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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

metallic copper [recycled!] paint.

portland, oregon has this great city program called metropaint, where they take portlanders' unused paint and recycle it and mix it into new colors. anyone can go in and buy a gallon of their paint for only $8-$10. it's 100% recycled, low voc and super thick, what could be better?

in addition to some basic colors, they occasionally mix quarts of some really lovely metallics. you never know what they're going to have on a given day. I picked up some copper and painted my fireplace surround with it.
[copper painted fireplace surround].
 I love the contrast of the metallic copper against the matte stone tile.
[copper painted fireplace surround closeup].
and of course, being in portland, some natural decorations are a must!
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

autumn drive.

autumn is my favorite season, without exception. here in the pacific northwest we see glimpses of it in late august, but she really starts to strut her stuff around the autumnal equinox.

yesterday we were hit with a 'let's go on a big drive' bug, so we made our leisurely way down hwy 26, dubbed 'sunset highway'. with the headlights pointing west and the fleeting scent of woodburning fires in the air, we passed through forests and over creeks with magical names like nehalam, tillamook, & clatsop.  interspersed with the deep green of cedar and pine I glimpsed what will surely be flaming oranges and reds before October goes.

once we reached the end of the sunset highway, the question had to be answered: north or south? it had been a while since we'd been to Astoria, so north it was. 
[view of astoria bridge from astoria column].
I love visiting Astoria. I love the Astoria Bridge, the Astoria Column, and gazing at the mouth of the Columbia River where she oh so reluctantly gives up her freedom and joins the Pacific.

[liberty theatre, downtown astoria].

[crossing the astoria bridge].

[crossing the astoria bridge].

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

lovely + a little spooky halloween wreath.

halloween was always a fun holiday for me as a kid. we lived in what is now a truly frightening part of Los Angeles. but back then, in the 1970s, it was safe for just the kids [no adults allowed!] to go out by ourselves. armed with a ratty old pillowcase to collect our loot, we'd run through the neighborhood, making stops back at home base to unload the haul. then we'd race out again.

now that I'm an adult I still love halloween, even if it doesn't hold the thrilling terrors it used to. though now I see it as a great excuse to decorate the house. last year, I had this idea of making a black wreath and I finally did it yesterday.
[the fixins].
the house next door to us in the old neighborhood was widely considered to be haunted, as it inexplicably sat pretty far back on its lot, with a lot of huge old trees in front of it. I can just picture this wreath hanging on their front door. except it would have real skulls on it of course.  brrr.
[in the sun so you can see the furry spider-leg on the cobweb fabric; gross and fun!].

[1] medium sized grapevine wreath
[1 pkg] soft plastic skulls from Michaels [or any craft store]
[1 can] black spray paint
[1] floral stem of purple cloth flowers
[a few strands of] scrap fabric
[way less than 1 roll] floral wire or craft wire

1. spray the grapevine wreath with black spray paint
2. wrap scrap fabric loosely around the wreath, tucking it in and around the branches to secure it
3. cut flowers off the the floral stem and tuck into the wreath where desired
4. poke the wire through back of skulls and twist ends around wreath stems to secure
5. if desired, take another piece of scrap fabric and tie it around the top to use as a hanging device

this wreath project was a lot of fun. I toyed with the idea of putting glitter on the skulls but decided against it. they're just wired on so I can always remove them and add the glitter if I change my mind. for now, I kind of like their multi-colored bony shades.
[close up].
counting the days till october 1st so I can hang it on the front porch.
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