Author Archives: Two Clever Gingers

Thrifty Green Lamps

I was garage sale-ing a few weekends ago and man did I luck out!  After an eternity without lamps in our bedroom, these beauties appeared.

Garage Sale Gold

The seller lady gave me a deal.  Huh, guess she didn’t see the potential!

A Bargain at $5/ pair

I knew that with a little work, I would have something pretty great.  So I sent Tom to get spray paint.  I asked for a green that was similar to our kitchen.  He came home with “Green Apple”.  Neither of us could tell if we were going to love it or hate it.  We took a chance….

This is our first spray painting project and really had no idea how hard picking out paint was or if this whole thing was going to work.  The BIN primer and spray gun thing-ma-jig worked like a charm.

Magic Makers

First, I sanded the lamp to de-gloss it a bit.

150 Grit Sandpaper to Remove the Shine

After a little wash up, I taped up the un-paintable parts of the lamp and covered everything near my painting zone.  I knew that me spray painting was likely to get out of hand.

Prepped and Ready to Paint

I did 2-3 very light coats of the BIN primer first and only had one woopsie!  A slight drip in the paint appeared out of no-where.  I didn’t let it stop me.  I was hooked on spray painting.

Eeek! A drip!

I did about 4-5 light coats of the green paint, waiting about 10-20 minutes between each.  I then let them sit over night.  Once in the daylight again, I caught a couple of places I had missed.  So I just sprayed some more and they turned out pretty great!

I picked up a couple of simple lamp shades at Walmart fo $11 each.  I figured I would sass them up a bit eventually any way.  That brings the total cost of the 2 lamps to about $35 with paint.

Ta-da! A very bright green lamp!

They are functional, but I am already thinking about the next project with them.  (Shhh… don’t tell Tom)  We learned a couple important lessons along the way:

1)  Make sure the lamps work before spending a lot of time on them.  After we got ours painted and set up in the bedroom, it was very sad to discover one of them didn’t turn on.  Luckily, only a couple of choice words came out of my mouth, mostly because I was pretty tired at that point.  My awesome boyfriend bought a re-wiring kit and fixed the non-working lamp right up.  He’s so sweet.

2)  The cheap Walmart lamp shades look like cheap Walmart lamp shades.  They have endless potential though…

3)  The finish of the paint would have been much smoother if I waited overnight and sanded in between them.  That would have taken a lot of patience and I am not sure if it was worth it in this case.  We practically had a lamp emergency!

4)  I should finish it with a  coat with some sort of clear gloss paint at the end.  Then, I could have that high-end shiny look.  Oooo….  that could be cool.

Categories: DIY Decor, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Real Grown Up Furniture

We did it! We made our first purchase of real new furniture! It’s not a hand-me-over, garage sale find, or some bargain we bought to get by. It’s a real couch!  We got a magnificent deal on it at Slumberland.  It fits just perfect and is very comfortable.  It is micro-suade also, which we hope will hold up to you-know-who.

I swear she sat there on her own.

Before we had the comfy, functional, sloppy futon and the starting to wear out Ikea leather loveseat.  Both have made their way upstairs and still get some use.


Bianca really needed a new napping spot.

B shows where she wants the couch to go.

The new couch is really comfy and gets Bianca’s stamp of approval!

Bianca is excited for a new napping spot!

So far Bianca is pleased and so are we!

Our Grown Up Furniture

I got even got some new pillows from Target to celebrate!  They were a steal at only $10 each so I didn’t feel too guilty!

Categories: Home Improvements | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Little Yard, Big Ugly

We live in a nice townhouse in a nice neighborhood in a nice town.  It is quite great.  The only thing that we dislike about our home is the outdoor spaces.  We are not the couple that should have a miniature lawn in a big development.  We dream of owning a large wooded acreage with woods, party patio, lots of flowers and plants and of course an unnecessarily large workshop.  We aren’t there yet so we will make do.  There are some positives to our patio and yard:

  • We have room for a grill and to sit and read a book.
  • The yard is big enough for our Boston Terrier, Bianca, to take care of business.
  • We can plant some flowers in containers.
  • And the big one- they mow the lawn and scoop the snow! Yay!

