Google+ House Revivals: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

How to Make Faux Starfish {Inspired by Nature and Pottery Barn}

Bringing the beach indoors is one of my favorite decorating memes.  I used to have lots and lots of little starfish, but sadly, my dog ate them one day when he was home alone....  Now, I have fake starfish.
You can make beautiful  faux starfish using salt dough, but salt dough projects tend to get moldy in my humid climate, so I've come up with another DIY technique for making faux starfish -- using toilet paper!  Remember the faux coral project I shared here? 

This project uses the same recipe and techniques to create these gorgeous faux starfish!

Begin by creating an armature out of wire in the size and shape desired.

Next, wrap the wire with masking tape.  This will prevent the wet paper pulp from rusting your wire, and give you an opportunity to "shape" your piece.

Now, apply your paper pulp.  You can grab the recipe for paper mache pulp from the "How to Make Faux Coral" post.  If you need to do more than one layer, allow each layer to dry completely before adding a new layer of pulp.  When your starfish is dry, paint a layer or two of gesso or primer, then paint as desired. I left mine white, to give them a "sun-bleached" look.

There you have it.  It's as simple as one, two, three!  These are quick and simple (the only slow part is waiting for the paper mache pulp to dry).  Make a dozen, tie them onto gifts or napkins or toss them into a bowl with some shells.  You might even tie them up with jute twine and make a garland!

Do you like to decorate with starfish and other beach treasures?

Somewhat SimpleToday's Creative BlogTip Junkie handmade projects

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Eco Natural Soap Giveaway Winner!

We have a winner for our Eco Natural Soaps giveaway!  

Thank you to all the entrants and to the folks at Eco Natural for sponsoring the giveaway.

Entrant number fourteen, Tina, who blogs at Life is Good will get to choose which products she would like to try.  Congratulations, Tina!


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Make a Starburst Mirror from Recycled Magazines

I'm still loving all the gorgeous starburst mirrors out there! I liked the mid-century inspired mirror so much I decided I needed another.  It's such a classic form, I'm glad it's been seeing a revival in the last few years.  I especially like carved reeded mirrors, like this one from Layla Grayce.

At six hundred dollars, it is a little out of my reach, so I decided to make my own.   I wasn't quite sure how I would make it until I was bundling up a stack of old magazines to recycle.  Then the light bulb came on, and I created my own version of a carved and gilded mirror. I love how it turned out!

To make your own starburst mirror, start by tearing magazine pages into strips.  I used magazines with really good heavy paper.  Next, I just rolled the strips around a chopstick to create little narrow cones. Although I only used one thickness of paper at a time, if I were to do it again, I would double the paper strips before rolling to make the cones extra strong.  I wrapped a little painter's tape around the chopstick to keep the paper from slipping while I rolled it.  Secure each cone with glue.

Repeat the first step about two million times, then, using the wide end of your chopstick, push the wide open end of your little paper cones closed.  I pushed some a little more than others, so I would have about three different finished sizes to work with.

Keep pushing and folding the wide end in on itself until you get to the really strong part of the cone.

Glue groups of five to seven cones together to form the starburst rays.

 Glue a piece of recycled cardboard to the back of each group of cones.

Decide how you want to place the rays and glue them to a piece of cardboard. For my starburst, I stacked one group of cones on top of another to give the finished starburst greater depth.

Next, I took shorter single cones and glued them in the spaces between the rays.  I honestly think you could have a fantastic mirror at this point, if you just glued on a mirror.  The graphics on the magazine pages look really colorful and pretty.  I was on a mission, however, to create a gilded knock-off.

Prime, and paint your starburst as desired.  I used gesso as a primer, to give the project more strength and texture.  Glue your mirror to the cardboard and add a "frame" around the mirror if desired.  I used a thrifted woven belt, weaving the ends together to form a continuous circle.  I then filled in the gaps between the belt and the rays with joint compound, gessoed it and painted everything.

The back of the starburst was reinforced with additional cardboard and a hanger was added.

I REALLY like how it turned out!

This project is being linked to the following lovely places:

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Eco Natural Soap Review and Giveaway!

Recently Eco Natural Soap contacted me about doing a product review and a giveaway.  Let me start by saying they do a lot more than soap.  They do balms and shampoos, mineral makeup, and natural pet products!

This couldn't have come at a better time for me because I'd been doing lots of projects, causing my wrists and elbows and shoulders to feel a bit achy.  I was wearing a wrist support and slathered in stinky analgesic cream. So, not only did I look stylish, I smelled great, too. Yeah. It was embarrassing.

The folks at Eco Natural Soap sent me a tub of their Joint Pain Relief. I found it to be very soothing.  It has a pleasant scent.  It is a strong scent, but not overpowering. like the analgesic creams I had been using.  I really like this product and keep it next to my work desk to apply as I need it.

My favorite product is their Exotic Butters Luxury Skin Balm in Citrus Sunrise.  It smells divine.  I find that not only does it soothe dry skin, the citrus herbal scent is extremely refreshing.  I loved using this product to soften my cuticles.  DIYers and crafters tend to abuse their hands, so this product was very much a welcome luxury.

