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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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Coloring The Town

I missed a post last week. Been working on some personal things. Also been working out some stress.

I’m a bit late to the boat but I just discovered coloring books for adults. They looked super pretty, this one in particular 

  
I thought if nothing else it would be cheap artwork to fill gaps in a gallery wall. 

Turns out it’s pretty relaxing too. 

My first try was with markers, not too great but still relaxing.

  
Then I moved on to colored pencils, nothing fancy just crayolas. 

  
But much better results and still just as relaxing.

  
Turns out coloring inside the lines can still be relatively creative 

  

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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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Zombie Clowns

Mr. Smith and I have been on a little mini hiatus for the last few days. I had hoped to get a post up before leaving for said break from the real world but I wasn’t really sure what to write about. 

  
At first I was reluctant to pick up blogging and my hobbies again. To be fair I was reluctant to do anything. I couldn’t even eat. Now I’m finding I relish the little things; in particular the hobbies that bring me and especially others joy. So of course I’ll be doing a blog about how my hobbies are helping me through everything. I guess every blog I do is about a hobby or project, I just have a new love for them. 

  
But of course now I have a mini vacation to blog about . For Mr. Smith’s birthday  we spent some time with his aunt and her family down in Florida. As I’ve said my family has been amazingly helpful with getting through this so I’m incredibly grateful Mr. Smith has some family relatively close by.

  
They live in an area that I’m quite familiar with because my grandparents used to live there. We had the opportunity to go to Legoland one day… 

This is going to sound like an

  
Type of thing, but I actually went to Legoland before it was Legoland. On a side note I had been to Legoland once it was Legoland as well, I was just excited to see how Mr. Smith would like it since this was his first trip. 

  
Legoland is built around a place called Cyprus Gardens which I had been to several times in my youth and your admission to the park includes admission to the old gardens. Don’t get me wrong Legoland is cool, (more about it later) but if you don’t bother going to Cyprus Gardens while you’re there you are missing out. 

  
Mr. Smith didn’t really bother taking any pictures in Legoland but his eyes lit up and the camera snapped away when we got to the gardens as you can probably tell by all of these pictures.  If you’ve never seen a Banyan tree it is an amazing sight to behold.  Of course he had to have a creepy tree in this post. 

  
Legoland itself was toy heaven, secretly (or perhaps not so secretly) neither of us have matured in the last 20 years so we are still stuck in the 8-14 age bracket that Legos cater to… our vacation budget was spent accordingly. And that’s pretty much all we did was shop. The weather was terrible thanks to this time of year so a good amount of the rides were closed anyway. I’m extremely happy I wore my bathing suit under my clothes because I never dried out.

  
(Han definitely shot first) 
Our haul from Legoland however was epic…. Oh I mean Awesome!

  
I’m personally of the master builder disposition whereas Mr. Smith tends to follow directions. He has plans involving Kra-Gl but I’ve got a piece of resistance around here to stop him. 

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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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An Empty Chair

I’m about to bring down the mood and I would like to apologize for that in advance. However I was abruptly reminded of how ones life can change in the blink of an eye recently. My fiancé and I have known one another for 8 years, we’ve been together for a cumulative 4 and in that time we’ve essentially become a part of each other’s family.

Three weeks ago my fiancé lost his mother and father in one fell swoop. One phone call completely changed our lives. It’s still early days and I’m not sure how we pick up the pieces or where we go from here. My parents have been my rock, but for my fiancé being an only child and living far away from any extended family I’m amazed at every second he manages to make me laugh and giggle.

It’s reminded me just how much we need each other in our lives and shown me how unconditionally we love one another and our families.

I do have a project this week, I was planning on sharing it last week but couldn’t bring myself to write about it. My future mother in law was one of my biggest supporters, she always shared my posts and always had encouraging things to say. When my fiancé (you know what, I’m going to call him Mr. Smith for the sake of stream lining) and I moved in together there was a chair that his parents gave to him that we though might work well with the desk I refinished last year.


It was in pretty rough shape, the varnish was peeling, the stain was uneven and it was rather scratched and marred.


I stripped and sanded it, the whole time sending update pictures to Mr. Smith’s mom. She was rather surprised the chair hadn’t ended up in the garbage after all these years but you know me and solid wood furniture, where there is sandpaper there is a way.


After sanding I did a final run down with fine steel wool. You just can’t appreciate woodwork until you’ve used steel wool on it, it’s like the butter on the bread.


Then it was on to staining I used a combination of ebony and mahogany to get a warmer finish then plain ebony. It being on maple wood vs. my desk’s mahogany it’s still much cooler toned but I knew I wouldn’t get an exact match. It was more that I actually had a chair that fit in the narrow space under the desk unlike modern desk chairs.
 I was so excited to see what her reaction to the finished blog would be its one of the many things I’ll encounter throughout the rest of my life that will remind me she isn’t here anymore. Not to mention all of the myriad of other things that we won’t get to enjoy with them. They won’t be there to help us move into a new house, and guide us through all the perils of home ownership. They won’t be witness for our little courthouse wedding, or compare new cars and try to decide who would win in a drag race (without ever actually racing lol).

Every blog I post will remind me she isn’t there cheering me on. But as Mr. Smith has reminded me that’s no reason to stop, we go on, we do the things we love and the things she loved, we remain the people she loved and we remember.