Friday, July 31, 2015

Summer School: Make It In Design 2

Summer School, hosted by Make It In Design, just wrapped up. In previous years I've never managed to get anything submitted since other summer activities have taken presidence. This year I decided to make completing the creative briefs a higher priority. 

While I didn't get to the bonus challenges,  I'm happy to have completed both briefs.  This last brief was themed around eco-global geometrics. 

It was great to get back into Illustrator and play with color and design.  Next time I will definitely step it up and create mock-ups.  It would be pretty coo to see my designs applied to real-life objects.  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Montana: Part 1

Several months ago, I had picked up a big paper map of the United States at the bookstore. I put it up on the wall in my office and marked all of the places we had visited and stayed for vacation.

Anique and I discussed all the places we had visited and how it would be cool to visit every state. We brought it up with Ken and Bailey and they agreed. I suspect they were just being polite but I took it as agreement and started planning.

This year we had a small window of time we could take off and had a budget we needed to abide by. It was decided the vacation would have to be within driving distance. Ken and I both took Wednesday through Friday off so we would have 5 days total. We decided on Montana since it was one of the few states we hadn't visited that was still within driving distance.

We left Wednesday morning and arrived in Bozeman late that night. The first hotel was basically a stopover. We slept, ate, showered and then packed back in the car. Our plan was to do a river float on the Yellowstone but woke to rain, rain and more rain. So we headed south to Old Faithful. Along the way, we stopped to check out the cool scenery. Some of it looks otherworldly. It's completely amazing and a bit scary to think all that heat is so close to the surface.

After Old Faithful we piled back into the car and headed to Billings for Part 2 of our vacation.

The North entrance is under construction.

The Mammoth Hot Springs were amazing. All the terraces of rock with hot bubbling water along the surface. 

The next images were taken at another hot basin. The water was literally boiling and smelled heavily of sulfur.

Old Faithful

And a few family photos while we decided what our next stop would be. The close-ups were taken by Ellie who was holding my camera for me while I re-organized. Please pardon my lack of make-up (it was vacation) and how the heck did I get so many wrinkles around my eyes? Geez!

How to amuse your self while driving? Shoot random, over-the-shoulder shots of the backseat passengers. Sinclair the dinosaur was a gas station find and Ellie had great fun throughout the whole trip sticking his head in my ear.

Turned out Bailey was filming random mini-films to pass the time and sending them to Ellie's mom. Making our car antics public. Whoops!

We still have lots of states on our family To Be Visited list but here are the ones we've seen so far (driving through or stopping at an airport doesn't count) :

  • Washington
  • Oregon
  • California
  • Idaho
  • California
  • Montana
  • Wyoming
  • Florida
What state would you recommend next? What should we do there?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Summer School - Make It In Design

I decided to try to take part in the Summer School class that is put on by Make It In Design and Lila Rogers. It's been a very, very long time since I spent any quality time with Illustrator. I'm a bit rusty but it was nice to play around and create something from scratch.

For the first assignment, we had to create something around the theme Bright Retro Soft Pop. We were given a recommended color palette and key words and then had free reign. 

Above is what I submitted for my first design. I would envision it as a fabric pattern, perhaps on a short, swingy summer dress or jumper? 

Our seconds project is up and I've been searching and collecting inspiration. 

I'll be taking a brief break from blogging for the rest of the week as we have a few days of family time planned. I should be back next week with lots of pictures to share. 

Here's a sneak peek at the bathroom update that is currently in progress as well. More to come on that. So many ideas ready to be put in place, just ran short on time this weekend. 

Friday, July 17, 2015

Best Things I've Read This Week

I'll admit I'm still fascinated by the photos of Pluto but I decided you've probably seen plenty of those already. Here's a few other things I've read about this week.

What is Priviledge?

Have you seen this video yet?

4 - Day Work Week
Would a 4-Day work week suit you? Is it possible?

How to Build a Capsule Wardrobe

I'm a little late to the game but I ran across this and I'm seriously enticed by the idea. Have you tried it? What would you keep? What would you pack away?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Favorite Things: Of a Kind

Of A Kind carries items designed by independent designers. Everything is available in limited editions only so it's different every time you look. Also, the odds are low you'll run into someone wearing the same thing. Always a bonus and something you can't say about your Target top. Of which I have many. Definitely a good site to splurge on a high-quality wardrobe staple.




