Thursday, October 29, 2009

before and after: the five dollar chandelier

Here's a little project I completed recently for my girls' bedroom. I bought this chandelier at our neighbor's yard sale a couple of years ago. I'd honestly forgotten about it until we were moving some stuff around in the basement and I stumbled onto it again. I paid a whole $5 for it, knowing that I wanted to give it a little makeover. Here's the "before":

 $5 chandelier BEFORE: Brass...ugly...needin' TLC.

So, in the dead of last winter and preggo (of all the great times to choose to spray-paint, that's not one of them) I primed and painted this little gem. I bought new light bulbs and had a lot of fun shopping around on Ebay for just the right chandelier crystals to add to it. (One note of caution: if the crystals you want to buy on Ebay seem ridiculously cheap and too good to be true, they probably are too good to be true. If you read the fine print you'll discover that you are purchasing them from someone in a foreign country and the shipping is about ten times the cost of the crystals themselves. Be sure you actually read the fine print before hitting "purchase" or you will become fair game for your husband's sighs and rolling of the eyes. Not that I did this or anything. I'm just saying.)

Anyway, a few cheap chandelier crystals (and some expensive postage) later, and you can see the result! I haven't decided if I want little shades on it or not. I sort of like the naked look.

Read here if you'd like to see more before-and-afters!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

a vintage modern nursery

So, while I sit here pondering the meaning of the universe - or something like that - here are a few pics of my little boy's nursery. I never got around to fully posting about it so I thought I'd take you on a little tour. Up until about 8 months ago, this was our little-used but oh-so-messy home office. The walls were light beige and it was full of office-y and miscellaneous junk. I had a box (full of greeting cards, of all things) whose color was exactly what I wanted for the walls. I took the box into Home Depot and not only did they custom match it, they were able to transform a gallon of paint I had previously purchased for my living room that was an Oops. You know the kind...where you don't take your own advice as a decorator and buy a whole gallon first rather than a quart. That kind of Oops.

So here's his crib. The pictures inside the crib don't live there. (Kinda seems like that would make me a bad mom.) Here's the deal: my hubby broke my drill (yes, we each have our own) and I am embarrassed to say that eight months later, these pics are still on the floor leaning against the wall. But they are intended for the wall above the crib. I got this Dwell Modern bedding at Target on clearance (discontinued, sorry). By the way, I love how these framed prints came out - last summer, I bought a children's book at an estate was dated 1914...I selected a few pages, put them in Ikea frames, and voila! one-of-a-kind artwork. The book only cost me $9.

Here's his mobile...from Etsy shop thewonderlandstudio . He LOVES staring at it! (What the heck, I catch myself staring at it too!)

I received not one, but two prints from Etsy seller dazeychic as gifts. I have observant mothers - both my mom and mother-in-law took note of prints I had noted on my blog and got them for me at my baby shower. Yay! This one shows a baby boy dropping from heaven. (Awww!)

So the month before our little guy was born, his sisters (both preschoolers) and I painted a little original artwork for the nursery. I actually had started a canvas years ago and never finished it. To save money, I painted over it with white paint and then let the girls have at it. I tried to limit their colors to the general color palette but otherwise they did their own thing. My only regret is I didn't have them sign and date it. I think I could still at least add the month and year somewhere on the bottom or the back.

I had several paper lanters that were all leftovers from various parties I've had in the past. I suspended them with fishing line over the dresser and he loves looking at those too. I picked up this old bedroom set of dresser, highboy dresser and two nightstands off Craigslist for $80 total!!! How happy was I?? They needed a little bit of cleaning but were just the right look for his room. The extra nightstand is now a sidetable in my living room.

I still want to find a more colorful throw pillow for this chair. You can see the nightstand here as well as the red lamp and red rug from Ikea. Actually, there are two rugs in the room because it's sort of L-shaped and it was easier to afford two smaller rugs than one huge one. So I purposely chose to get two different rugs rather than two matching.

My huge metal "C" I got on clearance from Paper Zone. This was before we knew we were having a boy, but I was really hoping we would, so we could name him Caleb (as we've always wanted). This was a natural steel-look - I spray-painted it red.

Another print from Studio Mela (aka dazeychic). I love the vintage "Little People".

Those paper lanterns again. The polka-dot one was decor for my eldest daughter's FIRST birthday party...I totally forgot I even had it till I was organizing one day before my son was born. Perfect!

I love his little CD player that looks like a vintage radio. We bought it at Target about five years ago when our first daughter was born. It works great in Caleb's room now!

Thanks for coming along on this virtual tour! Coming soon: transforming a $5 chandelier!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

fall nesting and an identity crisis

Hi friends! Here are a few photos of my humble attempts at fall decor this year. I have jumped into domesticity with wild abandon and have been doing crazy things like organizing my pantry...organizing my linen closet...organizing my daughters' room...deep cleaning my floors...and generally planning to take over the world.

In addition to these dazzling displays of home economics, I have been introduced to the world of Mom's Shuttle Service, now that my eldest daughter is in preschool. It sorta cramps my style to have to be in the car so frequently (well, if I were shopping, that would be different) but five weeks in, I think I'm starting to get the hang of it..

Since my schedule is now so limited...due to aforementioned Mom's Shuttle poor redesign business is left on the back burner, hoping desperately for attention. The fact is, my kids are my priority right now...and there's been enough drama and separation anxiety and frenetic activity to last for a year, just packed into the last month. It just doesn't seem feasible right now to add in the frequent times needed for redesigns. Finding childcare, getting someone to pick up my daughter at school, coordinating the baby's schedule, blah blah blah.

But the fact is, people, I NEED a creative outlet. There's got to be something I can daydream about while mopping my floors. There's got to be something fun (translated, right-brain) that I can think about while carrying out all the left-brain activities of running a household and a family. And you know, all of this would be easier to imagine if I didn't need to sleep at night. If I didn't need to sleep - imagine all the crafty, creative pursuits I could be working on while the rest of the family slept! I could have taken over the world already by now!

But I can't yet for the life of me think of what that would be. I've got my little card business idea...but do I really want to be running around filling orders all the time? The fun part is designing the cards...once they're designed...everything else is that darn left-brain again.
I've always loved the party-planning stuff, and have definitely not forgotten about it either. And the one-time nature of a party might be more up my alley these days. Hmm....
I guess what you have here, people, is a redesigning/party-planning/graphic-designing mommy with an identity crisis!