Wednesday, 28 November 2012

49 Cents For A Pendant Light?

ALMOST 49 cents would be more accurate but not nearly as interesting a title!  I did have to buy a socket and a threaded washer.  I think they came close to $7.  So, lets say $7.49 for a hanging light for over the sink.

After doing the galvanized metal paint look on the breakfast bar, I wanted an aged metal hanging light.  I was running around asking everyone I knew if they had an old funnel and getting nowhere fast. That led me to a scrounging session at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, with my sister.  She held up a metal vase (probably a florist item) and asked if I could do anything with it.  I snatched it up, grinned at the 49 cent price, and brought it home for a little DIY magic!

Here it is in it's original incarnation. ~

Of course, I had no idea how to turn it into a light fixture.  A visit with the always helpful folks at Home Hardware got the theory worked out and a little bag of parts.  

I'd like to tell you I did this myself, and I'm pretty sure I could have, but my BIL offered to do it for me.  That's A-okay with me!

A hole was drilled through the centre of the vase base with an ordinary drill and bit.  A threaded washer on the outside of the vase and a light socket screwed into it from the inside is pretty much all it took. ~

A simple length of shielded wire was fed through the threaded washer and wired to the socket.  You do want to know what you are doing with electricity to be sure the wires are attached correctly.  

The other end of the wire is attached to the box on the ceiling and viola!  One industro chic pendant lamp! ~

I love how the rivets stand out when the light is on!

It was really sunny when I tried to get shots of the finished light, so these aren't the best, but you get the idea. ~

Mixing modern, industrial with antique is called 'creating tension' in the world of decorators.  Switching things up a bit stops the room from getting stuffy or too predictable.

I just may get finished this kitchen in time for Christmas!

The draw for these cute Fun Fur Christmas Trees is open until Sunday! 

 Just drop by 

at Etsy by clicking here, choose your colour and come on back here to leave me a comment letting me know your choice.  It's super easy and open to everyone! 

Monday, 26 November 2012

Starting Christmas Decorating

I have to decide which of these adorable, hand knit Christmas trees I want to buy from my sister's Etsy shop.

I like the black and silver set if they are going in my library. ~

But then, the traditional red, green and white are awfully cute on top of my spice cabinet. ~

Or, I could go with the blue to match my cobalt kitchen accessories. ~

But, I just checked out her shop and saw these great, new teal ones! ~

Then, there's the hot pink, the natural browns .....

So many trees, so little time to decide!!!

These trees are 100% wool, hand made by my sister Knitter Extraordinaire and completely safe for pets and little tots.  As much as I enjoy pulling tinsel out a kitty's butt, this may be the safest route for me to go with Maeve in the house!

While I'm making up my mind which to choose, why don't you all go over and check out 2 Be Cherished here and pick out a set for yourself?  Come on back and leave me a comment to let me know which colour you love the most and I'll put your name in the hat for a draw.  On Sunday I'll pull a name and send the winner their very own set of fuzzy, hand knit Christmas trees!

Yay!  I get to give my very first Christmas gift of 2012!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Let's Talk Paint & Paper

I've had some questions about colour choice and materials used in my kitchen redo so I'm going to jump right into some of the nuts and bolts of the job.

In the last post, I talked about turning a stock cupboard into open shelving.  My dear friend Mel, from Mellywoods Mansion, piped right up and asked if it was real beadboard. ~

The original plan was to have beadboard installed as a backsplash.  When finances dictated that I wait to install a new counter, I couldn't invest in having beadboard installed.  The new counter (whenever it appears) won't have a raised back and the job would have to be done all over again.

Instead, I went to this. ~

At $24 for a double roll, this stuff is amazing!  You really cannot tell it isn't the real thing.  There's a bit of a trick to applying it.  It's realism comes from it being a very puffy, 3D design.  If you apply pressure during application, it will pucker and the look is spoiled.  Even the seams can only be gently smoothed.

I've used this type of anaglyptic wallpaper to cover accoustic tile ceilings and, again, you have to be careful not to press it into the seams of the tiles.

I've had it on the kitchen ceiling for a few years and have painted it twice. ~

It covers a myriad of sins!  Too bad they don't make some of that for life.

Melly used the beadboard paper on her nursery closet doors.  Here it is behind the adorable night light she made for the babies. ~

I absolutely love the look of this paper!  I've painted mine the same colour as the walls, Benjamin Moore White Down CC-50.

