Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tray Table

Did anyone else suffer from Downtown Abbey withdrawal last weekend?  We don't have cable and unless the tornado sirens are blowing or presidental election results are being announced, we don't watch TV.  If something is any good, we'll just wait and get it on Netflix.

I made an exception for season two of Downtown Abbey.  I had to rely on digital rabbit ears and thirty feet of cable to get it out of the basement so I could tune in every week.  It will be a long wait for season three.

So I think I was channeling a bit of Downtown Abbey when I thought of dressing up this plain old table.

It fills the narrow wall nicely, but the top is too small.  In my stash of unfinished/unstarted projects, I have several of these old cabinet doors.

I also found this old light fixture at ReStore. 

They had two of these.  I go to ReStore every Friday after work (my idea of TGIF happy hour), and every week for the past month it's mate is still there. 

What a pity.

I removed the chain, wiring and light socket and used a combination of gold craft paint and Rub 'n Buff to bring back its luster.  Let's see how our misfits cleaned up.

I removed the old door handle and filled the holes with wood putty, then repainted the entire door with my favorite bronze craft paint.  I pulled a second door pull from another cabinet door on hand and painted them with bronze craft paint too.  The stuff sticks to just about anything.

I love the details of the light-fixture-turned-into-lantern, especially the seeded glass.  I can't bring myself to buy the cheap stuff made in China you find in most chain stores.

I love battery operated LED candles for my lanterns, especially the ones that run on four-hour timers.  They'll run for months on a couple of AA batteries.

Originally, I had this bowl filled with decorative balls on this table top.  I moved it to the lower shelf and added my DIY moss balls.

Someday, I'll have to show you how I made the textured bronze balls.  I'll save that for another post.

I added a tiny bell for when I want to call the maid, and my vignette is complete.

Update: I've been in denial until tonight, but Google Friend Connect is going way tomorrow.  Google didn't pay one bit of attention to all my pouting.  I'm still undecided what I am going to do to replace it.  (I'm going through an anti-Facebook phase).  For now, I've added one of those nifty RSS subscriber buttons to the right.  If that's your thing, I hope you click  it to continue following me.

I think I'm going to make a pan of brownies now.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Studio Organization

I had another post planned for today, but it's too cloudy to get good indoor pictures.  So I worked in my windowless studio in the basement instead.

I really have window issues.  I wish we had daylight windows in the basement.  Alas, we only have one tiny egress window, and it's not in my craft space.

A more pressing matter is organization.  A few weeks ago, I was trying to prepare a shipment to drop off at the post office on my way to work and I couldn't find the packing tape.  I ran through three levels of the house searching for it.

Blast it!  I'm not doing that again!  What I need is a pegboard.

I picked up the largest scrap pegboard at ReStore I could fit in my car for only a dollar (never mind the tear and broken corners - I can cut it down).  One more dollar got me a small bag of various pegboard hooks.  In keeping with my February plan to deal with unfinished projects, I employed some shutters that have been gathering dust in the garage.

I gave the pegboard a coat of craft paint and sealed it with Mod Podge.

No more hunting for scissors.  A co-worker had cleaned out her own craft room and passed along her thread rack.

The pegboard had slightly ragged edges after cutting it, but the shutters concealed the sides.  I added a piece of scrap trim to cover the bottom edge. Rather than add trim to the top, I sewed an old valance into a ruffled and pinned it along the top.

A place for everything and everything in its place, Mr. Packing Tape!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sun Mirror

Last January, I did a post on the trends that I was tired of seeing, like putting numbers on everything. 

"Keep calm and ____ on." 

And antlers.  I still don't understand the appeal of antlers.

I haven't given much thought about it this year, maybe because nothing is really getting under my skin.  Chevron isn't really my thing.  Birds are out and cows are in.

But dressers covered in mirrors = fingerprints!  Seems terribly impractical.

We've gone from dusty chalkboard tabletops to mirrored drawers.

Sunburst mirrors are a mixed bag for me.  There were some impressive DIY sunburst mirrors out there in blogland last year.  Some others...not so much.

Not willing to invest much into the latest fad, I found this mirror at the thrift store.  It's not really a sunburst mirror, but it was only $3.99.

The cashier admired it when I paid.  I didn't have the heart to tell her I was going to paint it.

