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M.I.A.

Once again it’s been a while since a post. It’s been a crazy month for Mr. Smith and me. Luckily that crazyness has involved visits from family and (for me) fun makeup and lots of work with it.

  

Oh, on that note  thank you to everyone who has pinned and passed on my white rabbit look on Pinterest. Yes you can follow TinyBows on Pinterest and it would be greatly appreciated.

Visit TinyBows’s profile on Pinterest here. //assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js

The white rabbit has gone a wee bit viral, at least by the standards of little old me. You can also find me on Facebook if you’re interested.

Anyway I apologize for being a little lax in projects. Or at least documenting projects

I went wreath crazy last week, but failed to take any pictures of the process. Just the results.

   
    
 I’ve also done at least three Halloween makeup looks since the white rabbit, one of which involved making a headpiece… I also failed to take pictures for that.

  
I’m being a pretty terrible blogger and it bugs me, so im going to attempt to do better in the coming months. Though the holidays are a terrible time for resolutions. At least in the new year I’m going  to rock this.

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Simplicity

Keeping it short and simple this week. I stained a little letter using a fun and easy technique.

  
For this project I used a little monogram from target but if you have a good scroll or jig saw you can make your own shapes. 

  
I drew out what design I wanted in chalk first but then decided just to wing it

  
Using a small brush I painted the design on using plain old wood glue, nothing special just elmers.

  
Let the glue dry thoroughly

Then apply a thin coat of a dark stain (or at least darker than the natural wood tone) and quickly buff off any excess

  
Voila your pattern is left natural. 

It’s a quick and easy way to add detail to a project and it’s pretty versatile as well. If you’re not comfortable free handing a pattern you can always mask off a geometric pattern like stripes or chevrons.

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Experimentation

After the little paintings I did a few weeks ago I thought I might experiment some more with painting on canvas. I should preface this with the fact that it was an all around bad idea

  
The problem is I have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to painting canvas. I can paint on faces,  you will get to see more of that next week but paint and canvas baffles me. 

  
I’m not sure what brushes blend well, as was the case with this first experiment. I’m pretty sure the brush I used was too stiff, so I got some strange brush strokes going on. 

  
I’m not really sure what order to put colors down in, this was  also a problem with this painting.   Hint; don’t try to put the blue of your sky over the yellow of your sunset or you end up with a strange green sky.

So the whole thing has been a process of learning through experimentation. 

But you guys are allowed to see my failures as well as my successes. 

  
I also experimented a bit with watered down acrylics the technique was cool even though I really had no control over anything

  It’s not terrible, I just don’t really like how the little cartoony mermaid subject looks… I should have known I’m just not good at figures. I’ve still got four canvases to play with so if anyone has any tips or blogs they recommend they would be greatly appreciated. 

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Something Old

Clearance isles are the bane of my existence. This has already been established. But I couldn’t resist these little beauties

  
They are pendant frames, though to big for me to imagine actually wearing it as a pendant they are still very small.

I knew almost immediately what I wanted to do with them, I just needed cooperative subjects. 

So I sat Mr. Smith down for a picture. Then I had to get him to take a profile picture of me. That was a little harder since it was me trying to direct him so that he was exactly beside me. Height difference and all

  
I then printed off those pictures and cut out the silhouettes

  
Because the pictures were taken from different distances and different orientations (portrait vs. landscape) I then used my copier to shrink them down to appropriate and equal sizes.

  
 Then I just transferred the images onto the tiny canvases and used a fine sharpie to fill it in

   
As you can see my hair was a little to big and wild to fit in an oval frame and the texture of the canvas made using a sharpie not ideal. I’ll likely go over all of this with paint. Perhaps when I’m more comfortable with the medium given this week’s endeavors. It’s been all down hill since last week. 

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Something New

I have been rummaging through my craft closet, trying to clean it out and trying to find some new things to try. 

