Exploring La Jolla California (Part 4)

For my fourth and final post in this series about La Jolla I thought I’d share a couple more fun photos and treasures that we discovered on our quick trip over there in July.The Faded Awning Nautical Pillow

After we left the La Jolla Open Aire Market we had to walk a few blocks to get back to where Terry parked the car.  During our stroll we passed a sweet little coastal store called “The Faded Awning Collection” at 7464 Girard Ave.  (They don’t seem to have a website that I can find. If you know of one, please send it to me.)

In case you’re new to my blog, I need to tell you that although I currently live in the desert, I love the casual feel of coastal-cottage style decorating and I try to pretend that I live in a beach climate when I’m inside the house.  You won’t see adobe, saltillo tile, or southwestern decor when you visit.  It’s blues, greens, sea shells and white painted furniture for me.

So you can imagine why this caught my eye.  Tucked just outside the door at the entrance to the store I saw this wonderful pillow made with a vintage blue nautical flag.  I just had to take a short detour to see what else they had inside and my sweetie was nice enough to patiently wait for me.

Don’t you just love the simple beauty of that pillow?  And how easy it would be to make some like this!  I’ll have to add it to my craft idea binder.

Sea Horse ArtOnce inside the store the space was a bit overwhelming and crowded, but I did see some wonderful pieces.

Like this seahorse art which was 4 or 5 feet tall.  The silhouette was painted in black on weathered wood with the words stenciled on top of the black.  I’m sure it isn’t as easy as it looks, but would probably be a fun project to try.  Imagine the variety of similar pieces that you could do with the same basic format…starfish, fish, and other sea creatures with your favorite beachy prose or just random words to fill the space and a myriad of color schemes, like navy, or shades of beach glass, of course.  Let me know if you decide to try it.  I’d love to see how it turns out.

Now, to say goodbye to this lovely coastal town, I thought I’d share a few photos that reminded me that we weren’t Phoenix.

 Purple flowers on white fence

While driving down Mission Blvd. on our way out of town we passed this little beach house with these gorgeous morning glories covering the back fence.  That shade of purple was so vibrant!
Belmont Park CaliforniaDid you know that just about 15 minutes south of La Jolla there’s a park with a roller coaster?  It’s called Belmont Park.  We didn’t have time to stop there, but it looked like it was hopping!  Let me know if you’ve been there and if it’s worth a stop.

And just how many different modes of transportation can you count in this pic?  Those crazy Californians.

Beach LIfe

And I just had to take this photo of the quintessential beach community.  Where else will you see folks walking their dog, heading for the beach with their surfboard and driving in a convertible all in the same scene in the middle of July.  In Southern California of course!

So we bid farewell to La Jolla for now.  I’m sure we’ll be back again, but not sure when.  Thanks for coming along for the ride.  Let me know where you’d like to go next.  How does Scotland sound?  It’s a little bit different than Southern California, but I’d say well worth the visit.

Be sure to stop by again soon and see what we can find in Scotland and Ireland in the coming weeks!  Or better yet, sign up to receive notification every time there’s a new post!

Awesome Japanese Masking Tape

I was sitting in the car for hour upon hour this weekend as my hubby and I made the six-hour plus drive each way from Phoenix to L.A. and back, so I did some catching up on my magazines.  As you may remember, I LOVE magazines, but they tend to pile up around the house while I’m busy with other things.  So I REALLY look forward to our road trips so I can have a few hours to flip through a stack of my favorites.

This time I thoroughly enjoyed my latest Fresh Home Ideas magazine.  I can always tell when I got my money’s worth because I tear out at least a dozen pages for future reference and this one was no exception.

Here are some of the treasures I found on the pages:

  1. We bought some fresh green and wax beans at La Jolla’s Open Aire Market on Sunday morning (more on that later) and I found the perfect Roasted Beet Garden Salad with Goat Cheese recipe on the drive home.  Unfortunately, I don’t see it on their web site so you would need to buy the magazine for it.  If the beans make it long enough for me to try it, I’ll post it with pictures.
  2. I saw this great idea (above) with instructions on how to make an oil lantern from a Patron Tequila bottle.  We don’t buy tequila, but I wouldn’t be afraid of going to a local bar and asking for their throw away bottles.  Of course you can do the same thing with any unusual or eye catching bottle.  I can just see the collection of different colors, heights, and shapes sitting out in the moonlight now!
  3. Then they shared several wonderful ideas on creative containers for fresh flowers.  I have some hanging containers (also from Ikea) that are very similar to these below and I love the possibilities here.
  4. But the product that I can’t wait to get my hands on is this Japanese Masking Tape!  As soon as we got home I had to look up the website where they sell it and I’ll be ordering a few rolls very soon just to try it out.  They suggest decorating glasses for a one-time, easy to remove pick-me-up, but I can think of endless possibilities for these beauties.  Think of mirrors, vases, trays, jars, even painted furniture and on and on…I SIMPLY LOVE IT!  Or how about adding it to that trio of hanging rose vases above?  How would you use it?

So many sweet ideas and so little time…well, at least I have the pages to put in my “craft ideas” binder if I can’t get to them right away.  I’d love to hear your ideas on these things and let me know what your favorite magazine is for new ideas.

4th of July Ideas – Part 3 – Decorating

As Americans, we celebrate our independence on the 4th of July every year with parades, picnics, cook-outs, and other fun gatherings.  Nothing screams summer like an Independence Day celebration.

So, in honor of the upcoming holiday, I thought I’d share a few ideas for patriotic decorating.

I found this fun, inexpensive and easy idea on the Better Homes & Gardens website.  I don’t know about you, but I grew up with Better Homes and Gardens magazines, and I’m still amazed at all the great ideas that they can stuff into each issue as well as everything you can find on their website.  If you’re on a limited budget, you can sign up for their email and get lots of great ideas from that as well.

Decorate Candleholders with Colored Rubberbands: Take a stroll down the office supply aisle for red, white, and blue rubber bands to decorate candles in a snap. Working from bottom to top, wrap rubber bands in alternating colors around straight-side glass candle holders. Vary widths and colors for interest.  Of course, this can be applied to any holiday or decor and what an easy way to change color schemes in a flash!

Editor’s Tip: If you’re in mosquito country, place citronella candles in the cups and use outdoors to keep the bugs away.

And don’t kids just love pinwheels?  They’re just mesmerizing to watch when the breezes blow and the kids love to run around in the yard adding their own breeze.  The Skip to my Lou blog has some creative ideas for pinwheels as well as links to other free downloads.

Disney’s Family Fun gives us directions for a colorful Patriotic Pinwheel that you can make at home too.

And here are a few more links with some fun and simple ideas:

Better Homes and Gardens: Easy DIY Decorations

Country Living shares Crafts for the Fourth – country style

Martha Stewart shares some great Fourth of July Traditions that you can begin today.

I hope this gives you some inspiration for the coming weekend.  Feel free to mention and link in the comments to any Fourth of July ideas that you’ve posted on your own blog.  I’d love to see them!

30 Creative Uses for a Coffee Filter

I just received an email with 25 practical ideas for a coffee filter, so I thought I’d share them with you.  Then when I was looking for a photo of a basic coffee filter, I came across some awesome coffee filter craft ideas.  I’ll share 5 of the best of them as well.

Coffee  filters …. Who knew!   And you can buy 1,000 at the Dollar Tree for almost nothing even the large ones.
1. Cover bowls or dishes when cooking in the  microwave. Coffee filters make excellent covers.
2. Clean windows, mirrors, and chrome…  Coffee filters are lint-free so they’ll leave windows sparkling.
3.  Protect China by separating your good dishes with a coffee filter between each dish.
4.  Filter broken cork from wine.  If you break the cork when opening a wine  bottle, filter the wine through a coffee filter.
5.  Protect a cast-iron skillet.  Place a coffee filter in the  skillet to absorb moisture and prevent rust.
6.  Apply shoe polish.  Ball up a lint-free coffee filter.

