Monthly Archives

June 2011

DIY Uncategorized

Sorry Rudolph

A few months ago, Jordan’s step-grandpa gifted us a pair of antlers. Yes, antlers. The story goes something like this: we were touring their new house and I saw a pair of antlers sitting on one of their dressers. I jokingly made a comment to the hubs under my breath about how if I slapped a coat of white spray paint on them, I could sell them online for $30. Well, the comment was overheard and we soon found ourselves escorted out to the garage where we were met with an entire box full of antlers. Apparently, his step-grandpa is something of a hunter.

Since then, they’ve just been sitting on a shelf while I debated what to do with them. They’re nice and rustic looking as is, but I wanted to jazz them up a bit. I considered covering them in fabric  or wallpaper ala this:

But I knew it would be really difficult to get them to look this seamless and I worried that it would end up looking messy.

Then I thought maybe I could use them to help tie in the color scheme I’ve been working on in our living room. I’m going for turquoise/blues and tangerine orange and I’ve been having a lot of trouble pulling it all together. So, I decided to grab some acrylic paint and fancy up Rudolph’s rack.

I used Anita’s brand acrylic paint (since it worked so well for my stencil) in Ocean’s Blue and Pumpkin.

First things first, though. The antlers came  still attached to one a lovely chunk of skull. So, I wanted to separate them to make them a little more ‘rustic chic’ and a little less ‘Swamp People.’

To do this, I used a FatMax handsaw.

I quickly discovered this was not the best way to do it. It didn’t really cross my mind that antlers are basically bone, and that they would pretty much laugh in the face of a little dinky hand saw. I’m now contemplating making some sort of a DIY work-out video. ‘Flabby arms, ladies?? Not to worry, just try and cut your way through some antlers with a butter knife!’ 

Moving on, I persevered whined ’til hubby helped me and eventually got the job done.

Once they were detached (and I had done the always appropriate victory dance) I got my paint on. I wanted kind  of a color blocking effect so I painted the main body of one antler with the blue and the other with the orange. I left part of the main stem bare just to maintain some of the rustic-ness. Once that had dried, I painted a thin stripe of the opposite color (orange on blue, blue on orange) around the top and bottom and the painted the tips of the antlers with some leftover gold I had from the stencil project.

Sorry for the wonky color, I took this at night.

For now, they’re living in a tray on our trunk/coffee table. Pretty cute accessories for nearly nothing..the only thing I bought was the paint which was around $2!

Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

Camera Upgrade

I got a new camera over the weekend, and I couldn’t be more excited! I’d been wanting to upgrade to a DSLR for quite a while now, but I couldn’t decide which one was best for me. I read review after review, and it only confused me more. It seemed like every camera had flaws. So, I decided to just go down to our locally owned camera shop here in town and ask them for some advice. I was already leaning toward something from the Canon Rebel line and the woman there recommended the T3.

But of course I didn’t buy it right then. I went home to do an extensive Internet search and figure out where I could get the best deal. I looked at Best Buy, Target, Wal-Mart, and Amazon. I even looked on the list of my good friend, Craig, and eBay but because the camera is relatively new, there wasn’t much to be found. So, the best deal I found ended up being at Best Buy.

I must say I was a little nervous at first that I wouldn’t remember how to work all the manual settings (f-stop say whaaa?). I took photography for a couple years in high school, but that’s been about 7 years ago. However, I’m pleased to say that once I got that camera in my hands, it all came rushing back!

So I spent yesterday afternoon having a little photo shoot in our backyard. I asked Mr. P to model for me, but the only response I got was an exaggerated eye roll. So, I grabbed my always willing model, Miss Lucy.

Work it, girl.

My point-and-shoot never could’ve captured The Goose running like this.

See that beautiful shallow depth of field (when the foreground is in the focus, and the background is out of focus)? That’s the power of a DSLR..not to be confused with the power of cheese.

All in all, I am thrilled with the decision to upgrade. Even though DSLR’s aren’t cheap, I know this was a good investment as I’ll use it to record memories for years to come!

Just for Fun Uncategorized

Friday Fun

I came across this video and had to absolutely cracks me up! I think it’s because it’s basically a parody of my own life. I adore birds of any kind when used in home decor, I own several myself. But in real life…ohhh my-lanta, it’s a different story. I am DEATHLY AFRAID of birds. Weird, but true.

