Wednesday, March 19, 2014

One man's trash is THIS girl's treasure!

I love yard sales.  There is just this treasure-hunter in me that loves to dig through piles of junk in search of my next project.  A few months ago (notice my last post-- I haven't been doing this for a while) I was on an early Friday morning yard sale hop, just having fun just scanning the goodies that were spilling out of people's homes and garages.  At one nice older couple's home I had been spending some time going through the piles and piles of books, knickknacks, and other items.  There were old golf clubs, perfume samples from the 1980's and all sorts of other things that just didn't float my boat.  As I continued my perusal of this couple's odds and ends, however, I noticed a light fixture at the edge of the driveway.  It was definitely not my style.  It was very brass and very 80's.  (I am actually an 80's girl, but that is definitely not the style I am looking for).  But I always try to see beyond the first glance.  It had really nice lines and swirls, which I am a sucker for, so for $5.00 I certainly couldn't pass it up.  I have had a bare bulb hanging in my dining room for ....ahemmmm.... a while now, so this was something that I really needed.  Really.

Okay, I love to craft and I love to redo things to suit my tastes, but here's my confession:  I'm lazy.  I don't want to have to go through 45 different steps to make something sparkle or be a cozy addition to my home.  So, when I found this post by Matt and Jacque of The DIY Village I jumped right on this project. 
Here is how I turned this:   
Into THIS:


One thing I knew I did NOT want, and that is five light bulbs shining down on me.  So, I knew I had to somehow flip this thing so that the bulbs shined upward.  I also was not a fan of the big round sconces. 

Amazingly enough, I just happened to find EXACTLY what I wanted when I dragged my sweet husband to a our local second-hand home store.  Here are the sconces I found:

I love the ruffled edge on these sconces.  

So here is how I did this.  

First, I used needle-nosed pliers to remove the broken remnants of bulbs left in the sockets.
I unscrewed the end cap finial on the top of the light and began to remove all of the pieces. 

You see that the cord was coming out the top of this.  I had to change this and get that moved to going out the other end since this was now the bottom of the light.

As I dismantled the light, I lined everything up in the order that I took them off just to make things simpler.  

 I'm really glad I took pictures of this process because when it came time to reassemble this, I would have been completely lost without picture references.  Things might have been thrown in frustration.  (That almost happened anyway since I didn't look at my pictures in order.  Just saying.)  So, even if you are not sharing your process in a blog, take pictures anyway.  It will save you a LOT of time.

I had to pull the center wire down and out of the pipe in the middle and push it down and through the pipe at the other end.  That was not difficult, but it did take some finagling.    

Here you can see that the wire is now coming out of what is now the top of the light. (The part that is face down on the table.)

The new top.

While I had this light in pieces, I decided it was the right time to clean it up and get rid of all of the grime that had accumulated over the last few months.  (This is where I got everything out of order and frustrated myself.)

I just used warm, sudsy water, paper towels, and on the tougher spots, an old toothbrush.

No, I did not use my husband's toothbrush.  It was my son's.

(Just kidding, Dylan.  Don't freak out!)
Still icky, in my book.

I reassembled the light following the pictures I took.  I switched the hanging loop finial to the top and put the decorative one on the other end.

Next, I taped off the light bulb sockets. They were white and not very pretty, but they were going to be covered, so why paint them?
I was able to hang this on my porch to paint it and that was INCREDIBLY convenient!

You may have noticed that I didn't sand the light.
That is the fabulousness that I learned on Matt and Jacque's blog.  Their gift to me was showing me that it was okay to prime metal without sanding using RUSTOLEUM High Heat spray paint.  I cannot tell you how happy this made me!
Since I was painting this a light color, I chose the silver instead of the black to prime my light fixture.
Soft, pearly silver.  Very pretty.

It was a total transformation in one little can of paint!  
This finish was so nice, that I really contemplated leaving it this color and tone.  It was a matte but pearl finish (if that makes any sense) in a very soft silver.  But, that wasn't what I had planned for my light, so I did just use it as a primer.  But I was tempted!
This paint is very easy to work with and coated the brass really well.

