Vintage Canoe Paddle

This is my second post in honor of Father’s Day. Previously I posted a vintage tripod lamp DIY in honor of my Grandpa Al, but this week is for my Grandpa Frank.

By education Frank was a doctor, but when he retired he bought land overlooking Mt. Rainier, and spent most of his time hunting, fishing, and exploring the mountains. He was definitely an outdoorsy Grandpa. :) I caught my first “wild” fish with him, rode a pony for the first time (while crying) and enjoyed running around with my cousins on his farm. He loved spending time in nature. And whether it was hiking, fishing or just spending time on his land, he embodied that Northwest spirit that I love.

When I was in girl scouts I did two summers at canoe camp. We spent one to two weeks canoeing down local Northwest rivers, cooking and camping each night as we traveled down the river. It is one of my highlights of my childhood, and I grew to love canoeing because of it. My Grandfather also liked to canoe, and once upon a time ago he built a canoe with some buddies, and the story I heard was that he inevitably crashed it shortly after their first voyage. I inherited a beaver tail paddle from him and when I saw some painted paddles in a local boutique shop, I knew I needed to recreate something like it using his paddle.

I started by borrowing my brother-in-law’s sander, and then finished it off with my own. A Christmas gift from my family, most likely because I kept asking to borrow their tools. :) I used the sander with a few different grits of sandpaper.

  • High – for sanding off the burnt sienna paint job (and revealing another coat of gray paint underneath)
  • Medium – for working through all the groves
  • Light – for finishing it off smooth








Vintage Tripod Lamp

In honor of Father’s Day coming up on June 16th, this is the first of three posts in honor of the three most important father’s in my life. First up, my Grandpa Al.

My grandpa was an avid photographer. Not only in his free time, but as his job. After World War II and a stint in the Merchant Marines, he joined the Navy and worked his way up to becoming a photographer. Here he is, hard at work on board the USS Hancock CV/CVA-19.

He was a wonderful grandfather, father and husband. He had a gentle loving spirit and I miss him. :) We shared a love for photography, and when my Dad gave me his old tripod, I knew I needed to take special care in what I did with it. It is such a beautiful tripod (if there is such a thing)…solid chrome, and impeccably cared for. I would consider using it as an actual tripod, however it is heavy!! There is no way I would lug it around. I’m not sure how he did it.

I will think of him every time I see this lamp, and revel in his creativity when it shines light on what I’m making. So in honor of my Grandpa, I felt that the (above) quote by Ansel Adams was the perfect sentiment regarding the art of photography, as well as being a maker. So if you’re looking down Grandpa, I hope you enjoy my creation.





Step 1:

Find a friend who is an engineer (or handy.)

I thought this would be a fairly easy project, but what I thought would be a simple “unscrew the plate and attach the lamp kit” I realized that this screw was not easily removable, and the top portion needed to be taken apart, and a hole needed to be drilled to attach the lamp kit securely. Yikes. I mentioned it to my friend GT, and he had some ideas of how to accomplish it. He seriously gets all the credit for this DIY, because I literally couldn’t have done it without him. THANKS GT!!! :)


Step 2:

Once the threaded nipple was screwed into the tripod, you attach the socket cap. From there I threaded the lamp cord through the hole and attached each end to the terminals. Last step, place the socket shall over the top and made sure it was firmly set inside the socket cap.


Step 3:

Placed the wire cage over the socket shall and tightened in place.


Step 4:

Last step, screw in a new lightbulb and hope that when you plug it in…it turns on. :)


Blanket pillow

Moving really throws a wrench into your crafting. In the process of moving (a year ago) not only did I realize I had WAY too many half-started craft projects, but my supplies were completely out of control. This let to a lot of purging in the process. My new goal is to buy supplies for the craft I will do next, and not buy supplies for that craft I think I will do in the future. This hopefully will help the supply explosion, and keep my craft room under control.

So this next year my goal is to finish and share with you all my half started projects (plus more.) Some are worth sharing the steps…some are just going to be hey look at what I did projects. One of those hey look at what I did projects is this blanket pillow.

A year ago I made a Vintage Blanket Tote Bag using a vintage Pendleton blanket. I kept a few of the scraps because I could use it for another craft. Now I’m glad this was one of the supplies I didn’t get rid of. :) There was just enough left to make a pillow cover for my couch. I love the vintage and modern combination. It’s the perfect accent against the gray, and brings out the orange in the poster. Plus you can never have enough throw pillows!

I’m excited to be back…stay tuned for an exciting update soon!


Mom’s scissors

I’m sentimental. I think I got that trait from my Mother (no offense Dad.) :) But, she kept things…old drawings my sister and I made when we were little, our first locks of hair, report cards, our dance recital programs, and of course photos. I think she liked to collect and document our journey through these little everyday things.

She meticulously stored them away in labeled folders and envelopes (another OCD organizational habit I got from her.) There are things in those folders that I remember, and things I don’t. Going through them is like taking a trip back through time. Now that I’m older, I am thankful she did that. There is something about looking back on your past and seeing where you came from, and knowing where you are headed.

I still save things like my Mom, but in the vain of trying to not “store things here on earth” I am trying to be choosy on what I do save. There are a few things worth saving, and two of those things would be her sewing scissors. And not because they are well-made and in good shape (they are) but because she was the first person to teach me how to sew.

I don’t remember the first project we did together, but I do remember many times sitting at the foot of her sewing table listening and watching her peddle away on her Kenmore sewing machine. She would even sometimes enlist me to cut out the patterns or pin them to the fabric. And other times I would just sit on the floor doing my own little craft project. It is these little memories that come back at strange moments. They make me smile, or shed a tear, and I think of her.

Vintage blanket tote bag

Since this is my first Alt as a blogger, I am trying to bring outfits that represent me, and where I come from. I’m lucky that its going to be cold this week in Salt Lake City, because I have some perfect sweaters for the occasion! And since this is Alt, I wanted to MAKE something that represents the Pacific Northwest too!

My idea started last July when I bought a vintage Pendleton blanket off Etsy. This seemed like the perfect starting point for something Northwest.

Pendleton blankets are kind of a staple for the Northwest. The company is based out of Oregon, my next door neighbor. My parents had and affinity for Pendleton blankets. My first year at college my parents bought me a UW Pendleton blanket. It was (and is) perfect for picnics and football games. Years later who knew that the design firm I was working for, would have Pendleton for a client. I had a great time working on print jobs for them while learning all about blankets in the process. There is such history in the company and they go to great lengths to make a beautiful, quality product.

So with a history with these blankets, I decided to make this vintage one into a tote bag to use as my carry-all for Alt Summit.

Now since I’m not a pattern maker, nor an expert seamstress…I needed to find the perfect pattern to showcase (and work with) the blanket. I went through 2 patterns until I came across and the Super Tote Pattern. With a few modifications (to adjust for the thickness of the blanket fabric) I created the perfect bag for Alt. Even though there are some flaws, I am so happy with the outcome!

Blanket tote process

I added a “Krafty Kath” leather label from Cocosheaven as a finishing touch! So come look for the girl with the blanket bag and come say “hi!”


Blanket tote