Enough yakking, watch this hilarity:


I may have to add this show to my DVR, if only for this scene alone!

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DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

Scallops? Like Sea Shells?

Well, I am happy to tell you that my second attempt at stenciling was FAR more successful than my first.

After latex paint failed me, I headed out to Hobby Lobby Monday evening to pick up some acrylic paint. I went with Anita’s Metallic Craft Paint in Classic Gold. It was the color I was looking for and I could see the paint had some shimmer to it, which is just what I wanted. The instructions from Royal Design Studio (which I followed pretty explicitly this time) also recommended using extender with your acrylic paint. It basically waters it down a little so your paint will go farther and also extends the drying time. So I picked up a bottle of Anita’s Extender.I figured by going with the same brand, I would be guaranteed not to get any funky results.

The stencil I used (which is what sparked my inspiration for this whole project in the first place) was Royal Design Studio’s Scallops Allover. If you’re looking for a stencil, you should definitely check them out..they’ve got tons of fun designs! I had a 10% off promo code at the time I bought mine, so the stencil only ended up costing me $28.80 + $9.00 for shipping. When I told my hubby about this stencil his response was “What’s a scallop? You mean like a sea shell? You’re going to stencil sea shells on our wall??” Yes, because nothing screams glamour more than a conch shell. Once he saw what the stencil actually looked like, he breathed an audible sigh of relief.

Again, I did a dry run first on a piece of cardboard and that instantly confirmed that acrylic was the right way to go.

In both of the shots above, the paint was rolled on with the Purdy White Dove rollers I mentioned in my previous stenciling post.

After testing the paint, I found the exact center of my wall and taped my stencil up with painter’s tape so that the middle of the stencil lined up in the center of the wall. Since my stencil is a repeating pattern, it didn’t matter as much where I start but you want your design to be centered, so it’s always best to start at the top center and work your way out.


You could also use stencil adhesive instead of or along with tape. Some people claim that will help you not have as much seepage around the edges of your stencil. But all I had on hand was painter’s tape so that’s what I used and it worked out just fine. I just made sure it was taped down really well on all sides so it wouldn’t move or gap at all.

Once the stencil was secured, I rolled on my paint. I started off very mild with the amount of paint on my roller and could see that it wasn’t doing the job, so I loaded up the roller a little more. All in all, I had to do quite a bit of rolling to get the stencil to show up as much as I wanted it to and not look splotchy. It came out looking fine, but I knew I would have to go through a ton of paint in order to do my whole wall. My theory is that because the paint is acrylic and not latex that the fabric on the roller sucked up all my paint like a hungry hungry hippo. But who knows.

So I decided to try using a brush instead to see if it made a difference. Did it ever. I loaded my brush with a fair amount of paint and then instead of brushing it on, I used something akin to a horizontal jabbing motion. I kept the brush perpendicular to the wall and jabbed my little heart out. And when I say jab, I don’t mean it has to be violent..just forceful enough to show that stencil who’s the boss (and I’m not talkin’ about Tony Danza). And when I pulled the stencil away from the wall, I was much more pleased with the result. You may not be able to tell the difference from the photos, but it’s a more even application and it used a lot less paint. So that’s the method I stuck with throughout.

Also, you see these little marks? Those are registration marks and they make it wayyyy easy to line up your stencil so that everything stays nice and straight. I also used a level periodically just to double check that things were staying straight.




Overall, it probably took me about two hours to knock the whole wall out and I am IN LOVE with the way it turned out. It’s totally not perfect..there a few places where the paint seeped under the stencil a little or the application was uneven, but when you’re looking at the wall as a whole, you can’t really notice. Or at least not enough that I care to try and retouch it and risk making it worse.

Doesn’t it look like shimmery fish scales or something?! And the thing I love the very most is looking at the wall in the reflection of the mirror. Is that weird? I don’t know why, but it makes me as giddy as a kid in a candy Disney World..with Mickey Mouse. That’s pretty giddy.

I know it looks blobby on the left side, but I promise it’s not..these are just bad pictures taken with my phone!

