin. what ended up going into the pot was about 2 months worth of bones and whatever wasn’t consumed: neck bones etc. i also freeze carrot ends and celery fronds, they went in, along with a few new scrubbed carrots, with skin on.

veggie scraps are optional. i just didn’t want to waste the scraps, and i needed to clear up the freezer space.

i also threw in a handful of peppercorns, a very generous sprinkle of salt, and 2 bay leaves.

fill up the pot with cold water. bring to a brisk boil, lower temp and forget about the thing for about 10 hours, or until the stock has reduced significantly, at your discretion. it really came down to what time of night it was, how much energy i had to strain it etc.

fish out the bones and vegs. discard. strain liquid through cheesecloth (we used a dw’s old, but very clean cotton tshirt) in fine mesh sieve into a smaller pot. at this point, you can continue to reduce the liquid down some more. i did. in the original recipe post i read the liquid was reduced down to about 1 1/2 cups. that would’ve been nice but i was getting dang tired of the thing.

when it reached, i would say about, 10 cups of stock left in the pot, i brought it to fast boil. i added in about 3oz of agaragar to the pot, stirring to ensure it’s all thoroughly incorporated into the liquid. (it’s important that the liquid is hot in order to activate the agaragar. trust me) in lieu of agaragar, flavorless gelatin can be used, 1:1 ratio. i also want to add, next time around i’d probably add in 4oz instead. while the end result still firmed up just fine, 4oz would’ve made for easier handling.

pour liquid into a big casserole dish, in our case, the biggest one we had. allow to cool to room temp and then fridge it. due to the natural collagen imparted from the chicken bones in the stock, along with the agaragar, the liquid will gel-ify. when it’s thoroughly cold cut into cubes, lay out on wax or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and freeze. when fully frozen, put into freezer bags. keep in freezer and use as needed.

i’d say about 1 cube for 1/2 – 1 cup of water, it’s at your discretion. it’s your kitchen. i realize that this isn’t much of a recipe, it’s more of a guideline of what i did, the amount of time and energy i had and the results may vary from kitchen to kitchen. but the moral of the story is: homemade stock is good, having it on hand is great, but if you have just a normal sized freezer, the real estate space is limited and reducing it down into cubes into ONE gallon sized freezer bag instead of 5 16oz containers is a win in my book.

other buoillon cube makers:
nourished kitchen – homemade bouillon: portable soup
just cook it – stock cube
101 cookbooks – homemade vegetable bouillon paste
al’s kitchen – homemade vegetable cubes