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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Steel and Glass Home in a Mesquite Bosque {Tour}

We waited too long. Over the last few years, we've been trying to figure out where we want to live when we retire. We love Arizona -- it's where we met and fell in love and married. Now, thirty plus years later, our kids are raised and are starting families of their own. Retirement is on the horizon.

Last year, we traveled to Arizona to see some properties near Tucson. We found this beautiful glass and steel house sitting in a mesquite bosque and we fell in love.

The house sat near a river that was more or less dry, but when we looked a historic satellite images of the property, we were alarmed by the changes that had occurred in recent years, when the river would flood, so we decided against making an offer.

For the last year, we've been talking about the house in the bosque. We even had a hydrologist look over the historic satellite images and give us an opinion about the property. He told us, the river is going to claim that property some day.

Still, we talked about it. The house would need remodeling, but it had great bones. It was solid, having been framed from welded steel.

It had large overhangs, which is great in the Arizona sun.

It had fun spaces to discover, like this kitchen loft.

This would be a fun space for grandchildren to play, or to use as an art studio.

Every structural part of this house was built from welded steel -- even the staircases.

The bathrooms were a little odd.

The man who built the house was a professional welder... and a bachelor.

The funny little building sitting among the mesquite trees is a bathroom. Apparently the builder camped here while building the house in the eighties, and built this bathroom then.

Not a lot of thought was put into things like closets, but that would have been an easy fix.

I loved the covered outdoor space adjacent to the home -- perfect for entertaining.

This outdoor grill and oven were installed when the outdoor bathroom was installed.

A covered food prep area sits next to the outdoor grill.

It was early spring when we toured this property, and the weather was perfect, but we would be grateful for the covered spaces come summertime.

There was even a covered parking area.

This week, the house finally went under contract. We know this because we've been stalking the property for a year. We've been talking about. Our romantic selves tried to talk our practical selves into buying it.

It would have been a big project, but we would have been working with a great house with great bones. This is one of those houses that had a lot of heart. You could tell that it was a labor of love for the builder. You could feel it. We'd just about convinced ourselves to make an offer on it, in spite of the encroaching river... and then it sold.

We're heartbroken, but we're also happy the house is getting a family.

To see a beach house with great bones, that we also fell in love with, and that we actually bought, click here. 

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to all your favorite social media sites.

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Make an Art Journal From Dollar Store Supplies!

We've been travelling a lot lately, and I often find myself wanting to be creative, but not having access to my creative stash. Here is an inexpensive option for creating an art journal, without spending tons of money. 

Did you know that many dollar stores have a book section? When more books are published than sold, the leftover books often end up in landfills or in dollar stores. While I usually prefer to use a second hand book for this process, sometimes it's just easier to grab a book from the local Dollar Tree.  While you're there, go ahead and grab a strip of paint pots from the kids' art section. You might want to pick up a bottle or two of glue, stamp pads, pretty papers, etc. For around ten dollars, you should be able to pick up all the supplies you need.

Start by ripping out about one-third to one-half of your pages (but don't throw those pages away -- there are lots of projects you can do with book pages). Next, begin gluing the remaining pages together, in groups of two to four pages apiece, depending on how thick the paper is, and how thick you want your pages. You can use an old hotel key card, or junk mail card to spread the glue evenly.

Next, grab that strip of paint pots and grab that card. You can begin spreading paint, one color at a time, throughout the art journal. This is a great way to "break" a blank page. Don't worry about making anything perfect.

Work your way through your book quickly, adding thin layers of color, and letting the pages dry between colors by setting the book on end and fanning the pages open.

Next, look around and see what else you have to use in your art journal. If you picked up fun papers from the dollar store, grab those now. I used some bits and pieces left over from other projects, but you can use anything here. Junk mail and old magazines, packing materials, ticket stubs, or wrapping paper will all work. Don't worry about light fastness, or acid content -- art journals are about the process, and using materials that are not "precious" is creatively freeing.

Begin gluing your bits of paper scraps to your journal pages. Again, don't overthink it, move quickly through the book, adding this texture layer.

You can add another layer of paint or ink over your paper texture layer. Add washi tape, if desired.

Develop each page background as far as you'd like.Congratulations! You now have an art journal full of backgrounds, and ready for your creative inspiration. You can use your journal to sketch, doodle, or collage. Fill it with inspirational quotes, scriptures, song lyrics, prayers, or dreams. Use it to practice lettering, or to collect photographs you love. It's your journal -- use it any way you like!

Here's a pretty little project you can do with your leftover book pages.

