Lighting Up the Kitchen

I love great lights.  We don't have many of them, but I love them.  It's one of those décor items that I get stuck on, I don't want to commit to an expensive purchase in case I get it wrong, or don't like it once it's in.  Does that happen to you too?

I was like that with the lights for over our kitchen bench.  I wanted something that would make a statement but not be annoying.  I definitely didn't want just down lights (or can lights as they are sometimes called).  I'll tell you the story, but I just want you to know it has a happy ending.

I loved the aqua Colored Seedglass Pendant from Shades of Light, but I just couldn't find anything here in Australia that I liked at the right price.  And since I've had trouble with light shades bought from the USA before, this was one thing I really wanted to buy locally.

So, way back at the beginning of the year when we started our kitchen renovation, we agreed that we would hang 3 of the Ikea Foto pendants over our kitchen bench.  I bought them when we ordered the kitchen but I've been secretly looking for something that I love ever since.  I wanted something to fit with our coastal style, that didn't distract too much in an already busy kitchen and dining area leading out onto a deck, and that would be too low for my tall Hubby to live with as he does a lot of the cooking in our house (love that man!).

Skip forward six months and my wonderful Hubby was finally ready to do the wiring and get the Foto pendants installed.  Yeah, it's taken us that long to get this kitchen reno done, but we have done  it ourselves and sometimes that's just how long it takes. 

Anyway, Hubby was just about to pull the trigger on finally getting the lighting done when, at the 11th hour, I had another idea.  As soon as it crossed my mind I could just about hear him groaning with dread.

You see, I was browsing through one of those eclectic junk stores that sells everything from Aussie souvenirs to kitchen wares when I came across these beautiful huge clear glass jars.  They were super cheap and I loved them, but figured I didn't have a use for them so I left them behind.

The very next day, I kid you not, I was browsing Pinterst and came across this DIY for a glass pendant light made from a jar at Vintage Revivals.  I just knew would work with these fabulous jars to produce exquisite lights at fraction of the cost of something from a big lighting store.  So, I screwed up my courage and told my Hubby about it, showing him the picture of course.  Yes, he groaned a little, maybe even rolled his eyes, and I know he thought I was crazy.  But you know what, he went along with it.

And it all worked out happily for my wonderful new kitchen ...

I adore these lights!  They are unique, the clear bulbs are awesome, the light they shed is warm, inviting and beautiful to work by.  If only my photography skills were up to the task of capturing them really well.

They're a little wonky due to the jars not being 100% symmetrical in their making, but I can live with it.  Just adds to the not mass produced feel that I'm loving about them.

As for how we made them ... Hubby did it so quick that I didn't even get a chance to take photos!

So, instead of giving you a written blow by blow, do what I did and check out the video instructions by Vintage Revivals.
The scariest part of all this was drilling the holes.  I had this great idea to place the jars inside a big plastic tub and that way if it shattered the glass wouldn't go everywhere.  That turned out not so stable.  So, what did my oh so brave Hubby do.  Sat cross legged on the deck with the jar between his legs.  I was so nervous!  I mean what if a jar shattered and cut an artery or heaven forbid his man bits!  Of course, none of this happened and in about 10 minutes flat it was all over and done with.
What did it cost us?  Well, here's the budget breakdown.
Jars - $25 each - yep you read that right!
Pendant fittings - $15.90 each
Light globes - $7.50 each - we used this one from Bunnings
Total for each light = $48.40
All in all, that's three beautiful big pendant lights for less than $150.  Beautiful bargain!
Have you DIY'ed any lights?  What kind of results did you have?
Participating in my first link party at ...
That DIY Party link party at

Teacup Gardening

I've been collecting tea cup trios (cup, saucer and plate) for years.  I've got quite a collection going but not much space to display them.  I'm on a de-cluttering bent at the moment so a couple of weeks ago I went through my collection and decided to let some of them go.  For those I'm keeping, there are a few special and favourites on display in my art deco sideboard.

