Sunday, July 31, 2016

Learning to Blossom

We've had our house up on the market all summer long.  We have had some really good traffic, some so-so traffic, and then nonexistent traffic.  Our purpose of moving was to sneak extra days with Señor Hotness, and to get moved and settled before the school year started.  If the sale of our house didn't fit into those perimeters then we were determined to take it off the market, and settle in for the long haul since our oldest is going to high school this year (not that I'm even remotely old enough for that).

I've also heard tell that you can always bloom where you are planted.

The silver lining here is that our house is pretty much the bomb!  I put any and all projects off for months while our house was listed because no-one can come look at it mid-paint job.

Our church family rocks, and this is a great community that we have landed in.

So this is me, chosing to blossom bigger and brighter than ever.  This is going to be interesting...

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Spray-Painted a Dated Electrical Outlet

When you buy an older home you inherit the sins of the previous owners.  Usually those aren't so bad, and honestly our home here was pretty kicking.  The only truly awful monstrosity that this house had to offer was the dreaded Monkey Bathroom.  Not only had the entire room been wallpapered with a really obnoxious pattern, but even the outlets had been wallpapered.  Yuck!

So naturally in true fashion I gave the entire room a overhaul, and then looked at that discolored, outdated plug mocking me.  

So there was a blue dyed spot on the plug from being wallpapered.  I thought it was a scorch mark, and freaked out all over Señor Hotness.  He talked me down from the ledge, and told me it was just a discolored spot and not a sign of impending fire.

First, cut the power at the breaker.  Then I used a spray primer from Krylon especially made for use on plastic.  WARNING: This is a very thin product.  So make sure you use short spurts instead of heavy-handed spraying.  Otherwise it will just run right off of whatever your are spraying.  After the appropriate dry time I hit it with a white Krylon Fusion spray paint also for use on plastic.

Then my next step was to use a spray clear coat.  Also from Krylon.  I used this to protect my painted surface from the wear and tear of use.

Then try and I might I managed to overspray the tape just a smidge.  I also noticed that the sink surround needed to be re-caulked.  So after re-caulking the surround, I then touched up with the blue using a small fine tipped brush (the kind you use on hobby projects since I was dealing with touching up a really tight area).

You might ask why the heck would I do this instead of just replacing it.  While all the supplies will run you about $12 up front it could be used to transform many, many outlets.  In all honesty I would have normally just replaced this with a new outlet, but it was in a tricky place with the sink surround. So I would have had to modify the cover plate, and honestly I wasn't confident that I could do it without breaking it.  So I looked in my paint stash, and found all I needed for this frugal DIY project.

Its ok to continue to use something old if its still functioning.  Its better than it junking up a landfill somewhere, but there is no reason not to give it a little love and a new lease on life.


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Tricking Out The Trash: Baby Bed Springs

So I changed my blog name.  Backwoods Babies just didn't really describe me anymore (I will be leaving it up so the old links will still work).  If there is one thing that does describe us it is the gypsy lifestyle that we have always led (with the exception of that first 18 years of my life).  We have never lived anywhere longer than 5 years, and most places haven't even made it that long.  Someday I'm sure our roots will take hold.  Until then we will just enjoy the people and places we get to experience, and indulge our wandering spirits. 

Ok so in this house I've had a bit of a problem with garbage.  Do you guys know how many people throw away awesome trash around here, and what kind of crazy person passes up a curbside freebie?  I mean why scour craft booths and thrift shops for something you can do yourself.  I have gotten so many awesome freebies that you couldn't get in the garage it was so full. 

So one day I was bringing a giggly drugged up teen back from a dental appointment when I saw this totally awesome baby bedsprings just chilling on the curb.  Now if you are asking what the heck you can do with a baby bedspring you obviously haven't procrastinated on Pinterest before.  I mean I've seen it all from a laundry hanger (like over at A Diamond in the Stuff) to an awesome photo display (like over at Kammy's Korner).  The possibilities were practically endless.

So I wasted little time pulling a u-turn to nab this thing from its perch before someone else came across my treasure.  This thing had a fun rusty patina to it that gave it just the right about of shabby.  As I was putting this thing in the back of Stella (my trusty suburban) I was intending to give it the common treatment of photo display.  However, it just didn't feel right.  I was going to be hanging this on the wall at the foot of the playroom stairs.  That's a dark area as it get absolutely zero natural light.  So the rusty springs with pictures just kind of added to the darkness of the area.

Then I remembered I had a bucket full of drippy crystals that had been taken down from my confused dining room chandelier.  So I thought maybe I could use those to add a bit of sparkle to the dark space.  Something for the light to reflect off of.

I really liked the look, but wanted a more textured feel to it.

So I pulled out a roll of gardening burlap I had on hand, and then hot glued it to the back of springs.  Now gardening burlap has a much looser weave than the crafting burlap that is so common.

WARNING: Make sure you use a wire brush to clean off as much of that rust as you can where you are gluing, or the hot glue will just peel right off.

While the crib springs aren't overly heavy they are to heavy to simply nail up.  So I spend $2.49 on some large cup hooks from Walmart.  Using a stud finder I pre-drilled and then screwed these straight into the stud.  I had visions of one Destructo Girl trying to free hang from this sucker so I wanted it to be sturdily mounted.

After I installed the hooks I ran into a little snag.  The hooks curved up too much toward the wall, and I wasn't able to get the spring hooked onto it.  So I had trim a portion of the hooks off with tin shears to allow the springs to be hung.

I really liked the end result.  Is it still dark?   Yup, but it lends a classy turn on what has become a traditional remake.  

So lets do a rundown of how much this cost me.

Crib Bed Spring: Free@ Curbside Special

Cup Hooks: $2.49 @ Walmart

Crystals: Free @ salvaged from chandelier

Burlap: I'm putting this one in the free category because I've had this forever, but a new roll (3' by 24') at Lowe's will run you $9.98

So for less than $5 you can have a super cool conversation piece to add little sparkle to a dark spot in your home.  All it took was a willingness to handle garbage to give new life and purpose to an old tired piece that had been heading to the landfill.  So here's to making something old new again.