Google+ House Revivals: 2010

Friday, December 31, 2010

Best of 2010

So many bloggers are doing "best of 2010" posts, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.  Although I think I went "live" in late 2009, I didn't really do much until 2010.  Mostly because I was too busy "doing" to even think about recording what I was doing, but also because I didn't really understand what blogging was.  Until last year, I thought blogging was just something done by radio talk show hosts, I guess, and hadn't really read a lot of blogs.  

Then, in 2009, I found out several of my friends had started writing blogs, started following them, decided to start a blog, and then realized there was this whole bloggy world out there. Who knew???!   So, I was a little slow getting started, posting weekly, if I was lucky, and taking the summer off almost completely, but I have managed to come up with a "best of" list.

  • First, the posts that seem to get the most hits and have the most links are from the woven star series.  This was such a fun project that just used vintage book pages and glue! (okay, and glitter and tinsel, too)

  • My personal favorite project was this very quick, very easy wreath, made from vintage book pages.  This is the project I kept for myself.  I love the subtle blend of color and texture....

  • Next,  one of the bigger projects I posted about was this bathroom renovation.  This renovation was for a house that we sold this year, and the house would not have gone under contract for nearly as much (top dollar in a cratered market), nearly as quickly (six days) had we not done this work.

  • The post that got the most laughs was probably this post, where I described how we added a window to an old chicken coop to create a new design studio.  This was another "green" project for two reasons:  First, the window was salvaged from ReSource, and second, the original wall was so leaky, we actually increased the R-Value of the wall by adding a window -- that never happens!

Do you like our retaining walls?  These were recycled pieces
of broken concrete from our old patio and our old garage
floor.  I'm not really sure why I never blogged about them....

  • The post that made me feel the most grateful, was this post, about a Habitat for Humanity Show House that I worked on with a colleague.  We had pretty tough rules -- nothing but white paint, nothing on the walls, unless you could hang it by a push pin, and all the furniture and accessories needed to be sourced from either the ReStore, or another local second-hand source.  Oh, and we had only a few hours to do everything, and builders were still working on the house while we set up.  Fortunately, we had lots of help from local volunteers!

The sweet woman who was purchasing the home was 
so moved when she saw the staging, that she wept. 
It was such an honor to work on this project.

  • The project that nearly killed me was creating what seemed like a million of these flower covered lanterns for my beautiful daughter's summer wedding (the reason I took the summer off from blogging).  I talked about making them in this "What NOT to Do" list.  I was only "allowed" to blog a tiny bit about the wedding preparations, as my daughter wanted the guests to be surprised, but I did manage to post this horrendous picture.

 Pretty sad, right?  I was trying to slip the lantern over this lamp,
so I could send my daughter a picture of how the lantern would look 
when lighted.  Only, the wire armature of the lantern got stuck 
on the CFL coil, and yadda, yadda, yadda....

Ultimately, the flower lanterns turned out beautifully, hanging in great swags from the rafters of an old net shed on the Oregon coast, but I never did blog about that....

This bathroom was styled by decorator to the stars, Nate Berkus. 
Nate Berkus is personable, and fun, and his styling is absolutely beautiful.

  Please click this link to read why interiors styled for a photograph, are not necessarily styled for living.

Wishing you all a safe and beautiful New Year!

The post is being linked to:
Best of Tickled Pink at 504 Main

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Twelve Days of Christmas

Here is little bit more "Christmastide", for those who celebrate the Twelve Days leading to Epiphany, or for those who just want to savor the season, now that the hustle and bustle has died down.

These crowns remind me of the Wise Men, who saw a star, and knew something wonderful had occurred. 

They understood this new star could only mean a Great King, a King of Kings, had been born.

And so they traveled a long distance to see this King of Kings.  They encountered political intrigue on their journey, but were always loyal to this new King.  They had great faith.  And when they finally found the boy they sought, they gave him gifts they had carried "from afar."

Thank you for humoring me on my nostalgic look at Christmas, and the often forgotten story of the Wise Men, whose journey was just beginning the night the shepherds watched over their flock.

These crown ornaments were made from up-cycled cereal boxes, using a simple customizable template, some paint, a little glaze, old paper, and a string of plastic beads.   There are a lot of decorative applications for crown designs throughout the year.  If you are interested in a tutorial and patterns for these or other crown designs, let me know in a comment, and click "follow" in my sidebar, so you will be sure not to miss the tutorial.

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmastide!

This post is being linked to:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

A Vintage Inspired Giftbox

Remember the woven stars that I made for my mother-in-law?  Well, they needed to be packaged up and put in the mail, but first I needed to find a gift box that was just as special as the stars.  The stars were woven from folded strips of vintage book pages.  I chose an old gardening book, because my mother-in-law has such an amazing green thumb.   So, what do you think, is this box worthy of her stars?

