Sunday, February 28, 2010

From hutch-like thing to bookshelf

My friend Karen and her husband have a lot of books. Like...three GIANT totes full, sitting in their garage from when they moved. They also have a bunch of furniture in the garage that they hadn't put to use yet or were considering getting rid of, but Karen decided she wanted this entertainment center / hutch / thingie to go to work for a bookshelf.

The piece is pretty dated looking. Glass doors with hummingbirds and the tone of the stain do not fit into Karen's modern, dark wood style.

The doors went to Goodwill. Someone will have fun with them. :)

I sanded it, cleaned it and primed it. Then she picked out a dark gray color and had me paint it...but it just wasn't dark enough. So I came up with a solution. Rather than repaint the whole thing we got a can of black spray paint and I painted the outside, leaving the inside the dark gray.

The shelf spacing in the middle needs to be renegotiated (which is why they aren't in the photo)and she wants an extra shelf where the TV would normally go but sadly didn't have the tools for me to tackle that part of the project yet. But this is perfect as a bookshelf! That top shelf that looks really short? Paperbacks fit in there like it was made for them. Also, the color is a vast improvement, don't you think?

Spread a little sunshine

(from my wildflower garden last summer)

Mary at Little Red House canceled Mosaic Monday for tomorrow because she's suffering from the winter blah's and cabin fever - eep!
Do drop by and leave her a cheery note, won't you?
Sometimes we just need a little sunshine. :)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Embossed heart ornament

A couple months ago I changed up the junk decor on top of my dresser using a tri-fold wooden screen and other shabby chic bits 'n bobs. I decorated the wooden screen with a couple of hearts - the plush one was made by Missy at Crafting With Cat Hair, and the other came from Beyond the Garden Gate.

So what's wrong with that? Ummm.......

Oh yeah. THREE sections to the screen. I need a third heart. Luckily I have quite the stash of scrapbook paper which included these squares of white embossed floral pattern.

Using a cookie cutter to trace my shape...

I cut it out, then applied some distress ink with a damp piece of paper towel.

When that was dry I punched a hole and added my favorite polka dot ribbon.

WOWeee that turned out much more tan than I was thinking. What was I thinking? Well, it will either be a fantastic transition piece with the other tan distressed items or it will bug me until I make it whiter somehow.

Either way it works great for adding the missing piece!

Hmmm does this count as a destash project? :)

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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Doesn't need to be fancy to be organized

I am not sure how this post got set up to post today instead of last week but it did. I was probably setting it up late at night and we'll blame it on that. Anyway, I was still staying at my friend's house when I did the project and wrote the post - just so the rest of the text will make sense to you. ;)

Still working on projects at my friend's house. She has about one million six hundred and seventy-two gift bags, I swear. She has quite the stockpile from wedding gifts and baby shower gifts. She doesn't want to get rid of them because they are perfectly usable but after we cleaned out the garage and found them stuck in boxes everywhere we decided to put them in one location and make them easy to use.

Thankfully she also has about a million plastic totes from their recent move so we took one large enough for a person to sleep in and made that the designated new home for gift bags and tissue paper. Working with four piles of birthday/and/or/any occasion, baby, and wedding (yes that giant box and only four sections) they were then placed upright in the box like a gift center filing cabinet. I cut up one of the cardboard moving boxes and made dividers. Pop the lid on and they stay clean and dry no matter where they get put.

Cost: $0

And we made space AND peace of mind. A good afternoon's work. I won't tell you about the horrific cat episode followed by the baby episode that took up the rest of the day ;)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Mosaic Monday - Spring

(click image to enlarge)

Spring sprung! The day I returned home from my vacation the skies opened up and poured sunshine on me so I walked around the yard with my inspection hat (that's figuratively speaking) on and was delighted to find things a-bloom. Daffodils, violas, grape hyacinths and forsythia with plenty more on the verge. I can't wait until that forysythia really gets going it is absolutely loaded with blossoms!

My sympathies for everyone still buried in snow and freak weather!

Be sure to visit Little Red House for other wonderful mosaics!

As a side note, there is a drainage pond on one end of my field.