The Lip Balm was another favorite. This is not one of those waxy sticks -- it goes on smooth and almost liquid.  We live on the water, and an afternoon of canoeing can leave your lips feeling a bit parched.  The Organic Lip Balm felt very healing.  I got the lip balm in the delicious smelling Citrus Sunrise, so it felt very refreshing when I put it on.

Does anyone else feel weird posting a pic of themselves?  
I wanted to show how my hair looked after shampooing 
with the Eco Natural bar.  Unfortunately, it 
didn't help with the gray peeking in at my roots!

The Facial Hydration bar left my skin soft and clean.  It didn't dry my skin like many soaps do.  It has a faint pleasant scent. I was a little concerned about the shampoo bar.  It says on the wrapper: Builds Volume and Shine.  I don't need volume, my hair is thick and curly and tends to be a little out of control.  I was surprised to discover that I did not need to use a conditioner with this shampoo bar.  My hair was soft and shiny, BUT in my PNW climate I still occasionally used a glossing cream or other product to tame the wildness if it was rainy or humid. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the shampoo bar.  I have a girlfriend with thin straight hair and I'm dying to have her try it.

Now, for the giveaway details!  

The giveaway includes any two soaps and one balm.  
It is open to persons with a U.S. address.
  • To enter go to the Eco Natural website and look at their products.  Come back and leave me a comment telling me which product you would choose if you won.  
  • For an additional chance to win follow House Revivals via GFF or by email or RSS feed and leave me a separate comment telling me you follow this blog. 
  • "Like" House Revivals and Eco Natural Soap on Facebook and leave a comment saying you liked us for a third chance to win.

So, you have up to three chances to win!  For each chance, leave a separate comment.   The winner will be chosen via random drawing on Monday the 23rd of July.  Be sure I can contact you, so you can claim your prize!  If I cannot contact you, or do not get a reply from the winner within one week of notification, we will draw a new winner.

** this giveaway is now closed.

Linking to: 

disclaimer:  Eco Natural Soap sent me free samples of their products for this review.  However, the photos and opinions expressed here are entirely my own.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

How to Use Reclaimed Wood in Your Home

Are you loving all the reclaimed wood we are seeing lately?   I am!  What a fun way to create a focal point, add texture and variety, or give a space a sense of history.

 via Design Sponge

One of my all time favorite reclaimed wood projects is this one.  Sarah, the homeowner describes how they found salvaged wood and fitted it all together to create this knock-out!  Quite a few of the pieces are reclaimed gym flooring.

Kim Lewis designed this nursery for Jewel's baby son.  The reclaimed wood wall is the perfect backdrop for the rustic and whimsical decor.

Who needs a headboard, when you have a this gorgeous reclaimed wood wall?

You can use reclaimed wood to create lots of texture, as shown with this divider wall by interior designer Garrison Hullinger.

If painted surfaces and eclectically mixed finishes are not your thing, you might still love this weathered wood wall.  It feels warm and welcoming and casual.

You don't have to limit your use of reclaimed wood to walls, as interior designer Maureen Rivard shows with this gorgeous and simple floor!

Reclaimed wood installations are just as at home in a commercial setting as in a residential setting.

Of course, no review of reclaimed wood would be complete without this image of Sarah Richardson kitchen island.....

... which brings to mind another kitchen.....

Progress on our little marina condo has been inching along.   I have some skim coating and painting projects to wrap up, and then work can begin on this dreadful kitchen.  We have already ditched the beer fridges in favor of a regular fridge, and built a small wall to define where the kitchen ends and the entryway begins.

The wall has a coat nook on the entry side, and a message center/ charging station on the kitchen side.

The next step is to address the kitchen peninsula. We need to cover the hole in the left lower corner, create a wider landing area next to the stove, and add a bit more storage.  The back of our peninsula will be a patched up mess.  Wouldn't it be fun to do a reclaimed wood installation on the back of the peninsula, instead of buying new sheet goods?

The previous owner of the condo left piles and piles of old salvaged lumber behind, so our materials cost would be next to nothing.  What do you think?  Salvaged lumber for the kitchen island or an installation of all new product?

Monday, July 2, 2012

Featured at Knock-Off Decor!

Hey folks!  Come see me over at Beckie's blog, Knock Off Decor.  Beckie is featuring the starburst mirror I first showed you here.

See you there!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Working on the Little Marina Condo in the City

Lots of work has been going on at the little marina condo, lately!  Here is a glimpse into our life when we are in the city.

Tiling the bathroom...

Framing and paneling the new message center and entryway wall....

Okay, this looks like play, but it was work. Honest, it was. We were measuring the distance from the marina to a nearby bridge.

Aaaaaaaaaaand, to keep things complicated, we looked at another condo today that needs improvement.  It's in our building, but has a nicer view..... and who wouldn't want that turquoise bathroom suite, right?