What A Little Paint Can Do

I’m done!  I have finished painting my bedroom and redoing my powder room.  Of course, nothing is easy in my funky little South Philly house.

HeadboARD2See the before picture here.

I bought a new fixture for the powder room sink which a friend offered to install for a dinner in return.  The faucet install, which should have taken one hour tops, took five hours and entailed trying a myriad of tools (most of which I had, believe it or not).  Why?  Because the person who first installed the sink attached the old faucet first and then nailed the sink to the wall effectively blocking the gaskets that would have to be removed 28 years later to install a new faucet.  After trying a number of things, Mike ended up chipping off the old gaskets v-e-r-y carefully with a chisel and a rubber mallet.  headboardEveryone was starving by the time we sat down to dinner.   The homemade crab and scallop pasta was good but the flourless chocolate cake almost made up for the funky faucet install.  Get the recipe here.

The walls are not straight in my bedroom and you feel like you are working on a ship in a storm as you are cutting in the paint line near the ceiling.  At least I did.

 

But at least I didn’t hit the ceiling fan with my paint pole.  That was my biggest fear.
Chiffarobe

I decided to try some decorative painting on our ultra cheap and wobbly closet doors.

 

Mirror

I think the broken mirror mirror looks better on the newly-gray walls.      Before

 

Windows

I painted the decorative frames around the windows silver with black accents.  They had been gold.

I think the gray paint sets off my husband’s night table nicely, too.

                    Camillerelaxing

I will post pictures from the powder room redo in the fullness of time.  But for now, I gotta get packing.  I’m heading to  ClayConnection2018 later this week.

My True Colors

I’ve decided that it’s time to redo my powder room and master bedroom.  I’ve been wanting to paint the bedroom for a while while but could not decide on the paint color.  I  finally settled on Special Gray by Sherwin Williams.  I needed something that went with the purple headboard  I painted on the wall years ago.  People thought I was insane to paint a headboard on my wall back then.  Now, I am happy to say,  the Internet is loaded with images and ideas for painting a headboard on the wall.   Those who came to scoff stayed to paint.

I have started prepping the powder room for painting.  I’ve selected Positive Red for the walls and Gulfstream for the trim and the funky ornate framed mirror that I found at a thrift shop.  I’ll post pictures if I ever finish.  In the meantime, here are some pictures of some unconventional paint jobs in my house.

 

headboard

 

My insanity is not limited to headboards.    I went through a funky painted furniture stage.  This is my husband’s nightstand.  He said he quit drinking because he was afraid of waking up one morning with a hangover and seeing it first thing.

nightstand

And this is the broken mirror mirror that goes with it.

brokenmirrormirror

These are some shots of the upstairs hallway.   I made the built-in bookcase on the left  from an old wooden ladder and paneling.    Necessity is a mother.

This is the kitchen door and the third floor dormer.  I painted clouds on the dormer walls because it’s the highest room in the house.

frontdoorwithpic bottomright

This is the front door.  Yes, that’s a picture frame in the right hand corner. Here’s the story behind that:   My husband  threw a shoe at the door during a rather heated discussion we were having.  The shoe left the perfect image of a shoe on the then white door. We ceased our donnybrook to admire the image. Better than a marriage counselor.  When I painted the door, I put a frame around the image and dated it to preserve the memory.  My Stepson noted that the image resembles George Bernard Shaw from a certain angle.  And so it does.

 

These images show a counter that I tiled and a wall of empty frames in the living room.  The counter mosaic consists of cut up scrap stained glass, broken dishes, and pottery.  Most of the frames are street finds or flea market purchases.

Boris

Boris  likes to hang out in the hallway so I guess he approves.

Home Decorating or How to Hide Your Television Set.

Our ongoing home renovations that would probably take other people maybe 6 -8 months are nearly over.  The floors are down.  The tiny kitchen is done.  Since we moved the white behemoth of an entertainment center down to the basement for my workshop and got a cool mid-century modern credenza to replace it, I have been trying to decide what to do with a now-exposed living room wall and the TV.   First, I  found  someone who was not reduced to tears by horizontal studs (this is an old house)  to hang the TV on the wall.  Then I cobbled together a sound system from used and discontinued electronics, hooked it up and mounted the speakers on the wall.
4

I wanted the “media” wall to be relaxing and not too busy with all the electronics.  I remember there was a time in my live when the more wires and gizmos I had, the better, but now I like simple. And I didn’t want the living room to be a shrine to the TV.

