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I had an idea for my last light bulb but it meant gutting her first.  There are all kinds of web sites out there to tell you how to do this.  I looked at a few of them and then did things my own way.  Turns out getting the insides of a light bulb out is pretty easy stuff.  Here’s the bulb I started with:

I wanted it empty so that I could put one of those miniature ships inside of it.  JUST KIDDING!  My boys were never into ships.  They were into dragons and I had the perfect one for my light bulb project.  Take a look:

O.K. The trick photography isn’t that great but it sort of looks like that little red dragon is floating in my gutted bulb, doesn’t it?

What I really wanted to put in my bulb was wadded up pink napkins left over from my wedding.  Who needs PINK napkins when you’re constantly surrounded my testosterone?  For that matter, who needs napkins when you’re constantly surrounded by testosterone?  That’s what sleeves are for, right?

Ickster!  I thought that I wanted to put wadded up pink napkins in my bulb but once they were in there I realized this was not the look I was hoping for.  Note:  It’s much easier to get the napkins in than to pull them out.  Think before you put stuff in gutted light bulbs so that you won’t have to do the painful extraction I did.

After the failed attempt with the pink napkins, I looked around for something else I could use.  Anything else.  If I had old spices lingering in my cupboards, I probably would have tried pouring them into my bulb.  Sort of like sand art but with something useless like really old spices.  Alas!  The spice cupboard was one of those extra jobs I did not too long ago on kitchen day.  I thought of trying old potpourri (how on earth do you spell that word!) but the stuff I found was too big to fit through the opening of the bulb.  Bummer.  I finally settled on tulle from my wedding arch.  I just snipped a small part off and wrapped my bulb in it.  It’s tied up with simple pink ribbon and I glued on the only four small pink flowers I had in my arsenal of fake foliage.  Voila!  My bulb looks like a ballerina.

It’s so delicately pretty that I just had to try photographing it in some pretty places.

Like with pears.

And on my open Bible.

Even in the boys’ bathroom (which looks prettier in this picture than it does in real life).

I don’t know what to think of my creation.  Maybe it would look stupid in a tree.  Maybe it could be paired with white doves and pink floral swags.  For now, I think I’ll just leave it by the computer and marvel that I successfully performed surgery on a light bulb, removing its innards while preserving its outer.

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I like to be very methodical when it comes to housework.  For each day of the week, I have assigned rooms to be cleaned.  This way, I know that every part of my home gets a pretty decent cleaning at least once a week.  In between, I just do touch-ups.  I also try to do something extra in one of the rooms du jour.  It may be cleaning out a closet or a drawer.  It may be washing the windows inside and out.  It may be rearranging the knick knacks.  Just something extra to say that I was where I was supposed to be on any given day.

Yesterday’s rooms were the dining room, hallway, living room and front entrance.  These are easy rooms to clean because they are quite well maintained on a daily basis.  I decided the something extra would be to tinker with my mantle decorations and the stuff on the sofa table.  This is what I came up with:

Those photos don’t really show too much but I like how the lighting last night just seemed to highlight the area I was tinkering with.

These are day-time photos.  Not nearly as exciting light-wise but you can see my Goodwill finds regrouped more clearly.  I put floral foam in the bottom of the urns and then poked in some brown fronds, feathers and rocks.  I found those fronds about a year ago at the Goodwill and have been trying to use them ever since.  They just don’t seem to work for me.  I’m not sure I like them on my mantle either.  Maybe it’s the feathers that I borrowed from Mr. Easter Island Man’s head dress that are bugging me.  Originally, I had in mind more of a topiary idea but just didn’t have the stuff needed to bring that idea to life.

I have a peculiar attraction to beat up silver trays so I put two behind the urns to sort of highlight them.  That may have been a designer faux pas too but those trays pick up on other stuff in the room.  My new birdbath is concocted out of one of them plus a silver candlestick.

