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May 31, 2012

...diy orchard ladder

...hello sweetums!

do you ever find yourself desiring a prop?

but it's not a prop
that is as simple
as a visit to your local orchard??
(hint, hint)

 you seek high and low
it eludes you
which makes you think of it even more



if YOU have been seeking an orchard ladder, my dears


some of you know by now,
that i am a diy kinda girl
so today,
i am going to show you how i made my very own orchard ladder!

here is your 
* materials list *

2 ~ 8 feet sections of 1 x 4 treated lumber
12 feet of 1 1/4" round dowel rod
1 1/4" drill bit and a drill
outdoor wood glue
belt sander/sand paper
1 small can of wood stain in a charcoal gray color
white wash paint
a small box of baking soda 
4 cups of vinegar ~
 to which you have added TWO pieces of steel wool to and have let sit overnight
a pair of rubber gloves

let's begin

clamp your 2
8 foot sections of treated 1" x 4"'s together
and set on a ladder to make your hole drilling easier.

start at the end that will be the bottom of your ladder
take a pencil and write "bottom" on each of your pieces
(this will come in handy later)
then mark your wood
at intervals of 10"

drill 1 1/4" holes at each 10" mark
starting from the bottom,
as i have done here

do this all the way up your ladder

* cutting the rungs *
i gave my ladder a total of 9 rungs
if you want a shorter ladder
simply adjust:)
my longest rung measures 18" long
then 17", 16", etc.
 my 9th and smallest rung being 10"
keeping in mind that 2" will "disappear" into each 1"x 4"  ladder side,
(1" on each side)

now simply start at the bottom
of one of the 1" x 4" 8 foot sections you have drilled
 and put a drizzle of your wood glue in the first hole
 push your largest rung through
until it is flush to the outside edge of your ladder
but not protruding out

repeat this for all the rungs
working your way up
glue drizzle, then the rung
if you find that some of your rungs are not fitting,
have a piece of sand paper handy
 to take the ends down a little until they do

now move to your other 1" x 4" 8 foot piece that you have drilled
and repeat this process

because your rungs get smaller,
your ladder will just naturally pull in
getting narrower as you go

now that wasn't so bad
was it??

i wanted my ladder edges to be softened
as in, no sharp edges

so as hubby o'mine demonstrates here ~
simply take down your edges to your liking,
 with a belt sander...

you may choose to skip this step entirely
 you want your ladder to be weathered looking like i did
if so,
then we are going to faux weather it!
and YES!
it DOES make a difference

put a pair of rubber gloves on
and take 1 of your vinegar/soaking steel wool pieces
and rub your entire ladder with it,
rungs and all

let your ladder sit in the sun for a day to dry
don't throw out your steel wool vinegar yet!

the next day
steel wool it again
but as you go
sprinkle the baking soda as you rub it in

it will fizz
and smell like rotten eggs
and you may feel as if this a science project gone bad
but just

let your ladder sit in the sun to dry again.

your ladder should look evenly weathered
and it's color will kinda look like a redwood

now, for the charcoal wood stain
i used a water based stain
and poured some into a disposable bowl
let's say about a cup
i just eyeballed it!
then add warm water to thin the density of the color a bit
about another cup
i wanted a really light gray color ~
like my ladder had been sitting in the orchard for years!

you can always make it darker if it is too light for you
but keep in mind, when you paint this on it looks dark until it dries

you can use a sponge brush or a rag
i started with a sponge brush
but switched over to the rag
it was easier to use
make sure you have your rubber gloves on,
gray fingers are NOT attractive!!)

i liked my first wash of the gray color
so i then gave it a white wash
like i showed you on my french market basket
you will use an white outdoor craft paint
and water it down 2 parts water
then paint it on your ladder

let dry

and ta da!!

you have a lovely orchard ladder of your very own!
ready for your whimsy:)

i hope you enjoy this diy
and let me know if you make one:)

sharing this with:
brambleberry cottage's: time travel thursday
common ground's: vintage inspiration
french country cottage's: feathered nest friday
romantic home's: show and tell friday
the charm of home's: home sweet home
rooted in thyme's: simple sweet fridays

here's to doing it yourself!!

May 30, 2012

~ white peonies ~

...hello dear hearts!

i've been creating in my studio
unfinished projects that i have been wanting
to use to decorate my home...
this is my most recent
~ french market basket ~

isn't it lovely?!?

and my orchard ladder

i'll be sharing a diy on friday:)


and OH!
the glorious peonies this year!!

i have never had a basket full of them
...until now


close up of my basket rose applique

smell here


did you smell
just how heavenly the scent of these are

are they not

~ sigh ~




thank you for your visit today!

now i'm off to the studio
to see what else i can wave my magic wand over:)


sharing this post with
faded charm's: white wednesday

here's to a basket full of beautiful peonies!

