Friday, July 20, 2012

A New Look For The Front Door...

No matter what I hung on the front door after Valentine's Day, I wasn't satisfied. I wanted something classic to pull everything together once the front door had been painted by Mr. Molasses (my nickname for the painter) and the front porch is totally dirty after high winds (with blowing dirt) that never seem to cease. Apparently, blowing dirt and a drought go hand in hand together, as I'm pulling my hair out trying to keep anything at all clean.

I also have new door hardware to add when the locksmith finally has time to come install it. Then, I'll unscrew the old brass mailbox, sand it a bit, then paint it black as well. 

However, I'm hopeful that the exterior of  the house will be finished by Thanksgiving. A year to paint the exterior of the house, you ask? Umm... Not my decision, okay? You'd think we lived in a mansion for it to take this long, right? Wrong. So wrong. We just have Mr. Molasses. The. Bane. Of. My. Existence.
 So anyway, I spent an insane amount of time making my new (brown) coffee filter wreath. This time, I avoided blisters on my fingers by buying a not-so-hot glue gun. It worked like magic. I'm a total fan. I went through two large packs of brown coffee filters before deciding it was more than enough and I frankly didn't care whether it was or not. I. Was. Done. 

I didn't take pictures of the process this time so I'll show a couple of pictures from the last one I made since it's exactly the same as the one I made last year. And yes, I'm lazy like that, just so you know.

I'm still working on another wreath for the new guest room because I wasn't satisfied with the outcome of the first one. Yes, I'm stupid picky like that. I also bought a huge amount of unbreakable Christmas ornaments after Christmas and made another ornament wreath, which I have no idea what I'm going to do with. Really. 

I can't wait to see what everyone else has done this week! Oh, and I'll be sure to show pictures again after I get the hardware done....

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Some Of The Old Is New Again....

As soon as I finished recovering my bench with the first fabric I'd chosen, I realized with much distress, that I hated it. HATED. IT. Seriously. That has never happened before. Apparently, the aging brain likes to play tricks on us and they really aren't very funny. Furthermore, my aging brain (and eyes) didn't happen to notice that the first bunch of fabric I bought was for wallcoverings. No wonder it was so impossible to work with.

So, I ventured back to Hancock Fabrics for the umpteenth time to look for suitable upholstery fabric, with no luck. Next, I drove across town to Hobby Lobby and BINGO! There it was. The. Fabric. It was the fabric I really wanted. No, it wasn't on sale like the first crop of fabric. This fabric was like $30.00 per yard. Yikes! The *go with* fabric was slightly lower but there was only 1-1/2 yards. I bought it anyway. I'll figure out a way to use it with this material for the window treatments in the kitchen. The first batch of material is up for grabs. If you want it, you've got it. Just let me know. What a waste of time and money!

Anyhoo, after painfully removing all the staples from the first recover job, I started on my second recover job to the same bench. Will I ever learn? I'm not completely sure that I had a lesson to learn here other than *LOVE the fabric you go with*. If you're not that excited about the fabric then you're probably not going to be very thrilled about the final outcome. Seems simple enough, right? Apparently not.

At this point, my hands, arms, back, and elbows are in *deep ache mode* so I just downed a handful of Advil while saying a prayer and asking God to remove my pain. I'm not sure which one worked but I'm thankful anyway. However, I am absolutely thrilled with my bench now, in spite of said pain and whining. Even my hubby commented that it was far better than the try before. He actually told me to throw away the first bunch of fabric, which of course, I can't do.That would be wasteful, right?

Hubby offered to help but I'm all too familiar with his whole *it's just fine* method of imperfection. No thanks. I'm bad enough on my own. Really. And, since this Queen Anne bench is the first thing you see when walking through the front door, I needed it to be absolutely perfect... sans Moi, of course (which means there are a few hidden minor imperfections I can live with).

