Friday, April 27, 2012

What's that smell?

Sniiiiifffff... Aah. Know what that is? That, my friends, is the smell of creating. OK, it's actually just Rust-oleum glossy white. Nothin's safe from my itchy little hands lately. Sewing, check. Gift making, yep. Upholstery, sure. Spray paint, duh. I'm desperately trying to use and move on out some of the projects I have going on so as not to make my dear, sweet, patient husband move into a hotel. So I had to laugh when the thought of Jeff Foxworthy's redneck routine came into my head recently. Are you a DIY'er? Please take the following self-examination: If you are more likely to have paint under your fingernails than over them, you might be a DIY'er. If you are more dangerous in Home Depot than at the mall, you might be a DIY'er. If you only keep your subscription to the newspaper because it is a constant supply of drop cloths, you might be a DIY'er. If you have a Craigslist/thrift store/yard sale addiction and have no desire to seek 12 step treatment, you might be a DIY'er. If you go to a thrift store, and you don't see tablecloths, clothes, or broken furniture. You see SUPPLIES. You might be a DIY'er. This list is by no means comprehensive, so if you notice any other behaviors that make you suspect you have been labeled a DIY'er... it's ok. Just brush the spray painted hair out of your face. And carry on. :-) Happy Friday! Anne

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You can't take burp cloths to a bridal shower? Darn.

And by that, I mean, I've been up since 4 a.m. for NO reason and am super happy about it! ;-)

I have a bridal shower to attend this weekend and I don't know the bride very well - she's marrying into a family we've known for a long time.  I'd like to make something but I am struggling with what to make.
Baby showers have been very fun and pretty easy... I mean, it's baby stuff.  It's all so stinkin' cute!

Here's the set of burp cloths I made for a relative recently.

She does not know what gender her baby is, so I went with a fun, neutral palette.  And actually everything came from my stash, which is even more awesome!

I had found some Gerber cloth diapers on super sale somewhere a while ago.  The polka dot fabric was from Joann with a coupon.  The orange was a remnant at Joann.  And actually - ready for this?  The yellow was from a thrifted T shirt!  (washed well, I assure you.)

I had a ball making these.  I'm not a very precise, planned, or anywhere near perfect seamstress.  I have a simple machine and I do simple designs.
I kind of just went with what popped into my head (and Lord knows what that could be these days) although I knew I wanted to do bunting.  I mean, it's everywhere and it is SO cute!!

So I cut the little triangles (and for that matter, all the letters, and other appliques) out of fabric, and then used Fray Check on them all.  Once they were dried, I pinned them into place and sewed away.
The bunting was super easy.  I used white thread to sew down the triangles, which actually worked very nicely because it made the bunting look "real."  Then once the triangles were done, I switched over to some brown thread and just loosely followed the tops of the triangles, to make the "line" they were hanging on.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I will definitely be doing this again!  
Wouldn't it make cute kids bedding??  Hmm... (mentally filing that one away.)

I sketched out the letters with pencil and then cut them.  You could obviously use a stencil if you have one.

The argyle was easy, too.  I sewed down the diamonds, then used the machine and some red thread and eyeballed it to make the X's on top.  It is not perfect, but I kind of like it... it looks a little shabby chic.

These honestly didn't take that much time, and were a hit with the mom-to-be.  I got the nicest thank-you note.  Thanks, cousin!!  Wish they lived closer... they will be fantastic parents. :-)

Now... back to the curbside chair I am destroying reupholstering.

I believe I have now spent 5 hours pulling staples out of that thing.


Oh, and I'm linking this up!

Today's Creative Blog

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Let there be light!

My first lamp makeover is done!  This little light o mine was a whopping $4 at the flea market run by a nearby children's home as their source of revenue.  It was really ugly.

But it worked and was in great shape and I thought the raised flowery vines painted on the front had potential.

So I spray painted the shade white.  It was kind of yellowed and not pretty.

It took more coats than I thought, and honestly isn't my favorite..but it will do for now.

After I primed the lamp base, I used the $2 blue oops paint that I got at Home Depot for the desk I painted.

 (Did you spot our Knuffle Bunny on the counter? ;-)

I decided to paint around the flowery vines, and I did those separately with a plain white semi gloss.

My kiddos joined in the painting fun. :-)

The night before I added some ribbon trim to the lamp shade.

I just used Aleene's glue and did a little section of ribbon at a time, and pinched it til it held.  It was really easy, and I did it while I watched the new HGTV show with Lara Spencer called Flea Market Flip.  So perfect, right?  DOING a flea market flip while WATCHING flea market flip!

I am really really happy with the way the ribbon turned out.

