Mar 31, 2012

Open windows!

Spring has finally arrived to my loft today, and I've thrown open the windows to my new studio for the first time. Sunshine is pooling on my work table, a soft breeze is rustling my papers, and there's a bright blue sky spread out above the new grass below.

Life is good!

Mar 30, 2012

Friday Finds

Today's Friday Finds are an eclectic bunch.  

Easter is sneaking up on us, and this Peep wreath by Eclectically Vintage is just plain adorable. If the number of times this was repinned on my Pinterest is any indication of its popularity, I'd say there's a danger of yellow bunny Peeps selling-out this Easter. Better get yours early!

Eclectically Vintage

Stone Gable found a pretty home for a nest and eggs in a shiny silver Paul Revere Bowl. 

Stone Gable

 My clematis vines have a few more leaves since I wrote about them here. Kirk from the iVillage Garden Web forum is justifiably proud of his green thumb and this clematis twined around an old screen.

iVillage Garden Web

The recipe for this spectacular mouth watering Snickers Brownie is found on Jasey's Crazy Daisy.

Jasey's Crazy Daisy

I could plunk this charming sofa from Design Sponge down in any room of my house and I'd love it. 

Design Sponge

Creative Cain Cabin put me in a Spring mood and made me smile with this whimsical bunting. 

Creative Cain Cabin
This sleepy bundle of fur is Rosie from Calypso in the Country. Shelley, her owner, does "Pupdates," so head on over there if you need more of this cuteness... (doesn't everyone?)

Calypso in the Country

And last but not least today, is this tape dispenser redo by the Simplified Bee (because nothing is too insignificant to be made pretty!)

Simplified Bee

Have a great weekend!

Mar 29, 2012

I Went Shopping

I misplace days... all the time. 

I have no idea what happened to Wednesday, but I know I had it here just a minute ago. 

Anyway, I went shopping today, Thursday, and I'd love to share with you what I bought. I've been thinking about these purchases for quite awhile (I don't spend money lightly), and I'm super excited to finally have them.

My first purchase is the Creating Your Masterpiece Ebook by Shaunna West of the Perfectly Imperfect blog.  I just might be the last person in blogdom to buy this e-book about refinishing furniture. It was on sale for $10, and after an easy download it's sitting on my laptop, just like a real book sits on a real desk top. I can open it and look through it whenever I want. But this book is even better than a regular book because it has video instruction!

Perfectly Imperfect

My second purchase is the Photography 101 Class by Shoot Fly Shoot. (You can read my previous post about Shoot fly Shoot and the class here.) After registering and paying the $69 fee, I have access to the course online whenever I feel like studying. The class is a series of videos designed to get a beginner digital SLR photographer off automatic settings and into the exciting (if intimidating) world of manual settings. 

Shoot Fly Shoot
I know a little bit about both these topics (refinishing furniture and photography), but I want to know a whole lot more. I'm frustrated with wasting time learning from my own mistakes. So I started slogging through the tons of written material available online, reading my new camera manual (oh, ugh!), and finally decided it was worth the investment to purchase really good educational materials that fit my learning style, which is visual and hands-on. 

Now I can set up my laptop near my work space, watch the video tutorials, and "do it" as I learn.

But since I lost yesterday, I have to wait until tomorrow to start. 

Mar 27, 2012

My Expanded Loft

The other day, my husband surprised me big-time when he offered to give up some of the loft workout space to make my studio larger.

I use the treadmill and Exercycle once in awhile, but my husband is a serious work-out enthusiast. He actually lifts all these weights. Regularly. Sometimes while lying on his back. And you should see him on the Nordic Track. It makes me sweat just to watch him! 

So it was a pretty big sacrifice for him to offer up five feet of the hallowed ground where he maintains his muscles.

He has a LOT of muscles. 

I jumped at the offer, of course. No tearing down of walls, no big deal, we just moved the loveseat over five feet. But, wow, what a difference five feet of floorspace can make in your life.

 It's not like I'm dancing around in it or anything. But I could.

And I'm loving it! Thanks, hon. 

Mar 26, 2012

Garden Stakes

I was finally able to get some seeds planted in the new vegetable garden yesterday. According to my planting chart, it's only warm enough here in Idaho for spinach, radishes, and green onions so far (at least of what I plan to plant.) It's been awhile since I had a garden, and I almost forgot to mark my rows. I remembered how hard it is to tell weeds from seedlings when it comes time to thin the rows, if you don't mark them.

