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    We're two avid DIY-ers raising two rambunctious boys while tackling large and small projects, living to share our tale. All with the hope to inspire and encourage others.

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    Stop by the blog for a chance to win a $60 shop credit to @michaelellisstudios Lots of wonderful art options. You know what sucks more than removing wallpaper? Removing wallpaper and three layers of paint. PSA of the day: NEVER, under any circumstances, paint over wallpaper. What's that phrase? Red/pink sky in the morning, take warning? How can a day be bad with this fantastic display of colors as a start?

Gimme a Giveaway: Michael Ellis Studios

Yay, it’s Friday!  To celebrate, we’ve got a fun giveaway from Michael Ellis Studios.

This shop is packed with vintage posters that have been digitally enhanced to make beautiful art.  With so many fun options, sorted categories make browsing easy.  Here are a few of my favorites from several sections.

In the Sky:

Botanical prints:

In the Ocean:

Maps:

Kids and Nursery:

The Goods:  Three winners will receive a $60 shop credit, good for or toward anything in the Michael Ellis Studios shop.  

To Enter:  Leave a comment telling us which art print(s) you’d most want to hang in your home.

For additional entries:

1.  Like Our Humble Abode on Facebook.  Come back to leave a second comment.

2.  Follow Our Humble Abode on Instagram.  Make sure you let us know you’re following.

Contest Closes: Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Number of Winners: Three, chosen by Random.org.

Ships: Anywhere in the world!

Other Info: We will select the winners using random.org and announce on Friday, November 7th.

No Sew Basket

Over the past several years, I’ve seen so many cool baskets.  Metal, wicker, fabric, or leather, I like them all.  So useful, almost everywhere.  I was especially intrigued by a clever folding basket design.

A brilliant origami-esque design uses slits to hold the shape without help from other materials.  No sewing, snaps, buttons, zippers or anything of the like.  Wanting a basket to store magazines, I used iron on interface (essentially a sheet of hem tape) to fuse two pieces of fabric together and prevent fraying.

Before cutting, I created a template on Kraft paper.  The areas inside the white show one-quarter of the design.  Just flip to make the other sides.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Quarter-Template

With my template ready, I traced it onto my fabric, cut, and put the handle through the tabs.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Fabric-Front-Detail

Instant no sew basket, albeit a floppy one.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Fabric-Front

Honestly, it does keep my magazines contained, but isn’t anywhere near rigid enough to carry.  If you make your own, use a few more layers of fabric.  The stiffer/sturdier, the better.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Fabric-Inside

After this basket failure, I dug in Ben’s leather cache and found a thick, saddle/belt type leather.  He said he didn’t need it, so I made a leather tote to store newspaper.

No-Sew-Folding-Basket-Leather

Same process, but the heavy leather is perfectly sturdy and oh so handsome.  A welcome addition to our fire supply area, now that temps are dropping.

Green Velvet

Not to harp on our living room, sad little guy, but it feels lack luster and boring.  Almost completely devoid of color with the exception of plants and a few pillows.  I usually prefer a touch more color.  In addition to framing out the recently replaced windows and adding a new rug (any suggestions?), curtains are on my list.  The dropcloth panels are fine, nothing amazing, but get the job done.  All the gray on gray is getting dreary.

To shake things up, I’ve placed an order for green curtains.  Before pulling the trigger, I photoshopped some color over the current set.  Perhaps an olive toned set?  I know where I can get a similar linen.

Living-Room-with-Bright-Olive-Curtains-Mock-Up

Deeper, almost emerald could look nice?

Living-Room-with-Moss-Green-Curtains-Mock-Up

Or cheery kelly green…

Living-Room-with-Dark-Green-Curtains-Mock-Up

Then I saw these green velvet panels at World Market.

At $35 per panel, they’re cheaper than I could make.  Sign me up for skipping sewing large panels!  Seriously, I loathe sewing curtains.  Cumbersome pain in the butt they are.

Online, the color didn’t get me too excited.  So, I stopped in our store to take a look and walked out with six 84″ panels.  Including the floor model.  Cleared them out.  At home, I tossed one over the rod to get a better peek.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Left-Side

Other than the panels being a few inches short, I’m diggin’ it.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Right-Side

I’d say the color is less deep green than the description and more leafy green.  Very similar to my fiddle leaf fig, actually.

World-Market-Green-Curtains-Color-Closeup

I’ve already placed an order for eight 96 inch panels (need four to cover the front window) and have returned the original six.  Hopefully they’ll arrive in a few weeks and we’ll have a happy new look.  Just in time to offset the winter blues.

