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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!!! 

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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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All That Glitters 

Another quick one. 

After last week’s failed attempt at a little guilding I had to have another go at it. 

  
This time I got the necessary supplies

  
And the ugliest vase known to man.

  
It actually used to hold those little reed diffuser things. I once again utilized some washi tape as painters tape… I should break down and get the real thing as the washi tape method could get expensive.

  
A little bit of how’s-about-I-just-follow-the-directions-on-the-box  and…. Not so ugly anymore

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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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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. 

  

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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.

  
  

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Caulk (hehehe)

I’m finally, really, like for realzies finished with the bathroom. If you missed the first part be sure to click here. When last we left, it looked pretty good but lacked a backsplash and therefore lacked some functionality. I had to wait three weeks after painting the bathroom before I could do the tile work in order to let the surface fully cure. But yea! Hooray! The wait is over. So first I measured out and cut the tile. I took the easy/cheap way out of this by getting tiny little square tiles on a sheet. I say cheap but these were one of the most expensive things in the bathroom at $10 a sheet. Luckily it only took 3 of them and it means I didn’t have to buy or rent a tile saw.   Next we used tile adhesive to stick them to the wall and the tiny bit of counter. Unfortunately I’ve fallen flat at pictures for this step but it’s a pretty basic process that only requires one specialized tool called a notched trowel.   After a couple days drying time it was on to the grout. I’ve had the pleasure of laying tile before so the grout was the fun part. You just mix it per the instructions on the bag until you have kind of a peanut butter consistency (having an old hand mixer is really nice for this part) then just use a float to start mushing it into the spacing and scraping off the excess. You have to be careful not to work your grout too much or it will become stiff and crumble. After letting the grout sit for about 20 minutes (or however your mix directs you) you simply start wiping the grout down with a very slightly damp sponge to get off excess until your left with just a slight film. Let that film dry then just buff it off with a soft clean cloth. After a couple days of letting the grout dry it was on to the final finishing touch. All those raw edges of tile and grout needed to be polished up. Caulk will work just fine. Caulking is pretty easy if you know what you’re doing and a horrible mess if you don’t. Trust me, I speak from experience.  You simply run a small bead of caulk along the edge to be sealed then get your fingers wet and with very light pressure run it along the bead to smooth it out. After all that just let the caulk cure and use a grout sealer to protect the finish and prevent mold and mildew. Officially done! If you missed how i made my mason jar soap pump you can find it here  Don’t mind my half blue half beige outlets. But check out my new plate covers, beadboard to go with the ceiling. Woohoo fancy!