All that Glitters is Silver

silver leaf jewelry box

Since we are coming up on the New Year and generally that means a lot of “glitter and sparkle”  to celebrate, thought I’d share my own DIY version of decor sparkle.  My approach is  that every home has its color palette (neutral included) and should also include a metal in the palette for the unexpected treasures – mine is silver.  I luv silver since it can look both old and new.  So here’s a few silver treasures that may inspire your own –

The jewelry box above is the usual IKEA 6 drawer box. Comes in very plain wood.  I wanted a bit of a natural rustic look with a bit old silver. The box was painted and dry brushed with a leaf pattern on the top (yep sharpened up my elementary school painting skills and used real leaves that I painted and pressed- nature is the best stencil!). The front of the drawers are covered in silver leaf and the knobs are handmade (wooden balls painted and glued to hardware). The knobs are a tad fragile but easy to fix too.  It makes a great statement piece for the dresser that is part art and part function – the best of both worlds!

DIY silver tray

Trays are multipurpose and I couldn’t pass up a thrift store wood tray. I luved the very thin railings with just a hint of a curve in front.  After a light sanding and metallic silver paint it could take on the party or a quiet cup of tea!

DIY silver shell


Finally a fabulous metallic sea treasure! Silversmiths in Europe also make these beautiful treasures but since my bank account can’t afford real silver this is the next best thing. Any shell will do. Wipe with liquid sandpaper wait a few minutes for it to dry then spray with the metallic silver paint.  I generally put the shells on a chopstick, stuck in dirt or sand in a pot to spray evenly.  These would make a bowl of shells look amazing!

Hope you enjoy the New Year and find time to add a little glitter in your home!


Time for Holiday Treats?

homemade holiday treats


Finding extra time for holiday treats is always a challenge. This year instead of baking every last item on the list, it was time for a new tradition to enjoy more time with family and friends- or just time to relax.  The new tradition? Bake only one treat until it is eaten up, and figure family and friends will be baking and sharing a few of their treats!

Why the new tradition?
1. Baking takes time – enjoyable for the first couple batches but then it does get to be a chore by the 10th cookie sheet of the 4th variety

2. Having 2-3 dozen of a million different treats means you don’t get a chance to savor it -you keep thinking you have to eat and eat so you don’t miss it.

3. A family pact to make our favorite holiday treats throughout the year! This means baking time is enjoyed, treats are enjoyed and you don’t get that crazy holiday sugar coma!

So what was on my baking list this holiday?

  • Frosted sugar cookies – I cheated a little and used pre-made sugar cookie dough but with real butter cream frosting who cares about the cookie part
  • Gingersnaps – old family recipe that is good anytime of the year
  • Mini muffin tin pies – We can never eat an entire pie and no one can agree on the same kind, so it was easy to create just a couple apple and blackberry mini pies in muffin tin sizes

What did family and friends share?

  • Peanut butter kiss cookies
  • A too cute Reindeer cider mix-in
  • Fudge
  • Nanaimo bars
  • Homemade Caramel & Chocolate sauce

and so many more that it was nice to have just a piece and the rest stayed at their house!

Hope you found time to enjoy a holiday treat this month!




Seattle Hatchcover Art

Tlingit whale relief Hatchcover artA

There are times when you just need to hang your head and stare at the ground to enjoy a free art show! Just spotted by a long time Seattle visitor were several Seattle City Light Hatchcover Artworks. Started over 30 year ago, Seattle City Light has been engaging artists to create works of art for the hatchcovers.  These hatchcovers are anywhere from  230 to upwards of 350 pounds of steel art that are throughout the City. What a great way to make the ordinary extraordinary!  The hatchcover above is a Tlingit whale relief, created in 1976 by Nathan Jackson.

Heron Seattle city light Hatchcover Art


Another hatchcover spotted (artist unknown) with a stylized Heron. Visiting Seattle and thinking of planning a walking tour? Visit Seattle City Light to learn more.

Enjoy your spare time finding public art in your town!


Remember Your Favorite Travels

Travel sign posts

Need to remind yourself of long days in the hammock, fresh catch of the day and hours in the ocean? Want to remember a care free time with friends or family? For me it’s a reminder of why I work… to vacation on an island and pretend I’ll live there someday.

These travel sign posts came about since we wanted a reminder of places without time aka “island time”. They are attached to a trellis right outside our patio so we see it everyday – and yes sometimes they taunt, encouraging us to check airfares and schedules immediately depending on how well, or not, the day has gone! The bright colors were intentional as a reminder of the local island houses all painted from a great vibrant crayon box.

