archive: June, 2011

Posted by in simple living

herb drying

there’s nothing quite as satisfying, more delicious, (or cheaper!) than drying your own herbs.

herb drying
i am blessed to have fresh rosemary, oregano, and lavender growing in my yard (with some mint and basil patiently waiting to be planted) and yesterday i grabbed a few clippings from each of them.

herb drying

one of my favorite kitchen gadgets has been my ceramic herb drier. mine looks like a ‘ribbon’ that has been placed in somewhat of a figure eight shape, and though i can’t find this exact one, i found several that would do the trick. just rinse your herbs and place them in the ‘vase’ until they are dry enough to harvest.

herb drying

1. vertical pod wall vase; $29

2. blue and brown hasta wall vase; $34

3. textured teal beaded wall vase; $24

4. cage wall sculpture; $42

what is your favorite way to dry herbs?

simple living


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Posted by in handmade

emerald and ellalately, i’ve had birthday parties, barbecues and picnics on my mind. when i found emerald + ella, visions of the most lovely parties started to form. sipping lemonade from paper straws and eating lemon blueberry muffins wrapped in beautifully striped cupcake liners. i think they’ve got just about every kind of kitchenware to make your next gathering one to remember.

emerald + ella: {website} {etsy} {facebook} {twitter}

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thai green curry

June 14, 2011

vegan green curry

green curry is one of my most favorite dishes to order at a thai restaurant. recreating it at home however, has always been a bit tricky for me. i tried yet again to get the ingredients just right this week, and i think it was a success (there were no leftovers, anyways)! i served it with brown rice and a sprout salad, and it hit the spot.


– 2 tbs olive oil

– 2 tbs green curry

– 2-3 cups of chopped mixed veggies (carrots, onions, peppers, zucchini and cauliflower work great)

– 1 can of coconut milk

– 1 block of firm tofu, cubed

– fresh thai basil (optional)


heat oil in a medium saucepan and stir fry veggies until tender and lightly browned. add the coconut milk, green curry and tofu and bring to a boil then reduce heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes. add a few leaves fresh thai basil (if you have it) and enjoy!

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a floral band

June 14, 2011

Posted by in handmade


britt hermann’s artwork (discovered via homeground) stands out to me in a beautiful way. something about the darkness draws me in and makes me want to know more. britt shares with us that she loves working with her fingers, charcoal and a good cup of tea, i’m betting that all three were involved in the making of this piece. i love it.

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diy patchwork art

June 14, 2011

DIY 3d box art

when i saw a similar piece of art to this one in diy magazine’s winter 2010 issue, i started collecting colorful clippings right away. last week, i finally got to put them to use in this colorful patchwork art! i think it might be my most favorite piece of art in the house, and it only took me one afternoon to make. here’s the how-to!

DIY 3d box art

1. one large frame, i used this one from ikea.

2. diamond ruler (this fons & porter one would work)

3. a sewing ruler*

4. a rotary cutter*

5. easy tack adhesive

6. matte mod podge

7. rotary cutting mat*

*if you’re not a sewer, you most likely don’t have these items, and that’s ok! they make your life easier, but you could just as easily trace around the diamond ruler and hand cut out each diamond.

DIY 3d box art

you can use materials from just about anywhere! i used magazine clippings, fabric pieces, cork board and crafting paper. the options are endless!

to make the patchwork look ‘3D’, you’ll need to use one light colored, one dark colored and one medium colored diamond for each square. the lightest diamond will make up the top of the box, the darkest will make up the right side and the medium colored one the left side. repeating this pattern will create the 3D look.

cut out your diamonds and separate them into light, medium and dark shades. using a re-positionable spray adhesive, start placing the squares down on your frame mat (you might find it helpful to tape 3 pieces together at a time, then position them with the spray adhesive). once all are in place, coat the top with a layer of mod podge and let dry. put your frame together, and voila!

DIY 3d box art

what do you think? let me know if you have any questions, and make sure to share your’s with us if you decide to make it!

