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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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Spring fever 

Also known as hay fever here I think, yellow snow has a different meaning in the south. As you can see in my header I even took the liberty of making a pollen angel. 

  

We did get real snow at one point this year a major anomaly for us. 

You saw in my post a couple weeks ago I’m so terrible at keeping house plants alive (not to mention keeping cats out of them) I just got all fake ones 

Outdoor plants are a different story. Especially here, they pretty much take care of themselves.

  

So with a few old pots and coal pails I gave my porch a facelift 

  

A couple of ferns a couple of Gerber daisies and two flats of flowers was all it took. 

  

Now if only the pollen would abate 

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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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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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Mother of Dragons

I made dragon eggs!!! Ok technically they are supposed to be pine cones but they definitely look like what I imagine dragon eggs look like. 

  
Start with some squares of paper 

  
Or alternately short lengths of ribbon (I used sticky back ribbon for extra ease) 

  
Fold your ribbon or paper so you have a peak and pin them onto your styrofoam ball 

  
Start with four “scales” all pointing towards one another, overlapping them in the center

  
Then cover your outside corners with four more

  
After that you can just start spiraling around with your “scales” being sure to overlap and cover your pins

  
It can be tedious

  
But so worth it

The if you want them as orniments simply find a means to hang them

  
For my first one (the ribbon dragon) I found one of the old drawer pulls from my infamous desk 

  
I (ok my dad cause I was a scardey cat) drilled all the way through, I used some guilding wax on it and strung some twine through.

  
 Then I just hot glued the repurposed handle to the top of the ball  to create a hangar  

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Clothes Pin-terest 

As you saw in my last blog I’ve been scouring Pinterest for DIY Christmas ornament ideas so Mr. Smith and I can have some memories for our first Christmas as husband and wife (maybe even in our first house if everything goes to plan) 

I came across a few involving clothes pins the other day that looked pretty easy so I thought I would give them a go.

  
Start by taking apart some (by some I mean 8) wooden clothes pins.

    
Then glue the flat sides together like so

  
I followed that up by staining them  along with a lot of other Christmas ornament supplies by using diluted paint. That’s completely optional though

  
This is also completely optional. I wrapped the edges of the pins with washi tape. 

  
Next lay out your pins in a star/snowflake pattern. It’s easiest to first do four at 90* angles from each other and four in between those

  
  
Then find a bauble to glue to the middle on each side.

   
I chose to use a small fabric flower topped by a wooden snowflake

   
Just string some twine or ribbon through one of the small holes in the pins or glue one on and you’re all set

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Like Tiny Snowflakes 

Mr. Smith and I are getting ready to buy a house and we get to move our hodge podge of stuff into it. Unfortunately that hodge podge does not include any Christmas decorations. 

  
So we are going to make some of our own this year. Here is a quick one I did over the weekend.

  
I started with one of these laser cut wooden snow flakes. Similar to my laser cut frames I painted a while ago and just as cheap.

  
Then I actually used washi tape to decorate something instead of as makeshift painters tape like I usually do. 

  
After covering the whole thing I just used an exacto knife to cut out the holes. 

  
So when I said quick that was a relative statement.

  
 It was something interesting to do while Mr. Smith played Fallout 4 in the background though. 

  
When it was all done I used some of the guilding wax that made an appearance last week to jazz it up a bit. 

  
Repeat on the other side, seal with clear acrylic, tie a ribbon to hang and you’re all set.