Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summertime!

I do feel like this summer is going by way too fast and I don't have time for anything.

Soon I'm heading to one of my favorite places on earth, Avalon, NJ with the kids. I just love getting "cooler by a mile". No, the Jersey Shore isn't just what you see on MTV. I might have to share some of the fantastic homes that you can see down there. I have been dying to go to one of their big yard sales.
 
And I'm taking another cuckoo clock along to paint. I think I might go more colorful this time since my daughter has been asking for a "crazy cuckoo clock". And of course my son wanted to know why he had to have the boring brown cuckoo clock in his room. Hmmm, I don't know! LOL (you can see what I'm talking about here)

So much packing to do. It's amazing how much we bring on our trips.




And our annual visit to Germany is coming up which means I'm definitely running out of time for all my projects. I'm so grateful to have found a friend who will live at our house and take care of my furry children while we are gone. Well, hubby just stays for a short while anyway, because he has to go to work but the kids and I are staying for one month. I can't wait to see my family again. Once a year really isn't enough. But it is very important to me to have somebody live at our house and take care of my old and sick kitties. They would be so lonely if somebody would only stop in once or twice a day for their medication and food. I know, they are very spoiled!

I'm planning on writing a post or two from Germany. Maybe about the old historical house that my brother and sister-in-law are renting right under the city walls of my home town. It's so cute. I have to share it with you guys. I hope he won't be feeling like I'm invading his privacy again. He is so touchy!

So don't be cross if I will be silent over here for a while, I will be back full force at the beginning of September when the kids are in school again. I have all kinds of things that I want to do.

What are your plans for this summer. Anything special?

Stop by again soon.



Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Big ugly lamp love!

Two weeks ago I drove by the Salvation Army with my son and decided to stop in again.
While I was browsing the lamps, I got really excited when I spotted two matching and crazy ugly lamps.
I showed them to my son.
Me: "Look at these lamps, I want them!"
Son: "Oh, they are freakin ugly. They are the ugliest lamps I have ever seen!"
Me: "I love them."
Him: "You are not buying them, we have no room!"


pair of ugly 70s brass, painted glass and wood lamps

ugly brass, glass and wood lamps

So we left. That night I kept dreaming about the awesome ugly lamps and guess what? I went back the next day and THANK YOU they were still there.

I grabbed them and bolted to the register. I was so full of joy (I'm serious)! The lady at the register looked at me like I had two heads. And I giggled: "Aren't they so ugly?" 
She looked at me again and asked: "Well do you want them now or what?"
Me: "Well of course I do, how couldn't I?"

This is where I have to explain my lamp addiction which was I guess was passed down from my mother who has (and I made her count) 22 lamps in her house. She's had mostly the same lamps for the past 40 years but I like adding and moving them around. Lamps are expensive, so I can't argue with Salvation Army when they are selling ugly lamps for $8.

What I love about these two ugly lamps is that they have a great shape and are very big. I love big things (stop it, I know what you are thinking), I'm talking decor here.

They reminded me of Jonathan Adler lamps. I love him!

Jonathan Adler Trousdale Lamps

While I'm always drawn to painting things white (I guess it has to do with the effect that snow has on me. I just love it when the earth is covered in this clean, calm white), I had to try to at least change it up a little bit. And if you have checked out my blog before than you know that I'm also really in love with stripes.

So I taped and primed the lamps. I had some different shades of grey left and after some more taping, spray painting and these fabulous Target shades (I always buy shades when I see a great cheap pair at a store), this is what I came up with:


grey and white striped brass painted lamps
I don't know why the one shade looks beige in this picture, it is white like the other one.

painted brass lamp in grey, white and yellow stripes
The yellow stripe is actually a ribbon and that ribbon can be removed and changed whenever you want.
painted brass lamp with grey, white and pink stripes
Just to show you what it would look like with a different ribbon and flower.

Aren't they awesome? Or is it just me?
I loooooove them even more now and nobody has called them ugly since. 
My mission is accomplished!

Do you get as excited as I do about ugly decor?

Thanks for stopping by, you know I appreciate it!
I hope to see you soon fellow webbers.


Tschüß

(Youleeya)



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Sunday, June 24, 2012

Chair Dilemma!

refinished vintage white chair with valspar gloss spray paint


I found some chairs on craigslist (I mentioned them in my kitchen post) a while ago and I really liked their petite shape and knew immediately that I could make them look "fresh".

vintage craigslist chairs before picture
(this is the actual photo from CL)
vintage craigslist chair before picture
I love the little bunny ear design.


I started with the good old sanding and TSP cleaning to prep their surface for priming.

sanded vintage craigslist chair before picture

I primed and painted only one chair first to make sure that I wanted to commit all 4 chairs to the same color. Yes, I know, I went with white again, but the fabric that I had in mind just looks best with white.
I primed them and painted them in a glossy white.

While the paint was drying, I started on the seats. I was able to salvage the old wooden seats and I love the Wavery fabric that I picked.

chair seat with foam, batting and fabric before stapling

I laid out the 1/2" foam, batting and fabric. Each a little wider than the other as you can see on the picture.

chair seat with foam, batting and fabric before stapling
Wow, what's up with the veins in my hands by the way?

Then I tightly stapled it all in place.

Tada, here is my first chair. Isn't the fabric lovely?

refinished vintage white chair with green, grey and white Waverly fabric
green, grey and white floral waverly fabric

refinished white vintage chair with green, grey and white floral waverly fabric

But my headline was chair dilemma... so you are wondering what's the problem? Well there are 3 chairs that aren't painted yet. And that's where the whole thing starts.

