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little architect blocks {new in shop!}

little architect blocks title

*New* for sale in my shop. little architect blocks were inspired by one of my favorite places in all the world:

Cinque Terre: this is Riomaggiore:

Italy pics 938

you look at that picture and that rumble jumble of buildings and think- it’s so fun, and different, and beautiful! well, let me tell you, pictures don’t even do this place justice. but that’s not what i’m talking about today. all i’m saying is that- Cinque Terre inspired my design of these children’s blocks:

little architect blocks3

i imagine the bright colors of italy and the tall houses and cozy living quarters as i play with i mean as i paint these. little architect blocks2


they are perfectly imperfect. just like those 5 sweet coastal towns in italy. the lines aren’t straight. they are sketchy and the edges are sanded to give them a rough look and perfect for little imaginations.

little architect blocks


l.a.b play

you may remember that last year i made these for Sophia for Christmas. well, she’s been playing with them all year and i’ve gotten some sweet comments on them.  i couldn’t help but ask if people would be interested in buying them as Christmas gifts!  so i made some more and now i will be offering them in my shop!

l.a.b. playing

the starting set will come as a set of 10 blocks with three colors. you pick colors and tell me if it’s for a girl or a boy. {basically for the color of the little bag that you can keep/carry them in} if you want to add extra blocks and extra colors, that’s totally up to you! i paint them with water based acrylic paint, sand the corners and add pen details and then polish them with beeswax. {just to make it safe, i would say wait till the kid isn’t sucking on everything in the world before you give these to them. they are perfectly safe, just be smart and seriously, the blocks just don’t need teeth marks in them! ha.} girl and blocks2 girl and blocks


who doesn’t want a set of blocks that is TOTALLY different from the normal ABCs?! {yes, those are good too, i’m just saying variety is good for the soul people…tee hee} product boy

product bag

who doesn’t want to inspire the little mini architect to build? to be honest though, my little architect’s favorite part is to destroy…  product info product girl


you can even get them with letters to spell out a name or initials.

product full bag

she also loves to help me pick them up. i think it’s the bag with the drawstring. she thinks it’s fun to dump and then put away and then to drag around the room. playing with bag

walking with bag2


these are the starting colors but we can always think outside the box… there’s a lot of color options!  product colors


what little kid wouldn’t want to build fun little houses {and then knock them down?} 

l.a.b. it’s september and i’ve already got you covered for that Christmas present.

check it out here.

xoxo-kimberly renee.


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{DIY} earring holder


diy earring holder

this is so easy, i’m sure you don’t even need a tutorial. we are still working on a little corner in our bedroom that will be a “dressing area”…basically that means a counter with some drawers and a mirror… but we’ve already hung up this part of it because i just needed it to be organized!  and every time i hang up my earrings on my new- organized- earring holder i relish the fact that they aren’t piled in a messy drawer. ha. it’s the simple things in life, right? so, without further adieu…

earring holder

i started with a metal sheet panel from lowes that i cut down to size and an empty frame.

earring holder2

then i spray painted the metal white. i debated on whether i should just spray the frame too, but i decided to wait. i kind of liked the wood look for now.

then i just used some super glue to glue the metal into the frame.

earring holder back

then i added a picture hanger on the back of the frame

earring holder4 earring holder3

and i admired how easy that was!

earring holder5

then i postponed taking the final pictures because we were supposed to get more of our “dressing area” done by now. but it’s not and i don’t know when we’ll have the cash to do so, so for now, here is the finished earring holder + octopus necklace hanger{love these from young house love!}

earring holder6

hopefully someday soon i can show you more of our little dressing area!

xoxo-kimberly renee

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the house rebellion

you know we had a baby last month.

well, duh.

apparently our house didn’t get the memo. OR maybe it did, and it decided it was jealous that it wasn’t the new “baby” anymore

because it decided to rebel.

lamp post

we were worried about our dog getting jealous with bringing home baby girl, but our house? we weren’t expecting that.

well. in a matter of days our house decided to show it’s jealousy. it decided to rebel in as many ways as possible. {ALL in the first month of Sophie’s life!}

it began with the pipes to the washer and downstairs bathroom freezing.

now we have a hose hooked up from the water line to the bathtub so that it can run all night long when it gets really cold. {oh joy. i hate wasting water!}

then our roof leaked.

then we had a bat fly into the living room while Nana was home alone. HOME ALONE. she flipped. she was just sitting there, watching TV with puppycakes snuggled next to her. we were still at the hospital! husbuddy had to come home to help catch it at like 9 at night!

