Traveling Collective Shop!

Small Room Collective


I used to think the fashion trucks were the best concept until… it was trumped this weekend by finding this traveling collective shop!  Small Room Collective doubles as a modern updated Aistream during travels and cool collective shop when it lands at it’s next destination!  I found it parked in the back courtyard at the Iron & Resin in Ventura, CA. The Small Room Collective had a bit of everything cool and eclectic – art, vintage, bags, jewelry, journals….  I got the sense that every stop on it’s tour is like a wrapped present, you never know what awesome and unique treasures you’ll find inside!

So, family and friends up north be on the alert for its tour stop near you  -yes you can buy me great gifts that I will luv even if there is no gift giving reason!

So why am I sharing this fab small business (and no one is paying me to share)? I luv finding innovative small businesses with owners who obviously have a passion for their shop. What’s more -they support other small businesses by featuring them in their traveling Small Room Collective shop!

It’s worth your spare time to stop by and check out the latest treasures!

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Get Out and Enjoy Earth

Sand Dune Pacific Coast highway

You keep hearing about Earthday, recycling, making good ‘earth’ choices which is all great. But what’s the point if you don’t actually get out and enjoy it! Sometimes it’s as close as a walk around your block or the trail in the City park.  Sometimes its enjoying the run downhill or the view from the climb…

Pacific Coast Highway Sand dune to Climb


Maybe it’s your own oasis in the forest just waiting for you to break out the lunch..

duvall waterfall hike


Or it’s seeing something pretty cool that would normally make you go eeww like leaf cutter ants disassembling a Hibiscus flower…

leaf cutter ants Roatan


Hope you enjoyed your Earth week but most importantly hope you spent some of that spare time actually getting out!

Ventura Earth Day Art

earth day paper towel tie dye

It’s Earth Day month and last weekend we had a chance to hang out in Ventura, CA at our new fav Earth Day festival hosted by The Ventura Charter School.  Besides being one of the best school fundraiser ideas I’ve seen, it’s a blast to attend! Great local vendors, lots fun kid earth friendly art making, performances and my fav is the silent auction which has amazing handmade art!

This booth above was offering earthly friendly tie dye using long strips of heavy paper towels (yes recycled paper). You folded or scrunched the towel as much as you wanted and dipped in 2-3 colored liquids, pressed it between a chunk of newspaper to wring out the excess, unfolded and stapled the top of the paper towel around a straw and viola – awesome color “flags”!

earth day Origami Plant Pot


Luv’d the newsprint Origami planting pots! Folded newspaper (not a staple or piece of tape needed – seriously cool magical folding!), hole punched and a piece of twine tied to each side for hanging.  Scoop in dirt, drop in a seed or two and water!

earth day art magazine mosaic


One of my absolute favs is this magazine mosaic! I’d pay money for this piece and feel good about the fact that it’s recycling a magazine.

earth day twig art


Sticks, branches and twigs – finally something to do with all the fall tree trimming or beach driftwood!

Enjoy checking out your local Earth Day event – it’s worth every spare moment!


Earth Day Every Day

Recycle-get this...

Recycle with these! (Photo credit: practicalowl)



So you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Earth Day over the last couple weeks.  It seems like every city is planning an event and since they all can’t happen on the same weekend you can make a month-long celebration!  Plus if you check your local stores on Earth Day, April 22nd, they have some great specials like free cup of joe if you bring your own mug.

Yes, you guessed it, this week is all about making every day Earth Day! We don’t need to only celebrate it one month of the year.  Likely if you spend just 5 minutes thinking about it you’ll realize you are already doing little things every day.  Ok so grab that coffee, glass of wine and get to work. Here’s my brainstorm that made me smile and feel like I was helping to keep Earth a little greener, the air a little cleaner and the beach from becoming a pile of trash…

  • Put my recyclable ‘trash’ in the recycle can (computer paper, non personal junk mail, aluminum cans, cereal boxes …)
  • Use cloth napkins instead of paper (this might be the same debate as cloth vs. disposable diapers but it makes me feel better anyway!)
  • Use cold water for laundry
  • Trade out the plastic water bottles for the re-usable water bottle
  • Collect my old batteries for special disposal instead of throwing in the trash (check your library, city hall or hazardous waste collection for drops off which are free)
  • Buy in bulk to avoid all the individual packaging
  • Use a broom to clean my patio instead of a hose or shop vac
  • Turn off the lights in rooms I’m not using
  • Change out the light bulbs to energy-efficient
  • Stash a cute fold up re-useable bag in my purse (which I do actually use a lot!)
  • Take my coffee in a travel mug
  • Bring a ceramic coffee mug to work instead of using a paper cup

Yea I’m feeling pretty good and  hope you are too now!

Outdoor Chalkboard Wall

DIY outdoor chalkboard wall

Keeping with the CHALK theme this week sharing a great DIY outdoor chalkboard wall! Did you miss the chalk ceramic pottery or chalk animal cutouts or how about the very early chalk on glass vases – check it out then! Living in a relatively compact house and yard – intentionally our goal is to maximize the space. We had a small storage shed on the side of the garage with a large wall screaming to be used for more. Knowing that I didn’t have to stick with just black or green chalkboard colors I gave it the “thumbs up”.