So, as I scrambled around just before dark trying to find something to use as markers, I remembered I had some Popsicle sticks. I scribbled the seed type and date on them with a sharpie pen (don't ask me why the date) and stuck them in the dirt. 

When I went out this morning to see if I needed to water the garden, I thought those row markers looked pretty pathetic. 

 Now don't laugh. I went upstairs and made some new ones...

...with decoupage.

I covered the whole stick with decoupage medium, stuck a clip art image of each vegetable on the tip and covered that with decoupage medium too.

I'm hoping they will be waterproof and hold up in the wet soil, so maybe I can reuse them next year. (Ever the optimist.)

 C'mon, they're kinda cute, right?

I made a whole bunch of them so I can plant more of each of these vegetables every two weeks until it gets too hot (spinach, radishes, and green onions are considered to be cool season crops here in Idaho). That way this harvest will be spread out over a few weeks instead of ready to pick all at one time. 

I'll make some more garden markers for the other veggies I'll be planting when it warms up. 

Happy Planting!

{Someone asked me in a comment how I keep my inkjet prints from running when decoupaging. My black ink doesn't bleed for some reason, but the color on these did smear if I over-brushed the decoupage medium. Just had to be quick.}  

Note: These garden markers are working out pretty well so far. The only problem is that the rascally squirrels take them out of the ground, play with them, and don't put them back where they were! Little rascals!

You may also like this Vintage Craft Chest

Linking to

Mar 25, 2012

Vintage Craft Chest

I love little wooden chests of all kinds for storing supplies around my craft table. 

I found this yellow flowered one at the thrift store and thought it would be perfect for my first chalk paint project.


I painted it white using homemade chalk paint and then decoupaged an old French label and some vintage scissors onto it (from The Graphics Fairy.) To seal and age it, I used Minwax dark and light finishing waxes.   



I have another little chest waiting to be painted, but the garden won't wait to be planted. There just aren't enough hours in the day! Hopefully, I'll be sharing it soon.

You may also like
Bunny Tray

Shabby Chic(k) Decoupage Egg

Linking to
DIY Showoff 
Homemaker on a Dime
Ask Anna
Under the Table and Dreaming 
The Center of Attention Deficit Disorder

The Graphics Fairy
The Girl Creative

Today's Creative Blog 
Not Just a Housewife
Coastal Charm
Vintage Wanna Bee
Hope Studios
Tip Junkie
Home Stories A 2
My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 

Clean & Scentsible
Elizabeth & Company
Ivy and Elephants
Faded Charm
Savvy Southern Style 
It All Started With Paint 
Thistlewood Farm
Eclectically Vintage
The Cottage Market
The Space Between  
No Minimalist Here

The Shabby Creek Cottage
From My Front Porch to Yours
These Peas Taste Funny 

French Country Cottage
Common Ground
At the Picket Fence
The Shabby Nest
Tatertots and Jello 

Funky Junk Interiors

Craft Table Skirt

I haven't been happy with the way my eye is drawn to the area beneath my craft table. Uggily Wuggily (to quote Jack Prelutsky in The Baby Uggs are Hatching).

So using 7 yards of $1.99/yard unbleached muslin that I bought at Jo-Ann with a 40% off coupon, I made a skirt to hang under the table. 

I didn't want to have to dig behind the fabric for the printer, waste basket and power strip or get my legs tangled up in it when working at my table, so I moved the tension rods ($6.99 each at Fred Meyer) to the backs of the drawers.

I like the way the light still comes through the fabric, and now my eye travels to the top of the table instead of the uggily wuggily area beneath it. 



 Mission accomplished.

Mar 24, 2012

New Camera!

Fellow bloggers out there: do you ever have post remorse? Like when you publish a post one day, and the next day go, "What was I thinking?!"


But today's another day, and a mighty fine day it is...

this incredibly lucky woman, yes, moi...

has a new camera!

I'll write about the process I went through to choose and purchase this particular camera next week, but today I just wanted to share it with you. Here's a photo I took with my phone of my table right now as I prepare to install all that camera software you see there. 

Just feast your eyes on that little beauty.

I'm the luckiest person in the world tonight. I'm going to curl up on the sofa with my glass of wine and watch the Canon Training DVD. What more could a girl ask for? 

Hope you have a great evening, too!