Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm moving, virtually that is ...

Find me now at:

A lot has changed since I established almost three years ago. My zip code, my e-mail, even my last name. I decided I needed an easier to explain URL, and one that matches my new blog title.

Here's where the new name came from: Chic as in fashionable, smart, not the crass way to say lady. 907 as in the area code of all of Alaska, a place that defines many of my adventures and musings.

I have imported the content from this blog, so everything is now there and new posts not seen here. Please bookmark it and leave me a comment soon. Let me know you've updated or added my new link and I'll add you to my blogroll there!

Monday, December 27, 2010

How to make a Barbie dream house

I've been bursting to show off some of my DIY Christmas gifts, but had to wait until after the big day so I wouldn't spoil any surprises. I did quite a few homemade, or custom created gifts this year. This one is a collaboration with my friend, Kim.

She wanted to give her 5-year-old twins a Barbie dream-house for Christmas, but didn't want to break the bank on something that might break easily. With four kids, she knows delicate a plastic dollhouse wouldn't last long. So we embarked on a shopping adventure to find the right tools to build our own, sturdier version.
Originally, I was thinking we would make over a bookshelf, but then we found this storage cube shelf and it was already pink! Normally, $50-$60 for one of these bad boys, we walked on a $20 sale at Fred Meyer. Plus we had an extra 15 percent off coupon for housewares. [They had blue too, and I'm still kicking myself for not buying a couple when they were so cheap.]

The whole thing was pink, so we lined the shelves with wood-grain contact paper to give the house wood floors before assembling the shelf.
We bought a variety pack of scrapbook paper at the craft store and covered the back panels with the "wall paper" using clear contact paper to adhere it and give them a protective coating.
 I found a few unfinished wood jewelry/notions boxes at JoAnn's fabrics that made excellent furniture with a little acrylic paint.

For area rugs we cut circles and rectangles out of a bathroom rug from the Fred Meyer home section.
We painted balsa wood strips mint green and glued them to the corners to create molding to give the rooms a finished look.
Santa somehow knew the girls were getting a Barbie dream house and brought the girls furniture sets like this bathroom set complete with a flat-screen TV mounted to the towel rack. Barbie is apparently one classy gal.

 For a roof, we used a flag case from Michael's craft store.
They seemed to like it.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone. I hope your holidays are beautiful however you celebrate. We opened presents a day early to make the most of our time together. We felt very fortunate as we drove to a friend's house for dinner last night and saw a man who looked like anyone you might know standing with a sign "Need Work" and a phone number printed on it. He was visibly not your average corner sign-holder in Anchorage. My husband looked at me and said, "Kind of makes any of our problems seem smaller, huh?"

Santa was very good to us this year and I feel blessed to be spending my third holiday season with my little family. Merry Christmas to you and yours.
 "Can I please open this now?"

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Gaining daylight

I snapped this photo from my balcony as the twilight set in this afternoon. Today is the shortest day of the year, with just 5 hours, 26 minutes and 58 seconds of daylight in Anchorage. Tomorrow we gain 6 seconds of daylight, which may seem small, but it means a lot as cold winter days become brighter and lighter. Cheers and happy winter solstice!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Davin's Christmas progam

Davin's school performed an original play written by his teacher for the holidays. He played an 8-year-old boy (what a stretch...) in a play about a family who gave up their personal celebration to help make the holidays better for active duty military in their community. Scenes were punctuated by caroling sung by the smaller kids. To kick of the event we had music from the guitar students and a lone xylophonist.

1. The entire cast sings a final number. 2. Joshua sets up the video camera, preshow. 3. Davin takes his place for the first scene.

4. Playing Jingle Bells and I think of Schroeder. 5. Sheet music sits ready for the show. 6. Davin's guitar group does a last-minute rehearsal of their most difficult piece.

7. The Christmas programs. 8. The guitar sequence. 9. Students playing members of the military perform a patriotic song and dance.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A DIY Christmas

I don't know if it's the holidays or the 18 hours of darkness a day and single-digit temps, but I get the crafty bug this time of year. My Christmas decorating started on Thanksgiving Day when I hit a 5-9 p.m. sale with a couple friends and picked up this red and gold potpourri for my interchangeable centerpiece

1. With the leftover potpourri, I filled these martini glasses on my wine rack. It was the only other place I could think of displaying the stuff where my kitties wouldn't get into it ... which could be very bad for them. I also really wanted a poinsettia this year, but skipped it for the same reason.

2. I love this centerpiece because I can change it's look every season. This year, the potpourri with the gold candle to top it off.
This year I did a couple simple sewing projects.

3. New Christmas stockings for the boys so we would have a suedo-matching set. My mom made mine (center) and has lasted the years. I used red felt, green fleece and the silly reindeer trim for Joshua and Davin's stockings. I should have known that fleece is impossible to embroider names on, but wasn't thinking about that when I purchased it. Still searching for a way to add names.

4. A new Christmas tree skirt. I've never had one and have always improvised with a holiday tablecloth. This year I bought two yards of red felt and the snowball trim to finish the zig-zag edge. It cost less than $20 and was finished in one evening.
5. This is not my project, but one of Davin's classmates made him this tabletop tree and glued candy and fruit-rollups to it. Very creative and generous.

6. One of my favorite ornaments made by my mother has gotten several compliments from visitors this year. I was so inspired by the beaded ornaments that I was thrilled to find a beaded wreath kit at the craft store this year.

7. I knocked out about 12 of these beaded wreath ornaments with my feet kicked up watching Dexter one evening. They are shockingly similar to the ones my mom made for our tree when I was too young to remember.

I hope you're having a fun and creative holiday season regardless of how you decorate and celebrate.

My website

I recently purchased a URL to host my professional portfolio.

It's very simple at the moment, but a start for displaying my design work and portrait photography and hopefully drum up some additional freelance work. I did a couple family photo shoots this month and a newborn photo session. Also, I designed Christmas cards for the families, save the dates for engaged friends and have two more photo shoots in the coming weeks. This new project has been a whirlwind of fun and I'm excited to see where it goes.

I will still be blogging here about my Alaskan adventures, family fun and personal projects.As Kern This has been my blog, twitter name and phrase for many creative things over the years, it seemed like the natural choice for my portfolio and brand. To avoid confusion I'm going to need a new name for my personal blog.

For the non-design geeks out there. Kern This is a play on words involving design. To kern is to adjust the space between letters in typography.

Thanks for reading and please take a moment to stop by my portfolio when you have a moment. I'll be updating frequently. But don't stop checking in here. Thanks to my friends and family for all the support.