frozen berry ice cubes

July 16, 2010

Posted by in simple living

frozen berry ice cubes

oh how i love simple things that can make an ordinary occasion feel extra special.  serving these frozen berry ice cubes at a summer get together could give your drinks that added touch of thoughtfulness. or maybe you could just use them in your own afternoon drink, to make your ‘me time’ a little more special!

frozen berry ice cubes

they’re so easy to make, just drop your favorite berry into the water of an ice cube tray and place in the freezer for at least 8 hours.  they’ll melt in your drink and give you a yummy surprise by the time they’ve melted.

coffee ice cubes

since the weather has turned so hot, i’ve also been drinking lots of iced coffee.  make these coffee cubes ahead of time and as they melt, they won’t water down your coffee!

see you monday! bonnie xo :) {photos : bonnie forkner}

simple living


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kitchen inspiration

July 16, 2010

Posted by in home decor

kitchen inspiration

um, this may very well be the most beautiful kitchen i’ve ever seen.  i think i would have been afraid to use those colors, but i can’t believe how perfect they are!  what do you think?  i now want to redo my entire kitchen. you can see more of it on bolig.

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one of my dear friends, katy, shared this recipe for blackberry cobbler with me this week, and i couldn’t wait to make it!  i knew the blackberries in my yard were on the verge of perfection and sure enough, i had exactly 2.5 cups of yummy homegrown berries when i was done picking them.

summer recipe | blackberry cobbler

ingredients:

  • - 2.5 cups of blackberries
  • - 1/3 cup of milk (or plant based milk)
  • - 1 cup of sugar
  • - 1 cup of water
  • - 1.5 cups of self-rising flour
  • - 1 cup of butter (or vegan butter)
  • - a dash of cinnamon
  • - 2 tbs of extra sugar

summer recipe | blackberry cobbler

directions:

preheat your oven to 350.  place half of one butter stick into a 9×11 baking pan and place in the oven until the butter melts.  meanwhile, place the water and 1 cup sugar into a saucepan and heat over med-high heat until all the sugar dissolves, then set aside (you’ll use this later!).  cut the remaining butter into your flour until it becomes crumbly.  add the milk while stirring until a dough forms into a ball.  take your dough and after kneading it a few times, roll it out into a rectangle about 1/4″ thick.  spread your yummy berries over the top and sprinkle it with cinnamon.  from one end, roll the dough up like you would a jelly roll, pinching the ends closed so as not to loose any berries!  once you have your roll, cut slices 1″ thick and place them in your baking pan (on top of the melted butter).  pour the sugar water all around your rolls (it will get absorbed) and place in the oven.  bake for 30-45 minutes, sprinkle the tops with the extra sugar and bake for another 15 minutes.  serve with ice cream and enjoy!

summer recipe | blackberry cobbler

i’m telling you, this one is really delicious- i planning on making it again tonight!

{photos: bonnie forkner}

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Posted by in handmade

catie's blue

catie’s blue jewelry was born from designer brandi’s amazing passion for color.  with intricate and beautifully made pieces, they are all easily wearable and can take you from day to evening and casual to dressy.  get a little color inspiration from catie’s blue shop and  find versatile pieces full of dreamy colors!

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

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Tomatoes are a magical fruit – it seems that almost everyone who has a vegetable garden, or wants a vegetable garden, dreams of luscious, sun warmed tomatoes picked fresh from the vine.  I love when my tomatoes start to ripen and the avalanche of fruit hits the kitchen – I have yet to find my fill of tomatoes!

sun ripe tomatoes by mailelani

As much as they can be relatively easy to grow, tomatoes come with a list of potential diseases. First and foremost – we need to talk about late tomato blight.  Late tomato blight will kill your plants – causing them to collapse almost overnight.   And sadly, late blight  has started to appear in parts the United States, and it’s arrival has sparked an cascade of emails, Facebook posting and warnings.

All blight photos below from Cornell University, Long Island…visit their page for more information and photos

Last summer was a terrible season for tomatoes here in the Northeast.  We had a huge tomato blight outbreak, fueled by diseased tomato plants being sold at chain stores.  Each of those infected plants was host to millions of spores of the Phytophthora infestans pathogen.  These spores spread and spread and before we knew it tomatoes were a rare commodity. Farmers lost entire harvests and thousands of dollars, home gardeners were deprived of their bounty and we were once again reminded of our inability to manage all that nature throws our way.

I cannot emphasize enough how nefarious this disease is. Late blight requires immediate community response – if you see affected plants in your garden immediately pull them and the plants right next to them (even if they appear to be healthy) double bag them and either incinerate or send them to the landfill. DO NOT COMPOST!  Let your neighbors and local county extension service know – everyone needs to be on board with this.  The Irish potato famine was caused by this pathogen and its control is on the top of the list for those of us who love tomatoes.

If blight has been spotted in your area monitor your plants everyday, several times of day. It appears quickly and must be dealt with quickly.

Late blight overwinters in infected potatoes left in the ground and is hosted in the wild tomato seedlings that pop up from last year’s seeds.  Search your garden beds for these uninvited plants and treat them as you would poison ivy amongst your basil – no tolerance.  Pull them out and burn or trash them.  Again – do not compost them.

