You can make anything nice fabulous, and take ordinary to extraordinary by simply adding a few personal touches. My latest case in point would be the wedding shower beach bag I ordered from etsy for my sweet friend who will be honeymooning in a tropical paradise this summer.
The bag itself arrived in record time, and was in an absolute perfect shade of blush pink. (So pretty it was, that I ordered one as a little surprise for myself as well!) It also came in several other mouthwatering colors! I am currently jonesing for the aqua one, but then of course I could see the practicality of the fabulous natural or grey. (Her shop is currently closed for holiday until July first, but you can click the button to have etsy email you when she returns.)
It was nicely lined with a little inside pocket. The straps are super sturdy, (Strong enough for me to carry my 15" laptop around in it.) and it was pretty just the way it arrived.
But I wanted something that subtly whispered "I'm on my honeymoon" so I needed to foofify it a bit.
I made a little pom pom out of some of my scrunchie vintage seam binding (In equally three perfect shades of pink)a fun "diamond ring" (Napkin ring) and a home crafted tag that reads "honey-moonin'.
Now, this sweet bag is unique adn special, just like my friend.
But I never got around to it.
Then, last week, in Maui, I came across the cutest hula girl tea towels, and I knew they needed to be with my wooden coasters...er postcards, so I bought them, and popped them in my suitcase.
Tuesday night I was making grilled teriyaki chicken sammies, with Swiss cheese and grilled pineapple slices on toasted buns, and I figured that was about as Hawaiian as I ever really get in the kitchen, so I should put those little treasures to good use.
I started with some old thrifted rattan trays for placemats, and added the wooden postcards, and tea towels as napkins.
I'm adding touches of red, white, and blue to my cottage with the 4th of July just a few weeks away, and I wanted a statement piece for my mantel. I found a vintage photo of a sweet little guy holding a flag and some huge firecrackers, and I had it printed in a large 3 by 4 foot size at my local Staples store as an engineered print. (Costs just a bit over seven dollars here in the pacific northwest)
The print came out slightly digitized, but I was okay with that. (Tip: if you want to do an engineered print from a vintage photo in a huge three by four foot size, try and make sure the properties of the photo show that the DPI's are at least 75 or larger.) I thumb tacked the print over my existing chalkboard print on insulation board, and got out my colored pencils.
I lightly colored in the red and blue on the flag as well as the firecrackers, and placed the poster on my mantel.(It didn't photograph too well; you have to look closely, but in person it's a little more visible.) I added a row of repurposed Starbucks frappuccino bottles with little American flags in them, and called it good.
I'm happy with how it turned out, and now I'm working on adding a few more patriotic touches throughout the cottage. (I'll share pictures later!)
Do you decorate at all for Independence Day? I'd love to hear!
I've been working on several fun crafty projects lately for two different girlfriends who are engaged. My fabulous hairstylist saw an idea on Pinterest she was wanting to do to invite her nearest and dearest friends (and sister) to be part of her bridal party.
(Of course you know I jumped on that to see if I might whip them up for her!)
A flurry of texts later, complete with photos of ideas for her winter wedding colors and style, and I was happily crafting until the wee hours because, when it comes to paper projects (Truth be told, any kind of project, for work or fun) I am a woman obsessed.
I created two tags for small bottles of champagne, and foofifiied them up with tulle and ribbon. They came out so cute that I will be adding them to my etsy shop soon as a printable kit.
Since I have multiple friends getting ready to head down the aisle, I have a few more projects to share in the wedding shower theme, so stay tuned!
First, I experience the glorious anticipation of the vacation getaway, followed by the actual trip, and then, somehow (always much faster than expected) it is over, and it's get back to the real world of setting the alarm on my iphone to wake me ay 5:30 in the morning, and laundry, and watching bad television. (The Bachelorette is my current bad-TV guilty pleasure.)
(Don't judge me.)
