Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thrift Shop Inspiration

I'm an avid thrift shopper, but I'm very anti-clutter. Sometimes I see things that I think are really cute, but I have no idea how I'd use or display them. One thing that falls into that category is globes. Sometimes they're not in the best shape, and being at the thrift, you can bet they're out of date as well. So what to do with them?

I think this idea is awesome:
Chalkboard Globe Makeover

So of course, I made one for myself. I found a similar globe, only $3, with a plastic meridian. I didn't want to shell out for the chalkboard spray paint, and honestly, I wasn't turned on by the black globe. Martha to the rescue--she had posted a recipe for custom chalkboard paint. I just happened to have a big jar of "teal elementary school chalkboard" paint in the cupboard. Add a dash of unsanded tile grout and I was in business.

First off, I painted the globe with a couple of coats of gesso just to seal the paper. I followed that with 4 coats of the chalkboard paint--one layer horizontal strokes, one layer vertical till the coverage was good. I was using a cheap disposable foam brush which did leave a few brushmarks, so on the final coat, I went over it lightly with the rounded edge of a hydra sponge. It definitely gave the paint a smoother finish.

For now, the globe is living on the kitchen island, but I'm sure it will move through the house as the Halloween decorations are put away.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I'm still here

This summer was brutal in Philly, and sadly, with a west facing, un-airconditioned craft studio, precious little was created. I managed to keep up with my greeting card club, sending off 5-10 birthday cards each month. But really, that was about it. I know I managed a few repairs, the odd button sewn on or fallen hem tacked. But really, I wilted.

Suddenly, fall is in the air. I'm wearing a wool jacket and it feels good! I spent the afternoon yesterday at the football field. I'm feeling re-inspired.

My daughter is in 6th grade this year and is officially a middle schooler. She has asked to have her first Halloween party, and really, who can say no to a party? This summer, our neighborhood has become Mad Men style cocktail party capital, so I think the kids deserve their turn. So step one is invitations. I could have spent hours and fifty bucks making multi layered, multi papered, glittered, stamped, colored and rhinestoned invitations. They would have looked really cooh, heh heh heh. But yeah, I'd rather drop the bucks on food, decorations, and 20+ iTunes downloads for the party playlist. So I went cheap: I found a great vintage Halloween image, uploaded it to the computer, busted out the GIMP, and designed an invite. Then, I uploaded the invite to Walgreens, took advantage of one of their weekly photo specials, and sent my image over. Invites, 10 cents a pop--and I didn't have to hand write a thing!

My next couple of weeks will be total party planning mode. I picked up a case of generic 7-Up at Aldi for $.39 a bottle yesterday. I'm thinking that the soda combined with a tub of rainbow sherbet in a punchbowl will make a really disgusting looking, and delish mocktail for the party.

I'm sure Em will want a pinata, so I'll have to decide whether to DIY, or pick one up at El Changarro for $15. And fillers--are 6th graders too old for candy? What else would be cool to add? Do I put in a super special prize like a $10 iTunes card, or will that cause fistfights?

Finally, this year's Dia do los Muertos altar will be dedicated to our dog Daisy, who passed away in February. She was truly my first kid, and a wonderful companion. I'll need to gather up a few photos of sweet Daisy in her prime, and I'll also put our her collar, food and water for her, add some candles and marigolds and pretty it up.