It is the farthest you can get from my house and still be on the same property. And yet, listen to how noisy the frogs are at night! (you may have to turn up your volume)

Friday, February 19, 2010

Clockwork Heart

Do you ever clean out your blog photo folders and go, heyyyyy I never posted that.
That's what I was doing this morning. :)

Clockwork Heart is actually the title of a book by Dru Pagliasotti (click here to visit the link on amazon) that my friend Megan got me for my birthday. I haven't read much in the "steampunk" genre unless you count the classical stuff (i.e. Jules Verne, etc.) but I liked the book!

Clockwork Heart is also the name of a necklace I made, but I already sold it to a very nice person on etsy. By the way, my etsy shop is finally open again since I'm back from vacation.

In any case, that title can also be used for an ornament I made, took photos of, intended to post, and never did. ;)

I bought the glass heart for twenty-five cents at Spencer's Alley. I cut a piece of scrapbook paper in an aged paper look with script print small enough to lay flat against the back of the heart. Trying to glue stiff paper around a curve is not advisable, hence the small heart. All it really needed to do was add a bit of interest to the background.

I adhered a vintage clock gear to the front using E6000. A little glass gem glued into the center gives it some sparkle and fills in an empty hole.

With a pair of jumprings I attached a clock hand to the top and bent the tip to make a hook.

A little beauty, a little if only I could make it fly or something....

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Give it that Armor All shine!

Home, home on the range!

I have returned from my fabulous vacation staying with my friend and her family and I find myself in possession of a new vehicle. Not anything to impress but my grandparents had one when I was a kid and I always wanted one. Meet George.

George is in good shape for being older than me by nine years and as a bonus it escaped being "tricked out" by some baggy-pants-wearing punk dude who'd plaster it with Spitfire and Fox stickers. No offense, but every youngish guy does this.

Why "George"? This is the key tag it came with. The person I bought it from got this tag from the original owner and has no idea why it says this.

I like it! I hope my neighbor doesn't mind (his name is George). My previous truck was named James and the one before that was Charles, so it works!

Now comes the work. Poor George has been used to haul stuff from the hardware and garden supply store and nothing else. No care. *sniffle*

Yesterday, armed with Armor All, glass cleaner and Febreze, I tackled the interior.

Look at the difference between the surface treated with Armor All and the one completely faded by sun and neglect. (I used this product)

And Armor-All is not just some "manly" product only to be used by men in jeans and white t-shirts with red shop rags hanging out their back pockets. It is easy, easy, easy to use (spray and wipe) and gives your vehicle some love.

What does any of this have to do with a crafty blog? A makeover! There's plenty of things to be painted and refurbished and I do love me a makeover.

My brother bought me a box of sanding discs (thanks!) so I can scuff the exterior paint and then it can go from....faded yuck... to black. Not anything I haven't done before. I meant it when I said I'm the spray paint queen.

And you also now know I consider you friends since I showed you this awful photo of me. I was working in a shop full of grease and paint I had either sanded off or freshly applied so hopefully you can cut me some slack. ;)

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Mosaic Monday - chocolate edition

(click image to enlarge)
My friend and I decided to make caramels for Valentine's Day (as per Centsational Girl's recipe) and then dip them in chocolate.

It took forever for the ingriedients to reach the right temperature and there was some panic as it bubbled dangerously close to the top of a very tall pan but eventually we were able to pour and let set. Something didn't work out quite perfect because the caramels were softer than we anticipated. Add hot melted chocolate to an already soft caramel and you get the top right photo. Just to warn you. ;)

We let them set up overnight and then I laid them on wax paper and spooned a slightly cooled melted chocolate over them which worked much better.

By the way, they are delicious.

Be sure to visit Little Red House for other wonderful mosaics!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Printable Valentines

I used to love buying wacky Valentines and handing them out every year. I think I still have some Scooby Doo Valentines in my desk - jinkies! Should I admit I was using those just a couple years ago? :)
With the influx of annoying Disney stars/movies/shows-themed Valentines I've kinda given up.
That said there are some fantastic free printables to be found around on the internet. Last year I handed out a couple from the Jen Hilton designed Browncoat Valentines for Firefly fans. This year Vanessa at A Fanciful Twist has designed some beautiful sewing and baking themed notes.
If neither of those interest you then be sure to check out what Rachel has rounded up at One Pretty Thing.

