Wednesday, July 31, 2013

New Old Table

Last week I spotted this table at a second hand store. I needed a table for my entryway, and this baby fits the space perfectly.

The table, however, is not perfect: the drawers are old and there is some damage on the side. In spite of this, I have big plans to fix it up. I bought paint and new hardware, and Abby helped me sand it down. 

We'll see how it goes! So far, Istanbul has not been as DIY friendly as I had hoped but I'll finish the table, and no matter what it looks like, it will still fit perfectly in my entryway. I can always buy a tablecloth. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Sunday Well-Spent

Last week, Abby and I went to Kilyos, a beach north of Istanbul on the Black Sea. We were worried because it looks really far away, but it was actually quite easy to get there. It took us a little more than an hour, and that included waiting for the Metro and the bus from the Metro to Kilyos.

We went to the public beach and paid 10tl each, which is totally reasonable for hours of beachtime fun! I've been told by many people that the Black Sea has a pretty ridiculous rip tide and very strong currents, but I'm a wader and not really a swimmer, so it was cool. 

We hung out on the beach, reading and listening to music. The vibe was very chill: mostly families and some groups of dudes who kept to themselves. Overall, it was a quick, easy escape from the city and a Sunday well-spent. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Winning All Around

So I did a small amount of rearranging my kitchen. Before, there was a place for a large fridge here:

But I had the gas line moved from across the room with a small cabinet switcharoo so that I could put a full stove in:

THEN, I bought a baby fridge to put where the dishwasher would go, if I had or wanted a dishwasher:

The original plan called for a countertop stove, which would have gone above the fridge's current location, and left no place for an oven. I think my way is much better. I'm only one person so I don't need a huge fridge, I can get more use out of a full stove/oven, and I freed up a LOT of counter space. Winning all around. 

Monday, March 18, 2013


I spent a couple days cleaning my balcony a couple of weeks ago. The balcony looked like it hadn't been cleaned in a very long time. It was covered in bird poop. But I finally got it clean enough to walk out barefoot or in socks, and boy was I impressed with my cleaning skillz. After I hit a level one might call "Acceptable", I decided to go for "Awesome". And yes, my flowers are Awesome. 

I bought 100tl worth of planters, flowers, and soil. But then it rained, and I had to wait three days before I could get my flowers into the hanging planters. And then I ruined all my hard work on the balcony. 

But the end result is really nice. I see the flowers as soon as I walk in my front door every day, and the couch faces the window by the balcony. These flowers really make my house feel more homey. 

Ignore the paint that's chipping from the rail. I can't do much about that yet. I have this conflict between wanting to make my house look nice and not wanting to invest too much money into an apartment that I don't own. We'll see what side the rail lands on.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Not Exactly A Best Buy

Since I moved, I have learned so much about running my own house, particularly common sense stuff that seems ridiculous not to know. When I needed a fridge for my house, I thought, "hey i'll try to find something secondhand from craigslist!" This was a terrible idea for me personally. I didn't closely examine this old fridge until I got home and noticed that it was actually moldy.

Ewsogross. I also bought a small stove from this girl. When I got it home, I realized that I didn't know how to attach it to my gas line. Also it required me to light it. Like, hold a match over the gas. No. Thank. You.

So I did what I should have done all along. I bought new stuff. I also had parts of my kitchen rearranged to hold the new stuff, but more on that later. 

Sometimes I feel stupid because I should have thought through both of these purchases a little more, but hey, it's all part of the learning-to-be-a-real-adult process, and none of these are "unfixable" mistakes. Everyone wins. Especially the girl I bought this junk from. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pom Pom

I like to think of myself as a crafty person. I really don't consider myself a creative person, but I like the rote production of crafts. Plus, they look pretty. 

Tissue paper pom poms are nothing new but I've gotten pretty good at them. The paper that I use isn't exactly tissue paper, it's close to crepe paper but I think the stiffer material keeps the petals from falling as quickly. I made some for my house!

Look how pretty! There's this awkward space on my bedroom ceiling (I moved, by the way). It's like once the room ended at this arch (that's not very obvious in the photo below) but then someone extended the room. I hung up a nice row of pom poms here. 

The red pompoms are actually more orange so it's not really an America-fest up there. Strangely, they all began falling down last week. One a night. And it scared me a lot because I sleep under them, and they would just lightly "puff" when they hit the bed and wake me up. My ceiling is made of something stronger than staples, so I guess my gentle scotch tape wasn't really made for the long haul. I need to find another method of securing things...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Hacıosman Metro

In the Hacıosman Metro station, there are several large art pieces made from tile. This one is my favorite. 

I took this detail shot on the left side of the trunk, towards the bottom, and at eye level. This tree is huge and intricate, and every time I find myself in this Metro stop, I go out of my way to walk past it. 

Istanbul and tile have a long history. I'm pretty sure these tiles are from Iznik, the same place that the Ottomans had their tiles for palaces and mosques made. 

Pretty things in ordinary places: another reason I love Istanbul.