Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Bedside Lamp

I recently purchased a swing arm lamp for $5 at a thrift store.

I revived it with black spray paint and added a new shade. I first tried it with a black shade, which looked great but blocked most of the light from the bulb, making the lamp useless for reading. A white shade is much more practical.

I attached the lamp to the wall and hid the cord in a plastic channel painted to match the wall.

The lamp normally snugs up to the wall, but I can swing it out if needed.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A Blizzard and Hermitry

The Denver area experienced a spring blizzard last Wednesday. We got several inches of snow in just a few hours; about a foot total for the day.
The blowing snow was even sticking to vertical surfaces such as the fence.
My apple tree looked pretty but is actually dead :(

I shoveled a little path across the back patio for the dogs. This was pretty hard work because the snow was wet and very heavy. (The branches on the pine tree are high enough for me to easily walk under, but the snow weighted them down almost to the ground.)
For scale: Nook is about 10 inches tall at the shoulders
I was a little concerned about hurting my back shoveling my sidewalk and driveway, thus was very relieved when my neighbor was kind enough to clear them with his snowthrower. :D

Then I had a bout of hermitry for a few days. It happens occasionally... I close myself off and don't want to communicate with the outside world, even online. But it has passed and I'm back to my usual semi-social self. ;)

Monday, March 21, 2016

DIY Framed Art

In my recent thrift store haul...

was this gold frame.

I painted it black. I can hear your collective exclamations of surprise. ;)

I also had this onlay which I'd purchased for another project. It didn't work for that project, but I kept it, thinking I could use it for something else.

You'll never believe what happened! I painted it black. :o

I combined the frame and the onlay with some black and white gift wrap...

and called it "art."

Finally, something to hang on my wall!


The last few days, I did a lot of adulting. You know, being grown-up and responsible and such. Doesn't make for exciting blog material... but necessary sometimes. ;)

I received my new glasses (from Zenni Optical - review forthcoming). I'd needed a new prescription for the first time in over a decade. Nothing like blurry vision to make you feel old adult. My eyes were apparently upset with the change and expressed their displeasure by giving me a two-day headache... which meant I didn't get much done on those days.

I reviewed my finances and insurance. I made some changes to my car insurance which will save me $225 per year. (Car insurance is expensive in Colorado. :( Too many cars ice skating into ditches, perhaps.) I also changed my homeowners insurance, which will save me $400 per year.

I continued the process of refinancing my house. My monthly payment will be about the same, but I'll save many thousands of dollars over the life of the loan (assuming I live here for 20 years...).

After an issue with a dishonest customer disservice rep, I talked to the cable company's "customer loyalty" department and ended up with a discount which will save me $10 per month on my internet service.

Having found ways to save money, I then looked at ways to spend it. ;) I got a quote from the concrete contractor about replacing my back patio. Now that I have two younger, more energetic dogs, I will be spending more time in the back yard.

And thanks to those dogs, I finally ordered a special license plate: Adopt a Shelter Pet. Now that I have adopted pets from a shelter, I won't feel like a hypocrite having the plate. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Jewelry Box

One of the items from my recent thrift store haul was a tall jewelry box. With four drawers, it would be perfect for holding bracelets and larger jewelry items.

I painted it black. Try to contain your amazement. ;)

It became the new neighbor of this box.

Which now holds my glasses.

Both live on my dresser. With the dresser painted, the chandelier hung above, and all my things organized in pretty containers, I can consider this part of my bedroom complete. :D

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Swingy Lamp

Today I went to the thrift store nearest my house. It was late afternoon on 50% off day, so the selection was a bit picked over. I found only half of what I was looking for. I debated whether to drive 15 minutes to a larger thrift store. I decided yes, and I'm so glad I did!

In addition to finding the rest of what I was looking for, I found something totally unexpected: a swing arm lamp. I've been looking at swing arm lamps for my bedroom, and they're expensive. This guy was $10; with 50% off, I paid only $5. Sweeeet!

As I was walking to the car, I reminded myself to take "before" pictures. And laughed at myself. Nearly everything I buy needs "before" pictures before I paint it black. :D

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

DIY Faux Fireplace

This project has a bit of backstory...
The wall opposite my bed was totally blank, and as usual, I wasn’t sure what to put on it.

