‘Propping’ for Victoria Vintage Expo: A RetroTable Makeover

If you’ve been following along then you will remember all the DIYing that went into ‘propping’ for Audrey Would!’s booth at last year’s Victoria Vintage Expo. If you missed all the frenzy, there was…

(1) A pine bookcase that got Hollywood Glammed!

Pine Cabinet B&A

(2) A piano bench that jumped on the glam safari, too!

Piano Bench B&A

(3) And a little side table that was given a redo.

Side Table B&A

This year Audrey will be back, top of the stairs again in Booth #38, and will have one more DIY prop to introduce.

I paid $7.00 for this little table and all its well-loved retro beauty…

DIY Retro Table Makeover - Before

Then subjected it to the bliss of semi-gloss black paint!

DIY Retro Table Makeover - After

You will find this refreshed piece at the Vintage Fair among Audrey’s booth mix. This year we have a few layout tweaks along with all the sparkle and glam of last year’s look. To see where this mod table fits why not drop by?

Have you marked the dates? September 26 and 27 at the Crystal Gardens in Victoria – see you there!

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

 

 

DIY Modernist Vase: Inspired by West Germany Matte White Porcelain c. 1960s

So you love Mid-Century vases – modernist – matte white porcelain, Kaiser, made in Germany circa 1960s. Are you okay with the ‘look for less’ concept? I am. You know I love my authentic MCM pieces, but I couldn’t resist this DIY temptation any longer!

I bought this vase a million years ago when Superstore was a new phenomenon and I was enamored with a $7.00 price tag.

Faux MCM Vase - Before

I never really loved the colour, but at the time it fit my decor. Shhhhh, hush with the gasps!

Well, all that has changed. My less-than-a-look has turned into a look-for-less by using up part cans of spray paint, first a primer and then a gloss.

Faux MCM Vase - In Progress Collage

If I wasn’t using up paint I had on hand I probably would have opted for matte instead of gloss, but in the end the high gloss isn’t so bad.

Faux MCM Vase - After

What do you think?

This is how the transformation looks from all sides…

Faux MCM Vase - After - All Sides Collage

Gallery style.

And from a distance in context…

Faux MCM Vase - In Context

I didn’t go out and buy anything for this makeover, and it took me about an hour from start to finish – most of that time was spent ‘watching the paint dry’ as they say!

I know the lines may not be exactly classic Mid-Century, but I’m okay with that for this faux variation.

How about you? What knockoffs have you DIYed lately?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use! 🙂

A Chic New Look With Country Chic Paint!

I thrifted this sad little table almost a year ago; you might remember this shot I shared back then of my rescue piece. The lamp, however, was SO left behind!

Leather Topped End Table 'Before'

Overall the table was in pretty rough shape, other than the leather top. When my daughter Kaleigh saw it she wanted to make it hers – after a DIY of course! 😉 She wanted it black, I wasn’t so sure, and she insisted the vintage knobs needed to go. Huh?

I found replacement vintage knobs at General Salvage early in the game.

Replacement Knobs

That’s basically where the DIY was left.

Fast forward to Country Chic Paint, a new quality chalk paint local to Duncan, and suddenly this table was front of mind!

Country Chic Paint (1)

With the leather top to consider, I wasn’t too keen on extra sanding and priming, and with this paint I could leave out both! Country Chic Paint requires little to no prep, has no VOCs, is near odorless and dries quickly. Bonus!! I think you know where I’m going with this.

One can of Liquorice coloured Country Chic Paint for the makeover!

Country Chic 'Liquorice' Chalk Paint

Before I could begin I had to do a little prep. Some gluing and repairs were needed where one spindle had broken away from the table base.

Leather Top End Table Repairs

And because the table was in such tough shape I actually did do some pre-sanding to smooth the rough patches and edges a little.

Leather Top End Table - Sanding Prep

The table also had a glossy finish on it,  so a light sanding helps the paint stick. Priming is actually recommended for certain surfaces like mahogany, but I opted out of the priming because of the darker colour it was being painted. I wasn’t worried about bleed through from resins in the wood, but I’ve had that misfortune in the past. More on that here!

