Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Enough Time

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Bamboo Octopus Clock: Wood Kids Clock Ocean Nursery Baby
I don’t have it. 
Do you?? 
I bet not.  Few if any of us do. 
Time to do all our daily tasks and then what feeds our souls and minds as well?  Forget about it.  It is a constant battle for me, both externally and internally.  With three kids I’m split multiple times a day between this child and that child, this task and that child, this task and that task.  I think I must look like a crazed mother hen running all over the house yet getting very little done.  But, the crying child must be comforted.  Those dishes, they aren’t going to wash themselves.  That Mount Doom of laundry??  It will not get miraculously clean and back in dressers without me. 
I’m sure it’s even more difficult for those who work outside the home too. 
Then there is the internal struggle.  When, at the end of the day, I have a few minutes of peace to myself…what should I do??  Oh yes, I really should read that book I started a while back for my book club.  But I’m feeling a bit frazzled and I just need something light and oh look, one of my favorite bloggers has just put up a new post!!  Down the rabbit hole of blogs I go.  (It is a fun rabbit hole!) 
Or, maybe I’ve been thinking all day that I’d love to work on a project but by the time those free moments come I’ve lost my inspiration and creativity for the day.  There is a pile of (clean) laundry on my coffee table and I could fold it while watching some Netflix or perhaps even a movie with the husband if I’m lucky.  I can’t face tomorrow with those clothes on the table.  The toddler will certainly only pull them off and scatter them about the floor if I leave them.  (Don’t tell me mine is the only toddler with this obsession!)  I’ve been wondering what is going to happen to Miss Stewart in this episode of Foyle’s War anyway. 
Anddd…I really should spend some time in prayer or start reading that mother’s devotional book again.  But once again I’m hopping into bed and only  have a few moments to say a few quick prayers and a quick “sorry God for anything I haven’t done my best today” before falling asleep the second my head hits the pillow.  Because in a few short hours a toddler will awake waaaay too early and not want to go back to bed. 
Octopus Art Print Clock - Kraken Nautical Decor - Modern Wall Clock - Office Desk Accessories - Chevron Art
My internal struggles with time often crop up during the day too when I have just a few minutes here and there to do something that fuels that creative outlet.  (For me it is generally house beautifying creativity, but I’m sure you could fill the blank with your own version of creativity or relaxation—writing, reading, knitting, cleaning (I’ve heard there are some people out there who see cleaning as relaxing!!  Who knew!!), etc.  I get wrapped up in my ideas for this and that (or perhaps even a small project or part of a project) but am snapped back to reality by cries of hunger for a snack.  It gets discouraging time and time again to start something and have to put it away again and again especially if you need lots of tools or supplies for it. 
Why am I writing this?  Oh, I don’t know.  Perhaps you’ve had a day like this and you need to know that someone else has days like this all the time.  Not bad days…just days that there isn’t enough time to “do it all”.  My mind is bursting with ideas for this and that and wow, that pinterest recipe looks really really good…but that’s not happening today.  I’m a work in progress on being contented with the amount of time I have to get things done every day.  I love making our house a home and reading how others do so and seeing their projects and I like to share my little victories too.  Keeping up with other bloggers isn’t my job…being a wife and mother and making a home is. 
And sometimes I need to shout, shout, let it all out and realize I have enough time for what I need to do and not necessarily what I want  to do.  :)
(All the octopus clock pictures are dedicated to my husband, who wants a playful octopus clock more of like this except with waving tentacles in our bedroom:)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Spotlight on Navy (Lamp Redo!)

A few weeks ago I was perusing our local Goodwill when I spied a pair of matching gold table lamps. 
(I have a feeling a large percentage of my posts start with the same sort of scenario.  Ha!) 
I had been on the lookout for matching lamps for our nightstands so I was excited…though that emotion quickly turned to more of a “meh” as I picked one up and saw the price.  They were $7 a piece, and it was more than I was willing to pay for lamps that would need some updating so I passed.
Fast forward to the next week, when I was back to Goodwill for the next tag sale day.  (All blue tags were $1.49 this particular day.)  You know where this is going…I was again checking out my favorite sections of the thrift store when I looked in the infamous lamp section…and yes, the lamps were still there!  I checked and sure enough, they were blue tags!!! 
I grabbed them super fast.  :)
(I can’t believe they were still there.  It was meant to be!)
A few months before I had seen the lamp redo that Sarah at Thrifty Decor Chick did and was really loving how the glossy navy looked on her (formerly) brass lamps.  I had the same navy spray paint in my stash so I tried my  hand at it. 
Behold, the brassy befores!
IMG_7264 (Night lighting in the garage.)  How do you like my paint can stands??
They were very very brassy.  Almost blindingly so, in fact.  I primed them with some spray primer I had on hand and got to work with the navy.  I immediately loved how they looked.  The glossiness and the color really brought out the contours of the lamp and made them look much better in my opinion. 
Here is one of the pair today (I promise the other looks almost exactly alike):
Again…I really like how they turned out!! 
I ended up covering some lamp shades that I had on hand with fabric from my stash (so great to use some of it!!).  I used this tutorial  for cutting out the fabric and then the tutorial for covering the shades from the Young House Love book that I borrowed from the library recently.  It was really really easy.  I kind of feel like recovering all the lamp shades in the house now.  (Don’t worry honey…I won’t.  ;) 
My sister came and helped paint our bedroom a couple of weeks ago so it is really looking a lot more fresh in there though it could use some accessorizing (and non-old-lady bedsheets…though that is another post :).  I feel like I’ve done enough “starts” of projects lately without a “finished” post so I’ll spare you the master bedroom plan for now. 
It’s great to have a little pop of color in there now! 

