I Love Lamp

I don’t know how, but I completely spaced on posting an update on my funky $5 lamp that I brought home from a trip to Bluebird Market ages ago. You can see all about my trip and my haul in my post “A Little Birdie Told Me”.

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I fell in love with this lamp’s unique shape and unusual size. The detail is a funny aged faux wood grain effect. Um, or that’s just the best way I can describe it.

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For a couple of months it sat on an end table in my living room and remained what I dubbed “Scooby Doo” green. Yikes! I grabbed a can of gold pray paint at the hardware store for my ridiculous high heel shoe bookends when I realized that this lamp is just begging for some gold paint. I primed it and painted it right along side the bookends… one can was more than enough for both. Quick pointers for painting a lamp: Use painter’s tape and a plastic bag to cover/seal off the light socket portion and cover the power cord too.

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I had originally planned to use the over-sized shade that it came with. I even when through the trouble of repairing the seam of the shade. In the end, practicality won out and I got a more petite (10″) cream drum shade from Target. The original shade was made of a thick woven fabric and didn’t let off as much light. The cream shade is more modern and is thinner and therefore brighter when lit. I feel like this lamp has a glam art-deco thing going for it now. A coat of paint can transform anything.

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O wanted in on the fun. Note her cow girl pajamas. This kid is obsessed with horses, ponies, cowboy boots and even asked Santa for a pony.

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DIY Glam Bookends

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I have always been a fan of all thing “quirky”. When I was younger I tried to incorporate quirky things into our home decor by failed and instead our vibe screamed “funky”. It’s a hard element to blend into the rest of the house. And as time has gone on, we’ve realized we are more “quirky-chic” than “quirky-funky”. And there is nothing wrong with a little funk, but its not us. Hubby is more subdued (hence the cooler colors and softer materials we use) and I’m not afraid of much (like that awesome Ikea fabric I brought home on a whim). I discovered Jonathan Alder a few years ago and realized he seemed to marry our styles pretty fluidly.

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What’s not to love? It’s quirky and fun without being silly. But its neutral and classy without being too stuffy. His entire collection is genius! The catch: $150 bookends aren’t in my budget.

So I got to thinking about how to incorporate something like this into our bookshelves. Coincidentally, my sister had a pair of bridesmaid shoes she just didn’t know what to do with. And these are some amazing shoes… she just truly didn’t know where she’d every wear them again. Check these bad boys out!

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I knew these were the twist of fun inspiration I had been looking for. So I gathered some old yard sale books that I had purchased because I liked the shapes and sizes. I seriously never even noticed the titles.

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I took the dust jackets off of the books to reveal some cool linen like textures that I remember of library books from elementary school.

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You can see some of the shapes, sizes and textures in the photo below.

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All I had to do was play with the arrangements of books and shoes. I made sure the binding of the books and the heels of the shoes worked so that as bookends they could face away from each other with the heels toward the books and binding facing out. I used super glue but hot glue or E6000 glue would do the trick.

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So above is the left shoe, that will be on the left of the books with the book binding facing out.

Below is the right shoe, facing so the heel can hold up books when it sits to the right of the books.

Does that make sense? Typing it out just isn’t the same as saying it. Ya know?

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Then I coated them with gold spray paint. I knew that these would be against the half wall in our family room near the gallery wall. This room and the gallery wall are heavy on white, black and silver. I thought gold might pop and glam it up a little. I also want to work a little bit of navy into the family room pallet eventually and gold would look killer with navy. Here is the finished product:

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As far as spray painting shoes goes… it is pretty labor intensive. I also was careful no to over spray because the fabric of the shoe was soaking up some of the paint quickly in spots. The shape of the shoe itself was the challenge. Lots of nooks and crannies, inside and outside of the shoe and under and around the heel. I spent a bout a half hour on spray painting so all in all it wasn’t too bad.

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What do you think? I love how these turned out! Any quirky objects could work… a pair of mismatched clocks, piggy banks, mason jars, action figures or plastic dinosaurs for kids’ rooms. The possibilities really are endless!

Experiment in Deglossing: Sofa Table

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In the fall I found this sofa table in a good old fashioned curbside rescue. I had been driving around to keep O cool and happy during a long, hot soccer tournament. She eventually fell asleep. Of course that’s right when I discovered the sofa table waiting for me on the curb. Picture me trying to smuggle the table into my car without waking her. I moved two car seats and had to fold down one and a half rows in the Pilot all without waking O. Now picture me hoisting this beast into the back of the car all by my lonesome… Again, without waking the baby. The funny part is that I went through all this with absolutely no idea where I was going to use the table. In general the style is a little too formal and traditional to mesh with most of our decor. And the dark finish had seen better days and the rolling feet and bowed legs were less than modern. But there was something about it… Perhaps the fact that it had no price tag? I had to have it.

It sat in the garage for months (obviously- it’s July). I don’t think I ever got a decent before picture until I started sanding it. I often walked by it thinking about the possibilities, or lack of, that it had in our home. A couple of times I even considered curbing it myself. Hubby liked that idea best of course. But recently I have been trying to bring more order to the guest room (more on that later), so I suddenly imagined it serving as a desk/vanity/tv stand. Does that even make sense? Maybe not just yet but hang with me. The room is snug… And that is a generous description. I’d guesstimate it to be 8’x10′. So every single piece in there needs to serve a good purpose, hopefully multiple purposes. Without a full plan I decided to start painting the sofa table because it would need some love no matter where it was going to end up. And I just had to get it out of the garage.

First I sanded like crazy because there was a ton of sheen to break down on this thing. Then I whipped out a recent impulse purchase: liquid deglosser. I had heard great things and given the hard to sand rounded edges I had to deal with I figured it was worth a try, especially at $7 a bottle.  A $7 mistake is okay with me.  And if it was a bust I had only tried it on a free table with no real hope to begin with.

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After all that sanding and deglossing I still had to deal with a laminate top. Why !?!? I had hoped the sanding and deglossing would do the trick but I wasn’t so lucky. Enter: my trusty friend Kilz primer. Primer was already necessary since it was going from dark wood (now sanded) to a light painted finish so I gave it a go on the laminate top as well. Result? Win. I highly recommend a coat or two of Kilz primer on anything laminate or “unpaintable”. Worked like a charm for me. I used two coats to be safe. Then I grabbed a cream color of the Sherwin Williams sample quarts I had from my friend B (it’s an exterior paint that she had used to sample her wood shingle sided house before deciding on a delicious gray color. I kindly saved her from having to kitty litter and toss a half dozen sample quarts and she unknowing funded my freebie crafting obsession.)

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Sand, degloss, two coats primer, two coats of paint. In the end I was left with a more “yard sale chic” version of the starting point. I painted the hardware to the faux drawer (easier than flawlessly filling the holes) with bronze spray paint. The end result was a pleasant surprise.

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Here it is as the desk/tv stand/vanity in the guest room.  See what I mean when I say the guest room is snug? I plan on wrangling the cable/internet wires, finding a stool or ottoman to tuck underneath. Lookout for an actual post on the guest room. It really deserves it.