This picture from Potterybarn made me gasp yesterday. “Eureka!” I said to myself and ran to my basement to fetch a brass hook that I bought at an estate sale last summer. I liked the hook but I wasn’t too fond of the brass finish. I had it slated as a door or robe hook but this bathroom photo made me think that it might work in my newly updated upstairs bath. I have been looking for something to hang a hand towel near the sink. I purchased a round ring type towel holder but have not put it up yet; I’m glad I waited. Look at the little hook that is next to the sink in the potterybarn photo – that is my inspiration for this post!
image from Potterybarn
I have been seeing some lovely photos on Pinterest (follow me!) of painted brass candlesticks and lamps.
courtesy from Billiemonster.com/blog
As a matter of fact, I have painted a number of chandeliers including these two that I painted for Liz and Brentan’s country wedding.
So here is what I did:
1. I used #0000 steel wool to clean and scruff up the brass hook so the paint could adhere to the metal.
2. I next sprayed on a coat of primer that is made for metal. I let it dry for 1 hour.
3. Since I wanted my hook to match the bathroom mirror frame, I could not use spray paint. I used the same yellow latex enamel from the mirror and my floor cloth projects to paint my little duck. I was careful to paint a number of thin coats to avoid lumps and drips. I also lightly sanded with my #0000 steel wool between coats. I let the brass show through a bit because I wanted it to keep it’s vintage look.
4. When it was thoroughly dry, I sprayed a couple of coats of clear polyurethane to add more protection.
5. I also painted the heads of 2 screws that I used to attach it to the wall.
sprayed with primerFinished HookIt works!
I like to have a little project to work on in the evening while I sit watching TV. We are currently watching ‘Damages’ with Glenn Close on Netflix. While it is a compelling drama, I need something more to keep me from falling asleep. So while rummaging around, I found this hand spun wool that I have had in my closet for the past 20 years or so. I decided to make a pair of felted wool slippers. Since I want to keep track of the complex story line of the show, I did not want a complicated pattern. In fact, the pattern that I chose is so simple that I first learned to knit these slippers when I was 8 years old. I used size US #13 needles and a double strand of yarn. These are so easy that all you need to know is how to knit and how to purl. If you can cast on and cast off too, you can make a slipper in an hour or so.
Yes, the slippers went fast. I was able to pay more attention to the show than to what I was making. I made the Men’s size L so that I could shrink them and make them felted. They were pretty ugly but I soldiered on thinking that once they were fulled, they would magically become charming and beautiful. Next day, I dumped them in with the wash and put them in the dryer with some towels. They shrank but I had to wash them 2 more times to get them to fit. They looked a little better but not much…
Ugly or not, I rarely give up on a project. I am stubborn that way. The slippers were very thick and warm but also very slippery. I now needed to figure out a way to make them less dangerous. I decided to put a leather sole on their bottoms. I had some deer skin and spent the next 2 evenings sewing the leather by hand onto each slipper. They were becoming uglier by the day. I snaked a lace around their tops to make them stay on my feet. I thought about making some felted flowers or something to try to cute them up but well, I think I’m better off letting well enough alone. They are warm and they are comfortable but not much else. Sometimes, things can get ugly. Happy knitting! – Peg
Photo adapted from Amy Bethune Photography on Flickr
Happy 2012 you guys!
I spent the New Year with friends on an island eating crabs, drinking champagne and watching fireworks!
Last year I wrote about a few goals I had for my house for 2011. I have a few new goals for 2012, and thought I’d write about them again, because it’s always good to be accountable to someone if you want to get things done!
My goals and their current status for 2011 were :
- Clean out clothes closet and donate old clothes to Goodwill (Done early in 2011 and again in late 2011!)
- Redo bathroom (Decided not to do– not where I wanted to spend my money)
- Clean out office and make more beautiful. Too much clutter! (Not really done. It has less stuff in it now, but isn’t pretty)
- Finish designing guest room. I gave it a start in the last year, but want to make it a bit more polished (Done! See the makeover!)
- Keep the house clean! Namely: Steam clean carpets, clean grout, keep couches vacuumed, dishes out of sink etc. (Somewhat done. The dishes were mostly done, and the couches stayed mostly clean. I also cleaned the grout in the bathroom early in the year, but it needs it again. Carpets are not steamed.)
- Start a vegetable garden again and maybe expand (definitely not done. )
- Update the garden in the front of the house, add more native plants and more structure (Done! Remember what I did?)
- Host a party or get together every month (I didn’t host one every month, but I had a killer holiday party in December. It was a great way to end the year!)
Interestingly, all the stuff I got done and wrote about ended up on the hot project list of 2011! I should do more stuff.
So for 2012, I would like to:
- Run a half marathon
- Move to a more interesting place– that’s right! The mister and I are thinking about moving! He finishes his PhD this year and (hopefully) gets a job, so we get to move to a place where we both want to live, which is probably more urban than where we are now. That means I get to write about house hunting and house selling and redecorating a new spaces, which is SO exciting!
- Learn to brew beer. Do you have any good resources?
- Focus on design and crafting instead of renovating. Since we’ll most likely be moving, I want to take what I make with me, and we’ve already nearly maxed out the returns of renovating on our house for the neighborhood it’s in.
- Guest post on a few different blogs. So email me if you want a free, awesome post!
- Take a trip to Europe. This has been on the to-do list for a few months now, but we’re planning a trip to Poland, Germany, France, already for the summer! Yay! I haven’t been out of the country (minus Canada) since my honeymoon to Mexico!
That’s a short but intense list! Wish me luck!
What are your goals for 2012?