Image

Jumping the gun

I was going to do a post on our coffee table but it’s in the process of drying in the garage so In anticipation of 100 followers on WordPress and in celebration of having hit 100+  likes on my Facebook this week, not to mention swiftly approaching 100 posts and two years with what started out as a little experiment, I thought I would round up some of my favorite posts. PS if you haven’t liked my Facebook page you totally should, I sneak in extra posts and updates there, so you should definitely click here. The hyperlinks are included in the text and pictures if you feel like checking out each post.

At the tippy top of the list will probably always be my series about my antique desk. I actually have another desk that will get a refinish this summer. I’m  beyond excited for that. 


If you want to see the whole series start here but here are the individual links 

Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4
 

And bittersweetly to accompany my desk is the post about my mother in laws chair


Thanks to being in a new house I’ve had lots of great projects recently, my particular favorites being the hallway full of frames. 

And of course our new/old entertainment center soon to be joined by a mid century table which you may have seen a sneak peak of in one of my recent posts

Let’s not forget about remodeling that bathroom, that was pretty awesome. 


I’ve also got to give love to my Halloween makeup posts 

Of which this past fall’s look went a wee bit viral on Pinterest… Oh right did I mention I’m on Pinterest…. I’m on it a lot  my username is ItsybitsyBows… Cause TinyBows was taken 

And last but not least an early favorite is my clock turned lantern.

 

If you guys have any projects  you want to see drop me a line in the comments. 

Image

Mid Century Modification

Here is a project I’ve been working on for a while. It’s been stuck in the planning stages since we moved in. This old dresser came from my great aunt who got it from her mother (my great grandmother) it’s in pretty rough shape.

 So I took a couple of the worse for wear drawers out so I could use the space for shelves.
  

And tah dah new entertainment center.


 

Luckily we got some bed side tables that had this strange MDF packing material that was the perfect size to serve as a base for the shelves. We just glued and nailed some plywood on the top and a strip of oak on the front to help it match the esthetic of the rest of the piece. 

   
   

 
Next it was time to shore up the legs. The original lumber was pretty dry rotted so after salvaging the nut out of the old piece we seated it into a scrap of deck lumber. I don’t think we’ll have any stability problems there.

 
 

We also put a new back on it after the old one fell right off. Then cut some holes in the new back to run wiring for components. 

  
Finally it was time for paint, I originally used Valspar Chalky finish paint… Big mistake, it was so toothy even attempting to put on the finishing wax was impossible. So inevitably I just went over it with my usual satin finish latex.

 
  

 
I added a couple of orange accents as well, to the base of the legs and the backer board.

  
 
 

With everything back in place it looks pretty good. I may still refinish the drawer fronts so they match the rest of the furniture but for now I think it looks great.

 

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

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

Broken Glass

I got an early Christmas present. It’s called a kinkajou, and no I’m not referring to the furry forest dwelling creature. It’s a handy little mechanism for cutting glass bottles. 

  
It’s a pretty simple thing when you get down to it. It’s just two sets of rollers that clamp together around the bottle with a small scoring blade attached to one. 

  
The rollers then allow you to turn the bottle scoring it all the way around. The tricky part is getting the start and end points to line up. 

  
You then attach the included bands around the bottle and alternate hot and cold water along the score line to expand and crack the bottle along the score. 

  
It took my first bottle a long time to finally break all the way through. That’s partly because my score lines ended about 1/4 inch away from one another. Partly because it turns out the glass was incredibly thick.

  
Luckily even if your score lines are a little off (like mine were) they include a tool to snap off any jagged pieces. Unfortunately my glass was so thick this little tool wouldn’t even fit over it so I had to improvise a bit. 

  
They also include sand paper to get rid of any sharp areas. 

  
It was surprisingly easy even having picked the seemingly thickest bottle ever, I have a feeling Mr. Smith has created a monster with this one.

  

Image

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  

Image

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. 

Image

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.

Image

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.

Image

Gobble Gobble

Just a quick post to say Happy Thanksgiving and of course Black Friday. Comical how we give thanks for everything we have then promptly go out and buy everything we don’t have. So here is a way to use up things you have in ways you might not have considered before. I am a bit of an organizational freak. By that I mean I’m pretty terrible at organization and hate myself for it, so am constantly looking for ways to improve that.

I have to wear a full face of makeup to work every day so my vanity drawer where my most used products are stored was getting a little overwhelmed. Enter gift boxes to the rescue.

I won’t show you before pictures of my vanity drawer, the horror is too graphic. I just used some of the gift boxes that I’ve saved over the years to reuse (or in this case repurpose) to give me some compartments to store my makeup in a more organized way. It saves me the hassle of digging around for one particular product and saves my products from getting tossed around and possibly broken in the drawers. I left some blank space in which to put pallets. They will, of course rotate out as the seasons and my mood change. Currently MAC and Too Faced holiday pallets have taken up residence but it allows me to wake up and not worry about hunting down what makeup I’m going to put on that morning.

Hope your holidays find you well.