I always find myself caught in an odd state of turmoil as my vacation adventure comes to an end; where I am so incredibly sad for the fun to be over, while being filled with huge wave of homesickness at the very same moment, longing excitedly to return to the comfort of my little cottage. (To be clear, that is not to be confused with a burning desire to get back to daily activities like work, and errands, and chores, but rather just the familiar and cozy haven of home.)
(Do you feel that way after being on holiday?)
(Insert long, contented sigh here.)
It was a lovely, wonderful, fabulous, restful, fun trip, and I will treasure the memories for a long time to come.
Life is so good.
So, here's a fun little twist to our Maui girl-time vacation, with an emphasis on girl-time.
After the bonus vacation pit-stop at Stanford Hospital, we arrived in Maui on Saturday, got settled in at the hotel and spent the day sipping grown up drinks in the sun, while people watching and enjoying lots of girl-talk.
As we finished dinner, we discovered that we both had messages on our phones via text and Facebook from two additional high school girlfriends. They were also on Maui, vacationing with family!(They had seen my blog posts about the vacation and trip to ER posted on Facebook, and realized we must all be there at the same time.)
It turned out they were dining just two blocks away from other restaurant where we were dining, and so we skedaddled right on over to say aloha. (I know! Crazy, incredibly small world, right?!) We also discovered our hotels were in walking distance of one another, so we decided to meet up to walk the path by the beach together in the morning.
We've had a fabulous time, catching up with one another each day here in paradise.
I know i have said this before, but I just have to say it one more time...God bless the world wide web.
We will be departing for the island tomorrow morning (Saturday) as we spent all of Thursday night enjoying the plush surroundings of Stanford Hospital's ER Room, which actually includes a huge triage tent, and boasts a very strong "M*A*S*H*" style resemblance during their major remodel.
I'll keep this short, and spare you the details, as much of what went on was not for the faint of heart, nor the squeamish, nor is it the kind of thing steak lovers want to hear happens. It turned out, after many long hours, tests, and x-rays, that I had some steak from dinner out with my Dad, stuck in my esophagus.
And it wasn't going to move down to my stomach on it's own.
After a not-so-pleasant procedure that is now thankfully a really foggy memory for me, the steak bites are gone and I am back in the business of getting ready to vacation.
Note to self: Cut your food bites small, and chew your food about 25 times before you swallow.
Today's blog post is courtesy of the United States news media, that guy who was head of security with the TSA, and the fabulous Portland International Airport.
You know, the national news has been focusing on the hideous long lines for security and how folks are missing flights all over America (particularly Chicago it seems) and how it's affecting life for airline travelers in general. I'm heading out today (yay!!) on vacation, and I wanted to be sure I was at the airport early enough to avoid any of the unpleasantness the news had shared, even though I typically am given the TSA Pre-check approval and get to fast track through there. (I am guessing it is a combination of the fact that I fly fairly often, and only domestic flights, and I am rapidly approaching the 60 year mark, so it stands to reason that I have got to be considered a low risk to be a terrorist.)
My Rock n' Roll Buddy dropped me off a comfortable three and a half hours before flight time. (It may seem extreme, but from the news reports,and the fact that dropping me was on his direct path to his work, where he needs to be by 8:30, determined that my arriving at about 8:10 worked out for everyone involved.) When I checked my bag, and was given a fresh boarding pass by the skycap, and sure enough, it was the TSA Pre-check approved.
I waltzed through the airport, and since I was so early, I browsed through a few shops. (If you ever are in Portland, and at the airport in particular, you may want to arrive a half hour early to shop. We've got Powell's Books, and a pretty awesome shoe store.) I headed for the security check, and there it was.
The looming line I had heard so much about.
Only, this was the TSA Pre-check line. (Apparently the newest thing is to pay eighty-five bucks or so and get yourself pre-screened-for-five-years-in-advance, and very nearly everyone had done it.
Twice as long as the take-off-your-shoes-Target-necklace-earrings-and-worry-that-your-underwire-bra-might-set-things-off line.
It turned out that even though the TSA Pre-check line was so long, it moved fairly quickly, and I was waiting at my gate two hours and fifty five minutes before take off.
I had time for a sausage biscuit from the airport Mickey-D's.
