2014 Pick Of The Litter Projects

Another year over.

The days march on the same no matter if we would like them to speed up or to slow down.

In the world of blogging with a life of making projects, it's nice to be able to look back and see concrete evidence that I did in fact accomplish something on the to-do list.

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December Unwrapped

For the month of December the elves at Bliss Ranch were busy cobbling together Christmas presents.

Bliss-Ranch.com lighted birch basket

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Glass Lampwork Bead Cake Tester Giveaway

I don't often do giveaways, but it's that time of year again where I raid my daughters pretty baubles and decide I should give a cake tester away, compliments of and unbeknownst to her.

Lampwork Glass Bead Cake Tester Bliss=Ranch.com

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Stairway Post Swags From The Woods

Usually before the snow flies I go to the woods and gather some raw product for making porch decorations, boughs and to hang on the stairway rail inside.

Bliss-Ranch.com Natural Christmas Greens

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LED Retrofit Kitchen Lights

I've seen the light.

The white LED light that is..... and it's good.

Halo Lighting LED recessed light, Bliss-Ranch.com #westsidewholesale #halolighting
New kitchen ceiling LED lights

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Junkers Unite Vintage Scale Sign

How much does St. Nick's toy bag weigh?  Or does it whey?  Or maybe it jingles all the way?

Maybe it does all three?

Well if Santa's toy bag is...
hanging on an antique scale...
hanging on a sign...
hanging on a wall...
hanging at my house...
then I could give you an exact amount of what Santa's bag weighs, wheys or ways.

Dairy Sign With Vintage Scale Bliss-Ranch.com

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Log Reindeer

A popular project around here this time of year are these log reindeer.

Originally I posted about them a year or so ago for a Christmas in July link party, but now that I'm really feeling Christmas is on it's way, unlike in the month of July, I decided the deer should appear in December.

Bliss-Ranch.com Log Reindeer

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Handmade Ornaments

Making ornaments back in the olden days before Google or Pinterest, people either had to come up with an idea themselves, rely on magazines and the ideas of friends, or reinvent something they saw and make it better.

I'm going to share 11 of the 25 years worth of ornaments I've made.  These might not be the cream of my crop, but they were the ones I could easily find in the ornament bins.
Handmade Ornaments Shotgun Shell Santa Bliss-Ranch.com
2005 - Santa made from shotgun shell casing

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Bins Under The Coat Cubby

Pretend you hear a little dinner bell as my butler Mr. French announces that "organization is served".

Bins with wood tags Bliss-Ranch.com
Do you remember Mr. French?  Probably only if you were watching TV in the 60's like me.

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15 Upcycled Christmas Decorations

Wanna see some fun upcycled Christmas decorations?

On a HomeTalk board that I curated?

Yes you do.

Click {here} to head to HomeTalk for a peek-e-poo at the upcycled treasures

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The Cold Snap Called Winter

My friends got my back.

And this time of year they want it covered so it stays warm.

Thanks to Tina from What We Keep, who lives in the warm south, for understanding my true feelings about winter in the north, and sending me links to clothing that display my disdain.

Winter is extra long when Mother Nature starts sending flakes from the sky in November.  So maybe we could just skip right over it?

Buy it {here}

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Magazine Monday is Back...Only For Today

I'm not a fan of mayo. 

I'm president of the I Hate Mayonnaise Club.  At least I thought I was till I Googled it and found out there is a real club for mayo haters with someone who says they are the prez, so I'm not alone.

There is like a whole underground of mayo haters out there.

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Coat Tree Street Sign

This oak coat tree has lived with me for 27 years.

It's held many a fall jacket, and many a little toddler snowsuit.

Coat Tree Street Sign Bliss-Ranch.com

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Kodak Dresser 4 Throwback Thursday

For Throwback Thursday, TBT for you letter savvy readers, I decided to revisit one of my most popular blog projects, a Kodak dresser from 2012.

I'm throwing it back 2 1/2 years in blog years.

This dresser was the second one I painted, and the second one I lettered on.

Yup, that's right I got a big 'ol letter "P" for Paint - from Paint U...niversity.  I better buy a jacket.

