Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween

My penpal, Chelle, sent us this sweet haunted house candle holder last year as a housewarming gift:

We've only lit it a few times this year. I don't have a very good spot to display it right now so it kind of gets looked over. But I will be fixing that problem soon with a new shelf that I've been thinking about adding in the dining area. I want a place in the house that I can display holiday stuff, so I thought that would be a good place for one.

I haven't been around the blog much this week for various reasons, but I hope to post a little more this week. It kind of depends on my work schedule I guess. 

I spent most of the day today either hungover or getting the flu or something. I don't know which. Last night we went to my friend's 40th birthday dance party and busted some killer moves and ate good food. When that was over, we waited for AAA to come and unlock our car for us because somebody Joe locked the keys inside. Which he feels TERRIBLE about but I'm okay with because for once I wasn't the one doing something mindless like that. Don't get me wrong- Joe does lots of mindless things but not like that. Anyway, once we got rolling we ended up going to watch a couple bands at the Crystal Corner which was fun. I think I whiplashed my neck a little, which is what always happens when I go to see a band after I've been drinking a bit. Ouch. After we left the bar I suddenly found myself hanging out in somebody's kitchen eating their food. Hmm, I don't remember much of that part- going to their house. But I do know that we were invited. I have no idea who's apartment it was or what these people even looked like. I think I was supposed to pay them $5 to be there but I figured if I wasn't drinking, I wasn't going to pay. I asked Joe if he paid and he said yeah so I had some food to help cover his share of $5. Then this morning I asked him if he paid and he said he didn't think so. Woops. I remember looking at the clock at like 320 am and I thought it was a weird temperature setting for an oven. And then I realized that it was the time of day and told Joe we had to leave. Since our house is ten million miles away from Madison, we finally got home at 4:15 or so. So yeah, I feel like shit today and didn't get anything done. Ah well. I'm okay with it. We were with my friends who are moving to Ecuador for a bit and I don't know if they'll come back to Madison, so I'm not mad at myself for wasting a day.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Small Project

My favorite projects are the ones that I can complete with materials that I already have on hand. It's not often that this happens...I always seem to need something. And on top of the money thing, it's just not convenient to drive all the way to Madison and back just for a few small things (although we do have a hardware store in town that I love as well and hope to someday be able to support more often...)

So the breakfast bar counter top has been making me crazy. Stuff piles up there all the time (mail, especially) and it's a hassle to clear our counter to make room to eat or do laptop stuff. 


And so I cut and painted a piece of scrap wood and found some anchors and L brackets in the garage and mounted it this afternoon.


Ahhhh. No more chaos. I like it much better now.

I made the shelf really narrow because I didn't want it to take up much space. I have been searching for a good canister for my coffee beans and haven't found one yet, so for now I'm just going to put my beans in a tall and skinny mason jar. I think that will be more fun than a canister, anyway. I like the noise that beans make against glass. It's the little things in life...

So the other reason I wanted the stuff off the counter is because we are going to be replacing it soon with one that is longer and a little more substantial. I'm having a hard time figuring out what I want the function to be, though. Kitchen island on wheels that I can wheel out of the corner? Hmm, that seems like a hassle to me. Plus I already have enough counter space in the kitchen and wouldn't need one to move around. I thought about putting a tall and narrow cabinet and the end of the new counter to act like a leg, but again- I already have a lot of storage in the kitchen and don't need more (lucky, i know!). So Maybe I will just do a counter with a narrow shelf at the end, underneath. But I really have nothing to store there, so that's kind of pointless as well. OKAY, I think I have an idea- maybe I will just have a "leg" almost as wide as the counter, inset a little bit, at the end, with a tea towel bar on it and then have Moonshadow's food and water dish on one side and Clementine's food and water dish on the other side. I think that might be the way to go. Then they'll each get one of these on their side and it will be super cute. Sounds good.

