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Jewelry Box Makeover

Jewelry Box Makeover

One thing I wanted to focus on in the new year was creating more. I’ve never been much of a “crafter,” and I’m not creative at all, but this kind of project was perfect for my insane anal-retentiveness and lack of creative skill!

Well, that and a new jewelry box would run me way over $100.

So, I set out to find a vintage jewelry box to paint. My husband found one at an antique mall nearby for around $20 (which we later found out came from the thrift store next door…thanks to a $3 tag on the bottom…dicks). The rest of the supplies came out to around $20, and the whole thing was done in a couple afternoons! Re-lining the inside with grey felt was the hardest part – that took the bulk of my time and frustration, but it turned out better than I expected.

While the paint needs to be fixed on the front (stupid drips and cracks), overall it turned out amazing. Costing under $40 also made this a far cheaper option than a new one, and now I know that I can do this with much, much cheaper jewelry boxes in the future, should I ever need more room for my (super small) collection!

Spooky Fireplace

Spooky Fireplace

I’m not a huge fan of decorating for Halloween, but this year I thought I’d try to at least update our mantle with a few spooky details we had around the house. As it turns out, we had plenty of things around the house that worked! I’m hoping that, with a few small changes, this will work for the rest of fall too!

Here’s what I started with:

Spooky Fireplace

Our mantle is always a hodgepodge of stuff that I like, and a few things my husband threw up there recently. Sorry for the fuzzy picture – our living room is basically a cave, and taking decent photos in there is pretty much impossible. 

To start, I cleared everything off the mantle and gave it a good cleaning/dusting. Then, I went around the house and found a bunch of things I thought might work. Yes, we had the skull lying around – it belongs to my husband, and while I don’t remember why he has it, I knew it would be perfect. I also dug up some old books, and a few candle holders I bought recently on clearance at Michaels. 

Spooky Fireplace

The antique books have a piece of styrofoam under them, so hopefully that will keep them from sticking to the mantle. I also found a few Halloween-appropriate books in my husband’s collection, which I just removed the dust jackets and placed up there. The owl is my old makeup brush holder, and the black votive holder with the bird came in a set of three from Michaels for $3.

Spooky Fireplace

On the right, I added the copper candle holder, which was another clearance item from Michaels (I think it was $3-4 or something). The other stuff on the mantle are things we had around the house that fit into the fall color scheme, and will probably stay up until I get all Christmas-y around here in December. 

Spooky Fireplace

After about 20 minutes of fussing around, this is what I ended up with:

Spooky Fireplace

While I would have loved to replace the Monet print with something more fall-friendly, I never found a good replacement for it. Ideally, I’d love to find a mirror to put there to add more light, but I’m still on the lookout for a great antique one. 

While it’s definitely not over-the-top, I think it’s a great, subtle update that works for the season!

Easy Green: Potting House Plants

Potting House PlantsI have a bit of a confession to make today: I’m terrible at keeping houseplants alive. The worst part is that I love having plants in my home – I just have a terrible track record of keeping them around.

I’ve killed african violets, bonsai trees, ivy, cacti, hibiscus, hydrangeas, and anything else that has come into my home. No matter how high or low maintenance a plant is, I will find a way to destroy it.

Most of my problem has to do with neglect, to be honest – remembering to water something I don’t look at every day is tough for me (note to self: set a reminder on your phone). Another problem I’ve faced over the years is that the apartments we’ve lived in aren’t great for plants.

Our current apartment doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight – mostly in the morning or early afternoon, and only on one side of the apartment. I can’t keep plants in our living room or bedroom because of it, which is a bummer because I’ve always wanted a jungle in my bedroom…haha. I’ve also lived in apartments that had bug problems, mold, super dry air from heat or a/c, and even one where my houseplants got stolen after I left them outside to soak up the sun. It’s like plant ownership just isn’t in the cards for me.

Even though I have such a crap track record, I got some smaller plants for my office. I wanted something to spruce up my bare office area, and hopefully with me spending so much time here, I’ll remember to water them…but not too much.   Potting House Plants A few weeks ago, while D was out of town, I decided to pick up some supplies to get me started. I found a couple small pots at a local thrift store for $1 each, and on the way home I grabbed a couple small plants, potting soil, and small rocks.

I think in total I spent under $15 on the whole thing, and I had enough dirt left over to re-pot my only larger plant that desperately needed it.  Potting House Plants I started out by adding an inch or so of rocks to the bottom of each pot. I don’t normally do this, but since neither pot had holes on the bottom, I thought this might help for now. If I find that it doesn’t help with drainage, I’ll find pots with holes.

For now, it seems to be working just fine. I also did some research online about which potting mix to use, and this one was pretty well reviewed, so I went with it. I’m sure I could Martha Stewart it and make my own potting mix, but who has time for that?Potting House Plants

After potting my new plants, I gave them a good watering and left them outside for the afternoon while I neglected cleaning up the mess I made. I eventually got around to cleaning it up, I swear!

So far, both plants are doing alright. I tried putting the green one in our bedroom, but it started sagging after a couple days, so it’s back in the office. I guess I’m just not meant to have my jungle bedroom just yet.

If these manage to survive, I’m looking forward to adding more to the house. I’m doing more research into growing herbs, since I’m getting tired of paying $2 every week for chives to put in my scrambled eggs, and I hear basil is practically impossible to kill – though if anyone could do it, it would be me.