Kodak Dresser Bliss-Ranch.com

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$5.00 Piano Bench

I picked up a piano bench at the same auction as a headboard that I turned into a cottage entry bench.

Five buckaroos.

Painted and lettered Piano Bench redo Bliss-Ranch.com

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Easy Map Drawer Tags

Back in the olden days the "boys" room contained more than one boy. 

Now it's home only to our youngest; his big bro snagging a room of his own after the next in line left and the next in line before that left it vacant.

The girls each managed to hang on to their respective rooms.

It's a yearly chore to sort through clothes that have been grown out of or ones that have just wore out from wear.

I have not figured out how to slow down the growing process of children, therefor halting the drawer purging and the resulting necessary purchase of larger sizes of cotton.

Contact Paper Map Drawer Tags Bliss-Ranch.com

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Fixing "No-Reply Blogger" on Wordpress, G+ & Blogger

I consider this post a public service announcement that benefits me.

I love my readers.  I happen to think they are the cream of the crop. 

Funny, kind, and loyal.  So for that I thank you all.

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Little French Style Table

I won't claim to know French style.

I'll just claim that I like it.

I will also claim that I don't have any of it, unless you count an old metal sign I recently took down that says Bon Appetit.

And I won't claim to have bought, painted, or incorporated this cute little table into my home either.

Painted Table with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Bliss-Ranch.com

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Upcycled Entertainment Center

Mission:  Find a small-ish console of some kind that is cheap, not too large and doesn't stick out too far.

Upcycled Entertainment Center Bliss-Ranch.com

Who:  #3 kid, #2 son

What:  New wall TV needs a base without taking up precious floor space

When:  ASAP

Where:  Garage sale or thrift shop

Why:  Because mom makes cool stuff

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Winter's Coming

With the arrival of Halloween, I thought I would say good-bye to Fall in my neck of the woods.

Fall Bliss-Ranch.com

Right from the comfort of my own yard.

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Ghosts Made With Old Kids Clothes

It's getting creepy around the ranch.

And creepy to me isn't cute.

Bliss-Ranch.com How to Make Little Ghosts

You might think this little ghost gang is cute, but I think ghosts are creepy.

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The SCARE in Scarecrow

Shock-tober wouldn't be complete without posting about our scarecrow.

If you have been around Bliss Ranch for a couple years you have probably met him before.

A few years ago, 8 apparently, in 2006 BB (Before Blogging), I decided to make a scarecrow using sheet rock mud and stuff from around the yard.

Meet Punkin Noggin.....

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Halloween Photo Booooth

Last Halloween I got it in my head that I wanted to use my Ipad and create a photo booth for our Halloween party.

Halloween Photo Booth Bliss-Ranch.com

We had enough on our party plate and I didn't want the build to be a big process.

Basically what that means is if I want to get my way I better K.I.S.S. .... k.eep i.t s.imple s.tupid.

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Haunted Halloween Portraits

My absolute favorite Halloween project that I have ever made are Haunted Portraits  I spied from Tracy over at CrowsFeetChic.

I've made two versions of these.

The first version was inside the house for a mystery dinner party, the other was in the back shed for a large throw down the grog party.

For both projects I intermingled photos of our friends with photos from the internet, all printed in black and white or sepia.

Cracks. Me. Up. 
Haunted Portraits Bliss-Ranch.com
The Eyes Have It

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Glass Light Globe Pumpkins

Fall.  I  love  it.  Not just a little,  a lot.  

Bliss-Ranch.com Glass Light Globe Pumpkins

I don't usually start to decorate till October, and when I do it normally has a spooky twist.  All those years as a Halloween party hostess I guess.

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Quick Set Concrete Pumpkins

Over at Fox Hollow Cottage I spied a guest post from Shayna at The Wood Grain Cottage for some concrete pumpkins, and I knew right away I was gonna make some.

Using quick set concrete was right up my alley since I now have three stone look walkways made using the stuff.

Quick Set Concrete Pumpkins, Bliss-Ranch.com
Terracotta pumpkin, and thick foam light up pumpkin with his electrical gutted and removed

These are my first victims.