Monday, July 13, 2015

Platform with Hidden Bed

We updated Anique's room a couple of years ago to make it a little more grown-up. At that time she had changed her bed to a bunk bed with a futon on the bottom. Ultimately she ended up spending most of her time sleeping on the futon and the top became a storage area for stuffed animals and extra blankets.

The kids rooms are pretty small. A little under 10'x10'. Beds typically take up most of the space and once you add a dresser and a bookshelf there's not a lot of space left over for playing or hanging out. Her trampoline chair was often folded up just because it left no space to walk if left out.

The goal of the new bed was to increase the amount of usable space but still make sure she had somewhere to sleep. 

I am fortunate to have my husband and my father-in-law to help me with my crazy schemes. I just let them know what measurements I want and they cut everything for me.

Here's the bed in progress. The platform is up. The trundle bed is upside down and we installed wheels to make it easy to roll in and out. Ken helped to install a few more cross supports to make the platform more stable and less bouncy. 

We used 1/2" MDF for the top and facing. If I were to build another, I would recommend using 3/4" MDF next time just so there is less give and bounce to the top. We just added additional 2x4's instead to make it solid.

Pardon the mess below. I have a habit of working on projects without completely emptying out the room. The platform is up, The bed fits beneath. 

It's tough to get a good photo in of the whole room since the room is small but here's the bed all put together and painted. I installed a couple of handles on the front to make pulling the trundle out easier for Anique. 

We placed her dresser up on top  and created a reading area with her chair as well. Here are a few shots of the details.  

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Best Things I've Read this Week

Pluto and it's moon Charon
via NASA

1. Countdown to Pluto
Up close pictures and all kinds of scientific data will be gathered when New Horizon will pass it on July 14, 2015. New Horizon was launched on January 19th and has been traveling for over 9 years.

2.Guide to Packing a Perfect Picnic
This is a pretty elaborate and pricey setup but it has lots of good ideas

3. New Ghostbusters Cast
Have you seen the new cast of Ghostbusters? Here they are in their uniforms.

That's all I have for this week.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Pinterest Project: Kitchen Stools - Win

I don't know about you but I could spend forever on Pinterest searching for inspiration. Some of the things I pin are just things I think are beautiful but would never, ever work in my house. You know, because my whole house would fit in the inspiration home's bathroom. Somethings can only be sized down so far. 

Of course, I do love any project that just calls for a little paint. I've had this stool project pinned for quite awhile.

We had a couple of generic wooden stools purchased from Target back in 2001 when we first bought our house. They're a staple and I'm pretty sure they still carry them. 

I dutifully followed the steps in the tutorial the Pin linked to and using red to match our new color scheme set to spray painting the base coat on stools. I started with the legs and then sprayed the tops.

I didn't spray the bottom of the seats because only the pets are really going to be low enough on the ground to ever see them.

I chose to use Valspar Premium Finish which I picked up at Lowes. This one had primer built in and covered very nicely. I didn't end up with any drips either. 

Here they are drying in the sun. We're not used to consistent temperatures in the 90's here in the Seattle area and as you can see our grass has not fared well. 

Totally non-related photo of Lily hanging out watching me work.

Once the red had dried. I proceed to the next step which instructed me to wrap the stools in Kraft paper to protect from over-spray when doing the top. I didn't have any Kraft paper, so I used wrapping paper. It worked just fine. I sprayed the tops silver and left them to dry for an hour or so. I then chose to spray them with a clear coat to make the finish a bit tougher. I let them dry again for another hour.

I flipped the stool over and placed it on the clean side of cardboard. Again following instructions, I taped off the legs with painters tape.

I used more cardboard to construct a paint shield for the legs and after cutting a few holes slid it on. I used painters tape on a couple of the holes because I had cut them too big.

I sprayed the silver legs with clear coat and then I left them to dry overnight this time. Mostly because it was getting late and the light wasn't really very good for pictures. 

In the morning, I unwrapped my stools and removed the cardboard paint shields. The stools didn't come out completely perfect.

As you can see below, I lost a little bit of paint around the edges of the top where they had rested while flipped.

Also, despite trying to be very careful, the cardboard scratched a bit when it was pulled off the legs.

Overall, I'm quite happy with them though and I'm okay with a few imperfections. I love having the color and how they pop against the white wall and wood floors now. 

I would call this one a Pinterest Win.