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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

How to Make a Travel Farkel Game

My dear friend sent me a game of pocket Farkel recently. I had visited her on summer vacation this summer, and she attempted to teach me to play.


I loved the compactness of the pocket game, but was concerned that the plastic zipper bag would not hold up to the chaos of my handbag -- you seriously never know what I might be carrying around... scissors... craft knives... who knows?


Being a bit of a hoarder, I dug through my box of "cool containers to re-purpose" and found a mint tin and a tea tin.


I loved the tea tin -- it will be perfect for storing dice and score sheets, and even a felt sheet for dampening the noise of the dice roll, but I decided on the smaller mint tin for my purse.


The mint tin perfectly fits all six dice, plus the directions.


To turn the tin into a game holder, I traced around the lid and the base onto some scrapbook paper. I glued the paper onto the bottom and top of the tin, both inside and out. I also glued the scoring cheat sheet onto the inside of the lid.


I distressed the edges of the paper, and inked it with a stamp pad.


Add a little embellishment to the top, if desired, and fill the tin with dice and a set of folded instructions. Done!

This pocket Farkel game is perfect to slip into a purse or suitcase, for traveling, but if you manage to get out to the beach, be sure to look for shells and sand dollars during low tide, and save the Farkel play for hotels and airports! To see a fun project to do with all your beach combing  treasures, 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 so much for stopping by!

~Amanda










Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Our New Beach House Cats

We adopted two cats this summer. I was scrolling through our local Nextdoor forum, and noticed that someone was looking for a home for their cats, as they were soon to be moving. I was a little shocked, at first, after all, who leaves their cats when they move? When I clicked on the posting, I understood.


Syd and Leo each weigh over five hundred pounds. They are not easy to move. The owners had moved them several times, but they were getting older, and it was time to find the cats a new family. I called them and made an appointment to meet the cats in their Seattle courtyard.


I met Leo first. Leo was easygoing and friendly. He liked being scratched behind the ears, but I steered clear of touching his tummy or his paws.


Syd was a bit more standoffish. You can tell, by his scraped up head, that he's been in more than a few scraps.

I sent my husband pictures of the boys, explaining that we needed to rescue these kitties. We've had a lot of experience, over the years, with the accumulation of giant heavy things that provide no function. My husband agreed that we needed these cats.

Using straps, moving blankets, an appliance dolly, a small ramp, and a come-along, we managed to get the cats out of their little courtyard and down a long driveway and into the back of our truck, where we strapped the boys in, for the ride. The former owner kindly helped us get the boys into the truck.


It was a long ride! We took them out to the beach house, so they can stand sentry at the head of the beach path, facing the sea. When you live on the coast, the threat of tsunami is always at the back of your mind, but with these boys guarding the path.... well, I think they will protect us about as well as anything.


For now, the cats will stand guard at the base of our stairs, as we need to pour proper pedestals for them to sit on, at the head of the beach path. We brought Syd out first, since he was the most likely to give us trouble. We kept the blankets over their heads until they were in position, so they wouldn't get too stressed out. If you've ever moved a cat, you know they don't always react well to riding in cars or to new environments.  We were concerned that one of them might run off into the dunes. With our four foot tall dune grass, we might never find them again.


Interestingly, it was Leo who gave us the most trouble. Syd was pretty stoic. Leo kept trying to throw himself on the ground and slip out of our grasp. My husband has a few big scratches on his arms after tussling with little Leo. We left the boys in their new home for a little while, to let them get used to the place, before pulling off the blankets.


They looked around, and seemed to understand that this is their new home, and they have a new mission to guard the beach house from intruders and tsunamis. They will continue to be outside cats, so we won't need to get a litter box. They can just discreetly do their business in the dunes, then return to our yard. I expect they will be good mousers, as well.


This is Syd in his new home. He looks pretty good, considering he'd just ridden for three hours in the back of a truck, with a blanket over his head.


