Monday, March 30, 2009

It works!

Be sure to check out Reinvented for Trash to Treasure Tuesday! I love her projects and sense of humor!

Okay remember my post about the box with all the cords? Helene suggested I try a TP tube since I was too paranoid to wrap my cords up tight. Well why not?

So I saved the next empty...only you know I couldn't leave it alone. So I traced the width onto a piece of paper, rolled it (with the paper) as I went and marked the length, cut it out, and stamped it with the paperwhite narcissus stamp I used in this post.

And I even got them mostly straight and even! A miracle!

Add a little Alene's Tacky Glue, roll on the paper and hold with paperclips until dry.

Perfect! I love it! Now I'm waiting for the next empty so I can wrangle my straight iron cord - that thing's a monster!

But I'm keeping busy! The baby shower is this weekend so I'll get to share those projects with you soon. I've added even MORE to my etsy shop, and I've discovered the joy of selling my clutter on ebay - soooooo addicting! And beneficial!

Oh and I have to share this. I could hear geese yesterday morning - not flying by, but somewhere close and stationary. That's not unusual because we have a pair that take a rest here and have been doing so the last couple years. Thing was, I couldn't see them anywhere! I looked all over the field, the yard, the driveway - of course I was doing this from the comfort of the indoors with binoculars in hand - still couldn't see them. It was a little later when I was doing the dishes that I caught movement from the corner of my eye...oh there they are!

What the heck is up with these geese? I've never known geese to land in or on things and last year I found them here

I didn't want to scare it, so I took the picture through the dirty window, but it is in the giant oak tree in the back yard.

Anyone ever heard of geese doing things like this? Or are they just doing it to freak me out?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Saturday so soon? Oh and a sale!

Seriously, where does the time go?

I'm working on quite a few crafty things at the moment but as they are for my friend Karen's baby shower and she might sometimes read my blog I can't very well post them here until after the fact. One of them is really stretching my abilities so I hope it turns out!

I did do a ton of yard work on Thursday and moved some California poppies from the garden (where they grow a'plenty) to an old metal bucket, a wooden planter, etc. - where they can't be rototilled into the ground come actual garden time. It's so I'm not feeling inspired to check on them yet. They will look sooooooooo cute there when they start blooming!

I am always hunting a bargain, aren't you? With that in mind I marked some of my etsy earrings down to seven dollars so drop by and see if any of them tickle your fancy.

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Better late than never?

There was enough of a break in the weather yesterday for me to finish the project I wanted to do in time for the Spray Paint Party. Still no sunshine, but as long as it isn't raining or windy then I can deal. So I'm going in late on both the Spray Paint Party AND the Trash to Treasure Tuesday!

I have three plants in the windowsill in my bedroom. The one on the left I rescued from a Wally World clearance rack (who or what doesn't need rescuing from that place?) the one in the middle I rescued from my grandma's when she moved into a memory care facility and the one on the right is my darling shamrock I just got from IKEA.

They are all in pots of varying cream colors because I LOVE the pop of green they add to my cream and white bedroom and I didn't want the pots distracting from that.

Now houseplants aren't in "active growth" mode but they do need water occasionally. Up to now I have been using a water glass from the kitchen - it works but there is no style in that. I was thinking I wanted one of those watering cans that's little and has the long, super thin nose on it. I've been keeping my eye out when I peruse the thrift shops but haven't found one! Then on Monday I spotted this in some junk in the utility room.

It's a wee little watering can!

Not bad as is, but to be honest that kid has giant teeth and totally freaks me out. Out came the razor blade and rubbing alcohol and off came the scary child. Then I taped off the part the water comes out (didn't want to gum it up with paint) and filled the interior with newspaper to keep the paint out of there as well. I found a can of Heirloom White (but of course!) in my paint stash and went to town on it - between rain showers that is.

To match my cream and green flowers I added a band of green grosgrain ribbon (left over from Christmas projects) with some hot glue - I am so lazy I didn't even glue it all the way around - just in two places! I didn't trust myself to get it on straight and this way I can adjust it, heehee!

