archive: July, 2010

a collector of nature

July 26, 2010

Posted by in handmade

knit a latte nature photos

knit a latte nature photos

knit a latte nature photos

knit a latte nature photos

this gals is a collector, knitter, photographer and overall nature enthusiast.  aren’t her creations beautiful?   i have really been enjoying the intricate detail and unexpected approach she takes to her work.  who would have thought to crochet a casing for pebbles to show the balance between delicacy and strength?  or to grow a garden in thimbles?  it’s so inspiring to see an artist push the envelop and deliver something so unique and natural. visit knitalatte to see more of her work!

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Posted by in home decor

ulrica wihlborg photography

ulrica wihlborg photography

ulrica wihlborg photography

ulrica wihlborg photography

ulrica wihlborg photography

ulrica wihlborg photography

raised in sweden now living in san francisco, ulrica wihlborg’s photography captivates timeless design with thoughtful scandinavian influence.  i love the clean lines and summer feel in these shots, and how she pairs photos to take the meaning to a deeper place.  from outdoor living to summer cooking and succulents to gardening- her work fits right in to some of the things i love most.

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Posted by in handmade

itty bitty impact

happy friday dear ones!  today i want to introduce to you one of favorite people around the web, tonia of itty bitty impacts! her blog is about taking care of the environment and how itty bitty things ready do add up and make a huge difference.  she takes such a fun approach to sharing with us how to minimize our impact, you’ll have fun learning as you flip through all the pretty pages of advice, tips and how to’s.

i wanted to share with you this video on how to make your own laundry detergent (isn’t tonia cute?)!  store bought laundry detergent is full of harmful ingredients such as quaternary ammonium sodium carbonate, sodium alkyl benzene sulfonate, sodium silicate, bleach, and some phosphates (just to name a few), and i don’t want to be wearing those or dumping them in the earth.  since ec0-friendly detergent is so expensive, this is an easy, very effective and affordable way to make your own laundry detergent at home that won’t harm your family or the earth.

if you haven’t already, enjoy perusing the pages of itty bitty impact where you’ll find advice on diy facial’s, green weddings, preserving herbs and so much more!

simple living

have a lovely weekend, see you here on monday! xo, bonnie

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diy t-shirt pillow

July 23, 2010

diy ruffle pillow

isn’t this beautiful?  you won’t believe what it’s made of- old t-shirts! the fab tricia at oh so crafty cut up one of her old t-shirts for the ruffles and used one of her husband’s old dress shirts for the front and back of the pillow.  the pillow closes in the back by buttoning and unbuttoning the dress shirt!  you can find step by step instructions on oh so crafty and be snuggled up with this fancy t-shirt pillow in no time.

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hello lovelies!  today i have two of my favorite veggie recipes to share with you! between the abundance of veggies at the local market and my small veggie garden, it’s been pretty easy to eat local around here.  how has it been for you?

roasted veggies with herbs

the first recipe is for roasted veggies with fresh garden herbs.  this is such a hearty dish that it could be used as a main course! served with pepper fried eggs over top would  make this a meal of it’s own.


  • - 2 medium potatoes
  • - 1 beet
  • - 1 medium zucchini
  • - fresh herbs (i used sage, dill, rosemary and basil)
  • - 2 tbs olive oil
  • - salt and pepper

roasted veggies with herbs


cube your veggies and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper.  place on a lightly greased baking pan in a single layer and add your herbs on top.  roast at 450 for 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

green  beans with almonds

i bought these heirloom purple green beans at our local market, aren’t they pretty?  this recipe is for my favorite way to prepare green beans- the flavors go so well together and they look beautiful as a side dish (any green bean will work, these turn green as you cook them)!


  • - fresh, local green beans
  • - 1/2 cup of almonds (whole or sliced)
  • - 1 tbs of olive oil
  • - 1 tsp of lemon juice
  • - salt and pepper

green  beans with almonds


thoroughly wash, cut and remove the ends (or string) your green beans.  boil in a pot of salted water until bright green, about 15 minutes.  meanwhile, head the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  add the almonds and stir until lightly browned (about 4 minutes).  add the green beans, lemon juice, salt and pepper.  toss until coated and serve!

want to learn more about eating locally?  check out the eating local page for seasonal veggies, recipes and tips on eating in season!

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Hello Blossoms!  I hope you are doing well and your tomatoes are and other plants are looking and tasting delicious!  This week I wanted to take some time to introduce you to some of my favorite gardening sites.  These are the sites I visit when I need some inspiration or information, and I love them all dearly.  I hope you enjoy and I hope you share your favorite gardening sites with me in the comments!

A Way to

This site is filled to the brim with amazing and entertaining information.  I have the biggest gardener’s crush on Margaret Roach and her approach to gardening.  She refers to that special something about gardening as  “woo-woo” and her description of it fills my heart with the wonder of plants and the earth and that amazing smell and feel of the soil. Her garden is scrumptious, what else would you expect from someone who was the first garden editor of Martha Stewart “Living”.  She also compiles monthly gardening chore lists that I do my best to follow….mostly…sometimes….well, I have my client’s follow them…

Fennel and Fern

Lovely photography and spotlights on some lesser known plants are why I visit this beautiful English gardening site.  I love their style and their ideas, especially this one to repel aphids and slugs using lemon juice and garlic:

2 large lemons
3 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of crushed chillis
1.2 liters of boiling water

1. Grate the zest from the lemons and add to a pan of boiling water, along with the chilli flakes.

2. Slice the lemons thinly and crush the garlic cloves and add to the pan. Cover and simmer for half an hour.

3. Leave to cool and decant into a spray bottle. Spray liberally over plants affected by aphids.

Here is Willi’s About Page introduction….I think you will quickly see why I am drawn to her blog!

