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What you missed

Or should I say what I missed.

I’ve been gone over a year and a lot has happened in that time! Where do I start?

Chronologically I suppose. So I started my own business. Quit my job to focus on my business. Got new flooring throughout the house.

Went to universal (again, see my first trip here).

We lost one of our fur babies, The Little made it to the ripe old age of 18.

We then got a new addition to the family, another little black terror named Sabbath. He was only 8weeks old in this picture and already about the size of Little when she was fully grown

I got a new job (still in the beauty industry). Hurricane Irma ran off with our roof so that got replaced. I closed up shop on my business after a year (no one ever tells you working from home means there’s no such thing as time off). Oh and I chopped off all my hair and decided to dye it funky colors… cause when you turn 30 you stop caring what people think

And in between all that I managed to repaint or redo my office, the library, the dining room, and the master bath! So I haven’t really been idol I’ve just neglected posting anything about it. So let’s see if I can get this started back up!!!

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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!

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Faking It

I studied graphic design for four years and used to work in a sign shop. This, by no means has made me a master at the art of hand lettering. Not to fear, there is a work around for this.

Those dreaded Target bins suckered me in again with an absolutely darling (does anyone say darling anymore) chalkboard easel and I’ve been sitting here debating what to put on it. Well, I’ll give you a hint at a future blog post as I am working on a massive cross stitch project. I decided I would open up Word and just type up something appropriate for my easel to motivate me through that particular project. Not that I seem to need much help.

I then just printed it out and made sure everything was the appropriate size for the piece. Then I took a piece of chalk and rubbed it on the back of the paper anywhere there was lettering. Essentially making carbon paper (only, obviously… chalk paper?)… I don’t think anyone uses carbon paper anymore and I wouldn’t even know where to get such a thing, but it can make things a bit easier if you’re attempting “hand lettering”… The work around for carbon paper is just rubbing graphite on the back of the paper.

Then you just place your piece of paper onto your chalkboard where you are going to want the lettering and secure it with tape. Print side up, chalk side down. Then trace over the letters with a pen or pencil or stylus, anything to apply pressure to transfer the chalk from the back of the paper onto the chalkboard.

After I did all that I did go over the transfer image with a sharp piece of chalk just to make the lettering starker. You could go over it with a chalk marker but, keep in mind that the markers usually don’t wash off chalkboards or chalk paint very well.

Lastly I just did a little bit of embellishment. A little washi tape around the edges to act as a frame/border

And a few designs here and there to dress it up a bit.

Hopefully that will motivate me to get this project done a little faster.

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The Most Metal Bow! (queue guitar solo)

Have I ever mentioned how much I love target? I do. This time around in their amazing dollar bins they had some valentine’s goodies and marvelous crafty stuff, including a little grape vine wreath. I’ve mentioned the mesh monstrosities that dot doorways around the country don’t work for me, both aesthetically and due to the fact that birds like to roost in them. I figured once I spruced this up (the wreath form not the cat) it would be a nice alternative.

I simply started by wrapping a wide burlap ribbon around part of the wreath. My cat really wanted to help with this part of the project. Once I was done with the wrapping I tied a loop in the excess to give me something to hang the wreath from.

I then took some twine left over from Christmas and wrapped a small section opposite the ribbon. Once that was done I could remove the twine that held the wreath together.

Then I placed my galvanized initial in the middle. I originally purchased my little S for just such a project but then it just looked so cute on my desk it just fell by the way side. I also used some metal ribbon to create a bow for the top of the wreath. I didn’t document this in pictures because it was hard enough not cutting my fingers off while focusing on the task at hand let alone trying to multitask. Essentially I pieced it together with one part being the two curves of the bow, one being the center knot pinched around the bow and two more pieces tucked into the pinch to act as tails. I also used a rasp to file down some of the sharp edges created when I cut the metal.

After that it was just a matter of embellishing. I used some ribbon flowers that I turned into broaches, a key, buttons, I even used some of the gears that came out of my mutilated clock come lantern.

I even found a length of old brass chain that I wrapped around and secured with liberal amounts of hot glue.

I did encounter one hiccup. The wreath liked to bang on the door in strong wind or when opening and closing the door, but a strong magnet stuck to the back of the wreath solved that thanks to having a steel front door.

All in all not bad for a cobbled together project using a $3 grape vine wreath and things that I had lying around. It ended up surprisingly steam punk.

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Yes it was crooked when I took the picture, yes I fixed it.

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The Adventures of Fox & Robot

You know how I did a cross stitch of a little robot a while back. It was the first time I had done cross stitch in a long time. Well I inadvertently created a monster.

Ok so this isn’t actually a monster it’s just the back of my cross stitch,

As you can see I’m not very good at keeping things tidy yet.

What could I possibly do next that wasn’t all granny-ish?

Hearts are not going to cut it.

Cute modern woodland creatures though. That is completely up my alley.

Next step is finding a home for my little creations. The fox was easy.

The robot’s home was a bit boring though.

Nothing washi tape can’t fix.

Seriously if duct tape doesn’t fix it, washi tape will at least make it look good.

When I got to a corner I just used an exact-o knife to cut where the miter is and pull off the scrap.

You could be overly OCD about it and make the stripes line up perfectly, but I can’t be bothered. As long as they are all going the same way my brain seems to be happy.

Then tah-dah! A frame befitting the countenance of a Robot of such grandeur.

My boyfriend has claimed them both for his desk at work. I’ve demanded weekly updates on their amazing adventures in the tech world.

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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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It’s Beginning to Feel a Lot Like Cold Season

That doesn’t necessarily mean it feels cold here. This is a picture from December 1st.

No, I don’t live in the southern hemisphere.

You’re going to have to settle for another short post as I was battling the seasonal bug for a couple of weeks. I did manage to get a little work done on those chairs, though they are not ready to be revealed to the world yet.

However I did get all of my Christmas decorations up. Well… the village has no snow, but that’s a bit laughable around here anyway.

Of course there are bows on my Christmas tree!

Mostly it was a matter of putting up our tiny tree and, making my desk (see my series on it here) a little festive.

I decided presents would be the easiest thing to do, to the rescue empty gift boxes (again). This might be because of my obsession with wrapping presents. Sure I love giving them, and receiving them is nice too, but wrapping them is the best part.

As evidenced in the pictures above and below.

I also have a candle that has been on my desk for a while now that I periodically burn. I thought I would Christmas it up a bit (did I just use Christmas as a verb?) I started off with a plain old apple candle and took off the label. Any old candle would do, the fact that mine is red is a plus.

Next I took some wrapping paper and cut a 2″ wide strip to go around the candle. I got lucky and have a grid on the back of the wrapping paper I’ve been favoring this year but you can measure it out. In fact if you have a pattern you like or even a saying you can always print something out.

I then just taped it on tightly. I then put a second 1″ wide strip of another pattern over it.

Then to top it off just tie a ribbon around it. As you can also see I’ve been favoring twine ‘a la’ brown paper packages tied up with string.

Not only is it a cute way to spruce up your own candles it would be a nice way to gift a candle. The scent name is usually printed on the bottom or lid of the candle as well as the label so its not a big deal to peal it off. Don’t worry about the paper getting too hot. I guarantee with proper candle use the outside of your candle does not reach the required 451*F if it did you would have a problem even if there wasn’t paper around the jar.

Also,I forgot until after the fact, I have those funky patterned scissors hiding in my craft trunk, they would work well with this and you wouldn’t have to worry so much about straight lines… who needs straight lines anyway.

All the bows!!!