Category Archives: Meaningful Remnants

Papercrafting Station

Papercrafting Station

I decided to turn my secretary into a papercrafting station.

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The top section used to look like this filled with various tchotchkes

 

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while the drawers were filled with random miscellaneous stuff.

secretary drawers before

 

So I emptied everything out

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and replaced the fabric backing with a colorful paper background. I added back the things I like to look at or inspire me.

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Like a reminder to “DREAM” big

 

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and “SHOOT FOR THE MOON”.

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A couple of angel ornaments that are never put away

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and very important reminders of my triumphs too.

 

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What’s left of a childhood tea set

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and various stamps throughout.

 

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I’m so happy most everything I need is now in one place,

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a place for everything and everything in it’s place.

 

secretary table top

I’m ready to create!

 

This piece has come a long way since it’s painted  beginnings:). Sometimes I get the urge to paint it again and then I remember all the hours I spent stripping it and wimp ou every time. Who knows, never say never.

 

secretary before

 

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Meaningful Remnants

Meaningful Remnants

Hi and thanks for stopping by! I want to invite you to stop by my other blog, Meaningful Remnants where I bring attention to the unnoticed and insignificant remnants of everyday life that are just as important as the “big wows” in our lives. I tried resisting the urge to start over. I tried incorporating this new blogging direction into this blog, by changing the blog name to Meaningful Remnants, only to change it back again to The DIY Spot. I tried incorporating meaningful remnants into the tagline which seemed more of an after thought and less intentional. However, I could no longer stifle this part of my voice. It was time to stretch my blogging wings and take flight.

So, for now, I will be doing the blogging shuffle between The DIY Spot and Meaningful Remnants and post accordingly. It is my hope that this blogging divide will work itself out and I will find my way. Until then, I will continue to blog and wherever post falls, I sure hope you will be there too.

XOXXO
Joselyn

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Thanksgiving!  I decided to get a jump start on the table setting by doing it the night before. I wanted it to be a forethought instead of an afterthought. which usually happens when I get caught up in the meal preparation frenzy.

I used a blanket for  a table cloth. I’ve seen others do it and fell in love with the look. I like when part of the table is exposed.

Then I grabbed whatever I had and worked from there. When I ran out of these little mini wreaths

I continued the look with these mini pine cones.

I didn’t have a complete set of wine glasses so I pulled  these monogrammed glasses out of hiding.

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I think they will take our beverage of choice, sparkling cider, up a notch.

A small flower arrangement, and that’s it!

Nothing fancy. I like to think of it as basic casual elegance. That’s me.

Ready for a Thanksgiving dinner lunch since No. 1 son has to be at  work  for 4:(  If everything goes as planned  though, we will be sitting down at 2 pm.  But early is a good thing because you have the rest of the day to recuperate relax.

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Candle Remake Again

Candle Remake Again

My love affair with candles continues. The other day, I was in the mood for vanilla soy, not the beverage;  rather, the sweet essence of a vanilla soy candle permeating through the air. But I was all out. I had exhausted my supply.

candles

Instead of heading out to the store, I knew I was long overdue for another candle remake as I did here using all  the candle remnants I acquired over the last few months.

leftover candle remnants

 

When I did my last candle remake, I realized I used the wrong wick resulting in a tunnel burn down the center.

The type of wick matters and although a tunnel burn is good for certain types of candles, it’s not the desired outcome for a jar candle. Fortunately,  I  had purchased  this wood variety  on my last visit to Michaels; they are  especially made for jar candles.

 

wood candle wick

 

The “how to ” instructions on how to reuse your candle remnants can be found here.

candles

Now I have many more candle burning present moments ahead of  me to enjoy. It’s a reminder to appreciate the simpler side of everyday life.
candle remake
Do you share my candle love? Have a favorite candle aroma?

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Dining Room Table Part 2

Dining Room Table Part 2

I finally finished the dining room table I started a few weeks back.

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This is how it looked when I spotted it in a thrift store.

