minor home improvement

There are puh-lenty of large projects to be done around this place, the sort that are weather-dependent so you can lug piles of stuff outside or paint. Sometimes the best kind are the ones you don’t plan or even really know you need.

Our dining room is just an offshoot of our living room. There is a long wall behind the bench next to the dining table that has presented difficulties in hanging art – it needs to be hung high enough so diners on the bench can sit without bonking their heads but not so high that it hits our low mid-century ceilings.  Til today, these three Ikea pieces hung there (and I apologize in advance for the bad Seattle winter lighting and harsh reflections).

I liked them because they brightened the place up and they were cheap. But yesterday, we went to the Chinese New Year festival down in the ID and happened into the Wing Luke Asian Museum and the GIFT SHOP.  I love me a museum gift shop.  And without even knowing that I was looking for something, I found our new dining room art.

I have long loved Nikki McClure, an artist out of Olympia who does papercut books and calendars mainly. I found some prints in the gift shop!  You can also buy her stuff here.  I paid a little more than that but I figure it’s for the good of the museum.  After a quick trip to Target, we have this.

Yes, I know – dumb light reflection. But you get the gist. I thought they were very apropos for the dining area.  So long, Ikea mums.

Off to the boy hairs cut.

ba-bling ba-bling

First of all. This is a bit of a ridiculous thing to post, kind of like how to make toast or something. But I am posting it anyway.

Also, my Facebook status this morning had to do with my current and utter lack of motivation.  Let me make it clear that I bought the supplies for this idea weeks ago and just completed it today, despite the fact that it took MAYBE all of ten minutes.

But I digress. I’d been coveting something like this for a while, a way to display jewelry on the wall. Too pricy, for sure, but I like the idea of seeing what I have so that I might actually wear it. My original idea was to get one of those old wooden thread spool holders at Goodwill but of course, when I want to find something, I can’t.  On to Plan B.

Cup holders! Those little hooks you can just screw into the wall!  I bought several in different sizes, and actually planned to tie a ribbon across two of them for earrings, but then I found two lovely little wooden bowls while searching for the spool holder.

In other brilliance, I’ve got several necklaces made by friends that bear mentioning. There are two in the bottom row with all sorts of lovely beads and rbbons were given to me by Jeanne, who has an Etsy shop where she sells her work.

And the one next to it was made by Sue, out of Scrabble tiles, and the best part, shrunken photos that I’d posted on Facebook! How brilliant is that!

And now I get to see my pretties every day!

But that’s enough progress for one day.  I’ll be lucky to finish making the chili I started.


It’s sweeping the nation, nay, the world, you know. This Pinterest thing. I know some of you already are on board. “On board” – ha, that’s funny.

It’s basically a visual way to collect your favorite things online – a virtual bulletin board. Any time you see a photo of something, you “pin” it to the board of your choice.  I currently have 1,441 pins on 18 boards.  You can find things in your own internet travels, or on the boards of someone else – that’s called “repinning”. You can even “follow” the boards of friends or people who seem to have similar taste.

The problem is I’ve been spending too much time “pinning” and not enough time going back to try the stuff I’ve pinned!  What good is collecting it if you never use it!  So tonight I’ll be making this off my Yummy board –

Chicken and dumplings

In crafty land, there are MANY, MANY things I would like to do off my Craft board. One hardly knows where to begin.  Maybe this –

DIY Atomic Starburst Mirror

Or this –

Pleated Bag

The beauty of Pinterest is when you pin something, the original URL to the item is preserved, so you can go back to the recipe or pattern or whatever the source is. And it’s so FUN to see everything collaged in one place.

I’ve got a Garden board to help with outdoor inspiration. Scenes like this move me to get going on the backyard –

Now that's a garden

Or this paver patio I love –

Paver Patio

If there is a photo, you can pin it. Some of my favorites are my Little Bits of Awesome board.

B -I-N-G-O

Zombie Survival

To start pinning, you need to request an “invite”, which can several days or even a couple weeks. Once you’re accepted, prepare to lose hours of your life. Even the Geek pins! Mostly guns and robots, but still.

Happy weekend! I’ve got things to make and cook, zombies to survive…