Saturday, April 30, 2011

Mailbox Makeover & "Barnwood" Bench

Ok, so I know that all things white, chippy, and rusty are really "in" right now, and technically our mailbox fit that description. wasn't pretty, it was just sad.  And it almost completely blended in with the siding.  I'm surprised the mailman could even find it without a metal detector.  In fact, I'm sure he couldn't a few times.

Well, the other day the landlord & landlady (is that a correct term?) stopped by for some such thing or another, and the Mrs. and I got to talking about the exterior of the house and she mentioned wanting to spruce it up a bit and paint the shutters black instead of red, etc.  So, after that I felt I had the green light to do a little makeover.

I took it down, sanded the rusty/chippy spots, put a nice layer of primer on to conceal the rust, then a few coats of Oil Rubbed Bronze.  I finished it off with some Antique Gold Rub-n-Buff to age it a bit and pick up the details of the emblem.

Much improved, dontcha think?  Especially for free.  And now the mailman has no excuse for delivering our mail to the neighbors anymore.

The other project I worked on today was this bench.  (I forgot to take a before picture and had already started painting it when I remembered.)  I bought it at the Restore a few months ago for $2.  It's just a picnic table bench, and it was wobbly, and missing the rest of it's furniture family.  But I saw past all of that and knew it had potential.  (Even though my husband once again questioned my sanity.)

Sweet little Gretchen was keeping watch while soaking up some sun.

A couple of months later I found a brand new can of beautiful red paint (I have a thing for red) at the Restore for $3.  I was pretty certain that as weathered and rough as the bench was that if I dry-brushed one coat of the red onto it that it would soak it up pretty good and leave me with the old weathered barn-wood look that I love.

And I was right.

I love how it turned out.  And even Hubster had to admit I do have a brain in my head.  He even helped me pound a few nails to make it sturdy again.

I don't have it all decorated just yet, but now that weather is warming up it won't be long and it'll be lookin' purdy.  It kind of blends in with the existing wood on the porch, and I think I'd like to paint a layer of sage green over the red to give it the "multiple layers of old paint" look.  But, I'm cheap  thrifty and I'm not going to go out and buy the paint just for that.  I'll wait for another good find at the Restore or until I buy it for another project.

Anyhoo....that was a bit of my Saturday projects. 

Linking up to :

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bedroom Inspiration/Idea Board

Okay, so as you all may remember from this post I decided to "retire" this bedroom decor we had used since we first got married almost 9 years ago.  I was just ready for something different.

I shared how I felt inspired by the photos below and thought that was the direction I wanted to go in.

Well.............I think I've changed my mind.  I'm just not positive I can pull that look off to my satisfaction, plus, I love me some color and that just wasn't cuttin' it. 

The trend right now seems to be a lot of neutrals...very relaxing.....calming.....even romantic, with touches of the very popular Robin's Egg blue/Aqua.  While I think those types of rooms are very pretty, they just don't "speak to me."  I want something bright and happy, something different from the norm.....something funky and vintagey.

But I've been at a complete loss for months now trying to figure out what I want.  I had a vague idea that was forming from the picture below.  I found it in either BHG or Good Housekeeping, can't remember which, but I loved all the color and the mixture of patterns.

But I  just couldn't picture in my head what our room would look like.

Finally, one evening I got out Halie's colored pencils and just began to sketch.  (Trust me, it looked like Halie had done them, helped!)  I finally came up with a plan, and the next day I began to Google images and I put together an idea/inspiration board.

And here's what I came up with. 
 (Keep in mind, I did some cut and paste and layering of images I had Googled, so just mentally block out that guitar in the corner and the brass lamp behind "my" lamp.)
So this is the direction I'm leaning.  Whadda ya think? 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

My First DIY Lamp!!

 I am SO SO SO SO SO SO SO very excited to show off the first lamp I've ever made!  (Did I mention SO excited?) 

 Okay, so it all started when I was catching up on an episode of "Bones" online.  At the very end of the episode as it was panning out it focused in on this lamp.......and I think my heart literally. stopped. beating. 

I paused it and just sat and stared.  I was in love no, LURVE, as they say.  I had never seen anything like it, had no clue what they were called, but I knew I HAD to have it and that I could make it.   I've always wanted to make my own lamp, but no idea or object had ever inspired me to action.  Until this.

My thinking was, I could easily buy two wooden discs, glue them together, drill a hole, blah blah blah.  I knew I had seen vintage style bulbs around, and I mistakenly thought it would be super easy to find the glass cylinder part.  Not so much.  Everything I thought I had seen in the stores were actually tall vases, with closed bottoms.  I searched and searched and searched, to no avail.  I finally gave up on finding a used/cheap one and decided to search the internet.  In searching, I came across these.

They're called Edison  Lamps.  They cost $96 plus shipping.

In the meantime, during the hunt for the glass cylinder, I found a vintagey style bulb at the Restore for .25, and picked up a lamp kit at Walmart for $5. 

Then one day I came across this candle holder at The Country Porch.
It was only $12.99 and I knew it would work perfectly.  I ordered it and then commenced to biting my nails in excited anticipation.  Today the Fed Ex man brought it to me.  God bless you Fed Ex man!  My plans for the afternoon went right out the window, and as soon as the kids went down for their naps, I got started on it immediately. I couldn't wait one single second longer!

