Shortened Black Shorts

I’m long overdue for a refashion, aren’t I?  I think so and the two piles of ill-fitting clothes stacked in our closet sure as heck think so too.  One down though…these black shorts:Image-1
Hilariously, I bought them when I was pregnant with the twins off the 70% off clearance rack at Target (these and these* are very similar and on super clearance!), hoping that (years) after the twins were born, I’d be able to wear them.  They’re trouser style with the slanted side pockets and I loved that they can easily be dressed up or down.  But I wasn’t a huge fan of the length.  I have nothing against long shorts but I’m biased in that I think the five-inch inseam is the perfect one on me.  Also, Anthony has been begging me to take up some of his dress pants and they all need a blind hem so I thought these shorts would be the perfect thing to practice a blind hem on before I take to his good pants.  I used this tutorial to blind hem with my Brother sewing machine.  They turned out okay.  I learned that having a thick hem (there’s an inch-and-a-half hem on these) doesn’t work the best on shorts because, the farther you go up the leg, the wider around the leg is.  So essentially, when you fold up your hem, the bottom isn’t at wide as the top and so you can get a little bit of bunching like I did on these shorts.  It’s not too noticeable though but I still think that I’ll stick to tiny hems for shorts in the future.

I do love my ‘new’ black shorts.  Here’s how I’m planning on wearing them this fall:

With this amazing chambray shirt my sister handed-down to me and my cognac brown moccasins:IMG_6530[similar (and clearanced) chambray top // similar moccs]

And maybe if I’m brave (or my hair hasn’t been washed for days), I’ll toss on my thrifted wide brim:IMG_6525

Black on black on black:IMG_6533Date night?  [top was a Target clearance buy several years ago // similar wedges*]

More blacks:IMG_6541[turtleneck from Old Navy years ago // caged flats were a Sam & Libby from Target clearance buy last year]

With a striped black and white sweater and pointed flats:
[sweater was a Target clearance buy three years ago // pointed flats were $1 Gabriel Brothers find]

Black and blue (a refashion) and leopard:
[flats are Sam & Libby from Target, found at Dirt Cheap recently but I found them on eBay here]

Open chambray, a scarf, and these flats I recently got on clearance:
[flats* – still on clearance! // necklace was a recent sale find from Old Navy]

And last but never least, my favorite combo of buffalo check plus leopard:
[similar (clearanced!) top with smaller pattern]

Of course all the outfits would look much more chic with better photography and if I had a city street or Central Park as my backdrop but my bedroom it is.  You get the picture, right?

Do you have a pair of black shorts?  How do you wear them?

.           .           .

*affiliate links to products I purchased or similar products to those I wore 

7 ways to wear black shorts

Socket To ‘Em

Remember our new kitchen chandelier
Well, you might remember then, that I was having a hard time figuring out how to update the yellowed sockets.
I couldn’t find any socket covers that were wide enough to fit my sockets and custom covers were outrageously priced.  After all, all they are is a round piece of heat resistant plastic.  You’d think they’d be cheap. 

Well, I finally found a solution - paint!  I had toyed with painting them in the beginning but I knew that spray paint was out of the question as was latex and acrylic since, technically, they’re not heat safe.  But then I found this FolkArt enamel paint, meant for glass that you paint and then bake to ensure its permanence.
IMG_1826I found it at Walmart but you can grab it from Amazon, through my affiliate link, here.

I grabbed a small paint brush and gave each socket one coat during nap time one day last week and things are looking much less yellow.
And, after using the light multiple times since painting, they still look good.  The sockets get fairly hot so I was interested to see how the paint stood up after it was heated up a few times and it’s looking just like the day I painted.  Of course more time will tell and I’ll keep you updated, but I’m calling it a success for now.  I also like the paint route because I don’t have to deal with plastic covers adding bulkiness or yellowing again over time.  If the covers start to yellow again with the paint, I’ll just paint right over them again for a few pennies.


Any sockets at your place that need a paint job?  Grab the enamel!  They make lots of colors too so you can always add that pop of color in an unexpected place…and then you can use the rest of the paint to customize your favorite mug! 

.           .           .

Here’s hoping your Monday is as easy-breezy as this little project was!  :)

Spotted: Goodwill

I’ve always had this desire to go to thrift stores on a regular basis and take a picture of everything that catches my eye, only to come back home and blog about what exactly went through my head about each item or why it was so great.  My hope for you, my loveliest readers, is that I can inspire you to go into a thrift store with an open mind and sharp eyes and find some treasures for yourself.  So, I’m doing it and I’m starting on this lovely Saturday night.  The tots are sawing twigs, football is on the tube, and my better half at my side.  Consider this the first of the series.  Hopefully I’ll stick with it but that all depends on how often I can get to the thrift store alone or how often I can get to the thrift store with kids in tow and snap some pictures.  It’ll all be nice and spontaneous-like.

So, the day was yesterday.  The kids didn’t really nap and by the time they could’ve, it was too late and a nap would’ve eaten into bedtime so, we hit up Goodwill. 