  
When it comes to crafts I tend to impulse buy. This is whether I know what I’m going to do with something or not. So when I came across the mini canvases I got a while ago I figured it was about time I got out of my comfort zone and give it a whirl. 

I really had no idea what I was going to paint on them, or for that matter how to do it. I’ve only ever painted on canvas once before and that was in an instructed class. 

  
This is the fruits of that labor, it now happily hangs in my fancy new bathroom which you can see here.

But you know how people say “my three year old could do that” of any abstract painting they don’t really understand. I figure what’s the worst that could happen

  
I just started by blending some colors I liked together, then I got this notion that it might be easy to give it some texture with a brick pattern. 

  
I found a little ampersand image and decided I could paint something like that… So I did… Or at least I tried. 

  
Then I realized I don’t have any kind of sealer or glazing medium, I don’t even know if I need such a thing. But I thought I would try this stuff instead. If nothing else it would give it more texture 

    
Or not… it just gave it a gloss. 

  

Two more mini canvases to go. This was the project of “suck it up, get it done, quit worrying about failing” it was rather cathartic in the end. 

I saw a saying about a house built with love

  
I decided I better build my house tentatively, so I sketched it out first. 

  
So I had love and an ampersand, what goes with love?

  
In this house that’s the only appropriate answer

  
After I did pretty good with the “house of love” (bow chika bow wow) I was kinda disappointed in my shenanigans (needs more malarkey) maybe I’ll redo it when I get more comfortable with this paint stuff. 

Really it turns out the painting part isn’t that hard it’s the inspiration part that bites, I don’t know what to paint or if I do I automatically think I’m completely incapable, so right now it’s baby steps. Oh and any inspiration would be greatly appreciated. 

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Free!

I am going to attempt the impossible. I set out to make a completely free diy project.

  
And by free I mean by using leftover “junk” around the house.

  
Let’s start with some bottle caps, 10 to be exact. Grab my trustee nail polish and pick out a couple of contrasting colors. Paint 5 bottle caps one color 5 another.

  
A couple more colors and some Xs and Os, you can probably see where this is headed.

  
Next grab a little linen sack or something similar. This one came from some novelty gum Mr. Smith just had to have. Use a fabric pen or paint or just a sharpie to put on the grid.

  
Once everything is dry you can toss it all in the bag and voila you have an on the go conflict resolution implement for the kiddos, or frustration for the adults when they figure out how to always end up in a draw. 

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Lemon aid 

When life gives me lemons…. I remind myself how much I love lemonade, seriously it’s an addiction. Know what else I love 

Put it this way, when life gives me scraps, I make bows.

  
When we were visiting Mr. Smith’s Aunt she kindly gave me a ton of amazing (adorable, wonderful, darling, “OMG I need this in my life!”) scrap material 

One stipulation… I had to make bow ties for her new yorkie… 

  
Oh what a hassle that would be (can I just inform anyone unfamiliar with tinybows that statement was dripping with sarcasm) 

I got started right away

  
Just use the same template found on this blog post for my felt hair bows and cut two pieces of the bow loop part of the template. 

  
Cut them at the same time with right sides facing towards one another and take into account seam allowance

   
Sew the two pieces together (still with outsides facing towards one another)

  
Then turn the piece right side out and flatten your seams. If needed (or wanted) you can iron it to get the seams to cooperate, I didn’t because the bows tend to be a little fluffier if you don’t flatten the seams with an iron.

  
Then cut a small rectangle of fabric about 1 inch by 2 inches and sew the long sides together with right sides facing together and again turn right side out

As a tip I had to use a pencil or sometimes a crochet hook to turn the pieces.

  
Then sew the two ends of the bow loop together.

  
Sew the center piece to the side of the back seam of the bow loop.

