Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Workshop

I snapped a few pictures of our workspace at the studio on River Road. I always love seeing other people’s workspace. We’re getting ready for a photo shoot of some new products for the shop!

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This desk & hutch on the other side of the room was made by hand by one of our neighbors when we lived in Utah.

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We always have some tunes going while we’re working… Usually 80’s pop! (That’s the best! My husband often disagrees with me though.)

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This is an old handcart right outside the front door. This type of cart was used by the Mormon pioneers to travel across the country in the early 19th century. As the name suggests, it is pushed and pulled using man power! It makes for a fun backdrop.

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There’s a small irrigation ditch that runs around the perimeter of the yard. It’s fun for boat races, panning for gold, and a pretend castle moat. My daughter Clara would much rather play in the ditch than in the kiddie pool we set up for her.

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Here’s a scene we see a bit too much in our neck of the woods. There’s almost always a range fire burning somewhere close by in the summer months. This picture was taken from right outside the studio. It seems like at least every other year there’s a fire burning directly across the property and we are always crossing our fingers it doesn’t jump the river!

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Here’s another scene we see quite a bit. Did you know it can get rather windy in Idaho? Mix in some dry dirt and you can get a pretty dramatic dust storm!

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Thursday, June 16, 2011


Is it summer time yet? Holy cow, have we had a cold spring this year! It's mid-June and we maybe have broken 80 degrees twice. Today definitely isn't one of those days. River Road Ranch is our summer "retreat" and we've finally had the opportunity to spend some time there these past couple of weeks (despite the lingering cold weather!) Once we do some much needed spring cleaning and baby-proofing to the farm house (my baby is SO mobile now!) we will FINALLY be able to take some "after" pictures. It's all still a work in progress, but it's definitely on the cute side of rustic now. I am looking forward to many more days on the Ranch, as well as more time on this here blog. :)

In the meantime, here's a preview of some new & up-coming items to our shop!

I NEED to have an ice cream party so that I can use these cute little wooden spoons! Love them!

We hope your Wednesday is wonderful, and less windy than ours!
:) Alea

Friday, March 11, 2011

A Start

Hello Blogland,

My name is Alea and I am daughter to the most hard-working, creative, selfless person I know. My mom came up with the idea for this blog as a journal for our work and creative projects. The past few summers have been dedicated to work on River Road Ranch and we are excited to share our adventures with you!

My mom, Mary, grew up on the Ranch. She has stories about life in a small Idaho town, neat old cars that you were never sure if the breaks would make it to the bottom of the canyon grade, wild horse rides, apricot picking, and the best summers spent with cousins. My dad, Reyn, was born and raised in Alberta, Canada. He has crazy stories too about prize-winning bulls, growing up with 8 siblings, water-skiing in the irrigation canals and driving a pickup into the same canal (but you didn’t hear that from me!) My mom’s parents, Jim and June, still own River Road Ranch today.

My mom grew up in the little house on the Ranch (not to be confused with Laura Ingalls Wilder) back when the house was cute and looked-after, and it possessed a sort of rustic charm. Now after years of neglect and abuse, we have been trying to restore it to its rustic charm once again. A huge credit goes to my oldest brother Josh and his wife Donielle. Two summers ago they put their blood, sweat & tears into cleaning, fixing and beautifying the little house to be lived in, but now they have moved to Utah for work and school. My parents are taking over the cottage in the summers while they live and work in town the rest of the year. My dad, whom I’m convinced can build or fix anything, was and is our “general contractor” for the project. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING had to be renovated. From floor to ceiling, front door to back door, there were a billion things that needed a little (or A LOT) of TLC. The plumbing, the electrical, the wood stove, the kitchen cabinets, the walls, the flooring (including the sub-floor), the doors, the countertops, the sinks, the tub, the toilet, and the windows all had to be replaced or fixed. This past year we really tackled the outdoor projects: Pulling weeds, leveling the yard, pulling weeds, laying sod, cleaning the ditches, pulling weeds, fixing fence, planting a garden, and (you guessed it) pulling more weeds!

Now enough with all the talk. You can look at the "before" pictures for yourself!


Lovely green carpet in the living room. I also think that everyone needs some fly paper to hang from their ceilings. On a positive note, I love the archway inbetween the rooms. There's potential!

Crumbling drywall, three different UGLY colors of carpet, half-painted hardware on the doors...

Fake wood paneling! Yummy!

Now this is rustic. Ironing board lawn ornaments. Classy.

The exterior walls need some love too... and the roofing... and windows... and trim...
These previous pictures were from two years ago. It was the beginning of the beginning. The following  pictures are from the beginning of summer 2010:
My dad had fixed the loose planks on the deck and replaced the windows by this point. My mom was in the middle of staining the trim and deck. Isn't it looking SO much better?

We (I use this term rather loosely, I spent most of the summer indoors taking care of a newborn) laid sod in the front and side yard, but not until after the land was level. Why did my dad insist on the land being level? That explanation will come in a later post. We'll just say that it was a LOT of work, but it turned out fantastically well!
Now you've seen where we started. Looking at these pictures I seriously think my brother and sister-in-law were LOCO for even considering starting this project! But I'm very glad they did because they've shown me that there is potential for good in even the most unlikely things.

Stay tuned for the "after" pictures!


Nestled in a valley along the scenic byway in South Central Idaho, River Road hugs the curves of the mighty Snake River. This area is home to raft loving rapids, bald eagle nests, and the little summer studio of River Road Rustics. The sight and sound of rushing life-giving water lends an inspirational backdrop to creativity, a motivation to flow with nature and be inspired by its simplicities. We welcome you to the good life at River Road Ranch and invite you to experience its serenity through our stories, images and rustics product line.

The Snake River, as seen from River Road Ranch