Mosaics & Tombstones

This was July.  I've been sitting on this post since then when a BFF took me on a birthday adventure, and it's a bit of a *departure* from my usual posts.   I wanted to wait closer to Halloween just for a spooky effect, but I don't really want to creep anyone out.  Mostly I was just in birthday age denial, yet happy to be around to celebrate another.  Nothing makes you appreciate getting older more than visiting a place where that opportunity no longer exists.

So what kind of friend takes their best garage sale'n pal to a cemetery for her birthday?  One that knows you have an appreciation for mosaics silly!  Dii (I did not make up her name for this post) didn't mean to take me to a cemetery it just so happened it was on the same grounds as this amazing quaint chapel.

 This is the Lakewood Memorial Chapel.  
Minneapolis, on the shore of Lake Calhoun.

From the web site:   
Mosaic interior ....created by designer Charles Lamb and many consider it the most perfect example of Byzantine mosaic art in the United States. In 1909, Lamb traveled to Rome to enlist the services of six mosaic artists who had just recently completed a project in the Vatican. The artists created more than 10 million mosaic pieces, called tessellae, from marble, colored stone, and glass fused with gold and silver. The artists then traveled to Minneapolis to assemble the work inside the chapel. Upon completion in 1910, the Lakewood Memorial chapel was the only building in the country with an authentic mosaic interior.

 Did you catch that?... 10 million tiny pieces.  1909, completed a year later.  Someone better than me do the math... if they worked 365 days how many tiles a day is that?
Pictures of course do not do it justice.

Dii is a mosaic artist in her own right, she's the one who turned me on to smashing china.  Dii actually plots out things in a pattern, me I just smash something and glue it on randomly.  I don't have the patience, you know that lazy crafter thing, and I can't even imagine doing the whole interior to a building in tiles the size of a fingernail.  

I wanted to see the cemetery, this is art too.  It was the most well kept cemetery I have ever been to, especially for its age.  No I don't hang out in cemetery's but I'm no stranger to loss.  I really prefer to visit them in this fashion than have reason to go.

 Reading the names on the skyscrapers tombstones it was easy to see why it was so well kept; these are the movers and shakers of the area buried here.  The namesakes and founders of towns and businesses across the state. 

And then there were the ones that caught my eye...... 

I kid you not, Griswold and Chase were next to each other. 
You know... Chevy Chase and the Griswolds from the Vacation movies?

This was my favorite stone.  The lettering just looked all vintagy and cool.  

 Some make you wonder the significance of the design.  Why did Rosie get a log?

No matter how old I get the last name of butts will always be funny. 
Probably because I'm thankful it's not mine.
Seymour was not next to it.  I looked.

 And everything in it's place.....

 The deceased mortician from our town was named Grimsmo.  Appropriate huh?  The current mortuary owners are friends of ours and employ one of my sons from time to time for things like vehicle washing or extra hands for what ever is "needed".  Occasionally it makes for interesting dinner table talk.  And yes often we find humor in it, but don't doubt for one minute the admiration we have for that family.

Old cemetery's are historical places.  I found this one very interesting.  Just ponder for a moment how fast time goes by.  Death is certain and that fact wasn't any different 100 years ago!  Someone still felt the loss that each one of these stones marks yet only 100 short years have passed and no one is left that even knew the people buried beneath the oldest ones. 

I said ponder, not dwell.

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Fifty Cent Fall Wreath

I am a lazy crafter.  
I know I'm not alone, I know who you are, like me you have made no secret of it.  I have been pinning and pinning.  Beautiful fall wreaths.  Just take a look at my Pinterest wreath board .  I had good intentions, that is till I stumbled on a fifty cent garage sale wreath.  I can't buy the fix'ins any cheaper and then there is a time factor, oh and that lazy thing.