Still, I'm just loving my bench now, as well as my *new* recovered computer chair. Trouble cat likes them as well, damn it! There is not a single piece of furniture in this house that doesn't have her signature all over them (as in massive amounts of cat hair, dander, and dirt).

I also plan to use the rest of the new fabric to recover the kitchen table chair seats along with window treatments for the windows and the door, for the first time in 15 years. I'd say this project is looooong past due, wouldn't you? Have you done any refurbishing lately?

I'd actually like to use this gold pillow rather than the red but black and white cat hair definitely trumps that decision. Think I'll go with the dark red pillow. It is shedding season. Nope. Gotta go with the gold.

My next project will be recovering the breakfast table chairs and the window treatments in the kitchen. I can hardly wait! So, the places I party are on my side bar.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Shadow Box Your Family Heirlooms

When you have numerous little sentimental items that are family heirlooms it can often be a real headache to make a decision about how to utilize them. When I was faced with this dilemma, I decided to show them off in a couple of display boxes I purchased many years ago on fleaBay. They were currently just taking up space and were never seen by anyone.

So, I decided to display the many pieces with vintage sheet music backgrounds, appropriate to the pieces to be displayed. Now, they are truly lovely displays of our family's vintage past, courtesy of those family members who went before us.

I've had some family items missing their mates for some time, but I held on to them knowing I would one day figure out what I would do with them. Frankly, I just felt that (to me anyway) they were just way too cool to get rid of. Finally, I got the Big-Light-Bulb-Above-My-Head and almost slapped myself silly when I realized it had been staring me in the face for years.

I was in the middle of gluing the cut cut-to-size sheet music onto different pillar candles around the house when I realized what I needed to do. It hit me rather like a bolt of lightning. When we inherited hubby's Grandmother's piano, we'd also acquired all of her old sheet music as well. Needless to say, I've got mountains of it. Again, I believed I'd eventually sell it all, give it away, or use it in some hair-brained craft project. And, guess what? It's not in the least bit hair-brained. It's truly genius!!!

Approximately 10 or 15 years ago I bought 4 necklace display cases thinking I'd use them for something at some point but they had been consistently building up a thick crusty layer of dirt, tossed aside and forgotten about for the time being. They measure 18-1/2" in length, 12-1/2" in width, and approximately 1" deep. So when I had this great epiphany, it was like the heavens and earth were immediately aligned. Don't you just adore it when that happens? And hubby insists claims there is no such thing as multitasking. HA! I declined telling him that perhaps it doesn't exist in men, but we women are the ones who came up with the phrase. Am I right or what?

 This first one contains the following items:


The 1950's And 1960's:

#1 Taxco sterling silver bumble bee, made in Mexico. Belonged to hubby's maternal grandmother.

#2 Great cat's eye sunglasses. Belonged to hubby's paternal grandmother.

#3 Gold plated heart shaped perfume bottle. Belonged to my mother.

#4 A teensy tiny ivory die. Belonged to my Great-grandmother.



#5 Kid leather glove with teensy checked pattern. So Avant-Garde. Belonged to hubby's paternal Grandmother.

 The next one is more of a Victorian theme:

#5 My maternal Great-grandmother's old lace glove, Circa 1922.

#4 An ornate gold plated perfume that belonged to my maternal Great-grandmother.

#2 and #3 are a Cameo and a Cameo hatpin that belonged to hubby's maternal grandmother, whom he never knew.

 #1 An old solid cake perfume with painting of a woman which belonged to my maternal Great-grandmother as well. 

Anyway, on with my story. I gathered up everything I knew I wanted to display and the tools I'd need to do so and set to work. I knew I was only planning to use two of the display boxes for this project using single items that had once belonged to the women matriarchs of both our families, namely our grandmothers. 


First I went through a sheet music book of Johann Strauss until I found just the right music titles for the backgrounds. I didn't necessarily group the items according to specific grandmothers but I did match things to eras and patterns or decoration. I also played around with different combinations and placement until I was satisfied. I astounded even myself with the outcome. 

