Hooters!

04/28/2011

3 Comments

 
Picture
I found this vintage cream and sugar set at the Salvation Army about a week ago and just had to take it home. The sugar bowl is missing its lid, but so what? Each piece was only $1.99. I think I will use them for flowers.

Hoot! So cute!
Picture
 
 
Remember a little while back when I posted about my attempt at a bird pendant fixture? Well, my first effort was a failure, but I persevered and gave it another go and I THINK I'm satisfied. I've taken a few shots of the pendant as is. Would love some feedback. What do you think? Does it need more sticks? More birds? What?
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
DIY Materials
Sticks and twigs, craft birds, a cage (standard mesh waste bin), simple bulb light fixture.
 
 
Blue Eyed Grass is my absolute favourite thing about springtime in Toronto. My absolute favourite thing. I love how it seems to appear out of nowhere. How you can leave your house in the morning with a lawn of nothing but green shoots and mud, and when you return home, it's brimming over with blue. I'm surprised by it every single year. And it always makes me happy.

Hope y'all are having a nice holiday weekend. I spent it walking around the city, hunting for Blue Eyed Grass. I wasn't disappointed.
Picture
Image by Glitch of the blog Way Out in the Margin, spring 2010.
 
 
I've been strangely drawn to bits of vintage pottery and stoneware lately. I keep buying little pieces. Mugs. Bowls. Odd platters and plates. It's just so organic and rustic, textural and beautiful. Of course... as with my Pyrex obsesssion, the problem is that a woman needs only so many vases and bowls. And a woman like me has only so much space.

What do you think about vintage pottery and stoneware? Worth collecting?
Picture
Picture
Picture
All creative commons images from Flickr. Credits: 1) Peacock Modern 2)deb roby 3) ex.libris

P.S. April showers bring... ugly grey skies. I haven't been able to to take many good pictures of my own recently. Hence all the Flickr shots. But you forgive me, right?
 
 
I have a new obsession: granny square afghans. It's completely bizarre. Every time I see one kicking around at Goodwill or the Sally Anne, I think... 'Wow. That is SO granny!'

And then I buy it.
Picture
It's a sickness! It's like I've caught some sort of extremely robust granny blanket bug.

I bring the blankets home,  Nathan looks at me like I've lost my mind, then I box them up and put them away. Because at the moment, there's really no place for granny blankets in my house.

I have no idea why I'm doing this. In the back of my mind, there's some vague notion of a future cottage, nursery, etc., but in the real world - the world of today - granny blankets don't suit me at all.

And really... do they suit ANYBODY? Anybody who's NOT actually a granny?

So my question to you is this: is there room in a chic life for the granny blanket?

You tell me.
Picture
Picture
Picture
* Creative commons licensed images by:
1. Sewing Daisies

2. Slugs on the Refrigerator
3. Dutch Blue
4. Jek in the Box

 
 
The no-sew t-shirt necklace project I did recently went so well, I was inspired to keep the crafting going. This week, I attempted a chunky pearl necklace, as inspired by Erica Domesek of P.S. I Made This. (That girl has the BEST ideas.)

I started with a string of junk store pearls that I've had kicking around for the past ten years.
Picture
I looped the pearls around three times.
Picture
I tied off the loops with cotton ribbon (from DeSerres). One piece of ribbon per side,  leaving long bits loose to create the tie-closure.
Picture
That's it! You too can upcycle an outdated piece like this. And you don't have to use pearls. Any long string of beads (in any colour) will do. Easy peasy.
Picture
For me, the best thing about this necklace (and the t-shirt necklace I made a couple of weeks ago) is that neither contains metal. I have a contact allergy to nickel and as a result, I can't wear most costume jewellery. I can't even wear a watch (because even the most expensive ones with gold or titanium bands tend to have a stainless steel back plate).

This necklace is soft, light and, as I said, the closure is fabric. (You just tie the ribbon off in a bow.)

Finally... a fun necklace I can wear without breaking out in hives. Love it.
 
 
In my ongoing quest to revamp my bedroom, I created a little vignette above one of the dressers.

And I decided to blog about it because it occurred to me that this vignette cost me practically nothing. Every piece in it was either inherited, or purchased second-hand.

What do you think?
Picture
Picture
Picture
Picture
The books, milk glass bud vase, ginger jar, leaf dish, and white floral candle holder are from Goodwill. The faux forsythia and the bird are from Dollarama. The statue is from Angel Interiors and Custom Upholstery in Toronto (on St. Clair West.) It was a gift for my 17th birthday back in 1997. The art and the copper tree are from Value Village and the antique telescope used to be my dad's. I have no idea where he got it.

