Ever fallen for a swank vintage lamp, only to find that its guts are frizzled and fried? Sweep up the pieces of your broken heart, sweeties, ’cause it’s super-simple to give a lamp a new lease on life with some fresh wire, a few household tools, and some cool visual aids:

See? Cake, babies. Cake!

Ever rewired or retooled your own light source?

Via Apartment Therapy.



February 28, 2009

Remember that sunny winter weather that got me thinking all sorts of sunny winter thoughts last weekend?

Well, we’re back to gray skies and rain puddles for the most part here in Seattle, so I’ve switched my snuggletime thoughts to springtime thoughts: to courtyard barbeques and morning coffee out of doors, suppers at the tiny table on the back porch, candlelight and cardigans and bottles of white wine.

Naturally, I’m setting my sights on exterior DIY, like this awesome outdoor chandelier from Sunset, frankensteined from thrift-store regulars — an old wire basket, some empty jam jars, a handful of funky crystals, and some wire and chain with which to hang the whole operation:

Too Fairy Godmother? Ditch the baubles and use wooden beads, and trade out the cotton-candy candles for bright blue ones for a more down to earth, granola look. Or substitute the artificial ice with some cherry red tassels and fringe + oxblood candles, and you’ve got yourself an outdoor boudoir. Certainly, at the end of your evening, you’ll want to haul in the candles and any embellishments that could get damaged by rain, so perhaps affixing too many fragile romantic details isn’t the most efficient way to go.

Are you thinking about spring?

Via Apartment Therapy.

Cue Europe. As of midnight tonight, the Year of No New Threads is over. And, barring any bouts of amnesia and/or sartorial apoplexy, I made it!

Despite the handful of *new*-new items I received as gifts (including those infamous tights and a small selection of Christmas gifts), I skated through an entire year without purchasing any previously unused clothing, shoes, or accessories. Personal best! Ha-cha!

How will I move forward, you ask? My logix:

  1. I’ve discovered that I’m not hard-wired for shopping. Or, at least, I’m not hard-wired for department store shopping.
  2. I’ve reaffirmed my faith in thrift — the Right Thing will show itself if’n I just have the patience to wait and to watch.
  3. I’ve saved big bucks by avoiding new-stuff stores. (Cha-ching-a-ding-ding.)
  4. I’ve supported small-time artists, like Dust Design Co. on Etsy, from whom I snagged this (bitchin’) recycled necklace as a Christmas present to my own self:

    Camaro necklace

    The Dead Milkmen are gonna tantrum!

I do admit that, once next year hits, I’ll have to break down and stock up on a few essential unmentionables. Plus, a pair of Hunter wellies (hopefully on eBay!), because my current rain boots soaked my socks during our last winter romp. Other than that, however, I think I’m on the secondhand-and-handmade wagon ’til the wagon wheels fall off.

Happy New Year of Few New Threads, folks. May 2009 bring you health, happiness, and the thrift finds of your dreams.

The Year of No New Threads: The Complete Season

The Pledge1 Mo. Down2 Mos. Down3 Mos. Down4 Mos. Down5 Mos. Down6 Mos. Down7 Mos. Down8 Mos. Down9 Mos. Down10 Mos. Down11 Mos. Down

I believe Brenda Lee said it best:

Rockin’ around the Christmas tree,
Have a happy holiday;
Everyone’s dancing merrily
In a new old fashioned way!

Rock it around your Christmas tree (real or otherwise) and hide that hideous tree stand with a real-deal tree skirt, courtesy of those crafty kids at ReadyMade:


  • Thrift-store skirt (the fuller, the better)
  • Hook-and-loop tape (a.k.a., Velcro); adhesive and fusible are fine
  • Sewing machine, and an iron if using fusible hooks ‘n’ loops
  • Scissors


Says ReadyMade: Remove the zipper and cut the skirt down the back. Pleat and sew the waistband so it’s about 14 inches around. Apply Velcro to the waist opening (long enough so that you can adjust the skirt based on the size of the trunk) and along the cut edges. Wrap it around the tree below the branches and anchor with gifts.

Shazam! Feel free to share your skirts (and trees) in the comments.

Eleven months down, Smallers. And believe it or not, no new threads graced the teeny house in November. Boring, right?

Well, I’ll tell ya: it was easy this month, given my major bout of fed-upness with the state of my closet, and, by extension, my goiterous wardrobe. This weekend, I planned to lance the thing and drain it of all the excess, but when I opened the closet to put away the teetering pile of clothes I’d left overnight on the ironing board, I lost my steam. Hadn’t I already tried this (like, last weekend)? Hadn’t I already been so overcome with emotion over giving up one of my two red trenchcoats (yes, two red trenchcoats) that I’d scurried away to inhale caramels and page through back issues of domino?

Feeling at a standstill. What should I do?

Note to the women I know personally: Please take the clothes and jewels I may bring to you, even if you don’t like them or they don’t fit, because if I know they are going to “a good home” (i.e., your Goodwill box), it’ll be easier. For you. For me. For everyone.

The Rest of The Year of No New Threads.

The Pledge1 Mo. Down2 Mos. Down3 Mos. Down4 Mos. Down5 Mos. Down6 Mos. Down7 Mos. Down8 Mos. Down9 Mos. Down10 Mos. Down