2014-Looking Forward To It

mammoth sunflower

I didn’t want to be like all the other bloggers out there; oozing hope and sunshine, bright and early on New Year’s Day. I wanted to catch you a few days into the new year, after the gloss had worn off just a bit. (Okay, so truthfully, I got blown off course by a family crisis on Christmas Eve and am just now getting back on track)

2014 is going to be a year full of changes with my daughter graduating from high school in June, putting our house up for sale in the summer and all of us moving from the suburbs of Chula Vista to city life in San Diego.

This blog began 18 months ago with a self-imposed challenge to get rid of my paint stash before we move this coming summer. So as of right now, I have about 6 1/2 months to get rid of the rest of my stash. I’ve looked at the the projects left to do around my house and have come to realize that I’m never going to use up all these products. The challenge – as I wrote it – allows for four ways to reduce my stash. I can use it up, trade it, sell it or donate it. Right now I’m keen on donating it, however, the products that are taking up the most space are specialty, faux finishing products that the general public doesn’t know how to use. So I’ve decided to host a paint-and-play day for my painter friends. We’ll open everything up and see if they can lighten my load, and have a little fun getting messy.

Even though I’m planning on giving away the majority of my paint, I’ll still have plenty of paint projects to post, I promise. I’ll be trying to destash the other materials in my studio as well, so there will also by fabric and crafting posts just to keep it interesting.

Salvaged Sanity did well over the holidays and as a result, the shop is looking kind of empty. I’ve got some new ideas for creative storage products using secondhand stuff that I just can’t wait to make. Of course that will involve a few treasure hunts through estate sales and flea markets and I hope you’ll come along for the ride.

Advertisements

A Gilded Life – Spellbound Event


Welcome Dinner
The Spellbound Event hosted by A Gilded Life Studio was one of the funnest things I’ve ever done. Forgive me for taking so long to post this, but the amount of photos I had to go through was a little overwhelming. I want to take you through the event, but I don’t want this to be a never ending post so I’ve made collages to keep the photos to a minimum length.

Pre-Event SoireeFor people that were able to get to the hotel one day early, they were treated to a Pre-Event Soiree at A Gilded Life studio in Santa Ana. A bus collected all of us for free and took us to a place where my kind of dreams are made of. They really should have handed out napkins at the door because the drool was seriously flowing.

The studio hosts classes and is also a retail shop for the most beautiful things you can imagine. They primed us with an amazing buffet, ridiculously beautiful desserts and of course champagne. Then they taught us a craft with a brand new embossing/cutting machine that’s yet to be on the market. Crafting AND Champagne?! I was giddy. So of course I went shopping.

A Gilded Life purchaseThis was my first night, so I really tried to reign it in because I knew there were going to be many other shopping events throughout the week. I bought this remnant of ruffled fabric that I plan to make a skirt with for Dianna. The two yards of lace are also for Dianna, but the lime green, velvet leaves are for me. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them, but I just had to have them.

The French General StoreThe next day a local store called The French General hosted a free crafting/luncheon for those attendees who could drop by. I have loved French General products for years so to have a chance to craft in the store was so exciting. The store did not disappoint. They have an incredible assortment of fabric, beads, buttons, ribbon and paper ephemera. I ate my lunch, made a couple bracelets and scanned the store for what was going to have to go home with me.

French General NotionsMy restraint had started to weaken, obviously. So, so many pretty things.

We rushed back to the hotel with all our goodies and got ready for the Welcome Dinner in the ballroom of the Pasadena Langham Hotel.

Gift Tote bagThe first thing I noticed was that every chair had a really beautiful tote bag hanging on the back. We took our seats and tried to be grown ups and not the little kid inside who wanted to dump out the bags on the floor and check out all the candy. It took a couple glasses of wine to quiet that desperate impulse. I was able to keep a handle on it, which was difficult considering that this is what the inside looked like:

gift bag treasuresThe hosts and sponsors of this event were extremely generous with their products. There were so many cool new products in this bag that I think I’ve returned to  square one on my destashing efforts. But wait………there’s more……….

Spellbound embossing machineAfter dessert they surprised us by giving every single attendee a brand new, not on the market yet, Spellbound Artisan machine and a ton of dies and plates to go with it. I thought Oprah was going to come out and hand out car keys next. If you haven’t heard a room full of grown women squeal before, you’re definitely missing out. It absolutely made my heart race.

embossed bookThere are lots of embossing and die cutting machines on the market. This new machine’s advantage is that it can do both at the same time. The little book above is what we made the night before. We inked the plate before running the linen covered paper through the machine so not only was it embossed, it was stained in the low areas as well. So beautiful and so easy. It works on paper, fabric and leather. You have to get one.

