Saturday, April 30, 2016

Week in Review

Here's a review of this week's posts.


Poor Little Birdhouse


Ted Lewy Plaque


Quick Summer Kitchen Cabinet Update


Vanity Faclift


Vanity Color Inspiration

Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Vanity Color Inspiration

This small project started my color scheme for the vanity area..  I found an ugly little dark green lampshade at at second hand store awhile back. I thought it was a nice size for some future project.

 It had been laying around in my workroom for awhile.  One day I decided to give it a new look. I went through my scrapbook papers and found this animal print in pink and black. There where pieces left from another project, not enough to cover the lamp shade in one piece. So I decided to cut up the paper and deccoupage the pieces in a random order covering the entire surface on the outside.

Next I hot glued the black ribbon and bow to the top, the ball fringe and the eyelash fiber. I glued the pink crystal trim to the bottom and more eyelash fiber.

The inside is painted gold.

I added the shade to a vintage glass lamp. They make a really cute accent light.  Not a lot of light,  just a little more than a nightlight.

That's when I decided to change the colors of my vanity.

The next item I made was a shadow box with a vintage vanity theme using a picture from Pinterest.  For the shadow box itself I used an empty black velveteen box I believe perfume came in, it had the perfect window.  And the inside was already gold.   I matted the image and glued it to the inside of the box added a couple of tiny faux flowers and a trio of miniature perfume bottles.  On the outside I glued a piece of pink cording for the hanger. And on two sides added a small strip of the zebra adhesive paper.

Then the search was on.  I needed to find items with black zebra stripes and hot pink.

For the vanity skirt and bench seat cover I bought a set of extra long twin bed sheets in a Zebra pattern.  Believe it or not the set only cost $3.99 on Amazon.  And I knew that would give me plenty of fabric to work with.
My zebra collection grew and grew from there.  And the project  continues.

Happy Decorating!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Vanity Facelift

I have mostly soft colors in my house.  I go mainly for the shabby chic vintage look. But I decided I wanted to give my neglected vanity area a facelift.  And I also decided I wanted to use some eye opening colors.  You know,  something bright to get me energized in the morning.  So I decided on hot pink and zebra stripes for my color theme.

This is the before shot.  When I said neglected I really meant it.  I haven't had reds in my house for at least 10 years.  But somehow this little corner upstairs just got forgotten.

I have a large mirror above the vanity but I am not sure that I will reuse it here again.  I have another one in mind.  It isn't the right color so I will need to paint it, also.

Here is the vanity all undressed, I mean totally naked.  A friend gave this to me about 15 years ago, it had been hers before she moved out of state. I knew one day I would give it a complete make over.

And here is the progress at the end of day 1.  It might appear to be finished but there's still alot of work left in this area.

For the top of the vanity I painted a 2" stripe around the top edge in hot pink.  When that was dry I cut a piece of adhesive zebra print shelf paper 2" smaller than the top and attached that.  Then I ran a gold stripe between the two all the way around the top using a gold leaf pen.  I plan to have a piece of glass cut to cover the top when I am all finished.

Update: After the gold ink dried I decided the line was not bold enough so went back over it with a small paint  brush and some gold  acrylic paint.  Much butter.

For the skirt I cut a flat twin sheet in half longways and then again the short way to make two long pieces that I hemmed and gathered.  To attach the skirt to the table I stapled the hook side of hook and loop tape to the front edge and stitched the loop side of the tape to the skirt.  I also stitched some small black ball fringe along the top of the skirt pieces.  This makes the skirt easy to remove and launder. For the bench seat cover I used the pillowcase from the set.

To the left of the vanity is the door to our furnace.  Not very attractive so I hung zebra print and hot pink sheer curtains from a rod above the door to hide it yet leave it easily accessible to change out the filters.

The project continues tomorrow.

Happy Decorating!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quick Summer Kitchen Cabinet Update

Awhile back I painted my kitchen shades of white.  I thought for this summer I would add a just little color.

I ordered a floral removal wall decal from Amazon and divided it in thirds.  It looked so summery on line and cost less than $5.00.

I adhered 1/3 to each of my 2 cabinet doors on either side of my stove.  And added a couple of the butterflies.

The third piece I had left I used it to decorate my Kitchenaid stand mixer. I love the way all three turned out.  And when I get tired of them they are easily removed.

