Thursday, October 28, 2010

Making Ironing Fun

Enough with the purses for right now.

These purses use a lot of fusible interfacing to give them shape, which means the iron is getting as much of a workout as the sewing machine.  My ironing board was in sad need of an overhaul.

Makes me think of a mug shot.

Cover : Stained, worn and dated
Build: Scratched frame
Identifying features: missing rubber foot-thingy

A fresh coat of Heirloom White, a new set of rubber feet from the hardware aisle at Lowes, some bright Amy Butler fabric and ironing is no longer a dull task.  I'd call this one rehabilitated.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Try, try again

Mom loved her birthday present and I'm still trying to perfect my own pattern.  I switched out the straps since I'm a carry-it-on-the-shoulder-gal myself.  I love the look of the covered button, but I'd rather have the convenience of a magnetic snap closure.  Here's attempt number two.  I still don't have the height/width ratio worked out to my liking, but I'm getting closer!

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Birthday Handbag

I'm experimenting with a pattern of my own creation and I made my mother this purse for her birthday.  I already know I'll make slight modifications the next version, so stay tuned.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Powder Room Make-over

Ever had one of those projects that spiraled out of control before you could even get started?

Our half bath was stuck in 1995.  It's a tiny space with a high ceiling.  Emerald green walls and sunflowers galore.  The previous owners were nice enough to leave the silk sunflowers behind when they moved.  Gee, I wonder why.

So I tried to make it a little less Americana and a little more Provence until a better option presented itself. Um, yeah...

Then I found this great print of a vintage map of Paris at The Curious Sofa

But it wasn't a standard size.  Of course.  So I had a mat cut for it, thinking that the mat would get me to a standard sized frame.  Wrong again, of course.

So now, I'm looking to custom frame a print that originally cost me about $10.  Fan-tastic.  I've blown the budget on the ENTIRE project without even walking into the room.

I'm at a custom frame store because they are running a special on poster frames.  Basic, bland, boring stock, and my enthusiasm is deflating quickly.  Then, the cunning shop clerk reaches past the sale frames and pulls this little number from the wall:

It's not on sale.  It's EXPENSIVE.  It's on back order.

It's perfect.

Since I'd have to wait 6 weeks for delivery, I have time to think about how I'm going to pull off this project and spend as little additional money as possible.

The basic decor stuff was easy.  We use our credit card's reward points for Bed Bath and Beyond gift cards.  So, I replaced the tiny wooden craft shelf with a contemporary floating shelf.  And I picked up a tissue holder in a dark bamboo stain as well as a new hand towel and use the 20% off coupons that come in the mail.  Out of pocket cost: $0.

The matted print of the Louvre hanging on the wall is a night-time photo that I took when we were in Paris three years ago.  I ran it through one of the art filters in Photoshop Elements so it looked like a watercolor.  I bought the frame with mat on clearance.

I had found the vintage post card of Sacre Couer at Good JuJu and used a frame and a scrapbook paper background I already had on hand.  I think I paid 50 cents for the postcard and it's the real deal, not a replica.  :-)

Thrift stores always have shelves overflowing with brass and silverplate vases and trays, but they are usually long past their prime. 

Since they are soooo cheap, I'm not afraid of spray painting them back to life.  A little oil rubbed bronze spray paint does wonders.  I figure I can change out the floral display for the seasons. 

While the spray paint is out, I paint the white wall register with ORB too.  I'm doing pretty good so far, but I haven't tackled what was supposed to be the most expensive part of this make-over: the LIGHT FIXTURE and all it's shiny brass glory.


I look at Home Depot.  I look at Lowes.  I make multiple trips, hoping for a clearance sale.  I look at Habitat ReStore and Craigs List, but I'm a little iffy on buying second hand electrical fixtures, so I'm always hoping to find something new.  No luck.

I'm almost resigned to shelling out over $100 to buy a new light fixture.  Then I have an idea.

Take the old fixture down, spray paint it with ORB and replace the light shades!

I found the shades at Home Depot for $15 each, so I have a "new" light fixture for only $30 instead of $120.  Whoo hoo!

Finally, I glued 1 inch wooden half-spheres I found at Hobby Lobby around the old oak frame and gave it a generous coat of ORB spray paint.

