archive: July, 2010

Posted by in home decor

friday meets us once again! have you had a good week?  i have so enjoyed sharing, talking and getting to know you each of you more over the last few days.  today i leave you with some dreamy images from interior stylist, twig hutchinson:

interior stylist twig hutchinson

interior stylist twig hutchinson

interior stylist twig hutchinson

interior stylist twig hutchinson

interior stylist twig hutchinson

interior stylist twig hutchinson

i bet you can tell why i like these, huh?  what a beautiful job she does at depicting a slower, simpler way of life. the muted colors, comfortable settings and vintage touches take me to an easier time where all that matters is family and good food.  visit twig hutchinson to flip through the pages of her portfolio and see more of her interior styling first hand.

have a lovely, relaxing weekend- i’ll see you back here on monday!

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amy butler's love

ya’ll are all most likely familiar with amy butler’s fabric design, right?  anytime i walk up to a new fabric that i love, i’m not surprised to see that it’s usually from amy.  my home, sewing room and etsy shop are all full of amy butler fabrics- and just having them around seems to inspire my space and my creativity!  my only problem is that i often have a tough time finding matching fabrics to use in my appliques.  often, if i put pattern on pattern it’s too busy for the eye, or it just doesn’t look right. so, you can only imagine how i was excited to see this:

amy butler's solid fabrics

amy butler solid fabrics!  my sweet momma brought me  a stack of her beautiful solids yesterday and boy did i swoon.

amy butler's solid fabrics

see what i mean?  now i can use solids on prints and they don’t get all lost in the mix.

amy butler's solid fabrics

you can find them online, or call my mom’s quilt shop, a stitch in time, to order them directly!  they’re by far the most beautiful solids i’ve ever seen- and she’s got just about any solid you would need to match any amy butler fabric!

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Posted by in handmade

victoria klein 27 things to know about yoga

well, one of my favorite gals has done it again!  after being published in magazines such as yoga journal,CRAFT and ready made, victoria klein has written her first book!  27 things to know about yoga debuted yesterday, and is now available for purchase.  after practicing yoga herself for almost a decade, victoria’s new book is full of humor, facts and general know how about yoga.  with info regarding everything from proper equipment to the 7 limbs of yoga- there’s something for everyone.  it’s an easy read-in-a-day book that will help deepen your practice, clear up misconceptions and leave you ready for more.  visit victoria klein’s website for more info and to learn more about her incredible work!

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Fantastic rain barrel via Our Little Acre

To have an abundant garden you have to invest the time and energy to create a consistent and appropriate watering schedule for your plants. This will vary from garden to garden, but most plants will grow their best when provided with an average of an inch of water a week.  Sometimes the rain obliges, but most of us have to help our gardens along and supplement water.

The basic watering rule of thumb:

Water deeply, water slowly and water wisely.

When you water deeply and slowly you allow the water to permeate down to deeper layers of the soil, promoting deep root growth.  This creates a stronger, healthier plant with a greater resistance to stress and drought.

Watering wisely means knowing the water needs of your plants so you water enough for them to be healthy, but not so much that you are wasting water.  It also means treating water with respect and making certain that you are practicing responsible water conservation.  It means watering the roots of the plants, not the leaves. It usually means not using a sprinkler.

Fancy mini rain barrel by Bas van der Beer via Apartment Therapy

Watering your yard with a hose end sprinkler wastes water. Water is lost to evaporation, some parts of the garden are over watered, while others are under watered, and a large percentage of the water you use ends up running off the surface of the soil – doing your plants absolutely no good. A good test of how much water is actually reaching the soil is to place cups throughout your garden, underneath leaves and also in exposed areas.  Turn your sprinkler on as you normally would and then check the cups to see how much water is in them.  This is the same amount of water that is reaching the root zone of your plants.

Square rain barrel

My preferred method of watering a garden is through drip irrigation.  This is a system of small hoses that is wound through the garden, around plants and under the mulch.  When it turns on, it releases a slow, steady drip of water that travels deep into the soil.  There is very little waste from evaporation and the roots of my plants are watered, keeping fungi encouraging water off of my plant leaves.  Soaker hoses are another choice, although by the time you buy enough to take are of a large garden you have spent about as much as a DIY irrigation system.

I buy local for my irrigation supplies, but I highly recommend Irrigation Direct or The Drip Store. I have had many clients buy through both of these sites – they experienced friendly and knowledgeable customer service and great products.

Round rain barrel

I have my watering system on a timer.  If the weather has been very dry and hot I will supplement water, but mostly I just set the system up once and let it do its thing. I follow the manufacturers directions regarding winter preparation and spring wake up, check the lines regularly, am careful where I dig…(learned that the hard way)…and call for help and advice when I need it.

I cannot recommend rain barrels highly enough -aren’t these ones pictured gorgeous! I use my rain barrel to water my containers and house plants as well as to supplement water the gardens when needed.  I absolutely love them and encourage you to try them out.

