Aug 31, 2012

Photo a Day Challenge- August wrap up

Oh my.  
I am so sad this is the last day of August.  Summer just goes way too fast around here, but this one seemed to go by with break neck speed.
*sigh*

Since it is the last day of August, I thought I would show you my favorite Instagram pics from the Photo a Day challenge I am participating in with Fat Mum Slim
(and a whole bunch of other Instagrammers....)

I'm not gonna lie- August was a tough list!  There were a few days I couldn't think of what to do with the word, so I skipped!
But this is all about FUN, not pressure.  So no biggie.

Here's the personal favorites, with the day and word prompt in the caption:

Day 2: One

Day 4: somewhere you sat

Day 8: glasses

 
Day 15: ready

Day 17: faces


Day 21: cool
Day 28: clock

September's list is already posted on Chantelle's webpage, so if you'd like to participate, you can click over there to read what the prompts are and find other Photo a Day particpants through the hashtags we use for each day!

Hope your August was fun filled, and that summer was full of good memories!

Aug 28, 2012

packaging and branding your business

I am so thrilled to have some beautiful new stickers to use for my packaging!

In just a couple weeks, I will be participating in the Deepwood Vintage Market.  I wanted to have something to put on the market bags that was cute and would help my customers remember where their purchase came from. 

My wonderful designer, Megan of Red Pearl Designs, helped me create these:


I love the unique shape, and that it includes my webpage.
(did you also notice that I switched to a dot com?)

 Everything I use now has my logo (branding) on it.  
Business cards, sales tags, even my watermark on all my photos.

With Pinterest and social media, I also watermark all my Etsy photos- you never know where it will end up, and if someone will find you through that source!


The stickers came in this handy little tin. 
 It's great for keeping them safe until I need to use them, and small enough for me to toss in my purse or pricing bag when I am out and about.

I also will use these as my packaging for my Etsy sales:


Much prettier than then invisible tape I was using!

I also started a new board on Pinterest- creative packaging.  

I am always incredibly impressed by Anthropologie's packaging, and the amount of thought, creativity and care that they put into the smallest details.
Cute gift card pouches, invoice envelopes, sales bags.  

I am making more effort to slow down, craft my product, and be proud of each and every aspect.

Thank you once again Megan, for the beautiful job!

If you'd like to see the amazing project Megan has been working on, you can click here to see on her blog. (hint, he's due in September!)
Her work is stunning, and I am so proud to partner with her.

****
Before another day goes by, and I forget to post the info again, here's the postcard info on the market!
Mark your calendars!  



I will post updates of items I will be taking with me to the market as time allows.  
It is sneaking up fast!!

If you want first dibs on items and a fun night out, 
be sure to purchase your tickets for the evening soiree.  


I will be offering a special coupon to all my Facebook fans shortly before the show.  
:)



farmhouse front porch makeover

I guess it's better late than never!  

I have been so anxious to get this project completed- it's too bad it was finished in the final days of summer break!  
Hopefully we'll have some nice weather stretch into fall so we can continue to enjoy our cozy new space.


The update of our front porch began with cleaning and re-staining our deck.
Everything had to be pressure washed and clean prior to bringing the color back to life.  With all of our wet weather here in Oregon, it's an annual chore.  
And I do mean chore.

Here was the layout before pic of our porch, from the beginning of July, this year:


...and the before pic of the badly weathered front entrance:


Pressure washed and bare:


Stained and ready!


We used Behr's semi transparent stain in Cedar Naturaltone.  It got terrible online reviews, but we decided to use it thanks to gift cards Jon had gotten through work.
It saved us about $90 out of pocket!

Since re-staining is an annual job, as long as it looks good until next summer, I hope we can live with the outcome.


We also installed some outdoor curtains behind the porch swing.  We installed some screw hooks, and simply added an extra long curtain rod I found at a thrift shop for 99 cents.


The curtains are drop cloths from Home Depot.
We used the long, narrow ones. (not the typical 6 x 9)
  Some rope tie backs, and we have an instant outdoor room!

I had this little ladder that I used in my room at Aunt Bee's.


I used it to display linens, but eventually switched it out for something bigger. We decided to hang it with some short lengths of chain, and weave some outdoor bulbs through it for a unique chandelier.
(would that be considered a ladder-lier?)



I love it- so fun and unique!!

This chippy little stool now holds one of our planters, and I like that it gives the appearance of a little window box.

  
I also rearranged the furniture placement and the plants by the door.
Our front door takes quite a beating from the sun every summer, and it needed some TLC.


We sanded and restained the lower part of the door, and added a kick plate to hide the wear and tear.

Our door handle was also looking pretty worn, so I polished it up with some metal polish, and it looks so much better when friends and family come by.

The final element I plan to add to the porch will be a subway sign on the wall here:


I am making my own replica of this charming sign I saw on Pinterest,
via Barn Owl Primitive's Etsy shop.


So cute!

In a few weeks I'll add all of my fall decorations to the porch, but I'm so glad we finally got the makeover done!


Thanks for visiting, see you soon!
I think I will go enjoy a cup of coffee in my new outdoor room....

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Aug 26, 2012

summer table setting and Frogmore Stew

Thank you so much for all of you kind hearted words on my recent absence.  It has been so good / therapeutic to step away for a few days and regroup.  

I really do love blogging and the creative outlet it allows me.  
I especially love getting to know and be inspired by so many of you.
Thank you!

****

We had our annual Frogmore Stew feast over the weekend, and it was a ton of fun!

If you would like to see previous posts on the recipe and shenanigans, you click here and here.

I love having a reference on how I decorated from previous years, and little notes to remember for future parties.