Prevention and  control is the only remedy for tomato blight.  There is no real treatment for it – organic or otherwise.  Do yourself and your community a favor and destroy infected plants.  There are fungicides that can be used as a preventative, but in my experience compost tea applications are a much healthier and safer choice.  But this is a preventative – if you see the blight on your plants no amount of compost tea will save them….burn them or throw them away.

More resources on late blight…please read these and familiarize yourself with the symptoms of and ways to prevent this terrible disease:

Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station Fact Sheet

Cornell University – Long Island

Rodale Institute

CTNOFA

Cornel University

Caroline Finnegan owns Ladybug Landscaping, a full service organic landscaping company. based in CT. She is a NOFA accredited landcare professional and when not designing gardens can be found rearranging her furniture or out at a flea market finding new goodies. She almost always has dirt under her nails.



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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

as crafsters, we need to make sure to support and encourage our creative side as much as possible.  walking into a space that doesn’t inspire you can be a real buzz kill, so today, we’ll talk about 10 things you can do to keep your creative spaces inspirational.

inspiring creative spaces

{inspiration wall in my sewing room}

1) surround yourself with beautiful things.  whether it’s artwork, colorful patterns or previous projects, make sure your space is a reflection of yourself and that you get inspired by the things you see when you enter the room.  ever evolving inspiration boards, clip boards or wire picture holders are a great way to keep beauty around you.

inspiring creative spaces

{my sewing room}

2) lighten up. natural day light is invigorating and clear, where as yellow house bulbs can be a little suppressing.  either way, make sure you have plenty of light for your projects, as straining your eyes can be exhausting.  using lamps with clear bulbs can be a savior when it comes to detailed work.

3) keep a well stocked craft room. whether it’s scissors, glue, yarn or thread- make sure to have plenty of whatever you find you need the most.  having to run to the store mid-project can totally disrupt your creative process.

inspiring creative spaces

{my sewing table feb 09}

4) keep your space organized. it’s amazing how much more quickly you can accomplish tasks when you know exactly where everything is. take note of the positioning as well,  if you find yourself always having to get up to cross the room for a pair of scissors, move them (that sounds silly, but i just realized i was doing this a few weeks ago)!

5) be comfortable. if you’re sitting make sure to have a supportive, comfortable chair with a table at the appropriate height.  if you’re standing, make sure you have supportive shoes on and you’re not hunching over to work.  keep the temperature where you like it and pull your hair back if it’s in your way. heck- stay in your pj’s if you like!

inspiring creative spaces

{sewing room}

6) keep it tidy.  easier said than done, right?  this is a new one that i’ve been really trying to stick to.  it’s so overwhelming to feel inspired to create, and then enter a mess (okay, a disaster) of a sewing room.  clean up after every single project, and you’re space will be clean and inviting the next time you get ready to craft.

inspiring creative spaces

{moving and cleaning}

7) minimize distractions. take the phone off the hook, ask your mister to watch the kids, lock the door or do whatever you need to be able to focus.  if you find yourself stopping everything to watch the tv or check twitter, consider turning off those distractions as well.  time wasters are addicting, consuming and definitely not productive.

8) remove anything you find bothersome. is it something in your room? a piece of art? the way you have to walk around the ironing board to get to the cutting table? whatever you find annoying, remove it or rethink it.

inspiring creative spaces

{sewing nook complete}

9) jam out. jazz, hip hop, oldies- if it get’s your hips swinging and your mind focused, turn it on and jam out.

10) stop before you get overwhelmed.  open a window and let a fresh breeze hit your face or turn a pot of tea on.  make sure to take care of yourself and do a few things that you know will keep you refreshed, focused and on task.

bonnie's sewing room

bonnie's sewing room

i took these photos of my sewing room this morning.  i really am keeping it clean, see?! :)  i think i have finally gotten it well stocked, organized and planned out- and because of that, i have been more productive than ever.

how do you keep your space inspiring?

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emmas designblogg

July 14, 2010

Posted by in home decor

emmas designblogg has been especially inspirational lately, featuring room after room of thought provoking spaces.  based out of sweden with a love for scandinavian style, she feature’s home decor with an emphasis on style and photography.  i always end up bookmarking posts and coming away with an urge to re-decorate the whole house (or at least one room of it)!

emmas design blogg

{roland bello}

emmas design blogg

{annika vannerus}

emmas design blogg

{annika vannerus}

emmas design blogg

{carpe+item}

emmas design blogg

{outdoor tub}

emmas design blogg

{the style files}

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diy post cards

i’m always getting the most darling cards in the mail, and after keeping them a while for re-reading, i often find myself painfully turning them in to the recycling bin.  then i had the idea of repurposing them to deliver one more round of smiles!

diy post cards

as long as any greeting card you’ve received is blank on the opposite side of the front, you can cut the card right down the middle and use the decorative front as a post card.

diy post cards

with a little happy tape and the handy use of my diy rolling rubber band stamps, i made this post card in just a few minutes.

diy post cards

ready to write on and stick in the mailbox, i’m so excited to give these greeting cards a second lease on life!

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