Saturday Sprucing

With spring not far off, I can hope, I had the need to spruce things up around here.  I have several projects in various stages right now, but here’s a few I started and completed today.

The ottoman that never worked

I picked up a $10 storage ottoman right before I moved in here to use both as storage and extra seating. It works great for storage, but seating is another matter.  The information that came with it stated it would hold a person up to 200 pounds.  Right, even the little ones who weigh right around 40 pounds have trouble with the lid staying put and falling into the storage below.  You can see below how easily the sides give without any weight on it.


I asked my daughter-in-law to pick me up a package of shims while she was out yesterday.  I forgot to specify a small package and ended up with 42!  Using the shims I proceeded to use the staple gun to attach them to the edges inside the lid for a tighter fit.


I used two on each side, thick end attached to thinner end to give it an even fit.  Yes, this meant the staples were going to show on the lip of the cover.  But I  had this cushion from the loveseat.  It had a small hole and my lovely grand-son decided to show me by tearing it wide open.


I took the cover off and used approximately half the filling to cover the lid


Then I attached the remaining fabric from the end table I completed before Christmas.  It’s a little fuller than I had planned, but it sure is comfy to put my feet on. I’ll have to let you know what guests think of sitting on it.  Sorry the picture is not as clear as I would like but the bottom is black and hard to photograph.


The present left behind by my ex


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There are a lot of reasons why my ex is my ex. Today I want to mention one of his disgusting habits….he chews snuff.  That’s gross but it gets worse. He will put a huge gob of the stuff in his mouth then lay down to sleep.  Yuck.  When I  have overnight guests I let them choose what pillow would be most comfortable for them to sleep on, then cover it with a pillow case.  Takes care of most problems, except when he falls into a deep sleep with that stuff in his mouth and drools it all over the pillow.  Right through the pillowcase and on to my pillow.  Here is what the pillow looked like when he left and I removed the pillowcase.


I was ready to toss it in the trash, but then decided I could fix this.  I pulled out my hydrogen peroxide and went to work.  After just a couple of minutes I had this.


It’s working. I continued to rub the spot with peroxide until it looked like the spot was clean.  I crossed my fingers and tossed it in the wash.


It’s clean!!   I let a lot of things go without comment to preserve the peace, but I drew the line here,  he’s been told he will from now on bring his own pillow with him.

The sticky and painted switch plate


I forgot to take a before picture and had already started to scrap off the paint and glue residue when I took this picture.  I really don’t like these plastic yellowish covers, but replacing them all right now is something I’d rather not do.  I’ve replaced a couple that were out in the open, but this one is in the hallway and most people haven’t noticed.


Using a picture I found in a magazine a while back I used homemade Modge Podge to adhere the paper to the switch plate.  Simply water down slightly a little school glue, I use Elmer’s.  Careful not to add too much water or you will have to wait quite a while for it to dry.

Just a note, I had never used Modge Podge before this winter, I can’t say that it is worth the money it costs.  You can use a couple of things instead, like I did here you can use regular school glue with a little bit of water and seal with a polycrylic or as I’ve done in other projects, using polycrylic both to adhere the item and to seal it.  I first did just that years ago on a table we used heavily for activities and meals. It held up for many years with no problems at all.  I am working on a project doing just that again which I will show you in a few days.

Once the glue is dry simply go over it with a coat or two of polycrylic and you have a new cover for your light switch for zero cost. And here it is on the wall, much better.


The abandoned 1 by 4

A couple of months ago, a neighbor stopped by to tell me he found a 1 X 4 piece of wood.  It was in good shape but needed paint, or something. I told him I would take it and put it away to get ready for the holidays and the projects that needed finishing before that.  Once it got really cold here I realized my small coat rack isn’t adequate for my needs. I wanted one lower for the little ones to be able to hang their own coats up, but  had to come up with hooks that wouldn’t hurt them if they fell or ran into them.

I painted the wood with leftover blue milk paint while I was redoing the furry chair and waited some more for inspiration.  Then it came to me when I spotted this post from Garden Therapy.  I went over to my vase of twigs (you can see the vase below in the last picture of this post) and found one I liked, but didn’t have the tools handy to cut it so I went with my next choice from the vase.  This one was easy enough, but because it was thinner than what was used on the inspiration piece I decided to use a little of my gorilla glue.


All I have to do is hang this in the hall, and I have a free coat rack.

New Art

Now for the part I can’t wait to show you.  I purchased a gorgeous owl picture from Jen at Winter Owls.  Being that Jen lives in Australia and I the US I figured it would take a bit to arrive.  Nope it arrived in just about a weeks time. Since then it has been carefully stored waiting for the bathroom to be painted and hung in the vanity area.  The thing is I love it so much I kept pulling it out to show everyone.

The picture is 5 by 5 which made finding a frame locally hard.  I couldn’t stand to have the picture hidden away so my grand-daughter helped me make a frame yesterday out of cardboard and tissue paper. This is just a temporary measure, I’ve ordered a frame which should be here in a few days.


Yes the one side of the frame is wider, this can happen when you allow a 4 year old to assemble the pieces.  I slid the owl print in today and hung it on my living room wall until it’s permanent home is ready.