I also made this fake bow and glued it over the seam where the two ribbon ends met. It's two pieces of ribbon hot glued together - I am such a cheater! Bwahahaha!

But look how it matches!

Now that is watering with style.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Le sigh

And so, of course, we are having a windstorm. *big, dramatic, pathetic, feel-sorry-for-me sigh*

So I will have to wait until tomorrow *crosses fingers* to finish my project.
However, there are plenty of things I have spray painted recently so I will direct you to them until I can reveal my new project.

I'll link the titles under the photos to the original post if you care to read more on each.

Copper and gold oak leaves.

Cat food storage container.

My cell phone.

The Goodwill vase.

Now I'm off to check the forecast for tomorrow! C'mon sunshine!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Overwhelmed is an understatement

I went to IKEA for the first time on Wednesday...




I think I must have just walked around in a stupor because I only spent three dollars!

Well, that and I didn't really need anything.

And I'm broke.

But other than that!

There is so much to feed the imagination and I plotted all kinds of things but overall wasn't inspired to do anything about it. I think there is plenty there that is a pretty good base for a project, but noticed that much of it was lacking character.

I collect old vintage junk so my definition of character may *shrug*

So what did I get?

A little pop of green for my windowsill - in the form of shamrocks. They look slightly traumatized despite my gentle potting so I hope they perk up a bit.

I also snagged a good base for a project that has been stumping me.

Two frames that are not constructed of the most fabulous materials, but I was going to make mine out of cardboard starting from scratch so this gives me a good head start!

And see that sticker on there?

Let me get closer...

Yeah for each! Woohoo! The acrylic front is scratched and that's why. My original project wasn't going to have a front protective piece at all so who cares if those don't look good since I won't be using them.

And for that price it won't even make me feel bad that they aren't going to closely resemble their original form. But that project isn't finished yet, so you'll have to check back to see how it turns out.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

A birthday tribute

When I was little I prayed every night for a baby brother...and I got one !

"Be careful what you wish for" comes to mind...*wink*

(at least he's patient enough to put up with me posing him for a photo now and then...)

As a child he was hell on wheels tearing up the place and breaking everything he could get his hands on. His first words were "I broke!" and I'm not even kidding.

He still tears up stuff and likes to be loud...but today he turns 21 and there's one change between now and then - he's become a mechanic so now at least when he breaks something he can fix it!

Our personalities are so different but I think that's a good thing - at least we can offer a view from the 'other side.'

But isn't that always the way?

Me: *riding along nice and easy on the quad* Oh look a flower! *takes photo* oooh check out that rock! What interesting composition!

Adam: *a rooster of sand flying out the back* watch me jump this dune!

Yeah. That's pretty much always the way.

I'll leave you with a little video I made him while he was away at school - I'm the one snapping all the photos and he's the one showing off (although there's quite a few of family there as well).

Monday, March 16, 2009

Giveaway Winner

The winner of my first ever giveaway is none other than Daisigirl Kim!

She has a fantastic blog of tasty goodies and cuteness and Benjamin Franklin said you should visit her.

(People will accept your ideas more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first - shhhh keep it on the down low.)

She's even a fellow Oregonian! Woot!

So congratulations Kim! and I just need your address and can send along your goodies!

And sadly I didn't get any projects accomplished this weekend unless you count all the yard work I did. However, I will leave you with some photos I couldn't resist taking while I was playing in the dirt and enjoying the glorious and fleeting sunshine.

Little agates I found while cleaning out my new flower garden area.

After the frost that spring green!

I was going to try my hand at forcing a forsythia branch indoors but found it already blooming!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Bedside table Part III - the final chapter!

Yep, there's still a little time to enter the giveaway!

Missed parts one and two of this little project?

