Lamp Backup Plan

I absolutely love this lamp, which sits on the little table next to my favorite chair in the family room. However, as you can see by this close-up, it has taken a few nosedives recently. Frankly, I am surprised the whole thing is still in (basically) one piece, but it looks a little worse for wear!

I decided that, until I have children who aren't tempted by such things, I better put away the delicate lamp and use something a bit more durable. So I picked up this lamp at Hobby Lobby. Oh, and here is Henry, demonstrating exactly why I need more durability:

Problem is, I got used to having that lovely robins' egg blue color on the table, and the new black lamp just seemed wrong. So, out came the blue paint (custom paint color, formula here), crackle glaze, antiquing medium and the burlap! Seems to be my standard recipe lately.

I still miss my fragile little lamp, but I am much happier not to have to do the grab-Henry-before-he-breaks-the-furniture! dance every day.

Sometimes function must precede form, but that doesn't mean I have to go down without a fight!


Picnic Box Renovation

On Monday I showed you a little sneak peek of a project I've been working on recently. It's this old box that I bought eight years ago at an antique fair. When I bought it, it was a gorgeous natural wood color, but I was going through a lime green phase. So it became this:

Now, it's not that I don't like it. In fact, I still think it's adorable. But I realized that I was only using the box when we had BBQ parties and we were outside, which just wasn't enough for me. In the meantime, I've been wanting something to put in the center of our kitchen table for napkins and condiments and such.

So I just decided to paint over the lime green with Behr's Country Dairy, followed by a little crackle glaze and this new antiquing medium that I blogged about on Monday.

I love it now! We have a place to corral all our random kitchen stuff on the table, and it doesn't look like clutter because it's in a cute little box.

Best part is that it didn't cost me a dime, and now I feel like I'm using something that otherwise just sat on a shelf for most of the year.

And if I miss the lime green, I'm just a few paintbrush strokes away from having it back!


Antiquing Polish Update

Mystery solved!

OK, so for months now I've been singing the praises of Folk Art's Antiquing Polish. Many of you have asked me where to get it, and I happily told you that I found it at Michael's, in the aisle with the other wood stain.

Well, guess what? I went last week to buy some more, and the woman told me that they are no longer carrying it. So that explains why some of you have looked for it, with no success. Instead, the woman pointed me towards this: Staining and Antiquing Medium by Americana (found with the other acrylic paints at Michael's).

You just mix it with any paint color (equal parts paint and antiquing medium), and then use it as a glaze. The antiquing medium makes the paint somewhat translucent, so that the paint from underneath shows through.

Below, you can see a project that I started. On the right side of the box is the non-antiqued part, and the left side is the part I antiqued. Since I mixed the medium with brown paint (Burnt Umber), it gave the paint a slightly brown patina.

My advice would be to rub it on with a wet cotton ball, wait for a few seconds, and then go back with a damp paper towel and wipe until you get the effect you want. Repeat until you are happy with it. Works just as well as my original antiquing polish, but a lot easier to find!

Next I will show you the rest of that box and what I've done with it!


Outdoor Pillows on the Cheap

On Wednesday I showed you my new rocking chairs, and promised that I'd tell you about my new outdoor pillows, and how you can score some of your own.

First, I stopped by my local Goodwill, and happened to stumble upon four square pillows, for $1.50 a piece. On the same trip, I got an outdoor tablecloth ($3). All this stuff was made with polyester, so I knew it would be good for outside.

The only non-polyester, non-outdoor-friendly part of this was the blue cotton material covering the pillows. (But the stuffing in the pillows is polyester, so we're still good.) And that's what the tablecloth is for. I just cut it into squares and sewed a simple cover (inside out, so the color wouldn't bleed through) for the pillows. Voila! Instant waterproofing.

Here's my one splurge: I bought 1 1/2 yards of Waverly outdoor fabric for $12 a yard.

Then I sewed a simple pillow cover, and for the price of one Ballard Design pillow ($27 total, people!), I got four.
I love a bargain!


Rocking Chair Re-Do!

Last fall I was driving home and just "happened" by this garage sale in my neighborhood. These people had just moved to Colorado from North Carolina, and felt like unloading a few of their porch rocking chairs. I got two of them, at $5 a piece. Score!

Of course, one of the main reasons they didn't want the rockers was because the woman's husband, in a fit of romanticism, decided that he wanted a blue rocking chair, a la Kenny Chesney's "Old Blue Chair." Out came the spray paint, but it didn't go so well. A few weeks later, the (kind-of blue) chairs became mine. I just took a sander to them, followed by some stain and sealer. Below, you can see what a difference it made!

I used Cabot's Australian Timber Oil in Jarrah Brown (found at Lowe's). It's specifically designed for decks and outdoor furniture, and it is great for color and also for sealing the wood so that it's somewhat impervious to rain. We used it last year on our Adirondack chairs and, though they needed a little freshening up at the beginning of this season, it was totally worth the money.
Here you can see the seating area on my deck, all ready for summer get-togethers!

Stay tuned for Friday, when I'll tell you all about how I made those outdoor pillows on the cheap!


Flower Pot Gift Idea!