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to all your favorite social media sites.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Our Holiday Home (things change and things stay the same)

2017 has been a year of transition for us, so I thought I would share a popular old post, below, that I wrote when were going through another transition. Merry Christmas, and best wishes for the coming year!

Well, I wasn't going to join in on any of the holiday home tours this year.  You see, we are a family "in transition".  We sold our home of nearly seventeen years last winter -- after nearly a year of commuting back and forth between Colorado's Front Range and the Pacific Northwest.  Until late last spring, we did not know if we would be staying in the PNW, or if we would be transferred to South Africa.  We found out we are staying.  Late this summer, we bought a house.

The  house we bought is a fixer upper that has been partly gutted.  For now, we still live in tiny temporary digs -- so small, we can either keep the dog or have a Christmas tree.   So, I won't be sharing a tour of our Holiday apartment.  Instead, I will share some holiday decor from our "new" home and surroundings -- and did I mention the "new" home is on the beach?

Our Christmas Mantel.

The brass deer reindeer head over the wall shelf to the right of the mantel might have made this vignette feel un-balanced, but the strip of baseboard accented with Romex and outlets grounds the arrangement.  Soot stained natural brick adds warmth to the scene.

Here is another view of the mantel vignette.  (Sometimes it's best to step way back when you view artistic creations like this.)

Here is a close-up of the deer reindeer  head.

If you look carefully, there is a bit of Christmas garland hanging in the far corner of the dining room.  The former owners thoughtfully left that for us. 

In the kitchen, we're going for that "spare" look, with pops of mold.  For a touch of whimsy, we've leaned doors against the wall, and strewn some lumber about.  Exposed plumbing adds shimmer.

My loft studio is decorated in mostly neutral colors.  The red plastic bucket was placed along the west wall as a nod to traditional Christmas decor.  We call it, "neutral traditional modern".  Like the kitchen, we've kept the decor intentionally spare.

We've continued the spare, but neutral theme on the entry deck.  Here, the buckets are white for some added drama.

Again, sometimes you need to step way back to appreciate a creation.  You can see that we have added some more unexpected touches with pop bottles and assorted wrappers.  We think it adds a festive feel to the scene.

No room goes untouched this Christmas at our house! Here we have begun to stack this flagstone in the shape of a sleigh and reindeer.  Hopefully, we will have the entire vignette finished in time for the jolly old elf's visit!

We believe it's important to be able to see into adjacent spaces, so we've kept the guest bath and laundry room as open as possible.  Here, the bucket is black, to remind us that Christmas is not just about red and white buckets, and brass reindeer heads, and flagstone sculptures, and shimmery plumbing. 

We've kept the porch that faces the ocean very simple.  We feel the "chippy" white paint and broken rail give this holiday scene a rustic "Pottery Barn" feel.  It's a very trendy look right now.

Not wanting to do a half-way job with our Christmas decor, we've even decorated under the house. 

Sometimes the beauty of our Christmas decor gets me so choked up that I have to take a walk.   Two hundred feet, down this path.

And then I see this reminder from Heaven.  Christmas is not about the decor at all.  The plastic Santas, the buckets, the garland -- that's just noise.

Christmas is about a beautiful Gift of Love -- not wrapped in pretty paper and ribbons, but wrapped in swaddling clothes, and placed, not under a perfectly decorated Christmas tree in a beautifully appointed house, but in a lowly stable manger one starry night in Bethlehem.

Have a blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Anatomical Heart Valentine {Tutorial}

Here's a fun Valentine to make for the person who holds your heart.

I made this one for my husband last year.

To make your own, you will need an old book page, some painting or coloring supplies, and optional stickers, washi tapes or embellishments.

Start with a sketch of a human heart, but take a little creative license to make part of it look like a Valentine heart. You can sketch in pen or pencil -- whichever you prefer. If freehand sketching is a little scary for you, print out a heart drawing and trace it. Or tape your book page to a sheet of office paper, and run it through your printer.

Now, begin coloring the different parts of the heart, adding layers of color until you get the desired result.

You can leave it like this, adding only a sentiment.

Or you can add flowers and lettering and stickers and washi tape -- or add any kind of embellishment you want. I don't recommend running out and buying supplies. Just use what you have.

It's a little corny, but my husband liked it.

If you are tired of winter, and ready for spring, here is an easy crepe paper garland that anyone can make. String a few across your mantel to remind you that spring is near!

If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to House Revivals in the sidebar, so you won't miss the fun projects we have planned. Find us on Facebook, too, so you can catch all the "in between" stuff, and see what I'm working on throughout week on Instagram. Feel free to link today's project to all your favorite social media sites.

Thanks for stopping by!