December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Cool Hacks: West Elm Reclaimed Wood Buffet and Hicks Pendant Light

Hola!

I'm not particularly fond of the term "hack" to describe modifying an object to turn it into another form of the same object (like the ubiquitous "Ikea hacks") -- to me hack signifies a person who smells like a bar the morning after (if you ever worked in a bar and cleaned up after hours you know exactly the smell I'm talking about) -- a rummy, if you will -- and is just going through the motions performing his or her craft or trade.  A perfect example of a hack was the role performed by Paul Newman in the excellent 1982 movie "The Verdict" in which he played a washed-up, burnt-out lawyer with a drinking problem.

Be that as it may, I do love the idea of making something "low" look like something "high" at a minimum cost, and to that end one of my favorite websites is Knock Off Decor.   I visit it often to see what you genius d-i-y-ers out there in blogland are doing with your creative selves!

This morning I saw two projects that just blew me away:

The first one is a "Reclaimed Wood Buffet Ikea Hack" that was done by Aniko at Place of My Taste.  Aniko fell in love with West Elm's "Reclaimed wood and lacquer buffet" that has a price tag of $1,199 plus $100 delivery surcharge.  Yikes!  It sure is a beauty, though, I do have to say so:

Photo:  West Elm website.  

I won't go into the details of how Aniko transformed her already owned Ikea buffet -- you'll want to check it out for yourself and marvel at how she did it.  Suffice to say it was sheer creative genius and I love, love, love the result -- take a peek:

Photo from Place of My Taste - Ikea buffet refaced with reclaimed wood!
The second transformation that transfixed me is by Brynne of The Gathered Home, who took an Ikea light fixture and created the look of a Hicks pendant light.  Now darlings, I confess, I had no idea what the hell a Hicks pendant light was until I read about it at Brynne's blog.  Pretty cool looking, I must say.  How do you all find these things -- is there a secret cult of people who do nothing but scan online sources day after day after day, looking for such things?  Ha - of course - Pinterest and Houzz!  Can you tell -- I don't get out very often:

The "large size" Hicks pendant light
at Circa Lighting.

Above, the large size Hicks pendant light at Circa Lighting, retails for $735.  I haven't even spent that much on a sofa, let alone a single light fixture.  Are people nuts?

Below is Brynne's amazing transformation of the Ikea Vaster pendant light, which retails for around $90.  Visit Brynne's site and follow along step by step how she did it.  Honestly, other than the cord not having a chain, I wouldn't know the difference:

Brynne Delerson's amazing
transformation of an Ikea Vaster pendant
light to a "Hicks" pendant light.
Cropped photo from The Gathered Home.

Now I must stop this and get to the Pick 'n Save, and then sweep up half of ton of nut shells outside -- it's supposed to get up to 40 F today, woo woo!  

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