Friday, June 17, 2011

Favorite Things 3

Far be it from me to say that on occasion, crafts get out of control. Cause I certainly make (or half-make, sometimes) all sorts of crap that I think is the most gorgeous thing ever.

But sometimes, you just gotta get out of the way and enjoy the beautiful things that just happen.

(Can I just add, these are like the smelliest lilacs EVER? The entire house smells amazing from just one bunch. Even Dan mentioned it. Hooray flowers!)

My parents celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary yesterday.  Pretty cool. 

Going on vacation to visit Dan's parents this weekend. We'll be in NY for two weeks. We have a couple of flea market trips planned, and of course Lake Ontario will be there for much picture-snapping. Maybe it's summer there...cause it's 45 and foggy here again.  Not that I'm complaining.  I'll take this over 90 and humid anytime.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Instant gratification

I was working on a gift for someone when Caroline came over to the table and said, "Mommy, will you paint me a wood with letters?"

Could you say no to that face?

Me neither. 

And so, a wood, with letters.

One hour, start to finish.  Caroline's reaction?  "Wooooowwwwww."  Mommy: +1.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's a dog eat dog world...

...and today I'm wearing MilkBone underwear.

Today is my first day off for the summer. As per usual, I have an entire list--well, okay, several lists, and lists of the lists, and no, I'm not making that up--of things that I wanted to get done today.

Task 1: Hang shelves.
These are not complex shelves. These are 1x8s, cut into 4' lengths. Two of them. Screw the brackets into the wall, put the shelf on the brackets. Repeat.

Enter plaster walls.

If you have a house that doesn't have plaster walls, 1) I hate you and 2) you have no idea why this is such a bad thing. Drywall, you drive the screw in, it stays, you hang your stuff, you move on with life. Plaster, not so much. If you're lucky, you will get through the plaster with your drill and hit a piece of lath behind, into which you can drive your screw. Alternately, you could use those little plastic sheath things that I ran to Menards to get. They still didn't help. You know why? Because PLASTER WALLS SUCK. That's why. I appreciate that 120 years ago they were the bomb but you know what? My shelves are 21st century, baby.

So from 9:30 this morning to 2:00 this afternoon (with a lunch break included that possibly included one of the best margaritas I've ever had--not bad, this summer vacation thing), I have toiled at shelf-hanging. And what do I have to show for it, you ask?

I'm not even going to tell you what items 2, 3 and 4 were on today's list. Instead, I'm going to lay on the couch, watch a bad true-crime show, eat some Sun Chips and think about all the laundry I need to do.

Happy Monday!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Happily Ever After (or how the ficus met the lampshade)

Once upon a time, there was a ficus.
It was a rather unremarkable ficus, the kind that you find in the dentist's reception room.  For some reason, I thought that it would be PERFECT in my living room.  And there it sat, in a corner, for about a year.  Did I mention that at one point I thought it needed lights, so I wrapped a string of Christmas twinkle lights attached to fake pine needles around the trunk?  No?  Okay, good.  Cause that would have been embarrassing.

Also once upon a time, there was a lampshade.
He was a very sad lampshade, because he lived at Target on the clearance shelf all by himself.  He had been marked down to $4.99 but still, nobody wanted him.  That is, of course, until I spied him in all his navy blue wonderfulness and snagged him.  Did I have a lamp that was within a foot of having the right scale for this beauty?  Nope.  But I didn't care.  

And so, after many squints and some tilted heads, it dawned on me:  the ficus and the lampshade were meant to be together.  I unwound the Christmas lights from the trunk, I sawed one of its three trunks down to the ground (did you know those things are made of real wood?  I sure didn't!), and I ran a couple of coats of leftover white paint across the pot to dress up the bride.  

Then it was time for the wedding.

First, I used heavy duty adhesive glue to attach the cord to the back of one of the trunks.  I ran the adhesive all the way down the back, then used twist ties to hold it in place while the glue set up. 

(Truth be told, I should have used a brown cord but Menards was out of 8' brown lamp cords and it was my 15th trip there in about 3 days and I was BURNED OUT.  I just wanted to get home and like, glue something.)

Next step was to create a platform for the lamp socket, and to hold the trunks in place.  Dan helped out with that one.  We took a scrap piece left over from some bed slats and drilled holes in it to hold the trunks.  A little assistance from the hammer and the rubber mallet and the trunks were definitely solid.  We drilled a hole for the cord and wired up the socket. 

(Need a quick wiring tutorial?  WikiHow explains how to create a lamp out of anything.)

And that was it!  Here's how it turned out:

 Right?!  It's certainly better than when it was a fake tree. 

My favorite part, though, has to be the pullchain.  The bird was leftover from the lantern I turned into the light fixture in the living room.  He just looks right, hangin' out in the not-tree.

So there you have it.  Ficus and lampshade:  a match made in heaven.  Isn't it bizarre and great?
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