Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Happy Beltane

Happy Beltane to witches and wise-ones, one and all! Spring is all around us and it feels so good. This is my favorite time of year.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Seasoned: an online and print mag worth reading!

Sometimes I read trash. As in completely useless, superficial, empty crap that does nothing for me but somehow sucks me in. It could be a tabloid magazine or a silly blog, or those yahoo news articles that are like "Celebrity Learns of Her Own Divorce on Twitter." Totally devoid of any nutritional value for my mind, but such a guilty pleasure. 
Other times I read something so full, so packed with useful information and inspiring ideas, that I want to read it over and over and I actually miss it when I'm done. I have a feeling that Seasoned, a digital and print magazine written by a group of totally rootsy and amazing homesteading women/bloggers, will be one of these that feeds my spirit. It is published quarterly and includes an abundance of recipes, articles on living in a healthful and conscious way, homesteading in various environments and living situations, and tips for being in touch and in tune with the seasons! Doesn't that sound like a great read?! And it is all written and photographed and assembled and dreamt up by a group of inspiring people who really live what they write. 

Today one of the creators of Seasoned is hosting a giveaway on her blog and the winner will get two issues of Seasoned and a handful of other goodies that could each merit their own blog posts. I'm entering and I've got all my finger and toes crossed for this one. Wish me luck friends! 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Remember our hummingbirds?

Well look at that, it's already mid-april and I haven't blogged in weeks! oops! It's easy to fall out of the habit of blogging, taking photos, writing posts. I've changed jobs which led to a substantial decrease in the time I spend on the computer, but excuses aside I really do miss this little blog of mine. 

A few updates are in order, and the first one that I owe you is on our little hummingbird hatchlings! 
Just as I was starting to feel anxious that there might be something wrong, that they were taking too long to hatch, that their momma had seen me creeping about and abandoned them, nature proved me wrong with the sight of two fuzzy, motionless, winged little babies. Over the next two weeks they grew so quickly. I could see their beaks getting longer and starting to hang over the side of the nest, then their little heads popped up with their wide and watchful eyes. They started to get so cramped in their tiny nest that their momma would perch in a different tree and watch them from afar because she didn't fit with them anymore. She was a good little momma, always buzzing around the yard eating it all up and then returning to her little babes to feed, feed, feed. 
They developed distinct 'personalities' (I use that word cautiously) and tendencies. One little guy would be tucked down into the nest, snuggled up tight and facing away from our house, while the other was much more mobile. It would always be turning around, rearranging its wings, and repositioning itself almost on top of the other bird. 
They have been out of the nest for about two weeks now. It happened one day when we gave a friend a ride to LA. In the morning as we were leaving we all noticed that they were perched on the branch next to the nest and I had a feeling that they were getting brave and starting to explore, but I was still surprised and concerned when we got back that evening and they were nowhere to be seen. I even checked the ground under the nest to make sure that no one had fallen. But of course they are fine and we even get visits from one of them and we are almost sure it is the more mobile, alert one from the nest. It still has brown feathers where the adults have iridescent blue or green ones and it is very brave with us. It gets very close and perches on one of the bean trellises in the garden. The whole experience was a treat every day and I missed them for about a week after they had flown. 

Here they are as little hatchlings! If you try you can see a little wing on the left and a little head on the right. 

And here they are getting bigger. They blend in really well (duh) but I tried to make them a little easier to see.. find the beaks and you will find the birds. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Garden Growing

Our seedlings made their debut a few weeks ago in their little planters on our kitchen table and some of them are finally ready to make the transition to the garden beds. So far the hardest parts about being gardners have been waiting for the indoor seedlings to sprout and knowing when they are strong enough to be planted outside. The tomatoes and basil are still so teeny tiny and frail that we think they might not be doing so well, especially in comparison to the sunflowers, peppers, and squash which sprouted out of the soil overnight like little green arms and have grown inches in a matter of days. 
Our strawberries and snap peas were starters that we bought so they are looking pretty robust! Sadly our first little berry was a bird snack for somebirdy else so we will have to wait to taste the next one. The sweet peas, romaine, parsley, spinach, and beets are all sprouting on their own little schedule so honestly we just water and wait. There's lots of wondering if this little shoot is a beet or a weed, and if this little sprout is lettuce or a volunteer from the last garden... it's so much fun and the suspense is killing me! 

