homemade ginger: October 2011

The 30 Days Project Revealed

Monday, October 31, 2011

In 2 years there have been...

251 posts
307878 pageviews

and I don't want to take the time to count how many projects and tutorials I've attempted.  Thanks to everyone who reads my blog. I really love every minute of it and I feel like God has used it and is continuing to use it in my life to connect me with others in a way I didn't know was possible, learn more about using the gifts the Lord has given me, and challenge myself to try new things.

I've already introduced my idea to challenge myself for this 3rd year of blogging.

I'm ready to reveal what I will be doing for the first month...starting tomorrow!

I'm calling it "30 Days of Repurposing"  Why? Well, I've always seen amazing things people have done by taking old thrift store clothes and making amazing things from them.  I always tell myself "I want to try that someday" or "that is so cool" or "I want to learn how to sew clothes without a pattern" or "I want to learn how to sew with knits"...and I never have gotten around to it.  Until now...

I'm challenging myself to come up with 30 projects in 30 days that involve repurposing something old into something new.  This will force me to attempt all those things I've been wanting to do! No fear, just do it. (like how I combined slogans there?)

These are my "rules" for the month...
1. I must post every single day this month with a new project that I have done 
2. Even though I must be the one to make the project, it's ok to be inspired by someone else (and of course I will link up the other bloggers I'm inspired by!)
3.  Each project must involve taking something old (or in a few cases new but extremely cheap) and altering it in some way, shape or form. 

Tomorrow morning I will begin project 1, day 1, so come back and check it out!

Guest Post and a Giveaway!

Happy Halloween everyone! I don't have a Halloween post today, but it's still a fun one! Tomorrow marks my 2 year blogiversary! I thought we could celebrate a day early with a fun little giveaway!!  My friend, Erin has agreed to do a guest post as well as a giveaway from her super cute Etsy shop.

She has a shop called Grandma Great's Treasures and has some really unique and vintage finds at very reasonable prices. Some of my favorites are:

This adorable hand stitched bird picture

Retro apple napkin and potholder set

Vintage yellow and white bowl

Vintage yellow mixing bowls

There is a little appetizer for you....after the guest post, you can find more info to enter a giveaway from her Etsy shop.

Take it away, Erin!

Hello friends! First, thanks Megan for allowing me to swap blogs today, you are a fabulous person and I'm learning a lot from you! Second, I know how much you Homemade Ginger-ites love some DIY projects, so I thought I'd share a couple from the past few months that have really transformed my living space. They're both from my attic space, which among other things currently houses my home office (I'm a magazine editor in real life). First is a table I refinished to fill an awkward space at the top of my stairs. I found the neglected, painted-one-too-many-times table at a small estate sale for $5. Before I get into the details, here's a before and after shot:

 Isn't she classy? So here's the low-down dirt on this refinishing project. First I had to strip off the nasty layers of paint, which left me with this lovely blue mess. I still have no idea what the blue was, but the stripper just wasn't removing it. (You can read all the gory details of the stripping process here.) I then sanded away all the blue layer, which I'll be honest, took a long time and a lot of muscle, neither of which I have much of. Finally I wiped it down with tack cloth and applied two lovely coats of Minwax Ebony stain followed by one coat of Polycrylic. It's so shiny, I just love it and feel very happy to have uncovered the beautiful wood grain that was hiding underneath the paint.


 Next, since it was virtually impossible to strip/sand all the paint from the legs, I decided they were better painted and the two-toned table was born. I sanded off as much as I could and then primed and painted the base of the top and the legs white.

 I reattached the legs, slapped a new knob on it and hauled it up to the attic. Here is the space before and after. I accessorized the table with estate sale finds and a Mason jar I painted matte black (filled with spray-painted sticks from my yard, which are abundant).


Finally, it's embarrassing, but here's a picture of my office space before I took on my next project:

My husband and I were both trying to cram into a corner desk at the same time and it just isn't a pretty site. I needed something more sleek and minimalistic if I'm going to sit here every day. Enter the DIY door desk. You can Google the plethora of ideas out there for door desks, but mine may be the easiest. Here's what I used: A $5 door from Habitat Restore sanded, primed, filled in hinge holes with puddy, painted white; a $5 lateral file cabinet from my old work; and $15 ($29.45 after delivery) legs from IKEA. Incidentally there is no IKEA in KC, so I used a local delivery service called Blue Box Delivery that does the driving and shopping for you at a fraction of the IKEA shipping cost. And Andy is a really nice guy to work with. Anywho, assembly with a desk like this is a breeze. I just plopped the door down on the two supports (which you can use anything for, from file cabinets to bookshelves), and the rubber pads on top of the IKEA legs hold it in place. I don't know if it could have been any easier. Here's my office space now:

I decorated minimally with matte-painted mason jars for pens and paper clips and spider plants in pickle jars. I still need some decorating ideas, so feel free to comment with your ideas. I'm also looking for a way to hide the mess of cords. I thought about fabric...any other ideas? I'd love to hear how you've made your office space more practical
I hope you've enjoyed my refinishing projects. You can see more projects as well as my estate sale treasure hunting adventures at www.grandmagreatstreasures.wordpress.com. Thanks again to Megan and happy DIY-ing!

