Tinted Lip Balm

Now that I am done with mosaic, I have time to make soaps and other body products, and of course go thrifting again.
Here is some tinted lip balm I made yesterday. The tint is achieved with alkanet root powder, which I infused into olive oil. When I made the trial batch of lip balm, I simply added the powder to the melted oils, which did not quite work out, because it left them grainy with tiny little red particles of alkanet root showing. So I discarded that batch, and infused the oils with the powder. In order to speed up the infusion process, I put the root powder and oil into a glass jar, which I then put on top of a submerged washcloth in a small pot, filled 1/3 with water and let it simmer on low, for about 6 hours. It is important to check the water level and adjust as necessary. I then strained the oil through a coffee filter and used the filtered oil in my lip balm recipe.
While the lip balm color looks very intense, it is actually pretty light, and provides just a hint of tint,
hence the name Hint of Tint.
Of course I neglected to take pictures of every step again, but I am sure there are plenty of instructions to be found elsewhere on the internet.
Today I might try out the beet powder I purchased to see if it creates a different, more intense color.

Finished Mosaic Piece

I just finished this mosaic for a shower in a local home, that I have been commissioned to create.
The black scroll design mimics the wrought iron of the front door of this house. The material is polished travertine. The piece measures 5ft by 30 in. It took about a month to complete.
As usual, I became attached to the piece and was sad to see it go. It was installed yesterday, and I will post pictures of the piece installed, once it is grouted and cleaned up.



Well, this post is different from what I usually blog about. Here is the deal:
my oldest daughter lives in Sweden. She finished her masters degree in graphic design from the University of Gothenburg in 2013, and decided to stay in Sweden. She has been trying to find a job with no luck. She has been working online, taking on small jobs to support herself, but now her savings are running out. She has a lot of talent, but not a whole lot of luck. Below is a link to a site called Patreon, where you can help her out, if you would like to. You don't have to donate if you do not want to,  just sharing the link on your Facebook, or Twitter, or whatever social media account you use would be a great help.

Thanks to all of you, willing to help,


I am back!

I did not realize it has been that long since I last wrote anything in this blog! It has been over a year and a half!
Well, during that time I took on a public art piece, built in Ikea "Billy" shelves, refinished a side table, dragged home numerous other pieces of furniture that still need to be refinished, found a lot of beautiful items at thrift stores and made a lot of soap.
The public art piece took over a year from conception to completion, and, as it always happens when I take on a big project, took over my entire life. During the time I worked on the mosaic called Partners, my household was completely neglected, and even though I finished at the beginning of this year, I am still trying to deal with the fallout. Oh what a mess!
If you would like to see pictures of the project, here is the link:

Here are some of the pictures of the numerous other projects I have completed and some of the items I have found while thrifting.

Imperial Glass Lace Edged Katy Blue cups circa 1935

Two vintage Noritake lustreware plates in exceptional condition from the 1910s

A Rosenthal bowl with a sterling silver foot, also like new.

8 pristine W.H. Grindley "Sunday Morning" cereal bowls that appear to have never been used

The list of finds goes on and on, so much, that I have dedicated one of the spare bedrooms to store all of my treasures. Hopefully I will find the time to take pictures and list them in MY ETSY STORE soon. 

This is a Drexel side table I found at my local Goodwill store for $7. It had lots of stains and rough areas and needed a lot of attention. With some wood filler, oil based primer, a lot of sanding, several cans of spray paint, 4 casters and two handles I had left over from the desk I built in my studio, it turned out pretty well. 



Some pics of the built in Ikea Billy shelves. Please keep in mind the pictures were taken with an older phone, so the quality is not as good as I would like it.
There are many tutorials on how to build in these bookcases, so I did not deem it necessary to provide step by step instructions. 


New Batch of Cold Process Soap

I finally managed to make two small batches of shaving and facial soap. This is the first time since I have returned from Europe in mid July and I was running very low on inventory.
I made a new "flavor" called White Tea, Ginger and Honey. I added some Vanilla EO and it smells "yummy".
I also made a batch of my regular Prickly Pear, Tea Tree Oil soap. Both should be ready for sale in my Etsy store in about 4 weeks, just in time for the Christmas season.


Vintage Dresser Update

Remember that beautiful yellow vintage dresser I dragged home? Well it is completed, and like the bed I built, it is in my daughter's new apartment. I thought it was beautiful in its original condition, but it did not match her decor, so like the bed, it was spray painted with Krylon Dover White. The original hardware, which I kept, was replaced by pink porcelain flower knobs. Here is the before picture again, followed by a picture of the finished dresser. One of the knobs on the doors is not installed yet, and the top of the dresser is not decorated yet.
I found a beautiful vintage 3 tier glass and silver tidbit, on which she stores her jewelry. She also added some vintage crystal candy jars and other decorative items.

More Finished Furniture

I have been busy working on pieces of furniture I found at thrift stores for my daughter's new apartment. The solid wood head and foot board were made by John Smyth Furniture Co in Chicago. I built the side rails out of regular wood from Lowes and then used 2x2s along the bottom of the rails as a base for the wood slats.
I then spray primed with Rustoleum Ultra Cover 2x and painted the entire bed with Krylon Dover White spray paint. All in all, the project turned out well, and the bed looks great. Of course I did not take many pictures, so below find the ones I did take.
The photograph of the finished bed is not very good quality, and I will try and take a better one next time I visit my daughter's apartment.


Refinished Furniture

Well it has been a month and 2 weeks that I have been back from my European vacation. I spent 2 months and 5 days in Europe and had a wonderful time.
Since I have been back, I have completed a few projects:
I finished the chairs I found when I went dumpster diving in our local Target's dumpster. They are now in my daughter's new apartment.

I also finished the night stand, which now functions as an end table. It was painted a very light mint color, had feet and new white porcelain knobs added. It is also in my daughter's apartment. The color in the photo is not quite accurate. It is a little more intense.


Bridal Brooch Bouquet

Thought I would put this beautiful bouquet on my blog. It is for sale in  my daughter's Etsy store.
It is made of silk and satin flowers, rhinestone button and brooches. The lovely mix of colors makes it compatible with white, off white and many other color wedding dresses.
Make sure you check out her shop as she has more pretty items and is using the money she makes to pay for grad school.


Furniture Finds

In the last couple weeks I stopped at Savers to see if they had anything exciting, and sure enough I found 2 pieces of furniture that are going to look great once I am done with them.
I found a solid wood swivel office chair, which bears a remarkable resemblance to one I have been lusting after in the Pottery Barn catalog, but couldn't justify buying with a $399 price tag. Price of the one I found; around $20. Granted, it needs a coat of paint. I am going to paint it cream color and put a nice colorful cushion on it. You be the judge on how closely they resemble each other.

I also found a 1977 Thomasville nightstand. This needs a little more work than the chair, but it is a good quality piece of furniture, with all wooden dovetailed drawers and no missing pieces. I think I am going to paint this a cream color also and maybe even add some feet. Since it is quite big, it might even function as a side table. This piece was a steal at $6.