I thought blasting it with gold spray paint would do, but the paint had greenish undertones and I wasn't satisfied with the results.  So I canned the project. 

Until I thought of antique gold Rub 'n Buff.

Just squirt a little on my finger and smear it on the frame.  It's messy stuff, but I loved the warm glow it gives the piece.

I ran a ribbon through the hook on the back and hung it in the hearth room between the windows.  The windows face the west so the shades are always in a partially down position.

It appears His Lordship has returned for a nap.

We can come back later and admire the soft golden glow after dark.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Feeling Girly

I'm feeling inspired by days with straw hats, flowing skirts and gardens.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Inspiration for the Studio

Call it the Woman Cave, Craft Room or Studio, but its original purpose was going to be a wine room.  So when I painted this semi-finished room in the basement, I painted it a nice dark olive green.

Then about three years later I took it over as my craft room.  It's still green and filled to the brim with craft supplies now.  I really, really dread moving everything out to repaint, so I'm making up for the olive walls with some bright, inspiring artwork.

Still staying on task with my February plan to tackle projects I dreamed up but never finished, I turned to some greeting cards and frames I purchased over the past year like this frame I picked up at a thrift store.

The brown plastic veneer was depressing, so I painted it a sassy red and used it to frame a blank note card I picked up last winter from the dollar bin at Michaels.  It's an empty birdcage and above is printed "Fly."  I like the contrast of the simple print with the ornate frame.

I used acrylic craft paint, but it didn't give good coverage on the slick veneer, so some of the brown showed through, which was fine by me!  It's sealed with glossy Mod Podge.

Next, I turned to a Curly Girl greeting card in my stash.  I love these cards with their fun designs and off-beat inspirational messages.  I had picked up a square picture frame from from Goodwill.  I'm sure the cashier had to wonder why anyone would want such an ugly thing.

All it needs is a couple of coats of black craft paint and a matte Mod Podge finish.

I could get a mat cut for my impromptu artwork, but some leftover cork Con-Tact liner makes a nice background.

We rented scooters during our December beach vacation, and I loved zipping around town on it.  After a long day, I close my eyes and dream of cruising a coastal town on a cute scooter named Spirit, only mine would be teal blue!

Two framed pictures, one window shelf, and the paint is drying on the next project!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Unfinished Business

I've been thinking about my craft life lately. 
Specifically, all the unfinished projects hanging about the house.

I'll admit, sometimes my follow-through on my plans is...

Hey, look at this tray I scored at a garage sale for only a quarter!  I could paint it!

So, I am devoting the entire month of February to FINISH some of these projects.  "Window shopping" at thrift stores and craft supply will be strictly limited.

Notice I picked the shortest month of the year for this experiment?

First project:

Let's roll back to the summer of 2010.
Husband has just left for work, and I'm finishing breakfast before I leave for work myself.
It's Friday, trash day in our neighborhood. The phone rings.

"There is a window setting by the curb around the corner. It looks like something you might be interested in."

Oh yes, I am interested in this old window, but not the cutesy flowers painted on it.  So I paint it black.
And then it collects dust.

Move forward to last weekend.  After the chaos in my craft studio that was called Christmas, I begin to re-organize.  I could really use more shelving for the things I reach for often.  And what am I going to do with that old window?

Ah-ha!  A 1x6 board and some basic shelf brackets and now I have this:

I really needed another pin cushion, so I made one from scrap canvas, Poly-fil and a terra cotta flower pot from a miniature floral arrangement a co-worker gave me for Christmas a couple of decades ago (I knew there was a reason why I saved it).  It took me all of five minutes.  I'm on a roll!

Today, I have co-worker who can knit, and she taught me the basics.  Whoo-hoo!  I'm so excited to have an new craft skill!

I inherited a grandmother's knitting needles, so I wanted something fun to put them in, like a vase.  I could run to Savers tomorrow after work to look around...

No, none of that! 
What else do I have?

Plenty of scrap wood!  Cut four sides and a bottom.  Give it some distressing and some paint.  Add hardware from an old armoire I tore apart a few years ago for embellishment.

This is working out better than I thought!

A couple of years ago I pulled this from a fortune cookie on a really lousy day at work.

Let's see how much I can undertake and complete this month!