Hiding the clutter you absolutely cannot get rid of is right up my alley. But discovered that sometimes you have to hide the clutter hider! Box, box, who's got a box? I've got a box! but it's an ugly shoe box with crinkle and wrinkles and price stickers. But the box size fit perfectly into that other section of my bedside table so idea hunting I went. I knew I'd have to cover the box but I certainly don't have enough beautiful craft type paper for that sort of project so I went to my recent favorite standby - newspaper.

I took some time and cut out all sorts of articles - but just the words. Then I eyeballed them to the box and glued them on in every which direction. Overlapped, sideways, upside down with no rhyme or reason but to cover the box thoroughly. I can be a pretty linear person about things needing to be straight and matching so this was pretty cathartic!

Once I was done with the newspapering I wanted to apply something else, and inspired by this post at Celebrate Creativity, I decided a floral would be nice! Not floral like the mid to late 1990's floral -I've been looking at old magazines and my eyes practically melted out of their sockets at the pattern overload! - but something simple.

I didn't have any stencils but I do still have the giant case of stamps my cousin Dawn loaned me so I dug around in there until I found these Stampin' Up! beauties of paperwhite narcissus and allium.

Using black ink and making up a pattern as I went along I stamped my box. If you are going to undertake a project like this be warned that stamping something like a shoebox is not the easiest thing in the world. It's flimsy the farther away you get from the edges and wants to buckle so you have to place your hand on the underside to get a solid stamping on it. Not all of my stamps turned out so perfect but that has a nice, vintage appeal to it that I don't mind at all.

To get the flowers to stamp along the sides, I took the lid off, stamped, replaced the lid and applied just the top flower portion, matching it up to the stems as best I could.

Yeah, I'm not an expert stamper by any stretch of the imagination. But I'm happy with the results and now I don't have to look at any more clutter! And since the shoes (and therefore shoebox) were free thanks to a giftcard* this whole project cost me nothing but time.

*Can I brag for a minute? I got the shoes on super clearance for twelve dollars and got a free shipping deal so I was able to get the shoes and a sweater for my $25 gift card! How's that for a deal?

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Decluttered bedside table part II

Have you entered my giveaway? There's still time!

On Monday I showed you the before and after of my bedside table. Here's how I did it - organize and hide it!

My aunt gave me some boxes and the largest of the set, fit just right into the space on the shelf of my bedside table. In it I placed all the cords and electronic type devices I need to keep around.

But before I put anything in there I got out the label maker and tried each cord into each device and discovered which one goes to what object and labeled it! Now there's no more guessing because, after all, the inside of the box still looks like this

Labels are just going to simplify life and who doesn't want that?

I thought about twist-tying the cords into neat little bundles but didn't for two reasons. One, I have some phobia of folding my cords up, crushing wires inside and causing a housefire. As far as I know, the fear is unfounded, but until I have like...empirical evidence telling me it's okay to fold them up, I'm not going to.

Secondly, I just use some of these cords wayyyyyy too often to warrant bundling them up. That would actually cause more frustration instead of alleviating it.

So there you have it! Organized clutter that you don't have to look at! Ahhh it's just my very favorite kind!

Whaaaaat? You missed the before and after photos? Go here.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Flingin' goodies your way!

SITS is hosting a Spring Fling. I honestly have no idea what that means since I'm new to blogging but hey it sounds like fun to me! So I am flinging a few goodies to you wonderful visitors!

Ready to see the goodies?

It's a package deal!

Oooooh! Ahhhhh!

Firstly is:

I went and saw the play The Skin of Our Teeth about fourteen years ago so when I spotted this book at a library book sale (yeah I'm one of *those* people) I had to get it! But I've read it and enjoyed it and it's time to pass it along.

This is a former school book - it says "Grant High" inside the cover and "School District No 1" and "27" on the ends of the pages. This particular copy was printed in 1978 (which certainly explains the cover art!) and despite looking well loved is still in great shape.

This book also includes the plays Home of the Brave, All My Sons, Lost in the Stars and The Member of the Wedding.

