Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"Home is where we are if there's love here too" - Jack Johnson

My studio room in Santa Fe, NM

I was reluctant to post pictures of my room where I live now, just because it isn't exactly how I want it...but then I asked myself "WHEN will it be exactly as I want it?" And my answer is not for a long time because my heart is taking me to new places soon and hopefully I can continue on my gypsy ways for a while. So, with that said, this is where my HOME is now. My home is truly where my heart is. My heart is with the man of my dreams, Blake, my kitten, Raeni, food, shelter, and clothing, and that is everything I have here in this tiny studio apartment tucked away off the Plaza. 

When we moved in, the place was furnished, which was a blessing since one of us came to Santa Fe in a two-door '98 Jeep Wrangler and the other on a road bike. We needed a place that wasn't going to force us to buy kitchen utensils and a bed and furniture. We are on a mission to use what we have and spend as little $$ on things we will just need to pack up again. So, with that, I am doing MY VERY BEST to make our little place functional and comfortable. 

I took out most of the couches and benches because we just weren't using them and needed the space. I store one of Blake's bikes inside and he sprawls out his yoga mat every morning, so we needed the floor space. 

Our boards remain out because we have the opportunity to take them out often, which I am fond of. 

The suitcases are out because 1. I don't have the storage and 2. It reminds me I have them, and that I'll get to pack up one day again and move on. 

This picture is from standing at the door...TINY, I told you! The kitchen is off of this room, and the bathroom is off the kitchen. 

There is brick flooring that gets cold, wood walls, and a low ceiling. It is not much, but honestly it is perfect for me. I don't need much, I am a small woman, and I don't have a ton of time to be cleaning a huge house.

(Bad pictures after editing, sorry...working on 
investing in a better camera)

Other shelving for our clothes. Putting delicates in seperate clothed bins allows for better organization and easy access. 

The framed numbers are some of our race numbers. I like them up and framed because 1. It's good motivation 2. Good encouragement and 3. Good accomplishments. 
- I recommend that you put your awards and accomplishments up to admire no matter how beginner they are. It is a great way to tell yourself "I ROCK!"

This is the walk-in closet. Joking! But this is what I have got to work with, and it's perfect. I use the shoe holder for things other then shoes too, which is a great idea for storage use. I put my work clothes rolled up in them so they are ready for me when I am switching jobs. I also put my swimwear and gear rolled up in a pocket. I hang up my bags and scarves and belts along with sweatshirts, jackets, and nice clothes. The other half is Blake's side, including the laundry bag. 

Cook books, future sewing projects, and our other boards take up this corner.

The bedding came from the last house I was in. The tapestry is from a little shop here in town. Hanging it length-wise draws the eye up, and keeps from staying focused on the shorter things in the room.

This is also my desk. I don't have internet in my kitchen, so I can't use the table in there, and I'm not investing in furniture right now. Here and the coffee shop is where my work is done.

"My side" of the bed. Got to have the things I love out in the open, and easily accessible. I have my colored pencils, "The Color Scheme Bible", paperwork, decorating and health magazines on my shelves,  and of course my junk basket.

The drawers are next on my To-Do list of projects. The lights are from my old house in CO. The mirrors are also from that house and were from the Dollar Store (great find!) The picture frame is a drawing I did a few years. The little sun mirrors are from my grandparents from Costa Rica. I have had them up at every house I've lived in since I got them. The canvas painting is the logo for "Love Your Space." I wanted to have every part of my logo done by me, so I painted that and use bits and pieces of it for other things that I'd like to do with my future business.

That's it! That's the space that I love.

I wanted to show how easy it is to create a place that you can enjoy every day. No matter what you are working with you can find a little time and a low budget to move some things around, put a few pictures up, and call it yours.

"But I don't think that sculpture belongs in everyday life like a table does, or like a chair." - Anthony Caro

Kitchen Chairs: Done!

Remember my chairs I picked up from Goodwill months ago? I finally had the time to finish them and now the time to put them up. All I needed was a new stapler, more black spray paint, a sunny, dry day, and the time. 

I picked up a stapler for $24 and four cans of black KRYLON spray paint that was good for plastic @ $6 each.

Plus the previous price of $28 for the chairs and $22 for the spray paint and fabric.

I didn't use all of the spray paint, so I'd say this project comes to $86, which is steeper then I'd like to go for re-doing a set of chairs. But it is all about trial and error and starting somewhere with these projects. That and a lot of love.

List of the steps I took: 

1. Wiped down with soap and water, getting any dirt, dust, or grime. 

2. Sanded by hand all the plastic, just to rough it up. (I noticed a red color underneath the green, and I smiled becuase I was excited to be continuing a project on these chairs that have seen it before.) 

3. One coat of spray paint, let dry, then two, three, and finally four coats did the trick (I wanted to make sure I got every inch of those suckers black.)

4. I measured and cut the fabric to each chair. I used an exacto-knife to cut around the corners. 

5. I used a heavy-duty Gorilla glue to tuck in the edges around the bases. 

6. Starting at one side, I pulled tight underneath and tucked in as much edging as I could before stapling around the previous brass brads that were in it.

7. Then you go directly across to pull tight that side. Then do the other two sides underneath the same way. 

8. As the chairs were flipped upside down to staple on the fabric, the tops of the chair posts got scratched up, as well as tucking in of the fabric exposed more of the previous color, leading to...

9. There is a much better way to make sure the paint doesn't get on the fabric once you do wip that out AFTER the fabric is down. For some reason, not sure if my fingers were cold, but I couldn't manage to miss the fabric. Oh well, adds character to my new, first re-done kitchen chairs. 