Outdoor space is the new indoor space (at least in So. California anyway). Chalkboard walls are great for entertaining and hanging out with the family and great when you have small kids with the urge to draw but you don’t want to break out the messy paints.  When you add an outdoor chalkboard wall fun things happen even with the adults…like impromptu hangman, tic tac toe or having your super talented artist friend leave their art on your wall!

Outdoor chalkboard walls are great addition to a fence, the side of a storage barn or house wall.  You can either paint the chalkboard directly on the wall or hang up a piece of wood pre-painted.  Depending on how exposed the chalkboard area is to the elements you may want to consider hanging a sheet of slate rock (slate tiles probably also work) as a natural chalkboard.  Our chalkboard wall has been up for 3-4 years and it’s still in great shape!

If you are going the DIY outdoor chalkboard wall you can paint it in any color you like. If you want a great DIY chalkboard paint recipe try it with your fav latex paint color and added unsanded grout. Super easy!

Want the basic black or green chalkboard paint, check your local hardware store for a pint can size.

Here’s a few other outdoor chalkboard walls idea to plan your own..

Fence chalkboard wall


Outdoor chalkboard - great idea cause when they draw on the patio it gets tracked into the house.

Can’t commit to attaching a chalkboard wall – try a very large picture frame with a chalkboard and make it portable -front porch (assuming people have front porches), out in the yard against a tree, in the sunroom or on the deck

Vintage Frame Chalkboard Extra Large. $60.00, via RedWingedDesigns_Etsy. I'm thinking on the front porch wall, outdoor art space and no mess inside:)


Enjoy finding a spot for a great outdoor chalkboard!

DIY Chalk Animal Cutouts

Chalk ART cutout

Unexpected this will be CHALK WEEK! Yep I bet you never thought anyone could say enough about chalk but I’ll share all the cool stuff you can DIY or enjoy that is chalk!

Maybe it’s just new to me but when I attended a downtown event they had amazing DIY chalk cutouts!  What I thought was so great is the cutouts were animals so of course for those of us challenged with say drawing a horse head or a seahorse, the hard part was already done! The fun chalk part was filling in the animal.


DIY chalk animal cutout

The other fabulous part was the cutouts were chalk on both sides! Yes you can just flip it over and make another fab creation and erase later.

What’s so great about this? I can think of some great ways to use these amazing DIY chalk animal cutouts for a fun event so here’s my list…

  • Camping – fun times just hanging out at the picnic table or around the camp fire
  • Parties – kids or adults they all want to drink and eat and make some crazy fun art at the same time!
  • School events – this would be great for an art fair, open house or back to school night
  • Art festivals – awesome drop in DIY hands on activity!
  • Neighborhood Day – in September  would be a great to set up a few DIY Chalk Animals on a tarp in your front yard with a box of chalk and get to know your neighbor

I’m sure some of you are handy with a jigsaw or know someone who is and could DIY your own cutouts.  Maybe you are not so handy or just want it delivered to your front door step? Click on the cutouts below for a pretty good place to get the really big cutouts…18-24″.  Once you have your cutout, add a couple of coats of black chalkboard paint (spray or bottle) and voila!

butterfly unfinished wood cutoutDeer unfinished wood cutout

poodle unfinished wood cutout

Enjoy your fabuous DIY Chalk Animal Cutouts at your next event!

DIY Ceramic Painted Vases

DIY painted pottery vaseDIY Chalk Pottery
Have a ceramic vase you have stashed in the garage or maybe back corner of a cabinet that you can’t bear to display – Ugly with a capital U? Here’s a couple of options to do a little DIY ceramic vase painting and make it a treasure again!

This oval ceramic vase started out as bisqueware.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about google it but essentially its pottery that hasn’t been painted and fired. Pretty much the same stuff you find if you go to a painting shop in the mall.

This little ceramic vase is on its 3rd life and who knows it might have more lives than a cat!  The first life was its initial painting and firing I did about 13 years ago. I luv’d it and then about 5 years ago it needed a 2nd life – the colors didn’t work anymore and it held a dried floral arrangement. Can you say huge dust collector – ewww!

DIY painted pottery vase

The 1st life was cut and I wanted to try an earthy painting technique for its 2nd life.  I’m still not sure about the colors I choose but let’s focus for a minute on the earthy nature technique.  Since this piece any ceramic piece you have or salvage doesn’t need to be fired again you can paint it as many times as you want Yea!

This DIY ceramic vase was painted with a base coat of yellow,  then using Calle Lily leaves of varying sizes applied the various leaf prints.  When you are using natural elements like leaves for painting here’s a few TIPS:

  • pick the side of the leaf with the most veins showing since it’ll give you the best natural look
  • use a bristle brush – art brush is fine- to paint a thin coat on the leave
  • lay the leaf on the vase starting at the top and working down
  • rotate the leaves, overlap and press them only half on the vase for a more natural effect

This DIY ceramic painted leaf vase lasted for another few years, was stuffed in a back cabinet and now has been brought back with its 3rd life as a more modern chalk vase.

DIY Chalk vase

Same vase just painted with 3 coats of chalk paint and a thin turquoise border around the top edge (you just can’t see it) – the same chalk paint you find at your local craft store.  The foam flowers were just too cute and modern looking not to add – a gift from my youngest daughter several years ago!

Where does this reincarnated DIY ceramic chalk vase now live? Right by our front door with a Free Hug message to all to leave!

Enjoy giving your old or found ceramic vases a new life!