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Road Trip With Remnant

Postcards~ Wish You Were Here!

The Oregon Coast {Tip To Toe}

Dear Readers~

It seems like it has been weeks since I've had WIFI and even now I'm sitting once again in a Starbucks, this time in Oceanside, California.

We have been traveling in our beloved motorhome, also known as Cozy Lodge, since February 7th. We started from our home which only about 65 miles from the Canadian Border to San Diego County in California. In case you don't know, San Diego is the last large city before our border with Mexico!

I have really wanted to share snapshots of the Oregon Coast and hopefully entice you to visit this beautiful state. But it's really hard to create a quality blog post on a cell phone with spotty internet. 

Most of what you'll find here today is a melange of seascapes. But I do want to give a shout out to the Atomic Motel in Astoria, Oregon. The Atomic is a well-done Mid Century-themed motel on Highway 101. It is a short distance from the downtown area (which is working hard at a great comeback). The motel was very clean and quiet, and the staff was great!

Astoria is the first city south of the Washington State border. It's a really funky small city that successfully blends industry, such as timber and fishing, with tourism. Astoria has a variety of boutiques and eateries, along with great coffee, antiques, and recycle shops. I hope to return this summer when the weather is sunnier and I have time to explore in more depth.

Now for a pictorial overview of our drive~

The beaches are very pretty. Some are white and sandy and some are covered with drift. Others, like above, have native grasses dotting the shore.

Of course, Oregon is known for its sea stacks. I could devote an entire post to pictures of these monoliths, but after driving the entire coastline I began to feel that if you've seen one you've seen them all.

I am not suggesting that they are not impressive, and certainly, some are more remarkable than others.

Oregon is experiencing a warmer than normal winter and Spring has sprung very early.

To be sure, Oregon has amazing coffee. Stumptown, a nickname for Portland, is among the best and the best-known roasters. They are large enough to be well recognized but small enough to still be considered hand-crafted.

The ocean never ceases to inspire awe.

And if you love bridges, Oregon's inventory will delight you!

And I could spend a lifetime visiting and photographing lighthouses, such as Aquina.

And to be sure, you can't have the beach without beach combers, right?

Are you inspired yet? The Oregon Coastal drive is a trip of a lifetime!

Thank you for rolling along with Remnant. We're headed to Arizona in a few days, and as I understand it, we will have access to strong WIFI. You never know how much you depend on it until you don't have it. 

Please return soon for more armchair travel. Until we meet again, I wish you sunny days as you await spring.


Valentine Decor Inspiration

Rethinking The Color Palette.

From The Project File~

Hello again friends! I spoke in my last post about the decor challenges associated with traditional Valentine pink, and I explained that although I do like the color pink it is just not a good fit with my predominately neutral decor. 

Although I haven't gone overboard with decorations, I do have some fresh ideas to share, beginning with my Valentine Tree.

Along with my dear friend Laurie (bless her creative soul), I foraged for red twig dogwood a few weeks ago, on probably one of the coldest and windiest days so far this winter. However, with Starbucks all things are possible, right? Our excursion was delightful and our mission accomplished.

The twigs are set on a floral frog in a vintage pitcher from England, the one you've seen in so many of my posts because I use it for everythingThe twigs are just such a naturally rustic red, and they are arranged very artfully because Laurie did it for me. Aren't you proud of my honesty? Truly, floral arranging is just not my thing. I would like to be good at it but I don't try hard enough and I'm just not patient.

The red twigs are accented with my handmade tags. I tried to think of many familiar love phrases and song titles to accent the tags and I also asked for Larry's suggestions. We had fun reminiscing about music of yesteryear. When I finished crafting them I hung them on the tree with hemp twine. I tried several other ideas such as jute twine and various ribbons and trims, but ribbon is really too frilly. The narrow hemp was definitely the best choice.

Here are some close-ups~

The tree by no means screams pink and red, but rather is a graceful fit in our little house. What do you think? Is this something you could try? If you don't have red twigs, use whatever you can find~ willow, birch, forsythia are just a few examples.

