What a Bright Idea – a brass lamp makeover

Most of my married life, I’ve had attic decor – Sean and I both brought some things in to our marriage home. And for the most part, we’ve had what we needed. Other than that, we’ve either purchased a needed item (like a couch), made it (like a side table and entertainment center [I’m lucky to be married to a crafty man]) or reworked something that we already had or that we were given.

One such item was these lamps.

I remember when my mom bought them, my dad encouraged her to buy some for the entire house, since she like them so much. So glad she didn’t listen to that logic.

Otherwise I would have spent all day fixing these suckers up.

Don’t get me wrong – it was an super easy process. Sandpaper, Textured Spray paint (the kind for metal) and newspaper were all it took.

But one can only have so many attractive lamps around their home before running out of room. Or something like that.

So sanding and wiping down two lamps was entirely manageable.

I swear, I’m not giving anyone the finger. Apparently, I have some inner British to channel.

Or maybe I just have sandpaper dust issues that make me avoid touching it too much.


Once I sanded (very lightly sanded… nothing major; just to hold the paint better) and wiped, I got to spray. It took me two cans to do these lamps, though I would have preferred a third to touch up some of the thinner spots.

But even with the thin spots, they are a vast improvement over the polished brass from before.

But I’m screwed if polish brass comes back in style.

Finish it off with a lover-ly tassel from The Nester, and it’s a beauty to behold.

Free movies this summer

Had to share this:

Maybe it’s because we didn’t have a Regal Cinema near us until we moved to Tennessee, but I’d never heard of their FREE Family Film Festival that runs each and every summer. Check out the site to see if there is a cinema near you and the schedule. The following movies are being shown:

  • Charlotte’s Web (G)
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (PG)
  • Arctic Tale (G)
  • Over The Hedge (PG)
  • Bee Movie (PG)
  • Firehouse Dog (PG)
  • Barnyard (PG)
  • Evan Almighty (PG)
  • Alvin And The Chipmunks (PG)
  • Flushed Away (PG)
  • Mr. Bean’s Holiday (G)
  • Open Season (PG)
  • Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything – Veggie Tales (G)
  • Water Horse: Legend Of The Deep (PG)
  • Happy Feet (PG)
  • Shrek The Third (PG)

The Freecycle Network

I’m probably the last person to join, but have you checked out your local freecycle? I joined the local group yesterday and am excited about getting started.

Don’t know what it is? It’s a group of people who want to find new homes for their old things, other than the landfill. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wanted to be able to give my things to someone who I knew could use it and appreciate it. You can also list items that you are looking for.

From their site:

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,226 groups with 4,332,000 members across the globe. It’s a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them’s good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by entering it into the search box above or by clicking on “Browse Groups” above the search box. Have fun!

If you haven’t already, check out your local freecycle.

It bears mentioning again

I’ve mentioned it before (on my very neglected May I Recommend page) but I wanted to mention it again because I think it is a ministry that is just so wonderful.

If you are on a budget, or know someone who is (especially the elderly), check out this site and find out if there is an Angel Food Ministry in your area. If there isn’t, find out how to start one here. Anyone can purchase food from the ministry. It’s not something you have to qualify for.

From their website:

Angel Food Ministries, a non-profit, non-denominational organization, began in 1994 as a small outreach ministry serving a rural community in Georgia. The goal was to help neighbors who needed a hand up in a tough economic time. Today, Angel Food Ministries can be found in over 3,200 communities in 35 states and helps feed over 500,000 families a month.

Angel Food partners with churches and community organizations throughout the country to help distribute food to those in need. For $30.00 you can receive a box of food containing both fresh and frozen items. Our food items are top quality – we buy our food from major food producers throughout the country to ensure the best food comes to your table.

Our church allows us to purchase boxes for others, who they have been made aware are in need. We’ve also purchased boxes to be donated to military families at Fort Campbell.

Links For Halloween

This Halloween, we are working with a (*VERY*) limited budget. As I previously mentioned, we will be working with a 3-day-only paycheck. Along with groceries, we have Seamus’ birthday (the 25th) and Halloween. I think that even if we didn’t have to watch our dollars this Halloween, it is just not a priority to go overboard spending for this fall holiday.

I don’t want to just ignore Halloween, so I scoured the web for ideas that will get us more creep for the cash.

Frighteningly Frugal Fun*: recipes for making your own face paint and fake wounds; fun food ideas (ie: edible slime, deviled eyeballs and goblin hands). There are also game ideas.

Make your Own Halloween Costume:
 Ideas include a Chia Pet and Mr. Potato Head

Halloween Topics at DollarStretcher.com: TONS of ideas for costumes, games and treats.

More Frugal Halloween Costume ideas (from Mommy Savers): A bag of Jelly Beans, M&Ms and 10 costumes for under $10.00!! Also includes tips for roasting pumpkin seeds and making your own grease paint and making decorations for the home.

Frugal candy ideas for Halloween:
 coupons and alternatives to food are mentioned.

Super cute crafts from FamilyCorner.com: includes directions for Tin Can Lumineries, Tin Can Ghosts and Paper Bag Pumpkins. Lots of cute ideas. Use this link for costume ideas.

About.com always has great ideas, and this topic is no exception.

Believe it or not, Ben & Jerry’s has (FUN!) Halloween ideas: crafts, printables, recipes… Who knew!!??

This one may overwhelm you with the sheer volume of ideas, but Michael’s has so many great projects, from making Halloween party invites to decorations to costumes that I must include it.

Lots of crafts and most have photos. From Craftown.com (be sure to have your popup blocker on…)

eHow is a great site ~ you can learn so much from others there; or you can contribute your own ideas. There are great, tried-and-true ideas for celebrating Hallows Eve.

More cheap crafts (from AllFreeCrafts.com) that kids will love to make. They’ll be way cuter than those cheap plastic ones you’d buy.

Hershey’s also has a fun Trick or Treat site. There are also activities to do online.

What are your ideas for some good ‘ole fashioned cheap Trick or Treat fun? Leave your ideas in comments or leave a link to your info.

*Updated: links no longer active/working