Happy Decorating!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ted Lewy Plaque

We had an artist here in California named Ted Lewy who captured day to day life of San Fransisco in the 40's and 50's.

He was widely collected.  I have two of his prints.

sticker on back of prints and plaque

Well, I came across, what I imagine was, a souvenir plaque but it had seen better days. So I decided to give it a little face lift and hang it on my wall by my two Lewy prints.

Sky missing, huge chip on right side

Most of the sky had been torn away. I carefully repainted the sky, let it dry and went over the whole background with some acrylic varnish in low luster to preserve the image.

Next I mixed some acrylic paint to match the inside border of the ceramic plaque and painted out the chip.  When that was dry I went over the chip with a little clear nail polish to match the luster of the pottery.

4" x 5" plaque

chip is hardly noticeable on right

And lastly I used my hot glue gun to cover the entire edge of the plaque with trim to diguise the chip as much as possible.

Now my little plaque will hang happily along side my two coordinating pictures.

I also have a couple Thomas Kincade's hometown prints he painted of our hometown of Placerville, also know as Hangtown. One is of my bakery and the other is of the house I lived in as a teenager.  I enjoy all the memories those bring back to life. Also have a couple of other works by local artists.

My advice is to collect what makes you happy.

Happy Collecting!

P.S.  I found this history of Ted Lewy's works on "collectingjourneys"

You’ve probably seen his art, but what do you know about Ted Lewy?
I have many collecting passions, but the longest lived and most enjoyable has to be my many forms of Ted Lewy art. A German Jew and survivor of the Holocaust, he trained as an artist in China and came to San Francisco during the World War II. After enlisting in the Army, he served as a military artist.
When the war was over, Ted Lewy took a job at the Emporium Department store on Market Street, where (I imagine) he sat hunched over his drawing board designing the shopping bags, cartons and hat boxes that most of our grandmother’s kept on the top shelves of their perfumed closets.
And then something wonderful happened.
Ted Lewy fell in love – with my home town, San Francisco.
It’s obvious from every splash of color in his work. Proof of his love for The City is there on every cable car he ever painted, in the plumes of smoke floating out of men’s pipes, from the riotously inked Union Square flower stands my 5-year-old brain recalls. The depth of joy and love for Baghdad-by-the-Bay is in every stroke.
His artwork, one-step removed from cartoons is also linked to the precise execution of oriental watercolors, which is not surprising as Lewy studied art in Shanghai. It speaks of one man’s love for a city that welcomed newcomers with car horn honks, bike jingles and cable car clang-clang-clangs.
Many of his scenes are commercial. I know that because of the oodles of playing cards and bridge tally books, calendars, postcards and Christmas cards I’ve collected. Sometime in the 1950’s Ted Lewy opened his own cottage industry from his snug little home in the Sunset District, where he paid housewives on the block a penny a unit to glue art stamps on tiny matchbooks. With a little help, he churned out thousands of cheaply framed souvenirs, perfect for the out-of-towners.

Lewy’s ballpoint pen signature
I first came upon Ted Lewy prints at the Marin flea market in the early 1980’s. Good condition 8 by 10’s in their original bamboo frames went for $2 or $3 dollars.
I must have a large wall full by now.
Although detailed, it seems to me that every element has somehow been cut and glued to the canvas with an unsteady hand. Colors are lurid and snappy. Reds like blues. Men’s hats have contrasting bands and shoes spar with trousers. Whites love greens. Anything dark, like a cable car man’s navy blue wool uniform, is spiked with something bright like gold buttons.
A cable car is on its tracks, yes, but the tracks weren’t necessarily parallel. Long, low sedans are parked here and there along miles of welcoming curbs; but look closely – one wheel is usually a bit kaflewey. The light posts sway. Clouds wheel through blustery skies. Stairs zip over hills with ankle twisting abandon.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen’s pal, artist Dong Kingman produced art in a somewhat similar style. I can remember that he did drawings for airline menus and his images were printed on cotton bed sheets. Kingman got a lot of respect, but I suspect Ted Lewy cornered the market on grins – and the tourist’s bucks.
I’ve only one very large original Lewy painting. It must be 2 feet by 3 feet and I framed it in thick bamboo. Paperwork attached to the back explained that it was an entry for a WWII art poster competition. The winners would have hung in every school and post office, I guess. But “Be a Hospital Technician” was hardly “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” No matter.
I’d still like to know more about Ted Lewy. In the only photograph I’ve ever seen of him, he wears a Hawaiian shirt. He has dark curly hair. He’s built like a wrestler. He married, but had no children and died of a heart attack in 1967 in his little house with a view of the Pacific Ocean.
But not before he produced a prodigious amount of joyful work that mostly moldered and got tossed out when tastes changed. Except at my house.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Poor Little Birdhouse

Here is another project for the patio.