I also protected the leather top by covering it with paper and taping it off. I made sure the paper went over the gold leaf tooling because I was worried the tape might pull the gold off.

Leather Top End Table - Tabletop Prep 2

The last thing I did was raise the table on pushpins. This is a great trick for painting right to the bottom of the legs!

Leather_Top_End_Table_-_Painting_Prep_2

I used a synthetic bristle paintbrush, and ended up cutting the handle off because it kept getting in the way of painting the lower shelf!

Leather Top Table Makeover - Synthetic Paint Brush

The paint was a dream to work with. It went on easily, dried quickly and no lumps were left behind. The best part… no sanding needed between coats!

Leather Top End Table - 1st & 2nd Coats Paint

I actually liked the look after the first coat – some of the original brown was peeking through, but Kaleigh wasn’t game. She also didn’t want me to do any distressing – one of the very things chalk paint is so awesome for! After the second coat I let the paint dry overnight, and then applied the finishing wax. All the waxes are made up of bees wax and other natural oils. No solvents!

I applied natural coloured wax first as a protective layer, and here you can see the waxy shine next to the unwaxed chalky surface.

Leather Top Table - Wax Coats

I used the antiquing wax for a second round because I wanted to tone down the black of the liquorice. The antiquing wax did the trick adding just the hint of brown I was hoping for. If you compare the bottom table image to the one above it you can see the difference.

One of the reasons for this tutorial is to demonstrate that chalk paint is versatile. It is commonly used for antiquing, distressing and giving pieces an aged look, but as you can see it is also great for a shiny finished look!

Here’s a look at the stages.

Before:

Leather Top Table Makeover - Before

Chalk Paint applied, but no wax:

Leather Top Table Makeover - In Progress - Chalk Paint Only

Antiquing wax applied and leather top treated with leather conditioner.

Leather Top Table - After 011

Notice how the liquorice colour pulls out the black tooling detail in the border and makes it pop?

Here’s a closer look…

Leather Top Table - After 076

In the lower left corner you can also see the brownish hue of the antiquing wax along the beveled edge of the table.

What do you think? Are you ready for a brandy??

Leather Top Table - After 074

Thank you Country Chic Paint for introducing me to your product!

And thank YOU for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller. Please link and credit if you choose to use! 🙂

 

Curb Appeal. It’s ‘For You’, not just ‘For Sale’!

You hear so much about curb appeal in today’s world of home staging, a slower real estate market, and of course, on every social media and home improvement channel going! Don’t get me wrong, curb appeal is an absolute must if you are selling, but what about if you’re not?

This is where I notice the little touches are often overlooked. You know how it is, coming and going on a daily basis and suddenly things disappear?

Enter my Dad’s home.

Dad's House Lanterns - Before

It’s hard to see in this shot, but the house lanterns are brass and badly pitted. Once Dad was on board to let me give them a quick refresh, he had them down before I could take my usual ‘before’ shots. That’s just the way he works!! 🙂

Here are some close-ups in preparation for the quick makeover.

Before - Lanterns

Before - House Lanterns

See what I mean about pitted?

There was also a set of house numbers by the main door needing some TLC, too.

Before - House Numbers

Ignore the GRAPES lettering, there’s nothing sour about this DIY, lol!

Love projects with my Dad – he set everything up so all I had to do was arrive and start painting… since this was my idea, after all! 😉

Here’s a little peek at the project in progress…

After - Lanterns

After - House Numbers

I used two variations of Rust-Oleum flat black spray paint.

Rustoleum Flat Black Spray Paint

I started off with the Universal paint & primer in one. I used the whole can to do all three lanterns and the house numbers, so I think it provided great coverage, and it definitely went on very smooth. I used the Painters Touch for the second coat and a few touch-ups here and there, but this time I only used half a can.

Here’s a look at the ‘afters’ with everything back in place.

Lanterns - After

Lanterns - After

Sharp, right?

Lanterns, House Numbers - After

Notice the doorbell? When I left, Dad painted that too! Way to go, Dad!!

In this overall shot, it’s hard to see the difference…

Dad's Lanterns - After

But when you get up close and personal there’s no comparison!

