Custom Artwork with Reclaimed Wood Frame

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Custom Bat Mitzvah painting with reclaimed barn wood and pallet frame by Serendipity Refined

Every now and then, I have the opportunity to create one of a kind pieces of art for very special people.  Last year, it was a Pallet Wood Nursery Sign for a friend who became a Grandmother for the first time. Then, it was a Pottery Barn knockoff Glitter Santa that I made as a surprise for my sister last Christmas.

Today, I have the opportunity to create a custom piece of art with a barn and pallet wood frame for the Bat Mitzvah of a young lady named, "Esther".

Master Bathroom Reveal

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Dark Wood Master Bathroom Cabinets, Sconces, Mirrors Tile, Glass Shelves, Crema Marfil Marble, Emperador Dark Granite, shower, tile rug, mosaic, tub surround

Is it odd that I'm showing you my bathroom?  I haven't shared this room because I wasn't sure. Until today, only my family and a few very close friends have ever seen our master bathroom.  It's en suite;  through the  dressing hall, past our closets. It has french doors to allow the natural light to fill what would otherwise be a dark hallway.

How to Make A Four Generation Family Tree

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Easy Creative Four Generation Family Tree Project by Serendipity Refined

I have a question for you.  Have you ever made a four generation family tree?

Over the years, my sons have made more school projects than I can count and certainly more than I even remembered...until recently. You may wonder why I'm telling you this.

Did I mention that we're getting our home ready for sale?

We are...and we're cleaning out closets

Home Tour: Living Room

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White Tan Formal Living Room Molding Window seat Fireplace vintage

I realized this morning as I was walking to the kitchen  trying to make my way past the boxes to pack lunch for my youngest that our formal living room is one of my favorite rooms in our home.

Do you want to know why?

                                                                                                        It's not what you might think......

Summer Urns and Container Gardens: Tips and Tricks

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Summer Urn Planter Container Garden Hydrangea Lavender Rose Ivy Grey White Green Pink Purple

I've been designing and planting gardens, urns and planters for over thirty years and my favorites are still  That sounds like a really long time, doesn't it?  

Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes: A Quick "Hello"

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Hi! You're probably wondering where the heck I've been.... least I hope that you've missed our two or three times a week "chats", I know that I have.

While I can't give you details just yet, there's are some pretty significant changes happening here at the Refined house.

Our oldest will be home from college in about 72 hours for about a week...then he'll be moving to Georgia for a summer internship.

Our youngest graduates in three the middle of it all, we're selling our home...and purchasing what will likely be a smaller, older home in need of rehab....because, let's face it,  both of my sons will be gone this fall, our current home is finished, and I need a new project.

So, right now, pretty much every room looks like this...and the garage is full....

...and my life feels like a Jimmy Buffet song....

"With these changes in latitudes, changes in attitudes
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of my running and all of my cunning
If I couldnt laugh I just would go insane

If we couldn't laugh we just would go insane

If we weren't all crazy we would go insane"

There are some changes coming....
                                                            ....and yes, so far, I'm  laughing...and packing.


My Kitchen Back splash: Hand Painted Ceramic Tile

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Kitchen back splash ceramic  tile hand painted hand formed raku

Have you ever seen something so lovely that it "haunted" you for a year afterwards?  Well, that was the case when I found my hand painted kitchen back splash tile; proving, once again,

that, Good things come to those who wait work their butt off and don't take "no" for an answer!

I had seen it in a local tile store.  All they would tell me was that it was hand formed and hand painted by two ladies that had a small tile company some where in Canada.  That's all I knew...for a year...that and the fact that I had to have it in my kitchen.

A year later, we began construction of our home and, when it came time to design the kitchen, I knew that the tile was going to play a central role. I chose cabinets and counter tops that would coordinate with the tile that I had seen.

Kitchen back splash ceramic  tile hand painted hand formed raku

Everything was progressing smoothly...until my tile source went out of business. Our home took just over a year to build and I spent that time looking for another tile that I would love as much as the one that I had seen nearly two years earlier.

I found....nothing.  Nothing would compare to the crackled glaze and hand formed tiles....nothing came close to the range of color found in raku.  This tile haunted me!  

We moved into our home and the kitchen was without tile for nearly two years after that (for those of you keeping track...this is nearly four years from the first time that I saw this tile)

Kitchen back splash ceramic  tile hand painted hand formed raku

Over the next several months, I scoured the Internet, searching, in every conceivable way, for hand painted, hand formed, ceramic back splash tile....then, one day, I found it! I called the lovely ladies in Canada and explained my situation and they agreed to work with me.

It took nearly another year before the tile was finished and installed. Each time there was a revision to the colors or to how I wanted it painted, it took 12 weeks for the new sample of the tile to leave Canada,  clear customs and make it to Illinois.

After all that, I can still say that I love this tile!  So much, in fact, that I decided that I'd like to install something similar in my new kitchen...different colors, of course, and a slightly different pattern, but I want to work with these ladies.

So, you can imagine my disappointment when I realized that I've lost the name and address of the company!!!!!

Kitchen back splash ceramic  tile hand painted hand formed raku

If any of you happens to recognize this tile or knows the name of the small, Canadian, tile makers that this may have come from....please message me....otherwise, I'll be searching the Internet...again...

Kitchen back splash ceramic  tile hand painted hand formed raku

No, I don't have a new home chosen...yet.

I do know that it will likely be a rehab and that it will involve a new kitchen....and hand painted ceramic back splash tile...from this company...if I can find them.  You may wonder why I'm looking when I haven't even found a place yet... Well, this time, I'd like to have my tile installed in less than five years....that seems reasonable, doesn't it?