Archive for the ‘home’ Category


Project 32: Done and lessons learned

August 26, 2011

Finished shades

When am I going to learn to leave myself more time to work on projects? We did all of this last night. Just before 10pm I unrolled my leftover fabric and discovered that I did in fact have enough for the shades. (I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t!) But when I cut the fabric and sat down to hem the panels I realized that what I really needed was a serger. My husband reminded me that it was Thursday and TechShop was open until midnight, so I ran up there hoping someone who knew how to use the serger was there.

Do you see how incredibly badly I was flying by the seat of my pants?

Fortunately Dara from Li Sashay was there and was willing to zip a few edges for me. Remember Dara? She’s a lifesaver.

My husband took down the old blinds and installed the new sliding panel hardware while I sewed on the velcro so we could hung the panels for privacy overnight. This morning I sewed the bottom hems and inserted the weights that make the panels hang straight. They’re lovely.

What was more lovely was the great light coming into my dining room this morning. That room gets direct light first thing in the morning and these shades created a sort of soft box that diffused it everywhere. I might need to take photos in there sometime.

Lessons learned:
– Set aside more time for projects!

Join me next week for some freezer paper stenciling to dress up these very plain shades. See you then!


Project 32: Before

August 25, 2011

Blinds before

These are the blinds in my dining room as they look right now (kitten for scale). They are stuck open that way because the adjusting rod broke off. They are also missing a couple of slats from each end. I hate them. Tomorrow there will be new sliding panels up there. The panels will be plain, but I think I’ll devote next week on the blog to freezer paper stenciling and get them all decorated up.

Check back!


Project 32: Hardware

August 24, 2011

Ikea hardwareI’ve thought for a long time about the kind of window treatments I need for my sliding glass doors. We have one set in the living room and another set in the dining room; they are the only windows we have downstairs. We need privacy but we also need light, and since we go in and out of those doors sometimes we also need the window treatments to get out of the way when necessary. So when I found this panel system at Ikea I imagined it would be the right solution.

A friend and I made the 3 hour drive to Ikea a month or so ago and I picked up one set of this hardware. Instead of buying their precut panels I remembered that I have fabric left over from the roman shades project. Hopefully I have enough!

Photo from





Project 32: Window panels

August 22, 2011

Dining Room

We have horrible plastic vertical blinds covering our two sliding glass doors that are just begging to be replaced. This week I’m going to use some leftover fabric from a previous project and some hardware from Ikea to make sliding panels for the dining room doors. I may even stencil them. Check back for updates!

Photo by indigo_jones on Flickr


Project 17: One more and Project 23: Idea

June 22, 2011

Last night I finished Jupiter and made it into a coaster. I only had 2 colors left in the pattern when I put it down 6 weeks ago.

I also may have figured out a solution to the picture frame problem. I’ll be in the shop this afternoon and will see if it works then. Check back tomorrow!


Catching up

June 20, 2011

Dye bath failure

Remember project 4? How about project 17? And who could forget last week’s unfinished jewelry box? This week I am going to do my best to finish (or in the case of the planets at least make some coasters) all of these projects. Wish me luck!

If you didn’t come to MakerFaire in Raleigh this weekend you missed a great time! I met lots of people doing interesting things, many of which I’ll be sharing with you as the weeks go by. For now, check out my kindred spirit Dino at Hack A Week. I will definitely be keeping an eye on what he’s up to for the rest of his project!


Project 22: Finished frame and lessons learned

June 10, 2011

Finished frame

My frame is done! After my last post I let the mod podge dry completely then rubbed some black acrylic paint on and wiped it off. The effect was pretty dramatic. I’m impressed by how easy this project was (mod podge issues notwithstanding) and what great impact the faux silver leaf treatment has. Now I kind of want to silver leaf everything!

Lessons learned:
– It was nice to have a sitting at a table project after several weeks of bigger things. I need to remember to break up my list like this more often.
– A big impact can come from a smallish effort. Don’t overlook the simple things.
Free vintage printables web sites are awesome.

This was only step one in the life of my new frame. Join me next week as I make it more functional.


Project 22: Mod Podge

June 9, 2011


I think the first time I heard about Mod Podge was during one of my first jobs out of college. I had a co worker who was decoupaging glass plates. Mod Podge seemed like magical stuff. You put down a layer of it, stick stuff on top, put down another layer and you’re done. How much easier could it be?

Fast forward to last night, my first time using Mod Podge, and I could barely keep from cursing at the stuff. First of all, it smells. Second, it really isn’t as easy to use as I imagined. My tin foil pieces did not want to stick to the frame, and when I tried to rub to get the pattern to come through I ended up moving the pieces or ripping them. What Mod Podge did stick to was my fingers and the newspaper I put down to protect my table.

I was eventually able to get a couple of layers of foil on my frame, though I’ll need to do some finessing once the pieces dry completely. Then I’ll have just one more step before I have a completed project. Check back tomorrow!

Success... mostly

Success! ...mostly


Project 22: How to

June 8, 2011

Photo by Mandi at Vintage Revivals

I didn’t make it to the store to buy materials yesterday, so I didn’t start on the project. Instead I’ll show you one of the tutorials I found that inspired me to try faux silver leaf. Check it out at Vintage Revivals.

Photo by Mandi at Vintage Revivals


Project 22: Finding a frame

June 7, 2011

Wooden frame

While I love the idea of silver leafing an ornate frame like the beautiful one in yesterday’s post, I thought maybe I should start more simply for my first try. My goal was to find a wooden frame with some detail and width in a size that will fit in my bathroom (you’ll see why next week). The art it came with didn’t matter to me since I had basically planned on putting something else in it anyway. Armed with those specifications I set out to try a new thrift store.

I used to have a favorite thrift store, but I showed up there a couple of years ago to find it closed. Since then I have been going to a couple of smaller ones around town but I haven’t been very happy with them. Yesterday I finally acted on a recommendation to try A Cause for Paws, a local thrift store that benefits pet adoption in our area. I had thought that they only had one location in a part of town I don’t normally go to, but yesterday I learned that they had opened a location right across the street from my old favorite.

It was huge! The store was well organized and everything that I looked at was clearly labeled. I found the frame you see above plus a couple of other things. You can bet I’ll be going back there.

Tomorrow: acquiring the rest of the supplies and starting work.