Friday, May 27, 2011

Baby it's Hot Outside!

Temps here in Tucson nearing 100 today. Yowza! With that kind of blistering heat the potential for sun burn and long term sun damage is strong.

Remember to apply sunscreen before going outside. I am loving the spray on sunscreens available now. A long way from the thick, white, zinc oxide based goop I had to smear, or attempt to smear (because it really didn't move or spread very well...just kind of sat there on your skin, all thick and goopy) on myself as a kid.
It is really easy to spay on squirmy kids just before swimming or sports and it is lightweight and non greasy.
Because I'm of a 'certain age' I spray the backs of my hands and neck/chest religiously and spray some on my fingertips which I then apply to my ears.... tops, inside and lobes.Nobody wants wrinkly ear lobes! Go apply some sun screen right now! Do it!                                

                                                                        OUCH....THAT HURTS!!!

Remember your hats and sunglasses too! Have a safe, happy, sunburn free summer people!

Friday, May 20, 2011

From Uptight to Outasight!

So, I had this huge dresser I got at a garage sale about 7 years ago for $75. It was very traditional, old fashioned looking with a cream colored paint, gold accents and really elaborate, big, brass drawer handles, the likes of which you only see on time worn furniture, very fussy and....uptight. Pretty, but not my style. The pulls were perfectly functional though, and I didn't see the need to spend money to replace them. Over the years I have painted this dresser many times....first a chalky marine blue, next a beautiful forest/kelly green, I think it was orange at one point... every time just using the drawer pulls it originally came with, spray painted out of course. This was all waaay before I even knew blogging existed, so I regret there are no before pics! Oh how many projects I have un-documented.....Blogger, if only you and I had met years ago! Anyway, back to the subject..... In recent history, I had assigned the dresser to my daughters room and painted it pink to go with the rest of the room. I had had it with those big drawer pulls, however, and decided to finally replace them. I didn't want to spend a lot of money, but it seemed everything I liked was going to end up costing more than I paid for the dresser itself! I really liked these handles
but at close to $10 a piece, it wasn't gonna happen. ($10 x 10 pulls = $100...not crazy expensive, but more than my budget allowed for)
 I thought two smaller pulls side by side might work, but same story....($5 a piece x 20 = $100) Betcha didn't know I was a math wiz! ;-)
I really didn't have much luck finding anything I liked in my price range, so I gave up for the time being. A few weeks went by and one day I was cleaning out my craft supplies when I happened upon a big bag of glass beads I had forgotten about. They were all sparkly and shiny and in shades of purple, pink and silver....They reminded me of the glass drawer pulls I wanted.....I got an idea! I decided to make my own dresser pulls using the beads and some wire! So cheap and easy...I already had all the supplies and I didn't need to worry about the spacing between the holes for the pulls...add or subtract a bead or two until you have the right length. Just string the beads onto the wire ( I had 14 guage) and thread the wire through the holes. Easy!
On the backside, twist the wire like you would a twistie tie and thread the end back towards the front, but not all the way through. This prevents the wire ends from catching on clothing and such.

We are in process of moving, so this shot was taken on the moving truck!

The great thing about it is, you can change out the bead color to match any paint job and it is so easy! Sure the wire bends a little now and then, but it doesn't even matter! The beads do a good job of keeping things mostly where they need to be...they won't, however, keep little girls clothes off the floor! I just think it looks so pretty and sparkly and adds such a fun, unexpected element to the classic lines of the's outasight! Think about this option the next time you're in the market for drawer pulls! Hope you enjoyed your visit today and if you did, please consider following. I'm trying to reach 100 followers and would really appreciate your help! it's free and easy, just like many of the projects you will see here! Thanks!

Also, going on over at Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust, Michelle is hosting her first linky party! Make sure to stop over and check out all the links!
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

{Alien} Art Form

Like any DIY'er worth her salt, I am a spray paint enthusiast. It's cheap, comes in a wide array of colors and finishes, is easily purchased at a variety of stores and has the power to magically transform all those mis-fit pieces of furniture and knik-knaks that would otherwise be cast away. Who DOESN'T use spray paint, I'd like to know?! In my years of spray paint use, I thought I'd seen pretty much every color and brand out there, but recently came across a product I haven't seen before.

Originally from Spain, 'Alien' spray paint from Montana Colors caught my eye at my local hardware store. It comes in short, black cans in a  w  i  d  e  selection of colors and I was instantly curious about it. What makes it different, what's with the name, where does it come from and why haven't I seen it before? I asked the clerk all these questions, but they had just gotten it in, so he didn't know any more than me. I bought a can of 'Karma Violet' and went home to research this new alien paint! I found out this is the preferred paint of street artists world wide. By street artists, ya'll know I'm talking about graffiti.