This year I think I'll stick with Cap'n Wacky's Gallery of Unfortunate Valentines.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Buh-bye brass

My friend knows I have this blog and that I love to makeover things and that I am a spray paint queen so she stockpiles projects for me for when I come visiting.

She was given these nicely shaped but badly colored lamps. These things are heavy! If she ever needs an impromptu weapon...

Brass is only going to look good if you are doing a steampunk look so I took a can of black spray paint and changed them to fit into her existing decor.

Gee which one looks better? And do you see those shadows? We had sunshine! Weeee!

Be sure you cover the area where the light bulb fits into - you do NOT want paint in there.

She'd like new shades for them but until then they are looking much better! This one will sit on the side table her mom redid by making a new insert covering out of lacquered fabric! The table looks amazing!
Brand new lamps for $2.97? Not bad at all.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Mosaic Monday - sugar and spice

(click image to enlarge)

and everything nice! I can say that because I don't have to change the diapers. ;)

If I seem to have been absent lately* it's because I've spent two and a half weeks with this little curly-headed doll as my playmate. I'm so glad I got to come and visit my friend and her family - we've done an overhaul on her garage, I did a makeover on some lamps and a media storage unit and we've had a great time enjoying each other's company. We were college roommates so we're used to spending a lot of time together. :)

And I took considerably more photos than this but most of them ended up like the top right one - blurry because this girl is a wiggle worm! Thank goodness for video mode.

*And if you didn't notice I was gone it's because I wrote a two week's worth of posts before I left - are you impressed?

Be sure to visit Little Red House for other wonderful mosaics!

Friday, February 5, 2010

My addiction

I'm addicted to buying soap.

As far as addictions go that one's really not so bad. I don't buy Ivory or Dove or whatever it is people buy nowadays (am I old enough to say nowadays?) but I'm addicted to buying handmade soap on etsy.

Skin care is something that has always been a hard thing for me to buy because I have sensitive skin but I went on the assumption that it was ingredients in commercial products causing me the problem. Even if that weren't the case I think I'd still prefer the handmade soaps I've been buying - they smell like heaven and they have wonderful lather and make your skin soft. Ahhhh. Wonderful.

My favorites?

The Bunny Butt Apothecary (I have to admit they won me over a bit on the name alone) sells a wonderful moisturizer known as Complexion Zen. It smells like tea trea oil which may be off-putting to some but my skin absolutely loves it!

They also have a Complexion Zen facial soap. The tea trea smell is MUCH milder on this, but I haven't gotten a chance to try using it yet.

I also love their Tinted Love lip tint - I am not a big makeup person and this is perfect. It makes my lips look slightly rosy but not bright and NOT glass shine glossy thankyouverymuch. It smells good too!

I also just bought one of their aromatastic perfume oils . It is made with no alcohol so it doesn't end up with a weird dissipated smell - plus it's super portable! I asked for a custom scent and Anya was wonderfully friendly and accomodating - my perfume oil smells divine and lasts a long time too.

I also really like GoodeGear's white clay complexion soap - my super sensitive skin even prefers it over a popular info-mercial happy brand which will not be named. :)

I have to admit I developed a "thing" for black soap after reading Practical Magic. They had a thing in there about home made black soap and it intrigued me so I went looking to see if any existed. I first found this Sweet Anisette bar from Besem Natural Scents. I don't like eating things anise flavored but I love the smell of this soap! Plus the color freaks people out and that's always fun. ;) And the bar is HUGE!

So there are my favorites! Go forth and enjoy being clean and smelling great. :)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Tea Lights

I had a light go off in my brain (oh ha, ha Molly) when I was digging through some vintage kitchen utensils. I ran across this old aluminum strainer for making beverages. You're not supposed to use things like this anymore because of the "leeching aluminum issue" (click here to read about it) so other than just sit there like a museum piece why not put it to work?

Try making a lantern out of it by simply placing a (battery operated) candle inside. It casts a beautiful glow and most strainers already have hooks and chain that work great for hanging.

Look at that great pattern it casts on the counter!

Remember to ONLY use battery operated candles. Real candles = hot! And we don't want to burn the house down for the sake of decor.
I couldn't find my other ones but I'd love to see a grouping of these hung together and lit up!
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