Goodwill Finds

While shopping for formal wear at Goodwill, I found some other great stuff by cruising through the housewares.  And I snatched it up for $1 – $2 a piece before Christie could get her hands on it.  Hahahaha (triumphant laugh).

I realize these knick-knacky items are what my mom would call “stuff to dust around”.  Hi mom.  But I’m a sucker for colored glass and low, low prices, so I splurged on this slightly-less-than-useful stuff.

Its a candlestick, a bird, and a … another candle holder?  For a pillar candle?  Yeah, that must be it.  Its about the right size, maybe a little bigger, than a pillar candle.

This has a subtle feather pattern around the base, and unlike the other pink glass I have, it has a frosty finish.

Tweety here is a little chipped around the edges, but he is pretty nonetheless.

I also found some picture frames next door at the Habitat for Humanity Re-store next door to Goodwill.  I can Never find square frames that are the right size, so I jumped on those like a trampoline.  I have a few 6×6 inch cards that I’ve wanted to frame, but Ikea square frames are a little too small.

A coat of spray paint and voila.  I also turned the mats backwards to use the white side.  The mat hole wasn’t big enough for the cards, so I just put the cards in front of the mat.  Not really kosher, but who’s going to notice.

The sweet little lamb photo is from Yes and Amen on Etsy.  The phone booth drawing is a Christmas card from a co-worker in London, and I think it is simply adorable.  I love British things.

If you were wondering why I was shopping for formal wear at Goodwill… here is why.  Don’t be scared.

I wanted a costume for Run for Your Lives (a zombie-infested 5k obstacle course).  Yep, we dressed like zombies and chased mud-covered runners in the woods for 3 hours one Saturday afternoon.  What do you do with your weekends?  Something normal?

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Staying Alive (in my yard)

The weather has been a-mazing, so we’ve been attempting some yardwork.  Full confession: we’ve been paying for yard help, and let me tell you, it is a world o’ difference.  Our awesome yard guy is a friend of Chris’s who needs some extra work, and we’ve got plenty to give him.  And it saves me the agony of trying to deal with weeds, and the resulting spiral of anger (“curse you weeds, go back to the abyss from whence you came!”) and despair (“I’ve been out here for 2 hours and it looks the same!  whimper”).

But here is my small contribution.  Last fall, this patch of what you might call a flower bed looked like this:

Where does the grass end and the bed begin?  Hard to say.  And one of the rosebushes was nothing more than angry spikes of extremely thorny wood sticking out of the ground.  Here it is after being tilled and the roses are getting leafy and not so angry.

Yeah, mostly dirt, but it freed up a clean space to put in some more lambs ear!  I love this stuff.  We inherited a patch in front of the porch, and it has been very happy in the moderate rainy weather.  Its so happy that it has been spreading out of the patch and launching brand new plants in nearby spots in the yard.  I popped these out of the random places they were growing apart from the bed, and stuck them in the ground hoping they will flourish and continue to make babies.  Right now they are looking a little squashed, but I’ve been watering them and they perk up in the morning and evenings.  Here’s hoping they survive.  Here’s the happy thriving bed that spawned these other big guys I transplanted:

Its so soft, I like to sit there and just pet it.  Ok, I don’t really spend much time doing that, but if these survived in a pot I would keep one at my desk and pet it throughout the day.  When I tried putting a little bit in a pot once it didn’t last long. Hang in there buddy!

Another set of  survivors, are my window box mums.  Here is what they looked like in the fall:

For a while this winter they looked like a pile of dead sticks.  No green.  I took some scissors and snipped down the dead parts to give new green growth some space.  And now:

Ta-da!  Green!  Wait, what’s up with the lil guy on the left?

Tiny Tim here is lagging behind.  All of them looked like this in the winter, but this one is way behind on the new leaf production.  Not sure why since I treat them all the same.  But then DLF Christie noticed something about one of the big fat mums:

BUGS.  Little black bugs coating the stems.  Ewwww.  I googled and somebody recommended mixing dish soap and water and spraying it all over the plants.  It will get rid of the bugs and not hurt the plants.

It isn’t green cleaner, I just re-used the bottle.  I thoroughly sprayed all three mums, just to be safe, every which way.  The bugs did not seem disturbed by the soaking in soapy water.  They didn’t move, actually.  Maybe they died silent little deaths, or will leave later.  I sure hope so.

