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The photo above is a picture of my great aunt Olive.  I'm considering writing a larger post telling the story of her dance days in California.  She was also an artist who had more of an illustrative style.  I have this idea to take photos of objects and furniture passed down in the family.  But I am still stewing with this idea, as I am still not sure why or when I would do it.  I am also not confident I would like the photo I take, as my photo skills are minimal.   As objects often are sold, given away, or lost, it would be nice to document them in a book or album.  Each object has a story, good or bad, but a story nonetheless.

Other things I have been simmering with this week....

The lack of women in history.

Most millennials know nothing about properly mending or caring for the things we use everyday.

Speaking of mending, I think I am going to mend some jeans with Sashiko.

Behind the price-tag of handmade.

Obsessed with the boots Emmadime is wearing here.

I want to eat this every day.

Have a great week!  Remember to take your vitamin D if you are feeling the rainy blues.



I get antsy about my closet sometimes.  I tend not to buy new clothes, especially at full price, much anymore.  If I do, it has to be something classic and worth the investment.  That being said, I also avoid buying something just because it is on sale.  I have a series of questions I like to ask myself before I purchase something.  I feel like a better consumer that way, and I tend to avoid the buyers remorse that tends to nag my brain.  I used to have a shopping problem for sure.  But now, I carefully think about my purchases not only to de-clutter my closet, but also my brain, and produce less waste. If I get desperate, I try to stick to my budget friendly ways by getting creative.  I go to the Goodwill or trade clothes at Buffalo Exchange. I love the thrill of the hunt, styling pieces in my mind with my wardrobe to make sure it fits.  And in the end, I am proud to have found a piece that is second-hand or at a great price that suits my needs and values.  Sure, I have my trend indulging moments, but these moments are few these days.  I am more stoked to get something in a really nice material that is comfortable and looks good with a lot of different things in my closet.  I am way less concerned with looking a certain way, I just want to truly like it and wear it often.

This brings me to a new way to refresh ones closet.  Indigo!  Before you roll your eyes because you have been seeing this thing called "Indigo" all over the blogs and Pinterest, just think for a second.  A NEW and FUN way to refresh your closet or linens at a very LOW cost and with friends!  What do you have to loose?  Indigo dying is a true craft, and takes a lot of time and effort.  Below you can find my tips and opinions about the process if you care to know.  I invited my friend Cristie over for a dye sesh as she also wanted to try boiling walnuts to extract a natural dye.  She dyed some yarn for her new found talent of knitting, and I had a tablecloth to dye.  However, I was not prepared and could not find my tablecloth, so I just grabbed stuff that was white or lighter colors to dye.  I dyed a cute Dace tunic I got at a clothing swap a few years ago, a scarf, sweatshirt, and some scrap cotton fabric.  I am now in love with my top and scarf again!  I am considering dyeing everything I own.  I know, I can get carried away sometimes.  But the color can be so neutral, because it is such a natural hue.  I wear a lot of navy (my version of black), and the Indigo looks radiant next to navy.

Indigo Dye Tips (for an impatient DIY'er):  I purchased Indigo dye crystals from Dharma, and created a vat (bucket) of the dye mix (following the instructions of course!).  You can keep the vat around for a handful of dye sessions too.  Indigo crystals are the quick and cheap method.  I have no experience with the old method, but I am sure there are a lot of resources out there out there if you want to have a go.  For me, I just wanted to try this out the easy way.  Also, consider the cost of water usage.  Rinsing out the dye can take a good 5 minutes under a running faucet before putting into the washer for a load.

-Directions: Dyeing is like baking.  You sort of have to follow the directions.  This is very hard for me, as I like to approach things more organically.  The first vat I made was great.  The second was a dud.  The third was just right!  Also, you can't make a vat and dye right away, the longer you let it sit the better.  So set aside a Saturday morning to prepare a vat and then dye the next weekend.  This allows for you to have plenty of time to gather materials you want to dye.