Twigs for new stems
It needed a little love and it really isn't anything like what I envisioned or pinned.  But I can get over that, it was only fifty cents.  Really all it needed was some hot glue and new stems made with twigs from the yard.  The craft box has lots of Autumn odds and ends, so I tucked in a bit of fabric, some of that gray mossy stuff, some ribbon, and a few dried corn... shucks?  Husks?  What are those corny things called?

Mudroom Door
In any case I have a fall wreath on the side door.  Hanging on September 1st ahead of the game, unlike the summer wreath that never happened.  For .50¢.  The metal #4 happened to be the right color so I stuck it on there too - for Fall, the fourth season.  Notice all the nice little twig stems in the pumpkins and gourds?

And did I mention that it cost me fifty cents?  

This sparked me to change the front door deco too.  That lazy crafter thing entered again.  Why spend all that time creating a new wreath when all I really have to do to change it up is slap on some fall flowers and chalk in orange.  Right?

So that's what I did.  Done.  I didn't even erase the welcome and I see it looks like crap.  I'll put some nicer chalking on there when I get a minute or I'm not lazy.  Or when I have to erase that to write welcome Winter.  

I might just make one of those beautiful wreaths I have pinned.  I have a few more doors I could put one on.  Did I mention that one only cost fifty cents? 

Linking up at:
All Star Block Party @FullCircleCreations 
Make It Pretty Monday @TheDedicatedHouse 
 Bewitching Fall @ IGottaCreate
Live Laugh Linky Thursday @LiveLaughRowe 
Transformation Thursday @TheShabbyCreekCottage

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Truncate Test Post

This is a test.  A truncating test.  The whole post is gibberish, so don't respond.  After I see how this works I will be removing this truncating-test-gibberish-post.  There is talk of line breaks and little icons I never knew what they were, but I see it now, it's like a paper split in half.  Gonna click on it right here.......

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DIY Pallet Look Headboards

 They started out as nice smooth clean pine boards......

After they were beat up

Cut to specification and turned into a simple frame of splintered mismatched wood.  They were beat with a hammer and gouged with I don't know what because I wasn't home when that step was done.

Then I took over.

I brewed three lipton tea bags in boiling water and let cool.  Overnight.  OK, I lied, it was two days before I got back to it.  The tea was nice and cool at that point.  Then I brewed three more because I didn't make enough the first time.  When the tea cooled I loaded a spray bottle and sprayed tea evenly on the boards, like misting plants.  Even though I have never misted plants.
The boards looked the same after the tea spray.

Nectar of the Gods

It wasn't till I brushed on the vinegar and steel-wool mixture that the tea reacted and turned a lovely shade of brown.  I let them dry.  They stunk like an old salad. And so did I.

Left one tea sprayed only.  Right one after vinegar/steel-wool solution

Two headboards.  Similar but not identical.  They have been knicked and knacked and tea sprayed, and vinegar steel-wool brushed, and then......random boards were whitewashed for that grayish driftwood look.  They are starting to have a pallet look to them.

Annie Sloan wax was used.  Dark on a couple boards that I wanted to have a burned look, and the rest of the boards were waxed with clear.  I have yet to buff them.

I think I love them.  But they are not mine.

Remember this......

Rock N Roll Dresser
A rock'n and roll'n dresser for a 13 year old about to rock.  A patient 13 year old I might add.  He has been waiting since August of 2011 for me to finish his room redo.

I've been waiting for inspiration.  I'm thinking when those two headboards make their way into his room it just might be the inspiration I've been waiting for.

Linking the boards up at:
Make the Scene Monday @ AlderberryHill
Newbie Party with a Twist @DebbieDoos
Sunday Showcase Party @UnderTheTableandDreaming 
Monday Link Party @CraftOManiac 
Make it Pretty Monday @TheDedicatedHouse 
What's in the gunny sack @TheGunnySack 
CowGirlUp @CedarHillRanch

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A Tale of Two Totes, or Three

At a garage sale in May I got this heavy wood tote for a buck.
Didn't need it, but it was only a buck.
I may have a tote addiction, it's not like this is my first one.


