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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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New Beginings

We started on a couple of new projects today. They are going to be in the works for a long time, mostly because we are still working on getting settled into our new house. 

One of them is this old mid-century modern dresser that was passed down to me from my great grand mother.

  
 We actually have the set but the dresser is going to be our new entertainment center, believe it or not.

I just removed a couple of the drawers that are a little worse for ware. 

  
See it’s better already,

Used a hole saw to cut a few holes for components in the backer board. Or let Mr. Smith do so, since hole saws terrify me after my father almost lost a finger to one. 

  
And voila 

  
I plan on painting the top, sides,  and bottom boards, as well as the vertical support in the middle. Then I’ll  refinish the drawer fronts and feet and stain them a darker wood color to match the other furniture in the house. Im still not sure what color I’ll paint the exterior. I might go with the same TARDIS blue the side table is. What do you think? 

I’ll save the other project we started on for a later post. It’s going to be quite a doosie in the long run. 

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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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Failures

I always set out with good intentions but sometimes it just doesn’t work out quite as planned. Such is the case this week. 

  
I saw the cutest little jar on modcloth or uncommon goods or something and got wildly inspired

Being the person I am I was like “I can do that”

  
I busted out my trustee nail polish, always good in a pinch as seen on some previous decor projects. Here or here or (oh my gosh! I don’t actually wear nail polish, but dang I use it a lot) here too 

  
 and our (if you’ve seen new girl you know the actual name of this) “change” jar

  
Some washi tape to plot out stripes (I haven’t been doing anything much more creative with it lately except maybe last week

  
An eraser to stamp some dots

  
The final results are…. Nope, just nope

Luckily I have acetone

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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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Late for a date

Okay, not late. In fact, very early. Halloween is over a month away but I couldn’t help trying out a costume. I was actually inspired by the clock I demolished then repurposed way back in this blog post here. 

I’ve always loved Alice in Wonderland but I’ve never been able to pull off Alice herself (ok maybe when I was like, 6 with glorious long blond hair) 

  
So enter the white rabbit

I started with a base of high coverage foundation

     

 Then went in with white cream to highlight or bring certain features forward. Making my nose and upper lip appear more protuberant. I started out using a cream face paint then just decided NYX shadow base in Milk would work better, it did. 

I then did some cream shadows to get a more herbavore face going. A stark shadow low under the cheek bone and under the jaw line and down the nose and a little bit of shadow to upturn the lips. I kept all of these shadows grey to stay with in the monochromatic look. 

  

  
Then I set everything and intensified it with powders, turns out I don’t have a stark white powder but a slightly pearlescent eyeshadow worked relatively well and added a little more dimension

On to a few details I used a black eyeliner to do the philtrum (that little cleft under the nose) and black and grey to do the eye brows. 

  

  
I gave the brows a very flat and tapered (almost permanently worried) look

And I used a baby pink lipstick set with shadow for the nose.

  
For the eyes I did a really simple smokey look just running black liner through the water and tight line and smudging it through the lash line and along the crease. I wanted to keep it messy and easy. To give it some color I used the same pink shadow (or blush) I used on my nose to blend around the crease of the eye. Liberal amounts of mascara or false lashes and the eyes were done 

I also applied liberal amounts of blush which you can see in the eyeshadow picture.  I took it from the apples of the cheeks up to the temple area. To make sure I didn’t lose the highlight effect I did touch up with the pearlescent white as a cheekbone highlight. 

  
Now the fun details. I just took a small detail brush and using the same pink as before began to draw a clock face around one of my eyes. Enter the crisis where I can’t figure out if I did the clock face backwards thanks to how my spacial reasoning sucks then you add mirrors to that. 

  
Once I was satisfied with the placement I started to intensify it with darker colors making it look as though it were a shadow or brand on the face. First grey then a little black. 

  
Pop on some ears pin up the hair.

  
And put on your bunny smile.

I don’t have all my accessories yet. There will be a giant bow tie and of course my clock lantern. But I’m pretty happy with how it turned out for a first attempt. 

  

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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 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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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.