My friend Katie recently asked me for help in coming up with a cute gift idea for her co-workers. She and her husband were leaving Denver to move back to the "motherland," as she calls it. Otherwise known as Ohio.

So, although I was very sad to see her go, I decided not to hold it against her. And good thing I didn't, because look what Katie's crafty little brain came up with!

She worked for the American Cancer Society, which meant for a pretty emotionally draining job. So she wanted to come up with a gift for her co-workers to perk them up on those really tough days.

She painted these flower pots, then embellished them with some grosgrain ribbon and buttons. Then she filled them with candy!

I don't care who you are, that's a great gift. It would perk me right up...until I stepped on the scale after the perking! :)

Stella & Dot Giveaway Winner!

I know...I love Stella & Dot too!

OK, on to the winner! It's (randomly chosen) commenter #61, Ashleigh from Bee in our Bonnet. Congratulations Ashleigh! I don't know how you're going to decide on your prize, girl, but have fun deciding!

Drop me an email at buzzingsofaqueenbee@hotmail.com, or I will stop by your blog to tell you you've won.

Back soon with more fun stuff I've been working on!


Stella & Dot Jewelry Giveaway!

*Comments are now closed. I will be back tomorrow to announce the winner. Thank you everyone!

Hello girls! I have a fantastic giveaway today. I am so excited about it, I might have to make up a faux blogger identity just to enter myself. (Don't worry, I'm just kidding.)

My friend Kelli sells the most adorable jewelry from Stella & Dot. Hello gorgeous!

I'm telling you, I love this stuff! It's very cute and unique, and I honestly feel like any one of these pieces would get a ton of use in my everyday wardrobe.

Mother's Day is coming up. (Big hint to the...um...two men I know who read this blog...my husband and my dad!) Perfect gift idea!

So here's how to win a generous $30 shopping credit to Stella & Dot. Go and check out Kelli's website, then come back and tell me what you would like to receive for yourself for Mother's Day. Now, I realize that we are all not yet mothers. Some of us are. Some of us aren't. Some of us are on our way to motherhood. And some of us haven't even dreamed that far yet. But one thing I know: we all love jewelry.

So. Go take a gander. Tell me what you'd like for yourself. :) How fun is that? I will close the comments on Sunday night, and announce the winner on Monday morning.

Bonne courage!

P.S. If the links to Kelly's site don't work, here's the direct link for you to use: www.StellaDot.com/Kelli


Crackle and Candlesticks

Hey everyone! How was your weekend? I hope it was a good one!

I've been eyeing the candlesticks at Pottery Barn lately. But when the prices range from $24-$34 per candlestick, I think I can find alternative arrangements!

image from potterybarn.com

Luckily I had this candlestick that I picked up at Goodwill a few months ago. It was $4.99. I love the shape, and I thought I could make it look like my new obsession!

I already had these tools on hand. Acrylic paint in Burnt Umber, some crackle glaze, and a semi-gloss can of Behr paint in "Country Dairy."

I started by painting the Burnt Umber over the black, then covered it with the crackle glaze. The crackle glaze, when dry, allows you to paint on top of it. It will then "crackle" and allow the underneath color to come through. Make sense?

I think it turned out pretty good!

Now what else can I crackle?


Portrait of a Girl

I've had this painting in my basement for years. It's one that my grandmother had painted of me, based on a photograph.

I love it, but I didn't like the color of the frame with the painting. So I just removed the frame and got down to business!

I added a layer of gold metallic paint, followed by some antiquing polish to dull it down.

It took a few coats to get the color right, but I like it!

Still working on where to hang it, but right now my five-year-old self is presiding over the guest room.
But I had to laugh when I glanced at this three-year-old photo of Nina, also in the guest room:

Like mother, like daughter, I guess!


Pretty in Silver

Hello everyone! How was your Easter weekend?

Just a quick post to share a new discovery. I've been picking up little silver vases as I find them at thrift stores. Here's a photo from our Easter brunch yesterday. Don't you love my pretty pink tulips? The smaller vase in the forefront was 79 cents at a local consignment shop.

The silver pitcher is a family piece from my mom, but I've seen ones like them at Goodwill and other such places. Most of the time they just need a little shining up.

Just love the way this silver looks on my table! These little vases are not real silver, but they look pretty and they hold water. Basically all I'm looking for. So keep your eyes peeled when you're out shopping. You'll be glad you did!


Signs of Spring!

A few days ago I finally mustered the energy to break out some Easter decorations! Those of you who have been around here for awhile will remember these cute Easter eggs:

They were so fun to make last year. Just covered some over sized plastic eggs with some scrapbook paper and Mod Podge. Here's the link to last year's post, where I explained in a little better detail how to make these.

A cute little glass "basket" with some glass eggs. Far away from little grabbing toddler fingers!
(Eggs from Crate & Barrel, glass from Pottery Barn)

My favorite springtime visitor, the toile bunny. He was a cardboard critter I found on clearance at Hobby Lobby. Just some more scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, and a grosgrain ribbon. And messy, messy fingers!

So, though there may still be snow on the ground out here in Colorado, we are desperately attempting to celebrate spring!

Happy Easter!