miss scarlet

I have a tendency to announce "I hate all my clothes!" This is generally 75% true, as I've got favorite jeans or tank tops or what have you. The problem, besides having nothing to wear, is that I fall into a vicious cycle of hating my clothes, then going shopping, then hating my new clothes because I thought I needed to try "something different." Dressing room mirrors and indecisive brains can trick you. I've never been particularly stylish. Throw in a post-pregnancy body and there's all kinds of confusion. Yesterday I sorted out all my clothes to keep vs giveaway. I love the eyelet details and the slight girliness of this tunic dress from Old Navy, but frankly I look like a washed out zombie wearing it. Instead of giving it away I thought I would try dying it. This dye is easy to use since you just throw it in your washing machine (we dyed a couch cover this way, too). That doesn't mean you don't have to be careful...I do have a newly pink hand towel now. The color came out much brighter and pinker than I expected, so we'll see how long it lasts in my wardrobe. I'll most likely layer it with jeans...is that a fashion faux pas? Because the tomboy in me prefers that look. Anyway, here's to experiments and working with what you've got.

keeping it simple

As a new mom I'm learning many new lessons in efficiency, patience, time management, and getting things done (All the moms out there are saying "Well, duh!"). Many of our friends and family members have been so generous in welcoming our little one that I really wanted to send out a special thank you.

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In the past I would have designed the hell out of this card with borders, embossing, ribbon, etc. and still would never be satisfied with the final product. Keeping things simple means I actually accomplished my goal...

(nevermind that it took 3 months)

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The pic is an iPhone photo that I edited using the Photogene for iPad app and then printed at home. Stamps, ink, and paper were from my stash.

meet beatrice

I want to introduce you to Beatrice, my pretty yellow bicycle, mon petit velo jaune...

Back in June I thought about my bike (who was going by the name Trixie back then...you'll see why in a moment) and decided it was time for a change...a new phase of our relationship and a new phase of her life.  We met 3 years ago at a garage sale when I was looking for a blank canvas to prepare for the Playa. We'd had some good times...

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But she was getting a little out of shape.  I didn't spend nearly enough time with her...any time at all really.  I thought about breaking up with her, but decided to help her adjust to San Francisco life...get out there and roll around together.

So...I started with this Black Rock City beauty, Trixie (reflecty tape, EL wire lights, fuzzy orange handlebars, sun-brella holster, pink bucket, dust dust dust)...

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...transitioned through this...

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And we've now arrived at this...

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Isn't she pretty? Doesn't she look all grown up? Beatrice's paint job is called Easter Yellow...which is basically the color of a marshmallow Peep, or a legal pad. At first glance you might think I took away all her personality, but oh no.  She's still got some sass. I'm going to find her some sweet reflectors and repaint her bell. Maybe I can find a way to put her pink EL wire lights on again?

I'm so proud of finishing my goal...I understand bike mechanics so much better now after taking her apart, cleaning her, repainting her, and putting her back together (only a couple of washers and one bolt leftover, ha ha). She still needs a little fine tuning, a little paint touch-up, and a new saddle (she's actually kind of small for tall me)...but we went for a ride on Friday night and had a great time. Now that I can rider her, I kind of like that there will always be some little thing I can work on to make her better (a hobbyist is born?). I definitely got discouraged and frustrated and overwhelmed...but I just took my time (5 months!) and worked on her when I really really wanted to. And I asked for help...Thanks to my friend Aaron, the dudes at Roaring Mouse Cycles, and Scott, The Husband.

wordy manicure, revisited

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A month ago I tried and failed at giving myself a wordy manicure...but last weekend I did it! (and you guys thought I never finished anything...) I used Essie Merino Cool polish this time around (a little dark maybe, but makes the print more subtle) and proper newsprint. I got some nice compliments on it at work.  Then climbing and dish washing took their toll. I'll keep this in mind for special occasions, but for now I'm just glad I did it successfully so I can cross it off my list!

wordy manicure

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I tried doing this wordy manicure today. It's potentially awesome...but it's going to take me a few more tries to get it right. And to not spend all day on it. I've never been that good at using nail polish (that sounds ridiculous) so YOU might do an awesome job and I'd love to see it. The basic idea is that you paint your nails, use alcohol to transfer ink from paper to your nails, and paint a top coat over all.

Round One: FAIL

I used the Crater Lake National Park newsletter (hmm...not printed on actual newsprint, but has fun colors and words). Huge chunks of polish came off when I tried to peel the paper away. 

