Knobby

I collect things. It could be years, or it could be minutes, but I will eventually use everything I find.  I have bins, lots of bins, they line the shelves and confuse my family.  I imagine I am a magpie. The items appear to be useless, but not to me.  The shape, the color, the material appeals and I stash.  The other day I cracked open the knob bin, and I was off.

First curtain rods. The curtains come together easily, I measure, iron and sew simple panels.  I want to use these cool knobs that were given to me.  I scour my stores and come up with threaded rod and cup hooks.  I hang the curtain on the rod and put two knobs on the end.  I strategically placed cup hooks in the window trim to hold the rod.  I can easily fit the curtain into the crook of the bay window by bending the rod.  I used chain I found in another bin to weigh down the hem.

IMG_1397 IMG_1433

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1485

IMG_1396

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used the rest of the these knobs in my bedroom in the unusable space next to a window and beside a closet to hang necklaces. I used scrap piece of wood (stretcher bar in this case) Using my necklaces as a guide to far apart to make the knobs I then drilled holes and tightened them on.

I replaced the knobs on the closet with the last two to make look a little nicer.

IMG_1435 IMG_1437Next I took a hammer to a hand railing in the kitchen that I have always hated.  Now that the space was opened up it was easier to plan my next move.  Dumping out the remainder of the knobs and sorting through I made a sort of pattern,  and attached them to a length of wood that I cut to fit in the space available.

IMG_1444 IMG_1443 IMG_1445 IMG_1478

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I almost used all the knobs, and I got a very excited reaction from The Associate.

First day I have to myself, and I clean my cabinets, then scarf.

I love summer and I am lucky to be able to be around when my kids are off,  but by mid August…  Anyone that stays at home with their children and attempts to have any semblance of a career can relate that it starts to suck.  In addition to my home duties I am starting a non-profit and I actually have things to do that require total concentration.  Apparently this idea is a bit too abstract for my spawn. I get a lot of “oh ya, that… ” from The Teenager whereas  The Associate simply wants to know if I am the boss.  When I answer “yes?” she wants to know if I can fire people.  Besides bringing the The Donald to mind and sending a nasty shiver down my spine I try to explain the concept of collaboration, and she quickly loses interest. *Sigh*

Purgatory is over and school is back in session. I can answer all my emails, complete those important phone calls, write a blog and get back to business.

IMG_0452

The Associate on her first day of 3rd Grade.

IMG_0449

This is the only image I was allowed to take of The Teenager.

As I poured myself a second cup of coffee in my blissfully empty home a cabinet door crashed to the ground.  By the time I rounded up a new hinge, screws, drill bit and successfully charged up the drill, I had gone crazy cleaning out my cupboards in the mudroom and kitchen.  I forced myself to finish the chore I unwittingly started and attempted not to lament my dream of a peaceful morning.

IMG_0463 IMG_0465

However! I did find something to play with while digging through the mudroom.  Even though it is too hot outside yet to wear scarves I don’t let myself hesitate.  I have had this idea for a couple years and every year I end up stuffing them back into a bin because I miss the boat.  I guess it can be argued that I have little control over my day, even when no smaller people are bugging me.

Momentarily I am distracted by the most wonderful package EVER!!!

IMG_0432

Seriously does this woman know me or what??? *Thanks Julia!*

The project is simple.  I have somehow accumulated 9 plaid scarves from various thrift shop adventures.  They are all different and all too short.

IMG_0440

After washing them and matching them up  I debate sewing them with a machine.  I give this a shot but feel like it looks lame.  I am trying to create lush and vibrant neck wear and the small stitching looks silly.  I trim off that mistake and decide try my absolutely favorite glue in the entire world!

IMG_9558

Some off the scarves are wider than others, but I really like the way the patterns and colors hang together.  I use the trim from the middle scarf to cover the overlap, and let dry.  The bond is very secure and in my past experience will hold up in the wash.  I discard ideas of decorative stitching in contrasting colors (mostly because I am terrible at it.)

IMG_0444

I then attempt to take pictures of my creations, but recall my model just started 10th grade.   This is the best I could do after discovering them in pile on her floor still un-selfied.

IMG_0476 IMG_0478  IMG_0481

Now I will put them away until the temperature goes down.  Maybe I’ll go answer some emails, answer phone calls. Oh wait, The Associate is home sick.