Rain barrels can be a bit pricey – here are some links for tutorials to make your own:

http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/hot-tip/how-to-25-diy-rainbarrel-094708

http://www.re-nest.com/re-nest/how-to/how-to-make-a-rainwater-collection-barrel-043903

Here is a great idea from Michelle Kaufman – creating attractive screening for inexpensive rain barrels!

Have you tried rain barrels yet?  How do you water your garden?  Any tips or tricks to share – I would love to hear them!

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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

sometimes, being a craftster can can mean being lonely.  many of us work out of our home and sell solely online, so it can be hard to even see the light of day!  often times family members or other professionals simply don’t understand crafting, let alone leaving the workforce to pursue it full time.  the good news is, there are many of us who do understand!  with craft communities and forums popping up all over the place, it’s easy to find like-minded supportive people, doing the same thing you are.  today, i’m going to share some of my favorites with you!

craft community

the first craft mafia was founded by 9 crafty gals in austin, tx.  now there are groups located in over 30 cities and new ones being started all the time!  craft mafia is a community of indie biz owners in the handmade market out to serve other entrepreneurs by meeting together and empowering each other’s craft.  they offer resources and advice through their website and even give you the opportunity to start your very own craft mafia in your town!

craft community

craft sanity is a unique blog and podcast site for the craft community where you can tune in to hear your favorite artists interviewed and latest books reviewed.  the site is dedicated to all the crafty souls out there, so you’re sure to  feel right at home!

craft community

crafster is a nationally renowned online community where people can share hip diy projects and get involved with the crafting movement.  it’s the largest online community indie crafts and is regarded by many as one of the cornerstones of the recent renaissance in crafting known as the “indie craft movement.”

craft community

get crafty is an online forum where you can create an account, post pics, share your blog and discuss topics with other crafsters in a forum setting.  with plenty of articles on projects, a diy guide and stories from around the community- you’ll be busy for hours!

craft community

supernaturale is an indie site dedicated to the diy culture in all its glorious forms. from simple afternoon home improvement projects to radical lifestyle choices- everyone is welcome.  they celebrate ingenuity, creativity and the handmade and with an online magazine, a bbs and group blog called glimmer, they’re a bursting community ready for you to join!

craft community

the switchboards is a place for indie business women to get together and talk ‘shop’ in a creative, supportive atmosphere.  founded in 2004, they’ve done a lot to publicize creative women in business through using forums, product displays, mutual link sharing and joint advertising.

craft community

whip up is a community of artists, crafsters and makers who share ideas in a central space. it’s about experimentation, innovation, self expression and the sharing of information and ideas.  take time to create and let them support you in moving life into the slow lane to better enjoy the experience of it.

craft community

cafe handmade is where the craft community can come together, discuss topics, share their blog, shop, join groups and even attend a virtual craft show! with tons going on and lots of ways to get plugged in, you’ll find a spot for you in no time.

what are your favorite ways to get involved?

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diy printed paper garlands

for summer parties, birthdays, craft booths or decor- i thought this tutorial for printed paper garlands would be perfect for sprucing up a room or get together. with a couple of old books and some ordinary supplies, you’ll have dainty, vintage library feel in no time!

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Posted by in simple living

most of you know that i keep a small flock of backyard chickens (you can meet them here and here) and today i want to discuss the basics of why chickens are great to have and how you go about doing it.  i know some of you are just dying to eat fresh eggs every morning, right?!

how to start a backyard flock

{photo: my pet chicken}

let’s talk about the not-so-fun part first (skip down if you’re not into gruesome details).  this is a hard subject to swallow, but one we all need to become much more educated on.  unfortunately, industry standards for producing (any kind of) meat aren’t sustainable, nice or fun to learn about. the farming industry is pushed to increase revenue and decrease time so hard that the result is unhealthy, unhappy animals.  chickens are generally kept in cages in a factory building with no windows.  kept in such close quarters and breathing nothing but fecal dust, the farmer’s are forced to feed them antibiotics to keep them from getting sick.  growth hormones are added to their food in order to increase egg production, or in the case of meat birds, increase their breast size.  sadly, many of these bird’s breasts get so large that they can’t remain standing, and topple over from the wait instead.  egg layers kept in cages stacked on one another get feces dropped on them from the birds above and often times they’re feet actually grown around the wire cage from inadequate room to move.  we end up eating the growth hormones and antibiotics that are present in the meat and it in turn effects our health.  due to added hormones, girls and boys are hitting puberty earlier than ever and we’re as a population becoming less immune to antibiotics as they are being found in any meat we eat that’s not organic.  these hormones and antibiotics have many more ramifications but one of the largest is that it ends up in our breast milk which we feed our newborns.  so without going into too much more detail: after learning about the incredibly unhappy animals and destruction to our environment caused from industry farming, the antibiotics and the hormones, i decided to raise my own chickens (and ultimately become a vegetarian).  i truly believe we are what we eat, and i don’t want to eat added nasties in my food or consume animals that were never happy or ever saw the light of day. if you’re interested in learning more, my favorite book about it all is called veggie revolution.

