I Went On A Lampage

Quite literally...and this is only about half of it.  I found these three lamps at two different thrift stores.
The brass ones were $3 and some cents each and the green one was $6.  The story of the brass ones I'll tell later, but here's what I did with the green one (minus progress pictures...sorry).

First, after wiping it down, I taped off all parts that wouldn't mix well with spray paint, namely, the nickel part at the top, the entire socket, and the cord.  Then came the fun part, the spray paint.  You might be surprised to find out I spray painted it in the first place because it doesn't look that ugly.  Well, the truth is that it really wasn't ugly but I had glossy white on the brain and just had to paint it.  :)   

Here it is today:
I had to persuade Anthony to place it atop "his" dresser to add dimension, filling up wall space we haven't yet filled with picture frames...someday.

Read about other two lamps next week...and our guest room's minor makeover for that matter!  As for me, I'm in the middle of spring cleaning our kitchen - organizing cupboards, shining up stainless steel, washing the window, etc...whistling while I work!

And More Pillows

Like I said two posts before, I think I'm addicted to making pillows...or to my sewing machine at least.  Fabric stores are like candy stores to me now (they always kind of were but it's just escalated since I found stitch-witchery and received my machine).  A few days after I made my porch pillows, I got out my Bernina again and away I went.  This time though, I made pillows for our master bedroom.  The best part about these two stuffed squares though is that they only cost me a buck to cover...yep, that's right...one dollar.  That's because I used a Target shower curtain I found for $2 to make them.  :)
All of the inspiration and motivation for these pillows came from Jones Design Company, where Emily created and generously shared a beautiful stencil I knew I had to try!  She painted it onto her walls and I'm dying to try that avenue too (next house), but I tried pillow covers instead. 

Here's how it stenciled out:
First I made the pillow covers using half of the shower curtain using the same (probably unconventional) sewing techniques as my porch pillows
Then I pulled out the stencil I had just printed and traced onto cardboard.  In 20 minutes I had both covers stenciled and was bringing out the paint.

After contemplating what color to use, I ended up just going with the little bit of the blue-gray (Heaven on Earth by Benjamin Moore) wall paint we had left from painting our master.  It was free, it would match the room perfectly, and it would pull some blue onto our almost completely white bed.

So, after setting some newspaper inside the covers to ward off any paint bleeding that might occur, a-brushin' I went. 
I tried to be frugal with the paint use as all that was left was a light layer on the bottom of the can so I just painted a thin line over each penciled stencil.  After I was done, I realized and wished I had painted thicker lines since I had more than enough paint left but I was too excited to get them on the bed and move on so the thicker lines will beanother project for another day.

Here's our new, one dolla pillow covers:
I heart geometric prints!

On the flip side of my love-to-create life, I've been busy with all the things spring brings - Confirmation, babysitting, Easter planning, retreats, and more.  But I've still managed to fit in some projects here and there, including a minor guestroom makeover fit for parents.  :)  I cannot wait to reveal this one!  Until next week then, ta ta! 

Battle of the Rust

I did it!  I conquered the rust spot on our side, exterior door!  Well, as it goes with rust, time will tell if I really got rid of the problem permanently but for the past week we've seen no signs of intruding rust. 
This is what I started with:
(Sorry for the bad pictures...the door really is white, but I forgot to white balance the camera before I took them.) 
It was a just a little bitty spot but every time we walked in that door it drove us nuts as it was right at eye level.  Plus, we want to sell a 'perfect' house so it's away with any and all imperfections...so, bye, bye rusty. 

This was my plan of attack:
First I did some online research on how to remove rust on metal doors.  The best remedy I found (ehow.com) said to sand down the spot, clean it with rust cleaner, and paint over it with oil-based paint or primer (as water-based may just irritate it more - hence why it's probably bad in the first place because that's what we used to paint over it last year.) 

So off to Lowe's I went to pick up these:

Then I went to work.
First, I sanded and let me tell you, it was an arm work-out.  The spot had some bubbling so I sanded down until it was smooth and then sanded more until all of the rust was gone.  This is after sanding:
Next I cleaned the spot with full strength CLR...but forgot to take an 'after cleaned' picture.  But, since I had sanded all the rust off, it really didn't look that different cleaned.

Out came the oil-based primer and on went four coats of it over the course of the next three days.  Spacing it over three days was to ensure each coat was completely dry.  I painted four coats because I wanted to make sure that baby was completely covered and protected.
After each coat I lightly sanded the area with a less coarse sanding block to make sure I wouldn't have any paint lines since I was putting on so many coats.  Then I waited...and waited...and waited.  A week went by and no rust had reared it's head from under my oil-based shield so I went ahead and painted over the entire area for the flawless look I/we had been waiting for.

And there you have it!  No more rust!

