Saturday, March 17, 2012

DIY milk glass

There is something inately fresh and springy about milk glass. It has a vintage feel and a very "Oh this? I just had this in my cupboard... isn't it fabulous and beautiful?'' element. The feel that everything from Anthropologie has, right? The beauty and unique appeal of a found object...

You get the point, milk glass is pretty! My mom came across a fun little DIY project in a magazine and we decided it would be fun to try. Behold: DIY milk glass! 

What you'll need:

• CLEAN glass vases. We found ours at - you guessed it - the Goodwill. We scored 10 pretty vases for about $12. We looked for groups with similar lines, as well as some unique shapes with thick glass bottoms. After a run through the dishwasher and thorough drying time, they're ready to be transformed.

• latex paint in the color(s) of your choice. We went with super-springy colors - bright green, robin's egg blue, and a coral/pink called 'Begonia'. Love!

• drying racks that you don't care about getting paint on

• a good area for getting paint-covered. My mom just laid some craft paper on her counter and we went to town.

• a wet rag for wiping up paint

• an old spoon or ladle for transferring paint from bucket to vase. We also used a funnel for one vase with a small opening. Handy!

• a paint brush

• some paper towels

Here we go! Let's start with some official 'before' pictures:

Start by pouring or spooning some paint into your vessel. You need enough to be able to coat the inside thoroughly by turning the vase in your hands. My pictures here might seem a bit out of order... it's because it was hard to remember to take photos during this process... I hope you can get the gist of it anyway! :)

The fluted edge on this vase made it hard to evenly pour and coat the inside of the rim without spilling and dripping paint everywhere, so this is where a paint brush comes in handy. I just dipped in and covered the inside edge.


For this smaller vase, my mom was able to just turn the vase, coat the inside edge, and drain the leftover paint into the next vase she had.

This big, beautiful antique bottle required the funnel to get the paint inside. 

After you've got the inside of your vase painted, wipe the outside around the rim with your wet rag to remove any over-spill, then tip it upside down on the drying rack and let it drain. I suggest wiping the opening off every 15-25 minutes to get rid of big globs and keep them from drying.

So pretty already!

After the vases sit for about half an hour they should be ready for one last wipe around the opening and then you can turn them over to finish drying.

Ta-daaaa! Aren't they fun, fabulous, and bright?! The grouping of four green vases on the upper left are my mom's. The rest (including the tall bottle - yay!) are mine. My favorite are the two pineapple-shaped vases in the Begonia color. So cute! I think they make the perfect start to an Easter tablescape (which my mom already has in the works behind our vases). 

Oh, an important detail - this version of DIY milk glass is not waterproof. They are perfect for dry arrangements, though. I'm thinking a bunch of lavender would be delightful! 

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everybody! Enjoy the weekend!


Monday, March 12, 2012

liquid sunshine

Welcome to March in the beautiful Pacific Northwest! So much for Spring. Ugh. Today it has been windy, wet, and just plain nasty. I am typically one of those NW precipitation-loving, cold-enduring Oregon 'liquid sunshine' cheerleaders that always puts on a smile in the face of sideways rain and muddy heels. But this week I am over it. I do love Oregon. It is clean and green and the summers here are the most beautiful on the planet. But good grief - it's March and we might have snow tonight? We didn't even have a white Christmas! The dreary view from our front patio is as follows:

The words gray and wet come to mind. We live in a rowhome, with a series of gray, wet stairs leading to our entry.

The foliage out there currently consists of this lonely, dead leaf:

This morning I woke up determined to fight off the faux-Spring doldrums with COLOR!

How, you might ask? With my own brand of liquid sunshine in the form of yellow and orange spray paint. Ha! This project actually started last night at the grocery store, where two trays of sunny golden pansies jumped into my shopping cart :) They needed a home!

Cason Jett and I ran over to the Goodwill this morning in search of flower pots. Bingo! We found two suitable pots at the right price - $3.99.

Success! Now for the paint. How about ombre? Ombre is a fun trend that is making an appearance in everything from fashion to hair to furniture to cake baking. I liked the idea of painting my flower pots with an ombre gradation... like a sunrise, perhaps? Inspiration:

   ($57 for 3 pots)

I started with three colors of spray paint - orange, gold, and bright yellow. You know I get excited at any opportunity to fumigate our garage with the scent of a spray can! Bring on the liquid sunshine!

I sprayed on a coat of orange to start. I figured layering the lighter color over the dark would be the best strategy. 

I followed the orange with the gold paint, spraying more thoroughly around the rim and then easing off as I worked toward the middle.

