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Archive for the tag “modern crafting”

Perfectly Imperfect

*Editor’s Note: I didn’t plan on featuring this project on RHR, but the more I thought about it, the more I figured you might enjoy it. It’s hardly up to par in terms of my usual aesthetic requirements & the pictures are crummy at best —  but in terms of fun & function, well, it’s one of my favorite projects ever.

We’ve been losing a lot of sleep over the closet in Sonia’s room. Literally.

The sliding doors provided by the landlord were VERY heavy (like solid-oak heavy) and hung from rails under the doorjamb rather than sliding on floor rails. Which made me nervous. Seriously… they’re REALLY heavy! So we chose to remove them — and of course, store them safely in the basement — so Sonia wouldn’t injure herself.

For a while, we just left the closet doorless, but Sonia recently started having nightmares & wanted to avoid her room. It took a while, but eventually she told us that it was because her closet was “too scary.”

Yikes. I guess I can’t blame her. That mess IS scary.

Although, in my defense, I’m only saving all that stuff so I can donate it. Which I’m gonna do. Soon. Jeez… get off my back ;->

Anyway, it was obviously time to come up with a solution for the missing closet doors.

We considered going with curtains, but I worried that they’d blow in the breeze from the fan & spook her even more than the doorless-ness. Then we thought about hanging lighter wooden closet doors (like the ones we used for our bathroom closet)

but it would have cost way too much because the closet in Sonia’s room is so long.

What were we to do? We needed a cheap, simple, temporary way to close off a long area… Then it came to me… Church!! The church basement! Those accordion-like, vinyl room divider thingies!

They’re light enough that we won’t have to worry about them falling; solid enough to keep ghosts & scary monsters away; cheap and easy to install. Win-win-win!

Of course, they are kind of ugly. And we could only find them in faux-wood-grain, which didn’t help. But frankly, after all those long nights, we were willing to compromise on aesthetics in exchange for a solid 8 hours of sleep. So we grabbed them & decided to figure out how to make them “work” later.

The installation was a breeze — it only took about 30 minutes & we were hardly rushing.

Once they were in place, we figured it might help Sonia to “trust” the new doors if she got to decorate them herself. So I picked up some tempera paint & glitter paints … and we let her go wild!!

She just can’t believe it’s true!

I joined in on the fun by using some very simple stencils to paint animal shapes on the top half of the doors.

Unfortunately, I’d forgotten to buy stencil adhesive, so I just taped them up & did the best I could. The results are a little crude, but they do the trick.

We also plastered the doors with colorful, sparkly stickers:)

Of course, letting a 4-year-0ld loose with paint has its consequences…

… but that’s the great thing about tempera paint — it washes right off with soap & water! So both child & closet can be restored to their original paintless glory when the time arrives.

So, did it work, you ask?

Like a charm! Sonia is no longer afraid of her room. And there have been way fewer nightmares.

So, despite the mess, we’re thrilled.

And when I asked her what she thought of her new closet doors, Sonia said, “They’re perfect.”

You are, kiddo. You are.

Hector Project-er: Peace Nik Fix

So… long story short: Our front door has a weird, retrofitted exterior doorjamb that was built when an old wooden screen door was replaced with a newer, smaller metal one.

I won’t go into a spin about how very much we’d prefer a wooden screen. Or how switching out the existing one would be a major p-in-the-a because of how the handyman installed it.

Rental House Rule #15: Some things you just have to live with. Work around them.

In other words, there may not be much we can do about the door itself, but there is something we can do about the awkward area above the door.

All we need is love.

Or, in this case, peace.

At first, we were just going to paint the house number in this space above the door, but we kept procrastinating it, because, well… we just weren’t feelin’ it.

Then we considered painting in our last name, but that didn’t feel very “us.” Although we came up with a few amusing family monikers during the process. The Family Glor; GlorCo.; InGlorious Bastards and my personal favorite… New Glorcenshire.

But in the end, we decided to give peace a chance. (Dear Lennon estate: Please don’t sue me over bad puns. John was a genius. Shine on, Amy)

Anyway, once we’d settled on a simple font:

I’ve had this book since I was, like, 9 years old. I found it in my old bedroom last time we visited my folks 🙂

I just used a pencil & drew the letters in by hand. Yay, simple font! Then I grabbed a child’s paintbrush — Sonia has TONS of paintbrushes and doesn’t like the little ones that come in watercolor sets anyway. “Too gross.” It’s kind of her default criticism. — and some of the espresso brown paint I have left over from the address sign drama (here) and filled in my pencil lines.

All said and done, it took about half an hour & cost me zero dollars. Score!!

A small detail, but one that makes me smile every time I see it 🙂 And isn’t that the goal, really?

The flower bed is a constant work in progress. Post on that coming up very soon.

I love how it can be seen from the street, but doesn’t scream,

“PEACE, DAMN YOU!!!”

It’s just kind of there. You can choose to see it or not. Fitting 🙂

COMING UP: WICKER FURNITURE MAKEOVER; FLOWER BED FEATURETTE; TOUCH UPS; WALL DECOR AND MORE!

PS — The big porch makeover reveal has been postponed until the end of the week. Probably Saturday. We decided to hold off for reasons that will be explained shortly. Rest assured, our motives are entirely selfless & show just what wonderful people we truly are! Or at least that’s how we’re gonna spin it… ;->

We Jammin’ — Jar Lantern Reveal

You’ve all been so patient. And nobody likes going back to work after a nice, long holiday weekend. So how about a little fun?

