Saturday, 28 December 2013

Paint DIY: Metallic Dipped Bar Stools

Our kitchen was feeling a little empty since I sold our Restoration Hardware Toledo stools. I loved the look of those stools, but I didn't like the squeakiness and found them a bit hard to move around.
To replace them, I bought 4 green/oak stools off of kijiji for $10 each. After a bit of sanding, painting, taping and sealing, I had the perfect set of metallic paint dipped stools to go with my stainless steel appliances.

The hardest part was taping off the base and legs to make sure the metallic spray didn't end up on my freshly painted legs. I found the solution was cling wrap and painters tape.

Here are the necessary items you need for your own painting DIY:

1. Wooden stools, the cheapy ones found at target or walmart, or better yet, like I found second hand.
2. Sandpaper
3. Drop sheets
4. Paint
5. Paint Brush
6. Painter's Tape
7. Cling Wrap
8. Spray Metallic Paint (I used Rust-Oleum Protective Enamel Bright Coat Metallic Gloss Chrome)
9. Paint Sealer protective finish (I used  the Minwax Polycrylic sealer in gloss)

Once I sanded the stools, I painted the legs with two coats of Behr's Black paint and primer in one.

 Once dry, I covered the legs in cling wrap and painters tape to keep the plastic in place.

 I used the metallic spray paint to paint both the seat and the tips of the legs I had taped off.

Taking the tape and plastic off once dry is always my favourite part.  I then had the hubby apply two coats of wood sealer to the stools to keep the paint from scratching off.

I am super happy with the final results!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Wrap, Trim, Decorate: Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everybody!
Hoping that your holiday season is a happy and prosperous one and if your household gets a visit from Santa, then I hope he was good to you. I know I sure got spoiled.
Lucky me, I got a set of power tools this year, which means even more DIYs and more handiwork around the house to blog about.

Wishing you the best for the New Year and of course for peace on Earth!



Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Holiday Fashion: Work Parties et al.

I can't believe that Christmas is only about a week away. This past weekend, my husband and I attended his company work party in Chicago. I wanted to look put together, but not too flashy, so I opted for my skinny jeans and an indigo Peplum top that went perfectly with my Guess booties. 
The party was really fun, considering I didn't really know anyone and I wasn't sure what to expect. Thankfully I met Andy there after the speeches were all done, which meant that his co-workers were already nice and tipsy, paving the way for a fun(ny) evening.
This week, I am busy finishing up some work for a client, then pushing to get the house prepared for the holidays and starting some new DIYs. I have a set of stools that I am refinishing, and I am super excited to show you the finished results.

Keep on trucking everybody, just a few more days before we all get some holiday respite!

Monday, 9 December 2013

Trip to Matera, Italy: Cave Homes of the Sassi people

One of the perks of having a blog, is that I can post all of those gaggilion photos I take on trips. While I promise not to post all gaggilion in one post, here is a small collection of photos from the beautiful southern Italian city of Matera that I think everyone should get a chance to see at some point in their lives.

Andy surprised me with a fantastic stay in this ancient city, and prior to staying in an actual cave dwelling turned hotel, I had never heard of the Sassi people of Matera.

I found this city to be simply magical and it is said to be from the 3rd century BC. The Sassi people lived in houses carved into the mountain, and many of these "houses" are really only caverns. The streets in some parts are often located on the rooftops of other houses.  The Sassi originate from a prehistoric settlement, and are suspected to be some of the first human settlements in Italy. In the 1950s, the government of Italy forcefully relocated most of the population of the Sassi to areas of the developing modern city as it was considered an area of poverty. Current local administration, however, has become more tourism-oriented, and has promoted the re-generation of the Sassi with the aid of the European Union, the government, UNESCO, and Hollywood. Today there are many thriving businesses, pubs, and hotels being run by Sassi descendants.

Below are photos from the hotel we stayed at, called Hotel Sant'Angelo.  The hotel is the result of meticulous preservation of an area of more than 14,069 square feet that includes cave dwellings, pathways, stairways, and courtyards. Our view was just amazing, and it was a really cool experience to have a glimpse of live in a rocky habitat. It took some time to get used to a tub bath only, as there was no stand up shower. Other than that our stay at Hotel Sant'Angelo was wonderful.

Our views from our room's balcony:

The above photo is an example of newly renovated grotto homes, directly on top of derelict, boarded up homes. I was able to peer into the lower right grotto an found the following:
It's an abandoned cave house that was all locked up. I managed to find a crevice and using my flash, was able to capture this 1940's stove still inside! I felt like I'd found treasure when I took this photo. I love looking directly into the past, what a great way to time travel.
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