Monday, November 9, 2015

Halloween 2015

Before we know it, we will be turning our calendars over to a brand new month. I've noticed Christmas decorations already adorning many homes and businesses. But before we start decking the halls on the home-front I wanted to share/document this years Halloween decorations. 

This years inspiration was a mashup of several different tutorials found on Pinterest. The tutorial for the spider's construction can be found here

We (the patient boyfriend and I) made a couple of changes to the original tutorial. Instead of covering the balls that make up the head and body of the spider with trash bags, we covered them completely with foam insulation. After the foam insulation dried we painted over it with black spray paint and continued with the same method for the 'legs' of the spider. (Method found here.)

Here it is, lying in wait, at its initial resting spot. (More on that later.) The hard-to-distinguish black things attached to the siding are plastic spiders that I found at Michael's that were attached using mounting tape. I wanted to give the appearance of just-hatched baby spiders crawling down the front of the house.

And what is a huge spider without a gigantic spider web? Again, the boyfriend (and his patience) came to the rescue and constructed three of these webs. (Tutorial here.)

As I said earlier, I really wanted the spider on top of the house for dramatic affect, however, nature had us re-configuring its placement. A couple of days prior to Halloween, we had a wind/rain advisory. As badly as I wanted it on top of the house, the thought of it being destroyed by the wind had us moving it to a safer, less dramatic location.

We placed the spider on a crate in front of our outbuilding for a little added height. I placed a floodlight on it to make it more noticeable and was pleasantly surprised with the image projected on the building. Two spiders for the price of one!

This was a very time-consuming, and messy, project. However, I was, still am, extremely proud of the end result. Now to start brainstorming for next years theme!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cabinet Progress

In my previous post, I shared the story of how I came to own this decrepit cabinet, and my plans to restore it.

Above is what remained after removing the shelves, doors, bottom, and back of the cabinet. I was pleased to find that this cabinet's integrity had not been compromised after the previous owner's attempt to "improve" its appearance. In other words, "it had good bones."

I used an electric sander on as much of the piece as possible, and sanded the hard-to-reach parts by hand. Above is the piece after all of the sanding was complete.

Here is when the progress starts to show. It never ceases to amaze me what a difference primer makes.

It has taken me a while to realize that this piece is never going to be perfect, it has imperfections that cannot be sanded, or painted over. I'm learning to be okay with this. I have a long history of being incredibly critical of my own work/projects. It's something that I'm always working on, and I'm hoping to pick up a couple of valuable lessons while completing this less-than-perfect piece.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Challenge Accepted

Last fall, with no intentions of stopping at any yard sales, we passed a sale that I couldn't not stop at. This wasn't your run-of-the-mill yard sale with piles of used clothing, and toys. This sale had old furniture, and a lot of it!

The cabinet above immediately caught my eye. Sure it had seen better days, but I saw the potential this piece had and couldn't wait to ask the selling price. When the seller said $5, I couldn't get it in the car fast enough! 

The first thing I did was completely "gut" the inside. To say it was disgusting would be an understatement. The shelves consisted of brittle plywood, egg-foam padding with dirty red vinyl "wrapping" each individual shelf. Whoever refurbished this piece prior to me acquiring it apparently wasn't a stickler for details.

Also, did you check out the prior owners "paint job?" The back was a piece of cardboard. Yes, cardboard. Apparently, whoever did the painting couldn't be bothered with removing the shelves prior to (spray) painting the inside of the cabinet.

Did you spot the massive burn mark on the top?  (And the doors, don't even get me started on the doors-they are story all their own.)

Regardless of all of its faults, (and filthiness) I was  excited to see what I could do to breathe new life into this piece. A lot of progress has been made, and I can't wait to show you soon just how far this piece has come along! 

Monday, December 30, 2013

Painting the Deer Pink

Several months ago, a new thrift shop opened up near my work. This has served to be both a blessing and a curse. You see, I very rarely leave the shop without having purchased something. More times than not, it's a "diamond in the rough, " and I always have some sort of idea of how the item can be improved upon.

The deer candelabra below was one of my most recent finds. It was a sturdy, metal piece that was in good shape structure wise. I knew the metal would take paint well, and the obnoxious tartan bow would be easily removed, $2 later I left the store, deer in hand.

Here is the deer in its before state.