LANTERN REVEEEEEAAAAAALLLLLLL! YOU get a lantern reveal, and YOU get a lantern reveal, and YOU. GET. A. LAN. TERN. RE. VEAL!!!!! 

Aren’t they just lovely?

They look darling at dusk…

And create an inviting place to sit & relax.

As it gets darker, they provide soft ambient light…

… and nice, mellow vibe.

Aaaahhhhh….

NEXT POST: HOW I DID IT — COMPLETE PROCESS & LOTS OF PICS!!!

Mailbox “Paint-ina” Reveal!!!

Well I’ll be damned.

She’s a beauty. She’s a one-in-a-million girl.

See how she catches the light?

WOOOO!!!! THAT’S MY BABY! THAT’S MY BABY GIRL UP THERE!!!

What.Ever. This outfit was totally my idea. She was going to paint me blue.

Watch your sass-mouth, young lady. I brought you onto this porch, and I can take you off.

Anyway…

One way or another (*ahem*), we went from this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

How’d I do it?!?!?

Elementary, my dear reader.

I started with a base coat of metallic copper spray paint…

Then blended coats of a bluish-green metallic spray paint in a highly inappropriate fashion.

After that dried, I applied the green-black paint from the patina kit I got at the craft store. Then I wiped off the excess before the paint dried. This provided “lowlights” to give the piece more dimension.

Then I layered on the bright green paint from the patina kit to bring in some highlights…

and wiped that off before it dried, too. (patina process here)

Finally, I finished the paint by watering down some of the black-green kit paint & painting on some lowlights:

I laid it on thick in the cracks & crevices to replicate a naturally weathered look.

Then I dabbed on random spots all over the rest of the mailbox. (Quickly.)

Instead of wiping this layer off, I used a dry paintbrush to stipple the watery green-black paint into the surface. I really put some muscle into it, using a quick stabbing motion.

This technique absorbed some of the watery paint into the brush bristles, while mooshing the rest into all the little nooks & crannies. I had to work fast, but it was kinda fun.

“I don’t get mad. I get stabby.” (75 Cool Points if you can name that quote!)

Then I finished her off with some loose highlights using the gold paint from the patina kit & a sponge brush.

Tip: For a loose effect when stippling, dab your brush/sponge on a paper towel after dipping it in the paint. 

I would have used copper paint, but they didn’t have any copper patina kits left at the craft store, so I just grabbed what they had & figured I’d roll with it. I’m CRAZY like that.

Here what I ended up with:

Actually, it looked much better in person than this pic.

Sorry for all the cruddy photos of this step. I was doing it using the under-kitchen-cabinet fluorescent light at 10 p.m. (While re-heating some pizza. Yum.)

Then, I just let it dry for a good few days to make sure ALL the layers were playing together nicely.

When I was comfortable with the level of dryness, I hit it with a triple-coat of Rustoleum clear acrylic sealer spray to weatherize it, since craft paint is not waterproof!!! 

I progressed from “very thin” to “pretty thick” coat-by-coat, which is what gives her the shine she now flaunts 🙂

Either blurry, dark or shadowy. I guess the National Photography Association won’t be calling anytime soon… if they’re really a thing… can’t say as I rightly know…

Dan was the big hero in getting the diva onstage:

He started by holding the box up to the wall while I said helpful things like, “More down on the other part.”

Once we finally got it level (-ish… oops), Dan made marks through the mounting holes using a felt-tip marker.

And drilled using a masonry bit. (Because our house is brick.)

Then he sunk screw anchors which help the threads of the screws to “grab”.

We don’t want the combined weight of our mailbox & all the junk mail stuffed inside (Seriously… it’s an epidemic.)

Make sure you drill your holes a bit deeper than the length of your screws/anchors.

Tip: If you’re not comfortable eyeballing-it when drilling, wrap a piece of tape around your drill bit at the point that corresponds to the length of your anchor. Then when you drill, just stop when you “hit tape”. 

In our case, the screws & anchors were 1 inch, so Dan drilled “about this far” — his measurements, not mine — into the wall, then pounded in the anchors with the back of a set of channel lock pliers (Because he didn’t feel like looking for a hammer. See how we’re made for each other?) and twisted in the screws with a regular old screwdriver.

Dan, Dan, the Anchor Man Says: Work smarter, not harder! Use a screwdriver bit on your drill to speed up the screw-in process if you’re doing a bunch of them.

Once the screws were in, it was just a matter of hangin’ er up…

Doin’ a test run using a piece of outgoing mail…

And admiring her awesomeidity.

Here’s a shot from the sidewalk.

I like it that she doesn’t scream patina at you. You have to get a little closer to notice her.

BUT I’m pretty sure that when the sun hits her, she’ll give off all kinds of light & color. Unfortunately, it was mucho overcast & rainy by the time we were finished hanging her, so it doesn’t really do her justice.

If she beams like I think she will once the sun comes out, I’ll absolutely post some “show off” pics ASAP 🙂

And it will be SO good to get this eyesore off of the front of our house!!!

And while we admire our postal carrier’s ingenuity:

We think she deserves better 🙂

Hopefully we’ll also stop receiving mail addressed to E. Monster on Sesame Street. That guy owes money all over town ;->

NEXT POST: TBA (Oooh… mysterious…)

**pic of Rustoleum can courtesy of Rustoleum website

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