Easy Tip: Book Art

bookshelfAre you a book worm? A magazine fanatic? An avid journal scribe? If you’ve got a ton of books lying around taking up space, I suggest a quick fix. If you don’t have a great bookshelf, you can build one like this with the help of a friend or parent, some white scrap wood, and a rainy afternoon. Otherwise, IKEA has nice options. Think white, simple, structurally sound. Then place all your books together by color, creating a unified look and an impressive piece of wall art, at once.

As you see above, I also strung flower-shaped Christmas lights and added picture frames and a vase for a mixed media feel.

A Very Sweetsie Chrismy Season

Budgets and kittens and deadlines have kept us from purchasing the grand, real tree we might have imagined. But in Williamsburg with my little brother this Christmas, the choice to borrow a neighbor’s white tree and make everything deliciously sparkly is good enough for me. I came home from work on Sunday to find a delightful little Charlie-Brown-esque white tree in a corner of the great room modestly decorated in sequins, lights, and little silvery swirls of aluminum tinsel. Yesterday afternoon we finished our shopping (everyone is getting a little–or huge–blue box this year) and I have to say, I am quite pleased with the result.

Now, I’ve just finished sculpting and painting my nails in Lilacism, my old standby. I’ve come home from a delicious evening with a dear old friend from my magazine days. And as I sit here looking at my little tree, and watching the cats run around over Oriental rugs and through hanging silk scarves, I have to admit things are looking up. It’s been a long and interesting year, and quite frankly, a pretty dismal month. But December 25th holds promise of family and love, and plenty of booze. No complaints here. Happy season, my beloved readers! I hope you all rally around your trees, Menorahs, and/or family with the same type of appreciation and love that I am lucky enough to enjoy.

A Little Bit of Chrismy Sparkle

I already told you about the fabulous tree that Josh and I put up and decorated at his place. With our incredibly busy work schedules, we haven’t been spending as much time nesting at the apartment as we did last year at this time, and I’ve found myself for a week now toiling away at my laptop (which sits atop a Victorian washstand), glancing around the room to find it completely void of Chrismy cheer. So depressing! What’s a girl to do? Why, hightail it around the corner to Urban Outfitters of course, and grab herself some goods!

When they erected the Urban location right near my house, Mom called and very sternly told me she expected me to avoid it like the plague. I have an Urban Abuse Problem, I swear. I just love that the clothes and accessories are so accessible, there is something to fit every style, and the price point works for my (sad) budget. I promised Mom during that phone call that I would never enter the store unless accompanied by an adult. I promptly put down the phone, picked up my purse, and headed to Urban. Sorry Mom.

For now we will avoid discussing my Urban Abuse Problem as it pertains to clothing and accessories, because it just might happen that some of you cuties reading my blog are being gifted by Jensy from there this season! But I can tell you about all the cool Chrismy loot I discovered there the other night. So fab!

This is my sweet little tree, that sits in the corner of my living room on an end table. Isn’t sort of wonderfully Charlie Brown-ish? But it shines! Love the color as it fits in with my decor. Also available in fuscia. The tree retails for a mere $14 and I nabbed a box of these tiny glass ball ornaments at Urban too, for $10. The best part? At the end of the season, just pack it up and store for next year. No need to spend twice. A dream for a tiny New York City apartment!

I know you must think I am a Diet Coke Addict–you’d probably be right. But can you stand these string lights from Urban too? They were on sale for 9.99. I had to.

To polish the whole thing off, I purchased a few of these great, glittery feathers in turquoise and silver at $3 a pop. My original thought was to bring them to Josh’s to put on our tree, but they might be just a *tad* feminine. Anyway, I kind of want to keep them here. Am thinking of hanging them wherever they feel right. One in the bathroom, a couple by the window, and so on. What do you think?

Praying there will be canned food in his stocking…

The shining glory of my decorating spree this year though were the fabulous stockings I found us at the John Robshaw sample sale. Granted, even at the sale they were not exactly cheap (even though I told Josh that they were!), but aren’t they great? I love that they are not too “holiday” and can go with any decor. You can’t really tell in the photo, but those miniature circles are mirrors. So sparkly and fun! Sadly, the budget only allowed one for me and one for Josh, so Dolce is stuck with this paw print plush stocking from last year’s TJ Maxx run.
Sorry, D!

Oh, Chrismy Tree

My day job has taken over! Agh! There is no excuse to abandon your projects, your fun and creative outlets… but I have done so for the past several days. I apologize, devoted readers! Two more days of work nightmarishness, and then Jensy gets a long-awaited, well-deserved break. In the meantime, last night Josh and I took a pause from all the pressure to do my favorite thing of the year. We bought and decorated our tree.

For those of you who know me personally and are wondering what a Jewish girl with a non-Christian Japanese boyfriend is doing buying a Christmas tree, sorry to disappoint, but I do nothing by the books. Growing up we always had Christmas trees and did the whole present thing, and rocked out to all the music, and I won’t apologize for it. Josh is in, too. Such a relief!

My man carries the tree… ❤ Sorry so blurry

My brothers and I started calling Christmas “Chrismy” in childhood. I feel like we stole it from the Muppet Special or some other strange Christmas-themed television program for kids. Whatever the reason, it stuck, and we love it. So there you have that.

Check out what $60 will do for you! Amazed.

Last year Josh picked up our tree at a Home Depot in Jersey, which was a pretty good choice since it was cheap and he had a car to transport it to the city. This year we had no such luck on the car, so we decided to go to a street vendor. We comparison shopped–the first guy seemed somewhat clueless and vaguely attitidunal. We walked up a couple of blocks to the guy outside the Food Emporium on 2nd and 51st. He seemed to know everything about Christmas trees–and even gave us the tip that we should put a crushed aspirin (NOT Tylenol or Advil) in room temp water for the tree to keep it alive and well through New Year’s Day. He also negotiated a decent price on a great tree, and sent us home with a little piece of stump so we could figure out our tree’s age, and a bunch of branches to use as decor in the apartment. Success!

Luckily Josh is stronger than I am; he toted the tree home over his shoulder like the hero that he is. And though he declined to indulge me with the Christmas tunes I requested, we had a blast decorating our cute tree. We nabbed this glittery star topper at Duane Reade last year and most of our basic ball ornaments were a steal at TJ Maxx last year as well. The Diet Coke ornament is my personal favorite–available on urbanoutfitters.com along with SO many other cute ones. And no New Yorker’s tree would be complete without a Starbucks cup dangling somewhere. We have one already, but is it weird that I kind of want more?

As for the extra branches, I had fun arranging them in a gorgeous crystal vase and hanging a few ornaments from it. Makes for a sweet embellishment when you don’t have the time or $$ to invest in a ton of Chrismy crap to put everywhere.

Sorry, all you staunch Jews out here, but I adore Chrismy and the warm and delicious feeling it gives me. So excited to post more words and photos of inspiration throughout my favorite season 🙂

xoxo Jensy is a happy girl today!