December 31, 2011

I think I have a sickness…

It’s “make presents” sickness.
Every year I try to tell myself not to make some gifts, and then I find a gift to make and do it. Thinking it will be EASIER for me to do this than find things to purchase and give; so I relent as always.
I did a few things this year, making earrings was one since I have so many supplies and didn’t need to buy anything. But not everyone could I give earrings to, and some people had recently received earrings….

So I went in search of another idea.

Finding a cute one I thought was very fun, would be easy to execute, and very inexpensive. 
Why would I keep looking right?
Here’s the original idea: (Click on the image to go to the blog post. I totally admit to not reading it... so maybe you'll want to. I just saw the photo on pinterest, pinned it, and ran with it.)

Here’s what I did:
I went and bought a bunch of hand soaps, peeled off the labels, and cleaned up the sticky residue using adhesive remover. I will say the goo-gone was better than the un-du for this.

Then with clean bottles I started on my sticker.
I needed a border. This border was not a digital border, it’s the border of a stamp I have, so I scanned it into photoshop.
Then I found some fonts I liked and a saying.
Measuring the face of the bottle, I determined the size it needed to be.
When I finished the image, I put multiples on one sheet in illustrator and created a pdf. Then I went over to Kinko’s with it and had them print me two sheets of my image onto clear sticker paper. I would not want to print this myself as I only have an ink jet printer, and obviously, a soap bottle sticker is going to get wet!

I came home, got out my concentric circles Coluzzle template and cut around the image.

Attached the stickers, and tied a bow!

A fun suggestion, if you want to have an image showing through from the back… create an image, invert it before you make a pdf and print it. Then attach the sticker to the back of the bottle, and it will read correctly from the front.
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December 4, 2011

Time again for a Christmas tree…

Decorating a Christmas tree isn’t the most exciting project in my house, not by a long shot. But it has to be done.
I put the tree up and fluff it ready for lights, husband does lights, and then I decorate it. On Natty’s step1 of getting it up she failed to get it to stand straight and had to go asking for help.  Asking for assistance is not my strong suit, especially when it’s something easy I should be able to do myself, but I got myself all angry and ready to put the tree back in the bloody box, so help it was.
Within just a couple minutes tree was straight and I was underway.

Since I was so happy with my tree last year, I didn’t really fancy coming up with something totally new this year. I wanted to do it mostly similar, but incorporate some blue. Last year it was all green and white.
First thing I did was buy some of those berry clumps. I tell myself that berries look like polka-dots, so my tree needs them.
Then I made some “icicles” out of beads; mixing blue with a hint of green. They were a cinch.
I got out 3” headpins. (I was fully prepared to use wire and just make eyepins, but since I had the long headpins I didn’t bother)
Pulled out various beads, strung them from small to large. 
Then bent the end of the headpin to the side. This is a crucial step:
Using round nose pliers bent the end into a simple loop.
Hung with a curly wire.
Here are the other decorations I added. (again, most from last year)
I added a few mismatched odd balls too. (I've managed to delete the pic of my glittery snowballs, so there's a bunch of them also)
The blue isn’t obvious from a distance I realize, but that’s ok. I’m happy.

A friend in Norfolk said she put a kitten on the top of her tree... I've been on the lookout, so if I find an angelic white kitten, he's mine!
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November 19, 2011

Doing away with another closet.

You must think I’m crazy to get rid of closets, and really I am, since I don’t have an actual ‘storage room’ in my house.
BUT… I think I will be happier in this instance with what I create vs. loose.

Let me quickly apologize for having been so absent. My goal for quite some time was to post at least one project a month… feeling like I do at least that many projects, and I could get one thing posted.
That clearly halted this last summer, and I am going to happily blame my job. Work has been consuming, and when you come home mentally exhausted enough, the recliner looks much better than projects.
I have done some tiny projects, but I feel too ashamed of myself to post them; at least right now.

So, this closet… I have shared this photo, or a version of it before, This is the room that WAS a bedroom, my post is buried HERE. I converted this middle bedroom into a TV room because I don’t need 5 bedrooms.
I stuck my big ol’ tv in the closet, and it has always looked make-shift. This is where my recliner is.
My plan… to convert it into a bit of a storage unit cupboard with doors below and a place for the TV to sit. Who knows maybe one day I will get a big flat screen that will live happily in here… you know, when I have all that extra money I don’t know what to do with… giggle.

