How About Orange

April 23, 2014

Painting the dresser

I've finally gotten around to painting the Craigslist mid-century Drexel Touraine dresser for the dining room. It looked like this before:

I primed it with Zinsser Cover-Stain oil based primer and then tried out Sherwin Williams ProClassic Waterbased Acrylic-Alkyd Enamel. It's one of the new "hybrid" paints that acts like oil, but is actually water based. The paint store assured me it has great leveling properties so brush strokes will disappear, but that didn't prove to be the case for me. The surface looks quite brush-strokey despite my efforts to lay it down quickly and not over-brush it. It's driving me crazy, but maybe I'll forget about it once the dresser is in place in the dining room. I tried researching online whether I could add Floetrol to a water based alkyd to help it level and gave up in confusion— and, let's be honest— laziness.

I'm moving on.

I want to spray paint the hardware.

Should I make it look brassy? Pretend this statue lady's arm is a drawer handle.

Or let's get crazy: Hot pink.

Here's a hasty Photoshop mock-up with brass.

Here's a hasty Photoshop mock-up with pink. Heck, let's paint the fancy trim around the bottom, too.

But remember, it's going to live in this room with nutty fuchsia wallpaper. A vintage lamp with a sleek brass cylinder base will sit on top.

My gut tells me it would be pink overkill. After all, a respected colleague once informed me that restraint is the second rule of design. But man, that pink is FUN. Maybe in a room that wasn't already swathed in pink.

I was going to use the original hardware, but the mocked-up rectangles are making me want something simple, modern, and less fussy. I wonder if I could find something like that.

What to do, guys?

April 22, 2014

Free fonts: Intro Condensed

The Black and Light versions of Intro Condensed are available for free here from Fontfabric. Personal and commercial use are fair game! These are two useful freebies, I guarantee it. Elegant, clean, and geometric. If you need more weights, buy up all their brothers and sisters and cousins at MyFonts.

April 21, 2014

Fabric sighting: store window

I stole this photo from The Needle Shop's Facebook page and shamelessly pasted it here. There's a rule that when you're excited to see your name on a store window, you have to show everyone you know and lots of people you don't.

The shop is promoting my mini home decor fabric collection, Arrow. The print is inspired by airport signage; I had travel on my mind. (I made Arrow a logo and marketing materials, too, just for fun.)

I expect there will be more Arrow sightings here in the next couple weeks since I can think of a few nifty projects people are working on— I'd love to share the before-and-afters, the tutorials, and finished products. They might inspire DIY projects of your own using your favorite fabrics. Onward and upward!

April 17, 2014

Easy origami egg holders

These easy origami egg cups are folded from 6" squares of origami paper. They took me just a minute or two each, and any decorative paper will work. You could whip up a bunch and put one at each place setting for Easter brunch. Coordinate the paper colors with a flower centerpiece and wrap the vase with a strip of matching paper. See how to make your own with this video tutorial by YouTube user 1petiteSorciere. Cute!

April 15, 2014

How to make a folding camp stool

Here's the guest tutorial I mentioned yesterday: a DIY folding stool made from scratch! This project uses more of my new Arrow fabric and makes a great side table, footrest, or portable seat. Here's LiEr to tell you how to make them.

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Hello! I am LiEr and I write a craft blog ikatbag that is part fabric, part cardboard and, occasionally, wood. Today, I am happy to be here sharing how to make these little wooden fold-up stools.

I made these stools in Jessica's new Arrow fabric for my three girls, in two sizes. The smaller one is for my 6-year-old and the two larger ones are for my almost-8 and almost-10-year old.

They also make good footrests for the director's chair in yesterday's post.

Though they are meant for kids, they can easily be sized up for adults, too. The dimensions in this tutorial are for the larger stool;

to make the smaller one,

follow the dimensions in the diagram below. The hardware for both stools are the same.

We'll be making the stools in two parts - the wooden frame and the fabric seat.

April 14, 2014

Director's chair in Arrow

Here's a fun project using my new Arrow fabric— a director's chair upholstered by LiEr Teigland of Ikat Bag. LiEr took apart this second-hand chair, made a new seat and back rest, and put it back together again, with a twist:

The pattern is reversible and can be flipped at a moment's notice! Yes. She's smart like that. I wish I had her brain.

This chair is perfect for fabric lovers, since it can display prints nicely and the fabric can be swapped out. It's also perfect for managerial types, since you can tote it from room to room, sit in it, and direct your minions to do as you wish.

To see how LiEr executed this chair makeover, read about it here on her blog.

Then come back here tomorrow for a follow-up guest tutorial, because LiEr just couldn't leave well enough alone and had to go and invent another awesome project using Arrow.

Purchase the fabric here from The Needle Shop!

April 11, 2014

It's Friday!

Happy weekend, everybody. I'm hoping to plant some stuff in the dirt patch by our curb. And paint a dresser. And some art for our walls. Also clean and do laundry and read books and go to church and see friends and try a new restaurant and go for walks. I can do all those things, right? Wishing you a weekend impossibly full of good things, too.

(Awesome typographic desk calendar by Simone Massoni.)

April 10, 2014

How to make an industrial pipe floor lamp

I really have a thing for lamps. I roam thrift stores admiring them— the weirder, the better — and pause on catalog pages with cool fixtures. Today I'm happy to share a guest tutorial on how to make your own industrial-style floor lamp out of pipes. Set this baby in front of your exposed brick wall and sip a craft cocktail while you admire your handiwork. You built a lamp!

The how-to is by Matthew Lyons, self-proclaimed handyman and blogger for Here's what Matthew has to say:

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Like most red-blooded Americans, I love industrial pipe lighting. There’s a certain derelict nostalgia about lamps and chandeliers made from old metal plumbing that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy and manly inside. Unfortunately, that feeling isn’t shared by my wallet.

I’ve been lusting after an industrial pipe floor lamp for years now but the price tags people attach to these things are utterly ridiculous. The majority of multi-bulb floor-length pipe lamps available online or in stores sell for $400 - $1,000. As a guy on a lower middle-class income with a wife and a kid to support, I just can’t justify spending that kind of money on what amounts to a few lengths of pipe, some wire and a couple vintage light bulbs.

So, considering how simple these things are, I figured I could just build my own pipe lamp for half the cost of buying one. Having never wired anything before in my life, I was a little worried how this project would turn out. Surprisingly, though, it was super-easy to make. The entire lamp can be assembled by hand like some sort of awesome adult Erector Set. As I predicted, the wiring was by far the hardest part of the entire build – but even that took less than two hours and I didn’t even set the house on fire when I plugged it in. This made my wife very happy.

Here’s how you can build one of these awesome industrial pipe lamps for your own house or apartment or office or whatever dark corner of your life begs illumination.