May 27, 2010

Okay now... one thing at a time!

Confession: I'm a bit of an ADHD beautiful-things-loving, penny-pinching, and gotta-be-in-the-mood-to-make-stuff kinda gal, and I think you could say that I've been in the mood in the month of May. I've been running the junk circuit from thrift stores to CraigsList (CL) and yard sales, and been known to occasionally snag something from a trash pile if it looks like a piece I can do something with. I limit my purchases to CHEAP stuff and rarely go over $10 for one item unless it's a high quality piece of furniture, like my down-filled hand-tied slipcovered sofa, which is from Storehouse (a now defunct better-quality furniture store chain) and cost $200 off CL. The sofa is THE most comfy Sunday afternoon nap-taking sofa ever and I made up a little diddy about it to the tune of the Christmas song "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," but changed the words to "It's the Most Wonderful Sofa in the World," and you can thank your lucky stars my blog isn't loaded with audio because NOBODY would want to hear that! But I digress...

I often start my mornings, break in the afternoons, and end my evenings with perusing the latest "free" and hyper-cheap offerings on CL. You just never know what will be there. I've seen some GREAT looking stuff get gone from there and some truly GROSS looking stuff get gone from there (I assume), but you have to be ready to pick it up quickly (and don't go alone, for safety). I always have a hard time finding someone to go with me to pick up said CL items, and as a result sometimes I miss out on some good deals; but I promised the hubby and I know it's the wise move to not go alone.

So... on to my current projects... Here is my cache from a recent yard sale, for which I paid $10 (for all of it). Not the best deal of the century, but not too bad, either:

I love the lines of the table, that it has a shelf, it's sturdy, and it's round, and I just happened to need a little curvilinear form in my living room. The wood band around the top had come loose in one spot, but two finishing nails took care of that issue, and because it had no finish on it at all, I just lightly sanded it, wiped it down, and it was ready to be freshened up.

The brass lamp has a nice shape to it, but I do not greatly appreciate the aesthetics of the bright shiny brass look (in other words it is FUGLY!), so I thought I'd try spray painting it. I wasn't overly impressed with the outcome, but I will show you the end results of those pieces soon.

A little box of OLD (let's call them VINTAGE) greeting cards, which I will likely cut up and use in some projects or just frame some:


I had in mind to paint the table black (love me some painted furniture- especially black and cream, but not usually together on the same piece of course) and put it in front of the windows between two chairs, so that's exactly what I did. Here is the in-progress primed table, showing the nick on the bottom edge of the band (guess whose round table has a front AND a back side!):

and here is the table with two coats of black paint (below). The finish is perfect- JUST the right amount of sheen and it's nice and smooth. Satin latex, my friends, satin latex.

For this project, I used some leftover black (satin) paint from Porter Paints, which I already had. While I was at it, I pulled out some other items from the house that needed freshening... from left to right below: an old desk chair which I recovered once with the blue fabric you see, which the kids put a hole in of course; an odd little table I've never done anything with (there is glass that goes in the insert), a chair from my & hubby's bedroom that needs a redo, and a little corner table I got for $1 at a yard sale.

...sprinkle pixie dust and elbow grease here, and imagine the light and pleasant little sound of tinkerbell softly and gracefully flying by...

Okay, back from la-la land, the WORK had to be done, so it's all elbow grease and none of the pixie dust because I just wasn't born with that. Where some people "lightly distress" furniture, I TRAUMATIZE it! Stay tuned on that one...

Here is one of the chairs in its current condition, fresh paint and new fabric, which I got for $5 in the clearance bin at Hobby Lobby (go ME!), and have enough left of the fabric to cover a small pillow I already have, which I'll put elsewhere in the room. It is always good to repeat fabrics once or twice in the same room for continuity. The size of the fabric remnant dictated the way the pattern fell on the seat cushion, and while I would have liked to have the circles in a more "random" layout rather than so uniformly diagonally across the seat, I am pleased with it overall.