So my point is just a reminder that the little things in everyday living matter. Take the time for basic upkeep, and enjoy your home while you’re in it! Trust me, there’ll be lots of other projects if the day ever comes to sell, that you’ll be happy you stayed on top of these! And no, Dad’s not selling!

I have to say, my Dad is a master at staying on top of the little things. There’s never too much out of place, or needing to be done. Yah, that’s him scouting for weeds!!

Do you have any warm weather projects on the go? Any that you’ve scratched off your list of ‘to do’? And how about you, do you agree, it’s better to love your home while you’re in it??

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller

DIY Planter Makeover for Herbs & Garden Gnomes

DIY Herb Planter Makeover

Not too long ago I was given a hand-me-down planter with these little gnomes that hang off the sides. Now I know these guys are pretty cute, but I’m not so much into cutesy garden things. Don’t unfriend me for that!

Garden Gnomes

Okay, they’re actually kind of hard to resist with their mischievous little faces… they spell trouble, right? But, I still wasn’t convinced. I kept trying to decide where to feature this planter with these little guys, and then it all came together for me!

Here’s a look at what I did.

Painting Garden Gnomes

Poor, unsuspecting little guys! I painted the planter, too.

And then potted it up.

Sweet Marjoram…

Sweet Marjoram - Container Planting

Rosemary & Basil…

Rosemary & Basil - Container Planting

and Thyme.

Thyme - Container Planting

And look who popped up!

Basil - Container Planting

See what I mean about mischievous? How did he get in there??

And what’s this guy doing hanging around here?

White Garden Gnome

So bad. I knew they were trouble!

Garden Gnome Planter

I guess my planter of herbs is their new playground!

Herbs - Container Planting

I’m hoping the herbs will survive in this planter, but if not I’m game to move them and try something else!

How about you? Have you given herbs in a planter a try? And what about garden gnomes? Are they in or out at your home, or have you already unfriended me for that? 😉

Today I’m linking up over at Satori Design to join Shauna and the gang for the outdoor extravaganza party. Why not pop over and check out what everyone else has been up to! And if you’re into potting up herbs, check out Shauna’s tutorial. She’s has a few great tricks to share!

Project featured over at Living Savvy. Thanks so much Tiffany!

Living Savvy

 Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller

Tired of Ho-Humming Along!

Well, it’s been a pretty busy last few weeks over here at sZinteriors. For quite a while now I’ve been scouring the USED ads, thrifting my little heart out and just plain visioning in search of makeover pieces for my project ‘to do’!

Here’s a little heads up on what’s got my attention:

Floor Plan - Labelled Layout

Yah, I’ve had enough ho-humming along. Time to move out the pieces that aren’t working, and move in ones that will. This layout is what I have in mind. You can see from the floor plan, we don’t have a lot of options for furniture placement, but that’s okay. We don’t own this home, so will do with this space what we can do!

Here’s one piece that’s just come along…

Glass Door Cabinet - Used VictoriaAnd a look at it right-side up!

Solid Oak Glass Door Cabinet

It’s solid oak with old brass hardware. You can’t really see in this photo, but the bottom of the legs are wrapped in brass – dipping with the real thing!

I have plans for this piece. Oh yes I do! So today I swapped my vehicle to the good outdoors, and set up my workshop in its place to get started.

There will definitely be more to come, but I have to get on with the grunt work first. That would be sanding. I so don’t enjoy the sanding part!

What are your plans for the weekend? Doing anything fun?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photos courtesy of Used Victoria ad

Painting Gallery Frames: Cheater DIY from Bland to Black!

Not too long ago in one of my treasure hunting adventures I came across this set of four vintage pencil drawings, and knew instantly I wanted to take them home! Vancouver, after all, is my home away from home.

Pencil Drawings of Vancouver, BC

I love Vancouver! But… I wasn’t so sure I loved the blonde wood frames. I propped them up against the wall for the time being, just to live with the frames and see if a clear wax was in order, or if painting the frames black was tugging at my soul.

Lo and behold, on another thrifting adventure a few weeks later I came across two more drawings to this set.