Thrift store dining room table

 

I took my time experimenting with this table. I didn’t want a solid painted surface and wanted some of the wood grain to be visible yet I wanted the parquet tiling to disappear.

dining room table paint experimenting

I tried various colors of  Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and then lightly sanding it but the parquet detail just didn’t want to go away.

So I thought I would try a wood graining tool to create a faux wood grain instead.

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Annie Sloan paired with a  wood graining tool? Unconventional? What can I say? I’m just an unconventional kind of girl! LOL

I used  Annie Sloan Old White and a thin layer of Paris Gray, followed by subtle distressing and a few coats of clear wax, Finally, I achieved the look I had envisioned.

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I cleared everything out of the dining room and moved it in from the garage..

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An easy task since it meant relocating one piece of furniture,  the sideboard.

I just wanted to start from scratch,

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like the empty frame hanging on the wall. Rather symbolic, wouldn’t you say? Now I have two blank canvases to fill and layer slowly and thoughtfully over time. I think it’s obvious what’s top on my list? Yes, the 70′s or is it *80′s ceiling fan.

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Having gone chandelier shopping too many times,  purchasing a vintage chandelier on impulse and later falling out of love with it,  I think I finally found “the one”. Anxious for it to arrive from World Market.

Until then, I’m enjoying my unconventional Annie Sloan Chalk Paint finish.

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I hope you do too. What do you think?

 

 

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Natural Dyes and Paints

Natural Dyes and Paints

I took a natural dyeing class at the Museum of Arts and Design. It was a fun experience and I was so glad I attended. I am always drawn to the natural approach to any process and the avoidance of chemicals whenever possible so this class was right up my alley. The Fall 2014 issue of my favorite magazine,  Do It Yourself,  had a whole section on natural dyeing and  this class was a great opportunity to learn even more. The instructor, Isa Rodrigues, is an artist in residence at the museum and  is the Adult Programs Director at  the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn. The actual process is simple and requires very little  in terms of supplies. Large pots, strainer and  bowls, containers, mordants and various plant materials. Mordants act as a bridge between the fiber and the dye. natural dye materials 9997 The plant materials are shredded into the pots to which water is added.   flower petals 0011a This mixture is heated and turned off before it reaches a boiling temperature. flower petals in water  0015 The plant material is strained from the liquid to which the mordant treated fabric is placed into the strained liquid. classmates 0035 The mixture  is being stirred gently to ensure even coverage.  After a half hour and a great question and answer exchange with the instructor, the dyed swatches  that looked like this. natural dye swatches 0037 The cotton and silk  fabrics received the dye differently; the silk resulted in a more brilliant color while the cotton swatches had a more dull and muted appearance. Here is the dye process using pokeberries. Although toxic to humans if ingested, it appears to have medicinal qualities when cooked. pokeberry tryptic 505x189 What  I love about this process is that it is highly experimental and the results aren’t always predictable. It requires a trial and error approach and is sure to take full advantage of one’s creative abilities. By the way,  you can also make natural paints as well. I attended a free class hosted by The Textile Arts Center. Here is my swatch card from the class. The same paint was used on both sides; however, the right side was primed with Gesso.  It was very informative, as well, and it opened up a new set of creative doors for me. natural paint swatch 001 What do you think? Do your find natural dyes and paints intriguing? Have you tried either one before?

My Seedlings Are All Grown Up!

My Seedlings Are All Grown Up!

Remember these tiny seedlings?

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I am finally starting to see the fruits of my labor. My seedlings have matured and are now flowering. The tomatoes are growing nicely.

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The peppers are starting to appear as well

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Just a few days prior, I had mostly lush green growth with very few blooms . So I took the advice of  Elisabeth over at  Artistic Expressions by Elisabeth  and treated them with  Epson Salt. So I did just that before going away for a few days. When I returned little flowers had emerged everywhere and a few tomatoes as well.