My phone sure doesn’t do justice to this amazing picture, but isn’t it cute? You can visit Jen at her blog Winter Owls here or check out her Etsy shop here.

I decided that was enough for one day, time for some light reading.

How was your Saturday?




    • That switch plate has been driving me nuts ever since I moved in. I replaced two that had been painted over so many times I had to scrape off the paint just to find the screws but that one I tried to ignore, finally had to do something with it. I love how it turned out.


  1. I got a big surprise today, there was my Blue Music owls! Thank you so much for showing them off. I also loved what you did with the light switch cover, it looks wonderful. You are a better woman than me to clean the snuffy pillow, I’m afraid I would have binned that!


    • I’m glad you liked seeing your picture. I’ll show it again when its in a proper frame and in its permanent placement. I am so happy with that little owl picture and everyone who sees it loves it as well. As for the snuffy pillow, it was very close to ending up in the trash, but I finally had to try and clean it as it is in great shape otherwise. I’m glad the peroxide worked as I had no other ideas.


    • Thank you. It was a fun day, I just pulled out a few things and began to assemble and play. I did have another project, but it didn’t turn out as well. I may have to share it just to show what I shouldn’t try in the future.


    • Isn’t that owl picture great? I love Jens owls so much, but the blues in this one fit perfectly with what I am doing in the apartment so it had to be mine. I was surprised by how much of a statement the switch plate made, its colors are more vivid than I realized when I began but I don’t think I’d like it as well if it were any different. Luckily for me people give me old magazines rather than tossing them, I search for things I like and save them in a small folder then let the little ones cut and make things from them before they are recycled. If I don’t find interesting art pictures in them I pass them on to the library rather than recycling them.


  2. What a productive day you had. That must have been very satisfying. From the picture, I have a hard time imagining that the twigs on the coat rack will be strong enough to hold coats. Did you do anything special to reinforce them or are they stronger than they look in the picture?


    • Before cutting them down to the smaller size they would have broken pretty easily, but at the size they are they are really sturdy. Since this coat rack is for the kids, their coats aren’t very heavy, I did hold it up with my heaviest coat on it and had no trouble so I’m hoping I found the perfect length for each of them.


  3. ugh, my ex dipped snuff, so I know what you mean about nasty habit. I’m glad you were able to save the pillow. I love the light switch! The owl picture is so cute. You done good! 🙂


    • Thank you Jackie. Isn’t that the worst habit? I get smoking, I used to smoke but putting a gob of tobacco in the mouth and having to spit all the time, never. I was so relieved I was able to get the stains out I really liked the pillows, the other side is a blue that fits nicely in here.


    • Tuffet, I love it, that’s what I’m going to call it from now on. It is very comfy, a little girl and her mommy just visited and it was a favorite seat. Now they can choose from a tuffet or the furry chair when they want the ultimate comfort 🙂


  4. What a creative day you had! I kind of like the off-center owl frame. And the twig hooks are really cool. I’ve done those switch plates before in the kids’ rooms when they were little. I spent Saturday preparing for and receiving out-of-town guests. Today was spent recuperating!


    • It’s always nice to have guests, but it’s even better when the house becomes yours again when the guests leave. Saturday was a nice day, as for the hooks I knew I had to have something the little ones couldn’t get hurt on if they ran into it, thinking mostly of my grandson who has more energy than he knows what to do with and is forever tripping over his own feet.


  5. Phew!… now that’s what a call a Saturday!! So loved everything you have made and revamped LSF .. Loved the light switch idea. And adored your owl picture…
    I used the stuffing from an old pillow that was on the spare bed that I was going to through out, but stuffed Bill and Ben draft excluder’s with half of the pillow.. Ive saved the remaining half for what ever project is next.. I fancied knitting Teddy bear or doll… but that will wait for the longer nights… Spring and the Sun is calling me outdoors at the moment…
    Have a Great Tuesday and week ahead


    • I still have plenty of the stuffing left, to keep it corralled I filled a pillowcase with it for a future project or two. The light switch idea is an old one, that seems to be making a come back, the picture is so lovely I now stop each time I go into the hall to admire it, it makes me smile.

      I’ve never learned to knit, something I really need to remedy but I think a Teddy bear or doll would be a long way off for me to think about knitting or even crocheting. If you make one I’d love to see it.

      Spring here is teasing us. Yesterday it was below freezing all day then I woke up at 4am to what sounded like rain, it was snow melting because it was in the mid 40s. By tomorrow it will again be below freezing. I keep telling myself that spring is trying, but winter is being stubborn 🙂 It will get here soon enough I’m sure. Enjoy the outdoors.


      • Yes here too the weather all over, it was mild yesterday here and today we awoke to several degrees of Frost!…

        My knitting you can see under my Header under my Art and Hobbies section… I used to knit when my children babies, then stopped when my daughter didnt want to be seen in home knits any more LOL… I didnt knit for years due to being so tired when Id finished work and aching muscles.. But took up again when I knew my Grandchild was on the way… 🙂
        I had my granddaughter today…. we walked even though it was frosty and fed some ducks. a beautiful out doors day..


        • I had my grand daughter today as well. We went outside for a bit under the porch as it was raining, shortly after it began to snow with strong winds so I’m glad we had the time outside we did. We didn’t see any ducks but we did see plenty of crows.


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