July 24, 2011

Bus Roll/Subway Sign Project - Check

The Young Family Bus Roll

Step 1: My mom adding another gesso layer to large canvas.

Step 2: Layering cream, yellow and white on the canvas with a whisk brush for a linen affect.

Hard to see in photo, but the layered colors add more dimension
than the plain white background of an unfinished canvas.

Step 3: Carefully transfer vinyl graphics to canvas. (Vinyl Graphics were professionally made by a local graphics shop. Jody from JJ Graphics did a perfect job with the requested fonts, spacing and sizing that I had outlined)!

Note:  I did not photograph the platform built behind the canvas to provide support, preventing the canvas from "sagging" when pressing the letters down with squeegie.

Step 4: Painted over canvas with Daniel Smith's Ultimate Acrylic: Lamp Black. This is a thick, slow drying paint with great brushing properties. I really wanted an unpolished visible brush stroke look.

I didn't finish all of the edges. Wanted an aged, torn look.

Step 5: The fun part, carefully removing the vinyl letters. Use an exacto knife. Notoriously impatient, I didn't even wait for the paint to dry. This made my work twice as hard as I had to be very careful to not get wet paint on the white space.
Aggressive squeegie technique paid off with crisp white lettering, just had I had hoped!

It feels like it has been months for me to get to and complete this project. It was so worth the wait.  I probably skipped many of important steps but I didn't want to bore you with too many details. If you need more information on how to complete your own family bus roll/sub way sign, please email me directly:
heather.runners@gmail.com. I would love to answer any questions you may have.

Just to recap, the gorgeous bus roll signs in this size (30" x 48) at Restoration Hardware would have set me back $750.00. My personalized version cost just over $100.

Canvas: used a 50% off coupon from Aaron Bros. and purchased for $34
Graphics: $50, purchased from local graphic shop
Paint: $18 from Daniel Smith

June 11, 2011

Anthro Inspired

The June 2011 anthropologie catalog arrived a few weeks ago. To say I was inspired and obsessed would be an understatement. The styling on their catalog is so effortlessly perfect with the unexpected mix of patterns, colors and graphics. Love!

You may remember a post about my garden from a year or so ago. We have this lovely stamped concrete patio that has a huge curved planter bed below the edge. In the past it has looked like this:

 Today it looks like this:

Motivated by the gorgeous mix of colors in recent Anthropologie catalogs, I decided to redo the entire planter and fill it with the unexpected.

Hot Pink and Orange, you bet:

Imaginings Scarf

 Yellows, Blues, Greens Top it Off
Texture, color, form and movement, without adhering to typical gardening rules. Soon hot pink "Dolce Flambe" petunias will be spilling down the walls of the planter with tall swaying grasses as a backdrop. I will have to post another photo once it begins to fill in.

April 25, 2011

Lemon Favorites!

JR Watkins Lemon Creme

Pala by Patriece
Quick post about one of my current obsessions:  lotion. Add another layer to that = lemon scented lotions.

I'm not talking about scrub the floor, clean the toilets, pine scented lemons lotions. This is creamy, lemon meringue, fresh baked lemon bars scent.

I just discovered the delicious JR Watkins Lemon Creme hand and body lotion at our local PCC:
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate Free
  • Sodium Laureth Sulfate Free
  • Paraben Free
  • Phthalate Free
  • Mineral Oil, Petrolatum free
  • Dye Free
I have always been a fan of this Etsy Shop by Patriece.  All of her rich ingredients are:
  • Certified Organic
  • Certified vegan
  • No petroleum by products
  • No mineral oils
  • No Synthetic Fragrances
What's your favorite lotion? Are your favorite lotion scents dependent on the season?

April 19, 2011

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

TulipFest 2011 Poster

Lots of Old Barns in the Area

Dahlia Bulbs &  Fuschias From Christiansons

Diana - Birthday Gal
Bringing Home Bunches

Tabletop Tulips
One of the great perks of living in the NW is being able to enjoy the world reknown annual Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley.  Located about an hour away, the Tulip Fest is a showcase of thousands of acres of blooming daffodils, tulips and irises set in scenic Mt. Vernon, WA.  Weather plays the biggest role in what you will see when visiting the fields, however, there area offers much more than the incredible scenery.

Last week, after a three years hiatus on the annual Tulip trek, we gathered a group and set out for the day. The day was planned with pot luck lunch items, rain boots and lots of layers. It was so much fun to leave town for the day, have a change of pace and a change of scenery.

Here are a couple of must stops in my opinion:

Roozen Gaarde - Gorgeous specialty display garden with picnic benches for lunch and relaxing
Christiansons Nursery - Rustic Nursery with wonderful plant and gift selections
Snow Goose Produce - Giant, homemade waffle cones with your choice of specialty ice cream (HUGE)

I hope you enjoy some of the photos from our outing!

April 7, 2011


Best Garden Girl Friend

Arrange Selections, Step Back and Evaluate

Copy Nursery Display Containers
Love the Color Contrast

New Use for Tires

Smaller Pots = Better, Less $
We Mean Business!

Ah, Spring!
I usually consider myself very lucky to live in the NW. Our weather allows us the option to grow so many amazing plants and edibles. After last nights' snow in April, forget it! I would like to move now please!

That won't be happening though, instead, here's a trip down gardening lane, photos from a trip to Wells Medina Nursery last spring.  Something I hope to be doing again very shortly.