Round Two: 50% BETTER

I still had one hand ready to go, so I tried the back of a Safeway receipt coupon because the paper was thinnish and it had cool fluorescent pink ink.  It still came out kind of chunky with bits of paper, but I'll let it go for the rest of the day (but not care too much about wrecking my nails at the climbing gym later).

Yeah.  Sorry, no pics of my handiwork until I get it right...and I think I can...someday.  I think I needed real newspaper (remind me to pick up a free weekly), or a page out of and old dictionary (you know that thin tissuey paper?).  Maybe also some higher quality, newer nail polish. I suspect I did not let the polish dry long enough before applying the paper, and I can't decide if it was better to let the paper dry completely before taking it off, or re-wet it a little bit to ease it off.

Has anyone else tried this? So much for my Friday afternoon...

P.S. Hi! I've been enjoying visitors, music festivals, working, and watching Breaking Bad.  That's why I disappeared. It'll probably happen again...the disappearing ♥ Feel free to drop me a note and let me know you miss me, ha ha!

check your focus

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Back at the start of the new year I posted THIS about my word focus that I received as part of fantabulous Diane's word project at The Dew Drop Inn.  Back in July she reviewed and revisited her project HERE

My word FOCUS is relevant to me in many ways.  I am easily distracted and overwhelmed, plus I procrastinate, which can make accomplishing goals difficult. Also, photography is a big part of my life...I live with a pro photog and photography has challenged & rewarded me in my own work.

I have held my word in my brain...encouraging myself to be mindful of the task at hand,  to work on tackling small parts of big projects, to make sure I do the best I can, and most of all (sometimes hardest of all) to stick to what's important to ME. 

Thanks again to Diane for the WORD. I'm already wondering what my word will be next year!

off the wall

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I'm working on a little California themed wall art switch...sort of a cleaner version of the hodge-podge mix-match of funky frames & art you see in the decorating world these days.  Maybe this neat and tidy look is out of date (?), but for now I like it...I'm having the husband print up a glorious California poppy print and a shot of the Golden Gate Bridge to fill the other two larger frames, then it will all go up on our terra cotta colored wall behind our bed.

bicicleta 2

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Check out my rims, man! The bicicleta is all stripped and clean (well, 90%...I'm calling it good).  Next? Prime & paint, shop for a few new parts, then see if I can put it all back together. Progress is being made!

P.S. I'm sort of addicted to the Instagram app...I resisted for a while because I didn't want ANOTHER social media account...but it's pretty much awesome.  I do still love Hipstamatic, too...but the sharing & viewing qualities of Instagram make it fun fun fun. Are you on there? Let me know, I'd love to see your pics!

tipi

Hello to new and old blog friends ♥ Welcome officially to summertime...are you enjoying it? I had a ridiculously perfect weekend in Northern California...hiking, eating freshly harvested abalone on the beach, eating eating eating, spending time with friends, horseback riding, sleeping in a meadow...I mostly left my blogging self at home to relax and enjoy myself (in other words, I didn't have my camera with me [sigh, i didn't know all the wonderful things that were going to happen])...but I did want to share some quick iPhone pics from last Friday evening when we helped our friend build his new tipi, ordered from Nomadic Tipi Makers in Bend, Oregon.

now what?

now what?

tripod is up!

tripod is up!

putting on the cover

putting on the cover

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tipi!

Isn't it amazing?? The last pic is of the tipi 95% complete...Saturday it got staked out and fine tuned so it really looked sharp and was so sturdy. After seeing this tipi [an 18-footer] I'm seriously considering getting a plain 8-foot 'kids' tipi.  Although I've always thought making Rachel's simple TeePee would be fun too...

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Thanks for visiting...have a lovely day!

bicicleta 1

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Inside this unassuming paper grocery sack is 85% of my bike. The plan (ha ha) is to clean her up, sand her down, repaint her, and put her back together as a nifty set of city wheels (previously she roamed the dusty Burning Man playa). A biking friend told me it would be best to take her apart, and handed me the tools... but I'm having some regrets about that part.  Ah well...wish me luck!

patched up

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I made my everyday bag [not really much of a purse girl] a little more awesome using some souvenir patches and Unique Stitch ("sew with a tube") glue.  It was way faster than my hand-stitching and didn't punch a bunch of little holes in the thick waterproof fabric [no they did not pay me or give me free glue to say that]. I'm trying to get over my fears of permanence and imperfection, and while I'm at it showoff a little more of my style and personality...so far so good!

20 in 20

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Do you read Aesthetic Outburst? It's one of my top favorite blogs...Abbey writes about crafting, design, and motherhood with a sense of ease, reality, and humor.  I find her very inspiring. This year she created a blog theme called 20 in 20, where she makes and gives away 20 projects in 20 days.  She plays with all different types of supplies and uses shape and color wonderfully.

