ta-da!!!

Ready to see what all this work amounted to?  I can’t wait to show you!  First things first.  My friend Karen, known for sewing things other people can’t or won’t sew, took my muffin tin of paper circles home with her.  A couple days later she brought me this box.

box with tissue paper and chains of waxed paper circles

She left all the circles connected but grouped them in chains of four, six, and eight.  (I specified how many of each I needed.)  Here’s a shot to show how the chains looked when I lifted them out of the box, just in case any of you would like to sew your own.

waxed paper circles linked by thread

This worked for Karen because she didn’t have to stop and start her sewing machine every four to eight circles–at least as far as I know.  It worked for me because all I had to do was snip the threads and get ready to glue.  Here’s the best way I could think of to accomplish that: I took the stripped lampshade and turned it small-end-down on top of a floor lamp.  Then I held it in place with the finial that holds on the lampshade this lamp normally wears.

wire lampshade frame, upside down, anchored to lamp stand with finial

I glued on the short inner strands first, reasoning that it would be a pain trying to attach this layer after the long outer layer was hanging down in front.

bottom row of circles glued in place on wire frame

When I did move up to the wider circle, I first glued on one layer of eight-circle strands.

base layer of circles around top of frame

Then I went back over the same area and glued six-circle strands in between all the eight-circle strands.  The catch was that I had to leave room for the ceiling hooks that would eventually allow me to hang this fixture.  I used twist ties to mark three places on the lampshade so I’d  know where to leave room for the hooks.  I just glued the six-circle strand lower in those three places to leave the frame exposed.

twist tie tied to metal frame to mark where frame will rest on ceiling hooks

After some time hot gluing, snipping threads, and double-checking my ceiling hooks, I was able to do what I’ve waited…a while…to do: hang this baby up and flip the switch!

faux capiz chandelier hanging and lit

Here’s an in-context photo for ya.  I painted the oval mirrors purple, painted the side tables red, and got a new bedspread.

Lovey's half of the room with capiz

I also purchased the first accessories chosen specifically for this room: two bud vases from the flower shop.  They were labeled “natural gourd” vases.  The gourd part makes sense but I’m not sure they look very natural.  Anyway, I’ve admired them for months so I decided to make them mine.

first accessory--"gourd" bud vase

Here’s how it’s coming together in the room.  I want to add new drawer pulls to the side tables, replace the brown curtain, and find twin lamps, but other than that this wall is complete.

bed, mirrors, tables...almost finished

After that I’ll move on to the other side of the room.  I have a shelf to paint and a few other small changes to make before I think about art.  That’s the hardest part for me.  I have to mull it over for a while.  Everybody start pinning cool ideas on Pinterest, okay?  Thanks in advance!

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getting there

Now that the secret’s out about my latest bedroom project, I want to show you the bedroom itself.  It’s gone through a few stages during our marriage, all of them consisting of blue and neutrals, by which I mean lots of brown.  After a while that got old.  Here’s the blank canvas I started with:

bedroom with brown curtain and bedspread, oval mirrors, brown bedside tablesA bookshelf served as a bedside table for me, but I preferred the less-clunky vintage sewing table on Lovey’s side of the bed.  The oval mirrors will bring better symmetry to the look once they’re painted to match.  The curtain and bedspread could use a dose of color.  So we begin.

While checking in newspapers at the library, I read that a local department store was having a home goods sale.  Bed-in-a-bag for $50?  Yes, please!  This set came with a skirt, two shams, two throw pillows, and, of course, the bedspread.  Lovey and I laid it out on the display bed in the store (with permission!) to make sure we liked the set and not just the photo on the bag.  It played nicely into our plan to incorporate plummy purple, crimson red, and vivid orange into the bedroom decor, so we bought it.  But the lighting at home is not like the lighting in the store.

brown curtain, gray, white, & purple color blocked bedspread, red side tablesAfter Lovey remarked multiple times that the purple looked more like brown in our room, I knew I had to grab my receipt and try again.  Brown was exactly what I was trying to avoid; no sense trying to convince myself, “But it’s purple!”  He was right.  I could have tried to fiddle with the lighting, but come on–who wants their bedroom lit like a sales floor?  Might fix the color but it would kill the romance.

