Image

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. 

Image

The hand that feeds

Boy do I feel like a slacker. I took a planned week off, then last weekend I was attacked by a house cat. No joke, I’ve got the scars to prove it. And this weekend was spent in Raleigh NC with our best friends. 

I did post some painting progress on my Facebook so be sure to head over there and like my page for updates between posts. I’m hoping to get more painting done in the next month or so. 

Mr. Smith will be on a month long business trip so that leaves me with lots of spare time and an empty garage. 

Something I won’t be painting are these frames I scored at the state flea market in Raleigh. 

  
They are wonderfully finished so I don’t have to lift a finger. I’m going to do like I did in my post way back here and just hang them empty. I’ll probably even add some of the old ones from that arrangement to these after some paint. 

  
We also picked up a “new” light fixture for our back porch which desperately needed one and which is going to get a makeover in the spring. 

  
Sorry for the absence I promise with Mr. Smith gone I’ll be driven crazy with boredom, so look for lots of postings. 

Image

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 

Image

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. 

Image

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. 

Image

New year, new house

Sorry for the lack of posts. It turns out moving can take a bit of time away from hobbies. As I’m dictating this we are on our way to ikea (because that’s where you go for an inordinate amount of shelving) to get bookcases.

Have you ever tried to calculate how many linear feet of book cases you might need? These are some serious book nerd problems. 

  
All of those totes, suitcases, bags and baskets are full of books. Our collection currently takes up an approximately 10×10 ft space and is stacked about 4 high. Soooooo… The calculation is a lot.  Oddly enough both of us have purged our book collections down to about half their size in the last two years… I’m slightly annoyed by what little difference this has made and by the fact that I still have books packed away at my parents house not pictured here. 
  
The room the majority of the books are going in is currently the only room with a modicum of (not secondhand or remnants from our childhoods) furniture thanks to homegoods 

I’m looking forward to sharing more of our home’s transformation with you.  I promise I have at least three large furniture remodels in the future and to top it off my own garage to do them in!!! 

Image

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.

Image

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. 

  

Image

Make it Rain

Obsolete money.

Yeah, I have a strange plethora of foreign currency. A good bit of which is obsolete. At least the coinage is. A small portion of the paper currency may still be good, I’m not sure. At any rate I’m not using it for anything but décor. I had one of these done already, but then as I was cleaning out my bathroom for its recent remodel (which you can find here) I found a matching frame … kind of. I had forgotten I painted it to hide its gaudy gold. So then it was a matter of trying to paint the new found one to match several years after the fact.

A little brown, a little black, a little bit of pearl sheen. Eventually I got them to match up. Close enough at least.

Then I just arranged the money to fit into both frames instead of just piling it up on top of each other

What kind of artwork do you have that isn’t technically artwork?

Image

This Week on Tiny Bows

I kept coming across all of these DIY dry erase boards on Pinterest a while back, where you just take a frame and put in whatever lovely paper you want and use the glass as your board. I thought “how cool is that” then I remembered that I have absolutely no use for a dry erase board. That is until recently. About a month ago I started working as a recept— nope my official title is Client Relations associate… Meaning yes I’m a receptionist, I also run social media and newsletters and anything else that deals directly with our clients on a more personal level— anyway — at a small (as in I’m one of three people) business. Well, I’m a very visual person and sometimes unless it’s right in front of me I won’t remember to do it, so long story longer enter my awesome dry erase calendar. 

  
I ran across this frame(s) on sale at Kohls and knew it would work great. So I rushed off home and got to work. 

I pulled out all of my fabric and paper and decided on a theme. Our office is pretty sparse at the moment but has a teal lamp and abstract painting in it. 

  
luckily I’ve got lots of teal to go around thanks to recovering my dining room chairs and my experiments with fabric dyeing. 

  
So then I just took the stock images from the frames and used those as templates to cut the fabric and paper I had chosen to size for the frames

  
A little jaunt in publisher to make some labeles for days of the week and notes and I’ve got myself my very own Pinterest inspired dry erase calendar.