This is the sofa table’s only adornment so far.  I just can’t seem to find anything in my home tall enough to show above the sofa.  I’m tired of propping up tiny things on boxes (even pretty ones) for that area.  I think I’ll start scouting for something just right for that spot.  For now, my chickadee will have to be lonely.

O.K.  I’m not a mantle guru either but I’ll keep trying.  Maybe the difference between a guru and a tinkerer is the number of attempts made.  Maybe the next time I tinker I’ll cross a threshold and my design will ooze brilliance.  Well…it will have to wait.  It’s Wednesday now and the bathrooms are beckoning.

I’ve been getting more bold with painting projects lately.  For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been tackling this:

It’s a very pretty jewellery box that was given to me as a gift.  I’ve never had a jewellery box before.  That’s probably because I don’t have a lot of jewellery.  I absolutely loved this one except for its colour.  Actually, that’s not true.  I love the colour.  It just doesn’t go with the black/cream/white/ice blue colour scheme I am shooting for in my master bedroom.   So…I thought that I would paint it with that popular Aura “black black” paint I have.  It now looks like this:

Had I taken the time to think how difficult this project would be, I don’t think I would have taken it on.  There are all kinds of nooks and crannies (not to mention velvet parts in the interior) to be navigated with a brush and that proved to be quite a challenge.

I still love this box and now it will fit in nicely with my intended colour scheme.  Can’t wait to get furniture in this room so that you can see this “black beauty” on something other than my ironing board.

If you have a few hundred glittery gems left over from your wedding, a good supply of hot glue gun sticks and find yourself waiting around to drive your son to a birthday party, this next project might be for you.  I made my fourth light bulb all glittery.  I thought that this one would take a long time but I guess I got pretty good at the “glue and stick” part because it really only took me fifteen minutes from start to finish.  Then I had some fun trying to photograph my latest masterpiece.

Here it is looking very classy on a pedestal set against a black background:

I tried hanging it outside on the candlelabra that’s sitting outside for now.

It also sat on my light up table for a bit looking really sparkly.

It even morphed into a crystal skull for Mr. Easter Island Man.

It’s final resting place (for now) is my hutch of pretty things.

This was really easy to make and turned out kind of glamorous looking.  I think a whole bunch of these would look nice in a tree with lots of silver in it.  I’d also be tempted to pair ornaments like this with really trendy turquoise ones.

My last two attempts at converting a light bulb into a Christmas ornament were pretty frilly.  I decided to try something completely different with the third bulb.  I had some Aura “Black Black” paint left over so I covered the bulb with that.  Even on naked glass, it got pretty good adhesion.  I then thought I’d make it into a modern decoration by painting big sloppy white circles on it with really old “paint by number” paint and then tying it off with a bright coloured piece of rope.  (It’s actually a handle from a used gift bag.)  Here’s the result:

This is my trendy ornament sitting on a crumpled up pink napkin.  It also got to sit on one of my living room chairs next to my brown floral pillow.

I kind of liked it against brown so I hung it in my main floor bathroom from a towel hanger.

It also sat for a few seconds on my dark brown leather ottoman.

The place I like it best is in my orange dining room next to that room’s theme word.

When I first painted on the white circles I thought I had made a monstrosity but the more I play with this ornament in different places in my home the more it grows on me.  In a really modern house, I think it might look cool in a white tree or even a hot pink one.  Even in my not so modern home, it doesn’t look half bad.

I painted the second light bulb with Antique Gold Acrylic paint that I found in one of my craft buckets.  I just used a paint brush and swabbed it on.  Once that was dry, I hot glue gunned on some ribbon and then topped the whole thing with a flowery candle ring that my mother-in-law gave me a long time ago.  It looks like a bulb wearing a very feminine chapeau.

I tried hanging it in a couple of different spots to see if I could get a good shot of it.  I think that it would look prettier strung up with some gold or red ribbon instead of with a piece of copper wire.  Still, not a bad project considering I used only what I had on hand.

Remember my spray-painted light bulb from yesterday?