And, I was able to write this post.
Where am I off to? You may have noticed a countdown calendar on my sidebar over there. I'm off to spend a few days with my oldest-dearest-bestest-friend-since-fifth-grade on the sunny island of Maui, (remember two summers ago when I went with her to Kauai?) with a bonus day prior to that visiting with my Dad and stepmom in the bay area.
I'll be posting while I'm vacationing, 'coz writing is one of the things I have missed so much these past few months, as life has been busier than ever, and I have ever so much to share!
Actually, I had my eye on them for quite some time, but they were spendy.
Then, out-of-the-blue, Pinterest alerted me that they had been reduced in price.
(Seriously reduced. Like, very-nearly-almost-half-off reduced.)
God bless Pinterest.
And so, seeing the newly reduced pricing, I rationalized just how versatile these classic black and white wedge sandals were. I could wear them to work, and out and about, and I would feel all kinds of sassy and fabulous in them, which would make my day awesome, and everyone else's day awesome too.
(Okay, I may have been pushing things there, but I was completely certain they would change my life.)
Even the packaging was sassy and fabulous. See?
And then, those shoes. What's not to love?
(Oh, I was imagining the possibilities, all right.)
Like I said. Life changing.
We went on a fun little RV roadtrip this past weekend, and I was lucky enough to get to make a pit stop at a Goodwill Thrift Store in Tillamook.
Then, on Sunday, I popped in at my local Goodwill (since I was out of town on Saturday, and missed the local yard sales) and was thrilled to land more treasures.
I finished off my weekend with the creme' de le creme' of the weekend; a vintage nine foot wooden folding ladder, discovered on Craigslist, right here in the 'Couve. (In mint condition, no less.)
Most of this will be going in my booth at Camas Antiques, but some of it will be staying at my home, as I am building stock as I get ready to launch (finally) the vintage rental business I have been wanting to do for...well, longer than I planned, way back when. (Remember my idea here? and here??) I am feeling like it is coming together,a nd at long last, I will be wrapping up the website to get things official.
(Be still my junk-lovin' heart!)
...and in this instance, it was in the Ladies Room at the Brush Prairie Bar and Grill.
We stopped in for a burger after taking a car ride, enjoying the hotter than normal weather, and having taken one of the old classic cars to a botanical garden for an engagement photo shoot with a darling young couple.(But that's another blog post...)
While waiting for our order, I headed for the ladies room, and I was surprised to find this giant wall of art (five or six feet wide, maybe?) as I walked in.
(Well, you knew I would just have to get a picture of it, right?)
(Thankfully I was alone in there, although nothing would have stopped me from snapping a picture.)
The entire back wall of the restroom was covered in galvanized metal sheeting, and then the artwork was attached to it.
(And, in the Ladies Room, no less.)
I googled the place once I got home, and it turns out that this fabulous sentiment-turned-wall-art is not only a great one-liner, but the business's tag line.
Gotta love that.
I love making little handmade things more than biscuits and gravy, but sometimes I can get so engulfed in what I am creating, that I lose track of time, and am not quite happy with what I am making until I have the colors just exactly right. Consequently, I will come up with ever so slightly changed fonts, or color-ways, and I am compelled to reprint a sample, only then to discover a typo, or the shade of blue I was after has taken a turn towards purple and I need to print again.
While this is going on, the little tiny wheels in my head are usually coming up with additional ideas that I am too excited to wait until an appropriate time tomorrow to try out, and I start a second project then as well. (Right about the time this occurs, I usually glance at the clock on my computer, only to discover it is already tomorrow, and I have to get up at 5:00 a.m. for work. (Inset an audible shriek here, followed by a fairly long sigh.)
At this point, I am far too excited about my projects to just stop and go to bed, so I go ahead and work until I feel like I can see, at least in some sort of vague way, a glimmer of how the finished product is going to look. Only then do I finally feel sleepy enough to call it a night.
I hugely regret all of this when my phone alarm goes off with that annoying tune at o'dark thirty, and I then proceed to startle myself when I lock eyeballs with that incredibly haggered looking woman in the bathroom mirror while brushing my teeth.