With Larry's help I also created this little piece of artwork~

I think it is subtle enough to leave on the mantle all winter.

My dining table centerpiece is somewhat of departure from rustic, although still neutral. I thought maybe on the table I could get away with a bit of white icing so to speak. However, when I finished making all these pretty flowers, which were indeed a huge time investment, I decided although they inspire romance, the overall look is a bit too wedding-like. Really though, anything handmade is an expression of love, and I know Larry recognizes this. And after all, why not feel like a bride on Valentines Day?

And as a finishing touch I added place cards because I think place cards are a refined addition to any table setting and I fell like they are a demonstration of thoughtfulness.

Thank you for looking at all of my photos. I hope I have moved you toward creativity in your own home this month. If you would like some additional inspiration I encourage you to visit Botanic Bleu. Click on the link and avail yourself of the loveliness created by my blog friend Judith.

Remnant is once again on the road. I will be sharing our travel photos as we make our way down the coast of Oregon and California on our way to San Diego. So visit again soon!


Linked this week to~
French Country Cottage

Valentine Decor

Waiting For Spring.

From The Project File~

Something about Valentines Day makes me feel spring is just around the corner. Our local grocery store is already selling cut daffodils and tulips at the entrance, luring shoppers to the floral department. Flowers trick us into believing that months of gloom are behind us; sort of like everything's coming up roses (or crocus, or maybe hyacinth). Flowering bulbs are a harbinger of sunshine and brighter weather. The trick works, for me anyway. There's no better antidote to emotional fog than a vase of freshly cut tulips; white ones of course.

Retailers have stashed away the reds and evergreens for another year and replaced them with various shades of pink. Hearts are in windows, conversations are on candy, and countless numbers of greetings, professions of true love, dominate the shelves of the seasonal merchandise aisles.

Does this count as a Valentine?

I like Valentines Day in theory. I value the sentiment and as you would expect, I like having a reason to craft decorative touches for our home. Decorating with hearts and such does have some inherent challenges though. I don't like to sell out to "cutesy" and I'm not a real fan of pink in this particular house, given that I am a neutrals enthusiast.  

Because I'm prone to wander, I have to detour for a moment. We never really talked about Christmas, other than a bit of chat about the RV and all the signs I painted. We had a beautiful Christmas celebrated with our only child, John. I am the first to admit that it is more blessed to give than to receive, but I have to say that the gift to me of a Cricut Maker (from Larry and John) was nothing short of thrilling and a true blessing. Well, Larry and John are the blessing of course, but oh my gosh, how indulged I am to have this cutting machine! It has and will continue to propel my creativity to new heights.

Here is my first project with the new Cricut~

We have had this hanging in the kitchen for many years, although I photographed it in a brighter spot. It is an old kitchen cupboard door that some clever crafter converted to a chalkboard. It was very pink when I bought it, but I loved it anyway. When I got it home I whitewashed it. I left some of the pink because I didn't want to paint over all of the door's history. Then we added the hooks, which make the chalkboard very functional as a message center and a key rack.

With my new machine, I was able to create and cut a vinyl stencil. I applied the stencil to the chalkboard and used a dry brush technique to paint the words, It's so good to be home. It is supposed to look like I hand lettered it with chalk. I hope it does.

This idea was inspired by a project I saw on the Cricut website. I did not create the image, it was premade and legally available to use. But I did teach myself how to manipulate the image, cut it as a stencil and transfer the stencil to the chalkboard. Although it took me the better part of a day, start to finish, I was and am proud of this result. It was quite a zealous undertaking as a first project.

So, in actuality, I do have a touch of pink in the house. Once a year, in February, I hang this LOVE ornament. It's a comfortable fit. And in the interest of full disclosure, I'm revealing to you this very pink wall hanging that is atop the chalkboard year round~

I made this for Larry many, many years ago when we lived in a historic house in small-town MidAmerica. That was house pink-appropriate. Some houses just are.