SnapPower

Outlet covers always seem like an afterthought.  I know they’re not something I put effort into making look good.  They’re utilitarian and not usually something we want to draw attention toward.  For that reason, we’ve always used standard white covers and switch plates.  Until now.  I know this looks like a standard cover.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers-by-Back-Door

But, take a closer look.  That little dot is actually a light sensor.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers-by-Back-Door-Close

Which automatically turns into a night light when dark.

SnapPower-Outlet-Cover-in-Family-Room-at-Night

The company behind this genius, SnapPower, have made a safe, convenient, unobtrusive version of a nightlight: the SnapRays Guidelight.

SnapPower-Screen

No ugly plug-in and it frees up another outlet.  Three small LED lights at the bottom of each plate are energy efficient.  Prongs on the back rest against the outlet, drawing power without using batteries or wires.

SnapPower-Outlet-Covers

It’s literally as simple as removing the old cover and popping on the new one.  Currently, we have one by the back door, another in the hall, and a third near the top of the stairs.  Our hall outlet is always in a shadowed area, so during the day it has a dim light on.  It gets brighter at night when completely dark.

SnapPower-Outlet-Cover-in-Hall

I should add another to the main bathroom to help the boys at night.  I’m surprised by how bright these are.  The night photo is an accurate display of the light given off.

Disclaimer:  I was given a few SnapRays Guidelight outlet covers to use in our home and review.  All opinions are my own.  We choose products that we use or would like to try and are relevent to our DIY/home improvement content.  Thank you SnapPower for the lovely night lights!

Apartment-Therapy-Dark-Division-Winner

In other fun news, our master bathroom was chosen as the dark division finalist in Apartment Therapy’s Room for Color contest.  We’re so excited and honored!

Last note, the Minted giveaway is now closed and an email has been sent to the winner.  Have a great weekend, everyone!  We’re hoping to install a few more windows and get ready for the steel siding.  Almost done with the exterior.  Can’t wait to wrap it up to show you!

Light Bar

Several years ago, I bought this lamp for 10 dollars at a vintage shop.  The broken, ribbed blue shade wasn’t looking so great, but the base was ace.  Now you can have ‘The Sign’ stuck in your head.

White Glass Lamp Before

I recovered the shade with navy linen and put it in the boys’ updated room and called it done.

And it never gets used.  We read bedtime stories in the living room, then brush teeth and tuck the boys in.  Essentially, it was a decoration.  One that could be used in another room.  Our family room is a tough space to light because there aren’t floor outlets so cords are a tripping hazard.  The only place to have a plug-in lamp is on the bar.

Stump-Coffee-Table-in-Family-Room

Oddly enough, I’ve been pining over this lamp from Schoolhouse Electric and recently realized how similar the base is.  Even if it is the shorter cousin with more junk in the trunk.  Because it’s all about that base, ’bout that base.  Oh jeez, I need to take a break from pop radio.

So, I took matters into my own hands and made a few quick changes.  A new shade from Target + a stained round wooden base from Hobby Lobby + a little spray paint = Schoolhouse look-alike.

Glass-Lamp-Wood-Base

To get the base right, I stained it with Minwax Special Walnut.  The bottom of the lamp is open and hollow, so I essentially made a large toggle bolt to hold the wood in place, but not permanently attached.  I started by drilling holes in the center of the round and a piece of paint stick.  Gluing a nut to the top of the paint stick made up my toggle.

Glass-Lamp-Base-Toggle

After putting the bolt in and tightening it halfway, I slipped the wood strip inside and cranked the bolt.

Glass-Lamp-Base-Attachment

Keeping a little pressure against the wood will allow the bolt to snug up.

Glass-Base-Wood-Round

To give the neck a little spruce, I sprayed it with Rustoleum Dark Walnut paint.  Add a new shade and it’s finito.

Glass-Lamp-on-Bar-Detail-Vertical

Not a bad knock off for less than $20, including the price for the base.  Adding a wood base and new shade to any gourd lamp could give a similar look.

Glass-Lamp-on-Bar-in-Family-Room-2

Now it sheds light on the bar area and adds some height.

Glass-Lamp-on-Bar-Detail

Honestly, I’m stupidly excited about the new look.  Schoolhouse has some amazing pieces.  Sadly, I have a hard time justifying that cost for a lamp.

Glass-Lamp-on-Bar-in-Family-Room

Sometimes though, I get lucky and find similar items.  Like this wool blanket that is a dead ringer for their Kelly Green Throw.  That my friends, is why I love thrifting.

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