Tuesday, January 31, 2012

We interrupt this program...

...for a rant.

I stopped at Home Depot tonight to pick up some spray paint for a project.  I used the self-checkout line.

I scanned the first can and a message saying "please show ID to cashier" popped up.  I thought "I'm paying cash, so meh".  I ran the 2nd can over the scanner and it wouldn't scan.  Tried it again...no luck.

The cashier finally stepped over and said "Oh - let me clear that for you.  We have to see ID to keep kids from purchasing spray paint to huff"

Is there a "WTF" icon on blogspot?  If so, I'd use it about eleventy billion times in this post.

Making people (regardless of age) show ID to purchase 2 cans of spray paint, or a package of cold medicine, or whatever other substance has been relegated to that grey area of "not illegal, but we're going to give you agita for purchasing it because we *can*" is NOT going to stop people from huffing or making illegal drugs.

What it's going to do is lose you business over the long run.  Touchy-Feely-Nanny legislation like this accomplishes nothing.  But I guess it *is* easier than tackling those silly issues like the highest property taxes in Christendom (I was purchasing said pseudo-contraband in NJ).


Sunday, January 29, 2012

They say you never forget your first...


I wanted to start small, so my chosen victim was a very ornate antique mirror.  It had been a hideous gold color since I can remember.  I've always liked the mirror, but never warmed to the color.  The glass is naturally aged and spotted, and I thought it would make a perfect first project.

Since I've always disliked the gold finish, I decided the first course of action would be to *silver* it.  My intended new color scheme will involve neutral tones like French grey, cream, antique white and the silver seems a good fit.

The silvering was easy; I didn't make any attempt to get at every little nook & cranny.  I just wanted to masquerade most of the gold.  I used a small paintbrush from Michael's - nothing fancy or expensive.

The next step was the white paint.  I chose Rust-Oleum's "Heirloom White", which I think is a good, all-purpose not-too-white white (did that make any sense at all?)  I gave it 2 light but thorough coats and let it dry for about 2 hours.

The next step was applying stain.  I used MinWax Wood Finish Stain in #2716 - Dark Walnut.  Using another inexpensive paintbrush from Michael's, I applied the stain.  I used *extremely* little stain.  I dipped my brush in the can, and then tamped it on the lid to drain off some of the stain.  I then brushed it over the frame in small sections.  I use white rags from a box (find them at Lowe's in the paint aisle - I find them cheaper than paper towels for even common household usage) and immediately wiped down the stain.  Here  I did try to get into the little crevices of the rose details to make them pop.

I then let it dry for couple of days.  I don't think you necessarily need to let it dry that long, but I'm a workin' girl and I do my artsy/decorating stuff on the weekends.

Yesterday, I took a not-too-fine grit sandpaper and cut a few small squares that I could fold as needed and "distressed" the frame.  I started out with a light touch and that's really all it took.  In some spaces, I exposed more of the silver (and even some of the original gold) paint.

Here's the finished result - I'm very pleased with it.

I think my next project will be the small table that sits in my tiny foyer.  It's where I put my mail and my keys and the drawer holds miscellaneous stuff.  See you after my next attempt!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Dreaded First Post

My name is Pamela.

I am 50, and starting over.  I've lost pretty much everything in the past 7 years.  A long-term relationship, a career, financial security, 152 pounds, most of my self-esteem and not too much less of my confidence.  I lost my mind years ago (ask anyone who knows me)  :) 

What I do have is a dog (the world's least scary German Shepherd) and a small cozy rental cottage in the general vicinity of the Delaware Water Gap.  It's tranquil and peaceful and I truly love coming home to it every night (I'd also welcome coming home to one of the inner rings of Hell after my daily 100-mile commute, but I digress).

While it's perfectly comfortable as it is, I'm planning on making a change.  Having made a conscious decision to withdraw from society (I like how that sounds - kinda like a Tennessee Williams heroine, except without the brutish brother-in-law), I'm going to direct my attention to my home.

I've always been a fan of the "shabby" realm of decorating.  However, I find it to be very "twee" sometimes - too sugary and princess-y for my tastes.  I've found that the "French country" style is something I am drawn to.  Pale colors (cream, pale grey, white) with accents of sepia or ebony to cut the sweetness.  So, that's my goal - to transform by hand (and very limited cash) my Eisenhower-era bungalow into a Parisian oasis.

I'll be posting my challenges, attempts, successes and failures (hopefully the former outnumber the latter) and maybe by the time I'm done, I'll be ready to attempt something of a life again.

I also hope to "prettify" this blog at some point, so if you read this or follow me, be prepared for that.

Thanks for joining me on my journey.