how to start a backyard flock

{farm fresh eggs}

now- onto more pleasant subjects!! there’s a lot to learn about keeping hens, but the good news is that after researching lots of hobby farm animals, chickens win for the easiest and most fun animal to keep. so let’s start off with the basics: why would you want chickens?  in addition to the above reasons: chickens don’t take up much land, are excellent for your garden and fertilizer, drastically reduce the number of ticks and other icky insects in your yard, are easy keepers, hilarious to watch and give you yummy eggs every day.  a recent article from mother earth news shows that eggs raised on the farm have:

• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

and, i feed mine organic feed which means i have organic eggs at my disposal all the time! we stick to using our hens for eggs, but raising chickens for meat is another fantastic way to eat sustainable, local meat and say no to harmful industry standards.

how to start a backyard flock

my chicks the day they arrived

now that you now the why, we can move onto the how!  more and more cities are now allowing you to keep chickens within city limits.  check with your city or see chicken laws to see if your’s applies.  getting and raising chickens are easy.  my hands-down favorite place to order chicks is from my pet chicken.  with a minimum order of 3 (count them, 3!) chicks, you can pick and choose which breeds you like.  they’re shipped out the day they hatch and arrive within a few days, all healthy and ready to meet ‘mommy’! all you need is a warm place to put them (i use a cardboard box), a waterer and a feeder.  they’ll be big enough within about 5 weeks to be moved to a coop and soon they’ll be running around your yard!  my pet chicken’s free e-care book has all the information you need about getting and rearing baby chicks, so i’m going to send you there for all the nitty gritties (but it’s easy, i promise!).

how to start a backyard flock

{chicken and the egg}

what kind of chickens are right for you? there are many different kinds and reasons people want chicks.  some are for show, some are just fun to look at.  some are colorful egg layers and some are only for meat.  i picked mine on temperament (i wanted them to be sweet and not too ‘flighty’) and egg production.  between my pet chicken’s breed list and henderson’s handy dandy chicken chart- i had a list of fav’s in no time.

how to start a backyard flock

{silkie chicken}

where will you put them? in the first few weeks they’ll need to be somewhere that you can check in on them numerous times a day.  i usually keep mine in the kitchen for a few weeks, then move them out into a heated barn, garage or extra room.  after they’ve gotten big enough (about 5 weeks), you can move them to a coop.  i’ve seen just about anything work, from a big walk-in coop to an old broken down car!  anything that protects them from the weather and other wildlife (think snakes, cats and wolves) will suffice.  you’ll need to be able to securely close them up at night and let them out in the morning.  the setup should be very easy- they’ll need a pole to roost on at night, one nesting box per 4 birds to lay their eggs in and a feeder and waterer.  if you live in the city or a close knit neighborhood, you’ll want to keep them in a fenced in area, yard or run, and if you live on acreage you can let them roam free!

how to start a backyard flock

{photo: my pet chicken}

some misconceptions:

- chickens smell. they don’t smell at all!  as long as you keep a clean, dry coop all you’ll get is a whiff of cedar shavings.

- chickens are loud. my girls hardly make a peep.  sometimes in the morning they’ll squawk as they lay an egg but generally my neighbors can’t hear anything.

- you need a rooster. chickens don’t need a rooster to lay eggs!  in fact, no industry egg from the grocery store has ever been fertilized.  the only reason you need a rooster is if you want your eggs to hatch. (and roosters are where the noise comes from)!

- different colored eggs taste differently. i have blue, green, white, beige and dark brown eggs and they all taste the same!  egg color is a result of the color of calcium build up they have in their bodies, that’s all!

- chickens are stupid. sorry, mine are smart. i promise.

- chicken’s and kids don’t mix. they do! hens are sweet, don’t peck and can be great teachers to young kids about where food comes from.  i’ve seen many kids gathering eggs and carrying their hens around the yard!

how to start a backyard flock

my day old chicks

my favorite resources:

- FRESH the movie – a feel good short trailer on farming practices – it’s so good!

- veggie revolution - about industry farming practices

the femivore movement – my fav article on chicks with chicks

my pet chicken’s free e-care book- a MUST read if you’re considering buying chicks!

living with chickens – a beautiful and very informative read on rearing chickens

this is a big subject with lots to discuss, i’ll meet you in the comment section to answer any questions or for further discussion! love, bonnie

simple living

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Posted by in handmade

city chic country mouse

i’ve always loved city chic country mouse, and this time around i’m excited to introduce them to you as a ghtr advertiser!  whether it’s the dishes, laundry, cooking or ironing, this mother-daughter team has a special way of turning household chores into a time to look forward too.  remember my new ironing board cover? it makes my room an inspiration and my time at the ironing board much less daunting.  with a new line of organic ironing board covers, you’ll enjoy browsing their shop and learning more about these fun gals, enjoy!

interested in advertising on going home to roost? click here to find out more!

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