Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DIY Outdoor Patio Lantern

Here's a look at my latest thrift store find and encore creation.  I'm sure you've seen these at your thrift store before.   I'm calling it a "builder's grade light fixture.   Passed them by before, but not this time.


I wanted a lantern for my patio and I wanted it to be a little different from those I'd seen in stores and I wanted it to be cheaper too. This fixture was a great size, it's 9 x 17". With the senior day discount, this baby was around $7.00. To be honest, I didn't want to spend much more than that.  Half off would have been better, but it was now or...

There wasn't a lot to do but gut it and mask the glass panes for painting.   I knew I didn't want the typical black lantern, so I checked out the available stash of spray paint in my "paint closet" (otherwise known as the garage). Just what I needed, Rust-oleum Hammered Bronze. It isn't so shiny and brassy, more toned down, rustic.

Sorry, I was so eager to take the paper off, I forgot to take a pic of it masked for painting. You understand that rush you get when you’ll ready to see the finished piece, well that was what happened!!

Next, I cut a scrap piece of wood for a base. What a surprise it was to have difficulty marking the desired shape and size. I discovered that the whole thing was warped and it was a little challenging to measure and get all 6 sides even. Anyway, I finally settled on a base that looked somewhat even, cut and sanded it.  To mark the holes for the screws at each “hinge” I put a drop of paint on each screw to mark drilling holes. 

 I don’t plan of painting or staining the base. 


I set a flame less candle in the center and placed the lantern on its base, added pebbles that I bought last year at IKEA and …

                                                                   Done and I love it!

I am linking this post to:
The Domestic Superwoman

Monday, May 26, 2014

Just a Thought!

I hope all of you are having a great weekend. I am introducing something new here on my blog...

Just a Thought , I am going to post a "thought" every Monday. This may be a quote, one thought provoking word, or maybe just a photo. Stay tuned and let's see how it plays out. Here's the first post for ..


                                               Just A Thought


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Front and Center

As the weekend gets nearer, I am getting more excited. Why? It's a three day weekend!! That means an extra day for DIY projects. I am planning some new things to put on Etsy in the very, very near future. Stay tuned for  the upcoming unveiling. I also plan to spend time with friends and Blueberry Vodka Lemonade (my ode to summer drink) on the patio.  But until then, I've been loving the look of my Spring Wreath on the front door, but then... then I got the bright idea to use this basket as the foundation that will work for most of the year on my door.  Any thing I do for Memorial Day can also be used for the 4Th of July and again for Veteran's Day, that's a lot of "miles out of one design".

                      I have had this basket for a long, long time.  Here's how I used it for my Spring door

With Memorial Day a couple of days away, I decided to swap out the pink and white tulips, and the pin/burlap bow for something more patriotic. Of course while battling insomnia I turned to Pinterest.
And here's what I saw that I liked...

                         I love the blue striped ribbon and bow. Once the fabric is cut it would only take a great movie to watch while you tie  and you're done!!

  A fun cluster of mini flags. Looks like 2 items needed, a Styrofoam wreath and lots of mini flags on toothpicks.

This is a very creative was to show your patriotism.

  The natural element lifts this up a notch.

   Here's the quick and budget friendly encore for this basket.  By the time I had finished it,( OK,ok I'll admit I didn't start until about 9 pm), it was too dark to photograph it on my red door. But I think I'm really going to like it.

 What do you think?  $4 at the dollar store and ribbon from the garage. I don't usually like blue flowers, but these help me say   " Thank you for making the ultimate sacrifice for our country " Enjoy your Memorial Day, but don't forget to remember why we celebrate.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Another sign of Spring!

As the weather warms up, we begin to spend more time enjoying outdoor living. As I spend time sprucing up my patio for spring and summer, I am replanting my container water garden . Pardon me but I like to call it my "pond"!  A container water garden  can enhance any outdoor living space and is pretty easy to assemble and maintain at a very budget friendly point.. Most water plants are tough to kill, and because the plants are just planted in submerged pots, it’s easy to rearrange your water garden if you get bored with your design. I didn’t have any plants survive last winter so I’m starting all over.

 This time instead of just buying the most inexpensive plants I could find , I took the time to get educated on what will work and how it will look. I had already started to redesign my "pond" by getting Water Hyacinth as it reproduces quickly and provides surface coverage and reduces algae. While I surfed the internet for plant ideas I saw lots of great examples of water gardens in containers. Here are a few that I think really look great....

My "pond" looked very much like this last year only my galvanized tub was painted blue.


 I like this but would like to see more of the water!

   I love the shape of this container. I think I'll be on the lookout for something shaped like this. Don't you just love the blooming water lily.

  Love the two tiered look. I also love to hear the sound of the water from a fountain.
                    Really like galvanized tubs. The rocks give this a different texture.

This table top water garden shows  you can go small or big.

You can use almost anything that can hold water for the garden: water garden tubs, troughs, old sinks or bathtubs, large bowls,  and of course the old standby -- the half-barrel. If you use wine or whiskey barrels, be aware that the toxins that remain in the wood can foul the water and may kill plants.You will want to line the barrel with a durable plastic liner, unless of course, you buy the half barrels sold at Home Depot of Lowes that have never held a drop of wine.

