Friday, October 7, 2011

Spray, Girl. Spray.

So, I never said I was going to blog every day, but this is just ridiculous. It's not even Halloween, and this thing is gathering cobwebs.  I should lie and say I've been busy knitting scarves for homeless cats, or carving gourds into decorative, seasonal soup bowls, or some autumnal nonsense. It’s just been a busy month, so let’s just leave it at that, kiss, make up, and move forward.

As a follow-up to my last post, I wanted to include a few photos from my finished set design for Endgame. It was a beautiful show, and I’m proud to have been a part of it. We faux-finished that black concrete box within an inch of its life. Gary kept me company while I painted the floor, dragging back and forth with a wood grain tool, and sprayed the walls for layers of dripping. It was a labor of love, and it was a pleasure to watch the talented actors bring the space to life every evening. If you ever want a humbling experience, design a set, and then watch everyone tear it down 5 minutes after the last performance.

 Photos By: Martyn Kyle, Pernmoot Photography.

In other news, I’ve been on a spray paint kick. (not in a graffiti/huffing sort of way.) In efforts to keep moving through these busy months, I love easy, do-it-yourself projects that don’t break the bank, the calendar, or the floor joists.  

My first can-tastic project was a super easy Chalkboard Globe. Using an old globe I picked up at Circa, one of our local consignment furniture stores for $12.00 and a can of Krylon black chalkboard spray paint, I created a fun, conversation piece for the house. We’ve been using it as a message center in the kitchen—for grocery lists, appointments, and even the occasional love note. It’s also been fun for friends at parties to leave messages—although some wouldn’t be suitable for this blog. Instead of using it for big children like Gary and I, this could be a fun project for ACTUAL children to learn geography, or write, or make crude drawings of genitalia and giggle, etc.

To create your own Chalkboard Globe, follow these simple steps:
  1. Wipe the globe clean with a damp cloth, and allow it to air dry. (Look for sturdier globes and avoid antiques with lots of tears, cracks, and peeling facades. If the globe is more modern and plastic, you may want to prime the globe before painting.  
  2.  Using painter’s tape and a plastic bag, tape off the base of the globe, as well as the finial, and anything you don’t want painted. I wrapped the arm using several 2 inch strips or painter’s tape.
  3.  In a well-ventilated area, spray your globe with the chalk board paint, using nice, even strokes. Don’t spray too close to the glob to avoid drips and unevenness. Work your way around the globe and rotate it, being sure to get the bottom and all surface area. Allow each coat to dry, and check to see if any of the globe is peeking through. Once you have a solid, dry, smooth surface, you’re good to go.
  4. Remove the painter’s tape, add chalk, mix, and enjoy. For under $20.00, we have a fun, interactive message center. Around the world in 30 minutes. Not bad!
On a similar note, armed with a few cans of spray paint and primer, I tackled another project for my C-VILLE Abode column last month. We were housing two, unattractive, outdated lamps in the attic that belonged to Gary’s Grandmother. She won’t read this, right? They were large, white porcelain, with a dark base, torn shades, and an autumn leaf motif. I’m sure they were lovely in their day, but they weren’t seeing the light of day in my house. Every time I would go in the attic to get something or put something away, I would look at the lamps. Usually I would just frown at them, but the more I looked at them, I started to fall in love with their shape. They actually reminded me of a lot of the large “Genie Bottle” lamps that are popular in modern design/many high-end furniture stores and lighting galleries.

It was settled, the lamps were coming out of the attic, and they were getting a makeover. A can of spray primer, 2 cans of yellow high-gloss spray paint, one can of silver metalic spray paint, and a few drum shades we had lying around the house later, we had new lamps. They’re bright, they’re fun, they're modern, and they were a small fraction of the cost of 2 similar new lamps. And to top it off, I think Gary’s Grandmother would actually dig them, in a big way.
For step-by-step instructions for the lamp project, visit my September Abode Column:
Lamps Before:
Lamps After: Hooray for Strategically placed lemons! You mean you don't keep your lemons on a platter in the dining room?
 Photo Credit: John Robinson.

Stay tuned for fall fun, seasonal recipes, and bourbon-soaked/pumpkin-spiced do-it-yourself projects coming your way. Happy Friday, and Happy Fall, Y'all.

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