This is what it looks like now and I hate it. I hated it since the minute I saw it when we viewed the house:

So the plan is to get a butcher block counter top that's about 16" longer than the current one and also a pendant light overhead. I can't decide on the pendant light, though. Do I get one small one kind of centered with the corner? Or 3 small ones (that would be too busy...) or 2 small ones (2 would look weird) or one bigger one, centered with the couter top? UGH. OH wait! Maybe I could do a wall mounted swing arm lamp. Like a pharmacy style one. Ack, I don't know- I always pictured a pendant. Any ideas?

Oh and PS- I also want to replace all the hardware in the kitchen and get new lighting throughout, but that won't be happening for awhile yet. Damn that thing called "money".

Sunday, October 24, 2010


It's Sunday, I've been out of town, and I have nothing to post about.

So here are a few very random questions for you (which I answered as well...):

1. If you could move to any city, but you had to do so within the next 2 weeks, where would you go (and where are you currently)?: Currently near Madison, WI. I'd head to Minneapolis or St. Paul, I think. Of course I'd love to move across the country, but I'd have to put more than 2 weeks worth of thought into a decision like that!
2. One food that you will. not. eat.: Hot dogs. Yicky.
3. You have $40 to spend at Amazon...what do you buy?: this and this.
4. How old are you? Do you feel that age? If not, what age do you feel (socially/mentally): I'm 25. I feel about 28 I think. But I don't really know because I'm not there yet.
5. Do you have any cleaning tips to live by?: Wipe your microwave and counters and stove every time you do the dishes!
6. If you could delete any holiday from the calendar, and life would go on as if it never existed, what would it be?: Christmas. Hands down. (PS- I'm sure if I was religious, I would not have picked this holiday!)

Friday, October 22, 2010

My Friday Fix

I have decided to call the new Friday thing "My Friday Fix". So here it is...
This week's theme is Look Up:

I've lusted over this ceiling for some time now:

And this one, too...

Usually things would bother me if they were this high up on the wall, but somehow the mirrored candle holders work very well at this height:

I love how high these book shelves are. It works really well in this space (I wish I could pull it off in my own):

So I'm extremely picky when it comes to bedrooms. But this is one of six that I've held onto for some time now. The stripes on the ceiling are fun, too:

1. Still trying to find source...
2. Sarah Story Design
3. Jill Brinson, via House Beautiful
4. Sharon & Chris' House Tour, Via Apartment Therapy
5. Trying to find original source...

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Yellow is a color that I recently let into my life. I never liked it growing up, but it's a very happy color to me so now I use it was an accent whenever I can.

For the past week or two, these roses have been staring at me every time I pull into the driveway. I'm not so sure of the location in the yard...they are really tall and kind of just on their own. Which bugs me. So I cut them and brought them in.

These have been inside for three days but I hadn't noticed the fragrance until today. I thought I disliked the way roses smelled, but as I was walking through my hallway I thought to myself "oh, that's nice!" and then I walked through again and thought "wait, what is that? is that my candle? can't be". And then I realized it was the roses. Huh. Anyway, I wasn't fan of roses till about 3 days ago. I decided that next year I will start a rose garden. Because, you know- another creative endeavor is *just* what I need.
Okay, so speaking of yellow, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into the guest bedroom. We put this room on hiatus because there is a lot of stuff that we need before we can complete it. I'm hoping sometime this winter. But for now, here it is:

This is what it looked like before. I can't find my photo that I took without the tape around the windows, so this will have to do:

To finish it, we need:
+window treatments (IKEA)
+nightstand (to be thrifted)
+new lighting (undecided)
+rug (undecided)
+chair (undecided)
+frames (IKEA)
+decorations (thrift)
+art (etsy and some self made stuff)

So basically we need like $350 to make it okay or $600 to make it good. I will settle at $500. ;) I need to start saving.

Okay, it's 9:00 and I'm feeling like I need to do something with my day. My damn foot is still bothering me so I kind of feel like I should really continue to chill and go easy on it till it's better.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


No work today.

I was going to do stuff outside but I started on a new piece instead. The second time this week.

I did something to my foot the other day so walking around in the yard just doesn't sound like too much fun. Today is day four of my foot feeling this way so I'm trying to stay off it a bit. 

