Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Trash to Treasure Tuesday and Tablescape Thursday

Edited: I'm reposting to include the Tablescape Thursday icon. My tablescape below is really rather embarassing compared to the others. But - I've got to start somewhere... ;)

These are some plain desert plates I've had forever. They are very nice - but I really never use them. So I decided to fancy them up with a 4th of July theme. We love the 4th around here - mostly because our littlest blessing was born on July 4th 2006! So - these plates will actually probably be used to serve some birthday cake on Saturday.

I used paper napkins - cut the star out in a circle. Then used spary adhesive to put it on the bottom of the plate. I then used modpodge to seal it. The food, etc. won't touch it since it is adhered to the bottom and showing through. AND - if I really want to - with some elbow grease, etc. I can change out the theme for a different holiday. These plates are also always handwashed - so I'm not worried about that. All in all - I like them and think I will use them at least twice a year - which is twice more a year than they've been used.

Here is the finished plate. I did four of them and then put them on some red place mats I bought around Christmas.

The finished table . Yes, my placemats need to be ironed... but I'm lazy like that. There will just be four of us this weekend (our big plans with family are next weekend)... so this works perfectly! The blue metal star is from the Dollar General. It is heavy and nice. I'll probably use it somewhere other than just here on the 4th. By the way though - Dollar General? Different from the Dollar Tree. This baby costs FIVE dollars. Oh - and the table cloth... a canvas drop cloth. I know - they're awesome.

Here's my little sweetie this morning. Sorry for the funny cropping - it was a horrible picture of me... I don't usually edit myself out - but, really, yuck.
By the way - if you missed my cedar chest "reinvention" yesterday. Check it out! I'm proud of it. Also, click the "reinvention" button at the top of this post to see Kimm's ideas and lots of other cool links if you're into this sort of thing. ;)

*EDITED NOTE: A thought; these would be very easy to do with some clear contact paper and any paper or fabric decor. You could cut a circle of the contact paper just the size of the bottom of the plate and use it to secure a decorative touch that would show through. Then - these could easily be switched out for any holiday or event - or just to match your evening decor!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Cedar Chest

I mentioned this chest on my last post. Since then, I've been out of town for work and then to meet my new nephew (yes - he's adorable and tiny)... anyway, I'm excited to get back to my blogs and be able to show off the metamorphosis of my new favorite piece of furniture.
Here is what it looked like when I brought it home (the toy on top was not included. ;) My daughter insisted it be in the picture). By the way - this sucker is HEAVY. It is a Lane cedar chest and I paid $30.

It was in good shape but with dated, somewhat smelly fabric on top and was missing a couple of the white knobs. This baby actually got sanded and PRIMED (something which my husband always encourages but that I tend to ignore because I'm very impatient - and maybe a little lazy). The hard work paid off because I LOVE the result.

Here it is as it was just finished. Guess what I used for the top? Yep, a canvas drop cloth. They are all the rage around the blog world... and I have to agree. Quick, cheap, and looks great!
Here it is in it's place. I holds a basket for each of my kids to put their shoes, lunch box, whatever else gets dragged in from the car in... and my husband found that there is room for his school bag as well. ;)
This is mainly just a gratuitous cute puppy picture - but also to show you the reason that said items from picture above can no longer reside on the floor. ;)
To see more cool transformations - check out Metamorphosis Monday!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Finding Good Junk...

I've started getting a pretty good sense of where I like to go to find fun "junk" to re-do in my area... I have a couple favorite thrift stores in town now. However, I've also had some good luck with Craigslist lately (selling and buying). Last week - I happened upon an add for a cedar chest - it is a Lane and in great shape. I wasn't at all in the market for one - but as soon as I saw a picture of this one I knew just where we could use it. After it's makeover, it turned out even BETTER than I imagined. I can't wait to share pictures...although I can't until Friday. I know! That is so lame. But I'm out of town and didn't bring my camera along to upload the pictures.