All this stuff was already hanging around my house in other rooms, on other tables and/or hidden away, so the vignette took no time at all. I love how spring-timey and bright it feels. So much better than it was, no?
 
 
So... the plate wall is finally complete.

Initially, I really wanted something with a lot of movement. I wanted a cluster. But unfortunately, I had a lot of trouble creating a satisfying grouping. In fact, I had so much trouble, I decided to scrap that plan entirely.

I've had a lot of luck organizing artwork in rows, so I decided to go that route instead, and while the effect is completely different, I think I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. I've lost the undulating sense of movement I was hoping for, but the row format allowed me to use only my favourite plates without worrying too much about colour or design.
Picture
As you can see, I also mixed traditional art pieces into the display. And there's no transition between the trad art and the plates, which leaves the plates looking like pieces of art. Right? (Right.)
Picture
Above the bed, the display begins with a vintage painting from Goodwill, followed by an old family photograph (also vintage and not of my family). After that, I've got a pencil drawing of a ship (which you can't see very well thanks to the reflections) and after that, we transition to plates.
Picture
Picture
Anyway. Here are the details on the six specific plates I used:
Picture
1. A plain white plate ($2 from Goodwill) adorned with vinyl letters from the dollar store.
2. A white plate with a couple of poppies on it ($0.99 from Goodwill), modified with vinyl birds - again, from the dollar store.
3. A vintage plate by Gien France in the Lafayette pattern. (My mom found this baby in the trash along with a bunch of Spode!)
4. This "cracked" pattern plate is actually plastic. ($0.99 from Goodwill). I dressed it up with vinyl from the dollar store.
5. A Johnson Brothers salad (or quarter) plate in the discontinued Lemon Tree pattern ($0.99 from Goodwill).
6. A Johnson Brothers  saucer in the discontinued Hearts and Flowers pattern. ($0.50 from Goodwill).

Now, before you set out on a plate wall project of your own, some words of advice: beware cheapo hanging brackets! The ones I used were NOT easy to work with. They were $2.50 each from my local Home Hardware. And they were incredibly difficult to stretch over the large plates. And worse, once the bracket was in place on the plate, I couldn't figure out how to hang the bracket to the wall without causing the plate to stick out at a 45 degree angle.

Ultimately, I figured out that by using cup hooks that protruded away from the wall, the plates would hang flat. It wasn't easy. Also, the brackets only came in one size, so for the smaller plates, I had to cut them down by hand with my needle nose pliers and wire snips. It was a finicky job.

So. There you have it. My plate wall. It wasn't easy, and it's not my original vision, but it's done.

Anyway, what do you think?
 
 
Got the BEST find at Goodwill last week (insert maniacal and braggy laughter here). I found a pristine copy of Manhattan Style by John Estenm, Rose Bennett Gilbert & George Chinsee, first published in 1990 and now selling (new) for over $100 online.

My copy was $2.49. Thank you, Goodwill!
Picture
Often, old design books can seem VERY dated. Especially books from the 1990s. But this one is fantastic. Fresh and inspiring. It's got both b/w and colour photographs, and plenty of interesting text about how the interior design profession evolved in New York over the course of the 20th Century.

But frankly, even though it's a book, in this case, the text is beside the point. This find is all about the pictures.

If you see one kicking around your local thrift shop, I highly recommend you grab it, quick. 

P.S. Sorry to brag. ;)
 
 
So, this week, I started working on what I thought would be a simple pendant light fixture for the guest room. I wanted something that would hang over the reading chair, opposite the twin beds. And I wanted it to look something like this Anthropologie fixture (which cost nearly $800):

Picture
I was inspired by some of the DIY projects I'd seen in the blogosphere. In particular, this one by Adorn on a Shoestring:
Picture
So, thinking the whole thing would be simple, I set to work.

I got myself a wire hanging basket and stripped away the decorative metal leaves that adorned the sides with my handy set of wire cutters. I was left with a cage like this:
Picture
I spray painted the cage white (because the forest green just wasn't working for me) and attached one of those bare hanging light bulbs that plugs into a wall outlet. Then, I gathered up some sticks and branches and bought several decorative birds from the dollar store.
Picture
The result? Hateful, ugly and unstable. Plus, a possible fire hazard. In fact, I couldn't even take a picture of my efforts, I hated them so much.  Plus, it smashed to the floor about five minutes after I hung it up and many of the sticks broke and at least one bird lost a wing. Oops.

Sigh.

So, it's back to the drawing board. Obviously, this project is not as simple as I thought it would be, but I still think it's doable. I am going to experiment with different cages to see if that might help.