Sunday, January 31, 2010

Bits of this and that

Lessons learned this week:

~ spray painting when it is cold out, is a bad thing.  Yeah, so I decided to put another coat of paint on the lamp I am re-finishing.  Unfortunately, I think this project might need to put off until the spring, since I don't have anywhere warm to work, and I think I may have ruined it now, and will need to start over... sigh.

~ paint and other construction-related materials like Liquid Nails, Poly-fil, etc. should not be kept in the garage when you live in freezing North like I do! Especially if your garage isn't insulated, such as ours!  Oops!  Point taken, and I will make sure to assign a special cabinet for such items in the laundry room when we finish the basement.

~ there really is no good way to clean up glitter.  Especially fine glitter like Martha Stewart`s.  Best option is to wash it away, off the table, the floors, your face, and entire outfit.  You will however, still find it EVERYWHERE for the next year....

~ no matter how hard you try to keep things organized, if there is a male in your household, all hope will be lost.  Take for example my kitchen drawers.  Here's a sampling of what they looked like yesterday afternoon:

hmmm... I think it's time for that pasta sauce -stained container to hit the trash....

I organized them, and I give it two days TOPS before  Cory makes a mess of them again.

~ Lastly, I think it's just IMPOSSIBLE for me to start and finish a project in a timely fashion. Despite my insistence that they should take 5 minutes TOPS....sigh.  There are suppossed to be 2 chandeliers hanging here, but I was short one hook!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Anyway you "Slice" it...

You may not know this, but I used to be a Demonstrator for Stampin' Up! . I started doing it, mostly just to get the discount, but eventually started doing workshops and stuff.  Unfortunately, any of my friends who were interested, either started doing it themselves, or weren't interested in the capacity that required them to buy stuff, so it ended up being a lot less lucrative than I had hoped.  So, when it started to cost me more money than I was bringing in, I decided to give it up.

While I still stamp, and make cards for myself, and occassionally for others, I have to admit, I've not done too much lately. Plus, I never really got as good as some of those girls out there!  But I still have a desire to someday be good, and create beutiful paperthings. 

Anyhow, the point of the post, is that since I stopped doing it as a business, I never got around to owning a Cricut or one of those other fancy cutting machines.   I just couldn't hustify paying that kindof money when I was barely making cards even.  However, lately, I've been seeing a ton of home decor items that people have been creating, with the help of one die-cutting machine, or another.

It got me thinking, so I went out and checked the prices of some of these machines.  Still WAY outta my budget. Shoot!

Today however, as I was going thru the archives of some of my new fave blogs, I stumbled across a mention of a Slice machine while over at Little Birdie Secrets and had to check it out! 

The Slice  is small, cordless and a lot cheaper than some of the other models out there!  The design cards offer seem pretty versatile, and there are quite a few cards that offer different fonts, in addition to  a slew of pretty designs, so it seems possible not to have to spend thousands of dollars, just to get the shapes I want!

Does anyone else have any reviews of this product?  Is it worth the buy?  Or should I save up and buy another model?  Thoughts!!

Valentine's Mantel thus far

Okay, so as I said earlier, this is my first year decorating for Valentine's Day.  So, I am limiting the decor to my mantel, and possibly a wreath... if I can find the form that I am looking for, that is!

However, I had NO budget, so other than the bucket o' blooms, I used what I had!  That alone, was incredibly difficult.  I actually didn't think I had anything that would work!

So please don't juge me too harshly!  I also think I will most likely add some sort of garland/banner later this week.... I'll post pics if I get around to it.

In the meantime, it made Cory  smile when he came home from work just now!

Here's a closer look at each side:

The tall pink vase usually sits on my dresser (it has clear polka dots all over, that you can't really see), I got it years and years ago at HomeSense.  The pink rose picture is 1 of 5 art cards, purchased at Ikea years ago, as well. The frame was made by my mom, at my request, and was laquered in black to make the images POP.   Behind that is a little "floral" arrangement I made this afternoon in about 2 minutes. 