I vow to myself not do this again on a week night, but then I see my latest and greatest mess work-in-progress, still strewn all over my dining room table, and that inspired feeling returns. I remember that life is short. Sleep seems over rated (...in that moment, at any rate.) and I only live once, so if occasionally crafting into the night...er..early morning is wrong, I don't want to be right.
(Please. Tell me you've done this, or something similar, at least one time yourself.)
I found the recipe here.
I knew I wanted to make them.
I needed to make them.
I gathered the ingredients, and tackled this easy recipe a couple of weeks ago.
Oh. My. Ga.
Out of this ever-lovin' world. (Try making them yourself. You will glad you did, and so will everyone you serve them to.)
You know I am as much about presentation as I am about flavor when it comes to entertaining, whether it's for big shindigs or intimate little noshes, and I always keep a stash of thrifted pilsner glasses in my freezer for an added treat. My latest obsession is Raspberry Lemonade Crystal Light. I like all of the lemonade flavors, but this one is my all time favorite. It comes in these little sleeves, and one sleeve makes a half gallon.
I make my pitcher of raspberry lemonade, and chill it in the fridge. Then, when I want to have some, or someone stops by, I add some frozen raspberries and a couple of lemon slices into the glass. (You can add ice cubes too, if the lemonade isn't chilled enough...)
And so pretty.
Trust me, this little beverage makes everybody feel extra-special.
(....and that is what I'm after, even if it's just little old me.)
But, it didn't happen that way.
Life has been oh, so busy of late, and my grown up girl job has taken on a life of it's own lately. (Not making excuses, just stating the facts.)
The good news is that while I have missed a ridiculous number of blog posts, I have at least been taking photos of the busy-ness going on in my life, and I am going to share the fun highlights here!
First off, there was this- My absolute bestie at my grown up job got engaged a good while back. (remember?) And as the big day approaches, there are lots of showers and such in the works for her. I made her invites for one of her showers, and oh, my! It was so much fun!
Her colors are ivory, blush and gold, which is what I chose to go with on her invites. (Check out the cute wording on her invites, as well.)
In the meantime, my hairstylist got engaged and I knew that this called for her own bride's hanger, which I shared last time I ordered one....
She loved it, and I loved seeing how happy it made her!
Then, totally unrelated, a friend's daughter is engaged, and they needed some bridal shower cupcakes. I was happy to help, and came up with a few of them topped with little champagne glasses, with some bubbly spilling out...
That's just a sliver of what all I have been up to of late. More to come tomorrow!
We had a sudden burst of glorious springtime warm weather this past weekend, and I took full advantage of it by running to Home Depot to buy up as many sun-loving hydrangeas as I could find. Most hydrangeas like shade, but I was thrilled when I recently discovered there is a variety that not only likes sun, but only grows to be three to five feet tall. My front yard is pretty much all sun,I needed eighteen to go around the inside perimeter of my picket fence (I plan to keep them trimmed to just over three feet once they grow, so that they will peek over and through my picket fence, much like this photo with roses that inspired my picket fence.)
They had ten, so I bought them all, and I will keep checking back for them to be replenished, or I may check a different Home Depot this week. I got home and later managed to get five of them planted (yippee!) and I will plant the remaining five tomorrow after work.
It's along, slow (and spendy) road to get my little cottage all dialed in like I envisioned it, but inch by inch, I am getting there.
And I am having so much fun in the process!
(You knew I'd find something fun to make sure our motorhomin'-road-trippin'-campsite had some fun touches.)
I knew I wanted to get a pair of these little cuties as soon as Ralph got his motorhome, and surprisingly, once I decided to get them, I started seeing them everywhere online. Some of them are more creatively painted, and some without any yellow touches, and there were quite a few different shades of pink out there as well.
