Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Day of Resting and Nesting

On a day off from work and a break from thrift store visits, I tend to do a lot of nesting.  Anyone else know what I'm talking about?  I admit I may complain how a 'woman's work is never done' (my husband and kids will back me up on this I am SURE!), but I really enjoy the days when I can clean up around the house and just enjoy the everyday blessings.  Summer is here and we have enjoyed some lazy mornings  and late nights hanging out as a family watching our favorite movies.  No hectic school/sports/music schedules = happy mama!

I will spare you pictures of me cleaning toilets and sorting through laundry, as I am sure we have all labored away doing the mundane activities of keeping a home running smoothly.  However, here are some activities that took up my day and I'd have to say...they were well worth it!

Nope!  I did not pick these...but I would have if our weather actually permitted! 

I did make homemade strawberry freezer jam...really easy and really yummy!  If you have never made homemade jam before, you should definitely try it!  My kids love it and its way cheaper than store bought.

Even though it rained off and on today, I manged to spruce up some of my annual containers outside.  New to my annuals this year, stripey petunia (that's its official name of course!).

A planter that has a bit of everything.  If I can keep the slugs away, it just might fill in and begin to look really beautiful.

Another new petunia to me this year.  When I water these, it smells like summer...fresh and sweet.

Coleus and petunias in this one.

Almost done with the front porch...the only thing calling my name is re-staining the bench that is hiding behind the lemon cypress.  And, eventually I will add a hanging planter above the bench.  But, the bench make-over is first for sure.

Dinner menu for tonight:  homemade veggie pizza and a bottle of wine.  Notice I said "bottle" - not glass :)

This was a first time recipe for me, but not sure I will make it again.  We are picky pizza eaters in this house and although I've made some good ones from scratch in the past, our favorite pizzas are always dine-out , especially Diamond Knot (the one on Lincoln Ave.) and The Rock (Lynnwood location). 

Keith topped off dinner with a sweet treat of choco-hotpots and whipped cream (no calories or guilt because it was made with love:).


....a typical end of day routine: two dogs, one cat, one laptop and one caramel latte in hand!  What am I doing?  Pinterest of course!

Here's hoping you find time to rest and nest and enjoy your blessings in your own life!  Thanks for stopping by!


Cheree and Jill

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Adventures of "Chicks With Tools!"

Okay. Let's get honest. It's June 22nd and here in Seattle our kids are still in school and it is 52 degrees!  Never-ending limousine services, High School finals week, end-of-year projects, Driver's Permits and endless sports events have brought us to the brink of tantrums.  Time to use that pent up energy to get some projects done!  Chicks With Tools to the rescue (cue Charlie's Angels Soundtrack).

Come along for a day in the life of "With a Twist" designers Jill and Cheree, or as we like to refer to ourselves,  "Twisted Minds".  Today we are working at Studio A.  Okay, it's just Jill's garage.

First, it is imperative to begin with the caffeinated beverage of your choice!  Energy is key! Cheree has so many words in her beverage that I can't remember them. Something like giganto, super chocolate, mocha choca,  low-fat, vegan-something with sprinkles on top.  Mine is simply called "Awake" tea.  Why is she pointing that staple gun toward her face I wonder.  More caffeine needed?

Next, meet "Jaws".  Tackle his projects first while the "mocha-choca"  stuff is still in your bloodstream.  By the end of the day when we are dragging anchor some part of us might get cought up in there and get ripped off!  Today we cut old staircase spindles to create some cool candlesticks.

The glamorous life of the Vintage Upcycling Artist involves scraping your fingernails off to make little things like wood plugs to cover up your screws and make everything all pretty.

Here I am pounding that fingernail ruining thing into place to complete production before Cheree paints the candlesticks.  Why am I Sideways, Cheree?  Too much beverage perhaps?

Next, find
a sad looking hunk of wood with no personality, grab some paint and rope and..........A STAPLE GUN
  ( Hooray for Tools!) 

Put Cheree to work pointing that Staple Gun in the right direction..........

 We should have turned our heads away because occasionally the staples "misfire", an alternative word for "crap, how did that happen?"