When I got to my room with my new machine and bag full of awesome crap I totally dumped it all on my bed like a little girl and looked at every little treasure one at a time. It was awesome.

mixed media classesThe four classes I took over the next two days were amazing. I would love to show you all the finished products but I’m going to give a couple as gifts, so they have to remain a secret. The teachers were great and I learned so many new techniques that I’m still pumped up with ideas.

mercantile displayFriday night was the Dreamland Mercantile, and with a lot of help from my roommate I got my display set up with enough time to shop the other vendor tables.

Dreamland Mercantile vendorsThey had about 30 vendors, all real different, but all so beautiful. I sold enough to pay for my table and make a little profit. The feedback I got was very valuable so I’m definitely glad I did it.

Saturday night they hosted an Up All Night Craft Party that was a total blast. The vendors set up about six different craft stations with a different project at each of them. More free stuff!

They also provided late night munchies like sliders and mac n cheese, which was followed by an amazing display of desserts. I should have taken a picture but I was in a chocolate coma.

Craft party projectsThese are the things I made. They taught us how to make flowers with our new machines and we cut flowers out of a bunch of different fabrics and glued them all on an apron. It’s adorable. I made a mixed media tag book that’s so cute. I also stenciled a canvas bag to hold all my new stuff. The long necklace laying on top was the name tag every one wore. They made 150 of these, and each metal bezzle has our name floated in the resin inside. It’s stunning and actually one of my favorite things from the event.The Rose Bowl Flea MarketThe event was topped off with a Sunday morning trip to the Rose Bowl Flea Market in Pasadena. I had always wanted to go, and it was definitely worth the drive. They have a huge number of very good vendors with a vast array of antique and vintage finds. I loved the fabric stall at the top which specialized in vintage fabrics and trim. Very good prices and a large selection.

I have to say sorry to my good friend Jerry for not picking up the clown painting. I know it would go great over your bed, but I just didn’t have any more room in my car.

Rose Bowl purchasesThis is what came home with me. I’m going to use the vintage runners on my Thanksgiving tables this year and they’ll be so cute.

From there I drove home with a car full of treasures and a brain buzzing with ideas. The event was more than I could have dreamed of and I will definitely be returning next year. The generosity of the hosts and sponsors was overwhelming, but it was their attention to every detail that really pushed it over the top. It was obvious that they understood what makes a woman’s heart sing, and they were just so willing to make it happen.

A big Thank You to the women at A Gilded Life and the people at Spellbound. You gave me more than you’ll ever know.

Day Seven – Dripping Springs, Texas

(This is the part of a series that began September 27th)

After we attended the Marburger Farm’s Antique Show on Tuesday we drove to our good friend’s home in Dripping Springs, Texas, which is West of Austin. We parked the RV in front of their horse stables and ambled down to their home for dinner, drinks and a lot of catching up. After we’d ate and drank our fill we dragged ourselves to our mobile home only to find out that now the generator wasn’t working. Whatever! Who needs electricity when you’re sleeping? We brushed our teeth and went to bed.

Thankfully our friends woke us up with fresh coffee and breakfast before we were awake enough to remember that we needed electricity to make coffee. Thank God! So again, the generator wasn’t needed. (As it turns out, the generator won’t turn on if you have less than a quarter tank of gas in the vehicle, so as soon as we filled up it was back to running smoothly)

Dianna and PattyAfter breakfast my friend Patty gave my daughter a lesson on her horse Beau. Dianna has joined an equestrian club at school and is volunteering at a rescue center, trading work hours for riding privileges. Patty is a fantastic teacher and she went over everything from grooming to tacking to basic riding. Dianna had a great time and learned a lot.

Percy is concernedPercy on the other hand was completely riveted. He has only seen one other horse and it was attached to a cart. It nearly made him poop his pants……..but he didn’t have pants. When Dianna got on Beau, he was beside himself. Again, he had no pants.

poor worn out puppyIt completely wore him out. I can understand. Watching her wore me out too.

My mother and I had horses when I was growing up, but she was a great rider with more bravery and determination than I’ve ever seen. She competed in Cross-Country Eventing shows against girls that were 40 years younger than her, and she won a fair share of ribbons. Kicking ass and taking names. What I remember most is her absolute exhilaration at the end of the jumping course. She was absolutely lit up on the inside.

my momMy mom got Dianna on horses as often as she could. I wish it had been more. Their time together was way too short. After my mom died, being around horses became really difficult for me, to say the least. My mom and I rode together nearly every day when I was in high school. Just the smell of horses makes me miss her.

trottingWhen Dianna got on Beau, I will admit, a few silent tears were shed on the side of the arena. This time it was because she looked just like my Mom on that horse. She’s so beautiful. It was pure joy to watch. Thanks, Patty. Thanks for a new memory.

