Sunday, August 13, 2017

DIY-ing My Lights To Chippy White



My last post was about Quorum lighting options I found at a local shop

Before seeing them at the local shop, I had been drooling over the Quorum line of lighting at the online site called Lighting New York. 

I'm smitten with Quorum's whole line of chippy white metal and glass lights. Here's the option I love for the bathrooms...

Here's our kitchen island in an old photo from when we looked at the house when it was for sale.
I'd love to put this light below over the granite island, but I think I'd need three of them so that means I'll need to win the lottery soon!

All the lights are part of Quorum's group of lights described as a "Persian White" finish. As a typical DIY-er, I've been studying the finish and thinking I could replicate it on some of the lights (instead of buying new ones) to save some money! 
I think a good candidate for that chippy white finish would be our master bathroom lights, so I'll start with them. Don't worry, I'll clean off all that dust first, and hey if you think yours aren't dusty just go take a look...I was shocked.
I think if I flipped those bathroom lights upside down, painted them a chippy distressed white, bought clear bulbs and clear glass covers, I might get them to look like this...

Since our house was built as a spec house by a local developer, it came with a collection of odd ducks as far as lighting goes 

After buying 5 spec houses in a row, our experience has taught us that spec houses are built with bargain pieces, seconds, and mis-matched leftovers. Our current house is an example of that. 

There's an antique chandelier in the dining room. It's a little rickety and lightweight, but it does provide a lovely glowing light at night. This old photo was taken when we first looked at the house.

It might look better if the finish was like this one...

The half-bath has this black, torch-type sconce, which doesn't even try to look compatible with the rest of the house.
I was thinking this torch light needed to go, but then I saw this Quorum one and thought I would give it a go too. I think I'll use more white and less brown for the finish.
Even the fan in the bedroom has a light that needs some improving.
It's hard to see because it's a 16-foot high ceiling, but it's a gold-ish type frame and amber glass. 

Here's the one I could buy to replace it, but it would be so easy to paint and replace the glass.
I'm going to give them all a try and see if the lights can be improved, or at least a little more coordinated. I'm not going to make them matchy-matchy, but just not so out of whack with each other. 

And if it doesn't work out, I figure I was going to replace them anyway so maybe no gain, but no loss either.



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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Local Lighting Options



Carol's Home Interior Store, a local shop in town, had a lot of lights displayed a few weeks ago when I was there. 
These two are my favorite picks for the dining room (above) and the breakfast room...
I would love to replace the lights in those rooms with these two, but here's the one I actually couldn't leave the store without.
I've been in love with this little guy forever. I thought they had sold it, but when I saw it had just moved to the lighting area, I bought it on the spot so it didn't get away again. 
It's going to replace the light in our entrance hallway in the picture below.
Of course when Wild Bill saw it coming home with me he was less than awed. I go for anything beat up with a little industrial bend. He likes modern (excuse me while I gag) and matchy-matchy! 

We used to compromise on our furnishings until we realized that when you compromise, no one gets what they want! In the case of furniture, that meant neither of us ever liked what we had. 

Now as far as furniture, we generally do without until we happen upon something we both like, but housewares and the fluffy stuff...that's a different story. 


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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Short Vacation



We joined part of our family in Albuquerque last Wednesday for a long weekend. It's always fun to get together when there's little ones involved. 

The youngest four of our six grandchildren were there and in rare form. 
That's the youngest, Little Henry, in the orange T-shirt. He's trying really hard to make a funny face like his older sister next to him and his two cousins on either end.
At just 3 years old Henry hasn't completely mastered swimming, so we had fun floating around the shallow end together in the hotel pool. 
We were lucky to have the hotel pool and hot tub completely to ourselves almost every time we went down to swim. 

Henry fought it a little, but nap time couldn't come a moment too soon for Henry's dog Lucy...

On Monday, Wild Bill and I headed east towards home and the two daughter's families headed west to the Grand Canyon for four more days of fun.

Or what they called fun. Here's our son-in-law Mike crazy close to the edge...
The last time I was at the Grand Canyon, in 2002, I spent all my time clinging to the far side of the parking lot and yelling at Wild Bill and the girls to get away from the edge!
I think if I'd gone this time, the side trip to Bearizona would've been more my cup of tea. 

Plenty of friendly animals in the petting area...

The cool weather last week in Albuquerque and this week in Arizona really helped to make the trip more enjoyable. Usually both New Mexico and Arizona are much hotter this time of year.


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Thursday, August 3, 2017

Paint Project Easy Distressing



Here's a paint project I should have done years ago.
This sign was from a garage sale ages ago. I never knew what to do with it, so I left it as it was. The frame was dark brown wood and not very attractive with the dark lettering. 

I always planned to make a chalkboard with it, but honestly, I have about 33 frames, hidden in various closets and stashes, that I always planned to make into chalkboards too, so I needed a little more imagination here. 

I'm trying to follow my grandma's saying: "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without" Because of that, I decided one could (possibly) have too many chalkboards!
As you can see, the sign stayed in the frame and the frame got a couple coats of Amy Howard's One-Step Paint in Ballet White. It was leftover paint, in a mason jar from another project, so that was actually TWO "use it up's" in one project.