Adding more spray paint didn’t make it any better so I tried something else.  If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again and then tell people about it so they won’t have to make the same mistakes you just made.  If I was smart I’d research first, get the stuff I need and then do things right the first time.  I’m way too impatient and cheap to do things the smart way.  I don’t want to spend money.  I want to figure things out all on my own and feel like I’m smarter than those smart people who depend on others to find things out for them.  I’m the one who wants to find a very good way for a fraction of what the other people spend.  Well…I’m not there yet.

What I tried was to cover my gold painted globe with ordinary school glue (which I have in abundance) and then top that with decorative sand (which I also have some of).

That made my light bulb look remarkably like a painted styrofoam ball.  I didn’t really want a blue ornament so I then spray painted the whole thing with more of that gold spray paint.

Once that was dry I found some ribbon, a fake gold leaf and a fake red berry and just tied them on the top.  This is what attempt #1 at a homemade Christmas ornament from a light bulb ended up looking like:

I’m not exactly thrilled with the result.  I still have four more light bulbs awaiting treatment.  Hopefully, I’ll come up with something a little better for #2.  Stay tuned!

Do you know what these are?

If you said five dusty burnt out light bulbs from two of my bathrooms, you are only partly correct.  These are also fuel for my imagination.  They just seemed too nice to throw out.  When I turned one around in my hand, it made me think of Christmas decorations.

Well, it turns out I’m not the only one who’s noticed the resemblance of a round bulb to a Christmas ornament.  I googled “uses for old light bulbs” and found that one woman has started her own business hand painting original Christmas decorations using all kinds of burnt out light bulbs.  There were a lot of other uses for them as well.  One person made a sea monkey condo out of a light bulb.  A mother/son team used a few of them to making hanging flower vases.  One very imaginative chap emptied one out, filled the cavity with cement, added a screw to attach it to the wall and now has an uber modern jacket hanger.  There were still other people who covered their bulbs with paper mache to make penguins, Santas, reindeer and even a grinch.  One woman used hers to shape polymer clay into a pumpkin head.  Another dolled hers up with lace, ribbon and a bead head to make a Christmas angel.  Someone else wrapped a doily around one and topped it with flowers for a sort of Victorian looking creation.  Such clever people!

Seeing as “being green” is so in now, I thought that I would try making some home-made “trash to treasure” ornaments just for the fun of it.  I started by propping one of my light bulbs to stay upright.  This was as simple as taking a box that I already had, cutting an “x” in it and popping the light bulb in.

I then tried spray painting it with gold spray paint the previous owners had left behind.  Such nice people to leave me stuff for projects like these!

I had a lot of trouble with this.  The spray paint doesn’t want to stick to the glass.  It just sort of runs down.  Hmmm…as usual I am trying things without researching first.  There must be some sort of primer spray paint that I can use to get greater adhesion.  Either that or I could cover the bulb in glue and roll it around in gold glitter.  Unfortunately, the previous owners didn’t leave any gold glitter for me to play with.

Anyways, the sky’s the limit for a project like this.  If you truly want to be green, you can just look around your home for what you do have to work with and not invest in anything that hasn’t been used before.  I’ve spent $0 so far and I’ve almost got something that can be strung up.  Think I’ll try a few more coats of spray paint.

D and P gave me permission to put these photos on the blog.  Although I’m not so excited about snow on the ground in October, they were pretty ecstatic to build a snow fort.

When the snow out front got thin, they moved to the back and used the old wheelbarrow to haul the white stuff.  Here are the before and after pictures:

Normally, I like the month of October.  Bright red maple leaves, yellow poplar appendages and a few oranges contrast beautifully with the blue of the sky and the grey-blue of the lake.  Add in some bright orange pumpkins and some gourds in various other Autumn colours and October is a feast for the eyes.  Imagine my surprise then when the world turned black and white this morning.

The pretty pinks, reds and greens of my garden got blanketed in monochromatic white.

My pumpkins are still bravely trying to display their orange hues.

Well, at least black and white are always in style!  I am missing the colourful snapshot I used to see out my window though!

Ecclesiastes 3:11

He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time.