(Optional if you plan on attaching it to a collar) Sew a small strip of elastic on top of the  center piece

  
Wrap the center piece around the bow loop and sew it on the same seam as it started

  
Here comes the hard part, you have to stretch the elastic and sew it to the remaining centerpiece so that it rouches the fabric and allows the elastic to stretch

  
Trim any excess fabric and elastic and sew the end to the opposite side of the back of the bow 

  
You can of course adjust the size of the pattern based on how big you want the bow for your fur baby but the elastic allows it to easily stretch over the latch of a collar.

  

  

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Bulls and Bears

No, I’m not in Chicago (Alas, I’m sure it’s much cooler there) But amidst all the things in my life I completely forgot to blog about a project I did a couple of months back for the office I work at.

This isn’t the first decorating project I’ve had the chance to do for the office and I’m sure it won’t be the last; if you want to see the others you can click here or here

  
I work at a financial planning office. It’s pretty awesome but it is lacking a little… Style. Luckily I’ve been given the go ahead to jazz it up a bit. We had a bunch of coasters from various places but no matching sets so I took the liberty of buying a little pack of blanks from the craft store and sanding them nice and smooth.

   
 Then I just doodled a little geometric design. I chose a bull and a bear since we work in stock portfolios (among a myriad of other things), used my scanner to enlarg it to the right size for the coaster then numbered each section to correspond with a paint color. In other words I made myself a paint by numbers, that way I wouldn’t end up with two like colors touching each other due to lack of planning. 

  
Then I taped the photocopied image onto the coaster and traced over the lines with the blunt edge of an exact-o knife

  
This left an etching of the image in the soft pine wood of the coaster. 

  
After that it was just a matter of painting each section like I had planned out. 

  
I had four coasters in total so to make each one different i flipped the images so the animals were facing opposite directions and also shuffled which numbers corresponded to which colors. 

  
After the paint was dried I then used a walnut stain over top. Stain over paint may sound kind of silly but on a thin coat of paint  it still pulls out the grain of the wood and gives the paint a distressed/vintage look.

   
 The final touch is just a quick clear coat to seal everything and protect it from sweating water glasses. 

  

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The things you can’t say 

No I’m not taking a page from George Carlin. A lot of you might be too young to understand that, besides this is the internet technically you can say anything. However this is my 50th post and shortly after Tiny Bows’ one year anniversary. So I would like to thank all of you for reading my random ramblings. 

There have been a lot of thank yous this week. Over the last month Mr. Smith and I have had an overwhelming outpouring of support from friends, co-workers, family and even complete (and sometimes anonymous) strangers.

When something as tragic as the sudden death of a loved one too early in life happens no one is sure what to say to you. We are finding that we aren’t sure what to say in response, at least not in a way that adequately describes the gratitude we feel. 

We could have gone out and purchased generic thank you cards, but as you may be able to tell from the other 49 posts it’s not really our style. It also just didn’t feel personal enough. 

  
So instead I got a stencil and some brown paper tags

I then learned that I’m really terrible at stenciling unfortunately so is Mr. Smith. Luckily we found the stencil worked pretty good as a sort of stamp

  
Then we just glued the brown paper to folded up “fancy” paper. If you want to get technical its linen resume paper 65lb weight (aka super thick and textured). Folding it in quarters means it will fit in an A2 envelope perfectly.

  
Of course I had to leave my mark on the thank yous as well so I used a punch and some fancy paper to make tiny bows to cover the holes in the tags. 

    
While we were gathering supplies at the craft store Mr. Smith found a stamp he liked of a creepy tree.

  
So he decided while I was in the shower to put a hallmark on the back of the cards. 

  
As you can see we ran with it. 

I mean really ran with it…. Check out CreepyTrees.co

  
These cards still won’t express everything we want them to, but I hope everyone who receives one knows that they were made with love, and laughter and it is in part thanks to all of them that we can still do the latter. 

  

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Friday (Kinda) Favorites

This has been one of the most chaotic weeks of my life… (Said the woman with no kids) So instead of some fancy tutorial or renovation blog I’m just going to show you what things have been making my crazy life a little easier and more relaxing of late.

