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chandeliers, boxwood, fluff & stuff


This post is a little blog buffet of a bit of this and that of my day.  Enjoy the randomness…


As I’ve mentioned the past few days, I have a lot of big projects coming up for freelance tutorials.  Some of those projects are tied to others.  (Remember the “decorating is like dominoes” thing?)  For example, two of the tutorials I’m making are on installing a plank ceiling and crown molding, so I’m going to remove the ceiling fan, move the junction box and hang the new chandelier as a part of that project.  So, today, I worked on getting the chandelier ready and while I was working on one chandelier, I might as well work on the other one, right?


This small chandelier above my vanity had sleeves that were too short and they were shiny plastic.  Two things that weren’t working for me.  I bought new candle sleeves that were the right size, but they were still shiny plastic.  So, I pulled out an old trick I used way back when my blog was just a little baby blog…  I used a glue gun to make “drips” on the candle sleeves…




…and then painted them with white satin spray paint.  The sleeves on the larger chandelier were black, so I spray painted all of those as well.


I threaded them onto a thin piece of wood, spray painted them and let them dry.


….much better.



Of course, I was holding the chandelier up in my room to get a visual.  (Or maybe I just can’t wait to see it hanging and holding it up was as good as I was going to get today.)



I also added some vintage crystals I bought off of e-Bay.  It was missing about 30 of them and I found some that were the perfect size and shape for a nice price.  I was short one wire connector, so I used some florist wire.  I doubt anyone will ever notice.


I also had to use a little packing tape and super glue to get a decorative arm back on.  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.  It really looks great, though.  Now I need to find white shades and make cord covers for both.

I also worked on my boxwood topiary and wreath tutorials….


This little one was just for me…



…the wreath was for the tutorial and I love how it turned out.  I decided to keep it a little bushy, so it’s not as nicely groomed as my store-bought ones.  It has a little attitude.

 As a funny side note, I had the TV on while I was working on the topiaries and wreath.  It is a simple, repetitive project, so it was nice to have some entertainment.  My TV has some kind of sensor to make sure someone is watching it.  If it doesn’t sense any movement, it will shut off the picture.  I was sitting off to the side, so the sensor couldn’t see me.  This meant every 30 minutes or so, I had to get up and wave at my TV to let it know I was still there.  Really?!  I’m sure there’s some setting to change it, but I figured it was good exercise.

For those of you who have lived a long time with hardwood floors and wool rugs, this will not be a surprise to you.  I, however, am learning the true meaning of “dust bunny.”  Everything I thought was a dust bunny up to this point was just a little bit of fuzz.  I really could make a pet bunny with everything that’s floating around on my floor…


Yes.  That’s a picture of a dust bunny.  And I watermarked it.

Yeah, it’s a little annoying to have to vacuum daily, but I’m okay with it.  Some women walk around on 7″ high heels all day and think that the agony they are putting their feet through is worth it.  I am not one of those women.  I am a woman, though, who will have wool rugs that shed on dark hardwood floors and will chase tumbleweed-sized fluff around all day, because I think it’s worth it.

At some point the rugs have got to stop shedding, right?  There is not an indefinite amount of fibers woven into them and, as far as I know, wool does not reproduce…

See that pink chair and the fabric, trim and cording sitting on top?


Yeah.  I see it, too.  It’s staring at me as I type.


I wish the materials would just jump on the chair, right where I want it all to go.  Maybe if I leave the two sitting together like that long enough, some sort of magic will take place.  But then I won’t get to make my video tutorial series on upholstery that I’ve been promising to make.  So, if you’re waiting for that, just know that I have the chair waiting for me, the stuff sitting neatly on it, staring at me, and I’m just waiting for the day when I’m ready to do it.


Lastly, I moved my favorite antique alarm clock to my bedside table.  I don’t need a digital alarm clock anymore, because I just use my iPhone now, so now I can have a purely decorative alarm clock in its place.


 There you have it.  Chandeliers, boxwood, fluff and stuff.

How was your day?


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  1. Love it! Fluff, stray strings and all! Especially love the faux candles…genius!

