Rebecca & Dale

This is our blog.


New Cabinet

Dale and I are always on the lookout for new and better way to store our crap. And we have a LOT of crap. Enter Craigslist! We were going to buy some new shelves and some new storage containers for our new shelves at Ikea. We figured it would be a better solution than the innumerable small plastic tubs that make up our office. Then Dale found a set of drawers on craigslist that just might fit our weird needs.

And there she is in all her 1970s glory! We plan on giving her a paint job someday–probably when we buy a house or have a specific and exciting plan for our office. Anyway, I have a TON of craft supplies and paper and these very large flat drawers were just the trick–and our printer fits in the bottom and the scanner fits on top! So exciting (you have no idea).

Have a peak inside our drawers…this is the embroidery drawer. See the pretty floss!

A drawer filled with scissors and hole punches. That’s right–I have that many scissors. Don’t judge me!

Jewelry making supplies, beeding and wire. No, I don’t make that much jewelry. Why would that keep me from having supplies? I’m too embarrassed to show you my other drawers–needless to say all the ones that Dale didn’t stake out immediately as off limits were filled to the brim!

Even Dale gets some drawers! So far he’s filled one with paper and one with drafting supplies. Heh. He’s got a few empty drawers to fill.

Happy 4th of July–fireworks pics to come–as well as a bunch more photos from our camping weekend.


Cross Stitch From Hell's North Pole


Recently I finished an epic counted cross stitch project. Before you think I’m crazy lemme explain! My mom loved Christmas. And she loved all Christmas things that were over the top and tacky. So I made this tree skirt with the idea that I would probably give it to her. She’s been dead for a year and a half so that tells you how many years this project has been in the works! So now, about five years after I started the stupid project I’m done! Whoooooo!

This project was epic! I’d worked on it during the holidays for the last few years but last fall I decided to just work on it until I was done. I’ve been working on it so diligently since then that I don’t even know what to do when I’m sitting around watching a TV show at night. I can’t do just one thing!

A detail of Santa’s sled.

So, yeah, it’s bananas. I haven’t cut it up to be a tree skirt yet because Dale feels it should be a runner instead–there are instructions on how to make it either of those things. Dale thinks it should be prominently displayed and not have the risk of getting sap on it and ruining it. He’s actually quite impressed with it (I’m guessing he’s just humoring me because he knows how much time I spent on this silly thing).

Anyway, no more cross stitch for me! And no more Christmas themed crap!


She's Crafty

I usually post all my crafts on my craft blog, bexcraft. I keep them separate for several reasons, not the least of which is that it serves as on online gallery for the custom bridal cards I make. When I make something just for me, I’ll occasionally include it on this blog. Anway, I made this bracelet! I took apart an old necklace because I really liked the beads but it was nothing I would ever wear. I strung the beads on wire and ended up with this!

It’s soft and girly but not too dainty. I like it! I know nothing about jewelry making or design so this was very by the seat of my pants and I’m happy with it. The beads came from some costume jewelry I have that belonged to my grandmothers. I honestly don’t know whose necklace these beads came from–I’d guess my great grandmother Mamie but I did get a bunch from my grandma Agatha, too, so I’m not entirely sure!


Holiday Craft Project!

So a couple of weeks before Christmas I was at the flower shop down the block and saw these adorable lights! I liked them but they were like $40 and I thought that was absurd because, as always, my first thought is: Eh, I could do that.

Monty, as always, was eager to help!

I pulled together my supplies: string of pearl lights (thanks, Target), some floral wire, floral tape and floral stems (Michael’s).

From there I just sort of free formed it. I used the stems to wrap the light cord around and the wire to tightly secure the wire to the stem. Then I wrapped the whole thing in floral tape. And I did this repeatedly till I got low on lights. Then I just wrapped the base.

They aren’t as nice as the store-bought ones but considering I slapped it together with about $10 in supplies while sitting in front of the TV, I’m pretty okay with how it worked out!

I actually think they look prettier in person–they have a nice glow about them and do not dominate the room the way they do this photo.

I also posted this on my craft blog but I don’t think anybody goes there–no pressure!–but I was proud of it and wanted to show it off.


Dale’s DIY Sandbags

Yet another thing I forgot to blog about!

Dale LOVES a project. And as winter dragged on in January, Dale decided to make his own sand bags. He didn’t want to pay the $25$35 each (click on prices to see the styles he modeled his after) at the camera store for a bag of sand–he just couldn’t justify the price. He made a total of 10 and he said they cost him about $6.50 each to make, using the same materials as the commercial equivalents!

He borrowed a bag from our friend Pat and then reverse-engineered the bags to make his own. He’s even had photographers on message boards offer to buy the bags (empty, of course)!

The bags started out as a simple piece of fabric, of course.
He had to add handles…
And without sand, it’s just an empty bag. He put the sand in plastic bags to reduce leakage.
Finally! A bag with sand in it. Each bag has 15 pounds of sand–perfect to create leverage for his light stands!

Here’s a link to his photo gallery, showing step-by-step how he did it. And here’s a link to a PDF Dale created to give to other photographers with a do-it-yourself nature!
And here’s a picture of two of them in action–against our still bare orange wall!


Repurposed Speaker Cabinet!

