Friday, March 30, 2012

the fanciest thing in my house

This is the fanciest thing in my house.

Similar projects have been all over Pinterest for awhile, based on a $300 West Elm version (which I've read is based on a $1500 version by designer Vernor Panton). And I really liked them.

Most of all, as usual, I like the idea of making something over with inexpensive materials. In my case, I spent $2 on an old lampshade, $2 on a spool of steel wire, and $1.50 on a roll of wax paper.

I wish I knew who to credit with the innovation of using an upside down lampshade, because I think it's pretty darn smart. I've seen similar versions made with hanging fruit baskets, Ikea picture frames, and wreath forms, but I don't know the evolution of this project (which came first, and who spun off their project from the original?).

Here are a couple of the inspiration pins for this project: this one from Design Sponge (made with a hanging planter basket, ribbon, and hot glue); this one, from Make House a Home (made with a lampshade and stitched strands); and this one, from A Happy Place Called Home (Ikea frame and jump rings).

I did what I usually do; I picked the elements I liked from different versions of the chandelier (the upside down lampshade, the wire instead of stitching) and filtered out the ideas I didn't like, or that I thought made the project too complicated or expensive. And then I added in some of my own spin.

But let's start at the beginning. With an ordinary boob light.

I blogged last summer about my guest room make-over, but though a bunch of things have been changed or modified since that last update, I hadn't touched the light fixture. In fact, I shot around it when I wrote that post. And then, in August, I saw a couple of faux capiz chandeliers on the Young House Love blog's Pinterest Challenge (see numbers 6 & 184). I did a little bit of research and turned up a bunch more versions (as mentioned and pinned above). Then I gathered my materials. In addition to a roll of wax paper and a spool of 20 gauge steel wire, I turned up a tapered lamp shade at the thrift store on a 50% off day (I paid $2 after discount).

Tear off all the fabric and add an extra row of wrapped wire, and you end up with this:

I ironed three layers of wax paper together to make the "shell" material. And to a couple of spots, I added a very, very few crayon shavings between the layers to make a very small amount of tie-in to the room colors. Rather than punch circles out of the waxed paper, I cut mine into varying sizes of rectangles. And rather than stitching the shells together, I punched holes in either end with a teensy hole punch and hooked trains of the pieces together with jump rings made from the steel wire.

(Making jump rings with wire and pliers is way cheaper than buying jump rings ready-made, but is also more time consuming. Plan your own project accordingly.)

As is my pattern, I got only partway through with one tier, and retired the chandelier to the closet for a little while, to get it off the table. And then I got sidetracked working on Halloween costumes, Christmas presents, hallway painting, and birthday party stuff.

Earlier this month, when I finally pulled it out of the closet and went to hang it up (because a partially-finished chandelier is harder to ignore when it's hanging right in your face), it looked like this:

I buckled down, and put in some good, solid blocks of time to getting it finished. It took approximately 72 chains of 5 shells for the top-most tier, 56 chains of 4 for the middle tier, and 48 chains of 3 for the bottom tier.

It took a bit of time. And when it was finished, it looked a little like this in the room (flash on, with Photoshop filters added).

Here's how it hangs from the ceiling, with two cup hooks (the chandelier is super-light, but I may add two additional cup hooks, just in case).

And here it is, done . . .

. . . glowing . . .

. . . and in daylight . . .

I'm pretty happy with how it came out. Have you made one of these yet? Isn't it amazing what you can do with paper?

Hey, you can link to your paper projects in the comments below. Thanks for dropping by!

Edited to add: The original UL-rated fixture is still in place, with low-wattage compact fluorescent bulbs. The wax paper structure sits a little below the ceiling, and a couple of inches away from the glass shade. Plus, it's in the guest room, which means the light's not on very often. We're pretty safe from any fire danger, but I'm definitely on the alert!

(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)

Linking up to:

I Am Momma Hear Me Roar blog

Positively Splendid


Monday, March 26, 2012

new batch of coffee bean sacks in my etsy supplies shop

I have a new batch of coffee bean sacks in my Etsy supplies shop. There are some really lovely screen-printed patterns in this batch; here are a few highlights.