7.  Recycle frying oil.  After frying, strain oil through a sieve  lined with a coffee filter.
8.  Weigh chopped foods.  Place chopped ingredients in a coffee filter on a  kitchen scale.
9.  Hold tacos.  Coffee filters make convenient wrappers for messy foods.
10.  Stop the soil from leaking out of a plant pot.  Line a plant  pot with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from going through  the drainage holes.
11..  Prevent a Popsicle from dripping.  Poke one or two holes as  needed in a coffee filter.
12.  Do you think we used expensive strips to wax eyebrows?  Use  strips of coffee filters..
13.  Put a few in a plate and put your fried bacon, French fries, chicken  fingers, etc on them.  It soaks out all the grease.
14.  Keep in the bathroom.  They make great “razor nick  fixers.”
15.   As a sewing backing.  Use a filter as an easy-to-tear backing for embroidering or appliquéing soft fabrics.
16.  Put baking soda into a coffee filter and insert into shoes or a closet to absorb or prevent odors.
17.  Use them to strain soup stock and to tie fresh herbs in to put in soups and stews.
18.  Use a coffee filter to prevent spilling when you add fluids to your car.
19.  Use them as a spoon rest while cooking and clean up small counter spills. 20.  Can use to hold dry ingredients when baking or when cutting a piece of fruit or veggies..  Saves on having extra bowls to wash.
21.  Use them to wrap Christmas ornaments for storage.
22.  Use them to remove fingernail polish when out of cotton balls. 23.  Use them to sprout seeds..  Simply dampen the coffee filter, place seeds inside, fold it and place it into a plastic baggie until they sprout.
24. Use coffee filters as blotting paper for pressed flowers.  Place the flowers between two coffee filters and put the coffee filters in  phone book..
25.  Use as a disposable “snack bowl” for popcorn, chips, etc.

SUPER FUN COFFEE FILTER CRAFT IDEAS:

26. Gorgeous Roses (see photo above) from Mommy Makes Roses

27. Colorful Pompoms (photo right) from The Thrifty Crafter

28.  Coffee Filter Wreath from Martha Stewart

29. Natural Coffee Filter Garland (photo below) from Pam Garrison

30. Coffee Filter Snowflakes from The Artful Parent

List #13 DIY’s I Want to Try

I’m sure there are dozens of DIY’s in my crafts binder, but right now my mind is nearly blank.  Let’s see if I can get it warmed up…

1. Tile mosaics – I have 2 perfect metal tables from Ikea that would look so lovely with mosaic tops.

2. Jewelry making – looks so sparkly…

3. Outdoor garden architectural art  – for when I have a garden.

4. Pebble patio, paths or flooring – love them!

5. Landscape design – want to re-design the whole back yard, but who knows when we can get it done.

6. Sewing tote bags out of Starbucks Coffee packets – I’ve been collecting them for a couple of years.  Hopefully this will be the year that I do it with my new sewing machine.

7. Sewing birds for my branch  (aren’t these wonderful?)

8. Mini-tin Advent Calendar – so many designs to choose from

9. Sewing lots of pillows in lots of colors so I can change things up around the house.

10. Creating wall art out of my photographs

I just visited a one of the gals from 30 Days of Lists and love what she’s listed!

Thanks for the inspiration, Chris!

So many projects…so little time…

List #2 – Things I’m Good At

Yeah, I’m still behind on the 30 Days of Lists;  This is # 2 and I should be on # 5.  We’ll see if I can catch up during the week.

Click to enlarge:

Great Way to Re-purpose Christmas Cards

Are you like me and hate to throw away all those beautifully designed Christmas cards?  I always hold on to them thinking that there must be some way that I can re-purpose or recycle them.  Well here’s a fun and easy idea that can be used each year and is easy enough for youngsters to do it as well.

And the instructions are so easy!

Select a palette of coordinating hues to create a whimsical wreath. Cut greeting cards into different-size circles (or other fun shapes). Arrange the circles into a wreath shape, overlapping as desired. Secure with crafts glue. Machine-stitch over the top using coordinating or contrasting thread. Attach a ribbon to the wreath with a colored paper clip and hang.

In looking at this project, it might make it easier to cut out a donut shape as a base out of cardboard.  And if you don’t have enough coordinating colors in your greeting cards this year you can always keep the circles from one year to the next until you have what you need to make your wreath.

You could also cut up your Christmas or other card fronts to use as embellishments on your scrapbooking or other craft projects as well.

I found the idea along with many other great craft and organizing ideas at the Better Homes and Gardens website.  I love browsing through all their wonderful tips, and craft suggestions.  Sign up to get their emails and you won’t miss another helpful hint.

Or…here’s another idea!  How about using those greeting card circles to make a garland like Amy did here on Lemon and Raspberry?