30 March 2011

why not diy? : wednesday : nightstands


nightstands have been two very hard-to-find pieces of furniture! they're all either too formal, or too blah, or...most importantly...too expensive! we bought a couple of nightstands at ikea as temporary pieces, until we found some we loved. i've been scouring craigslist daily. every trip to the flea market i've been on the lookout. shoot...i've even been watching curbs as i drive by! just in case, of course!

february's flea market brought cold weather, and great finds! we stumbled upon these too nightstands in someone's lot. they were marked for $25 each, but the guy (without any prompting) said "i'll give ya both for $35." sweet! but man, they were nasty! one had a big chunk of duct tape on a side, the veneer on the tops of both was peeling off, and the color was like moldy-bread-green. GROSS! and the handles were metal, but hollow, and had all kinds of nasties up inside.

of course they don't look too terrible in the photo...

so hubby and i chipped off the remaining pieces of veneer, unscrewed the handles, and went after 'em with the sander, and of course some good ol' fashioned elbow grease!


the sir watched rather dubiously while z & i worked. he couldn't understand why we wouldn't throw his ball for him all day long! plus, z made me a delicious lemon concoction!


then, it was time for paint! since the rest of our bedroom furniture is a creamy white, we went with the same on these. but they were a paint to paint! i took sandpaper to the edges, and a worked on "vintage-ing" them up a bit. 

 ta-da! i found some great pulls at hobby lobby the other day, and put them on this morning, one of these days i'll get a photo of them totally complete, and next to our bed!

**btw...i don't know WHAT is going on with my photo alignment...but it's driving me crazy! i'll work on fixing it!

25 March 2011

...flea market friday :: nashville vintage

the last weekend every month, nashville has a fabulous flea market at the controversial fairgrounds. i mean like buildings full of stuff! some of it (mostly inside the buildings) is very swap meet-esque...you know the stuff, cheap sunglasses, homemade breads, knock-off designer handbags, etc... but once you get past all that, toward the back of the grounds, there are huge permanent awnings - that is where the good stuff is. from old suitcase, to barn wood planks, from vintage church pews to dirty bottles, from funky old toys to broken cameras....it's all there.

and of course...it happens to be my favorite weekend of every month! in my utopia we would wake up super early on the last friday of the month, make a breakfast stop at starbucks and head over to the fairgrounds where we would spend a good part of our day and find tons of vintage, relatively inexpensive stuff that helps turn our house into our home... but like i said...that is the utopian version. in reality, we usually don't wake up early on friday, partially because it's z's day off & partially because we're usually up late thursday nights. then we tend to putz around the house for a little while. eventually we'll get to starbucks, but not before noonish. when we finally get to flea market...who knows how many awesome finds are already headed home with their new owners! but there is always plenty left to choose from. we usually take a certain amount in cash, which depends on our budget and don't spend anymore than that. cash makes it easy to know exactly how much you have to spend, and can give you a bit of a bargaining tool as well. and often, i will go with a few certain things in mind that i hope to find. sometimes i've even gotten away without spending anything!

February's flea market was a total success, and we got away without even spending the entire amount of allotted cash!  here's what we found...

each bottle was only a couple bucks...i'll show you what i did with them in another post
 these two night stands were very unique, but pretty nasty looking...but we didn't have any, and at 2 for $35 it was totally worth the time for a re-do...again for another post

 this old door was only $25, AND it still had the original hardware! way cool! i gave it a good sanding, and its hanging out against the wall in my dining room for the moment!

 if you haven't figured it out, i'm a sucker for vintage...pretty much anything vintage. this suitcase was in awesome shape, inside and out! it'll be a great prop for a baby shoot...not to mention a perfect addition to my other two suitcases!

i just love old worn-out books. often they'll have cool old photographs tucked between pages...which is a total bonus! @ only $5 for the 3, they were a steal!
that was last month's flea market! i can't wait to show off what i found today! check back next friday!

23 March 2011

why not diy? : wednesday

 i've had a vision in my head for months. it involved burlap (with which i happen to be currently obsessed), some black electrical cord, big-round-clear-glass light bulbs, and a piece of plywood. don't ask how...it just came to me.

**disclaimer...all the photos were taken on iPhone4...so don't judge!

we are currently renting our home, and over the dining room table is (was) a not so fabulous faux brass chandelier. you know the ones...the little flame tip bulbs, very formal looking...sooo not me. i've been wanting to change it out since we moved in - AND put whatever we replaced it with on a dimmer switch - but hadn't been able to find anything i loved. (if i don't love something, i usually won't spend money on it. mom taught me that one!) somehow i envisioned an uber unique bare-bulb, burlap covered, anthropologie-ish light fixture. Z couldn't see it very clearly in his head, but thankfully he trusted me! so on Saturday we headed to Home Depot to gather supplies and attempt the impossible! (ok, not really impossible, but that sounded much more dramatic!)

we (by "we" i mean z) started with changing the dining room light switch over to a dimmer...it was a success! in other words...he didn't electrocute himself, and when we turned it on, it worked the first time! ta-da!

then, he cut  piece of plywood into a circle for me (one of the items we bought at home depot was a jigsaw blade...but of course it was the wrong one...so its a rough circle)

i marked where i wanted holes drilled from which the bulbs would hang(obviously, i didn't like the first placement..oops!)

i had some burlap lying around from a couple of other projects, and cut a piece a couple inches wider than the wood in the shape of a circle.

hot glue is my friend! (well, that is until i burn myself on the metal part of the gun...then i curse it.) i grabbed my handy-dandy hot glue gun, and started a-gluin'. i glued little sections of the burlap to the wood, making it a little "poofy" as i went to add some character. then i put slits in the burlap where the cords were going to pull through the holes.

z cut the ends off the extension cords and cut them to my desired lengths (somewhere between 2-3ft) into 5 pieces he stripped the ends so we could wire them the way we wanted.  one end of each cord was threaded through metal ring on the plastic sockets and tightened in. i wrapped the whole socket, and part of the cord in electrical tape...

they were pulled through the burlap-covered plywood holes, and up to meet in the middle all the white were twisted together, same with all the blacks.

when we took the brass-ish fixture down from the ceiling it obviously left a big hole so we bought another dreadful gold-ish plate to cover it, but spray painted it cream so it blends with the ceiling.

somehow, we managed get all 5 cords up through the hole, and attached to the wires in the ceiling. (all while the electricity was off, of course!) we attached the new "chandelier" to the brace with some rustic looking rope, and screwed in the fabulous round bulbs!

and viola! what do you think?

a bit more fitting with the vintage door behind it! (it hangs straight now, and the door is in the opposite corner.)

we may add a few more bulbs and wires, but not wire them in so they won't be lit... who knows! :)

overall, i'm pretty please with the outcome! especially something that started in my head!