I finished by spraying a more concentrated layer of the bright yellow around the rim and inside the top edge.

After the bright yellow, I went back with the orange to finesse the layered look. After the paint dried, out came the potting soil and gloves and I braved the elements on my front patio to give my pansies their pretty new home. 

 Of course, it turns out I only had enough potting soil to plant one pot. Sigh. I was too impatient to wait to post this until I made yet another trip to the store with toddler in tow, so.... Ta-da!

And of course my Little Ray of Sunshine approved :)

I love it! A bright spot in our wet world of gray! Puts a smile on my face, despite the rain-matted hair on my forehead! Now to go in and warm up with some hot cocoa and hope the imminent snow doesn't dispose of my handiwork. ;)


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

room replica 3

I came across the latest Crate&Barrel catalog at my mom's house the other day. Inside the first spread was the most fabulous, yet simple room. So many things that suit me - bright sunny colors, different textures, global influence with a touch of glam... I am in love! I want it all. Now. See below:

I am picturing myself lounging on the pristine white-ness of that sectional, feet propped on a pretty pouf, sipping a Mojito as the summer breeze blows through my hair. Aaaah.... until the 2 year old attacks the couch with peanut butter fingers and orange juice!!! What am I thinking?! I have been having a lust affair with white sofas lately. It must be because it makes NO SENSE whatsoever until Cason goes away to college and our black and gray cats have moved on to their next life. Oh, well. I did the math, and if one were to waltz into C&B and ring it all up, the grand total would be a mere $6,687.20. A pittance for such a perfect living space, right? Not according to my hubs or my bank account, unfortunately. Sigh! Not to fret. I decided to see if I could replicate this room via Craiglist and Etsy for less. Following is the frugal story...

I started with the Zola Rug. The Crate&Barrel version shown in the picture is $599 for a 6'x9'...

I found this hand-tufted Loft wool rug (7'6 x 9'6) on CL for $170. I think it's amazing how similar the pattern is to the dream rug! Different colors, but close enough. We're off to a great start!

On to the sofa. The Oasis Sectional in the picture is on sale for $4,333.30...

I couldn't find a decent white sectional on Craigslist, but I did run across this simple sofa for $400. It has similar loose back cushions, and I think it makes a great substitute. And since it saves so much moolah, I think a couple of white chairs are in order for additional seating, don't you?


How about two Ikea Tullsta chairs for $160? Perfect. On to the side table... The Crate&Barrel Ginger Salt Side Table runs a cool $299. Ouch! But it plays such a pivotal role in the vignette! This one would be hard to replicate. I did my best!

I know, it's not nearly as WOW as the dream side table. But imagine it with some glossy white paint? And I bet you could use some balsa wood and an Exacto knife to make your own panels to glue in the spaces. At least it's a hexagon, right?! For $5, I'd take it on as a project. :)

Now for a lamp. Groooan. The Georgie Table Lamp pictured is priced at $329. It's BIG and yellow, and beautiful. This was challenging. I did not find a yellow lamp, but I did find this super cool substitute:

I thinks it's a good stand-in for the missing detail on our side table, perhaps? For $40, I think it works. And I love the brass base. Done!

The Ibiza Throw Pillows from Crate&Barrel are super cute. But at $79.99 a piece, I would be hard pressed to bring home more than one. Have you ever done a search for pillows on Etsy? It's like a wonderland of pillow-ness! Do it! Let's see if we can find a more pocket friendly version of our dream pillows...

$44.90 for a silk bolster cover. Yes, please.

And fancy that! A matching red one for $48.00. All we need is brown now...

So perfect! $25.00. Have I mentioned my love for throw pillows? Don't get me started! 

A big piece of this room replica puzzle are the oh-so-wonderful Marrakesh Poufs, for $399 a piece. How fun are these things?! And what a fantastic kid-friendly coffee table! I've written before about my affection for poufs, and these are no exception. And I love that they are square. Replicating these is hard because of their scale and bright pattern. I didn't find the perfect pouf, but I did find an Etsy shop that will make one in your fabric of choice for $92.00:

I would choose this Waverly fabric, since it's so reminiscent of the Crate&Barrel version:

Or maybe this one, since our replica rug is a bit darker:

Last on the list is the Lima Alpaca Throw blanket for $169. How about this pretty orange one for $38? It does reinforce the darker color palette of the rug, too:

Ta-da! Room replicated for... wait for it... $1022.90! Feels a bit more attainable, doesn't it? I still wish I could redo my living room STAT, but until I can, this little adventure has been fun.