 

 

 

Jewelry Converts #3,4,5 (ongoing diy)

While flipping my closet out for summer attire I realized that my wardrobe has lost its flavor.  I used to be prone to outrageous combos, and was a real fan of double-knit.  Maybe now that I am “older” I am shying away from my more whimsical ensembles, and the last thing feel like doing is shopping for new clothes. They are expensive and made to fade these days,  so I’ll tone it down a bit but that means it is time to accessorize!   This was the first bunch I encountered when I closed my eyes and dunked my hand into the FREE miscellaneous bin in the church basement.

IMG_9427 IMG_9426

After thoroughly cleaning off the layer of caked on 80’s foundation, they didn’t look half bad.  Using wire cutters I snipped the metal holding the posts to the drop, It is that rigid, close to the ear thing that makes them really look bad.

IMG_9430

then I simply slipped on regular earring wires.  (When apple comes up with a phone that makes me look gorgeous in selfies, I’ll take a pic.)

IMG_9431

the final pair was pretty chunky and ugly but I wouldn’t give up. So I clipped them onto my high heels for a dash of 80’s glam.

IMG_9434 IMG_9432

The most important thing is to have fun and try to find little morsels of coolness. Unless you want to look like everybody else 🙂

 

jewelry converts #1 and #2 (ongoing DIY)

There are many cool earrings out there in the wild masquerading as clip-ons.  I have tried to wear them but, no thanks, it is less painful to change them quickly and cheaply.  I own an abundance of tools, but if you can’t make it over to my house to use them you should probably stock up on a few.

First of all don’t go anywhere near a craft store until you have a coupon from the paper, mail or online, if you forget yours you can google and it can be scanned right from your smart phone.  You can also get your pliers from a hardware store, but the prices are pretty similar when you use a coupon.

We won’t use all in each project, but I will add the most useful as I think of them

1. Round Pliers (I am sure there is a more technical name but it is escaping me at the moment) are good for making rings and curving metal wire.

2. Standard pliers (these come in all shapes, colors and sizes, just make sure they feel good in your hand)

3. Wire cutters (mine double as standard pliers so they are multipurpose, you can get snub nose cutters and two pairs of pliers,  whatever your preference you will most likely need two pairs of pliers at your disposal for proper jump ring action)

IMG_9394

 

4. Assortment of headpins

5. Assortment of jump rings (I like to have lots of colors and shapes around)

6. Ear wires  (These are the basic ugly ones that I adapt, or you can purchase prettier ones at the store or make your own if you are really ambitious)

 

IMG_9393 IMG_9392 IMG_9390

7. You must have interesting tidbits that you have found.  There are a ton of cool components at thrift stores, garage sales, or your mom’s dresser.  Try not to think about it as a whole but as pieces that can be broken up, and be sure to inspect them carefully and make sure the cool parts aren’t broken or chipped.

#1 These earrings would be discarded because they are clip-ons. NO!  Simply remove the clip-ons with your pliers and replace with regular ear wires. I takes mere minutes to bring these beauties back in style.

IMG_9387IMG_9388

#2 requires little skill but a few more supplies.

When I am out and about, well not anymore because I have enough for a lifetime. I buy necklaces that have a lot of bang for the buck.  They have a lot of dangly things or a lot of chain that can be reused. Like this one.

IMG_9400

Ugly to the untrained eye, but very useful to me.  Just one section released from what looks like Skeletor’s head makes a lovely pair of earrings, with a few additional goodies.

IMG_9389 IMG_9401

After freeing these cute diamonds, I simply wrapped the chain around once and toggled it on the jump ring.

IMG_9410

These are my new favorites.  Light and long with an unexpected black accent.

Don’t forget to find a toolbox and some containers to keep your new crap organized.

Hey! Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

micro studio makeover.

My kids aren’t babies anymore, I am almost 42 years old and I am finally at peace with my brain funktion (no spell check that is spelled correctly)  It is time to work this out, and the first place is my studio, the smallest room in the house, and now it will be mine! (maniacal laugh)

It is really difficult to redecorate a room when there is a bunch of stuff that has nowhere else to go in it while you are redoing it.  I deftly moved everything into the middle and patched a million holes, primed and did some seriously acrobatic painting while simultaneously painting all of the furniture the same color in the same room.

It is also really difficult to organize a tiny room around a brain that funktions in spurts and sputters, highs and lows, and is always in creative problem solving mode.  Needless to say I have focus issues so I tried to create organized areas for specific purpose.

Here is the before.

IMG_5746 IMG_5753

chaotic and haphazard and now that I think about it, hazardous to my safety and to my mental stability.

