Friday, April 30, 2010

Did you see?

I won!
Jennifer at The Old Painted Cottage had a giveaway. One of these 
    From here.

I'm so excited. The last thing I won was a videocassette (yeah, it was a LONG time ago) of the movie E.T.
 Creepy little guy, huh?

OK. On to other news items. 

Are you one of those people who are always finding killer deals at thrift stores? Yeah. Me, either. 
But I have, on rare occasions, really lucked out. A little while ago, I went into our local thrift store looking for one particular thing. I didn't find it. But I did find this.
I didn't even hesitate. I grabbed the tag and ran to the checkout counter. I didn't have to do much to this cabinet. I added some glaze to grunge it up a little and changed the knobs. My husband installed a shelf behind the center doors for the satellite box, DVD player and our dvr. We were really fixated on what to do with the doors so we could still change the channel on the TV. For about 10 minutes. And then our son pointed out that we could just open the doors while we watch TV.


What's the best thing you've ever found? 


Thursday, April 29, 2010


Susie at

Susie Harris

Has a great tutorial on how to make this type key wall art.

I decided to give it a whirl. 
I just used an old scrap of paneling to paint on.
(on which to paint? I'm sure that's more grammatically correct. But it sounds stuffy.)
Since it needs to be divided into squares and I knew I'd want to add a thin frame to it, I started out with a board that measure 32"x32". That way I could measure out 5" squares and still have 1" around the perimeter for the frame. I followed Susie's instructions almost to the letter, but instead of just drawing the circles and then painting them in, I found a can that was the right size, cut out both ends and used it almost as stencil. I held the can in place inside each square and stuck the paintbrush through the open end and painted in the circles. I used a smaller can for the highlights.

Then, after I was done with the letters and the highlights, I decided to accent the squares more. I used a brown colored pencil to outline each square, then I used a mixture of glaze and stain to grunge up the edges of the squares. I also added the little "pinholes" to each corner. 
(You can see the pinholes here, if you squint.)
My husband put the frame on it for me and I put the finish on the frame. It took a few different layers of paint and stain to get the color right.
(Do you see his helper?)
 Here's the finished project. 

If you decide to try this and you have a Cricut, I'd highly recommend using it. Just cut the letters out of sticky shelf liner, and apply them to the board before you paint in the circles. Then you can just peel them off. The numbers and letters were the hard part. I used the smallest brush I have, and made sure my arm and hand were supported while I was painting, but they still look a little shaky to me. 
 One last look. 

For complete instructions, visit Susie's blog. 

Light fixtures

When we moved into our house, every room had this light fixture. 
Yeah. Every room.
   Over time, I've found other better fixtures for different rooms in our house. With light fixtures, you can spend as much as you want. It's harder to spend as little as you want and still get what you want. I've bought several vintage light fixtures from different places. 
I found this light on E bay. I only paid about $40 for it. 
It hangs over our table in the dining area. It puts out a lot of light, and I'm considering installing a dimmer switch, just in case my husband and I ever have the opportunity for a romantic dinner at home. 
Just in case. 

I found this light for our bedroom,

 also on E bay. It was a cream color when I got it. I sprayed it white, and my dad rewired and installed it for me. I paid about $30 for it. 
It's one of my favorite parts of the room. Which I will show you. 
When I clean it. 

I found this next light at a ReStore.
It hangs in what used to be my second daughter's bedroom. (she picked the paint color on the wall. It's the prettiest gray.)
She's in college now, so it's a spare room. I only paid $5 for it. 
It needed new parts. Chandelier hickeys, to be exact. I found them online. So I really paid about $20 total.(Have you ever heard of a chandelier hickey before? I hadn't.)

I showed you this light
in another post. It was really inexpensive, too. I got it at It was $10 plus a little for shipping, and it was still in the original box. 

Sometime soon, I want new lights for my hallway. Something similar to these.

Aren't they about the cutest things you've ever seen?

Since I believe in shopping where you live, I have my eye on another light fixture for my youngest son's room. Here it is.