then our roof leaked some more so we moved everything out of the front office.

then we had another bat…this time hanging in the nursery while i was nursing… um… SCARY. i was just sitting there in the rocker staring at my beautiful girl when i look up and just see this fuzzy black thing hanging there… i froze. i tried to yell for husbuddy, but i couldn’t make my voice loud enough! i don’t know why i didn’t run out of the room, but i just couldn’t move!

then our furnace died. right as the snow started falling…for a blizzard!

we called the home warranty people and they sent someone out to look at it… IN A BLIZZARD. {because we begged and pleaded and said we had a 2 week old baby!} the poor maintenance person had to drive an hour IN A BLIZZARD {did i mention that?} to go pick up a part for said, dead furnace.

when he opened up the furnace, there was a DEAD BAT in our furnace motor. {um you think i’m kidding…but no, ANOTHER BAT!}

…and… then we died of heat that night! there’s a blizzard outside and we were throwing off the covers and running around with hardly anything on.  the heater wouldn’t turn off! {seriously, we had a thermometer read 85 degrees in our upstairs bedrooms!} true story!

turns the poor maintenance person installed the part backwards so another maintenance guy came out the next day to flip the backwards part… the first guy must have been worn out from driving in a blizzard or something.

then a handy man came and fixed our roof {he said that the guy who installed the cable wire before we bought the house drilled a 2″ hole for a 1″ wire…and didn’t fill the rest of the hole...genius.}

then a pest control person came to check on the bats…

it was confirmed that we have BATS IN OUR ATTIC. omg. Que: freak out session by me.

he claims “it’s not as bad as some houses he’s been to where he opens the attic and there are hundreds hanging from the rafters” …UM… is that supossed to make me feel better?

THEN, pest control person claims he can’t fix the bat problem until it warms up some more so he can get up on the roof safely. but he has to do it before April, when the bat mating season starts so if it doesn’t stop snowing before then, he can’t do anything until the fall.… major freak out sesh.

then we had another blizzard. oh. and another one is scheduled for tomorrow night {12 inches?! again?!}

just further pushing the time when the pest control person can come back and calm my nerves about the rustling that i hear in the attic… husbuddy says it’s my over-active imagination… i doubt it would be THAT over-active.




during our first month as new parents.


is anyone finding this comical?

i can see that it might be… but i’m not laughing yet. oh, the joys of home ownership… we expected to have issues, but seriously, did it all have to happen this month?!

one good house update: for my birthday i got a rug for the dining room!yay! {pictures to come, when we can rearrange all the furniture from the roof-leaking debacle…we have yet to move back into that room because we want to make sure it’s really fixed…} 

dear house, we DO still love you. you don’t have to get jealous over Sophie. you can go back to being a good little house now. thanks.

xoxo-kimberly renee

{update:: husbuddy called another person to come look at the bat issue, we’re hoping he can do something sooner than later!}

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painting our dining room table


in the midst of all the stress of buying a house and moving i decided to paint our dining room kitchen table

*insert crazy-girl statement here*

i think it was a good way for me to be creative and to start “nesting” our future home while being super stressed about all the house-buying stuff. it was a good outlet for me and most definitely a learning experience! i have never painted anything so big before!


this is our table. we bought it at the Goodwill in north Spokane in our first few weeks of marriage for 20$. can’t find that deal, ever! to get it to our apartment we turned it upside down and placed it on the roof of Husbuddy’s VW Golf and both held onto it out the window while we drove the mile back to our apartment because we didn’t have rope.  oh-to be young and that foolish again. hee hee.

through our 7 years of marriage and 7 moves, it’s been through a lot of abuse!

you can even see the tell-tale sign that it was the tabletop for an art project or two {all though i have to point out that the worst markings that you can actually see in this photo is Husbuddy’s attempt at priming our verse signs a little zealously this summer…} it has a laminate top and sides that are peeling and it’s really just sad. so i didn’t feel one bit bad for wanting to paint it and hopefully give it a few more years of life.

i followed this tutorial by Centsasional Girl.

table redo collage


don’t you just love how much happier some furniture seems to be when painted? this is a happy table now!

i painted and waxed it before we moved and i’m sad to say that during the move it did get some scuffs and some dirty finger prints… but i think i can fix that with a little touch up and with another coat of wax it will be as good as new!  after

i’m in love with it!  have you ever painted a table? did you use it as a stress release too? ha! and i’d love to hear, did you wax it?

watch out world… i may be painting a lot more furniture in the near future!

xoxo-kimberly renee



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a quote for {joy}

“joy is a flame that glimmers only in the palm of the open and humble hand. in an open and humble palm, released and surrendered to receive, light dances, flickers happy. the moment the hand is clenched tight, fingers all pointing toward self and rights and demands, joy is snuffed out.”