To accompany the book I am also including:

Not one but two vintage scarves! They are from the 60's but for some reason I had scarves in my head when I was coming up with a theme for the package. You can always tie it around your head like this!

The scarves are 25 X 26 inches square...ish. They are gauzy and also match the colors of the book! The green one does have a slight tear in it and I wouldn't normally give something like that away - but it matches the book! Green! And then the pink one and yeah they match and I'm weird. But!

To make up for that I am also including:

A pair of earrings handmade by me! And guess what? They match the book! Haha! Seriously. Petite dangles made with sparkling Czech glass, they are delicate, demure and darling measuring not quite an inch long.

So are you interested in getting all these matchy matchy goodies?

Just go and visit my etsy shop and come back and tell me what your favorite item is.

If you'd like another entry, post about it on your blog (and let me know you did).

The winner will be selected this weekend and posted next Monday. Gahhh! All that suspense!

That's it! Good luck to you!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Before and After

I have to admit I love before and afters!

In my quest to declutter I have realized that there are some things I just cannot get rid of. However, I don't have to look at them! Especially when they are somewhere like my bedside table and somewhere that draws your eye. Hey look at my junk! Yeah, that's not what I want people to see.

My bedside table came from my great aunt and is a cool piece of furniture...if only she hadn't painted it a really ugly color (tragic!). One of these days that will get fixed (yeah, sure!). With my dislike of the paint color disclaimer out there I can now show you the "before"

Okay now I have to admit that it was actually worse before I took the photo. There were quite a few items that had been put in various locations that I just didn't care to dig back out and put in their original heap for the sake of my blog's visual aids, sorry. Just know that yeah, that might be a mess, but it was sooooo much worse!

Those are very important things there you know, things that obviously must be next to my bed for those nighttime emergencies! Like the blank cd's for burning on the computer which is at the total opposite end of the house. Or the cassette tapes which are in that paper bag that go to a bunch of "read and listen" books I had as a child. You don't expect me to get rid of My Little Pony do you?!

Or there's the charger for my cell phone and the giant, ridiculous-quantity-of-candlepower spotlight. Those last two are actually important since my cell phone is determined to die at the most inconvenient times (and it does serve as my alarm clock) and there have been innumerable times I have needed that spotlight in the wee hours of the morning *sigh* - neighbor's dog spreading garbage all over the lawn and various other bizarre animal encounters, etc.

With things moved and others hidden, my bedside table now looks like this:

And on Wednesday I will go into how I managed to accomplish this herculean task! Try to hold down your excitement unti then. *wink*

Don't go yet!

If you come back on Tuesday you can get in on my first ever giveaway in honor of the SITS Spring Fling!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

March - not quite Spring?

I'm having a stylistic change in my post today. I left a comment at Treading On Moss about the frosty mornings when I saw her beautiful photos and she mentioned wanting to see what I'd been photographing as well (yep, all photos are Copyrighted by me). So in her style and in the style of Mt. Hope Chronicles, we shall start waving goodbye to winter and say hello to almost spring.

"March is a month of considerable frustration - it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away."

- Thalassa Cruso

This winter we had days of pouring rain and then the temperatures dropped...freezing every bit of water solid.

(horse hair...cicles)
The weather has gradually become milder...

"Ere frost-flower and snow-blossom faded and fell, and the splendor of winter had passed out of sight,The ways of the woodlands were fairer and stranger than dreams that fulfill us in sleep with delight;"
Algernon C. Swinburne, March: An Ode

"Spring is when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush."

- Doug Larson

"The air is like a butterfly

With frail blue wings.

The happy earth looks at the sky

And sings."

- Joyce Kilmer, Spring

"I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills..."

-William Wordsworth, Daffodils

I had to get a "bit o' shine" in there! *wink*

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tray chic

Every once in a while a crazy idea will actually work.
(Please don't reference the moss use in the last post as an example.)