May 22, 2012

...a diamond in the rough

~ diamond in the rough ~

i am but a diamond
~ in the rough ~
in this sea of life

constantly being


 by the sands of time

 ~ patience                               
     ~ endurance 
                                        ~ grace      

yes please!
wash over me

as these are traits that i wish to behold

i can only be who i am today
and challenge my own limits

for after all,
i AM my own worst enemy

 just knowing
that my roughened soul
can still be made useful
is enough to spur me on

for that quiet voice within me
whispers gently
...the best is yet to come...

 i sigh with relief
and delight in the thought ~
to be a part of something beautiful...

but today,


just a...

~ the end ~

sharing this musing with
faded charm's: white wednesday

here's to the sands of time!

May 17, 2012

...crystal beaded light bulb cover tutorial

hello my dears!!

has it really been a whole two weeks since my last post?!?!
just like that
~ poof ~

oh, where do the days wander to...

do you suppose a tutorial would make up for it?


here are the supplies you will need to make one
light cover

*10 crystazzi 6mm round crystal sets
(each set has 14 pieces)
in your choice of colors
mine were a mix of clear and ab
i purchased these at Michael's
*  7 crystazzi 4mm round crystal sets
(each set has 17 pieces)
in your choice of colors
* 1 spool of 24 gauge silver beading wire
* a pair of round nose jewelry pliers
* a pair of jewelry wire cutters

the light bulb i wanted to use had an iridescent finish on it
so for this crystal cover 
i used a mix of clear crystals and ab crystals (iridescent)
for some added whimsy.

here is my pattern

ready to begin?

step 1: cut a piece of wire about  24" in length
this will be what i will call, your "anchor wire"
quite simply,
it is the wire to which everything is attached to

step 2: cut 6, 16" individual pieces of wire

step 3: start your wire as i have below.
thread a small crystal bead on the anchor wire,
then take a piece of your 16" wire and bend that over your 24" anchor wire
thread one of your larger crystal beads
 over BOTH wires to secure it to your anchor wire

repeat this entire process for all your  16" lengths of wire
so it looks like this

step 4: from this point, treat each wire as it's own
and thread on 5 smaller crystal beads to each wire
like so:

step 5: now add 10 larger crystal beads to each wire
step 6: add 1 more small bead to the bottom of each wire
step 7: to finish each wire off,
use your round nose pliers to make a loop
 on each crystal strand end like this

you should end up with something that looks like this

step 8: now we are going to finish of the "anchor wire"
grasp each end of the anchor wire
and bring both pieces of wire together
step 9: thread a large crystal bead onto BOTH wires
(just like you did when you first started)

pull the wire close to the top like so

step 10: again, just like you did the previous wires,
add 5 small crystal  beads to each of the wires

and then 10 large crystal beads
and 1 small one at each end.

finish each end with your rounded nose pliers

step 11: your crystal strands are complete.
 now we are wiring all the strands together
 about half way down,
to start forming the light bulb cover
like in the photo below


pick one of the beaded strands to begin
and place a piece of  16" wire under it about half way down

now fold over the right side wire

then the left side

simply pull the two wires until they are secure on the crystal strand

and move on to the next crystal strand,
repeating the cross over wire steps

stringin',  stringin', stringin',
keep those fingers stringin'

my bad!
i just gave my dog a rawhide chip and was already singin' it!!

when you are all finished
you should end up with something resembling a crystal wig!!


but seriously ~
doesn't it look like one?!

i bet Cher would love one:)

at this point,
i took my desired light bulb and placed my crystal wig on it

and simply secured each wires end
onto the strand next to it to complete it

step 12: stringing the bottom
take a  14" piece of wire,
 and make a round loop on one of the ends
like i have done here

slip the wire into one of the crystal strands looped bottoms
and then thread a small bead on
then another crystal strand
then a small bead

repeat until all crystal strands are anchored to that wire

when you reach the end
that's it!
you need to leave one end free
to be able to wrap it around your light bulb base

it doesn't need to be really long,
about 2" or so is enough 

all that is left
is for you to put it on your light bulb
 ~ viola ~

your crystal beaded light bulb cover is complete!!


 my chandie floor lamp
looks glamorous with it's new
iridescent crystal cover!

or should i say,

and how about you, my dears?
are you inspired to give this a try for your pretty lamps?

i'd love for you to share how your turns out if you do:)

sharing this tutorial with:
brambleberry cottage's: time travel thursday
common ground's: vintage inspiration
french country cottage's: feathered nest friday
romantic home's: show and tell friday
the charm of home's: home sweet home
rooted in thyme's: simple sweet fridays

here's to elegant illumination!


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