Here’s what I spotted:

These two, lidded dishes:  IMG_1835They were both vintage glass and the colors were amazing.  The green one had a small piece chipped off the very top of the dish but a little strategic placement would’ve hidden it nicely.  I came thisclose to buying the yellow one to put jewelry, bobby pins, and other little things in next to my bathroom sink but then I didn’t.  I wasn’t a huge fan of the picture on top so my thought was to spray paint the lid either copper or gold to match the metallic trim around the actual dish.  Either one would look beautiful on a shelf though on top of some books or just by themselves.  They were both $2.99, if I’m remembering correctly. 

These glass votives:
I loved how vibrant the colors were and they were thick, bubbled glass.  They didn’t have a price tag on them but I’m guessing it probably would’ve been under $5 for the whole set.  They’d make a pretty addition to a spring or summer tablescape.

This little vase:
I think I just love all things geometric so the shape stood out first but the color of the glass was so beautiful and could bring an earthy tone into a space.  I thought it’d be really sweet with a succulent living inside and placed on a windowsill.  I think it was $1.
These brass beauties:
Brass is in people and these three were the epitome of why.  They were beautiful!  All three would make one bathroom countertop very happy…or a shelf display…or anywhere really.  Seriously beautiful. 

These two lamps:
Gosh, I love lamps.  I don’t know that there’s ever been a single time I’ve gone into a thrift store and not spotted at least one cool lamp.  But these two…I loved the idea of painting the thin, silver and gold one on the left copper or even a more champagne gold.  Or even keeping the silver and painting the gold copper?  I mean, even in some bold color it would exude ‘sleek’.  It’d make an amazing desk lamp.  The soft green color of the one on the right was beautiful.  And there’s that brass again and it was such a gorgeous hue of it.  The soft green plus the brass?  Got me.  Set it on a bedside table or dresser paired with a creamy white drum shade and it would hold it’s own. 

This oval bowl:
This is another one I almost bought.  The silver was so pretty and I thought it would be look great somewhere on our living room shelves…and then I heard a crash two feet away which sent me wondering what the…my kids.  Plastic office supplies.  Everywhere. 

Forget the bowl.  We are leaving.  But then on our way out I spot…

These vases and goblets:
Argh…the colors got me at first sight.  I wanted them SO BAD!  But I didn’t need them so I walked away.  Not to mention that my kids were done.  Upon (a very quick) close inspection though, I realized the vases had been painted on the insides which got me thinking about how many clear vases there are to be found in every thrift store that could easily be transformed into vases as pretty as these with just a little paint.

And that was it.  Had I been alone I might’ve moseyed into the clothing and taken some pictures there but we’ll just have to keep that for next time. 

Happy Saturday night.  Say a prayer Notre Dame can come back and beat Clemson, will ya?  ;)  

The Inspired Coffee Table

She painted the underside of the glass, my friend Lauren. 


A couple of weeks ago we went over to spend time with some of our bestest friends and there in the middle of their den was this gorgeous, new coffee table.  I just assumed they got it at some cool store and maybe it was even one-of-a-kind (and it is!).  That cool store happened to be her Grandmother’s house and the one-of-a-kind piece it is is because Lauren made it that way.  She took the hand-me-down table and painted the underside of the glass so that it looks like a beautiful, saturated, minty green sea set atop the original creamy white base.

IMG_1774By painting the underside, the green shows through the slightly mottled top but it won’t scratch, like paint can do very easily on glass.

I loved it.  I loved it so much I had to do it.  The next week, this coffee and end table set popped up on my go-to, second-hand sale site and I snatched them up real quick like, and for only $35.

My plan was to paint the coffee table just like Lauren did hers and turn the end tables into stools for another project.  We don’t have a need for another coffee table since I’m not ready to part with our tufted ottoman but I thought, since I needed the end tables, it’d be fun to do a little makeover for someone else.  (Stay tuned for the end tables…they’re too big to be stools like we wanted so we’re going to keep them end tables.)

So, first I removed the glass (which was just set in) and gave the whole base a quick coat of primer.  The legs of the table were wood while the rings were metal so I used Rust-Oleum Clean Metal primer* (cheap if you add it to an existing Amazon order!)   IMG_1647
To make sure I got every inch of the table, including the tough to reach areas under the rings, I first turned it upside-down and sprayed what I couldn’t easily get while it was right-side-up.

Then I turned it over, set the legs on some pieces of cardboard so the very bottoms wouldn’t get missed (since I was using a sheet as ground cover), and primed the rest.
And then I repeated the same process with the spray paint.  I used Rustoleum’s Heirloom white.  It’s a beautiful creamy white – not too ivory and not glaringly white.
Last, for the base at least, I added a little more interest by giving it a slight distressing.  Basically I put some very fine sandpaper onto a palm sander (that we’re still borrowing from a friend two years later…Thanks Gina!) and went around gently tapping it to the edges/corners of the base.  I didn’t sand along every edge fully but very sporadically.  This close-up shows the variation – some corners are sanded, some still are painted:
Next up was the glass top.  After a good cleaning on both sides, I turned it over so that it was upside-down on our kitchen table to be painted.  The underside of this glass was frosted which I wasn’t aware of until I went to grab the tables.  No big deal but I would’ve preferred clear.  The fact that it was frosted though meant that whatever color I painted onto it would appear a tad more subdued from above; like a filter was placed over the paint.  So, I made sure that the color I used was a little more saturated than I want it if I were painting over clear glass.