Hang in there everybody… except for the bugs, you need to vacate or die asap.  Thanks.

Pinterest Challenge – Dip Dye Pillow

According to the experts, it is Pinterest Challenge time again!

Yeah, I wrote about my pillow dyeing experiment the other week.   BUT!  Then I saw a tutorial for dying dyeing and pinned it, thinking I would give it another try.  See, I was a little disappointed with the saturation of my pillow.

It looked like this:

When I wanted it to look like this:

My pillow was not bright and bold, it was pale.  And it didn’t have that two tone effect with the dark blue and light blue.

So I found this tutorial just after my pillow-dyeing attempt.  There were 2 big differences here – it says to let your fabric soak in dye for 2-3 hours, where I had just soaked my pillow for 45 minutes.  It also says specifically to use the powder dye, and I had used the liquid dye.  Here’s what the result of the tutorial is supposed to look like:

So I hit up the Hobby Lobby once again, bought the powder dye in teal, same color as before.  Then I dumped the entire package of dye into about 1 gallon of hot water.  This is not per instructions and is way more than you are supposed to use – it is supposed to be one package in 3 gallons of water.  This is my third attempt to dye something and I’d never been satisfied with the saturation, I thought I would go crazy and see what happened if I over-dyed (once before I tried to make a blue tank top black, but it ended up gray).  I added a half cup of salt to the dye too. Oh look, the directions also say to pre-dissolve the powder in 2 cups of water.  Why do they print these directions so tiny?  I did stir it up a bit with a paint stick before dipping my pillowcase in.

I let most of the pillowcase soak in the dye for about an hour.  Then I pulled part of the pillowcase out so only the lowest part was soaking in the dye for another hour.  At the end of 2 hours I rinsed it a bit and then threw the pillowcase in the washing machine because it was taking soooo long to rinse all that dye out.  I’m lazy.

Result:

Nope, I still didn’t get that 2 tone look.  Not even close.  I don’t know why it got blotchy like it did, maybe because I didn’t make more of an effort to fully dissolve the dye powder.  And you would never know that the bottom third soaked an hour longer than the middle third.

It did get the smeary part at the edge.  Like tie dye.  I thought tie dye was cool once.  In 6th grade.

Here it is chilling on the windowseat.  I’m not sure how I feel about it yet – is it better than attempt #1?  Worse?  Or just a different look?

(Hey Susie, if you’re reading this, Ahmed said “that’s a cool pillow”.  So it has received one dude vote.)

DIY Sea Glass Bottles ~ Fail

I’m looking at a craft fail here my friends.  This the tutorial that I re-pinned.

Here are the materials needed according to the tutorial:

  • Blue & Green Food Coloring ( I used the Neon colors from McCormick just because I like how intense the color is)
  • School Glue
  • Dish Liquid
  • Water
  • Paint Brush
  • Glass Jars, Bottles, etc.

And the instructions:

  • Mix the school glue and water as if you were making homemade mod podge.  WHAT?  You don’t know how to make your own mod podge?  So easy!  Just mix 2-3 parts glue to 1 part water.
  • Add a few drops of blue and green food coloring.  Add more blue or green depending on your preference.
  • Add just a little dish liquid.  How much is just a little…well, not too much!
  • Blend well.
  • Now, carefully paint the mixture onto the outside of the glass and let it dry.  Watch out for being too streaky or leaving drips.  Don’t worry, if you mess up – just wash  and start over.

The end result should look like this:

See how they are brightly colored, yet have a frosty finish, but are still translucent?  And you know what she said about not getting streaks or drips?

Yeah, I couldn’t accomplish that.  I bought exactly the same food coloring.  I tried mixing glue and water, making a thick version and a more watery version.  The more watery version definitely dripped everywhere.  But a thick version dripped too, just in slower bigger globs.  I tried a few different brushes, from a tiny one to a sponge one and finally settled on a 2″ brush because that got the job done the fastest and was easiest to coat it without lots of brushing (meaning lots of brushmarks).  I didn’t mix in much dish liquid, just a tiny bit.  I also only used a few drops of food coloring.