I started this piece awhile ago and was having a hard time with it, so I set it aside.  It finally came together today. I'll be adding it here soon.

It's nice to be making new stuff. We'll see how long I say that...I always find my way into a rut and then venture onto other things for awhile. But if I've learned anything in the past couple of years, it's that I have to mix things up. If I do any one thing for too long, I get bored. And when I get bored, I start over thinking. And when I start over thinking, I start to get hermit-like. And on and on.

Okay, that's all for now. Check ya!

Monday, October 18, 2010


Today I had big plans to do house stuff, but instead I worked on some new pieces.

I feel so Hayley when I wear this hoodie. Although I think mine is a little darker. You do know Hayley, right? From Hard of the only movies I've ever seen. Haha, okay, I've seen more than just that, but not many.

Here are the pieces so far. I'm going to turn a couple of them into key racks.

So yeah, that's how I spent my day from 7:30-3:30.

I need to do some stuff now before Joe comes home, but first I feel like doing this:

5 random things:
I long for the day I own a skateboard. and a bike. and a snowboard. and a smart phone. 
I would like to visit portland (oregon). and seattle. and amsterdam. and australia.
I love avocados. and calamari. and red bell peppers. and french toast.
I splurge on maple syrup. and yogurt. and cereal. and coffee.
I want to be a firefighter. (true story. not even kidding one bit.)

Hmm. If I was a firefighter I could have all of these things. But for now I will just dream. And dream. And dream some more. Pretty much dream forever at this rate. But I can't just dream forever, so I suppose I will do something about that.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Before & After

Here's a quick before & after to fill the void while I finish a bigger, more fun before & after. Reveal on Wednesday, perhaps? It's hard to say.

Thrifted candle holder. But I use it as a plant holder.



I have to admit, I did like how warm it felt before, now that I look at this a little closer. But it didn't go in the space I wanted it for, and I guess that's what counts overall.

Before it sang "Spanish Garden".
After it sings "English Garden".


It's funny. I feel like if we lived in a bungalow, craftsman, foursquare, etc. house, I'd automatically opt for warmer colors. It would just be a given. A charming home calls for warmer colors. I think it has to do with the beautiful woodwork throughout whenever you're dealing with one of those charmers.

But instead we live in a ranch, and the warmer, more vibrant colors just don't fit the vibe of the house. Maybe if it was a MCM ranch. But it's not (which is toootallllly fine with me). And we've been painting all the yucky oak trim. Now it's all white. Which is a good thing. Don't worry. I would never that in a house with nice woodwork.

Anyway, happy Sunday evenin' to ya.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Kind of Drab

So this is going to be kind of a boring post. See what happens when you don't visit a thrift store for a couple weeks? Haha, just kidding. I am working on a couple projects that I hope to finish by Tuesday so I'll let you in on those when they are complete. One is a front porch makeover (the halfway point, anyway) and the other will be fire pit progress photos. 
Today it's just this:

I picked up this little wooden tea box at a rummage sale this spring (which, btw, has a screen printed design on it). We don't have many warm colors in the house because somehow I converted from warm to cool in the past couple years...I think to root cause is from working at a job with very LOUD colors all around me and subconsciously craving a retreat from that when I got home. It seems to work with our house, though. But anyway, here is one small thing that I do have:

I didn't know what to use it for until one day when I found all of my memory cards and USB cables and earbuds and they managed to gather into one pile, which was a nice change compared to the 7 separate places they resided before that. And so the most obvious home for them was close to the couch, where I do all my internet stuff at. But since I didn't want it all out in the open, I threw everything in the tea box and it seems to be quite practical:

See, I warned you. Boring post.
So maybe I'll just show you a few things images have brought me happiness over the past few weeks. A new Friday blog feature, perhaps? I think so...I will have to come up with a name for this new feature, but for now I'll just say that it will be 5 photos with a common theme each Friday.

