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Monthly Archives: February 2012

A Platform Fit for a Queen


Missy’s platform bed is finally complete! Check out how I got to the After from the Before here!

The bed was the equivalent to using a brown, paper grocery sack as a suitcase; it just barely did the job and it looked haggard in the process.

 

Now it's safe to call it designer luggage!

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Two Words:


Miter Saw!!!

It’s little, but it’s so perfect.

 

 

 

Tea Cart Mission: Accomplished


At this point, I don’t know how many miss-steps my 1930’s (I was under the impression that it was from the 60’s, but not it’s much older) tea cart makeover took. First I disassembled and spray painted it green, but then I accidentally chipped off all the paint with a drafting pencil that was too pointy and peeled off the paint with my tape that was too sticky (which I was only using to make straight lines, not to ruin my life). So I repainted it blue and hand stenciled and painted my simple art deco design. I filled in most of the stencils and then I reassembled it, realized I’d done that incorrectly and disassembled again, stared at it for a good 25 minutes, the assembled correctly. …Then I had to put the handle back on, which is spring loaded (yeah, high tech cart of the 30’s) and it took a minute for me to figure it out. You know, let me just tell you the tale in pictures, I think we’re all too exhausted (or is that just me?) to do anything but flip through channels…yeah that’s real talk.

This is how it started.

Not so fantastic, right?

I disassembled and dug out the old caster rod holders...those took me about 90 minutes, uuugh.

I spray painted and used tape to start making my stencil lines. Obviously, it wasn't going super well.

As I pulled off the tape to arrange it, the paint started to chip and life wasn't so happy.

So them I repainted it blue.

I took off the sides and finished them, but the cart was coming slowly.

I stenciled on a design I had made and cut out of card stock (actually it was a 2011 calendar cover, just so you don't think I wasted money on thick paper). I hand painted inside the lines...that's right, the stencil was just for tracing, the painting was all hand done. I then put on the new casters.

Finally I just had to fill in the rest of the designs, finish with gloss rub on polyurethane and attach the previously finished sides and hardware.

And as you can see, the sides are level when they are open and look waaaaay better than when I started.

I'm so glad it's done.

So done.

It wasn’t all sunshine and lollipops, I did have difficulty with the moving parts and the spring on the retracting handle. Check out My First Take and My Second Take.

One piece down, only three more to go before the sale!

Revisiting the Pantry


If you recall, the week after I moved into the new house I turned

 this          into             this.

Well somewhere along the lines it turn from that cute little space with a dainty amount of groceries, into

this disorganized monster. Also, some of the shelf liner was starting to peel up and I was not about to let that go on any longer.   I ripped down the top 3 shelves (the only ones peeling), pulled off the liner and painted them grey. Yeah, I showed them who’s boss! Then I grabbed a good ol’ fashion piece of scrapbook paper, the ugliest pair of scissors I own and cut little rectangles for labels.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I decided that the best way to label the shelves was by meals just because I rarely mingle meals (pancakes are always at breakfast and spaghetti is always at dinner…creative, right?) but it may not be that simple for you. Maybe it’s better for you to do it by boxes, cans, jars. Or oldest to newest if you’re always throwing out moldy bread or potatoes that have somehow grown arms. Either way, decide what works for you and make it happen.

I polyurethaned my shelves and adhered my labels with gloss Mod-Podge (did you really expect me to use some other type of glue? I’m pretty loyal to my adhesives.) And this is what happened…

 

 

In case you were curious, this was one of my biggest motivators…

 

We kept buying the same dang things because we weren’t able to see that we already had them. That’s pure insanity! Seriously, who needs 2 canisters of bread crumbs? And God knows all my neighbors can come borrow baking soda whenever they’d like, in fact… this is an open invitation, no need to RSVP for baking soda rations.

Who’s Got the Button?


The answer to the question that my title poses is– EVERYONE!

Who doesn’t have at least a couple buttons laying around? You know, the ones that come in the little baggy with your new shirts that you think you may need and never use? But your paranoia keeps you from tossing them out. Then all of the sudden you realize that you have buttons for clothing that you’ve already donated to Goodwill, but still it’s probably a pretty cool button so you hang onto it to use in a craft (or whatever).

Regardless of how you got the buttons, I have some solutions that will finally give their life purpose (dramatic much?).

Option 1

Decorate! In all likelihood, you probably have very few buttons that actually match each other. So you may as well go crazy and sew them (or glue them, it’ll be our secret that you didn’t sew 40 buttons to a curtain) in no particular order like it’s a button frat party. Look at that big, orange button, stumbling way out there. And that little, lonely, yellow button toward the top, she’s probably looking for her friend’s cell phone. These buttons are so wasted…

Option 2

Sew them to dish cloths. We aren’t trying to make them prettier, we’re trying to make them more effective. Even if you have a dishwasher, sometimes there are stubborn pieces left behind (can I get an Amen from the Oatmeal section?). Rewashing is a pain, but if you just run it under water and do a 2 second scrub with a dishrag and it’s picky button friend, the problem is solved.

