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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. 

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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. 

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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.

  

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Clothes Pin-terest 

As you saw in my last blog I’ve been scouring Pinterest for DIY Christmas ornament ideas so Mr. Smith and I can have some memories for our first Christmas as husband and wife (maybe even in our first house if everything goes to plan) 

I came across a few involving clothes pins the other day that looked pretty easy so I thought I would give them a go.

  
Start by taking apart some (by some I mean 8) wooden clothes pins.

    
Then glue the flat sides together like so

  
I followed that up by staining them  along with a lot of other Christmas ornament supplies by using diluted paint. That’s completely optional though

  
This is also completely optional. I wrapped the edges of the pins with washi tape. 

  
Next lay out your pins in a star/snowflake pattern. It’s easiest to first do four at 90* angles from each other and four in between those

  
  
Then find a bauble to glue to the middle on each side.

   
I chose to use a small fabric flower topped by a wooden snowflake

   
Just string some twine or ribbon through one of the small holes in the pins or glue one on and you’re all set

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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. 

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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?

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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.