Saturday, October 30, 2010

Bud vase revolution?

Since I'm momentarily obsessed with things I can spray paint... and weddings... Imagine my delight when I saw this wedding on Style Me Pretty. Aside from the gorgeous dahlia and succulent arrangements, I squealed a little when I saw the candlesticks being used as bud vases.

There were plenty of crappy ugly candlesticks at the thrift store last week. Wheels. Turning.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Spray painted vases, part III: painting

Here I am, continuing on my vase adventure. I started with this inspiration, and told you about my shopping here. Now for the fun part: painting! Or is it?

First, every vase got a good washing and drying. I'll admit, this was hard for me because I was super impatient. Next, I had to divide up the vases for which ones I wanted to try first, and whether I wanted to try painting the inside or outside. I decided to try several things. I tried painting the inside, the outside, and base painting with black and then painting with plum.

There's not much else to say, except what you already know: several light coats of paint, well-ventilated garage, rubber gloves...

And the end result? Promising. At first I hated them, but upon living with them a few days, they're growing on me. I figured these would come out different (given the varied paint processes). Part of me likes it. Part of me wants them more uniform. I'm pretty sure priming with black would make these more uniform. However, in low light, it may not matter at all.

In the end, I think these could be a real possibility for a wedding centerpiece cluster thingy... I may try matte black (more like the inspiration), or making the purple more uniform. In the meantime, these are hanging out on a weird shelf in my room and I have to admit, I kind of dig 'em (although I apologize for the exceptionally bad flash). Meh.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's the little things.

Ok, if anyone was wondering what $4.60 worth of happiness looked like, I'll tell you. It looks like a discount alstroemeria bouquet at Giant Eagle. I was bumming about my annual review for school, and not feeling 100% about my DIY vase weekend.

A few flowers changed my disposition entirely. The majority of the bouquet went in my room to cheer me at the beginning and end of crappy days.

But a few select blooms got the snip and were placed in strategic bud vases ($2.99 for 4 from Target earlier this summer. Love.) "Strategic" as in placed in places that normally induce morning I-hate-work frowns: the alarm clock, the bathroom sink, and my dresser drawer.

John and Sherry at YoungHouseLove do a monthly bouquet to freshen things up. I didn't think I was worthy since I live in a glorified frat house... but they're totally cheery! Definitely something worth considering, especially as winter blahs set in.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cuddly fall knits

Admission: yarn sometimes sits in my stash for a long time. Like, years. Some of it is for projects that never materialized (like the totes gorgeous olive yarn I bought to make a Melissa Wehrle cardigan which I will still make!!). Some yarn is just waiting for the right project...

I had two skeins of Cheval Blanc Flamme (don't get excited, the website's in French) that were a kind gift from my B from Paris. I struggled with the nubby texture and variegated color to find the right pattern to make this look cozy and luxe.

Cue cool fall air and my firm belief that cowls are going to be HUGE this winter. You heard it here. Cowls. Huge.

I wanted something cabled, to add bulk and up the cozy factor. I decided on the Tuesday Night Cowl, by I'm Knitting as Fast as I Can. The cables are subtle and scrunch in a pretty way to add texture to the cowl.

It's nearly knit. I just need to decide whether I want to seam it or add some buttons. Probably buttons, because cowl over head + dry winter weather = static city.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Spray painted vases part II: budget and shopping

I've accidentally taken to multi-posting. Think of it as being in the loop to all my works in progress. But seriously, sorry for the Roman numeral overload.

Anyway, as I discussed here, I was inspired by Twig and Thistle's spray painted tablescape. A collection of textured vases + spray paint = cool centerpiece? We'll see.

First I went to Lowe's, since it's the only home improvement store in about 10 miles. I started off wanting dark plum, but based on the cap colors I was scared it might be too red. So I grabbed a standard black and "economy" white. To be as scientific as possible (and also because I didn't have a choice) each paint was in a different finish: flat, satin, and gloss.
Glossy economy white $0.99
Flat deep plum $3.78
Satin black basic $3.12
With tax, Lowe's total: $8.42

Next, off to one of my favorite thrift stores, the Village Discount Outlet. I looked at all of the kitchen and home wares and settled on two large vases, a weird blue vase, and a clay vase with a tree imprint.
Two big vases @ $1.50
Two small vases @ $0.60
With tax, VDO total: $4.49

I was a little disappointed that I didn't find any interesting bud vases, as this was more my original vision. So I made one last stop at Ohio Thrift. Jackpot! With a cart full of vases, a few women stopped to ask if I collected vases. Er, no? I guess it's a reasonable question since I bought 11 things. Mostly bud vases, but also three candy bowls (that's what they look like to me at least)
11 odds and ends $10.43
With tax, Ohio Thrift total: $11.13

I had originally given myself a $20 budget, and 100% freedom to hate it all and throw it away after the fact. I ended up spending $24.04, which is a little bit over my budget. But, if the purple works ok, I'll recoup $4.11 on cost of the black and white if I return them. That would put me at (fanfare) $19.93.

Next up: painting!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too early for Christmas?

(image from Pink Lemon Twist, so talented!)

Someone please buy me this pattern from Pink Lemon Twist. The asymmetry is beautiful, and I think keeps it from looking like an old lady lace stole. Although, I kind of like old lady lace...

I briefly considered this as a wedding stole in a deep plum mohair silk blend (hey, a girl can dream). But now I'm surrendering and thinking if I start today, I could finish before I die.

Totes gorgeous.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Destroyed Cowl: Part III

The wind is noticeably out of my sails on this project... first mentioned here. I'm sorry. After I dyed and blocked it, I didn't like it so much.

It's a little scratchy.

And the uneven color, that I normally love, looks kind of sucky to me. I may try overdyeing, and re-blocking. Or chalk it up to an dyeing disaster.

On the upside, I love the pattern, so may make it again with a softer yarn and more dropped stitches for an even more dramatic look.

They can't all be winners...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Weekend mission: spray painted vases

We've toyed around with the idea of doing our own wedding flowers, with the help of our brilliant friend, M. So I've haphazardly looked for centerpiece inspiration from wedding and design blogs. I think I like mismatched bud vases, and while I happen to adore milk glass, it's a little too shabby chic for our affair. So what to do?

Knitted vase cozies like the one I made here? Maybe.

(Photo my own, yo)

But then I came back to this idea seen awhile ago on Style Me Pretty, done by Twig & Thistle. I think these are black, but I like how they appear a deep aubergine. I like that cheapy crappy vases suddenly look chic and unified.

(Photo from Style Me Pretty)

Then, more recently, 100 Layer Cake showed a similar tutorial for spray painting mason jars. The big difference is that these are painted on the inside. What I like about this is that the clear glass makes the color appear shiny, almost lacquered. A very different look, but also pretty. Potential drawback, all of these vases would have to start out clear glass.
(Photo from 100 Layer Cake)

So! The mission for this weekend is to acquire some purple-ish spray paint, hit the goodwill and try painting inside and outside of some vases. At worst, I'm out a few bucks, a few hours, and a few glass vases. At best, I'm one step closer to tablescape heaven.