Ann Voskamp One Thousand Gifts pg. 177

my word for 2013 is Joy. {you can read more about why i picked that word hereso, i’ve been  noticing little comments or discussions about joy as i’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s book for the second time. {as if you couldn’t tell from all my joy quotes recently!}

but this one has struck and nerve. i find myself wondering if i am holding my flame of joy tightly- like a hand held open or if i am trying to protect the flame by closing my hand over it.

look at it another way, am i holding onto things in this life too tightly?

am i too focused on my time- trying to protect and plan it to the minute every day? but even so is time slipping through my fingers like sand? {um, yes, everyday!}

am i holding my family and relationships so tightly in an effort to protect them that i’m not trusting God to take care of them?

am i so focused on trying to do things MY way that i’m missing out on HIS way?

i remember once as a little girl talking to my mom about this. she had just told me that she loved God more than she did Daddy. i could hardly believe her. really, more than Daddy? that blew my mind. then i wondered if she loved God more than me. and she said yes, she loved God first, then Daddy, then her children. then, i’m not sure how we actually got there, but then she talked about how she had to trust God with Daddy and her children. she had to “hold them with an open hand” and trust that God would take care of us because she couldn’t always be there to take care of us herself. again… a little girl could hardly understand such things but i’ve remembered that discussion in multiple situations in my life.

i’ve just never connected that idea with the JOY that comes from God. joy is a gift, so isn’t it mine to hold on to? but, as the quote above says, the moment we grasp it tightly- in an effort to control it how we want- is the moment that light of joy flickers out like a flame without enough oxygen.

joy is a gift that only comes when we are surrendered to God’s will in our life… in the thankful moments… in the humble moments.

joy is a gift but we should always be seeking it.

that is how Paul can say in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Rejoice always,  pray without ceasing,  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you”


so what do you think about this concept? do you like this quote too? do you think it makes sense to compare joy to a flame, flickering in the palm of your open hand?


may the flame of joy flicker bright for you today, my friends.

xo-kimberly renee
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how to make your own dog food tin

how to

i’m posting for

the challenge is to find something on pinterest then to make it and post about it. granted, we do that a lot. we find a lot of new recipes on pinterest and i’m always pinning craft ideas and i do actually make a lot of them… but i think this is more of a challenge to get me off my butt from just pinning things and to actually doing the things i pinned.

ok. so i’m all for that!

i decided to make something that i may have pinned more than once.

on accident! i promise! i hate it when people go pin crazy and forget they already pinned something and pin all over the place… but this time it was me. {shame face} i actually pinned this pin more than once:

Old popcorn containers spray painted for pet food storage. So cute!

why? because i’ve been wanting one of these: {dear ballard designs, why are these so freaking expensive?!} i’ve been drooling over these for over a year.


i wanted one of these because they are pretty. at least prettier than what i have. see, this is the current pet food container situation:

current dogfdhonest truth there, folks. we’ve taped together the falling-apart-lid. it’s kinda  totally pathetic.

even puppycakes thinks so.


the lady that i pinned the original pin from used a popcorn tin.  i didn’t have one of those and for the life of me i couldn’t find one. and since i pinned this from over a year ago, i have patiently been waiting to find a popcorn tin. no such luck. not even at christmas. i must be blind- i know. but i didn’t find one.

then last week, i  went to the container store and asked if they had any canister similar to the ballard designs one. they were kind of smug in the way they said nope, their dog food container was better:


dear container store, this was NOT what i was looking for. i do NOT need another ugly trash-can looking thing in my house. and WHY do you need a foot-step-opener for dog food? i mean seriously.

no, i wanted something  kind of pretty, more like a rustic metal bucket looking thing…with a lid. that’s all i am asking for!! how hard can it be? 

so on the way home, husbuddy was sweet enough to suggest stopping at home-depot to see if they had a metal trash can thing. i thought we’d looked before but i decided to give it another chance. and what do you know? they had one! {sim here} woot woot! exactly what i wanted! 


it took some scrubbing to get the stickers off… but that’s ok. it’s just a dog food tin after all… {no matter how big of a deal i’m making it!}

so then i got out my paint and got to work:

1. tape stencils onto tin {note: i need to get new stencils! i know! but i was too lazy to buy another set for this little project!}

2. mix black paint with varnish. i did this in hopes that the varnish which has “excellent adhesion qualities” would help the paint stick to the metal.