Day Two – Grand Canyon

We left Sedona after a breakfast of bacon and eggs cooked in our tiny kitchen, followed by a quick walk to the dog park. Percy tried to leave his calling card, but I threw it away. Never fails. No one will ever know he’s been anywhere, poor guy.

Arizona mountain beautyThe scenery on the way to the Grand Canyon is beautiful. Luckily, we’re in a huge RV, so we have plenty of time to take it all in as it slowly maneuvers every harrowing turn.

When we stopped for a quick look at a scenic rest stop we were assaulted by this wicked wind, that ended up dogging us all day. I stepped out with Percy in my arms and the wind almost grabbed him from me. That’s when we knew…..it was definitely going to be a bad hair day. Out came the ball caps.

Ruins at the CanyonWe read all the stuff on the Grand Canyon and decided we were only interested in seeing it and taking a few photos. Donkey rides sounded horrible and Percy doesn’t know how to ride. We’re not interested in the gift shops, t-shirts or iphone cases with photos of the Grand Canyon emblazoned on them. We also decided to stay away from the suspension bridges that allow you to walk over the Grand Canyon. Truth be told, Percy is a huge pussy. I totally would have done it, but he was crying and begging me not to make him go. So we ended up going to the Desert View end of the Southern Rim.

Desert View Grand Canyon Again, I’m not going to be able to say anything profound or moving about finally seeing it. It’s really, really big. It makes you grab your camera, but really, I knew even while I was taking pictures that none of them would really convey the magnitude of what I was looking at. It’s huge and totally worth the drive. We didn’t get close to the edge because the wind was actually picking up our feet as we walked. Percy was practically a kite. But from the safe places behind the rails we took pictures and really enjoyed the moment.

Four CornersFrom there we drove to Four Corners. We actually could have made better time if we’d had a sail on the RV because the wind was so brutal that we didn’t feel so much as we were driving as much as just trying to keep all the wheels on the ground.

We made it to Four Corners two minutes before it ‘closed.’ I put that in quotations because no one was there. There were big signs saying, “No dogs allowed” but no one was there to enforce it, so Percy got all four paws on all Four Corners. Awesome!

The wind died down when we got to Durango, Colorado. We grabbed some food, drank a little wine, rubbed Vaseline all over our parched faces and went to bed. Success!

Fair Warning: You’re going to be jealous

I’ve never been one of those girls that like purses. Let me rephrase that…I’ve never been one of those girls that like traditional purses. I don’t understand why people like Coach, Dooney & Burke, Dolci Gabbana, etc (please forgive me if I’ve misspelled those, I don’t like them so I don’t know how to spell them). Categorically, I think traditional purses are too heavy, too flashy and too big. So when I need to get a new bag I pretty much drag my feet on the way to finding a replacement.

For about a month I have been dragging around a small backpack because I got sick of how big my last purse was. I didn’t put all the stuff in it that I actually need because I didn’t want to admit that I needed a new purse. If I admitted to the need I would have to actually shop for a purse, and I hate shopping for purses. I decided that maybe the best way to prevent one of those horrible shopping trips I could just try to make a purse. So the other night I searched Pinterest for “free purse patterns.” I found one I liked and found the time yesterday to sew it up. Warning: it’s adorable.

Phoebe BagTo die for, I know. This pattern is called the Phoebe Bag and is from Rebeka Lambert at artsy-crafty babe. I found her free pattern on Pinterest and it took me only 4 1/2 hours to sew, and I swear I wasn’t racing. The pattern and directions print out in 4 pages and the pattern pieces are the correct size, you don’t have to enlarge them at all.

artsy-crafty babeThe fabric I used is all from my stash. The only thing I had to buy was a magnetic snap closure. The lime-green flocked linen and the green damask print on the inside were pieces I picked up at Matilda’s Mouse Clearance sale last month. The cream tulip patterned fabric on the flap came from my friend Kate’s garage when we were cleaning it out. The bright blue, brown and green floral on the strap was a vintage piece I picked up at an antique store in Capitola when we were visiting Aunt Crystal’s beach house (aka: Heaven on Earth).

inside pockets inside-handmade-purseThere are two pockets on the inside for my phone and my keys. The pattern was really easy to follow and I didn’t find any flaws with the design or the directions. I don’t consider myself an expert sewer at all, so if you’re tempted to try this, definitely jump in. I’m so happy with the way it turned out (obviously).