Goodbye Emerald City!

I'm linking up...

The Lettered Cottage

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lamp Mini-Makeover

I fell for this lamp I found at Good Ju-Ju, a fun antique store in Kansas City's historic West Bottom District.

Husband was less than enthusiastic.  Anything too "country" makes him break out in hives.

The lamp hung out in the back room of the basement until I could decide what color to paint him.  I thought about a deep red with a black bell-shaped shade.  When I started to put together my "woman cave," I pushed a white dresser into the corner and Mr. Rooster Lamp found his home.  He looks pretty spiffy in semi-gloss black and his new linen drumshade.

Ready for your close-up, Mr. Rooster?

I'm linkin' up...


Monday, October 18, 2010

A Wedding Gift

I made this last week as a wedding gift.  The happy couple weren't registered anywhere, so I opted for a one-of-a-kind custom gift, and I'm tickled with the results.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bulletin Board a la Ballard Design

I love Ballard Design.  When the latest catalog arrives in my mailbox, it's a happy day.  I ordered a couple of sisal rugs recently since I'm still exorcising the 90s jewel tones from my house.  And I wanted to ensure I stayed on their mailing list.  :-)

I fell for these classy bulletin boards.  Yes, a classy bulletin board.  Sounds like an oxymoron, but they are so cute.

The price tag for the smallest (28" x 24") bulletin board?  $99!

Um, yeah...

I had this frame that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  Their open-back frames are frequently on sale for half price.  It's 12 x 24 inches.

I set it on some blocks so I could hit all sides with semi-gloss black spray paint.  It took about four layers to make sure I hit all the nooks and crannies.

Next, I cut ordinary foam core board and lined one side with cork Con-Tact Paper.  It's tricky stuff to work with since the cork layer is thin and can break easily.  I recommend getting it as flat as possible before adhering to the foam board and then peel the backing just a few inches at a time.

I tapped points into the frame to hold the cork-covered foam board into place.  I found an upholstery tack hammer and a large flathead screwdriver worked well for this.

And the end result...

Here's my running total:
$12.50 for the frame (half price at Hobby Lobby)
$7.50 for the cork Con-Tact Paper (I bought it at Michaels with a 40% off coupon).
$2 for the foam core board.
(I already had the spray paint and the frame points.)

My Grand total = $22
Ballard Design = $99

But, I still love ya, Ballard Design!

I'm linkin' up...
Domestically Speaking

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vanity Renewal

I was driving to the hardware store when I found this sweet vanity setting at someone's curb with the week's garbage.  It was in pretty sorry shape when I brought it home.  It wasn't a particularly fine piece of furniture, probably some kind of laminate veneer that had been painted white. Carelessly painted. The mirror was long gone, so the "horns" had to go!

I love to sew, but my "woman cave" in the basement doesn't have room for a sewing machine right now. Plus, since sewing is an activity that can take HOURS, I don't always like being in the basement on a pretty day. So I decided to make an annex in the guest room for the sewing machine. This bedroom has a large bay window, so I can open the windows and it's almost being outside.  So this vanity would be useful for an alternative sewing area and when guests come, the sewing machine is put away and I have a pretty little table.

I gave it a good cleaning and a light sanding and about three coats of spray paint in the oh-so-trendy Heirloom White.  Since it looked a little flat after the paint, I used a brown permanent marker to "distress" the corners and very, very, very gently sanded where I used the marker.

The top lifts on the right and left for a nice storage compartments.  They were originally designed to hold jewelry, but I ripped out that fuzzy stuff that lines jewelry boxes and replaced it with a lining of scrapbook paper and ModPodge. 

And it has a center drawer, so I lined it too. 

The original drawer pull was cheap AND crusted with old white paint.  I found this pull at Hobby Lobby on sale for about $2.50. 

Since I used spray paint I already had on hand, my total investment in this project was less than $4.

Notice that object on the right?  That's our dog.

The other perk to this room is the dog and cat love looking out the window here.  The dog has a great view of the street and the cat can watch the birds in the smoke tree just outside the widow.  Life is good for all of us.

I'm linkin' up....
Furniture Feature Fridays