Select plants that have contrasting forms and textures to make your display more interesting.  I received a gift certificate to Randy's Perennials and Water Gardens in Lawrenceville, GA for Mother's Day. They have such an amazing collection of plants with a large variety for ponds and water gardens.  They even have fish and pond supplies and kits. With the help of their knowledgeable staff  I  chose a Queen Victoria, a deep burgundy foliage that will bloom with red flowers. A grass is always good so I bought Star Grass, which blooms to reveal white star shaped flowers and Dwarf Red Stemmed Parrot Feather, a delicate, lacy foliage that grows above and below the surface. Here they all are in the galvanized tub that I scored at Scott's about 2 years ago.

   Clock wise : Star Grass, Water Hyacinth, Dwarf Red Stemmed Parrot Feather 1 gold fish  and Queen Victoria.

The pump helps restore oxygen to the water, as at night plants consume O2 and produce CO2.

Moving water sounds great at night ( I can hear this through my bedroom window) and discourages mosquitoes from laying their eggs in the water.

 Still playing around with the plant placement. I am expecting  heavy rain tonight so I didn't fill tub up. After the heavy rains, I will make sure  the water level is just an inch below rim. As it's still early spring, I won't add more plants as these will grow and spread to cover the surface. This growth will give the fish shade from the sun and they will also munch on the roots.

Patio has gotten a new outdoor rug and new plants ( will share pics soon). Patio is almost ready. Ready for me, a Blueberry Vodka Lemonade and a good book.Would you consider awater garden in a container on your patio or porch? If you do please send me your pics, I'd love to see it and I'll share it  on the blog.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring has Sprung on my Front Door!

This past weekend I enjoyed the wonderful spring weather that we had here in Atlanta,  and came to the realization that Spring has officially sprung! No more sneaky storms. I don't mind a thunderstorm during the spring, just no hail or other solids falling from the sky.  I saw some really cute ideas for welcoming Spring into your home decor at a workshop that I attended on Saturday. I thought about my home and decided to change up a few things. More to come on those projects real soon. I'm starting at my front door. I want something different. Right now I have the same flower wreath that I've had since my days back in Michigan. I like the color but really, it's time for something new. After launching a search on Pinterest ( where else!!) I saw lot's of cute ideas. Here are a few of my favorites...

     Lot's of variations of the Flowering Water Can, but I really like this one ...


And this just shout's Spring,  don't you think?


Again, Monogram Love shows up,  what can I say.

  Just one more..


    Now who wouldn't like this April Showers bringing May flowers Door Decor?...

 I really like this and  I'm kicking myself for throwing away my broken animal print umbrella. It would have been so cute with white Tulips on my red door.  UGGH!!

Oh well, there are lot's more to love, like this vibrant explosion of tulips.


Think I'd like this out of the new colored burlap, maybe pink!


After a late night on Pinterest ( still haven't kicked this insomnia thing)  I realized that most of the ideas I really liked had tulips and of course monograms.  But, I remembered that my fall wreath has a monogram, so maybe not another one. After "shopping"  in my garage I came up with this Seagrass basket and some ribbon. I bought this basket  about 15 years ago at the Wyandotte Art Festival in Wyandotte, MI. Maybe it's time for an enore...

Going with pink and white tulips (that just says Spring to me!), I added them to my basket.  I'll probably play around with the tulips a bit more but I kinda like this.


... and made a burlap and herringbone ribbon bow. 

       Is your door dressed for Spring?

I'm already thinking about something  red, white and blue to put in this basket for the summer months. Do you change your door decor for each season or holiday?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Monogram Love - Part 2

Well, I said I might be back with Monogram Love and here it is.  I told you in  Monogram Love Part 1 that I love, love, love monograms, and I wasn't kidding. In case you needed just a few more ideas of how to use monograms in you r home...

How about the welcome mat on your porch:


This has given me a great DIY that I plan to try this weekend. Here's what it starts out with, this door mat from Ikea ...

going to add some painters tape, paint and a stencil. Already have all the supplies needed so I feel a super savings coming.  I'll be sure to share this project in a future post.

Still thinking about the floor, I  love this rug...


What about a not so ordinary bulletin board for your office or home.... I made this for a dear friend's office.


 W hile this design was made with a Silhouette, I'm sure you could use a stencil to recreate this look, of course I really want a Silhouette but until then....

  Now this was meant for me, I mean really it must have been,  it already has my initials on it!! Well, if it wasn't, it should have been.


   This Silver Plated tray has been restyled into a personalized accessory that could sit on a bookcase shelf or hang on a gallery wall.


And since Spring has sprung here in Georgia, thought I'd show you a way to add a monogrammed item to you patio or deck.


Well, that should give you lots of ideas for personalizing your home using monograms. Of course, you can also add them to your wardrobe too. Not just on your jacket or sweater but....


 How about grabbing a cute pair or two of leather or canvas shoes and getting busy!!
Major score x 2 :  white canvas shoes- DSW $7.98 at 80% off!! and red leather shoes with silver trimmed laces on clearance at Target for $8.37!!  Even without an embroidery machine you can get this look with a steady hand and a Sharpie.   Do you think you'd try to make a pair ?  Leave a comment and let me know.