I know this post has nothing to do with painting, so thanks for indulging me in my stray from the main topic of this blog. I just think this bag is so stinking cute that I have to share it. So what did you do with your Labor Day?

Visit South Park, San Diego

Rebecca's Coffee ShopSouth Park, San Diego is one of the neighborhoods we’ll be looking at when we move out of our suburban home next year. The neighborhood sits just south of beautiful Balboa Park (get it, South Park).The photo above is of a mural outside Rebecca’s Coffee House on the corner of 30th and Fern St.

Rebecca's Coffee HouseRebecca’s is always my first stop when I get a chance to visit the area. This Saturday I indulged in a large apple cinnamon muffin and a medium latte. They always sprinkle a little cinnamon in their lattes which is heaven. It’s the perfect snack place before you wander across the street to my favorite store in South Park.

The Grove at Juniper & 30th

The Grove at Juniper & 30th is a completely unique store. It’s a bookstore/yarn store/fabric store/kitchen store/clothing boutique/gift store. I love independent bookstores but the book buyer at this store is especially good at her job and they carry a really different collection of books. They don’t carry Miley Cyrus’ memoir but I did pick up a copy of Anne Lamott’s newest book. Yay, Me! 

yarn departmentFor all you yarn addicts out there….the yarn collection here is spectacular. I don’t knit, but this place makes me want to learn. They hold classes here and you can also arrange for private lessons in knitting and crochet. My daughter and I are considering arranging a beginning crochet lesson for the both of us before her Fall break. Going to get our crochet on!

fabric departmentIf you’re a quilter, this is the place for you. They have a great collection of the newest fabrics. They carry Amy Butler and Judi Patuti fabrics as well as a large line of laminated fabrics. It’s really hard to walk out without any. So pretty.

gift sectionIf you’re looking for a gift, this is a great store for finding really unique gifts. They carry items created by local artists, as well as a great collection of kitchen tools and aprons.

country cottageThis corner has several cool stores, adorable cottages and the cafes are dog-friendly, so next time you’re near Balboa Park, wander over to South Park and see where the cool people hang out. Hopefully next year, that will include me as well.

Stuff that kept me busy last week

After my daughter’s bathroom renovation was finished, I had a lot of work to catch up on, namely, I closed the Destashio Etsy shop.  I moved any items related to storage and organization into the Salvaged Sanity shop. It’s been too hard to run two shops and I want to focus where my passion is……..organization and storage.

I made two new items for the shop last week:

DIY mail organizerThis is a Message Center Board as it comes…..no accessories. This board has two 3-ring binder spines, so it can hold two mail holders, frames, or notepads in a number of combinations. There are two magnet boards at the bottom covered in a beige/blue/green floral patterned fabric. The board comes with four magnets made out of decorative bottle caps. Flanked on either side is a set of clothespins stamped with the words, “save” “date” and “remember”, to help hold on to important notes.

DIY board with accessoriesThis is what it can look like with a few additions. This is just one example but there are other options available in the shop.

I also made this little beauty:

mail-organizerbee pendantAdorable, Ay?! It’s a mail holder for the DIY Message Center Boards. I had a ball making this one. Totally cool!

flea market findsWe made it to an estate sale on Friday. Really interesting sale. Let’s just say there were raw animal pelts hanging in the closets, slowly disintegrating, completely nasty. They also had a whole room of dolls, the creepy kind. I almost brought home one of those stuffed monkeys that freak me out in horror movies, but I couldn’t bring myself to touch it. I brought home the few treasures above. A couple cool frames and some neat illustrations that I can include in a new art wall I’m putting together. The little pieces of brass and the drawer pulls will end up on a board some day I’m sure.

But the best thing I found was this…..

Priscilla and FionaThis was a painting done by the former homeowner, Betty Sagan. She may have had a doll fetish and a few too many animal remains to host a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, but she was also an artist.

This beauty was hanging over her fireplace and I just fell in love with her. I know there is a bit of a creepy factor in her, but that’s why I grabbed her. Her daughter was so glad to see her mom’s work go to a home that appreciated her. I have her hanging right in front of me when I watch tv. Her eyes definitely follow me when I leave the room, but I appreciate the company. I have named her Priscilla and I call her cat, Fiona, and I love them completely. Don’t come over if you can’t take it. They’re precious.

So that’s what I’ve been doing………what’s been keeping you busy?