My other new obsession ("other" being in addition to scouring for ugly things to make pretty) is reading Freecycle ads in my city. I'm not even looking for anything in particular. I just like to see what people are giving away! Anyone out there gotten anything awesome from Freecycle? I'd love to hear about it!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Junk Party on my front porch!

I have been excited to share this post because it is a few small projects in one - and an entire EASY makeover for our cute little front porch. The best part... I think I only spend about $25 or $30. Actually, I think the best part was the actual fun that the projects provide. I love the creative outlet of starting with some junk and ending up with something beautiful.

So here goes - The before: Our front porch. The bench was made by my talented husband several years ago and it needed some company. Note: those aren't really stars on our column - it's our house number that I cleverly blocked out for privacy purposes. ;)

I searched for a little side table for the bench for a couple of weeks. This style table kept showing up in thrift shops and I started getting a vision for it. I found the perfect one last week at a Goodwill outlet shop for $5.
This is a little future flower holder. 99 cents. Again at the Salvation Army store. Yes, home to the wine rack, magazine stand, ladder...
This beauty was actually fluorescent orange before some black spray paint.
Here's the first glimpse at the finished area. Check out the table! I love it. White spray paint and decoupaged fabric on top (why yes, I am becoming a Mod Podge pro). The little future flower holder was painted red with silver stripes taped off (my five year old son was especially impressed with the stripes... I love positive feedback - even from a five year old ;)).

This glimpse shows the hanging flower holder in the background as well. The cushions for the bench were handmade by yours truly. I actually did purchase the great outdoor fabric from fabric.com - however - I used a $5 cushion found at a thrift shop to recover for the main cushion. It is not EXACTLY the right size... but I think it serves its purpose alright.

Final view. I think it is cheerful and homey looking. Our neighborhood is a builder's neighborhood where the houses are all VERY similar. I love it that ours now has a little more character and personalization. My husband has played a huge role in this too planting flowers and creating lovely landscaping. Oh - one last bargain to mention... the hanging flower baskets (sans flowers) were $4 a piece at Big Lots.
To see more cool "junk" made over beautifully - check out: Kaneesha's blog...she's having a junk party today!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Steppin' Up

It's Tuesday again! This will be my third time or so in linking up to Kimm at Reinvented...trash to Treasure!

My find this week is a little ladder that I found at the Salvation Army store for 99 cents. This was the source of the wine rack and magazine holder I've shown as well. So, the ladder started out plain brown wood - a little country looking.

The wall I hung it on needed it to have a little color. When I tried it all white - it stuck out too much. So, I used a little golden/peachy paint with a sponge on the face of it and some rub on lettering. The lettering made it feel personal and perfect for these pictures of the kids. Now - the pictures are printed off on card stock and then decoupaged. I need to do another coat. I wanted them to look old-fashioned, antiqued. What do you think?

Monday, June 15, 2009

A Summer Craft for the kids

Isn't she lovely? The kids and I made our own butterflies this weekend. This was an easy craft that we thought up... my almost three year old enjoyed it and was able to do a lot of it herself, and my 5 1/2 year old also enjoyed it. So - there you have it. Something for all ages. Would you like to do your own? See below for some quick tips.

Supplies needed: Clothespins, Glue, pipe cleaners, construction paper, scissors, marker, googly eyes (or you can just draw the eyes), strings (if you want to hang it from somewhere)
My daughter chose to decorate hers with stickers - which was a fun way for her to have control over how it looked. I had to do the cutting and gluing, so adding something like stickers lets them get creative on their own.
My son was able to do it all himself - which was a challenge for him - in a good way. He was very proud to see his creation all finished.Hangin' from the chandelier!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thrifty Thursday Find

I'm sharing for the Thrifty Thursday's post at Tales from Bloggeritaville. This was another snag from the Salvation Army store a couple weeks ago. The same place I got the wine rack. I think it was $3? It is something we actually needed in our downstairs powder room, although I wasn't at all crazy or about the color or the bird. Sorry - nothing against birds... I'm just not into "country"... I like more cottage, eclectic, shabby chic type stuff. Sometimes there is a fine line... but this little bird crossed the line for me.