What to do with the rest?  Well, I've recently discovered miniature gardens as an extension of my fascination with (and plan to create one for my little girl) fairy gardens.  So, what better way to get started than by using my tea cups.  For now, I've planted some lovely little succulents and will see if I can keep those hardiest of hardy plants alive while I work on my fairy and miniature garden ideas.

These were super easy to create. 
  • Dump a little potting mix in the cup. 
  • Pop in a succulent. 
  • Spread some bonsai stones over the exposed dirt.
  • Enjoy!
Things I probably should have done but didn't ... use a potting mix meant specifically for succulents and drill a drainage hole in the bottom of the cups.

Using the bonsai stones really made the plants stand out.  You can see the difference below.

I've got a lead on where I can get a load of succulents for free so if this happens, I'll invest in the right potting mix and drill drainage holes when I plant the rest of my little tea cup succulents.  For now, I'm enjoying them sitting on top of my art deco sideboard.

It was a super cheap project as well.  The cups I already had, the potting mix I already had.  The succulents were $5 or $6 each and the bonsai stones for $6 for a bag that will give me enough for about 10 cups.  The outcome is that I get to display more of my collection.

I would like to add some more plants to my home.  What do you suggest that is easy to look after and doesn't need lots of direct sunlight?

Custom Quilt Cover

No matter what you call it ... quilt, comforter, doona ... some kind of warm bed covering is a must in winter.  As you can tell from the title up there, we call ours a quilt.  To quote a phrase from Sherry at Young House Love, I've had a "Dude, Get On That Already" morning and finally finished the quilt cover for our bed.

A year or so ago, Handsome Handy Hubby and I finally bought ourselves a custom size quilt from Aussie Wool Quilts.  We were sick of the nightly tug-o-war with a standard king size that left one of us (usually him) out in the cold.  It was the best decision ever and I can't believe it took us so long.  I can't recall exactly how much it cost us, but it wasn't a ridiculous amount and it was worth every single dollar to be warm and cozy every night.  Even when we have the added little body of our daughter sharing some cuddle time in the morning.

There was just one problem ... a custom size quilt meant a custom size cover.  I can sew, a bit.  So after searching for and failing to find somewhere online that I could order a great one, I decided to make my own.  So off we trotted to Spotlight and picked out a fabric together.  I got home and got started ... and then I stopped.

And this is what our bed has looked like for about a year.

 Yes, we both have kid art from Mother's and Father's day on display beside the bed.  It makes our little girl happy and gives me the warm and fuzzies.
It was certainly keeping us warm, but it wasn't quite as pretty as it could be.  Oh yeah, you noticed there's no throw pillows did you?  Well, my Hubby is a practical guy and just can't see why you would put little pillows on the bed that you're just going to throw on the floor and then have to pick up every day.  I'm not prepared to argue about that one, so we don't have any.
Back to the quilt cover.   Today, I had the house to myself so I finally decided to get on that already and finish the quilt cover that I had actually started last year.  And here it is ...

There's so much light coming into the room that it's difficult to get the colours right but the pattern is a soft greige, light aqua and soft white combo.  I love the way it's come up and it's soooooooo much better than that big plain quilt smacking you in the eye as soon as you even think about looking in that room.

Why did it take me so long to get around to it?  Welllllll, although it's just a big bag, working with this much fabric is hard!  Hauling it around and trying to measure it out is the first challenge.  My only option was to do that on the lounge room floor.  Of course, this meant the lounge room had to be tidy enough that I could lay the whole thing out.  I've been working on keeping my home tidier and today I finally didn't have to spend time putting everything away before I could get started.

Next project for this room ... replace the curtains that I put up two years ago thinking 'they'll do for now until I find the right ones'.  Well, I finally found the right ones, now I just have to save up the money.  My gosh curtains are expensive!  Then the bedside tables ... then creating the walk in wardrobe and ensuite which is a whole other saga.  For now, I'm just happy with my quilt cover.