I decided with the changes I've been making in the bedroom decor to also change the things that were on my dresser. I have a HORRIBLE habit of using my dresser (which is huge and long) for a dump station. Everything I don't know what to do with gets piled on there. Craft projects, paperwork, junk mail, jewelry, photos, etc, etc. I was thinking it may have to do with the fact that a) I was bored with what I had decorated it with or b) what I'd decorated it with was just facilitating my habit. So I took all that stuff off, hung some things on the wall above and put new things on there.

I started with a tray I dug out of storage. But my dresser is kinda short despite all its size, so I needed to elevate it a little. I thought about using books (which was funny since that was a topic over at Treading on Moss recently!) but couldn't figure out which ones would fit and be stable. I only have about a million books so it wasn't like I don't have a nice selection to choose from.

I pondered. I made huffy noises. I paced around. I stared. I even put my finger to my chin and pursed my lips. I gave up and went to cleaning off the rest of the dresser. It was then I uncovered four votive holders that once went into wall sconces that somehow patina'd themselves into oblivion during storage. For some reason I just couldn't throw away the glass. I could use them for something! Well that something is now. With four of them it was the perfect choice.

Note they are turned upside down for added stability.

And for inside the tray I added some of my natural wonders - mini pine cones in a brandy snifter.

Antique bottles with dried flora.

Also a little egg timer my grandpa gave me years ago (I don't know why he gave it to me, but I've been really attached to it ever since). You might also spy the crown in the back. My grandma wore it in the local parade for the float sponsored by her assisted living residence. It is sitting atop a glass fishing net float which is stabilized in a carved wooden candle stand.

All fun little treasures and now nice and displayed so I won't be tempted to cover it up with junk!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Trying something new can have interesting results

I was trying to make space in my bedroom so I put a couple of things to use that had been either in a pile or hiding behind my bookcase. I should probably start by saying I painted my bedroom about a year and a half ago and still hadn't hung a single picture back up. Since I've had the cleaning bug things either need to have a specific purpose or they are in danger of being ebayed.

I found some fabric I once had draped over a window - it's quite a lengthy piece and I haven't really know what to do with it since. But I'd been playing with the idea of changing up my bed since it has a finish I hate...and the style is...old. (I got it from a relative's estate sale). Here's what it looks like:

Now no derogatory comments about the state of my bed, I wanted you to be able to see the headboard so I pulled the covers back. And yes, the photo is dim. Seriously there is no natural light until summertime!

I would love to strip the wood and do something different there, but there is no way I'm standing out in the cold for a project like that so it will just have to wait. Instead I took the fabric I previously mentioned and wove it through.

I tacked it in the back with little brass push pins (you'll never see them!) and draped the ends around the posts. It's not a perfect solution (it is a very sheer fabric after all) but it takes care of two problem items!

Quite the rustic, natural fiber look. Of course, considering my next project I'm going to show you that is mild in comparison!

Years ago I bought a print of Ashley National Forest. It's got white and green, a little yellow; It's great! At the time I didn't have the means for a large enough frame so I got creative. And by creative I mean I left my brain somewhere else that day and let wild monkeys come up with a plan to get it on the wall. Not attractive. Not easy to hang.

I...I mean the monkeys...adhered it to some foamcore and then cut a piece of wood for each corner to "frame it" then I had to glue sticks around it to hide the nasty looking glue. Oh yeah, this keeps getting better and better.

Looking at it now I really didn't want those weird wooden corners at all and was trying to come up with a way to cover them. I thought about twigs or pebbles but that seemed too laborious. I wanted something that would go quickly and hide a lot of mess. And then I let the monkeys have control again. So I...I mean the monkeys...chose moss because I still had tons of it left over from this project.

Here's before:

You can see where my twigs to hide the glue had broken off and left little bits of themselves. Lovely.

And after:

We shall say I am not thrilled with the monkey's decision. It's just too weird, even for me. I mean I love the outdoors and all, but... I kinda make this face every time I look at it.
Ah well. Can't get everything right all the time. And perhaps next time I will have learned not the let the wild monkeys choose the decor!