First, I cut some branches out of a vase I had in a corner, and combined them with some curly gold sparkle branches from a Christmas arrangement, and threw them in a heart-shaped Crystal vase. To add some interest, I used some felt flowers from  Stampin Up and attached them to the branches with glue dots.  (this will allow me to remove them without destroying them when I dismantel the display!)

On the other side, I placed a pink striped box under my blooms pot, to give it a little extra height.  The box is actually a gift set of floating candles.  Infront of that a little decorative pink bottle I got in Junior High from the dollar store.  There was already a little heart-shaped keychain around it's neck, so I left it there.  Next to that is one of my mercury glass candlestick holders from Ikea  and a vanilla pillar candle.

Simple, pretty and pink!  I'm pretty limited for space, with the tv above the fireplace (which I hate!!!), but it works for now.

Thoughts?  Any ideas how I can jazz the space up a little bit more?

Linked up to:

Bloomin' Hearts!

I've never decorated for Valentine's Day before, but after seeing all the great displays of love over at everyone's blogs, I figured I'd jump on the bandwagon myself this year.  However, it will be small as I start to grow a collection.  I figure by the time we get around to having kids, my collection will be appropriate enough to be appreciated by little ones!

Anyhow, after looking around, I realized I really have NOTHING that screams " Happy Valentine's Day" or even "Love"...I guess that's what happens when you don't have a family, the focus stays on less sentimental things, and more DECOR stuff... I wanna change this!  So, I was going to have to start from scratch!  A trip to the dollar store yielded a display of a lot of CRAP!! However, I will most likely be going back to pick up some heart appliqed dishtowels and a gorgeous door knob hanger, since I realized that we have a ton of interior doors that open up in the main space.

Amidst all the crap, I did find one crap item that got the wheels turning in my head.  It was a little box thing, with hearts splaying out in all different directions, and crazy streamers and floral pick things.  It was not my style at all, but I liked the idea that it could create height and dimension on a mantel!  So, I figured I could create something myself, that would be 100 times nicer.

My idea?  A flower pot blooming with hearts!

~ small,heart embossed, mini pot - ($1.97 - Walmart; admittedly, I could have used something from home, but this was cute!)
~ small, half-round styrofoam shape ($2.00 - Walmart)
~ spanish moss ($2.00 - Walmart for a big bag that I only used a tiny corner of; forgot to get at dollar store)
~ 1 package of 8 small, styrofoam heart shapes ($1.00 - Dollarama)
~ bamboo skewers ( already had)
~ white glue
~ paint brush ( already had)
~ glitter ( I used a combo of large glitter I already had, and a three-pack of Martha Stewart's fine glitter in "Coral", which is really just 3 shades of pink - love this! It was $7.50/3pk at Walmart)
~ scrapbook paper scrap
~ rub-on greeting (from my stash; Stampin' Up! brand)
~ ribbon
~ metal hardware tag

How To:
1. Make your "flowers".  The easiest way to do this is to spear a styrofoam heart with a bamboo skewer.  This way you can rotate the heart as you go, and get nice, even coverage!  (Note: if you want your stems a different color, paint them BEFORE you start.  I realized this too late, and simply used a white paint pen after the fact)

2. Coat each speared heart with white glue.  I used an old cheapie sponge paintbrush for this.

3. Cover each glue covered heart with glitter.  I chose to do 2 hearts of each glitter color.

4.  Put hearts aside to dry.  Assemble pot while waiting.

6.  When glue on hearts is all dry, insert your skewers into the foam at the bottom of the pot.  This may involve the ends of your bamboo "stems" needing to be cut, to get varying heights of "flowers".

7. Add some Spanish Moss to your pot to fill it out a bit, and add some interest, color and texture.

8. Create a little tag to add some interest to the base of the pot.  I grabbed a scrap of pink scrapbook paper and used a "love You" Rub-on for a sweet little greeting.  Using glue-dots, I adhered the message inside a metal tag embelishment.  To attach, I wrapped a piece of wired, silver ribbon around the pot and tied the ends.  ( I think I need a brighter ribbon, so this will most likely change the next day or so...)

