Snow Day Home Improvement Project

I do like a good snow day – especially when I can plan ahead of time for it and have no where to be. Here’s a super easy and quick project I did on our last snow day.

First I took an decorative outside plant stand and painted it white (Rust-oleum or Krylon are both brands that I have used with equal success – this project was Rust-oleum). Then I re-purposed a plastic IKEA place mat to make shelf liners and cut to size (notice how I even rounded the edges – so fancy). And then slid the place mat piece through the side. Add a candle, hand lotion, and cute paper napkins and you have a little more storage. This would be sweet with a tiny plant or vase with flowers. Do you have a favorite quick DIY project? Share in the comments – I could use some inspiration for Thursday.

Carefully Considering Some Easy DIY Tea Towels from Pearl Bee

Carefully Considering Some Easy DIY Tea Towels from Pearl Bee

I’m working on a window shade project – pics, instructions and links soon! Why am I in the midst of such manic homekeeping? Maybe because I am (sort of/kind of/almost) doing the January cure at Apartment Therapy (my new daily fix). Even if I attempt this I am way ahead of normal operating procedure.

Yes, I cleaned the pantry, floors, fridge and washed the pillows (most of them – instructions from Martha here) and even organized my inbox. Next, I am getting prices on steam cleaning the furniture and rugs, and considering cleaning out the basement after a mini-flood from a cranky dishwasher. Maybe I should find my sewing machine first. But it’s way more fun to troll the web and find stuff like this from The Purl Bee

Corinne’s Thread: Vintage Tea Towels

Aren’t these gorgeous? Lovely for a housewarming gift! Anyone feel like making these for me? Mom?

A Fix-It Morning

Sometimes we are in maintenance mode but today is not one of those days. Computers and printers are not playing well together and I may even have to read one of those stupid owner’s manuals then not one but two light bulbs chose to break off in the dining room ceiling fixture, and I broke a mug and a sugar bowl. Bonus morning!

So after a lovely walk with dog and friends, I attempt to fix all. I started with the light bulbs. I had a vague memory of someone saying to use a potato to take out a broken bulb but that didn’t work when I tried it yesterday so on to the internet. I found tons of answers and the ones I liked best are from DIY Life  and Howcast (because I knew I had needle nose pliers and electrical tape and the instructions seemed straightforward and not too beyond my skill set).

First, go to your electrical box (you can’t miss it, it the big grey rectangular box… probably in your basement). Happily, our circuit breakers are labeled and numbered but I still shut off nearby rooms (I have a healthy respect for electricity and am nervous to boot).

To start:

Grab needle nose pliers and some electrical or duct tape IMG_4053(this is to give the pliers more grip). I did not wear safety glasses but there was not broken glass so I risked it. I also did not wear gloves  but would if a) there was broken glass b) I knew where they were.

Hold the socket with one had and turn (counter clockwise – remember it’s righty tighty, lefty loosey – hey, I don’t make these things up). Another site says to grab the side of the socket and turn but this way worked for me.

Here’s the video from Howcast  –

Now I’m off to fix the sugar-bowl, the printer can wait until after lunch.IMG_4054

Chic Hair Ties (for a prettier ponytail)

Chic Hair Ties (for a prettier ponytail) – DIY and a GiveawayFOE hair bands capability mom, hair ties, stretchy hair ties, pony tails, elastic, fold over elastic hair ties, trendy ties,

For my birthday this year a sweet and stylish friend gave me a gift certificate to MiniLuxe (love!) and some beautiful stylish hair ties. They were lovely summer pastel shades and I killed them wore them out with my pony tail wearing ways. So off to replace them, or so I thought. My thrifty Yankee self balked when I saw them at my hair salon (3 for $18) and when I figured out that the ties were basically underwear elastic in pretty colors, I knew I was on a quest (not all quests are created equal).

FOE hair bands capability mom, hair ties, stretchy hair ties, pony tails, elastic, fold over elastic hair ties, trendy ties, Yes, I searched online for the type of elastic and found some unsightly sites but then I found a blog (naturally) that had the elusive name of the elastic…FOE (Fold Over Elastic)! Eureka! The search was immeasurably easier now and I found plenty of Etsy and wholesale sites that sell this miracle elastic. These ties don’t leave a bump in your hair when you take it down. I ordered my first batch- cost $2.50 for five yards (plus shipping) and had a tying party in my back yard with a friend while we sipped on some refreshing ginger limeade. We whipped through 10 yards in no time and I loaded her down with hair ties to send to her daughter at camp. These are great to tuck into a care package for camp or college, a favor for birthday or shower. Get your school or team colors and wear two together, tie dye them (or buy them already tie dyed).

In the first batch I cut at an angle to prevent fraying, my second order of ties, I used a lighter to singe the ends slightly (only slightly – hold the flame near the bands). I do not have mad crafting skills (maybe I will show you crafting attempts gone bad another time when I feel like inviting public ridicule).

FOE hair bands capability mom, hair ties, stretchy hair ties, pony tails, elastic, fold over elastic hair ties, trendy ties,

First, order your bands (I used Bitsy Bands – excellent customer service and great colors to choose from). When the envelope of pretty elastic arrives, grab a ruler, some decent scissors and a lighter. The elastic comes in lengths of 5, 10 or 20 yards (or you can really go all out and get a roll of 100 yards). Cut the elastic to desired length (if you have really thick hair cut every 10-11 inches for hair ties, we find an elastic cut to 9 inches works well and fits on your wrist which is where mine are when not in my hair). For headbands, measure first but cut at about FOE hair bands capability mom, hair ties, stretchy hair ties, pony tails, elastic, fold over elastic hair ties, trendy ties, 18 inches. You can finish headbands the same way, in a knot, or use fabric glue and/or needle and thread for a more polished look.

One site recommended cutting the elastic on an angle to prevent fraying and another recommended slightly singeing the ends which works even better. Hold the flame near but not on the end of the band, the frayed edges will melt a bit. If the edges turn black, you’ve held it too close.

Make a knot in the elastic and you are done. tie them a bit loosely at first so it is easier to retie if you want to adjust it.

I like to take pretty card stock cut to about 4-5 inches to wrap the bands around for a gift. So far I have been giving them away so in that spirit (and before I start selling them out of the back of my car), here is a giveaway of pretty hair ties.

What do you have to do? Like me and four hundred other blogs on Facebook? Tweet this? Follow me on Twitter? Nope. Just comment below and I will use And The Winner Is…Plugin to determine not one but three winners! I am just nice like that. The giveaway will last for one week and winners will be notified by email. The colors of the hair ties will be as pictured.

Have a Good Hair Day!

UPdate: The winners are Ambre, Katrina and Alexa! You will be contacted by email – Thank you to all who participated. If you really like the hair ties and did not win, you can buy them here, too (see sidebar). If you are local go to Just Next Door or Morningsilver Gallery in Newton are carrying them now.


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