I’ll start with what helped me out a bit with my (thank goodness it’s over) bathroom remodel

This marvelous triangular brush is Ah-May-Zing. I (and my cat strangely) have a thing for brushes. If you have the right one it does most of the work for you. This is true with makeup and painting, and this brush was excellent for getting tight edges around tile work and molding.

Can I just say “Why didn’t I think of this?” These shower curtain hooks are genius. I love the little metal hooks with the rolling cylinders at the top but I hate the way they pinch shut. I also hate trying to get a liner and a curtain on them, especially when the curtain doesn’t have grommets. Enter a sturdy metal double hook. One side for the liner one side for the fabric shower curtain.

Ok on to pampering awesomeness, I’ve needed this as stressed out as my week has been.

I’ve been trying out some new cleansers, and new cleansing methods, I’ve used a Clarisonic and purity face wash as my evening cleanse for the last year and a half but with everything in my bathroom being packed away in boxes I downsized to these little sample sizes and a Konjac sponge. The sponge has been absolutely amazing, especially in the morning for a quick cleanse/rinse and the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is wonderful once you get used to the somewhat odd smell. Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion is absolutely wonderful as well. I generally steer clear of microderm partly because my skin is very sensitive and because with a Clairisonic I’m getting manual exfoliation on a regular basis already. Unlike most microdermabrasion washes this has a very creamy and hydrating effect and is not at all drying or irritating even on very sensitive skin like mine.

My everyday makeup drawer (which you may have seen here) got an overhaul as well. I managed to weed out some product and find room for my everyday skin care, which is nice because it gets used even on days when I don’t use makeup.

First off is my Mario Badescu Rosewater spray, I use that after every wash simply because it’s very soothing. Then in the mornings I just pop on some Renewed Hope in a Jar from Philosophy and call it good. It works great as a standalone moisturizer and works wonderfully under makeup. As you can tell by the amount of product in there, my night time routine is a little more extensive. After my rosewater spray I go in with Clinique Smart Serum… I’m not a big fan of Clinique skin care, it’s always been very harsh on my skin but I absolutely adore this serum. Then I go in with my all-time favorite night cream Korres Wild Rose Night time Brightening Sleeping Facial (Believe it or not that name used to be longer). Those two things have been really great at helping my acne scars to fade, helping minimize pore size and improve tone and texture. Just as a testament this is about my 5th jar of Korres and my 2nd bottle of smart serum. They are definitely repurchasing products.

I do have a couple of new things in there one is Dr Brandts Needles No More… OMG!… It works… It possible works to well. I put it on my smile lines a couple nights in a row I went to work and low and behold, I had no little makeup creases in my smile lines anymore. So maybe it doesn’t work to well, but frankly I like my smile lines, those are the good kind of wrinkles. It shows that I don’t always have resting bitch face.

I’ve also been trying out Nars latest foundation … this is supposed to be a post about favorites… so I’m not going to talk about Nars latest foundation

A few new things in the makeup department too, Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed in Native. I know I’ve bashed UD before… and I stand by not liking their eye shadow pallets. But this face trio is actually pretty wonderful. As is the wonderful Stila Window to the soul pallet that my bf got me (because he is just that amazing)

And if you were wondering The necklace in my featured image is from Etsy Shop owner VintageWonderlandGA who makes custom jewelry from vintage pieces. And of course the display piece was made by me a couple of weeks ago for this post here. 

Let’s move on to my favorite things that I don’t have. Like for example ….

this ENTIRE ISLE at target… I mean really, have you been there lately? They have chalk paint!!!! Target needs to pay me (in product) for marketing… OMG pillow forms, seriously I just noticed that, I legitimately need those. Going grocery shopping is so hazardous to my wallet now.

Also my new bathroom needs a mascot and I think it shall be this little guy

He can be found at ModCloth if you were wondering.

Ok thank you for reading my random ramblings, I’m hoping to have something closer to my usual up some time next week (an excuse to go to target?) since I’ll have a more manageable schedule.