I didn't want to muddy up the white frame by using dark wax to age it -- like I did on my recent "over do" disaster on the poor Reindeer sign Here -- so I simply waited for the paint to dry a little...maybe 30 minutes.

Next I took this sanding block with rough edges, a spray bottle of water, and a rag and scraped on the edges to take off some of the paint. Spraying the fresh chalk paint with a little water before sanding it really helps remove the paint.

There are two reasons why this just might be my new favorite way of aging a white-painted project; 

1. It was so easy to do and didn't look like I'd left mud all over it.

2. Wild Bill had just aggravated me before I started with the sanding block so I was able to take my aggression out on the frame.


For my final step, I waxed the frame all over with Miss Mustard Seed's clear wax. Then I took a little teeny bit of dark wax and went over the edges that were scraped down. 

The frame turned out to be so smooth and soft. I plan to use that combo again on some furniture that turned out a little rough a while back.



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Sunday, July 30, 2017

Christmas-In-July Reindeer Sign




I'm sure you've all been breathlessly waiting to see if I really did complete that Christmas Sign I said I was going to make at a Christmas In July chalk paint class. Well my friends, wait no more!
The big treat for me was that when I sent a text, with pictures of the sign, to my three and a half daughters (half is Gina, who has been Oldest Daughter's closest friend since 1st or 2nd grade) the girls all loved it and wanted one. Shocker! Usually my projects are met with less than enthusiasm from the Peanut Gallery!

Now, there are some problems with red paint bleeding, but I will be fixing that soon with some sandpaper and distressing. 

The class only lasted 2 hours. Normally, between the white base coat and the red stencil coat, there would've been some sealer applied. 

The sealer would've kept the red paint from bleeding into the white. We didn't have time for a sealing coat to dry, so we had to skip that part of the process. 

The class was great fun with snacks and drinks and lots of joking. I've really missed being around groups of women since Wild Bill retired 5 years ago. When you're both retired, you tend to run in couples, not packs. 

If you live in Northeast Texas area, I highly recommend you check out 2 Chicks And Some Paint in Denison Texas. 


They've changed their name to -- 2 Chicks Home And Market -- to better fit with the direction their shop is going. I'll show you why in a future post. Right now I just want to brag about finally getting a project done!





The next day after the paint had a chance to dry more, I added some clear and dark wax, and roughed it up a little.

Sometimes my "More Is Better" philosophy causes me to overdo. I'm at the point where the dark wax on the sign makes it look like a reindeer revolt trampled over it!

So I guess finished...but not finished. I'll be using more sandpaper and elbow grease to see if I can take some of the dark wax off a little, to make it look a little less dirty. Always something!



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Friday, July 28, 2017

Convoluted Math And Teacups



Joining Bernideen for her Garden Tea Party. Although I don't have a pretty tea set up to share, I do think ladies with teacups might also want to hang them!

Would you believe it took me forever just to hang a few teacups on a board? Yep, afraid so.
See how evenly spaced my little cups are? Apparently I don't have the gene that allows me to quickly figure out how to measure and screw 7 cup hooks into 36 inches of board.
I'll bet there are some of you who already did the math in your head and are dying to tell me how to do it...My husband is at the head of that line!
But sometimes a girl just wants to figure it out herself! Even if she has to take a rather complicated route to get there.

I didn't even say a word to the Clark Kent in the next room. I didn't want him to turn into Superman and solve my delimia for me. I just wanted to figure it out myself.

The board was exactly 36 inches. Half of 36 = 18 inches. That should be the middle of the board right? Good So Far.


Now, here's where I think 18 inches on one side...18 inches on the other side. Divide by 3 cups on each side of the center cup. 

Let's see... Divide 18 inches by 3 cups = 6 inches between each cup!  Uhh, Nope. 

That puts cup number 1 at 6 inches and cup number 3 at 18 inches. The center cup (cup number 4) is already at the 18 inch spot. Scratch head. Start again!



Then I realized I needed the end cups to start a little inside the end of the board. 

I set the first cup at 3 inches and subtracted 3 inches from 18 inches = 15 inches. 

So, there's 15 inches between the first cup and the fourth cup, which is sitting at 18 inches. 

Divide the 3 cups into 15 inches = 5 inches between each cup.  Finally I just laid the cups out at 5 inch intervals and eyeballed it!

I was exhausted at this point from the mental exertion of it all. I really think "Girl Math" must be much harder than regular math.


On an accomplishment high, I started screwing the cup hooks into the places I'd marked.

I got three cup hooks screwed in before I had to admit that -- even though I was now a mathematical genius -- I wasn't strong enough to twist all those cup hooks into that hard board. This is where I called Superman. 

He flew in, gave the situation a steely glance...went to the garage and returned with his drill and drill bit. 

Apparently starting the hole with a drill bit makes screwing in cup hooks a whole lot easier, even for Superman.

Now, I'm open to learning how I could've figured this out easier and quicker. Anyone have a better way? Leave me a message, I'm all ears.

I'm joining Bernideen's Tea Related Blog Party today. I hope you'll join me there.  

As far as 5-On-Friday, since there's 7 tea cups in this post, I'll bet you're thinking, "There she goes with that funny math again!"  

But no...the party rules say you can also do 5 minutes on one subject. Who knew I could do 5 minutes on hanging teacups.



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