Home Improvement

My mint tiles

OK, guys. I have a new obsession and that obsession is Restore. Habitat Restore, to be exact. And it is amazing. AH-MAY-ZING!

My neighbor first introduced me to Restore in Baltimore and then Restore came to Columbia! Are we lucky or what? (Hint: The answer is yes!)

I go there pretty often now and had to share my newest find: Mint Green tiles!

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Dirty Tiles

I scored about 50 of these beautiful tiles for $.25 a square foot. Yes, $.25! I paid $4 total 🙂 Love it!

As you can see in the photos from the store, the tiles were pretty dirty. I scrubbed the tiles for over an hour and they cleaned up beautifully.

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Clean Tiles

Neither of those photos do the color justice, but this one is a better representation:

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Color Shot**drools**

You might be wondering why I bought tiles? Well, for my birthday gift next month we are going to redo our master bathroom.

Here’s a couple of not-so-hot pictures of our bathroom. It’s teeny, so it’s hard to get the whole thing in one shot.

Out bathroom looks a little different now with a shower curtain and a few pieces of art hung on the walls. But it’s nothing spectacular.

Here’s what I’m thinking….

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Sketch

Yes, it’s a sketch. And yes, this will likely change. But anyway… I am thinking a faux wainscoting treatment to the bottom half in white with a neutral color on top. We’ll replace the vanity to get something a little larger in the space, update the medicine cabinet and the lighting…. and then add the mint tiles as accent tiles. Like I said, the final product probably won’t look a thing like this… but this is my inspiration for now.

{A Smith of All Trades} Tiles_Bucket

And for $4, I was willing to take the risk that these beautiful tiles will fit into my not-so-final master plan.

Happy Tuesday!

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Craft Projects, Furniture

Over-sized Jar Lamp

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Happy one-year house anniversary to us! A year ago today we closed on our house — what an adventure it has been. Every room of our house has been painted, we did a massive family room overhaul, and tackled smaller projects here and there along the way.

My newest project is making our living room pretty, which started last weekend when we got rid of our old, grimy couch and purchased a pretty, new one!

Old Couch

If you are on vine or twitter, you can see the satisfying thud this ugly thing made when it hit the bottom of the dumpster at the local dump. So satisfying.

We didn’t mourn this couch long (or at all) — from the dump we headed to a local warehouse to pick up the clearance couch we’d purchased the night before. Not to brag too much, but we got our new couch for a steal!

AND IT IS ADORABLE!

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The pillows that came with the couch were a little too Hawaiian for me, so I picked up the charcoal gray and teal pillows at Target! I also got a gray throw and snagged the light gray pillow from our bedroom. It is so pretty. I love it.

Now that I actually have a couch I like and something to jump off of from a design standpoint, I am going non-stop to make this room perfect. See, this is my room. There is no TV and no computer, just a big window and a comfy couch. I want to be able to read in here! I can during the day, but at night I am in a fish bowl. That’s why I am working to find the perfect curtains for our bay window. I ordered some online, so fingers are crossed that they work.

In the meantime, I needed some more light in this room. With just the overhead ceiling fan, the light in this room is just mediocre come night-time. I have a beautiful glass lamp that I bought for super cheap at Target because it was broken. I fixed that and just need a flashy shade. I need a few more lamps though, so I decided to make my own.

Using a shade I had from the thrift store and an old, large jar, I set off today to make another light for that room.

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The first thing I needed to do was put a hole in the center of my jar lid. To do so, I had to find a drill bit large enough to fit my threaded pole (attached to the light fixture and to the nut underneath the lid). Once I found one, I carefully drilled through the lid while it was screwed onto the jar.

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Originally, I wanted to keep the green lid for my lamp, but no amount of scrubbing could remove the “crayon” label from childhood.

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Before I started to spray paint my lamp fixture, I figured out just how I was going to secure all of the parts of my lap. I ended up drilling through a mason jar lid with the same drill bit to use as extra support underneath the jar lid. I opted for a stack of washers on top of the lid to raise the light fixture up, and one washer and two nuts underneath for added stability.

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I also used a lamp harp to support the shade.

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Between the brassy harp, green lid and silver washers, I needed one finish for all of the parts of my lamp. I got out some metallic silver spray paint and lightly dusted all of the parts so they would match. I also did a coat of polyurethane.

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When everything was dry, I assembled all of the pieces: Light socket & threaded rod > harp > washers > lid > mason jar lid > washer > two nuts. I tightened the heck out of everything, and when it was good and secure I placed the lid of the jar back onto the freshly washed and crayon-free jar.

I added the shade and the finial and put it next to the couch.

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What do you think? It turned out pretty darn cute if you ask me. Now I just need to replace that old piano bench with something a little classier since my couch is so pretty now!

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Did I mention I only paid $2 for the gorgeous shade?

Graphic Design

Stand Tall printable

I love to play around with the Adobe Creative Suite because every time I do I learn something new. For this printable, I was inspired by a tattoo I saw on Pinterest. Here are screenshots of the project as I went along.

I like to start any project with words or a quote by simply adding my text to the page and fooling around with different fonts until I find one that is just right. You’ll probably notice two different fonts between these first few images and my final image — I exed out of my original design and lost everything I had done so far so I had to start for square one again. Whoops.

After the text is on the page, I start manipulating it, sometimes adding different parts of the words into different text boxes altogether. For example, the “s” in “stand” is in its own text box, while “tand” is in another. This allows you to maneuver your text exactly how you want it. Since I wanted the “S” lower and in a larger font, it was easier to create a new text box for it than to leave it with the rest of the word. In that same vein, each letter in “tall” has its own text box.

After I squeezed, stretched, angled, shrunk, etc. my letters, I started adding the rest of the picture. I used the pencil tool and the smoothing tool to add these lines.

Notice the switched fonts? It worked out for the best I think.

With the InDesign portion of my printable done, I grabbed the vector image I created and dropped it into Photoshop.

On many different layers, I tinted the background, added the paintbrush texture, added giraffe spots and added the grass border. I had to play around with the opacity of each layer, but once I messed around with it enough I think I got it just right.

What do you think of the final product?