{Zippered Doodle Pouch Tutorial}

This tutorial is in the works, and will be updated shortly.  My sister is an artist and I am a seamstress.  I always feel funny about calling myself a seamstress because it’s not actually my profession, just a hobby, really.  But my sister most definitely is an artist.  A very good one, I’d like to add.  For this tutorial, we decided that we are going to collaborate.  My sister will be using permanent fabric pens to doodle on the pattern pieces before I sew the zippered pouches up.  fabric markersThe artwork is optional, though.  Instead, just cut the pattern pieces out of regular fabric instead of the white fabric that we used.  If you can use a pair of scissors and sew a straight line, this is the project for you!

{Weekend Revamp ~ Spray Painting a Brass Chandelier}

In today’s post, you’ll learn how to use spray paint to turn a boring, ugly brass chandelier into a lovely, more updated piece you’ll be proud of.  You’ll also learn how I converted a hard-wired lighting fixture into a plug-in fixture.  Finally, I’ll provide a link that will show you how to hang a chandelier, or any light- to mid-weight item, from a plaster ceiling with tips for hanging it from dry wall too.

{Train Your Eye to See the Potential in Junk}

When flea marketing or antiquing, have a mental list of things you’re looking for.  Try not to make it too specific, though.  If you need a red side table, don’t look for a red side table.  Instead, look for a table you love because of its shape and lines.  You can always paint it red yourself!  
I picked up this ugly contractor-grade brass chandelier while antiquing at Antiques & Art Emporium in Burlington, NJ with a good friend.

It certainly was no antique, that I knew for sure, but it was a steal at $15.  My daughter’s room needed another light source and this would be perfect. However, it was a hard-wire type fixture and there is no receptacle in the ceiling of my daughter’s room.  My early 1950’s home was built with electrical outlets above each window with these awful flourescent lights plugged into them.  The outlets are attached to very convenient lightswitches, right by the doorways, but they made the house look like a creepy funeral parlor. I still haven’t taken down the one in our master bedroom and every time Jeff flips the switch by accident (or on purpose), I yell at him until he turns it off.  I can’t bear it.  Anyway, I planned on converting the chandelier into a plug-in fixture and the over-the-window outlet is at the perfect height and location.

{Make Friends Wherever You Go}

So, the following Sunday, I took the fixture with me to a barn sale on Meadowbrook Road in nearby Robbinsville (google maps address is 245 Meadowbrook Road — look for a small sign by the road, the barn is set back).  Paul opens his barn to the public on Sundays only.  He gets his stock from auctions, estate sales, and house clean-outs so it’s a great place to pick and the stock is forever changing.  Chances are, when you go to Paul’s barn sale, you’ll run into some of his very friendly and helpful buddies.  One of them is Brian Carroll, a lighting professional who has a showroom with his wife at Tomato Factory Antiques in Hopewell, NJ.  He rewired the main part of the chandelier for me, leaving the arms wired the way they were since they looked as though they had never been used.  He left me extra cord so that I could make it as long as I wanted.  All I had to do was attach the plug on the end, which was surprisingly simple.  I’ll post a how-to later.

The chandelier then sat around for another month or two.  After a relaxing weekend away with my sister, I was inspired to take on some projects that have been nagging me to get done.  So, without further adieu…here is how I turned a boring contractor-grade brass chandelier into a gorgeous pale pink lighting fixture for my baby girl’s bedroom. 

{Gather Your Materials}

•sandpaper
•TSP cleaner
•rag & small container of water
•rubber gloves
•dropcloth or large cardboard box
•metal spray primer
•colored spray paint of your choice
•plastic bag

{Get Busy!}

Here are the products that I used to clean and paint the chandelier.

First, I removed the plastic tubes and metal cups from each arm.

Next, I used sand paper to rough up the surface of the chandelier and little cups so the primer and paint would have  something to stick to.
Then I put on my chemical-resistant gloves and wiped away the sanding dust, using a rag and a mixture of water and TSP.  
I protected the cord with a plastic bag.  Then, using a large cardboard box as a drop cloth, I primed everything with the metal primer. 
Two coats of primer covered up all of that ugly brass quite well, didn’t it?

The next day, I hung it from my clothesline to get access to all of the nooks and crannies, which worked well.  I sprayed two coats of pale pink.  Let me tell you…spray painting is NOT good on a windy day.  I guess it was good that I didn’t breathe the fumes in, but I think I wasted a good portion!
The cups got a coat of pink too.