This week's theme is Come Together:

Love these old wooden fruit boxes & the bright jars inside:

Just another reason to start collecting old yardsticks:

I have been wanting a quilt for some time now. This will do:

If I'm ever feeling really ambitious, I'll take apart some of my old soda crates that aren't in the best shape and do something like this, which I think would be perfect for a bar/lounge area. Too bad wooden floors in the basement is no good...although I could figure something out: 

And another quilt, although I was originally attracted to this bedroom because of the wall color. Isn't it great?:

Links found via:
1. re-nest
2. design*sponge
3. decor8
4. unsure, but i think design*sponge
5. ohdeeoh

Have a nice weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fire Pit Round Two

Remember this little project I got myself wound up into? Well, after giving myself some time to breath, I've finally given the go ahead to round two.

Yesterday we dug the circle out and I continued to move plants around to bring things closer. Soon we'll have gravel surrounding the fire pit and paths leading away from the pit and into the yard.

We waited till the end of summer to do this because I was so tired of spending time on the fire pit in the spring that I had to take a break. To look at it makes it seem like it could easily be completed over the course of a couple weekends. Ha, that would have been awesome. Let me just say this- if you are going to make one, I have two very strong recommendations: First, get a great chisel from the start (our hardware store was out when I needed one so I pressed on without one for awhile. And then forgot to pick one up whenever I was in Madison. That was a huge huge mistake. Hammer and flat head screwdriver, anyone?) and also- have a lot more rocks than you will need. Having variety helps immensely (another thing that I wasn't able to do until the project was about 70% finished). If I had those two things, I could have easily shaved off like 15-20 hours, I'm sure. But ANYWAY, I'm happy that we waited until now because the grass removal was so much easier after we beat the heck out of the surrounding area during our parties. There were times that I felt like asking people "okay, can your drag your chair rather than pick it up?" but I left it alone and hoped for the best. 

Next spring we are hoping to have something a little closer to this*:

Basically an area that is a little more cozy than what it it now. Slowly, slowly. It should be finished next summer.

*Sorry- I don't have the source for this photo and I looked for it online but couldn't find it. Any ideas?
THANK YOU Karen for pointing out an amazing resource for a reverse image search! This makes my future blogging much much brighter. I am always hesitant to post photos without a source, and I am terrible at keeping sources connected to my photos. I found the above photo at HGTV and it was designed by Robert Hursthouse.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Art of Display

We all have character flaws. Mine is that I go around creating perfect little worlds so I don't have to deal with the real world when it's not perfect or when I'm not in control. It's a pretty big issue that I'm becoming more and more aware of with each passing day, but for now I'm just going to roll with it.*

This morning, my real world was supposed to be in the garden, but I'm feeling a little stuck. Naturally I found something to distract me for the time being. Something that I have complete control of and that I don't have to spend more than 30 minutes doing. The end result being perfect (to me) and therefore bringing me great pleasure.

I brought this little bench (rummage sale find- $2!) inside today because the plants that were on it out on the deck have all withered away. I thought it would provide a nice area to display a few things that I have had stored in the closet since the end of winter. I like to put away my heavier colors in the summer months and then bring them out again once it starts to cool down (even though it's not quite cooling down...82 degrees in October is quite odd for Wisconsin). 

So since I did this, I thought I'd do a post on the art of display. I'm really into styling when it comes to interiors. Nice displays help me relax and rigid displays make me crazy. I like flow when it comes to styling so I came up with a list of ideas to help you along when you are creating your next display:

+Stick to a color palate. Mine is varying shades of browns, whites and greys.
+For interest within a palate, offer different finishes. I like to use metallics for this.
+Try to include a variety of textures. Textures help immensely. For example, the pottery piece that I have has horizontal lines. This helps keep your eyes moving. Same with the bee linocut- the sunburst pattern helps the display from feeling static. 
+Use your tallest item in the middle, usually behind everything. You can see that my white cabinet door is not in the middle when paired with the lantern, but it is in the middle if the lantern is treated as it's own thing. When you are working with 2 large items, try to use one on it's own and the other as an anchor for the rest of your items.

+Now that you have this established, work in a triangle. This takes some practice but you will learn the balance after you understand the general theory. 
+Layer your items- it creates much more interest and flow.
+Take a photo. This is always a huge helps you to frame your display and focus on what could be different. It's a huge help when you get stuck- try it.