Do you see it? Do you love it?? I love it. It's an old enamel on metal yard light that we don't need anymore. It's at the very top of a very tall pole. There's a problem, though. I hate heights. HATE them. So I'm wondering how much persuasion it will take to get my husband up on a ladder that tall so he can take it down for me. I think it will take some rewiring, and I'll have to take a hacksaw to the pipe so I can have just a short length of it. But  it will look great in my son's room.I haven't told him yet that it's going there. I don't think there will be a problem, though.
             He likes industrial. 
He likes old things.
And he never says much about the changes I make here anyway. Although, he did say he liked the mirror I made. He said it reminded him of a hubcap.

I think he meant it as a compliment. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

interior shutters

A few years ago, we added on to our house. We ended up with a really large family room. It's on the north side of the house, but we put three windows and a pair of french doors in, so the room is usually flooded with light during the day. We don't have a lot of neighbors, so I wasn't too concerned with adding any curtains for privacy at first. There's one window that faces the road, and after awhile, I started feeling like I was sitting in a fully lit store window at night. I didn't want curtains. Mostly because I didn't want to sew them, but also because I wanted something with more personality. 
We had some tongue and groove paneling left over from our laundry room project, so I came up with a plan. Something that looked like barn doors. Something like this.
Only different.
I did very little actual measuring. I held up the planks to the window, and marked where I needed to cut them.
I glued the planks together,

Wiping off the excess as I went. I didn't clamp them together to dry. I just laid them flat and put paint cans all around the perimeter to keep the boards in place.
These are your best friend. I went through a lot of these while I was gluing.
I did have to measure the width of the window, deduct 1/2 inch, then divide that measurement in half. That's so I'd have two doors of equal width that would fit inside the window but still open and shut easily. For the length, I only deducted 1/4 of an inch of the total length. 
I used leftover strips of lattice for the trim detail. Here's how the shutters look on the window. 
(A word about the chair. I think it's ugly as sin. Way too modern looking. BUT~it's a massage chair. A very good massage chair. Function won over form in this case.)
I was surprised that they fit as well as they did, since my methods were kind of unorthodox and I just made this all up as I went. I painted the shutters with the same paint that we used on the window trim, and used plain  gate hinges. I spray painted those black for contrast. The handles were very cheap cabinet door handles, also black. I liked the shape, but have thought a few times since we put them on that I should have found some bigger ones.
The inside of the shutters is trimmed out a little more plainly. The tongue and groove is a little rougher on that side, too, but I didn't sand it. I like the roughness on that side.
It wasn't really a hard project, but I did have to give myself a pep talk before I used the saw. If you want a different look for your windows, I'd recommend giving some shutters a whirl. You could use sheets of bead board paneling if you didn't want to cut individual pieces of tongue and groove, and there are so many different looks you could go for, depending on where you place the trim on the door.
One more look.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Paint is my friend.

I love paint. I've painted almost every stick of furniture in this house. I even painted our range hood, because it was ugly. 
My sister in law gave me this.

She didn't have room for it anymore. It used to belong to my mother in law. When my husband and I were newlyweds, she gave it to us, because we had NO furniture. When we moved, I foolishly gave it back. I kicked myself over that for a long, long time, and was so happy when it became mine again.
I really like the rope detail on the top.

This little cabinet needed a facelift. 
I thought I'd paint the whole thing a nice cream color and then distress it a little, but part way through, I changed my mind. I just painted the inside, so that whatever I put in there would stand out. I like the two tone look. I have two end tables that will some day wear the same stain and paint.

 I also found out, through nothing but sheer laziness, that you don't have to sand or strip a piece of furniture in order to 
re stain it. I put a cherry stain right on top of the old finish and let it sit.

It took almost 3 weeks before it was totally dry, but the finish on it looks really pretty.