Now my next mission for the bathroom re-do is to get some new accessories. This is the fun part! And of course I’ll share it when it’s all done 🙂 If any of you have any suggestions for stores or online resources that sell stylish bathroom accessories, please let me know!

Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

Summertime Shake-Up

Hooray for today being the official first day of summer and the longest day of the year! The warm weather inspired me to do a quick change up for some summer decor.

We don’t have a real entryway in our home..the front door just opens right up into the family room. So I’ve kind of created my own entryway ‘moment’ with a sofa table that has some various entryway-like accessories (bowl to throw keys, etc.). We hung a mirror over top of it and my two beloved animal heads from ZGallerie flanking either side of the mirror.

Over the course of the winter, the animal heads became a coat rack of sorts. Mr. P hung his scarf over the ram and his hat from the horn of the rhino. And I kind of liked how it added function to what normally would have been just a decoration, so I left it.

And it hung there until this afternoon when I decided it was time to trade it out for something more summery.

So I grabbed one of my lighter summer scarves and my Panama hat and made the switch.

It’s a really small change, but I love the impact it made. It got me thinking that it might be a fun challenge to switch up the decorations on these guys more often..a Santa hat for Christmas, a homemade heart wreath for Valentine’s Day…hmmm..yes I’m thinking that could be a VERY fun challenge 🙂

I also cut a few blooms from one of my plants (and I can’t remember what kind of plant it is, so if any of you recognize what they are feel free to chime in) and stuck them in my awesome vintage deer planter.

Isn’t she adorable?

Have you guys made any seasonal decor switches? I’d love to see how you welcome summer!

P.S. –  I’ve found stencil success! I’ll be back tomorrow with all the deets 🙂

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DIY Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

Failure Is Always An Option

I think that should be every DIYer’s slogan. Because we all know that sometimes things just plain ol’ don’t work out. And since I promised to keep it real with you guys, I figured I’d share my recent project flop.

As you might already know, my latest project has been updating our half bath. I came across a stencil online that totally inspired me, and so I got to work. So far I’ve painted the cabinets/trim and changed out the hardware. You can read more about that here. Then on Saturday, my stencil finally arrived! I was so excited that I immediately ran out to get supplies and get started. 

Now, you know me..I don’t lift so much as a hammer without doing extensive research to make sure I’m swinging it of course I had read tons of tutorials online about the best methods for stenciling, what brush to use, etc. Some suggested using acrylic paints or stencil creme, others just used regular latex paint. The stencil also came with instructions from Royal Design Studio (the company that makes the stencil); they advised to use acrylic paint as well. So, obviously I ignored their instructions completely and attempted to do it a different way that I thought would be easier. Go me. “Surely they aren’t serious about using acrylic paint,” I thought. Uh-huh. ‘I am serious…and don’t call me Shirley’ (Airplane, anyone?).

I’m also going to go ahead and blame the decision to use latex paint instead of acrylic on the fact that stinkin’ Hobby Lobby and Michael’s don’t stay open past 9 pm on a Saturday. We were in Indianapolis all day on Saturday and didn’t get home until almost 9, and I just couldn’t wait a day to get supplies. So can I also say that along with the ability to accept failure, DIYer’s need to have patience? Yeah, well I don’t. I made a snap decision to run to Home Depot and pick up a quart of latex paint.

I know there are many cases where latex paint works just fine, but that’s not the story here. You see, I wanted to paint my stencil using a metallic gold/champagne color so that it would look kind of shimmery. So I picked up a quart of Rust-Oleum Painter’s Touch Metallic in Gold. I also picked up a pack of Purdy White Dove fabric rollers, per a recommendation from Mandi over at Vintage Revivals, and I went home to get started.

When I opened up the paint, I immediately got the feeling that this wasn’t going to work out so well. It had the consistency of water, very thin and runny. Thank goodness I at least had sense enough to test out the paint on a piece of cardboard before just rolling it straight onto the walls. I tried to get as little paint as possible on my roller, but the result was still this:

A big blobby mess. Ugh. Lesson learned. Always follow instructions, especially when they’re from the very company that makes the product you’re using. They probably know better than you do. C’est la vie. I’ll be buying some acrylic paint tonight, and hopefully be back tomorrow with a success story to share!