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Posted by in jewelry

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

homeground the greenhouse collection

has your breath been taken away yet? when brittany broas of homeground sent me her new greenhouse collection, i was speechless. not only is it one of the most unique and beautiful jewelry collections i’ve seen, but the photography and vision behind the pieces are so stunning, don’t you think? i feel like i’m walking right in the greenhouse with her, with a delicate necklace or bracelet just dripping from around my neck and wrist. inspired by her favorite local greenhouse, i think these pieces are just as lovely and colorful as the plants that surround them.

make sure to visit brittany’s beautiful blog and website to shop around, then head over to her facebook page to see more of her beautiful work!

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my diy hammock

June 14, 2011

happy monday, dear friends! i told you i was going to make a hammock this weekend (remember?), and i did! it turned out great and i’ve been enjoying it all weekend. here’s how i did it!

my diy hammock

for the most part, i just followed these great instructions from outside mom.  i had two yards of this striped linen fabric, so first i hemmed each of the long sides. then i hemmed each of the short sides by first folding over a 1/2 inch and pressing, then folding over again about 3 inches to create a sleeve for my rope to go through (see picture below).

my diy hammock

i used a tight zig zag stitch with heavy duty polyester thread to make sure the seams were really strong. i then threaded some rope through each end that i found in my mister’s tool box (hehe) and tied a secure not to each of my posts.  you could also do this around a branch or a tree trunk.

my diy hammock

isn’t it lovely? it’s super sturdy and comfy, just right for an afternoon cup of tea and a good book. :)

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Posted by in handmade

One thing that I have always wanted to make is homemade ice cream. I have always wondered – how would my own, fresh, homemade ice cream taste? Would the difference be detectable? Would it be worth the time?

Despite not having an ice cream maker, a simple Google search provided me with a recipe: homemade ice cream that can be made without an ice cream maker! Additionally, it is easy to flavor it to your liking, or add custom mix-ins. I like that you can control all of the ingredients – even make them completely organic.

This recipe comes from J. Kenji Lopez-Alt on I chose this basic recipe because of the amount of testing the recipe author conducted. J. Kenji understands that the purpose of the ice cream maker is to provide continuous churning, which prevents icy crystals from forming; so, the secret to producing creamy, non-crystallized ice cream is to initially freeze the mixture in small compartments.

First comes the ice cream, followed by my custom mix-in: edible cookie dough with chopped peanut butter cups.

ice cream ingredients

8 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

12 oz can condensed milk

2 cups whipping cream


cookie dough ingredients

1/2 cup flour

6 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons softened butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tablespoons water

mini chocolate chips, mini M&Ms, or chopped peanut butter cups (optional)



Begin with the ice cream. Separate 8 large egg yolks into a bowl, and whisk in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Whisk on medium-high for about 5 minutes, and then set aside.

Bring evaporated milk to a simmer in a saucepan. Pour the heated milk into the egg/sugar mixture, mixing well. Return the milk/egg/sugar mixture to the saucepan, and heat until 180 degrees F – any hotter than this could cause the eggs to scramble. Whisk the mixture constantly. Once the mixture has thickened and reached 180 degrees, remove from heat, and chill completely.

While the mixture is chilling, beat 1 cup of whipping cream until it has doubled in size. Once the egg mixture has chilled, stir in the whipped cream. Pour this mix into ice cube trays, and freeze until solid – about four hours.

cookie dough directions

While your ice cream mixture is freezing, start on your edible cookie dough.

Cream together brown sugar and butter in a bowl. Next, add vanilla extract, water, and flour, stirring well. Stir in the mix-ins of your choice – I went with chopped peanut butter cups. You can either roll this into a log, and chop into pieces once frozen, or if yours is a little soft, just drop small pieces like drop-cookies on wax paper and freeze.

Back to the ice cream…

Once your ice cream cubes are frozen solid, remove cubes from the tray into a food processor (I had to use a butter knife). Pour in your mix-ins and the remaining 1 cup of whipping cream (not yet whipped), and process for about 30 seconds, or until smooth. Pour the mixture into an air-tight container and place back in the freezer, at least 4 hours, or overnight.

The next day, my result was smooth, creamy, scoop-able ice cream. There were no large crystals, no crunchy ice pieces – it tasted fresh and perfect!

ashley paul indie pretty project Out to find ways to make life simpler, Ashley is tackling life one DIY project at a time. Learning as she goes, she also spends her days writing Indie Pretty Projects and creating for her Etsy shop.

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