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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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So Vain 

I have a new Vanity!!!

Ok, like most things I own it isn’t “new”, just new to me. I received this desk as a hand me down gift from Mr. Smith’s aunt. 


The sewing machine from it still works by the way. 

 

I got it sanded this spring but work stopped as soon as the heat hit and we were off running around the country. 



I finally got around to working on it in earnest these past couple of weeks. 


The verticals supports and panels weren’t sanding out as well as I liked so I opted to paint them. 


The top and the drawer fronts however  were a glorious grain so I decided to stain them as close as possible to my bedroom furniture. 


We (my mother and I) lined the drawers with contact paper to protect them from the cosmetics that will go inside.

Beemer helped too


The hardware that was in the desk to begin with matched our furniture pretty well so I just cleaned it up and reattached it. 


Before I set up my inordinate amount of makeup on the desk I placed a plastic sheet (it’s actually from a poster frame) on the desk to prevent makeup getting embedded in the wood grain. 

I finally got to take all of my makeup out of bins and put it in real drawers in a proper vanity.


And yes that is a mechanics stool. 

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Screw this

In case you missed last weeks blog I had a project that was put on hold thanks to one stubborn screw that was giving me trouble. Thanks to some vice grips and wd40 that was sorted out and what follows is the project in its entirety. 

We got this tiny rocking chair from my grandmother after it sat in her basement for goodness knows how long. 


The upholstery was terrifying, there were dead spiders, but at least they were dead. 


The wood base was still in excellent shape so there was no need to cut a new one. I used foam from an old mattress pad doubled over along with remnant fabric I had laying around to reupholster it. 


I used the same method I did on our dining chairs which you can see here.


The chair itself was in pretty rough shape too, pegs were loose and screws were rusted. Hence the trouble we had getting the one screw out. The head rusted off leaving only the threaded portion. 


We ended up drilling out around it, spraying wd40 in the hole and pulling it out with vice grips


I later filled the hole with wood filler so the new screw would have something to grip 


After disassembling the chair it probably looked like a pile of fire wood to anyone else but the wood was still in excellent shape after a good sanding. 


However even after sanding the pieces didn’t match. Some were a very light wood, some had a red hue to them. If I were staining it a dark color it wouldn’t have mattered but I wanted to keep the piece light so I opted to do a wash of paint. 


I decided to try out target’s paint brand. I believe it’s made by valspar which is generally not my favorite but it worked well for the wash due to being a rather flat base. 


Some new screws and wood glue to secure loose pegs and the chair is back to being a wonderful sturdy piece again. It’s an excellent edition to our library tucked over by the children’s books. 

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Another blue bathroom

After a long absence our cats are always very happy to see us so this weeks post will be featuring a lot of this guy 


We just got a new couch for our library he has adopted it as his own. The library is getting a minor makeover with the addition of some decor from our universal trip along with this new couch. I’ll post a bit about that later this year. 


But for now I’ve repainted and redecorated our guest bathroom. 


First it was a matter of stripping it down to the bare walls. Including taking down the horrible contractors special mirror you tend to find stuck to the walls in bathrooms. You know the kind I mean; no frame, same width as the vanity. They are super uninviting. 


As soon as I started edging I got a visit.


I wanted to see how high he would go. All the way was the answer, then he couldn’t figure out how to get down so I had to rescue him. 


There was one little spot above the toilet I couldn’t reach even with the ladder. It’s what I get for having 10′ ceilings. Luckily Mr. Smith is a foot taller than I. 


On to finishing touches 


All the stuff I hauled out had to go right back in.


The Beemer approved our new towels.  
And tah dah the bathroom isn’t so boring anymore 

As you can see the mirror isn’t hung yet, it’s just propped up. But that’s the advantage to having a husband that’s over 6′ I’ll just make him do it 😛 .

 And if your wondering about the title, yes this is our second bathroom redo (much easier than the first) and the second blue one. You can find the first by clicking here

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Where we left off

So we left off having visited the dunes, by the way these fulgurites are pretty cool. I found a tiny one once. They are very fragile and the inside looks like  murcury glass.


It was then onto one of my favorite places in the world. My grandmothers house. The above obviously isn’t her house. It’s the chicken coop. Though that’s an understatement since it’s now a completely finished building. Carpeted and all. 


Even the chipmunks love my grandmothers back porch. 

Our last day in Michigan we celebrated Mr. Smiths (along with two other’s) Birthday with friends and family 

Then it was home through the dreaded state of Ohio. This is what it threw at us this time. 


The best part of Ohio? The bridge to Kentucky. 

As you can see, once we finally got home (after going through many more states, none as bad as Ohio, lol) our living room kind of exploded. We got lots of goodies while we were there including but not limited to a stop sign as you can see above. I promise it was legally purchased. 

And look at these crochet cacti! 

As promised I have lots of projects coming up. One of my side projects is going to be restoring a lot of old photographs. I don’t know as though I’ll blog about that, but it’s a fun hobby. I used to do a bit of photo restoration and it will be nice to have some family photos in our new house. 

I’ve also started working on painting and decorating our guest bathroom. A family member made us beautiful monogrammed towels to go in it and it was just the push I needed to get it started. My office is currently full of all of the bits and bobs that will be going in there. 

My grandmother also gave me this tiny rocker. It needs a lot of repair work and a new seat but I thought it was too cute to pass up when she offered it. As soon as my garage gets cooled down I’ll add it to the list of things to do in there. 


That’s all from us for now. 

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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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Kid Stuff

Just a couple small projects this week. First up my childhood friend the rocking horse. I never gave it a name. Or a gender for that matter. Comment what it’s name should be, I think it’s about time it got one. 

This poor, 26ish year old horse has spent the last 14 or so years in a garage loft and it shows.

My grandfather built it for me before my legs would even reach the pegs. And my grandmother painted the beautiful designs. 

As you can see the varnish has yellowed over the years. In fact you can see where my little hands wore off the varnish so the blue paint shows its true color around the hand holds.

I wanted to get rid of as much of the yellowing as I could while still keeping the lovely paint that my grandmother did, so I just did a wet sanding with a 150 and 220 grit sanding pad 

Now it just looks a little more antiqued than before, but still beautiful. I will eventually need to replace the tail, but for now it’s found a home in our dining room for our friends children to play on. 

Next up a project from Mr. Smith’s childhood. 

It’s not quite as pretty but it’s a bit more practical. It was his childhood toy box and before it was his it was someone else’s… I’m not sure whose, but obviously it’s pretty old and it’s pretty sturdy. It’s made out of scrap, solid wood, tongue and groove. 

And as you can see here a 6 year old Mr. Smith painted it. 

We freshened up the paint a bit using the same red and chalkboard as I did on the bar. As you can see it’s also going to need a new bottom. 

It also desperately needed new casters as the bearings in these had seized up. 

New casters, new bottom reinforced with a center strut thanks to some scrap paneling and wood…
I think Mr. Smith is excited about his newly remodeled toy box…. Or at least the toys

And it has found a cozy home in the breakfast nook.