This is Leo. Leo was a little nervous about the new place, but he's adapting well.


Ultimately, they will live at the head of this beach path, facing the sea. No sea would dare send a tsunami to face these fierce protectors.


A few weeks ago, the sea came and swept away our gradual dune approach to the beach, and now we have to use the rope ladder again. If we had only had the cats then, the sea would never have dared come so close.


We left the beach house to return to the city, knowing our home was safely guarded.
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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.

To learn how to create this sea inspired faux coral, click below.




As always, thanks so much for stopping by!

~Amanda



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Working on the Beach House Path

It's been quite a while since I posted any beach house updates. We continue to plug along with projects, but we try to balance work weekends with resting weekends and entertaining weekends.


Each year we improve the beach path a little bit more. When we first bought the house, the path was only inches wide, and full of holes and random hidden driftwood logs to trip us up. I think I spent as much time face down in the dune grass, as I did walking down the path!


The first year we cleared the path, my husband and sons spent an entire weekend hacking and hoeing and mowing and raking the 300 foot long path. It was just wide enough for us to walk single file. Today, we can walk down the path side by side, holding hands.


Each year we try to straighten the path just a bit, and we try to level it a bit. Our goal is to make it as wheelchair friendly as possible, so that our niece will be able to take the path to the beach edge when she visits.


The view from the house is amazing, but standing on the edge of the beach and watching the surf crashing? There are no words to describe it.


We want all our guests to be able to enjoy the path and the view.


There is simply nothing to compare to the feeling of standing on the edge of the world, where the only thing between yourself and God, are the crashing waves.

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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.

To see how we decorated these beach treasures, click here.

Thanks so much for stopping by!
~Amanda

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Creating Art With Beach Treasures

If you drag home lots of shells and sand dollars from your beach vacations, here is a project that is fun for both kids or grownups.


We spend a lot of time at the beach on the Pacific Northwest coast, and have collected baskets and baskets of shells and sand dollars. I adore them in their natural state, but also love the idea of using them to create art.


We've been seeing lots of Sharpie art on seashells lately, and thought we'd try it this weekend. The idea is a definite winner!


We experimented with inexpensive permanent markers, as well as with Crayola markers, chalk markers, a couple of scrapbooking markers, and even some glimmer mist.


Here is what we learned: First, use what you have, and experiment.  We learned that water-based markers work great on porous shells and sand dollars, but the ink bleeds when sprayed with glimmer mist. This can look really cool, or it can look like a mistake. If it looks like a mistake, just draw over it, and clean up your lines. No big deal. I may experiment with using a spray sealer on sand dollars next time, since they are very porous, leaving little work time to manipulate your inks.


Colors don't always look the same on different shells. You can fret over this, or just go with it. I recommend you just go with it.


Don't wait for the perfect shell to create you art. Use the imperfect shells, as they won't feel as "precious", and you will be more apt to experiment with ideas.


Have fun! The idea here is to relax and enjoy time with your friends or family, or time alone.  Don't be a perfectionist -- just enjoy the process.


When you finish, you will have a two lovely memories -- your memory of a beach vacation, and your memory of creating a unique piece of art.

I hope you try this project! If you do, I would love to see links to your project in the comments below. We like this idea so much, we plan to create a shell art making station at our beach house, for our guests to use. I also think this would be a fun activity for a beach house craft weekend. What do you think?


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.
~Amanda

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Blitsy Bandit Strikes

I love Blitsy. If you're not familiar with Blitsy, it's an online discount craft retailer. The website is full of helpful tutorials, and they offer daily sales. I spend the workweek in a very urban environment, which translates: craft supply desert, so being able to buy supplies online, from stores like Blitsy, is wonderful. Well, the other day, the Blitsy Bandit struck in my building!

Here's a picture that shows what I would rather be doing, instead of
 going through security cam footage, looking for the Blitsy Bandit.