This is a gorgeous heavy-weight contemporary fabric that, paired with the traditional lines of the contrasting cream-colored chair, I am very pleased with! Haven't decided yet if I'll antique the chair with some glaze. I probably will but for now I'll live with it as is for awhile. I am churning ideas in my brain for a new bed cover but in the meantime I am using the back side of a quilt, which looks like this:

(see the circles? subtle, but they're there)
This quilt will be replaced with something I have yet to figure out. That is a project for another day(s). :-) I am really in the mood to sew lately, though, so it may be pretty soon. Below is the quilt top I made a couple of days ago for my granddaughter, Kyli (aka The Tweedle):

I like scrappy quilts and that is what I used for this cheerful Sunbonnet Sue. There are lots of fabrics in it that bring back memories- in the closeup pic you see the blue floral bonnet is from my bed linens when I was a little girl, the madras plaid is from one of my mom's shirts, the light yellow sashing is from cabinet door curtains from the laundry room/kitchen of my first house, and the black and pink polka dot fabric used for Sue's shoe is remnant fabric I used to cover a lampshade for our youngest daughter's bedroom several years ago. The retro floral border and green and white polka dot fabrics are from thrift store flat sheets ($2 each), which I bought because I didn't have scraps long enough to do the borders and didn't want to fool with piecing the borders. My mom has a huge quilting machine and when I go see her this summer we will quilt this top along with another one I made for our oldest daughter, and anything else I happen to make between now and then, like one for the grandson who is making his grand entrance to the world this November. :-)

This month, and mostly for the last couple of weeks, along with completing a few projects that have been unfinished for some time, I have been in a I MUST SEW kind of mood and have managed to not only make the quilt top for The Tweedle, but also have made some window treatments (as the Nester would say, "mis-treatments"), from sheets and scrap fabrics. Here are the results:


After with just a thrift-store smoky blue flat sheet ($1) tacked up with finishing nails on the molding and a piece of leftover lace as a tie-back:

If the sheet had been longer and wider I would have hung it higher on the wall instead of along the top of the window molding, and I would have been more okay with it just like that. As it is, however, I could not leave it without a topper as long as it is at the top of the window. This situation obviously called for a topper, which I made yesterday, and which you see standing on end on the right of the window, waiting for me to hang it. :-) The weird arch is the handle to my step ladder, which has seen many a painting adventure, as evidenced by all the white and other colored smudges all over any place that I would have grabbed while trying not to kill myself standing on it.

After (below), with my clearance bin drapery fabric valance from GoodWill ($1.60) atop the sheet (hung about 4" above the top of the window frame so that the window looks taller than it is), my $1 chandelier from a flea market, with shades I recovered with free wallpaper sample book pages (you can get free wallpaper sample books from paint stores and the like). I painted the insides of the shades metallic gold so they would really gleam and the effect is lovely at night.

Here is a before and after together forever and ever (or until I suddenly decide to repaint the room,which could be soon):

Sorry the photography is terrible- I took these pix early this morning so the lighting is not good on that side of the house, but you get the idea. The valance/topper I made, which I lined because in the afternoons the sun shines directly into this window, is a copper-brown color. Here is a pic that shows the pintuck diamond detail a little more closely, although it doesn't look nearly this orange in person. It is lovely fabric and that was really a STEAL:

Our master bathroom has come quite a long way from the all-white it used to be: a fresh coat of slightly olive green paint worked wonders to tone down all that builder's white tile- trust me, it literally visually CALMED that room down; and changing out the light fixtures and mirrors made a huge difference (post about that to come sometime later) but there is still lots to be done. Ideally, I'd like to gut the room entirely and put in new tile and a frameless glass enclosure for the shower. Since that is not in the budget any time soon, I'll have to stick to do-it-myself stuff like changing fixtures, and adding fabrics and finishes. I painted the bathroom last year, but I am already itching to repaint a different color, probably the same taupe as we used in our bedroom. I will begin changing out the fixtures as I can, to oil-rubbed bronze finishes, and have in mind to at least paint the white cabinets. BUT... one thing at a time!

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