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Sunshine 

I hadn’t intended to do a blog this week, I have two furniture projects in the works but wanted to wait til they were done to post but I thought I might do a little life update. 

  
(Sneak peak, I’ve also had a couple updates on my Facebook if you want to follow me there) 

I don’t really talk much about work on here. I had started this blog to talk a bit about skin care and beauty but I get enough of it in my job So I’ve avoided it to focus on projects around the house.  But today I was reminded that I probably should talk about it occasionally. 

My top inquiry is always, and has always been hyper pigmentation. And here I was outside, with fresh scars, and no sunscreen.

This is what I got in return for that 

   
  

Hyper pigmentation can come in many forms but it all has the same cause; malanocytes. Those are the cells in your body that produce melanin which is the substance in your body that gives your hair,  skin, and eyes their color. Melanocytes are “activated” by ultraviolet light and basically act as a natural sun block. You can see in the picture above how my sunburn is concentrated around the areas where my scars are, these are the melanocytes in action producing melanin to protect that new skin. 

Some times these melanocytes get all clumped together for no reason at all, because of scaring, or because of hormones in the case of a “pregnancy mask”and create hyper pigmentation. Sometimes they clump by genetics and you get freckles or birth marks. 

In the case of scaring you are exposing new skin to the sun and your melanocytes are running to the rescue to protect it from harsh UV rays. Yay for melanin, boo for cancer causing UV rays. In fact some forms of skin cancer occur when your malanocytes become mutated due to those UV rays. 

 I was only in direct sunlight for maybe 10minutes and not all at once. However I spent a good two hours in the shade. Yes you can get a sunburn in the shade, you can get a sunburn in winter, you can get a sunburn on a cloudy day. 

So. Wear sunscreen. And listen to your own good advice. 

Also get a good blender… This is why I’m getting nothing done this week, because it’s strawberry season and I have a new blender. Behold… 

  

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A house is not a home…

…without a wreath. I’ve made lots of wreaths. I think I’ve got at least two blog posts on wreaths. You can find them here and here.  I figure now that Mr. Smith and I are finally settled into our own home it’s time I made a wreath for us. 

  
I used a pretty basic wreath form. As you can see here I already wrapped  a branch with some black twine.

  
I then just wrapped a couple of sections with some burlap ribbon to serve as my base.

  
Then it was time to pick out flowers and bits and bobs.

  
I felt like this flower needed a little embellishment so I added some hands of a clock. 

  
In fact I added the gears in another section. It’s the clock that I turned into a lantern last year, which you can see here.

  
I also warped a few keys into the vines

  
And easy as pie we have our own wreath for our own house. Finally 

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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.

 

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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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Hall of Frame 

Back when we visited our friends in North Carolina I got some vintage frames to add some artwork to this odd Hallway we have.

  

 I added some existing old frames I have to them just by giving them some funky paint jobs and decided I would hang them (mostly) empty like at our old house.

   
I’m not really sure why anyone needs this many frames but they sure do make me happy 

  
 
 I added decorative metal sheeting to a few of them to match the awesome barn door my father made for us. I’m going to paint the hall side of the frame of the door to match the frames next week.  

  
Some of the frames with the sheeting required silicon caulk to secure the metal but that was a super quick job. 

  
Some of the frames also got some map cutouts in them of places we’ve lived or been.

  
Lastly I repainted this big collage that has photos of Mr. Smith’s late mother. We had it set up at her celebration of life.

  
 In order to match it to the rest of the installation I just removed a few of the pictures and used a paper similar to our wall color to give the impression of empty frames and did a couple maps and a couple metal inserts as well. 

  
The hardest part of the whole process was the hanging bit. 

  
Oh there is that barn door I was talking about. 

Of course I had help, including help from the cat

  
But eventually it was done

  
And not too shabby if I do say so myself, you can see the barn door peeking out again here. 

  
  
Hopefully Mr. Smith likes it when he finally gets back from his business trip 

  

  
I even snuck our little silhouettes in. 

It was a relatively easy job to create a high impact space

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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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The hand that feeds

Boy do I feel like a slacker. I took a planned week off, then last weekend I was attacked by a house cat. No joke, I’ve got the scars to prove it. And this weekend was spent in Raleigh NC with our best friends. 

I did post some painting progress on my Facebook so be sure to head over there and like my page for updates between posts. I’m hoping to get more painting done in the next month or so. 

Mr. Smith will be on a month long business trip so that leaves me with lots of spare time and an empty garage. 

Something I won’t be painting are these frames I scored at the state flea market in Raleigh. 

  
They are wonderfully finished so I don’t have to lift a finger. I’m going to do like I did in my post way back here and just hang them empty. I’ll probably even add some of the old ones from that arrangement to these after some paint. 