9. Place your pot on the mantel, and admire it in it's finished glory, as you try to decide what else to put up there!

So, what do you think?  I'm gonna change out the ribbon today, and possibly cut down a few more stems to make it a bit more symmetrical, but I really love it!

Check back later this weekend for more projects, and a finished Valentine's Mantel reveal!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

This regularly scheduled post has been delayed due to unexpected guests....

I had hoped to have some crafts ready to go for some posts, but mom is in town for some doctor's appointments, so things are a bit delayed.

However, small bits of progress have been made and the following are in the works:

~ the first coat of paint went on Vintage Lamp #1 this weekend, since it was actually pretty nice out and tolerable in the garage.  (it has gotten cold again though, and might be a little while still before another nice day... cross your fingers for me!)

~ some supplies have been purchased and some more are being sought out to get the V-day decorations started.  This is my FIRST year doing these, I am going very minimal

~ the base for the ottoman re-upholster project has been brought inside, so that means it's on the board for projects.

Just a quick, very late post as I check in for inspiration!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Hot and Cold: A Project!

You may remember a few months back, in the fall, when I begged  Cory  to pick me up an electronic thermostat from his part-time job since there was ABSOLUTELY NO WAY I could go through the winter without one....
We had opted not to roll the price of an electronic one into the cost of our mortgage, especially with the mark-ups they charge!  So we have been living with this thing since June:

I had really good intentions of making the change, and installing the new one myself.  I even attempted it 3 times.  (By attempt I mean took it out of the package, read the instructions, popped the top off the old one, and then stared at the insides for about 20 minutes before realizing that I had absolutely no idea what I was doing.  I promptly placed it back in the package each time.

Fast forward to this past Thursday when we had Cory`s family over for dinner. I happened to remember that his brother in law is an electrician.  So we made arrangements for them to pop over on Sunday and set the thing up.  So in about 10 minutes, while I gave Mandy  a tour of the house, Cory installed the new thermostat.  I`m actually a little sad that I never got to do it myself, but at least I know when to give in, and leave the hard stuff to the pros!!

Here`s what things look like now:

It`s a little larger than the old one...  but I`m alright with that, since the price was right and it`s got 5 programmable temperatures for each day of the week!

Now we`re a little greener and much more efficient over at our house!

Spring Essential

I came across this cute little jacket while doing some online browsing this morning, and had to share. Since I now live close enough to work that I will most likely be biking/walking/rollerblading to and from work, when the weather is finally nice out again. I've seen plenty of these jacket-to-go ideas before, but these ones are actually cute!!

They come in a whole slew of colors. But I am loving this cheerful orchid color! Perfect to leave in my desk drawer at work!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

a quick hello

I've been gone a little while, and I apologize. Between getting sick, and then slipping on some ice at the carwash, I was spending a lot of time holed up on the couch.
I'm just about back to normal, but since the bf finally has a weekend day off, we're having a "date" weekend, so I'll be back tomorrow evening with a new project to share.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

"Goodwill" Hunting

I had another afternoon by myself, and I wanted to get out of the house, so I decided it would be a perfect day to hit Goodwill. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, so I grabbed a few bucks, and hit the housewares section.
I can't actually tell you the last time I hit a Goodwill or related-type of store, so of course, I was pretty excited when I realized that there was a ton of things I could get for under $5.00!!
The first thing that caught my eye was this lovely wine rack:
Okay, so the oil-rubbed bronze with ivy covered trellis, isn't usually something I would be drawn to.... but I was really excited to find it! Initially I thought about possibly painting it, maybe a white or even a solid black.

But when I put it in the corner, it looked perfect! It only has 6 slots, which is fine for us, since we actually don't drink wine (well, Cory does once in a while, but I can't stand it!).

See? I didn't even have enough bottles in my stash to fill the thing! Plus, it opens up some space in the "bar" cupboard for bottles of alcohol we do actually drink
!Not bad for $3.99 huh? Especially considering I was contemplating buying a less sturdy-looking, less attractive rack 2 weeks ago at HomeSense that was quite a bit more!
I'm sure I'll be checking out other locations more regularly, to see if I can start amassing a collection of milk-glass for the china cabinet!

