April 9, 2012

Old Map + Old Window = Free Art!

A long while back, Brian and I replaced four windows in our house (that's all we could afford at the time) and I made sure to save a few for some potential Pinterest projects. Here they are shortly after being replaced:

I had a few ideas in mind, but never ever really came to fruition (aka: I'm lazy). So, imagine Brian's confusion when I brought home a completely different old window (that I picked up from the side of the road after a run in Chastain Park). Why in the world would I need another window in the house? Well, this project validated my garbage-picking efforts. First, remember my old sailing map that I got from a co-worker? I've been dying to frame it and hang it up in the guest room. Brian was not as gung-ho. After I bought this Craigslist console table (post to come), I threw my original window up there:

Turns out, the husband loved it. Score. Then one day it just clicked - I could modge podge the map behind the window! I did have to do a little compromising; I wanted to use the other side of the map (vertical) because it showed Cape Cod and Boston. I ended up having to use the map horizontally and that meant a map of Long Island. I'm not the biggest fan of Long Island, but hey, at least it was New York? This is where my other window came into play - it only had two panes (as opposed to six in the other one) and I knew it would be easier to work with. The map would also be more visible.

Here is the new window candidate (I love that the latch was still on):

Before we proceed, check out my favorite map details:

Here goes my attempt at a tutorial:

Supplies: One small jar of Modge Podge Matte (I read that the matte was good for picture projects). One medium paint brush. One map. One window. Got it? First step is to brush the modge podge liberally on the window glass. I ended up dumping some straight on there and smoothing it out with the brush.

Second, coat the map with modge podge. Important: make sure you're not an idiot like I am and coat the side that you will see. I coated the wrong side and it just made the whole process much harder.

Third, just lay the paper onto the coated window and press down. Few tips here: If I was patient, I would have cut out the map to fit the exact size of the window panes. We all know I am not patient, so I just pressed it down and trimmed it with an box cutter. Yes, a box cutter. Don't use that. My edges were horrendous.

I tried to use a ruler to smooth out the wrinkles, but since I have modge-podged the wrong side of the map, it was really difficult to smooth anything. At first I paniced when I saw all this craziness, but the white dried clear and the wrinkles actually add to the 'vintage-ness' of the finished product!

So, want to see the final product?

The window was free, the map was free, so all I paid for this project was the cost of a jar of modge-podge. I think I want to hang it on the wall and attach some hooks on the bottom, like this:

I also picked up this red lamp at an estate sale the other day, but we've decided he doesn't really 'go' in the guest room. We'll find another spot for it somewhere.

April 4, 2012

1080-H (The End)

I'm trying very hard to get back on the blogging-bandwagon and while organizing my pictures, I realized I never finished my little 'Where It Began' series. We began with my very first apartment in Newburgh, then moved onto my first apartment in Atlanta. All that's left is my first apartment with my husband!

Let me introduce you to 1080-H. I suppose you want a little back story? Here is where I admit that yes, Brian and I were 'living in sin' for quite a while before we got married. We moved in together after only six months (shhh, don't tell my future children that). Initially we looked for an apartment somewhere in between our two worlds (Duluth and Roswell), but in the end it was easiest to just stay in my apartment complex, extend the lease and get a bigger place. So I moved from a small studio on the ground floor to a two bedroom on the third floor. The most exciting part? Our new deck:

It was mostly used for bike storage - we tried eating dinner out there once and got forced out by cockroaches. Yes. I said cockroaches. Living in upstate NY, I had only seen a cockroach once and that was in the basement of a NYC building. No one told me that almost every complex in Georgia has a roach-sighting incident.

Let's head back to the front door. This was your view as you first walked in - kitchen to the left and living room to the right.

The kitchen was narrow, but roomy and we had plenty of room for Brian's popcorn machine. What I can say? The man loves popcorn.

My endearing attempt at decorating:

Ah, and my first attempt at styling some shelves. I've come a long way, right?

That's all I really have to show. There was a master bedroom with attached bathroom and then a second bedroom and bathroom on the other side. When we first moved in I was beyond excited to decorate the apartment and Brian kept thinking I was nuts because it was 'just an apartment'. Even after moving into the house, I was hesitant to decorate because (a) the house technically was not 'mine' and (b) we were more preoccupied with getting the major things done like ceilings and floors.

That concludes my trip down memory lane - it was nice to revisit all the places I've called home and see how much my 'decor' skills have improved in the last six years.

April 3, 2012

One Man's Trash...

First let me preface this by saying that I really try and edit myself when I go estate sales. I probably over-think things a bit too much, but I don't want to become some kind of crazy hoarder! That being said, I did go a little nutty this week with random stuff. In my defense, most of it was free (thanks to my office moving in two weeks), and the rest was realllly cheap.

You're probably wondering about that bar cart from the last post? No, I didn't get it. Even sadder? It was way cooler in person! I almost shed a tear. Seriously. When I walked into the estate sale, I immediately spotted it behind the payment desk and knew it had been claimed. The lady did not know how much the person had paid for it, so I keep pretending that it was some insane amount that I would never have paid. Just goes to show that sometimes you need to trust your gut and call ahead to put it aside. All was not lost though, I did turn the corner and spot this lovely little table:

Please ignore my scary-mess garage (and Brian's work boots). This table has a little bonus too:

It's a sewing table! Yes, I know I'm not exactly a seamstress, but Megan has let me borrow her sewing machine indefinitely and I thought this would be perfect. Now I have no excuse to put off making those curtains.
Last weekend I stopped by two very random estate sales, not expecting to find anything. So what happens? I come home with these guys:

Brian's not really a fan. I thought it seemed nautical-ish with the dark wood and brass. No? The jury is still out. I paid a whole $5.00 for it, so even if I have to take a can of spray to him, I won't feel bad. One things for sure - the shade has GOT to go. I tried out some drum shades I had laying around in the craft closet, but that pesky plastic piece is just way too long and makes the shade look like its sitting too high. 

Next up? The coolest thing I have found to-date. A 1942 Midwood High School yearbook!

Normally I am never drawn to things kinds of thing unless they have a personal family connection to me, but this book won me over. I googled the school on the spot and realized it was in Brooklyn. That sold me right there. Then I flipped through the pages and died over the girl's hairstyles!

Excited yet? I saved the best for last. Since 1942 was in the midst of WWII, the senior class of 1943 decided to write an unfriendly letter to Hitler:

Turns out Midwood High is rather famous for not only being an excellent school, but the graduation place of many well-known people (Woody Allen is one)! Check the Wikipedia page here.

The same estate sale had this super-cool prints just rolled up in a corner.

They are quite possibly the most colorful thing I have in my house. No idea where I will hang them - but I'm thinking the hallway outside the guest room.

The next random thing I found? This model ship. I know, I know, I already have a huge one, but it was $7 - I just couldn't pass that up.


You're probably wondering what I got that was actually free...

My office just relocated to a fancy high-rise in Atlanta, so we needed to purge almost thirteen years of crap before packing up. Needless to say, the dumpster was filled with some good stuff. I grabbed these three frames just for fun. You never know when you might need one!


One of the frames was ugly, but had a great burlap-ish matte.

I also snagged a large basket, but ended up giving to Megan to use as a laundry hamper.