  2. Wool rugs may stop shedding someday, but cats never do. I have hardwood floors and cats – so I feel your dustbunny pain! :)

  3. Susan DuBose says:

    Around our house with two little pups, lots of wool rugs and hardwood floors, we’ve renamed them Dust Buffaloes! I could run the vacuum every day and think I’ve done a great job and then one of those babies will roll out into the middle of my floor when my mother-in-law comes for a visit!

  4. Marian, that is total genius to use hot glue gun to make candle drips! I love it!

    My day was great (so far, it is only early afternoon). I dropped off a desk I painted for a lady, picked up a dining suite I am painting for a man, and had another customer accept my quote to paint their bedroom suite. I am so happy to be getting custom work again…once I had established myself in NZ custom jobs became the bulk of my work, then we moved to Australia and I had to start again. Well, 18 month later and here I am. I am so pleased…and pretty proud of myself too :)

    xx Karen

  5. Sometimes I am scared to start a project because of that domino effect. Love a wreath with attitude!

  6. That was the funnest post ever… i’m smiling just sitting here after reading it. I’m excited about your chandelier in the bedroom, I have the most god awful ceiling fan in my bedroom – and i LOVE the glue gun candle wax trick, I’m soooo gonna do that. I’m very curious about the boxwood tutorial…. there is alot of boxwood here in Hillsborough, i’m wondering if I’m gonna have to do a stealth nighttime boxwood raid… and the i can’t wait to see that chair all Miss Mustard Seeded up!


  7. i adore you, marian.
    the watermarked dust bunny :)

    also, i’m not 100% on the wool reproducing!
    i vacuum EVERY single day and my carpet sheds like MAD!


  8. brandi ginn says:

    The next home improvement needs to be a central vac….we also have a lot of wood floors and the main floor gets vacuumed EVERY day…central vac is wonderful.

    I have a question about your french chairs (this could be general…not necessarily specific to the ones pictured) what is the height of the seat from the floor? Standard should be 18″ but today I picked up a (Free) chair with french legs and wood down the front of the arm…I will say though the back/top doesn’t scream “french lines” anyway, I got it home and it seams really short and smaller than I thought…almost like it’s supposed to be for a child. But when I have my kids sit in it, it’s bigger than “child-size” but from the floor to the seat is only 16 1/2″

    I was wondering if you had an insight to my chair. Your chairs (while older) still seem to be a size that fits today’s standard. mine….not so much. I’ve been looking for chairs like the ones you seem to have such luck finding for about 2 years. I can’t find them in CO.
    But since it was free I figured it would be good practice.


    • The chairs I have are a standard height and are probably about 1960’s. Some older chairs can be higher or lower, especially those that were hand made. One thought…does your chair have a cushion? Sometimes chairs are supposed to have a cushion that would make it a standard height, but it was removed at some point.

  9. LOVE. I laughed out loud at you watermarked dust bunny…that’s some real deal seriousness going on right there. I have a Boston Terrier and her “bunnies” are little black and white needle-like hairs that can actually jab you when you walk. So…go on and watermark your bunnies. I’m building a porcupine.

  10. Sarah says:

    Applause, applause! Fun little mix of tidbits. Thanks for the fun.

  11. Tracey says:

    Having the same issue with my new wool rug – dust bunnies that could eat my daughter for breakfast! I’m just pretending like the rug’s not really doing that… What you don’t acknowledge can’t hurt you, right?

  12. Sharon in Chicago says:

    Marian — if I knew you were posting about boxwood today, I’d have saved my FB comment for here. As it is, I like your “wild” description for your wreath — part of what I liked about my 3rd piece is that it’s looser than the other two.

  13. I’m glad I’m not the only one that has to be in the mood to attack some projects. I’d rather pick up a paint brush any day, but him haw around before I get to recovering a cushion!

  14. LOVE the boxwood wreath…love it all, really! I have a chair waiting for me as well…I think my better judgement is saying to take it to a professional because we are covering it in a cow hide. (Not sure I am ready for that!)

    Reading your book…and LOVING every word!!!!


  15. Stephanie Hobson says:

    About the prolific dust bunnies on hardwood floors, I just remind myself that all of that stuff was there before, just hiding in the carpet. Yuck.