I have a BGGF: Best Gardening Girl Friend. They are good to have, I tell her to put stuff back and she tells me that my container combinations are not so hot. We make a good team, sifting through our favorite nurseries, finding our favorite plants and bringing a little spring home.

Here are some of our tips:
  • Make a list the containers you need to fill, the glee of plants galore can easily lead to overbuying. If you don't make a list bring a practical/mean friend like me that will say:  "STOP".
  • Call the nursery ahead of time to see when their shipments come in. You want first dibs on the newest, healthiest plants.
  • Gather up the plants that catch your eye and arrange them on your cart to visualize how they would look in your container. Go for big impact, lots of contrast! If you are uninspired, just copy the nursery containers. No one will know and your containers will look genius!
  • Always pick the smaller, less expensive plants. They are happier, easier to plant and will grow to the size of the bigger plants quickly. 
I always look forward to our nursery outings. The exchange of ideas, inspirations and creativity mixed with the anticipation of warmer days just makes me giddy with happiness. Thanks BGGF!

Do you have any other container gardening tips for the spring season?  Who else has a BGGF?

April 3, 2011

The Story of Stuff

Have you ever seen this video or heard of the Story of Stuff Project? It's really worthwhile to spend a few minutes watching the video in its entirety.  Pour a cup of coffee or glass of wine (depending on time of day, or not) and just watch, it will change your view on "stuff".
Now I enjoy, have and buy a bunch of "stuff".  I am not proud of some of my attachments to stuff and thus I am continually streamlining.  I hate the idea that:

Thinking of time brought me back in time, college days to be exact. Here's my story of "stuff":
College Student-Athlete meets another College Student-Athlete, fell in love.  We had no money, we had no "stuff", we were (and still are) so happy:
Love This Guy

We lived in an adorable 500 sq.ft Mother in Law house in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles. It looked kind of like this:

Beatrice and her husband owned the front home.  They had a huge canary aviary window that we would pass on the way to our unit each day.  I think she had over 50 birds:
Hello to Yellow Every Day

For some strange reason, Beatrice also had 2 pet tortoises that lived in a dog house behind our unit:
Tortoises as Pets?
She also had a lovely fountain in her garden that sat right outside our front entry:
The Sound of Water

I will always remember our simple life at 3630 1/2 Seneca.  We had a lot on our plates as full time student athletes putting ourselves through college. But we also had a lot of time to enjoy: 
  • Dates at the Par 3 down the street,
  • Runs in Griffith park
  • Afternoons in Long Beach
  • Day trips down to San Clemente or up to San Luis Obispo
  • Time with great friends in our teeny backyard (with the tortoises)
Married with children has added more demands to our time, but I try to remember and emulate the bliss of the simple days we had. Our lack of "stuff" did not amount to lack of quality of life.  Because we had no money we never spent time searching, shopping or accumulating stuff.  How archaic!

What's your story of "stuff"? I would really love to know!

Thanks for visiting and thank you for commenting!

March 31, 2011

Take the Plunge?

Distressed Pine Dresser - Grey Patina
Danish Industrial - Salvage Wood Coffee Table
Grey Washed Wood
Living Room/Coffee Table Current

Lots of Crevices and Bad Knobs
Coffee Rings Everywhere - Thanks Daughter!
I have been contemplating this coffee table project for months. It involves taking the plunge which might literally have me also taking a dive....off a bridge, into some icy waters where I would be saved from stripping/sanding. 

The good: 
  • solidly constructed
  • giant and utilitarian
  • drawers to hold games, knick knacks
  • perfect size for our living room
  • we own it
The bad and the ugly:
  • the color
  • the knobs
  • the coffee rings
The inspiration:

I have been obsessed with the grey washed patinas seen in recent months in catalogs (restoration, room and board) and shown in above photographs.  This is a classic wash that can looked weathered yet clean. Light but not white.

The problem:

Stripping and sanding. Need I say more. Once I start, I have to finish. There are details, crevices and mouldings all over this piece. It won't be easy.

Shall I take the plunge?  Any thoughts on this distressed grey washed patina?

March 30, 2011

White Denim is Always In

2 Ugly & Armless Club Chairs

After White Denim SlipCover Treatment

Yes, this is bad. The frequency of my posts have matched the frequency of the appearance of sunshine in the NW.  It's been a brutal start to spring with more on its way. Yikes!

Slipcovering is a great rainy day project. I actually wish it took me longer than it does to finish slipcovering chairs because the rain is still here.  Anyway, my husband and I came across these "cute in and ugly way" chairs at an antique auction. They were roughly $60 for the pair.  I invested another $60 in white cotton denim and piping.  I love the way the crisp white denim looks. These 2 smaller chairs replaced the larger similar one:

Now in Upstairs Guest Room

Can you spot the partridges in the after photos?
 I am now itching to recover my large sofa now too.  The California gal in me is ready for a  summer beach look to compete with the gray rain outside.

What do you think? And also, thanks for visiting even though I haven't posted in so long!

March 9, 2011

Rainy Days and the Anthropologie Catalog

Anthro Inspired Peacock
Pavo Bedding - Anthropologie
Rainy days and the always artistically inspiring Anthropologie catalog have transformed my dining room chalkboard. 

I love getting the Anthro catalog in my mailbox. Their artistic direction always reminds me to think outside of the box.

I guess the peacock is here to stay until further inspired or until urgent to dos need to take center stage.

Just thought I would share, thanks for checking it out.