Monday, August 26, 2013

The Antistrip

I'm in Las Vegas, but instead of my go-to companions of a cheering craps table and a gelato cone from the Bellagio, I chose to spend this rainy desert day with a stale coffee and the quiet inspiration of the Las Vegas Design Center.

And by quiet, I mean that during my hours in the dozen or so spacious showrooms, I encountered 4 other patrons. It was the antistrip. Just me and the warm staff workers answering my questions that never once made me feel like I shouldn't be spending time amongst all the products and fabrics and chandeliers that are out of my price range.

They just let me dream.

About painting a wall black.

And having a $7,000 office chair.

And about how my heart would palpitate while I swung from a chandelier. 

A chance to fantasize about my own gallery wall with a lion head knocker.

And napping in Morocco. 

And being a rock star with bling tufted chairs that make me feel petite and dainty.

I highly recommend a visit. Especially if you are in the market for new decor. Some of the items were surprisingly reasonable and are purchased through the LVDC designers who get them shipped new right to your home.

But even if you're just gawking like me, it is worth the short trip to experience your ass in a $7000 desk chair. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Fold Top Chalkboard Buffet

A few weekends ago we hauled a fold top buffet home from a San Diego thrift store. 

The long way back to Phoenix. Via Temecula and Palm Springs. 
The back of my Cube was more than congested.

Here's another look at it.

But here it is now.

With a buffet top coated in chalk paint for easy menu labeling.

Here's a better look at the transformation.

In the beginning there were scrapes, waxy gunk chunks, only one top piece that would fold out properly, and minimal character.

I sealed all the hardware holes so I could add updated options.

Painted the insides a creamy white.

And coated the exterior in classic black PolyShades. Hear this. I will never use PolyShades for a big project again.  It was inconsistent and I spent too much time trying to make it right. Next time I put on my big girl pants and stain and poly the old school way.

The chalkboard paint that went on the fold out pieces worked like a dream. I did two coats with a small foam roller.

And lined all the shelves with fabric I had on hand. The drawer and bottom pieces were fabric adhered to cardboard. The shelf was spray adhesive with hot glue finishing the wrapped around edge in the back.

I shy away from distressed furniture, but the buffet looked so much better after some gentle distressing around the edges.

The sad part is that my time with the buffet is limited.  It is off to Rusty Saturday next week.

To join a new happy home with someone who shows it a real party. Not like the pretend one I threw just to test out the chalkboard top.

Not that my pretend party wasn't awesome.

Dirty martinis, macaroons, sliders and stuffed figs...what all good girls are made of.

Will I repeat the chalk top? Yes.
Will I repeat the PolyShades? No.
Did I day drink a dirty martini at my pretend party? A girl needs a few secrets.

Friday, August 16, 2013

I ♥ ...

I ♥ Rusty Saturday.

Rusty Saturday is one of Phoenix's newest awesome shop locations.  It is finds, and deals, and upcycled, and treasures and worth routine visits.

And starting in September, I will have my very own retail space in the store. You heard me. A whole section of heidi schatze.

My project list has grown exponentially.
I am brimming with excitement and bubbling with anxiety.
My car is parked in the driveway because the valuable garage real estate is being used for staining.
And reupholstering.
And hoarding.

But don't wait for me to show up. This weekend, everything in the store is 20% off. Just make sure and come back around on September 1st.

And of course I'll do a virtual tour. Complete with champagne. Straight out of the bottle.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Commercial Break Break

Are you reading this during a gruelingly long Project Runway commercial break? I feel your pain, mon amour.

Here. Watch this.

Shareen will inspire you with her effortless reworking of vintage dresses. And endear you with her wisdom and spirit.
To be an individual means that no one can compete with you. You become without rival.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Heavy Metal Anniversary

Today is our wedding anniversary.

By traditional standards it is the year for pottery. For the modern, the year of leather. Translation - 9 years.

But we don't follow the anniversary gifts by year guide. And most years don't even give gifts at all. We prefer to celebrate with dinner and time. For a couple of our years, we have put in insanely low bids on Priceline for fancy Arizona resorts and lived in luxury for a weekend. Other years, driven or hopped a cheap flight to a locale with temps under 100.

This year is different. We are getting a tangible gift for us, and the theme is metal. 

We took the long way back from San Diego the other weekend and spent time in Temecula, CA. And while there, went crazy over the photos printed on metal at local gallery, Metalography. You know I love bright and shiny. The prices on the showcased pieces were reasonable. And having them print your own photo is even more affordable, so Anthony suggested we choose one of our photos and have it done.

And chosen we have. A picture of our shiny new padlock on the Bridge of Love in Paris from January of this year.

Because a picture of metal on metal just felt right.

Because the more I think about it, the more I realize that our relationship is all about metal.
Every year.
Each celebration.

Celebrating with forks or gas tanks or airplanes. 
Our first dance? Metal. Metallica's Nothing Else Matters.

And I hope we drag this metal tradition on for another 70 years. 
Because you know what you get when you drag metal?


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sippers & Skimmers

...For when you want to coordinate what's going to your head with what is already there.

Sometimes a lady doesn't have the energy to beat around the bush. And on those days she needs to slip on this $2,000 lid and announce loudly to the bar that she needs a neat Between the Sheets. Maybe two! she shouts.

Links:   Between the Sheets recipeVictoria Grant fascinator 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Patio: Pillowed & Sealed

Last time we sat on the patio, we had just hung the chandelier.

Character developing, but minimal.