  16. I love the fabric you used to reuphoster your chair. And it looks fabulouse with the rug,

  17. I’m in a similar mood today: working on different projects at the same time. By the way, what I like about milk paint: It dries so fast that you CAN work on different projects at the same time and say at the end of the day: I’ve painted SEVERAL things. Milk paint gives me the idea that I’m super productive haha. I somehow sensed that upholstering chairs is not your absolute favorite project ;-).

  18. Fun post here – made me smile too. Where did you get the rug under the French chairs? I think I need it! And speaking of wool rugs, I’m beginning to think they do produce dust bunnies!

  19. Can’t wait to see the boxwood tutorial. I just can’t get enough boxwood.

    One of my happy moments recently was realizing we didn’t need digital or clock radios sitting around any more. :)

  20. I love the boxwood topiary and wreath that you made! Love the bit of attitude that wreath has! you are so right about that rug being worth it! I am not a walk in heels kinda girl either, but I will tend to a new rug and it’s shedding for eternity if i have to. Luckily, it will stop shedding, maybe not entirely, but at least enough that you don’t have to vacuum every day. One question, I have been searching for an antique clock like yours. Where did you find it? It’s a beautiful piece! Have a terrific Tuesday! :-)

  21. Eileen says:

    Marian, your post was wonderfully eclectic. About the watermarked dustbunnies…. I do assume you are saving all those “gatherings” in a jar for a while and then we’ll see a project making a cute nest or something out of them!!!!!! Just a thought! LOL At least that’s how my mind runs! It’s the rug that keeps on giving.

  22. ellery says:

    I love it all, but what I love most is the alarm clock. I have an unsightly digital clock and have been wanting something functional with a vintage look, but (smacking head) I never thought to just use my phone!

  23. Betsy says:

    What a great post!
    I love the randomness, that’s how I tackle things getting done too!
    Question about the candle sleeves – how does it not melt the sleeve? Do you use a cool glue gun or hot ? I’ve got two chandeliers that I was going to buy these wax dropped sleeves for. What a genius idea.
    I love your blog and really am inspired with every post!

  24. Loved the “buffet!” I too am in the market for a wool rug for my new hardwood floors in my family room. I too am willing to vacuum daily (or at least before the bunnies actually take over) in order to have a nice quality rug. I hear that they only last about a year?! At least my family will experience very clean floors for that year! You are always an inspiration! Life to the full, Melissa

  25. Morning Marian,

    My…is that the little chandelier I sold you when you visited The Empty Nest?
    It looks lovely with its new sleeves…well done! Looking forward to seeing a full hanging shot.

    I need a chandelier for the shop and this post has convinced me to stop looking for a perfect one and go for a less expensive one that needs a little repair work…you make it look easy.

    Yay to another tutorial on fabric and chairs…always enjoy your tutes.

    Have a great week

    Janet xox
    The Empty Nest
    Warrenton, Va

  26. Brenda says:

    Marian, Life is like that, differant things needing to be done all at once. I hate to tell you this, but the dust bunnies are like laundry, dishes and garbage.They are always reproducing! I have no cats or wool rugs, but I just have to look at my poor husband to know where the hair balls come from! I can’t wait to see some of your tutorials. Have a great day!

  27. Alice R. says:

    So many pretty things! Love that chair, and the lovely boxwoods, and – weren’t you supposed to help me save money? Now I want lovely old chandeliers too!

  28. I like your project, Marian! Oh, I like your ideas in general! Considering the dust, leave it….! I suppose that we all women face the same problem. But it is not a problem finally. It is a daily routine. Isn’t it?

  29. Yes, the “wool bunnies” do lessen and eventually go away. You can speed that up by vacuuming your rug with your vacuum on it’s carpet setting, especially after you’ve had foot traffic.

    My wool rug is over 20 years old and has aged nicely (I haven’t had bunnies from it in 2 decades :-) I’m glad you have a nice quality piece!

  30. Candy says:

    Can’t wait for the plank ceiling tutorial! We’re thinking about doing that in our Bonus/Family room.

  31. Patrina says:


    Where is the fabric from that you are waiting to upholster the chair all by itself? Do you recall the name of the pattern? I love it!!!!

