Monday, August 11, 2014

Bringing New Life to an Old Deck

We bought our house in 2001. It was brand -new construction and while everything was new and in great shape, it needed lots of personalization. At least in my opinion. Ken says I've "Heather-ized" the house.

After 13 years though, some things are due for an update or repairs. Our deck was looking pretty shabby. I'm hoping we can rebuild it next year and maybe expand it but in the meantime it just needed some freshening up.

My father-in-law was kind enough to come over one afternoon and pressure wash the pickets and decking so we had a clean canvas to start with. I re-stained the pickets the same color they were previously because I still had plenty of stain on hand.

The decking I stained with an all-over color, Pewter. The following day I laid out my "rug" pattern with painters tape. I then painted my yellow and blue stripes. Again I waited a day for drying and re-taped so I could add the white stripes.

I created what my daughter called a "polka-dot maker" from a piece of transparency film and a circle cutter I had on hand. You could probably use card stock or even cardboard if that's what you have handy. The trick is just to make sure you don't move  your template once you place it down. I used a foam brush for the dots so I could dab the paint on and reduce the risk of seepage under the edges of the template.

I did spray the back of my template with spray adhesive but since the deck surface is not completely even it didn't really adhere well.

Once everything was dry, we brought up our new bench. Why yes, it does look startlingly like my old desk but shorter. Imagine that.

I replanted my mint and basil into new separate containers since the mint was taking over the shared planter. I found the new planters at Joann's. Couldn't pass up the 70% off + an additional 20% off sale they were having. Add the 12th man gnome and what more can you ask. And plus the gnome proves I haven't completely Heather-ized everything.

Next up were a couple of pillows for the bench. I made simple envelope style pillow covers so they will be easy to wash. I hope to make a few more so it's extra cushy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


This pair of girls is one of my favorites to photography. It helps that I have known these sweet girls since they were born.
They are relaxed, sweet and a little bit silly. Their mom and I have known each other for what seems like forever. Our husbands were best friends in high school. As the significant others of an inseparable duo we ended up spending a lot of time together.
We became not only friends but craft buddies, including a brief foray into candle-making and several years of scrapbooking.
Our second two children are just a few months apart. We don't have the opportunity to hang out as much as we used to but our girls are always excited to play together everytime we do.
I can't believe how much they have grown. I'm so glad I have been able to see it happen though.
Z. checking out her potato bug, "Frank"

Monday, August 4, 2014

Soccer Mom

I've been a bit hit or mess with my posting lately. Why is that, you ask?

Well, it is summer and I have projects galore to be finished and posted. But ultimately I am a soccer mom and summer is tournament season. Bailey's team has had 4 tournaments in the past 6 weeks.

We have traveled up and down through the state and into Oregon. The boys have played hard and faced wins and losses. They have grown together as a team and are playing better and better with each match.

Bailey's hair has transitioned from blond and back to brown again. Anique has accompanied us to a few games. She has read a few books on the sidelines and made new friends.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Texture Tuesday - Deer

I was doing a photo session with a good friend's children and these deer were out in the far field. Her mom says there are two babies and the mama but I was only able to spot one baby.  Do you see how it's little spotted side blends right in with the daisies?
I edited this one in Lightroom to even out the tone and increase the contrast (needed to be able to see the baby). I then brought it into Photoshop where I inverted kk_anna and applied it using Lighten. I lowered the opacity a bit and brushed out the deer so they would show clearly.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Getting Back in the Groove

The past few weeks I have been in a creative slump. I am someone who always had a project in mind, something that needs to be painted, or a photo technique I want to try. 

But the past couple of weeks...nada. Yes, I have projects to do but I was locked in indecision. I have a notebook where I jot down ideas. I added nothing to it. I have blog posts that are half written but I just couldn't summon the enthusiasm to finish them out. 

Why? I have no idea. But this Sunday Ken gave me a few uninterrupted hours with an empty house for "creative time."  

Okay, yes I took a 30 minute nap first. Then I decided I should do something mostly because it was expected. I reviewed a few photos and decided that was just killing time. 

So I broke out my paints and took down the little 6 inch canvases in the downstairs bath that were in need of a makeover. 

Once, I started painting I couldn't stop until I finished them. It was fun! I felt energized. Am I completely out of my slump? I'm not sure but I'm definitely working my way out. I have a few more canvases that I want to work on. Fingers crossed I have my groove back and will keep growing. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thoughts on Being in my 30's

My 20's

My 30's

So, as another birthday approaches I've been reflecting on my 30's (which are creeping closer to the end). Reflecting on how they differ from my 20's, what I've learned/realized and how I feel about this decade.

Here's a few things I've come up with:

  • Mini skirts are out (per What Not to Wear,  35 is the high limit)
  • Clothing found in the Juniors section is not flattering to my new body shape
  • The days of eating whatever I want and not gaining an ounce are over. Looking longingly at food causes weight gain.
  • Muscles don't bounce back, they just tear.
  • Good foundation wear is a must. Gravity sucks.
  • Lotion is another must if you don't want your hands to look 50.
  • SUV's are the new mini-van (despite a friend explaining they don't count because there is no sliding door)
  • I'm officially a soccer mom, spending half my freetime cheering on the sidelines.
  • I'm not nearly as concerned about how others think about me. I'm good with just being the best me.
  • I really thought I would have accomplished more in my career at this point.
  • I feel like I'm too old to dye my hair the really pretty, non natural colors (the whole pastel color trend is not for me)
  • I can no longer get through the day with only 4 hours of sleep.
I'm sure there's more but that's what I have so far.

I reached out to a few friends and asked for their feedback as well and here's what they added:

I defied the odds--I worked for three different banks that are no longer in existence...Had two more beautiful little girls...remarried to a great man!...Drive a jeep (one of my childhood goals in life). And doubled the size of my house AND my payment!

more confident to just be me. I no longer try to live up to others standards or lifestyles. Comfortable and happy in my chaotic life. Family life/Mom mode kicks in and takes over almost all aspects of life, little free time for self or my friends. Realizing that Forever 21 is a store only for 21 year olds and I should not have pants with words on my ass. Oh and over 35 requires stretching before any activity.

What do you think? Are there any thoughts you have about your thirties? What did you learn? What do you expect from your forties?

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Totally Rad Sale

Hey, it's that time again. One of the rare Totally Rad sales. I personally LOVE their RadLab. You can try it out for free but don't wait so long you miss out on the sale. 

You can check out all the awesome examples here. There are some majorly talented photographers and skilled Photoshop users out there. 

Here's a quick peek at a photo I used my RadLab filters on. I love that they are all adjustable and you can layer as many as you want. I went extreme so you can see how much they can do but most often I use them to just add light or contrast.And sometimes the cool color effects.