The seedlings matured faster in these City Picker Garden Bed kits than they did in the ground. It was a rough start at first. One of the wheels didn’t stay in the socket and later collapsed. That was a big deal since portability is one of the key features.

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The plastic cover acting as mulch secured by a over sized rubber band popped by day 3. I was annoyed but when I called the company and they offered to send me a replacement container and more bands I was satisfied. Although, the rubber band popped again the foliage holds the plastic  layer in place.

As for the ones I planted in the ground. although I staked it early on, it grew it so fast  and unruly while I was away that it was difficult to untangle the new growth in an orderly fashion.

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I did the best I could using gardening tape, but it remains a hot mess.  That’s okay, though,  aesthetics  isn’t the goal; the produce it yields is all that matters . Stay tuned……

What”s going on in your garden?

A Blogging Metamorphosis

A Blogging Metamorphosis

It’s been over a month, one month and two days to be exact, since my last post During that time, I sat down to write countless times. I would start typing and a feeling of uneasiness would take over.    I would stop, walk away only to return days later to an uncompleted post. Blogging used to be so much easier for me. Lately, it has been feeling forced. I’m at a crossroads. I want to continue blogging and sharing  but perhaps in a different way and about different things. I’ve been doing some soul searching lately but the answers are taking their time to manifest. And so, I find myself  in limbo, not sure what to do. Does that make any sense? If it doesn’t, that’s okay; I’m confused as well. What I don’t want to do is create filler posts that don’t represent my true voice because authenticity is very important to me. I want whatever I’m writing about to originate from within,  a special  gift from me to you.     I noticed that life lately has been filled with too many blurs and unfocused  moments.

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Blurred moments are a reminder that I am not living with intention. A couple of weeks ago, I was co-facilitating a workshop entitled ” The Happy Life Guide” and gave a talk on journaling.

journal and a pen

It was a great experience because journaling has played a major role in my life offering me clarity, vision and focus.

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I’ve written about my journaling experiences here and here.  It was a treat to share my experience in the hopes of inspiring others to give it a try.  Journaling, on an as needed basis, works for me. The frequency varies according to what is going on in my life.  However,  if I put it off when I feel the need to do so, I can literally feel myself getting off kilter. Like journaling, I decided not to be so consumed with the quantity of my posts and focus all my efforts on the authenticity of my messages and blog when I have something I truly want and need to say. With that in mind  blogging pauses will be inevitable; however,  rather than  force myself to post for the sake of posting, instead,  I will look forward to and wait for the nudge from within to share and connect with you. Do you have a life practice that keeps you grounded and on point? Also, for the bloggers out there, can you relate to my blogging quandary? Any advice?

Is it Spring Yet?

Is it Spring Yet?

The calendar says it’s spring but the outdoor elements tell me otherwise. It snowed a couple of days ago! I am so ready for spring and to get my mind off the cold weather, I have directed my thoughts toward exercising my green thumb.

I couldn’t resist and bought some seed packets the other day. This will be my first attempt growing veggies from seeds.

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I just wish I would have thought of this a few weeks ago as I should have started them weeks ago. As you might already know, I am the perpetual late gardener. Planting schedules and protocol overwhelm me so I just wing it and go with my gut.  Am I always successful? Nope. But I do have fun pushing the limits and experimenting. Here’s my theory though – Late start to spring = late end to summer, giving me enough time to catch up.

And my last visit to Home Depot, I saw some flowers I’ve never seen before. I don’t know their name. The sign just said perennials.

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They looked like a colorful cross between a mushroom (shape) and a marigolds (texture), if that makes any sense.

No label for this one either but they sure are pretty.

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Do you recognize either of them?

This one was labeled, Vigoro and it’s an annual.

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I’m ready to make a change as I usually gravitate toward Begonias or Impatiens. But seeing that the chill in the air is lingering, I have a little more time to decide.

Also exploring vertical gardening options since my back yard has limited in ground planting space. I do mostly container gardening. I have big plans for this growing season. The trick is turning these plans into reality.

Have any green thumb plans of your own?