a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity


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Lamp revamp

I don’t really know why I haven’t learned my lesson about spray paint projects yet. But alas, here we are.

 

My revamped lamp: before (left) and after (right)

I found this lamp at one of my local thrift shops, and needing something to illuminate our otherwise dark second bedroom (it’s the kind with no overhead light, where the light switch controls a plug in the room instead), I snatched it up. I didn’t love the brassy brassy it had going on, but did like the lampshade part and the general shape of the base. So I decided I’d try my hand at repainting the base. With spray paint (again, why?). I figured that, while my last spray paint project was kind of irritating, I learned some lessons from it and so perhaps I could do better this time. Or maybe I just forgot about all the lameness over the last year. Quite possible. Or maybe it was just that I had my grubby little hands on some novelty crackle paint (on sale!) at Michael’s! “Novelty crackle paint?” you say? Why yes. It’s the stuff of dreams nasty chemicals that stink up your house for days. Maybe that’s why it was on sale…

Anyway this is what my bare-bones lamp base looked like before I gave it a makeover:

And this is a close-up of the base after painting happened:

So, a couple things went wrong with this. First, the amount of crackle this paint produces is directly related to the weight of the coat. Said simply, goopier parts made bigger crackles than more thinly-sprayed parts. This is a problem because of all the grooves and weird angles involved in painting something this shape.

Second, I couldn’t paint the brown cord or the still-brassy-brass sections of the bits on top that hold the lightbulb. I didn’t want to mess with putting weird chemicals near a heat source, nor did I want to get stuff all up in the mechanism that turns the lamp on, or on any important electrical bits. I did spray the nub that screws the shade on, but there are many visual angles that reveal pretty blatantly that there were these “missed” spots. Purely out of hubris, I have not photographed them for display here. I prefer even my shitty projects to look nice in photos.

What did I learn by doing this? Very little. Except that I still hate spray paint’s guts. And perhaps that I should avoid using it, even when the perfect opportunity to make a mess presents itself (read: we ripped up our old flooring and, for a few days, I had bare concrete that did not need to be kept nice and un-painty).

Oh well, I shall just bask in the wonder of all my DIY misadventures in the light of my new lamp…


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Things I covet: Revamped serving tray

Christie at Lemon Squeezy Home had her sister, Rachelle, do this fabulous guest post tutorial showing how she revamped an ugly old wooden serving tray!  I love the bright colours and the modern look to the trees she designed.  So simple and elegant!

The tray before (left) and after (right)!

Check out the details on how to modge podge your way to new and wonderful home accessories like this one!


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Things I covet: Clothesasaurus

When I first saw this post by Rachel at Smile and Wave, I thought to myself:  What in the heck is a tater box anyway?  Am I the only one who has never heard of such a thing?  Is it an American thing that we don’t have here in Canada?

No matter what its origin, a lick of paint is all it takes to turn a plain old wooden tater box into a pretty rad Clothesasaurus!

After

Before

Rachel made the Clothesasaurus to serve as a fun laundry hamper for her young son. I think it’s a great way to make doing laundry fun!  And you can practice tossing balled up socks into his mouth when he gets “hungry”!  My mom and I used to do that when I was a kid (into a much less exciting looking basket, mind you) and it’s one of my favourite memories.

I really need to find me a tater box…


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Puff paint pottery

Alas, a way to decorate your home for $10 or less!  All you need is some old bottles (or cans, not shown here), some puffy 3D paint (fabric paint will do), and some white spraypaint.  Ta da!

This project was inspired by a similar one over at P.S. – I Made This…, and I was lucky to be the recipient of the necessary materials as part of my crafty-themed Secret Santa present this past Christmas (thank you, Laura!)

I’m so happy this one is finally done.  It ended up being a minor headache for me, as far as crafts go. Turns out spraypaint is a bit of a twat!  You spray too much, you get blobs and drips.  You spray too little, you end up doing so many coats your brain explodes from the time commitment (and the fumes, don’t forget the fumes). Finding a well-ventilated place to spraypaint something is actually quite challenging.  A well ventilated place where you don’t care if things nearby get accidental drive-by-shooting type of painted.  Note, this does not generally exist indoors.  Outdoors is also a pretty garbagey option because of flying dust/debris/shit from trees, so neither location is ideal. I ended up using a big cardboard box (with the flaps taped up so it was as tall as possible) but I did so many coats in that thing that it got a thick layer of sticky paint on the bottom which ended up pulling chunks of paint off my bottles wherever they were resting. [Insert eye roll/oy vey/bitch please here.]

So, a complex craft disguised as a simple craft.  At least I learned that spraypaint and I don’t get along so great. Learning experience!


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Fun with spray paint (and a train!)

I found this old junky metal wall-hanging at a thrift store a while back and was hoping my guy would give me the okay to hang it in our spare room. I picked it up because it made me think of him — he loved trains as a child (and still does, admittedly). Turns out he thought it was tacky to the max!  Which is fair, because I myself was wavering between thinking it was awful and thinking it was cool (similar to the phenomenon of sexy ugly, n’est-ce pas?).

Before

Anyway I happened to have been playing with a can of white spray paint for another project (stay tuned!) and decided it couldn’t hurt to try and give my little train friend a makeover, and in doing so, perhaps salvage its worth as potential art for our home.  Check out the results:

After

And the verdict was in — it was now deemed worthy of displaying on our wall for all to see. Hooray!  $6 (+ the cost of spray paint) well spent.  I admit, it’s certainly lost whatever steampunk-esque charm it had before, but I still like it.


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Things I covet: Colourful floor puzzle

I have a soft spot (or fervently admiring spot?) for Montessori-type kids’ toys. I love the idea of letting a child play and create with objects that allow for imaginative exploration. So when Merrilee of Mer Mag posted last month about the colourful floor puzzle she made for her son, I was so impressed!

She simply purchased a sheet of 1/4″ hardboard from Home Depot (and had them cut it into 5″ squares) and painted them with colourful acrylic paint using a sponge brush!  Don’t they look great?  I think her son loved them just as much as I do…