Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Fast Before And After

I love this room. But there are two things I don't love about it. I'll show you one of them.
That vent cover. 
That's the intake vent for our furnace, and it sits right above the garbage can. 
I just think it's an eyesore.
So last night, we changed it. And I do mean "we". (because "we" means he did it, and I came up with the idea. Whereas "I" means I did all of it. See how that works?)
I'd planned on doing it myself, but my husband jumped in and finished it in the time it took me to cook supper. No complaints here!
I just finished painting the frame, which is just plain old lattice. 
The sheet metal is from Lowe's, and it was less than $20. I spray painted it gloss white so it would be easy to wipe clean. 
Lattice is about .50 a linear foot and it's easy to work with. Just straight cuts. So it was a cheap and easy project, and I still have some sheet metal and lattice left over. 

 I don't care that the floor is just painted plywood. But the vent bothered me every time I went in that room. I found this on Pinterest.


                       

Maybe that's why it bothered me. 

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chocolate Candy Cane Cookies

This one is another definite contender for the Christmas treat lineup. 
(My daughter brought the recipe home last year when she came home for Christmas and we made them. They were gone in less than 15 minutes. So you might want to double the batch.)
Cookies
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. 
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature. (I used salted. They turned out fine)
1 large egg

Filling
1 cup plus 2 tablespoon powdered sugar (I thought the filling was too thin, so I used a little more)
3/4 cup butter
3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract
2 or 3 drops of red food coloring

You will also need some crushed candy canes. I bought two bags of peppermint candies but only used one bag for a double batch.

Preparation for cookies
Whisk the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl, beat the sugar and butter together. Beat in the egg, then add the dry ingredients and beat until blended. Chill the dough for at least an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease cookies sheets. Scoop out a small amount of the dough and roll into a ball about the size of a large marble. Space the balls about 2 inches apart. Flatten the balls using the bottom of a glass or your hand until they're about 2 inches in diameter. (I used my hand. The dough kept sticking to the bottom of the glass.) Bake the cookies about 11 minutes. The tops should still look a little wet, and if you touch them, you'll get a small indentation. If you over bake these things, you end up with hockey pucks. Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes, then transfer them to a rack. Let them cool completely. 

Preparation for filling
Beat the powdered sugar and the butter together. Add the extract and the food coloring. Blend well. 
Using a generous amount of filling, spread on the flat side of a cookie. Put another cookie on top, and squish a little filling out the sides. Roll the edges in the crushed candy canes. (If the cookies are even the slightest bit warm, you'll have a huge mess. So don't do that.) 

These will store in an airtight container at room temperature for about three days, and in the freezer for up to two weeks. 
Your neighbors will love you!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I Think I Can Blame It All On My Mom

My mom gave me this book about 12 years ago.  All I had to do was look at the cover and I knew I'd love it. And I did.
This was the first time I'd really been exposed to the idea of repurposing old things and (proudly) using them in my home. I loved all the ideas in the book, and started looking for more inspiration. 
(This was WAY before blogs. Practically the paleolithic era.)

Flea Market Make-overs - 25 Projects For Fabulous Home Furnishings
She has another book that I just ordered from Amazon. I can't wait to get it!

Then I found HGTV, and more importantly, Kitty.
I love that slogan.


For a mom with a lot of young kids and a small budget, it was just what I needed to hear. I loved how she'd always mix in a few old things in all her rooms, and she inspired me to do the same.
Then a few years ago, a friend lent me this book.
Junk Beautiful
Oh, hello! 
I LOVED this book! I had to buy my own. I looked online once to see if there were more books, and I found this.

                     JUNKMARKETStyle

Have you ever been there? It's a blast! This website is the whole reason I have a blog. You can post projects on there, and you don't have to have a blog to participate. 
I posted a few projects, 
and I got actual comments
I was hooked. 
I had to have a blog of my own.
So imagine how excited I was when Sue Whitney herself emailed me and asked if I'd be a regular contributor! 
Well. Let me think.
  
HECK YES!

