Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: Rhymes with "That"

The theme for this month's Craft Along with GIY is Rhymes with "That". For my project, I painted and stenciled my standing mirror with gloss over matte.

The mirror came from a thrift store and was plain brown.

I primed it and painted it matte black.

Then I stenciled it with gloss black. It looks prettier now, and it matches my stenciled dresser and chest of drawers.

I look forward to seeing what you all came up with for the Rhymes with "That" theme. :D

To share your Craft Along with GIY project:
1.  Add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your blog post. Link the icon to this page:
2.  Leave a comment with a link to your project. If you're not a blogger, you can link to your webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it. (Please link directly to the project page.)

On March 31, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

Monday, March 27, 2017

New Lighting

I needed some electrical work done in my basement (more on that later), and decided to have the electrician replace some light fixtures while he was here. The fixtures in the hall, entryway, and stairwell were essentially ugly white blobs.

For the hall and entryway, I chose to use the same fixture that had taken the place of my gold UFO-like ceiling fan in the dining room. It's black, resembling wrought iron, with a swirled white glass shade.
For the stairwell, I chose the matching sconce.

The new fixtures don't create a dramatic transformation, but they certainly do look prettier than the old white blobs. They also provide much more light as they hold two bulbs instead of one.
hall - old light
hall - new light
entryway - old light
entryway - new light
The sconce in the stairwell isn't very visible, which is too bad because it's pretty. And it's a legit wall fixture, unlike the white blob fixture which was never meant to be mounted horizontally. It was mostly luck keeping the glass from falling off. 
stairwell - old light
stairwell - new light

While those fixtures are very nice, what I'm really excited about are the three new pendant fixtures in my dining room.

The two-bulb ceiling light was the only lighting fixture in my dining room/living room, leaving the area rather dim. To get enough light at the dining table where I craft and sew, I hung three IKEA "light bulb on a string" type lamps. They solved the lighting problem perfectly, but I didn't love the cords strung across the ceiling and down the wall. And the only switch-controlled outlet was on the other side of the living room, requiring a 40-foot (about 12-meter) extension cord run along the bottom of the walls.
dining room - old lights
Now, I have upgraded to hardwired fixtures. :D The electrician installed three hardwired pendant lights which are controlled by a switch in the dining room.
dining room - new lights

Of course, habit still causes me to walk across the living room to turn the lights on or off... But I'll soon get used to this radical concept of having the switch in the same room as the lights it controls. ;)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Craft-Along: Stenciled Mirror

Hello! I'm checking in with an update on my project for the Rhymes with "That" craft-along. I'd planned to sew a placemat but decided to paint my standing mirror instead. I will stencil it with gloss over matte, same as my bedroom furniture.

I purchased the mirror at a thrift store some years ago. It fit perfectly in my walk-in closet but was rather plain and brown.

I gave it a coat of grey primer and then painted it matte black. I will add a stenciled design in gloss black.

Look for the completed project post around March 29. :)

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Insistently Black Hair

About nine months ago, I wrote about the failed attempt to change my hair color from black to purple. The stylist bleached my hair, put on purple dye... and my hair turned out black.

She later tried again, with disastrous results. The (apparently much stronger) bleach essentially melted my hair into yellow mush. I had to cut off about 8" of ruined hair.

On recommendation from a coworker, I tried a different stylist, one who has 25 years of experience and colors her own black hair purple. After a couple of "regrowth only" appointments, I decided to risk bleaching again. She successfully bleached my hair - it lightened nicely without excessive damage. Then she put on purple dye... and my hair turned out nearly black.

I've spent a stupid amount of money and 12+ hours in salons, and my hair remains more or less the same color. I really want a change from black hair, which I've had for 8 years, but my hair insists on being black. I AM VERY FRUSTRATED.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Workroom is Done

As mentioned in a recent post, I had just two projects remaining to finish my workroom - organizing the closet and installing baseboards. I'm happy to report those are now done!

The tools and supplies in the closet had been organized, but in a random assortment of shoeboxes and crates. To make the storage more consistent and make better use of the space, I bought eight plastic boxes and consolidated/reorganized stuff. Then I printed labels... black and white damask because even utilitarian boxes deserve pretty labels. ;)

With two sets of plastic shelves, the small closet holds a lot of stuff.

As an aside... In the photo below, you can see how ridiculously narrow this room is -- 6 1/2 feet (just under 2 meters). It began as a reasonably sized bedroom 10 feet (3 meters) wide. Then the previous homeowners took space from it to make the laundry closet. (The wall to the right is the back wall of the laundry closet.)

After putting in the new flooring, I installed baseboards and shoe molding. While they're not exactly a prominent feature, I'm proud of them because I've finally had enough experience installing trim to get them right. Just look at that nicely mitered corner! ;) 

And with that, the workroom was done! :D

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Craft Along with GIY: March 2017

Time for a new craft-along! During March, I will work on a craft project for the monthly theme. Around March 29, I will post my completed project. You can share a link to your completed project on that post or at any time during the month on this post. On March 31, I will compile the links on the Craft Along with GIY page.

To participate:
1.  Add the Craft Along with GIY icon to your post. Link the icon to this page:

2.  On either this theme announcement post or my completed project post, leave a comment with a link to your project. If you're not a blogger, you can link to your webpage, Instagram, or anywhere else readers can see it. (Please link directly to the project page.)

The theme for March is Rhymes with "That"... which means your project can be based on any word that rhymes with "that." As always, you can interpret this broadly:
  • make bat jewelry
  • applique a cat onto a pillow cover
  • decorate a hat
  • make a vat of homemade soap or lotion
  • stencil something with glossy paint over matte
  • DIY a tattered trad goth outfit
  • sew a bag for your yoga mat
  • fix up a habitat for your gerbil
  • refurbush a secondhand chair on which someone once sat

I will be sewing a placemat.