This poor little birdhouse has been hanging outside for several years, year around, in the sun and the rain.  The perch is gone, the nest is gone, even the little bird is gone.

Most people would just toss it at this point.  But I just knew it had another life to live.

 I think it is time for a makeover.

After I brushed all the cobwebs off I dry brushed the body of the house with my favorite aqua chalk paint. 

 Then whitewashed the roof and added a few white touches to the body of the house.

Next I added some lichen I had collected in the forest and a little oak tree branch for the perch.  To this I hot glued a little plastic bird I painted with yellow and orange acrylic paint.

I hot glued on a small wooden heart button and a large pink wooden button in the center.  Along the left side I added some faux berries I have  in my stash for another project.

Now I have a nice little shabby chic birdhouse hanging on the patio wall.

Happy Crafting!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Week in Review

Here's a review of this week's posts.


Purple Earrings


Spring is in the Air


Home Goods Bargain Plaque


Our New Patio Set


We Bought a New Car

Happy Weekend!

Friday, April 22, 2016

We Bought a New Car

Night before last we decided we needed to buy another car.  Our second car for running around town was getting pretty old.  It is a 1999 Honda Civic. That is the nice thing about Hondas they run forever with very little maintenance.

So I guess you could say we were due for a new one.

We pulled up AutoTrader and found just the one we wanted at our favorite dealership.  A 2015 CR-V  Honda and it had just over 8,000 miles, not bad.  The price was good, too.  

This will be our 5th Honda.  Guess you could say we are a Honda family.

So when we got to the dealership the salesman pulled up in a brand new 2015.  We were a little confused as we where looking for a used car.

As it turned out the brand new car with 22 miles on the odometer was less expensive than the used car with over 8,000 miles.  Same model, same year, same color. Go figure.

Well of course we bought the brand new car.  This is the second time this has happened to us.  Brand new vehicle less expensive the used. That is just crazy.

So we drove home with a brand new car.  I will feel much better when Mr. K takes a road trip this summer.  He likes to go to summer concerts that are mainly out of town.  I won't have to worry about him breaking down on the highway somewhere.

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Our New Patio Set

While browsing Craigslist I found a beautiful 5 piece conversation set for our patio complete with beautiful cushions.  I had been wanting a new set, ours had lasted over 20 years.  So it was time to get a new set and these were in terrific shape all they needed was a little spray paint touch up.  And best of all the price was ridiculously low for this gorgeous set.  Under $300.00.

I have been looking in the big box stores but all the sets like this one where $700.00 to a $1,000.00 or more.
No way am I paying that much for patio furniture.

You can see in the before shot the worn finish

We rushed right over in the rain to pick up the set and loaded the 5 pieces plus cushions into our SUV.    It was a tight fit but thank goodness the seller gave us a bungee cord to keep our back hatch closed.  I learned my lesson always keep bungees in the car.  This set was much larger than it looked on Craigslist.
Besides who else would be out in the rain buying a patio set.  I know if the weather cleared it would be gone in an instant.

Structurally this set was in perfect shape.  So off to the big box store for paint.


Getting ready to paint.  The finish is dull and worn in places.  I knew a coat of paint would bring new life to this gorgeous set.

I bought 3 cans of Rustoleum Paint with Primer in oil rubbed bronze.  I only needed 2 cans on the furniture and will touch up a few other things around the yard with the 3rd can.

First I wiped all the pieces down to make sure to remove any dust or dirt.
It took very little time to spray these since the colors were so close I only needed one coat to freshen them up.

Now it looks like a brand new set.


And the cushion color was perfect matches everything else we have in they yard.

It is almost time to sit back and enjoy the summer.  

Happy Gardening!