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Pallet Halloween Props

Give a man a couple chisels, the back side of a hammer, and two old wood pallets and in no time at all you can have a spooky fence for Halloween.

You wanted a spooky fence right?

I did.  I needed it for a haunted trail.

Pallet Halloween Fence Bliss-Ranch.com
Now don't judge most of these photos too harshly.  When they were taken, I didn't know I was ever going to have a blog and show them to people.

Nor did I know that using old wood pallets was going to become all the rage 10 years later.

This is the tale of pallets and days gone by many Octobers ago.

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Spooky Halloween Silhouette Windows

It's Shock-tober at Bliss Ranch, and that means highlight some of my favorite Halloween projects from around this haunted house.

One dark and gloomy October day a few years back before the Bliss Ranch blog existed, I decided to make my version of Martha Stewart window silhouettes.

I followed her tutorial here.

Halloween Silhouette Windows Bliss-Ranch.com

Well, I kinda followed it.

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Cottage Bench + Link Party

You wanna see some sweet salvage style stuff? 

Salvage Style Alberts Bench Bliss-Ranch.com

Of course you do!

Along with me are 8 other bloggers willing to show you their upcycled, repurposed, or trash to treasure projects and then at the bottom link up your projects because we all want to see what you've been creating.

The Bliss Ranch Project - not to be confused since it's October with the Blair Witch
Project - is a vintage headboard I won at an auction for five buckaroonies.

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50 Shaded Questions

Kirby from Kirb Appeal and Andi from Delusions of Ingenuity, are now on the top of my list.

You know what list that is right?.... my schmidt list.  

Not because I don't like them, I do, they are a whole lotta funny.

They are on the list because they've obviously got my number and know I won't say no.

So, because I am such a gosh darn good sport, I'm going to answer 50 questions that I was tagged in....twice.... that have nothing to do with painting or recycling furniture.

That is twice as in I was tagged twice.  You're welcome -  I won't be answering them twice.

1. What are you wearing?
My birthday suit.  With a jammies chaser.

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$2.00 Box of Wood Hangers

I mentioned in my last post that I had picked up a box of mystery items on the same day I brought home the pine box that I painted with French Lime paint.

The mystery box contents are two dollars worth of wood hangers. 

Some vintage, some with advertising, including some of the short grippy wood ones that hold *slacks*, and some unfinished ones that are a blank canvas for me.

Bliss-Ranch.com box of vintage hangers

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Pine Box with French Lime Paint

I don't want to act all goofy and giddy, but Maison Blanche sent me a new paint to try out, and well, I LOVE IT!

Half Moon Bay California Box Maison Blanche Paint Bliss-Ranch.com

Maybe some of you have painted things like the Sistine Chapel or Italian Frescoes but not me, I'm small pahtatas in the world of art.

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Microwave Corn on Cob Complete With Husks and Silk

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears......

Corn on Cob in Husks for Microwave Bliss-Ranch.com
I suppose by the time I get around to doing a post on a tip I saw - and tried -  that you've all seen and tried this on you own?

Oh well.

I'm gonna write sort of a corny post anyway (as that joke proves to be lame at best).

And I'm also gonna make sure I type the word corn and corny correctly each time.  They are the kind of words if I type them wrong, spell check won't catch - and it will take this post to a very dark place on the internet with stalks stripped down to their golden bits.

At the beginning of August when the sweet corn harvest was bountiful around here, I saw a little video on cooking corn, husks and all, in the microwave.

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Pillows I Can't Make

Well howdy-doo everyone. 

Imma gonna partake in just a slight Bliss Bashing.

Quit reading if you can't fathom that thought.

When I started this blog I announced for God and everyone to read that I. Can't. Sew.

That was no joke, and then I went on to make some coffee sack pillows which was agony for me even though I was pleased with the result. 

Here's my coffee sack version of a burlap bolster with added doo dads for bling.

Bliss-Ranch.com Coffee Sack Pillows

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Wow an Appealing Post of Other Peoples Stuff

My friend Laura over at Top This Top That has a weekly feature she calls *Weekly Wows*.