3. stencil!

4. add cute little details like paw prints to lid.

painting dog food

see, puppycakes has one paw with only 3 toes because of a surgery he had when he was a puppy. so i made sure one of the prints had only 3 toes!

bucket finished2 easy peasy. then i sprayed with a sealer to help the paint to stay

puppycakes thought it was a huge improvement for his special food.

IMG_1144 he’s got a special tummy just like his daddy. see: “grain free” just like his gluten free daddy! hee hee

IMG_1143 puppycakes approves.

and i like it because it’s pretty, it was CHEAP and utilitarian.

bucket lid thank you Young House Love for inspiring me to actually get this project done! and thank you pinterest for showing me that i could make a 15$ version instead of buying the 50$ version. yay!

love can be found in a metal trashcan/dog food container. i kid you not.

bucket finished


thanks for enduring my silliness, friends.



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how i made a gumball-machine lamp

ok, i have to start this with a little history.

as a girl i LOVED gumball machines. i don’t know what it was about them. they held gumballs-which i was hardly ever allowed to have? they were colorful? they look quaint and old fashioned?  i even remember i had a gumball machine birthday cake once. it cracks me up to think of my obsession.

and then one time i saw someone made a lamp out of one. it was so cute! and they were selling it for like 80$ or something. i loved it but they put fake apples inside. {tragedy!you gotta put gumballs inside!} but i knew right then and there that i wanted one. goofy, i know.

fast forward to last year:: my sweet friends from Princeton and I were garage sale-ing. i saw one for sale. for 5$. i wanted it! but then some old lady stepped in front of my a grabbed it practically out of my hand. sad day. anyway…  my friend Sharon found one for sale last Christmas and gave it to me as a gift because she knew my plan. sweetest thing ever, right? 🙂 i thought so.  i had the machine. now i just had to make it.

then i got cold feet and was afraid i would fail. i put it off all year because i was afraid i would break it, or ruin it or something. that and Husbuddy was afraid it would look tacky.

yesterday i conquered my fears and just did it. ha! ok. maybe it does look a little tacky… but i still love it. 🙂 and wouldn’t it look so cute in a little kiddos’ room someday? {waaaay  in the future, mind you}

ok this is what you need:

my supplies:

  • the gumball machine
  • a lamp kit
  • thread pipe(to screw the light kit into)
  • washers/nuts- to hold the thread pipe in place
  • sharpie
  • light bulb
  • lamp shade
  • and a curious puppy who watched me every second of the whole process (totally optional)

first i figured out the path that the wire would have to go. the wire can’t go all the way through to the bottom because i wanted the gumball machine part to still work. i marked where we needed to drill the holes.

for some reason Husbuddy doesn’t let me use the drill. {i have no idea why!} so i watched him masterfully work… that and get metal shavings all over his wallet. whew, good thing he did that and not me 😉

then i screwed in the thread pipe. you can see it’s a little wonky because i couldn’t put it directly in the center. that’s the hole that you need to screw on the lid to the glass. so, to make it straight i fashioned a couple of pieces of thick leather to hold it straight up and down. {sorry, forgot to take a pic of this.}

then i had to wire it.

to do this i had to take apart the top lamp-kit piece so i could feed the wires through all the holes and up through the threaded pipe. then i used my mad electrician skills {no, not really, it’s super easy} to wire it back together. and look! it works! {and still looks crooked because i hadn’t screwed on the top piece yet}

then when i was trying to pour the gumballs in i found i’d made a mistake putting together the machine… i put in that little rubber piece that holds the bottom of the glass- UPSIDE DOWN! doh.

fail. i would have had to take everything apart and start over. so instead, lazy lil’me,  i improvised and cut it. it’s not perfect, but it works. it still holds the glass correctly, there’s just a little slit in it. i know that i could order a replacement for like 2$ if this ever fails, so i’ll just go with it for now 😉

after i finally got that figured out… i poured in the gumballs and attached the lampshade!

woot woot! i love it! Husbuddy admits that it’s not as tacky as he thought it would be.

what do you think? love it or too tacky?

xo-kimberly renee.

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