I moved my desk and arranged my magnetic trays above so that I could organize my thoughts in a visual way.  Each tray will represent a project I am working out in my head or a page of my website.  Please excuse The Associate she was enjoying her last moments of being allowed in my room.

IMG_7463

To the right of my desk on my beautifully refreshed garbage picked bookcase I have all of my businessy housey stuff. I put them as far away as I could from the fun areas because nothing can kill a creative buzz like PTA newsletters and bills.

One of the thought morsels banging around my head all the time is how to re-purpose stuff that nobody wants.  Like these oven trays from the GW that I spent a whole dollar on. I soaked, scrubbed and then hung them on the wall to keep my jewelry sorted by what needs to be photographed, and what is up for sale.

IMG_7438

IMG_7459IMG_7457

wow these pictures are bad, sorry.

The next area I needed to resolve is my collage wall/ scrap booking table.  I no longer wanted to pierce the images that I was working with and splurged on three 2′ by 2′ metals sheets,  once again destroying my meticulous patch job with holes big enough for metal toggle bolts. I organized all of my scrap booking supplies and subsequent paper in the file cabinet and boxes below so they are easy to access.

IMG_7451

As far as the large work table is concerned I oriented it differently so I could work on three sides and still easily reach all of the supplies on the shelves above.  I kept all containers the same so my eyes do not jump all over the room when I enter which will likely make me turn right around and leave.

IMG_7453

IMG_7454

I made new curtains with fabric that makes me happy to replace the ugly ones that were there 12 years ago when we moved in, and hung my currently favorite works on the wall to inspire me.

The cuporama I made a while back is still doing a good job of  keeping small things I use often in sight, providing a good place for seed pod storage and jewelry in progress can be dumped in a cup if I need to clear off my work space.

IMG_7462

I streamlined all of my sewing supplies, giving up a lot of items I won’t ever use and made them readily accessible on this caddy.

IMG_7461

I am VERY excited to get started using this space, so excited that the tables are already covered with projects and I am about to make a sign that forbids any mess makers entry.  (The Associate and The Teenager)

I would love to hear what you think.

 

 

A little rusty after summer.

IMG_6941

I have been walking past this for two weeks now on the way to my micro studio.  It is posted on The Associates’ bedroom door as a declaration of some kind.  I mumble “fafarit?” as I meander by each time hoping to decipher it.

Today I got it!!! It reads as follows.

favorite

part of

school

yay

lunch good

eat food B+

Ok,  so we (I mean she is) are a little rusty after all good intentions of reading everyday this summer failed.

Seeing as she needs to read more I wanted to give her a bedside table to keep books.  On possibly every excursion to Ikea I have purchased book ends, but in reality the bookcases in our house are so crammed that there is no need for bookends.  I couldn’t get rid of these, and they screamed for a hack.

IMG_6807

I cut down a scrap piece of beautiful mashed together shreds of wood.

IMG_6808

Look at that quality.

I drilled holes in the bookends so that they could be secured to the “wood.”

This is before

IMG_6953

and this is after she got to it, not what I had in mind….

IMG_6952

Three days of my life that I will never get back were spent Ikea hacking The Associates room. Roughly translated this means I used all the same furniture but rearranged, cut and rebuilt it to look brand new. I was hoping to share pictures with you but she has already destroyed it, maybe next year.

 

 

 

this crazy and that Krazy glue #2 (starburst mirrors)

On a particularly deep dungeon dive I unearthed about five boxes full of discontinued countertop samples. When I have gone that subterranean  I have to use the material because,

1. justify having stored it for 1-12 years

2. and because it is awesome which is why I stored it for 1-12 years.

Krazy glue was looking for some home decor ideas, and technically you could ask your local laminate retailer for their samples and re-create this yourself so off I went.

I bought a good quality round mirror from the craft store and marked out the middle on the back (after placing it face down on a towel)

In my case I had multiple samples of each black finish so I divided them up in groups so they weren’t all grouped together when it was all said and done.

IMG_4602IMG_4603IMG_4605

I built on each layer and went around and around and around.

Gilded Ice Cream Mirror and Minimalist Sunburst Mirror

I made it in colors too.

IMG_4459

 

 

 

belt banger.

In an effort to remain hip to the The Teenagers lingo I listen carefully, although stating it like that makes me decidedly unhip. Many of the phrases, music, and movies are coming back around and I hear my own mother’s voice echo in my head.  “I used to have that same dress” says the voice, or “I used to listen to that music”  shake head vigorously. I listen closely because I want to pick up the secret teenage code and be aware without embarrassing The Teenager.  For instance if a young girl within earshot says “I had surgery and those pills they gave me were awesome.” Her name automatically gets added to a list in my head, and that list is called “I have my eye on you little girl.”

