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Sunday, November 29

Thanksgiving table

My little guy is finally at the age where he is (generally) interested in helping with things like planning the Thanksgiving table.  This year, we began months ago by collecting the incredibly beautiful leaves that decorated the sidewalk along the way to school, and popped them in some big dictionaries (that's what they are for, right?) to be pressed.

The centerpiece of the table came to me when a friend excitedly texted about a free pile of red barn wood in a local farming community.  I selected one of the prettiest pieces, cut it down with the trusty chop saw, and gave it a nice coat of paste wax.  Done. 

The placecards (for the looks, not because I am a controlling person) were created from the stump of our Christmas tree from last year.  I patted myself on the back several times for (1) saving it; and (2) remembering where I saved it.  The hearts on the cards are all Gus.

The placecards really inspired the rest of the table, which focused on simplicity, nature, repurposed items (naturally) and the reds and oranges of the season.  I pulled out the acorns I had felted a few years ago.  If you haven't tried felting, I can't recommend it highly enough.  It involves stabbing a needle into a piece of fabric repeatedly, which it just super fun, if not a little dangerous.  

I treated myself (and my guests, of course) to some new plates (thank you Ikea, for your simple design and outrageously low prices) and napkins, which are really restaurant-quality dish towels, which meant the price was outstanding.  I tried futzing with some uphostery webbing for napkin rings, but then defaulted to the tried and true bakery twine.  To finish it all off, Gus and I collected some beautiful bittersweet (invasive, I know, but I didn't plant it).  

And here's the calm, awaiting the storm of family, friends and joy:

salvaged bottles

tea light holders - only newly purchased item 
on the table - couldn't resist

croquet mallets turned candlesticks

Wednesday, November 11

not your bubbe's menorahs (plus some epic menorah fails)

Menorahs like this are nice, traditional, and maybe the exact menorah your bubbe uses:

Maybe it's time to shake things up in your household a little bit. But not this much:

Or this much:

Also, I don't think you should wear your menorah:

 (particularly without a shames)

And Christmas-themed menorahs really seem to defeat the purpose:

But how about a lovely menorah from beautiful repurposed materials, including wooden spools that your bubbe might actually have used? That's what I'm talking about.

special shames hardware...

...from the special menorah hardware box

convenient numbering

reckless shames placement 
(don't mention it to bubbe)


more reckless shames placement

Sunday, November 8

piano guts!

I've been at my repurposing shenanigans long enough that when friends are, say, dismantling a piano to repurpose the frame into a bar(a piano bar! HAH!), they naturally email me to see if I want the guts.  Of course I do.  And these are such good friends, they had already done the hard work, boxed the keys and helped me load the car. 

Here's the piano frame, which will make a gorgeous bar (I made them promise to send photos when it's done, which I will post):

cute toes!

And here are the innards:

keys, lots of keys


moth proofed, what a relief

conveniently numbered!

I didn't have much time today (the husband working and watching Gus simultaneously, always a harrowing experience), so I started with a simple project using the keyframe, which appears to quite literally frame the keys:

The wood wasn't that exciting, so I took off all of the cute little felt buttons and got to painting.  I then replaced all the cute little felt buttons (because they are cute, and authentic), and created several lovely hangers for keys, tea towels or what have you: