Art Attack #6

October 15, 2015   //  Posted in: Art Attack   //  By: Emily   //  one response

My mom returned from a cruise earlier this year with a renewed interest in watercoloring, and has been leaving us little treasures like this one when she housesits. This one’s one of my favorites, a painting of one of the flowers she picked for us and left in a vase.

I know next to nothing about watercolors, but I’d like to learn. I’m digging her style and the abstractness of the whole thing… and so is Cubebot.

Watercolor by mom. 2015.

I See You

October 13, 2015   //  Posted in: DIY, Holiday-Related Projects, Windows   //  By: Emily   //  3 responses

I’m pretty sure that I’ve forever frightened the toddler away from the entryway with this one.

Red eye halloween silhouette windows.

I did a bunch of projects for DIY Network earlier this month, pumpkin-intensive missions that have made our front yard super wonderful (nothing horrific about a fun carved pumpkin totem pole, or spider web pumpkins), and then spent some time last weekend reinstating a few displays that we’ve used and enjoyed for the last several years (stucco-covered DIY tombstones and hanging ghosts).

But then, when I thought I was done, these peering monster eyes came to life:

Bright eyeballs shining through windows as a Halloween decoration.

Lighting and my camera settings and such makes them appear a little more clear/orange than they are in real life (see the red glow on the ceiling and siding in the above photo?). It’s an easy project, and adds a cool effect to our front entryway.

Because my sidelights are narrow, I was able to trim a length of kraft paper twice as wide as the window, and then folded and creased it. I sketched eyeballs onto one side of the paper, creating random and varying sets all along the length. An X-Acto knife allowed for easy trimming along all of the pencil lines, cutting more smoothly and evenly than my sketch lines in most cases – and for symmetry and evenness, I cut through both layers of kraft paper at the same time.

  • Cut kraft paper to fit in window, fold it in half.
  • Draw lots of creepy eyeballs with pencils.
  • Trim creepy eye shapes from the paper with an utility blade.
  • Trim creepy eye shapes from the paper with an utility blade.

Red gift wrap or shrink wrapping plastic is perfect for this project, because it generally comes as a roll. I spread it out on the floor, and then measured a piece for each window length.

Use red shrink wrap or gift wrap to make red eyes in the window.

I used tape to secure the red shrink wrap to the cut kraft paper, sandwiching it and insuring that it wouldn’t slide down when hung up.

Use red shrink wrap or gift wrap to make red eyes in the window.

Use red shrink wrap or gift wrap to make red eyes in the window.

A mounting tape made it easy to hang the paper in each sidelight pane. The glass itself is wavy, so I installed the paper on the outside of the window. If your windows are transparent, plain glass, you’ll be able to install yours inside.

I hung these creepy eyes in the sidelights on my front porch where the light from inside the entryway could peer through.

And when we leave the interior entry light on but the front porch light off, the nighttime effect is muy bueno.

Decorate your windows for Halloween with little peeping monster eyes.

Awesome EMTEK

August 31, 2015   //  Posted in: Entryway, Home Safety   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

If you tuned in last week, you’d have seen that the front door has been refreshed both inside and out – the green’s lively and fun, and that faux light wood interior? The wallpaper continues to fool friends and family. Now shift your attention to our new knob and lock:

Our EMTEK lock and knob, contemporary design for our midcentury home.

The old deadbolt had been busted for awhile, like, super broken. This was probably 20% due to sheer old age and 80% due to my extreme strength, because I managed to bust steel with my bare hands one time when the UPS man was ringing the doorbell and the dog was barking and the baby was napping, the trifecta with potential to destroy anyone’s productive afternoon. Functionally, it kept our home reasonably secure right up until I found it’s replacement, but maintenance like that isn’t the kind of stuff you point out until it’s repaired and the house is fully secured again.

Knowing that I was needing to replace it timed nicely with the DIY Network door makeover projects. I had researched a few accessible knob/lock styles (i.e. big box stores, a few places online, smart locksets), but some divine-hardware-intervention occurred when I happened upon an EMTEK product brochure displayed on a high shelf in Rochester-based Matthews & Fields Lumber Company. EMTEK orders have to go through a retailer (locally, that was M&F), but its website is comprehensive so I made a long list of the products I liked best, sent my contact a bazillion links, and let them price it all out for me. A few of my favorites?

If you’re looking for modern door hardware, you’ll probably fall for something in EMTEK’s line of products, which is why I’m here to tell you to look for yourself – the collections are available in multiple finishes and with various rosettes to alter the appearance, and not exorbitantly priced (which is to vaguely imply, somewhere in between builder basic and a bar of gold; ~$280 for the knob, ~$150 for the deadbolt, but I’m not looking at my receipts so I might be high or low). The products that arrived were super heavy-duty-solid to the touch, and really quite impressive overall. The keys are huge and heavy, and the finish is gorgeous.

They feel luxe, and if the last handset lasted 65 years, hopefully these have just as much life in them.

New EMTEK hardware on my modern front door.