Now don't think cold, grey, concrete freeway overpass with some gang tag sprawled across it in black paint.....Think beautifully colored public art murals exploding in depth and texture right off the side of that downtown building. Graffiti art has come a long way in credibility and acceptance to be regarded as a true art form. Some cities even sanction specific buildings for graffiti artists to use as their canvas. While there is always going to be the 'ugly' variety of graffiti, I feel the artists speaking in this clip sum it up pretty well:
MTN COLORS: The Original Since 1994 from The WereHaus™ on Vimeo.

So, all in all, it was a pretty productive trip to the hardware store! I got excited about a product I hadn't seen before and learned a little something about an art form I had never really considered legit. Oh, and the spray paint works beautifully! Easy to use, great colors, a *little* bit more money than the usual suspects, but worth it. Who knows...I may even be inspired to create my own {Alien} art!

How do you feel about graffiti? Love, hate or indifferent, leave me a comment and let me know! I appreciate your visit today,,,Thanks!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

From the Laundry Room to the Ball Room

Saw this beauty a while back while wandering through blogland.
Source Here

I admired and was inspired! Pure genius using a simple everyday object in an unexpected way. I decided to try my own version. Starting with the clothespins, I found the most cost effective ones to be from the good ol' Dollar Tree.

I couldn't tell from the pic above how things were put together, but decided to use a method I have used to make many other home made chandeliers. If ya'll haven't discovered strapping tape yet, you should! The stuff I'm talking about is usually used to strap water heater tanks to a wall.
It's galvanized metal, bendable, super cheap and has convenient holes already in it! The holes work well when forming the base shape of a chandelier and to hang things from.
 You will also need wire (I used 20 gauge) a good pair of tin snips, a glue gun and some metal chain.
Cut a length of strapping tape. You can decide how big or how small, but you will need three of the same shape, in graduating sizes. I chose circular, but you could also do a square or rectangle.
Two of my three circles ready to be assembled!
Secure the two sides together by overlapping slightly and running some wire through the holes and around the edges. Pull the wire as tight as you can during this step. Pliers might help.
Next step is to hot glue the clothespins to the metal form. I spaced them out by placing over every other hole in the strapping tape, but you could bunch them all up together or space them further apart, whatever your heart desires! Open the clothespin, squeeze a little dab of hot glue and let it close on the metal. This step ensures the clothespins won't shift while you are assembling your chandelier.

They are looking pretty cool so far and I'm really digging the sculptural quality they have!
 Now it's time to link the tiers together! 'Dry fit' the graduating shapes to make sure they fit together well.
Using your pliers, open the link on each end of the chain. I make sure the chain is all equal length by counting links, and making sure each length is the same number of links...make sense? Then, I attach the chain by hooking the open end in one of the holes of the strapping tape. I space the chain uniformly by counting the holes between each point where the chain is attached. Then attach the other end to the next tier, and use your pliers to close each end link back up.
I found it easier to work from the biggest shape to the smallest. Because each circle is smaller than the next, the number of holes between each chain connection had to decrease. I decided to jazz mine up with some spray paint, but I really liked the industrial look of the natural wood and the metal.

If I did it again, I would probably pull the tiers closer together so there is less space between them. But overall, I am really pleased with the way it turned out and I think it would look terrific hanging in a beautiful garden or as a cheeky light fixture in a laundry room...or a ballroom! As always, thanks for visiting and also please consider following my blog. I appreciate your comments! Ya'll come back now, ya hear? ;-)

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Onward and Upward....or Sideways

Well folks, it is with a heavy heart that I reveal I will be moving. As I write, boxes are being packed, cupboards cleaned out and excess items organized for one big moving sale. This is a difficult time and it wasn't something I chose, but never the less, move I must. I ordered a 'PODS' moving container and it was much smaller than I expected, so I'm a little worried. I guess it just means I have to sell more than I thought. As I look around, I realize it's just stuff, material possessions. But they are *my* possessions and some of them are difficult to part with. I am keeping whatever is irreplaceable, has sentimental value or I can't bear to part with. I think about all the hard work I put into this house over the last five years and wonder if I will have the energy to do it all again. If you haven't seen my home, you can see it here. Co-incidentally, it will be 5 years to the day that we need to be out. We bought this house June 6, 2006 and will be gone June 6, 2011. I am trying to see it as a new adventure, new opportunities to design, try a different look....Onward and Upward. I know a lot of people being uprooted and my thoughts go out to all of them as we continue....even if only sideways.
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