Now, tell me what you really think. Isn't this a brilliant way to display smalls? Besides, it's easy peasy, lemon squeezy while it protects your small, mate-less and orphaned family heirlooms.....

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Putting The Sass In Sassy....

We met for the first time at Goodwill and it was a pretty sure bet that no one else wanted her. This table was once a small computer table that had seen better days but still had the pull-out shelf for the keyboard. Not that I wanted her for that purpose, because I didn't. Still, I liked the way she looked, regardless of the amount of work and she only had a $10.00 price tag.

So, against my hubby's orders, I dragged home yet another piece to be finished by Moi. I had a vision and attacked the process with everything I had. After finally removing the sliding shelf and sanding, I was ready for the fun part. The spray painting part, of course.

I used Rustoleum Ultra (2x) "Colonial Red" spray paint and I'm cuckoo over the color. For some weird reason, I especially like it with the Mocha Latte (Behr) walls, white woodwork and black and white bedding. So, I decided to be lazy and not change out the piece of plyboard on the back side. It has an oval cutout hole (for running wires to and from the computer) and rather than have a piece of ply wood cut to size, I decided to just cover it with fabric on the inside, which was a total FAIL. So, I'll be fixing that problemo at some point in the near future.

Anyway, I finished the table with a nice glossy varnish, which makes it ever so much easier to clean. It also just looks prettier with a nice shiny finish.

However, the Toille fabric I used to line the interior's back, looks totally ridiculous, so I will remove it and fix that whole thing at some point, but this is how it looks for the time being....

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Prest-O Change-O... From Daughter's Old Room To Guest Room/Craft Room

Before you get all excited and think I'm really a Martha Stewart type, let me just admit that it took over a year to go from the old to the new. Yup. Nothing happens quickly in this household. It really started during Christmas holidays of 2010.

The black cabinet I found at a local consignment shop & talked the dealer down to $10.00 for it. The red bedside table was found by Moi at Goodwill for $10.00. I worked like crazy on both pieces and am quite proud. I found the red microfiber ottoman at a local flea market mall, as is. The bed belonged to my great-grandmother. The black trunk at the foot of the bed was our daughter's old camp trunk, which I spray painted black. The curtains were freebies from some friends who had bought a new home but they have allergies, so they gave the curtains and rods to us. Ka-ching!

When our daughter came home from law school for Christmas 2010, she already knew that she had to clean out her room after we had kept it like a shrine since she'd left for her first year of undergraduate school in 2003. We kept it that way for 8 long years. What in the world were we thinking? We didn't want her to come home to live with us again. She's off on her own life adventures now, so I'm not sure why we kept it that way for so long. Laziness perhaps? Nah. No way.


So, she begrudgingly cleaned out all of the *stuff* she'd accumulated over the 17 years she lived in her room. It wasn't an easy task and it made her extremely grumpy, so we just kind of left her to it, while trying to avoid her altogether. Yes, we're great parents like that.

She made something like 8 trips to Goodwill and several to the Salvation Army with her car completely full. I have no idea how many trips she made to the dumpster in the alley but it was a lot. I couldn't believe how much she'd accumulated! I mean, her room is the smallest of our 4 bedrooms, but the junk just kept coming. I can't imagine where she picked up that trait.

Once her room was cleaned out and she'd gone back to school, the room was no longer a shrine but it was definitely an eye sore. So, enter 2011. I didn't do much more than sell her old trundle/day bed (along with all the bedding) and her wicker vanity and stool.

The hubby finally hired a man to paint the exterior of the house (yes, just one man) in July. I swear it took the man 2 months just to paint the freaking carport and he was beginning to really test my nerves. By Halloween the painter was ready to paint the front porch area (which is right next to the carport). You know. AFTER I had gotten it all decorated for Halloween. I couldn't believe that anyone could be so freaking slow. Then there were days he had to go do a job for someone else, then he was sick for 2 weeks. I'm sure you're beginning to get the picture now. The Painter From Hell.

