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diy rubber stamped tile coasters

August 3, 2012

We had a big moving sale two weekends ago and rid ourselves of all kinds of things.  Lightening the load in preparation for moving and an opportunity to shed all that accumulation (of what?) that happens over time.  The idea of starting fresh and uncluttered in a new house appeals to me.  But in my zest to divest myself of material goods I kind of went overboard and got rid of something we use every day.  No, I didn’t sell our toothbrushes or the kitchen sink.  I sold the coasters.  Gasp!  Not a big deal item in the big picture.  But when your husband has to precariously balance his cup of coffee on his knee, the arm of the couch, a stack of magazines, or whatever else he can find in lieu of direct contact on the vintage end table and he starts constructing imaginative stacks of items as makeshift-coasters-please-get-the-hint-honey…then you know you’ve gone too far.

“Where are the coasters?” he asked patiently one day.

“I sold them in the moving sale.”  I replied sheepishly.   “I may have gotten a little too excited about selling stuff.”

“Really?” he replied.  It was more of a statement than a question.  As in, I’m not surprised.  In the least.

So during my next trip to town I stopped at V.V.’s to see if they had any coasters that could fill our need.  I didn’t find any but there was a bundle of tiles that were just the right size for coasters.  Eight tiles for four dollars seemed a good deal and although they were a little bland looking I knew I could jazz them up so I got them.

To do this project all you need:  Tiles, StazOn brand stamping ink, rubber stamps of your choice, stick on felt pads or felt and glue.   Then it is simply a matter of stamping whatever design you want on the tiles.  Seriously.  If you can operate a rubber stamp then you can make these.  Your kids could make these.

Make sure the tile is clean and free of any tile dust.  Ink you rubber stamp and press firmly but not too hard or the stamp might slip on the surface of the tile.  You want a nice clear impression.

Continue to stamp your design.  It can be as simple or elaborate as you wish. You could personalize them for your own home or a nice hostess gift.

I noticed some open spots on this one that I wanted to fill so I grabbed my 7 gypsies express stamp that has 12 different words and phrases to choose from and filled in with words here and there until I liked it.

Once it is finished, turn it over and put felt pads at each corner or glue a piece of felt on the back.  The felt pads I used were larger than necessary but they were what I had on hand.

Place on tables to use and enjoy!

Don’t you love fast and simple projects like this?!  I know I do!  I think my husband will be happy with them as well.  And that’s always a good thing.

I’m linking up for Frugal Friday at the Shabby NestSimple Home Life’s Simply Creations  and Funky Junk Interior’s Saturday Nite Special link parties


don’t knock it till you try it.

August 3, 2012

Not that long ago I shared in a post that I really don’t care for the trend of sorting books according to color.  And technically I still have to say that I don’t.   However.

Since we have our house on the market and are in the process of getting ready to move I have started packing a bunch of stuff away in an effort to better stage the house.  “Depersonalize it!” as my friend, Regina, says.  I just figure the less clutter a buyer has to look over to see the house the better.  So while I was cleaning out the bookcases I decided to give the color method a try.  Just for fun.  A kind of don’t knock it till you try it experiment to see what all the fuss is about.

First I culled out every paperback keeping only the nice hard bound books.  Then I removed all the dust jackets (carefully folding them and packing them flat just in case I ever want to use them again.) and sorted them in piles of color.  Then I started to replace them on the shelves.  This took a bit of time because exactly what I predicted would happen in my original post happened.  I became a bit anal about the whole thing.  Half-way through I began muttering about opening a can of worms and my husband just chuckled and shook his head.  He did not get involved.  He is a smart man.  Sorting by color is not as easy as it looks if you are like me.  But over the course of a couple days of fiddling around with it I finally got it worked out in a way I could live with.

And I have to admit.  Just to look at, I actually do like it.  Just to look at.  But please don’t ask me to find a book.  I wouldn’t know where to begin.  And please, please don’t bring up the fact that I only have 2 yellow books because it is driving me crazy!  And no, I will not be styling my book cases like this ever again in the future.  But hey, at least now I can say I tried it.

One thing that I did learn and will use in the future is that I like less books per shelf.  Here is a pathetic before picture.

























And after…big difference, huh?!  The open uncluttered look feels so good.  I’m digging it in the rest of my house too.  Perhaps I’m turning into a minimalist?  Nah!  But the whole less-is-more idea is definitely sticking with me.

Have you ever tried any decorating trends just for fun or experimented with decorating to see if you liked something?

don’t plan on it…

May 16, 2012

Have you ever heard that saying, “we make plans and God laughs” ?  Well…it seems to be a theme for me this year.  Just when I think I am really rollin’ on something.  ERCH! (that’s the sound of screeching brakes just in case you were wondering.)  So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by this particular change of plans because it is something Butch and I have been talking about for quite a while now.  Moving.  You see, our last “vacation” was actually a scouting mission looking for potential places to move.  But I think in the back of our minds we were projecting at least a year out. And the way we talked before we left for our vacation was like we certainly didn’t think we were going to come home with a definitive answer already fixed in our minds.  You know, we were going to sit down and make a pro/con list for each place and do that whole scene.  But that is most certainly not what happened.  Once we were back home and we just knew where we wanted to be and everything seemed more black and white we started wondering why wait a year?  So, in a couple weeks our house will officially be listed for sale.  Wow.  Now we do understand that with the housing market we may end up waiting a year anyway, but it just made sense to us to start the process right now and see what happens.

















