Sunday, July 24, 2011

Landfill decorating

A while ago I found two solid wood boards on the curb. Dark and scuffed-up wood. Looked like they were table leaves in a past life. So I had to come up with a plan on how to use them.

With a pair of scrolly brackets from Hobby Lobby (half off mind you) I turned one of the boards into an over-door shelf in the bathroom.

Maybe not the best decorating I've ever done. But it adds some coziness to this slightly cold-feeling room, it helps fill that empty overhead space and gives me another surface to accessorize :) I wasn't sure about it at first but I think it gets to stay now, quirky though it may be. Before.

I messed around with the styling for a bit.

Before I settled on the final configuration.

That pink vase started out like this (a thrift store find).

And with some help from craft paint swirled around inside the vase...

...I now have a vase that matches the hot pink fake flowers in there! The color is called Cranberry.

The second board I decided to use in the bedroom. A pass-through area near the foot of our bed that kept collecting clutter needed a functional console/vanity instead.

Using the broken pedestal (another curbside find) as the support (it's missing one of it's feet)...

...I placed my board on top, securing with screws to the pedestal and brackets to the wall. It won't hold to sit on but is quite sturdy as a console/vanity and with it's slim footprint doesn't get in the way of passersby.

Some styling with items from other areas of our home left me with a cute (albeit quirky) and functional vanity.

With a hint of the exotic, of course :)

What do you guys think - does it look too much like landfill? I kinda like it. At least it's not mainstream, right? :)

And my usual disclaimer - the walls in here are going to be a light gray/purple eventually. Just FYI :) Wouldn't want you guys to think I like white walls or anything :)

Ps. Linking up with
Someday Crafts
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Fail to ethnic chic in 2 hours

Presenting exhibit A.
It's only mirror number, oh? Four, that I'm placing in our bathroom. Because it's very normal to have 4 mirrors in a bathroom not much bigger than a postage stamp, right? :) It just proves my slight obsession with mirrors that I think I've mentioned a time or two before. And it wasn't supposed to look like this either, this is plan B (I must say I think plan B looks a lot better than plan A would have turned out had I not messed it up). But here's how it all started.

A while ago I won a little gift card to Pier 1 in a giveaway. Trying to make the most of my money I picked up a lot of discounted and nicked items. This mirror was really supposed to be a candle garden but for $17 (discounted) and a good size I thought I could turn it into a killer mirror. It's been hanging around the house collecting dust for a while and yesterday I decided to finally transform it into the spectacular sunburst mirror I knew it wanted to be.

Ok. So here is where things turned a little sour.

I was supposed to be cutting the sunburst out of mirror. And I didn't know that I apparently have no mirror cutting skills!

I've tried it a few times before and just because I ended up with piles of broken mirrored glass then doesn't mean I can't improve, right? I'm handy, I'll learn. Well, I improved some. I got four sunbursts out of two 99 cents only mirrors which is a little better than my past attempts. But if I hadn't messed it up so miserably those two mirrors should have yielded about 20 sunbursts. The discarded pile above is only about half of the finished size.

So I added yet another pile of shattered mirror to my collection in the garage and gave up on the sunbursts. They are really overdone anyway, I told myself. But I still like them.

I didn't have a plan B ready at the time. Then I stumbled upon a pile of brass cups in my craft room that were left over from my brass deer statue who used to be a candle holder. The little brass cups used to hold candles on top of his antlers. I started playing around with them on the mirror.

This is what they look like inside, and you can also see the original finish of the mirror frame here.  I actually liked the look of the frame, but the color wouldn't really work in the bathroom. So I figured I'd solve that with some puffy paint. 

I glued down the brass cups around the frame, trying to space them evenly (I used E6000 for this step). And then I used a bottle of Tulip metallic gold puffy paint I had on hand and put lots and lots of tiny puff dots all over the mirror frame.

I thought it would take forever but I got the hang of things pretty quickly and I also wasn't too particular about the spacing and size of the dots. It was finished in 2 hours and I didn't even use all of the bottle up. I let it dry flat overnight and then today it was ready to hang. Oh, I forgot that I also put two screws and some wire on the backside to hold it up, I did this before I started the decorating.