  
We also picked up a “new” light fixture for our back porch which desperately needed one and which is going to get a makeover in the spring. 

  
Sorry for the absence I promise with Mr. Smith gone I’ll be driven crazy with boredom, so look for lots of postings. 

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Hasty 

I literally just finished doing this. I’m still covered in paint and am finally out of a cross legged position only to find myself pinned down by The Little.

  
 Might as well make the most of it and do a post while I’m unoccupied. Thank goodness for mobile blogging. I was going to do a post about the ugliest cheese cake known to man. 

  
My husband got me a kitchen aid stand mixer. It’s marvelous but there is a reason I don’t do food blogs. I love to cook and it usually tastes great but that doesn’t mean it’s pretty. Thus was the story with my improvised salted caramel cheesecake. Essentially a basic cheesecake with brown sugar and a smidge of salt in the crust and a gooey caramel topping with salt sprinkled on it. 

It was hideous and only lasted two days 

On to much prettier things. 

  
Our bar is a giant white monolith and our kitchen doesn’t have much character what with being all black and white. I’ve introduced little pops of red inspired by our China which was  handed down from my husband’s great grandmother. It’s wonderful paired with my mom’s Avon glass collection she passed on to me.

  
And we have somehow managed to have a chalkboard theme in the kitchen… It’s on mugs & glasses, picked out by Mr. Smith but I ran with it and got canisters and even have the theme  in the pantry. 

  
So now that I’ve got the breakfast nook furnished and stools for the bar we’ve decided to expand the red and chalkboard theme 

  
(Ok, admittedly the nook still needs some curtains. It’s one of the only rooms that will get them.) 

After prepping the area with tape the brackets to the bar got the red treatment. 

   

  
I thought it looked better even after one coat 

  
About four coats later 

Here is a tip, if you happen to get paint on any hard surface (laminate, hardwood, tile, stone, cured paint)  you don’t want it on, magic erasers will take it right off even if it has dried.

  
After a little clean up our bar is looking pretty great. 

  
I’m going to wait a couple weeks for the paint to cure before we start doodling on it 

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Nothing is Impossible 

This was a wonderfully interesting week. 

There was the usual work week and we got our last few pieces of furniture in buuuuuut…. I also got to volunteer with the show Restaurant Impossible.  

  
It was literally in BFE (a colorful initialism for the middle of no where) took about an hour to get there. 

Admittedly I’ve never actually seen the show, but I’m familiar with the concept from seeing a couple of episodes of Hotel Impossible. 

A chef (in this case the host Robert Irvine) comes in and revamps the menu and a crew of designers and builders come in and overhaul the restaurant. 

I didn’t get to take any pictures while I worked (it’s in the contract you sign when you volunteer) but here are a few that have been released on their official social media outlets. 

 
Here is the inside of the bar once everything, excluding the myriad of stickers,  was hauled out. My mother and I later had the fun job of peeling down and washing off the stickers… It wasn’t all maidly duties though. I have sanded more chairs than I could keep track of and painted even more boards. 
 
Here are some of my fellow volunteers along with the designers Lynn in the middle back  and Sookie in the blue jean shirt. Sookie and her husband started as volunteers and were later hired on as regular crew. 

 
And!!! The new and definitely improved name for the BFE bar. Like I said I can’t show you anything else and I can’t technically tell you anything else though I think it’s safe to reveal that the decor shall feature a dog named woody, and he is wonderful. So the next time you’re in BFGeorgia stop by Pointers. 

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Progress update: 1 month 

It’s been exactly 1 month since we moved in and most everything is unpacked and furnished. I spent today hanging some pictures and getting a few things cleaned up So I figured I would give you a bit of a progress report while things were clean lol. 

   Our massive bookshelves are finally stocked with all of our books… Ok not all, there are a couple smaller shelves in other parts of the house.
   
  And the dining room is looking rather smashing as well. It’s just missing a mirror on that far wall, unfortunately I ran out of picture wire. 

Now that the china cabinet is in it (which I foolishly didn’t get a picture of) I’m debating whether the dining room “needs” a rug. Personally I think it might just make it busy, plus food stuffs in rugs; it is not fun. What do you guys think? 

We’ve also managed to get the daybeds in each office sorted out 

   
 
Now it’s just a matter of artwork, I think I’ll go with old botanical prints for my office (the green) and we will carry over the map theme we had in the other house for Mr. Smith. Some of the frames are already the right color. 

  
Hmmmmm I sense a honeymoon destination. 

  
The teal is going to have to have a quick repaint. 

Not too bad for a month’s work  when we started with a pretty darn empty house.