DIY · Home

Happy Accident Light Fixture

This isn’t really a project. It’s a happy accident.

I’ve never really liked the master bathroom light fixture that came with our house.


You can barely see it here in the photo from this post about painting our bathroom. It’s an oil rubbed bronze fixture with a bit of an Arts and Crafts flair and amber colored globes, similar to these:

amber globe-001



And I liked it even less after we painted the bathroom last summer. In contrast with the bright, light gray, the glass – even when freshly cleaned – just looks dingy, dirty, and yellow.

But I’m not going to change the fixture until we embark on a full bathroom remodel, and that’s not in the budget this year. Or possibly decade. (We just got an estimate to replace all of our windows. Holy Bleeding Bank Account, Batman! I had no idea!)

So, my plan was to find clear or milky white replacement globes at Home Depot, but I hadn’t made it to Home Depot yet to look.

Then, on Monday, I saw a paint smear on one of the globes. Now, I have recently discovered that magic of nail polish remover in taking off stray drops of paint from a variety of surfaces. You have to be VERY careful, because acetone will totally remove the finish on many things, smear paint, and make a gigantic mess, but so far, using a light hand, I’ve been able to clean up many a random paint spill with a cotton ball and polish remover. So, I flipped off the light, removed the globe, and started cleaning it.



The nail polish remover actually took off the amber tint!


That’s not dirt, folks – the globes were fairly clean. It’s taking the finish off the glass!


I spent about half an hour scrubbing the inside and out with acetone-soaked cotton balls, and it worked! Clean, slightly milky white glass light fixture globes. FOR FREE!

Now, I may have killed a few brain cells along the way, but…




Now my light fixture looks fresh and bright and it makes me smile every time I flip the light switch. Happy Accidents for the win!

PS – I just remembered that I’ve quoted Bob Ross before in this post. I’m going to repost this video here because, well, it is still fantastic:

DIY · Home

Attempted Cover Up

What is happening??

How can it be the last week of November? Fall has FLOWN by, but even knowing it’s been a busy season, it’s still hard to believe 2017 is almost over!

The last two weeks were a whirlwind. Just minutes after my last post, my mom called to tell me my grandfather had passed away. (I have so many more words to say about this, but not now.) Husband was out of town, so as soon as he flew in, I flew out. I went to Tennessee to be with my family for a few days. It was so good to be with everyone during such a hard time.

Then, coincidentally, I flew back home the Wednesday before Thanksgiving on the same plane as my in-laws, who were coming out to spend Thanksgiving with us, along with Husband’s brother and his family. We spent our break playing games, running around with kids at the park, and stuffing our faces. It was wonderful.

So now, it’s a only a few days before December, and I feel like I haven’t really been home very much, so instead of getting all my Christmas decorations out, I’ve decided to work on a few projects that I’ve had on my mind for months. (I’m also planning a deep clean/clutter banishing session this week as well. I’m actually ready to bring in the Christmas decor, so making myself wait is good motivation to get things done.)

So, first project up is this leather chair.


We bought this chair (and a matching ottoman) just after we bought our first house back in 2004. Obviously this chair has seen a lot of love.

When the rip first appeared, I hired an automobile upholstery repairman to come and fix it. He did an okay job, but the rip reopened within a few weeks.


Then I got creative. I used some heavy duty fabric interfacing, placed it under the rip, applied gobs of E6000, and let it dry. It’s held up surprisingly well, but it ain’t pretty.


Then a couple of months ago, I got the idea to create a sort of half slipcover for just the seat. (The seat cushion is attached to chair – it’s not a separate cushion – so just covering the seat wasn’t going to be an easy task.)


I searched JoAnn Fabric for brown velvet –  my first choice for this project – with no luck, so I settled on a dark brown fleece. (I wasn’t even sure it was going to work, so I definitely wasn’t going to special order fabric.) The back side of the fleece looks better than the front – less like fleece, more like felt – so I used that side instead.

chair seat cover

I imagined the cover in the shape of a box but missing the bottom surface. I measured the seat from the middle of the front to the inside of the back and then measured from the inside of the arms. I cut out 6 inch squares from each corner to sew those edges together to make the shape of the cushion.