In case you’re considering creating a DIY set of your own sign posts or making a great gift a couple of things to keep in mind:

1. Old fence, tree houses or barn boards make great sign post wood!
2. Mitre saw or jig saw makes quick work of the cutting
3. Paint, distress and don’t bother with a clear protective coating for the “been here forever” look
4. The lettering is easiest with the paint pens from your local craft store
5. If you want to be for real, you have to plan where to hang them FIRST in order to figure out your travel direction and make the arrow point the right way –  we have a few arrows that will take you the long way!

Here’s the up close version and you might notice we use a combination of city, island names or countries depending on what is special to us…

island sign posts

island arrows

Here’s a few more that were the inspiration for these travel sign posts:
caye caulker belize sign post

Caye Caulker, Belize


Fremont, WA: Self proclaimed Center of the Universe

Enjoy remembering your best travels!


Magnet Board

DIY baking sheet magnet board

In my world you can never have enough note boards for all of life’s reminders! This is a DIY magnet board sea life style. In it’s past life it was a baking sheet found at an estate sale.  There are always baking sheets to be found for a buck or less.  I did learn that not all baking sheets are alike – many are not magnetic. So if it’s the magnet board you’re after bring a magnet to test it.

The quick steps are a light sand with several coats of spray paint.  The seahorse pattern was found online. I’ve been wanting to try the ‘freezer paper’ stencil method. Not having any freezer paper I used parchment paper.  Seemed to be a good substitute. Cut out the pattern with an Xacto knife.

seahorse stencil

seahorse template

This is the parchment paper pattern on the magnet board. I used a stencil brush with craft acrylic paint.  The method I’d rate as ok but not something I’d use often.  With a stencil brush it’s leaves more of a texture than I’d like. You also have to be ok with a little paint outside the pattern lines unless you use adhesive spray for the pattern.

After it dried a clear coat to protect.  The magnets were found shells and coral on beach trip with magnets glued to the back.

Pretty straight forward DIY magnet board that is completely customizable. All the boards are hung with the 3M command velco which is one of my fav go to products!  I’m thinking it would even look great to do a design that spans 3 DIY baking sheet magnet boards!

Enjoy your time making life’s reminder notes more fun to read!

DIY Chalk Vase

chalk vase

Yes, it’s true a chunk of time has passed since the last post. The reason for it is really the reason behind the blog title Luv My Spare Time.  Basically it was a lack of any spare time and I couldn’t make even a sliver either!

So getting back to it, this is one of my favorite projects and makes a great gift! Chalkboard anything makes is so personal and so easy to change.  It makes for a fun message board that you can use to welcome a dinner guest, happy birthday notes, special messages to your luv, occupy a kid at dinner (minus all water and plants) and showcase that inner artist.  Yep my dream, if I had better drawing talent, is a sidewalk chalk artist. First inspired by the Mary Poppins story and now in the 20th century the 3-D street art!

Back to the how to: these 3 small vases were clear drinking glasses picked up at the local thrift shop.  Painted with enamel from the craft store and oven baked for about 30 min. Then used a stencil to outline the chalkboard area.  Sure you could paint the entire glass with chalkboard paint too- I just luv color too much to not use it. I’ve used both the spray chalkboard paint and from a bottle and it all works great.

Here’s a few ideas for other chalkboard message creations – vases, mugs, garden pots and even clothespin labels!

Enjoy any spare time you can carve out this month!

cg pink chalkboard final

DIY Chalkboard Mug


The Messy Roost: Chalkboard Labels


Collector Spoons


This post should really be titled “Collector Spoons Coffee Conversation” or “Everyday History with Collector Spoons”! These are the small spoons- likely the ones your grandmother, aunt or mom collected, or maybe still does. The spoon collector tray at my Great Aunts and Grandmothers house was usually proudly hung on a wall close to the kitchen or the dining room. Looking at all the spoons was like time travel – each spoon a place or time they had traveled to with a story to tell.  From baby Prince William to Mt. Saint Helen’s or the Royal Canadian Mounties.  Grandmother and Great Aunt passed, but I didn’t want to lose the great history of the spoons and I also didn’t want something else to dust.

In keeping with my usual philosophy on all things pretty and precious, I think it’s best to use and enjoy them and give them the everyday attention they deserve.  So what better way to bring these small collector spoons back to life than using them as sugar spoons.  What’s great is that most of these spoons from the “olden days” are sterling silver or at least silver plated so they can stand up to everyday use (but I wouldn’t recommend the dishwasher).

So go ahead and track down a few in your family or make them part of your next flea market search.  They make for a great conversation piece and history too!

Enjoy your coffee and tea time!

p.s. I may have to find a bit more time to polish my silver collector spoons !

collector spoons