Hi! I’m Willi Galloway. I got the idea for DigginFood while I was harvesting some greens. I was thinking about what I was going to make for dinner and I realized that I read tons of gardening and cooking blogs, but none of them focus on my favorite thing to do: cooking with food fresh from the garden. So I decided to create a site where I could blog about what was happening in my garden and kitchen, share growing guides and recipes for my favorite foods, and tell stories about other people who like to grow and eat real food.

This site is one my clients and I visit together when I’m trying to gauge the style of vegetable gardens that they may want.  The photography is beautiful, but the information and the recipes she shares are truly generous and genius. Basil ice creamYes, basil ice cream! I’m trying this out this weekend…

Basil Ice Cream – from DigginFood

What you will need…

2 cups whole milk

1 cup basil leaves

½ cup sugar

Pinch of Salt

4 large egg yolks

½ cup well-chilled heavy cream

Heat milk, basil and ¼ cup sugar, with a pinch of salt, in a heavy saucepan.  Bring to a boil stirring constantly.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, pour the mixture through a strainer to remove the basil leaves.

With a hand-held mixer, beat the yolks and remaining ¼ cup sugar in a bowl until thick and pale (about 1 minute).  Add the milk mixture in a slow stream and beat until combined.  Pour mixture into a clean saucepan and cook over moderate heat.  Be sure to stir constantly.  The mixture will begin to thicken and is ready when it coats the back of a wooden spoon – this will take around 6 minutes of stirring.  Do not let the mixture come to a boil.

Remove from the heat and poor in to a small bowl.  Place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water and stir until cold, around 12 minutes.  (I recommend making the ice bath before you cook the custard over the stove – the custard will cook quickly and, if you don’t cool it down immediately, you risk curdling the mixture).

Stir in the cream and freeze in the ice cream maker.  Once frozen, place the ice cream in an airtight container and put in the freezer to harden for at least 2 hours before serving.  Enjoy!

Studio G

Rochelle Greayer is the lovely landscape designer behind this blog.  She finds and posts wonderful gardens, new and unique landscaping products and creates lovely inspiration boards, such as the one above.  I find myself inspired and rejuvenated after reading her blog, and rarely do I browse away from it without having learned something new!

Dirt, the Movie

My dears, I have made no secret of my love and passion for healthy thriving soil. Sadly the earth and its soil are in danger. This movie does a wonderful job of educating, entertaining and inspiring….if you subscribe to Netflix you can watch it immediately.  I strongly encourage you to invite your friends and loved one over for a screening & discussion.  Their website also lists public screenings…please, please see this movie, talk about it and follow the call to action. Save our soil, save our seeds, save our earth!!

Before I leave you all this week – how ARE your gardens?  Let me know if you have any questions or concerns – I am more than happy to help you out, and I know that if one person is having a pest or disease or design problem, then others are too.  Bonnie is working on a post with some of the Q&A I’ve already answered for folks….feel free to add more questions! We also answer questions at the Ladybug Landscaping Facebook page!!

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streamlining production

July 21, 2010

Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

now that your craft room is organized and your creativity is nourished, let’s talk about some tips on how to streamline your production and be most effective at your craft!

stream line your handmade production

vintage samsonite suitcase

sometimes i find myself walking from one end of the room to another to gather different supplies, not being able to find something, or just taking a haphazard approach to my craft production.  instead, i want to try to envision my process as a big production factory and figure out which things they would streamline.  would they cut out all the appliques in one sitting? outsource an item that would save me money?  hire extra hands?

stream line your handmade  production

4 corning pyrex cups

first, figure out your craft from the inside out.  the first time i make something, it usually takes me forever and i make numerous mistakes.  but, by the 10th one i’ve made, i’ve usually figured out better approaches to take, how to save on materials, and in what order i should do the steps.  it’s not until you really learn your craft that you’ll be able to start streamlining it.

stream line your handmade production

fabric moth ornaments

crafting in batches. if you’re making one item at a time, break it down to see what the quickest method to make it will be.  can you do 3 steps in one area of your room before you move to the next?  if you’re making 10 (or 100) at a time, it will most likely save you time to set up a production line and work on all 10 items at once.

stream line your handmade production

club chair

time yourself. grab a clock and time the different approaches you take to production over the next week or so.  which method saved you the most time?

stream line your handmade production

mason jar votive

organize, organize, organize! think through your materials and supplies and keep them in sequential steps throughout your room, or have them all conveniently located in one place.

stream line your handmade production

bubbly basil wobbly bowls

get help. do you find yourself using most of your time printing postage and packaging goods? cleaning your room?  consider hiring help for tasks that take away from your production (and creativity).  here’s a great article by megan aumen on how hiring can boost your sales.

stream line your handmade production

a  day at the museum

minimize. are you making every part of your product, when in fact you could outsource some parts to save yourself time and money?  even something as simple as business cards are worth consideration for outsourcing if handcrafting them is taking up too much of your time.

stream line your handmade production


set goals. once you’ve determined your most efficient production method, set quotas for yourself.  it will help you stay on task, focused and extra-efficient.

how do you remain most efficient?

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umberdove studios

July 21, 2010

Posted by in handmade

umberdove studio

i recently found kelly clark’s studio, umber dove, and fell in love with her paintings!  inspired by nature and little woodland creatures, the way she breathes life into each painting is so beautiful.  the soft pallets of color and unique patterns she applies to seemingly ordinary objects draw me in and make me want to know more. from a gal who admittedly wears too much turquoise and sings aloud while she paints, her artwork makes me want to know more about her, as well!

elsewhere :: {shop} {site} {blog}

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