15-Minute Thrifted Lamp Makeover

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Nice, huh?

15 minutes later...
Really nice, huh?

Did you read this post? I loved the idea, but didn't have anyone who had an embroidery business who owed me a favor. So I ordered a $1 iron-on monogram patch from an online store called Laughing Lizards (I'm getting link lazy, just google it). The velvet ribbon was also under $1 at the fabric store. Both were applied with all-purpose, tacky glue.
The base was antiqued with a green paint in the grooves. I went over them with a black craft paint with a paper towel and my fingers.

Thanks for the idea, Rhoda!

If you're friends of the Nester, check my newest post, a tutorial! Or yesterday's table make-overs! Thanks for visiting,

The Bride & Broom

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Don't you love my title? Belle and Boo came to me all dressed up a few weeks back and announced they were "the Bride and Broom." Of course!

Anyway, haven't posted in a few days...I've been busy thinking about packing for our first family road trip and painting garage sale finds like this $4 chair:

Then I spent today and painting these brooms. One is for a wedding gift for my cousin & his bride. The other will likely be a housewarming gift for one of my girlfriends. Click on it for a larger image.

Here's what I used:

Painter's tape may also be helpful. And I like to use acrylic pens for lines that are smaller than I am able to draw with a brush.

For the flowers I like to get plenty of paint on my small-ish brush (how's that for a technical tutorial?) and paint in the motion of a junior high heart-you know what I'm talking about, right? Then I add a dark leaf color in a "V" shape with the narrow end pointing away from the flower. Later I go back and do the leaf again in a lighter shade (when painting with layers, a good rule is to go from dark to light). Here's a closer shot of my flowers.

You have to get really creative in trying to balance the brooms while they are drying:

Once dry, I will give it a coat or two of polycrylic. And once I borrow my father in law's drill, I will put a hole through the handle to attach this coffee-dyed and stamped card (see this tutorial:

And just to keep it real, here is what my kids made for lunch while I was painting-raisin bran, goldfish, clementines and Dora dominos:

Weekend Painting

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I painted this oar from the summer clearances (90% off at Michaels) this morning:

Here is the other side of Belle & Boo's room (I've posted this before but now you can see where this wall is in their room):

While I was painting, Belle put her new smock to good use. Must make Boo a new one before Mother's Day Out starts...because I have to be THAT mom.

And to balance things out, here's Baby who's now in the "Everythings a Phone" stage:

And here he is with a waffle fry phone (and no comment on the princess pull-up Boo is showing him):

And a fork phone:

I think I'm going for the "Most Photos in a Single Post" Blog Award...I apologize if it was slow to browse....Have a great weekend, ya'll!

One Thrift Store Find: Three Uses

Friday, July 25, 2008

I found this deliciously gaudy stand for $2 at a thrift store in downtown Plano on Wednesday when I was supposed to be dress shopping for my cousin's wedding. Right now it's propping open my Joy of Cooking (with my hand-scribbled Miser Wat recipe sticking out):

But it also has already been used for this:

And someday may be used sort of like this:

Now I'm off to Hobby Lobby with my gift card to fix up another thrift store find...Happy Friday!

More Bend the Rules Sewing

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Okay, let me just post one more time about this book, then I'm done, unless Angry Chicken wants to hire me to advertise for her (Amy, I'm totally available, by the way).

Random goodness from BTR Sewing (that I want to remember):

  • Use a new machine needle whenever you begin a new project. It may appear your tension is off, or the fabric is snagging, but it could just be a dull or bent needle. I know this is true, but need to get in the habit of changing my needles before they break mid-stitch!

  • The iron is your friend. Press before, during and after. It'll be worth it.

    And finally, before I get reported for copyright infringement,
  • "Mistakes are always much less noticeable in a week or so, and in a month will look amazing."

That sounds like a speed demon after my own heart!

Miser Sewing: A Tote Bag & A Smock

Monday, July 21, 2008

Two events inspired the tote bag and smock I made this week. First, the public library let me try out Angry Chicken's Bend the Rules Sewing book for three weeks. (now that I've had it a full three days, I think I would like to own a copy) The second event was my last online bill pay session...

