Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Leaving well enough alone... Nah-

A few weeks back I did "A lamp Post" where I upcycled 2 old lamps from Goodwill.  Well, as my title of this post states, I am really not good at.... leaving well enough alone!  Though the lamps turned out fine, something about them just kept begging for a little more love.

First, I guess I should explain that while some women have shoe fetishes, I have furniture fetishes...  sadly however, not just one: lamps, tables, curtains too.  Who am I kidding I love it all.  But, I do notice myself loitering around the lamps, tables, and curtain isles most often.  As has been the case in the weeks following my "Lamp Post."  I kept noticing great lamps, everywhere I looked more great lamps.  So, what was it?  What was I noticing?  Then I realized I was being drawn to their great color or patina.  I also noticed, not one of them was just plain black.  Why then, would I settle for a pair of plain black lamps?

Time to paint!  And time to recap...

You may remember the pair in their original state.
Then the painting began.
I even got your opinions on which shade I should choose.  By the way- I choose the Ross shade (which won by popular vote as well. )

I thought I was done... until I remembered "It is just paint, and time."  Which translates in my mind to "Time to play..."




I thought I might try green, but it was too army like.

I do love this color.  But, it is too solid.  


I took some steel wool and buffed and scuffed the edges; added some extra distressing.
AAhhhh...  Just right!


Here is a close up of the detail.  I love what the layers of color did for he lamps.



 
 

More detail.
 
At home in my room.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

DIY Starburst/Sunburst mirror



I have been wanting a starburst/sunburst mirror, or better yet, a pair of starburst/sunburst mirrors for my entry.  I have looked and looked but to no avail.  Actually that is not entirely true, a few months ago I found a great pair at Ross.  But, they were $24.99 a piece... and I hardly ever spend that much on anything.  So, I passed.  Now, months later I wish I hadn't.  Oh well.  So, I decided to give it a shot at making my own.  

My supplies:  Scrap 1x2's  from our pergola restoration, 2 mirrors from Dollar Tree, I also had some Gorilla Glue and my hatchet.
Here you can see the wood after I took my hatchet and made smaller thinner strips.  
I practiced with the layout, but then I figured I just better get to gluing.
I added all sizes and widths.
Unfortunately, when I flipped them over I noticed as the glue dried it seeped through to the sides.   If you have ever used Polyurethane glue you know that is expands and foams up.  This was good to adhere the wood, but bad because it is almost impossible to get off. 
NOTE:  What I learned from this project is-  I wish I would have used a margarine or some kind of plastic lid to glue the wood strips to, and then glued the mirror to the starburst.  This would have kept the glue expansion problem to the plastic and not the wood.
Here I am scraping the wood, trying to remove the poly-glue from the edges and the mirror.
Acetone based finger nail polish remover softens the poly-glue making it a little easier to remove.  Here I am using a paint brush to apply the Acetone.  
Hours later after I sufficiently scraped the glue from the edges I put them up... "Eh".  Sadly, "Eh", was my reaction after all those hours of work.  I just don't like how the star/sunburst looks near my round clock.  Too many round things...
The pair.
An up close shot.  I actually like how they turned out.  But, I don't like how they turned out for the space I intended.  Perhaps in another room I may like them better.  I am sure they will travel around before finding their final resting spot.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Working on it... Part 2: Finished

 A few days back I mentioned that I was working on something and gave you a few photo hints as to what it was.  Well,  I finished.


Let's start with some before photos:
I found a pair of sconces at Goodwill.  For $4.50 ea. and saw a lot of potential.
A can of leftover spray paint began to work its magic.
I even painted the cords black.  I wasn't sure how that would go, but turned out fine and is much better than the yellow-gold cords they came with.
I liked the detail of the key switch.
Also, you can tell I needed to apply a few coats of paint.  Here the gold still shows through.
AFTER:
Our guest room with my new thrifted sconces.
$4.50 ea. + $6.98 for ea shade.  =
roughly $11.50 ea.
PB sconces:  $139.00 ea.
My thrifted sconce close up.
PB sconce close up.

Now, I know my room and my sconces don't actually hold a candle to the PB versions... but, for hundreds, perhaps thousands of dollars less (for the entire room)... I think I can settle!




Let the gardening begin

This year I am going to tackle a garden (again).  We will see how it goes. The last time I attempted this my garden grew GREAT!  Then, the day I went to harvest a large portion of it, I came outside to find squirrels decimating my garden!  The mowed the whole thing down in one morning.  Needless to say, this was a little frustrating and disappointing.  It has taken me some time to recover, but I think I am ready.  So, here we go...

Last summer I built these raised beds from some scrap wood.  But, that was where I stopped.  I spent the next several months evaluating the best location for them.  Our yard does get some good sun but it also gets good shade.  Honestly, the only ideal spot for the garden is smack dab in the middle of where the pool is.  Since that isn't happening, this spot became our second best option.

Fast forward to this past weekend.  Here I am finally removing the grass from the beds.

One down.

One to go...

Here they are almost finished.

Last year my mom also helped me to build a compost bin.  This wheel barrel is me reaping the rewards of the compost bin.  It is full of my very own, fully organic compost.  YEA!!!

I tilled in the compost to bulk up the beds and to add a little kick to the soil.  I even bought 2 German Johnson tomato plants.  But, I have more to do.  I am going to build some trellis's and obviously buy more plants and some seeds.  I will take photos periodically and let you know how it goes.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Working on it...

I haven't posted anything in a few days... sorry.  It has been a little busy around here.  I had to go out of town last week and have been playing catch up ever since.  No biggie... just takes me a little while to balance all my jobs: wife, mother, friend, neighbor, blogger, DIY'er...  But, I have been working on something.  Here is a little hint:

Can you find them???

Does this help?

Well here it is... or they are. 
Although, in true DIY fashion I did NOT buy them at Pottery Barn as the above 3 pictures would indicate.  No, my project has been making knock off sconces ala' upcycled- under $20- Jaime style.  You are just going to have to wait though, they aren't quite ready.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Waking up some tired, old nightstands.

I found these old nightstands at a garage sale recently.  They were in kind of rough shape.  But with a little TLC they shaped up quite nicely.

BEFORE:
I am all for the vintage, aged look... but this was a little more than I like.

This one looked like it had been gnawed on by something.
So, I scraped off the rough edges and then sanded them also.  Not heavily, just where it was needed.  Then I primed them with some spray primer.


You can see I didn't go to too much trouble to conceal the chipping paint.  This was an experiment for me.  I have never left big chips like this, but I was curious to see what would happen if I did.

I then started to paint.  I dry brushed them with some zero VOC paint.  I know, a little silly since I did use spray paint to prime them.

The one onthe right has a little additional distressing, the one on the left had just gotten done being painted and had yet to be distressed.  It is a subtle difference, but one that I like.

Here you can see the comparison up close.

As a final touch I lined the drawers with vintage sheet music.


And fini...




AFTER:  I love the coast-y, cottage-y feel.
 
Here is the cost breakdown:
Nightstands: $15.00 for the pair
Primer:  $2.00
Paint:  Free (leftovers)
Total:  $17.00
Time:  1 day