Despite the frilliness of my little cross stitched sentiment, it's important to me to have it on the wall. But this is just about the extent of pastels in my house.

I have a few more fun Valentine projects to share with you soon. Plan a return trip to Remnant for a little DIY inspiration. If you are interested, you can learn a little more about Cricut and the Cricut Maker by clicking on a link I've included in this post.

Thank you for dropping by.


Christmas~ Last Minute Handmade Gift!

From The Project File~

For the third time in the past five years we are celebrating Christmas in Southern California. Therefore I'm sending warm, sunny Christmas greetings from our motorhome~ our tiny home-on-wheels. We are parked at our friend's property~ 13 quiet acres planted abundantly with citrus and avocados. I refer to the estate as, Rancho Avocado. Thanks to the generosity of our good friends we have everything we could possibly want, including water, electric, and a craft cottage for me. 

We recently named our motorhome upon completion of a major interior makeover. It was a ceremonious rebranding of sorts; on the order of a boat christening (minus the champagne bottle). The interior, which is tastefully decorated in a subtle travel theme, is now known to all as Cozy Lodge. I fully intended to post for you a lengthy album of before and after photos, but the only thing we don't have right now is reliable internet; so I am therefore dependent on a local Starbuck's for that luxury. Blogging is cumbersome.

So here we are, near San Diego, rushing around to get everything perfect and perfectly festive before our family Christmas celebration with John on Monday morning.

Quickly I'm sharing a cool gift I crafted. Our only child is a serial traveler like his dad and similarly impossible to buy gifts for. I had this idea running around in my head and finally pulled it together with Larry's help.

I brought these hardwood lumber scraps with us, thinking I would use them for another idea. But when that project didn't materialize I made a quick run through Hobby Lobby and found just what I needed to make this frame. I created the image on PicMonkey and uploaded it to Target photo. I had two images printed actually. The second is for our hostess who seems to spend more time planning trips than anyone I've ever met, other than John.

So basically you need an image, and a piece of wood larger than your image. My boards were cut to 6x8 (from a 1x6 very hardwood board I scrounged). The clips and the knobs I bought, and today while walking I found some interesting acorns which I used just for texture.

The clips do not come with screws, so Larry bought them at a local hardware store. The wood is so hard that he drilled pilot holes and mounted the clips. Then we used an amazing 2 part glue to add the accents. The glue is "2P-10" from Fastcap. 

I grabbed a couple of inexpensive easels to hold the frame upright. The nice thing about this gift is that the image can easily be replaced with another photo; maybe from a future adventure.

In addition to enthusiastically embracing travel, John loves Christmas. He really, really likes to have a lot of gifts under the tree and we still do stockings! Therefore each year I scramble to come up with a many presents as possible. This frame is just a little something extra for him to unwrap.

You would be amazed if you saw the inventory of hand-held power tools Larry has stowed in the motorhome basement compartments. He thought of absolutely everything, really, except for a palm-sander which we both agree is essential.I have been busy painting signs as gifts, and many times I have wished I had the sander.

My friends and I have limited our gift-giving to handmade; a new tradition that we all value. Generally the rules are that gifts are optional, but if we want to give something in the spirit of friendship and love, it has to be handmade, baked, or second-hand.

Anyway, here is a sample of my signs~

I need to say goodbye now because Larry is ready to go. Thanks for being a part of my readership. I hope from the bottom of my heart that your Christmas is filled with love and the blessing of drawing near to those you love.



Let us bring him silver and gold!



Best Homemade Chalk Paint Recipe

Happy first day of the Christmas season! I highly value the tradition of the Thanksgiving holiday and resent the degree to which the retail industry seems to ignore Thanksgiving in an effort to zoom from Halloween mania to Christmas decor. Therefore at our house nothing distinctively Christmas is donned until the Friday following our day of thanksgiving; with one exception. I don't have a sizeable enough fall wreath to hang by the front door, so I jumped the gun and used something evergreen. But it's there I drew the line. 

I hope your Thanksgiving day was blessed, and the meal delicious.

