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Because Scott and I are total suckers for our four-legged kids, we’re offering up a treat for that very special  pet lover in your life (even if that person is you!). Of course now’s the perfect time – you know, with Valentine’s Day around the corner and all – so today through Friday, all Pet Shop gift certificates are 14% off (in honor of the day itself) when you use the code LOVEMYPET.

Orders placed during this special promotion will automatically be upgraded to Priority Mail shipping,* allowing for a timely Lover’s Day arrival and alleviating that last minute what-do-I-get-her/him sweat (because let’s face it, we’ve been there, too). As a side effect of your sweet gift giving skills, you’ll be known as the greatest gift-er in all the land – and who knows what that can lead to.

See your Pet Shop gift certificate options here!

Above, Petey is painted on a 6×6 panel; photo taken with Instagram.

*Priority Mail shipping of the certificate is a free upgrade as part of this promotion. Cost of shipping includes pre-paid postage for the finished portrait(s) and will be applied at checkout. Delivery by the 14th is only guaranteed within the United States and orders placed no later than Friday, February 8th. 

  • Carolyn - February 5, 2013 - 9:11 AM

    Everything you do is OH SO immensely lovely, but what would you say is the most popular size? Do most people with two dogs tend to get individual paintings? I’m pretty darn excited about this sale :-)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 5, 2013 - 9:25 AM

    Hi Carolyn, to be honest, everyone is so different in what they prefer! If you’re planning on doing a little mini gallery wall, separate canvases can look very cute – or you could put one pup in your office and one in the kitchen. But 2 pooches on the same canvas can also be sweet, especially if they’re inseparable best buds!

    My suggestion is to think where you’d like your portraits to end up, and choose a size and pet-per-canvas that makes the most sense. At the same time, their adorable size makes them easy to move from room to room. So many things to think about for the love of our pets!ReplyCancel

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While we continue this funny dance of limbo-living, we’ve had to make a few decisions on somewhat de-personalizing our very, very personal bathroom. Because as I’ve brought up recently, it’s the only room in our whole home with our faces – quite literally – plastered all over the walls.

Naturally, our first step was to get all those photo strips down and replace it with something different. This wasn’t a problem, since we’ve been itching to get our quirky cobra-battling-mongoose (and bison and baby anteater!) out of a tube and onto a wall:

You might remember that we picked those guys up at a Paris flea market during that whirlwind weekend last summer (remember when Scott cried? Aw.), and while I wasn’t totally on board with them at first (Scott insisted that we needed cobra art in our lives), I have to admit that I’m really loving them in our bathroom:

Oddly enough, we discussed displaying them in charcoal colored frames, and our idea was to snag a trio of Ikea Ribbas (our favorite) and just paint them. But in a stroke of luck, Ribbas are now sold in a high gloss gray (who knew?!), so it was less work for us – always a plus. Due to the odd sizing of the prints themselves, we were unable to use the provided mats, so I just purchased them from Frames By Mail. (Their Matte Designer is awesome, easy, and super affordable; see how we do it right here.)

They’re sort of nutty, kind of educational (I mean, each print is labeled with its corresponding animal in French; come on!) and pretty perfect. Unexpected art in the bathroom is our favorite kind, so it works. Sure, we’re a little sad to see those strips get tucked away for now, but it’s no secret that we like a little change around here every now and then.

What sort of things are on display in your bathroom? You know what I mean.

  • Annalena - February 1, 2013 - 7:05 AM

    The new prints look great, and I agree, unexpected is more fun. I’m wondering though, where did the towel hooks come from? I LOVE them.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 1, 2013 - 8:07 AM

    Thanks, Annalena! All the hooks came from Anthropologie several years ago.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda {Our Humble Abode} - February 1, 2013 - 8:09 AM

    I love that your art is always fun, quirky, and (mostly) animal related. :) And the frames, love the gray!ReplyCancel

  • Julia [Chris Loves Julia] - February 1, 2013 - 8:42 AM

    You consistently make good art decisions. These are no exception. I love fine art in the bathroom. We put a whole slew in our laundry room/half bath and it makes the biggest impact in a space you normally wouldn’t expect to see art. But why?

    I saw those new charcoal frames the last time we were at Ikea and I got excited. So smart. And the work really well in your bathroom. Not tooooo stark.

    P.s. When are you going to get a mat cutter?? ;)ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 1, 2013 - 9:28 AM

    Thanks, Amanda! Funny, we never really think of our art being animal related, but people always point that out! We never realized that until recently – weird, I know.

    Julia, the last time I cut my own mat was almost 10 years ago in college! You know I’m a perfectionist, so I ended up wasting matboard because the corners weren’t perfect. For now, believe it or not, this is the most cost effective – buying them! :)ReplyCancel

  • Bethany - February 1, 2013 - 9:32 AM

    Great art, but I love those framed photo strips, too! Please tell me you’ll find a use for them somewhere else.ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 1, 2013 - 9:42 AM

    Bethany, we hope to! For now, we’ve tucked them in a clear vase that’s sitting on our media wall, so I guess they are sort of on display after all!ReplyCancel

  • casacaudill - February 1, 2013 - 2:27 PM

    OMG. I *love* the honey badger & cobra one. Please tell me you’ve seen that video.ReplyCancel

  • Scott - February 1, 2013 - 5:48 PM

    Of course we love the honey badger! This print, however, is a mongoose vs. a cobra. National Geographic makes the best videos. Behold!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdg9gkmWsEAReplyCancel

