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Why I Suck at Sewing (and that’s OK)


Masterpiece...ugh.

I recently had a dog move in with me (don’t worry, she pays rent) and I thought I could make her a cute little hobo bed. So I took scraps of cloth and decided to basically fabric glue this piece of monstrosity together with a bit of stitching toward the end for structure.

Well, let me be the first to say “Bahahahaha” and “Bahahahaha.”

Honestly, I’ve never put on airs about my sewing. I can do the minimal hand stitching for reupholstering, but aside from that, me and a lobster have equal sewing capacities. I even have a sweet sewing machine but the bobbin and tension totally harsh my mellow.

Soooooo what’s the point of this post? As much as I love good, old fashion, self-depricating humor, there really is a purpose. You see, this post is coming hot on the heels of a conversation I had with a friend. She was feeling down about nothing specific. Not just the “winter icks,” but the “I-look-around-me-and-see-that-everyone-seems-to-be-making-it-work-with-ease-and-here-I-am-just-waiting-for-improvement-itis.” It’s something we all feel occasionally. You’re genuinely happy for someone else’s luck/success/what have you, but at the same time you wonder, “how do they do it?” or “what are they doing differently than me?”

The answer I have found is pretty simple- nothing. I devote my spare time to woodworking, running, home improvement, my band, furniture nonsense and messing up my life with power tools. It isn’t fair for me to turn around and expect to be great at sewing when it isn’t even remotely on my to-do list. Nor are cooking, bowling, dancing, golfing (I could go on forever.) Do I sacrifice for my hobbies? Again, my to-do list is not extensive. I rarely bowl, go dancing, buy gourmet food etc. It’s just a matter of picking my battles, even though they are always with myself.

No matter what we have/don’t have or where we excel/fail, at the end of the day everyone is tired, everyone tried, everyone is waiting for the next day to be a little better and we’ve all sacrificed something in order to be what we are (good or bad.)

When it comes down to it, it’s always good to see the potential in yourself but keep in mind the value of all that you are. Where would we be if Eric Clapton decided to try his Slowhand (get it?) at body-building? Or dry cleaning? Or macrame? All that he has done is not overshadowed by all that he chose not to do.

So, it’s OK, go ahead and suck at something.

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Discom-BULB-ulated


Ahhh the 70’s; the memorable era of carpeted walls, brass fixtures and oversized, yellow spotted lamps.

Spots

 

Yeah, that’s real. 

Since, in my opinion, a lamp is just a bulb on a long cord that is run through a hollowed-out vase (in layman’s terms) I decided there was no harm in loosening a few wing nuts and pulling the old girl apart.

 

 

Rod

 

In this instance there is a hollow, threaded rod inserted through the middle because this behemoth of a lamp weighs more than a small child and comes in three separate pieces.

This is where the spray paint enters the scene.

I taped off the cord and socket (because even though the lamp unscrewed, the parts were inseparable) primed with spray primer, then did what I do best…make bad decisions quickly with my eyes closed.

Well Look ye' Here

My decision making process went something like this.

“I like blue. What is better than blue? Three different blues!!” The end.

Come here often, lovely?

 

The spray primer was a good, sticky base for the spray paint so I didn’t use spray sealant on top. PLUS, in my experience, most glossy spray paints tend to turn a bit matte when coated with a sealant (even if it seems like a glossy sealant) so I avoid it whenever possible.

OK, maybe the 70’s didn’t always have the greatest concept of space or regard for complimentary colors, but in theory, a massive, speckled lamp sounds stunning to just about everyone, right?…Yeah, I didn’t think so.

 

 

 

 

 

Face Forward


resurfacing

Dan’s Tables


I received a call about some laminate end tables that needed a little jazzing-up!

RawI scrubbed them down with soap, water and eventually a bit of Windex. I also pried off the ancient pen holder that was stuck to the side with what could only be a mix of cement and a curse. I decided to skip the primer because I felt like living on the edge (my middle name is Danger, in case you didn’t know.) I removed the hardware and scuffed the laminate a bit with sandpaper, mixed my colors and got my paint on!

Dan had originally wanted these to be burnt orange with red on the inside. But as I do with ALL of my customers that I know well, I changed the plan a bit. I thought the burnt orange would be a bit too dark so I mixed a dark peach color. As for the red, well I hoped he likes pink. Dark red seemed too bold so I mixed a light salmon and prayed…and prayed…and hoped…cried a little…and prayed some more.

I used an average of three coats of polyurethane over the paint just to ensure that the paint was going to stay put. I say “an average of three coats” because the tops got at least four coats (perhaps even five) while the sides got about two and the inside only one. The reason for the inconsistency in the number of coats is that, well you see, I was attacked….by bugs. Gnats and mosquitoes were flying kamikaze missions into my wet poly! Many times I would pick off a bug, scratch the paint and need to reapply both paint and poly.

ALSO there was one night, one tragic, tragic night when I didn’t pay attention to the humidity in the air, the odd direction of the wind or, ya know, the local weather channel. I left the tables out under an overhang (thank God, at least) to dry, which ended up having the opposite affect considering we had an Amazon-like monsoon that same evening. I sort of flipped. I had to peel 1/3 of the paint off and layer paint fairly meticulously in order to make it appear as though it doesn’t have four coats of chipped paint. Ay-yiy-freakin’-yiy!

Buuuuuuuut…..it all worked out.

Donzo!

And even better news? Boys totally like pink.

O.A.’s Bookcase


Thank God–A Bathroom Story


My bathroom is done and it makes me want to drink dance! It’s been the bane of my existence for about five months. A half bath should NOT have taken so long, but I get sidetracked so easily!

No time for talking

on to the pictures!

Before

Before

Before

Before

During

During

During

During

During

During

During

During

During

During

During. Adding a sink.

During. Adding a sink.

During. Finished.

During. Finished.

New Trim. $1 at Habitat for Humanity ReStore!

New Trim. $1 at Habitat for Humanity ReStore!

After

After

After

After

After

After

After

After

After

After

…then I exhaled.

Layered Faux Dry-brush (Say What?)


My favorite painting technique is dry-brushing, hands down. Ever since I was little I loved the idea of painting with virtually no paint. However, I am never satisfied with a tried and true method. Of course, I must reinvent the wheel (then crash the cart, but we haven’t gotten there… yet.) When I “faux dry-brush,” essentially I treat the dry-brushed paint as though it were a faux finish. After I dry-brush, I wait for the paint to dry for 5 minutes, then I wipe across the painted surface with a paper towel just to thin the paint layer and antique the item a tad more (See? Faux finish style, just like I said.) The layering comes when I wipe off paint to reveal other previous painted layers…that’s a pretty simple concept.

Let’s see it applied…

Lovelies...?

I started with these crazy coin-ish type wall hangings which are about 7 inches in diameter. I spray painted them purple (photo not shown because I am not organized…but I digress.)

Once the purple spray paint dried I used steel wool to rub off a bit of the purple on some raised areas to reveal the previous gold color underneath.

Then the dry-brushing began (here’s a super short VIDEO, just for a visual.)

As I previously mentioned, when the dry-brushed layer had set for about 5 minutes (for satin and matte paints), I wiped hard with a paper towel to thin out some areas. The wiping removed the top layer of dark craft paint and allowed the gold and purple to peek through.

I didn’t even bother with a top layer of poly because they are wall hangings and I don’t foresee myself touching them too often.

Bird

chick

The whole point of my layered faux dry-brushing was because I wanted to age my pieces after I spray painted them purple so they’d blend better in my bedroom.

Now they look like just another another old lady bedroom treasure.

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