The cabinets were washed with TSP and primed with Benjamin Moore Fresh Start.  I removed the doors to paint them but don't think I would bother another time.  If you do remove yours, remember to mark where they go.  I marked mine in the holes for the hardware. ~

The kitchen is situated between the black and white dining room and a family room that has a lot of brown in it.  To create a good flow in colour, I wanted a brown based grey.  My choice was Benjamin Moore Silver Fox 2108-50.  This is a true chameleon colour that responds to surrounding colour and light.  In my master bath, it looks very dark.

In this room is looks light grey.  You absolutely must try a sample of this in your room before making your decision! ~

I found a couple of great tools to help the painting process, especially on a job that is dragging along like this one!

This reusable paint can lid is a lifesaver! ~

Love the pour spout! ~

Beautitone has made a holder for the wet roller that has kept mine usable for 3 weeks.  I'm on a septic system and can't wash paint into it so rollers wind up being thrown out after a couple of days of keeping them in the fridge.  This is airtight and really, really works!

I'm sold on everything I've used in this project.  How often does that happen?

Now I'm on to the tricky job of replacing an 80's style pot light covered in a plexiglass shade thingy. ~

This I cannot fix with some paint and paper!!!

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Changing A Cabinet To Open Shelving

Just taking the doors off didn't disguise that the cabinet over my shelf was stock cabinetry.  I wanted it to look like open shelving.

The first step was to carry the beadboard onto the back wall of the cabinet. ~

This covers up screws on the back of the cabinet.

I've removed the adjustable shelf and marked the holes where I want it to go with masking tape ~

I need to cover all the side holes and I chose vintage sheet music for my "wallpaper".  I sprayed the paper with Elmer spray adhesive and let it set for 5 mins.  This makes a temporary, instead of permanent, adhesion and I should be able to remove the sheet music with little difficulty.  If I wanted a more permanent glue, I'd attach it to the cabinet immediately after spraying. 

It's easy to find the holes for the plugs with the masking tape markers and pop the shelf back in. ~ 

Now, we've gone from this ~

To this ~

I use these pieces all the time and now they are on display.

I love this antique, ironstone jelly mould that I found in a thrift store for $6.99! ~

The sheet music echoes the colours of this early, black and white transferware plate with it's romantic Roman scene. ~

I admit my addiction to pitchers and cream jugs! ~

Restyling this cabinet is the only thing in this kitchen redo that has been quick and simple to do!  I used materials I had on hand and the cost of this project was zero.  Yay!!!

I'm joining the party at:  Favorite Things Blog HopTransformation ThursdayUnder $100 Linky PartyWildly Original Link PartyShare You Cup ThursdayA Favorite ThingSunny Simple SundayNick Of Time TuesdayTweak It Tuesday

Monday, 19 November 2012

I Officially Declare It Christmas Season!

Now, the Americans will be groaning because they haven't even done Thanksgiving yet.  But, we Canadians get all that out of the way early and move right on to Santa Claus parades, Sunday school pageants and parties.

As a family, we're dealing with increasing distances between our members and, with many having to make 2+ hour car rides to get there, we need to get the extended family together very early in the season.  My cousin's son and his dear wife offered to host as they have the most central location.

My sister, brother in law and I were headed to the big city.  It's not that easy for country folk, you know.  There I am, in full makeup and party clothes, under a barn coat and muck boots, chasing my chickens around and around the pen to herd them into bed early.  It's totally breaking my sister up that I have Gert tucked under one arm while I fight off an irate Charlotte, who doesn't appreciate the early curfew!  I get two chickens in the coop and three chickens run out!

Let's hit the road and see what's new in the world.

What the heck does this sign mean?  I've never seen it before. ~

I'm laughing my head off and saying, "What, we get fined $500 for eating spinach out of a can like Popeye?".  "Is this a Popeye restricted area?".  My sister says that is a good example of how I don't think like anyone else.  She's sure Popeye would not have entered anyone else's mind.  Come on, admit it, some of you thought of him!

Our hostess loves cardinals and her tree was beautifully done up in them! ~ 

I reworked my Elmo heads (not balls) for a Christmas theme and did Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer. ~

Baby sweetly said, "Hi, Rudolph" and then picked his nose off and ate it.  I'm a little concerned that she's so comfortable making friends with something and then consuming it.

Don't be fooled by this sweet baby face.  She'll eat you if she takes the notion! ~

For anyone who wasn't named Rudolph, a great time was had!  IT guys and hospital administrators, jockeys and singers, builders and artists, writers and martial artists, farmers and city folk, dogs and kids all came together with a common bond; FAMILY!

We'll travel as far as we have to share the season! ~

I hope this holiday starts as well for each and every one of you!

