We love our house in the Boston suburbs. There is no way that we would have this sort of space and yard and freedom to mess up DIY projects if we were still in the city. But it does mean that our social lives are chunky. As in, we socialize in chunks. If we’re going in to Boston on the weekend, we like to go for a long visit or see several people in one day.
We had a few hours to spare in Cambridge between visits a few weeks back, so I forced Brad to go looking for used furniture. We went to Boomerangs, which is a cool thrift store mini-chain with a few locations around the Boston area. What makes them particularly awesome is that all their proceeds go to support the good work of the AIDS Action Committee of MA. Their stuff is also a little higher-end and funkier than what you always find – so less detritus to pick through!
None of the great furniture or clothes stuck with me that day, but I did find this awesome threesome of geometric bowls in pretty good shape. And only $2 each! I loved the shape and took them right home (via our other social engagement).
Cool, huh? Unfortunately, I already have too many mismatched bowls according to the Advisory Committee (i.e., Brad). And as much as I liked the shape, it was actually a little hard to see because it was in all black. So I knew that I wanted to add some graphic elements and use these thrift store bowls for something else, like water dishes for my plants or as planters themselves.
(Update: A commenter let me know that these bowls are in the “Octime-Black pattern by Arcoroc,” so if you’re interested in buying the exact same type you can find them on Ebay or here. Specifically, these are the 5 5/8 “cereal bowl” size, but I actually love pretty much all of these pieces. Thanks, Sandra!)
I picked up a little thing of Folk Art Enamel Acrylic Paint in Wicker White (affiliate link – read about our policies). And by picked up I obviously mean that the good folks at Amazon brought it right over to me because I
am lazy work full time and its really hard to find the time to get out to the craft store.
I didn’t go into it with a plan, except that I wanted to bring out the existing shape and keep things looking modern – for example, no butterflies. I free-handed two of them but if I’d had the time to tape, the lines would definitely have been crisper.
I outlined the edges on one of the bowls and added some dots around the top edge of another one. The paint was a little thicker than regular-old craft paint, and also dried a little faster. I had to clean off the brush a few times throughout the process. But otherwise it was really easy to work with. It took two coats to get good coverage with brush strokes, and only one coat when making dots.
For the final bowl, I decided to try taping off a pattern so I could get some crisp triangles.
I followed the directions to set the enamel: after letting them dry for about an hour, I placed them in a cool oven, heated it to 350 degrees, baked them for 30 minutes, and then let them completely cool in the oven.
Now, right around this point is when we learned that a “historic and catastrophic blizzard” was approaching the area. (Also known on the internet as “snowmaggeddon 2015,” “The Snowtorious B.I.G.,” or “YOUKNOWNOTHINGJOHNSNOW 2015.”) The television warned us that any travel during this storm would be potentially life-threatening. Everyone was out buying the essentials, like bread, milk, and extra blankets. So we went out to get some mini-cacti so that if we got snowed in, at least there would be cacti.
Don’t worry, we also picked up some cheese while we were out.
I’m in love with the way these turned out, especially when all planted.
There is no drainage in the bowls, so I filled the bottom with gravel and will water very sparingly. I knew that I wanted to have three in the bowl, but I couldn’t leave the spiky little tomato-esqe cactus behind at Mahoney’s Garden Center, so he got his very own pot.
While I was out, I also finally got a cactus for my ceramic bird planter from the sewZinksi shop on Etsy (affiliate link – read about our policies). I had stalked this little guy for about a year before my Aunt Cathy got him for me for Christmas. Isn’t he adorable!
So, clearly, we were perfectly well entertained through the blizzard with these to look at.
They’ve all found nice homes now on my window sill.
Um, except for the other two bowls. My grand plan had been for them to catch water under other potted plants. But we all know what happens to grand plans. Seeing how awesome that one looks as a planter, I’ll now be off to get some more little cacti to give these other two out as gifts.
(FEATURED on Apartment Therapy, 36th Avenue, All Things with Purpose, and I Heart Naptime – and sharing over at Living Well, Spending Less, I Heart Naptime, All Things with Purpose, Pure Blog Love, and 36th Avenue)