Other ideas for displaying objects:
+Display collections. If you collect old cameras and spread them throughout your house, try grouping them all together. This creates a much higher impact. 
+Change your displays seasonally- it helps your space feel fresh and you'll admire the pieces you've had around for awhile.
+Use a variety of sizes. I think this is often want to transition from your largest piece down to your smallest. Try not to leave a large gap between your big things and small things.

Ideally I would have liked my candelabra shifted to the right just a little bit, but I couldn't because the base is too big and it is up against something already. So I just deal with it.

Okay, so I'm presenting you with a challenge! I want you to create a new display in your home and email me your photos! I'd be happy to help anybody who has questions as well. I'll show them on the blog and link back to your blog once I have a few submissions. Deadline is October 17th edit: okay, does the 27th work better for you? Send me a link at erinscissorhands AT gmail DOT com.
*please note that i'm not trying to turn you all into perfectionists! haha, it may seem like i am after i talked about this being an issue for myself and then going onto persuade you guys to try it for yourself! i just thought it'd be a fun challenge for the week to try and get readers a little more involved. and PS- i know that there will be at least one person who raises a brow at my first paragraph but please know that i'm getting working on this issue and hope to be a little more accepting of imperfections one day. i don't normally share that sort of info but i often wonder if people who are very into design share this same perfectionist mindset? it only makes sense that we would...thoughts?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Candy Apples

I made 3 caramel apples first thing this morning (even before coffee...what?).

One for me. One for Joe. One for Kait. 

I like to cut mine into slices when I eat them because it's a lot easier than trying to stretch my yap around that thing.
You should make some for yourself and your friends. Although they do take awhile and are a bit messy...I don't know if I'd recommend showing your kids this one because they'll want them all. the. time.

For One:
Granny Smith Apple
10 individually wrapped caramels
A dabble of milk
2 or 3 handfuls of mini M&Ms

Open a cupcake paper and line it with M&Ms. Have extra M&Ms to the side.
Chill apples in fridge or under cold water (it sets the caramel better).
Microwave caramels and milk. Stir until consistent.
Roll apple in caramel and help it with a spoon.
Set apple on cupcake paper and press M&Ms onto the apple till it's filled.
Put in freezer for 20 minutes.
Cut and eat. Wrap extras in cling wrap so it doesn't brown, or just eat the whole thing.
Make a dentist appointment (because you will find cavities. bonus if you find 2. eat another if you find 3).
Did you see the poll that I added to the sidebar on the right? I'm trying to bring more focus to the blog, and I need help from my readers. If you select "other", feel free to email me any suggestions that you have or just leave a comment. I really appreciate your feedback! Okay, more soon.

Friday, October 08, 2010


Guess what we're making tomorrow?

Yes, that's right. Caramel apples. 

But not before we head downtown for a free coffee tasting at 7:30. Oh, and my bff Kait has to arrive from Illinois, too. And THEN we can make them.

Have a good weekend. :)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Plant Sale

Today I decided to have a little plant sale.

I had Hostas, Sedums and Daylilies. I had over 100 of all those things combined (although I kept most of them for myself) so I figured why the heck not. I had enough Hostas for my shade areas after dividing, the Sedums are pretty much taking over my yard and the daylilies bug me every time I look at them. They claim that daylilies are "low maintenance" but I beg to differ. I had bending down to cut all those damn little stems off all the time! And in a huge effort to make our yard more efficient, I'm putting a lot of thought into planning for the next few years. So off they went.

Small clumps were $1. Big clumps were $2.

I think I'm going to put the $$$ towards my camera fund.
My little yellow bucket had $13 after a few hours. Only like $300 more to go!

The whole time I was wheeling plants up I felt like an old man just as much as I did a little kid.
Old man because you know how you see old men puttering around doing cute little making birdhouses and selling them for $3 or lining all of their pumpkins up on a picnic table and having somebody take a polaroid of them sitting with them (my grandpa...*sigh*).

