::Making simple things beautiful::

Friday, September 23, 2011

Stuck on a lamp shade

Ok so I realize that I was a bit of a let down yesterday.  I did promise consecutive posts, but I was getting ready for an annual weekend away with the girls.  We are spending the weekend in Portland this year.  So far today we have been up with the sun to go to the flower market, we have had pedicures, lunch and a bit of shopping.  We randomly found ourselves at Pier 1.  Pier 1 is usually not my style, but I did find a lampshade that I am now dying to make!

Rosette Hayworth Lamp

Is that not the cutest thing ever?  It is a pretty good sized lamp, and I thought the $99 price tag was reasonable.  Well you know me, it might be reasonable but I am waaaaaaaaaay to cheap to ever spend the money on one.  However, it is now on my to do list.  I think I just might bump this project up between numbers 54 and 55 on my list just so I can accomplish it sometime in the next ten years.  You know, while it is still in style : )

I also came across two sets of lockers today that I can't stop thinking about.  It is totally impractical though, seeing as I already have a set for sale in my booth.  And the minor detail that I have no way to get them home. Bummer!
On a positive note, I am about to finish up some gorgeous flowers for a wedding.  I will post pics tomorrow!  Have a fabulous night!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Flashback to my booth

Finally I am back!

I have been getting yelled at by a few of you for my lack of blogging so I thought I better get back at it!  My two week blogging hiatus did not mean that I had no material to blog.  I actually have been snapping away at my projects but have been too busy to blog about them. So as a prize to you faithful readers, you will get new posts daily for the next little bit.  Sound fair?  I thought so : )

I took these pictures of my booth two weeks ago.  I really wanted to share this barn wood cabinet that I had in my space.  It always surprises me what sells quickly in there.  This cabinet wasn't necessarily my favorite item, but it sold within the first week of being there.

I made a couple new pillows and painted this farmhouse board.  It too sold really fast, but I still wanted to share.  I think I might make more like it.

This picture isn't very focused but I also made this pillow cover.  I used some of my left over ruffles and made a white rosette with it.  I loved how it turned out.  It too is gone, but i will definitely make more.

Now I am off to eat dinner and have some family time.  I will catch you tomorrow!


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Homemade laundry soap

It is very fulfilling to me to hand make things for my family.  Part of my joy is that it is one way I can show my family how much I love them, but it is also so much less expensive a lot of the time.  It is also nice to know exactly what goes into something, and how it is made.  Laundry soap is no exception, and who would have thought of it!

Here are the ingredients (besides water) that go into a batch of soap.

::Fels Naptha soap bar
::Washing soda
::Essential oil of your choice (optional)

You will also need a bucket, a towel and a hand mixer.

If you currently use liquid detergent, save your empty containers to store your homemade soap in.  Ask your friends to save them for you too, as you may want to double or triple the batch each time you make it so that you have plenty.

::Grate 1/3 of the soap bar

::Combine the grated soap with 6 cups of water and heat in a pot on the stove until the soap is completely dissolved.

::Add 1/2 cup of washing soda

::Add 1/2 cup of borax
::Continue heating until all of the powder is completely dissolved

::Pour 4 cups of hot water into bucket
::Pour heated mixture from pot into bucket and stir

::Add 22 cups of water to bucket
::Add 1/2 oz. essential oil

::Cover bucket with a towel and let sit for 24 hours to gel.
::Uncover, mix with electric mixer, and funnel into containers.
::Use 1/2 cup per load of laundry

Is this soap any less expensive to make?  Funny you should ask, yes it is!
Fels Naptha bar $1.12  Borax $3.27  Washing soda $2.23
After calculating how much of each goes into a batch of soap, the magic number is $.71 per batch of soap!!!  Each batch will wash approximately 64 loads of laundry and voila, $.011 per load!
Note-this calculation does not include the cost of the essential oil.  I added lavender to mine, but I am not sure that I will next time.  The Naptha soap has a strong citrus fragrance, so the soap smells just fine without adding anything to it.  If you use fabric softener, you will definitely not need to add any fragrance.

It works great too.  Every ingredient in the detergent has a specific purpose.  For example, the soap bar is a stain pretreater/remover.  Borax is a laundry whitener and deodorizer.  Washing soda removes dirt and odors.
This detergent removed a blackberry stain from my sisters white shirt!

You may not think you have time to do something like this, but just block out an hour of your evening, invite a sister or friend and have fun doing something new.  My sister and I had a lot of fun doing it, and we have gobs of detergent to show for the time we spent together.  Give it a whirl and let me know how it turned out!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

More ruffles

I wanted to share the pillows that I made for my sister while she was in town.  She liked mine and asked if I would make her a set for her couch.  I said yes of course. Then I got sick with a nasty cold and didn't sleep for three nights because my sweet girl was also feeling icky.  Still, I forged ahead with the six hour project.  A very special someone really wanted to take their pillows home with them.

They are a little bit different than mine, but you probably can't even tell the difference.

I am going to find a way to get these covers made more quickly so that I can sell them in my booth.  I think ruffles are so darling, and would be a great addition.

That is all for now, just a quick little post for ya! 

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Making an old piece a little more me

Despite the company that I had this week, I did manage to get a few projects done.  My parents had this bedroom set for most of my childhood.  I ended up with it years ago, the bed has since been sold, and the two dressers have been heavily distressed in our moves etc. (not in a good way).  I was ready to pass this one back to my mom.  I even went as far as emptying the drawers and moving it from my bedroom into the hallway.

Then, as usual, I got an idea.  Why the heck not paint it and use it as a TV stand in the living room?  Genius!

I felt a tad guilty as I brushed that first stroke of paint onto it.  It is after all, a very nice piece of furniture and worth a bit of money.  But it wasn't working for me as it was, and I wanted a new piece for the living room so I went for it.

Here is what it looked like before sans knobs (yes I know I really suck at taking before pictures)

Here is what it looks like now, after a light white wash and new distressing technique that I learned.

This finish may not be for everyone, but I am liking it.  I don't like all of my furniture to be matchy matchy when it comes to shades of white or finishes, so I was happy to try something new : )

I LOVE this little blue tool caddy that I bought last summer.  I originally bought it to spruce things up in Reese's room, but it has become one of my favorite things and has made it's way out into the living room so that I may look at it more often.

So there you have it, my newest addition.  I feel like it fits in my house so much better now, and is a little more me.

In order to make room in my house, I am going to have to part with the little buffet that my TV was sitting on.  Just part of the junking and upcycling addiction I suppose.  Out with the old, in with the new.

One thing that my sister and I did together this week was make homemade laundry soap.  I took pictures of the whole process so I will have that to share very soon.  Happy Labor Day weekend!