Confession time: I've had lantern envy. But I can't bring myself to pay Pottery Barn or Ballard Design prices.
I had stopped by ReStore a few weeks ago for a couple of extra pavers for a backyard project when I spotted this fellow.
I was smitten with his little finial. I tipped him side to side. I was hoping that the bracket wasn't welded onto the lamp body. It wasn't. Since it is a mass-produced modern outdoor light, I figured it was probably held together with screws, nuts and bolts. For eight dollars, it was worth hauling home to tear apart.
It was remarkably easy to completely disassemble the fixture. I took off the mounting plate, pulled out the wiring, endured loads of dead bugs, and separated the top, glass and base. It originally had a brass finish, and parts of the finish had weathered into a great patina.
The unexposed metal was still brassy, so I planned to spray paint it oil rubbed bronze. Everything was scrubbed and every bug carcass banished before I started painting.
I saved every single nut and bolt when I took the fixture apart which was a good thing because I had to improvise to re-attach the top to the glass body since I removed the lamp kit.
So for only eight dollars, I now have a tall lantern for my cabinet display.
There is nothing like being able to harvest your own herbs from the garden. Oregano, thyme, and lavender seem to thrive in our yard.
Especially the oregano.
We took generous cuttings of oregano about three weeks ago. I like to bundle them with a twist tie.
Herbs should be dried in a cool, dark place. In my house, I've found the best place to dry herbs is in a spare guest bathroom that is rarely used. I just run a line in shower in hang the bundles with clothespins.
Once the oregano is COMPLETELY dried, I pulled the leaves from the stems, then gave them a quick whirl in a small food processor to break the leaves into smaller pieces.
We like to use half pint mason jars to store the dried herbs from our garden. Mr. Tallgrass, who does most of the cooking in our house, likes these wide-mouth jars for herbs over the little shaker-style spice bottles.
We filled two half-pint jars with the first harvest, just in time for the second picking!
The tomatoes are looking very promising this year, so there will be lots of marinara sauce later this summer!
This sad looking built-in cabinet in our basement was in need of an overhaul. It had become a dumping ground of clutter.
Right now I have OUTDOOR projects in mind, so this little built-in overhaul is going to have to cost as little as possible.
The builder basic 1990s hardware had to go. I found these pulls at Habitat ReStore for a dollar each.
I know a lot of people have tried spray painting their cabinet hardware, and honestly I would never expect the paint to hold up to daily use. But these doors are rarely opened, so I was willing to try painting the door pulls.
Fortunately, the cabinet has an electrical outlet installed in it. All I needed was a new lamp. This one was a leftover from Mr. Tallgrass's college days. It has good lines, if you can see past the wood and brass combo. A while back he said I could paint it. I didn't ask twice.
I had picked up this B at a garage sale last year and it's been setting in my garage. The price tag from Restoration Hardware was still on it.
Speaking of garage sales, this frame was one dollar.
But I picked it up AFTER the sale had ended and the leftovers were hauled to the curb. A lot of people in our area post their garage sale leftovers for free on Craigslist, so it's a good idea to check out the free section on Saturday afternoons.
I have a roll of wallpaper with illustrations of French scenes I found at a vintage/vintage-style decorating shop last winter. I thought it might make fun drawer liner, but now I have other plans for it.
And the end results:
The black spray paint nicely accented the lamp's curves. I paid a quarter at a garage sale last summer for the rustic vase on the left.
And the B looks much better dressed in black too. The paperweight belonged to my one of great-grandmothers.
I always look for interesting brass containers at garage sales and thrift stores. I read somewhere that brass is going to make a comeback. Too bad because I spray painted this one with gold metallic to tone down the brassiness.
That's an old post office box door next to it. It was the PO Box my great-grandparents had most of their lives. The boxes were dismantled several years ago, and my grandmother had the foresight to snag it. I had it in storage, but now I can enjoy it everyday.
I slapped a coat of glossy black craft paint on the freebie frame, swapped the white mat for a black one I had on hand, and cut a Parisian scene from the roll of wallpaper.
It's a little hard to see, but the vase picks up the green shading in the illustration.
If you live with a lot of books like we do, the best advice I ever read about decorating with books is to ditch the dust jackets. Just store the jackets in a plastic bin. Any ordinary hardcover book looks much better without the dust jacket.
Other than the new door pulls, I shopped my own house for things I had on hand. So how much did this project cost me?
Two dollars. For the new door handles.
What do you already have that you can use in a new way?