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Designs by the Ardent Sparrow

Via Grey Likes Weddings, Photography by joielala, Shoot: Megan of Forget me Knot Weddings and

Tori and Myka of Sitting in a Tree Events

                    Rebecca Newport


Good morning!  I have been having fun perusing Becca Kallem’s artwork.  Those little birdie tags down below are a gift from her.  Artists do that, sometimes.  She gave me permission to share some images from her website with you.  You can check out her blog here and website here.  Enjoy!  I certainly have!


From Cocoa and Hearts by Jen Ramos of Made by Girl

Jess LCJo Gordon

They are roughly 12×4″ and are $60 for the pair.

Haha!  I like to amuse myself, when not with puns, with just cosmically nerdy phrases.  “Pigs in Spaaaaaace” from the Muppets works for me, too.  Anyway.  My point.  See the similarities in color between the paintings and the mood board?  Proof that gathering inspiration works.  The ideas permeate my mind, remix and reemerge, all because of a silly moodboard.  My advice for anyone trying to come up with a cohesive vision for a project is make sure NOT to skip this step!

I am reminded of a quote I came across the other day:  “Sow a thought, reap an action; sow an action, reap a habit; sow a habit, reap a character;  sow a character reap a destiny.”  -Stephen Covey.  That’s where the DESTINY part comes in.    I see this little corner of my life called ‘artwork’ and I notice how in the small and grand scale of life, the vision is just as important as the work that goes into making the vision a reality.

Also, if  ‘you make what you see’ is as true as ‘you are what you think,’ maybe I should lay off the J.Crew catalog, huh?



I am telling you about Karen Appleton’s Blog.  You’re Welcome.  Her subject matter is quite often presents.  I especially liked her post about mailing a ‘present’ (empty of course) so her participants could take pictures in random places and then share images.  The mail clerk asked the value of her package-package.  I think she started in on its value being “purely symbolic” before she gave up.  Anyway.  I’m a little bit obessed with her subject matter, her medium (oils), and her beautiful, beautiful, lovely, execution.  Enjoy!

Also Coming to Frost Me Sweet (if there is enough room on the walls!)

…I will try to add to this post as time goes on (rather than doing separate posts).  ‘Dibs’ are more than welcome; it would be fun to put ‘sold’ signs on some of these before they even go to hang!  Rest assured the sold sign would be super cute.

Hello readers!  I hope your weekend was sunshiny!  We celebrated in Yakima with our little cousin…he turned one!  Rest assured there was lots of frosting involved.  Sometimes my subconsious creates connections, in this case, a segue, without realizing it.  I wanted to tell you about the new artwork I will be showing at Frost Me Sweet here in Richland.

The cupcake that started it all (on my inspiration board)

Some ink and watercolor sketches

                                                                       Some photography….

                                                 Some snippets of rice tape that I stuck on to paper and then cut into shapes.  I may make one of my mini-collage- arrays out of these. 
Speaking of cupcakes, doesn’t this ottoman I picked up at the Teej (TJ Maxx) look like a giant edible?  Mmmm.  I may take it back.  Let me know if you want a heads up if I do!

People who say there is nothing to do in the Tri-Cities just need to hang out at Walgreens.  

Welcome to a little virtual vacay to Manzanita, Oregon.  It’s a quiet beach town with enough restaurants and shopping to allow you to get your ‘fix’ if you have your heart set on blowing through your spending loot.  It is also within close proximity to Cannon Beach, a more touristy (though charming) area with an amazing beach featuring the famous Haystack Rock.  We spent almost a week here and not only can we hardly wait to get back, we actually came back from vacation….wait for it….RESTED!

This is where we rented these keen recumbent bikes (and a kiddie trailer)!  We also wished we’d bought our cheapie kite here ($12) instead of Cannon Beach ($20).

Wanda’s is actually situated in nearby Wheeler, Oregon and in my opinion is a must-visit!  Breakfast  was GOOD.  Everything from the jam to the potatoes made me not just eat  in mindless comfort-food-mode, but made me sit up and go, “Hey, this is really tasty!”  While I’m on the subject of Wheeler, The Rising Star Café is another must-visit.  Pepi chuckled when I referred to a red wine as ‘peppy’ without realizing (yet) that was her  name.  Great family dining.


Also, go visit Unfurl.  Your husband might not even hate you for dragging him in.  I left my boys         behind so I pretty much wandered up and down Laneda Street at leisure.

In addition to being one of the two groceries in town, this one on the main drag (Laneda Street) carries some goodies from Wanda’s.

Snagged these rock candy lollies at Vintage Living, which is a candy store that carries nostalgic candies and some vintage-y  items.  I think I am in love with rock candy.  Isn’t it gorgeous??

Disclaimer:  This is not Florida.  Bring a different mindset, ready to accept whatever the ocean offers you.  Sometimes watching a storm from your porch and then basking on the beach in the later afternoon sun was on our daily activity list.

Manzanita Rentals– We had our eye on a place under renovation and although the place became available a little too late, I found these folks very pleasant to work with.