Here’s what I came home with the second time.  It was a bit more expensive: $60 and I only got a comforter and two shams.  But throw pillows and a bed skirt can come later.  They’re not essential–and look what a difference this color makes!  Now we’re getting somewhere!

spice orange bedspread with red tablesInto that context we will soon insert what I hope is the most gorgeous light fixture of all time.  (I’m feeling optimistic.)  To get ready for the day I can bring home my sewn strands of circles and glue them to their base, an old lamp shade frame, I went ahead and put hooks in the ceiling to hold the base in place.

stripped lampshade hooked to ceilingThis is what it looks like from directly below.  The next photo shows what it looks like from the side, which is how it will be viewed most of the time–and how it will reflect in the giant mirror that now rests on the bookshelf at the foot of the bed.  That just might be the detail I’m most eager to see!

stripped lampshade hooked to ceiling, side viewHere’s another shot with some wall for perspective.  I don’t know about you but I think the all-ceiling shot above is kind of perspective-flattening.  I thought I’d throw in a little closet door to spice things up.  Are you getting a sense of it now?  I bet at this point it’s beautiful only to me–but that’s because I see what it will be.  Now to coordinate with a friend who has a sewing machine….

stripped lampshade hooked to ceiling, side view with context

Okay, parting shot: all the current elements in place–bedspread, shams, painted side tables (awaiting more sanding with wetordry sandpaper and more coats with some kind of amazingly glossy red paint); and light-fixture-to-be.  It is a sweet dream, indeed.

bare shade hanging over bed with new bedspread

runaway weekend

For most of the weekend I was afraid I wasn’t going to have time to post anything for today.  Friday and Saturday were bizarrely busy.  We’re in the throes of wedding season at the flower shop, and this weekend we had to cater to the whims of a bride with…how to say this tactfully?…exacting standards.  By the end of the day we had a superlative-laden, gratitude-gushing voicemail from the bride’s mother, but the morning was fraught.  Here’s a peek at the pink perfection we swam in as we prepped her ceremony and reception:

white pillar candles in hurricanes with pink ribbon wrap curly willow branches with white gladiolus blossoms and clear crystals clear cylinders in three heights with floating pink roses and candles

From left to right: cylinder vases I wrapped in “scrunched” pink ribbon; reception centerpieces made of curly willow branches adorned with white gladiolus blossoms and clear crystals; and another reception centerpiece look consisting of three cylinders filled with water and floating pink roses with floating candles on top.  I spent most of my day assembling those at the hotel utility sink.  Not difficult, but exhausting anyway.

My co-workers and I came in an hour earlier than usual and ending up leaving two hours later than usual to ensure our bride’s flowers were a dream come true.  And afterward, I don’t know about the others, but all I wanted to do was sleep!  Instead I baked some cookies and waited for Lovey to come home from “The Amazing Spiderman.”  (He said the movie was just okay.)  Then we set out again to share a scrumptious dinner with friends.  I seriously thought about photographing it before I dug in, but two thoughts crossed my mind.  One: I just did a big post on food.  Two: this will make my readers too jealous.

Lovey, who participated in Saturday’s flower frenzy as stand-in delivery driver, suggested playing hookey from church so we could actually have some rest before the weekend ended.  So I had time for this.

side tables painted red in a messy living room

I don’t think I ever posted about my second sewing table.  I bought the first one for $5.38 at Goodwill last fall, and I just bought the other (which contained a supposedly working sewing machine) for $40.00 off of Craigslist.  I kicked myself hard after the purchase when I realized the machine had no pedal.  I could buy one for $50.00 but that wasn’t the point.  I decided to chalk it up to lessons learned.  I wanted the table anyway, but I wouldn’t have paid that much for it if I’d noticed the obvious before money changed hands.  Oh, well.

Here’s how it looks in place, pre-color change.

sewing table by bedside with oval mirror and jar of daisies

And a little bit closer.

closer shot of sewing table by bedside with oval mirror and jar of daisies

So that’s what’s in the works for the bedroom decor update right now.  I’m also nearing the completion of a project I hinted at here.  Ready for another hint?  This might be enough to give it away.

M with a Look, amid paper mess

It involves lots of paper and it’s not easy.  Any guesses?  You shall soon see.  (I hope!)