Pencil Drawings of Vancouver, BC

So now, hmmm, a gallery wall with six framed drawings in blonde wood frames? I wasn’t feeling it, not for me. What I did know was I wanted to keep the frames. But here’s the thing. These frames are old, and this is what the back looks like.

Back of Vintage Frame

Tiny little nails hold the print inside the frame, so I wasn’t really keen on removing all the nails from all six prints to paint the frames. In fact, I needed to add a few more nails to push down spots where the prints have warped over time. I just call these imperfections the ‘Wabi-sabi‘ of the find!

So here’s the cheater steps I took to paint the frames without disassembling the prints from inside.

1. Tape off the inside edges of the glass next to the frame.

Taping Off Frames for Painting Prep

My painter’s tape is fairly wide, so I was able to take one strip and cut it in half length-wise to tape off opposite sides of the frame. If you do this, make sure you put the factory edge against the frame. I used an X-Acto knife to cut the end of the tape so it fit snuggly into the corner of the frame. Works like a charm!

2. Elevate frames on empty containers, and brush the first coat of paint on all sides of each frame.

Taped frames for brushing on paint

Don’t worry too much about the back of the frame. Just make sure the paint wraps the back edge slightly…

DIY Cheat - Painting a Frame with Print Inside

Like this. If you paint like me, that won’t be a problem! 😉

3. Apply second coat of paint, and remove tape. TIP: Make sure you remove painter’s tape before second coat dries. 

Brush Painting Frames with Print Inside

I recommend scoring each edge with the X-Acto knife before you remove the tape. This will cut through any paint that’s already dried and help prevent the paint from peeling off with the tape. Remove the tape slowly, and leave frames to fully dry. Even when they’re dry, the paint will still be soft, and will knick easily

4. Once frames are dry, touch up any spots where the paint got away on you! And trust me, this will happen.

Spots for Touch-Up on Painted Frame

I cleaned the glass first just to remove any random paint flecks, and then used a black felt Sharpie with a chisel tip for my touch ups. To keep the felt from marking the glass, place a small, thin piece of paper between the pen and the glass where you’re doing each touch-up.

And voila!

My gallery find went from this…

Pencil Drawings of Vancouver, BC

To this…

Pencil Drawings of Vancouver, BC

From this…

Pencil Drawings, Vancouver, BC

To this…

Pencil Drawings, Vancouver, BC

And the whole set together looks like this!

Gallery of Pencil Drawings, Vancouver, BC

I bet you’re dying to know where I’m hanging this little gallery, huh? I promise, there will be a reveal. Just not today! 😉

The thing to remember with a gallery presentation is it will generally be admired from afar. And that’s why I opted to do a quick brush of paint on the frames with the prints intact. The little flaws from this cheater approach won’t even be noticed. Normally I would remove the print, the glass, and all hardware. And then I would spray the frames for a smooth, even application of the paint. But in this case, seriously, would you pull all those little nails for that?

Thanks for stopping by!

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Photographs by Sheila Zeller

Artist Easel to TV Stand ‘Before & After’

Featured by…

TV Cabinet Solutions

 Thank you so much!

You might remember waaaaay back about this time last year I posted in excitement about wanting to turn an artist easel into a TV stand. This was inspired by Vicente Wolf’s very creative idea, and if you missed my post you can catch up on it here. And then in House & Home’s June issue this year, an art easel turned TV stand was a featured DIY project!

This was exactly the push I needed to get back on track and tackle my year-in-waiting project!

Here’s what the easel looked like in its ‘before’ state.

Art Easel

Notice there is just one shelf.

There was a concern that the TV would be too top-heavy for the stand once it was mounted, making it tip forward. A test-run proved this stand to be a lot sturdier than you would think, and with the added weight of the audio equipment on the bottom, it wasn’t going anywhere.

Here’s the TV console we were replacing along with all the audio equipment that would have to make the move. I forgot to take a true ‘before’ of it, so you’ll notice the TV is missing!

Without getting too lost in the details of this project, one of the things we did was add two more shelves to accommodate our equipment.

I had my heart set on painting the stand black, because I wanted the equipment to blend in. I opted to brush rather than spray the stand, and oh boy, what a chore that was! Just the sanding and taping was more than I bargained for! You see, I had to sand off a clear coat finish, and then tape all the knobs and exposed hardware. And this stand has a lot of grooves, not to mention a bunch of knobs, back and front, as well as ample hardware!