That being said, all the projects that I’ve been working on. Trying to work on.  Saving up to work on in the future.  Those are all full stop.  Typically I am not a person who shifts gears quickly and easily.  I like time to process things.  But I also know that change is good and this change really excites me so I’m totally on board and puttin’ her into high gear.  All I can say is some artsy-craftsy people are going to hit the jackpot at our moving sale because, while I am not a hoarder in my personal/home decorating life, I am a project hoarder of epic proportions.  Yesterday I was wandering through my stocked shelves remembering all the things I was going to do with this…and this…and this, and I was super-mega embarrassed by my pile of  unused ARTifacts.  Then I had an epiphany.  I am instituting a ruthless “use it or lose it” clause at our next home or else!  That’s it.  End. of. story.   After that I actually felt happier and more at peace.  I learned something ugly about myself but I am willing to face it, change it, and use it to grow.  Now I’m going through the whole house and culling out what we don’t need, use, want and adding it to the mountain that is our future yard sale.  This is going to be a busy summer!
















Oh I should also mention that we have 2 months worth of company already lined up to come see us this summer (planned before we decided to move.)  So that should really make things fun if they weren’t already!  And I am also teaching a class on making polymer clay tiles in July! (almost forgot about that one!  oops.)

Considering all this, I have given myself permission to not be on my computer much and have released myself from my blogging goals during this season.  And I am not going to finish any of my current projects.  There will be time for that this winter (wherever we happen to be.)  I know it is probably going to be crazy busy and I just don’t want to add more on my plate than I can reasonably enjoy.  And I have purposed that I am going to enjoy every day and be in the moment so that I can savor the end our our time here in Alaska.  We love it here.  It has been home for us for a good long time and we have friends here who are more family than friend.  We don’t feel like we are leaving something so much as going TO something.  I might pop on for an occasional post if I feel inspired but then again…maybe I wont.

How do you handle change?  Do you hoard projects like me?  Do you have a use it or lose it clause?  How does it work for you? I want to know!!!

I hope you have a stress free and enjoyable summer!

travels and treasures

May 5, 2012

We spent the last two weeks on a vacation traveling around NE Oregon and then spent some time at the family farm as well.  It was wonderful to soak in the sun and see green grass and flowers everywhere.  Trudy came along and she was such a great little traveler and a joy to have along for the ride.  It was also fun finding treasures to bring home (more on that in my next post.)  But I am going to start with our last day first by telling you about the most amazing, jaw-dropping, place that I fell in love with… Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage in Aurora Oregon.   If you live within a couple hundred miles of this place it is SO worth visiting! If I lived within a couple hundred miles of this place, I would be in big huge trouble.  They also sell some of their smaller stuff from a shop on Etsy so you can get in trouble with me from afar if you live out of state.  My brother wanted to take us but the day we drove up there it was closed (open Tuesday – Sunday FYI) so my parents took us on our way to the airport the day we left for home.  I knew the place was heaven just by what they had sitting out on the porch but when I walked inside I nearly swooned.  And with each new room I had to remind myself to keep breathing and not pass out.  Aurora Mills Architectural Salvage is where all the good house parts go when they die and they are just waiting to be reborn into a new home.  Maybe yours?  From door knobs to Doric columns this place has it all.  And so I will leave you with just a few phone camera photos that I snapped as I wandered around in a stupor saying “wow!” every 5 seconds.  Enjoy!  I know I did.



Was I right or was I right?!!!  And this is just the tip of the iceberg!

I am still unpacking but as soon as I get pictures of the treasures I brought home I will share them with you!

I’m a little bit country…ish

April 13, 2012

The second challenge from Mandi of Vintage Revivals for our Fearlessly Finding Awesome club was to take the Home Goods Style Quiz and write about it.

Seems like whenever I take these kinds of quizzes they never quite entirely get me.  As I mentioned in my last FFA challenge post, my style is pretty eclectic so I don’t think it’s possible to fit me completely into one specific style category.  However, I do think that this one in particular did a pretty accurate job of describing a good percentage of my decorating style.  Here is what the quiz said about me:

Sandy, you are a Country Classic

You have a naturally refined sensibility with an appreciation for tradition and history. You value beauty, craftsmanship, and family heirlooms, but you like to open things up with pretty, easy-going pieces like painted wood or distressed furniture, lovely florals and other patterns, and bunches of fresh flowers that give your home a breezy, relaxed feeling. You love unique finds, have a thrifty, creative side, and can make these things work together.

You value comfort. Your home is a warm and open friendly place, and you feel happiest when everyone is cared for and relaxed in your space. Elements like pillows, throws, overstuffed furniture, and good lighting set the mood. You may also enjoy layering different fabrics or mixing patterns to create a cozy effect.