I wanted a round box that was sturdy enough to store the stars year after year.   After quite a bit of searching for the perfect box, I found this.

Isn't it beautiful?

Really, it was almost perfect!

It just needed to be covered in vintage book paper, and it needed to be made taller, to fit three woven stars.  Piece of cake.  Covering the box with vintage paper was easy -- I just glued the paper on.  Since we had a bit of a time crunch, I just used a high tack white glue.

I covered the both the box and the lid before extending the height.  To extend the height, I cut a strip of cardboard and glued it into a circle, using the lid as a guide.

I then cut a second, narrower strip and glued it around the first cardboard ring.  This was to build out the thickness at the top of the box so the lid would fit snugly.  Because of the added bulk on the inside of the lid from the vintage book paper, the lid would not have fit if we had built out the top flush with the original sides, but we did need to build it out a little bit.

Here the cardboard ring is not glued to the box, yet -- we're just checking the fit.

The cardboard ring was then covered in book paper and glued into the box, extending the height just enough to fit all three stars, and for the lid to sit nicely.

First, the original star is wrapped in tissue paper.  In the spirit of re-use, we used pieces from an old dress pattern.

Next, the second star was wrapped in pattern tissue.

And finally, the last star was wrapped ....

....and added to the gift box.

Do you think she will be excited when she opens her package from the postman, and finds this box tucked into the newspaper?

I hope she likes it.  I think she will. 

This post is being linked to:

handmade projects

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Our Holiday Home

Well, I wasn't going to join in on any of the holiday home tours this year.  You see, we are a family "in transition".  We sold our home of nearly seventeen years last winter -- after nearly a year of commuting back and forth between Colorado's Front Range and the Pacific Northwest.  Until late last spring, we did not know if we would be staying in the PNW, or if we would be transferred to South Africa.  We found out we are staying.  Late this summer, we bought a house.

The  house we bought is a fixer upper that has been partly gutted.  For now, we still live in tiny temporary digs -- so small, we can either keep the dog or have a Christmas tree.   So, I won't be sharing a tour of our Holiday apartment.  Instead, I will share some holiday decor from our "new" home and surroundings -- and did I mention the "new" home is on the beach?

Our Christmas Mantel.

The brass deer reindeer head over the wall shelf to the right of the mantel might have made this vignette feel un-balanced, but the strip of baseboard accented with Romex and outlets grounds the arrangement.  Soot stained natural brick adds warmth to the scene.

Here is another view of the mantel vignette.  (Sometimes it's best to step way back when you view artistic creations like this.)

Here is a close-up of the deer reindeer  head.

If you look carefully, there is a bit of Christmas garland hanging in the far corner of the dining room.  The former owners thoughtfully left that for us. 

In the kitchen, we're going for that "spare" look, with pops of mold.  For a touch of whimsy, we've leaned doors against the wall, and strewn some lumber about.  Exposed plumbing adds shimmer.

My loft studio is decorated in mostly neutral colors.  The red plastic bucket was placed along the west wall as a nod to traditional Christmas decor.  We call it, "neutral traditional modern".  Like the kitchen, we've kept the decor intentionally spare.

We've continued the spare, but neutral theme on the entry deck.  Here, the buckets are white for some added drama.

Again, sometimes you need to step way back to appreciate a creation.  You can see that we have added some more unexpected touches with pop bottles and assorted wrappers.  We think it adds a festive feel to the scene.

No room goes untouched this Christmas at our house! Here we have begun to stack this flagstone in the shape of a sleigh and reindeer.  Hopefully, we will have the entire vignette finished in time for the jolly old elf's visit!

We believe it's important to be able to see into adjacent spaces, so we've kept the guest bath and laundry room as open as possible.  Here, the bucket is black, to remind us that Christmas is not just about red and white buckets, and brass reindeer heads, and flagstone sculptures, and shimmery plumbing. 

We've kept the porch that faces the ocean very simple.  We feel the "chippy" white paint and broken rail give this holiday scene a rustic "Pottery Barn" feel.  It's a very trendy look right now.

Not wanting to do a half-way job with our Christmas decor, we've even decorated under the house. 

Sometimes the beauty of our Christmas decor gets me so choked up that I have to take a walk.   Two hundred feet, down this path.

And then I see this reminder from Heaven.  Christmas is not about the decor at all.  The plastic Santas, the buckets, the garland -- that's just noise.

Christmas is about a beautiful Gift of Love -- not wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons, but wrapped in swaddling clothes, and placed, not under a perfectly decorated Christmas tree in a beautifully appointed house, but in a lowly stable manger one starry night in Bethlehem.

Have a blessed Christmas!