Have any of you guys ever used metallic paint? Any suggestions for what to do with the quart of gold I now own?

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Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

World’s Greatest Dad

Happy Father’s Day to all of you! I hope you’re able to spend this day honoring your dads and making them feel special. 

Since I’m unable to be with my dad today I just wanted to take the time to tell him how much he means to me.

Dad, you’re one of the kindest, gentlest people I know. You’ve worked so hard all your life to provide for your family and give us everything we could ever want or need. I admire your work ethic so very much. But what’s even more impressive is that even though you worked so hard, you still managed to make your family your #1 priority. You never missed a family dinner or failed to show up for a middle school choir concert.And you know those cheesy jokes we always make fun of? I secretly love them; they make me smile 🙂 Most of all, I admire your relationship with God. You’ve always been a great example of faith and dedication. You chose to follow the calling of God on your life, even when the path wasn’t exactly clear. You truly are a man of God.

I’m so honored to call you my father. I love you!

P.S. – No matter how many different brands of chapstick I try, I always come back to good ol’ strawberry Chapstick. Guess I really am a daddy’s girl 🙂


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DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

Shake It Like A Polaroid Picture





As promised, I’m back with the details on my recent priming/painting adventures. I intended to post this yesterday, but real life got in the way. Rude.

Here’s what you’ll need: fine grit sandpaper, a screwdriver, primer, paint,  painter’s tape, and two paintbrushes. 

To start with, I unscrewed the hinges on the cabinet doors and removed them. And here’s a helpful tip: if said cabinet happens to be over your toilet, close the lid. I was thisclose  to doing some unpleasant fishing for a screw. It’s also a good idea to put all your screws and hinges in a plastic bag so that you don’t lose anything.

Now is also the time to fill in or make new holes depending on whether or not you’re going to replace the hardware. I bought some new cabinet pulls that luckily fit in the holes that were already there so I didn’t have to worry about it. Otherwise, you could fill any pre-existing holes with wood filler and make new ones.

Next, you’ll want to sand down all the surfaces you plan to paint. This will rough up the surface and make it a lot easier to cover with paint. There are some cases where sanding isn’t necessary, but I think it’s easier to do it in the beginning rather than take the risk of getting less than stellar paint coverage. A quick once over with a fine grit sanding block should do the trick.

Un-sanded vs. Sanded. See the difference?

After you’ve sanded, make sure to wipe off all excess dirt and dust with a clean cloth. Now you’re ready to prime! My primer of choice is Kilz Odorless. I love it. It dries in 30-60 min and, as the name may imply, there’s no headache-inducing smell. It’s fantastic! Make sure and shake your primer up really well, it should have the consistency of paint. This is where hubby came in. He’s the official paint shaker..and yes, I danced around the room and encouraged him to “shake it like a polaroid picture!” I don’t know that there’s any real technique to priming..just paint on a thin, even coat and wait for it to dry. And primer is pretty much impossible to get out of paintbrushes so don’t plan on using that same brush for the actual painting.









Once you’ve waited the appropriate amount of time (look on your can of primer, it will tell you how long to wait), you can start painting. Some tutorials suggest using a roller brush, but I prefer to use an angled paintbrush. It helps get into all those nooks and crannies. I used Olympic Premium in the white semi-gloss right off the shelf. Olympic Premium has no VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds), which basically means there’s no harmful chemicals for you or the environment. Score. Again, just paint on a thin, even coat. It will take 2-3 coats in order to get a good amount of coverage. Your paint can will tell you the recommended wait time between coats.



Now the process for trim is basically the same. Light sand, wipe down, prime, paint. The main difference comes with the taping. Not only did I have to tape off the floor, but because my walls are already painted, I had to tape off the wall as well. Double taping. Ugh. I try my best to work my tape in between the trim and the wall if I can. Luckily there’s enough of a gap between my trim and the wall that it really wasn’t that difficult. Yayy for shoddy construction! Also, if you’re painting trim around a door, make sure to wrap tape around any hinges and inside the casing on the strikeplate. I was painting my trim, but not my doors so I also taped off the top of my door to avoid any drippage.