Thanks, Erin!
Erin is giving away $5 off any order from Grandma Greats Treasures.  This is actually a pretty sweet deal because many of her pieces are under $10, some are even under $5. So, you could pretty much get something for free or very cheap if you win!

Here is how to enter:

You have the chance to enter up to 3 times if you wish.

1. Go visit GGT and leave a comment telling your favorite piece.
2. Become a follower or subscriber and leave a comment telling me you did so.
3. "Like" Homemade Ginger on Facebook and leave another comment telling me so. 

If you are already a follower and/or already like hg on facebook, you can just leave me comments telling me so! 

**I need a way to contact you if you win, so include your email in your comment if you don't have email reply enabled, Here is a tutorial on how to change that setting. Please consider doing it if you haven't!! **


P.S. Tomorrow I start my "30 Days Project".  So be sure to stay tuned as I will reveal what my challenge is for the entire month of November. It should be fun!

A Blog Announcement...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

This November marks my 2 year "blogiversary"  In some ways I can't believe I've been blogging for 2 years, but in other ways I don't remember not having a blog.

I've decided that I have so many ideas in my head, but no clear direction in how to go about accomplishing those ideas.  So, I'm taking my blog in a new direction for it's 3rd year of existence.  I'm excited about the possibilities and hopefully it will motivate me to take some risks in life and my creativity.

I'm calling this ongoing year long series the "30 days project"

I've had this idea for a few months now and I'm excited to actually begin it. This is how it will work:

Each month, I will choose a new "challenge" for myself for that month.  I will of course document my adventures on the blog.  I will encourage my readers to join me in my challenges if you wish, or you can just read along and live vicariously through me! Some challenges will require me to blog each day about what I'm doing, other months, I may just check in every once in awhile and post an update about how the challenge is going (while still blogging regularly about other projects I'm doing!).  Some months, I may do a link party for any of you readers to link up any posts you might have on your blog if you are joining me in the challenge.

But, I need your help!  I have a huge list of ideas for monthly challenges, and I know for sure what some of them will be, but I need your help in coming up with ideas for challenges you would like to see me attempt! Some ideas I have (just to give you a sense of where I'm going with this) are...

- come up with 30 different handmade gift ideas in 30 days
- stick to a very limited grocery budget (like $40 dollars a week)
- cook a new recipe every day for 30 days
- creatively give away a set $ amount every day for 30 days
- don't purchase anything new (except food) for 30 days
- don't eat anything processed for 30 days (even things like ketchup!)

Those are just some of my ideas.  I already know what I'm doing for the month of November, but I will keep that a secret until November 1st!

So, do you have anything in mind you'd like to see me try to do for a month? Maybe it's something you have already set as a goal for yourself. Send any ideas my way! Like I said, I  already know of some things I'm doing for sure, so I can't guarantee I will do your idea...but I will try keep an open mind.

Oh, and stay tuned for a special 2 year blogiversary giveaway coming soon!

Let There be Light

Monday, October 24, 2011

We did some light fixture "switcharoos" this weekend.  I've been wanting to change out our entryway light ever since we have lived here and just could never decide what to do with the space.

Here is the old one:

It's not my style, but it could actually be pretty cool in the right room.  If you were more of a "shabby chic" decorator, I could see it fitting in. So, I'm going craigslist it.

We decided to replace it with the chandelier that I painted teal and was hanging in our dining room.

This was the original chandelier that came with our 1960's house and it was brass and pretty ugly, but once I spray painted it teal, I fell in love with it!

Now it sits in the entryway!

It looks cute there...except the ugly brown circle from the old light fixture.

I will be touching it up in the next few days with some ceiling paint!

So, what did we do for the space in our dining room? Well, I'd been wanting to put in a drum pendant light fixture and I happened to find one on clearance that worked perfectly!! Yay!

The oblong shape is perfect for the shape of our table.  And once we paint the dining room a darker shade (I'm still leaning towards teal) it will pop even more!

However, the dilemma is how far above the table to hang the light.  At first, it was way too low, so I made Reid undo the whole thing, lift it up and rewire it all.  But, now I'm ashamed to say I think it's too high.

I will live with it for a few days this way before deciding.  (it looks much higher in this picture than it actually is...weird angle!)

Our last light project over the weekend, was an easy one.  I've had this lamp since college and always have loved it's shape, but not a huge fan of the color (it's bright teal and black speckled)

So, I spray painted it oil rubbed bronze and put the white shade back on, and now it's simple and modern!

We moved it to sit on the ledge between our kitchen and living room.  We also moved the little play kitchen to be in the "big" kitchen, hoping it will help occupy the girls during meal prep time!

 Now that I look at the picture, I'm thinking that lamp could possibly be pulled down by a certain 14 month old, so I'm going to move it to a safer spot!