Your Happy Home Colors:

So the outcome of Country Classic totally surprised me because I don’t think of my style as Country, but I am a country girl at heart.  I grew up on a large farm in Oregon where my Dad and his Dad were born and raised.  I was surrounded by rooms full of antiques that all had a family history.  The dining room table that my parents still use was brought over in a covered wagon.  Everything has a story and I love that.  So, as I look around my house I realize that my decorating does definitely have strong “country” undertones.  Although I prefer the word “vintage” to “country” because country style decorating brings to my mind the 1980’s version of country decorating with gingham ruffles and bows on everything and oak and shiny brass.  I shudder.   But if you call it vintage then I can get on board with that assessment.  I guess you can take the girl out of the country but you can’t take the country out of the girl.
Things I liked and agreed with in this style quiz for me were:
1. I do appreciate things having a history.  Many of my most special pieces are family heirlooms.
2. I do like painted wood and distressed furniture.
3. The statement, You love unique finds, have a thrifty, creative side, and can make these things work together is dead on.
4. I value comfort. Yes. If you have a gorgeous home but you can’t snuggle into the furniture and get cozy…what is the point?  I want people to be comfortable in my home.  Heck, I want to be comfortable in my home.
5. I enjoy layering different fabrics and mixing patterns. Absolutely. I am most definitely not into matchy matchy!
I also loved the colors that the style quiz pulled for me.  I have been seriously crushing on yellow lately and all those color blocks fit somewhere in my house.  Being a red head I am drawn more to warm colors anyway but living in Alaska has really cemented my love for warm color everywhere in my home.  Only one room in my house has white walls.  When everything is white and cold outside for a good portion of the year you really don’t want your interior to reflect that with all white walls.  One thing I am NOT is afraid of color!  I adore color!
Over all I think that this style quiz was pretty accurate.  Even though I still detest the description of “country”.  I guess I’m just going to have to go about redefining what decorating “country” means! For now I’m sticking with Vintage Eclectic.

alterations in progress

April 6, 2012

Here is something I haven’t shared yet.  This is an altered book that I started for myself. 

Most of the art I make is for other people and it goes away.  But I realized that to keep my creative juices inspired I needed something that I could work on that was just me.  An altered book was a great choice too because I can pick it up and work on a page or two and then set it aside till a later date.

So far I have the front cover mostly finished (I will probably always be adding little things here and there) and two pages.  The book is from the 194o’s and is titled Charm and Personality.  It is a pretty horrific “self improvement” book all about how to sit, stand, talk, dress, laugh, & project yourself all in the hopes of getting people to like you.  Makes me shudder to think that the things espoused in that book were seriously taught and held up as standards for women to live by.  Totally explains the 1950’s…totally.  But it is because I found this book so distasteful that I had no qualms whatsoever of artifying it.   Much needed improvements, in my opinion.  First off I added and other Nonsense to the title because that is what I truly thought of it.  Nonsense.  Then I stamped, stenciled, collaged, doodled, and bejeweled it.

The vintage lady cutouts I got from Lunagirl Images.  She has a wonderful collection of vintage images.  The first of the inside pages is a combination of collage and painting.

At the bottom of the page is a chart that was used as a judge’s guide for the Miss Universe Pageant over which I have written Are you freakin’ kidding me?!  They might say it isn’t a “beauty pageant” but don’t let them fool you!  According to the chart if your hips are too wide or your shoulder blades are too pronounced…well lets just say there will not be a crown in your immediate future.

The facing page is free form poetry done by blocking out all but certain words that are already on the page.  It reads: No one is the same / no one can describe many so as to make an accurate analysis to recognize good people.  Nuff said.

I will continue to give updates on my altered book as it progresses.

And sorry about the poor picture quality.  I’m not operating at full capacity right now and also not using my regular computer and familiar programs.  So if things are looking just a bit “off” to you, that is because they are.   🙂

Thanks for stopping by! Sandy

an impromptu doggie diy -or- surviving the cone of shame

April 5, 2012

Our poor Trudy girl is feeling completely demoralized after a visit to the vet yesterday and subsequent adornment of the “cone of shame.”  After bringing her home I quickly realized that her elevated dog dish set up would not be compatible with her new fashion statement because they fit side by side into a built-in framework.  Putting the dishes directly on the ground didn’t work either as I found her standing with her cone planted over the top of her dish like an Indian teepee with her head stuck way up in the rafters (do teepees have rafters?)  Anyway, this pedestal dish making “puppy mommy” came to the rescue when inspiration struck. 

I remembered two mismatched bowls and two cake pans that I had put in a box for a future yard sale.  Turning the bowls upside down and gluing the pans (using 5 minute epoxy) to them I had instant pedestal dog dishes that Trudy could easily eat out of from the privacy of her own portable dining cabana. 














That’s what we are calling it now “the dining cabana” it sounds so much better than cone of shame.

Has your dog had to wear the cone?  What was your solution to the dining problem?  Have you ever seen the movie UP! ?  One of my fave kid movies ever!

Thanks for stopping by!  Sandy