Option 3

Add them to pillows!

Picture taken from Pieces of You, Ethical Homeware.

There are several patterns/reasons to sew these to cushions. If you have some matching, you can sew them down tightly to add a little tuft effect. Or you can just make up your own fun little design, there are no rules! We’re freakin’ lawless!

Option 4

Put them in a vase like an art school kid. Typically I kind of rag on ideas that are kitschy just for the sake of being kitschy. But when this is executed with a bit of color discretion it can be really adorable without leaving guests cocking their heads and smiling through their teeth. Not that everyone that comes to your house is judging you, but why give your mother-in-law one more thing to raise her eyebrows about?

Option 5

I stole this idea from the Amalfi Coast.

Get crafty with pillowcases. Sew a button to the inside of the open flap on a pillowcase and create a button hole on the opposite flap. And viola! No more re-stuffing your pillow into the case in the middle of the awesome beach dream with the sexy guy from that one commercial…or ya know, whatever other good dream you may be having.

Pattern of Design


Right now I am running in high gear to get pieces ready for the vendor sale on March 24th. The problem with this is that my best design ideas involve patterns, which take 90 years to translate to furniture. If you recall Rob’s bookcase, there was only a hint of pattern on the sides and that took 4 collective days to pull off. Regardless, I’m sticking to my guns! I intended to create furniture that I would want in my house and I won’t accept anything less.

Just to get the synapses fired up in my sleepy noggin, I’ve narrowed down a few pattern styles that have their pros and (of course) cons that I just have to explore in writing. And what better way to brainstorm and be completely free than to publish my meanderings for all to see? Well, NOT publishing them would make me seem less like an ambivalent babbler, but that’s no fun for anyone.

Hollywood Regency

I’m a little in love with Hollywood Regency inspired patterns. They’re made of simple geometric shapes and usually use only 2 colors. The pattern shows up in rugs and fabric, but it’s mainly built into the structure of furniture (because it uses such simple shapes) and not typically painted on. BUT I am a rule breaker, and I’ve already started painting this style on a tea cart. What?!? A 30’s style design on an item from the 60’s?! It’s pure mayhem!

Mod

Even though these patterns typically use shapes, it varies greatly from Hollywood Regency. Mod patterns typically are more complex shapes with several contrasting colors. Not only are these patterns too complex to build into furniture, but one of their most obvious characteristics is their color, which can’t exactly be built into furniture either. Typically Mod patterns are found on fabrics, wallpaper or any item that can be screen printed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Damask

I love love love Damask. It consists of huge complex shapes (usually floralesque ::made that word up::) with only 2 (but occasionally 3) colors. It’s super bold and too intricate to freehand onto an item. If I were to put this pattern on a piece, my best bet would be to buy fabric with this pattern and adhere it to the item. It is of course possible to use a stencil, which is what would be necessary if I was super insistent on painting it directly on the item…and I can get pretty insistent.

Stencil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art Nouveau

This usually consists of intertwined flowers and weaving vines (also called arabesque). It usually has a few colors that are fairly muted. I love this style because it’s like “classic hippie.” It’s not overtly “nature lover,” but it gives a nod in that direction. Many times you will see Nouveau style as a frame around a picture of a woman. In any case, this is a stylized version of natural elements like flowers, leaves, vines and even animals. Also, a great feature to this design is that is has no obvious pattern repeat, so if you were to try to freehand this (God help me) then any little error would go basically unnoticed because it isn’t suppose to be perfectly symmetrical.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m not sure at this point if I have helped or hurt myself. So many ideas (that take ages to complete) and so little time.

Wish me luck!

Chic Mirror Image


I previously posted about a blank spot above my fireplace mantel. Well, I finally figured out what to do! It’s quick, easy and cheap to the max.

Start with a regular picture frame (thrift store finds are preferred.) Fit a mirror into the frame and lock it into place the way you would a picture. If you have a mirror but it’s the wrong shape or size, any glass place (like Harmon Auto Glass) will cut it for you for next to nothing.

Once you have your mirror in place take it out again. I know it seems like I am jerking you around here, but didn’t you want to make sure the mirror fit the frame BEFORE you did any more work? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Then paint the mirror any color you want. I saw a hot pink one in the store recently so my heart was set on pink for weeks. Once the painting was done and dried I sprayed it with a clear protective coat of finishing spray. My paint was actually only a semi-gloss so it looked a little on the dull side, but the spray changed it to a high gloss, beaming machine.

Last but not least, put it into place. Mine will eventually get nailed to the wall, but I finished my mirror at about 1 a.m. this morning and I was not in the mood for a roused toddler.

I can’t wait to get this dolled-up beauty onto the wall and give my self a pat on the back for being cheap and easy…wait, that didn’t sound right at all.

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