I used CIL’s low VOC, low odour DUO paint (Dark Secret, DL51 in semi-gloss), so was spared the priming. I haven’t used CIL’s 2-in-1 paint before, and was curious about its coverage. In the end the stand got two coats, and needed some touch-ups just where the frame was adjusted once the TV was mounted. The frame was tedious to adjust, which is why I didn’t mess with it when I was painting.

Next hubs drilled the frame so he could mount our center speaker for the surround sound right in the center of the stand. Makes sense, right?

The TV, by the way, was mounted with steel strapping.

We used the TV’s pre-existing screw holes meant for a wall-mount bracket to attach the strapping, and wrapped it snugly over the back rest of the easel.

At first, I wasn’t too sure if I liked the outcome.

But then when I went back to the living room ‘before’ photo with the TV console…

And looked around the room with the new TV easel finished and in place…

Well, I decided there was no comparison. I love the sculptural feel and uniqueness of the stand, and how compact the equipment is sitting on the stand. I like how the stand works with the clock, and the decor. But most of all, I like that the stand tucked perfectly into the corner… it’s such an awkward corner. Did you notice that?

This was a case of, if you can’t disguise the TV, then go all out with it instead!

I’m curious to hear what you think! And, I’d love your thoughts on the wall behind the TV, too. Would you put anything there, or leave that spot empty as is?

Today I’m linking up over at Primitive & Proper…

You might want to pop by to check out the other projects. Thanks for hosting, Cassie!

And thank you, my friends, for stopping by today 🙂

PS – don’t forget to enter our special GIVEAWAY here… Giveaway ends Friday, September 7, 2012 midnight PST!

The Makeover of a Clothes Valet

DIY Clothes Valet Makeover

In a home, it’s the little things that make a difference, and that’s what inspired this makeover.

I’ve wanted to paint the clothes valet you see here for awhile now, even had the paint to do it…

Maple Clothes Valet

But I use it to display my Grandmother’s quilt (I wrote about the quilt here), so the valet is usually tucked behind a patchwork of colours!

Vintage Handmade Quilt, Maple Clothes Valet

And you know how it is. Out of sight, out of mind, right?

Originally my thought was to paint the valet in black… and I still think black would look good. But I decided to lighten things up with Benjamin Moore’s self-priming Aura paint in Tapenade CC-694 instead.

My biggest procrastination, honestly, was the sanding! Who enjoys sanding, anyway? And I know… if I used Annie Sloan’s chalk paint, I wouldn’t have to sand… but my motive was to try and use up some of the paint I already have! Besides, you’ll see I used Annie’s clear wax for the finish!

DIY Clothes Valet Makeover

I was pretty happy to forego the primer. Have you ever used self-priming paint? One less step, and you’ve got my attention!

Here’s how BM’s Tapenade CC-694 fits in.

BM Tapenade CC-694 Bedroom Story Board

It works with the green stripe in the drapery panel (I wrote about that DIY here), the hints of green at the base of the flower petals in the duvet… and also, Tapenade is a gray-green.

Here’s a look at my Gran’s vintage quilt back in place.

Vintage Handmade Quilt on Quilt Rack

I like the way the green works with the colours in the quilt. Notice the large paisley in the bottom left corner?

Here’s one more look back at the ‘Before’…

Vintage Quilt on Maple Clothes Valet

And another look at the way I’ve finished styling this little corner space.

Vintage Handmade Quilt

This is an example of working with what you have, and adding a little DIY twist to make what you have work even better. I didn’t buy anything… not even the basket filled with scarves that’s sitting under the quilt.

And if you were to ask, everything in this corner has a little story, even the basket! Did you notice the scrolls hanging above the quilt? I’ll tell you all about them in another post! Yup, they have a story, too!

How about you? Have you made any changes in your space lately? What tips do you have to share?

My thing is working with what you have to pull a look together. By tweaking a few things here and there, even the smallest changes can make a huge difference. It’s once you’ve done this that you’ll know if, or what new pieces you might like to add. Because the other part of working with what you have, is knowing what’s not working anymore, and letting it go. But wait, you might want to give it a DIY makeover first! You’d be surprised what you fall in love with all over again!!!