Monday, October 7, 2013

My $4 Stenciled Curtain Panels (from tablecloths)

I started this project about 2 years ago…for a different living room. 
Now, I finally finished it for our “new” living room.  Cause these curtains just weren’t cutting it for me:
IMG_6459 (You can see more of our lovely curtains here.)
It is no secret that I like to be thrifty.  So when (in our old house) I wanted to get new curtains for our living room windows, I looked everywhere for curtains or fabric, hoping to score a deal.  I checked Ikea too and came up with nothing.  The trouble was, I really like purple and at the time fabrics (and curtains) that had purple in them were hard to find.  Any that I liked were really expensive, much more than I wanted to pay per panel.  So I put that idea on the back burner for a while, until I was at a event/catering supply sale a couple of falls ago. 
This sale was a liquidation sale of items used by an event rental company--they have them every other year or so.  The sale is mostly tablecloths that they are not using anymore, chargers, draping, candleholders, silverware, cloth napkins, etc.  Some of the tablecloths might be stained or damaged but most are just fine.  At this particular sale I noticed that they had a big table full of “catering cloths”…white or black linens that they use for draping over things, skirting tables, covering tables, etc.  A miscellaneous type of cloth.  I looked at the dimensions of the cloths and realized that they would be perfect for curtains. 
Now, they were nothing fancy…a poly/cotton blend I’m sure, not light blocking or anything special.  I dug through the table and found six that appeared to have no stains or damage.  The best part…they were $2 each!!  Score!!  Since the tablecloths were $2 each, I’m just guessing that I spent around $8 total in extra supplies specifically for the curtains.  Paint, folders for stencil, fabric medium, etc. 
I bought them and then they sat for a few months while I thought of how to make them into curtains.  I knew you could buy stencils but the ones I liked were pretty pricey…around $50 for one stencil.  Then I saw this tutorial over at All Things Thrifty for making your own stencils so I found an image on the internet (from here) to use for a template (tracing it first as you can see below) and cut the stencil out of clear plastic folders (as Brooke recommends) with an Xacto knife to make a stencil.  It was a bit time consuming but I found it rather cathartic while I was watching a movie (I’m kind of a detail person so I enjoy these types of things.  :)
I then bought a bunch of craft paint in varying shades of purple.  Some more violet than others.  Looking back, I think I should have just gone to Lowes or somewhere and bought a couple sample pots of regular paint tinted to the exact shade that I wanted, but oh well!  (It would have saved me the time mixing them together and getting all the paint out of those little containers!)  I also bought Martha Stewart fabric medium to add to the paints to make them softer and washable. 
I mostly followed this tutorial for stenciling curtains except I didn’t use quite as many products as they did.  I ended up using a fine foam roller to paint the curtains and it worked out great. 
IMG_4103 (the first curtain panel on our old living room floor)
The first curtain panel (that I painted almost 2 years ago) took for-ev-er to paint…I believe around 3-4 hours!  I think that was primarily why it took me so long to do the rest of them.  At that time I would have had to do 6 panels as we had three windows in our old living room.  It was definitely not a motivating thought!  A lot of that time was just spent in finding something to cover the carpet in our living room so that I had a hard and protected space to paint in.  The three panels that I painted last weekend took about that much time for all of them (we now have only two windows in our living room and laminate floors…so much easier!).  The painting is not perfect…there are a few smudges here and there but you would never notice unless you spread the curtains out and really scrutinized them. 
When I finished painting the curtains/tablecloths I draped them over the rods that I had installed to see where I needed to sew the pocket.  The beauty of using tablecloths is that they are already hemmed (see below) so I decided to take advantage of that and not hem them again. 
I know it is a small hem but these are lighthearted curtains (not drapes) and I wanted something fast and easy.  :)
I marked the spot on the curtains where the pocket needed to go, took them off the rod, and laid them on the floor to pin across them so I would know where to sew and the curtain would be even. 
I decided I wanted the pockets to be 2” down from the top so I pinned several inches apart across the width of the curtain and sewed it to make the ruffle. 
I then measured another three inches down and cut across the extra fabric on the back of the curtain (as you can see in the zoomed out photo above, I had quite a bit of extra fabric after I folded the panel over for the pocket…so I just cut away the extra in this step).  While I slowly sewed another line across, this time just eye-balling a 2” distance from the first line, I folded the extra 3/4 of an inch of extra fabric under to make a finished edge.  It really is very simple…I just made it sound super complicated.  :)
Then…time for ironing to make sure the paint is permanent!  (This was recommended on the fabric medium label…I almost skipped it as I had already hung the curtains to admire, but I guilted myself into this step even though it meant taking the curtains down again temporarily.  It was tough!)
And finally hung them again…cue triumphant trumpet blasts!!
I know not everyone’s thing is purple…and not even sure if trellis is still considered cool (?) but two years later, I’m really loving my new, easy, and super cheap curtains! 

Linking up to these parties:  Not Just a Housewife, Made by you Monday (Skip to My Lou), Metamorphosis Monday (Between Naps on the Front Porch), That DIY Party (DIY Showoff),