The tote was already white when I picked it up, then I painted it more white with some ASCP in old white, which was really the new white as far as the old tote was concerned.

In March I had found a post from Angie over at KnickOfTime with a *Bliss's* seeds graphic.
As soon as I saw the Bliss part I knew I had to put it on something.

I printed out the graphic in reverse on wax paper, wet the sides of the tote and put the graphic on.  Since by now you all should know I hate typing out tutorials, especially when I basically follow the tutorial of someone else, so it should come as no surprise that I'm not posting a tutorial. The wax paper method can be found all over blogland, but this is the tutorial I used here

Then the tote sat some more.  From May till the end of August to be exact.  In it's very white-unsanded-unwaxed-but-with graphic-on-form,  I used it on the table with flowers in it.  I remember taking the pictures but can't find them.

This weekend I got out the dark wax, some stencils, and finished the tote.  I did this to justify why I have several more totes in the garage.  As if to say to the world, I will finish those totes someday too.

 I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it.  I will probably use it this fall with leaves and fall stuff in it.  Like this tote;

Think I picked this up for a buck at Goodwill in spring.  I don't have a before photo.  Well I do, but can't find that one either.  It was all sorts of colors.

I painted it old white, added some metallic orange and waxed it with dark wax.  All the totes were sanded with steel wool for the extra scratchy look.  Like this tote turned dog feeder;

This tote was a guest post I did for Linda @ItAllStartedWithPaint.  You can see the before photo over on her blog.

These are just a drop in my tote bucket.  I told you I might have an addiction.

Toting my totes to party at:
Make it Pretty @TheDedicatedHouse 
Twisted Party @ DebbieDoos 
Cowgirl Up @CedarHillRanch 
Wildly Original Party @IGottaCreate

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Tote Turned Dog Bowl Holder

Today I am guest posting over at ItAllStartedWithPaint 
where Linda has a week of funny while she's in the sunny.  
Stop and see how I compared Linda to my dog 
and turned a garden tote thingy into a new dog bowl holder.

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Homemade Laundry Soap Copy

Some ladies simply have sweet dreams and some have dreams of sweet laundry rooms.  I fall into the latter.  Dreaming of a laundry room redo isn't anything new, but it was Kari's laundry room photo at ThistleWoodFarm that got me dreaming recently.

But I take baby steps when it comes to change, so I'm starting with the soap.  
Laundry soap... white gold that removes Texas tea.

All the ingredients together at last
My daughter in law has been making her own laundry soap for the past year and she loves it.  I figure it works since The Grands never returned to my house covered in Red Velvet batter stains from the evil cake pop making episode.  Unless my DIL had to throw those clothes away?  Hmmm.
Ravenous Wildebeest
 I narrowed down my quest for a laundry soap recipe, first found at Savvy Southern Style where Kim grated soap into a bin as Mr. SSS pondered having her committed to the asylum.  This led me to Yvonne at Stone Gable .  When I saw all the elbow grease that had to go in to grating that soap I almost didn't make mine.  Most of the ingredients sat on my counter for 3 weeks.

Vintage French jelly jar a gift from Kim at La Belle Epoque

 I could not chance Brawn pondering an asylum committal for me, so I got out the food processor and in less than 10 seconds my two bars of soap were cheese in a bowl.  
I will call this the 10 second rule for soap.
I secretly hoped my 13 yr. old would walk by and sample the cheese.

The soap was going to be my entry for the copy cat challenge over at DebbieDoos and I missed it.   Ms. Doos added a twist, we could copy a blogger and I wanted to make that soap and get the ingredients off my counter.  Every store repeatedly-always-and-forever was sold out of the elusive box of washing soda.  My DIL finally snagged me the 2nd to last box and I made the soap the very day Arm & Hammer came through my door.

