...because home doesn't happen overnight.

DIY dream catcher 7

Today I’m shooting the front entry for the reveal which will be featured later this month or early next. Over the weekend I had fun creating some hanging art for the entry. Wall hangings / fiber art / hanging art…whatever you prefer to call ‘em…are super hot right now. I thought something on a smaller scale would dress up the non-existent entry. (It’s just a door that opens into the living room.) I didn’t follow any DIY’s but, instead, made things up as I went. As mentioned in a previous post, this was my inspiration. Here’s what went down.

DIY dream catcher supplies

First, I gathered supplies. I picked up three gold rings (6″- 5″- 3″), leather lace and five wooden beads at JoAnn’s for less than $8. I had white string on hand which I found in the garage. (I think it’s for gardening?) The only tools required were my gold scissors and hands.

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1 – I tied the gold rings together with a strip of leather lace.

2 – I cut twenty-two strands of 24″ long string. Then I folded one 24″ string in half and looped it around the smallest gold ring so the cut ends were furthest from the ring.

3 – I pulled the loose ends of the string through the loop…

4 – …and continued pulling until the string was tightly secured around the ring.

5 – One by one, I added all twenty-two strings to the 3″ ring.

6 – I threaded five wooden beads onto the strings and knotted them in place at varying heights to create a “V” shape. (Each bead is threaded onto to two loose string ends which are knotted.)

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I hung the entire piece on a hook to trim the strings into a “V” shape that corresponded with the placement of the beads. (Be careful not to cut the strings holding beads above the beads!)

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I added another loop of leather lace at the top to display the hanging art on some wood knobs near the front door. Ta-da! This project was super easy, super cheap.

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I especially love the fact that this hanging art incorporates four of my favorite things: gold, white, leather and wood. I like to think of it as a modern day dream catcher and I associate the five wooden beads with my family of five. It’s a stretch and I’m nuts, I know.

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Steve got a kick out of watching me DIY the hanging art.

“Are you making earrings?”

“It’s like bling for the entry.”

“I’ve got some ideas for post titles: DIY Dangly Balls, Hang Your Balls at the Door and (my personal favorite) Nothing Says Welcome Home Like My Balls.”

I could go on and on. We were both in tears by the time it was all said and done. Our sixteen-year-old sense of humor has saved our marriage more than once. Laughter is good.

Anyhow, there’s a snippet of the entry. I can’t wait to show you the rest! It’s nothing over the top but it’s functional and stylish which is really all I need it to be.

Now, tell me. What are your title ideas for this post? Have fun with it. My sixteen-year-old sense of humor won’t judge.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

01.14.14 / Workspace Progress

Progress on my workspace is coming along. (You can see the plans here.) I hit up IKEA this past weekend to pick up the KVISSLE items and all of a sudden I know where crap is. It’s life-changing! Thanks to the new organization, I’m two for two having Everett appropriately dressed for Spirit Week. Monday, school colors. Check. Tuesday, hat day. Check. Mom of the Year 2014?

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The frame for my Married to the Sea print arrived last week and I finally took advantage of Mabrey’s naptime to assemble and hang it. It’s lovely. If you’re counting, that brings the total number of Clare Elsaesser prints in our house to three.

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It was my first time using a legit gallery frame as opposed to the ones I normally use from IKEA or Target. Not that there is anything wrong with the frames from IKEA or Target. They’re actually great and I have them all over my house. But this gallery frame is museum quality. It’s that good. The razor thin metal face gives it such a sharp look.

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It has me thinking I should use several of these frames to create a big floor-to-ceiling gallery in the nearby hallway. Snowball effect. Don’t you love it?!

married to the sea 1

My home “office” is the only one I know of that houses a highchair. But it’s temporary. Soon enough Mabrey will be sitting on a stool / chair at the island / table with us. (She already insists on eating her snacks at the island like her brothers.) I could see a step stool or plant stand living there in the future. I have a hard time reaching the top shelves in the upper cabinets so a step stool would come in handy.

Now that I have my desk countertop under control, I’m thinking I should go ahead and address the contents of the glass-fronted cabinets. They aren’t awful but they could definitely use some editing and maybe some attractive storage boxes. I spotted these when I was at IKEA a few days ago. Sorta wish a few had made it home with me.

What about you? Has tackling one project only led to another? What are you organizing these days?

