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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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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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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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Hall of Frame 

Back when we visited our friends in North Carolina I got some vintage frames to add some artwork to this odd Hallway we have.

  

 I added some existing old frames I have to them just by giving them some funky paint jobs and decided I would hang them (mostly) empty like at our old house.

   
I’m not really sure why anyone needs this many frames but they sure do make me happy 

  
 
 I added decorative metal sheeting to a few of them to match the awesome barn door my father made for us. I’m going to paint the hall side of the frame of the door to match the frames next week.  

  
Some of the frames with the sheeting required silicon caulk to secure the metal but that was a super quick job. 

  
Some of the frames also got some map cutouts in them of places we’ve lived or been.

  
Lastly I repainted this big collage that has photos of Mr. Smith’s late mother. We had it set up at her celebration of life.

  
 In order to match it to the rest of the installation I just removed a few of the pictures and used a paper similar to our wall color to give the impression of empty frames and did a couple maps and a couple metal inserts as well. 

  
The hardest part of the whole process was the hanging bit. 

  
Oh there is that barn door I was talking about. 

Of course I had help, including help from the cat

  
But eventually it was done

  
And not too shabby if I do say so myself, you can see the barn door peeking out again here. 

  
  
Hopefully Mr. Smith likes it when he finally gets back from his business trip 

  

  
I even snuck our little silhouettes in. 

It was a relatively easy job to create a high impact space

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Greenery

I found a present from one of my cats earlier this month. I’m not going to show it to you because it happened to be a pile of puke filled with leaves. Leaves from a flower arrangement  Mr. Smith got me. 

Needless to say I will not be getting any flowers anytime soon. Nor will I have any plants in the house. Which is a tragedy since I love plants, though a boon for the plants themselves since I tend to kill them (My black thumb skills even extend to cacti ) 

  
On the plus side they make some pretty amazing fake plants these days and you can find them pretty cheap this time of year. I recently got an orchid for our library

  
And one for the living room alcove, I’m debating painting the back wall of that alcove the same dark blue the dresser come entertainment center is soon to be. What do you think? 

  
I also found some succulent pieces. This one is perfect for a centerpiece in the dining room, not to tall to obstruct conversation and not to wide to obstruct eating. And if it does need to be moved for a large dinner it’s rather cute on the window sill as well

  

One of my friends used to work at a nursery and I managed to snag this awesome bulb (as in flower bulbs) crate from her.

  
 I gave it a nice wash of milk paint ( you can see another post on milk paint here)

  
I put a little four dollar strip of fake grass in the bottom and screwed it to the wall making sure to anchor it in the studs. 

  
Add to that my stained monogram from a while back and a succulent container and my office finally has some “artwork”. The Beemer approves 

  
I even snuck in some greenery on one of my office bookshelves (“gasp” a bookshelf with no books)

  
Not to mention the cutest desk lamp. And those blades of grass are pens 

 ” Hooray!” for a bunch of plants that the cats have no interest in and that I can’t kill!  It’s a win-win-win

Oh and I’ve also managed to sneak some greens into my diet. It’s a good thing too, all this new found energy has got me on a roll. 

  

Seriously I’m addicted to this stuff. It’s like thin mints in liquid form when you mix it with soy milk, one 8oz cup a day and I legitimately feel more energized. I have never taken “supliments” or vitamins and I avoid caffeine like the plague because I’m a naturally anxious person and it just seems to make my anxiety worse.  But after I had the chance to try this for three days I could feel the difference in my energy levels despite it being caffeine free. I had improved digestion and didn’t crave sweets since this gave me a daily chocolate fix. I was sold and ran out and got a full size. Ok I’m done trying to sell you on this I’m not normally one to do that, I just really like it and thought I would share. 

I’ve got a quick paint update for later this month as well as finishing up my entertainment center and what should be a very interesting frame arrangement for our oh-so-empty hall way. I’ll catch you later. 

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Hasty 

I literally just finished doing this. I’m still covered in paint and am finally out of a cross legged position only to find myself pinned down by The Little.

  
 Might as well make the most of it and do a post while I’m unoccupied. Thank goodness for mobile blogging. I was going to do a post about the ugliest cheese cake known to man. 

  
My husband got me a kitchen aid stand mixer. It’s marvelous but there is a reason I don’t do food blogs. I love to cook and it usually tastes great but that doesn’t mean it’s pretty. Thus was the story with my improvised salted caramel cheesecake. Essentially a basic cheesecake with brown sugar and a smidge of salt in the crust and a gooey caramel topping with salt sprinkled on it. 

It was hideous and only lasted two days 

On to much prettier things. 

  
Our bar is a giant white monolith and our kitchen doesn’t have much character what with being all black and white. I’ve introduced little pops of red inspired by our China which was  handed down from my husband’s great grandmother. It’s wonderful paired with my mom’s Avon glass collection she passed on to me.

  
And we have somehow managed to have a chalkboard theme in the kitchen… It’s on mugs & glasses, picked out by Mr. Smith but I ran with it and got canisters and even have the theme  in the pantry. 

  
So now that I’ve got the breakfast nook furnished and stools for the bar we’ve decided to expand the red and chalkboard theme 

  
(Ok, admittedly the nook still needs some curtains. It’s one of the only rooms that will get them.) 

After prepping the area with tape the brackets to the bar got the red treatment. 

   

  
I thought it looked better even after one coat 

  
About four coats later 

Here is a tip, if you happen to get paint on any hard surface (laminate, hardwood, tile, stone, cured paint)  you don’t want it on, magic erasers will take it right off even if it has dried.

  
After a little clean up our bar is looking pretty great. 

  
I’m going to wait a couple weeks for the paint to cure before we start doodling on it 

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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.