Monday, January 30, 2012

Trendy Trenderson

Well, you've seen it on Design Sponge at least twice, Pinterest, and numerous DIY blogs. This is one of those projects that I continue to love, despite how trendy it is becoming. So, with minimal effort required (less than one hour), little expense (hello thrift store), and lots of glee, I give you the suitcase stool! I call him Wall-E, because he looks so robotic.

It all started with a broken chair.
Then I put a suitcase on top.

 Well, ok, I chopped off the seat of the chair, then I screwed the suitcase into the chair. It was creative balm for the crafty soul.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Summer Flash Forward

Today was unseasonably warm and sunny. After a week of rain and snow and cloudy haze (I know, I should thank my stars that we only had a one week stretch of cloud cover), I embraced the sunshine as an opportunity to have a summery Sunday in January. This meant going on a hike and thoroughly cleaning my car. At the end of the afternoon, I rewarded myself with a summery drink: lemonade. While cleaning out my freezer yesterday, I discovered some frozen blueberries and peaches leftover from their summer glory. A handful of fruit in the blender along with lemonade mix and a little water yielded this custom drink. This would be tasty in and of itself, but I have some peach schnapps to use up, so I put a little of that in as well. 

This is definitely going on the drink list for summer time.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Friendly Friday

I am typing to you from my newly restored computer. Hooray! I will, however, miss the simplicity of the handwritten thought. Perhaps I will post a handwritten note or two just for fun in the future. 

I cannot wait to post the projects I completed during the lull, but I first I want to introduce a new series I am starting: Friendly Fridays. This series was born out of a desire to participate in the online art community and to allow you, the reader, to join me. On Fridays, I will do a guest post by a non-blogging artist. I would like to give those who read blogs, but do not necessarily want to commit to a blog of their own, an opportunity to showcase their art and to venture into the online community. 

I have been mulling this idea over for a month or two, and I had even approached a few individuals to get the project started, so naturally I was thrilled when Sara emailed me the pictures of the dresser she restored. Sara and her whole family are amazing artists in every sense of the word. Their home is like stepping into a vanilla latte: warm, inviting, and very personal. It seems as though every item has a story about how they, or someone they love, intentionally created the object or space. I think my favorite such example is how they let their young sons go to town on the space behind the refrigerator when they updated their kitchen. 

It was no surprise to me that Sarah has been busy creating and restoring furniture. This dresser is beautiful, and I am particularly in awe the bird stencils. Here is what Sara has to say about the project:

What was your inspiration? Red things seem to be sneaking into my house in the last few years. It started with some dining room chairs, then some picture frames, and a little shelf in the front hall. I'm always going to default to green (the walls in the room are green) but I'm liking touches of red. It was easy to paint the dresser because it fell in the category it-couldn't-look-any-worse-than-it-does.

What tools did you use? You know, paint and brushes. The only tool of interest was the stencil I used for the ends of the dresser. I almost hit paralysis by options when I started look for a stencil online. I even got pulled into a design-you-own site for a few minutes. My need for instant gratification won out. I went to Hobby Lobby hoping to find a bird stencil. There was only one the right size. Yay! I also like the finish Briwax gives furniture. I used Briwax with a light brown stain that caught in the crevices and grooves. 

What was your favorite part? I listen to books on CD while I paint. For this weekend project, I listened to Lost in Shangri-la. A true story about a plane crash in Dutch New Guinea during WWII. Mysterious Valley! Headhunters! Beautiful WACs! Dashing heroes! Ridiculous cultural misunderstandings! That kind of stuff makes sanding easier. 

I also love the touches with the maps as drawer liners and the wall maps behind the dresser. 

Thanks for getting Friendly Friday off to a great start, Sara! 

If you want to participate, email my personal email or sitwithmeawhile(at) I define art loosely, so anything cooked, drawn, baked, built, sewn, or home-made counts, it just needs to be created by you. Although I may make a few exceptions, I would prefer to just post entries from non-bloggers at this point. Artists may submit as many projects as they would like!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Anatomy of a Blog

 My laptop refuses to charge at moment. While I await a new power cord I thought I world take advantage of a few of the nifty features on my work tablet PC.

 First up is anatomy of the blog.  Blogger has been updated since I last regularly used it and it is taking me a while to navigate some of the new features for myself as the writer and you as the reader.   Here is my sketch in all of its dorky glory. Clearly drawing is not my strong suit.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Calendar

My boyfriend and I have a tradition where every year I make him a calendar for Christmas. Last year's calendar was a collection of my favorite pictures from my first year in Nevada. It is funny how making a calendar like this ends up being a reflection of the year previous. 2010 was the year of pictures, so my 2011 calendar was made of photographs. 2011 was the year of building and DIY projects, thus it is only fitting that this year's calendar was made with plywood and paint chips.

You can only imagine my glee when it clicked that these paint chip strips had 7 colors on them and I thought "By golly, that's a calendar!" The most difficult part was taking all of the paint chips from Walmart. I know it is perfectly acceptable to do so (see Pinterest) I just felt like I ought to be surreptitious while taking 60 odd paint chips from the paint section. And honestly, the Walmart runs were longest part of the project. The rest of it was just figuring out the color schemes, gluing each month's color range to scrap paper, re-gluing December when I forgot how to count, and then figuring out a way to mount the non-current months on the back (yarn and finishing nails). The current month is mounted with 3M mounting strips, so they can be re-used month to month (you can even wash them to restore stickiness!).
I think this calendar will definitely be a fun way to pass the year. Photo credits to Peter for his excellent iPhone photography and for his willingness to be a blog pawn.

Friday, January 13, 2012

iPhone Envy

Mostly, I want an iPhone so I can take pictures with it. 
Borrowing the boyfriend's iPhone will suffice, I suppose.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

And sometimes it doesn't....

Sunset in color. The nerd in me loves the gel electrophoresis-esque reflections from the pier. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Morgan & Darrell

 I met the new Mr. and Mrs. Rice on my first crew in the NCC. All it took was a fence building project with a dash of Taylor Swift and the rest is history. 
The lovely bride

The Groom
The gorgeous mother of the groom. The father of the groom on the left is obscuring her fascinator--a British tradition.

Morgan painted two salt shakers to make these adorable cake toppers. 

Delicious cupcakes

First Dance and the grinning groomsmen.
Father-Daughter Dance

Puppy Love

My photography goal of 2012 is to improve my portraiture. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Can I Get a Resolution?

If you have a laptop, go ahead and tilt the screen back and forth while looking at the above picture. Holographics on the cheap, my friends.

Anyway, this is just a quick post update the Sarah-Do list and post my 2012 resolution, which is this:

Comment in the blogosphere at least once a week.

It is so easy to be a passive participant in the internet community, and this is a way to "Occupy the Internet". I would like to actively engage the blogs I visit regularly instead of simply clicking on to one and just as quickly moving on. This year, I am challenging myself to give encouragement and feedback when pertinent and meaningful. Reader comments mean the world to me on this blog, so I would like to return the favor to other bloggers. I want to join the world-wide conversation on home made art, wherever that may take me.

Happy 2012!