I pinned right sides of the corners together and ran a straight stitch down. I did this for all four corners.

Lastly, I added elastic to the bottom of the cushion cover, stretching and sewing, stretching and sewing, until I got back to where I started.


I placed the cushion cover over the seat right side out and tucked in the extra fabric. It looks good, and so far, it’s staying in place.

(Please disregard the big black cord behind the chair. We JUST got a TV – we haven’t had one for 4+ years – since we moved into this house. I’m not sure what to do with all the wires – another project to add to my list this week, I suppose. As well as finding a home for our dumbbell collection, obviously.)


Ahhhh. So much better. A nice, soft coverup to a well-loved chair. And one more project off my list.

What’s next?


DIY · Home

Craigslist: A Love Story in Three Acts

Act 1

Many moons ago (apparently Spring of 2015 because that’s when these listing photos are from), I found a dining room set on Craigslist.craigslist table and chairsNow, this was during a heavy Craigslist season for me. I had recently found our elliptical and our daybed on Craigslist, and, like an addict, I just couldn’t stop searching. I was now hunting pieces for several different projects, and I realized what I needed was a dining room set. Now, I already had a dining table and four chairs that I loved, but I had BIG PLANS, so I searched for a complete oak set. The one I found (above) had a pedestal table, 4 regular chairs, and 2 captain’s chairs, and it was around $75 for all. Perfect!

As usual, Adopted California Dad came to the rescue and helped me transport my finds. Luckily, this time it was only across town. We worked our magic to get all of the pieces in the back of his truck and my Honda, and we made it in one trip. (Husband just shook his head as we pulled up and started unloading everything in the garage.)

00N0N_eB7qvgEUwHy_600x450First up were the captain’s chairs. This was the main reason I bought this set – I wanted chairs with arms for the front porch to paint red to match our front doors.DSC_0065Husband did the painting on these for me, and we put them to use right away.DSC_0056Shortly after, I thrifted a small table for $10 and painted it to match. BG and I often eat lunch out here, and it’s a great spot for a glass of wine after the kids have gone to bed.

Act 2

DSC_0006.JPGSo, I have a little chair problem. I love chairs. I think it stems from a time when we never had enough chairs at our old house, and many guests were forced to eat dinner while sitting on an ottoman. I look back and realize it didn’t matter one bit, but it bothered me then, and ever since, I’ve had a hard time passing up a good thrift store chair. With this Craiglist find, I now had 4 extra chairs to play around with – yippee!

When we got the Craigslist set home, I added two chairs to our dining room and kept the extra two in the garage. We found ourselves needing a spare chair in the den when both kids were on the computer, so it came in the house as well.DSC_0051Also, just before we painted the captain’s chairs for the porch, the arm and spindles on one side of one chair broke. I searched and searched for replacement spindles with no luck. We cannibalized the 4th extra chair to make new side spindles. (If you look closely, you can see they don’t match, but they work great, and it makes a good story in which I get to use the word “cannibalized”.)DSC_0011I wanted to paint the extra chairs in the dining room a fun color, and this weekend, I FINALLY got around to doing it.DSC_0025DSC_0016It’s “Spa Blue”, and I love how it looks with the navy blue walls and the dark wood table. DSC_0033.JPGI also decided to paint the 3rd extra chair. I went with white to contrast the dark colors of the den. (That camel-colored sectional is also a Craigslist find. I haven’t told that story yet. It’s a good one.)DSC_0034

Act 3

Okay, for those keeping score at home, that’s all 6 chairs accounted for. So, what about the table? Sorry for the Cliffhanger, but Act 3 is not quite finished yet. Husband and I got a good start on it this weekend, but it deserves a post of its own, so I’ll wait and show it to you when I’m finished.

To be continued….