In my last post I promised I would share my best homemade chalk paint recipe and chat with you about my technique for painting mason jars and other glass. So let's get started~

Perhaps the most time-intensive exercise in any project is assembling needed supplies.

You will want to find a variety of Mason jars or glass bottles. You probably have a random assortment already, but in case you need to buy something, I found that Hobby Lobby had the most choices and the best prices. Often times the jars are on sale for 50% off.

I have tried three of the four chalk paint recipes written about by bloggers. The common ingredient is good quality paint. This really matters, and I can't stress it enough. After a lot of experimenting, I've decided my personal favorite is Valspar's best quality flat paint. However, brand doesn't matter. Work with whatever you prefer, but choose the highest quality the brand offers.

In order to make the paint chalky, you will need to choose one additive from this list of choices~

1. Baking Soda
2. Plaster of Paris
3. Sanded Grout
4. Calcium Carbonate

Calcium Carbonate is far and away the proven winner for me, though admittedly I have not tried sanded grout.

I ordered NOW Calcium Carbonate from our local health food store about 5 years ago. At that time a 12-ounce bottle cost about $9. Unless DIY stores have started carrying it, you will have to order it in advance. Therefore, this is not a project you can just decide to do without some prior planning unless you want to use one of the additives you happen to have.


1 Cup Flat Paint
1/2 Cup Calcium Carbonate
1-1/4 Cup of Water

To begin with, pour one cup of paint into a suitable small container. Next, sift the CC (I used a fine mesh strainer) into a small bowl. Add the water and mix very well. Then add the CC paste to the paint and mix thoroughly. If you have an old hand mixer or an electric paint mixer, I strongly recommend using. Don't worry. Chalk paint cleans off anything very easily with just water.

The next step is to take a sea sponge (I like to cut the sponge in half) and begin dabbing paint onto your glass jars. Below you can see my jars with one coat of paint.

Simply rotate the jar around until you've covered them completely with paint. Let them dry completely in a warm spot. This will only take about an hour.

Follow up the first coat with another coat and let that dry. After two coats I noticed that there were still some thin spots, so I just dabbed here and there to fill in.

A note of caution. I wash my sponge completely in warm water between coats of paint. However, you must make sure you squeeze all of the water completely out of the sponge before using it again. Squeeze with your hand and then wrap the sponge in a towel and squeeze again. I created a mini-disaster when I tried to spot-paint my jars with a sponge that was too wet! I actually pulled paint of the jars with the wet sponge which made a clumpy mess.

When your jars are completely dry and you are satisfied with the appearance, take an emery board or a piece of sandpaper and shabby them up a bit. You accomplish this by sanding the high points on the jar, such as the writing or the little fruit embellishments.

Aren't these cool? I think they are.

The next important step is to spay your completed jars with a fast-drying polyurethane. This is necessary to ensure that your paint is impermeable to water, oil, fingermarks, and the likes. Larry sprayed mine in the house by setting them in a cardboard box turned on edge. Currently, it is much too damp to spay anything outside.

Lastly, if you want to really add some wow factor to your jars, add a cute knob.

Hobby Lobby again to the rescue~ knobs at a deeply discounted price.

I painted a few other things in addition to these quart sized, wide mouth jars~

You need to just start playing around with the paint and your technique as I did. After a while, you will figure out what works for you. An example is that I like to use the flat part of the sponge. That's why I cut it in half. I did not have any luck with a brush. I felt like a brush on glass leaves marks, even with 3 or more coats. This project is a lot of trial and error, but the results are worth the time you invest. 

The jars make great gifts; empty or filled with something special. I'm giving one friend a white jar filled with spa cloths that I've knitted this year. 

Perfect for a bathroom.

Alternately, you could paint the jars beige or brown and fill them with a baking mix or cocoa perhaps. I actually think the possibilities are limitless. If you have good quality flat paint left over from redos and updates, try it! I have some lovely French blue paint that I intend to work with after Christmas.

I hope you've enjoyed my tutorial and will give the painted jar project a try. I encourage questions so feel free to be in touch.