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Now that that's taken care of, spring cleaning in our laundry room has come to a close and I'm moving on to the kitchen...even though at the rate I'm going it'll soon be summer cleaning.  :)

Porched Pillows

Yay for you-tube how-to's, home decorators sewing books, and sewing machines...especially mine!  With those things I recently created my first-ever, 'real' pillow cover!  By 'real', I mean normal/sewn/minus bonding tape/like-the-kind-you'd-find-in-a-store pillow covers unlike the ones I've made in the past that you can see here and here.  
I would write up a tutorial but one - I don't have enough time at the moment, and two - I'm pretty sure I made up my own sewing rules during the process.  But they turned out AWESOME and they were so easy to make!  If I had my way, and enough pillows (and time) at my disposal, I'd probably make at least one day!

So anyway, as you all probably know by now, our dining area doubles as a workstation:
It's complete with iTunes and my beloved Bernina - the sewing machine given to me by a friend who didn't have a need for her anymore.  As far as worldly gifts go, she's probably the best thing I've ever received! 
So back to the topic at hand, you can see the two measured and cut-out squares of fabric waiting to be sewn to two other squares which had yet to be cut out.  (And yes, that long, yellow thing is Anthony's drywall square that I used to make sure I had some perfect squares...I have yet to go get an actual sewer's square...like I've said before, you use what you got, right?)  As fabric goes, I used a half-yard of the floral fabric ($5 at JoAnn's) for the front side and for the back side, I used a Target tablecloth I found for $4.  All in all, (considering I used about 1/4 of the tablecloth) these pillow covers cost me around $7.  I already had thread and Scotch-Guard, which I sprayed 'em down with since their perch would be our porch.  :)
So, after threading, cutting, ironing seams, and sewing, this is what they looked like (inside-out) when I was finished:
I know they look a little 'un-square' in the picture because of wrinkles but in real life they're almost perfect!  It wasn't until I turned them right-side-out that I started jumping for joy and letting my happiness be known through screams of delight.  Then, after my happy tantrum I ran outside with Scotch-Guard and covers in hand, sprayed 'em down, let 'em dry (5 minutes), grabbed my yard sale pillows, stuffed 'em inside, and ran outside to adorn our free, made-over wicker chairs.  (P.S.  I'm not exaggerating when say write "ran"...I was way too excited to leisurely stroll.)
Here are my accomplishments:

How cute are they?  My heart melts every time I look at them.  :)

So, for fun, I thought I'd give the grand finale in porch pictures, showing how far it's come in the past 1.5 years.

Here's the "ewwww" it looked like from move-in day to almost 9 months later:

And here it is today - always waiting for a couple of coffee mugs (or sweet teas) and some relaxed rears to make themselves comfortable:
Now that's what we call 'Southern Comfort'.  :)

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By the way, I'm itchin' to paint the porch ceiling a pale blue so we can become true southerners and also to bring the sky a little closer...I just haven't told Anthony my idea yet.  What do you think?  Do it or don't?

Flower Power

Well, a couple of weeks have passed since I started my spring cleaning...and I have yet to finish the first room I started with - the laundry room.  Me?  Busy?  Yes.  Today is the day I have in my mind to finish it though...which really only requires the attack of the rust spot on the door...and then I'm done!  I'll let you know who wins.  :)
So anyway, I'm going to take a subject detour and share a project I did last summer.  It involved faux floral stems, little silver hair clips, scissors,  hot glue, and cereal boxes so I didn't get hot glue all over our table slash my workplace for everything.  The intended result?  Flower hair clips to adorn the curls of our precious Godchild, Emma.  My sister and I took on a project just like this during one summer home from college so I had lots of extra clips.  Lucky for me too, Michael's was having a 50% off sale on summer floral stems at the time so all in all, this project cost me under $5 and I still have flowers left to make more clips in the future. 

First, I pulled off the fullest flowers in each bunch.  (They slip right off the top of the stems.) 

Then, I clipped off the remaining plastic stem on the bottom of each flower, which caused two of the flowers to come apart in layers.  So, I simply glued each layer together but before I glued the bottom layer on, I first glued it to the clip to make sure the flower would sit flat.

After gluing the entire flower on, I clipped a piece of petal off a smaller flower from the stem that I wasn't going to use, and glued it to the underside of the top of the clip for added support and also to make the clip look prettier underneath.
Like so...

I even got a little creative and used some an old button to dress up an extra layer of an unused flower:

15 minutes later and our Godchild had these:
(Sorry for the bad picture.  The bottom flower is actually a plum color.)

Emma even took a plunge in the pool with one on and it's still alive and kickin'...well, not really but you know what I mean. 
Headbands would also be great to accessorize with flowers like this!  I especially swoon when I see baby girls adorned with a big 'ole flower attached to a stretchy headband.  So cute, so cheap, and so easy to DIY! 
On a side note:  Did you know that you can use Elmer's school glue to attach rhinestones and such to your hair and it washes right out?  My mom used to do it all the time for formals and prom in high school to my sisters and I!  Gosh it's fun to be a girl!  :)
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Newsflash:  All of our "expired herb seeds" have sprouted!  We even have a teeny, tiny tomato that made it's way into the world this week!  In even bigger news, we FINALLY listed our house 'For Sale by Owner'!  No buyers yet, but all of the flyers I made for our flyer box were gone in 4 days so hopefully it means people other than neighbors have been taking interest!  :)