Color Blocked Vintage Bookcase

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pre-owned goods. Not only does buying second hand mean that I’m diverting an item from the waste stream, and therefore preventing another from being made, it also means I’m inheriting something with a history. An object with a soul, if you will.

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When we moved into our current place I found that something major was lacking from the living room: a bookcase. My previous apartment had built-ins, and the place before that did too. That’s why I ventured to one of my favorite vintage furniture shops, Good Deal Garage, in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Jam packed with loads of pre-loved furniture and decor, this is my go-to place whenever I need something with character for my little nest. So off I went to GDG and I found it. A very simple, but sturdy, wooden bookcase toward the back of the shop. It was filled with all manner of tchotchke but I could visualize it all cleaned up. Sold!

Fast forward half a year later. This wooden addition to my living room was doing its job, but feeling a bit too heavy for my current mood. An easy solution? Whitewash it! And I don’t mean the sociological use of the term, I mean good ‘ole grab a paint brush and get moving!

I was torn on whether or not to douse the whole piece in paint, if I should just clean up the interior, or if color blocking was the way to go. Because I have a variety of white and dark toned goodies to display, I went with the latter. So with a paintbrush in one hand, and my handy dandy masking tape in the other, I spent a toddler nap period painting the shelving unit. That equals 3 hours for two coats of paint, some time spent snacking and doing laundry, and then sitting and reading. So a very loose 3 hours indeed.

And the result? Awesome says I! I love how the white brought some life to the piece while allowing me to still showcase the rich woodsy material in one small strip. It ended up making my entire living room feel more airy and put together.

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Is there a furniture piece in your home that you think could do with a bit of freshening up? Or is there a recent project you finished to add some nuance to your space? If so, share below!

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City Kid: Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

Now that August is walking – well, more like running – I’m always looking for new ways to engage both his brain and brawn. And with the weather slowly turning from dry and hot to rainy and cool, I’m also looking for fun indoor spaces where he can burn some energy while engaging his imagination. So where to go? One of my favorite Chicago gems: the Nature museum!

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has been in their current space since 1999 but has been a part of Chicago’s history for more than a hundred years. An interactive educational space for people of all ages, the museum’s mission is to create a positive relationship between people and nature. Sounds like the perfect place to me!

Just a stone’s throw from the Lincoln Park Zoo, the museum sits north of Fullerton Avenue and is surrounded by a gorgeous (and hilly!) prairie restoration complete with hiking trail. It’s the perfect place to stroll your toddler before entering the museum itself. The fresh grassy smells are enough to make you want to escape the city for good. But we know that’s never going to happen, right?! At least we have a bit of ancient flat lands to explore in our urban backyard! Continue reading

Car-Free Week

Me and my bike!

Car-Free Week starts this coming Sunday – are you ready to rock and roll on your bike?!

With the temperatures cooling down and a crisp breeze in the air, it’s the perfect time of year to ride your bike to work. I know I tend to defer to public transit on hotter days, by these beautiful fall mornings mean I have no excuse! So consider ditching your car from September 22nd-28th and opt for a fossil-fuel free commute!  Continue reading

An Indie Biz: Made to Order

Pierogi Picnic: Made to Order t-shirt tunic with ruffles eco-friendly

After taking a 30 day hiatus from making custom orders – the Pierogi Picnic one-woman sweatshop is back in action!

In late July I decided that I would make August the month for taking some time away from my machine. Not only did I want to make some room for enjoying all the sights and sounds of summer, I also needed to give my skin a break. So after several weeks of hanging back, I’m all healed up and ready to rock and roll again!

So if you’ve been pining for a made to order eco friendly hoodie for the fall or a handmade swimsuit for summer (thinking of you Australians!) now is the time! Take a peek at what designs are currently available here or in my Etsy shop. And here’s to bringing back tailor-made pieces!

Pierogi Picnic: Men's Custom made upcycled sweatshirt hoodie with cowl

Bicycle Lovin’

bicyclesI’m smitten! Is it a new pet, pair of jeans, flavor of ice cream? Why no! It’s my new vintage bicycle!

Penny Lane, as she’s been dubbed, is my ticket to riding throughout the city this summer. With her curvacious frame, light weight and lemon meringue hue – she’ll be my constant companion to the season’s fairs, fests and lake-side lolly gagging.

Now that I have a new “steed” I’m apt to fancy it up with some accessories to make the ride that much sweeter. Here’s a smattering of some of my favorite handmade and earth friendly finds for jazzing up a bike for the summer! Continue reading

Sale: Spring Cleaning Bonanza!

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It doesn’t feel like spring in Chicago quite yet – but despite what my weather app may say – the season is officially here! So to celebrate the beginning of longer days and soon-to-be warmer temps, I’m having a one-day-only Spring Cleaning Bonanza sale!

From now until midnight you can take 40% off any ready-made or vintage items in my Etsy shop by using the following coupon code during checkout: springbonanza03

Sound crazy? It is! 

Whether you’ve had your heart set on a new design or a vintage find – now’s the perfect time to scoop things up! There won’t be another sale like this one for months and months to come – so go ahead – and take advantage of this great deal. 

Designs: Sir Cycle in Stock!

Sir Cycle: Eco Upcycled Men's Cowl Hoodie by Pierogi Picnic

Sir Cycle, definitely my most popular design of the season, is now in stock and ready to ship!

I have several of these super warm and chic men’s hoodies remaining from last weekend’s Renegade Craft Fair. Those of you who are doing your holiday shopping can now skip the wait for a custom order and buy one that has already been created!

Check out my Etsy shop here to scoop one up before they’re gone!