Dale’s dad found a new purpose for Dale’s old speaker cabinet! We have one that’s currently being used as a plant stand but this takes it to another level! He calls it his “Urei Cat House” and the email he sent to Dale explaining the amazing transformation is below…

From Wayne: “Done!!! Painted the inside “Hunter Green”, made a shelf, got some scrap carpet from Sam [a neighbor) but had to buy a 12′ length of transition strip to hold the carpet in place. I tried carpet tape but the carpet was too stiff and kept pulling loose. I would think the cats will think they have died and gone to heaven, we’ll see. I know this, the cats won’t knock the thing over. It must weigh in at 30+ pounds.”

Dale and I think it’s pretty nifty; we’re tempted to make one for our kitties!


Dale’s Speaker Project

A post from Dale:

I have had the below set of speakers for about 16 years and though these 20+ year old speakers are not exactly attractive, I absolutely love the sound and it would cost an absurd amount of money to replace them. Why? Because I am NUTS!

So, like most men, I prefer function over style so the big ugly boxes did not bother me much until Rebecca noted they were an obvious eyesore. She reminded me of this OFTEN – and I realized I had to do something about them.

I launched a scheme to wrap the original black boxes in new wood in an effort to make them more attractive. It did not take long for my nutty mind to decide I needed to build brand new cabinets out of walnut and take what was supposed to be an easy project and create a major endeavor over the Christmas holiday.

I managed to get Dad to agree to all of this – I think he just might be a little nuttier than I am; thankfully it did not take a whole lot of convincing, honestly. He is a pretty easy mark, sometimes.

View below exhibit A, the 24-year-old ugly black box:

Following are a few shots of Dear Ol’ Dad working his hide off on yet another one of my projects. Thankfully he has not charged me for glue and fasteners over the years or I would be in the poor house.

Think we have enough clamps on it? Honestly I think we could have used a few more of them but we made do.

Here is 50% of the finished project – sans the finish. The other one was in the confines of about 10 clamps allowing the glue to dry. Pretty darn hot looking if you ask me.

Yeah, about the finish; Dear Ol’ Dad left me to fend for myself in that regard – I must be losing my touch with him. Actually, he is smarter than I give him credit for because finishing these SOB’s was a lot more work than I had originally imagined they would be, which is usually the case.

Here they are on the dining room table – note the subtle orange wall in the background – waiting for the walnut banding to cover the plywood edge.

Test fitting the banding before permanently attaching it.

Now here they are really coming together, each cabinet has a couple coats of Danish Oil to really bring out walnut figuring. This is what I had in mind when I selected this wood – great looking grain and a deep warm color. It is just a shame that I will be covering the front of these with fabric.

After getting three coats of hand rub polyurethane on them it was time to take them for a test drive; I am pleased they sound and look better than ever.

Here they are completed with vintage fabric fronts. As mentioned above, my goal was to get these to better fit with our mid-century modern style and I think I have successfully done so. In fact, a coworker saw this picture on my computer and asked, “What’s with those old speakers?”

I honestly think this past Christmas has been one of the best; I got to spend a ton of time with my dad doing something we both love – working with wood – and I will be able to see and use these speakers everyday for years to come. Nothing beats the pride of accomplishment.

Of course, working on speakers was not the only thing I did over the holiday; I also managed to whip my mother in a few games of scrabble, which rarely happens. No doubt she is chomping at the bit to reestablish her dominance on the scrabble table.

Nothing beats doing what you love with people you love.

Now I wonder what project I can sucker my dad into next year…


Isadora Ink featured on The Daily Obsession

Exciting news! My craft website was featured today on a cute blog about shopping.


Moulin Rouge Bedroom

Dale and I started cleaning up my vanity–it was my great-grandmother’s and I’ve had it since I was a little girl. It’s been pretty beat up. In addition to having about 100 years of use, it’s been moved multiple times (and sustained a broken leg), has evidence of having been refinished in the 1950s (you can see the power sanding marks in some places), and been kept in smoking homes up through the early 90s. It was dark, dank, grimey. So we started cleaning and couldn’t stop ourselves. Above is how it looked after we cleaned the crap out of it. Dale convinced me to let him fix it so I sat biting my nails and waiting for the results. And they were amazing:

How beautiful does that wood look now? WOW! He was just starting to add a layer of shellac to it.

This is the other side, which wasn’t in quite as bad of shape. Pretty! This will be part of the Moulin Rouge Theme Bedroom I’m working on. Should be finishing in 2015 at the rate I’m going!


World's Tackiest Headboard

So, Dale woke me up one night two weeks ago and let me know that the World’s Tackiest Headboard happened to be right outside our bedroom window–waiting to go into the trash.

I was thrilled and we immediately scurried down the stairs and scooped it up. Of course, nothing can be simple! My goal was just to spray paint it a fabu gold and blue and use it as a free and easy piece in my dream Moulin Rouge-themed bedroom! I want to live inside the elephant in Moulin Rouge! So I started cleaning it tonight and it’s filthy, of course. But worse yet, the paint–both layers of it–is coming off on my cleaning rag. And it’s lovely hand-carved wood underneath! Gah! Now I am going to have to strip it in order to paint it because if I paint it, it will just flake off! *sigh*

Anyway, you can follow the progress of the World’s Tackiest Headboard here, including the newly uncovered wood beneath the tacky paint.