Monday, August 20, 2012

Monthly Homework Assignment: Purses and Bags

This month's homework assignment from The Professor was Purses and Bags. I didn't think I'd participate as I don't have an interesting bag collection. I typically choose bags based almost entirely on practicality.

When I'm carrying a bag for a length of time - walking around a fair, actively shopping in a store, searching in the library - I really like having a backpack. It frees up both my hands and allows me to move around without the annoyance of a purse falling off my shoulder or swinging forward to get in my way. But when I'm carrying a bag for shorter periods of time, a backpack doesn't work as well. It hangs funny when it's only on one shoulder, and digging my wallet out while standing in a checkout line is awkward. And, of course, I have to take off the backpack to get into the car.

For a long while, I had a purse vs. backpack debate with myself. I'd switch from one to the other, but both annoyed me. I tried a few different bags and disliked all of them.

Then, a stroke of random good luck! While walking past a Wilson's Leather shop, I saw a purple purse on a sale table. It wasn't my preferred shade of purple, but since purple leather bags are fairly rare, I was intrigued and stepped in for a closer look. It turns out the purse was the right size, had the outside pockets I like... and holy purple cows, Batman, it converted into a backpack! :o The 80% off tag sealed the deal. Finally, a bag I'm happy with!
it's a shoulder bag
presto chango; it's a backpack

It so happens that the new boots I got last week are a similar shade of purple. As everyone knows, a proper lady always has matching purse and shoes. I'm classy now!  :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Lamp Fail. Boot Win.

I recently moved into a new office at work and inherited a small beige lamp left by the previous occupant
Beige. Yawn.
I'm not a beige kind of gal, so I added the lamp to my spray paint fest last weekend and turned it into a nice satin nickel (with plans for a black fringed shade). Alas, my fail streak continued and the lamp promptly broke. :(
lamp fail

However, this lamp fail is greatly overshadowed by a major boot win!  Last week, I saw TUK's purple Brogue boots on Coffin Kitsch.
purple TUK boots :)
I immediately placed an order with Sourpuss Clothing, who shipped it the very next day (nice!). The boots arrived today... and they fit! This is just short of miraculous for me, as I rarely find footwear that fits properly. The boots are roomy enough for my wide feet; I just need to punch holes in the straps to accommodate my super skinny ankles. The leather is pretty soft, so the boots won't need much breaking in. Boot win! :D
happy feet wear purple boots

Sunday, August 12, 2012


"Silhouette" is an interesting word, maybe because of the "h" lurking silently. Silhouettes can be of people, of course, but one can also create silhouettes of creatures large and small. I have been wanting to make a set of silhouettes - perhaps of bats - in ornate frames. Today I finally got started on this project.

The colorful frames shown below came from Michael's craft store. They were originally $1, marked 70% off, for a final price of 30 cents each.  :)
ignore the brown one

I spray painted the frames black and put in black-and-white print papers. The plan is to cut bat silhouettes for each one. In the meantime, I used some bat stickers I had on hand to give me an idea of what they will look like.

The larger frame below was already black - no spray paint required. It was $10. Not quite the 30-cent bargain, but not too bad.  :)

Monday, August 6, 2012

Featured Fails

Sorry for the lack of activity here. My recent projects have been more suited to the Fail blog than the Goth It Yourself blog. :P

Fail 1: Door trim
I had great plans to replace the trim around the doors in my bedroom. Removing the old trim went smoothly. Then the fail began.  First, I attempted a fun paint treatment… which did not work at all.  I repainted the trim and then proceeded to install it… incorrectly.  :( And of course, I glued the trim to the wall, so this fail will be difficult to remedy.

Fail 2: Faucet handles
The cold water faucet in my shower suddenly began to offer only two choices – a tiny drip or Niagara Falls. Adjusting the water for a comfortable temperature was nearly impossible. Then the cold water began spontaneously turning itself off entirely. As my goal was bathing myself, not boiling myself, this situation required immediate attention.

Rather than just replace the cold water stem, I decided to take the opportunity to replace the entire set of clunky, ugly old faucet handles.  I bought a set of lovely brushed nickel cross handles with “universal” fit. And technically they did fit – they successfully turned the water off and on – but they left two inches of the bare stem showing. I tried again with a different handle kit that included shorter stems… which would not fit into my current plumbing.

In the end, I just replaced the cold water stem and stuck the ugly handles back on.  Not a total fail as I do have control over the cold water again... but not the successful change to pretty handles I was hoping for.  :/

Fail 3: Light bulb
I tried to unscrew a burned-out light bulb in my ceiling fan… and it broke off in the socket.  If it were a lamp, I could just unplug it and remove the bulb base with pliers. But of course it’s a ceiling fan, which is hard-wired into the house electricity. And of course I have no idea which breaker controls the fan, so I’ll have to shut off power to the entire house in order to replace the $*!@!(# light bulb.

I did manage to eke out one success… I replaced the flapper in my toilet!  Woo-hoo!  The replacement itself was fast and easy.  It was taking everything out of the over-the-toilet cabinet, unscrewing it from the wall, detaching it from the base so that I could get to the toilet tank, reattaching it to the base, screwing it to the wall, and putting everything back in the cabinet that was time-consuming.

I remind myself to be grateful for small victories and hope to soon post about a successful project! Or at least an interesting fail. ;)