Author Archives: alexwesseln

Cross country moving: part two

This is the second installment of Alexandra’s epic, life-changing, move across the country. From a farm to Brooklyn and back again to start all over.

In part one, I narrowed down all the items that I had to have to survive as an artist in the Midwest.

As a New Yorker, many tasks are greatly complicated by city life… Buying groceries, for example. Buying a sofa to fit in your tiny not-up-to-code apartment, for example. Moving, too!

I tried to sell, sell, sell via craigslist and apartment therapy’s marketplace. Turns out I’m too cheap to just give it away.. It was not priced to sell, whoops! And I didn’t live in a neighborhood that was easily located for pick up. Anyways, I took what I could fit, left a lot behind, and found a convenient buyer for that sofa that never made me happy.

In NYC, you cannot really leave stuff sitting outside. I learned this moving technique from some friends that moved out of Brooklyn years ago. They taped off the exact dimensions of their moving van and began packing indoors, Tetris style, and then carefully replicated it on moving day morning. And that folks, is exactly what we have here.


In these three photos you can witness one of the biggest decisions of my life take shape. See how having the flu for a week paired with a break-up of a 4 year relationship can really turn your shared apartment space into a hot mess!


It all fits! My whole entire life in NYC (minus epic amount of baggage… That four year relationship, that unfulfilling job I quit after only 3 months, furnitures, street finds, city living stress, tangible objects that were not sentimental nor useful) fits into one regular size pick up truck.


My move may have been overkill. I’m calling it the bandaid technique… Just make all the changes and get on with your life and happiness finding. It was not a light hearted decision and I had been pondering for quite some time before pull the bandaid off. It’s stinging only a little. I’m already healing. And all the fresh oxygen is really making me feel all tingly and ready for new adventures.


Washi Tape Two Ways

Washi tape two ways today. Washi tape is super fun, colorful, trendy, and already all over Nikki’s apartment.  (Or at least it was for a while). Here’s my take on the semi sticky stuff.

The first was a crazy DIY from my kitchen that evolved of many wine with ice evenings longing to paint my renter’s white apartment walls.  The kitchen really needed more lime green.  I told you I was going for a fiesta theme awhile back…

The tapes are from an art store in nyc; it’s colored masking tape.  Two widths.  Artfully layered.  Madhouse fun!


The second here is a more practical approach.  In an effort to get organized for my cross country move, I needed a plan.  I can only take ‘x’ amount of stuff.  The blue washi tape is the exact (i hope) dimensions of a truck bed.

This is also how New Yorkers pack.  I’ve seen it done!  You can’t really leave anything in a vehicle overnight on the street, so creatively we’ve adapted to pre-packing everything indoors to make sure it will all fit, tetris style.  Seriously, I hope I can fit my whole life into a space this tiny…


Cross country move step one.



Sofa without a Home

Happy New Years!  Epic Changes Ahead…

(warning: for the purposes of this blog, Nikki & Alexandra’s life crises will coincide.  Crises is the plural of crisis <– therapy lessons.  Haha, jk, we’re just feeling 2014 fierce, time to be happy!)


Remember this well-blogged sofa… and all the indecision.

Turns out, I thought buying a couch would make my house seem like “home”.  And then, of course, my brother would want to visit me more often.  And friends would come over for wine and drink it on my sofa and hang out, and it would be okay if they spilled a little because it’s a slipcover.  And I would feel like I lived in a better apartment in a better neighborhood.  I would also get a better job from which I could come home and relax on the sofa.  I would want to stick around New York for a few more years.  *sigh* *FAIL*

I tried.  I really, really, really tried.  I invested everything into trying to make a happy life and living space here.  Up until the minute I came back from my Midwest holiday on 12/31/13 and could no longer tolerate wanting to be home and actually living in NYC at the same time.  Such contradictions are not good for the mind-body and spirit.  It felt like I left my heart in Illinois.