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Faking The Breakfast Counter Top

The original plan for redecorating the kitchen included new counter tops.  The ceramic tiled breakfast counter, that was in the pass through from the dining room to kitchen, had been removed.  With finances putting the more elaborate plans on hold, I was scrambling for a way replace that section of counter, without committing myself to a surface that would dictate what I could install, when I am able to order new counter tops.

I'm fond of the look of aged zinc and thought I'd have a go at creating that look with paint.  I had a big box
store cut a piece of poplar to length.  Poplar is a little pricey, over $5 a foot but I needed wood that didn't have knots showing.  I was kind of surprised when it rang through at $3.12.  As we left the store, my girlfriend starting saying, "Start the car!  Start the car!".  Why was she doing an Ikea ad?  O'mgosh.  I was only charged for 6" of board!  An ethical person would have marched back inside and corrected the error, but I was not waiting in that line up again.  I hope this isn't doing something terrible to my karma and I have to come back as something weird to atone for it!

This is the ill gotten board set in place. ~

My BIL came over to show me how to counter sink screws with a little auger tool that goes on the end of the drill.  ~

 The next step was to create the look of rivets by hammering upholstery tacks in along the sides. ~

I brushed flat black paint on in different directions, leaving bits of wood showing through. ~

Now the paint layering begins.  I used a craft paint in rust, daubing it on with an old paintbrush where the wood was showing.  Then, I added a pewter coloured craft paint. ~

I'm going back and forth between a bit of sea sponge dipped in the rust and pewter and the old paint brush that is used to smoosh the edges of the daubs into the next colour. ~

It's important to take a creepy picture of your hand looking like a wrinkly crypt keeper's appendage!

Next, I need to add some shine in spots to create the look of metal.  I used Modern Masters craft paint in champagne and aged bronze and did the same daubing, smooshing technique. ~

At this point, I'm using my fingers along with the sponge and brush and smooshing my little heart out.

It all needs to be toned down a bit and I dipped my old brush in the black paint and used a newspaper to wipe most of the paint off the brush.  You want to go very lightly with this step, barely brushing across the whole board. ~

You could use this technique to create the look of marble, slate, granite;  anything you can dream up. They sell kits for around $100 that are really just the same thing with a sealer included.  I'm guessing the sealer is just some kind of epoxy.  I'll use a flat finish on this to keep it looking like aged zinc.  If I was going for granite, I'd use a shiny sealer.

This turned out really well and I seriously doubt anyone would realize it's not metal until they touched it.

Since I had all the paints in my craft stash, someone gave me the upholstery tacks and I ripped off a big box store for $15 on the poplar, the total cost for this part of the kitchen redo is $3.12. ~

Well, that and a very guilty conscience!

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Sunday, 11 November 2012

Highway Of Heroes

In Canada, we honour our fallen military personnel by naming portions of the Trans Canada Highway in their honour. ~

If they fall in a foreign land, they are brought home to the Trenton Air base.  I was born on that air base.  Today, I listened to the serviceman who, for many years, had the job of escorting the hearse and the family members from that base, along a 170 k stretch of highway that has 50 bridges.  He said the families were grieving as expected, but each time they passed under a bridge, they smiled and waved and commented on the show of support for their loss and the ultimate sacrifice paid.

That's because with each fallen hero brought home to us, this happens. ~

photo courtesy of Spendthrift And Dreams

Not one hero passes along this highway alone!

Today, we give thanks to all the brave men and women who have risked their lives for our freedom.  We bow our heads in memory for those who gave their very lives for our freedom.  We think of the shattered lives and terrible struggles so many have suffered from the trauma of action.  We are grateful and humbled by  their selfless devotion to their homeland and the ideals we hold so dear.

My hero joined the Royal Canadian Airforce, by special letter of permission, at age 17.  He'd already lied about his age and enlisted at age 15 and was very close to being sent overseas before he was found out. By 18 he was stationed in Britain and was a tailgunner on Lancaster bombers.  He knew full well that there was no escape for tailgunners, should the plane be shot down.

When the war in Europe ended, he immediately signed up for the war in the Pacific.  He was sent home on a thirty day leave and, on the 29th. day, Japan surrendered.  He had done his duty and then some!

Thanks, Dad.  I'm so glad you did not return via the Highway Of Heroes.  I'm so glad you had the courage to stand up for your beliefs and I carry on your ardent support of our service people.

I'll always remember! ~

This press photo of my Aunt Molly, a decorated Canadian Nursing Sister, is taken in Flanders Fields.  These poppies are a beautiful symbol of remembrance and hope that someday no one needs us to greet them them as they make their silent journey down our Highway Of Heroes!