I ended up finding mine at World Market, and once I got them home, I decided to google up the history of the pink flamingo yard ornament. It turns out that back in 1957, a sculptor named Don Featherstone was hired by a Minnesota plastics company to create three dimensional lawn ornaments, and the pink flamingo was his second assignment. Being in Minnesota, he had never even laid eyes on a flamingo, and he had to use a National Geographic book to study photos of the long necked birds. Selling for less than three dollars a pair, they were an instant hit, winning America's hearts, and lawns.
As the 1960's progressed, America began to like more...well...natural looking yard decor, and for a while the pink flamingo yard art fell from grace. It has come back in a big way, with so many of us (me included.) loving the cool retro vibe.
My own personal relationship with pink flamingos goes back to the late 80's, when we moved our young family to the biggest little city from northern California. We bought our first home in a neighborhood of other young families, and long story getting longer, my then-husband purchased a single pink flamingo on a trip to the nearby ShopKo store. He brought it home, and during the warm spring and summer evenings, the flamingo would be there, stuck in someone's lawn, and then the entire neighborhood would know that this would be where we would gather that evening to visit and watch the kids play. As the Dad's were arriving home from work, that hot pink bird would appear on a lawn, and we'd all end up meandering to that house. At the end of the evening, someone would grab it and take it home, to place it in their yard the next evening. It's one of my fondest memories of that time of my life, raising our kids in what felt like small town America after living all my life in the crowded bay area.
I can hardly wait to go camping again, and break those sweet birds out of their box, and plop them into the dirt in our campsite, adding some cheerful whimsey.
God bless you, Don Featherstone.
Wednesday night was dealer night at Camas Antiques, and I was busy adding a couple sweet finds from a convent that was being demolished. Mmm hmm, see that charming little arched medicine cabinet? My daughter scored two of them this past week the night before the building was to be demolished, and if I had found a place in my cottage for one of them to
fit, they wouldn't have made it to my booth.
A few more treasures made their way to my booth space as well.....
...and I am working on a few painted items that will be added to the space next week.
This is all too fun!
I'm a little carried away.
Over the top.
But, that's kinda who I am, you know?
I'm already planning and list-making, and merit patch-buying for this summer's Camp Cupcake, and since I've picked the weekend in the summer to hold it, I'm getting ready to send out the save-the-dates.
I found these solar powered fire-fly mason jars that exude "camp-out" to me. (What do you think?)
I added homemade tags, and I think I might add some feather embellishments, and they will be good to go in the mail and in-person delivery next week.
It's going to be so much fun!
Thanks for all of the cottage compliments yesterday! Yes, I am having a ball making my house a cozy home, and I have so many ideas spinning in my head at all times, that it is all I can do to saty focused at work during the day.
I love it when I see a fabulous vintage idea, and then, at some random time and place, find it for myself. Case in point is this photo I pinned a good while back....
Oh, how I loved the look of the weathered canning jar basket, with canning jars filled with old silverware! A few months later, I saw the same concept at the Farm Chicks Show. It wasn't filled with silverware, but other items, but my heart jumped when I saw it, because I could not believe my luck, and I thought I could buy it.
Sadly, it had no tag, and when I asked about it, I was told it was not for sale.
Time passed, and when the Other Tracey was up helping with my booth, we went out thrifting. She spotted the wooden plate pedestal; she thought it was a lazy Susan, but then we discovered it was a pedestal. I had a cheap moment and was not going to buy it. (It was $2.99, for gosh sakes, and as I said, I was having a cheap moment.) She was horrified, and pointed out that I could paint it my signature robin's egg blue, which I could picture, and so I ended up buying it after all.
It sat in the garage for a week,and then I stopped by the Goodwill bins. I spied with my little eye, from an entire row away, the weathered metal canning basket.
I quite literally gasped out loud and scampered over to it, scooping it up out of the large bin full of crummy junk.
Could it be that it might fit the wooden cake pedestal at home?
I drove straight home, and rushed into the garage, grabbed up the pedestal, and set the two treasures on my workbench.
It was a match made in junk heaven, for sure.
I washed my canning jars and filled them with some of my favorite old silverware.
Too fabulous for words.
sigh Like I said, I love it when stuff like this happens.