THANK YOU FOR STOPPING BY!

All Photos by Sheila Zeller

 

DIY: Zipping Up A Lamp Shade, Painting It With Colour!

Small Plastic Tie Strap Lamp Shade

I picked up a little glazed ceramic lamp base at the thrift store not too long ago, but had no idea what to do for a shade. Knew I wanted to DIY something, but not sure what.

And then I came across a tutorial by Courtney over at A Little Glass Box. A very cool idea that I hadn’t seen before.

First, I had to buy a cheapo shade, because I needed the frame to work with.

Home Trends Lamp Shade

And I knew from my DIY skeleton lamp shade that finding a thrifted shade to fit a small lamp was harder than you’d think. So I didn’t take the time to try and thrift one, but popped into Wal-Mart instead.

Even though the shade looks a little top heavy, I knew it wouldn’t be once it was taken apart.

And that’s because the bottom ring was only attached to the fabric, not the actual frame. I was going for a drum shape, so losing the bottom ring was exactly what needed to happen.

Can you see a drum evolving from this frame?

Frame of table lamp shade

No, not so much?

Next was cutting 1/4″ wire mesh to size for the new shade…

1/4" wire mesh

And attaching it to the frame with small plastic zip straps, to form the drum shape.

DIY Lamp Shade with Wire Mesh

And now the fun begins. Have you guessed how this shade is being created yet?

Here’s a peak…

Small Plastic Tie Strap Lamp Shade

That’s right. Staggered layers of zip straps will be used to fill in the mesh and create the shade! Crazy, I know.

You actually want to attach straps in every mesh square of the bottom row, and the very top row. It’s all the rows in between that are staggered.

Check out the layer of white!

White Zip Strap & Wire Mesh Lamp Shade

Looks kind of funky, don’t you think?

I really liked the layered colours of Courtney’s lamp in the tutorial, so I wanted to layer colours into my shade, too. But it meant spray painting zip straps!

So I figured out how many I would need in each colour, and counted them out. Yes, seriously, I did!

Zip Straps and Spray Paint

Did I mention, I bought a bag of 1000 small zip straps? And in total I used 575 of them, give or take a few!

I couldn’t figure out a fast and easy system to spray these puppies, so I just resorted to threading them – One. By. One. – 😐  onto fishing line, and then sprayed away, trying to cover both sides of the straps!

Tip:

Make sure you spray the straps ahead of time, because they definitely need to dry overnight, and the longer they dry, the better. Otherwise the paint will rub and flake off too much when you’re attaching the straps to the mesh.

Here’s the colour layering in action.

DIY Lamp Shade with Zip Straps

One thing to keep in mind is not to pull the straps too tight. The ones you see sticking out have deliberately been pulled tight to anchor the mesh to the frame, but they were only temporary until they could be replaced with the blue straps.

Are you feel’n it yet?

Here’s a look at the finished shade…

DIY Zip Strap Lamp Shade

I know it looks a little ‘Dr. Seuss’, but hang on… you haven’t seen it turned on yet!

I used a small 60w clear bulb…

DIY Zip Strap Lamp Shade

 

 

And was blown away by how different this little lamp looks when it’s on!

I love the shadows it casts…

And check out the reflection on the lamp base.

Doesn’t it remind you of a White Sea Anemone in an ocean of blue?

Here’s one more look back at the lamp and shade in its ‘Before’ state…

Martha Stewart Lamp Shade

And the ‘After’ of the total shade makeover!

What do you think of my little Crazy for Colour project? Would you zip up 575+ straps to make one of these shades, too?

Today I’m joining in the party fun, and linking my project up here…

I want to thank these awesome ladies for being such great hosts!

    

 

Such a fun project! And so many more to do 🙂 Why not pop on over and check out all the other projects, too? Who knows, maybe you’ll be inspired to do up your own crazy colour project… or maybe it’s just a crazy project. Seriously, zip straps turned into a lamp shade? Who knew???

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!

All Photos by Sheila Zeller