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Wednesday, June 24, 2015

a splendid summer - DIY branch sailboat.

Welcome to summer, friends! I don't know about you, but I can't believe we're already closing in on the end of June...yikes. And while summer's heat is definitely not on my wish list, thinking about cool lakes is. So it's no wonder that I've got sailboats on the brain...

I was trimming our large cedar trees the other day and this particular branch caught my eye because it's twiglet was almost straight up and down and I thought...hey that looks like a boat mast!

And thus a hare-brained idea was born. The Mr. might say another hare-brained idea...but what does he know  :-)

So I was off and running. To Craft Warehouse, that is.  To buy some delightful navy ticking fabric so I could make my very own DIY branch sailboat.

First, I measured the fabric for the two sails by measuring the height of the sail twig:
[ticking fabric].
I loved the raw frayed edge so I left it like that. Those raw edges of each sail are up against the mast.

After cutting the fabric into two triangles, I took some screw eyes and hand-screwed them into the top of the branch at each end. Cedar is pretty soft so I was able to do it by hand but if your wood is tougher you can always pre-drill your holes.

You can [kinda] see in the image above that I sewed a button hole where I wanted to tie the sail to the eye hook. This is totally optional, you could just as easily poke or cut a small hole in the fabric. I just love using my sewing machine so I break it out whenever I can.

You can also see I turned the bottom of the sail under and hemmed it, but only because I wanted some extra texture from the hem thread. Again, totally optional...if you want all raw edges go for it!

Then I just used some rope I already had to tie each sail to the branch in multiple places.

This project couldn't have been simpler. Or cheaper!
• branch: free! [gotta love free]
less than 1/2 yard of ticking fabric: $3
• screw eyes: I only used 2 out of an 8-count bag, but I'll count the whole bag: $1.20
• rope: less than a foot, I'll be generous and say: $1

This was a super fun project.  Next time I'm out cutting trees, I'm going to keep my eyes open for a small branch and make a mini sailboat to go along with this guy...


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Monday, April 20, 2015

sunday strolling in goose hollow.

Yesterday was just made for strolling. A bit warm, but not too warm. Flowers and plants exploded in color, birds chirping in every tree...

Portland has some incredible neighborhoods that are wonderful to stroll through, and one of our favorites is called Goose Hollow.

Like everything around Portland, it's easy to get to either by car or better yet take the MAX light rail train, get off at Goose Hollow, and head north.  You'll soon be in this wonderfully shaded, old neighborhood.

Goose Hollow is chock full of picturesque homes perched high on hills, with forest views and commanding views of the city. Not to mention character galore.

Like this purple house I showed you earlier. Can you believe?

It has a mass of wisteria next to it that we could smell from a block away.

Even the side view of the house is gorgeous, check those corbels and the little spires!

There are century-old rock walls with moss and vines hugging them, and gates leading up to the houses:
[rock wall and gate]
If you need a little breather or just want to sit and soak it all in, there are stone benches flanking the viaduct bridge:

Around every corner there's another gem of a home, like this brick red one tucked high in the trees, with an amazing forest view out the back:

or this beauty with its wonderful balustrade, not to mention that amazing tree out front!

As our mild Spring days get longer and longer, I imagine we'll be taking more of these neighborhood strolls. If I'm smart, I'll make sure my phone is well-charged!

Have an incredible week, friends!

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Friday, March 20, 2015

a blush of Spring.

Happy First Day of Spring friends!
Everyone knows I'm all about the blues and greys, but Spring usually has me thinking about creamy, blushy pinks and soft greens.

Like this adorable pink scooter against the cherry tree and green forest:
[love this pink scooter!]
 And this vignette I just put up against our Great Board & Batten Wall:
[pink hellebores and rose gold clutch in my entry.]

Do you all have cherry trees where you live? For me, Spring in Portland is the time when I race out to get pictures of the cherry blossoms. I love them on the tree but they're especially lovely when they're covering the ground like pink snow:
[cherry blossoms on curb, downtown Portland.]

