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We had a lot on our to-dos this weekend, but when it came down to it, our bodies needed rest. It’s been a brain-busy month as we prepare for the launch of our new Shop (coming soon!), and by the end of the past work week, nothing sounded better than afternoon naps and lazy drinks on our half finished patio. We took that as a sign to slow down and relax (sticking to our new years resolution), but we did complete a fun and simple project that’d been on the back burner since we picked up these three thrifty vessels months ago:

Sunday afternoon, we went to Sprout Home on a mission for a few air plants to throw in the glass vases for the patio and call it a day. The problem – if you want to call it that – is how inspiring that store is. One thing lead to another, and while we did leave with two Tillandsias, we also came home with a tiny aloe plant, charcoal and a penguin (because you know I love them, right?). After a quick stop at the pet store, we picked up vibrant aquarium gravel, too.

The smaller vases got a punch of color with the teal gravel and Tillandsia, and I added a few stems of dried billy buttons we had on hand. We created a mini terrarium out of the tallest vessel, starting first with a layer of gravel, followed by charcoal and topped with soil. (You can see our terrarium process from this post of yore.) Our teeny penguin makes it, we think.

The cheerful trio lives on our patio, although we can also see them as unique centerpieces for a potluck buffet, too. (Or, even better, how about a handmade hostess gift?) Slowly but surely, our outdoor room is coming together; pillows have been stitched, a rug has been chosen, and new chairs (eee!) are en route. And now that we have a penguin, well, things are good.

We know we’ve, er, taken the lives of a few terrariums in the past (although number 3 is holding up well, thank you), but have you given it a go? Here’s hoping our filtered patio sun will keep our new gang kicking.

  • Kaitlin - June 4, 2012 - 8:50 PM

    So adorable! I can’t decide whether your lovely terrariums mean I have to visit Sprout Home this weekend, or have to stay away at all costs! :)ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 5, 2012 - 9:24 AM

      Kaitlin, you must go! Even if just to browse, you’ll start getting lots of great ideas.ReplyCancel

  • Kaitlin - June 5, 2012 - 6:48 PM

    That is exactly what I am afraid of- but you’re right, I’ll be heading over there soon!ReplyCancel

  • Evelisa - June 6, 2012 - 2:28 PM

    The penguin adds the cute factor into your outdoor spaceReplyCancel

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For the last month, we’ve been hard at work on a Pet Shop overhaul that will debut in a few short weeks. You know this, and you’ve even given us a boost of inspiration when we unabashedly felt that aching twinge – the one that says you’re in over your head. It seems that no matter how large or small the project (whether it’s flower boxes or the still unpainted console or, you know, creating a whole new Shop), we face that moment of uncertainty. And it’s at that point that we try and remind ourselves that it’s not a bad feeling; we’re uncertain because it’s new. We’re scared because it’s exciting.

Last week, I finished my first 8×8 painting – one of the 3 main ingredients for the new Pet Shop (alongside collaborating with animal rescues and a rate structure shake up, see more right here). Having grown accustomed to my pint-sized 4x4s and heftier 6x6s, I’ll admit – I was uncertain. While it might not sound so large for my fussing, it’s almost double the square inches of a 6×6 and a generous four times the square inches of the original 4x4s. I’ve painted larger canvases in my life (college days, oh hey!), but I’d been riding the rhythm of our mini, modern portraits. There’s a fuzzy charm to be had with tiny art, and I liked that. Yes, I was improving and growing, but I was comfortable.

It was a long time coming, and after (many, many) months of behind-the-scenes requests for a larger size, I turned to our very own Maddie as my ever-loyal test subject, pretty in pink.

Upon completion, this meant a shuffle of our constantly-evolving small art wall (can you believe it looked like this three years ago?), and we think she pushed the limits of what we’d been considering small. She dominates that wall, which is fitting, really. She rules this roost.

But I digress. While mixing my paints to get Maddie’s fur just right, I started wondering what I’d been so afraid of. The new size encouraged those larger eyes and a sweet, pink life-sized nose.

And as her portrait evolved into that girl we’ve loved for the last nine years, it became clear that I was scared for all the right reasons. Turns out, there’s a certain charm in the larger sizes, too.

The 8×8 size will be available when the new Pet Shop debuts in mid-June. Follow along on Facebook and Twitter for updates on the official launch date!

  • Rachel - June 1, 2012 - 7:17 AM

    Wow! How beautiful :-) I love the larger size and I think it looks amazing on your wall with the other portraits (pups might get jealous though… They say they want theirs as big as well haha).
    Hope you have a great weekend! Happy happy Friday :-)ReplyCancel

  • Carrie @DreamGreenDIY - June 1, 2012 - 7:53 AM

    Oh my goodness she (and the painting) are beautiful…Waiting with bated breath for the new pet shop reveal and for our own portraits to make their way to our wall!!ReplyCancel

  • Sam - June 1, 2012 - 8:58 AM

    I think it looks great!

    SamReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 1, 2012 - 9:07 AM

      Thank you, everyone! Happy Friday to you, too!ReplyCancel

  • Jaimie - June 1, 2012 - 9:15 AM

    looks great!ReplyCancel

  • dave - June 1, 2012 - 5:10 PM

    Kimbo,
    Miss Maddie never looked so good! Can’t wait for the grand opening of the new PET SHOP.ReplyCancel

  • Jen - June 3, 2012 - 8:15 PM

    What a CUTE!! Great move going larger. One day I swear!!! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Evelisa - June 6, 2012 - 2:33 PM

    In the larger one you could appreciate the details more. Maddie looks so pretty.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 7, 2012 - 9:25 AM

      Evelisa, we think so too – the larger size allows for much more detail.ReplyCancel

  • Susan G - June 7, 2012 - 11:48 AM

    Love it…looks similar to my bengal Charlie so I would definitely be interested in purchasing one!ReplyCancel

  • Emma - June 11, 2012 - 9:51 AM

    Wow! That looks smashing. Great job Kim. I’m sure you’ll be getting a lot of requests for the 8×8. Good luck!ReplyCancel

  • Mary - June 27, 2012 - 11:54 AM

    So cute! I need to get one of these for my sister.

    You should try hanging one of your canvasses over your buzzer if you want to hide it totally. I did it here http://homemade-handmade.net/2012/06/22/what-buzzer-and-the-rest-of-my-hallway/ and it works really well!ReplyCancel

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We spent a short day and a half in Cincinnati over the holiday weekend, making the rounds cuddling our best friends’ babies, lounging poolside and brunching with family. As we usually do, we made a point to hit the Kellogg flea on Saturday morning (always a favorite, seen here). The charm in the un-curated collection of booths (a stark contrast to our hometown Randolph Flea Market, another goody) and never know what you’re gonna find mentality gets our junk-searching hearts revved.

In one hour, we spent $7 and left with 7 items. In addition to three pairs of earrings ($2), a vintage smoking pipe ($3) and a spotless copy of Rumours for our vinyl collection ($1), we came home with two owls ($1).

We’re not even owl-y people. We’ve never owned any owl knick knacks, and the closest we’ve come to welcoming one in our home was a butter dish from West Elm (that we passed on; although cute, it just felt wrong buying a fake vintage dish at full price). So when I stumbled across the table of a former owl-hoarder during our flea run, I reminded myself that I have no special attachments to owls, and I must move on. But when she told me I could pick two for a buck, I suddenly needed them.

The white ceramic guy found a home on a studio shelf, as-is. The taller, much heavier silver owl – we’ve no idea what it’s made of, but it’s a good 5 pounds – was in much need of a makeover. Enter 2 coats of Liquid Leaf, my new favorite (as seen here on my puppy bust!).

He took the place of Harry on our media wall -  a simple switch but a nice one, too.

As for names, how about Hootie? Or, er, is that too obvious? In any case, we welcome warmer weather and flea season with open arms and equally open wallets. You don’t know what you need until you’ve found it. Case in point.

  • Alexis - May 30, 2012 - 12:34 PM

    Name it Bubo after the mechanical owl from Clash of the Titans (the original)!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea B - May 31, 2012 - 1:13 PM

    Is it terrible that I really want you to adopt a ceramic blowfish now, and put them side by side?ReplyCancel

  • Kalli - May 31, 2012 - 6:24 PM

    Love owls. The gold one reminds me of that artist we met in Palm Springs, with his bird busts.

    I’m a little jealous of the Rumours find, that is (currently) my favorite album of all time. Have you ever seen this http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0180697/ about the making of it? It’s on Netflix and worth watching.ReplyCancel

    • Kim - June 1, 2012 - 9:10 AM

      Bubo could work, haha!

      Kalli, it reminds me of that too! We have flat black spray paint, but gold was more our style. Rumours was one of those albums that we used to have, and I think it got lost in the shuffle when we moved from Cincinnati to Chicago. We’ve been on the hunt for it again since then, but were unable to find a working condition album for less than a small fortune. I’ll have to look up that film on Netflix – thank you!ReplyCancel

  • Katie - June 5, 2012 - 3:03 PM

    I love the remodeled gold owl – looks gorgeous – I can’t believe you got them both for $1! What a bargain!ReplyCancel

  • CourtneyOutLoud - June 7, 2012 - 7:25 PM

    I love a good painted owl. I have one in my own home….ReplyCancel

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