Monthly Archives: July 2011

Reflecting on July

This month I had another small re-vamp project that was on the list for ages. I seem to have a penchant for mirrors with decorative frames, especially if they are oval. So when I found this large ornate brass-colored mirror frame at Goodwill (for $5!!), there was no way I wasn’t taking this baby home with me.

brass-colored mirror frame

Yes, it also had a mirror, it’s just not pictured here….because – wait for it – I decided to paint the frame! I’m sure you saw that coming. 🙂
The moment I saw it, I knew this frame would look so great in a solid color, to update the look, give it a more modern vibe. It is plastic (not metal), and the brass finish was a bit too grandma’s-house for my current decor tastes. So I settled on a glossy white (mainly due to the fact that M had purchased a can of spray paint in this color recently and there was nearly a whole can of it left over, score!).

So after many many thin coats of paint later:

mirror frame refinished in white

I love how it almost looks like a plaster, with just a hint of gloss.
You may notice in the reflection…yep, those are garage doors. I’m hanging this guy in the garage, in my studio to be exact. 🙂

the jadeflower ceramics studio

My studio space is still ever-evolving in the decor arena; for the most part it is strictly functional. But here and there, I am trying to add little touches to make it a pleasant place to spend my hours. If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may recognize some past projects like this and this.

Our garage is a quirky place. Did you notice it looks like outdoor siding on that wall above? Well, M and I have a (strong) hunch that the garage was added much later to the house. Exhibit A: outdoor siding. Exhibit B: that rectangle the mirror is hanging in front of is actually a window that the landlord covered up with a big sheet of foam insulation (and which I then covered up with some striped vintage wallpaper because it was ugly!). Oh funny old houses 😉

In unrelated news, we had a busy July. One highlight was a housewarming party M & I hosted, now that we are pretty much settled into our new abode. We celebrated with tacos, fun drinks, and lawn games (with thankfully cooperative weather!). At the end of the evening we lit sparklers saved from the 4th of July! ^_^ Everybody loves sparklers, right?

sparklers!

The party was also to celebrate M and my first anniversary. Awwww 🙂 It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since this fantastic day. My mom and dad brought us a vase of hydrangeas cut from all the plants that were bought the year before; she says that they’ll always have a reminder of our wedding with all the pretty blues/greens/whites of the hydrangeas that now decorate their property.

hydrangeas

A very fun and event-filled month! And August should be just as busy! Until next time 🙂

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Events, Jadeflower Ceramics, projects, Wedding

Made in the Shade – a unique planter pot Umbrella Stand

It’s been a busy month (ahem, yeah, my last post was over a month ago), but M and I have finally been getting this house to feel like a home. One of the projects I really wanted to tackle was for our outdoor space  was a stand for my patio umbrella. Here’s how I did it!

DIY Planter Pot Umbrella Stand

I’ve owned this super cute, small canvas patio umbrella for years now, but it’s been in storage for a good 3 years or so because our last apartment didn’t have a space for it. Now that we have a big outdoor area to play with, I really wanted to bust it out!
The problem was, after scouting around to find a nice umbrella stand, I discovered that there are basically two camps: super ugly and cheap OR classy and way too expensive. The other idea was to find a thrifted patio table – the kind with the hole in the middle – but it turned out to be a much more difficult search than expected.

Finally I decided to make my own solution! An umbrella stand that would be unique, changeable, and inexpensive! Here’s what I did:

DIY Umbrella Stand Materials

Materials:
*Large Planter Pot – proportional to the size of umbrella
*Small Cinder Block (8x8x6)
*Length of PVC tubing – wide enough for umbrella handle
*Gravel
*Dirt
*Plants

Ceramic planter with drainage hole

Be sure your pot is a good size. Since it will be outside (and have plants that need water), be sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom!

Planter with cinder block

Place your cinder block in the center of your pot. Be sure it’s in a good position to put your PVC tube right over the drainage hole.

PVC tubing - Painted & Holes Drilled

I spray painted the top portion of my tubing a dark gray color, so the white PVC isn’t so noticeable. I also used a drill bit and my hand-held drill to put a few drainage holes in the bottom of the tube.

PVC & Gravel

With the PVC tube centered over the drainage hole, fill in the cinder block space with gravel until the tube is securely lodged in place.

Adding dirt to the planter

At this point, make sure your planter umbrella stand is located where you want it – it’s about to get really heavy! Next step is adding your potting soil.

pack it in there

Pack the soil in really well around the cinder block – you don’t want it to move!

Planter filled with dirt!

Once you’ve got the block hidden and the planter all filled, it’s time for adding pretty things! I had a few marigolds and snap dragons, but it turned out my planter wasn’t that big, so I just did the marigolds. If I were to do this again, I’d probably choose a trailing flower, like petunias or something, but I do think the happy yellow marigolds are cute. 🙂

umbrella stand planter with flowers

So there you have it! Simple yet effective!
Those flowers will fill in a bit, but even sparse as they are, I really like how this project turned out! And what’s great about it is, since I didn’t use cement or something permanent to affix the PVC tubing, if I get tired of this arrangement, I can disassemble the whole thing and I still have a great ceramic pot to use!

And the break down for price is pretty great:
*Ceramic Pot: $16
*Potting Soil (way more than needed for this project, btw): $5
*PVC tube: $1.25
*Spray paint: free (already had it)
*Gravel: free (gathered from the back alley)
*Cinder block: $.95
*Marigolds: $.95
TOTAL: $24.15

So yeah, good luck finding a nice free-standing umbrella stand at the store for under $25!

Outdoor living, here we come!

And now with the summer weather finally arriving in Seattle (we hope!), we’re one step closer to some awesome outdoor living!

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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Plants, projects, tutorial