As for the color, I loved Lauren’s minty green (she used Martha Stewart chalkboard paint from Michael’s) so I made a similar color by adding the green color I painted these lamps to an almost-empty bottle of white acrylic paint I had on hand.  To paint the glass, I used a foam pouncer (from my trusty Martha Stewart set*).
Basically, I just squirted the paint onto the glass and swirled it around.  I worked in fairly large sections until the whole thing was covered.
IMG_1662 You can see a video of me swirling the paint around here.

Here’s what it look liked after it dried and was placed back on the base:
The color looks a little more blue in the above pic vs. the truer-to-life color it is two pictures above but you can see the swirl effect.

It gave a fun effect however, I think I would’ve preferred it to be one solid color.  I didn’t know before I started if you’d be able to see the swirling or not once the glass was on the table since it didn’t really have light shining through it but you can.  I’m thinking of possibly doing the same thing to the glass on the end tables and for those, I’ll roll the paint on for a more solid look.

Backing up a tad though, before I placed the painted glass back onto the table, I placed rubber bumpers onto each leg, where the glass rested.  There were bumpers there before but one was missing and they were really dirty so I just grabbed some we had leftover from past cabinet transformations.
Here’s the full monty: 
Shortly after I finished, I listed it for sale and she went right out the door.  :)

.           .           .

So, painting glass.  Have you tried it?  I know it scratches off pretty easily so you have to either seal it or paint glass that won’t be touched.  I’ve painted behind the glass of picture frames before (here and here) but Lauren’s idea of painting the underside of a glass table was genius!  Think of all the options!  You could wash and repaint for every holiday and season!  Solids, patterns, abstract, a stencil…the options are endless!   

*affiliate links to items I used – if you purchase through my affiliate link, we’ll get a small commission but your price won’t be affected at all!  Thanks for supporting us!

Yard Fail

I learned two weekends ago that I am a yard ‘saler’ but I am no yard ‘seller’.  We tossed a bunch of stuff out on our front lawn painfully early Saturday morning and there I sat until 2ish.  The weather was just great and the traffic was flowing but the people. were. so. stingy.  I know what you’re probably thinking, “But aren’t you pretty stingy yourself?”.  Yes, I am and I have a tight budget to thank for that.  But I also know that when we’re talking second-hand sales, there are fair prices.

For example, I had out these two big, framed watercolors:
watercolor   They were donated from someone in our church to be sold to raise funds for our parish’s mission trip and since Anthony was in charge of the mission trip and these two were left over from that yard sale this past summer, we thought we’d try to sell them at our house and put the proceeds away for next year’s trip.  They are original watercolors in nice, matted frames and they’re like 24”x 18”.  I was asking $5 each!…already a STEAL!  A lady came up during my yard sale and asked if I’d give both of them to her for $5!  Now I’m not against a little haggling now and then but haggling has it’s place amongst higher prices and car dealerships.  So, she wanted them both for a flat $5.  She must’ve noticed my eyebrow raise and maybe that’s what made her give me a dissatisfied “no” and walk away when I asked her if she’d instead give me $8 for both - $4 each.  NO?!  Are you kidding me?  I was a little shocked (but kind of happy too because I secretly want the one on the left…just need to find a spot for it). 

Anyway, maybe I shouldn’t be so shocked since I’m not really a seasoned yard “seller” and maybe that is just the name of the game.  The motto of this story?  Well, take the words of my wise friend Linsey - having your own yard sale is only worth it if you’re setting out stuff that’s on it’s way out the door to be donated anyway.  Sell the stuff you’re expecting fair prices for online – eBay, Craigslist, and Facebook sites.

I was a little frustrated at the end of my sale that day but what made everything better was waltzing over to my next-door neighbors sale and spending $2 for four items.

I got these two little bowls:
IMG_6471The blue one was 10 cents and the striated cream one was 25 cents but I gave her $1 since I had zero change on me!  I nested them and set them up on the living room shelves (bottom left in this pic).

I also got this faceted glass bowl for $1:
IMG_6475It’s also on the shelves and currently watering a small branch from a front-yard tree.  Originally I thought maybe I’d turn it into a pendant light but we’ll see…

The last thing I got was this big basket:
IMG_6478 She had it listed for $3 and I had my eye on it all day, hoping no one would buy it so I could shoot over and do so.  When I did get to it, my sweet neighbor wouldn’t take the cash I was holding out to her so I ended up not paying a cent for it.

Praise the Lord for great neighbors who turn your yard-sale-frustration-induced frown upside-down, right?!

What is your experience with yard sale-ing?  Have you had the same seller woes?  Or maybe you’ve made out like a bandit?  Or, maybe you’re just a bonified yard saler and only go, not host.

I ended up making $55 on my own stuff that morning and still had over half of it leftover.  For the mission trip though (we had a lot of stuff for that out), I made $125 so I can’t really say it wasn’t totally worth it.  :)