Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Goodbye..and Hello!

Well, it is farewell to Blogspot for me. I haven't posted recently because I got a message from them saying that I had reached my limit with photos. I just can't blog without adding photos: just think how boring my posts would be without them!

I've spent two weeks looking around for a new blogging site, and I (we) finally settled on WordPress. My requirements were: easy to use, lots of photos allowed, and FREE! I don't want to have to pay to blog, especially since I don't earn a penny with my writing. As for easy to use: we will see. So far, I'm very frustrated with WordPress, but I will cut them some slack while I learn my way around. 

I just wish this hadn't happened at this time of year (who has time to learn a new blog format in December?)

Come visit my new, very rough blog at WordPress.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Little Projects

 This photo has nothing to do with the post; I just like it

Last week, I had a newly-painted white lamp and I didn't really like it. So I (no surprise) painted it again. I tried Rustoleum paint and primer in one again, this time in the metallic oil rubbed bronze. It's more bronze-y than the Krylon oil rubbed bronze that I've used so often, but I like it a lot. I think I might even like it better than the Krylon variety. 

Now I have two matching lamps in the family room. I still need to replace the lampshades.

Other little projects I've been working on:

An old framed magnetic white board I purchased at a garage sale years ago, sprayed with chalkboard paint, and now a magnetic menu board! I stood it in a scrolly plate stand on the kitchen counter.

Greta drew the Thanksgiving message on another chalkboard I painted recently. The frame has been empty for months; I asked the (wo)man in orange at Home Depot to cut a piece of masonite to fit my frame. I sanded it, primed it, and sprayed it with chalkboard paint. Greta volunteered to keep my messages seasonally updated. Isn't that nice of her?

 The white-green-yellow pillow is also new. I found the fabric at Fabric and Fringe Warehouse and stitched it up to fit my favorite Ikea pillow insert. I like to rotate my sofa pillow covers and this one gives me more variety.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Making Table Centerpieces

The woman's Christmas Brunch at church is coming up and I was asked to create centerpieces for the event. Pinterest wins again: I found cone trees and I thought they would be easy and inexpensive to make. Heather, Joyce, and I got together one day a couple of weeks ago and started brainstorming ideas.

I started with a stack of lime green upholstery fabric scraps I had in my stash. I had no plans to use them for my home decor projects, so they could become trees. Shopping at Hob Lob, we decided on the color scheme of lime, turquoise, and bright pink. Each table will have three trees, one each of small, medium, and large. 

It was fun choosing coordinating fabrics and brainstorming trimming ideas. They had to be inexpensive, but otherwise, any idea was a possibility.

Then we spent three long days cutting, gluing...


 and trimming 36 poster board trees.

I'll post an update after the event in December.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Rustoleum Paint and Primer in One

I've been reading rave reviews by bloggers for the spray paint made by Rustoleum, called Universal Advanced Formula Satin Paint & Primer In One. Because I had several projects in mind, I bought a can of white at Home Depot today.

Project #1: change my three-decades-old antique brass table lamps from aging brass to...something. White? Black? Oil Rubbed Bronze? I couldn't decide, so I figured white could easily be painted over, and besides, I wanted white for another project. 

One old brass lamp. They were never that shiny brass, and they look even more aged now than they did way back when we bought them. Easy, easy spraying project: no primer, no sanding, just wrap up the electricals and spray away. 

One new white lamp. Well. I'm not so sure I like it white. I'm thinking oil rubbed bronze is more my style, and I think we need more contrast against the pale lemon walls. So I may go black (Rustoleum) or oil rubbed bronze (Krylon). Please excuse the shade. I'm very tired of these granny shades. I want drum shades but I can't find white or light ones when I have the $$$. 

Project #2: Old cork bulletin board to new, refreshed bulletin board Job-Tracking System above the Professor's desk. We hope and expect the jobs will be visible now and therefore actually get done before two years go by. Sorry, I was so overly enthusiastic to begin painting the old cork that I forgot to take a "before" shot. As you can see, it's just a standard, Walmart variety, wood-framed cork board.

So, how did I like the paint? 

At first I wasn't impressed. I couldn't figure out how to make it spray (Duh. Slide the little red band UP and off the nozzle. Up arrows mean UP, not down.) Then it spit globules amongst the spray. But, miraculously, the globs all evened out and it looks smooth and perfect. After two projects, I can say that I really like-like-like this paint. I'm sad that it's nearly twice as much as my old Krylon from Walmart, but sometimes I will want to splurge on this paint with primer.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Queen of Hearts

The old Queen of Hearts antique mall on Canton highway closed a few months ago, and they just renovated and moved into a new space on Sandy Plains Road. They opened to the public today, and I was there before 10:00 this morning. I snapped a few shots of their new interior - it is very nice, an improvement over their old location. Most of the vendors seem to be taking greater care in their arrangements, using updated ideas and more eye-catching vignettes. 

