January 28, 2009

Inspiration for lighting

I've changed some of my ceiling lights recently and thought I'd share with you.
This first image is the before of a typical bedroom light. I ripped a wall out to remove a bedroom and create an upstairs "open area". (code for TV room) I figured this was no good to stay -so I got creative.
This is the skeleton of a lamp shade that I no longer wanted to use. I made a paper pattern for the section around the lamp. Cut it out eight times from fabric that started out as a skirt from a yard sale. I didn't buy the skirt to wear, I liked the fabric so much I made a bed pillow out of it, and had left overs....
Then I sewed all 8 sections together, hand stitched it onto the frame at the top and bottom, and stitched a bunch of beads onto it. I also used a ring from another lamp shade on the inside of the frame so that I could attach it to the ceiling light. I basically jerry-rigged it at the spot where I wanted the upside down shade to sit (1/2") from the ceiling. I did that with wire attaching the two lamp frames together. (a little hard to explain, but basically I cut 4" pieces of wire and connected them twisting the ends of wire together.
Then there's this one.... I have two lights like this in my main living area. (I took it down before I remembered to take a photo, so that's why it's sitting on carpet.) I was telling a friend of mine how much I don't like these brassy fixtures, and she told me that she spray painted her brassy fixtures!!
I was like.... Well Du! I spray paint everything else... why not these! So I did!
And now they are up on the ceiling fitting in with my decor 100 times better than before. Now I can live with them longer.
**Please note.... Don't take down any lighting that you have to disconnect wires, unless you have the help of an electrician. I consider myself quite handy, but I've learned there's so many things to know about lighting... don't mess with it. Get the help of an electrician. (Thanks Dad)
I hope I've inspired you to reconsider your lighting without spending any big money... new lighting is SO crazy expensive! What's up with that?
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January 18, 2009

I Needed This Idea!

And I can’t take credit for it :)
Kristy Plessman, one of the two incredible photographers for Scrapbook Trends shared this idea with me.

I’ve been saying to myself every time I open my drawer of earrings that I need a better solution. A way to hang my earrings up so I can see what I have, and find the pair I want. Kristy is just like me. She loves taking something ugly and making it wonderful. She’s an Optimistic Recycler too!!

K, so the concept is simple, the execution I found is just a little tricky, since I didn’t get instructions from Kristy, but I figured out a couple things to make it easier. I made two at once, but I'll show you the how-to for the easy one :)

Check this out!
It’s a picture frame with chicken wire inside it!

I had the frame from a yard sale… .50 cents. And the Chicken wire at ACE was $2.51 a foot.
Here’s the low down:
Old frame… Looks like maybe Bill Clinton painted the picture in it :D (& signed it with a sharpie!)
Remove the picture and sand the frame down slightly.
Spray paint it. (I used a dark bronze hammerite)
Cut a piece of chicken wire larger than the frame opening by 1.5” on each side.
Cut the corners of the chicken wire out -to the opening of the frame. (I used a monster pair of tin snips… the same pair I used to cut through the bamboo blind if you saw my post when I converted a screen and used a blind in the openings. From June 3rd 2008)
(Optional) At this point I spray painted one side of the chicken wire with the same spray paint.
On a surface that has a sharp corner, bend the wire from cut-out-corner to cut-out-corner. If you got your cut-out-corners correct, this folded edge should allow your chicken wire to fit nicely inside the frame. *Don’t rely on the lines in the wire to be straight… they aren’t. This is why corner to corner is so important.
Use a staple gun to attach the chicken wire into the frame. In my case, the front edge was too shallow to staple into, so I stapled into the other edge… worked fine!
Once all the edges are stapled in and you have the chicken wire in place, fold the raised sides over onto the back of the frame and staple it down.
Many frames don’t have much space from the point at which glass would normally sit to the back where it would sit on the wall… So, because I’m using this for earrings, and I need the earrings to have room between the wire and the wall, I used this…
And I just put it around the edge of the wire. This not only holds the frame slightly further from the wall, but it protects the wall from the scratchy cut edge of the wires.
Then I just needed a hanger on top, so I went to my box of goodies and found something that I think came with the microwave… who cares where it’s from… I used it! I cut the foam insulation out of the way, and screwed it in!

I do have a couple more tips…. I learned that since chicken wire doesn’t have a lot of strength, and is never perfectly flat, a frame this size… (20x16") is probably the biggest you’d want to go. Much bigger, and the wire could bend inside the frame and there would be areas where the wire is closer to the wall. Which might impede earrings hanging on it. If you have Loads of earrings, I’d recommend you make more than one frame, rather than go bigger.
And lastly, if you hang all your earrings on one side, it will hang crooked :P

I hope you love this idea as much as I do. Thanks Kristy!!
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January 12, 2009


I'm always impressed when I watch Devine Design with Candice Olsen and she manages to bring so much sparkle into a room!!!!

I don't tend to even think about sparkle when I'm decorating, but I always love it when I see a room that shines all over.

So share with me....
I'll list a few ideas for bringing sparkle in, please share any ideas you have too!!!

Extra lighting
Glass tiles
Crystal vases
Shiny fabrics

Why is this so hard for me? I love to brainstorm, and I'm at a loss for ideas.
(probably because it's my house and I see it all the time.)

I was thinking how it might be neat to tape off areas on my walls and varnish, creating a shiny dimension, w/o using another color of paint. Maybe a horrizontal stripe around the room?

I was also wondering how I could bring in mirrors w/o placing them where I'll have to see myself all the time. Clever ideas for mirrors wanted.

Please help me make this list bigger. :)
I swear I can think clearer when the sun is shining. The clouds steal inspiration!!!!
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January 2, 2009

When you need an easy envelope....

I very rarely consider envelope size before I make a card. I just make it, and then if I need a an envelope I make one. More often than not, I just use ordinary printer paper. White, 8.5 x 11". Which is what I've used in this example. Sometimes I'll dig out 8.5 x 11 colored cardstock. It's best to use a bone folder instead of fingers in that case.

A friend of mine (Ali) says she hates making envelopes, and I told her I'd show her how I do them. Ya you can measure and make it more perfect using this basic idea, but really, the envelope isn't the fun part, it's the necessary part, (for me anyway :D) so I go the easy route.

It was easier to video it, so this is a new one for me... adding a video to my blog.
I didn't explain as I went, so if anything is unclear, comment and I will edit my post to include more information. (so you don't need to turn your sound on.)

Hope this is useful to some of you, esp you Ali :)

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