And little kid because you know how you used to take your mom's sugar, lemonade, pitcher, plastic cups, spare change, newly cleaned kitchen floor (woops), poster board and then leave the cap off the marker to have a lemonade stand down on the road. And sometimes you sold toads and crayfish and frogs and snakes too. And one time there was a jogger who was thirsty but you ran out of cups so you just dumped your tadpoles into the cup with the crayfish (woops again) and pretended like nothing ever happened. Okay well that probably only ever happened to me. And my friend who was with me. 

But the point is that today I felt like a little kid and an old man. 

Okay, well that's all. How was your Thursday?

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

This is us.

I took this photo for a new facebook picture but I liked the color combo of my hoodie and the wall so much that I am posting it here, too.

I'm not much of a red person but this shade is different. I refer to it as Roma. You the tomato. 

As far as the wall color, I have no idea what it is, which is a real bummer. We got it for free and it was an unmarked can, but it's *exactly* what we were looking for. Can you believe that? I don't know how we got so lucky.

Do you think I can get it color matched? Have you ever done that? What did you think of the results? Am I asking too many questions? I usually call that machine gunning but I didn't want to ask "Am I machine gunning you?".

It's my favorite color in the house- so cheery and bright. And inky. I like colors that are inky. I would actually consider repainting the kitchen this color...I like the kitchen color but I don't LOVE it like I love this. It's funny that I spend hours upon hours bending my eyes over colors for all the rooms in the house, always fearing that I might hate the result if I just pick something, and then choose this one on a complete whim and fall in love with it. Maybe it's a sign.

Anyway, onto the next...

We came across this train car on our walk today. It was just parked in the road.

Okay, not really, but it was parked in it's lonesome so we took pictures. Gives you some perspective on how big these things are. I liked the color (again) so that's why I took the photo. Joe always wanted to be a freight train conductor or a train yard worker so I thought it would be nice for him to feel like one. It was really special to him. So I told him "why don't you get up there and pose like a little boy, Joey!" And so he did.

Okay that's all just made up but I started laughing after I typed that and I got a middle finger and a "don't write it. you better not." He doesn't even know what I wrote but automatically assumes that I'm writing about him. 

Anyway, last but not least, our small town, Mazomanie:


A lot of people think of Mazomanie as a dying town, but it's actually up and coming. They've been restoring the historical buildings and have lots of future plans. We have high hopes for all of the ideas we've heard. Mazo has kind of a bad rap, but we're fine with it because we know that it's beautiful here and we really admire our little town. Who cares if we are the only town in Wisconsin with a legal nudey beach? We know you're all just jealous. Cha-ching! ;)

Monday, October 04, 2010

Thrift. Always.

I am supposed to be painting right now but I can't find the tape so I'm blogging instead. While I was searching for the tape, I realized that I meant to show one of my latest thrift finds and that I never got around to photographing it. Well, one thing lead to another and I took photos of a few other scores...

Old Cabinet Door, $5.
This thing is damn heavy:

2 Mikasa Serving Plates, $0.90 each.
These are a little bigger than a standard dinner plate & they have a great textured pattern:

Serving Tray, $5.
My friend Margaret bought this for me. She asked me to go to the thrift store with her to return a bunch of clothes. Since they only give store credit, she made me pick something. I told her I couldn't let her buy me anything...but then I found this. Carved wood & ceramic tiles. I recently found the perfect home for it above our oven, which is surrounded by subway tiles:

Chippy Candle Holder, $4.
Here's more of that drab green color that I despise so much (so much). It's going to be painted one day, when I decide on a color. It's fairly large, I think it will find a home in the dining area. For now it lives in a closet (except for the photo...I picked a nail on the wall and hung it temporarily):
So that's that. 

Oh, and hello to everybody who has found me through Smile and Wave! Thank you Rachel for the feature. :)

Also, I've been changing my blog layout a bit so I apologize if the text isn't lining up properly. It's so much better than the stark white, don't you think?

Sunday, October 03, 2010


Today I went for a walk at Festge Park.

While I was there, I thought of two things.
1. I really need a new camera, as proved by the photo above. 
2. I really could use a mushroom identification book.