I had been mulling over some ideas about picture frames and candle sconces, but nothing seemed quite right. Then one day, an idea struck me… I truly have no idea where it came from… that I should put a faux fireplace there.

I perused Google and Pinterest, and I concluded that building a faux fireplace was within my skill set. I pinned a few inspiration pictures of what I wanted the fireplace to look like. After measuring the wall and deciding on dimensions, I began to contemplate how I would build the fireplace. I was assembling boards in my mind when suddenly I remembered I had this bathroom cabinet (which I had set aside after the frustration of two failed paint jobs).
Of course! An over-the-toilet bathroom cabinet would make a great fireplace! Okay, so that connection is a bit of a stretch... but it's how my mind works sometimes. :)

I began by rearranging some of the cabinet parts. The thing was essentially two pieces – a top cabinet and shelf sitting on a bottom framework which functioned as legs. What I needed for the fireplace was mainly the bottom framework.

First, I took the top off the framework and placed it on the bottom to serve as a sort of hearth.

Next, I switched the back and front pieces, putting the smaller piece on the back and the larger piece on the front.

Then, I took the top from the cabinet and placed it on top of the framework to serve as a sort of mantel.

I added two 1" x 2" boards to widen the facade.

Then, it was time to add decoration and make this thing resemble a fireplace. I pulled all sorts of boards and wood trim up from my basement. I also brought in some decorative onlays and two balusters which I had purchased for about $1 at the reuse store.

I played around with the bits and pieces until I got a look I was satisfied with.

I put it all together with construction adhesive and a few screws. Then I painted the whole thing black.

To make a back, I covered a board with "tin tile" style textured wallpaper and painted it black.

Two benefits of using a bathroom cabinet: It's fairly shallow and doesn't block the path past the bed, and it has a notched area at the bottom so that it fits neatly over the base molding. :)

I finished by adding candles and decor.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Black Crystal Chandelier

As mentioned in an earlier post, I bought a black crystal chandelier for my bedroom. I originally wanted to use it as a bedside light, but that placement looked odd.

I decided the chandelier needed to be either in the center of the room or in a corner. Putting it in the center would mean running the electrical cord across the ceiling, which would not look good. So corner it was! Accounting for doors and furniture, the corner next to my dresser was the only option.

I hung the chandelier centered on the corner ceiling tile. I ran the cord a short distance across the ceiling to the corner and then down through a small plastic cord channel.

I then adhered the channel into the corner and painted it to match the walls.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Revamped Box

In my recent thrift store haul...

was a wooden box which has a hinged top and a drawer.

I painted it black, then glued some decorative paper to the top and to the drawer front.

I also added paper to the "window" inside the lid and the bottom of the box and drawer.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Fear? What Fear?

Two days ago, I wrote about my scared little dog Nook who had suddenly become terrified of the hallway. Many thanks to everyone who commented and made suggestions.

I came home from work with a plan to try some of those suggestions. After greeting the dogs and letting them outside as usual, I walked down the hall to my bedroom.

And did a double-take when I saw that both dogs had followed me.

Nook's fear of the hallway has apparently vanished. She's now trotting up and down the hall as if the last few days of fear had never happened.

I have no clue why she is suddenly unafraid (or why she was afraid in the first place)... but I'm very happy she's back to normal.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Terror in the Hallway

As of a few days ago, my dog Nook is afraid to walk down the hallway. She will only sit at the end of the hall and cry, which is a heartbreaking sound. :(

I have tried everything I can think of to coax her down the hall. She won't budge for treats or even a big bowl of food, whether I place it in the middle of the hall or just a foot away from her.

I could carry her down the hall, but she is afraid of being carried, so that would only add more fear to the situation.

I have no idea why she suddenly became so terrified or what it is that scares her. The only noises in the hallway are the washer and dryer in the laundry closet and the water running in the bathroom, but she had not shown any fear of those sounds before.

It's baffling! And I wonder what happened in her past that made her so fearful of everything. :(