Seriously, in the winter, having someone else take care of the snow is a-maz-ing!  In the summers, we can be gone all weekend and not worry that the grass looks like crap.  It is pretty convenient.  Just when I think living in a Home Owners Association (HOA) is great, this happens…


The HOA powers-that-be sent us a letter informing us that our precious doggie Bianca had done “damage to private property”!!!!  All she did was pee in our yard!  She didn’t mean to kill all the little spots of grass.  The letter told us that we had a week to fix it or they would do it and charge us what we were sure would be a ridiculous fee.  Booo….

The Culprit

It was a tough spring on everyone’s yards but I have to admit, ours looked pretty rough.

Ugly Brown Spots

Planting grass?  We had no idea what we were doing so we did some googling and checked with our doggie-owner friends.

We bought some of this…

Look Out for the Patch Master

The man took it from there.  First, he dug out the ugly spots.  He was careful to remove the roots and everything.  Then, he filled in some of the deeper holes with potting soil.  After that, he patted some of the Patch Master in the spots.  Now I know there were several spots throughout the yard, but he used the entire bag.  That bag that was meant to cover hundreds of square feet.  That seems like an awful lot .  I am not sure if that is right.

Demonstrating Interesting Grass Planting Technique

My man was not pleased that he had to spend time doing this and was looking for short cuts.  This is where things got messy.  The nasty gram had said that we should put up stakes and ribbon to mark off the areas we repaired so the landscapers wouldn’t mow there.  My man took a unique approach…

He cut up a bunch of dowels and stuck them all around the yard by the many small spots.  It was like a field of white sticks!  It was embarrassing.  There was no way to tie a string or ribbon around and block off all the areas.  The entire lawn was filled!  Ha!  I wish I had a picture so bad!

I shouldn’t poke fun at him because he diligently watered the lawn every morning and made sure the irrigation came on every night.  Look at what happened…

Baby Grass Growing!

It worked!  We still have some blobs of the newspaper mixture floating around on our lawn.  For the most part though, the patches are growing like crazy!  Take that HOA!

Categories: Fix-it | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beer Top Wine Charms

Beer Top Wine Charms

I made these as a wedding gift for my cousin and his new bride.  I wanted to add something fun and personal to the wine glasses they had registered for.  I am trying so hard to get better at giving gifts.  I can barely pick out a card and put a gift card inside.  They had a really cute wedding invitation so I chopped it up and crafted these little cuties up in just a couple hours.

At the risk of sounding like an alcoholic, here are the major steps in this craft:

  1. Drink several beers
  2. Craft away
  3. Drink wine with new craft

I thought it best to spread these steps out over several days, but that is a personal choice.

I had most of the supplies I needed already, but picked up some fun new beads just because I could.  You will need:

Clean Beer Tops

  • un-mangled beer bottle tops
  • rubber mallet
  • small nail
  • candle
  • stick or pencil
  • mod podge or glue of some sort
  • paint brush
  • wire (I used 20 gauge)
  • needle nose pliers
  • beads
  • jump rings
  • fun paper pieces
  • scissors

You could collect the bottle tops as you ah, come upon them, or you could buy new ones.  We happen to have a home brewer in the family.  He hooked me up with a few of the bottle tops that he buys in bulk from the brewer supply store.

First, prep your bottle tops.  I floated each one through a candle flame a couple times and then dug out the rubber ring on the inside of the cap.  The candle gave the bottle top a cool tarnished look.   I scrubbed them up pretty well so that they wouldnt turn any more fingers sooty and to get the rest of the rubber goo off.  You could spray paint them if you wanted.  I might try this with the next batch.  Next comes the part where you get your aggression out- hammering the tops flat.  The edges of the bottlge tops fold over and smooth out leaving an open flat area to decopage.  I used a rubber mallet and placed the tops between magazine pages.

Flatten the beer bottle caps.

Flattening the beer tops = stress relief

Then cut out the little circles that will be decopaged on your charms.  You could trace a quarter to make a circle to follow if you would like.  Decopage the little circles on the center of your flattened bottle tops and let dry.

Decopage with Mod Podge and some paper pieces

To make the charms, use a small nail and hammer to punch a small hole at the top of each of the charms.  Use a needle nose pliars to insert a jump ring in the lilttle hole you just made.  Add some beads and the charm to the wire.  Form a circle with the wire and bend the ends in to make a clasp.  It isn’t easy to shape the wire and make it look nice.  I could have used some more practice before making these as a gift, but alas.  I think they turned out pretty good!

Categories: Crafts | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Hello world!

Tom and I have been talking about this for long enough!  The time has come to start our blog!  Here we go…

Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Create a free website or blog at