Upcycled Awesomeness in Kauai – KIKO simple goods

Kauai, Kapa'a, Recycled, Upcycled, Crafts

Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka (that’s Hawaiian for Merry Christmas – a tad late, but still –) We’ve just returned from a very fun trip to the Hawaiian island of Kauai. In between the (muddy & fun!) hiking, beaches, and dodging wild roosters, we explored the lovely low-key town of Kapa’a. This was one of our favorite finds, KIKO simple goods*, specializing in unique local art, upcycled goods and clever environmental products. It just made us happy (plus it doesn’t hurt to be located in paradise…). Be inspired, visit the web links and if in Kauai, visit the store!



* KIKO’s has opened recently and they don’t have a website yet, but when they do I will update this post with a link – because they really are awesome. This is NOT a sponsored post, just love from an admirer.


Recycled Art Show Field Trip

We stopped by the Laura Frost Fine Arts Gallery in Ballard to check out the Recycled Art Show sponsored by RE Store. It’s a great show – lots of local artists using a variety of salvaged materials. Check it out if you are out and about. It runs through May 7, so you don’t have much time.

The details:

5805 14th Ave NW
Seattle, WA 98107
Open Tue-Fri 11-5, Sat 10-6,  Sun 12-5

Here’s a preview:

Fence Design

We keep noticing beautifully designed fences, arbors and outdoor space screens around our town. We see plenty of badly designed ones too, but thought you’d be more interested in the goodies!

Keep your eyes peeled for additions to this series as we discover more while we collect supplies for our next project.

We’d love to hear your opinions too. Don’t be shy 😉

Posted April 16, 2014

Sometimes simple is the most elegant – The black stain against the lime of the maple tree makes both colors more vibrant (and what about the fall colors!). It also illustrates a couple of design considerations: first how the plantings/foliage look with the color and design and secondly – stain, don’t paint! Whenever you can!

Fence stained black

Posted February 25, 2013

You know those fabulous slabs of tree you’ve squirreled away in your basement? I know some of you have them (and I am jealous). Here’s an idea to inspire your creative side – check this out! The wine garden fence designed by Marenakos Rock Center for the Seattle Flower and Garden Show 2013.

Marenakos Wood and Stone Fence

A Wood and Stone Fence

A powerful statement at 10-15 feet tall! Just to the right of this was the entry gate:

Marenakos Entry Gate


I love the design concept of getting lighter (visually), and more wild as the fence/arbor/entry goes up and the contrast between warm, polished wood against hewn, cold stone. Lighting was used to great effect, which my flash washed out (dang!), but you can still get a sense of it. The plants add softness and depth by being both in front of and behind the fence, tapping into our impulsive nature to spy inside. Isn’t it great?!

Continue reading

Chateau de Mores, Medora, North Dakota

On our road trip this summer we drove through Medora, located in the Badlands of western North Dakota in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. It is a rugged but beautiful area. We stopped and visited the historic site of the Chateau de Mores.

Chateau de Mores in Medora, ND, built in just 3 months in 1883.

Chateau de Mores in Medora, ND, built in just 3 months in 1883.

The Marquis de Mores was a French nobleman who came to N.D. in the late 1800’s to start a meat-packing business. He and his wife (Medora) were avid hunters and riders and he had this large house built for her. It was simple by their standards, but to the people of the area the house was grand, and they nicknamed it the “Chateau”. The family stayed for about 3 years – the business was not successful, but the house remains as a historical site. You can learn more here. Continue reading

Field Trip: Gum Wall in Post Alley, Seattle


We had the opportunity on July 4th to take a field trip to Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle. We made time for a little detour to see the infamous Gum Wall in Post Alley. Across the alley from all the gum was a wall of great sticker/graffiti art. These aren’t the best pictures (they were taken with my phone) but hopefully show the great colors, patterns and vibrancy of the wall. Go visit if you have a chance, and leave your DNA behind, imbedded in a wad of gum! Continue reading

Field Trip – Recycled Art Show

Yesterday we took a quick field trip to the Laura Frost Gallery in Ballard to see the Recycled Art Show sponsored by RE-Store.

There are some really cool pieces – pictured below are a few examples. Stop by if you have a chance and support our art community. The show is up until May 8th.

Oh, and did I mention I have a piece in the show? It would be great if someone could buy it so I don’t have to take it home.

More press:



Seattle Handy (Wo)man Service


A few weeks ago at the Phinney Neighborhood Home Fair, we met Amy, of “AmyWorks“. Amy is a licensed contractor in Seattle and she and her crew offer a variety of home maintenance/repair services – bathroom & kitchen remodels, painting, decks, tiling, and on and on.

Two services Amy offers we thought were extra helpful:

  • She will fix something AND teach you how to fix something.
  • She offers workshops on a variety of topics. Amy said that if you have a group of 5 or so, she would lead a workshop in any topic you choose. Cool!

So much to learn, so little time.

Mosaics Tile

I’m looking for backsplash ideas. After 7 years of living with an a-l-l-l-most finished kitchen, I think it’s time to finish it up…

I have an area in the kitchen that can stand alone and be different from the rest of the design, so my thoughts turned to mosaics – specifically those that re-use broken pottery or dishes (keeping up my Seattle eco cred). It’s a design idea that can easily turn tacky so I wanted to do a bit of research – see if I could find a few good examples. We found a great project at Bradner Gardens Park, Seattle, located inside the public restrooms!  Here are a few photos of these super creative mosaics in the women’s side – I think the boy’s side has spiders…

Kudos to the artists Joyce Moty, Liz Cross and Gyda Fossland!

tile for mosaics - bee tile for mosaics - butterfly tile for mosaics - cricket tile for mosaics - beetles

tile for mosaics - dragonfly

Gift Ideas – 11 Artists We Love

We spent an afternoon cruising the aisles of the Urban Craft Uprising in Seattle last weekend.

It was inspiring to meet so many talented people and to see their amazingly creative work. Plus we had some holiday shopping to do and there is nothing like handmade and/or local to counteract the frenzy going on all around this time of year.

Visit their sites by clicking on the photo, and even order some things if you likey, too :). We vouch for the quality of all that we’ve included in this post. Have fun surfing…we did.

craft- vases2craft- book binding2craft- walletcraft- ag mancraft- toyscraft- radios.craft- ostrich pillowcraft- soapcraft- letterpresscraft- robotcraft- guitar straps

Embellish your IKEA chandelier

Here is an easy way to embellish a standard IKEA candelabra – suspend colorful, fused-glass pieces with wire from the frame.

This was a very simple project that was done by our school kids for the annual auction – isn’t it great?! (I can say that because I didn’t actually do it)  🙂 Continue reading