For the finish, I used KRYLON ColorMaster Spray Paint in Ivory.  It is a gloss, which is a fact I overlooked when I bought it, and I had intended on getting a satin or flat paint, but I am glad I did grab that one.  This paint took two full coats to cover completely.  I say that loosely, because I sprayed it as it turned around.  (I was able to use the taped up sockets to hold onto to move it around.)  And since there are so many little nooks and crannies on this light fixture, I had to use multiple light coats to get into them all.  But for the outer, easily reached sections, I only needed two coats.

           I am so happy with the result!  

     Look how pretty!       But gets better!

Look how beautiful it is with my new sconces!

And look how gorgeous it is lit up!!!  I could not be happier with this light fixture!

All in all, I had a blast redoing this light and I am in love with it and the quick and simple way to prime and paint it.

Let me know what you think of it!


Monday, March 10, 2014

Get it together, will ya?...

...I said to myself.
     I've been away from my blog for a while now.  I haven't had the time to sit down and write a word.  Well, honestly, I haven't taken the time to sit down and write anything in a while. In fact, I haven't taken the time to do a whole lot of anything lately.  I have been wearing my winter blues like a turtleneck sweater that I grew out of fifteen years ago.  It's choking me and I am bursting at the seams to get out of this fog I've been in.  Thankfully, my seam ripper works well, and I am almost out of it.  I actually have something that I haven't had in MONTHS.  Gumption.  Yes, I now have a little spark of the old flame starting up again.  And it has my head spinning.  I...hold back your excitement...I actually started and completed a project this weekend!      
     If you know me, then you know that I absolutely LOVE to hang out with my friends and family.  I would have people over to my house each and every weekend... if I felt my home was presentable.  You see, my home is in the huge process of being restyled.  This, of course, since I am the one doing it, is taking a tremendously LONG time.  I have decided to say that I inherited this wonderful gene of procrastination from my dad.  I remember one time my stepmother telling me that she had a leaky faucet...for about six months.  My dad, the plumber, had just kept putting off fixing it.  I asked him why and he said, and I quote, "I don't like to rush things."  That really cracked me up at the time and still does today.  Isn't it true that when you do something for a living, the last thing you want to do when you get home is what you HAVE to do all day at work?  Okay, so what if what you do for a living is AT home?  Should that change your level of procrastination about what really needs to be done?  Well, for me, it obviously doesn't change a thing.  I design and sew for a living and yet, my home is in CHAOS at the moment.
     I went through a phase where I was into very abstract and geometric patterns.  Therefore, my living room was bright yellow with bold red curtains and very wild prints on the furniture and pillows.  Now, I am REALLY into shabby chic.  That is like a 180-degree change from my former style.  This means that EVERYTHING has to be redone.  No, the bright yellow walls do not go at all with the theme I am going for.  No, the chairs that I carefully recovered in the daring black, white, red, and turquoise geometric prints are not the soft and cozy look I am after.  So, my home is a big mish-mash of, as I like to call it, ICK.
     I have slipcovered the loveseat.  That was my starting point.  I bought a few really awesome picture frames at a yard sale (which are now nicely stacked on top of my TV armoire.)   I found a matching set of very expensive (yet I talked them down to $20 for the pair!) lamps at an estate sale.  They have beautiful cream silk shades that are oh, so pretty.  So, one one window I have a bright red curtain, on the opposite window, I have a white curtain.  My walls are eyeball-popping yellow and my lovely cream slipcovered loveseat has a soft floral blanket draped over it ever so gently.  Getting the picture?  This is why no one has been invited to my home lately.
Recently a very dear friend was updating her home and asked if I wanted her sofa.  YES!  I said.  It is very curvy and cozy and it is green and white gingham.  I LOVE it.  Picture THAT with the bright yellow walls and you will see why no one has been asked to come hang out with this mad, mad, crazy decorator.  But, that lovely sofa has inspired me.  I actually went out and bought the fabric to recover the throw pillows on it to match my dream room.  I rearranged the room to get a better flow, and I am slowly but surely working on getting this mess together.  I will share pictures of my journey with you (if I can find the courage to overcome the embarrassment) and maybe you can help inspire me and help me keep going.  Please do.  I miss my friends.