Long Time No See

It’s been a while, has it not?

Yes … yes, it has been.

My excuse?  Uhhh … well, I don’t really have one.  Other than the fact that the business part of life got to be so busy that the last thing I wanted to do upon my arrival at home was turn on the computer.  And my brain was suffering from major over-thinking due to the busy nature of the work that makes up my professional career … thus, resulting in a lack of creativity.

But, I’m back.  Hopefully.  No promises though.  Life certainly does provide it’s surprises, now doesn’t it?

There is so much to write, tell, and share … and as usual, so little time to properly categorize said occurrences into a manner in which one would like to read, but I’ll do my best. (later)

It’s already 2013 and nearly the 3rd month at that.  Holy moly.  Time flies.  When the last page of the calendar faded, Erik and I sat back and prayed for what this new year would bring.  We really can’t complain when it comes to 2012, since in the grand scheme of things, it could have been way worse, but it did certainly have it’s trials.  Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.  And then, it somehow found a way to get even a little bit worse.

But here we are! Still healthy and in love.  And that’s the most important thing to remember, in my opinion.

Anyways, this year, we have already been graced with the presence of a precious nephew, and have had an offer accepted on a house.  Finally!  Lord willing, the house will work out and we will be able to share our projects and renovations.  At this point, it’s kind of an ugly-duckling-type-situation, if you know what I mean. (Thank goodness for the contractor husband)

And on top of that, my cute contractor husband has started an etsy store.  Much to my poking and prodding.  He finally decided to post some of his work on the world wide web, in hopes that someone might find it as beautiful as I do.  I promise, I’m not biased.  You should see the table he made my mom for Christmas.  (want a peak?  okey dokey)IMG_4073 IMG_4075 IMG_4078

I’ll post more on his store later, as we are still trying to post all of the items we have available for sale … but I wanted to get the word out there asap.  There’s only two items for now, but many more to come!

So check it out, favorite his store, and stay tuned for more fantastic creations, at prices that will beat Crate and Barrel and Pottery Barn in a second.

Thanks for the support!

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pinterest party

yes.  you heard me correctly.  i had a pinterest party.  and it was awesome.

a few weeks ago, i invited a group of fantastically creative women over to my humble abode for a party filled with pine cones, cereal boxes, feathers, acorns, and the like.

more than one of us had pinned these lovely trees from this lovely blog, and given that i was craving a new addition to my Christmas decor, it became a match made in heaven.

the blog post above, broken into 3 parts, has a thorough tutorial on each tree she made, which made our tree making that much easier!  all the girls came with boxes of paint, glue guns, and decorative possibilities, making hosting as easy as the apple cider in the crock pot (although, i must say, my go-to-easy crock pot cider didn’t heat up as quickly as i’d hoped, making it not as successful, although it was still easy … ha).

anyway, a glittery, gluey mess was certainly made across the table while our shimmery masterpieces came to fruition.  it was a blast, to say the least!  although, i did appear to be the glue-gun-rookie, with more burns than i care to admit.  nonetheless, those burns were worth the time visiting with some friends …

My favorite tree is the music sheet tree … i printed out some copies of “away in a manger” (a personal fave) and cut it into larger strips than the blogger mentioned above used … I then used a glue stick and a few sprinkles of gold glitter on the tips of a few “limbs”.  it’s simple and sweet, in my glitter-loving-opinion.

to top off my christmas tree corner, i love the glow from my diy-mercury-glass-mason-jars.  the candlelight makes everything more beautiful.  don’t you think?

the trees were a breeze to make, although i’m already wondering how i’ll pack them away for the 11 months of the year that they weren’t made for … i’m sure i’ll find a way. right?

have any of your pins come to life recently?

the pin comes to life

this one time, right around last fall, i pinned this:

Source

… because, well, they look amazing.

and then, sometime around a year later, i pinned this:

Source

… and i don’t think that one really needs an explanation, am i right?

by the looks at the pin-board dedicated to my tasters, one would think i’ve got a tooth sweeter than sugar itself.  and it’s kind of funny for me to look at, because i don’t.  i can pass up dessert pretty easily.  cake? not my thing.  cookies? i love to make them. but rarely do i eat them. and i’m all about the presentation. making something pretty is more satisfying than eating something pretty. not sure why it works that way in my head, but i’m not crying over it.

however, i do love a good sweet cooked apple.  and the combo of cinnamon and sugar.  for breakfast.  (i think the light bulb just lit up. i like dessert for breakfast.)

and once i realized i pinned virtually the same thing twice, i figured it was time to make my digital expression of interest become a reality.

so, on the first fall-like day of the month, i turned on some Christmas music (don’t judge) and i scrounged up all the ingredients i could find. i didn’t have apple cider, so recipe numero uno was out.  while i had yeast, i was more in the mood for an instant-gratification type of recipe, so recipe numero dos was nixed.

enter google.

sure enough, i found a quicky recipe to which i had all the necessary ingredients.

see here

results?  AMAZING.  i don’t have the doughnut-shaping-mechanism described in each recipe, and i chopped the apples too big to squeeze out of a bag (note to self: chop apples in toddler-bite-sized pieces, not husband-bite-sized pieces), so the actual shaping of the doughnut required some brilliance to be birthed from my very own brain. (ok, so it wasn’t really brilliance. but i appreciate the opportunity to over exaggerate just a tad). i considered making gigantic doughnut holes, also known as “blobs on the cookie sheet”, but i really want to say i made a doughnut.  thus, i figured out how to make a hole in the blob.

once baked, i plopped those apple-born babies in some cinnamon and sugar and marveled at my very own, homemade baked apple doughnuts.