Finally, reward yourself with your favorite non-caffeinated beverage on your beautiful new tray!  Simple as that! 

Okay. Now it's time to
get dirty and sand some old barn wood . Don't be hatin' on our gorgeous facial accessories. Safety first ladies!  (Keep an eye on that door in the background. You'll see it later when Cheree and I have relaxation time).

Pass it on to Cheree to do the hard part-- Using an Electric Drill
(Hooray for Tools!!)

Wow!  Who looks that good while working?  Seriously.

Look what Cheree created with a few simple materials! And POWER TOOLS. A cool organizer for mail, lists, garden gloves or pictures of your kids (pre-Driving Permits.)

Remember those tables in the background in the garage (oops, Studio A)? Find the most beautiful, aged, well-worn, high personality door you can and give it a second life as a ......Wet Bar. Invite your friends over for Cocktail Hour and celebrate a productive day with tools. Thanks Diane for celebrating with us!

Display your favorite flameless candle on your new candlestick and relax in a hot bath to soothe your sore muscles. (Nest Home and Gifts, Mill Creek, WA)

Have fun and be safe out there, Ladies!  Hooray for tools!

Jill and Cheree

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse, Repeat!

Fun stuff going on here at With A Twist!  Recently, while at my other job (Nest Home & Gifts...check them out @ !) I met a man named Bob who, through conversation, found he is a like-minded vintage junkie too!  How about that?  Everywhere we go we are bumping into people who really appreciate the beauty and past stories behind old treasures.  Its amazing just how much we as a society throw away and discard without even a second thought.  Well stop!!!  Next time you are cleaning out the garage, ask yourself, "What else could this be used as?"  Or better yet, "Would this be something With A Twist could repurpose?"  Most likely, we would say YES, come get it from you and thank you (and maybe even bring you your favorite caffeinated beverage!).  Win, win!

This window pane was salvaged from a home in the University District in Seattle, Washington.  I have plans for this one so stay tuned!

This charming little door is a great find from Mount Vernon, Washington.    It would make a perfect entrance  to a telephone room.  What is a telephone room you ask?  Its a brilliant idea that the Europeans have enjoyed for years!  I have a dear friend who has made a telephone room in her home.  Let me tell you there is nothing like it!  It is amazing and I hope to showcase her talent very soon!

Another blank canvas with this vintage pine door from the University District!  Possible ideas for reuse include a wet bar, coffee table, headboard, a wall piece hung behind a sofa....You'll see this again in the near future, but it will be given a new lease on life :)

So many possibilities for this beauty!  Stay tuned for this beauty as well!

We hope you have enjoyed your visit with us this week!  Thanks for stopping by!


Cheree and Jill

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Be Your Own Kind Of Beautiful

There are people who see the world through a different filter.  Cheree and I think we fall into this category.  Our friends think we are a little crazy sometimes, but they humor us and just go along with it. I was at a cook-out over the weekend and commented on how beautiful the burn pattern was on the wood in the firepit.   My friends thought that was a little goofy, but they embraced my wierdness anyway.  When Cheree and I  are on our treasure hunting trips we see beauty where others might not--in a rusty hinge, a knothole in a piece of wood, a handmade tool, or a broken bottle.  Here's a few examples of OUR kind of beautiful!

                 The unique shape and multiple colors of rust and patina on this hinge really spoke to us.

A hand- forged bolt on a railing at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate.

    I bought this old wooden gutter because I loved this knothole so much!

A wall in a Church in the Jamestown, Virginia Settlement .  Ugly by today's standards, but the handmade clay bricks and  handmade mortar make it beautiful to us.

Simply a cool pattern of warped wood.
Creepy to some, but gorgeous to us.  A hand-carved gravestone/crypt in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia.

Wine bottles from the collection of Thomas Jefferson at his Monticello Estate.  In person, the irridescent colors were amazing.

    A hand- forged tool at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate.

Of course, the MOST beautiful thing in the world to Cheree and I is our family and friends. Let us know what YOU consider beautiful!

Jill and Cheree