Making Firestarters

We heat our home with a wood stove. I love it. I have gotten pretty good at starting the fire. I cheat. I use fire starters out of a box. It makes it so much easier! I think I spent $100 on boxes of the stuff last year. One of my favorite blogs, The Art of Doing Stuff, did a tutorial on making fire starters. I had been saving egg cartons and gathering pinecones to do just that. I had not gotten around to buying the wax so I just used some extra large tea lights. This weekend I had fun making them.

The pinecones were a bit damp and so I left them by the fire for a few minutes.    drying the pinecones by the fire

I popped the wax out of the metal holder and separated the wick. If I was really clever I’d think of something to do with those metal cups…tea lights to make fire starters

Karen suggested using dryer lint. Brilliant. I had to make sure my lint didn’t have too much dog hair in it. We have a lot of dog hair around here.adding in the dryer lint for fire starters

I love using the pinecones. They smell terrific. I just topped off the lint with a pinecone in each egg cup.melting the wax for fire starters

Parchment paper on my counter to protected it from the wax. Once the wax was set I cut the cartons apart. I might cut them apart before filling them next time. assembling firestarters

Funny story:

When I moved into this house it was as a renter. The living room had wall to wall carpet. Blah. My landlord wouldn’t allow me to pull it up. One day I decided to entice my very cute landlord into my apartment by asking him to show me how to build a fire in a wood stove. He got the fire roaring and, so that we could enjoy it all the more, he left the doors open. Sure enough a burning log fell out, rolled over the marble tile and onto the carpet. We pulled the carpet up the very next day and got married just a few months later.home made fire starters

Halloween Pumpkin-Woman

I love making people. I only ended up with one kid so maybe I’m over-compensating? I’ve made scarecrows and globe people, tiny little doll people and I even made my daughter an anatomically correct boy baby. She thinks it was gross. I think he was cute. If you come and visit me you will meet my newest people. a pumpkin lady for Halloweena pumpkin ladydetail of pumpkin lady dressMs Pumpkin

Happy Halloween (a little early)!! Come & trick-or-treat at my house this year.



Where I blog at home Part 2+

Part 2 because I have already made changes. Cool changes. Plus I promised to show you a DIY for a beautiful origami light shade. I love light fixtures. I could change them every month! I googled for good directions and found this pdf. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make. I rehearsed with regular paper first allowing me to discover that the size isn’t crucial as long as you make sure it’s longer by quite a bit on one length. No square paper in other words.making an origami light shade

Doesn’t it look pretty? I also took down the big mirror and put up some new treasures. my office nookmy office nook

In big news, for me, let me show you what I can do now thanks to a new lens on my camera. I don’t know why this wasn’t the first lens I bought but I am thankful it is mine now! I can photograph the whole room at once! So great! I haven’t actually purchased it yet. It turns out one can rent a lens to decide if it’s right! Cool!kitchen nook turned office

Adding a little colorful fun to a tiny table (recycling tattoo designs)

I seem to come up with tattoo designs that are impossible to tattoo. I love my tattoos but some are a compromise as the original designs were rejected by many tattoo artists. This weekend I decided to use one for making a little table a lot more fun. Now I know why tattoo artists didn’t want to tattoo the design. It took a long time. But it looks great!!

I began in the daylight and only was half finished by nightfall on the first day.the process of painting a tableTwo days later I was finished and am pretty happy with how it turned out.


colorburst table top

Here it is in place looking fabulous. My mom will be glad I put the design on a piece of furniture instead of my body. Ha!colorburst-painted-table-in-place

Rearranging my bedroom – an Adventure

I love my bedroom. It didn’t do very well in a contest I entered it in on the Apartment Therapy website but I don’t care. It is my haven. I love being in bed cuddling with my two cats and the little dog. Lately I have even let the big dog up for some cuddle time but only on the day the sheets are getting changed. I had fun making the huge headboard. So much fun I have decided to toss it. old-headboardI got a notion to move things around and the new spot for my bed is in front of a window so this headboard won’t work. It will need to be something open and low. I love an excuse to go shopping in vintage/antiques stores. I went to lots and lots. I found nothing. Did you know there are almost no headboards in vintage stores? I don’t know why I didn’t check craigslist to begin with but boy, there are a ton of headboards on there. Just look!craigslist headboardcraigslist headboarda craigslistheadboard

The black one didn’t really do it for me. The other two were fabulous but came with large sets of bedroom furniture and no one would part with just one piece. Then I found this one:my-headboard

My bed is a queen but I don’t mind a little overhang….I hope. The woman I bought it from was so sweet. One never knows who is going to answer the door when on a craigslist adventure. My husband always worries about me and I have to leave him the address and phone number of the places I go.