  32. What a great post! I needed the idea for a chandelier sleeve redo. Thanks for all your inspiration!!

  33. Excuse me while I stop drooling over that chandy! GORGEOUS!!!

  34. I am anxiously waiting the boxwood wreath tutorials. I need to prune mine, and I don’t want to waste the branches. Did you preserve them first?? So excited. Beautiful stuff, as always!

  35. Diane says:

    A couple of years ago I bought boxwood wreaths & other items from Homegoods. Once I got them home, I realized the horrible odor the preserved boxwood had. I knew I wouldn’t be able to use them in my home staging business, so I took them back. The cashier told me they had been getting a bunch of them returned because of the odor. I wondered if you preserve your boxwood with glycerine or not. I made little wreaths for my windows last Christmas from fresh boxwood, but they don’t last past the season. What to do?? I love the look. Any advice you have, I would appreciate it. Thanks.

    • I find that they are only stinky for a few days and it’s never been bad enough to really bother me. The smell definitely diminishes over time. I buy my boxwood branches preserved.

  36. Ok, Marian and all the other ladies in the house,

    This is RAIN of Grace over all of you. You do NOT have to vaccum every day – are you crazy? No you surely are not, dear, dear women. Just pick them up. Round them up and pick them up. Vaccuming every day. Just bend over, swoop them up, and be done with it!!! You all were about to make me – for ONE second, mind you – get my bunny sucker out, but NO way!!!


  37. Lesa D says:

    You make me laugh. Love it.

  38. Gotta laugh at the dust bunny comment. I am also an owner of wood floors, along with three dogs and three cats, and a TON of dust bunnies!

  39. My favorite is picturing you hopping up to wave at the T.V. That made me smile. Looking forward to the nuts and bolts of the chandy hanging!

  40. I enjoyed reading this post. I feel you with the dust bunnies, however, mine are due to my yellow lab. That means no wool rugs for me because it would be twice the cleanup. We call them tumbleweed in my house. :)

    The candle trick is genius and I love the wreath.


  41. LOL…I had to laugh. I have those dust bunnies ALL the time from two wool rugs in our family room… a shag rug plus a golden retriever. Yep….big time dust bunnies! I was told it would take a year for the rugs to stop “shedding”. Got mine last February so that means this month. Hmmmmmm…… :)

  42. julie holton says:

    So goin to do the candle drip thingy..genius! Just looked at my black, plastic candle sleeves and they look horrible! :) I just painted 2 small night stands in Shutter gray- so much chippy goodness! Love the paint!

  43. i have been really interested in making my own chandelier with wire and beads. your re-do is really inspiring. thank you for all the hints and ideas. i have been dragging my feet about doing slip covers also. so your miss-mash was very timely. many thanks, karen

  44. At least your dust bunnies are now visible instead of being ground into the carpet where the dust mites can multiply and make allergies a nightmare! LOVE hardwood floors and I will put up with the sweeping too!

  45. Carolyn says:

    After living where the wind and dust blow a lot of the time – our “dust bunnies” don’t have to have wool rugs or animals to appear. If you don’t have carpet- you have bunnies!!!
    I have tried many products but discovered the Wooly Monster by the Slack Mop Co — and am in shiny wood floor heaven. I don’t mean to be fre advertisement for them – but their mop is fast, easy, and washable. To shiny floors !!!!!!

  46. The wool bunnies do diminish, but the cat hair never does. Ugh! I love my kitties, but their hair is ridiculous! I have two black cats and white furniture. What was I thinking?!!

  47. Susan Shull says:

    Hey just a little note, tried your vinegar/oil on some pieces of old wood file cabinets,I think they are about 100 years old or so and it worked great,thanks for the tip.But here’s one for you,I used it on some dried,dull looking baskets and they look great. …..Thanks again for such a great idea, Susan

  48. Rachel says:

    We don’t have wool rugs but we did have a precious, yellow Lab for 14 years who was one heck of a shedder. She died one year ago this month and we still miss her, and her fur, very much.

  49. fun post – love the way you handled the chandelier sleeves

  50. Marian Luther says:

    Just wanna say you made my day! Learned something clever and new and got a great big smile while doing it. You’re the best and can’t wait to see your new tutorials!

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