2 Vintage Inspired Blogs

Friday, October 21, 2011

I love featuring new blogs that I have found and am being inspired by lately.  I am always editing and modifying my google reader list to only the blogs that I love.  I don't always read them everyday, but when I do, I only want to spend time on the blogs that I truly am inspired by.  I have recently found two that are fantastic and had to share!

The first one is Bleubird Vintage

Is that not the coolest looking family you've ever seen?  She posts about what they wear and they always look adorable.

She also posts about what she made for her kids lunches.  It always looks so cute, delicious and healthy.

She also has great photography that somehow makes everything in her life look old and vintage, cute finds and lots of other fun and pretty things to look at. Check out Bleubird Vintage!

I have also been loving A Beautiful Mess 

Lots of super creative and vintage inspired DIY projects! I love this necktie wreath above.

Fun Hairstyle tutorials like this elaborate maiden braid 'do

Fun style posts (she looks so cute, but I could never in a million years pull off an outfit like that!)

And lots of fun and yummy treats.  Mustache lollipop? How cute is that??

If you are not feeling inspired, go check out these 2 blogs and you will find lots of fun ideas!

Happy Friday!

Dining Room Table Redo

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Do you have projects on your "to do" list that you keep putting other things in front of?  One of those things for me is our dining room table.  There are a number of reasons why. First off,  we've been getting by with a table cloth to hide the old and scuffed up finished.  Secondly, I have never refinished or stained anything in my life. I always just paint my furniture.  And lastly, it seemed like a daunting task to be without a table for a week or so.  But we put it on the priority list to complete the project this fall and we did it! Yay!

Here is the mid-century table and matching chairs that I inherited from my grandmother before:

Reid always wants to be on the blog

See how nasty the finish was?

We moved the table out on the deck and sanded it down with 120 grit sandpaper.

Then we sanded it a second time with a finer sandpaper - 220 grit I think  Some of the edges looked like this, so we just tried the best we could to sand it smooth

Next, we wiped it down with tack cloth

Then we applied 2 thin coats of stain.  We used Minwax Dark Walnut. It was a bit darker than the picture on the can, but we actually liked the end result better than the original color we were going for.

Since the grain of the wood goes in different directions and kind of makes a "V" shape on the table, it was kind of tricky to get everything even (since you are supposed to brush the stain on with the grain)

Lastly, we applied 3 coats of polyurethane.  The can said to wait 48 hours between coats, so that is why this project turned out to be so long! We also lightly sanded between coats.  I don't have any pictures of that process, but here is the end result!

So much better!

We are still in the process of waiting another 48 hours before we can use it, but at least it looks pretty!

We will tackle those chairs another time so that they all match the color of the table.  I will probably recover the seats as well.  Lately I've been wanting to do something different with the dining space. It's just a little blah.

I saw this on picture on Pinterest and immediately was inspired because the table and chairs are so similar to ours.  I love the deep teal and pendant drum light. Original source from Mint Peach.

The color reminded me of this room from Young House Love

I don't know if I'm gutsy enough to do it, but a deep color would be so much fun since every other room in the house is so light and bright.

Monogrammed Welcome Mat

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I've seen lots of DIY welcome mats around lately and decided to take a stab at one.  We have had the same one for way too long and it was looking quite tired.  It got the point where it had been there for so long that I stopped seeing it. Do you know what I mean?  I thought it would be fun to make a monogrammed welcome mat for a personal touch.  If I am going to DIY something, it might as well be unique enough that I couldn't just go out and buy the same thing!

Pin It

First of all, I found it a bit challenging to find a plain door mat with nothing on it. Has anyone else had this problem? Lowes, Home Depot, Target, Walmart and any of the other major chains didn't have any that I could find.  Luckily, I found an inexpensive one at a local hardware store. I think it was $16.

I debated printing something off, spraying adhesive on it and cutting it out...but then I realize that I had an easy letter to do.  I wanted it to look simple, so I just taped off the "K" and a square border with painters tape.  I used the lines on the mat to line everything up

It didn't seem to stick very well, so I was a bit worried.  I decided to go ahead and spray paint it anyways.  I had some leftover teal spray paint (Valspar) and went for it!

It really only needed one coat and it dried super fast.  There was one spot that wasn't taking the paint very well for some reason, but once the tape came off it wasn't noticeable.

And done!

Can you see my head? It's impossible to take a picture of something reflective without it becoming a self portrait!

The teal adds a bright pop of cool color along with the oranges and reds on our doorstep.

If your doorstep is looking tired, you should make yourself one. Good luck on finding a plain doormat!

Pin It

And obviously you could do this same technique with shapes, words, multiple colors, stripes, polka dots, chevron, the possibilities are endless! I'm sure there will be many more in my doorstep's future!

linked up at shabby creek cottage, house of hepworths, somewhat simple, a crafty soiree, momnivores delimma,   shabby nest, fingerprints on the fridge


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