What else did I get up to today? It involved this: I'll post more on this project later this week, when I finish it!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Change in plans... but positive results

I had a lot of things on my things to do around the house list this week. Unfortunately, mom's time at the doctor meant an overnight stay at the hospital for her. She was released this morning, doing well, but they've recommended that she not drive til tomorrow.... so she's staying with us another night. So, while I don't get to do the house-related projects I had planned, I am glad to say my mom is doing well, and her heart scans are now "beautiful" according to the nurse I spoke with

I guess in hindsight, it worked out well, since I ended up working late each day this week!

Hopefully, I can get some stuff done this weekend. I have a brand new can of spray paint with my name on it!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Vintage (Wooden) Lamp Update: Stage 1

About a month ago, I scored this new girl:

Apparently, my mom had gotten a pair of the lamps from a friend a few years back, and had given one that she wasn't using, to my brother for his first place. Thankfully, when I mentioned I liked the shape and size, he mentioned he wasn't using it. So, a few weeks later, he dropped her off!

Thankfully, I have a pretty good imagination, cause when she arrived, she left little to be desired... The wood-tone was NOT my style, the base was gold, and the shade was sooooo old, the pleated fabric part had come completely unglued from the plasticy-liner portion of the shade.

What I DID like: The base was tall and pretty substantial, and I really liked the shape! I knew with a little paint, and a new shade, this would look great in my house!

Immediately, visions of the re-created lamp started filling my head. Should I paint it white, and add a black shade? No, too modern. Should I paint it the same color as the walls ( ICI's Antique Sterling) and add a huge white drum shade? That was veto'd as too boring by Cory and my mom, They thought I needed something with a little more impact - like the bright turquoise of our bedroom lamps. One of which is currently sub'ing in the living room for some extra reading light. Okay, so I was set on getting a huge white drum shade, and possibly a turquoise lacquer.... when my search for a white drum shade lead me to this beauty at HomeSense.
Love, love, love that nubby tweed. However, the $20 price tag made me put it back on the shelf, because I was looking for white....
When I came back a few days later, it was still the one tweed one sitting there, amidst a pile of cream damask! I took that as a sign, since I was still thinking about it. I threw it in my cart and never looked back!

Luckily for me, it was a perfect fit when I threw it on! It was a far-cry from what I was originally envisioning, but it looks great... well except for the base that needs some work!

So now, all that's left is painting the base. I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with a bright white... oh yeah, and grab a lamp finial (somehow this one went missing).
I'll share the reveal as soon as I finish it!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

New Year, so far.

Hope your first few days of the new year are going well. We had a nice night ringing in the new year with good friends, as usual. We spent yesterday by just doing NOTHING and spending time with one another. I literally stayed in my jammies all day! It was wonderful.
Today, however the day apparently got the better of me. That, and when I went to download some pics on my desktop, I plugged in the USB port, and apparently broke the darn thing. Yup, the USB port fell inside the whole machine! So, I will have to get someone to look at it now. I will also have to start using the laptop as my primary machine :( since it appears my old one is about ready to go anytime soon! Guess I will be shopping for a laptop later this year!

Anyhow, I've been working through each room of the house, cleaning and organizing. I'm cracking down, and getting rid of the clutter. I want to start the new year off on the right foot! As I work through each room, I find myself writing and adding to lists I am starting in my notebook ( things to buy; new projects to do; stuff to fix; etc, etc.). So I anticipate a ton of changes, projects, happenings this year! I'm excited to tackle them. In fact, so excited that it caused me to put a small hole in the wall today..... I got ahead of myself and started to hang something and then realize it wasn't ready for hanging, and that I am not familiar with wall anchors lol... So that hole will be getting patched later this week!

Here's what I have planned for the upcoming week:
~ fixing damaged baseboards
~ accessorizing a toilet tank
~ a new front hallway display
~starting a lamp re-do

For now, I'll leave you with this gorgeous picture of our back deck:

I just love how peaceful it looks out there in the morning, covered in snow!