Sigh!
I was so eager to get the other chairs primed and sanded but nothing worked out. I followed the same procedure as before but the paint just kept crackling and bubbling.
Only one of the darn 4 chairs has perfect paint. 
I HATE WHEN THIS HAPPENS!
I mean, I followed the painting laws to a "T" and still only one is perfect. Sand, clean with TSP and dusting it with a tack cloth, then priming, fully letting it dry and then applying the glossy paint. I even have a thermometer in the garage to ensure the correct temperature.
Hmmm...I'm starting to think that some spray paints (I've used them all) are better than others and I should post my spray paint review one day but I need to cool down first...

Now I have to sand again. But I couldn't wait to share a picture of my ONE perfect chair.

And when all the others are finished, meaning re-sanded and painted, they will be looking for a good home. I only felt the need to nursing them back to health!

What's your experience with the spray paints and primers? I'd love to know.

Talk to you soon fellow webbers und guten Tag!








Furniture Feature Fridays

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Silhouettes Madness

Or should I have said cuckoo for silhouttetes? 

I'm totaly aware that there are hundreds of websites with DIY silhouette ideas, but I just can't help myself, I feel obligated to publicly admit my love for them. 

I  started making them of my family when my son was about 5 years old, now he is almost 10, so this means I have been making them for a long time.
It's nice seeing the changes in my children's features through black and white as they grow older.

growing kids silhouette


And a shadow cut has always been a much appreciated gift for family and friends. I have never heard anybody say that they don't like them. They are definitely very, very charming!

boy and father silhouette

I've considered many years ago to open an etsy store to sell my computer-made silhouettes but have unfortunately never found the time to set it up. You snooze, you lose! And that's what happened to me. Now they are everywhere with numerous tutorials on how to make your own.

family silhouettes over headboard
In the bedroom I have all four of us hanging over the bed.

target vinyl frames with silhouettes
In the kitchen I used vinyl frame decals from Target for my kids silhouette.

white bird and tree silhouette pilllow
In our bathroom we have birds and tree silhouettes which I bought on etsy.
black and white forest silhouette
The silhouette in my daughter's room was also bought on esty.

While I make mine in Adobe Illustrator, there are many easier ways to do this. To those of you who are unfamiliar with this computer program, let me explain a little. It is a vector (vector drawing) based program in which I'm able to trace the profile photograph with dots and lines that connect to form an object, in this case the finished shadow cut. The reason for me using Illustrator is that I'm able to blow the picture up to any size desired because you aren't constricted with pixels. And I love having them on file to use for a variety of other projects. For example I made a Preschool/Kindergarten book about my son with his shadow cut on the front and I will do the same for my daughter. It gives the books a classy and timeless look and makes them perfect coffee table material.

shutterlfy book with silhouette




Here are a couple of my favorites that I made:

beer pong silhouette
Yup, you've seen this correctly, that would be a beer pong silhouette!


wedding silhouette

I have also made silhouettes for my brother's wedding and was able to blow it up to a very large size as a wedding present for their living room.



In this post I also wanted to share with you my favorite easy approach to cutting a silhouette by hand. It is so easy that anybody can do it.
First start off with a print out or photo of a profile photograph. In this approach you will just lay your print out over a black (or any other color) piece of construction paper and then you will just start cutting out the photo's silhouette. Make sure you hold both pieces firmly in place, so they don't slide around. You could use an x-acto knife too and cut on a cutting board so the pieces of paper stay in place but I like cutting rounded shapes with scissors.


tracing silhouette on fabric with transfer paper and tulip soft fabric paint


Another approach is using transfer paper which you place under your profile print-out. This way you can trace your profile onto construction paper or even fabric and either cut the shape out again or fill it in with paint/fabric paint and a paint brush. 
This is exactly how I made my silhouette pillows throughout the house. They have also made great gifts for friends.

squirrel silhouette pilllow

There is actually a story behind the squirrel, hehe! I have never seen anybody getting as aggravated with these cute furry little critters as my hubby. He just can't stand it when they eat all the bird food. So I made this pillow and put it in our living room as a joke.

deer silhouette pilllow

owl silhouette pilllow


So this is obviously another one of my many obsessions. I'm just cuckoo for all kinds of things.

Thanks for stopping by fellow webbers und guten Tag!



Saturday, June 9, 2012

Cuckoo for our garden

My husband and I love to spend time in our yard. It is a very small yard for American standards but to us it is a beautiful little space. We both love to dig in the dirt and tend to our flowers.


If you read my earlier post about our cat enclosure you already had a glimpse to bits of our yard.


I thought that in this post I should show some photos of all the texture and flowers that we have. There isn't really much to say. The pictures speak for themselves.

orange Lilly, pink Mouse Ear and Milk Weed
Something new comes up almost every week and it is exciting to watch.

cuckoo 4 our garden, Hostas, Grasses
We love to have a glass of wine on our flag stone patio. There are steps (that the hubby laid) that lead up to the small hideaway. Lounging in the hammock isn't too shabby either.

flag stone patio and rock stairs
We both are big fans of Hostas. Their different sized leaves and colors give the yard texture.

And taking pictures of the yard is fun too!

Buddha sitting under light green Hosta

rock stairs leading to flagstone patio

orange Lilly, Lilac and Cherry Blossoms

pink Rhododendron
This is our paver patio. The only thing we didn't do ourselves. It's a great place to eat dinner and that's exactly what we do all summer long. Our dining room doesn't get used at all, because this spot is the place to be.

paver patio with lime green Ballard Design cusions
The patio is still a little bare but by July/August when all the tropical plants like Cannas and Elephant Ears are fully grown, the patio will look like a jungle.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoyed seeing the photos of our garden.