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Nevermore 

It’s been a while since I’ve made a wreath. 

My last square one was a hit so I thought I would try it for my Halloween wreath. 


Bits and bobs and bullet casings? Why not, it’s Halloween right


I got the form wrapped with some “spooky” (read black and white) ribbon and lace 


Now on with the, fiddley bits, detritus, found objects and other accoutrements. 



Need a hand? 


Topped off with a motion activated crow from the dollar store that’s annoying as hell. 


I had to learn how to tie a noose this week, something I thought I would never do.


But it was worth it for my spooky wreath. 

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Mass Production

Do you remember that post I did for a secret Santa, where I made an earring display hangar. I’ll link here it if you don’t. 

You should check that blog out first because this is me refining that process. Mr. Smith’s Aunt makes jewelry and owns a shop where all the goods are hand made. You can find out more about it on their Facebook page here


I thought it would be fun to get involved by making some fun ear ring cards. I’ve got a few different styles I’m working on, but the most involved ones are a variation on the one I did for my secret Santa. 

I started off by doing a color wash on the laser cut frames in green and purple; they are the primary colors of the store.


I then cut out appropriately sized sections of lace for each frame.


Then my favorite part…experimentation. I used some diluted paint to dye the lace. 


I soaked the lace in a paint and water mixture and then just gave it time to “cook”. By that I mean I zapped it for about 1 minute in the microwave and then just let it sit.


After 10 minutes or so I pulled the lace out of the paint mixture, doused it with lots of salt,  and gave it a good toss. Yup just plain old salt. It acts as a fix for most dyeing projects.


After a very good rinse in cold water I  lay the pieces out to dry. 


In my original hangar I used a second, identical frame to sandwich the lace between. This time around,to cut costs, and because the double frame was a bit hard to situate, I chose to use long slender craft sticks. 


I simply cut them in half and sanded the raw edge round to match its opposite. 


After a coat of paint on the sticks I used wood glue to sandwich the lace between the frame and the craft sticks, and clamped them with clothes pins


After a good drying period and an exact-o knife to clean up any overhanging lace on the back, the finished product is ready for the shop. 

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A house is not a home…

…without a wreath. I’ve made lots of wreaths. I think I’ve got at least two blog posts on wreaths. You can find them here and here.  I figure now that Mr. Smith and I are finally settled into our own home it’s time I made a wreath for us. 

  
I used a pretty basic wreath form. As you can see here I already wrapped  a branch with some black twine.

  
I then just wrapped a couple of sections with some burlap ribbon to serve as my base.

  
Then it was time to pick out flowers and bits and bobs.

  
I felt like this flower needed a little embellishment so I added some hands of a clock. 

  
In fact I added the gears in another section. It’s the clock that I turned into a lantern last year, which you can see here.

  
I also warped a few keys into the vines

  
And easy as pie we have our own wreath for our own house. Finally 

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Progress update: 1 month 

It’s been exactly 1 month since we moved in and most everything is unpacked and furnished. I spent today hanging some pictures and getting a few things cleaned up So I figured I would give you a bit of a progress report while things were clean lol. 

   Our massive bookshelves are finally stocked with all of our books… Ok not all, there are a couple smaller shelves in other parts of the house.
   
  And the dining room is looking rather smashing as well. It’s just missing a mirror on that far wall, unfortunately I ran out of picture wire. 

Now that the china cabinet is in it (which I foolishly didn’t get a picture of) I’m debating whether the dining room “needs” a rug. Personally I think it might just make it busy, plus food stuffs in rugs; it is not fun. What do you guys think? 

We’ve also managed to get the daybeds in each office sorted out 

   
 
Now it’s just a matter of artwork, I think I’ll go with old botanical prints for my office (the green) and we will carry over the map theme we had in the other house for Mr. Smith. Some of the frames are already the right color. 

  
Hmmmmm I sense a honeymoon destination. 

  
The teal is going to have to have a quick repaint. 

Not too bad for a month’s work  when we started with a pretty darn empty house. 

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Secret Santa-ed

‘What did you get for Christmas?’ ‘A house’ ‘Well merry Christmas to you indeed’ am I right?

It’s a little scattered here 

  
How did we get so many chairs, all the furniture we own consists of chairs  

 luckily I planned ahead a little bit so I’ve got a few posts I can share with you 

So lots of people are likely doing their secret this coming week and I thought I would show you what I did for my secret Santa. 

My secret Santa wanted gift cards (boring) or ear rings (I can work with that) 
Most secret Santa gifts are limited to around $10 to $20. You can’t get much for that anymore. And to me small presents are all about the presentation so along with some $8 earnings from H&M I got $2 worth of craft supplies to make a little ear ring holder/ornament. 

You’ll need two laser cut frames like I used in one of my very first posts found here. 

  
Some paint, lace and some ribbon or twine for hanging.

  
First I painted my frames using a stippling technique to give them some texture. 

  
Then I just used hot glue to glue lace to the back side of one of the frames. I also layered some tulle in there simply because my lace had very large holes and the tulle would secure ear rings better.

  
Then I spot glued a small length of ribbon onto the back of the frame to serve as a hangar. 

  
Finally I coated the back of both frames with wood glue and sandwiched the lace and ribbon in between the two by gluing the frames back to back and carefully lining them up.

  
I clamped the layers together with clothes pins while it dried 

  
After about one hour I had a lovely way to gift ear rings and money left over in my Santa budget for other goodies. 

  
  

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Broken Glass

I got an early Christmas present. It’s called a kinkajou, and no I’m not referring to the furry forest dwelling creature. It’s a handy little mechanism for cutting glass bottles. 

  
It’s a pretty simple thing when you get down to it. It’s just two sets of rollers that clamp together around the bottle with a small scoring blade attached to one. 

  
The rollers then allow you to turn the bottle scoring it all the way around. The tricky part is getting the start and end points to line up. 

  
You then attach the included bands around the bottle and alternate hot and cold water along the score line to expand and crack the bottle along the score. 

  
It took my first bottle a long time to finally break all the way through. That’s partly because my score lines ended about 1/4 inch away from one another. Partly because it turns out the glass was incredibly thick.

  
Luckily even if your score lines are a little off (like mine were) they include a tool to snap off any jagged pieces. Unfortunately my glass was so thick this little tool wouldn’t even fit over it so I had to improvise a bit. 

  
They also include sand paper to get rid of any sharp areas. 

  
It was surprisingly easy even having picked the seemingly thickest bottle ever, I have a feeling Mr. Smith has created a monster with this one.

  

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Clothes Pin-terest 

As you saw in my last blog I’ve been scouring Pinterest for DIY Christmas ornament ideas so Mr. Smith and I can have some memories for our first Christmas as husband and wife (maybe even in our first house if everything goes to plan) 

I came across a few involving clothes pins the other day that looked pretty easy so I thought I would give them a go.

  
Start by taking apart some (by some I mean 8) wooden clothes pins.

    
Then glue the flat sides together like so

  
I followed that up by staining them  along with a lot of other Christmas ornament supplies by using diluted paint. That’s completely optional though

  
This is also completely optional. I wrapped the edges of the pins with washi tape. 

  
Next lay out your pins in a star/snowflake pattern. It’s easiest to first do four at 90* angles from each other and four in between those

  
  
Then find a bauble to glue to the middle on each side.

   
I chose to use a small fabric flower topped by a wooden snowflake

   
Just string some twine or ribbon through one of the small holes in the pins or glue one on and you’re all set