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dining room makeover

The dining room has been in progress for a long time. This was the only room that underwent some reconstruction. I had to rely on Dear Old Dad to be the project manager, and I paid him in food and beer and hugs. Because that’s all I’ve got. Project #1 was removing two windows and installing a sliding glass door, and Project #2 was building wainscoting around the room.

I could bore you with the details of wallpaper removal, sliding glass door selection, and wainscoting design, but I’d rather forget most of that and take a visual trip down memory lane, instead…

The Before

pink. and very wallpapered.

gold "candle" wall sconces and hideous ceiling fan.

that's the kitchen through the doorway, it looks VERY different, now too!

The During

wallpaper gone. ceiling fan replaced with Ikea light fixture.

one afternoon i came home to find my dad ripping the siding off my house---surprise!

temporary wall to hold my house up while most of the back wall is being removed.

installing the sliding glass door.

the beginning of the fancy wainscoting.

(Another post written during the remodel…back in August!)

The After

(More info about my stuff on my Flickr notes.)

Before I moved into my house this past July, I already knew exactly what I wanted my dining room to  look like. I just didn’t know I would love it THIS much!

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indie market recap

The Second Storie Indie Market was simply wonderful. The show has grown significantly since last year in terms of attendance and vendors, but what remained the same was the warm, inviting atmosphere that Cris, JoAnn, Karen, Rachael, and Shanna worked so hard to create. It had a lot to do with the handmade paper bunting, I think. 😉

It was great to see some of last year’s vendors in person once again, as well as some of the same shoppers! Getting a chance to meet people face to face and hear so many sweet and genuine comments on your work never gets old.

I also enjoyed sharing my table space with a couple of my favorite sidekicks. Having a day to sit and chat together was really a treat for me.

Oh, but enough of this mushiness. On to the loot…

My first order of business was purchasing a pair of earrings from Amber of Mani Designs. I do not have a picture because they have not left my ear lobes long enough to sit for a photo shoot. You’ll have to trust me when I tell you they’re absolutely gorgeous.

I also left with a tumbler which is a collaborative project between Shanna Murray and Vicki Hartman. I knew exactly where I wanted to put it when I picked it out, and I think it is very happy in its new home in my dining room.

This tea towel by Shanna and Betsy of Hello Handmade (which looks so darn cute all tied up that I just haven’t had the heart to undo it!) will definitely be put to use in the kitchen, once I put the Christmas towels away….

…and this pillow by Lizz Switzer looks better than perfect in my living room.

Thanks to all of the vendors who traveled from near and far to make this show the high-quality event that it is, thanks to the Second Storie gang for all their hard work and thoughtfulness in putting the show together, and thanks to all of you who attended the show and stopped by my table to shop or chat! What a nice way to start the holiday season!

You can view more photos of the event on Ashley R. Thompson’s photostream, and read lots more about the show by following the links in the Second Storie post!

And while we’re sort of on the subject, allow me to do just a bit of housekeeping by pointing you in the direction of my holiday shopping info. I’m still working on restocking the shop, but feel free to contact me if there’s an item you are particularly interested in!

cyber monday!

I sold lots of jewelry at the Second Storie Indie Market this weekend, so I’m working on restocking the shop, but there are still lots of great items available, and it is Cyber Monday, so TODAY only, please enjoy 15% off your Small Bird order using discount code “cybermonday” at checkout! 🙂

second storie} indie market

If you’re going to be in the Rochester, NY area during the Thanksgiving weekend, stop by the Small Bird table at the Second Storie} Indie Market to say hi! It’s at the Visual Studies Workshop at 31 Prince Street on Saturday, November 28th (11am-6pm) and Sunday, November 29th (11am-4pm). Last year’s event was fantastic, and the artists who work behind the scenes have been busy making this year’s event even better. Check out the awesome vendor list…it’s a great opportunity to buy handmade for the holidays! Hope to see you there!

stamp happy

My taste in jewelry usually leans toward the fairly simple side. But while I appreciate clean, modern shapes, I still like my jewelry to have a little…something. For a while, I have been using precious metal clay to create textures and patterns in silver, but recently I’ve been experimenting with metal stamps.  At first I used them to add just a bit of detail to accent a gemstone, then I tried creating clusters of stamps as texture, and finally began using them as the center of interest (in place of a gemstone) in several jewelry pieces.  I’m really liking the results…

I keep adding new shapes to my metal stamp collection and playing with different combinations, trying to discover the patterns that best suit my aesthetic. I’ve also found myself wanting to create larger, slightly more involved pieces, too. Not that anything I make is huge, by any means, but it’s been really satisfying to create some pieces that take a little more time, more material, more work. Because sometimes less is more…and sometimes more is more.

hat fail

I started knitting Piper this summer. It was supposed to be a travel knitting project, but it was so much fun to knit that I had it nearly finished before I even left! But the closer I got to the end, the more doubtful I became in regard to this hat’s wearability. It took me forever to get around to blocking it. Because I was scared. Turns out, I was right.

My fears were realized. It’s wonky. The brim is a little too loose and the middle is a little too tight and the slouch isn’t as “slouchy” as it is “scrunchy.” And it doesn’t slouch/scrunch well on its own. I had to arrange…and arrange…and arrange the hat for the second photo. Not something you can grab as you’re running out the door, nor something you can trust to stay put and not leave you looking like a dork in public. And if you can’t trust your handknits, who can you trust?

I’ve definitely seen cute Pipers out there. This just ain’t one of ’em. It’s a shame because this hat has such great details like the cleverly constructed piping and the turned-under brim. Perhaps I should have knit the beanie version rather than the slouchy version, perhaps I should have double checked my gauge, perhaps I should have tried it on as I went. I do have to say that it was really a fun knit. I guess the other nice thing is that you never cut the main color, so that’ll make the yarn easier to reuse when I frog this thing. Drat.

living room

There are still quite a few things for me to do on my house (and the rest of the homeowners shout “well, DUH!”), but I actually have most of the rooms arranged and decorated to my satisfaction. The bulk of the work was done over the summer…morning, noon, and night…and I’m quite happy in my little nest. 

Here’s a “before” photo of my living room…

And the “after”…

I really didn’t do much except arrange (and rearrange…and rearrange…) my furniture and tchotchkes. I kept the taupey wall color, but I did paint the trim white to match the rest of the house. For some reason it was painted the color of gumwood. Which is definitely not the same as gumwood. At all. I incorporated a few vintage finds I’d collected from various garage sales and junk shops and Etsy sellers…

There’s a little nook on the other side of the room near the staircase…

My favorite part of the room is definitely the fireplace. It’s a gas insert, which I thought was incredibly cheeseball at first,  but as it turns out, I got used to that modern convenience right quick. Go figure. Now that the weather has cooled off, I’m SO enjoying knitting by the fire. 🙂

More pics on Flickr.