Friday, May 29, 2015

chasing a dream- opening a gallery part 2

There are so many things that inspire me: a colorful sunset, a trip to the museum, a great book, learning a new technique - but one of my biggest inspirations comes from hearing other people's stories. Stories of chasing after dreams, trying something new and pursuing a passion project are the things that really get my heart racing! I've got some new content coming to the blog in months ahead, and something I am really excited about is a new series where I will be sharing the stories of creative entrepreneurs chasing after their dreams. 

Today I am sharing the progress of my friend's Sara and Staci's passion project- a gallery for makers in Astoria, Oregon. When we last left them, they were deep in process of cleaning, painting and renovating the space. Their next step was working on display units, filling the store with handmade goodies and styling the space. I've been checking up on them throughout the process and today they are sharing what they have been up to.

Tell us what you guys have done to the space since we last talked

SARA: Once we got everything cleaned up and painted it was time to build display units and decorate the space. The space has such great natural light so we really wanted to keep the everything bright, open and airy.

We painted the wall behind the counter with a light grey chalkboard paint. This statement wall is a fun feature and a great way to change things up, get creative and add a handmade touch to the decor.

STACI: We added open shelving to an entire a wall- another statement feature in the space. We felt like this would be a great solution for displaying smaller collections as well as a great way to draw the customer's eye up.
We also repurposed two old radiators that were broken and had been pulled out of the space. We thought they would make a really unique base for our countertop. This was a great way to recycle something that would have otherwise been thrown out and also saved us money when creating the counter. It has become a really cool conversation piece for the shop!

SARA: It was a really big priority to stick to our budget as much as possible when it came to decor and display. Since we have a lot of really talented friends and family, we were able to build everything ourselves. Most of the tables and display items are made from plywood, repurposed scraps and fence wood. Everything else we thrifted and painted and/or reupholstered. 
STACI: Once we had all of our display and decor set, we began bringing in art and craft. We spent the last few months reaching out to local and regional artists whose work we thought would be a good fit. For the last month, artists and makers have been dropping off their handmade goods and we have been filling up the shop! 

Part of this process has involved getting really organized with a good system to record and track inventory. It has been time involved but totally worth it because it will keep us organized in the long term.

Can you share some lessons learned at this stage?

SARA: Once again, staying creative and conservative with our budget has really kept us on track. We've tried to make things and do it ourselves before spending money on something. The result has been a very creative space full of hand crafted features.

STACI: It has really helped to have a good inventory program. We are using Square for inventory management and it has made things simple and easy to stay organized with all of the products that we are bring in.

SARA: Networking both online and within the community has played a big part in our development and preparation to open. We've found that word of mouth spreads fast and has brought new artists, customers and creative support our way! 

Thanks again ladies for a peek into your project! I look forward to seeing how things grow and change over time!

Maiden Astoria is also online! You can check out their website at

You can also follow them over on Instragram at maidenastoria

For those who are in the area, stop by Maiden Astoria's grand opening party on June 13th from 5-8pm! Andy and I will be there to celebrate along with a talented group of Oregon artists.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

dreams coming true

There is a movement going on out there- people around the world are downsizing, selling their belongings and moving into a campers, RVs and vans. They are hitting the road to seek out adventures and explore the world. For the last couple of years we have been dreaming, scheming and saving with the hope to be a part of this movement and recently we made it happen! We bought a van that we will be converting into a camper van and while we won't be moving into our van or making any big life changes, we will be setting out on lots of little adventures.    
We have lots of work to do to get our van travel ready and we are super inspired by the possibility for our tiny home on wheels. I will be sharing the process in weeks and months ahead but in the meantime, check out some "van life" inspiration!

source: 1 2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

a peek inside my art journal and a batch of handmade journals in the shop!

We've been hard at work over here creating a new big batch of handmade art journals. I am blown away by the response to these journals- we literally cannot keep up with the demand! You can head on over to the shop HERE to see the entire offering.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

boho wall hanging

So if you didn't know, fiber weavings are totally trending right now and as much as I love the bohemian look and feel of a weaving, I personally have no time to learn (not yet)! So I decided to come up with something that had the same look and feel but made use of the materials and skills that I already have- painting- to create a boho inspired wall hanging.

I am most comfortable using canvas but just about anything could be used for this project- fabric, leather, denim, even thick paper. I started by cutting a large strip of canvas and painting it white.

Then I sketched out my design. This took some planning but I finally settled on some shapes and pattern that I see in both weavings and rugs.

Next, I painted everything. Since the shapes and designs were simple, I really needed vibrant color to add some POP! 

Once the color was dry, I used one of my favorite supplies- Tulip Dimensional Paint (or puff paint) to add lots of tiny embellishments.

The last step was to create faux fringe at the bottom of my wall hanging. I simply cut the bottom into strips and then gave the ends of the fringe a little trim.

I really love the way it turned out. It's great way to add bright color and bohemian flair to a room!

Friday, May 22, 2015

memorial day round up

We are heading into Memorial Day weekend over here which which means summer is right around the corner! So I've gathered some of my favorite summer inspired projects for those of you looking for ideas over the long weekend.
1. potting shed makeover  2. inspiration to throw a picnic somewhere unique  3. family rock garden  4. homemade tortilla chips  5. DIY fire pit  6. my three favorite crispy treats 7. palette table  8. glue resist dyed tunic  9. garden sign  10. garlic ginger chicken wings  11. painted wedge sandals  12. messy painted bench  13. altered hoodie  14. infused water  15. thread wrapped sandals


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