My friend Kirby's blog, Kirb Appeal does a *What I Found Appealing* feature highlighting things that appeal to her - get it... Kirb Appeal.. Appealing?

And I'm sure there are a million other blogs that highlight and feature awesome projects from around the web. 

So I'm gonna be a million and one.  At least for today.

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Willie Nelson's Armadillo

Yes you read the title of this post correctly.

Willie Nelson's Armadillo.

Sounds like a new paint color, but sorry - no - I'm not painting a dresser Armadillo Gold.

I was scrolling through my photos looking for a DIY project that was already completed but that I had never posted.

I found a couple past project pic's and they didn't excite me anymore now than they did when I made them.  So not posting.

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Bean Bag Toss - Yard Art

I've been gone.  Gone, as in I have not been home.

First we took a few day trips over the past few weekends.

Then we went on vacation.

Often we have stay-cations and play at home, so all these little jaunts so close together are not the norm.

But while I was home for a couple days I did a little painting with some new outdoor paint from Maison Blanche.

Bean Bag Toss Yard Game Bliss-Ranch.com #maisonblanchepaint  #paintedfurniture #ad

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Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Deep Fried Recipe Edition

Anytime I post a recipe I have to quantify it by saying, I am not a food blogger, I am a food eater.

My thighs don't lie.

Thank you to my son for being my hand model.
So while I'm gearing up for a couple of paint projects after I return from a quick vacation, I'm gonna share one of those secrets to having thunder thighs, the food that gives me the courage to paint, the sustenance to forge on with my paint brush.

Cheese.  In fried curd form.

I do not advocate eating cheese curds on a daily basis.

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Wisconsin Beer, Cheese and Fireworks

As I travel on with Midwest week, I'm gonna write about beer.

I realize some of you might be wondering if I've hung up my paint brush in favor of hitting the road.

Yes, I'd much rather travel around than paint.  But this wanderlust is only temporary.

I toured around St. Paul in part 1 here, and part 2 here, and now I'm heading across the border to Wisconsin for contraband. 

New Glarus Beer, Wisconsin, Bliss-Ranch.com

Beer, cheese, and illegal fireworks to be exact.

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Touring St. Paul, Part 2

Read Part 1 of touring St. Paul {here} and come along with me now for Part 2.

I mentioned in part 1 that George our tour guide had a bit of an agenda when he planned what we would see.

His wife Betty lived for a time in the city, but never visited some of the sights, so part of our day was related to Betty's bucket list. 

After breakfast at Mickey's Diner we headed to St. Anthony Falls.

St. Anthony Falls are the only true water falls on the entire Mississippi River.

St. Anthony Falls

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Touring St. Paul, Part 1

I suppose you think all I do is sit home and upcycle, repurpose or paint old ugly pieces of furniture?

No, sometimes I hit the road to see what I can see.

If last week was mosaic week at the Ranch, this week would be Mid West week.  

*I need to add a disclaimer right here...... many of my photos are drive by's.  Brawn doesn't pull over in the city just so I can take a photo, which is hard anyway on a freeway right?  So I just kept my mouth shut (for the most part) and snapped through the windshield.

So back to St. Paul.

Skyline St. Paul, Bliss-Ranch.com

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Stained Glass Mosaic Tray

I mentioned in my last post that it's mosaic week at Bliss Ranch.

The first project {here} was like stormy seas and this one is like a sunny day at the beach.

If I had any sharks we would have shark week too, but I'm fresh out.

All I've got is shards.... of glass.

I know, lame pun - just humor me.

Stained Glass Mosaic Tray Bliss-Ranch.com

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Stained Glass Cook Book or Ipad Stand

It's shaping up to be mosaic week at Bliss Ranch.

I finished up a couple projects that graced my dining room table for a couple weeks.

Kitchen Ipad Cookbook Stand Bliss-Ranch.com

If you spend any time on Pinterest or reading blogs like Homeroad, you know exactly what a trivet ipad holder is.