I started by going to the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store. Took my measurements with me, and knew the size it would require for 3 or 4 doors. I ended up nearly leaving empty handed because I couldn’t find any matching doors. In the end, I realized that three I had discounted for far too large, in fact weren’t!  So I got em’ for $2 each! (yes, typical me). The edges would just need to be slightly cut down.

Then I headed to Lowes for wood since it was near the Re-Store. (I’m usually a Home Depot Gal, but I must say that the wood in Lowes was AWESOME. Cheap, good quality, and straight!) I left with all I needed including 3 sets of hinges for $26! (note to self: Lowes wood choices and prices were much better then Home Depot when I went there needing to buy one more piece.)

Once home I noticed the doors had this plastic lamination over the fronts of them and it had started breaking free in a few places, so I scraped that right off! They are MDF underneath. These will get a paint job. I measured and determined I will have to take off the ½” molded edge on the table saw so they fit.

I cut into the carpet, removed the closet shelf, sprayed texture over the area it was missing, and then painted it white. Then I built my frame. 

The frame looks flimsy, but it is reinforced, and it’s not just one little layer of frame. All glued and pinned together. (I also added a tac strip under this newly cut carpet edge) The wood looks white cause I used a spray primer on it before I built it.

Then I got some cardboard and made a template for the top… A large bit would have been nice, but I used what I had, and just taped it together with packing tape. I used small thinner pieces for the angles so I didn’t have too many thick layers of cardboard to deal with and possibly messing with my exactness. (that would have been hard.)

Then I went in search of something I could use for the top. Off to Home Depot. You may remember when I made my DESK, I used 4 hollow-core doors for the desk top. I kept this in mind as a possibility, but first went to counter tops. Nothing... I wanted white, and I wanted it affordable, and they had neither. I was fully prepared to go to IKEA and see what they had, but I ended up looking at doors. The width I needed was 27.5”, and when I found a 28” door for $21 which was only 2.5” too short on the length, I said “It’s mine.” Since the closet is a funny shape that tapers at one end, the 2.5” will be totally hidden, and provide a place where wires could come from below to the top if needed. (I say IF because I plan on drilling a hole at the back in the middle for cables.)

My template needed the back and sides exact, so I didn’t worry about the cardboard lining up with the front edge of the door. Marked my lines, then cut the puppy.  The kitty watching is Glory. She’s a fan of projects… she’ll hang out and watch anything, even when my compressor comes on; she’s not phased.

Since the cut edges will be totally hidden, I don’t need to worry about the hollow holes showing. 
(In the past when I’ve had to worry, I used the scrap I cut off to fill the hole. It’s a slight pain-in-the-butt since you have to remove the vertical cardboard inside the door a little way, then from the off-cut remove the solid piece of MDF that was the doors edge. (realizing this might not make sense) Then this piece needs to be cut to size and glued into the open faced hole creating a new solid edge.)
Moving on…
With a little adjustment, cutting a little extra after the first fitting, the door slotted right in. It’s so tight I’m not even going to nail it. Paintable caulk along all the edges…. And then a paint job.  I realize that this old TV might scratch a painted surface, so I think I will need to just sew a thin white cloth for the TV to sit on. 

Since I had the TV cables entering the closet from the front before, I decided to solve my little issue by drilling holes through the drywall in the closet wall. 
Right of this closet is a closet in the room behind it.
I drilled holes near the floor so I could feed the cable and electric through both closets and have it end inside the cupboard.
The distance is near enough the same as it was when the cables were tucked in from the front. (You can see my cable issue in the first picture) Since these holes are totally out of sight in both closets I’m not going to worry about the raw drywall edges. I did make sure I was far enough away from the studs, so as not to make my life hard.
As I mentioned earlier, I drilled a hole in the middle at the back for TV cables to pass through.
I’ve painted the top with 4 coats, and attached the doors. I used knobs I already had, and might keep them. They seem a bit small, but I like how they don’t call attention to themselves.

