My Garden

Friday, 29 June 2012

DIY mason jar rope light

I find when you stare at something long enough you will know just what to do with it... Such was the case for my beloved mason jar(s)... 

read on and you will see how I made this:

from this:

The good news is: you can do it too, here's how:

  • cord kit (I use the ikea ones (hemma), they are already in tact and involve zero diy wiring, a plus for us safety-conscious non-electricians; there are also very useful parts which will help to secure the jar to the cord)
  • jute rope (whatever length you desire)
  • jute twine
  • scissors
  • white glue and hot glue
  • something to drill or cut 1 larger hole (for the socket to pass through) and several small holes (for venting) in the mason jar lid. I used tin snips but there are many easier and quicker ways out there - ways that also involve power tools - always a bonus
Okay now follow these steps:
  •  cut the rope to desired length
  • apply white glue to the upper part of the socket and wrap the jute twine

  • pull the 3 parts of the jute rope apart and re-twine them together with the cord in the middle. This will take a while, and as you can see in the photo below you will probably see a lot of the cord, after you have twined the cord through the rope start hot gluing and holding the rope together as the glue dries. This step will minimize the amount of cord that shows through the rope
    • also make sure that the jute rope and the twine meet up at the top of the socket

  • now that you've minimized the amount of cord showing start back up with the jute twine. Wrap the twine around the beginning and ending points of the rope, make sure to pull it very tight and secure it with hot glue
  •  okay now that the rope part is done the rest goes pretty quick...
    • cut a hole in the centre of the mason jar lid, it has to be big enough for the socket to pass through to the stopper (where you started wrapping jute twine)
    • now that you have that done push the socket part way through - to the stopper (on the hemma cords) where the twine begins
    • now make your smaller venting holes, this will allow the heat from the bulb to escape , it should look like the pic below
  •  now you will take the female part of the socket and twist it up to the mason jar lid, this will secure the lid/jar to the cord (see pic below)
  •  and now you have this:

  •  or this:

If you are really handy with electrical (or know someone who is) then you can hard wire this light right into the ceiling and presto we have a pendant... otherwise you can secure it to the ceiling with a hook...

Stay tuned for some common sense precautions....
  • DO NOT exceed the maximum bulb wattage
    • I typically only use a 40 watt bulb max (even when the manufacturer allows for a higher wattage) so the temp stays down, energy efficient bulbs are a great option for this as well
  • I would use a diamond tipped drill bit, and follow the manufactures instructions for drilling through glass, to add venting holes to the jar (on the bottom or back depending on how you use the lamp) if you are going to use the max allowable wattage - safety 1st we don't want this baby to heat up too much (even though you have vented this guy from the top)
Okay we are done, now you can enjoy your lamp.

Linking to:
cowgirl up

Monday, 25 June 2012

filling up the cloches...

I love apothecary jars, mason jars, cloches - basically anything pretty that can showcase stuff. So why have I been stagnantly displaying the same white mints in my apothecary jars for the last - well - lets just say LONG time, when there are so many more possibilities????

Anyway, while my internal debate rages, here are just some of the great ideas from the world wide web...

via miss mustard seed
via pinterest
via google images
via google images
Armed with all this inspiration, as well as the memory of my last terrarium mishap (I have lofty, yet unfulfilled terrarium dreams), I set forth to create... 

But first I had to answer the all important question: does every display thing need to be filled to the brim?

Nope, not to me. You see, sometimes I like to have things doing nothing but looking pretty and collecting dust...

But then, sometimes I like to display stuff too... enter my newest treasures...

Wait, let me explain... I know this stuff is junk... but I LOVE junk - my own and other peoples! So how then, could I pass up a crusty old toolbox filled with crusty old tools? I mean who wouldn't think that's a beautiful sight? Okay,  I will admit that the elderly gent who gave me this junk was pretty bewildered by my elation...

Oh and one more thing: here is my answer to those unfulfilled terrarium dreams.  Just don't get too close or you may discover that this plant is... plastic...

Linking to:

Thursday, 21 June 2012

decorating with junk, a thrifter's tale...

I admit it, have a habit, and I have no intention of quitting. I love to decorate, re-decorate and then do it all over again. Thankfully snooping around on other people's blogs has taught me that I am not alone here...

My own personal habit has taken on different forms over the years, I've gone through colour phases, silver and sparkly phases, the great grey phase (for the record I am still loving this one), to name a few. Over the past couple of years I have been experimenting with other people's junk - it has reached a fever pitch around here - so much so that I am now willing to admit it. I have entered the junk phase.

You see I can't pass a garage sale, thrift store, back ally and okay, the occasional dumpster (but let's be clear I am yet to dive in) with out having a little poke around - and usually I come out successful.  My kids, ages 3 and 19 months, also get involved. Though someone has tricked them into believing we are on a "treasure hunt." The hunt is full of rewards for them as well - my little ponies, castles, tractors, books - we love it all (here I feel I must also be clear - I don't shop dumpsters and back allies for my kid's toys - not that there's anything wrong with that) .

So reading this you may believe that we live in a hoarder's paradise, and to that I must disagree (just don't ask my husband).  I like space to breath and I hate clutter.  So jumping to another, somewhat related, topic we have tons of shelves in our house, the bookshelves in the living room always give me a bit of trouble. You see I love my stuff, and I love old books and love to display them, but I HATE clutter and mess.  I love layering but I don't want to be smothered by stuff... oh the trials and tribulations of decorating... So checkout our bookcase and how I have my books, stuff and other people's trash proudly on display...

our bookshelf - full of old books, industrial parts, mason jars, old planters and yes - tin  cans...

this ex-vegetarian loves her some pre-loved antlers

my baby hammer - I brought her home to sell but she's so cute - and useful too - perfect for all of those tiny jobs around the house...

tin can incognito and holding my beloved twine - that's right I said beloved...
So what do you think? Too much? Not enough? What about you, do you decorate with junk too???

Linking to:
cowgirl up

Monday, 18 June 2012

Map Dresser

So Here is a before and after of a little dresser that I did up for my boy...

I found this beauty at a local thrift store and loved the size, shape and even the colour, perfect for a retro-inspired boy's room.  As an added bonus it is a pretty well built, solid piece - a necessity for this particular boy.
As you can see the front is pretty scratched up and there was no getting that masking tape off - well I only half-tried because I had a plan... off I went to the local convenience store and bought a map, discerning eyes will notice it is a map of Canada. I then proceeded to cut it to bits and lastly, I decoupaged it onto the drawers.  Can I have a drum roll please....


Linking to:
making the world cuter
my uncommon slice of suburbia
primitive and proper
the shabby nest
miss mustard
funky junk interiors
twigg studios
diy showoff

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

beatup to beautiful

Well here goes, my first post...  I thought I would show the before and after of this little side table/nightstand. Here we go...

Exhibit A - here we have the before - nothing too heinous - a little beat up, a bad stain job and can I say a little blah???

So after a simple-ish 3 step process we will move onto the after (which I hope will be an improvement and dare I say make this old gal a little more interesting).

Step 1 -  I mixed my own chalkpaint-type-stuff (about 1 cup paint to 1 tablespoon baking soda and some water from time to time to keep the paint workable)

Step 2 - an undercoat of charcoal grey and over coat(s) of white

Step 3 - lightly distress and seal

Okay get ready... here it is...


 I thought about doing something on the door or on the top to jazz her up even more, but in the end I liked her just the way she was: pretty, simple and a little rough around the edges.So... what do you think?

Linking to:

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