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Bliss Ranch Takes a Turn on the Blog Tour

Angie over at Knick of Time invited me to participate in a tour around blogs - the proper introduction would be a Blog Tour, and it's sort of a "what makes you tick" type tour.

Angie passed the torch to me, so click over to check out her tour, then you can learn everything about her creative mind and what makes her tick.

And creative she is, so there is a LOT to learn!  She ticks a lot as well as tocks, hence her blog name, Knick of Time.

How about a piano turned into a desk?

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Best Burgers?

Bliss Ranch has this gig over at Kirb Appeal - sometimes-usually-but not always - once a month.

I get to write stuff and I don't have to create a new project or even use any pictures, but I throw some in for visual interest and for Fiona.

Habit Burger
July's post, that really was done in August, is about burgers.

Huffington Post had an article about the best hamburgers around.  My pick came in at #2, and I don't think some even belonged on the list.

But different taste-buds for different folks, right?

Stop by Kirb Appeal and bite into my post to find out who was #1. 

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Stargazer Lilies

I am sort of an accidental gardener.

About 5 years ago I picked up this bag of mystery flower bulbs, buy one get one free.  They were only .99¢, and I figured if they didn't grow or if I killed them, I wasn't out much coin.

At that time I really wasn't sure what a lily was, nor did I know there were over 100 different varieties.

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Projects and Pillows

August is just about here.  Seems I spent so much time waiting for it to warm up that now Fall is right around the corner.

But I'm not done working on summer projects outside, in fact I've barely got started!

If I said my patio was a bit blah it would be accurate.  Sure, it's nice, peaceful, has lots of things to do, but it has almost no color.

There are lots of stones and natural elements, but nothing vibrant and happy looking other than some potted flowers I'm surprised I have kept alive.

This photo is from last year.  I hung the buckets again but I planted hostas in them instead of flowers because we have an over abundance of hostas.

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Throw Back Thursday with Peter Alsop CD's

When my older kids were little it seemed appropriate on occasion to turn off my AC/DC or Queen and tune into something a bit more kid friendly.

Not sure that really worked, or mattered much, since when a certain 6 year old was 3 he walked around singing We Will Rock You.

And I'm also not sure why I thought kids had to listen to kid songs.

When I was seven I wasn't listening to Mary Poppings sing about spoonfuls of sugar.  I was listening to how Mick Jagger couldn't get no Satisfaction and working on being a California Girl for the Beach Boys.


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Pink Play Kitchen Transformation Details

Last post I introduced you to a nightstand turned play kitchen, (you can see the pretty pictures {here}), and I thought it was so stinking cute I inserted pictures of the finished product without even a before photo of the nightstand.

Today I'm going to remedy that.

This is the before and after, in all its' basic nightstand glory...

Upcycled Nightstand to Play Kitchen Bliss-Ranch.com #playkitchen #kids

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Maison Blanche Debutante Pink Play Kitchen

Let's see now... I posted about plans to make a play kitchen back in March.

I included crazy cute ones from my Pinterest board for inspiration.

I had been stalking cast off entertainment centers and nightstands, but ultimately it needed to be compact in size, so nightstand won.

Plus I got a two'fer - two nightstands for a song.

Recycled Nightstand Play Kitchen Bliss-Ranch.com #playkitchen #maisonblanchepaint  #paintedfurniture #ad

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Mud Pie Station

Sometimes I have these crazy thoughts, lets call them pie in the sky notions.

Mud Pie Station Bliss-Ranch.com
I see something somewhere that I have never seen before and I get all pie eyed with wonder.

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Rhubarb Torte Dessert


Growing up in Southern California I never heard of such a thing.  

My mid-western mother surely had, but I'm guessing there wasn't an over abundance of rhubarb in the produce isle in our suburb of Los Angeles. 

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From time to time there might be a written review of services or products on this blog for which Bliss Ranch may or may not have received that service or product for free. Receiving a product or service for free or at a discount will never dictate what is written on this blog or guarantee a favorable review. All opinions here belong to Bliss Ranch and Bliss Ranch alone. Bliss Ranch is not monetarily compensated to write anything on this blog... period! For the complete privacy policy please see the tab at the top of the blog.