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SunRun holiday lights contest photos

I just wanted to thank SunRun for the opportunity to be a judge this year’s Customer Holiday Lights Contest. Congratulations to the winners! Judging the contest was fun, and I’m happy to promote the use of solar energy anytime.

Christmas lights

Christmas tree

Don’t you just love Christmas lights? As an apartment dweller, decking the yard with lights isn’t an option, so instead my living room is almost as bright as day in the evening with all the strings of lights. They’re the next best thing to sitting beside a flickering fireplace. Check out all the new growth on my little potted Christmas tree. It’s growing fast! The angel on the top of the tree was tatted by my great grandmother—the same one who made these doilies. She made everyone in the family either a boy or girl angel. My father insisted his angel needed pants, so she created the pattern just for him. Have a very Merry Christmas everyone!

Painted & rewored lamp - after

Southwest lamp base - before

Jill Rosenwald lamp

Inspired by Jill Rosenwald's gorgeous lamps found at mainecottage.com

My friend Julie Chai (watch her videos here) at Sunset magazine gave me this lamp base as a project. Southwest isn’t my style, plus it had rusty hardware and a tattered, taped cord. I adore Jill Rosenwald’s lamps from Maine Cottage, but they’re out of my price range. So I decided to rewire and paint this table lamp instead. I got a bit carried away with all the flowers (in eight different shades of green/blue), but it was so darn fun! All the supplies I had on hand, which would make the lamp practically free—except I got soaked on the $50 lampshade. It still beats $425, though. In the end, my favorite part was the super inexpensive DIY round finial. Read more »

In lieu of a project this week, I’m posting some photos I took during one of my walks around the neighborhood. It was an idea inspired by sfgirlbybay. Instead of beautiful, transporting images (I’m not the photographer Victoria is), I shot items that I like. And I found sources to buy a couple of them!

Train station clock outside of a restaurant.

I have a thing for train station clocks. This one is located outside of a restaurant I have yet to try. The pig adds a little whimsy, don’t you think?

Store shelves

I saw this shelf/table/cart on display in a local shop (photographed with permission). Fabulous design.

Ecco 2 wallmount mailbox

I am IN LOVE with this stainless steel mailbox. If I were a homeowner, I would buy one right now. It’s made by Ecco Products, and you can buy it at The Mailbox Works.

More photos after the jump. Read more »

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West Elm Abaca pendant lamps

Inspired by West Elm’s gorgeous Abaca pendant lamps

Super talented Heika DeHart strikes again. These pendant lamps she made of hemp string are genius. Plus, don’t you love how they look with her wallpaper? Heika writes: “I fell in love with West Elm’s Abaca pendent lamp a few years ago but, as usual, my taste was more expensive than my wallet could support. However, I was sure that I could copy them at a fraction of the cost.” I love the natural look of the hemp, but you could also use white or colored string. I’ve seen others make string lamps using balloons (which are oval), but Heika has an innovative solution for achieving perfectly round lamp shades. Read more »

DIY faux capiz shell lampshade

Capiz shell table lamp

Inspired by West Elm's capiz shell table lamp

Some of you may remember my first faux capiz shell lampshade that I made for Sunset magazine. It was originally inspired by West Elm’s popular capiz shell table lamp. I was going for the mod look, but I didn’t quite pull it off. Plus I discovered, after two years of use, that the colored rice paper fades badly. The white circles still look beautiful, however, so I decided to redo it in all white. I used a different type of thread this time (white polyester instead of clear nylon thread), which made all the difference. Overall this new lampshade is easier, cheaper, and classier than my first attempt—if I do say so myself. Read more »

Ornate sconces - after

Ornate sconces - before

I admit these thrift-store plastic sconces look pretty good in the before photo. But trust me, they looked dated and icky on the wall. Plus they’re broken. Luckily the pieces were broken off symmetrically, so you can’t tell after a fresh coat of paint is applied. I’m tickled that the mirror and sconces look like they were MFEO. I love serendipitous finds like that. Read more »

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