5

Here’s how I solved the design dilemma.  I love gold frames and over the years had found a few on the street.  They got a cleaning and some repair if needed.

6

Some got a paint touch up.  The I went to my local paint store and picked out a nice dark color with a greenish undertone to it .  I am happy to say that it covered the Martha Stewart stencils ( from another life) in one coat (helped by a first coat of Kilz. Who ever invented that stuff deserves a medal)1

The object on the TV screen is a Dali-esque clock.

2

And here’s how it looks.  The Le Mutts are thrilled.

I have some more unconventional decorating in my house.  You can see some pictures here.

Workshop Redo

I decided that it was finally time to redo the workshop in the basement.  We had just finished getting hardwood floors and to prepare for that, we had to empty every bit of furniture so it could be moved.  This meant clearing out books, record albums and finding a temporary storage place for furniture, rugs and all the other things that we were keeping but had to be put out of the way.

Aleo Workshop 082Aleo Workshop Overview

The furniture in my workshop  (see pictures on the left and right) was made up of street finds, boards, old furniture taken apart and repurposed and yard sale acquisitions. I dismantled most of it and had it carted away. I also got rid of 120 books and replaced hundreds of magazines I like with digital editions.  I will never again  subscribe to a bead or jewelry magazine that isn’t digital. I plan to get rid of the remainder of the magazines when their respective publishers see fit to have a sale on back digital editions.

before

3This is how things look now.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The behemoth behind the work table is part of an entertainment unit that Ikea sold  back in the 1990s.  It was so hard to put together and so cheap, that they only sold it for one year.  I dismantled the middle unit and the two six foot bookcases, dragged them from the living room to the basement (by now cleared) and reassembled them.  I mean, I put the bookcases back together.  I needed help for the middle section in the form of a husband who kept grousing that we would never be able to put it back together.  Boy was he surprised when suddenly, there it was standing in front of us completely reassembled!

Storage

Drawer

I took two Limmon tabletops from Ikea and put them onto four cabinets.  I got the idea from the Ikea Hackers blog.   It worked out so well that I added four more Helmer cabinets.   I bought a computer monitor stand with a slide out shelf for $3.99 at a thrift shop and attached it to the underside of the table for a handy drawer.


Drawers

I have been switching doors around as I find that certain items are better stored in other cabinets.

Bench


Storage2

Beads

 

WKSHP (11)

Soldering Sta

I learned how to use a hammer drill so I could relocate the pegboards and shelving on the masonry walls

Lampworking Station

Lampworking station is closed until I can open the windows and get the fans going.  The kilns and oak watchmaking bench have been relocated to the wall to the right of th lampworking station.

Overview

Now I have enough room to sew and I can invite  friends over to work.  It’s easy to walk around the table  which now has eight Helmer cabinets stowed beneath as well as three plastic carts.  I’m going to have the electric service upgraded and make some other changes, but I think I’ve found the layout that works and a place for everything!

Press here for a wonderful site that links to 44 different artists work spaces. Maybe one will inspire you!

My Old New Couch

OK, so it’s not really new, but the cushion covers are. I also made floor pillows (shown on the couch here) throw pillows for the couch and leather chairs, and covers for a couple of bed pillows (the pillows slip in a slit in the back) that are  good for lounging.  I heard someone say that being “green” does not mean that you throw away your belongings and buy new things made with organic materials; it means you find a way to reuse what you already have. That’s what I did.  One less couch in a land fill.


These are called “hamburger cushions.    My mother-in-law had them on her sofa and I always admired them.  My mother taught me how to make box cushions and piping,  but I had no idea how to make hamburger cushions and could not find a pattern.  I don’t sew enough to be able to figure it out.  Then, one day, someone on my block threw out a sofa with hamburger cushions.  I swiped  one of the covers and figured out how to make my own.  Saved by my not-so-inner dumpster diver.

I tacked the striped material to the front of the couch.

Throw pillow on leather chair.  Brown fabric on reverse


This is the back of the bed pillow cover.

I had to make miles of piping for this project.  I learned a wonderful new way to cut and sew the fabric fast and neatly.  Here are the YouTube videos.

I hereby nominate Karen Erickson for a Nobel Prize in sewing!

One last thing.  Most home decor junkies are lamenting the passage of Domino Magazine. The good news is  the former editor of Domino started  Lonny Magazine which you can only read on line. Check it out!