Hop on over there and see what JUNKMARKETStyle is all about!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011



Here's hoping your Thanksgiving will be more like this


And less like this.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving, and for all of you who don't live in the U.S., have a fantastic week! 
I'll be back Monday. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tripod Lamps

Remember the tripods I found? My husband did some research and found out that they were used by the British Military in WW1!
Cool!
I knew as soon as I saw them what I wanted to do with them. Make lamps. I like tripod lamps, especially if they have some old wood and brass on them.
Royal Marine Tripod Floor Lamp
$1175. I kid you not. An overpowering price to match the somewhat overpowering size.
15
Photographers Tripod Floor Lamp
$299.00
Still too much. Plus, it's not exactly what I wanted.
Walnut Tripod Floor Lamp
$219.91
Closer, but still. That's a lot of money. And if you buy two? No.
So. The first step. Take off that little metal bar and wash the filthy straps.
The straps don't come of. Not easily, anyway. 
So, you know. Improvise. Wash, rinse repeat. Let dry.
I wasted a ton of time trying to epoxy a part on the top. Then my husband told me about tap and die drivers. They make threaded holes! What?! How could I have lived this long and not known about these? 
Make the right size hole and that part will just screw right in the top.
 (Yeah, I know. It's called a nipple. 
I'm guessing a man named it.)
Then it's just a matter of following the directions on the back of the lamp kit. Which you can get at Walmart for less than $8. Mine were bright brass, so I used some rub-n-buff on them. I mixed Autumn gold, silver and black together and got an aged metal look.
I didn't want the cord hanging straight down in the middle from the top, so I used these tacks
And just tacked the cord to one of the legs in three spots. 
And here we go!
A tripod lamp!
Which will go 
here. It's just the right height for a reading lamp.
My husband keeps asking where the other one will go. I realized today that he might be asking (repeatedly) because he'd like one in his office. 
A tripod lamp would look good in there. 
As soon as I finish the other one, he can pick which one he wants. 

This was an easy project, once I got the right tools. With all the supplies, plus the cost of the tripod and the lampshade, I spent $30 on each lamp. 
Not too shabby!

Thanks for reading!
My Repurposed Life

Monday, November 21, 2011

Make It Merry!

 I go very simple for my Christmas decor. I don't break my back or my bank account. To me, simple is prettier anyway. 
I got this old tool caddy from the 
last all time best estate sale I went to. The lighting was so bad, and the box was too dirty for me to tell that it was made out of plywood until I got it home and cleaned it up. 
(It was a disappointment. But hey, sometimes life gives you solid wood, sometimes life gives you plywood. You just have to roll with it.)
It will work for outside.
I just added some (pilfered) pine boughs
 (No one will miss them. I promise. I did not get them from anyone's yard) some birds nests and some red (faux) berries. 
You know what? I like it. It works for me. 
 
I'm decorating way earlier than I ever do. But the tree won't go up until the 25th. I don't want to step on Thanksgiving's toes.
It cost me $4 for the toolbox. The rest was free or I already had it. 


In other news,
I'm participating in the Make it Merry project this year. 14 bloggers have signed up and I hope you'll join us all! We start the day after Thanksgiving! 


Nifty Thrifty Things home sweet homemade Project Possessed
Blue Velvet ChairThanks for reading!
homework
Meridian Road
Modern Country Style
Truly Lovely
Jill Ruth & Co.
Rustique Art
hello lovely inc.
Decor to Adore
Inspire Me Heather
Ladybird Ln
Image Map

Friday, November 18, 2011

Repost~Interior Shutters

This is a repost from April 2010. One of my first posts. Some people asked why they'd never seen the shutters before when I posted this picture.  


so I thought I'd run it again.




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!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How Has Your Week Been?

Mine has been off.
It started out off. 
There was a funeral. A very sad funeral.
Then we came home to some unpleasantness. The bathtub should NOT drain into (and then out of) the toilet. I'm pretty sure.
(Yup. That's our septic tank being pumped. It's amazing how something like the inability to do laundry or even flush a toilet can put a real crimp in your life.)
And then every single project I started has hit a snag. The lamp kits I ordered did NOT have all the necessary parts. 
I didn't have the lumber I thought I did to make a frame for this project. The banner I started didn't work out at all.
So, in a fit of annoyance 
("I am NOT going to the hardware store one more time! I'm NOT!" I think I even stamped my foot. Oh, I was in rare form. My other voice kept saying "Oh, grow up!" and then my spoiled annoyed voice told her to shut up. I had to send them to separate corners, it was such a brouhaha in my head.)
I started a new project, and now I'm freaking out about the color. I always do. But I'm still bummed. I was so sure I'd instantly love this color. It's a super soft gray/blue. But so far, it just looks white. 
But I'm tired of the green, so I'll keep going and reserve judgement until I'm finished.

How has your week been?

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