I spray painted the socket with ORB, and while that was drying I sanded down a few spots on the base of the candle holder.  Then I mixed some brown paint and antiquing glaze and brushed over the whole thing, and then wiped most of it off.  It gave the black a nice depth and picked up the sanded spots really well.

Next, I headed out to the garage and got out Hubby's drill.  I made a hole for the socket base to fit down into. 

Then I wired up the socket.  It was a bottle lamp kit and technically it was supposed to be wired out the side of the socket, but that wouldn't have worked with the glass cylinder.  I needed it to come out the bottom.  So I just ran the wire up the middle of the attachment piece and did it that way.  It slid down perfectly into my drilled hole.  And Ta Da!! 

My very own Edison Lamp!

I couldn't get a very good shot of the sanding/antiquing, but I tried.  And do you know how hard it is to photograph a clear glass cylinder?!?  Very hard.  I must've taken about 50 pictures just to get these few.

So...$12.99 plus shipping came to about $18.00, plus $5 for the lamp kit, and .25 for the bulb.  $23.25 versus $96 (plus shipping).  Not too shabby in my book.

Are you as in love with it as I am?  Let me know what you think.  I'd love to hear from you.

Linking up to:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where Lil' Man Hangs His Spurs

Ok, so our printer decided to quit printing in color, so that puts one project on hold.  I'm waiting on the delivery of something for another project, so that's on hold for now.  And I've been lazy creatively processing another project.  SO......during this project intermission, I thought I'd show you a room in The "Farmhouse".  This is Kiddo #2's room, done in a cowboy motiff. 

I found this adorable sign at Hobby Lobby for $2.50, and it hangs on his door.

View from the doorway.
Some of you might remember the story about this bedding.  I bought the quilt on the wall when I was pregnant with Kiddo #1, before I even knew if it was a boy or a girl.  I found it in a quilt shop in a little town in NC when The Hubster was stationed at Lejeune.  I loved it and had to have it.  I knew I'd use it some day.  The first baby was a girl, so it got packed away for a few years.  Then along came our sweet boy.

So....I had a quilt, but now what?  Where do I find bedding to match?  I searched and searched for hours...days...and weeks.  Ebay, Craigslist, you name it, I searched it.  I didn't want the generic, cutsie, wanna-be, typical cowboy stuff that's out there.  (Remember, at the time, Hubsters was a real live cowboy, and we lived on a cattle ranch.  I wanted something more authentic.)  Then one day I came across that exact same quilt on Ebay.  I thought, "Wow, that's interesting.  Someone else with taste like mine."  But I never thought another thing about it.  Then 2 weeks later I came across the same quilt again.  This time I actually read the description and info. The seller had also used the quilt as a wall hanging in her son's nursery.  Then it hit me, "Well DUH!  Why not write to her and ask her what she used for bedding.  Maybe I can order the same set."  So I wrote her and she got back to me and said, "How weird that you asked me this question when you did.  Just last night I decided to sell the bedding set on Ebay.  I haven't even taken pictures of it yet."  So she sent me pics, I loved it, and I bought it from her.

The valance that came with the bedding set is humongo, so we hung it across both windows.  A thrifty little side note here, to buy a curtain rod big enough to span 109" would have cost us upwards of $40.  Hubsters wasn't up to helping me make our own (he's working full time and going to school at night), SO what's a thrifty girl to do?  I went to the Restore and found an old ugly brass one for $8, brought it home and gave it the spray paint treatment, only on each end since that's all that shows.  Voila.  Cheap and a lot easier than making my own.


This lamp has been in my husband's family for many years.  It was his uncle's when he was a boy (not sure where it came from before that) and then was his brother's as a boy.  When were dating/engaged we found it in his parent's attic, all dusty and gross.  We asked if we could have it for our house after we got married.  It was our first project we worked on together.  We refinished the wood part, repainted the metal spur to look aged, and put a new lamp shade on.

The little boots are authentic, and Bubs wore them a few times before he outgrew them,
and I've had that old crate for years.

 The furniture in this room was my daughter's when she was a baby and the red gingham fabric in the baskets is a little too bright for this room (in fact they almost look pink in these pictures).  My sister suggested tea staining them to darken them up.  It's a good idea, just one I haven't accomplished yet.

We've had this picture since we first got married. 

"Cowboy" - Embroidered on the changing pad cover (also from the Ebay seller).

 The door on the left is the door coming into the room, and the one on the right is the closet.  The black hat is The Hubster's, from our time on the ranch.

My Grandpa made this shelf for me, and he made the little wooden horse for my brother many years ago.  The little cowboy picture was a Goodwill find.

LOVE this little piggy bank!  : )

This basket also came from the same Ebay seller and has cute cowboy fabric. 

And the best part of the room?  Lil' Buckaroo himself, of course!

The problem with the room?  This lone window on the other side of the room.  I'm not sure what to do for a window treatment since the bedding set only came with the one valance.  How do I dress it without detracting from the valance on the other wall?  I don't want it to be plain, but I also don't want it to draw attention to itself.  

Any ideas?

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