According to Amy Karol, Angry Chicken's real name, there are four types of crafters:
  • The Perfectionist,
  • The Artist,
  • The Speed Demon and
  • The Miser
I know what kind of crafter I am, but I don't want to share. Let's just say it's not the first two or the last. Now Amy had nice things to say about each crafter, but she also had a bit of warning for each. But I'm going to focus just on the positive here. Now, I know people who are perfectionists (and they rarely sew as a result, in my opinion). And I know artists, who just ooze creativity. But misers? Miser crafters are those who can create something out of nothing. They don't waste their selvages-they make coasters with them, or puppets, or whatever else they see in scraps. They look through their fabric bins BEFORE they make a trip to the store. Do you know any misers? I can't think of any. So I read Amy's book, then had the itch to make something. But after I paid our bills, it was really obvious that a trip to the fabric store just to satisfy my desire to try a new project was an luxury we should do without. And I was really challenged to think like a Miser...I have crates and crates of leftover fabric. What could I do with it? So how about this: And this: (I almost bragged about how this only required 15 minutes of sewing time, but that would be giving my true crafter self away, now wouldn't it?) This fabric was actually given to me by Mr. Smarty's aunt when she was moving. So the total cost of both of these was $0.44 (Cost of a photocopy enlargement for the pattern in the book)! How cool is that? Now becoming a miser is a new goal. So help me out here. What else can I do with my scraps?

Note to Self for Next Spring

Friday, July 18, 2008

Would you look at this cascading White Verbena? I must remember to try this project from Kimba next spring:

This is how she did it:

She buries the top pot about 1/3 to 1/2 way up so that it stays stable.
I have nothing to add, but "GEEEEEE-nius!"

DEAL of the Week YEAR

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

For to LONG to mention, I've been searching craigslist for two chairs. I've searched using words like: occasional chairs, side chairs, arm chairs, upholstered, wood, French, English, country, etc. Nada. Nothing. Zilch. Oh, did I mention I also set the max price parameter for $50?

Then I ran an errand to Target...nevermind what for...but this is what I came home with:

Actually, I claimed two. And how much did I spend? Each chair was $24.99. This beautiful store was clearancing all their outdoor/patio furniture at 75% off!!!!! So, yes, technically, these are outdoor teak chairs, but WHATEV! They so belong in my living room and I'm not above bringing the outdoors in...or it's furniture. So TA DAAAAAA:

(please ignore the mantel...I've been so inspired by Kari & Kijsa's Mantel carnival that mine is sort of in the works...)

Note the fabric store tassels I added since The Nester's Etsy shop is SOLD OUT...

Then check out what Belle and Boo were up to after dinner tonight-decorating all the door knobs with their personal flare-LOOOOVE IT-these doo-hickies are totally staying put:

So come on over and pull up a chair-they're pretty comfy, too!

Vanity Dilemma

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sometimes I can be very decisive. This is not one of those times...

This year, I have become much more fond of accessories. Think I'm trying to jazz up my the stay at home mom uniform. Consequently, each evening I take off whatever bauble I've used that day and set it on my bathroom countertop. After a few days, this is what you see:

Which drives me crazy. I do not like cluttered countertops.

So why not just walk to 15 feet to the bedroom dresser to replace the items in your jewelry box?

Good question. Because I am what you would call a lazy perfectionist.

So I made this:

But then I wasn't sure that I liked it. It's kind of Shabby Chic, and nothing else in my bathroom is Shabby Chic.

So I pulled out this wedding gift who's been waiting for a wedge of brie for far too long:

But as cute as this plate is and as much as it begs to be used, it doesn't really keep my pieces separated. So while I am trying to make up my mind, this is what my countertop looks like:

So, what do you think? The cheese plate? The chicken wire shabby frame? Both? Neither?


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Here's my try at Miser Wat. Miser or sometimes Yamiser Wat (Amharic lesson: wat, also wot =stew), is a spicy red lentil Ethiopian dish made with berbere (pronounced like the always classic Burberry trench). Berbere is a red mixture of spices, with everything from cardamom to cayenne, but heavier on the cayenne, of course. I used 1 1/2 tsp of berbere in a recipe that served 6. We tend to like things hot but this was just right. We've only had this dish twice at the local Ethiopian restaurant, but we cleaned our plates both times, just as we did last night. It was YUM-MAY!

Somewhere between the first dip of injera to me licking the inside and rim of my bowl (hey, I said, I hearted it, okay?), I asked Mr. Smarty what he thought an Ethiopian would say about my attempt. Funny-Man that he is, he came back with, "WAT is this?" I'm still laughing.

P.S. FINALLY talked to someone at our doctors office today who said they will write/fax our health letter to our homestudy agency, which will complete all the documents they need. We've been waiting for our doc to write it for a month, but I have to trust God's timing in every step.