 Ocean Edge Vacation Rentals– Although we had a bit of a mix-up at the beginning, we landed with a free upgrade and champagne, so who’s complaining?  They only rent beachfront or ocean view.

VRBO (Vacation Rental by Owner)–  This site has the most pictures of the places you’re thinking about renting.  A good idea if you’ve never been and don’t have a recommendation.  The rental agencies seem to have a friendly camraderie.  Manzita Rentals recommended I check out Ocean Edge if we wanted beachfront or and ocean view, since all of their properties have one or the other.

Spindrift Inn- Nothing fancy, but good rates and… MAN!  Go grab a coffee and head to the beach!   A nice little stroll down the water.   I believe according to my code above, this would fall under ‘oceanview.’

By the way, from the research I did these phrases seem to be used in increasing proximity to the beach, so decide how important that is to you:

Short walk to beach

Steps to beach

Ocean View

Oceanfront/Beachfront  (IE, you are ON THE BEACH).  Expect to pay most for this.  Our place had an ocean view.  It is important to me to at least have a view, since I came for the ocean!  I like to keep it in my sights at all times and feel a little panicky and that I am wasting my time if I can’t see it.  I realize everyone is not as emphatic (read: neurotic) as I am, so decide what’s important to you and stick with that.

A pic in our rental of a ship crashing on these cliffs we looked at every day (Neahkahnie Cliffs).

                At the Farmer’s Market, we sat and ate a plate of noodles, listened to the music, and…ran into some people we knew!
Also in our tummies:
El Mariachi Loco (I recommend a regular margarita, blended),
Great Northern Garlic Company- I hear this is a do-not-miss and we missed it.  Don’t do it.  Go eat.  Go buy food for a picnic.  And don’t gloat about how good it was.
Marzano’s Pizza– Hit the spot after just an hour of beach biking!
              Quick Trip to Cannon Beach…                    It was fun to watch the crepe-makers in Cannon Beach.  Much quicker if you are hungry and don’t                  want to do sit down.
            Sleepy Monk: Really good coffee.  I would like to pretend to be a foodie blogger and say I like to get a mocha everywhere I go in order to compare.  The truth is, everywhere I go, I want a mocha.  They made a good one.  And we got some coffee to brew at home (which we are still drinking), so that makes me happy.  If you’re one of the people who actually read the text in blogs rather than looking at the pictures (I’m guilty of that…except here; I kind of have read this since I’m typing it), then you saw that I recommended getting a kite in Manzanita if you’re looking for simple.  My exception is if you’re a real kite person and want something more in depth, or if you actually need a repair.  Go a bit off the beaten bath to see the Wizard at Pinky’s Kite Factory.
More Manzanita.  Beach Beach Beach!!……
Goodbye beach.
        We love you, beach!!

….lookie what I got at Costco today!  ‘Flame Peony.’  I love the traditional shades of fushia, pink, and white, but this coral hued beauty was a refreshing twist.  Peonies are nature’s perfect flower.  Hardy, heat and cold resistant, prolific, rose-scented, full blossomed, did I mention hardy?  As in, hard to kill. Bouns.  

Hello, all!  I just wanted to post the final product from yesterday’s ‘process’ post.

..I just had to share this image from the May/June issue of Lonny, just released.  What an interesting painting!  The room is neutral, and most of the painting itself neutral, making the neons seem really important and interesting.

Dear friends, did you have a nice weekend?  Oh, is it Tuesday?  Oops.  Sorry, I went to Spokane this weekend.  More on that later.

I am starting to feel a bit better about my upholstery choices.  Exposed nailheads, see?  From bohemiennes Etsy shop.   Although, while I’m at it, might I add something to my upholstery post. If you’re doing your own upholstery, get a small hammer or a special tool for driving in the nails from afar, called a nail set. If I had done this particular couch with my rough methods, all that nice gold gilt would be dented to smithereens!  Hannah learns the hard way so you don’t have to.

Today I am starting a new post topic called Neons and Neutrals.  If you’ve seen glimpses of my house, you see that I have a lot of pale colors, raw linen, greige, whites, creams.  But I love color.  How do these two seemingly disparate concepts work together?  Well, I’m still figuring that out.  I think it has to do with creating neutral backdrops (I meant, LOTS of neutral) so that the colors really stand out.  This method isn’t for everyone, but so far, I have not gotten bored with it.  Ironically, I have gotten bored with many of my color choices. Also, with a neutral backdrop, not only do my color choices stand out more, but they are much easier to swap out when I’m feeling in the mood for something else.  Jen at Made by Girl launched her new line of paintings at Cocoa and Hearts, and I think she and I are on the same page in this department.  She has that white daybed, neutral rug and blanket and a white wall, and then Whammo!  Look at how that painting pops!  The sofas below are super neutral although a completely different style than Jen’s.  But imagine if you had one linen colored pillow with, say, a tiny hot pink heart on it.  Wouldn’t it just sing?