 I whipped up my batch in less time than it takes to sort and toss a load in.  I couldn't stop there, I still wanted to do my blogger copy cat.  I had to enter this rather pathetic condiment tote from a magazine while nursing a cold and sore toe. 

I felt cheated so I staged my copy cat anyway.  I used the photo from Stone Gable because I didn't have a basket to copy Kim's photo.

Here is the original from Stone Gable:

 And here is my copy:

So I guess this was a copy copy cat since I copied the recipe and the blogger.
I will write a review once I have a few loads under my belt.  (Ewww!)
If you want the recipe go over to Stone Gable or Savvy Southern Style.  
I'll just say it's easy.  If you use a food processor that is.

If you get a chance stop over and visit Christina at IGottaCreate.  She has a series called Inspiring Creative Women and she picked moi as this month's feature.

Bliss Ranch:  Inspiring Woman to Make Their Own Laundry Soap since August of '12.

ALSO.... As a 06/12 Newbie Graduate,
I'm linking this up to DebbieDoo's new grad party

And how about these great link parties too...
CowGirlUp @CedarHillRanch 
Tuesday Vintage Style Treasures @KnickOfTime 
Made U Look @MadeInADay 
The Wildly Original Party @IGottaCreate 
Thursdays are your days @52Mantels 
Part Time @ 36th Avenue 

And how can I not link at Yvonne's party since I copied her!
Tutorials, Tips & Tidbits @StoneGable 

Featured at:

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Baby Blue Lavender Pizooki

Baby blue lavender....... PIZOOKI!   
I just waved my wand and put a spell on you.

It has been well over a week since I have posted (thank you for the reminder Kristy).  Last anyone heard I had a 500 lb. barber chair dropped on my toe.  I didn't die, didn't need amputation nor did I get tetanus (although the jury is out regarding if I have a mans vintage hair lodged in my wound).

Instead of posting I went out of town for a couple days, got busy, then got lazy during the time I wasn't busy.  When work calls I must answer.  So I was doing a little bit of this......

Baby Blue
 Stole the scrabble tile idea from Heather over at OurLifeInAClick.
And Kirby inquired if I was slacking.  Not really, I did write a lot of guest posts.  I visited Laura at OurPrairieHome, Kristin at MyUncommonSliceOfSuburbia and today I am over at Redoux with Karen, and one coming up next week at ItAllStartedWithPaint while Linda is off sunning herself.   I try to write a new post with stuff never seen here before when I guest, so if you click over you might see something new from the ranch.  Stay and visit those blogs too, not only are they full of awesome ideas, the bloggers are A+ people.

I am also excited for some Q & A at I Gotta Create where Christina features inspiring creative women.  She asked fun questions and I really enjoyed answering them.  It humbles me to think I could inspire someone.  If you all only knew how much inspiration I draw from you !

Then there was the fresh lavendar and vintage French jelly jar that arrived in my mail.  I won them by being the first correct answer from Kimberly at La Belle Epoque Home. Lucky huh?  I thought so.  Thank you Kim.  I used the jelly jar tonight to make the famous Pizooki.

Famous Pizooki from  Iheartnaptime

I was so engrossed in my work, and reading blogs between, hungry as usual, that I decided to make the first thing I saw. The gift from Kimberly was looking at me when I spotted the Pizooki and since there were no kids here I decided it was a good time to test the recipe: translation - I didn't have to share.  I ate it as I made belly stretch marks vanish on a pregnant lady.  Probably gave myself a fresh set though. Some people eat when they are depressed, some eat impulsively, and then there is me who eats when I blog.  Not only do you all inspire me to D.I.Y., but you inspire me to E.A.T. as well.

Also, if you get a chance stop over today at FancyLittleThings where my friend Heidi who blogs at Decor&More is doing a guest post and giving my kids art a shout out.  Thanks Heidi. 

I did create a project, but I've yet to take pictures of it.  I was in a rush to make it so I could post about it.  HA! get this one instead.  Oh pizooki.

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