                                  

From a distance they are ok, and even the photos are alright.  But in real life, up close, they don’t look so hot.  Not hot enough to say, display on a table or a shelf, or put out during a party and say “look what I did”.

See the drippy mess?  But I was hopeful with a nice, even, opaque coverage on the wine bottle.

I had really good coverage on this one too.

Once they dried, I was underwhelmed.  The blue is so faint that it just looks like regular glass that has that green tint around the edges.  The green is really strong, but up close it is drippy.  And this is a pretty normal color for glass anyway, but it isn’t frosty.

See the drips on the green bottle?

I’ve tried this two more times since with real Mod Podge and more food coloring to try and get the blue to show.  I tried it with and without the dish liquid.  None of those turned out any better, and the brushstroke problem just got worse. So I think I am officially giving up on this one unless someone has a solution.  Sad face.

Bohemian Style ~ Part 2

More Bohemian style!  Here’s an intro from yesterday’s post to catch you up:

The bohemian aesthetic conjures up a romantic notion of a free-spirited yet somewhat impoverished life dedicated to art and wanderlust. So let’s look at some pretty pictures to see the building blocks of our modern concept of bohemian style.

I’ve come up with 6 main elements that seem to come up again and again whenever I spot something that appears decidedly bohemian in style:  Bright Colors, Patterns, Aged or Antique details, Global pieces, Nomadic influences, and an overall Eclectic design.  Naturally lots of these go hand in hand or overlap, but the more I looked at photos I realized that they all come in to play… keep an eye out for how many of these elements you can identify in any given photo.  If you want to see more of anything or the original source, click the photo.

Global

Mixing your continents gets you feeling bohemian pretty quickly.  If you walk into World Market you’ll see heavy influences in textile patterns from India, collections of various Buddhas from across Asia, and a splash of Central Asian suzani in the throw pillows.  Its easy to get pretty extreme since there are so many beautiful things to choose from, but I like to balance out design objects from different continents so that my home doesn’t end up looking like a hibachi restaurant due to all the Japanese items (for example).

This fabulous bedroom can be found in Morocco.  It is definitely high drama with classical Moroccan design elements in the hanging lanterns and elaborately detailed patterns on the ceiling, the textiles, and carved wood in the doorway arches.

If you don’t live in a Moroccan palace, you can still incorporate bed canopies and floor cushions.  This is my favorite nursery tour to date.  The floor cushions in beautiful prints, the cute stuffed camel, and even the subtle arches in the crib all quietly point to the Middle East without feeling like you walked into a bazaar.

If you think this wall hanging looks familiar, its because identical fabric was in one of the photos from Bohemian Style ~ Part 1 in the form of a headboard.  These Mexican coverlets are called tenangos, you can find more here at lavivahome.com in more beautiful colors.  The room maintains a clean, modern aesthetic in the furniture.

A little bit of India in jewel tones and patterns.  The elaborately painted side table is a creative way to bring in a pattern without relying on fabric.

Nomadic

The romantic idea of gypsies (again, not referring to any actual people group) involves a lot moving around and living in non-permanent structures.  Draped fabric can come in the form of a bed canopy, a wall hanging, or a cozy nook in a mini indoor tent.

Hanging fabric can create walls in a large open space like a loft or an outdoor patio.

Piles of luscious pillows are also prevalent in bohemian design, making any surface seem cozy and inviting.  Pillows make for easy to carry lightweight furniture, and are easily stackable in a corner when not in use.  This looks like a pile of large floor cushions, but its actually a sofa by designer Roche Bobois.

Moroccan poufs have been used in very glam settings lately.

Looks so comfy and plush…

Eclectic

If you like it, use it.  That means any found object can have a place in your home, and feel free to mix styles from the across the world and different centuries.

Birdcages in the bathtub?  Why not?

The sofa and walls are fairly contemporary, but the layered rugs and weathered industrial table make the room interesting.

This loft is a blank canvas full of beautiful things.  I love this oversize quilt that can be used as a room divider.  Check out the modern art with the black tufted sofa, the granny lamp, and those Moroccan style poufs again.  Oh and a cow hide rug, because, why not?

In conclusion – there’s a lot of gorgeous stuff out there. Go find what you love and bring it home, let things evolve naturally over time. There’s a ton of ways to do bohemian, but throw in some of these elements and you’ll be on the way.