Quick and Easy Crafts

Marble Lamp

Mason Jar Marble Lamp

Remember those marbles I talked about yesterday? The one catch to me making John a marble tray was that I not use all of the marbles in case he ever wanted to play with them again. My solution to this was to make him a lamp out of a mason jar to display his marbles in a way that he could still get access to them if he wanted to.

This was really simple — Amazon sells kits for turning mason jars into lamps. So, I popped the top off of the jar, filled it with marbles, screwed on the kit and a put a light bulb in the lamp. Easy as pie.

The tricky part? Finding a darn lampshade that didn’t look ridiculous on the lamp. I think I tried five of them. I tried a shade from le Target — way too big. I tried three different shades from Home Depot… way too small. The one in the photo used to be pink with flowers. Not too manly. Then I spray painted it ivory. That didn’t look so hot either. As a final attempt to use this shade, which was the best size and shape of any of the ones I tried, I painted it grayish blue and accented with silver paint.

Phew, this was way trickier of a project than I ever intended because of that darn shade.

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It was all worth it because he really liked the lamp. It looks great in their antique room, too.

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Have you ever turned something into a lamp? Next time I want to try it without using a pre-fab kit. What would you ill your mason jar with? I think shells would be neat, but our house isn’t too beachy. Still would be pretty though!

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Life

Books galore

Instead of spending the majority of my week crafting like I usually do, I spent my weekend reading! I always forget how much I love to read and rarely pick up new books, but ever since we visited the beach last weekend I’ve been hooked! I’ve read five different books in one week. Holy cow. It was such a nice change of pace to read book after book that I’d previously downloaded on my Kindle.

Don’t judge, but I love me a good murder mystery. Yes, Nancy Drew and I were close friends growing up! So this past weekend I read “Murder Over Easy,” “Citizen Insane” and “Murder on the Mind.” All of them were by different authors and at one point or another were free on Amazon. I loved them all, especially “Murder on the Mind,” which is based in Buffalo, N.Y. where my family lives. At the beach I finished “The Secret Holocaust Diaries”, which was fantastic, yet incredibly depressing. On a lighter note, I also read “Design on a Crime.” Yes, it’s a murder mystery with an interior design twist. I was sold.

I’m officially a reading addict again and I really hope it sticks! I need to find a good balance so I can read and craft (and eat, sleep, exercise, etc., etc., etc.) all of the time. Sometimes it’s just so hard to put down a good book though.

Speaking of crafting, while I didn’t do much in the creative world this past weekend, I did get a new coffee table from my dad. He brought it back for me from Ohio, so I’m going to work on refinishing that. The table he bought us at a yard sale in his neighborhood is great, but it’s rather high for a coffee table. It also has six cubbies, so I’m not looking forward to refinishing that part. Seems too tedious for a beat up Ikea table. We’ll see though.

In other life news, it’s getting down to the wire for our house-warming party — less than two weeks now! I’m going to start shopping for food this week. Costco, anyone? We don’t have much in the way of extra seating, so I’ll probably start hitting up my parents for their folding tables and chairs soon. I’m also totally crossing my fingers right now for decent weather. I don’t know how well my house will fit 30+ people. If it happens, it happens… but I’m still hoping for a sunny day, especially so we are able to use our new bocce ball set!

I also have a few craft projects planned that I need to do before our party. I’m thinking of making my own citronella candles. Thoughts? Has anyone ever tried that? Citronella really bothers my lungs, but I figure if we’re going to be outside we’ve got to have it. We’ll see! Look for a new craft post tomorrow!

Oh, and enjoy the Olympics if you are tuning in. Go Team USA!