Monday, May 21, 2012

at arms reach

Finding creative time during the week is a challenge all by itself and now... tendonitis! At least two weeks of wearing this baby. Sewing is a little tricky but at least it's my left arm (I'm a rightie.)

I have lots of small projects cooking right now and hoping to get them completed in the next couple of weeks, yes, still hopeful even with my bum arm. Here are some shots of what is lurking around the studio:

Speaking of lurking, where did that guy come from? He sure is on the move these days.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

guestroom makeover part 2: diy custom lamp

There are a couple of things you should know before reading this post. 
First: This is NOT a tutorial on how to cover a lampshade, you can read a better way to do it from these guys here.
Second: I HATE hot glue. I have owned the same hot glue gun for 15 years and I hardly ever use it. It is for crafts, not for home projects that need to stand up to wear and tear, however I found that it worked very well for covering a shade, ta daaa.

But let's start at the beginning, below was the the bedside lamp before. I've had it since the 90's. My mother loves it and she is our most frequent guest but it is worth her "wrath" to freshen things up a bit. If she truly loves it it can travel home with her when she leaves.

It is worth mentioning that buying new was not my first option. I'm a reclaimist, I tried really hard to save this lamp. I purchased, and returned, 5 different glass shades that all looked horrible. Not to mention bringing the lamp around with me and all the shades I tried on it in store. I also attempted removing the painted design with no luck. I was officially over it and moving on.

The lighting situation in this room has been a thorn in my side, what I liked was out of budget and everything else put us back in the old lady realm. Then one day I happened to be at Target and spotted this clearance lamp and it set the wheels in motion.

That's right, was $54.99, now $8.24. Thank you very much.
Looks like it sat for a while, probably due to this unidentifiable shmutz.
Nothing a razor blade couldn't take care of.

Now about a shade. No common shade would do for this custom job. On to the fabric store.

After acquiring a plain lampshade I collected three fabric swatches from the fabulous 
U-Fab. This choice was the obvious winner. I already have a future project in mind for the remnants.
Now down to business with my nemesis the glue gun, aka Arlene.

An extra pair of hands on this project would have been ideal but clothespins worked as a pretty good substitute.

I left the inside edge unfinished (baby woke up)  and came back later (during another nap) to add a decorative binding tape edging.

This picture is why this post is NOT a tutorial. I didn't measure (never intended to) before I started and rolling a slightly angled shade onto a geometric pattern can leave you with mismatched seams. Mine were particularly bad. Binding tape, and Arlene, to the rescue again. I can't believe I actually had a matching color. No worries, this lamp lives in a corner.

To be honest, covering a shade is a big pain, and it ended up being the most expensive upgrade in our guest room so far, but I love the way it looks. And it is custom!!! 

Every time I look at it I smile, and it is making all the difference in that room, which is almost done. Just waiting on a piece of furniture from New York and then the big reveal. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

first mother's day

Images from my most wonderful first mother's day pic-a-nic.

Happy family. Happy mama.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

guestroom makeover part 1: diy art

With the impending arrival of my husband's extended family in June I have been on a recent tear to redecorate our guest room. More on that larger project later.

First our guest room really needed fresh art. Since I am doing all of this on a tiny budget I hit the local thrift stores. Although I found some great inexpensive pieces nothing felt right. I kept hoping to find artwork that looked like this fabric from my stash. 

Vintage 1960's Scandinavian Filkauf Screen Printed Linen Fabric!!!

From the moment I saw it I new it was special. It was one of those fabrics that you save forever because no project is worthy. The kind of fabric that is truly a work of art. Enter artist's canvas:

In bits and pieces it was hardly big enough to cover this "over the bed" canvas but I was going to make it work. Canvas scored for 12 bucks!

Piecing it together, the layout was going to be something like this. Luckily my scraps still had their salvage edge and I wanted to  keep them visible to show off how special this fabric is. 

Note: Our guests that spend the most time with us are my parents and other family members, none of whom are artists or have a great a appreciation for vintage textiles. I was doing this particular piece for my own enjoyment.

Linen stretches and to get it right I needed to call in the Mod Podge, fitting for this 60's era fabric icon.

Once the glue was dry it was time for the "big guns." OR... my crappy staple gun that required 3 separate trips to the hardware store to obtain the right size staples because "old school" staples ( circa 1996) are apparently hard to come by. Good thing it was the weekend which meant we were headed there anyway.

Complete and checked off the list. The big guest room reveal will be coming soon so I can't show how the piece looks in the space just yet. I am so happy that I found something in my stash that worked, it truly is what I was looking for all along.