Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dining Table Turned Desk

I've been busy this week. Besides the fact that the kids are home from school & wanting my attention, there are several other things going on this week. Yet, in the midst of it all, I decided to take on a project that's been waiting its turn in the garage.

I think this was my biggest project yet, & I'm proud to say that I did it all myself, from sanding & cleaning to painting & cleaning up. I actually do most of my projects myself, but this one seemed different because it was just BIG.

Here's how it looked when I found it:

To you, it may look like a dining table, but to me, it's the perfect desk I had been searching for for our highly under-decorated library. If you've been around here long, you know I'm going on the philosophy of "Use-What-You-Find Decorating" since we moved into our house last fall. This simply means that I keep my eyes peeled (usually at the thrift stores) for pieces I like & when I come across something at a price I can live with (this table was a steal at $38), I make it work. The fun part is, I never know what I'll be working on next!

When I found this piece at Goodwill, the first thing I noticed were the legs. I'm not sure what the correct decorating term would be for these legs, but I call them a harp/turned leg combination. And I thought right away that they are the perfect look for a desk.

If the table had been solid wood, I would've chosen to stain it, but since the top is veneer, like so many dining tables, I had to paint. So, it went black. And I'm very happy with the result. My husband wanted to use the entire table with the leaf at first, but at 76" long, it was a little out of scale with the room, so we removed the leaf & it's the perfect size.

At the advice of an expert at Sherwin Williams, I used their enamel in Low Sheen Black, right off the shelf. It only took a half a quart to do 2 coats on this desk. And no protective top coat is necessary!

This gives you an idea of just how pitiful this room is at the moment. But at least I have a desk now, and that's a small step up.

Now I've added "desk chair" to my mile-long list of things I'm on the look-out for. And who knows, maybe soon the books will come out of the boxes & I may actually get some curtains for this room as well!

I'm linking up with some of these parties. Come get inspired!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Goodwill Lamp Re-Vamp

As I was browsing through Goodwill one day (as I often do), I saw this big yellow lamp & it caught my eye immediately because of its gorgeous shape. And because it was half-off day, it was a beautiful $3. It would have had me at $6.

My plan from the beginning was to put it on my hall table, but to do that, it needed to be painted. I actually liked the yellow, but it wouldn't work where it needed to go, so I went for my favorite Krylon metallic silver.

What separates this paint from other metallics I've tried is that this one gives a truer reflective finish, very similar to silver leafing, but with the convenience of a spray!

A couple coats of that & it was shiny & new. But, I thought I heard it screaming "Look at me, I'm spray-painted!". It was so perfect & consistent, it was obvious that it had just been made-over, rather than found in a nice home dec store. It lacked dimension & texture. In cases like this, it's a good idea to to a little "antiquing". So, I took a little craft paint (this time Raw Umber), & brushed on a tiny amount in the detailed areas of the lamp. Then, before it dried, I wiped most of it back off, giving it an aged effect.

Notice the difference?

I also chose to re-wire it, as I recommend doing if you buy an old lamp like this. You can get a kit like this at Lowe's or HD & follow the instructions on the package.

With a new linen drum shade, the project was done!

I'm linking up to these parties...

Don't miss your chance to enter my giveaway going on here!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

"Things I Know For Sure" Thursday

I can't believe it's already been a month since my husband & I came home from Europe. And since I spent days gushing about everything I loved in Paris, I thought I'd give you a break from feeling like you were being held captive in the neighbors' living room, forced to watch a 2000-frame slideshow of their latest vacation. (Okay, to the few of you I did this to, thanks for putting up with me.)

I had planned to do at least a few posts about London, as we spent 5 days there as opposed to only 3 in Paris, but time has flown & I'm just now getting to it. The truth is, we loved London as much as we did Paris & I do have the pics to prove it. But I will just give you a little taste of one of my absolute favorite parts of the trip & make a little recommendation. Because one thing I know for sure is that if you ever visit London on a Saturday, you simply must go to the Portabello Road Market in Notting Hill.

You might remember how I was a little disappointed that I never found a true Paris flea market? Well, Notting Hill made up for that & more. The best way I know to describe it is that it's like a mile-long British Anthropologie. With food. And better prices. And it's just dripping with English charm. I was like a girl in...well, Anthropologie!

Here are just a few shots:




a store FULL of knobs!

And here's me-digging thru some antique silverware, trying to beat the woman next to me in a search for all the monogrammed "R" spoons...Ahh- memories!








This shop's window was decorated with gift bows. Adorable!

The little table I really wanted to bring home--only


I so regret not buying one of these...

You just never know what you'll find...



And my favorite shop...

full of British toys...{gasp!}

And-be still my heart! I HAD to have this for my Paris bathroom, but my husband was already about to have a heart attack after trying to keep me from buying everything I saw. And we were concerned it might get damaged in the suitcase on the way home. So, I left it there...

And then came home & ordered it online.

Oh, I can't wait to go back!

I'll be sharing the fun with a few of these link parties...check them out!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fabric Flower Headband

It's summer! That means keeping the kids busy one way or another. So, my girls & I have been having fun making fabric flower headbands. I was first inspired to do this when I saw Kendra's post here. We followed her instructions & came up with these:

this one was made from a t-shirt:

this one was made from some scrap fabric:

And this one was made from a bathing suit that had a broken clasp. The bow was part of the original suit!

And we had so much fun with those, we made a few more with a different type of flower. Here's how we did those:

We made some petals by cutting five pieces of fabric measuring approximately 3" x 6" into the shape of a bow tie like this:

To construct the flower, I folded the "bow ties" in half & sewed a loose stitch across the bottom edge, pulling the threads to gather it.

I repeated the process with all five petals, using the same thread to attach them all together.

Once the petals are secured together, we added a fabric-covered button for the flower center & sewed it onto the headband! If you've never done a fabric-covered button, you can find a kit for them where sewing supplies are sold. They're fun & easy! This was the girls' favorite part.

These are so quick & simple. This technique will make a casual flower with a raw edge & maybe a few threads hanging. If you like a more polished & finished look, you can sew the sides of each petal & finish the seam before constructing the flower.

If you have girly girls like mine, they'll love wearing these as much as they love making them!

Sharing this with these link parties!