Below is the after. After removing the bow, I gave the piece a good washing. [Washing items before I give them a makeover is a habit I have gotten into over time-I feel like it makes a big difference and I prefer to apply paint to a clean surface.] I then primed and painted the deer a soft pink. Next, I liberally applied spray adhesive to all areas of the statue (except the plates that hold the candles), and gave it a good dousing of clear glass glitter. Lastly, a big, pink sparkly bow was attached to the neck and the transformation was complete!

It added the perfect touch to our Christmas dining room centerpiece. I haven't been to the thrift store in a couple of weeks and am excited to see what new-to-me items they may have.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Fall Shed 2013

I hope everyone who celebrates had a Happy Thanksgiving. I realize I may be a bit tardy in publishing this post seeing as though some homes have had their decorations up for weeks but I didn't want the autumn season to slip by entirely without sharing our shed's seasonal décor.

Once again, I gave the yard sale mirror a new coat (spray) paint. This time I chose a sunflower shade of yellow. Speaking of sunflowers, the decorations on each door were originally meant to be utilized as wind chimes. We simply removed the chime portion, and using Command hooks, attached one sunflower to each door.

The window boxes are no different than the ones I have used in past years. Each window box contains a liner of burlap, a small mum, pumpkin (or any squash/gourd of your choice), Indian corn, and some straw. They are inexpensive and couldn't be easier to assemble.

A simple fall-inspired decorative yard flag added the final touch.

As the saying goes, "what goes up, must come down", all the fall décor will be coming down soon and the Christmas decorations will go up. I'll be sure to share what we do to spruce it up for the holiday season.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful comments on my last post! They were very much appreciated.

The candy corn house ornament above was finished in the eleventh hour. I wanted a color scheme that was truly representative of the Halloween holiday and I think I hit the nail on the head. The little ghost and candy corn charms were originally meant to be used as buttons. I snipped the shanks off the back with wire cutters and glued them on using super glue. For extra measure, and simply because I love it, I sprayed the whole ornament with Elmer's spray glue and doused it with a healthy amount of glitter. I love the sugary effect the glitter gives this candy house.

Wishing you copious amounts of sugary confections on this most mysterious of days.

Be safe and Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Lady In White

Legend has it that hundreds of years ago there existed a young lady by the name of Genevieve Brownlee. Born into a wealthy Southern family, Genevieve was afforded all the luxury's available in the 19th century, but the one thing Genevieve longed for most, money could not buy.

You see, Genevieve was in love with a man by the name of Irving Bennett. Irving didn't exactly meet Genevieve's father's expectations as an acceptable suitor. Many attempts were made by Genevieve's family to keep the two apart, but the bond between the two was so strong that nothing would separate them, or so they believed.

On a cool autumn night in October the two hatched a plan to run away and be married. The moon was high, and full. The sky, black as ink. Genevieve wore a simple laced-adorned white dress, and took with her a bouquet made up of flowers carefully chosen from one of her mother's flower arrangements.

Genevieve ran as hard as she could in the direction of the meeting place Irving had chosen; she could hardly believe that in a few short hours she would be Mrs. Irving Bennett! With her heart feeling like it was going to beat out of her chest, she arrived at the clearing where Irving told her he would be waiting, but Irving wasn't there. Her intuition told her that something terrible had happened. During the duration of their clandestine relationship Irving had never failed to keep his word.

She hadn't waited long before she heard footsteps behind her. She turned expecting to see Irving, but instead came face to face with her father. He had blood on his shirt, and Genevieve collapsed in a heap on the ground, sobbing uncontrollably. "Irving isn't coming, Genevieve." Her father makes no attempt to console her, and simply turns and walks back in the direction in which he came.

No one ever saw Genevieve again. Some say she walked into the forest where she died of a broken  heart. Irving's body was found days later, a single gun wound through the heart cut his life short. Irving was buried not far from where he was supposed to meet Genevieve on that faithful night. Rumor has it that if you find yourself in that clearing on a cool night in October, when the moon is high and full, the sky an inky black, that you will see Genevieve. She will be wearing that same simple, lace-adorned dress.

In her left hand, she still clutches her wedding bouquet. The flowers once bright and alive, now dead, and wilted. She comes to visit the resting place of the man who will hold her heart for eternity.