A word that the kids are using these days is “banger” I know!!!!! right!!!! It is a word that can summon a number of images to ones head, especially a mother of a beautiful teenaged daughter. Fortunately, The Teenager thinks this is a ridiculous word for party and promises she will never attend a “banger.”

I have been encouraging The Teenager to have friends over so I can quietly get to know these walking masses of hormones.  She had a few friends over yesterday and I set about working on a chair.

This just happened in real-time as I write this.

The Associate- Can you glue his hair back on?

IMG_6077

Me- Maybe grampa went bald. Maybe it is a toupee.

The Associate- Maybe, can I have an Ice cream cone?

Me- You need to have a sandwich first.

The Associate- Ok.

Then I went down to grab some more coffee and she was just finishing up an ice cream sandwich. sigh.

Back to the chair. I was sitting at the kitchen table because there was “a nice breeze” (bringing their voices in the window)  I learned quite a bit in that time.  First of all and most importantly they actually wanted The Associate to hang with them.  WOW. I think I could like these kids. A few wandered through on the way the bathroom and I cataloged the ones who or whom (*sorry Mickey and Nicky) said hello and or thank you. I am pleased to say not a single name made it on the list today, and the chatter was nice background to actually finish my chair.

So…. this chair came to me one day on a walk through the neighborhood.  I brought her home and I cleaned and shined her up.

IMG_6056

Some glue and a chair clamp settled her back together.

IMG_6059

IMG_6060

IMG_6069

IMG_6070

IMG_6071

IMG_6067

A whole bunch of belts, a hammer and some upholstery nails, and I had myself a banger.

 

*I apologize to Mickey and Nicky for my grammatical incompetence.  I am sure you both wince when you read my blog, but I will never be as eloquent as either of you so I am gonna call it poetic license. xo

 

 

 

 

method/madness.

I am finally done painting the kitchen cupboards. I made many mistakes and hopefully I have learned from them all. 😉   Instead of the slow and steady process of four doors at a time, and painstakingly removing gunk and letting each layer of paint dry properly in the shade, I hurry. If you want paint to self level it needs to dry slowly. I know this, I have already done 34 doors and 10 drawers, but in haste I decided to not follow this simple rule on the last two largest doors. Dumb. Now I am discouraged and my progress stalls. Nobody else notices the flaw, but I do.

My awesome family doesn’t mention this stall. Who cares that there are giant heavy doors all over the kitchen. A week or two or three goes by.  I am clearly opposed to using sandpaper because I managed to remove decades of gunk without it, ill be damned if I am gonna use it now. Chalkboard paint! duh, I just happen to have some in the dungeon. The Associate attempts to defile it between every coat. Three coats later chalk poised, I tease The Teenager that only inspirational quotes can adorn this wall  (I won’t tell you what she wrote, my mom reads this blog.) After quickly cleaning the surface with paper towels (dumb) The Associate has a go.

IMG_5822

I guess we will be tightening up our spelling this summer.

Next up ugly tile back splash, cause I roll backwards.

 

wicker wonder.

These were actually made.

IMG_5263

Sometime in the seventies some genius made a mold and made these plastic atrocities. I thought it must be Kismet that I found six of them in the same day while combing the thrift stores for treasure.  I like a challenge after all.  While waiting for the weather to break so I could go outside at all let alone spray paint something, I tried to decide on color and filler.  Normally I would just go with whatever color I have on hand, but these needed to be red.  We had some 60 degree weather the other day and I stumbled out blinded by the sun to get started.

IMG_5431

Sooo much better. I wanted to make them mirrors, but I was pretty sure I would never find them to fit. I spent a grand total of 8 bux already so custom mirrors were out of the question. Then I found these. (sorry for blurry pic)

IMG_5432

It is plastic mirror that can be cut to any shape you can imagine!

IMG_5434

Using the old insert as a template I cut the mirror. I used tin snips so as not to dull any of my scissors that I am already batting out The Associates hands while screaming “FABRIC”  or “PAPER.”  Scissors are expensive. I then oh so carefully removed the plastic protective coating and worked the mirror back under the little snaps. Not perfect, but they are too small to really use as mirrors, just to reflect light.  I connected them together using thin wire so I only had to make a few holes in the wall, because knowing me it will be somewhere else soon.

IMG_5439 IMG_5435