Blitsy recently held an amazing warehouse sale, with items up to 70% off! They had stamps and dies and papers, and punches, being sold for a song. I ordered from their sale on multiple days. Imagine my dismay when a package I'd been excitedly awaiting, was stolen from our mail room. Heart. Breaking.


I posted this security camera image, of the Blitsy Bandit stealing my package, on my Facebook page the other day, and the nice people over a Blitsy heard about it and contacted me. They were so sweet -- insisting on replacing the items they could replace, and offering me a store credit. This was above and beyond. I told them I did not expect anything, as this was just an unfortunate incident that occurred after the box was delivered to my building, but they insisted.

I've loved Blitsy since I first discovered it at the SNAP blog conference, but now I am a devoted and forever loyal customer. Their's was the best customer service I've ever experienced.

I want you to love Blitsy the way I do! You can use this referral link to get $10 off your first order of $40 or more.  I do receive a small store credit, when you use my link, however I would recommend the company, regardless.

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.

~Amanda



Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Creating an Art Index Card A Day!

Are you doing the Index Card a Day challenge? This is a challenge to create a small piece of art on an index card, every day, for the months of June and July.


This challenge is the brainchild of Tammy, over at Daisy Yellow Art. You can go to her website for challenge details.


I tend to arrive late to most parties, so I did not even get started until mid June. Since I was already behind, before I started, I decided to create all my backgrounds at once, to sort of kick start my project. I suspect, that's not technically following the rules, but I'm sure Tammy won't mind.


The idea behind using index cards is that they are not precious. If you mess them up, you haven't wasted any expensive supplies.


The problem I had with index cards, is they're not very substantial anymore. I wanted to beef mine up a little bit, so I glued some ugly cardstock, from my stash, onto the backs of the cards.


Next, I added layers of book pages, scrap book paper, and gesso to the fronts of the cards, so they would be ready to "grab and go".


I will confess that, even with my backgrounds already finished, I am having a hard time keeping up. Still, it's a fun project, and it's a great way to experiment and stretch yourself.


You can do anything you'd like, on your cards. If you enjoy stamping, then stamp. If you're a painter, paint. Mixed media? Absolutely!


The idea here is to get creative, without fear of messing up precious materials.


Would you try index card art? Daisy Yellow Art will be doing similar challenges each summer, but you don't have to wait for a challenge to break out those index cards and start creating!

To see how I find materials for mixed-media art, 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.
~Amanda

Saturday, July 16, 2016

DIY Patchwork Rugs for Cheap!

We own some boat slips in our condo marina. Along with the slips, there is a condominium clubhouse in the adjacent building that is jointly owned by all the moorage owners.


It's basically just a giant concrete room. A few years ago, a sump pump that serviced the residential portion of the building malfunctioned and flooded the entire space. The carpets and portions of the gypsum board needed to be removed. It was ugly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Star Tutorials You Must Try for Fourth of July!

Are you ready for the Fourth of July?  It's always been one of my favorite holidays. In the sweet little Colorado town where we raised our kiddos, there was a kid's parade and an orchestra performance in a lovely old town park.  In the evening, families would grab their blankets and walk up the hill to the golf course for a great fireworks display. Here in Seattle, the best viewing is from a boat on Lake Union. Folks take their boats out early and anchor. They swim and cook on the grill during the day, then snuggle in for the fireworks at dusk.


If you've read my blog for long, you know I love stars!

Star Tutorials You Must Try for Fourth Of July!

Are you ready for the Fourth of July?  It's always been one of my favorite holidays. In the sweet little Colorado town where we raised our kiddos, there was a kid's parade and an orchestra performance in a lovely old town park.  In the evening, families would grab their blankets and walk up the hill to the golf course for a great fireworks display. Here in Seattle, the best viewing is from a boat on Lake Union. Folks take their boats out early and anchor. They swim and cook on the grill during the day, then snuggle in for the fireworks at dusk.


If you've read my blog for long, you know I love stars!