And then the waiting begins… Most sources advise waiting 3-5 days before rehanging your doors. That was the most tortuous part for sure. I could see my beautiful, fresh white doors and my beautiful, fresh white cabinet but I just couldn’t put the two together! But I didn’t want to risk smudging my new paint job, so I waited. And after I was sure that they were dry, I rehung them and screwed in the new knobs. They’re from the allen + roth line at Lowe’s and they are pretty fantastic. 

You love them, don’t you? Me too! Just the touch of old Hollywood-esque glam I was looking for 😀 

And here’s the finished cabinet

Gratuitous knob shot.

And here’s a wider shot of the bathroom so you can see the trim as well

Shoot that light switch cover is straight awful.

I’ve got some touch ups to do, and it’s definitely still a work in progress but so far I’m digging the change. The white really brightens up the space! 

Have you guys been doing any makeovers in your own home?

DIY Home Decor/ Interior Design Uncategorized

The Snowball Effect

Have you ever had a moment when you’re so inspired to do a project that you need to have it done, like, yesterday? Well, I had one such moment Friday afternoon. I was perusing the blogosphere and stumbled upon a stencil that I instantly loved. So, then my brain went into overdrive trying to think of a wall I could use this stencil on. I decided it would look great in our half bath. But then I thought to myself that if I was going to stencil one of the walls, it just wouldn’t look right if I didn’t paint the trim. And if I was going to paint the trim, then I would need to paint the cabinets, too. And if I was going to paint the cabinets, maybe I needed to replace the awful lighting in there.

This, my friends, is what I like to call ‘The Snowball Effect.’ It’s when you start out with a small snowflake of an idea, but that idea leads to another and another and another…until you’re left with a giant snowman.

Now, in this case, my snowman is made up of totally doable tasks. So Saturday evening, I made a quick trip to Lowe’s to pick up some supplies and I got started.

This is normally where I would insert a before picture of our tiny little bathroom. But I was in such a flurry that I forgot to take one. Bad blogger. Virtual slap on the wrist to me. Let me describe it to you. Small. No windows. Dark wood cabinetry. Gross linoleum. And it has not just one, but two ugly doors. Thats TWO! TWO UGLY DOORS..MWA-HA-HA! A little Count von Count anyone?

You may be saying, “Dacia, why in the world have you waited this long to tackle this monstrosity?!” Well, you see, we aren’t homeowners..we’re renters. Before we got married, we toyed with the idea of buying a home, but decided it would just be better to save up some money and buy a couple years down the road. Jordan is the assistant pastor at our our church, so luckily we had the option of renting one of the houses they own for a great price. It’s a ranch that was built in the early 90’s, and while it’s a very nice house (especially for a young, just-married couple), there are some things about it that drive me absolutely up the wall.

For example, there are 3 bedrooms and every stinkin’ closet in them has mirrored slider doors. And the master bedroom has two closets, so I basically feel like we’re sleeping in a weird fun house. When we toured the house (the church bought it just before we moved in), the previous owners went on and on about how much they ‘enjoyed’ winkwink nudgenudge having the mirrors in their master bedroom. Gross with a capital yuck.

This house also has quite the wide array of linoleum. It’s in the kitchen, laundry, half bath, and there’s a lovely rose-patterned linoleum in the full bath. Not exactly my style. Also, all of the kitchen cabinets are dark and outdated and the countertops leave much to be desired. And I couldn’t go without mentioning my second biggest nemesis next to the mirrored closets: vertical blinds. Who ever thought vertical blinds were a good idea?! We only have one set (thank the Lord!) in our family room on the sliders that lead out to the patio, but I truly despise them. There are no words.

So, there are all these things I’d love to change, but the fact that we rent really holds me back. Not that we wouldn’t have permission to do basically anything we wanted, but I just have a hard time motivating myself to make huge changes to a house that we’ll probably only live in for 1 or 2 more years. Other, than new paint on the walls, we really haven’t made any changes to the overall bones of the house. {Sidenote: I think I’m going to have to post a house tour soon so you guys can visualize what I’m talking about}

But I went against my instincts for this project. I figured this bathroom was a small enough space that I could handle the total room makeover. So here’s how it stands in its’ current state.

I have no idea what that weird rectangle thing is in the middle of the picture. You can see our laundry area beyond the bathroom.

