Saturday, February 23, 2013

Curtain Rods: The Inspiration

I recently got some curtains for the master bedroom, which meant taking down the stylin' blankets we had hanging in the windows before.  Nice.  However, now we have thin tension rods fitted into the window frame and bowing under the weight of the new curtains.  Not the best look.  So my boyfriend and I went to our local home improvement store (Menards!  If you live in the midwest and you're not shopping there, it's time to start!) and looked for some curtain rods.  Here are the ones we found that we liked:

So much classier than the current look.  For sale here.
The only problem is that they didn't have the color we wanted, oil rubbed bronze, to match the rest of our fixtures and such.  Black was the best option, and I think it would've looked okay because our curtains have some black in them.  Otherwise we'd have to paint them to get the oil rubbed bronze look.  The regular price is $24.99 and the online sale price is $20.74.  I realize that this is actually a pretty decent price for curtain rods, but it seemed like a waste to drop almost $50 to hang curtains on two windows.  So, I did a google search for ideas and some bargain shopping and figured out how to make them in a similar look for about half the price.  And with this approach, I can paint them oil rubbed bronze (or whatever color I want!).

They're still a work in progress, so no promises yet, but I'm hoping to have a finished product to share within a week or so!  Fingers crossed!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Pillow Cases

I  haven't been blogging much lately.  I always feel like I have to have some big project completed and awesome pictures to accompany it, and that just never seems to happen.  However, I've decided to commit to blogging at least once a week, even if I don't have any awesome pictures to share or any projects finished.  Just to say hello and maybe to share something that made me smile!  So here's what made me smile this weekend:

We acquired a couple sets of sheets recently from a family friend, but they didn't come with pillow cases.  We did a little shopping around and discovered that buying pillow cases separately is kind of expensive.  That's why I was thrilled when I find these king-size cases on clearance for $8.08 a set.  WIN!  They're different from the sheet colors, but a nice complement.  And they're super-soft.

I also found some clothes on clearance at Target too!  I'm hoping to do a fashion post in the near future, so I'll share then!  I've found great deals at Old Navy, Target, AND JC Penney in the past month or so.

That's all I've got.  Wish me luck on my goal to write at least once a week!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Challenge x2! Wine Cork Heart!

A good challenge is apparently the only thing that gets me to write a new blog!  Luckily I've been wanting to make a wine cork heart for awhile and I had two challenges to enter with my completed project!  (Also, I was determined to complete it in time for Valentine's Day!

Challenge 1: Upcyclers' Creativity Challenge!  One of my faves, of course.  Last time I entered was back in September, here.  This entry is for the January/February challenge, as described by The Wooden Bee: "The medium is.... WINE CORKS! :) I bet many of you are not surprised. I am a HUGE wine cork upcycler. Champagne corks, synthetic corks, or any cork material will be expected!!!"  Check out our team here and the pinterest board for all entries here.

Challenge 2: Pinstrosiversary Challenge!  Pinstrosity is an awesome blog - kind of like snopes for pinterest.  Or maybe mythbusters for pinterest.  People send in stories problems that they have with pinned projects and the authors often make comments or try to help figure out what went wrong and if it's even possible to make it right.  Very entertaining!  I wish I could be friends with the two girls that run it.  They are coming up on the first anniversary of their blog and decided to do something fun: "We've been putting our heads together to try and figure out just what we wanted to do in celebration of the "big day". We're always encouraging you to get out there and to actually do what you have we thought we'd give you extra incentive. How about actually do something you have pinned and that enters you in a drawing for a cool prize? I like that idea. Don't you?"  Why YES, I do!  Check out the full description and all entries here.
So, I'm double-dipping on the challenge entries!  Here we go:

The inspiration: Ombre Cork Heart
So, first I had to collect corks.  Lots and lots of corks.  A few people helped save them for me and luckily I have a few people in my life who love wine.  So, I was pretty positive I had enough corks, and again, I wanted to get this done in time.  I cut out a heart out of thin wood in the shop - it took a few tries to get the right size and I was still short a few corks.  That's when I broke an upcyclers' rule: I used some new corks.  My boyfriend's lovely father bottles wine as a hobby and supplied me with some corks.  I justified it by remembering that I needed some plain ones for the top (lightest ombre shade) of the heart.  Another issue was that I didn't have nearly enough of the wine-stained corks.  Obviously I drink too much white wine.  So I used some food coloring to give them more color.  However, they turned out a little bright-ish, so I toned them down with a brown stamp pad.  The gluing wasn't too bad - I used a tacky wood glue which worked great and is holding up awesome so far!  Here are some pictures of my process:

Fake wine-staining the corks.
Making it look a little more realistic with a stamp pad.

Oops - out of focus.  But I just globbed some tacky wood glue on the bottom
and where it would be touching the other corks.  Very scientific.
I had to trim some down with a razor blade so they would lay flat.
Getting started with my dark-red section.
And here it is!  The first thing I see as I come up the stairs into my house!

Close up of my favorite cork in the bunch!  A campagne cork from a bottle
of Dom Perignon - my boyfriend and I won this from our "Locals Card"
from our favorite pizza place!  We cashed it in on the day we closed on
our house. <3

Not quite the same ombre effect as the original, but I still love it!

Whoops, forgot to rotate this one.  So cool of me.  Cork heart love.