I stuck my big old TV back in, and it looked rather floating, so I went in search of something tall. Not set on this décor plan, but it doesn’t matter since I got what I was after. A new and improved cupboard. (And the room looks bigger, which was an unexpected bonus.) (Natty in recliner, ready for some John Gidding.) 

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July 25, 2011

A mini-make over for a guest room.

So, I decided that I needed a pink wall in the green guest room. I have a friend with a pink wall in her bedroom, and it’s so adorable.  I’ve been thinking for about a year now I might need a pink wall too. (Shhhh… I am thinking of painting the laundry room pink too. After all, I did buy a gallon.)

So my green guest room was where I decided to take my friends inspiration and make it reality.
This picture is an inspiration I’ve hung onto. I like how clean it feels, so yellow would be part of this room too. I realize there is no pink in the picture, but we don’t always need to have images that inspire us looking like the finished idea in our heads.
This is one corner of the room, the white wall is the one I want pink. You might be able to see that I left a white border around the green walls. (I have two green walls opposite each other) I am going to do the same border for the pink wall, so I taped it up.

Lickety-split, up went the paint.
Now onto the next project before I show you the finished wall…
I decided this guest room needs a desk. I’m a big fan of modern mixed with old, so I came up with a plan.
Remember the two old legs I didn’t know what to do with? Well I decided they are going to be the front legs of a desk.

Here in this picture I have parts for my desk. (I only photographed one of each thing)
A desk top from IKEA $4. (normal price) Two random “as is” book case top and bottoms $2each.  Two free legs found in an alley (literally.) Two of 4 feet from a junked dresser that I will add to the legs for height. Not in this picture: the things I decided I needed along the way.
So the legs weren’t dark enough, I sanded them and stained them walnut. I didn’t do a hard-core sanding job, I like the uneven-ness that not sanding an old finish completely off will give. (I also screwed pine discs onto the tops of the legs so that I could screw the discs onto the table top.)

Then I chopped those two book case parts to the height I needed. I determined the height by adding the feet to the legs after those discs. This is what the hollow book case pieces look like cut. I put wood glue all along the edges and along the cardboard, putting them in place on the underside of the desk top.
 Then using L brackets I screwed them to the desk top. I have two types of L brackets because I used what I already had… (‘bout time I used some of the crap I collect.)
Then I decided to make sure I have stability, I should add braces between the white sides at the back… found two scraps of mdf for this purpose… Plus they are already primed!
Using a small piece of scrap wood for a spacer, I nailed the brace into place. (Nail Gun is my favorite tool)
Then I used the same spacer again for the second piece of wood.  YES… I managed to put the first piece of wood on backwards. There I was all excited it was already primed, and I put it on backwards. Nevermind.

Now… what about the holes in the bookcase parts???  Well, white filler is my friend for this. Both sides of the bookcase parts had holes so I filled them all, let them dry, then used a wet cloth to wipe them clean and flush.
I painted the back braces white, and turned it over!
Not the most amazing piece of furniture in the world, but it’s exactly what I wanted.
Enter cute yellow chair…
I put a white curtain on the window, and a white duvet on the bed. Using blankets and pillows to bring the bed color.
If you are familiar with my blog... you recognise a couple projects in this photo:
OH, and... This bed I bought at a yard sale about 4 years ago... It was black and I paid $5!!!  Not kidding!

Colorful photos into the frames, and I call that a great little mini make-over.
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Unattractive jewelry?

So often pieces of jewelry have elements we like, and elements we don't. This no doubt stops many of you from purchasing, even when it's a good deal, cause heck, if you won't wear it... you won't wear it.

My friend was in town for a reunion, and we went shopping. We found a wonderful boutique called Cherry Lane Keepsakes on University Ave in Provo.  CUTE place… so much to see!  They were having clearance booths outside, and that’s where we started. My friend noticed something she thought she liked, then upon closer look she said, “ah, well, maybe not…” So I looked at it and told her… “$5!! We need these!!  I can turn this into something you will wear and love!”  So we each bought one.
This is what I made of hers… she now has a fun bracelet and earrings to go along with the cool necklace… The only addition was a pendant she also found at the same clearance booth.

Then I made this for me:
Pieces of chain we removed from hers, I added to mine, along with one more length of chain... crazy fast actually.

Never pass up a bargain just cause it isn’t exactly what you want.  Make it yours.
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