Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Now I'll never erase it...

Because really, what could be better than that?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chalkboard Backsplash

My house came with a white-painted drywall backsplash, which I intended to cover with metal tin-ceiling style panels. Or tumbled marble. Or travertine tile. I might still do that eventually, but until my budget allows, I need to get the area painted. It's getting splattered up and the paint just wipes off when I try to clean it. So hey, why not chalkboard paint as a fun and inexpensive interim solution! If I get bored, I can always draw some tumbled marble on the wall with chalk.

I suppose my kitchen is pretty dark already with the cherry cabinets and black appliances, but it gets a ton of light from the sunroom and multiple can lights, so I decided to just go for it. And that is the beauty of being single - no one else's opinion counts, ha-ha. First I put on 2 coats of white primer. Here in these photos, you can really see the difference that made... NOT. But it covered the spaghetti sauce stains pretty well. ;)

Putting the black paint on was intimidating at first, but I quickly fell in love with it. It dried really fast and immediately it looked chalkboard-like (go figure!) I did have to wait 4 hours to recoat, but after the second coat it looked perfect. I decided to put on a third coat because... well, because I'm an insurance agent. We're cautious. It's what we do.

After it was dry, I had to wait 3 days before writing on it, which I think was the hardest part - I wanted to write on it right away! I painted it last weekend, then started playing with it on Thursday. My daughter Manda and I primed it by rubbing the side of the chalk over the whole thing and erasing it. What a dusty mess that was. She drew the blue sky and clouds on the left, and I've been channeling my inner school teacher in the middle. I kind of want to write out complicated nonsense algebraic formulas. Is that weird? Yeah? Good thing I erased those then.

Please pardon my rumpled tea towel. Professional stager, I am not. Linking up to Metamorphosis Monday at BNOTP. Have a nice week!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

New to Me Shelf

One of my friends is doing a bit of paring down in her house and asked me if I wanted this shelf that I had admired when I visited a while back. Uh...YES!

It's very dark green, so dark it appears to be black. I like the plate spindles.

I am not sure yet if this is where it's staying, but I sat it on top of this little black cabinet in my sunroom. It's just a little too big.

I love these plates too, so I'm happy to have an opportunity to display them.

I have a project to unveil on Monday and another one that is waiting for a special copycat linky party. Here is a peek at it - can you guess who I'm copying?
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Up to Something... or some things

No, I haven't posted in a few days, but I've been working on something... something that requires a little bit more time.

And I started working on something else too. Something experimental for me but potentially pretty cool. We'll have to see if it all comes out in the wash.

Hope you are having a good week!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Merry Christmas to Me

For the past few months I worked a second job at a local nursery/gift shop, which gave me a little extra Christmas cash. The owners gave all the employees a gift certificate for Christmas, and here is something I treated myself to from the shop:

It's a potpourri jar. Now I just need some potpourri!

Computer Cabinet Makeover

This is a utilitarian makeover. Going from a PC to a laptop left me with a dilemma. What to do with this computer cabinet? It didn't take long for me to figure out what it's destiny might be.

Did you guess what it is yet?

Need another hint?

I just added a few new accessories.... or rather, old ones.

Some older than others.

And here it is, with a whole new lease on life. I think it makes a perfect sewing cabinet!

That was fun, and I didn't even have to clean out a paintbrush afterward. Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mr. Lonely

My abandoned little computer cabinet, not even 2 years old and already obsolete, since I got a laptop for Christmas. He looks kinda lonely, doesn't he?

It's funny, because I wanted one of these for YEARS and just made do with a cheapie plywood student desk. I finally buy one, actually had it made for me and everything, and now I don't need it. What to do with it now? I had an epiphany this morning, and so I took a half day off work and came home to get started working on it. Plus I was having an aggravating day and my can of soup wasn't really calling my name at lunchtime... but I digress. I will be back with the reveal soon. Have a nice day and thanks for dropping by!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The Little Kale that Could

I got a flowering kale plant in late September, squeezed it into a basket that was about an inch too small and set it outside with my pumpkins on top of a hay bale by the front door. From then on, I basically ignored its needs. It didn't seem to mind too much when I forgot to water it for days on end while it baked in its little basket of dirt. The weekend after Thanksgiving I finally threw out the hay bale and pumpkins, and the little kale plant was still looking like new. Unwilling to throw it out, I dug a hole not quite deep enough in the very hard dirt by the gas meter and plopped it in there. It's had a few inches of snow on it, and it's endured temperatures in the teens for days on end, and look at it:

I'm beginning to suspect it's plastic. Just kidding, it's very real and I sure got my $3 worth out of it! Happy Outdoor Wednesday!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Easy-Peasy Envelope Pillow Covers

A couple days before Christmas I whipped up some pillow covers in a seasonally appropriate color scheme. I pulled this fabric from my stash bin in my mom's craft shed while I was visiting a few weeks earlier. Most of my stash came from a lady who used to work with me, who needed to downsize her fabric collection in order to move to a smaller apartment. Yep, that is when you know you have too much fabric. I made each of these in just a couple minutes out of a single piece of fabric with just 2 seams per pillow. They look like I didn't bother to iron them but actually I had to pull them out from under my daughter's butt to take the photos. (Ok, I didn't iron them, but why bother when your kids are just going to sit on them anyway?) Here is the back, which is the envelope part:

Here is what it looks like inside out. I pulled the middle apart to show how it overlaps. Basically all you do is cut a piece of fabric an inch wider than your original pillow sham and about 3 times as long. Then you fold one end toward the middle and back on itself a few inches, then fold the other side toward the middle until the length is an inch more than the original sham, then fold it back on itself a few inches. The middle part should overlap the first folded back part by a few inches. Once you have it folded properly, pin it and run a seam across the top and the bottom.

Turn it inside out, poke all the corners out and stuff the pillow form back in through the envelope. Easy!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Making a Tulle Bedskirt

When my daughter got married six months ago and used extreme amounts of white tulle to drape the backdrop and receiving tent, I started thinking about what to do with it afterward, and immediately decided to make a girly bedskirt out of it. My daughter was more than happy to give it to me since girly is not her style (and certainly not her new husband's.)

Last night I got it into my head to tackle the project. First I found an old bedsheet and measured the boxspring for size. I marked the sheet where the ruffle would need to be attached.

Then I pulled out the miles of crumpled tulle and started wondering how to turn it into ruffles... so here is my BEFORE photo.

I decided I'd need to start by giving it a light iron, which didn't take as long as you might think because I didn't really need to be thorough at all. I did have to pick out assorted dead bugs, since the wedding was outdoors on a hot June day. Bugs really seem to like getting tangled in tulle.

As it came off the ironing board, I wrapped it around a pillow to help keep it flat. Next, I hand-gathered the ruffle using a strong quilting thread. Again, it didn't take as long as you might think. I just ran a quick needle through it about 10 inches down from the fold, which gave me 4 layers in 2 lengths. **EDITED TO EXPLAIN: I had the tulle folded in half , then folded again from the middle fold toward the edge about 10 inches. making the ruffle 4 layers total, 2 short over 2 long layers.** I then attached it to the sheet using my machine, but about 2 feet into the process I realized I was getting off track. Getting off track is not good:

After learning that lesson, I drew a nice dark line where I needed to attach the ruffle, and I stuck to that. The results were much better. I got about half way around with my first long piece of tulle:

More gathering, more sewing:

I mitered the corners of the sheet underneath to give it a nice fit:

And viola! It's done. This did take me several hours to do, but it was not complicated, I just had to be careful because of the sheer volume of the fabric I was handling. I love it!

I'm linking up to Susan's Met Monday party, be sure to visit everyone linking up there:

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year!

I'm back! After a long hiatus without a PC, my kids got me a laptop for Christmas so I can download photos again, and return to blogging - yipee!

It's a New Year, and that means it's time to tear down Christmas and shove it in the garage for another 11 months. I took a few photos this morning before commencing the task of un-decking. This is my sunroom garland.

The little sunroom tree in a nail barrel:

Sunroom china cabinet - this is displaying my cheapie K-mart Christmas china that I bought 15 or 20 years ago for about $25 for the 8 five-piece place settings. It has a simple holly design that has never gone out of style. My paperwhites are starting to topple.

I had visions of filling these glass containers with colorful sweets, but I only got the small ones filled. Good thing, too, since everyone is going on a diet today and I have to just get rid of this stuff anyway.

Below is one of a couple of new things that I got this year. I worked a seasonal part-time second job in a local nursery/gift shop and they carry great Christmas stuff. I love these LED branches, and I got them at a 40% discount before Christmas. I stuck them in a watering can with some fake greens and berries.

The dining room has the same theme of brown and metallics as last year, I just moved things around a bit for some variety.

Here is a cozy corner in my country living room. I got my bear collection out just for Christmas. I think I may do that every year. My mom gave me the big Longaberger basket this year - it looks great with my blankets piled in it.

Shelf over the sofa:

Now to get to work taking it down... Happy New Year!
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