This bright yellow display is in the front window. It sure is eye-catching!

Also near the front, I spied this glassless arched window up on a high ledge. I didn't see a price on it, and it is up too high to reach. It would be so cute over a mantel. My mantel. 

A gorgeous shade of turquoise, painted on a little cabinet. Nice for a night stand, don't you think?

I love dried hydrangeas, and this booth was full of them. They have retained their color so well. Mine never look that vibrant once they are dry. The bundles were $10 each; I didn't check the prices on the wreaths.

Beautiful china teacups - only $12.50 each! It was sooo tempting...

The thin silver trees caught my eye in this booth. Not that I really need any. They are $12 each; not bad.

Vintage picnics! Love! Especially in a vignette of red. Isn't it charming?

This elegant dining set caught my eye too. Beautifully shaped chairs, and the china and crystal are lovely too. I could do without the plastic though, lol. I didn't check prices here.

Note to self: I could so make this. Just roll pages outward, and they stay right there. Use an old hardback book.

More chalk paint, I think. This little cabinet is in gray, and the decorative carvings add so much to the charm of it. I could see this next to a sofa or next to the bed. Priced at $105.

Vintage Paris. Of course I love it! (We lived there.) Paris in black and white is even better! The pillows look stenciled, which is simple to do.

For the blue and white fans in the family, a whole cabinet of it. Lots to choose from here. I saw a cup and saucer priced at $14 or $15.

Rustic and vintage in the garden. I liked how well the theme carried through this display.

I have seen trays like this on Pinterest - this one is very nice. Old rulers and yardsticks cut to fit the bottom of this basket. The tag said $10 - not bad.

One of my favorite pieces today was this painted desk and stool - green with hand-painted florals. Just beautiful! This one is priced at $249.

Love the paint on this table. Cream and light green, it looks like chalk paint, on an old farm table. It would certainly fit well in my house, but I do love my own dark-stained and white farm table. I didn't see a price tag on this table.

Back near the front is a whole booth of Annie Sloan chalk paint. This is the first time I have seen Annie Sloan for sale in person. I may just have to try some now that it's so convenient here.

So there is a brief glimpse of the new store. Stop in if you have a chance. I will definitely be back often, especially since I live so close (I could walk).

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Skeleton Leaves

 Greta and I played around with another Pinterest idea: turning leaves into skeletons. No, I don't mean that they become the shape of a human skeleton. Instead, they lose the fleshy part of the leaf and all that remains is the skeleton of the leaf

It was fun to try it out, but I'm not sure it is worth it to me to go to all the work it takes to skeleton-ize them. 

The Pinterest pin was only in Japanese and photos so we had no instructions to read. But here's what we guessed we were supposed to do: we put about one cup of washing soda (buy it in the laundry aisle) in a big pot, added a lot of water, and brought it to a boil. Then we tossed in leaves: dry, crisp ones; dry but not crisp ones; and even some green ones. We boiled and boiled them, two hours maybe?, until I decided that they would not come out of the pot with all the fleshy parts boiled away. 

By this time, the fresh green leaves had turned to mush - something like overcooked spinach. Well, that was a fail. Maybe they should have come out of the pot after 10 or 15 minutes.

I started taking leaves out one at a time, and laid them on a thick layer of paper towel. With an old toothbrush, I scrubbed on the backside of each leaf, up the center vein, and out each side vein. Eventually, I could see the fine veins appear. But it sure took a lot of scrubbing. And lots of holes appeared where, I assume, I scrubbed too hard.

I never got my leaves as "clean" as the Japanese photos showed, but maybe it was because I was using a different leaf variety. After they air-dried, I ironed the skeletons flat between sheets of waxed paper.
This isn't a project that I plan to do again, unless someone can suggest a fabulous use for skeleton-ized leaves.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pinterest Craft Day #13

"Leaf Art" was the theme today for our Pinterest Craft Day.

Greta made a cute little banner by pounding fresh leaves onto muslin triangles.
Here she has finished pounding the leaves, but she has not picked the moist leaf pieces off the muslin yet.

Here is a finished muslin triangle...

...and her leaf banner.

Kathy and Adie made marbled leaves using shaving cream and acrylic paint.
After cutting leaf shapes out of cardstock, they covered the bottom of a plastic container with shaving cream. Next they swirled in several layers of acrylic paint, and marbleized it with a skewer. They poked the leaves into the mess, pulled them up, and let them sit to soak in for a few minutes before using a squeegee to wipe off the excess paint and shaving cream.

 Marbleized and drying.

 Leaves used in a banner.

Heather didn't do a leaf project; she worked on her project from last session. She is continuing work on her stenciled canvas with old keys.

She cut key shapes from paper and laid them on a bronzy painted canvas. Then she began spray painting over the whole thing. She has many more layers of blue spray paint to do before she peels off the paper keys to reveal her bronze keys under the blue paint.