Time for pizzazz. Pop. Color.

From the pillow fabrics.

The patio budget is low, so the fabrics came from the remnant section at SAS Fabrics in Phoenix.  I bought the pillow inserts there too.

But the print pattern? That is Waverly Santa Maria Gem and it is available all over the place: JoAnns,, Amazon, likely your local fabric store. I love it. And loved it instantly because it blends with the chevron rug and matches the rust colored planter next to the couch. 

The empty planter.

Because I'm not ready to kill again quite yet.

My 3 fabric choices were heavy. Serious. Those pillows would have looked down with repugnance upon the chevron rug, viewing it as a reckless, unrefined slab.

I couldn't have that judgement, so I added in a lightweight blue denim to use for the piping. It kept things a little more playful.

Don't be scared of sewing piping. BH&G has a descriptive tutorial with pictures here

Do you have to cut your piping strips on the bias? It makes the corners round more nicely without bunching. But, when I have been low on fabric I cut them along the grain and it was fine.

Things to keep in mind for outdoor pillows.

1. Stay away from feathers. Feathers are amazing for getting the perfect karate chop on your indoor pillows, but can be a nightmare for outdoor pillows for obvious reasons. Once the next haboob rolls in, there is a good chance I will be fishing pillows out of the pool. I'll be grateful that I chose a synthetic polyester stuffing that day.

2. Fabric Seal. Thompsons's Fabric Seal claims to prevent water damage, resist color fading and repel spills and stains. Sun fading here can be brutal and I like to hose down everything on the patio when things get grimy. So, I gave it a shot. The fabric test strips definitely repelled after two coats. But will the pillows survive an Arizona sun beat-down? Time shall tell.

Who has a patio comfortable enough to sleep off an afternoon margarita buzz? 

I do.

Don't believe? Come try it out for yourself. I'll salt the rims right now.

Friday, August 9, 2013

I ♥ ...

I ♥ Survivors.

Remember the palm tree that wasn't getting any water because of the broken irrigation line? It increased the urgency of our Digging Project for the landscape retaining wall. We didn't want it to die.

Well, here it is now!


Let me give you a better angle.

Beyond dead.

If killing plants and trees were a punishable crime I'd get life for sure. Or maybe even lethal injection from the sap of some poisonous and vindictive vine from the Amazon Rainforest.

I've laid to rest enough basil and tomato plants to make a weeks worth of slow-simmer-sauce for the entire country of Burundi.

When we first moved in, I absentmindedly offed a potted lemon tree.

A couple of weeks ago, one of those cute little rosemary bushes.  Oh the delicacies we were going to enjoy. The water I fed didn't slow her shrivel and dry process at all.  At all. I grumpily walked her out to the empty trash container at the side of the house and dropped her in.  The brittle needles shot off in every direction and the beautiful aroma of rosemary swept up out of the can to give me one last slap in the face.

It stung.

I need survivors. For the inside and out. Not just succulents, leafy things too. Please tell me you know of something that I can keep alive. Please, I beg of you.

Oh, and lets keep this long list of plant killings between the two of us.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

D to the I: Distraction Furniture

I've been searching for inspired and innovative furniture design in hopes that I could translate some ideas onto my recent worn down furniture purchases.

Judson Beaumont blew my mind.

There will be no translation here. Just wonder and amazement.

Do yourself a favor and take a quick stroll through his furniture gallery.

And pay attention to the names, like Little Black Dresser below. Damn, I love word play.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Clean Pumpkin Granola Recipe

My mom sent me her clean eating pumpkin granola recipe that she makes in a crock pot. Gluten free. No added sugar. Easy. Delicious.

And it feels like the right thing to make in Arizona today. Because school has started and it is overcast and raining and Phoenix is trying so hard for it to be fall. And pumpkin equals fall.

5 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup applesauce
2/3 cup agave nectar
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 cup golden raisins
1 T. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. cinnamon

Stir ingredients (minus raisins) together in a vented slow cooker and cook on high for 2-3 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. Stop cooking it after it has reach your preferred level of dryness. Stir in raisins once the heat is turned off.

*Variations: The options for this are limitless. 
Try extra applesauce or peach puree instead of pumpkin. 
Instead of raisins use dried blueberries, chopped dried apple, or dried apricot chunks. 
Replace almonds with walnuts or pecans.
Like it less sweet, more like a muesli? Use less agave nectar.

Why do I have the feeling that this pumpkin delusion is going to need to last me 3 more months before fall actually decides to squat in the southwest?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Thrift: San Diego

We just got back from San Diego.

And I am returning with an erratic sunburn, an affinity for overcast and 72 degrees, and a fold top buffet from the thrift store.  A buffet which, still crammed in the back of my car, is also stuffed with thrifting finds.

Below is my map for San Diego thrift stores. Click on it, explore, and remember it for your next San Diego, CA adventure. There was only time for a few stops this trip, but that's fine, because the UCP Thrift Store on El Cajon Blvd was about as much as my tiny car could handle.

View San Diego thrift stores in a larger map

Please let me know if you have additions or updates for the map.  And if it has scored you any San Diego treasures of your own.

Friday, August 2, 2013

I ♥ ...

I ♥ Roadtrips

We are headed west for a quick trip to San Diego. 70 degrees. Ocean. Leisure. I can almost taste it.

Our road trip essential?  Listening pleasure.

Sometimes an audio book. This time comedy tracks: routines and podcasts. Here's what I hope to be laughing at:

Tig Nataro