Sunday, September 16, 2012

Finally Really Done, Done, Done!

All it took was a nudge from a friend, wondering if she had missed my final post about completing my home study, to get me to... well, to complete my home study.  So I can blog about it.  Because inquiring minds want to know.

As of the last post (mid-July), there were two issues outstanding:  the art niche and the drawer pulls for the file cabinet.  Both are now resolved and I am reveling in a sweet and lovely home study that is exactly what I envisioned!

I decided I wanted to rotate whatever will be in the art niche in the bookcase, so I got several pieces of fabric from my favorite fabric store, which is always having a sale on something.  On the day I went, it was batik, so I got three different varieties and hemmed them to stretch over two small, spring-loaded curtain rods as background.  It helps to carry around the color chips for this project so that if something catches my eye, I can see how it will work.

So I started with a plain-ish green fabric and tried this:
Looks okay, but the proportions are wrong.  Still, it's a start. Let's see what else we can do.

Different roses (yes my neighbor said it would be okay for me to pick hers), different background fabric, and mounted on a pretty cedar box that I've had for years.  I keep meaning to repair the clasp so that it will actually close, but it works fine for this purpose.

Okay, let's try the third fabric:

Yes, that looks pretty good!  Now I feel like I have some viable options and can start really playing around with this.  (And right here and now I want to apologize for the lousy placement of text and photos in this post.  I find Blogger very difficult to work with, and will probably eventually move this blog to a different, more user-friendly platform, but for right now I just want to git 'er done.)

Here are some other things I've tried over the summer:

Onion blossoms from the vegetable garden.

Sunflowers grown from seeds given to us by a member of our former congregation.  They are spectacular (I've never grown sunflowers before) and very Van Gogh, don't you think?  I call them Cumberland Valley sunflowers.  Note that I put some baskets on top of the bookcase to fill in that awkward space, which looks much better now.

So... onward to the drawer pulls.

You may remember that the original file cabinet looked like this
after I had painted it and put it in place.  Functional, but boring handles.  

I tried replacing them with colored glass ones, which would have been okay but I was too dumb to measure between the holes, and it turns out that the glass ones were 3", while the holes in the drawer were 4" apart.  Back to the drawing board, or, more specifically, to Rejuvenation, which is Portland's answer to Restoration Hardware.  There I dug around in the used hardware bins until I found these handles, 

which were the right size and made of metal, but unmatching.  I don't care if they match!  They are complimentary and cool, which is all I cared about.  And I knew that if I painted them, they'd look great.

Here's the tried-and-true DIY home painting set up:

a cardboard box over a trash can in the garage, with the paint strategically situated on top of an upturned bucket beside it.  Scissors, a paintbrush and a damp rag complete the set-up.

Instructions:  poke a hole in the cardboard that's a little smaller than the screw for the handle, so that you can screw the handle firmly onto the cardboard.  Actually, poke four holes, two for each handle.  Apply paint (same paint color as the chairs) and then wipe immediately and strategically with damp cloth so that some of the paint comes off and the metal shows through.  Thus:

Allow both handles to dry thoroughly, then replace boring old handles with these.

I made this picture extra-large so you could admire it.  Don't they look great!!??

So here are some final photos of the Finished Home Study, now my favorite room in the house:

The richly-embroidered pillow cover was a gift from another parishioner, brought back from Saudi Arabia.

Whenever possible, I keep fresh flowers on my desk.  They make me so happy!  Petunias are the happiest flower.

The little plate is from a new favorite store, Noun.  It's there to receive a coffee cup or maybe some cookies brought by a visitor to my room.

"And that, said John, is that!"  (Can anyone other than my brothers attribute that quote?  An extra hug from me if you get it right.)

Okay, friends, onward to the next project, which in fact we have already started -- the bedroom!  Stay tuned... but don't hold your breath.