I declared for the umpteenth time to my live-in boyfriend that I was not happy here.  He was surprised.  (?!)  Then a rapid, rapid spiral of exit plans spilled out of me like I was on a life preserver being whisked away on a currant that was bigger than me.  I have to move back.  I’m already happier.  I’m un-stuck.  Someone is coming to get me.  There are other couches I can sleep on.  It’s a feeling in my bones.  It’s not even a thought.  My boyfriend says it’s a logical decision and I have to go; he’s letting me go.  I feel it in my bones.  He is relieved.  I’m going back.  Living the big city is not for me.  It’s happening soon.  Two weeks notice, NYC.  That’s all the good-byes I can tolerate.  I need the momentum.  Sofa or no sofa.  Stuff or no stuff.  I am out.  For one million good reasons.  One million good reasons I have to go.

I’ll try to keep you guys updated on the rapid un-decorating of my life here, processing of ALL THE FEELINGS, cross country moving road trip caravan, and more indecision as I try to find a new home.

Please msg if you want to buy the sofa $800 OBO, cash and carry in Brooklyn.  :)



Holiday Designer

So I’m headed home in two weeks for my annual xmas visit and a surprise Nikki visit… And this year I am feeling a little more refreshed from working less, which is an awesome, weird feeling.

On the holiday to do list:
1. Try to co-host as many veggie friendly dinner parties that I can!

2. Hang out with friends, fam, and some little ones.

3. DIY revamp my Dad’s sad looking but still comfortable sofa. It’s just has an upholstery rip in front cushion FOR YEARS!!! It’s getting embarrassing, so this year I’m taking action and putting all my design ideas to use.

My dad’s style is ‘functional country chic’ with a muted color palette. This should be a challenge for me!

I’m going to call this my xmas present this year, plus it needs to be done by xmas eve–the day I arrive. Eek!

I’m looking online at slipcovers because those are neutral tones and my favorite design solution–tapestries only come in ‘hippie.’ I’ll buy a nice cream, soft blue or green slipcover online and ship it to the farm. I also browsed pillows, covers, and throws for subtle pops of pattern, but I may have a few hours to shop around locally before my deadline. We’ll see!

What are your holiday plans?



Nailed It

Hehehe, nailed it. Get it? My DIY Reupholstery project…

In the midst of my apartment re-do, and impending thanksgiving family dinner that I’m hosting, I decided to finally cross this off my one of four to-do lists.

Finally, fabric in my *colors* and more secure attachment

Finally, fabric in my *colors* and more secure attachment

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Styling Attempts

Ok, here are some more styling attempts on Alexandra’s life living room makeover.  Guys, it’s *in progress* so be gentle.  I’m open to suggestions and will keep making updates until I hit all the right notes.

I really love the sofa with the personalized look.  It’s crazy, I know.  Nikki keeps telling me to tone it down a bit. (Ahem, Al, just pick a limited palate…love, Nikki) Solid teal throw (with pompoms!) and more pillows are in the mail.  I’m convinced that if everything reads grey&teal then I can go crazy with the patterns.

I am now deliberating on a proper curtain over the window.  (More indecision!) Curious? Click for more :)

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Alexandra’s Sofa Reveal


Finally. Here are my ‘almost there’ sofa reveal photos.

The sofa is from World Market. I assembled it myself after carrying the pieces up three flights of stairs into my tiny entry way.  Big apartment, tiny doorway… many stairs.


After ( SO MUCH) deliberation I decided on buying a three seated sofa that would fit in my apt. doorway.  My doorway measures 22″ across.  It would have to be an assemble it yourself sofa, which narrowed it down to basically only Ikea and a few other unstylish websites.  I really did NOT want to hoist a sofa through the window like the last tenant.  I looked at so many sofas!  Ikea had some nice ones, but not in the three seater style.  I debated between tufted or comfy.  Patterned or plain.  Velvet or sturdy fabric.

I also resolved on a slip cover grey as a neutral base and to start to establish a color theme for the room (grey&teal, of course).

Gone are the hideous plastic, vertical blinds!! I replaced them with DIY cut (by me!) bamboo matchstick blinds. I think now a curtain would look good behind the sofa, maybe. More deliberation….


I don’t know what makes me happier- the couch or the removal of those *wonderful* vertical blinds…

There you have it. Alexandra’s sofa reveal. More updates on my attempts at “styling” coming soon.