I haven't gardened in a really long time and it has been such a special way for me to reconnect to my childhood and specifically to memories of my Grandma Jackie. It's also pretty much me and Joey's favorite hobby together lately and such a fun learning process. There is a wealth of gardening knowledge out there but sometimes all that learning the right way to do things is exhausting and you just have to put some seeds in the ground and trust the planet to do what it does. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Traveling East

Something very special happened yesterday. Joey and I both had a day off! To celebrate we made a day adventure to Vista, where we visited the brewer's supply store and stocked up on supplies for Joey's newest endeavor: hard cider! Then we ate at the Yellow Deli (disclaimer: we thought they were just a bunch of food-loving hippies, turns out they are quite a Christian bunch).  
Then up the foothills we went to Julian, where we cleaned out the day's supply of raw apple juice (for the cider project). 

I have never been on a weekday and Tuesday looked like a ghost town. Half of the shops were closed and there were about 25 people walking around instead of the 200+ weekend crowd. It was really nice to see it in a more quiet way. 

We walked up to the top of the hill through the cemetery and saw more blue jays and woodpeckers than I've seen in my entire life. The view from up there was nice and the afternoon sun was perfect for strolling around. 

We headed home very excited about our new brewing hobby and decided to make a space for the carboys in the bathroom closet. Stay tuned for a post about the whole process! 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Wedding Inspiration

No no no, I am not getting married any time soon. But by the amount of wedding table settings or floral arrangements on my pinterest you might think otherwise. The truth is I just find weddings to be really magical and inspiring. The idea of wedding planning is something that really draws me and I think about it a lot. It's a celebration that really allows for the right mix of all of my favorite things: love, family, friends, dancing, food, drinks, good spirits, and the magic of saying vows which to me looks more like reciting a spell when it's done right.
This Big Sur wedding featured over on Once Wed has my wedding heart aflutter. It is such an intimate reflection of the couple, and I love how the bride describes the reception, "We wanted the feeling of the dinner to be more like an other worldly feast from a lost time - enchanted and somehow bewitched!" So good!

All photos here

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dog Sleepover

I miss my furry friend. His nose, his ears, his high pitched whine. I miss having him around all the time and he misses me too! So Joey and I invited Marley over for a sleepover at our new house and it was such a blast that we are going to make it a weekly thing. Here are a few of the highlights: 

He loved our HUGE yard so much that he spent all of his time either running around it like a maniac or crying at the door to be let back out. Not pictured: we attached Joey's bike light to his collar so we wouldn't lose him into the dark abyss, and it made us laugh to see this blinking red light darting around the yard. 

We did lots of ear scratching and gazing into each others' eyes. 

No sleepover is complete without a little gossip. Marley mostly listens. 

Such a sweet face. He's like a deer and a fox at the same time. 
P.S. Sorry for the grainy photos! My iPhone + our dark little hobbit house make for some difficult lighting. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Little House Living: the living room

Decorating a tiny space and making it feel cozy is not really a challenge, it's the staying organized part that is hard. With two lives worth of stuff to fit into one small space, I knew we would have to get creative. Having a piece of furniture or area of the house that only serves one purpose is for mansion dwellers. We needed more uses for less things. My favorite piece of multi-functional furniture we have is our couch. Joey built it for us out of shipping palettes and a futon mattress and we love it! Bonus: we use the slots underneath as a book shelf. And that little table to the left of it is a brass-topped beauty that I found at a garage sale. Now it holds a lamp, some candles, fairy cards, gemstones, and some coasters while also hiding the baskets below it. Which brings me to baskets: the best and most attractive way to hide your belongings in a small space. These ones hold my weaving materials and other fiber bits, our terra cotta and stone clay collection, and extra boxes of tissue. The ones under our bed hold my makeup (the bathroom is a story for a different day) and all my extra purses/scarves/tapestries, and a bunch of Joey's things. I always find good ones at Ikea or Cost Plus World Market.

And now if you will direct your attention to the area just above the side table... this weekend I hand-dyed curtains! Two out of three of them were a success (not bad for my first try) and this little gauzy one is my favorite. I went for an ombre effect using a deep blue and then I folded over the top leaving the rough edge exposed and made some little golden stitches. The dying was a mess and not as easy as I had hoped, but I might try again.  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Love Note to a Pal

During a recent visit to Cost Plus World Market I came across these little mints that my friends and I were obsessed with while we were in Amsterdam during our Spanish year abroad. I grabbed a few boxes and planned on mailing them, and what better time than now in the form of a sweet little valentine?!
This little DIY is great for any small boxed candy and the double-wrap job makes it totally mail-able, so  if your pals live far and wide just slap a stamp on it! 