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking

This past summer I visited my sister in Arlington, VA. She took me to the local flea market where we stumbled upon the photography of Steven L. Miller {no relation} and I was immediately smitten. Mr. Miller himself was genuine and sweet and his work was no different. Even in black & white, his work captures humanity in a way that speaks to me. It must speak to others as well because several of his pieces are included in a permanent collection at The Smithsonian Museum. Half-jokingly, I hinted at my sister to remember Mr. Miller’s photographs the next time my birthday rolled around. She did!

generations photo 1

She gifted me “Generations” and my heart exploded into a million tiny pieces. I used birthday money and a JoAnn’s coupon to have the piece custom framed in narrow gold metal. For the longest time, I have been hemming and hawing over what to hang in a corner of our living room but the moment I received the photgraph I knew it was the one. I was so excited to pick it up from the framer yesterday!

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I hung it above the media cabinet in our living room. {TV wall sneak peek!} I adore it. Mr. Miller signed the piece and wrote a note to me on the back stating that the photograph was taken at a gas station in Tucson, AZ. I imagine the man is a hardworking truck driver and was meeting his grandbaby for the first time when this photo was taken. I like to make up stories like that.

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My brother-in-law went with my sister to purchase the photograph for my birthday and at first sight he was creeped out by the man’s dirty, wrinkled hands. But in the time it took them to walk home, he was starting to “get it” and his feelings towards the piece completely softened.

“Just look at how happy he is!” my sister told her husband.

I can’t help but smile every time I look at the photograph.

generations photo 2

The corner vignette includes a stack of books topped with potted jade. The rock was the very first “gift” from my first child, Layne. He had just started walking and we were at the park. He waddled over to me and handed me this rock. I’ll never forget it. The task lamp is Nate Berkus for Target. The stone “X” and wood bowl were thrift store finds years ago. I want my kids to gift me more rocks to fill up the bowl! The roe deer antlers are faux. They are part of a trio that I recently purchased from One Kings Lane. I haven’t found a home for the other two yet.

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All of a sudden this once troublesome corner feels really special.

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking


That image is one I shared when I painted the dining room / mudroom for the THIRD time. I’ve made some progress since then {a new table, a new rug, a DIY succulent centerpiecea cozy window nook, etc.} but have always envisioned discreet yellow artwork occupying the wall space between the wardrobe and french doors.

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And there she blows. She’s yellow and dainty and perfect. Exactly what I had in mind.

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It’s Swirl by the ever popular and insanely talented Clare Elsaesser. I popped the giclee print into one of my favorite walnut frames. I love how the natural wood tones of the frame and the bright yellow of the print look against the dark wall.

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The piece has a lonely and mysterious vibe so I thought it fitting to hang it by itself on a sliver of wall in a room with two other gallery displays. I find myself staring at this new stranger wistfully throughout the day.

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Also, I brought my outdoor planter inside to save it from the frost. Technically, HH brought it inside but whatever. I don’t know what I’m more proud of: remembering to bring it in or the fact that I transplanted these babies and kept them alive all summer? I wasn’t sure where to put it but I quite like the planter here. It receives good light and is mostly out of the way. If these plants live to see spring, I’ll consider it a miracle.

Me + living green stuff usually = dead brown stuff.

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Hanging new art motivated me to finally fill up a few empty / temporarily filled frames in the gallery wall. {The jade plant was an outdoor plant that I recently brought inside as well. Finding spots for all of these LIVING outdoor plants is a problem I’ve never encountered before!} I marked them with starbursts above.

dining art collage

What’s better than one really great Clare Elsaesser print? Two really great Clare Elsaesser prints, of course. I was so happy with the first piece that I ordered a second one, Watching Trees. The mini green leaves are from Amelia Kay and the abstract looking piece under them is just a page I tore out of Martha Stewart Living. I think it’s actually a photograph of different salts but I was drawn to the colors and textures so up on the wall it went.

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No more empty frames on the gallery wall! But that’s not to say I won’t switch things up whenever I feel the itch which happens often and causes HH to imagine cuckoos circling my head.

Oh! And the lightbulb in the dining pendant…I’ve received so many questions about it! We found it here and it’s the largest lightbulb we have ever owned. HH and I are all for saving the world with CFL’s but neither of us can stand the harsh blue light that some of them cast. We have CFL’s in other fixtures but we wanted this room to have a nice warm white light to eat by and the bulb needed to be shapely since it’s visible through the wrought iron pendant. This oversized globe bulb was the best we could find. Any suggestions for CFL’s that give off a warm white glow and are pretty to look at?

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That’s the latest and greatest on the dining area. I’m anxiously awaiting the tulip chair seat cushions to return from the upholsterer. If they turn out anything like the image I have in my head, they are going to be awesome. Can’t wait to share!

images: Dana Miller for House*Tweaking