But, some paint and my FIRST attempt with Mod Podge - made all the difference!

I love it - and our puppy hasn't even seemed to be too excited over the TP and magazines that are within his reach. Let's hope it stays that way.

This is the picture that hangs above it. It's a little print I got in Japan years ago when I lived there for a time. I think it looks lovely with the new magazine stand.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Finally - a new sewing project

My little ones have "water play" days once a week this summer at their preschool. I made my daughter a little cover-up to wear over her suit to school on those days and I love how it turned out. So - I am offering them in my Etsy shop now. I've been busy with so many little projects and a couple Guatemalan T-shirts that I hadn't had time to do many new things lately. It was great to get to play and come up with something fun! Here's a sneak peak but click on my shop link to see more!

Monday, June 8, 2009

The 99 cent Wine Rack

I have an adorable little swimsuit cover-up to post that I made this evening for my daughter. It was a kind of a spur of the moment thing - but it turned out so cute, I'll add it to my Etsy shop. Watch for the post tomorrow probably!

In the meantime... I'm going to participate in a couple linkies today (I don't think that's at all what they're called). I just found a (new to me) blog - A Picture is Worth 1000 Words and she does "2nd time around Tuesdays" and I will also link up to Kimm at Reinvented. I'm getting this post done the night before because I'm going to busy with work tomorrow. So - if you don't see their Tuesday post yet - check back! Both of these women do some very creative things and I love browsing their blogs.

My trash to treasure and 2nd time around piece this week is this little wine rack I found at the Salvation Army store. It was 99 cents. Did you hear that? 99 cents. I've been needing a wine rack - we don't drink a lot of wine around here (I totally enjoy wine - so if you were thinking of buying me a bottle - still feel free) - but now and then we end up with a few bottles and no good place to store them. So voila - I give you my new 99 cent wine rack, which I think is completely cool.

The BEFORE - a little rickety, dirty and brown -but that's it.

The AFTER - black paint, cleaned up, left some of the brown for the cross bars, and a bottle of wine!
I know - the bottle looks lonely. Must get more wine now. Also, the flash made it apparent that I could use another coat of spray paint... although, in real life - it looks all black (glossy) - so I probably won't mess with it.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Cute, cheap and easy

This little piece was inspired by another blog I read -BUT I CAN'T REMEMBER WHICH ONE! So -please - if you recognize it - let me know and I'll link up to you! I did, of course, put my own spin on it and it turned out different but the concept is not my own. I think I maybe spent $2 on this? I got the T (first letter of our last name) at the Dollar Store and then used materials and things I had around the house for the rest of it (in fact, the back is a piece of hard cardboard-type-stuff that came in the packaging of something recently. I planned to hang it on the front door (which is black and I thought it would look good) but my husband diplomatically vetoed the idea. C'est la vie. So - I placed it on a little shelf in our dining room. And I actually like it there better... I think the front door probably needs something a little more substantial if we put anything there.
So - what do you think? Does it look cute and decorative or like one of my kids brought home a project from school? I'm hoping the former... but sometimes after working on a project it's hard to look at it objectively. Kind of like eating your own cooking.

Experimenting here... I didn't end up using the small black frame - just the fabric and glass.

The finished project:

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Easy trays have changed my life

Ok - right off I'll admit I didn't snap before pictures. I didn't expect to love these little trays enough that I'd post pictures of them here. But I do! One of them is wooden and was metallic gold. I got it on clearance at TJ Maxx around the holidays. The other one is a hard plastic and had a bright, kind of ugly, picture of wine and grapes on it. I think I got it at a grocery store maybe?

SO - some (you know what's coming) spray paint and then some coordinating contact paper and they are now completely useful (easy to wipe clean) and look like they belong in our family room instead of just being there.

We use a big Ottoman as one of our coffee tables and it is so handy to have these trays to put drinks on and then to also move on to the couch to hold my coffee if I'm working there, the kids snacks, etc. Seriously, for about $10 total... I am definitely getting my money's worth. So - voila - here they are:
On the ottoman:

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