Of course, it would have looked even better if I had stripped and sanded it. But, can you imagine stripping the finish off that detail?
And I don't mind if older things show their age a little. They earned it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A petty annoyance

This is where we've been storing leftover shopping bags.
Those aren't in the way or anything. The don't look very sloppy, either, do they?
I decided to sew a bag holder. (I hate to sew. I'm not good at it. My mother did her best to teach me how to sew. She's an excellent seamstress. But it didn't take. I can do straight seams and that's about it. Sorry, Mama.)
I had this pillow ticking from an old feather pillow that I washed. It fell apart. But I liked the pattern on the ticking, so I kept it. 
I cut a square out of the ticking, about 1/4 of what I had. I ironed the ends under, and sewed a simple channel for the elastic to go in.
Then I threaded the elastic through both sides. I pinned a safety pin onto the end of the elastic to make it easier. Then I decided how tight I wanted the elastic to be, and sewed it in on both ends. 

Then I turned the whole thing inside out and sewed the last seam. I didn't have any matching ribbon to use as a loop, so I cut a strip of fabric, ironed the edges in, folded the whole thing in half and sewed it down length ways. Then I sewed it to the top. 
The shelf above my washer and dryer is actually an old door. The hinge end of the door faces out, so I just stuck a cup hook into one of the screw holes and hung the holder from that.
Now it's out of the way, and cute!

Disclaimer~I know we really should use our own bags. And if I ever find some that will hold up and don't cost a fortune, I will definitely do that. But I will need about 15 of them so I'll have some in my car, my husband's car, and my daughter's car, since they run errands for me. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Have a great weekend!

I'll see you Monday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Frugalicious mirror

For a long time, I wanted a mirror kind of like this one.

           The problem is, they're pretty expensive. 
One day, I while perusing the spray paint in our local hardware store (I do that. For me, it's a good time.)I spotted this~
Holy guacamole!! Are you kidding me?? A mirror in a can? It was six bucks, and it got the wheels in my brain spinning. I remembered I had this (sorry for the blurry photo. It's the only one I have.)
        It's one of those antique portrait frames with the convex glass. I inherited it. And it was kind of ugly. The glass is scratched on the front, and someone had painted the frame this awful gold color. 
I removed the glass and went to work. I really like the look of an old mirror that's losing it's silvering on the back, so I tried to replicate that look. I gave the mirror a few light coats of the looking glass paint, and then in selected spots, I blasted it with a heavier coat of paint and then blew on it. This is what I got. 
Do you see it? The rough spots? HAH! It worked!
I dry brushed the frame with a few coats of white, off white and gray, and hung it over our piano. 
I really like how it turned out. 
The total cost was about $6.00 for the paint. 

Thanks for reading!                

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Color change

My living room used to be this color. I loved it. It was a Martha Stewart color called "seedling". I think. But after 10 years, I was a little tired of the color. So we repainted.

I love the change. This color doesn't really have a name. I mixed it myself, and had it color matched at the paint store. This picture makes it look a little more blue than it actually is. It's a very soothing color. 
And for about $60, I get a whole new living room. :)

Thanks for reading.

Check this out!

is giving away one of these!
Hop on over and enter!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tin Ceilings


I love old tin ceilings. I grew up in a town that had most of its businesses on one street~Main Street. The buildings were old, and some of them had those beautiful old ceilings. I was fascinated with them as a kid. I doubt if most of those ceilings are intact, since most of the buildings have gone through multiple ownerships and renovations. The town was also flooded once, and some buildings were torn down.

I love it when we go to a new restaurant or store and they have a fabulous old ceiling. I prefer them painted white, but the one above is pretty, isn't it? 
 This one is absolutely gorgeous.

A few years ago, we remodeled our master bathroom. We thought about putting bead-board on the ceiling and painting it white. It would have been pretty. But my husband knew that stamped tin ceilings are one of the things that make my heart beat faster. When I threw that suggestion out there, not thinking it could really happen, he said "Can you still buy those? We should look."  That was all I needed. I found this company
and found a style I liked. Since we have slanted ceilings, I knew crown molding was probably not an option. And I realized that the dimensions were off a little and that we'd have to add filler panels at either end of the room. OK. Not a problem. 
My dad installed it for me. I helped. It was tricky, because the panels are slick. And, we had our arms above our heads for about 6 hours. But the end result?

To me, pure poetry. 

It was worth the expense. These panels are actually aluminum, and they came white. We used a chair rail in place of crown molding, and it looks fine. If I ever have the money, I want to do this in my laundry room. 

Thanks for reading!
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