You can use these for making tote bags or messenger bags, Christmas stockings, pillows, or cushion covers, like the one I blogged about here.

Price on most is $8 + shipping.

(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

snow day ? ! ?

Random snow day on the first day of spring. The sand boat was adrift.

More than six inches dropped overnight on the valley floor; very unusual for our area.

It was the kiddo's first real experience playing in the snow, and OMG, you never saw anyone who enjoys falling over as much as this kid does in the snow. The mister was excused from work, so we just played and loafed. It was kinda great.

If you got snow, too, I hope you escaped tree and building damage! Lucky us, knock on wood.

(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

we rock!

Grandpa brought an unfinished wood rocker for the bebe's first birthday present a year ago; it's just taken awhile to get these photos up . . . 'cause I'm easily distracted. :)

I stained it with green water-based stain with the letter "P" taped off. The little starbursts were later carved in with a Dremel tool.

The little quilt was made for Christmas, 2010, though I started it the night I went into labor with the bebe in February of that year. It's cut from strips of my Spoonflower fabric designs, as well as several commercial prints.

(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

hey there!

Well hello!

This happy guy is off to live with Baby O, a present for his very first birthday. Enjoy a long life together, guys!

(I used the same basic recipe from my previous monster pillow project, found here.)

(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)

Linking up to:


Monday, March 19, 2012

antique-style tape measure growth chart

Antique-style tape measure fabric for sale here and here!

Basic instructions: leaving selvedges intact and a 1/2-inch seam allowance along each side, cut out the two panels that will make up your tape measure.

Press selvedge edge under on one end (near the 3.5 foot mark) with a hot iron. All white fabric should be hidden.
Overlap the two ends to make a nice join at the 3.5 foot mark. Carefully unfold and pin the pressed edge and stitch.

Press down seam, and trim to 1/2 inch.

Press down long edges (hiding all white fabric) and stitch along the length with tan or white thread.

Press short edge under at the zero foot mark and stitch.

Cut vinyl for tape measure ends. Top piece (near the 7 foot mark) should be the same width as the prepared tape measure's width, and long enough to cover all selvedge on the front, and a little more than that on the back. Bottom piece of vinyl (near the 0 foot mark) should cover no more than an inch on the front and back. Round corners slightly.

Cut Heat n' Bond to fit the backside of vinyl exactly and follow package instructions to adhere to vinyl.

Peel off backing paper when cool.

Using your fingers only (no iron!) crease the vinyl at the point where it will cover the end of your tape measure.

Put it on the end of your fabric and get ready to iron it into place.

Follow package instructions to adhere vinyl to your fabric, using the old backing paper or a cloth to cover the vinyl.

When cool, use a grommet setter to apply a large grommet to the top (near the 7 foot mark).

And there you have it!

(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)

Linking up to:

mop it up mondays

Sunday, March 18, 2012

road trip

We hit the road this weekend in pursuit of birthday party mayhem for my niece and nephew, taking in some sights along the way. The bebe mostly played with cars and watched WALL-E in the backseat, and was generally very pleasant to have along for the ride. Mister drove the car. I finished up a few loose ends on birthday projects.

We had clear weather the entire trip.

The top of Mt. McLoughlin was wreathed in puffy clouds.

And of course, I insisted mister stop the car so I could get a photo of this guy, the big caveman statue in downtown Grants Pass, Oregon.

Complete with weird plaque telling about the booster club.

It reads, in part, "The CAVEMEN, dressed in animal skins, wearing horsehair wigs, rock teeth and 'big horns' run rampant through parades and gatherings of the public, and usually have with them a rustic cage in which they imprison their victims and display them for the public to see. They are always on hand for a prank or a joke to be played on an important personality visiting in Grants Pass, or elsewhere, and are quick to spot and capture pretty girls who look like they could take a joke."

Presumably, if you are a grumpy-looking pretty girl, you're in no danger.

(p.s. you can make these photos bigger by clicking on them . . . but you probably knew that!)