Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sassy Matchbooks!

I don't know why, but I love sassy matchbooks. A plain matchbook is simply an instrument -- a tool. A sassy matchbook is a delight in a small - very small - package.

This is where it starts - plain old matchbook that costs about one dollar for 50 of them.

First I remove the matches - I suppose you can use a staple remover if you have one -- I don't, so I used a very small screwdriver and needle-nosed pliers.

Then I tape off the "striking" area -- that rough dark strip on the back. I use painter's masking tape that's been cut down to the correct size.
Next I spray paint the matchbooks with whatever pale paint I have around - in this case beige. Since it's so cold and humid out, I use a big box in the exercise room. I put the matchbooks way back in the back and then spray lightly. This is simply to lightly mask the original artwork -- we don't have to be Leonardo da Vinci (or even Jackson Pollock) at this point.

Then I remove the masking tape and glue a decorative paper to the back and the bottom of the matchbook. I use a glue stick for this project -- I think it's works better on papers than the wetter glues.

Re: the bottom, I make the paper a little longer than it needs to be and I glue it around the edge and to the inside. I just think it makes a neater edge. In the picture below, you can see how I've wrapped it around the bottom edge to the inside.

I've added a little design on the front that says blessings. I simply printed out the word in an oval frame on paper I created from free scrapbook paper designs at this wonderful site: I cut out the little oval and glued it to the front center of the matchbook.

After I've finished decorating the matchbook, I staple the matches back in. I just use a regular staple, but I have to use a little more pressure than normal. And then I use a teensy screwdriver to press the staple where it protrudes in the back -- just to make sure it's secure.

This is how it looks when it's complete. I have also done some others with scrapbooking papers and I've used a printer to add initials.

I think these are great as a small "thank you" to an etsy order, or to a waitress who was especially kind or as an add-on to a candle gift.

Anyway, I LUV mine!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Chez Johnson

I'm not a perfectionist. Honestly, I'm not!
But sometimes when I set out to do something -- like give the kitchen a thorough cleaning, I get completely sidetracked and do one little thing ... perfectly! And the original task can go to h&ll in a handbasket. On the other hand, sometimes the resulting "perfection" is a fun little project. Okay, the kitchen's not perfect, but doesn't my recipe box look great now?! Know what I mean?

Well, the recipe box is in fact the subject of today's post. About a year ago I created a recipe card template for my favorite recipes and I've been moving them from all the scraps of paper and tons of bookmarked cookbooks to my recipe template in an effort to organize them. What I really want is ONE place to find all our favorite recipes -- and a few recipes that sound good and will hopefully become favorites. This is how my template (plus a favorite recipe) looks:

Recently I found a metal recipe box for $1.00 at a thrift store and at first I thought I would paint it, but I decided to paper it instead. It was originally drab olive khaki (no before picture - sorry) and now it's all perky and blue. LOVE IT!

Have a perfectly wonderful day!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tissue Paper Storage

We're in the process of adding built-in bookshelves in the living room so we moved the old stand-alone bookshelves from the living room into my home office. During those changes, I decided to re-think how I'm storing/organizing some of my STUFF. This post is specifically about an idea I came up with on how to store tissue paper.

All my rolls of wrapping paper are stored very neatly by standing them up (cheek-by-jowl) in a tall open box. But how could I neatly store all those different packages ... and partial packages and single sheets ... of tissue paper? I happened to have a couple of empty cardboard cores from bolts of fabric -- that says something about how much fabric I have! -- and I decided to open the bolt cores up and use them for storage. I used 12 buttons, perle thread and the empty cardboard core and VOILA' - tissue paper storage!

For snug closure, I put buttons in the center and at each end of the container. To keep the buttons from tearing through the cardboard, I put a button on each side -- sort of inside and out, back to back -- and sewed them together right through the cardboard.

I just put all my lovely tissue papers inside - down the center, fold the sides closed and secure them and then fold the top and bottom flaps and secure them.

Each button-closure arrangement has 4 buttons -- 2 that are showing and 2 that are inside the cardboard container. The perle cotton is tied permanently to one of the top buttons and has been knotted on the very end so it won't ravel. I wind the string in a figure-8 around this button and that button and back to this button a couple of times and it holds very securely. It's a lot like those intra-company envelopes that large companies use.

It's not necessarily pretty -- I suppose I could have covered it in pretty paper or fabric -- but I was in a hurry and it works just fine for me.

And now I can stand it up next to the tall skinny box of wrapping paper! I love it!

It's another necessity-is-the-mother-of-invention kind of thing.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bedroom Freshen UP

I was tempted to call this a bedroom makeover, but it's not a makeover - it's just a change. So I'll have to call it a Freshen Up.

Years ago (when I got my tax return - cause Lord knows my budget is usually tight) I bought a bed-in-a-bag sort of thing that I had been coveting. And we've been using that same comforter, etc for years. However, when DH and I bought a new pillow-top mattress a few years ago, suddenly the old comforter was too small to cover everything and the sheets were peeking out at us.

As a temporary (temporary as in - we've had it for 3 years now) stop-gap, I purchased a wheat-ish sort-of-matching satin-ish coverlet and shams. It coordinated with the old bedskirt & shams and it covered everything that needed to be covered. That's really all I was looking for at the time.

But I've been getting very tired of the same-old-same-old olive & wheat blah-blah-blahs!

So I made a little cranberry shrug for the throw pillow in the hopes of breathing some life into the arrangement. It was ...... okay ...... but still not what I wanted.

Then I found a bedskirt and shams at the thrift store in a taffeta (don't think it's silk, but it IS silky) and I loved them. The shams were $5.00 each and the bedskirt was $15.00. And there was a throw pillow in a corresponding palette for $5.00. It's a down pillow with a hidden zipper and the fabrics all have a good body to them, so I know they're high quality items, but there was no label in any of them.

So, here's my before with the olive and wheat blah-blah-blahss brightened (a little startlingly) by the cranberry shrugged throw pillow.

And here's my new color palette! It's sort of soft sagey/gray/blue with wheat and gold.


Whatcha think?