{Finishing Touches}

The finishing touches were a cord cover and a ceiling medallion.  The cord cover was super easy to make.  If you can thread a sewing machine and sew a straight line, you’ll be just fine.  It’s just an extra long tube of fabric that I slid onto the plug end (make sure you make the tube wide enough to accomodate the plug).  
Use a cloth tape measure to measure the circumference around the plug.  Add a 1/4″ to that for some wiggle room, plus another 1″ for your seam allowance, which I usually like at 1/2″.
Circumference of plug + 1/4″ + 1″ = width of your fabric strip

Here, you can see the fabric is folded lengthways (hot-dog-style) with the right (printed) sides together, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

My fabric measured 4″ wide by three times the length of the cord.  You’ll need that extra length to get that uniform ruffled look.   
I then fed the plug all the way through, making sure to scrunch the fabric as I went.
I slit a 1/2″ hole in the seam at the spot where I wanted one single chain link to poke through for hanging it on the swag hook.    
The ceiling medallion is from the big box hardware store.  I fastened it to the ceiling using command strips.  It’s very lightweight and paintable (I just left mine white).

Finally, it was time to hang this baby up and make the room a little brighter!

I had a little helper of course, which made it a whole lot more interesting, and fun, might I add.  I hope that one day she’ll be happy that I taught her how to do stuff like this.

Check out my tutorial on how to hang stuff from a plaster ceiling.  
As Always, Stay Cozy!
Mandy

{Artist’s Pouches}

Last spring, my sister, the artist, inspired me to make these little Artist’s Pouches and they ended up selling out! This year, I’m offering these exclusively to The Vintage Sister’s Blog followers for $9.50 (free shipping). Go to her blog, read her latest post and become a follower if you haven’t already. Once you have the “secret code” contained within the post, contact me at onecozynest@comcast.net with which one you’d like (first come first serve).

Right now I only have 5, but there are 5 more in the works (see below for all the pictures). They’re designed to hold pencils, paint brushes, knitting needles, and anything else long and skinny! My pouches are a simple and convenient way to stay organized. They can also fit sunglasses, money, makeup, chap stick, bubble gum…the possibilities are endless. Who knew cuteness could be so affordable?!

Measurements & Specifications:
8″ long, 2″ deep, 2″ high
Fully lined with vintage fabric
Zipper closure


flowered w/ blue zipper SOLD thank you!

{Blogs, Blogs, and more Blogs!}

This week, I’ve had the high honor of being featured in two, yes, TWO other blogs written by fellow Etsy sellers! To me, this is such a huge compliment and I am always so grateful. So let me thank them both in today’s post…

First, the lovely Audrey over at Pink Sunrise featured my handmade felt heart brooches.
Audrey is a knitter and she also sells supplies on her Etsy shop. She also designs banners and avatars for fellow Etsy sellers. Check out her stash of supplies, like this pretty ribbon:

Next, the talented Emily over at Tea and Laundry featured my vintage green bingo cards.
She plans on using them in a shadow box for her daughter’s room. I have a young child too and I can remember how fun it was decorating his room. Emily’s favorite things to make and work with are jewelry and paper goods . Check out her adorable resin charm!

Thank you Audrey and Emily, for making me and One Cozy Nest part of your day.

{Latest Project ~ Puffy Felt Hearts}

Last night, I was finally able to escape to my craft room and get creative. After a trip to the craft store with my sister and a well needed therapy session, I made these three puffy felt hearts. I used some of my long neglected vintage fabric stash, buttons, and embroidery thread. After making these, I discovered that I really like hand sewing! It’s relaxing and theraputic and when you’re done, you even have something like these cute hearts to show for it. I turned them into little pins you can wear on your coat or sweater by sewing a little pin onto the backs. Check them out in my Etsy shop, One Cozy Nest.

My sister has also been a busy little thing over at The Vintage Sister Studio. Just look at her adorable Valentine’s Day nest head.

{Hey There Shorty}

Yeah, I’m talking to you. I called you short. Okay, let me be PC…vertically challenged. Are you walking around wearing jeans or pants that you hemmed yourself? And are you embarassed that you can tell they’re hemmed? I know I am. I’m 5’3″ and the “short” length jeans are about 2 inches too short and the “average” jeans are way too long. Not that anyone really looks down towards my shoes on a regular basis (guys usually stop at my boobs, haha), but it bothers me when I spend $60 bucks or so on a pair of jeans (gasp!) and I have to chop them up and they end up looking like a home-ec project. One time I even used gold thread that was made for jeans. It looked okay, but that nice worn look to the bottom edge of the jeans was missing. Enter Fig and Plum. They posted a tutorial about hemming jeans like a pro. It’s so stinkin’ easy that I’m ashamed I didn’t think of it myself. Here is a link to the tutorial that you can download and save to your computer. Here is a modified version from Dacia Ray that tells you how to deal with flared jeans. Why not let these adorable vintage hem clips help you do the job? You can find them in my Etsy shop, called One Cozy Nest.