Wednesday, October 26, 2011

DoorMat Redo

We have a "man door" into our garage.  Since we have lived in the house it has been used and abused.  I had used Advantage hooks to hang a wreath at various times, but since the four gentlemen I live with are not always gentle when entering and exiting the house, it had been broken.  Generally there is some random item stacked by this door.  For about a year a dehumidifier sat in this corner.  Dehumidifiers are not hot items here in Utah, so there it sat.  I'm not sure where it is now.  But, I digress.

Last month I finally got fed up with my nasty looking door way.  I painted the door.  I DO NOT recommend spray painting a garage door for a couple of reasons:
  • It is hard to paint evenly with spray paint.  As Papa C says, "There's nothing worse than a bad paint job."
  • To paint a door you generally have to have the door open.  Spray paint cans emit a fine spray of paint- about 10% does not land on the project, but on those items nearby.  In this case, the overspray landed on my beloved black Toyota Prius.  It did not come off in the carwash, but it DID come off with a nice buffing from an orbital buffer.  (Papa C was really not impressed with me that day, but he never gets mad!)
Anyway, I jumped back to my senses and painted the door using exterior gloss latex paint and a small door roller.  It looks much nicer.  Especially the back side that had never been painted.

Next I added this old chair, which I spray painted it in this awesome green. (On the front lawn- far away from vehicles or anything else paintable.)  I am loving green right now. There is no seat in the chair, so I can put a plant pot into it, but I also cut a piece of plywood and painted it so that I could place items on the chair.

Then there was the door mat.  I know, I know.  It's a doormat.  But, when I am driving into my garage space, I see this door, so mostly I wanted it to look better for me. This is a mat that I bought at WalMart a few years ago.  I went looking for a new one, but I couldn't find anything I really loved and I was feeling cheap.  I used acrylic paint to brighten up the worn mat.  To be honest, I didn't think it would work very well (so I wasn't too concerned about color choice), but it was easy and this is how it looks after a month of regular wear.  (Complete with dryer lint for your viewing pleasure.)

So, I may re-do it with some bright Christmas colors in a month.  If it isn't covered with snow!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Glittered Pumpkin Candelabra

I got the urge to do something different in my dining area this Halloween season.  One day the idea popped into my head to put pumpkins over the lights.  The hardest thing about this project was finding these "old-fashioned" pumpkin buckets.  I finally found them at my local Walgreens for $1.99 a piece.  I had already measured my lighting fixture to know how much space there was between the individual "candles" and how tall the bucket needed to be.  I almost always have a tape measure in my large purse, so I knew that these would work before I bought them.

The first thing that I did was to drill the hole in the bottom of the pumpkins so that they would slip over the lighting fixture.  I used a 1" paddle bit on my hand held electric drill and it was super easy.  Messy, but easy!

I decided that I wanted to apply glitter to the pumpkins.  I used a set of  Halloween micro-glitter from Martha Stewart that I have had for at least two years.  They have fairly large jars, as far as glitter goes.  In a bowl I mixed a about 1 part black glitter with about 4 parts orange glitter.  I spread Mod Podge onto the pumpkin with a sponge utility brush.  It works best if you do small sections at a time and only work in a up-down motion.  Sprinkle the glitter over the glued sections and then move on.  I avoided the black parts until the end when I used a paintbrush to cover those areas with glue and then put black glitter in those areas.

I absolutely LOVE how the pumpkin candelabra looks glinting in the late afternoon sunlight.  I did learn a few things though:
  •  I think that the project would have been just as good (and better for the perfectionist) without the glitter.  It is very hard to apply a perfectly even coat of paint, so there are variations in the amount of glitter in different areas of the pumpkins.
  • This project used a LOT of glitter.  I needed another bottle of orange because I was getting skimpy on pumpkins 4 and 5.
  • You may want to get different light bulbs.  I was not happy with the regular lightbulbs, so I purchased white night light bulbs and I love the eerie glow.  Plus, I don't mind leaving it on as a spooky night light.
  • I really was not pleased with the lighted result on the first night that I created this project, but their imperfection has grown on me.  Everyone who has been in my house has loved them.

Printable Vintage Fall iPhone Backs

Last April I stepped into the Apple craze with an iPhone.  I immediately started looking for a clear case because I wanted to "scrapbook" the back of my phone.  I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, but I did find a clear-ish case that I have been using.  In the last month or so my case has been driving me crazy because it had taken on a yellowish tint.  It just looked old and yuck.

Today I was at Best Buy and the iPhone cover area just happened to catch my eye. I bought a new, truly clear phone cover.  I wasn't happy about the price of $29.95, but I was feeling a bit splurgy and it came home with me.

I recently acquired some vintage images, so I decided to make them into little phone backs.  And why not share them?  The only thing that I didn't do was mark the opening for the camera.  Each case may be a little different, so the best plan is to trace the hole and carefully cut it out with an Xacto knife.

Vintage Fall iPhone Backs

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Simple, Changeable Art with free printable

The MudRoom view, complete with Clark

We have lived in our home for almost 8 years.  That doesn't sound like that long, but with three boys and two dogs running around, we have sustained some damage.  One of the hardest hit areas in our house is the MudRoom.  It is that area just off the garage that collects backpacks, shoes, coats, and basically anything that should go back to the garage. . . but hasn't yet!  I also had my recycling bin in the MudRoom. 

I really wanted to do a complete re-do and put up beadboard, but I chickened out.  I would love to put in a cushioned bench, but it would be in the way of the central vac, so I went with a simple paint job.  I just spackled the walls like crazy to deal with holes and dings and re-painted the original color.  I may still paint an accent wall, but I love so many colors that I cannot settle on one!

Anyway, I wanted there to be a happy, inspirational feeling when we come into the house, so new artwork was important.  I think we still need the magnet board that used to grace this space, but it will be getting a makeover, too! (Coming soon!)  Several years ago (yeah, years) I bought these four frames.  They were unfinished wood and I have just kept them out in the garage.  I guess they must have been on sale- I have no idea if I had a project in mind when I bought them!

To paint the frames, I first put a light coat of brown on the edges.  Nothing fancy, but I knew that I was going to eventually sand the edges and I wanted some depth.  Then I painted two coats of white.  I used plain, old acrylic paints that I bought from WalMart.  My goal is to use them up so that I can justify buying some of Martha Stewart's new paint line.  It looks fabulous!!!   After the paint dried I lightly sanded the edges with a sanding block.  I may go back in a few days and distress them some more, but it is a lot easier to take off more paint than it is to put it on, so I wanted to live with it.

For the art, I had bought some beautiful papers from sei a few weeks ago that I have been excited to use.  I wanted a quote to kind of tie things together.  I found out a few days ago that a friend of mine has pancreatic and liver cancer.  Not a good prognosis- in fact, she may choose to forego treatment.  Those situations always make me think and I thought this quote would help me keep things in the proper focus.   For my project the frame openings are 8x8, so everything was cut to that size.

If you like the quote, please feel free to download it in either orange or green.  All the design is original work by me, so there is no copyright infringement.  They are in 12 x 12 format, but you can print them smaller if you need to.

Life is a Gift- green Download
Life is a Gift- orange Download

I have really been debating whether I should leave the wrought iron decoration black or if I should paint it white.  I feel pulled towards white, but I have a lot of iron in my home so it feels more connected by leaving it black.  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

Lewis wanted equal time.  He's a sweetie!