[cherry trees, downtown Portland neighborhood.]

and let's not forget a little creamy, pinky goodness for ourselves!
I can't get enough of my new rose gold stacked rings from Charming Charlie...
[rose gold stacked rings. yea they're costume!]

...and a blush pink necklace and bracelet looks so fresh and pretty against my favorite creamy dress:
[gotta love a dress with pockets!]

It's Spring! Can you feel it?

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

how I fixed my scratched up kitchen cabinets.

We have this particular cabinet door in the kitchen that is just below and to the right of the sink. Ummm, I guess it gets splashed. A lot. Because seriously...look at the picture below. Yikes.

I'm super embarrassed to show you this before picture:
Wow, up close the damage was hideous. Not only was the wood scratched, it was buckled at the bottom of the inset panel.

I knew I could sand the whole thing down, then try to find/remember what finish was on the wood and hope against hope that after all that work it would sorta kinda maybe match it's neighbors.

Then one happy day I found this on Pinterest [thanks Tara!], which showed how to rejuvenate scratched wood with Watco Rejuvenating Oil.  So I thought, why not? If it doesn't work I'm no worse off than I was before. At only $6 it was sure worth a try.

First, I removed the door from the cabinet [ooh look at the nicks on the drawer above! those will get fixed as well]:
[removing cabinet door]. 
I took the door down to the garage and gave it a light sanding with some superfine grit sanding paper. Watco's instructions don't say to sand, but I wanted to smooth down the buckling a bit if I could.
[a wee bit of sanding].
[the magic potion].
I followed Watco's instructions, which are basically:
1. rub the product into the damaged area with a clean cloth
2. wait 10 minutes
3. wipe with a clean cloth

Simple! Even I could do that!

And check the result:
[after watco application].
While not perfect, I think it's 1,000 times better.  You can still see the damage at the bottom of the inset panel but once it's hung, that area is down by your feet so it won't even be noticeable.
And I didn't expect it to be perfect. As you saw, that door was pretty destroyed. In truth it probably needs to be replaced. But at least I can put it off for a while longer!

Friends, can you handle two more before and after pictures?

Take a look at the scratches on this kitchen drawer:
[what are we, animals? geez].

And now after a swipe of Watco magic:
[after the magic].
Now that's incredible!  :-)

If you plan to do this, of course please test it on an inconspicuous area first.

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Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DIY feature wall - picture frame molding in the master bedroom.

[feature wall: picture frame molding in the master bedroom].

Our master bedroom has this feature wall, under a peaked ceiling, that you see right when you walk into the room.
The Mr. hates that wall. And the ceiling, come to think of it.

I was ok with the wall, but wanted to make it stand out more. Nothing drastic or dramatic, just a little added texture and depth with some picture frame molding painted the same color as the wall.
Simple and elegant.

So out guessed it! My favorite purchase of all time, my Ryobi cordless nail gun.

I tell you, there's no rest for this poor thing.
First, came The Great Board & Batten Wall:
[The Great Board and Batten Wall].
Not too long after that was the shiplap wall/plank wall in the dining room:
[shiplap wall/plank wall].
Right on it's heels came the lattice wall in the stairwell:
[lattice wall].

And now here we are again, battery charged and ready to create a feature wall in the master bedroom.
Here's the wall before, inexplicably with a stationary bike in front of it:
[a bike? really?]
Not quite the feature I was looking for. Obviously that bike was the first to go.

Then off to Home Depot to look at molding options. So many options!
[home depot, molding options].
We went for this one, since it looked the most like picture frame molding:
[winner winner].
I sort of arbitrarily decided on the size I wanted for each frame, which ended up being 32"x66".
Total molding cost only $30.38  [49 ft x $0.62 per foot].  Wow, what a deal!

We cut the pieces on a 45 degree angle, painted them the same color as the wall [Artist Studio, by Ralph Lauren], and nailed them up using our trusty Ryobi nailgun.  A little spackle on the nail holes and some touch up paint, and it was done!

Looking better already:
[molding up!].
Better still, the simple art went back I've taken while exploring the Pacific Northwest:
[pictures hung].
And here's a closeup of the frames:
There you have it friends! As always, please let me know if you have any questions and I'll be happy to answer them if I can.

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