-Wabi Sabi: Embrace the imperfections!  Don't think you can get the same results from each vat, material, etc.  Dye vats are very sensitive to PH as well, so you may have to do a series of tests to get what you want.   I however, did not go so far as to test the PH because that sounds boring and annoying.  But, if you plan on doing multiple dyes and you want consistent results this step will be necessary.

-Messiness:  Prepare to be smurfed!  Don't try to dye with your favorite pair of boyfriend jeans and clogs.  Do yourself a favor and take the extra 5 minutes to put on the shittiest pair of clothes you have, plus an apron, and rubber gloves.  Everything you use, minus the clothes, cannot be used again for any other purpose except dyeing and other crafts.  That means your pot, bucket, apron, gloves, spoon etc.  Cleaning all this stuff sucks so trust me on this one.  Oh and check the weather before you do this, because this is an outside project.

-Directions:  Again, follow the directions.  You are not done once you made your glorious dips into color heaven.  By now you are drooling over the oxidization of the color and you cannot seem to stop yourself from throwing everything you own into the dye.  You still have to rinse and wash ever thing and clean up the huge mess you just made.

Have a fun dyeing party and don't get smurfed!



The artists who did the work above are a very talented couple who are also illustrators and educators. Both have a show at SPAC Gallery in Seattle through December.  They are super sweet people and pretty much have my dream job.

Another couple that compliment each other in the design world.

After the Jump's recent episode really helped me re-strategize my communications in a way that makes sense for me.

Tahini would make a great mayo substitute.  I have been putting it on everything I eat thanks to Devyn.

So great to see Hollin's interview on the Renegade blog.  We used to slave away at Anthropologie together.  Along with Tuck & Bonte (another couple collaboration!).  So many talented people I know are really doing great things and it is so inspiring.  

So excited for a quilting workshop this weekend from my friend Jessica at Cairo.

I am just a homebody these days.

The freedom of capsule wardrobes.  


Before and After: Exterior Trim and New Gutters!

Things have been really quiet on the blog this summer.  With the end of a big house poject, I hope to have more time sharing my ideas, stories, and projects on the blog.  While I am super active on Instagram, the blog tends to be VERY slow.  So lets kick off this new season with a before and after of my big summer project, exterior trim and gutters.  What is trim you may ask? Well, it is all the framed areas of the house.  Think of it as an outline in your coloring book, or a frame on a picture.   All of our trim and facia* (facia* is the structure underneath the gutters) not only needed to be painted, there were many parts that were rotted and needed to be replaced.  You may have noticed we have a duplex.  We co-own this side-by-side duplex with our friend Eric.  Cable and I live in the left side, and him in the right. We decided to do this big DIY project together this summer.  We started planning this project in the spring, and every weekend in the summer was pretty much devoted to working on this project.  Goodbye summer and friends, hello brick and paint in my face!  Oh and keep in mind all the pictures here are just ONE HALF of the house (the other side looks just like our side).

Crazy what a coat of paint will do!  We chose Benjamin Moore's, Sun Valley for the doors and French Beret for the trim.  We had originally chosen black instead of the deep blue/gray. Clearly we made the right choice.  I love that the door is a ray of sunshine every time you see it!  In gray Seattle weather, you need to be reminded of the sun sometimes.  I wish I had a progress shot because SO much work went into this besides just a coat of paint.  Here is a list of all the things we did in a nutshell:

Fixing Trim, Facia, and Gutters:

  • Get quotes:  A very long process of calling dudes to tell you how much it is to replace gutters and fix the facia.  Some showed up hungover and smelling of whisky.  Some showed up 6 hours late.  Some were just right.  Make sure they give you a piece of paper with their card and quote, you will mix them up.  Three months later you will decide half of what they quoted you you will do yourself to save money.
  • Get the right tools or have a neighbor that is a professional house painter:  Co-owning is great because that means you share the cost of stuff like this.  Between both sides, we had mostly everything we needed.  I think power tools was the only way to get the boys motivated to actually devote their weekends to this beautifying project.  That and our basement flooding (more on that later).
  • Demo:  Rip off all the rotting gutters (carefully and safely because there will be lead) and take to the dump.  We have spent a lot of money at the dump, it is not cheap.  I will never complain again about neighbors leaving junk in their yards.   There is a reason rich neighborhoods look nice, because they have $$$$.  It is so expensive, around $80 per load because we were always over the weight limit!  I think we went about four times.  I am glad we do not live in a rich neighborhood, clearly we would not live up to their standards.
  • Repair, patch, caulk, sand:  This was the fun part.  But, before we actually painted everything we had to replace and repair rotting sections.  I was happy not to do this part, as the guys just took care of it.  It took about two full days to do that while I prepped and caulked. Caulking is fun by the way.  Oh and do not forget to re-glaze your windows!  The glaze is the putty that holds the glass in the windows.  This was also fun.  Sanding is not fun.  
  • Paint:  We primed first with tinted primer, then painted two coats of paint.  I forget the finish type, but if you are still reading this and really want to know I will reward you by finding out.
  • Gutters:  After an entire summer of work, it was finally time to fork over some cash to the gutter guy.  He came and finished in one day!  We chose black for the gutters, and it looks fresh.  I highly recommend him.  
  • Details:  Technically we are not done.  We still have not replaced our house numbers or replaced or painted our light fixtures.  But I expect this will happen slowly over time.  Oh and then there is scraping paint off the glass of the windows and painting our storm door in the back.  Eh, probably will happen next summer.
Overall the project went smoothly.  Yeah there were days we sort of wanted to kill each other, but that is totally normal when you are doing annoying exterior house projects.  Obviously we would all rather be subway tiling our backslashes right now.  But gutters are important.  So important when it rained after we took them off our basement flooded.  Team effort really got the job done.  And between three heads coming together, I think we did a pretty good job of doing things ourself.  Unlike some people [cough* caugh*] the previous owner.

Oh and people might think you are insane or a perfectionist because you want to scrub off all the teal paint that was slathered all over the brick AROUND the TRIM.  So annoying right?  It's like the previous owners painted their trim in the DARK!  Any new paint would be framed by big teal brush strokes all over the house.  So I took it upon myself to obsess over this and try and scrub off the paint with paint thinner (gross and scary since it can melt your skin off).  Finally I realized I should listen to Eric and paint over the paint with artists paint.  Hey we are artists after all!  So we did just that trying to meticulously match the brick with various mixed colors and textures.  Bob Ross would be very proud.  We feathered the fuck out of that brick color to make it look real.  And it looks GREAT!  I wish I had a photo so you can a agree with me.

Oh the back!  Let me explain.  See that little roof over the railing there?  That was being held up by one 2x4 and maybe 2 nails.  So yeah, that had to come down.  I guess the renters who lived here before maybe built to keep rain out of their face when they went down to the basement to do laundry.   You may have noticed the back trim was bright teal.  It was like daggers of ugliness pierced our eyes every time we went in the backyard, which was a lot.  And everything was rusty, rotting, dirty and gross.  There was also a crazy 2x4 keeping the gutter up just above the downspout you see there.  We took that off before I took this picture.  To make things more annoying, a square bit and screws were used to screw these things into place.  Who has a square bit?  Not us!   Otherwise that roof thing would have come down right away! 

The FENCE!  Doesn't that look so much better than the wire awfulness?  Cable was OBSESSED with replacing that as soon as we were done painting trim.  I had the idea of doing a horizontal fence and staining it black.  I guess we should have stained it matching our trim color, but we just wanted to get this done before rain came so we just used what was at Lowe's. We used the existing metal structure of the previous fence to build upon.  So this took about a day to do.  SO much better!

Hanging out in the backyard just got prettier!

UPDATE:  This post was featured on Apartment Therapy!