Monday, September 18, 2006

Pushing Paint Around

Next week, we will have lived in our house for two years. For me, this is big. I'm a girl who would sign a lease for 6-9 months, and then move on to fresh carpet, white walls, bigger, smaller, first floor, more counter space in the bathroom, newer kitchen appliances, whatever, via when I got sick of the neighbors/drunks/drive to work/proximity to the firehouse of my old apartment.

So what's a girl to do when combining two 700 sf households that have maximized efficiency by adhering to the rule of "what will moveforfree really move for free?"? Aside from haunting the Pottery Barn/West Elm Outlet store 15 miles to our North looking for items I'd circled in the catalogue but refused to pay full price or shipping for, ya start making things. $7 window panels from the Croscill outlet get cut in half and embroidered and resewn to cover the bathroom window, napkin rings and 1-inch wooden dowels become curtain rods with some paint and a glue gun, and The Hub's poker table gets a hearty application of spray paint and the chair seats get reupholstered with elephant-skin pleather and a staplegun.

Once the windows are covered and you've found a $300 coffee table for $70 (oh how I love the Outlet Mall and the bottle of black-brown paint I used to cover up the flaws), you need more stuff, it turns out. After searching high and low for cheap cool stuff (cause mortgage is a scary word), I found inspiration at Wal-Mart. Yes, Wal-Mart. See, I was on a manic homemaking streak there the first few weeks, once the boxes were unpacked all I could think of was decorating, so of course I needed more hot melt glue at 2 AM, and damn it, the only place to get it was Wal-Mart.

Which brings me to today's photo array (I'm trying to get in the habit of taking pictures everyday, since I've been so bad about it in the past. The Hub and I have 3 photographs of ourselves from before we got married, and they were all sent to us by friends or family). That glassware was all bought at WM, and in one night I used acrylic paints swirled and brushed along the inside of the vases and votives and candy dishes to give it the lovely happy look it has now.

Most people can't tell that it is just paint, and even The Hub forgets (he sent all the stuff in the blue photos through the dishwasher about a month ago because they were dusty. After getting hit with the Pots and Pans cycle, they were naked and the dishwasher filter a bit stopped up.). I actually get compliments on the glassware, and people ask who made them for me. This leads to an embarrassed explanation that, "Um, I made them. They're painted." The same thing happened with my sunburst-style painting, until I put a made up name on it.

So, if you are looking for murano-fake, go get a clear glass vase, bowl, votive, or dish. Pick your acrylic paint colors, and squirt paint into the base. Dip flatheaded paintbrush into edge of paint pool, and drag up side in one stroke. I like to mix a few colors in and brush them on at the same time, but if you want a dominant color, use one paint first, allow to dry, and then layer another color on. Too much brushing will blend the colors, so cleaning your paintbrush every now and then is a good idea. If you want to seal them to be waterproof, go for it.

In other news, ACL Day 3 was good. Not as many bands that I lurved already, so we spent it mostly wandering about and drinking chai out of a thermos.

We're making plans to go up to College Station on The Hub's frat's Founders' Day. I swear, if I'd been told ten years ago that I'd marry an Aggie frat boy, I'd have thrown up on you. (If you're not from Texas, just know that in my mind, in general, UT = liberal and progressive, A&M not so much) We're also planning a trip to Minnesota (yay, I get to go home!). In addition, I've been approved for a big craft show and sale because of the dolls and toys I've sold in the area gift shops. I figure once we have a million things going on, other things will start coming together.

I have a good feeling about this week. Maybe something cool will happen.

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