  • Dad - February 1, 2013 - 7:02 PM

    Scott,
    In our bathroom, we have displayed, your Irish Grandpa’s Hibernian shillelagh, an Irish walking stick. This stick was used to defend the Irish Catholic Church from the “natives” in America who hated the Irish and made numerous attempts to burn down their churches. This stick is of such cultural importance to our family, that you would need an AK-47 to take it from us. And our family is Hungarian! Go figure. Same plight!
    Love,
    DadReplyCancel

  • Monika - February 2, 2013 - 11:24 AM

    These prints look awesome, Kim! Thanks so much for sharing the Frames by Mail website. I have two prints I brought back from Germany on a recent trip and was dreading the cost of matting them since they weren’t a conventional size. Yay, now I can get them done and still have coin to go back for another visit. :) Thanks again. Love your website, you guys continue inspire me with your creativity.ReplyCancel

  • shannon - February 2, 2013 - 11:30 PM
  • Maya @ House Nerd - February 4, 2013 - 9:32 PM

    In love with these! Your framing choice is perfect… I love the look of really thick mat boards.ReplyCancel

  • Jilla - February 6, 2013 - 10:55 AM

    Scott, I love your dad. Hi, Scott’s dad! (Dave, right? I hope.) That’s all. :)ReplyCancel

  • Jill - February 6, 2013 - 10:56 AM

    And nope, my name’s not Jilla. I hope…ha!ReplyCancel

  • kathleen - February 7, 2013 - 1:53 PM

    where did you get the rug in your living room? i checked the source list but i missed the rug find! Hopefully it’s still out there somewhere for purchase! thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kim - February 7, 2013 - 1:59 PM

    Hi Kathleen, it came from FLOR, and it’s called Roadside Attraction. It’s held up wonderfully, and the pattern is subtle, but still playful!ReplyCancel

  • Rachel - February 19, 2013 - 6:56 PM

    Kim,

    Do you have any tips on wiring the back of the Ribba frames? Mine always end up at different heights, which makes it a bit annoying to hang since I can’t just level the nails.

    Thanks!!ReplyCancel

    • Kim - February 20, 2013 - 9:15 AM

      Hi Rachel, we always use the wire provided by Ikea on our frames (as a precaution to protect the frames themselves, since hanging them directly on a nail could warp them), and we eyeball everything – seriously. To get them straight across the top, we just use this trick from this old post: http://www.yellowbrickhome.com/2011/09/08/reflecting-change/

      Give it a go, it’s helped us with every gallery wall in our home!ReplyCancel

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After Scott gave our thrifted silver tray a good polishing – twice – with no end to our tarnishing troubles in sight, we asked (pleaded) for your help. And not surprisingly, you all came through with some pretty sound advice. From sharing your own woes (we obviously had no idea that our little thrifted find would be so obnoxious) to offering up cleaning solutions, you took us from this (on the left) to this (on the right):

And after Rae suggested a buff and poly coat, we thought, why not? Our tray was destined to a life of prettifying my perfumes and rotating jewelry – not for displaying food or any other consumables. So, we took her tip, and I kicked it off by starting with Melissa’s natural cleaning solution: baking soda + hot water.

What I used: aluminum foil, baking soda, salt, boiling water and Polycrylic (to prevent oxidation). I needed tongs to retrieve our silver tray from the hot water, and I used a cookie sheet as our container, because sadly, none of our casserole pans were wide enough to contain the tray.

What I did: I lined the cookie sheet with the foil and placed the tray on top. After dusting a generous amount of baking soda all over the tray, I sprinkled salt over the top and carefully poured hot water over everything. It instantly smelled sour (like rotten eggs, blech!), and I could hear it fizzling. Once the fizzle died down, I used tongs to flip my tray over and added more baking soda, more salt and more boiling water. Tip: our cookie tray was far from ideal, as the idea is to submerge your silver entirely in water. See this easy tutorial for more info.

After flipping the tray a few times, the baking soda no longer fizzled, so I assumed it was done. Using the tongs, I pulled out the tray, but a cool water rinse showed that there was still stubborn tarnish lining the inside! I will say, however, that the above solution worked like a champion everywhere else – I’m positive it was the lack of proper containment that caused the inner tarnish ring to stick.

Scott’s aunt swears by Hagerty Silversmith wipes, so I finished up the job by using a lot of these wipes to buff out the rest. (She actually gifted them to us for Christmas after reading our initial dilemma!) After quite a bit of sweat, it did help to get that tray silver – but I had to put some muscle into it. (On a side note, I realize we could have used these wipes for the whole tray, but after the amount of oomph that had to go into using the Hagerty wipes, I’m sold on the soda, salt, foil + water solution. Especially for those intricate details along the tray’s rim.)

Finally, I dusted one light coat of Polycrylic on each side of the tray to prevent future oxidation, being sure to cover the tray entirely.

Because we wanted to make sure our efforts were well worth it, we let that tray hang out on our dresser for a full 3 weeks before coming back with this progress report. And after all this time, that tray looks just as silver as the day we cleaned it – poly, success!

And just for fun, I picked up this soap pump at Target for my lotion. I figured our success could be matched with a little something pretty to show it off, right?

Pre-discovering your helpful pointers, that tray was yellowing the day after a good cleaning, and it was driving us mad. Like, it just flat out looked gold, and we were considering fooling ourselves into thinking that was okay. And that’s just ridiculous; silver – of all things! – shouldn’t make you mad, silly.

At the same time, I don’t think we’ll be picking up (thrifted or not!) more silver anytime soon. Lesson learned.

PS… Thank you so much to all of your re-pins and likes on our Print Shop Pinterest board! Your help is amazing, and it’s really making it clear what you want to see. To keep “voting,” see Monday’s post for all the details!

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