10. They now sit it my tiny kitchen and are ENJOYED, bringing color and comfort to the tiny room. 

And it wasn't that hard. I'd say a total of 3-4 hours including picking up the tools and going  back to the store. I hope that it inspires you to work on some things to add spunk and glimmer and personality to the space that you love!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

"You can never own the snow but you can sure try as hard as you want to tame it."

Welcome to Cottam's Ski Shop in Santa Fe!

Now in it's fifth year open in Santa Fe, the Cottam family expanded out of their two shops in Taos and onto to the Ski Santa Fe mountain. It is located eight miles up Artist Rd. right in Hyde Memorial State Park. The building is historical and rented out for only the winter months for the Cottam's Ski Shop.

Because of the history and location of the building, and because it is only rented out in the winter months (summer months are mainly for weddings) all the equipment and gear is set up and taken down at the beginning and end of the snow season.

Above:  When we first got to the shop is was an empty building heated up only by the sun; which is close to it at nearly 7,000 feet. After loads and loads from trucks and the rental storages back in town, this is how we started. A few weeks of the weather getting chillier and boxes being taken down and bruises from ski boots, there was finally a shop right before Thanksgiving. The building is narrow, long, stoned, with concrete floors. There is a large firepit with the biggest fire I have seen. Outside there is a concrete patio with an outdoor firepit and a beautifuly large sledding hill right out the almost floor to ceiling windows. It is small and quaint and beautiful and fits the location perfectly. Tucked up in the trees and no noise from the city, when the cold comes in it is an experience of it's own to be working inside, with the fire roaring, the hot chocolate stirring, and the snow flakes falling softly.

Above:  The shop is all together! It took six of us weeks to get everything up and running. The hanging items and walls are up all without making a single hole in the building (the park rangers are protective of their building.)

The reason I am putting this process on my blog is because it does have everything to do with design work and especially organization in tight spaces. The funcionality of this shop is critical to getting costomers in and out of the door quickly so they may get some shred time in. Of course over the years they have all done a fabulous job putting things where they need to go and building the things that would help make it all flow right. There are new things and proceedures every year. I am here only for this season, so I am taking in and offering as much as I can.

I get to have part of my creative side come out with this job, and that makes me very happy. I can make  price signs, direction signs, dress manicans, set up displays and more! I love that part of the job.

I also love being able to talk about the weather, the snow, how to strap in a snowboard, offer tips that I know, learn about skis, cross-country skis, blades, and snowshoeing. Stomp pads, waxing, edging, boots, new gear, Burton rep meetings, Giro, Solomon, POC, Spy, Colombia, Volcom, Neff, Roxy... LOVE all of it!

Q & A with some of the staff at Cottam's:

Cooper Beacon - age 21, Taos, NM
Ski or snowboard: Ski, 18+ years
Time in Santa Fe: 5 years 
Years at Cottam's: 1st year
Favorite part of the job: Quality of the gear and the people
Benifits of this job: Being able to work and ski
Fave cold-weather drink: Hot mocha
Fave part of the shop: The clothing section and snacks. And the sled hill in our back yeard

Bonnie Holladay - age 28, Colorado Springs, CO
Ski or snowboard: Sledding since I was 4!
Time in Santa Fe: 3 months
Before this job: Fire fighter, National Park Service
Worst part of job so far: Cold building when there is no heat 
Favorite part of job: Awesome co-workers and costomers. And the beautiful building
Looking forward to the season: Because I have not been on skis since I was 18, ready to get back on the horse
Fave cold-weather drink: Hot chocolate

Curly O'Connor - age 49 & 10/12ths, New Zealand
Time in Santa Fe: 8 years
Years at Cottam's: 2 years
Worst part of the job: Calling, sorting boots just to have mixed-matches (pisses me off)
Favorite part of the job: Seeing people come back from having so much fun
Fave cold-drink: Hot black tea with milk and sugar
Will people enjoy the shop the way it is set up?: I believe so, it's hard to direct people sometimes when it is jammed packed, but flows pretty well otherwise

Such a blessing in many ways to be a part of this process and the ski culture of Santa Fe, NM. Thanks, Lyndsay Cottam for the opportunity and for sharing this experience. Love & Light to you and your family. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

"Sometimes life gives us lessons sent in ridiculous packaging." - Dar Williams

Answer this: Can I have a nature-friendly themed tree with sparlky, bright, busy presents under it?

1. Paper or plastic at the grocery store?
2. Remember those pine needles and pinecones from the last trip up on the mountain for the tree ornaments?
3. Hemp? Who doesn't love hemp?!
4. Stamps are too much fun to pass up!
5. Ta-Da

Paper bags from the grocery store make for perfect wrapping paper. If there is a logo on the front, no problem. Just turn them inside out. I debated for a minute actually leaving the logo on the front side of the packages. I decided while sticking to the vibe I was going for, the simpler the better would look good. BUT it's not a bad idea to leave the logo out. You could even add your own stamps or stickers to the packaging.  

I had already picked AND spray painted the pinecones for the tree I had made the other week. So I just pulled them out and spruced (haha) them up a bit. 

I grabbed a large roll of hemp (which has so many other green uses) from Hobby Lobby for no more then $6. 

I also had picked up the dove/peace stamp from Hobby Lobby along with an ink pad. I figured I could use the ink on other stamps I am bound to love AND I can re-use my stamp next year. 

And there, for a small, small fee, are my simply wrapped gifts under my semi-natural tree.