Finally time to reassemble and see if it all works together.
Here's the lamp that we were using on her dresser.  I think we got it for free when we bought some bedroom furniture about 7 years ago.  Sigh.

And yeah, the paint job in her room is still a work in progress.  We patched all the holes when we moved in and we haven't decided yet what to paint in here.  I love her room, though.  It's under the eaves of the house and is so sweet and cozy...perfect for a little girl.

So...drumroll please... here's the finished product!

LOVE!  There is nothing like the satisfaction of taking an ugly duck and turning it into a lovely swan.

Now... onto the shoe rack nightstand project.

Happy Saturday!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I have a bunch of things in the hopper today...
My Dad has a coat of paint on both the hallway bench we're working on, and the "new" hardware for it.  Last Friday, I went back to Building Value and found the perfect, and I mean PERFECT, set of 4 used hooks to add to the piece, as well as a mirror, and 2 pulls for the cabinet doors.  All of it was $10!!!

Dad is giving the hardware all a fresh coat of black paint.  And the bench itself will be white.

I hit the sale at Joann Fabrics yesterday to get the correct size piece of foam, and found some clearance fabric, as well as the white piping, to make a cushion for this piece.  Yea!!  Cannot WAIT to see it come together.

Today, while the cushion fabric is going through the washer/dryer, I'm tackling a few things that have been on my to-do list for a long time.

The $5 desk I painted

needed the hardware primed and painted,

and a lamp I bought for Reese's room for $4 at another resale place also desperately needed a coat of paint. (I kept thinking of bad 80's beach rentals every time I looked at it...)

So those just got their first shot of primer.

AND at Joann yesterday I also found the perfect pieces of scrapbook paper to line the desk drawers with. They were old and had been scrawled all over inside, and needed a makeover.

I'll post pics of the the drawers when they're done.

Here's what I'm thinking on today:
"I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I've ended up where I needed to be."
~ Douglas Adams

Hope everyone is having a great spring day!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yep, home should be great.  But it's hard to make it great when you're not home!
It has been a whirlwind the past 6 weeks or so.  We moved from our rental house into our new, beautiful home.  I am thrilled with it, and still "making friends" with all the nooks and crannies, learning all its little secrets and how things work.  It's kind of like the time right after your honeymoon, when you come home and reality starts to set in.  It's not that you don't love the house or the person as much.   But now the real work is upon you.  And a different kind of love sets in.

I remember this quote that I ripped out of a Real Simple mag eons ago.   It is attributed to Truman Capote.
“If you sweep a house, and tend its fires and fill its stove, and there is love in you all the years you are doing this, then you and that house are married, that house is yours.” 

I agree.  But once we moved into the place here, it was time for our trip to Italy for our 10th anniversary!  So we unpacked a little.  Packed our suitcases...and off we went.  

It was fabulous.  We stayed in Florence the entire time.  It was uncrowded, lovely, incredible, and relaxing.  

I couldn't have asked for a better gift.
Thank you, sweetie!

We were gone nearly a week.  Then we came home, and it was spring break for our oldest...and time to head to Wisconsin for my mother-in-law's birthday.  

Super fun!  
Fam and friends were there and our kids had a great time seeing their cousins from the west coast.  

Whew.  We finally made it home.  And let me tell you... moving into a new house then leaving for Europe for a week then leaving again for another week is the best way to lose track of every earthly possession you have.  Worth it!  But holy cow is this house an unorganized disaster.  :-)

No rest for the weary, though!
I am knee deep in an awesome project that I think will turn out so cool, and it's for a great cause.

A local non-profit salvages building materials then trains people to work at the warehouse selling them. (They do way more than just that but that's the basic gist).  They hold an annual designer challenge where they give you a $100 credit to the "store" then ask you to create something new and wonderful from your items.  The finished product gets auctioned off to support their cause!  I basically signed me and my dad (who is an endlessly good sport, and has carpentry skills I lack) up for this, and he and I have had such a good time figuring this out!

Here's my inspiration piece, from the blog "Pretty Handy Girl."

We picked out a door 

and a not-so-lovely bathroom vanity (part laminate...yuck) 

and decided to blend them together to make a hallway, entry bench thingy.  

After weeks of Dad finding time to cut apart the vanity and take it down to a size we could use, and also cutting off the door to bring it into proportion with the vanity...

Here we are!

I'm still trying to decide exactly how to paint and finish it.  It will get some hooks for hats and dog leashes and such... and I think it's adorable! Now, we'll just have to wait and see how much it goes for at the auction. :-)

I feel so fortunate to have found this little challenge to help launch me into this next step of my life.

Is there anything better than a good project to get your juices flowing?

Have a great day!!