The table decor was slightly tweaked from last year- I like the changes, and how everything improves a little each time.
The decor was pretty low budget, and built off of previous stuff I've used.


Our hydrangeas have all faded from the bright blue of early summer to pale pinks, blues, greens and lavendar hues.  It worked great with the colors I have for the table!

Some simple burlap wrapped vases with turquoise ribbon; sea glass and votives; and burlap placemats.
The green and blue melamine plates were from Target a couple years ago.


This year was especially fun and special, because our friends, Rex and Lois were here on a short visit from Hawaii!

Yay!

I tried two Pinterest recipes for our get together:
the girls tried Salty Chihauhua's....


Honestly, I give it a B-.  Not my favorite cocktail, but it was simple to put together with so many other things going on in the kitchen.

But- the dessert!
Was. to. die. for!!
My friend Val posted these DElicious cupcakes on her blog a couple months ago, and I pinned it as a future "must try".

Holy cow.
 I could have eaten the whole bowl of frosting too!



Absolutely amazing.  Everyone loved them.  
Thank you, Val!
You are a rockstar!

Even though Frogmore Stew is pretty simple, it still requires a lot of time babysitting the stove top, so I kept the appetizers simple.
I picked up two of our favorites from Trader Joe's- mini crab cakes and caramelized onion pastry puffs:


So yummy.

My friend Tiffany also brought all the ingredients for caprese appetizer- one of our favorites too.
We have a lot of fun in the kitchen together.


When the food was ready, we all stepped out on the deck for dinner.


This year, I added in crab to the stew.


We had cornbread as our only side.
Everything was yummy!



I've been working on giving our porch a mini makeover...


...We enjoyed a few minutes on our front porch at sunset. 
 I will reveal the makeover this week!
You can see some sneak peeks in my Instagram lineup.

We had a fabulous evening, and it was a blast to see Miss Hannah learning how to prep for a party and being so helpful in the moments before.

The kids had a good time, and enjoyed the special dessert for them- taste testing unwrapped candy bars.
We missed the photo op there, but it is a fun tradition.

Love family entertaining!!
Have a great week, see you soon.


Aug 22, 2012

clarity

Do you ever have those moments in life where you just need a break?  
Just to walk away and say "enough"? 

 I know I've been absent for a few days here, but it's because of too much stuff going on.
The weekend was a rough one for me.

Lately I feel beat down, overworked, and just plain tired.
Working on things that make me feel like I am barely keeping my head above water.

Watching my filthy house get dirtier by the minute and wishing I could just slow down to a normal pace.

So you know what?
I did.  

I put the brakes on, and said phooey to everything else.
Normally on Mondays, I do all the social media stuff and get the blog rolling, and then hurry off to a workout.


Instead, I stayed in my pj's most of the morning.

Took a mid morning nap.

Watched movies on the couch for the better part of a sunny day with my girl and Bella.
It. was. fabulous.

I hardly checked my phone, went on Facebook, or looked at anything blog related.

In the afternoon, we meandered to Trader Joe's.

Enjoyed a trip through Petco looking at critters.

Bought our favorite snacky dinner of peppered salami, aged parmesan, and bruschetta, and had a wonderful meal.  (me with a glass of wine, Hannah with water)
;)

It was perfect.

It also gave me some time to consider what I want out of my business and blog.
What "success" means to me, and only me.
What I want my blog, and my posts to be like.

I also finally had a chance to figure out some photography stuff that's been nagging me.

Thought about what I want out of my business.

Clarity.  It is such a gift.

A lot of times in life I put too much pressure on myself to do it all.
I can't.  And I shouldn't.

via Pinterest

I want what I do in life to have meaning, and FUN.
It shouldn't feel like a rat race.

I want what is truly important in life, to be important. 


Thanks for your support- I will be back soon with more of my regular stuff, and I am enjoying slowly getting back in the swing of things, but I needed a little break!

This weekend is our annual Frogmore Stew get together, so I will hopefully have a tabletop vignette to show you and our front porch makeover reveal.

See you soon.



Aug 16, 2012

Bella Rustica dresser

This poor dresser came to me in the roughest state of any piece I've ever made over.  
Stored in an old garage, used and abused, the finish was all bubbled and warped when I got her.



Her crowning glory was the harp that still was in tact - gorgeous floral carvings!
By the time we got home, even that was shattered.
 Literally.

We were helping friends move, and I got a call to see if I wanted her.  We loaded her up with all of the other stuff being moved, and set off for home.

Halfway home, I saw lots of shards of wood hitting the road- my assumption was extra stuff coming off of a workbench we were moving.

Nope.  
The dresser had fallen over, and the harp was gone.  I even tried to retrace our path to find any remaining pieces.... gone.
I wanted to cry.
:(

My plan was to use the bubbled finish in my favor.
I chiseled away the warped top.


Sanded down the exterior.

And used 2 coats of sunny yellow milk paint.

Sanding down over the parts that still had some texture really made for great distressing on this piece.



A friend of mine from Aunt Bee's gave me a harp that she wasn't going to use, and I installed that to the dresser.


I left the two original pulls on the top drawers.



...and added some beautiful new Anthropologie knobs to the others.

My original plan was to completely redo the top, but instead, I sanded it down, glued and clamped the warping, and stained it in a walnut stain.
I love the rustic charm!


The drawers are all lined with vintage dictionary pages.


One of the drawers was so completely warped, I had to rebuild it.

I hope someone will see the charm and rustic beauty in this piece and enjoy her in a new home!


She will be coming with me to Aunt Bee's parking lot sale this Sunday.
9am-5pm- and early birds are always there! (hint hint- get there early for best selection...)

 I will try and post some preview pics of what I will be bringing with me on FB before the weekend....
...if time allows.
;)

Have a great day!

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