And this is the view from the other door. That’s the master bedroom in the background. The walls are a dark grey.

I’ve primed all the trim, and started to put on the first coat of white paint. I’ve also primed and painted the cabinet above the toilet. I’m waiting for the doors to dry and then I’ll rehang them.

Still on the checklist to do: Finish the trim/mirror, prime and paint the vanity white, stencil the wall, find cute bathroom accessories, maybe switch out the lighting. I haven’t decided on that last one.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a more detailed post about how I primed and painted the cabinetry/trim for any of you that are wondering!

So what about you guys..have you ever started a project on a whim only to find it snowballing into a much larger project? Do you have things about your house that totally bug you?

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Domestic Stuff Uncategorized

It’s Ahhrt Dah-ling

Imagine that said in my best impression of a snooty French painter.

I hate to admit it, but I’m not really a huge art appreciator. My knowledge of art barely goes beyond what I learned from Bob Ross. Do you guys remember him?


As much as ol’ Bobby tried to teach me to love art, it just never happened. Which is unfortunate because in the course of my lifetime, I’ve had the opportunity to see some amazing works of art. Just a few years ago, I found myself in the middle of the Sistine Chapel, staring up at that well-known ceiling. Don’t get me wrong, it was a pretty awesome sight, but all in all, I found myself to be a little underwhelmed. I don’t know, art just doesn’t get my motor running like it does for other people. And sometimes I plain and simply don’t get it. I know Picasso is supposed to be one of the greatest painters of all time, but sometimes that dude just be straight crazy. Word.

I guess when it comes down to it, I’m just not a deep thinker. Not in the artsy sense anyway. When I look at a painting, I want to know exactly what’s going on; I don’t want to stare at it for hours wondering what the artist was really trying to say.

That being said, one of my goals is to collect pieces of art (paintings, drawings, photographs..whatever) that both hubby and I truly love. And I’m not talking huge, expensive, statement-making pieces here. I’m talking about a photograph of a place we both love. Or a cutesy print off of Etsy that makes us smile. Shoot, it could even be something we make ourselves (I’ve got a couple projects in mind). Things that will make our house feel like home.

And to kick off our collection, I recently ordered a print from Etsy. Before I reveal the print, here’s a little backstory: as you know, we have a dog named Lucy. And as much as I wanna tell myself that she’s ‘just a dog,’ that big wet nose has wiggled its’ way into my heart. Lucy is part of our family, so I’ve been looking for a way to get some kind of portrait of her to put in our house. Jordan thought that a huge portrait of our dog might make us look a little crazy. Like Britney Spears shave-my-head-and-attack-photogs-with-an-umbrella crazy. But when I stumbled across Beaumont Studios on Etsy, I knew this would be the perfect way to honor our sweet Lucy, while showing that we don’t take our pet obsession too seriously.

Basically, you send them a photo of your pet and they’ll do a custom watercolor of your pet in a costume. So if you imagine your pet as an Egyptian queen, they’ll make her look like one. Or if you think of your pup as more of a court jester, they’ll slap a silly hat on him and call it a day. I know it sounds weird, but check it out..they really are cute and funny. And I should mention that they can do pretty much any size print you want, you just have to ask.

So, I sent them a few pics of our sweet Lucy and basically left it up to them. I didn’t have a specific idea of what kind of costume I wanted her in, I just told them a little bit about her and then we shot some ideas back and forth until we settled on one. And then I anxiously waited for the picture to be delivered! I must say, I felt pretty fancy schmancy..having a piece of art custom made for me. And when it finally arrived, I was not disappointed!

Isn’t that hysterical?! I am so pleased with how it turned out! And they did a really great job of capturing the little details about her, even down to the little white patch of hair on her chin (her soul patch, as we call it). Even hubby had to laugh when I showed him, and I’d be so bold as to say I think he really likes it! I only got a 4″x6″ which cost me $33 bucakroos..not bad for my own personally commissioned piece of art!), so it’s not like it’s taking up an entire wall in our home. Just sitting quietly sitting on a shelf in our living room. You wouldn’t even really notice it unless you were really looking. I know it’s definitely not the kind of thing that everyone will love or would even want in their house, but it makes me smile every single time I look at it. And isn’t that what art should really be about?