I wish I had the nerve to ask my hubby why he hired one person at $15.00 per hour rather than hiring a crew that could have knocked down the whole job in a week. But, not wanting to rock any boats I keep my smartazz mouth closed. Everything has turned out fine in the long run. Forget the fact that we STILL don't have our house on the market and the house I wanted was sold last week. Sniff. Such is life, right? 

Anyway, the hubby told him to come work inside the house (once cold weather hit us), painting our daughter's room. Oh. Joy. I was so not thrilled about it, but the only alternative was to paint the rooms myself. Been there. Done that. So, inside came the painter for nearly a month. Yes, it took Mr. Molasses (my nickname for the painter) almost an entire month to paint the smallest room in the the house.

I do have one more item to add to the wall. I spray painted this old pair of deer antlers black and mounted them on an old award plaque, then hid the ugly parts with cardboard covered in red velvet. I intend to hang it inside an old empty frame that I also spray painted black. 

I also have yet to start painting the laminate counter top in the tiny bathroom, but I'll get to it eventually. Frankly, I just finished getting all the Christmas things neatly put away....


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My One & Only Valentine Decoration...

Last year at this time I had made the horribly painful but lovely Coffee Filter Wreath but since it was filthy with irremovable dirt by October, I spray painted it black and added mini pumpkins, to serve as our new Halloween wreath. Not wanting to go through the painful process of another coffee filter wreath, I searched high and low for a new wreath project.

I really hated to put away my Christmas wreath because I love it so much, all sparkly and bright. So after a bit of thought I decided to make a Valentine Ornament Wreath. When I began to look for a heart wreath form to build upon, I found everyone in town to be out of them, save for one smallish wreath on the bottom shelf (at the very back of the shelf) at Hobby Lobby. Of course, thinking that I could easily acquire plenty of red/reddish ornaments, I was further disappointed to discover that NO STORES had any left except for some at Target. I immediately became overwhelmed with greed and piled every single box of medium and small sized red ornaments all marked 80%, yes 80% discounted, into my basket.

Who cares if people were staring at me as if I'd lost my brain somewhere in the parking lot? I was on a mission. Assuring myself that these would be enough for the project, I checked out and raced home to get started. As usual, it wasn't enough but no place in town had any left and I went everywhere that sold (or had sold) ball ornaments, probably spending a small fortune in gasoline, right?

I worked feverishly for two days until I reached the point that I knew I couldn't finish without more red ornaments. Fully aware that there were no more to be had locally, I searched the internet for miniature red balls that would be used to fill in the gaps of my wreath. The cost was astronomical on the scale of after Christmas ornaments, so I declined. Then I did the unthinkable. Yes, I unpacked all of the ornaments I'd already carefully packed away and I robbed what few red ornaments I could find. Then I robbed the front porch decorative trees of their red ornaments as well. Frankly, I decided I could just worry about them next year when supplies are plentiful.

 Still, I had gaps that needed to be filled in on the wreath, so I finally had to break down and use some champagne colored mini ornaments I had put away for next year. I suppose I'll have to replace those as well, when the time comes. Until then, they did a nice job of filling in the remaining holes, don't cha think?

The most amazing thing to me is that you can't buy ball ornaments out of season and fleaBay is always a crap shoot. You never know what you'll end up with and it almost always costs more than it's actually sold for at retail prices. Who runs these places anyway? Don't they know that people craft 365 days of the year? They could have made a tidy sum, but they had nothing to sell. Too bad for the retailers, huh?

Did I mention we are scheduled to have another snow tomorrow night? I'm cynical but the hubby says it's guaranteed by the weather service. A guarantee from them is absolutely worthless, thank you anyway. Why does anyone believe them? Their ratio for being accurate is like 2%. Hello.

However, it turned out that they were right, for once. We received 14 inches of snow within 24 hours. Who says this is West Texas?