Life in Rehab is BACK! Get ready for a slew of new projects for the new year! We just can't promise we know what we're doing!

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Something for Sylvan

Am I obsessed with lamps?

Define obsessed....

My dear friends the Reillys had been unable to find bedside lamps for their weekend house, known as Sylvan Run, and since they know I'm a little lamp-nutty, the husband of the duo asked me for a pair for Christmas. These are people who can afford anything. So here I am, challenged with creating something up to their standards on my budget.

Step one: Create artwork

Step two: Gather your gear. You will need

1. Pattern

2. Clear contact paper

3. Two vases to use as the bases

4. Fine tipped Sharpie

5. An exacto knife

6. Glass frosting spray paint

7. Two lamp kits

8. One teen aged daughter and enough duct tape to cover her mouth if she's a whiner

Trace your pattern onto the contact paper using the Sharpie. You'll need to do this twice. Make it look like the hardest part of the project. Wipe your brow and squint a lot. Once this is done, carefully peel the backing off of the contact paper. Lay it over your vase and smooth it into place, flattening any air bubbles that affect your pattern. Next, explain to your teen-aged daughter that you're exhausted from the really difficult stuff and get her to use an exacto knife to cut away the part of the contact paper that will form your stencil. Using plastic cling wrap, cover the rest of the exposed glass so that only the part you want to spray is left.

Spray the vases according to the manufacturer's directions and let dry over night.

The next morning, all that was left was peeling off the contact paper, then packing and shipping!

2 vases from Home Goods $7 each
2 lamp kits $10 each
2 of those wonderful bargain shades from Walmart $3 each
Glass paint $7
Totally Cool Receipt: $47

With a LOT of paint left over, I might add. Now, what can I use that on...

Green is the New Black Tie

The challenge: choose just one table setting to use through all of the holidays. Everything else had to go into storage for the post-fire reconstruction. So what to keep out...

12 pack of gold rimmed plates from Target? Check!

Black matte salad plates with a black gloss cherry blossom pattern?

Clear green glass leaf plates?

Small white leaf plates for butter?

Along with red glass bowls, my gold flatware, white linen napkins, black sheets as tablecloths, wine glasses frosted with pine forests, and my centerpiece of crystal encased branches, and we sailed through all the holidays in good style. This should even be perfect for New Year's and my upcoming 49th birthday!

Cake Stand In

NEVER take cookies to a friend's house in a ziplock bag! C'mon, people, where's your creativity?

This really is the simplest, least expensive trick ever. Hit the Dollar Store, Walmart, yard sales, or Goodwill, and snap up those great orphaned plates and bowls. (I keep Goop on hand as you all know, which dries clear and water tight.) I like to use bowls because they're much sturdier than the candlesticks I've seen in some projects.

Run a bead of Goop along the bottom of the bowl. (Feel free to use more than one bowl as the base, setting the bottom of the next bowl on top of the first for a more elevated plate!) Put the two pieces together, allow to dry, and then fill it with cookies, candles, river rocks, potpourri, or anything else your heart desires!

The Budget News? A measley $2. And it was the perfect transportation and accompaniment to a batch of vegan oatmeal cookies baked to golden delectability by my multi-talented daughter.

Amped it Up

I was really happy with how my centerpiece turned out...for a day or two.

Then I had to go wandering around Target, where I found these adorable miniature fruit vase fillers! The tiny pears were a perfect shade, but there was only one box of them. When I spotted the red apples, I was reminded there was a still a smidge of silver spray paint left from the wreath...

Multiple items like this are simple to paint if you put them in a cardboard box and spray, shaking the box, until everything is lightly coated. Go have an eggnog. Come back and repeat the process. Have another eggnog. Mist your creations one more time, and then let them dry thoroughly.

Since I raise orchids, I have tons of spagnum moss on hand, which made the perfect nest around my hurricane candle holder. After that, I added the pears, and then the apples for a little bling bounty. I even had a few to tuck in with my coffee table centerpiece for a touch of holiday shine.

The Budget News:

2 packages of vase filler: $7.98

Yeah, I'm good with that.

Where did I leave my eggnog...

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Create an Outdoor Room

The spot that the Hubster and I like to watch the spectacular Florida sunsets from was nice enough; we had comfy chairs I had recently painted to update the forest green, lots of flowering plants, and market umbrellas overhead to tame the light. The trouble was, it was completely undefined.

To anchor a room, you use a rug. Why not an outdoor room?

First, hit the home center. I picked up weed blocker fabric, leveling sand, pea gravel, 12" pavers, and some cool U shaped pins to hold the weed fabric down.
The beer was not a bad idea either.

Next, lay your fabric out, cut to the desired size, and use the U pins to hold it in place.

Grab the leveling sad and spread it evenly over the fabric.

All projects go more smoothly with adequate feline supervision.

Next, place your pavers in a grid pattern, spacing them evenly, the liberally perform the Riverdance on them to flatten them out.

Dump all of the pea gravel on top of the pavers, and use a broom to sweep it into the spaces between the pavers. Get it nice and even.

Replace your furniture, and enjoy! This whole project was less than $100 and it took the The Teen Minions and I just over an hour to complete. Check your local ordinances, but since we did no digging, no permits were needed.