The headboard has been on my dining room table getting a little make over. I haven’t decided how far I’ll take it but here is a little peek of some gold leaf craziness…gold leaf on a headboardgold leafing

Stay tuned for more makeover magic. I still have to pick new window treatments, curtain rods and bedskirt. Please try to talk me out of painting the room if that comes up…. it probably will. I hate painting. I think I am going to repaint. ahhhh


DIY – Gift Wrap

I love giving gifts. I love shopping for them. I love wrapping them. I love watching them get opened. I love getting them. Isn’t it fun to wonder what is in that fabulously wrapped package? Here is a simple DIY for said fabulous wrap. It’s a large envelope made from clear contact paper and pretty paper. I like to use images from magazines or catalogs. Vintage wallpaper or wrapping paper work great, too!





choose-your-paperpeel-off-contact-paperstart-placing-paper-face-downprogresstrim-edgeshere-is-your-squarefold-in-3-cornerspick-your-tapeDIY gift wrapDIY gift envelopeDIY gift wrapkayla-gift

You can, of course, make these any size to serve your purpose. I just read through my directions and realized I forgot to say that the contact paper goes on the outside. You probably figured that out.




Ombre Eterges

I love the word and the look of ombre. It rhythms with hombre. So cool. hahahahaha

I have a metal eterges that is so ugly but very useful in my kitchen. On a whim the other day I spray painted it pink. Big improvement but about 5 minutes after I was finished I realized it was a perfect candidate for an ombre finish.

pink emerges

the before shot

On the first day it wasn’t pouring rain I hauled it outside and went to town getting my ombre on. It was fun though I always feel sorry for all the bugs that get stuck in the paint.

5 shades of pink

5 shades of pink


pink ombre on an emerges

painting the dandelions

painting the dandelions


As I was finishing I began having second thoughts. It was looking a little darling and nursery appropriate. I think that once all the booze got involved it grew right up, though…..right?

5 shades of pink ombre eterges

all ready to fill up

pink ombre metal shelving unitombre-eterge-close-up

a cat and some ombre paint

the wild cat likes the ombre

Maybe she will mix you a drink.

How to make a planter from a cute but useless 2 tiered wire basket

I have never been able to figure out what to do with this wire basket. It was just so big. Then one day I walked into my backyard and realized it would work great out there holding lots of little plants!  a collection of plants

I had a pocket full of birthday money so off to the plant store I went. My plan was to get succulents but found I couldn’t resist some herbs and some plain old cute plants. It’ll probably end up a disaster when some grow and grow and grow out of their new home.

ingredients for a planter diy

all the ingredients one needs for a cute planter

all the ingredients for a herb planter

don’t put the puppy in the planter

I lined the baskets with some burlap. Adding in some potting soil and then stuffing in all the plants was pretty easy.lining the basket with burlap and soil

lining the baskets with burlap

bottom tier all planted up. top next!

I think it looks great. succulents and herbs in a planterherb-succulent-planterfinished herb and succulent planter

Silhouette Pillow DIY

This idea arrived in my brain when I was trying to think of a way to introduce a graphic element into my mother’s livingroom.  Who doesn’t love a silhouette? I will say that this is my first attempt at writing a DIY so if you make this and get frustrated with my instructions please let me know! It can be a DIY that turns into a DIT (do it together).

Step one: purchase fabric. Ha. You will need two contrasting fabrics and interfacing. Oh, and thread and piping.

how to make a profile picture into a silhouetteTo create the silhouette begin by photographing your subject in profile. It will help if you can place them against a contrasting background to their skin tone. White works great.

In a photo editing program you will want to tweak the picture:

high contrast

delete the background

darken the subject

to save ink in your printer erase the interior of the silhouette

resize for your purpose


I purchased an interfacing fabric that irons onto one surface (the silhouette fabric). You may choose one that irons onto both surfaces (the silhouette fabric and the pillowcase fabric) or (if you’re crazy) you can choose one that doesn’t attach to the fabric but is simply sandwiched between.

step two in silhouette pillow diyAttach the interfacing (or not) to your fabric and then, using your silhouette pattern, cut it out. My fabric is a cream cotton corduroy.

Using your pillow measurements, cut out the fabric to be used for the pillow. Mine is a black cotton velveteen.

I am making a pillowcase to cover existing pillows but you may choose to make something more permanent with some sort of closure.

Next comes practice, practice, practice. Take a chunk of the silhouette fabric with interfacing and cut some face shaped curves into it then sew it onto a chunk of your pillow fabric using a zig zag stitch. Use a pressure foot that allows you to see the edge of the silhouette where the needle hits the fabric. I used a zipper foot. Play around until you achieve the width of stitch and space between stitches you desire. Practice making those tight curves. Have everyone in your house send good thoughts to you as you maneuver around eyelashes and noses and lips. If those get messed up everyone will think you just sewed a bunch of strangers onto your pillow.

pinning-on-silhouetteDecide where you would like your silhouette to be on your pillow and pin it on using plenty of pins. Take a deep breath and slowly, prayerfully, sew.using zipper foot to sew on the silhouette

a completed silhouette pillow

a pile of completed pillowcases

To make this into a pillow I hemmed the ends that would create the pillowcase, added piping in my side seams and Viola! a beautiful silhouette pillow!

a great Mother's Day diy

pretty sweet!

Guess who knows how to spell “silhouette” now.

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