mr. husband suggested these in place of our traditional Christmas morning cinnamon rolls … i might have to test them out on the rest of the family to see if they approve of the change in tradition, but i was certainly thrilled when he loved them so much.

special thanks to my grandpa for his freshly grown apples … they went to good use on these bad boys!

pinterest: accomplished.

metallic makes mercury

ever seen mercury glass?  i love it.  especially when in the form of a candleholder/hurricane, because the light so beautifully illuminates the imperfections of the antiqued silvery finish.  the real version, as in, authentic mercury glass, is defined by glass that is blown with double walls, where silver solution separates to two layers. while there were a variety of techniques used in creating the silvered glass look, mercury glass is considered to be one of the first examples of glass as an art form.

interesting, right?  nowadays, we see “mercury glass” as it is most likely manufactured in a plant somewhere, only to be artificially antiqued, for the sake of the “vintage trend” to which much of the US currently subscribes.  MYSELF INCLUDED.  like i said … I LOVE IT.

and last weekend, after a beautifully fall filled day, my mom and i attempted to make our own mercury glass mason jars.  again, with my mom being the master DIYer, i figured, if she thinks we can do it, we should definitely give it a shot.

as a part of our diy mercury glass research, a la pinterest, we reviewed multiple tutorials on the seemingly easy creation.  and since there are already multiple tutorials, instead of adding another one to the world of blogging, i’ll just link to the ones we used:

numero uno – dos –  y tres

Note: each tutorial is basically the same.

every blog says to get “krylon looking glass” paint.  well, we couldn’t find it.  and given that we wanted to make them that day, we weren’t really wanting to order it online.  thus, our project turned into an experiment.

instead of the looking glass paint, we just bought the metallic silver and gold spray paints at walmart.  they looked shiny enough to provide us with the mirror-like effect we were going for … so why not?

the tutorials all say to spray a half water/half vinegar solution onto the paint, wait, then blot/rub/swirl/and-so-on.  well, it’s probably because we used a different kind of paint, but the water-vinegar combo didn’t cut it.  so we sprayed straight vinegar onto the paint and it worked like magic!  it took a little more elbow grease than we expected, but after a while, we were pretty pleased with our mercury glass mason jars!

my tip for those wanting to try this themselves? make sure you can stick your entire hand inside the jar/vase you are painting.  my brain wasn’t exactly thinking that far ahead when i tried sticking my hand all the way into the jar.  sometimes, i’m not so bright.  (we eventually rubber-banded an old sponge to a wooden spoon and that worked way better than my non-jar-sized hand).

after our mason jars were completed and drying, i used the left over paint for some pine cones i found on the side of the road.  i only sprayed 70% of the pinecones and i did some in metallic silver, matte silver, and metallic gold.  i tossed them all in a bowl when i got home and bam.  pretty, easy, slightly sparkly christmas decor.

it was a successful day of diy-ing, i would say.

diy decor

When I was a kid, we called it “craft day”, when we hauled out the gigantic craft box from it’s home in the hall closet. Filled with construction paper, glittery paints, feathers, beads, and oh so much more; we had enough craft supplies to last a lifetime.  And they did last a lifetime … thanks to secret sparkly replenishment via the momma.

She was the master of crafts.  Everything had another purpose in her eyes.  How else would egg cartons have become binoculars? And meat trays become frames? Who knew all you needed to give a couple of girls was feathers and glitter … and they’d be set … for hours.

Oh, those were the days.

It seems to me that “crafts” have become all the rage nowadays, but under the guise of a new, much trendier name: DIY.  And even though I have yet to properly research the statistics, making this statement nothing more than an assumption, I bet this new craze might have something to do with a little website called Pinterest.  No?

Don’t get me wrong … I LOVE PINTEREST.  That good ‘ol time waster idea enhancer is the greatest thing to hit the web since google, in my humble opinion.  But the more time I spend on Pinterest, the more I realize the extent of my mother’s “craftiness”.  All the ideas for spray paint .. she’s done it.  I just learned how many curtain rods and chandeliers in their uber nice, rustic, pretty new home were … gasp … spray painted (don’t tell her I told you that).  And all the gifts-in-a-jar/brownies-in-a-bag ideas for Christmas?  She did that.  Like 20 years ago.  Coasters out of tiles … with stamped leaves.  Seasoned olive oil in a jar, with gold wax dripping down the neck.  Ribbon hair clips for us girls (yes, they had feathers and sparkles). Homemade wreaths for each door at each season. Yup … she did all that.  And more. WITHOUT PINTEREST.

She’s been putting sticks in a vase for years … and making it look good!  Probably before Pottery Barn started doing it.

One of the reasons I think she’s so good at the whole “DIY” stuff, is because she doesn’t mind failing.  If a project bombs, she laughs at it.  If it succeeds, she fills the house with it.  Life lessons, I tell you.

I’m usually so proud of myself when I make something I pinned (and even then, I’m sort of a lazy DIYer – bring on the shortcuts!) … how much more proud would I be if I had come up with the idea all by my big-girl self?

YOU WOULDN’T HEAR THE END OF IT.

Her latest project? Oh, nothin’ big.  Just a ridiculously gigantic wine cork dart board.  With every cork strategically placed to show the logo/gimmick/quote, etc.  Can you say amazing?

I’ll post some fun pics of the “DIY” day we shared a couple of days ago … pine cones and fake mercury glass.  What first seemed like a waste of some good mason jars turned into quite the accomplishment!

falling: mood board

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perfection?  the warmth evoked by the chill in the air.  the smell of steaming coffee, wood set to flame, and the damp, yet crisp breeze.  the crunch of the leaves and the brilliance of their skin, just before losing grip of their branches.

yes.  i’d say it’s perfection.