Begin by folding your envelope from the bottom so that it is the same width as your candy box. This will make it so that the card can be wrapped inside of the package in case you plan on mailing it. Secure the folded end with tape, leaving the flap free. Personalize your tag and tuck it into the envelope. Add confetti hearts. 

Secure the envelope with some fancy tape to keep all that confetti inside, and then decorate the front with a little something too. Now wrap your candy box in a layer of tissue. I like the mint color for some contrast. 

Now place the card on top of the box and wrap the pair in the outer wrapping. Secure the ends with pretty tape and then add a twine bow.

If you are sending it through the mail, now is the time to adhere your address label and stamps. I decided to place the whole box in a glassine envelope and adhere the addresses to that so that my bow would be tucked inside. Otherwise, just skip the bow because it might get caught in the robotic arm of the postal center. Part of the fun is seeing the surprise and delight of the postperson when they ship this festive little love note for you. Imagine how boring white envelopes get 8 hours a day! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pre-Spring Florals

It's still winter but a little visit to my pinterest and all this floral goodness has me ready for spring! So I made a little mood board with a few of my favorites. Happy Wednesday!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Little Love Gifts

Oh hey, February! How nice of you to finally join us. Obviously we all know that Valentine's Day is right around the corner and in honor of this month of looooove I thought I'd start a little series of DIY posts centered around small tokens and gestures of love and appreciation to spread those lovin' feelings all around. 
This one is for the birds.
Whether you craft a lot or just a little bit, chances are you end up with scraps. Scraps of paper, yarn, thread... my desk (and the floor around it, and the bottom of my socks) is often covered in little bits and pieces of this or that and I like to gather it up from time to time and donate it to the architectural pursuits of my feathered friends. Come nesting season those little threads and yarns will make the perfect addition to a bird nest near you! And when lovingly packaged this makes an adorable little gift for a bird-loving friend. 
As far as DIY's go, this one is so easy. Just gather your little scraps, a small vessel of some kind (I used a tiny envelope), and some fancy pens or stamps. I labeled the outside of the envelope "nesting materials" and noted that it is intended "for bird friends." Then, I added a simple branch stamp that I carved by hand. Now just add your nesting bits and you are ready to give a gift that will keep on giving! All the recipient needs to do is place the nesting materials outside and wait for the birds to make their selections. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Lies We Tell Ourselves

I came across this amazing blog today and had to share. It is written by a graphic designer who hand letters (beautifully!) these hilarious drawings that each show a little lie that we tell ourselves throughout the day, and she calls it Daily Dishonesty. Genius. 

And she even sells prints in her shop!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mood Board

Here's a little mood board I made for the new house. Dreamy and green and soft and cozy, where the mountains meet the sea.
All of the photos are sourced from my pinterest boards, so feel free to browse there for more. Happy Tuesday!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Little House Living

So now that we know we really get to live in the Little House we can finally indulge ourselves by dreaming up decorating ideas and mentally arranging and re-arranging furniture that we don't even have yet! It was so so so hard not to do this before we knew we could live there, but we tried not to because we didn't want to get our hopes up too soon. Our budget is even littler than the Little House, so we are sticking to garage sales, thrift stores, 'free' signs in people's driveways, etc to find all the things we still want. But in my opinion that's the most exciting way to decorate so even if we had a bunch of money I  would probably still scour craigslist like a maniac searching for the perfect chaise. 
Here's our current shopping list, designed by yours truly. Can you tell I'm excited?!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Big News, Little House

It's happening! After weeks of dreaming and quietly hoping... we are moving out!! Joey and I will officially be roommates in an adorable little house with a garden and trees and a porch and we can't wait. The house is tucked behind the house of one of our friend's parents and Joey has actually lived in it once before by himself a few years ago. He made breakfast for me there before I left for Spain and ever since then this little house has been imprinted on my mind in a very special way.  

Big things going on around here! Between job changes and house changes, 2013 isn't looking a whole lot like 2012. All my pinterest pins and blog posts about tiny cabins and funky houses have come into being, and I am beyond excited. Get ready for lots of updates on our little house life! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Little Houses I Love

I've mentioned before how much I love little houses... and today I am feeling some major little house love! Remember the magical site called Cabin Porn? If ever you feel the need to dream of some dreamy little houses, Cabin Porn will not disappoint. For proof, see the beautiful, cozy, tough little houses below: 
1 & 2 & 3