 I'm so excited to be a sponsor for Day 16 of the April 20 in 20 projects on Aesthetic Outburst. Check out the blog, and enter to win! You might also think about sponsoring a project in May...sign up now!

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parking lot donuts

Although I've lived in a few places with the perfect conditions and locations to do them, I've never actually done a donut in a car...BUT they are a good metaphor for how I'm feeling right now: a little out of control, loss of forward momentum, and not sure which direction to turn.  I keep getting lots of ideas, but fear and lack of motivation are holding me back....which is just going to keep me spinning in place. I'm really not feeling discouraged or down (although a few bloggy things have bummed me out recently)...I'm excited and scared and don't want to feel too structured right now. So bear with me while I steer through and take off! Some regular blog features might become irregular, and vicey-versey. As always, your feedback is most welcome...leave a comment or shoot me an email [sara(at)sagebrushcoast(dot)com].

Here's a grainy black and white peek at some projects I've got on the brain...

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Not too long ago some of the ladies whose crafty exploits I follow were doing things with sticks and yarn.  I thought it was a little funny, but I was so intrigued.  On a morning walk awhile ago I found a cute branch...

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I love this shirt, but I never wear it...it's a great color (bright red w/ tiny white polka dots), it was maybe $5, it has a cute collar, BUT the bottom does a weird skirty stick-out thing. I could see this as being useful if you were more well hipped than I. It's the first thing that came to mind to fix when we got our new sewing machine...but I've been too intimidated to use the machine. Eep.

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I'm not sure what's going on here...something scarfy or cowl-like...really I'mjust experimenting with some scrap yarn and trying to look busy while I'm watching Project Runway Season 7.

Have a great Wednesday everybody...♥

one ring

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Whenever we're at my In-Law's house Scott finds his way into the workshop.  Over the holidays I followed him in there, and I'm finally showing off my project to you. I knew what I wanted to make...something I'd tried and failed at once before. I applied a little bit of Moorea

+ a little bit of Something's Hiding in Here

to a slice of dowel and a chunk of rock,

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added a little bit of sticky stuff...

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and fashioned myself a lovely piece of jewelry.

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I had tried this task once before, but got over-zealous with a vice and cracked my ring right in half.  This time I had more of a plan and I refined my process to be more fun and efficient (tiny wood chisels...yay!) and was delighted with my success. 

Oh, but I also cracked this ring, just not until I was out of the house wearing it for the first time.

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Several things led to this tragedy 1) my fingers change sizes all day [temperature+hydration?] and they're kind of strong from rock climbing every week 2) I don't work with wood often, and I'm sure I worked with the grain going the wrong way or something 3) I stupidly wore the ring to work...might have squished it on a door handle or knocked it on something.  

Oh well...I'm quite proud. The ring is still awesome, and still totally wearable...but I'm saving it for special dress-up occasions.

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monster chunks

I am one of those people who is 'project oriented'...I'm sure I've put that on more than one job application.  That's such vague terminology though...for example, projects at my day job can go on and on for years and years and even though you work on something all day and actually accomplish quite a lot you wonder why you're doing it at all because the project will NEVER BE DONE. Seriously. I know that's very vague...I don't claim to be a good storyteller.  The point is, at home lately I've been trying to pick quick crafty projects to get some finished product satisfaction.  For example, I downloaded a free pattern from knitting genius Rebecca Danger...Monster Chunks!

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My first chunk took awhile because I had to teach myself to knit in the round. And then I gave her some terrible button eyes that made me shove her into a drawer because she wasn't right. And then the feet were tricky. And so on and so forth.  But the last week I dropped 79 cents on two pairs of googly eyes and away I went...

Madame Monster

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Mister Monster

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This was a great project if you want something quick and have little bits of yarn leftover from other projects. Also, we live next door to the cutest 3 year old twin brother and sister  in the whole world, which gave me a good excuse to whip up a handmade  little prezzie for them. I delivered the wrapped up little monsters to the cuties next door and got big hugs, so I hope they like them when they unwrap them!

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flashback

Stop what you're doing and get ready for a fabulous trip to parallel universes. Photographer Irina Werning's Back To the Future project takes old photos and recreates them with the same people...from wardrobe, to poses, to lighting.  It's a fun gallery to look through...check it out HERE.

It's hard to choose a favorite, but this one was the most hilarious:

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Flashback bonus:

Today sfgirlbybay paired vintage+modern fashions in a great post HERE.