By the way, this is what that wall looked like before the mirror went up. I was never very happy with that feather thing, it didn't quite turn out the way I hoped (it'll go to live in our bedroom now, behind the door).

And here are some more after pictures (more pics of the bathroom can be found here and here).

 I love love love the glamorous ethnic vibe it gives off and it serves no practical purpose whatsoever other than being pretty. That vase is a thrift store find and the flowers are surprisingly good-looking Dollar tree fakes.

 It actually looks like it's beaded with lots of tiny gold beads, with a hint of red shining through.

This last pic shows the area I did first, when I thought I didn't want any of the red to show. I realized that I liked the red shining through so the rest of the mirror has dots spaced further apart. You can see that it's all very irregular and handmade looking which adds to the ethnic look I love so much, and really, when you take a step or two back you don't even notice it.

Look at me smiling for the camera :)

To me this mirror looks like a million bucks and, not counting my first failed attempt at making it beautiful, it only cost $17, some time and the on-hand brass cups and gold puffy paint. This project really makes me want to gold puffy paint more things in my life! How many objects do you think I can get away with? :)

Ps. Linking up with
Funky Junk Interiors
Domestically Speaking 
Someday Crafts
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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Question - kooky or kool?

Hi guys,

Sorry to have left you hanging for so long. I think I'm suffering from heat overload over here :) The sun is relentless this year and we're hovering around 100 degrees just about every day.

I've got a few different project in the works. And you know that by "in the works" I mean I have several unfinished projects sitting around the house in various stages of unfinishedness :) Nothing like it for creating major clutter.

We were watching Hoarders the other night and the late hour and/or the general heat made me think we (I) have a real problem. My husband assured me I'm only imagining so I guess I'll have to take his word for it.

Nevertheless I feel the need to clean up some around here. You know, the things I never get to when we have people over. Like the bajillion spiderwebs draping everything in sight. (I don't know what it is about the spiders this year but they have been super productive. I never see the spiders, just the highways they leave behind). Or all the mirrors that the kids have been spitting on or something. Or all the pennies that collect on every available surface along with the inevitable dust. I have a plan and if I can dig out from under this heat blanket fog I'll make this place a little neater looking.

Ok, enough about me. Now to my question. I have this blank door in our bedroom.

It's directly opposite our bed so I find myself staring at it quite often. I've been wanting to do something with it for awhile. I considered putting mirrors on it. But since I have several mirrors in just about all rooms of the house and thinking that maybe there is such a thing as TOO MANY mirrors (scary thought) I reluctantly moved on from that idea.

So the next idea was to give the impression of a Jali screen, one of those wooden intricately carved wooden screens they have in India and Morocco. And I remembered I still had a nice roll of black contact paper left in my craft stash.

Hopped on the internet and found a pic of a screen I liked. Enlarged it in the free program PosteRazor and printed out half of the pic. Then I cut out all the little spaces in the screen and copied the pattern over onto the back of my contact paper (which I had previously cut to the same size as my door panel).

I only cut out the spaces on half the screen on my template to minimize the cutting (very tedious work) and then I just flipped it over to get an exact mirror image.

After this came the even more tedious work of cutting out the traced pattern from the contact paper with an  Xacto knife. A few hours later I could stick the vinyl on the door.

And my immediate reaction was that I didn't like it, it looks more like an illustration in a Victorian book than a Jali screen. With all the work I'd put into it I didn't rip it off then and there, but I couldn't muster enough energy to cut a similar pattern for the lower panel of the door either.

So I need your input here. Do you like the effect on the door? Or is it just too weird and/or busy/girlie/ugly? Do you get a Victorian vibe or an Indian one? My dislike may stem from the fact that the walls are white, it may look better once the gray/purple wall color is up. But I'm not sure.

Never mind the board leaning up against the wall, it's one of my projects in progress. But what do you think? Please help a heat stricken gal out here, ok?

Much obliged, internet friends! :) Will be back when I finish one of my many unfinished projects.

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