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So Vain 

I have a new Vanity!!!

Ok, like most things I own it isn’t “new”, just new to me. I received this desk as a hand me down gift from Mr. Smith’s aunt. 


The sewing machine from it still works by the way. 

 

I got it sanded this spring but work stopped as soon as the heat hit and we were off running around the country. 



I finally got around to working on it in earnest these past couple of weeks. 


The verticals supports and panels weren’t sanding out as well as I liked so I opted to paint them. 


The top and the drawer fronts however  were a glorious grain so I decided to stain them as close as possible to my bedroom furniture. 


We (my mother and I) lined the drawers with contact paper to protect them from the cosmetics that will go inside.

Beemer helped too


The hardware that was in the desk to begin with matched our furniture pretty well so I just cleaned it up and reattached it. 


Before I set up my inordinate amount of makeup on the desk I placed a plastic sheet (it’s actually from a poster frame) on the desk to prevent makeup getting embedded in the wood grain. 

I finally got to take all of my makeup out of bins and put it in real drawers in a proper vanity.


And yes that is a mechanics stool. 

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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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A Long Story

2014 was a rather interesting and amazing year for me. I would do a retrospective of my best blog posts but, since I only just started this adventure last year it would be rather boring for the few people that follow this blog. However feel free to browse through the archives where you will find some interesting gems like the chairs I recovered and painted.

Being the person I am I couldn’t let the pile of fabric that the reupholstering process created go to waste. Especially considering I knew the wonderful individuals that owned the chairs before me and lived with those amazing fabrics in their homes. Those chairs have a long story and I thought it would be nice to tell that story with the fabric that was left over. I may now be the owner of the chairs but I thought it would be nice for them to have a conversation piece to remember the table that so many dinners and friendsgivings were held at.

So with the holidays coming up I decided to embark on a project that… well let’s just say it might have been a bit too ambitious for my not-so-honed skills.

I mentioned in an earlier post that I am lucky enough to have a family that has taught me how to sew (albeit rudimentarily) and I also have a friend that has taught me how to dye and fix fabric. So when I washed the old fabric and came out with the most magical colored water I couldn’t resist tinting the other fabric to fit into the color scheme. I simply let the fabrics that I wanted to dye soak in the colored water along with a generous amount of salt to act as a fixative. I then took the fabric out, rubbed some more salt on the fabric, then rinsed them and voila pale teal fabric.

I didn’t stop to consider the fabric wouldn’t be the only thing that would be dyed.

Now it was just a matter of what to do with the newly dyed fabric. I thought I would be overly ambitious and tackle applique. Keeping in mind that I have no idea how to do applique or embroidery.

The first step was to round up some supplies. Fusible webbing, an embroidery hoop, and embroidery floss in colors that would go with the fabrics. I choose a light and dark teal as well as a light and dark brown to tie everything together. Next I had to choose a design to work with. I figured I would go with a tried and true (as well as relatively simple) leaf motif.

I then just traced out leaf figures on my fusible web then roughly cut them out to place the sticky side down on the various fabrics (including the new one that I used) and cut out the final shape. Once all my leaves were cut I chose the leaves I wanted to use and arranged them on my backing fabric. I then just followed the directions of the fusible web to iron them onto the backing fabric.

All of that is the easy part. Next was the tedious part of embroidering around the leaves. Like I said, I have no idea how to applique or embroider so I didn’t do anything fancy here. I simply did a back stitch all the way around the perimeter of the leaves in a contrasting color to secure them. Then I just put a few ornamental veins in the leaves.

Just as in my last project I completely failed to get pictures of the finished project because I’m a terrible blogger. Luckily I have very obliging friends so they let me take pictures once they opened their presents so you have pictures of wrinkled finished products. And yes I gave my friends back their own fabric for Christmas. Strange, but an enjoyable project. I also gave them extra leaves and blocks of fabric in case they want to do their own block and turn it into a pillow, though one had the brilliant idea of an apron, which I love. I think my own might just become that.

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No Sleep Til New Years

Thank you Beastie Boys for allowing that song to mock me through this holiday season. First it was no sleep til Christmas then it was on to New Year’s. Hopefully normal programing will resume after this and Brooklyn can go on being the star of the show. I’m sure anyone who works in retail can relate.

As an indication of how sleep deprived and scatter brained I’ve been I documented this entire project and then failed to document the end result. I’ve done that with multiple projects lately, but oh well, at least you get an idea of where I was going with it.

So I’ve done a few homemade gifts this year. This one is certainly not Christmas centric. In fact it makes an excellent get well soon gift as it’s great for aching muscles and a stuffy head.

Bath Salts by the way, is what I’m talking about. I’m not trying to be cryptic it’s just the lack of sleep catching up with me again.

They are pretty easy to make and there isn’t really a rhyme or reason to them. You simply need magnesium sulfate crystals (aka Epsom salt) and some essential oils. You can add whatever you like from here. A little baking soda ( a little goes a long way), some sea salt, dried herbs or flowers, the possibilities are endless.

For my crushed mint bath salt, which is my favorite for the hectic and illness prone holiday time of year I stick with these ingredients.

Epsom salts, Baking soda, Peppermint essential oil, Clove essential oil, Eucalyptus essential oil, and Dried crushed mint leaves

First I measure the amount of salts I will need. I just do this by filling the container I will be storing or giving them away in. I then add around a table spoon of baking soda per 2 cups of salts. Then, as per my usual very precise measuring methods, I add a decent amount of peppermint, a dash of eucalyptus and a smattering of clove oil. Then just a sprinkle of crushed mint just to give the stark white salt a little interest. After that it’s just a matter of stirring the whole thing up thoroughly and attempting to carefully get it back into its container.

I use quite a bit of oil in my salts only because that way you don’t need very much of the salt per bath but it’s entirely up to you how strong or weak you make them.

After placing the salts back in their allotted container (usually a mason jar I have lying around) I like to spruce it up with a bit of washi tape or ribbon tape around the lid. I’ll also put a bow and tag with information on how much should be used in a bath.

This is where my photographic evidence fails me.

I also did a jar this year where I placed a bracelet around the jar to spruce it up. It made a nice way to present both the salts and the bracelet.

And thank goodness its all done with. Don’t get me wrong I love the holidays and look forward to them every year. Especially the part where I get to make goodies for people. But now I am simply ready for a good night’s rest.